Five Ways I’m Saving Money

by Katy on June 27, 2011 · 27 comments

I have been very busy this week, working the past three days out of four, (directly after having house guests) readying my house for another round of hosting British soccer coaches, and sprucing up the landscaping for a frugal gardening TV spot I’m doing on Wednesday morning. But in the midst of the busy-ness, I always find time and energy for money making tricks and activities. Such as:

  1. Chopping up two large heads of garlic in the Cuisinart to keep in a canning jar in the fridge. To fill a small pint jar cost me 66¢, which is around 1/3 the cost of the pre-chopped garlic at Trader Joe’s. Super handy to have on hand!
  2. Knowing my garden needed to look its very best, I spent my efforts weeding, scrubbing the hardscape and rearranging pots. NOT participating in budget busting panic shopping at the plant nursery.
  3. Brought my own lunches to work and drank the nasty free coffee instead of heading to the in-hospital cafe for a latte.
  4. When I realized I would have two extra guests at dinner last night, I sprung for a takeout pizza. That is, a Groupon pizza, which cost me $10. Except that it was actually free as I had credit from all my lovely readers who click on my links. (Thank you, and keep on clicking!)
  5. I finally finished listening to the 28 disc library audiobook of Uplander. I knew it would not renew, so I made sure to listen to it whenever possible so it wouldn’t accrue overdue fines.

How are you working to save money these days? Please share your ideas in the comments section below.

Katy Wolk-Stanley

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

{ 27 comments… read them below or add one }

No Debt MBA June 28, 2011 at 4:03 am

I’m packing lunches and we made pizza last night instead of ordering. About $2 for the cheese plus what we had in our pantry/fridge already and much healthier than what we’d get delivered.


Vicki June 28, 2011 at 4:18 am

I’m taking my baby to visit my family in Florida next week and I had to buy some things for him. Two baby bathing suits at a local consignment shop for $1.50 and a new toy for the plane from craigslist for $2. I also made him a little travel blanket from scraps. Lots of reusing!


Jennifer June 28, 2011 at 4:32 am

I’m working on consistently packing my lunch instead of succumbing to the temptation to eat out with coworkers, which is my biggest budgeting issue. I’m lucky enough to have decent garden space and am enjoying awesome green beans, snap peas, and onions so far from just a few dollars worth of seeds. Very much looking forward to tomatoes! Heading to Goodwill on Thursday to try to find some crop pants/shorts for summer.


Jennifer G. June 28, 2011 at 4:39 am

All I had to buy for dinner last night was eggs!

I did buy donuts for the office today, but I had a $1 off coupon.


Kimberly June 28, 2011 at 4:48 am

I’ve stopped using my dryer for everything except towels this summer. I’m hanging it all to dry. I thought it would be a huge chore, but really it hasn’t been.

And I’ve been calling all of my services, and having conversations with them to get my bills down (cable, newspaper subscription, etc.) So far, I’ve whittled down about $57/month.

And I’ve re-entered the world of thrift store shopping. Bought my youngest a bike for $7 and found some amazing outfits for me the other day, grand total $11. And these were items that were NEEDED, not just added clutter to my world. Yeah!


Anne Marie @ Married to the Empire June 28, 2011 at 12:31 pm

Hanging my laundry to dry is what made me learn to love doing laundry. Weird, I suppose, but I’ll take it! And because I now love doing laundry, I plan to cloth diaper when our baby is born.


Jackie June 28, 2011 at 10:18 pm

Same here! I hate doing laundry, but when I hang it out I look forward to it.


Madeline June 28, 2011 at 5:21 am

Was inspired by your marble-selling on ebay.I have 4 mason jars of old marbles my Dad gave me from when he used to have a thrift shop back in the 60’s! –gotta be some valuable marbles in there somewhere!! I need to go to the library and research,then figure out how to sell on ebay!!!


Paula in the UP June 28, 2011 at 5:28 am

I’ve been wanting a glass pitcher with a lid, guess where I found one??? Goodwill!! So I now make my own ice tea to bring to work instead going thru McD’s drive thru each morning. Saving $1.06 a day x 4 days of work = $4.24 a week. That has more then paid for the pitcher in one week!

I have a very small wardorbe that is easy to maintain, I don’t need special “work clothes” so that doe help, but I can get by with a minimal amount of clothes and I always get to wear my favs cuz that’s all I own!!!


Jennifer @ Fast, Cheap, and Good June 28, 2011 at 5:42 am

Even as we speak, a load of laundry is finishing up awaiting its turn hanging on the line. I try to hang most of my laundry outside in the summer.

Also, I have been spending some extra evening downtime crafting items to sell in our Etsy store (Carrot Creations). Not making a ton of money yet, but every bit of profit will go straight into a savings account and hopefully pay for a future vacation.


Megg June 28, 2011 at 6:30 am

We’re saving for a vacation to Hawaii next February! I’m super jealous of the people going away this summer, but it’s OK because it’ll be worth it to pay cash for our vacation next winter.


Marie-Josée June 29, 2011 at 10:23 am

I’ve just returned from a three week vacation to Hawaii and it was worth every penny we spent. Enjoy!


Megg June 28, 2011 at 6:29 am

Packing lunches, as usual. Trying to go a week without grocery shopping (cooking out of the freezer). This might not work because we really need fruit.
Sold a bunch of old baseball and comic book cards on ebay for $60. That’s going into the furniture fund!
Hung laundry out this weekend. I did 3 loads of laundry and only ran the dryer once!


Indigo June 28, 2011 at 7:04 am

As a teach out on summer vacation I’m having fun on the cheap and frugal side. I carpooled up with some friends to DC, took the metro into the city to save on frustration and parking, where we stayed at a friend’s apartment and we pitched in for groceries and at there. Visited the many free museums and just enjoyed walking around.

Later this week I’m carpooling with friends down to Savannah to visit my best friend for a week. We’ll be doing more of the same plus the beach. Even if your friends don’t live in exciting places it’s nice to get a change of local.

During all of this my grandparent’s will be watching my dog in exchange for some yard work and painting they need, saving us both money. My neighbor is watching my cat in exchange for the computer help I give her.


Atsquared June 28, 2011 at 9:19 am

Learning to sew from a friend, so I can make gifts for my littles and repurpose clothing and fabric that I already have.

Setting up our tent in advance of our family camping trip and deciding that we can squeeze in now that we are a family of 4. We thought about buying a bigger one, but we’re going to make do for now.

Cutting back on my Diet Coke habit. Good for me, and good for my wallet!


Lisa June 28, 2011 at 9:33 am

I’ve been foraging. In the past couple of weeks, I’ve gathered plums, blackberries, and mulberries. They’re great for making jams, jellies, and wine. With gas prices so high, we walk to take care of business and errands. Closed curtains keep the Summer heat outside, and our small window air conditioner is only used in the bedroom at night. Morning glory vines shade our front porch on the West side. I sold my clothes dryer ages ago and enjoy using my clothesline.


Anne Marie @ Married to the Empire June 28, 2011 at 12:36 pm

I’ve been sewing this week! I bought a book a few months ago (so not saving money there, I guess), but didn’t get around to trying it out until this week. (It arrived during the height of morning sickness, and it was all I could do to keep us in clean clothes and fed!) Anyway, this week I’ve been going through my fabric stash and working on using my new book to learn to make reversible bags. First attempt was a total success yesterday, so now I’m going to make one today that will be used for my camper I adopted. (We do Adopt-a-Camper at church where you “adopt” a kid who is going to youth camp. Send them off with a bag full of their favorite snacks and whatever else and the promise to pray for them all week.) I just happened to have some denim from a Goodwill dress I used for a Halloween costume, along with some other fabric in my camper’s favorite colors, so she’s getting a bag that cost me nothing to make other than time!


Alison Wiley June 28, 2011 at 1:48 pm

It takes fortitude to drink the nasty free coffee at work instead of buying the fancy stuff made by the professionals. I, too, have been following this noble path! Saves a lot of money over the weeks and months.

My other best current tricks are in my latest post:


Tracy June 28, 2011 at 3:07 pm

I have always thought of purchasing garlic in the jar too but would rather chop it up myself. How does it stay good in the fridge? Do you pour olive oil on it or?? The reason I have never purchased it is I thought it would go bad before I used it up.

I live in a condo in the pacific NW and don’t/aren’t allowed to hang laundry out. I just use a hanging bar in my master bedroom to hang the load of jeans on to dry. It may take a while longer to dry but the dryer savings are worth it. The towels usually have to go into the dryer since I only have one set and have to get those back in the bathrooms for the next shower.


Katy June 28, 2011 at 10:29 pm

I just store the chopped garlic in a small canning jar in the fridge and have not had a problem with it keep fresh.



Donna June 30, 2011 at 10:58 am

What a great idea! I never thought about pre-chopping it. I always chop it each time I use it and that is sometimes a pain if I’m in a rush. Thanks Katy!!


Emily June 28, 2011 at 8:14 pm

Ah, I was going to ask about how you handle the garlic, but Tracy beat me to it! I always chop my own garlic, but it would certainly be a great timesaver to do a bunch at once and refrigerate it if it would keep for a while.


Mama Minou June 28, 2011 at 10:11 pm

Trying to make extreme saving into a game while the rest of my family is on vacation visiting far-away family (sniff).

Food: I’m trying to use up what’s in the cupboards, fridge and freezer and forage from the garden & neighbor’s gardens (with permission). Switched to tea when the coffee ran out instead of buying more.

Transportation: Trying to always bike to work instead of driving and batch weekend errands together.

Energy: Turning off every power strip in the house during my work day and trying to use just 1-2 lights or energy sources when home.

Other: Redeeming bottles from neighbors’ recycling bins (enough to purchase milk); using “family cloth” instead of TP for some needs, the Keeper & cloth pads instead of disposables/tampons… and finally, just plain old thinking twice then not spending!


NoraJane June 29, 2011 at 9:22 am

This morning I walked from my futon on the 3rd floor all the way down to the kitchen, using my own two feet (rather than my neighbor’s or taking the city bus, which runs infrequently from the 3rd floor on down). THEN, I played a real piano rather than the Cassio, saving still more energy (though I consumed my own energy but not a lot).


Bobbi June 29, 2011 at 4:05 pm

I brought my lunch to work today, and made coffee at home this morning instead of buying a latte on the way to the office. I tried to take the MAX but the transit center parking lot was full, so I had to drive downtown and pay for parking, $11… grrrr!!!


MrBradS June 29, 2011 at 6:25 pm

Hi great tips! My wife does the groupon thing too and it’s very useful only when she buys coupons for things we actually use and need, like food. There are many ways to save money, she packs my lunch and i’m one of the lucky guys at the office that eats healthy homemade food, turns out I’m better off without eating overpriced fattening fast food. We also swtiched to tracfone this year, it’s a prepaid cellphone service and we pay for what we use instead of 80 dollars a month for a service we didn’t need. Thanks for the tips, will visit your blog often 🙂


Margaret August 20, 2011 at 4:19 pm

“Knowing my garden needed to look its very best, I spent my efforts weeding, scrubbing the hardscape and rearranging pots. NOT participating in budget busting panic shopping at the plant nursery.”


This attitude could be applied to so many things in life. Getting ready for a wedding where you will see people you have not seen in a long time, cooking something simple from scratch for guests instead of something a la “Sandra’s semi-homemade”… the list could go on. Thank you for this… it is so refreshing to know that someone else thinks this way!!!!!


Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: