Five Frugal Things

by Katy on June 24, 2017 · 102 comments

  1. I worked the past two days and brought my lunch both days, even though this meant taking one for the team with an impressively bruised banana and some dull enchilada leftovers that were probably a day or two past when they should have been eaten. However, I splurged on Vietnamese takeout for tonight’s dinner. This is a true example of saving on the daily boring stuff so your money is available for the big splurges.

  2. I sold another item through my eBay account. Not a brag worthy sale by any means, but I’m not one to turn my nose up at extra income. Best of all, I was able to print the postage from home and simply hand the package to my mail carrier.

  3. I attended a required three hour certification class this afternoon, which included an additional two hour test. I’ll make sure to stop by the hospital this weekend to submit the required paperwork to include these paid hours in my next paycheck.

  4. My husband will be hosting a huge backyard party at our house for his employees and soccer buddies. He was able to borrow a heavy duty pressure washer from work to dislodge some of the moss and generalized scum from our play structure/tree house. There is no reason for each household to own infrequently used items when people (or companies) can share them. For example, we own a steam cleaner which is currently lent out, as well as a fire pit that’s being borrowed by a co-worker.

  5. I successfully wore a secondhand outfit for a TV appearance this week. Mind you, I didn’t shop for this specific event, I simply pulled clothes from my closet. I’ve decided that I’ll wear the exact same thing for a TV interview this Monday, as I’m not interested in giving even 1% of my meager brain power over to “what will I wear?” If it works for Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg and Barack Obama, it can work for me.

Now your turn. What frugal things have you been up to?

Katy Wolk-Stanley

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

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{ 102 comments… read them below or add one }

Shevaun June 24, 2017 at 11:57 am

1. Took an online defensive driving class from AAA. The class cost about $29 plus a day of multitasking with other computer-chores. It will save us a total of $300 over 3 years.
2. Convinced DH to take online defensive driving class. If he completes it, we’ll save an additional $500 over 3 years.
3. DS is getting tired of plain ol’ babyfood (homemade, but single-ingredient purees). So now I take a serving of whatever we’re eating as a family and pop it in the food processor with a bit of water or milk and zap it a couple times. He’s happy.
4. DD2 has a fascination with DS’s frozen babyfood cubes (I puree fruits and veg, freeze them into icecube trays, then transfer to ziploc freezer bags). She has thus begun eating a ton more fruits and veg as long as I let her lick the frozen cubes like a hand-held popscicle. Whatev’s.
5. DD1 has her first job! Congratulations, kiddo! She has suddenly learned the value of a dollar and is excited to share with me her ‘good deals’.
Bonus Edition: Garbage-picked a potty seat and a Britax toddler carseat. Nothing that a little soap, bleach, and garden hose can’t fix. And now we have a spare carseat for DH’s car.

Frugal Fail, followed by pathetic justification: DD2 is having some, ah, shall we say, digestive confusion. She tells me, “my big poopy scare me.” Aside from the obvious (more water, more fiber, etc.), I decided to get her a little pain-relief/numbing cream for her booty so that she she can get past the *fear* of doing what needs to be done. $25?!?!? For 1 ounce!!


Mary W June 24, 2017 at 2:36 pm

Seriously? Wow! I think I’d just try some Orajel or some hemorrhoid cream on her anus/rectum. Orajel numbs mucous membranes – inside the anus is also mucous membrane tissue. And Prep-H is designed to do exactly what you are trying to do. And neither one is going to cost you $25 for an ounce of product!


Shevaun June 24, 2017 at 4:16 pm

Thank you! We already opened the package of the $25 stuff, so no returning it. But I’ll try some other, cheaper options if this happens again. With so many people in my house, I’m sure someone will need some digestive persuasion at some point in the future!
Geepers, though. Seeing your kid in pain and fear certainly throws frugal-clear-thinking right out the window. I have no problem saying no to 25 cent lollipops, but I bought that $25 cream without a moment’s hesitation.


Liz B. June 25, 2017 at 5:26 am

I know how you feel. My son had poop issues related to fear of pain when doing so (he had had a short bout of constipation as an older infant/young toddler). He would “hold it” all day at times, to keep from pooping. Fortunately, our pediatric GI doc recommended Miralax mixed in his milk once a day, and Ex-Lax (really tiny amount). More fiber wasn’t really an option, since he’s an incredibly picky eater. It took a looong time to “normalize” pooping for him, but it worked. I would’ve gladly spent whatever it took to keep him from experiencing pain, or feeling like he had to hold it all day. The frugal rules sometimes change when our kids are in pain.:-)


Jennifer June 25, 2017 at 6:13 pm

I give my kids fiber gummies and probiotic gummies. They are NOT cheap but we were having so many digestive issues that are now completely resolved. Word of warning, the fiber gummies my kids have nicknamed fart gummies because..well, I don’t really have to explain that now do I?

cathy June 25, 2017 at 1:48 pm

We went through this with a kid, too. Maybe you can convince her that dried plums are a thing 🙂 . Also fruit juice helps to draw the stool out.


cathy June 25, 2017 at 2:03 pm

Sorry, should clarify: DRINKING fruit juice helps!


Shevaun June 26, 2017 at 6:28 am

I am laughing so hard I might pee my pants!

And with a baby and toddler, we already have plenty of pee in this house!

Jen June 26, 2017 at 6:07 am

I am all for saving things from the garbage, but please think twice about using the car seat. If it has been in an accident (or even dropped or mishandled) then it is NOT SAFE to use in your car. It’s not worth your little one’s life to use a car seat that you do not know the history on. You can visit for more information on car seat safety.


Jen June 26, 2017 at 6:08 am

Wanted to add too that if you have sprayed down the car seat, it’s also not safe to use. Car seat straps can not be submerged in water.


Shevaun June 26, 2017 at 6:35 am

I hear you and I respect your concern.

Back in the ’70s, my mother kept my preemie sisters one in the glove compartment of the car (open, and lined with a blanket), and one in a laundry basket on the floor of the car (again, lined with a blanket). I’m not saying that’s safe–I’m rather horrified by it–but it is a funny story.

As for hosing the carseat down, even carseats we have bought retail have at various times been soaked in urine, feces, or vomit, not to mention juice boxes, melted ice cream, and gooey lollipops. At some point, the carseat needs to be washed.

But I am not dismissing your caring and loving concern.

The book _Free Range Parenting_ has much to offer to this conversation. Some people love this philosophy; others think she’s a nutjob. I guess each family must make their own priority calls.

Thank you for your kind concern. *It takes a village*


Vickey July 9, 2017 at 7:02 am

Shevaun, that was just about the loveliest reply ever. It warms my heart to see someone be so gracious while standing firm in their choices. {{{}}}


Madeline June 24, 2017 at 11:59 am

1. When I worked, I admit,I splurged on new clothes at my birthday time of year (Now.) In June everything is “on sale!” Even the stuff you DON’T NEED! Now,retired,I need NO NEW CLOTHES, probably ever. I threw away all the coupons that came in the mail, and avoided the stores.I have stayed home doing arts projects with supplies I already have.

2. OK OK I did splurge a “little” for my bday.I went to Tuesday Morning and bought myself 10 dollars worth of craft items..way way below retail price for very pretty paper that runs WAY TOO MUCH in the art stores. Still, a frugal splurge..

3. Dinner and a movie with my sweetie last night with gift certificates our son gave us for our birthdays!

4. “AT HOME” date with hubby tonight: Swim in pool, a documentary on netflix. a BUDDHA BOWL for supper:Black beans with chopped onions, nestled into bowl with pile of brown rice, diced tomatoes, chopped avocado, roasted corn kernels, drizzled with Cilantro sauce.Easy.Cheap. Good for hot weather in Phoenix.FILLING! Healthy!

5. Keeping air conditioner at reasonable degrees during day,making it cooler to sleep when the “time of day” program makes it cost WAY LESS.


Sherry June 24, 2017 at 1:36 pm

Madeline, the Buddha Bowl sounds wonderful! Do you mind sharing the recipe with the cilantro sauce? Thank you.


Liz B. June 25, 2017 at 5:28 am

Yes, that Buddha Bowl sounds yummy!!


Teri June 27, 2017 at 10:24 am

yes, please!


ouvickie June 26, 2017 at 7:49 am

Happiest Birthday!
#1 – my MIL was so happy when she retired, she donated all of her dress clothes, except for a few suits and dresses she wears to church, to the Dress for Success in town. She said – now I get to live in sweats, short sets and casual clothes. LOL!
#4 – that Buddha Bowl sounds YUMMY!!


Jennifer June 24, 2017 at 12:19 pm

Thanks for sharing your tv appearance with us, Katy! I have been reading your blog for a few months but didn’t realize that you had been barely buying NEW for 10 years. Wow. Cash-flowing college is an incredible accomplishment. What a wonderful gift for your boys to graduate debt-free.


megan June 24, 2017 at 12:26 pm

OK, five frugal wins:

1. I’ve made 6 ebay sales this week from cleaning out my closet. My husband has also sold a few things and as I calculated, withing the past week I’d say we made about the same amount as if we had a garage sale, but with a lot less work. $ + less crap in the house =Delighted!
2. Shipping using boxes, packing materials and tape from around the house = no additional cost.
3. Library books entertaining the devil out of me!
4. Leftovers for dinner on a Saturday night- honestly, I consider that a win.
5. I got a class action settlement check that I had forgotten I opted to participate in like a year ago for $9.80. Is it gonna change my life? Certainly not. However- I was entitled to it and am not turning it down.


A. Marie June 24, 2017 at 12:36 pm

First, Katy, I’m impressed as heck with the TV appearance: You (and your NCA ninja outfit) looked great; you got all your major points across (in the limited time you were allowed by the overly talkative host!); and I’m sure you’ve made some more converts. Kudos!

Now, my FFT:

(1) Haven’t put up an FFT of my own in a while, mainly because I’ve been navigating DH through the cataract surgery process. Given his short-term memory difficulties, this has been a challenge at times. But the first surgery has gone extremely well, and we’re hoping the second one will too. Greatly improved eyesight for DH = extremely frugal.

(2) Also, the garden is starting to explode: Lettuce, mixed greens, beets, and snow peas are demanding to be picked; I dug 23 heads of garlic last weekend and spread them out on newspapers in the attic to dry (no danger from vampires here for a while!); and I’m harvesting the early herbs (thyme, oregano, dill, and catnip) and hanging them to dry as well. Dried herbs (in nifty and 100% reused bottles and tins, of course) constitute a good bit of my gift-giving.

(3) I spent one rainy afternoon rehabbing a Vera Bradley bag with frayed corners: I dabbed the frayed edges with some of DH’s silicone bathroom caulk, and then did some color touchup on the caulk with brown and black Sharpies to match the bag. Anyone who can see these repairs for what they are is standing too darn close to me!

(4) The amount of change I’ve been finding on the streets has dropped off considerably since the end of winter, but I’ve still found 15 pennies and a nickel this month so far. And I once found a $20 bill on a nearby street one July 5 (a souvenir of a hasty illegal fireworks transaction, I think), so I plan to keep a sharp lookout over the Independence Day period.

(5) Finally, our Neighborhood Watch group has started planning a potluck dinner for late August to honor our local city councilor, who is retiring at the end of the year because of term limits, and who has worked his heart out for us. Will post periodic updates about this.


Louise June 24, 2017 at 1:03 pm

Touche! Wearing Black as I do too. Lovely to hear you on the video.
Onwards the Queen of direct action!No Haver. As they say in Scotland.


BJS June 24, 2017 at 1:08 pm

That was an inspiring and fun-to-watch interview, Katy! My favorite part was when you said, “that’s where I shop!”

1. I fixed leftovers for my family’s lunch today. Used up six things from the fridge (some vegetable fried rice my daughter had made, chicken, potato salad, corn, a hot dog, and some baked beans). It was a mish-mash meal but that’s okay. And it’s strangely satisfying to see all those empty containers go into the dishwasher.

2. My grocery store started carrying larger bags of semisweet chocolate chips, so the price per ounce is lower. I’ll be buying that size from now on. (I go through a ridiculous amount of chocolate chips with my baking.)

3. Signed up for a short work shift. I don’t usually work much in the summer because my kids are home, but I said yes to this one and enjoyed it.

4. I’m still working through a huge bottle of mouthwash that nobody in my family likes (including me). I’m sure 99.9% of the population would think this is crazy and feel that if I don’t like it I should just pour it down the sink. But I’ve been chipping away at it for so long I feel like I can’t give up now! I’m at the point where it’s the principle of the thing.

5. I’m taking my car in for an oil change next week and a coupon came in the mail a few days ago for the place I take it. I put a note on my calendar next to where I’d written the appointment day and time … “pack coupon.”


Bee June 24, 2017 at 4:31 pm

I understand your #4 completely. I had two lovely bars of Scottish lavender soap that dried my skin. I did not want it to go to waste, so I made it into a gallon of liquid hand soap. When making the soap, I added a little too much glycerine. It feels a bit slimy. However, we will use every bit of it!


Marilyn June 24, 2017 at 7:49 pm

There might be an alternative use for your mouthwash. I have used mouthwash to clean (and presumably sanitize) toilet bowl and tiles around the bathtub.


Bari June 26, 2017 at 8:35 am

As for the oil change, I faithfully go to one place (part of a chain) for my oil changes.
They did send me a reminder and a coupon for $7 off my next oil change.

Since I am not a high-mileage driver, it took longer for me to hit the mileage target.

When I did finally go it for the oil change, I mentioned that I had received the coupon in the mail (even though I didn’t have it with me), and it just took me longer to accrue the miles.
Good news is that they DID honor the coupon, even though I didn’t have it.
Their computer affirmed that, as a faithful customer, I would have received said coupon.


Jill A June 24, 2017 at 1:13 pm

1. Went to the cheap movie theater with my husband and youngest daughter. It was $12 to see the new Pirates of the Caribbean movie. We skipped the treats.
2. Stopped afterwards for a late lunch early dinner. We tried a sub shop with some really delicious subs at a reasonable price. We have leftovers for my older daughter to eat when she gets home from work.
3. Got the results of the two energy savings days from our power company and we saved a few dollars. I’m trying to be more conscious of the electricity use.
I’m trying to finish up the laundry this weekend as our electric price is cheapest on the weekends and during the night.
4. Made a delicious homemade tomato soup using several different tomatos that would be going bad soon and some fresh basil growing in my pots.
5. Found a great deal on a new to me coffee table at a garage sale. I went to several and only purchased the one thing. I’m trying not to bring more stuff into the house unless it’s something I really need or want.


cathy June 25, 2017 at 2:08 pm

I hear you on #5. I was just thinking yesterday about how I don’t need to bring home more stuff–as I was driving past numerous yard sales and realized I didn’t even have the urge/energy to stop.


Jennifer June 25, 2017 at 6:19 pm

I slept a little later this past Saturday morning so I wouldn’t be tempted to stop at any yard sales. I love them so much but they also add to the clutter.


Betty Lynn June 24, 2017 at 1:32 pm


Love the TV interview! I remember you talking about wearing clothing you already had and you looked great! This has become my approach for any special event on the horizon….I probably already have something suitable. I think the interviewer did a good job of letting you explain what has worked for your family and you showing how “do able” it is. You continue to inspire!


susanna d June 24, 2017 at 1:33 pm

I was hoping you’d share the link to your recent TV appearance Katy. Thank you for that – and a big thank you for this blog!

1. The crazy weather gets crazier – I think our high temperature for today is 58 (with rain, of course!) The house is getting a little bit chilly, but we have plenty of free firewood so the fireplace will get a workout tonight. There’s no way I’m turning the heat on in late June – I just can’t make myself do it. No.
2. Got out the pressure washer earlier this week – yes, we own one (long story) but are very happy to share it with friends and neighbors so it rarely feels neglected. Gave the deck a really good cleaning – goodbye, pollen. Goodbye, moss. Goodbye, slimy stuff. Now if we can ever get two whole days without rain we’ll stain it.
3. Bought the stain for the deck during the annual “rebate period” for that particular brand.
4. Smiling when I think of the money saved by doing the deck cleaning/rehabbing/staining ourselves – it’s a 500 square foot deck, so comes in on the “high end” of deck staining estimates. Besides – free Vitamin D (when the sun returns) and free exercise. Bonus.
5. Had to do a bigger grocery shopping trip this week, so knocked 5% off the total by shopping on “senior discount” day, and another $5 off by showing my “I love our town” wristband.


Mand01 June 24, 2017 at 1:34 pm

1. We are hosting my parents’ combined birthday parties at our house this weekend, so we have been cleaning our house. It’s a very big house and took us a full day. While doing that we also did little repair jobs and tidy ups that we have been lazily putting off for a while.
2. This morning before they all arrive we are cleaning up the yard. We don’t pay people to do these tasks, which means it takes our time but feels more satisfying when it’s done. I believe that is what Marx was trying to convey when he was writing about alienation from labour.
3. The party itself is potluck and my mother requested a certain dish from me, which I was happy to make as I had everything right here.
4. We did a mini makeover of our room for $250 and it looks really nice. It was very daggy before. My husband was really chuffed.
5. It’s winter here and all the winter fruit and vegetables are a great price . I filled our fruit bowls for bargain prices this week.


Laura June 25, 2017 at 1:48 pm

Aren’t the veges great at the moment! Especially cauliflowers. Our family favourite is Brussel sprouts so can’t wait for them to come in a glut. I wrote an essay once on Marx’s theory of alienation for a sociology course at uni and yes I do believe in doing my own “dirty work” when ever possible – it keeps things real


dawnelle June 25, 2017 at 8:51 pm

I just have to stop and comment on the words daggy and chuffed, I had to look them up. I love them!


Mand01 June 25, 2017 at 11:11 pm

Haha I didn’t even think that you would have to look them up. Australian slang is a bit opaque I have to admit!


Teresa June 24, 2017 at 1:47 pm

Copying Katy… Went to an estate sale with a friend who likes to do those things. I spied an older but barely used Miehle vacuum and bought it for $10 ! Yahoooo!


Lindsey June 24, 2017 at 2:35 pm

Thanks for posting the TV interview! Enjoyed watching it. I could not be that poised!

1. Biggest frugal win came courtesy of my deceased mother-in-law. She left me a cameo and for years (a decade since she died), it has been sitting in my jewelry box, among my pathetic costume jewelry. I just don’t wear much besides my wedding ring and some gold hoop earrings. I knew it had some value as there were little diamonds, very tiny, in it, but I figured maybe worth $100 at the most. I was decluttering and decided to get rid of all my junky jewelry that I don’t wear and asked my husband if he minded if I sold the cameo at a garage sale. He suggested I take it to a jeweler and get the diamonds taken out and repurposed into small earrings. When I said I wanted to remove the stones, the jeweler literally gasped, asking me if I realized that the cameo was a genuine antique, made of ivory, gold, diamonds and the little red things were rubies. He figures it was made in the late 1800s, when cameos were apparently the rage. I told him I didn’t really care for the look and would never wear it so it was just uselessly sitting in the box at home. I asked him if he wanted to buy it and he offered me, get this…$8,000 for it. I thought I misheard him. “What?!” I said. “Okay, $8,500, but that is my top offer.” I nodded and practically ran out with the check before he changed his mind. The funniest thing was that he had to check his police department list to make sure it was not part of a recent theft.

So, we then were totally in-frugal and went out to a nice dinner, to the tune of $60, including a toast to MIL! Put the rest in a CD making better interest than a regular savings account. To think I considered selling it at a garage sale! I should have known, as MIL loved jewelry and was always going to estate sales and finding incredible bargains…If I had children, I would have saved it for one of them, but as it is there was no one to leave it to; my two siblings also opted not to have kids so no nieces or nephews either.

2. The garden is producing enough to feed us, although at the moment it is mostly lettuce, pak choi, cukes and patty pan squash. So, no need to buy fresh vegetables. And we have a lot of raspberries and honeyberries, so no buying fruit either. Gets boring but it is free and fresh. In fact, I have gone to the store only one and that was for one gallon of milk.

The rest of the week was the usual: reusing bags, drying clothes outside, filling gallon containers with the cold water that comes out of the kitchen tap on the way to getting hot and then using those gallons to water the hanging flower baskets and pots all over the front porch…took a box of husband’s clothes to the mission so that the men living there might have dressier items to wear for job interviews. Husband lost weight and had some really good quality business suits and several thick sweaters I figured someone might put to good use. Thought about Salvation Army, but the clothes would then cost someone money and the guys at the mission will get these for free. Got a tax write-off.

That’s it for the last seven days.


Mary W June 24, 2017 at 3:02 pm

Oh, my word! So glad you didn’t sell that cameo at a garage sale. What a lovely little windfall from your MIL. Personally, I think cameos are just beautiful, and I’d have paid a couple bucks for it at your garage sale, lol!


A. Marie June 24, 2017 at 3:31 pm

Lindsey: The cameo story rocks (in several senses of “rocks”). Congratulations on the windfall!


nancy from mass June 24, 2017 at 4:36 pm

What a GREAT story! I have a cameo from my Great Aunt that is on a black stone with a grey ‘cameo’ on it. I keep thinking I should take it to a jeweler I use and have him value it. I think I will now!


Bee June 24, 2017 at 4:44 pm

I am glad you brought your piece to a jeweler and didn’t sell it at a garage sale. It must have been an extraordinary piece. Enjoy your windfall!
Your cameo story reminds me of the 30+ caret diamond that recently went on the auction block in London. It was purchased at a garage sale for $10. Sale estimate was 750,000 pounds!


Jill A June 25, 2017 at 8:17 am

Great story, I love cameos but I would have run out of the store too. It’s so nice that you donated to the mission. My mother is doing the same with my Dads clothes, she giving them to the VA home.


Liz B. June 25, 2017 at 2:06 pm

Wow!! What a great story about your MIL’s cameo. Makes me wonder how much she might have paid for it at, let’s say, an estate sale?? I personally love cameos, and have one my mom gave me, but it’s not as fancy as your’s sounds (no diamonds or rubies). What a nice chunk of change from your MIL, and what a great way to honor her memory.:-)


ouvickie June 26, 2017 at 8:06 am

OMG! What a score on that cameo. Good for you and I’m glad you found out about it too – that’s awesome!


Mary W June 24, 2017 at 2:56 pm

Congratulations on a great interview, Katy! When is your next one and what show are you going to be on. Keep preaching the message, sistah!

I tried to talk to a guy I used to work with – I ran into him at the grocery store and he was lamenting how much it cost to buy a new pair of shoes for work. I suggested Goodwill or Goodwill Outlet. You’d have thought I’d asked him to sacrifice his firstborn! And, as you mentioned in your interview, he brought up bedbugs. I told him it’s not that hard to check for bedbugs, and that I’ve NEVER ONCE brought an item home with bedbugs, but I could tell he would rather complain about the high cost of new than consider any other option. Sigh…I didn’t have the heart to point out that a huge part of the reason I was able to retire so early was because I’ve been buying used for nearly 40 years, and reselling a lot of nice used items over the years. Of course, being an RN instead of working in central supply didn’t hurt either, but I made the choice to put in the study and the grueling hours to get that RN after my name.


Mary W June 24, 2017 at 3:43 pm

Forgot to say, your DT lipstick looked great! 😀

I don’t know if I have 5, but I do have a few frugals I’m working on.
1. I cut the bottoms off a swimsuit that had a skirt, making it a very nice top for a two piece. The bottoms were totally shot – not just the elastic totally stretched out, but the fabric so thin as to be see-through! I’d bought the suit in AZ in February at a Goodwill for 2.50, thinking I’d get to swim, but all the pools were outside and closed. Not a frugal purchase if you can’t use it. I saved a swatch of the bottoms and have it in my purse – I’ll look for a pair of navy, solid color swimsuit bottoms to match the suit and will still get use out of it. I have black bikini bottoms I can wear with it, but would like it to match if I take it somewhere besides my paddling pool in my own yard. I’ll probably also replace the elastic in the shoulder straps – I have the elastic and I think I can make the repair fairly easily.
2. Stopped in at my local Goodwill, looking for those swimsuit bottoms. Didn’t find them, but did find 6 pair of nice summer shorts, mostly still with tags on, 4 pair that fit now, and 2 pair the next size down, since I’m still losing weight. I had just gone through my shorts and was lamenting that none of them that fit were really fit to be seen in public, so I was thrilled to find these. Paid $14.55 including tax for all 6, and I should be able to consign them when I’m too skinny for them.
3. It’s time to defrost my freezers. They are more efficient when the ice build up is less than 1/4″ and mine are WAAAY overdue. In the process, I’m looking at what I’ve stuffed in there that really need to be processed into something else. Blueberries from a couple years ago, raspberries from my sister’s freezer (cleaned out after she passed away), and lots of other fruits vegetables, etc. Time to make some jam, jelly, etc. I’ve found that freezer-burned fruit, as long as it doesn’t taste like “freezer”, will cook up just fine. As long as the package is sealed, the food is usually okay. I’m willing to risk a taste in the interests of saving the food from the compost bin!. I’m thawing some of the fruits today and tomorrow, when the weather is in the 90s, and when it drops back into the 70s, I can process all of it without suffering heat stroke.
4. The heat this weekend is also a great time to defrost the freezers in the house. I put all the food into coolers (mostly trashpicked and repaired), and cover it with down comforters and sleeping bags to further insulate it all, and then the freezers can stand open and help cool the house as the ice build-up melts. It also cools by not having the freezers running all day. By tonight, when it cools off, I can wipe everything out and return the food to the freezers, letting them cool down overnight while I’m blowing the hot air out of the house anyway.
5. I’ve been watching the Master Classes on The Great British Baking Show on PBS, and have picked up some good tips on my baking, including plaiting bread. I plan to use some of those tips to improve my baking entries for the fair. Here’s hoping for a blue ribbon and winning a higher award, too!


susanna d June 25, 2017 at 7:38 am

#1 – Your comment about the see-through swim suit bottom – as well as Katy commenting a couple months back about how her swim suit went see-through across the bottom – just had me run and check my 13+ year old Speedo tank suit. Thankfully, it’s still fully “there” . I wore it at a hotel back in April and suddenly started wondering if I had been mooning people. Very happy to see that I hadn’t, but I’ll be keeping an eye on that suit in the future. And keeping an eye out for a great deal on getting another swim suit for when mine does go see-through.


Lindsey June 25, 2017 at 1:46 pm

I swim at the local pool, not a beach so probably the “rules” for dressing are different. Here if one bathing suit wears out in the nether regions, you put on a second suit worn out in those same areas and you are back to good coverage. I would say a third of the women I swim with (almost no men show up to the aqua aerobics) use the double suit method. I get a few months more wear out of the dying suits, so even though it looks funky I’m happy.


Mary W June 25, 2017 at 5:52 pm

Lol, your post totally cracked me up! The sad thing is that I DID wear it to the pool when I went to the beach in May – I figured out then that the elastic was shot, but it wasn’t until I really took a close look at the suit, thinking I’d replace that leg elastic that I noticed just how thin the rump area was. Yikes!!!


Mary W June 25, 2017 at 6:05 pm

Not sure what happened there – that post was in response to Susannah.

I also got a grin, Lindsey, out of the thought of “double-bottoming”. If I’d thought of that before I cut off the bottom of that suit, maybe I couple have gotten by for a while by just wearing my black bikini bottoms over the suit., lol. Nah, maybe on a suit with good elastic, but this one really was well beyond wearable.

Between garage sales, Goodwill and GW Outlet, I have a number of swimsuits, but this time of year, I can get in and out of the pool several times a day, and I HATE putting on a wet suit, so I do cycle through several suits a day. Of course, today it got to 97 here, so drying a suit didn’t take but a few minutes!

Liz B. June 25, 2017 at 5:12 pm

Nice score on the shorts….I have had no luck finding shorts in my size when thrifting. And losing weight is not easy – yay you for making progress toward your goal. 🙂
Will have to check out the baking master classes you mentioned – I love to bake, but would love to learn more. I’d also love to try entering something at our county fair, but not likely this year….too many other things going on (Cub Scout events, etc etc).


Mary W June 25, 2017 at 5:57 pm

Thanks, Liz! I’ve been slowly taking off pounds for over a year now, and am down about 40-45 lbs. The last couple weeks have been kind of rough, and I’m up a couple pounds, but I WILL get back on track and keep losing. My goal for the year is to get back to a normal BMI. I only have 15-20 lbs to go (depending on whether I’ve been eating my fool head off or watching my intake), so I know I can get there. My local TOPS (Taking Off Pounds Sensibly) group has been a big support along the way – they keep me accountable. 🙂

I hope you are able to enter your fair, next year if this year isn’t gonna happen. It’s a lot of fun, and the premium money can really add up.


Cheryl Lynn Denney June 26, 2017 at 1:04 pm

Yay for TOPS! I have been a member for 6 years, & lost 48 pounds. Have gained about 15 pounds back, lost 5 again & working on losing the last 10 again. TOPS is so reasonably priced compared to other weight loss groups!

Jeana June 24, 2017 at 2:59 pm

I bought an awesome vintage braided rug at the thrift store this week for $3.75. I’m sure I passed this rug multiple times on other trips, but I didn’t need a rug on any of those trips so I didn’t notice it under a table. Because I needed a rug, I was specifically scouting the floor. It is a very rare trip to the thrift store when I don’t find what I need.


Miss Lani Make Do June 24, 2017 at 3:23 pm

Congrats on your television appearance Katy! I adore your blog and I’m excited for more people to hear your message.

My frugal things:
1. I was rehearsing at an office space yesterday and the microwave broke just as I was about to heat up my lunch from home. I didn’t go and buy a replacement, I took some grapes from the communal fridge and made do until I got home.
2. Went to the theatre last night, a birthday present from friends I hadn’t seen in a while. Was expecting to pay my share of dinner but they treated me, so the only thing I paid for all night was my train fare.
3. Cooked up a huge pot of risotto to get me through the next week or so of work lunches.
4. Even though I’ve finished my first ever capsule wardrobe and there’s some things I’d like to replace, I haven’t rushed out to buy anything – and when I do, it will be from op-shops (thrift stores), I honestly never buy new.
5. Taking on extra jobs when they’re available – because I’m freelance, I’m always on the lookout for extra hours I can grab to buff up my paycheck.


tonya June 24, 2017 at 3:49 pm

1) We have been aggressively eating leftovers for lunch, dinner and snacks. Less food waste is a frugal win!
2) Took my teenage son grocery shopping. Pointed out all the markdowns and we used coupons. He was impressed with our savings!
3) Stopped to fill the car with discounted gas on the way home from shopping. He pumped the gas (is free teen labor+life skills education frugal?).
4) Tried a new brand of laundry detergent that is eco friendly and sold at Costco. A major win! I will buy it again.
5) Hubby brought home 6 tomatoes that a coworker was giving away. Eating fresh tomatoes with olive oil and balsamic vinegar with dinner.


Roberta June 24, 2017 at 3:52 pm

1. We are painting and redecorating my daughter’s bedroom. When my husband took the baseboards off to paint them, he discovered mold behind the baseboard! This is not common in out part of the country, and since she shares a wall with the shower, we figured that there must be a leak. I called a friend for a reference, and she had a plumber who worked for $55 and hour instead of $150. Plus, the plumber left the cleanup work for my husband, saving on the hourly cost of the plumber patching the drywall.
2. My husband and son went to the fair (again) to exhibit my son’s robot. The admission was free, and I send a picnic lunch for them instead of buying fair food. (My husband succumbed to the lure of Kettle Korn, but other than that they were good.)
3. Made a ton of peach cobbler for the church with the peaches from my tree. I’m trying to use them up before they go bad. Not frugal for me, per se, but frugal for the church.
4. Using paint to do most of the refurbishment for my daughter’s room. She did the prep work, and she and I worked together to paint her bureau rather than buying a replacement. We’ll also be reusing her old curtains, and a hand-me-down desk and mirror will complete the room.
5. I can’t remember #5. The frustrating this is, I’ll do something during the week, think that I should remember it for FFT, and promptly forget it!


Bee June 24, 2017 at 4:53 pm

I am sure the congregation at your church will thank you. Peach cobbler is divine! It may be my favorite.


Mary W June 25, 2017 at 6:12 pm

Oh, yum, I’d come to church just for the peach cobbler, lol! I do the same thing as you when we go to the fair. Since I’m a department superintendent, I have to be there pretty much every hour the fair is open (plus the set up before and taking care of everything afterward), there is no way I can justify buying every meal on the grounds. A cooler with refilled bottles of water, cheese, sandwiches, and other easy to eat items is usually stashed beneath the table, out of sight of fairgoers. Re your #5 – I’m always doing that!


Karen June 24, 2017 at 4:01 pm

Excellent interview, Katy! Thank you for being a wonderful role model for your many followers. You’ve inspired me so often to creatively address cutting down on clutter and just not buying things to begin with, and questioning whether even a thrift store item I have my eye on is really essential. We are so inundated to buy crap in this culture, so we need your common sense and wisdom more than ever. Keep it coming!


Lilypad June 24, 2017 at 4:10 pm

Wow—-I just have to say what a phenomenal job you did in the interview, Katy. As a supreme introvert, I hyperventilate just thinking about having to do something like that. You were poised and clear and funny and just such a wonderful advocate for the frugal lifestyle. I’m sure you impressed a lot of viewers and hopefully, they’ll jump on the bandwagon. I’m glad you brought up environmental issues too, it’s very important to get that word out. I’ve been a reader since 2008 or so, I don’t comment much any more (due to carpal tunnel issues, I limit my time on the computer and I don’t go on Facebook much but I miss your FB page and the lively discussion there—there were only about 800 people when I joined!) but I really want to thank you for all you do. Big hugs from Seattle.


Mand01 June 25, 2017 at 7:51 pm

I couldn’t see it – I don’t know if any of the other Aussies could?


nancy from mass June 24, 2017 at 4:49 pm

Great interview Katy!
1. Walked 3.5 miles RT to the cemetery and back. DH headstone is ready and will be installed this week. He would be happy with it!
2. At the beginning of the year, DH bought 2 giant tubs of oatmeal, which would have been fine except it was a day after I had bought some. anyway, I realized I needed to start using it up. I made a batch of maple granola (modifying Alicia Silverstones’ recipe) and today baked a large batch of oatmeal chocolate chip cookies. I brought half the batch to the police department – we have a concert venue in our town and a certain-app-that-will-not-be-named, sent everyone off the highway (best way to the venue) and onto our side streets. some of our streets were impassable for 3 hours! These Officers go through a lot to keep us safe and traffic moving and the app basically told them to pound sand. I’m sure the cookies did not last long!
3. Went to Aldi’s today for 65 cent eggs, 3.49/lb salmon (frozen) and a few other things. 2 large bags for less than $20! (that included 2 pkgs of presliced mozz cheese logs at $1.99 ea)
4. Found $.37 today. one penny on my walk tonight, $.11 in the bank parking lot and returned an Aldi cart that someone left in the back of the parking lot.
5. DS wanted a pepperoni calzone last night for supper from a place near us and I said “How about I make you a pepperoni modified Ellio’s pizza and some curly fries”. He was happy with my suggestion and ate it all!


Jennifer June 25, 2017 at 6:41 pm

Hey Nancy, your post made me think of my favorite thing to do with oatmeal. Protein breakfast balls is what we call them but I guess there are other names. Basically, you just mix dry oatmeal, peanut butter(or other nut butters), honey, and then the rest is kinda versatile. I often add dried cranberries, sunflowers seeds, raisins, coconut, or even mini chocolate chips then roll into balls. My family loves these and they are so good for breakfast or a quick snack. I like to eat mine cold from the fridge,or even for a frozen snack, but you can leave them on the counter. I just like these because I often have all the ingredients and I can use whatever I have laying around. I never really measure and they always still turn out great but there are tons of recipes out there if you are interested.


Nancy from mass June 26, 2017 at 1:51 am

Thanks for the reminder! I’ve made some like that using ground dates to hold them together. I’ll have to dig out my recipe.


Bee June 24, 2017 at 5:51 pm

I have had many frugal fails and unexpected expenses over the past month or so. I try to cut where I can, so I can spend when I must.
Here are some of my frugal wins:
1) I caught a $17 error on my grocery store receipt yesterday. My 3 cucumbers rang up as 3 pounds of cheese.

2) I am still working on my bathroom renovation. I spent some time at the Benjamin Moore store choosing a paint color. Before purchasing, I realized my choice was one that I had used in my son’s home rehab.(Evidently I like this color.) I called DS and asked if there was any left from that project. There was a can in his garage. No money spent on paint and no hazardous waste.

3) My son and his friend ( a contractor) are coming tomorrow morning to help remove the giant mirror on the bathroom wall. I am hoping to salvage it for another project.

4) I brought to prints at an estate sale to go on my California wall, but I hated the frame. I rehab them today with some paint that I had on hand. Although I don’t love the result, I think they will work out better now.

5) We may have a bit of a lifestyle change in the near future. I went through my budget and made a list of action items and options. I started working on it yesterday. I try to do this periodically anyway. Life is fluid. It has been said, although I am not sure by whom, “You can’t stop the waves. You gotta learn to surf.”


Lindsey June 24, 2017 at 5:58 pm

Great catch on the “cukes are not cheese” front. I sometimes zone out while they are ringing things up, so your experience is a good reminder to stay awake.


Kim in MD June 24, 2017 at 5:57 pm

1. Enjoying my cold brew coffee concentrate made from Aldi’s fair trade coffee. I fill a travel mug with ice, fill it 1/2 full with coffee concentrate and 1/2 full with milk. I add a splash of half and half and sometimes chocolate or caramel syrup. Great frugal treat on a hot afternoon!
2. Sold 2 items on Amazon.
3. Put 2 more bags of sour cherries in the freezer. Getting near the end of the harvest but my raspberries are coming in now.
4. Stopped at Lowe’s to cruise the markdown plant racks. Bought 3 blueberry bushes, a kiwi plant, 3 large perennials, 2 six packs of petunias and a six pack of zinnias. All for $32. This doubles my amount of blueberry and kiwi bushes and now I have the second kiwi I need so they’ll produce. I try to plant what I can eat.
5. Went to a church sale and a yard sale this morning. Got a Steiff bunny for 25¢! Also a Madame Alexander doll for $3. I guess it’s time to expand my online selling to EBay! At the yard sale I got DS#2 light blocking drapery panels for his bedroom in his off campus house. Four 63″ panels and two 84″ panels, 3 still in the package, $6 total. I looked them up on Target’s website $130 retail. I love front yard shopping!


Mrs. Picky Pincher June 24, 2017 at 6:10 pm

Way to rep the secondhand outfit for a TV appearance! 🙂

This week:

1. I made fresh tomato bites as snacks, using tomatoes grown in our garden.

2. Mr. Picky Pincher created a shelf to hang the TV in our home gym instead of buying a new piece of furniture for it.

3. I line-dried clothes instead of using my dryer.

4. We switched from a 1% rewards credit card to a whopping 2.5% rewards credit card so we can earn more rewards. This means we’ll earn more rewards to pay for Christmas presents this year. 🙂

5. I ordered beeswax with an Amazon gift card so I can make my own reusable beeswax cling wrap.


Lindsey June 24, 2017 at 8:29 pm

I’ve never heard of someone making their own! Can you share the process? I have a bag of beeswax hanging around from some hand lotion I made my husband when his hands starting cracking this winter. I’d love to find some way to use some of it because I’d have to make gallons and gallons of the lotion to use up my supply!


rebecca June 24, 2017 at 6:11 pm

Great interview!
My frugal five include:
1. Finding $20 bill in the grocery store parking lot.
2. Using coupons and sales at the grocery store. The adolescent at the reigister said, “wow! you saved more than you spent.” I was thrilled as it was mostly fruit, vegetables and often times, coupons are for processed food that I don’t buy.
3. Ate from the freezer for dinner tonight.
4. Hanging some laundry to dry.
5. Followed up for the third time on a refund on my credit card.


Chris June 24, 2017 at 6:14 pm

1. Helping a neighbor with their moving sale. Tempted to buy a few things from them but passed.
2. Went to a neighborhood sale with my sister today. Spent $31.25 – $31 was for re-sale and the .25 was shower curtain rings that will look lovely in my first floor bathroom.
3. Our son face timed today to ask my husband to talk him through a repair – he had what he needed in DC while here in Mpls he got the direction he needed.
4. Our nearest Aldi’s closed for a major overhaul – stopped by the one near my sister’s house today after our day out and got cherries, yogurt and some bread.
5. Bought a new Lands End swimsuit – my old suit is 20 plus years old!! The new one was on sale plus an additional 30% off – needed to buy something to get to the $50 purchase for free shipping so got a coverup that can be worn as a dress – may have to do an easy alteration to the dress but will return it if I’m not confident about my alteration abilities.


Ava June 24, 2017 at 6:34 pm

We did a very unfrugal thing but it was the right thing to do. We heard from my cousin that he was diagnosed with cancer and that he is about to start a very intense chemo regimen. He asked us to take his 8 mo. old puppy as he would not be able to care for her. So we took a 2 day drive across the country to bring her home.
The few frugal aspects I can think of are:
1. We ate the free hotel breakfasts on the trip.
2. My husband checked the best rates for pet friendly hotels.
3. On the way back we ate gas station food and fast food since we couldn’t leave her alone in the hot car.
4. I refilled my water bottle whenever we stopped, which was frequently, since she was car sick for the whole first day and threw up about every 40 miles. My husband commented that if we had only known we needed paper towels, trash bags, anti bacterial wipes and hand sanitizer to transport a puppy, we could have taken those items with us and been better prepared.
5. She has already provided abundant free exercise. We are doing a lot more walking and ball throwing and are too tired to eat, so we expect our weight loss to be dramatic.


BJS June 24, 2017 at 6:54 pm

Ava, what a blessing you and your husband are to your cousin. I’m hoping you’ll keep us posted on how your cousin’s chemotherapy is going, and your adventures with your puppy.


Ava June 25, 2017 at 4:30 am

It’s an adventure, for sure. We had talked about getting a dog when my husband retired but this puppy is BUSY. She is not what we expected but we will adapt.


MommaL June 25, 2017 at 4:24 am

You are so kind to take the puppy. Hopefully he will be free “therapy” for you with his cute antics. 🙂


kathleen June 24, 2017 at 6:35 pm

1. Went to matinee today with the hubs. We both bypassed the concession.
2. Took my car instead of his and saved fuel. Plus my car needed a fill up, and we found a price lower than I’ve seen in forever.
3. Spent time last night making a menu plan and grocery list for the coming week (or probably two). Grocery list consisted mostly of fresh meat and produce as the pantry is still pretty well stocked.
4. Rounded up all the receipts for contributions made so far this year. Placed them in a brightly-colored and clearly-labeled envelope so it will be easy to find when it needs to be added to and to do taxes.
5. The hubs used some materials he had on hand to screen the windows of the kids’ fort. The kids are all too big for it now, but the dog LOVES running up the ramp


kathleen June 24, 2017 at 6:49 pm

1. Went to matinee today with the hubs. We both bypassed the concession.
2. Took my car instead of his and saved fuel. Plus my car needed a fill up, and we found a price lower than I’ve seen in forever.
3. Spent time last night making a menu plan and grocery list for the coming week (or probably two). Grocery list consisted mostly of fresh meat and produce as the pantry is still pretty well stocked.
4. Rounded up all the receipts for contributions made so far this year. Placed them in a brightly-colored and clearly-labeled envelope so it will be easy to find when it needs to be added to and to do taxes.
5. The hubs used some materials he had on hand to screen the windows of the kids’ fort today. The kids are all too big for it now, but the dog LOVES running up the ramp and surveying his kingdom. Twice recently when a squirrel was in the trees nearby, he jumped out the portals which are about eight feet off the ground, and was incredibly lucky not to be hurt. Hopefully this fix will keep the dog from serious injury and vet bills. An ounce of prevention. If he still finds a way to jump, we will have to remove the ramp, but he would be sad…and would probably learn to climb the trees. 🙂


kathleen June 24, 2017 at 6:50 pm

Sorry for duplicate comment.


Sandra June 25, 2017 at 4:14 am

1. Entertained friends for dinner last night. I made all the meal from the freezer, pantry, and garden. No extra shopping, big save.
2. Picked and canned cherries from our own cherry tree.
3. Made 2 cherry pies, one for now and one for later.
4. I bought 2 resale chaise lounge chairs for the deck. The cushions for the old ones had disintegrated and new sets would have cost several times what I paid for the “new-to -me” chairs.
5. We are eating vegetables from the garden also fresh herbs.


MommaL June 25, 2017 at 4:22 am

1. Sold an item on ebay today. I pre-boxed all of my items so its easy to grab them, print a label (cheaper to print at home than take in to the P.O.), and ship.
2. Got transferred to an office 1/2 hour closer. Looking forward to cheaper gas bills!
3. Was gifted squash from one friend who heard about my squash bugs, and another friend gave me tomatoes and cucumbers.
4. Was out running errands and it was dinnertime. DH and I passed up the fast food, went in to Harris Teeter and bought their dinner of the day and some corn on the cob, all for less than $10. Cheap dinner date.
5. DH is raking up pine straw from all the neighbors’ driveways to use on our flower beds.
6. Purchasing goodbye gifts for former office staff. Bought flowered potted plants on sale, got cheap but pretty pots to plant them in. Will write them a note of appreciation on note cards I already have.


Bettypants June 25, 2017 at 5:24 am

I really like this board, because it makes me feel proud instead of embarrassed of being frugal. Saving money and reusing items is a wonderful thing.
1. Even though my house is still cluttered from moving, I am trying to go to as many yard sales as possible to buy things to resell. Yard sale season is summer only, and I need to stock up for the winter. Even though the sales sounded thin this week, I went out anyway and found some really great items.
2. Bought a freestanding dog gate for $5. It’s short and lightweight, which is all we need. I immediately sold our heavy duty gate for $45.
3. A lady was selling 5 stained glass shades for $6. I wasn’t sure where they work in my house, but they were too pretty and cheap to pass up. When I got home, it dawned on me I could replace the three glass shades on the light fixture over my kitchen sink. The shades there were too large and too bright, so we never used the light. What a total transformation with the new shades!
4. Sold a floor lamp, oil painting, and 2 throw rugs on the FB boards. Even though I liked them, our new house is smaller and not everything fits.
5. A box fan was on my shopping list. I happened to find one for free at a yard sale this week. Before this board I would have felt too awkward to take a free thing from a yard sale and buy nothing. But there was nothing else I wanted, so I thanked them sincerely for the fan, and off I went.


Bee June 26, 2017 at 4:00 am

You definitely have the knack for buying flipping items! You often sell things that I would not have thought to buy.


Bettypants June 26, 2017 at 5:29 am

Thanks, Bee. I really enjoy the game of trying to pick the good stuff for resale.


Florencia June 28, 2017 at 10:16 pm

I feel the same! Since I’ve been working so much, I can’t really brag to those I see every day about my frugal things. It’s so inspiring to see others be as budget conscious​as I am. It makes me not feel embarrassed by being frugal. 🙂 Also, nice job on flipping stuff! My mom and I have been thinking how to generate income so my dad can work less. He works every single day of the week, since my mom can’t work. We’ll be looking around the house to see what we can sell and also start going to yard sales to get good stuff for reselling. I aspire to your flipping eye. Wish me luck! Jaja.


tia June 25, 2017 at 8:48 am

1. About the only thing new I did was make chicken flautas. Everyone loves them but it’s expensive to eat out so I cooked a mess of chicken and onions and added salt, pepper, and garlic then chopped it all up and loaded and rolled corn tortias. Then I just fried them in a cast iron skillet. They were pefection. I later tried the baked flautas but they are too dry and had a hard crunch. They are still tasty but the fried are better.
2.Continued to be cheap.


Adriana @MoneyJourney June 25, 2017 at 8:54 am

I almost never shop for outfits for special events. When I rarely do, I make sure the outfit I have my eyes set on is appropriate for other possible future events as well. (I really dislike the idea of buying clothes just to wear once. What’s the point, then? 😀 )


tracy June 25, 2017 at 9:19 am

1. Went to Goodwill and bought NOTHING even though I found some cute stuff. I didn’t need it and enjoyed just looking without having to purchase.
2. Drove to where my son’s college is (90 miles away) packed up his stuff and brought him and it back. Avoided urge to go out to eat in between the trip to and the trip fro, was content with a $1 diet soda from McDonalds for me and a $1.30 chicken sandwich for him.
3. My husband’s back has been hurting from our old mattress. I’ve been researching and am trying ordering online from one of the new companies that gets good press. (Sorry Katy but I’m not buying a used mattress!) Cost is 1/3 of comparable mattress in brick and mortar store, I’ll report back once it arrives.
4. We are going on a family trip to Montana/Yellowstone soon. I ended up needing to get back a day early for work so will fly home from Spokane to Portland while hubby and DD drive the last day. Had a discount coupon from Alaska from when a flight was cancelled and had to be rescheduled several hours later so was able to get the ticket for $14.
5. Having a BBQ at my house today. Forgot a couple of things at grocery store, resisted urge to make another trip and decided I will make do with what’s on hand.


Mand01 June 26, 2017 at 2:26 am

I’ve had several used mattresses in my life but now that I’m no longer so broke to have no choice I will buy new.


Tracy June 27, 2017 at 6:29 am

I’ve had used mattresses in the past too but always as hand-me-downs from family, don’t know why but a used mattress from a stranger gives me heebie jeebies… Really doesn’t make any difference logically!


Mand01 June 27, 2017 at 2:05 pm

Yes ours were from family too


Mary in Maryland June 25, 2017 at 2:56 pm

I have several things that I could sell on ebay, etsy, etc. The process sounds tedious for money that we don’t need very much. So I’ve developed a fantasy that involves shipping the box of them to Katy to sell for the college fund.


Liz B. June 25, 2017 at 5:52 pm

This group has made me revisit the idea of selling excess stuff on eBay, Craigslist, etc. But I still wonder if it’s worth the time and effort. Maybe I’m just too timid to jump in there and try it, I don’t know. A big wuestion in my mind is, how do you figure in shipping costs? Does the buyer pay for that? I have much to learn.


Bettypants June 26, 2017 at 6:57 am

Ebay has a shipping calculator where you put in the weight of your item and the dimensions and it calculates price based on the buyer’s zip code. It is very accurate for me. The buyer pays shipping. The seller pays ebay and paypal fees on the sales price plus shipping cost.

I think it’s worth the time and effort. I bought a VS Pink shirt for 50 cents at a yard sale last week and sold it on ebay for $22. I would guess I spent 20 minutes taking photos, writing the listing, and then packing it up for mailing.


Debbie from Delaware June 25, 2017 at 5:30 pm

Lots of frugal fails (equipment failures) lately… but we’ve tried to handle them as frugally as possible.

Our water heater has been slowly leaking for months. We catch the water in a bucket, but it is getting worse lately. I’ve left a message with our plumber that we’re ready to move forward with a new one. We are going to get a tankless, as that is supposed to be more economical to operate and better for the environment, since it only heats water as needed. Would be curious to hear other experiences with tankless models.

The 4-year-old oven in our vacation home (that we were able to buy last fall as a result of decades of frugal living) wouldn’t heat on our last visit there. From all indications, it is the control board, which would be almost as costly to have a repair person replace as a new oven. We ended up getting a new oven for our year-round home for $399.00. It was on sale for $449.00, and I had an offer for $50.00 off. We are going to take our 24-year-old stove (which is still going strong) to use at our vacation home.

We gave our 20-year-old daughter permission to borrow our 2005 Mustang Convertible to go to a bonfire with friends. Unfortunately, she parked it in a grassy area that she didn’t know was either muddy or sandy. She got it stuck and her friends towed it out for her. Even more unfortunately, they apparently hooked up to the radiator to pull it out. It is in the shop now waiting to see how much of a frugal fail that will be. She was so upset and afraid that we would be mad at her. We weren’t. We know she loves that car and would never to anything to mess it up on purpose. Just wish she had called a real tow truck, as we have towing coverage on our car insurance! And, we did discuss that she should drive her own car to future bonfires!!

Bottom line, as frustrating as these are, none involved our health, and even the radiator issue was on a spare vehicle. We do realize we are blessed.


Jennifer June 25, 2017 at 6:02 pm

Oh, that was a great point about the successful three men and their clothes. I wear the same pants almost daily so I can relate. Clothing is just not something I care about.
1. Picked up my Kroger Free Friday downloads. I have been setting reminders on my phone for when the last date is to pick up so I can bundle two or three together. I don’t want to make extra stops at Kroger if I don’t have to. I got beef jerky, cranberry juice mocktail, and a Lipton peach tea.
2. I got a stomach issue this afternoon, yuck! Saved money because we didn’t eat out. Also, pretty sure I lost weight since food wasn’t an option and I think anything I ate today didn’t stay down. Sorry so graphic!
3. I made egg salad toast for the kids with the last bit of mayo in the jar and the end pieces of bread. They didn’t love it but I didn’t have to go anywhere.
4. Toys R’us had a July 4 celebration for free for the kids. We did this today before I got sick. They gave away free packs of those self sealing water balloons, inflatable beach balls, coloring sheets with crayons, and we won a raffle prize that was a big jug of bubbles. They had fun games for the kids to play and I enjoyed myself watching them play.
5. My cat had kittens! This is her first litter. She only had two that were alive and well. One didn’t make it…so sad. She is a good little mom. No, this is not frugal but it’s just so exciting. I have been on kitty watch for about 5 days and this morning while I was petting her belly, I saw a tiny paw sticking out! A few minutes later we had a perfect little kitty, and then the other one came about an hour later. I’m a sucker for kittens! Again, not really frugal but pretty special.


Mary W June 25, 2017 at 6:57 pm

Since it’s another scorching day, I have been hiding from the heat in the house today. Staying busy doing a few frugal things:
1. Jarred up chicken stock and chicken vegetable soup for canning tomorrow when it cools off (or late tonight). I’ll put the cold jars in cold water and very slowly heat them up so the jars don’t break. When the chicken soup is opened to eat, I’ll add rice or noodles – those ingredients don’t can well.
2. Found out that the frozen raspberries from my sister’s were really cherries, lol! I guess I’ll be making cherry jam instead. Still won’t go to waste.
3. I scorched a big stockpot a while back while cooking up ancient food to feed my chickens. I’ve tried simmering and then boiling baking soda and water, and managed to get most of it off, but there were still a few stubborn patches. Today, I put a small amount of ammonia in the pot and set it out in the sunshine. I’d hoped that would work, but it didn’t. I’ll pour the ammonia back in the jug and try oven cleaner next, I guess. I’ve never had a patch of scorch that I couldn’t get off, and I refuse to give up on this pot. Any suggestions?
4. Since I’m in the midst of defrosting freezers (I have 4 of various sizes), I’m taking the opportunity to make an up to date inventory of the contents and to group like with like. I have a lot of crates and buckets that I am going to try to use in the freezers to hold the contents in place – I figure in the chest freezer, it will make them easier to lift out so I can get to the foods at the bottom, and in the uprights, it will keep things from falling out on my foot!
5. Walked to the mailbox and back with my daughter at midnight last night. That’s 2 miles of frugal exercise, and it was nice and cool by then. The stars were brilliant.


Nancy Drew June 26, 2017 at 7:32 am

Re: Freezers #4 – You beat me Mary, I only have 2 chest freezers plus the one with the fridge.
I use milk-type crates or any hard plastic bin in the freezer to organize things. It’s easier if they are different colours/sizes.
Then I know that if I’m looking for say, hamburger buns, they would be in the green bin on the bottom left. This saves a lot of time digging around!


Ellie June 26, 2017 at 10:37 am

Re #3 – I use a mixture of white vinegar and baking soda – boil it for a bit and so far everything comes off.


ouvickie June 26, 2017 at 7:30 am

Amen on the re-wearing of clothes for events!!
I have a special dress and a few skirt/jacket outfits that are worn for formal occasions. I could care less if people have seen them before. I think that dress is well over ten years old, but it’s a timeless fashion piece.

1) Saturday I took the grandkids for free fun at the Sam Noble Museum of Natural History on Campus. It was Get In FREE day with your Library card and since all three of my grandkids have Library cards, we scored 2 hours of learning fun at no cost.
2) I packed cold drinks from home for lunch that day and we each ordered items off the dollar menu at Sonic – so $5 was splurged on lunch items and we all drank canned root beer from home.
3) I took the girls to the Splashpad for free water-play fun that afternoon and they helped me feed and water our friends dogs, while they were on vacation. Dinner was tamale casserole. So, other than fuel, it was a frugal weekend of fun.
4) Gas is now below $2 here, so I filled up last evening, after taking the kids home. That should last me the rest of the week and I get paid on Friday. YAY!
5) This coming Wednesday is our monthly OKWIT meeting in OKC. I get a night out networking with ladies in technology, while eating and drinking for free. I look forward to this every month!


KJD509 June 26, 2017 at 7:57 am

This heat makes we want to just sit around and sweat, which means we’re not spending anything . . .

1) Sent hubs to the farmer’s market while he was out running other errands. He loves to talk to the vendors but he’s much less tempted by their offerings than I am. Came home with several bags of produce, but much less than I would have, and now I’m not quite so concerned we’ll end up with scurvy before my next grocery run.
2) For the first time in 18 years we have no one attending VBS at our church. Littlest is technically still in the age group, but she volunteered to help out with the preschoolers instead. It’s not a costly activity, but all the donations do add up – probably $100 a year, maybe a bit more the years we had 3 or 4 kids attending. S0 – that’s a savings!
3) Sent littlest with her middle sister to GW with $10 to find shoes for the week, as she’s suddenly outgrown every pair. They came home with a pair of shoes, a skirt apiece, and a few cents in change. Middle daughter is a fierce thrift store shopper – tempted to give her my list of needs . . .
4) Eldest daughter rode with a friend for a long weekend in the city where she hopes to find a job. Staying with relatives, so no cost aside from chipping in for the gas.
5) Consulted with eldest son by phone re: our ancient cat who suddenly stopped eating and whose face is terribly swollen. He works at a vet and is applying to vet school in the fall. He was gentle with his sisters, but clear: there’s no cure. Helpful to know because our local vet tends to be a heroic measures kind of guy. Hubs has the sad duty today of taking the cat to the vet and returning with the empty carrier.
And since this seems to be the “kids save $” edition 6) middle son is at that testosterone fueled age where he’s overwhelmingly strong. Sent him out back to take out a weed that had grown into a tree, thinking it would be HOURS. Took him 5 minutes. Amazing and saved a bundle on a yard service. He’s getting more tasks assigned this week . . .


Nancy P June 26, 2017 at 8:01 pm

My frugal 5
1) sent my teenager to boarding school (highschool) this week courtesy of the school district, all expenses paid. Our daughter has ASD and behavioral issues. She qualified for assistance because the regular high school was not working for her. She may be there for 12 months or more. We will visit quarterly with reimbursement from school system. Had to hire an expensive educational consultant but we are getting an excellent return on that investment. Took many IEPs and meeting to get her to this place. This school costs over $10K per month.
2) my DW and our son went semi-vegetarian with me and with my daughter gone I was able to purge my refrigerator of some undesirable foods( orange cheese, ranch dressing, mayonaise, hotdogs, chicken patties.
3) dinner and lunch at home. Made “pizza” with pita bread , vegies and topped with warm cashew cheese. Salad and bean bowls for lunch
4) made cute envelopes out of an old driving atlas Use cardstock cut to size for the cards
5)lined my trash cans from thick plastic bags i recycle from work
6) spending my vacation week at home, having a staycation while DW gets some R&R
Great interview Katy. Thanks for spreading the word!


Sarah. July 12, 2017 at 12:37 pm

I went looking but can’t find the video for your tv appearance online. Is there one? Sorry if someone already asked but there are 101 comments (!) so I didn’t read through them all.


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