Five Frugal Things

by Katy on June 27, 2013 · 20 comments

Tony Curtis

  1. I took the time to go to our Sears credit card online account and research what those pesky “points” meant. It turns out we had enough to buy a $100 gift card to Shell Oil. It swiftly came in the mail, and I promptly filled up our gargantuan mini-van gas tank and will use the remaining credit for our station wagon. I just ♥ that I was able to use the points to purchase something we would have (grudgingly) bought anyway. (Am I the only one who pictures the divine Tony Curtis from Some Like it Hot holding up a shell and pretending to own Shell Oil whenever I gas up with them?)
  2. My younger son and I participated in a big ol’ bedroom purge the other night, and I finally located a Hardy Boys library book that I had given up on. I seriously renewed that book 99 times, which I only know because it’s the limit! I took it to the library yesterday and had my fine erased. Woo-hoo!
  3. Yesterday’s Grand Central Bakery Tweet for Treat was for a free 8-ounce coffee. Although I’m normally a tea drinker, I do love me the indulgence of a latte every now and then. I swung by for a late afternoon coffee in between the errands of dropping my son off at work and grocery shopping. Such the perfect pick me up!
  4. Safeway seems to have loosened its grip on its fantbulous $10-off $50 coupons, as they have miraculously appeared two weeks in a row. I am unable to resist their siren song, so I strapped on my coupon folder and did another big grocery shopping trip. I won’t burden you with the specifics of what I bought and which coupons I used, but suffice it to say that it was all real food, and my savings was 40%-off.
  5. I decided to hang a curtain rod on the wall of my son’s room so he can display all of his soccer scarves. I put out the word on Facebook yesterday, and sure enough I woke up to find one on my porch this morning. Hooray for community, and thank you to my friend Heather from Mile 73.

Now your turn. What frugal activities have you been doing lately?

Katy Wolk-Stanley

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

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{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

hippierunner June 27, 2013 at 12:04 pm

I’m envious! Here in LA, the max # of renewals on library books is 3.

I recently made my own vegan milk (quinoa) to replace the expensive& super sweet almond milk I usually buy. When I am grocery shopping, I use the $5 off $25 coupons fresh n easy mails every week! Also made money crossing the street the other day because there were coins scattered everywhere on the ground. 🙂


Katy June 27, 2013 at 1:22 pm

There were enough coins to be seen from across the street?

Color me jealous! 😉



Gloria Shirley June 28, 2013 at 4:45 am

Please tell us how you make vegan milk with quinoa. Non-dairy “milk” is so expensive!



Elaine in Ark June 28, 2013 at 6:50 am

Gloria, click on Hippierunner’s name and it will take you to the post.


Gloria Shirley June 28, 2013 at 7:21 am

Thanks, Elaine.


MW June 27, 2013 at 1:52 pm

I inherited a hodge-podge of vegetables from a family member going on vacation. I cooked up a big batch of minestrone soup. After feeding off of it for a few days, I froze the left overs in single portions for quick work lunches. Yum!


Kailey June 27, 2013 at 3:39 pm

1. Signed up to be a secret shopper – you can make money on the trips but I’m mostly looking forward to the recompensated dinner expense. As much as I love cooking I do still love eating out.

2. I made my own saurkraut and kimchi and will keep doing so! It’s easy, cheap and the health benefits sound pretty amazing.

3. For dinner last night I wanted to make a cassoulet but didn’t quite have all the ingredients. I cancelled my plans to pick up the extras I assumed I needed and decided to wing it with what I had on hand and it still turned out great.

4. We have a friend staying with us which means less daycare for our dog (I know I know day care for dogs sounds silly but he’s young with a TON of energy and chewed WAY too much of our stuff, and he only goes 2 times a week, especially if we know we’ll be out in the evening)

5. I’ve been sticking to my CSA for my veggie intake- it’s our farmers first year so he’s sticking to the basics. I’m getting slightly bored with the lack of variety but it’s just forced me to get creative – collard green dolmades here we come!


Katy June 27, 2013 at 5:46 pm

How did you sign up to be a secret shopper?



Kailey June 28, 2013 at 8:18 am

I signed up with Premier Service (I’m in Canada). They ask a lot of question and even ask for your SIN number and there’s an option to upload a photo but neither are required. You get paid through a paypal account.
I’ve heard these things can be scam ridden but a friend of mine has been doing it for a while with Premier Service and has had no problems.


Elaine Shannon June 27, 2013 at 5:27 pm

I am ashamed to say that I was going to throw out the square window fan from my son’s room. We have had it for three years and it is still going strong, but sooooo.. dirty. Instead I unscrewed the front and back and put them in the tub and washed them. I then just dusted out the interior. Good as new..


JaneUlness June 27, 2013 at 6:52 pm

five frugal things

I went grocery shopping and netted 52 percent savings, 47 percent savings and 72 percent savings. I updated my phone for free and got more service for the same amount of money. I got the cable company to give us 50.00 off our bill, and my husband got ten percent off our fish and chips last night. justntryingmto up ourmquality of life and lower our cost of living.


Diane June 28, 2013 at 4:07 am

Marketforce is a reputable mystery shopper site. They also have a section where you can apply to do theater audits and such.

I am making a knitted quilt from sock yarn ends that a friend sends me. I now have enough squares made for 2 rows and only need 130 more squares to finish! My summer project this year.


Sharon June 28, 2013 at 1:15 pm

My five frugal things:

I bought a foaming soap dispenser. My earlier experiments in making my own liquid soap from solid were universally booed by my family. So rather than making my own liquid soap I’m going to conserve.
Once this model has a successful trial run, I’ll replace the other soap dispensers in the house.

Just had a meeting with a second home insulation company. After we see their estimate, we’ll choose one and get started making our home more energy efficient and comfortable. At last! We’ve lived here 14 years, and suffered through a lot of hot summers. It’s frugal, though expensive. 🙂

Set up the crockpot to cook beans for tomorrow’s Tuscan bean soup. To keep the heat outdoors, I put it on the deck.

Hung out two loads of laundry to dry on our clothesline.

Going to meet my friends tonight for a Moms’ Night Out. I will have a big spinach salad before I go, so I can stay on track with my vegetable intake, and stay on budget at the restaurant.


Tami June 29, 2013 at 6:51 am

I see your mention of Safeway $10 off of $50 coupons, but I’ve never seen them in Washington state. Any idea why? I get the paper, and Safeway is well represented here in Seattle.


Katy June 29, 2013 at 8:16 am

It might just be a Portland thing.



Penelope June 29, 2013 at 8:50 pm

I live in Longview, WA, and I see them in our local paper…



Danette Ramirez June 29, 2013 at 11:26 pm

I’m just outside of Seattle and we don’t, but I got $1 off gas with my Safeway card today, so more than $10 savings! Score! I think we are having a promo or something bc our Chevron just started accepting our Safeway cards. Whatever, I’ll take it.


Danette June 29, 2013 at 11:44 pm

1. Just bought 4 gdiapers w/cloth inserts (2 were new) from a local woman for $20, way less than retail and a bargain even for used.
2. Got gas for $1 off per gallon using my Safeway card.
3. Needed a new kneading paddle for my bread maker, but I had bought it for $10 used and the paddle was going to cost $14. Bought a new bread maker at our town garage sale for $5!!!! The paddle fits mine perfectly. (Don’t know what I’m going to do with the extra one just yet).
4. I am learning how to cook real food. I was really inspired by the cheap, healthy eats post, so I figure that is certainly the biggest area I need to cut so I actually bought beans and will try to make a pot this week and freeze them. (Yay Internet recipes and YouTube!) I can’t change how I was raised, but I can change who I am now. It’s a process and in learning.
5. Watched The Queen of Versailles on Netflix tonight. I feel gross and seriously want to shower just to rid myself of that insanity. That movie alone makes me want to let go of the excess and just be mindful of my money, my time, and my relationships. That was so over the top.


Danette June 29, 2013 at 11:47 pm



Mary July 1, 2013 at 2:59 am

My husband and I have been working on a DIY landscaping project and just finished another big step. Earlier in the summer, we dug and chopped out a blue spruce tree stump in our front yard. Using hand tools, it took a while, but it was fun to do together. He and our b-in-law heaved it over to an established garden bed where it will rest and serve as a natural sculpture. Yesterday, we lined the hole (where the tree was) with a tarp we had and secured the perimeter with large shale rocks from the creekbed in our backyard ravine. The last step will be to add a few plants…the water feature really looks good and was all done for free!


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