Five Frugal Things

by Katy on August 14, 2019 · 74 comments

  1. My Facebook Marketplace and eBay sales picked up this week, and I sold a number of items including an Arcteryx backpack, some Yakima bike rack pieces, a pair of Doc Martins, a Jonathan Adler wine stopper, a Portland Timbers scarf, one soccer ticket and the $4.99 vintage dresser that I picked up a few weeks ago.

    I also stopped into a couple Goodwills yesterday while running errands and picked up an armload of fresh inventory. Especially impressive was a $4.99 bag of collectable Funko Pop figures which I’ve pieced out into six different eBay lots. I should make a couple hundred from this find alone! I also grabbed an $4.99 All-Clad sauté pan, which should sell this morning.

  2. I haven’t been in the mood to do any cooking lately, but still force myself to prepare inexpensive meals. (My husband works 5 P.M. to 5 A.M., so I do all the cooking.) I fired up the ol’ Instant Pot and pressure cooked white beans for a batch of The Prudent Homemaker’s white bean rosemary soup as well as some black beans to stash in the fridge. I also pulled two packs of clearance priced chicken breasts from the freezer for some tasty marinated Asian style chicken.

    Mind you, we do splurge on food here and there. For example, my 21-year-old son woke up the other day and mentioned that he was “craving jerk chicken.” I did some quick internet sleuthing and found a nearby Jamaican food cart with good reviews. (Gotta love Portland’s food cart scene!) An hour later my son was sitting in front of a steaming plate of jerk chicken and I was $11 poorer. Worth every penny.

  3. My son and I are heading out to visit my sister and her kids in New York City at the end of the week. Because we have a free place to stay, being there is barely more expensive than our normal humdrum Portland existence. Just like at home, we’ll buy groceries but eat some few meals out, fill up our Metro subway cards instead of our gas tank and enjoy some generally simple (read inexpensive) NYC activities.

    We’ll be there a couple of weeks, so you’ll be able to follow along with our adventures through the blog as well as The Non-Consumer Advocate Instagram. I’ve reinstalled the Pret a Manger and Pain Quotidian apps on my phone as they keep sending me emails about how they “miss me” and that I should come enjoy a free coffee/baked good/some such thing. Free coffee? Twist my arm!

    We’ll also be celebrating my niece’s 15th birthday, so I’ll be treating her to a Birthday Day of Adventures. I guess I’ll have to scour through The Skint to research free and almost free opportunities.

  4. I listened to Sophie Kinsella’s My Not So Perfect Life through the Libby app and then started listening to Jeanette Walls’ Half Broke Horses, (both great, I highly recommend!) I thrifted a $2.99 wooden cutout of an adorable fawn which now graces my front porch, (cheap decor for the win!) I forced myself to break down and buy a swimsuit at Goodwill, which was a necessary purchase as my last one had disintegrated and become see through, (NOPE!) I was gifted a basil plant as a thank you from a neighbor, (I’d given her a large bowl of yellow plums) I chopped and planted a sprouted sweet potato, I pounced on a billowy mountain of bubble wrap that came with a guitar my son ordered from Japan, (I exclusively wrap my eBay sales in used packaging) I slathered benzoyl peroxide over pen marks on a $4.99 thrifted American Girl doll to ready her for resale, (great tip for anyone whose doll-loving kid is a budding Picasso) and I returned a blouse to Goodwill that was so voluminous as to potentially get me congratulated.

  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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Disclosure: The eBay link is an affiliate link, which means that I would earn a small percentage from any purchases you make through eBay within a few days of clicking on my link. This costs nothing extra to you.

{ 74 comments… read them below or add one }

Gina August 14, 2019 at 10:07 am

I haven’t posted in awhile, so I probably have FFT.

1. We went to a baseball game & a guy handed us a voucher for 2 free tickets, so we saved our other tickets to redeem another time.
2. I’ve been having problems with my foot and therapy didn’t seem to be helping. After reading my MRI results and knowing surgery was coming, I cancelled a few therapy appointments (saving my $25/time copayy). My foot doctor said we’ve exhausted all options and surgery is the only thing left to fix the problem. I’m ok with the surgery choice as I’ve been dealing with this problem since February.
3. I needed a vase of flowers for an art show my work was hosting. I picked some day lillies from my yard & stuck in a mason jar & they were beautiful. Free flowers! I then gifted to the other hostess. She loved them!
4. I applied for the Equifax refund for my husband and I, so if we get a check in the mail, we will be pleasantly surprised 😉
5. We needed to buy a bunch of pork for our daughter’s graduation party to make smoked pulled pork. We researched online while in the store and we saved $19.71 buying it by the case. The case had the same # of pork roasts in it that we planned on buying anyway.


Lulutoo August 14, 2019 at 1:23 pm

Gina, by coincidence, the lady ahead of me in line at the supermarket today was buying a mason jar with fresh flowers in it. I peeked at the price–$15.99!–and nearly fainted.


Juhli August 14, 2019 at 10:46 am

Working on fixing the little things in our house ourselves and work through our general To Do list.
1. Took down an awkwardly place, uselessly short, tarnished towel bar in bathroom and Hubby filled the holes in the vanity with wood putty.Saw no need to replace it!
2. Went to appliance parts shop recommended by repairman and ordered a replacement shelf for the frig door. Really wanted to make sure it would fit so took the broken one with me for comparison.
3. Took no cash with me when volunteering at a pet health fair so could not be tempted by raffle items. Drank offered water, ate a free biscotti, got a roll of poop bags and came home to a late dinner chef salad made before I left and saved in frig.
4. Had to order checks for those rare occasions when only a check will do so shopped around online for the lowest cost ones.
5. Lots of library books!


Jennifer August 14, 2019 at 10:49 am

Damn those congratulatory blouses!


Katy August 14, 2019 at 12:08 pm

The worst.


Jennifer August 14, 2019 at 11:08 am

This should be boring but I will give it a go.
1. The hibiscus plants that I stole/rescued from a property that is being torn down are thriving. Beautiful purple blooms make smile on an otherwise oppressively hot Mississippi day.
2. I continue to pack my kids lunch at home and stick to my price points on the contents. I find if I pack them the night before and stick the whole box, sandwich and all unzipped in the fridge, all I have to do is throw in an ice pack in the morning.
3. Treating my family to 50 cent corn dog from Sonic tonight before church. Yes, we could eat for less at home but it’s church night and I don’t want to heat up the kitchen. We can all eat for about $6 so it’s a rare treat.
4. I’m taking expired vitamins and they must be working because I am feeling a bit more energy.
5. I am preparing crafts to sell for a function the church has in November. I have never done this before but hopefully I can make some money and donate some to the youth groups. I am keeping my costs low by painting/making some ornaments made from wood slices cut from trees that we cut down a few months ago. I will also have baked goods and a few other crafts items. Suggestions are more than welcome!
6. Oh, I actually have one more. Last year my family carved several pumpkins near my front door. Fast forward to now, we have what I think may be self seeded pumpkin vines growing in several random places in my yard. Not sure if will will get pumpkins because I don’t see female blooms yet but I have been trying my best to keep my husband from running over them with the mower. Maybe that swarm of bees above my front door I have been trying to get rid of is doing some good after all.


Roberta August 15, 2019 at 6:27 am

I have found in the past that green pumpkins are also yummy, like zucchini. If your pumpkin starts producing, you can have a larger variety of harvest by eating the green ones early. I found this out when a random squash sprouted in my yard — I thought they were weird zuchs, and was surprised when uneaten ones turned into pumpkins!


Jennifer August 15, 2019 at 5:02 pm

Nice to know, this my first experience with pumpkins. I’m excited to see what happens.


Bee August 14, 2019 at 11:41 am

Thank you for the tip regarding What a cool resource to use when planning a trip to NYC!

1. My eBay sales have been dismal — one item this week– so I have been trying to stay out of the thrift stores. I did stop at an estate sale this week and I found a Alan Chervet circa 1965 Rams Head Coffee table for $50. Since it brings many times this, I intend on selling it, but I haven’t figured out the best way to do this. I think it is a bit to glam to sell locally in my sleepy little beach town. I wondered if anyone has ever shipped furniture?
2. We have been eating simple, thrifty meals at home this week. However, I splurged this week for $5 sushi Wednesday and brought two rolls home for dinner. We will have a picnic at the beach and watch the full moonrise tonight. I am a bit of a lunatic!
3. I made a trip to the grocery store and filled up my cart with BOGO items that I use on a regular basis. I also used digital coupons saving an addition $3.75. I should also get some funds placed in my Ibotta account. I buy very few brand-name items or processed foods, so it takes me quite some a while to accumulate much cash in this account. But money’s money.
4. I also made a stop at Target and used a $15 gift card that I received 2 weeks ago when I purchased $50 in household products. Although they are running that special again, I resisted the urge to stock up even more. I only needed laundry detergent so that is all I bought.
5. Of course, I have been busy doing all the usual things –drinking primarily water, brewing my own coffee, wearing thrifted clothes, and enjoying free activities. I just finished reading my book club’s recent selection, Bear Town, which I borrowed from the library. This is a beautifully written book and a painful read. It took me a while to finish it, so I will owe $2 in library fines. 🙁


Katy August 14, 2019 at 12:11 pm

I had to look up that coffee table. Whoa!


Heidi Louise August 14, 2019 at 12:31 pm

I also looked up the table. Whoa is right!
Just remember that if you ship, it doesn’t all have to be in one box.
Even consider Amtrak or Greyhound for shipping– has anyone ever done that?


Jennifer August 14, 2019 at 2:33 pm

Could not resist looking up your coffee table. What a great find! I hope you make a ton of money. Let us know if and how you ship it.


Patricia Koernig August 14, 2019 at 12:19 pm

Bee, read Us against you. I believe it’s the follow up book to Bear town (which I haven’t read, but plan to). It is one of the most beautiful and painful books I have read.


kristen August 14, 2019 at 2:55 pm

I just finished Us against You this Morning. It is an emotional roller-coaster! That man can write, I’ll tell you that. I am still digestive all I read.


Patricia Koernig August 16, 2019 at 12:34 am



Bee August 15, 2019 at 5:57 pm

Fredrik Backman is a wonderful writer. His characters have such depth, and he manages to inject a little humor even when dealing with the most difficult subjects. I just requested Us Against You from the library. Thanks for the recomendation I have also read A Man Called Ove and My Grandmother Told Me To Tell You She’s Sorry. Both wonderful books.


Christine August 14, 2019 at 5:39 pm

$2 in late fees is still cheaper than having to buy the book to read it, maybe even a used copy. Thanks for the book suggestions Bee and Patricia.


Katy August 15, 2019 at 1:11 pm
Bee August 15, 2019 at 5:50 pm

Awesome!!!! Thank you!!! I know a couple of designers locally. I thought that I would send them photos after I cleaned it up a bit. ( It had lived in the previous owner’s garage for a while) If neither one is interested, I will figure out the best way to ship and sell it online. It’s fun to have found a treasure!


Jessica August 16, 2019 at 10:05 am

I wonder about using for something like this, too. It’s a luxury consignment online company and they will come to your house & give you an appraisal on designer furniture, clothes, watches or other high-end items.


K D August 14, 2019 at 11:46 am

The usual summer stuff FFT:

1. I dropped a friend off at his apartment building and he invited me to take some garden items from the communal garden. I picked a few tomatoes and a couple of zucchini.

2. I shopped at Sprout’s this morning since their ads run Wednesday-Wednesday. I was able to buy two ads worth of sale items.

3. I went to lunch with a couple of friends and only ordered an entrée. We stopped at the natural store in the same shopping center and I bought bulk oat bran and buckwheat groats.

4. There are only a couple more weekends of free outdoor concerts in the woods. We have attended at lot of them this year and have generally enjoyed them.

5. I’m reading and listening to books borrowed from the library.


A. Marie August 14, 2019 at 12:09 pm

FFT, Anti-Bambi Edition:

(1) There must not be a major deer invasion in Katy’s Portland neighborhood. In spite of everything I’ve been doing (deodorant soap, “dill fence,” and Plantskydd anti-deer solution), the Bamboids have been doing a number on my Upstate NY gardens ever since this year’s babies were weaned. If I had an archery set and knew how to use it, I’d be using that cute fawn cutout for target practice. (Apologies to fawn huggers and vegetarians, but I am past the point of endurance.)

(2) Thanks for letting me vent. DH and I will be having BLT sandwiches tonight with a ripe tomato I’ve managed to save.

(3) And a neighbor with whom we’ve had our ups and downs over the years brought over another ripe tomato he and his wife weren’t going to be able to use, since they are going out of town for 10 days. I’d given them some basil (which deer don’t eat, thank goodness) a few days earlier. Harmonious relations restored = priceless.

(4) In the interests of realistic gardening next year, I am making plans to reduce the number of vulnerable plantings (tomatoes, cucumbers, pole beans, etc.) and concentrate on growing onions, garlic, herbs, and other smelly stuff. Sigh.

(5) But, so far, I have managed to conceal four cantaloupes from the invaders (mainly by throwing smelly herbs over them), and am hoping against hope that at least one of them will be ripe in time for my Lit. Soc. BFF’s visit this weekend.


Katy August 14, 2019 at 12:13 pm

I’m dab smack in the city, so no deer here. Just the normal birds, squirrels and the occasional raccoon.


Lucy August 14, 2019 at 12:18 pm

Deer netting is inexpensive, easy to erect, and, if you are careful taking it down, reusable


A. Marie August 14, 2019 at 1:10 pm

Deer netting isn’t a realistic option in my particular setting, unfortunately (widely spaced garden beds in a front yard where I have to pay at least a little attention to aesthetics). Otherwise, I’d try it–and thanks for the suggestion and concern, Lucy.


Mary in Maryland August 14, 2019 at 12:51 pm

I also found that deer don’t eat squash. I got 300 pounds out of a garden that Bambi otherwise devoured.


Vickey August 15, 2019 at 9:14 am

Mary, do you have groundhogs? Something trimmed our summer squash plants by eating all the (stickers) leaves off, and it gave up and died.


Vickey August 15, 2019 at 9:16 am

*sticker-y*. @#$&%!


Vickey August 15, 2019 at 9:10 am

Not that you need it, but this vegan absolves you. Shares your wish to dispatch the garden disrupters, even. (I’ve have been known to threaten to start a “Vegans for Venison” pro-hunting group.) We’re vegan primarily out of environmental concerns, and every morsel they rob means that much more trucked-in food I have to purchase. They’ve reached serious lest levels here in our village, and I wish the kind-hearted but soft-headed souls who intentionally feed them over the winter would realize the full implications of their well-intended actions.
We also have circumstances here which would make fencing the garden very expensive and very difficult.
In solidarity


Vickey August 15, 2019 at 9:11 am

*pest*, not lest. FPS


Mary in Maryland August 16, 2019 at 8:50 am

No groundhogs here. I’m vegan for environmental and compassionate reasons and still find myself threatening to turn the deer who wander through the backyard into kielbasa. Can I be a charter member of “Vegans for Venison”?


Vickey August 16, 2019 at 2:16 pm

Yes! We’d be delighted to have you, Mary in Maryland! That, and “All are welcome.” 😉


Lindsey August 15, 2019 at 1:42 pm

Another thing you don’t have to bother trying: having your husband pee around the perimeter of the garden to ward off animals. I read it in a gardening magazine and convinced my husband to go out after dark, with a flashlight, for days, until he had peed around the entire plot. Didn’t work. Although it did provide me with such hysterical amusement that he accused me of making up the gardening tip just to see him trying to hide what he was doing from the neighbor. Even funnier: our dog followed him around and sometimes peed on top of what the husband had just done!


Jennifer Eldredge August 15, 2019 at 8:09 pm

That is the best thing I have heard all day. Thanks for sharing! The dog part really got me. Now THAT is good, frugal fun. 😉


Vickey August 16, 2019 at 2:18 pm

Soooo this!


A. Marie August 16, 2019 at 3:51 pm

Got a good laugh out of Lindsey’s story. Incidentally, both DH and Dr. Bestest Neighbor are convinced that one good pee outside is worth three inside, so if human male pee were the answer, neither I nor Ms. BN would have a deer problem.


Linda September 2, 2019 at 6:34 am

I grew up with deer in the freezer. Now I have had deer in the yard. We have had pretty good luck sending the male members of the family to do pee patrol on the property line(after dark of course.)


JJ August 14, 2019 at 12:33 pm

Katy – I’m assuming your sister has a NYPL library card. Take a look at the offerings via Culture Pass as you start to plan the Day of Adventures. Some of the most popular museums (Natural History, Guggenheim) won’t have new passes loaded until next month, but quite a few sites have availability now. You’ll need her card info to log in, but FAQs and a full list of participating institutions are on the main page:


Tonya Parham August 14, 2019 at 12:55 pm

1. Every year, I struggle with what to get my missus for her birthday. We don’t do gifts anymore. (We’ve been together for 29 years.) This year, we decided to go to to a State Park. Tennessee has some wonderful state parks and she’s wanted to go to Pickett for years. She also has a state employee discount. So, that was 25% off. We had three nights and cooked our own food, hiked, read, had no cell phones. It was a great trip and she said, “I want to do this every year for my birthday.” Done and done. We love nature and nerdy fun!

2. I’m trying to keep the thermostat on 77 or 76. No lie, with a heat index of 115, that’s still hard for the AC to keep up with. But, even 73 is better than 68, so I’m calling it a win. I don’t mind having in on 55 when it’s 20 degrees outside but I struggle with heat and humidity.

3. Filled out the Credit Breach refund from EquiFax and got the $150 check since I have credit monitoring. (Read about this on The Frugal Girl and am grateful for the tip.)

4. Had a garage full of stuff that my sister in law took. I told her she could have any of it as long as she took what she didn’t want to the thrift donation center.

5. Shopping at Kroger over the weekend, I had coupons for a free half gallon for soymilk (two actually, one Silk and one Simple Truth) and used coupons on the canned beans I buy. I try to make from dried but I keep some cans too because it’s a cheap easy alternative to eating out and then theres no excuse.


Nancy from mass August 14, 2019 at 2:28 pm

1. Still working on cleaning out the downstairs freezer. I think I have 8 pounds of butter in there now. And just a few other items. Once I clean out the upstairs freezer a little bit more, I’ll move what’s left downstairs and then unplug it. I’ll probably save me a dollar or two on the electric bill.
2. Worked at home a few extra days last week and this week so no extra driving.
3. Was gifted another giant zucchini so I made a double batch of breads and muffins. DS ate 4 muffins late last night. I do make good zucchini bread
4. I’ve been going through my upstairs closet. I have my stuff, late DH stuff, my mom stuff and a box of files that belong to my brother that are all the things we have for my dad service records. I pulled out six pairs of shoes I haven’t worn in years and three pairs of dress shoes I still had from my hubby. (We now have a recycling pick up for clothes and shoes the same day as our trash day. So they’re going out tonight)
5. Had 2 rain checks, one for free salad dressing and the other for petite sirloin for 2.99. I bought six steaks, the free salad dressing, some soda for the boy and a box of super pretzels. Cost me $19
One more: I also signed up for the Equifax thing for DH and I. . I chose a gift card for DH and I chose the credit monitoring for me. DS Social Security was not affected


Bethany M August 14, 2019 at 2:54 pm

Potted aloe pups in sour cream containers I drilled holes in.

Did a fill a bag special and bought some sized up clothes for the kids. Hit up VarageSale too and set for the year.


Mand01 August 14, 2019 at 3:20 pm

1 I picked a big bowl of lettuce from the lettuce field in our garden. We have so much lettuce growing that I’m happy to share with the very hungry caterpillars I occasionally spy out there.
2 I downloaded the Libby app and read the first Outlander novel. I would never have paid for it but I enjoyed it as a bit of an escape while I recovered from minor surgery. I placed holds on a few more books. Great app!
3 I baked snacks for the kids, including muffins that they said were the ‘best ever’
4 I did my budget and my husband and I reviewed our expenditure for the past month. Happily we have been able to live on his income alone, so all my freelance income is going into savings.
5 the sun was out yesterday and I was able to dry two loads of washing.


Jennifer August 14, 2019 at 4:33 pm

So glad free lancing is working well for family and I hope you are healing quickly.


Liz B from Lebanon (Ohio) August 15, 2019 at 4:50 pm

Mand01, I love the Outlander books! Great escapism when you need it. I enjoyed the Starz TV show, too (season one is the best, imho).


Mand01 August 15, 2019 at 6:20 pm

I’m enjoying the series – it’s available here on Netflix. My husband laughs when I tell him I’m going to watch the Hot Scot. He makes the valid point that very few men of that time would be built like that.
History Schmistory, I say.


Susie's Daughter August 16, 2019 at 8:54 am

Mand – I feel similarly about Poldark (which Dear Wife calls the show with “dramatic horse riding”). History Schmistory Indeed!


Midwest Beth August 14, 2019 at 3:50 pm

1. So excited was able to get a new pet sitting client by responding to a post on my Nextdoor app. Usually so many people respond (I have seen over 25 responses of interest) I haven’t gotten responses back and have grown discouraged. Updated my basic pet sitter flyer I had created several years ago to take to the meeting and printed off three copies at the library for free while picking up books and DVD’s I had placed on hold that had come in. Love having the books ready for me as it cuts down on the parking meter fees.
2. Saw pillows that were perfect for my white wicker furniture as having no cushions to sit on is hard on the bum. Pillows were $10 each and color was just right with our front porch colors. Walked away and today pulled out green dining room chair cushions I was storing in the basement. A little small and the color is just okay but free is free.
3. Made another trip to the library yet again to print my resume for free searching for that elusive full time job and picked up books and movies I had on hold.
4. Treated daughter to see Lion King on $5 movie day with free medium popcorn and refill. We brought a bottle of water to split and candy I bought at the store on sale 2 for $1 witch surprised the daughter (I had to hide it) lol.
5. Neighbors moved and gifted us a couch they didn’t want to take with them. We love it and nice to have a second one. Immediately covered with a flannel sheet to protect from dog claws, dirt etc. If company comes over it’s super easy to whip them off as well as wash frequently.
6. Made my daughters day by buying the 99 cent General Mills cereal using the Kroger 5 times coupon and let her pick them out. I usually get the store brand corn flakes/shredded wheat/rice crispy/oat cereals.
7. I took the time to down load the new Box Tops app so my purchase of five boxes of cereal will help support my daughters school. Kinda liked just cutting the little squares out better. Additionally took the time to do the Kroger survey to qualify for gas discounts, coupons, and sweepstakes drawing.
8. Ran errands with daughter- took back cell phone cord to Five and Below and got new replacement cord for free; stopped into Bath and Body and daughter picked up free item with $6 value coupon and we sampled/smelled the new fall scents; she used $20 gift card to H & M on a few purchases for school and I picked up the rest of the cost. She is hard to fit and was excited to purchase a new summer dress for $25, two tops, and hair scrunchies – not non-consumerism for her but we are working on it.
9. Harvested first tomato, another batch of herbs from the garden and drying them out on the front porch; saving rain water and shower warm up water to water the garden with; washing clothes on the quick wash mode to save on electricity and cold water when possible; really hot/humid but turned the air off and fans on as last electricity bill was super high; doing Swagbucks; seeking WiFi a lot more as I reduced cellphones to a shared 2 G, did get a Verizon rewards which I was able to use this month for another 1G; daughters wisdom teeth out tomorrow so made a special trip to Aldi to get foods she can eat (ingredients for smoothies/shakes, jello, Greek yogurt, cottage cheese, etc) and avoid restaurant/fast food items; listening to Becoming while washing dishes and An Irish Country Village to fall a sleep to; looking for something to watch? Check out Searching for Sugerman on IMDb TV (I get it through Amazon Prime).


WilliamB August 14, 2019 at 4:25 pm

In today’s edition: Books!

I escorted a little one to a public library. As a reward for my good deed, the Library Gods rewarded me with 5 items for $3.50:

– The Illustrated Atlas of Jewish Civilization, edited by Martin Gilbert. I know his work so I bought the atlas without even looking through it.

– A romance novel by Elizabeth Lowell, whom someone recommended to me. Recommending a romance novelist to me is practically a dare that the Library Gods seem to want me to take.

– A SF/F collection from 1958.

– A mystery novel by Joseph Telushkin, whom someone else recommended to be. I’m a fan of his nonfiction so I’m willing to give this a try.

– A DVD of Bend It Like Beckham. I’ve been looking for Bride and Prejudice but this one is good, too.


AuntiAli August 14, 2019 at 4:48 pm

Katie did you sell your vintage dresser for asking price? If so that’s fab!
1. Hubs and I are enjoying Jersey corn and tomatoes. He is able to stop by the farm stand on his way home from work. The corn is so good this year! Not cheap but a once a year splurge.
2. I have a new Rose of Sharon bush that is blooming. It must have seeded it’s self from my neighbors bushes. We had one when I was growing up and my sis’s name is Sharon.
3. Scratching together meals. Hubs is mostly eating tomato sandwiches which aren’t my fave. Cleaning out the freezer mostly.
4. Collecting stuff from around the house to take on our vacation. We rented a condo at the Jersey shore. Packing things like toilet paper, paper towels, towels, sheets, trash bags, etc.
5. Enjoy my book from the library Summer on Park Avenue and have another book waiting at the library.
6. Want to hit Walgreens to see if I can get some deals. I’ve been watching two coupon mavens on youtube so I’m ready!


Katy August 15, 2019 at 1:07 pm

I ended up selling it locally for $175. Still fab.


Christine August 14, 2019 at 5:29 pm

I love that little deer, Katy. Really great décor for a porch. Sweet.
1. Cooking all meals at home in an effort to clear the freezer. It’s working.
2. Gave DH a haircut before he returned to The Appalachian Trail.
3. Going to a free performance of As You Like It in a local park tomorrow with a friend. The park is on a river in an old industrial section of town. Great vibes.
4. Wearing old to me and thrifted clothing. I did have to break down and buy a new pair of black sandals to go with a couple of outfits. Had to buy new as there were no black sandals to be found in my size or to fit my comfort level at local thrift stores. I have funky feet and ankles that need to be catered to. I did find the sandals at half price.
5. Staying close to home to avoid using gasoline in an effort to save money and conserve our planet! Yay for energy savings!


Teresa August 14, 2019 at 5:41 pm

This was a simple week. 1. I got a beautiful tomato free from the garden at work. 2. Brought lunch today – hot dog and 1/2 banana from breakfast. Most of yesterday’s groceries were 50% off or the “buy 5” price, which is a really good deal because they don’t have to be five of the same item — they just need to be 5 items labeled “buy 5” on the shelf. 3. Returned something I bought from Macy’s (I buy clothing online because I hate to shop. Why am I surprised when it looks terrible on me?) I had new heel pads put on 2 pairs of shoes and taps on another pair so they’re good for another year. 4. Cleaned out my closets and readied the excess for giveaway. Then I gathered and washed some clothing for a girl that lives in the park near my work but she was gone when I got there… 🙁 5. Feeling grateful that I have a home. I need to remember to be grateful.


Jennifer August 14, 2019 at 5:57 pm

Back to school edition for me!
1. Two kids start HS tomorrow and at this point I have bought nothing in the way of school supplies other than a pack of pencils. Unless it is something totally random needed we are set.
2. On a new team at work and all employees went on a walking tour of downtown and were instructed to eat lunch with our teams afterwards. I bought something cheap at Panera and drank free water. My bill was much cheaper than the others in my group.
3. Sent my dh to Costco for gas and produce. For $27 we have all the produce we need for the week to go with what we already had. That was all I needed to round out meals here so that was a nice cheap shop.
4.Vegetarian day for me, which doesn’t happen often. Much cheaper. Breakfast for dinner last night. Also vegetarian. Hmmm, maybe my dh’s wishes are rubbing off on me LOL. Even packed a vegetarian lunch for myself for tomorrow too.
5. Sold a few random school things on our local facebook page. Preventing stuff from going to the landfill and making money – $5 or so at a time.


Kayleigh August 14, 2019 at 7:03 pm

When I first read your post I thought your neighbor gave you a plant as a thank you for replacing your see through swimsuit.


Tonya Parham August 15, 2019 at 10:29 am


You won the internet with that one! LOVE IT!


Katy August 15, 2019 at 1:07 pm

That would be a better story!


Lisa M. August 14, 2019 at 8:29 pm

Double 5FF: Birthday Edition
So many birthday freebies, so little time…

X1. First birthday freebie at coffee chain with required redemption only on date of birthday. Entire family enjoyed bevs outside on a perfect summer day. Myself with free b-day bev (dark chocolate frozen coffee cooler), DD with free bev from accumulated points & DH with his less expensive canned bev.

X2. Second birthday freebie at gourmet burger chain, good for 1 month. I had free Blue Ribbon burger & bottomless sweet potato fries and… WATER of course.

X3. Third birthday freebie at BBQ chain for free dessert, good for 14 days. Wonderful Lemon Cream Cake that DH & I shared.

X4. Used another free bev (superb hazelnut coffee) at chain soup & salad restaurant good for 15 days for pre-planned socialization with friend. She equaled my frugality by picking up her free (for 1 year) fountain soda at gas station & we sat outside using restaurant’s table & chairs.

5. Fifth free meatball entrée & choice of almond or DAIN cake at Ikea for 1 month through friends & family program & of course, always free coffee. Have Katy to thank for this freebie as was unaware of benefits besides coffee. Also $15 off Ikea purchase.

6. Sixth freebie is 50% off an Italian restaurant meal & free colossal brownie sundae, good for 2 months.

7. Bonus freebie: Generous gift card from employer for meal for 2 at local gourmet restaurant. Have only dined there via complimentary retirement planning seminars, so looking forward to ordering off menu for the 1st time.

8. Card store featured less fanfare this year regarding Free Card Fridays. Needed a card for DM’s b-day & since I’ve sent several, decided to hop over to store to pick up a free card to ensure a different design. Free card + gifted stamp = 0 cost out of pocket.

9. Made haste & began pulling out items from recent family discards for 2nd garage sale of the season & enlisted my pricing expert’s assistance. No doubt more to come but a great feeling knowing that the bulk is in the garage awaiting the next sale date. Painful but necessary & effective decluttering technique that works for me.

10. DD needed an oil change, so used $10 coupon on store’s website to lessen the pain. Also used a $5 coupon when taking DD’s former skating coach out to eat Asian for her birthday.


sofia August 15, 2019 at 12:46 am

I am starting a food business for ready prepared meals. I went to a second book shop where I bought lots of books at a very low price now I am reading to familiarise my self with the recipe at a very discounted prices and I am saving lots of money instead of going to the training.


Elizabeth August 15, 2019 at 4:51 am

1. Started using a homemade lemon balm tincture for anxiety and so far it seems promising. Luckily I have lemon balm growing wild in my yard, so I only have to buy cheap vodka to make it.**I only take 1/2tsp twice a day, so it’s not intoxicating.
2. My husband’s worker’s comp check has been to same as his original paycheck thanks to his company letting us pay taxes/insurance with sick pay.
3. Bought pulled pork to feed in-laws and family before a performance last week. Saved at least $50 by going this route as compared to going out to a restaurant
4. Found a lot of great ESL books at the library we can borrow, so that will save our church money when we start our ESL classes this fall.
5. Delighted to find out that I already had all the books my third grader needed for homeschooling in our personal library. *I did borrow a Saxon math book from our co-op to fill in a gap.


LB August 15, 2019 at 5:46 am

1. Drinking coffee and sitting on the couch. The dream way to start the day, and doesn’t Involve a paper cup 🙂

2. Took advantage of restaurant week in NYC to enjoy Delmonico’s. $42 for a 3-course meal. Hardly cheap, but the only way I could get in the door at such a famous institution. Everything was exceptional-the BF teared up, the filet mignon was so good.

3. Using my ClassPass free trial down to the bone. I am really enjoying the service but can’t justify $79/month when I’m not working. Using the last class today and cancelling until I’m making money again.

4. Finding creative uses for last week’s groceries, and holding myself to using up what we bought! Too many sweet potatoes!

5. I’m getting rid of my car in 2 weeks, so I’m using it as much as possible before then. Tonight will be a trip out to Long Island to visit a friend after work hours. Avoiding traffic by leaving early-a feat that won’t be attainable once I start working! Enjoying the convenience while I have it and gas is only ever cheaper than an LIRR trip.


AuntiAli August 15, 2019 at 8:49 pm

Cheaper to get to Long Island and probably a tad less frustrating than taking the train. So many upheavals on public transportation this summer.


Jenelle August 15, 2019 at 6:10 am

1. I was gifted tickets to a baseball game for my family and a friend. This will be a nice free thing to do on Sunday while my hubby works.

2. This paycheck just did not last as long as it normally does. The bank account is on “e” right now. Last night I found an old Burger King gift card and was able to treat the kids. Now just to make it to tomorrow (payday). Hopefully that $8 I put in my gas tank lasts until tomorrow.

3. Ebay is picking up a tiny bit this week. I work full time and have tried to commit myself to posting at least one new item on Ebay a day to keep my account active.

4. I think part of being frugal is also learning to control your emotions when it comes to others “ability to spend” My boss just got back from a two week vacation in France. I had to “check” my emotions and not feel sorry that I couldn’t go to France. When I thought about flying with a 5 and 7 year old for that long, I thought better of it. I knew I would be MISERABLE taking the kids on a trip like that. So why get stressed out and be jealous?

5. I have been packing the most unusual lunches this week. Birthday party leftovers and whatever I can find in the fridge that needs to be used. Today: PB&J and a bag of cherries that were gifted to me. yesterday was by far the worst: Half a bowl of left over ramen and some leftover fruit from the party on Sunday.


Connie C August 15, 2019 at 10:52 am

Jenelle, I just wanted to say that I love your positive attitude!


Alexandra August 17, 2019 at 9:57 am

I love your creative thinking re: lunches. You have inspired me with your thoughts on France and jealousy


Florencia August 17, 2019 at 3:28 pm

Thanks for the mindset shift! I am not usually jealous of vacations, but am of things like promotions, especially when I am passed over. I try to remember that although I was passed over for a great opportunity, this job is not all I have. I have better, bigger goals and it really helps. 🙂


Mand01 August 17, 2019 at 4:23 pm

It is difficult sometimes. Due to our family circumstances (two autistic children), we have not ever traveled far. I’ve watched all my friends take vacations all over the world. We have just recently managed to start small interstate trips, as my eldest particularly struggles with travel.
I remind myself that many people would love to visit our beautiful country, and travel from across the world and spend thousands of dollars to see the places we can drive less than an hour to visit. That helps me not to feel so jealous of my friends soaking up the sun in an Italian villa. I know that maybe one day we will travel further. I also know that, having worked with colleagues who have been refugees from some of the worst situations in the world, that my wish to travel is a minor concern.


Roberta August 15, 2019 at 6:55 am

1. My son upgraded and repaired my daughter’s *super* slow laptop! It now is fast and responsive! He worked for two days, trying to figure out why the touchpad and wifi wouldn’t work — and he succeeded! I’m thrilled not to need to replace her laptop, and I’m beyond thrilled with the experience and stick-to-it-ness he practiced!
2. My husband started school yesterday (teacher). After school, we went to the local putt-putt place and used our membership to ride the go-carts and squirter-boats. We ended up *soaked* and laughing. Just because summer is over doesn’t mean we have to stop having fun.
3. We’ve managed to keep the ac off, even with temps outside up to 100 degrees and way too much humidity, by closing up in the day and opening up again when it cools off outside. But I’m hoping for cooler temps this weekend.
4. Went to Goodwill with a friend, and only got two things for my family: a new pair of slacks for my husband and a leather The Sak purse for my daughter, for Christmas. I looked it up online, and they run for $100 new, so the $10 I paid is a great deal! Plus, it’s really plain so it will be useful to her for a long time.
5. Sold a small item on ebay. I’m glad to see it go, and I’m hoping to get some other clutter (that’s already boxed up and out of the house) posted so it can go find a home where it will be loved.


Bee August 16, 2019 at 2:11 am

It is wonderful that your son has such super tech skills. It is a money saver for you, and they will serve him well in the future. As a “older” adult who is not in the tech field, I find it hard to keep up with the constant changes. It is amazing to me that for many young people it is second nature.


ouvickie August 15, 2019 at 11:36 am

Have fun on your trip, Katy!
1) A co-worker continues to share his garden bounty here at work, so I brought him a bucket’s worth of sand plums to make jam/jelly from.
2) I splurged on some Pho for lunch today, but I’ve been good all week bringing lunch or eating frozen entrees I had stashed in the freezer.
3) I finally used up a small bottle of hair conditioner, which I use to shave my legs. So I threw a few more onto the shower tray. I think the one I used up took me at least 6 months, since you don’t need much on your legs to keep them smooth and free of razor nics.
4) As I was perusing the audiobooks my Library carries, I found that Dan Brown has one called Origins I’d never read, so I borrowed it and started listening this week. Great book!
5) Hubby and I celebrated our 35th Anniversary on Sunday. He had to work and we were both too tired to go out for dinner, plus didn’t want to spend the money. So, I fixed BBQ beef short ribs in the crockpot, black eyed peas, potatoes and a salad for dinner – it was yummy! We exchanged heart felt cards and he brought home a 6 pack of Coronas. So we both enjoyed dinner, drank a beer together and relaxed watching a movie on Prime.
His birthday is later this month, so we’ll probably go out to dinner one night that week and celebrate that and our anniversary dinner the same evening. We’re saving our vacation time and money for a trip to Virginia Beach next year, when one of our best friends retires from the Navy after 36 years of service.


anna chan August 15, 2019 at 3:20 pm

Try the “Paris Baugette” app, Le Pain is in the middle of phasing out their app and re-launching it.


Jen Eldredge August 15, 2019 at 8:06 pm

1. A sock got a hole in the toe so I actually pulled out the sewing kit. Good as new. The old me would have tossed it. The recent me would have used it as a cleaning rag, the latest me can wear it for a few more years after mending.
2. Thought we needed fresh wood chips for a section of the garden. Instead raked them all around and evened them out. Looks great, $0 spent.
3. Picked 4 pounds, 10 oz. of free blackberries from a roadside near my house. Mmmm, blackberry crumble and smoothies.
4. Walked neighbors dogs for money and free Pilates classes.
5. Sold 11 empty Talenti jars (bought on sale, of course) on eBay for $8 profit. Got a tip from a Sold set of the same jars that they were advertised as Marijuana Storage so added that to my title, lol.


lauren breadandglitter August 16, 2019 at 9:10 am

Try the ritual app, they currently have $1 deals for a variety of locations throughout the city!


Jill A August 16, 2019 at 11:37 am

1. A friend invited my daughter and I to a bookstore where an author she liked was speaking about her new book. It happened to be just a few miles from my daughters college apartment. She can move in anytime and school will start in 10 days so we took a load of her stuff and dropped it off. This saved me gas and we enjoyed hearing the author speak.
2. We were given a coupon for a free family meal at the college cafeteria. So we treated my friend to a free lunch as a thank you for driving and schlepping my daughters stuff. We were also offered free snacks which we also took advantage of.
3. I filled my daughter prescriptions at Costco for a significant savings and also picked up a cheaper option for dog food. While there we filled up on the free samples.
4. I sold a large item on Ebay for a good profit. I reused packing materials.
5. I hosted a memorial service for a friends mother at my house which saved my friend quite a bit of money over the option of having at the funeral home.


Jill A August 16, 2019 at 12:00 pm

I also started using a new mechanic who charges $10 less for an oil change so I saved $20 since I got the oil changed on my daughters car too.


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