Five Frugal Things

by Katy on November 17, 2018 · 133 comments

  1. I sold a board game, a vintage toy and a pair of shoes through Facebook Marketplace, as well as a pair of slippers through All items were cheapie thrift store finds.

  2. I also picked up an extra shift at the hospital and confirmed that I’m on track to work enough hours to earn a bonus after the first of the year. (I get a $1.10 per-hour-worked bonus, but only if I work over 800 hours in a calendar year.) My friend once worked a few hours shy of her 800 hours, and her error put the fear in me. And since my son’s next college tuition payment is due at the beginning of January, it couldn’t come at a better time.

  3. I’ve been making sure to keep a variety of cooked beans in the fridge for use in layered bowl meals, which are my favorite. White beans, black beans, pinto beans, they’re all so cheap, tasty and healthy! I’ve been watching YouTube videos from Stacey Flowers recently, and am inspired by her $50 per month food budget. (It’s rare that I find people who beat me in the financial extremity game!) Lots of what she calls “Buddha bowls,” which are essentially beans with easy add-ins.

    I’m working the next few days and have already pre-assembled my meals, which will be guessed it . . . mixed beans bowls.

  4. I didn’t buy a Lear Jet or a vulgar 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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{ 133 comments… read them below or add one }

Liz B. November 17, 2018 at 10:34 am

No way – I’m the first commenter? That’s awesome! First time for me.
Always love your FFT, Katy. it inspires me to try harder.
Things around here haven’t been so frugal…..lots of money flowing out (HUGE truck repair bill on my hubby’s pickup truck; looking at orthodontia for Dear Son, frowny face).
1) Bought a frozen turkey from Kroger for 37 cents a pound, with additional $25 purchase…no problem there, since I was doing my usual grocery shopping.
2) Took advantage of Target’s $10 gfit card with $50 food/beverage purchase this week. Stocked up on baking items, a few things for Thanksgiving meal, etc. We shop at Target fairly frequently (clothes for DS, mostly, when the thrift stores do not yield what we need).
3) Made a treat for work using items I had on hand…the Pumpkin Pie Crescent rolls were a big hit!
4) Will be using leftover bread ends and breadsticks in my freezer to make Thanksgiving dinner stuffing.
5) Doing all my usual things….making my own coffee, wearing thrifted clothes, eating at home most of the time (one meal out/week), etc.


Liz B. November 17, 2018 at 10:36 am

$10 gift card, not gfit card….::(sigh)::


Christine November 17, 2018 at 5:32 pm

Our local grocery store had the same offer on the turkeys. My daughter is making the turkey this year, but you just know I couldn’t let a .37 a pound turkey get by me. He is sitting in my freezer and we’ll probably have a turkey dinner sometime between now and Christmas.


Julia November 17, 2018 at 5:51 pm

I always keep an eye out for that Target coupon. Every Sunday I go through the papers…


Liz B. November 17, 2018 at 5:57 pm

Julia, I look for them, too. I’ve noticed they tend to have them around “holiday” weekends. I always look for the gift card deals with toilet paper, laundry detergent, etc and stock up when I’m running low.


Liz B. November 17, 2018 at 5:54 pm

Christine, I know, I couldn’t pass that deal by, either. It cost more for a pound of apples than a pound of this turkey!


Mary in Maryland November 17, 2018 at 10:43 am

1. Neighbors moved out and left a ton of stuff out for the garbage. I scored two restaurant weight table cloths in my favorite blue for myself. 54 x 120 inches, so I can lay them down doubled. Also got an Ikea baking dish sized between a loaf pan and a square casserole. It fits in the toaster oven and holds four enchiladas. And a Turkish bath towel. And a twelve cup OXO mixing bowl.
2. From the same haul I free cycled several plastic bins with lids, some half-full paint cans, light bulbs, a door handle new in box, and a huge dog crate.
3. Since the mister has been kind enough to hide the Halloween stash, I’m still relishing four chocolate kisses after lunch every day.
4. We drove 330 miles to a memorial gathering last weekend. 38 mpg in our 13 year old Prius. We took the dogs along and stayed in a motel so cheap that we couldn’t get coat hangers even when we asked. We had breakfast in a hole in the wall that featured French toast for 3.25 and an omelet for 4.00.
5. I emptied the fridge completely before going grocery shopping. I’m always surprised by how many meals I can wrangle after it seems empty.


Chris November 17, 2018 at 2:27 pm

Yay to keeping useful items out of the landfill!


Marilyn November 17, 2018 at 6:14 pm

Can not believe the things people throw out sometimes. So glad you were able to “rescue” some of these things.


Mary in VA November 18, 2018 at 7:17 am

Sometimes the tastiest food comes from hole-in-the-wall restaurants!


Mary in Maryland November 18, 2018 at 8:39 am

I loved being able to tell the cook/waitress/ cashier that I like my French toast a little on the dark, crunchy side.


A. Marie November 18, 2018 at 10:58 am

I’m frankly envious of your haul from that trashpile. I’ve been doing some picking here and there all summer and fall, but it’s been a long time since I’ve had a score that big. Enjoy!


Liz B November 20, 2018 at 5:02 pm

Same here. The trash picking is never that good in my neighborhood and surrounding neighborhoods. Hubby gives me the fish eye if i being home anything too big (I can’t blame him, really….we’re trying to declutter, not add more to the mess, even temporarily!).


Liz B November 20, 2018 at 5:03 pm

bring home, not being home


Michelle H November 17, 2018 at 10:49 am

We had an unexpected opportunity with a large price tag come up recently, so we’re tightening the purse strings even more than usual.

1. Planning free playdates with friends during Thanksgiving break. (I discovered years ago that it’s a lot easier to invite friends to something frugal than to continually turn down invites to outings that cost more than I’m willing to spend.)

2. Meal planning from what I have on hand and only buying produce, milk and bread. I am a couponing stockpiler, so we have plenty to work with.

3. Took advantage of loss leaders to purchase all the ingredients for our Thanksgiving feast for less than $20. We will have tons of leftovers and I’ve already planned ways to rework leftover turkey into new meals with ingredients I already have. Hello turkey noodle soup and turkey enchiladas!

4. Redeemed all money owed to me from various cash back apps for Amazon credit to put toward Christmas gifts, and turned in reimbursement forms for expenses incurred in my volunteer position.

5. Continue to drink coffee from home, refill my water bottle, and batch my errands to save gas.


Jennifer November 19, 2018 at 8:59 am

Your post makes me want to become more diligent about using my coupons. I have slacked off a bit.


rebecca November 20, 2018 at 6:26 am

I love loss leaders!


Tonya November 17, 2018 at 11:10 am

1) We had burrito bowls last night. They are one of the best, cheapest dinners around.
2) My son and his friend cleaned up and resold a nice pair of thrift store sneakers.
3) We are eating at home this month and trying to save the equivalent of one of our paychecks. We will need a replacement car soon and want to pay mostly cash.
4) We are going to see our daughter for Thanksgiving. We have a VRBO, already paid for, and I am meal planning from my pantry for several meals.
5) Got our furnace serviced for free. The company we scheduled with cancelled twice so they offered us a freebie.


Gail November 17, 2018 at 12:16 pm

You’re so frugal your 5 things became 4

I’m trying to sell a beautiful porcelain, fancy angel. She’s big and takes up storage space in my small closet for 48 weeks a year until I decorate for Christmas


Lisa M. November 19, 2018 at 8:05 am

I had a similar situation with not one but two fancy angel tree toppers. Last year, I picked up a “large box” of unwanted Christmas decorations offered for free on NextDoor after the holidays on my way home from work. The large box was a tv box. I sorted through the contents into items I wanted to keep & those that I didn’t. I had a large amount of items including two fancy angels with porcelain faces & hands, feathers, crystals, etc. in my garage sale this past summer. One of the angels sold. I am strategizing about putting many of the remaining holiday items into a holiday “collection” for 1 price.


Michele November 17, 2018 at 12:26 pm

1. Payed bills online.
2. Made a big batch of chili this AM with stuff I had on hand and our own beef. Will be the main course for our movie with friends at their house this eve.
3. Made a batch of my laundry soap today.
4. Worked an hour at my 2nd job last eve, even though I was tired after my “regular” job.
5. Payed a whopping big car insurance bill all at once (every 6 months). This is tough, but saves around $400.


Jennifer November 17, 2018 at 12:50 pm

Great idea on the bean bowls, there are people in my family that would love that.

1) Found 2 packs of Jockey underwear on clearance for $5 each at Kohls and got 2 packs for my ds who is growing like crazy.
2) Redeemed a free jeans coupon for – free jeans! Yay for a free Christmas present. Also found shoes my oldest loved for only $31 after coupons and sale ($80 shoes). I won a MLB hoodie and hat at our end of season party for volunteers. And my 20 year old ds’s Christmas is done for a grand total of $31.
3) We needed a new electric toothbrush but I was holding off hoping for a holiday deal. Costco had them on sale this week for $65 – much cheaper than normal. I also too advantage of other holiday deals there to cover some gifts.
4) Opting out of the pay $20 to wear jeans to work deal. Regular work clothes are just fine.
5) Trying to meet my Swagbucks goal every day so that I can earn more giftcards to be used for Christmas presents. So far I earned a $10 STarbucks card and a $25 Amazon card this month.


Lauren November 19, 2018 at 5:13 pm

Kohl’s usually has a pretty good rebate deal for electric toothbrushes.. I think I paid like $18 last year


Mand01 November 17, 2018 at 1:00 pm

1. I’ve been working on a big freelance job. It is due today and I can’t wait for it to be done with as I still work full-time and I’m getting extremely tired. But I keep telling myself about the money to get me through.
2. I’ve been working so much I lost weight without even trying! I’ve heard of this happening but it has never happened to me before. Normally I have to wrestle with every kilogram before it leaves my body. I’ll take it especially in the lead up to Christmas and some big events.
3. I borrowed a dress from my sister for a black tie event next week and for an event last week I wore a dress I already owned that I bought secondhand for $20 several years ago. I did buy some new shoes but these were very good quality and comfortable. I wore them all night at one event and was not in pain. I will get a haircut next week before the next event and look at a thrift store for some costume jewellery. I think I’ll get out of these things pretty cheaply all up.
4. My father in law brought us several meals of fresh fish he caught. Seafood is very expensive to buy in Australia so I tend not to but I do love it when he brings it for us – especially as it is King George Whiting which is about $50 a kilogram here.
5. I was looking at our house today and felt proud of all the improvements we made to it this year, all with cash. When we moved in three years ago it was in need of so much work but we have really tried to choose the jobs with the highest value that we could pay for in cash and we are starting to see real benefits. We are starting to receive compliments on our house now instead of just comments about the size (it is huge but wasn’t very nice). Because we don’t use debt (except a mortgage) it has been an exercise in patience and trying very hard not to compare to our friends, who all have lovely renovated homes.


priskill November 18, 2018 at 8:39 am

haha giggling at wrestling every kilogram before it leaves your body –me too! and kudos, both for the extra work and $, and especially an unexpected weight loss!


Mand01 November 18, 2018 at 11:16 am

The job is finished and the client is happy! I’m so tired though. I could sleep for a week. Unfortunately I have to get up and go to my day job


A. Marie November 18, 2018 at 11:11 am

Great comment as usual, Mand. I’m particularly intrigued by your FIL’s King George whiting–a seafood treat we’ll never see in the States, I fear. And I envy you, Lindsey, and all the others with friends/relatives who can obtain fresh seafood directly.


Mand01 November 18, 2018 at 11:19 am

King George Whiting is a much sought after, delicate white fish. It is really lovely to be able to get it for free as we are not fishers and I would never pay the high price to buy it.


Lindsey November 18, 2018 at 12:38 pm

I learn something every time I read the comments. I always thought of Australia as a place where seafood would be plentiful and inexpensive.


Mand01 November 18, 2018 at 2:16 pm

It’s plentiful but not inexpensive as the demand is high and much of it is sold overseas. It also depends what seafood you want to eat and where you live.
We tend to eat it on special occasions like Christmas, when people would eat seafood rather than turkey.

MommaL November 17, 2018 at 1:05 pm

1. My daughter in law is my size and expecting. I took bags of second hand maternity clothes home and tried them on, with a pillow! Hilarious but fun. Now I have some clothes to give her, for a cheap price.
2. Found some brand new baby clothes and baby items at GW, tags still on them.
3. Was allowed to take home some books for free after a book sale, got some baby books.
4. Bought some pretty picture frames at GW, printing out some old photos to give my SIL for Christmas.
5. Sold some jackets gifted to me that were too large on a plus sized FB marketplace site. Earned $20! I love selling nice things for a good price so we both win.


A. Marie November 17, 2018 at 1:25 pm

FFT, It’s All About the Small Stuff Edition:

(1) Found 1.30 in small Canadian coins in the Coinstar machine at Wegmans a couple of weeks ago. As I’ve noted in earlier FFT comments, we’re close to Canada here in Upstate NY, and most local merchants will accept Canadian coins at U.S. face value if you don’t give them a whole wad of these at once. I’ve also found a couple of “loonies” (dollar coins) in the past, but I put those aside for friends who are traveling to Canada.

(2) DH and I attended the local Audubon Society’s free November program, featuring a husband-and-wife pair of wildlife rehabilitators who brought along five of their “ambassador” birds of prey (i.e., hawks and owls too badly injured to be returnable to the wild). Great program, great folks, and $0 cost (although I will probably make a donation to the speakers for their rehab facility before the end of the year).

(3) The neighbor who always buys an assortment of pumpkins as Halloween decorations and tosses them to the curb on Nov. 1 did the same this year. And, as usual, I recognized one of these as a tasty heirloom–so I scavenged that one, baked the flesh and froze it for future use, and toasted most of the seeds. Plus this time, I saved about 25 of the seeds to plant next spring.

(4) I’m working on processing more of my dried herbs than usual for holiday giving. I’ve slacked off on this for a couple of years, but several friends have mentioned that they’re running low on herbs. A word to the wise…

(5) Finally, in an increasingly rare thrift store visit (it’s getting hard to work these in around DH’s caregiving needs), I scored a new-with-tags pair of flannel-lined Eddie Bauer khakis in his size. Woo hoo!


Christine November 17, 2018 at 5:47 pm

Nice that you were able to attend the Audubon Society’s rehab program. My Mom used to live near a natural history museum where I was able to take my kids to programs on wildlife. Always interesting and informative. One program participant actually had a wolf on a leash walk up the center aisle! one of my bucket list items is to see a Saw Whet Owl in the wild. Still working on that one.


Bee November 17, 2018 at 1:38 pm

1) I have done a lot of thrifting this week —maybe too much. However, I bought many items for resale and list on eBay. I made my first trip to the GW outlet. I walked out with several interesting items and spent very little about $9. These included 3 vintage cookbooks, 3 beautiful scarves, a BCBG wrap, 5 T-shirt’s (2 vintage to resell), a 1970s Cleveland Browns bandana, a Free People sweater and Jacket for my daughter. Amazing!
2) DH and I went to Rustapaloza – a large outdoor vintage market in a nearby town. We arrived a 945 am. Since It cost $10 a piece to enter before 10:00am, we waited. No need to pay early pickers admission. We were not there to buy. I was just doing research in design trends.
3) At the grocery, I saved about $36 last week using digital coupons and taking advantage of BOGO specials this week.
4) I have been preparing for the busy holiday season ahead and have been doubling up on my recipes.. I made a big pot of chicken chili. We ate 1/2 and froze 1/2. Also made two large pans of enchiladas. I also froze one of these. If there are things that we can eat quickly hopefully we will avoid take out.
5) I continue to do all the usual things. Eating primarily at home, brewing my own coffee, drinking water, combining errands, wearing thrifted clothes, and enjoying simple things when I can.
Have a great Thanksgiving week everyone!


Mary in VA November 18, 2018 at 7:25 am

I’m planning my first trip to a Goodwill outlet this week (it’s about an hour away, otherwise I would’ve been sooner). You really hit the jackpot, Bee! All that for only $9. I can’t wait to see what treasures I might find.


Bee November 18, 2018 at 9:24 am

I also live a good distance from the Outlet which may be a blessing in disguise. I hope you have a good time and strike gold. Please share your adventure.


Mary in VA November 25, 2018 at 8:23 am

Well, I found 10 items for just under $10. Mostly cardigan sweaters (which I’m always looking for), but also a couple of men’s shirts I’ll try to sell to Buffalo Exchange. Also a scarf, a coin purse, and a laptop case. I wasn’t quite prepared for the MOUNDS of clothing. I mostly pulled items from the tops of the mounds. Next time I’ll be ready for some real digging. I stuck to the clothing and accessories carts, but I noticed several people waiting around, ready to swarm every time they rolled out a fresh cart of appliances/housewares/toys. Glad I wasn’t part of that group, lol.


Bee November 26, 2018 at 3:29 am

I am glad you found a few items. I was surprised too at the piles. It took me a while to get into the groove.

Tracy November 17, 2018 at 2:21 pm

1. Had major surgery Tuesday. Luckily combo of good insurance and a health savings account should cover the costs, and getting this taken care of (resection of colon) should be frugal by preventing the recurring hospitalizations for acute diverticulitis I’ve been experiencing last several years. Very grateful to have access to good health care and friends and family who are showering me with love, flowers, food etc.! All went well and recovery is in full swing.
2. Quickly realizing that convalescing at home is quite frugal — not spending money when not out and about! Luckily I have been at my job a long time and have plenty of paid sick time to cover the time I’m off work.
3. Have several frugal holiday projects I hope to accomplish in next 2.5 weeks including making my Mom some photo books for Christmas from several of our past trips and wrapping some holiday presents. Also maybe doing some baking.
4. Others are taking on Thanksgiving this year which will be frugal for me since I usually host!
5. Also taking advantage of down time following surgery to review and update budget for 2019 to see if there are areas we can save/cutback in order to increase our savings rate. Hopefully a little over three years out from retirement!
3. Have some frugal projects


Teresa Young November 17, 2018 at 5:12 pm

Tracy – I had a colon resection for diverticulitis in 2013. Best decision ever, and it has resolved my issues completely. May your recovery continue smoothly!


tracy November 17, 2018 at 5:44 pm

Very glad to hear it Teresa!


Christine November 17, 2018 at 5:50 pm

Best wishes for a speedy and full recovery Tracy!


Liz B. November 17, 2018 at 6:11 pm

Sounds like you’re recovering nicely, Tracy! Best wishes for continued healing and recovery!


Jill A November 18, 2018 at 3:51 am

Hope you feel better.


Bee November 18, 2018 at 5:26 am

Thinking of you and wishing you a speedy recovery. BTW, photo books are awesome gifts. My MIL also love the personalized photo calendar. We used family photos from each month of the previous year.


A. Marie November 18, 2018 at 12:37 pm

Hang tough, Tracy. I’m glad your recovery is going well and you have no worries about costs.


tracy November 19, 2018 at 7:50 am

Thank you all for your kind thoughts! I am finding so far that my projects are going undone as my energy is nil but recovery is going well and I so appreciate the support from my fellow NCAers.


Cindy in the South November 19, 2018 at 9:43 am

Best wishes in your recovery.


Diane C November 19, 2018 at 10:20 pm

Piling on to the list of well wishers! Hope you’re up and hopping soon!


rebecca November 20, 2018 at 6:28 am

Best wishes for a speedy recovery!


FrugalAussie November 17, 2018 at 3:35 pm

Frugal Five Our Wedding Edition.
My partner and I have been together 7 years and are both over 50. We were looking for a simple, but meaningful experience that reflected our values.

The five biggest savings:

Venue Hire: We delayed the wedding for two years while waiting for our new house to be built, then hosted the event in our home with the ceremony taking place on the nearby beach. Nerves on edge the week before when weather looked foul, but it cleared up nicely for the Saturday. (We’re in the Southern Hemisphere so Spring here). No venue costs.

Invitations: Sent out via email. No cost.

Flowers including bouquet: We asked people not to bring wedding gifts but did ask a few close friends for favours. A dear friend from my high school days made me a bouquet that matched my dress exactly. I was incredibly touched. We picked flowers from the verge and friend’s gardens. My aunt and future SIL had fun arranging them the night before. No cost.

Outfits: I’d been on the lookout for a dress for a while and found one at a pop-up op-shop market – $15! I love it. Also found a fascinator for $5. The groom wore pants he already had and an op-shop shirt $7, he did get a new hat $15!

Catering: We invited only close friends and family, 36 in total. Catering cost $1100. People were very pleased with the food.


tracy November 17, 2018 at 5:45 pm

Sounds lovely –congratulations!


Christine Joiner November 17, 2018 at 5:52 pm

Congratulations and best wishes for a happy future together!


Bee November 18, 2018 at 5:29 am

Wishing you a happily-ever-after!


A. Marie November 18, 2018 at 11:02 am

Congratulations to you and your new DH, FrugalAussie! And it sounds as if your wedding demonstrates my theory that “the happiness and stability of the union are in inverse proportion to the expense and hassle of the ceremony.”


Shevaun November 18, 2018 at 10:19 pm

I love your wedding theorum, A. Marie.
When DH and I did precana, the priest said that the marriage is more important than the wedding, but that the wedding is a microcosm of the marriage. That is to say, if you make the wedding into a princess-it’s all about me-I’m the queen-day, then you’ll probably have a marriage that is all about conflicts of ego and pride. But if you have a wedding that is all about showing hospitality to your guests and being true to your values (financial, religious, social, etc.) then that will be the kind of marriage you have.

Blessings to you and your DH, FrugalAussie!


Linda Gertig November 22, 2018 at 3:14 pm

My husband and I met in a military chow hall on Thanksgiving 42 years ago. We got married 41 years ago. I’d say his $5 ring and my $3 ring turned out to be very good deal.


Cindy in the South November 19, 2018 at 9:51 am

What a lovely wedding!


Dicey November 19, 2018 at 10:33 pm

Hey, Frugal Aussie, did I see your wedding picture on another forum? Good on you, frugal friend!


Shevaun O'Connell November 17, 2018 at 5:14 pm

Ice Storm and Stroke Edition
1. We had a major ice storm that knocked out power (and therefore heat, water [well pump], and all telecommunications). So we saved 3 days of electric bill costs.
2. Took kids on a hike to gather “ice-berries” from the trees, then we baked an ice-berry cake in a tin in the fireplace. It was certainly very moist.
3. Slept on the floor of the living room in front of the fireplace (2 adults, 2 babies, 2 dogs, no sleep) to stay warm, peed in the woods, cooked in the fireplace and failed and then ate from the pantry. Snuggled under blankets as house grew dangerously cold.
4. Got a hotel with DH’s military discount so we could have heat and take showers/baths. Charged all electronics, watched TV while downloading shows with free wifi, swam in pool and took more baths afterwards. Ate the free breakfast at 6am, 8am, and 10am, then stocked the diaper bag with cereal mini boxes. Got caught up on emails, voicemails, and text messages.
5. Discovered that while this ice fiasco was unfolding, my mother had had a stroke. DH stayed with kids, I went to hospital 2 hrs away to entertain her with tales of our stupid adventures. I’d rather be a neurologist, but I’ll accept the role of comic distraction. And now for all the adventures to come. We will face them together.


Cindy in the South November 19, 2018 at 9:44 am

Best wishes to your mom.


jenny November 19, 2018 at 8:37 pm

I echo that.


rebecca November 20, 2018 at 6:34 am

Best wishes to your mom.


Shevaun November 17, 2018 at 5:15 pm

Ice Storm and Stroke Edition
1. We had a major ice storm that knocked out power (and therefore heat, water [well pump], and all telecommunications). So we saved 3 days of electric bill costs.
2. Took kids on a hike to gather “ice-berries” from the trees, then we baked an ice-berry cake in a tin in the fireplace. It was certainly very moist.
3. Slept on the floor of the living room in front of the fireplace (2 adults, 2 babies, 2 dogs, no sleep) to stay warm, peed in the woods, cooked in the fireplace and failed and then ate from the pantry. Snuggled under blankets as house grew dangerously cold.
4. Got a hotel with DH’s military discount so we could have heat and take showers/baths. Charged all electronics, watched TV while downloading shows with free wifi, swam in pool and took more baths afterwards. Ate the free breakfast at 6am, 8am, and 10am, then stocked the diaper bag with cereal mini boxes. Got caught up on emails, voicemails, and text messages.
5. Discovered that while this ice fiasco was unfolding, my mother had had a stroke. DH stayed with kids, I went to hospital 2 hrs away to entertain her with tales of our stupid adventures. I’d rather be a neurologist, but I’ll accept the role of comic distraction. And now for all the adventures to come. We will face them together.


FrugalAussie November 17, 2018 at 5:20 pm

A family memory, retold to your children over the years when they dare complain about any minor inconvenience! 🙂

I hope your Mum makes a full recovery. x


Shevaun November 18, 2018 at 2:41 am

Thank you, FrugalAussie. We hope so, too. [[[]]]


Jill A November 18, 2018 at 3:55 am

Sorry to hear about your Mom.


Bee November 18, 2018 at 5:55 am

Wishing your mom the best — and you too– as she recovers.


A. Marie November 18, 2018 at 11:04 am

Best wishes to your mother for a full and quick recovery, Shevaun–and kudos to you and your family for your brave efforts at “making lemons into lemonade” (so to speak) during the ice storm.


Shevaun November 18, 2018 at 1:43 pm

Thank you for all the kind comments. NCA is a funny website. I don’t do any social media–none. Except for this. And folks here are really kind.
I feel grateful.
Thank you all.


mary November 20, 2018 at 11:52 am

well done and prayers for your mum and you.


Mary in VA November 24, 2018 at 9:34 am

“Ice-berry cake” will go down in your family’s history. 🙂


Christine November 17, 2018 at 5:28 pm

1. My 10 year old grandson had a half day of school recently and I was lucky eno ugh to spend the whole afternoon with him. First, a Ramen noodle lunch at my house. Then we made a trip to the library where he explored every nook and cranny of the new building. I was picking up a book I ordered online, Then onto my friend’s independent book store where we splurged on a hot chocolate and a coffee. Then on the way home, we went by and stopped at the local cat shelter where he delighted in holding and playing with the kittens. Then to my house for a supper of grilled ham and cheese sandwiches. a frugal and fun afternoon, the time no less precious than if I had spent a fortune on him.
2. I trimmed my rubber spatula with scissors back to it’s original shape after the end got raggedy.
3. I sold 8 items at the consignment shop.
4. I wore my 15 year old hiking boots in our region’s early snowfall.
5. I’m enjoying looking at my old Thanksgiving decorations. Nothing bought new except the pumpkin on the doorstep.


Jennifer November 18, 2018 at 7:57 pm

2. Good save!


Christine November 19, 2018 at 10:52 am

Thank you Jennifer!


Mary Beth Danielson November 17, 2018 at 5:59 pm

Last week you, Katy, wrote about saving pennies and hemorrhaging dollars. That swirled in my mind and is part of why, at my blog, I wrote today “Buy Angry”. For me being frugal is a way to fight feeling swamped by The Swamp.

Some of my frugals: 1. Signed up for and got our first box of Imperfect Produce. – produce rejected by grocery chains because it is “imperfect:” The green grapefruits are awesome. Including the shipping cost, the produce is similar to what we’d pay at our regular grocery store. I’m cool with eating healthy stuff that would otherwise get dumped.

2. Called our insurance company, talked about what we need now. The agent looked at new companies and we will pay $300 less per year for car and house insurance.

3. This week our front porch pumpkin will become our Thanksgiving pumpkin pie – with cooked pumpkin left over for future oatmeal breakfasts.

4. I started using cloth napkins (I still have the set I bought on sale Earth Day 1987!) as well as washing and reusing plastic bags in the 1980’s. Saved us around $2500 in 30 years.

5. My husband spilled stain varnish on the floor in the garage – (while making an adorable doll bed for our grandchild). We didn’t have kitty litter at hand (the cat was using it…) so we used an old bag of stale corn meal. It worked as well as cat litter to soak up the mess.


Patricia Koernig November 18, 2018 at 7:19 am

Great blog post Mary Beth. Thank you!


A. Marie November 18, 2018 at 11:06 am

Thanks for the link, Mary Beth. I will be reading your blog after this.


tracy November 18, 2018 at 3:14 pm

I am also enjoying your blog Mary Beth!


Mary Beth Danielson November 19, 2018 at 7:32 am

Thank you so much for these responses – from the top of my technical college cosmetology dept haircut to the cuffs of my thrifted jeans.


Christine November 19, 2018 at 11:10 am

I followed your link to your article. Thank you so much. So important to implement at least some of the strategies you wrote of, if not all. Keep pushing into the uncomfortable…articles like yours are what will bring much needed change if our future generations have a chance of surviving healthily on our beautiful blue planet.


Danielle November 17, 2018 at 6:24 pm

1. Our evening plans cancelled due to illness and we were really disappointed. My husband wanted to go see a movie ($40) and get sushi ($70). I talked him into a take and bake pizza ($13) and a google rental ($0.99). We were almost just as happy and that movie he wanted to see will be available for rental soon.

2. I saw a few other movies listed for rental that we have not yet seen, so I placed a hold on these through our local library. Just picked them up for $1 rental for 3 weeks and we have two exciting movies to watch with the family this weekend. Perfect, because…

3. Kids have two sleepovers planned with cousins. One here Saturday and one away Sunday. Even though they’re teenagers, they love being together so much that we really just stay out of their way and let them take care of themselves.

4. I was getting twitchy that we have no vactions planned. My kids get 3 weeks off for winter break and I was seriously eyeballing a Mexico cruise. A friend suggested we go camping with them and we jumped at it and made a reservation. (Perks of living within driving distance of the California coast.) Savings: $2k 😉

5. I’m slowly working on sanding, staining, and painting projects. Some of these have been on the “to do” list for a literal decade. We’ve completely changed the color tone of our home this year and I’m feeling so refreshed in the newly painted rooms, I’m excited to finish with the master bedroom.


Bee November 18, 2018 at 5:52 am

My children loved to camp when they were young. We had many fun and frugal vacations. During my frequent visits to the California, I have noticed there are quite a few coastal campgrounds. What a great winter break for them!


Jill A November 18, 2018 at 4:12 am

1. I sold a electric roasting pan on Facebook. I haven’t used it in years and since I bought it on clearance I made all my money back. I made room in my cupboards and put some money in my pocket.
2. I need some more driveway markers to mark my driveway for snowthrowing. I whittled some willow sticks that I had trimmed off my bushes and will put some reflective tape on them.
3. I took my daughter to the cheap $5 theater yesterday and afterwards we had a homemade dinner with my Mom, middle daughter and best friend.
4. I took advantage of my car insurances roadside assistance to tow my car to the garage saving me a good amount.
5. I purchased a gift card for Christmas using gas station rewards points.


Roberta November 19, 2018 at 8:14 am

And someone will really appreciate having an electric roasting pan this Thanksgiving! Share the wealth!


Noel November 18, 2018 at 5:53 am

1. I melted down candle wax I’ve been saving and made candles from recycled wax and twine.
2. I challenged myself to a no-spend week and purchased no extras at work.
3. My husband destroyed my handmade work pants in the wash so I replaced them with $4 thrift store work pants (my only pair).


Ava November 18, 2018 at 6:32 am

1. Saved .40 a gallon on gas.
2. Shopped at Aldi. We would be saving a lot there if we could stop buying all the exotic delicious cheeses from their great selection.
3. Had 2 very successful craft shows. My friend and I worked on a joint project of snowmen from scrap wood that I got for free. We sold 10 sets and made $60 each just from that item.
4. To extend our firewood, we are also burning smaller pieces of wood from the same lumber mill. The mill puts all their scrap in their parking lot for anyone who wants it for fuel or projects to haul away for free.
5. My son got a free turkey from work and I persuaded him to cook it at his house where the holiday meal is going to be. I was originally asked to cook it but I was going to buy precooked rather than go through the trauma. I hope never to cook a turkey again, since it never gets done on time and I am always disappointed with the results.
6. I was trying to save money on a particular item my husband asked for for Christmas and wanted to buy locally to save shipping. I found that the product was only available on line. Then I received a CVS email for 40% off one item and saw that I could use it on line also. And for the holiday season, there is no shipping fee. So I placed the order, saved 8.00 and the product is on its way to me with free shipping.


Diane November 18, 2018 at 7:41 am

Thank you so much for the link to Stacy Flowers! So much good information that I can incorporate into my life of living large on little.

Her Buddha bowl prep was most impressive, Especially about flavoring the layers.

I was curious that she buys no fruit or eggs.


tia November 18, 2018 at 9:50 am

I finally went to the Goodwill Outlet near me. Fun. Clothing and sheets and stuff are $1.39 per pound. I had no idea what a pound of clothes looks like so the weighing part is fun, how low will I go?
I got 2 pairs of nice Gap printed cotton sleep pants, 2 cotton sleep tops, 1 cotton print skirt with pockets. All in like new condition though crumpled somewhat. The grand total was $1.39.
You do need to use both arms equally so you don’t have 1 Popeye arm and one wimpy arm, you get a little workout. And they have public restrooms so you can wash your hands afterwards.
You could clothe your whole family there for a pittance, and look quite nice.


Florencia November 18, 2018 at 6:02 pm

They opened a Goodwill Outlet literally blocks away from my house and I’ve been taking great advantage of it. Last night I went to Goth Prom at a local bar and wore a bridesmaid dress that sells for about $140 that I got there. I think I paid about $1.50ish for it. I got several compliments and looked great at the photo booth. I’ll upload the pic to the Facebook group later. 🙂


Jenny November 19, 2018 at 8:46 pm

Our Goodwills around here seem very disappointing compared to some of yours! Stuff seems pretty pricey to me and pretty junky. Are Goodwill Outlets different from Goodwill Stores? Ours never heard of pay by the pound. The good part is, it was packed! Glad to see so many Non-Consumers who refuse to buy new and pay full price!!!


tia November 20, 2018 at 11:45 am

Goodwills are different everywhere. Usually each Goodwill state office sets their basic prices for that state…like where I’m at now $3.50 for tops, $4.00 for pants and skirts. The items in the stores are mostly donated locally . If the economy is good the donations are usually good. Washington state and Oregon have some if the best Goodwills I have been to. I don’t know a lot about the Outlets but it looks like things that don’t sell in the 5 weeks they are in the stores get shipped to the Outlets as there is a huge warehouse attached to the Outlet store. Big trucks bring in huge boxes of stuff and they load them on the deep tables on wheels and roll them into the store. The Outlets may have items from other sources, I don’t know. I went again today and found more like new brand name stuff and spent another $1.39. There is more icky stuff at the Outlets so you have to dig through the pile to find the treasures.


Mrs. Picky Pincher November 18, 2018 at 10:41 am

Bravo on earning that bonus! That’ll definitely come in handy for tuition. You can do it!!!

This week:

1. I’m sick and ate a 25 cent can of soup to get on the mend. It’s working like a charm. 🙂

2. I baked brown butter cookies using ingredients we had on hand. These are easily the best cookies I’ve ever tasted in my life!

3. I’m about to mend a hole in a perfectly nice dress, instead of tossing it.

4. Instead of cooking for family Thanksgiving, I’m providing silverware and plates. This is both helpful and decidedly frugal, since I used a coupon to buy everything cheaply.

5. Oh, and we paid off our car loan this week!! We’re officially free of consumer debt!!!


Marybeth November 18, 2018 at 3:27 pm

Congrats on paying off the car.


tracy November 19, 2018 at 7:47 am

Congrats on being consumer debt free! You should savor your accomplishment!


Ruby November 18, 2018 at 12:04 pm

Katy, after all those years of tuition bean suppers, your cholesterol is going to be perfect!
Five Frugal Things sick folks edition
1. The Mister has been sick with a bad cold this week and working from home. No need for him to gas up his car and we used OTC remedies we already had on hand.
2. Used some very slightly out of date probiotic capsules to see if probiotics would relieve the gastric distress that is a constant side effect of a medication I take for a brain disorder. The probiotics worked!
3. Our local grocery store issued $20 coupons for shopping six times in six weeks. Bought the Christmas ham and some other items with the coupon.
4. Mended a shirt and a pair of my winter slacks that both had a ripped seam.
5. Am helping out the cleaning lady at work, a young single mother with an unplanned baby on the way. Thrift shopping has provided a wealth of maternity clothes for her for only $80.


kathleen November 18, 2018 at 2:31 pm

Thanks so much for the link to Stacey Flowers! When I eat ‘bowls’ out, I love them, but mine I’ve tried at home have been somewhat less than exciting. Her tips are spot on.
1. Thanksgiving feast will be at my daughter’s. My sole jobs are making the dressing and pies, since son-in-law is smoking the turkey (because last year his smoked turkey was the only meat anyone gravitated toward, it was fabulous!), and daughter is doing the vegetable sides.
2. I have been trying to finish up ‘works in progress.’ As a result six quilts will be wrapped and under our tree this year, and I just finished a knit scarf for myself with enough yarn left to knit a hat as well…which is now a work in progress. 🙂
3. Making our Christmas tree last another year by adding a string of lights in the sections that are no longer ‘pre-lit’. I love the tree’s shape, and it fits our loft ceilings. I can foresee a time when we will no longer want to deal with such a big tree, so I’m nursing this one along until that day.
4, Our gift bags this year will be sturdy, fabric reusable ones that will be appropriate for grocery shopping bags…a gift outside the gift.
5. I’m reading a book I picked up at a Little Free Library.


Jennifer November 19, 2018 at 9:08 am

3. My Christmas tree has branches that are zip tied on and one of the stand legs has to be supported with an old hard back book to be level, lol! It looks really pretty with all my beloved ornaments on it. Every year, I threaten to haul it to the trash bin after Christmas then I think about the fact that we never know what kind of curve ball life may throw, so I go on and put in back in the closet.


Lindsay B November 18, 2018 at 4:30 pm

1. I found an adorable sweater dress and a long sleeved shirt at thrift stores which both had minor stains. I was able to soak both in oxyclean and after a wash they are like new! I also mended a tiny hole in the sweater dress. I wish people wouldn’t be so quick to get rid of clothes without trying a stain remover, although in this case I definitely benefited!

2. Figured out a way to make my lentil & veggie curry/stew not taste so much like a curry, and my husband and I are loving the new version. We make it once a week (and eat leftovers for days) so it’s easy to get tired of it.

3. Have been steadily using up various face products that I had stockpiled. If I don’t like the texture on my face, I use it on my neck and decolletage. Both of those areas are prone to sunspots and wrinkles too! I may even ask my mom if she has any unwanted skin care products laying around.

4. My husband cut open his toothpaste tube recently and was amazed at how much was left. Frugal marriages for the win!

5. Using Ibotta for the “any item” rebates. It takes a long time to add up, but every little bit helps. So does the 5 cent discount for each reusable bag.


Cindy in the South November 19, 2018 at 6:44 am

1. My kids attempts to bike to work/school, so I purchased a couple of winter jackets for him to wear. I bought myself a $3.00 blouse since I have “outgrown” a few of my court blouses, since I fell, broke my toe and gave myself a concussion. lol
2. I walked at the park by the river because of my tubby state (ok, I am always tubby, but I am not even fitting in my normal tubby clothes).
3. I bought a turkey for 49 cents a lb at Winn Dixie and purchased other food items for my kid because to get that price I had to purchase $30 worth. I also bought food I needed for Thanksgiving, so it was a win/win.
4. I used the $5 off $25 at Dollar General, and stocked up on canned vegetables. The vegetables were 50 cents a can before the coupon, so I think it I ended up paying about 48 cents a can including the tax (if I computed the tax correctly).
5. I am roasting pumpkin from scratch, made cornbread for the cornbread dressing, and generally doing food prep. I took a nap because well, I wanted to…..


Cindy in the South November 19, 2018 at 6:46 am

I forgot to say the purchases were from the thrift store in #1.


Naiveorbrave November 20, 2018 at 4:51 am

I had to smile at this. Isn’t thrift store shopping the usual thing? ️


Cindy in the South November 19, 2018 at 8:52 am

I also forgot punctuation “My kid’s attempts”…….groan


LB November 19, 2018 at 7:55 am


1. Offered to make pecan pie bars for my office’s potluck. Went to buy pecans at my regular grocery store and they were $10 for 12 oz. I thought, hell no! And went to the bulk store near my office where I got almost double that for $13, plus used a reusable container. Take that, consumerism!

2. Landed on my aunt’s christmas gift and realized I had a gift card to the store it was available at (that I was not going to use on myself). Got her gift and myself some eye cream, no cost to me! Felt great.

3. Negotiated my grandma’s and dad’s christmas gifts with my siblings and the company was running a deal–so we got both of them out of the way for $30 per person. We’re a high-dollar gift family, so $30 for two christmas gifts is a steal.

4. Doing a lot of shopping on etsy, small local stores, and facebook marketplace. The more I can stay away from the big stores, the more satisfied I’ll be. I have a much better peace of mind about the consumerism around this time of year if I can support small businesses.

5. Took shifts this weekend which meant I missed a lot of great parties and hangouts, but also means that I got to eat 2 meals at work for free and made money instead of spending it.


Jennifer November 19, 2018 at 9:14 am

1. I always buy Edwards pecan pies on sale at the grocery store then use a newspaper coupon for $1 off making the price only $3.50 per pie. I couldn’t buy pecans to make a homemade one for $3 and Edwards pies are delicious. Also, my local paper had a coupon for a free gold pie server if you buy 2 Edwards pies, so I did. Will put one up for Christmas.


Jennifer November 19, 2018 at 9:17 am

I also had to buy pecans for some of my other recipes and used the bulk bin at Kroger. I only buy exactly what I need and it’s always less than if I would have purchased a prepackaged bag. Also, the whole pecans cost less per pound than the chopped for some reason so I got those.


LB November 21, 2018 at 8:51 am

Gotcha. I’ve found the same with the whole pecans, so convenient! If I have extra baking stuff around, I like to figure out what I can make with it–plus I love the bulk bins for stocking up on things that I otherwise wouldn’t keep around, like pecans. I have never successfully found a pie cheaper than one i can make myself, plus I enjoy baking them. Our family has never been big pie people so I get a lot of satisfaction out of making them for us. But a gold pie server sounds very fancy!


Katy November 19, 2018 at 2:15 pm

I can only imagine a martial arts kick that coordinates with you saying “Take that, consumerism!”


LB November 21, 2018 at 8:48 am

Hi-yaaa! (Karate kick)


Roberta November 19, 2018 at 8:35 am

Other than that, I spent money this weekend like a drunken monkey. Went out to eat three days in the last four, went to an evening movie (Bohemian Rhapsody, for my brother-in-law’s birthday, really loved it), went to a play for the kids’ extra credit assignment (The Crucible, so good I would gladly have paid more, and it was a youth production!), picked up burritos for the kids before the movie after they were done serving at a school for homeless kids. In all, I spent a lot of money, but it was money well spent, and what I have money for.


Roberta November 20, 2018 at 7:22 am

Ahhh! Most of my comment disappeared!

I started subbing, bought work clothes at the thrift store, and not too many, did mending and painting, and other stuff that I can’t remember now because it’s too early in the morning! I lost all the good stuff!


ouvickie November 19, 2018 at 9:38 am

1) I fixed Manwich mix, so hubby could have sandwiches for dinner last night and lunch today. 1 lb of manwich/hamburger mix usually provides 2-3 meals.
2) I bought a Turkey and a Ham on sale at Crest Foods Saturday. My daughter and SIL are having Thanksgiving at their house, so I furnished the meat. Each weighed over 20 lbs, but I got them on sale. The 23.5 turkey only cost $11 with the register coupon.
3) I’m taking off Wednesday, so I can have a 5 day weekend – which means all meals at home. Yay!
4) I started watching Downton Abbey to find out what fashion was popular during the early 20th century – I have a Roaring 20s Gala to attend at the end of the month. I liked the series so much I’ve been watching it free with my Amazon Prime account. I love that I can watch them when I have time.
5) No purchase of lear jets, yachts or gold-plated anything.


Crosby November 19, 2018 at 11:10 am

1. A friend asked if I’d crochet her a sleeve for her to-go coffee cups (I still can’t get her to bring her own reusable mug, but baby steps!) and she offered to pay. I used yarn I already had in my stash. She liked it so much she suggested I start a business. My mom has recently said the same abou crochet string bags I make.
2. I took my boots out of storage for the season. I checked them over and they’re in good shape, despite not being the highest quality and being more than a few years old. I try to keep them nice by cleaning them at the end of every season, waterproofing them at the beginning, and *try* not to scuff my heels when I walk.
3. A close friend, who I usually exchange Christmas gifts with, was talking about a cooking class she wants to take in December. I asked her if instead of gifts, we should take the class together and she thought it was an excellent idea. Yay for experiences over things!!
4. I paid off my car loan this month! Now my monthly payment will go into our savings account.
5. A friend gleefully told me that they just used their last roll of paper towels and won’t be purchasing any more. I love having like-minded friends to share these little wins with!!


Katy November 19, 2018 at 2:15 pm

That’s a great idea to take a class together!


Crosby November 26, 2018 at 8:10 am



Bethany November 19, 2018 at 7:11 pm

Used a coupon for avocados. Saved a dollar.
Watching recorded movie instead of hitting up Redbox.
Bought the low cost products recommended for my curly hair this time instead of the middle of the road products I used to get.
Canceled my cleaning I had scheduled for the holidays.
Making cupcakes myself for my 9 year olds birthday


Elizabeth November 20, 2018 at 3:46 am

1. I checked my credit card reward points and I am almost up to $400 earned this year! So Christmas is paid for and the rest will be rolled over for a possible vacation next year.
2. We put up our Christmas tree that we reuse every year (which my mom found in a free pile over five years ago) and filled it with ornaments we have made and collected over the years.
3. My friend gave me a number of homeschool books that her kids outgrew and I think that we will be able to use them all in upcoming years, so that made me happy:)
4. Picked up fudge making supplies to make a gift for my daughter’s sign language teacher (marshmallow creme fudge is always a hit)
5. Renewed library books online and plan on picking up even more for a little holiday reading this week…love, love, love the library


naiveorbrave November 20, 2018 at 5:43 am

Long-Term-Travel-Edition Number… Uhm… Still on the road 🙂

1. Camping and Couchsurfing in between hotels. Staying with a Polish artist right now who runs a café and art-studio. Unfortunately he is working 14hours a day this week so we could hardly talk. And I had to trash his bathroom door… (Is there an emoji that covers the embarrassment of destroying someones property with the feeling of relief that they wore proper shoes when going to the loo?)

2. Spent a day sight-seeing with a friend of my host and her daughter, could use my hosts pass to get into the park, walked along beautiful scenery and eventually enjoyed a busride home. (And she is the one who told me it’s okay to trash the door when I couldn’t get through to my host)

3. Found 50 Yuan (about 5/6 $) on the bus home from a splurge at wal-mart (Chocolate, Chips and Cashews… all luxury articles around here) as there was no-one around where the money was I wanted to spent it here on a massage. But couldn’t find a place that is a. open and b. for sure a MASSAGE place. I got tired of into accidentally walking into… other places.

4. Taking a bus – hopefully – so I will meet my friends in time. Will get me rides along more beautiful scenery and cost less time and money than the train ride. Fingers crossed my bike will fit into the bus!

5. Bought my first souvenir. Don’t know if that counts as frugal but for 3 1/2 months travel so far it’s pretty good I assume. It’s a beautiful scarf the women of the Yi -minority wear here in Sichuan.


tracy November 21, 2018 at 1:06 pm

Love hearing about your adventures!


Naiveorbrave November 22, 2018 at 5:23 pm

Thank you! ☺️


Teresa November 24, 2018 at 11:32 am

#3 cracked me up. Thank you for the laugh. (Also $5 = best massage price ever!)


rebecca November 20, 2018 at 7:05 am

It has been a very non frugal month so far as my water heater and burner blew and flooded my dining room. Hopefully the damage is covered by insurance, they had to take up the floor and some of the walls. Ugh!!!! The cost to me so far is $3300. I know that is what house emergency funds are for…….Meanwhile…..
1. buying a lot of baking loss leaders to stock up
2. made chicken soup in my crock pot from carcasses I had saved in the freezer and have been eating it all week.
3. My sister gave me apple picking apples to use for one of an apple crisp for Thanksgiving
4. coffee from home
5. nothing else right now except that I love Thanksgiving and being with my extended family for a few days. This holiday is always such a great reminder of what I have to be thankful for including them, $ to pay for repairs ect Happy Thanksgiving everyone!


Diane C November 24, 2018 at 11:19 am

Hi Katy, I thought of you often yesterday (Black Friday) as I did not go shopping. Hope you had a lovely Thanksgiving!


Teresa November 24, 2018 at 11:29 am

1. Being frugal will allow me to be generous this Xmas, so while it’s not completely non-consumer, parts of being a non-consumer has worked out for me.
2. Picked up pennies on the ground at both Target and Grocery Outlet, so I’m about 6 cents richer
3. Took the holiday time to sort through masses of paperwork. Not fun but having completed it is a good thing.
4. Now getting old clothes packed up to donate, reducing clutter in both my house and my mind.
5. Thinking about what fun free holiday things I can to do tomorrow.


Naiveorbrave November 24, 2018 at 6:51 pm

@Teresa cluttering the mind. Soooo true! One thing that thrills me about decluttering is the thought that this is the last time ever I have to think about a particular item!


Officiant November 24, 2018 at 2:51 pm

All great ideas, especially that first one. I don’t know if you respond to comments, but how long did it take to sell the thrift store items and how much profit did you make?


Christine November 24, 2018 at 2:55 pm

I saw a posting on Facebook that suggested going for a walk in nature on Black Friday instead of shopping. So I decided to do just that. Scooped up a neighbor and walked down to the trail near our house. We had such a good time and got exercise too! She’s diabetic and tries to walk every day and I need to lose some pounds so it was the great for both of us. Free and beautiful scenery everywhere we looked from the frozen ponds to the old New England stone walls crisscrossing the woods. The trail also goes by an alpaca farm so we spent some time standing at the fence visiting the animals. So much better than the shopping madhouse.


A. Marie November 25, 2018 at 3:07 pm

Time spent with alpacas (and llamas, their camelid cousins) beats time spent in a mall on Black Friday by a factor of about 100,o00. And kudos on your walk for all the other reasons.


Christine November 26, 2018 at 11:22 am

Thanks A.Marie! There are actually a few llamas in with the large herd of alpacas. A person who works at this farm told me I could tell the difference by their ears…the llamas have longer banana-shaped ears while the alpacas have shorter, straighter ears…in case you’re wondering! LOL.


A. Marie November 26, 2018 at 1:01 pm

DH and I have been llama lovers for many years, since we have good friends who at one time had a fairly large herd. They’ve done a deliberate phase-out (i.e., no new breeding and just letting the remaining llamas age out), because the U.S. llama market went kerflooey some time ago and they’re both in their 70s. But that didn’t make it any easier when the last llama died this fall. A sad moment for all of us.


Anna Chan November 26, 2018 at 10:25 am

How does one make beans easily in a crock pot? It should be easy, but mine never turn out quite right, is there a trick? Does anyone have any good bean recipes?


Christine November 26, 2018 at 11:24 am

I think it all may be in the soaking of them before putting them in the crockpot to cook. I soak mine overnight in plain water…no salt…for at least 8 hours.


Christine November 26, 2018 at 11:27 am

Also, make sure the water is covering them completely…so they are about two inches below the water line. The reason being they really puff up and expand while soaking. Good luck!


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