Five Frugal Things

by Katy on January 15, 2017 · 126 comments

  1. Those of us in endlessly icy Portland have been going stir crazy, so I invited my mother and step father over for dinner as they hadn’t driven anywhere since last Wednesday. Although our meal was simple, (hamburgers and green beans, with digestive biscuits for dessert) the company was great. We watched the first episode of HBO’s The Young Pope afterwards, as I have free HBO until March.
  2. I have to work the next two days at the hospital, but unlike last week I’ll drive home between shifts. (I was so exhausted and dehydrated after spending 38 straight hours inside the hospital!) I’ll bring a travel mug for the free coffee and tea and use a free $5 hospital food voucher for my lunch break. (Yay, free food!) I also have an extra five hour mini-shift scheduled for later in the week which will bolster my next paycheck. Edit: Due to forecasted freezing rain, I ended up having to spend the night at the hospital again. NO FUN!
  3. I wrote and submitted another Clark Howard article and then submitted a couple new article ideas.
  4. I walked to Fred Meyer this afternoon and somehow avoided falling on the ice and cracking my head open. (No emergency room bill for me!) I picked up a few items for my mother and bought just simple ingredients for meals. I did splurge on a 50¢ bag of peanut M&M’s, but only because they were on sale. Peanuts are in the same legume category as lentils, right?
  5. My husband and I went to his workplace awards gala last night, which was held in a sweeeeet fancy hotel. (Yay, more free food!) We didn’t end up drinking any alcohol, and they gave us vouchers for free parking. We came home, changed into comfy clothes and then watched an episode of Grantchester, or as I call it, “The Yummy Vicar.” I think that I may have been warped as a middle schooler from watching The Thorn Birds. Because there’s no other reason why this Jewish middle-aged woman should want to watch sexy Christian priest TV shows. Please tell me that I’m not the only one!

Now your turn. What frugal things have you been up to?

Katy Wolk-Stanley

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

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{ 126 comments… read them below or add one }

Mand01 January 16, 2017 at 1:15 am

As someone who has was raised a Catholic I can say that’s gotta be the reason!
Coz I can’t think of any other!!

1. We both worked late but still managed a dinner of fish caught by my FIL and homemade sweet potato wedges, and caprese salad. Everything here at home already.
2. Lunch for four days this week is being funded by work. Free food!
3. My sister gave me several bags of clothing and shoes to go through. Free clothes! Hand me ups!
4. My car is being repaired by the dealership because it was still within warranty when it developed the mother of all radiatior leaks.
5. I’m reading a book about Elizabeth II from the library.


Yvette January 16, 2017 at 2:28 am

Blistering hot here in Australia 38c or 105f. We are putting ice in our drinks !! Wish it was cooler .. the threat of bushfires is worrying…. Freebies this week include free lemons from neighbor, free bricks from roadside, free Vegemite as use by date expired …but it will be good for years until opened. Found free mulberrys on paddock tree. Friend made plum sauce and shared. Made room deodoriser from dried lemon scented gum leaves and dried rose petals placed in basket in bathroom …heavenly!! Gathered tomatoes, zucchinis , runner beans, spring onions and kale from vege patch. Free music in the air from the parrots, kookaburras, cockatoos, thrushes and others… who needs cds?? Views from the rocking chair under my verandah fill my vision and my dog gives me lots of love!!! Do not need a mansion or yacht….


LisaC January 16, 2017 at 5:14 am

sounds like paradise!


Gina January 16, 2017 at 6:34 am

Yvette, the lovely descriptions in your post invite the reader to envision your beautiful world! The sights, sounds, smells and fresh veg (tastes)…paradise indeed! Love that you appreciate all you have and realize you don’t need a mansion or a yacht to be happy or fulfilled.

Hoping it cools down to diminish the threat of bushfires. Stay safe!

PS – as a Southerner here in the states, even when it’s below zero I have ice in my drinks!


jennifer January 17, 2017 at 2:38 pm

I never realized other places don’t always put ice in, I am so enlightened!


Laura January 16, 2017 at 10:49 am

Love this! Even as a city-based Australian I have more than a few of those blessings (esp the whacky birds).

I have also been struck with the similarities between being snowed in and it being too hot to go out – there a few 35 degree plus days last week of eating from the pantry/freezer and no spending at all for me too. At least if it’s cold you can still get a good nights sleep – last week here in Sydney we had a night where the temp never dropped below 30 degrees (86F)!


Mand01 January 16, 2017 at 11:28 am

It’s 38C here too. Loving it!


dawn January 16, 2017 at 2:51 am

1. Found 47 cents in and around the Coinstar machine that I pass when I exit the grocery store.
2. Got a big stack of books and 2 DVDs from the library.
3. Have been taking full advantage of the very cheap day old artisan bread I keep finding at the grocery store to make french toast, garlic bread, and carve out bread bowls for homemade soup.
4. Went to the thrift store for better winter hats and gloves and came back with one fleece hat but some good finds to put away for warmer days: kids sun hat, rash guard, and sunglasses.
5. Picked up a giant bag of free toys. Sorted through them to pick out five good condition figurines/action figures. They will end up in an Easter basket, birthday gift, or Christmas stocking. I stash stuff all year so I don’t have to go to Target at the last minute and buy new crap/pay retail. I’ll donate most of the rest of the toys, pulling out the more sought after ones to make a few bucks on.


Deeniee January 16, 2017 at 3:18 am

5FT weekend:
1. Resisted signing up for the one year contract after trying out a yoga studio. I’m not sure if I’d use it enough to get locked in for a year.
2. Scrubbed the house (ended cleaning services last week)
3. Made face wash and toners at home, instead of dropping more cash at the beauty counter- hoping the toner face wash and replenish oil all work well. Only spent $4 on rose water, and $6 on bottles at TJ Max. everything else was on hand.
4. Leftovers for dinner Sunday.
5. Tidied up the freezer so I could see what I have and use it up.

A good weekend of use it up, made do and do without.


Florencia January 16, 2017 at 6:44 pm

I use witch hazel from Dollar Tree as a toner. Can’t beat $1 for 10 oz.!


Shelagh January 16, 2017 at 3:45 am

I too watched The Thornbirds at a (questionably) young age and it formed my basis for romantic pursuits for years 🙂 #richardchamberlain4life


Val in MN January 16, 2017 at 4:23 am

I ‘had’ to watch The Thorn Birds as my Mother was obsessed with it AND there was only 1 TV in the house. Warped me too. 🙂


mel January 16, 2017 at 8:16 am

A little weirded out!
While perusing some out of town op shops on Sat, I came across The Thorns Birds for the first time in years and thought I should read my copy again.
Yesterday the movie came up somehow in a conversation with an elderly client and I commented that I’d just come across the book.
At 4am today I read the new blog post….


Val in MN January 17, 2017 at 2:58 am

Oh wow that is a little weird…


Diane January 16, 2017 at 4:48 am

Thanks for the reminder about Grantchester. I’ll be watching the holiday special tonight. One of my favorite shows!


Cindy in the South January 16, 2017 at 4:53 am

It has been in the upper 70’s all weekend in south central Alabama, and is supposed to stay that way all week….and last week we had ice….crazy weather! 1. I washed clothes for free at my kind relatives insistence. I clean around their house in return for their kindness. 2. But I forgot my lunch, so I ended up going to Aldi and buying $5.00 worth of food. It includes 99 cent eggs, and cheese and hot dogs, so I can get several meals out of that $5 bucks. 3. I went to Barnes and Nobles, since it is in the same neighborhood as Aldi. I did not buy anything, but I was contemplating buying a book there. I will have to think on it. $30 dollars is $30 dollars and I did say I was doing The Compact for the year, so I think I will be patient and get it next year at a thrift store. Yes, I just talked myself out of it when I remembered The Compact….lol. Books are my weakness. 4. I walked for an hour in the woods and enjoyed our gorgeous weather. 5. I made homemade hash browns for breakfast in my cast iron skillet. It is so easy, and I do not know why I do not do that more often since all it involves is just peeling and chopping up a potato with a little oil and sea salt….with ketchup afterwards….lol


Gina January 16, 2017 at 7:12 am

Cindy, why don’t you borrow the book from the library? Our library always has all of the new book releases. Many times I’m the first to check them out. After borrowing I decide if I need to own the book – the answer is usually no. Even if it’s a book I would like to reference again, like a cookbook, stitchery or certain topic, or novel I want to re-read, I just check it out again. As so many others in the NCA community, I love my library. It provides so much entertainment and education all for the small cost I pay in my local taxes. My library now has a maker space with a 3d printer, laser engraver, recording studio, etc. Great free fun!


Cindy in the South January 16, 2017 at 5:47 pm

My local library did not have it. I inquired about a intra library loan from another library and the librarian told me I would have to pay a fee. I was sort of surprised, but I live in a very poor rural part of the country, so maybe that has something to do with it…I was so shocked, I forgot to ask her exactly what the fee would be!


A January 17, 2017 at 7:40 pm

Libraries have to pay postage (and sometimes lending fees) for interlibrary loans, so if they don’t have the funding for that they sometimes have to charge a small fee per loan to help cover it. I’ve worked at many libraries and none of them like having to charge fees, so it is usually the minimum they need to cover their costs, maybe a few dollars unless the book is really rare and hard for them to borrow.


Diane January 16, 2017 at 5:05 am

Absolutely LOVE Grantchester! That episode where he comes out from swimming in the river is amazing… 😉


Mariana January 16, 2017 at 5:09 am

Aahhh ‘The Thirn Birds’ 🙂 when I was growing up, our entire village (very catholic village in Poland) would watch it. I remember one time one of the priests during mass would preach that it was ‘ungodly’ if we continue to watch it!


Nancy smith January 16, 2017 at 5:50 am

I’ve never heard of Grantchester. Sounds yummy! What channel is it on?


Gina January 16, 2017 at 6:49 am



Mrs. Picky Pincher January 16, 2017 at 6:01 am

Yay for all of that free food!

This week:

1. I cooked homemade chipotle mayonnaise for $1 instead of buying it at the store for $4.

2. We stocked up on freezer meals. Mr. Picky Pincher made beef and mushroom soup and king ranch chicken.

3. I baked some cinnamon twists and froze them. They defrost easily for fast weekday breakfasts!

4. It’s hot in Texas right now, so instead of turning down the A/C (which sounds strange to Northerners, I’m sure!), we just put on some shorts and ran the ceiling fans. It was much cheaper than cranking up our energy use.

5. I crafted a quick homemade DIY air freshener. It was made from baking soda, chopped rosemary from our yard, and a few dashes of lavender essential oil. Our room smells amazing and the smell isn’t too pungent, which I really like.


Tracy January 16, 2017 at 6:08 am

1. Almost-no-spend day yesterday, spent $5 to park downtown close to the church where my other and I were attending a (free) community event about how people of faith can support immigrants and refugees against harsh deportation policies — didn’t want my 78 year old mother to fall on snow and ice so wanted to park as close as possible.
2. Made delicious beef stew from package of sirloin steaks I bought marked down from $22 to $7 — yowza! Have leftovers too!
3. Went to library and got stack of books for free entertainment, also signed my 13 year old up for her own library card.
4. Snuggled with said 13 year old to watch Gilmore Girls — we just started at the beginning so have many low cost entertainment hours ahead of us!
5. Made and drank coffee at home, no Starbucks.


Katherine in AL January 16, 2017 at 6:17 am

I love Grantchester too!
1. Hubby and I are researching our genealogy using old (free) public records instead of paying a monthly fee. He’s made it all the way back to 1500’s royalty. I’ve only made it back to the 1800’s. Apparently I come from a long line of piss poor Presley’s from Mississippi. Yep, those Presley’s.
2. Enjoying 70+ weather here. Hanging out all laundry.
3. Utilizing our town’s bike trail for long walks and coin hunting.
4. Picked up the Kroger freebies. Tortilla chips and refried beans. Will have a Nacho bar for dinner.
5. Enjoying SNL clips of the PEOTUS. I need a good laugh.


janine January 16, 2017 at 7:41 am

Those Presley’s! Distinguished! My very proper grandmother (think Opera buff, church organist, piano teacher) loved her Elvis Presley gospel record. She informed me that he was an great gospel singer.


marie January 16, 2017 at 3:27 pm

So how do you search for for free. I’ve often wanted to find where I’m from, but it’s spendy.


cathy January 16, 2017 at 6:54 pm

I’ve found one of the best free sites is Family Search, which is operated by the LDS church. You can create an account and there are tons of records. My experience is that often there’s a transcription of a record, but if you want to view the original, you need access to a paid subscription site. is a good one and they usually offer a free week or two. Of course the theory is that you’ll get hooked and pay for a subscription. One other thing you can do is if you have a friend or relative who researches genealogy on a paid site, and they’ve started your family tree, they can “invite” you to view the information and there’s no charge to you. Once you’re on the site, you can also do a little looking around, but you won’t be able to personally add to the tree, you’ll have to go through the other subscriber.


cathy January 16, 2017 at 6:56 pm

I should clarify. Family Search has loads of original documents in their system, but not all.
You can also create a free account with the Ellis Island foundation which helps if you’re looking for family that immigrated from other countries.


Marion January 17, 2017 at 1:59 am

My local library has free for it’s patrons using library computers. Couldn’t hurt to check.


Katherine in AL January 17, 2017 at 12:51 pm

Most Probate courts will let you search records for free. They only charge for hard copies. More and more courts are digitizing old records for preservation so you may be able to search online. You can find marriage and death certificates, estate and property tax info through probate court. Newspaper archives are also a good resource. Our library has an extensive collection of our small town’s old papers.


Cindy in the South January 16, 2017 at 5:53 pm

My mother loved Elvis. I love Elvis, God could he sing!


Jennifer January 17, 2017 at 6:41 am

I was born in Alabama and am related to Elvis on my father’s side. It’s a small world!


Katherine in AL January 17, 2017 at 12:46 pm

Jennifer, We must me long lost cousins!!!


jennifer January 17, 2017 at 2:41 pm

Probably! I actually live in Tupelo, MS now and it is an ongoing joke here that everybody says they are related to Elvis….but I really am and no one believes me. Oh well , I guess everyone says that too, lol.

Katherine in AL January 17, 2017 at 12:53 pm

Cindy, I’ve always had a soft spot for Elvis. He was a great talent!


Melissa February 5, 2017 at 6:32 pm

I am sitting here in sweltering hot Sydney, Australia in awe of you Katherine in AL!!! YOU’RE RELATED TO ELVIS!!!!! Sorry, I had a moment!! I’m an Elvis fan (you should see my desk at work & the huge Elvis rug on my wall at home!!) If you want a giggle have a look at the Parkes Elvis festival – hilarious Elvis frivolity in outback Australia.


Susie's Daughter January 16, 2017 at 7:00 am

Last week’ s headline = Frugality takes a hit…
Went to tidy up our rental unit to discover to my horror that the skylight window had blown open during two days of ferocious Jan rain. Rain is very bad for local winter sports economy, but especially bad for the bed and carpet right under skylight. Bought a brand new bed to replace ruined one (wet through to the bottom of the box spring) and had it delivered just before next renters, only to discover that the modern box spring (ie. bigger than 20 years ago) wouldn’t fit up the narrow stairs to bedroom. So another $100 for a split full box spring. Carpet dried, but is stained. Replace? Not sure. Not worth it to file anything against insurance because of deductible. UGH…

So I need to celebrate the wins, no matter how small.
1) Discovered with joy (by reading fine print) that DS’s dental visits are largely covered by our regular (and very expensive) health insurance. Called the dentist and had them file for his last visit in Dec. Credit on our account to be used against my upcoming crown.

2) Had to cancel West Coast plane travel for this weekend due to illness for DS and I – terrible sounding cough and rotten cold. Miles used to purchase tickets returned to Dear Wife’s account and money not spent in Seattle, but a big bummer to miss seeing our family there.

3) Made a pumpkin pie yesterday from ingredients on hand, including our own pumpkin and an elderly can of evaporated milk. Pie for breakfast = yum!

4) Haven’t been to regular grocery store in 9 days, but did do some opportunistic shopping while in “city” to pick up Dear Wife from work travel. I hesitated about shopping (Costco and Trader Joe’s), but thought about discussion here about being penny wise and pound foolish, so I bought the few things that I will run out of in the near term and are only available/much cheaper from these two places. Also bought DS a “new” pair of jeans at Once Upon a Child to replace the pair that wore out last week.

5) Borrowed film Selma from library and will take DS to a MLK program at library this am. My life is so much better because of libraries!

And I would watch the Thornbirds again in a hot minute if it were on TV! Thank goodness for PBS as well.


Bee January 16, 2017 at 3:55 pm

Pumpkin pie for breakfast is a favorite of mine. It goes well with coffee! 🙂


Beth January 18, 2017 at 8:40 am

An elderly can of evaporated milk. What a great description, lol! I pictured a can of evaporated milk with curly gray hair and glasses, hunching over a cane 🙂


Lauren Kelly January 16, 2017 at 7:11 am

I have to laugh, haven’t thought about The Thorn Birds in forever, and just this weekend had two conversations about the show and now this post.



Elizabeth January 16, 2017 at 7:22 am

1. Went to Costco to return a Christmas gift. Got $21, wandered around and left without buying anything.
2. Bought tickets to a show that I can’t go to now and was able to sell them and not lose money!
3. Hosting a surprise 40th birthday brunch for a friend this week. I’ll be providing the champagne (bought on sale) and main course and then other people are bringing additional food so I’m not out all that much. Plus I found a cute shirt for her for a gift on clearance. And I think she’ll be really surprised and feel special which is the whole point of it! 40th birthdays should be a big deal!
4. Kids have off of school today. They had two snow days last week and three half days also this week so we’re a little stir crazy. Considered taking them to a new bounce park but since it’s a holiday the rates are almost double for two hours of bouncing. Staying home instead and may invite some of their friends over.
5. Frugal fail: We’ve been pretty good about not going out to eat and eating the food that we have at home instead. On Saturday my daughter was at a friend’s so it was just my husband, son and myself. It was cold so there wasn’t a lot of outside stuff to do. My son, who rarely wants to go out to eat, asked if we could go to Outback. We did since it’s been forever since we went out to eat (other than the occasional drive thru!). Our bill was $75 for the three of us and the food was so-so and we waited about 40 minutes to be seated. It was a good reminder that other than the occasional quick lunch out or something, going to dinner isn’t my favorite thing anymore!


JD January 16, 2017 at 7:26 am

Oh, Gina, we put ice in our drinks all year round, too, even in cold weather. One should never take a southerner’s ice away, right?

1. I needed a few groceries this weekend, but I waited until the co-op had a bulk bin sale — 30% off all bulk bin items, plus additional sales on some items that I actually use all the time, plus a $10 off $50 coupon on top of it — and I got my bill just to $50.35 to get that discount, ending up paying $40.35. I am now well stocked up on oats, rice, beans, salt, nuts, etc., for much less than I would normally pay.
2. I filled the car up while I was in the bigger town for church and shopping anyway — I saved 15 cents per gallon. It really bugs me that in my home town, gas prices are always much higher than in neighboring towns, even smaller ones.
3. I washed and hung out my laundry in this warm sun.
4. On Saturday I took part in a free course at church, being taught by a PhD who is a delightful teacher. I really enjoyed this first session and I’m looking forward to the rest. My church is also presenting Financial Peace University, starting later this month.
5. It’s been so warm here, too, but we are running fans and opening up windows or doors instead of running the air conditioning.


Gina January 16, 2017 at 9:36 am

JD, That’s so true – please don’t take our ice away! I have been places where the thing I miss most about home is having iced drinks!


Savannah January 18, 2017 at 10:35 am

JD – Taking Dave Ramsey’s FPU was hands down the best decision my husband and I made before we got married! Totally changed our lives.


Marilyn January 16, 2017 at 7:33 am

I’m a fan of Grantchester too! An awful lot happens in those pretty little English villages.


Ruby January 16, 2017 at 8:06 am

1. Sensible disregard of best by dates here for using canned pumpkin, powdered mozzarella cheese and bagged lettuce while cooking this weekend.
2. Had an enjoyable frugal evening reading the two 20 cent cookbooks from the thrift store. Found some really nice and healthy recipes to try.
3. Used the juice of a marked down for quick sale (15 cents) lime to stretch the last of a bottle of salad dressing.
4. Kohl’s shipped the wrong size pajamas for the Mister, but they were great about taking them back even though they’d been laundered. I got online and found the same jammies on sale at the Hanes site for lesx than 1/3 of the department store price.
5. My darling boss needs a drawer handle for her scavenged from surplus desk (we work at a non-profit), and I found one in my box of useful junk here at home. It’s not a perfect match, but it wil do.


Beth January 16, 2017 at 8:31 am

I’ve been doing better lately.

1. Ate at home this weekend (and this past week in general). We did order pizza on Saturday night, and I swung through McDonalds on my way to church yesterday. But everything else was made at home…I’ve even been eating leftovers to avoid food waste!!
2. Brought food to work today (leftovers), and am drinking free coffee and water.
3. Saw an outfit at the store for LO, and even though I told myself I didn’t need to buy it for him, I did. For $14. I went home, dug around in his next-size-up clothes, and found a similar outfit. I’ll be returning the one I bought for him!
4. As a result of number 3, and my inability to not buy the outfit in the first place, I’ve decided to do a low-spend/compact year, starting now. I will stick to my lists, I will not buy new unless I absolutely have to, and I will not buy unnecessary things.
5. I am wearing a mostly-thrifted outfit today (I bought my boots new a couple of years ago, and I can’t bring myself to buy used undergarments).


Beth January 18, 2017 at 8:41 am

I know it’s only been a couple of days, but so far so good with #4 🙂


Sandy January 16, 2017 at 9:04 am

Loved Thorn Birds, too! And, Grantchester! But, I love period dramas.
I’m following the Compact, too. I’ve only spent $8 and change this month.
Shared the Compact with our niece, who is not money-wise at all!
After spending the afternoon with a sick relative, we came home to eat leftovers. We’ll be visiting again, this afternoon, so I’ve got dinner planned for when we get home. Postponing a meal out!
I will be joining our local quilting guild this month, so will be paying dues. I look at this as my entertainment. I no longer purchase quilt patterns or books, the internet has so many free patterns, so joining a guild is instead of buying.
We received a subscription to Netflix, we’ve enjoyed discovering old favorites and all new shows! Great entertainment during this winter.
Really enjoying what we have and staying home when the weather is nasty!


jennifer p January 16, 2017 at 9:06 am

i was a kid too when it was on and I remember watching it.the whole family watched a middle aged jewish woman too.


Ann Y. January 16, 2017 at 9:17 am

Not sure I made 5 things…
Watched movies/read books from library
Eating/using up everything in fridge and trying not to go to grocery store
Cutting my dear husband’s hair…as I have been doing since before our first date and we just celebrated our 40th anniversary!
Mending my “every day” coat and not getting a new one
AND..yes, Love watching Sidney on PBS – and watched The Thornbirds, too…not Jewish, a Catholic School Girl who calls both of them “Father What A Waste”!


K D January 16, 2017 at 9:20 am

1. Today I’m wearing a sweater I bought on clearance more than 10 years ago and also shoes that are almost 10 years old. I also have a Cuddle Dud undershirt on and a fleece on top. Trying to save the environment and our money.

2. I made a new Paleo bread recipe using ingredients on hand. My husband feels much better eating gluten free but misses bread. I am slowly eating gluten filled foods that he would have eaten.

3. I gave away some items using Less clutter is good for the soul.

4. Discovered that very spicy sausage is good with very blah Ragu over gluten free pasta.

5. The price of postage stamps goes us on Sunday, the 22nd. A first class stamp will go from $.47 to $.49. Since stamps are Forever I may buy a few extras this week.


JD January 16, 2017 at 9:57 am

Thanks for the tip in #5! I hadn’t heard that!


Gina January 16, 2017 at 10:42 am

I didn’t realize postage was going up – thanks! I am benefiting from my 21 year old frugal self. At the time I was a bookkeeper for a doctor and the post office was woefully slack in cancelling stamps back in the day. So I peeled the uncanceled stamps from the envelopes – back when stamps were licked to stick they peeled off easily in pristine condition. We received loads of payments each week so I collected a lot of stamps over my 3 years there. My coworkers thought I was bonkers. I never used them all – fast forward 20 years and I rediscovered the container of stamps a couple of years ago in a box in the office closet. I’ve been patching together postage every since – usually going over in the amount. So I purchased some 5c stamps to supplement and stretch the usage longer instead of using too much postage. PO told me they were going to stop selling them and only selling Forever stamps but would always accept old stamps as postage. Still have enough for a few more years even with the increase. Of course, had to get over my urge to buy cute stamps for greeting cards.


Ruby January 16, 2017 at 1:37 pm

The post office is still slack about cacelling stamps on small packages. I work at a radio station and regularly harvest stamps from packages CDs are mailed in.


marie January 16, 2017 at 3:31 pm

I am using up .37 stamps. I had a whole slew of them, and having been using them for 6+ yrs, probably have enough for 5+ years. I just double them up.


K D January 17, 2017 at 4:15 am

There is a problem with reusing stamps. It is wrong both morally and legally (in fact it is a federal crime). Stamps are a one time use item and they were used to send the mail that you harvested the stamps from. What you are doing is stealing from the USPS. You are being cheap, not frugal (to me cheap is when someone else pays for what you want: office supplies and toilet paper taken from work is one example). I would ask you stamp reusers to reconsider what you are doing. Using stamps that have never been used is frugal but reusing a stamp is wrong on many levels. Here is a link to the USPS information:

Thank you for your consideration, let’s keep frugality an ethical choice.


Gina January 17, 2017 at 7:16 am

thanks for keeping us out of the federal pen KD…I will pitch the stamps…and for the record I do not and have never taken office supplies or toilet paper (good heavens!) from my employer.


K D January 17, 2017 at 10:03 am

Thank you.

Krystal January 16, 2017 at 9:31 am

1. I have been finding ways to keep up with my workouts, and I think Classpass is the answer. I do trade for yoga, so this is a supplement though it costs money. I received a free week at a neighborhood barre studio outside of Classpass, so I reorganized my schedule to get maximum free workouts for the week while rationing my Classpass for the rest of the month. I will walk to and from this new studio as well.
2. I booked a secret shop at a really nice restaurant for this coming Sunday, so we will get a free date night plus a small stipend.
3. I ate terrible food all weekend that was either free or a treat from family. Not really worth it, but options are limited in rural towns without the option to cook.
4. Found a way to do my taxes for free this year, rather than paying an accountant. I can use the program I am trained for and use for my volunteer position through the VITA program, if I do them myself as We don’t personally qualify for the program. If you are looking for free tax prep, look online for “VITA taxes” and your location. You might qualify!
5. I was very patient when my flight was cancelled last week from Vegas, and the woman on the phone was very grateful for my understanding. She sent me a $50 voucher as a thank you that I can use in Alaska Air.


Bee January 16, 2017 at 9:32 am

Grantchester is wonderful! However, I think “The Yummy Vicar” is a more appropriate title. I must say that my vicar at church is nothing like the Jazz-loving, whiskey-drinking, devastatingly handsome Sydney Chambers. I am impatiently waiting for next season. I love my PBS station.
1) We had a hard freeze in Florida about 10 days ago. Although I covered most of my plants, some had frost bite and I lost my basil. Since it was a lovely morning, I started cleaning up my flower beds and herb garden. Herb gardens are frugal. I also planted the onions I rooted.
2) My lemon tree made it through the freeze unscathed. I harvested some lemons. The citrus is usually a bit sweeter after a cold spell.
3) I have some granola in the oven. I make this often. I am allergic to wheat, so most commercial cereal is a no-no. I use a oatmeal based recipe that is quick and easy. While the oven is warm, I also plan to make gluten-free banana bread today. I have some overripe bananas that need to be used.
4) I took the dog for a nice walk this morning, I stopped to talk with our community service officer who gave my pup a treat. Beautiful morning, free excercise, and a happy dog. Life is good.
5) As I reported in yesterday’s FFT, my coffeemaker did not work yesterday morning. However, it appears that I fixed it. Yippee! A budget disaster has been averted. A fresh pot awaited us this morning. I do not need a new coffeemaker and no quick trips to Starbucks are necessary. 🙂


cathy January 16, 2017 at 10:03 pm

What kind of GF flour do you like to bake with? One of my kids is also allergic and I’m always looking to improve my baking.


Bee January 17, 2017 at 6:16 am

I don’t really have a favorite yet. I have just begun to really learn to bake GF alternatives. Previously, I just went without or bought bread in the freezer section. I had 3 teenagers at home, and they ate everything in sight. So I continued to bake for them using regular flour. So I am far from an expert, but I am learning.
As far as all- purpose flour goes, I usually use Bob’s Red Mill or King Arthur’s. I have used Trader Joe’s all- purpose and it works well in a pinch. I have a friend of a friend who works for a health food distributor. They often give me products to try in exchange for my opinion. So the past few months I have been using a brand called Jovial which I like. She also gave me Pamela’s nut flour and pancake mix which I also really like.
Do you have a preference?


cathy January 17, 2017 at 9:50 am

We mix up our own blend using Bob’s Red Mill brown rice flour, white rice flour, tapioca flour, and potato starch. One bag each. I add 1 TBS potato flour for every 2 cups of GF flour blend because we don’t like xanthan gum and the potato flour helps make things stick together better. I’d love to use something with more fiber and protein, but the kids have multiple grain allergies+nut allergies so it’s not an option. I just try to beef up the recipes with the other ingredients.
Good luck with the baking. It does get easier the longer you’re at it.


Bee January 18, 2017 at 8:14 am

Thank you for the encouragement. It is a journey that is for certain. Nut allergies are difficult too. Both ingredients are so common and often well hidden.

JD January 16, 2017 at 10:02 am

How could I forget in my post above? #6, I cut my husband’s hair again. I’m feeling a little more confident doing it each time. So far, he’s really liked the results the last few times I’ve done it.
And, one frugal fail, but I can’t help it — my health insurance went up five percent more at the first of the year, so I just got a pay cut again, thanks to insurance rising each year, but no raises in pay. Our employer says our insurance costs are a direct result of the Affordable Care Act. All I know is I can’t afford it!


Gina in KY January 16, 2017 at 11:42 am

I remember devouring Thorn Birds (the book) as a teenager. Maybe it set me up in the romance dept. too. I can’t remember seeing the movie, but I must hunt it down.

1. Still eating from the pantry, but produce-wise I am down to one wrinkle sweet pepper, a few stalks of celery and three onions. Making chili tonight with them.
2. Made red beans in the pressure cooker and will use some in aforementioned chili.
3. Doing pretty good on No Spend January. I spent a little while on work travel last week (Goodwill and a discount store), but nothing spent over the weekend or today (a very important holiday with time off work).
4. Contacted a new group to start volunteering with them this year; however, I am still waiting on a response. 🙁
5. Getting ready to go return books and pick up my holds at the neighborhood library.

Just a note:
I’ve been feeling really discouraged for the past couple of months due to an issue with my controlling ex husband and impending court yet again (I know-TMI, but it’s better than talk about my period, right? 😉 ). The attorney bills are exorbitantly high and I have had to cut back to mere pennies these days. I am so full of worry for the economy, conflict and the state of the things (both personally and empirically). It’s hard some days to just center and be calm. I just want to shout out a HUGE *Thank You* to Katy and all of you for these posts. They give me hope and a sense of purpose even in my storm. Plus, they make being frugal fun!


A. Marie January 16, 2017 at 2:50 pm

Gina, I think most of us are feeling some form of this discouragement right now–but you certainly have some extra causes for it. Hang in there, m’dear.


Gina in KY January 16, 2017 at 7:09 pm

Thank you 🙂


Gina in KY January 19, 2017 at 4:35 am

I want to apologize for my comment above about periods. I did not mean for it to sound like I was ashamed of it or anything like that or that it is *actually* TMI. I have yet to hear anything hear that I would classify as TMI!! I just know that divorce seems to be one of those topics that people seem to want to never discuss (at least from comments I have received on fb) and I picked the wrong analogy. 🙁 It’s hard to be dry humored on the internet and if my comment offended, I truly did not mean to. If I could this Saturday, I would be there to fight fully for a woman’s right to her own body and proudly wearing a pussy hat! I was actually saying we are a comfortable bunch and there are no topics that can’t be thrown out there in the name of frugality (in my opinion!)


janine January 16, 2017 at 12:54 pm

1. Plan to buy a book of Forever Stamps. Even small savings add up. Didn’t know they were discontinuing other denominations! So Sad. Our neighborhood Post Office just reopened after they lost their lease across the street so we want to continue to support them.
2. Several lunch meetings in the next few weeks. Have decided to make sure I look at the designated restaurant’s menu on line to find something I will like and fits into my budget so no impulsive purchases.
3. Limes seem to be on sale this week. Have incorporated them into a recipe for taco sauce that I will serve this evening.
4. Husband home because of the MLK holiday. I had a meeting. In order to avoid going out I left a packed lunch for him. (He likes home-made meals best.)
5. Two New Years resolutions that I need to reiterate in order to make sure I fulfill my own self- promises. Start using Swagbucks and making use of the Library. Son has moved and also needs a new card.


Bee January 16, 2017 at 4:14 pm

Janine, I hope that I am not breaking any rules of posting etiquette. I apologize in advance if I am, but I know from your posts that you are very interested in politics. PBS is running a 4-hour special on Frontline on this Tuesday and Wednesday night called, “The Divided States of America.” It’s an analysis of the current political landscape. I thought you might be interested. Since its on PBS, it’s frugal too!


janine January 17, 2017 at 8:22 am

Thanks for the info! I love PBS.


LisaC January 16, 2017 at 1:05 pm

1. Finally finished making little photo albums for each of my grown children. Culled through some of the other photos to throw out those that didn’t mean much anymore (i.e. who are those people, and why did I take a picture of so many rainbows?).
2. Many of my friends are on a spiralizer kick. I hesitantly bought a cheap one new (after much peer pressure to reduce carbs) then today found a really nice one at GW for 4 dollars! I returned the unused cheapo. Looking forward to trying it in “pasta” dishes.
3. Put on Pandora soothing music and made tea instead of drinking wine to relax. Felt a bit like a spa in my house for a little while.
4. Continuing daily habits: cloth napkins, rags, home made orange vinegar cleaner, using backs of junk envelopes for note pads and grocery lists.
5. Got paid 4 dollars at the local consignment shop.


Marybeth January 16, 2017 at 3:47 pm

1. Worked today for 5 hours. I’m usually off Mondays but the other secretary needed off to watch her young grandkids. Her daughter is a single mom so she tries to watch them when there is no school. My kids are both teenagers and are ok left home alone.
2. Made pasta with sauce that I canned from my summer tomatoes. Can’t wait to get in the dirt again.
3. Made homemade breadsticks to go with the pasta. So easy to make with my bread machine.
4. Hung clothes on my clothes racks. It helps put moisture into the air with the heat constantly running.
5. Spent nothing today. Way to busy to do anything else.


marie January 16, 2017 at 3:52 pm

January is turning out to be a very frugal month for us.
My husband is laid-off, and currently on unemployment. Which means no extra money. Pay the bills, mortgage, and that’s it.
I work part-time, but with the icy weather have only worked 4 hours in the last two weeks.
So, that means cooking from the pantry. I am fortunate to have lots to choose from.
Made homemade potato carmelized onion soup. Our potatoes from last years garden are all sprouting, and still have about 20lbs of onions to use up. I had the garlic,also, so just the milk was a cost. made enough for 4 or 5 days.
We went to the bread store which is donation only, and scored enough bread for a month. I paid $4.
Reading free books on our tablets for entertainment.
Went for a 5 mile walk in the snowy woods, to get our exercise. dogs love that, and good for the 11 yr old dog too.


Gina in KY January 16, 2017 at 6:43 pm

Hugs! I hope it gets better soon for you all! The snowy woods does sound lovely and makes me think of Robert Frost.


Jennifer January 16, 2017 at 4:13 pm

We are still aiming for the “buy nothing new” challenge for January. So far we have only bought new 1) a pack of undershirts for dh 2) the inner workings of a toilet as ours quit on us and ran nonstop and 3) an oil filter and cabin filter for my van (my husband changed them himself). I think we are doing pretty good!!!

We saved this week by:
1) working a gymnastics meet all weekend where we got paid and ate for free. No money spent all weekend for me. My husband gave my daughter $3 to help her buy a t-shirt. The meet gave her a $25 voucher for a free hoodie – she doesn’t like hoodies, and the extra $3 let her buy the long sleeve t-shirt she will wear weekly.
2) shopped the sales with coupons and a gift card = over $80 worth of groceries for the week for only $25.69 out of pocket today
3) my husband cut his own hair today
4) I made a potato/black bean/diced tomato soup concoction along with homemade corn muffins for dinner. Cheap, filling and nutritious.
5) my husband changed the oil and cabin filter in my van himself


susanna January 16, 2017 at 4:27 pm

My daughter loves that Grantchester guy. I don’t see it.


Christine January 16, 2017 at 4:29 pm

What are digestive biscuits?


cathy January 18, 2017 at 1:55 am

I think you call them graham crackers. They are a sweet oatmeal biscuit (the kind of thing you crush for the bottom of cheesecake). Here in the UK you can have them plain or with milk or dark chocolate on top


Amanda January 16, 2017 at 4:44 pm

1. My husband went to the grocery store on his way home from work, so I didn’t have to leave the house all day today.

2. We were out all day yesterday visitin’ my husband’s 90 year old aunt and friends from high school/college who welcomed their first baby a few months ago. We hit both in the same trip because they are in the same part of the state. It was a long day, but the aunt treated us to lunch and the friends had snacks for us (we brought them presents) so our only expense was gas. And now we don’t have to drive twice to see them both.

3. We had planned to buy a new laptop and screen for our business this year. But then my husband found exactly the laptop he needed refurbished at a local Mac repair store and a barely used monitor on Craigslist. We saved about $1500 from what we were planning to spend.

4. An uncomplicated meal plan this week of sandwiches and things from the freezer resulted in a $30 grocery bill. We’ll probably stop by Aldi once or twice more this week to fill in what we forgot before, but it should still be a cheap week.

5. Our office is a beautiful, open warehouse space with big, bright windows. The problem is that the windows are about twelve inches from the sun at 10 am. We priced getting blackout shades, but it would be just too expensive. Instead we are going to get some cool, industrial plumbing hardware, and I’m going to make curtains lined with blackout fabric. My cousins run a drapery business, so I know I can get all the fabric for just a couple of bucks a yard.


rebecca January 16, 2017 at 5:06 pm

1. I made lentil soup with ingredients I had in fridge, cupboard and freezer. Made a ton and I love having soup in the freezer.
2. Haven’t gone out in 2 days. No spending and no gas used.
3. Reading library books for entertainment.
4. Classes start tomorrow and I am looking forward to my adjunct pay in 2 weeks. Bare bones until then.
5. Didn’t buy a villa in Tuscany!

I loved the Thornbirds too. SO good.


Isabelle January 16, 2017 at 5:17 pm

* cut hubby’s hair (and letting mine grow back…. yeah ponytails!)
* We had to change our box spring/matress and bed. So we decided to upgrade to a King Size, which means also needing new fitted sheets and a comforter. If I had listened to the sale person at the store, on top of buying the box spring and matress for 1400$ ( supposedly on sale. Hope it’s good for at least 10 years), we would have had “needed” the following : the protective matress sleeve for 300$ plus the new bed frame for 900$ plus the new pillows for 400$ (!!!) , and let’s not forget a new set of beddings for about 200$. Hmm…. I don’t think so! We did buy the matress (1400$), but we refused the protective sleeve to the horror of the vendor! Then I found a metal frame (30$), a lovely headboard (40$) and a comforter and bed skirt (45$) on Craigslist, and I’ll buy two 20$ fitted sheets af Ikea and call it a day! I do need a new pillow, but not a 200$ one! So we saved about 1600$.
* Already packed all my lunchs for the week. Less tempting to eat out this way.
* Meeting with friends on Friday for an Escape room. Got the ticket at half-price. Then we will go skating (free).
* Date night with hubby. His sister will babysit for free and we will use a Groupon for dinner at a restaurant.
* Exchanged PC Points for 20$ of free groceries
* Hosted a couple game nights at home. Free, except for a couple beers and munchies for guests.

Have a great frugal day!


Isabelle January 16, 2017 at 5:31 pm

I forgot!
* I was thinking about taking a membership at my workplace gym. It’s only 100$/year. But the thing is I would only use it on my lunch breaks when I work, and I already have all that I need to work out, so I’ll pass. Hey, 100$ is 100$!


Marion January 17, 2017 at 2:14 am

Friends bought a pricey mattress and spring set but not the protective cover. In about six months the edges of the mattress started to sag badly. Turns out, without the “protective sleeve” deal the company wouldn’t honor the warranty.


Lucy January 17, 2017 at 5:46 am

We sprang for the protective sleeve and I was pretty sure it was a waste until the cat peed on the bed. Not a drop reached the mattress. Score!

When we removed the cover to clean it I realized the mattress, which is 7 years old, looks brand new. Another score!


isabelle January 17, 2017 at 9:01 am

yes, I get what you are saying. The vendor told me the same thing (warranty). But the thing is, they always find some ways of getting out of honoring the warranty anyways and I don’t want to bother with this. So I see it as saving 300$ now and saving the trouble of trying to have a warranty honored later, to no avail.


JennC January 17, 2017 at 9:50 am

I would recommend at least getting a cheaper mattress cover unless warranties now specify that it has to be in their sleeve. We have had two mattresses replaced under warranty and the mattresses did have to look clean. The process wasn’t all that terrible – they sent someone to measure the sagging and prorated the amount they gave us based on the age of the mattress.

Sadly for me, my son’s new mattress had a cover that’s waterproofing was worn out and his peed on bed didn’t get changed right away so we hope his mattress holds up well because it looks pretty nasty.


Frugal In The Valley January 16, 2017 at 5:21 pm

Snow makes my heart ache. We never get it here. Your photo was just lovely Katy.


Isabelle January 16, 2017 at 5:34 pm

You can have ours!!! I’m so fed up with it. We must have about 4 feet, and we will get more. *sigh*


Maureen January 17, 2017 at 7:41 pm

I understand. Snow makes my heart ache too. Even living in AK for over 30 years, I feel that every time it snows.


Jen January 16, 2017 at 6:38 pm

1. I’m out of town for work, and I always try and eat as cheaply as possible (but still healthy) to keep as much of my per diem as I can. Took advantage of the continental breakfast at the hotel, had half a sandwich for lunch, 5$3 other half for dinner with some grocery store soup and some scones snagged from breakfast this morning. Around $10 spent for the day! Way less than my per diem.
2. Had a bowl of cereal leftovers for dinner last week. ‘Y family likes to leave tiny amounts of cereal in the box. Instead of throwing it out, 8 pour the remains of 2 or 3 boxes in a bowl and have a yummy and interesting dinner.
3. Brought my empty water bottle with me to the airport to fill at the fountain after I got through security. Frugal and healthy.
4. Found a cheaper internet plan for at home which will save us around $30 a month.
5. Have been eating down our freezer to try and get rid of someone the older leftovers in there. Has saved time on cooking the past few weeks too!


Pattilou January 16, 2017 at 7:09 pm

I love Grantchester too.
1.I found 45 cents on the ground
2. I filled up my gas tank for the first time in 2 weeks using my 20 cents off per gallon from my grocery fuel perks.
3. I made a quiche substituting some ingredients with what I had in the fridge. It came out really tasty.
4. I opened two cans of tomato paste and it looked like the center of each can was hollowed out. It looked like the machine filling them must have been off. I was still able to use them but I wrote the company and they sent me coupons for two free cans.
5. After 6 long days of work in a row, although I can’t complain after being unemployed for two months, I had the day off. I slept in, watched Sherlock in bed, took a nap then made cookies. I got a much needed rest and now have snacks to bring to work tomorrow for my staff for the start of another very long work week.


IsabelI January 16, 2017 at 7:10 pm

Love Grandchester too! Am another Aussie !
Beautiful day and hung out the washing instead of being lazy and using the dryer!
Dental visit coming up! Glad I saved some money!


MamaMinou January 16, 2017 at 7:19 pm

Never heard of Grantchester, but will be searching the library catalog online ASAP! Thanks Katy!

My older son had to take the Bolt bus back to college in Portland this weekend as nobody was eager to drive him up and venture into the land of snow and ice. Does it really still look like the picture up there??

I heard more freezing rain may be heading our way. Not happy.


Bee January 17, 2017 at 6:22 am

Grantchester is available online at


Shannon January 17, 2017 at 9:59 am

You have to be a patron of PBS to watch season one one my affiliate but seasons 1 and 2 are also available on amazon prime! 🙂


cathy January 17, 2017 at 1:33 pm

Out of curiosity, I just checked and our library has the DVDs of Grantchester seasons 1 and 2 available to check out. Though we do donate to PBS, it’s not every year, and I’m not crazy about the idea that you have to contribute a minimum amount for the PBS “Passport” so you can watch old episodes online. Our library carries quite a few current PBS series. Maybe yours does too?


MamaMinou January 17, 2017 at 6:36 pm

My library does have it–and it’s pretty popular! I think I’m the fourth hold for season one. Sounds worth waiting for. 😉

Kathy January 16, 2017 at 7:23 pm

The Yummy Vicar indeed. That Geordie is pretty hot too. Love that show. I know I am warped, and I am so very OK with that.


Vanessa January 17, 2017 at 5:30 am

No, you are not the only one! Please add this southern, African-American retiree to the Grantchester fan club! And thank you for the Thorn Birds parallel. Richard Chamberlin? Yes, please.
1. Used a restaurant gift card from my bank (for refinancing) to celebrate our nephew’s homecoming. Dinner for 7, didn’t cost us a thing. My brother in-law left the tip.
2. Bought 3lbs of ground turkey and was able to make 3 meatloafs. One to eat this week, one to freeze for later, one to son for lunch sandwiches.
3. Daughter bought over left over chips and salsa. Tasty snack for watching football game. Go Falcons!
4. Relisted two items on Ebay. (Fingers crossed.)
5. Returned my library books (on time!) and used the library printer to produce art work good enough for hanging in my bedroom.


carpet cleaner January 17, 2017 at 6:12 am

Hi katy, hope 2017 is going well for you! The picture you have with this blog really sets up the tone nicely 🙂 I have just moved from blistering hot australia to the uk so that images speaks so many truths to me. I look forward to reading more from you 🙂


Kim in MD January 17, 2017 at 8:33 am

1. Found 21¢ in Coinstar machine while doing a mystery shop. I’ve done 9 mystery shops in past 2 days. College fund!
2. Picked up coupons from a fellow freecycler. She now just emails me when she has a few weeks of inserts and leaves them on her porch bench once we confirm a pickup time.
3. I’ve sold 10 items on Amazon in the past week. Glad I picked up some 9×12 envelopes from fellow freecycler on Sunday.Love free shipping materials!
4. Made pot of potato soup to use up some spuds that had started to sprout. Yummy!
5. I bought some biscotti, as a treat when I was traveling out of town. A brand I buy all the time they were hard as a rock and inedible with a best use date of the end of Jan. Called the company and they are sending me a coupon for a new box.


Lindsey January 17, 2017 at 4:20 pm

If you make cheesecakes or other pies requiring a sweet crust, I have ground up old biscotti (old cookies, too), adding melted butter and patted them into the bottom of the pie pan for a nice crust.


Kim January 17, 2017 at 9:05 pm

Lindsey, great idea! They are so hard I figure I’ll have to beat them with my rolling pin as I’m afraid it might kill my blender! Maybe I’ll use the shredder attachment, bought at a yard sale, on my KitchenAid! I have some lovely pears my neighbor gave me that may be turned in to a pear salted caramel crisp!


Jill January 17, 2017 at 8:48 am

1. My youngest niece lives in San Diego and I was able to travel there over the weekend with my mom and sister to attend a baby shower and see her new house.
We put in a fare alert some time ago and found a fantastic airfare.
2. My niece travels for business so she was able to use points to get a hotel room and rental car for us. We spent an afternoon enjoying Balboa Park and another day my niece drove us to the beach for a short, windy visit.
3. I packed my own food for the flight and enjoyed the in-flight entertainment – Bridget Jones Baby and Jason Bourne. We did have to pay for airport parking and gas but my mom sprung for the parking and my sister and I split the gas.
4. We enjoyed the free breakfast at the hotel and a delicious lunch at the shower. I also met up with a friend I hadn’t seen since college and she took me out to dinner. My only money spent, other than airfare, was food and one future Christmas present. I’m so glad I was able to go.
5. While I was away, my husband sold an old camera we weren’t using. He’s really jumping on the crap out, money in bandwagon!

Grantchester is my favorite! And it’s been awhile so I’m thinking I’d like to reread The Thorn Birds. I remember it being a delicious read!


JennC January 17, 2017 at 10:04 am

1. Finally got the settlement check for items that were damaged by movers. Put the money into savings instead of replacing stuff. (There is one family heirloom furniture item I will have repaired later.)

2. We were recently gifted a desk and a coffee table on our local buy nothing. Glad I waited on purchasing and made do without in the meantime.

3. We are having a “try to buy nothing nonessential January”. I have been keeping a list to track what I normally would have just bought. I think my spending weakness is books and fun looking homeschool resources.

4. Reading lots of library books and books I already owned, but hadn’t gotten around to yet. Crafting/schooling with lots of supplies we already had.

5. I re-organized and shuffled some stuff around and used cardboard boxes and other bins and things we had on hand instead of going out for spiffy new matching storage.


Nancy P January 17, 2017 at 11:09 am

Never saw the Thornbirds, but I remember watching Dr Kildare as a little girl. I will always be a Richard Chamberlain fan …
A quiet weekend
Put up 22 pints of canned beans. We do this periodically so that we have them ready to go at all times. Used lids from our thrifted stash
Made chicken tortilla soup with leftiver chicken and home canned tomatillo salsa from last year. The omnivores loved it..
Tried a new indian flat bread recipe and used my tortilla press instead of rolling them out. Delicious!
Made chole (curried garbanzos with assorted veggies) and put up in containers for quick lunches on the go.
Made a pink “pussy hat” for the Los Angeles protest march this coming saturday with yarn I had on hand. Then made 3 more for my companion protesters. Super easy.
Drinking herbal tea and avoiding wine for evening beverage. Have noticed my sleep is much improved.


KJD509 January 17, 2017 at 11:22 am

1) Laughed out loud at “The Yummy Vicar” – hubs and I agree that’s a much better title for the show. We both had MLK day off for the first time in memory, so kept the thermostat on its normal weekday schedule and stayed in bed to keep warm until the teenager woke about 10:30 and groused about the cold. (Reading our separate news feeds side by side, but still – warm.)
2) Eating out of the pantry and freezer entirely. Double frugal: it’s so dang much work to cook EVERYTHING from scratch that we ate brunch and dinner only all three days this weekend. Lost a couple of pounds, too.
3) Remembering to change out of my work clothes when I get home, saving on laundry. I work at a desk and anything I don’t spill on can be worn 2 or 3 times between washes.
4) Played board games at home all weekend instead of going out for entertainment. Bonus: after a couple of weeks of arguing, the girls finally started getting along again, thanks to Pandemic. (We haven’t had only two kids in the house in 23 years – and these two have never not had siblings around. They get sick of each other pretty quick now that they’re stuck with just each other.)
5) Invited friends over for dinner and games this coming Friday, figuring we need something to look forward to. Have everything we need except a head of garlic – so, 35 cents for dinner for 11. (Though I suspect my hubs will pick up some booze – which will be necessary.)
6) Obviously didn’t knock wood hard enough last week, as we’ve had another car problem. Letting it sit and carpooling with the hubs – not completely frugal because it takes a lot of gas, but more frugal than squeezing another $1600 out of the empty coffers for a new transmission right now.


A. Marie January 17, 2017 at 11:58 am

Late to the party on this one, as I often am. But anyway:

(1) It seems for once as if the Pacific NW and Upstate NY have swapped weather: It’s raining buckets here in Upstate today, and all the snow and ice are gone. But it’s horrible anyhow, so DH and I are hunkering down by the fire (and thanking goodness for all the firewood that DH, a skilled frugal lumberjack, has collected off curbs over the years).

(2) I had MLK Day off, so I got us an appointment with DH’s audiologist to troubleshoot why his right hearing aid keeps falling out. I’m daring to hope that we’ve now solved this problem. (Not losing extremely expensive hearing aids = frugal win.)

(3) Hit up our one local Goodwill on the way to the audiologist’s. DH took an immediate fancy to the red-checked flannel shirt on one of the male mannequins in the window. Big laugh for everyone in the store when the clerk climbed up into the window and started pulling arms off the mannequin to get the shirt off. Thank goodness humor is still free.

(4) Made beef barley soup from remains of Saturday night’s pot roast–which came, of course, from the 1/4 cow we buy from a friend. (And friend is keeping his prices abnormally low, judging by the beef I’ve been pricing at the grocery stores.)

(5) Spending part of this rainy afternoon inspecting houseplants and seeing which ones need attention (pruning, repotting, etc.). I’m usually so busy with outdoor gardening in the summer that the indoor plants have to wait for winter to get any respect.


Vickie January 17, 2017 at 1:19 pm

LOL! Those actors are worth the watch!

1) I saved gas by staying home all weekend, so the 2/3 tank, in the car, should last me the rest of the week.
2) I ate leftover roast w/cheese on a tortilla for lunch yesterday, then leftover beans and cornbread for supper last night. I watched a sitcoms on TV, then we watched basketball the rest of the night.
3) I cleaned out my one of my kitchen cabinets and will save lots of space by getting rid of most of what resided in there. Now I can clear off one of my counters. Everything I don’t keep will be donated.
4) I ate my oatmeal & berries breakfast here at work, the lean cuisine for lunch that I had in the freezer; drank water provided by the work cooler and some nice tea a co-worker bought me as a gift last year. All in regular dishes, cups and utensils that came from home and I keep here specifically for my meals.
5) I’m headed to the gym this evening and will use my refillable water bottle to drink from.
It was an extremely frugal weekend.


Jamie January 17, 2017 at 4:19 pm

1. Had surgery last Thursday so I’ve been at home on the couch doing nothing! Sleeping is free.
2. I have spent about $40 on 2 meals since Thursday. One lasted for two meals and both fed two people. My boyfriend has been awesome about cooking and making do with what’s in the house and we’re still below our restaurant budget for the month.
3. Being at home also means I’ve had time to run videos on Swagbucks and InboxDollars. I got a free trial of Hulu for the week which scored me $20 in swagbucks (and extends my binge watching through recovery) for when I can’t read my library books.
4. Finally had to leave the house today and we took the subway to our local thrift store where we perused and spent NOTHING.
5. I’ve been fantasizing about blogging as a side income and have been putting off paying for anymore than my website URL. I have been fighting BlueHost promotions and tried to focus on creating content. Playing around in free wordpress is free!


VanessaKC January 17, 2017 at 6:01 pm

Had to stay home with my sick boy today.
1. We played board games. (He cheats at Operation but is getting better with tweezers)
2. Used my time while he napped to make and freeze “beanoa” burgers for a week of lunches.
3. Added the leftover quinoa to sautéed kale, onions and eggs. Assembled breakfast soft tacos for the week.
4. Swapped soup for killer collards with my dad yesterday. Delicious dinner in exchange for soup I was tired of is priceless to me.
5. Barrett Jackson is live on the Velocity channel. 6 days of endless entertainment for us! I’ll cook the chicken I marinated while running back and forth. Chicken will also help ease several dinners for the week.


Janelle January 17, 2017 at 6:52 pm

I love Grantchester!


Trisha January 17, 2017 at 8:51 pm

Grantchester, Thornbirds, Richard Chamberlain and iced drinks…doesn’t get any better!


Jessica January 18, 2017 at 8:25 am

My husband died last week (he was very, very young, but had a disability, so his life expectancy was shorter). I am trying to go through his things mindfully and rationally to make sure that they either help others or are sold to put aside a little $ for our daughter. It is too easy to feel overwhelmed right now, and just want to donate everything quickly, which is not really the best choice.
Two frugal things (starting small today.)
1. I am checking our health insurance website to keep abreast of claims as they come in, to make sure that things are handled in an organized way, and making calls to keep on top of them to limit back-and-forth.
2. I am picking up some used camp uniform t-shirts for my daughter that someone posted on a local moms group


KJD509 January 18, 2017 at 8:48 am

Jessica, so so sorry for the loss of your young husband. Sending you peace and hugs, and wishing it were more.


Beth January 18, 2017 at 8:56 am

I’m so sorry for your loss! Sending good thoughts and internet hugs your way.


Bee January 18, 2017 at 12:18 pm

My heart goes out to you and your young daughter. I am sorry for your loss.


Mand01 January 18, 2017 at 12:29 pm

Hi Jessica
I think finding productive activities can help us focus during times of grief; especially when we are parents and we need to keep going for our children. I know it helps me, although I have not experienced a loss as great as yours in my life. I do know the great responsibility, love, challenge, and joy of caring for and loving someone with disability in my life and I can only imagine how you must be feeling right now, as he was your life partner. Take care of yourself and I hope you have people to take care of you.


Kim January 18, 2017 at 12:41 pm

I am so very sorry. I will be praying for you and your daughter.


mel January 18, 2017 at 1:48 pm

Sending you, your daughter and family hugs and wishing you extra strength at this sad and challenging time


Katy January 18, 2017 at 3:00 pm


I am so saddened to hear your news. Love and hugs from me.


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