Five Frugal Things

by Katy on October 19, 2019 · 51 comments

  1. I haven’t sold much over the past week, although I did sell four yards of vintage Disney fabric, a set of Bob early reader books and a pair of Sodastream bottle lids.

    The lids were from Amazon, (to complete a thrifted SodaStream) but they weren’t the correct configuration. I tried to return them, but instead received a refund and was told to “donate or dispose of them.” Instead I put them up on eBay for $12, and they’re now on their merry way to the British Virgin Islands. Lucky bastards.

  2. I invited out of town friends over for a dinner party and laid out components for a “burrito bar,” buffet, which easily accommodated everyone’s individual dietary requirements. It was almost embarrassingly too frugal, as I’d cooked up bulk purchased pinto and black beans in the Instant Pot. The other toppings were similarly inexpensive, as I’d picked up onions, tortillas, lettuce, green peppers, cheese, chips, sour cream, avocados and cilantro from employee owned (and super cheap) Winco. I already owned the salsas and hot sauces, as well as some random craft beers in the fridge. Most people actually chose seltzer as their beverage of choice, (hello . . . SodaStream!) which kept the budget ridiculously under control.

    But the best part is that we’ve been enjoying the leftovers for days! I then saw a picture of someone’s black bean chicken soup, which prompted the creation of a vat of soup that incorporated the last of the leftover black beans, as well as some almost forgotten diced tomatoes, a can of tomato sauce, chicken broth and a dash of this and a squirt of that. Topped with grated cheese, cilantro, a dollop of sour cream and some tortilla chip smithereens, and my family enthusiastically gobbled it up. I even recreated it the next night and received precisely zero complaints.

  3. I’d been wanting a peace lily plant for awhile, as I’d read that they’ve been shown to increase indoor air quality. I noticed that a discount grocery store was selling them next to the register for $5 apiece, and had been mulling it over since. I prefer not to pay for plants, as they’re easy enough to root, but but still kept an eye out during my next shopping trip.

    Indeed they were still next to the register, although looking a bit worse for wear, with a few brown leaves and droopy flowers. However, I grew up with a greenhouse and know how to save ailing plants. I asked for and received a $2 discount and brought home the overwatered plant. I quickly snipped off the brown bits, wiped down the dirty leaves and transplanted it into a pretty glazed flowerpot that I already owned. I’m at peace with a $3 potted plant.

  4. I accepted the offer of a coffee date from a friend of a friend who wanted blogging advice, I quickly put together three new eBay listings yesterday, I attended a free author lecture at a local university to coincide with the launch of Shedding Our Stars: The Story of Hans Calmeyer & How He Saved Thousands of Families Like Mine, I socialized with a friend by going for a walk, I grabbed a neighbor’s free framed poster, as I can have the glass cut down for a different project and my husband went into a different position at work which will save us $616 per month on our health insurance!

  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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{ 50 comments… read them below or add one }

Lisa M. October 19, 2019 at 10:56 am

5+FF: Fall Cleaning/First Virus of the Season Edition

Fall cleaning is not directly frugal but indirectly kept me busy & occupied while not at work, thus eliminating consumption opportunities. No sooner than I had finished, DH came down with a upper viral infection. Even though I took to sleeping on the couch to avoid his germs, I came down with his virus which put me out of consuming condition. I still managed to get though my part-time hours & DH worked from home, a great benefit.

1. DH & I have been watching series of shows & movies on Netflix nightly, definitely getting our $’s worth.

2. Have been going through pantry & freezer & discovering items that were originally purchased by or for DD, or ones that she would use so have been funneling those items to her.

3. Used card from free card stash, along with free seal/sticker/stamp to mail niece’s birthday card. Lovely card but sans $ since she is an adult.

4. Paid property taxes prior to due date in person to avoid postage & more importantly, penalty.

5. Grouped errands after work including a return visit to box store for refund of overcharge. I am all for holding retailers accountable, even if the discrepancy is not major. Just like small savings, correcting overcharges add up as well.

6. Decorated inside & outside with Halloween decorations I have used in the past. Not as excited about Halloween with DD away at college but did buy treats that both she & we would eat if faced with leftovers.

7. In the plant department, brought in 2 of DD’s house plants that enjoyed being outside during the summer. Hoping she will take them to her east facing 3 season-porch where they should thrive until winter. Left purple annual outside to fend for itself during the last few weeks of its’ remaining life. Less expensive than buying short-lived mums for a splash of color.


Lindsey October 19, 2019 at 11:09 am

1. In September I vowed to do as many mystery shops as I could, to help pay for a trip we had to take. Most of the companies pay for the prior month in the middle of the next month, so about October 15, I received a bunch of payments. It came to $890!!! Plus, lots of free gas, free Diet Cokes, free packages of peanuts and chips, and a fast food meal. Not every month has as many opportunities, but I lucked out.
2. Took books to a non-profit secondhand shop, and gently used clothes to Salvation Army, netting two tax receipts.
3. Had friends over and we did a potato bar potluck. All I supplied was the potatoes (from my garden) and butter (purchased the 10 pound limit at a one dollar per pound super sale many months ago and froze it for holiday baking), and they each brought two toppings. No one wanted to lake leftovers so we had baked potatoes for dinner the next two nights. Cheapo gathering and cheap dinners, a double win. And delicious, too.
4. Cleaning out the garage we found crutches, an old wheelchair I had before we go my motorized one, and two walkers. Donated them to the local lending closet that gives medical equipment to anyone that needs it, free for as long as they need it. Got a tax receipt but the real payoff was knowing that someone without health insurance would get a desperately needed piece of equipment. My husband has agreed that if I die first, my fancy wheelchair goes to them.
5. Tried a new pot roast recipe. Part way through I tasted the juice to see if more spices were needed. It was VILE. I debated what to do and decided to take out the roast and rinse it off, throw out the juice and put in my usual spices. I could not stand the thought of not trying to salvage a pricy hunk of meat that would feed us for three or four nights. It worked! By the time it cooked for another five hours you could not tell it had bathed in the terrible original juice. New recipe has been thrown away.


KAREN L October 19, 2019 at 11:49 am

Great news on the health insurance Katy!
I’m very impressed with your pot roast save, Lindsey!


Pattilou October 19, 2019 at 11:58 am

1. I returned 5 mum plants to Aldi. This is the second year in a row that the mums I bought there died a premature death. Last year I though it was me but this year they were planted in really good soil and everything around them is growing well. Yes, I had to dig them up but I would have anyway.
2. I then used some of the money I got back from the mums to get two very large pumpkins at Aldi for less than 5 dollars.
3. I got a discount on the ramp I bought for my dogs to get on the sofa. Dachshunds can have terrible back problems so the ramp is an investment in their health. I used money that I earned from some overtime at work to buy it. Now if I can get them to use it instead of jumping up and down.
4. I was given free tickets to the symphony.
5. Sitting on the deck, absorbing the sun with my pups on this beautiful fall day.


Momma L October 19, 2019 at 12:01 pm

Katy I wish you could save my wilting peace plant. Its from a floral delivery years ago, I have divided it up and gave away some. Mine is so droopy.
Here’s my FF:
1. Went to a neighborhood wide yard sale, found a wool pea coat for 5 dollars. Will wear this for outdoor duty at work, I’d been looking for one for a while. Also found a really nice wrap, the lady said its for plane trips but I’m going to wear it at home! 3 dollars for that one.
2. Using lettuce instead of bread to cut carbs, I found two heads of lettuce on our rewrap shelves for a dollar each.
3. Secret shopped at the same grocery store.
4. Started looking for gifts at Goodwill. I keep notes in my phone whenever I visit family to see what they need. Helps me to get them something useful.
5. Bought a gift card to my grocery store to up the gas points to get gas at a reduced price next month. I love the gas rewards program.


Mary in Maryland October 19, 2019 at 12:30 pm

1. Our “new” thrifted toaster oven doesn’t work for baking. So I’ve shifted my menus and am using it only for toast.
2. I’ll wait until Black Friday and replace the toaster oven with my first actual new appliance in decades.
3. I read Mark Bittman on making vegetarian paella and regretted giving away my large roasting pan. Then I realized that the turkey roaster might work for a recipe that needs a large, flat cooking surface. The paella was great, two meals so far and will use the leftovers to stuff squash later in the week.
4. It’s getting cold, so I’m back in long underwear. We keep the heat at 62 degrees. I’ve covered the dogs’ crates with old flannel sheets so they are toasty at night.
5. Since mosquitoes are over for the year, I cleaned my traps and brought them in for the winter.
6. I’ve found two very warm winter coats in the park this past year. I’ve washed them and will take them to the day laborer center once it gets colder (frugal for them, not me)
7. I found a case of abandoned, 5 years outdated microwave popcorn in a storage area at church. I was encouraged to bring it home. We love it so much that I’ll probably buy more.
8. I washed ten windows in one day. A cloudy day, so I didn’t need to get obsessive about smears. Much cleaner than before.


Anne October 20, 2019 at 10:22 am

The outdated popcorn surprises me. I once made some from only a slightly outdated package and it was inedible. The oil was rancid. Glad you got lucky.


Amy October 19, 2019 at 2:02 pm

It has been a nice several days in the frugal department, which is a very good thing.
1. Started a side gig walking a neighbor’s child to school one to two mornings per week. This is awesome because not only do I get paid but it forces me to get up early and I get some exercise!
2. Got another side hustle selling brats and beer tickets at a local Octoberfest, netting me $50 cash, a free meal and a free brat that I took to my brat-loving 85-year-old mom.
3. Sold a thrifted North Face hoodie online, netting $22.
4. Enjoying Hulu for free after my daughter added me to her subscription. (I pay for Netflix so this works out great.)
5. Used Chick-fil-A points on my app to purchase a free breakfast.
6. Took advantage of my town’s free shredding event instead of paying to shred or buying a shredder and having to find a place to keep it in my small house.


Christine October 19, 2019 at 2:48 pm

Great savings on the health insurance. And your plant so beautiful and healthy in that pot.
1. DH snagged two fold up stadium chairs from a hiker box on the AT. These are places people leave things for other hikers, usually because the item(s) has become too heavy or is not serving a useful purpose out on the trail. Other hikers are free to take these.
2. I found a nickel between the wooden boards of my front porch recently, resting on supporting beam.
3. We scored two free tickets to a prerelease screening of a new movie at an upscale theater about 25 minutes away. This was through DH’s AARP membership.
4. Finishing up my library book Nothing to Envy and continue to be astonished at what the North Koreans had to do to survive. For many, frugality is a choice. These people’s backs were up against the wall. Have a ghost story book on order to celebrate Halloween!
5. Brought 8 books into my friend’s Indie book store for store credit.


Odette October 21, 2019 at 8:31 am

Christine, if you haven’t seen the movie yet, be sure to get there VERY early so you’ll get your choice of seats. (I work for AARP.)


Christine October 21, 2019 at 2:50 pm

Thanks Odette! I really appreciate the heads up.


Debbie from Delaware October 22, 2019 at 5:27 pm

We saw an AARP screening of The Art of Racing in the Rain last night. Great movie!


Liz B. from Lebanon (Ohio) October 25, 2019 at 5:08 pm

I loved that movie! And the book, too.

Jann in Maine October 19, 2019 at 3:05 pm

Chicken Soup Tip AKA Jewish Penicillin:
One of my recipe groups had a chicken soup idea which was really great:
When making chicken soup put the chicken on a metal vegetable steamer in the pot on top of the sauteed vegetables. Add broth or water and cook. When done just lift the steamer out and you can easily pick the chicken meat off with none of the bones needing to be fished out of the soup in the pot.
I did it tonight and it was beyond easy.
Just make sure you have enough water or broth to at least partially cover the chicken.
I used a rotisserie chicken and it turned out super
I should add I bought a $4.88 chicken and had a $2 coupon. Made a chicken dinner and a huge pot of soup which will be 2-3 meals. So for around $$6 will have 4 or maybe 5 dinners from the $2.99 chicken.
Had a not very frugal visit to Michigan to family wedding and associated festivities. But that is why we are frugal to free up money for things we want to do. Nice to see my very small family most of whom are not at all nearby.
Had a patient out of town today and 335 miles later came home to the aforementioned soup so dinner was ready and just needed to be heated up. Nice to fill one’s belly with good food!


Roberta October 19, 2019 at 3:09 pm

1. My daughter carpooled an hour away for her 4H event. I will offer to drive next time. When I dropped her off I continued into town to get a free air fill-up at the tire store, gas at Costco for 25 cents less than the convenience store, and a stop by the scratch and dent store. I had a coupon, went through the store twice, and got 2 maple syrups for $7/750 mL, 4 coconut aminos (soy sauce alternative) 33.50, Bon Maman jam for $3.50 a pound of mustard seeds for $5.99, ALL for 40% off. Plus 2 bras for 7.50 (plus 33% off). The mustard seeds will be made into pickled mustard seeds (poor man’s caviar) and be a fancy alternative to prepared mustard. It even makes a good gift.
2. Did not get called to sub Friday, so I posted a bunch of things to Ebay during my free time.
3. Received an offer to sub the week of Halloween. I will accept before Halloween, but I will skip the day after… All money I make subbing goes to pay off the house early.
4. Finally found the fourth shirt I have for subbing — I gave it to my mom for her shop! She found it before it sold, so I will get it back. I have two white shirts, a purple one and a red silk sweater. Add in a couple of scarves, and I am hoping to be able to avoid buying any clothes for work.
5. Stopped by the library for books and movies. Avoided stopping by Goodwill just to browse.


K D October 19, 2019 at 4:08 pm

1. The weather has turned cooler. I put flannel sheets on the bed and extra blankets. We let the temperature in the house go down over night. We also layer up during the day. Not only does this save money but it is good for the environment.

2. I donated a bag of clothes to the local mental hospital. Apparently patients arrive with only the items on their backs. I have been saving clothing for this clothing drive.

3. I made a big pot of herbed chicken with vegetables for dinner, in the slow cooker. Lefotvers are very welcome in our family.

4. I went walking with a friend. We hadn’t had time to see each other for a few weeks. It was good to catch up and get some exercise at the same time.

5. A friend brought me some apples from an orchard she was near. She’d picked up a half bushel for $10 becuase the apples were not as comely as the best apples. They taste the same.


Norma October 19, 2019 at 4:15 pm

Katy – I think I remember reading that you have cats (maybe I’m wrong) and if so peace lillies are poisonous to cats.


Megyn October 19, 2019 at 5:25 pm

Just remember to keep them out of reach of your kitties and they are very toxic go cats and dogs!


Mand01 October 19, 2019 at 6:18 pm

1. Picking heaps of veggies from my garden.
2. Hanging laundry outside.
3. Have several new clients keeping me busy.
4. Negotiating a clothing budget with my teen. My mother did this with me and it taught me valuable budgeting skills. I had to do chores to earn mine and so will they.
5. Trying to get more mileage out of a car we have owned for eight years. It’s starting to have little things go wrong with it so I need to decide how much to sink into repairs.


AuntiAli October 20, 2019 at 1:31 am

My frugal five:
1. Got my water meter changed out and a new one put in which was free from the town. Huh, my property taxes are pretty high. My water bill better not go up. I’m a grump!
2. Went to my orthopedic doctor and wrote me a script for physical therapy to get myself up and walking a bit more. It says 4 to 6 weeks and I want it done before the end of the year so it will be free as my out of pocket is paid.
3. Got a $35 check today as a refund from a charge at the urgent care place. I thought I would have to pay as it could consider themselves a primary care place but I got the refund. Thankyouverymuch.
4. My sister in law was up north today to go to her ex mother in laws 90’s birthday party. She called or hubs called her and asked if she wanted to stop by our house. So she did and she brought pizza and beer. Free dinner! She brought me a gaudy table decoration from her mother in laws luncheon It’s in a nice vase, fake flowers and tiny lights wrapped around the stem and into the flowers. It will amuse me for a while.
5. Asking hubs to return the 5 lb bag of russet potatoes to the grocery store. He paid $2.99 last week and this week they are .99. Heck, I want my $2 back.
6. Hubs has been doing some paint touch up around the house and it really looks good. He’s also done a few little fix it jobs.
7. Talked to my son tonight and he wants me to go to Goodwill and get him a warm coat and some long sleeved tshirts. It’s going to be a shocker for him to come from Singapore and the land of 90 degree heat with humidity to the cold northeastern United States. Have to check to see if his girlfriend wants anything but she may shop for it herself.


Penny October 20, 2019 at 2:29 am

You’re saving $616 on health insurance per month? Good Lord! I can’t imagine how much you’re spending (I can’t comprehend US healthcare).


A. Marie October 20, 2019 at 5:50 am

You’re not alone, Penny. Not many of us Americans can comprehend U.S. health care either.


Katy October 22, 2019 at 1:45 pm

It really is incomprehensible. This is just our portion, as my husband’s employer pays the rest!


Jennifer October 23, 2019 at 4:39 am

We pay over $800 per month on health insurance. We have a $5000 deductible and no dental benefits.
We pretty much never go to the doctor.


KJD509 October 23, 2019 at 5:44 am

This is how crazy US healthcare is: our young adult son called in the middle of the night, wanting a ride to the ER. He’d never used his job-based health insurance before. His dad took him to the nearest hospital, then took a look at his card, realized they were in the wrong network of hospitals, so dragged him down the road to the next hospital, likely saving him thousands of dollars. At the cost of an extra couple of hours of misery from a kidney stone. Bring on single payer!


Tracy October 24, 2019 at 5:29 am

1. Got a free flu shot at work.
2. Bought Halloween candy on sale and with an extra 50% off coupon. 8 pounds of (good) candy for $12.50. It is staying hidden in my car until the 31st so Hubs doesn’t get into it…
3. Have lots of groceries on hand from last week, just need to buy bread and produce so should have a very low grocery bill this weekend. Don’t want to buy meat until I clean out freezer and use up what I already have.
4. Free dinner out at work meeting Tuesday night.
5. Filling out retirement paperwork today. Will work at my job another 12-14 months as a “working retiree” which will enable me to really beef up my retirement savings this last year (will receive pension + salary)


Bee October 20, 2019 at 5:25 am

Wow!!! What a huge savings on the health insurance! That is wonderful.
1. I sold two items on eBay that I had gotten for free. I listed six new eBay items this week, and I was given some boxes and packing materials by a friend.
I also donated several items to my favorite thrift store that were leftover from the vintage sale. For various reasons, I didn’t want to save them for the spring sale or on eBay. I think should sell well there and the funds will go back into the community.
2. My farm basket two weeks ago had an abundance of apples in it. By yesterday, they were beginning to get a little soft, so I sliced them up and put them in the crockpot with brown sugar and cinnamon. These apples are so yummy warm over oatmeal in the morning. Delicious and no waste.
3. It is finally cool enough to be outside for long periods of time. Temps here in Florida are now topping out in the low 80s, and the intensity of the sun has lessened. So I have been cleaning out the garden beds after a long, hot, wet summer. Around August, they begin to look a little wild. I am weeding by hand and trimming up the perennials. I try not to use herbicides and chemicals in my yard which is both frugal and environmentally friendly, but not so easy when I basically live in a swamp.
4. We cut the cable cord two years ago. However, my dear hubby was unable to watch the Florida Gators play during football and basketball season if the games were broadcasted on ESPN. Recently, we figured out how to download the ESPN app onto our TV., so he can watch SEC football. The cost is only $5 a month, and we will discontinue it in March.
5. I have been doing all the usual things this month cooking from scratch, eating most of my meals at home, brewing my coffee, and drinking primarily filtered tap water.
I had my mid-month “office day” this week and updated my budget, paid bills online and dealt with household business.
I am reading library books, wearing thrifted clothes, and enjoying our family membership at the YMCA.


Jill October 20, 2019 at 5:53 am

1. Gathered together some things to take to a consignment store. I have a check waiting on me for $19 to pick up also.
2. Celebrated my son’s wedding last weekend. He and his bride tried to keep costs low – which proved to be a little more difficult than they thought it would be – but they managed to find a venue that is completely sustainable. It’s run on solar power and rainwater collected in tanks and the owner recycles everything. Things that weren’t recyclable and we didn’t need anymore such as the tablecloths were donated to Goodwill.
3. Staying at home this weekend and catching some couch time watching tv, porch sitting and enjoying some down time. No spending money or going anywhere. Making cookies later today and hosting a leftover buffet for my family.
4. PIcked up my dvd’s and books from the library that I ordered – travel books for a future trip and Midsomer Murders on DVD.
5. Celebrating my sister’s birthday next weekend at her hour. She’s purchased a ham and the rest of the family will bring a dish for a fun Halloween potluck birthday party.


Bee October 20, 2019 at 9:46 am

Fall weddings are beautiful! Congratulations to your son. Sending wishes for a happily ever after…


Mary in VA October 21, 2019 at 8:44 am

This week I start consigning again (stopped a few years ago). The shop has a Drop-Off option now, just drop off the items and pick up the rejected ones the next day. Previously I had to make an appointment, sit down and go over every item and decide on a price, etc. Much more streamlined this way! I trust them to know prices better than I would. Can’t wait to start checking online and see what sold!


A. Marie October 20, 2019 at 6:11 am

FFT, Animal, Vegetable, Mineral Edition:

(1) I bought a 30 # bag of wood pellet horse bedding at Country Max (a local farm supply store) for $5 to use as cat litter. This is a big improvement over even the cheapest prices I can find online for Feline Pine. And so far, our cat doesn’t seem to mind. (Those who think that “cats are jerks” should meet our Betty. She’s an affectionate, easygoing sort.)

(2) I did buy a new Perky Pet bird feeder at Country Max, to replace two worn-out feeders. But I then found another Perky Pet feeder (not identical, but priced almost the same at CM) in a neighbor’s trash that needed only a good cleanup with a bleach solution. Cha ching!

(3) I admire Katy’s success with the peace lily, since I don’t have much luck with them myself. But I do seem to have successfully rooted a croton cutting for the first time, from a huge potted croton that my late SIL left with us when she moved to California back in 2001. (Floridians, please don’t laugh that we have to grow crotons as houseplants in the Northeast!) The original plant is getting a bit long in the tooth, so I’m really hoping that this cutting “takes.”

(4) DH and I are preparing to take out the last of the tomato plants today (we haven’t had a killing frost yet, but between the colder weather and Bambi, there’s not much of them left). But we still have arugula, kale, leeks, and carrots in the ground.

(5) And, oh yes, the “Mineral” FT: After a slow September in found change, I’ve got $1.35 in found change so far this month, plus 1.25 in Euros from the Wegmans Coinstar machine. I’ll give the Euros to my Lit. Soc. BFF, since I’m unlikely to have a chance to spend them.


Mary in VA October 21, 2019 at 8:46 am

A. Marie, thanks for the reminder about the Coinstar machines. I keep forgetting to look in the coin return when I walk by a machine.


Katy October 22, 2019 at 1:42 pm

Keep in mind that I just potted the peace lily. Still time to fail.


KJD509 October 20, 2019 at 7:48 am

FFT, adult responsibilities edition:

1) Couple of the older kids came to town to see a concert this weekend. It was so tempting to cancel all our commitments and hang out with them, but it would have been complicated and expensive, so we hugged them hard and stuck to the plan.

2) Hubs had a small skin surgery – it’s frugal to get checked out and chopped up every six months vs skipping an appointment and letting things get out of hand. Copays are low this way, too.

3) It’s the weekend of the annual owners’ meeting for our beach condo, which is always infuriating. The same few people have run things for decades, and, as power so easily corrupts even in low-stakes situations like this, their decisions this past year have been shockingly self serving. But an apoplectic morning is the price we pay for a vacation retreat that otherwise pays for itself, so we attended and voted.

3) Left a raw chicken and some veggies at home for the kids to cook for dinner – frugal for them, as they’d likely have gone out otherwise. Brought the same to the beach and made several meals out of it. This is the first time we’ve ever come to the beach place without kids along so we considered going out to one of the many gorgeous bistros or cafes, but frugal dinner at our own table with a view was lovely.

4) Replaced some lightbulbs, curtain rods, and a closet door ourselves. Vacation rentals get hard use, and the management company charges a fortune for maintenance and usually does a terrible job. We found 4-packs of LEDs at Home Depot at half price, so they should last awhile.

5) Enjoyed the glorious fall colors until the rain hit this week, and now I’m enjoying the stormy skies.


Bethany M October 20, 2019 at 1:31 pm

Potting up aloes in empty sour cream containers for a few friends that have just moved into a new build. Free plants!

Started keeping peanut butter crackers in the glove box. It’s kept us from quick fixes at fast food joints. WinCo has 20 packages for less than $3.

Got some cool things ordered on teacherspayteachers. Cheaper than Amazon and more fun, plus I don’t have to return these items to our charter school when we’re done. Like the idea of supporting teachers too. They should be paid better, and it’s zero out of pocket for me!

Got a staples email about spend $100 get $50 rewards back. He has an order to put in for work, and they don’t mess around with rewards, so I’ll get to take advantage. Yea!

Did the work family fun day. Kids got their caricature drawn, face painted, goodie bags, free lunch, endless bounce house fun!


Jennifer October 20, 2019 at 4:56 pm

1. I’m sick with some sort of cold/gunk going around. I am using a lot of essential oils and supplements as well as taking freshly minced garlic in honey to feel better quickly. Also drinking lots of hot tea.
2. Redeemed my Verizon reward for a $5 Panera gift card.
3. Years ago my MIL bought me a purse/backpack from eBags that I hated and returned. I never received the e giftcard I was supposed to receive and figured they had reimbursed my MIL’s CC. I dropped it because I didn’t want to make a stink. A few weeks ago I got an email from eBags out of the blue saying I had an unused credit of $64.99! yay! I got 2 anti-theft travel handbags for about $20 out of pocket. One for me and one as a gift for my dd.
4. Made the drive to the HS Friday night to get my kids in free to the football game (staff get 2 in free). Savings of $14.
5. Unfortunately our rabbit died. We had her for 9 years though and we had gotten her from the shelter, so she was old and lived a good long life. That being said – I am glad to have the mess and smell out of my basement and that will be a money savings on food/treats/litter/hay. Donating the unopened items I had to the shelter and giving my sister with rabbits the opened stuff.

Frugal Fail – dh went to visit my dd at college for family weekend. Spent over $50 on a school sweatshirt. This bothers me especially because he has a birthday coming up and then Christmas and is hard to shop for. Had he mentioned he wanted one I could have made it a gift and found it cheaper! ugh!


Elizabeth October 21, 2019 at 7:02 am

1. I found almost everything I needed for a Dipper Pines costume at the thrift store for $4 (I did buy the hat already made for $10, but my son promised to wear it for everyday use as well so that took the sting out of a potential one-time use purchase)
2. My power usage is averaging out to be $2-3 a day with all of the nice weather we are finally having
3. Used a Kohl’s coupon to get a free new towel
4. Prevented food waste by making soup and eating weird combinations for a few meals
5. Remembered to check my son’s closet for stored winter clothes. Sad but true: one year I forgot I bought clothes on clearance the previous year and didn’t find them until after I washed the newly bought (not on clearance clothes)…never again!


LB October 21, 2019 at 9:06 am

Laughed out loud at your sodastream lid’s new home!

1. With the purchase of new ski gear last week, I found myself with an old pair of ski boots, snow pants that didn’t fit, and an old jacket. I hate the waste of overall good quality products so I brought them to a Play It Again Sports to resell. The money doesn’t mean much to me-more that this stuff doesn’t go to the dump-so I opted for the $27 payout option instead of $45 consignment which will save me time and energy later to go collect the less than $20 I MIGHT get. The jacket was too old but the cats have claimed it as a bed, so that’s all theirs.

2. Went apple picking, and opted to just walk around the farm and enjoy the weather after we found out the smallest bag was still $24. Hell no! Happily spent cash on cider donuts, though.

3. Booked my flu shot. Getting the shot and not getting sick or potentially getting my elderly grandparents sick is a no-brainer.

4. Swapped out the summer clothes for winter. Feels like a whole new wardrobe! Already rocking one of my favorite sweaters (and of course it’s hot and sunny out). No regrets! Definitely on the hunt for a new winter coat though–mine was worse for the wear by the end of last season and is now really looking rough for having been shoved in a bag all summer. Gives me some time to find one I like at a price I can manage.

5. BF was adamant about getting the AC’s out of their wall mounts before it got too cool, and I’m glad he did. I don’t think either of us realized how much airflow there was around those suckers until he sealed up the vents. It was practically hot in our living room (71! unheard of!) when it was low 50’s outside.


Katy in Africa October 21, 2019 at 9:53 am

Nice insurance savings! Our insurance is ridiculously high, but I can’t complain, we paid very little out of pocket after our son was in ICU for 8 days.

1. Made homemade tortillas. They turned out great, just need to practice making them round. I plan to make more in the future.
2. Organized our food. This helps me keep inventory and make sure we’re eating what we have, for example, I was reminded that we have dried peppers, so I looked up ways to use them.
3 . Looking at purchasing used math books for my kids. If I end up getting the ones I’m looking at, it’ll be about $100 savings, not counting shipping. I’m also saving by reusing my older child’s text and answer key for my younger child. Just need to purchase the test book that was written in.
4. Sold a hair curler that wasn’t the size I wanted.
5. Bought 2 cans of corn as it was 2 for the price of one.


Gina October 21, 2019 at 11:58 am

Let’s see if I can come up with 5FF…
1. Decorated with Halloween stuff we’ve had for years. We did buy a few pumpkins for carving, but purchased them from a local place & they were pretty cheap.
2. I needed to buy DD2 some jeans. We shopped the Columbus Day sale at Old Navy (she really likes how their jeans fit) and we for them for 50% off each.
3. I continually eat leftovers for lunch every day.
4. We went to a shooting party on Saturday & took a dish to share for the potluck. We ended up going home with lots of leftovers from everyone’s dishes (everyone did) as there was so much food. We went home with more food than we brought. One thing we got was an untouched veggie tray that we are incorporating in to this week’s dinners. The host also told us to take a plant home.
5. our lab needs a maze type dog dish as she eats her food too fast & then gets sick, so I used some Amazon rewards I earned thru Fetch that I used towards that purchase.

Nothing big here, but better than nothing!


Vickey October 25, 2019 at 6:50 am

“Maze type dog dish” – too clever! Wonder if they make these for humans…. 😉


Kristen | The Frugal Girl October 22, 2019 at 3:59 am

Oh wow, that health insurance savings is AMAZING. So glad for you!


Katy October 22, 2019 at 1:38 pm

Plus, it’s actually better health insurance!


Mand01 October 22, 2019 at 4:49 pm

I have been listening to a great podcast called “This Podcast Will Kill You,” about infectious diseases (yeah, I am weird like that). It looks at the history and epidemiology of diseases. It is so interesting, but one of the constant themes is that the burden of disease is mostly carried by the poor in America due to a lack of access to healthcare – because of a lack of insurance. Today I was listening to the episode about measles. In the US, most people that get measles are unvaccinated due to lack of access, due to inability to afford insurance, not because of anti-vax opinions. That really shocked me. The healthcare system in the USA is unhealthy for all people because it creates more disease. Universal healthcare actually saves money by reducing preventable diseases.


Jennifer October 23, 2019 at 4:47 am

Vaccines are free in the US at the public health departments. They do have to have the ability to get there to receive them. When babies are born at our local hospitals, a nurse is sent out to check on them to ensure needs are met per certain requirements.


Jennifer October 23, 2019 at 4:49 am

I should have said standard vaccines are free for newborns if you have no income or insurance. Or that’s how it is in my area.

Lindsey October 23, 2019 at 11:58 am

Where I live no one who goes to the free clinic for vaccinations is turned away for lack of money. I am not defending our health care system, but there are places where folks with no insurance can go for basic vaccines.

Bee October 23, 2019 at 5:27 am

There are several things that I would like to address, but I think that it is most important to note that all children in the United States can receive vaccinations free of charge. Only a small fraction of the population has not been immunized. However, this segment of the population is growing, but most in the field of Public Health feel that anti-vax movement is contributing to this issue. It is a complicated. Here is a great article discussing this.


Mand01 October 23, 2019 at 12:13 pm

Thank you for the article. It stated that about 7% of uninsured children were not vaccinated, even though children could be vaccinated for free, probably because the uninsured families did not know they could get free vaccines. 7% compared to 2% of the population generally is a very high disparity.


Hawaii Planner October 26, 2019 at 5:50 pm

It was largely an unfrugal week (our son was hit by a car while biking to school. He is okay, but the bike was destroyed, & it was a very emotionally challenging week). As such, we splurged more than usual, & I can’t say I have any regrets. We are insanely grateful for the driver (not the one who hit my son), who pulled over & spent 90 minutes supporting my son through an extremely difficult time. There are good people out there!

We did have a few frugal wins:
1) Got a free flu shot at work
2) Sold an expensive necklace (Ebay) & a few super inexpensive items (ThredUp)
3) Went to Yosemite for free with work. The hiking was incredible
4) Used a Rite Aid reward to buy items we needed for a soccer party
5) Filled out all of the insurance info to get money back for the hospital visit for my son


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