Five Frugal Things

by Katy on February 5, 2019 · 134 comments

  1. I sold the last pair of my new-old-stock 99¢ Spanx pantyhose that I picked up from the Eugene Goodwill a few weeks ago. I also sold a new-with-tags Goodwill Disneyland mug. (Both through eBay.) I worked three 12-hour shifts at the hospital last week, which sort of makes up for taking two weeks off to visit my sister in New York. I feel like I was hit by a Mack truck, but it’ll be worth it when I get my next paycheck. Needless to say, (but I’ll say it anyway) I brought my own lunches and drank the free so-so coffee.

  2. I went out of my way to grocery shop at Winco, which has the cheapest prices in town. I then quickly stopped into Goodwill on my way home to peruse the supposed influx of KonMari-inspired donations and picked up a buttery soft Martha Stewart fleece robe for $4. I also popped into Dollar Tree to exchange a wavery pair of reading glasses and grabbed a few things including shampoo, conditioner, soap, toothpaste, knock-off Oxyclean, day old Orowheat bread and English muffins, pinto beans, olives and kosher salt. I bypassed the plastic impulse items and accepted the checker’s compliment on my $4.99 thrifted Queen Bee purse. We then had a short but satisfying conversation about all the great finds to be had at Goodwill.

  3. I arranged a grown-up-lady play date with my friend Lise. Did we drink mimosas and get mani-pedis? Nope! We walked to the library and then picked up a few items at New Seasons Market. (Their beets were huge!) She told me how she’d heard an interesting statistic about how social isolation has been found to be equivalent to smoking 15 cigarettes per day. I’m someone who values having time alone, but also need some regular social interaction. However, I’m happy to mostly have my play dates be a walk through the neighborhood or conversations with my co-workers. (Working at the same job for 24 years means that I have deep and honest relationships with the other labor and delivery nurses, even though we never socialize outside of work.) Having a limited budget for entertainment and socializing doesn’t mean that I sit at home without social capital.

  4. I’m donating two grocery bags of miscellaneous items to Goodwill this afternoon. Doing enormous Marie Kondo style decluttering is great at the beginning of the journey, but I’ve whittled down my belongings enough so that it’s usually just a few things here and there. Included are a pair of pajama pants that fit weird, (I chalk this up to my lumpy abdomen, not the pants) a ceramic vase leftover from when my mother received an Edible Arrangements bouquet a few years ago, a sealing machine that a friend gave me as part of a load of shipping supplies, an oddly sized Pyrex leftovers container that doesn’t fit in my cupboard and a fake flower boutonnière from my son’s high school graduation. I simply keep a grocery bag in my dining room for donations and toss things into it when I come across unwanted items. This little-bit-here-and-there method works great for me.

  5. 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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{ 134 comments… read them below or add one }

naiveorbrave February 5, 2019 at 12:51 pm

I don’t feel I have been very frugal lately….

1. Had a friend over last night and made Chinese dumplings with my roommates for Chinese New Year and finally posted the first picture on my new Instagram account for a new project. So, homemade food was our entertainment and home-mixed drinks.

2. About to put up a very nice scarf in the bathroom in the hope it’s gonna swallow some of the noise the dryer makes AND displaying beautiful things I own.

3. Heard of a project from my union where I can write reviews for children books and keep them in return. I will also get feedback on my reviews so I can develop my writing skills. I am sooo excited – but have to wait until April!

4. Taking classes to develop my skills for me personally and professionally for free by my employer or a small fee with my union.

5. Drinking tap-water, free sparkling water at work, selfmade (some homemade, some workplace-made) coffee and tea. Communting using public transport and a monthly pass that’s partly sponsored by my employer. Still not owning a car. Squashing into the back seat of my sisters car next to my niece and nephew instead of taking the train home from my grandmas place where I enjoyed a lovely long weekend around celebrating her 93rd b-day as well as her recovery from a stroke. Can’t believe how strong she is at her age. Yes, she get’s tired more easily but still living on her own, in her big house, mentally fine and everything.


Marilyn February 5, 2019 at 4:12 pm

Not owning a car is probably the most frugal thing anyone can do. It’s great that you have found a way to get along without the huge expense of car insurance, fuel, maintenance.


Naiveorbrave February 5, 2019 at 10:48 pm

@marylin it is. I am lucky to live in a city with a good public transportation system. Since I am not a morning person but have to start early, I am really glad I don’t have to actively take part in traffic before work but can simply sit down, read and enjoy breakfast

Sometimes I get tempted in the car question but then I remember the parking situation around here and it doesn’t feel convenient any more.


Yvette from down under February 5, 2019 at 1:02 pm

The weather extremes continue ‘down under’ with heat waves and bushfires here in southern Australia and record breaking rainfall with major flooding in Northern Australia . Hot conditions mean gardens struggle with sun burn and moisture loss. I have had to cover everything in the vege garden to make it worthwhile growing my own. This makes for a patchwork of colours from old curtains I use as protection from the sun, and sometimes difficulties in getting under to harvest. 1. Still I have been picking tomato,zucchini, peppers, salad greens, rhubarb etc and giving some away. 2. Stone fruit has been sparse with low rainfall and high parrot numbers , but I have stewed a few that are left after eating the best. 3. Last week I filled my freezer with meat marked down to half price due to near ‘use by date’. 4. A new part time job supplements my meager income , making me feel quite rich now I exist ‘above the poverty line’ according to Australian statistics. 5. Petrol has come down in price and my job is within walking distance so the car isn’t used much at the moment. All in all no complaints when I see the tragedies of homes lost to fires and floods in this vast land. The birds are still singing …..


A. Marie February 5, 2019 at 1:30 pm

Yvette, my continuing thoughts are with you, Mand, and all our other Down Under gardeners trying to keep growing things growing under your extreme weather conditions. (And trying to keep existing, for that matter.) I’m guessing that things are not quite as bad in NZ, Karen (and others), but are you having heat problems too?


Mand01 February 5, 2019 at 2:07 pm

Thank you. It’s definitely been a rough year for gardening.


Patricia Koernig February 5, 2019 at 4:09 pm

I am with A. Marie. I wonder about my brethren down under as you struggle with the extreme heat.


Karen February 5, 2019 at 1:06 pm

Hospitals worldwide must have crappy coffee and terrible tea – even here in New Zealand ! Along with optional paid parking – I get a great workout walking uphill after a shift to the free parking


Liz B. February 10, 2019 at 7:12 am

Karen, I work in a hospital, and we have delicious coffee and pretty good tea! Our cafeteria recently switched to a locally roasted brand that is great. Before that, we had Seattle’s Best…..I will admit, prior to SB, the coffee *was* bad. Since I work in food service, our coffee, tea, and fountain drinks are free (a very nice perk – pun intended).


A. Marie Sprayberry February 5, 2019 at 1:39 pm

FFT, From Polar Vortex to Heat Wave Edition:

(1) During the vortex, we went nowhere and spent nothing. Instead, I worked on doing some more KonMari cleanout. (Like Katy, I’m not really doing anything major at this point; I concentrated mainly on books and LP records.)

(2) I also scrubbed our foul shower nozzle head and shower caddy. Ewww–but the nozzle head is giving us much better showers now, and it’s nice to have a clean old caddy instead of buying a new one.

(3) Once the vortex eased up, I took three boxes of books to our favorite secondhand bookstore, and the folks there took two boxes. I used the store credit for a nice coffee table book as a gift for a friend (the topic is a now-defunct local china factory; she is starting to collect the china). No money changed hands. I then donated the box of rejects to the Rescue Mission.

(4) And now that we’re enjoying a heat wave, I’m back out on my bottlepicking missions. I even did a bottlepick this afternoon in the nearby “dead” shopping mall where my Lenscrafters branch is still stubbornly hanging out (I needed an adjustment to my office glasses). Call me a useful scavenger.

(5) Finally, I was delighted to get a $50 MasterCard rewards card through my employer’s health insurance company, simply for signing an affadavit that I do not and never have smoked. Woot woot!


Jennifer February 5, 2019 at 4:54 pm

2. I am amazed how well my shower works after a deep clean which also completely grosses me out. No telling how much of the icky stuff the water that cleans my body has picked up before I “wash” myself, lol.


Cindy in the South February 5, 2019 at 1:44 pm

1. I prosecuted a major murder trial during January so being in court 12 hours a day for weeks kept me thrifty. 2. I broke a tooth right before trial, so the emergency dental trip and the very sore mouth also kept me thrifty. My ins pays half of dental bills, so I was very grateful. 3. My ex felt sorry for me and sent me a homemade pumpkin pie and hummus. Free food! 4. It is also emotionally thrifty to remain on good terms with my ex husband! 5. I took a looong nap after my trial.


Cindy in the South February 5, 2019 at 1:47 pm

Obviously my typing skills on an Ipad have not improved lol


Lindsey February 5, 2019 at 2:44 pm

I could tell when I’d been obsessed with a trial because my pant size went up one size, due to bad eating and no exercise. A month after the case was over, I would be back to normal, but once I left the profession I was able to get rid of the clothes that were the next size up.


Cindy in the South February 6, 2019 at 5:44 am

I hope to retire in three years. I hope I lose weight because I am always going up and down a size.


tracy February 9, 2019 at 2:15 pm

Cindy I need a good long trial — it’s been a couple of years and I usually lose weight since it’s such a black hole with no time to eat. Unfortunately, in the last couple of years, I haven’t been going up and down, just up…


Mand01 February 5, 2019 at 2:04 pm

I’ve been frugalling it up. We need to buy a new car so we have cut down eating out and spending, big time.
1. We were doing takeout at least once a week. I replaced it with pizza night and popcorn movie night at home.
2. I forgot to take meat out of the freezer the other night. I told the kids it was pick a meal from the freezer night. We each chose a pre-prepared (home cooked) meal from the freezer instead of doing the easy thing (ordering takeout).
3. I’ve been taking lunch and snacks every day and making coffee at work.
4. I’ve started baking again. I had stopped due to a lack of time but I’m making myself do it. Home baking stretches the food budget like nothing else.
5. Started working out in my home gym again. Free exercise.


Patricia Koernig February 5, 2019 at 4:13 pm

I am cheer you on Mando1.


Pattilou February 5, 2019 at 3:22 pm

1. I sold two more things on eBay
2. I made packaging for the things I sold from old bubble envelopes I had on hand.
3. I had a meeting that took place over lunch at a Panera. My plan was to just order a drink. I got stuck in traffic so I was a little late so I had to jump right into the meeting as soon as I got there. I didn’t even have time to go order a drink at all. When I got back to work, I ate the lunch I had brought from home.
4. Speaking of back to work, I am back to work after a 6 week layoff. Luckily, my work shortages are usually predicted so I can plan for them.
5. We had work functions for two days over this past weekend. Dinner was provided one night and lunch the next day. I only ate half of my lunch so I took the rest home. There were also some left over boxed lunches that were up for grabs so I took one of those too. Lunch for two more days.

I have some EBay questions for those who sell. Do you find you sell better with the auction or with a straight listing. Also, my auctions have been reposted automatically. Can I stop that from happening? Lastly, how long do you leave things on there if they don’t seem to be selling?
I appreciate some feedback since I’m pretty new to this. I find that my biggest challenge is figuring out the postage.


Katy February 6, 2019 at 2:18 pm

I rarely do “auction” listings these days, as most of my stuff isn’t crazy desirable. I list for the price I want to get, or slightly higher and let buyers offer a lower amount. Go into your listings and you should get the option to to not automatically renew. I leave things on eBay indefinitely, as some items simply take awhile to sell.


Pattilou February 6, 2019 at 7:32 pm

Thanks, Katy!


Bee February 7, 2019 at 4:29 am

Postage can be tricky. It is best to weigh your before listing. I have repurposed my digital kitchen scale. Some basic info — Any small item under 13 ounces can be sent first-class mail. Books, DVDs, and other media is cheapest via media mail. Anything really heavy (5+ pounds) but not overly large can be shipped in the flat rate priority mail boxes. I usually offer priority and economy shipping on larger boxes.


LM February 7, 2019 at 4:56 am

I’m the same as Katy, I usually don’t do auctions these days. I do the buy it now option, usually raise the price to what I want plus what shipping should cost and offer free shipping. I leave the items posted until they sell rather than renewing each week. I mostly sell things that are small and don’t take up much room, so I don’t mind them sitting around until they sell. There’s one book I’ve had on there for over a year that I’ll probably just donate next time I make a Goodwill drop off, but most of my stuff sells within a few months.

Also, I can attest to what Katy said in a post a couple months back about raising the price on an item that has multiple watchers. I’ve done it three times now, and the items have all sold within a few days.


Pattilou February 8, 2019 at 7:34 pm

Thank you, Bee and LM. I appreciate the feedback!


K D February 5, 2019 at 4:30 pm

1. My clothes dryer would not start. I tried a few things than my husband looked into it and discovered a switch was broken. I was able to order a new part for $5. IT should be an easy fix. That will save money, keep an appliance from going in the landfill, and avoid the hassle of figuring out the best way to replace the dryer.

2. Last week the weather was cold and snowy. I attended my regular events but stayed out of the grocery store. We have been eating mainly from the pantry, freezer, and refrigerator. I have been buying produce but not a lot else.

3. I gave away a few more items on Freecycle. If we’re not going to use them I’m happy when they find new homes. I also have some books I want to place in one of our neighborhood Little Free Libraries over then next few days.

4. We have been eating at home, including when dining with guests. It helps us keep the house decluttered, saves money, is more relaxing, and healthier,

5. I am reading three ebooks and have a book on CD going in my car, all courtesy of the public library. I highly recommend Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson. It is quite an eye opener.


Jennifer February 5, 2019 at 4:47 pm

1. A business across from us closed down and I couldn’t stop looking at the THREE huge garbage containers that seemed to be calling my name. I scored a brand new pair of girls canvas tennis shoes still in the box, a power strip surge protector, a new pair of scissors, a zippered money bag from a local bank(empty, of course!), a roll of packing tape, a brand new box of packets of concentrated industrial strength floor/wall cleaner, a caution/wet floor sign, a bundle of plastic bags(think grocery store plastic bags), and a brand new pair of queen size pantyhose. Pretty good for my very first dumpster dive. I even saw a dead mouse to make it officially gross.
2. A good friend of ours that supports a local food pantry brought us excess produce. Several bags of globe seeded grapes and organic romaine lettuce, 50 pounds of Idaho potatoes, a big crate full of bell peppers, and a few bags of apple slices. I feel blessed that she thought of us to bring it by. She knows we are not wasteful and will use every bit or give it to someone who needs it.
3. My daughter’s used pageant dress came in that we got from ebay. It is beautiful and in perfect condition. It had even been altered and happened to just perfectly fit on arrival! I plan to buy some flowers at Kroger to give to her on pageant day. They “recommend” you prepay for a bouquet of roses to “give your beauty” on the day of the pageant for $25. Since the pageant happens to fall a couple days after Valentines, I’m pretty sure I can find decent flowers for less.
4. I am also taking a few pictures at my home for the photogenic entry. I’m hoping between the lake scenery, a fancy thrift store glitzy-tutu leotard paired with a cute jeans jacket, and my daughters two front teethless smile they won’t care that we are amateurs. Also, Walgreens currently has a free 8X10 code so this will be free. People around here put out a lot of money for those photo entries….cray, cray, IMO.
5. I made a large pan of stuffed bell peppers from pantry ingredients and they are delicious. They taste like a sloppy joe inside a bell pepper. I will take the leftovers to work for lunch tomorrow.


Lindsey February 5, 2019 at 7:19 pm

What a dumpster diving score! And free food from friends—does it get better than that?


Jennifer February 6, 2019 at 4:54 am

Nope, it doesn’t. It has been a good week for freebies. I now see how people get thrills from dumpster diving. It’s a bit of an adrenaline rush.


Naiveorbrave February 5, 2019 at 10:50 pm

That’s a crazy successful dumpster dive! Wow!


Jennifer February 6, 2019 at 4:52 am

Thank you! My friend also got some huge locking casters off the bottom of a broken rolling display peice that were worth probably at least $50. The only downside is he had to go back home to get a screw gun to remove them, lol. I guess avid dumpster divers keep a tool set in the car for things like this….and Germ-X!


A. Marie February 6, 2019 at 3:01 am

I agree with Lindsey and Naive that your #1 and #2 rock, Jennifer. I always get vicarious thrills from reading about other folks’ great scores on free stuff.


Jennifer February 6, 2019 at 4:46 am

I always get thrills from everyone’s scores and was thankful to get a windfall myself this week.


Jennifer M February 8, 2019 at 3:40 pm

Forgive me if I misunderstood your post and this is not to be offensive in any way. I am genuinely curious if you know the reason. I have seen comments before about food donations from the food pantries. Why are there leftovers at the food pantries, but they are always saying they don’t get enough donations? I get that produce doesn’t last long, but I would think there would be a huge demand for free produce.


Mand01 February 9, 2019 at 2:13 am

Not everyone has the space to store it. Some things donated to food pantries require cooking, such as raw potatoes, for example. Not everyone has a stove, or a fridge to keep produce fresh. They might only be able to take a couple of items with them at a time because they don’t have any transportation.
Poverty and homelessness work in ways we often don’t think of if we are not seriously food and housing insecure.


Bee February 9, 2019 at 6:52 am

I volunteer at our local food pantry. What Mand says is true. Some clients have little storage, minimal skill level, and no kitchen supplies. The faces and the circumstances of those in need vary greatly. However, there are primarily reasons for these leftovers beyond this.
Corporate donors in Florida — Publix, Trader Joes, Paneras and Lucky’s — donate day-old baked goods, bread, meat and produce to our organization which is wonderful. However, sometimes we are given more of a single item than we can give away. Last week we had cases of ginger root, baskets of fresh dill, and 100 lbs of jalapeños. We try to encourage people to use these items but that is a lot of fresh ginger! In most cases, you only have 3-5 days shelf life left before things go bad.
Secondly, the more difficult items to fix are often left behind for example fresh beets. Also some of the cuts of meat can be difficult for people to cook. A Boston butt takes a lot longer than pork chops. After the holiday season, we were given many huge turkeys. We asked everyone who comes in if they would like a turkey. Only 1 in 20 say yes. Fortunately, we have a huge walk in freezer and can keep these things for 6 months.
Thirdly, we also have to adhere to strict guidelines regarding expiration dates. Often food pantries are given food as it is nearing the expiration date, and individuals often donate expired food. We actually have volunteers who rotate this stock trying to minimize waste.
When a pantry is requesting food, they are getting low on the basics- peanut butter, tuna, canned beans, soup, canned veggies, cereal, pasta and canned fruit. There are some popular items that our pantry always needs. Items such as jars of spaghetti sauce, instant mashed potatoes, and rice. I cannot begin to tell you how happy people are when we have mayo, ketchup, jelly, salt and taco shells. Of course, needs vary greatly across the country.


Christine February 9, 2019 at 8:33 am

Thanks Bee. It’s good to hear from someone who works on the frontlines sometimes. I really appreciate your suggestions about what is seen as basic food items. Also, what is seen as a “treat” like the mayo, ketchup, etc. that I never would think to donate. I will now.


Jennifer M February 9, 2019 at 11:43 am

I appreciate your input ladies! I also never thought of donating things like condiments and salt. Small items we take for granted for others are a treat. So sad! I plan to start volunteering when my son is a little bit bigger and can be of actual help. I think it is a great life lesson for kids, no matter the age, to help others and learn to appreciate what they have.


Mand01 February 9, 2019 at 12:25 pm

No worries. I’ve had friends that worked for the large food banks here. Managing food donations is pretty complex. I know over here, you can never go wrong donating long life milk so that’s what I always give. The food pantries here are always in need of it.

A. Marie February 9, 2019 at 12:02 pm

It’s so good to see a realistic, non-judgmental discussion of this topic. And the only reason I don’t donate more of things like spaghetti sauce and jam/jelly is that our local food bank discourages donations of items in glass containers. But I will seriously consider donating condiments in more durable packaging from now on.


Kim in Maryland February 11, 2019 at 8:09 am

I currently work part time at a homeless day center and in the past volunteered with 2 different food distribution ministries. The issue of dental problems also can limit the type of foods that a person can eat. With the homeless population I work with clementines will get eaten much quicker than apples. They are small, sweet, in their own “wrapper” and easy to eat if you have dental issues.
After having a basket of apples sit and sit with very few takers, I brought them home last week and made a triple batch of apple crisp. I then took it in to work where our clients gobbled it up. The apples were soft and the added butter and sugar didn’t hurt! LOL!


Jennifer February 9, 2019 at 6:21 pm

Unfortunately, there is almost always excess that people won’t take and it usually is produce. I know this because I used to sponser this food pantry. It’s seems they prefer nonperishables because maybe they don’t have ways to cook, store, or even season it, as others have said. I’m not offended at all and am glad to be able to talk about this topic. Often the food pantry gets tons of one thing like bell peppers or potatoes, like Bee said. That’s what happened this time and sadly, no one wanted them. Every time this conversation comes up, I long for a solution.


Lindsey February 9, 2019 at 6:54 pm

Our food bank also found that, especially with folks who are second generation poor, they may have little experience with foods outside the fast food list. (In some of the cases I handled as an attorney, we had kids as old as four who had never handled cutlery, only eaten fast foods like fries and hamburgers out of the bag. Their enrollment into Head Start was the first time they were exposed to eating with a fork. If you only have $5 to feed yourself and your kids, the $1 burger or fries at a fast food place sound really economical, especially if you don’t have a place to cook items such as beans or even soup.) Trying to change a person’s taste buds to more fresh foods when they are not used to it is difficult. When I get irritated by someone not taking bagged salads or carrots, I remind myself that when I moved to villages in northern Alaska, it took me a very long time to like whale or seal meat. Until then, I certainly would not have selected fermented whale if mac and cheese were available at a food bank.


Liz B. February 10, 2019 at 7:31 am

Years ago, I had a patient who was homeless, and living in a (cheap) motel. His meals consisted of foods he could carry from the two food pantries he could walk to from the motel. He had a hot plate to cook on. That was a real eye opener for me….fresh produce would be a non-starter for this person under those circumstances.

Elizabeth February 5, 2019 at 4:58 pm

Frugal snow/kids have no school all week edition
1. Not leaving the house all week = no money spent. Husband was stuck in Chicago and work is picking up the check.
2. A hot yoga studio I like put a class on Facebook live since they were closed all week too so I did that two mornings and had a nice workout.
3. Took a relaxing bath after my yoga “class” with a bath bomb I got from the dollar store (wasn’t too impressed with it but at least it felt somewhat luxurious and it was there bath bombs for a dollar so only 33 cents for a half luxurious bath!)
4. Sold my son and daughter’s old Nintendo DS games on-line. I was just going to donate them otherwise because I didn’t think this was a platform still being used. Also sold some of my son’s old LEGO guys. A coat I don’t want anymore. And some Batman movies. A wristlet from Dylan’s Candy Bar in NYC.
5. Have eaten basically all the leftovers (and we had a lot!). It made for some weirdly out together meals but there was no food waste!
6. My smart cover for my iPad was breaking. I contemplated buying a new one but happily discovered that with just a little superglue it’s good as new!


Tracy February 5, 2019 at 5:07 pm

1. On a frugal vacation in Palm Desert — cheap flights, no rental car, free accommodations! Hit grocery store today and will cook some meals for my generous in-laws who are hosting us. Not warm but mountains are beautiful. Am splurging on a pedicure as I type though!
2. Had a cheap weekend, cooked at home and watched a movie on Netflix Saturday night as a family. Ran with friends (free) and attended an excellent 12 step meeting (threw $2 in basket).
3. Read a library book on the plane, brought tangerines to eat, drank free coffee, daughter drove us to airport and is house and dog sitting so no book costs, food costs, transportation costs or dog boarding costs!
4. Have bought no ‘stuff’ except groceries for 5 weeks now.
5. Was going to buy a new or newer car in a few months when my daughter turns 16 so I can hand down my hand-me-down car to her. just learned my brother will be selling his 8 year old very well maintained low miles AWD car for an affordable price so may get a very good deal for less than I would have paid.


Diane C February 7, 2019 at 6:02 am

Not sure if you’ll see this, Tracy, but Palm Desert has an Aldi now and there’s a great Winco in nearby Indio.


Tracy February 7, 2019 at 4:49 pm

Hi Diane — thank you! I actually saw Aldi’s on the way to La Quinta today, unfortunately didn’t get to stop in (was with my in-laws who for some reason didn’t jump at the chance to check out a discount grocery store as a fun vacation activity!). Still a frugal day — 5 mile walk this am, then a drive out to La Quinta to check out the (exclusive and historic) La Quinta resort where I stayed 30 years ago as a baby lawyer for a conference. Just walked around and enjoyed seeing this beautiful spot for free! Had lunch at In-n-Out burgers — my in laws treated so I’ve spent exactly $0 so far today and had a great time! My kind of vacation!


Jennifer February 5, 2019 at 5:11 pm

Katy, I can relate to good pants that fit weird. I have one leg that is slightly bigger than the other due to an injury so pants are often tight on one leg. Well, and my butt is heriditarily flat so I actually need to buy my pants where Spongebob gets his. The struggle is real!


Katy February 6, 2019 at 2:11 pm

Weird bodies unite!


Jenny February 6, 2019 at 5:21 pm

Funniest thing I’ve read all day!


Stephanie February 5, 2019 at 5:27 pm

1. We stayed home multiple days. Hurray, Polar Vortex! Not only was it took cold out to go anywhere anyway, our car wouldn’t start because of the cold. Fortunately, we were able to bring the battery in and let it thaw, and the car started fine on Friday.

2. No grocery shopping last week, again because of the Polar Vortex. We did just fine eating what we had around the house.

3. We didn’t eat out at all last week.

4. When my daughter and I were finally able to leave the house on Friday, we went…to the library. Dropped off a stack of books, picked up some more, and picked up an interlibrary loan later on that night.

5. No Lear Jets here, either. Not enough parking space. 😉


Michele February 5, 2019 at 5:43 pm

My local Goodwill has not benefited from any “Marie Kondo effect” at all !!!! Maybe no one in my area is watching but me!


Liz B. February 10, 2019 at 7:36 am

lol, same here! I keep waiting….


Dusty February 11, 2019 at 11:13 am

Went to my local goodwill yesterday….not only are donations spilling out the back doors but the store was packed with both merchandise and people…..i was able to score a set of scrubs for $6!! As a person who doesn’t have much I’m always shocked by how much people have…..


Jenzer February 5, 2019 at 6:16 pm

1 – I fixed our sagging hide-a-bed sofa with heavy-duty cable ties from the hardware store. I wrapped the ties around sections of the wire grid where links had gone missing and pulled them taut. Now I don’t feel like I need regular CrossFit workouts to get up off the couch.

2 – DH used his hard-cider-making equipment (keg, kegerator, and CO2 tank) to make ten gallons of sparkling water for the rest of the household. I think he got tired of all the LaCroix cans that would accumulate in the kitchen and living room. No, LaCroix isn’t thrifty, but I’m right there with Mrs. Frugalwoods re: being hooked on carbonation. I’m glad we found a way to drink bubbly water for much less expense and less clutter.

3 – I repurposed a pair of leg warmers as fingerless gloves for working in my office.

4 – The independent grocery store in our small town is closing this month, as the owners are retiring. The grocery chain that operates stores in two neighboring towns sent out coupons to every local mailbox, good for $10 off a purchase of $30 or more. Between our two business PO boxes and our home mail delivery, I got three coupons. I should’ve checked the recycle bin in the post office lobby, though, darn it.

5 – We’re making staycation plans for President’s Day weekend, instead of going on a three-day road trip like we’ve done in the past.


Gina in KY February 5, 2019 at 6:39 pm

Happy Asian New Year (of the Pig)!

So, 2019 is starting out a bit difficult. I hope I am just getting all the crap (some of it expensive) out of the way early on…

1. Eating all my meals at home now (I have really made excellent strives in this area). Tonight, I finished off some lentils I made over the weekend by making the Lebanese dish Majudara (simple mix of lentils, caramelized onions and rice, but so delicious!)
2. I completely messed up on No Spend Year, but it wasn’t a complete fail. Maybe a C-/D+ of so. I have only been buying things I will use for upcoming projects, but I bought more than I should be at this time (like fig trees for my upcoming garden!) Today is Asian New Year, so my No Spend Year has been reset.
3. This past weekend I canned 7 quarts of veggie broth from saved scraps excavated from the freezer. I also made and canned 6 half-pints of Forest Berry jam (from berries excavated from the freezer clean-out). I had not canned in a really long time and I really enjoy it.
4. Worked on my vacant lot I bought recently (for $500 for our city!) I received the official deed today. A carpenter doing work for a friend of mine gave me a pile of used, but excellent, 2 X 4s and posts for raised beds and fencing. I am so excited to garden in this spot! I used to live on an 11 acre farm and then moved back to the city and a small lot after a divorce. I used to also keep a community garden allotment, but an investor bought up the land we used. I really miss dirty fingernails and harvesting lots of vegetables!
5. Like so many of you, I am doing the abbreviated KonMarie style declutter (I swear I have been since 2015 when I read her book). I have to say I actually missed something I gave away months ago. I hope this doesn’t happen too often. It wasn’t one of a kind or anything, but I will need to buy another one. 🙁 Anyway, I do like having clean, more open space in my house.
6. I am reading library books, making/taking my own coffee, eating from the pantry first, paying off my debt, enjoying being a member of the Stay At Home Club, and being mindful of my spending habits.


Gina in KY February 5, 2019 at 6:41 pm

Hope you can decipher this rambling post past all my typos.


Jennifer February 6, 2019 at 5:14 am

5. I still struggle with decluttering. I pride myself on keeping some “stuff” for when I have to come up with supplies for a school project for my kids, gift wrapping supplies, extra blankets in case someone needs one, a small gift drawer, or even extra bowls to send home leftovers with my older daughter(which they never return, lol). I have also donated things to only to have to buy another months later. There is a fine line between sparking joy and causing clutter.


Cindy in the South February 7, 2019 at 12:10 pm

Love hearing about your house projects! I bought a house for $25,000 and it is a very slow process of fixing stuff….lol


Gina in KY February 8, 2019 at 8:28 pm

Oh, it can be a very slooow process! Part of my trouble is I get used to living with the issues. 🙂 $25,000 is a great buy!


Katy February 5, 2019 at 7:42 pm

FFT fixing up our fixer-upper house we just bought:
1. Plumbing needed to be redone. The company charges about $4,000 and a man offered doing it himself for $2000. My husband decided to do it himself and has spent about $600-700 on supplies. Saving us thousands.
2. We bought a lot of our things, like a dryer and paint at a habitat for humanity store. The options are fewer, but the prices better.
3. We’ve also bought a lot of things like fans, furniture and lamps at thrift stores.
4. We’re doing all the work ourselves so far (with help from family). We’re painting and refinishing the hardwood floor (considering renting a big floor sander as the small belt sander is taking a long time).
5. We’re trying to reuse as much as we can in the house. An old metal bed frame is here which we’ll repaint, we’re keeping the old windows for now, the cast iron tub we’ll clean and maybe even sand and refinish, and the comode and bathroom vanity we can keep.


Gina in KY February 6, 2019 at 4:45 am

I also bought a fixer-upper for cash a few years ago. It was abandoned and boarded up. I have learned so many new skills just out of shear necessity and not wanting to spend thousands! I also haunt our local Restores for furniture, fixtures, sinks, tools, tile, banisters, cabinets…so many parts of my house have been Frankenstein-added to my old house. I recently was under the house (checking the pipes after the cold spell-learned that one the hard way! and I found a short, beautiful, aqua glass beer bottle. It is called a blobtop bottle and dates back to pre-1900. It was exciting! I look forward to hearing your other frugal ways you are making your home your own!


A. Marie February 6, 2019 at 1:44 pm

Gina, your beer bottle find reminds me of an “urban archeology” dig I did back at our old house. The garage and attached shed predated the house (they were originally outbuildings for an apple orchard that covered most of the ‘hood, I was told). I went spelunking in the cellar of the shed one day and came up with a 1-gallon ceramic vinegar or cider jug (which I still have), a 1931 yearbook from a local high school (which, alas, disintegrated once it was brought up into light and air, but still gave some fascinating local history), a frosted glass lampshade, and numerous other bits and bobs. Great fun!


Gina in KY February 8, 2019 at 8:24 pm

Oh, that is so cool you found those items! I love finding these old clues of the folks that lived in a space before me!


Jenzer February 6, 2019 at 8:42 pm

If you want to fall down an internet rabbit hole for a few hours, do a search for “privy digging.” Fascinating stuff.


Jennifer February 6, 2019 at 5:00 am

2. I choose to look at it like those paint colors or products are the leftovers that someone else has has already tried out and determined to be better than others sitting on the regular store shelf.


Liz B. February 10, 2019 at 7:46 am

I love our local ReStores! I plan to buy some large area rugs there, once we have our wall to wall carpet cleaned. (The carpet, not chosen by us, are a creamy white, because our house was a “model home” before we bought it. Pretty, but very impractical, for us slobs plus two cats and a dog).


Liz B. February 10, 2019 at 7:48 am

is a creamy white, not are….(sigh)


Christine February 10, 2019 at 12:02 pm

We had creamy white rugs too, but I can’t blame it on my house being a model house. I actually chose them thinking DH and I are empty nesters. Turned out to be an expensive decision. Besides the yearly professional cleaning they required, the following changes happenend: Along came four grandkids, adult kids moving in and out, a dog and multiple cats. Sigh… I finally had them torn up and replaced with laminate downstairs and a dark rug upstairs.


Jennifer February 6, 2019 at 4:15 am

Another FFT gymnastics edition.

1) Dh took oldest dd to Nashville for a meet. They were gone 2 nights and only paid for food twice. Packed lots of food and had free breakfast at the hotels.

2) I took my youngest dd to a different meet 2 hours away. We skipped the hotel and just drove there and back in one day. (I was shocked at how many got hotels!) I spent $5 on parking and $10 on a picture. It is super hard to get pictures at a gymnastics meet because they are always moving. At this meet they have a photographer, so I always look at the pictures to see if there are good ones. She made the podium and got a plaque with a picture slot in it with a coupon for 1 picture for $10. So we got a picture to remember her 2nd place finish.

3) Used a Panera gift card for dinner on the way home.

4) Did not buy a meet t-shirt or good luck gram. Dd wanted to pay $10 to do an arm-hang contest in the hopes of winning $200. I refused and she quickly got over it once she realized that most of her team was opting out of it as well.

5) Meet gifts (that everyone gets with their registration) were a pair of pj bottoms for one and a toiletries bag for the other. Both handy items that they will use for years to come.


Elizabeth February 6, 2019 at 4:58 am

1. Made low carb cookies and salami wrapped cheese snacks at home to save money and stay on my diet plan
2. My husband’s surgery was covered by workman’s comp…so thankful!
3. Wrote out at study guide for Of Mice and Men to use in homeschool (I forgot how depressing it was…) and plan to put it on my Teachers pay Teachers store if my daughter likes it (my very own guinea pig)
4. Made a gallon of tea and Crystal lite instead of buying premade drinks
5. Used my dad’s air compressor to add air to my tires ( I cannot imagine paying $1-$2 for air…)


Dusty February 6, 2019 at 11:25 am

Do u have wawa or racetrack where u live? Air is free at both of those


Roberta February 7, 2019 at 7:56 am

Discount Tire also does free air service. I think they’re American Tire in some parts of the country.


Mrs. Picky Pincher February 6, 2019 at 5:35 am

Aww, I’m sorry you’ve been working so much. Now that I freelance, I know all to well that pesky “time/earnings tradeoff.” But I’m sure it’ll be worth it once that check comes in. 🙂

This week:
1. I’m going to Costco today. We buy all of our meat for the month in bulk here. The price is actually more affordable in bulk. I’m trying very hard to avoid any impulse purchases while there!

2. I’m wearing thrifted clothes today.

3. Hubs and I have started going on evening walks again. It’s so nice to get out and see some sunshine! Stress relief is definitely frugal. 🙂

4. I got our car’s oil changed using a coupon. As an added bonus, they vacuumed the car out for me. Score!

5. I trimmed my own bangs.


Jill A February 6, 2019 at 6:15 am

1. I stayed home for three days straight during the polar vortex. I purposely didn’t buy groceries so I’d be forced to eat leftovers and from my freezer and pantry. No money spent except for a few sale Gap T-shirts that I’ve been eyeing for a few weeks.
2. Due to extreme boredom my dog chewed through her invisible fence collar. I looked up the website that was stamped on the collar and discovered they have a lifetime warranty even when chewed. I filled in an online form with a photo of the collar and they shipped a new one to me for free.
3. I did my grocery shopping at Aldi once the big freeze ended along with half the town. I was able to stock up on many of the pantry items I had run out of and picked up food for Saturday nights dinner with my two youngest. I spent a total of $55.
4. I called about a medical bill for a mammogram that should have been covered. They had old insurance information so they will resubmit to insurance and I won’t have to pay anything.
5. I spent my days stuck at home purging and sorting items to save for my girls, sell or donate. I listed items I didn’t want on Ebay. I sold a few things and reused packaging to ship.
6. I took my daughter to library again while I used the DIY car wash to get all the salt off my car. I clipped the dogs nails myself saving $5 and made her dog food in the crockpot with $1.49 lb. chicken and carrots from Aldi.
7. I’m reading books on kindle from the library. I read a memoir called ” At least in the city someone would hear me scream”. Which was excellent and very entertaining and the setting is in a town that I love.


Dusty February 6, 2019 at 11:20 am

#7….i just ordered this book from my library….sounds good


Jill A February 6, 2019 at 2:17 pm

It was a very fun read and kept me entertained for a day. Now I’m sorry I read it so fast.


Dusty February 11, 2019 at 11:16 am

The book is hysterical….taking your advice and not rushing through it…..thanks again for the tip


Bee February 6, 2019 at 6:24 am

Thank goodness January – the longest, darkest, coldest, poorest, most depressing month of the year – is finally over. February is flying by and spring will soon be here! Here are my FFTs–

1) I received a rebate card from Baush & Lomb in the mail last week and used it to buy pantry staples that were on sale at the grocery store including a 20lb bag of jasmine rice, GF pasta, brown rice, coffee and pinto beans. I am concentrating on reducing my food budget this year, so I have been doing more meal planning and bulk buying.
2) I was near a GW Pound Store (the bins) last Friday and decided to stop in. I bought 4 pieces of clothing, 5 silk scarves, an Irish wool hat, 9 books, a large storage basket, a set of place mats, and a framed vintage tile for $12. Most of the items that I bought are for resale. ( I will keep the beautiful black merino wool sweater from Neiman’s and two novels that I want to read) However, it blows my mind how much people purchase. The woman ahead of me had 3 carts full of clothing, shoes and handbags. It took 20 minutes to weigh her items and check her out of the store. I assume she was a reseller, but that is just so much laundry!
3) I bought a $50 gas card for $40 during a grocery store promotion.
4) eBay sales have picked up and I have been able to add a little extra money to my savings account. I have used recycled packing materials or those supplied by the postal service whenever possible.I also took a little side job for the next week to earn $$$$.
5) Of course, I have done all the usual things — cooked from scratch, eaten at home, drank primarily filtered tap water, brewed my own coffee, proudly worn my secondhand wardrobe, read library books and streamed my television programming. I am a little bored with TV. Does anyone have any suggestions out there?


tracy February 6, 2019 at 7:30 am

Bee do you have Netflix and/or Prime? If so I can give you a bunch of suggestions!


Bee February 6, 2019 at 9:27 am

I have both Netflix and Prime as well as the PBS app. Just finished watching the new season of Grace and Frankie.
Iris, I love Victoria, Polldark and Call of the Midwife. I will look for the others.
I love a good mystery. Does anyone have experience with Brit Box? I am tempted to get it just to see the fourth season of Shetland.


Lindsey February 6, 2019 at 2:28 pm

We have Britbox and love it! We bought the year’s subscription as it is a bit cheaper that way.

Have you tried Murdoch on Acorn? Set in 1900 Toronto, police procedural. Also, Foyle’s War is excellent. One of those I wish I had never seen so that I could have it to look forward to. Danger UXB is an oldie but goodie about a WWII bomb dismantling squad. Either Acorn or Britbox, can’t remember which, has Dr. Blake, a series set in Australia, starring a doctor who solves murders or annoys the cops while they do. Another Australian series that some people love is A Place to Call Home; a bit more of a soap opera than I like but it is a big hit. I prefer my soap operas set in the 1800’s. You can get a free one week trial to Britbox, Bee, to try it out.


tracy February 8, 2019 at 6:46 am

Oooh Lindsey I am going to go find Murdoch, thank you!

Jennifer February 6, 2019 at 7:21 pm

I love Grace and Frankie!! It drives me nuts having to wait so long for another season to come out.


Jenelle February 6, 2019 at 7:48 am

I buy from the bins for resell and don’t wash everything I buy (if I don’t think it needs it)


Jill A February 6, 2019 at 2:22 pm

If you have Prime and the PBS app then The Durrell’s of Corfu is very fun. I loved it. I also like Victoria. I’m also looking for suggestions. My daughter and I just binged Russian Doll on Netflix. It was very good.


Jennifer February 6, 2019 at 7:23 pm

Wow, I just binge watch Russian Doll yesterday. It was oddly addictive. After I watched the first couple, I was hooked.


Jennifer February 6, 2019 at 7:24 pm

Binged, I meant…lol


Katy February 6, 2019 at 7:53 pm

Me too! Although I watched it 50% for the plot and 51% for the gorgeous vintage couch.


Bee February 7, 2019 at 4:12 am

I love the Durells. I actually read a zoology book written by Jerry who became quite esteemed in his field. I will try Russian Doll this week. I am curious about the vintage couch.

Jill A February 10, 2019 at 4:20 am

Now I’m tempted to go back and watch just to see the couch. I guess I didn’t notice it.

tracy February 7, 2019 at 6:54 am

Okay we do have Acorn the Brit add=on to Prime for about $5 a month so some of these may be on there. I do love dark mysteries and police procedurals, so you’ll see my list tilts a bit that way.

Rebeca Martinson (Swedish)
Grantchester (British)
Endeavor (British)
No Offence (just watched this, LOVED it!)
Luther (British)
Hinterland (very Shetland like, too many vacant stares the first season but gets better)
Broadchurch (British)
Wanted (Australian)
Doctor Blake (Australian)
The Fall (British)
Collateral (British)
Miss Fishers Murder Mysteries (love! oh her clothes!)
George Gently (British)
The Killing (American version is one I’ve seen)
(Bosch) American


Melissa February 10, 2019 at 5:07 pm

Mystery Road is Australian and very good too!


Liz B. February 10, 2019 at 8:02 am

Not a mystery series, but indian Summers is really good (it’s a PBS show, but may have migrated to Netflix or Amazon, not sure). The Crown (Netflix) and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (Amazon Prime) are also great. Fair warning about curse words and “adult content” (not so much nudity, but verbal) on The MMM, though…..not a good choice if you are offended by this.


Iris February 6, 2019 at 7:28 am

Not sure what you kind of shows you like but here is a list of possibilities:
Victoria – is on season 3 now – PBS
Call the Midwife – PBS
Poldark – PBS
Where are they now – PBS
Turning Point – BYU TV
Story Treck – BYU TV
Project Runway and Project Runway Allstars
Also on PBS supposed to be a new series coming called Becoming Mrs. Wilson. Looking forward to that.

Hope this helps.


Iris February 6, 2019 at 7:29 am

Sorry this was meant to be a reply for Bee.


Meg February 6, 2019 at 9:16 am

Even better… many of these are available at the library!


Katy February 6, 2019 at 2:05 pm

I LOVE Project Runway!


Bee February 7, 2019 at 4:06 am

Thank you for all the wonderful suggestions! I have watched some of these and love them. Others are new to me. I will give them a try.


Iris February 7, 2019 at 8:18 am

Also Doc Martin is a wonderful show along with Keeping up Appearances.
Just thought of those now.


Heidi Louise February 7, 2019 at 2:33 pm

Does no one else watch “Death in Paradise” on PBS or BBC? At least for the Caribbean weather?
Present day light murder mysteries, generally has all the clues so you can solve along with them.


Tracy February 7, 2019 at 4:53 pm

Yes that’s a fun one and also available on Netflix! A similar show (“light mystery” is a good description!) is The Brokenwood Mysteries on Acorn


Lindsey February 9, 2019 at 6:59 pm

HA!! I won’t watch programs set in the south, like Florida or the Caribbean, precisely because I feel like I am being smothered by the heat they depict! There is a reason I love living in northern Alaska…


Christine February 10, 2019 at 12:05 pm

Lindsey, is there snow year round in your part of Alaska? Alaska has always fascinated me but I’m not sure if I could live there due to the extreme winters.


Lindsey February 11, 2019 at 10:57 am

In the interior of Alaska, we get snow in September and it is here until April. Sometimes comes earlier and stays later…When we lived in Barrow (now has a new name), at the very top of the state, it hit freezing every single month of the year. What I loved best was that the sun set in November and never came up again until January. It was dark 24 hours a day and so peaceful. But the winds there are fierce, bringing wind chills of 60 and 70 below zero and more. The summers both here in the Interior and in Barrow have sun 24 hours a day, which I despise. Southeast Alaska is totally different, with weather and vegetation very similar to the Pacific Northwest.

Dusty February 11, 2019 at 11:03 am

I live in Fla and have for years….the heat can be oppressive…..but 6 mos of gorgeous weather….It’s not for everyone

Jill A February 10, 2019 at 4:19 am

I’ll have to look for that one. I actually like watching shows like the Durrell’s because of the weather, sunshine depicted. I miss the sun in the winter and it cheers me up. LOL


ouvickie February 6, 2019 at 9:05 am

1) Stopped in at Smart-Value this morning to buy bananas, rice cakes and cheap entrees for the fridge at work – my lunch and breakfast items.
2) Fuel was back down to $1.88 per gal yesterday, so I filled up on my way to work. That should last me until next week.
3) I bought 2 new-to-me skirts at GW over the weekend. Now I need to get rid of the things in my closet I’m not wearing.
4) Hubby has been watching a free movie channel IMDB-free dive, which is hilarious since he could probably find the same movies on Amazon free of commercials, but whatever – free is free! LOL!
5) While going through our work supply closet I found some vendor swag that a former employee apparently abandoned when he left. Since it was a cool multi-stacked highlighter and a nice pen, I decided to take ownership.


JJ February 7, 2019 at 8:00 am

IMDB is owned by Amazon, and you can also get to the IMDB free-dive channel via Amazon Prime. Commercials there too. I’ve been re-watching Fringe; I don’t mind a few commercials per episode vs. buying the season. It had been included in Amazon Prime at one point, but had been pulled. It will be interesting to see how often they change the content on freedive…


Beth Ann February 6, 2019 at 10:26 am

I clicked on that link to the Queen Bee purses and could not believe my eyes or the prices! Never heard of that brand. While they are cute, not worth the inflated prices I saw. Good thrifting, Katie!


Katy February 6, 2019 at 2:04 pm

They’re locally made by a great company, which I support. However, it’s not in the current budget.


kathy February 6, 2019 at 11:27 am

1. Sold 1 item on ebay, 2 on FB.
2. Worked my on call part time gig
3. Deep dived into hall closet. 50% of the stuff gone..most of it to the assistance league thrift store (I volunteer there too).
4. Regifted several items I had or had been given to friends and family for Valentines Day. Yippee the on call part time gig $$ paid for postage.
5. Celebrated 66th birthday. Was treated to lunch and a very nice bottle of wine with the girls. Then treated to a great Italian dinner with friends. I brought home leftover cheese/meats, my penne pasta dish and my complimentary Tiramasu dessert. (Lunch today)


Katy February 6, 2019 at 2:03 pm

Happy birthday!!!!


LB February 6, 2019 at 1:53 pm

I am also a “here and there” donor! If I wait for a clean out nothing would ever get done.

1. I have been lusting after a pair of ear muffs for a few winters and get annoyed every time a winter hat ruins my hair. I finally scored a pair of Kate Spade earmuffs for $10 on poshmark that retail for $80! Now I get to look sassy and brag about the deal.

2. Making the most out of my Crossfit membership by attending at least two classes per week. Starting to go in the mornings is brutal but opens up my evenings to more fun things! Health is frugal, although I’m choosing to ignore every good thing anyone has to say about getting up before the sun rises, because I am BEAT.

3. With #2, decided to make an orthopedist appointment to have a quick check on my knees and hips with all this new exercise. Figured preemptive was cheaper than knee surgery, and I was right–found some minor issues to address before they get bigger. Now, to find a coupon for the inserts he recommends…

4. Traveling to Washington, DC this weekend for a friend’s birthday. Already have my airplane snacks picked out, and we are staying at someone’s apartment instead of paying for an airbnb. The relief of not spending anything on lodging helps me relax significantly.

5. I did not buy plane tickets to Costa Rica, even though the thought lingered in my mind!


Texas Silver February 6, 2019 at 5:26 pm

You rock ! I’m a fellow nurse. Those 12 hrs shifts are butt kicking. I am 63 & RN since age 21. I am now in education. Not frugal as it pays less but is easier on my body.


Katy February 6, 2019 at 5:51 pm

The butt kickiest!


Deb February 7, 2019 at 5:34 am

I just read about this family and thought I would pass it along since you are both in Portland.


Deb February 7, 2019 at 6:38 am
Roberta February 7, 2019 at 8:25 am

1. We went to a conference for our Guide Dog puppy this weekend, in glamorous Yuma! It was actually really beautiful this time of year, in a park along the Colorado River. Our hotel was comped, and it served free breakfast. We brought a picnic lunch, so only had to pay for dinner in a taco shop in El Centro on our way out, and gas.
2. Our goody bag included a shirt my daughter loves, a dog toy, and an actual bag my daughter is using for swim. We also received a tiny sombrero for the dog; while I don’t approve of cheap Chinese crap, I love putting the hat on the dog! He’ll even wear it for a while! We also won a picnic basket in a drawing, which I will re-purpose into a wedding gift for my niece at the end of the month. I almost never enjoy the free things I get, so this is all really exciting to me!
3. I am not getting calls for substitute teaching as often as I would like, so I have to make a decision: do something else or open myself up to more schools. I am really loathe to sub in the other schools in the district — I am not the sort of person who would be pleasant after a day of subbing in an overcrowded classroom, and I would end up picking up take-out and sulking in my room with my book. So I am talking to my friends, and starting up a decluttering service for friends of friends. I’d like to open it up more generally, but I don’t want to end up murdered, so I’m doing it this way. Hopefully I can make enough that I won’t have to reconsider taking more subbing jobs. I really want to pay off the house!
4. Found a dress at my mom’s shop to wear to my niece’s wedding, and a couple of dresses for my daughter (for the wedding and for Easter). Since she has a resale shop, after the wedding I’ll be able to return the dress!
5. Managed to wait until the rain stopped to do laundry this week, so I can hang it outside, including laundry for the shop; combined errands; found a carpool for swim; cooked at home; constructing a shower gift for my niece out of outlet/Goodwill kitchen supplies and a Swagbucks gift card.


Bee February 8, 2019 at 3:53 pm

I think your third thing is a great idea. My niece recently paid someone — a lot–to help her organize her garage. I saw that certification is available for the Kon .mari method.


Christine February 7, 2019 at 10:55 am

1. In the parking lot of the restaurant where I was meeting DS for lunch(using a GC, of course), I looked down and find a beat up old dime. Into my Found Change Challenge jar it went.
2. On my way to meet DH on a trail later, I found a dime and a quarter in the middle of the road. These two finds were meaningful in that I had not found one penny yet this year.
3. Big news in my frugal world!!! DH finally decided to kick the cable tv habit and took it upon himself to call and cancel. With the cable also went the landline, saving us about $100 a month.
4. I sold a coat I had…ahem…outgrown on FB Marketplace.
5. Reading up a storm of library books.


A. Marie February 9, 2019 at 10:46 am

Re: your #3, we ditched cable 3 years ago and haven’t missed it a bit. (The only reason we haven’t ditched the landline is that it’s our phone # of record EVERYWHERE and I’m too lazy to want to change it.) And as all the comments above re: Netflix and Prime offerings demonstrate, who needs cable any more? Suck it up, Time Warner!


Christine February 10, 2019 at 12:09 pm

It’s been less than a week for us without cable and DH and I are both in agreement that we don’t miss it at all. In fact, he commented on feeling less stressed due to our almost obsessive watching of political news and all that it implicates. It’s been a good change all around. I had a feeling I wouldn’t miss it as much as DH might but he’s more than fine with it. We also have Amazon Prime and Netflix.


Teresa February 7, 2019 at 3:51 pm

1. My neighbor’s orange tree hangs next to/over my fence. They don’t eat the oranges and told me to help myself. Every day I grab a few for free OJ and dessert! The oranges are pesticide free and delicious.
2. Trying to use up pantry items. Makes for some interesting meals. I have stocked up on way too much but I’m getting through it.
3. Reading the post above this reminded me that I have things to post on Ebay.
4. Got a $25 gift certificate for answering a survey. Will take my 93-year-old mom out to Panera Bread for a treat.
5. Having been on this site for some time now, I don’t really have the desire to buy much at all. It feels good.


tracy February 8, 2019 at 6:50 am

Teresa we have been picking oranges while visiting family here in Palm Desert — seems so amazing to me to just be able to walk out and pick an orange and they are delicious! Have seen loads of lemons and grapefruits too and it looks like many go to waste as they don’t appear to be picked. Such a shame!


A. Marie February 9, 2019 at 10:48 am

Re: your #1, more personal nostalgia: As a college student in FL, I did much of my off-campus living in older neighborhoods with a lot of neglected citrus trees in yards. I didn’t neglect them.


JC February 8, 2019 at 9:26 pm

This wasn’t my best week as I felt unprepared for life in general! Too much work coupled with being under the weather.

1) Skipped getting vegan Valentines Day chocolate, which is usually my favorite. Nothing appealed to me that much and it was all $12-20 a box. I don’t know who I am either.

2) When I got stuck ordering lunch out I got some sides instead of a meal so it was $7 including takeout tip (it’s NYC so this is cheap). Avoided/restaurant takeoutotherwise on weekdays even though we were low on groceries.

3) Tracked all my spending against my budget.

4) Read books I already had and finished library memoir in time to return it with no fine.

5) Sorted my change, with plans to roll it this weekend. Normally I just use Coinstar but this time I don’t want any of the gift cards & I want to put the money right in my brokerage account. My goal of “finding” an extra $1k via change or selling things has only seen a $45 income for January.

6) Made my own mushroom powder hot cocoa instead of spending a bikkkon $$$$ on a Four Sigmatic mushroom hot cocoa packets. I took an herbalist workshop where the instructor recommended amushtoom harvest poedwr, which is cheaper than Four Sigmatic, which is trendy (they sell it at Sephora)! It’s cheaper per ounce.


JC February 8, 2019 at 9:29 pm

Oops! A billion $$$$ and Mushroom Harvest. I don’t know how I managed those typos but I blame my phone.


Gertrude February 9, 2019 at 8:24 am

The restoration of our kitchen became inevitable with a hole in the ceiling and cracked tiles catching our toes underfoot presenting the biggest but not only sore spots. The notion of doing these repairs and dealing with contractors and tradespersons was making my heart go flutter-flutter and worse. Never mind the money that has to be spent. We are not capable of this kind of work.
It has been such a relief to find someone who understands and is willing to work with what we have. He hit up the re Store for replacement hinges and a hardware kit. He has reused our sink in a replacement countertop and updated the leaky taps. He has redesigned the cabinet to give us 3 drawers instead of two at right angles to each other. The cupboard doors are going to be bigger to let the light in making the interior space overall better. There has been one small garbage bag of drywall debris and the old countertop that had been scrubbed so many times the surface was worn away.
He has truly taken to heart my comment that each dollar we spend on updating the kitchen moves us closer to having to sell the house. I’m very grateful for this.
Things have been moving at a snail’s pace and sometimes try my patience but I am sitting out a nasty winter under the polar vortex and dreaming of Spring. I salvaged Mr. Me’s winter gloves with a needle and some yarn to make it until spring and bare hands. Oh, joy!
We are consciously returning to the people we once were. It’s been 3 years of, eat it up, and 2 of make do. Goodness knows we have enough stuff that we may never truly have to do without!


Bethany M February 9, 2019 at 1:52 pm

Had a fun date with husband last night. Did Redbox and take out. Kids spent the night with friends.

Cleaned up the sliding glass door in our bedroom. I want to hire it out and replace, but for now, a through cleaning with bleach, toothbrush and rag will have to suffice.

Done with my pre-surgery required weight loss, but the weight is continuing to come off. Down 42 lbs since Aug. Glad I’m now saving on gas, going 45 min each way for that weight loss class. Insurance is taking forever, so we have to postpone for travel plans. Maybe May. At least I get to enjoy coffee a little longer.

Put in a final order with our charter school. Got my girls the “Mary Poppins Comes Back” book. We will read the book and then watch the movie when it comes out on Redbox. We’re book before movie people. 🙂

Declined a sale on Ebay. They said they were from the next town over and wanted to do a pick up at 2:30. While we were going to be home, I felt like it was some kind of set up to see if we would be leaving the house so they could pilfer. While I shelfed the idea to think about it, they changed their location from the next town over to a state on the other side of the country. Glad I didn’t give out my address. Might have been benign, but always have to be risk management for yourself. Beware of scams!


JC February 9, 2019 at 9:43 pm

Okay, that’s creepy! Thankfully your spidey sense went off.


Christine February 10, 2019 at 12:16 pm

Good call on declining the Ebay sale. I was just telling my son about a book I read eons ago but the ideas stayed with me. It was written by a retired Philadelphia police officer. The books name is the Gift of Fear. Basically, if you feel something’s wrong, it’s usually because there is something wrong. Glad you and your home are safe.


Mary in VA February 11, 2019 at 3:34 am

“The Gift of Fear: And Other Survival Signals that Protect us from Violence” is by Gavin de Becker. He also wrote “Protecting the Gift: Keeping Children and Teenagers Safe.”


Ruby February 10, 2019 at 8:41 pm

Ate all the leftovers in the fridge and freezer during a two-week period of concentrated use-it-up. Mended some jeans for DS. Combined a high value coupon with a sale on my favorite brand of coffee. Fixed a slightly too small beret I crocheted a few years ago by adding a few more rows to it. Still packing breakfast, lunch and coffee to work every day and rocking the cute thrifted outfits.


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