Five Frugal Things

by Katy on August 17, 2019 · 69 comments

  1. I continue to sell things at a slow but steady pace. I sold a Funko Pop Iron Man bobble head that was jumbled in a $4.99 bag of similar items, I also sold a vaseline glass sugar bowl and mustard pot to a friend, a Jonathan Adler wine stopper, an All-Clad sauté pan and a student tech thingy that I nabbed from an after-garage sale free pile. No one of these things will trigger a clickbait article titled “You’ll Never Believe What This Woman Found at Goodwill,” but together they add up quite respectably.

  2. My son and I are flying out to New York City tomorrow, so I’m spending the day spinning my wheels ticking off small tasks from a lengthy to-do list. It’s kind of overwhelming, but I’m hoping that this being my fourth (!!) to trip to New York over the past ten months to have a slim chance of achieving packing perfection. However, there will always be something that falls off the radar.

    My son didn’t have a great carry-on suitcase, so I let him choose from the three available at the West Burnside Goodwill. He wisely picked out a Samsonite “spinner” suitcase that was in almost new condition. $14.99 later and he now owns the nicest piece of luggage of anyone in the family.

    I’m giddy with excitement that my sister will be able to pick us up from the airport, as it saves us $26, but mostly because we don’t have to take New Jersey Railroad into Penn station. Something I’m normally 103% willing to do, but also 104% happy not to do.

    I’ll pack food, as well as reusable water bottles and coffee mugs for the journey. Plus I always bring a sealed treat for the overworked and underappreciated flight attendants.

  3. I’ve been keeping an eye out for a used Soda Stream seltzer maker, specifically one with glass bottles. I wasn’t actively looking for one, so there was no urgency to my search. I liked one that my friend Lisa has in her kitchen because it has the requisite glass bottles, but mostly because it’s shaped like an adorable penguin! So there was I was perusing my local Goodwill shelves when suddenly a tall, dark and handsome penguin caught my eye. $14.99 and it included two glass bottles. SOLD! It wasn’t until I got home that I realized that they sell for $380 new!

    I need to buy the CO2 canister, but I can do that after I get back from New York. My new tuxedo-d boyfriend can wait for me.

  4. I grabbed my reusable shopping bags and bought a metric ton of Winco groceries to get my husband and daughter through the first week that we’re gone, (my husband works night shift and is often in a fog) I picked up a pair of high falutin’ artisan crafted pepper mills to sell on eBay, I got another paid writing assignment, I gave a jar of homemade applesauce to a friend, I enjoyed a restaurant lunch courtesy of my father, I finished listening to an audiobook of Half-Broke Horses (I highly recommend!) then started listening to At The Water’s Edge through the free Libby app, and I resisted the urge to get a haircut to ready myself for the trip. Nobody cares what I look like.

  5. I didn’t buy a Lear Jet and I won’t be visiting any vulgar gold-plated apartments 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 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.

{ 69 comments… read them below or add one }

Midwest Beth August 17, 2019 at 1:13 pm

1. Entered my receipts into my budget so I am aware how each budget category is doing; taking in bottle returns when we need a few items like bananas or milk; completing store surveys for free item and/chance to win a gift card;
2. Daughter had wisdom teeth removed-my share is over $550. Painful to me but would rather pay now then wait and her have complications later. Cooking things she can eat in big batches saving on time and electricity (scrambled eggs/noodles/rice). Charged my share it to earn bonus dollars on credit card which will be paid off in full end of month.
3. Batched errands today to get my teeth cleaned, picked up daughters new glasses and returned movies to the
4. At the library I managed to snag a parking meter with over an hour parking left on it, cha Ching! While at library printed off a free copy of my resume and checked out a movie daughter wanted to see. Also donated a couple of current People magazines (I get the magazines free from doing surveys) to the used book store.
5. Saving rain water, doing Swagbucks, used fans five out of seven days this week/closing unused room doors and blinds, harvested my first tomatoes – yeah!


Jill A August 17, 2019 at 1:53 pm

I’m curious about the cost of the soda stream vs. just buying sparkling water. I hope you will let us know how it works out for you.

1. I’ve been picking up items here and there at garage sales and thrift stores to sell on Ebay. I’ve also found a few inexpensive clothing items (about $6 total) to replace some of my worn clothing.
2. I’m continuing to have friends over to enjoy the pool and drink mojitos. Tonight will be a dinner for 9 and I will make some inexpensive chicken breasts in the oven and the sides will be provided by my guests. This saves us all an expensive dinner out and we enjoy it more as it’s a little easier to talk when your not in a crowded noisy restaurant.
3. I’m reading library books on my kindle. I’ve renewed The Game of Thrones season 1 DVD at the library since we’ve only watched the first episode.
4. We skipped the dog park bar last night and came home and ate some the leftovers from last weekends memorial service.
5. Did my laundry and hung it to dry.


Florencia August 17, 2019 at 4:03 pm

The Soda Stream is definitely worth the cost for my family. We usually get sparking water by the bottle or cans at a local salvage grocery store, which makes it cheaper than anywhere else, but it’s plenty of plastic. I started only buying it when I could find it in cans, which is not that often. We bought a couple soda streams with bottles from Facebook Marketplace and figured out it would cost the same (10-20 cents/serving), but definitely using less plastic. It’s worth it for my family, even more if we were to buy sparking water at regular price.
As a bonus, when I bought the second SodaStream, it came with Diet coke syrup, which my BIL used and obviously didn’t have to buy. We save a lot due to not using any flavorings (closer to the 10 cent/serving range).


Brennan August 21, 2019 at 6:07 pm has a great post on Sade streams and a hack for using a big CO2 tank to save $$$


Lindsey August 17, 2019 at 2:05 pm

1. Did four gas shops, filling up my tank for free.
2. Did a phone audit, earning $40.
3. Stopped at McD to use the restroom and buy a pop (I feel like I should buy something for the convenience, especially given the price of our water). In the parking lot I bent to pick up a crumpled up McD bag that was soggy from being run over a few times. Underneath was a gift card. I went in and they checked the balance: 34.10!! That will cover a lot of bathroom stops.
4. Traded scallions and carrots for two heads of cabbage that are not turning into a small jar of sauerkraut.
5. Took home cream from a potluck. It was near the sell-by date and we don’t use much cream so I made sour cream since we use that in soups a lot.
6. Didn’t feel like it but people had tossed gallon and quart plastic bags into the trash or left them on the counter after the potluck. They had been used to transport food. I took them home and washed and then rinsed them in a vinegar solution and I now have 17 bags to use for food storage at home.


Lindsey August 17, 2019 at 2:06 pm

Now turning into kraut—when will I learn to proof?!


Jill A August 18, 2019 at 6:35 am

Just curious how you get to do the gas shops? With which secret shopping company? If it’s okay to ask?


Lindsey August 18, 2019 at 5:37 pm

Some months ago I did a long post on mystery shops, on this site. I will try to find it. Companies pay different in different parts of the country, depending on how desperate they are for shoppers, so your mileage may vary.


Michelle H August 18, 2019 at 1:00 pm

Great find on the gift card! I always pick up random ones I find – they’re usually empty, but sometimes I get lucky. More fun than a lottery scratcher, lol.


Lindsey August 18, 2019 at 5:38 pm

I like to think that the person who dumped the garbage on the ground was the one who lost the gift card.


Mary in VA August 19, 2019 at 4:06 am

Lindsey, the gift card was the universe rewarding you for being a good citizen and picking up trash!


kathleen August 17, 2019 at 2:09 pm

I loved At the Water’s Edge, and on your recommendation, I just reserved Half Broke Horses on my library’s website. I’ll wait till Monday to pick it up, since the office I’ll be working at is near the library.

1. Went to grocery store this morning, and made no impulse purchases.
2. Purchased store-special-price meats, and will cook in a volume that allows us to make individual servings for the freezer for hubs to take to work. He works out of town a lot, and if I’m not mistaken, he has never had to eat out. He prefers home-cooked; I prefer no surprises on the credit card. 🙂
3. I’m working locally the rest of this month.
4. And I agreed to work both Thanksgiving week and Christmas week…my family’s grown so it’s not really a hardship, two more pay check$ for the year, builds good will with those that want off, and it’s usually really quiet those weeks in my line of work.
5. Husband got a time-service award at work, which means he gets to choose a gift from a catalog. Nothing we really need, but can probably mark something off of Santa’s list for family.


Tonya Z Jenkins August 17, 2019 at 4:04 pm

1) Did some yardwork today. The plants look much cleaner now that I have deadheaded them.
2) Loaded digital coupons onto my grocery store card. For $33 got several Staples such as cheese, pasta, yogurt, half and half and cat litter.
3) I wanted to hike today but yardwork won out. But hiking is a frugal activity that I enjoy and hope to do more of.
4) I have picked up some Saturday call that will help increase my paycheck.
5) Reading, cleaning, straightening up, and just generally being a homebody this weekend.


Liz B from Lebanon (Ohio) August 17, 2019 at 6:29 pm

Kathleen, and Katie, I loved Half Broke Horses. I didn’t realize it preceeded the time line of The Glass Castle, which I read immediately after finishing HBH. Both books were picked up at thrift shops or yard sales.


Trish August 17, 2019 at 2:15 pm

Will your daughter cook? what is she up to these days, or are the lives of adult children off limits in the blog-iverse? I used to love your family posts – I remember your ‘day in the life’ post where your kids got up at about 11 ish, and you cooked them breakfast, and did lots of frugal things throughout the day, and then had popcorn with a buttery honey topping, spreading a sticky film throughout the house.


Jennifer August 18, 2019 at 6:28 pm

I’m guessing since the kids are grown the posts about them will be minimal. Just the natural progression of things, I think. When I used to blog, I would talk about my young kids all the time but my older daughter is doing her own thing so there simply wasn’t as much to say.


Roberta August 19, 2019 at 6:40 am

I wonder how she’s doing, as well. Has she found a job she likes, and what she’s up to. After so many years reading about the kids, I feel attached!


Juhli August 17, 2019 at 2:18 pm

1. Decided to give a magazine subscription to our granddaughter for her 3rd birthday as she loves to get mail. Went to the library to see if they had any copies I could look at to make a decision. The librarian was super helpful and Ranger Rick Jr. it is. My DIL is thrilled that we are sending this type of gift and not more toys.
2. Making sure we use our CVS Extra Bucks before they expire. We can always stock up on kleenex, laundry soap, etc.
3. We are doing some bathroom updates and went looking for a new light fixture but didn’t like any of them for our situation. Probably sticking with what we have so no cost there.
4. I haven’t purchased any clothing for 10 weeks and trying to wait until I can pick up needed Fall/Winter items. Still no problem getting dressed LOL.
5. Stitched a seam in a down comforter to make sure it will last another season.


sharon August 19, 2019 at 5:47 am

My mother bought my daughter a subscription to Baby Bug when she was a toddler. When she got older she changed the subscription to Ladybug and then to Spider. The company that publishes these magazines does them by age grouping, up to age 14. My daughter loved them!


Lisa M. August 17, 2019 at 2:47 pm

5+FF: Heavy Pockets Edition

1. Worked 32 hours back to back. For a part-timer, this will be a heftier & welcome paycheck.

2. Back on the bandwagon for Free Card Friday at card store. Found a great back-to-school card for DD as she starts college. Plan to mail it to her new address to hopefully give her a morale boost prior to 1st day of classes.

3. DD received credit for 3 AP courses taken in HS from the university she is attending, so she is starting out her college career with ~ 9 credit hours under her belt.

4. Retrieved previously made blank copies of out-of-network vision claim form to submit DD’s eye exam/refraction/contact lenses/contact fitting fee. Long-term eye provider does not participate in vision insurance, so any reimbursement will be most welcome.

5. Picked up recent promo through gas station rewards program: Free 5 oz. sirloin steak. Perhaps motivation for DH to set up the grill still in-the-box after 5 years? New freebie to be picked up: bagel.

6. Completed required association paperwork with related plan to attend annual association picnic in hopes of winning drawing for a free month of dues. Will also enjoy free pizza & pop provided at picnic.


Kathy August 17, 2019 at 3:33 pm

1. Sold a $10 item on Nextdoor site
2. Cut down bandaid to fit a spot on my face
3. Went to info session on cool sculpting. Had a couple of mimosas
4. Budgeted for lunch out for friend’s birthday
5. Picked up some skin care coupons at dermatologist office


Mand01 August 17, 2019 at 4:15 pm

1 I went out with a friend to various markets etc. Although I did buy food, I didn’t buy anything that wasn’t consumable. Just some organic tea.
2 Got up this morning and made pancakes with a blueberry sauce for the family. All ingredients on hand. Took time but cost nothing.
3 Read the book Bad Blood on the Libby app. It’s the story of Theranos and Elizabeth Holmes. Shocking fraud, well worth reading. I read it in two days, couldn’t put it down.
4 Working today for a well paying client. Was hoping to spend some time in the garden but the weather has turned, so I’ll earn some money instead.
5 I’ll do some baking this afternoon to keep the kids happy.


Tonya parham August 21, 2019 at 8:39 am

I thought Bad Blood was an EXCELLENT book!

If you can, check out the documentary they made– The Inventor: Out for Blood in Silicon Valley. It was on HBO but may be other places too. It was fascinating to watch the interviews of the folks mentioned in the book and watching Elizabeth Holmes is just CREEPY. I can’t figure out how people believed in her so long. SHE NEVER BLINKS. Unsettling!


Mand01 August 21, 2019 at 3:31 pm

Yes I saw it, and listened to the podcast The Dropout, which was also excellent. I can’t fathom how she got away with it for so long.


Katy August 22, 2019 at 5:48 am

My husband and I watched that as well.


leanne coward August 17, 2019 at 4:41 pm

Hello from Melbourne.
1 Made a black forest cake from scratch saving $15 and while the oven was hot made muffins and cupcakes for the freezer.
2 Received a new unwanted coffee maker with warranty and coffee pods. A lovely knitted grey queen size oh so warm blanket, a pyrex dish and other much needed items.
3 Did a lot of surveys to help build my Christmas fund up.
4 Was given some free seeds to start my garden soon.
5 Got a lovely mens black jumper for free in almost new condition it retails for $50 second hand on Ebay will make a lovely Christmas for my partner.


Shevaun August 17, 2019 at 4:58 pm

FFT, I Totally Got This Edition
1. I learned how to clip my dogs’ nails, saving $20/month, which is $240/year.
2. I’ve got both kids and both dogs and all 35 acres to myself while my husband goes on a work trip for five days. He did the mowing before he left (I can’t take the kids on the tractor) but we’re doing all the forest, pond, and creek stewardship and wildlife restoration ourselves. All hand tools, though. Power tools + 2-year-old=missing limbs.
3. Made a soap chip bundle. We save the slivers of soap that are too small to lather with in a baggie. When the baggie is full, I tip them into a dry washcloth and close it with a hair tie. At the end of the bath/shower, I open the bundle, turn it over to a dry washcloth and close again, then toss the wet washcloth in the laundry.
4. Tossed the shower curtain in the laundry. In the past, I’ve only had curtains rip *after* having already been washed 15+ times. So I figure the risk is worth the ruin.
5. Completed a long slog of routine medical thingies. Discovered I have a thingie that requires more attention. Better caught now than later, right-o? Making sure all providers are in-network, and batching medical appointments with city-chores (we live eight-gazillion miles from anywhere, so city-chores are akin to Pa Ingalls hitching up the wagon and heading to town).

We’ve been through several difficult years of transition, and it’s kind of nice to feel like a competent adult taking care of myself, my family, and my home. I got this. Hey, you got this, too. We all got this.


Patricia Koernig August 18, 2019 at 1:06 am

Shevaun: You definitely GOT THIS!


Connie C August 19, 2019 at 7:42 am



Marci August 17, 2019 at 5:34 pm

You can get large tanks of CO2 for your penguin. I am considering investing in one myself-thrifted, of course. I read all about it on the Frugalwoods website.


Liz B from Lebanon (Ohio) August 17, 2019 at 6:36 pm

I remember reading about that on the Frugalwoods blog, too. I think she has a post about their CO2 canister hack for their sodastream…?


Kristen | The Frugal Girl August 19, 2019 at 5:09 am

I immediately thought of the Frugalwoods posts about this too!


Liz B from Lebanon (Ohio) August 17, 2019 at 6:57 pm

Nice sale on the Funko Pop bobblehead, Katie! My local Goodwills never have such lucrative buys.
Off topic question: I could swear someone commented (more than a year ago) about using non-sudsy ammonia mixed with something else (Dawn dish detergent? Borax? I forget) to use in a carpet cleaner (for carpet cleaning, lol). I didn’t note the commenter’s name. Does anyone know what I’m talking about, or am I just making this up? I would love to know more details if this is a good thing to use for carpet cleaning. Plus I need to know what the second ingredient is, haha!

Wiyhout further ado, My FFT: Staycation Gone Awry edition:
My mother in law ended up in the hospital late last week (she had had a stroke), so my staycation didn’t go quite as planned. Still, I can probably think of 5 frugal things….
1) Went to minor league baseball game with son. It was a special day for Cub Scouts (my son is one), and we were able to get free ball caps. Go Dayton Dragons!
2) Found a dime in Aldi’s parking lot.
3) Finally planted clearance landscaping plants purchased on, um, July 4. 80% clearance plants are no bargain if they die before they’re planted.
4) Brought droopy container tomato plants from mil’s house to ours….we will bring any ripe tomatoes to her at the rehab facility where she is currently getting therapies of all sorts.
5) Used Target gift cards accumulated from their weekly sales (ie., buy X$ worth of household/cleaning items, get X$ Target gc) to buy son’s school supplies.

Have a great frugal week!


Bethany M August 17, 2019 at 7:05 pm

Had lunch at home, packed snacks, and had dinner going in the crockpot before taking off for the beach.

My daughter has grand plans for me to be on Wheel of Fortune. I appeased her and spent 5 min making an about-me video about a month ago. Received an invite to audition Wednesday. Since it’s drivable and hubby wanted to use a personal day, I thought why not. My dad says, “Get the big bucks, girl.”

Then just the usuals, coffee at home, eating leftovers, yada yada


Mia August 17, 2019 at 7:12 pm

Let us know what happens with wheel of fortune. Excited for you!


Jill A August 18, 2019 at 6:38 am

Good Luck. I hope it goes well.


Pattilou August 17, 2019 at 7:47 pm

1. Shared the cost of 4 days at a lake house with my sister. It’s my first vacation in two years and it was glorious. Kayaking, watching the perseid meteor shower, and roasting marshmallows over a camp fire lowered my blood pressure quite a bit. Getting to share the time with my mother was priceless.
2. We brought all food and drinks from home and kept all meals very simple.
3. We resisted ordering food when we got back from the lake and ate leftovers from our trip.
4. My mom treated me to lunch and loaded me up with leftovers to make the trip back home. I only had to pick up some fruit and milk when I got here. I won’t have to grocery shop until tomorrow.
5. Did my own yard work today even though I wished the whole time that I had hired someone. It was hot and hard to do so I took lots of breaks and treated myself to ice cream when I was finished.


cathy August 17, 2019 at 10:45 pm

1. Various book-y things: Found a book I’ve wanted on a free shelf; Completed public library summer reading challenge and was rewarded with a book tote bag, a multi-tool pen (which will become a stocking stuffer), and a $10 gift card for my favorite indie bookstore! I had used Amazon gift cards to purchase two hardcover books I’ve wanted for nearly two years. When one arrived, it wasn’t as described. I spoke with a real, live person, and Amazon credited me the full amount, but said I could keep the book.
2. Accepted a hand-me-down piece of art from my mom as she declutters. It’s a vintage 1960s tile mosaic I’ve always loved. Turns out it was handed down in the family twice before.
3. Registered my son for school. Frugal use of time by filling out forms online, and frugal because he attends a free, public charter high school
4. Arranged physical therapy for son. Stayed in network, which makes each visit a $5 co-pay, no limit on visits. I love our health insurance benefits and not many can say that!
5. Weeding, deadheading, doing our own yard work. Xeriscaped front yard gets watered only 30 minutes/week (super low for our arid climate). Also deep watered trees with rain barrel water.


Momma L August 18, 2019 at 5:35 am

1. Invited to a party and asked to bring apps. I had been gifted home grown tomatoes and jalapenos, and I had cilantro and avocados, so I made guac. Avoided a trip to the store. I make really good guac, according to my friends’ feedback.
2. Every weekend, I write a to do list. It helps me stay on track with chores and paying bills on time. Gets me organized, and I love crossing things off of my list.
3. I pay bills every Saturday, and only look at them then. Scheduling out a place to put them, time to focus on them, schedule payments around paychecks and due dates, and comparing them to last year’s bills, really helps keep my credit score at a decent number. I don’t think about them the rest of the week.
4. I keep junk mail envelopes to make my lists, and use them for grocery lists to keep coupons in as well.
5. Rearranged my canned goods so I can see them better. Hoping this will keep me from overbuying, knowing what I already have.
I think being organized has really helped me save some money. I notice that when things are hectic (company, illnesses), I spend more money because I’m off of my routine. I need to come up with a backup plan for those hectic times.


Danielle August 18, 2019 at 7:22 am

#4 same! 🙂


A. Marie August 18, 2019 at 12:24 pm

Re: your #1, if I were invited to a party and asked to bring apps, I’d have a pretty hard time. I only have a senior citizen dumb phone. 🙂


Jenny August 18, 2019 at 4:16 pm

Good one, A. Marie. But it took me a minute!


Michelle H August 18, 2019 at 7:42 am

I love reading about your Goodwill hauls and eBay sales!

1. Taking the Family to Great Wolf Lodge tonight. I found a cheap deal on Groupon back in June – only $200 for 5 of us after all taxes/fees. That is cheaper than a daypass for all of us at the local smaller water park, and includes a hotel stay and 2 days in the waterpark. Our school district doesn’t start classes until Tuesday – a week later than every other district in the area, so I guess this is starting the off season deals.

2. Room has microwave, mini fridge, and coffeepot. I am bringing all our food and we will take breaks to go eat in the room rather than pay for overpriced mediocre food at the snack bar.

3. Cashed in Swagbucks and Ibotta credit for $50 in Amazon credit.

4. Playing the Starbucks online game without making any purchases – they offer 2 free plays a day in the fine print. I’ve gotten 10 bonus stars so far. Last time they did this game I won 2 free drinks, a $5 gift card, and enough stars in my account for another free drink, without ever making an actual purchase. (Starbucks is a rare occasional treat for me, and when I do stop there I work the system to combine happy hours and challenges for bonus stars, and I use Starbucks credit from Kelloggs Family Rewards or Ibotta to fund my account.)

5. Stocking up on back-to-school loss leaders at the grocery store. Got the following for free combining sales, coupons, store rewards and Ibotta yesterday: 4 boxes of cereal, 2 loaves of bread, 12 double rolls toilet paper, 1 pound of sliced deli cheese, peanut butter, and an energy bar.


Roberta August 22, 2019 at 7:01 am

Thanks for the tip on the free plays for the Starbucks game! I’ve been playing, and I’m hopeful that I will be able to pick up some Christmas gifts through playing the game.


Johnson AnnMarie August 18, 2019 at 8:30 am

What kinds of things do you bring for the flight attendants? I would like to do the same in the future.


Jennifer August 18, 2019 at 5:52 pm

Busy time as we move my dd into college tomorrow!

1. We are reusing my ds’s mattress topper for dd’s dorm bed. Also, we are using ds’s old set of extra sheets as my dd’s extra sheets. They won’t match perfectly, but they likely won’t even get used. It doesn’t make sense to buy new!
2. Dd is using storage containers from around the house – nothing new bought for that.
3. Grocery store had peanut butter for $1.69 each. I bought 17 of them, as I haven’t seen that price in 5 years here. Also stocked up on peaches, plums and nectarines for $0.99 a pound.
4. Gave the dog a bath at home and are treating a cut/sore he has with essential oils. It is looking better.
5. Turned in a library book before a fine hit, picked up several books on reserve and borrowed a stack of magazines for our drive to college this week. Free entertainment at its finest.


LB August 19, 2019 at 6:57 am

1. Took the opportunity to go to a state park to do some hiking last Friday before a trip to see some friends nearby. Combined gas and free parking and entry.

2. After, needed a pick me up so used my free Dunkin’ birthday coupon for a big, sugary coffee that i otherwise wouldn’t have ordered.

3. Met some friends for a nice night out and we found all free places for their 4 year old to hang out at. The Brooklyn piers had plenty of fun things for him to look at.

4. Realized my ambition a few weeks ago meant i have a lot of leftover produce. I was too tired to do anything about it last night so I just did all my chopping so it’s ready to go today. Being your own sous chef makes things more fun!

5. Going to the Metropolitan Museum of art today to stay out of the hot sun. It’s pay what you want, so this time i will donate $1 with the intention of a better donation next time when I have better cash flow. It’s important to support the arts, but I’m grateful for the accessibility.


Roberta August 19, 2019 at 7:22 am

1. I smashed the glass on my phone, but the phone still works – yay! It had free insurance because the credit union has an auto-debit for the account, so I was able to replace the glass for free, instead of $90 or buying a new phone (and extending the contract). Less waste!
2. Received more free bananas. Sent two boxes to the high school, but I froze and made more banana chips out of some of the ones that looked a little rough. Then my son announced that bananas make his mouth itch! My husband and daughter will have plenty of bananas this winter…
3. I’m trying to reduce the contents of the freezer (to make room for bananas, apparently). Made pumpkin muffins for breakfast, out of last year’s Halloween pumpkin.
4. Cooked chickpeas from scratch for tonight’s dinner (buffalo chickpea stuffed sweet potatoes). Started soaking black beans for tomorrow night’s dinner. My family will now be eating dinner at two different times, so I am collecting (vegetarian) dinner options that will be good at 4 and later at 6 when the second shift eats. I am looking forward to cooler weather when I can make soup, which will keep.
5. Started SuperBetter, an online self-improvement site, for free. I am working on increasing energy, my son is working on remaining focused on school, the rest of the family is working on other stuff. I have lost two pounds on this program! My son is mostly staying focused on the task at hand! It’s free!


Connie C August 19, 2019 at 7:47 am

1) Sorted and culled school supplies for Ds20 and Ds20 who are starting college in the next few days. Thus far no need to purchase anything new, so we’ll see what the first week of classes bring.

2) Friend gave us zucchini from her garden. I plan to shred and freeze some to make bread later on when it’s not hot and humid here, and I shared the rest here at work.

3) Reading books requested from my local library.

4) HUGE wind and rain storm hit our cottage last night. Our outdoor canopy was destroyed, but we are thankful we had no structural damage.

5) I forgot to renew a magazine my Dh loves and was rewarded by an offer from them at a super low renewal price!


jen August 19, 2019 at 10:50 am

1. I didn’t buy school photos for my 8th grader, who had Picture Day on the 3rd day of school. Since I have over 20,000 photos on my phone, my kids’ lives are very well documented, thank you. My son couldn’t have cared less and he will get his photo on his ID card and I will buy him a yearbook at the end of the year. I did get a laugh looking over the school photo options, smallest package was $20 for 6 photos, largest was over $100 with personalization.

2.Mystery Shop at the bank. I needed to go to the bank, anyway, so the $15 for the survey questions were easy money.

3.Used Libby app to borrow novel for my Book Club.

4. 2 of 3 kids have gone back to school and I have had $0 out-of-pocket for supplies so far. Used stock from home to get them everything they needed. High schooler might need a graphing calculator, so will ask around for a loaner or cheap used one.

5. Cleaned my own house (I am not too thorough on this, though), did my own yard work, cooked at home.


Michelle H August 21, 2019 at 4:20 am

My teen boy uses a hot pink graphing calculator that a friend of mine sold him cheap. He was paying with his own money and decided for $30 he didn’t care what color it was. Non consumer for the win!


Roberta August 21, 2019 at 6:23 am

I bought a used graphing calculator off ebay last year. So much less expensive than new, and they only use them for a few years, so there are lots sitting around in drawers.


Kathy Worden August 19, 2019 at 3:26 pm

There is s cheaper hack for those soda machines. I’m sure YouTube can help


Kathy Worden August 19, 2019 at 3:28 pm

Frugalwoods site may have info


Christine August 19, 2019 at 3:37 pm

1. A friend gifted me some peaches from his back yard tree.
2. Our niece and her husband are here in NE visiting. We spent the day at a state park. I had packed a picnic lunch and I am so glad I did and I don’t mean just to save money on a restaurant. When I told my niece I had made us all a picnic she broke out into a grin and a shriek and said she had not been on a picnic in years. She was thrilled as was her husband.
3. Although it was hot on Saturday, I fired up the oven and made a lemon pound cake for “Coffee and…” at church the following day. Better to sweat a little than to spend money I had sweated for.
4. Went to Shakespeare in the Park in my town. Fabulous! Measure for Measure. So reflects what is going on in our country with the likes of Weinstein and his ilk.
5. The usual: Library books and free concerts for entertainment.


Patricia Koernig August 20, 2019 at 1:01 am

“Better to sweat a little than to spend money I had sweated for.” Priceless. 🙂


Linda September 2, 2019 at 8:16 am

There are tube cake pans made to use in the microwave. They work well but the cake does not brown. They were a real life-saver to me when I was making cakes all day for a church carnival cake-walk booth. I clearly remember that with the microwave I had at the time it took 16 minutes to bake a cake. The cupcake pan only held 6 cupcakes and I think that took 5 minutes.


Lauren August 19, 2019 at 8:23 pm

1. I feel like burgers for dinner, but don’t want to pay for take away. I added all the ingredients to make our own to my grocery list.
2. I sold an item on eBay. Not a huge profit but it’s pocket money nonetheless.
3. I made a lasagne for dinner and we had enough for lunch and another meal when we are too busy to cook.
4. I received a voucher for a free bottle of fabric softener.
5. I finally did my tax (with an accountant) and I am receiving a large chunk of money in the next week or so.


Katy in Africa August 20, 2019 at 7:37 am

1. I accepted flour, onions, green onions, and eggs from a friend.
2. Kids and I have been borrowing free books, ebooks and audio books, for school and for plain enjoyment.
3. I froze some bananas that were browning.
4. Earning swagbucks.
5. Trying the envelope method for groceries.


ouvickie August 20, 2019 at 10:02 am

1) I happily filled my tank with fuel, on Sunday, for $2.36 per gallon.
2) Since I was taking my grandson to his Doctor’s appt yesterday, I spent the night at my daughter’s house in order to save fuel and get an evening with her family. It was fun and that left me with Monday afternoon to myself.
3) My youngest granddaughter’s birthday was Saturday. Thankfully, I’d already had some things stashed for her birthday. I found a reusable fashion tote, which I knew she’d like, so that became her gift bag.
4) Leftovers for lunch today – baked yellow squash and a salad. I didn’t want to turn on the oven for dinner last night, so we went meatless. I baked the squash and a potato in the microwave (glass dishes do this so well) and made a large green salad. Thankfully, I had enough for leftovers today.
5) My fridge looks much cleaner, since we’ve been eating what we have in fridge and cupboards. I’m working on buying only what we need for a week, so I don’t have food waste. It’s saving me money, too, since I stick closely to my grocery list.


Jenelle August 20, 2019 at 11:57 am

If anyone knows of a tree that grows money, please forward me where to get one!! Its been a rough week or so regarding finances in our house, but as always, I”m trying to make the best of it. So here is my frugal give! Many of these are blessings from other people and I am externally grateful to them.
1. Was gifted two tickets to our town’s country fair. My children have never been to the fair, so the $10 out of pocket fee was not too bad. I packed my own water and we left in time to go home for dinner. It was children’s day at the fair and both of my kids won prizes well over $10.
2. Was also gifted this weekend tickets to a local baseball game. I invited a friend and her son (whom I know hasn’t gone to a game) and she treated us to lunch before hand. Upon entering the game, all of the kids received a voucher for a free hot dog, which was super nice. The only thing I had to pay for was water because it was like 98 degrees and we weren’t allowed to bring any outside food in.
3. Our July electric bill came and I was ready to pay out the *** since it was so hot here. Thankfully, our bill was quite reasonable and I could use some of the other money I had set aside for that bill for something else.
4. Sold our camper and took off a few items to use on a future camper (spare tire and propane tank cover). Newer campers don’t automatically come with those things. I deal with storing them.
5. Both kids go back to school next week and I am looking forward to the daycare bill going down!


Dicey August 21, 2019 at 5:26 am

Hmmm, let’s do FFT, Flip House Edition. We’ve just spent the last year rehabbing a house from the foundation up and studs out. It’s now in escrow. Here are a few ways we saved money.

1. Weird dimensions in kitchens and baths necessitated creative solutions. Saved a bundle by ordering custom, unfinished cabinetry and finishing it ourselves, which we sanded and sprayed three times. Lot of work, but excellent results. Custom cost less than cheap ready-to-assemble crap, for the win!

2. Roof was that orange metal stuff that’s made to look like tile. Ugly as sin but durable as all get out. DH gave it a new life by painting it with black road paint. If road paint’s not durable, what is?

3. Found a deal on the bathroom sinks at Restore. When I later needed one more, I tracked down the (thankfully local) supplier and got almost as good a deal on it as the Restore ones.

4. All the bathroom mirrors were found at thrift stores and via NextDoor.

5. Instead of hiring a stager, I bought everything via CL, ND, and thrifts. Will give the buyer anything they want to keep and have a garage sale at the house the weekend before it closes. I also plan on clearing out a bunch of stuff from my own house. Hopefully, I’ll get most of what I spent back.

Bonus: I wanted to hack an IKEA Billy Bookcase for shoe storage in the master closet. Instead of buying new, I found someone selling five of them, in various sizes, for $50, which is less than a single large Billy purchased new at the mothership. I put the shelves from three tall units into one to create tons of shoe storage, and used the smaller ones in other closets. DH screwed them into the studs for safety and they look great. I did have to drive an hour to get them, but it was a nice drive to the beach, which beats the pants off of a trip to the chaos that is my closest Ikea. I also sourced all the hardware from a clothing store that was closing. I fitted out the entire walk-in closet for $300, and it looks amazing!

Best of all, we took a tired, old, worn-out, unsafe house and breathed new life into it for another generation to enjoy. It was a very satisfying process and we are thrilled with the result.

Oh, and we dismantled the house very carefully and gave away everything re-useable via ND and CL, which is a fun way to avoid waste and meet people.


KT August 21, 2019 at 11:19 am

Congratulations! What an accomplishment! You must feel so proud and satisfied. Will you do it again?


Isitaneedorawant August 21, 2019 at 11:40 am

Congratulations Dicey!!
I’m currently on vacation staying in an Air B and B that sounds like your home.
I’m in the market for a rental and your home sounds perfect if I could find one like it.
You give me hope of finding one out there.
Sending you a virtual high five!!


Katy August 22, 2019 at 5:50 am

Wow, I wish there was a way you shared photos!


Dicey August 26, 2019 at 7:10 pm

I sent you a link 🙂


Tonya parham August 21, 2019 at 7:55 am

First, a word: I’ve tried for years to lose weight and get healthy. Unfortunately, I’ve tended to throw money at the issue. But finally I have decided to work on one bad habit at a time– eating out. As my proximity to places to eat out has increased, so has my weight. Over the last three months or so, I gained 20 pounds. The insanity has to stop and I’m drawing the first line in the sand here.

1. I did groceries, using my Rewards card, buying food I will eat– not food that I *should* eat. If I can make some mini-pizzas at home, I am less likely to order a pizza. If I can have a BLT, I won’t go get fast food. Would I like to be 100% plant based? Absolutely! But after 10 years of doing it three days then bingeing on pizza or take out for two days, it’s time to admit that it’s not working for me. There’s some psychological issue at play here and the first barrier is getting off the “letting others make my food” crutch.

2. I’ve eaten at home all week. All meals but two have been vegetarian. Many have been vegan. Yesterday for lunch, I had a baked potato with vegan queso made at home (since I made the queso at home, it was cheap, lower in sodium and generally healthier). I picked the vegan queso because it was tastier but also because I knew it was way more filling for less fat and calories. Hopefully by allowing myself some space and leeway, I can create healthier habits.

3. I went through and peeled all my sweet potatoes and cubed and roasted them so I can make quick rice bowls with them and some black beans.

4. I have an inservice training this evening and food is provided. I’m going to have lots of veggies off the veggie tray and fruit off the fruit tray and if there is a sandwich I want, I’m going to have one and not stress over it. The key components of this life change are “frugal” and “healthier.” I’m aiming for progress, not perfection.

5. Will mow my own yard this weekend– free exercising AND not paying someone to do a chore I can do myself!


Heidi Louise August 21, 2019 at 11:39 am

Go, Tonya! It sounds like you are taking charge of yourself, and I hope you continue your progress toward both enjoying your food and being in good health.


Patricia Koernig August 22, 2019 at 1:22 am

You got this, Tonya!


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