Five Frugal Things

by Katy on May 12, 2020 · 98 comments

  1. My eBay sales were dismal, which seems to be the theme lately. However I did sell a few things.

    • The tree pieces from a Ravensburger Enchanted Forest game. This is part of an experiment to see if it’s possible to piece out a board game and make significantly more than if I’d sold the complete game. I’ve now made $20 from this $3 thrifted game, and could conceivably make an additional $20.

    • An Ikea duvet cover with matching pillows cases that I pulled out of a Goodwill bin. Since I paid by the pound for these lightweight items, I know my initial investment was just a couple of bucks.

    • A Fiestaware mini disc pitcher that I remember was just $1.99 from a suburban Portland Goodwill. (I have an almost photographic memory for my thrifted finds!)

    • More of my daughter’s Shonen Jump magazines. I utilized my son’s college apartment bookcase to organize the manga, which greatly helps when trying to find single magazines from the 100+ that I listed on eBay.

    • A five-panel baseball cap that I pulled out of a neighbor’s free box last summer. My son was going to keep it, but changed his mind. I was asking $20, but accepted a $15 offer since my initial investment was zero. Just happy to put unwanted items into the hands, (or onto the heads) of people who value them.

  2. I pieced out a thrifted Ticket To Ride board game to continue the experiment with maximizing profit from a supposed single item. (I’d tried listing the game on Facebook Marketplace, but it got flagged as prohibited as it included the word “ticket!”) There are enough finicky little pieces included in the game to conceivably make over $100. Who knows? Can’t hurt to try!

  3. After years of feeling like a Frugal Fraud™, I finally convinced my husband that it was time to cancel our cable TV service! Granted, we’d chosen the lowest possible package that included sportball, but it’ll still save us $60/month as I was able to bring our internet service down an additional $10/month with the same phone call. My husband is an avid soccer fan, but since spectator sports stopped existing, this was a no brainer.

    We still get Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, plus Sling, (currently free every evening) through our Roku box, which allows my husband to watch CNN live. We also have an old digital roof antenna, which provides additional local options. It seems like there really are endless free streaming options including the library’s Kanopy service.

    Not too shabby, considering that I grew up with just ABC, CBS, NBC, PBS and a single local channel. If we’re un-entertained. It’ll be our own damned fault!

  4. I confirmed that we were credited the $50 for returning our son’s extra electronic key fob to his apartment building, I started reading Louise Erdrich’s The Night Watchman, which is one of the three physical library books that I had randomly checked out when our branches closed. (I’d started it when I first checked it out, but didn’t have the focus at the time.) I finished listening to a library audiobook of Celeste Ng’s excellent Everything I Never Told You, I scored two 5-pound sale bags of black beans at Safeway, my friend Lise is giving me a couple of tomato starts and I sit at home going almost nowhere and spending no money.

  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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{ 98 comments… read them below or add one }

Nicola May 12, 2020 at 3:24 pm

We have discovered that doing online grocery shopping, once every 3 weeks saves money. I think we used to shop weekly and keep adding things until the cart was full! We do have a small store if we run out of anything.
We are still using the same tank of gas we bought 5 weeks ago. Grocery shopping, 3 weekly, and 24km of commuting a week for me are our only trips these days, so a tank goes a long way.
No take out where we live, so only 1/month is saving us quite a bit.
Ebay sales are steady, but I haven’t put in much effort, so there’s that. Thrifts still closed so sourcing would be limited.
The garden is starting to produce a little bit. Looking forward to zucchini and tomato season.


Kathy May 12, 2020 at 3:48 pm

1. Ice tea has become our beverage of choice. So I brew some almost every day. I find I can use a set of tea bags 2x before ditching of them
2. Last week was ok for online sales. The $$ offset a gift I needed to buy
3. I’m cocktailing hair products so I don’t buy any more
4. Packed a box of clothes to send to Mercari for online sales
4. Canceled our wine club membership


A. Marie May 12, 2020 at 4:03 pm

FFT, Blessings (and Snow) Edition:

Snowflakes the size of 50-cent pieces are falling out of the sky here in Upstate NY right now, and I’m about ready to put my head through a wall. However, I’m trying not to overlook recent blessings:

(1) DH may be losing brain cells left and right, but he still retains a glimmer of his old sense of humor. He just looked out the window and remarked, “There won’t be many people out there eating ice cream tonight.” (I replied, “Not unless they stick a bucket of milk and sugar out the front door.”)

(2) Two different friends have sent us masks in the past two days. (Good thing, too, as the ones I cut out of a pair of orthopedist’s disposable exam shorts are reaching the end of their usefulness.) Friend #1, a Literary Society goombah, commissioned me a belated Xmas present of a mask cut out of Union Jack material with Our Author’s reproduced signature on it. (In spite of Boris Johnson et al., there is still a corner of a foreign field here that is forever England.)

(3) And Friend #2, a member of our dog-owning/”horsepucky” neighbor family down the street (see the previous FFT), made us a set of FOUR masks with room for filters. A generous and multitalented lady!

(4) Friend #1’s mother just stopped by with another batch of her giveaway produce: celery, romaine lettuce, sweet potatoes, grapes, oranges, and cantaloupes. (A little damage here and there, but that’s what paring knives are for.) I gave her a six-pack of Bounty paper towels, since she wanted paper towels and we have all but stopped using them (rags ‘R’ us).

(5) And I swear this is true: Simon and Garfunkel’s “Feelin’ Groovy” just came up on my YouTube feed as I was writing this, and it just stopped snowing. I don’t guarantee that this will work for everyone, but it’s well worth trying.


Patricia Koernig May 13, 2020 at 12:59 am

A,Marie, what spirit you have! You rock!


C May 12, 2020 at 4:17 pm

Get this… the items that I ended up with from the library before the apocalypse are as follows: Sharknado 1, Sharknado 2 and Sharknado 3. These were taken out as a semi joke to entertain my kids and we are stuck with them for the forseeable future. No quality literature or classic films. Just Sharknado.
And yes- we’ve watched all of them many times.


Katy May 12, 2020 at 7:19 pm

That is hilarious! So these are your metaphorical “desert island” choices then?


Joanie May 13, 2020 at 5:04 am

My son had put Pandemic on hold before the library closed. Imagine the lucky person who’s had it for two months now.


Economically Proud May 13, 2020 at 6:21 am

So funny. Thank you for sharing.


Patti May 12, 2020 at 4:31 pm

1) We are eating better than ever as cooking becomes our entertainment. We are trying new recipes from my collection and using up food we already have.
2) I am selling needlepoint canvases and yarn that an elderly neighbor gave me when she moved into assisted living. It is going very well – I could sell for more $$ but I want these items gone. I have enough projects to last a lifetime.
3) Walking to work has kept me from buying gas.
4) My son came home for his birthday and we went on an adventure to see the goats our neighborhood has hired to eat kudzu and ivy, to see the path of the tornado we had in February (that demolished some homes in the neighborhood where his high school buddies grew up), and went to a farm that grows fresh strawberries and also had fresh vegetables from Florida. Ended the day with a meal using all those items.
5) I keep busy sewing, knitting, and reading from my stash. So far, I haven’t made a dent in it!!


MB in MN May 12, 2020 at 4:46 pm

1. Seeing if an independent insurance agent can find us better rates for our auto and home insurance.

2. A friend was given seedlings (silver maple, black cherry and pin cherry) and she passed along dozens to us.

3. Made peace with buying a few things online (e.g., printer cable, phone case since my phone kept slipping out of my hand, and shoes that help with my osteoarthritis). Before the pandemic, I bought everything in person 99.9% of the time since I like to see, touch or try on what I’m buying.

4. I usually wear my hair super short. Since I haven’t had a haircut in what seems like three years instead of three months, I’m taming it into a new style that I may keep once the salon opens back up. Potential future savings.

5 (or not). Can’t come up with anything else as life feels like it has stalled in its tracks.


Mand01 May 12, 2020 at 4:49 pm

I can’t seem to sign up to follow comments anymore. That’s frustrating.
1. I picked the last pumpkins and eggplant from my garden and planted out the brassicas and lettuces for winter/spring.
2. We cooked a pork roast on Mother’s Day and had it for dinner three nights.
3. We haven’t really driven anywhere.
4. My work is back to pre-pandemic levels, at least for this month.
5. I’m not going anywhere or spending anything. The early pandemic spending that occurred has dropped right off and now we are just hunkered down until everything opens back up. Here that is predicted to be fully open by early July.


JoDi May 12, 2020 at 5:37 pm

I’m curious – Since your husband is such a sports fan and really enjoys watching soccer, will you sign up for cable again once live sports resume or find some other option so he can watch? Most people employ frugality to save money in areas that aren’t important to them so they can spend in areas that provide more enjoyment. Since this is something your husband truly values even though you don’t, canceling your cable permanently due to the temporary cancellation of sporting events seems to cross the line of frugality into miser territory.

I don’t know why I care about an Internet stranger enough to comment on this, but your last couple of posts about this topic have made me feel bad for your husband. You’ve mentioned many times that he’s a first-responder, and his full-time employment has enabled you to quit your part-time job as a nurse. Can’t you give the guy a break and let him have his cable sports?


Katy May 12, 2020 at 7:17 pm

There are streaming sports options that my husband plans on using.


Christine May 13, 2020 at 2:13 pm

Did anyone else’s parents bring them up with the old adage…”If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all”? I’m sure it’s helped me from hurting feelings through the years.


Marie May 12, 2020 at 5:40 pm

It is frustrating to not be able to follow comments. Somethings changed.
1. Our small town food bank was desperate to give away produce.
So, we picked up carrots, potatoes, oranges, though they weren’t the best. Celery, onions, and a cabbage the size of my head.
2. Been selling on marketplace, as we go through things.
3. Potted up extra sedums, and sold them too.
4. Going to the store tomorrow, as it’s been 3 weeks. I buy extra milk, and freeze, but am out of fruit. So time to check out the world.
5. Neighbor gave us his disney+ password, so I’m giving him eggs weekly.
He says it’s not necessary, but he won t turn away free eggs.
6. The same neighbor called and wanted to know if I knew anyone that needed a gas push mower. The self- propelled part is going out. I’ve spent the last couple of weeks looking for a used one, for places the riding mower can’t go, so walked down to get it, and told him I’d give him an extra berry bush I don’t need.
I love bartering


Lisa M. May 12, 2020 at 5:53 pm

5FF: Beautiful Spring Edition

Spring is challenging d/t tree allergies but even so, the beauty of nature has been more apparent this year. I have been able to appreciate the green hues of the budding trees & the magenta pink of our about-to-bloom ornamental cherry trees, varying temperatures fluctuating between warm & cool, & the way sunlight appears in my living room from the skylight d/t the angle of the sun only in late spring/summer/early fall.

1. Received a check from vehicle insurance on DD’s policy when she turned 19. A small amount but still a bright spot every year.

2. Big box bakery clearance rack keeps coming through for discounts during this time when there are fewer available: 31% on Cinnabon marble loaf cake, 58% on Hawaiian rolls, 35% on French bread. Also used a coupon at gas station for 33% on 2-piece chicken to break up the at-home lunch monotony on the way home from shopping.

3. Recent from-scratch recipes made: Italian Casserole, Creamy Rice & Mushroom Bake. Trying to keep close tabs on produce: baked up the last few of a large bag of potatoes that were on their last leg when I was running the oven & cleaned/refrigerated an onion that had seen a better day in attempts to arrest further decline. Used Mother’s Day leftovers in a subsequent meal including a small amount of Greek Salad & Jasmine rice, along with sending pita bread home with DD. Waste not, want not…

4. DH & I continue to use Netflix daily for our primary entertainment source, either series or movies. The quarantine has bumped up the value for us, as we are enjoying it significantly more d/t being stuck at home. We are also using our basement gym even more d/t DH’s closed gym. We both try to exercise daily & I walk little dog daily in decent weather.

5. Between birthday cash gifts, state tax refund, federal stimulus check & ongoing unemployment, DD is flush with resources for a college student. Gives the parental unit a break from covering the cost of her rent.


Mary Beth Danielson May 12, 2020 at 6:43 pm

1. I’ve been writing a Quarantine Diary and as of tonight I have written 59 entries. It’s keeping me sane for almost zilch, since my husband is a Drupal (computer language) nerd and this works for him, too.
2. Husb fixed the lawn mower, the printer, and the pot in which he bakes bread. More about how he did this at
3. Have tried to be a sustainability-oriented person all my life, but the pandemic is moving faster than me. Washed some windows this morning. Was going to wash the outside with Windex Outdoor stuff that one attaches to a hose. I have some left, not much and when I went to reorder- the price has tripled! So I found a recipe online and I will use that when I need it. Which won’t be soon because then the hose split. The price of hoses has gone up like crazy also, so I will pull that hose back out of the garbage tomorrow and I think I can fix it, plus I ordered $6 tape for fixing hoses.
4. Looked online for info about getting soil tested (start at one’s state university soil testing) and did the protocols and took the dirt to the lab. It costs $25 including testing for lead. I live in a hundred-plus year old kinda-gritty city neighborhood, I want to know how toxic the backyard dirt is before I try to grow tomatoes. The lab will also suggest what kind of fertilizer this dirt needs.
5. Grocery store accidentally gave us a boatload of kale. There was no charge and they throw it away if one returns it – so I am making my way through it. I had kale, carrot, raisin oatmeal the other day. With cinnamon (a lot of cinnamon) it wasn’t as bad as you’d think. Kale, lemon, pasta salad was better.
6. Eating delicious meals one night, then leftovers the next two. Trying to not gain weight on sourdough bread. Walking and bike riding. We discovered nesting ospreys not far from here in the car and we visit them often. What ospreys feed their chicks (upchucked cold fish) makes kale oatmeal seem like French cuisine.
7. Why is the new streaming Emma $20? A. Marie you are the Empress of Austen. Any suggestions? Just re-read the book?


Roberta May 13, 2020 at 6:43 am

I have read that sunflowers decontaminate soil. If you can’t plant directly in the dirt this year, you might want to try sunflowers and see if they improve it enough to use the soil in subsequent years.


Mary Beth Danielson May 13, 2020 at 6:30 pm

Thank you for this. I will keep it in mind. I’m planning all flowers if the dirt is not healthy.


A. Marie May 13, 2020 at 11:32 am

Hi, Mary Beth: With thanks for the “Empress of Austen” compliment, I have to say that I haven’t yet watched this Emma–in part because of the price tag and in part because I’m peeved that yet another too-thin candy-floss blonde is playing Emma. (Didn’t like Romola Garai in the Masterpiece production a few years ago, either.) But this production has gotten generally good reviews even from JA diehards, so I’d say the decision whether to drop the $20 on the streaming version is up to you.

And as always, “reread the book” is an excellent plan. When you read Mrs. Weston’s description of Emma as a hazel-eyed, robust picture of health, you’ll understand why I’m irritated at all these candy-floss blondes.


Mary Beth Danielson May 13, 2020 at 6:29 pm

Thanks! I love Jane Austen. It’s fun to watch the movies, but its so much richer to plow through the books. And one does get weary of the blonde wraiths. ( Tonight Emma is down to $15. Another couple months… )
Come to my website – I want to talk about the latest Little Women. Everyone loves it, I’m not so sure…


A. Marie May 14, 2020 at 9:03 am

Thanks for the invitation, Mary Beth–but, truth to tell, I have not watched ANY of the film versions of LW, not even the 1930s one with Katharine Hepburn.

From the reviews and photos I saw of this latest version, it looked as if it was open to my usual objections (Jo’s too pretty, Prof. Bhaer looks nothing like Alcott’s character, etc.)–plus it sounded from the few quoted snippets as if the script was getting ahead of the novel’s times in terms of feminism, politics, etc. I will say that the actor playing this Laurie is a cutie, however.


cathy May 14, 2020 at 9:52 am

I just LOL’d about your Laurie comment.

Jenzer May 12, 2020 at 6:48 pm

1 – Gave a ThredUp-purchased blouse to my DD for upcycling. The blouse didn’t fit me right, but the fabric was so pretty and soft I didn’t want to send the blouse back.

2 – Foraged for stinging nettle tops, using my DH’s welding gloves for protection. Turned the tops into a delicious, pureed soup.

3 – Working to re-home a Little Tykes slide that’s been used by four different kids in two families. The slide is over twenty years old and a bit faded, but it’s still sturdy.

4 – Mixed together leftover rice and beans with leftover quinoa vegetable pilaf to make vegetarian enchilada filling. Leftovers never die — they just transmogrify. 😉

5 – Despite the emotional roller coaster these last several weeks, I’ve mostly avoided eating my feelings … which means my body size/shape has stayed consistent … which means my clothes still fit. I’d hate to have the stress of outgrowing my wardrobe on top of everything else (been there done that). Wishing peace to those struggling in this area.


Laura May 12, 2020 at 7:20 pm

ESPN has a streaming subscription service for $5/month, I believe. That might be a cheap option when sports starts up again. We aren’t really a sports family so I don’t know what all they show on it.


kate May 12, 2020 at 7:22 pm

1. my etsy and ebay sales have gone up the past couple of weeks. and since the pandemic in general. prior to february, i hadn’t made an etsy sale since october or november.
2. cancelled hulu to share my mom’s account. used it for a month then it told me i had to use her wifi to log back in under her account. i so had been offered to sign up again with one free month, so….got 2 free months of hulu.
3. my mom also turned me onto imperfect foods as soon as the pandemic began. mainly buy from them every week and then do supplemental grocery orders, so even though i am spending a lot more at once, i think i’m saving money on groceries overall.
4. have not ordered any sort of take out, so haven’t eaten out in over 2 months.
5. have hardly been driving so am saving tons of $ on gas but my car battery died b/c i wasn’t driving enough. while that was money down the drain, at least i now know the secret formula from the AAA representative-drive 30 minutes (or just sit and let your car run, but why do that?) once or twice a week.


IB May 13, 2020 at 6:09 am

If you know you won’t drive for awhile, just unhook your battery cables. Then the it won’t get drained. Hook back up when ready to go. That way not wasting any gas. Hope that helps. I do this with my lawn mower over the winter and a truck I have.


Vickey May 13, 2020 at 10:39 am

Kate, it’s better to actually drive your car so the rings and seals all get exercised, too. And, that way your tires don’t get flattened in one area.


Vickey May 14, 2020 at 12:35 pm

And with apologies to IB, whose comment hadn’t shown up on my screen when I posted. Didn’t mean to sound like I was correcting you.


IB May 14, 2020 at 12:43 pm

No worries. Those are all good points that I hadn’t thought of. Thanks! Always good to learn new things.


Jen in CA May 12, 2020 at 7:43 pm

I always get a thrill when I check my inbox and see a new post, Katy! Thanks for taking the time, especially during these times. So interesting about the game pieces all pieced out on eBay. I was researching my 27 year old wedding Wedgewood “China” on eBay last night and noticed that a single “replacement” piece sells for more than a set of 4. Something to ponder, love it. I think we have used the dishes twice in 27 years, time to sell. I am Konmari-ing the S$%T out of my house during Quarantine. Free Pile out front is a delight, peeking at the shoppers walking away with my junk! Usually I would have a big sale this time of year but the stuff just has to go, unless it will sell online. Feels good to lighten up.

Sorry that I am not doing FFT but am instead rambling. I hardly know what day it is anymore, lol. Will have to start keeping notes.


Mama Minou May 12, 2020 at 8:17 pm

Here’s my frugal five:
1. Trying to stay under 80/week for groceries for two. We do a curbside pick-up at our little local natural food store. Spendier but intentional. Not much wiggle room for ice cream or wine, so healthier too.
2. Walking or biking to work.
3. Gardening again, but not buying plants, just pulling weeds.
4. Plan to try cultivating plants (woody bushes) from existing ones.
5. Making masks with gifted fabric to give away, doing borrowed jigsaw puzzle, knitting up the quarantine yarn….


cathy May 12, 2020 at 10:24 pm

1. Expanding the veg garden and planting mostly from seed–packets left from last year and year before, some saved seed, some from our library’s seed library (they put the inventory online. I placed a request and they mailed me several packets). I did buy a few plants, mainly heirloom tomatoes, to support two annual fundraisers, one for the community garden and one for the synagogue. Both purchases were online and pick-up was curbside and contactless.
2. Husband and I are finally re-doing a boring mostly weedy side yard. We put down cardboard we’d collected as a weed barrier, covered it with mulch (purchased last year). There are already several bulbs and perennials in place, and I’ll transplant others that have volunteered around the yard as well as three volunteer aspen trees (if you have aspens, you know you have a lifetime supply!). We laid a beautiful flagstone path. The stone was free to us when my parents replaced a path at their house. Created a bench from an old concrete slab and cinder blocks. The slab was under our downspout, but had to be moved when we installed a rain barrel. Found the cinder blocks through NextDoor and picked up from neighbors (social distancing). The only expense is the sand to set the stone in.
3. Reading a lot–ebooks from the library and various to-be-reads I already owned. About a month ago, I was finally able to concentrate for more than 5 minutes. Since then, I’ve read almost 20 books, mostly light mysteries.
4. Received our stimulus money and (for now) able to put it into savings.
5. Mailed my mom two Mother’s Day cards from my card stash. One was by an artist who’s a friend of hers. My husband and kids made me a hilarious photo card. Photo on the cover is the three of them all wearing face masks and looking sad. Photo on the inside has masks pushed to the side and smiling faces. Perfectly encapsulated Mother’s Day 2020.


leanne May 13, 2020 at 1:28 am

1 Weeding and planting what seeds we have so not to have to buy more.

2 Went thru my wardrobe and clothes i wasnt fussed with got makeovers. I have changed lengths shortened sleeves and changed buttons and some got a dye job. I feel like i have a whole new wardrobe.

3 Baking cakes and biscuits and making all meals from scratch.

4 Bagging up unwanted items to donate when the op shops start excepting again.

5 Made a throw rug from a couple of unwanted cardigans it is so warm and i was able to make hot water bottle covers from the left over sleeves.


Jill A May 13, 2020 at 4:22 am

Unfortunately I haven’t sold any more Ebay items.

1. I called Southwest Airlines and will receive a refund on the six plane tickets I bought when I was over optimistic about our summer vacation plans. I waited until flight was changed significantly enough. I guess that’s the bright side of choosing the least popular flight times.
2. I also received a partial refund for my April car insurance. I should receive a refund for May also.
3. I’m cooking from scratch including a delicious pizza which took care of that craving.
4. My daughters and I will extract honey that was left by last years bees. My Mother will come and watch for free entertainment.
5. I’m reading library books on my Kindle including the book American Dirt which I couldn’t put down. Hours of free entertainment.


K D May 13, 2020 at 5:19 am

Will your son graduate this semester? I’m hoping you are soon freed form paying tuition and other bills.

1. Very little spending as we are going no where. I do pick up some items at Sam’s Club once a week (they shop for me and I tip well) but I haven’t been in a store since march. Our daughter picks up a few items for us when she places an InstaCart order and a friend does the same when she goes to BJs. Of course, I offer every week to get them items at Sam’s Club, many weeks they do request an item or two.

2. A neighbor gave me some very ripe bananas. We did not need any more baked goods, there are two types of muffins in the freezer. I thought I remembered seeing a recipe for banana “ice cream” online. I Googled and found a few that looked delicious. I Used this recipe the other day:

It was worth making. Next time I make it we’ll top it with strawberries that I zapped to make a “sauce”.

3. We are trading plants with a neighbor: hostas, chives, tomatoes.

4. I’m using an old iPhone to FaceTime with my siblings and mom. My daughter loaned it to me. It runs on WiFi.

5. It has been almost four months since I had a haircut. I try to find ways to keep my formerly short and layered hair out of my face. It is a good thing not many people are seeing me.


Bee May 13, 2020 at 5:28 am

I have heard that banana “ice cream” was wonderful! I will use this recipe. I have some bananas that are ripe too.


Vickey May 15, 2020 at 6:26 am

You can also freeze other fruits and throw them in the food processor along with the bananas to get a nice mingling of flavors and still retain the texture. Cherries + cocoa powder + a small amount of almond extract (nummy!) Etc. Try adding some grated citrus zest to a bananas and berries combo for a lighter version.


Bee May 13, 2020 at 5:25 am

Government officials have started easing restrictions here in Florida. In the northern part of the state, we have flatten the curve! The hair salons opened Monday so I ventured out for a haircut. I really needed it, and I knew that my stylist needed it too. We both wore masks. He is washing capes between each use. Only one customer in the salon at a time, and he is wiping down all touch points after customers leave. My hair looks great! Only my cat, my husband and I saw it; but it feels better. Now on to FFTs —
1. My eBay sales were a little slower this week. My energy has been on other things, and it shows. I only seem to get out of things what I put into them. Although I sold 1/2 dozen things, my most interesting sale was an empty box – an empty Chanel sunglasses box with paperwork. I rescued it from my sister’s garbage when she was moving. ( My sister did not get the frugal gene).
2. The Goodwill Donation Center also reopened, so I brought in 7 bags of items that I decluttered over the last 2 months. Many people were dropping off. They had things set up, so people could socially distance. I wondered what was in all those bags!
3. I followed Katy’s lead and questioned everything last week. I found some charges on my cell phone bill that should not be there. So I’m working on it.
4. My DH and I sat down to review our monthly budget. It is easy to stay on track right now except in the food category. There are definable challenges and concerns here. After going through receipts, I am finding that buying from local markets and farmers is actually a budget-friendly choice. What’s more, the food is better-quality than the chain supermarkets. The big box stores will survive, but the absolutely fabulous organic market down the street may not.
5. I have been doing all the usual and now normal things: cooking from scratch, brewing my own coffee, and drinking primarily filtered water. I’m walking 3-5 miles daily. I used to run this on the treadmill at the YMCA , but no more gym for a long, long while. We are not sure what we are going to do about this once the unbearable summer heat sets in.
As always, I enjoying hearing about the adventures of the smart and the frugal. Thanks, Katy!


LB May 13, 2020 at 5:29 am

The chanel box reminded me of the time I went glasses shopping with a friend and a staff member was throwing out a bunch of Tiffany’s boxes that their eyeglasses line come in. They are tiffany blue and very nice, as to be expected, so I snagged a few to give to some friends. My sister still uses hers to store her sunglasses in her car!


A. Marie May 13, 2020 at 12:45 pm

The Chanel box story got me going down memory lane, too:

The SIL of friends who used to live down the street brought a bunch of presents from Tiffany for one Xmas, which he brought in Tiffany bags, which the friends put out on the curb next trash day, which I promptly appropriated.

This same SIL also once left his Maserati in the friends’ driveway with the engine running. I tapped on the front door and left a message that he’d better shut the car off and take his keys inside, or he wouldn’t have it much longer. He’s now an ex-SIL, although I don’t think this incident was the main reason.


Bee May 13, 2020 at 2:57 pm

Isn’t it amazing that the packaging on luxury items is also desirable!? Almost as desirable as a Maserati! Too bad those beautiful cars don’t come in Tiffany blue. Not that I ever would want one.


LB May 13, 2020 at 5:26 am

How long does it take something to become a habit? I think we’ve done that about a million times by now, but I think I’ve just hit my stay-at-home stride.

1. Made my first “fun” online order since we’ve been home. What did I get? A replacement pair of gym shorts and some new underwear as the elastic on things from 8 years ago are shot, and a video game. Realizing how excited I am to get a delivery puts all those deliveries I used to get into perspective–we used to have boxes outside almost every day when we got home.

2. I found a paper planner online that was beautiful and on clearance. I almost succumbed, then dug up an old bullet journal and took some time on a boring conference call to draw my own monthly calendar and habit tracker. One less item in my house, and $12 saved. Plus, with my social calendar empty and just workouts and reading habits to track, it didn’t make much sense.

3. It appears my brain is done stress eating about this pandemic. What a relief! Settling back into my routine of meals I like that are cheap, less takeout, and fewer desserts. Better for me and my wallet.

4. I’ve also been aggressively paying off debt. Staying home hit hard that the only person I have to blame for my credit card balance is myself! Hoping to maintain this level of frugality after we all go back into the world and keep paying it down so I can pad my savings account and invest a little more.

5. Resisting the ideas to buy box hair dye or trim my own ends. Both things are guaranteed to end in a larger financial outlay to fix the damage I would later!

FF: We opted for grocery delivery this past weekend as Wegmans in Brooklyn finally had some openings for shoppers (upstate gals still need their weggies!). Call me picky, but it was a mess. 40% of our items were refunded, another 30% of our items were incorrect (spinach garlic wraps instead of tortillas, the wrong type of greek yogurt, those sorts of gaffes) and the ones that were right were mostly produce and still sort of screwed up (organic peppers that are an extra $1.30/lb, bruised bananas, busted tomatoes). BF still had to go to store in our neighborhood to pick up essentials as our order ended up not actually getting us a full recipe of anything we planned to cook. Not sure if the selection was very bad or the shopper was inattentive. So to those who have had to do grocery delivery this whole time–I feel your pain!


tracy May 13, 2020 at 5:27 am

1. Friends gave me a restaurant gift certificate for my birthday so guilt free takeout last night.
2. Daughter and I gave each other pedicures. I gave myself a manicure. I trimmed my own bangs.
3. Making homemade yogurt today.
4. Dinner tonight = another meal from slow cooker pork roast.
5. Watching Little Fires Everywhere on Hulu for free, need to finish by 5/17 when free promo ends.


Jill May 13, 2020 at 5:43 am

1. Though I am not a reseller guru like Katy, I have resurrected my ebay sales after cleaning out every closet in my house. Sales have been slow but steady with a few per week. This week I concentrated on some old toys of my son’s.
2. Our library decided to offer curbside service, by appointment, for books that had been placed on request before lockdown. I was able to pick up two movies and two books that I had requested some 50 or so days ago. Happiest day of staying at home.
3. So many projects. I’ve been trying to keep my sanity by planning several projects per week and now my husband has joined in. He rented a 35 foot ladder for the princely sum of $25 for the weekend in which he replaced floodlights, cleaned out gutters, scrubbed the outside of our mildewed screen porch and trimmed tree limbs that were precariously close to our house. Not a bad investment.
4. We have had two large trips cancelled but fortunately, both have been offered at double the trip credit for 2 years – not one – so there is a chance we may be able to go on them after all.
5. We have been eating down the pantry and my husband says no new groceries – I tend to purchase for 5 of us still even though 2 of us live here. So I’m getting creative with cooking again after a lull of non-creativity.


Rhonda May 13, 2020 at 6:37 am

1. I have started listing more items on ebay and cleaning out the house of things we never use. It is so refreshing to see things leave and to actually put some money in the bank. A few things have sold so far. One big ticket item. So was thrilled about that.
2. I whittled down my Verizon bill. We had cancelled 3 devices and the way they work their plans is the more phones you have the less you pay per line. With only 2 lines instead of 5 our bill was only going to be $20 dollars less per month. Well we all know that does’t work for our frugal minds. I negotiated, found out there is a teacher discount of $25 per month – score! and now our bill is 1/2 what it used to be.
3. We planted a large garden which will significantly help with grocery bills as well as I added some new pullets to my chicken coup so we hopefully will be getting at least a dozen eggs a day which I can then sell as well as no longer have to purchase eggs.
4. I am working from home and barely using any gas at all. Only a few trips here and there (but I always bundle trips)!
5. Going through all my monthly subscriptions like Netflix etc. to see what we can cancel.
Overall I am doing ok but I know I could be doing better – but there is so much to list on ebay it can get overwhelming.


Kara May 13, 2020 at 6:59 am

I started an Etsy shop. Frugal for me because I’m too busy to do anything else. Frugal for buyers because my prices are good, and my items replace costlier disposable products-and also make great gifts!

1. Ate kale and chard out of my garden.
2. Received fabric from my mother, who is clearing out
3. Skipped watering because we received some rain!
4. Made Roman blinds from previous curtains
5. My daughter (20) found hand-me-down pair of jeans that fit her. They were from her 14 year old cousin. They are ‘high water’ but they’re vintage and they fit!


Marie May 13, 2020 at 1:13 pm

I’m intrigued, how do you make Roman blinds from curtains?


Kara May 14, 2020 at 7:40 pm

I took the curtains apart and used the fabric (cotton) to make the blinds. There are lots of tutorials online. I repurpose a lot-follow me on Instagram-


Tonya Parham May 13, 2020 at 7:22 am

1. Started using litter buckets for gardening so no need to buy planters for a container garden. Planted some tomatoes in the big buckets and some bell peppers in the jugs that had been cut down.

2. Have some funky viral thing going through my cats. One seemed to feel particularly bad so I took him to the vet yesterday. Vet says he thinks it’s an upper respiratory infection and that with David Bowie, it became a bacterial infection. He told me if any of them seem lethargic or have a few other symptoms, to call and he will send antibiotics. I appreciate that since 5 of my 8 are sick. None of them seem to feel as bad as Bowie, but having a vet that I have a good working relationship is not only something I am grateful for– because he will do things like that– but it’s also frugal in that he will, if there is a big expense, like having a major surgery, let me pay half one month and half the next.

I love my vet and always encourage people, even if you find a vet that costs a little more, it might be worth it because they might just give EXCELLENT care! I’ve had so many vets who just didn’t care or were too busy to do much. (I once had a cat go and get spayed and they just left her in the carrier all day with feces– she must have done it very early in the day because it was semi dried by the time I got her home! The tech gave her to me and said, “You might want to give her a bath when she gets home, she peed and poohed in the carrier.”)

2. Bought a 50 pound bag of jasmine rice for $50. I love jasmine rice so much and while it’s perhaps not as healthy as brown rice, it’s a lot healthier than pizza. Made some yesterday with a stir fry.

3. Made black beans from dried yesterday and made chili for dinner. So cheap and so delicious. That will be at least three meals. (I also made cornbread–yummmmmm)

4. I had a few kindle magazine subscriptions that I canceled because they seem almost exclusively about the pandemic and it was stressing me out to read them. I put my hulu on hold for three months since I haven’t been watching it.I also put my Criterion Collection on hold for three months since I haven’t been watching it either the last few months. I actually picked up cable at the beginning of the pandemic because being in a rural area, we can only get one channel with an antenna. I find that with the DVR, I can record enough Law and Order and PBS to keep me entertained and it’s only about $30 over what I pay for my internet alone. I also watch the news which I couldn’t with out the cable.

5. Only having groceries delivered has saved money because what I don’t see, I don’t buy. I also am grateful to not be going to the store and tip my drivers appropriately.


sea May 13, 2020 at 11:27 am

Interesting about your previous vet experience. Mine has been the opposite: when my dog was a brand new pup, she got so nervous in the car she pooped all over the back of my SUV on the way to the vet! I apologized for her being messy when I brought her in — the techs not only cleaned the dog up, but one of them went outside and cleaned up my car!!! We were new to town, and that was the first time we’d ever been to that practice. Because of the amazing staff, they have my total loyalty!


Bee May 13, 2020 at 3:04 pm

First of all, I love that you named your cat David Bowie. That’s so fun!
Secondly, although I am frugal, I don’t think the cheapest option is always the best either. I know my animal vet is not the cheapest, but we have been together for 25 years. I have always appreciated his kindness and compassion. When my dog died recently, he check on me once a week for a month.


Ruby May 13, 2020 at 9:33 am

After two months, I am finally getting used to shopping with a snug mask on. The whole routine used to make me feel a bit breathless, but it’s become second nature now. I still don’t shop much because there’s not much we need.
1. Used some drugstore coupons to pay only $1 after tax on three bottles of laundry detergent and a small bottle of dish detergent.
2. Scored another $3 gift card through Fetch Rewards. We buy a lot of store brands, but it turned out that the few name brands we like are point makers and it’s been nice to turn those points into gift cards.
3. My husband glued together a broken flower pot so he could use it this spring.
4. Got brave and cut my own hair, which I used to do years ago. It’s not a perfect pixie, but it’s a lot better than the hot floppy mess I was putting up with. Now everyone in the house – four adults, three dogs – has had a Mom-made coiffure.
5. Used a gift card to knock 3 cents a gallon off gas and bought another ¾ of a tank for my subcompact car for $10.79.


susanna d May 13, 2020 at 9:55 am

1. By some strange quirk of good timing, we ended up making our annual half side of beef purchase in February. $3.69 per pound for grass fed beef (which is way more than $3.69 per pound in the grocery store any old day). Same price per pound regardless of the cuts. We are loaded up on beef for a long, long time. I kind of choked when I saw beef prices in the grocery store today. And had a strange desire to kiss our freezer when I got home.
2. My husband and I are rocking the heck out of our fishing licenses. We live on a great fishing lake, and those licenses pay for themselves many times over. Probably even more this year, since we’ll be subbing fish as a replacement for the hard to find – and expensive if you can find it – chicken.
3. We’ve gotten a lot of work done in the woods, since we’re not going anywhere. This has resulted in a healthier wood lot and a lot of free firewood for us.
4. I was able to find all the seeds I wanted for the garden, and also ordered some seedlings from a nearby farm. Again by strange coincidence. we decided last year to put in huge raised beds in an area we had cleared to make room for an additional storage garage. We will be gardening much more than we normally do, which is a very good thing – this year especially.
5. I stopped coloring my hair when the safer-at-home order began. I always did my own coloring but just lacked the desire to go out and buy more dye. At this moment in time, I have a few inches of dark brown hair with white highlights (hah) and the rest of my hair is medium brown with golden highlights. I’m calling it my unicorn hair – okay, it isn’t rainbow colors, but there sure are a lot of different colors on my head these days. A bonus was finding out that I still have way more dark hair than I thought, so the growing out process won’t be quite as much of a shock. I’m in my 60’s, I despise coloring my hair – it was high time to stop.


Christine May 13, 2020 at 2:40 pm

Your #5…a new acquaintance told me I have calico hair, so I guess it’s at least three colors! I’m at the point of stopping the dying of my hair too. I’m 61 and have been doing this since my early thirties. I highlight my own hair which involves pulling strands through a cap. Painful! I have one highlighting kit left which I had bought on sale for $2 months ago at a store closing. I haven’t touched it yet and hopefully will resist the urge. I’m really sick of it too.


susanna d May 14, 2020 at 12:19 pm

I’m going to adopt the term “calico hair” – it really is a much more accurate description of my hair than “unicorn hair” was! I have white hair, I have almost-black hair, I have gold – I’m a calico! I love this term!


Tia May 13, 2020 at 3:22 pm

The girl with the calico hair!


MB in MN May 13, 2020 at 5:05 pm

Calico hair, that’s fabulous! I stopped highlighting my hair for good 30 years ago when I was around 30. My highlights had grown out and I had been meaning to make an appointment. Then someone complimented me on my highlights (which were actually strands of hair turning naturally silver) and I realized that I no longer needed to pay for something that was now free.


Roberta May 13, 2020 at 12:13 pm

1. We are showering less frequently, and taking shorter showers. We have no one to impress (or offend).
2. I am cutting my husband’s hair again. I will cut my son’s when he asks, and my daughter and I just let it be long.
3. We got a free week of Starz with our free month of Hulu. I canceled Starz before we were billed, and I will cancel Hulu before we are billed.
4. I am making mootching buddies with a neighbor (finally!). She asked for cumin yesterday, and it felt like a social event. I have borrowed cake pans from her in the past, and given her wood from thinning our tree. Having someone nearby to share with would be really nice!
5. Celebrated my daughter’s birthday inexpensively but festively. Started with chocolate chip pancakes (added chips to homemade pancakes), made orange sauce and raspberry syrup (from oranges on our tree and raspberries in the freezer, Grocery Outlet bought cheap), and whipped cream from scratch (impulse buy on sale). Lunch was takeout (surprise), dinner was pasta and a movie. We gave her cookies, bubble gum, cheap earbuds in a case for school, and a gift card to Dairy Queen to open. She said it was as good as if we were able to go out.


Julia May 15, 2020 at 5:30 am

Great on #5! Our son turned 16 May 5. No big 16 bash. We did home made waffles for breakfast (DH was in charge, I made his favorite tacos for lunch and we did order pizza for a surprise for dinner. My MIL made a cake an brought it over, social distancing from the sidewalk and we all sang happy birthday while wearing masks. DS set up an online gaming time fir he and his friends, we watched a family movie, and he got a few gifts we had already ordered pre pandemic (mostly fishing gear!). I was worried he would be disappointed not being able to have a party but he said it was the Best birthday ever, better then when we went to Disney, because he got to spend the whole day with his family and his pets!


Roberta May 16, 2020 at 7:05 am

I don’t know if we just have exceptionally great kids, but I feel we out to learn something from this. Like, spending time together is better than spending money. 🙂


Christine May 13, 2020 at 2:49 pm

1. A friend gave me a subscription to Yankee Magazine from her buy one get one free offer. Very sweet.
2. I used the flowers from my Rhubarb patch and an antique etched vase that belonged to my grandmother to put together a nice arrangement for the dining room table.
3. A friend loaned me 4 books to read.
4. I found two bottles of my favorite conditioner on sale for $1 each before the pandemic. Only a dime size amount is needed so these should last me a couple of years.
5. Received a refund check from my car insurance company for not driving so much, enjoying watching my perennials poke their heads out of the soil, I cut DH’s hair, I’m cleaning out cabinets and closets with spare time and cold weather here. Take care everyone!


Tia May 13, 2020 at 3:16 pm

What frugal things?
My life is frugalnicity.
Each day is deeper in the new reality of do nothing, go nowhere, spend nothing, see no-one. I don’t fix because I don’t break. I don’t want because I don’t need.

I flit, I float
I fleetly flee, I fly

Im here in Oz Auntie Em
I’m locked up in the witch’s castle and I’m trying to get back to you!

There’s no place like home….there’s no place like home…….


Lisa M. May 13, 2020 at 5:15 pm

Love your wistful reference to my sweet home state of Kansas. 🙂


janine May 14, 2020 at 5:00 am

Wonderful expression! Thanks for sharing.


cathy May 14, 2020 at 10:11 am

Sounds like you’re watching classic movies and musicals to pass the time!


Katy May 14, 2020 at 11:07 am

Sigh . . . .


jann in Maine May 14, 2020 at 2:50 am

Continuing to do the same things that have always defined my life-
Ebay sales continue to be good and Marketplace as well but they seem to go in spurts. Funny how that is. Starting to dig things out of my small barn (used to be the chicken coop) and yesterday sold a old Catalin (like bakelite) radio that is heading to France–
Since we live in a rural area and are not going anywhere we are pretty lucky to have room to roam and walk without even needing to wear a mask
Getting some seedlings to supplement what we already have started inside. Am going to do more Mexican cooking this year and am looking for an array of peppers.
Drinking homebrewed coffee,well water and cooking daily. Really very little has changed except no thrifting or yardsaling when I do go into town….
Am buying several extra cans of canned goods each time I shop from now through the Fall–I think they are going to be more expensive and perhaps harder to come by…nothing outrageous but a few more nonetheless…
Stay well all!


Katy May 14, 2020 at 11:06 am

I love when my sales fly across the world!


janine May 14, 2020 at 4:56 am

1 Cooking from scratch. Banana nice cream sounds so easy and delicious!
2 We are using the pick up service of a big box store because it is efficient. Looking forward to when this service is available in some of our favorite smaller markets where we prefer to shop. (Prices in some cases actually lower.)
3. Ordered used books at a grab-bag sale Didn’t like the titles but then realized that DH would like them and father’s day is just around the corner. The prices were certainly reasonable and the mysteries will be a great escape for him.
4. Rhubarb crop looks good and plan to harvest it today . Our plants just keep producing good fruit year after year.
5. The historical society has asked for materials for their “Pandemic Archives” and funny home made T-shirts and art work have been submitted. My neighbor has developed her poetry writing skills and I am encouraging her to submit her poetry that she has written about washing her hands.


Vickey May 14, 2020 at 11:24 am

1. DH replaced the engine battery in the vehicle I use for those infrequent grocery runs. His mechanic/handyman mojo saves us big $ time and time again.
2. Harvested about 8# of overwintered kale and collards, to clear the beds for increased spring planting. Shared some of the bounty with a friend, using a cooler on our tiny front stoop for touchless pickup. Have harvested 2# each of asparagus and lettuce in the last 10 days.
3. Our buying club’s wholesale distributor has suspended deliveries to buying clubs for the duration of the pandemic (and perhaps beyond, since retail stores are more profitable customers for them?) Found a small regional natural foods chain that’s willing to resell bulk items at cost + a modest %, saving $ over retail prices. Stocked up on a couple of staples we were low or out of.
4. Patiently persisted in getting a refund for 3 items I picked up last Aldi’s trip that turned out to be spoiled when I got them home. I wasn’t comfortable taking the time to examine them closely in the store, since a mask-deficient young man in a Smith & Wesson t-shirt was loitering in that section. Lesson learned.
5. Enjoyed supplemental heat from the wood stove evenings during the unseasonable cold this past week.
6. Swapped credit card usage, so we’re getting max. cash back. We pay our cards in full every month, and apply the rewards points to the statement balance for max. $.
7. We’ve both worked from home for decades, and are busier than ever right now, helping customers and clients adapt to current circumstances. We recognize how relatively lucky we are and that many are struggling. Taking the time in the midst of it all to do healthy food prep so I can make better choices. Cauliflower roasted with balsamic and curry powder makes a tasty, satisfying snack, for one.


Jennifer May 14, 2020 at 11:30 am

1. College ds moved home for likely a year (he graduates in August but will need time find a job, to save a downpayment, etc). We are housing a friend of my dd’s who was in foster care. We had given her my ds’s room because he was supposed to stay at college for the summer. We are attempting to make him a private space in the basement so he doesn’t have to share a bunkbed with his brother. We ordered a mattress off Amazon, we had a bed frame, and are using mostly scrap wood for a makeshift support rather than ordering a box spring as well. Under $240 for the new set up.
2. Only spent $110 on groceries for 7 this week. Ugh, better than last. Spent $60 at the grocery and $50 on a produce/diary drive through pick up place. I can’t wait for the garden to start producing – in 2 months or so.
3. Plugging away at making homemade masks for all of us. I average 1-2 a week – hand sewn as my sewing machine is broken. Used an old pair of pajama pants for the last 2, nice to get the elastic out of it for the ear pieces.
4. Watching documentaries on You Tube for free for our evening entertainment. Also, doing free yoga videos on youtube. During the day we walk, bike, hike etc – after our school/work is done.
5. Enjoying our daily treat of free Starbucks as my dd works there and comes home each day bearing gifts. A little something to enjoy for us.

bonus – college ds was able to apply for funds from the Cares Act through his college and received $750. This would help him a lot as he tries to find work here for the summer.


Denise June 3, 2020 at 5:42 am

Jennifer thank you for taking in a youth who needs a home. These trying times really put youth at risk at higher risk. I hope the youth is taking advantage of any state aid that is available to ex youth in care funds.


Linda May 14, 2020 at 1:54 pm

Filled up one car’s gas tank while it’s cheap.

Drove the other car, which had a full tank, down to a quarter full before I list it for

Insisted that credit cards canceled due to my husband’s passing refund credit balances and pro-rated fees.

Got credit for removing my late husband’s name from the auto insurance policy.

Borrowed more books from the local library using the Libby app.

Made meals from the pantry and freezer and only shopped for fresh fruit and milk.


Lisa M. May 14, 2020 at 8:31 pm

Like Lindsey, I send my condolences on the loss of your husband. No small feat to focus on frugality & thinking through hidden savings while processing grief at the same time. Again, I am so very sorry for your profound loss.


Patricia Koernig May 15, 2020 at 3:30 am

Surrounding you with love, as you grieve.


Katy May 15, 2020 at 10:54 am

So sorry about your husband’s passing. May his memory be a blessing.


Christine May 15, 2020 at 12:47 pm

Linda, I am so very sorry about the loss of your husband. Although most of us don’t know each other in the “real” world, it seems we have leaned to know and care about each other through this forum. Take good care of yourself.


Bee May 16, 2020 at 4:35 am

So sorry. Wishing you love and peace.


Jill A May 17, 2020 at 4:08 am

I’m so sorry for your loss.


Lindsey May 14, 2020 at 4:01 pm

Somehow I missed posts that referenced your husband’s passing. I am so sorry.


A. Marie May 17, 2020 at 11:46 am

What Lindsey and everyone else have said. My truest sympathy, and my admiration for coping with all the real-world details as well as you are.


AuntiAli May 22, 2020 at 7:38 pm

My deepest sympathy on your dear husband’s passing.


Virginia Allain May 14, 2020 at 6:45 pm

I’ve been planting a pandemic victory garden in my back patio using those grow bags. Lots of costs at first for the bags, the soil, and seeds, but I’m anticipating fewer trips to the grocery store as the summer progresses.


Christina@BargainBlog May 15, 2020 at 1:46 pm

Five frugal things.

1. We make our spaghetti dinner last three nights. (Thankfully we both LOVE leftovers. We make fresh pasta each night and just heat up a portion each of the yummy sauce.) It boggles my mind to think of how much we save by eating at home. We did this mostly Pre-Covid too, but haven’t eaten out once since the pandemic broke out.

2. I love to read, so I enjoy wandering through blog land. Besides Katy’s blog, I have a couple of British favourites that help me feel like I’m away on a trip somewhere new! (I have them listed on my blog under ‘10 Best Frugal Living Blogs.’ This very blog is my #1 on the list.)

3. Enjoying books I already own over again. When I truly love a book, it’s like an old friend I need to re-visit. Reading is my way to decompress.

4. Still enjoying my homemade lattes. (The easiest way I’ve found to foam milk: Heat about 1/4 of a mug of milk in the microwave. In my microwave it takes about 40-45 seconds. Use a handheld whisk – place the whisk in the milk, and go crazy whisking it up until you have lovely thick foam.) Top with homemade strong coffee and a sprinkle of cinnamon or nutmeg. Voila!

5. Enjoyed watching this season of Survivor with the hub. We loved it!!! Super entertaining and pretty darn emotional this year, too.


Mary in VA May 20, 2020 at 5:42 am

Thanks for the homemade latte recipe!


Christina@BargainBlog May 21, 2020 at 10:14 am

You’re very welcome, Mary! I hope you enjoy your homemade lattes as much as I do. :)))


Katy May 20, 2020 at 8:50 pm

Fresh pasta ever night? Very impressive!


Christina@BargainBlog May 21, 2020 at 10:16 am

Hey Katy!

Hehehe, I guess I should clarify that. I meant just whipping up a batch of freshly cooked pasta each night – as in the regular old dried variety, boiled up in water. Not actual fresh pasta made every night. I’d be impressed with me too if I did that! (LOL) But I definitely don’t.

I actually have to eat gluten free – so it’s usually Barilla Gluten free pasta for us around here. It tastes the most like the real stuff.


Bethany May 16, 2020 at 9:18 am

Oof! I’m sure I’m not the only one struggling. Hubby has been working from home. He’s like the worlds best morning person. He’s always getting the kids breakfast and making the coffee. Oh man I love that, but little glitch I’m supposed to take meds before I eat or drink, and new normal, I’m forgetting. I’m a discombobulated mess!!! We are saving a ton on gas so that’s definitely a win! Got to get my new routine solidified before I completely unravel. Lol!

Banked our stimulus money. Going to ride it out a little longer before we begin to think about how to spend it. Would love to replace a leaking slider. It doesn’t leak into the carpet or drywall, just to the interior track, but I have to keep up on toweling it off or we get a huge mold problem.

Locked in on a low rate and refinancing the house. Will have 2 months of no mortgage and get a little $2k out without being considered a cash out mortgage refinance.

Growing a little garden. Water is as expensive as gold here, so I dug our little bowls of earth to plant my sprouts. Wasn’t sure it would work out, but I didn’t want the water running off. Now the water pools up at the base of each plant and they’re growing marvelously.

Wrapping up the school year. We’ve always been homeschoolers, but now there are more free resources than ever for us. We love our free classes with the CA state park rangers and the free Zoom classes we can sign up for from Perks for Work provided to us by my husband’s employer. Plus some cool things people have added to YouTube like Chris Van Doodles!


Florencia May 26, 2020 at 2:02 pm

I suggest trying the strategy of pairing. I have hypothyroid and have to take a small pill every morning on an empty stomach. I keep the pill bottle next to my toothbrush in the bathroom drawer. Every morning, I get up, go to the bathroom and do my business. I brush my teeth after washing my hands and then brush my teeth right away. Since my pill bottle lives next to my toothbrush, I never miss it. Since working from home and since I’m down to just a few pills, I’ve been leaving my pills at my desk (where I have a glass and a gallon jug of water). This way I’ve only missed my dose half a dozen times (if that) a year, due to me running out of pills or being out of town for a day or two and leaving them at home. My doctor was very impressed. I hope this tip helps!


Texasilver May 16, 2020 at 2:18 pm

Katy, Starbucks is giving 1st line workers & responders a free tall Regular coffee or tall iced coffee each day until May 31. You mentioned your husband & daughter are front line workers. I’m not a coffee drinker. I tried a tall iced coffee for the 1st time in my life. It was pretty good but I was jolted with a caffeine boost like I have never experienced! Now I know not to drink this in the afternoon. Enjoy!


Katy May 20, 2020 at 8:45 pm

I didn’t know this, thank you for the info!


Susan May 17, 2020 at 3:03 am

-Did a lot of yard work as weather allowed. I am focusing on adding more edible plants and digging out useless ground cover. Raspberry plants were $13 at the big box store and looked terrible. I was able to buy 4 buckets for $20 from a local farmer, and each bucket had 5 plants that looked amazing. My parents bought me new fruit trees for my birthday to replace trees that didn’t make it after a terribly cold and wet spring last year.
-I am so sick of cooking. My parents bought us take out from a local restaurant, as I’ve been helping them with social media marketing for their businesses. I got an espresso maker for my birthday, which has saved us on far too frequent coffee runs. Also got take out from hot dog place for our construction crew, which was cheap and tasty. Had an impromptu picnic at worksite and fed my greasy spoon pregnancy cravings. Also made some postpartum bone broth using random bones and veggie scraps I save in the freezer.
-Marketplace has been great to buy from lately. I was able to buy an outdoor toy for my DS as well as like new shoes for the next several sizes. I’m planning on purchasing a lot of lighting for an upcoming rental rehab and even plumbing fixtures for 1/4 the price.
– Enjoyed a few birthday freebies from Starbucks, Panera and pizza. Friends that we work with came over for steaks on the grill.
-Our grocery budget is completely out of control, as were feeding a lot of family that is staying with us and helping us with various rehab jobs as they are laid off from their jobs. Plus grocery prices have gone up, as many of you have noticed. However, we aren’t paying for babysitters, very little in gas and no weekly date nights, hopefully it evens out. I was gifted fruits and veggies from a friend who went to a food drive and they gave her too much.


Lindsay B May 19, 2020 at 1:44 am

1. Have been using the Balance meditation app for a month and appreciating moments of calm and deep breathing. It’s free, but for a while there was also access to the free premium version as well due to the virus. Highly recommend.

2. DH helped me cut up cabbage to make sauerkraut. Nonfrozen veggies are more exciting than ever these days, and this helps prolong how long we can keep produce.

3. DH signed up for the local florist’s customer club for the free roses and gave them to me. My last bouquet lasted more than two weeks so I’m hoping this one will too.

4. DH also found reduced-price chicken and snapped up a few packages. We’re mostly vegetarian but it’s a nice treat sometimes and prevents food waste. Made delicious Tom Yum soup which was a nice change from our usual routine.

5. Using cuttings from my overgrown monstera plant to add extra greenery around the apartment.


Dee from MA May 21, 2020 at 5:30 pm

It’s been a busy week so far and though I’m grateful for work to go into everyday my work at the hospital has been nerve wracking to say the least. It’s been so very busy! But I manage to find moments of “frugalness” and am happy to list my frugal adventures, even the small ones!
1. No grocery shopping so far this week. Eating out of the freezer, fridge & cupboards.
2. Container vegetables, lettuce, peas & kale are up & looking hearty.
3. Now that there’s a few hours of daylight after work I’m getting additional exercise outside mowing lawns & tending to flowers & vegetables. I have a large, dark lilac in bloom, my all time favorite flower. It reminds me of my grandmother who also had a large lilac in her yard.
4. I don’t watch a lot of tv–especially since most of it is somewhat depressing. I’m not burying my head in the sand but since I see alot of Covid related issues at the hospital everyday I usually tuck into bed every evening around 8pm with a good book to “decompress”. I figure this is somewhat frugal since I’m only using one lightbulb! 🙂
5. As usual I continue to tote home brewed coffee, filled water bottle, lunch & snacks to work.

It’s so nice to hear how this frugal community is doing. Keep up the good work Katy! Thank-you for keeping us together, it means alot to us! Take care all & stay safe & optimistic!


IB May 22, 2020 at 8:47 am

Thank you for taking care of yourself so you are able to take care of others. I can’t even begin to imagine what your days are like.


TJ May 23, 2020 at 9:25 pm

1. The VA has resumed surgeries so I can get my cataract removed this week,
But we have to go to a city further than usual, so they have reserved a hotel for
Me and my DD. Road trip!
2. Sewed 3 masks from a free pattern for my sister and her hubby. He is a computer A/C programmer, essential in FL.
3. Made lasagna, and have been eating it for the week. A 9×13 pan lasts we two for a while.
4. My local church thrift store is open again, and I have 9 large boxes of stuff
To donate. I had my sister come by to “shop” the stuff first, and she was really happy to pick out what she wanted. The Goodwill in my town is over 30 minutes away, and the church thrift store is 5 , so I will go there. I am retired now and a fixed income really makes you careful with your money.
5. DD and I are almost finished redoing the kitchen. We laid the flooring down and I have been taking the salvaged trim, filling in the staple holes, and sanding. Next I will paint the trim pieces and install them. I salvaged everything possible from the old kitchen and saved it in my shed, so now I just shop the shed!


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