Five Frugal Things

by Katy on June 9, 2015 · 32 comments

Amanda Soule & Katy Wolk-Stanley

1.  I saw that Amanda Soule from and taproot magazine was having a meetup in a park that’s just five minutes from my house. Since she’s both close friends with my friends Ashley and Glenn English and a blogger that I admire, I knew I had no excuse not to attend. I tried to get my friend Sasha to come with me, but she was selfishly at work. It was a very enjoyable crowd, leaning heavily towards women with small children, handmade picnic quilts and knitting projects. They had copies of the magazine on a table, and people were encouraged to help themselves to one. I chose a copy with a mend theme, which I will pore through and then pass along to my friend Sasha, even if she chose to indulgently earn a living rather than hang out with me. Weirdo.

Bob's Red MIll

2.  My father and I had made plans to get together for lunch yesterday, and since my pantry was staring to echo, I suggested Bob’s Red Mill. I had a coupon for a buy-one-get-one lunch, as well as a buy-one-get-one coupon for any Bob’s Red Mill product, up to $10. We enjoyed an inexpensive lunch and lovely conversation and then did our shopping. I stocked up on cornmeal, cumin, white beans and holy crap, did I buy a lot of flour! (This is how I used my $10-off coupon.) We then drove across the street where I bought a dozen frozen loaves of Dave’s Killer Bread for $1.99 apiece. Sadly, without a coupon.

Tomato plant

3.  The free volunteer tomato plant that my neighbor gave me has been growing like crazy and recently sprouted two adorable green tomatoes! I feel like a proud mother.

4.  I pulled four wide mouth canning rings from a free pile yesterday while out walking my errands.

5.  I’ve continued to not buy anything beyond food and necessary items this year, and so far I haven’t bought a Lear Jet.

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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{ 32 comments… read them below or add one }

Kristen June 9, 2015 at 9:25 am

Oh, so lucky that the gathering was right by your house! Yay!


Katy June 9, 2015 at 9:31 am

I am a lazy person who hates to drive too far for anything, so this worked out perfectly for me!


Katy June 9, 2015 at 9:37 am

Yes, sometimes I have to travel thousands of miles to meet up with my favorite bloggers!

I guess I should appreciate all the travel your family did to meet up with me last year. Thank you!


Diane June 9, 2015 at 9:29 am

I wondered if you and Amanda would meet. What fun!


Diane June 9, 2015 at 9:32 am

And Oh…I rescued a forlorn plant sitting next to a dumpster. Repotted with nice soil in a pot that was sitting on my porch just waiting for it, cut of all the dead leaves, watered it and it is so happy now with leaves reaching toward the sky!


A. Marie June 9, 2015 at 10:28 am

(1) Congrats on the infant tomatoes–they look as if they may be Roma/paste types (oblong shape suggests this). Did you ever find out what type the parent plant was?

(2) Happily watching it rain on my own garden, for the second day in a row. Chalk up several more days where I don’t have to be Our Lady of the Perpetual Watering Can.

(3) Envying you (in the nicest possible way, of course) the frugal meet-up. My friends are tolerant of my weird tightwad habits, but none of them really share them.

(4) Preparing for car trip to North Carolina next week. This will not be an entirely frugal trip, for various reasons, but we’ll do the usual thrifty things for traveling by car (refillable water bottles, sandwiches in car for lunch, etc.).

(5) Not planning to buy a Lear jet for the NC trip. We’ll do it by Prius.



Katy June 9, 2015 at 1:21 pm

But it really wasn’t a frugal meetup. No one knew who I was, and people were really keeping to the people they came with. Very little mingling.


Diane C June 9, 2015 at 3:19 pm

Oh, I bet more than one person will so bummed that they were *this close* to the famous Non Consumer Advocate and didn’t realize it. I know I would be.

Also, that was far more than five frugal things today, for those of us who can math. No such thing as too much frugality, just want ed you to know somebody’s paying attention. Oh, look! Is that shiny thing in the sky a Lear jet?


Mary June 9, 2015 at 10:41 am

That’s great that you met Amanda! I read her blog, too and love her writing style and photos. She also has some awesome crafting books!
My five frugal things:
1. I sent in the paperwork for a five dollar rebate on beer DH bought. He bought it with the rebate in mind because it is a pricier brand we like and the price is great after the rebate. He is really exercising that frugal muscle!
2.i rearranged the living room with furniture/decor we already have. It looks great and I really enjoyed expressing a burst of creativity.
3. Tuesday is pizza nite and homemade dough is rising this afternoon.
4. I copied a recipe out of a very appealing cookbook from the library, rather than ordering the book for myself from Amazon. (Forks over Knives Cookbook)
5. I took our aluminum cans and scrap metal we have been saving over the last few months to the scrap yard. Eight dollars in my pocket!


Beth June 9, 2015 at 11:39 am

Quote of the day – “What would Katy Do?”
*Today while working at school I spied a returnable bottle in the recycle bin for 10 cents and thought “What would Katy Do?” lol. I had to decide if I wanted to be seen trash picking at my place of employment (lots of people around). If its still there tomorrow its going in my bag of stuff going home as Thursday is our last day of school.

*Working on my budget thanks to Katy and EveryDollar – I keep thinking of things I need to be saving for and adding them to my budget but unfortunately I am not taking much away from the budget! I did enjoy adding an insurance payment refund I got this week – yeah- but then I had to use it to make a few unexpected bill payments,and I used it to buy a birthday gift for a party daughter is attending as well as kick in for the two coaches soccer gifts.


Vickie June 9, 2015 at 11:55 am

1) I shopped at the Library with my card today. I scored another one of Jan Karon’s books on CD, picked up the book “All That Remains” and another CD book , I can’t remember the title right now.
2) I took the money orders to the town Community Center for the rental on Saturday. It will cost me a whopping $30 to use the center for our family reunion. I had to put down a $20 deposit, also, but I’ll get that back as long as the center’s cleaned up afterwards.
3) I ate leftovers for dinner and plan to do the same tonight. I can eat a buttered , warm tortilla and be happy. Hubby doesn’t eat at home during the week, since he gets home really late. That saves grocery money too!
4) I’m still drinking a packet per day of my Acai Berry Emergen-C mix. It should last me the rest of the month, since the box was 30 packets for $6. I get an immune boost and a flavored cold drink in the afternoon, at work, without resorting to soda.
5) I’ve been pondering what to wear to a non-profit Gala I’m helping host in August. The one long, summer dress I usually wear to dress-up events, I’d already worn to one a few years back. Then I remembered a friend had given me a beautiful blue East Indian Suit Dress a few years ago, that I’ve never worn. The top is a little too tight. So I’m going to have it altered and wear that with the earrings another friend gave me as a birthday gift a few years ago. Perfect match!


K D June 9, 2015 at 12:01 pm

1. Inspired by your Grocery Outlet buy on strawberries, I picked mulberries from the neighbor’s tree (the branches that are over our yard). I rinsed and froze them. They’ll be great in smoothies.

2. I had a partial bag of potatoes that had been sitting around for many weeks. I also have ground beef that I cooked and froze weeks ago, after finding a great clearance deal. I made mashed potatoes this afternoon and will use and some ground beef them to make Shepherd’s Pie for dinner.

3. I am almost done with the toddler sweater I am knitting for donation. My daughter helped me pick out buttons, from my stash, that will enhance the look of the sweater. It was much quicker, cheaper, and greener than going to a store to buy buttons.

4. We played cards after dinner last night. A fun, frugal family activity.

5. I found out it is much cheaper to buy heating oil this time of year. I locked in a great price today for delivery some time this week. I will pay for the oil with a credit card (which I’ll pay off in total when the bill arrives) which will give us airline miles (and we are working on bonus miles, based on a minimum spend).


Bettypants June 9, 2015 at 12:18 pm

1. Sold my sofa on Craigslist for $300. They didn’t even make a lower offer. We bought it 9 years ago for the same amount, but it was a higher end brand that shows zero wear.
2. Made homemade sloppy joes, and tried out a new yeasted bun recipe. Easy, and good, will add to my recipe box.
3. Bought a couple Coach purses locally that I will list on ebay.
4. Dug up irises for a friend who is bringing me a hosta.
5. Split a couple of my own hostas to transplant.


Katy June 9, 2015 at 1:13 pm

I love selling something for what I paid for it, (or even more!)


Patti June 9, 2015 at 1:11 pm

1. I made a breakfast casserole for a church brunch this weekend using up the last of my eggs with some sausage and cheese bought on sale and put in the freezer. The hosts gave me half the casserole to bring back. My husband and I ate that for breakfast or lunch and still have a little left. We usually have none left so this was a special treat – to be able to eat out and then have “free” food to bring home.
2. I am using all my garden produce as it comes in – looking for recipes that make it seem different each time. So far I have made a zucchini lasagne, eaten squash and zucchini steamed, and tonight I am stuffing yellow squash with hamburger, tomatoes, green peppers, and onions. Last night we had a stuffed portobello mushroom using up some items in my freezer, including a bit of Italian sausage.
My goal is to not grocery shop this week, use the fresh produce, and clean out the freezer so I have room to freeze the produce when we get sick of eating squash.
3.I gave a canning demonstration this morning and when I took out my equipment, I realized nearly everything I own was found at yard sales.
4. When I took down the canning stuff, I had my husband help clean out the cabinets of any unnecessary items (very top shelf so stuff goes up there and is never seen again!). I will either sell items on eBay or use Freecycle.
5. Continuing to listen to Hoopla audiobooks and read books from the library while I knit a baby gift (using yarn I already had) and needlepoint a kneeler for the church. I love having hobbies that make me happy and produce something, too!


Isabelle June 9, 2015 at 1:22 pm

* Used PC Points to lower my grocery bill by 30$
* Selling my toddler’s bed for 25$
* Got a free (used but perfect condition)Poang chair and foot rest for the new house from the current owners (I just asked for it! Pays to ask).
* 2 pot lucks this week. Keeping it cheap (veggies, pretzels, dip)
* Not feeling like cooking tonight, so I picked up a frozen pizza. 5$ to feed 3 people, not bad (+ 1$ cucumber).

Have a great frugal day!


Jean June 9, 2015 at 1:46 pm

Asked my boss if the company would pay for a professional membership renewal – and he said yes! (Some years the answer is no….but it never hurts to ask). Saved $245 our of pocket as a result.

Cleaning leftovers out of the fridge for lunch and dinner.

Using the konmari method to declutter…..sporadically, but still making some progress.

Rained here too so I don’t have to water the flowers!


AnnDenee June 9, 2015 at 2:06 pm

Five frugal things…. hmm

1 – Daughter is attending Safety Camp this week — a free activity put on by the police department

2 – Bought 2 small skeins of yarn to make dishcloths for a friend who sent a box of her quilting fabric leftovers to me last week

3 – Finished a library book and wrote a review on the ticket for the free kindle fire drawing

4 – Didn’t wash the car because it rained

5 – Whipped up fish sticks, hash browns, and corn for supper rather than caving to tiredness and ordering a pizza.

hmm.. how about that.. I did come up with 5 🙂


Katy June 9, 2015 at 2:16 pm

And you didn’t even have to resort to whether or not you bought a Lear Jet!


Diane C June 9, 2015 at 3:28 pm

Oh, and may I please mention that DH sold our RV yesterday for 9k? He bought it almost ten years ago for 10k. We certainly got more than 1k (plus gas, insurance tires, etc, let’s not kid ourselves) worth of use out of it. We are going to wait a few years to buy our next one and when we do, it will be smaller. True, RV’s get better gas mileage than Lear Jets, but I’m okay with letting it go, particularly since we’re going to be scouting for a new/used car for me in the very near future. Maybe a Tesla. Ha!


Jill June 9, 2015 at 5:58 pm

1. Half-off Saturday at Goodwill this weekend. Scored a $5 microwave to replace ours that died, and some awesome jeans that someone had glitter painted and bedazzled in a funky pattern, They are wicked comfy, cost $2, and earned an eye roll from my teenage daughter. I can now donate my wildly uncomfortable jeans that I hate.
2. Fixed my washer myself, baby, with a $30 part, my right angle drill (I lurve my right angle drill!), and my Torx bits, which interestingly enough I bought to fix the microwave.
3. We thought we were going to build a stand for our dryer as it was stacked on top of our washer. Turns out that they fit side by side (the delivery guys from 10 years ago lied to us)! It’s like having a whole new laundry room. We returned the lumber for a refund.
4. Carpooling with hubby in the morning and taking the train home. Gas saved and traffic-induced frustration avoided.
5. Took the time to call Rheem about our messed up water heater. It is still under warranty so they sent someone to our house to fix it for free!


pattilou June 9, 2015 at 6:27 pm

1. I need vintage teapots for the table decorations for my niece’s baby shower. Instead of buying them I sent out an e-mail to friends asking for any that they had ( stored and gathering dust). We are filling them with small rose plants and giving them away. I was able to get all that I needed from my friends!

2. Our end of the season company party was last night. Free dinner and entertainment.

3. Because of my additional new clothes line, I was able to hang 3 loads of laundry up to dry instead of using the dryer.

4. Went to an Arts Festival with a friend. I did by a piece of jewelry for the family member I have in our Christmas gift exchange ( I love giving handmade gifts), but I brought my own water and didn’t cave when my friend bought a pretzel. $5.00 for a hot pretzel was something I could skip.

5. The best part of my day today was using a gift certificate that I got for my birthday for a massage. Best gift ever, in my book!


MamaMinou June 9, 2015 at 7:54 pm

In keeping with the “spend to save” philosophy, Today I walked down to the farmer’s market at lunch, saving a stamp, and paid my summer long CSA farm box bill. It was $475 for 20 weeks, which was a little painful, but I’ve been budgeting for it since January. Plus, each week we will get big, overflowing boxes of ridiculously good seasonal organic veggies for around $23 a week…grown by super nice people that I’ve met. (They do an end of season farm potluck!)


Charli June 10, 2015 at 2:13 am

I got my car serviced today and went to the movies while I waited to see “spy” with a voucher I got for Christmas. That was very fun. I saved up the movie voucher for my car service especially. Turns out the service was cheaper than expected too. Our neighbours gave us some excess of their over abundance of eggs and homemade limoncello!


Elise @ Simply Scaled Down June 10, 2015 at 3:58 am

Congratulations on avoiding those pesky jet purchase. They can be so tempting.

In other news my plants are just now getting some really nice green tomatoes, too! I only wish I had the patience to let them ripen…I’m thinking some fried green tomatoes are in my future.


amber June 10, 2015 at 4:20 am

1. Cooked dry beans in the slow cooker yesterday. I only had a handful of pinto beans so I mixed them with black beans.

2. Hung my daughter bedding and a load of clothes on the line yesterday. Getting ready to hang my bedding and another load of clothes on the line.

3. Made pizza yesterday using my bread maker. We didn’t have enough lettuce from the store to make everyone a salad so I harvest some leaves from a few lettuce plants I have growing in a large pot.

4. I have been reading my free jiffy cornbread cookbook that came in the mail. Even though all the recipes call for some type of jiffy mix I will figure out to make the homemade version as a substitute. I plan on making a mexican casserole by switching out the ground beef for beans (see number one).

5. Over the weekend I found white curtains and the goodwill I needed for my daughters room. Total was $5.


Pat June 10, 2015 at 8:37 am

Well, not a whole lot to tell of savings. But did save 32 % of my grocery/ pharmacy bill yesterday and Paid $81.69. Covered a few groceries and personal items on my list , plus one Item I usually buy and was on my list was about !/2 price since I use 4 a month I bought 4. When I checked out it was !/2 price for the first and the 2nd free! This was no coupons just my local card for that store. So I paid for 1 and the other 3 were free!
Then we stopped at my friends daughters so she could get eggs from her ( we car pool, so I guess that’s another savings). Her daughter gave each of us 3 pansies that had grown wild in her garden from last year. Also 2 tomato plants that she thinks are sweet one hundreds, and may be yellow or red, as she had planted both last year and these are volunteers that she couldn’t throw on the compost ( bless her soul, and she still has many more to give away, but I don’t have a lot of space to put anything and am looking for a couple of large pots to plant them in,… I have them just going to find them and plant them yet this morning.
Today is a stay at home day, so far I have hung 1 load of washing on the line. Cut up 1 old towel into 2 large rags and the best parts cut into 4 wash clothes. They are now in my sewing basket and I will sew the edges next time I set up my sewing machine. ( I try and have several items and mend them all at the same time when I set up the sewing machine…. that will be a rainy day project!.)
Have been learning to use the new BBQ hubby got us on sale. I have been doing any baking and cooking I can on it and saving heating the house in this mini heat wave we have been having. Closing blinds, doors, windows too. Only running the AC when we really need it ( hubby has health issues) and then on energy saver. So I guess I have been saving in different ways.
Oh, brought my friend home from shopping and had make your own sandwich with lots of my left overs! Lol, tasted good, and everyone had a sandwich they way they liked it, cost very, very low compared to the restaurant. Plus more room in the fridge for the food I just bought.


Amanda June 10, 2015 at 8:42 am

1. Our oldest “graduated” from pre-school today. The ceremony was sweeter than words. It didn’t even occur to me to buy the balloons and things some of the other parents had.
2. Supper last night was leftovers.
3. I’m saying no to a bachelorette night for a friend that would set me back at least $50. It would be fun and she is really cool, but we’re not close, and I don’t know a lot of the other women going, and honestly I’d rather have a quiet, cheap night in the country with my men.
4. Some guests got “washable” water color paint on a blanket and a sheet this weekend. Of course it didn’t come out of the sheet in the wash, so I am soaking the sheet and the blanket (hoping getting to the blanket before the heat from the dryer will help) in home made oxy clean.
5. I don’t do a lot of mail-in rebates, but there was one in the paper this week for $10 off a purchase of $20 of dish washer detergent. Bags of the little washer pellets we use are $10 each, so we effectively got them half off after the rebate.


Isabelle June 10, 2015 at 8:45 am

My oldest is also graduating from pre-school today!


lauren June 10, 2015 at 8:56 am

I’ve noticed a lot of parents bring bouquets and balloons to many events! I never do it and my kids have never asked about it.

Good score on the rebate!


lauren June 10, 2015 at 8:55 am

1. Reading this post and comments = free inspiration and encouragement.

2. This morning, we enjoyed frozen waffles that I made this weekend. So much better than the cardboard-y ones from the grocery store and cheaper too.

3. Had a little bit of free time with the kids before their music lessons last night. Found a park we hadn’t been to before and enjoyed an unexpected 30 minutes of trail walking and play. Good for the soul and free.

4. Walking to CVS now to claim the free $4 Nexxus travel size hair product. Perfect timing with two weeks of travel coming up starting this weekend.

5. Planning to pack a picnic to eat on the road during a 12+ hour drive with the family on Saturday. We can find a nice rest stop, have a picnic and get in some movement rather than eating fast food in the car.


Ellie June 10, 2015 at 9:50 am

I don’t yearn for a Lear Jet – but after spending yesterday afternoon fighting traffic to batch errands all over town I’m proud I didn’t buy the bright yellow Hummer that I think would have cleared my way!


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