Five Frugal Things

by Katy on November 1, 2019 · 67 comments

  1. I’ve made a couple of eBay sales, including a North Face toddler-size goose down puffer jacket and a tube of M.C. Escher posters. Both were Goodwill finds, but my favorite was the lightweight coat. It was a pay-by-the-pound bins find, so the profit margin was enjoyably impressive as I likely spent 50¢ on it.

    I drove past Albany, Oregon yesterday, so I stopped into their Goodwill as it’s currently my favorite. (Sorry, all other Goodwills.) I picked up a vintage craftsman-style plant stand, a pair of like-new Danskos and a groovy chrome kitchen wax paper/foil/paper towel dispenser that tugged at my heart. The total for all three items was $22.97, which is not too shabby. Of course it helped that the shoes and the plant stand both sported green tags which saved an additional 50%.

    I’m in the midst of slicking up all three items so they can look their best for resale. Just think of it as their spa treatment. Ahh . . . .

  2. I get a lot of trick-or-treaters at my house, and don’t like to scrimp. However, I’m not fond of all the plastic waste that tags along with traditional candy purchases. So this year I investigated Winco’s bulk candy section and scooped up a big bag of foil wrapped chocolate coins and a bag of paper wrapped Whoppers. My goal was to choose candy with recyclable non-plastic packaging. Whether any of the packaging actually gets recycled is out of my control, but I feel good with the effort.

    The coins were a huge hit, so I think I’ll just buy them and nothing else for 2020.

  3. I noticed that the pretty wooden gilt wastebasket in our spare bedroom had split along two of its seams. Nothing too terrible, but I wanted to deal with it before it became unfixable. I rifled through our glue options and chose a small bottle of clear Gorilla Glue, which I then ran along the detached areas. The design tapers open, so I simply used a handful of thick rubber bands to hold it tight as it dried, as a standard clamp would have been tricky.

    The project took maybe 15 minutes from my day, and I’ve now repaired something that others might have chosen to throw away. Not only did I keep an item from the landfill, but I saved money, as well as the effort of having to replace this practical household item.

    Click HERE to see photos from the process.

  4. I drove through a McDonald’s for a free 6-pack of McNuggets as our basketball team had scored over 100 points, (road trip food!) I cooked up a huge pot of chili from scratch, I discovered that Winco sells Bob’s Red Mill gluten-free flour in bulk for $1.99/pound. (This is a huge savings as a 2-pound bag can cost as much as $9.99!) my husband brought home another armload of free bubble wrap from work, I’m slowly working my way though Veronica Mars through a friend’s Hulu account, I’m holding off from a haircut until the Supercuts training center does their next round of free services and I accepted a friend’s offer of two uncut pumpkins that I can turn into puree for the freezer.

  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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{ 67 comments… read them below or add one }

Kathy November 1, 2019 at 12:15 pm

1. Facebook marketplace and other online sales chugging along.
2. Received two class action settlements=$95
3. Saw a burlap wreath with some silk flowers on line for $33. Dawned on me I have a burlap wreath I made a couple of years ago and has been sitting in my closet plus some silk flowers my friend gave me from her garage sale. Another friend will help me put it together
4. I’m joking my friends as their guest at horse races tonight
5. Purged rag bucket and am donating some blankets and towels to animal shelter


Mand01 November 1, 2019 at 12:32 pm

1. Still starting each morning in the garden. Today I planted cucumber and melon seeds, and picked the last lettuces for BLTs for dinner. We had a lot of rain overnight, which is welcome.
2. I worked a lot this week and still have a lot to do on the weekend. Freelancing is working out very well for me. November is always very busy in my field so I’m expecting a busy month leading into the Christmas period, before I have several weeks of no income. I’ll take all the work I can get until then.
3. I’ve hardly spent anything this week except on a few groceries.
4. I’m reading library books and books on the Libby app, and watching The Name Of The Rose on free streaming service here.
5. I want a new TV just because. Our TVs are fine of course but a few weeks ago I was in an electrical store and saw the new smart TVs with their super clear images. I hardly even watch TV so I don’t even know why I was so enamoured. Just reminding myself when I get the “wannas” that it’s unnecessary and that my TV is just fine. Stupid consumerism.


K D November 2, 2019 at 5:54 am

I believe the Smart TVs track everything you watch. I’d rather pass on that level of privacy invasion.


WilliamB November 2, 2019 at 7:48 am

K D – I logged on to say the same thing! Damn things spook me out. My TiVo may spy on what I watch on the TiVo but at least it doesn’t track anything else I watch.

I’m thinking about getting a TV-based gaming system (what’s good these days, that comes with physical exercise options like the Wii used to?). I will be using a large flat-screen TV that my parents dumped on me about a decade ago, that I’ve been storing in the attic for just this possibility.


Mand01 November 2, 2019 at 12:59 pm

We have Google Home that’s already listening to everything we say so I think the ship has sailed (yep we are still suckers for other consumer things).
I’m not getting one anyway. I watched a movie on our perfectly good TV last night and it was fine. I’m not sure I want the zombies looking any more real.


Lisa M. November 2, 2019 at 1:42 pm

DH works in IT, so of course we have a smart TV (no ability to avoid consumption in this area since I’m not in control). However, we are huge fans of “The Walking Dead” & love how real the zombies look. I totally get how crazy this is for a couple of middle-aged fuddy duddies! 🙂

Lisa M. November 1, 2019 at 12:52 pm

5FF: Post-Halloween Edition

1. On way into gas station to pick up free gourmet coffee, found a quarter in front of the door. Being paid to pick up free coffee? You bet! As if that wasn’t enough, stopped in the next day on Halloween for free packaged cookie bar which my dog & I sampled. Have only tried the local famous brand a handful of times & hadn’t had one in years. Little dog & I agreed that was our special Halloween treat. My gas station loyalty program has really been stepping it up as of late.

2. Packing away all Halloween decorations for next year except for window clings that had gotten ultra-sticky. Noticed date on package only (ahem) 7 years old & purchased on 50% off clearance after Halloween at that. Guess I got my $’s worth.

3. DD used free coffee house drink. Only fair since she contributes significantly more points, as I purchase only for socialization opportunities.

4. As suspected, less than optimal weather led to few trick-or-treaters. Will use remainder of treats in lunches & hopefully can offload majority to DD to use as snacks, as they are portable & backpack friendly.

5. After carving, baked pumpkin seeds & pie pumpkin at the same time. Will have my pumpkin in freezer, ready to be thawed & put in a pie come Thanksgiving.

Bonus 6. On board to work extra hours next week d/t traveling boss – prior to her departure as she preps for travel & her actual time away.


Shevaun November 2, 2019 at 3:30 am

To your #4, you can also chop up leftover candy and add it to any cookie recipe. It is a bother to unwrap all the little packages, but it uses up the candy with no waste. Every Christmas, we make all the leftover Halloween candy into cookies, then every Easter use up Christmas’s leftovers… etc.
mmmmm Snicker-chip cookies….


Lisa M. November 2, 2019 at 7:04 am

Great idea, Shevaun. My leftover treats are primarily snacks & not candy but I like the idea.

Last year my DD thought she wanted her candy from trick-or-treating but only ate a few pieces. At my suggestion, she took it to school in a recyclable container with a lid & put it on her desk (magnet school for 11th & 12th graders where students had their own individual desks). She said she was the most popular girl in her cube & when gone, she simply placed the container in recycling. We did the same thing with a bag of candy from Mexico that someone gave her & just sat in her car trunk.


WilliamB November 2, 2019 at 7:50 am

I reuse my candy the next year. Of course I “quality control” some before Halloween to make sure it’s still tasty.


Lisa M. November 2, 2019 at 9:15 am

Love it… 🙂


SEA November 6, 2019 at 6:24 am

The best way to keep chocolate for a long time is to freeze it. This controls the temperature and humidity. Of course, it works best for mostly chocolate and nut-based candies (m&m’s, not so much!).

janine November 1, 2019 at 3:39 pm

1. Shared extra Halloween treats with son who doesn’t get treaters. We get about 25-30. Bought snack packs of chips in case we ran out of candy. Paper wrapped coins a good idea, Katy! Most popular with us were tootsie roll suckers! Bought a large bag of mixed candies and the kids rooted through the bowl looking for them.
2. Declined invitation to go out for dinner tonight for over-priced hamburgers. DH spent the last two days in a seminar and was very tired. We will enjoy homemade BLTs when he wakes up from his early evening nap.
3. Fixed up a purse whose strap was broken. Should last throughout the fall.
4. Arranged with cousin to contribute to Thanksgiving family potluck. Also usually contribute a hostess gift. (Cheaper than doing all the cooking myself.)
4. Trying to map out political contributions for the coming year. Need to budget and will also contribute some labor to our favorite candidates’
5. Limiting overspending on meat products. Better for the earth.


Li November 1, 2019 at 3:55 pm

It’s nice to know I’m not the only one who takes advantage of the free blazers nuggets. I never admit it to anyone since Portland is so judgey about McDonald’s. Good for you and your honesty!

Good tip on the chocolate coins. My neighborhood is littered with little plastic candy wrappers. Ugh!


Bethany M November 1, 2019 at 8:30 pm

I took the kids to a church function down the road. The kids got a big bagful of candy and the pastor slipped me two full sized candy bars, one for me and one for the hubs. Hubby got them both since I’m not eating that stuff.

Coffee got canceled Wed night. I probably would have got a cheap decaf, but saved even more when they rainchecked it.

We got zero trick or treaters. We live in a neighborhood, but we’re on the outskirts and there’s only 3 houses on our street. Kids got to keep all their candy from the nursing home trick or treating from Wednesday night.

Made pizza for dinner doubles the batch and have 2 crusts in the freezer for later.

Frozen mango was on sale. That with a can of pineapple and a cut up apple is my favorite fruit salad. I’ve been skipping it for cheap ol bananas and apples, but it fun to mix it up when you can do it frugally. Had the pineapple already from an Aldi markdown!


Shevaun November 2, 2019 at 3:43 am

1. Made Cupboard Casserole. This is my skeleton recipe that uses up all the bits in the house before our next big grocery shop. 1/4 lb fat (bacon, olive oil, or butter), 1 aromatic (garlic, onion, or shallots), 1 lb protein (chicken, ground beef, ground turkey), 1 lb vegetable (whatever’s around, cubed or shredded depending on how sturdy a veg it is), 1 jar sauce (red or alfredo), 1 lb pasta. This is our go-to recipe to avoid waste, and jarred sauce covers a multitude of sins.
2. Collected thrifted birthday gifts for DD and DS–beautiful books, fun little cars, puzzles, dress up clothes…
3. But then DD and DS found all their gifts when I was busy doing something else. We did not buy more new presents but let them play with what they had found and had a really lovely birthday party with fire in the fire place and pizza and music.
4. And yet joy found us anyway. DD got several birthday cards in the mail–the mail! With her name on them! And they had funny pictures and glitter on them! The post office lady gave the kiddos a lollipop at checkout, the grocery lady gave them a sticker, a church friend gave a sparkly zipper pouch in a sparkly gift bag, DD gave her caramel apple to DS.
5. Got more biopsy results back, and it’s *not* cancer. Well, good. The hospital was a drive-and-a-half away and was eating up ridiculous amounts of gas. Plus DH couldn’t work (and therefore couldn’t make money) while I was off galavanting on my luxurious diagnostic holidays. This is especially good news because two different doctors told me that all the tests and images looked like a “high probability” of cancer. So I must be very lucky.


Crunchycon November 2, 2019 at 4:05 am

Great news on your diagnosis, or lack thereof. Worth the price of the gasoline in my book. Continued good health,


Patricia Koernig November 2, 2019 at 4:59 am

Wonderful health news! Sending you love!


shevaun November 2, 2019 at 6:00 am

XOXO to Crunchycon and Patricia Koernig. Thank you for your kindness!


Lisa M. November 2, 2019 at 7:10 am

To go from “high probability” of cancer to “not” cancer? Wow, that’s some distance! You were given the most amazing news anyone could ever receive.


Shevaun November 2, 2019 at 8:28 am

I know, right? At first, I was kind of mad, in a weird way, about the non-diagnosis. I thought, like, how dare you make me so scared for no reason. But then I thought, “high probability” still means there’s a small probability of nothing. So either I’m the unworthy beneficiary of a mistake, or I’m really lucky. Either way, I’m blessed, unworthy, grateful, and relieved.


WilliamB November 2, 2019 at 7:51 am

Such good news! And frugal, too. ;-P


Shevaun November 2, 2019 at 8:30 am

Very frugal! I was already looking for thrifted coffins and making freezer meals for my soon-to-be widowed and orphaned children.

Now we’re stuck eating lasagna for the foreseeable future.

Oh, well. They’ll live. And so will I. 🙂


A. Marie November 2, 2019 at 8:16 am

Adding my congratulations to everyone else’s on the “all clear,” Shevaun. I too rejoice in every “all clear” test result I get–for its own sake, and for the sake of money and time saved. The U.S. medical profession is getting too $#@!! much of both my money and my time already.


Shevaun November 2, 2019 at 8:32 am

A. Marie, may all your test results always come back all clear! xoxoxo


Cynthia November 2, 2019 at 2:45 pm

Congratulations on your diagnosis. And THANK YOU for the Cupboard Casserole. I am writing it down.


priskill November 2, 2019 at 3:27 pm

Oh such good news 🙂 !! and love “but joy found us anyway” — words to live by


Cindy in the South November 2, 2019 at 5:25 pm

Great news!!!!


Jill A November 3, 2019 at 2:45 am

So happy to hear your good news. What a relief.


Bethany M. November 4, 2019 at 10:13 am

Glad for your good health report! Peace of mind is important too!


Bee November 2, 2019 at 3:56 am

1. I sold a few items on eBay. I am trying to gear up for the holidays. I am listing items and collecting packaging for reuse. I have yet to find a good way to store these free packing boxes and bubble wrap. The clutter is making me a little crazy, but hopefully they will be gone soon.
2. October was my birthday month. I used my IKEA Family $10 coupon purchase new potholders. My old one had a big hole in it – someone caught it on fire. At least once a week a forgot that the hole was there and burned my hand. My husband went with me and enjoyed the free meatball dinner that IKEA extends to customers during their birthday month. Sadly, I could not it because the meatballs are not wheat-free.
3. I finally had $20 in my Ibotta account, so I transferred it into my paypal account. It took me nearly 6 months to accumulate these funds – a dime here and a quarter there. However, I linked it to my grocery loyalty card, so it required no additional effort. I have banked $46 this year with Ibotta.
4. I stocked up on meat and coffee this week at the grocery store. The coffee that I usually drink was by one pound, get one pound. I bought 6 pounds. Chicken thighs were only $0.99 a pound, pork tenderloin was $1.99. I know in most parts of the country that is expensive,but that is a sale in a Florida. Food is expensive here.
5. I have done all the usual things – drinking primarily filtered tap water, brewing my coffee at home, cooking from scratch, and enjoying no-cost, low-cost entertainment such as reading library books, going to the gym, walking the dog, visiting friends & family, and watching streamed TV


Bee November 2, 2019 at 4:01 am

Oh my, I hope you all can decipher what I was trying to say — typos galore! I guess that I should have had my coffee first. Autocorrect did not help — made matters worse.


Jill A November 2, 2019 at 4:49 am

1. I’m buying some stocking stuffers from a friend. These are items she over purchased in the past and has been storing. They are a perfect gift. It’s a win for both of us.
2. Mostly staying home and streaming TV, drinking warm beverages and enjoying my kids. I’m still not fully recovered from the flu.
3. I purchased a $1 hot chocolate instead of a second glass of wine while socializing at the dog park pub last night.
4. Cleaning my house with mostly homemade solutions….if anyone has a good recipe for dusting spray I am all ears. I’m not happy with what I’m using but I’m holding off on buying store bought until I’ve tried some DIY options.


Shevaun November 2, 2019 at 8:35 am

To your #4: I use a spray bottle with Murphy’s oil soap cut with water, shaken to mix. Then spray the cloth, not the furniture. 1 soap: 2 water.

I don’t know if this is “right” for expensive furniture. But I have sticky messy children and muddy mucky dogs with handmedown furniture. So it’s good enough to keep us clean.


Jill A November 3, 2019 at 2:46 am

Thank you. I’ll give that a try.


Bettypants November 2, 2019 at 7:07 am

1. One of my coworkers brought in a bag of jewelry that she was getting rid of. We all poked through it, and I took an abalone link necklace and three pairs of earrings. The necklace was missing a stone in front, so I just removed that link. I also toned down two pair of earrings by removing some dangling beads.

2. Sold a couple lots of books on FB Marketplace.

3. It stopped raining just in time for me to walk up to the library book sale this morning. Bought 61 books at a quarter each.

4. My brother asked me to recover some pillows for him. I was dragging my feet on doing the last one with piped trim. Buckled down and tackled it this week and it turned out great.

5. Realized in the last month of my 99 cent Hulu subscription that there are two seasons of Project Runway I haven’t seen. Watching this makes me want to tweak my own clothes, although I should not.


Joanie November 4, 2019 at 10:37 am

Bettypants–I can’t imagine walking back home carrying 61 books! But what a great book sale it must have been!


Bettypants November 5, 2019 at 8:27 am

It’s not as impressive as it sounds as a lot of the books were paperbacks! I always take 2 sturdy cloth bags with me, just in case. Only one week did I have to walk home and get the car – thanks to the shelves of vintage Nancy Drew books.


WilliamB November 2, 2019 at 8:09 am

Discovered the reading pleasure that is Tobias Buckell. From a library book, of course. Immediately reserved all the books that contain his short stories. Felt unduly proud that it was so many books that the library put them on a separate cart for me. I’m a top notch library user!

My new-to-me dining table and 10 chairs are arriving Sunday. The table comes with custom pads and padded storage bags for the leaves. The total amount was not cheap but about MUCH CHEAPER than new. About 85% cheaper!

Rather than bargain on the price, I bargained for help: the seller is going to help transport the goodies (so I need make only one trip, and don’t need to rent a truck) and set up the table.

Continued to stay (mostly) on top of the fridge and freezer. Not entirely successfully. I lost more than usual this week: cottage cheese went moldy, broccoli went sour (never heard of that problem before!), some baby carrots went slimy.

Spent nothing extra for Halloween: decorations, costume hat, and candies all came from my existing stash.


A. Marie November 2, 2019 at 8:40 am

FFT, All Souls’ Day Edition:

(1) Halloween would have been a complete washout here if not for the three little girls who live on the next street over (their father brought them by during a brief lull in the storm). One of the 6-year-old twins was wearing a rectangular cardboard box spray-painted pink and covered with various numbers and symbols, obviously applied by herself. I asked her what she was, and she proudly replied, “I’m a smartphone!” Priceless.

(2) Gobs of leftover candy after the Halloween washout, of course. Since I make a point of buying candy that DH and I won’t be remotely tempted to eat ourselves (i.e., not chocolate!), I simply donated it to the Rescue Mission (along with three boxes of stuff I was taking there anyway).

(3) A calmer and milder day today, so with a little help from DH, I emptied out the well-digested contents of one of our two black plastic composters (we use these for non-meat food scraps because of our local Wild Kingdom) and applied them to one of the garden beds. Will continue with these and other end-of-gardening-season chores as long as the November weather permits.

(4) With fall, of course, comes fall rummage sale season around here. I did very well indeed at the $5 bag sale at one of our local synagogues last Monday (I’d have paid $5 for the Lands’ End Polartec hoodie that fit me perfectly alone), and I’m looking forward to the other sale the weekend of 11/10.

(5) And on a more serious note on this All Souls’ Day, remembering my blessed mother, who taught me much of what I know about frugality. Born 11/8/21, died 11/5/07. Thanks and love, as always, dear Momcat.


Lisa M. November 2, 2019 at 9:20 am

Bless your Mom’s soul.


Roberta November 2, 2019 at 9:59 am

1. My poor son did not get to trick-or-treat because he had math class at the community college Halloween night. However, he won Judge’s Choice at his high school, and a $10 Amazon card. We made his own Jack Skellington costume (and his name is Jack), and I’m glad he got a chance to celebrate.
2. Cooking up the jackolanterns today, and the pumpkin seeds. We celebrated Nov 1 with an Abbott and Costello movie from the library and my daughter’s candy — and a little I bought for us. We do not get any trick-or-treaters, ever.
3. Discovered Kanopy, and library and university resource for streaming movies. We will be using this free service in the future! They have old movies, which are hard to get from amazon or Netflix.
4. Making dinner ahead, for the three nights next week I will be subbing.
5. Mostly just laying low, and nursing my cold. We spent more than usual this week, but it was things to keep us moving forward. Halloween is hard since the death of my teen nephew, so the money was money well spent.


Lisa M. November 2, 2019 at 10:23 am

Condolences on the loss of your nephew. Your grieving process & mental health needs absolutely transcend concern about frugality around the anniversary of his death.


Betta from daVille November 2, 2019 at 10:18 am

Not a terribly great frugal week….

1) Finally reached $20 through Ibotta. Like Bee (and I’m guessing most folks here), I usually only get the .10 since we don’t tend to purchase processed foods or name brand foods…. (except Hellman’s).

2) I have to go to a fancy event this month and realized what I thought I could wear will not be fancy enough. Found some pants on line that I could get back $$$ from both Swagbucks and Honey, and hoping that they are my fancy-pants for the next decade. Having them shipped for free to local branch of store so I did not have to pay for shipping.

3) Convinced DP that we should NOT go out for pizza since we had pizza dough in the freezer.

4) Usual free coffee at work/home, books from library/Libby.

Frugal fail: slept terribly this week which meant I was weak, weak, weak! I got take-out twice. Total was $20 and that is $20 more than I wanted to spend on food this week….

A. Marie: I [heart] your #5.


Jennifer November 2, 2019 at 12:51 pm

1. Dd and I went to the local consignment store today and she found an Anthropologie sweater for $24 and I found a nice unique shirt for even less. I am tired of my solid shirts wardrobe and this is a fun multi-colored stripe. I had carried around a nice cardigan from J.Crew, but made sure to look at the care instructions before purchasing. it was dry clean only so I put it back. I don’t like the cost of dry clean!

2. Went to the new Meijer in another town to get the dog allergy meds I can’t find anywhere else. I took advantage of their sales while I was there and came away with a lot of groceries for not a lot of money. I then decided to skip my regular trip to my local store.

3. Turned in our library books on time to avoid a fine and picked up another batch of free reading material. I love the library and have passed that onto my kids too. Buying a book is something we just don’t do.

4. Chasing down a refund I was owed. The check should be here in time for my next car payment and I will add that to it. I am hoping to have it paid off by year’s end. Sending all extra money in that direction.

5. Working/volunteering at the local sports arena to pad the college savings account. 2 Tuitions due next month means we need to work more for sure. I’m thankful to have the opportunity to work these events.


Cindy in the South November 2, 2019 at 4:49 pm

1. I flew 2000 miles one way to a work conference, which just happened to be in the city where my new granddaughter lives. My boss was happy to let me make the trip since it was a free national conference and I stayed at my daughter’s house for free. 2. Today was the 5th anniversary of my mom’s death and I went with my middle son to decorate her grave. Family time is priceless! It is a three hour drive from where I live now, but worth the effort. 3. I made a fruit sauce with blackstrap molasses, free mulberries, and free figs. I put it on top of Brie and French bread. It was decent. 4. I found a turkey for 78 cents a lb and purchased it for thanksgiving. It is now in my freezer. 5. I took a nap.


Lisa M. November 2, 2019 at 7:14 pm

How lovely that remembering your Mom provided time to spend with your son.


Bee November 3, 2019 at 3:10 am

I’m glad you were able to see your granddaughter again. I’m sure see has changed quite a bit from the last visit.


Karen B November 2, 2019 at 7:11 pm

1) Best free entertainment: watched a dog costume parade. The entrance fee for contestants and the bake sale both benefited our local Humane society, from which we’ve adopted 6 times over the years. It was so much fun watching all the cute, happy dogs.

2) Bought marked-down Halloween snack cakes to occasionally slip in son’s sack lunch, $1 per box.

3) We thought we were going to meet friends at a restaurant for dinner and when that didn’t work out instead of eating out anyway we stayed home and had movie night—free DVD from library.

4) Son liked the movie and now wants to read the book sequels which we can get from the library.

5) Husband repaired a broken radio with son observing the troubleshooting and repair process.


Karen B November 2, 2019 at 7:16 pm

Oh, yeah, #6, I’ve been watching a tv show in Spanish to refresh my 30 year rusty skills. I noticed improvement in how much I understood in just a show or 2. Free. Side benefit: Hulu is now showing commercials during shows in English frequently in Spanish as well, which means decreased effectiveness on the other 2 members of my family. I found this entertaining. 🙂


Momma L November 3, 2019 at 4:59 am

I got some veggies in a Misfits box that I don’t normally use, so I plan to:
1. Try making baba ganoush. Looks like the most appealing eggplant recipe that DH might eat.
2. Make chicken veggie soup using broth I’ve already made and some of the carrots, celery, and other veggies in the box.
3. Roast the acorn squash when I’m roasting some meat from the freezer
4. Eat lots of veggies with hummus at work.
5. Cancelling my CSA subscription, they send too much that DH doesn’t like or can’t eat. Going back to scouring the produce at the store.


tracy November 3, 2019 at 5:52 am

1. Handed out 8 pounds of half price Halloween candy (snickers, twix, milky way, 3 musketeer and M & M minis) bought at Krogers (Freddy’s) on sale and with a coupon for $12 a few weeks before Halloween and hidden in my car so DH didn’t get to it before the big day.
2. Been really working on eliminating food waste. Made an enchilada casserole to use up black beans I’d made from scratch last week and some leftover dark meat chicken. Hubs prefers white meat so I have to disguise the dark meat. Also roasted seeded peeled and sliced 5 bell peppers that were getting a little wrinkly so we can easily add them to things this week. (Vegan daughter had them and some more of the black beans and rice for dinner last night). Also sliced up a $1 rewrap pineapple bought last weekend and a cantaloupe and both are well on their way to getting finished off. And I ate leftovers for lunch yesterday to finish those off.
3. Needed another winter running shirt. Found one truly like new and odor free at Goodwill for $12. (Relatively expensive for Goodwill but $60 new, Under Armor brand, quarter zip)
4. Only one restaurant meal in last week — a business lunch on Friday. (Since I am public sector my work does not pay but still need to do work lunches from time to time)
5. Made a couple charitable pledges like three years ago. $300 to be paid $25/month. Well, never got around to cancelling until now so they got more than their money’s worth. I finally did cancel so savings of $50 month. Also made and adjustment to cell phone bill that will save $30 month. Also cancelled my online NYT subscription, just wasn’t using enough, that’s another $8/month. Now need to tackle our insurance, I know we can do better.


Lindsey November 3, 2019 at 11:47 am

You gave me my laugh for the day with your comment about hiding candy in the trunk so someone else does not eat it! My husband is the one who would have to do that to prevent me from raiding the stash. We waste money by buying Halloween candy the day before, but it keeps me from eating the stuff.


Momma L November 9, 2019 at 6:07 am

I used to hide chocolate in my basket that held feminine supplies. DH NEVER goes in there!


Lynda November 3, 2019 at 9:08 am

Hi, Katy!
This may never be an issue for me as I live in the UK but I’m curious! How do Winco prevent cross contamination for their gluten free goods?


Katy November 4, 2019 at 11:51 am

I buy gluten-free products for my daughter, but can be a bit relaxed about it as she doesn’t have a celiac diagnosis. If she did I would NOT buy bulk flour.


cathy November 5, 2019 at 10:48 am

I would echo what Katy said and go further. If you need to buy gluten-free flour or other foods due to celiac, gluten or wheat sensitivity, or a real allergy, I have never found a single store that sells in bulk to be at all careful about avoiding cross-contamination. I can’t even tell you how many times I tried to get Whole Foods to understand that it wasn’t a particularly good idea to put the gluten-free flours *below* the regular wheat flours. I have to be hypervigilant because I have a kid with anaphylactic allergies.


KJD509 November 3, 2019 at 12:01 pm

FFT, really feeling lucky edition:

1) Worked from home one day last week. I need to average two per week in order to stretch my office’s transit subsidy for the whole month, and it’s been busy with meetings and in-office commitments so I was glad to have a day when I could sit on the couch in my slippers. I know how lucky I am to have work that allows this.

2) Spent 90 minutes in line Saturday morning to buy a hundred bucks worth of homemade sausage. Hear me out about how this is frugal: there’s a rural school and parish an hour out of town that began decades ago to offer sausage dinners with all the fixings plus pie the first Saturday in November as a fundraiser. My dad loved to go out there, no matter how bad the weather or long the lines. Last time we were there together, my adorable baby faced husband and toddler daughter – now 25 – got their pictures with a plate of sausage in the local paper. Since then, dad has died and the family has scattered, but my mom and I made the drive and stood chatting and reminiscing in line on a gorgeous sunny day for enough bulk sausage that I can give most of it as consumable Christmas gifts to my adult kids, she can feed her dwindling group of elderly friends a nostalgic supper, and there will be plenty for our freezers. And we made it back in time for littlest daughter’s soccer game!

3) Quick trip for the rest of the weekend to do some repairs on our beach place. The local Home Depot was out of something critical that hubs had called ahead to confirm was in stock, so an employee pulled a similar item off the floor display and sent it with him fo free! As he’d also made a return, he walked out with the item AND cash in his pocket. Amazing!

4) Doing maintenance ourselves instead of hiring it done saves so much money that it makes the vacation rental an income stream, though a tiny one, rather than a cost. One disadvantage of getting it fixed up is that it’s rented more often, but I’m not complaining – we get out here when we can. We will cut back on rentals in the distant future when we’re done paying college tuition.

5) No meals out at the adorable restaurants nearby – just a quick stop at the grocery store for things we were out of anyway (and ice cream). We’ll take leftovers home in the cooler.

Bonus 6) Middle daughter sent us the total remaining cost of her tuition, which, because she has worked her butt off, is only one more semester – she’ll be graduating a full 3 semesters early! Still not sure how we’re coming up with it in the next ten days, but we will make it work.


tracy November 4, 2019 at 6:19 am

Congrats on bonus 6! As the parent of kids (now young adults) who are taking waaaay longer than 4 years to finish I am extremely impressed. But at least I have stopped paying, they need to figure it out at this point!


Christine November 8, 2019 at 3:28 pm

Your #2…beautiful story and a wonderful tradition your Dad started that you are carrying on. Very sweet. I’m glad you and your Mom had a fun day.


K D November 4, 2019 at 5:07 am

1. My husband was away all weekend so I entertained myself with friends and also spent time with our adult child. I did a bunch of fall maintenance tasks as well.

2. I attended a fund raiser at a local church. I did not bid on any silent auction items. It did buy a few raffle tickets, as a friend’s group was selling those.

3. I baked a bunch of stuff for a large group that are associated with my husband’s work. I bake based on what we have in the house, stuff i have purchased when it is a good price. I resisted the temptation to buy sale priced m&m’s, as i have enough for many batches of Monster cookies before I’ll run out.

4. I’m enjoying the fall weather and the fact that it is not too hot to take a walk any time of the day. I try to remember this when I miss the days with more light.

5. A friend finished reading his library copy of She Said (by the New York Times reporters that broke the Harvey Weinstein story) before it was due, so he loaned it to me. I have just a few pages left to read and will then return it to the library. It is an interesting read.


LB November 4, 2019 at 10:07 am

1. Traveled home to see my family and managed to not snack at all during each ride. I love a diet coke while I’m driving but I resisted temptation and stuck to water.

2. My raincoat is no longer waterproof (also, I hate it) and have been looking for a replacement. While rifling through my parent’s closet I found an old raincoat of mine that still fits and will do the trick! Especially going into a colder season where I won’t use it as much, this was a great find.

3. Fridge is still full of food from last week, so making sure I use it up before I buy anything new. This includes a real mediocre lunch option from last week which I am eating now to avoid having to eat it later. Soggy tofu…tragic.

4. Spent the weekend at home with no shopping excursions kept the prices way down. We all enjoyed a night out for an event my sister was in, so I treated us to a round of drinks as thanks for my mom covering my ticket. Otherwise, my wallet stayed in my bag!

5. Had a conversation with my mom about Christmas gifts and how she was overwhelmed with stuff already. Asked her to have a think about stuff she actually needs so we aren’t guessing, and introduced her to Amazon wishlist for things she is picky about (she wants new nightgowns and a pair of slippers, so definitely want to get her some things she wants!) It doesn’t make sense for us to guess or over-buy when she could just have what will make her happy and comfortable.


Ruby November 5, 2019 at 6:43 am

1. Had pitiful turnout for our little yard sale, but still managed to make $53 and clear out several closets, along with making the Salvation Army store happy with a bunch of donations. Pitiful turnout was due to a huge estate sale up the road attracting most of the customers.
2. Had a no spend day yesterday (a necessity until I find a new job), and stayed home to give the house a thorough dusting and vacuuming.
3. Washed tablecloths yesterday and dried them on the line strung up across the back porch. They come out crisp, wrinkle-free and without bird poop that way.
4. Scrubbed the kitchen sinks with table salt and Palmolive dish detergent, and they are so shiny!
5. Took one for the team and ate the last apple in the bowl after cutting out a rather prominent bruise. It was delicious.


Amanda November 5, 2019 at 10:10 am

1) I realized when I couldn’t find any clean pants for our daughter last night that her capsule wardrobe is a little too bare bones for her potty training self. What followed was the standard course of things when I buy clothes for our household. a) Throw my hands up and say, “ugh, I just want things easy and now” while shopping Old Navy’s app on my phone. b) Be legit astounded at how much Old Navy clothes cost. Every. Single. Time. c) Find a bunch of stuff on Thredup, add coupon codes with Honey, and go under our monthly clothing budget.

2) My mom is coming to stay tonight before we head out tomorrow for a conference. She pays for her flight. I pay for everything else. She gets a super cheap travel experience. I get child care for whichever child is currently breastfeeding while on the road. This arrangement has worked well for a decade now. She also volunteered to buy us dinner tonight.

3) I have a long list of audiobooks I want to buy and listen to. Instead of doing so I added them to my audible list so I wouldn’t forget them. Then I got on the waitlist for those the library owns and recommended through the app the audiobooks not owned by the library. And I am listening to the audiobooks I currently have through the library/got free through an audible promotion.

4) We’ve been carefully and methodically working through a plan to build out and decorate our office this year. My style can be defined as “whatever I find for $1 at the Goodwill and pairs well with the nothing I already have.” But we are a design firm whose employees and clients expect to walk into a hip space with functional meeting spaces and work spaces. We bartered with a friend who does work space interior design to come up with a plan for a gorgeous $50-$100K buildout. We plan to do it for $25K, strategically buying furniture, DIYing when we can, and saving up $5K at a time for contracting services. In a perfect world we would have saved up an extra $30K and done it all at once, but this ain’t a perfect world and we are already in the space. We’re happy with our progress, feel like we are getting a major bang for middle bucks, and we’re not in debt.

5) I combined a bunch of veggies in the fridge for lunch, made a meal plan my husband and the kids can easily follow while I’m on the road, went to be early to preserve my productivity today, called to dispute a claim with my health insurer (I was right), made the first payment on our newly refinanced mortgage and happily watched the balance tick down faster than it previously did, and made my own baby food.


SEA November 6, 2019 at 6:51 am

Question for all you avid ebay-ers out there: when an item has a “Make an offer” option, what’s considered a reasonable offer, percentage-wise? I know this is a business transaction, and should be devoid of emotional reactions, but sometimes an offer is so low as to be offensive, and therefore ignored! I’d like to avoid that, but still get a good deal. 🙂 Thoughts?

I’ve only “made an offer” on one item (about 15% lower than their price, which was already reduced 15%), the seller came back with a counter-offer, I counter-offered with a nice message thanking them for considering my offer and saying if they took it I would pay and complete the sale that day. It was successful! I got the item about 10% lower than the sale price, the seller got rid of it, and I think everybody was happy.


Bee November 6, 2019 at 2:55 pm

The long answer is that depends. I think a request for a 10 – 20% discount is reasonable in most cases. However, asking for a 50% discount when the item is newly listed in unfair to the seller. On the other hand, if you have been watching an item for 3 months, a 50% discount may not be unreasonable.

Every buyers pricing structure and business model is slightly different. So there really isn’t a right answer. If a seller is firm on the price, he or she usually will not accept any offers.


ouvickie November 9, 2019 at 12:05 pm

I can’t remember the last time I posted, so forgive me if I repeat myself.
1) I took a large oil painting to a friend, who owns a gallery. She’s going to sell it for me. Since Christmas is coming up, I’m hoping it will sell soon.
2) My husband now carries his own medical insurance, so I was able to take him off mine. We re-enrolled for the next year, so I combed through my benefit enrollment and either deleted duplicate coverage on some things, or decided I didn’t need other. I, also, decided to go with the high-deductible medical and the HSA account, since my employer will contribute $500 to the HSA annually and I can put more toward my HSA this year.
3) Due to a cost-of-living raise, I bumped up a monthly bill payment and will be rid of that bill in May- thus saving an additional $100 per month.
4) Hubby has a new staff position and is bringing in more money. I was able to finally get caught up completely on a few other bills and restock the pet food and our pantry and fridge.
5) We’re in the process of selling off part of our acreage to a young neighbor couple. Which will allow us to pay off debt – hopefully our mortgage.
The downsizing has begun in earnest and retirement is on the horizon. Yahoo!!!


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