Five Frugal Things

by Katy on July 4, 2019 · 84 comments

  1. I did sell the vintage suitcase that I mentioned in the last blog post, as well as one more Thorns soccer ticket. (I’ve been getting these for free through a 76 gas station promotion.) But the biggest sale of the week was a set of four knock-off Breuer style chairs that I picked up at the Albany, Oregon Goodwill, and proceeded to sell within two hours through Facebook Marketplace. If only it was always that easy.

  2. I got together with my friend Lise to parallel play while we both worked on our laptops. Instead of going to a pricey café, we hit Ikea to enjoy the free coffee offered through their Ikea Family program.

    I use the term “parallel play” to describe when a friend and I get together socially, but instead of chatting we both work on our individual projects. Of course, we catch one another up on our lives during the drive, but once the laptops open, we focus on our own tasks.

    I also recycled some crusty AA batteries from some Goodwill Furbies and Lise returned some towels.

  3. I was on a solo road trip the other day and working on a ravenous hunger. I didn’t feel like spending a significant amount of money, so I made a plan to stop into a Costco for one of their infamous $1.50 hotdogs. (Yeah, it’s not the healthiest, but I rationalize it by piling on the sauerkraut and choosing straight seltzer instead of a sugary soda.) I was also running low on olive oil.

    However, I was saved from spending the $1.50 by a boon of free samples, the likes of which have never been seen. It’s kind of a blur of tortellini and beef jerky, but I would estimate that there were close to twenty sample stations, yet miraculously no lines!

    I then hit the water fountain and was back on the road. Stomach stated and wallet intact.

  4. I returned my library edition of A Woman of No Importance and picked up a hold copy of The Secret Keeper, my husband brought home an armload of used bubble wrap from his workplace, I sold one of my son’s unwanted soccer scarves through my eBay account, I picked up a paid writing assignment, I scavenged the fridge for makeshift meals and I accepted a neighbor’s hand me down air conditioner that’s better than what my son is currently using.

  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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{ 84 comments… read them below or add one }

tracy July 4, 2019 at 10:30 am

1. At beach for holiday with 13 people. Made dinner last night and breakfast this a.m. with food bought on sale at home. Bought paper plates at Goodwill to use for today’s BBQ (an indulgence, we rarely use them but so much easier feeding a crowd.) Will be here 5 days, no restaurant meals. Making cake tomorrow to celebrate two family birthdays using mix bought on steep sale, will make easy lemon glaze to top from supplies on hand.
2. Signed up for free one week trial of Hulu to be able to stream world cup games for free while we’re here.
3. Took long walk on beach this a.m. with a bunch of us and a bunch of dogs — SUPER low tide (lowest I’ve seen in 30 years) and starfish, anemones etc. in tide pools were amazing! Will sit in front yard today and watch local 4th of July parade. Hike up local mountain for incredible view tomorrow. Lots of free entertainment! Will splurge for a couple of yoga classes at my favorite studio while I’m here.
4. Reading library books on my kindle app.
5. My Mom and I are decluttering and have come up with quite a pile of stuff to donate to thrift store that benefits local hospice service. Also some books we’ll put in the “free little library” at the end of the street.


Midwest Beth July 4, 2019 at 2:11 pm

Sounds like a wonderful vacation:-)


Cindy in the South July 4, 2019 at 4:26 pm

Sounds fun! I was going to ask if you were in Florida, until I saw the mountain remark…lol


tracy July 4, 2019 at 5:39 pm

Oregon coast!


Bee July 5, 2019 at 3:56 am

I absolutely love to go tidal pooling when I am on the West Coast! The sea life in the Pacific is so different than that found on the Atlantic Coast.


Bethany July 4, 2019 at 11:54 am

Painting a bedroom. Leftover paint from my hallway project last summer. Touching up spots around the house as well.

Sold a top of a coffee table my neighbor had on the curb about a year ago. Feels pretty good to get it out of here. I thought I’d upcycle it, but another lady is up to the task.

Combining some errands today to save gas.

Delaying a curriculum purchase for a couple more weeks for Fall materials. My consultant shared with me all her future dates for a 50% off sale. That puts one more paycheck to the current credit card which had some substantial necessary purchases on it.

Loaded 2 gallons of red grapes in the freezer for summer treats for the kids. 79 cents a pound so I couldn’t pass up the opportunity.


Bethany M July 4, 2019 at 11:57 am

Those look like my MIL chairs. She’s so proud of them. 🙂


Mand01 July 4, 2019 at 12:00 pm

1. The damage to my car ended up being only $140 including a new hubcap. So I don’t feel quite so bad about it now.
2. I set myself an income goal for freelancing this week, and I’ve already doubled it. I don’t expect that to be the case all the time but I’ll take the work while I have it.
3. Working from home has reduced how many clothes I go through and therefore my laundry.
4. We have almost completely eliminated eating out and convenience foods. I’m home to cook every day, and to bake healthy snacks. I enjoy it as a break from work. The kids have asked a couple of times for snacks but I just tell them I’m weaning them off junk. I didn’t realise how much junk we were buying until I went shopping yesterday and just bypassed all of it. Then my youngest asked me for an orange for a snack. Sounds simple, but with two autistic children it can be hard to make changes with food.
5. Our garden is producing a field of self seeded lettuce. Free salads.


Heidi Louise July 4, 2019 at 12:21 pm

Indeed making changes with food is very hard with autistic children! as we learned the hard way. I would put “teach them to eat right when they are babies” in my top five list of advice I wish I had known to other parents of autistic children. Good job!


Mand01 July 5, 2019 at 3:35 am

Heidi Louise, we used to be very strict with healthy eating and our eldest especially benefited (compared to other autistic young people we know, she is a very adventurous eater). But over the past year as life has become busier and more stressful, we have really dropped the ball. Our youngest has really lost out with that. I am happy that we have been able to see some reversals since I have started to work from home – and it’s cheaper. Junk is really expensive.


KT July 4, 2019 at 9:23 pm

Mando1, congratulations on doubling your income goal this week on your freelance work! That has to be exciting and encouraging. Keep us posted as to how you are doing. I like to cheer people on.


Mand01 July 5, 2019 at 3:32 am

Thank you for your support!
I have to say that so far I am enjoying it much more than working in the office. I especially love working at night after dinner. My husband and the kids hang out and listen to music or play a game, and I sit with them and work. I work during the day but stop as I need to and help my kids with school or take them to therapy. Life is much less stressful. We are eating better and I am sleeping better. The kids are definitely happier. I am lucky though that I have the kind of occupation where I could make this jump.


Joanie July 5, 2019 at 6:02 am

Mando1…your new circumstances sound so wonderful. I missed hearing about your freelancing. Are you a freelance writer?


Mand01 July 5, 2019 at 12:14 pm

I’m a business writer. I do mostly bids to help companies win business. I’ve worked for single companies for the past ten years but recently (last two weeks) switched to freelance.

Joanie July 5, 2019 at 12:54 pm

Mando1…no reply spot under your response (below) so I’ll jump in here again.
Thank you for explaining. That is so great that you have the ability to do something so important as a freelancer! Kids are happier and less stress for you — win- win! You really started off with a bang. Wishing you continued success.

A. Marie July 5, 2019 at 9:31 am

Mand, belated congratulations on your lifestyle shift and the positive changes it’s already bringing about. In addition to the benefits for the offspring, I’m all for your #5. (I have a patch of self-perpetuating parsley and am trying to get one of self-perpetuating cilantro going, but the cilantro is putting up more resistance.) And I’m glad the car issue wasn’t as bad as you feared; I’m a clumsy driver myself.


Mand01 July 5, 2019 at 12:16 pm

Thank you
The cilantro will be harder, as it is so sensitive to weather.


Kathy July 4, 2019 at 12:41 pm

Katy I miss your musings about the crappy coffee. Are you not working at the hospital?
1. Sold $13 of stuff on local sites and $13 on amazon
2. Friend took us to dinner and he didn’t like his filet. We brought it home and had steak salads one night.
3. Packing protein shakes and bars for trip to housesit for my son and daughter in law
4. Packed 4 books I haven’t read for same trip.
6. Have dz items for consignment store


Ruby July 4, 2019 at 7:46 pm

Katy retired a few months ago, which made me think seriously about what it would take to retire early.


Lisa M. July 5, 2019 at 5:41 pm

My understanding was that Katy made a career change, leaving her long-term nursing position at the hospital to focus on her writing career. Lucky for us, as I’m betting she has many projects underway.


Diane C July 5, 2019 at 11:45 pm

What? How did I miss this? Really?.


Lisa M. July 6, 2019 at 4:42 am

One of the long-term posters here asked a question, which prompted me to go to Twitter & read about it. Katy also posted a hilarious photo of a cake that her hospital co-workers gave her that said: “You’re Dead To Us”.


Joanie July 6, 2019 at 1:08 pm

She’s focusing on both writing and selling full time. Obviously she has the knack for finding great stuff to resell.
I didn’t know either until there was that instagram reference.


Lisa M. July 6, 2019 at 4:54 pm

Joanie, I think you may be right that it was Instagram instead of Twitter. Since I don’t have any contact with social media, they are all one & of the same to me. 🙂


Joanie July 6, 2019 at 5:53 pm

Lisa, I didn’t even notice you said Twitter…I avoid them all too but I did go back and look because I thought there was an emphasis on selling, but I see writing and selling are on equal footing. I wish she had written about it in this blog.

K D July 4, 2019 at 12:56 pm

1. I had a little over $23 in found money for the first half of 2019. I have found no money ,so far, in July.

2. I’m wearing a red top that was a hand-me-up, and capris I bought about 15 years ago.

3. It’s been hot so I’ve been walking early in the day. I’ve also been using my favorite Contigo insulated bottle. It was rescued right before a Lost & Found collection was going into the trash.

4. We had a small gathering for a 4th of July cookout. We kept it simple and had not too many leftovers. It’s mostly about the getting together anyway.

5. I’ll put out the trash tonight in our 30 year old Rubbermaid container (most likely made in America).


A. Marie July 4, 2019 at 1:01 pm

FFT, Happy Fourth Edition:

(1) Had to put in some work time this morning (my work projects are starting to look like planes on the runway for takeoff at a major airport). But I knocked off at noon and took DH to a barn sale a few miles out in the countryside, at a farm that’s also an informal folk music venue. We may attend some performances here, now that I’ve finally figured out where the place is (the attendance cost is $5 plus a potluck dish to pass). And I picked up a lovely little two-pronged pewter candlestick for $1 at the sale.

(2) Have been pottering around the house and gardens since our return home, pulling weeds and doing a bunch of other accumulated small chores. Getting caught up on the little stuff is good.

(3) Found change for July so far is at 55 cents–and it’s only the 4th. Keep those dimes and pennies rolling in, boys and girls!

(4) Otherwise, doing the stuff I always do: having coffee only at home, hanging laundry on the indoor drying racks (some of which are over 70 years old), bucket-flushing the upstairs toilet from the bathwater on the days I take tub baths, etc., etc.

(5) And I’m probably deriving far more entertainment than I should from the continuing weather reports from Washington, DC. 🙂


Patricia Koernig July 5, 2019 at 1:28 am

Thank you for the laugh A.Marie. 🙂


A. Marie July 5, 2019 at 9:25 am

You’re welcome, Patricia. And for further fun, check out the #RevolutionaryWarAirports hashtag currently trending on various social media. 🙂


Louise Cattrell July 6, 2019 at 1:33 am

Ace -to that last!


Lisa July 4, 2019 at 1:03 pm

Happy frugal holidays

1. I picked up loss leaders like mustard and not dogs for the freezer.
2. I am having serious Costco envy. I love the Kirkland brand tuna but can’t justify a membership for just that and all my hook ups did not renew their memberships. They would get me gift cards which I paid for.
3. Told my sister it was too hot for company even if it is a holiday. This was very frugal for my sanity
4. Batched all my errands on Wednesday to save gas and used my coupons for oil change and cat food
5. Using the library for entertainment for my nephew be wise it’s too hot for the park.


Vickey July 5, 2019 at 8:24 am

Saving our sanity is very frugal!


Marybeth July 7, 2019 at 1:44 pm

Have you tried buying a Costco gift card online. There are many sites that offer them.


Midwest Beth July 4, 2019 at 1:31 pm

Thanks for sharing your reading list Katie, they look interesting and I just put them on hold at my library:-)

1. Played tennis with daughter at a local park. Free workout and we went home and had popsicles to cool of. No slurpees for us until the upcoming free slurpee day on 7/11.
2. Did our summer Tuesday tradition of MJR cheap movie day/night and free popcorn and refill; had a $5 reward so cost $5 cash to see the new Spider-Man movie for two people, $2 at Dollar store for candy and brought our own water.On the way to the movie batched errands.
3. Got home from movie around 11:00 no power- out until 11:15 the next day. Will save on electric, second outage in two weeks. Thank goodness for the gallon jug of frozen water in one freezer and all the free ice packs I got from my mom (came with the meds she takes) in another and full ice trays I was able to distribute them in both refrigerators and not buy ice or dry ice. Went to the power companies community trucks to pick up free water and ice – power came back on while there. Did pick up two free phone chargers – will keep these and others charged, great to have to run phone, kindle etc off of and unfortunately sure we will have more no power days.
4. Went to the library for books and movies – my slip alone says I saved $223. She got a stack of books as well, very happy to see this as she is on her phone/computer way to much. Looking forward to introducing my daughter to the Veronica Mars series, checked out the first season and looking forward to watching the 2014 re-boot.
5. Took the extra steps and took leftover clean hand/ veggie rinsing/drinking water and water from dogs bowl to water outdoor pots. Used leftover coffee grounds to sprinkle around vegetable plants I want to keep critters away from and as a fertilizer for the soil. Collected from recycle container lids turned upside down a bucket and half of rain water from big storm the other night and used to water my raised bed garden and collecting more, lots of rain this week. Willl be putting out the dogs plastic pool to collect more to try and keep the water bill low.
6. Replaced the filter on my furnace/central air and wrote it on my calendar for when to check/change it again. Same for Brita water pitcher filter. Hopefully extending the life of the furnace and me.
7. Grocery shopped picked up veg/fruit we needed and a few markdowns.
8. Still doing dishes by hand after several years since the dish washer broke down which now just stores cookie sheets etc.
9. Went to fireworks over the weekend and brought our own snacks so Fourth of July will be eating BLT’s at home and when DD gets home from work will have apple pie as we binge watch Stranger Things:-) Don’t feel sad about not grilling out as we just had another big storm come through, means more water for my garden though, Mr. Greenjeans would be proud!


Christine July 5, 2019 at 6:10 pm

The receipts at our town library quote the $$$ amount saved on each item borrowed too. I love this and was happy when a few years ago the director made the decision to do this. Next January I will save them and add them up at the end of the year to see how much I save annually by borrowing instead of buying. I love being able to “afford” to read more than I would had I purchased the books.


WilliamB July 4, 2019 at 1:43 pm

1. My friend was in town. Rather than go out, I made donburi (a japanese egg dish) at home. It’s inherently an inexpensive dish of eggs, onions, whatever else you have to toss in (I used carrots and celery; didn’t have any meat scraps for I would have added those as well), soy sauce, mirin, and chicken stock; served over rice. We went to Baskin Robbins for dessert. $5 ice cream much frugaler than $?? meal out.

2. Moving forward with restaining a $20 coffee table; it’s too shiny and unworn for my LR, which is full of older furniture, all of which have lovely patinas from use. I’m practicing on an old outdoor table I don’t care about, which I’ll paint with paint I already own if it turns out badly. I bought one stain to try, the rest of the materials I already own. Used loyalty rewards to save 25%.

3. Bought a half dozen knives for on-sale sharpening. Used loyalty rewards to save 25% of that, also.

4. Researching, so I can repaint my back door. It’s in such bad shape that it’s dropping paint every time I open the door.

5. Sold some books for $30.
Did NOT sell the teak dining tables, as the SECOND buyer in a row also crapped out at the last minute. I’m OK that it takes a while to sell high-price point items; I’m not OK with waiting around for people who don’t show up.


Kathy July 4, 2019 at 3:20 pm

I hate when potential buyers


Lee July 4, 2019 at 2:08 pm

I’ve been thinking about getting a new front door since the old one isn’t very secure. Last week, I noticed a carpenter at a neighbor’s house installing a front door. Later, the old door appeared on the curb with a “FREE” sign. It’s now installed at my house! Now, every time I walk through my front door, I can feel pleased with my talent for scrounging free stuff. 🙂

Later, the neighbor told me how happy he is to see that his old door didn’t end up in a landfill.


Christine July 6, 2019 at 5:49 am

Win win for all!


Lindsey July 4, 2019 at 3:46 pm

1. Library, library, library, for books, a DVD, a seed spreader from the tool loaning section, and to take a puzzle-leave a puzzle from their free puzzles section.
2. We are eating from the freezer, in anticipation of the produce I will be freezing form the garden in August. Had a perfectly ghastly meal for three nights running made of tomato sauce, zucchini, onions, hamburger, and pumpkin pulp; I think it was the pumpkin that ruined it. Not unhealthy but tasted awful. We both grimaced but ate it. I made a peanut butter/chocolate dump cake to compensate so we did, unusually for us, have dessert three nights running. The only think we bought this week was milk and watermelon.
3. A friend lost weight and was lamenting throwing away her tops. I volunteered to take them as they will need only a little alteration to make them perfect for me.
4. Husband was offered a weekend side gig that netted us $450. He took it even though he would rather have been golfing.
5. Accepted three bottles of coconut smelling Philosophy bath gel that someone left in the staff room of the place I volunteer once a week. It sat there for three weeks with a note saying, “Take this vile smelling stuff if you want it.” So, I did, since no regular employee seemed tempted, expecting to hate the smell but I rather like it. I feel like I am washing my hair with coconut cream pie. And then I looked the product up and realized it is $19 a bottle! For that price, I’d shampoo my hair with something that smelled like dog poop!

Went to the animal shelter, looking to find a new companion since I had to put my boys down. Saw one that looked promising (but puny compared to Danes and wolfhounds) and brought my husband in to meet him. The dog nipped my husband on the back of the leg as we were turned and talking to the staff person, hard enough to tear his pant leg. This completely unnerved the staff since the dog had passed their “temperament evaluation.” He has gone back for more evaluating…I have looked at dozens of dogs and this was the first one that seem to fit my criteria, alas. Perhaps I am being too picky. My husband says I am like a widow who finds all new suitors lacking because they are not duplicates of her beloved husband. Maybe I should just be thankful I was lucky enough to have had the perfect dog and stop looking…It is frugal not to have a dog.


Bee July 5, 2019 at 4:32 am

In 2014, I lost a dog that I loved dearly. I still miss him, his photo is beside my bed, and my family still talks about him. I never thought that I could ever own another dog. Then my son found a puppy roaming the streets of Savannah.
This poor little guy ended up at my house. He isn’t anything like my last dog physically or otherwise. He is big and not as smart, but he is sweet and intuitive. I have grown to love him too. I always say that he found me and knew I needed him. The universe has a way of making things right eventually.


Nalani July 5, 2019 at 11:01 am

Awww This made me tear up. After my cat of 19 years passed, I didn’t think I could get another one. I did end up getting a rescue kitten and even though personality wise she is nothing like my old boy (he was a snuggler, she is not), she makes me so happy.


Liz B. in Lebanon (Ohio) July 6, 2019 at 6:11 pm

We lost my very first dog in 2015. He was 14, OLD for a Golden Retriever, but the sweetest love of a dog ever. My heart was broken, and I wasn’t sure I’d ever be able to find another place in my heart for another dog, but after 2 years had passed, I heard about a dog that needed a new home….and I felt excited at the prospect of adopting him. That didn’t work out, but we did adopt a rescue puppy who is now a member of our family. He’s physically very different from my first dog, but shares his smarts and friendly ways. Seems there is always room in your heart for one more.


Momma L July 5, 2019 at 5:09 am

Sometimes you can find Philosophie in places like TJ Maxx. People have bought gifts for me from that store. 🙂


Lindsey July 6, 2019 at 11:44 am

No TJ Maxx in interior Alaska. No Target either. We are not considered a good risk by a lot of stores and fast food chains—too few of us, I guess, and our wages are higher because our cost of living is higher than a lot of other places.


Cindy in the South July 4, 2019 at 4:19 pm

I am trying to do the Frugalwoods no spend July challenge, since my daughter is having a baby due at the end of the month, and I want to fly out to see them. However, she is already having Braxton Hicks contractions, so we shall see. 1. I am soaking beans to cook tomorrow. 2. My engine light is on, I have a jury trial Monday, and I don’t have time for car issues, so I am taking it in tomorrow to dealership. It is under warranty. . 3. I will be watching the neighborhood fireworks from my own yard 4. I dyed my hair this morning in prep for looking decent for the trial. The dye cost three bucks. 5. I walked in my hood this morning. No gas needed.


Bee July 5, 2019 at 4:35 am

Is this your first grandchild?


Cindy in the South July 5, 2019 at 6:17 pm

Technically. My son’s ex wife has a child (not his biologically) who calls me “Mimi”. My definition of family is very loose. I do have four biological children, three boys and a girl. I also ate lunch with my ex husband and our youngest son this week, so I include the ex in the “family” definition…


Bee July 5, 2019 at 7:25 pm

Families come in all sizes, shapes and combinations. Sometimes the members aren’t related. It’s about love.


Connie C July 8, 2019 at 5:46 am

Bee and Cindy in the South, I LOVE both of your definitions of family!

Susie's Daughter July 4, 2019 at 6:10 pm

1) Even though it is wickedly hot for our part of the world, I have been cooking in the early morning and today, when I couldn’t find the “free pizza” coupon for lunch treat, I bought crust at the store to make one for DS for lunch. Then we left our warm house to swim at my parents. 🙂

2) I have also been gardening early in the morning. Good for the garden and for my mental health. The dog is getting me up at 5:45am to go out. That leaves a LOT of time before 8am to get stuff done.

3) Bought half price replacement plants two days ago – squash plants for me and broccoli and cabbage plants for my mom from our local plant guy. By this time in the summer, his remaining stock goes on sale. Our butternut squash never came up and my mom’s broccoli and cabbage have been eaten by a resident groundhog – twice.

4) Using milk from freezer bought on mark down. I thawed a half gallon yesterday and have 1.5 gallons still in the freezer.

5) Had tears and shivers listening to the hosts from NPR reading the Declaration of Independence on air this morning as they do each year and gave thanks for a free press.

PS – I might like fireworks more if they didn’t make the dog so crazy. It feels like one of those things I am “supposed” to love, but kinda don’t. But I am all about the sparklers… Happy 4th to those in the USA and belated Happy Canada Day to our neighbors up North!


Mand01 July 4, 2019 at 6:30 pm

I don’t like fireworks either. I think they’re boring. I think I was ruined by Tolkien’s description of Gandalf’s fireworks. If they don’t turn into a giant fire breathing dragon, I’m just disappointed.


Mary Beth Danielson July 5, 2019 at 9:40 am

I was just looking at Twitter, came over here, read this comment, totally agree. And tried to retweet it.


Christine July 5, 2019 at 6:19 pm

Oh my goodness…what DON’T groundhogs eat? The one that lives in my banking has decimated my garden more than once. I finally gave up but decided to try again this year with just butternut squash in a different section of the yard. Miraculously, he has not discovered it! Best of luck with you and your mom’s veggies.


Jennifer July 4, 2019 at 6:25 pm

Went on vacation to VA to visit my brother and his family.
1. Stayed with family (they just moved and had a baby), took a house warming gift of home canned products, Starbucks coffee my dd got free from work, and a bottle of local wine. Reused a basket and tissue paper from around the house.
2. Packed lunch for the drive down and a large snack basket that we munched on over the few days we were there and on the drive home.
3. We splurged and took the kids to Busch Gardens. We have never been to an amusement park and my brother has season passes. We bought discount tickets online and they had 1 guest pass we were able to use. We packed snacks and water bottles. Did not buy any souveniers the entire trip.
4. Swam for free in their neighborhood pool every day (kids entertainment). We also spent an afternoon at York Town Beach. And held the new baby a lot (my entertainment).
5. I paid my nephew to house sit while we were gone avoiding paying neighborhood kids (very expensive around here) or a boarding place for my dog (or both, because we also have a rabbit that we would not board). I would rather him have my money anyway as he just graduated college and got engaged. Plus, my dog was happier this way.


Ruby July 4, 2019 at 8:05 pm

1.  Found 12 cents in pennies in a week. It seemed like every place I went there were pennies on the ground or floor.
2.  The spine of the cover for my tablet began peeling off. Fixed it with a glued down strip of pretty scrap fabric.
3.  Took up the waist of a pair of thrifted denim capris to make them much more comfortable to wear.
4.  Spent this holiday evening sitting in the cool breeze of the fan and comforting our little dogs who hate fireworks. The Mister made lemonade as a treat.
5.  It’s been so hot that my family has no interest in a cooked dinner. This saves a bunch on groceries.


Jill A July 5, 2019 at 3:13 am

1. I finished a library book on my Kindle and have another one waiting. I read The Aviators wife. It made me a little sad but also happy that even though I lost my husband at least I had a very happy marriage.
2. I sold another Ebay item and listed several more. It’s not a ton of money but it adds up and it’s very entertaining.
3. I’ve been helping a friend clear out her Mother’s apartment. She took me to lunch but I paid the tip. I resisted bringing anything home except for a beach chair and some Rubbermaid containers I can use for the dogs homemade ice cream.
4. I washed my sheets and dried them outside on my drying racks and the backs of my deck chairs. I don’t have a clothes line.
5. I finally ran out of Swiffer duster refills and didn’t want to buy more (even though I get them at the dollar tree). I took an old hospital sock and turned it inside out and put it over the old duster with a rubber band and it worked perfectly. I know I can use a regular duster but this seemed to hold onto the dust so I can just wash it rather than push it onto the floor.


Cathy R July 5, 2019 at 3:46 am

You make your dogs ice cream? My dog wants to move to your house!


Jill A July 5, 2019 at 8:02 am

Cathy, yes it’s actually just no fat yogurt that I add stuff to and freeze. This time it’s blueberries & banana. Last time was pumpkin peanut butter. I freeze it in small containers on hot days….just like a spoiled child.


Jill A July 5, 2019 at 8:04 am

I meant to say I dole it out to her on hot days.


Iris July 8, 2019 at 12:58 pm

I do the same thing for my pets. I put in ice cube trays but not all the way to top to make it more manageable for them. Just put yogurt , peanut butter, banana, strawberries applesauce or whatever combination that is safe for dogs in a blender. They love it.

Christine July 5, 2019 at 6:23 pm

Your #5…good to know this works well. I’ve been planning on doing it when my Swiffers run out. Thanks.


Jill A July 5, 2019 at 3:26 am


I have to ask….were you able to fit all those chairs in your Prius? Asking because I’m researching for my next car purchase which hopefully won’t be for a while.


Katy July 5, 2019 at 7:17 am

Yes, they easily fit with the back seats down. I just laid them on their sides and reverse nested each pair together. We’ve been really happy with our Prius.


Jill A July 5, 2019 at 7:59 am

Thanks. I have a hybrid but it’s a sedan and I would prefer a hatchback.


Roberta July 5, 2019 at 9:30 am

My Prius hatchback can hold an amazing amount of garage sale finds. I garage sale for my mother’s resale shop, so I get a lot of large, bulky things. Last week I got two high chairs and a bassinet, and other stuff, all shoved in into one load.


Jill A July 6, 2019 at 5:13 am

Wow. I would love a Prius. It’s at the top of my list. My only problem is a get stuck in my driveway on really snowy days as it is with my van which sits much higher. I may have to wait until the new 2019 AWD Prius gets old enough I can justify buying one used.

Crosby July 5, 2019 at 5:49 am

1. We don’t have central AC and it has been hot here in Western NY. We have a window unit for the bedroom, but we haven’t put it in yet! The nights have been in the low-mid 70’s and we’ve been using window fans to pull in the cooler air. I want to see how long we can go before we have trouble sleeping.

2. Dinner last night was made entirely from the pantry/freezer

3. Avoided 4th of July parties this year, lots going on and just not in the mood. But it saved on buying food and drinks to share.

4. Reading a book from my university library.

5. Due to some changes, I unexpectedly need to buy a new laptop. My dad works for a tech company and gets a 25% discount on a new laptop once a year and offered me the discount. Saves a TON of money.


Amanda July 5, 2019 at 8:26 am

Twenty Costco freebies with no line! Heaven. Speaking of Costco I read a Fast Company article this morning about how Costco is a leader in fast fashion. I usually sail past the clothes to the yeast and Kirkland brand detergent, as I am sure you do too.

1) We didn’t leave the house yesterday or spend any money. We bought no fireworks and did not take advantage of sales. I have no problems with any of these things. But we are in a season of life in which we have four little kids and life is sometimes overwhelming. Resisting the FOMO and getting as many of us in bed early is what keeps us sane.

2) Leftovers for lunch. Supper will be whatever I pull together from the fridge.

3) Our AC went out today. Our trusted and reasonably-priced repair man is coming this afternoon, and we have the cash to cover it. So I am not freaking out. It helps that we’ve had a break in the upper-90s weather.

4) I called to confirm that our credit card has no international fees to prepare for an upcoming trip. I also tried on the clothes I am planning to pack. I am postpartum, so things don’t fit. I’d rather find out I need a pair of jeans stateside where I can easily get to the Goodwill.

5) My husband cut his own hair earlier this week. It is something I would never have the confidence to attempt, but he has been unhappy with the cuts he’s been paying for for a while. It turned out so good he got a compliment from the hipster, fancy-barber-shops-only guy who works for us.


Roberta July 5, 2019 at 9:42 am

1. Went to see “Yesterday” yesterday, at the cheap early matinee. I really, really liked it. It was happy movie, which is where I am right now.
2. Went to my parents house. Brought beer and coleslaw, stopped by Grocery Outlet for sauerkraut because I forgot mine. The kids swam in the pool, we watched the fireworks from the roof of a parking garage. It was a beautiful day!
3. Hanging out with my daughter today, while my son is playing games with my husband and their friends. We’ll go to the library, use her birthday Dairy Queen gift card, then come home and watch Doctor Who on Amazon Prime.
4. We’re probably going to sweat again this summer, and not get new air conditioning this summer. Instead, we’re going to get the kids’ wisdom teeth removed, pay auto insurance and not go into debt. Maybe next year, unless one of our other quotes comes in a couple thousand dollars lower.
5. Using captured shower water to water my plants on the back porch. Plants keep the porch a little cooler, and helps us enjoy the outside in the evenings while the house cools off.


Cindy in the South July 6, 2019 at 9:39 am

My mom would put in a one hundred dollar window unit from Lowes or Walmart in one room. That way she could escape the heat if needed


Jennifer July 7, 2019 at 1:18 pm

I did the same when my unit died. We put one small air conditioner in a bedroom so we could at least be cool at night or enjoy a movie without sweating. When we got our unit fixed we were able to sell the Window unit for what we paid for it.


Roberta July 8, 2019 at 7:14 am

Thanks! We will consider this route this year. It’s supposed to be hot at the end of the week, so we might have to make the decision sooner than later.


Iris Ballard July 8, 2019 at 12:51 pm

Yes, my unit has gone out too. So I have a window unit and fans and it helps with the dogs. Almost like it better in some ways because so much cheaper to replace and control. As long as I have a heater for winter, I feel can deal with the heat in the summer.

Ava July 5, 2019 at 9:53 am

Nothing big or dramatic. Just some small efforts to keep goods circulating.
1. Was invited to a neighbor’s cookout and brought home some leftovers. Shared the desserts with another neighbor, who has been gifting me with flower pots. Was gifted some blackberries by the first neighbor’s mom.
2. Helped to put on a church lunch and brought home leftovers from that.
3. Went to Goodwill looking for a large picture frame. Found one for the .99 color of the week. Spray painted it with the 2.00 spray paint I got from the discount (donated) art supply store.
4. Did a series of chores I didn’t especially want to do, but they will help us keep enjoying the things we already have. Changed light bulbs, replaced a clock battery, cleaned a furnace filter, gave dogs their heart worm medicine.
5. Harvested a cucumber, 2 peppers and more green beans from my kiddie pool gardens.


Nalani July 5, 2019 at 11:46 am

1. Stayed home on the 4th. Saved money on gas and food and saved my sanity as I didn’t need to figure out what to bring or where to park to get to the beach that was crowded with “tens of thousands of people”, according to the news. Instead we slept in, watched Season 3 of Stranger Things on Netflix, and ate thing we already had at home.
2. Took today off from work and will stay home to do laundry and read books from the library.
3. Free entertainment of watching my cat “stalking” a mejiro bird through the screen door.
4. Not using the A/C even though it’s hot and humid here.
5. Tomorrow I will go on a nice long run by myself (free therapy) and then for a walk with my parents at a park near their house. Every Saturday my husband drops me off at my parents’ house on his way to work. No extra gas used and I get to spend the day with my parents which is priceless.


Juhli July 5, 2019 at 2:06 pm

1. Like many of you, we skipped the fireworks display and didn’t drive anywhere.
2. Passed on lunch with friends after a meeting and came home to eat.
3. Got a pile of books to take on vacation from friends at book club.
4. $8 battery replacement got my watch working again.
5. In month 2 of my 3 month No Clothes Shopping personal challenge and I’m still happy with my summer wardrobe.


Christine July 5, 2019 at 5:55 pm

1. I’ve noticed I’m wearing my old dungaree skirt a lot this summer, pairing it with a t-shirt or other summery top. This has long been a staple part of my wardrobe and works in the summer with bare legs and sandals or in the colder weather with a sweater and tights.
2. DH and I went to a wonderful cookout beside a lake on the 4th. I brought along a 2-Bean Salad, yes 2, I didn’t have a can of wax beans so I used 2 cans of on-sale-for-.29-apiece green beans and a can of dark red kidney beans. It was gone by the end of the meal so I guess people liked it. Also brought homemade Brownies arranged on my great aunt’s beautiful old plate which somehow came into my ownership. I love old dishes.
3. Purchased a few items at The Salvation Army Store two of which will shortly be on FB Marketplace. One is a Wolomin Termisil teapot from Poland, which I purchased for 2.99. I hope to get at least 20.00 for it.

4. This keeps skipping down. Laptop has a mind of it’s own. My raspberries are starting to come into fruition in the sideyard. YUM.
5. Had to purchase a new to us vehicle but hit a great sale. Finance guy gave us advice on paying it down early. Will try.


J July 6, 2019 at 6:21 am

What advice did the salesman give??


AuntiAli July 6, 2019 at 3:17 am

I got jeans from Costco – Kirkland brand and they always lasted a long time. Haven’t gotten any in a while as dh has “grown out” of their sizes. He does wear their men’s sneakers and they last a good long while. He does the Amy D thing, old ones become yard shoes and new ones are worn when going out.

1. Hubs and daughter went down the shore yesterday. They went to his sister’s new apartment and then over to niece’s apartment which was 3 blocks from the beach. The ugly thing about NJ is you have to pay to get on the beach. I think niece had a couple of badges that they could use.
2. By them going to the shore I had a nice, long day of solitude.
3. Still on electricity patrol. Turning off kitchen light when hubs has been in there.
4. Tried to see the fireworks at a spot far from the crazy crowds. We caught a couple of them but I’m blasé and bored by them now. Shoulda stayed home and watched the Macy ones on tv.
5. Returning a pair of sandals that don’t fit. I’m having a fit cause I can’t find a pair that is comfortable for me.


Bethany July 6, 2019 at 6:47 am

I just picked up a couple of these kind of chairs yesterday from the curb in the adjacent retirement community. I know they’re supposed to be dining chairs, but I’m going to recover and put them in the guest room.


Dicey July 7, 2019 at 5:27 am

Re: Costco jeans:
1. Look online for expanded size selection.
2. DH loves them too. They are his everyday work pants. They also sell fleece lined jeans, which are awesome in the winter.
3. My brother works at Costco. Seems the employees love them for their price and durability, but the cool kids remove the Kirkland tags, which I think is funny.


LB July 7, 2019 at 7:08 am

1. Another beautiful day spent inside working. While I’m enjoying the freelance money, some projects are not meant to be taken. Using this as a life lesson and squirreling the money away to save some sanity for the future (and to use if I feel desperate for work again, oof)

2. Using the spirit of Use It Up–have a number of different coffees sitting around that we’ve received as gifts. Making cold brew out of some of the dregs to get rid of some we don’t care for as drip coffee. It uses a lot, the flavor works, and I use it as an excuse to make fancy coffee (milk, chocolate syrup, fun!)

3. Hit a frugal milestone yesterday: I actually ran out of canned tuna. I truly did not think it was possible! A real testament to how much I’ve been eating out of the pantry.

4. Have been making some strategic outfit purchases, especially good shoes to walk around in instead of flimsy sandals from Target. I also splurged on a new pair of shorts because my old black ones kept riding up and were generally uncomfortable. One new pair of shorts means I see new possibilities for all the clothes I already own and am much more willing to create new outfits with what is in my closet- and new sneakers make even my ratty old gym shirts look like a curated outfit!

5. Have been saving up airline miles to go somewhere crazy for my birthday weekend–Paris? Quebec City? Denver?–but even though I have the points, flight dates just have not worked out. Instead, we have opted for a trip to Philadelphia ($100 RT on the train) to maximize our time out of town and enjoy ourselves.


Katy July 8, 2019 at 9:44 am

Yeah, we’re not too snowy here in Oregon.


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