Have Any Frugal Wins to Share?

by Katy on May 20, 2012 · 27 comments

I love finding new and exciting ways to save money. I stock up on loss leader Tillamook cheese, ($3.99 for a 2-lb loaf last week, which I bought three of!) I clip my coupons and I scour the city of Portland for great inexpensive stuff to do with my family.

Just this week, I:

  • Used gifted movie passes to take the kids to go see The Avengers. If I used these vouchers when they were first given to us, then we would have missed out on this rather fantastic movie.
  • Jumped on the chance to take everyone to go see a Comedy Sportz show. These tickets are usually $15 apiece, but there was a special $5 deal that was too good to pass up.
  • Served hot dogs at my son’s birthday party that were leftover from a soccer camp my husband ran last fall. They’d been in our chest freezer ever since and were a great free meal to serve to the kids.

How about you? Do you have frugal wins to share with The Non-Consumer Advocate community?

Katy Wolk-Stanley

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

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{ 27 comments… read them below or add one }

Linda from Mass May 21, 2012 at 3:30 am

This week they had a killer sale with coupon on some cookies and snacks that my family loves. They ended up being $.50 per box. I stocked up. The summer is coming and my husband has cookies and milk every night. I don’t like to heat up the kitchen baking in the summer, so I purchased a bunch of these cookies at a great price. Normally the cost of the cookies would be $3.00 per box. A great savings.


Jackie s May 21, 2012 at 3:34 am

Yes i do!
A little backstory: i had an iphone on a family plan with my husband a year or so ago. I barely used it and it cost wayy too much money each month. I got rid of my phone, but had to keep the contract (&9 a month) cause i didnt want to pay hundreds of dollars to cancel it.
Lately, ive been needing to use my husbands phone for various calls; doctors appts, bill questions, etc. Then i remembered they have those “go phones” at best buy, and i found one i liked for only $9.99. I had $10 in rewardzone points, so my phone was free! I had at&t connect the phone to my husbands familyplan, and im still paying just $9 a month for my extra phone line.


Kimberly May 21, 2012 at 4:59 am

For Mother’s Day, the boys bought me:

a red daylily (from Thing One’s work — 15% discount — and there’s no negative environmental impact)

a new soaker hose from the local hardware store (Thing Two’s gift — used a coupon AND added points to my loyalty card — plus should help us have an amazing garden)

and we had dinner courtesy of an Olive Garden gift card I’ve had in my wallet for 18 months. We got it to go…and I opened a lovely bottle of wine that had been a birthday gift.

Love modeling frugal living for my kids. 🙂


Lori May 21, 2012 at 8:57 am

The “to-go” idea is great frugal win! You’re saving 15%-20% right off the bat since you aren’t paying a tip. Plus – the savings on the wine – which would be $$ by the glass at the restaurant.


Poor to Rich a Day at a Time May 21, 2012 at 5:35 am

Best this month has been foraging that harvested us 9 meals so far of fresh wild asparagus!

I was also able to get 5 2 liters of sierra mist for 30 cents per 2 liter….I don’t normally buy soda but it is really nice for weekend barbecues!


Linda in Indiana May 21, 2012 at 5:38 am

Used a coupon for deodrant that my husband always uses. Got two and only ended up paying a total of 37 cents for the two.
Neighbor caught a bunch of fish and had never canned fish before. Wanted us to can it and we got half and they got half. Now we have four pints to use just like you would canned salmon.
A friend doesn’t want to bother with his pie cherry trees. My husband picked them. We had a yummy cobbler and put enough in the freezer for five more.


Pamela May 21, 2012 at 6:58 am

I didn’t get anything cheap or free recently, but I did make a vegetarian lasagna from frozen vegetables I got on sale a couple of months ago that were in my freezer, sale noodles, and a bechamel sauce made from powdered milk on sale (and sage that I grew and froze).


hmbalison May 21, 2012 at 7:35 am

My family went to very expensive Montecito, CA this weekend. We spent a lot of $$ to celebrate my mother-in-law’s 85th birthday with my husband’s extended family, but we did economize as best we could.

We rented rooms at a hotel with a full kitchen so we didn’t eat out except for one meal the entire weekend.

Our family’s contribution was dinner and a breakfast.

I put a frugal focus on the dinner. We “shopped” in our pantry and I made two kinds of spaghetti sauce and green salad that we brought with us in an ice chest. We had three over-ripe avocados that I used to make a salad dressing. Dessert was brownies from a mix that I purchased for $1.00 and served with fresh strawberries. All in all, it was delicious and very frugal for all 11 of us.


Emily May 21, 2012 at 7:52 am

Due to some sales and coupons, I hit up Target yesterday and got 3 tubes of toothpaste, some ibprofen, and some allergy medicine for $2.50. Had I paid full price for these, it would have been around $20.

I also went to some yardsales yesterday and picked up (among other things) an audio book of Game of Thrones for $2. Those things are about $50 new, so I’m hoping to sell it on ebay for a nice profit. And if it doesn’t sell, then my fiance and I will keep it for some road trip entertainment this summer.


Emily May 22, 2012 at 12:17 pm

Update: the Game of Thrones audio book sold within a few hours for $21.75. Almost $20 profit=win!


Megg May 21, 2012 at 9:43 am

We toured a local (in my town! Small brewery for free yesterday! The tour included 4 samples which equaled out to a 16 oz glass of beer and a free glass, which we collect! Since we don’t need 2 glasses I am planning on giving mine to my brother-in-law for his bday, along with another beer glass I bought for $2.99 at the thrift store.
At the brewery we also bought a growler, which we can take to be filled at any brewery! Reusing the bottle saves us a lot of money, and it’s better than buying 6 packs in the grocery store!


Lisa May 21, 2012 at 10:03 am

We’ve harvested yellow squash, asparagus, and green onions from our garden and plums from a tree nearby at my Aunt’s house. They make great homemade wine.


Kelli May 21, 2012 at 10:08 am

Went to garage sales this weekend–100+ in one neighborhood….I will have to remember this annual event next year too. I scored a cardigan sweater with tags still on it for $2.50….it was a little hot (85 degrees) to be thinking about sweaters but I’ll be glad to have it next fall/winter. Also purchased a unique pyrex bowl set for $8 that I hope to sell on ebay for around $40.


Amy May 21, 2012 at 10:58 am

Just a quick question. How did you keep the hotdogs from getting freezer burnt? I haven’t had luck keeping things in the freezer that long.

My daughter did the frugal this weekend in a $10 prom dress, free updo at the salon and dinner at the home of a friend instead of restaurant.


Abby May 21, 2012 at 12:34 pm

A few weeks ago I found the mother lode of couponers’ garage sales. I bought 5 deodorants, 4 tubes of toothpaste and a twin pack of chapstick, all for $.50 each.


tonya May 21, 2012 at 1:38 pm

We did lots of frugal socializing this past weekend. Coffee and ice cream and beer with friends is cheap and it’s so much fun to catch up in person!
Those three things weren’t all with the same groups of friends, though, that would just taste bad.

I also stocked up on the loss leader sales at my grocery store.


Trish May 21, 2012 at 2:17 pm

Saved lots of money by talking myself out of the new Dyson cordless vacuum cleaner. I have mainly wood floors and HATE dragging my cannister vac around. The Dyson looked like just the thing, but after reading reviews I realized it wasn’t going to get done what I wanted it to do. So I am going to quit whining and stick to the cannister. Not that I clean that much anyway!


Valynne May 21, 2012 at 2:51 pm

I went to a clothing swap last weekend and ended up with three pair of designer jeans for $0. It is so hard to get jeans that fit me, let alone *free* jeans that fit so I am still riding the high : ) Not to mention I got rid of clothes I no longer use.

Aaaand we have planted several raised garden beds out back and cannot wait to pick our own veg, fruit, herbs and wildflowers this summer! I love that we now live at sea level and can grow so many things here…


A Frugal Spinster May 21, 2012 at 3:09 pm

I picked up a free (but slightly broken Bentwood coat tree) from the side of the road. cleaned it up and sold it on Craig’s List.


Meredith @ Slightly Scattered May 22, 2012 at 7:56 am

I was really excited to get a couple of $2/2 coupons for Silk around Mother’s Day. My younger son drinks almond milk because of an allergy, and I usually buy the half gallons for around $2.50 (whichever brand is on sale at the time is what I go with…). I went to Target a couple of days ago, and I saw that the Silk half gallons were on sale for $2.23 each! I immediately remembered the coupons in my purse, so I got 4 half gallons for $1.23 each!! That’s over a month’s worth of milk. Win!


Bonnie May 22, 2012 at 11:39 am

I return things that don’t work or fit. Every time we do a home improvement project we end up with extra stuff. I recently returned a small fitting for a 1.36 but I figure every dollar adds up and if we aren’t going to use it, it goes back. It’s important to keep track of receipts though, otherwise you end up getting store credit. I’d rather have the cash back.
Also, I have a Tracfone which I love. The phone cost me $10 a few years ago and I buy about $30 worth of minutes every 3-4 months. No contracts or monthly bills. And it works great.


Indigo May 22, 2012 at 1:39 pm

There are a few old barns, leftover foundations, and other such things in the area. I’ve talked to owners of the properties and they’ve been pleased to have someone come in and haul off a truckload of bricks or stone and slowly but surely I’m setting out my patio and edging for no monetary cost. Similarly I pick up sacks of used coffee grounds from a local roaster and manure from a farm to make the best compost ever. The best part is that I know this is keeping things from going to waste or ending up in landfills. It also means I’ll never need a gym membership.


Katy May 22, 2012 at 9:42 pm

Sounds great!



Heidi May 22, 2012 at 3:22 pm

This week Purex laundry detergent is on sale at my grocery store, $1.99 for a 50-oz bottle, and I have a 50-cent coupon which doubles, so final cost is $0.99. Actually I have 20 coupons (ordered from Ebay) which I am sharing with a friend.

Wish I had more frugal triumphs than that. Working full time makes it hard to hit goodwill. This weekend I will map out some tag sales.


Carol May 22, 2012 at 5:45 pm

I bought 9 items of clothing on clearance at Wal-mart for $1.00 each!
Regularly priced it would have cost $121.69 + tax. So I saved 112.69!!
Included were…
a man’s hooded Starter Jacket $19.50
Wrangler long sleeve work shirt $16.97
2 men’s long sleeve thermal shirts $12.87 each
a NCAA sweatshirt $24.00
3 pairs womens velour Danskin pants $12.00 each
1 Cocacola sweatshirt 11.48


Carol May 22, 2012 at 5:55 pm

oops…..$133.69 so I saved $124.69


Melissa May 23, 2012 at 7:03 am

Entenmann’s Bakery Outlet!

English muffins, loaves of bread, rolls. 3 for $3. For items that would be $3-4 each at the grocery store.


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