Five Frugal Things

by Katy on November 15, 2019 · 57 comments

  1. After selling at a good clip, my sales have petered out a bit. I did sell a new-in-box landline phone, a vintage oil painting and a single hexagonal marble tile that I plucked from my sister’s Bronx, NY beach. Plus I also sold a funny little wooden table that I’d bought at Goodwill.

    Nothing too impressive, but still better than having non-monitized hobbies.

  2. My number one goal in life is to delay grocery shopping as long as possible, (seriously, I hate it more than almost anything!) So when I realized that I had two single chicken breasts yet four people to feed for last night’s dinner I got creative. I grabbed a whole cauliflower, (thank you Trader Joe’s for selling produce by the item instead of by the pound!) as well as a couple of zucchini from the fridge.

    I then topped the dish with a slurry of soy sauce, garlic, brown sugar, Sriracha sauce and corn starch. Served over rice, this impromptu stir fry allowed me to procrastinate the inevitable grocery shopping trip for some other day. Instead we stayed on budget. Another day, another home cooked meal.

  3. My husband and I spent a rare free afternoon indulging in some shopping and dining. You don’t have to ask “where?” as you already know that we went to Goodwill. But not just any Goodwill, as we went to the West Burnside location that is conveniently located next door to Elephant’s Deli.

    My dreamiest and most romantic date involves perusing the aisles for thrifty treasures plus melted cheese. We shared a fondue platter which Elephant’s sells during their happy hour (after 3 P.M.) for just $5. It’s enough food for two people and insanely delicious! A five dollar date for two? I call that a frugal win!

  4. I was able to get 24 free temporary checks from my credit union, (which should last at least six months) I found two quarters, one dime and two pennies while on my date, my parents no longer use their Soda Stream, so they gifted me an extra CO2 canister, I gave away an unwanted wall calendar through my Buy Nothing Group, and I completed a furniture refinishing project that I’d started in 2017!

  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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{ 57 comments… read them below or add one }

Lisa M. November 15, 2019 at 7:04 pm

5+FF: Feeling like Winter Edition

1. With maximum effort, DH & I moved comfortable futon 3 flights to DD’s bedroom allowing sleeping accommodations for up to 2 people. Used available bedding & now able to easily accommodate DD for overnight visits, along with potential guests at no out-of-pocket expense.

2. Boss gifted a 10 oz. bag of roasted macadamia nuts from her trip. I LOVE them but rarely indulge due to cost. She previously & randomly brought me a huge bag from Hawaii & I did not hesitate to let her know they are my absolute FAVORITE nut. YUM!!

3. Had annual complimentary tire rotation thanks to tire manufacturer’s policy of free rotations for life of the tires. Go Goodyear! My vehicle’s dealership sent a “coupon” for a tire rotation at a discounted rate of $20. Based on that price, total savings: at least $20. Also enjoyed complimentary coffee & pure water while waiting at shop.

4. Used take & bake pizza promo of 50% off to purchase a pizza for us & one for DH to bake at home. Also used survey for free cookie dough that I sent home with DD. Made sure to have stamp card validated while there & did another survey for free dough the next visit. Total savings: $19.

5. Combined errands (leaving work to take & bake pizza place, then tire shop, then home) with drive from work to optimize fuel utilization.

6. A benefit from being laid off from previous part-time job: dramatically decreased fuel consumption. ¾ of a tank lasted 9 weeks with primarily local driving, even factoring in that DH drove my vehicle to work twice (at a further distance). Previous 1 day/week job required ~230 miles of non-reimbursed driving/month, significantly decreasing overall compensation.

7. Used gifted rack of lamb bone to make Lamb Broth for the first time. Found basic instructions online, left the vegies in the pot from making the broth, removed the bones & added various ingredients. With a little creativity, concocted delicious (& hopefully healthy) soup.

8. Continue to do all the mundane daily items like packing lunches for DH & myself, drinking free coffee & pure water at work, preparing nearly all meals at home, refraining from shopping (easy since I’m a natural frugalist) & turning down heat when DH & I are both at work.

Partial Frugal Fail: DH damaged patio siding after putting together new grill & firing up to high for 10” per instructions to burn off any residue from production. He did not factor in the difference that it was a 4 burner versus a 2 burner that we always had in the past & placed it in same proximity to siding. Arranged to have homeowners’ association repair the damage but it came with an out-of-pocket bill. At least the 50% savings on the grill purchase at an end-of-season clearance 5 years ago helped us to come out even, as opposed to in the red – an indirect benefit of frugality rearing its beautiful head.


Bethany M November 16, 2019 at 2:27 pm

9 weeks on 3/4!!! Amazing!!! I do so much running around taking kids to lessons and classes. Fingers crossed they’ll grow up to be athletic, play musical instruments and be bilingual. LOL!!! One of them did eavesdrop at the dr office lobby and reported in that the man at the receptionist has another appointment Friday afternoon. LOL!!!


Lisa M. November 16, 2019 at 3:11 pm

Bethany, I can totally relate. I spent 16 years running my kiddo around until she could drive. It was a literal blur. On top of that, I made 5-6 trips/month to the city to work. After being laid off from the city job & DD taking my car to drive herself & eventually moving out to attend college, I feel like I have nothing to do & my gas consumption validates that. My only driving is in my ‘burb – work & errands with infrequent trips to the city for appointments.


Merry Schiff November 15, 2019 at 7:20 pm

Katy. Also in OR (King City-Tigard) I just found out something recently from the produce mgr at Safeway/Albertsons. I am only one here and can never use all the bunch of celery. The mgr told me that if there is something that is sold by the lb that you take what you want. So I now just take a few stalks of celery. Obviously you can’t do it easily with cauliflower or broccoli but the celery trick has saved me from having to clean the frig from old celery that has seeped all over the bin.


Katy November 16, 2019 at 12:14 pm

That’s good to know, thanks!


Tonya parham November 18, 2019 at 5:22 am

You can also get it from a salad bar (if where you are has celery on the bar) or if you have to buy the entire stalk, freeze what you don’t need to go in with other veggie scraps to make broth.


Ruby November 15, 2019 at 9:16 pm

1. Dog food is an issue at our house because two of our three dogs are on a special diet for health problems. After a lot of reading on Chewy’s website, I found a canned food that meets all requirements and is $8 less than what we had been buying.
2. Cleaned out and organized my dresser drawers and hand washed three pairs of hose, in anticipation that there will be job interviews arising from the gazillion applications I have put in online.
3. Family being in black belt frugal mode since I quit my job, I suffered through using up a package of not good coffee and am doing the same with some rather tasteless almond milk. We are also eating down the contents of the fridge and are in zero food waste mode.
4. Did some totally free decorating by moving around some lamps, framed art and books.
5. My son needed some long sleeved t-shirts and I got two for $2 each at the Salvation Army. I have been wearing and getting compliments on a cute red hoodie sweater that was $1 at the humane society’s thrift store. Thrifting rocks!
Bonus “Snap out of it!” head slap: Ordered a book from Amazon, thought about it for 20 minutes and canceled the order.


Mand01 November 16, 2019 at 3:38 am

I love that table.
1. I have a batch of lovely cabbages ready to pick in my garden. I’m planning to make sauerkraut, coleslaw, and cabbage rolls, and give some away to my neighbour.
2. I’ve put fruit on to soak in sherry to make Christmas cakes next weekend. I make small Christmas cakes as gifts each year. I bake them in recycled fruit tins.
3. I’ve finished half of my Christmas shopping and started on low cost stocking stuffers.
4. I found a new shirt for my husband at a thrift store for $7.
5. Shopping all the loss leaders at the supermarket has led to a full pantry and freezer. I think I might do a Katy and try to keep out of the supermarket for as long as possible and live off what’s in the cupboards, freezer and garden for a couple of weeks.


Jill A November 16, 2019 at 5:30 am

My ebay sales have slowed down also. The good news is I’ve gotten rid of a lot of unwanted items.

1. I used a $5 coupon from Kohl’s to purchase a couple of nice cards only spending a couple of dollars. I know I can do the same at the dollar tree but I don’t always find what I want there.
2. I scoured the thrift shops for a new scarf and some mittens but didn’t find any. I resisted buying any new ones. I’ll just use what I have for now.
3. Met my daughter, mother and sister for lunch at Panera. I ordered an inexpensive bowl of soup and drank water with my meal.
4. My daughter and I spend the day cooking up items for burrito bowls. I had made two pounds of black beans in the slow cooker and we cooked up some chicken and cilantro lime rice. I divided it in half and sent some home with her so I know she’ll have something decent to eat. She goes to school and works so she’s not always eating well.
5. I’m keeping my thermostat set very low and using blankets and warm clothes, hot tea etc to stay warm. I’m also keeping busy which means I’m keeping myself warm…..and hot flashes don’t hurt either.


Christine November 16, 2019 at 3:59 pm

Oh the hot flashes! How could I forget? I’d say I definitely prefer blankets, warm clothes and hot tea to those. Getting old has a few benefits and one of those is the lack of hot flashes!


Bee November 16, 2019 at 5:44 am

1. Since I have been over on that side of town, I have made two trips to the GW bins over the last few weeks. On the first trip, I found very little. However, I heard so many good things that I gave it another try. My last trip was amazing. I spent just over $22 and this is what I bought. For personal use •two sealed boxes of high end Christmas cards • new Williams and Sonoma Christmas dish towels (hostess gift) • nice, new adult coloring book and metalwork book mark (stocking stuffers)•Red cashmere sweater, white blouse, cute t-shirt • small hammered copper pot (gift) •Tervis Tumbler with lid (for hubby) For resale • 10 vintage, designer scarfs • 1920s Egyptian revival bronze bookends •Two Taylor Made drivers (golf) • 4 knitting books •new Vera Bradley solid black crossbody bag. The GW really is hit or miss. I wish I lived closer, but maybe it’s good thing that I don’t. It’s easy to spend an entire afternoon there.
2. I also hate to grocery shop and have never been able to successfully delegate this chore to anyone else. I went yesterday and combined BOGOs, a $20 competitors coupon, and digital store coupons and saved $42. I should also receive $5 in my Ibotta account and was able to buy a $50 gas card for only $40.
3. As always, I am trying not to waste any food. (Sometimes not successfully). I made a nice pot of minestrone soup that used up a piece of roast, spaghetti sauce and some spaghetti squash before these bits lingered in the refrigerator for too long. I served this with a crusty loaf of bread and parmesan cheese. Delicious on a rainy, cool evening.
4. I finish reading Tara Westover’s book, Educated which I borrowed from the library. It was a moving story — both inspiring and heartbreaking. I have now picked up my book club selection, Redemption by David Baldacci. This is not the type of novel that I usually read. If I don’t like it, I won’t owned it. I do love the library!
5. I doing all the usual things – drinking primarily water, brewing my own coffee, and eating home-cooked meals. I am watching streamed television, using my YMCA membership regularly, and spending time outdoors.


A. Marie November 16, 2019 at 5:47 am

FFT, Winter ‘s Here Edition:

(1) An FT from before the first snow fell: Some neighbors around the corner who are nice guys but unfrugal gardeners tossed out a rose-scented geranium (pelargonium) that was getting leggy. Spying a not-leggy section that might work as a cutting, I borrowed DH’s Swiss Army knife and helped myself. It’s hanging in there so far, although losing a few of its bottom leaves. And the croton cutting I mentioned in a previous comment is likewise hanging on. Come on, plant babies!

(2) The birds are enjoying seed from all three of our “squirrel-resistant” feeders, including the one I trashpicked a while ago from another nice but unfrugal neighbor. So far, the squirrels haven’t figured the feeders out. But I have invested in some Fiery Surprise suet (treated with hot pepper) to keep the rodents from stuffing themselves on my suet. Eagerly awaiting “feedback” (pardon the pun).

(3) The Bestest Neighbors have decided to host Thanksgiving at their home here this year instead of at their Lake Erie cottage, at least partly on DH’s account (he does not adapt at all well to overnights away from home any more).
Very glad to be spared a long drive on a busy travel weekend with iffy weather possible–and even gladder about the reduction in anxiety and confusion for DH. As ever, I’m grateful to the BNs.

(4) Have been joining Katy and Mand in working on contents of pantry and freezer. Made up some spaghetti day before yesterday that was several months past its “best by” date. We’re still alive.

(5) And since we’ll be spending Black Friday at home instead of at the cottage, I’m working on plans that will keep me as far out of the malls and big box stores as possible. (Aside from a few odds and ends that I usually pick up at our local peace & justice organization’s craft fair in early December, and the Martha Stewart calendar that will get made up during that month, I’m done with acquiring gifts.)


Lisa M. November 16, 2019 at 9:10 am

A. Marie, Re: Your #2 – You are having much more luck keeping squirrels out of you bird feeders than I am. I have filled ours twice & both times the little critters have wreaked havoc by dumping the entire contents (they are VERY chunky) or by chowing down continuously leaving nothing for the birds other than spilled seed on the ground. Granted, our feeder is a low-end purchase from the big box store purchased for DD’s enjoyment when she was young, so I should probably upgrade to squirrel resistant. I just checked & tree squirrels don’t hibernate but sleep a lot during bitter cold, so perhaps I’ll wait until the temp. drops further before refilling in hopes the cold will deter them.


Christine November 16, 2019 at 4:16 pm

Lisa and A.Marie…our bird feeders hang on freestanding poles in the back yard. A few years back, we got really tired of feeding the squirrels black oil sunflower seed especially since the birds for who it was intended were afraid to light on the feeders to eat while the squirrels were on them. We tried hoods around the poles to block them…well, the hoods were made of plastic and the little pests chewed right through them and shimmied back up the poles to the feeders. Next we tried metal hoods with tremendous success. Only the extremely occasional smart squirrel can get by them and by that I mean one or two every year, if that. Just thought you might want to know if you have freestanding poles. The hoods work, just not the plastic ones.


A. Marie November 16, 2019 at 4:52 pm

Thanks to Lisa M. and Christine for their input. The reason I put “squirrel-resistant” in quotes is that I expect the little @#$%!!s will figure out the feeders eventually. I’ll keep Christine’s thoughts about the metal hoods in mild. We do have free-standing poles, BTW. And I’ve been mixing hot pepper in with the birdseed, which may also be helping.


A. Marie November 16, 2019 at 4:53 pm

For “in mild,” read “in mind,” of course.

Nancy from mass November 16, 2019 at 6:18 pm

Squirrel resistant feeders are great, as long as you can keep them in a place that they can’t get too. I have a freestanding pole with a metal baffle and it works pretty good. But on another hook, I always hang two suet feeder‘s and I don’t mind if the squirrels get into those they’re cheaper than regular birdseed. Although, I hung two up the other day, one appears to be missing. The squirrels did this to me last year where they knocked one down and dragged it off. Darn squirrels.


WilliamB November 16, 2019 at 6:51 am

Katy – however do you sell a single tile? I don’t mean the mechanics, I mean thinking that someone would want it and finding a buyer. (For that matter, I’m trying to get my head around someone thinking to look for a single tile.)

1) Saved about 80% over new, by buying a new-to-me dining set on Craigslist! Ethan Allan table (for 6-10), 10 Restoration Hardware upholstered chairs, leaves, and custom pads. By shopping my attic, I did the associated redecorating without spending extra.

2) Saved some money for my friends by adding their Rancho Gordo order to mine.

3) Made enough Salsa Bean soup (with those amazing Rancho Gordo beans) for 6-7 lunches. I expect to eat one about every other day, with canned soup and leftovers on the other days.

4) Bought nothing except food.

5) Will make dog treats from the smoked pig parts (leftover from my days of buying pastured pork in bulk) that have been in my deep freezer for about 5 years.


Katy November 16, 2019 at 12:13 pm

I simply described it as a single hexagonal marble bathroom tile. I listed it as an experiment to see if it was a salable item.


Roberta November 16, 2019 at 8:41 am

1. Sold a John-Paul Gautier summer blouse my mom had been given for her shop, on ebay. New with tags, I am *shocked* at how much it cost new — over $500! Sold it for considerably less on ebay, but still more than I would spend for a blouse.
2. Found a brand new digital picture frame at Goodwill. I will give it to my father-in-law for Christmas, loaded with pictures of the family. I looked it up on Amazon, and it runs $90 new!
3. Had friends over for a game night last night. Made taco salad out of a variety of leftovers, and killed a cheap bottle of wine. Much better than eating out!
4. Finished assembling my niece’s wedding gift picnic basket. I was unable to find a small wooden cutting board — new or used! — so I left that out. Included the basket (with flatware, plastic plates, glasses), two linen napkins, smoked salmon, sausage, cheese, crackers, two sharp knives in sheathes, almonds, raspberry-maple spread, and chocolates, and a tiny tea light holder (and both a battery candle and real candle) for less than $30. Wrapped it with tulle leftover from the last wedding.
5. Managed to eek out the groceries last week. We ran out of non-cow milk, so I was forced to use cow milk in my morning tea (I have a mild allergy, so I tend to try to avoid cow milk), but managed to skip making an extra trip.
Other than that, it was a lot of frugal fails. I’m pretty sure my son’s phone is lost forever, and I’m going to have to figure out how to replace it. He may have ruined an entire load of laundry because it still stinks, even after rewashing AND HE NEEDS SOME OF THOSE CLOTHES FOR THE WEDDING TONIGHT! But, fortunately, we do have the resources to deal with these challenges!


KJD509 November 16, 2019 at 10:03 am

Really having a hard time finding the frugal things these days, but here goes:

1) Instead of sleeping in after a long hard week and finding myself off kilter, uncaffeinated and cross all day, got up the first time I woke up, made coffee and oatmeal, set it out with chopped pears on their last legs and the dregs of a carton of cream before it turned. No coffeeshop temptation and an excuse for a nice frugal nap later on.

2) Preparing for a potluck Thanksgiving. We’re doing the turkey and gravy, which will not be inexpensive as I think we’ll need two or maybe three birds. . . but we avoid all the other costs!

3) Littlest pulled a muscle this week and needs a couple of days on the couch with a heating pad. Library movies for the win!

4) Hubs and I spent hours going over our employer-based insurance options because his is changing radically in January. Contributions from my paycheck will go up $34/month, while his monthly cost will drop more than $300, for essentially the same coverage we’ve had plus a health savings account. Definitely worth the time to sort it out, but what a pain to have to do so!

5) Public transportation instead of a Lear jet, and it’s working out just fine


Bee November 16, 2019 at 10:14 am

Try soaking the clothing in vinegar and baking soda. It took out my son’s hiker stench, so it may work for you!


Roberta November 18, 2019 at 6:58 am

Thanks, Bee. Hiker stench is a concept I had not previously considered! I’ll pass this info along to him. (I am desperately trying to get him to learn to take care of his laundry on his own. I’m not sure how well it’s doing.)


Bee November 18, 2019 at 4:00 pm

Not a pleasant thought, but it is a real thing!!! When you live in the woods and hike 30 miles a day, your clothes no longer fresh and clean!!!


Lindsey November 16, 2019 at 1:21 pm

1. Been waiting to stock up on some pantry items so that I could make the $150 required for a free turkey at our grocery store. Got a 22 pounder.
2. Needed a part for my wheelchair and found it on Amazon. The grocery store was having a buy gift cards and get 6 times the points, so I bought $500 worth of Amazon cards and used them to buy the wheelchair part. This morning filled the gas tank plus two five gallon gas containers (that we found at the dump years ago) and got $2 per gallon off for the points we’d earned from the much needed Amazon card purchase. The total for 25 gallons of fuel was $29.98, so we saved $50! And with the stock up shopping and what is left from the Amazon card purchase, we will be able to do that one more time.
3. I make a killer drunken cranberry relish that my neighbor fell in love with. She makes a rustic mustard every year that I love. This week we happily traded four half pints of each.
4. Sister sent my husband, as a joke, an ugly Christmas sweater. It was way, way too big so I listed it on the FB marketplace for $20 as it still had the tags. It was snapped up immediately and the guy offered me an extra $10 if I could drop by his office with it because he could not get away and wanted to be sure no one else got it. It fit into my errands so I did and happily took $30. He said I saved his life because he is a very big man and could not find an ugly sweater for his office party anyplace in town.
5. Over the years, my husband, who is otherwise perfect, has collected over a dozen ugly Christmas sweaters. When he saw that I could sell the one my sister sent for $20, he agreed to get rid of 10 of the worst offenders. They were all gently used so I listed them for $15 each and have sold six of them already. They were snapped up within an hour of being listed!

Frugal fail: persimmons were on sale this week, for $1.50 each. They’re my favorite fruit, available only about a month a year here, so I bought four of them. I left them on the counter and the dog ate them. It never occurred to me that he would go after them, since I have seen him leave hamburger alone. Not his fault, he was just being a dog. The worst part was that I went back to get a few more and they were sold out.


Bethany M November 16, 2019 at 2:31 pm

I like the ugly sweater story. Yea for an extra $30! Woot!


susanna d November 16, 2019 at 2:03 pm

1. Had a good mail day – $44 class action settlement check, $20 rebate check and $12 rebate check. All checks went straight into the bank.
2. Spent some quality time reading a Backpacker magazine from my free subscription. Now that I’ve read it, I’ll pass it to my son, who will pass it on to at least three other people (that I’m aware of – there may be more). That little magazine gets around.
3. Used two Menard’s merchandise credit checks to buy a dremel blade, some other tool, and a bunch of suet cakes for the suet feeder. Our woodpeckers are extremely picky about what brand of suet they eat. Seriously; they will not eat the cheaper stuff nor the homemade suet. Out of pocket cost came to $3.10 but I’ll get a $2.59 merchandise credit rebate for this puchase which makes the final cost 51 cents.
4. Found another quarter on the ground, this time up in our neck of the woods (literally, we live in woods).
5. Went grocery shopping for the first time in 3 weeks and snagged three free items: a brick of cream cheese, a container of liquid hand soap, and some overnight oats.


Bethany M November 16, 2019 at 2:20 pm

I separated the kids bunk beds and moved them into different rooms. This resulted in some rearranging and decluttering. Sold enough outgrown clothes and junk to pay for my CSA box this week.

Told my friend about the CSA. It’s a cheap way to get loads of fruits and veg and organic dairy. She loved it and we’re going to take turns getting them to save a little gas money.

Instead of pitching the spicy spaghetti sauce from my box, I put it in 4 smaller batches and will cut the spice with tomato paste and water. Family wasn’t thrilled with it last time. One batch for pizza tonight and 3 batches in the freezer for later.

Cleared out enough stuff from the freezer for today’s and tomorrow’s meals to give me enough room for an extra turkey. Excited about that! Cheap and delicious meat.

Free hike and guided tour at Indian Canyon in Palm Springs this week. We’re all looking forward to our first field trip this year. We’ve hit the books hard at our little homeschool acad.


tracy November 16, 2019 at 3:08 pm

Unlike you Katy, I actually love grocery shopping and especially love getting things for a great price. This makes it challenging to stay frugal since I get tempted to buy things when they are a good deal. But last weekend I stocked up so this weekend I was committed to just a fill-in shop. Between sale milk, rewrap veggies and the advertised loss leaders I got a ton of groceries for $60 that will get us through the week. So, let’s see where my FFT are:

1. Made a pot of black bean soup today using up some iffy peppers, jalapenos, a sale chorizo sausage and some leftover sweet potatoes. Came up with a BIG pot of very tasty spicy soup for maybe $5 spent on ingredients, we will get a couple of dinners and I will get a couple of lunches out of it.
2. 1/2 gallons of milk were on sale for .99 so I bought two half gallons of whole milk and am trying to make my own yogurt for the first time… I’ll report back.
3. I made a big double batch of granola this a.m. also. Bought oats in bulk and used up a bunch of odds and ends in the seed and nut department (as in my disorganized kitchen cupboards), as well as one bag of chocolate chips bought with a coupon. Ended up with 4 large quart containers of granola for maybe $6 worth of ingredients, would’ve cost easily $20-25 to buy that much and wouldn’t have been as tasty.
4. We are not exchanging gifts with extended family this year at our gathering the weekend before Christmas (yay!) but my much younger cousin is expecting her first baby, and since her Mom passed away unexpectedly a few months ago I want to spoil her a bit. I am putting together a gift bag of baby stuff for her, so far found a darling organic cotton onsie on sale and found a half price package of Huggies diapers today. Will add a few other things.
5. Going to my sister in law’s for dinner tomorrow eve, offered to bring things I can make from what I have on hand (salad, pumpkin cake with cream cheese frosting) to avoid further grocery spending.


Heidi Louise November 16, 2019 at 5:01 pm

Tracy: How good of you to spoil the new Mom!
My favorite practical baby item was onesie-extenders. I saw them once by chance and bought them on a whim and used them forever. They are simply a little patch a couple of inches square with snaps that snap onto a onesie to make the flap longer. They stretched (pun intended) the length of time the onesie could be worn, as my son grew taller more quickly than he grew across his shoulders. The assortment pack I bought had a couple of different diameters of snaps that fit different brands. Are these still a thing?


tracy November 19, 2019 at 4:58 am

Onsie extenders sound like a great idea Heidi Louise, I don’t think I’ve ever seen them.


tracy November 19, 2019 at 4:57 am

Yogurt came out great! Ended up with a half gallon or so of delicious greek yogurt for total outlay of $2.79. Next time won’t have to buy the .79 cup of yogurt to use for culture can just use a bit of the yogurt I made.


K D November 16, 2019 at 3:44 pm

1. We have been eating at home. Today my husband made applesauce in the crock pot with$.49/# apples.

2. We walked up to the grocery store to pick up a couple items for lunch tomorrow. I also picked up a free loaf of bread (an offer added to my rewards card). I dropped the bread off at a neighbor’s house (we’re GF) when I stopped to borrow her Spritz cookie maker. We also found two pennies, a dime, and a dollar (in four different places).

3. It appears my cell phone died today. I asked my daughter about what type of phone (unlocked or not) that I should get (we share a plan that she knows more about) and she offered to loan me an older phone to use while I figure out what to do. Hopefully my research will turn up a good deal.

4. I entered a blogger’s giveaway and won an Amazon gift card. I try not to shop there but will gift them to someone that could really use them.

5. Same old, same old.


Christine November 16, 2019 at 3:45 pm

1. Just noticed an ad in a local (free) newspaper. Christmas trees for $33 and they’re known as the cheapest ones around. Geez, sometimes I wish I owned a wood lot or knew someone who did and wouldn’t mind a missing pine tree. I’m not fussy.
2. I’m attending a baby shower tomorrow and will be wearing my old but dressy black pants and black tank top with a tailored (looking) jacket over it. Get ready for a post-Halloween horror story now. There were times in the past I would take this very jacket to the dry cleaners not because I didn’t want to wash it but because I didn’t feel like ironing it. Shudder.
3. Bought books for Baby and Mama at my friend’s indie book store where I have credit for bringing in books for her to sell. She sells used and new. The baby and mother books were new.
4. I noticed a local supermarket has .37 lb. turkeys. I will pick one up and freeze it even though I’m not cooking Thanksgiving dinner.
5. DH and I had a date last night sipping drinks in front of our fire pit. When it burned down we went inside for freezer to oven pizza!


susanna d November 17, 2019 at 6:41 am

Christine, re: #1, it’s too bad we’re not neighbors or you’d be free to help yourself to a pine each year. Because – in the “doesn’t it just figure?” category – we learned years ago that having a “real” Christmas tree seriously aggravates my husband’s allergies. So, despite the fact that we live on a lot surrounded by pines, hemlocks, etc. and have a seemingly endless supply of free trees, our Christmas tree is of the “fake” variety.


Christine November 17, 2019 at 3:30 pm

susanna, I wish we were neighbors not only for the pine tree offer but because your words make it evident you are a very kind person. Thank you for your offer. I wish you and your family a Happy Thanksgiving!


Deb November 17, 2019 at 4:49 am

Katie I love to read about your adventures at Goodwill. My own recent Goodwill experiences have a different but positive twist. I buy kids coats there, stain treat and wash them and then mend where needed. I donate these to a local elementary school where the counselor gives them to families in need. I am amazed at the top brands I find such as Lands End and Columbia and I have not paid more than $4 a coat.


Christine November 17, 2019 at 3:34 pm

Deb, that is such a lovely and needed thing for you to do. The fact that you wash, stain treat and mend the coats is an added bonus for the recipients. You made an already great day much greater for me. Bless you and Happy Thanksgiving!


Katy November 18, 2019 at 10:38 am

I just love that you do this! Thank you!


cynthia November 18, 2019 at 4:34 pm

I love your Goodwill mission. I am going to do it!


Debra November 19, 2019 at 1:46 am

I hope you find it as rewarding as I do!


Ana November 18, 2019 at 11:58 am

This just made my day. So kind. Thank you!


Momma L November 17, 2019 at 8:05 am

Things I learned from this group:
1. Make beans, don’t buy them canned
2. Repair your clothes, don’t replace them
3. Sweater shavers are awesome
4. Make the broth from bones and veggie bits instead of buying it.
5. So many things can be composted!
Thank you all! I’ve done all of these things and more this week.


Betta from daVille November 17, 2019 at 11:58 am

Not a terribly frugal week since we were traveling but….
1) found 5 pennies in a parking lot
2) went out to a restaurant that was recommended. The food took so long to get that the owner picked up our entire check (3 drinks, 1 appetizer, 2 entrees). We did leave a hefty tip.
3) Went through our freezers and cross-referenced our inventory, made more room to stock up on lots of butter from Aldi’s.
4) Making 2 lots of soup (ribollita and jota) using stock-from-scraps, day-old bread, leftover sauerkraut from summer party that we froze.
5) all this frugalness is allowing us to “adopt a family” from The Home for Little Wanderers during the holiday season.


Christine November 17, 2019 at 3:37 pm

Your #5…wonderful! The people on this blog like you continue to inspire me.


Susan November 17, 2019 at 2:48 pm

-Made dinner 3x this week. I’ve had horrible morning sickness for 9 weeks so we’ve been eating so much takeout, I’m happy to have a few homemade meals
-I’ve been spending more time at home since my energy has been low, which means no money being spent on extra shopping or activities. Watching my parents xfinity for cable and in laws Netflix.
-Paid for homebirth midwife (second time using her) with HSA money, which is way less expensive than a hospital birth with my high deductible. I didn’t choose this route because of cost but it is an added benefit!
-Encouraging family to buy practical gifts for my son for Christmas like winter boots, gloves, socks and Montessori style learning toys instead of plastic crap
-Trying to buy a commercial space for my office, which will save tens of thousands of dollars a year over the long term


ouvickie November 18, 2019 at 6:57 am

1) My granddaughters spent the weekend with me, so we went a short trip into town on Saturday and checked out the brand new 3 story library.
2) Perused the Goodwill store – the oldest picked out some nice athletic shorts, a beautiful Forever 21 sweater and the youngest got a cute necklace. I spent $15, but everything was in perfect shape and usable for years to come.
3) We hit the Dollar Tree for some needed supplies – light bulb, CLR cleaner, facial tissue and a few other items – I think I spent $8, but much cheaper than buying what I needed anywhere else.
4) On the way home we hit 1/2 price happy hour at Sonic and spent $3 on drinks for all of us.
5) The rest of the weekend was spent baking cookies, watching Netflix series and me doing their laundry, since my daughter’s washer is waiting for a lid-latch repair. Cheap fun and frugal buys, plus a whole weekend with my favorite girls.


Pattilou November 18, 2019 at 7:22 am

1. I checked the state website for unclaimed funds and found that I had $39.00 there. I made a claim and now it is on the way to me.
2. I have had a crazy busy schedules or the past few weeks and I managed to cook all of my meals and not eat out.
3. I wore a a pair of pants that my niece no longer wanted and a shirt I already had to an event I had to go to. No new clothes for me right now.
4. I found 35 cents yesterday
5. Finally got my flu shot while running errands. I can get one for free at one pharmacy and I was finally near by.

Frugal fail: my water bill was especially high last month so I have been doubly conscious about that. I flushed the toilet before I left the house, only to come home to find that it was continually running and probably had been for four hours. Ugh!!


Susie's Daughter November 18, 2019 at 7:48 am

It has been ages since I posted, but I am so grateful to Katy and the frugal forces who keep on keeping on while I read from the sidelines.

1) I know it has been a wicked long time (as we like to say in New England) since I posted because the first thing I wanted to report was from “back to school”. DS received a blue blazer in a hand me down lot that had a salad dressing stained sleeve and was missing buttons on the front. Given how fast he is growing (ie. knowing it won’t fit for too long), I figured I would risk washing it (vs dry cleaning – ugh) at home and hanging it on the line. Stain remover worked wonders, dried perfectly outside and I moved a sleeve button from either side to replace the missing ones in the front. Woohoo! He wore it for picture day which is good because it may not fit by the winter concert…

2) Snow began in earnest last week and appears to be staying, along with cold temps. I harvested remaining kale and broccoli and onions before first snow. I think I took in about 35 pounds of onions. They are in “cold storage” (aka the mudroom) for the time being.

3) Also picked up a bunch of roadside returnables just before the snow knowing that they would be buried until spring. Money for the “Family Fun” fund.

4) Lots of kitchen victories Tightwad Gazette style recently, including an entirely leftover-constructed very tasty Reuben dip for Dear Wife’s bday dinner. Served with pita chips made from ancient frozen pitas bought on mark down. I will have to go back and look up the FZ scoring system for leftover victories. The things that amuse me!

5) We took 3 friends with us to see Charlie’s Angels at the Sunday matinee for DW’s bday activity. $25 total for tickets for the five of us and one of our friends generously bought popcorn. Loved the movie and the company!


Kristen | The Frugal Girl November 18, 2019 at 8:00 am

I hate grocery shopping too, and I don’t even know why. I never have to drive far, I don’t even have to bring my kids with me now…but I still do not like it.


Mand01 November 18, 2019 at 12:58 pm

I don’t mind the actual task itself but I resent the time it takes. I could shop online but it’s hard to really get good deals that way, plus delivery people hate our house because of the giant staircase.


Lisa M. November 18, 2019 at 6:15 pm

I agree with both Kristen & Mand. I do the grocery shopping simply because it has to be done & after doing it regularly for 23 years, it is incredibly monotonous & time consuming. It’s not like it was back in my single days when I could manage on monthly groceries. I try to make it a bit more interesting by monitoring coupons, comparison pricing, looking for clearance & new items. Those challenges make it a tad more interesting.


Jann in Maine November 18, 2019 at 10:59 am

Hightailed it to the market today as we are expecting ice,rain and snow and my coupons expired tomorrow–a $9 off total and a $6 off of cat food. Bought for Thanksgiving and Christmas foods looking ahead.
Grateful for Five Frugal Things–I enjoy the postings from all over who share my philosophy and do many of the things I do plus I learn new things to add to my repertoire. Never too old for that!


LB November 18, 2019 at 1:21 pm

1. As a follow up to last week, I managed to find a pair of black ankle boots on poshmark for $19! With a credit they were $12 all told. They are arriving today so fingers crossed they fit and can be modeled tomorrow!

2. Got home from a weekend away yesterday afternoon. Avoided the siren call of lunch delivery with a quick whip-up of lo mein featuring veggies about to go bad.

3. With two nights out of town, managed to crash at a friend’s one night and an airbnb another. Total travel and lodging costs was $120 for two nights including highway tolls. Not too shabby!

4. Kept frugal food rolling with a pb&j for lunch. Might cave to an evening snack before the gym out–but still guaranteed to be cheaper than the salad I wanted to order.

5. Got a compliment on my earrings today that were my aunt’s back from the 80’s. I love them and I’m glad they’re still getting attention!

6. Streaming TV, drinking coffee at home and eating breakfast before leaving the house, and drinking plenty of water to stave off small costs so we can pay for big stuff we want to do.


Rachel November 18, 2019 at 1:53 pm

I haven’t done the frugal 5 in a while!

1. I took some of my old outdoor gear to the resale basement of a local outdoor store and got some store credit in exchange. Then I perused the used items and found a Patagonia shirt that I have coveted for a long time in just my size! It smelled awful, but I soaked it in vinegar and washed it, and it was good as new. And basically free, since my credit covered it.

2. I got some sourdough starter from a neighbor on Buy Nothing and spent the weekend learning how to maintain and bake with sourdough. A fun and free experiment, which will hopefully also be delicious.

3. I have been listening to the audiobook of The Hate U Give through the library’s Libby app. It’s soooo good.

4. I spent some time going through my house and decluttering, and posted the items on Buy Nothing. It makes my house more tidy, which makes me happy, and I get to give things away to my neighbors, who are very grateful to receive them. Great use of time!

5. We’ve been loving the Ken Burns Country Music docu-series, which is available to watch on my local public television app (OPB).


Juhli November 19, 2019 at 9:38 am

Spent six days out of town with a long family visit and 3rd birthday party for our granddaughter. A few frugal items

1. We took the fruit, open lunch meat, bread and cheese with us which was happily eaten for lunches by all.
2. Encouraged finding ways to cook and eat dinners at home in the midst of party food prep.
3. Shared lunches on the driving days at inexpensive restaurants that had dog friendly patios.
4. Gave only one birthday gift which was immediately played with!
5. Mostly gave our time and effort to party prep and home improvement/repair projects rather than money although we did pitch in on party food supplies.


AuntiAli November 23, 2019 at 4:22 am

My frugal 5:
1. Got our dividend check from our insurance company. Put the $96 in the bank so it can be used for Christmas.
2. Hubby got his raise and it’s in his paychecks now. Yay!
3. Have drove around much and yesterday I went to a doctor appointment and noticed I could use some gas. My regular station had gas for $2.55. I couldn’t remember what prices were before. Shows how often I get out.
4. Sitting under my SAD lamp for 15 minutes a day. May use energy but saves my sanity with the cold, dark months of November and December.
5. Dh will pick our free turkey this weekend. Our regular grocery store offered them for free once you spent $400.Hmmm, may not be such a good deal but we shop there every week


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