Frugal, Not So Frugal

I cannot figure out how the days fly by so quickly!  I look at the calendar and see very few appointments, and yet the week still seems to roar by in a flurry of school, writing, laundry, errands…. and before I know it, it’s the weekend again.

I skipped Frugal Friday last week– I just had to get my e-book done. It ended up being 85 pages– no wonder it took me so long.  You have til Monday  to grab it at the sale price of $3.49. Then, if you’re game to share about it on facebook and shoot me an email, I’ll send you a bonus pack with 5 more pages about high school transcripts. Altogether that’s 90 pages of homeschooling info for $3.49.  A frugal bargain, right?

On the not frugal side last week, and also part of the reason I hardly blogged– we took a super quick 3 day trip to the beach.  Only 3 of the kids could come with us, so we got by with one hotel room that we got on (breakfast included). We packed food too, only ate out once a day, and gas prices are good right now.  We had so much fun.



It felt odd to be traveling with only three kids, but the three that could come love the beach as much as we do, so we had a blast.  And sunshine….oh, the sunshine.  It was 66 degrees in Newport, which is crazy-unusual. We felt so blessed. The beach is definitely my happy place.  And by the pictures, you can probably tell the girls feel the same way.

Silly Sisters


So, on to THIS week!

SweaterFRUGAL: We did a good job of eating leftovers out of the fridge this week– didn’t waste anything, and got a couple of nice lunches with zero extra effort.  Always a win.

NOT SO FRUGAL:  I went and got my hair done.  I added a little red this time, which I think turned out fun.  Spendy, but I usually get away with doing it only 3-4 times a year, so I guess it could be worse.

FRUGAL:  Found a cute J.Jill poncho/sweater at a thrift store.

NOT SO FRUGAL: It was $14, practically highway robbery in thrift store terms.  But it was so cute! And comfy!  Like a sweatshirt, but the teensiest bit more pulled together.  And  it would have been a lot spendier at J. Jill, right?  (I’ve never been there, so I actually have no idea.)

FRUGAL:  I found a couple birthday gifts on deep, deep clearance at Fred Meyer’s.  My gift stash is practically non-existent since Christmas, so it’s nice to be building it up again.

FRUGAL:  Took the girls to the library, which delighted them.  Sometimes I don’t get around to it.

NOT SO FRUGAL: Got a notice after returning the books that someone damaged a book.  Bah. The ups and downs of being a library patron.

So how did your week go?  Successes?  Fails?  I want to hear it all.

PS–Before I forget– I’ve started sending out a little newsletter/update every week or two, just telling highlights of what’s been going on around here.  If you’d like to keep up with what’s happening (or if you don’t always get here to the blog) just type your email address into the little widget on the right at the top where it says, ‘Let’s be email friends.’  That’ll get you included in those updates too.








  1. I really like the free cookbook at
    She wrote it with the idea that people should be able to feed themselves nutritious meals on $4 a day per person.
    And the story behind that book is very inspiring.

  2. ~Most frugal thing has been staying out of fabric and craft stores! I have plenty and don’t need to be tempted. I’ve also have not done much thrifting and that is a frugal and not so frugal since I haven’t bought stuff we truly don’t need but not so frugal because I haven’t been purchasing for my online selling.
    ~Saying that I did make a quick run into Salvation Army last week and found an entire rack of high end men’s clothes on a rolling rack out on the floor to be put out and that they had not yet priced.. All of these clothes had drycleaner tags and looked brand new and I could tell they had all come in as one donation. I found that the khaki shorts from Nordstrom’s would fit DS#1 and I got DS#2 six Joseph Banks polos, 3 in the color of his soon to be, in the fall, university. I got all of them for $28, after using a BOGO coupon for 1 item I had found stashed in the desk. The funny thing was the manager looked at the coupon and said that it was several years old. I said I had forgotten I had it and it didn’t have any expiration and he happily took it.
    ~ I had a $25 Rite Aid Reward that I received for transferring a prescription that was expiring> There were several items on sale that we needed so combining that manufacturer coupons, store coupons and the $25 reward I purchased 2 hair color, a shampoo, 2 big bottles of Listerine, 2 tubes of toothpaste, 2 packages of light bulbs, and 12 candy bars for $6.28 and I received back $20 in Rewards and a $3 Catalina so I have $23 to spend going forward.
    ~Received from another Freecycler a beautiful set of Woodstock wind chimes. They were new in the box and were exactly the type that I have been wanting for several years and had not bought since they sell for almost $70.
    Thant’s all for now since I’m off to work!

  3. Frugal: I am going to a wedding this weekend and needed a new dress. I found a really cute one at Nordstrom on sale for $27.00 and then found a cute yellow belt to go with it for $3 at Macy’s. Yeah! Plus, I get to wear the heels I purchased in Dec. for a Christmas party.

    Not Frugal: I had to get new bras and undies. Whoa! Expensive!! No wonder I wait until mine are literally falling apart.

  4. Gary Coryer says:

    Mary, I already get emails! Is this latest e-mail sign-up a different letter than what has been going out. Will I keep getting the old newsletter? My kids are used to having you around! When some new recipe shows up for dinner the first response from the kids is “Are you corresponding with that Mary lady again?” ;-)) So you are both famous and infamous in our household. Loved the pictures from the beach. The girls look like a happy crew.
    Thanks for all the great ideas and recipes!

  5. That sand sculpture of the flower is gorgeous!!!!!

  6. It sounds to me like that trip to the beach was done quite frugally. You went when gas was cheap, you took/made your own food, you got an inexpensive hotel… That could have been MUCH more expensive. And look what a fabulous sand flower sculpture they made! Great artwork there. That must have been a lot of work and shows good attention to detail.

    As I’m from Florida, your beach photos always fascinate me. It took a long time to get used to seeing sweatshirts at the beach, but even the vegetation is quite different.

    My frugality these past few weeks has been to simply stay out of places I could spend money, and chant the “just say no” mantra when it could not be avoided. I use my credit card as much as possible, since it earns me cash back (don’t worry, I pay it off every month to avoid charges). I find that also makes it easier for me to track spending, since I can basically just look at how much the bill is for the month. This month is one of the lowest in quite a long time. Which is good, since car insurance is due this month. I pay in full upfront to get a $300 discount, but it is a whopper of a bill when it hits since the kid is a young male. I’m sure you’ve also felt that wallop.

  7. Tia Bennett says:

    Your trip to the beach sounds devine. Sometimes it is just worth a little extra money for our mental health! Sounds like you did it rather frugally too.

    We have a new Aldi that just opened up a few minutes from us, so I stocked up on their grand opening deals. They gave $5 off 30 and let me use it twice! They gave free bags too. You can’t beat a bag of oranges for $1.99 in Indiana this time of year. I stocked up. Their Gluten free selections are pretty good too. Learning to eat gluten free has been a learning curve for us, and at times more expensive.
    My biggest savings of the month has been to not go to stores. I went to Kohls and only spent my kohls cash and reward money from Christmas on a new bedspread(down alternative) for my daughters room.
    My husband got a bonus and we spent the entire thing on paying off a debt(new windows). Felt good to get it paid off!


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