Five Frugal Things

by Katy on July 28, 2019 · 68 comments

  1. I sold a few things here and there including a thrifted midcentury chair, a pair of Danskos, a Pendleton wool blanket, an iPad case and three more Thorns soccer tickets. I also earned some extra money by helping my mother clean her rental cottage between tenants.

    For those who are counting, I’ve sold 18 of my free Thorns soccer tickets so far.

  2. I got another free sample quart of paint from Miller Paint through their June/July “Free Sampler Saturday” promotion. I picked up another quart in the same color a few weeks ago, so I think I now have enough to paint my son’s small north facing room. We’d painted it a rich forest green when he was two-years-old and my single goal was to get him to sleep past 5 A.M, but he’s 21-years-old now and ready for some brightness. It’ll be a fun project for the two of us to work on together.

    I think we already own the supplies necessary to complete the job, but should we need any miscellaneous stuff I’ll certainly bring that business to Miller Paint.

  3. My husband and son both work night shifts, which means that I’m without a car after 6:30 P.M. Mostly this is a non-issue, as I can arrange to run my errands during the day, not to mention that I’m walking distance from two grocery stores and an endless number of miscellaneous shops. However, it’s an issue every now and then. Last night was one of those times. My daughter needed to be waaaaay across town at 6 P.M., and it was far enough away that an Uber would have been financially painful. Instead I asked my nearby friend Lise if she’d let me borrow her Prius. She did me one better by offering to drive so the two of us could hang out and hit a Goodwill together.

    I thanked her with a Goodwill gift card.

    Off subject, but we decided that there needs to be a word in the English language for “When you burn with envy from someone’s else’s thrift shop find.” This came up as the man behind us in line was buying a fully kitted out Motobecane racing bike for just $25!

    Any linguistic suggestions?

  4. My husband brought some bubble wrap home that his work was going to throw away, I crisped up a pan of stale boxed cereal, (250° for ten minutes or so) I listened to both Jennette Walls’ The Glass Castle and Andrew Rannell’s Too Much is Not Enough through the library’s free Libby app, I went back to my secret spot to pick more wild blackberries, I ordered a $4.95 lid (with free shipping) to go with the Hydroflask water bottle that I pulled from a pay-by-the-pound Goodwill Outlet bin last week and I found two dimes under my credit union’s coin counting machine.

  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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{ 68 comments… read them below or add one }

Angela @ Tread Lightly Retire Early July 28, 2019 at 12:27 pm

Just got back from a camping trip, which is the best way to not spend money / unplug for a bit. This place did have WiFi, so I just put my phone on airplane mode and pretended 🙂


Naiveorbrave July 28, 2019 at 12:38 pm

Thrift-store-envy? We have ‘futterneid’ in german for when you envy someone else’s food or are scared ofnot getting enough yourself. Word by word it translates itne ‘feeding-emvy’


Karen B July 28, 2019 at 12:38 pm

1) Husband replaced the cord and motor of a vintage secondhand appliance. Cost of purchase and repair is far less than purchasing a new item of lower quality and endurance.

2) We’ve been enjoying tv shows we don’t have service for and movies for free courtesy of the local library system.

3) Spent yesterday afternoon at a free outdoor event of interest to all 3 of us. Fun time.

4) Husband is teaching son woodworking skills right now.

5) Son spotted a Snap Circuits kit (electronics that snap together like Legos) for 1/4 of retail in a thrift store. Appears to have never been opened! And son is building new skills.


jann July 28, 2019 at 12:48 pm

Went picking raspberries at 6 AM while laundry washed. Came home with 2 quarts and hung the laundry out to line dry. Froze berries for winter use.
Ended up at a bunch of yardsales on way to the coast and even though it was Sunday got some great finds-MCM Finland of Arabia china, a Brooks Brothers Dress and some shoes that fit me. Also some vintage glasses in wire racks that I will sell on my ebay site: yardsalr
Made chicken soup from a chicken we had 3 meals from and will freeze soup if we decide it is too hot for that.
Our garden is starting to produce and that is always the best kind of cooking.
Overall good week and love reading everyone’s daily “wins” in living simply!


Shevaun July 28, 2019 at 1:23 pm

1. Bought about $800 of snacks for $30 from a grocery outlet that sells technically-expired-but-still-good packaged groceries. I stock up on granola/protein bars and fruit squeezies to pack in the kids’ bag, which then become picnic lunches for outings. The math works out to 18 cents per complete lunch.
2. Did my usual cook-double-freeze-one dinner planning. Not only does this save work, but somehow it saves us money. I haven’t figured out why it saves us money, but the grocery bill has gone down since I started doing it. I think it has to do with less waste. I can fudge recipes with a bit more of this or a bit less of that if it finishes the raw ingredient. We’re averaging $80/week for a family of four, all 21 meals (or 84 meals total, plus snacks, toiletries, and dog food).
3. Friends at church had a new baby (WAAAHHHOOO!!!), so we gifted them four frozen dinners. Helpful for them and cheap for us. Some of the side dishes were pieced from our garden.
4. Working on removing poison ivy from our homeschool classrooms (various lovely spots around the property where the kids and I go to read and do work). So far, not having much success, but learning a lot about poison ivy. Any suggestions? (this is frugal because…. I don’t know. I just want help solving the problem)
5. Kids and I all caught poison ivy–thoroughly. This is frugal because the pain of the itching convinced my 4yo to take medicine by mouth for the FIRST TIME EVER, and oral medicine is much cheaper than suppository or IV meds. So, um, thank you poison ivy. *grumble, grumble*


Robin July 28, 2019 at 4:22 pm

Poison ivy is hard to get rid of. We have two options that work ok (I’ve never found the perfect solution). First option is to manually pull the plants up, roots and all. Wear clothes that cover you from head to toe, the roots also cause a horrible rash. The second option is to use a portable, propane flame thrower (that’s not the actual name of the device, but it’s a pretty accurate description). Assuming you aren’t at risk of causing a wildfire, the burn it down method is easier, but you have to do it several times (never letting the plants get well established between burns). Do NOT breathe the smoke and if you are pretty allergic to poison ivy, maybe find someone else to do it. It’s a very hardy plant that’s nearly impossible to fully remove unless you have free roaming goats. Good luck!


Joy Hargett July 28, 2019 at 4:22 pm

I just just got over a case of poison ivy plus an insect bite and had skin eruptions for a couple of weeks. Finally, healing, but it has been itchy. Here is a tip sheet from Texas.

Also, there is a “baggie” mechanism that might work – I used this on other vines. This is a little long but it is from an email I got just this week, from the local gardening expert. Gardenline is Houston is this local expert’s talk show, Randy Lemmon.

From Randy Lemmon:

Although I have covered this in the past, I wanted to offer a fresh introduction to this vine-killing technique after a recent increase in calls to GardenLine on the matter.

I’ve said previously that this could revolutionize the way we kill unwanted vines growing amid things we don’t want to kill. Okay, “revolutionary” may be overstating it, but I was shocked while researching the topic that there was scant information out there on the issue.

I’ve talked about it for years on the radio show, and my buddy, Seth Knight (“Professor Seth” at the Arbor Gate), is seemingly the only other person who regularly gives out this advice. It’s simply called “the Baggie method.” We’ve also used the words “zip” and “lock,” but I don’t want to get a cease-and-desist order from some big conglomerate telling me not to use their trademarks in my vine-killing-technique. In any case, there are lots of resealable bags from various manufacturers out there, and it doesn’t matter if you press, or zip or seal them – just use the thickest bag you can find.

It’s simple: Put undiluted brush killer in the bottom of your freezer-weight, resealable bag. Don’t fill it more than 1/10, because you’ll also need to stuff in as much of the unwanted vine as possible. Include as many leaves as you can. Then zip it shut (uh … I mean seal it shut), and squish the herbicide around to coat every single leaf of the vine in the bag. Imagine you’re marinating each one. Double make sure the bag is closed as tightly as possible around the one stem coming in, and hang it upright with something like a clothespin, chip clip, or file folder clip. You might want to warn the neighbors about your project … they may wonder why you’ve madly hung freezer bags from a shrub or tree.

After about two weeks, or when the liquid herbicide has been absorbed, prune the bag off the vine and throw it away. The plant should have taken in enough brush killer to kill it down to the root.

By the way … did you notice I referred to the herbicide above as brush killer? This is not a job for weed or grass killers. The most productive brush killers for this – and, frankly, the ones most readily available at retail stores, have the active ingredient triclopyr. There are some brush killers, stump killers and vine killers out there featuring herbicide combinations that include triclopyr, and I’m good with them. Just be sure “triclopyr” is on the ingredients label (above photo).

By the way, you may find some situations where this is not a smart way to kill vines, like if they are wrapped around thorny roses. Or if the vine itself has thorns which will puncture holes in the bag and allow the herbicide to drip out and kill anything it touches below. In those cases, make a solution of brush killer and a surfactant, and carefully sponge or paint it on leaves of the offending vine. Don’t try to spray it.

Regular GardenLine listeners may be surprised to learn that adding a surfactant when using the Baggie method is not necessary. Yes, I said you do NOT need to add a surfactant when using a bag. Why? Because we aren’t spraying or painting it on! By marinating the leaves inside the bag, oil carriers that are among the herbicide’s inert ingredients will be enough.


Shevaun July 29, 2019 at 10:00 am

Thank you, Robin and Joy!

*This message sent from a bathtub full of oatmeal and calamine*


Susan R Robinson July 28, 2019 at 1:43 pm

“The Glass Castle’!! What did you think of it? I think it is one of my all time favs!! Great job on the paint score! I bought a sample of paint and refinished our shutters and front door for $5.00!


Liz B from Lebanon (Ohio) July 29, 2019 at 2:55 pm

stle, too! The book that precedes it (Half Broke Horses) is about Jeannette Wells’ grandmother. Also an excellent read, if you haven’t already.


Liz B from Lebanon (Ohio) July 31, 2019 at 2:54 pm

Ugh. Should read “I read, and loved, The Glass Castle, too!” (Frowny, annoyed face)


Mary in Maryland July 28, 2019 at 1:55 pm

1. A/C off and windows open whenever possible.
2. Did my pre- canning inventory of tomatoes eaten and jars emptied since last August. Will only need to can a bushel and a half this year. I used to always use the whole jar when cooking, but this year I often used part of a quart and refrigerated the rest for another meal.
3. I learned that corn on the cob does stay fresher in the refrigerator.
4. Friends who’re moving (only half a mile) gifted us with more peanut butter, grains, flours, nuts, etc. Moved on the ones we’ll never use.
5. A friend bought some Icelandic wool in 1959 and started a sweater. She hadn’t finished it yet and hasn’t been a size two since 1962. I frogged the sweater (ribbit) at a dull meeting and am using the wool knitting trial hats to familiarize myself with new and exciting patterns (Woolly Wormhead for those of you on Ravelry). If the hats are too big or too small I can usually sell them.
6. Found a therma-cool dog pad on Craigslist for a quarter of the retail price. Keeping my senior spaniel comfortable. When I mentioned my find to a neighbor, she offered me her late dog’s bed. I accepted—LL Bean with a washable cover.


WilliamB July 28, 2019 at 4:06 pm

1959?!? Wow! What kind of yarn was it? How thoroughly was it crimped from being knit up for that long? Can you post a picture because I’d love to see it.


Mary in Maryland July 29, 2019 at 9:25 am

It was an Icelandic unplied yarn. Not very crimped–it’s been pretty easy to knit. but was a bit sticky to unravel. I haven’t time to figure out how to post a pic today, but may work on it next week.


WilliamB July 29, 2019 at 1:55 pm

Lopi, perhaps?


Mary in Maryland July 29, 2019 at 2:22 pm

Alfos, actually

A. Marie July 28, 2019 at 1:56 pm

FFT, Continuing to Deal with Alzheimer’s Edition:

(1) A major concern of mine these days is finding low-cost adventures for DH on weekends. We scored big-time in this department yesterday, with (a) a productive visit to the Rescue Mission Thrifty Shopper store in the next county over to the west (my favorite find: an oversize mug with the inscription “Instant Human: Just Add Coffee”); and (b) a completely delightful visit to this county’s 4-H fair (total cost: $2 for parking). Cows, chickens, rabbits, sheep, goats, turkeys, geese, and antique tractors galore–and no concessionaires selling cotton candy, politically themed hats, or other useless items. DH and I were both enchanted.

(2) One of DH’s guy friends came over yesterday afternoon to help me with several minor home repair issues: several non-functioning fluorescent lights in the basement (the friend, who is tall and has long fingers, performed the Laying On of Hands and they all started working again–this never happens for me), and a dodgy doorknob in the French door in our entryway. Bless you, dear goombah.

(3) The NP who prescribes for DH at our local geriatrics practice gave ne a copy of a book titled “Creating Moments of Joy: Along the Alzheimer’s Journey,” by Jolene Brackey (Purdue University Press). Anyone who is interacting with an Alzheimer’s sufferer in any capacity should get hold of this book; it’s improved my attitude immensely. Thank you, Jolene.

(4) Had an enjoyable dumpster dive early this morning at the educational nonprofit organization near us (their dumpsters are not secured, and the ‘hood tends to dump off all types of things there). Fished out four books, including “The Firehouse Cookbook” by Dorothy Jackson Kite (some useful recipes for cooking for a crowd–firefighters or others) and “The Zombie Survival Guide” by Max Brooks (at the rate the U.S. is going to hell in a handbasket, we may need this). A third title was “The Glass Castle” in paperback, but unfortunately the type size is microscopic, so I’ll be passing this one on. (Those currently reading it, what did you think?

(5) And finally, DH and I fished a nice florist’s basket out of another nearby dumpster, after redepositing the artificial flowers and florist’s foam it contained into the dumpster. Will reuse this to present a set of my homegrown herbs as a holiday gift. (As I’ve mentioned in the past, my friends know I’m crazy.)


Joy July 28, 2019 at 4:24 pm

A. Marie – truly, you are a Nonconsumer – the best to you and God bless all you are going through with your loved one.


Patricia Koernig July 29, 2019 at 1:22 am

A.Marie: I know your journey is difficult, and yet you inspire me with your sense of humor, and courage. Thank always for the laugh (Zombie survival comment).
Much grace to you.


Isabelle July 29, 2019 at 8:23 am

The Glass Castle is amazing! And they did a good job turning it into a movie as well


Lisa M. July 29, 2019 at 8:42 pm

A. Marie, Re: #2, Your “dear goombah” made me laugh out loud. I have not a clue what it means but it doesn’t matter as it sounds hilarious!


A. Marie July 30, 2019 at 1:48 am

It’s Italian slang (one of DH’s guy friends is Italian) for “associate or accomplice.” The friend who helped us out is actually a Sikh, and DH himself is of Slovak descent, but these guys have always called each other that. (A gumbo of goombahs!)


Mand01 July 28, 2019 at 2:35 pm

1. I finally visited the local food co-op near my place. For $2 entry and $10 I came home with two bags of groceries, including two loaves of bread. Bread costs minimum $2 a loaf for crappy bread at the supermarket; this was good quality bread. I also got powdered milk for yoghurt and baking for half price, and tortillas for 60 cents a bag (normally about $3 a bag). This place will now be my first stop.
2. I bottled my first kombucha and made up the next brew.
3. I made muffins, brownies, and granola, and when my youngest asked me to buy a snack I made buttered popcorn. Everyone was happy when I brought them in bowls of hot popcorn.
4. I’ve been saving a stock pot in the freezer for peelings and roast bones. It was full yesterday so I have a pot of soup stock going in the crockpot.

I listened to a two-part Planet Money podcast yesterday about recycling. Really worth listening to and another good reminder that the less we buy, the better we can help the planet. I recommend listening to it.


Nicola Simmons July 28, 2019 at 3:04 pm

1. Studio tour weekend where we live, so, after the farmers market we went to visit with a couple of local artisans, one of whom is a friend. We didn’t buy anything and the tours are free. Snacked on farmers market tomatoes as we drove around.
2. Purchased a 49cc moped. Been looking for ages. We live on an island and it will be more economical for many of the trips we make. Bought from an older island resident who is giving up “biking” for an electric car. We did look at electric mopeds, but my husband is a big guy and they can overheat if you are too heavy. This one was about 30% cheaper than I have seen this brand for anywhere else.
3. Pumped up the tires on our bicycles and took a little ride to the post box. Double win as we have been meaning to this for ages and husband has a mild brain injury from a tumour last year. There are few, random, things that he cannot do, and he was worried that cycling would be one of them. We are both a big rusty, but he did great and was so pleased to still be able to do this.
4.Created a new carpet cleaner from our broken one and a free pile find. Cleaned the rugs and detailed the car with the “new” cleaner. A great upper body workout too!
5.Making meals using garden produce, swapping blueberries for plums with the neighbors.


Midwest Beth July 28, 2019 at 3:07 pm

1. Bought dog her special dog food from Pet Supplies Plus and saved $5.70 for being a rewards member and had a additional five dollar coupon saving $10.70. Dog needed flea and tick preventer- called vet for price and PSP / cheaper at PSP.
2. Received $5 rebate check – yeah me for completing the online form! Just filled another one out. I love Seagrams wine coolers in the summer and I love the fact the rebate makes them around 50-75 cents a piece depending if I purchase them on sale or not.
3. Harvested rhubarb, salad greens and drying more herbs, hope to give away as Christmas gifts. So excited have two baby zucchini, tomatoes growing which soon will be ready to pick!
4. Filled up the cars gas tank and Saved 10 cents per gallon on gas at Kroger for doing their survey and points from purchases.
5. Treated my daughter and a friend to a concert seeing Train and the Goo Goo Dolls. I used Groupon tickets I bought last December for lawn seats I.e. bring your own blanket/ beach chair. We bought no concert t-shirts, I gave them money to buy snacks and brought a bag of assorted candy.
6. Went to Aldi instead of big grocery store buying fruit and veg on sale and other staples like flour 1.19 a bag and eggs for 69 cents. Just earned another $25 Lowe’s gift card through Swagbucks; combining errands with other trips. Managed to have air off for five days this week before humidity/heat made me cry uncle; collected 2.5 large buckets rain water, saving rinse water, shower heat up water to water garden/pots with. Thanks to recommendations from Katy and another blogger I follow I have an abundance of library audio and hard back books to get through, Watching library movies/ 3rd season of Veronica Mars with daughter and anticipating watching the 4th season now new on Hulu and also latest Orange is the New Black- not enough hours in the day! Now the struggle is real staying on top of all these not to incur late fees etc.


Lindsey July 28, 2019 at 3:18 pm

1. Still eating meat/poultry/fish from the freezer, with vegetables from the garden and fruit-based desserts with berries or rhubarb from the garden. We have had to buy only milk again this week, plus five pounds of bread flour.
2. Visited two different friends in the hospital and was able to bring them bouquets from garden flowers.
3. Went to a potluck and brought a huge batch of home made Cracker Jacks, using popcorn and nuts we already had. In fact, the nuts had been in the freezer because I could not figure out a way to use them when gifted five pounds at Christmas, so this was a nice way to use some up.
4. Husband asked for more easy to grab snacks so I made granola, with previously mentioned nuts.
5. A couple wanted to get together so we made a breakfast date. I made sourdough pancakes and eggs and they brought sausage. Much cheaper than going to a restaurant!


Jennifer July 28, 2019 at 5:59 pm

Dh and I went on an adventure that ended up being way more frugal than first intended. We rode the Great Allegheny Passage on our bikes. 150 miles of trail with nothing but small towns scattered every 10-20 miles. Here is how we we were frugal.
1) After looking into the train from Pittsburgh to Cumberland (cost of $160 for both of us and our bikes) we talked to my ds (he stayed at college this summer to take a class) who lives between the 2 cities. He picked us up in Pittsburgh and drove us to Cumberland at no cost to us other than to fill his tank and buy him lunch.
2) Same ds needs a car repair done and the place in his town wanted $650 to do it. We called our car mechanic here and he will do it for $400. We traded cars when he took us to Cumberland. No added expense of meeting him at a different time to get the car.
3) We packed lots of snacks for our bike ride and reusable water bottles to fill along the way. This was not always possible, but about half the time we found drinking water for free. We supported towns along the way by eating our meals at teeny tiny local restaurants that depend on trail bikers to support them.
4) We camped along the way. (Originally I looked into hostels and B&Bs, but when we realized we could fit our camping supplies on the bike we opted that route) The first night was $20 to camp and came with hot showers and a peaceful campsite – well except for the half dozen trains that blared their horns all night. The second night we found free camping. But no showers – ack!
All told the 3 day trip cost us under $100. Originally it was going to be closer to $500 before we opted for the cheaper options. Phew, so glad I came to my senses.

And on a non-adventure note –
5) Local grocery store had peaches, plums and nectarines for $0.69 a pound. I bought 2 big bags of peaches and froze them for smoothies. 4 quarts. yum! I also bought plenty of plums and nectarines to eat this week. I haven’t seen the prices that low in years.


Bee July 29, 2019 at 4:44 pm

What a wonderful and frugal adventure! Really quality time with your hubby too.


Bethany M July 28, 2019 at 8:15 pm

Scouring all my second hand resources for my sons next size up. All of the sudden everything is too small. Took a quick peek at Zulily and then quickly backed away!

Entered my neglected list of blogs that do giveaways in our area. Entered a bunch hoping for some free family fun. Knotts Berry Farm, Pirates dinner show, and Circus Vargas are the possibilities.

Asked about 4th grade reading books at the curriculum exchange ministry near us. My friend noticed and said she had 2 huge bins of curriculum that needs to go to the exchange. I volunteered my husband to deliver them since he works near the exchange. She had several other things I’ll need in the coming years. Stocked my own curriculum shelves for free. What a huge help.

Friends came over for lunch today. They gave me an orchid. First one I ever had! Husband is a real estate developer. He also took aerial high resolution pictures of our property and sent them to us.

Reusing notebooks to organize our curriculum. Several were purchased second hand to begin with or were handed down. Lots of life left in them.


Roberta July 29, 2019 at 6:49 am

When my kids were little, they always grew out of things overnight. I’d collect the next size up when I found it cheap (sometimes more than the next size) and store the larger clothes, organized by size, so I wouldn’t be caught short when the growth spurt occurred.


Bethany M July 29, 2019 at 10:27 am

I do that, and you’re totally right that it saves big time. I’ve got a lot of 5t and 6-7 sizes, but I guess I didn’t come across a lot of 4t.


Andrea July 29, 2019 at 7:07 am

How did you find the blogs that do giveaways in your area? Other than this one, I am not versed in blogs.



Bethany M July 29, 2019 at 10:32 am

I just happened upon one. I won the first giveaway I entered on that site. I showed up at The Aquarium of the Pacific to collect my family 4 pack of tickets and they said, “Which blog?” They had stacks of family 4 packs for all different blogs. It got me thinking and I just started searching, “Knotts Berry Farm Givaway” and “SeaWorld giveaway.” Before I knew it, I had a bunch of blogs to check in with regularly. Most of them I have like a 1/100 chance, but every once in a while I stumble on a low entry giveaway.


Lindsey July 29, 2019 at 5:35 pm

Not a lot of sights in interior Alaska but I found that a lot of the locally owned restaurants and food trucks (obviously, in the summer only) have weekly meal giveaways. We’ve had four meals out that way…about once a quarter I seem to luck out. Anyway, you might try that also.


AuntiAli July 28, 2019 at 10:14 pm

My five things with a couple of not so cheap:
1. Got my $20 rebate mastercard for purchasing my Oral B electric toothbrush.
2. Called Perdue chicken to let them know that my bag of 5 chicken breasts only had 4. I paid $5.99 for them and will receive a check for $10. Wonder if I’ll get some coupons too.
3. Ran out of a prescription med. Had to do my yearly review for the insurance company which is the doctor’s responsibility. I will call the insurance company and the dr’s office. If the script hasn’t been sent in then I will ask for samples from the doctor.
4. Daughter got a job working 30 hours a week in a liquor store. $10/per hour but it’s something. She also backed into the dumpster at work and hit her back bumper and hit something in the front and cracked the headlight case there. Hubby was very calm about the whole thing so I’ll look but I’m in no hurry to fix it as it’s paid off.
5. Hubby needs hearing aids. Thank goodness for the emergency fund.


MARIANNE July 29, 2019 at 12:02 pm

A co-worker needed hearing aids, got her hearing checked and the exact product she needed. The assistant told her to search the model on Ebay so she got them for a fraction of the price. It is a bluetooth set. She saved several thousand.


Heidi Louise July 29, 2019 at 12:05 pm

A friend was just telling me today about how her daughter gave her the daughter’s father-in-law’s old hearing aids. She was going to check them out, as she had heard of someone else who used “used” hearing aids.


Isitaneedirawant July 29, 2019 at 4:12 pm

My FIL did that, he was up for new hearing aids from his health insurance. He also was finding them a bit problematic. A friend at his coffee group asked if he could have them. I’m thinking my FIL mentioned they were in his top drawer of his bureau. Gratefully the were received and used immediately.
Both pairs had been purchased from Costco.
My FIL had been struggling with hearing loss but was reluctant to investigate because of the cost hearing aids.
I bumped into a fellow at Costco in a check out line. I couldn’t believe how tiny his hearing aids were and mentioned it to him . He agreed and told me he had purchased them at Costco. The first pair my FIL purchased he did without being a member. I think you can purchase and have them regularly checked without being a member, just like you can use their pharmacy without being a member( I think).
The savings on this item alone was in the thousands of dollars.


Jill A July 29, 2019 at 1:38 am

Not much frugal around here lately.

1. I’ve been selling an item here and there on Ebay. It all adds up and it’s stuff out of my house.
2. I went to some garage sales with my daughter. We mostly struck out but I did find a belt which was on my want list and it’s brand new for $1 and a new package of handkerchiefs which I can always use more of.
3. I went to a graduation open house for a friends daughter. I filled up on free food. The friends house is a bit of drive from where I am but it happens to be right next to an estate sale outlet. I stopped in afterwards and picked up a few things to sell on Ebay.
4. We are hanging our laundry out, eating leftovers and turning off the A/C whenever possible.
5. I sold three pints of honey to a friend. My father-in-law treated my daughter and I to lunch out. We had a nice visit with him and my mother-in-law. We will gift them with some free honey.
6. My mother dyed my hair for me. It’s not exactly the color I was hoping for but it did cover the gray well and should last a while at least.


Jann --Maine July 29, 2019 at 2:04 am

Would be interesting to know where everyone is from-nothing specific–I am from central Maine.


Christine July 30, 2019 at 1:44 pm

South central Massachusetts.


Liz B from Lebanon (Ohio) July 31, 2019 at 3:00 pm

Southwest Ohio.


Katy in Africa July 29, 2019 at 3:00 am

Didn’t know that trick of crisping up cereal! Thanks for the tidbit!
1. Speaking of cereal, I rarely buy it, but found some SUPER marked down cereal, so I got 2 boxes.
2. Accepted 2 free French New Testaments instead of purchasing Bibles. They’re very nice and will be perfect for my kids when we got to camp in French.
3. I made french toast with some bread that was getting a little hard.
4. I’ve been enjoying some books I borrowed for free.
5. I got a $3 Amazon giftcard coming my way from swagbucks. Last time I was in West Africa I couldn’t get swagbucks to work for me, but it is this time! 🙂


Bee July 29, 2019 at 5:51 am

I have definitely have had Goodwill cart envy before, but sadly there is always more stuff.
1. I have reached my 50 free listings on eBay this month. Sales, however, are a little slow. I only sold one item this week. I packed it in a recycled box and used recycled bubble wrap. I listed a pair of beautiful Restoration Hardware Mirrors that I purchased for a song on Facebook Marketplace. I am hoping for a nice profit.
2. I called my health insurance company. They had denied several claims for absolutely no reason. After a 20 minute conversation with a claims representative, all were reprocessed and approved.
3. I have been careful to avoid food waste. I have been using ripe bananas in smoothies and healthy milkshakes. I made a dessert to take to dinner at my son’s house that called for 3 egg whites. I kept the yolks to use in a crustless quiche which will also use up some goat cheese that was given to me that I find a little too pungent on its own. I am also in the process of making turkey stock from a carcass and veggie scraps.
4. I watched Grantchester on PBS last night. I will miss James Norton aka Sydney Chambers, but I like the new vicar and the subplots regarding 1950s morality are interesting. PBS And Masterpiece always are worth the time.I am also reading my book club selection which I borrowed from the library.
5. I have been doing all the usual things. I am back at the gym after my illness running indoors to beat the heat. I am drinking primarily filtered water, brewing my own coffee, eating at home, cleaning my own house and car, washing and walking the dog myself and weeding my own flower beds. Oh and yes, I am enjoying a primarily thrifted summer wardrobe ( I did buy one brand new item this year, but I did try to find it used first) It is easier to be a non consumer with the support of this blog.


Christine July 30, 2019 at 1:48 pm

I agree…it is much easier to be a Non Consumer thanks to the support and clever ideas I get from this blog. I feel like it’s somewhat of a modern Tightwad Gazette. So very glad I found you all!


Cindy in South July 29, 2019 at 7:18 am

1. Drove to the coast and saw my aunt with Alzheimer’s. The gas is expensive, but visiting with her is priceless.
2. Received pics via cheap smart phone of new grandkid, also priceless.
3. Picked figs from my mom’s tree and froze them.
4. Brought lunch to work. I think this one little act saves me the most cash.
5. I have tried to up my walking to an hour a day, at least four days a week.


ouvickie July 29, 2019 at 7:49 am

jealousy/envy in Gaelic: farmadach { adjective }
envious; feeling resentful of someone for a perceived advantage, material or otherwise

1) Other than church on Sunday and a run to the grocers on Saturday, I stayed home and saved fuel, over the weekend.
2) I bought meat to make beef stew and chili, so we’ll have food for the rest of the week. I’ve used the crockpot to cook it, so not heating the house up during the hot weather we’re having.
3) Making out a detailed list of what we need, this next month, so I don’t waste any money on items that can wait until later to purchase.
4) I buy potato bread for sandwiches, so I’m keeping it in the fridge to make it last longer.
5) I’ve been looking at the thrift stores for a pair of black mule/slip-on shoes. I need something that looks professional enough to wear to work. I’m not willing to pay for brand new ones.


Roberta July 29, 2019 at 8:04 am

I’m working hard for FFT this week. I forgot to turn in two library items on the fine amnesty day, and got hit with a big fine on both of them.
1. Dropped my son and his application at Trader Joe’s, on the way to a family party. This will be his first job, and I’m really hoping he finds something good. Also trying Chipotle and other things, local, but TJ’s is his first hope.
2. Picked a bunch of grapes, and de-stemmed them while watching endless movies while the kids health from their wisdom teeth extraction. People can eat the grapes frozen, or they can be used in baked goods in place of raisins.
3. Went out to lazertag for my husband’s birthday. We used the discount coupons from my daughter’s birthday, cutting the cost in half. My pack didn’t work in our last game, so they comp’ed us a free game each…which we’ll use Friday when we go there for my son’s birthday party.
4. Keeping AC to a minimum. We open up the house at night, and close it up in the morning, but if we have people over we have to turn it on. Only running the dishwasher at night when the house is open to reduce humidity and the need for AC. The weather has been over 90 and 50% humidity, which is bad for us.
5. The rest is usual stuff: using the library, hanging out laundry, eating home, etc. I’m reading A Path Appears from the library, and loving that. Hopeful, ways people are making the world better.


Bethany M July 29, 2019 at 10:31 am

I just happened upon one. I won the first giveaway I entered on that site. I showed up at The Aquarium of the Pacific to collect my family 4 pack of tickets and they said, “Which blog?” They had stacks of family 4 packs for all different blogs. It got me thinking and I just started searching, “Knotts Berry Farm Givaway” and “SeaWorld giveaway.” Before I knew it, I had a bunch of blogs to check in with regularly. Most of them I have like a 1/100 chance, but every once in a while I stumble on a low entry giveaway.


K D July 29, 2019 at 10:53 am

1. We returned from our vacation and I’m glad to be back to spending less. We saved money by not having a rental car (saved on both a rental car fee and a hotel parking fee). We walked most places but took a few taxis during the heat wave. We bought breakfast food at the grocery store, ate out at lunch time, then snacked or shared take out in the evening. We did not buy anything at the hotel. It was in a great location and was reasonably priced, as long as you only paid for the room.

2. I had extra fruit I’d purchased on sale and my daughter had an over abundance of garden vegetables so we swapped. A win-win.

3. I realized I have not bought any new clothes or footwear for spring/summer. I’m content with the same old same old.

4. A friend gifted me a watercolor that her mom painted. It had a mat but not a frame. The frame was an unusual size. We went to the thrift store and the first framed picture I picked up was the right size. My husband also picked up an xBox game for $1.49 and I ran into a friend. A fun outing.

5. Saturday night we went to a local concert in the woods. Free admission, bring a chair. We always donate when they collect at intermission. I walked around during intermission and ran into a friend and her family. We talked until the music started again. I will miss the concerts when August is over.


Momma L July 31, 2019 at 4:57 am

I love free outdoor concerts. Live music is food for my soul.


Momma L July 29, 2019 at 12:27 pm

1. Redeemed a free $10 coupon for pet treats on Amazon pet.
2. Remembering my gift cards: after purchasing a set of much needed tires, I had a $100 rebated gift card. Used it to buy groceries.
3. Really wanted new plants for the front porch containers that are deer-resistant. I almost bought some pretty plants at the nursery, then DH brought me some cuttings from the back yard to plant in the pots. They look nice, and they were free. 🙂
4. Loving my lazy susans in the cupboards. No more wasted food in the back of the pantry.
5. Found two summery and current, well fitting tops at GW. Those pretty flowy arms that hide my middle aged ones that also flow, though not prettily!


Christine July 30, 2019 at 1:54 pm

I hear you on the flowy arms! Seems like I skipped right over my mother’s thin arms and went right to inheriting my grandmother’s arms in my mid forties. Sorry Gram, if you can hear this! LOL


LB July 29, 2019 at 2:18 pm

1. Had a friend’s bachelor party this weekend. Saved on snack expenses a bit by hitting a grocery store before we got there.

2. Now on family vacation-and I did the same thing!

3. Getting back into running slowly. It feels good to do something physical again now that the most recent heatwave has receded! Plus, still not paying for a gym.

4. Took the day to drive around with my dad. Only expense was some ice cream and the cost of gas. The Coast of Maine is stunning and free to all!

5. I’m not buying the vacation rental my parents covered as all of our Christmas gift this year, even though it’s the most beautiful building I’ve ever been in, so I can claim to have saved $1.5 million 😉


Teri July 29, 2019 at 9:04 pm

1. Borrowed a friends food dehydrator for 2 bags of apricots I was gifted from 2 different people. I love dried apricots but not fresh ones.
2. Mom came to visit and forgot her cane, went to Goodwill and found an adjustable new one for a reasonable price.
3. I found 27 cents after not finding anything fir a long time.
4. Was able to purchase 3 pair of shoes (2 sandals, 1 bootie) and a pair of pants from old navy for $17.69 with their coupon promotion and some customer courtesy discounts for problems with the register. Original cost would have been over $100.
5. Tomato, pepper and bean plants are producing and we are enjoying them!


I E Goldie July 30, 2019 at 3:44 am

A portmanteau of ‘thrift’ and ‘envy’. Surely that would cover it?


Jill A July 30, 2019 at 12:29 pm

I like it.


tracy July 30, 2019 at 5:11 am

1. Spent a lovely weekend at the beach. Low cost except for expensive groceries for DD’s friend who had lots of food allergies — sent them to the store with my card to buy stuff she could eat and they spent $150! In their defense groceries there are about double normal prices. Still cheaper than eating out (also more expensive at the coast) but ouch! She is a lovely girl though and they had so much fun.
2. My cousin came into town for my aunt’s memorial service and spent 2 nights with me, lovely to have her and frugal for her. I will stay with her a couple of nights in September when my Mom and I do our SE driving adventure.
3. Got home late from work last night, resisted urge to pick up something for dinner, ate delicious fresh peaches and blueberries with yogurt and granola.
4. Working on switching our cell phones to a less expensive provider.
5. Got a free book at beach out of the “Our Little Library” at end of street that I am looking forward to reading. I like to take books over that I am done with and put them there for others.


Odette July 30, 2019 at 12:10 pm

Actually, I was wondering how many pairs of Danskos you’ve sold!


Katy July 30, 2019 at 3:30 pm

Maybe close to twenty?


Economically Proud July 30, 2019 at 12:56 pm

1. Did laundry in cold and hung up to dry outdoors
2. Keeping AC set in upper 80s during day and mid 80s at night, we use fans in each room and close all curtains and blinds. In early morning we open the windows and doors for a few hours to enjoy the fresh air
3. making meals from food we have received from MIL and some neighbors, all other items bought for lowest prices we could find
4. helped DD pack up stuff to go to college, she gave me many clothing items she no longer wanted along with health and beauty items and old school supplies
5. found out that DD received full Pell Grant to help pay for her tuition and books at her out of state university. That was a huge bonus for her that we did not know if she would be eligible for because of special circumstances


Christine July 30, 2019 at 1:25 pm

Instead of green with envy, blue and white with envy, those being Goodwill’s signature colors?
1. In spite of the heat, we are cooking meals at home although last night a friend invited me over for a cookout which was so very appreciated.
2. Trying extremely hard to only run the air conditioner at night and using shades on the windows and fans during the day. DH gave in to temptation and did run the AC while napping this afternoon…but hey, it’s 95 and humid out there.
3. Enjoying the gas savings on our new to us Jeep Renegade enhanced by cruise control which our old car did not have.
4 Just got my haircut at the beauty parlor for $12 which I do once every eight weeks. This does not include a shampoo or blowout She just spritzes my hair with water as she cuts. I tip her too, of course.
5. Reading library books, swimming at friend’s houses or at the little community beach in my neighborhood, wearing thrifted or old clothes. The usual.


Pattilou July 30, 2019 at 7:25 pm

1. I used a 60% off coupon at A.C. Moore and a 40% and 20% off coupon at Michaels to shop for a birthday gift for one of my nieces.
2. Swimming in my niece’s pool to beat the heat and enjoy the kids. It also provides free exercise.
3. We went on a picnic and my sister wanted to buy food to take. I reminded her that everything we already needed was in our fridges. We combined food to make a nice spread for our outing.
4. Spent the entire day at a park with a pond. The girls played on the swings, looked for fish, frogs and turtles and we walked around the pond and saw tiny baby ducklings. Free fun for all.
5. I’ve been sticking close to home lately so I have managed to go over three weeks without having to put gas in my car.


Heather July 30, 2019 at 9:45 pm

How about “Schadenfrugal” ?


Katy July 31, 2019 at 9:31 am



Mand01 July 31, 2019 at 1:02 pm

That’s the one. I was trying to come up with a riff on Schadenfreude, but couldn’t think of it. Well done!


sea August 4, 2019 at 1:59 pm

Hi, Katy! Here’s a tip for getting free packing/shipping materials: stop into your local big box craft store and ask for their discarded packing materials. Every time they unwrap all those breakables they sell, they have tons of paper and foam sheets left over, some of which they use to wrap purchased items, but tons of which get tossed out (I assume). I figured this out before my move last summer, and now I have access to wonderful foam packing sheets anytime I need them!


Katy August 5, 2019 at 9:55 am

Good tip, thanks! However, my husband’s employer + the local music shop keeps me fully stocked.


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