Five Frugal Things

by Katy on June 26, 2015 · 28 comments

Rug selfie

  1. I shampooed an Ikea rug that I’d pulled from a trashcan in my father’s neighborhood. My younger son wants it for his room, so we’ll go ahead a sell the too-small one he’s been using.
  2. I have people coming to the house today to buy soccer tickets and a children’s table.
  3. We haven’t eaten out once this month, nor have I bought anything unnecessary this year.
  4. I picked up two Dave Ramsey DVD’s and one of his books at the library; and I received a notification that the newest Judy Blume book is waiting for me. (Love Judy Blume! One of my happiest childhood moments is when in 1978 I went to a Judy Blume book signing in London. Maybe eight girls attended, all of us Americans!)
  5. A blog reader came to the house to pick something up and brought me a bag of fresh cilantro and scallions. I gave her a bouquet of hydrangeas and a written list of the best thrift stores.

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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{ 28 comments… read them below or add one }

Betty Winslow June 26, 2015 at 10:25 am

Well, I went garage sale shopping today and hit the jackpot: free princess costumes, wands, and tiaras (for our church’s Princess for a Day party for foster girls and their friends and sibs), plus several free backpacks and duffle bags, which will go to the foster care agency for kids removed from their homes with only what they can carry; several items for birthday gifts ($2.00), a DVD I’ve been wanting ($1) , a vase to fill with flowers to take to a friend who needs cheering up (75 cents), an ironstone bowl to put a fern in (50 cents), and some stuff for my granddaughter ($1.50). Plus, I told several sellers about the luggage idea and they are taking some there after the sales are over! And one sale I stopped at, all the proceeds are going to a Clean Water for Africa project! I do love garage sales!


One of God's June 26, 2015 at 11:13 am

1) Found my temporarily lost wallet. It was here in the house all along. So grateful for that.

2) Several days ago I was impatiently waiting for arrival of sprouted moringa oleifera seeds. Had ordered six, hoped for three successes, received twelve; now ten are up and going to town. Don’t need to sell them so looking forward to eating from one or two of them and sharing the rest, mostly with my Master Gardener group.

3) Looking up and filing recipes for using my new produce.

4) As I sort through things from recently closing Mother’s apartment, I’m adding a few cooking utensils and wardrobe items to my own. The rest goes to our local thrift store.

5) Using chicken from freezer and leftover bean and grain combo as basis for tonight’s dinner.


Glory June 26, 2015 at 11:31 am

Got an hour of exercise by walking at the track at our local neighborhood school. While walking noticed a bunch of empty plastic bottles and soda cans strewn about the soccer field, which is used by many in the area. Picked up about $3 dollars worth of recycling, which in turn helped clean the field all while getting some exercise.


Karen June 26, 2015 at 11:34 am

1.) I found some singles when I was straightening a hanging sweater/accessory bag. Promptly went to the bank with them.

2,) All meals prepared at home this week.

2.) Bought only one lipstick on mailed coupon offering instead of the on-ad “Buy One, bet one Half.” the previous week. The price each is the same, but I only needed one lipstick.


Karen June 26, 2015 at 11:35 am



Jan Jackson June 26, 2015 at 11:38 am

I decided it was time to count up the loose change I’ve been throwing in the jar and counted up enough to buy a new front door! 😀 Score! I need a new door. Our old door doesn’t fit the jamb and lets cold/hot air out. I can see daylight… Very, very happy about this.. 😀

And last weekend we went to the ReStore and bought a hose reel, freestanding that was probably made in 1969 but is in excellent shape for a $1.75. Shall spraypaint that and put it in my front yard. 😀


Katy June 26, 2015 at 11:40 am

And it’s likely much more sturdy than what you could buy new today!


K D June 26, 2015 at 11:51 am

1. I went to the grocery store and stocked up on loss leaders. I used a 10% off Catalina that someone left behind a few weeks ago and I also received $.30 off per gallon of gas. I paid for half the groceries with a Visa pre-paid card we received for switching our electricity supplier (and our rate is lower than it was).

2. I went to a yoga class then volunteered with Meals on Wheels. The meal recipients really appreciate your effort and it keeps me grounded (seeing the conditions so many of them live in reminds me of how fortunate I am to live in our little abode in our solidly middle class neighborhood). Also, my fellow volunteers and the part-time employee are always lovely to talk with (and they are mostly people I would not encounter in my everyday life).

3. I found a dime and 2 Canadian quarters while running errands. My husband loves collecting foreign money (although he is not keen on foreign travel).

4. We will finish watching a CBS show tonight, using our free trial to a CBS All Access Pass. I’ll cancel the pass tomorrow, before we are charged for the next month. I also have Season 5 of Rizzoli & Isles on DVD waiting for me on the hold shelf at the library.

5. I deleted the email from Eddie Bauer telling me that tops are half price. I do love their tank tops but I don’t need any.


Isabelle June 26, 2015 at 1:23 pm

Started moving our stuff at the new house today…
* moving all the boxes and small furniture ourself in order to save on movers fees (we are getting some for the big furniture only)
* previous owners left a plastic garbage can and a cleaning brush in the recycling. Took them back into the house.
* we “bargained” a reduction on the price of the alarm system, We were given a price of 24$/month by the previous owners. Company is now trying to sell us a contract for 34$/month… Sure enough, when we said we would not take it, they dropped the price at 26$/month. And we are saving 7$/month with the insurances because of the alarm system.
* we are saving 40$/year on the car insurance because we are moving.
* we decided against eating out today

Have a great frugal day!


Vickie June 26, 2015 at 1:35 pm

1) Reading and enjoying Walden on Wheels by Ken Ilgunas. He’s hilarious and it’s a great read.
2) Had lunch with a friend at Rib Crib today. I thought she told me she had a coupon. Nope, it was a gift card, so she graciously paid for both our lunches with it. Yay!
3) I had a 20% off coupon from Petco. That scored $5 off of a bag of cat food.
4) I rec’d a notice from the library that another book I put on hold is in. I will have a few returns on Monday. So, I’ll go shopping with my Library card next week.
5) I need a new filter for my vacuum. I’ve washed & dried the old one several times, it’s now toast. I found one on Amazon for less than $10. It’s an older machine I bought used at the Goodwill store for about $7. I love having a bagless vacuum and this one is MUCH lighter than my old Kirby!
And…I didn’t buy a Lear Jet.


beth June 26, 2015 at 2:25 pm

*Daughter has been asking for a new bathing suit and jean shorts – was able to get with two Christmas gift cards and paid only $2 cash

*Took on dog walking jobs for the weekend and next week have a dog and cat sitting jobs for vacationers; will help make up for July 4th as I have the day off and will not get paid

*Worked and didn’t get home until 5:30 – usually we get pizza on Friday night and was tempted – whipped up a small chicken enchilada casserole for us with left over chicken, tortillas, can of corn and kidney beans, can of enchilada sauce and cheese that needed to be used up – with sour cream should be delish!

*Got my first PayPal payout from Swagbucks of $25 – yeah! I’m like Dory from Nemo “just keep clicking, just keep clicking….”

*Saw an exercise show on PBS Classical Stretch – just got it from the library, checking it out to see if I like it and then maybe will buy – did not fall for the PBS fun drive – love to donate but can’t do it at that level

*Need to go to the grocery store but have been putting it off for several days, holding out as long as possible


Ruby June 26, 2015 at 2:34 pm

1. I gathered together some free materials around the house and constructed a cover for the very ugly gas line that runs down our bedroom wall. Painted it to match the wall, and it now looks about a hundred times better because it essentially disappears into the paintwork.
2. Used some more paint and stain from our stash in the garage to do touch-up painting all over the house and on the back porch.
3. This painting project also made possible by the big bag of many different paint brushes — from teeny to an inch and half wide — bought for $3 at Big Lots a while back.
4. Trimmed a piece of clear skateboard tape to attach to the freshly painted back door in the spot where our younger cat likes to claw the wood. It’s barely noticeable and a very cheap fix to keep him from destroying the door.
5. Found two free Kindle e-books today, so I’ll enjoy those this weekend.


Chris June 26, 2015 at 5:44 pm

1. Glanced down at the dog this AM and there was a $10 bill in his mouth – I have no idea where it came from!! I get paid in cash and may have dropped a bill – though I usually put it directly in a can. NO matter – the dog did not eat $10!!
2. Planned meals tonight through Sunday dinner. Had thought about ordering for delivery tonight but writing a weekend of menus means no delivery here.
3. Dropped by the library today to pick up the 2 books on hold as long as I was there for a brief volunteer shift.
4. Waited 5 weeks for a haircut rather than the usual 4. Big mistake!! But she cut it shorter to allow for how quickly my hair grows in the summer so that 4 weeks from now I won’t look quite so overgrown. I always stop at the bakery and buy her a ham and cheese croissant as her tip but they were out today – and found out that she had massive dental work and can’t eat solids – win/win.
5. Went to a garage sale that advertised massive amounts of fabric – bought nothing and it was super close my dog’s favorite park so he came along and we had a great walk- with Dave Ramsey’s podcast in my ear.


Anne June 26, 2015 at 11:10 pm

Hilarious about the dog and the ten dollar bill. I’m imaging a hugely guilty look on his face?????


Bettypants June 27, 2015 at 4:11 am

Maybe teach the dog to bring you $10 each time he wants a trip to his favorite park?


Chris June 27, 2015 at 7:10 am

If only I could!!


Kim June 26, 2015 at 6:56 pm

1. My raspberry bushes are just starting to ripen. I was able to pick about a cup today!
2. Popped into the charity shop today and got a RL polo for DS#1 , wooden spoon and a new spatula for $3.50.
3. Got a 1 ltr. bottle of Starbucks sugar free vanilla syrup from the free box at the charity shop.
4. Enjoying an iced coffee made from cold brew ice coffee concentrate I made last week.
5. Happy to see that my window box is full of petunias that self seeded from last year’s plants. Amazing considering the winter we had!


pattilou June 26, 2015 at 7:23 pm

1. after a long travel day, resisted ordering a pizza and cooked instead
2. listened to a book on tape from the library on my drive
3. finished shopping for supplies to make the rest of the decorations for my niece’s baby shower. Bought everything using coupons and will save money making everything myself instead of buying them already made.
4. while out of town for a wedding we spent our free time roaming the city’s amazing free park and enjoying the free entertainment in the park. We got lots of exercise walking too.
5. resisted the desire to have a big bowl of gelato from a restaurant we had dinner in – saved money and the calories!


CanadianLilly June 26, 2015 at 8:53 pm

1. Held a yard sale Sunday and was able to get rid of some clutter and pocket some cash.
2. Used yard sale cash to purchase sale grocery items to stock the pantry.
3. Picked up an additional 10 hour shift this week to make up for some lost hours next month when on vacation.
4. My wife (did all the hard work) and I (did the design) transformed our mud pit (thank you dogs!) of a back yard into a beautiful oasis using reclaimed (free!) patio stones and 300 free bricks and a multitude of re-homed plants (thanks friends!). Also borrowed a friend’s rototiller ( free). Only cost was for some beautiful cedar mulch and gas for the rototiller. A $1000 yard makeover for about $80.
5. Hung all laundry out to dry this week.


dusty June 27, 2015 at 2:35 am

I wish I could say I had a frugal week, I’m really trying. My car has been in the shop for repair and yesterday I went to pay the bill $918, that’s on top of the $650 I paid last month. But on the bright side, I don’t have a car payment. Hopefully it will keep running for a long time. One frugal thing I am doing, my boyfriend and I are going to see a Billy Joel tribute band in Daytona this evening and the concert is free, thank God! I also went to a Hospice training course at my company and will get paid for that and I won a $10 gift card at our open house. Next week will be better as far as frugality is concerned, I just know it!


Mand01 June 27, 2015 at 3:10 am

1. Took the kids op shopping. Found a stack of 1980s pantyhose and tights still in their original packaging for about a dollar a pair. The original packaging made me chuckle as well as half the pantyhose were white with bow patterns on them. I skipped the white ones, but I bought quite a few of the neutral colours. I hate paying for pantyhose because they ladder so quickly but I need them for work, so it was a good find. I had never thought of looking at the op shop. They were also some luxury brands.

2. Also found a new skirt there and a funky tea caddy. Total spend was $18 but I got a lot of pantyhose for that. Great hairstyles and shoulder pads on those packages. So funny.

3. Dinner was homemade pizzas from pizza bases in our freezer. When we make pizza I always make a couple of extra pizza bases and freeze for another time. Very cheap and easy dinner.

4. Entertainment for this evening was provided by Google Play. I was considering buying a couple of albums, then remembered we had a GP subscription, so I downloaded from there instead and listened. Glad I did, because I don’t think I would buy those albums.

5. Kids entertainment is good old fashioned reading aloud. I am reading the Harry Potter series to my youngest daughter, who in turn is reading it to her elder sister. I am loving reading it to her. We are up to the Goblet of Fire – it is lovely seeing her suspenseful little face as she waits to see what will happen at the Triwizard Tournament. Luckily she has not seen the movies, so no spoilers for her.


Bettypants June 27, 2015 at 3:56 am

1. Sold an antique ladder on Craigslist for a $45 profit. I was starting to think it had been a mistake to buy it.
2. Got a $15 Kohls coupon in the mail, and picked out two very soft shirts without going over the $15. Had $1 left and gave it to the woman in line behind me.
3. Really wanted a Belgian waffle maker and bought a used one from a friend. Holy hell, Belgian waffles are 20 times better than regular ones.
4. Bought a Coach purse locally to sell on ebay. The bottom was quite dirty, but it’s a nylon fabric, and washed out beautifully.
5. Have eaten so. many. waffles.


Isabelle June 27, 2015 at 11:51 am

I’ve got more!
* Bought a cute small IKEA table on Craigslist for 5$. Will be used as a bed side table in the new house
* Also on Craigslist, bought a chairmat for 30$ (instead of 55$ new)
* Craigslist again : soon picking up a free 7 feet artificial Christmas tree. Will then pass on my own 6 feet tree for free.
* We had to buy a lot of maintenance stuff for the new house If we went today before noon, they gave back 15% purchase value on a gift card. We got back 65$ (you do the math!). Got to go back tomorrow morning for more stuff, same deal. And we got 6 gallons of paint at 25% off. So, spending planned at around 1000$ at this store (ouch!), we will have saved almost 200$ with this promotion
* we decided not to take the alarm system service after all . Savings of 275$/year (5 year contract minimum= 1375$ more in our pockets). We already pay for home insurances, so to me it felt like paying double protection for nothing… (I might be wrong, oh well)
* My mom got us a brand new big inverted microwave as a house warming gift, yay! Looking on the website of where she got it, I think she paid 200$ for it, and it comes with a 2 years warranty, so it’s good stuff. Very nice gift, thanks mom!

Have a great frugal day!


Tammy June 27, 2015 at 4:13 pm

-I am de-staining a few items in the sun with the help of a little lemon juice. It works great!!
-Went garage saleing with a neighbor. Bought a new in box pair of Docker shoes for my DH for a quarter, yes a quarter. They retail at $75. Bought a new pair of Tom’s shoes for me for a dollar. They retail for $55. Bought a new harness for my pooch for 1.00. It retails for $25. I love a good deal!! Took snacks with us so we wouldn’t have to stop and spend any money un-necessarily and loose our momentum.
-Dug up some beautiful foxglove flowers along the road. Will save the seeds for next year to plant. Took one plant to a dear neighbor who was eyeing them also.
-Asked a homeowner at the G sale for a pod from her beautiful poppies. I will save the seeds for next year.
-Mended a reusable bag so I can continue reusing it for years to come and be green!


Marcia June 27, 2015 at 7:07 pm

1. Stayed away from several estate sales listed in the paper for today.
2. Stayed away from the mall, where I had coupons for three different stores which were having sales today only.
3. Made a batch of sandwich rolls from scratch (using bread machine.) Then made Italian sausages and tossed salad for dinner using the fresh rolls.
4. Did my laundry with cold water Tide and cold water.
5. Read newspapers and spent time on the computer instead of spending money today. So far, good weekend. Watched a Netflix movie tonight with husband–$8 and tax for at least 4 movies a month–can do eight if we make sure to put them in the mail as soon as we finish one, and can watch the same day they arrive.


Judy June 28, 2015 at 8:24 am

1. Took a mini-vacation/business trip to LA and Long beach. Flight and hotel in LA provided. We travel light so no checked baggage fees.
2. Queen Mary overnight stay booked with Groupon included a state room
upgrade and several tours for discounted rate.
3. Rode the Metro train from LA to Long Beach for $5 round trip vs. $200
cab fair.
4. Daughter and son-in-law kept our dog and provided airport transportation,
so I gave them some of the cab fair savings.
5. Saved on postage on books and gifts for friend in Long Beach by bringing


Amanda June 29, 2015 at 5:51 am

1. I burned a hole in one of my few maternity shirts. Luckily it was right below the bust line, so I took a little tuck all the way around the shirt. There is now no evidence of the hole, and it looks like an intention detail on the shirt.
2. Instead of getting takeout my husband and I worked together to get a cheap and delicious supper on the table last night.
3. Luckily the fancy donut shop I was craving last night wasn’t open, so we didn’t spend $5 on donuts.
4. Got together a goodwill pile this weekend that I will donate this week. Five donations get me a 20% off an entire purchase coupon.
5. I called around to check the prices of contacts and to see if my insurance paid any portion. Costco is the cheapest by a lot, so that is where I will order them today. I’ve been to a couple of different eye doctors in the last few years because of changing insurances, and they all swear to me the contacts they carry are “probably cheaper” than I can get them anywhere else. I trust them on optometry questions, but not on financial questions.


Bobbi June 30, 2015 at 9:15 am

Five frugal things while abroad on vacation for a month in Scotland:

1) Bought bus passes to use for the duration of my stay in Edinburgh. It will be average out to be cheaper than paying bus fare for each ride, and of course much cheaper than taxis.
2) Rented an apartment to stay in, instead of a hotel. The nightly rate is less than a hotel, and there’s a kitchen for preparing our own food.
3) Took the bus to the grocery store and stocked up on breakfast and snack foods, coffee, and tea. Our lunches and dinners will mostly be out while sightseeing, but we will save a bundle eating in as well.
4) Using a credit card for as many purchases as possible (that I will pay off right away) because my bank charges a $9.50 fee every time I take cash out of a foreign ATM. Insane! I will accrue some credit card air miles in the process.
5) When I do take out cash, I take out the maximum amount to defray the cost of that obnoxious bank fee.
Bonus #6) Since I am self-employed and work from home much of the time, I have been able to do bits of work here and there during down time in our apartment, earning a small revenue stream while on vacation, and keeping in touch with my clients while I’m away for so long.

Yes this is an expensive vacation, but thanks in large part to being frugal in my everyday life all year, I am able to take a big annual vacation with my kiddos. I have budgeted for sightseeing, eating out, accommodations, airline tickets, etc. but there is no need to burn through money needlessly, and the above things have been helpful in keeping my spending focused on our fun, planned things.


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