Five Frugal Things

by Katy on February 12, 2017 · 45 comments

  1. I borrowed a beautiful hardback book about Timberline Lodge from my father in preparation for sneaking into inviting myself to my husband’s work conference in April. I absolutely love all the WPA artisan work from the 1930’s, and reading about the history and process of building the lodge is fascinating.
  2. I went up to Mt Hood on Friday and popped into the newest Goodwill Superstore in Sandy along the way. Although I didn’t buy anything, I was impressed by the organization and vastness of the space. One employee told me how much she’s looking forward to working in the new facility, especially since the old building apparently had problems with heating and cooling.
  3. I assembled a mishmash of refrigerator tidbits and created a delicious stir-fry using cabbage, onion, carrot, cauliflower and noodles. We’ll be eating leftovers for days, which is as it should be.
  4. I’ve already packed my work lunch for tomorrow, (the last of some chicken and rice) I continue to keep the house at 63° during the day and 58° at night, my father gave me a loaf of homemade bread and I realize that I’ve bought nothing beyond food and absolute essentials in 2017.
  5. I didn’t buy a Lear jet or a vulgar and ethically questionable gold-plated apartment in the sky.

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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{ 45 comments… read them below or add one }

Cindy in the South February 12, 2017 at 3:54 pm

1. I made chocolate mulberry cobbler. I had frozen mulberries from my tree last May. 2. I was given a yellow pumpkin and cooked it and the seeds. I noticed the taste and texture was similar to yellow summer squash, so I used that recipe and made a pumpkin casserole. It tastes just like my squash casserole. 3. It has been in the upper 70’s and the azaleas are blooming six weeks too early, along with everything else. I made a fake tum yum soup, using chicken broth, lemon juice, garlic, sea salt, onions, Asian chili paste with left over veggies, and it succeeded in blowing out my sinuses,..I think it was the chili paste….lol. 4. I walked outside for exercise…cheap and free. 5. I took a nap because of my sinus issue…ok, that is my excuse today…lol. I have not spent any money either except on med bills, food, this year.wait, I did eat out once, catfish, and spent $10..,it was enough for two meals.


A. Marie February 12, 2017 at 4:00 pm

Katy, keep right on raising questions about Our Dear Leader’s ethics in your #5. They stink to high heaven, IMHO. (The ethics, not the questions!)

(1) We got an unusually low credit card bill this month, which I realize reflects our no-credit week while we were waiting for replacement cards to arrive after DH lost his. Food for thought here.

(2) We’ve been snowed in today here in Upstate NY, so I couldn’t have gone out and spent money, even if I’d wanted to.

(3) I’ve been creative with the leftovers all week–most recently, using up the remains of a head of cauliflower in a curry I made last night. (Can’t handle raw cauliflower, but I’ve learned to enjoy it in a curry.)

(4) I took advantage of the snow day to give myself a day off from news, listen to some old Irish music CDs I haven’t dug up in ages, and recharge the batteries generally. The last month has been a giant energy suck on both personal and political levels.

(5) And I’m using this energy to send good wishes to you all, as we try to find the strength to deal with both the personal and the political.


Karen B. February 12, 2017 at 4:13 pm

Katy, do you have an alternate heating system? It’s has been on the warm side in Virginia this winter but I still cannot fathom 63 degrees during the day! What’s your secret? Thanks


Joyce February 13, 2017 at 7:04 am

I keep my house at 63 daytime, also. We wear sweaters and I sometimes wears tights under my fleece bottoms. Too cold, I turn on a DeLonghi heater and turn off when I am too hot. Nights are at 60 degrees.


Denise February 13, 2017 at 12:54 pm

I’ve just done the Fahrenheit to Centigrade conversion. 17 degrees C. I weep to be that warm (see my post below)…

But to choose to be that cool: blimey, you’re a hardy soul, Joyce, as is Katy!


Susan February 12, 2017 at 4:17 pm

I love that book. My uncles worked for the WPA when they were young.
Glad to see you didn’t get that apartment. Maybe if you play your cards right, someone in power would let you visit HIS vulgar and questionable gold plated apartment in the sky!


Michele February 12, 2017 at 5:33 pm

1. No spend day today, except for the Sunday paper.
2. Made sale chicken drumsticks and stuffing for dinner.
3. Worked 1.5 hours extra yesterday.
4. Packed breakfast and lunch ready for tomorrow’s work.
5. Not really frugal, but friends and I started exercising again today. It was great to be together.


Nancy from mass February 12, 2017 at 5:51 pm

1. Since we got more snow, I stayed home and snowblowed, shoveled.
2. Hubby ended up back in the hospital again during the night so I didn’t get home until 5 am. Didn’t go back out to head to the hospital in Boston. I’ll let him sleep and save the gas.
3. My son and I started a fire using some fire bricks that were falling apart. I put the sawdust into brown paper bags but it didn’t work well. Will have to come up with another plan so I can use what I bought.
4. Grilled cheese and fries for supper. Haven’t done that in a while. Yummy!!
5. Can’t wait for to have more bumper stickers available for purchase. Will be 3.50 spent wisely and will go to a good cause. Hopefully people will realize how he’s ruining our environment before it’s too late.


Denise February 13, 2017 at 12:59 pm

Nancy, so sorry to hear about your husband needing the hospital again. 5am is no joke for you to be getting home either, so make sure that you rest and take care of yourself too.

And I have to ask: sawdust in a paper bag? What for?



rebecca February 12, 2017 at 6:15 pm

1. Snowed in today so no gas used.
2. Did some batch cooking with ingredients on hand.
3. watching things I dvr’d.
4. keeping my heat at 63 degrees.
5. I do love watching the snow fall. It’s like a snowflake ballet and so beautiful.


Denise February 13, 2017 at 1:00 pm

“…a snowflake ballet….”

And that is such a beautiful description, thank you!


Marilyn February 12, 2017 at 7:13 pm

1. Did some serious advance planning before grocery shopping. As much as possible, I wanted to buy items on special and use coupons on the same items (double discounts). Spent less than $20 for groceries which I believe will feed my husband and me for 4 days. That’s probably not a record, but it is good for me.
2. Finished reading “Born a Crime” and returned it to the library. One thing about our library which sets it apart from nearly all others: they do not charge overdue fees. I think this is such a good deal that I am extra careful to get everything back on time!
3. Worked 8 extra hours last week which will boost my paycheck.
4. Found a little gift shop which has a selection of Valentines for $1 each. Bought Valentines for my son, daughter and 2 sisters, enclosed personal love-notes to each and mailed.
5. Sending warm thoughts to everyone who is snowed-in. It’s been quite a winter for so many of us!



Nalani February 12, 2017 at 8:09 pm

1. Have been working extremely long hours at work (I’m salary so no extra $) but my office is great in that they fed us dinner every night last week and brought things to make sandwiches when we had to work Saturday. I brought lunch everyday during the week, so no money spent.
2. Been using my many Starbucks giftcards to power me through the long days. Free coffee is always a treat.
3. Been snuggling my 19 year old cat. Always free. He is on his last days. While his vet care hasn’t been cheap, his companionship these last 19 years has been priceless.
4. Used gift cards to see a movie with the hubby. Went to the matinee which saved money plus with my rewards card, we’ll get a free admission the next movie we see.
5. Cooking Sunday dinner with what I have on hand. Packed leftovers for lunch.
Hope everyone has a frugal week!


Krystal February 12, 2017 at 10:06 pm

Sending you and your wonderful cat a big hug. I know it’s hard.


Nalani February 12, 2017 at 10:11 pm

Thanks Krystal. He’s still hanging in there but we know it’s coming soon. My husband and I try to remember that he has lived a long and happy life and we’ve done all we can to keep him comfy.


Denise February 13, 2017 at 1:02 pm

My heart aches for you and your cat. Extra snuggles while you can.


Danielle February 12, 2017 at 9:46 pm

1. Had a weekend trip away from home. Two meals out were unavoidable to prevent family mutiny, but two were artfully handled with food from home.
2. Stayed with my grandfather to be near a memorial we wanted to attend. Hotel would have been nicer, but we were able to save money and visit. Bonus: I think we helped him avoid a diabetic coma this morning at a moment he would have been alone otherwise!!
3. Car door needed a weld repair. Took it to the same body shop that we’ve used for everything over the years. They ended up fixing it for free as it was such a small job!
4. Topped off the tank of gas in order to get free air for our tires. ($1.50 for 2 minutes otherwise!)
5. Brought reusable grocery bags to the grocery store. With new California laws, this saves 10 cents per bag (not to mention the environment!) and I haven’t had to buy a bag yet!


Krystal February 12, 2017 at 10:03 pm

1. It is my birthday week, so I will take advantage of those random birthday freebies–Starbucks, Barre3 and a local cafe that gifts a $4 credit on LevelUp.
2. My husband and I have been comparison shopping for our laundry room remodel. I nearly mad myself sick with the cost last night, but he reminded me that we have the money because we saved. We shouldn’t feel guilty because it’s a necessary spend (washer, hot water tank, replacing broken windows, walls and a door that lets in insane cold weather drafts). This isn’t frivolous. We will budget and redo our budget and budget edit some more. Responsible spending.
3. Arranged to have free tire rotation on Tuesday.
4. We cashed in some reward points on Open Table for a date night gift certificate. We don’t use Open Table much at all except for my work, and I never have to pay for those meals so it’s a win-win!
5. Used a free coupon for a car wash on this glorious sunny day. I received a pack of them from a windshield repair a couple years back and still have a few left!


Tracy February 13, 2017 at 4:07 am

1. I too have been working long hours but am salaried so no extra $. Worked most of weekend, took food with me, parked half a mile from work to avoid paying for parking.
2. Grocery shopped for this week after work on Friday, from a list. Stayed within grocery budget.
3. Have had a nasty cold for last few days, Saturday made a big pot of homemade chicken noodle soup , or as my friend said “Jewish penicillin”!
4. No spend day yesterday.
5. Almost done reading my stack of library books (one to go) lots of good free entertainment!


Marybeth February 13, 2017 at 5:24 am

1.Got over a foot of snow on Thursday, Schools were closed. If I don’t got to work I don’t get paid. I called my manager and she was running very late because of the snow. I went in late but still put in a full shift. Only 3 other people showed up for work so my manager made us all lunch. I saved my lunch that I had brought for Friday.
2. Schools were closed Friday because of snow and ice. The kids and I just hung out at home doing a new 3D Harry Potter puzzle my daughter had won. Made Birthday cards for my husband and Valentine cards for each other. We never buy cards anymore. My son’s card to his dad was so funny.
3.We spend very little on adult birthday presents. My husband loves homemade baked goods so my daughter made him chocolate chip cookies and I made him a non dairy cherry cheesecake. I had Kohl’s cash so I spent $5. 16 on a present for him. My son cleaned up and organized his work bench for him.
4. My in laws came for dinner on Saturday. I made a ham I got before Christmas for $3, mashed potatoes, maple carrots and home made rolls. we ate the above desserts. My In laws brought a fruit tray so we had that too. The whole dinner cost less then half the price that was on the fruit tray and there are tons of leftovers.
5. My sister came for Sunday brunch, homemade biscuits and gravy, eggs with leftover ham and fruit from the fruit tray. What does my sister show up with? A fruit bowl. We have tons of fruit now.


Vickie February 13, 2017 at 12:40 pm

That was one healthy birthday celebration! Happy Birthday to your hubby.


Denise February 13, 2017 at 1:04 pm

My Spidey-sense sees lots of fruit-based desserts in your future. Spooky, huh?


Marybeth February 13, 2017 at 4:20 pm

I took all the extra blueberries and froze them for blueberry pancakes. The strawberries and watermelon are gone. There is a bunch of cantaloupe, honeydew and pineapple left. Whatever isn’t gone by tomorrow I will throw in the freezer for smoothies. We all love fruit so its usually not a problem.


Mrs. Picky Pincher February 13, 2017 at 6:15 am

It was a pretty frugal week!

1. We plan to stay at home for Valentine’s dinner. Lobster tails are on sale, so we’ll cook those along with nice potatoes for a Valentine’s dinner. We’ll also celebrate the day by swinging by the library (romantic, I know).

2. We also celebrated Valentine’s Day over the weekend by taking a day trip to a local park. It was aaaabsolutely gorgeous. There were trees that were hundreds of years old and we saw a natural artesian well. We packed a picnic lunch and ate it with cloth napkins and reusable water bottles.

3. I cooked several freezer meals to prevent eating out. I made baked potato skins, orange chicken, gyros (surprisingly easy!), chickpea curry, pita bread (surprisingly complicated!), and mushroom pork chops.

4. Mr. Picky Pincher did lawn work this weekend instead of outsourcing it.

5. I started sewing a dress made from $2 thrift store cloth. I also used a $2 dress pattern from Walmart. Not too shabby for a custom-made dress!


K D February 13, 2017 at 7:01 am

1. The only spending this weekend was on a few produce items at Aldi.

2. The weather was nice on Saturday so we drove to a park on the bay and took a long walk. It was new to us and we will be back, with bikes. On the way the low tire pressure indicator went off. When we pulled over everything looked okay. They wanted $1.50 to pump air, instead I picked up the $.48 in the parking lot and we drove on. After we got home my husband checked and one tire is a little low, he filled it and we’ll keep an eye on it.

3. I made it to 5 yoga and/or Pilates classes last week. That really cost averages down my monthly membership.

4. My daughter’s friend gave her some clothes she no longer wanted. She kept some and then offered me the rest. I kept a few sweaters and a pair of pants. I also kept a few things my daughter didn’t want from her closet. The rest will go to her friend.

5. I am continuing to read books and e-books and listen to CDs and downloaded audio books borrowed from the library.


janine February 13, 2017 at 7:32 am

1.. Homemade dessert in response to my husband’s Valentine presents of flowers and expensive note cards. (I love them but seldom indulge in purchase) Made peach/blueberry crisp with fruit I had previously frozen. Turned out very well.
2. Making breakfast type foods for dinner tonight – bacon and crustless quiche.
with on-hand ingredients.
3. Spent a weekend afternoon at the Huddle – this is what follow-up meetings to the Women’s March are called. Met new people and started making plans for future actions. Postcards and phone numbers were given out to contact congressional people about our concerns.
4. Collected another stash of books to be donated to the GW.
5. Met savings goal for contribution to kids retirement accounts.


Vickie February 13, 2017 at 9:15 am

1) I bought $50 worth of groceries Saturday. A bag of chicken thighs I plan to split up and freeze and some ground beef I’m going to make Lasagna with. Several other staple items. Those groceries will last us for at least two weeks.
2) We had leftover sausage & veggie scrambled eggs for breakfast Sunday morning, so I put them in the fridge and that will make two tortillas I can eat for dinner the next few nights.
3) I had a Sonic coupon for a Kids Wacky Pack meal for $1.99. I used it for lunch last week while I was out running errands. 2 chicken strips, tots & a drink – filled me up and I’ll put the kids toy, that comes with it, in the box with my shelter donations.
4) I used my Hoover Steam mop yesterday, when I moved my stove to clean the floor underneath – cleaned every bit of grunge up. The floor looks like new. I bought that machine as a gift to myself two years ago, off Amazon, at Christmas – best self gift ever and the 3 pads that come with it are all machine washable, so no waste.
5) One of my retirement accounts gained $3000 in 2016. Yay!


Denise February 13, 2017 at 12:45 pm

I have resurfaced after a few weeks under the radar, and seem to have very few frugal wins to share.

1. I took the very good advice given so generously by NCA members regarding my freezing cold new apartment. I made long sausage rolls of bubble wrap, and gently fed that in to all the gaps around my double-hung sash windows. I couldn’t believe how quickly that made a difference to the temperature indoors! I’ve shared that tip at work, and a few people (three) have done likewise. Nay to howling gales.

2. I found some microfibre fleece blankets in a local cheapy store, bought some and have (very lazily) used clothes pegs to clip them to the curtains. Another warmth win via NCA.

3. I have ordered the 3M variant of the window film which someone recommended as the best brand. Have been too idle or ill to put it up. Oohhh, and I just thought of another excuse which has that rare quality of being true: I can’t fit it to the top half of the windows till I borrow my sister’s stepladder again, as I can’t reach. Unfortunately, the strength of that excuse dilutes somewhat in respect of the lower windows, which I can reach….hmmmm.

4. I caught an appalling virus last week, flu-like symptoms, awful headaches, with the added charm of violent vomiting. Doctor’s Practice Nurse told me by phone to stay home and not to let anyone near me till I’d been symptom-free for 48 hours. Ho hum. I ate about five slices of toast over three days, have lost five pounds (well, I didn’t really “lose” them: I know exactly where the fat little buggers went), consumed every electrolyte sachet in my kit and spent nothing on food all week. My cloud’s silver-lining was topped off by the macerator blocking up. Don’t know if you use them in the US or not. An awful experience on top of a ghastly week. But that truly WAS the silver lining. Which shows how bad the weekend got.

5. My heating engineer, Peter, who is also a highly qualified electrician, has been working on making my gas central heating and my electrical wiring safe and efficient. I told him to stay away on Saturday due to my “quarantine”, but he pooh-poohed the suggestion. Anyway, he did the power-flush on the macerator, sorted it. Then he did the final work on my gas heating boiler. The previous owners installed it 9 years ago (I found the installation certificate) and have never, ever had the bloody thing serviced. The rubber seal which locks in the carbon monoxide had perished and disappeared completely in places. And his CO tests showed raised levels in the bathroom where they had fitted the boiler, around the boiler itself. Like an idiot, I didn’t even think that it may have been CO poisoning affecting me all week. I don’t think that it was, as I have been getting better since Friday, but Peter texted me last night to say that he has
got my bug. Ouch. No good deed goes unpunished, as they say.

My fails are all outside of my control, but this apartment is in such a state that I shall have to move out in a few months’ time, for three months, to get all the work done in one hit. So I shall go from having no mortgage (yay!) to having to take one out to pay for all the retiring and replumbing, replastering, removal of lead (yes, you heard me right, lead) piping and to also have possible asbestos removed by specialists.

And my gas and electricity bills will be monstrous because, while the boiler is working much better, it can’t work at full capacity due to the extent of the neglect over the last nine years. So I’m cold, so I put my 3kw electric radiator on to heat the sitting room.

Except now I can’t, because Peter has forbidden it and has disconnected several plug points to ensure that the crappy fuse board isn’t overloaded dangerously. God, I wish I’d never bought it…

I had a major cookathon on


A. Marie February 13, 2017 at 1:14 pm

Denise: In what part of Greater London is your new flat? I’d be interested to know, as DH and I paid several visits to London in the 80s and 90s, couch-surfing with friends who were teaching at our local Upstate NY university’s “semester in London” program. One professor friend actually spent so much time doing research in England that he bought a flat in Notting Hill (*before* it got trendy). DH and I spent part of one visit doing renovations for him as our “rent” (well, to be honest, DH did the actual work and I contributed unskilled labor). We indeed encountered many of the issues you describe–lack of insulation, wiring problems, etc.–and also had several interesting cross-cultural encounters with the local ironmongers and other building-supplies folks.

I’m also intrigued by the term “macerator.” Is this what we Yanks would refer to as a “garbage disposal”?


Denise February 13, 2017 at 2:50 pm


I’m in South Woodford, which is zone 4 on the tube, E18 postcode- so north-east London. It’s very nice but nowhere near as good as Notting Hill, nor as central. Nor as expensive!

A macerator (you’ll be sorry you asked): if you wish to install a loo in a part of the house where there is no access to the proper soil pipe (poo pipe, to the uninitiated), then you install a macerator, which is a box which chews up human waste, loo roll etc and pumps it through small-diameter pipe work to reach said soil pipe. If you think a blocked regular loo is grim…

Apologies to anyone of a gentle disposition (including you, too, A.Marie!). Especially if you’re eating while reading this.


A. Marie February 13, 2017 at 3:50 pm

Thank you, Denise: first for giving me an excuse to haul out my old London street atlases to find your area, and second for the info about the macerator. Not TMI for me–DH is retired from the building trades and is fairly unshockable, and I’ve got a strong stomach–although I apologize in turn if it put anyone else off their dinner!

And I assure you we couldn’t have afforded to stay in Notting Hill even before gentrification if we hadn’t had generous friends, particularly the professor who bought the flat. As you can imagine, he realized a nice profit on it when he sold it in the late 90s–but, sadly, he died not long thereafter, so he didn’t really get to enjoy the benefits of his investment.


Cindy in the South I February 14, 2017 at 6:24 am

oh mah God, Denise….the most awful part of all of this is that fact that you were mortgage free, and now have to pay to fix it all, and, if I recall correctly, you had an inspection done prior to buying…could the inspector’s insurance pay for your repairs? I do not know how that works in your country…..hugs and hope it is not too expensive


Karen B. February 14, 2017 at 8:17 am

OMG Denise! So much to contend with at once but isn’t that always the way! Take care of yourself, things will sort themselves out! If anyone needed flowers……


Karen B. February 14, 2017 at 8:19 am

You do! ( emoji bouquets didn’t show up lol)


Denise February 14, 2017 at 2:13 pm

Thanks for your kind thoughts everyone!


Denise February 13, 2017 at 12:50 pm

Forgot about the cookathon: a win. I cooked lots on Sunday, and froze it in single portions. Chilli, bolognese sauce, chicken casserole. I do love living alone, but there is definitely a certain pathos in seeing a row of small freezer bags with individual portions ladled into them…poor me. Pity party in London: since misery loves company, anyone else is welcome to join!


Marybeth February 13, 2017 at 4:30 pm

My sister is single and lives alone. I see her almost every week. I always make her a meal when I do my regular cooking. Chili, soups, stew, sauce, she eats almost anything. She does not like to cook so she eats out a lot or does take out. I always send her home with leftovers too. This Sunday it was biscuits and sausage gravy. She is very good to us and does lots of fun activities with my kids since she has none. I like to cook and doing a double batch isn’t that much more work for me.


Denise February 14, 2017 at 2:15 pm


That sounds lovely- the food and the love that goes into it. Regrettably, my sister is the Microwave Queen, but she does lovingly ping that microwave for me!!


KJD509 February 13, 2017 at 1:31 pm

Denise, I’m so sorry you’re having such a rough time in the new place . . . but really appreciate the belly laughs from hearing all about it!

FFT during a birthday week:
1) Middle daughter invited friends for a birthday “hang out” – teenagers don’t do parties, I guess – and we served a do-it-yourself sandwich bar using clearance rolls and bread, turkey and ham from the freezer, and a wide assortment of odd condiments from the back corners of the fridge. Bought chips and soda at her special request and a few tomatoes and lettuce, but it was otherwise a surprisingly inexpensive party and very popular with the guests. Plus we have enough leftovers for a week or more.
2) Her birthday gift is a plane ticket – exciting, but not a surprise. Offered to take her to buy jeans at Nordstrom – not frugal, but supportive of their recent divestment. But she turned me down; she’s lost quite a bit of weight now that her athletic season is over and her old jeans fit again.
3) The grocery bill was pretty sizable for birthday breakfast and family dinner . . . but nothing compared to a meal out. None of my kids has asked for a restaurant birthday dinner in years – they get to choose whatever they want me to cook, and even the really expensive stuff is cheaper than going out!
4) She’s taking her driver’s test this week. She waited until her 18th birthday, which saved hundreds of dollars in drivers ed and insurance, even though it meant renewing her permit twice over the past couple of years.
5) Socked away 8 lunches worth of leftovers in the freezer in individually labeled containers. There’s no way we’d finish it all before it spoiled, and this way there are quick lunches anytime we need them. Four of us take our lunch every day – sometimes the leftovers just don’t work out quite right.


sheila February 13, 2017 at 3:08 pm

Always am so inspired by everyone’s frugality – thanks for sharing!

1. Made a chicken soup from the dark meat and bones of 1 Costco rotisserie chicken. Had all the other ingredients so it was a frugal win – and delicious too.
2. Need a smog check and my hubby found a Groupon deal for very cheap.
3. Still living without another car and have been since Oct 2015 when mine was totaled. We’ve looked at a couple cards – older and low mileage – and hope to find a “new” one by the summer.
4. I do freelance work and while it’s been pretty quiet, I just got 2 new jobs which will come in quite handy.
5. I needed a red or white top to wear for a performance and while I checked out the super sale racks at Macy’s, I still didn’t want to spend $10-$20, so I found something at Goodwill for $3.99 which made my heart sing. The best news is that it’s a white t-shirt which never goes out of style and I needed one anyway.
Frugal fail: After the dance performance – it was One Billion Rising – I bought something at the gift shop and then went out for lunch with my friend. We went to a local grocery store where I managed to spend $30+ . . . but the desserts I bought came in handy for my oldest son who needed something to take to his girlfriend’s place. And I have leftovers so perhaps not so bad after all.


Katherine in AL February 13, 2017 at 3:45 pm

1. Daughter had a friend over and they entertained themselves by baking cupcakes ($.59 mix) and walking downtown to look for “town rocks”. It made me happy that they found such frugal ways to have fun.
2. Cooked 10lbs of chicken and that will last several meals. Chicken tacos, buffalo chicken wraps, chicken soup, etc.
3. Found 3 hardback Jane Austen novels in mint condition at the library for $.25 each. I had been looking for a book to send a friend for her birthday and these are perfect!
4. Spent a whopping $2 at Goodwill for hubby’s Vday gift. We normally don’t do gifts but I found something he’ll love and needs so it was a no-brainer.
5. Son’s birthday is Tuesday and our tradition is the birthday person’s fave home cooked meal and desert and 2 gifts. His gifts have been purchased using a gift card so $0 out of pocket.


Katherine in AL February 13, 2017 at 3:57 pm

#5. *dessert. My son doesn’t have a favorite desert that I know of.


Marybeth February 13, 2017 at 4:34 pm

Maybe he does. You should ask ? Hope he has a great birthday


Pattilou February 13, 2017 at 3:51 pm

1.made home made birthday and Valentine’s Day cards using materials I already have.
2. I pulled out some jewelry making supplies I had and made a pair of earrings for a co-worker for her birthday. I am wrapping them in a dishcloth I knit with yarn I already had.
3. Made a cake for another co-worker instead of buying the expensive store made one.
4. Had dinner and a movie night with friends last night. I made a big pot of turkey chili which fed us all with leftovers for everyone too. We watched a movie a friend already had.
5. I spent my day off enjoying a “me” day. Lunch was chocolate given to me by friends and I curled up under a blanket (with the heat on 60) and watched another movie that a friend had given me, all followed by a long winter’s nap!


Amanda February 13, 2017 at 7:36 pm

1. We had several big expenses hit us last week, and I was a little scared to update our budget. But, happy day, I had thought to put all but one in the budget when we made it on Feb 1. We might still be okay this month.

2. I met a distant cousin for the first time who moved to our city. We met at Starbucks. I never go to Starbucks, so I still had plenty of cash on a gift card from years ago to cover my tea.

3. Then today I met said new cousin’s mom, who evidently went to school with my great aunt. Mom offered me a side gig. I’ve just got to consider whether it is worth taking.

4. We got a home exchange offer that fits our “spend no more than $500 total on an awesome vacay for five” summer plan. If it doesn’t work out we’ll just wait for the next one.

5. When adding up our expected income for February I rounded that we expected from airbnb. Then I remembered that all of these bookings were post price raise. If we don’t have a cancellation (it doesn’t happen often) we should have almost $100 more income than planned.

I’m so impressed that you can keep the thermostat so low. I swear I would get hypothermia and die if it was colder than 65 in the house. And that is wearing wool socks and layers of wool sweaters. On the plus side when it is 95 degrees outside if I just sit still I am perfectly comfortable. I have the resting blood pressure of a hibernating bear.


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