Friday, May 13, 2016

Frugal Friday Wrap Up 5/13/16



This was an amazingly frugal week for us!  My husband and I got so many things free by curbside shopping as the WSU students finished off yet another school year and headed home.  We are always amazed at what they toss out that really could and should be donated to thrift stores.  There were so many perfectly good couches, chairs and loveseats that were set out near or even tossed in the trash bins.  A simple phone call to any number of the thrift stores in the area would have had them coming to pick them up for free.  University of Idaho finishes out the school year today so this same process will be repeated there to a lesser extent.  I attribute this to the higher tuition costs at WSU and the students there (or their parents) have more disposable income.  The cars that the students drive for the most part also show this to be true.  I don't think some of these students have any clue about how hard many people work just to afford the things that they have so little disregard for.  Some of them are in for a rude awakening when they have to finally pay for their own way in life. ;)  Stepping down off my soapbox and onto sharing our savings.

Free towels

~A dear friend who is like a sister to me gave Jeff and I a precious gift.  She gave me some money and told me it was for a dinner date or, if I wanted, I could spend it on plants. ;)  I had just been working out in the garden before that and we always share our abundance with her and her family. :)
~I used the crockpot to make dinner in on one of the days when I knew I was going to be really busy working out in the yard.

Free bathroom rug that looked like it had never been used.

~I had a t-shirt that fit too tight around the neck.  I cut the neckband off and also cut off the sleeves.  I then gathered up the material near the shoulders and by the neckline and tied off each of those with some material I cut from the sleeves.  This made for a very comfortable garden work shirt that covers up my tummy well and my waist when I bend over to weed or plant things.
~I cut up a very ripe cantaloupe into cubes because I find that we will eat if before it goes bad if I do this.
~More shows were watched online. :)

Free bath mat that again looked like it had never been still had the tag on it.

~The apple juice that I buy from the stores is way too strong for my liking so I water it down a bit and then it is perfect for me.  This stretches the apple juice and I take in less calories this way.
~Jeff and I went curbside shopping on Saturday and found so many things that the students were just throwing out.  We got a nice dresser for Jaysn and Rachel, a small bakers rack, pots and pans, a huge very nice quality sombrero that was made in Mexico (we have a fun plan for this), lots of wood, very nice quality pots and pans, organizers, Crocs shoes that fit me, a brand new in package ipad portfolio cover, a new with tags scarf and hat set, clothing that I will wash and donate, rugs, household goods, a fake ficus plant that I will put out on the back porch. some perfumes, folding chairs and a 3D bluray player that we also gave to Jaysn and Rachel.  The strangest things we found were Walmart Shopping baskets...we will be returning these to Walmart.  Anything that we can't or won't use and our kids don't want will be donated to the thrift store.

Three free folding chairs.

~Heather made us a very nice dinner on Saturday as an early Mother's Day gift and Jaysn and Rachel took us out for a late lunch on Sunday.
~The mail held free magazines and coupons this week.
~I found some marked down canned biscuits for .25 a can.  I use these to make donut holes and malasadas.  It is cheaper for me to use these than make them from scratch or buy them in the bakery department.

Free small baker's rack rolling shelves and prelit Christmas tree (I have another support leg that will fit the tree).

~Jeff and I split a deli wrap instead of going out to eat while we were out curbside shopping.  Cheaper and much healthier.
~Heather, Chris and the boys gave me a beautiful plant and a carton of Whoppers for Mother's Day.  The grandkids promptly asked me to share my Whoppers with them.  LOL!
~We watched some dvds we borrowed from the library.

Free small cabinet.

~Jeff and I again went curbside shopping on Sunday since we were in town again to meet Jaysn and Rachel for lunch.  We scored big on cleaning supplies, 3 complete bedding sets in great condition, recycling bins, tons of clothing...some brand new, shoes (we are all but 2 pairs to the thrift store and any clothing that we or friends don't want), cutting boards, a cabinet, new moving boxes and the sheets of paper that go with them (will give these to a friend who has a daughter going off to college in the Fall), lots of pens, tape, erasers and binders, more totes, blow dryer, hair straightener (donating this), a prelit Christmas tree, so many really nice towels that we lost count, purses, a backpack, and even money!  I washed all the bedding, clothing and towels and ran them through a hot dryer.

Some of the free kitchen stuff we found.

~I love shopping at the Dollar Tree store.  This week I bought large jars of pepperoncinis, 4 bags of cheese tortellini, some strawberry and applesauce cups, and spinach dip mix,
~A stop at the thrift store got us a full sized spare tire for Jeff's car ($5), a new with tags shirt for me ($2.97), a picture frame, a Scrabble dictionary, a fan and some food storage containers for Heather.
~We are continuing to cool down the house at night by leaving the windows open until I go to bed at night.  We don't want to have to start using our swamp cooler until absolutely necessary.

More free kitchen stuff.  This rice cooker is one of the more expensive brands.

~We watched 3 movies that we had borrowed from the library over the weekend.
~We passed on some dvds that we had already watched to Rachel and Jaysn.
~I got an email from my mother asking if we would like the queen sized bed (to replace our's that has seen better days) that was in the "Eagle's Nest" guest bedroom suite that we used to stay in, we now stay in the "Lakeview" bedroom.  That bed is so comfy and they are needing to get rid of it.  My Dad and my brother will be bringing it over to us. :)  I am so thankful for their generosity and we will get another visit with my Dad and also with my brother who I have not seen since last year. :)

Some of the free bedding sets we found.  All were washed in hot water and then hung out on the line to dry.

~Heather and I, along with the grandboys, headed down to the valley to do some shopping.  The Safeway there is closing so we got some really good deals on things since they are marking everything way down.  I will not have to buy chicken bouillon for a very long time. ;)
~Heather was so sweet.  Since I drove my car down to the valley, she bought me lunch and a pair of earrings.  She also let me shop on her Costco membership.  I got some great deals on sesame seeds, pink Himalayan salt, apples, granola bars, cheese, salad, feta cheese, and yeast.

The Italian sausages I found on clearance all packaged up into meal sized portions and them frozen.

~Since our weather was nice this week, I hung almost all the laundry out to dry.
~I cut some flowers from the garden to make a bouquet for in the house.
~Signed up for some free samples of feminine protection products.

~Jeff got the rain barrel and the soaker hoses set up in the backyard gardens.  Jeff also fixed a leaking splitter with a washer from another hose that was broken and needed to be tossed.
~More homemade sourdough bread and croutons were made.
~I once again started putting the hot coffee into a thermal carafe after I got my fresh brewed cup in the morning.  It does keep it pretty hot for hours and I like that!
~This may not seem much like a frugal tip but for me it is.  I folded all the full sized sheet sets and put them in their respective pillow cases.  This makes it easy for me to know which sheet sets are full sized (for one of our guest beds) and which are twin sized (for the other 2 guest beds).  The sheet sets are some that I got free this week.
~After washing all the free linens I got this week, I separated them out.  There is one bedding set that I will not be using on our guest beds because it is very little girlish.  I am putting this set away for now and will either use it later when we have a granddaughter or I will reuse the more neutral duvet cover backing material to make new things with. :)

~Among the free finds this week were lots of pens and pencils.  I got all the white board markers sorted out from the rest and have them in a pretty glass that I use to hold those kinds of markers.  It has been fun having new colors to use on my white board (otherwise known as my "brain" since it keeps me organized).

~I sent off a fun birthday card to my father that I found at the Dollar Tree.  He is turning 78 in a few days. :)
~Thursday's mail brought me a box full of samples from "Pinch Me".
~I took advantage of another free photo offer from Walgreens and ordered a picture of my son Chris with our grandboys.

Free bedding set all folded up and waiting to be put on the bed in the front guest bedroom.  This set included the bedskirt, sheets, quilt, pillow cases and shams.

~One of my former students was working in the Shopko Garden Center and I was so happy to see him.  We shared a hug and he helped us get the best deals possible and turned us on to a coupon that saved us $10 on top of all the sales prices.  I paid a little under $20 and got 12 tomato plants, a Million Bells plant, 8 Lobelia plants, and 12 Petunia plants.

~Jeff was in need of new underwear and found some on clearance.
~I cut up and froze 2 bags of mini peppers and shredded and froze 3 bags of mozzarella cheese.

~Reusing hanging baskets from years past to pot up and create my own hanging baskets for 1/6th of the cost with some of the plants we got on Thursday.
~Using the water from the dog and cat's water dishes to water some plants each day before I refill the water dishes with clean water.
~I found some great marked down for quick sale items at the grocery store including 12 packs of Italian sausages.  I got 2 packages, brought them home and divided them up into meal sized portions and then froze them.

   I hope you have all had a frugal week and will have a great weekend also.  This is our first weekend in a long time where we do not have any outside commitments.  Our plan is to putter around here and work on some projects and in the garden, watch some movies here at home and use our hot tub.  Be blessed!


  1. Oh wow! You had a terrific week!
    Last year when we picked up our youngest son from University we couldn't believe the amount of perfectly good items left by the dumpster. I picked up quite a few things!
    I love that free bedding set you got for your guest room!
    Have a beautiful weekend ~

    1. Thank you Laurie! I'm glad you picked up some free items last year also. The bedding that will go in the fron guest room is just perfect for in there. That particular room is my "feminine old fashioned room" and has portraits of my great grandmother, grandfather, grandmother and West Point documents from my great grandfather hanging on the walls.
      I hope you have a wonderful weekend as well!

  2. Would you please share your recipe for malasadas made from canned biscuits? I've tried for years to make them from my mother-in-law's recipe and they always taste good but look like alien life forms. Where I live now none of the bakeries make them or even know what they are. Thanks in advance. Trish

    1. Trish, they are really easy. You just cut the canned biscuit dough pieces in half and then deep fry them until they are golden brown and them throw them in a bag with some granulated sugar in it and shake it well to coat them. They are not as good as the from scratch ones, but they will do. :) Was you MIL from Hawaii?

    2. You did great! That is a Zojirushi rice cooker, they are high quality and high priced, we've had ours since 1990 and it is still going strong. They are only for cooking rice though and not steaming vegetables like some of the cheaper ones.
      We have some cheap canned biscuits we got on sale with coupons at the commissary. Thanks for the reminder about making doughnuts with them.

    3. Rhonda, I have always wanted on the Zojirushi rice cookers but they were way out of my price range. I just felt like God had it put there just for me. :) I'm glad that I was able to remind you about using the canned biscuits for making donuts. :)

      Have a great weekend!

  3. You did so much it makes my head spin! I know Rhonda used to collect from the college 'dumps' at the end of the school year. She shared many items, one of which was a really really nice backpack that Katie still uses some 12 years later. I don't live near a college but if I did I'd do the same sort of collecting. Thank you for sharing your link in my blog post. I look forward to reading more of your frugal weeks!

    1. Hi Terri! I'm glad that Rhonda shared that backpack with you. I found a really nice Jansport one this time, along with some purses, that are in really good (we're talking like new) condition at this year's "college curb side shopping" trips.

      I'm always inspired by your posts on your blog. We had our Rachel and Jaysn stay with us too while they were waiting on the closing of their home and their lease had run out on their apartment. I have to say it was fun having them here. It really gave Rachel and I time to get to know each other even better and made our bond super tight. After I had my hysterectomy she even took time off from work to come and stay with me one night since my husband works the graveyard shift. :)

    2. Hi Debbie: Thanks! I'm grocery shopping tomorrow so canned biscuits are on my list. MIL was not from Hawaii but Portugal. Thankfully over the years I've, at last in my kids' opinion, turned the sugar shaking in a paper bag into an art form. Again, thanks.

  4. Hi Debbie,

    I just found your blog via Jess's (Mama Wolf in Kentucky) and boy, what a great frugal post to read on a Monday morning! You got tons of great stuff! I passed a cat litter box that someone had set by the curb next to their trash can on Saturday and I could use a new one but I never went back to get it. I feel awkward just grabbing stuff if there's no "free!" sign on it and I'm not even sure if it's legal down here. I should look into it. I should have thought to go drive by my son's campus when the school year ended a couple of weeks ago but didn't. However, I seem to remember that in years passed the university organized a charity event where all the students' discards were picked up by Goodwill and the likes. Again, I should look into it.
    Is your rain barrel located very close to your garden since you are running soaker hoses from it? I'd love to see a picture of the whole set-up. We just got a rain barrel and it would be nice to be able to use it like that, although my vegetable garden is about 10-20 feet away so I'm not sure how it would work. I guess using a regular hose from the barrel and then connecting a soaker hose to it?
    I was supposed to be productive today but I love discovering a new blog so I'll be reading back through your posts! I hope you have an equally frugal week this week!

    1. Hi Nathalie and welcome! The soaker hoses are actually connected to the frost free hydrant. I use the rain barrel water for the fruit trees and the flower garden borders. I can either attach a hose for the things that are close or I will use a bucket to gather the water in and then take it over and dump it on the trees. :) I would think though if your garden in on a downhill slope from your rain barrel that the gravity feel pressure would still make the soaker hoses work for you. :)

      I'm going to head over to your blog and explore there now! So nice to make a new friend. :) Be blessed!

  5. Replies
    1. Thanks Amy! I took a peek over at the shawl you completed and it is gorgeous! You are so talented. :)


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