Five Frugal Things

by Katy on November 11, 2019 · 67 comments

  1. I sold a few things, (through both Facebook Marketplace and eBay) including a plant stand, a vintage wire shelf and a small end table; as well as a Pyrex lid, a mug, a down vest, a pair of Dansko clogs and a couple more Funko Pop figures. No hugely impressive sales, but they added up quite nicely.

    I spent six hours cleaning the front porch and kitchen of my mom’s rental cottage. I need to go back and finish up the house which should take just a couple more hours, although it could be more as the last tenants were seriously messy. Seriously . . . they were there for two months and I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that they never once vacuumed.

  2. I saw through their Facebook page that the Supercuts training center was doing free haircuts, so I made an appointment and drove over for one of their highly supervised services. This took no more time than a traditional cut would have taken, and I’ve been 100% satisfied with the six or so cuts I’ve received since I figured out this frugal hack. These capable stylists are board certified, (not students) simply new employees.

    My friend Joel from How To Money gets his hair cut from a Supercuts training center in Atlanta, so it’s worth your while to check if this free service is available in your area of the country.

  3. I stopped at Dollar Tree to pick up a few things, (seasoned salt, bar soap and a plastic drain snake) and was perusing the aisles before hitting the checkout line when I noticed that they had six-packs of Cliff Bars for a buck apiece. Not only were they unexpired, they were the “crunchy peanut” flavor that everyone likes. I grabbed three boxes and later called my friend Lise to let her know about them. She then drove over and picked up five boxes as her husband takes one per day in his work lunches.

  4. I finally completed refinishing a midcentury credenza that I picked up at Goodwill a few years back, I started reading a library copy of Furiously Happy by Jenny Lawson, I’m trying to give away a 2005 TV and TV stand through my Buy Nothing Group, I repaired a wooden wastebasket using glue and thick rubber bands to clamp, my husband took advantage of a Spotify promotion to get a free Google Home device, (which I’ll sell) I used a Jiffy Lube coupon for a $20 oil change and I’ve been really good about cooking frugal dinners at home when all I want is to get takeout.

  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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{ 67 comments… read them below or add one }

Jenn D November 11, 2019 at 2:02 pm

I am a big Jenny Lawson fan. I hope you’re enjoying her book.


Pattilou November 11, 2019 at 2:27 pm

Wow – six hours! They must have been really messy. Sorry you have to deal with that.
1. A friend took me to the local botanical garden. She has a season pass for two. It’s a nice way for us to spend some time together.
2. A friend gave me some left over casserole and pumpkin cake, which will be dinner tonight. She doesn’t like leftovers and I benefit from that fact.
3. Did some Christmas shopping taking advantage of sale items and promo codes.
4. Walking the dogs for free exercise.
5. Instead of turning up the heat, I am sitting with one dog on my lap and the other curled up next to me. They are both covered up in warm blankets. We are all warm and cozy.


Cindy in the South November 11, 2019 at 2:34 pm

1. I got 57 small pumpkins for $5! They are sitting in a dark unheated bedroom. I have already eaten three…lol. They are small. Folks around here usually prefer sweet potatoes. 2. I took a nap. 3. I made hamburger rice casserole and added leftovers. 4. I also made tomato soup and put a little of the casserole in the soup Amy Dacyczn style. It was delicious. 5. I took a walk at the local park for exercise.


Jennifer November 12, 2019 at 7:35 pm

I put puréed pumpkin in my chili and veggie soups in the winter and no one can tell.


Cindy in South November 13, 2019 at 1:36 pm

Great idea!


Shevaun November 11, 2019 at 3:28 pm

1. Made fruit pops for the kiddos. (Big blender: 2 cans peaches or pears in heavy syrup, all the bits of leftover fruit like apples half-eaten by toddlers, then enough fruit to fill the blender and some apple juice. Blend, pour into popsicle molds.)
2. Did a major 3-week menu plan and grocery shop. $222 for 252 meals. So we’re averaging .88/person/meal. No waste, my friends, no friggin’ waste.
3. I felled a tree by hand for firewood. Nevermind that DH felled lots and lots of trees with a chainsaw. I was working with two toddlers in tow. (Our own trees on our own land, obviously, chosen for forest-stewardship reasons)
4. DS wore DD’s bright pink rain boots for a creek walk because I knew… I just KNEW… that the handmedown fairy would float by soon. And she did. Totally sensible black rubber rain boots magically showed up in the right size. Thank you, universe.
5. Made a good-enough royal frosting substitute with confectioner’s sugar, milk, honey, and almond extract. It might not be cheaper than royal frosting, but it was way easier and used stuff we already had in the house. Decorated cookies to give to the handmedown fairy who was cleverly disguised as a friend from church. Oh, that wiley minx.


Jenelle November 13, 2019 at 12:20 pm

That’s funny our church friend handmedown fair also made a visit this past week!


Lisa M. November 11, 2019 at 3:50 pm

Double 5FF: Mid-November Blahs

It has been gray & gloomy most days but instead of looking out the window, I’ll highlight a few positive frugalities.

1. Worked 29 hours last week, little discretionary time to shop while busy beefing up next paycheck.

2. Used DH’s flexible work schedule to decrease pet care expenses. He worked at home 1 day that I worked all day, thereby decreasing expenses for neighbor to provide mid-day dog care. I’m happy to provide her with a minor side gig though.

3. Ordered holiday photo cards early this year. Used mailed promos of 50% off & free shipping. Used DD’s photos from graduation ceremony, so no additional photography costs. This is a tradition I value from observing trend of fewer people sending holiday cards & even fewer including any type of photo. I LOVE receiving them, so continue to send to friends & family. Already purchased holiday stamps – seasonal design at no extra cost. Bought in late Oct. while at the post office anyway, eliminating a separate trip.

4. Received free photo book offer including curating & designing ($40 value) from ordering holiday cards last year. Sent to friend who enjoys photo books but has not yet completed one for her 2nd child. She was thrilled & I was happy that she will use it.

5. In light of 1st snow of the season, filled the bird feeder from large economy wild bird seed bag purchased last year. Neighborhood squirrel subsequently climbed up the tree & caused all the seed to spill on the ground, requiring refill. Thanks for nothing cute little squirrel!

6. DH & I enjoyed free meals at supper club with retirement planning seminar, as it may be last opportunity until spring. With extreme weather conditions, many optional events are scheduled during fall & spring but not in the dead of winter. Due to only 4 people at our table, able to bring home extra garlic mashed potatoes & popover, along with my leftover steak so able to stretch it to make a lunch for DH & myself.

7. Was on autopilot about to renew professional liability insurance when I took a step back as I no longer work in a professional capacity. Even at part-time rate, not renewing will save $115/year.

8. Discovered an available cost savings while returning cable box after DD’s move out to college 2 months ago. DH unmotivated until primary cable box began to fail. Anticipated savings multiplied after extremely helpful service technician recommended additional changes. Bottom line: service changes will save $264/year.

9. DH & I made beelines to the clinic with back-to-back appointments for flu shots the day after receiving new health insurance cards. A little past optimal vaccination time but made appointments immediately to get them ASAP once cards in hand.

10. Received news that DM’s (Mom) BFF died. Able to pull lovely card out of free stash & send with free seal & stamp.


Kristen | The Frugal Girl November 11, 2019 at 4:07 pm

I seriously do not understand how the tenants could have stood living in such mess while they were there.

Like, even if they didn’t care about leaving a mess for you, you’d think they themselves would be miserable living in a dirty place.

Also: Many gold stars for cooking at home!


Katy November 11, 2019 at 6:28 pm

It’s a teeny tiny house, so any dirtiness would be in your face at every turn.


A. Marie November 12, 2019 at 2:50 am

DH was a landlord for many years. Unfortunately, I understand all too well about the messy tenants.


Ruby November 12, 2019 at 7:59 am

Their own home would probably make your hair stand on end. People bring their habits with them when they travel.


K D November 11, 2019 at 4:21 pm

1. We were out of bananas so I walked to the local grocery store to buy some, the cheap black raspberries (special this week), and picked up my free yogurt (an add to card freebie).

2. A friend and I went walking three afternoons last week. Since she likes variety and to drive when we go places we walked in three different natural spots. I do buy the annual state park pass that we sometimes use. My husband will soon be 62 so I think both state and national park passes will be one time purchases.

3. Meals at home for the most part. I’ve been regularly cooking a pot of quinoa or rice so that I have a base for meals.

4. I have started knitting Comfort dolls. They are sent to a hospice center in Tanzania. They are a great way to use up small amounts of yarn.

5. A friend has a granddaughter that attends a school that participates in a textile recycling program. She will take my holey socks and ripped clothes that are beyond repair and they will stay out of the landfill.


Ssmazzon November 11, 2019 at 6:09 pm

1. I had time to have what we call A BIG COOK on Saturday where I go thru and cook up odds n ends that would soon be thrown out : I sautéed a soft onion with wilted spinach. Then made it into the filling of a quiche. I made jalepeno poppers out of 8 day old peppers. I made overnight oatmeal out of two kinda soft apples. I cut up and bagged some random veggies for lunches.
2. Did not buy pizza last Friday when I was dead tired. Made a thin stone that I got for two bucks and made a quick salad.
3. Packed my lunch every day
4 Polished my worn shoes so I did not buy new ones.
5. Drank more water and less honey and ginger tea!


Nancy smith November 11, 2019 at 4:39 pm

Jenny Lawson’s books are amazing. Do you follow her blog The Bloggess?


Katy November 11, 2019 at 6:26 pm

I have here and there, but not consistently.


Christine November 11, 2019 at 6:59 pm

I have Furiously Happy on order at the library. Looking forward to it.
1. Attended a free concert at my church. Our organist played our very special pipe organ and his girlfriend, a professional soprano, sang. Everyone was blown away. This was followed by a wine and cheese reception. I helped in the kitchen and was sent home with leftovers. Darn it-no wine.
2. DH and I washed the windows and I washed and hung the curtains outside to dry. I did the old switcheroo with the curtains, hanging bedroom ones in the living room, etc., to give each room a fresh new look.
3. Our last meal in a restaurant was on October 20th at a non-profit benefit.
4. DH and I walked a trail in the woods today, taking advantage of a beautiful November day in New England. We saw a red squirrel, somewhat of a rarity in our area and three white tailed deer in a field.
4. It was warm enough for us to have Fika on the deck when we got home. We watched three domestic ducks splash around who have taken up residence in our cove after escaping from somewhere.
5. I bought a .59 lb. turkey and invited a friend plus our granddaughter and two of her friends over. We sat around talking for hours afterward. No feeling rushed in a restaurant.


Bee November 12, 2019 at 4:23 am

I learned something this morning! Fika is a new-to-me word, but not a new-to-me concept. It is important to take time with those you love and especially nice over coffee.


Christine November 12, 2019 at 2:50 pm

My Mom who was Swedish used to call it 3 O’clock Coffee as did many immigrants and children of immigrants from Sweden. The word Fika is new to me too as I heard it about three years ago and I can’t remember where. My husband and I have added it to our vocabularies and look forward to Fika every day! And yes, it’s so important to take that time with loved ones to enjoy each other’s company over a cup of coffee and a sweet. I guess the old folks have always known this!


Heidi Louise November 13, 2019 at 11:22 am

In the Scandinavian areas of NW Minnesota, I believe this concept has evolved to be an event referred to as “A Little Lunch.”


Christine November 13, 2019 at 2:28 pm

Oh I love it! A Little Lunch sounds very sweet. I guess any title will work for this wonderful part of the day.

Lindsey November 11, 2019 at 7:22 pm

1. Found a pair of socks, not a singleton but a pair, in the snow pile at the end of our driveway. Last year I found underpants in the same spot. I waited two days to see if someone came back to claim them, but since they were going to plow the streets last night and would have buried them, I scooped them up. Washed and dried, they fit the husband perfectly.
2. Husband came back from a weeklong trip, bringing back half used bottles of shampoo from each hotel he stayed in. Poured them into my main bottle of shampoo so will have an extra week or two of shampoo.
3. Went to the dentist AGAIN! He always gives out full sized toothpaste, which I appreciate. This time his assistant gave me three tubes, saying that I was such a frequent flyer that she felt sorry for me. Husband and I now are set for toothpaste for the next year. I have great dental insurance, so these visits are completely covered, or else I would be crazed with this many visits.
4. Went to an early Thanksgiving potluck. Came home with a container of sausage and mushroom stuffing. The next day I used the waffle maker to make stuffing waffles, all nice and crispy. In a separate pan made a couple of fried eggs, and slid an egg on top of each waffle. That was dinner, and a tasty one at that.
5. For years I have wanted a wreath made of lights for our porch, but the ones I have seen cost close to $100 (or more!). Yesterday husband emerged from the garage with a huge wreath he’d made from red and green LED lights woven into a gorgeous huge circle. Turned out that he bought the strings of lights last January, on a terrific sale, and had been hiding them from me all year. I am ashamed to admit that one of my first thoughts, after gasping at how perfect it is, was to lament that the cost had not been accounted for in our expenditures last January. I managed not to blurt it out and ruin the moment. However, he knows me so well—he told me that he had added the amount to another purchase last January so the money had been accounted for. Thank God he finds my jerkiness amusing.


Jill A November 12, 2019 at 5:45 am

A stuffing waffle sounds amazing.


Christine November 12, 2019 at 2:54 pm

A stuffing waffle is a something I never would have thought of and what a great idea to put an egg on top. Sounds like a wonderful dinner!


Bee November 12, 2019 at 5:01 pm

Still wondering how the underwear ended up in the snow drift.


Michelle H November 13, 2019 at 10:37 am

Me, too, Bee! Either someone had a wild night, or maybe it’s like the dog we used to have that would haul my husband’s dirty clothes out the dog door and build a nest in the front yard.


Kathy November 11, 2019 at 8:07 pm

1. Worked 4/4 part time jobs
2. Sold several things on Facebook and eBay
3. As hubby was out of town I ate out of the frig and pantry
4. Picked up 4 audio books for free at church rummage sale.
5. Free lunch 5/7 last weeks


Mand01 November 11, 2019 at 8:49 pm

1. I’m spending a couple of hours in my veggie patch every morning, getting some exercise. I dug out six bags of compost this morning. Free exercise, free fertiliser.
2. We got a giant bag of eggplant for a crazy price (50 cents a pound in US weight). We made a big batch of brinjal pickles and cooked some for the freezer, made an eggplant curry, and moussaka.
3. I joined Amazon Prime and did 1/2 my Christmas shopping in one hit. The rest will be gift cards. I’m very happy about it. We are cutting back on the number of people we give gifts this year.
4. Our garden continues to produce. At the moment, it’s leeks, onions, rhubarb and herbs.
5. We continue to make our own sourdough, kombucha, jams, and pickles, grow much of our own vegetables and some of our own fruit.


A. Marie November 12, 2019 at 10:00 am

Thanks for the early summer gardening report from Down Under, Mand. (I’m sitting here in Upstate NY looking out the window at the snow; at least the birds are happy at our well-stocked feeders.) And I hope that you and yours are far away from any danger of wildfires.


Mand01 November 12, 2019 at 12:05 pm

Thank you, we live in the Southern part of Australia, not currently affected. My best friend from high school lives in the bushfire zone, but her home is safe, thank goodness.


Bethany November 11, 2019 at 10:16 pm

I took my $5 off $15 coupon to Target. Loaded up $80 worth of sheet sets. Then I remembered I could just buy a lot of 6 fitted sheets off AMZ and save a bundle. I walked out buying nothing and gave away my coupon in the parking lot. It felt so freeing!

Made a batch of blueberry muffins. It uses up some vanilla yogurt that I didn’t like and an avocado that was perfectly ready, but would have bad spots tomorrow.

Made cheapo tostadas fir lunch and chili in the crock for dinner. Both very frugal meals.

Sold some books and a little man suspender outfit on VarageSale. Just a little $, but also getting some things cleared out and it feels good.


AuntiAli November 11, 2019 at 11:00 pm

Let’s find some positives!
1. Got son’s girlfriend, who will be here for Christmas, a couple of sheet masks and an eye pillow. Got two sets so the other may go to sil or I may keep it to myself.
2. Thought hubby would be away all week but due to snow in Chicago he’ll be home instead. We had Pizza Hut pizza tonight – came out of my allowance – and daughter hit the grocery store to get pancake syrup. I was planning pancakes and bacon for another dinner. Daughter and I have a quiche to eat and then we have to start cleaning out the freezer for our free turkey we’ll get from the grocery store.
3. Keeping heat off for the most part although tomorrow will be super cold.
4. Keep monitoring the electricity. This means YOU hubby!
5. Been sending pictures of my grocery receipts to FETCH rewards. Got enough reward points now to get a $5 gc to some places and a $10 in other.


tracy November 12, 2019 at 5:24 am

1. Stocked up on groceries using coupons, buying loss leaders etc. My closet and freezer are STUFFED and I spent over my usual amount but got a LOT for the money so need to shop my shelves and freezer next several weeks, should be able to just fill in produce, bread and milk for rest of month (except for Thanksgiving of course). We’ve been gorging on raspberries which we all love and which were 1.25/container at Freddy’s this past week.
2. My beloved aunt and uncle who live two hours away are having health issues (uncle is battling cancer and diabetes, aunt fell and needed stiches in her hand and broke a bone in her foot) so I spent Sunday cooking up a storm and yesterday my Mom and I drove down and spent 4 hours with them. I took a yummy lunch which we all enjoyed together and we left them with several kinds of soup (including LOTS of homemade minestrone and also ham and navy bean), chicken Marbella, a pearl barley and sweet potato salad, pasta and sauce, bread, some easy to make “box” things, cheese and crackers, dried fruit to snack on, a raspberry tart and brownies. It was great to spend time with them and I think our visit lifted their spirits. Since I did most of the food (although Mom bought stuff to bring too) she paid for gas, so win win.
3. Also made a bunch of food for us to eat this week. We’ve been doing really well on minimizing restaurant meals.
4. Didn’t order a pair of boots I’ve been coveting. Don’t need them just want them. If my mom or mother-in-law asks for Christmas ideas I will suggest them.
5. Hubs and I went to an afternoon movie and dim sum lunch on Saturday. Not frugal but good for us, we don’t do enough fun things one-on-one. Got matinee price, bought no snacks at theater, and otherwise spent no money on entertainment over the long weekend. Dim sum was reasonable — $30 with tip, so all in all not a bad price for a really great 4 hour date. Other entertainment was free (or already included in things we pay for): run with friends, yoga, Netflix, library books, grocery shopping (which I actually enjoy), 12 step meetings (ok I did throw $2 into the basket each time, cheapest therapy ever!) and cooking (ditto).


Hawaii Planner November 12, 2019 at 6:21 am

1) Sold an item on eBay, & used a recycled Amazon mailing envelope.
2) Picked up my parents at SFO, when their flight from San Jose was cancelled. This saved about $75+ on an Uber.
3) Because their flights were cancelled, helped them get a $150 credit/each for future travels, which they plan to use to take our kids to Disneyland. They are awesome grandparents.
4) Packed lunch for a flight to Hawaii.
5) Used grocery store rewards to pick up a few items that we needed.
6) Bonus: went to the library to pick up books for a trip, vs buying anything. I used to actually buy books for every trip I went on. I now shudder at the waste.


Jill A November 12, 2019 at 6:40 am

1. I worked at Tuesday’s election as an inspector. Everyone working brought snacks to share. I took some fresh veggies and homemade dip. We were fed lunch and dinner. It was a slow election with only one item on the ballot so not much turnout. I sat around and read a library book on my kindle, ate delicious food, free coffee and water from my own water bottle. I enjoyed good company and bonus that I didn’t realize when I volunteered I will be paid to do it.
2. It was my late husbands birthday on Friday. I invited my daughters, daughter’s boyfriend and my mother and sister for dinner. I made his favorite dinner – lasagna, fresh green beans, garlic bread and I made a carrot cake. We wrote messages to him on an environmentally friendly sky lantern we released into the night sky. Luckily it was a beautiful night with no rain or snow.
3. I’m reading more free library books on my kindle. I just finished Educated by Tara Westover. It was a very good book.
4. I shampooed my own rugs with the rug shampooer I share with a friend. It paid for itself with it’s first use. I cleaned it well and put it away so hopefully it will last for many years.
5. I clipped my own dogs nails saving me $5. I’m walking at the dog park and with a friend for free exercise. I’m hanging my laundry on racks to dry. I’m drinking water from bottles I refill and put in the fridge for when I’m craving something cold and making my own tea and coffee.


Elizabeth November 12, 2019 at 7:01 am

1. Earned $17 in reward points from my credit card.
2. Held off getting a kindle for my son’s birthday until they finally went on sale for the holidays. *Now hoping it was the lowest price of the season…
3. My husband split some old logs to replenish our wood pile. *Better late than never!
4. Took home leftover pizza, cookies, and drinks from a party at church
5. Found a great site on YouTube called cartooning4kids that shows children how to draw their favorite characters. *My son has been drawing nonstop all week.


Jennifer November 12, 2019 at 7:26 pm

My daughter loves to draw. Thanks for the recommendation


ouvickie November 12, 2019 at 7:49 am

1) My MIL’s birthday was last Friday and they came back for a 125 year celebration at their home church. So, I dusted off some Tony Hillerman books to gift my MIL. She’s retired and loves to read and, once she’s done, she donates the books to the Sharing Library in the Community Rec building at their Retirement Community.
2) We spent Sunday at the 1st Presby Church, where my In-Laws are members and where my hubby grew up. They fed all of us that attended and had a wonderful afternoon event with guest speakers at their 125th anniversary celebration. Afterwards, we went back to hubby’s Aunt’s house to visit and have dinner before leaving to come back home. It was an awesome day full of fun and good food – all free.
3) I took today off to take my oldest granddaughter to an afternoon eye doctor appt. I’m going to lunch with a friend I don’t get to see often and plan to gift her with some things I have, that I know she can use and I just need to be free of.
4) I ate a bowl of soup for lunch yesterday, that I had stored in my food cabinet at work. I’m so thankful to have things I can fall back on like that, since I didn’t have any leftovers to take for lunch and it was rainy and bitter cold at work. I buy almost all my snacks and non-perishable lunch stuff at the Dollar Tree. Saves me a bundle!
5) I’m heading to Big Lots, before my lunch date, to pick up cat food. They sell the IAMs brand of dry cat food that has a hairball treatment in it for half the price of any other store. I’ve found my go to discount stores are Aldi, Big Lots and Dollar Tree. I’m so thankful I can save money by just planning where to buy things.


susanna d November 12, 2019 at 7:54 am

1. So far this month, I’ve found $3.89 in coins. We spent two weeks in the city helping our son tile a bathroom (and do assorted other projects on the house) and the city seems to have way more opportunities for found on the ground money than the national forest area we live in. Go figure.
2. Offshoot of #1, I am thrilled that our son and daughter-in-law want to learn some of the many skills my husband picked up growing up in a family of building contractors. We’ve saved a ton of money over the years by doing much of the improvements on our homes ourselves, and it looks like it’ll continue with the next generation.
3. Use a $10 Eddie Bauer reward to get two clearance priced pocket t-shirts for my husband (50% off on top of clearance) for $5 total out of pocket. This is noteworthy because – like me – he wears the smaller but tall sizes which never seem to show up in thrift stores or at yard sales around here.
4. Since I had to file a claim with the state’s unclaimed property department anyway (3 years after my mom passed, another item came to light) I entered our names as well. Surprisingly, my husband is owed $34 and change from our previous phone company. I’d checked the database before but I’d always used our full, proper names. This time for some reason I used the shorter, nickname-ish version of his name and surprise! There he was. I’d never thought to use the variations of the names we use before. I checked my own name/nicknames, but no such surprises popped up for me.
5. Received a coupon in the mail for free shaving cream. No idea why, but free is free – and free is my favorite price.


LB November 12, 2019 at 8:37 am

1. Actually managed to eat the entire fridge and won’t need to throw out much food waste! Currently eating through the freezer before holiday leftovers take hold. Frugal fail? I have no lunch for today but have sorted out a plan to treat myself.

2. Using my darn gym membership to get the most out of it! Started going in the mornings to avoid the snafus after work or being too tired to go. By shifting my workday a half an hour I can make sure I get a workout in and be done for the day. Plus, the showers are really clean and nice!

3. Continuing to plan our trip to Japan for February by spacing out purchases. This reduces strain on my budget and lets us take advantage of sales/deals. Flights are all purchased and now just looking for two accommodations, and we should be good to go!

4. Avoiding temptation to purchase holiday clothes. I love a good sparkly dress and it’s tough to resist!

5. For purchases I’m interested in, including ankle boots and waterproof dress shoes, I’m stalking poshmark. Hoping that with the season change people are pulling out their winter clothes and listing some new stuff!


janine November 12, 2019 at 9:26 am

1. Starting out with a frugal fail – throwing out fruit that we didn’t manage to eat soon enough. However made scrap soup thinking about Amy D’s advice. Lots of leftover ingredients in the frig put together makes an awesome entree for cold evenings.
2. Went to IKEA and found $2.99 Advent calendars so bought a large pile for the kids at Thanksgiving. They contain chocolate behind the pictures so I am sure of smiles all around!
3. Shopping at discount places for Xmas stocking stuffers. DH and I usually contribute to sons’ IRAs.
4. Trying to cut down on meals out which are becoming much more expensive in our area with restaurant add- ons. Son loves Greek food so bought him some take-out while DH and I enjoyed my homemade stuffed cabbage rolls.
5. A friend and I visited an historic church and listened to free orchestra concert for our monthly outing. Gave a voluntary contribution, but nothing close to what this caliber of music would have cost at the orchestra hall.


Nancy November 14, 2019 at 11:02 am

I noticed that Trader Joe’s has their chocolate Advent calendars for .99 cents this year if anyone wants to stock up.


Katy November 14, 2019 at 11:31 am

I confess that I bought two while picking up 19¢ bananas yesterday. The graphics were urban robots and I couldn’t resist!


A. Marie November 12, 2019 at 10:22 am

FFT, Late Autumn Roundup Edition:

(1) Between the 2″ of snow we had Thursday night/Friday morning and the 4″ or so we’ve had overnight and this morning, we did have a thaw–which enabled me to get my bohunkus out into the gardens for some “last rites” chores. In particular, I got 15 cloves of garlic planted for next year, at just about the last possible moment. And I got all the faucets turned off and the hoses disconnected.

(2) The *extremely* cheap and nasty printer/scanner/copier in my home office went belly up Friday morning. I sent an SOS to the tech wizard among DH’s guy friends–who, by Sunday afternoon, had me up and running again with a somewhat better appliance (an early Black Friday deal from Best Buy, $29 marked down from $119). As ever, DH and I are very rich in our friends.

(3) The art show at the senior complex in which DH had several works included is over, so all his recent works got returned to us last Friday. I am framing the ones that (a) weren’t framed for the show and (b) are respectable enough for display/gift giving. So far, I’ve used two frames from stock on hand, and I am about to use a third obtained at the rummage sale at another of our local synagogues.

(4) Other treasures from this rummage sale included 13 back issues of Martha Stewart Living magazine. I’ve posted here before about the Martha parody calendar I make for Dr. and Ms. Bestest Neighbor every Christmas (a proud tradition now in its 23rd year). Needless to say, this find provides a welcome supply of new material!

(5) And, speaking of the BNs, they had us over for shrimp/corn chowder on Sunday night. I contributed a salad. See (2) re: our wealth in friends.


Christine November 12, 2019 at 3:10 pm

Good neighbors are truly priceless!


Debbie November 12, 2019 at 1:47 pm

1. Sold a wooden stepstool that has been hanging around our garage for several years since my kids outgrew it.
2. Found $0.96 in the coin return area of the Kroger self-check out when buying groceries. Woohoo!
3. Have been eating through our freezer to make room for all the holiday deals coming up.
4. Made wedding cards for 2 upcoming weddings we’re attending using craft materials already on hand. Also made a birthday card for a friend using same said craft materials.
5. Returned books to the library on time, checked out books on hold, and batched errands to save gas/time.
6. Have been putting away specific amounts of money each month in a high-interest yielding bank account all year long in anticipation for property taxes (for 2 houses!), HOA fees, and car insurance all coming due at the end of the year/beginning of next year. Will soon withdraw the needed amount to pay off these bills in full on time in the next month.


Ruby November 12, 2019 at 4:33 pm

1. Our local grocery store has been running a promotion that required spending at least $60 a week for 5 weeks to earn a $20 off coupon. We did it, although our final week of spending squeaked in at $61. I was started to worry for a second that I’d accidentally been to frugal! The $20 will go toward the fixings for our Christmas Eve dinner.
2. My son mentioned that he needed some long-sleeved t-shirts for winter. Today was half off day at the Salvation Army, and I got him two for $4 total.
3. The final count from our yard sale Saturday before last was $53, which went into the envelope for Christmas.
4. I returned two pairs of tights ordered a few days before quitting my job. The company first told me there would be a restocking fee, but ultimately did not charge me for it. Got to keep the entire $18 and change.
5. Frugality fail ameliorated by sharing: I failed to keep the receipts for some shelf-stable soy milk and a bag of dog food, both of which we could not use because the soy began disagreeing with me and my dog is allergic to chicken, which was way down in the ingredient list of the salmon-based dog food. Gave the unopened cartons of soy milk to the local food bank and the unopened bag of dog food to the local animal shelter. It got a pass up approval from the handsome brindle boxer mix at the front desk.


Ruby November 12, 2019 at 4:36 pm

Argh, spell correct is of the devil! That’s “paws up,” not “pass up.”


Christine November 13, 2019 at 2:36 pm

Your #4…the company almost charged you a re”stocking” fee on the returned tights. I wonder what they would have wanted to charge you for returning a hat? A re”capping” fee? How about a jacket? A re”coating” fee? Thanks…got a good laugh!


Ruby November 13, 2019 at 5:56 pm

Oh, that’s funny! I did not even see my own pun.


Jennifer November 12, 2019 at 7:22 pm

Darn, my dollar tree doesn’t have those cliff bars. My favorite item there is packages of shelf stable hormel pepperoni. They are over $3 at Walmart and Kroger!


Jennifer November 13, 2019 at 4:58 am

1. We have constant trouble with the tire pressure in our vehicles. There is no free air around us, so we have started keeping a bike pump in the garage and also one in each car. At the rate we need to use them we have likely saved $50 or more this year.
2. I forced myself to make homemade pizza last week and cook from scratch other days rather than ordering out. We all appreciated the leftovers. This week I have been more on top of a meal plan so that helps.
3. Hinted strongly (aka sent a picture and told him to go) that I needed a new bathrobe for Christmas and Costco had them for $15ish. This way I get what I need and not some random thing bought at Kohls 2 days before Christmas.
4. We raked our own leaves for street pickup then turned around the shoveled our own driveway after it snowed. Doing your own yardwork is free exercise and saves you money.
5. Sold some leotards online so they can still be used and I can have money in my pocket. Leotards don’t last forever as the elastic wears out. Better to sell them so someone else can use them.


sea November 13, 2019 at 11:35 am

Re #1: low tire pressure. I’ve also had chronic issues over the years. I found an inexpensive power compressor at Aldi one year, that plugs into the car power outlet. I keep it in my trunk, and it’s been great! I’m sure you’ve had this checked, but the tires might not be properly sealed against the rims. This can be caused by running over the curb frequently (I’m looking at you, my in-laws!), or if you’ve had new tires put on or rotated recently, they might not have done it properly at the garage (that was my issue with my last car). Good luck!


Ruby November 13, 2019 at 5:59 pm

I have one of those little compressors and consider it essential equipment to keep in the car. Mine has probably paid for itself a couple of times over now that so many gas stations charge for air.


Mand01 November 14, 2019 at 11:38 am

I reckon there’d be riots over here if servos started charging for air. My husband thinks it’ll happen but I’m not so sure.


Katy in Africa November 13, 2019 at 5:20 am

1. I finally made imitation syrup, just water, sugar and maple flavoring. Definitely will keep making this.
2. A tailor is making some new clothes for us (very affordable here). I also sent him with a bag of repairs and alterations so we’ll have a lot more wearable clothes soon.
3. I got another $3 gift card from swagbucks.
4. I found a bunch of brand new notebooks in storage, we’ll be good for a while.
5. My husband is doing repairs on our truck himself saving us an incredible amount of money.


Roberta November 13, 2019 at 8:20 am

1. Our microwave was giving us attitude a couple of months ago, so I picked one up at a garage sale — and the micro immediately began behaving itself. When our micro suddenly gave up (only the 6 minute button works), we pulled the new-in-box-from-garage sale micro out, and we’re back in business. I *need* a microwave for when my morning tea gets cold.
2. Subbed four days for the same teacher (she was on a school trip to Rome!) and only got takeout one day — after a dentist appointment, and the enchiladas didn’t defrost in time. I’m feeling good about my restraint. We will have enchiladas for dinner tonight.
3. Meeting a friend to go walking tonight, while my daughter is in class. Exercise, and cheaper than eating out.
4. Finished knitting another sock for my dad’s Christmas gift (while subbing). Started another one. Using clearance or thrifted wool.
5. Reading Louise Penny’s latest Chief Inspector Gamache novel from the library. It’s number 15 in the series, and they keep getting better! If you like mysteries, you’ll love these (not graphic).


Lazyretirementgirl November 16, 2019 at 9:11 pm

My appliances somehow always know when they are on thin ice with me, so they straighten up and fly right. For a while…


AK November 13, 2019 at 9:30 am

I loved furiously happy. Hope you enjoy it!


Tracy November 13, 2019 at 10:43 am

Thank you for posting what you are reading- I have borrowed most of these books, and have been very happy to have found them , and read them. Please keep posting what you are reading! (Or watching)


KJD509 November 13, 2019 at 3:07 pm

Agreed! And I love when you all post your favorites in the comments, too. Lindsey’s story about burning dinner sent me straight to the library for the Shardlake novels, which I absolutely loved and would never have touched without that high praise. And I’ve picked up Where the Crawdads Sing three times – it’s considered high demand so nonrenewable, and I’ve been too busy at work to get to it before it’s due. But one of these days I’ll actually read it.


Linda November 13, 2019 at 8:23 pm

1. Walked in my neighborhood park which included exercise for myself and dogs, brought my binoculars so I could enjoy the birds, socialized with the other lovely people who walk their dogs there.
2. Received 3 pumpkins from my Buy-Nothing Group. Canned the pumpkin, gave the seeds to another Buy-Nothing member who had asked for the pumpkins just for the seeds.
3.Checked YouTube to refresh my canning skills, besides canning pumpkin a video about chili caught my eye, I’ve never canned chili before, now I’ll never buy canned chili again.
4. Made my own granola bars
5.Went thrifting highlights include: American Girl Doll for $2, and a new-with-tags($58) Alpaca sweater for $3.50.


Nancy from mass November 14, 2019 at 4:43 pm

hope your mother charges a “cleaning fee “deposit to her tenants. Six hours is ridiculous.
1. Unfortunately, we found out our beautiful 12-year-old tiger cat had cancer. I asked the vet to not do anything, we brought her back home, and had her for six more days before I had to bring her in to have her put to sleep. Actually they didn’t even have to put her to sleep, they gave her a small shot of a sedative so they could shave her leg and do the IV and she took four additional breaths and passed. She was my girl. But there was nothing we could’ve done for her.
2. Today when I got home from work, a beautiful Pothos hanging plant had been delivered for my son and I. It was from the vet in sympathy for my beautiful girl.
3. Doing a pretty good job of keeping up with the stuff that’s in the freezer. I actually have a box of stuffed jalapeños that I’m going to bring to work next week, throw in the toaster oven before lunchtime, and let people eat them. I don’t know that I could eat as many as are in the box, and my son does not like them.
4. Putting some stuff up on Facebook marketplace. I had good luck with one thing I had sold, but these items are kind of sitting there. I may need to drop the price.
5. I’ve been knitting quite a bit, working on a Christmas gift (a fair isle sweater for my son) even though I’m knitting in front of him, he hasn’t asked me yet who it’s for. We’ll have to see how I’m gonna react when he asks. It might be funny!


Christine November 14, 2019 at 5:15 pm

I am so sorry about the loss of your tiger kitty. They nestle into your heart, don’t they? Thinking of you. Hugs.


Lisa M. November 14, 2019 at 9:23 pm

Nancy, I am also so very sorry for the loss of your girl. Pets do wonders for the heart & soul; they ask so little & give so much. What a blessing that she quietly & peacefully slipped away. She lived a long life thanks to your care & devotion.


Katy November 15, 2019 at 4:16 pm

She absolutely charges a cleaning fee.


jann jones November 15, 2019 at 4:23 am

So sorry to read of the loss of your kitty. They are deep in our hearts and their loss is large….


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