Five Frugal Things

by Katy on October 4, 2019 · 71 comments

  1. I sold an autographed copy of Katherine Dunn’s Geek Love that I’d found at the Goodwill Outlet, (I accepted an offer on the book, but still made a good profit) as well as four Mary Engelbreit magazines from 1992.

    I also picked up a set of four $6.99 vintage dining room chair for resale. I actually had them sold, (the person loved them so much that she Paypal’d me the money) but returned the funds when I realized they were wobblier than I first realized. I’m going to reglue a few joints and anticipate being able to sell them again without any problem. Meanwhile, my dining room is sporting that “furniture showroom” aesthetic that often invades my home.

  2. My friend Lise and I took our laptops to Ikea so we could “parallel play” while slurping down their free coffee. I finished up an article I’d already drafted at home and then answered some important emails and sent out invoices.

    It’s certainly more of a schlep to go to Ikea rather than a local coffee shop, but the bean juice is free and we don’t feel bad about hogging a table for an extended period of time.

    Lise returned a set of twin-XL sheets that her daughter never opened, and then redeemed part of her store credit to treat me to a bagel with lox. Thanks, Lise!

  3. My husband and I forked over two bucks apiece to see a movie at the Academy Theater here in Portland. They normally charge just $4 per ticket, but that price gets cuts in half on Tuesdays. (So yes, we see a lot of Tuesday movies!) We chose The Farewell, which was a wonderful movie about a family’s decision to not tell their grandmother she was dying of cancer. Set mostly in China, it was a moving and insightful glimpse into this family’s dynamics and culture.

  4. I nipped into Costco for cat food, chicken broth and gasoline as it was close to Ikea, I picked up library hold books, I mended a sheet, I cooked up a huge batch of chicken soup with rice, I stopped into Trader Joe’s and bought nothing more than their 19¢ bananas, I wore the same jeans three (four?) days in a row, I’m cooking up bulk purchased pinto beans for tonight’s burrito bar dinner, I watched a couple episodes of Rich House, Poor House on YouTube, my husband attended a free social event through work that included an open bar and free hors d’eouvres, (I could have gone, but didn’t feel up for an evening of small talk) and I handed my packaged book over to the mail carrier instead of driving to the post office.

  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 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.

{ 71 comments… read them below or add one }

jann in Maine October 4, 2019 at 12:28 pm

Had peppers that needed to be harvested from the garden so a large casserole of stuffed peppers is cooking. Had some leftovers that I integrated into the dish and ended up making them Greek style with feta cheese and oregano and there will be enough for at least 4 meals.
Stayed home today and listed on ebay.
Had to buy a new microwave which Sams Club did not have in stock–Best Buy did at $40 less and free shipping (shipping was extra at Sams.)
Listing on ebay all day and sales are slow.Hopefully this will jump start them.
Enjoy the comment section almost as much as Katy’s posts!


Lisa M. October 4, 2019 at 2:16 pm

Jann, your last sentence is very insightful. I have had the same thought in my mind but never articulated it. I have learned so much from Katy, as well as the extremely capable non-consumers who post here. Simply endless creative ideas!


Mary October 4, 2019 at 2:21 pm

I totally agree. I seldom post as it’s hard to reload my posts on my phone, but wanted to tell you all how inspiring you all are and how much I learn from everyone in the NCA community.


Mand01 October 4, 2019 at 12:37 pm

I’m staying at the beach for a week. Trying to keep it frugal.
1. Booked an Air BnB that was reasonably priced.
2. Packed my own coffee for the trip down so I wouldn’t be tempted to buy a takeaway.
3. We cooked the first night and while we have made some plans to eat out, we will mostly be eating in.
4. The place we are staying has a huge collection of books and games and DVDs, two huge flat screens, and free wifi. No excuse for boredom if the weather is bad. Plus I can work if I feel so inclined but I’m really going to try not to.
5. Coffee machine. I brought my reusable cup so I’m all set. There is a water filter here too and we brought our reusable bottles. No wasting cash on drinks.


Jennifer October 6, 2019 at 6:40 am

Have fun…Sounds delightful !


Lisa M. October 4, 2019 at 12:41 pm

5+FF: Thinking Hard Edition

1. Worked additional hours due to boss’ travel schedule. Bigger paycheck, oh yeah!

2. Will enjoy free fall meal #3 (retirement seminar this go-round) at local gourmet restaurant, salmon for me, chicken for DH. Believe this is the 6th time we will attend seminars for free dining in the last couple years at this particular restaurant. We had never patronized the establishment in the 14 years that it has been open due to the “fine dining” prices which are exorbitant.

3. Completing annual deep freezer defrost. Frugal to reduce electricity costs, hopefully extend life of appliance & get a mental refresh on items languishing in the depths needing to be used.

4. Recently made Taco Salad twice (too many corn chips purchased) & thought about the fact that I did not have any taco sauce. DD has a zillion Taco Bell taco sauce packets that she left at home when she moved out to attend university, despite my efforts to force them on her. Made a serious dent in the vast quantity of packets in the storage bag for seasoning in the meat & on top of the salads. Reluctant to purchase taco sauce as only use during warmer weather for Taco Salad but don’t fix tacos during the year, so able to avoid purchasing this (for us) seasonal condiment.

5. Saw a giant pie pumpkin at the grocery but wanted to compare price with Aldi before purchase. I roast seeds & then bake the pumpkin for pies at Thanksgiving & Christmas. Had already decided to forego the huge sugar pumpkin good only for carving & seeds with DD away at school. Since the Aldi price was the same & they are priced per pumpkin & not by weight, stopped by grocer & the huge pie pumpkin was still there for purchase.

As I was leaving the store, I noticed a still cold roll of chorio sauage rolling around, so picked it up & waited outside to see anyone who might have dropped it. The store would not take after the product had been on the floor but the packaging was intact & the item was cold, so it appeared safe to use. Has anyone else been in a similar predicament?

6. Found a dime while I was walking little dog.

7. Spent a lot of time on phone attempting to rectify a situation with loyalty program at card store caused by lack of postal service where mail was erroneously returned to senders. Didn’t receive mailing that contained a time-sensitive reward. Ended up with just a verbal apology from postal service but did receive a $5 reward from card store. Final outcome will be: 2 ornaments (value $17) for $1 plus tax.


Christine October 5, 2019 at 7:23 am

Regarding your #5…for many years I lived next to a shopping plaza which housed among other things a department store and a grocery store. (I miss the convenience but not the noise) I walked to these stores as they were so close to my house and once when I was walking I noticed a large box of prepackaged school snacks on the bottom tier of a shopping cart that someone had apparently forgotten. It was intact and in perfect shape so it came home with me. Needless to say my then small kids were delighted as I never purchased expensive snacks. another time, same scenario but the item was mini blinds in original packaging which perfectly fit a window in the kids’ room.


Lisa M. October 5, 2019 at 11:39 am

I guess it pays to be observant. Yes, my situation was similar with roll of sausage laying on floor in close proximity to small cart next to door. My guess is that someone was in a hurry & grabbed their bag (probably plastic) & the sausage rolled out without being noticed & the customer was on their way, only to question where the sausage was once they got home to unload groceries. I have a recipe that calls for ground sausage so will likely use it to prepare that dish. 🙂


Jennifer October 6, 2019 at 6:38 am

I frequently get those big pumpkins when others don’t want them and cook them. They aren’t as good as a pie pumpkin for actual pies, but I freeze then put in soups and chili to give body and nutrition. Also, great score on the sausage!


Lisa M. October 6, 2019 at 8:19 pm

Well, crazy me, I was wrong in that a sugar pumpkin IS a pie pumpkin. What I should’ve said is that I am going to forego a carving pumpkin. Jennifer, I’m impressed that you use a carving pumpkin for soups & chili. I have found their pulp to be a big, watery, stringy mess. You have more patience than me. Kudos!


Midwest Beth October 4, 2019 at 12:51 pm

1. Used the-self cleaning feature of the oven to kill two birds with one stone – clean it and heat the house without turning the heat on. I did crack a window because of the fumes/smell.
2. New job allows me to bring home leftover food – I am doing minimal if any cooking and grocery purchases are small as we don’t need much. Still harvesting veg from my garden.
3. Reading magazines such as Real Simple, Rachel Ray, Oprah etc., all for free as I did surveys to earn them. When done I donate them to the library used bookstore.
4. So grateful new job has WiFi (old one didn’t) so saves on my cell bill able to reduce from 5 GB TO 2 GB.
5. Saving money on gas as well as wear and tear on my car as another mother is picking my daughter up from school3-4 days a week..
6. I did not buy a new iPhone even though a co-worker phone shamed me for having a 6s, who cares as long as it works and saves me money.


Lindsey October 4, 2019 at 1:35 pm

When I get shamed for frugality, I usually laugh and say, “I’ll be thinking of you on your fancy phone while I am eating fish and chips in London.” We have elderly relatives who live in Europe so try to get there once a year, which we manage by charging everything on one credit card and then using that for the airfare and we have no housing costs because we can stay with family. But it still requires saving for all the other costs, so when I feel envious over someone else’s latest toy, I remind myself that I would rather be eating fish and chips in London. I don’t tell people the whole story, only that I am saving for a trip to London and would rather be eating fish and chips than watching cat videos on a larger phone screen.


janine October 4, 2019 at 9:18 pm

Lindsay, loved your fish and chips response!


Christine October 5, 2019 at 7:42 am



Midwest Beth October 6, 2019 at 1:03 pm

Love your response! Yes I just said I am a single mom with a home and A teen age daughter to care for – those are my main priorities, not the latest technology.


Cathy October 9, 2019 at 11:36 am

Yes! I do the same thing, only my family is in Hawaii. Love, love, love visiting them 🙂 Totally worth the frugality!


A. Marie October 4, 2019 at 1:12 pm

FFT, No-Fear Frugal Gumbo Edition:

On a walk round the ‘hood this week, I found a box of canned goods well within their sell-by dates (unlike many cans in my own pantry!). These included a 6-oz. can each of crabmeat, shrimp, and chicken breast. This find inspired me to the following gumbo:

(1) The crabmeat, shrimp, and chicken cans, plus a 32-oz. box of seafood stock from the pantry a few months past its sell-by date. (Hence the name “No-Fear Gumbo.”)

(2) Onions, garlic, and one large plus a few small tomatoes from my garden, together with chopped peppers from last year’s garden in the freezer.

(3) Wegmans frozen shrimp, Price Chopper frozen tilapia, and frozen okra from our local Indian food store, all of which I try to keep on hand for occasions like these.

(4) The remnants of a pot of Classico spaghetti sauce (bought on sale at Ollie’s).

(5) And bay leaves, Worcestershire sauce, and hot sauce from the spice supplies, plus a miscellaneous packet of “seafood herbs” I don’t remember buying but tossed in anyway.

The only ingredient I actually went out and bought for this was a 12-oz. package of andouille from Wegmans for $5. And not only are we still alive, but we plus one fully informed neighbor are still eating it three days later. Nom nom nom!


Bee October 5, 2019 at 3:02 pm

What a find! What a great use of ingredients! I make shrimp and crab gumbo on Christmas Eve, and it is not inexpensive. Well done, A. Marie.


Lisa M. October 6, 2019 at 5:58 am

Your concoction sounds divine!


Lindsey October 4, 2019 at 1:29 pm

1. The neighbor has been away and in exchange for watching over the house, he said to harvest his entire garden. I thought I was done but had never walked around the entire outside of the house. I had to make sure the outside spigots were off, now that it is freezing, so I did a perimeter hike. Lo and behold, one final raised garden bed that I didn’t even know existed. It was filled with carrots so last night husband and I harvested 62 pounds of them! We spent several hours listening to podcasts and grating carrots for the little room left in our freezer after harvesting our own garden, to be used in carrot bread and muffins. Then sent husband off to deliver bags of carrots to elderly neighbors who are too old to garden. Finally, sliced up the rest and they are in the dehydrator right now, to be used in soups all winter. I am glad it is snowing today and that I have a few months to rest!
2. Banked a check I received for a class action lawsuit, for 54 cents. Yup, 54 cents.
3. Did a mystery shop and made $70.
4. Worked as an election official for our local elections. One of the other workers brought in 2 dozen home made donuts, enough for a half dozen each! I managed to eat only one and took the other five home. Husband loves donuts and will be forced to eat one a day because the freezer is full of carrots.
5. Unintentionally frugal: when we lost our Irish wolfhound and Great Danes, we adopted a lab mix from the shelter. We somehow lost sight of the fact that a 65 pound dog would not eat as much as the combined 320 pounds of our giants. No need to buy 150 pounds of dog food a month, and now that we went two months still buying that much when it went on sale, this dog has enough food to last for about a year. As soon as it freezes all day, rather than just at night like it is now, we will freeze some of the 50 pound bags.


A. Marie October 4, 2019 at 1:59 pm

Lindsey’s #1 and #5 for the win! And I hope that you and your new dog are settling down happily.


Cindy in the South October 4, 2019 at 2:00 pm

1. So I have had both a murder jury trial and, as of this week, a manslaughter jury trial in the past two and a half weeks. I am exhausted. On the bright side, it was impossible to gain weight because I didn’t have much time to eat let alone snack. Also, it was impossible to spend money, except for gas. 2. I did do our wellness check for our insurance after trial #2 so that saves me $25 a month. 3. I stopped at grocery store on way home today and got zucchini and have made a zucchini thingy with leftover grated cheese, eggs, spices, onions, and spinach. It is in cast iron skillet in oven. I estimated the hole skillet cost $2.50, if that much. 4. I am going to eat and take a nap. 5. I am getting my oil changed tomorrow. My oil light is on.


Cindy in the South October 4, 2019 at 2:02 pm

“Whole” not “hole.”I swear I typed it right and spell check screwed me….lol


Mary October 4, 2019 at 2:28 pm

Lol, yeah, happens to me all the time. My family and friends call me the spelling and grammar police, so they get a kick out of my unintentional autocorrect errors.


Karen Phillips October 4, 2019 at 2:59 pm

Per your recommendation, I’m going to watch Rich House Poor House.

1. Our pantry and fridge are full. We need to start eating it down.
2. Last Saturday, had a picnic at a park with some friends from church. Used the crockpot to cook a pork loin into pulled BBQ pork. OMGoodness, Sooo good! And no park fees, as it had rained the night before, and a covered pavilion which was reserved for birthday party, appeared to be canceled, so we had our picnic on free turf. The BBQ was leftovers for lunches and dinners for the next few days.
3. After church on Sunday we went to Costco. It is not always a bargain if you are looking for snacks. I picked up some new chocolate s’more candy that was being offered as tasting snacks. Also bought some healthy crackers and granola bars, parmesan cheese, and sea salt. We purchase gas there and get something for lunch at the food court.
4. Several days at work this week I brought my own food. Wednesday was a fall lunch for employees so that was good. Babysat last night and brought my own supper. Today I have snacks but not hungry.
5. This weekend – chili cookoff at church tomorrow night, Awana on Sunday evening. Husband will still go to Costco on Sunday to purchase gas.
6. This week we started with summer temps here in Michigan. Then a day of pouring rain, and today it feels like October. I do like pulling my cold weather clothes out of storage and buying things that I need at the thrift store.


Katy October 4, 2019 at 9:21 pm

I think you’ll like the show, check back and let me know what you thought.


Bethany M October 4, 2019 at 5:48 pm

Mom bought us a few groceries on her visit, and provided some free babysitting.

Garbage picked a nice exersaucer. Cleaned it up and quickly sold it for $10.

Getting some great one-on-one time with my oldest. Both of us have some slimming down to do. I’m really getting to stretch my distance now that I’m down 105 lbs. Free health benefits and the weight is coming off faster with these long walks!

Repaired my 11 year old couch with matching embroidery thread.


Katy October 4, 2019 at 9:20 pm

Free money!!


Jill A October 4, 2019 at 11:57 pm

1. I unfortunately had a leak in my roof. I climbed into my attic to determine the cause which was a leak around a “stink” pipe. I called around for roofer recommendations and found a couple. One would come but the minimum cost would be $200. Instead I found a retired roofing contractor who only does repairs and he charged me a total of $160.
2. I spent a pleasant day thrifting. I went to a nice consignment shop on the recommendation of a sweet little old lady at one of my stops. There I found a vintage McCoy canister set that I’ve been searching for , for my daughter for four years. I purchased that and the matching cookie jar for her for Christmas. The price was not super cheap but I did save the cost of shipping if I had purchased from Ebay.
3. I will be receiving a refund for shipping charges from a company that made a quilt from my husbands T-shirts. They miscounted the shirts and made me send more in order to complete it and then returned the unused shirts with the quilt. Their mistake not mine so I asked for a refund of the shipping costs.
4. I sold a couple more items on Ebay and listed a couple more. I’m doing laundry and hanging it to dry. I parked my car in the driveway during a hard rain storm in order to get a free car wash. Clipped my dogs toenails myself. Eating leftovers and drinking water and coffee brewed at home.
5. I was gifted free dog food as my mother’s dogs couldn’t eat their old dog food for health reasons.


Bee October 5, 2019 at 5:42 am

Geek Love was quite the find and a nice profit! Our Goodwill Outlet charges $0.20 for books. I always go through them, and have found some treasures. Here are my FFTs:
1. It was the first of the month, so I had an office day on Tuesday morning. I reviewed my budget, paid bills online saving postage, and updated our personal balance sheet. This is not my favorite thing to do, but it keeps everything on track and moving forward.
2. I downloaded the free app, My Fitness Pal, to track my calorie intake. I have gained a couple of pounds despite the fact that I do serious exercise 4 or 5 times a week. My calories appear to be in line. It is either my pesky thyroid or my annual birthday present. I swear that every year since my 30th birthday I have received a couple of pounds — a gift from the aging gods. This app however is easy to use and free!
3. I have two library books on my nightstand that I picked up yesterday. One is my book club selection, Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine and the other is The Overdue Life of Amy Byler. I start Eleanor yesterday. It is funny and painful at the same time. Love my library!
4. After a stressful week, my husband wanted to get out of the house last night. So we had happy hour on the beach —no crowded and loud restaurants. We had a swim and dinner. He had a beer. We headed home as the sun began to set. We were sandy, relaxed and didn’t whip out our wallets for any reason.
5. I have been doing all the usual things. Cooking from scratch, eating most meals at home, drinking primarily filtered water, and brewing my coffee. I continue to sell on eBay and work on next week’s vintage sale.

Heading to the Y this morning. Have a great weekend everyone!


Mary in VA October 9, 2019 at 8:15 am

Bee, that’s a great price for books! The regular Goodwill stores in my area charge 99 cents for very small books (pocket size), then as much as $3 or $4 for hardcover books. The Goodwill outlet is an hour away, but I might have to make time to check out their books!


Bettypants October 5, 2019 at 8:00 am

1. My favorite resale store had 50% clothing starting yesterday. Tried on a handful of things, but only left with a dark olive Banana Republic sweater for $4.

2. My teenager dropped and smashed his phone. I kept watching FB Marketplace until the same model (older iphone) was posted for a reasonable price. Bonus, she was only a couple miles from us, so easy pick up and he’s back in business. I think he’ll be more careful now, since he had to pay for the replacement.

3. The battery on my key fob was so low that it wasn’t unlocking the car. Watched a YouTube video on how to take apart the remote and replace the battery, which I bought at the dollar store.

4. Sold two smaller items on FB, and relisted some of my duds. Looking at the sheer quantity of listings on there, it’s a miracle that people even see my stuff.

5. Walked up to the library sale and found a full shelf of vintage Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys books. I bought them all for resale, plus some other chapter and picture books, spending a total of $25.25.


Jill A October 5, 2019 at 2:30 pm

It’s funny that my key fob is also not working well. I was just thinking I needed to find a youtube video for that.


Jennifer October 6, 2019 at 6:15 am

My husband works on key fobs at our business. Often, it’s the membrane on the inside that become sticky and worn out. If you can find the same one on eBay, you can order it just swap out the membrane.


Bettypants October 7, 2019 at 7:41 am

It took less than 5 minutes for me to pry mine apart and replace the battery, but I was still glad I took the time to watch the video. I felt confident I was doing it right.


sea October 10, 2019 at 12:25 pm

Sometimes a car dealership will replace your key fob battery for free, if you stop in.


Christine October 5, 2019 at 8:14 am

1. I had two interested buyers in one day on an item that had been sitting idle for months on multiple local buy and sell sites. I will be meeting the first potential buyer on Monday. If a no-show, the second buyer seems to be chomping at the bit so I can’t foresee any problem with a sale. Fingers crossed.
2. I’m harvesting and drying Marigold seeds from my outdoor plants(which were started mostly with harvested seeds from Summer 2018)for next Spring.
3. Once the goldfinches are done eating the Brown Eyed Susan centers I will mow the stalks with the lawn mower, spreading the seeds around to enlarge my ever naturally expanding perennial garden.
4. I found 6 cents in the last couple of weeks.
5. I went to a free author talk at my friend’s Indie bookstore and am heading back there today for another one, making all tea, coffee and meals at home, hanging laundry outside in the bright New England October and enjoying the wave of oranges, reds and yellows in the landscape colors.


Teresa October 5, 2019 at 8:49 am

Wondering if f our company at is being nicer since you removed the ‘special’ couch? My new cat is not guilty of peeing but he is intent on using the couch as a scratching post .


Teresa October 5, 2019 at 8:53 am

*…if your CAT is being nicer…” (so much for typing on this miniature keyboard of an iPad)


Momma L October 5, 2019 at 9:46 am

1. Dieting this week, cut out bread, potatoes, crackers and wine, and we are not going back for seconds. Just that alone cut our grocery bill.
2. Pulled up my carrots and putting them into a stir fry.
3. Looked at my Verizon Up app and found three credits. Applied one to increasing data, one to Amazon, and one towards upgrading my phone, that credit lasts for 24 months and my phone is pretty old. I need to keep checking that app.
4. DH analyzed his supplemental prescription plan after getting a rate increase in the mail, so he called the company. They helped him find a cheaper plan that still gives him all of his current prescriptions. He was so proud to tell me about his money saving phone call.
5. Hiring a friend’s teenaged son to help with hurricane clean up. Yard and fence are still a mess.


Roberta October 5, 2019 at 12:16 pm

1. Found vintage/antique napkins at a garage sale, for 25 cents. They will go into my niece’s picnic basket wedding present.
2. Worked four days out of five this week, and went out to dinner 0 times. Even though I really wanted pizza last night — I had already put black beans in the crockpot for taco salad for dinner.
3. My husband increased the auto-deposit for our mortgage by the amount we were paying for our car loan (now that our car loan is paid off!) That alone will cut four years off our mortgage. All extra money from me working will go toward mortgage payoff.
4. Checking out travel library books from the library, to keep me inspired. Once we pay off the mortgage we will be able to afford to rent out our house and travel to Europe as English teachers. I can’t promise that we will do it, but we will be able to *afford* it, and the choice is important to me.
5. Sold a book on ebay that had been lingering there for a while. I received the offer from someone after the offer had expired, so I emailed him and he was happy to resubmit the offer! Dropping off the parcel and a library book at the same time, to make money and not rack up library charges!


Nancy from mass October 5, 2019 at 5:20 pm

Sold the large rowing machine that I had. It’s sold in less than 24 hours on FB marketplace. Nice to have some extra money in my pocket. Have a few things up there on the marketplace, hope they sell fast.
Got some yogurt for free this week and a bag of sweet potato sun chips. Brought the Sun chips to work on Thursday and shared them with coworkers. They’re very good.
Found a dime in the surgery waiting room yesterday morning. Haven’t found a dime in a while, so it was a nice surprise.
Was a little chilly this morning, so I pulled out the space heater and plugged that in for a little while. I’m hoping to not turn on the Heat for a few more weeks. I even used my AC the other day because it was so hot and humid here.
Saving my money by not bribing anyone.


Nancy from mass October 6, 2019 at 4:52 am

Oops. Spoke too soon. Turned the heat on this morning. House was a non-balmy 59 when I got up. It’s now a comfy 64.


Christine October 6, 2019 at 2:18 pm

Lol…I was thinking the exact same thing here is Mass…hold off on the heat for a few more weeks, but lo and behold the thermometer said 58 degrees in here this morning so on went the heat. Good ol’ Massachusetts!


Bee October 7, 2019 at 3:27 am

It was appropriate that you found a dime then. 🙂


Jennifer October 5, 2019 at 6:06 pm

Finally had to turn our heat on, but I am hoping that it doesn’t kick on much over the next few weeks.

1. Sewed up my pillowcase that got a large hole down the seam.
2. Have been combining errands and returned library items on time during my errands.
3. Skipped the farmer’s market as I had plenty of produce already. Sad it was the last day and I missed it, but I felt like I would just waste money by going.
4. Pancakes from scratch for breakfast, leftovers for lunch and dinner. Cheap food day!
5. Found pie pumpkins for $1.49 each. I will cook them up and freeze in ice cube trays for easy additions to smoothies and pancakes. Plus the seeds are good for you!

Bonus – Volunteered at the concession stand for the band show to raise money for my dd’s HS gymnastics team. I enjoyed listening to the bands while we worked.


Crosby October 6, 2019 at 4:41 am

1. The past few weeks have been rough so I’ve ordered take out a few times. I made sure to get cheap items that had huge portions so I could stretch it.
2. Yesterday I was determined to get back on track so I prepped all my veggies from my CSA share and cooked a veggie coconut curry that will last for 3 dinners. I also have ideas of what to make for the rest of the week.
3. I was tempted to go to the farmers market yesterday, but I didn’t need anything. So instead I went to a free yoga class and then took my dog to the dog park (also free).
4. I was gifted a huge bag of clothes from a coworker and I was able to keep most of the items. Yay for a free wardrobe refresh!
5. I am going to the movies today with a friend but we’ll be going to a local, historic theater so yay for supporting small, local business!


Tara October 6, 2019 at 5:39 am

Curious about how you’re dealing with the new sales tax requirements on eBay?


Jennifer October 6, 2019 at 5:44 am

I always wear my jeans several days without washing. I find it funny that some jeans now come with instructions to not wash as often right on the tag. Guess that means I was cool before it was a thing.


Jennifer October 6, 2019 at 6:08 am

FFT’s mostly 3 state yard sale edition

1.I went to the however many miles yardsale yesterday. I emptied out my husband’s change drawer, which was beginning to buckle at the bottom anyway, to take with me. I got so many nice things with a solid rule of not spending over $3 for any kids clothes item. Most things were 50 cents or less but I did get Easter dresses($3!!) for next year and they are gorgeous. I got my grandson an Alabama hoodie-Roll Tide!- and a practically new Columbia brand fleece jacket.
2. I found a free pile after the yard sale and it had a neat Levi Straus homemade stocking in it. Also from the free pile…’s dress shoes, a big grill tray for grilling veggies, a set of tubes for baking bread into shapes like hearts and stars, a two disk set of the movie Pearl Harbor, and several men’s dress pants that don’t fit so we will pass along. My mother was with me and practically got down in the floor board. She was so embarrassed that I dug through a free pile. Guess my ability to have no shame came from dad’s side, lol!
3. Brought snacks so we wouldn’t be tempted by the boiled peanuts and grilled burgers along the way.
4. Ate breakfast ate home this morning even though we talked about going to Cracker Barrel. Was good and we are full.
5. Found myself 2 pair of silver brand jeans for $1 per pair. Such a good deal as this brand is expensive.


Cindy in the South October 6, 2019 at 2:58 pm

Roll Tide! Since my youngest attends there and I have contributed an ungodly amount of money in the form of tuition and fees, I am definitely a fan…lol


Ruby October 6, 2019 at 10:03 am

1. Went grocery shopping with a fistful of store coupons that knocked a total of $90 down to $78.
2. Went to the discount outlet for cans of just, which the Mister eats a lot of.
3. He and I have moved our cheap date to Saturday afternoon just before the lunch special hours and. Saves a bit and I always have leftovers to bring home.
4. Treated a sore calf muscle with a poultice of plain Epsom salts dissolved in water. Feels great today. Cost less than $3 for a bag of Epsom salts in the laxative section of the store, as opposed to numerous more dollars for the scented kind in the bath and leg care sections.
5. The least expensive red meat at the grocery store this week was lamb. The Mister is delighted.


Ruby October 6, 2019 at 10:06 am

That would be “cans of nuts,” not “cans of just”. Dumb autocorrect!


Christine October 6, 2019 at 2:24 pm

I thought I was hearing of a new food after all these years! Darn autocorrect! It does make for some funny sentences though. Lol.


Beth Ann October 6, 2019 at 11:31 am

That is a fantastic book, Katy! Can’t believe you had a signed first edition. Should go for a good price, as Dunn passed away a few years ago. To all the comment readers, if you haven’t read it, pick it up at your library today. It’s a classic.


Katy October 6, 2019 at 9:50 pm

Katherine Dunn was my mother’s best friend, so I actually have my own copy that she signed to me. This one was from Goodwill.


Beth Ann October 9, 2019 at 8:51 am

Wow! Your mom had a very talented best friend! I would love to hear more about her…the imagination and intellect that produced Geek Love: amazing!


Julie October 6, 2019 at 1:01 pm

1) picked up what I thought was a toonie on the ground. That’s a 2.00 coin in Canada. It was actually a euro so it’s in the international change jar for a future trip.
2) the weather has cooled but not enough for the furnace to be turned on
3) making a batch of kale and bean soup and will also make soup kale pesto. Both recipes found here on Katy’s blog.
4) garden has produced the last of the tomatoes and peppers this week, but the kale is still going strong. Froze a bunch for future soup making.
5) use grocery store reward points to reduce my bill by 100.00. I also have their MasterCard so the points build quickly


AuntiAli October 6, 2019 at 5:55 pm

My FFFs:
1. Had a long, lovely chat last night with my son who lives in Singapore. We use the Whatsup app to video chat for free. He’s coming home for Christmas and I can’t wait!
2. First of the month so money went into the savings account. I have a very decent amount in there so I need to start looking for a contractor to build a new deck on the house.
3. Actually found a Walgreens that had the new shingles vaccine Shingrex I think it’s called. Hubby and I had a date on Friday night to get our shots which were free with our insurance.
4. Made dinner every night except tonight. Hubby wanted pizza. This is two weekends in a row and I’m putting a stop to it. I don’t even like it anymore.
5. Keep on patrolling the electric use and turning off lights. Had both the AC and heat on this week. Hubby’s been keeping his hearing aid dryer plugged in 24/7 and that will stop.


LB October 7, 2019 at 9:57 am

1. Popped into Old Navy to buy bike shorts to wear under dresses-with the added walking in NYC, my legs are chafing! Checked their website to see if the store I was in had them in stock/any coupons. They were listed for $8 online but $20 in store. I asked the lady at checkout about the disparity and got them for $8! In her words, “Never hurts to ask!”

2. Traveled this weekend and managed to bring both lunch and dinner for Friday and snacks on Sunday. Made it easier to resist buying food at rest stops on the bus.

3. Stopped at a vintage store with my mom Saturday. Found some really cute old earrings (3 pairs!) that I adored. She offered to spring for them since I didn’t have cash and wouldn’t meet the credit card limit. I wore them yesterday and within 10 minutes had gotten a compliment!

4. Traveling again this weekend and already booked hostels for both nights instead of hotels. No need for anything fancy when all I need is a bed.

5. Got home late last night from my trip but still mustered the energy to cook up some leftover vegetables from last week for lunch today and tomorrow. The trip next weekend is to buy new ski boots and a new jacket (both expensive and necessary for my winter adventures) so my goal is to preserve as much of this paycheck as possible so I don’t have to dip into my savings account to pay for them. It’s hard to see a $10 purchase affecting something more expensive, but the constant drain on my bank account and frantic budget calculations speak for themselves.


Jenelle October 7, 2019 at 11:27 am

1. Another camping trip this weekend. When we purchased our RV we were given a free membership to Thousand Trails. This is where you can visit any of their campgrounds for free. We visited a local one and where pleasantly surprised with what they had to offer. Indoor pool for the kids on the chilly fall day. Hay rides and candy bar bingo. My son won the “grand jackpot” and won 10 candy bars!
2. I signed up to be my daughter’s Daisy scout leader and purchased a leader planner book. Well, I didn’t like it at all…so I let Amazon know. My money was refunded and got to keep the book. Not sure how much I”ll use of it.
3. Purchased my daughter her daisy scout vest on Ebay…the description said a small/medium…turned out to be an adult xl!! Returned that right away for a full refund.
4. Hubby wanted to get some Halloween decorations for our house. He loves the holiday and has no issues spending money for this. I hadn’t been to a store other than a thrift store (and Amazon) and was horrified at the prices. I felt almost like an alien watching all of these people just spend money. Very odd feeling.
5. As I plan these girl scout meetings, I am trying to keep the spending to as little as possible. I am also trying to be very conscious about what I ask parents to spend as well.


Bee October 7, 2019 at 1:06 pm

I feel like an alien sometimes too. It is amazing how much people spend and how careless people are with money.
I spoke to a young man today who told me he threw all his change in the trash cans instead of weighing down his pockets. Really?
Dimes make dollars. Dollars make $10. Millionaires are made $20 at a time.


Dusty October 8, 2019 at 6:28 am

I can’t believe how wasteful people are with food….my brother and sis in law throw away more food in a week than i eat….shameful….i think everyone should experience hunger at some point…then no food would be wasted


AuntiAli October 7, 2019 at 9:49 pm

I was a Daisy leader a long time ago but one thing I did was a little tea party where we learned table manners such as “elbows off the table Mabel” – my mom taught me that one – and chewing with your mouth closed and saying please pass the sugar and thank you.


Elizabeth October 8, 2019 at 3:16 am

* I made a Snoopy costume for $25 instead of buying one for $60+. I found a pattern for a bear and just adapted it to a dog instead. The Snoopy head was made with felt, stuffed, and then mounted onto to the hood with a baseball call underneath to give it stability. I thought it turned out pretty good, especially if you see it from +20ft away! LOL
* I borrowed another math book from our homeschool co-op’s library when my son finished our current one
* I made sure to use up all of the turkey breast I cooked last week to prevent waste. By the way if you rub a turkey breast with butter and put some in the cavity before you cook it, it makes the juiciest meat! I finally found that out after making turkeys for 15 years….
* My daughter is playing Violet in the Charlie Brown Christmas play and the director asked if she could have bangs…my daughter said no to cutting, but we found some clip-on bangs for $5 on Amazon. Shipping was free thanks to Prime and the bangs ended up being the perfect color, so my daughter was happy.
* My daughter had been buying a soda every day while taking dual enrollment classes at our local community college (with her own money) I mentioned that if she bought a six pack at Kroger during a sale the drinks would be only 50 cents. After doing the math, she felt that would be a great deal for her, so I picked up two packs for her and now she is kicking herself for not doing this earlier:)


Karen B October 9, 2019 at 6:34 am

1) Came across a “donation yardsale”, pay whatever you like, proceeds went to 2 causes related to concerns of mine. I’d been watching at thrift stores for 3-ring binders for recipes and replacement manuals printed off the internet and had had no luck as they’ve been picked over with back to school shopping. I got several binders, a cozy hand-crocheted throw blanket, and a lovely floral tablecloth with 10 matching napkins.

2) Hubby wanted to go to a hamfest (ham radio event with vendors and a swap meet, not ham the food). It opened at 7 a.m., was over an hour from home, and only 5 hours long, so we camped there so he could be there early to get the best bargains. He bought an excellent piece of secondhand equipment for 1/6th the price of new. An area club has had several members who left equipment in their will to their local club, which if one doesn’t have family members who will use it is an excellent way to keep the equipment in use and encourage the activity. Ham radio is used for public safety including large public events, such as long bike races, parades, weather spotting, and natural disasters. Ham radio may be used when cell towers are down or overwhelmed. He also picked up a couple adapter cables for himself and a friend who is brand new to the hobby, 75 cents each.

3) Since we were going that far from home, I looked to see what else might be of interest in the area. The Raptor Center! We’d been before, but it had been a couple years and is always enjoyable. They care for raptors (birds like hawks, owls, and eagles) who have been injured or imprinted on humans and can’t be released to the wild and have an educational mission.

4) Between son and I we took 239 digital photos over the weekend. Free!

5) No eating out on the trip, everything purchased at a regular grocery store.

6) Entertainment one evening was a free from library DVD played on secondhand laptop.

7) Entertainment the other evening (requested by son) was roasting hot dogs and marshmallows over a small campfire using wood we’d already had. Fire was only as big as necessary for the purpose and the wood was pretty well gone by the time we were done.

8) While in a nature park, I spotted a jump drive on the ground. It had been raining, so we’ve let it dry a couple days. Tonight we’ll plug it into a Linux computer (less virus prone than Windows) and find out if I get a free jump drive or if there are any photos on it that would help identify who lost it. Will try to return if possible. I know about the I Found Your Camera Facebook group and . I would welcome any other lost and found suggestions. (Iowa, US)

9) Made plans for an upcoming trip. There’s camping available at a special location we want to see for about $100 per night. We checked around and found a spot nearby for about $20 per night!

p.s. Katy, I watched the first episode of Rich House, Poor House on Ebay. Liked very much, thank you!


Cindy in South October 10, 2019 at 8:29 am

Ham radio operators are literally lifesavers around here when the grid goes down because of wind, and F4 and F5 tornadoes are rolling about.


Katy October 13, 2019 at 8:57 am

My step father has been doing ham radio for a couple years, and it’s very interesting to hear him talk about it.


ouvickie October 10, 2019 at 9:50 am

1) I bought a few 4.99 pizzas in the bargain freezer at Aldi. We ate the Garlic-Spinach-Mushroom pizza last evening, after I threw some more shredded cheese on top. Then I ate the last piece of it today for lunch. Pretty yummy pizza, I’ll buy that one again.
2) I bought walnuts and some oatmeal last week at Aldi, so when I finish my rice cakes and PB for my breakfast meals this week, I’ll eat oatmeal for breakfast the rest of the Winter. Yummy and cheap.
3) Using my debit card is really helping me save money. My Credit Union rounds the charge up to the nearest dollar, on my debit purchases, and the extra change is deposited directly into my savings account.
4) It’s going to be rainy the next few days, so I’ll get to try out my new (free) rain jacket I received with my reward points for donating blood every two months.
5) There was a baby shower for one of the young mothers at church on Sunday. I didn’t have the money for an outfit, but realized I had a brand new back-of-the-seat organizer for a vehicle that I’d never used. I bought it on Hollar for about $7 bucks well over a year ago. So I wrapped that and a cute little story book up, that my grands have out grown. The cool thing is, she’ll be able to make use of both those gifts a lot longer than she would baby clothes and I didn’t spend any money, since I already had some Winnie-the-Pooh wrapping paper stashed away too.


Jill A October 11, 2019 at 12:00 pm

I just picked up the same pizza to try. Can’t wait.


Momma L October 12, 2019 at 8:01 am

1. Made veggie broth and bone broth today from scraps.
2. Inventoried my freezer again, will put it on the front of my fridge to remind me of what’s out there so I can plan meals.
3. Trading coupons for fresh eggs with a friend.
4. Trading free magazines with a friend.
5. Dug up plants that were requiring a lot of maintenance, took them to work to share. Thinned out some low maintenance plants, planted them where the picky plants were.


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