Five Frugal Things

by Katy on August 2, 2022 · 85 comments

 

  1. I’ve continued to inexpensively cook from scratch even though I’m sick to death of the endless routine of it all. Black bean chili, vegetarian tacos, stir fry, pasta dishes, soups, burritos, breakfast for dinner, sandwiches, rinse and repeat ad infinitum.

    Update: I wrote the previous paragraph last week when I’d been exclusively cooking from scratch. However, I apparently snapped and have since dined out for brunch three times. Once with an out of town friend, once with my husband and lastly with a local friend who invited me at the last minute to a restaurant in the neighborhood.

    I guess it all comes down to balance. Cook inexpensively at home so you can later enjoy the occasional meal out with friends. I regret nothing.

  2. My foot keeps me mostly at home, which does save money but is far from socially engaging. I did get a proper diagnosis with an MRI, (it’s NOT plantar fasciitis!) so hopefully should start to see some improvement over the next few months.

    The best way I have to describe the pain is that I feel like I’m constantly stepping on a Lego, but that Lego is inside my foot. My foot Lego.

  3. We finally hired an arborist for our imposing backyard maple tree who not only replied to emails, but efficiently completed the job! This is in direct opposition to the guy we hired to come “the first week of March,” and then ghosted us. You may remember that Portland experienced a freak snowstorm the first week of April, which brought down three major branches.

    I’m aware that hiring an arborist has been a dull subject over the past year, (sorry!) but it’s damned expensive and the bids were all over the place. We ended up paying $1440, which was a full two thousand dollars less than the highest bid!

    I know that the standard advice is to never pick the lowest bid when hiring contractors, but this guy did amazing work and I’m 110% happy with the work. He knew we were trying keep the budget in check, so his bid specified leaving all firewood size logs in the backyard. No worries though, as my husband’s friend was happy to snap them up.

  4. I scored six boxes of clearance priced fettuccini for 25¢ apiece from Fred Meyer, I used the free Libby app to listen to The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah, my husband borrowed his brother’s truck to schlep rotten boards from a disassembled treehouse to the recycling facility, my son and I prepared every single one of his decidedly unwelcome Hello Fresh meal kits, a friend brought me unopened Tabasco and pasta sauce she wasn’t going to use, my friend Lise and I brought our laptops to IKEA to work and fuel ourselves with their free coffee, the motor for our clothes dryer pooped out, so my husband watched a couple YouTube videos and ordered a $70 replacement motor, and then we rehung a backyard clothesline that had been snapped to pieces from the April snowstorm/falling branches fiasco.

  5. I didn’t buy a Lear Jet, and instead borrowed one from Taylor Swift.

Katy Wolk-Stanley    

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

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  1. I still haven’t been thrifting lately as my foot becomes intensely painful if I walk any more than necessary, so my eBay sales are essentially just stale inventory. However . . . that’s still a couple items per week.

    • A stuffed anime rabbit that I bought for $2.99 and sold for $50.

    • A Portland Timbers soccer scarf that my son didn’t want anymore. $30.

    • A Calphalon skillet that I bought for $4.99 and sold locally for $30.

  2. I paid my next door neighbor the semi-annual cost of $103 for our shared garbage service. (Although we’re billed monthly, we both agree that it’s easier to for me to pay in December and July.) This plan was my idea at least 14 years ago and we both currently save $206 per year.

    In all the years that I’ve been scouring the internet for unique money saving hacks, I’ve never seen anyone else suggest this as a cost cutting measure.

  3. My neighbor across the street gifted us a loaf of warm sourdough bread and I sent her home with two bowls of freshly made potato cheddar soup, my daughter works for a high end grocery store and brought home a dozen eggs, three packets of $11 bacon and a box of macarons that she’d gotten for free, I listened to an audiobook of Bloomsbury Girls using the free Libby app, my friend asked if I wanted to tag along to Trader Joe’s with her and I bought just two bunches of 19¢ bananas and a 12-pack of toilet paper, (I consider this to be a yuuuge frugal win as Trader Joe’s is 90% impulse items) I used the Too Good To Go app to buy a bag of end-of-day pastries from a nearby coffee shop for just $2.99 and I followed a surprisingly delicious stir-fry veggie pasta recipe from Ardent Michelle that used up items in my fridge that were on the verge of being wasted. So long carrots, spinach, garlic scapes and bulk sausage.

  4. I wish I could live a life of nothing but 19¢ bananas, but there’s no escaping the inevitability of unexpected financial hits. Please enjoy mine:

    • My elderly 2010 Macbook finally got to where it couldn’t handle updates and was glitching left, right and center. I replaced it with a certified refurbished MacBook Air for $850. Oof.
    • I took my Prius to Costco for a free tire rotation, and ended up having to purchase a new tire for $86. (It did have some warranty left, which is how I paid this lesser amount.) Then I had to drive to an entirely different Costco south of Portland for the specific tire. It ate up half my day plus $86 of our precious credit union account. Crud.
    • My husband took our minivan to Les Schwab (a local tire chain) to get the tires rotated on the minivan and we ended up having to buy two new tires! Bye-bye, $300! Damnit.
    • I finally found an arborist to prune our enormous backyard tree. The last guy had scheduled us for “the first week of March” and then ghosted us. At this point I’ve gotten four different bids, which have ranged from $1300 to $3500. This tree probably would have fared better from our freak April snow storm had it just been pruned, and this pisses me off. This guy is $1400, which we can technically afford, but still . . .
    • This one isn’t my frugal fail, but I’m putting it here anyway. My son signed up to get a “free” Hello Fresh box and somehow received (and got charged for) six boxes. He realized his error and talked to customer service, but they refused to help him even though he’d only received two kits at that point. He ended up making all the meals at our house, (as he shares a small kitchen with three roommates) and we used it as an opportunity for him to learn certain cooking techniques. He also learned a lesson about “free” meal kits.

  5. I didn’t buy a Lear Jet, as aviation fuel no longer fits in our budget.

Katy Wolk-Stanley    

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

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Five Frugal Things

by Katy on July 8, 2022 · 100 comments

My husband and I have been hit with a series of unexpected expenses over the past few months, (related to his mother’s passing, car maintenance, storm damage to our backyard tree and helping our son out after he was laid off.) and although we’ve had the money to cover everything, our savings definitely took a hit. Keep in mind that our youngest just graduated from college last year, so we hadn’t been able to prioritize savings until recently. This means that we’re tightening our belts more than ever, which you might think wasn’t even possible. Turns out it was!

  1. Last night I took four iffy apples and baked up a delicious apple crisp, which included juice from squishy lemon.

    I then incorporated the rest of the lemon juice in a Greek-style orzo chicken soup. I’d boiled up the last of a Costco rotisserie chicken a couple weeks ago and froze both the broth and the scraps of meat. I seasoned the soup with a scoop of Costco “Better Than Bullion,” bulk purchased dill, paprika, pepper and seasoned salt from Dollar Tree. This soup also included sautéed onion, carrot and celery that I’d frozen as ugly little clumps after recently buying a large bag of pre-chopped celery for 33¢. This was such a time saver and I’ll likely repeat this hack in the future. By the way, the soup was superb!

    Click HERE to see the ugly celery/onion/carrot mix.

  2. My husband and I are long term lending our 2007 Prius to our son who just landed a decently paying tech job that’s unfortunately outside of Portland. He’d been saving to buy a reliable used car, but his plan got derailed when he was laid off in late May. (Right after moving out!) Luckily my husband’s job is only a couple miles from home, so he can commute by bike most of the time. This leaves me at home with our 2005 minivan for errands, although I’ve been making a concerted effort to drive as little as possible lately.

    None of us want car payments, so we’ll just make do as long as possible. Used cars are suddenly insanely expensive, so anything we can do to hold off on buying at peak pricing is just smart money. This is making me extra thankful that our daughter can walk to work!

  3. My husband and I aren’t planning any plane travel this summer, so instead we’ll just enjoy the Pacific Northwest. I do plan on burning up some airline miles to cover the cost of one night at a schmancy Columbia Gorge hotel, plus my husband has a two day class in Tacoma, Washington that I’ll tag along for in September. (The cost of his hotel room will be covered.) I’ll then drive the 45 minutes up to Seattle to visit with old college friends and enjoy getting away from home for a few days.

    Add in that one of my best friends is coming to Portland later this month for a wedding and is coincidentally staying in my neighborhood! I usually see her when I visit New York, so it’ll kind of be like traveling. I do plan on driving her and her husband around to do some sightseeing, which counts as a staycation in my book.

    It can be hard to see friends traveling to exotic corners of the world, but it’s also perfectly acceptable to explore your own corner of the world.

  4. I power washed my kitchen garbage can, recycling bins and an outdoor rug as part of borrowing my neighbor’s power washer, I shared some extra fruit smoothie with a neighbor, I grabbed six bottles of 48¢ shampoo and conditioner and two bottles of 10¢ chili powder from the Winco clearance shelf, I cobbled together a hodge-podge decent meal when my husband was on the verge of ordering Thai takeout, my husband and I watched the movie Pride through my sister’s Prime Video account, (this movie was fantastic, I highly recommend it!) my friend Lise gave me a small jar of yeast which I returned filled with everything but the bagel seasoning from a huge container I bought at Costco, and I watched an amazing YouTube Frontline PBS documentary titled Two American Families about two different Milwaukie, Wisconsin families and their struggles with poverty.

  5. I didn’t buy a Lear Jet, as aviation fuel no longer fits in our budget.

Katy Wolk-Stanley    

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

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{ 100 comments }

Five Frugal Things

by Katy on July 2, 2022 · 75 comments

  1. I still haven’t been thrifting, but I did sell a few things, including:

    • A groovy midcentury plate that I bought for $1.99 and sold for $38.
    • A handmade Christmas tree skirt that I bought for $2.50 and sold for $20.
    • A high quality Wizard of Oz guard costume that I bought for $7.99 and sold for $40.
    • An Atomic Ranch magazine that I bought for 25¢ and sold for $10.
    • A Jadeite mug that I bought for maybe $2.99 and sold for $25.
    • A pair of Hoka sneakers that I bought for $4.99 and sold for $30.

  2. I treated our brick back patio to a thorough beauty treatment, which is always a fair bit of work. (And for this reason I only do it every couple of years!) This job involves power washing both the bricks and stone retaining wall, as well as sweeping clean new sand in between the bricks. Luckily my next door neighbors are always happy to lend me their power washer, plus I was able to source free sand by posting a request through my local Buy Nothing Group.

    Not only is our backyard now ready for hosting friends and family, but doing this maintenance work protects the value of our home and property.

    Click HERE for more backyard pictures!

  3. I stopped by the Everyday Deals grocery liquidator store on S.E. 82nd Avenue and struck produce gold! Seriously. I bought:

    • An entire flat of strawberries for $3, which I immediately cut up and froze on baking sheets.
    • Two melons for 50¢ apiece, one of which I gave to my friend Lise.
    • 3/$1 bundles of garlic scapes.
    • 5/$1 heads of garlic, one of which also went to Lise.
    • Two 50¢ containers of grapes.
    • A huge $2 container of organic baby spinach.
    • Two containers of fresh wild mushroom pasta for $1.25 apiece, which I served to myself and son one night and then to my mother and myself on another night. Of course I topped them with homemade marinara sauce. I looked this brand up and they’re normally $6.50 apiece.

    My plan had been to stop at the regular grocery store afterwards, but I didn’t want to risk leaving this vulnerably ripe produce in the back of a hot car. Food is so freaking expensive right now, and I knew this heavenly manna needed to be processed in a timely manner!

    Food is never a bargain if it goes to waste.

  4. I watered the next door neighbor’s plants while they were out of town, (and also gifted them a box of fancy cookies as a thank you for lending us their power washer) I scrubbed down all our outdoor furniture as I’d rather clean and repair my belongings instead of replacing, I power washed our concrete front steps and the sidewalk in front of our house, my other next door neighbors gave us some bagels their daughter didn’t like, I listened to an audiobook through the free Libby app, my son and I watched a library DVD of Witness, (which prompted me to deep dive into multiple YouTube videos about modern day Amish families) we also watched a library DVD of Brassed Off, I picked up toothpaste, shampoo, conditioner and ginger snaps from Dollar Tree and I contentedly exist despite my salt-and-dishwater hair.

  5. I didn’t buy a Lear Jet, as aviation fuel no longer fits in our budget.

Katy Wolk-Stanley    

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

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{ 75 comments }

Five Frugal Things

by Katy on June 22, 2022 · 95 comments

 

$13.85 of discounted food!

  1. My Facebook Marketplace and eBay sales have been slow lately, but I know that it’s directly related to me being a homebody.

    However, sales have been trickling in:

    • A vintage Cathrineholm enamel bowl that I bought for $2 and sold for $65.
    • A wool sweater that I bought for $8 and sold for $55.
    • A Wii gaming system that I bought for $20 and sold for $99.
    • A Michael Graves desk organizer that I bought for $4.99 and sold for $35.
    • A Yakima bike rack that I bought for $10 and sold locally for $50.
    • A vintage Coleman cooler that I bought for $10 and sold locally for $90.
    • A DVD/VCR combo that I bought for $10 and sold locally for $75.
    • A Rock Band gaming drum set that I bought for $20 and sold locally for $120.
    • An American Girl doll that I bought for $5 and sold locally for $40, although I did sell her sweater separately on eBay for $25.

  2. Food prices are no joke right now and though I’m lucky enough to be more knowledgable than many people when it comes to budget shopping, it still takes effort.

    Here’s what I’m doing:

    • I’m doing the majority of my family’s grocery shopping at Winco Foods, which is a Pacific Northwest staple for low cost food. They have an impressive bulk food section and tend to be located in working class neighborhoods. (At least here in Portland.) They also take off 6¢ per reusable bag, which I appreciate.

    • I stop at the Everyday Deals grocery liquidator every couple weeks. Their inventory is random, but they always have a large variety of organic salad greens for under a buck, as well as cheap fruit and veggies; cheese, crackers and high end yogurts. Plus, this location is delightfully next door to a Goodwill thrift store.

    • I stop by the Franz Bakery bargain store to stock up on bagels and sandwich bread and always have them stamp my frequent buyer card.

    • I buy a few specifics from Trader Joe’s, like their 19¢ bananas and their amazing hummus. (Plus their 100% recycled content toilet paper is less than half the price of Seventh Generation!) Their prices seem to be more stable than corporate chains like Safeway and Kroger.

    • I downloaded the Too Good To Go app to see if I could score cheap food while supporting their “Save Food, Save The Planet” goal. This app connects food vendors with consumers to buy up the extra food that would otherwise go to waste at the end of the day.

    Unfortunately, there aren’t many participating restaurants in Portland, but I did score two muffins and two loaves of artisan bread that would normally have been $10 apiece for $4.99 total. You get zero control over what you’re buying, so its usefulness is limited. I’ll probably use it again, but just as something fun.

    • I’m pretty much cooking 100% from scratch, even though I don’t particularly enjoy cooking. All I can say is thank you to whoever invented free library audiobooks for welcome distraction. I know that many people love this task, but I find it to fall under the umbrella of household drudgery.

  3. My mother sold the last of her short term rental houses and gifted the towels to us. Our towels had slowly (but very surely) devolved into terrycloth mayhem. I think I last bought new towels in 2004, so they were a welcome addition to our home. I then bagged up the scrappy but clean towels and donated them to the Humane Society.

    I’m very fancy now.

  4. I scored a vintage Copco Dutch oven from my Buy Nothing Group, I listened to a library audiobook of This Time Tomorrow by Emma Straub, (SO SO GOOD!) I mended a sweater for my son, I lent our car to our next door neighbor, I transferred most of my bulk spices into hoarded Bonne Maman jam jars, I stocked up on Tillamook butter when it hit $1.48-per-pound, I checked out a library DVD of Serenity as I had rewatched Firefly through my sister’s Prime Video, I’ve watched various “Feed a Family of Four For Just $40!” style YouTube videos and have even tried out a few recipes, (like Frugal Fit Mom’s potato cheese soup.) and I scored a perfectly good Timbuk2 backpack from a free pile.

  5. I didn’t buy a Lear Jet, as aviation fuel no longer fits in our budget.

Katy Wolk-Stanley    

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

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Disclosure: This blog post includes eBay affiliate links, which earns a small commission for me and costs nothing extra to you.

{ 95 comments }

Five Frugal Things

by Katy on May 29, 2022 · 55 comments

  1. I curb picked a couple of high quality metal organizing cubes, which prompted me to attempt a semblance of order in our coat closet. You know, like the women on the Home Edit TV show. But without good lighting, bright colors or the company of friends.

    I’ve repeatedly tried to organize this coat closet through the years without lasting success. It’s a sideways Harry Potter-style closet, which means that it’s deep, but without much usable space towards the back. Add in that it’s dark and has no door, and it’s an eyesore waiting to happen.

    The job ended up being so much more work than I thought it would be, but as my friend Lise told me “Rome wasn’t organized in a day.” However, It looks and functions much better now, especially since I was able to get certain family members to let go of a few of their unused coats.

  2. We celebrated both my husband and son’s birthdays last week. (It seems like he was an infant just a few years ago!) We kept to our “Birthday Day of Adventures” theme, which as always involves planning out a day of surprise activities where I am the only person who knows the itinerary.

    Husband:

    • Enjoyed bagels with lox at a local restaurant.
    • Drove down the Columbia Gorge to the town of Hood River, stopping at Multnomah Falls along the way.
    • Watched the windsurfers and kite surfers who flock to the area from all over the world. Such an amazing sport to watch from my safe dry vantage point!
    • Enjoyed an early supper at a brewpub that my husband had been wanting to try.
    • The two of us shared his free fancy Starbucks birthday coffee.

    Son:

    • Splurged on brunch at a southern restaurant, where we proceeded to stuff ourselves with fried chicken, biscuits, grits and waffles.
    • Drove to a suburban mall that I hadn’t been to since 1982. Why? The Lego store! Some things are never outgrown. My son chose a Seinfeld Lego set!
    • Indulged in scrumptious Texas-style barbecue for dinner.
    • My son’s favorite cake is cheesecake, specifically the Costco cheesecake, so I’d picked one up the previous day. My parents drove over that night to share cake and wish their grandson a happy 24th birthday.

    It’s really hard to find activities that don’t feel unsafe in Covid times. As such, we end up just eating all the delicious food. We rarely eat in restaurants, so it’s a real treat.

  3. We had a freak snowstorm last month, which ravaged both our front and backyard maple trees. Five major branches off our backyard tree and three from the one in our parking strip.

    My husband borrowed a chainsaw to cut the bigger branches into firewood, but the smaller ones got piled up for me to break into pieces for curbside yard debris pick up. Our neighbors generously let me add to their bins, so I was eventually able to work my way through a truly massive pile of fallen branches. I’d estimate that I densely filled 20 rolling yard debris bins by the end.

    I saw multiple tree service vehicles in the neighborhood over the last month. It would certainly have been easier to hire a service, but it cost us nothing to do the job ourselves. Luckily, the trees should pull through, but I gotta say that home ownership is kind of a bitch.

  4. I sold a number of things over the past month, most notably another Ikea egg chair for $100, (that’s three so far, if you’re counting!) I put a layer of free mulch onto our otherwise neglected side yard, I continue to shop the grocery liquidator each week before hitting Winco, I got a small Andromeda bush from my Buy Nothing group, (which I transplanted into a free curb picked terra cotta pot) I gave away some kitchen supplies, furniture polish and a huge bag of bubble wrap through the group, I thrifted a pair of vintage lighting globes, which I immediately sold to a local store and I listened to The Magnolia Palace and The Flatshare through the free Libby app.

  5.  I didn’t buy a Lear Jet.

Katy Wolk-Stanley    

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

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I wrote this blog post after the Sandy Hook school shooting. I’ve decided that I will repost it after every school shooting in the United States. I hope to never publish it again, but I know I will.

It’s been a difficult three days for America, as we’ve gone from shock to deep mourning for the murdered children and staff of Sandy Hook elementary school. And however you feel about the growing debate surrounding gun control, one consensus has come out of this tragedy, which is to hold your kids tightly.

Appreciate the gift of life that is more fleeting that we can bear to admit.

So when I woke up yesterday to a kitchen full of dirty dishes, a mountain of laundry to put away and living room full of cat hair choked furniture, I asked my son if he wanted to go on a day of downtown adventures. (My daughter was sleeping, and my gift to her was to let her continue with her favorite hobby as long as she wanted. After I kissed her a couple dozen times, of course.)

The chores could wait.

We chose to take public transportation, as we both have free passes, plus it frees us from the shackles of having to stay close to our parked car. We stopped first at the local Einstein’s Bagels to get a free pumpkin latte to share, as well as a toasted and buttered jalapeño bagel for my son, which we did not.

We stood in the rain and waited for the bus, and talked about nothing and everything and passed the overly sweet latte between the two of us. And I ached for all the Connecticut parents who had these future moments stolen from them.

No shepherding a child into adulthood, no shared coffee drinks, no worries about high school grades that will determine college opportunities.

My son and I wolfed down food cart falafel in the rain, browsed expensive European soccer magazines (him) and decor books (me) at Powell’s bookstore; ogled the couches at West Elm and Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams (me) and hunted through the clothing at Buffalo Exchange (him.)

We made a joint decision to check out the westside Goodwill and hailed another bus for the short yet uphill and wet journey. I picked up a few small things for my sister’s birthday and my son lamented that all the new looking Vans shoes were either too small or bizarrely overpriced.

The bus ride home ended with a long and chatty walk that included a detour through the holiday lighting of Peacock Lane and free slices of cake from a Walgreen’s grand opening. We were both good and tired by the time we staggered home, although I did load the dishwasher enough to run a single load. Our evening consisting of a couple of Buffy the Vampire Slayer episodes (me) and the newest Saturday Night Live (him.)

No laundry, no chores, just me staring at my son and holding him tightly.

And when my daughter needed me to drive her far across town for a poker game, I did not whine about it. Even when she needed to picked up at 11:30 P.M.

For today I have these kids, and I will hold them tightly.

Katy Wolk-Stanley

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

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{ 19 comments }

Five Frugal Things

by Katy on April 25, 2022 · 56 comments

  1. I sold a number of things, including:

    • A handmade Pendleton wool vest that I bought for $9.99 and sold for $70.

    • A Magnalite stock pot that I bought for $6.99 and sold for $120.

    • An IKEA swiveling “Lomsk” egg chair that I bought for $7.99 and sold locally for $100.

    • An American Girl doll sweater. I bought a doll with clothing for $4.99 and then sold just her “Kirsten” sweater for $25. I’ll sell the doll separately.

    • A Canadiens hockey hoodie that I bought for $7.99 and sold to someone in Australia for $40.

    • A bag of miscellaneous Brio train track pieces that I picked up at the Goodwill bins and sold locally for $25.

    • A pair of Polish pottery mugs that I sold locally for $40. I’ve no record of how much I paid for them. Polish pottery used to sell like hotcakes, but the demand for it seems to have died down.

    • A Wii Fit board and game that I paid $9.99 for and sold locally for $30. I bought this waaaaay back at the beginning of the pandemic when everyone was clamoring to exercise at home. I was deliriously happy to get it out of my house!

  2. I accepted an invitation to a Willamette Valley winery with a college friend who recently moved to the Portland area. The invite was a last minute affair and my gut reaction was an immediate “nope!” as wine makes me feel both groggy and headache-y. But then I reminded myself that it’s actually enjoyable to spend time with a friend and accepted her kind invitation.

    I ended up having an extremely enjoyable day at the winery, even though it turned out that they didn’t serve food, which brought my share of the bill down to $0.00. However it was still a very scenic and enjoyable afternoon. A long drive for sure, but perfect for catching up with an old friend.

  3. Our cheapo hand held shower head has been spurting water in random directions lately, so I did a bit of research and chose a highly recommended replacement. We purchased this last one at least fifteen years ago to accommodate a house guest who’d just had knee surgery, and it was much more a “grab whatever from the hardware store” than a thoughtfully purchased item.

    Normally, my husband and I would at least attempt to repair a broken household item, but this low quality shower head was definitely not manufactured to stand the test of time.

    I do still buy second hand whenever possible, and thankfully found a used version, which was described as simply having “damaged packaging.”

  4. I snagged a pair of metal organizing cubes from a free pile, (I’ll use them to create a modicum of order in my coat closet) I listened to the audiobook of Seven Days in June through the library’s free Libby app, I got my free Covid-19 booster shot, our two maple trees lost multiple branches from a freak snow storm and my husband and I cut up the branches by ourselves, I scored six big red peppers for $2 and chopped them for the freezer, I gave away a number of items (an assortment of tea bags, a teapot and some macaroni noodles) through my local Buy Nothing Group, my friend Lise and I brought our plastics to be recycled through a free event on Earth Day, I thrifted a 99¢ lazy Susan which prompted a full reorganization of our medicine cabinet, I brought my own cup of tea to my neighbor’s house for a friend date and I clipped blooming lilacs from my mother’s house for a large bouquet of flowers.

  5. I didn’t spend 44 billion dollars to buy Twitter.

Katy Wolk-Stanley    

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

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I deactivated my Twitter, as I don’t wish to be part of Elon Musk’s empire.

Disclosure: This blog post includes eBay affiliate links, which earns a small commission for me. This costs nothing extra to you.

 

{ 56 comments }

Five Frugal Things

by Katy on April 15, 2022 · 97 comments

  1. I sold a number of things, including:

    • A pair of scruffy Danner boots that I cleaned up and polished. Bought for $7.99, sold for $120.

    • A cute midcentury style folding chair. Bought for $6.99, sold locally for $40.

    • Another CathrineHolm vintage enamel bowl. Bought for $2, sold for $75.

    • A handful of antique marbles. Bought for maybe $4.99, sold for $30. I also sold another marble from this lot for $40 and still have one more to sell.

    • A pair of distressed Carharrt overalls. Bought for $12.99, sold for $60.

    • A wicker coffee table. Bought for $9.99, sold locally for $40

    • And my favorite sale . . . a pair of Rothy’s that I bought for $7.99 and then quickly sold for $165!

  2. My husband went on a free three-day weekend to Sun River, Oregon, with four of his Portland Timbers dude friends. Sun River describes itself as a “3,300 acre resort community” and would normally be out of our budget, so this was a real treat. They stayed in a big-ass rental house and apparently much soccer was watched and many brew pubs were supported.

    Lucky guy. Note to self . . . make wealthier friends.

  3. I listened to In Order to Live by Yeonmi Park, Build Your House Around My Body by Violet Kupersmith, The Party Crasher by Sophie Kinsella and I’m currently listening to Seven Days in June, (so good!) by Tia Williams. All courtesy of the free Libby app.

  4. I continue to shop at the Everyday Deal$ grocery liquidator, which means that I’m enjoying 79¢ organic greens and 2/$1 16-ounce Ellenos yogurts, (normally $6-$7 apiece!) I refilled my Soda Stream canisters for $7.50 apiece at a local paintball store, my husband replaced the ignitor and burner on our stove, I picked up a couple two-pound loaves of Tillamook white cheddar for $6 apiece and I started physical therapy for plantar fasciitis at an inconveniently located clinic, but . . . have been pairing it with their closest Goodwill which makes the appointments almost something to look forward to.

  5. I didn’t deplete my billions of dollars buying up Twitter stock,

Katy Wolk-Stanley    

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

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Prompted by Star Trek leaving Netflix at the end of the month, please enjoy this reprint of a previously published blog. By the way, I am not okay with this news!

I am a geek.

I am in fact a super geek. Not only do I think that everything related to frugality is fascinating. (Have I told you about my homemade laundry detergent? Really, I already did? Can I tell you again?) I have about zero interest in being cool. Clothing, makeup and even popular music hold little interest for me. (This has been frustrating to my friends, who think I could be so pretty if I “just wore a little bit of makeup.”)

My lack of the cool gene is actually quite freeing.

Because I’m free to pursue interests others wouldn’t touch with a ten foot pole. For example:

Star Trek.

I have rediscovered the different Star Trek series’ through the library, (The Next Generation, Voyager, Deep Space Nine and Enterprise) and have felt great watching these shows with my sons. I came to realize that the ethics I’m trying to impart to my kids are perfectly mirrored within the various series.

Higher Education: All the officers worked hard to go to Star Fleet Academy. It was hard work, but worth all the studying.

Conflict Resolution: The crews of the various ships are constantly trying to find diplomatic resolution to conflicts.

Non-Consumerism: Future Earth has done away with money. The one species obsessed with profit, (the Ferengi) are seen as greedy and unattractive.

Tolerance: The main mission of the Federation is to, “Seek out new life and new civilization.” Accepting and embracing each another’s differences is the whole point of the show.

Intellectual Curiosity: The characters are always striving to learn new things.

Environmental Responsibility: The various starship crews are always very aware of environmental concerns. Whether that’s prevention, or helping a planet to reverse damage.

So go ahead and call me a geek, you can even go so far as to call me a Trekkie. Just don’t call me a money grubbing Ferengi. That would simply be going too far.

Live long and prosper.

Please confess your geeked-out Star Trek stories in the comments section below.

Katy Wolk-Stanley

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

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