Thursday, December 29, 2011

Winter break.

Hi all! Just a quick note to say The Frugal Townie will be on temporary hiatus for a quick Winter Break. Expect new posts again the 2nd week of January. While I'm away, check out some of these entries you  may have missed:

See you next year!


Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Grocery deals round-up: Let's Make Some Soup!

The holidays are over, and I don't know about you, but I am tired of cooking/baking for a while. I'm ready to get out my slow-cooker and make some easy soup, roasts, and casseroles! Frugal tip: make a double or triple batch and freeze the extra for lunches or future dinners. There are some great deals on ingredients this week that will make it worth your while. Frugal tip 2: Don't forget to use up the leftovers in your fridge.

Prices below good until 1/3/12 unless otherwise noted.

Beans (Kidney, Chili, etc.)- $0.59/can @ HyVee & Aldi
Bell Peppers (Red/Yellow/Orange)- $0.88/ea @ Checkers
Cabbage- $0.39/lb @ Dillons // $.038/lb @ HyVee
Carrots (whole)- $1.19/2 lb @ Aldi
Onions- $1.69/3 lb bag @ Aldi
Potatoes- $2.49/ 5 lb bag @ Aldi 
Sweet potatoes- $1.59/ 3 lb bag @ Aldi
Tomatoes (Roma)- $0.68/lb @ Checkers
Tomatoes or Tomato Sauce (large can)- $0.99/29oz @ HyVee

Chicken Breasts (Boneless & Skinless)- $1.58/lb @ Checkers
Chicken Breasts (Bone In)- $0.88/lb @ HyVee
Beef Sirloin Filet Bacon Wrapped- $1.88/5oz @ HyVee (12/29 only)
Beef (Ground 80/20)- $5.97/3 lb roll @ HyVee (12/29 only)
Pork Sirloin Roast or Chops (Bone In)- $1.38/lb @ Checkers
Pork Butt Roast (Bone In)- $1.99/lb @ Aldi // $1.79/lb @ Dillons
Sausage Roll- $1.98/lb @ Checkers

Milk (Half Gallon)- 2/$3.00 @ Dillons
Noodles (Yolk Free)- $0.99/12 oz @ Aldi
Onion Soup Mix- $0.79/2 oz @ Aldi
Salsa (Picante)- $1.98/24oz @ WalMart
Sauerkraut (canned)- $0.65/ea @ Aldi

Photo from

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

How to Organize and Store Your Holiday Stuff

I hope everyone had a wonderful and relaxing holiday!

The time is coming soon to pack away the holiday things. I find staying organized to be an important part of living a frugal lifestyle. The "recycle, reduce, reuse" mindset only works if you know what you already have, where it is, and can get to it easily! So here are some tips on how to organize your holiday stuff before you put it away- you'll thank yourself next year!

  • Top Holiday Storage Tips from (My favorite tip from this page: Remember to store away your non-decoration items too- like dishes, cookie cutters, towels, DVDs, etc and save your everyday storage for stuff you use all year round!)

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Frugal holiday sweets

Lots of people make sweet treats for the holidays, but have you considered the expense (especially if you are buying pre-made dough, frosting, etc.)? There are certainly some goodies that are more frugal than others, and here is a list of my favorite "budget friendly" holiday treats! Better yet, they are pretty easy and won't take up too much time.

Photo from

  • Sugar Cookies This is the same recipe I use. I cut out shapes and decorate with buttercream frosting and/or sprinkles.
And remember, homemade treats are a great gift!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Frugal Christmas Dinner Shopping List & Favorite Recipes

Sample Menu: Cheese Ball & Crackers, Frugal Hot Chocolate, Fruit Salad, Ham w/ Brown Sugar & Pineapple, Roast Turkey & Gravy, Mashed Potatoes, Green Bean Casserole, Dressing, Rolls, Sweet Potato Pie (or Sweet Potato Casserole).  Click the linked items to see my favorite recipes. And remember, even if a recipe lists a name-brand ingredient (Campbell's Soup), it's always more frugal to substitute the store brand! Photo from

Shopping List with Best Deals in Lawrence, KS: (prices good until 12/24 unless otherwise noted)

Brown Sugar- $1.49/lb @ Aldi
Butter- $1.78/lb @ Checkers, $1.99 @ Aldi
Clementines (Cuties)- $4.98/5lbs @ Checkers, $4.99/5lbs @ Target
Crackers (gourmet style) $1.19/box @ Aldi
Cream Cheese- $0.99/8oz @ HyVee (until 12/20), $0.89 @ Aldi
Eggs- $1.19/dozen @ HyVee (until 12/20), $1.88/18 eggs @ Dillons (until 12/20)
Green Beans (canned)- $0.44/can @ Checkers, $0.49 @ Target,
Ham (Spiral)- $1.68/lb @ Checkers, $1.69 @ HyVee
Ham (Whole)- $1.19/lb @ Dillons (until 12/20)
Hot Chocolate- Make your own! See recipe here.
Milk- $2.99/gal @ Aldi, $3.19 @ Target
Onions- $1.69/3lb @ Aldi
Onions (French-fried)- $1.99/6oz @ Aldi,
Pie (pumpkin)- $1.48 @ HyVee (until 12/20)
Pie Crust- $1.89 @ Aldi, $1.99 @ Target
Pineapple (canned)- $0.78 @ Walmart
Pineapple (fresh)- $0.99/ea @ Aldi, $1.88/ea @ Checkers
Potatoes- $1.98/10lb @ Checkers, $1.99/10lb @ Dillons (until 12/20)
Rolls $1.00/12ct @ Dillons (until 12/20), $0.99/12ct @ Aldi
Soy Milk- $2.39/64oz @ Aldi
Soup (Cream of Mushroom)- $0.59/10oz @ Target, $0.69 Walgreens
Stuffing/Dressing- $0.99/12oz @ Target, $0.89/12oz @ Aldi
Sugar (granulated) $1.99/4lb @ Dillons & Hyvee (until 12/20), $2.79/5lb @ Aldi
Sweet Potatoes- $0.48/lb @ Checkers, $0.99/3lbs @ Aldi
Turkey- $0.78/lb @ Checkers, $1.09 Aldi
Whipped Topping- $0.69 @ Hyvee, $0.99 @ Target

Don't forget to share this list by clicking the buttons below!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

DIY Holiday Decor Papercraft

I'm really into paper crafts this year! These are my favorite easy & beautiful holiday paper crafts. Great paper can be had pretty cheaply- this week at Michael's I got pretty 12"x12" scrapbooking paper for 4 sheets/ $1.00. Click the links for the tutorials!

3D Paper Stars

Mod-style tree ornaments (love these!)

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Grocery Deals Round-Up: Fresh Produce and Nuts!

I can tell by the sales going on that the winter crops are coming in. It is usually the most frugal to buy in-season produce, plus it is the most fresh & tasty! Look here for what is in season now. 

Here are the best prices on fresh produce & nuts this week. (Prices good  through 12/20 unless otherwise noted.)

Apples- Royal Gala $0.99/lb @ Checkers, Washington Jazz $1.18/lb @ HyVee
Avocados- $0.79/ea @ Aldi,  $1.00/ea @ Dillons
Bananas- $0.19/lb @ Checkers on Thursdays! (Not “in season” but a great deal.)
Bell Peppers (Red, Yellow, Orange)- $0.98/each @ Checkers (This is a great price! I got a bunch and cut them up and froze them. Perfect for homemade pizza, stirfry, enchiladas, etc.)
Bell Peppers (Green)- $0.48/each @ Checkers
Broccoli- $0.99/lb @ Aldi
Cabbage- $0.33/lb @ Checkers, $1.29/head @ Aldi
Carrots (Baby)- $0.88/lb @ Checkers, $0.99 @ Aldi
Clementines (Cuties)- $4.98/5lb @ Checkers,  $3.99 @ Dillons    
Cranberries- $1.49/12oz @ Aldi, $1.69/12oz @ HyVee
Cucumbers- $0.48/each @ Checkers, $0.49 @ Aldi
Grapefruit- $0.33/each @ Checkers, $3.99/10lb @ Dillons
Grapes (Red Seedless) $2.18/lb @ HyVee, $2.99/2lbs @ Aldi
Mangoes- $0.99/each @ HyVee & Aldi
Oranges (Navel)- $1.48/4lb @ Aldi
Pears- $1.99/2lbs @ Aldi, $1.25/lb @ Dillons
Pineapple (whole)- $0.99/each @ Aldi
Potatoes- $1.99/10lb @ Aldi, $1.99/10lb @ Dillons
Sweet Potatoes- $0.99/3lb @ Aldi

Almonds $4.99/16oz @ Dillons, $3.99/12oz @ Aldi
Pecans $6.99/14oz @ Dillons, $3.99/6oz @ Aldi
Walnuts $6.99/14oz @ Dillons, $6.53/16oz @ Target

photo from

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Free entertainment in Lawrence, KS

Lawrence is a great place to live for frugal entertainment. You may be aware of some of these no-cost recurring events, but hopefully you will learn something new too. If you know of other fun, free things to do, please leave a comment!

Free Music: 

Free Art:

Other Free Activities:

I found many of these events at Events and Visit Lawrence Events - check them out for more ideas! 

Monday, December 5, 2011

Frugal gift-wrapping ideas.

Wrapping paper and gift bags can add what I think of as "hidden costs" to gift giving. You're thinking about how much you are spending on the gift, but did you factor in the cost of wrapping it? For a medium size gift bag and coordinating tissue paper and maybe a ribbon, it is easy to spend $3.00 - $7.00. There have been times where I realized I spent more on the wrapping than I did the gift! I'm here to tell you how to wrap gifts for free or very cheap.

  • Paper, gift bags, and ribbon bought on super-clearance after Christmas in past years. I like to buy solid colored paper or bags in gold, bright green, or blue and use it year round for all occasions. As a rule I don't pay more than $1.00 for a roll of paper/ribbon or $0.50 for a gift bag (less if they're small!) I've found Walgreens and Target to be good places to pick up cheap wrap after Christmas, but most any place will have some good deals. 
  • Fabric scraps leftover from projects. I use fabric and wrap it up just like I would with paper. Then I put ribbon or string around it to keep it closed. Sometimes with larger packages you may need to use a few safety pins. Or, you can try these gorgeous ideas, again from ApartmentTherapy. I like to do this method for crafty friends, because I know they'll enjoy having a piece of fun fabric to use. 
  • Pages from old calendars, books, or magazines work great for wrapping small gifts. Or, use the pages to make origami boxes. 
Please share your frugal gift-wrapping ideas, I know there are lots more!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Birthday freebies in Lawrence, KS

Mr. Townie's birthday was this week, which reminded me to share about all the birthday freebies in Lawrence.  In 2010 the LJWorld did a nice write-up of birthday freebies. By far my favorite Lawrence birthday freebie is going to Liberty Hall to see a movie for free, plus free popcorn and soda, plus a free movie rental.

A couple could easily have a night out for a birthday in Lawrence for $20 (buy one dinner and one full price movie ticket), perhaps as little as $6 (share the free dinner, and buy one student rate movie ticket.)

Here are a few more birthday freebies not on the LJWorld list (most require you join their email list, so click the links!):
Free cookie dough from Papa Johns
Free milkshake at Arbys
Free bagel and schmear with drink purchase at Einstein Bros.
Free burger at Dempsey's Burger Pub
$10.00 off coupon at World Market

UPDATE: I updated this 7/19/12 with some new links, etc. Click here for the new entry: Birthday Freebies Update