Five Frugal Things — Extra Income Edition

by Katy on May 22, 2017 · 76 comments

  1. My husband and I stopped into a Goodwill the other evening, where he scored a new looking push mower priced at just $9.99. I listed it on Craigslist that night for $60 and sold it in under 24 hours. It normally sells for $160, so it was a great deal for the buyer and nice income boost for the two of us.
  2. I nabbed a box of nice glass jars from a free pile and quickly sold them to the terrarium shop in our neighborhood. It was only a $20 profit, but it took nothing more than a run through the dishwasher and a willingness to get over any embarrassment over making the deal. We celebrated my younger son’s birthday this weekend, and all scrappy income money went to cover the expenses for our “birthday day of adventures.”
  3. I rescued seven 1979 British Cosmopolitan magazines from my mother’s free pile and quickly listed them on eBay. Who know if they’ll sell, but I might as well try. Update: SOLD for $10 apiece!
  4. I have a four-hour mandatory meeting this week as well as two scheduled 12-hour hospital shifts. I’m not too excited about the meeting, but it’s kind of nice to earn money without the responsibility of patient care. I’ll certainly be happy when the fat paycheck arrives.
  5. I didn’t buy a Lear Jet or a vulgar gold-plated apartment in the sky.

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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{ 76 comments… read them below or add one }

Lindsey May 22, 2017 at 9:46 am

Had tomatoes and cukes but wanted a salad, so went out in the yard and picked enough lambs quarters and young dandelion leaves to make said salad. These “weeds” cost a lot per ounce when you buy them at a fancy-schmantsy food market.

Had a dreaded garage sale and not only made $101, but got rid of some junk and had a fun day talking with the two other women who hosted it with me. It always amazes me what sells!

Planted the greenhouse full of tomatoes, cukes, eggplant and basil I raised from seed. It will save us a lot of money starting in July, when things start being available for harvest.

Planted corn, potatoes, pak choi, carrots, beets, cauliflower, cabbage, beans and peas in the rest of the garden. Also artichokes, which I don’t like but trade with a neighbor, usually for her eggs. I keep track and most summers I make about $2000 in profit from my garden (after expenses). It is a lot of work, but the food tastes better, there is a smaller carbon footprint and I get a lot of free exercise. And $2000 is nothing to sneeze at either.

Spent $10 for each of us to go to a fundraiser dinner for a local school. We don’t have kids who go there but friends do. We ended up winning the grand prize of two plane tickets wherever the airline flies! Not a bad return for $20!!

Frugal fail: Went to a bookstore on a mystery shop and walked out with two new hardbacks I have been lusting after…I had stopped going to bookstores because I cannot control myself.


Roberta May 22, 2017 at 11:53 am

If you think better of your purchase, Barnes and Nobel will take returns for two weeks after purchase. (It’s about all we have down here.)


Lori May 22, 2017 at 3:19 pm

Wow, you did awesome!


Vickie May 24, 2017 at 7:52 am

I love lambs quarters and dandelion “weeds” – they are good in quiche too!
I’m impressed with your garden, that’s awesome Lindsey!

My favorite bookstore was Borders and they went out of business, however, if I attend the Library Book sale, I do the same thing. I’m addicted to books!


Cindy in the South I May 22, 2017 at 9:56 am

1.I made popcorn to take to work for a snack. I also have ham and peanut butter to sustain me for a work lunch, in addition to homemade tea. I also toasted leftover bread for the sandwiches, and froze it in the freezer. I took stale crackers and toasted them in the over, to crisp them up.
2.I made a chicken, tomato, and carrot soup, from leftover chicken. That will be supper for the week, or most of the week. I also ate the last bit of lettuce with a homemade ranch dressing, for supper, yesterday.
3. I worked for a couple of hours, off and on, sawing with a small manual saw, on a very large tree limb. I was finally able to get it cut and I drug it to the road for the city to pick it up. Whew! I had borrowed the saw.
4. I really wanted to go to the store and stock up on several things but realized I could make do with what I had at the house.
5. I walked for exercise, it is free. I realize many things I do day in and day out are repetitive, but that is ok. A penny saved is a penny earned. Also, I have noticed my flip phone is saving me time because it is really hard to access facebook with it. Instead of my wasting my time on facebook, I am doing productive things around the house.


Bee May 22, 2017 at 10:27 am

Congratulations on removing the tree limb. I believe you are truly a determined woman. I am not sure that I could have done that — at least not without whining. 🙂


Cindy in the South I May 23, 2017 at 4:29 am

I whined…lol


Nancy May 23, 2017 at 12:23 pm

but if no one is there to hear your whine, does it really count?


Cindy in the South I May 23, 2017 at 1:15 pm

Good point…

Laura May 22, 2017 at 10:19 am

1. I helped my husband give himself a haircut. He does his hair himself with clippers but I have to help him with the back.
2. Was at a family getogeher this weekend and the host was showing us her garden. She was being overrun with strawberries and said she was tired of picking them and was going to just leave the rest out there. I asked if she minded if I picked some to take home then. She said go right ahead, and myself and several other guests picked some to take home.
3. My brother was also being overrun with lettuce in his garden and told me I could stop by to pick some if I wanted. I of course took him up on this offer and my son and I went to pick lettuce yesterday.
4. We have two nights this week where we have commintments in the evening and will have very little time to make and eat dinner. I washed and chopped my free lettuce and made a big pot of broccoli mac and cheese last night for dinner and am making a big pan of spinach and chicken enchildas with Spanish rice for dinner tonight with the plan of reheating leftovers and eating salads those busy nights for supper.
5. Packed lunch 4 out of 5 days last week. Not perfect, but still frugal 🙂


Rachel May 22, 2017 at 10:53 am

1. I rode my bike to work today, first time this year. Free transportation, exercise, and vitamin D.
2. I brought my lunch to work per usual – a salad with lettuce from the humble backyard garden.
3. A groupon I had expired, so I used the balance to buy another groupon for a local soaking pool/wellness center AND an iphone holder that will attach to my bike frame.
4. Although I’d love a new patio set, I rinsed the moss off the one I had stored in the garage for the winter and guess what? It works just fine!


Jill A May 22, 2017 at 11:01 am

1. We had two cars with issues that needed fixing in the past week. Both were relatively minor. Money spent but it wasn’t as bad as we thought.
2. Went to garage sales and picked up some items to sell on ebay. One was a vintage glass Pyrex coffee pot. I also bought a Dyson vacuum cleaner. I will try to clean it up and resell it. Thanks for the inspiration.
3. Cooked from the freezer and pantry for the past week. Still have a ton of leftovers to eat up.
4. Helping my husband open our pool up. We DIY opening and closing it. It saves up several hundred dollars. The pool isn’t very frugal though.
5. Picked up a few psoriasis meds for my daughter. Used Good RX and saved more than $100.


Kim in MD May 22, 2017 at 11:20 am

1. Sold 2 items on Amazon. Book for $16 and sealed dvd for $8.
2. Picked strawberries from my frugal backyard raised bed garden. I bought the raised bed kit, new in the box, for $4 at a church sale a few years back. The plants came from runners my neighbor’s plants. Fourth year enjoying free strawberries!
3. Neighbor offered for me to pick spinach from her garden. Made a wonderful salad with strawberries, blueberries, pineapple and bleu cheese on top.
4. Redeemed more free product coupons from Safeway monopoly game before they expire. Yesterday got 5 free donuts and loaf of French bread we had with dinner.
5. Helped set up for church free flea market. Took 10 boxes/ bags of donations. Came home with a few things we needed/ wanted. This is a twice a year event. We set up on Friday and it’s free to public on Sat. Those of us who work on setup can shop Friday night. Came home with some khakis for DS#1 for work, some new Coldwater Creek tees for me, book on cd for DH and some winter gloves for DS#2. Also had free pizza for dinner!


Bee May 22, 2017 at 11:26 am

1) I have had a cold so I have been resting more than usual and reading quite a bit. I have finished a library book and have also been reading from my stack of books from The Friends of the Library Sale. Free or nearly free entertainment.

2) DH and I straigtened up the garage yesterday. I found a few things to list for sale online. I also put several items in the give-away box. But best of all, I can find things again. This is the hardest area of the house for me to keep straight, so this feels like a great achievement!

3) I sold an item on eBay last week and shipped it in a found box.

4) At least one of my FFT always seems to revolve around food. I had the remains of a rotisserie chicken in the refrigerator that my husband purchased this weekend since I wasn’t up to cooking. Today I cut off the remaining meat and made a dozen black bean and chicken enchiladas. I also mixed some leftover corn into the enchilada mixture. I set aside two for lunch and froze the rest. Then put the chicken carcass in the freezer to make soup later in the week.

5) When making my shopping list this morning, I decided this would be a good week to “use it up.” There are so many odds and ends around the house. My farm share basket comes every other week. Since this is an off week, I have designed this week’s menu to use up most of the veggies remaing. I also used a rather sad banana and some wilted spinach in my breakfast smoothie this morning. There are bits of all types of cheeses which I plan to put into a quiche and so forth. Total spent on groceries this week — just under $15.


Roberta May 22, 2017 at 12:05 pm

Good job on the grocery bill, Bee!

1. Using leftover shower water to water outdoor plants. It’s been HOT the last couple days, and they’re really thirsty.
2. Put up the shade cloths on the south facing deck. In the winter we like the light, but with the hot weather, we can use the shade. This will keep the heat down in the house, and delay a need for air conditioning. Additionally, we open up the house every night and use fans to pump cool air in, and close everything up to keep the house cool as long as possible.
3. Dropped my husband off at work this morning. We’ll be picking him up to go on an outing, and this way neither of us had to use the gas guzzler.
4. Using a Groupon to take my son out to celebrate his wins at the fair. My husband wanted to go yesterday, but instead we stayed home and watched Dr. Horrible (my daughter’s been wanting to see this) and Victorian Slum House.
5. And the usual: hung laundry out, ate leftovers for lunch, didn’t buy coffee out, etc, etc.


KJD509 May 22, 2017 at 12:07 pm

1) Took a long walk this weekend with hubs. We really like to end up at local brewpubs, but we’d been talking finances for several miles, so we just turned around and went home.
2) Delicious home cooked dinner last night = even better leftovers for lunch today.
3) Rest of the week I’ll be fed breakfast, lunch and a couple of dinners at work. Long days aren’t frugal exactly, but at least I don’t have to feed myself.
4) Finance walk-and-talk helped us identify some priorities, which means spending $ differently over the next few months. Difficult in the short one, frugal (and wise) in the long run. (Some days I really hate the long run . . . )
5) Nothing gold plated or, hopefully, vulgar.

Have a lovely and frugal spring week, everybody!


Betty May 22, 2017 at 12:15 pm

I got ten different outfits , like brand new sold the lot for 150 dollars . To many clothes! Also made a delicuous meal from leftovers
Pasta, veggies , cheese sauce.
Shop your closet.


K D May 22, 2017 at 12:19 pm

1. I went for a walk this afternoon, after the rain stopped and found a $20 bill in a puddle, near a curb. A few weeks ago I found a gift card in a similar puddle (it contained $1 which I used towards bananas). A couple months ago I picked up a $1 bill in a muddy puddle. Before that I had not found money in puddles.

2. My husband was craving BBQ’d meat after smelling wonderful smells from both a BBQ place and a Peruvian restaurant Friday night while we were running errands. Yesterday we did take-out at the Peruvian restaurant, getting just chicken, no sides. I also discovered I had a 20% off coupon that had come in the mail. It was enough meat for two meals, a reasonably priced treat.

3. My daughter will graduate college at the end of the week. She just wants to have friends over afterwards and order pizzas. She and a friend volunteered to take care of getting snacks and drinks, and making dessert(s). She is a keeper.

4. I listed a bunch of stuff on Freecycle and almost everything has a new home. The weather was bad both weekends we planned to have a yard sale. We’re happy the stuff is out of the house and has found new homes.

5. I am listening to Lab Girl as I work around the house. I downloaded the audio Over Drive version from the library.


Bettypants May 23, 2017 at 4:50 am

I’m impressed by your puddle money finds.


A. Marie May 23, 2017 at 11:29 am

Puddle money sounds like the warm-weather version of what I call snowdrift money. Either way, just take it home, hang it out to dry, and then spend it!


Diane May 23, 2017 at 2:23 pm

I am going to start looking at puddles LOL!


Elizabeth May 22, 2017 at 12:37 pm

1. This weekend was our annual soccer tournament we do every year in Traverse City. It’s never a cheap weekend but I compared what we spent this year on food and “souvenirs” and what we spend least year and this year we spent less than half of what we spent last year!
2. I brought snacks and drinks with me so we wouldn’t need to buy those there. I brought pop tarts, bananas, granola bars and homemade banana chocolate chip muffins for easy breakfasts (especially with early games). There was also a McDonald’s across the street for cheap, easy meals (plus I was able to use some coupons from the McDonald’s app to save even more).
3. Currently have over $100 of things listed on eBay that are selling.
4. Going through items in my house and decluttering items or using them. I want my things to have a purpose for being in my house and I want to own less stuff. I have entirely too much stuff.
5. Bathing our dog ourselves. He’s always a little stinky after we pick him up from the kennel so we just give him a nice bath and he smells great!


Shelby May 23, 2017 at 5:30 am

I’m from Michigan! Traverse City is beautiful and so fun but definitely not cheap!


Amy Jo May 22, 2017 at 1:45 pm

1. Gathered some curriculum and listed it on a FB group and after shipping made $150.
2. Bought some tuna the other day, and forgot to use my rain check that brought it down to half price. So I took my receipt to the store as I was getting milk, and for my refund of $10.50
3. We are on a no spend week except for milk and fruit, with a budget of $15. I went over about 4.44 but with the refund from the tuna, it all worked out ok. Lol
4. Eating from the pantry and freezer as much as possible right now to use up what we have. My freezer is full!!!
5. We have been spending time with the kids at home, resisting the urge to eat Chinese out and making fried rice and orange chicken at home and planning movie nights and family game night with kids. They will remember family game nights more so than a dinner out in years to come.


Michelle H. May 22, 2017 at 1:56 pm

1. Line dried 3 loads of laundry today.
2. Meal planning in an attempt to empty my deep freeze ahead of a big trip. Wanting to be able to unplug it this summer.
3. Packed lunches for kids and husband.
4. Met friends at park for a free playdate yesterday.
5. Making grocery list to be sure to use all my free Monopoly coupons at Tom Thumb before they expire next week. The free French bread, macaroni salad and potato salad will be the basis for a meal memorial day weekend.


Mand01 May 22, 2017 at 3:13 pm

1. My daughter got into the second round of a selection process for a gifted and talented extension program for high school. If she gets in, we will not have to pay for a private school. We are all working hard to prepare for the interview, which is this week. If she is selected it will be fantastic for her, reduce high school by one year and save us thousands of dollars in school fees. Plus she will get to go to the school she really wants to attend, which we are not zoned for right now.
2. I spent half my Sunday in the garden, planting out winter vegetables, and clearing out the last of the summer plants. I’ve had an abundance of chillies this year so I took the surplus to some friends and our local Grow Free cart. We still have tons.
3. We have made a commitment to healthier eating in our family as we have been slacking off lately. We had pasta with homemade pesto from the last (sob) of our basil and a parsley salad on Sunday and homemade mac and cheese with broccolini last night. Made garlic and Parmesan bread for a side dish.
4. Brought my own coffee and tea to work.
That’s it


Susie's Daughter May 22, 2017 at 4:34 pm

Sending good wishes for the interview!


Liz B. May 24, 2017 at 12:08 pm

I wish we had a local Grow Free cart…..though I’d likely “take” more than “give” if we did. Lol! I love to garden, but lately not doing so well at it….I do have tons of oregano already. Lucky for me it’s nearly impossible to kill!


Susie's Daughter May 22, 2017 at 4:31 pm

1) I had to return books to the library we belong to across the border in NH. I hated to use the gas (3 to 4 gal) to do it, but I could not renew them again online. I remembered I could call the consignment shop where I had left some things earlier this spring to see if anything sold. Dropped off library books, picked up a check for $28 at consignment and also found a skirt for $6 at the thrift shop nearby.

2) Just made chocolate pudding in the microwave to satisfy the sweet tooth.

3) Subbed last week at DS’s former preschool in exchange for credit toward their summer camp program. My five days of subbing this year equal two sessions of camp for him. Woo hoo!

4) Had our first renters for mountain bike season this last weekend – a lovely bunch of guys visiting from Canada for Victoria Day. I decided today I would track the ‘food gifts’ renters leave behind this season and try to figure the value – just for my own entertainment. The guys left a bunch of stuff, some of which turned into asparagus frittata (eggs, milk, sour cream, parmesan cheese) and apple crisp (huge apple). Also their milk went into the chocolate pudding!

5) I will clean the rental and wash the linens myself per usual. This is not new, but is always a cost saving. I try to remember that when I am feeling grouchy about doing it. I also remind myself how fortunate we are to be able to have the space to provide extra needed income.


Florencia May 25, 2017 at 9:28 pm

My mom cleans for a lady that does Airbnb, and sometimes she comes home with a full bag of groceries. It’s a happy day when she comes with fresh fruits or veggies. 🙂


Revanche @ A Gai Shan Life May 22, 2017 at 4:35 pm

My husband and I opened a few banking accounts with promotion coupons worth several hundred dollars – I’m pretty excited about those getting deposited!


Revanche @ A Gai Shan Life May 24, 2017 at 8:27 am

I don’t get anything for sharing, just in case anyone else was interested in signing up for these promos:


Juhli May 22, 2017 at 4:51 pm

1. I am shopping carefully for the items we need, truly need, for our new home as well as a few “will make life easier” items and using our move in discount coupons as much as possible.
2. Used the library for both print and electronic books.
3. Keeping track of the outfits I manage to make with my existing wardrobe so I won’t be tempted to buy items I don’t need.
4. Did not eat out once while Hubby was gone on a business trip for a week.
5. Took our car in for the recall air bag replacement once the notice followed us to our new state. Took snacks and lunch and my Kindle and sat there while they did it. So far we are managing with one car and hope it continues to work out!


Mrs. Picky Pincher May 22, 2017 at 5:13 pm

Great job raking in that extra income!

1. I did the math and I’m set to get a $500 check in mileage reimbursements next month. That should pad our savings account quite nicely. 🙂

2. Today I cooked minestrone soup for dinner. It made three extra portions, which we froze for later.

3. We harvested a few heirloom tomatoes from the garden, which we’ll turn into both salsa and bruschetta. Yum!

4. We’re cooking primarily from our freezer for the next two weeks so we’ll come under budget on food this month. Thank god for our gigantic freezer stockpile!

5. I wanted sweets today. Instead of buying a bag of Oreos, I ate some cake that I had baked a while back. There’s nothing like homemade, and it’s cheaper. 🙂


rebecca May 22, 2017 at 6:50 pm

1. Started looking around my house for things to sell.
2. Had friends come for dinner last night. I made an easy caramel sauce for ice cream sundaes for dessert. Delicious!
3. I have leftover ingredients and will use them up when other guests come for a bbq next Sunday. Time is flying by-I can’t believe Memorial Day weekend is here.
4. Started teaching my class tonight. It’s tough teaching 3 nights a week. I keep telling myself that it’s only for 5 weeks and it’s good income.
5. Shopping in my own closet for a summer handbag.


Betty May 23, 2017 at 4:55 am

I shopped my closet and found three! Going to sell two , purses. I have at least 60 dollats of gently used books going to second hand book store.


Nancy from Mass May 23, 2017 at 3:47 am

1. my son is graduating on the 4th but doesn’t want to walk the stage (which i understand). so, we are having a small, family gathering on the 10th to celebrate. His favorite meal in the world is tacos, so I’m going to make all the fixins’ and have a “taco buffet” at the house. For a brief moment, i thought about having it catered, but it was just a brief moment!
2. my incredible boss heard me talking about how i can’t get quotes to pull the hedges out of the front of my yard (they’ve been there a long time and there’s about 12) so while my son and I were in DC, he, and 5 other co-workers, came to my house and did most of the work. they are coming back to finish it up in the next week or so. Then i will transplant some of my perennials from around my yard and buy just a few more. My house will look amazing when it’s done.
3. While in DC last weekend, I heard that the embassies were open. My son was sleeping in (and had some digestive issues) so i headed out and visited 5 of them. so, so cool.
4. Visited my mom on saturday and brought her to see her brothers new place. we had a lovely visit and i treated her to pizza before bringing her back to the nursing home.
5. my nephew and his family came over on sunday. I went to the bread outlet saturday and picked up loads of loaves (:)) for him to bring home and freeze. He doesn’t have a thrift store near him (he lives 2 states away). I love seeing them. We played cribbage and enjoyed each others company.


Bee May 23, 2017 at 1:05 pm

What a great boss and wonderful co-workers! To work with such nice people is a blessing.


Nancy from mass May 23, 2017 at 1:46 pm

I was flabbergasted when they called to tell me they were in front of the house. (They wanted to let me know in case my neighbors called…which they did). I love where I work and who I work with/for.


Bettypants May 23, 2017 at 4:48 am

1. I paid $4 for a fill-a-bag at a church rummage sale a couple weeks back. Sold a stack of vintage crochet doilies from said bag for $5 yesterday.
2. Bought an Ann Taylor cardigan, a Gap shirt and cardigan, and a Banana Republic dress from my neighbor’s yard sale for $3.50. I nearly bought that exact top at the Gap last fall, but I talked myself out of it as not necessary. The fifty cents tag made it more attractive.
3. Home Depot has a $10 rebate on gallons of paint. I decided on colors for two rooms and color matched the exterior trim that needs updating.
4. Traded a snowball bush transplant for a couple hostas to fill in a shady area in my backyard.
5. Traded a stack of empty moving boxes for two large framed prints that someone had posted for free, unwanted from her garage sale.


Tracy May 23, 2017 at 4:53 am

1. Tillamook ice cream was on sale plus I had a coupon so was able to buy 2 half gallons of premium ice cream for $1 each, woo hoo!
2. Made white chili with pork loin and white beans cooked from scratch, husband ate when I was out last night taking a dinner to a sick friend and I will take some for lunch today.
3. Planted the plants I got for mothers day (an impatiens and a hydrangea), now it’s 90 degrees so I have to keep them watered for next few days so they don’t go toes up!
4. Bought 5 small Dansk bowls that match my set at Goodwill for $5 using a birthday gift card.
5. Checked out my book club’s next book (Trevor Noah’s Born a Crime) on my phone using my library app. Excellent read so far.


Jenzer May 23, 2017 at 6:20 am

1 – Went to CVS to pick up a new compact of powder foundation. Though I’d loaded a 25% off coupon onto my ExtraCare card, the clerk who scanned my item said my card didn’t show any valid coupons for my purchase. So I put the compact back and walked out without buying anything.

2 – Left CVS and went across the street to the local grocery store. At the checkout, I told the cashier I had $6 worth of e-coupons on my account, but she forgot to enter my information to apply the coupons. I caught the omission before I walked out the door, and spent 10 minutes waiting patiently at the service desk while they wrote up the error and handed me $6 in cash.

(#1 and #2 are small wins for frugality, but big wins for this introvert who is working on her assertiveness skills!)

3 – Made a big batch of mushroom barley soup on Sunday to eat for lunches this week. When I cook with mushrooms, I trim the tough ends off the stems and save them in their own freezer bag. Once the bag gets full, I put them in a pot with butter and sauté until they smell wonderful. Then I add water and salt and simmer for a while. Homemade mushroom stock … mmmmm!

4 – Our family spent Mother’s Day weekend at Cedar Point (big amusement park, for those not familiar). I marveled at the number of people who were willing to spend precious time waiting in lines … not for the rides, but for the Coke Freestyle machines. Drinking fountains at the park are plentiful — no extra cost, no waiting.

5 – Speaking of extra income … my son made almost $4 at Cedar Point by checking the coin returns in the arcade games and several of the midway vending machines. He funded his own candy purchase and made a profit!


tia May 23, 2017 at 7:34 am

1. Doesn’t seem frugal up front but I had my cat allergy tested and the results are great. She is now healthy and much happier and isn’t at the Vet every other week for treatment and medicine. Plus, avoided having to get an inhaler for her which is ridiculously expensive.
2. I had planned on getting an upgraded car this year but decided I don’t really want to, intead I got an amazing deal on a new set of tires. I will probably drive it until it falls apart.
3. I thought my disinterest in food was just a phase but it has become the norm. I hate to cook….and it’s saving me money. : )
4.What? People really buy old magazines? And pay that much? Golly gee whillikers. I looked up how to spell whillikers and “gee” is a euphemism for Jesus? More stuff I never knew. Free education.
5. Just general other stuff like thinking before buying or bringing things home.
Do I really want to go to all the trouble of shopping for, purchasing, hauling it home, finding a place for it, caring and cleaning of it for it’s existance, and then when I’m done with it rehoming it or recycling it? ugh. I have become the lazy nonconsumer, and it is saving me money.


janine May 23, 2017 at 8:11 am

Loved your #5! Your description of owning more stuff was amazing – it involves work, as often as sometimes temporary pleasure.


Ruby May 23, 2017 at 10:35 am

One of our dogs has severe allergies, and finally getting them figured out has saved us a ton of money in the long run. She gets an allergy shot once a month and is now quite healthy, whereas we used to have her in the vet’s office almost weekly for ear infections and other problems. And she is so much more comfortable!


WilliamB May 23, 2017 at 7:42 am

1. Collected extra coupon packs from the free weekly local newspaper, for the coupon on my roommate’s favorite ice cream.

2. Made banana bread, doubling the recipe to save time and oven fuel. Used bananas from the $3/50 lbs “overripe” box I bought last fall, King Arthur flour bought on deep sale + coupon over the holidays, brown sugar bought with coupon over the holidays, and vanilla bought on sale + coupon over last year’s holidays.

3. Cooking beans in the excess liquid from pico de gallo. That liquid is seriously tasty stuff. BTW, leftover beer also makes great bean-cooking liquid.

4. Went to several libraries to check out or return books. Batched errands to go to the distant one.

5. Bought 6-8 books at the booksale that the distant library happened to be having while I was there. They charged me only $3 for the books, so I donated another $2.

6. Saved about 30% by buying a lot of an indulgence (soda & chips) at a case lot sale.


Bee May 23, 2017 at 12:54 pm

Leftover beer is also excellent in chili, French onion soup and for use as slug bait.


Lazyretirementgirl May 27, 2017 at 8:15 pm

And to think I am soaking beans tonight and have an unloved bottle of old beer in the pantry…


janine May 23, 2017 at 8:04 am

1. Staying home this morning eating peanut butter toast and drinking tea. Would have really liked a bagel and cream cheese from the bagel shop.

2. Guest of honor cancelled a dinner party we were scheduled to host this weekend. Felt sad that it didn’t work out, but from a frugality standpoint saves us several hundred dollars. We plan to take a much needed mini vacation.

3. DS#2 again hosted me to lunch out yesterday. He has odd days off so he spends time with his parents and dog. A free lunch at our favorite deli is a marvelous treat.

4. Have a large box of books ready to sell to half priced book store. Don’t get much for them but they are out of the house for someone else to enjoy.

5. Plan to visit DS#1 this summer and chill out on his deck. He lives across the street from a nature preserve. Free vacation-like atmosphere. I will cook his favorite foods and provide treats.


Ruby May 23, 2017 at 10:46 am

Katy, I so admire your cleverness in flipping your thrift shop finds. You could easily write an e-book on how to do that.

My FFT lately:
1. The Mister and I planned ahead and saved up all our out-of-pocket costs for my second cataract surgery and paid them on the day of surgery. Not having to carry a credit card balance for medical debt is priceless.
2. Ordered some OTC meds for me and the dog — she takes half a generic Zyrtec a day — online from Costco. One of the great things I learned from online frugal folk is that you do not have to have a Costco membership to order some OTC meds online.
3. Still rocking the cute thrifted outfits every day at work, along with packing my lunch and drying clothes on the rack in the laundry room. Carefully snapping out the wrinkles and hanging my work blouses means they do not have to be ironed. Time saving can be frugal!
4. We needed new bath towels, as The Mister keeps tearing holes in the old ones and they’d reached the point where more mending was useless. Our bathroom doesn’t have good ventilation and thick towels will mildew the wall behind the rack. I found some lightweight beach towels at the liquidation store for $5.99 each that match the bathroom decor and will suit us perfectly.
5. Been having some foot problems and the doctor-recommended orthotic insoles were good but horribly expensive. On a fluke, I discovered that the $5 ones sold at Family Dollar work great in many of my shoes.


Ava May 23, 2017 at 10:49 am

We had fail after fail for the past week, with a few minor saves mixed in.
1. Finally got our Cobra/insurance issues resolved. This was significant, as it meant the difference in $50 vs $1500 for husband’s prescription and $25 vs $156 for mine. We did not pick up medications until the matter was resolved and had a very stressful time, wondering if we were going to run out. We waited it out and I am so glad now that we don’t have to go through a sea of paperwork trying to get reimbursement.
2. Decided to take a quick trip to GA to see youngest grandson’s gymnastics show and awards ceremony. Had a flat tire on the way to the performance and sat in a parking lot waiting for roadside assistance, hundreds of miles from home. The frugal part was that our car insurance includes roadside assistance. I have used it more than once and it seems like a real bargain when it is needed. Missed the performance.
3. Had to get 4 new tires the next day because the issue was age, not wear. I don’t think we got a special bargain on the tires but we were not overcharged and after hearing the story and being told that we had to start home again that day, the staff at the tire store got us in and out and on our way fast. We had time for a very short visit with family before heading home.
4. The day of the flat tire, we didn’t want to drive on the tiny spare any more than necessary so we walked to a near by restaurant instead of driving to have dinner with family as planned. We ordered appetizers instead of entrees and one was so bad that I complained about it and it was taken off the bill.
5. Getting ready to go out of town again. We are working on newly retired husband’s out of state house, getting it ready to sell. We discussed going to the grocery for a few things but decided to eat weird meals from what we had at home. Stretched it with a salad including lettuce, spinach and onion from the garden. Dinner will be leftovers of the leftovers.


Nancy May 23, 2017 at 12:49 pm

1. Planted broccoli, cauliflower, snow peas and 3 kinds of lettuce in the garden.
2. Will plant cabbage, carrots potatoes and calico beans tonight.
3. Purchased flats of flowers at the FM founders day sale. Made my own pots with marigolds and petunias for both my and my mother’s porches.
4. Not me, but my son took his 2011 Subaru Forester into the dealer, and his VIN number was on the list, so received a new “short block.” Basically a new car engine on a car with 65,000 miles. Value at least $5,000. I got mine last December with 105,000 miles on my car.
5. Made spaghetti sauce and will have with garlic bread made from free French bread from the monopoly game from Safeway and the last of the garlic from last year’s garden.


Bee May 23, 2017 at 1:21 pm

We also have a 2011 Forester in the family. Is there a place to check your vin?


Nancy May 23, 2017 at 1:41 pm

We just took it to the dealer and asked them to check


Gina in KY May 23, 2017 at 3:42 pm

1. Foraged the neighborhood for public-right-of-way mulberries while on walks with the dogs. Ended up with a quart or so (not easy to pick with two active dogs on a string).
2. Made several jelly jars of mulberry shrub (used as with soda water, alcohol or to be made into a salad dressing). I will gift at least one to a friend in a couple of weeks.
3. Decided to go somewhere this summer and found an airline with $40 one way tickets to Savannah. I also booked a super cheap hotel by the airport and found a deal on a rental car. My sister ended up wanting to go, so she changed our hotel to waterfront Tybee Island! (I bought her and my nephews cheapo airline tickets. I am really the winner in this deal).
4. Bought 6 clearance packs of tofu and 6 clearance packs of veggie dogs for camping this summer. All are in the freezer (except one of the tofus which will be in my stir fry tonight).
5. Found a Hawaiian shirt and a (ugly) Coach purse at the Goodwill Outlet and will be putting them on eBay to sell. May earn some of my airline ticket costs back!


Betty May 23, 2017 at 5:24 pm

Thank God someone else hates those coach bags , wierd eh?. I never understood the coach thing


Cindy in the South I May 24, 2017 at 11:03 am

I love Tybee Island. I have not been in 15 years but used to go about once a year during the late 90’s early 200’s. It was not overdeveloped with commercial condos like Gulf Shores, AL. Hope Tybee Island is still like the old vacations of the past…so, so relaxing!!!


Betty May 23, 2017 at 5:22 pm

Hey hey Im all excited , declutter ing , sold my instamax camera for 60 dolars and its going to a good cause yeah!


Liz B. May 24, 2017 at 12:14 pm

Oh, Tybee Island…sigh. I, also, vacationed there maybe 10 years ago, and it was heaven. I hope it’s still as nice for you, Gina! Savannah is such a gorgeous city. Hubs and I are history buffs, too, so double win when we get to travel there.
I don’t get the whole Coach thing, either….different strokes I guess.


Liz B. May 24, 2017 at 12:15 pm

WooHoooo! Nicely done!


Liz B. May 24, 2017 at 2:44 pm

I meant that for Betty – nice sale of your camera!!


Liz B. May 23, 2017 at 7:00 pm

Not sure I have five, but here goes…..
1) Stashed a few good odds and ends in the freezer for later use (leftover mashed potatoes, slightly past-prime blackberries, leftover breadsticks).
2) Finished up a large container of plain Greek yogurt by mixing portions of it with prepackaged diced peaches I’d bought for my son’s lunches (son then decided he doesn’t like peaches). A nice treat for lunch, with a bit of granola sprinkled on top….plus, more room in my frig.
3) Bought a “produce keeper” container (the new Rubbermaid kind) that was half off – plus I had a $2.00 off store coupon – AND a $2.00 rebate from Ibotta – AND there was a $1.00 off my next produce purchase coupon on it. Even if it doesn’t work to keep my produce fresher and last longer, the container will still be put to good use.
4) Found nice navy blue shorts for my son at Goodwill today for $2.49 – he needs them for Cub Scouts – and a fabulous pair of black dress boots for me, for next fall and winter – $4.99. They will replace a worn out pair of boots that just barely saw me through last winter.
5) Found a much-needed bathing suit online for a reasonable price for our upcoming summer vacation. Saw one at Lands End that was lovely, but way too much $$, even with discounts….I don’t spend enough time at the pool to justify $80-90 for a bathing suit. I do have an LE bathing suit I bought several years ago, on clearance with extra off, etc etc. It’s great, but (ahem) too small (ahem, cough cough).
May I ask here – for those that sell items online – how did you get started? Do you find it’s worth the time and effort? I’m wondering if it would be an effective way to raise a bit of cash, while decluttering. Any feedback would be most welcome to this newbie.


Tracy May 24, 2017 at 3:50 am

I have been having a problem with my clothes shrinking while just hanging there in the closet (which I can tell because they are also (ahem) too small… !)


Liz B. May 24, 2017 at 7:41 am

Lol, Tracy!! It’s so annoying, that closet shrinkage that happens.


Emily May 25, 2017 at 7:19 am

Look for Lands end Bathing suits on ebay, us sellers love to pick them up because they sell so well!

I have been re-selling for over 2 years in order to pay off my student loans faster. It is DEFINITELY worth it to me. I will say though, you are not going to become a pro over night. Like anything else, it is a skill. I sell mostly clothes, 85% womens. I sell on ebay and poshmark, but started on poshmark and used that for the first 2 years. I like both for different reasons. I went to a platos closet bag sale and it was 15 dollars to shove everything you could into a bag. When I got 20-25 things for 15 dollars and made 300 off those (plus kept a few things for myself) I was totally hooked.

Look up similar items and sort out by what has sold to see if its worth it. Local apps like varage sale and offer up are great too to get rid of things quickly and make some cash.


Liz B. May 25, 2017 at 1:31 pm

Thanks, Emily! I actually did search for a bathing suit on eBay, but didn’t find much in my size….and even less that looked like my style. And no Lands End in my size at all. Ah well. It all worked out.
Thank you also for sharing your experience reselling items. I’ve gone back and forth about trying it…..have had less than stellar experiences reselling my kid’s clothes at a local chain kids resell shop, and on local fb “yard sale”/resale sites, which has made me a bit gun-shy. I totally understand I’m not gonna be a pro right off the bat – just not sure I can make a good-enough return on the limited time I can commit to doing it. I’m glad it’s working great for you though! Ugh, student loans….yay you for getting them paid off.:-)


Emily May 27, 2017 at 9:50 am

Definitely makes sense! There is an app called Mercari that is good for selling lots of clothing. They also only take 10% and is a lot less work than ebay! Don’t give up on your bathing suit hunt, I know you will find one!


Liz B. May 28, 2017 at 5:04 am

Thanls for all of your help, Emily! I took a quick look at Poshmark yesterday, and it sounds like they make it pretty easy to sell clothes and such. Will check out that app. I feel very encouraged that I could make this work. Now I want to go to Goodwill and look for new clothes to resell….or my local Plato’s Closet when they have a bag sale. Lol!

Vickie May 24, 2017 at 7:18 am

1) I attended a professional conference on Monday & Tuesday, which included free breakfast, lunch and lots of usable swag.
2) My daughter buys Venture Passes for her kids each year, which includes several venues in our metro area – skating, jump zone, museums, amusement parks, etc. So I was able to take my two young granddaughters to the jump zone for two hours last night, while I read and they expended some energy, since it was too chilly for the park. No money out of my pocket!
3) I need to run errands at lunch and it’s time to drop off an audiobook from the Library and pick up some more, while using my favorite shopping card.
4) The weather has been so lovely here that I’ve been able to open windows, turn on the ceiling fan and enjoy the free breezes of nature.
5) I enjoyed free drinks and food Monday evening, while chatting and catching up with coworkers at an I.T. reception on campus. It has been a good frugal week!


Beth May 24, 2017 at 7:20 am

1. Am still car-less, so I’m staying home or walking places near home.
2. Took the toddler for his first haircut yesterday. I went to a local salon for a $10 haircut. The stylist did so good! It was cheaper than a kid-oriented place, and it was within walking distance of my house.
3. Chopped up some elderly spinach in my freezer and added it to a chicken and rice dish for dinner. No one complained, we all ate some extra green, and it kept the spinach from going to waste.
4. Made spaghetti sauce from some tomatoes that were about to go bad.
5. Eating meat out of our freezer still, so our grocery bill is lower and I’m avoiding food waste.


isabelle May 24, 2017 at 7:43 am

* Sold a sand box for 25$. We had bought it for 10$ many years ago.
* Used PC points to get 20$ of free groceries
* The garden is planted, and I already got a lot out of my rhubarb plants
* Birthday of a little friend. Got him a Paw Patrol themed gift for 16$ and completed the gift with a book and crayons we received for free at a party.
* Returned a pair of pants, a pair of shoes, shin guards, unopened toys and wrapping paper. Frugal in the sense that I didn’t let the retunrframe time lapse and just give the stuff away.
* Still driving my 2004 Toyota Echo. Has 267 000 km (166 000 miles) on it, makes wird noises, but still holding strong! Will keep it as long as it’s safe to drive and does not cost me more than a new car in repairs (So far so good. Maybe another year or two?)

Have a great frugal day!


Amanda May 24, 2017 at 8:45 am

1) A woman ran into my truck in a parking lot yesterday. Her insurance company has already written an estimate and initiated a payment to our bank account. Because our truck is 21 years old we will live with the scratches and dents and put the check directly into savings.

2) Eating a salad for lunch that I made at home even though I reeeeally want a burger. We’re planning to make homemade burgers for supper, so that should feed the beast for cheap.

3) I called and canceled our personal and business american express cards yesterday. It doesn’t save us any money (if they had offered me cash bonuses to stay I would have), but we have switched to cards with better rewards. Canceling the Amexs at least simplifies our finances a little.

4) Supper last night was waffles and fried eggs. I never buy bisquick, but the sausage ball recipe I make once a year calls for it. Then we make waffles and pancakes a few times to use up the rest. Plus I had been craving waffles with syrup and whipped cream since our brunch on Sunday. It was divine.

5) We got a $300 cash back bonus on our new business credit card for spending a certain limit within the first couple months. I am going to get a gift card which will cover half of our grocery budget next month. And of course we always pay off the credit card in full each month.


Vickey May 27, 2017 at 2:54 pm

We get 6% cash back on our groceries with AmEx. I’d love to know what card beats that, please.


Emily May 25, 2017 at 6:32 am

We moved to a new town outside Charlotte, so it has been an expensive week! But I’ll see what I can do.

1. Now that my full time job has ended for the summer, I am focusing on STAYING HOME a few days a week. This means I shop all day for items to list on ebay one day, then stay home and list the next.

2. Focusing on buying way less groceries and using up what we have. We had to toss so much during the move it made me sick, but we also have away a TON of food to a local church

3. Found a NEW J Crew wool coat yesterday at GW for 5 dollars, should sell for around 200. It is a beautiful turquoise and I am slightly sad it isn’t my size but oh well, better off with $$ in my pocket.

4. Getting back on the frugal bandwagon 1 step at a time!


Jen@FrugalSteppingStones May 25, 2017 at 4:52 pm

I was terribly excited because I got my MSN graduation cap and gown for free and a good deal for our one night hotel stay. I booked three shifts this week and was looking forward to a nice paycheck, then had to cancel them because our three year old got a case of the pukes.


Carol May 26, 2017 at 4:13 pm

1. Did no takeout this week, even though we usually do it at least twice. Have been cooking simple meals each night.
2. One of those meals was rice and baked beans. Have stretched it into several meals, and even brought it for lunch today, saving $2.75 that I’d spend at the school.
3. Using my grocery store rewards to get 20 cents off on gas. I buy the mid-grade gasoline, which should help my car run longer.


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