Today I Am . . .

by Katy on October 1, 2015 · 23 comments

Free cucumbers

Today I am . . . 

  • Filling my refrigerator, freezer and pantry with fresh groceries. I had a $10-off-$50 Safeway e-coupon, which helped.
  • Fine tuning a budget for the month of October. There will be five pay checks between my husband and myself, which looks great on paper.
  • Munching on free cucumbers that I picked up from someone in my local buy-nothing-group.
  • Grieving for the student and community of Umpqua Community College. Not so far from where my son is attending university, so the school shooting is hitting me hard.

Now your turn, What are you doing today?

Katy Wolk-Stanley

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

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{ 23 comments… read them below or add one }

Lisa October 1, 2015 at 1:30 pm

I hear you. My son is at Virginia Tech, site of the 2007 mass shooting. During orientation I happened by the memorial. After I got home, I re-read the news reports, which were even more chilling now that the names of the buildings and other locations referenced are names I recognize as places my son spends time.

32 people were killed that day in 2007.


Karen October 1, 2015 at 3:20 pm

So sorry about the Roseburg massacre. All these campus shootings have spurred me on to work towards better gun laws. I am far from an activist usually, but enough is enough. Too many guns roaming around in America!


Marilyn October 1, 2015 at 8:11 pm

Karen, I agree completely.


Vickie October 1, 2015 at 1:54 pm

Today I am…
A little lighter in the wallet due to car maintenance, but I know it will ultimately save money in the end. The nice thing – the technician gave me a discount and handed me a keychain tag to be scanned when I go back. He saved me 15% on my bill by doing that for me. Nice guy.
Sad day. I’m so sorry about the college shooting in your area. After the bombing in OKC and what seemed like unending days of sadness and grief for so many families, my heart goes out to anyone involved in such tragic and unnecessary violence.
My cousin works at VT and was on Campus during the shooting in 2007. I was horrified at what took place and stressed until I reached my Aunt and found out he was okay.

Prayers for all the families and the state of Oregon today.


Isabelle October 1, 2015 at 2:16 pm

All these school’s shootings, it’s crazy and very scary…

Today I am:
* Going to the movies with my mom, using a pre-paid card and popping my own popcorn
* Planning vegetarian meals to save money
* Reserving Mindy Kaling’s new book at the public library
* Showering military style
*!Putting extra blankets on beds instead of turning the heat on

Have a great frugal day!


Rachel H October 1, 2015 at 2:43 pm

Glad you’re son is okay! Terrible what happens on campuses in this country! I pray for my grandkids safety all the time.

Today I went to an Avon meeting in another town about 50 miles away. Rode with another rep and offered her gas money, but she refused. Our district manager paid for our drinks and cheese dip for the chips. So I only paid for my lunch plate.
Since it’s cooling off I turned off the air and opened windows for the day since no one was home. Have it on now, but will be able to turn it off again, because the low tomorrow morning will be in the 60’s!
Took some veggies and hamburger meat from the freezer today and made soup. Will use the last of some barbecue bread to go with it.
Relaxing tonight.


crafttealady October 1, 2015 at 3:06 pm

My daughter took a class at Umpqua and my son in law attended there. Needless to say, it wad a bit “close to home” here, too.


Laura October 1, 2015 at 3:12 pm

My thoughts went immediately to you Katy when I heard of the shooting. I hope and pray that all of you in the US can find some way to bring an end to this terrible scourge of gun violence.


K D October 1, 2015 at 3:22 pm

Today I:

We were up early so we went for a walk in the light rain. I was home in time to make it to an early yoga class, I may manage to make it to 4 this week (I have a monthly membership so each class I attend lowers the price per class as well as make me more fit).

I made chicken & rice soup before I left this morning (using the remains of boiling a carcass). It made for a great late lunch on this cold and wet day.

I stopped at the grocery to pick up the loss leaders from the sale that ends today. Since we don’t know what will happen with Hurricane Joaquin I bought a minimum of perishable goods.

I picked up a pizza for dinner. My daughter and a friend were in the mood. I checked for specials and used one, making it cheaper than just blindly ordering. It also supports the local economy.

The weather turned cold so I found a pair of jeans, a long sleeved shirt, and shoes to wear. It had been many months since I’d worn such clothes but they were a comfort to wear today. I love it when clothes fit from year to year.

I held off changing the bed yesterday. I’m glad I did because it does not look like flannel sheets will be premature.

My thoughts and prayers to you Oregonians today. What a tragedy the loss of lives and injuries suffered are.


Sheila October 1, 2015 at 3:52 pm

Sending you a virtual hug, Katy. We have family up in Roseburg, so this shooting was especially close to home. As far as we know, none of our friends or family has been affected, and in fact, we are blessed that our sister and brother in law, who are both psychologists, went to help out the grieving students. Our nephew was married at the college so we’ve been there which makes it even more real. Such a senseless tragedy.

1. Made my own vanilla which is particularly frugal, as you just add rum {or brandy or vodka} to a bottle filled with vanilla beans. It’s everlasting, as the vanilla beans create new vanilla each time you add more alcohol {makes great gifts – just make them about a month ahead}.

2. Our bed has small side tables that are attached to the frame, and the one on my side was sagging. I put a pile of books underneath to prop it up, and voila! a more straight night table and a little bit of color {and I didn’t spend any $ trying to come up with a solution}.

3. I’m going to send a care package to my son at school ~ he’s a freshman and just started last week. The school sent info about ready-made care packages that you can purchase, but not only were they expensive, they were filled with candy and other junk. I think a batch of freshly baked cookies and a note will do the trick instead.

4. I’m taking a dance class this evening, and the old me would have gone shopping to make sure I had something cute to wear, but the new more frugal me is happy to wear what I have. Which won’t be in style or probably even match, but until I know this is something I really want to do, I don’t want to fork over any more money than the cost of the class.

5. For a friend’s birthday, I made her a little succulent terrarium with a vase I had, a succulent cutting, and some tiny rocks I had in the garden. I was tempted to go buy her something, but between shopping my closet {where I stash gifts like the vase} and my garden, I was all set.

*A bonus frugal thing: I am currently on unemployment as the company I worked for was sold. Nowadays, you receive a debit card, and because I have misplaced the info about how to check the balance, I wasn’t using it. Since I was close to my credit union earlier today, I went in and found out that I had quite a healthy balance, so I deposited a big chunk into my account. This will help immensely with college expenses 🙂

Thanks for the continual inspiration. I love to check in every few days to get more great ideas!


lori October 1, 2015 at 4:06 pm

Katy as soon as I heard of a shooting at an Oregon college I thought of your son. Thank God he is safe, you must be missing him today.
Also thinking about the students and families of Umpqua so sad and tragic.


Donna October 1, 2015 at 4:18 pm

Dear Katy-
Thank you for posting. I’ve been watching throughout the day and hoping and praying it wasn’t your son’s school. When are we ever going to demand our children’s safety? Sorry, not a night to feel politically correct whatever that means….. Too many devastated families tonight.
Donna ((())))


Michele October 1, 2015 at 5:02 pm

I feel for you, Katy. When the VT shootings occurred it was fairly close to where my son was/is in school and, although location wasn’t the point, it still made me realize how real this kind of thing can be. Prayers for those families involved. …………….and yay for your food finds/storage!


linda October 1, 2015 at 5:14 pm

was trolling through my pinterest recipes and noticed one for white chocolate, pistachio,orange,cranberry bark. remembered that just yesterday I saw 11oz bags of Ghiradelli white chocolate chips at the 99cents store. So went there today and bought a few bags. Holiday baking anyone. these bags cost $4.79 in the store. I got them for 99 cents each.

made taco salad with ingredients on hand and chocolate chip cookies with my grandson for dessert.

bought some loaves of Raisin Bread at 99 cents store. these sell for $4.99 at the big grocery store across the street from the 99cents store.


Lucy October 1, 2015 at 6:15 pm

*Worked on budget through end of year.
*Topped up my truck with fuel. Doing it more frequently prevents the big hit of filling an almost-empty 37.5 gallon tank.
*Picked up 2 more beef rump roasts at a great price (limit 2; picked up 2 earlier in the week).
*Hypermiled said truck as much as possible, as traffic allowed. I’m getting better at it.
* Salvaged a forgotten half-onion by dicing it and freezing.


marie October 1, 2015 at 8:43 pm

Today I:
picked lettuce and spinach out of my fall garden. Thankfully I grew them, as lettuce was $1.99 at the store. We eat a salad at least 4 times a week.
Also tomatoes, and the cukes are still going strong. This 75 degree weather is really a wonderful thing.
Picked up 6 loaves of bread at the senior center in a nearby town. Whenever I go thru I try to time it to when they have bread. The senior pick up day old bread, and people pay a donation for the cost of fuel! Even Dave’s Killer bread.
Started to go through closets, time to weed thing out before winter


Diane October 2, 2015 at 3:51 am

Very hard to sleep last night with thoughts of yet another school shooting on my mind. So hard to comprehend. But, I do know that guns and mental health disorders are a very bad combination. Gun violence is out of control.

Thinking of all you Oregonians today.


CWA October 2, 2015 at 3:53 am

So sad that the students had to die. There have been eight mass shootings in gun free zones in the past eight years. It is shameful that the basic human rights of students to defend themselves are infringed. One hero, an Army veteran charged the shooter unarmed, was shot several times, and saved many lives. My prayers are with that hero as he lies in the hospital.


NMPatricia October 2, 2015 at 4:13 am

My older son had just left for college when 9/11 occurred. Even though he really wasn’t close, I flipped out and it rattled me until I could talk with him. I didn’t like he was so far away. Having the first go off to college is hard.


Amanda S @ Passionately Simple Life October 2, 2015 at 4:53 am

It’s such a sad thought to think that not one of those students realized what would happen that day. I really hope we can all learn to at least tolerate one another and stop these shootings.

As for anything frugal this week, I’ve been trying to find new recipes that use up what we have in the freezer (plus) but found quite a bit of food waste done by both the bf and I (boo). So hopefully we can concentrate more on making do with what we have at home instead of buying random ingredients to make what we like.


JD October 2, 2015 at 6:36 am

I immediately thought of Katy and her family when I saw the news. What a terrible thing to happen yet again. It really shakes me up.

My frugal things:
1. Actually, not frugal is the fact that we had to replace our refrigerator. What is frugal about it is that after drooling over the fancy-schmancy stainless steel ones with door dispensers, wine chillers, third doors, etc., we walked over to a simple, two-door refrigerator-freezer, with built-in ice maker — it’s Florida and we drink a ton of iced tea — and got one in white. And when I started cleaning out the old one, I had very little to throw away, which made me feel a little better about spending that money for a new refrigerator.
2. My husband is better at negotiating than I am, and he convinced them to give us the discount from a sale that had ended the day before.
3. What’s with all these people trying not to use heat? I’m trying not to use A/C! If the rain will stop, I plan to open my windows back up again. Hopefully, that will be this weekend.
4. I’m happy to see our native Seminole Pumpkin vine is putting on baby pumpkins. Instead of buying stuff to rig a trellis, we did it the way the Indians did — we are growing it up a nearby tree. No money spent, no problem with fire ants trying to eat the fruit on the ground. We used our own saved seeds, too.
5. Tonight’s supper will feature sauerkraut we fermented. So much better than the vinegary kind at the store, and so much cheaper than the fermented refrigerated “gourmet” kind at the health food store.


Betsey October 2, 2015 at 6:37 am

I wept for the grieving families last night. Not much else I can do.
Today I am:
getting out my mom’s fall clothing and freshening it
raking leaves, leaves, leaves!
will walk the dog in this gorgeous fall weather
will help a friend stack wood
generally enjoying life and being grateful


Marie-Josée October 3, 2015 at 5:01 am

I too thought of you and your family, Katy, when I heard the news of the shooting. I am really releived that your family is safe, and very sad for all the families who lost a loved one. I can’t imagine the trauma the survivors and injured persons are suffering.

We just bought a fixer-upper condo in the neighbourhood of our dreams. My husband will be taking two weeks off to strip and renovate the bathroom and kitchen. We are planning on changing the bedroom and hall doors as well. A friend who works for a major hardware chain gifted us with a 20% rebate coupon valid for everything in store on Sept 30th and October 1st. We visited the store three times and bought almost everything we needed (hood, hot water tank, toilette, sink, faucets, doors, paint, tile, grout, door handles, lighting fixtures, heating units… you get the picture). Our credit card is burning hot from use, but I estimate we saved $700. I feel so blessed. I am having a lovely bouquet of flowers delivered to this friend on Monday!


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