Five Frugal Things

by Katy on April 17, 2015 · 22 comments

Big Eyes Redbox

  1. My son and I watched Big Eyes last night thanks to the never ending Redbox promo code of PLKMP982. (It actually expires on April 30th.) Great movie at a great price! I think I’m going to go into withdrawal next month when I can no longer watch an infinite number of Redbox movies. (For those keeping count, we’ve used this code to watch The Imitation Game, The Theory of Everything, Interstellar and Big Eyes so far!)
  2. We’re having guests over for dinner, but are planning an inexpensive burrito buffet featuring homemade tortillas, (okay it’s a mix from The Grocery Outlet) and slow cooker pinto beans. Entertaining doesn’t have to be expensive.
  3. I kept myself very busy and productive yesterday, and as a result was 100% uninspired when it came to dinner preparation. Even though I’d served it recently, I whipped up a batch of white bean rosemary soup with biscuits. This incredibly simple and cheap meal is a bizarrely huge hit with my sons.
  4. I hung a load of towels on the clothesline yesterday, which I think is a first for 2015 as towels need a good long while to dry in my shady Oregon backyard. I also set up a clotheshorse on the sunny front porch in a tucked away spot. Not that I’m completely averse to displaying our underwear for the world to see, but perhaps it’s better for neighborhood morale if they’re hidden away.
  5. I found 12¢ on the ground yesterday, spent an hour reading in the library during my son’s Japanese tutoring instead of sitting in the oh-so-tempting attached coffee shop, I renewed a c listing for some antique mirrors I’m selling, I bought nothing beyond food, didn’t buy this Goodwill mug that looked like a characature of my husband.

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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{ 22 comments… read them below or add one }

Rebecca R April 17, 2015 at 11:58 am

I’ve used the code several times, too! Big Eyes is actually waiting for pick-up. I’m glad to hear that it’s good.

Used leftover pistachio crusted chicken for a salad topping one night and again as an easy lunch at work. I was sorely tempted to throw the last breast out but made myself take it to work.

We are only now hitting 50 and 60 degree temps. I put out two racks of bath towels to dry in the sun. However, the dryer is still running as the washcloths and undies… well, I like them to be dry and sanitized as much as possible. (Yeah. I know sunshine kills bacteria. We just don’t have a lot of it yet.)

Just made a few servings of French Toast to keep in the fridge for the husband and boy child. This was from a loaf that is at its near end.


A. Marie April 17, 2015 at 12:09 pm

(1) Not exactly a Frugal Thing, just one of life’s little ironies: At the local thrift superstore just now, a woman gave me grief for parking too close to her Cadillac. I felt like saying, “Well, excuse my Prius all to heck!”, but instead kept a civil tongue in my head and peaceably parked in another space. No point in escalating things.

(2) Came home and worked off the residue of #1 by potting up tomato, pepper, and eggplant seedlings. If you have room enough in your yard to garden, and room enough in your house for a couple of shop lights, you can definitely grow your own.

(3-5) Did not buy anything at the thrift superstore (I was just casing the joint). I’m counting this as three Frugal Things because I saw three things I would have bought a few years ago but wouldn’t now.


Betsey April 17, 2015 at 12:36 pm

Good call on the Cadillac lady. It’s hard to hold back, though!


Anne April 17, 2015 at 1:54 pm

I have come to the point in life where I realize I am never going to stop thinking harsh thoughts. I always count it a victory if it just doesn’t come out of my mouth. 😀


Lucy April 17, 2015 at 4:10 pm

Ditto. However, I have had few victories lately.


Betsey April 17, 2015 at 12:43 pm

1. Today I took a small trip to see some lovely ladies who are pretty much home bound. We had a great conversation.
2. 5 days without diet drinks leaves me $10 in my pocket and I sleep better too.
3. I was able to trade 90 feet of fence work for my old 3′ chain link. We’re both happy now; my dog cannot get out of the new 4′ fence and his dogs are happy with my old 3′ chain link. The cost if I had not traded was over $500 without the labor. This was $127 for materials and labor.
4. I did not think I could do it, but I raked my huge back yard by myself. The city is getting me another dumpster can, so for the price of $2 more a month, I can do my own yard work.
5. I made a ham loaf for around $7. This gives me 9 servings for under $1 apiece, and I love ham loaf!


Beth April 17, 2015 at 2:03 pm

How do you make ham loaf? 🙂 I’ve made salmon and meat loaf before would love to hear how you make yours.


Betsey April 18, 2015 at 10:48 am

1 lb ground ham
1 lb either ground turkey or veal
1 or 2 eggs
1 1/2 cups either oatmeal or bread crumbs
1 to 1/12 cups milk

Form above into a loaf.

Bake at 350 for an hour and a half uncovered
After 1 hour, pour tomato juice over the top or serve with sweet sour sauce.


Betsey April 18, 2015 at 10:50 am

Oops! Forgot salt and pepper to taste I use 1 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper.


Beth April 18, 2015 at 2:11 pm

Thanks so much for sharing, looks delish 🙂


Beth April 17, 2015 at 2:13 pm

A few frugal things:
1. Used the ham bone from Easter (frozen) to make cheesy ham broccoli soup in the slow cooker and turned out awesome (with my cheap broccoli I had bought) and made Jiffy corn muffins for on the side.
2. Ate lunch everyday this week at home and didn’t treat myself to going out to lunch anywhere. The same for dinner – even with running around after work dog walking/cat sitting, soccer practices, etc., did not succumb to taking the easy route and stopping to grab something for dinner. Granted, one night we were eating spaghetti at 8:30 but at least it was homemade. 😉

Non Frugal Things:
1. Three out of five days this week I treated my daughter and myself to 99 cent slurpees and the $1 drinks at McDonalds today after school/work. I don’t have a smart phone and tried to get daughter to download to hers (Dad pays for) the 7-11 APP – if you buy six slurpees the 7th one is free. Its been warm and we dog walk after work/school as part-time work and seems to help keep the both of us going. Did say no to buying candies and French fries. 😉


Vickey April 23, 2015 at 8:09 am

Beth, walking the dog as paid-to-exercise, and just saying no to candies and to French fries, are frugal things 3 – 5! 😀


tonya April 17, 2015 at 3:56 pm

I made beans on the stove with a leftover ham bone.


Donna April 17, 2015 at 5:42 pm

Have a question (not uncommon for me!). When you invite friends over for dinner, do you also plan another activity besides eating dinner? When we invite different friends over for dinner, or go to other people’s homes, it seems that another “activity” is “expected” (don’t know how else to explain it). For instance, watching a movie. Does anyone else have this happen? Do you plan with others ahead of time? We have five kids. Sometimes, after dinner, one of us has to pick up kids or we both work full time and are pooped so staying up past 10 is not fun (call me old!). Just wondering what others thought. Saw what Katy post about having friends over to dinner. Thanks.


MamaMinou April 18, 2015 at 7:39 am

Are you socializing with the kids? This does seem to be more common when kids are involved too–for us a movie or board game, typically. Now that my teens are at the age when they usually opt out of hanging out with their parents and parents’ friends, the extra activity is often just lingering around the table with a glass of wine, chatting over dessert.


Melissa April 18, 2015 at 10:54 am

Staying up past 10 is late for me too! I try to not plan get togethers at all during weeknights because of this and when we have people over on weekends we usually just talk after dinner over drinks or dessert.


Chris April 17, 2015 at 6:42 pm

Hung out sheets to dry – love the smell!! Also hung out the towels and then through them into the dryer where the socks and undies had waited, dried them for about 15 minutes til all were dry and soft. Didn’t tell my husband that his jeans had been on the line with the towels but he will never know because they were just as soft as normal.

Last night’s dinner and today’s lunch provided by yesterday’s time at work – taco salad with chicken and black beans. Still more chicken for tomorrow.

Went to my first garage sale of the year – bought a wider trowel than the only one I have now for .50 and a dog/baby gate for 1.00 – not sure we will use it but for that price I can pass it on via the freecycle group to someone who will.

Going to Joann Fabric tomorrow with the intent to buy only 50% off interfacing – I LOVE fabric especially quilting weight cottons – but no matter the discount, have to use up my stash. Must use all self control. . . . . .


Sharon April 17, 2015 at 7:14 pm

I absolutely love “Five Frugal Things” posts!
I hang my head in shame, as I cannot give a list today. I succumbed to fast food after being caught in traffic for 2.5 hours for a usually 20 minute drive. I know I will “pay” for this many times over, but for now, I can only admit what I have done, redouble my efforts and move on.
Happy Friday everyone!


MamaMinou April 18, 2015 at 7:35 am

I second Sharon’s comment. I love this inspiration–Katy’s and everyone else’s!

I’m playing a game with myself about what I can get by without. I’m not a big makeup person at all, but have been wearing mascara and lipstick daily for close on 30 years now. I had just replaced the mascara (once every 6 months or so)… dropped it, and the tube broke. Icky *and* unsanitary. Threw it away, and have not replaced it…or missed it! Score.

Bike commuted 4/5 days this week! On the days I don’t (when I’m running late or lazy in the morning), my husband drives me in our one car and adds about 10 miles to the odometer for 2 round trips. Not good, and I can use the exercise.

We went to yoga 3 times last week, determined to use every last class from a super-duper bargain pass purchased last October that is due to expire this Monday. Still 3 classes to go.

For work lunches this week, finished a mac and cheese casserole that for some reason was not a hit with my teenage sons or husband. They wanted to feed it to the chickens, but I fed it to myself instead (it wasn’t bad, but also wasn’t great).

If you live in Oregon, enjoy the sun this weekend!


another trish April 18, 2015 at 11:14 am

1) making 7 washable/ reusable swifter cloths from a flannel sheet. I have already made 50 cloth diaper wipes from this same set of sheets.
2) I have had my eye on a darling little kitchen play items set for our two year old son. Instead, I let him play with regular items from our kitchen ( the smallest pan and lid, measuring cups and spoons, a small whisk, etc.) Using the top of his toy box as a work surface and his play dough that he received as a birthday gift as pretend food. Not as cute, but he is happy.


Hannah April 20, 2015 at 5:15 am

1) Went to our local museum’s special “Mad Tea Party” event with generously-gifted tickets from my dear friend who works at the museum. This event was for the “Power of Poison” exhibit (as the Mad Hatter was mad because he was suffering from mercury poisoning, or “hatter’s disease”). My daughter recently had a Wonderland-themed birthday party, so she dressed as Alice and I dressed as the Mad Hatter in adorable costumes we already owned.
2) Instead of getting lunch out or eating at the overpriced museum cafe, I thought ahead and packed lunch for all three of us. Classic pb&j sandwiches, the last of a bag of chips, leftover hummus from a Greek restaurant, and orange and purple carrots from our local grocery co-op.
3) My husband has needed a wire stripper for a while now, but we didn’t want to buy one new and those things are hard to find used! We were browsing a local antique shop (it’s been pouring rain here for days and we were desperate to just GET OUT) and lo and behold, a perfect wire stripper for $2. Score!
4) I used up all the leftovers in my fridge!
5) I didn’t buy a Lear jet (wink wink, Katy)


Vik April 21, 2015 at 6:44 am

Thank you so much for sharing the Redbox code!


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