Five Frugal Things

by Katy on September 30, 2019 · 51 comments

Sorry to have stepped away from the blog for so long, but I was traveling over the past week and wanted to be present and in the moment. In fact, I went an entire week without actually opening my laptop, which may be a record! Okay . . . back to work!

  1. I sold a few things on eBay including an electric typewriter, a mug, two Funko Pop figures, a stuffed animal/blanket, a mantle clock, a collectible spoon shelf and some Calico Critters.

    All of these sales were Goodwill finds, most of which were from the pay-by-the-pound outlet bins which means that I spent just a few pennies on them. (Especially the lightweight stuffed animal and the small hollow plastic Calico Critters!)

    When I travel I switch my “handing time” over to two weeks, which notifies potential buyers that their item will be delayed in shipping. However, it never seems to decrease my sales, as they trickle in at the same rate as when I’m home.

    I spent a few minutes yesterday cross posting some stale Facebook Marketplace listings over to Craigslist, which took no time as I simply cut and pasted all my descriptions and photos. No sales yet, but it puts stuff in front of a new set of eyes which should help.

  2. My mother and I flew to New York City last week as my sister graduated from her intensive master’s degree program through the American Museum of Natural History. The ceremony was held in the Hall of Ocean Life, which is most recognizable as the room with a life-size blue whale hanging from the ceiling.

    I enjoyed the open bar.

    For those who’ve been counting . . . yes, I’ve flown to New York five times over the past ten months. Far from frugal, but my sister went through an avalanche of major life changes and family gathered around to support her. Some trips were on my own dime, but others were paid for by my parents. (Save money on the little stuff, so it’s available for the important stuff.)

    My mother and I also stopped off in Lincoln, Nebraska to visit with her brother’s family for a few days. I visited Lincoln countless times throughout my childhood including the entire sweltering summer of 1980. (It was over 100° every day for over a month, including at night!) It was a wonderful gift to spend time with my aunt and uncle, as well as my cousin’s family.

    Money was spent on travel and food, but not a penny was spent on things or souvenirs.

  3. I spent my first day home resetting back into home life. (Like an Etch-A-Sketch that’s gotten scribbly and needs to be shaken back to its blank slate.) Essentially I cooked and cleaned, and got the house back to how I like it. Traveling is such an energizing treat, but coming back home is a luxury that no five-star resort, (or Nebraska hide-a-bed) can ever compare to.

    Money can’t buy the comforts of home.

  4. I packed food for travel days, I shared my seat mate’s New York Times on the way back from New York, I took daily walks around Holmes Lake while in Lincoln, I accepted an armload of bubble wrap from a neighbor, I’ve been grazing from a huge pot of homemade black bean chili that I cooked up as soon as I got home, I picked up a few things at Goodwill on my way back from dropping my daughter off at her girlfriend’s house, I renewed library books and I’ve been making smoothies that strongly feature the sliced apricots that I got for free last month.

  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 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.

{ 51 comments… read them below or add one }

ouvickie September 30, 2019 at 11:23 am

Congratulations to your, Sister, that’s awesome!!
1) I bought about 5 bottles of Mango/Carrot V8 juice at the A-Z discount store, for $1 each. I’m down to my last two bottles. I make smoothies out of the juice, some Aloe Vera juice and overly ripe bananas a few times a week. Cheaper than smoothies at the Tea Cafe.
2) I had leftover noodles in the fridge here at work, so that’s what was on the lunch menu today.
3) I bought 2 rolls of Blue & Gold sausage from a friend’s son. I think it was a band fund raiser. Each roll will give me 3-4 servings of sausage, so that’s about $2 per serving and I’ll have sausage I can make with gravy or serve with spaghetti for the next few months.
4) After the bills are paid, the rest of my monthly income is spent on fuel and food. I go out to lunch once a week to the Food Trucks with my co-workers. I’ve decided, since I don’t cook at home 2/3rds of the week the costs of lunch is going to be part of my monthly Food Budget.
5) I have two baby showers to attend this month, so I plan to see if I have anything stashed at home I can use as a gift. I often have a few things I stash away for gifts during the year.
I’m SO glad Autumn is here! I’m looking forward to a respite from the heat and hopefully we’ll have cheaper electric bills the next few months.


Bethany September 30, 2019 at 11:30 am

Used up bits and bobs in the fridge for a vegetarian lunch for me and the kiddos. Leftovers for dinner. Lol, it’s exciting around here in the food dept.

Walked with my daughter through Justice Saturday and got some ideas for eBay searches. Thirty bucks for a little girl’s dress, nah. She was mature about the whole thing and enjoyed just being together.

Repaired my couch with some embroidery thread. It’s time for it to go, but can’t do anything about it right now.

Bought grapes for 75 cents a lb, took a colander and a jug of water and kids enjoyed some of them at the park.

Had company yesterday which amounts to me getting some professional cleaning help via my husband. He always does his part and gets the kids to do their part when it’s time for company. Ahh, free help!


Jenelle September 30, 2019 at 11:43 am

1. We went camping last weekend and used a buy one night get the other for half off. The pool was still open so my kids got use of it! Totally worth it.

2. My daughter wants to join Daisy scouts. I found her a vest on Ebay for half of what they are sold in the scout store.

3. Side of the road find: I wanted a trunk or toy box to use for hats, gloves and scarfs this winter…low and behold one appeared on the side of the road last week. It was in great shape!!

4. Yard sale find: stopped at a random moving sale and was able to score some PJ’s for my daughter for 50 cents!

5. The same old things as always: packing lunches, wearing second had clothing and monitoring our trips.


Cathy September 30, 2019 at 11:44 am

Sounds like a fantastic way to spend time with family! Congrats to your sister and her major academic accomplishment!
1. Found $0.11, plus 1 Franc so far today
2. Filled up my hybrid car’s tank before the next gas price increase (we’re heading north of $4/gallon in Northern CA)
3. Eating down the fridge
4. Rearranging my house plants, which scratches my decorating itch and prevents shopping for more plants
5. Getting lots of exercise with walks around my home and office


Maris September 30, 2019 at 7:10 pm

And I thought I was the only one that rearranged house plants


K D September 30, 2019 at 11:53 am

1. I used my Instant Pot to cook partially thawed chicken, expanding my repertoire beyond legumes.

2. I re-taped the Lawn & Leaf Chute. It tore a few years ago and duct tape came to the rescue yet again (no need to replace the item).

3. We had a few fruit flies so I used apple cider vinegar, sugar, and dish soap to deal with the problem.

4. I have had success washing both a pair of Clark’s slippers and a pair of Timberland shoes. I had never tried that before.

5. I picked up a book from a Little Free Library and found a dollar inside. I don’t know if it was intentionally placed there or not. I added it to my Found Money jar.


A. Marie September 30, 2019 at 12:09 pm

Welcome back, Katy–and thanks for what Jane Austen would have called the “handsome apology” for the long absence. Excellent reasons, all.

Now, my FFT, Ups and Downs Edition:

(1) A definite Up was that DH’s Friday arts program at the senior care complex just put up an exhibit of artworks from his group plus the group they run for the nursing home residents–and DH and his cohorts were treated like real artists at a real opening (boutonnieres were provided for all, and refreshments including wine were provided). Plus which, four of our neighbors came to show their support for DH and me. I was genuinely touched and grateful to all concerned.

(2) A definite Down was that large portions of our ancient willow tree at the foot of the back yard have come crashing down on our board fence in back over the past two weeks, leveling one section of the fence and forcing me to the conclusion that it’s time to have the willow taken down. I’m in the process of soliciting bids and trying to find a tree service that can do this (a) without breaking the bank and (b) before our notorious Upstate NY winter sets in. And I’m grieving for all the birds who use this tree and will be displaced. No fun.

(3) A mixed Down and Up: I’m having to miss my Literary Society’s annual North American conference this coming weekend (can’t travel with DH and can’t travel without him). A definite Down. But on the other hand, I’m saving all the travel and conference expenses–and it sounds from advance reports as if this conference is going to be a logistical nightmare, for multiple reasons. A partial Up, although definitely on the Schadenfreude side.

(4) Am on a serious campaign to clean out the pantry and use up various over-sell-by-date canned goods. Haven’t eaten out in ages except for two charity chicken BBQs, which count as Ups rather than Downs.

(5) Finally, I’m taking a week off from work after I send in my current project–mainly to undertake various tough tasks, such as (a) doing the math (ugh, I hate math) to see whether I really can afford to retire on my 65th birthday next August, and (b) lining up some additional care for DH (either further day care options or in-home respite care). Downs in the short term, but Ups in the long term, I hope.


Kristen | The Frugal Girl October 2, 2019 at 4:01 am

It is so sad when big trees have to come down…especially willows! One near our house got hit by lightning and came crashing down.

But nothing lasts forever, not even trees.


Mand01 September 30, 2019 at 12:53 pm

Loving the Spring weather here in Australia. It’s the best time of year.
1. Reading library books and books on the Libby app.
2. Getting the garden ready for the Summer. Harvesting the Spring veggies.
3. Hanging all the laundry outside.
4. Swapped plants with my neighbour.
5. Swapped babysitting with my sister.


Lisa M. September 30, 2019 at 2:40 pm

Double 5FF: Fall Garage Sale Edition

1. Had very successful 2nd garage sale of season. Blessed with 3 successive good weather days, aside from a brief period of light sprinkles that eventually dissipated on the final day. It was literally summer-like for the 3 days of the sale, followed by what felt like autumn the next day. Made to order! Able to declutter many items both for myself and my friend. Provided fodder for endless funny stories. Plan to list one higher end item on Craigslist. With the amount of work required, believe this qualifies for at least 5FF (maybe more).

2. Despite exhaustion & being disheveled after the 2nd day of the sale, nevertheless forced myself to go to card store for free card Friday. Due to limited selection of occasions, chose a good luck/congratulations card for DN’s (dear neighbor’s) DD who graduates next May & paid 21 cents tax with found coins.

3. Miscellaneous spoils from the GS: A 75 cents tip (1st in 11 years of running my own sales); $1.29 in heavily corroded coins from neighbor’s driveway mixed in with sediment from something being cleaned & then abandoned which required soaking (silver in vinegar, copper in olive oil); a suspicious flipped piece of heavy paper that turned out to be a renegade garage sale sign without identifying info that the wind previously carried away from another sale which I added to my sign inventory.

4. Received 3rd invite of fall season for free dinner for two for retirement seminar at upscale restaurant in town. DH & I enjoyed fabulous $22 meals at dinner #1 – huge parmesan crusted walleye fillets that literally melted in the mouth, along with salad, broccoli & mashed potatoes. I could only eat half so took my leftovers & DH’s leftover broccoli to repurpose into another meal. Meal #2 was standard gourmet hamburger & fries but appreciated not needing to cook after sitting all day at a CE. Keep those invites coming!

5. Loving recent & upcoming deals from gas station loyalty program: 25 cent apple crisp donut, free breakfast sandwich before CE program, free frappe. The challenge is searching them out online as they are not publicly advertised & must be loaded into account prior to use.

6. Before starting grocery purchases at big box store, stood in line to get $1.09 refund on previous purchase of bakery clearance buns that rang up for full price. The other package rang up for the clearance price. I wasn’t surprised & was monitoring at final checkout when a loveseat cover on clearance for $14.99 rang up for $49.96. Um, don’t think so. Going forward I plan to make note of each clearance item as it is rung up. Very poor track record for big box store.

7. Needed a new hand towel in half bath. Beloved Turkish towel developing holes & will make a great rag. Went through some old towels of my DM’s & found a perfect orange hand towel for the fall season, so old that none of its matching counterparts survived but it is in good shape & perfectly serviceable
8. Went to low cost CE program at hotel within short driving distance from home. Took my lunch from home unlike many other attendees who pre-ordered at the hotel restaurant or drove to fast food. Enjoyed the complimentary coffee but also took refillable water bottle & snacks for breaks.

9. Combined a trip to card store so as not to miss LAST free card ($3.00) Friday for current promotional period & paid 21 cents tax with found coins. Combined errand with a stop at Aldi for one of their extra-large supreme pizzas for an early Friday night feast due to DH’s socialization schedule. Sent along DM’s vintage unbelievably heavy glass ashtray as his friends are one of the few smokers that I know. Couldn’t in good conscience place it in garage sale but able to repurpose it without guilt since DH’s friends are already long-term heavy smokers.

10. Had a day planned with a frugality (or several) at every stop. After a light meal at home, went to shoe store that carries footwear for problem feet & used 1.) $20 coupon expiring 9-30; 2.) $100 holiday employer gift card; 3.) $80 tire rebate from DD’s tires. It made for a much less painful purchase for a pair of New Balance tennis shoes & orthotic arch support inserts & a pair of Haflingers for in-home use. This purchase re-supplied 2/3 of my shoe wardrobe. Then on to nearby restaurant & redeemed last b-day freebie on final day of coupon for a Colossal Giant Brownie Sundae. Advertised to feed 3 people, tackled ice cream first & brought home leftovers. Final stop – gas station for 38 cent bananas & free frappe for National Coffee Day. 3 cheers for Frugality!


Lindsey September 30, 2019 at 3:15 pm

1. After a frenzy of harvesting and canning a few weeks ago, I spent the following week pretty much stuck in my wheelchair. I decided things would just have to rot in the ground. Nephew came over and he and husband did the rest of the harvesting and, with me sitting and chopping and then giving instructions, we canned or blanched/froze almost everything. We may not have to buy vegetables all winter, which is not a great loss since they pretty much suck by the time they make it to Fairbanks.
2. Yesterday and this morning felt pretty good so did four shops, netting $20 gas plus 4 pops and $40 cash.
3. Had an old gift card so husband and I went to Downton Abbey. The concession stand girl knocked over the soda husband and I were going to share. The girl, who was about 16, started crying and the manager had to take over. She gave us free drinks and popcorn (which we never order due to price, so I was thrilled). A few minutes later she tracked us down and gave us a voucher for a free movie each. She said the kids that work the concession get shouted at and sworn at and we had been so nice and tried to comfort her that she wanted to give us something extra for being kind. I remember my first job as a waitress and dropping eggs all over a businessman who was so nice to my weeping self that I have tried to pay his conduct forward, but the tickets were a nice reward!
4. Found a can of pumpkin pulp good until 2013. Used it anyway and it tasted fine. I am old enough that even if the insides were corroded, I will die of something else before the poisons get me. I can’t believe it has been that long since I looked through the back of the cupboards!
5. The pumpkin spurred me to go through all cupboards and pantry and try to use things up before I buy anything more except milk. And who did buy those awful Vienna sausages anyway?!? I chopped them up and baked them into corn muffins and husband loved them! Said they were like inferior corndogs. I passed on the experience.


Betta from daVille September 30, 2019 at 5:19 pm

“Inferior corndogs.” You totally made my night.


Heidi Louise September 30, 2019 at 5:38 pm

Hooray for your treatment of the concession worker! Seriously, service people are not slaves, are rarely highly paid, and it costs nothing to be kind and understanding. I have unfortunately been told by a grocery store manager and a waitress that some customers are a word I will not write because you can all fill it in.


Katy September 30, 2019 at 7:19 pm

I love how protective the movie theater manager seemed. I read your comment aloud to my husband.


Juhli September 30, 2019 at 3:54 pm

Congratulations to your sister and kudos to you and your family for rallying around her to help her through changes.
1. Went through the pantry, freezer and fridge to see what I kept passing over. One of the end results was pumpkin spice muffins (molasses, brown sugar used up) and we made it through all fresh veggies and fruit without loss. Only funny part was I mistook a half bag of green lentils for quinoa so quickly had to substitute rice. Still need to use up the lentils – and more molasses!
2. Agreed to cat sit for a neighbor for 10 days, thought I was volunteering but she paid me $150.
3. Husband installed new light fixtures over the bathroom vanity.
4. Keeping on long term habits of reusing what we can, cooking at home mostly, finding free or low cost entertainment, books from library, etc.
5. Benefit of ongoing frugality – we had bubble wrap and other items left from our move to pass on to help an elderly aunt’s move nearer her daughter. Also provided labor to help with packing and truck loading.


Jennifer September 30, 2019 at 5:28 pm

Welcome back! What your sister did sounds very cool and that is great that y’all have supported her so much. I have been on a decluttering challenge for September, so that has felt good. I need to find somewhere that recycles wine corks, because I have over 100 that I pulled out of a drawer. WE don’t drink that much, but when my parents visit, they definitely do. And over 10 years of living here I guess they accumulated quickly.

1. Donated several bags of clothing to Goodwill that my children have outgrown.
2. Shopping for produce at our local farmer’s market and actually using most of it. I like supporting local farmers. I do pick and choose which stands I shop at based on price. Some people really overprice their stuff it seems.
3. I was cooking dinner that takes 1 hour in the oven, so I made up a quick-bread from scratch for our breakfast tomorrow too. Since the high is 90 tomorrow, it is good to only heat up the house once.
4. Because of our very warm fall, we have yet to turn on the heat even though night time temps have been in upper 40s and 50s. This month the gas AND the electric bill were lower than normal.
5. I have been remembering my reusable grocery bags when I shop. Dh cut his own hair. Dh has been riding his bike to work 2-3 days a week which definitely saves on gas money. I have yet to add money to my ds’s lunch account at school because he was buying junk. He is not complaining and is packing from home.


Jen September 30, 2019 at 8:11 pm

If the corks are “actual” cork you can compost them. Or you could probably even post them for free on Freecycle, CraigsList or NextDoor as people use them for projects (check Pinterest, you will be amazed to see what people do with them). Cheers!


Mary in Maryland October 1, 2019 at 5:52 am

I noticed recently that Whole Foods has a bin near the exit that accepts corks for recycling.


Isitaneedorawant October 3, 2019 at 6:20 am

Our zoo takes them, appears tropical birds like playing with them?
Liquor stores in my area also have bins for recycling.

Having issues with short time to post and reload message.


Betta from daVille September 30, 2019 at 5:28 pm

1) Went to see Downton Abbey: the Exhibition with a gaggle of relatives. We crushed into an Uber to and from, which was a fraction cheaper of having to park 2 cars and much more convenient.
2) I made a brunch for before the exhibit and for a late lunch/snack after. All of the ingredients were inexpensive, except for the proscuitto; the cost was about what it would have been for 1 person to have tea at the Park Plaza.
3) I used the leftover olive oil from the Spanish tortilla to fry eggplant and cooked down the [thick] tomato soup to use as sauce and ricotta from my freezer to make eggplant parm-meets-lasagna. Dinner for 3 nights.
4) DP is *finally* getting the frugal bug. He cut off dying zinnia flowers to harvest seeds to plant next weekend.
5) I didn’t try to coerce any foreign leaders and thus have no current need to pay the salary of a personal lawyer.


Katy September 30, 2019 at 7:14 pm

I truly respect your #5.


Connie C October 1, 2019 at 5:33 am

Ditto! lol


Liz B. from Lebanon (Ohio) October 1, 2019 at 2:01 pm

Several years ago (when the show was still running), my mom and I went to see a museum exhibit of Downton Abbey costumes. They were breathtaking! I’ll bet the current show is equally impressive.


Roberta September 30, 2019 at 6:29 pm

1. I finally got around to applying to become a substitute teacher for my husband’s school district. I got called in Friday, then subbed for him Monday and Tuesday because he has pneumonia(!). I’m pleased about the money, and doubly pleased that he can teach me what he had planned, and actually get him to stay home and heal.
2. I did not buy a burrito for my daughter’s dinner, because my husband came to the rescue and made her one from the pantry. I was out of ingredients for curry, the plan, and made something else last minute *even though I subbed all day*. I know this is ordinary for a lot of people, but it still feels laudable to me.
3. Hanging a pair of trousers in the shower to dry overnight. I only have about three sub outfits, and they’re all dirty right now. Rather than buy more clothes to wear to work, I will wash more often. I won’t usually see the same kids two days in a row! I’m there to make money, not spend it.
4. Amusing myself with travel books from the library. This week is Prague, Munich and Orkney. The money I make subbing will pay the mortgage off earlier, so we can travel in our early retirement. (Ok, it may be a fantasy, but that’s amusing too.)
5. Working on knitted Christmas presents. Using up yarn I have to make soap socks, and hopefully I will have the correct color red to make the hat my daughter is longing for. Making gifts now gives me time to create gifts based on what I have, rather than having to respond quickly and without creativity.


Katy September 30, 2019 at 7:13 pm

“I’m here to make money not spend it” has always been my work motto.


Roberta October 3, 2019 at 6:51 am

You’re where I learned it!


Linda September 30, 2019 at 9:36 pm

Generally making sure we don’t waste any food , using up scraps. I put stale bread (left overs ends of loaves etc) in a plastic bag in the freezer. Last week I thawed them all out and made a large Bread Pudding, an old family recipe that doesn’t use eggs or milk and baked a large tray of croutons which I’ve stored in recycled jam jars. These will be used to top soups made from veggie bits and bobs rescued from the fridge.


Teresa Young October 1, 2019 at 4:18 am

Congratulations to your sister!

1- We haven’t had to turn heat on yet, and won’t today as the temps will be in the mid-80s .

2- I’m using materials on hand to create new fall decorations.

3- MIL says her neck is always cold, so I priced a new scarf for her – too fancy, too pricey. I bought brightly colored fleece & will sew her a few neck-warmers.

4- We are taking advantage of the many vegetable stands in our area – dinner tonight will be stuffed zucchini boats.

5- Husband bought a new ‘used’ tractor – the frugal part is that the dealer gave him as much for the tractor he traded in as we paid for it over 10 years ago.


Bee October 1, 2019 at 4:52 am

I am glad you are back!
It’s been s thrifty two weeks. Here are my FFTs…
1. Sales are finally picking up again on eBay. September was not a great month, but much better than August. I sold 12 items. I have been listing quite a bit as I prepare for the holiday season. I have also been stockpiling secondhand boxes, bubble wrap and other packing materials.
Also on the side hustle front—The Vintage Flea Market that I participate in only 12 days away, so I have been painting, organizing and pricing. This will be my focus over the next week or two. It is a lot of work, but totally worth it.
2. It was my wedding anniversary this past weekend. My husband and I spent a lovely and frugal day together. We went out to our favorite breakfast place (I had a coupon); went to the beach where we swam and looked for sharks’ teeth; and took a long afternoon walk. We ended the day with my hubby’s homemade pizza and watching the sunset from one of our favorite spots. My husband travels for business so this quiet time together was perfect.
3. I am trying to save as much as possible on everyday items. I bought a $50 gas card for $40 in a grocery store promotion. I received a $15 gift card at Target for purchasing $50 in household products. I then used the gift card to buy personal care items during a 20% off promotion. I am also watching my Ibotta account slowly but surely increase $0.10 at a time. I also caught a $17 mistake at checkout. The cashier rung up 9 bags of riced cauliflower rather than the single bag that I actually bought.
4. I went to the Friends of the Library Book Sale on bag day —$10 for everything you can put in a paper grocery bag. I was able to get a few gifts as well as books and music for myself. I will pass the books along when I am done, but the CDs I’ll keep. It is such a wonderful way to support the library. Everyone wins!
5. I have been doing all the usual things — drinking primarily filtered water, cooking from scratch, brewing my own coffee, eating primarily at home, wearing thrifted clothing, and buying secondhand when appropriate.
I sent a scarf that purchased for a $1 to my PCT-hiking son who had asked for one. He is almost done with only 350 miles left, but he is dealing with snow and cold. I have trouble getting my head around this when it’s still in the mid to high 80s in Florida.
Have a great and thrifty week!


Pattilou October 1, 2019 at 8:53 am

Happy Anniversary Bee!


Bee October 1, 2019 at 5:59 pm

Thank you, Pattilou!


KJD509 October 1, 2019 at 9:25 am

Bee, it is dangerously and unseasonably cold in the Washington mountains this week – please speak up if he needs to warm up! We’re not very far from a trailhead and I have an adult son near the northern points as well who has been the recipient of many favors from strangers and would gladly deliver socks or a blanket or something. It’s so exciting that he’s nearly done but frostbite is no fun.


Bee October 1, 2019 at 10:38 am

Thank you so much for your generous offer. It warms my heart! Some days I feel that I am bombarded with negativity, however, notes like yours remind me that people are good and kind.
My son is now hiking with a group, and they were able to find a place to stay for a few days. A trail angel took them in. The hiking community is wonderful! He also wears a Garmin in touch emergency beacon which I hope he will never use.

Thank you again! I will speak up if we need help.


Nancy from Mass October 2, 2019 at 3:45 am

Hi Bee, I was wondering about your son. I can’t believe he’s already 350 miles from finishing! I watch the weather reports for the east and west coast and think of the hikers and hope they’re safe.
hikers ARE wonderful people. it’s only the occasional horrible person that makes people worry about hiking. I’ve tried to explain to people that hiking alone IS okay because hikers tend to watch out for each other… that being said, i’m glad your son is with a group during bad weather.


Connie C October 1, 2019 at 5:36 am

1) The A/C has been off for weeks and thus far no need to turn the heat on.

2) Working on Ibotta and Swagbucks as always.

3) Joined a local rewards program that has proven to be both easy and lucrative.

4) Heading on vacation in a bit and staying with friends so no lodging costs.


Kathy October 1, 2019 at 7:27 am

1. Visited a friend in MN. Was hoping for Fall weather, however that didn’t happen. However, assisted in curating her closet which netted $420 for her from Clothes Mentor plus a suitcase full of items for me to sell (I keep the $$).
2. Returned from a trip to Texas to see friends. We stayed within budget, using air miles, free luggage fees and free adult beverages on our way home.
3. Snagged a very part time job, 2-3 days a week every 6 weeks. I should net between $200-$300 for this work.
4. Assisting friend with estate sale this weekend=25% of the sales. Plus I have items to sell
5. Enjoying the Fall season of t.v. programs.


janine October 1, 2019 at 8:15 am

1. Taking advantage of product savings: Auto repair shop had a $5 off offer if I filled out a survey; Portillos gave me a coupon for taking their survey for a free large fries. Will gift to son who paid for the visit. I rescued the receipt to do the survey. Pays to read the fine print!
2. Banking – received an offer in the mail from a national bank which is opening branches in our area. $300 bonus for new checking account and direct deposit. Called them to verify and will change an account. More work than I anticipated, but happy to get an additional $300!
3. Having a great time being a book club member for the first time in my life. Library had copy of “Mrs. Ambassador, Life of Eugenie Anderson”, – a mildly interesting read, but not one I want in my own collection.
4. Took advantage of Sr. Discount last evening as we enjoyed the last of summer weather on a restaurant patio over looking a beautiful lake. Enough food for dinner at home tonight as a bonus.
5. Contributed to three presidential contenders. Small donations help these folks avoid big money interests which are a scourge on our democracy.


LB October 1, 2019 at 8:24 am

Congrats to your sister! The blue whale is my favorite place to visit in the AMNH.

1. Booked a bus home for the weekend. How is this frugal? Staying with my parents means meals at home, plus tolls and gas are way more than the $30 each way.

2. Back on my debit card flow now that I’m working. Credit cards are on a payment plan. Refusing to put more money in corporate pockets from interest.

3. Eating vegetarian at home and I’m astonished at how much cheaper it is. Still working on the mental change but loving how much easier it is to cook dinner and how much more food we can make for the amount of money.

4. Somehow the compost bin is always full every week! Great testament to cooking at home and reducing our waste. Feels good to bring it to the community dropoff and see the full bins.

5. Keeping up with my expense reporting at work to make sure I get my money back for work travel. I’ve let this lapse at other jobs and dismissed it, but I’ve been here 4 weeks and already am owed $70. Obviously worth the 30 seconds to submit a request!


Amanda October 1, 2019 at 8:32 am

Welcome back!

1) I am looking into solar. I checked prices years ago, and it wasn’t worth it for us. But I know things change all the time, so on the recommendation of a friend who was very happy with her service, I am checking prices again. We’ll only get it if it makes sense financially, even though it is very important to me for environmental reasons.

2) We were under for our September budget, and it feels so good. We went over our June, July, and August budgets, but that is normal. We save things like home maintenance and dental appointments for the summer, which means that our actual spending each month is much harder to predict. Being over budget doesn’t mean that we were flippant spenders, but just that we had an extra cavity. Still, it is refreshing to be able to predict our monthly spending with more accuracy.

3) We refinanced our mortgage and subsequently have no mortgage payment for October. Instead we are putting that amount in savings. I would like to apply it to the mortgage balance, but we need the cash.

4) I have a salad for lunch, which was made from a pasta, which was made from leftovers.

5) The university where I just started requires up to date immunizations. I took care of this early, way back in July. The only immunization I was missing was Hep B, which is administered in three doses over a four to six month period. I got the first shot in July and the second in August. I am supposed to get the third in December. BUT the university said I had to show proof that I had the immunizations by Oct 1 and told me to go ahead and get the shot last week. My pharmacist wouldn’t give it to me because, duh, that’s not how it is done. Finally I just signed a waiver on HepB and will still get it in December. I avoided a $100 fine for my troubles.


Pattilou October 1, 2019 at 8:48 am

I feel like I have been spending more than saving lately, since I have taken in my niece’s dogs. All of my utilities have gone up. I need to leave the air on while I am at work when I never have before and I definitely am doing more laundry. Their blankets and bedding need to be washed. That said, they are worth every extra bit. I am trying to save in little ways to make up for the above.

1. I am driving less lately so I am filling the gas tank less.
2. I started weight watchers. -down 15 pounds so far woo hoo. Although the initial investment cost a bit, things are evening out. I used to just toss together some pasta and eat that for a few days, which I can’t do anymore. Now I need to plan more but I have found some recipes that I can make and freeze. I haven’t eaten out in over 6 weeks.
3. I joined the rewards program where I take the dogs to get their nails cut.
4. A friend gave me some tomatoes from the last harvest of her garden.
5. Looking for ideas to make for Christmas gifts. I am making as much as I can. If anyone has any ideas, I’d love to have you share.


Roberta October 3, 2019 at 7:05 am

I have started my Christmas thinking. I’m knitting soap socks, which can be paired with cheap or fancy soap (or fancy soap bought cheap), sugar scrub, bath salts for a spa basket. I’m also knitting fingerless gloves for my dad, who finally has the Harley he’s always wanted, and wool socks for him as well. My daughter wants a knitted red cap, so I’m picking up sale wool for that today.

In the past I’ve made baskets with popcorn and popcorn seasonings, (taco, ranch, sweet), flavored peanut butter, vanilla extract. This year I’m making flavored olive oils and homemade wine vinegar, maybe cider vinegar as well from fruit scraps. (I got a bunch of bottles at a garage sale, $1 for the lot, and I’m filling them up!) Teachers will be getting peppermint bark, with the white candy pareils I was given free.

What skills or hobbies do you have, and what surplus do you have to process into gifts?


Pattilou October 11, 2019 at 5:33 pm

Roberta, the soap socks are a great idea. Thank you. I can knit enough to make simple scarves, one easy hat pattern and I’ve knit some easy blankets. I am making coasters for my family using an old map I found on line that shows our childhood home .


Jill A October 1, 2019 at 12:15 pm

1. I received my next auto insurance bill and noticed again my rates increased. I contacted my agent and she found a better price saving me $200. She also is signing me and my daughters up for a phone app that will save me up to 25% on my premiums.
2. I purchased three more Christmas gift cards using Swagbucks and Erewards points.
3. I’ve been thrifting, estate sale-ing and garage sale-ing and have found a few more items to sell on Ebay and a stocking stuffer and also a couple items on my wish list including a hand held lime juicer and a quality stainless steel pot for my daughter.
4. I’ve sold several more items on Ebay and used packaging and boxes that I already have.
5. I made my own dusting spray using items I have on hand – water, olive oil, vinegar and lemon essential oil. We’ll see how well it works.


Kathy G October 1, 2019 at 1:30 pm

“Save money on the little stuff, so it’s available for the important stuff.” What a great life motto!


BethC October 1, 2019 at 5:41 pm

1. After freezing some leftovers a while back and patting myself on the back for being frugal, I forgot about them. Today, I unearthed leftover roasted veggies and pAsta for a work lunch-delish!
2. Cashed in $30 in Ibotta earnings even though I had to nag them for a Weekend warrior bonus that I had earned. Their customer service location is hard to find. Nevertheless, I persisted and got my money.
3. I have started using a few survey apps-survey savvy, IQ, survey monkey and google opinion poll. Earnings are modest, but the surveys are fast. It all adds up!
4. Talked myself into telecommuting tomorrow after many late nights at work over the past 3 weeks. The law is a jealous mistress!
5. Needed green onions for a recipe and did not have any-free chives from the garden worked just as well.


Dicey October 1, 2019 at 7:46 pm

Glad you’re back and super duper glad you have been such a great support to your sister!

I have a feeling I’ve posted some of this here before, but here goes:
1. We remodeled a flip house over the course of the past 15 months. We figure we grossed about $10k a month for our troubles. It was a lot of fun, and we put our DIY and frugality skills to good use.

2. When the house sold, the buyers didn’t want any of the furniture we had acquired to stage the house. We had a garage sale and did about $1350 the fist day, so we did a second day, in which we only made $75. Whomp-whomp.

3. We donated some of the things that didn’t sell, and kept some of the big stuff to put on Next Door. We had good success and quick sales, so the garage is slowly clearing out. A guy who’s name sounded familiar came to pick up a bookcase. He didn’t look familiar, but when he started speaking, I recognized his voice! We worked together twenty-five years ago! Nice surprise.

4. We’re slowly making over the librarian’s lunchroom as an ongoing project for our town’s Community Volunteer Day. I wanted to replace their table with something that fit their space better. After it didn’t sell at the garage sale, I took the flip house dining room table and chairs home, intending to sell them on ND. The other day, I realized they’re just perfect for the library lunchroom. So glad I hadn’t posted them yet. It matches the buffet and shelving we installed in the last phase, so I’m thrilled to “give up” the money they would have fetched for my favorite cause.

5. We’re making sure we return any bits and bobs we didn’t use and it’s surprising how quickly it adds up. I only have two small returns to do and we’re finished. I also have sold all but two lots of stuff from the flip house. I’m going to move them over to CL tonight and hopefully they be gone by the weekend.


Dicey October 1, 2019 at 7:47 pm

Oh, and I got the reload message for the post above. Argh!!!


Joy October 2, 2019 at 8:59 am

A really good NCA involving eating out ! We ate lunch with a couple who suggested a German restaurant. The restaurant had a pork shank with 2 sides as a special for $15. It was large enough for my husband and I to share and to take home. Our friends paid for lunch and the following day we had a meal out of the rest. Plus I will be making beans with the leftover bone for a couple of more meals. So, our no cost meal will turn into about 8 meals, with a minimal cost (beans grown in my garden)!.

Another sort of NCA. Have a Satsuma tree which was attacked by possums. I’ve had the tree for years and never had this issue. Fortunately, the fruit is fairly ripe (a bit sour, but nothing terrible), so I decided to juice the oranges left undisturbed. At Kroger, I found Valencia oranges, 10/$1 ! I don’t ever remember seeing oranges this cheap. They were a bit ripe, but was able to juice those oranges plus the satsumas for awesome healthy fresh squeezed !


tracy October 3, 2019 at 4:26 am

Just back from a 15 night trip and it didn’t feel frugal but was wonderful. Five nights in Atlanta (work conference) then a 10 day 1350 mile loop road trip — Atlanta-Seneca/Clemson-Charlotte-Durham/Chapel Hill-Charleston-Savannah-Atlanta. Although I felt like I spent a lot more than I usually do, we also had a number of frugalities (and a number of splurges). Here are a few frugal things:
1. I was in Atlanta for a conference so flights were covered, as was my hotel there. My mom was able to stay in my room for no extra charge. A few meals were covered during conference. We also had a reception at the National Museum of Civil and Human Rights, which I was planning to pay to visit after the conference. We were able to tour for free during the reception. We also visited the MLK historic sites (Ebenezer Baptist Church, the National Park interpretive center and the tomb) for free.
2. We rented a very small car and gas is cheap in the South so I think we only spent about $75 on gas for 1350 miles of driving!
3. We stayed with two different cousins for a total of three nights (in Charlotte and in Chapel Hill). The cousin in Chapel Hill took us around one day and we visited Duke and the gorgeous Duke Gardens (free) and the Nasher Museum and happened to hit free day there. We also visited the art museum at Spelman College while we were in Atlanta, which was also free. The conference hotel and the nights with cousins meant we only had to pay for hotels for 7 of the 15 nights.
4. Restaurants were one of our biggest expenses. I took two colleagues and a friend out to dinner in Atlanta, and also took out each cousin and spouse in both places. Yikes but experiences over things! However, many times my Mom and I shared items when we ate out and while we ate at 5 “nice” restaurants for dinner (and enjoyed them tremendously) we also ate at small inexpensive places. I don’t drink which also helps keep the bill down! And we mostly stayed at hotels with breakfasts included.
5. We did lots of free and low cost things– got off the freeways to do scenic drives, visited a total of 10 museums (some free most pretty low cost), went to churches and thrift stores, walked a lot (especially around Atlanta, Charleston and Savannah) and spent time in beautiful parks and squares. We concentrated on museums, sights and performances (one concert, one play) that focused on the African American experience.

All in all a wonderful trip and while lots of $ was spent (by my standards) for the most part I feel it was spent wisely and on experiences that we found fun and meaningful!


Jill A October 4, 2019 at 8:37 am

Wow, sounds like a wonderful trip. Travelling is one of my largest expenses but I never regret the money spent.


Katy October 4, 2019 at 8:56 am

Sounds like a wonderful trip!


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