Five Frugal Things

by Katy on February 28, 2018 · 128 comments

This week’s Five Frugal Things has a medical theme. Sorry. Which you’ll soon understand.

  1. First off, my husband is having hip surgery in a few weeks, which will require short term use of crutches. I happen to notice that Goodwill had a section of new looking crutches, so husband picked out a set to match his height. I’m not sure how much we would have been charged after insurance, but I’m guessing it would have been more than the $8 we paid. Plus, this purchase extends the life of a perfectly functional item instead of buying something that’ll only be used over a couple of days.

  2. I had my annual physical  a few weeks ago with a new doctor, and as I just turned fifty, she wanted me to undergo a couple different medical screenings. Specifically, a mammogram and a colonoscopy. (Hello . . . fifty!) However, I’m firm believer in preventative medicine, so I dutifully made my colonoscopy appointment. The clinic called to get my information, as well as send in a prescription for the bowel prep laxative treatment. However, the man mentioned that sometimes insurance doesn’t pay, so I could just come by the office to pick up a kit for free. Free bowel prep?! You can guess the exciting end of this story! Yup, I drove over to the clinic and nabbed my free prep. Crappiest frugal hack ever!

  3. The day before and the morning of the procedure was clear liquids only. I made Jello from the box instead of buying the plastic cups of pre-made Jello and I drank tea and broth from supplies on hand. I did buy a couple cans of pear soda from Ikea, but only drank one as it was revoltingly sweet.

  4. I was given a thick plastic bag to put my belongings in during the procedure. I brought it home to use as a garbage can liner.

  5. Although my husband and I have health insurance through his employer, it’s actually pretty lousy. And because I might be the cheapest person who ever lived, I decided to have the procedure without any anesthesia. I figured that if I could have a baby without an epidural, I could do this as well. Couldn’t be worse, right? (Please do not read this as medical advice. I am a big weirdo who goes to extreme lengths to save money, plus I apparently have bizarrely high pain tolerance. Do not follow my example!) The nurses and doctor were apprehensive, but trusted that as an RN I was making an informed decision.

    Was it uncomfortable? Sure. Although it was more crampy than acutely painful. I actually really appreciated that I was awake during the procedure, as I able to ask questions in real time and be part of my own process. Plus, it took much less time as I didn’t have to come out of anesthesia. How much did this choice save me? The cost of anesthesia was $247, although the anesthetist was still required to be in the room, so it was probably just the cost of medication and IV fluids. (Again, I may be the cheapest woman ever to live.)

    Why am I sharing such deeply personal information with thousands of blog readers? Because I feel that preventative medicine is important and shouldn’t be avoided. Even if the area of the body is uncomfortable to talk about. Hey, if I can get a colonoscopy without any pain management, you can do it the regular way. Next up . . . mammogram!

Katy Wolk-Stanley    

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

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{ 128 comments… read them below or add one }

Karen February 28, 2018 at 10:05 pm

Wow, that’s pretty brave to forgo anesthesia. I was not that brave when I had mine, but it sure was quick. The worst part is before the colonoscopy, when you have to mix up what seems like C a microwave-sized box full of bowel prep, drink it up and it takes effect…and I’ll stop here!


Anne March 1, 2018 at 8:48 am

Amen, sister. Simply because of the prep I have not had the courage to go back for a second one five years later.


Lindsey February 28, 2018 at 10:13 pm

I thought there was a pill version of the bowel prep? Am I wrong?


Katy February 28, 2018 at 10:15 pm

Not that I know of, but this isn’t my area of medicine.


stephanie March 1, 2018 at 5:25 am

there used to be a pill prep but no one will use it anymore because it caused too many problems/bad side effects.


Mary in VA March 1, 2018 at 7:43 am

My first colonoscopy was with the pill prep. When it came time for my second one, the nurse told me they no longer used the pill prep because it was bad for the kidneys. So back to the nasty-tasting liquid. Ugh! Nasty-tasting but extremely effective.


Pattilou March 1, 2018 at 10:33 am

Lindsey, there is a pill but my doctor doesn’t recommend it.


Mary in Maryland March 1, 2018 at 2:03 pm

There is a pill for prep, but it costs about thirty dollars more. So I drank the vast amounts of isotonic koolaid. I found the worst thing to be that I had to get up at midnight to drink the second bucket. I went back to bed after eliminating it–lying on a towel.


Laura February 28, 2018 at 10:27 pm

Those boys of yours better be REALLY, REALLY grateful, that all I’m saying 🙂


Mary W March 1, 2018 at 2:12 am

Hahaha, I totally agree with this! 😀


Denise March 1, 2018 at 5:49 am

I’m not sure which made me laugh more: Katy’s “crappiest frugal hack ever” joke or yours, Laura.

Let’s call it an honourable tie!

I remain utterly appalled that a right as fundamental as healthcare is not free at point of need for all of you in the US. Not for the first time: thank goodness for the NHS.

I pay a total tax bill of 42% on my earnings. I will gladly pay more to ensure that the NHS is protected. It’s really hit me, from reading this blog and all of your comments how much of a burden the financial aspect of ill-health is for you all, in anticipation of, and when actually confronted with, medical and psychological problems. Makes me mad, on your behalf!


Vickey March 1, 2018 at 12:08 pm

Thanks, Denise! Makes me mad, too!!


Katy in Africa March 1, 2018 at 12:38 am

1. We had guests for a week and a half, so we spent more on food than normal, but they did leave us some avocados, pineapple cookies and some other things that we’ll happily eat. 🙂
2. It’s been hot, so I’m gladly taking cold showers, which saves on the gas used to heat the water.
3. My sons birthday was Sunday. I made homemade cake and icing and we decorated with sprinkles and candles I already had. We also put up our birthday banner, that’s been used numerous times and my daughter made a #9 Lego sign, I got the idea from this pin
4. He requested pizza, so we ordered pizza, which was not cheap, but we filled it out with salad and homemade French fries. And we had soda and like I mentioned above cake.
5. Saving the above mentioned soda bottles to reuse for water.


Sara March 1, 2018 at 12:57 am

I got a filling drilled without anesthesia once. The doctor said that he could always stop and give the the shot part way in if it did hurt. Those shots themselves are usually extremely painful so I figured I didn’t have much to lose. It wasn’t a huge cavity and all I felt was a pinch at the end. Saved me $100+ and a day of my mouth being all numb. Win win.


anna March 2, 2018 at 11:21 am

I hate the shots at the dentist more than the pain of drilling. I always skip the anesthesia if possible. My latest dental adventure had to do with getting an implant. I asked if I could skip the anesthetic…the doctor really didn’t recommend it.


Mand01 March 1, 2018 at 1:36 am

Having grown up in a family of nurses, I know they laugh in the face of pain and discomfort….not sure how I’d cope with an anaesthetic free colonoscopy though!! Hats off to you Katy.
Not a lot of uber frugality around here.
Just the usual
1. Brought my own coffee and tea to work
2. Family night was our usual dinner out (not frugal but in the budget) followed by a trip to the thrift store.
3. I found a couple of books at the thrift store that I was looking for. Not as cheap as the library but cheaper than retail.
4. My youngest found clothes and shoes. Not what I would have picked but the important thing is that she’s learning to buy used.
That’s all.


Mary W March 1, 2018 at 1:48 am

Good for you, Katy, for preaching the gospel of preventative medicine! That’s one of the best things we can do as RNs is to teach the value of getting those routine screenings done. They save lives, and that alone makes it worthwhile to put up with a little discomfort….although I must say, you are braver than I will even be. Give me the Versed and Fentanyl, lol!

To the poster that asked about a pill form of the bowel prep. I was a med/surg RN for years, so this is kind of my bailiwick. Some clinics/doctors will prescribe bisacodyl tablets and Miralax instead of the gallon of Go-Lytely prep. Unfortunately, the doctors at my local hospital prefer the Go-Lytely (gag, gag and triple gag). I just had my colonoscopy last year and had forgotten just how badly I hate the salty prep drink. Next time, I don’t care if I have to pay for it out of pocket, I’m going to do the alternate prep and just start it a little earlier in case it takes longer to work. What my MD doesn’t know….. 😉

Thankfully, with no history of colon cancer in my family and a clean colonoscopy (in more ways than one), I don’t have to have another one for 9 years! It is about time for my annual mammo, though.

Ladies, please, please don’t put off your annual mammogram. One of my sisters skipped one year, just ONE YEAR, and was shocked to find that she had gone from a negative mammo to a huge tumor in her right breast. Although her tumor was responding well to chemo, she became seriously ill from the side effects/lowered immunity, and we lost her about a year and a half ago. And gentlemen, breast exams are for men, too – if you find a lump, get to the doctor and get checked!

Okay, climbing back off my soapbox!


Mary W March 1, 2018 at 2:10 am


1. I was able to take advantage of the last day of a sale at Wilco to buy cattle panels and many other items we use on our tiny farm. I like to keep a supply of the panels on hand to make temporary corrals, high tunnel hoop houses, and shelters in the pastures, among other things. We are being given two new horses to keep our mare company, so my daughter built a run in shelter for the pasture from the panels, some T-posts, a few tarps and some zip ties. Two parallel panels about 10′ apart, held in place with T-posts, 4 panels curved over the top and attached to the side panels, and you have a great frame for a 10’x16′ shelter. Zip tie the tarps tightly into place and you have a waterproof shelter.
2. She’s putting another one of these cattle panel frames up in the garden for me. We will cover it with greenhouse fabric making a high tunnel to extend our fairly short growing season. One note here – I am very grateful to my daughter for doing this for me – I just had hiatal hernia repair surgery 3 weeks ago and not being able to do things like this for myself is driving me crazy!
3. We are being gifted 2 free horses to keep our mare company. While the horses are free, it’s kind of a frugal failure when you factor in the cost of feeding them and routine care. However, we enjoy trail riding and it’ll be nice to be able to go riding together again.
4. Picked up our freebies at Fred Meyer and bought milk on sale there. They were out of the foil cookie sheets, but subbed a double pack of foil cake pans with lids. These will be great for starting seeds this Spring (and many more Springs). Also bought Stouffer’s meat sauce lasagna on sale for a price I couldn’t match if I made it from scratch. Not only is this a meal I can actually eat on my limited post op diet, but the heavy foil pan and lid are reusable. I like using something like this to take food to a party or potluck, sturdy enough to travel, the lid fits securely, and if I forget to take my pan home, I don’t feel the loss like I would if I’d used my good Pyrex. It’s also great for gifting someone a casserole when they’re under the weather and don’t feel like cooking.
5. Got a great price on pine shavings for my chicken coop and yard at Tractor Supply Company and was able to use our emails at the register to get 2 free king size candy bars. The coupons were on our phones, and we were halfway to town before realizing we’d BOTH forgotten our phones at home. 😮


Mary W March 1, 2018 at 2:15 am

Just to clarify – the foil cookie sheets were one of the freebies.


susanna d March 1, 2018 at 7:20 am

Mary W, I totally agree with your advice not to put off annual mammograms. 13 years ago, a routine screening mammogram diagnosed my breast cancer – which my surgeon later told me was the earliest he’d ever seen breast cancer found. I’d actually thought about skipping my mammogram that year and I will be forever grateful that I didn’t.


Norma March 1, 2018 at 3:31 pm

When I had my last colonoscopy I told them there was no way I was going to drink all that and keep it down. They said I would use Miralax and a laxative. The Miralax has no taste and the laxative worked well. I recommend this to anybody versus that nasty, salty stuff.


karen March 1, 2018 at 5:00 pm

Just want people to know my doctor told me to use Miralax and a laxative starting at 4 pm the day before my colonoscopy. I questioned him about this since the nasty salty stuff worked so well my first time.

Anyway I did this with NO results. Nine thirty that night I called a pharmacy and the pharmacist told me that this prep does not work on 50% of the people so I drove there and bought the nasty salty stuff, which kicked in at midnight.

Needless to say I was up all night and will not use the Miralax prep again.


Jenny March 2, 2018 at 7:19 pm

Another RN chiming in with agreement!


Jenny March 2, 2018 at 7:20 pm

And so sorry about your sister…


Mary W March 4, 2018 at 3:46 pm

Thank you, Jenny. I miss her terribly.


A. Marie March 1, 2018 at 2:30 am

OK, Katy gets the Frugal Preventative Medicine Award for this entire post. I wish my clinic had offered the option of the free bowel prep kit in particular; it didn’t, and sure enough my insurance didn’t cover the kit, so I was out I forget how much money for a disgusting experience two years ago.

Now, my FFT, Comfort Food Edition (this one covers a few weeks, since I haven’t done an FFT lately):

(1) Had the Bestest Neighbors over for pot roast (the beef was from our 1/4 cow, of course). They also put updated initials on their witness signatures for our advance directive paperwork (health care proxies and living wills). (Quick jump on soapbox: Hey, folks, get that paperwork in place too, because you never know. Quick jump off soapbox.)

(2) Made beef barley soup from the pot roast remains.

(3) Once that soup was gone, I roasted a couple of kosher chickens I found Reduced for Quick Sale at Wegmans…

(4) …and then (you guessed it) used the resulting chicken stock to make a bean and winter veg soup.

(5) As you might guess, I’m doing all this cooking to get myself through a bad patch in life. Not only are the continuing neighborhood problems getting me down, but I’m taking DH to our local teaching hospital’s geriatrics clinic next week for an evaluation of his worsening memory/cognitive problems, which I have mentioned in the past. Please keep us both in your good thoughts.


Bee March 1, 2018 at 1:45 pm

My heart goes out to you. Although I have not dealt with memory problem with my spouse, I helped to care for my mother and mother-in-law who both suffered with dementia. It is extremely difficult on the caregivers and family. I will keep you in my thoughts.


Christine March 2, 2018 at 7:51 am

Best of luck and positive thoughts sent your way regarding your husband’s upcoming appointment at the geriatric clinic. My Dad had dementia and I was the only child living in close proximity. Not for the faint of heart but caring for him was a gift in itself. I wouldn’t trade those close times for anything. Thinking of you both.


patricia March 3, 2018 at 6:53 am

Sending you love, and strength.


Jill March 1, 2018 at 4:26 am

Wow, Katy. You certainly have a high tolerance for pain. I thought the worst part of a colonoscopy was the prep but you might just disagree. I’m so glad though that you are doing your due diligence with preventative medicine. Two people in my life have had colon cancer – and one is no longer here with me to talk about it – so anesthesia or no, it’s so important to do. And good luck to your husband with hip surgery! My husband has had 2 knee surgeries and one broken hip so I would never get rid of his crutches – which are from his broken ankle in college some 35 years ago. What can I say? He really likes to push the envelope in life


Crosby March 1, 2018 at 4:37 am

I so appreciated this post!!!! Preventative medicine is so important. Speaking of which, I need to schedule a derm appointment.
– I cut open my lotion at work (which is a hotel bottle) to get the last bit out.
– I was faithful to The Compact for February! I didn’t buy anything new.
– My husband wanted a book (he wanted to own it so he could make notes and reread it as needed) and was going to buy it new but I found a used copy on Amazon, and was able to use points to purchase it.
– I have a $100 Jet Blue credit that is going to expire before I’ll be able to use it so I’m going to gift it to a friend.
– Continuing to bring lunch to work (including a cloth napkin) and eat down the freezer for dinners.


Marybeth March 1, 2018 at 4:45 am

1. My daughter wanted pizza so I pulled out some of the bagels my son brought home from work from the freezer, opened a jar of homemade sauce and used cheese I got on sale. Hubby used frozen peppers and onions on his too. Made a salad on the side.
2. Made batches of Greek and Asian salad dressings. One went into an old BBQ bottle. The other into a jam jar. Homemade is so much better!
3. Dropped some treats off to a friend. She gave me 2 bags of Veggie chips that she had gotten clearance for 10 cents a bag. They were just at the best buy date but taste fine.
4. Hung most of our laundry.
5. Came in under our allotted grocery budget for February!


nancy from mass March 1, 2018 at 5:25 am

I had my colonoscopy last year. prep was the worse (and my dr doesn’t use a prescription prep. 32 serving package of miralax, a dose of laxative pills and 64oz Gatorade.) ugh. It was terrible. I did have the anesthesia (I have great insurance and the whole process was free for me) but I do remember being awake for part of it (I was facing the screens and could see part of what was happening). The best thing you can do for yourself is preventative medicine.

1. Bought 2 pairs of jeans last week at Savers. One was brand new, with tags (Ann Taylor) the other were Levis. What I want to know is why people who wear my size only seem to donate boot cut jeans that are 6” too long for me! I hemmed them and have been wearing them this past week. I love 99% cotton denim jeans and can find them often at thrift stores. Oh, the price tag on the AT jeans? $85. I paid $15.99 for those and $6 for the Levis.
2. Stopped the other day at the dealership for my free oil change (I get them free because I bought the car there). They gave me a ticket for a free car wash. I’ll head there after the storm we are expecting tomorrow. my car will be clean for next week.
3. PB&J sandwiches for lunch twice this week. Mmmm and cheap. Free chips at work to go with the sandwiches.
4. Made a boatload of rice earlier this week. DS and I have been enjoying ‘rice bowl’ meals for suppers.
5. Made some donations this past week to favorite causes. When DH passed last year, friends, family and coworkers donated money to his favorite charity and helped 50 kids be able to participate in a program for disabled children. I donated the same amount in his honor for his 1 year anniversary. Also donated some money to my favorite NH program to help save property (an old farm) from developers. They want to keep it as a farm. I hope I can deduct donations next year on my taxes….who the heck knows with our current government bullsh*t going on. I long for the days when I didn’t have to hear about politics. Every. f-ing. Minute. Of. The. day.


nancy from mass March 1, 2018 at 5:27 am

i think i’m going to start using a new acronym:

EFMOTD (see #5 above).


Denise March 1, 2018 at 7:25 am

It’s bad enough hearing about the Orange One so much in England- no idea how you deal with it in the US, EFMOTD.

between the madness of Brexit and the Orange One’s buffoonery, I have given up paying attention to the news.

I read the newspaper and only pay attention to the science, wellbeing and cultural stuff.

Today’s “wow” moment was reading about how the first stars are now thought to have come into being only 180 million years after the Big Bang – astrophysicists had to go to the middle of the Western Australian desert to get far enough away from radio signals to pick up “silhouette” microwave signals which indicate the distortion caused by the earliest UV radiation from the first stars forming.



nancy from mass March 2, 2018 at 4:06 am

I read about the first stars! that is amazing! I love that kind of stuff.


Jenny March 2, 2018 at 7:26 pm

I love that acronym: EFMOTD!


patricia March 3, 2018 at 6:57 am

Love your acronym!


Ruby March 1, 2018 at 11:47 am

Urgh, Nancy. I did that same prep and had the addition of vomiting to the … other. Heck, next time I want to anesthetized during the prep!


Nancy from mass March 1, 2018 at 1:51 pm

I was vomiting all afternoon from the prep. It was horrible


Cindy in the South I March 1, 2018 at 5:43 am

I had three of my four kids “natural” because they came too fast for an epidural. I was lucky to get to the hospital….lol. However, I am a total chicken s…., a pain wimp, and complete titty baby, about any medical or dental procedures, and could never do anything involving the colon without being put under….my hat is off to you Katy! Wow!


Jenny March 2, 2018 at 7:32 pm

Colonoscopy prep can be unpleasant. It varies from person to person, from prep regimes, and even from time to time. I have had many! It’s not that big of a deal if you have towels and a sense of humor. It’s so worth it. My mother died of colon cancer. If only she had taken better care of herself…
The procedure is usually easy and quick. I have had them with and without anesthesia. Not that big of a deal for the good it can do. Same with mammograms and now breast ultrasounds and biopsies. I am grateful that we have ways of finding and preventing diseases. And that although insurance is so expensive, I am lucky to have it!


Roberta March 1, 2018 at 6:45 am

I have heard, from a couple of sources, that there is an annual lab test that is as effective as a colonoscopy. Is it only effective after your baseline colonoscopy, or if there is no family history? Something to discuss with your doctor, but with my 50th birthday just a few years away, inquiring minds want to know!


Stacey Withee March 1, 2018 at 7:05 am

Some doctors are willing to let you do just the test for blood in your stool since that is often the first sign you would notice of colon cancer but it can be quite advanced at that point. As a survivor, I think the colonoscopy is a small price to pay for piece of mind and very early intervention. I would rather have a polyp found early when it can simply be snipped. The chemo and radiation were a very miserable eight months I don’t wish on anyone.


susan bloom March 1, 2018 at 7:25 am

Having a colonoscopy is not bad at all… I have had 3 performed since I turned 50… am now 63… (and I am a big chicken and very squeamish) as my doctor told me the first time around, the day before is the worst part… the colonoscopy itself is the only way to truly find things in the early stages… just do it when you have to, it is worth going thru the whole process…


Mary in VA March 1, 2018 at 9:14 am

I’ve heard ads for a “virtual colonoscopy” where they do it via scan. I asked my doctor about it, and she said you still have to do the prep beforehand. And if the virtual colonoscopy picks up anything suspicious (even a polyp), then you have to follow up with a regular colonoscopy. Might as well just do the regular one and get it over with!


Stacey March 1, 2018 at 7:14 am

Under the provisions of the ACA, regular colonoscopies are supposed to be paid at 100% as healthcare screenings. HOWEVER, if they find anything including a benign polyp it may change to diagnostic and then co-pays and deductibles apply.

Katy- you have my admiration for going anesthesia free. My doctor completely refuses to allow it and I decided I would follow his recommendation.


Bonnie March 1, 2018 at 7:04 pm

Since they always find at least one polyp during my colonoscopies, I’ve had to pay (a lot!) for every one since my first. I really object since I’m following the guidelines laid out for these situations.


susan bloom March 1, 2018 at 7:21 am

I cannot imagine having a colonoscopy without being given propofol first… you are truly very brave, and maybe a touch crazy! LOL


Mary March 1, 2018 at 8:00 am

The prep is the worse part of the colonoscopy for me, which I must have every four or five years for strong family history and polyps. So, I always opt for the anesthesia to put me out of my misery for a short period of time, then come home and sleep it off. After that I go out for BBQ! With a designated driver, of course.


Mary in VA March 1, 2018 at 8:23 am

Mary, I agree with your assessment about the prepping being the worst part. I, too, have a family history, so must do it every 3-5 years. My doctor doesn’t even give us the option of not doing anesthesia. And once you’re in the hospital and prepped it happens so quickly. One minute you’re making small talk with the anesthesiologist, the next minute you’re waking up refreshed and a little bit groggy, and (if you’re me) your husband then takes you out to the local diner for a really nice breakfast. That’s the best part! 🙂


Joyce March 1, 2018 at 8:11 am

I scheduled my colonoscopy today. Thanks, y’all


Jennifer March 1, 2018 at 8:19 am

Is it weird that I am super envious of your free bowel prep kit? My husband and I just turned 50 last month so colonoscopies are our birthday treat, too. Picked up our first kit last week and it was $23.


Marilyn March 1, 2018 at 8:21 am

I loved the “crappiest frugal hack ever line.” Indeed!


Mkmi March 1, 2018 at 8:22 am

Thanks for sharing. I think I’m not as brave as you.
Sidenote, you can mix plain club soda with your soda that’s too sweet to make it more drinkable


Mary Ann March 1, 2018 at 8:26 am

Your first mammogram at 50? Mine was at 40 and I don’t have any risk factors. Interesting.


Katy March 1, 2018 at 9:12 am

It’s not my first mammogram, it’s just time for a new one.


Bethany March 1, 2018 at 8:31 am

My colonoscopy is due in a few months too. I’m only 36, but since my mom had colon cancer at an early age, this is my magical # for early detection.


Amy S March 1, 2018 at 8:44 am

For short-term needs for medical equipment, check local organizations for a loaner closet. Around here the VFW has one as do several churches. They have wheelchairs, transport chairs, shower seats, knee scooters, crutches, and more – all donated and available to borrow.


A. Marie March 1, 2018 at 11:37 am

DH and I are sort of the “loaner closet” for medical equipment for our friends and neighbors, because we inherited a boatload of this sort of thing from his parents (and we have a big attic to store them in). We figured we weren’t that far from needing the stuff ourselves, so we decided to keep it–and, wow, were we right!


Jenelle March 1, 2018 at 9:22 am

1. This is not frugal for me, but very wonderful and a heartwarming lesson in frugality. Yesterday I was out to lunch and knew that the table beside me was a group of social work students (from the university I work for) and they were working with a client with some form of mental disability and they were teaching her the skill of using coupons! They talked to her about what she can purchase without coupons and how much more she could get (at that particular restaurant) by using the coupons. They then assisted her with making her purchase. I never let on that I was listening, but it was so heart warming to hear these young woman teach her the value of using coupons.

2. During work yesterday, I drove a shuttle to and from a job fair for students and made a side trip to the Goodwill! (boss said it was OK to run an errand!) Anyways, I saved my own gas and was able to pick up two shirts to sell on ebay, a huge Calphalon pasta pot and a new puzzle for my mother to work on with my kids. (the all love puzzles). I believe that the profit from one shirt alone will cover the entire Goodwill cost.

3. My parents are in town and don’t mind eating leftovers. Last night we cleaned out the fridge and ate many of the bits we had. There may be one more meal of left overs still in there, but we did make a great dent in it.

4. This morning I walked out the door for lunch and realized I hadn’t packed my lunch yet. I turned around and went right back inside and packed it. I could have easily kept walking and bought something.

5. As I mentioned before, my parents are in town so this weekend will be hard to keep from spending money. They live a VERY frugal life (because of finances) and I love to bless them with small outings (like ice cream and such) because they rarely do those things for themselves.


Kim in Los Alamitos March 1, 2018 at 10:03 am

In case you all are not too sick of hearing about colonoscopies – a friend in the medical field suggested next time I have to do the prep, to get the solution VERY COLD and DRINK IT THROUGH A STRAW. This is because your salt receptors are along the edges of your tongue and you can bypass some of the bad taste with this method. Of course she told me this after I had my last one.


Norma March 1, 2018 at 3:44 pm

I am getting that nasty taste in my mouth just thinking about this colonoscopy prep. Worst part of the procedure!!


Kim March 1, 2018 at 10:38 am

I am surprised you were able to obtain the cost of the anesthesia prior to the procedure! These days it sees like the routine is get treated, then a month later get an incorrect bill from a third-party billing service. When I called around to pharmacies to obtain Rx prices, the technicians actually said things like “this is an unusual request, most people just put it through insurance and don’t ask how much this stuff costs”.


karen March 1, 2018 at 7:09 pm

I am told I must bring the actual prescription to the pharmacy so they can enter it into their system. This is very inconvenient to go around to several pharmacies getting prices.


K D March 1, 2018 at 11:11 am

1. As I’ll be sixty this year I’ll need to schedule a colonoscopy as well. I am intrigued by the idea of staying awake. Last time I was very groggy after the procedure. A friend had already mentioned that next time she plans to go that way.

2. I took my daughter for wisdom teeth extraction. It looks like insurance will pay a large percentage of the cost, but it will still be almost four figures out of pocket. Luckily there are still 2017 Flexible Spending dollars that we can claim for medical expenses through the 15th of March.

3. I am continuing to walk outside, eat lots of fruits and vegetables, and attend yoga classes. So far I’ve been healthy this season (knock on wood).

4. I stopped at the grocery store to get free cottage cheese and yogurt, and cheap butter.

5. All meals have been at home since lunch out (on the road) on Sunday.


Rhonda March 1, 2018 at 11:30 am

I recently had a bad fall and was unable to put any weight on my leg. The ER doctor wanted me to use a walker and suggested I get one from my church. He said they are frequently donated to churches. I had one that was my mother’s so didn’t have to do that, but I thought it was good for him to tell me that. Later I switched to crutches, which cost $30 at my pharmacy – so you had a good savings there, Katy. I wish I had thought of Goodwill!


Ruby March 1, 2018 at 11:55 am

The church I worked at for many years had a sharing closet of durable medical goods: walkers, wheelchairs, canes, crutches, shower bench, bedside potty, etc. The congregation was an older one and the stuff got a lot of use.


Christine March 2, 2018 at 7:59 am

After my Mom died I donated her two walkers to our town’s senior center after the director informed me they are always looking for walkers, canes, crutches, etc. Your city or town’s senior center might be another place you can get them.


Kim in Los Alamitos March 2, 2018 at 8:49 am

A truck drive husband of one of my coworkers spotted brand new walkers and wheelchairs (with the tags) in the big dumpster in back of a building. So he helped himself to as many as he could fit into his vehicle. I gladly accepted one of the walkers for a time in the future someone may need it. Imagine throwing away a vital aid when there are so may less fortunate folks who would benefit from a donated wheelchair. Wasteful.


Ruby March 1, 2018 at 12:03 pm

1. I have a family member staying with us while he recovers from minor surgery. So far he’s been happy with meals made from what we have in the pantry.
2. Found a better-than-half price sale on Merrell shoes, which were recommended by my foot doc, and am wearing a pair of the sneakers today. So comfortable!
3. The Mister e-mailed me this morning that he was at the Nissan dealership having a surprise $700 repair done on his car. Tonight we will be looking for a service bulletin on that problem to see if Nissan will cover any of the cost.
4. Had bought some spiced ice tea mix that turned out not to be to my taste, but our house guest likes it. Good that I didn’t throw it out.
5. The MRI that I had two weeks ago cost us over $500 (deductible before health insurance kicks in), so I’m glad that the medication prescribed in the wake of it was only $4 and some change!


Ava March 1, 2018 at 12:06 pm

Boy, Katy, you are braver than I am. I have had a cavity filled once without a shot, and I had a 9 1/2 baby with no medication, but being awake for a colonoscopy boggles my mind.
My frugals are mostly frugal to others:
1.A relative who has a side job selling used clothing wanted to come to our city for a sellers’ networking event. We provided a place to stay and some transportation. She and I went to 6 thrift stores in a day and a half and she took home a suitcase full of bargains for resale, as she can find better prices at our thrift stores than at home. She had a great time and I enjoyed seeing her find treasures and explaining what would and would not sell. I only bought a sweater and a top.
2. As soon as she left, we had more company. My cousin and his wife had some legal matters to take care of from when they lived in this area. We provided lodging and I did a lot of cooking. They did not need to be entertained as they were out each day taking care of their business. Evenings were spent just visiting.
3. I volunteer occasionally at a kitchen that provides meals for homeless and low income people. I noticed that they were using nonstick skillets with bad scratches and loose handles so I picked up a couple of nice heavy steel skillets for them at Goodwill.
4. We are planning a stock up trip to Aldi and combining it with a trip to a dr. that is also in that direction. Unfortunately, we don’t have an Aldi that is more convenient.
5. Saved .50 a gal on gas, got more free firewood and craft wood, eating all leftovers.


Canadian girl March 1, 2018 at 12:09 pm

My mom had her first colonoscopy last month and she too was able to get the prep medicine for free. They said that they don’t always have the free samples so I figure my mom was pretty lucky to get them.

Bought a huge bag of past their prime bananas and was able to make six loaves of banana bread. It’s nice to have extra loaves and I just freeze them for later as they freeze really well when I wrap them in tin foil

Received a small bonus at work which I am using to make a lump sum mortgage payment. My goal for the year is to pay as much off as possible and hopefully to pay it off completely in 2019.

Worked an extra shift at work this week and will put those funds towards the mortgage as well. I love being able to work part time but the extra money when I work extra sure comes in handy

Continue to bring breakfast and lunch to work, take transit to work and exercise for free at home. The little things I do here and there give me more room in my budget. My husband and I used to eat out for lunch quite often so this has been a huge savings to our budget


Jennifer March 1, 2018 at 12:25 pm

I’m having a surgery to remove a non-cancerous mass. I went to the doctor and, long story short and before I have to reload this, my OOP was going to be $2,123.40 due to the estimated total charges being $10,617.00. I told the girl at the pre-op desk I was going to just cancel the surgery and keep my mass. Later today, my doctor called me at home and agreed to do the procedure in his office for $948.50. Of course, I will be losing the general anesthesia that I would get at the hospital. Since the mass is somewhat superficial, I feel comfortable with just using local anesthesia. I hate the way sedation makes me feel and would rather endure some discomfort to skip this. My husband won’t have to take off work for several hours so lose money just to sit for hours in a waiting room(don’t worry, he works very close to the clinic so if I need him he can be there in less than 5). The last perk is I can go pick my kids up from school, get them situated, and then drive to the clinic for my late afternoon surgery that requires no fasting….yet another perk! Sorry this post was not short after all and yes I had to reload.


Mand01 March 1, 2018 at 2:14 pm

I can’t believe a health system that forces a choice between keeping a tumour or not, and having an anaesthetic or not. Sorry but that is seriously bonkers


Jennifer March 1, 2018 at 3:27 pm

I know, wish we had your healthcare here in the US. I have the money to pay the hospital but I just didn’t want to because this is benign and I kept thinking of all I could do with that money. In other words, I could live with it. It’s in an area that bugs me right under my bra strap causing an odd lump. But you are right and some don’t have a choice. If this would have been a cancerous mass, I would have to cough that money up regardless of frugality or preference.


nancy from mass March 2, 2018 at 4:12 am

some health insurance is great, some is not. my husband had his own (would have cost me 400 a month to put him on mine since he had insurance avail from his employer) and he once needed a cat scan. We live in MA halfway between Boston and Providence and his insurance company wanted him to drive to CONNECTICUT for the cat scan. CONNECTICUT! since there was no way he was driving that far for a CT, it ended up costing us around 600 or 800. and his insurance was BCBS – which is supposed to be good insurance.

people in this country, unfortunately, go into debt/bankruptcy due to medical bills. last year I spent 34% of my GROSS income paying off DH bills.


Jennifer March 2, 2018 at 5:42 am

I have had similar situations with insurance forcing you to use facilities in their “network” or paying more. I found it very interesting that the hospital was going to charge over $10,600 for the same surgery that my doctor is going to do in his office for less than $1000?!?


janine March 1, 2018 at 12:46 pm

1. Thanks for the reminder – don’t like these procedures at all. Have to remind myself that the cure is better than the curse!
2. Indoor Gardening answers: Procedure based on ‘Indoor Gardening’ book by Peter Burke. Shows you how to plant an indoor garden and get a salad in 10+days. Our instructor used some materials that were more frugal than those recommended, such as coconut hulls rather than peat moss. Thanks for asking!
3. Bought corned beef roast for $2.99 per # which is a very good price here.
4. Staying home, making dinner, using up freezer finds and trying to think thoughts that don’t concern our current national political situation.
5, No Lear Jets.


Vickey March 3, 2018 at 9:22 am

2) Thanks for answering! 🙂 Glad to hear they used coconut coir – it’s also much more sustainable than peat moss, which takes waaaay linger to renew.


Angela @ Tread Lightly, Retire Early March 1, 2018 at 2:08 pm

I love that you take into account the useable lifecycle of an item, not just the cost, when choosing to go the thrift store route instead of buying new.


KJD509 March 1, 2018 at 3:22 pm

Non-US friends on this blog, get ready for more astonishment re: US healthcare.:

1) Have spent about 6 hours on the phone over the past week working to get Rx for myself and my college-aged kids refilled. We three live in a different region (of the same state!) than the home region of the insurer, and I would be impatient but understand if it were just me (insurance is through my husband’s work and we live apart at the moment) – but college students? Obviously many college students do not live in the same place as the parents who insure them. I’ve also put off a scheduled colonoscopy because it can’t be done where I am, only in the “home region” of the insurance company. Ugh.
2) Hubs requires some specialized treatment that is only authorized for 8 visits per year. So he interrupts treatment, goes to a different doctor, gets reauthorized, and resumes treatment every other month. Oh, and copays at each extra visit, of course.
3) Mentioned last time this was likely to occur, but repeating as it has: Even though I ordered my meds with a two weeks’ supply still on hand, they have not yet arrived. . . and I missed a call this morning from the online pharmacy, so there are undoubtedly more problems. Using old, saved pills from previous Rx, cut in thirds to approximate the dosage.
4) One positive thing: have really picked up my walking – met my step goal 5 days in a row! – and am watching calories and losing weight. Truth is it’s because so much is swirling out of control around the move that this is something, at least, for me to focus on. But it’s also a frugal way to stay healthier and avoid more miserable interaction with the insurance-based healthcare system in this country.
5) No Lear jets, no gold-plated toilets.


Linda March 1, 2018 at 3:49 pm

When I had my first colonoscopy nine years ago, I wanted to have it without anesthesia, but the nurse talked me into the anesthesia. Perhaps when I have my next one, next year I’ll do without the anesthesia.
1. Cooking dinner at home.
2. Taking lunch to work everyday.
3. Worked two side jobs this week for extra money.
4. Grocery shopping at Aldi’s.
5. Purchased a new to me spring/summer blouse from ebay 2nd hand.


Bee March 1, 2018 at 4:24 pm

Thank you for initiating a frank and humorous discussion of this often dreaded medical procedure . It is easy to put off preventative medical care, but it is important to go in for maintenance to avert trouble down the road. It is also a super frugal choice.
Although I think most people who read this blood try to live well. I just want to say on more thing about health. Please try to eat a nutritious diet;exercise regularly; consume alcohol and caffeine moderately, and don’t smoke. Doing these four things will generally improve one’s overall health and well-being.


Brenda Thorn March 1, 2018 at 4:25 pm

Another outlet for crutches is the local senior center. Ours has all sorts of durable medical equipment to loan. I recently borrowed a wheelchair for my sister who is undergoing treatment for bone cancer. A quick post to social media would probably turn up a set of crutches, as well.


Vanessa March 1, 2018 at 4:35 pm

Katy, you are an unstable genius. I am in awe.


Katy March 1, 2018 at 9:35 pm

I will wear that title with honour. Bigly.


Carol March 1, 2018 at 4:49 pm

1. Taking the bus all around town on my monthly pass–gave up on my car last year.
2. A recent KonMari activity has made me appreciate some of the things I have, but don’t use, so I burned some incense that had been sitting there the other night, and made the house smell nice.
3. No takeout for us this week, just simple dinners at home.
4. Reading No Impact Man, and as a result have turned down the thermostat, and only use one light at a time. It’s easy enough to put on a sweater.
5. Have a small container of baking soda next to my toothbrush that I will use instead of toothpaste, instead of buying another tube. I’m interested in reducing packaging, but I won’t use baking soda forever, because I’ve heard it can be abrasive to your teeth over time. I may end up making my own toothpaste.

Frugal fail: I failed to notice and wash out period stains from my pastel shorts, and now there’s two burgundy stains you can see from the outside. When I stand up you can’t notice, but if I were sitting cross-legged, you’d notice. I tried to cover them with a similar colored thread, but it just looked stupid.


Jennifer March 1, 2018 at 6:52 pm

Can you buy some Rit dye and dye those shorts a darker color?


Carol March 3, 2018 at 12:02 pm

I thought about that, but my experience is that Rit dye bleeds into your wash after you’ve dyed something, so I’m worried about it affecting my other clothes.


Nancy from mass March 1, 2018 at 6:55 pm

Try vinegar. Pour on and scrub in a little. Vinegar sometimes gets out dried blood. Worked on a bathroom rug DH dried after a nosebleed. Worth a try.


nancy from mass March 2, 2018 at 4:17 am

i had to post that before having to refresh.
after pouring vinegar on, scrape it in with your nail. then you can add a little Dawn and work that in. then rinse. it may take 2 tries but truthfully, DH used to get horrible nosebleeds (that looked like he exploded) and he bled all over a rug. he then washed it right away and dried it (before looking to see if the blood came out). i put it in the tub, poured vinegar on it. left that to soak, then put dawn and scrub the rug a little. rinsed the rug and rewashed. all the blood came out.


Jennifer March 2, 2018 at 12:52 pm

Hey, has Katy mentioned anything about the problem with having to reload? I don’t have Facebook or any other social media so I was wondering if it had been mentioned there and I missed it. It’s just so frustrating for me!


Jennifer March 2, 2018 at 12:55 pm

I have a lot to add to the conversations going on here, which may be important to only me, lol. I just have to give up lately to due the hassle and I don’t think I’m alone so I know good info is being left out.

Christine March 2, 2018 at 5:02 pm

I had a problem posting earlier in the day but I know Katy had said she was going to look into this issue a lot of us have had since the Forbidden message came up. I find if I really condense my FFTs and type FAST I can post. Seems to be a time limit on it. Since I tend to ramble this is no easy feat!

Carol March 3, 2018 at 12:01 pm

Maybe I will try that. It’s definitely been through the drier already, but it sounds like your rug did, too. I’ll try it. Thanks.


Nancy from mass March 3, 2018 at 6:28 pm

Good luck and let me know if it worked.

Mary W March 4, 2018 at 4:04 pm

I use the Dollar Tree brand of Oxyclean and very, very hot water to soak out blood stains and other organic-based stains. Seems counter-productive to use hot water on blood, but it works. Also, a shot of Whink Rust Remover (color safe) may help as the heme portion of blood is iron.


Mrs. Picky Pincher March 1, 2018 at 5:03 pm

Ouch, sorry to hear about all the tests and costs with them! I’m having half my thyroid removed next week and can sympathize a bit. 😉 I’m also planning to forgo any unnecessary meds at the hospital ($60 for a Tylenol? No, thank you).

1. Next week I’m calling the doc and hospital to see if I can snag a cash discount for my surgery. You never know!

2. Today I got my fitness tracker, which was a bday present to myself. I opted for a used tracker and paid for it with a $50 Amazon gift card. Nice ‘n’ cheap.

3. I ordered a Book of Free, which is a coupon booklet for food and entertainment. It also came with a Six Flags ticket, so the book has already more than paid for itself.

4. I filled an old pill bottle with beans. It’s now a favorite toy for my cat, Zap. 🙂

5. One of my homemade dryer balls detangled into a horrible mess. Instead of throwing away, I balled it up and also gave it to the cat. He LOOOOVES it. I can’t believe I didn’t think of giving him string before – duh!


Jenny March 2, 2018 at 7:53 pm

Be careful! If cat swallows string or string-like stuff, it could be very very bad! My vet says “NEVER!”
Good luck with your surgery.


Emily L March 1, 2018 at 6:01 pm

Hi Katy!

I’m an endoscopy RN, and I applaud your choice. In fact, our gastroenterologist had his colonoscopy without anesthesia (prior to my working there). His best friend, also a gastroenterologist, scoped him and then he scoped his friend. And afterward, he finished the day scoping his other patients. It’s a choice we see every once in a while, and I’m glad you could be part of the process. Here’s to good health!



mcpare March 1, 2018 at 6:07 pm

Bravo to you Katy for your courage and best wishes for a speedy recovery for your husband.


FrannyandDanny March 1, 2018 at 6:18 pm

Wow! All the best to your chap and your family.


Jennifer March 2, 2018 at 3:28 am

I once underwent a dental procedure without them putting me under to save $500. And I don’t know if it was worth it. It was honestly much worse than natural childbirth. LOL but I did convince myself while laying there trying not to have a panic attack that if I could have a baby naturally I could survive this. It did get me through. Next time I would pay the $500.


KJD509 March 2, 2018 at 9:44 am

The nerves in my mouth are mis-wired somehow, so when I go in for dental procedures I often end up with numb ears and wide-awake teeth. I just ask them to work fast. I find dental work terrifying anyway because it is so bothersome to have someone right there in my face, but seems to me it’s ridiculous to pay for pain relief that probably isn’t going to work anyway.


Alexandra @ March 2, 2018 at 3:49 am

1. Starting the month low, low, low in the bank account. Good news? All bills are paid, pantry is fairly well stocked, no health problems! Much to be grateful for.
2. DH pointed out today, that our “problem” at this time is we save too much money. WOW. What a great problem. Easily fixed. So grateful for this as have NOT always been so blessed.
3. Hearing how many people are dealing with health problems encourages me to double down on savings (for emergencies, they DO happen) and to follow doctor’s orders on preventative care (just had annual physical, am 1 year behind on mammogram – scheduling!, all caught up on colonoscopy, thanks for reminders, Frugal Team!)
4. Going to “turn my frown upside down” and get creative on cooking down freezer and pantry instead of lamenting we can’t go shopping.
5. Take care of what we do have: deep cleaning, mending, repairing, all tasks that are so easily overlooked when distracted by the next new, shiny thing.


Sherri March 2, 2018 at 5:15 am

Just to chime in on the colonoscopy discussion: My son was diagnosed with crohns disease at the age of 10- had a colonoscopy to confirm diagnosis. At this point, as a young adult, he probably has had about 8 or more. Uses Miralax/Dulcolax for prep. Always works. Needless to say, he always gets anesthesia. His take a bit longer because of his illness. So no complaining out there people!


Nancy from mass March 3, 2018 at 6:31 pm

My son had endoscopy and colonoscopy (same day) at 16. His prep was double what mine was. I figured if he could deal with it, so could I. He didn’t vomit though.


Mand01 March 3, 2018 at 6:47 pm

I’ve had that too – not great fun but a necessary evil


Monica March 2, 2018 at 8:08 am

I have to have my first colonoscopy this year and will opt for the anesthesia. I can use the nap. But seriously, if they find polyps, which run in my family, they will remove them right then and there. I don’t want to feel that!


Christine March 2, 2018 at 8:24 am

Aaargh! Just tried posting FFTs again and once again thwarted by the evil sign that pops up where the Submit sign sits. “Please reload page to post comment”. I tried to no avail. Will try condensing them.


Mand01 March 2, 2018 at 12:28 pm

Tips for this issue:
1. If you are able, type quickly. I type a lot and I’ve only had this problem twice, when I was distracted by kids.
2. Before you go to submit, select all, copy. Then if you have any issues, reload and paste. The time that I had that issue I learned and now do this as a preventative measure.


Jenny March 2, 2018 at 7:51 pm

Just got my first “must reload” message and it does seem to be related to how long it takes to type and submit. Why? Who knows? But just go fast and it seems OK!


Jennifer March 3, 2018 at 5:51 am

I always post on my cellphone. I think that’s why this irritates me so bad. I don’t mind copy/paste but sometimes I try to post a short comment and it ends up being just long enough for me to have to reload. …ugh..I just had to reload to post this! Insert three eye rolling emojis here, lol. Oh, and I am always distracted by kids.


Gina in KY March 2, 2018 at 8:13 pm

Just had the same thing happen to me too (twice). I am too tired to try again. Thanks for the tips above as it is frustrating to type it all out (once on my cell phone ugh!) and have it disappear.

Hope all was ok with the check-ups. You are brave indeed.


Christine March 2, 2018 at 8:30 am

1. No restaurant meals except McDonalds for grandson when DH was sick and we didn’t want to expose the little one to it. He loves coming to our house for Breakfast for Supper on Thursday nights.
2. Sadly found no money while on walks this month. Only found I penny while cleaning an old dresser.
3. Going for my second repeat mammogram this month. Just finished paying off bill for first repeat mammogram but with a family history don’t want to take a chance with my “suspicious area”.
4. On sale frozen pizza and television movies for our date night tonight.
5. Continuing to be able to save more thanks in large part to budgeting and the support I get from this blog.


ouvickie March 2, 2018 at 8:34 am

You had me laughing, Katy!
And I guarantee I won’t be following your example. I’m a whimp when it comes to any type of surgery or procedure pain. So, good job, brave woman!!

1) Hubby and I decided to have dinner out last evening. We went to BJ’s Brewhouse and I used my loyalty card, as always. I’d earned enough points to get $25 off on our meals. We had a very yummy dinner together and very frugal.
2) I reuse bags for trash too – pretty much any kind of bag that’s big enough to fit the waste cans in each room of the house. The plastic bags that our horse’s feed comes in, I save those to throw recyclables in and then recycle them when I hit the bins about once a week.
3) Having snacks and breakfast items stashed here at work saves me a lot of money. At times I don’t feel like eating the lunch I bring or the frozen entrees I have in the freezer, so I slather PB onto a rice cake or pop a bag of popcorn.
4) I attended another monthly event with the OKWIT group on Wednesday and enjoyed a glass of wine, some appetizers, got to network and enjoy the beautiful view from the top of Walker Terrace in Downtown OKC.
5) I dropped off two books and an audiobook at the Library yesterday and picked up another book I had on hold. I love shopping with my favorite card!!


Dusty March 2, 2018 at 12:59 pm

I too had an anesthesia free colonoscopy. I worked for a GI doc for many yrs so i knew what to expect. I made a little joke while on table about spotting a white castle burger from 1970..gave everyone a chuckle. The bad news was i waited until 55 and it turned out i had rectal cancer and had to have surgery but caught early and it’s all good now. Get it done at 50 people!!


Lilja from Iceland March 2, 2018 at 3:41 pm

Lol, gotta say I love this post!

Got me into posting my first ever FFT…. all the way from Iceland!

1. Have some teeth that need fixing (which is not so frugal at all..) I applied to be checked at the univerity dentist department – they charge you a x amount for the x-ray of the teeth and a check up, then if any students have time/that thing you need fixing left to do x amount of hours on that semester they call you, and i got a call straight away – I’ll only pay for the filling material and the shot to num my mouth, which here is like 20-30% of the price, score!

2. Set myself a challenge for the new year, not to buy any clothes… unless underwear or if I run out of like pants or something crutial lol – i’m only 24 and last summer sold used clothes n shoes making probably 750$ or so but dang it took forever, but I still have plenty of clothes full…
Soooooo – just did another rinse and this week sold 2 new gym pants = 60$ – 5 playstation 2 games for my boyfriend for 50$, two heavy coats for 60$ and some shirts – I am on my last year of university and don’t have much time to work so this helps!

3. We’ve been good at eating out of the freezer and just shopping whats needed – Im from a island off of Iceland in the arctic circle and my parents visited Reykjavik where I live last week, my mom of course called a couple of days before hand asking if I wanted some fresh Cod… aaa YES MOM! So have fish now for at least 10-12 meals in the freezer, and a couple of weeks ago finished up around the same amount I got when i went home visiting in January, yay free good food!

Why are my paragraphs so long? lol – anyway

4. Me and my boyfriend bought our own appartment last fall, moving 2 streets down from his parents, we go eat there every sunday and she always gives me her brown bananas of the week, so sunday nights at home I make banana bread that I cut up and take with me with butter cheese and some toppings to school as a part of my lunch the days I have classes around noon! I fast till 11 so this is a perfect not super-unhealthy cheap meal for me as the first meal of the day

5. Im proud to say most every furniture in our apartment are furniture bought used or inherited from family… except the bed and one shelving unit – Even last week I needed a frame for a photo I found in a drawer, Ikea didn’t have the right size so I went to the Icelandic version of the Goodwill with a tape measurer (Is that the correct spelling? lol sorry, rusty english..) and found a frame that worked, for 4,5$ (which is cheap for Iceland lol!) – yay my pink floyd picture is on the wall looking beautiful!

That’s it for now, just writing this down is super encouraging!
Sorry for the essay long comment lol… But Im a weekly reader (of all the comments on each post as well because I learn so many frugal things both by the post and commenters!)

So thanks for this awesome community, fb group aaaaand hopefully my next FFT will be worded shorter lol…. happy weekend from Iceland!


Jenny March 2, 2018 at 7:50 pm

Well, it (US health care stuff) is bonkers (which I have never said before- lol!) and I’m no expert, but someone (you?) mentioned paying 42% income tax. In the US, people pay from 0% to 28%, I believe, and so there is the difference. My husband and I pay about 25% income tax but then pay huge amounts for our health insurance and deductibles and co-pays. So complicated.


Mand01 March 3, 2018 at 12:46 am

Australian tax rates are not that high – I think that was the UK.
Our top tier tax rate is I think about 37%.


Mand01 March 3, 2018 at 12:50 am

Plus we have a tax free threshold where you don’t have to pay any tax for the first $18K. After that it’s 25% up to $87K a year, which covers the majority of income earners. So it’s pretty fair.
We do have a private health insurance system but it’s voluntary and subsidised by 30%. I choose to have it because we have some health issues. We also have a new National Disability Insurance Scheme that covers people with a permanent disability.


Kara March 3, 2018 at 8:24 am

Everyone pays for healthcare wherever you are. You either prepay (NHS) in high taxes or you pay at the point of service (U.S.). It’s all expensive.


Jennifer March 3, 2018 at 10:49 am

You are probably right. It just stings to have to pay upfront since the prices of procedures, tests, etc. are all over the place. The inflated price is what makes healthcare jarring.


Vickey March 3, 2018 at 1:18 pm

And healthcare costs as a % of GDP are higher here, while our outcomes are worse. Clearly, the U.S. system is broken.


Teresa March 4, 2018 at 7:09 am

When you have been put on a limited diet because you’re having a colonoscopy, you can eat still eat Gummy Bears! They are gelatin and dissolve like jello in your stomach. Only eat the light colored ones — no red or green. The sour, sugar coated type are the best.


KT March 4, 2018 at 8:36 am

As a non-consumerist, I always flinch at the environmental cost of medical procedures. And how much waste was involved in my own knee replacements? Eeep. But as I read through your blog, it occurred to me … preventive medicine saves SO MUCH environmental impact over no preventive medicine! Preventing a major surgery by catching what a minor surgery will do. In the case of your hub’s hip, my knees–how much waste would be generated if I didn’t do what it takes to make it so I can walk again? I would almost certainly get diabetes, have all the attendant medical issues of weight gain, and cost the environment even MORE waste.


Randi March 16, 2018 at 5:19 pm

For some reason, I thought you husband was a first responder. My wife is a Sgt with LAPD and we have excellent insurance. ( I’m so thankful). I had a colonoscopy on Feb 1st and didn’t remember anything( thanks to anesthesia).


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