Five Frugal Things

by Katy on July 16, 2019 · 81 comments

  1. Sales this week were not too shabby. I finally sold the thrifted Yakima bike rack system, as well as another Starbucks travel tumbler, a carved piece of wood from an antique piano, some brand new racquetball equipment (that I plucked from a free pile) and three more Portland Thorns soccer tickets. (Most of the tickets are for August games, so I expect to sell the bulk of them next month.) Once again, I got the tickets for free by taking advantage of an easy 76 gas station promotion.)

  2. I finally got mad enough at my couch to heave it out of the living room and onto the front porch. Some mothers can harness Hulk-level strength to lift automobiles off their precious children, but my muscular prowess is reserved for urine scented furniture.

    Yes, this is the $50 couch that I just bought mere months ago. The couch I bought to replace my beloved yet cat urine soaked vintage couch. Because as much as I laundered the cushion covers, doused gallons of enzymatic cleaner onto every non-launderable surface and even pressure washed the seat cushions, it still emitted a slight funk.


    I’d rather have zero couches in my living room than a living room that everyone avoids.

    However, this couch had really ornate carved wooden feet that were easy enough to remove. I’m asking $35 on eBay*. Edit: I sold the couch feet!!!!!!!!!!!

    Addendum: The cats (Zelda and Hyena) are fine, and have been deemed healthy by the veterinarian. We added an extra litter box to the nearby bathroom and have not had any inappropriate urination since. It just took awhile for my decision making brain to catch up to my irate nose.

  3. My friend Dezsea was gifted an absolutely ginormous TV and generously offered us her hand-me-down plasma screen TV. It’ll replace the four-foot thick/not so energy efficient version that we currently watch. I thanked her with a Goodwill gift card. Thank you, Dezsea!

    Our next door neighbors replaced their five-year-old air conditioner and offered it to us. (there was nothing wrong with it, they just worried that it was getting old.) Since my son’s window unit is easily twenty years old, we were happy to accept their generous offer. I thanked her with a latch hook rug kit for their energetic granddaughter.

    Both these items will be more energy efficient than their predecessors, and I look forward to some savings. Sometimes it’s nice to be on the receiving end.

  4. I used a 2-for-1 coupon to treat my son to some slices of pizza, I thrifted a fancy Arcteryx brand backback, which I quickly cleaned up and listed on Facebook Marketplace, I made another batch of homemade Everything But The Bagel mix, I finished my library copy of Lost Roses and started a Lucky Day copy of The Lost Girls of Paris, and I stopped into New Season’s Market for ice cream, balked at the $7.50 price tags and walked the extra two blocks to Fred Meyer for their $2.50 store brand.

  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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  • This eBay link is an affiliate link, so if you choose to buy anything from eBay over the next few days I’ll make a few cents at no extra cost to you.

{ 81 comments… read them below or add one }

Phyllis July 16, 2019 at 11:31 am

When we rescued our huge Golden Doodle, he has serious anxiety issues and quickly ruined our sectional. It was a gorgeous scan piece and I just couldn’t justify spending a significant amount until I knew he was bombproof. I bought two wood futon – really nice craigslist finds then bought two organic futons from Cotton Cloud. I found machine washable denim covers on Amazon and paired those with mattress protectors. We haven’t looked back. I love being able to wash the covers and protectors. I love that my furniture doesn’t have that upholstered furniture smell.


Randi Macdonald July 16, 2019 at 12:12 pm

Are you interested in mystery shopping for groceries? If so, please email me. I shop 4 stores( Ralph’s) 2x a month. I get paid 9.00 in groceries and 5.00 cash for the shops. I fill out the survery’s on my phone in the store. Its super easy and totally legit. In your area, it would be Fred Meyer( if thats Kroger).


Randi Macdonald July 16, 2019 at 12:13 pm

9.00 in groceries and 5 in cash for each store.


carolyn bessette July 16, 2019 at 4:22 pm

I shop at the Krogers in Bradley, Il very often. I would be inerested in your mystery shopping . There is also a Jewel, Berkots, and Meyers grocery stores in this area also. I look forward to hearing from you. thank you.


Teri July 16, 2019 at 8:57 pm

I am interested as well.


amanda July 16, 2019 at 12:31 pm

They thought the AC was old at five years?! I am going to sound like an old guy when I write this, but my newest underwear is five years old.

1) I found a $150 error on a medical bill. Luckily it was super clear to the rep who answered the phone, so I didn’t have to argue about it.

2) I promptly made an Amazon return for my husband who tends to find things in his piles he was supposed to do long ago and forgot about.

3) A friend surprised me by paying for my lunch in exchange for my financial advice.

4) I need to go to Costco, but nothing is on fire, so I am putting it off. Sometimes when I do that I realize we can live without something I thought we needed.

5) The only prime day deals we took advantage of were things we do actually need but had left sitting in our cart until we really needed them.


Ava July 16, 2019 at 5:45 pm

My last AC unit at my previous house lasted 26 yrs before it needed to be replaced.


Dusty July 17, 2019 at 5:53 am

Ha ha…I’m with you…not only is my everyday underwear 5 yrs old….so is my sexy underwear….obviously I’m not gettin enuff action lol


Cindy in South July 16, 2019 at 12:41 pm

1. I bought an airplane ticket from Atlanta to Salt Lake City for $201 round trip! I will use this next month to go visit my new granddaughter, who will be anywhere from four to six weeks old when I arrive (she is set to make her appearance any day now). 2. My country self is trying to figure out where I need to park at the Atlanta airport. I have been before, but it has been almost eight years ago…lol. I know it will cost to park, but I don’t want to deal with relatives who may or may not get me there on time. 3. I am looking for a cheep air bnb near where my daughter lives. I hope to take care of that tomorrow. I also, am perusing Uber, ground transport etc in Salt Lake City. I don’t want my daughter to have to get out with baby to come pick me up. 4. I just paid $421 today to my dentist for the latest tooth whateverisgoingonwithmyteeth saga. Still it would have been twice that without the dental insurance. 5. My electric bill was $51, which is great considering all the days we had with heat indexes over 100 plus degrees.


A. Marie July 16, 2019 at 1:17 pm

Re: your #2: I totally get it about the Atlanta airport, even though I haven’t used it in 10 years myself. I was last there in 2009, during my last visit to see my stepmother in TN, who has since claimed the place she totally earned in heaven for taking care of my dad for his last 10 years. On my way back to Atlanta to return my rental car, I got stuck on I-75 behind a tractor-trailer in six lanes of backed-up traffic during a torrential rainstorm. Yikes!!


Cindy in the South July 16, 2019 at 4:31 pm

I am 4 and 1/2 hours southwest of Atlanta, if there is very little traffic, and an hour behind them. However, it is a nonstop flight and I am equally backwards in changing of planes, and every other airplane departure point around here would require that. So, Atlanta it is. I will try to arrive very early so maybe I can avoid some of the commuter traffic…..which is 24/7 in Atlanta ….groan.


Bee July 17, 2019 at 3:34 am

We fly out of the Orlando airport on occasion to save money on airfare and to enjoy a direct flight. It is a 2.5 hour drive from our house. When we have had morning flights, we have spent the night at a hotel near the airport, parked free, and taken the hotel shuttle to the airport. In most cases, this has worked out to be nearly the same or only slightly more expensive than long term parking. There is also the added benefit of not being stressed if you run into traffic and arriving at your destination with a little pep left in your step.
Have a great trip!!!


Joy July 16, 2019 at 2:13 pm

Check for parking deals on Groupon. We see them all the time in the Houston area. They are usually less costly than some of the lots. Or, if there is a hotel close by the airport, they may offer parking/shuttle. I have seen that before in the Nashville area and also a couple of other cities.


Teresa July 16, 2019 at 5:01 pm

Uber is great but the prices change depending on what time of day it is and how busy they are. 9 or 10 pm is least expensive where I live, but if the ride is to or from a crowded event the price goes up. Otherwise it’s a good deal and you don’t need cash — just set up to do it all from your cell phone.


cathy July 16, 2019 at 7:48 pm

Depending on what time you get in, you could take Trax (light rail) from SLC Airport. If that won’t get you all the way to your destination, you could get a transfer to the bus. Both are part of UTA (Utah Transit Authority). It would be $2.50.


Cindy in South July 17, 2019 at 6:46 am

Thanks y’all! Great suggestions! I will be traveling at the end of next month because I had to work it around my court schedule. It was also the best time for my daughter and son-in-law so it all worked out! I will check out all of these suggestions!


Jackie July 17, 2019 at 10:26 am

Cindy, I flew out of Detroit to Boston at the beginning of May, by myself, the first flight I’d ever taken by myself and the first one since the ’80s. It was a good experience – every time I was uncertain about what to do, I asked someone, and several strangers helped me. I wish you a wonderful trip – people will help you!


Cindy in South July 19, 2019 at 11:38 am



Cindy in South July 16, 2019 at 12:43 pm

“was” not “has been”…….groan


Cindy in South July 16, 2019 at 12:47 pm

“cheap”…umm I am gonna blame it on the tooth drugs…that is my story and I am gonna stick to it.


Lisa M. July 16, 2019 at 12:59 pm

5FF: Can She Come Up with 5 Folks?

Don’t feel I have many novel ideas & with DD starting college & dealing with moving/room update expenses, $ is flying out the window left & right.

1. Used last of gifted 4# can of albacore tuna which I divided into 4 – 1# bags to freeze. Made wonderful Mediterranean Tuna Salad (no heat required).

2. DD needed many supplies for room make over & cleaning supplies at new rented house. Went to home improvement store & happened to randomly hit 11% rebate period. Used previous rebate as partial payment so got a double rebate opportunity again. Gathered & completed required documentation & mailed rebate at PO on way home from work.

3. Received confirmation of $60 VISA pre-paid card rebate from purchase of 12 month supply of DD’s contact lenses. Ordered physical card versus virtual, per her request, with delivery in 7-10 business days.

4. During recent van rental to move DD’s bedroom furniture, careful to not add additional miles & returned van clean & within specified timeframe to prevent additional charges. Also picked up new bedframe purchased by DD with DH’s SUV versus paying for store delivery. During 2 related recent lunch expenses, ate 1/2 of sandwich with other half used for lunch another day & drank water.

5. Continuing to hammer away at Garage Sale set-up despite recent 100 degree heat indexes & continuing to try to add items to sell as I see them.


Jill A July 16, 2019 at 1:04 pm

1. I took my daughters to Frederik Meijer Gardens. They both took student ID’s so we received a small discount on their tickets.
2. I stopped at a garage sale that was on the way to our outing. I found a set of silverware for $4 which I promptly sold for $200. Yay!!
3. Afterwards we went to my mother’s house for a BBQ. I brought a watermelon salad using up some of the ginormous watermelon I bought last week and some fresh mint from my yard and a squeeze of fresh lime as well as a cucumber which was the only special purchase I needed to make. We had a wonderful dinner with family and friends.
4. I used leftovers from the previous nights BBQ for a burrito bowl dinner to feed my daughters, daughters boyfriend and my friend. We then relaxed and floated around with mojitos in the pool (which we’ve been doing more lately). If I have to pay for the damn pool than I might as well use it.
5. It’s raining today and therefore cooler so I turned the air conditioning off and opened windows and am using fans to cool the room we are in. My walk with a friend was canceled so she came over for homemade ice tea and scones instead. I backed my car out of the garage and into the rain for the free car wash.
6. I received a 15% discount for buying my daughter computer warranty online at dell. She needs it. We’ve already made good use of the warranty which saved me from buying a new computer or costly repairs.


Bee July 16, 2019 at 1:13 pm

I am sorry about the couch. What a bummer! Cats can be both wonderful and difficult.
1. Around the end of June, things began to sell on eBay at a quick pace. However, things came to a screeching halt on Sunday. I wondered if Amazon Prime Days were having a negative impact on sales. Despite this, I took some time to list some items online and did a little resale shopping yesterday. I bought a beautiful large copper pot rack for $5 at the local Goodwill.
2. Sadly, we had some food waste over the last couple of weeks. Both my husband and I had pneumonia. We did not feel like cooking or eating. Since I cook mainly from scratch with fresh ingredients, things lingered a bit too long. So on Saturday, I cleaned out the frig. The veggies that could be used were roasted and eaten over rice. The greens were still good, but needed to be rehydrated. I soaked them in ice water and cooked them in the instant pot. Bananas that were getting too ripe were peeled and frozen. The melons in the refrigerator were cut up to be eaten.
3. At the end of June, I had gotten a rain check at the grocery store for a BOGO deal that had sold out. I tried to use it, but the brand of olive oil was never restocked. I stopped at the service desk and the customer service rep told me they would honor it on the brand of my choice. But when I went to check out, she gave me both bottles for free to make up for the confusion. This was $36 of olive oil at no cost to me. Woot! Woot!
4. I stopped by the library today and picked up the book that my book club is reading this month. I picked up the DVD, Crazy Rich Asians which I have wanted to read since I read an article on the money lessons present in this movie. I also borrowed the two most recent issues of one of my favorite design magazines that I stopped getting two years ago when the cost of a subscription became too high.
5. We paid cash for our AC repair, so we are on a tight budget for the remainder of the month. I rescheduled dinner with my SIL. I pushed my hair appointment back a week. I did a pantry and freezer inventory so we can spend a minimal amount on groceries the second half of the month.
Have a great, frugal week everyone!


Lisa M. July 16, 2019 at 8:24 pm

Bee, Re: Your #3 – Sorry to read that you & DH have been suffering from pneumonia. For the first time ever, I recently developed bronchitis & have been coughing for 2.5 weeks. In my self-diagnosing efforts, I watched several You Tube videos differentiating pneumonia & bronchitis. As nasty as my bronchitis has been, I’d rather have it than pneumonia. Glad that you are on the mend.


Lisa M. July 16, 2019 at 8:26 pm

Correction – make that #2!


Cindy in South July 17, 2019 at 9:19 am

I hope y’all feel better soon.


Lisa M. July 17, 2019 at 11:39 am

Thanks Cindy. My disgusting cough is becoming less frequent, although I got choked up today at work & could not speak at all while on a phone call with a customer. Thankfully I was able to SOS my boss who happened to be there & she was able to jump on the phone for a nearly seamless experience with the customer. A helpless feeling when one works as a customer service rep!


Kim A. July 16, 2019 at 1:18 pm

Does anyone here have knowledge on how to sell coins? I was gifted thousands of coins from my father-in-law and I’ve been sorting them. I have so many interesting coins from the 1800s and early 1900s. I’m fascinated by the coins we used to use in the US before our modern day coins, but I’m overwhelmed by it all too. I’m not in a hurry and told my husband this could take me years to figure it all out.


Kathy July 16, 2019 at 6:25 pm

Find a reputable coin dealer


Connie C July 17, 2019 at 7:24 am

I second Kathy – ask around for a reputable coin dealer. I used one for some coins I had sitting around and was surprised at the value of some of them!


Midwest Beth July 16, 2019 at 1:36 pm

1. Frugal savings allowed me to splurge on a visit to the lavender festival with my daughter for a wonderful day. We love to taste the lavender food items and split the following so we could try them all: ice cream, lemonade, cheesecake, elephant ears (yes there was lavender in the dough) and brought home a package of shortbread to have with tea the next few days. For the first time we went lavender picking in the fields which was an experience that could not be beat! Sunny day – smell of lavender and pine trees everywhere, rows of purple, bees and a special bee hive and butterfly section to observe. We picked a bundle of lavender which made four arrangements in our home which will dry out and last all year and had fun making lavender infused water and flavored sugar. We also bought the festival t-shirts which we both will wear all year long-love the lavender color, love me a cute t-shirt, one of my weaknesses.

2. Electricity bill came which doubled since last month because of turning the air conditioning on more. I am opening windows and running window fans when I can. So thankful to have it and grateful it has lasted over 19 years since I bought the house.

3. Loving my little garden and the fun new exciting things it brings each day to see and taste. Found Swallowtails in my dill plant – over a dozen! I removed several as I did not know what they were, once I found out left four to watch as they feast- they find it dill-licious! Definitely a frugal fail as the plant is decimated but my daughter and I joked about bringing lawn chairs out by the pot to watch them, it’s fascinating and we go out just to check on them, not to mention the little horns they poke out and the smell! Moved my parsley plant away not willing to sacrifice it to their hungry-little mouths!

4. Zucchini flowers rock and are beautiful, they remind me of Lillie’s. I hear they are good to dip in batter and eat, have never tried it, could be a first!

5. Have had small harvests of snow peas, spinach and lettuce. Drying basil, sage, and parsley. Living the frugal life same old same old – unplugging, closing blinds, saving rain water, Swagbucking, etc.

6. Frugal fail- verrrrrry tempted by Prime Day I confess!!! Bought daughter SAT 2020 prep book and saved $5 with the book promo code and two water filter straws as I have a fear of development of some type of Armageddon in our future and I think they are cool. I may gift one to my brother who is planning a trip to walk the Appalachian trail. Also love the Toshiba TV’s with built in fire sticks – would love the 42 inch one for my old eyes, no order as of yet.


Jill A July 16, 2019 at 2:16 pm

I debated going to the lavender festival near us also. We went to the gardens instead. Next year I guess. It sounds like you had a wonderful time.


Joy July 16, 2019 at 2:17 pm

If your brother is going to the Appalachian trail, definitely offer one of the straws or tell him to make other arrangements. I know someone that got sick on the trail last year. He was okay, til he fell off a cliff and broke his ankle. He recovered from that as well but guess what he is doing this summer – AT again !


Christine July 17, 2019 at 3:43 pm

I agree that a water filter while out on the AT is imperative. DH forgot his at a shelter and was left with no other choice except to drink unfiltered water from brooks. He came home with some unidentifiable virus that caused stomach cramps and diarrhea for almost six weeks. He was tested for every gastrointestinal parasite and bacteria there might possibly be on this good Earth but his doctor turned up nothing. It finally went away and guess where he is…back out on the AT with a new water filter! Feeling great so far.


Midwest w July 18, 2019 at 6:06 am

Wow Christine! Have you ever gone with him on the trail?


Joy July 16, 2019 at 2:15 pm

1. I needed some new pants. Frankly, I have only bought 1 pair of jeans since retiring 14 months ago (and on sale, of course) and also finding some of my pants are now too big. Yeah ! Found some great fitting pants and while not marked on sale, they actually were and the price went from $30 to $12. And, I had a coupon which brought the price down to $9.32. Also, I went through my closet and now able to fit in some too tight pants, so I can wear them !
2. Used up more items out of the freezer, including turkey carcass and leftover veggies and potatoes for soup.
3. Shopping for my elderly Mom who wanted leggings and pants, I brought her a couple of options to try. She did not like one of the leggings but it fit me. Great price, originally $16, got it for $4.80. Will wear them into next year for sure.
4. Attended a free garden lecture in our area. They had complimentary coffee and cookies as well as the excellent information on using native plants. Carpooled with a friend, so did not use any gasoline. Also, won a new native plant and got another plant for free – aquatic milkweed, for the monarchs. The lecturer has a lot of seeds for aquatic milkweed and lives in our area and offered them to anyone that might need more.
5. Picked more basil today for drying. Really like the Genovese basil for the smell and taste in food. Also, found 2 basil coming up in the garden, not expected. Errant seeds.
6. Scored a number of pears off a tree on a friend’s property, before the raccoons get them – don’t worry, plenty left on the trees for the wildlife! This is a harder type pear and although not quite ripe when picked, set them out for a few days and cooked them. Quite good and now we have fruit for a number of days.


A. Marie July 16, 2019 at 2:16 pm

FFT, Living Off the Ground Edition:

(1) Made an excellent stir-fry tonight, with (a) a week-old bunch of asparagus bought at the last week of asparagus at our Regional Market; (b) a mix of snow peas from the Market and the few snow peas Bambi left me (she did a number on the peas JUST before I got the deodorant soap hung out); (c) mixed greens from the garden (some of which, such as purslane, are usually considered weeds); (d) an elderly onion and the very last of my 2018 garlic; and (e) 1.6# of boneless pork marked Reduced for Quick Sale at Wegmans. Nom nom nom!

(2) As a welcome rainstorm started to roll in here just now, I yielded to a primitive urge and reached bare-handed into the first of my two potato plantings in containers to harvest 1.5# of fine Yukon Gold spuds. Not bad, considering that I paid all of about 75 cents for the seed potatoes at Country Max, and that more are coming. And in case you don’t believe that homegrown spuds taste different, trust me, they do. They simply dissolve on the tongue.

(3) The rainstorm will get me out of Our Lady of the Perpetual Watering Can duty for tomorrow, at least. I love my gardens, but this will mean a savings in both money and (more important for me these days) time.

(4) Picked another pint of wild black raspberries on Sunday. Not enough this year for freezer jam, but I’m greatly enjoying the berries over vanilla ice cream.

(5) Finally, I used a sick/personal day from work today to get overdue fasting bloodwork and my annual eye exam accomplished. Was very relieved to hear from my eye doctor that I can keep kicking the cataract surgery can down the road for at least another year, if not more. I’d love to be able to put this off till after I retire altogether.


Mand01 July 16, 2019 at 4:14 pm

Homegrown potatoes are the best. We will be growing them for the third year in a row this year. Planting in the next few weeks, ready for potato salad at Christmas.


Lindsey July 16, 2019 at 5:12 pm

This week we had baby new potatoes, parboiled, sautéed in butter with new peas. I love our garden, too!
I had cataract surgery in my early 30s, due to damage done by some meds I was taking. Until then I was almost legally blind and now I have 20/10 vision. It was the best thing that ever happened to me—although I had to replace some of my clothes because the stuff I thought was grey was purple. I also had to clean the shower walls better, since I could suddenly see the grime between the tiles. The surgery was very fast, painless, I was awake for it except for literally 30 seconds when they injected my eyeballs to numb them but then I was awake for the rest. All of which is to say, you may wonder why you waited so long! No time off from work either.


Teresa July 16, 2019 at 5:20 pm

So happy for you!! It’s the best thing ever to be able to see. I was plus 6 and worsening until I had Lasik. Congrats on your new way of seeing things!


A. Marie July 17, 2019 at 1:10 pm

Thanks for the input, Lindsey, and I’m delighted that your surgery worked out so well for you. However, I’ve got reasons for wanting to put mine off as long as possible: (1) I’ll need to arrange for extra care for DH, plus someone to run errands for us while I can’t drive. (2) I’ve inherited a condition from my mother called Fuchs endothelial dystrophy, which (if my mother’s experience is any guide) is going to be kicked into overdrive by the cataract surgery. Mom ended up needing cornea transplants as a result of the Fuchs.


Vickey July 17, 2019 at 4:14 pm

A. Marie, thank you for sharing the detail re Fuchs. DH has it, and we didn’t know about the complications cataract surgery could cause. That valuable nugget is now tucked away for future reference.
Oh, and I think what you did to your Yukon potatoes is known as “grabbling”. That tidbit from an old Organic Gardening article, iirc.


Mand01 July 17, 2019 at 6:29 pm

In Australia, we call it ‘bandicooting’

Jennifer July 19, 2019 at 8:40 am

I have a type of purslane planted in my flower boxes. I love the beautiful bright pink/coral flowers that come open during the daylight hours.


Kathy July 16, 2019 at 2:50 pm

1. Had a semi frugal trip to house sit for my kids and visit my sister
2. Clothes Mentor took 2/3 of the clothes I brought. I’ll donate the balance
3. Listed 3 new backpacks. Digits crossed they sell.
4. Received some sample sized skin care samples
5. Volunteering at the assistance league thrift store tomorrow


Juhli July 16, 2019 at 3:59 pm

I had to laugh about the AC as when we bought this house 2 years ago we replaced a 40 year old system but good upgrade for you.
We are heading out in the morning on a 13 day trip to a son’s house to dog sit and then visit when they return. Also doing some location testing to see if we will move closer. Thankfully we are driving so –
1. Taking our dog with us – no dog sitting fee
2. Taking food, toilet paper, kleenex, etc from our supplies so we won’t have to shop as much when there (they have already been gone one week with a friend dog sitting so I’m assuming very low household and food supplies).
3. We were thinking of getting take out for dinner the first evening we are there but then I realized I could freeze chili and it would still be cold and ok once we arrive. It will also keep some other foods cold.
4. We have made this drive a number of times with our dog and have our dog friendly stops for lunch and breaks mapped out so we know where we will be eating and getting coffee.
5. I loaded up on books from the library and friends so I will have plenty to read while we are there.


Mand01 July 16, 2019 at 4:11 pm

1. Made my first batch of kombucha. Hope it turns out.
2. Made yoghurt, granola, cookies, muffins. My husband made his usual excellent sourdough.
3. Found rolled brisket for 60% off. Got two pieces and put them in the freezer for pot roasts at a later date.
4. Returned a stylus that my daughter didn’t like. Got $80 back. Yep – $80. Bloody hell those things cost a lot. Kids, I mean 😀
5. Since working from home I have noticed that costs for petrol and clothing (laundering) have dropped right down. Obvious, but it’s clear. Personal grooming time: minimal. Comfort level: very high. Once the weather warms up, the indoor heating costs will reduce right down. I feel the cold and love the hot weather so won’t run air conditioning unless the kids complain. I can see definite financial gains even though my income is reduced.


Andrea July 16, 2019 at 4:28 pm

1) Found $1.26 on walks this last week.

2) Received a great haircut from a new person and used a coupon so it only cost $6.99.

3) Today IHOP was celebrating their 58 year anniversary by selling a plate of three pancakes for $0.58. We treated ourselves to a plate each and had lunch for $1.16. (Left a $5 tip for the wonderful server.)

4) Came home today to an email regarding a local sweepstakes I won. $1,000. Woo Hoo!!!

5) Sold an item on eBay I won from another sweepstakes. I pay shipping. Net $12 in my pocket.

6) Cashed in survey points and received $10.


Midwest Beth July 16, 2019 at 4:54 pm

Congratulations on #4, so excited for you!!!


Mary in Maryland July 16, 2019 at 5:12 pm

1. I used the Stairmaster 6095 minutes during the year that ended June 30. We only pay $50/year for use of the county rec center. I also use the weight machines on each of our thrice weekly visits.
2. Our water bill came today. We two used 45 gallons per day. Average usage in the county is 55 gallons per person per day. (Used to be 70/person/day, but apparently everyone is being more careful.)
3. I was asked to bring a vegan dish to a fundraiser. Used soba noodles I got on freecycle, peanut butter given me by a friend who’s moving, and carrots, scallions, and cabbage on hand. Mine was the first dish emptied—potluck winner. We raised over $2300 for the church’s project that gives gift boxes to the homeless for Christmas.
4. My fabulous gifted sewing machine is keeping me off the streets. First quilt top verified that the presser foot produces a reproducible seam width, but not a scant quarter inch. After I fiddled with the needle position the second quilt top had too small seam allowances. With the third quilt top (finished today)I nailed the perfect seam allowance. I’m still giddy, but have revised my pinning strategy to work better with this unusual presser foot.
5. Reading library books, eating local peaches, corn, and tomatoes. Drinking water.
6. A friend with experience with dogs on multiple meds agreed to take our elder dog when we go on vacation. We had her 14 year old for a week several months ago.


Christine July 17, 2019 at 3:49 pm

Nice $$$ amount raised for Christmas gift boxes for the homeless. The vegan dish you made sounds wonderful too.


Mary in Maryland July 17, 2019 at 3:55 pm

It’s the Asian noodle salad with spicy peanut sauce from Robin Robertson’s “Vegan Planet”. It tastes great, but uses things I almost always have in the house.


Christine July 18, 2019 at 1:51 pm

Thanks Mary! I will look it up.


Teresa July 16, 2019 at 5:16 pm

1. One Costco roasted chicken made two days worth of curried chicken salad, 5 days of (small) dog food, with a bit extra for a chicken and gravy dinner and made 2 cups of broth. Good deal! Prepped salad on Sunday with the chicken so lazy-me did not have to cook much this week. 2. Returned most of the clothing I bought online because I don’t like to shop. I am grateful for the Costco return policy. (I promise this is not an ad for Costco!) 3. Brought my lunch so I would not be starving when I get off work — that saved me from eating the wrong things. 4. Bought new shoes on sale that actually feel good. Saves me the cost of a doctor’s visit and now I will start walking again. 5. Grateful for FB and digital media — I can converse and share with old friends and faraway family easily, quickly and it’s (nearly) free. PS. Katy. Love cats but cat pee smell is the worst. Hope you find a new couch soon.


Crosby July 16, 2019 at 5:26 pm

1. We had an offsite work meeting today and lunch was provided. We were also told that the leftovers would be brought back to the office and kept in the kitchen so I’ll have lunch the rest of the week as well.
2. I made dinner with things I had in the house and it will be enough for dinners for the rest of the week.
3. I realized that when our landlord replaced our dryer, our dryer balls were left in our old dryer, which was hauled away. I was about to impulse buy a new set until I remembered I had wool and could make my own. I mentioned this to my mom and she said she had an extra set she’d give to me.
4. I received a free plant from a local plant swap page when I offered up an aloe. A person has a palm they wanted to give away and didn’t want the aloe in return. The aloe is still posted and another person has offered a swap so two plants for one trade!
5. Frugal fail: I succumbed to Amazon Prime day. I bought a $50 iTunes gift card for $40. I do indulge in music purchases every now and then so I guess I am saving money on an indulgence. I just don’t like supporting Amazon.


Ava July 16, 2019 at 5:47 pm

My last AC unit at my previous house lasted 26 yrs before it needed to be replaced.


Jen July 16, 2019 at 8:01 pm

I just checked your eBay listing of the sofa “feet” and they sold already! Nice one, I never would have thought to do that.

1. Sold a few items on eBay and one I undercharged for shipping on and couldn’t find a box, but even though the buyer was a 45 minute drive it was on the way to where I was meeting someone for lunch so I emailed the buyer and dropped it off and everyone was happy. Phew, thanks for the idea, Katy.
2. Ordered water with lunch. Free and NOT in a single use plastic cup.
3. Picked up 2 toddler bikes in a neighbor’s free pile. Sold them the next day on Craig’s list for $40. Cha-ching.
4. Picked up recyclable (for redemption value) bottles while walking dogs, free money.
5. Walked Pilates Dog an extra time this week, so in exchange was able to take THREE free Pilates classes total this week. Such a great deal. Love the Barter.


Bethany M July 16, 2019 at 8:39 pm

Sold some skirts that I listed on Varagesale. Shrinking down and can’t wear them anymore.

A friend at church asked about my weight loss and I told her I was wearing some of my smaller clothes that didn’t fit when I hit my highest. She said she’d bring me her clothes that are too small for her. I hope she follows through with that… I love free clothes especially when you can only wear them for a few months anyway.

Emailed Chobani for some coupons. They sent a nice hand-written note and 4 great coupons (one for a totally free product!)

Started the process of dealing with a medical bill I wasn’t supposed to get. Even if I get stuck with it, it’s $80 out of pocket for a $57,000 operation and hospital stay.

Made the carpet cleaner my mom taught me a while back and attacked some spots on our carpet. 2 cups white distilled vinegar, 2 cups peroxide, 1tsp blue Dawn dishwashing soap. They are looking so much better even though I’d love to have new flooring.


Christine July 18, 2019 at 1:54 pm

Thanks for the carpet cleaner recipe. Nice to hear you are doing well post surgery.


K D July 17, 2019 at 3:55 am

1. A neighbor took some junk to the dump. He was going anyway and knew we had some items that needed to go. We would have had to pay to have it removed. We had just included them on a tree removal deal. We watch each other’s houses when we’re away.

2. Meals at home. I did buy an Instant Pot at Bed Bath & Beyond. It was on sale, I used a coupon and a discounted gift card. I cooked a pound of dried beans and was pleased. While at BB&B we also picked up some discounted food items.

3. I’ve been working on the yard early in the morning, before it gets too hot outside.

4. Reading books and ebooks and listening to audio books borrowed from the library.

5. Preparing to go out of town next week. Getting everything lined up so we spend our time and money wisely.


Vickey July 17, 2019 at 4:29 pm

The Instant Pot is a y-u-u-gge money saver in our house. Hope you love yours.


Jenelle July 17, 2019 at 4:52 am

1. I was very good on the first day of Amazon Prime day. The second day I fell off the wagon of “not buying anything at all.” I ended up using Prime Day to buy a birthday present for a party we are attending this weekend, a present for my son’s birthday (in Aug.) and a combined present (gymnastics bar for our basement) for both of our kids birthday (they share the same birthday but are two years apart). I didn’t want to buy anything but realized I needed to get these items and why not take advantage of the savings. (trust me I did my research on the gymnastics bar!)

2. While purchasing the gymnastics bar I realized I would need a mat for underneath. (Can’t afford any injuries) Instead of adding one to the ever growing Amazon cart, I asked the local Facebook mom’s group if anyone had one for sale. Low and behold a mom had one she was willing to give me! We picked it up last night and it is a much higher quality mat then one I could have purchased. Thank you to her. (I love free!)

3. A co-worker brought me in two large citronella candles for camping trips. They just need a bit of dusting off and they are brand new to me! The same co-worker gifted me a piece of delicious peach pie that she made. Free food is also good.

4. Yesterday at work we hosted a breakfast meeting and brought back all the plates, napkins and forks with us to our office. Our budget pays for it, so we might as well keep it. Someone is always looking for a fork at lunchtime.

5. Continuing to do all of the frugal daily things that we call normal: reusable baggies for the kiddos lunches, line drying the pool towels and bathing suits, learning to live at 75-77 degrees, heading down to the basement when we need to cool off, packing lunches and just being more conscious of our purchases and consumption.

6. Another few free items that I found where some blankets. I live in a college town and one landlord puts out any left items on the porch of her rental. I know what your thinking “blankets leftover from college students?” I promise that I took them home and sanitized and washed them as well as laid them in the sun for a long time! They are smaller single sized blankets that will work great in my camper bunks. I also added one to the back of my car for impromptu picnics!


Jill July 17, 2019 at 5:15 am

1. Using our friends cottage in New England for vacation this week. To not be terrible guests, we purchased a few things on his “needed” list for the cottage. I also sent two edible gifts to him – because “less stuff”
2. We were able to take two day trips to Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket. The ferry doesn’t include cars so we purchased the $8 all day bus pass for each island instead of purchasing a pricey tour.
3. Our kids will come in this weekend and we have purchased groceries for meals in with only a few meals out as splurges.
4. Needed a new hair dryer. Found what I wanted online and it was on sale. Win!
5. The restaurant we have picked for the dinner out is BYOB – I love that about New England restaurants – so we will save by bringing our own drinks x7 people. Big savings.


tracy July 17, 2019 at 5:41 am

1. Fantastic long weekend in Central Oregon with very dear, very old women friends (the women aren’t very old, the friendships are!). Stayed at one friend’s semi-rustic but very comfortable family cabin right on a lake with an incredible view of Mt. Bachelor. Ate all meals but one in, engaged in free activities (hiking, kayaking, reading, playing cards and lots and lots of talking!), free transportation. Total cost: $70 for my contribution to groceries and $20 for one meal out. Time with friends =priceless.
2. Didn’t buy anything on Amazon Prime Day (considered the $29 Fire tablet to replace an old iPad but realized I can and do just use my phone).
3. Taking bus to/from work today.
4. Bought BOGO antibiotic free all natural chicken breasts and stocked up on sale coffee at grocery store. Even with stocking up kept grocery bill to budgeted amount for the week.
5. After too much eating out, recommitting to meals at home. Made dinner last two nights using one chicken breast to make two meals. First night chicken breast cutlets piccata with a kale salad, last night spicy stir fry with chicken and veggies over rice.


Roberta July 17, 2019 at 7:05 am

So envious of your AC upgrade! We were hoping to replace our 20 year old, damaged unit, but we’ll have to wait another year or two. It’s currently out of our price range.
1. Stopped by a local grocery and got four cantaloupes, a head of cabbage, a couple pounds of crimini mushrooms, organic green onions, organic celery, a jicama and a couple of pounds of green beans for $11. I cherry picked the sales, and except for milk, this should get us through until next week. Found a Groupon for half off, one day before we went!
3. Returned my electric kettle to BestBuy, because it stopped working. It was covered under the additional protection plan, so I got another…but they didn’t have any in stock, so he was going to charge me for the difference between my price and the new one, charge me for shipping instead of in-store pickup. I prevented both of those. But I had to buy a new insurance plan, which I am regretting. I even saw a used kettle at a garage sale the same morning, and intended to get it, but got distracted and left it there.
4. I did find a perfect picnic basket for my niece’s wedding. It looks to have never been used. I will fill it with shelf-stable picnic goodies, since I didn’t get to eat at my wedding. (We received one for our wedding, and used it both after the wedding and several times on the honeymoon when we didn’t want to go out.) I will need to find halal picnic goods, if anyone has any ideas.
5. Went walking with a friend, instead of going out to lunch. It was really hot, but we brought our umbrellas so we had shade. I remember the old ladies doing that when I was a girl…and now it’s me.


cathy July 17, 2019 at 2:09 pm

RE your #4: I am definitely not an expert, but have a little experience providing halal food for my son’s friend. I’m not sure if all the food you buy has to be specifically marked “halal” but often foods that are kosher are also halal. We have friends who’ve been OK with kosher foods. You could also try a middle eastern or Indian market.


Karen B July 17, 2019 at 9:06 am

So glad adding an additional cat box helped the problem, Katy!

1) Camping trip: Lovely, enjoyable trip. 2 hours away, so fuel was spent, but otherwise very frugal. Overnight fee at the state park was only $15 per night and it was at one of my favorite places to hike.

2) All food was packed from home avoiding higher priced convenience store options, eating out, or a possible food reaction (I’m gluten-free and restaurants are risky even when ordering correctly).

3) Son and I played 5 board or card games, all of which we already had, 4 of which were secondhand, one on sale, and one of the secondhand games retails for nearly $70, bought for under $3, and we’ve played it 9 times in the past few weeks.

4) After hiking, we checked for other area attractions. Lots of cool history! While looking for a statue garden (free), we paused to enjoy a gathering of antique and vintage cars, admired historic buildings (no tours as our dog was with us), and also a storage lot of old trains (an interest of ours).


Lynn D. July 17, 2019 at 11:16 am

I’m wary of bringing used upholstered furniture in the house. Even if it doesn’t smell to me, if it has ever been peed on by a cat or dog, my cat will feel obliged to do the same.


LB July 17, 2019 at 1:36 pm

1. Had a lovely vacation with a friend’s family this past weekend. Managed to avoid all gift shops and depart with nothing more than a slight sunburn and lots of photos.

2. Today was a rough day and I badly needed a pick me up. I walked by a starbucks and remembered I had a free drink voucher. It didn’t cover the entire cost of what I wanted but I got the price down to a dollar! I felt much better after as well.

3. Trying to hack the energy bill by turning everything off instead of leaving the AC on a high temperature during the day so the apartment never gets too hot. Turns out the bedroom doesn’t need it running and while stuffy, doesn’t get overbearing during the day.

4. Utilized target’s “deal days” to stock up on some toiletry items I was running out of and couldn’t easily find in the neighborhood–plus got a beach coverup for half off. I generally have avoided buying online but with free shipping and it being 95 degrees outside–I caved in the cheapest way possible!

5. BF was gifted a beautiful bar cart by a friend last year. In our big apartment, it was a no brainer. Now that we’re in a smaller space, it was added clutter that we didn’t need. Luckily, his dad has similar taste and accepted it for their house. It feels nice to pay it forward and know it went to a nice home!


AuntiAli July 17, 2019 at 8:36 pm

My FF:
1. My car got a free wash tonight as the last of Barry passed through. I opened the living room curtains and got in the recliner to enjoy the rain storm that featured thunder and lightening. The rain was coming down in sheets!
2. After spending last night trying to curb my craving for chocolate I decided that my daughter and I would have take out. Went to the hot dog stand and got dinner and a wonderful chocolate shake that scratched that itch. I paid for it out of my weekly allowance.
3. On electricity patrol turning off lights left on by my husband and raising the AC temp during the day. I make it cooler when I go to bed.
4. I did not give into Amazon Prime day. For some reason I can’t get into Amazon on my computer. I’m hoping dh didn’t give in. Told him we were on a no spending diet other than our weekly allowances.
5. Daughter made a breakfast casserole that we will eat tomorrow as dinner. I have food to cover the rest of the week/weekend in the freezer.


AuntiAli July 17, 2019 at 8:39 pm

Want to add that I wish I could garden cause it sounds so very cool but I have a bunch of deer in this suburban neighbor hood that would eat everything if it’s not in a chicken wire cage. Not only deer but rabbits, racoons, chipmunks, and black bears.


jann July 18, 2019 at 1:50 am

We have deer issues here in Maine. There is a item called deer fencing which is a 8′ tall mesh fence we use. It is effective in keeping deer out of the garden. Have had a doe eating a hosta right next to the front door and other animal issues-So it can be pretty effectively managed. Try one of the home improvement stores or google it.


ouvickie July 18, 2019 at 7:12 am

1) I took a day of PTO yesterday and we drove down to hubby’s hometown to see my in-laws and his Aunt for the day. His parents are here for a short visit, before they head home to south Texas. His Aunt & Mom fed us yummy summer salads for lunch and we sipped on wine, while we visited. They picked up a few sub sandwiches and cut them up for dinner, with a cucumber & onion salad for a side. We had an awesome visit and the only money spent was for fuel and few breakfast items on the way down.
2) I finally found a bag of the Royal Canin dog food I can feed our two Chihuahuas without having to buy it from the Vet. I think I paid $14 at Petsmart – much cheaper.
3) I let my daughter use my older car for a trade-in on a new-to-her used car. Which helps me, because now I won’t have to tag it and it that was a real help to her.
4) Coworkers often set small items they don’t want on a table in the break-room free for the taking. I found a cool looking pottery coaster with a southwest design, for my desk. I reciprocate by leaving small items I don’t want . I love that they are as frugal minded as we are!
5) I’m going through all my paperwork and items, at home, decluttering and doing the “Swedish death-cleaning” process. It may take me the rest of the year, but I am intent on getting rid of stuff by either selling it, trashing it or giving it away. If we move, after I retire in 18 months, we will be downsizing and I have no intentions of keeping stuff I don’t need. It’s cluttering my mind as much as it is my space.


Dusty July 19, 2019 at 4:13 am

#5…..i will be retiring in 15 mos and i am doing the same… goal is to be able to fit everything in my car and drive off into the sunset…..


Michele July 19, 2019 at 8:18 am

I have some fun news to share here on the Blog. Today, I PAID OFF MY MORTGAGE!! A dream I have wanted my whole life! Just prior to my 55th birthday in August. And here is my thought for everyone.. Don’t think you “can’t” do it. My husband and I didn’t any inherit any money nor did we go to college. All it takes is hard work. So you can do it too! (not to be braggatory, but the house is worth $500,000 – hence why it sounds like it took so long, lol. We just kept taking the equity in each of our homes and moving up in value. But I am SO happy this monkey is OFF MY BACK. Have a great weekend my friends!


Cindy in South July 19, 2019 at 11:58 am

Fabulous! Congrats!


Mand01 July 19, 2019 at 1:00 pm

How exciting! Well done


Cynthia July 19, 2019 at 8:35 am

This is a cautionary tale about how our environment can influence us into changing our habits, sometimes gradually and often without really noticing:

I was given a generous gift certificate to the spa at a very upscale health center in my area. I have been enjoying cranial-sacral massage to loosen up my neck and shoulders every couple of weeks as I work off this credit. The “only” cost to me is a tip to the masseuse: on the one hand this is a terrific deal for a skilled massage; on the other hand, it is a cost I wouldn’t have otherwise incurred. Still, not too bad, right?

The gym allows me free use of all the facilities on any day I have booked a spa service, so I started using the warm water pool to do more work on loosening up my stiff joints and muscles. Over only a few visits, wouldn’t you know, I started getting mighty comfortable there. The staff are so welcoming, the facilities so luxurious, fluffy towels, big showers with expensive soaps and lotions, the air conditioning felt so good, and, well now, they have a café with coffee brews, a whole menu of exotic smoothies, muffins, sandwiches, and so much more. Comfy chairs, and tables where you can sit forever with a laptop if you wish…

I have MS and don’t do well in humid heat: it’s as if my nerves are wires with the insulation stripped off, and they heat up and burn out. I noticed how much better I felt at the air conditioned gym, and realized I could even exercise there, which I can’t do easily this time of year outside or at home. (So far this is still making sense, but you can see it creeping… Joining a gym for a few summer months is not necessarily a bad idea for me but I wouldn’t normally have chosen this one.)

Come to find out they are running a summer special for “only” $30 a month more than the community gym (which of course has air conditioning too) and I’m already right there and before I know it, I’ve bought two months. Here’s where I want to stop and look at what is happening. Slow the picture down and see me sitting in the always-available membership office, confidently pulling out my debit card to plunk down $210 for a two month membership. (But it’s such a deal: no contract and no “membership fee” whatever that is!) I want to step back and see how relaxed I look, how quickly I have adapted to this setting and already see myself as a member of an upscale gym, one who pulls out a card without a second thought. That was me years ago. That was the me that got the current me in debt. And this is how suggestible the new me is to the same old scenario.

Do you think it stops there? Of course not. Getting dressed in the lovely locker room I noticed that my workout clothes could clearly use an upgrade. (To be fair, discovering that my gym socks have lost every bit of elastic and clump around my feet like washcloths does merit a response.) But as for the rest, it was purely a function of my brain trying to normalize the situation. I was not dressed in accord with my surroundings and that dissonance pricked my attention. Leaving the gym (you have to walk through the café of course) it occurred to me that a big fruity protein smoothie could sub in for dinner on such a hot night and why not “just pick one up”? (On the way in I had had a conversation with myself about getting a coffee to fuel my workout…)

Did I mention that since I activated my membership I can buy anything at the café, or at the high-priced sports boutique in the lobby, or the spa’s lotion and soap counter, just by waving my key card at the sensor? Oh, they saw me coming for sure.

I haven’t bought new gym clothes, or any smoothies or coffee drinks, or shampoos or lotions, but I see how it goes. Whenever I walk into this place, I begin to see myself differently. This happens before a conscious thought even rises in my mind. The signals are all around and I respond without effort. And if I’m not careful the effect will carry over. Do I reach the parking lot, see that my car is dusty and picture myself getting out the hose and bucket later to wash it? Or has my brain plugged in “car wash” where “bucket” once lived?

I have a massage this afternoon, and I plan to go early and do some time on the treadmill, then enjoy a shower before the massage, maybe a swim after. And I’m going to notice how many times “spend” rises in my mind, what pushes my buttons, and I am going to remember that I have entered an artificially created environment that has been carefully created to get me to part with my money and still thank them for it. Because there’s more to come The last time I was there I hesitated for a moment before the control panel of a brand new treadmill, and before I could blink a helpful attendant was at my side, showing me how everything worked, all the new bells and whistles, getting me started and offering suggestions for tweaking my workout. He was so kind and knowledgeable and unobtrusive, and he left me his card in case I’m looking for a personal trainer…


Laura in Sydney July 19, 2019 at 12:54 pm



Jennifer July 19, 2019 at 10:15 am

1. Still picking enough black raspberries to munch on from our yard. And I got 1 small cucumber and 2 cherry tomatoes from my garden. I think I need to give up on gardening. I had several large tomatoes and they were eaten by something before even beginning to ripen. Ugh!
2. Slowly getting my dd ready for college. She is contributing by purchasing everything she needs for her dorm room. This totally helps my day-day budget. I have the money for her tuition, but will hang onto it as long as I can to earn interest. My “volunteering/working” at the MLB games resulted in a check for over $1500 towards said tuition.
3. Dh and I took 2 of the kids to Starbucks yesterday for Happy Hour and we all enjoyed B1G1 free frappuccinos as a treat on a very hot day.
4. Dh and I are embarking on a 150 mile bike ride this summer. We needed some gear. We did order some of it on Amazon’s Prime day. BUT dh happened upon a garage sale that had awesome bike gear. He got panniers and bike rack for $25. We are returning what we got from Amazon.
5. Selling dd’s old warm-up jacket for gymnastics for $20. Any cash like this is going straight to the college fund.


Bethany July 19, 2019 at 12:25 pm

Made some homemade tomato all purpose sauce. Used up 3/4 of a bell pepper and a few extra tomato slices from last night’s dinner Put some on tortillas with cheese for our lunch. Tonight we’ll have spaghetti.

Cantaloupe has been hovering around 30 cents lately. The selection has been poor, but I keep getting lucky with sweet ripe ones. We’re giving apples a break for this cheap fruit.

Had a little girl spend the night to make the week a little special for my 8 year old since my 9 year old has been at camp. I could have found a bunch of expensive fun things for her to do, but this cost next to nothing and they had a ball!

When my friend dropped off her daughter she brought me a brand new set of geography curriculum. She said Veritas Press accidentally sent her two sets and they wanted her to give it away in their name to someone who could use it. And actually it’s awesome! I was already wanting the geography songs portion of this package. My 8 year old is already using it.

Got donuts this morning for a breakfast picnic at the park for the girls. The only way to really enjoy the park this time of year. Girls picked out a book each from the little free library there at the park.


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