Five Frugal Things

by Katy on September 17, 2019 · 77 comments

  1. I completed migrating The Non-Consumer Advocate over to a new hosting company, which’ll save $70 per month! I did splurge on $100 for them to handle the migration, but it’s money well spent as I wouldn’t even know where to start.

    I’ve now cancelled my crappy (yet expensive) old hosting plan.

    Huge relief. Yuge!

  2. We moved our son down for his senior year of college yesterday, and as much as we try to be 100% tip-top organized with the process, there always seems to be a thing or two (or five) that gets left behind in Portland. It drives me bonkers, as I hate to buy things that we already own. No big items, but things like a bathroom wastebasket or a dish drain.

    How is this a “frugal thing?”

    I drew the line at buying, (or letting him buy) a simple yet necessary key ring, and instead removed every blasted key from my own key ring, thus creating a temporary rich jangle of keys in the bottom of my purse.

    Mom has her limits. Good thing he was such a perfect baby. (See above photo of him at age two days old.)

  3. I took a thrifted $4.99 antique doll chair and swapped out the nasty fabric with some velvet I had in my sewing basket. The job itself involved no more skills than the operation of a staple gun, which is well within my skill set. I’ll probably sell it to a doll collector, but for now I’m admiring the incredible craftsmanship and imagining who the original owner would have been. My bet is on some coddled Rockafeller toddler.

    Click HERE to see the before and after!

  4. I watched the third season of The Detectorists from the library, we stopped at Costco for $1.50 hot dogs on our way down to drop our son at school, I cooked up a huge pot of chicken noodle soup, (which served to use up some of my free CSA vegetables as well as a forgotten half-box of spaghetti noodles) I mended a pair of jeans and have been enjoying lots of lovely fizzy seltzer from my thrifted Soda Stream machine.

  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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{ 77 comments… read them below or add one }

Mand01 September 17, 2019 at 2:13 pm

1 I planted summer vegetable seeds ready to plant out in late Spring. My goal is to grow most of our own vegetables this year.
2 I have some new clients and lots of work. I’ve managed my first quarter as a freelancer and it has been a really positive experience.
3 Brewing kombucha and baking snacks for the kids. I made the Jamie Oliver vegetarian sausage rolls I saw on Facebook and they are excellent.
4 The weather is lovely and sunny, so we can line dry outside instead of on racks indoors. We usually have to finish off in the dryer in the winter, but no more!
5 Timed our purchase of petrol for both cars for the cheapest days.


Juhli September 17, 2019 at 2:34 pm

Adorable photo!
1. I actually found $1 on the floor at Trader Joe’s – rarely find money where I live.
2. Made a list of everything in frig and freezer suitable for meals at home (deliberately left off the ice cream remaining from my birthday – that’s mine lol) and have been using it up slowly.
3. Another big haul of library books and only bought $1 worth of magazines at the Friends of the Library. No book purchases.
4. Met friends passing through our town at local brewery and we only had a beer each.
5. No extravagant purchases but a partial bath remodel soon although we are only doing what previous owners didn’t update.


Lisa M. September 17, 2019 at 2:45 pm

5FF: Tranquil Fall Edition

The beautiful fall weather really boosts my mood & I SO appreciate the cool loveliness meaning I am not sweating at every turn. Just received the electric bill for August which reflects monetarily the amazing weather ongoing for nearly 6 weeks. I wrote this a few days ago & now it has turned very hot & humid. Resisting urge to turn on the AC!

1. Hoping the incredible weather will hold for Garage Sale #2 of season this week. I LOVE to declutter & pass along unwanted items at a very nominal cost for continued usage. All proceeds to lovely DD’s 529 for college expenses. Then I can pack up remaining inventory & start parking in the garage in advance of cooler weather & general fall prep.

2. Received reimbursement checks from vision ins. just as I was beginning to question length of time. They covered portions of DD’s vision exam & contact lenses, so between that & manufacturer’s rebate for purchasing 12-month contact supply, a decent portion of the expenses were recouped.

3. Found a PERFECT gift for DH’s friend at card/gift store but waited until Sept. to utilize 40% off 1 item coupon (saved $6) during same trip to acquire free Friday card (saved $3) for my card stash. Saved 50% off full prices of items.

4. Received 1st two free meal invites (energy company & short retirement planning seminar) for fall season. First at local restaurant in adjoining suburb that will be a new dining experience & 2nd is at local sport’s bar for gourmet burger & fries. Yes, bring on the freebies for us baby boomers please!

5. Received free Wholly Guacamole snack cup from gas station loyalty program which I promptly sent home with DD.


Val Y September 17, 2019 at 4:46 pm

Where do you get the free Friday greeting card at? It sounds like a great deal.


Lisa M. September 17, 2019 at 7:49 pm

Hi Val – It is through 9-27-19 at Hallmark, so the next 2 Fridays. You need to be a Crown Rewards member but there is no charge to sign up or be a member. They also ran the promotion last summer, so hopefully it will be offered annually. 🙂


Val September 18, 2019 at 6:59 am

Thanks! I haven’t been to a Hallmark in years. The one that is closest to me closed several years ago. That is a great deal, though. Cards are not cheap and I usually end up at Dollar Tree.
Do you live in the Midwest? You mentioned having cool weather and not having to use your AC for a while and then getting hot and humid again. I live in MN and that’s how it has been here. Cool at the start of Sept and now hot and humid.


Lisa M. September 18, 2019 at 8:52 pm

Yes Val, we are neighbors as I am in MN as well. I am hopeful that the weather will entice my garage sale customers to shop the next 3 days – slightly less warm & humid but there are some random showers forecast for later in the week. Fingers crossed for good luck in the weather department!

Kathy September 17, 2019 at 2:53 pm

1. Visiting a friend in Minnesota. Curated her closet which=$410 from clothes mentor, a suitcase filled for me, 2 bags to a consignment store and a box to goodwill
2. Packed my snacks for the flight out and drank the airplane water and soda
3. Read my books on my iPad
4. Sold $25 online before I left
5. Cooking at my friend’s house.


Kym Hopkins September 17, 2019 at 3:25 pm

Not meaning to sound ignorant but what is clothes mentor?


Kathy September 17, 2019 at 3:43 pm

Clothes Mentor is a national franchised store that buys and sells clothing. Google to see if there is a store near you


A. Marie September 18, 2019 at 11:02 am

Dang me, Kathy, you’ve just suggested an enjoyable retirement project for me (if I ever get there): “Curating Friends’ Closets for Fun and Profit–Theirs and Mine.” Thoughts, everyone?


Lisa M. September 19, 2019 at 8:22 am

I say go for it, A. Marie!


denise evanoff September 20, 2019 at 2:27 am

Wow!! $410 from Clothes Mentor is awesome. I felt like I hit the jackpot when I made $45 last season.


Liz B. from Lebanon (Ohio) September 26, 2019 at 2:05 pm

Kathy, just curious – how packed was her closet before you started?


Bethany M September 17, 2019 at 3:35 pm

Very sweet picture, Katy!

Took leftovers out of the freezer yesterday and warming them up for dinner. Going to make Shashuka this week. It’s a vegetarian meal I think my hubby will like.

Got some free babysitting so I could go to my dr appointment. My 4 year old made best friends with their grandma who lives with them.

Scratching off our to-do list for tax return. Looks like we’ll just need to keep our tax return for emergency funds. Sad, but feels like the right thing to do. Someone gave us a leather recliner so it does make the project seem a little less dire.


laura September 17, 2019 at 4:17 pm

I like the layout of the new webhost Katy, so it seems the move is a success!
1. Making all meals from what we find in the fridge, freezer and cupboard
2. Line drying all washing
3. Sold a table on facebook marketplace for more than we had purchased it for second hand. Just took up some space in the garage til it sold (I had planned to use it but another extendable table came up for sale and i paired the chairs from the original table with the new one)
4.Going beach camping in a national park, happy to pay the minimal fees to camp to go towards the park maintenance and look forward to good memories with friends and the nature time
5.Have taken all lunches to work this week so far and plan to keep it up


Bethany M September 18, 2019 at 10:30 pm

Good job with the table! I scored a deal on a changing table years ago and sold it for more after it made its way through two kids at our house.


laura September 19, 2019 at 4:52 pm

it does just always feel nice when you save something from being scrapped by giving it a new home and then make money. i like to think of it as the good karma coming back


AuntiAli September 17, 2019 at 4:53 pm

My depression is doing a full press on right now so I’m trying to deal with it.
1. Not buying junk food to make myself feel better. It won’t and I’ll keep money in my pocket.
2. Keep monitoring the electric usage.
3. Got a statement for a stock we own. It’s doing well but I’m waiting for the market to crash. Depression or reality?
4. Made dinner tonight. Thought about take out pizza but the idea of eating it grosses me out. A sign that I’ve had pizza one too many times. It’s been 4 weeks since the last pizza. Saving money on that.
5. Missed a doctor appointment today due to my mood but will make another tomorrow. Want to get it done by the end of the year so it’s free.


Jennifer September 17, 2019 at 5:08 pm

I’m sorry you are having a tough time. Remember self-care, it is so important. Even if it costs a little money, it will be worth it in the end. Hugs!


Patricia Koernig September 18, 2019 at 12:43 am

Sending you love through the distance.


Alexandra September 18, 2019 at 3:58 am

So sorry you are dealing with depression. Ugh!!! Hateful how it hijacks the brain. Remember that you are inside there and you are just fine. Chemistry can be pretty wacky on our brains. You are not your brain chemistry!
Keep us posted how you were doing. Connecting with outside people really helps you not spiral into the depression brain that wants to take over. Stay here with us


Bee September 18, 2019 at 6:29 am

Please call your doctor and make your appointment as soon as you are able. The doctor may be able to help you. Taking care of yourself -even when you don’t want to – is so important. My thoughts are with you.


Lindsey September 18, 2019 at 10:12 am

Hoping that the dark curtain will start lifting.


A. Marie September 18, 2019 at 11:04 am

Hang in there, AuntiAli. Your NCA peeps are with you.


Lisa M. September 18, 2019 at 8:58 pm

Ditto what everyone else said. Depression is invisible & indescribably painful. Absolutely nothing is more important than your health, physical & emotional, including money.


Christine September 23, 2019 at 2:08 pm

Sending hugs through the ether world. If possible, try to get out in the sunlight, even if you don’t have the mental energy to walk. I detest people saying ” you should do this” or “you must do that” so it’s a very gentle suggestion. You take care.


Betta from daVille September 17, 2019 at 7:06 pm

I’m going to stretch things here so I can say that I have my 5:
1) Made & canned 55 pints of tomato sauce from 105 lbs of tomatoes & 13 pints of pickled beets this weekend.
2) Purchased “seconds” tomatoes from farmer at Farmer’s Market.
3) Because of high volume purchased, farmer gave me restaurant wholesale price.
4) Made a week of dinners to take to work apartment: cauliflower and black bean enchilada. Cauliflower had been on sale a week back and needed to be used, tortillas were in freezer with some leftover enchilada sauce, and left over cheese from the mac n’ cheese fest the week before.
5) Finding free food at work for lunch (I teach at a culinary college) so no zero food costs until the weekend.


Roberta September 18, 2019 at 7:34 am

If I canned 105 pounds of tomatoes, I wouldn’t have time to spend or save anywhere else. That’s a lot of tomatoes!


Betta from daVille September 18, 2019 at 4:39 pm

Yes! Too exhausted to go out for dinner. I had toast and went to bed.


kathleen September 17, 2019 at 7:48 pm

1. I worked all day today, and will work another later this week.
2. The location I am working lately is close enough to come home for lunch every day.
3. On this ultra-short work commute I don’t pass any temptations, so I take my own iced tea from home instead of stopping to purchase a soda.
4. Today while I was home at lunch, I put supper in the slow cooker.
5. I also retrieved a previously home-prepared meal (meatloaf & twice-baked potatoes) from the freezer to let thaw in the fridge overnight, so just need to heat them through for tomorrow’s easy supper.


Karen Erickson September 17, 2019 at 8:06 pm

That picture of you with your newborn son is so sweet. I love looking at my now 31 and 36 year old kids’ baby pics. Memories!

Katy, please tell me where you accessed the 3rd season of Detectorists. We are mad for that show and didn’t know there was a 3rd season. Thanks!


Vickey September 21, 2019 at 10:08 am

Google says it’s on Acorn, Hulu, and Prime, among others.


Gina in KY September 18, 2019 at 2:37 am

New format looks great! I love the mama and baby photo.

1. Tried out a new vegetable subscription service (similar to a CSA, but not local. They sell organic, retail-rejected produc, supposed to save customers 25%, pay their employees a living wage, and ship in sustainable packaging); however, I am going to give them one more bi-weekly box as I was utterly not impressed with the first one (you would think they would send the best to keep us new customers). Anyway, a local farmers market sells “ripe baskets” (1/4 bushel basket size) and they are only $5. I am not sure I am someone who can work backwards on meal planning either, but I am giving it a go.

2. Same farmers market, picked up two baskets of ripe peaches for $10 and my cousin turned them into jam and canned peaches for us.

3. Created a new budget. I am still trucking along on debt repayment and I am seeing progress worth noting. I have #goals!

4. Still attending $7/month dance fitness classes at the local health center in my neighborhood. I can even walk there it’s so close. I do it for health and community. I think it is a frugal way to exercise socially and I’ve managed to lose 28 lbs since I started last September (one year!). I also am eating whole food plant based diet so that is also part of it, but, overall, my weight loss has changed some health issues I was having and I feel more energetic and happy. I am 10lbs from my goal weight (sadly, I am also in some sort of annoying plateau).

5. I have a pile of items to list on FB marketplace, including a saddle, a vintage Schwinn bike and other random crap. I am thinking I would like to sell my old house in 3 years and move to a smaller one, so my goal is to finally get this place in shape. It starts with me clearing out stuff I am just never going to use. I think, for me anyway, letting go of unfulfilled, but expired, dreams is frugal. For example, I am never going to own a horse at this point. I am sure of it.


Gina in KY September 18, 2019 at 2:37 am

Typos! (Please overlook 🙂 )


Alexandra September 18, 2019 at 4:10 am

1. We took out a loan to redo a bathroom, fix some ceiling areas, and do some other household items. The $10,000 has to be paid back in five years. We have paid back half of it in six months. Very proud of ourselves!
2. Continuing to brew up ice tea as I drink it by the gallon. It is only a dollar at McDonald’s and I do bring my reusable cup with me. Regardless I try to carry an extra mason jar of tea In my little cooler when I’m on the road. A dollar here a dollar there adds up.
3. Really feel like I am hitting a nice stride with using my instant pot. I confess I didn’t like it very much at first. What it’s turned out to be doing is making large portions for my husband and me. I freeze portions and we keep winding up with excellent leftovers on busy nights that we pull from the freezer.
4.I made lentil soup and put sliced up bratwurst that have been sautéed in olive oil. Super delicious.
5. We finish the Good Place on Netflix. It took us a while to get into it but I have to say I think it’s one of the best things I’ve ever watched. We timed it so that our subscription ended. We have Amazon prime so we are going to enjoy what’s on there for a while instead of paying for both.
6. A big thank you for the suggestion of the Matthew Shardlake books. I’m on the third one and really enjoying it. I’d like to recommend a spooky thriller called Theme Music by T Marie Vandelay. A great fun read!


Lindsey September 18, 2019 at 10:16 am

We rotate in two month stretches among Netflix, Prime, Brit Box and Acorn. I wish the Shardlake books came out more often! He did another series but I have yet to look it up. The Shardlake books remind me of Hilary Mantel’s two books, Wolf Hall and I forget the name of the second in that series. She is working on a third one, so something to look forward to!


Jennifer September 18, 2019 at 5:18 am

I’m excited to see if this new web host allows me to type my whole post without me having to copy, refresh, then paste…fingers crossed. I do love the throwback baby picture. So precious!

1. I was gifted a box of onions and organic potatoes. This was more perishables that no one wanted at the food pantry, unfortunately. I gladly spent an hour or so washing, dicing, and bagging the onions as a gift for future me. We are having lots of baked potato meals and potato side dishes.
2. I baked some GF apple fritter bread which was delightful. GF flour is so pricy so I substituted oat flour that I ground up myself in my blender for regular flour and it turned out perfectly. I also made a loaf of strawberry bread using the exact same recipe and it was equally delightful.
3. It’s so hot here in the South. There is nothing frugal about this statement but it’s all anyone here talks about so I thought I would say it here. I am envious of the beautiful fall weather some of you have as sweat drips down the crack of my arse as soon as I walk out the door in the morning. Sorry to be negative, I’m just really tired of this heat.
4. I’m going to a concert at church tomorrow night. Free entertainment and we will eat before we go so it should be a fun night.
5. We lost my daughter’s nebulizer mask. I know it’s somewhere in our house. Since we are in a pinch, I cut a plastic cup in half and secured it to her face a piece of with elastic. It works really well and is easier to clean that her regular mask.

Ugh, no such luck. I still have to copy, paste, then reload……darn!


Bee September 18, 2019 at 6:21 am

It is hot here in the South! Hang in there. We are supposed to have a winter this year.


Jennifer September 18, 2019 at 7:09 am

I know you are sweltering, too. I have heard it will be a rough winter this time. Although, I remember hearing that last year and we never even got any snow. Don’t want to wish my life away but my mind and body need the Fall to arrive!


Bethany M September 18, 2019 at 10:34 pm

I thought of that copy paste issue too! Lol! Fingers crossed!!!


Bee September 18, 2019 at 6:17 am

I love the photo of you and your son. I started reading your blog when he had just started high school. It’s hard to believe it’s been that long. The days go by slowly but the years fly by.

So here are my FFT for the week:
1. I have wanted to make portable shelving for my booth at the vintage sale using a wooden ladder. I was thrilled to find one at the GW. Now I am scoping out the construction dumpster down the street for the wood.
My find of the week,however, is a large (8 qt) enameled Descoware Dutch oven. I paid $15 for it at an estate sale. It is in great condition. I have wanted one for years.
2. Yesterday was an “office day.” I paid bills, made phone calls and set up my October budget. I try to do this at least twice a month. It’s not my favorite chore, but I feel better when I do it. It also keeps me on budget which sadly is much tighter than it used to be.
3. My niece and her family have moved back to the area. I am bringing them a spaghetti dinner tomorrow night. I had thought about buying a takeout dinner, but it is so expensive! I can bring dinner, a bottle of wine and flowers for 30% of the cost of take out dinner and this will be made with love.
4. Frugality and food always seem to go hand-in-hand. I used a small head of cabbage and a pound of ground chicken to make one of my thrifty favorites, egg roll is a bowl. I peeled and froze some ripe bananas before they became too brown. I chopped a large bag of green onions that I wasn’t using fast enough and froze them. I made and froze s large batch of GF blueberry waffles. I froze a chicken carcass to make soup later when the weather is slightly cooler.
5. I have been doing all the usual things — drinking primarily water, brewing my own coffee, and eating my own cooking at home. I have also been reading library books, walking the dog, using my gym membership and enjoying streamed TV.


Katy September 18, 2019 at 10:53 am

And he was in third grade when I started the blog!


rebecca September 18, 2019 at 7:46 am

Cute picture!
1. Watching Ken Burns Country Music on PBS for entertainment. So good!
2. Bought peppers and bananas from the too old cart at grocery store. Lots of frozen bananas for baking with later in autumn and winter.
3. made delicious fajitas with the peppers, and chicken, lime and onions I had on hand and a packet of mccormicks fajita spice I had forgotten about. Surprisingly delicious for 2 nights in a row.
4. Baked a honeybun cake for our office manager’s birthday. I had all the ingredients on hand and used yoghurt instead of sour cream. I usually bake from scratch but find .99 cake mixes to doctor up (thank you pinterest) a steal and so worth it to make life much easier during a hectic week.
5. Struggling with big bills right now and hate to dip in my emergency fund but may have to do so. ugh!!!


BethC. September 21, 2019 at 6:10 am

I loved the first week of the Country Music documentary too! Also scoop up the 99 cent cake mixes. Try out the Cake Mix Doctor books-I still get many recipes from there.


Roberta September 18, 2019 at 7:51 am

1. Found a formal and Halloween costume for my daughter at a thrift shop last night. The formal will be used for my niece’s wedding and for her school formal. We went because my (other) niece said the dress for the bridal shower was “cocktail” and my 14 year old does not have a cocktail dress. However, a cell phone picture consultation ended up with the conclusion that her “cocktail” dress and mine are not the same, and neither of us needed to buy something for this weekend!
2. Sold a bunch of Muppets on ebay. I will ship those off in a reused box today, and post more. There were from my husband’s childhood!
3. The weather was cool enough yesterday to use my oven! I made vegetarian meatloaf (dinner loaf) out of nuts and oatmeal. We actually have leftovers in my fridge for the first time in too long!
4. I made homemade fermented pickles for the first time, and they turned out well! I have more cukes that need to be fermented before they go bad, and I will be doing that today or tomorrow.
5. My husband needed tape measures for school. Instead of $2 each at Joann’s, I found them 12 for $6 on amazon. I wish I had time to pick them up second hand, but I’m glad to pay less (and not have to pay $7 shipping from the craft store!).


Amanda September 18, 2019 at 8:20 am

1) My husband and I lined up all three kids with hair (the baby didn’t need a haircut) and and gave them hair cuts on Sunday.

2) The woman who owns our daycare weened her last baby, so she passed her unused breast milk storage bags on to me. I happily accepted them and can now put off that purchase for another month or two.

3) I bought secondhand cloth diaper covers on my way home from the office. We already have a bunch of hand-me-down cloth diapers in rotation, but the pre-folds we bought for our first had completely disintegrated (this is after I added layers to them from discarded t-shirts and towels). I have been on the lookout for reasonably-priced and worth-it-to-drive-there offerings. Now we can stop having to wash them every single day.

4) The diaper covers did not come with inserts, so I checked the children’s consignment store that is walking distance from the office to see what they had. Sifting through their odds and ends of inserts I realized I can make these out of old tshirts and towels. Duh! I chose the greyest of our white towels, and my husband always has a few white tshirts that need relieving of clothing duty. I will use an insert I have as a pattern, and will serge them together pretty quickly.

5) I started planning out our family’s halloween costumes yesterday so I have plenty of time to source Goodwills and make things that take a little more time. We will be Lego Jurassic World. My husband and I will be Owen and Clair. The boys will be raptors (Blue and Delta). Our daughter will be the indominous rex. I’m not sure if all three year old girls have the personality of genetically-engineered dangerous predators, but ours fits remarkably well. The baby will be hotdog man. I found the pieces for my Clair costume at the Goodwill yesterday.


Rachel September 18, 2019 at 9:14 am

Hi Katy – just a bit of website feedback. I’m using Chrome, and when I open your website now it gives me a super generic-looking site, not at all your regular layout, with no sidebar ads or links, and no banner across the top with your cover art. However, when I clicked on the link to read comments, the whole site came up normally. I figure this has something to do with your migration to a new host but I figured you’d want to know about this snafu. Thanks for your great content, as always!


Katy September 18, 2019 at 10:37 am

Thanks, I’ll look into this.


Dicey September 18, 2019 at 10:40 am

Hmmm, I was just hopping on to say the same thing Rachel did. Very minimalist. Tricky to find where to make comments. I’ll try it on another browser.

I’m not complaining, mind you. It’s just getting used to change after all these years… I still think of your logo as “new”. I will be grateful not to have to cut and paste my replies and refreshing the page before I can post them. Anything that saves you money is a win in my book. An assist from The Frugal Girl makes the savings even sweeter!


Katy September 18, 2019 at 10:51 am

I’m having the new hosting company work on this, thanks for the feedback. The site shouldn’t look any different.


Dicey September 18, 2019 at 10:44 am

Okay, this is weird. After I posted my comment, it told me to wait 8 seconds for my comment to appear, and when it popped up, the page looked exactly like it used to. Bugs! Glitches! One of my favorite book titles is “Change is Good…You Go First”.


Emily September 18, 2019 at 11:49 am

1. Went to see a friend this morning. I entertained her baby while she unpacked. In exchange, I get her left over moving materials!

2. Sold miscellaneous pieces of furniture in prep for our move. Nothing big, lots of decor, but have about 150 dollars in cash I didn’t have before, and less stuff to drag 1500 miles!

3. We booked our temporary housing in a home wood suites, which means free breakfast while we are there. This makes me happy as moves are expensive, even with the help of my other half’s company.

4. Gave our dog his weekly bath , in the tub, as well as cut his fingernails . Much cheaper than having him groomed. His hair never needs trimmed , which makes it easier .


BethC September 21, 2019 at 6:33 am

Homewood Suites locations serve dinner with beer and wine as part of the room rate 2-3 nights per week.
Katy I am also having issues with comments-FYI I m using an IPad.


Jill A September 18, 2019 at 12:05 pm

I love the baby picture. He’s so tiny.

1. I attended a surprise birthday party for a friend. I purchased restaurant gift cards at Costco for 20% off to pay for my portion, my daughters and daughters boyfriend.
2. I’m preparing my pool for closing it for the season which means my electric bill will be lower. I also haven’t used the air conditioning in weeks thanks to the cooler weather around here.
3. I accepted a secret shopper assignment which pays a small amount and I will receive reimbursement for my meal.
4. I went thrift shopping with my daughter and found a couple items to sell on Ebay. I’ve also sold a few more items.
5. I received a 5 cent discount at Goodwill for refusing a bag.


Christine September 18, 2019 at 12:16 pm

Katy, I was hoping your new hosting company would prevent the Please Reload This Page message just to post FFT but I just got the old heave ho again when I attempted to do so. Frustrating.


Katy September 18, 2019 at 2:32 pm

Thank you for this feedback. I’ll see if the new folks can get to work on this.


Christine September 23, 2019 at 1:59 pm

Thank you Katy. The problem may be my laptop as this is the only means I have used to access this site. Some people have encouraged me to copy and paste my FFT but I am embarrassed to confess I haven’t figured that out yet. I need Tech Ed 101.


A. Marie September 18, 2019 at 1:25 pm

FFT, It’s All Small Stuff Edition:

First, thanks to Katy for restoring the old “look” to the migrated-over blog, and to previous commenters for pointing out the problems with the generic “look.” I couldn’t have stood too much more of the generic interface myself.

Now, my FFT:

(1) I made a large chicken curry (boneless/skinless chicken thighs bought on sale, plus carrots, cauliflower, onion, canned peas, and appropriate spices) on Saturday night, and just kept adding things to it as they presented themselves: a random ear of corn on Monday, and an odd potato and the last Asian eggplant from my garden on Tuesday. Finally finished it off on Tuesday. Nom nom nom!

(2) Am currently roasting Trader Joe’s frozen chicken wings in two foil pans lifted out of a neighbor’s recycling bin early this morning. This neighbor (a wonderful Japanese lady) had washed the pans so meticulously before setting them out that I didn’t have any problem with taking them for reuse, although I did give them a quick additional douche. And if DH (who can still *sort of* do dishes) doesn’t have to scrub out a roasting pan, so much the better.

(3) Accompanying the chicken wings will be a “mixed marriage” of green beans: half my own beloved Kentucky Wonders (sadly reduced this year by Bambi damage, but I’m still getting a few) and half some Blue Lakes I picked up at the Regional Market. To my expat Southerner palate, there’s no real substitute for the Kentucky Wonders, but I do what I can with what I have (or don’t have).

(4) Patting myself on the back for gassing up the nearly empty Prius yesterday at the Sunoco station down the hill while the price was still $2.55 (minus our Price Chopper gas discount). It was up to $2.65 today, and I expect it to climb higher still before the gold-plated nonsense in the Middle East is over.

(5) Finally, enjoying the lovely fall weather, along with everyone else in the NE corridor. DH and I spent quite a while in our backyard lawn swing this afternoon lapping it up. Winter is coming, in more ways than one.


kathleen September 19, 2019 at 7:00 pm

100 degrees here today. One more week, and I’m headed your way. So excited to get out of this heat!


Jacinda September 18, 2019 at 1:32 pm

I miss the banner, etc. on your new site, too! I’m logged in with Firefox but might try something else.


Linda September 18, 2019 at 9:44 pm

1. I picked wild mushrooms (puffballs) and added them to my pot roast.
2. I found a five dollar bill on the trail while walking my dog
3.Harvested garden potatoes & carrots for above pot roast
4. I was gifted some Rubbermaid totes from my “Buy-Nothing-group” to do some much needed organizing
5. I stopped for Fish & Chips for dinner but brought 2 pieces of fish home and had a fishwich for lunch the next day. F&C purchase came from my eating out budget envelope.


LB September 19, 2019 at 7:10 am

This week has been pretty crazy, which hasn’t led to many frugal decisions, but I still have a few:

1. Avoiding going grocery shopping until the fridge is desperate. So far I have used up all our fruit, most of our vegetables, and am closing in on our leftovers.

2. Helping myself to free items at events to avoid buying my own snacks. Plus, attacking the fruit platter to help myself to things I never buy like blackberries! Same goes for coffee and diet coke–my weakness.

3. Worked from a coffeeshop yesterday afternoon after an off-site meeting. Was getting hungry but stuck to just ordering a coffee for the opportunity to sit at their bar. Made it home and demolished a turkey sandwich, which was listed on their menu at $9.

4. Need a specific type of heel for a wedding I’m in later this year. Currently weighing my options on poshmark instead of buying new. The shoes I wanted were $60 and I’ve found a few options that look the same for $15-30.

5. My free gym membership has lapsed, so I’m back to running, biking, and exercise at home. Yesterday I learned my cat (who is SUPER needy) doesn’t mind being held while I do squats. So, he’s content to be held for my set of 20 and I get the added 10 pounds of resistance–and the cloud of cat fur once he realizes he’s had enough–plus some really hilarious videos!


Anne September 19, 2019 at 7:55 am

No. 5. I would pay to see those videos.


Colleen September 19, 2019 at 8:59 am

Funny that your last post mentioned meal planning backwards – it made me realize that that’s all I ever do. I see what I have in the pantry and plan dinner from that rather than planning a dinner and buying what I need for it. There was a point where I had eaten my pantry down to almost nothing and I had the hardest time meal planning because my only ideas come from seeing what I have.

1) To this example, I made cookies yesterday. We have a lot of old-fashioned oats that need to be used up. Additionally, I found a deal at CVS for 2 large bags of the Hershey’s Gold candy making them 17 cents each. So I made sort of a chocolate chip oatmeal cookie by cutting up the chocolate candies. Realized mid-baking that I was out of baking soda but some quick googling told me that I could just use triple the amount of baking powder instead. They turned out great!

2) Went to a yelp event last night. When you are very active at writing reviews on yelp you can become a yelp elite. This gives you access to all kinds of fun events at restaurants, hair salons, etc. and they are free except I tipped the waitstaff. It was my first time trying Syrian food and it was delicious.

3) Sold some items on Mercari recently. I really enjoy Mercari because, unlike ebay, it immediately subtracts the fees before giving you your earnings. You don’t end up with a random invoice a month later wondering what it was for. The jeans that I just sold have been listed for months so it was nice to see the sale.

4) Used ibotta and bought items that had great offers (including 3 yogurts and 5 lunchmeat wraps). Realized that I was only one offer away from a $10 bonus. Made sure to get back to the store to buy one more qualifying item before the bonus expired and got the $10.

5) Sent my friend one of those monthly subscription boxes for her new puppy (but just a single box). Used a code to get 50% more items added to the box for free. Also gifted our next door neighbor (who kindly lets our dogs out every day at lunch without accepting any payment) a gift box of food items and used a code for free shipping. Don’t know what we’d do without her!


ouvickie September 19, 2019 at 10:00 am

Awww, your son is adorable, Katy. I love baby pics!
1) I ate lunch out at the Food Truck & Musical Festival Wednesday, but the cost wasn’t bad, since I basically chose an appetizer of Meatballs w/parmesan. It was good, but the serving was really small. I’m trying a different food choice each week.
2) We’ve been eating what’s in the fridge, freezer and pantry for the last few weeks. I did stop to buy hot dog buns & a can of chili last evening. I didn’t feel like spending time prepping a big meal, so we had chili dogs.
3) I’m enjoying listening to the Pioneers by David McCullough on Overdrive. I listen to quite a bit of audiobooks about American history, but I always seem to learn so many new things. It’s astounding what our ancestors endured while migrating and settling in different areas of the U.S.
4) I’m still feeling thankful my right hip issue wasn’t the joint or a fracture. I’ve been able to manage the inflammation with OTC meds. I found out about a natural anti-inflammatory called Moringa by Pura Vida. I ordered a bottle on Amazon and had a $5 reward I could apply to the cost. If it works as well as I’ve heard, it will totally be worth the $13 I paid for 120 capsules.
5) I have a few things I need to restock on this weekend, but for the most part I don’t have anything planned. I can save fuel by not making more than one trip into town. I’m looking forward to cooler weather, which is what they’re forecasting now that Autumn weather is finally headed our way!


Bonnie September 19, 2019 at 6:02 pm

Thanks so much for the reference to “The Detectorists” in #4. Had never heard of it before and am binge watching and so enjoying it now, thanks to you!


Nancy from mass September 19, 2019 at 7:05 pm

Well that’s weird. I posted something the other day and it’s no longer here. So I’ll try and re-create it.
1. Went into work three days this week, had lunch on the company twice. Other lunches were leftovers.
2. Mine is visiting to me. My brother is visiting tomorrow. Had a roast in the freezer so I’ll make pulled beef sandwiches for lunch
3. Went on a tour of a company we do business with and was gifted a really nice leather bound notebook. I’m taking a French class so I’ll use it for that
4. Still eating through my freezer.
5. I’ve been listening to a coworker talk about all the money she spends. New car, vacation, diamond anniversary band, new iphones, new Apple Watch , new flooring….it goes on and on. So thankful for my frugal ways.

Oh, and I didn’t buy a bunch of sharpies. Who stole that gold toilet…..


Dusty September 20, 2019 at 8:34 am

I can relate to your #5….nothing aggravates me more than listening to people and how they value things….maybe cause i lost everything i have a different outlook….


Nancy from mass September 20, 2019 at 12:32 pm

Where thing is, we used to hear her on the phone all the time saying things like “oh I didn’t sign the check, I’ll send another one“ or going from bank to bank to transfer money between her multiple checking accounts so she could pay her bills. Now all of a sudden, it’s like she rob a bank.


Marilyn September 19, 2019 at 9:14 pm

DH and I both enjoyed The Detectorists. We also found it at the library. It took a little while to get into, but when we had seen the entire series, we were sorry to see it end.


Hawaii Planner September 20, 2019 at 1:00 pm

It was my first week back at work, post a sabbatical. And oh my, was it ever challenging to get back into the work groove. So much drama & too many meetings.

1) Free lunches at work. Looking at the positives
2) Also, charged the electric car for free at work as well
3) Leftovers for dinners. (I cook on the weekends, and then we eat just leftovers during the work week)
4) Closed on our refi for our house, which saves us quite a bit on our loan. So happy all of the paperwork is done
5) Sold my son’s old futsal cleats on eBay. It wasn’t much, but they are out of the house, and on to someone else who can enjoy them.


Shelley September 21, 2019 at 1:36 pm

I’m not receiving email notifications of your new posts. Is that because of the new hosting?


Texasilver September 21, 2019 at 6:16 pm

Your son looks like your husband in the newborn picture you posted. I must say you look pretty awesome yourself to be 2 days postpartum!


Katy September 30, 2019 at 9:23 am

It helped to be 30 years old.


Heidi Louise September 25, 2019 at 11:25 am

Writing a comment to see if it works. Nothing new has been posted in a couple days here, which is unusual.
My latest quirk: I bought a couple frozen dinners at extremely low clearance prices, to see if I still don’t like them. Still don’t. One had something they called a steamer tray, a slotted flat dish to keep the foods separated while microwaving. I saved it to use for a mini-colander when I am only washing a few berries or something small. It takes up only a small amount of space on the side of my cupboard and is easier to pull out than a larger one.


Teresa Lawrence September 28, 2019 at 3:46 pm

1. Had a yard sale with friends two weekends in a row. The mo eye made has already gone as an extra payment to our debt.
2. One yard sale friend had lots of clothing that didn’t sell that she was planning to donate. I brought it all home and have found homes for all of it except 5 pieces so far.
3. Was in my sister’s area for work, so took 2 bags and 2 boxes of clothing for our nieces/nephews that she’ll deliver at Thanksgiving so I didn’t have to ship it.
4. We’ve been making a conscious effort to eat more meals at home in an effort to reduce our spending.
5. We’ve decided to really go gung-ho on getting a debt paid off. It’s great to be on the same page and to be more thoughtful about our spending.


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