Five Frugal Things

by Katy on September 13, 2019 · 79 comments

  1. After having written that my eBay sales have been sluggish, I’ve actually sold a couple things over the past few days. This includes an Irish wool cap and an adorable vintage puppy lamp. The lamp was a bit of an impulse purchase as I couldn’t check exact completed listings for comparison, but in the end my intuition was correct on this one. Seriously, so cute!

    I also listed a few new items including a thrifted Roseville Sun and Moon planter, a free-pile bowl, a collectible spoon shelf, a cribbage board and a Fiestaware mini disc pitcher.

  2. My neighbor is out of town and asked if I’d like her weekly CSA (community sponsored agriculture) box. My son and I picked it up last night, so I’m now the proud owner of some extremely random produce. Mind you, I’ll be sure to figure out how to incorporate everything into meals, but it’s a reminder of why I’ve never signed up for a CSA. I’m someone who needs to buy her groceries for specific meals, rather than working backwards.

    I’m very grateful that my neighbor gave us her weekly allotment, but it’s a bit of a head scratcher. Luckily, she forwarded me a suggested recipe email that should help.

    Here’s what I got:
    – 3 red potatoes
    – 2 small Jonagold apples
    – 1 white onion
    – 1 bunch of chives
    – 1 bunch of fresh oregano
    –  2 tomatoes
    – 1 green pepper
    – 1 poblano pepper

  3. I’m switching the web hosting for The Non-Consumer Advocate over to a company that’ll save me $50 per month. I got the referral from my pal Kristen over at The Frugal Girl, who swears that this company has been nothing but amazing and helpful. I tend to experience paralysis when it comes to tech decisions, so I deeply appreciate her help with this matter. She’s also nudging me to switch over to a more profitable ad network, but there’s some behind the scenes tech stuff that would need to happen first.

    I made a decision a zillion years ago to not fully monetize The Non-Consumer Advocate, as doing so would be hypocritical to my core premise to buy used and shop locally. That’s why you’ll never see an Amazon affiliate link or a sponsored post for some random subscription service here. I could have made a lot of money over the past 11 years of blogging, but instead made this unprofitable choice.

  4. One of the lift gate struts on our minivan stopped working, so my husband ordered $13.50 replacement ones and installed them himself, I cooked up a large Instantpot of black beans which served for multiple meals, (nachos, quesadillas, Mexi-bowls etc.) I snagged six bags of 58¢ clearance-priced chocolate chips, my son picked up a pair of Bose speakers for just $10 at Goodwill, I swapped out a Buy Nothing Group Soda Stream CO2 canister for a $15 full one and I’m soaking a pair of leather work gloves that I found flattened by traffic.

  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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Disclosure: The eBay link is an affiliate link, which means that I would earn a small percentage from any purchases you make through eBay within a few days of clicking on my link. This costs nothing extra to you.

{ 79 comments… read them below or add one }

Edie September 13, 2019 at 11:44 am

Hey all!
1) Spent the summer growing my own herbs, and am about to sow a fall garden.

2) Am borrowing more and more e books from the library- so very convienent and easy on my very long commute! I was uneasy at first buying a kindle BUT this has been an excellent deal.

3) Continuing to bring my own lunch to work.

4) Have gotten into the habit of hosting drinks at my house- no, it’s not ready for The Gram(tm) but it is way cosier and cheaper at my place!

5) I am doing a renovation of my kitchen, finally, after three years of owning my home. I am doing it bit by bit, with my own labor, new but ‘shop floor’ appliances, remnant countertops and PLENTY of YouTube videos. Labor asks for about $40/hour for installation costs. I can pay myself that money over doing the work during weekends and save up to $3000.


Mary in Maryland September 13, 2019 at 11:51 am

1. As a comment on someone’s book club post last time—my book group picks all twelve books at the December meeting. To nominate a book, you have to have read it (and not just an interesting review), and the book has to be available from the library and in paperback. When one commits to hostessing, one also gets to pick a book from that list. I’m hosting the discussion of Pachinko in two weeks. We try to have the snacks relate to the book. Kim Chi?
2. I tried Hungry Harvest—a service that sends out weekly boxes of less than scenic produce. My meal planning couldn’t take that much randomness. However, I’m a sucker for the dollar bags of less than scenic produce at my local bodega. This morning I bought four of these bags. One with four small avocados, one with six small oranges, one with seven small apples, one with twenty jalapenos.
3. I’m on the hook for an entrée for a church potluck on Sunday. My Thai fried rice doesn’t have enough curb appeal, so I’m doing Thai cabbage rolls which—you maybe guessed—are Thai fried rice wrapped in cabbage. This is also good for defining portion size. Another strategy for stretching food at potlucks is using the 7-inch plates.
4. I’ve been working with a friend to clean out the church basement. My co-religionists bring in and leave an ungodly amount of stuff they think might be useful. Also, we are finding food in many odd locations. We found 15 wide mouth canning jars filled with a homemade soup mix the Young Adults were selling as a fund-raiser five years ago. Still edible…I cooked up a batch and added turnips and kale for dinner last night, and lunch today, and another lunch to be determined. Also, much freecycling and many oddments listed on Craigslist. And I’m happy having more wide mouth quarts for storing leftovers—much easier to get food out.
5. Building on my success selling tables on Craigslist, I’ve sold two desks, a twin cot frame, a rag rug, a rocking chair, and a quilting frame. And there are clearly other pieces of furniture that we would live more happily without.


Teresa September 13, 2019 at 3:34 pm

So glad to hear that the church I work in is not the only place where “stuff” piles up! The “donating” of stuff that people don’t want is amazing. I’m not a congregant and was purposely hired that way because I have the hard task of telling people NO when they want to do things that could be a liability or break church rules. Many times when I say “let’s get rid of that “pot” “old chair” “dead plant” “broken-you-name-it” — people respond “But someone donated it!” Omgosh. I’m lucky that we have a facilities committee staffed by members who, at my suggestion, help those old broken items disappear. And then? No one misses them! Before this I never thought of church as a business, but it is just like any other business, supported by pledges and offerings of members. I’m not religious and this is my second year working in a/this church. It’s a real eye-opener.


Mary in Maryland September 14, 2019 at 11:04 am

I’m a part of the Property Committee charged with keeping the trashy donations at bay. We think of ourselves as a Black Ops group. We have found that we can’t move anything out of the building on Sundays, so we have special sessions on days the campus is empty of congregants.


Liz B. from Lebanon (Ohio) September 14, 2019 at 2:43 pm

Mary in Maryland, lol! I picture you all dressed completely in black, moving stealthily around the room – “here, quick, put this [donated broken item] in the back of the truck!!”. Under cover of darkness, of course.


AuntiAli September 14, 2019 at 5:39 pm

Ugh, my former church was filled with, what else can I call it, crap. My friend and I would start decluttering and the Christian Ed director would almost be right behind us putting stuff back. We had a couple of clean up days over the years and were able to fill a how ever many foot dumpsters with junk.

Mary in Maryland September 15, 2019 at 5:14 pm

Nah. Picture two 70 somethings in tee shirts and sneakers. We work on days when no one else is there and dispose of a lot of sentimental trash across state lines. We both have enough memory deficits to respond to requests about what happened to specific items with a sincere, “I don’t remember.” The church has a derelict furniture showroom vibe because—a member who died in 1970 left the warehoused remainders of her antique business to the church. We have debated whether offering some items for sale to members would be a good idea, but we suspect we would just get objections to moving anything on.

Nanci September 15, 2019 at 10:14 am

Love the homemade soup mix in canning jars idea—thanks!


Ruby September 15, 2019 at 6:21 pm

The church I worked at for 13 years had a horrible clutter problem. If it did not work, was ugly or stinky, people donated it to the church when they should have driven a few miles farther to the dump.

I had a mini van most of those years and disposed of a lot of junk on the sly.


Holly September 13, 2019 at 12:04 pm

Lentil stew!! Chop up all that (yes, include apples, too, if you want to.) Add a cup of lentils, a can of tomatoes, whatever else you have around — carrots? Greens? — some garlic? Cook until lentils are done. Add to bread and you have a feast!


Katy September 13, 2019 at 1:00 pm

This reminded me that I still had a small amount of leftover lentil soup in the fridge, which became my lunch. Thanks!


Beth Ann September 15, 2019 at 1:46 pm

This sounds delish!


Lindsey September 13, 2019 at 12:19 pm

The food edition:
1. Spent most of my free time processing garden produce from my garden and from the neighbor’s garden. He is gone until October and told me I could have all of his garden and the eggs from his chickens if I watered his indoor plants and made sure the heater is on so the house does not go below 45 degrees. I am thankful but it means a huge, absolutely huge, amount of work for me. The dehydrator was going full time and I canned something every day. I turned about 90 pounds of tomatoes, the last of them except for the green ones on the counter turning red, into tomato confit and smoking hot skillet tomato jam ( and canned it.
2. Pulled over 60 pounds of rhubarb and turned it into a rhubarb version of applesauce and canned it. It is too tart to eat by itself but I use it mixed into applesauce to extend the apples (which cost us money, whereas the rhubarb does not since it comes back year after year with no attention at all).
3. Canned 12 more jars of dill pickles and 17 of bread and butter pickles
4. Made sweet zucchini relish and canned 9 jars of it
5. Made a leek pie and then sliced the rest of the leeks and put them in the freezer for winter use.

Every night we ate stuff from the garden but tonight the husband is picking up a free pizza we won in a local FB contest. That, a 2-liters for 79 cents bottle of knock-off root beer, and a DVD from the library (the 1940s movie the Enchanted Cottage, with Robert Young. An older friend recommended it when she heard me talk about how I liked movies from that era. I have no idea why, since that was before my time but there you are). If I had thought at 20 that I would find the very thought of the husband, a cheap pizza, a WWII movie and knock off root beer enticing, I would likely have slit my throat.


A. Marie September 13, 2019 at 1:31 pm

Holy moly, Lindsey, your Food Edition leaves me in awe. I’m delighted that you got this garden deal from the neighbor, and even more delighted that you had the time and energy to act on it. Loud cheers!!

And re: the movie night with your DH, I have sometimes thought that one of the few benefits of aging is that our expectations for entertainment get so much simpler and less expensive. I was just reading an article in the local rag re: the various options for attending this weekend’s Big Football Game at the local Large Private University/Party School. Personally, I’d rather suck on a rope.


Lisa M. September 14, 2019 at 6:29 am

A. Marie, I share your opinion on most college & professional sports, so much so that I literally laughed out loud at your “suck on a rope” description. Have never heard that phrase before but it is a perfect description. Thanks for the laugh!


A. Marie September 14, 2019 at 9:20 am

Credit where credit’s due, Lisa M: I borrowed that line many years ago from one of Nicole Hollander’s “Sylvia” strips. “Sylvia,” sadly, was retired several years back, but I’m relieved to discover from a quick Wikipedia check that Hollander herself is still very much with us at age 80. Do some Googling and check out a few “Sylvias.” You’ll be glad you did.


Lisa M. September 14, 2019 at 6:43 pm

A. Marie, I am a baby boomer so I definitely remembered “Sylvia” once I googled Nicole Hollander. I hadn’t thought about that particular strip for years but I will be sure to read some of Hollander’s work following your memory prompt.

Laura in Sydney September 14, 2019 at 11:53 pm

Thank you, thank you, thank you for introducing me to Sylvia! I learn so much here, and it’s not all about frugality 🙂

Patricia Koernig September 14, 2019 at 1:33 am

Love your post, and all you accomplished with the garden produce. I agree with A. Marie about our expectations for entertainment as we age. Your evening sounded like heaven to me. My husband passed away 3 years ago, it is those evenings that I miss the most.


Bee September 14, 2019 at 3:37 am

Lindsey, that is an amazing amount of work! I think that I would find it hard to look at another veggie after a while. However, I think your future self will be quite happy. Enjoy your Pizza and Root Beer! It’s the simple things.


Christine September 14, 2019 at 5:42 am

Oh my goodness Lindsey, I think I’m tired just reading about your food processing work! But you’ll be set for the winter it looks like and perhaps beyond that. And reading about your rhubarb reminded me that I still have some on the south side of the house. I think I see a peach-rhubarb pie in our immediate future.


Liz B. from Lebanon (Ohio) September 14, 2019 at 7:35 am

Same here, I still have rhubarb in the garden to gather. Lindsey, that is so much work- yay you for taking all of it on. Yay to your neighbor for offering his garden produce to you as well.


Jenny September 16, 2019 at 5:58 pm

That’s a great movie, understanding that things, like gender roles, were different then. If you have cable, TCM is FABULOUS! I even joined their club/program, Backlot, recently, which is an indulgence for me, but this is a case of me being frugal and thrifty in some areas so that I have the money/time for treats or events that I love or contributing to causes I believe in.


Mand01 September 13, 2019 at 1:58 pm

1 I continue to buy the new season fruit at low prices. Strawberries are the lowest I’ve ever seen them, and the best quality. We are having berries on everything until the fun stops.
2 the raspberry bushes I thought I’d killed by moving are sprouting leaves. So glad I left them alone for the winter in hopes they would return.
3 I made a pork roast last three meals plus lunches. We had the last of it last night on a concocted black bean and pork nachos topping that everyone inhaled.
4 the nachos were topped with homegrown lettuce and kale. I gave a big bag of it to my sister as well. I basically have a lettuce and kale meadow at this point.
5 reading a book about the OJ Simpson trial on the Libby app. Free entertainment. Good book.


Laura September 13, 2019 at 3:06 pm

I love playing with random ingredients

Tomatoes, onion, and peppers= fajitas
Chives can garnish anything
Roast potatoes for a side dish one night
Not sure on the oregano, but I’m sure you will think of something.


Joanie September 13, 2019 at 5:27 pm

Could the oregano be dried to use following months?


Liz B. from Lebanon (Ohio) September 13, 2019 at 5:41 pm

I’d air dry the oregano, store it in a jar, then use it in spaghetti sauce, soups, Italian dishes, etc., all winter long.


Liz B. from Lebanon (Ohio) September 14, 2019 at 7:38 am

Haha, Joanie and I had the same idea! Great minds thinking alike, lol!

I tie bundles of oregano by the stem end with a bit of twine or a reused rubber band, then hang the bundle upside down from a kitchen cabinet knob. Just be careful to choose a lesser-used kitchen cabinet, lol! Don’t ask me how I know.


Karen B September 13, 2019 at 3:06 pm

FFT—School Edition

Library books—son just finished the 3rd week of school. They’ve only gotten to go to the school library once so far and were limited to just one book for the first trip. He’s a big reader and finished a fairly big book in 2 days. Fortunately, the local library has several more books by the same author. I’ve checked out 2 for him, he finished one today, and I’ve got another on hold that should be in by the time he finishes the other we have currently.

Packing son’s lunch—healthier stuff he will actually eat, lower cost, and since he doesn’t have to wait through a line, gives him more time.

Bus service—I am so happy he is riding a school bus. It’s economical (saves me at least ¼ tank a week of gas), environmentally better than each kid being individually driven, convenient, and he doesn’t mind it at all.

Supplies—We reused items as much as possible and went for durability in items purchased new. His school loans Chromebooks and we chose to buy a backpack with extra support and padding to protect that. We tried secondhand and local before ordering online (significant savings). If someone is looking for a sturdy laptop backpack without showy labels, we went with Samsonite. The labels are small. Some brands covered the whole back with their name and were several times the price.


Christine September 14, 2019 at 5:47 am

The fact that companies ask you to pay more for advertising their product has always gotten under my skin, such as with the laptop backpacks you looked at for your son. Just never seemed right. They should be giving us a discount on their product if their name is all over it.


kathleen September 15, 2019 at 6:46 pm

LOL That’s how my husband has always felt about car dealer emblems. 🙂


Vickey September 16, 2019 at 5:50 am



Teresa September 13, 2019 at 3:21 pm

Sometimes I really have to think about this…I’ll format this as what I didn’t do instead of what I did. Things I resisted: buying a quick meal for lunch today. Instead I brought black beans that I made last week. I had everything good that goes with beans and it was an excellent lunch; I didn’t get a pedicure (but wanted to); didn’t join the Y (still thinking about it.) After all that I am feeling like a treat so I’m going to the movies and there’s no early bird discount but I’m tired, it’s super hot in the house and I deserve just this one thing. OK, that is all. Will try harder next week.


Susan from Cincinnati September 13, 2019 at 3:27 pm

1. Got 2 free tickets to a professional football game worth $45 each.
2. I get free coffee brewed fresh via a Keurig every time I go to the bank. Even if I use the ATM I go inside for my coffee:)
3. Gifted tomatoes so made pico de gall0 using chives instead of jalapeno because I didn’t have any. Tasted great on top of tacos.
4. Wanted something sweet so made a lemon pie one night and oatmeal raisin cookies a few days later instead of going to the store. Used what I already had at home to make both treats.
5. Had a fabric shower curtain and fabric liner that had gotten mildew in the fabric. I had tried washing it but it did not come out. I soaked it for many, many days in a cup of bleach and 2 gallons of water. Actually changed the water once. It looks brand new and mildew totally gone.


Juhli September 13, 2019 at 4:43 pm

Following a lovely Labor Day & birthday weekend with all my immediate family in town to celebrate and lots of spending to go along with that (why we are frugal elsewhere!) I had some frugal wins.
1. Flu shot covered by insurance.
2. Coupons & good deals – CVS – $12.10; Groceries $17.17
3. Free Hallmark thank you card from drugstore put in stash.
4. Brought home books from book club friends sharing and used library for many others. No book purchases.
5. CO2 alarm was ruined by leaking batteries. Realized we had another one so did not buy a new one. We don’t have natural gas service so one is enough in our smallish home.


Bethany M September 13, 2019 at 5:33 pm

Put falafel in the crockpot this morning before taking the kids to PE. Yummy lunch was ready when we got home. Cheapo to boot!

I contacted Bananagrams because truthfully, I’d love to work for them. They took a look at my Letter and Number tile activity page and decided they’d like to send me their lowercase set. Fun Freebie Friday!!!

Repairing a bed today to get shipshape for company. $3 well spent.

Pulled out some books given to us long ago for the kids to pleasure read through.

Continuing on with meatless lunches to save on the grocery bill.


Bee September 14, 2019 at 3:40 am

Crockpot Falafel? How do you do that?


Liz B. from Lebanon (Ohio) September 14, 2019 at 7:39 am

I’m wondering the same thing?


Lisa September 15, 2019 at 8:15 am



Bethany M September 15, 2019 at 12:31 pm
Jennifer September 13, 2019 at 7:06 pm

1. Had coffee with a friend tonight. Very nice to catch up and relax after a long week and it only cost $3. This is my kind of night out or treat and so much cheaper than a meal or alcoholic drinks out.
2. Had a random lunch today or snacky type items and random leftovers. But it was packed from home, rather than paying to have food delivered.
3. Dd used our student pass to get into the HS football game for free tonight.
4. Volunteering this weekend for a few last MLB games to help pad the college savings account.
5. Washing ziploc baggies, cooking from scratch and generating leftovers now that we are down to only 4 at home, turned in our library books on time, borrowed some more, paid 2 bills online, saving a stamp.


Jen September 13, 2019 at 7:24 pm

Hi Katy, I love a cooking challenge. I always cook “backwards”. I buy stuff on sale then create from what I need to use up. is great since you can type in ingredients to find recipes using them. But here is what I would do: Eat the apples, plain or with cheese slices or peanut butter. Cut the potatoes into bite sized pieces, toss with olive oil, bake for awhile, add green pepper (chopped) after 20 min or so, then in the morning toss with eggs and chives for a good scramble. You could add the poblano if you like it spicy? I don’t really know if those are spicy. You could even add the tomato or you could slice the tomato up, with skin, and toss with olive oil and bake while you have the oven on. I have never used fresh oregano but I use dried all the time for pasta and caprese salad. So once you roast the tomatoes you could add the oregano and toss with some pasta. Or my son just made foccacia in his Jr. High Culinary class and he said it was easy, add the oregano. Or oregano with chicken. Oh, chop that onion and add it to anything you cook. Boom! Veggie box used up with other stuff you have in the house.


Jen September 13, 2019 at 7:25 pm

Hi Katy, I love a cooking challenge. I always cook “backwards”. I buy stuff on sale then create from what I need to use up. is great since you can type in ingredients to find recipes using them. But here is what I would do: Eat the apples, plain or with cheese slices or peanut butter. Cut the potatoes into bite sized pieces, toss with olive oil, bake for awhile, add green pepper (chopped) after 20 min or so, then in the morning toss with eggs or tofu (broken up with your fingers) and chives for a good scramble. You could add the poblano if you like it spicy? I don’t really know if those are spicy. You could even add the tomato or you could slice the tomato up, with skin, and toss with olive oil and bake while you have the oven on. I have never used fresh oregano but I use dried all the time for pasta and caprese salad. So once you roast the tomatoes you could add the oregano and toss with some pasta. Or my son just made foccacia in his Jr. High Culinary class and he said it was easy, add the oregano. Or oregano with chicken. Oh, chop that onion and add it to anything you cook. Boom! Veggie box used up with other stuff you have in the house.


Momma L September 14, 2019 at 5:18 am

Jen, I do the same thing! AllRecipes is great!


A. Marie September 14, 2019 at 1:11 am

FFT, Miscellaneous Edition:

(1) Got the estimate on the partial roof repair recommended by one of DH’s guy friends (see my previous FFT “Deferred Maintenance Edition” comment). Thanked my lucky stars it came in at *only* $7800 (I was bracing myself for up to $10K). We can cover this out of the emergency fund with no problem. And I’m grateful that I can say this.

(2) Taking the Honda Element in for NYS inspection also ended up unexpectedly turning a profit, through hassle. Our dear next-door neighbor, who acted as second driver for dropping the Element off and picking it up, noted as she followed us home from the shop that our left brake light wasn’t working–after the vehicle had just supposedly cleared inspection??? After a few WTFs, I arranged for us to go back in to get this checked out. DN was absolutely right, and the shop manager was so mortified that I got a coupon for a free oil change, plus a 10% off coupon on any other service we might need. Win win!

(3) I share Katy’s views on CSA boxes in general (although I don’t think I’d have any problem using up the contents of hers; it’s the really weird stuff I can’t deal with). However, I wasn’t into creative cooking last night, as DH’s Friday cognitive care program ran almost half an hour late and we didn’t get home till nearly 4 pm. I sautéed two small shallots and a small bell pepper, added a can of black beans and some of my dried oregano, and microwaved a batch of rice. Pretty good for food on the fly.

(4) Off to the Regional Market this morning for our Saturday shopping there (we go almost every week, as DH enjoys it). Our excellent NYS apples are coming in like gangbusters now, and sweet corn should still be available.

(5) And as soon as this morning’s light rain stops, we’ll be back out there pulling weeds out of our overrun gardens.


Liz B. from Lebanon (Ohio) September 14, 2019 at 7:48 am

A. Marie, I always love your FFT. You show such grace in the face of your DH’s cognitive issues. I’m so glad to read that DH’s guy friends have been stepping up to help. I feel you on the roof repairs – sooner or later, we’ll be facing a big roof repair, due to poor construction that wasn’t caught on our pre-house purchase inspection. Big frowny face with “censored” across the mouth.
I feel the same way about CSA farm shares. We were CSA members for several years, but finally gave up after dealing with kohlrabi, floods of kale, okra, and too many eggplants (hubs and I don’t care for okra or eggplant). We like kale, but couldn’t keep up, even with freezing it for later use.


Jill A September 14, 2019 at 3:44 am

1. I also sold several items on Ebay following a bit of a dearth. A few were small and not a ton of money but together they add up and one item was some vintage pyrex bowls that I sold for a hefty sum. I’m very happy they will get a new home where they will be appreciated and I will have a few extra dollars in my bank account.
2. Middle daughter needed new tires for her car so we waited for a good Costco sale on Michelin tires. We purchased a good set of all seasons and while we were there we had a cheap lunch $4 as well as some free samples. I also picked up peanut butter as it was on sale with a $3 coupon and I was out.
3. I bathed the dog at home since she spends a couple hours every day playing in a very smelly pond. I save $10 at least by doing this at home. I’m using up the rest of the puppy shampoo I bought so I’m not wasting it. It really doesn”t do much to cover the smell of pond yuck but I’m almost through the bottle and then I will try to find a good deodorizing shampoo.
4. I ordered another Christmas gift card for one on my kids using my Swagbucks points.
5. I had coffee with a friend at my favorite coffee shop. I ordered a small coffee as I noticed that refills are only $1, the same cost difference between the small and the large. The small was plenty and I got to enjoy a nice peaceful hour on the patio with my friend and my dog.


Bee September 14, 2019 at 4:31 am

I receive a CSA delivery every other week and love it. It keeps my cooking skills sharp and keeps me from falling into a rut. My meals are planned like I am on the Food Network show, Chopped. What’s in the basket and what can I make from it? It adds a little fun to a rather tedious chore. Best of all, it makes me eat a lot of veggies.

My FFT are kind of the same old thing this time around —
1. eBay sales have finally picked up the last few days. Happily, a friend brought me a load of packaging materials to be reused. I purchased a few items at the thrift store that can be resold including a Burberry poncho for $1.99, a Georg Jensen box and a vintage NFL Super Bowl Stein. I guess that I better get into gear and get these things listed. (Katy, I love the cocker spaniel lamp you sold.)
2. I picked up a thriller at the library yesterday, Still Lives, to read on this indoor weekend. It looks like we will have some rain and wind from another tropical system over the next few days.
3. My dog injured his foot last night, and he got blood everywhere. A combination of hydrogen peroxide and Dawn saved the family room rug. I bandaged his foot and put an old, clean sock over it so he wouldn’t pull on the bandage.
4. No big, costly plans over the weekend — house chores, eBay listings, a couple of trips to the Y, enjoying my library book and maybe a walk or two on the beach if the weather holds.
5. All the usual things, I am wearing thrifted clothes, drinking primarily filtered water, brewing my own coffee, and eating at home. (I making homemade blueberry waffles for breakfast this morning! )
Have a great weekend folks!


Momma L September 14, 2019 at 5:17 am

Post Dorian Frugality:
1. Called Paypal after noticing a late fee. Explained that we had no internet because of the hurricane, was refunded the late fee. They were very nice about it.
2. Called our tree guy…out here we have a regular tree guy, yes. Removing the large trees that fell in our yard, and got a neighbor to agree to us removing his large tree that is dangerously close to our home. Avoiding another fall is worth paying for it now. Combining tree services is less $$ in the long run.
3. Secret shopping opened up, going to make $15.00 at our local HT today.
4. Took time over the hurricane before the big winds hit to review our budget and submit a lost money request from a previous residence. Saw it in the paper a while back but never had the time to do the paperwork.
5. Returning the clothes I bought online when I was bored and stuck at home after the hurricane! I don’t need them.
I’m glad we weren’t hurt, but boy our yard is a mess, and I can only admire my veggie garden from my window, the tree is preventing me from being able to reach the garden. Small problems compared to those that lost their homes, so I’m breathing deeply and practicing gratitude to keep our spirits up.


Liz B. from Lebanon (Ohio) September 14, 2019 at 7:55 am

Momma L, so glad you, your family and your home were not seriously hurt or damaged. Sounds like a great idea to take out that large tree before it causes trouble for your house.


Joanie September 14, 2019 at 10:10 am

Momma L — That’s so scary about the big trees falling but thankfully you and your house are okay! I am wondering if you will pay for having the neighbor’s tree removed, or if they will contribute or pay for their tree. I ask because some years ago our neighbor asked permission to cut off our overhanging branch as it put leaves in their yard. (Not to be confused with all the other leaves blowing aound from everyone else’s trees.) They obviously thought I should help pay for that–as I recall at least $500 to $1000. I was totally, totally strapped and when I determined it wasn’t legally required I didn’t give them anything. Now I actually could struggle over with my walker and blow their minds and give them the money. So that’s why I asked the nosy question.


Momma L September 14, 2019 at 1:06 pm

Joanie, we are in dispute over the downed tree right now, long story.
We are going to pay for the tree that is still alive but we’d like removed.
There are legal implications if one party notifies the other party that a tree is dangerous ahead of time. Leaves don’t count under “dangerous” haha.


Joanie September 14, 2019 at 8:14 pm

Thanks for responding, Momma L. That’s good to know about legal implications if warned of danger ahead of time. That sounds reasonable. I smiled about your comment of leaves not being dangerous. It all does sound petty compared to the real danger of those gihugic trees crashing. $1000 for a branch does seem awfully high. Btw, in 15 years that was only the second time she’s ever talked to me.


ouvickie September 14, 2019 at 11:37 am

Glad you didn’t lose your home and you made it through safely!!


Bee September 14, 2019 at 1:52 pm

Tree care is important. Hurricane Dorian pushed a tree over onto the roof of my son’s home. What state are you in Momma L?


Lisa September 15, 2019 at 8:23 am

I had a neighbor’s tree that kept taking out the above ground power line to the house. The house owner were seniors and had abandoned the house. Long story short I got their number via a friend of a friend and got a quote for tree removal. The company contacted her and actually got them to pay for 1/3 of the removal. So glad I did because less than 1 month later Matthew and Irma came thru and brought down four large trees in their yard with no damage to mine.


Rosie September 14, 2019 at 5:17 am

How are you reconditioning the leather gloves, please. My canvas and leather rose gloves slipped out of my pocket and remained outside for a couple of weeks and are kinda crunchy.


Christine September 14, 2019 at 5:33 am

Kudos to you Katy for standing by your ethics.
1. Going to the library today to return a book on time, pick up another one I ordered online and to borrow a state park pass for parking at a nearby mountain we like to hike.
2. While in New Hampshire last weekend picking DH up from his latest leg on the Appalachian Trail, we used our National Park Pass to park at the trailhead of some gorgeous waterfalls and trail. DH paid $10 plus a $10 processing fee for this lifetime National Park Pass just before they hiked the price up to $80. Still a good value for seniors for a lifetime pass.
3. Drinking filtered water from our tap, homemade iced tea and hot tea and coffee. We have our “Fika” at 3 pm, everyday, an old Swedish tradition from my Mom’s side.
4. No AC for about a month now except one particularly steamy day. Other than that, fans have been sufficient.
5. All meals at home. a restaurant owner told me himself to eat all meals at home as they are much healthier with no added salt and sugar.


Lisa M. September 14, 2019 at 6:47 am

Christine, I would also like to echo your sentiment of appreciation for the fact that Katy has stood her by her ethics & has avoided monetary practices on this site that would be inconsistent with her values of buying used & locally. I admire people who chose to live with authenticity & integrity. You rock, Katy!


Liz B. from Lebanon (Ohio) September 14, 2019 at 7:57 am

Same here! Thank you, Katy! I also hate trying to read other blog posts with a zillion ads cluttering the screen, or popping up all over the place (even with my pop up blocker in use).


Cindy in the South September 14, 2019 at 6:53 am

1. I have yet another murder trial on Monday and another one to begin at the end o th month. I am tired so I am contemplating retirement soon… life altering decisions are always hard for me to make. This is frugal because I am trying to plan UCB a major event. No one wants a financial disaster in retirement planning. 2. I dyed my hair this morning with $3.00 dye and did my nails. I will trim my hair later today. I go slow so I don’t mess it up.3. I got up and watched the moon disappear at dawn. Th moon was beautiful. 4. I trimmed my front hedge because I was already outside, it was cool, and we have been having 105 plus heat indexes every single day. 5. I have a nap planned after trial prep…. my fav ( the nap not the prep)…..


Cindy in the South September 14, 2019 at 6:57 am

Gawd…. so many typos on phone…..Whatevah…


Cindy in the South September 14, 2019 at 8:27 am

Gawd, my typos….whatevah


ouvickie September 14, 2019 at 11:30 am

Don’t feel bad about the typos, Cindy, I’ve been doing the same thing lately. You just have to step back and laugh at yourself.
You’re my hero. I don’t know that I could handle cases like that. I’ve been on a jury once and just the thought of making a decision about altering the life of an entire family weighed heavily on me. I admire law officers and officers of the court. You deserve a wonderful retirement!


Cindy in the South September 15, 2019 at 9:58 am

Thank you so much.No matter how many jury trials I have done, I am always nervous that I will mess up and won’t “do right “ for the victim. It is all about the victim. All I can do is do my best. I always get weird and funky before a trial.


tracy September 17, 2019 at 4:34 am

Good luck Cindy! I have done a few trials myself so I know what a black hole it is, rest of your life disappears for the duration. Good luck with your trial and thank you for centering the victims!

Liz B. from Lebanon (Ohio) September 14, 2019 at 8:10 am

Katy, that vintage puppy lamp is adorable! You always find the best resellable items.

My FFT, Mother in Law edition:

1) My mother in law moved to a nursing home this past week. Hubby, son, and a few other family members moved her favorite recliner chair to her new room in advance of her arrival, plus some framed family photos and a painting done by mil’s brother to decorate. I bought $3.99 Aldi fresh flowers in shades of her favorite color (purple) and put them in a thrifted vase for her room.
2) Am going over to mil’s house today to take cuttings and sections of her perennial flowering plants for our home, including a climbing rose that was *her* mom’s.
3) Will also gather up condiments and frozen foods from her freezer and fridge to use up. Eventually, we will need to sell her home – hopefully to one of our nieces, who has expressed serious interest in doing so.
4) Will bring in mil’s leftover K-cup coffee pods to work, to give to a co worker with a Keurig.
5) Not mil-related, but DS found a quarter on the ground, and gave it to me. Added it to the found money jar.

Have a great week, everyone!


Roberta September 14, 2019 at 10:21 am

1. My son just got a ob taking care of a flight attendants chickens and pets while he is flying (which happens often). He’s now getting paid toward college, and we get free eggs.
2. Found a suitcase and a cast iron pan at a garage sale, for $2 each. They will be put away toward college.
3. Puppy sat a Guide Dog in training. It demonstrated to us how much more dog four dogs is than three. We will continue to puppy sit, but we will not be raising another Guide for a while. That will save dog food costs.
4. had a friend over to dinner. Only bought avocados and salsa for dinner — everything else I already had, and either made from scratch (beans) or needed to use up. Had great conversation, for longer than we would have talked if we had gone out.
5. Got called for an interview to substitute teach at my husband’s school. We can drive in together, and have lunch together. Plus I can work the schedule that fits my kids’ schedule.


ouvickie September 14, 2019 at 10:54 am

1) I picked my granddaughters up after work last evening, as it’s closer to my job than my home. So they are spending the weekend with me. We’re heading to the church for a Youth Rally this evening. I’m going to help serve dinner, while the kids have fun with the Youth group and we all get free dinner. I’m thrilled it means I won’t have to cook.
2) I had a can of biscuits in the fridge, so I made sausage gravy and served the girls biscuits and gravy for breakfast.
3) Now that our male kitten is old enough to defend himself well, I’m leaving him out with our female. It’s saving money for cat litter, since they only come in for an hour or so in the evening right now. I’ll probably let them stay in over night during bad weather in the Winter, but it’s much easier than having them in 24/7 and buying lots of litter. We are fortunate to live in the country, so I don’t worry about them getting hit by vehicles and such.
4) I listened to the audiobook “The Latte Factor” last week and loved it. Made me rethink how I need need to squirrel away money in savings. Great book!
I listen to audiobooks on Overdrive and hook them up to my car, so I can listen on my long work commute. I LOVE this option and I’m so thankful for our Library system!!
5) I found frozen entrees 5 for $5 at the grocers last week. I can add a homemade salad to one of those and have a cheap & nutritious lunch for work. I still eat out about once a week, on average, but I choose cheap options. They have a Food Truck & Music Festival set-up at the HSC Campus, on Wednesdays, for the next 8 weeks. It’s nice to try different ethnic foods, eat lunch with coworkers and enjoy music by local musicians.
It’s the little things in life that make it enjoyable!!


AuntiAli September 14, 2019 at 6:03 pm

1 In the mail today I got an actual dime and address labels
2. Electric bill went down due to me rationing air condition
3. Got my settle up bill for my natural gas. I use their budget system. It didn’t go up but it didn’t go down either.
4. Bought hubby 2 more pairs of dress pants on sale.
5. Dh was overcharged at the grocery store. Said he got 2 but only brought home 1. Will get that fixed tomorrow while he’s grocery shopping.


KJD509 September 15, 2019 at 9:31 am

FFT, extended family edition:

1) attended a memorial service and reconnected with lots of relatives I hadn’t seen in ages. I’d planned to represent the immediate family there, but so many people asked about my kids that I dragged hubs and the littlest – the only one still living at home – back out in the evening for the family party, where she met distant cousins, was made much of by the old folks, and learned to play pool. Frugal because family connections are priceless, and because we were sent home with enough cookies and brownies to send as lunchbox treats for a month.
2) served as designated driver the next night for a couple of relatives on the other side of the family for a big charity event and auction that a cousin runs. Set an amount ahead of time that I’d be willing to spend on any of the silent auction items,. Bid several slow-moving items up to my max, then dropped out and let someone else win them, which means my cousin’s organization got big $ and I kept mine.
3) wore items I owned already to both events.
4) seconded Littlest’s invitations to aunts and uncles to come to her middle school sports events. Several of them have moved closer than I knew, and middle school events are free (if painful) to watch, so this sets us up for future frugal visits.
5) Taking public transportation to and from work every day means that even with the extra drives to weekend events all over the area, we are hardly ever buying gas.


LB September 15, 2019 at 3:17 pm

1. Took advantage of early fall to bike to meet our friends for a food festival. Would have been easier to take the train, but the $10 or so saved felt good.

2. Settling in to making lunches for the week-no purchases outside of it! Definitely a welcome change for my wallet and waistline.

3. Went out with some friends last night. Didn’t feel like spending money, so got a seltzer with lime to sip on. Turns out the waiter messed up an order and we got a free extra cocktail with pisco and pineapple, my favorite! Sometimes good karma is immediate.

4. Ripping old shirts up for rags. Some of these are overdue to replace.

5. I haven’t been sucked into the allure of a gym membership yet. I likely will, but have not received my first new-job paycheck yet, so I’m trying to be mindful of money i don’t have.


Alison September 15, 2019 at 7:37 pm

1. Bought a black sweater at Eddie Bauer that I’ve been eyeing for a while, with 60% off, and spending the $20 rewards coupon they sent me, I paid just over $11 for a $75 item, which will be a great staple for the wardrobe.
2. Went for coffee with DD today to catch up on all her news, instead of going out for a meal, which usually runs me about $40. Same great conversation for less.
3. Got my first pay cheque for my new one day per week job, after being retired for two years. That was nice.
4. Donated only $10 for a going away gift for a coworker. In the past while working full time I would never donate less than $20, but I am only one day per week, so I need to economize.
5. Creating a fall vignette in my kitchen window with items I already have at home, plus a $5 metal bowl I found at the thrift store.


Emily Wyman September 16, 2019 at 11:32 am

My partner, fur child and I are gearing up for a cross country move. Expensive, but necessary. We are sad to leave Charlotte, but excited for new adventures in Colorado!
1. Eating very random meals, trying to clear out our pantry and fridge. Anything that isn’t used will be offered to friends to avoid food waste.
2. We are driving one car the 24 hours instead of flying. My tiny car will have to house our belongings and dog for the first few weeks of life before we’re out of temp housing. We used points to book stops in Nashville and Kansas City, close to dog parks so our pup doesn’t go nuts!
3. Selling about 1/3 of our furniture. Our entire apartment is thrifted or second hand furniture, I don’t mind repeating this process to furnish our new space.
4. Gathering recipes for the crock pot and rice cooker , as we will be living without a kitchen for a while.

5. If anyone has crockpot meal ideas (especially veggie or chicken) , id love to hear them! I could really use the help of this community to share some tips for saving money during a big move, or cooking out of a hotel room ha! Any advice would be much appreciated!


Christine September 16, 2019 at 2:59 pm

A crockpot will cook a whole chicken nicely. 8 hours on low or 4 on high. The meat is tender and moist. I sometimes sprinkle a packet of Good Seasons Italian Dressing powdered mix for a truly delicious flavor. You can throw veggies in with it if you want also. Carrots and potatoes are great but I’ve also added a can of green beans. My husband raves about this meal and it’s so darn easy!


Christine September 16, 2019 at 3:00 pm

P.S. Do not under any circumstances stuff the chicken! You’ll end up with stuffing soup floating around in the crock pot.


Roberta September 17, 2019 at 6:34 am

Will you have a refrigerator? Many hotels that do not “provide” refrigerators do have mini fridges, if you ask. That makes it a *lot* easier to have yogurt, sandwich fixing, etc, on hand.

I’d recommend shopping often, so you don’t feel the need to overbuy (since you won’t really want to store things, or move them when you find a permanent place). Spending more on frozen pizza (or whatever makes your family happy) will keep them from going stir crazy, and it will save you money in the long run because you’ll eat out less.

Frame the hotel stay in terms of an adventure, and do things you wouldn’t at home: watch a movie in bed, eating popcorn for dinner; play cards after dinner (you’ll probably have fewer dishes to wash up);go for walks (or playgrounds) after dinner; more desserts. It will keep everyone happier, and make the whole event more fun and memorable.

We have never moved as a family, but we travel a lot, and this keeps the family moving forward without spending quite as much.


tracy September 17, 2019 at 4:43 am

1. My uncle brought me a big bag of Roma tomatoes from his garden. I made some delicious very thick tomato sauce that I threw in freezer for this winter.
2. Except for one takeout lunch, have not bought breakfast or lunch items out last couple of weeks.
3. Stocked up on cheese this past week at grocery store, on sale and with coupon, got enough to last for a couple of months for half usual price. Have gotten a lot better at buying stuff while on sale and stocking up so almost never pay full price anymore.
4. Got some figs from a giant tree in my neighborhood, made a salad with figs, pizza with figs and have been just eating figs too!
5. Reading library books on my kindle app, love free books!


Dicey September 28, 2019 at 1:32 pm

Um, I’m jonesing for a frugal fix. Your absence is felt, dear Katy. Hope all is well.


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