Five Frugal Things

by Katy on June 16, 2013 · 16 comments

Rejuvenation Fixture

  1. I hosted a neighborhood barbecue potluck at my house yesterday. I made my share from scratch which included curry lime chicken satay sticks, peanut sauce, fruit salad, hummus and kale pesto on crostini. I did overspend on Trader Joe’s beer and wine, but we’ll have it for awhile as leftovers.
  2. My recent night of theater with my mother was topped off by nibbles at Jake’s, normally an insanely expensive treat. However, we ate in the gorgeous bar, which meant we were able to order from the Happy Hour menu, which ranged from $2.95 – $5.95.
  3. I just bought a Rejuvenation Lighting fixture at Goodwill for $2.99. It looks to be a discontinued item, but is similar to this $149 one. I recognized it because it’s from the same line as our kitchen ceiling fixture for which we paid oodles of money. Reminded me of when I scored my wonderful thrift shop Rejuvenation porch light shade.  (And by the way, that $1.50 glass globe I bought a few months at Goodwill? I just realized that it’s also from Rejuvenation, and is priced at $200!) I guess I’m complete and unapologetic fan of Rejuvenation Lighting products!
  4. Inspired by my resale prowess, my mother recently picked up a $10 vintage Palecek Elkhorn chair from the Goodwill Outlet and sold it within a week through Craigslist for $150. Way to go, mom!
  5. My husband loved his Father’s Day collage print from Walgreen’s. It was free, and he is happy.

Now you. What frugal activities have you been up to? Please share in the comments section below.

Katy Wolk-Stanley

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.”

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{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

A. Marie June 16, 2013 at 11:32 am

I managed three frugal things on the same trip today:

(1) Got hair trimmed at a Supercuts for well under half of what I used to pay at a pricier salon, with much the same results. (I know some brave souls cut their own hair, but I’m not one of them. I have weird hair.)

(2) Took a carton of books to secondhand bookshop across from the Supercuts. Proprietor only took half the carton (he is picky), but it’s still crap out of the house for credit toward books I do want.

(3) Snagged a bag of NY State 5-cent deposit cans and bottles off curb on way back to car.

And to round out my five, two things I did yesterday:

(4) Harvested my 2013 garlic crop–27 plump, luscious heads. I’m going to have to look up some recipes for 40-clove roast chicken.

(5) Accepted basil seedlings (from a neighbor with whom I have a Frequent Swapper program; she’d started more than she could use) to go into the garden to replace the garlic.


Kathleen June 16, 2013 at 2:11 pm

I made my first trip to the Habitat for Humanity Restore yesterday. I was looking for a light fixture but would up buying some paint. Felt like I helped a good cause, recycled (by buying unused but new to me paint) AND I got a good deal.
Went through my gift bin to see what we could use for an upcoming birthday party. I have a collection of things I have acquired over the years and am making an effort to use them.


Julia June 16, 2013 at 2:31 pm

Well, this first part was totally unplanned, but I started the afternoon with a free lunch with my husband and some of his relatives. There were so many service issues and screw ups with our order that I think our server was embarrassed and gave us the entire meal, including one extra sandwich that wasnʻt supposed to come to our table, for free!

Then I went solo as a sightseeing tourist in my own town, where I was born and raised- Annapolis, Maryland. I biked and walked around and gawked at the beautiful historic buildings and snapped pictures. Ended up picking up a ring that I had dropped off at a local jewelry shop to get repaired; a ring given to me by my eighth grade boyfriend! Only cost me five bucks to get it fixed!

Last stop in town was where my dad used to work when I was a little girl, the Hall of Records on the gorgeous campus of St. Johnʻs College. He used to ride downtown on his bike, with me on the back! He is no longer with us, but he was one of the most thrifty people I have ever known. He would have been truly tickled by my dayʻs frugal activities! Now itʻs back home for tea, cookies, and some studying. Happy Frugal Fatherʻs Day!


Julia June 16, 2013 at 2:33 pm

Oh, and observing some bird drama through my screen door. Yet another thing that reminds me of my Dad- birds!


dusty June 18, 2013 at 3:48 am

what an lovely way to spend the day in beautiful Annapolis, MD, lived in VA years ago and loved to go to DC and MD. My sister lived in Alexandria, VA, another beautiful city. You’re very fortunate.


Kathy June 16, 2013 at 5:55 pm

1) I called my Dad and wished him a happy Father’s Day and told him I loved him with minutes that on my cell phone I needed to use.

2) I found a mission project through my church sewing personal hygiene pads. This will accomplish several things a) it will help me get rid of some of my fabric stash, b) if I have something to do I won’t eat because my hands are busy, c) these pads will be sent to Africa for girls who don’t go to school during there menses because the lack of proper sanitary supplies – so in some small way I’m helping girls who need education get an education, and d) my sewing skills will be put to good use, they’ve been getting rusty.

3) I enjoyed the PBS Masterpiece Mystery Series online.

4) I’ve decluttered one of my closets.

5) I used the library to get some magazines to read.

6) I walked several times this week for exercise.


dusty June 18, 2013 at 3:50 am

do you happen to have the address for the organization that helps these young women in Africa? I would like to donate. Thanks


Sadye June 17, 2013 at 5:22 am

My carpool to a wedding 380 miles away fell through, so no frugality there … but I did pack a lunch for the drive there and had a Culver’s gift card to use for my meal on the drive back; I also scored two free bottles of water (though if I hadn’t, I would’ve just reused others).


Angela June 17, 2013 at 5:55 am

I relate to and love your blog very much! Thank you!
My recent frugal finds:
1. Scored a vintage Lucky Brand handbag for 5 bucks which I resold on ebay for $45. (Probably could have gotten more… )
2. Planted a 4 foot apple tree in my front yard a neighborhood man gave me for $1 , the cost of buying another apple. 🙂
3. Found BRAND NEW Nike’s size 13, and BRAND NEW Merona leather sandals size 13, at my favorite Goodwill, Total $20. Both for my husband, and both a perfect fit. He’s as frugal as I am so he was pretty happy. Plus I got to share a smile and chat with my favorite employee there, free!
4. Found a beautiful bronze leather Coach handbag at local thrift for $20, a little more than I like to spend used, but it retails around $300 – haven’t decided whether to keep or resell….
5. Made two huge crockpots of Queso con Carne yesterday for a party of 18 family and friends, everyone went back for 2nds and 3rds… somehow I still had most of a crockpot left – great leftovers for my 3 kids at home looking for a snack.
6. Oops one more… got a new travel coffee mug out of a free box at a garage sale. Will try it today, hopefully it doesn’t leak.


Dawn June 17, 2013 at 6:17 am

1. Made yarn out of old t-shirts that were given to me.–Plan to crochet reusable covers for my Swiffer.

2. Donated books to the local library’s resale store. They were given to me and I had finished reading my choices.

Just two for me!


Vickie June 17, 2013 at 6:21 am

1. I scored a set of nice solid wood bifold doors at the Thrift Store for $5 – I plan to paint them and replace the door in my guest bathroom. I, also, scored a cute polo shirt for my great nephew, part of his birthday gift, and two bags for my granddaughter – one was a purple Hannah Montana purse and the other a cute purple tote bag with pink butterflies that she can carry her ballet shoes in for dance class. All less than $2 each.

2. I’ve been checking out books on CD at the library an listening to them on my commute to work. They’ve all been positive thinking/self-improvement type books, so they are lifting my mood and I’d much rather listen to good messages while commuting than some DJ yakking on the radio about nothing in particular that matters.

3. We had some fish in the freezer, that was given to my husband by a co-worker, so I made fish tacos for dinner last night. We had plenty leftover, so I won’t have to fix dinner tonight. Yay!

4. One of our coworkers just got married, so we’re all pitching in to get them a gift card – just $5-10 each – which will save each of us money, yet still allow us to give them something useful as a wedding gift.

5. I carry a large, sturdy tote bag in my car to shop at Aldi’s and Sprouts with, that way I don’t over-shop. I get what’s on my list and what I have coupons for and since I don’t want to pay for a cart at Aldi’s, it has to fit in the bag for check out. It also doubles as a savings to the environment, since I don’t end up with extra shopping bags from my trip.


Maggie June 17, 2013 at 8:22 am

1) My husband and I went to a cut-a-thon at the local beauty school and got our hair cut for $5 each, plus a $2 tip! $14 for two haircuts was a bargain, since his alone are usually $10 per week (he’s military and has to get his cut every week). We both have fairly forgiving hair, and he always gets the lowest regulation cut, so worst case he could have just taken his up to a medium, and mine never really shows mistakes.
2) I rescued three bags of clothes from the curb. One was my son’s size, one was uniform parts that are my husband’s size, and one is my size! Sheer luck, but still frugal.
3) We’ve been eating out of our freezer and pantry for the last two weeks (with the exception of buying milk and string cheese)
4) I just sold a corner cabinet I rescued from the trash on Craigslist, and made $55 on it!
5) As always, we’ve been cloth diapering all week, and my son is wearing clothes that were either bought at the thrift store, given as hand-me-downs, or picked up off the curb (is it just me, or do military bases have THE BEST curb finds?)
6) I sold a GoPro camera I won on eBay for $350! We put the money into our son’s higher education fund.


Beth B. June 17, 2013 at 9:44 am

1) I found a pair of barely used Merrell hiking boots for my son at Goodwill for $5 and a pair of Crocs for $4. On the same trip I also bought him a very nice REI waterproof winter jacket with fleece lining for $10. It’s all too big, but I like to stock up on clothes for him.

2) Borrowed three books from the library that have been on my Amazon Wishlist for awhile.

3) Made two batches of fruit crisp out of fruit that was starting to get mushy.

4) Did the Foster Powell backyard garden tour on Saturday. There was plenty of free inspiration and I also took home a free ground cherry and cucumber starter.


Meredith in SA June 18, 2013 at 1:00 pm

1) I’ve been enjoying library books this week, but I do that every week.
2) In lieu of presents for Father’s Day, my family went on a short road trip for some good old Texas BBQ. We took a similar trip for Mother’s Day.
3) Also for Father’s Day dinner, I made a big-giant meal, and have been eating leftovers for lunch this week.
4) We continue to plumb the deep freeze for previously made stew dinners, instead of going to the store.
5) I stocked up on sale wine at the grocery store (one variety was $3.33/bottle, instead of the usual $10), and since I bought 6 bottles, I scored a free fabric wine bag and received a 10% discount. I also bought bulk coffee and granola while I was there.
6) I cleaned out my half of my clothes closet, and culled two full shorty wardrobe boxes – which I was going to sell, but have instead decided to donate to the families impacted by the recent factory explosion in West, TX.
7) I am knitting out of my yarn stash instead of buying new yarn. So far I’ve made 2 hats and 2 scarves, which I will attempt to sell.
8) I also made a bunch of washcloths out of my stash, so we won’t need to buy kitchen sponges, ever. And neither will our former nanny. 🙂
9) Our twins started preschool last week, and instead of buying them cute little insulated pouches and bento boxes, we send them off with cloth beverage napkins, food in tupperware, and boring grown-up lunch bags. I’ll get around to decorating them sooner or later, and the kids don’t care. They just like having their Very Own Lunch Boxes.
10) I’ve started using the gym membership that’s included with our kids’ preschool tuition.

Wow, I’ve been pretty frugal lately!


Lori from Michigan June 18, 2013 at 2:16 pm

On Sunday night, I found a very pretty resale blouse for $14 when I was puttering around outside waiting to get into a club to see a show. And that show was free for me. As payment for cat-sitting for a friend when she goes out of town, she took me to see Leon Russell!


dusty June 19, 2013 at 2:26 am

wasn’t he great? I love him


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