Five Frugal Things and One Frugal Fail

by Katy on April 26, 2016 · 61 comments


Five Frugal Things

  1. I stopped into the counseling office at my son’s high school to arrange borrowing a graduation cap and gown. The secretary was very accomodating, and mentioned that she wishes more families would donate these single-use garments back to the school, so they’d have more to lend out. I told her that I’d spread the word on the school’s parent Facebook page. I shudder at the thought of all the unused caps and gowns sitting in closets throughout town. Such an unnecessary and wasteful purchase!
  2. I gassed up our minivan at Costco this morning and resisted the temptation to even step foot into the store. A person can go broke with all the savings at Costco!
  3. I needed some Clark Howard budgeting quotes for a piece I’m writing for his website, so I put a couple of his books on hold at the library.
  4. I brought my laptop to Ikea this morning, where I enjoyed a free cup of coffee while working on my laptop. This Ikea is just a few minutes from Costco, so this involved almost zero extra driving.
  5. I had a credit for a free Redbox code, so I reserved a DVD of the movie Sisters. I love Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, so I really enjoyed the movie. My husband and son complained mightily about my cinematic choice, yet somehow were unable to tear themselves away the from movie and laughed just as hard as I did.

One Frugal Fail

  1. I had an excellent plan to fill up each of our gas tanks at Costco this week. I usually take care of this errand before we hit “empty,” but life got in the way of my excellent plan. My husband decided at the last minute to go to a soccer practice across town last night and gassed up the Prius at the most expensive gas station in the neighborhood. (It’s generally around 45¢ per gallon more than Costco!) Oh well . . . at least he took the Prius instead of the minivan!

Now your turn. What frugal things have you been up to, and what frugal fails have crept into your life?

Katy Wolk-Stanley

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

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{ 61 comments… read them below or add one }

amanda April 26, 2016 at 11:50 am

Oh boy, I had a week of fails.

My BIL passed away last month and his birthday would have been lastFriday. My SIL wanted to go out to his favorite restaurant to celebrate him. cha-ching The previous Sunday was his 40 day remembrance in the Greek Orthodox Church, so lunch afterwards (which we combined with dinner) cha-cha-ching. Then we went to DQ for a cheap ice cream cone and was charged for an extra cone, but I didn’t catch it until after we were miles down the road.

On Saturday, we attended a conference so we packed drinks and snacks, but were invited by the conference organizers to lunch. We went and split lunches, but I hate spending money on food we could have brought from home. We stopped at Sonic for slushies and they ended up making an extra one and gave it to us for free. We did steer clear of the take-out pizza on the way home and instead had late sandwiches.

I will be vending at a HUGE fair in June, so stopped at Hobby Lobby and bought some new display racks. They were 50% off and I had printed off a coupon for 40% off a regular priced item, so I didn’t pay full price for anything. I had asked hubby to make the displays for me, but he priced out the material and it would actually have been more expensive (both in actual cost and marital strife, with my nagging at him to do it) .

I am overrun with eggs from my hens and I traded a couple dozen with a friend for a custom made holster. yippee!


cc April 26, 2016 at 11:57 am

At my gradulation (40 years ago) we bought the cap and rented the gown. You picked it up and returned to the school, then a local owned cleaners prepared them for next year. That same cleaner, one block from the school also took care of band uniforms. Now that I think of it my son also rented the gown 20 years later. And we resisted buying all the gradulation swag, I bet there is lots of that junk in storage somewhere.


janine April 26, 2016 at 1:13 pm

As I recall it is the custom around here to rent the gowns and hats – we just have the tassels as a memento. Don’t even remember paying rental fees – in any case we never had the issue of excess graduation gowns hanging unwanted in our closets. Why would anyone want them outside of folks who are academics and need to wear them on a regular basis? A PTA purchase of gowns for everyone to rent at a modest fee might be a good project that would benefit the environment as well as the pocket book in a small way.


Is it a need or a want April 26, 2016 at 7:46 pm

My husband and I went to high school and university together. We just rented the cap and gowns. No dates on the tassels.
My daughters had dates on their HS tassels , none on their university caps.
My daughters HS had a white gown that the parents guild cleaned and reused for each graduating classes.
The girls wore something white underneath, it ranged from simple white slips, shorts or some wore fancier dresses.
They also wore white pumps and gloves. The parents guild also cleaned and reused the gloves. They had a selection of white pumps that people could borrow. A good portion of the graduating classes always cleaned out the clearance sections of the bridal shops and thrift shops looking for these pumps. No shame with these girls, if the shoes were free but too big they shoved newspaper in the toes and shuffled across the stage to get the diploma:)


Carol M. April 27, 2016 at 7:51 am

That’s pretty cool!


Marilyn April 26, 2016 at 12:26 pm

Frugal fail for us last week: We got our water bill for last month and found our usage had doubled over what we normally use in March. I suspected a leak somewhere and we found that an outdoor faucet was the culprit. Neither of us was able to fix it so we had to call a plumber. Cost was $185. Still, if that solves the problem, we will eventually recoup this amount by having a lower water bill, so I am not too put out about it.

Frugal activities last week included walking every day for exercise, no eating in restaurants or getting take-out, watching a video (“Unbroken”) which we got from the library — all enjoyable frugal things. Also the week included one frugal thing which I do not enjoy – yard work. (I know many people love getting out in the yard and digging and mowing, but I am just not one of those people).


Sandy April 26, 2016 at 12:34 pm

Major fail—not one, not two, but, THREE (so far!) Mice in our house. Yuck! Catching and ridding of them as fast as possible. And moving every storage box I can move. There are a LOT of boxes as this is a temporary living situation. Hoping the little varmits have not found their way into my boxes of fabric!
Shopped at Aldi yesterday and used my own shopping bags. Found organic Quinoa and rice blend which I will cook in quantity and freeze in serving size portions. Also, bought lots of fresh veggies to make meals to share with brother in law. Doing veggie prep today, so trimmings can go out in trash. Temporary fail–no compost happening until we move into new house.
Planning our Second Annual Cinco de Mayo dinner for next week. We host this event at our house, I cook from scratch, use real plates, silverware and glasses! Huge win!


Marcia April 26, 2016 at 6:02 pm

I sympathize with the mice problem–we have them also. Found out for sure when the dishwasher quit last weekend. Had been fighting mice for a couple weeks–husband dismantled dishwasher and found a chewed apart wire–which he was able to fix and at least that part was frugal. Then he went and bought more mouse traps (we have a pet–no poison) and more of the spray in foam insulation he is using to seal up little holes and cracks where they might be coming in. One casualty so far!!


AFS April 26, 2016 at 8:17 pm

Poisoning rodents is harmful to desirable wild life too not just pets. I too have been battling mice. Every time I think they are all outside I see evidence indoors again. So frustrating.


Lucy April 27, 2016 at 4:22 am

The mice we have eat that spray-in foam stuff. We use steel wool to fill holes.


Jeana April 27, 2016 at 5:43 am

Peppermint oil, not peppermint extract, will get rid of mice. Guaranteed. Put a couple of drops on a cotton ball & place in problem areas. The mice hate the smell and will not come back. And your house smells minty fresh!


JD April 26, 2016 at 1:13 pm

1. Not frugal for me, but watching my daughter’s pets while she’s on a business trip, saving her boarding fees.
2. Caught the one station in the area with $1.99 gas; all the rest were at least 10 cents higher, and this was literally on my way home. I filled up; all their tanks are now empty and the nozzles bagged until they get more.
3. I’m wearing a Goodwill blazer that I’ve had for 15 years. It’s a nice light wool gabardine, just right for overly air conditioned offices.
4. Put books on my list online to buy, then took them back off. I don’t need these.
5. I made a quart of yogurt and dried some herbs from my yard. I’m planning on growing more herbs, as I only have a few right now.

Fail: Not really mine, but my husband forgot and ran over my rosemary in the backyard with the riding mower. In our climate, it can survive winter with little protection, and we’d finally un-potted it and planted it in the dirt to really grow big this spring. It was several years old, and I love rosemary. Here’s hoping it can grow back from the roots.


Ruby April 26, 2016 at 1:29 pm

Mine lately seem to be a combination of frugal and fail, as we had to spend money but not quite as much as the worst case scenario:

1. Got our washing machine repaired today for $65 (it’s covered under our home warranty). Had we not had the warranty, the bill would have been $349, so the warranty paid for itself right there.

2. Our dog with the dislocating elbow was seen by our regular vet today, and they were able to diagnose her with arthritis and set up a plan of treatment without sending us to the very expensive specialty vets across town. It was $201 for her visit. We already had medication and supplements at home for her, so no extra spending on those items. Unfortunately, she is only five years old and will need lifelong treatment.

3. My husband accidentally washed one of my white bras with his jeans, and it came out very dingy-looking with nasty gray elastic. I used a homemade stain-removing treatment on it today and it came out with white elastic and lace, but the cotton parts are now pale peach! Well, that’s different but it no longer looks nasty, so I’m okay with it.

4. The vet wanted to put our dog on a prescription weight-loss dog food — she needs to lose a little weight to make things easier on her joints — but we declined and decided to first try cutting her treats in half and giving her more veggies, which costs practically nothing.

5. Gave my husband a pedicure today, which he badly needed. He has non-diabetic neuropathy and can’t tell when his feet need to be tended to. Being able to keep walking is priceless.


Reese April 27, 2016 at 10:43 am

Not to pry, but dogs digest vegetables far differently from us. Skip the veggies (they’re really just a caloric filler) and cut back on the amount of treats and her normal food. Should do the trick 🙂


Ruby April 27, 2016 at 1:35 pm

Yeah, the treats are the big thing with her. She’s a chewer and needs something to work on all the time. But chewy treats have calories, so I’m trying to let her have them on a tight schedule.


Audry April 26, 2016 at 2:56 pm

Super fail today. :-(. My 2008 Passat Wagon (which I LOVE and is paid off) had to have anew AC compressor and blower installed today. Plus they found a torn CV boot which I also had repaired. Just under $1800. Sigh. Still, cheaper than a new car.


Bee April 26, 2016 at 3:08 pm

I think renting high school graduation gowns is a wonderful idea. The senior year of high school can be sooooo expensive, and some things are so wasteful. My children graduated in green gowns! You can’t even repurpose a gown of this color into a Harry Potter costume. I sent it to Goodwill not to long ago. As fas as I know their high school didn’t have any type of program to reuse them.

1) I received a Visa gift card in the mail today. It was a $30 rebate on a much needed piece of office equipment that I couldn’t find secondhand. I have put it in my wallet to be used to purchase groceries.

2) I pruned/harvested some lavender from my herb garden. It is hanging up to dry. I think that I may make some sachets this week. I may also harvest more tomorrow and make a lavender simple syrup. So yummy with berries.

3) I was out and about today, but I resisted the urge to stop at my favorite thrift shop. I promised myself that I would not look at clothes until I finished cleaning out my closets, and I have made a list of things that I really need. It is not a bargain if you don’t need it.

4) I did some wash and hung it on hangers to dry in the laundry room. We are not allowed to have clothes lines in our neighborhood, but I try to limit the use of the dryer as much as I can.

5) I also washed a beautiful, 140″ handmade-lace table cloth. I purchased it at an estate sale for $20. I can’t decide if I will keep it to use it for special occasions or sell it. It is extraordinary.

Frugal Fail — I was rummaging through the refrigerator when I ran across two very old pieces of pizza that had gotten pushed to the back. I thought my husband had eaten it. I had to throw it out, but I was very disappointed. It was a rare treat from a very good pizza place that happens to make gluten-free crust.


LisaC April 26, 2016 at 3:11 pm

OOPS I meant to post this on this post, not the old one. Hope this is ok:

1. Eating from the freezer, haven’t bought any meat for a few weeks but eating pretty well so far. No wierd meals from whatever’s left yet.
2. Making my own coffee in the morning, now that I’ve used up my local coffee shop gift card.
3. Opening windows and loving the electric bill this month.
4. Found some administrative staff appreciation cards I’d forgotten to give out, so we are signing them this year and giving cut local flowers to our office staff.
5. Planning to take our son some local seafood as a birthday gift that he can’t find where he lives.
Frugal Fail: Thought I’d scored a Coach purse at Goodwill for 4.50, took it home and did the research. Its a fake, so I won’t try to sell it. So instead of making money on ebay like I thought, I wasted the 4.50. I put it back in my giveaway pile. Thought about throwing it out since its a fake, but I hate to put it in a landfill.
Question for my frugal friends: I don’t like styrofoam, because its not recyclable. What’s a not tacky way to bring home leftovers from a restaurant without using their styrofoam containers?
– See more at:


Carol M. April 26, 2016 at 5:34 pm

A lot of zero wasters just bring their own containers! I think you just have to get past the awkwardness.


jennifer April 27, 2016 at 8:21 am

Just carry it in a big purse and no one really ever notices.


Jenny April 26, 2016 at 5:52 pm

You could still maybe make a small profit selling the purse, but labeling it as a fake. That way you are not deceiving anyone, but there are likely people out there who would spend 10 or 20 dollars on a purse, even if it’s not a real coach one, especially if it’s a useful one with lots of pockets, etc.


Gina April 26, 2016 at 10:46 pm

If it’s somewhere I’ve been before & I know they use Styrofoam & I know I won’t eat the entire meal, I take my own container from home along with my own reusable bag. I carry them into the restaurant in my purse, then discretely & without shame (I paid for the food) fill them with the uneaten portion of food and carry it out in the reusable bag. Nothing tacky about it if done without making a fuss. I also ask the wait staff if they have recyclable containers. Important for them to relay to their employers. Most restaurants I frequent use recylables these days. The one exception is the pizza take out box. No solution there and any city I have lived in will not recycle pizza boxes – they go in the regular trash.


Diane C April 27, 2016 at 7:17 am

Hmmm, in our city, cardboard pizza boxes go in the compost bins.


JD April 27, 2016 at 7:48 am

Since our biggest employer in town makes a product that is utterly ruined by Styrofoam, all of our local restaurants offer cardboard or paper if we request it for take out and leftovers — even cups. Start asking everywhere you go if they have cardboard or paper, even if you brought your own containers. If enough people ask, they might start using it. My sweet great-aunt used to wrap her leftovers when eating out in the paper napkins on the table, but I don’t recommend that — it sometimes leaked. I suggest, like others, taking your own. You can get collapsible silicone containers that are easy to carry in a purse or bag. Of course, look for them used first! 🙂


LisaC April 27, 2016 at 2:45 pm

Silicone sounds like a good option! I don’t usually carry big purses when I’m eating out, I have a smaller “date purse”. But maybe I can make an exception. 🙂


Ashley Coulter April 27, 2016 at 11:58 am

I am a Coach collector and re-seller. Coach is pretty easy to spot fakes with once you know what to look for. With real Coach, you will NEVER have the C’s on both the inside and outside of the purse. Never! A lot of knock offs will have a serial number but you need to read the whole tag with it. A lot of the poor knock offs will have bad spelling, etc that is a dead giveaway to being fake. The stitching will look sloppy as well. Most, but not all, real Coach bags have the sturdy YKK zippers. Hope that helps you!


LisaC April 27, 2016 at 2:44 pm

This was a pretty good fake, the Cs were in the right place on the outside and symmetrical, good stitching, nice buckles. The tag is metal, and when I looked it and the seriel number up, many websites said that it is fake. There’s also Cs on the inside. Oh well.
Ebay is pretty strict about fakes, and will lock your account if you try. I sold a legit designer purse once and someone challenged me, so I had to send pics of all of the signs of authenticity. Its not worth the trouble to me.


Florencia April 30, 2016 at 4:21 pm

How about at a Facebook yard sale site? I see them there all the time.


Ashley c April 26, 2016 at 3:12 pm

I haven’t had any luck with the red box b1g1 codes working online for a free movie. They seemed to have fixed the loop. Bummer too because I remembered to try it fr the first time last month


Jamie April 26, 2016 at 3:51 pm

I’m going to do the reverse and share 5 frugal fails and 1 frugal win:
1. I purchased sneakers in January of 2015 – I walk EVERYWHERE and was holding off to buy new sneakers…well my shoes were so worn that I rolled my ankle and strained a tendon….I ended up spending triple what a pair of new sneakers would have cost me and now have to wear a brace anytime I work out. Specialty doctors, X-Rays, and a brace were not cheap even with health insurance. And I had to buy new sneakers.
2. Because I waited too long to get a dental checkup I had to get 2 new fillings and one old filling replaced – it was $260 for the first two so we’ll see what that third filling will cost.
3. I overdrafted my bank account because I accidentally paid my credit card twice so I had to move money from my savings account to cover. I can’t just have them put the money back in my account because I also had a vet bill pop up last Friday so there’s actually still a balance on that account and to take cash out would come out as cash back with a stupid interest. I understand that I should be thankful that I have an emergency fund to pull from…but that really doesn’t make it hurt any less (especially when it’s due to your own stupidity, right?)
4. The ancient Frigidaire that came with home I bought in December is done-zo. I’m not sure why but in the last few days the freezer door has popped open and cannot be shut completely. The freezer has been defrosting and re-freezing and I don’t know for how long so I can’t trust any of the food in there. So not only did I have to buy a new fridge but I’ve lost all of the food I was storing.
5. The combination of all of these events has had me turning to comfort food in the forms of takeout and delivery. I live alone and have never mastered cooking for one…but until Saturday when the new fridge is delivered I’m wary of storing anything in the fridge anyway. Sigh.

My one frugal win?
1. I have excellent credit so I was able to open a Lowes credit card to pay for the new fridge with a great discount. I’ll be able to pay it off by the weekend.


jennifer April 27, 2016 at 8:25 am

Bless you, we all have weeks like these.


HeatherS April 26, 2016 at 4:25 pm

1. I will call this one a frugal blessing – our son needed an eye procedure for a progressive eye disease. Procedure was not covered by insurance and was $2K per eye. We did not have this saved up but it had to be done ASAP. Without our knowledge, people from our church had been anonymously donating for his procedure and we received all but $500 of the total and gas cards to cover our travel expenses to another state for the procedure. I can’t even express what a blessing this was!
2. We packed along most of our own food and drinks for our stay in the other state and stayed at a house through AirBnb. Not only was it cheaper than a hotel, it allowed my son a quiet place to rest.
3. Even through it was a stressful week, I managed to cook at home every night last week!
4. I did not serve jury duty this month. Let me explain that I would be happy to serve and do my civic duty but I am paid hourly and would have lost a lot of income this month had I served. I made sure I was available but all of the cases settled so I was never required to serve. If they would only call me in the summer when I am not working!
5. I managed to find my daughter the uniforms she needed for school in the school uniform closet. She had outgrown quite a bit but we have a closet where you can take what you need and leave what has been outgrown. Saves me a ton of money!

Not frugal:
Daughter had a track meet on Saturday that was an hour away. The weatherman didn’t call it right and it was much colder than we thought it was going to be. My husband ended up driving to a nearby WalMart to pick up a sweatshirt (he was in short sleeves and it was 44 degrees!) and a fleece blanket for my son and I to wrap up in. We also ended up buying hot chocolate in an attempt to warm up! Note to self – track meet weather is often crappy – be prepared no matter what the weatherman says!


Carol M. April 26, 2016 at 4:59 pm

I also loved “Sisters!” And that actor who played the romantic partner, what a hunk. He’s on “The Mindy Project.”

1. Had my bachelorette party this weekend with my cousins. I bought one drink and was treated to many, plus dinner! It is great to be the queen. People buy you shots when you have a dorky veil on. So I spent very little and partied a lot.
2. I Konmari’d my closet and have not bought any replacement clothes. But I have to say, most of my clothes still don’t bring me joy! I hardly ever buy clothes, and so many of them are practical and not that fun.
3. My fiance bought zilch groceries this weekend while I was out of town. Last night, peeled off the outer layers of last weeks lettuce and chopped up that with last week’s avocadoes and tomatoes for a waste-free, money-free dinner. Will have to think of more ways to stretch what we have now.


jennifer April 27, 2016 at 8:28 am

Oh my gah! The ballerina up the butt in the movie. Oh, and the splenda!!ha ha!!


Gina in KY April 26, 2016 at 5:00 pm

Well, I generally have more fails than succeeds, but here it goes…

1. Used the clothes line for all the laundry this week. I actually don’t own a dryer, but I often “cheat” and use my BF’s condo’s laundry room which costs a $1 for wash/dry each.
2. Roasted the rest of the butternut and kabocha squash from last year’s garden. I cubed it and put it in the freezer for future curries or soups. I love winter squash and it’s storage longevity. I believe it is well worth stocking up on right after Halloween (or in November). I still have two heirloom pumpkin-type squashes to render before they give up the ghost. Frugal fail bonus: I lost one of them due to the already warm weather and procrastinati0n.
3. Continuing to declutter the house and inventory the thrift donations for tax purposes.
4. Still feeding the 4 hens clover and chickweed and other edible goodies along with their grain and they continue to give me 3-4 eggs a day.
5. Finally installed a vintage wooden door I found for $20 at a local junk store on the bathroom I remodeled myself (although, as it turns out, there is not one aspect of this circa 1900 house that is not wonky and door hangs a bit odd, but c’est la vie when it comes to old house unbreaking).

Frugal Fail: Decided I just needed to plane the old door to fit said wonky doorway and bought a planer at Lowe’s to do the job. It cost $11 (cheapest one) and it did not work at all. I ended up fixing it with a tool I already owned. 🙁


Amanda S @ Passionately Simple Life April 26, 2016 at 5:01 pm

1. We are going on an all – inclusive vacation (that was won and no taxes need to be paid!) so we are eating all of the fridge and pantry for the most part. It’s making for a very minimal shopping week which is saving lots o money.

2. The bf spent part of the weekend cleaning the backyard and patio which means a lot more time will be spent outside and with friends, not restaurants.

3. With packing for the vacation, library books and dollar store puzzle books will be brought along!


Jennifer April 27, 2016 at 3:17 am

1. Planting seeds in some of my patio planters instead of purchasing plants, seeds were given to my husband’s work at the end of the year last year.
2. Used more free seeds to plant most of my veggie garden.
3. Using free wood chips as mulch instead of the dyed mulch, which is probably best for the environment too!
4. Channeling my inner Tom Sawyer & coercing my kiddos into helping paint our picket fence, after I pressure washed it. Name brand paint $10/gallon at close out store!
5. Hit goodwill on half off day and majorly scored! Whoohoo for new to me jeans!! & one pair still had original tags on them ! Cost me $5
6. Can’t think of a frugal fail today so one more, bought a clothes drying rack & have used on 4 loads of clothes so far! Yay!!


Chigdon April 27, 2016 at 4:00 am

1. Worked on eating leftovers before leaving town. What we didn’t eat, made burritos for work lunches and dinners.
2. Snacks are packed for the car ride to avoid money spent. will be with a friend whom we swap dog sitting with. The dogs love having sleepovers together.
4. Cleaned out the breezeway to be able to better enjoy it and have a box in the trunk to get dropped off at goodwill.
5. Was at my nieces concert and everyone was eating at food carts afterwards. I didn’t eat at my fave Vietnamese place I waited to eat at home and packed my daughter a picnic lunch to eat so she wouldn’t ask for anything.
Fail- the car is making a weird rattling noise. Uh oh.


K D April 27, 2016 at 4:40 am

Five Frugal Things:

1. I submitted a bunch of receipts for Flexible Spending Account reimbursement. The money is not your if you don’t do the work to get it.

2. Friends will come over for breakfast on Friday. I will keep it simple: fruit on sale at Aldi, some kind of homemade baked good, coffee, and maybe muffin tin omelets (eggs were $2.49/3 dozen at COSTCO on Monday and I noticed they were priced $.95/dozen at Aldi yesterday).

3. I share the local, weekly newspaper with a neighbor a few houses down. Because I will not pay the going rate they continue to give me a cut-rate price.

4. I have been drying laundry outside. I have a drying rack and a bunch of hooks in the screened in breezeway.

5. We walked up to vote in the primary last night, then walked some more. I believe we have always walked to the polling place, in the 23 years we have lived in our house. Walking is a good way for us to catch up on our days and get some exercise. I continue to use a low-tech pedometer and making sure I get 10,000 steps a day has helped me maintain my weight for several years.

Frugal Fails:

1. I need gas but the line at COSTCO was long on Monday, yesterday I found out that SAM”S Club is re-doing their gas operations and will be out of commission for at least four more weeks. I’ll be paying more than I want, but prices are still so low compared to what they once were.

2. I bought cocoa powder at Aldi and it is inferior but I don’t have the receipt. It is almost gone and I will not buy it again. The foods I have made with it have not been as good as usual. They are edible but it is more “taking one for the team” than enjoyment.

3. I was scheduled to work for someone today. They changed their mind so no earnings (thank goodness I was only thinking about putting a down-payment down on a Lear jet).

4. I am sourcing yarn for a charity raffle afghan. I have had no luck but did buy some yarn for making chemo caps. I have a stash of yarn but I think chemo caps require very soft yarn so buying have I done (I did use a 50% off coupon).

5. I had a small skin cancer on my nose. My husband is freaking out about the possibility of more occurrences so I bought high SPF hats to keep in both my car and his (and I already had one I keep in the house). Luckily they had them at COSTCO so I didn’t have to buy the pricier hats.


Mand01 April 27, 2016 at 5:38 am

1. I have two assignments to complete before finishing my degree. Stayed up late to finish the draft of one tonight. Almost done!!!
2. Didn’t spend a dollar today
3. Until I got home and started paying bills 🙁 But, I also made my first additional mortgage payment. We are officially on Baby Step 6 (Dave Ramsey steps)
4. Booked the whole family in for $9.95 flu shots. Flu is not frugal.
5. I’ve managed to maintain my blog now for four months. It was part of my Happiness Project goals, so I’m chuffed. Now I need to add another one. I can’t do them as fast as she (Gretchen) could.
Frugal fail:
I hurt my back while painting and it’s been exacerbated by being back at work and sitting all day and then studying all evening. I’m going to have to bite the bullet and go to the physio. Don’t wanna.


Bee April 27, 2016 at 6:20 am

Congratulations on both #1 and #3!


Mand01 April 28, 2016 at 12:43 pm

Thank you! It’s going to feel so good when this degree is finished!


Katy April 27, 2016 at 7:00 am

Step six while in school, that’s quite the accomplishment!


Mand01 April 27, 2016 at 12:43 pm

We both work full time as well. We are not Spring chickens and this is my third (and last) degree.


pattilou April 27, 2016 at 8:27 am

1. I’ve been enjoying my gifted Blue Apron delivery. I’ve been able to divide the meals out to three servings so I can share with my neighbor. We’ve been enjoying tasting some things I wouldn’t normally cook.
2. a co worker was cleaning out the storage area in her department and we were told to take what we wanted. I was able to take a purse to replace the one I use in the summer that has seen better days, a backpack for my niece, who loves to carry things with her, and several yards of glittery pink material that I hope to make into princess dresses.
3. I was in a neighborhood that has a bigger library branch than mine does so I was able to pick up a few books on my reading list without waiting for them to be delivered to my branch.
4. Treated myself to seeing The Jungle Book on my day off. We went to a matinee instead of an evening show and we went home for dinner despite the lure of many good restaurants near the theatre.
5. I had to go to a lunch meeting in a conference room at a local restaurant. I ate lunch at home before going.
Frugal Fail: I drove quite a distance to a fabric store to pick up material only to find that the 50% off coupon I had did not apply because the fabric was already on sale. I could have ordered the fabric on line with a free shipping coupon instead and saved the gas and my time.


jennifer April 27, 2016 at 8:56 am

Loved that movie.Those two are so funny!
1.I have been grilling meats from the freezer for the past two nights. Part of my family is eating hamburgers with buns from the freezer also. The other part that is burnt out on hamburgers, myself included, is eating grilled pork chops. I am serving them with some of the large quantity of the reduced baked sweet potatoes that I got at Kroger a few weeks ago. I am also bringing leftovers to work for lunch.
2.I have ordered my soon to be 4 year old a few small surprises for her upcoming birthday. I have been gradually reducing the amount of things I buy my kids for birthdays and no one has seemed to notice. We will have a simple, yet fun, party of cupcakes at the park with friends.
3.I was pleasantly surprised to find out that my local aquatic center is giving free swim lessons to first and second graders. I was going to sign my kids up this summer so this was a wonderful surprise.
4.I’m also signing my kids up for our library’s summer reading program. Our library has a great line-up of shows and activities for kids throughout the summer.Plus it encourages them to read and it’s free!
Frugal Fail- I just remembered that fine for overdue books I have take care
of first for those DVD’s I forgot to return.Oh well, still worth it.
5.I am currently drinking only water and have been for about 3 weeks. This is major for me, as I am an recovering Dt. Dew addict. NO CAFFIENE FOR 3 ENTIRE WEEKS….and I have to say I’m feeling pretty good and saving money.I’m proud of myself and I’m sure my kidneys are thanking me.


PaperCraneFarm April 27, 2016 at 9:04 am

Spring abounds here as does frugal successes and frugal fails!

1) Bought small fruit and nut trees from the New Hampshire State Nursery. Sure they’re only about a foot tall but at 10 trees for $15, we can wait for them to produce hazelnuts and cranberries!

2) I weeded the garden and gave the weeds to the chickens to supplement their diet.

3) I saw an ad for the Grow-ables Project and requested and received a free box of cherry tomato seed pods. (I think the offer is no longer available). I already have tomato seedlings under the grow lights so am planting a few Grow-able pods, saving some for next year, and sharing some with young friends.

4) Clicked through Ebates on the way to Target’s website to order more mouthwash and dental floss. I haven’t done lots of online shopping (my instincts are to drive to the store) but since I’m hourly, ordering online allows me to work more paid hours, keeps me from impulse buying, save gas from driving to/from the store, and allows me to use online coupons or Ebates/Upromise.

5) I mixed a large quantity of leftover peas with the last of homemade pad thai. It tasted mostly of peas but it was healthy, emptied two containers out of the fridge, and helped avoid food waste!

Frugal fail: The drip irrigation system I took two days off work to install last week isn’t working. The hoses are bent sufficiently from being coiled in the box that the water doesn’t flow through them well. I’m going to call the company and see if there is a good solution. I’m unhappy about the unpaid days off work, the back-breaking labor, and the cost of the irrigation system itself. Triple sadness!


Emily April 27, 2016 at 10:16 am

1. I have worn shirts from goodwill basically everyday this week. I have gotten compliments like crazy! One was from loft, one from nordstrom, and one from jcrew :).

2. using half my tax return towards student loans, the other half putting away for allergy shots.

3. have been using the free activities on teachers pay teachers to get me through the end of the year with my speech kiddos (im a speech therapist in a school)

4. Purchased another discount gift card for gas at HT. Hopefully these two cards get me through until I get paid next

5. BF made me general tsaos :(sp?) chicken for dinner last night, a lot of work but cheaper than going out!

FRUGAL FAIL: Had to buy gas station deodorant on my way to work yesterday. its already in the 80s here so it was necessary.


jennifer April 27, 2016 at 10:57 am

I have to say, I am enjoying the frugal fails. It really keeps me from feeling like a failure. I love reading everyone’s accomplishments but to read when we all fail sometimes is very comforting.


Vickie April 28, 2016 at 7:11 am

Thanks for adding that, Jennifer. I fail more often than I care to admit, but I’m too ashamed to post it. If it’s going to help others, I’ll rethink that.


Emily April 28, 2016 at 7:13 am

I feel like I have had so many this week!


Isabelle April 27, 2016 at 11:34 am

* working full time at the moment, do double the pay!
* Got to see Barbershop 2 on cheap night at the movies yesterday using a gift card and a coupon for a free popcorn. It was pretty good (both the movie and the popcorn!)
* Went throught my kids summer clothes and we don’t seem to be needing anything, so no clothes shopping. I did have to buy sandals for a upcoming fancy wedding (I don’t buy them used). I was able to find a pair for 20$ and the other for 8$. With their fancy dresses bought at Value Village for 20$ it’s 2 complete outfits for less than 50$ so I’m happy, and they will get to use the sandals for the rest of the summer. My wedding outfit : a dress bought on sale for 15$ that I will wear after and a pair of Walmart sandals for 25$ that I will also wear after. Hubby already own the clothes he will wear. So less than 100$ for the whole family, it’s good.
* Got a credit card for Amazon giving me a 20$ rebate on 1st use. Used it and will cancel soon. Or keep just for Amazon orders (I almost never order from them, so…). Will probably cancel it….
* Got a 20$ book promising me to cure my unhealthy relationship with food…. It’s cheaper than therapy, worth a try!


Florencia April 30, 2016 at 6:29 pm

Which book? I’ve read a couple from Geneen Roth and they’re pretty good.


Sarah G. April 27, 2016 at 12:27 pm

1. We went nowhere on Monday & Tuesday, which equals spending nothing. (I’m a stay at home Mom with two kids under 4, so staying home is pretty easy.)
2. I’ve been saving excess coffee (sometimes I make a bit too much) and keeping it in a jar in the fridge. Add a little milk and sugar and I have yummy iced coffee whenever I want.
3. My lunch today consisted of leftover fried rice which my husband brought home a few days ago from a work lunch, topped with a delicious avocado.
4. My breakfasts continue to be yummy hodge podge smoothies, which are so healthy and satisfying, in addition to using up so much fruit which would otherwise go bad. Plus it’s helping me watch my weight, and get rid of the 15 pounds of baby weight that are still bugging me.
5. I remembered to renew our library books/DVDs before incurring a fine. One of the DVDs can’t be renewed, as it’s on hold by someone else, and I did manage to remember to return it today, the due date. My previous checkouts ended us costing me $12 in fines. 🙁 Ten cents per day sounds cheap, but 10 books multiplied by $.10/book/day really adds up! I have incentive to never do that again!


Vickie April 27, 2016 at 2:00 pm

I had a great frugal day today. Actually it started last night.
1) I headed home early due to severe storms. I ate the last of the tamales from the weekend and drank water like a good girl.
2) I bought a large carton of Chaboni yogurt for my morning breakfast mix. It’s helping me get my digestion back in order and fills me up more than just the nuts, berries and Almond milk. Now instead of Almond milk I throw a couple of spoons full of yogurt in the bowl.
3) This week is Staff week on Campus, they have an event and a cheap lunch for four days, then a free lunch/picnic on Friday. Today I went to the Health Fair and picked up lots of swag. I ended up with 4 free totes I can use for grocery shopping or just toting stuff, free humus and pita bread in a bowl, two toothbrushes and signed up for some drawings. I spent $2 and got a grilled chicken sandwich, chips, a couple of cookies and a soda for lunch.
4) The Library sent me an email to sign up for their free phone app. Score! I love free apps that are helpful!
5) I didn’t buy a Lear jet or a Yacht.
FAIL – I ate a free red velvet cake donut out of a dozen my co-worker brought in this morning. The free part was frugal, but it was a carb diet fail for me. I have to say though, I LOVE red velvet cake donuts and it was calling to me. :-/


sarah m April 27, 2016 at 4:45 pm

1. packed breakfast and lunch each day so far this week, and brought coffee from home.

2. went to a recruitment event through work where i got two starbucks gift cards ($10 total) and free lunch and more coffee. and it may lead to a chance to earn some money on the side.

3. used work coupons for cafeteria food purchases.

4. friends were in town, and i had them over to make pizza over a backyard campfire. they brought wine. yay for fantastic and frugal times with friends.

5. haven’t bought any clothes or home goods this month. based on the budget i made on every dollar, if i continue like this for two more months, i get to buy nicer shoes and linen bedding. the goal is for budgeting to get me to buy fewer things that are better quality and more sustainably made. so far so good.


Katy April 28, 2016 at 9:30 am

That’s a great goal!


AnnMarie April 28, 2016 at 12:20 pm

What a great idea on the graduation stuff. I have a kid going thru that this spring–$75 for something she’ll wear for a couple hours. ARGH! And then we’re moving. So I’m going to see if I can donate it to someone or to the school. It hadn’t occurred to me. My high school kept the gowns and we just had to buy the caps. I think I used my brother’s.


Cathy April 28, 2016 at 8:31 pm

1. FINALLY finished my degree in English Lit (without student loans) in late March and started a very well-paying job this week!
2. Driving my mom’s car (she’s on a long vacation, and her car gets wayyyy better gas mileage than mine) to said new job, with her permission 🙂
3. Making do with home-made meals, since I haven’t had the time to go grocery shopping this week. I’m pretty proud of myself for the creative and tasty meals we’ve been enjoying! Kids are even enjoying it = frugal win!
4. Planted 6 sale-priced tomato plants. Really looking forward to the fruits of our harvest!
5. Found $0.11 on a short walk today.


Mand01 April 28, 2016 at 10:19 pm

Congratulations on finishing your degree. My first degree was in English lit. People say it’s not a valuable degree but actually I have found it to be of immense value in the labour market, and obviously you have too.


Laurie April 29, 2016 at 5:27 am

For those of you with library book fines – my local librarian gave me a tip the last time I tried to pay fines. Here, if I have less than $10 in fines, I can sign up for their annual “Summer Reading Program” and those fines are “forgiven”. While it’s better not to incur fines in the first place, this plan allows for a win-win situation. I don’t have to pay money out, and the library gets one more (or maybe many more) participants in the program, improving their statistical numbers. If you are a regular library patron this or a similar “forgiveness” option might be available.


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