Five More Frugal Things

by Katy on December 22, 2014 · 19 comments

Chappy Chanukah

I’m doing another Five Frugal Things blog post today because frugality is an ever present part of my daily life. 

  1. I picked up my free ten-pound spiral ham from Safeway. My employer sends out an annual voucher for a free turkey or ham each December, and I make sure to get the most from it. I chose a 10.59-lb ham rather than getting a 9.5-lb ham as I would rather pay the $1 for the extra half-pound than not get the full value for the coupon. I imagine we’ll get at least a week of meals from the ham, starting tonight with a mixed bean chili sprinkled with diced ham! (And most frugally, all I bought at Safeway was the ham and three Luna bars for my husband’s work lunches.)
  2. I have the new Roz Chast book on hold and waiting to be picked up at the library. I’ll walk there, and also hit the Redbox in the Walgreens across the street to pick up a movie for tonight. (I have a code for a free movie.) To get your own free code, text MOVIENIGHT to 727272.
  3. My planned dinner for last night was the mixed bean chili with cornbread. Unfortunately, the crock pot beans were still undercooked at 6 P.M., so I switched things up and heated up two can of cream of crab soup that’d picked up at The Dollar Tree. I could have made some kind of quickie pasta dish, but the cornbread was already in the oven, and cornbread with pasta seemed too carb-tastic, even for me.
  4. I still needed to buy pajamas for my sons, as it’s an annual tradition for our family to have a new pair of jammies to open on Christmas Eve. I hit up one of my favorite Goodwills and immediately scored a pair for each of my teenagers. One $4.99 pair was still new with tag, and a $7.99 set was the half-off color! Doesn’t precisely fit with my Zero Dollar Christmas, but since this was the only thing I spent money on, I felt good about the purchase.
  5. Simple everyday stuff like wearing clothes more than once before washing, drinking tap water, decorating for the winter holidays with free greenery and stuff I already own, showering every other day, choosing holiday baking recipes that don’t require expensive ingredients and finding satisfaction in life’s simple pleasures like reheated leftovers and a crackling fire.

Now your turn. What frugal activities have you continued to do?

Katy Wolk-Stanley

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

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{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

cindy December 22, 2014 at 4:05 pm

I handmade lots of things. Put in to use skills for a braided rug my nana taught me 50+ yrs. ago. Used to make mini breakfast breads. Homemade things mean sooooo much.


Tracy December 22, 2014 at 4:19 pm

I stumbled across your blog a few months ago and really enjoy reading about your frugal ways. I wanted to bring your attention to your posts where you show a picture of a Hanukkiyah and talk about buying and consuming ham. One of the reasons the temple had to be rededicated and why we celebrate Hanukkah; was because pigs were being sacrificed on the altar and the temple was considered unclean. I am Jewish and some of your other readers might be as well, and they could find these posts to be disrespectful to their religious beliefs.


Katy December 22, 2014 at 5:12 pm

I’m sorry if this comes across as disrespectful. I do not keep kosher and feel that there is room in Judaism for many levels of observance.

Chag Sameach!


Christy December 24, 2014 at 7:25 am

I’m Jewish and don’t find this disrespectful. Katy, I love how you said “room for many levels of observance.” Works for me!
I hope you had a very happy Hanukah!


Jamie December 22, 2014 at 5:53 pm

Here are today’s 5 Frugal Things for me:
1. Drank coffee at home with my boyfriend after he repaired a french press he grabbed from his mom’s house.
2. Instead of going out to dinner or ordering out as we often do, we looked through his pantry and I picked up a few groceries on an errand I ran today.
3. Noticing my car was at half-tank and I found myself in an area with very cheap gas, I topped off…I’m driving 2 hours tomorrow morning so it’s good to have a full tanks!
4. Spent most of the weekend on the couch doing Swagbucks or running one of the apps on my phone. At home on the couch, I’m not out eating or shopping or wasting gas!
5. Noticed pet supplies were on special through and Swagbucks (6SBs per dollar) and it’s conveniently time for me to pick up another 30lb bag of kibble and flea stuff – used $20 in amazon credits I earned through Swagbucks and earned over $400 SBs!


Katy December 22, 2014 at 9:16 pm



Megg December 22, 2014 at 6:53 pm

I’ve been focusing on earning Swagbucks lately. I like to use my SB for Starbucks gift cards, which I add to the app on my phone. I love me some Starbucks (we’re gold members in this house!) and that helps me earn free drinks! (Yes, I know Starbucks isn’t frugal.)

Today and tomorrow I work a full shift, and chose not to take a lunch, because otherwise I would only get 7.5 hours (I work part time). Sure I only get 16 hours this week, but it’s better than nothing and better than 2 normal days, at only about 3 hours (unless I have other things like meetings).

We are doing a book drive for board books at work to give to doctors who will “prescribe” them to young moms in an effort to encourage reading for young children. I posted to my local buy nothing group asking for donations and was able to get a whole box of lightly used board books from several people! I was super excited, as even board books are not cheap.

I also scored a free puzzle from my buy nothing group which I will work on during our Christmas stay-cation while we’re both off work this week and next.


Katy December 22, 2014 at 9:11 pm

I enjoy a nice Starbucks treat now and then myself!


Kelly in MA December 24, 2014 at 5:34 am

I have a puzzle set aside for this weekend too. I’m really excited because I already had a frame that is the size of the finished puzzle and after Modge Podging it (a little white glue and water) I’ll also have a new piece of art for my house!


Diane C December 22, 2014 at 9:02 pm

Ooh! It looks like you’re on a frugal bender. Keep rockin’ the frugality, Katy! Frugality is a fine thing to indulge in at the holidays.


Sarah December 22, 2014 at 9:22 pm

I enjoy your blog SO much! 🙂
1. Dropped off donations at a local thrift shop this afternoon. Popped in the store and bought several cards for next year’s Christmas for 50% off. They were already at very reduced prices….example one box had 17 cards for $1.70, then 50% off!
2. Trying to figure out how to fix some things on my own so that I don’t lose even more money on my rental.
3. Stopped in at goodwill and bought a few little gifts that I will put away for next year.
4. Rented a free movie last night and tonight. Thanks, Katy!
5. bunches of clothes drying on the drying rack tonight. 🙂


K D December 23, 2014 at 3:58 am

1. Leftovers for dinner last night.

2. I haven’t been to the store or shopped online, as I don’t do the Christmas frenzy.

3. I gave a bunch of magazines I was done with to a fellow volunteer. She will read them and pass them along.

4. I am running Swagbucks videos as I doing my morning internet stuff.

5. By registering my daughter this week for a class I saved 10% over what it will be after this week.


Diane December 23, 2014 at 4:56 am

Continuing to stay out of stores, planning a frugal yet delicious Christmas Eve supper and Christmas morning brunch and enjoying such things as the spectacular Texas sunsets!


NMPatricia December 23, 2014 at 5:20 am

You number 5 really rang bells (in the spirit of Christmas) for me. As I go along through my day I think about little things that I do: dilute shampoos so they go a little further, not shampoo every day, wearing clothes more than once before tossing them in the wash (and marveling how little wash I have (it is just me)), making compost so we don’t have to go to the transfer station so often and so we don’t have to buy other soil amendments, before throwing away anything, I think about another use (however I try to prevent clutter too), when I think I need something, can I use something I have, repurpose something, or make something. I guess I would have a hard time making a “Five frugal things” list because this stuff seems so trivial but so ingrained. I have to believe it all adds up.


Jess December 23, 2014 at 6:39 am

1. My husband picked up 2 extra night shifts (for the differential) to pay for our son’s hospital bill. I think he earned just enough to cover the bill.

2. My daughter and I pulled out the sewing machine and made gifts from scrap fabric.

3. We are going rollerskating for free today using free passes sent home from school.

4. Got audiobooks from the library for our holiday car ride entertainment.

5. SAving all of the holiday giftbags we are gifted for next year.


Vickie December 23, 2014 at 7:48 am

-I just signed up for Swagbucks a few days ago, so I’m excited to earn my way to some free stuff.
-I passed along leftover pizza to my daughter yesterday, when I took the grandkids home. I didn’t want to waste it and she was glad to have a ready to heat & eat dinner for the kids.
-I’m picking up the flat-screen TV I bought my grandson for Christmas today. I had it on layaway at a Pawn store. I feel good about getting a good deal and not having to buy new!
-I’m on vacation and drinking coffee out of the used mini-coffee maker I bought at goodwill several months back. I only drink 1-2 cups of coffee in the morning, so this coffee maker is perfect for the days I drink coffee at home by myself.
-Time to sign-up to give blood. They usually give tickets to a free event and a free t-shirt. If I don’t plan to use the tickets or the t-shirt, I just pass them along.


Betsey December 23, 2014 at 7:57 am

I had friends over for meatloaf last night. As they are somewhat deaf, we decided that a dinner in someone’s home is much better than going out in a noisy place. I buy my meat from a farmer, and after the steer is butchered and wrapped, it costs me $2.25 a pound.
I decided to shovel my own driveway this year. I found a used snow thrower for $200 and since it cost me $40 a pop to have it done, so far it has given me half its cost back.
Since we do not celebrate with gifts any more, I gave the money I would have spent to a family at church who really needed it. We do all of this in the name of our Lord.
Would you believe this deal. I have a friend (wealthy) who ordered a new couch and loveseat. She used it for a month and then decided she didn’t like it. I loved it. I priced the set new for $1,600. She sold both pieces to me for the price of picking it up. $40!!!!! Sometimes I wonder if I were that rich, would I be so spendy? Nah.
Happy Holy Days, everyone.


Annie December 23, 2014 at 1:10 pm

1. Made some gifts, my Mom “expects” a fruitcake from me every year and I love making it for her and my colleagues who enjoy it.
2. Donating some of my vacation time to Mom to help clean and reorganize her kitchen as another Christmas gift.
3. Made plans to do more home cooking with my husband in the coming year. We had slipped into the “order-in trap” too many times this year because we did not plan well enough for when things get hectic.
4. Started planning my budget for 2015, don’t want to run into the same issue there as we did for item #3. Last year’s budgeting for 2014 worked well, except for #3, lesson learned!
5. Going to learn to cross-stitch this year. I have two kits that are just waiting to be tackled and will make nice gifts for next year.
6. Agreed for another year not to exchange holiday gifts with my husband so we can save towards a visit to his family on the West Coast. I have yet to dip my toes in the Pacific!


Kim December 23, 2014 at 5:25 pm

1. An older friend from church asked me to get ham for our annual church Christmas breakfast that is held the Sunday before Christmas. He and his wife were going to miss it for the first time in its 20 year history and he always provides the ham. He gave me $50 which I used to get 3 hams at $1.88/lb. which I sliced into serving size pieces and heated up for the breakfast. Three Spiral slice ham bones and gallon zip bag of leftover ham are now in my fridge. One bone is for red beans and rice and the other 2 will go in the freezer. My whole family loves ham so I was very happy to do this errand for a dear friend!
2. Ordered a $20 Nike E gift card from my Coke reward points for my son to use towards shoes at the Nike Outlet after Christmas. Also got myself a subscription to Country Living with my points.
3. Made $64 selling 5 things on my local FB yard sale group. A Playmobil 123 Set for $8, sealed Modern Family game for $5, a gift wrap organizer for $5, Little Tykes vintage football toy box for $40 and 9 votive candle holders for $6. My profit was $54 since 2 of the items had been free to me. Just started doing this last Friday so I’m very happy with the results!
4. Ordered a free children’s book from Kellogg’s codes. Ordered it in Spanish and I will take on my next mission trip to Nicaragua to the school I work with.
5. Stocked up on sugar at $1.49 for 4 lbs. Bought 8 bags.What can I say we drink a lot of sweet tea and I love to bake!
6. Took more books to used book store for credit and used to get my husband 5 audio books for Christmas. What they didn’t want I took to Salvation Army so 2 boxes of books gone out of my house! Win, win, win!


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