Five Frugal Things

by Katy on September 2, 2015 · 69 comments


  1. I worked yesterday and the day before, which took me away from the house for 14 hours each day. It both meant that there was little opportunity to spend, but it also meant there was next to no opportunity for frugal activities like using my clothesline. (As a labor and delivery nurse I don’t exactly come home with zippy energy and interest in anything other than putting my feet up and watching a little TV.) However, I brought food from home, drank the crappy free coffee, hypermiled my Prius through the eighteen-mile commute, listened to Dave Ramsey podcasts in the car and wore hospital provided scrubs. (It’s a requirement, as I circulate in the operating room.) Good pay + an eye on frugality is a good combination.
  2. I cashed in 2500 Swag Bucks for a $25 PayPal gift card, which will go towards the ol’ college fund. We have enough money on hand to cash flow my son’s first term/room and board/fees, but will continue to save towards the rest of his school year. Plus, we’ll have two kids in college next year. (ARGGHHHHH!!!!) Our goal is to pay for college without taking out any student loans.
  3. I brought home two boxes of hair dye from one of my mother’s guest cottages as I’ve noticed that our local consignment shop sells unopened boxes of hair color. (People leave behind the oddest things at those rentals!) I also have two listings on Craigslist, which I just renewed.
  4. I was presented with a catalog of pseudo-luxury goods to choose from as a thanks “in honor of your 20 years of service” from my employer. There’s absolutely nothing that I need or want for my home, so I’m going to choose whatever I deem to have the highest resale value. I leaning towards a ten-piece set of Cuisinsart cookware, which normally sells for $160. College fund, people. College fund.
  5. My husband didn’t renew his season tickets for the Portland Thorns women’s soccer team. This will save us $210, plus the inevitable cost of beer, pizza and parking.

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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{ 69 comments… read them below or add one }

Revanche September 2, 2015 at 10:45 am

I tip my hat to you – I rarely get to meet nurses in their working environment but I spent a fair amount of time in the L&D ward when I had our kidling this year and was so grateful for the kind and competent nurses there.

As to frugality, since my days are full of working and running after kidling, I’m doing frugality differently than before we had hir. I hope you’ll forgive a link as the list is rather long! 🙂


Jaime September 2, 2015 at 10:49 am

Wait, so can you use a PayPal gift card to just add funds to your account and transfer the funds??


Vanessa Fasanella September 2, 2015 at 10:50 am

Wouldn’t it be much more frugal to have your kid live at home and commute to local community college/state school?


Katy September 2, 2015 at 11:14 am

My son lived at home and took classes at the local university last year, but what he wants to study is specialized and not available here in Portland.


Jennifer Pratt September 2, 2015 at 10:55 am

I recently discovered fitstudio (by Sears), so my husband and I both have an account. They give you 5000 SYWR pts each week for completing “Exercise” and sharing content. I’ve been frugally collecting christmas presents and other household items (dishwasher detergent) for free for over a month.


Katy September 2, 2015 at 11:14 am

Hmm . . . I’ll have to look into that as my husband has a Fitbit.


A. Marie September 2, 2015 at 10:58 am

(1) My employers just passed out this year’s profit-sharing bonuses. Without disclosing exact figures, I’m glad and proud that I got an add-on for a combination of long service (31 years as a full-time telecommuter!) and extraordinary effort on a couple of projects. Much better than a “catalog of pseudo-luxury goods,” as I’m pretty sure Katy would agree.

(2) Haven’t been able to get out on walks much recently because of recurring knee trouble, but found a $1 bill on the sidewalk this morning, in addition to a nice number of NYS 5-cent deposit bottles and cans.

(3) High season for tomato/pepper harvest. Eating, freezing, and giving away as fast as I can do all three.

(4) Having a service person here this afternoon to look at our solar panels to determine why our electricity bills have recently taken an unexplained jump. For what we paid for those babies (even after various federal and state tax breaks), DH and I want them to work, darn it.

(5) Planning a frittata for dinner with local eggs and our own veg. Yum!


Jess September 2, 2015 at 11:24 am

Based on your congratulations sign, I see we work for the same organization. Congratulations on 20 years!


Katy September 2, 2015 at 11:37 am



Bobbi September 2, 2015 at 11:27 am

1. I’m on a one-night work trip, which ends up saving me money because I’m reimbursed for food and mileage driven, and of course hotel — free cable for a night, hot water, etc. Plus I’m on the clock making money.
2. I filled a prescription yesterday at Costco even though I’m not a member, because their price was better. I noticed walking through the store all the products for sale in bulk that I don’t even use: plastic razors, toothpaste, lotion….. I felt like I saved a fortune! (I use a safety razor, baking soda/coconut oil toothpaste, and coconut oil for lotion).
3. I hiked in the forest for free exercise yesterday.
4. I walked to and from yoga class two days ago (a mile each way) saving in gas and getting extra exercise.
5. Same old things: drinking water from my water bottle, cooking at home, packing leftovers. It’s all the things I’m not buying that saves me the most money. When I do make purchases, I focus more on quality, and try to save money (and the planet!) by buying used when possible.

Congrats on 20 years at your job Katy!


Megg September 2, 2015 at 12:27 pm

THere are worse things than student loans. We had no issues buying a house because my husband and I have been paying our loans since we graduated 8 and 10 years ago. Whereas our friends had trouble because of a lack of credit when they bought a house. It’s not something you’re thinking about at 18, but it’ll definitely help your kids in the long run to have good credit.


Amanda September 2, 2015 at 3:06 pm

I agree. We paid off my husband’s $36K in school loans in about a year and a half and were glad they gave him the ability to go to school. I like Dave Ramsey for a lot of things, but I don’t agree that debt is slavery. I think debt is a useful tool for smoothing consumption over many years of changing income.


Marilyn September 2, 2015 at 6:04 pm

You are correct about this,of course, but it always struck me as silly that you had to have debt in order to get a loan (more debt). (I totally understand that they want to see that you are being responsible about making payments. But they end up denying loans to the person who saves up for things and uses cash as much as possible).


Diane C September 2, 2015 at 10:42 pm

You want to try some silly on, apply for a mortgage. We have 5x the entire loan amount in the bank & investments, plus a paid off house, plus 16 years on the job (Go Katherine!) and no consumer debt. You would not believe the level of scrutiny. Oy vey, FWPs.


Michele Hoyt September 2, 2015 at 12:44 pm

I just had my 10 year pick a gift, everything was frou-frou except for one item. I now have a booster pack/tire inflator, which replaced one that kicked the bucket.


Kathleen September 2, 2015 at 2:48 pm

We have one of these in every vehicle. I just had to replace one that finally bit the dust after about 8 years. We use these multiple times a year both on our own vehicles and co workers. Excellent investment. Hope you never need it, but you will be glad you have it when you do. The cigarette lighter jump starters are well worth having as well.


Bettypants September 2, 2015 at 12:53 pm

I need a Swagbucks tutorial. I feel like I wander around in there, spending a bunch of time not qualifying for surveys and have no clue how other people are making it work.

My frugals for the week:
1. Sold the shoes (finally!) this week on ebay for $17, after buying them earlier this year at a rummage sale for $2.
2. Bought two copies of a popular Xbox game locally and sold both on ebay for an $18 profit.
3. Of course, all my sale peaches ripened at the same time, so I sliced up most for smoothies and froze them.
4. Of the two upholstered chairs I bought from the estate sale, I have one fully clean, stains removed. Still working on the other.
5. Meeting a lady tonight to sell a bowl for $5. Whoo.


Revanche September 2, 2015 at 1:00 pm

I felt the same for a long time but I’m posting my tutorial on Friday, if you’re interested.


Kathy M September 2, 2015 at 3:08 pm

Can you post a link on the NCA Facebook page when it is ready? I could really use a tutorial, too. Thank you.


Revanche September 4, 2015 at 9:13 am

I’m not on Facebook myself so I can’t share there but you are more than welcome to share. I’ll give you the link here in case you check back here:


Bettypants September 2, 2015 at 3:27 pm

Yes, I am! I will definitely check in on Friday. Thank you.


Carol M. September 2, 2015 at 1:12 pm

1. I cruised by the manager’s special rack at Vons, and only bought things I need: Raisin Bran, vegetarian baked beans, a new notebook. Everything was 50% off.
2. Going to send out our save the dates soon…will be using a free e-card for that. No stamps, no stationery cost.
3. I resisted the temptation to buy a coffee or snack before my tutoring gig; when I got there my client’s mother offered me some amazing caprese salad.
4. My lunch today included an apple from a few that my fiance brought home–a lot of his students leave their fruit on their free breakfast.
5. Reusing folders for new clients: just take a label and paste it over the old student’s name.


WilliamB September 2, 2015 at 2:33 pm

What about the Lear Jet? You didn’t mention the Lear Jet this time. Did you finally buy one?


Anne September 2, 2015 at 5:43 pm

Please William, let sleeping dogs lie.


Katy September 2, 2015 at 6:17 pm

Shh . . . it’s a secret!


Diane C September 2, 2015 at 10:44 pm

LOL! Way to deflect, Katy!


Gail September 2, 2015 at 2:40 pm

Congrats on 20 years with the same employer,


Lilypad September 2, 2015 at 3:01 pm

My husband marked 30 years with the same company in August and got one of those kinds of catalogs, sigh. We both looked through it and made fun of the idiot stuff. He said there was more online so we need to see if there’s something than we could actually use, like a waffle iron. I wish companies would just give a cash bonus instead of consumer crap!


Kim September 2, 2015 at 7:58 pm

I second that, my old company would just remind us we had free parking.


JD September 3, 2015 at 8:34 am

The company I used to work for would, one year, award employees with pre-paid cards for anniversaries, then the next year they would give those cheesy gift selections worth maybe 20 bucks each. This happened twice — I was given $500 on a card for 15 years service, which stunned me, and a guy who celebrated 15 years the next year was given a selection of a cheap watch or a duffel bag. and before that, for my 10th, I was given a hideous logo ring made of gold with a little diamond in it which I immediately sold for $50. The next year, this same poor guy celebrated his 10th, and got a logo pencil case. I felt so bad for him! This was all the same company — they would see-saw back and forth in their generosity from year to year. My boss had 40 years with them, and they forgot his anniversary until he’d had 42 and he reminded them how long he’d been there. To make up to him, they invited him to the home office 800 miles away for a party for all anniversary celebrants that year — but they would only pay for one-way travel and a one-night stay, and would not include his wife in the hotel room or the air travel at all. Total crap. We none of us work for them anymore; their contract with our group was finally ended. Wonder why?


Amanda September 2, 2015 at 3:21 pm

1. I resisted the urge to buy the burger and fries today my pregnant belly was calling for, instead sticking to my homemade lunch.
2. Brought home a free box of cookie mix. Someone left a bunch of dessert mixes in the office kitchen for whoever wanted them.
3. Fueled up the car at the Kroger gas station on my way home to take advantage of fuel perks.
4. Downloaded an app that is supposed to credit me for going to class. You redeem the points for free food in the area. Hello free pizza!
5. Did a little math to find the best audible deal for the number of audiobooks I need to purchase this semester. I listen to audio versions of my required books (at least the ones available on audio) as I commute. It saves time and time is money. BUT the service could easily end up costing a lot of money, so strategy is key.


Marilyn September 2, 2015 at 3:30 pm

1. Bought a very handsome TV console from my neighbor who is moving and downsizing. Paid her $50. I priced similar new ones and they were $400 or more, so looked like a good deal for me. Now I can use my coffee table as a coffee table instead of a TV stand.
2. My neighbor is also selling a beautiful newish couch and coffee table, but I do not need these so I (reluctantly) decided against buying them. I guess this counts as saving several hundred dollars.
3. Met up with an old friend from high school, a person who was always very frugal – even in high school! She was telling me about her 2004 car and how she’s still driving it, etc. I refrained from bragging about how I’m still driving my 2002 car – 175,000 miles and counting!
4. Reviewed the bill I just received from the endodontist for recent dental surgery. Found they did not credit one of the payments my insurance company says they sent. I’m glad I did not just pay this one. I’m sure they would have refunded any overpayment, but it’s always more difficult to get money back than it is to just not make an overpayment in the first place.
5. Continued to read everyone’s frugal ideas and tips – I really enjoy this.


Beth September 2, 2015 at 3:43 pm

Started a new job which is much more intense and stressful which limits my energy for doing savings activities such as packing lunches, putting out clothes to dry outside, making crock pot dinners etc. On the plus side I am now making more money with the new position which helps cut down the stress of making my budget every month.

1. I have eaten out more at lunch this week then ever before BUT I was also doing a cat sit for both eat out days so figured I was still ahead on cash thanks to the kitty’s.

2. Pulled out dinner today from the freezer i.e. bbq pulled chicken and frozen buns, added leftover green beans from another meal. Filling and good. Didn’t offer daughter seconds so now we have lunch for tomorrow too 😉

3. Managed to keep the air off all week as I was at work enjoying the free air. Daughter has been home and today I turned it on as it was super hot and felt sorry for her.

4. Switched insurances as of Spt. 1 but managed to get $300 in new supplies for my CPap machine under the old insurance. Coincidentally new insurance deductible is – $300.

5. Took daughter on a mini vacation this past weekend. We didn’t pack much (beverages, snacks, travel mugs). We did eat out but I also bought a jug of water to make our own drinks, plus we weren’t gone for a week like past vacations but only for two nights.

6. Vending machine won a few times this week – I bought pop at work but on the upside I found a penny today in front of it. 🙂

7. Daughter has been doing swagbucks these past few weeks while she was at home. She’s not as diligent as I was but every little bit helps. We earned $25 Pay Pal and I told her we will put it towards schools clothes.

8. Received child support this month not once but TWICE!!!! Dad owes so much they have now referred him to the “Special Team” for payment.Thus the mini-vacation, I definitely earned it. Unfortunately dad sees my daughter only 1 or twice every four months, and when she asked to go away for the weekend I figured it was the least we could do.

9. SUPER busy with dog and cat sits also helping to pay for my new crown (don’t get to excited, not that kind of crown!). Tiring but good.

10. Thanking God for my stockpile of food. 🙂 Sure helps to have extras on super busy weeks. I knew daughter would be home so stocked up on cereal and other luncheon stuff for her.


Diane C September 2, 2015 at 10:53 pm

Beth, in my area people using a c-pap get higher tier one and two allotments for their electricity, which keeps usage in the lower tiers and lowers your electric bill. We had the Dr. send a form (downloaded from util. website) to the utility and our bill has been significantly reduced. It also seems to be a one-time thing, we don’t have to renew annually, which is nice too.

Call your utility and ask. If the first person says no, call again. It may be obscure, but it’s legitimate.


Beth September 3, 2015 at 1:25 pm

Diane, thanks for the tip I will check it out. I have been unplugging it during the which I think helps, can’t wait to see what DTE (electricity company) says.


Isabelle September 2, 2015 at 3:56 pm

* My daughter is starting school this year. All the kids probably have lunch boxes filled with “kids food” like Yop yogurt, string cheese, little packets of cookies, etc. I refuse to buy into this trend. It’s way more expensive, often unhealthy, and extra packaging that gets thrown out So I’m sticking to “regular” food in reusable containers. She will survive!
* I went to the gym today. It costs me only 10$/month.
* Trying really hard to eat from pantry and freezers and buy only what is truly needed, as we have too much food in the house (nice “problem” to have, I admit)
* Receiving 3 people for the long weekend. Will try to use what we have on hand for meals instead of buying fancy stuff. Plus, they are treating us to a restaurant meal on Saturday, yay!
* Bought 16 tops and a pair of running shoes for my girls at a garage sale, total 20$.

Have a great frugal day!


Betty Winslow September 2, 2015 at 5:26 pm

1. Babysat a single mom friend’s 3 yo at the last minute, so she could finish her work training today. Also gave her two grocery bags of clothes for the little girl, from the box of clothes I’ve been trying to sell. When I refused any money for helping her out, she promised to come over and give me a massage sometime (she’s trained, don’t worry..)
2. Picked some eggplant and basil at the community garden. Will cook it up this weekend, with some of the tomatoes from my husband’s work garden plot.
3. Made a big glass of iced tea in an insulated cup to take with me on errands, to keep me from driving through somewhere for a drink.
4. Sold my late dad’s wheelchair (Craigslist) and walker/seat (FB sale site) this week, with bittersweet emotions. However – $75, ka-ching!
5. Listed some books, microwave cooking dishes, and my jewelry repair services on some FB sale sites as well as on Craigslist. Hoping they sell soon…


Chris September 2, 2015 at 5:36 pm

1. Work is starting up again – nice to have the $$ coming in.
2. Our son and his wife had their first baby (or first grandchild) a week ago! We won’t go out to see them for another week so airfare is much more reasonable than hurrying out right away. As much as I want to see the little dude, I think families need time at home to get used to being a family of 3 -or more! The pictures are of the baby in clothing I recognize from buying at garage sales this summer!
3. Our daughter announced her engagement 2 days ago – the current guest list is 24 total! No big “this is my day to be a princess” of attitude – and expense.
4. Green beans and tomatoes are coming in – yum!
5. I bought a Singer Featherweight sewing machine at an estate sale last spring. I took in to the repair shop today and for $15 he replaced the cord/plug. For $69 he could do a tune-up but when I told him I was going to sell it, he ran it for awhile and said not to bother. It was in great shape and all he would do would be oil it. Now I just have to photograph it, make sure I know the model number and get it listed on craigslist!


Chris September 2, 2015 at 5:38 pm

That is “our” first grandchild


Joy September 8, 2015 at 8:28 pm

Congrats on the new baby! 😉


Tammy September 2, 2015 at 6:05 pm

1) Borrowed some spray paint from a neighbor to freshen up a small piece of yard art. Small payment for the five weeks of bird sitting I did for her.

2) Steamed some zucchini from my garden and topped with some cheddar cheese. Delicious and oh so cheap!

3) Soaked a shirt in vinegar and then used a baking soda, peroxide and salt paste to remove yellow perspiration stains. Looks great! This is the shirt I was wearing when my DH proposed. It must be saved at all costs!

4) Took a ride in my neighbors paddle boat. It was a lovely evening and didn’t cost a dime.

5)Using whole house fan during the hot weather. No need to install A/C if you use the whole house fan correctly with cool nights and mornings.


Carla September 2, 2015 at 6:23 pm

Just curious, have you considered saving and investing the money for your kids’ college, taking student loans, and then using your savings to pay it back at the end? Student loans are interest free, right? Wondering if there is something I’m missing here.


Katy September 2, 2015 at 6:26 pm

The only subsidized student loan we were offered was for $3500. I’d rather avoid debt whenever possible, as the present is known, and the future holds many mysteries.


Carla September 3, 2015 at 8:08 pm

Makes sense! I also prefer to avoid debt whenever possible, but I thought student loans might be an exception. I was very fortunately able to avoid them during college via the generosity of my parents and scholarships. I think it is great you are working to help your sons start their adult lives debt-free.


Rowen G. September 2, 2015 at 7:09 pm

Unfortunately, student loans are not interest-free. For “subsidized” loans, there is no interest charged while the student is enrolled at least half time; for “unsubsidized” loans, the interest accrues from the time of the disbursement. Current interest rates for undergraduates is 4.29% – better than many things, but still not free. This site will tell you more than you ever wanted to know about student loan interest rates:

(I retired from a college Financial Aid & Scholarship office a couple of years ago. )


Katy September 2, 2015 at 7:53 pm

Thank you for taking the time to explain that. We are avoiding loans as long as we can.


K D September 3, 2015 at 3:22 am

I agree 100% that “the present is known, and the future holds many mysteries”. I know so many people that don’t get that. I admire what you are doing.


Carla September 3, 2015 at 8:09 pm

Thanks for the info!


Joy September 8, 2015 at 8:30 pm

Oh, how I wish student loans were interest free. I would have had mine paid off long ago…almost done though!!


Robin September 2, 2015 at 7:03 pm

I’m struggling to find five this week. I wasn’t necessarily a consumer, just not much stands out.

1) instead of sending a blanket that needed a simple repair to the cleaners to fix, I’m taking it to a friend who has a sewing machine. I can fix it, but I need that sewing machine!

2) combed through our ‘subscribe and save’ items from Amazon and cut out everything we didn’t really need.

3) cleaned the dog bed that the dog peed in versus just chucking it (tempting though that was). I’m not buying fancy dog beds for their crates any more. They’re dogs, they’ll get blankets when they ruin these beds (as they inevitably will).

4) decided to stay home over Labor Day. Saving on house sitter expense and gas.

5) kept doing the usual, making bread, hanging clothes, being mindful.


JD September 2, 2015 at 7:26 pm

1. Stayed in at work to take a training conference call and congratulated myself for avoiding spending cash for a “girls lunch” that the other women were taking. Except, they ran into a v.p. of our company and he picked up their tab! Rats!
2. Felt better after I was invited to join my husband, daughter, and daughter’s life long best friend, who is here visiting, for supper at a restaurant. My daughter picked up the tab, so that made up for lunch.
3. Bought more looseleaf tea; so much cheaper to use than bags. I go through a lot of tea — we drink it iced everyday (iced tea is the official drink of the South) and I make kombucha, which requires tea.
4. The lining in my loafers gave up. It crinkled, tore, and became impossible to walk on comfortably. The shoes were still nice otherwise, and I was put out about the lining and said my shoes were ruined. My husband tore the old lining out and told me to go buy some new liners. Duh, why didn’t I think of that? I’m wearing them today with the new liners. Sometimes, I miss the obvious.
5. I have less than a dozen light bulbs left to replace with LED bulbs now. When a regular or CFL bulb dies, I put in LED. My first LED is no less than eight years old, maybe older, and is heavily used in my kitchen; it’s still burning and saving the pennies.


Karen. September 3, 2015 at 8:20 am

JD, in your long experience (regarding No. 5), what type of LED bulb should I buy to most closely match old-fashioned incandescent 60W bulbs? I’ve been dithering on size/color/type, but our power district is offering a rebate that makes the new LED bulbs almost free (under a buck each), so now is the time.


Is it a need or a want September 4, 2015 at 5:03 am

They have started offering the rebates on LED bulbs where I am in the fall and the spring. I found if you went at the beginning of the rebat times you were most successful with getting the type and comparable voltage as an incandescent.
When you go to the store the packages will indicate if they are a ” soft” white/ off white glow.
They have actual displays in our store.
Best deal was last summer I purchased new outside LED light fixtures at Costco. They had a sensor for dusk/dawn and were a third of the price of others elsewhere.


Paige September 2, 2015 at 9:40 pm

For the last three nights I’ve brought my lunch to work. HEB (our local grocery store), had a weekly deal on school lunch stuff:
Buy thin sliced turkey meat and a bag of assorted chips
get a loaf of bread/box of sandwich bags/box of either cupcakes or twinkies FREE
I reuse sandwich bags all the time and with five kids taking lunches to school(this year they all decided they wanted to bring their lunch), we go through bread and chips more. With my shifts(I’m a police dispatcher on rotating 12 hours shifts), I haven’t had time to bake bread.
This means I haven’t bought food AT ALL this round of midnights! My daughter finally found the lunchbag I bought her last year, so I’m using that. I never buy my own, I just wait for the kids to start hating theirs and I trade them. I also stopped buying my large unsweet tea on my way to work. I found a box of tea bags in my pantry and I grabbed Life Factory reusable glass waterbottle. We have a commercial coffee maker with the hot water spout in the patrol officers break room so I fill it halfway with hot water then the rest with cool water and stick a tea bag in. TADA!!!!
My husband is FINALLY trying to kick smoking. He started vaping. I know it’s not the healthiest way, but I’d rather this than him get on meds with side effects. He’s a firefighter and breathes worse stuff in fires all the time. I’m just glad he’s talking about quitting. And I know we’ll save money on NOT buying a box of cigarettes a day.
I’m not NCA yet but the little things I’m making a habit of will pay off.


jo@simplybeingmum September 3, 2015 at 12:28 am

Not so much saving money as generating cash has been on my radar lately. Decluttering and listing! But still have a way to go to reach my £600 target!


K D September 3, 2015 at 3:42 am

Congratulations Katy on your twenty years. That is a big deal (too bad the recognition is so poor). I believe my husband received an umbrella when he reached twenty years a few years ago.

Frugal things:

1. The electricity went out late Tuesday evening (a tree down the street fell on wiring). When I realized in the middle of the night that the estimate for service resumption was wrong I ran an extension cord from the neighbor’s shed into the kitchen window and plugged in the refrigerator. We suffered no food waste and didn’t use electricity for fourteen hours. We have a standing agreement with the neighbors (next door but on a different line) to use each others electricity during a power outage.

2. I wanted chicken strips for dinner. It was hot but I walked to the grocery and back, used a coupon, of course brought my own bag, and found $.11 and a couple of foreign coins.

3. It is still hot so our local utility is having another Energy Saving Day today. I’ll make sure the air conditioner and dehumidifier are off and will refrain from doing laundry between 1:00 and 7:00. There have been three such days already this summer and we have saved over $81.

4. A friend invited us to a free music event on Saturday night. He has invited other people I know so it should be a good time (and he has seen the band play before and said they are good).

5. I just finished my first month using Ting for my cell phone service. My daughter and I are on the same account but we are paying about half what we paid when we each had Virgin Mobile accounts. Yea!


Katy September 3, 2015 at 8:46 am

That’s so smart to use the neighbor’s electricity! I’m going to keep that in mind for the next outage, as our next door neighbors are on a different grid.


K D September 3, 2015 at 11:41 am

One time our electricity was out for four days and boy did I do a lot of extension cord switching so that we could run a variety of things (just not all at once). The neighbors have run their furnace off our electricity a couple of times and the last time they had an outage I talked her into switching stuff around so she could make coffee, run the microwave, etc. That one cord worth of power makes such a difference.


Joy September 8, 2015 at 8:34 pm

I’m jealous of these “X amount of years of service” catalogs and gifts. As an Exceptional Children’s teacher in a public school, there are no “gifts” period (from the system, anyway). I adore my kids which is what makes it worth it. 😉


Joyce September 3, 2015 at 5:30 am

Oh I wish I had thought of the idea of selecting the gift with the highest resale. I was able to do the same selection process for my 25 years. Darn. Now I have a watch that I never wear. Oh well. Live and learn.


MamaMinou September 3, 2015 at 6:01 am

1. Took my younger son to Portland to visit the Japanese garden for his birthday this week (his choice), and packed lunch, snacks, and caffeinated beverages to see us through the day and safely back home.
2. Managed to leave Powell’s without buying a single book. While there, reserved 3 interesting titles I saw, online through my local library
3. Have noticed a huge drop in grocery bill with weightlifting older son off to college. Trying a pantry challenge, just buying milk, eggs and fruit
4. Didn’t waste anything in our weekly farm box!
5. Been walking or jogging the 2.5 miles to work


Katy September 3, 2015 at 8:44 am

I am anticipating a lower food bill with my son off to college, that’s for sure!


Jill A September 3, 2015 at 6:26 am

Congratulations on cash flowing sons college. My daughter took out unsubsidized loans last year. A week after school started she got a statement with already accruing interest. This year she’s living at home so she doesn’t have to take out loans. Smart girl.

1. The nozzle on my kitchen handsoap dispenser broke. It’s been making a mess all over my counter. I went to find another at TJMaxx. I wanted the same one but they didn’t have any. Went to bed, bath and beyond and bought just the pump nozzle. Used a 20% off coupon and only spent 3.38. Since I didn’t want to throw the old one out, I feel very happy about that.
2. Made minestrone, using up veggies that were getting sad.
3. We got a new Menard’s in town. Husband and I had a “hot date” and wandered the new store. Bought some inexpensive LED lightbulbs. We have been picking these up at Costco, but this was a better deal.
4. Reading library books on my Kindle and watching shows on Netflix, etc.
5.Picked up some bulk spices this week at the health food store. So much cheaper that way.


Katy September 3, 2015 at 8:43 am

Yeah, the unsubsidized loans are a bummer.


Madeline September 3, 2015 at 7:03 am

1. Cooked a few vegetarian meals in advance and put in refrig to reduce desire to run out for take out!

2. Attended TWO free yoga classes this week with my husband.We are lucky to have a large yoga teacher training school nearby!

3. We DID go out to lunch ONE DAY this week but finally learned how to SPLIT the entree. ONE large Greek salad for just $6.00 at local Middle Eastern cafe fed BOTH OF US!!

4. Stayed in and watched our saved movies on netflix vs. going to theater.

5. Invited my real estate friend over for wine and home made appetizers on the patio instead of out to restaurant, to discuss business opportunities.


Amanda September 3, 2015 at 11:52 am

1. I have 2 friends that have only children (daughters) slightly older than my 3 girls, so we get their barely used beautiful clothing. We received a huge box and bag of clothing, shoes, and craft supplies.
2. Our washer’s brains died, so I am asking for one on freecycle before buying a new one. (fingers crossed)
3. I pack my lunch for work and I walk to all my errands while on my lunch break.
4. Harvesting a ton of goodies from the garden to eat fresh and preserve. Also trading eggs for goodies that I didn’t grow this year.
5. Traded 2 doe goats for a new buck. I ‘rent-a-buck’ every fall, so instead of feeding 2 goats that don’t provide milk, I have increased our herd diversity and income.


Joy September 8, 2015 at 8:36 pm

Awww…your poor washer! It did give me quite a chuckle the way you articulated that! 😉


Teri September 3, 2015 at 2:43 pm

1. Bought several $1-$2 clothing items off the “final sale” rack at TJMaxx, removed just the price tag and took to resale at Plato’s Closet. Made back at least triple what I paid.
2. Found 21 cents at the grocery store.
3. Made blackberry jam with the free berries my daughter foraged in urban Seattle.
4. Used a 50 cent off plus 10% off coupons for the Target popcorn combo, making it a very affordable treat while browsing (didn’t buy anything…).
5. Ironed husbands shirts instead of taking them to the dry cleaners.


Vickie September 4, 2015 at 8:48 am

Good for you sticking to the non-loan option. I took loans out for my B.A. and I regret it now, since I’m paying interest on it.
1) Free lunch with a friend on Monday, she had a gift card for iHOP, so it was frugal for both of us.
2) I use white vinegar in my carpet shampooer, instead of paying money for name brand cleanser. My nephew works for Stanley Steamer and told me using carpet shampoo only traps dirt in the padding. Not good! The vinegar helps neutralize odors and pull dirt from the padding. Works for me!
3) Instead of buying new Team football t-shirts, the blood institute gives them away during football season when I donate. My old ones are truly wearing out, their nearly a decade old. I can also find plenty for cheap at the Goodwill store here in town, since the students donate tons of them when they move out in the Summer.
4) I’m headed to the Library to p/u a book I have on hold. LOVE shopping with my Library card!
5) My car’s body is slowly falling apart. I lost a handle of the back passenger side the other day. I’m going to put duct tape over it for now. I’m saving our tax refunds and plan to start looking for another good used Toyota come Spring time. With over 300k on my Corolla and such, I think it’s time to upgrade, but I intend to avoid a car payment!!


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