Today I Am . . .

by Katy on August 12, 2015 · 38 comments


Today I Am . . . (Okay, it’s really was not is, since I’m writing a nighttime blog post.)

  • Driving down to Ashland, Oregon for my son’s college orientation. School doesn’t start until next month, but this two day event will help for him to figure out college life and meet a few people.
  • Eating food at rest stops that I packed from home for the 5-1/2 hour drive down from Portland. Of course we drank water from reusable bottles.
  • Listening to a library audiobook in the car of Anne Rice’s Interview With a Vampire.
  • Getting almost 50 miles-per-gallon in my Toyota Prius.
  • Enjoying delicious yet frugal pizza slices as a reward for packing our own food. (Note the ice water.)
  • Wishing Ashland was a cheaper town to book a motel room. ($191 for the two nights, even with Priceline!)
  • Happy that our motel has a continental breakfast, although I think it’s a super minimal one.
  • Happy that our motel is close enough to campus to walk everywhere.
  • Thinking about the hawk my son and I spied that was flying above the freeway and carrying a huge rat.
  • Relaxing in our motel room and thinking I’d better look over where it is we need to be tomorrow morning.

Now your turn what did you do today?

Katy Wolk-Stanley

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

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{ 38 comments… read them below or add one }

Michele August 12, 2015 at 9:08 pm

Today I put my eBook on FREE promo for those who want some ‘been there/done that’ frugal/minimal/sustainable advice. 😉 I picked our current batch of butternut squash, some of which will go in the freezer for winter. I painted my daughter’s upcoming birthday gift. My son and husband built for her a dress up center….complete with a “screen” to change behind…a shoe rack…and a clothes hanging rack…..all using inexpensive lumber/pvc pipe and paint left over from when we painted her room. (I had to brave spiders in the garage to hunt for the paint. lol) I am about to iron the dresses I bought on eBay to add to her dress up center. I cut some ‘bedazzled’ stuff from a too-small shirt of hers to add to a pair of gloves I found at my parents’ house. I also gathered in herbs today, for drying. Next up…my first stab at chocolate soufflé! …Oh…and I line dried clothes today, too! 🙂
And PS….Katy, I sent my son to college (Go Herd!) in 2011–this is his final year there–and my older daughter last year….so from one college Mom to another….stay strong and pinch those pennies! 😉


Katy August 12, 2015 at 9:33 pm

Hey, I found a penny and a nickel on the ground here in Ashland. Does that count?


CW August 12, 2015 at 9:12 pm

Today I cleaned our fridge. Yeah, glad that’s done!


Tara August 12, 2015 at 10:01 pm

Hi Katy, I just wanted to wish you and your son good luck for the next couple of days. I hope he starts to feel comfortable and confident in his soon to be new surroundings and that you go home feeling happy with where he is going to be living for the next few years. We have A level results day in the UK today and find out what university offers our kids get and where they will be heading off to. xx


Bellen August 13, 2015 at 2:03 am

Best of luck to both (all) of you as your son starts a new chapter in his life.
Knowing that you’ve prepared him well in living a frugal, fulfilled life will make a big difference in the way he applies the knowledge he obtains while at college – both from books and his new world. I’m sure he’ll be amazed at the multitude of ways other students can go thru money with no thoughts to the future.

Today, Thursday, I am:
Having old glassware, dishes, Christmas ornaments picked up and pocketing $75 or rather, going into the new kitchen counter fund

Hanging towels to dry on drying racks – using the ceiling fan to help dry them

Finishing another book from the library

Reading another magazine from Zinio, free on-line from the library

Posting a box of watchbands on Craig’s list – from when hubby did watch repairs – need more space and money for those kitchen counters

Harvesting mizuna, purple tat soi, katuck, moringa, cranberry hibiscus for tonight’s salad


Kristen August 13, 2015 at 2:54 am

Hope your day at the college today is great!


Diane August 13, 2015 at 3:18 am

Staying inside out of the extreme heat in central Texas. 105 is predicted for today! Working on a baby quilt made from scraps that turned out so lovely. Figuring out how to grocery shop without exceeding my budget, Food prices have risen once again, especially in the areas I purchase….produce, dairy, fish and meat. Drinking water with lemon instead of juices and lemonade. Watching movies to while away the HOT afternoons.


K D August 13, 2015 at 3:42 am

Yesterday (Wednesday) I:

Walked to the bread store and bought two loaves of half price bread. While not as cheap as making bread it is nicely sliced and supports a local family-owned business. It is about three miles round trip.

I attended a yoga class. The teacher is amazing and because it’s summer there were only three students in the class. I pay a monthly fee and can then attend as many classes as I want.

I delivered meals for Meals on Wheels. For many of the “clients” we are the only person they see all day. I was paired up with someone I had not met before, a very nice guy (as are almost all the volunteers).

I met a friend for lunch. We like to patronize a place that uses quality ingredients, is locally owned , and reasonably priced.

I walked to the grocery store to pick up bananas and broccoli. I used the broccoli as part of the filling I made for calzones. The meat (cooked and then frozen) and cheese were from my stockpile and I made the dough using bulk purchased yeast and my 19 year old Kitchen Aid mixer. There are leftovers for tonight.

This morning (Thursday) I:

Walked to an early yoga class and found $.26 in the street.


Betty Winslow August 13, 2015 at 4:07 am

Today I am:
1. Meeting friends at the park for the last two chapters of the book we’ve been reading together (Own Your Life, by Sally Clarkson). I will take homebrewed iced tea and some of my jewelry tools and after the meeting, I will do some small repair work for one of the women, in exchange for some of her yummy baked goods.
2. Reorganizing the kitchen and garage frigs and thawing the deep freeze. (Yes, I know two frigs is kind of a splurge, but my husband likes the aard to pay the bills, so if he wants it, he’s got it.)
3. Repairing a friend’s beaded watchband.
4. Making a double batch of 5 Cup Salad, for the church event we’re holding tomorrow night and dropping it off, along with 3 bags of tortilla chips and whatever it is my SIL is making, to the church kitchen. When I get there, I’ll dump the salad into a church bowl, so I don’t have to worry about rounding mine up tomorrow!
5. Going to the docotr to have my surgical incision checked. Praying we can stop the wound packing, which neither my husband (the packer) nor I (the packee) are enjoying at all. Ouch.
6. Starting to put together information for the FB page I offered to design for the local food pantry.


Denise August 13, 2015 at 4:32 am

We went to my son’s college orientation in June, and it was a great experience ~ very positive, inviting and informative. FYI, the various bookstores were competing for business, and most of them were giving free college logo t-shirts to all orientation students and their families. We came home with 5 free t-shirts. They will be great to wear to various events we plan to attend at the college!


CWA August 13, 2015 at 4:38 am

picked fresh peppers and garlic from the garden, got 5 pounds of onions 1/2 price at the grocery store that I added chicken thighs, buffalo wing sauce, as well as fresh basil and oregano from my garden to spice. Fresh vegetables and spices make food taste so good.
You are greeting 50mpg with a Prius, that is good but my driving was more highway than city so I bought a diesel. While I am not a hotrodder, I changed the air intake to an AFE with larger filter and put an exhaust gas scavenging muffler in place of the factory one. Diesels are quiet, so it didn’t make it any louder. In the summer, I average in the high 40’s and on the highway I have gotten up to 60. In the winter the numbers are lower.
In a couple weeks, I need to load up my truck to bring my youngest back to college. It’s amazing how much a college student accumulates during a year. I saw parents loading their cars last spring bringing their kids home from college, they stuffed a lot in their cars, but I also saw them dragging stuff to the dumpster that didn’t fit. So just a heads up to plan to bring back a lot more than you bring to school.


Patti August 13, 2015 at 4:41 am

I really hope you both have a great day at the orientation!! College is as much an adjustment for the parents (and brother at home) as for the student so we are thinking of you today!!
My frugal accomplishments yesterday were:
1. Made the decision not to replace my 80 year old windows until we save the cash even though my painter thinks they are too fragile for him to paint (these are in our sunroom and are indeed quite fragile).
2. We also paid a carpenter to replace the screen on our back porch rather than redo the whole thing as had been the plan.
3. Both of them were here yesterday – one hammering and one power washing and my nerves were shot!! Instead of trying to “think” amongst the noise I chose to bake two tomato quiches using tomatoes from the garden. One for our dinner last night and one for the freezer.
4. I also sliced four tomatoes to take to a luncheon at my office for a departing co-worker. They were perfectly ripe and my co-workers loved them. Everyone else had contributed store bought goodies for the salad/sandwich bar.
5. Relaxed and de-stressed last night with my knitting and reading a book.


Betsey August 13, 2015 at 4:47 am

1. am planning to work at the church charity this afternoon
2. going to the library to replenish my mind
3. not listening to any news today…am sick of it all!
4. taking the dog to visit the nursing home. She is more popular than I am.
5. am planning to go to the Health Mart tomorrow. You get lots of free tests and samples of products.


LatteLaura August 13, 2015 at 2:18 pm

I am noticing that there are a lot of library users on this blog!


Betty Winslow August 13, 2015 at 4:54 am

OOOH, I forgot one other thing I’m doing today: making an appointment to go see the director of our local historical museum, to arrange for them to sell some of my jewelry in their gify shop!! SOOO excited!!


Isabelle August 13, 2015 at 5:14 am

Whao, that’s a pizza slice!! Miiiam!

Today I am….
* Bringing my kids to an activity at the library (1 hour play time for them = 1 hour reading time for me ; cost 4$ = good deal!)
* Drying clothes on the line
* Working my usual 3.75 hours shift even if I am PMS and feeling like curling up with a good book and see no one!
* Not eating between meals
* Will take an outside walk this afternoon (free exercice+sun = happy me)

Have a great frugal day!


Amy August 13, 2015 at 5:35 am

I worked at hotels during undergrad and part of grad school in a university town. When ever there were major events at the university like parents weekend, orientations, graduation and sporting events our rates would at least double. It made me decide should my children ever go to college I’ll visit them some other weekend where I wouldn’t need to pay such ridiculous rates.


Kim August 13, 2015 at 5:51 am

~This morning I am off work and I am enjoying a yummy cup of coffee and pumpkin chocolate chip bread for breakfast. Both made by me so definitely frugal. I’m enjoying the quiet of my entire family sleeping in before the day gets crazy.
~The reason I am off work is today we pack up my son to go away for his first year of college. He will be going to school 9 hours away so I am trying to be sure we don’t forget anything major as we pack. I am determined to avoid a Target run when we get there or having to ship a bunch of stuff. The tax rate in TN is a bit higher than ours and our groceries aren’t taxed so trying to get most of his late night craving food here. Praying that all his stuff fits in my Saturn and the 3 of us also fit!
~So far this morning I have partially cleaned out the fridge, taken out the compost and turned the pile, put yesterday coffee grounds on a hydrangea bush, run the dishwasher before the electricity high rate time period (10AM-8PM in the summer) and turned off the pool filter that we run overnight during the “cheap” electric time.
~Dealing with the last of the bushel and 1/2 of tomatoes I was given last week. A batch of tomato jam is simmering on the stove, a batch or 2 of salsa is next and any tomatoes left after that will either go in the freezer or be roasted and thrown into tonight’s pasta sauce.
~Sewing 2 pillowcases for DS and a baby shower gift for a dear friend’s shower that is while we are away.
~Printing my $38 in Staples Rewards and a 20% off coupon so DH can pick up a Windows 10 compatible printer for DS’s new laptop. The printer I had gotten him for free isn’t compatible. UGH!
~Looking forward to our 3 day stay in a private 1 bedroom apartment I booked through AirBNB. Convenient to the campus, a pool to relax in after the 9 hour drive and a full kitchen. $235 for everything which was better than any hotel.


LatteLaura August 13, 2015 at 2:04 pm

The pumpkin chocolate chip bread sounds yummy- can you share the recipe? I have a delicious pumpkin chocolate chip muffin recipe I make and bread sounds wonderful.


Kim August 14, 2015 at 2:48 am

I’ll be happy to once I get back from taking son to college. Typing recipe on my phone while in the car doesn’t normally go so well. I’ll post it in the FB group.


LatteLaura August 13, 2015 at 2:13 pm

Today I…

-took my kids to Natural Grocers 65th Birthday celebration where we got free ice creams sundaes, root beer float, chicken wraps and other samples. It was delicious!

-completed 2 surveys for Pinecone Research at $3.00 each. First time getting 2 surveys back to back and hopefully I will be getting a couple of freebies as a result to try and give feedback on.

-about to go make my own homemade gluten-free sushi which is MUCH cheaper than buying it premade

Best wishes to your son starting college! My oldest just started high school and I’m sure it will go by quickly.


LatteLaura August 13, 2015 at 2:15 pm

oops… didn’t mean to leave this comment here as a reply!


Heather August 13, 2015 at 6:39 am

Welcome back to Southern Oregon Katy! We cleared out the smoke for your visit.
Today I am making blueberry muffins for the freezer with blueberries from my MIL garden.
Washing/line drying the sheets.
Working out dinner from whatever is in the freezer, (trying to pantry-shop)


Bettypants August 13, 2015 at 9:39 am

Today I went and picked out a perennial plant for my friend who had to put their dog down. I am hoping she likes what I chose. Sometimes I get so worried about getting exactly the right thing, that I just bag the whole idea and don’t do anything. She’s getting a damn hibiscus, like it or not.


Barbara August 13, 2015 at 1:50 pm

Hibiscus are absolutely beautiful in the summer here in southwestern Ontario (we are right at the US border between Canada and the US). We have the same climate as northern California.


Ruby August 13, 2015 at 11:15 am

Hope you both have a great time at college!

Today I am deep-cleaning our laundry room. Since everything had to be pulled out of the room, it was a good time to paint the baseboards. We already had the oil paint needed on hand from another project.

I also pulled some plywood out of my husband’s wood stash and figured out a way to enclose the litter box area so that our arthritic 15-year-old kitty can get to it easily but the dogs cannot. It’ll take a day or two to see if the cat can figure it out, since the old boy is not the brightest bulb in the chandelier.

Used some cider vinegar that was too old to cook with, a pail of hot water and a squirt of dish soap to clean the floor in the laundry room.

Decluttered the kitchen counters. Shopped at home for a little wooden box to hold some odds and ends. Got together a bunch of stuff to go to the Salvation Army.


Vickie August 13, 2015 at 11:47 am

Hang in there, Katy!
It’s move-in time here on our Campus. I just try to stay away from the Dorm area, it’s pure chaos. I feel great empathy for the parents. Freshman move-in is enough to make any grown person cry and I’ve seen it happen. Poor parents!

The youngest grand-daughter is turning 5 yrs old next Monday. She wants a “soft” Hello Kitty doll. I found one on-line at the Toys-R-Us website, but they didn’t have it at the local store and the one they did have was over $20 and not really what she wanted. I finally found one on Amazon for $11 and free shipping with my Prime account.


Ellie August 13, 2015 at 12:03 pm

Good luck,Katy! I graduated from SOC (Southern Oregon College), my 3 children graduated from SOSC (Southern Oregon State College) and 2 of my grandchildren have graduated from SOU (Southern Oregon University) – yes, they are all the same school. I hope your family finds Ashland as enjoyable as we all did.


Katy August 13, 2015 at 9:36 pm

Thank you, we’re loving it so far!


Mand01 August 13, 2015 at 1:16 pm

Today I am working, and tonight having a break from study and work to have a night with my husband and watch a movie. We are ordering pizza – not frugal but I don’t care. Break night.
I’m also making a deposit to the arborist to have four trees removed from the front of our house next week. When they are gone, we will build a herb and fruit tree garden. So in two years or so there will be mulberries, apricots and plums in our garden instead of the useless and messy trees that are out there now. Plus we get a pile of firewood from one of them for next year.


Marilyn August 13, 2015 at 6:32 pm

Today I have been feeling sorry for myself because I had to have dental surgery this morning. It was a very expensive procedure involving an endodontist (worse than a root canal even) and the insurance will only pay a small portion and my mouth is sore (although not as bad as I thought it might be). So today I am giving myself permission to take a break from work, errands and everything else and just relax — in a frugal way. My husband bought me a large bowl of vegetable-barley soup from a local place which makes great soups – $3.47 and it was plenty for lunch and dinner. He also bought some Tillamook ice cream on sale, of course. I had some “Mad Men” videos from the library . I felt a bit guilty watching videos during the day,but I did have to keep an ice pack on my face so how much work could I do? Anyway it will be back to work tomorrow.


Karyl August 14, 2015 at 5:59 am

Hi, Katy – how can you possibly have a son who is starting college this year? Have a safe trip. Karyl 🙂


Elise @ Simply Scaled Down August 14, 2015 at 12:16 pm

Today I am:
1)Driving to Sesame Place 🙂 We got 2 day passes for the price of one! Boom!
2) Packing lunches/snacks for our 5 hour car ride
3) Also thankful for our hotel continental breakfast (which I also plan to make peanut butter sandwiches for lunch from)
4) Stopping by the library for Play Away’s for the girls to watch.
5) Doing a happy dance because I found a new swim suit on clearance for $10.


Val August 14, 2015 at 2:43 pm

We are on vacation. Brought and bought snacks from home. Went wandering around the town and found the local Salvation army thrift store. We spent seventeen dollars which included two Christmas presents. A fun outing 🙂


Anne August 14, 2015 at 4:51 pm

Reached 112 degrees today at my house in Southern California. Sooooo, I got a couple of errands out of the way quite early.

I cashed my small ebates check at the bank.

I put our stadium seats on Craigs List. Only used them twice some years ago.

Renewed some library books I had not yet finished.

Drying clothes on racks in the living room, which also adds desperately needed moisture to the air.


Sharon August 14, 2015 at 6:32 pm

Trying to stay focused with the busy weekend and week ahead… So I:
1. Thawed a container of cooked chicken (from a previous meal) to make enchiladas.
2. Also pulled half a pound of cheese ( put there before it started to get spotty) to use for the enchiladas and tostadas.
3. And the tortillas themselves (an 18 count pkg bought for $1.09).
4. And pulled precooked ground beef for the tostadas.
5. From the cupboard I am using sauces and beans from either the free Friday downloads and/ or the dented can store. I cannot remember which came from where lol.
Can you tell I am craving Mexican food and trying to avoid the fast food equivalent?


Beth August 15, 2015 at 6:28 am

1. Said NO to the vending machine which is a bit tempting. Just started a new job and I can see the vending machines from where i sit, they call to me but I resisted!

2.Have been picking “free” tomatoes from my plants.

3. Been consciously searching on Bing everyday earning 15 points a day that I can convert to Swagbucks once I hit 500.

4. Used 12 coupons from Swagbucks while grocery shopping which saved me money and will earn me 120 Swagbucks as well once they are processed. In addition I saved 5% off of all groceries and 10% off of non-grocery items because I used the store credit card (which I pay off every month).

5. Treated my daughter to a frap while grocery shopping using a $1 off coupon (she is a pre-teen and big into Starbucks which I will not buy usually). Went by the kiosk again while shopping and the gal said she had given me the wrong size and realized it once I left, she then gave us another free one – score! I will say I had a buzz on by the time we were done shopping!

6. Sat down and updated my database I keep for medical and volunteer mileage I will then deduct on my taxes, little bits add up! While working on that have been using my daughters computer as well just to earn Swagbucks, not hard to click once and a while when I am working on other things.

7. Signed up for a free Field and Stream magazine. I don’t read it (I may flip through the pages) but plan on donating right away to the library who can then sell it at our bookstore or save them for my Dad and give them to him.

8. Doing a load of laundry a day and hanging it on the new tripod drying rack I bought. By the end of the month it will have paid for itself as I am tracking in my head and saying I saved 50 cents a load I would have paid for a dryer at a laundromat besides the non-electrical use.

9. Entered a bunch of online contests, hoping to win a free local trip or entertainment as we haven’t gone anywhere on a vacation this summer or done much that would be considered entertainment like a concert, etc.

10.Didn’t buy a luxury cottage on one of the Great Lakes by Michigan (my idea of a Lear Jet . ;-))


Katy August 15, 2015 at 10:28 am

Free Starbucks “buzz?” Yay!


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