Five Frugal Things

by Katy on November 8, 2017 · 124 comments

  1. I owed my friend Lise a thank you lunch, so I suggested Bob’s Red Mill as A) we both enjoy bulk food purchases, and B) I had a 2-for-1 lunch coupon. The total for our lunch was a budget worthy $8.95, and I even had a 2-for-1 coupon for any product as well. (I brought my own bags which I filled up with red lentils and a veggie bean soup mix.) We then walked across the street to the Dave’s Killer Bread outlet where I picked up two loaves of their 21 whole grain bread. I had another 2-for-1 coupon which impressed Lise enough to exclaim that “you have a coupon for everything!” Silly girl.

  2. I watched the most recent episode of The Durrels in Corfu through the PBS app on my Roku box. I also picked up a couple of novels and a DVD at the library. What books? Pink books. I need a big dollop of escapism in my fiction right now.

  3. Lise and I then stopped at the Goodwill outlet where I spent $16 and bought a neoprene lunch bag for my work lunches, two T-shirts, (one for my mom) a Baby Alive doll to sell, some Hanna Andersson jammies to sell, a small Italian mirror to sell, four fine art lithographs to sell, a Land’s End down vest to sell, another pair of Solmate socks, a deck of vintage playing cards, a vintage microphone to sell and an ottoman that’s the same style as my husband’s recliner. (Which of course was a Goodwill purchase.)

  4. I haven’t sold anything though eBay, Facebook Marketplace or Craigslist, but I did finish writing a Clark Howard article and then proposed a new article. I’ll also work two 12-hour shifts this week at the hospital.

  5. I didn’t buy a Lear Jet or a vulgar gold-plated apartment in the sky.

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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{ 124 comments… read them below or add one }

Katy in Africa November 8, 2017 at 12:57 am

1. We’re now sending snacks for our kids to school instead of buying them. They just buy a juice, which is a homemade and affordable juice made from bissap flowers. So far for our snacks we’ve kept it simple, hard boiled egg sandwich and/or peanut butterball (just plain pb, powdered milk and sugar and honey). Now they’re eating all their snack and not wasting any like before.
2. I cleaned the inside of the car with just water and a rag. We don’t have to use products for all cleaning. I do like to use those car cleaners sometimes, but they’re definitely not necessary when you just wanna get the dust off.
3. I got tired of using my kid’s old partially used notebooks, until I came up with a new idea. Now I write my weekly plan on a paper in one of the notebooks, then pull it out and put it on a clipboard. Much handier than flipping through and old falling apart notebook looking for where I wrote it amongst the other stuff in there.
4. I made homemade yogurt.
5. I didn’t make any big purchases.

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Jennifer November 8, 2017 at 5:26 am

2. So true! People underestimate the power of plain water, a rag, and a good scrubbing. The best part is no chemicals.

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A. Marie November 8, 2017 at 2:52 am

FFT, Ups and Downs Edition:

(1) Up: Inspired by all the talk about pot roast in an earlier post (the peer pressure can really get to you around here), I made a lovely rolled Boston roast from our 1/4 cow, in a Lodge cast-iron Dutch oven I hadn’t previously used for this purpose (bought about 8 years ago at our SA superstore). I don’t think I’ll make pot roast any other way from now on.

(2) Down: Alas, while I was making beef barley soup from the pot roast juices and leftovers two nights later, I fell asleep in my recliner and let it scorch. The soup pot cleaned up OK after a good hot soak, and I managed not to mix the salvageable soup with the scorched part, but it’s still not the world’s best soup. Taking one for the team and eating it anyway.

(3) Down: DH had a *lot* of trouble marking his paper ballot at our polling place yesterday. After two spoiled ballots, I finally helped him with the third one, with the poll-keepers’ permission. (Everybody was very patient and understanding about it, which made us feel better about it, which is frugal.)

(4) Up: Fortunately, DH seems to be doing better in other respects on the latest change in meds, which is especially important as we head into another Upstate NY winter. (Anyone who has a mood disorder with a seasonal component, or knows someone who does, will understand this.)

(5) And up: I’m cheered by the election results, both locally and nationally.

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Jennifer November 8, 2017 at 5:22 am

4. I do struggle with a little bit of seasonal depression that I feel is related to how many of my family members have passed away this time of year and less daylight hours. I will be thinking of your family over the next few months.

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Isabelle November 8, 2017 at 7:38 am

Jennifer, have you looked into light therapy ((SAD lamp))?. I suffer from seasonal affective disorder and bad PMS, and since I started using a therapy lamp 2 months ago it changed my life. No PMS this month (and it was a difficult month, being sick, kids being sick, flood in basement, etc), no depressive mood. It might be placebo effect, but I totally believe in it now! It was this or medication….

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Jennifer November 8, 2017 at 7:52 am

I haven’t yet but I have heard a little about them. How often do you use it and how do you use it? I guess I mean, can you sit by it and read a book like a lamp or do you need to sit in front of it and relax/meditate for 30 minutes or so? I guess I need to research it. Do you have a brand you recommend?

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That Other Jean November 8, 2017 at 8:32 am

I’ve been using mine for years, so I can help out a bit here. In winter, I use mine once a day, for about fifteen minutes. You do need to sit in front of it, but not looking at it directly. I have mine beside my computer, so I can read my favorite blogs in the morning and soak up some artificial sun at the same time.

I don’t know where you live, but I bought mine from The Sunbox Company: http://www.sunbox.com/ in Gaithersburg, MD. It’s the Sunbox, Jr., so it can sit on the corner of my desk, although I noticed that they have several choices of about the same size.

For me, at least, it was a life saver. I used to get sick as a dog in November, and not get well until March, when the sun came back. That no longer happens, and I don’t feel so much like a bear who should be hibernating all winter. Good luck in your search!

Sarah D November 8, 2017 at 8:33 am

I bought one when I lived in a cloudy place (9 months of no sunlight!!!) and it SAVED MY LIFE (and my grad degree, which I wouldn’t have finished without the lamp). $100 and worth every cent (from Full Spectrum Solutions). I used it to read the newspaper and eat breakfast in the morning, and that was enough–too much exposure to it and you get all hopped up like too much caffeine.

Jennifer November 8, 2017 at 11:46 am

Thank you all for the insight. I’m am seriously considering light therapy after your thoughts. I have always hesistated because I had never actually heard from people who had them so I figured it was a fad..thanks again.

Sarah D November 9, 2017 at 5:23 pm

Just one more plug for the lightbox/lamp…candles is not enough for someone who is actually suffering from SAD. The lamp is different than regular lights in that it contains the full spectrum of light just like the sun, and is really the only substitute for daylight.

Jenny November 8, 2017 at 8:31 am

I am so grateful that we can vote by mail now! Is that an option for you?

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A. Marie November 8, 2017 at 11:41 am

I wish voting by mail was an option here, for a lot of reasons–but, sadly, it isn’t. NY State’s election laws are sorely in need of an update.

And re: the light box discussion, DH and I have both tried light boxes, without real success. We may miss our outdoor activities (gardening in my case, wood-cutting and pottering around the yard in his) almost as much as we miss the light.

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Isabelle November 8, 2017 at 5:15 pm

I bought mine on Amazon and I use it 30 minutes every morning when I wake up. Mine is big enough to read underneath, or do some crafts, etc. Here the one I bought. Love it!

https://www.amazon.ca/Carex-Health-Brands-Day-light-Classic/dp/B00PCN4UVU/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1510190033&sr=8-1&keywords=daylight+therapy+lamp

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E November 8, 2017 at 5:17 pm

My man suffers from seasonal depression. I used to make him go tanning.l before I discovered a light lamp. Now we live in the south, but those lights were amazing.

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Mary November 8, 2017 at 6:23 pm

My light therapy for dark months is candles. I use them every evening for a couple of hours. I make new jar candles from the leftovers and use the wicks which sound (faintly) like a burning stick. Very enjoyable. I also walk for 1 hour everyday. I realize that is not an option for many people.

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Beth November 8, 2017 at 3:00 am

1. Bought a bag of half off Halloween candy to give out to kids at school on Fridays.
2. Used leftover cooked sausage from sausage and noodles dinner to make a roasted sausage veggie dinner.
3. Daughter has always wanted Essie nail polish, we found some reduced to 75% off and bought a Christmas red and a pretty festive bronze color for $2.49, nice to be able to treat her to a color. Daughter is now too old for trick-or-treating so I also treated her to a half a bag of dove candy bars.
4. Started cleaning out the garage sale leftovers and took 11 boxes of books, DVDs, VHS movies, and CDs to the library used bookstore and donated. Felt so good and we literally filled up the car and trunk!
5. Packed up five boxes of my daughters clothes and dropped them off at the charity thrift store.
6. Planned all our Saturday errands to be done all at once to save on mileage.
7. Booked a last-minute dog walk and four cat pet sits last weekend, this is good since Election Day and Thanksgiving holiday I don’t get paid for the days we are off from school.
8. Found some super cute half off fall decorations and bought a set of salt and pepper shakers – one shaped as a turkey and one as an acorn to give as a Thanksgiving hostess gift only cost me two dollars total. 🙂 I have to confess I also bought myself a set too and already have them on the table.;-)
9. Got paid last Friday and made a point of paying all upcoming bills ahead of time online so I won’t be tempted to spend. Also saved on the postage of mailing the payments by doing it online.
10. Made stuffed pepper soup using orange and yellow peppers that we’re going bad in the fridge. The colors gave it a festive fall feel.
11. Had Election Day off so after getting a few things done around the house treated daughter to seeing Thor at a matinee. I received a free popcorn and earned a $5 credit to use for future movies through MJR rewards program.
12. Prior to seeing the movie we stopped and bought a pop and candy at the dollar store to Munch on at the movies vs. paying movie concession prices.
13. Last but not least updated my EveryDollar budget and brought all expenditures and income current.

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MommaL November 8, 2017 at 3:20 am

1. Went to a dinner party, it was all potluck. Everybody took home other’s leftovers.
2. Getting free magazine subscriptions for my daughter in law, who loves magazines.
3. Recycling: took ink cartridges to work, they get $ for the school, putting newspapers in the compost bin, using junk mail envelopes for shopping lists/coupon holders.
4. Bringing coupons to work weekly to share with colleagues.
5. Wearing thrifted suits to work. Our new boss insists we look “more professional”, so I’m being more picky at GW. Wearing my grandma’s pearls with my suits.

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Cindi November 8, 2017 at 3:40 am

1 went to Costco yesterday and bought only what was on my list, which consisted of cat/dog stuff for the most part!
2 voted at our library and dug several HGTV/Better Homes magazines out of the free bin to feed my magazine fix
3 sold a vintage needlepoint pillow off my Etsy site, my first sale to Israel!
4 pulled the last of the tomatoes, all green off the vines and will give them to my mom as she loves them
5 frugal fail– splurged on tickets to this Sunday’s Viking/Redskin game in DC. Will try to do tailgate food in a frugal manner to atone!

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Jill A November 8, 2017 at 4:28 am

1. I listed a dollhouse on a facebook garage sale site. I’m supposed to meet someone tonight who wants it. I will visit my Mom this afternoon and then stay on her side of town until the meet since this person will be on that end of town. This will save me some gas. I also sold a couple small items on ebay. I’m reusing boxes and packing material to ship.
2. Went for my yearly mammogram which is covered by my insurance. Afterwards I stopped at Costco and Trader Joe’s since they are in the same area. I got the cheaper Costco gas. I used my own bag at Trader Joe’s which meant I received an entry for a gift card giveaway.
3. Dinner last night was a Costco rotisserie chicken, mashed cauliflower which used up a head that was close to going bad and roasted peppers and squash which were also close to their end.
4. I’m reading a library book on my Kindle. It’s a popular book and I’ve been waiting a few months to get it. I also watch the Durrell’s on my Roku PBS app as well as the latest episode of Poldark.
5. I walked with a friend through a beautiful forest trail. Great exercise and cheap entertainment.

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Mand01 November 8, 2017 at 4:42 am

I have been away for work so I have not done my usual frugal things. But this is what I have done:
1. I brought a couple of frozen meals over on the plane and popped them in the little fridge freezer in my hotel room. That was two lunches.
2. I brought my reusable water bottle and refilled it at the hotel and office water stations. Didn’t buy water here (water in remote areas can be a bit up and down in quality- some areas have amazing water and others not so much).
3. I brought muesli bars and meal replacement shakes with me and had those for dinner for two of the four nights. Another night I bought a sandwich and the last night I was hosting an event and ate there. So I only paid for one meal and a couple of cups of coffee the whole time I was away.
4. As a result of my extreme tightwaddery I’m feeling ok because I haven’t eaten badly while I’m here (no pub meals) and I’m coming home with almost all of my per diem. I’ve learned the hard way that eating out while traveling in remote regions leads to bloated tummies so I’d rather go frugal and healthy.
5. My car has sat in the long term car park at the airport, frugally not using petrol for five days.

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Jennifer November 8, 2017 at 5:10 am

4. Good for you. Seems like if I eat out when I travel, I always get sick. Not much worse than being sick and not being at home. Safe travels!

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Marcia November 8, 2017 at 8:14 pm

I was at a 4 day training one time, and a group were going to dinner at a famous restaurant–but my friend and I were both so stuffed from the lunch they supplied us with that we just couldn’t see eating much of anything. So we didn’t go. I regret it to this day, but we could NOT have eaten. Ended up going to a mall and walking around, and getting a very light sandwich much later in the evening. Another disadvantage of meals while traveling.

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Bettypants November 8, 2017 at 4:46 am

1. I sold a box of Christmas decorations for $12, which I had bought at a garage sale for $2. Sold a lamp that I had gotten for free. I was asking $15, but it was a porch pickup and she left a $20 bill.
2. Really liked a specific cologne at the Gap outlets a couple weeks back, but I swear it was the only thing not on sale. A 50% coupon came out this week, which I used, after calling to make sure they had some in stock.
3. Made a new chocolate chip cookie bar recipe. I think they are meh, but my son loves them.
4. Walked to the library book sale with a friend and bought 9 books. Some I will resell and some for my brothers’ kids.
5. Used a durable old curtain to drag leaves to the curb instead of buying a tarp.

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Tracy November 8, 2017 at 4:58 am

Been trying to get back on the frugal wagon after a not frugal week, capped off by taking everyone out for dinner to celebrate my daughter’s 27th birthday. We don’t do that often but she had a particular restaurant in mind and she and her BF drove up from the town they leave in 1.5 hours away, so we were happy to be able to help her celebrate. Now it’s time to get frugal again!
1. Brought breakfasts and lunches to work so far this week and will today.
2. Have made dinner every night since the b-day dinner.
3. 13 yo DD really needs some clothes (she wears school uniforms so doesn’t have many) and although I often buy her things at Goodwill, she is doing shadowing at a couple of Catholic high schools she is interested in and wanted some “new” things that are on trend. Since she is not a materialistic kid and doesn’t ask for much I was okay indulging her teen angst this time and I was able to order some tops and bralettes (seems to be the “in” thing) and a sleeveless top and pair of shorts for our spring break vacation for 40% off the already low sale price (see, I even sound like an ad!). Also got my 27 year old a pair of workout tights and a matching sweatshirt and a pair of shoes at some time. First Christmas gifts bought so far, average price per gift $12, free shipping, I’m good with it.
4. Hubby and I cleaned own house this weekend.
5. Continuing to make DD’s school lunches instead of having her buy them.
6. Cleaned out closets (apropos of Katy’s last post, I should never buy anything again either new or used given how much I donate to Goodwill regularly and how overflowing my closets are) and will give to a friend who volunteers at a particular charity shop in town that does good work supporting immigrant families.

That’s it happy Wednesday to everyone!

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Jennifer November 8, 2017 at 5:04 am

1. I downloaded my free Friday download to my Kroger card(Uncle Ben’s rice).I also had a free bakery fresh angel food cake coupon and a LaLa smoothie 4 pack on there. When I got to Kroger to pick up my freebies, I noticed in the clearance section of Kroger there was a Culterelle kids probiotics marked down from $35 to $5.50. I remembered when I was downloading the coupons for my freebies, there was a $5.00 off coupon for Culterelle projects. So right there in the store, I downloaded that coupon to get those probiotics for only 50 cents. I know some don’t believe in probiotics but my daughter’s belly issues have improved since we started using them a few months ago.
2. I made hamburger steaks out of the ground beef my husband got reduced a few weeks ago. I made some 3 ingredient biscuits to go with them with gravy. I roasted some carrots to make things a little healthier.
3. One of my chickens layed her first egg and I’m pretty sure it is fertilized by my rooster. We are going to try to hatch it since one of my chickens died recently. I have read that you can simulate an incubator by using a heat lamp, some water for humidity,and turning the egg five times a day. That’s the condensed version of the directions, lol. My husband wants to buy an incubator but I’m excited to try and see if we can do it without buying anything. I know the chances are slim but it’s fun for my kids to watch and wait.
4. I downloaded another coupon to my Kroger card and went back and snagged another box the above probiotics for 50 cents.
5. I am making a homemade cake for my daughter’s birthday tomorrow.

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Roberta November 8, 2017 at 6:45 am

I would wait a bit before you start incubating eggs. The first couple of eggs a hen lays are a little unreliable. Go ahead and eat the first few, then collect several to incubate — that way you’ll have several chicks at once, which is both cute and insurance in case something bad happens. Eggs do NOT need to be incubated at once — wait until you have a good size clutch, then start incubating. Eggs don’t begin developing until they are incubated, and can wait in stasis for a while. Breeders bring eggs to share at shows, and they are not temperature controlled at that time. (That’s how a hen lays an egg a day and ends up with everyone hatching at once!) Thanks, 4-H!

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Jennifer November 8, 2017 at 7:58 am

Oh thanks, great advice! Going to pass this along to my husband as we are both still learning. Yeah, her first egg was a little thin so we were planning to add more as she has them so this is good to know. My kids know not to expect much, lol.

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Roberta November 8, 2017 at 1:20 pm

I don’t know how old your kids are, but if they’re five or older, you might want to look into your local 4-H group. We’ve learned a LOT about chickens since my son joined, and it’s nice to have someone you can call when you have a chicken emergency. (Yes, there are chicken emergencies around our house!)

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Jenny November 8, 2017 at 2:21 pm

Again, I hate to sound crazy, but how were you “pretty sure it was fertilized by rooster”? I know I could google that, but, as with the light box, and so many other topics, I feel that the info given by “those who really know” here on this blog is so much more real and helpful- would a chicken owner mind a fast explanation?

Jennifer November 8, 2017 at 7:03 pm

The reason I think my hen has a fertilized egg is because she has a rooster in the cage with her and I have observed them doing, um “stuff”. This hen and rooster are the only two in this coop. I have another coop with only the egg laying hens and no rooster. Basically, to be a fertilized egg, the hen has to be with a rooster. These two have been alone in the same coop since they were babies and she has just now begun to lay.

Roberta November 9, 2017 at 7:29 am

BTW, if you see a blood spot in the egg when you crack it to cook it, that probably means the hen was young, or old. They tend to have weird eggs at the beginning or end of their production. They make the spot even in the absence of a rooster, although I believed for years the spot was the fertilization spot.

Jennifer November 9, 2017 at 7:28 pm

Mand, I have had bloody yolks that were almost all red from my hens when they first started to lay that have never been exposed to a rooster. Those first eggs seem to always be strange. Sometimes they are super thin, irregularly shaped, have bloody yolks, are super small, or they look perfectly normal. Chickens are definitely a learning experience.
I used to think that chickens had to have a rooster to lay eggs. My family continues to learn so much.

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Ney November 9, 2017 at 8:53 am

Could I please have your recipe for 3 ingredient biscuits?

I used to have chickens and I loved them! And the best, fresh eggs!

Thanks!!!!

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Jennifer November 9, 2017 at 11:23 am

Sure! Some people call these mayonnaise biscuits or drop biscuits.

2 cups self rising flour( or you can add in baking powder and salt, as I often do)
1 cup of milk(I have also used water in pinch, but milk is better)
6 tbsp of mayonnaise.

Mix these ingredients together then drop by large spoonfuls into a baking dish or, do like I do, and drop into a greased muffin tin and bake in a preheated oven at 450 degrees. This dough will be super sticky so I usually use an ice cream scoop to put it in muffin tins. Sometimes I add herbs or chili powder depending on what we eat them with. They are really nice plain with gravy over top. I love this recipe because my husband wants some type of bread with every meal and these are quick to make with stuff I usually have on hand. I even serve them with spaghetti by adding garlic to the dough and topping them with a salty, garlic butter and Parmesan.

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kathleen November 9, 2017 at 5:05 pm

Thank you, Jennifer! I’ll be trying these.

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Jennifer November 9, 2017 at 7:16 pm

Your welcome, enjoy!

Liz B. November 10, 2017 at 4:38 pm

Jennifer, thank you! My husband, the mayonnaise connoisseur (snort, smirk) has decided he dislikes olive oil mayo…..after using half the big jar. No, he *cannot* just use it up (dramatic back of hand to forehead, then almost swoon), that is just too awful to contemplate. I’ll try this recipe to use it up. We love biscuits!

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Jennifer November 11, 2017 at 1:50 pm

Sounds exactly like my husband, enjoy!

Cindy in the South I November 8, 2017 at 5:25 am

1. I am still eating, for lunch, hot dogs from the eight packet I bought for a dollar, and the eight buns I bought for a dollar. It is not the healthiest, but it is quick and cheap and this week is very stressful, so I need quick and cheap. I made a batch of beans, rice, and carrots to eat all week for supper, and I am doing that when I get home. It is only a minute to heat up, and I top it with salsa and sour cream. Heck, I even threw in a little homemade coleslaw I had left over….whatever. I am just trying to not be hungry, and keep on working this week. I do not care if the meals are repetitive. 2. I started scrubbing my seven year old rug, that is in my kitchen, with dishsoap and water. I only got around to a little bit of it, this is gonna be a long project. It is still stained and terrible looking, where I scrubbed, but it is clean in those scrubbed spots…lol. The truth is that I need a new rug, but I am trying to make this old, stained one last till it falls apart, even if it looks awful. 3, 4,5. Probably the most frugal thing I am doing is re-evaluating my life, every aspect. Some things need to change and I am trying to determine a plan to implement those changes. I need less stress. Far, far, far less stress. I am re-evaluating my job, my family relationships, and my friendships. I have spent way too long taking care of others, and I need to take care of my health and myself. I allowed myself to be taken advantage of, financially, of a significant amount of money this week, by a very close work “friend” and I do not need to let that happen again. Especially, since I almost overdrew my bank account, trying to help her out, and then she tried to renege on the for sure promised money she would have the next morning. I consider this my fault, for lending her the money in the first place. She paid me, very late, but she paid me, and was mad about paying me back. This happens way too often in my life, my allowing so called friends, to take advantage of me, and at my age, I should know better. This is not NCA, and is just plain stupid on my part.

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Jennifer November 8, 2017 at 5:34 am

2. Can you take that rug to a local car wash? My friend, that sells rugs for a living, throws them in the back of a truck and takes them to the car wash for a high pressure wash. She claims it’s the only way to clean them.
4-5. Sorry to hear life is beating you up right now. Isn’t it amazing how when you loan some people money that they actually get pissed when they have to pay it back. It always make me feel like I did something wrong by asking for my money!

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Cindy in the South I November 8, 2017 at 5:53 am

Exactly Jennifer…and this was $600! I normally only loan someone $20, which I can cover. I was so shocked she asked for this, twenty minutes before the banks closed, and when she said she would have it to me first thing in the morning, I just assumed she had it at home, and just could not get there to put it in the bank. So, I made the decision to help her out, but told her I had to have it first thing in the morning, and she promised she would.Well, she was an hour and a half late for work the next day, did not have but some of it when she got to work, said she would have the balance when someone else paid her what they owed her. It was a very stressful day for me and I have learned my lesson.

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Jennifer November 8, 2017 at 7:15 am

Ugh, so frustrating! I just tell people I don’t have any money. Some of them know I’m lying but I don’t care anymore. We have to protect ourselves.

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Bettypants November 8, 2017 at 6:39 am

Thank you for that great tip on cleaning a rug! I would never have thought of it and will keep it in mind.

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Jennifer November 8, 2017 at 7:16 am

Your so welcome, I thought it was genius!

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Marcia November 8, 2017 at 8:21 pm

My husband restores old cars. He had a rear carpet he could not replace and didn’t know what to do with it because it looked so bad. We got some Rit dye, mixed it up, and applied it to the carpet with a scrub brush, trying not to saturate it to much, and letting it dry thoroughly outside of the car. It worked surprisingly well, restoring it much closer to the original color. Of course he cleaned it as best he could before dying it. You could also try something like that if you aren’t totally happy once you get the stains scrubbed off!

Crosby November 8, 2017 at 11:05 am

Cindy, I applaud your 3-5. I am wondering, are there any procedures or free resources you’re using to re-evaluate everything? I’d like to do something similar but every time I start, I get overwhelmed, and go back to the status quo.

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Cindy in the South I November 8, 2017 at 11:43 am

Frugalwoods had a similar post recently about how she figured out what she wants to do with her life. My whole life can be summed up in the sentence, “that did not go as planned.”…..lol

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Crosby November 8, 2017 at 11:56 am

haha thanks, I’ll check it out! You got this lady!

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Alexandra November 9, 2017 at 9:55 am

Cindy in the South, I always enjoy reading your posts.
I’m sorry you had that level of stress. We have had similar issues with family borrowing money.
The last time we were told this person would be homeless unless we helped. We did not help. Someone else took them in and it ended badly. The homeowner was called “miserable and cruel”. Hmmmm, because they took him in off the street?
Some people have a long road ahead in learning these life lessons on money handling. I decided they are going to have to learn them without us anymore. The answer is a firm no. We were proud of ourselves and interestingly, he is back on his feet.
Our message to him: “We trust that you can do this. You are strong enough.” That is all we are offering anymore.

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Cindy in the South I November 9, 2017 at 11:17 am

This was a co-worker. She has had an attitude with me since then. I am so upset. I thought we were good friends. But, even at my old AARP age, I am learning that I need to see boundaries with those I love.

ouvickie November 9, 2017 at 2:35 pm

Cindy – I highly recommend the book – Boundaries: When to Say Yes, When to Say No to Take Control of Your Life by Townsend and Cloud.
It’s all about how manage relationships for those of us who allow/have allowed people to take advantage of us.
It’s one of the best self-help books I’ve ever read and it truly changed the way I think about relationships – family, friends, co-workers – and how I react to peoples demands and requests on my time, my finances and my love.
My relationship issues were caused by a parent with serious relationship issues as an adult. She was repeating a pattern and I decided I needed to halt that pattern. It’s taken some serious soul searching and changing the way I react to people.
Hang in there, you CAN change things for the better!

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janine November 9, 2017 at 5:17 pm

Ourvicki: Thanks for the heads up – many of us were trained as “pleasers”. I just ended a close friendship because of just such issues. (Not money, but other boundaries that are important to maintaining a healthy relationship.)
I will look into reading this book.

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Isabelle November 11, 2017 at 4:46 am

Lending money is a slippery slope…
My naive hubby lent 500$ to a “friend” years ago. Never got it back even after asking for it. Never will. Lesson learned!
I don’t lend money. Not true, I did lend 3500$ to my mother, but I had her sign a paper (if something happens to her it will be clear with my sister that this money is mine). She’s paying me back slowly. I don’t think I want to lend money anymore after this is repaid, it makes me feel insecure.

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Liz B. November 11, 2017 at 10:44 am

My mother in law does lend money to family members…..BUT the borrowers are expected to pay it back, or work it off doing whatever chores she needs done. She works out a repayment schedule based on what the borrower can manage. One of my nieces needed to borrow $, and repaid it by cleaning MIL’s house weekly. She still cleans mil’s house, to earn extra cash (she also has a close relationship with mil, so it’s a win win).
MIL gives one chance – if you reneg on repayment, she wil NOT lend to you again. She also tells my husband how much the borrower owes her, in case she passes away before the debt is repaid (she is 86; hubby is the executor of her estate). She has made hubby promise the borrower(s) will have the amount they owe deducted from any inheritance they might get. Lol!!

Mand01 November 11, 2017 at 12:14 pm

I have a rule – I won’t lend but I will give if I can afford to. That way there are no hard feelings because it’s a gift. I decided that after a colleague ended a twenty year friendship over an $800 loan to her oldest friend. I bet if someone had asked her before all that happened how much money her friendship was worth she’d have said “friendship is worth more than money.” Turns out it was worth exactly $800 – plus a lot of hurt feelings.
I don’t know how much I will be able to afford to give if a friend or family member asked me, but my husband and I have agreed that this is what we will do if it happens.

Susie's Daughter November 8, 2017 at 5:31 am

I should start with the Frugal fail/partial silver lining:

After years of not having one (with no adverse effects, mind you) I got an iPhone about two months ago. After the recent power outage, I dropped it into a bucket of water we had drawn that I hadn’t dumped out yet. UGH. I pulled it out immediately and/but the only things that seem not to work are the sound features (no ringer for example, but I can hear on calls and vice versa). It is still usable in my opinion though Dear Wife and my BFF are not convinced.
Partial silver lining is that we have insurance, so I could get it replaced at some point when I am in our “big city”. Not worth a separate trip in my opinion.
Other partial silver lining is that I learned how to make rice in the crockpot by testing on the rice I used to try to dry out the phone. 🙂

1) We picked up our pasture raised chickens on Sunday. 12 lovely birds in the freezer and one already cooked on Monday. Our friend is the organic farmer – local food supporting the local economy.

2) Picked up .60 worth of roadside returnables yesterday. I figured I better make good use of the time before snow (soon).

3) 18 degrees this morning so out come the winter coats (I am sure Lindsey’s Alaska temps can beat that by now). DS went off to school in an LL Bean coat I got for $8.50 at the consignment store last year. I figure average retail was around $100.

4) Drinking eggnog in my coffee from last Christmas season that spent the summer in our large freezer. Yum! I just HAD to take it out to make room for the chickens… 🙂

5) Girding my loins to go a couple of rounds with our insurance company. DS is having significant and expensive dental work done across the boarder in the neighboring state at the closest and most qualified pediatric dentist, 30 minutes away. Insurance is refusing to pay as it is out of state. Closest in state option was 1.5 hours away meaning lost work and school for me and DS. How stupid! Someone recently recommended talking to a state level agency. Please remind me who?

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Bee November 8, 2017 at 6:44 am

Vermont has a Department of Financial Regulation which includes insurance. Good luck — I am keeping my fingers crossed.

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Sarah D November 8, 2017 at 8:30 am

May I suggest LifeProof case for the iphone? It’s a big spend initially (I think we paid in the $60-75 range) but totally saves the phone from major abuse (I drop it daily, have thrown it down mountains, dropped in a vat of bubble solution, etc and NO DAMAGE). PLUS, the company offers lifetime guarantee on the case – so when our first cases were starting to show a little wear on the corners (from all my constant dropping and throwing of the phone) they replaced them for free (even though we were past the official one-year warranty). Absolutely worth the money and cheaper/better than insurance for the phones.

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Debbie from Delaware November 8, 2017 at 9:45 am

You may want to check your smart phone coverage. A friend recently turned in a claim after regularly paying for insurance and received only $13.00 because they depreciate the phones value.

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Susie's Daughter November 8, 2017 at 2:28 pm

Bee, Sarah and Debbie – Thank you all for your suggestions and info!

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Sarah D November 9, 2017 at 5:19 pm

You’re welcome! I was a late-adopter on the iphone (in large part because of the cost and my, uh, clutziness) and I still have my first and only one I’ve ever bought (5 years going on 6 now) because the case has protected it so well!

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Kathy Hairston November 8, 2017 at 5:59 am

1. Listed an item on eBay, sold it a few hours and out in the mail it went.
2. Used coupons/BOGO and got Oreo cookie bars (6) for .67/each. I’ll put them in the kids (40, 37) stockings
3. Received a $17.84 class action rebate
4. Worked the dog show gig over the weekend=free parking and lunch
5. Not frugal had to have my mom who passed over 11 years ago dog put to sleep. $235.

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Bee November 8, 2017 at 6:31 am

1) I went to bag day at the library on Saturday with my son. We each filled a paper grocery bag with books for $10 each. I had 27 books in my bag. What a bargain. I was excited to find a set of novels, The Alexandria Quartet by Lawrence Durrell (The Durrells of Corfu). I also bought a two like-new cookbooks as gifts and a few silly thrillers. I love a library sale!

2) I am in the midst of a big decluttering project. I am having a sale with friends this coming Saturday. My house currently looks like it has been ransacked — stuff everywhere. I have a box of magazines to bring to the library, a carload of items for Goodwill, a table full of items to sell on eBay, boxes of books to go to the secondhand book store, and piles of things to sell at the yard sale. I still need to sort the items in my closet, fabric cupboard and the dreaded garage. By Saturday, I will have opened every drawer, box, closet and cabinet.

3) I stopped at the Goodwill when I was out and about this weekend. This may sound illogical given my second frugal thing. However, after a recent weight loss, many of my clothes no longer fit. I was able to by two cute, casual dresses for $10. Today my plan is to try on everything in my closet and purge. Ugh!

4) We continue to eat our meals at home. We drink primarily water and home-brewed coffee. I have been trying to use all leftovers which isn’t really hard now that my dear son — aka the human garbage disposal– is back home.

5) Like many of you, I continue to watch Poldark and The Durrells of Corfu on my PBS app. I also enjoy an occasional episode of Bargain Hunt and Antique Road Trip on YouTube as I dig through drawers and sort. I always have book on my nightstand. I am currently reading The Sherlockian which I checked out from the library. I need to find a book club.

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cathy November 8, 2017 at 11:27 am

Bee, I loved The Sherlockian! It was a fun read. Our local PBS channel has been rebroadcasting episodes of Sherlock! on Sunday nights so I can sort of get my fix while waiting to see if they’ll ever release another season.

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Cindy in the South I November 8, 2017 at 1:51 pm

I would be so excited about 27 new to me books! I love books…I am not an electronic reader….I love the smell of books….

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Jenny November 8, 2017 at 2:29 pm

Anyone here do BookMooch? I do and love it, although it may be classified as a hobby rather than a money-saving thing. You list all the books you want to give away, get points for listing, and have access to “mooch” other people’s books from all over- you “pay” with your points. But you, of course, have to pay to ship the books to people. but if you love books like some of us do, it’s amazing.

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Debbie November 8, 2017 at 8:12 pm

I’ve never heard of BookMooch but I have used paperbackswap for years. Sounds like they are similar. Thanks for the tip.

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Bee November 8, 2017 at 3:44 pm

Cindy, I too love the smell of books. I look forward to the book sale every year. The only thing better than 27 new books is 27 new books for $10. Jenny, I will check out BookMooch. I try to donate or swap books when I am done with them. This might be another good alternative for me. Thanks for the tip!

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Tracy November 9, 2017 at 4:37 am

Bee I am so impressed that you need some new clothes due to weight loss. Regrettably, if I don’t stop the slow creep, I am going to need new clothes for the opposite reason… Decidedly NOT frugal (or healthy) to let that trend continue…

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Bee November 9, 2017 at 1:47 pm

Thank you! Needing new clothes is a good news – bad news event. I have battled thyroid disease and food allergies for years. I think that I used these ailments as an excuse for not losing weight. I had a traumatic doctor’s visit last year, and it shook me up a bit. With my doctor’s encouragement, I gave up nearly all processed foods and sugar. I have lost 1/2 – 1 pound every week since.
Before I sound too self-righteous, however, I must confess that I also got adult braces (Invisalign) last spring to correct a serious dental issue. It is such a pain to pop the trays in and out of your mouth to eat. Now I only eat when I am really hungry — no snacking, tasting, etc. so perhaps these things came together to create a perfect storm.

susanna d November 8, 2017 at 6:34 am

1. The guest bathroom (formerly the main bathroom) in our house has a huge window over the tub. Not just your garden variety normal small bathroom window, we’re talking one large window here. This was probably installed to make up for the fact that there is no ventilation fan in that bathroom (although when it’s -30F in winter we’re sure not opening the window in there). Being over the tub, the wood was showing some damage although it was minor and superficial; it just looked crappy. I’d made a curtain for the window out of an old shower curtain to protect it, but still – it was ugly. Husband looked into replacing the whole window but estimates came in around $1000. Then I remembered reading on a home improvement site about a couple who had a similar problem and were able to fix the frame and trim with a light sanding and several coats of EXTERIOR latex paint. Many coats of exterior paint later – and after installing a new layer of opaque “frosted glass” window film (because despite being over the tub it was a clear glass window, not a privacy-type frosted one) – it looks gorgeous. Total cost of project was $13 for paint and $12 for window film, so $25. Our only regret is not doing this sooner.
2. Husband had a prescription change that required new glasses, sunglasses and contacts. This time I was able to talk him into getting them through Costco instead of the high priced optical shop he normally uses. The glasses and sunglasses together cost well under half of what one pair of glasses would have at the optical shop. While I know people who’ve had success with the much cheaper online glasses purchases, due to the very, um, quirky nature of my husband’s glasses prescription we chose not to try that route. I’m plenty happy with 60% savings.
3. It’s gotten ridiculously cold for this early in the season – single digit temperatures at night already – so I put the flannel sheets on the bed. That’s enough to keep us toasty warm while still having the house temperature set at between 58-60 overnight.
4. I used up the last of a tube of lotion that I’d cut open and scraped clean. Got over 3 more week’s worth of lotion out of it.
5. A farm stand in a town we were driving through closed for the season last week, but had a sign saying everything on the wagon was free. Scored some free pumpkins and a free squash.

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Mary W November 15, 2017 at 6:03 pm

What a great idea for fixing the window issues! I always learn so much from your posts, susannah!

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Roberta November 8, 2017 at 7:11 am

1. I had Federal jury duty this month. I was pretty disappointed (read whatever less-adult word you want there) to be unable to schedule my life for the entire month, but when I showed up Monday I got placed on a jury *and we completed the trial the same day!* Now I’m off the hook for the remainder of the month. I will receive money to reimburse me for mileage and a stipend for service. I brought my lunch, so I’m not out any money, and only one day’s worth of time!
2. Skipped Pad Thai day (yesterday’s google doodle) and made dinner at home. My poor husband was not thrilled, but we ate and were satisfied.
3. I’m getting a lot of merchandise together to send up to the shop. My dad will be driving down to my house in his truck, so I’ll make the return trip worthwhile and send a bunch of things with him. This way I won’t need to drive my truck to his house, and I’ll be able to take my Prius next time I go up.
4. We got a little rain yesterday, which is great and exciting, but I had to pull my laundry off the line! This is super-unusual for us. I had a load in the washer, but it was cold enough last night that I did not put it in the dryer and I will be hanging it out this morning.
5. I ran out of milk-alternative (I get whatever milk they have at Grocery Outlet — hemp, almond, coconut, whatever) and I made my own almond milk instead. I used the solids in dinner last night, so no waste!

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Roberta November 8, 2017 at 7:11 am

Oh, and thanks to all you lovely people with your library usage, I remembered to renew my books and avoid library fines!

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Shelia November 8, 2017 at 7:59 am

I was supposed to do a craft show with my sister Saturday but she ended up getting a blood tranfusion at the hospital. Her daughter and daughter-in-law helped instead. She made a quite a bit, me, not so much! But I was glad to do it for her. I’ll try to find five frugal things from Saturday.
1. I did make a profit since I had so little in materials. I did small trees from a large ,99 bag of wooden thread spools, and two packs of .35 greenery ‘chenille’ stems from Meijers. I also used a garland I had picked up at a garage sale for pip berries for the trees and I used the gum balls from gum trees for the tree toppers.
2. From the same 1.00 garland I used charming red bells and the greenery on pint jars I ‘snowed’ with epsom salts from the dollar tree. I already had the red and white bakers twine I used around the neck to hold on the greenery and the clear paint I sprayed on the snow so it wouldn’t flake off.
3. I also sold a couple of farmhouse decor items from the thrift shop for a nice profit and a couple of small antiques.
4. I had to leave really early so my husband made me a large coffee to put in my stainless steel mug and packed a food bag for me. I munched on those for breakfast and lunch and managed to avoid the yummy chicken and noodles they were selling. I did have one cup of their free but not very good coffee.
5. We ate leftovers for dinner that night followed by incredible cupcakes my nephew’s wife had made for display for her new cupcake business. Wow, were they yummy! She should do quite well!

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Sarah D November 8, 2017 at 8:23 am

1. Made my 1st ebay sale! Clearing something out of my closet in exchange for money? Yes, please!
2. Voted early, to save time (voting lines in our local election have been majorly long lately!) which is also saving sanity and money.
3. Keeping on top of my laundry so I don’t have to use the dryer. I have a fairly small drying rack, so if I let it slide (like I did last week) I have to resort to several loads in the dryer.
4. I picked up a handful of change while walking my dog. When I went to put it in my change jar, I noticed that it’s actually Canadian coinage. Thankfully, my mom is going to Canada next week to visit my brother, so I gave it to her!
5. Last week I paid off my student loan. (Several years early, but I’m in my early 40s so this still stinks). I made the (mistake?) of looking at all the interest I’ve paid on that loan, even though it was a very very low interest rate. Still, paying it off saves me from future interest payments and we have made a plan to get my husband’s loan paid off more quickly also.

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Roberta November 8, 2017 at 1:23 pm

Congratulations on your ebay sale! I remember how excited I was when I finally got money for getting rid of my old stuff! Congrats on the student loan payoff as well!

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rebecca November 9, 2017 at 6:48 am

Congratulations on paying off your loan!

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Sarah D November 9, 2017 at 5:21 pm

Thanks Roberta and Rebecca! Both of those things felt really great!

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Ruby November 8, 2017 at 9:16 am

1. Trimmed the worn edge off a nail buffer sponge and buffed my nails this morning. Nail polish is wasted on me because I work so much with my hands.
2. Been packing my homemade lunch and tea to work every day.
3. All my winter shirts came from thrift shops, consigment sales or eBay.
4. My new job has a sadly neglected office kitchen. A $1 scrub brush and a bottle of inexpensive all-purpose cleaner from the dollar store helped me get it clean. Co-workers are appreciative and I no longer fear food poisoning from using the kitchen.
5. Been enjoying some free e-books.

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Bee November 8, 2017 at 3:49 pm

I buff my nails too. It keeps nails healthy and looking nice. I never spend money on fingernail polish. Definitely a frugal win. 🙂

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Teddie November 8, 2017 at 9:36 am

1. Did a Mystery shop very early Monday morning.
2. Picked up a few groceries and very inexpensive craft items I need to make a baby gift for a best friend’s new grandson. I already had the more costly item I need leftover from the last craft.
3. Dropped off library books which were due same day on the way home, but unfortunately library was not open yet ~ too early.
4. Reading a free Amazon Prime book on my computer until I can get to the library. I like having a “real book” to read.
5. Put a big package of chicken in the crockpot yesterday. Used some for chicken wraps for dinner and freezing the remaining to make chicken pot pie later.

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KJD509 November 8, 2017 at 9:46 am

1) Voted yesterday – free and powerful.
2) . . . even though I drove the long way to the library to drop off my ballot. Totally boring dinner planned, and the quickest route to the ballot box took me past Panda Express. A few extra drops of gas were definitely the more frugal choice.
3) Warming leftover coffee in the mornings, and only making a pot every other day.
4) Bought the less expensive mousetraps that mean I will see the bodies when mice are caught, rather than more expensive traps that hide them in a box. . . or just burning the damn house down to get rid of the wretched creatures, which is starting to seem like a viable option. The news the other day said, “This is a good year for mice!” By which they meant, this is a really terrible year for people who don’t want mice in their houses. Ugh. Elderly cat has just given up. We hear skittering down the hall at night and he climbs under my blankets and tucks his head under his paws.
5) No Lear jet, no gold-plated purchases.

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Robin November 8, 2017 at 11:14 am

I feel you on your number 4. We have two indoor cats in part because our first one is entirely too old (and half-blind) to catch anything beyond stuffed animals. Fortunately, our middle age cat is an excellent mouser. We live in the middle of nowhere, and in all of our years of trying different ways to combat mice, an active cat that likes to eat mice is the only solution we’ve ever found. If anyone has any other tricks that work, I’d love to hear them.

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Roberta November 8, 2017 at 1:25 pm

Terrier dogs are also good choices! If anyone has tips for how to keep rodents out of the engine compartment of your car, I’d also like to hear that!

I have used a lot of snap traps over the years. It keeps the numbers down, but it isn’t pleasant. We’ve even caught the occasional bird, which is traumatic. 🙁

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Rhonda November 9, 2017 at 9:27 am

Roberta, we have placed socks stuffed with mothballs under our vehicle hoods to keep rodents out.

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kathleen November 9, 2017 at 7:15 pm

The wiring on newer car models has soy-based covering instead of plastic. It attracts rodents, which is not just creepy, but causes lots of expensive damages. I’ve heard of putting moth balls under the hood, but remember that when you smell mothballs, you are inhaling the insecticide (think of the smell coming through the vents)…not safe for anyone, so if you have kids please don’t take risks by letting them breath fumes or have mothballs out where they can reach them.

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Liz B. November 10, 2017 at 6:19 pm

Someone on here (or maybe on the NCA fb page, i forget) mixed equal parts dry plaster of paris (I guess it’s a powder?) with cornmeal, and placed it in areas where the mice were likely to feed. The mice leave your house looking for water. It worked for that person (terribly sorry, I did not take note of the person’s name), and i intend to try it in my basement.

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Bethany M November 8, 2017 at 10:11 am

1. We had leftovers for dinner and some fresh baked bread. What makes leftover soup better than hot bread from the oven with drippy melty butter?!?!!
2. I relisted a craigslist item and this time I dragged the picture into paint and put a big red $5 on it to let pursuers know how cheap my item is.
3. Took videos of the kids reading their math facts. They can put their egocentric nature to work watching their own videos and learning their facts. Free entertainment, also free mental health help, as I have limited patience for teaching them their math facts while they whine the whole time.
4. Compiling a list of things to have our charter school purchase for our home education. I’m thinking a magnet kit, piano Christmas music books, and some cursive writing books.
5. We put to use an old cardboard box to create a “habitat” for burrowing owls and squirrels. Hoping the kids really understand this concept after all the muddy process and clean up. Had enough activities to keep us home and used less gas and put fewer miles on the car. Outdoor activities are essential for me to get through these days. Love me some free vitamin D!!!
5.

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susanna d November 9, 2017 at 7:36 am

I especially like your #5! Sounds like something my grandchildren would enjoy – they love being outdoors, and love wildlife watching. And yes, the free vitamin D is a nice bonus!

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Lindsey November 9, 2017 at 6:53 pm

Cut up cardboard would taste okay if on hot, butter-dripping bread!

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Jennifer November 9, 2017 at 7:38 pm

Ditto

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Crosby November 8, 2017 at 11:23 am

I’ve been struggling quite a bit lately. Haven’t been frugal, haven’t been taking care of myself, and have been wasting a lot of food (just had to throw out a whole spaghetti squash and a whole pineapple). This is me trying to hop back on the bandwagon and hold myself more accountable!

1. I voted yesterday
2. For dinner, DH roasted a chicken that had been in our freezer and I cooked up the 2 surviving spaghetti squash before those went bad.
3. I used the last of my “fun money” from my health insurance company (we get $250 a year to use on things like massages and gym memberships) to purchase a new student pass to a local yoga studio. It includes unlimited classes for 2 weeks so I have scheduled in as many classes as I can. I need to get back to being active as I have been feeling very blah and sick lately.
4. I ate greek yogurt for breakfast…I hate greek yogurt but we have a container that is going to go bad soon and I dressed it up with homemade granola and fruit salad
That’s it for now.

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Betty Winslow November 8, 2017 at 11:58 am

1. Went to the store to buy hot chocolate mix, found it on sale for 99 each if you bought 10. I bought 5, filled it in with stuff I can give the food pantry. Saved $2.50!
2. Went around town asking for donations for gift baskets for a school fundraiser – got some nice donations, exercise, and fresh air!
3. Needed some greeting cards, bought them at Dollar Tree – 50 cents each and they were nice!
4. Been buying things on sale for Xmas gifts and am almost done. Need to buy some gift cards, but am waiting to see if Kroger will have a 4x fuel points events again.
5. Been wanting to try a certain expensive tea, but kept putting it off. The mom of a local coffeeshop owner asked me to meet her at the shop for a drink and a jewelry consultation, so I ordered the tea I’ve been eyeing. Glad I didn’t pay for it…. weak and flavorless!

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Carol November 8, 2017 at 2:36 pm

1. My husband and I have brought our lunches to work everyday this week. I work later than him, so I was able to make his lunch, too. He doesn’t leave himself enough time to do it, he usually just gets something at 7-11.

I’ve been making tuna sandwiches, but I have to put in frozen peas and chopped onions for my husband, but it’s worth it to have him spend less. He works more hours than I do, so I don’t mind doing extra things at home.

2. I’ve been thinking of getting some riding boots for the fall/winter season, but here in Southern California I probably don’t need them. I’ll be able to survive most of the winter with the ballet flats I already have, and I can buy a pair of riding boots at the Goodwill if and when I find them, and only if I love them. No hurry.

3. Speaking of the Goodwill, I bought an elegant cotton jacket with a 3/4 sleeve for $6 while there. It will be perfect for the winter here. I already got a quilted jacket a few months ago for my Christmas visit in Colorado. I was going to buy jeans and culottes during my latest visit, but restrained myself.

4. Sauteed a chopped eggplant for a long time with basil, oregano, red pepper flakes and salt in our wok last night. Then served with plain yogurt. Saved us from getting takeout.

5. Month 4 of Your Money or Your Life charting, and still we’re spending less than we make. So proud of us; it has been one of the wisest things we’ve done in this marriage, getting a joint checking account.

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Ava November 8, 2017 at 2:37 pm

1. Had a successful craft show. This is especially good since I lost almost a week to sickness right before and didn’t have as much inventory as I usually do. As usual, most of my materials came from Goodwill, yard sales, and recycled items so material cost is low. I so enjoy getting something damaged or just plain hideous and reworking it to turn it into something that people want to buy and take home (and give me money for.)
2. Husband, half grown kitten and I finally recovered from our ailments, though kitten required yet another trip to the vet. Vet considered his illness a complication of surgery and didn’t charge for either office visit. He ended up having fluids twice, an antibiotic, a vitamin B shot and an appetite stimulant at no charge. He seems to have made a full recovery.
3. Cleaned up one garden bed and planted it with kale. Maybe now that we have a dog, the rabbits won’t eat it down to the ground like they did last year.
4. Made several appointments for home maintenance, even though I sort of hate doing that. Then I remind myself that the reason my last heat and air unit lasted 26 years was probably the regular tuneups.
5. Cooked my first butternut squash. The potatoes I had in the oven at the same time boiled over and filled the oven with smoke. The squash had a distinct unpleasant smoky taste. I thought about feeding it to the dog, but instead I tried mixing it with black beans in tacos. I couldn’t taste the smoke at all and it was outstandingly delicious.

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Mrs. Picky Pincher November 8, 2017 at 6:16 pm

Yay for coupons and wowza with those thrift finds! I envy you people with the knowledge to flip items online. I just know I’d get burned. 😛

This week:

1. I applied to more freelance jobs on UpWork to bring in some more side money.

2. I compiled old soap bars that I found in my cabinet, which I plan to turn into liquid soap.

3. I’m drinking my homemade plum wine right now. It cost a mere $5 to make a gallon of homemade wine. Frugal win!

4. I got my first magazine subscription today. My nieces are Girl Scouts and were selling subscriptions to fund a camp trip. As an aunt I did oblige, since you can’t just give cash donations. The silver lining was that buying through GS got me a steep discount at least. It’s nice to read a physical paper object instead of a screen and the girls get to go to camp. 🙂

5. It got down into the 50s today, which is chilly for Texas. I didn’t have to turn on the A/C or heat. Our energy bill last month was a sweet ‘n’ low $50! I’m grateful for the extra insulation we put into the house over the summer.

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Dee November 8, 2017 at 6:47 pm

1. I used up quite a few random ingredients to make homemade chili. Unfortunately my family is so spoiled to my homemade chili that they tasted the difference immediately and are not eating it as enthusiastically as I had hoped. I will freeze more of it until they have forgotten or I need a pot luck meal.
2. Although hubby and I had a virus/bug over the weekend, I was able to make a couple of delicious soups to provide nourishment. Our only extra purchase was 7-Up.
3. As a result of said virus/bug, our grocery bill will be lower this week.
4. I am pricing items for my weekend garage sale and really trying to clean out more as a means to declutter than hopes of making money.
5. I continue to wear it out, use it up, make do or do without my thrift store wardrobe, used paid-for cars, 2-year old iPhone, and 5-year old (?) iPad left over from a young adult child that upgraded.

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Mand01 November 8, 2017 at 9:06 pm

Alas, our six and a half year old iPad 2 died over the weekend. It was so sad to see the lines run over the screen. Sad because we will buy another- it is a heavily used item in our home. At least we know we literally used it until it died.

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Emily November 8, 2017 at 7:33 pm

1. I started a new job this week! Higher pay, great benefits, and next month I will move to a clinic that is only 2 miles away. I will literally be spending less than 10 dollars a month in gas to get to work which is amazing, especially after doing home health then commuting 65 miles ONE WAY for 2 years. The age of my car needs to catch up with the mileage!

2. I am currently snuggling with two pups I am dog sitting :). Great cash, and even better mood lifter!

3. I have been packing pb and j for lunch and snacks. Spending 14 dollars a day to have jimmy johns delivered seems crazy to me (I don’t eat meat anyway but still). Need to find out what to do about office coffee. There is no pot, only a keurig, which for a variety of reasons I refuse to drink. Thinking I will bring a coffee press with me.

4. I cannot contribute to my 401k for 6 months at my new job, so I am using that time to throw all my extra money towards my student loans. I have 6,500 left out of the 40,000 I started with less than 3 years ago and all I want is for it it to be G-O-N-E.

5. Bought two scrub tops off of Poshmark. I only found 1 brand that fits my curve-less bod, and they are not the cheapest! New they are around 36.00 for just a top, but I got 2 for 25 :).

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Marilyn November 8, 2017 at 7:54 pm

Congratulations on your new job. Sounds great. I know what you mean about the horrors of a long commute. I used to work at a job which required me to commute some 60 mikes each way. I was all stressed out before even starting work..

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Susie's Daughter November 9, 2017 at 5:49 am

Emily – so many things to like about the new job – well done! On the coffee front, if you only want a cup or two a day, you could also consider an Aeropress. About $30 upfront cost to make coffee for a year (300 filters included but doesn’t include beans 🙂 ), small footprint for storage and it is really good tasting coffee.

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Emily November 11, 2017 at 9:42 am

I will definitely look into the aeropress! I have a normal press and a drip thing already, and a regular machine so I dont really need any more gadgets ha! I just am trying to limit how many things I consume from hot plastic!

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Emily November 11, 2017 at 9:40 am

thank you! agreed. start your day already high strung!

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Laur November 8, 2017 at 8:59 pm

1. I made a sale on eBay and the lady at the post office showed me a different way of packaging saving me $3 on postage.
2. I’ve been unwell this week so have been chilling out watching Netflix and rehydrating. No spend days!
3. My wonderful Mum is bringing over carbonara for tea and we’ll use up our fruit in a fruit salad.
4. Picked up an extra shift at work this week. Includes free lunch and coffee.
5. I applied for a new rental house which will save us $30 per week. It’s also much smaller so less to lean. Fingers crossed we get this Imone because I’m so ready to move! We have been decluttering and selling items online as well as bundling things up for a garage sale. No use bringing unused items with us when we move.

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ouvickie November 9, 2017 at 8:02 am

I love Bob’s Red Mill mixes! Their gluten-free Brownie Mix is awesome. Two of the stores I frequent carry them.
1) We were treated to free leftover cookies, here at work, after lunch yesterday. I made that my afternoon snack. The double fudge chocolate are my favorite.
2) Today I have a few errands to run at lunch, so I plan to pick-up a few things at the Dollar Tree. I love buying cheap snacks to stash in my desk here at work.
3) I need to send a card to a friend and found a stash of free ones at home that hubby received in something.
4) I’m wearing one of my thrifted, long sleeve tops today. It’s pretty turquoise color and just the right weight of material to stay warm, yet not cause me to rip it off during one of my menopausal “power surges”. I made the mistake of wearing a sweater yesterday. I just can’t do that often anymore, unless I’m going to be outside.
5) I thought my hard-shell phone case was coming apart, but apparently it just needed a good cleaning. I took it off and cleaned it up good and now I’m not having issues around the seams. I need to remember to do that more often. Now I won’t need to buy a new one.
Frugal-Fail: Hubby was supposed to meet me for dinner last night at a restaurant between work & home. It was his day-off and he fell asleep in his recliner. Suffice it to say, I got stood up. Soooo, I made a PO’d wife purchase – I picked up BBQ’d brisket and potato salad to go and didn’t bother to wake him up to eat, when I got home. Not frugal, but I was to angry to care at that point.

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A. Marie November 9, 2017 at 12:44 pm

I must ask for mercy for your DH, since I fell asleep in my recliner myself earlier this week and burned the soup (see my earlier comment). To err–or at least to snooze–is human.

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ouvickie November 12, 2017 at 6:25 am

All was forgiven the next day. He called me at work and invited me to meet him for supper at BJ’s Brewhouse – they have excellent food. I accepted, but told him he better be up, dressed and not stand me up again. He showed up. LOL!

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Mary in Maryland November 9, 2017 at 5:51 pm

1. A friend who’s moving to a senior place gave me spices, beans, and noodles she’s not taking with. She also offered me any of her excess kitchen gear. I took a silicone spatula, a tiffin carrier, a roasting pan, and a sauerkraut crock. I offered to take the rest to a thrift shop–she accepted.
2. My treadle sewing machine sold on Craigslist. My legs are so long that I had to sit way back to treadle and could hardly see my work. It was hard to let it go, but we’re aging (who isn’t?) and easier to let things go gradually rather than trying to de-accession all the excess right before moving.
3. Long-term planning–my husband was a state employee and thus we have dental insurance. This month’s root canal and crown have only cost $353. So the financial pain has been minimal.
4. All meals at home for the past three weeks. Mushy bland food due to root canal and a honking cold.
5. Cough medicine only to sleep at night. A couple of cough drops a day kept things under control during the day.
6. Having recovered from our group cold, we got our flu shots and I got the 23 variety pneumonia shot on Saturday.
7. Pasta was 69 cents a pound. I bought 32 pounds while the mister was along to carry it. About a year’s worth. I only buy pasta that takes twelve minutes. My sous chef never checks the package, so I’ve been moved to standardize.

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rebecca November 9, 2017 at 6:14 pm

1. Bought eggs at Aldi for .67. Can’t beat that for holiday baking that is coming up.
2. A new client called today and wants to be self pay.
3. enjoying the election results
4. Bought a bunch of Aldi’s products pumpkin, chocolate chips, baking chocolate to say a few $. Anyone use them?
5. Keeping the heat at 63 degrees.

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rebecca November 9, 2017 at 6:16 pm

say =save

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janine November 9, 2017 at 6:20 pm

1. Hurray for everyone who voted on Tuesday! We went early before any lines. Opportunity to practice democracy at the local level.
2. Husband took dog to vet for checkup and shots this afternoon on the way home from work. Saved me $$ in gas money but the charges were higher than normal. Dog is now having reaction to shots but will wait until morning to check back in with them. Don’t think he needs to be taken to emergency vet clinic.
3. Cooked at home tonight and resisted urge to join friends who decided to celebrate election victory at local pub. (Already attended one post-election lunch yesterday!)
4. Committed to using up leftovers and finding new recipes in wake of throwing out too much food.
5. This weekend will be entitled ‘Use it up, wear it out etc’. Making apple sauce, getting free eggs from grocery store promotion, sorting through a mountain of socks, washing winter scarves and gloves to make sure we have enough to last us through the season with no additional purchases, and dropping off two cases of books at half priced book store for a few additional $$ in discounts.

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MommaL November 10, 2017 at 8:16 am

1. Hauled out my tub full of gifts to give, divided it up by family, and am pleasantly surprised at how little I paid for everything, using re-gifts, free samples, prizes and Goodwill. I have a nice stash for my grown children that I really think they can use! All new except one vintage item.
2. Ate at home for breakfast with DH. Day off today, so taking it easy and spending time with him.
3. Making a deliberate list of what else to get for Christmas, using BOGO coupons and sales, taking list to GW.
4. Set a date for my SIL “garage cleanout”, driving there to inspect, tag and list items, then Bday dinner for BIL. That’s our Christmas gift to them.
5. Going to a potluck “friendsgiving” feast soon. We like to think of it as a Thanksgiving without family drama haha

Help: I got a home made cloth “baked potato bag” as a gift from a friend. It is my DIL’s kitchen colors, has anyone else used these? I don’t want to give it to her if they don’t work.

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Jill A November 11, 2017 at 12:22 pm

I have one….if your talking about the cloth bag that you put in the microwave? It works great.

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MommaL November 12, 2017 at 11:05 am

Thank you Jill. I looked it up online and some people said they catch fire? Others say its great.

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Teresa November 10, 2017 at 9:23 am

1. Grabbed a footlong at Subway (no sandwich coupon but got a free cookie!) and took Mom down to the ocean in the fancy neighborhood where we sat and ate with a beautiful view. We got some free vitamin D from the sunshine and took a nice walk at the bay. Good for both mind and body. The weather is amazing now… blue skies, sparkling water, palms blowing in the wind. We are so lucky to live here.

2. Via the Next-door website I finally gave away (got rid of) the fake turf that was given to me for a community event… fyi, it was already used and removed from a golf course before I got it. The final resting place of that green plastic carpet will be a neighbor’s dog run, so at least it is not going into the dump.

3. A friend from out of town will be sleeping on my couch over the 3-day weekend. She needed a place to sleep while in town doing business. At first it seemed like a lot, but I then I figured what is this world for if not to help others in need? Life is short.

4. Had guests on Sunday and the get-together ended up serving double-duty, as my (ex) bro-and-sis were in a tiff and — thank God — they made peace! He somehow finagled his way into our ‘girls afternoon’ by showing up with his wife (surprise, surprise…) However, that smoothed the way for them before their Thanksgiving dinner together (yeah, I am NOT going to that one! lol) and both sis and bro thanked me for the opportunity to reconcile. Our afternoon turned out nicely, and I ended up with a fridge full of gifted fruit, hummus and a beautiful orchid. <3 Another gal at our soirée (sis-in-law of other ex-sis-in law — and yes, I keep my peeps!) brought news of a job prospect for me. I am hopeful. It would be completely different from the techie stuff I have done for 30 years but that's ok… I am beginning to accept that I need to move gracefully toward whatever is next.

5. Sitting down now to figure out how I can make the holiday Wunderbar! I like this 5 things listing because it makes me take note of how good life can be. Grateful! Thanks Katie 🙂

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Kathleen November 10, 2017 at 6:55 pm

1. had a garage sale over the weekend; didn’t make alot of $$$. But I mostly had junk—and terrible weather. Still $70 is $70 more than I had. And I took much of what remained to the church fall rummage sale, which is why I had it during crummy weather and didn’t postpone it. I also got the garage cleaned out—right there is the real win!!
2. sold some of the more valuable/trendy/unique stuff on Craigslist and FB pages. I still have a few things around here to post….I’m hoping there’s some success in that! I may even try my hand at Ebay.
3. returned some stuff to both Kohl’s and WalMart that I decided were pointless impulse buys—got money back, and credit back to the card.
4. been doing more cooking at home and using more of the food out of the deep freezer. Always enjoy the meal more when it’s home grown pork and my own frozen or canned foods. My husband wants to hunt deer this year and he actually has the time at home (he’s been travelling for work the past few years during firearm season) and I need some more space in the freezer if he actually is successful (not a high probability—he’s gotten 4 deer in the last 30 years, shhhh—don’t tell him I said that………..)
5. Donated stuff to 2 church bake sales (husband and I go to different churches), and to the public library’s annual fundraising silent auction. It is an opportunity to be creative and make up donations of good stuff around here that we no longer use. This year’s gift pack was for kids: my kids’ (who are now 26 – 33) hardcover picture USA atlas (still in fabulous condition), a USA state 300pc puzzle and a USA pillowcase—all wrapped in patriotic wired ribbon that I got at JoAnn’s in the summer for 80%off. Previous years’ packages: 1) a small collection of high quality hardcover children’s books (we had duplicates) by a Michigan artist and a Michigan writer, along with 2 prints of artwork that we got for free at the Ducks Unlimited fundraiser (again we had duplicates) from the same artist (Legend of the Loon series, if anyone knows that set of books). It raised $60. –and– 2) a collection of Gwen Frostic poems and artwork that I have collected for years, but have just been on top of the wardrobe collecting dust. She was a Michigan native and an author, naturalist/conservationist and artist. That set brought about $40. I’m hoping this has a good outcome also. I also donated 2 gift baskets of canned goods for the auction and 2 dozen individual jars for the bake sale—which gives me a little free advertising to sell some next season.

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tia November 11, 2017 at 11:11 am

After a week spent camping in the beautiful fall colors of the Smoky Mountains, I came home hungry for traditional old mountain food.

1.Cooked a mess of greens, I had a pound of kale.
First I diced about 3 oz. of smoked brisket and diced 1 large onion and sauteed together in large pot. Added chopped kale and a ton of water. cooked till tender. Added salt, pepper, red pepper flakes to taste. yum.
2.Cooked some smoky beans. Chopped another few ounces of brisket and a large onion and sauteed in a pot, added beans(I had adzuki) and simmered till tender. Seasoned to taste with whatever.yum.
3. Made a batch of biscuits and one of cornbread to go with beans and greens. And cut biscuits in half for sausage biscuits at breakfast. yum.
4.Made chicken and dumplings. Tossed chicken in a pot of water with bay leaves, carrots, onions, and celery and simmered till meat fell off bone, picked all the bones out, made cornmeal dumplings and plopped on simmering chick and veg and cooked until dumplings were fluffy and done.
5. I have a week of good warm mountain eating made with things I had on hand. Right now I’m eating some soupy greens that I put cornmeal dumplings on, so good and now I need to make some fried apples for desert. ((((drool))))

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tia November 11, 2017 at 12:56 pm

Oh, and to reply to myself…Just made some delish hot chocolate out of things on hand…a cup of almond milk, some dark chocolate, spoon of sugar and drop of vanilla, whisk up till frothy. Even my picky “buy everything out” kid had a happy milk mustache smile on his face.

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Jennifer November 11, 2017 at 1:57 pm

4. I’m going to try corn meal dumplings after reading this. I always make the flour kind, which are delish, but I think it would be nice to change it up. Thanks for the idea. Your post makes me hungry for food and a trip to the mountains!

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Leta November 11, 2017 at 12:21 pm

We don’t have the advantages of living near Bob’s Red Mill, a co-op, or anything of the sort. What we can do is ride bicycle for every local travel – even in winter – unless there’s a good reason to drive the car such as illness. We are recycle and compost nazis. We are almost done building a new kitchen (our place was a badly and cheaply made studio apartment out of a restaurant kitchen when we bought it a few years ago) and so we built the kitchen from scratch, almost all cheap and used such as a metal tank desk as the base of our kitchen counter. Almost all appliances, as well as the door and window were off craigslist. We have a small veggie garden in our tiny yard. We house my mentally challenged adult son and are slowly making a room for him in the basement. Excuse me for going on and on here but there is very few people I can brag to because they think we’re nuts around here.

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tia November 11, 2017 at 1:02 pm

I think what you are doing is great. Frugality started in this country as a way to survive. Like Katy’s motto, “use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without”. We aren’t all big city hipsters. ((wink))

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Leah B November 12, 2017 at 7:17 am

1. While at a Writer’s Conference at my library (free) I printed a replacement part with a modification for my 3d printer (use of their 3d printers is also free). I was able to do this during the lunch break at the conference, taking about ten minutes. Thankfully someone was a no-show for their appointment to use the printer.
2. After receiving an 85c replacement fan using a promotion through Newegg (free shipping) I had to solder on a new attachment to the tiny fan, but it now works. I was able to repair and restore function to my previously broken printer that the manufacturer would no longer support repair of.
3. Free eggs, free granola from my mother in law. I appreciate her sister’s nature to ‘get tired’ of an item she has bought too much of.
4. My sister in law offered to purchase my ticket (she had to get a 4-pack of them) to a comedy club stand-up show that she wanted to see. I got to enjoy my free show earlier last week, and had a very enjoyable night.
5. I had been approached by a friend to print a small box for him to propose to his girlfriend with. Since my 3d printer had been malfunctioning, I approached another maker friend to see if he could do the job. My maker friend happily did so, free of charge, and my newly engaged friends are in Florida enjoying this new ev0lution of their relationship.

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Mand01 November 9, 2017 at 2:00 pm

I thought if the whole yolk was red it was fertilised

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