Five Frugal Things

by Katy on August 7, 2019 · 61 comments

  1. I sold a few things here and there including some Doc Martin Mary Janes, 50 Fiestaware paper napkins, a small set of vintage dishware, a couple mugs and the last of my free general admission Thorns soccer tickets. (I still have a few miscellaneous assigned Thorns seats left, but those are harder to sell.) I also sent out a two invoices for paid work.

  2. My son and I drove to the Oregon coast for the day and stopped at our favorite Mexican food cart in Tillamook. They had large boxes of fresh yellow plums with a “free” sign, so I filled a small bag. I started up a conversation with the owner’s adult daughter and she ended up offering me an entire large box of the plums, which I gratefully accepted.

    I ended up making a dozen or so jars of jams and then cutting up the rest for the freezer. I would estimate that there were approximately 73.4 bajillion plums and it took an entire day to process them all, but nevertheless I persisted.

  3. I treated my kids (plus my daughter’s girlfriend) to a night at the movies, but kept the cost under control by going on 2-for-1 Tuesday. So yeah . . . I paid $8 for the four of us to see The Goonies on the big screen! I’d never seen the movie before and actually really enjoyed it.

  4. I enjoyed a simple morning sipping home brewed coffee with my childhood best friend Carol, I cleaned out the impressively filthy interior of my car with a standard vacuum cleaner, I stopped into Goodwill to return a pair of Nike sneakers that didn’t properly fit my son, (possible with the receipt and original price tag still attached) I picked up a Blues Brothers mug and vintage Finish casserole dish to sell, I made an appointment to get a free inspection of a slowly leaking tire at Costco, (part of their warranty) I saved the skimmed-off plum jam foam to use in a chicken marinade, I foraged more wild blackberries with my friend Lise, I listened to the audiobooks Why Not Me and Silver Star through the free Libby app and I picked up a bag of $1 bagels from Dollar Tree.

  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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{ 61 comments… read them below or add one }

Julie August 7, 2019 at 5:10 pm

1-Someone gifted me a free hello fresh box, will be sure to cancel as soon as the order arrives as I am not keen on the cost of such convenience.
2- enjoying a second week of vacation at home after a great time away with family and now catching upon the to do list which includes several returns that have languished too long.
3-enjoying the peppers and tomatoes from the garden.
4-using up what we have on hand to get back to our savings goals after vacation.
5-using the time off to get the eye appointments and dentist visits taken care of and just in time for my health care plan to reset.


Rhonda L Richardson-Burns August 7, 2019 at 5:22 pm

1. I have sold several things around the house that just do not get used. As I try to declutter I am able to make a few dollars as I go.
2. Working through my monthly bills and identifying areas to cut back including shipping for new insurance which save a few dollars.
3. Convinced my husband that he should finally sell his old truck as he had already purchased a new one (his old truck was 20 yrs old)! Needless to say we got our money out of it. And bonus put some money in the bank and lowered our car insurance!
4. Stocking sole sale items that we utilize all the time so that we have them when needed at the lower price.
5. Returned a few shirts I purchased after I got them home and realized I have plenty of clothes.


Mand01 August 7, 2019 at 5:25 pm

1. I worked a lot this week, making up for the fact that I’m giving myself a long weekend. I love being self employed. I really do.
2. I’m using a free spending tracker that is really helpful at keeping me honest about what I spend. I use it to review grocery and other expenditure at the end of the month as well. I was very pleased to see that while our eating out spending has been cut to about 1/6 of what it used to be, our grocery spending has actually slightly reduced. Cooking from scratch definitely saves money. It’s there in black and white.
3. I watched the rest of Schitt’s Creek on Netflix. I haven’t had much time for TV lately but decided to watch it while making dinner etc. That show is really one of the sweetest, most friendly and diverse shows on right now.
4. I’m combining cooking tasks so I can save energy. So I plan to bake only when I’m cooking a dinner that uses the oven. It’s winter here so we are cooking more hot meals. I’m having to cook for longer periods at one time, but it is more efficient overall.
5. I’m onto batch 3 of kombucha. Considering we were spending about $10 a week on kombucha, and we have stopped buying it in hopeful anticipation of drinking our own, I think a $10 investment in a Scoby (couldn’t find a free one) will be a good deal and a fun hobby. We don’t drink alcohol but we enjoy a kombucha. It costs about $3 a small bottle here.


Isitaneedorawant August 7, 2019 at 7:14 pm

If you enjoyed Schitt’s Creek, try Kim’s Convenience. It’s another gem and the young male star has just been announced as the new Marvel SuperHero.
If you download the CBC GEM app( Canadian Broadcasting Corporation) you can access all sorts of treasures.


Midwest Beth August 9, 2019 at 10:30 am

Love that show. Its a perfect length and I always found something to laugh about.


Kathy August 7, 2019 at 5:29 pm

1. Sold a couple of things. It’s been slow which I credit with back to school.
2. Used coupons to get BIC pens (10 pack) for free which I donated you church’s back to school giveaway
3. Worked my PT gig
4. Breakfast and lunch from the pantry and refrigerator
5. Cocktailing hair care products


Lindsey August 7, 2019 at 5:30 pm

1. Another week of buying only milk and eggs and bananas. Everything else was from the garden, freezer or pantry. I like to splurge at Thanksgiving, so in July and August I try to keep the food bill below $100 to prepare for that. November is also a good time to stock up on butter and flour for holiday cooking and bread baking year round—we are just finishing the butter we bought last November, for $1.99. Now it is going for $4.99!
2. Watched the neighbor’s two dogs while he went fishing. He gave us 25 pounds of salmon as thanks, which I could barely fit into the freezer with all the stuff I have been preserving form the garden.
3. Husband’s favorite shoe ripped. Shoe Goo fixed it for now and meanwhile I am looking for a sale for the same style so when the shoe gives up entirely, we won’t be forced to pay full price to replace them.
4. Husband hopelessly burned the bottom of my favorite soup/stock pot. It is a double clad, which I have never managed to burn despite my best efforts. It sat in the sink for several days, with periodic lacksidasical attempts to scrub it, knowing that I was just waiting until I could throw it away in good conscience. It cost nearly $200 and I saved gift certificates given to me on birthdays and Christmas for two years to buy it. Today I came in to find the husband using a razor blade scraper to pry the stuff up and then he took it to the garage and used some other tool to polish the bottom back to perfection.
5. Other than that, the usual stuff of reusing plastic bags, making all our breads and sweets, using the backs of used paper for notes and lists, and not using any paper towels. (I stand firm on keeping our toilet paper, however.) It all adds up, I tell myself when I am tempted to throw away a piece of foil instead of wiping it off and reusing it over and over.


Sherry August 8, 2019 at 6:08 am

Aww. Your hubby’s extra efforts warm my heart.


Connie C August 8, 2019 at 7:52 am

Agreed! Love!


Jennifer August 7, 2019 at 6:13 pm

1. Reusing the sandwich bags that my kids take snacks in for school. Just a quick rinse and I let them dry in the dish drainer.
2. Like Lindsay’s hubby, the Nine West shoes that my mom found me at a yard sale had a blow out. I have been wearing them a lot because they are so comfy yet still look dressy. My husband fixed them with 5 minute epoxy.
3. Sold a chainsaw on facebook.
4. Got my daughter a sports bra at a yard sale for 25 cents. It had a small tear in it so I repaired that and one of her other bras that had a small hole in it while I had my sewing kit out.
5. I cleaned up my kids pencil pouches from last year to reuse for this year. I got frustrated when I took all the school supplies that were on the list to the school. The teacher sent some of these items back home with me that they didn’t need. If they don’t even use glue sticks in 5th grade why did the list say I needed to buy 3packs!?!


Connie C August 8, 2019 at 7:54 am

I have never understood school supply lists TBH! In the sixth grade EVERY student had to send in a large container of hand sanitizer. At the end of the year, the teacher offered out about 15 containers to me as they were never even used.


Jennifer August 8, 2019 at 5:06 pm

Ugh, same…last year they tried to give me 30 pencil boxes. I don’t understand why the individual teacher can’t make his/her own list and that way we wouldn’t waste money.


Vickey August 9, 2019 at 6:13 am

One wonders at the forces which influence these non-optional lists. Could be worth following up the decision chain. My experience has been that “follow the money” leads you to the root causes for similar issues.


ouvickie August 14, 2019 at 8:52 am

#5 – I’m with you on the school list. I think they try to make up for the kids who don’t bring supplies or something. I told my daughter, since they just moved, “Don’t go overboard. Just buy one of each thing and let the teacher know you’ll buy more, if they need it later on.”
After she got their list for this new district, she told me it was 1/10 of the size of the last district’s list. I understand trying to help teachers, so they aren’t buying out of their own pockets, but it’s really not fair to go overboard with those lists. It’s hard on middle class parents, who are often struggling just to afford clothes for their kids too.


Juhli August 7, 2019 at 6:21 pm

Cleaned out the garage storage cupboards and found ½ gallon of paint we had used inside the house. Convinced it would harden and need to be disposed of before we wanted to use it again, I painted the worst wall of the garage with it which left just a bit at the bottom of the can for any touch ups inside in the near future.
Brought home a tote bag full of books to read from book club members sharing and a lot from the library.
Need to order checks for the first time in years and found a source that is less expensive than the link from our credit union.
Went to the dental cleaning fully covered by our dental plan. Was surprised to hear than many people don’t use the benefit they have paid for.


Jill August 7, 2019 at 6:23 pm

1. Picked up my reserved copies of Doc Martin and Shetland from our public library. Didn’t realize that they had copies of BBC series.
2. Headed to the Dollar Tree to get monthly birthday cards for my father-in-law to send. He’s lives in an assisted living facility and doesn’t drive anymore. While I was there I managed to grab toothpaste, a few pairs of readers ( my last pair just broke) and some greetings cards for myself.
3. Driving across town to pick up a check at the consignment store so taking my daughter for lunch at her favorite Korean restaurant tomorrow and then treating us to a movie with a gift card that has been languishing for awhile.
4. Treated my mom to a movie and her favorite Father Brown shows on Netflix while she was visiting. Also made her favorite macaroni and cheese – crockpot from scratch – which is an inexpensive to make treat for her.
5.Ate leftovers for lunch and dinner, scrubbed my bathroom (very overdue), unpacked from a recent vacation (also very overdue), did laundry, and enjoyed the view from my back deck for a rare day at home. Didn’t go anywhere and didn’t spend any money.


janine August 8, 2019 at 6:39 pm

Re #5 – Sounds like a lovely day full of accomplishments.


Shevaun August 7, 2019 at 6:31 pm

FFT, Actually Not-Panicking Homeschool Edition
1. Went to library fundraiser book sale: spent $40 on books that would be well over $2000 retail.
2. Since I have a background in writing curriculum, DH and I decided not to buy an in-the-box HS curr. We do have subjects/activity clusters, tons of books and supplies, and a vision that matches our family’s values and our kids’ developmental stages.
3. Decided not to over-enroll in enriching activities: frugal for money, time, and stress combined. Our loci of education for now are: home (35 acres of meadow/garden, woods, pond, creeks, house, small business, reading and crafts, and animals), church (worship, Sunday school, service, and music), library (storytime, crafts, playtime with other kids, sometimes movie nights), and a local teaching-farm (history, wild plant and animal identification, ecosystems, homesteading skills). This feels like enough.
4. Working through an inventory of clothing-already-bought. Children’s clothes, art-and-dirty-chore clothes, shoes, jackets. Did buy each kid one nice church outfit (thrift, obviously), but no new play clothes for them or me for a year so far.
5. All the usual: cooking at home, laundry on the line, washing clothes in cold water, no A/C, homemade playdough, singing and reading and hiking, toys made from recycling containers, batching errands, unpacking moving boxes to discover things we already own and don’t need to buy, teaching kiddos to help with chores, cutting dogs’ nails, and on and on.


Elizabeth August 10, 2019 at 3:35 am

I agree with you about expensive homeschool curriculum sets. We have been homeschooling for eight years now and I rarely spend over $100 a year on homeschool materials(usually way less) Between the library, Pinterest, Amazon, Khan Academy, YouTube, and borrowing books from our co-op, we get almost everything we need for way less than a boxed set costs. In my opinion, homeschooling costs are similar to baby costs, you can choose to buy everything brand new and spend a lot of $$ or get creative and save a lot of $$. **I do realize it is easier on a lot of moms to go the boxed curriculum route which saves time and piece of mind. To each their own!


Mand01 August 10, 2019 at 3:52 am

Can I ask the homeschooling parents here if you homeschool due to your kids having special needs, and if so, has it been a positive step for you?


Elizabeth August 10, 2019 at 6:06 am

I think it depends on the child. I have a few friends who have autistic children in public schools and they are thriving due to the more rigid schedule. Then I have a few friends that homeschool their autistic children and they are thriving due to a more flexible schedule. Both options have merit.


Economically Proud August 10, 2019 at 12:29 pm

We thought about homeschooling our youngest child for several years. We had the school test our child to see if they qualified for the sped program, but they did not fall within the school system’s target zone. Having been a teacher myself, we decided that our child was struggling and that the school was not the best place for them. We have been homeschooling our high school aged child for over a year, and love it. As someone who taught other people’s children for over 20 years, I get more satisfaction out of working with my own child then anyone else’s. Their father also does some teaching with them which brings a closeness between the 2 of them that e did not share with the 3 older children.


Mand01 August 10, 2019 at 2:17 pm

Thank you both for sharing

Jill A August 7, 2019 at 6:31 pm

1. I’ve picked up several things at garage and estate sales to resell on Ebay and Facebook.
2. My freezer in my refrigerator has died. I’m waiting for a good sale or until the whole thing dies to buy another.
3. I’ve dug up lilies for two different friends to plant in their gardens
4. I’ve been taking advantage of gas wars going on in town. Several stations are competing for business when a new station came in and lowered prices. Its been cheaper than Costco.
5. I’m reading library kindle books and watching library videos.


Lisa M. August 7, 2019 at 6:37 pm

Double+ 5FF: Late Summer Edition

In the course of 9 days, made a 1,000-mile road trip for a 3-day visit with family out of state & participated in a 3-day neighborhood garage sale. Only able to pull this off by setting up for sale in advance, primarily with pre-priced items stored in garage from previous sales but also added a few items that had been set aside for a sale over the past year.

1. During pre-trip shopping, I again found a cart with a quarter at Aldi. This has happened so often recently that I am now starting to check each time I go. Also found a nickel at the water park we went to on our trip. Found a dime that the neighborhood kids dropped in the street during the sale while bringing handfuls of change to make purchases.

2. Prior to trip placed all bread & buns in freezer, used up fresh fruit & turned down the water heater to the lowest setting.

3. Successfully packed all food & beverages for traveling in the car there & back. Typical expenses while there include appealing edibles to have on hand at the cottage, a few treats for DD at the expansive grocery, along with a meal at their affordable in-store multi-option eating area. I attempted to purchase more of the routine items in advance at home to minimize spending there. The cottage has a full kitchen, so ability to make coffee & toast bagels & keep snacks on hand minimizes expenses.

4. Brought items to prepare a meal in cottage kitchen & share with family, my sibling prepared a meal, & enjoyed gourmet pizza, massively cheesy breadsticks, a cupcake cake & ice cream during a surprise birthday (ending in a 0) party hosted by my friend. The leftover cupcakes & ice cream went to my Dad’s kitchen which he will enjoy with his insatiable sweet tooth.

5. Received some lovely gifts: an antique jeweler’s presentation ring box, a tube of glycerine hand therapy lotion, a balloon bouquet, a cute pair of sunglasses that fit over my prescription glasses & a large selection of notecards featuring photographs by the attendees’ husband, clearly a gifted photographer. The thank you notes will be a premium brand (Papyrus) that my dear, departed aunt fished out of the recycling container at her son’s condo. Amazingly, only half of the cards had been used & someone chucked the box with the remainder. A few party items went directly into the garage sale: Birthday lanterns & a NIB doll from the dollar store that were decorations & a multi-purpose scarf/sash/hair tie (which sold).

6. In an effort to help my Dad further downsize to move into smaller dwellings, helped my sibling & DD go through kitchen spices, towels & personal effects that my Mom no longer has use for. Brought home tubs & boxes of items to use in 2nd garage sale of the season with another neighbor this fall.

7. To help senior citizen neighbors, chose to move forward with recent garage sale despite unavailability of closest neighbor that helps direct traffic to my sale. Without a large influx of new items, was not the most profitable sale ever but was able to sell things that had been in the sale for years. The daily totals were frankly shocking considering the relatively few additions to the sale inventory. A friend brought some of her items to sell, so helped her get rid of some things as well. We persisted Saturday afternoon with no customers until 4:00 when a group came & purchased $32 worth of clothes, the largest mass purchase of the sale. Have discovered over the years that customers & purchases can be random, so best strategy is to be open for full 3 days for greatest chance of success. We somehow managed to select a 3-day spread with seasonable temps & no rain which also helped.

8. Needed a birthday card for my nephew, so used a card from my stash of free cards from last year & a gifted stamp, saving time & $ with 0 out of pocket expense.

9. Received $145 in rebates within just a few days: $80 from DD’s tires; $60 from DD’s 12-month supply of contact lenses; $5 store credit from big box store for DD’s new house supplies.

10. Courtesy of my local gas station’s rewards’ programs, enjoyed a free real fruit smoothie & an ice cream sandwich. Friend gifted me 2 homegrown cucumbers, one of which will be gifted to DD.

11. Rescued some soft potatoes to use in Deli Potato Salad. Intended to make prior to trip, so they were on their last leg by the time I got to them. Still made very tasty potato salad.

12. Returned cable box to cable store while out getting groceries which will reduce monthly cable bill. DD took one TV with her when she moved out to attend university.

13. Working extra hours next week so my boss can go on a boat ride & travel out of state. Boss’ leisure activities=beefed up paycheck for me.


Teresa August 7, 2019 at 7:18 pm

1. My morning snack was a delicious free apple from the tree at work. I also took a cutting of a giant Monster plant. Hope it roots here at home…
2. Brought home tiny cat poop bags from work. In a previous life they were air-filled package-space-fillers. It’s more plastic but at least it will get used twice.
3. Washed my car and got a zillion mosquito bites while doing it. The Aedes Mosquito has arrived in Southern California and they are mean! The bites rise up into hot red islands of itch — 4″+ in diameter. These mosquitos mostly bite the legs — they call them the “ankle biters”. The itching is driving me crazy. I am now covered in calamine lotion.
4. Made a nice dinner with items on hand: chicken purchased on sale this weekend, premade teriyaki sauce (but the reduced price was cheaper than I can make it from scratch); garlic rice on the side (got it free via an offer from Pavilions ‘Just for You’ discount). Also had delicious sweet watermelon purchased for $1 on sale and leftover corn from a dinner I was treated to on Monday. While the oven was hot, I cooked up a butternut squash that I got from the garden at work.
5. Now I’m tired but I need to clean up the kitchen…


Nalani August 7, 2019 at 9:02 pm

The Goonies was my favorite movie growing up and I still watch it on occasion. Glad you enjoyed it!


cathy August 7, 2019 at 10:10 pm

1. Participated in a focus group for a local grocery chain. For an hour-and-a-half of my time, they provided us with yummy snacks as well as a reusable gift bag full of specialty items (worth probably $55). Many of the items were things I often consider buying but pass on because of cost. I was also given one of the cute mini flower bouquets.
2. Ordered and received two hardcover cookbooks I’ve wanted for nearly two years. Had Amazon gift cards (earned through taking a survey and participating in a focus group) that covered the entire cost.
3. I had a gift card for Nordstrom because I was given a gift that didn’t work out. Used most of the gc for a blouse on N’s Anniversary Sale. Not something I would normally do, but I needed to use the gift card and much of my second-hand wardrobe is wearing out.
4. Was close enough to Costco and really needed gas. It was 25-30 cents/gallon less expensive than other places I tend to go.
5. The usual stuff: It was so hot last night and night before we had to keep the AC on and the house closed up. We’re back to low enough temps that the AC has been off most of the day and will stay off tonight. Had actual rain on Sunday, so I was able to turn off the sprinklers for Monday. Reading library books (physical books and e-books). Watching concerts with free nugs tv livestreams.
6. Mostly frugal for other people: I’ve really been taking advantage of giving away things through my Buy Nothing group. The last few days have seen lots of outgrown boys’ clothes going out to neighbors. I love the gifting economy!


Andrea August 7, 2019 at 11:19 pm

1) Sold water park tickets I won – $60.

2) Checked our electric usage and found we have lowered it by half from last year. Almost makes the hot days without using the a/c worth it. Almost.

3) Have been using the app Gas Buddy to find the best prices for gas near us when time to fill up. Has really made a difference. Always pay cash since using a debit card is usually $.10 per gallon higher.

4) Radiator in our 2004 Camry has been leaking so my honey changed it out himself (thank you YouTube). Much cheaper than the $800 we were quoted to have it done.

5) Cooking a lot in the Instant Pot to keep the heat down in the house. Hanging clothes out to dry. Limiting electricity use between 5pm and 8pm. Made dog biscuits. Posted more items to sell. Submitted form for Equifax settlement for each of us. Found $0.26 over the week. Bought discounted fruits and veggies at the store and either ate them right away or prepped and froze them.


Economically Proud August 10, 2019 at 12:38 pm

Great job with DH fixing the Camry. My DH tries to do both of our Toyotas repairs and maintenance. Our Yaris we bought new many years ago has 285,000 mi. I hope you get a lot of use out of your Camry.


Jann in Maine August 8, 2019 at 1:28 am

Neighbor gifted us his rhubarb which I happily accepted. Will make a rhubarb crunch for friend who is coming later in month for a birthday dinner.
Dinner was stuffed peppers from the garden with a half pound of turkey sausage and half pound of ground turkey and chopped vegs–will have eaten 3 meals with the 1 pound of protein.
Bought a frother years ago to make cappuchino foam which has paid for itself over and over and always feels so indulgent. Since we only drink 1 cup a day I buy good coffee on sale.
Staples for some reason has been sending me coupons–this week spend $60 save $30 and free shipping. Used it to get my Green Mt coffee and toilet paper…and Staples sells a wide variety of items that are household related. Not sure how I got on their list for these frequent coupons but half off works for m.
Will use the free inspection service for State Inspection that Subaru offers here at the Bangor dealership.
And continue to wear totally thrifted outfits and haunt the thrifts and yardsales for inventory for my ebay store.


Bee August 8, 2019 at 2:48 am

1. I continue to earn a little extra income working as a temporary part-time employee for a friend who has more business than she can handle on her own this month. I packed my lunch this evening to take with me when I leave the house tomorrow. So I am keeping my work related expenses in check. This little side job has come at a good time because my eBay sales are so slow. I have only sold 3 items in the last 10 days.

2. As I mentioned in the last FFT, I made a quiche using some rather pungent goat cheese. The ham, cheese, cream and shallots didn’t help much to disguise the taste. Eating it was like kissing a goat, but hubby and I somehow managed to consume the whole thing. This was not easy, but no food waste! I made a big pan of roasted zucchini with onions and peppers which I ate on salads and in fajitas. I used leftover asparagus in a summer salad. I also baked a gluten-free fruit cobbler using some over ripe peaches which I brought with me when having dinner at Son #1.

3. I have invested in my personal wardrobe this month. I bought a beautiful black cashmere coat —never worn — at Goodwill for $11. Yes, it is 90 out, but it is easier to find these things when you don’t need them. I also bought a nice pair of nearly new leather boots on 1/2 price day —$5.
4. Not frugal for me but for Son #2 on his PCT journey. He bought a pair of heavy duty hiking boots for the High Sierras and the rivets broke only 25 miles into his journey. He bought a new pair in the next town where there was an outfitter and sent these home. I brought them back to REI and they graciously refunded his money. They are a good company! I have also started to send his resupply packages. He was trying to use stores along the way, but the availability differed greatly from town to town. In the 2.5 months into the journey, he has lost 40 pounds which is not sustainable. I have been putting together daily food bags which equal 5k calories and are cheaper than what he is buying even with shipping. I can buy in bulk and have a variety of stores to chose from.
5. All the usual things — drinking primarily water, brewing my own coffee, reading library books, enjoying free activities such as swimming, and occasionally watching streamed content. Life is slow and boring here at the moment as late summer often is. People are tired of the heat and retreat indoors. The lucky ones leave Florida for the month and enjoy the cooler northern climates.

Have a great frugal week everyone!


Nancy from mass August 8, 2019 at 3:29 am

I’ve been wondering how your son is doing! I’ve heard that the supply towns are few and far between on the PCT. It’s good that you’re able to put together cheaper supply boxes for food.


tracy P Reeve August 8, 2019 at 3:52 am

Cashmere coat sounds amazing! We hiked just a tiny bit of the PCT last weekend on a day hike and saw some through hikers, such a feat. Hope your son continues to do well — I am sure he appreciates those supply boxes beyond measure!


AK August 8, 2019 at 9:10 am

Love hearing about you supporting your son on his PCT hike. I bought bulk ahead of time and my mom shipped the boxes for me when I hiked half of the AT. It meant so much to me that my mom would handle those logistics.


Bee August 10, 2019 at 2:14 am

Thanks for all the good thoughts. As a parent, I may not be with my son physically, but I am there in spirit. In my heart, I hike every mike with him. AK, was there anything that you found during your journey that packed well, was easy to fix and was super nutritious?


Nancy from mass August 8, 2019 at 3:37 am

I feel like I don’t have a lot of FFT’s lately but here goes:
1. I’ve been cleaning, or trying to, out the deep freeze in my basement. Since it’s only DS and myself now, I am wondering if I even need it anymore. I also didn’t realize I’ve bought a lot of butter in the last year. Every time I would find a good deal (less than two dollars) I would pick some up. I don’t think I need butter for a year. Other than that, there is an much left in the freezer.
2. Since I’ve been cleaning up the freezer, I also found some in my freezer meals I had bought since beginning of the year that I shouldn’t eat because of the sodium level. So I bagged them up and brought them to work, put them in the freezer and three of them were eaten yesterday.
3. DS and I went out for a ride the other day (I took a one-day vacation) and instead of eating out, we drove back home and had pizza. Then we headed back out different direction. We did a lot of driving but we had a good day.
4. Going to my 35th reunion this Saturday. It’s only an hour away, so I plan on driving home afterwards. I could stay over at the in-laws, but I would be getting back to their house very late and wouldn’t want to worry them. I’m not planning on staying till the very end anyway so it shouldn’t be an issue with my being tired. I will go visit them before the party though
5. I went to my favorite thrift/consignment store on Saturday with DS. He bought five movies that he was looking for, for two dollars each, I bought a puzzle, unopened, aerial view of Harvard Square taken in the 70s for $2 as well. I’ve already made it and I packed it back up and will bring it to the in-laws on Saturday so they can do it as well.


Cindy in South August 8, 2019 at 6:08 am

1. I left two large rugs outside on my front bushes to be washed in our very heavy rain showers. Obviously, I don’t have an HOA….lol. They were washed in the downpour and then dried in the hot sun, since we have heat indexes of 105 plus all week. 2. I bought $40 dollars worth of groceries, catfish nuggets, chicken thighs, beef liver, chicken liver, bacon, squash, potatoes, tomatoes, onions, okra, bread, a local market. I hope I don’t have to buy too much more this month. I made pinto beans in a crockpot, was gifted a bag of lime flavored tortilla chips, and made nachos with leftover cheese, spinach, onions, salsa, pinto beans, mushrooms, sour cream. I made a simple crustless squash quiche, and it was delicious. 3. I have walked every day. 4. I did my own nails. 5. My electric bill was $60 and I was disappointed ( I am usually able to keep it to about $50 in the summer) but with consistent 105 plus heat indexes like we have, for days on end, I guess it is ok. I only run the window unit and just sleep in that room.


Mary August 8, 2019 at 6:28 am

I’m a new reader and find you very inspiring! Thanks for telling us about libby. I can’t believe I didn’t know this! We will love the audiobooks.


Crosby August 8, 2019 at 6:38 am

1. I was invited to a delicious Indian buffet for lunch today and I originally said yes. And then I thought about my budget for the month, and the fact that I had brought a salad from home, so I changed my answer to no.
2. Other than shopping for vacation at the end of the month, I think I can get away without grocery shopping for August.
3. The filter in my countertop compost bin got to the point where I couldn’t wash it anymore, so instead of buying a refill pack, I stuffed some newsprint in its place that I had received as junk mail.
4. I was gifted a huge binder of old postage stamps (the highest denomination is 5 cents). After a family friend took a look and determined that none were worth more than their face value, I’ve been using them on letters and cards I send!
5. I’ve been eating soup my mom gifted me when I was in town on Monday every night for dinner this week.


LB August 8, 2019 at 6:40 am

1. Got an oil change after a long road trip and with a $15 off coupon.

2. Oil change came with an unexpected free car wash. I had some free time so I went for it! The place vacuumed my car out and everything and it’s in better condition than in ages.

3. Opting for a meat-free week took our grocery bill down a lot. I’m happy to be eating more veggies and feeling challenged in the kitchen again!

4. Trying out ClassPass for free for 2 weeks and it is kicking. My. Butt. Two classes in two days and now I have to take a few days off to recover! But trying new classes for free has been great.

5. Really want to book a trip with the time I have left before my job starts but also just booked a larger vacation for next year-so I am instead in the market for a quick road trip down the east coast! Going to spend a few days adventuring before landing in DC to care for a friend who just had surgery. Looking forward to a change of pace and some alone time.


janine August 8, 2019 at 7:10 am

1. Hot muggy weather almost forced us to install our room air conditioners but today it cooled off so we may get through the summer using only fans.
2. Taking advantage of sales on sweet corn and other summer goodies.
3. Needed new crockpot – mailed off rebate form this morning.
4. We really got off the frugal bandwagon this summer due to the nailing heat. Now we are back in home-cooking mode which is so much cheaper and also healthy. Chicken and potatoes in the oven for dinner tonight.
5. Planning to use old gift certificate at Barnes and Noble for the latest Rhys Bowen mystery – great escapist summer reading.


Roberta August 8, 2019 at 7:30 am

Getting ready for back to school 🙁
1. Went out with my husband to get back-to-school shoes. We were looking for SOM shoes (which are not inexpensive but they are also ethically made), but struck out. Instead, we found a pair of Doctor Martins for less than $100, and a pair of sneakers for half price. I love my Docs, and I’m hoping they’ll last him multiple years. Mine have held up mightily. We walked around, and talked, and he used a coupon for a free entree for lunch.
2. He took two pairs of shoes in for repair, as well. They cost a lot more than I was expecting, but we’re keeping them out of the landfill longer. My daughter is happy, because her favorite shoes had developed a crack in the sole, and now they’ll be waterproof again this winter.
3. Keeping the air conditioning off, for the most part. I did turn it on for my son’s birthday party, but that’s it!
4. Got more free bananas from the local food bank’s surplus. Freezing them and making banana chips in the dehydrator. I also gave away a 40 pound box of bananas, so my sister is probably doing the same thing.
5. I took a couple of white tablecloths out of a free box, thinking to use them at my niece’s bridal shower. When I was washing them up, I realized they were a complete twin sheet set! My daughter is happy, because she said she will be needing new sheets soon (hers are wearing thin), so I will be able to replace them for free!


Bettypants August 8, 2019 at 7:42 am

1. Bought two youth UnderArmour hoodies at a yard sale for $1 each. Found $1 in the pocket. Sold them for $8 each on Marketplace.

2. I went over to chat with my neighbors and they asked if I wanted two perennials they were getting rid of. An oak leaf hydrangea and something I need to identify. Dug up both and hauled them home.

3. Spotted a smaller sized Billy bookcase with frosted glass doors on Marketplace for $30. It matches the Ikea bedframe and light colored dressers in my son’s room and looks really nice. Will sell his old bookshelf.

4. The toilet paper holder in my bathroom won’t stay straight and is driving me crazy. I tried to adjust the plate and screws, I drilled new holes in the wall and remounted the whole thing and it’s STILL crooked. Walked to a church rummage sale this morning and found a new holder for $1.

5. I have one rain barrel and have been on the lookout for a second one. Someone posted a really nice one on Marketplace for $25, only a couple blocks from me. I moved the fancy smaller one to the front of the house and set up the new massive one on the back of the house.


Connie C August 8, 2019 at 8:38 am

1) Signed three of us in our house up for the Equifax settlement. Other two (our younger sons) were not breached apparently.

2) Two regular doctor appointments completed, including one that has no co-pay. Good health is less expensive than avoiding the regular visits.

3) Used a coupon for a necessary oil change today.

4) Shopped strategically this week, including sale items combined with store coupons combined with rewards dollars back.

5) Found Dh’s favorite yogurt back in stock at Aldi this week – savings galore over having to buy the equivalent in a name brand.


Dicey August 8, 2019 at 9:37 am

I only have one today, but I am so proud of it, I’m going to write it up. We bought three of the same towel holder from Amazon. One from the scratch-and-dent section ($18.15), two brand new ($30.99). We installed the scratch-and-dent one, which was in perfect condition, first. Alas, it was a complete pain in the tuchus, and took an hour to install and when fully assembled was higher than we wanted it but no way were we pulling it off the wall and starting over. We did not install the other two. Last night, we went on line to return the two perfect ones, but alas, we had missed the deadline by one day. The imperfect one was still returnable, so we sighed and selected that option, figuring something was better than nothing. Today, someone on the MMM forum suggested I contact Amazon. I did, and they’re letting me return both for full price. I’ll take $61.98 over $18.15 (plus tax) every time.


Bethany M August 8, 2019 at 10:34 am

Planning our vacation for 2020. We have National Park passes for the next two years since we’ll have 4th graders in our house. It’ll be a low budget vacation but not short on fun.

Babysitting 5 of my friend’s kids while she moves today. She does special things for us too like invite us over when her baby goats are born.

Planning my 4-5 year old Sunday School lesson from an old Storybook Bible and some neat pictures available on the internet.

Printed off my $5 off school supplies from Staples. I plan to spend just the $5.

Saving our leftovers for dinner tonight, and making a cheaper snack-y lunch for the kids.


Jenelle August 8, 2019 at 11:29 am

1. Found my kids’ Halloween costumes at the Goodwill while we were on vacation. Check that off my list. Now just to DIY a astronaut helmet!
2. Both of our kids have the same birthday and their party is this weekend. This will be the first friends party and fortunately it is a small crowd. We are going to the local pool and only have to pay for the people who do not have pool passes. We are keep the food simple. Hubby on the other hand is going a little overboard with the cakes he is making!
3. Eating whatever we can find in our house this week for lunch and dinner. Must keep the budget in mind to have this birthday party. I did have lunch provided one day this week at work.
4. My 4 year old saw me sewing a sheet and she wanted to help! While it only lasted a short time, I hope she continues to want to help!
5. School supply list is finished. I finalized it with the highlighters and white board markers that we already owned!


A. Marie August 8, 2019 at 1:12 pm

FFT, Better Times Edition:

(1) Another 16 cents out of the Wegmans Coinstar machine today, and an average of a penny a day around the ‘hood, plus a dime yesterday. Keep dropping that change, folks; I’m totally available to pick it up.

(2) Just got a “property tax relief” refund of $256.80 from NY State. Honestly, I’m tempted to frame the check–but in the end, I’ll be laughing all the way to the bank as I deposit this.

(3) Just “grabbled” another half pound of new potatoes (a variety called Superior this time) out of my second potato container planting. Nom nom nom….And thanks to whoever it was who noted the word “grabbling” in an earlier comment thread. I like it.

(4) Dr. Bestest Neighbor’s’ daughter, granddaughter, two oldest great-grandchildren, goddaughter, and grand-goddaughter are all here this fortnight for the local puppet theater’s “circus camp” for the young’uns (the great-grands and the grand-god). Good times, as we all get along and DH and I have slipped into the roles of kindly “uncle” and “aunt.” I’m also arranging with Daughter BN for her to purchase a largish share of our annual beef and pork bulk buy, which will be arriving the last half of August. At our cost, of course–but sales like these are what make it economically feasible for DH and me to continue doing this.

(5) Finally, my Literary Society BFF will be arriving Friday 8/16 from Manhattan for her annual dose of Country Life 101. (We live within the limits of our Upstate NY city–but she lives at the corner of 97th and West End Ave., and to her, this is country.) For a long weekend, we will be “painting the town a discreet Regency blue,” as BFF likes to say! (And thank goodness for friends who know and understand about DH and are prepared to roll with whatever happens.)


Heidi Louise August 8, 2019 at 4:24 pm

Blue stocking blue?


A. Marie August 9, 2019 at 12:37 pm

I think Wedgwood jasperware blue was what BFF had in mind (she’s partial to it). But I like your suggestion, Heidi Louise.


kate August 8, 2019 at 5:30 pm

1. i scored a free gallon of soy milk through safeway just for u.
2. i sold some ebay items that’d been sitting for awhile. boyfriend and i went to $5 movie night.
4. i got a gift card from mileage points and used it for groceries.
5. i ate at home/at work nearly everyday.


Lauren August 9, 2019 at 2:58 am

1. We hosted dinner for my parents and Aunty earlier in the week and I roasted a chicken and baked is some leftover veggies and bread. My Aunty brought cake and dessert. Very happy tummies.
2. My mum used the carcass of the chicken to make me a batch of chicken noodle soup. She also made us a chicken pie to take home.
3. I needed to fill my petrol tank, and was delighted to see it was 5c cheaper a litre than it has been for the last few months. I filled the tank and will keep an eye on their pricing (this station is near my house and I drive past at least twice a week).
4. My daughter is in need of new leggings for school. I did some price comparisons of the major chain stores and found them cheapest at Kmart for $4.75. I needed to buy myself some Kmart leggings and some socks for my son anyway so we didn’t make any extra trips.
5. My birthday was this week and this year when asked what I would like, I gave practical gift ideas. I was very blessed with a new dressing gown, coffee mugs (I’ve broken a few over the years) and a travel coffee mug. My mum offered to cook me up some meals for the freezer including lasagne and tuna bake.


Connie C August 11, 2019 at 12:20 pm

Happy birthday!


ouvickie August 9, 2019 at 5:36 am

YUM! Plum jam is one of my faves – good score, Katy!
1) I ate one of the last beef hotdogs for dinner last evening and hubby grubbed on the leftover manwich sauce from the night before. I love making meals that last for 2-3 more days.
2) Grabbed a free doughnut off the break table this morning – thanks to a generous co-worker who celebrates Fridays with everyone by sharing the bounty.
3) My sand plum tree if loaded with plums. I’ve picked some, but I’m so short I’ll have to shake the tree to get to the rest.
4) Aldi had a cute small cat tree with a ball play box for the base. $12.99 is a bargain to keep the kitten entertained.
5) Picked up free Season Football posters at the University Stadium last Friday and gave two to a neighbor and saved one for a friend, who generously cut down a large limb that broke from one of my Redbud trees during a storm.


Susan August 9, 2019 at 11:56 am

1. Made 24 zucchini blueberry muffins for less than it would cost me to buy 4 blueberry muffins at Trader Joe’s.
2. Cooked all meals at home even when I didn’t want to.
3. Took a yellow cake and made it into a blueberry cake by adding 2 cups of blueberries, teaspoon of cinnamon, and the zest of one lemon. Then made blueberry sauce for the top using the juice of the lemon and confectionery sugar. This was my husband‘s birthday cake. I decorated it with things I had on hand plus candles that I already had.
4. Helped my friend pick up a large item with my van and she treated me to lunch.
5. Had to medical tests on the same day so I only had to pay one co-pay. Saved $150 dollars by doing this.


AuntiAli August 9, 2019 at 5:57 pm

My FFFs:
1. Had my yearly physical and was told by my doctor to get on the waiting list at my pharmacy to get the new Shingles vaccine. Added hubby, too. Don’t know when we’ll get it.
2. Sent back medical paperwork using the same envelope that they sent it in to me. I made sure I opened it carefully and then used packing tape to put it all back together and added stamps that I had on hand.
3. Got a call that one of the books I ordered came in at the library.
4. Hubby cleared out the above the fridge freezer while I wrote down what was in there. We have enough for a week’s worth of dinners.
5. Keeping electric use low, eye on AC and not spending my allowance. I have about $300 saved up for fun money for vacation.


Jennifer August 9, 2019 at 6:05 pm

Followed up on some unpleasant tasks this week.

1. Called again to make sure we got the $435 refund for the rent my ds’s old apartment charged us. We had auto-draft set up, but it was supposed to stop and didn’t. They were supposed to credit us last week and had not yet.
2. Needed to replace 2 phones and the Verizon store we went to lied to us about the deal we were getting. Now we have 2 extra lines on our plan. Have spent hours trying to straighten it out. I think we finally have a solution that will allow us to not lose money on the deal after all. ugh!
3. Made sure to return the items we did not use in building our fire pit. Also, we dug bricks from around the yard to lay the bottom layer that isn’t seen. About 15 stones we didn’t have to buy (we always find the bricks, not sure why they are buried all over, but they are)
4. I hurt my knee on our long bike ride and after 2 weeks of trying on my own to heal it I finally went to the DR. Doesn’t think anything major, just tendonitis and major inflammation. Hoping a $6 round of Prednisone fixes things right up. Better to get it taken care of than let it linger.
5. Finally sat down with several boxes of books to see if I can sell them online. Most are not worth it, so I will just donate them to Goodwill.


Catherine fromFrance August 11, 2019 at 2:37 am

First time I write my FFT !
1 I made my homemade hummous
2 I made my home made libanese boulghour with free parsley and mint.
3 I made my home made cold cumin and coral lentils soup very refreshing in summer
4 Tomorrow I.ll try for the first time an american angel food cake with redfruits for the birthday of my daughter
5 For my birthday one friend gave me an « posonned present : an russian hamster (we live an appartment and my husband does’want cat or dog) : finally I love her ,the female hamster so much !
Boulghou and coral lentils are buyed in bulk in a sort of organic cooperative.Parsley is free from my greengrocer and the plant ofmint was given by my brother.
Voilà !


Heidi Louise August 12, 2019 at 12:02 pm

Bienvenue! Your house must have a wonderful smell.


CatherinefromFrance August 13, 2019 at 12:01 am

@Heidi Louise ,Kathy and others. Thanks a lot for your welcome ! I am very happy to join the FFT community that I read regularly from several years now. I shall try to not do again vocabulary mistakes as in my last message (poisonned present *…) and ,if somebody here is learning french language I propose to correspond with by email . It can be a frugal and recreationnal improvement 🙂 Happy summer ! CatherinefromFrance.


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