Five Frugal Things

by Katy on November 19, 2019 · 74 comments

  1. I stopped into a nearby Goodwill store to recharge my batteries and ended up walking out with three items:

    • A $3.49 Salvatore Ferragamo silk necktie which I quickly resold for $30.

    • A $1.99 painting from the Tanzanian artist Simon George Mpata, whose art is displayed in museums throughout the world. I put it up on eBay for just $200 as there’s no way I can authenticate the piece.

    • A $2.99 vintage pixie elf figurine that I’ll likely keep.

    The way that I rationalize these purchases, (and not cross the line into becoming a hoarder) is to immediately list any and all items that I buy for resale. My entire eBay inventory slots into a small corner of our spare bedroom and other than the packing tape, (which needs to be new) I exclusively ship with secondhand supplies.

  2. I got an email for a free Redbox DVD yesterday, so I scrolled through a kiosk to see if there were any movies that my family might enjoy. However, I’d just stopped in at the library and checked out a DVD of Bohemian Rhapsody. I realized that I didn’t need to burden myself with a free DVD that charges a $1.99 per-day late fee when I was already in possession of a movie that wouldn’t be late until December 9th.

    It can be fun to chase the blink-before-they’re-gone exciting deals, but in the end it’s the dull daily frugal practices that support my family’s debt-free lifestyle.

  3. I met up for a parallel play writing date with my friend Lise. Both of us have kids in college and go to extreme lengths to not waste money. This means that our get togethers tend more towards, “Hey, they have free coffee at Ikea” rather than “Let’s meet at Starbucks.”

    I have other friends who would not enjoy the weirdness of repeat Ikea coffee dates, but that just means that we rarely get together.

  4. I accepted the offer of excess produce from a neighbor who was going out of town, I called my car insurance company to update info (which’ll save us $73.18 per year) I mended a pair of my husband’s work pants as well as my travel purse (which turned out to contain a lost pair of sunglasses!) I received some Fred Meyer (Kroger) coupons in the mail and actually remembered to use them, (free eggs and pasta sauce!) and I watched The Spy Who Dumped Me with my daughter through my mother’s Amazon Prime account.

  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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{ 74 comments… read them below or add one }

Mand01 November 19, 2019 at 2:41 pm

1. My neighbour is selling us his used chicken coop. He’s a continual fixer-upper, so he’s already made improvements to it and is painting it for us to match our house. I found a can of exterior paint to match. He and my husband are installing it on the weekend, then we will get chickens the following weekend. It’s a bit cheaper than buying a coop, but it’s definitely more sustainable as it’s recycling a used coop. He’s recently built Cluckingham Palace for his flock, so this was just a spare.
2. My husband’s colleague gave us a kilo of fresh mulberries and a jar of mulberry jam. We are some and I’ve just bottled mulberry kombucha.
3. Working a lot of freelance hours in the lead up to the end of the year.
4. Planning tonight’s meal around the fridge and pantry contents, and the garden.
5. Started soaking the fruit for the Christmas cake. I’ll have to make it toot sweet (as we pronounce it here in Australia) as it is fast becoming too hot for baking. 43 degrees Celsius expected today in my area.
The Christmas cake will be a gift for multiple people, along with jars of homemade brinjal pickles.


Susie's Daughter November 19, 2019 at 2:47 pm

Cluckingham Palace – LOVE IT!


A. Marie November 19, 2019 at 3:19 pm

Mand, I’m delighted by your #1. (I always had a fantasy of keeping chickens, but current circumstances have made it impossible.) However, “Cluckingham Palace” as the name of your friend’s new coop worries me: Please reassure me that he doesn’t have a rooster named Prince Andrew…


Mand01 November 19, 2019 at 3:20 pm

No roosters, only hens!
We have kept chickens in the past, but not for many years. I am very much looking forward to having them again – they are one of my favourite animals. They are very peaceful to have around, and so useful.


Susie's Daughter November 19, 2019 at 2:50 pm

Katy – That Pixie is all kinds of fabulous!

1) I am trying to figure out what my middle aged style is going to be and realized it would be great to have some button down shirts again. (Early kid years involved all cotton long sleeved t-shirts that could be washed free of any number of compounds). I found two yesterday at a lovely thrift store down the street from my hair stylist. Two fancy name brand shirts for $11 total seems like a reasonable fashion risk.

2) Found a penny this morning. I always take those as a kiss from my deceased ultra-frugal Nana. I needed that kiss today.

3) Walking for exercise – two short walks in the snow rain mix today, but I got out there for 20 minutes.

4) Gathering receipts to submit for work reimbursement. I often let this go too long, but am trying to remember to pay myself as part of administrative tasks.

5) Sent my dear friend two books via USPS media mail and they arrived in two days. We live 2.5 hours apart and are forming our own book club. Occasionally, we will meet at a great bakery half way between each other for coffee, treats, and soul sustaining discussion in person. As so many folks have said, dear friends are priceless.


Bee November 20, 2019 at 7:01 am

Pennies from heaven! My cousin and I live 1000 miles apart. Since we can’t be in the same book club, we read the same book and will talk about. We just had a lively conversation about Tara Westover’s book, Educated. I also send her my favorite thrift shop and bargain books when I am done with them.


SEA November 20, 2019 at 1:20 pm

Smiled at your #2 — after my (frugal) father died, I told my kids that he would send them pennies, and that they should always keep an eye out when we were out and about. After a few moments of reflection, my 10 year old son asked “Could he send us quarters instead?” 🙂 Out of the mouths of babes!


Susie's Daughter November 20, 2019 at 3:52 pm

Bee and SEA – I found 5 more pennies today!! Grubby and hiding under a little bit of slushy snow. I was smiling away in the grocery store parking lot…


Ava November 19, 2019 at 3:09 pm

1. Made our first cool weather trip to the lumber yard that puts out scrap wood for people to take. We collected pieces for crafts and kindling. This year I made at least $72 selling Christmas crafts made from the free scrap wood.
2. Last summer I picked up a broken stem of a decorative plant off the sidewalk. I recognized it as one I used to grow but mine had died out. I rooted the found piece and now have 2 pots full.
3. We have a dog with a torn or sprained acl requiring almost total bed rest and large doses of money administered to the vet. We are taking less invasive and cheaper paths on the vet’s advice before considering surgery. Surgery would be even bigger money, plus more recovery time. Hoping the current route will be successful.
4. Made a slight change in insurance for next year, which takes copays for specialists from $30 to $5.
5. Had a delicious meal of pinto beans and cornbread. I need to do that more often.


Su Mama November 19, 2019 at 4:49 pm

Ava, can you share with us what crafts you’ve been making from the scrap wood?


Ava November 19, 2019 at 6:50 pm

One was just a small rectangle of wood, painted black with a snowman painted on it. Add a wire hanger with some greenery & a jingle bell to make an ornament . The other was larger pieces of wood, 3 upright pieces on a base, dressed as snowmen.


Bee November 20, 2019 at 5:52 am

Scrap wood Christmas trees have been very popular at my friends store this year. This is what they look like.


Ava November 19, 2019 at 3:11 pm

Katy, I have severe elf envy. That is exactly the kind of thing I love.


Mary in VA November 21, 2019 at 8:53 am

I never cease to be amazed at the things Katy finds at Goodwill.The Goodwill stores in my area leave a lot (I mean, a LOT!) to be desired. I’m having Goodwill envy, sigh…


Christine November 19, 2019 at 3:16 pm

Katy, I have 3 elves extremely similar to the one you found at GW. They were my grandfather’s and bring back fond memories.
1. I told a friend I was making a pumpkin pie and an apple pie to bring to my daughter’s house for Thanksgiving. She immediately gave me advice on where I can buy a good pie. Ummm…no thanks. With the food processor, even the crust is a snap.
2. I’m also bringing a corn pudding to my daughter’s Thanksgiving dinner and noticed I only have to buy one more can of cream style corn to complete the casserole. Everything else I have on hand.
3. I’m fortunate enough that at my part time job t a deli, my boss who is the owner gives us a sandwich of our choice every day at lunch. Free lunches 4 times a week. My Dad always said there are no free lunches but I think he was wrong about this place. Ha ha and love you Dad.
4. Switched out my Halloween décor for Thanksgiving décor by putting out my ceramic turkey bought at a yard sale years ago and leaving out the autumn silk leaves. Pumpkins went back into the cupboard until next year.
5. Reading library books, watching tv through our wifi and taking walks in the woods for entertainment.


Lisa November 19, 2019 at 5:43 pm

I turned all my Halloween pumpkins facing the house and now they are thanksgiving pumpkins


Roberta November 20, 2019 at 7:01 am

My mother-in-law loved all holidays, and she did that for so many years!


Christine November 21, 2019 at 6:13 pm

That’s great Lisa! One more frugal use…If the pumpkin is still intact by the Christmas season, I cut greens and red berries, take the top off the pumpkin and arrange the greens and berries in the pumpkin. One of my neighbors told me it was very Martha Stewardish of me! This won’t work if the pumpkin is starting to get mushy.


Shevaun November 19, 2019 at 3:29 pm

Five Frugal Things, Personal Hygiene Edition
1. Used my sensitive toothpaste only one-in-four teethbrushes. It’s quite expensive, and I stretch it by not using it every brush and using the regular brand my family uses for other brushes.
2. DS is finally able to understand and obey and close his eyes fully during bathtime, so we will switch over to regular soap instead of tear-free babywash. Currently using babywash only on his face with soap on the rest of his body.
3. As the weather gets colder and our skin gets dryer, we bathe/shower every other day (unless we’re dirty or stinky), saving product and hot water.
4. Washing all clothes on cold water and getting them clean. I do find that my tee shirts need a hot-water-and-vinegar wash once every six months or so, but I do them all in one load and save money the rest of the year.
5. Using diaper rash ointments received for baby gifts years ago on DS’s sore upper lip–he has a cold and runny nose that is exacerbated by licking and biting. He sort of looks like Santa now, too, so it’s free entertainment.


Lindsey November 19, 2019 at 7:43 pm

1. I always watch the cash register entries carefully, and today I was rewarded. The item was incorrectly rung up at the non-sale price. I noticed, asked for a correction and, per store policy, got it for free. Yippee for a bag of free corn.
2. Must be the day for catching errors. Went to Walgreens for a prescription and while there saw a BOGO on body lotion, which I must use after showering or I itch all day. As it turns out, the sale was last week’s but they still honored it because the signage was incorrect, and then they gave me this week’s 20% discount on the moisturizer on top of the BOGO. I sent an email to the company commending the store manager for knowing the policy and being prompt in honoring it.
3. Local soup line that gives a free noon meal to anyone who needs one, put out a message asking for mugs. Two friends were coming over for lunch so I asked them to bring any extras and later in the day the husband delivered 31 mugs to the agency. They don’t give tax receipts but none of us cared, we were happy to pass on mugs that mated and multiplied since the last decluttering.
4. Husband uses a CPAP and it took some time to find the right fit on the nosepiece. As a result, we ended up with six extras of sizes he cannot use—as soon as he put them up to his face, they would not take them back, even though they were not slept in and we still had the original packaging. It made me crazy to think of throwing them away when someone else might need them. Husband agreed to take them to his small choir, explained that he would be leaving them in the back of the room for people to take. By the end of the refreshment break, they were all spoken for. Got them out of the house and into the hands of people who may get some use out of them.
5. Library, library, library…


Mary in VA November 21, 2019 at 8:45 am

I try to watch those cash registers like a hawk! Last night I got to chatting with the CVS cashier and didn’t notice she hadn’t applied the 30% off one item coupon that was on my card. Didn’t notice until later. Ugh, but my fault for not checking. Will try again today and not get distracted!


Mary in VA November 21, 2019 at 8:49 am

Lindsey, I love your #3 and #4. There is nothing more deeply satisfying to me than to pass along perfectly good items to folks who need them!


Christine November 21, 2019 at 6:18 pm

Your #3…really nice. It seems appropriate to hear about the mugs at Thanksgiving time and I’m sure the agency was thrilled to receive the 31 mugs.


tracy November 22, 2019 at 5:18 am

I agree re need to watch register carefully especially at grocery store. I almost always shop weekly specials, use coupons and take advantage of the buy 5 save $5 deals. And, almost every single time one or more of my items doesn’t ring up at the correct discounted price… Never seems to happen the other way around though…


Bethany M November 19, 2019 at 11:40 pm

Took my kids on a free field trip to Indian Canyon in Palm Springs today. We had an Apache guide. Learned a lot, and it went right along with our CA history. It was fabulous. Of course we packed lunches, water bottles, and snacks.

Made pancakes for the kids with the eggnog in my CSA box and hot chocolate from the almond milk yesterday. Feels good to use up things that I wouldn’t normally buy that end up in that box.

Had dinner assembled, just had to throw it in the oven when I got home from the field trip.

Thinking through and rethinking the menu for Thanksgiving. Kids are excited about the gravy. I’m excited about the bone broth afterwards.

Cleared space in my freezer for my turkey and an extra one.


Bee November 20, 2019 at 5:57 am

I would have loved to be on that field trip!!!!


A. Marie November 20, 2019 at 1:50 am

FFT, Rags and Bones Edition:

(1) Vegans and vegetarians, feel free to skip down to (4) now. But I am currently making a beef stock off bones tossed into the freezer earlier, plus the bone from last night’s sirloin steak (from our 1/4 cow from our friend who raises the animals; 2019 price = 2.50/lb.). I’m a believer in using all parts of the animal to the max.

(2) And Dr. Bestest Neighbor just brought over all the bones from the duck he made for dinner night before last–also for eventual soup stock (although I may have to toss these into the freezer for future use). Paging the Marx Brothers: Duck Soup! Hail, Freedonia!

(3) The duck bones will probably be combined with the turkey bones from the BNs’ Thanksgiving feast. I enjoy making stocks (obviously!), and the BNs do not. We’ll share the wealth, of course.

(4) Now, the rags: As always, we’re using cloth rags instead of paper towels whenever possible. We haven’t entirely eliminated the use of paper towels, but I think we’ve cut it back by 80% or so.

(5) And I continue to “rag out” our closets (as they say at the thrift stores) and donate back any clothing that’s still usable but no longer meets DH’s or my needs. DH, for example, can no longer tie shoes independently, so I’ve weeded out all but one or two of his best pairs of shoes with laces.


Kristen | The Frugal Girl November 20, 2019 at 4:42 am

I really hope that $200 painting sells! What a flip that will be.


kris November 20, 2019 at 5:14 am

Oooo I loved Bohemian Rhapsody! Imo it was a better bio-pic than Rocket Man, although I love EJ more than FM, lol. But it was interesting learning about Freddy’s life. I hope you enjoy it!


Bee November 20, 2019 at 6:52 am

I also love the elf — so cute!
1. I have been listing and fortunately selling the many items that I picked up at the GW Bins last week. I have been trying to only use recycled packaging, but I do not have a reliable bubble wrap source. I sell quite a few breakable items. ( ideas welcome). Unfortunately, I had to buy some packing materials and used a Staples coupon for $10 off a $20 purchase.
2. I made my older son extremely happy for very little money. Because of some recent life changes, he is in need of some kitchen items. (He is an unbelievably good cook.) I gave him a huge and heavy wood cutting board that I had purchased at an estate sale a year ago and only used once as a cheese board. I did not have a place to store it, and I knew he would use it daily. (He has the perfect spot for it). I also dropped off 8 matching mugs from the GW bins. I spent $2 and marked two things off his extensive list.
3. The refrigerator is a bit empty. I had no idea what to fix for dinner last night. I had a bulb of fennel and chicken which needed to be used. So I googled “chicken and fennel.” I found a super easy Bon Appetite recipe that I altered slightly. (Orange in the place of lemon.) It was out of this world good. Dinner Disaster adverted by the simple internet search.
4. I had an office day and dealt with a couple of issues related to health care that were on my desk. One was a billing error that would cost me an extra $110. I had tried twice to handle it on the phone, so I sent a certified letter. The other involved my FSA which could have income tax ramifications. Grrrrr….. not my favorite way to spend a beautiful sunny afternoon. Sometimes I wish I could be something other than a responsible adult.
5. All the usual, everyday kind of things – brewing my coffee at home, drinking primarily filtered water, cooking from scratch, limiting food waste, reading library books, streaming TV, and grouping errands.


SEA November 20, 2019 at 1:45 pm

Re your #1: if you have a Michael’s craft store nearby, you might try asking them if they’ll give you some of the foam sheets that their breakable items come wrapped in. They’ll usually gladly hand over a huge bag full!


Bee November 21, 2019 at 4:01 am

Thank you !!!!! I will check into to that. 🙂


Bettypants November 20, 2019 at 7:08 am

1. I bought 16 pairs of snow boots from Lands End on clearance last year to resell, but was only able to move 3 pairs. This year I reduced the price by $5 and they are selling much better. I also sold a vintage Pyrex bowl, a wooden crate, and a couple lots of books.

2. My favorite local resale store had another 50% clothing sale. I found a pair of black velvet Ann Taylor pants for $6, and a cable knit Eddie Bauer cardigan for $5.

3. I replaced our down comforters, which are over 15 years old, worn thin and cannot be revived. I don’t know if I should try to repurpose them? I previously made a dog basket liner and spigot covers from an old down coat, and made a pretty big mess with the down when cutting and sewing.

4. Discovered the Charlie Parker series by John Connolly and am able to request all the books through my library system, so I can read them in order. Love finding a new to me series!

5. Stitched up a pair of my son’s pants, where the seam was coming apart. Also took in the side seams on a velvet-y black floral top. It was on the clearance rack at my resale store for $1. Beautiful fabric, but I think it was there because the sleeves were narrow and the torso was overly blousy. Fixed that and it is a perfect match with my new pants.


susanna d November 20, 2019 at 7:10 am

1. Since we’re planning a family trip that will include visits to several national parks, I stopped at the nearby national forest ranger station and bought a lifetime senior pass for $80. It’ll more than pay for itself on this trip alone, plus I’m hoping to have a lot of good years left in this lifetime to visit other parks with this pass.
2. Speaking of national forests, one of the many benefits of living on the edge of one is the opportunity for lot of hikes among gorgeous scenery. Free exercise – and in a beautiful setting! Despite the weather, we’re still getting lots of exercise outdoors.
3. Downside of living where we do is the extremely cold winters. Spent part of yesterday making the house seem a bit warmer by reversing the direction of the ceiling fans. Also covered the two horribly inefficient windows in the hallway leading to the garage with insulating foam board. We painted it green on the out-facing side to match the trim of the house. It’s not going to win any “beautiful house” awards but it really does make a difference in the temperature of that hallway.
4. While at our son’s home helping with the bathroom remodel, my daughter-in-law served the most amazing jalapeno ginger butternut squash soup. Really, it was the best soup I ever tasted. She forwarded me the recipe, Aldi obliged by having butternut squash for 39 cents per pound a short time back, and today I’ll be warming the house by making a big pot of the soup, since I already had all the rest of the ingredients.
5. Above mentioned soup will provide a lot of yummy, cheap lunches for me. And since my daughter-in-law shared the recipe along with the info that she subbed vegetable broth for the chicken broth, I shared with her the beauty of making your own vegetable stock from veggie scraps. She loved the idea of giving vegetable scraps one more use before composting.


Roberta November 20, 2019 at 7:14 am

1. Our new dishwasher arrived, but they would only install the new one (for $100!) if the old one was already removed. So my poor husband got to install a dishwasher when he got home, with the only out-of-pocket expense being a part that cost less than $1.
2. I picked up a fill-in sub job yesterday, after my regular sub, so I’ll get paid for 1.2 days.
3. Had a pasta bake prepped for last night’s dinner. It wasn’t very good, but my teen son finished it off, so I no longer need to worry about it. And no temptation to eat out after yesterday’s substituting.
4. We got to turn off our landscape water as it is finally raining down here — and more on the forecast! I hope the burn areas stay safe.
5. I’ve sold several things on ebay lately! One was something I bought for ebay, but the rest is stuff we’ve decluttered, so I both get money and space!


LB November 20, 2019 at 9:48 am

1. Writing this as I chomp down on my brought in lunch of a PB&J, carrots, and cherry tomatoes. Somewhere, a 2nd grader is missing their snacktime, but avoiding trendy salads and stews means I have an easy and portable lunch.

2. Realized today I am wearing a relatively old ensemble of black dress, cardigan, and boots. Buying staples has paid off by letting me wear clothes from 2011 that still fit and don’t look outdated!

3. BF went food shopping last night and I cautioned him against too many groceries and only buying staples, since we will be traveling this weekend and out of town for Thanksgiving next week. We have just enough stuff to make it through the week and I’m optimistic on minimal food waste!

4. Managed to book my final orthodontist appointment for the time we are in town next week, so I can avoid another 2.5 hour trip to our old city on the recommended “scheduled” day. Batching errands, extreme edition!

5. I have avoided turning the heat on except for one 3-hour stint. If it’s above 60 inside, I’m sticking to my guns. BF is displeased and chilly, but I hope will be convinced with our next utility bill. Besides, the cats are tiny space heaters who want to cuddle all the time!


Susie's Daughter November 20, 2019 at 11:05 am

“Somewhere a 2nd grader is missing their snacktime…” love it and I do still love a PB&J myself. On white bread even!


Mand01 November 20, 2019 at 10:10 pm

I like the PB but I have never understood combining it with the J – I know it is an American staple.
But then we eat Vegemite, and indoctrinate our children into it as soon as they can eat. I have to keep a spare jar in the pantry, or there will be mutiny in the house if we run out.


Lindsey November 21, 2019 at 7:09 pm

I am American and I don’t understand the fascination with jelly or jam. I can some for my husband, but to me it has the texture of pre-chewed fruit. Yuck. Now PB with Nutella, that I understand!


Mand01 November 21, 2019 at 8:24 pm

I like jam, just not with peanut butter. That’s the bit I don’t understand.

Lisa M. November 21, 2019 at 8:50 pm

The enticing combination seems to be the salt (peanut butter) combined with the sweet (jelly). However, one could argue that processed peanut butter has a significant amount of sugar unless using natural peanut butter as I do that has only peanuts, peanut oil & salt. Then there is a more equal measure of salt & sweetness.

Mary in VA November 23, 2019 at 5:56 am

I used to love PB&J, but now the J makes it too sweet. These days I eat natural peanut butter (no sugar or salt; nothing but peanuts). Very satisfying!


tracy November 20, 2019 at 10:22 am

1. Brought breakfast and lunch to work all days so far this week.
2. Walked several extra blocks to/from meeting after work yesterday to save on parking.
3. Stretching time between hair appointments to save $ overall.
4. Not getting pedicure for a couple more weeks even though nails looking very beat up. And skipping manicures altogether.
5. Limiting grocery shop this week to $65 ($50 plus dog food) to use up stuff on hand and save money.


Jill A November 20, 2019 at 10:35 am

1. Youngest daughter and I had lunch with my in-laws. I made some minestrone using up veggies that needed to be used up. I provided the soup and they provided some yummie bread and cheese.
2. I made some lip balm with my middle daughter. We tried out a different recipe with more beeswax in it which is my preference.
3. I sold a couple more items on Ebay. More stuff out of my house and more money in the bank.
4. I’ve called my bank about a service charge I hadn’t seen before. The charge was removed and I fixed the issue so I won’t receive that charge in the future. I also called student billing at my daughters college and had an incorrect charge removed.
5. I made black bean burgers using beans I had made in the crock pot. I used a recipe from The Prudent Homemaker. I’ve frozen them for future meals.


Kate from Buffalo November 21, 2019 at 5:23 am

Jill, do you have the instructions for the lip balm? I’ve been trying to find one that I like. Thank you!


ouvickie November 20, 2019 at 10:40 am

Love that Christmas Elf, Katy!
1) I just finished off the last of the 3 cheese tortellini I made over the weekend. We had it for supper Saturday evening and I got two lunches out of it this week.
2) A co-worker is having a baby girl next month and I was invited to her baby shower, here at work. Her nursery theme is desert southwest pink & sage colors. I found a few things at GW over the weekend that I think she will like. I’m going by this evening to take advantage of the 50% off Wednesdays for Seniors.
3) I’ve been listening to audiobooks by Jennifer Chiaverini for the past month. She writes historical fiction novels around the theme of Quilting & Abolitionism and WWII resistance. I’m listening to Resistance Women now. I love her novels. All are free audiobooks from the Library and I listen to them on Overdrive.
4) I finally remembered to use the Vitamin drink packets I had stored here at work. They are by Rite-Aid and are basically the same thing as Emergen-C. However, I bought boxes of these packets for $1 each at discount store several months back.
5) Fuel is down to $2.28 per gallon here, at the moment. So I try to fill-up once my car gets below 1/2 tank. I keep praying costs will stay low, now that I have a 100 mile round trip commute everyday, after getting transferred to the city Campus last Spring.


Em November 21, 2019 at 1:08 pm

When I have children, I want to request a nothing new baby shower. I would love to have all gifts be thrifted. I fact, I think a shower game should be who scored the best deal! Thrift stores are always loaded with great kids stuff.


ouvickie November 21, 2019 at 2:05 pm

Em – I totally agree! I bought so many things for my grandkids at thrift stores, my daughter resold them at a garage sale and I think we even donated several things to a shelter. One was a jogging stroller I paid $15 for and all it needed was a new tire. My daughter was so impressed, she said “Mom, did you know those things are $200 or more new?!!”
I had no clue. LOL! Big score!
Good idea on the shower game!!


Christine November 21, 2019 at 6:37 pm

I recently attended a baby shower and while the mom to be had an online registry, she did request that the gifts were not to be wrapped or put in a gift bag due to the waste and the impact on the environment. She asked that a small card be attached to each gift to identify the giver. The unwrapped gifts were arranged on tables for all the guests to view. After the meal, she sat on a chair in the front and held up each gift and thanked us for them. It was really sweet and environmentally friendly.


Pattilou November 20, 2019 at 1:15 pm

1. I sold a vase that I listed on Nextdoor within an hour of listing it. And I sold a baked Brie set within a day. Yippee! Now if only the stuff I have on EBay would sell.
2. I spent some more time listing more items on Nextdoor and Facebook Market place.
3. I ordered a Christmas gift online and while doing so I changed the color of the item at the last minute. I didn’t realize that the size then defaulted to small, which was the wrong size. I noticed it when I got the shipping notice. I went online again and noticed that the item was now $6.00 less than I paid. I ordered the right size at the additional sale price then returned the wrong sized item to the store for a full refund of what I paid. All was done with free shipping.
4. I’m on cranberry sauce duty for Thanksgiving. I opted for a simple, yet delicious, recipe instead of the fancy, add things I don’t normally buy, recipe. All I needed to pick up were the cranberries.
5. Working some overtime this week.


janine November 20, 2019 at 9:20 pm

Your figurine reminds me of one my mother used to display.
1. Spent this e evening watching the presidential debate on the Washington Post web site – free tonight!
2. Looking for a good recipe for sweet potato casserole – my assigned dish for Thanksgiving. We prefer plain baked version, but the rest of the family likes marshmallows. (yuk)
3. Bought marshmallows at a new discount shop which featured a BOGO. Shop also had expensive boxed nuts to lure the unwary as well as food overstocks.
4. Found a Chinese buffet that is cheaper at lunch than our usual coffee shop. However, you just can’t beat home-packed lunches for price.
5. As so many posters mentioned, the dull ordinary $$ savings adds up including the free coffee and tea at Ikea, home cooked meals, stretching out the time between haircuts etc.


cynthia November 21, 2019 at 3:50 pm

Try meringue instead of marshmallows — not quite as sweet but fancy enough to hopefully tempt the marshmallow people?


janine November 21, 2019 at 7:45 pm

Good idea on the meringue – thanks!


Kate from Buffalo November 21, 2019 at 5:13 am

Travel edition! NYC to visit a friend and her kids
1. Took the train instead of flying or driving. The cost of the train is about the same as driving, but the train is better for the environment and better for the life of my car.
2. I ate breakfast before I left and packed a lunch for the train (although frugal fail, I left my reusable water bottle on the train so I’m without one for a week).
3. My parents are watching my dog instead of having to board her.
4. Grabbed a cheap (and oh so delicious) slice of pizza for dinner when I got into Penn Station.
5. Spent the night helping the kids with their hw and snuggling on the couch instead of going out and spending money.
6. Frugal plan: try to eat as many meals as possible at my friend house. Go to the Bryant Park Holiday Market and only but gifts that are consumable/hand made for Christmas. Check out The Strand or another used book store bc I’m going to finish the book I brought with me before my trip is over. That or use the NYPL (any New York State resident can get a New York City Library membership!!) app and get a digital book, although I prefer paper.


Jann in Maine November 21, 2019 at 9:48 am

1. Drinking on sale coffee and using a new to me Ninja Coffee Machine and frother to make it a in home luxury.
2.Will shop the loss leaders for Thanksgiving. Have decorated the table with a beautiful leaf and berry garland that I cut up to lie flat and vintage honeycoam paper turkeys.
3. Home all day and will walk for my excercise in all yardsale or thrifted clothing. I call that a “good clothes day”.
4. Found 3 pieces of AllClad cookware at an estate sale for $10 and these will go to DD who is building a set of this wonderful cookware.
5. Heat is off and house is running on the sun as we build a super insulated home with direct southern exposure. This makes a huge difference in our heating bills when the sun shines.
6. And enjoying reading the other posts but wish there was a LIKE button next to them!


Em November 21, 2019 at 1:09 pm

All clad for 10 dollars! That’s amazing. Still on my thrift bucket list.


Ruby November 21, 2019 at 11:42 am

1. Stopped at the Salvation Army yesterday (half off day) and bought a brand new jacket for $3 that matches two of my skirts. This will come in handy for job hunting.
2. Hung most of my laundry to dry on racks in the laundry room. Only the jeans and cotton socks were tumble dried.
3. Saved the cardboard box canned dog food was packed in to make an organizer for the sewing shelves.
4. Am mending the sleeve of a flannel shirt for my husband for a second time. Something at his work space wears a spot on the left sleeves of his shirts.
5. Crocheted a coaster from some fabulous cotton yarn found in my sewing stash. It took only about ten minutes and is probably going to be the homemade thing I give for Christmas. The yarn may well have come from the thrift shop, as it has no labels on it.


Em November 21, 2019 at 1:02 pm

1. A car break in left my boyfriend with a broken window and me without a purse (which had both sets of my keys in it). I sat at the VW dealership this morning for about 4 hours and enjoyed lots of free snacks, coffee and water.

2. I have been grabbing pretty baskets at the goodwill outlet along with other small household things to sell on fb marketplace. I love setting something outside and having it disappear and replaced with 10-15 dollars. Obviously not going to get rich doing this, but after a move cross country we have to replace a lot of things we couldn’t bring. I can play around with decor, then make a small profit off what doesn’t work in the space without purchasing a new item, or going through the hassle of returning what I don’t like.

3. With the car break in and some other unexpected expenses, we are going to be tight on cash for the next few months. I truly need some winter clothes as CO climate is much different than N.C.. I was able to find a nice pair of wool socks at the bins and a few other thrifted warm weather items . I’ve showered Pinterest for “winter outfit” ideas and organized about 7-10 outfits layering clothes I do have. I am out about 100 dollars in gift cards I was saving to buy a few new things. Having your purse stolen is awful!

4. My boyfriend has been getting a lot of free lunches and breakfasts at work which is helping with the grocery budget. Ahhh, the life of an engineer.

5. We got rid of our old kitchen table and replaced it with one that was a more suitable size. We sold ours for 100 (more than we paid for it 5 years ago), and bought another one off Facebook for 60.

6. Anxiety has been high since our move. I am definitely a stress/impulse shopper. Nothing major but I do tend to pick up little junk here and there for a quick thrill. To combat this, I have been doing order pickups at Walmart and target when we actually need specific things, rather than going into the store. They are free and come out to your car, which means doggo gets a ride in the car!


Bee November 22, 2019 at 4:58 am

I’m sorry about your purse. I loved your #6. That is a great work around and it made me smile. I actually go to the post office rather than having my eBay packages picked up, because the dog loves a car ride. So spoiled


Cindy in South November 21, 2019 at 1:08 pm

SOoooooooo not frugal. Long story short. One of my children’s car bit the dust (he had taken very good care of it but s@#t happens.) Gave him my car. I bought new car for $12,500. Groan. I also almost wrecked very early this morning (going 30 mph because not one but two deer darted INCHES in front of me). I missed them. I suppose it is frugal that I didn’t wreck. That is all I have.


susanna d November 21, 2019 at 2:57 pm

Cindy, I totally understand – I’ve been there on both counts. Our son had recently graduated college and was driving across the state to his first professional job when his car died. We’d planned on getting a new car in the next year or two but when this happened we gave him one of our cars and bumped up our car-buying timetable.

And yesterday, a doe darted across the road in front of my car. Nothing like an adrenaline rush first thing in the morning. Luckily I’d been watching because she’d started running parallel to the road. Her companion, however, calmly waited until I passed by before slowly crossing the road behind me. So glad you missed them and didn’t have a wreck!


Cindy in the South November 22, 2019 at 9:02 pm

Thanks! So glad you missed the deer! I just got the repair car bill for the other son’s transmission. 4 grand. I need a drink. I don’ drink but usually, but today my nerves are raw and my pocketbook looks empty… sigh


Cindy in the South November 22, 2019 at 9:05 pm

“but usually”… wth… clearly my always debatable typing skills on my phone are even worse when stressed.


Nancy from mass November 21, 2019 at 2:22 pm

1. Brought my lunches into work twice this week. Had free lunch today. Unfortunately, biting into part of it caused a tooth that had a chip in it to completely disintegrate. And it’s one of my front teeth (the one next to the two front) so I ended up coming home and I have a dentist appointment in the morning because I’ll need a cap and a crown now. So my free lunch is not really free
2. Since I’ve hit my out-of-pocket medical wise for the year, I am going to have my hearing checked next month. I have a ringing in my ears that’s very quiet all the time. And my son keeps telling me that I speak louder than I should be and I feel I’m having a hard time hearing. If it turns out I need hearing aids, hearing aids will be covered 100%, since I hit my out-of-pocket for the year. Fingers crossed I don’t need them though
3. I’ve been spending my nights knitting away. And spending my days and part of my night listening or watching the impeachment hearings. I’ve also been having fun posting comments on Twitter.
4. Found out our office will be renovated the end of next month, so I’ll have a few extra days that I won’t have to drive into the office before I go on vacation for the holidays
5. Ds has asked for an experience gift for Christmas. He is currently writing a screenplay (He writes all the time) and wants to take the train to NYC for a few days to do some research on his movie. I have a credit with Amtrak and I have a lot of points with two different hotels. So the majority of his trip will be free.


Jenelle November 22, 2019 at 7:16 am

I feel like its going to be a full month of frugal fails until the holidays, but I”m going to give this my best shot.

1. My never ending pasta pass from Olive Garden expires on Sunday, so tomorrow we will be making one more visit. With that pass, a $1 coupon for a kids meal and a gift card…this last trip will be free!
2. Had to be the “mean mom” a few times with week. The local HS allowed the elementary kids to see the first act of the school’s musical for free. Wouldn’t you know it, they really liked it and wanted to go back. At $10 per person, I can’t justify going. So I had to be the mean mom and say no.
3. I also had to lay the law down about the school’s book fair. My kids wanted at least 5 books each. I told them either they could buy one book at the fair OR take $5 and buy 5 books at the goodwill. My daughter might just be the more frugal of the 2 kids because she took me up on the offer. My son, on the other hand, wanted that one book. (and was still mad about only getting one book!) I hate being the mean mom about books.
4. Found a small mistake in my checkbook this morning which credited me $6.
5. Not frugal…feeling down again about money. I think its the time of year. After the bills are paid (thank goodness) we have very little for the next two weeks. I just need to trust God that he’ll provide so that we can travel to my family’s for Thanksgiving. Just a little down, thanks for letting me vent.


Dusty November 22, 2019 at 9:16 am

Don’t feel bad…i need a timing belt. Merry Christmas everyone..I’m still on the road….it is what it is….


Lisa M. November 22, 2019 at 10:44 am

Jenelle, I empathize with you as I have been down the Book Fair road with my DD. I particularly disliked the crass commercialism in the name of “learning to love to read”. The books were Barnes & Noble prices & as if that wasn’t enough, they had amazingly cute accessories & desk supplies. I typically limited DD to 1 book or poster & 1 small item, or just a few small items.

Even worse was the school fundraiser where they trotted out the “prizes” to the classrooms to entice the kids. Pure manipulation. I supported the fundraiser in a limited way, just buying 1 or 2 edible items to give as holiday gifts to family but did not allow DD to sell.

Likewise, I did not allow DD to individually sell scout cookies. I purchased a case annually to support the troop (basically required) but they were for our family’s use & to give away to friends & neighbors, not sell. Same goes with subsequent sports’ fundraisers be it pizzas, cookie dough, candles or holiday greenery. I typically would make a small purchase to support the team for edibles or to use as gifts but did not let DD peddle items.

You will be glad that you were “the mean Mom” & provided limits when your kids are older but at the time, it is really tough & creates guilt. It helped me by focusing on the values that were important to impart & not allowing DD to get swept up in blatant consumerism of buying & selling new items.


janine November 24, 2019 at 8:11 pm

Good for you on the restriction on kiddie sales people for a lot of over priced junk. I usually did the same thing you guys do – buy a few items and give them away for gifts.


Lisa M. November 25, 2019 at 6:56 am

Janine, thank you for your words of support. It is reassuring that there are like-minded people such as yourself. That’s one of the reasons why I love this blog so much.


Jenelle November 25, 2019 at 8:13 am

Thanks for all your support!!


rebecca November 22, 2019 at 9:02 am

1. I am stocking up on holiday loss leaders for baking
2. I found some pennies on the ground
3. Using up odds and ends for different meals
4. Napping for fun-seriously, I am so tired at this time of the semester. It is so nice to lie down for 45 minutes or so and wake up refreshed for the rest of the day/evening
5. I made pumpkin pie for a friend of mine who is always so good to me. It is her favorite pie and she is freezing it for Thanksgiving. All ingredients I had on hand or were loss leaders. I am making another friend an apple crisp for Thanksgiving and using on sale apples to make it.


Christine November 22, 2019 at 2:13 pm

Your #5…I can’t think of a better gift for someone who is good to you or a friend who is ill or going through a tough time than a homemade baked item. I watched my neighbor’s house for her when she was away one time and she made me a batch of delicious Brownies. I was so happy to eat homemade Brownies that I didn’t have to bake. Plus it’s frugal for the giver.


Mati November 24, 2019 at 9:56 pm

Since Mpata pieces that size sell for thousands, you could consider ending the listing and sending your photos to auction houses that have handled his work recently. If they think it’s legit, you could do far better than you will on eBay. I’ve sold a few pieces this way; lucky finds usually don’t come with papers.


Katy November 25, 2019 at 11:53 am

Hmm . . . that’s a good idea.


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