Five Frugal Things

by Katy on August 2, 2020 · 109 comments

  1. I sold a few things on eBay. Not regularly paced, but in annoying fits and spurts. (Three sales in one day, then no sales for five days!) No single impressive sale, although I did sell a couple of items that had otherwise been part of the excessive miscellaneous stuff that crowds my home.

    Here’s what sold:

    • A $20 lot of 9 vintage kitchen drawer pulls leftover from when we revamped our kitchen in 1996. These had been sitting in an aptly titled junk drawer.

    • A $25 pair of brand new Ikea handles that I picked up at Goodwill awhile back.

    • A schwanky $75 motorbike toy that I’d just bought at Goodwill for a mere $4.99.

    • A $15 stack of new-in-package brew pub coasters that I’d picked up at a pay-by-the-pound Goodwill Outlet bins store in the before times.

    • A $15 Fiestaware plate from my personal overflowing stack.

    • A $35 miniature marble bust of some unidentified composer dude.

    • A $25 pair of women’s Keen water sandals.

    • A $20 hatbox that had been sitting in my death pile for more time than I’m willing to admit. (A “deathpile” is the name for items a reseller has yet to list for whatever reason.) It sold really quickly once listed, which is great since it took up more than its fair share of physical space.

  2. I got my first ever flat tire, which luckily happened while I was driving at a safe low speed. Our tires were semi-recently replaced at Costco, so they still had some warranty left on them. The replacement cost was around $36, and even though my son and l Iooped through Costco we didn’t succumb to any impulse purchases. However, we got the heck out of that indoor space pretty quickly as there were multiple people whose masks were positioned under their noses.


    The cause of the flat? An entire pair of scissors!

  3. I read a library copy of Ayelet Waldman’s Love and Treasure, which was from the hilariously titled Quality Distraction reading list personally curated for me through the county’s My Librarian program.

    I’ve decided to work my way through all ten of the recommended books, and have already made a dent in Camille Perri’s The Assistants. And since the list includes two books I’ve already read, I think this is a doable goal.

  4. I garbage picked a Kettler tricycle from a neighbor’s bin, I put together a number of eBay listings from stuff just laying around the house, my husband received a $94.47 check from a random class action lawsuit, I watched a library DVD of the Downton Abbey movie, (super mediocre, I definitely got what I paid for!) I’ve been going for masked evening walks with my friend Lise; and my husband and I enjoyed a socially distant “happy hour” with some neighbors which included an enthusiastically received black bean/corn dip that took advantage of ingredients I already had on hand. Plus I drank seltzer since I really don’t like to drink alcohol.

  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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{ 109 comments… read them below or add one }

Lisa M. August 2, 2020 at 1:08 pm

5+FF: Past Summer Mid-Point – Hurray!

1. Spent lots of time prepping for & having GARAGE SALE! Weather perfect both days & had high volume traffic on Friday. Since it was the 1st sale attempted without neighbors, with DF’s (friend) participation it remained multi-family. Relied on my own inventory of signs for 1st time, so purchased additional metal stakes @ big box with previous rebate amount applied. Stakes supported a pack of signs found on clearance @ grocer last fall that were 4 for $1. Completed & mailed new rebate for stakes’ purchase.

2. Added new items to previous garage sale inventory including dog items, a box of randomly accumulated miscellaneous over the course of the last year & discards from DD & one of her roommates. Repaired a couple of soft dog toys to add to bag of same for sale.

3. Recent kitchen creations: Crested Butte Grilled Chicken Tenders & Surprise Slaw; Victoriana Chicken Salad with Mango Chutney; Ranch Turkey Wraps; Cornbread Salad; Indian Egg Salad; Summer Sweet Corn Salad. Took advantage of 58 degrees early in the morning to quickly get cornbread baked. Cornbread Salad is a summer recipe that uses fresh vegetables but the challenging component is finding a cool time to bake the cornbread base. 1st time since May the oven has been turned on. The next morning was even cooler so baked some brownies.

4. An odd, random effort. In going through old accumulated paperwork this spring, found several cereal box offers saved from Kellogg’s Family Rewards. Unfortunately, all of the offers had expired (no surprise) but have had fun earning bonus “points” as a newbie on the site & with some effort, located a couple of recently purchased brands eligible for points & submitted receipts via text. While I would not buy items simply for the points, am willing to text receipts for items I already purchase. Eyeing a $5 Best Buy gift card for DH but realize this is a long-term project that will require patience.

5. Courtesy of Mother Nature, went 5 days straight without using the AC – unheard of in July. A huge win for the electric bill. We run the AC @ 78 if needed. We also receive a credit for summer months d/t allowing the electric company to cycle our AC off during times of peak demand. It is not an inconvenience other than making sure the house is cooled to 78 by 2 PM on days of extreme heat.

6. Received 46% discount ($2.29) on lemon cookies from big box discount rack & 56% discount ($1.74) on 2 steak burritos @ gas station by combining sale with rewards electronic coupon in attempt to change up dull @ home lunch routine economically. Current gas station rewards: Free ice cream sandwich, free V-8 & free cookie.

7. Have been watching nightly Netflix for entertainment. Finished “What/If” with Renee Zellweger, “Unsolved Mysteries” & “Criminal United Kingdom”.


Lisa M. August 5, 2020 at 6:24 am

Katy – Enjoyed your excellent article in Clark Howard’s newsletter “16 Not-So-Obvious Tips for Saving Money”. I thought the article looked interesting, so was not @ all surprised when I realized that you were the author. Great tips!


Katy August 5, 2020 at 10:48 am

Thank you, I wrote a long time ago at this point!


A. Marie August 2, 2020 at 1:41 pm

FFT, From the Abyss Edition:

Frugal friends, it ain’t been no picnic here. But I know we have enough “winter soldiers” (phrase from Thomas Paine’s Common Sense; never mind the early August weather) on board here that you’ll get it.

(1) By mutual agreement with the day care agency, I have withdrawn DH from his twice-a-week senior day care, after an incident on 7/20 where he got so “in your face” with his begging the staff for me to come get him that he got mildly aggressive. No actual blows were struck, but enough was done (overturning of furniture, etc.) that both the staff and I were uncomfortable. He is now on a different medication for these symptoms, but he hasn’t improved enough for me to feel OK sending him back. I gotta do what I gotta do. Frugal = not getting sued for personal liability.

(2) Since DH seems to do better here at home with one-on-one home care aides, I’ve stepped up our coverage with the home care agency. It’s not as cheap and doesn’t give me as much respite as the senior day care was doing, but, again, I gotta do what I gotta do.

(3) On the advice of two experienced and trusted friends, I am about to start wait-listing DH at the two or three local memory care facilities for which he might qualify, given the combination of his increasing behavioral issues with his still full mobility. One more time, I gotta do…and saving my health and sanity might be the most Frugal Thing here.

(4) A more ordinary FT: DH was doing well enough Friday morning that I took him along on a quick visit to one of our smaller Thrifty Shopper stores–and I did very well there (this store has always been a source of “sleeper” finds for me). In particular, I found a funky 1950s Syracuse China pitcher that will make a lovely birthday gift later this month for a dear friend who collects SC.

(5) Finally, the Bestest Neighbors and all our other neighbors and friends continue to have our backs. The BNs in particular continue to have us to dinner once a week (with appropriate social distancing) and roll with DH’s behavior admirably.


Shevaun August 2, 2020 at 1:58 pm

A. Marie: you are brave and strong. You are the kind of person I hope to be someday. Your grace, patience, and humor are wrapped in love.


jodi August 4, 2020 at 3:17 am

I second that Shevaun. Ann Marie, you are the epitome of grace under pressure. Your DH is very lucky to have you in his corner.


Kara August 2, 2020 at 2:44 pm

Every blessing to you. You are walking through this with much grace.


Lisa M. August 2, 2020 at 2:51 pm

A. Marie – I am so sorry to learn of your DH’s increasing behavioral challenges. This is familiar as my Grandmother who struggled with Alzheimer’s had issues with mild aggression while fully mobile. It was such a painful & sad period for my family. Your retirement could not have been timed any better, in order to be responsive to his changing needs & the ability to modify care arrangements as necessary. Hold on tight to your sanity. We are rooting for you here @ NCA!


Cindy in the South August 2, 2020 at 3:18 pm

Hugs A. Marie.


MB in MN August 2, 2020 at 5:18 pm

I will be holding you close to my heart as you continue to navigate your husband’s condition with patience and love.


Tosha August 2, 2020 at 5:46 pm

Thinking of you and your DH as you face these challenges. I wanted to recommend the book Soaring Above Adversity by Bill Bugg. His wife had an 18 yr battle with Alzheimer’s. He wrote the book from a caregivers prospective on how to help yourself while helping them. Sending Prayers For you and your husband


Barbara August 2, 2020 at 7:04 pm

A.Marie, I’m sorry to read of your husband’s recent behavior changes. My FIL has been on the memory care unit at MP for over a year and I’d welcome the chance to tell you about it if you are interested.


Lindsey August 2, 2020 at 7:21 pm

You enter my thoughts frequently and when I do I try to send you good thoughts. You are a hero.


Patricia Koernig August 3, 2020 at 12:14 am

Sending yo love always.


Bee August 3, 2020 at 3:48 am

My heart goes out to you. I wish you love and peace during this struggle. You are amazing!!!


Kathy August 3, 2020 at 6:07 am

I was a regional director for many years for the Alzheimer’s Association.
If you haven’t contacted them, please do as they have programs and services that may be able to assist you


Christine August 3, 2020 at 10:59 am

Oh A. Marie, my heart is with you. I watched this very familiar story happen to my Dad, a man I always turned to for sound advice. He became mildly physically aggressive to a female medical staff member at an appointment and I realized he had reached a new level of the disease. It was a relief to me when he went from Assisted Living to a Long Term Care facility where he did much better and the bad behavior went out the window aside from a few verbal assaults on me and DH! That was okay. I knew it was the Alzheimers and not him talking. I think at the Long Term Care facility things were more structured and there was more staff so had more guidance. He became especially close to a male CNA from Kenya who was so very good to him. Best of luck…I am with you in thought.


A. Marie August 3, 2020 at 12:06 pm

Thanks and love to all who have commented. I appreciate it more than I can say.

A couple of specific replies:

(1) Thanks, Barbara, for the comment about your FIL. Unfortunately, as one of my two trusted advisers (a friend from MP) has told me, DH isn’t a good candidate at the moment for their memory care program. The combo of behavioral issues and full mobility is the problem, as it will be at a lot of other places.

(2) And, Kathy, I am very appreciative of the AA’s services, both national and local. In particular, the chat line for spouse/partner caregivers on the AA website has been a big help on sleepless nights.


Jill A August 4, 2020 at 12:53 am

I’m so sorry for what you and your husband are going through. Thinking of you.


Jo August 5, 2020 at 7:08 pm

No picnic, indeed. No justice, no understanding sometimes; but know that you are loved, here and with your BN and friends surrounding you. So proud that you are making tough decisions and not denying reality. We did not do as well with my mom and in-laws as their health declined, which raised the stakes for everyone. Holding you in the Light.


Revanche @ A Gai Shan Life August 2, 2020 at 1:42 pm

I was having trouble thinking of even one thing but I realized that I’ve repurposed every single old box or container from my office that I replaced with a storage bin so I managed to impose extra order AND avoid waste. Double win.

I also figure out a nice peanut butter cookie recipe that doesn’t make me feel sick!


Shevaun August 2, 2020 at 2:09 pm

1. The usual: meal planning, leftover eating, kids’ craft supplies from the recycling bin, thrifted clothes, handmedown toys, books bought at library fundraiser sale, etc.
2. Built three more classrooms for our homeschool. And by built, I mean ‘Cut down branches that were eye-pokers from under shady trees.’
3. Built furniture for said classrooms. And by built, I mean ‘Cut logs into approximate kid-table and kid-chair heights.”
4. Enriched our academics with sensory play. And by enriched, I mean ‘Included a bottle of bubbles in our book bag and remembered to bring the wiffle ball and bat out to the reading tree.”
5. Gratefully received a homemade anniversary dinner made by 5yo DD: every.single.vegetable from the garden, chopped and mashed to within an inch of its life.


A. Marie August 2, 2020 at 2:25 pm

Thanks for the compliment above, Shevaun–and for the laugh your #5 provided me. Monster Mash!!


Patricia Koernig August 3, 2020 at 12:17 am

Thank you for a much needed laugh, Shevaun.
Hope you have a great week.


Jill A August 4, 2020 at 12:54 am

Love your number 5. Kids are the best.


Christine August 4, 2020 at 11:43 am

Got my laugh for the day from your #5. Thanks!


Patsi August 2, 2020 at 2:35 pm

I once got one half of a pair of scissors in my Prius tires. As I taught at a school, I figured that I picked it up in that parking lot. I figured that is was a really freaky thing as I had not heard of it happening to anyone else. Now I wonder how common it might be.


Christine August 4, 2020 at 11:46 am

Never got a pair stuck in my tire but I did find a nice set of craft scissors in the street while delivering my mail route. I guess they do find their way into our roads now and then.


Katy August 5, 2020 at 10:49 am

Ooh . . . I bet you find lots of things while walking the many hours that you do on a daily basis!


Christine August 5, 2020 at 1:35 pm

I am retired now but I did find many things including cash while walking every day. My best finds besides money were a beautiful Samsonite backpack still in a plastic package, the craft scissors which I use to make Christmas gift tags out of Christmas cards and a brand new screwdriver in its package. Still put all three to good use.


Christine August 5, 2020 at 1:39 pm

P.S. On Saturdays during yard sale season I always tucked a ten or a twenty in my pocket while delivering mail. I won’t even start to tell you all the finds. Suffice it to say I sometimes had to go back after work to yard sales with my car to pick up purchases!

Kara August 2, 2020 at 2:56 pm

I just sewed a pillowcase out of the good sides of a fitted sheet that had worn clear through in the middle. Those things always give me such satisfaction.
I found I had just enough fabric to make another set of fabric coasters identical to a set that just sold. I had put the main fabric in my “smallest pieces” drawer, thinking that I did not have enough. It was a happy find.
My husband just received his new credit card that gives 1.5% cash back instead of our current 1%. And a bonus of $200 once we’ve spent $500 in the first 3 months. That’s easy since we pay for everything on our credit card and then pay it off in full each month. Free money.
I found a collard green recipe that was better than the others I’ve tried. If I could stand to eat them, I have enough collard greens to feed my husband and I every single day, indefinitely. I also used 2 UPPER ARM size zucchini to make 2.5 batches of Joanna Gaines’s zucchini bread (which is really cake). My sister said it was amazing and she doesn’t like zucchini. So I knew it must be good. It is.
I picked up a free orange tree (about 2 feet tall) from my Buy Nothing Group. It looked like it had just come from the nursery. I’m excited about that. I have also sold several things on FB marketplace this week. I set them all on the porch with a note of their price and a request to leave the money in the mailbox. After about 20 different sales, I have not had one single person NOT leave the money. I’m thankful.


Lindsey August 2, 2020 at 7:24 pm

I love zucchini because it enables us to have zucchini latkes several times a week during the summer! And it also allows me to make sweet zucchini relish and can enough for the winter. No one can tell the taste between zuke relish and cuke relish…just in case you are looking for other zucchini uses.


breadandglitter LC August 3, 2020 at 8:30 pm

just a heads up that – on my credit card “bonus” I wound up getting sent a 1099 on that amount when it came to tax time :L


K D August 2, 2020 at 3:05 pm

1. Same old, same old: All meals at home, all socializing outside visits with friends. Saving money that I don’t even care to save.

2. I was emailed an offer from a rebate site to get $10 back on a $10+ purchase. I ordered a few office supplies (since my husband is WFH) to take advantage of the offer. I also had an offer of a $2.50 rebate, from another site, for making a purchase. I ordered some eye drops we needed.

3. We are watching Alone, after Katy’s mention of the show. We are almost through season 5 and not enjoying it as much as the first three seasons, but watching it none the less.

4. I have had great luck getting e-books from the library. I am almost finished with Little Fires Everywhere and have another book borrowed for when I finish.

5. I continue to craft using yarn I had a home when quarantining started. I have 20 chemo caps to donate in the fall, 20 baby hats to go to the local NICU, and a 20+ hats for those in need when the weather turns cold.


Katu in Africa August 2, 2020 at 3:15 pm

1. Pressure cooked beans.
2. Did some cheap relaxing this weekend, like reading to the kids, watching a show, and playing a game.
3. A visitor had a birthday and I hadn’t known about it. I got a card from my collection and gifted some pretty fabric I had. I also had a nice gift bag and tissue paper, which have been used at least twice. And on top of that after she left, I found she left the bag and paper, so I can use them yet again.
4. I’m not usually one to plan ahead much for Christmas, but I’m already pondering it…maybe do some homemade gifts?
5. Still enjoying free food from friends who left on a trip.


Lisa M. August 3, 2020 at 5:31 am

I loved the last line of #3. I believe we are of like minds. I appreciate frugality that continues to evolve, sometimes seemingly having a life of its own. 🙂


Roberta August 3, 2020 at 7:14 am

I am definitely planning to make some Christmas gifts! I have the time right now [eyeroll], and it makes me feel better to be doing something productive with it. I will be making oatmeal-epsom salt-rose bath sachets for my mom, out of roses that grow in my yard.


Meghan August 3, 2020 at 7:32 am

My brother-in-law always buys new bags to wrap everyone’s Christmas gifts and jokingly tells me that one of his gifts to me is that he leaves the tag of mine blank so I can reuse it. He knows me too well!


Economically Proud August 2, 2020 at 3:21 pm

That tire looks super scary, we have had many a nail in our tires and a couple of pieces of metal, but never scissors.

5 for the week
1. Gifted huge bunch of tomatoes, cucumbers, and 2 gallons of milk that we are eating non- stop.
2. Sold 2 items for the first time on Facebook, it was super easy. And to think I gave away a ton of things all these years.
3. Went on a 3 day trip to beach. Only expenses were campsite and gas for the car
4. Stopped at a grocery salvage store on the way home from the beach. Got 7 boxes of granola bars/ snack bars, cucumber, squash, 4 candy bars, 4 packages of protein/cookie bar mix (bake your own), hamburger helper, several packages of almonds, bugles, and potato sticks, can of cashews, 4 nice yogurts, a pizza, eggs, 2 packages of cookies, a pie crust, 1 can of jumbo biscuits, 1 can of cresent rolls all for $20.50. That place has super deals!
5. DH received a $5 tip from a customer that he assisted


MB in MN August 2, 2020 at 5:20 pm

1. Basil is on steroids this year. Made a big batch of basil pesto and divvied up into ice cube trays, froze, and then stored cubes in large mason jar. Love being able to take one or two cubes out for sauces, soups, and pasta as needed.

2. Fashioned a decent shelf out of a long, narrow board by cutting it in two and joining the pieces together with those little metal thingies with a screwhole on each end.

3. Made more sturdy mailing envelopes, this time out of inside-out cereal boxes.

4. Made sun tea. Bought tea in bulk, portioned it out into tea bags that just need to be ironed shut, and stuffed one at a time in a large jar and set outside.

5. Visited the George Floyd memorial on the site where he was murdered by Minneapolis police. Powerful tribute to him and other victims across the nation.


Jennifer August 2, 2020 at 5:32 pm

Finishing up the home remodel here. Dh is out of town reffing a lacrosse tournament/visiting his parents so I have been putzing away at the small odds and ends leftover from a big job. It has kept me busy on a very rainy weekend and no money spent.

1. Had a kitchen day yesterday since it was in the 70s and rainy! I used up numerous random ingredients from our CSA package and made a huge squash casserole, broccoli cheddar patties, banana muffins, homemade breakfast sausage out of ground turkey I found buried in the freezer, and a large batch of breakfast sandwiches. i filled the freezer with lunch items for dh to take since we are supposedly going back to school.

2. Quickly sold 2 leotards on Facebook and since to the same person I will save some on the shipping. After fees and shipping I made $30. Which I promptly donated to a girl scout troop raising money to buy period products for a women’s shelter.

3. Made 2 more homemade masks. We do prefer the ones I make but with my sewing machine not working they are slow going.

4. Went to the eye doctor and needed new glasses. Found frames that cost $4 after insurance. Don’t ask how much the bifocal, featherweight, glare reducing lens cost, ugh! I have bad eyes and ocular hypertension. Back to every 6 month checks while hoping to hold off on glaucoma drops. While there I used my dd’s yearly insurance benefit to order contacts.

5. Not sure if this is frugal yet, but dd’s college is letting sophomores out of their housing contract in an effort to reduce the number of kids in dorms. Trying to find an apartment for her to live this year at the total last minute. If it works, it will be much cheaper than dorm living and I feel safer as she would have her own room and own bathroom.


Shona August 2, 2020 at 6:24 pm

We just returned from a mini vacation camping because there are not a lot of vacation options currently that we feel are safe and we do love camping and hiking. We went during the week because the rates were less (state park, very inexpensive to begin with) and at most there were only 6 of the 30 sites occupied. Very little money was spent overall, which aligns with our goal to pay off our house by the end of the year.


Marie August 2, 2020 at 6:37 pm

Lucky you on the camping.
I spent days trying to book reservations somewhere for camping.
Finally gave up, even mid-sized would have worked, but nothing.


Marie August 2, 2020 at 6:38 pm

Mid week!


Kara August 2, 2020 at 8:16 pm

My niece just took a road trip and used a website called hipcamp. It’s like airbnb for camping. People can ‘rent’ out their backyards to campers. My niece stayed in some absolutely beautiful places, they let her use the indoor bathrooms, and best of all, there were no crowds. I’m definitely going to try it out sometime


Shona August 3, 2020 at 4:43 pm

My friend just emailed me about hipcamp and said we should check it out for our next trip. It was quite an ordeal finding this campsite, but it was beautiful.

Shona August 3, 2020 at 4:50 pm

We are in TN and looked at state and national parks in NC, KY, AR and thought about going to Shanandoa in VA. Our issue was open bathrooms. I’ve done my share of backpacking, but backcountry vs a populated campground? Nope.


Marie August 2, 2020 at 6:33 pm

1. Still staying close to home. So, no haircuts no new clothes, just essentials being bought.
2. Sister in law who also goes no where, came for 4 days last week. She brought a fresh chicken, and made me chicken and dumplings.
I cooked down the chicken bones for bone broth for my dogs. Made 6 quarts, at no cost to me, and had a great time visiting.
3. Working in the garden, harvest time for berries.
I picked and froze 8 gallons of raspberries, and had a neighbor pick as much as he wanted. He brought me fresh red onions in return.
4. Blueberries are starting now, picked a freezer bag full, and enough to make a pie. Will be many gallons of them ahead.
5. Grew kohlrabi for the first time. Not a fan. But the big leaves are very tasty for my sheep, and wether goat. Free food for them.


Jenzer August 2, 2020 at 6:37 pm

1 – I passed along two packages of photo paper from a family member who was decluttering to another family member who uses photo paper regularly.

2 – We finally trashed a desk chair that had been left behind by tenants at our rental over ten years ago. The chair has moved around our house several times and was well worn out by the time we shipped it off to the landfill.

3 – I borrowed the latest edition of the Princeton Review’s Paying for College book through our local library. Taking lots and lots and lots of notes. DD starts the application process this fall.

4 – I’ve started writing my to-do’s on scraps of recycled paper (one to-do task per scrap) instead of making to-do lists. Then I stack my scraps so that I only see one task at a time. It’s a simple (and zero-cost) productivity hack, but I’m amazed by how well it works for me. Seeing only one task at a time, rather than a full list, keeps me from getting paralyzed with overwhelm.

5 – Our library’s Kanopy video service gives us unlimited access to the Great Courses without deducting from our monthly allotment of Kanopy play credits. DH and I are a third of the way through The World’s Greatest Geological Wonders — we watch one lecture a night right before bed, to wind down.


kathleen August 2, 2020 at 6:57 pm

Thinking of you both, and wishing you blessings in each day.


kathleen August 2, 2020 at 6:59 pm

That was for A. Marie.


Lindsey August 2, 2020 at 7:17 pm

1. Forced myself to have a garage sale with two other friends; we do it every August. We put up a sign at the end of the driveway, asking folks to wear masks since one of the women who participated is undergoing chemo…everyone complied. One woman saw a kid’s bike for sale and yelled that she didn’t have a mask. We yelled back the price, she got out and put the bike in her truck and left cash on the lawn. Made over $500 and the other two people did well, too.
2. Repainted our living room. Before buying the paint, we went to the grocery store and got a $200 gift card, which, due to a special promotion, gave us 80 cents off every gallon of gas. Then we went to the big box store and bought the paint.
3. Once more, only bought milk this week. The garden is producing more than enough vegetables and berries to feed us. We have now harvested enough to pay for the money we spent on putting in the garden, so the rest of what we save is profit (we keep meticulous records of what we spend and also how much we harvest. Then we look at store prices to figure how much we would have spent to buy the same food.)
4. I had a large bag of eggshells I dried and had been saving. Finally put them through the food processor and pulverized them so I could mix them in with the chicken feed—results in harder shells. Many folks buy the calcium to add but I save the shells and two friends who don’t have chickens save their and pass them on to me.
5. Did a small grant application for a local non-profit. They could not afford to pay me but I believe in their mission and it only took about a day’s work so I agreed to do it for free. The board president, a local physician, sent me a $100 grocery store gift certificate and a really lovely card as a thank you.


Bee August 3, 2020 at 12:49 pm

Do you dry the egg shell in the oven prior to making them into powder?


Lindsey August 3, 2020 at 3:34 pm

Nope. I have plenty of space so I rinse the shells off with water and then leave them lying on a cookie sheet to dry completely. We have enough counter space that it is not a problem to have them hanging around for weeks until I can get to them.


Ruby August 2, 2020 at 8:37 pm

Can you imagine the combination of chance and physics required to have a pair of scissors pierce a tire? That has to be a really unusual thing.

My frugal five: Made a shelf for the pantry out of scrap plywood glued together and covered with the last of a formerly very impressive stash of Con-Tac paper.

Made an organizer bin for the fridge out of the cut-off bottom of a cat litter jug.

Trimmed my hair across the back of my neck to maintain my home crafted Pandemic Pixie Cut.

Organized the pantry and created a couple of meals out of the last bits in opened bags and boxes.

Shampooed and groomed the dogs again myself. All the practice I’ve had giving human haircuts since March means I now do a better than decent job of trimming up ear “feathers” for summer.


Marilyn August 2, 2020 at 10:13 pm

I had an “incident” with a tire last week too. Not anything interesting like running over a pair of scissors, just a small nail. I was on my way to a work assignment when the low tire light came on. I was tempted to ignore it but after driving a few more nervous miles, elected to stop and get it checked. The tire shop was not busy, they inspected it right away and patched it at no cost to me. I thanked them profusely. Very nice of them and very frugal for me.


Mand01 August 3, 2020 at 1:54 am

I can’t seem to sign up to follow comments anymore, which I always liked to be able to do.
1. Have been working a lot. My little freelance business continues to do well even through COVID. The good thing about it is that I can work anywhere – was sick in bed today and still working.
2. I ordered a veggie box online and received so much produce I spent a day making two kinds of soup. My inlaws came over yesterday and I served them soup and rolls with no trouble at all – frugal healthy lunch party for six.
3. Read ‘I’ll Be Gone In The Dark’ free on the Libby app. If you are interested in true crime, I recommend. Very well written, unfortunately the author died halfway through writing and it had to be finished by her assistant. But still very good.
4. Signed up for Disney+ to watch Hamilton. Discovered that I don’t watch Disney+ (except to watch Hamilton – which was brilliant). Discontinued by subscription. Turns out, as I suspected, I only have one set of eyes and not enough time to watch more than one streaming service at a time. I thought I would watch it for the Marvel movies, but my brother owns them all on DVD and I will borrow those if I want to watch them.
That’s all. Basically I have been working and managing the new disability services for my kids, and not doing much else. It’s been a bit boring really, but I am not complaining – I am thankful for the opportunity.


Shona August 3, 2020 at 4:58 pm

I use my mom’s HBOgo password only as of July 31 there is no more HBOgo, it’s HBO, I don’t know, Super, or whatever they changed it to. Anyway, my older smart TV cannot locate the app but I decided that I’m ok with that. It was free, but with shared family Netflix and Prime accounts, I too only have so many eyeballs.


Mary in VA August 8, 2020 at 8:24 am

We don’t have any streaming services, only cable channels…and still that’s too much! I’m constantly weeding out things I recorded but never watched (I guess it’s aspirational recording, lol). Like you both said, only so many eyeballs. And yet, for some reason I also continue to buy DVDs at the used book store (mostly shows I missed the first time around and figure I’ll watch “one of these days”). Having the limitless options of streaming services would send me around the bend. 🙂


Flora from West Virginia August 3, 2020 at 4:38 am

Hello to all. I think this is my first time posting. I have been reading the NCA Facebook page for a year or so now. I thoroughly enjoy it. 2 weeks ago I decided to read the blog. I started at May 2008 and have made it to August 1,2009. Katy I love your posts and all the comments. You are such a wonderful writer and make things sound so fun and exciting. The blog articles I’ve read so far are about the recession of 2008. A lot like things today, but now we have a virus that could kill anyone of us at anytime. Some of your articles didn’t pertain to me, but I looked them over. I am 65, husband will be 70, and both my kids are in their 40s. The youngest Granddaughter is 16 now.
This week the starter in my husband’s Explorer went bad. He took it off so he wouldn’t have to pay the core charge. We went to Autozone to get one. When Krogers has their gift cards for 4x the fuel points, I pick up some for places I know we will go. I had 119 dollars on 2 cards, plus he saved 16 dollars with his military discount. Advance Auto and Lowe’s offer these discounts also. All we had to pay out of pocket was 30 some dollars. Time to buy another AutoZone card for 4x points.
2 We went to Krogers and I saved over $11with e coupons and other cow’s Krogers sends me. We saved $2+ on gas at Krogers using points.
3. A man my husband works with brought us some cucumbers to eat.
4. I started getting the Tightwad Gazette newsletters when they first came out. I also own the 1st book. Hope to find the Complete book cheap some day. For now I’ll get it at the library. I found them very helpful.
5. We’ve had less food waste since vivid. We live over 30 miles from town, and go once a week. We are usually pretty stocked up, but I have stocked up a lot more since March. I’ve been buying a lot of masks also, for I think we’ll need them for awhile.
6. My friend gives me all her magazines so I don’t order any.
7. I unplug lots of things. The toaster is only plugged in when it is used.
8. I use rags for cleaning up messes. If it is too bad I throw it away.
9. I am also a Star Trek, Harry Potter, and Star Wars geek.
10. I make crochet dish cloths and rice heat bags for gifts. My son likes these dish cloths the best.
Sorry for such a long post. I’ve enjoyed reading your blog so much and taking notes. I’ve been waiting for you to post again so I could comment. Keep up the good work.


Jennifer August 4, 2020 at 1:44 pm

Welcome! This blog is awesome and motivating, but the comments section is wonderful too.


Bee August 5, 2020 at 2:53 am

I’ve been looking for the complete Tightwad Gazette in thrift stores for quite sometime. It is no longer in our local library. I may have to pick up a secondhand copy online.


Christine August 5, 2020 at 1:48 pm

Nice to meet you Flora! Your post was fun to read. A friend gave me a crocheted dish cloth which quickly became my favorite one. I think the weave makes them great to scrub stuck on food off. No wonder your son likes them.


Flora from West Virginia August 6, 2020 at 2:44 am

Thanks Jennifer, Bee and Christine. Yes the comments are great. You feel like everyone is your friend. Bee I hope you find the book. I may have to buy one secondhand also. Yes that is what we love about the dish cloths. They have a little extra oomp to them. Glad to meet you.


Nancy from mass August 3, 2020 at 5:36 am

I hope those weren’t a pair of ginghers, someone’s gonna be really upset when they realize they’ve lost their shears!!

1. Borrowed a guitar from a coworker. I haven’t played in over 25 years. My fingers hurt, but I’m improving.
2. Same coworker has gifted me quite a few large zucchini, have been making A lot of zucchini bread and freezing them.
3. Was Due to start back in the office in two weeks (socially distancing). Company has given me an option of working at home the rest of the year, which I happily accepted.
4. Made 8 quilts since March. I am loving working from home.
5. Had thrown some sprouting potatoes in soil, kept covering them and unearthed 9 potatoes yesterday. 🙂


rebecca August 3, 2020 at 5:54 am

1. Friends came over for a physically distanced brunch yesterday. I made muffins and quiche with all ingredients on hand. We had a bunch of laughs.
2. Purged a bunch of stuff by passing it on to people who can use it. Out of landfill for the win!
3. My income has been down the past few weeks but I am really working on staying within my means. Having said that…..
4. I did spend money on a couple of bathing suits that were 50% off.
5. I had a flat tire the other day. $25 patching. So glad the tire did not have to be replaced!


Kathy August 3, 2020 at 6:23 am

Movin On
We’re listing our home of 41 years the first of September. Moving 1300 miles and buying our son and daughter in law home
1. To date $960 selling items we don’t need and won’t be taking with us.
2. Separately $275 of silverplate bought by jeweler
3. Rented a giant dumpster for a week
4. SUV filled with donations. Making another trip this week
5. Bought daughter-in-law birthday gift with $$ from consignment store. Boxed and ready to mail


lulutoo August 3, 2020 at 6:35 am

Did you keep the scissors?


Cindy in South August 3, 2020 at 6:54 am

1. I made a dish that Amy Dacyczn would have said couldn’t be described but was fine, or something like that. It was a soup with red beans, leftover Mexican food, ramen noodles, and lots of garlic and Creole spices. It will be supper for the week because I do not cook twice in one week. 2. I walked at river. 3. I sent First Aid kits to all four of my kids, since they inherited my clumsiness. Not necessarily frugal, but needed. 4. I took a nap. 5. All of my stuff is always repetitive, but whatever, i.e. cooking at home, bringing lunch to work, etc……my neighbor did give me free tomatoes…yay!!!!


Bee August 3, 2020 at 1:00 pm

It is the everyday frugality that gets us ahead. I have a list of usual things too. Hope you are well!


tia August 3, 2020 at 7:29 am

1. Took an abstract seascape that came with place and painted it with some light gray wall paint, also free in closet. Almost like gesso and canvas is ready to paint my fantasy house. Thought about using Sara Teasdale’s “sea longing” inspiration as the setting but chose to go with further made up imagery. Dusty little town, trains no longer stop just their lonely whistle passing in the night, interstate bypassing most traffic except for the most inquisitive wanderer. “Tin can at my feet, think I’ll kick it down the street” I’m just going to use the grays black and white wall paints in the closet. Wish I had some brown.
2. Had to replace 20 something year old fridge that came with place. You really have to shop around to get best deal with all their add on expenses. Free delivery, set up and haul away is nice. I can now see in without a flash light and everything is dry, no more rainstorm in a box.
3. Sun tea and tomatoes on the deck.
4. Donated couch and recliner that came with place to pet adoption cafe where you come in and socialize with critters and adopt. Wondering if I need to line the empty room with bunk beds for future homeless relatives and run a shuttle taking them to jobs catering to privileged people who think a pandemic is a great time to vacation.
5. This blog is so nice, thoughtful people. saves me money on psychiatry.

“tin can at my feet, think I’ll kick it down the street”


Roberta August 3, 2020 at 7:35 am

1. I’ve been dehydrating an entire sink full of grape tomatoes that were given to me. It’s a lot of tiny tomatoes to cut up, but they will be lovely this winter.
2. Received three giant zucchini from a friend. I’m the only person he knows who wants them. They will become fritters this week, and frozen for muffins this winter.
3. Baked a Boston cream pie for my son’s 18th birthday. I was not happy with how it turned out, but he was, which is the point. I will try a different recipe next time.
4. My nephew (with Celiac) slept over two nights, and I was able to feed him without having to resort to specialty-bought, expensive gluten-free food.
5. Only turned on the air conditioning a couple of times this week, for a few hours each time. Weather was well over 90, over 100 one day. We did purchase a membership to the National Monument, so we could go tidepooling as far out into the cool ocean weather as we could reach. This will be a benefit long-term, as it is someplace we can go to escape the heat, escape people and retain our sanity.

On a not-necessarily-frugal note, I hosted a carbon tracking workshop for members of my church. It went well, I feel the people involved will use this tool to positively impact the planet, and the person in charge of the region want me to replicate this workshop for other churches — meaning more people reducing their carbon footprints!


Bee August 3, 2020 at 1:05 pm

I love to go Tidal pooling when in California. It is a wonderful and inexpensive way to enjoy an afternoon. Last year, I took my great niece and nephew to Cabrillo National Monument. We had a wonderful time. Unfortunately, there will not be a trip this year because of Covid 🙁


Jill A August 3, 2020 at 8:45 am

1. I pulled some blue mist spirea plants out of my front landscaping. They were old and half dead. I couldn’t decide what to put back in there and decided to think on it a while. In my time of procrastination they made some baby spireas (they do this a lot). I transplanted some of these to new spots and will wait to pull the rest when I’m sure they are established. So free plants. This saved me over $50.
2. I got quotes from my insurance agent and with Michigans new insurance laws and with changing to older cars to PL & PD I should be able to save about $1800 a year on car insurance.
3. I organized and cleaned out my pantry and my spice drawer. I found some new spice jars that I liked. I’ve been looking for some for about 4 years. The ones I wanted were $3 each and I couldn’t bring myself to spend that. I found the jars that I like just as well for $1 each on sale. In the process of cleaning I also found an olive oil jar that I’d been looking for and was about to buy a new one.
4. Friends came over a social distant and also with masks to enjoy some sangria they had made and some bean dip that I made from my homemade refried beans and guacamole. It was really a fun and very inexpensive night and much more enjoyable than a bar or restaurant.
5. I fixed an old percolator that I used to heat water. I’m reading lots of books on my kindle, Sold a heavy set of encyclopedias on Facebook and having been eating mostly at home except for the occasional food truck and cheap fast food splurge.


Jill A August 3, 2020 at 8:48 am

I also forgot to add:

6. We have an abundance of blackberry and black raspberries on our property. We’ve picked a lot of them to eat but also my daughters and I made jam and I made a delicious blackberry lemon coffee cake.


LB August 3, 2020 at 9:26 am

1. A week at my parent’s house meant a quarantine period before and a delicious week in a big house with a deck, with easy access to hiking. An almost cost-free week aside from a few lunches out meant low-impact on my bank account.

2. Among spending time with my family and working from home, I also decimated my storage spaces. Notes from college and high school classes went out the door, along with a lot of emotional letters and cards that I hadn’t thought about for a decade. I feel lighter and eliminated a lot of emotional AND physical clutter.

3. I also found a bunch of stuff I could use in my daily life now: hand weights for kickboxing, a vest for running/biking in cold weather, and a brand new pair of cleats purchased before an injury ended my field hockey career. I also found a set of wine glasses my grandma gave me a while back that I thought had been lost in a move but were safe and sound in my parents’ basement!

4. Leftovers came home with us and will sustain this week to keep us from takeout. This is extra important as next week we are both ON VACATION! We rented a recommended airbnb whose owner is taking COVID precautions seriously and will be luxuriating in a big backyard with a firepit and kayaks. I want some extra cash to have some delightful meals out, a catsitter so we can stay 4 nights with them being okay, and lots of ice cream stops.

5. Tallied up my “habit tracker” for July. While I’m still not working out as much as I would like, I have spent significantly less money and accomplished my goal of no superfluous spending. A skin condition diagnosis require some new clothing purchases to manage summer heat better, but otherwise I managed to keep discretionary spending at almost zero.


Lindsey August 3, 2020 at 11:15 am

I LOVED field hockey when I was in high school. I have not thought about playing it in years, so thanks for triggering that memory. I was 6 feet tall by the time I was 12, so towered above every other girl on our team or teams we played. I think I was probably a crap player but my height scared them…I miss feeling like I could run like the wind. (Of course I didn’t, not even back then, because I am incredibly awkward, but it sure felt like I could.)


LB August 5, 2020 at 6:49 am

That’s so funny! I was a scrawny wimp but I could sprint faster than the more athletic girls so I was always on defense. I wish I had a place to just do some conditioning drills outside since I loved the accomplishment of stick control.


Mary in Maryland August 3, 2020 at 10:20 am

1. Per A. Marie, I’ve started going out and pulling a couple handfuls of weeds (carefully identified) whenever a meal looks too skimpy. Mostly purslane and dandelions.
2. The neighbor who has been shopping for us is out of town for two weeks. I offered to weed her garden while she’s gone. And we’ve been improvising. The Mister needs whitener for his coffee and was nearly out of oat milk. So I made some. Soak a cup of oats overnight, blend like crazy, strain out the solids. The solids got eaten as part of our hot cereal this morning. I made a strainer from parts of my wedding (first) veil. Tomorrow is the 41st anniversary of that wedding. Our divorce was the closest I’ve come to being born again. Small internal celebration tomorrow.
3. We are eating down the refrigerator while the neighbor is gone. Lots of broccoli.
4. My store of buckwheat noodles got a little buggy, so I froze them. Have been using them for cold noodle salads with peanut sauce.
5. We’re getting Disney for a month for Hamilton. Given our hearing and the pace of the show, we are reading the libretto before we watch. But maybe only a third at a time, so we don’t ruin any surprises.
6. I’ve read many books on Kindle. Evicted by Matthew Desmond is energizing and heart-breaking.
7. Big thrills—I’m thinking of buying a produce box. Giving my neighbor a list is lacking the kind of surprises I often pick up in the grocery store.


Christine August 3, 2020 at 10:46 am

Such a weird puncture with those scissors on the tire. Glad you were going slow.
1. Kind neighbors, family and friends have been bestowing their gardens’ bounty on us so lots of Zucchini, Summer Squash, Beans and Swiss Chard have been making their way into our meals.
2. Raspberries in our yard have begun to ripen. I’m disappointed in the crop size but have used it as a learning experience of what I will do differently next year.
3. DH turned 65 in January so for the first time we were able to get a free season pass to our town’s beach. Veterans also get in free.
4. My library opened up today and I am very happy. Strict new Covid19 rules and restrictions to which I am more than happy to adhere.
5.I went to the Salvation Army store looking for some cast iron cookware for my kitchen but didn’t find any so left empty handed. Almost everyone here in Massachusetts is great about wearing masks and social distancing so I felt okay about going shopping, briefly.


Billie August 3, 2020 at 11:29 am

Well, I’m pretty sure our car is totalled (someone backed into me at Surprisingly high speed!) but he’s got all-risk insurance, ao I guess that’s better than it could have been? Otherwise I’ve put off buying things I want but don’t need, which usually means I will forget all about those items.

Regarding the bust: I can’t shake the feeling that this is not a conposer, but someone else! The bow tie , smile and hairstyle remind me strongly of Prince Albert (Queen Victoria’s husband), but he had decidedly less hair in most of the portraits from his bowtie-wearing stage. It’s very well possible that the sculptor decided to flatter him, of course. I wonder if anyone else had the same thought? Pretty sure the bust (or the person it depicts anyway) is from the late 1800s.


Bee August 3, 2020 at 12:40 pm

1. Like Katy, I am trying to keep up my side hustle of selling on eBay. Sourcing can be challenging right now. I wear a mask everywhere I go and always have my Clorox wipes in my purse along my hand sanitizer. I have had a few big sales (over $50) this month – a Picasso print, a piece of 19th century milk glass, a set of footed Dansk ice cream bowls and a Cat’s Eye Studio pillow cover.
I am also selling some special items on consignment in an antique store in a nearby “tourist town.” These are mostly made up of things that I purchased to sell at the semi-annual vintage sale that I participate in – or at least I did pre-Covid. It was cancelled this spring and doesn’t look like the fall sale will happen either. I have to get this junk out of my house!!!!!
2. Since the first of August is upon us, I paid bills last night using my bank’s electronic bill-pay system. No stamps!!! I worked on our household budget and updated our monthly financials.
3. Sadly, I cancelled my gym membership. I have been a member of the YMCA for 20 years, but I no longer feel safe working out in that environment. Our YMCA has not been kind about suspending membership and will no longer allow it. I hope that I can find an alternative. I walk daily and swim, but my waist is getting thicker. Grrrrr….
4. As always, I am trying to keep food waste at a minimum. I made broth in my Instant Pot this week using what others might consider garbage – 2 chicken carcasses, carrot tops and peels, onion ends, and celery leaves. I then used this rich broth to make ramen bowls.
5. I didn’t spend a fortune preparing for Hurricane Isaias. Over the years, I have learned there are two things that the Florida media hypes – hurricanes and sharks bites. Since we have had experiences with both, we stay calm and carry on. We watch the storms closely and decide how to respond. I did not run out to buy a ton of processed and canned food that we would never eat. I filled mason jars with filtered water from the refrigerator just in case our water supply was affected and waited. We had some rain, wind and beach erosion. However, all is well. You know it been a tough year when a hurricane doesn’t seem like a big deal.
Wishing everyone peace and good health.


Heidi Louise August 4, 2020 at 7:43 am

Bee: I have no experience of hurricanes or sharks, but do know a bit about tornadoes. I blame the early years of the Weather Channel for building up a hysteria that is not warranted. The Atlanta-based reporters didn’t seem to understand that tornadoes are not hurricanes. While both can be horribly destructive, tornadoes come up with less warning, are localized to small areas, and do not last long.
Glad you are safe!


Bee August 6, 2020 at 2:25 am

There is a fine line between information and sensationalism. It can be terrifying when there is a huge storm out there, and it lingers for days and days. You learn to filter out the bad info. However, I have to say: Tornados scare me!


Katy August 5, 2020 at 10:58 am

Interesting sounding eBay sales! Sounds like you have a good eye.


Bee August 6, 2020 at 2:20 am

Thank you, Katy. Your blog encouraged me to start selling again on eBay. I’m grateful for that.


Kristen | The Frugal Girl August 3, 2020 at 1:40 pm

Just gotta say….I agree about the Downton Abbey movie. Not nearly as good as the show!


Katy August 5, 2020 at 10:57 am

I kept getting interrupted while watching it, so it actually took almost four hours to get through the entirety.


Kristen | The Frugal Girl August 3, 2020 at 1:46 pm

Also: I wonder if that bust is Robert Schumann. Irrelevant since you sold it, though! I’m impressed someone paid $40 for it.


Katy August 5, 2020 at 10:56 am

Possibly, but I’ll never know. It graced my mantel for a number of months and is now being enjoyed elsewhere. My mantel features a number of fancy decorative items that are currently for sale on eBay! 🙂


Debbie August 3, 2020 at 2:53 pm

1. Re-posted some of my kids’ toys, games and books on FB to sell; sold several items and gave the money to my kids (minus Mom’s commission, heehee). However, one lady only paid half the price that I was asking for an item and since it was porch pickup, it wasn’t caught until we looked for the money under the mat. I messaged her that she didn’t leave the correct amount (despite confirming the price in a FB message before she came, which I know she read), but she’s not responded. It was only $5, but it was the principle that she cheated on the price that made me mad. At least this is the first time it has happened in the 5+ years I’ve been selling things.

2. Sold a trash picked bike peddler to a lady needing it for her elderly mom. My husband shakes his head in disbelief when I tell him there were several interested parties who wanted it! It was in perfectly good condition and I snagged it from my neighbor’s trash pile after an evening walk recently.

3. Continuing to hang laundry to dry outside in the hot Texas sun.

4. Using the library curbside pickup to get new library books for the whole family…so glad this has been open for the past couple of months!

5. My son has been using up all my cardboard boxes to build creations for his stuffed animals. It only cost me a couple rolls of masking tape, but to keep him busy, using his imagination and OFF the screens, it is well worth it!

6. Freecycled a big box of random sized cardstock my dad gave me recently. This box was purchased probably 30 years ago when I was a kid, never used and moved houses twice! I divided it into 7 smaller piles and made 7 families very happy. I couldn’t believe how quickly people messaged me after it was posted.

7. Recently Kroger had a sale on Kellogg’s cereal, which had the free kids book offer on the boxes. I bought a bunch since my family eats cereal all the time, got an ibotta rebate on the price, which brought it to just over $1 a box and got a free books for my kids! Some of the summer reading programs we normally do aren’t giving out book prizes this year, so it was a nice way for them to get some new, free books they like to read anyways!


betta from daVille August 3, 2020 at 4:44 pm

Five frugal fails: the loser edition. Augh! we’ve tried and we’ve failed.
1) put in wrong bank account numbers when paying taxes. Hit with an extra $30 fee.
2) Made crostini with leftover bagette before it went stale. Partner turned his back while grilling and they quickly became blackened crostini.
3) Made a pot of black beans last night. Cooked them for more than 3 hours and they never softened. I used a quart of homemade chicken broth and had to dump the entire thing.
4) Partner didn’t pay attention while at grocery store and the cashier rang up the rotisserie chicken at 40.69 instead of 4.69, so had to make a return trip (but okay, we did get the 40.69 back).
5) We were running errands and decided to get burgers for lunch from Five Guys — the first meal out (okay, while sitting in the car) in 6 weeks. We normally like their burgers but these were disappointing.


breadandglitter LC August 3, 2020 at 7:58 pm

I’d email corporate about your #5 or if there’s a survey on your receipt do that. Often the company will try to fix it in some way.


Debranurs1 August 3, 2020 at 6:41 pm

I agree on the Downton movie. Loved seeing the characters again. But certainly not to the caliber of the series. It read a Christmas gift last year.


breadandglitter LC August 3, 2020 at 8:04 pm

Just wanted to tell you, I am so encouraged by #2 and so happy for you. Also, it’s pretty funny to use the veil for this specific purpose, but I LOVE EVERYTHING ABOUT THIS. SNAPS FOR YOU!


Ruby August 4, 2020 at 9:20 am

1. Signed up for enough overtime next week to pay for half of surprise garage door repair.
2. Made a free fridge organizing bin from the cut-off bottom of a cat litter jug.
3. Bought books for a belated birthday gift for one of the children in my life from Thriftbooks, which sells used books and donated some if the proceeds.
4. Made a shelf for the pantry out of scraps of thin plywood glued together and covered with the last remnants of Con-Tac paper.
5. Using my old over the ear headphones, which work great, for online work meetings. Years ago the vinyl started peeling off and I sewed fabric over the foam on the ear pieces and the headband, so they are distinctive. The fabric was a remnant left over from another project.


Jill A August 6, 2020 at 6:56 am

I like your idea for the fridge organizer. I may have to try something like that.


Ruby August 6, 2020 at 3:41 pm

It is working great to corral the small drink bottles that clutter up the top shelf in hot weather. I like that I can cut it to whatever depth is needed.


Heidi Louise August 4, 2020 at 9:40 am

I endured an 1800+ drive to see parent with a health crisis. Noted most, though not quite all, people were complying with mask orders in the midwest states. Certainly were consciously keeping a distance apart at rest areas and gas stations.
The frugal part is that we are more vintage than I realized. We have driven new-to-us PT Cruisers for many years, the latest being a 2010 fancy Couture, the last year of production. I didn’t see a single other Cruiser in my trip, so I guess I am even more unknowingly (and uncaringly) behind the times than I knew! Still a good number of miles left on it, low insurance and taxes, reasonable gas mileage, and paid for in cash three years ago when we bought it. And I can always find it in the parking lot.


Lindsay B August 4, 2020 at 10:13 am

1. Our landlords have apple trees which are dropping lots of small not-quite-ripe apples. We’re making delicious free applesauce with these. The only “cost” is the hassle of cutting out any spots.
2. We had a day of free fun involving a free bus to an area on a fjord with lots of hiking trails. We each received a free pastry and coffee and enjoyed birding and walking along the coast. This had been happening once weekly but unfortunately we caught the last one for the summer. Fingers crossed for next year!
3. Continuing to find wild raspberries, and picked enough for a berry dessert.
4. Received an unknown plant cutting and it seems to be rooting well. I’ve never had a cutting before so this is exciting, ha.
5. Another plant win: an orchid is reblooming after being leaves-only for a year. It’s been free entertainment watching the flower spike grow, then the buds swell.


Susan August 5, 2020 at 1:07 pm

-Accepted leftovers from a friend. Enjoyed leftover steak in salads. Drank free Panera coffee. Canned 7 pints of green beans from our garden.
-Continuing to sell bits on eBay. Happy to get rid of crap. Gave some baby clothes to a friend, and some supplements I don’t need to another friend.
-A family member bought the wrong size underwear. They were new and she gave them to me, fit me perfectly 🙂
– Client gave me local smoked fish. I made a delicious dip with cream cheese, jalapeños and herbs from the garden.
– Ran out of diapers one day, so I used cloth diapers. It’s not something I can regularly keep up with but I am going to start using them more often.


BethC. August 7, 2020 at 4:11 am

A. Marie, sending good and positive thoughts your way. Alzherimer’s is such a tough disease. Went through what you are going through with my Mom. She fought us about moving her into a facility, but it really helped her.
My list.
1. Have watched 91 out of 92 episodes of This is Us. Semi-retired 3/1, and had long hours and a very long commute, which meant I never used to have time for TV. I call completing this maathon “my pandemic achivement.”
2. Like MB in MN, I have basil that is growing like wildfire this year. I think I am up to 8 or 9 batches of pesto at this point. 2 T of pesto mixed with 2 T of red wine vineagar makes a good salad dressing.
3. Also made half sour pickles via a recipe from the Brooklun Farmgirl blog. Very crisp and good. Used dill that was groing wild in the garden.
4. Making great use of the library’s Hoopla and Libby apps.
5. Have been making many batches of white chocolate zucchini bread and sticking it in the freezer so that when I have it this winter, I can smile and think of our productive garden.
Flora in WV, thanks for the idea about going back and reading NCA from the beginning. Another pandemic project!


Gina August 7, 2020 at 5:54 am

Do you mind sharing your recipe for the white chocolate zucchini bread? That sounds interesting!


BethC. August 7, 2020 at 8:13 am

Here is the recipe. It is actually a yellow squash recipe, but I suspect that you could use zucchini. I have also made it with semi-swet chips:


BethC. August 7, 2020 at 8:15 am

And here is the pickle recipe: I use Kirby pickles-the kind with the bumps.


Virginia Allain August 7, 2020 at 8:11 am

-Got some useful free stuff from my gig as an Amazon VINE reviewer. I made sure to order stuff that wouldn’t need decluttering later (face masks, elderberry gummy supplements, insect spray for my garden vegetable plants).
-We filled up the car with cheap gas at Sam’s Club (first refill in 4 months).
-Am reading Holocaust memoirs on my Kindle which reminds me that my life could be worse. All my books on the Kindle are ones that I get free.
-Divided some plants and will offer them for free in our community garden group (online). Hope to get some return offers of cuttings or plant starts.
-Voted by mail in a local Florida election so saved a trip to the early voting place.


Ángel August 7, 2020 at 6:36 pm

1.) I ripped some work pants of mine that I had invested in. I was very frustrated about the rip, but took them to the seamstress who ended up sewing it up for free. I tried to pay, but she refused and told me to “pay it forward.”
2.) I haven’t eaten out all week! I almost caved by buying a smoothie, but I went home and made a smoothie from what I had in the kitchen.
3.) I made calls to get a cheaper insurance plan through my work.
4.) saved on gas by choosing to have a “staycation”
5.) I didn’t buy a Lear Jet.


Iforonwy August 14, 2020 at 12:42 am

Loved the comment “in the before times!. A great title for a book don’t you think?

OK how did the scissors get there and did you take them out to re-use them?

We had a socially distanced Book Group meeting in the park across from the library earlier this week. 6 of us sitting on our re-usable shopping bags under a large oak tree.

E-bay sales are slow as usual but moving a few Christmas Cross Stitch charts. I am urging buyers to start knitting and sewing early for Christmas!


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