Free Pile


Driving home Sunday evening I saw a free pile on the side of the road. It appeared to be the remains from a Garage Sale, or maybe someone was just cleaning house.

What originally caught my eye was a patio umbrella. It turned out to be torn. But one I was out of the car I was able to see a box of shoes. SCORE! This pair of Tevas in my size were a little dirty but otherwise look to be in great condition. I couldn’t find this exact style but Teva sandals retail for between $40-$100.

this is my second great shoe find in less than a week. I also found this NEW pair of L.L. Bean hiking boots for $14.99. That’s quite a bit for me to spend at Goodwill but they retail for $109.

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“that’s not what it was intended for”

Did you ever break something only to be told, “it was never meant to be used that way”

I find that in my frugal lifestyle there are lots of situations where I have to make do with what I have on hand and that often means using something for other than it’s intended purpose.

Bykeeping an open and creative mind I often see potential in something that is outdated and therefore throw away or donated to a second hand store.

5026.lable making

For instance:

Remember 3 ½” floppy computer disks?

These labels were bagged together with something I purchased from a second hand store. Knowing they had some potential I’ve held on to them.

I’ve been making jam and need some canning labels.

5032collection of jams

Using a circle punch and the floppy disk labels I’ve found a cost free solution.

Leave me a comment if you do the same thing.

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A Particularly Frugal Day Recap

Here we go

in no particular order…

1. shop at thrift stores

2. Find volunteer opportunities that provide FREE entertainment

3. buy groceries on sale

4. purchase the heaviest chicken available

5. use masking tape to label freezer containers

6. except free food from friends and family

7. Freecycle (remember to give as well as receive)

8. Use rice and beans to stretch your food budget

9. make big batches of food and freeze left-overs

 10. grow your own garlic

11. use home-made jams as gifts

12. pick up coins you find

13. shop at garage sales

14. sew home-made gifts with supplies from second-hand stores

15. reuse your foil wrap as many times as possible

Not strictly FRUGAL but two points to keep in mind

Be thankful for neighbors who look out for your safety

Share thrifted bargains with less fortunate people


Fifteen frugal activities in one day, not too bad.

 What frugal ways did you employee today? Tell me about it in the comments.



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A Particularly Frugal Day- part IV

“Rice and beans” are go-to budget foods.

I love that we have long evenings in the summer After dinner I still had time to finish my plans for the chicken. When it had cooled I pulled the meat from the bones, added some rice, black beans, corn, shredded cheddar and taco seasoning. Mixed it all together and filled 28 tortillas. I got this idea from Tammy (

making burritos

I wrapped the burritos in foil and store in the freezer.

I love these burritos as a quick meal or snack and I try to always have some on hand in the freezer. Since they do not mess up the foil, each time I eat one I smooth the foil and save it for the next batch. I think I get 3-4 uses out of every sheet.

recycled foil

I recycle the zip-lock bag the tortillas came in by using it as a freezer bag for the burritos.

burittos for freezer

When I want to eat one of these tasty and filling burritos, all I have to do is pull it from the freezer and warm it up in the toaster oven for about 20 minutes.

Tomorrow I’ll conclude this series by enumerating my frugal ways.


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A Particularly Frugal Day part III

Yesterday you read about my very productive morning of thrifting.

After the thrift stores I went to Wild Birds Unlimited. I had to come up with a Plan B for my gift card since I found the feeder I wanted at Goodwill.

WBU price  GW Price

After telling the sales clerk my GW story she suggested I buy a rain shield for the feeder. Perfect, as the rain shield was just a few dollars more than the value of the gift card.

The feeder with rain shield hanging on my fence

The feeder with rain shield hanging on my fence

From there I went to the grocery store where I picked up a whole body fryer for 99¢/lb. And 4 packages of flour tortillas, on sale for $1.99 each.


My mother taught me the best deal is on the heaviest chicken. The skeleton of chickens no matter how big or small weigh about the same. If you choose a small chicken you are paying more for bones.

heaviest chicken

After the grocery store I stopped by my sister’s house. She is also very frugal. I think it is in our genes.

She had been making some homemade ravioli and gave me some to take home


When I got home it was time to start dinner.

I wanted to BBQ my chicken so I started up the grill. I got this grill from FREECYCLE

It’s a charcoal grill and starting the briquettes is a little smokey. So smokey, that one of my neighbors came over to see if my house was on fire.

where there is smoke

I prepared the chicken with some olive oil and garlic, but since the garlic in the garden wasn’t ready to harvest

garden garlic

I had to use dehydrated garlic chips

Once the coals were hot, I put the chicken in a $2 garage sale roasting pan & put it on the BBQ.

chick on grill

Meanwhile it was getting late. I was hungry and the chicken wouldn’t be  ready for at least an hour.

I pulled some spaghetti sauce from the freezer,

Spagetti sauce

zapped it in the microwave while I cooked the ravioli. I didn’t have any French bread to make garlic bread with so I spread garlic butter on a slice of sour dough toast and called it good.

dinner of ravioli

 Come back tomorrow to see how I finished up my frugal day.

 Is frugality a way of life in your household?

Do you incorporate a few frugal ideas into a more traditional life style?

Are you just beginning to get interested in frugality?

Leave a comment telling me about your frugal journey

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A Particularly Frugal Day- Part II


WOW! I got several “likes” and a couple of new followers from the first instillation of my frugal day post. I hope the rest of the story is equally popular.

For several years I have volunteered at a neighborhood school, helping with an after-school club called ECO CUBS. Eco Cubs offers forth – sixth graders opportunities in outdoor learning activities and environmental awareness.

How is this frugal? As well as the satisfaction of passing on my love of nature to the future generation, I get a lot of entertainment from my time spent with the children. Two hours of FREE entertainment every other week is FRUGAL entertainment.

Eco Cubs 

As a thank you gift the teacher-advisor of the group gave me a gift card to Wild Birds Unlimited. I immediately knew that I wanted to use it to purchase a new finch feeder (one the squirrels can’t raid). 

Gift card in hand I set out.

The agenda for the day:

Wild Birds Unlimited

Grocery shopping


Visit with my sister.

I stopped at four thrift stores: two Goodwills, St. Vincent de Paul and Deseret Industries.

44136-25-14 Lynnwood GW $3.04 

At the first Goodwill I picked up:

A bag full of toothbrushes (to be donated to a rescue mission)

4 jelly jars. Goodwill sells all mason jars for 20¢ each. I make homemade jams and give it as gifts so I’m always on the look out for inexpensive jelly jars.

A puppet pattern. I just think it’s cute. I love to sew and some time in the future I’ll need a gift for a child.

Total $3.04

Next stop Deseret Industries

4412 6-25-14 DI$1.37

I spent $1.37

ornament holder

On a hook to display one (of my many) bird ornaments.

towel storage

and a basket that I’m using as towel storage but I may come up with a differant use later on.

At my second Goodwill I was delighted to find.

GW feeder

The very finch feeder that I planned to get with the WBU gift card. Although it needed a good cleaning it was in perfect condition. The price at GW is much more reasonable with tax it came to $4.37.

I’ve always got my eye out for found money, and for some reason I always find a penny or two at this particular Goodwill. So I was a little disappointed when I left without finding anything. That is until I got to the parking lot where I found not a penny but a dime.

dime in parkinglot

My 4th thrift store was St. Vincent de Paul. I didn’t find anything there. 

To be continued……….

Do you pick up change (or bills) you find on the ground? Why or why not?

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A Particularly Frugal Day

Frugality is a lifestyle for me that I don’t even think about most of the time. I do frugal things on a daily basis without giving it much thought but occasionally so many frugal things fall into place that I stop and take notice. Such was the case recently.

I know some of my readers are just beginning to adopt a frugal lifestyle and they might like to know just what that looks like in day-to-day experience.

Others, like myself do frugal stuff regularly but get a thrill from reading of the successes of other frugal minded people. For both categories of readers I offer details of a particularly frugal day.

So many of my frugal ways all came together on this one particular day that it will take me all week to tell you about it.  

Today you just get a few photos as a tease.

 Eco Cubs

recycled foil

where there is smoke


dinner of ravioli

Come back tomorrow to read more.

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