Five Frugal Things

by Katy on July 9, 2015 · 17 comments

  1. My NYC vacation has been mostly low key so far, with today’s highlight’s including taking my sister’s puppy to The Northshore Animal League on Long Island, taking my nephew to his track practice and walking the dogs around City Island. Luckily, the company is exceptional and there are next to no shopping temptations. (I did sneak in a walk around Washington Heights featuring a tasty falafel and a café con leche with “solo un poquito de azucar.”
  2. I’ve found 44¢ on the ground so far on my trip, which will be added to my found change challenge jar.
  3. Our plans for tomorrow include cheering for the U.S. Women’s World Cup soccer team at their ticker tape parade, taking my sister’s other dog to the vet and sailing on the Long Island Sound in my brother-in-law’s boat.
  4. We did a big grocery shopping trip to Trader Joe’s instead of eating out.
  5. I didn’t buy a Lear Jet. You know . . . because of New York City’s sales tax.

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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{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

Our Next Life July 9, 2015 at 10:18 pm

Love your non-shopping NYC activities. We’re going away to a big city this weekend, one where I lived long ago, and it was hard at first to think of things to do — all of my past activities were in some way shopping related! It’s a good reminder of how the nonconsuming lifestyle takes real commitment and dedication. It would be so easy to fall into old patterns! We will go to the farmers market, because it’s wonderful, but otherwise no shopping! Thanks for the reinforcement.


Jill A July 10, 2015 at 2:31 am

1. I am having a garage sale today. I’m getting rid of a ton of stuff and hopefully I’ll make a few dollars.
2. I’ve been selling some things on craigslist. I’ve made a couple hundred dollars so far and my garage and shed are looking cleaner.
3. Made tacos last night. I mixed a pound of ground beef and the same amount of lentils. They were delicious. I put the rest in freezer so we can have another meal. A few pennies and I stretched our meat into two meals.
4. Fixed another cooler with a hinge I purchased off Amazon. Another working cooler to use and another item not going to a landfill.
5. Fit a couple errands in yesterday when I took my daughter to a lesson. I bought gas at Costco. I only saved 16 cents a gallon, but it’s better than nothing. I also picked up some tillamook cheese, which this blog turned us onto.


Betty Winslow July 10, 2015 at 3:52 am

1. Starting taking an insulated water bottle of water or homemade iced tea with me on errands, to help me resist the temptation to do through a drive-thru “because I’m thirsty”
2. Posted my late dad’s wheelchair, walker/seat, and a bottle of almost-unused colgne, plus a rolling shoe rack, on a FB sale site. Already sold the rack.
3. Meeting a friend for coffee today and taking her the rest of the K-cups ($10), a morse code bracelet I made her ($15) and a fold-up fan I found like the one I have that she loves (free). I’ll spend $3-4 but make $25.
4. Went grocery shopping yesterday at Kroger (senior 5% discount day), used some coupons they’d sent me and got $25.84 off my bill (about 1/3!) I also used the rest of a starbucks gift card and a store merchandise card (a $2.00 refund for some frozen french fries that weren’t good) and bought myseld a mocha frappachino – total in cash spent? 30 cents….
5. Bought a Rubbermaid rolling garden seat with storage under the lid, to use for a project at school and then keep here for the garden. They usually cost $50-60 but I got it from a woman whose mom used it once and didn’t like it. Cost? $10!!


Maureen July 10, 2015 at 4:18 am

1. When I go visit my brother on Saturday in Long Island, he will take me out on his sailboat on the South Shore. When I was a kid, my father kept the boat on the North Shore. I hated going out on the North Shore cause it was like gridlock on the high seas. Too scary for me. And being that I have not gone on the boat since before dad passed, I’m looking forward to it.
2. My vacation has sort of been frugal in the sense that I’m staying at people’s houses and not paying for hotel rooms.
3. Since we’re not really seeing any sights either, the magnet purchase for the refrigerator (what I buy now instead of coffee mugs or t-shirt) is down. Savibg myself money that way.
4. Looking forward to seeing my mom tomorrow after our sailing adventure.
5. And I didn’t buy a lear jet either cause, yes the NYC/state tax is crazy and I’m sort of glad I don’t live in that state any longer!


Lona Pritchett July 10, 2015 at 4:31 am

So glad that you are having fun! I had never thought of checking the coins tar machine. So the first time I check it we find a Hong Kong dollar, a Canadian dime, a nickel and a penny. Now 8 year old son wants to go to Hong Kong to spend his dollar! Lol! First time I have commented, but I adore your blog.


Diane C July 10, 2015 at 8:40 am

This comment made me laugh. I always check the Coinstar machine for coins first, a la Katy, but so far no luck. I collect the coins from our library book store and take them to Coinstar once a month. I always get a kick out of what is rejected. I have a growing collection of Chuckie Cheese and Scandia tokens, along with plastic coins and lots of round foreign currrency. Occasionally, CS rejects a US coin which turns out to be pure silver. I save those and will sell them for more than the face value. I noticed last month that my usual CS machine rejected four of the quarters and about a half a roll of nickels. I finally gave up and took them to the bank. They were all of new vintage, so perhaps the Mint is tinkering with the composition and the weight is off.


Isabelle July 10, 2015 at 5:26 am

I missed 5 frugal things!

My own…
* We are travelling today and I am packing a lunch for everyone instead of stopping to eat (it’s also healthier and we are saving time by eating while driving)
* I got rid of 5 small bags of clothes that were too big/too small/outdated. Then I went and bought 3 pairs or pants and 1 shirt at the used store, using a 30% off coupon. One of the pants is actually too big for me (just figured this out today, oops) and the tag is off, so I can’t return it. I’ll try to fix it instead of getting rid of it.
* Cheap mascara irritate my eyes. I was thinking I could just by an expensive one and see, but then I figured out… why? I hate taking it out at night! So I’ll just go without. It still looks fine, just eyeshadow and eye liner. Plus, I already have a stash of makeup I can use, no need to buy more. (the rules of throwing it out after that many months… whatever)
* I registered with some Meetup groups. So far I have 4 bookclubs meetings lined-up, all free.
* We are going to a BBQ this week-end. We have to provide some food : sausages, munchies and veggies/dip. I am bring 2 packs of sausages that I got for free (buying wine, which will go for future gifts, as we don’t drink wine), 1 bag of specialty popcorn I got for free (buying pop, which we keep for guests) and veggies I already had home and bought for cheap (2$ cauliflower, 1.50$ broccoli, 1$ mushrooms, 1$ baby tomatoes) I now have to get a dip, 2 more bags of chips and baby carrots. So the grand total should be at about 17$. Not cheap, but not bad considering we got the sausages for free (13$ value) and that this big BBQ will feed my family of 4.

Have a great frugal day!


Rebecca@TheFamilyFinder.Net July 10, 2015 at 6:33 am

-A few weeks ago we went to a family vacation to a lake near Branson MO. A spend, spend, spend tourist trap. The vacation was all about seeing family from all over the country and we spent our time enjoying family instead of the blinky blinky sights.
-We brought our own food from our home Aldi to cook in the kitchenette and did not eat out once.
-We did not shop for any new “Vacation Clothes” or buy any gear for the trip.
-We drove to the vacation in a minivan that we bought from a salvage auction a few years ago for $2000 cash. It had been totaled out because of hail damage but is otherwise is great working order.
-We hand washed/lined dried our swim gear and towels while on vacation instead of paying for the laundry mat.


Linda in Mass July 10, 2015 at 6:45 am

How great that you get to go to the parade. The ladies did such a great job! I know when I get together with my sisters and brother, we can just sit and talk. We don’t need to go out anywhere. Of course, walking and talking is so much better for us!


Meredith P. July 10, 2015 at 8:21 am

I can’t even think frugal because I just realized that our local sales tax is HIGHER THAN NYC!!!!! Yeah…9.5%-10.95% on everything, including food. Wow…


Ruby July 10, 2015 at 8:56 am

It’s 9.25% here in my part of Tennessee, but we don’t have an income tax. Groceries are taxed at a slightly lower rate (7.25%).


K D July 10, 2015 at 11:48 am

1. I managed to make it to 16 yoga classes last month, so my cost per class (with a monthly membership) was very reasonable. I am more fit because I am doing more yoga, but I am not paying more.

2. All meals this week have been at home. I did buy a rotisserie chicken at Sam’s Club, at less than $5.00 it was quite a deal. I will shortly boil the carcass, so that I can make soup.

3. I bought yeast at Sam’s Club. It was $4.49 for two pounds. That is equivalent to 128 packets. What a price difference. Once I open it I store most of it in the freezer and it keeps for a long time.

4. I have been pulling weeds. A lot of rain has meant a lot of growth.

5. I am reading a library book on my Kindle, Saturday Night Widows. It is quite interesting (as a friend recently lost her husband).


Meredith in SA July 10, 2015 at 1:01 pm

Your 5 Frugal Things always inspire me! Here are mine:

1. I am reading two library books and listening to another. My 4yo twins have about 10 library books out now, so even their bedtime stories are frugal!
2. We are taking a 2 or 3 day family camping vacation at a state park for $10/night. We are of course bringing our own food, and don’t need to buy any new equipment, so this will be a very inexpensive vacation! We even managed to borrow an air mattress (because the old folks don’t like to sleep on the ground)
3. We are taking advantage of a free pizza from Papa John’s for dinner tonight.
4. I brought my lunch to work 3 times this week.
5. Two day’s worth of leftovers were made with vegetables grown in our own garden. There’s nothing like a tasty homegrown eggplant for!


meg July 10, 2015 at 5:29 pm

1. Taking advantage of local churches and the. VBS program. Free half day camp fun for my kids and their friends.
2. Also enjoying Kids Bowl Free on super hot or rainy afternoons.
3. Taking advantage of summer meals for kids through the school system. Free lunch at the school for any kid ages 2-18.
4. Downloaded ebooks from library. Just like going, but without the car and I can do it at midnight!
5. Have not thrown away any leftovers at all the past two weeks!


One of God's July 10, 2015 at 5:54 pm

1) Brought tea from home for first leg of long drive today.
2) Rescued leftover dinner roll from evening meal to serve as tomorrow’s breakfast.
3) When trying to add enough flavor to a pasta salad to take to a potluck, decided to add in the leftover pickle juice. Good taste, no waste.
4) While waiting in an untended office area today, paced long enough to count as having walked a mile (good for my health).
5) Purchased only one item at thrift store, a money-saving set of ice pop molds in which I’ll freeze concoctions made with my homemade yogurt.


Carol Maskus July 12, 2015 at 12:49 pm

Something to aspire to! I wish I was as frugal as you.


Carol Maskus July 12, 2015 at 12:47 pm

1. Bought several packets of ramen to have while my fiancé is away–won’t kill me in the short run.

2. Turning off my laptop at night.

3. Only using AC when it’s above 80.

4. Buying Christmas gifts early, to get good deals.

5. Cleaning with homemade solution of lemon juice and vinegar.


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