Five Frugal Things

by Katy on August 8, 2020 · 107 comments

  1. I sold just a couple of things, including:

    • An extra Oakley accessory kit that went with an old pair of my husband’s work sunglasses.

    • One of my son’s accounting textbooks.

    • A set of my son’s Mega Man electronic game chips.

    Actually, that’s all that sold. Lucky son.

  2. I went for a masked walk around the neighborhood with my friend Dezsea. In the before times we might have gone out for coffee or lunch, so I suppose this falls under the umbrella of “frugal activities,” even though there’s a deeply sad back story.

    However, she did call me up the next day asking if I wanted “a gallon of milk and a bag of potatoes.”

    Umm . . . let me think that over for a bit. Just kidding, of course I jumped at the offer and gladly accepted her generosity. Milk is super friendly to being frozen for a future date, you just have to pour off a bit extra to make room for expansion.

  3. I drove to my secret spot for wild blackberries, making sure to wear a long sleeve shirt, long pants and closed toe shoes. (Those thorns are no joke!) Unfortunately, Oregon’s dry hot summer resulted in mostly shriveled up berries, although I did find some plump ones growing the shade. I’ll probably go back in a couple days as we’ve had some rain and cooler temperatures, which should result in sweeter juicier berries.

    However, even lesser berries are still delicious berries. Plus, free is my very favorite price!

    For those who might enjoy this detail, the “Oregon Ducks” hat in the above photo was purchased at a pay-by-the-pound Goodwill Outlet store. (So . . . maybe 15¢?) That school has enough of my hard earned money, thank you very much!

  4. I used Fred Meyer (Kroger) coupons for broccoli and eggs, my single pair of Birkenstock sandals are wearing out, so I found a replacement pair on eBay for $34.99, (I then clicked through from Swagbucks, I used my own eBay referral code and messaged the seller to see if they’d use a $8.40 flat rate envelope instead of the $15.05 flat rate box) I fed my neighbors’ cat while they were out of town, I gave away two tubes of toothpaste on my Buy Nothing Group as I’d accidentally bought the spicy “Cinnamint” flavor, my husband signed up for a free YouTube TV trial, which is allowing us to finally watch the final season of Schitt’s Creek, I finished the last of a loaf of my father’s sourdough bread, (which I slice and store in the freezer) and I sat on the couch screaming into a second hand pillow.

  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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{ 107 comments… read them below or add one }

Lisa M. August 8, 2020 at 5:52 pm

5+FF: Another Lay-Off Edition

1. Unfortunately laid off from for-profit job after several months being paid through Paycheck Protection Program. Consulted Unemployment for advice on how to merge recent layoff with previous layoff from non-profit job d/t unique combination.

2. Used Aldi’s excellent replace & refund policy after discovering last avocado’s black interior hidden by thick peel. Received free avocado in addition to refund for last week’s culprit. A bonus as avocados were priced higher the preceding week.

3. Purchased a couple of fantastic baby gifts from friend @ recent garage sale for arriving great-niece: Never used 3-6 month. pink fleece jacket & vintage sippy cup toy that makes sounds. Washed jacket in Dreft & scrubbed toy thoroughly to ensure maximum cleanliness.

4. Having fun planning strategic use of birthday freebies. Since DD’s disposal of monthly contacts resulted in need to make return visit to eye dr. for contact lenses evaluation & ordering, we made lemonade out of lemons by incorporating 2 freebies into lunch visit @ 2 close restaurants. One was medium stir-fry bowl ($12.99) & the other was a dessert ($6.95), so split both for a free lunch for 2. Who said there is no such thing as a free lunch? Well, technically not free as made sure to tip wait staff accordingly. Was also able to use vision insurance that provider accepts for the 1st time in 15 years. Exam covered except for small co-pay & ~ 50% of 1-year expense of contacts covered as well. Overall, a very cost-saving day!

5. Recent kitchen creations: Mexican Burgers (using 11 Taco Bell sauce packets for the ¼ C. of taco sauce required, so using up what’s on hand during food prep);& Aegean Pasta Salad.

6. Continue to be extremely grateful for mild late-summer weather. Have managed to keep AC off for many days on end. Less painful electric bill & hoping to extend replacement of AC – serviced last summer & received news that replacement time is looming.

7. Recent wins grocery shopping: From big box – spiced rice mix on clearance (a product I typically use as a meal base) & assorted muffins (cheaper than birthday cake) from bakery discount rack – both 25% off. But the real star was from my local grocer. I had been carrying around a rain check since June for a sale price of $2.50 for a package of 12 oz. bacon. Had been back twice but unable to locate brand. After standing in line @ Customer Service, was told to sub any 12 oz. brand. Spied a local brand from a neighboring state that cost $9.50/pkg. Since I got 2 pkgs., paid $5.00 for $19.00 worth of bacon. Clearly I would never pay a $9.50 package of bacon but I made sure to support a local meat company based in WI. The other customer doing the same thing grabbed 1 pkg. of a national brand – um no. This seemed a great opportunity to support a smaller company.


Bee August 9, 2020 at 5:05 am

I’m sorry to hear of your lay-off . I hope that things will work out for you. I’m not sure what kind of contacts your daughter wears, but there are often rebate offers online. I received a $200 rebate when I purchased a year’s supply. It’s worth a look.


MB in MN August 9, 2020 at 7:25 am

Lisa M., I’m so sorry you were laid off. Best of luck to you as you navigate the future.


Lisa M. August 9, 2020 at 8:57 am

Thank you Bee & MB. I am okay with the lay-off as I anticipated their struggle being a very small family business that may not survive the economic downturn.

Bee – My daughter’s contact manufacturer offers a rebate of $60 via a pre-paid card for a 12 month purchase, not nearly as impressive as your $200 rebate!


A. Marie August 9, 2020 at 9:54 am

Joining the others in regretting the layoff and wishing you well, Lisa M. Hang tough; it’s all most of us can do these days. (And Katy’s suggestion of screaming into the secondhand cushions we all have is brilliant.)


Lisa M. August 9, 2020 at 10:23 am

Yes, you are correct A. Marie, plenty of misery to go around. I have ample secondhand pillows from Goodwill available to scream into, so that’s a plus!


MariAnn August 14, 2020 at 5:43 am

Sorry about the layoff. I am finally going back to work in two weeks after being laid off since April 17. You mentioned a local meat businesses in WI are you from WI? I am from SE Wisconson.


Lisa M. August 15, 2020 at 7:09 pm

MariAnn – Glad to hear that you are returning to work.

I am from the Twin Cities but our stores stock many local food items, so support WI businesses on a regular basis. 🙂


Virginia Allain August 8, 2020 at 7:36 pm

1) got $3 credit on Amazon for filling out a survey
2) saved $38,000 for husband’s 5 hours in the emergency room (by being old enough to have Medicare)
3) chopped up leftover pork loin which wasn’t enough for another meal. Added it into our leftover paella to stretch it for one more meal.
4) Mixed up some dish detergent and water in a spray bottle to spritz on insects in the vegetable garden instead of buying an insecticide.
5) Started reading a book loaned by a friend. Saved a trip to the library.


Debranurse1 August 8, 2020 at 9:26 pm

1. Got 3 DVDs, a book and a audiobook from the library.
2. Hung up a load of laundry in the shower instead of using the dryer.
3. Sold a table and cabinet on Marketplace that I had bought off Marketplace and decided didn’t work. I’m using the small dresser I was using previously for a tv stand (still deciding if I’ll paint it) and got a free table off Marketplace that I like better.
4. They had Method brand (Target brand) bottles of cleaning supplies at my thrift store today for 99c each. I bought 5.
5. Found a $20 dollar bill in the gas station parking lot on my way to work!


Beth Ann August 12, 2020 at 1:51 pm

Those Method bottles are good! I have a few, and I put water, vinegar, some Dawn and then a nice smelling essential oil for an all over the house cleaner. So cheap! Uh, I mean, frugal.


Katy August 9, 2020 at 11:37 am

Age for the win!


Nicole August 8, 2020 at 7:51 pm

Use the app CBC Gem for cancon/bbc shows. SOOOOO worth the intermittent ads.


Mand01 August 8, 2020 at 11:54 pm

1. I spent a morning in the garden, getting free and fun exercise, listening to gardening podcasts. Let me tell you, if you want to escape pandemic stress, there is no more gentle listening on this earth than gardening podcasts.
2. I have been making soup this week. Today I made a Jamie Oliver Ribollita, which is a bread, bean and kale soup. As I have tons of kale in the garden at the moment, it was a good one. And everyone loved it, even my soup-ambivalent eldest.
3. Drinking tea and working, and sitting by the fireplace.
4. Reading free books on Libby, as usual.
That’s all.


A. Marie August 9, 2020 at 9:28 am

Thanks for the (2) tip about the soup, Mand. I’m always looking for more ways to use kale, since it’s one of my few garden crops that the local deer don’t care for–and since mine is also flourishing this year.


Lindsey August 9, 2020 at 3:34 pm

Ditto to what A. Marie said. Tons of kale in the garden and a lot of bread in the freezer so I will make this for the husband when I want something he does not like (like perogies, who hates home made perogies for heaven’s sake! Of course, he thinks that about my aversion to beans…).


Mand01 August 10, 2020 at 12:33 am

I recommend the Jamie Oliver recipe for Ribollita. It is very delicious. We had it for lunch again today (and will again tomorrow).


Julie August 11, 2020 at 5:03 pm

My favourite kale soup is one I am sure I found on this blog for a kale and white bean soup. Freezes so well and I freeze the kale fresh from the garden into ziploc bags so in the dead of winter I get to use garden fresh kale. I honestly have no idea when I last bought kale.

cathy August 10, 2020 at 9:50 pm

I’ve discovered the same thing about gardening podcasts. They’re amazing for taking my mind off anxieties. I also found that a podcast or two helps me get through the mound of backlogged mail and paperwork. Which podcasts do you recommend? My favorite so far is Gardens, Weed & Words by Andrew O’Brien. He’s in England.


Mand01 August 16, 2020 at 5:35 am

I listen to a couple of Australian podcasts. One is very local to me, its the ABC Local radio Saturday morning gardening show. The other is called All The Dirt. It is very Australian focused though both with regard to the seasons and the conditions (dodgy soil and limited water).


Madeline August 9, 2020 at 3:59 am

1. Doing a 3 day potatoes “fast” which will use up our potatoes that are ready to be used up and also good for health. We’ve been eating kinda “heavy” and this resets appetite.

2. Planning vegetarian meals for next week.Lentils,beans, soups,homemade bread.Cheap.Easy.Healthy.

3. Exercising using old Richard Simmons DVD’s I have, which I LOVE! Riding my 30 year old Schwinn bicycle (no hand brakes!) with hubby for more exercise (see #1.)

4. Gobbling up a BAG OF PAPERBACK BOOKS my neighbor gifted me! I cleaned my bookshelves and gave her some cookbooks and other books I am done with,too.

5. Enjoying Apple News consolidation app, which also has tons of MAGAZINES to enjoy, for free, since our son’s subscription can be shared with us!

6. DAYDREAMING about travel. Cheaper than going, but at this point I’d pay for a ticket to ANYWHERE if only Covid were over!!!


Christine August 9, 2020 at 10:28 am

Madeline, I understand your #6. I can see a highway from the parking lot at work and when I see the cars whizzing by it somehow makes me long for a road trip. Before Covid, when I knew we were free to travel, I never got this feeling. But the itchy foot has set in and I must deal with it as we are mostly at home and hopefully staying healthy.


betta from daVille August 9, 2020 at 1:00 pm

I totally agree with your #6! Our calendar reminded us that today is the day that we would have left for our summer vacation — 10th year going to Slovenia…
Instead, I’ve been binging on Acorn, and vicariously going to Australia, Paris, Finland & Sweden. Tragicly, all are murder plots….. 🙂


Nancy from mass August 10, 2020 at 6:04 am

I have been arm chair traveling the last few weeks also. DS and I were supposed to go to France and Luxembourg this summer and possibly Dublin this fall. It’ll be the first time in 4 years we haven’t taken a vacation anywhere, in fact, I haven’t left my state in 5 months. I cannot wait until we can travel again


BethC. August 10, 2020 at 10:45 am

I semi-retired 3/1 and we had 2 cruises planned (Europe and Panama Canal) to celebrate., as well as a couple of trips within the US to visit with friends. Not to be. I can recommned the PBS Show Samantha Brown’s Places to Love. I have binge watched about half of the episdoes (3 seasons worth). She travels in the US, Canada, Asia and Europe. Also just started watchin Zac Efron’s Down to Earth-also good. It is on Netflix.


Bee August 9, 2020 at 4:40 am

It’s a shame that the blackberries are dry. They look so good!
1. I masked up yesterday and went junking. First stop was a church rummage sale. Everything you could put in a paper bag was $10. I brought several items for resale and a few items for myself including some soy candles, a book, and blown glass Christmas ornaments.
My second stop was an estate/moving sale. I bought some beautiful clothing, a new air bake cookie sheet, a pizza pan, a butter dish, hand soap, 3 rolls of packaging tape,an open package of printer paper, and files. I spent $17. Estate sales are my favorite source for practical household items.
I wish more of the clothing was my size, but most of it was xx-large sizes. Names like Eileen Fisher and Johnny Was, much of it new with tags. Being frugal it’s hard to imagine spending over $250 on a sweater and never wearing it.
2. Our garbage disposal began leaking. My dear hubby and I headed to Home Depot to purchase a new one. He installed it in an 1/2 hour or so and saved the cost of a plumber.
3. I picked up the Little Women DVD at the library. I read The Wife Between Us which was surprisingly good. I had picked this book up at the bins pre-Covid, so as soon as I finished it, I put it in a recycled padded envelope and mailed it, media rate, to my cousin. I have also been watching Bletchley Circle on Brit Box .
4. My homeowner’s insurance and auto insurance both renew this month, so I spent sometime reviewing my coverage. I am concerned if I have enough coverage for my home in case of a total loss. Construction rates have increased substantially over the last 12 months. I have a friend who is a contractor and his estimate is higher than what I’m insured for. Time to call my agent.
5. I used a Staples coupon – $10 off a $20 purchase. I took several long walks. I cooked all my meals at home and brewed my own coffee. I drank primarily free filtered water. I brought two bags of household items to the GW. I dropped of my contact lens packaging at my eye doctor for recycling. I listed and sold a few items on eBay. I’m trying to stay sane in these trying times.
Wishing everyone good health and peace…


breadandglitter LC August 10, 2020 at 6:33 pm

Eileen Fisher and Johnny Was both seem to do GREAT for poshmark resellers (I’ve never tried them though) and plus size seems to do well online too – if they were cheap enough I’d consider going back and trying to resell them!!!!


Bee August 15, 2020 at 1:22 pm

They do sell for a lot! I didn’t realize how much. However, they were too expensive for resale until the last day of the 3-day sale. They were pretty picked over by then, but I really should have taken the time to look through them. Live and Learn. 🙁


Jill A August 9, 2020 at 4:53 am

1. I went with my daughters to get new glasses. One daughter found frames she liked at Pearle Vision. Other daughter and I also found frames there that we liked but decided to go to Costco to see if there was something we liked as well there. I did not find any frames I liked but I did order my contacts from there and my daughter found two frames she liked. Her two pair of glasses and 6 months of contacts at Costco cost half of what my other daughters glasses cost at Pearle Vision. It’s insane.
2. Friends came over to pick blackberries in my backyard. Afterward we enjoyed a socially distant drink of homemade mojitos with mint from my backyard. We had a nice time. I actually prefer drinks and socializing at home vs. a restaurant etc.
3. While friends we over they noticed my yellow jackets that are building a nest in my soffits. My friends husband volunteered to help me get rid of them. I ordered some supplies online and he will come next week and hopefully that will save me the cost of calling a pest control company.
4. I worked at Tuesday’s primary elections. Everyone brought their own lunches but we were fed pizza for dinner and of course I will be paid for the 16 hours that I was there as well as the two hours of training that I had to do.
5. I’m doing the usual. Reading library books on my kindle. I recommend The Dutch House by Ann Patchett. I’m watching shows on Netflix, Hulu etc. I’d say I’m hanging my laundry but then I’d have to have done my laundry. I’m cooking mainly at home except for the occasional fast food treat.


Jill A August 9, 2020 at 5:31 am

I forgot to add that I went to some garage sales with daughter and I found an electric kettle that was unused in it’s box and daughter found a new pair of ear buds.


Bee August 9, 2020 at 9:06 am

I also enjoyed The Dutch House. Ann Patchett is an amazing writer. Not too long ago I read her book, Bel Canto. She won the Pen/ Faulkner award for this wonderful work. I have some of her others on my list. So many books, so little time.


Jill A August 10, 2020 at 8:12 am

Thanks Bee. I’ll look into that one too.


Ava August 10, 2020 at 2:18 pm

Jill A and Bee, Ann Patchett’s mom, Jeanne Ray, has also written a couple of very entertaining books. I really enjoyed them.


Jill A August 11, 2020 at 9:53 am

Thank you

Kim in Maryland August 9, 2020 at 5:15 am

Until very recently I was an independent insurance broker. I only recommend Replacement Cost Coverage which is what you want to make sure you have. It takes into account the very situation you are talking about. The other thing people quite often get confused by is that Insured Replacement Cost is not the same as Market Value.


Bee August 9, 2020 at 9:18 am

Hi, Kim! Thank you for your advice. Yes, a policy that covers replacement costs is important. I too was an agent here in along the Florida Coast. We always were telling folks, you can’t insure the dirt! Things get a little crazy here because of hurricanes. After the 2004-2005 hurricane season -and the fallout from the multiple hurricane that pummeled the state — I was happy to retire. Take care!


tia August 9, 2020 at 6:13 am

1. Had 3 cats in home. 1 went with son. 2 cats. Papers I signed in a parking lot to be able to shelter during lockdown said only one pet. I put it off as long as I could but cat with asthma stayed and healthy cat went to shelter. Healthy cat in shelter apparently ate everything he could get at and now is in their vet clinic and can’t visit because he is not my cat now. There are people who want to adopt and are waiting for him. Asthma cat in home has had a rough week of attacks and messing on floors so today I’m ripping up carpet and pads and looking for great deal on non carpet flooring. I hate carpet so this doesn’t make me sad except for the work and cost. Main room clear except for tack strips and nails! There is concrete under the padding, lol, I wonder if I could just paint this? There’s a mural on my floor. No dreaming away covid consequences today. Unless…working on bunker to escape the world? Ahhh, my little bunker.
2. I should cook at home, but will I?prolly not, sometimes being bad just feels good.
3. 4. 5. I got nothing.


Lisa M. August 10, 2020 at 6:33 am

Tia – I’m really sorry about your asthma cat’s illness & the ensuing damage to your carpeting. Thank you for your selflessness for offering up your healthy cat for adoption & working in the trenches with your asthma cat. You deserve good Karma & a huge thank you for your efforts with this cat who needs your love & care so desperately.


Hawaii Planner August 9, 2020 at 6:23 am

1) Can’t remember if I’ve already posted, but found a $100 bill on the ground, with no missing owner. Split it with my sister, who was picking me up.
2) Sold a bike on FB marketplace. My son treated it as an opportunity to learn a new skill, and ordered a part, and spent quite a bit of time fixing up the bike. We split the money, and he ordered bike tools. He’d like to turn this into a potential side hustle.
3) Listed & sold a bunch of stuff on eBay (sold a jacket, a chess timer, a book, a bar set, crystal glasses…). It was a slow week
4) Made a bunch of donations for the start of back to school & requested a match from my employer, thus doubling the value of my donation.
5) Used a credit card (paid in full each month) to pay our car insurance for the full amount, which yields a small discount.
6) Cooked meals at home, despite not having a kitchen right now.


Shona August 9, 2020 at 1:00 pm

When I added up how much paying my insurance in full will save… We have 4 accounts: car, homeowners, rental house and umbrella at $5 surcharge for each account when paid monthly. The only one I cannot pay in full is the homeowners since it’s tied into the mortgage, but $15 x 12… $180 saved! Although we just shopped for a better policy and ended up saving $1000/ year! But still $180 saved too.


K D August 9, 2020 at 7:37 am

1. We were sick to death of eating chicken so I bought stew beef and made beef stew. It seemed expensive but I know it was no more than the price of one meal out and this will be several meals for the two of us. I used the slow cooker so it was easy and didn’t heat up the house. I also have started making rice pudding in the Instant Pot. It’s so easy and even the clean up is minimal.

2. We found a quarter in the Home Depot parking lot yesterday. That is probably more than I have found the past five months. There was no need to turn in my few pennies the 1st of July, even though I usually turn in found change twice a year.

3. Entertainment is still just visiting with friends outside. When the weather cools down I’ll resume walking with a few different friends.

4. We have been doing yard work. It is good exercise and cheap (we do buy paper yard waste bags but I really stuff them).

5. I was able to get some yarn without buying it. A group that does charity knitting was collecting hats and scarves and giving out yarn for more projects. I had crafted several items with yarn I’d bought very cheaply before Coviid-19.


Economically Proud August 9, 2020 at 8:27 am

Some wins:
1. Celebrates husband’s b-day by having mother-in -law over, we had some beers on the deck, grilled hot dogs and chicken, had some salad made with gifted cucumbers, and made fried potatoes
2. Baked a simple yellow bundt cake. Drizzled 92% dark chocolate over the top mixed with some butter and powdered sugar. The chocolate is too bitter alone.
3. Made a veggie soup with some gifted veggies and veggies from our garden
4. Shared some of our veggie surplus with DH coworkers
5. Ordered used textbooks for son’s homeschooling. Saved major $
Big Loss:
We had some ants in the house, DH followed their trail and found termite damage too. Cost to evict and keep them away for the next year: $1600, plus some boards and insulation that need to be replaced because of the wee beasts.


MB in MN August 9, 2020 at 9:27 am

Katy, your “sat on the couch screaming into a second hand pillow” made me snort and spit on my screen. Thanks for that stress reliever!

1. Scored several dozen canning jars at the thrift store to boost my inventory.

2. Bought large box of canning tomatoes (seconds) from local grower. Blanched them, slipped off the skin, cored, and placed tomatoes in jars for freezing.

3. Bought large gunnysack full of sweet corn. Blanched the cobs, cut off the kernels (by placing the tip of the cob in the center of a bundt pan, letting the kernels drop inside) and froze in mason jars.

4. Attended a socially distant memorial open house for an elderly friend. Was there at the end so the family generously gifted me a beautiful bouquet, monster-sized cookies that were all individually wrapped, and leftover beverages.

5, Received bounty of zucchini, summer squash and eggplants from neighbor’s garden. Made large pans of veggie lasagna for the freezer.


A. Marie August 9, 2020 at 9:46 am

FFT, Everyday Miracles Edition:

(1) Our local Thrifty Shopper chain has just announced that it’s opening a by-the-pound outlet store this Friday. I’ll avoid the opening-day rush, but in a few days when things have calmed down a bit and I have an aide to look after DH, I’ll be there with bells on!

(2) I’ve now harvested and enjoyed all four of the Minnesota Midget cantaloupes produced by my container-grown plant (and carefully guarded from the local deer). I’ve also now pulled in a fine harvest of Ailsa Craig onions and Zebrune shallots (deer don’t care for onions, thank the Goddess). The onions and shallots have now joined the garlic I harvested in June, and the herbs I’ve been clipping and bunching all season, to dry in the attic. As you can imagine, my attic smells wonderful!

(3) I had a decent picking of cucumbers and pole beans this morning as well. The deer seem to nip at the vines but leave the actual cukes and beans alone. So I continue to crank out refrigerator dill pickles, and I may get at least one good serving of my good old Kentucky Wonder beans. (Can’t find these at our local farmers’ markets up here in Yankeeland for love or money. It’s all Romanos and Blue Lakes.)

(4) Have also had a little thrifting fun. First, I brought DH along for a quick visit to another of our Thrifty Shopper stores on Friday. I was careful to end it when he started getting fretful, but I got a few good things–notably a funky old “Empire” half-gallon canning jar (don’t recall seeing this brand before), which I will use for dried bean storage.

(5) And a few garage sale finds this a.m. on the way home from Wegmans: a Corning Ware 2-quart container in my favorite pattern, and a #8 cast iron pan in need of re-seasoning. Have applied (a) elbow grease and (b) a good oily wipe-down and a slow oven to the pan. (This, of course, reminds me of yet another Two Fat Ladies story: After Clarissa mentioned putting some “elbow grease” into a particular recipe, she reported getting dozens of inquiries: “What is this elbow grease, and where can I get some?”)


Kathy August 9, 2020 at 10:12 am

Kentucky Wonders were a delicious part of my childhood, in Michigan. Parents and both sets of grandparents had gardens with them. Green beans are okay, but really had a taste for Kentucky Wonders last week. Might be time to visit farm markets near Milwaukee.


Vickey August 24, 2020 at 9:37 am

We’ve grown Kentucky Wonders in our WNY garden, and they were never as sweet, flavorful, and tender as the Romanos, which also held on the vine longer. Perhaps they need Southern soil, or at least temps?


Christine August 9, 2020 at 10:49 am

1. A friend gifted me a gallon of milk(yes Katy, our friends know us well) a Summer Squash, a Zucchini and a dozen eggs from his chickens.
2. Enjoying watching my Brown Eyed Susans flourish and satisfied to know they were a one time, long ago gift from my sister that just keeps on multiplying. So says Clark Griswold’s Cousin Eddy about The Jelly of the Month Club.
3. We’ve been picking up sticks and branches knocked down into the yard by the recent hurricane and have more than filled the fire ring. DH and I will enjoy a night by the fire when the fall weather sets in.
4. Our neighbor will be gone a week and told me I can take whatever is ripe in either of her two vegetable gardens. Thank you Wonderful Neighbor.
5. Don’t forget the free show…the Perseid Meteor Shower on August 10th through the 11th.


Christine August 9, 2020 at 10:51 am

My #2…meant to say the gift that keeps on giving. I actually can’t tell a joke….even on paper so it seems. Sigh…


Katy August 9, 2020 at 11:28 am

So much light pollution here in the city.


Mary in Maryland August 9, 2020 at 12:37 pm

Mine all involve trash-picking or canning tomatoes.
First, the trash:
1. Got two galvanized trash cans from a dumpster. Small one with slashes in bottom will do weed collection in the back yard. Freecycled the big one that had a lid. Also a tall, skinny hamper missing its lid. Will use it to replace the broken support for our laundry bag that I found in the trash ten years ago. And a 23 gallon plastic bucket. And a 60 pound bag of concrete.
2. Found three huge trash bags full of the foam floor mats that have alphabet cutouts. For a friend who’ll be distance teaching pre-schoolers.
Then the tomatoes. We have usually eaten about 55 qts of my canned tomatoes per year, but ran out a couple months early this year. I was puzzled thinking that all the eating at home would be balanced out by not taking vats of soup to potlucks. I’ve decided the difference was not buying any Adi’s salsa since January. I think the solution will be to can salsa in addition to the usual 55 qts of chopped tomatoes.
3. Bought bulk seconds of tomatoes for less than a dollar a pound.
4. Let me enthuse briefly about my fabulous jar collection for which I spent exactly nothing. I have 28 regular mouth quarts and twelve wide mouth quarts. The wide mouths are used for small batch fermentation most of the year, but are called back in to the canning lineup every August. I have forty 1.5 pt mason jars that came filled with salsa (not to my house—I swapped them for some wide mouth pints I found in the trash). And I have a couple dozen 30 oz mustard jars with wide mouths that store exactly two servings in the fridge.
5. Changed my tomato canning protocol in ways that save money—I switched from using lemon juice for acidification to citric acid. $4 for 32 qts worth of lemon juice. $16 for 350 qts worth of citric acid. Also the powder is much easier to store.
6. I decided to do pressure rather than water bath canning. Faster (less electricity used) because one is heating much less water and because one is processing for less than half the time. Disappointed that it has taken me so many years to get brave.
And a fail:
7. I had invested in the Tattler reusable lids, but couldn’t get more than 2/3 to seal in water bath canning. So I sold all except the few that had sealed. I decided to try the twelve with pressure canning. All twelve sealed. Guess I’ll be buying more of them.
8. Would love to eat out after a day on my feet processing tomatoes, but I have four cups of pulp/juice that didn’t get canned. I’m thinking southwestern tomato corn soup, and maybe an


Alexandra August 13, 2020 at 1:55 pm

Mary in Maryland, thanks for sharing your details about canning tomatoes and your adventure with pressure canning. I loved hearing about it!


Shona August 9, 2020 at 12:52 pm

Not very frugal, but I cleared out some mental space yesterday. Sitting on the to shelf in my closet were a pair of regretfully purchased Adidas from TJMaxx. I only shop TJ Maxx (and Marshalls) for undergarments and for some reason bought these and I didn’t like the way that fit. Instead of having them continuing to mock me from the top shelf I decided to tie the laces together, put a FREE sign on them, and drape over our mail box. Within an hour they were gone. The curb gods have been so good to me over the years that every now and then I must give my own offering to appease them. And now my regretful purchase has made someone else happy.


Mary in Maryland August 9, 2020 at 12:54 pm

ice cream visit for dessert


Cindy in the South August 9, 2020 at 12:54 pm

1. Ordered a heater that was $40 off. 2. Went walking at river for free exercise. 3. I ordered cheese powder and butter powder for the winter. While expensive, I figured it was cheaper than running to store and taking a chance of catching Covid this winter. 4. I have somewhat stocked up my three grown sons for the winter with canned meat. I do not them running to store on a whim either. My daughter adores dried beans so I sent her supplies for winter. 5. I have been using cheap washcloths from Walmart for family cloth urination. I anticipate shortages in tp and this is cheaper anyway.


Mary Beth Danielson August 9, 2020 at 1:02 pm

1. For A. Marie and other Jane Austen groupies. In March, the streaming new Emma (there’s a visual) was $20. Lately it’s $6 so I watched it twice because I’m never paying for it again. IMHO it’s meh. However after the credits Johnny Flynn sings ‘My Queen Bee’ which one can listen to for free on YouTube, and I like it so, so much. Worth the $6 to learn who Johnny Flynn is.
2. My iPhone has been warning me I’ve used too much space. I discover the gmail account I only use for FB and Twitter had saved all my comments going back to 2013. I thought this old phone might need to be replaced but NOPE!
3. Husband and son caught a catfish and a big Northern Pike yesterday morning and we grilled and ate them last night; tonight will be fish tacos.
4. Two herbal tea bags in a pitcher of water each morning provides inviting hydration all day. Our favs are blueberry and raspberry zinger.
5. I asked my adult son about streaming music and he immediately put me on his Spotify account for $7/month. (They had been offering him a twofer $15 deal, so he moved to that option when I asked.) I have never felt this rich in my life! Music ALL the time!


A. Marie August 10, 2020 at 8:10 am

Thanks for the update on the new Emma, Mary Beth. My assessment on seeing the previews was that it was going to be meh, so I’m glad to have your confirmation. Will save my $6 for something else.

Other opinions: A bunch of JASNA NY Metro friends went to see it back in March (it was in NYC cinemas briefly, just before the COVID lockdown), and they all also agreed that it was meh, though each had a different objection! But then, my friends who are seriously into Regency apparel went mad over the costumes, so to each her own.


betta from daVille August 9, 2020 at 1:09 pm

1. Toaster died Friday morning. Friday evening, I decided to post on my local buy nothing group if anyone had a spare to get rid of. By Saturday noon, I had a free replacement, and it was the exact type that we had had — a long 4-slice. Thank you, generous neighbor.
2. Ran errands as part of toaster pickup. Partner decided that he NEEDED a great sandwich from a high-end sandwich place, but I held off from the $13 sandwich and made myself a tunafish sandwich when we got home. I did splurge on a $2 root beer, though.
3. We have been harvesting golden zucchini and tomatoes like crazy. Roasted 2 batches of cherry tomatos for the freezer and shared veg with kind neighbors who have been out of work since Covid started.
4. Redemmed $28 in Swagbucks that my partner forgot he had in his account (he is not good with money or frugality). I purchased 4 lbs of yeast with the Swagbucks and will share with my aunt who asked for some.
5. Making all coffee/meals (with the exception of $13 sandwich!), not using any gas, bought 1 dress/1 skirt for 70% off — first clothes purchase of 2020, and trying to not waste any food.


Kara August 9, 2020 at 1:52 pm

I used the coupon for a free car wash that we received when we moved house. It had a $29.99 value. My car looks lovely. I think it’s the first commercial car wash I have ever been to. We typically never wash our cars.
Eating zucchini lots of different ways. I’m still sick of it. My husband says he’s not. I bet he is, but he’d never say that of free food.
We picked blackberries and raspberries yesterday on a friend’s property. I made freezer jam with the blackberries. I gave her one of my 4 collard trees. She gave me some rhubarb crowns. I love trading!
I have unearthed 2 patterns, and 3 fabrics and will make myself a couple of shirts in the next few weeks. I am a 6′ tall woman and it is REALLY hard to find clothes. And I don’t require a lot of them, but my clothes have reached an extreme state of shabbiness that is depressing to me.
I persevered on getting a replacement pair for flip flops for a defective pair my husband had. A good brand and not cheap. It was worth it, and the replacement pair came this week.
Sold 2 coins on ebay, from the tin of foreign coins that my mother in law passed on to us, and we have zero desire to keep.
Sales are slow, but steady in my Etsy shop. It’s hard to source fabric, but that only brings out my best creativity!


Katy August 9, 2020 at 2:44 pm

I park under a tree that must double as a bird sanctuary, so I need to wash my car!


Kara August 9, 2020 at 7:05 pm

My husband does too. After 4 months of reminding him to use the coupon, I just decided to use it myself. And it made me way happier than it would have made him!


Lindsey August 9, 2020 at 4:04 pm

I hear you, about the difficulties of being 6 foot tall woman and finding clothes that fit. I have sometimes ordered short women’s dresses to wear as shirts!

The blog Food in Jars has a recipe for zucchini butter that may interest you. That and latkes are pretty much my go-to recipes for abundant zucchini. In the summer, that can mean latkes three times a week!


kara August 9, 2020 at 7:05 pm

I love the Food in Jars blog. I will look at that. Thank you!


lisa Oldoski August 13, 2020 at 3:16 pm

I made zucchini marmalade last year, it tastes just like orange marmalade, uses way fewer oranges, takes less time and uses up zucchini!


Flora from West Virginia August 9, 2020 at 2:38 pm

Enjoyed reading the post and comments. I’m still reading your old posts. I was pretty busy this week, so only got from August 1, 2009 to November 1, 2009 read.
We have a Flexible Spending Account through my husband’s work. Because of Covid , the Cares Act is making it possible for FSA accounts to buy some otc meds and supplies that you couldn’t before. We use Xyzal, Zyrtec, Tylenol, 81 mg aspirin and cough drops. I got these and a few other things that came to over 100 dollars with my card. This helps a lot during this time. We are both on Medicare now, so our FSA expenses shouldn’t be as much, so I may stock up some more.
Our car insurance company let us know we will get a discount for 2 more months.
Thanks for this wonderful blog. Everyone have a great week.


Katy August 9, 2020 at 2:43 pm

I blogged daily in 2009, so it would take awhile to get through the archives!


Lindsey August 9, 2020 at 3:28 pm

1. Okay, now the stupendous raspberry harvest is getting old. Every other day I remind myself to be thankful for free berries from my garden (really free, as the original starts were castoffs form a friend and I never water or fertilize the now huge patch) and I force myself to pick at least a quart, rinse and freeze them. I have never had this problem before. I am an ungrateful wretch, I know, but after 17 quarts in the freezer it is hard to be as thankful as I was at quarts 1 and 2. I’ve invited the neighbor to pick mine too, but her harvest is similarly freakishly huge.
2. I did six mystery shops that evaluated the postal service. I had to mail things and was paid for the shop as well as for the price of mailing. By some luck, I managed to make four of the packages books I had sold through Amazon, so I could pocket the mailing allowance Amazon gives. The other two mailing were birthday gifts I sent early, so got those sent off for free.
3. The two birthday gifts were for relative’s twins and were boxes of various fruit leathers I made from raspberries, strawberries, and rhubarb from the garden, so also free except for the work and the price of running the dehydrator. Healthier than commercial fruit leathers and these two kids love fruit leather.
4. Traded eggs from my chickens for a pot of beans. I detest beans but the husband loves them and especially the ones made by this friend, so the friend and I and the husband all ended up thrilled with the deal.
5. Needed three sympathy cards for deaths unrelated to the virus. My husband had taken a really gorgeous and peaceful looking picture of a bird taking off from one of the trees in our yard; he is not a photographer but just happened to get one of those once in a lifetime amateur shots. He used the picture to make the sympathy cards we needed. They looked much better than the cloying ones I see in the store.


Bettypants August 9, 2020 at 4:28 pm

1. On my morning walk last week, I passed by several boxes of free items. Picked out a wooden picture frame and a cookbook. Sold the cookbook on ebay for $9.

2. It feels like I am getting a lot of lowball offers on FB Marketplace all of a sudden, like 1/3 or 1/2 my asking price. One lady made several garbage offers, said “It doesn’t hurt to ask!” but was upset when I sold to someone else. I guess sometimes it does hurt to ask.

3. I signed up for Amazon’s promo for 99 cents a month for Showtime for 2 months, and already cancelled the auto renew for the regular price. Bezos can’t be making any money on that, right?

4. Someone keep putting current magazines in the little free library near my office. I have been taking them home to enjoy and passing them onto my sister.

5. Picked up an old wooden desk from the side of the road. It needed a good wipe down, and the top needed some minor sanding. Overall a nice piece that just needs a refresh. Not sure yet if I will keep or sell.


Jennifer August 9, 2020 at 5:37 pm

Well, dd’s college let them out of their housing contract (sophomores only) and she is now moving into an apartment. In a week. After we thought she would be home for at least another month. I’m trying to get what they (her and her friend that has been living with us since March 17th) need at a decent price. Here is how we saved:

1. Found a sublease for a furnished apartment. So the other person had already paid the security deposit and 1st months rent – which means we don’t have to ($1000 together).
2. Hit up Goodwill today for kitchen items as those aren’t included in the furnishings. I got 3 pots with lids in various sizes, 2 non-stick pans, 2 casserole dishes with 1 lid that fits either, 4 cooking spoons/spatulas, and a large assortment of silverware for just $25. They need plates and cups, but I figured they would want to pick them out so they will go back tomorrow – and spend their own money.
3. A neighbor had put out 3 under the bed storage containers with his trash. Dd and friend snagged those and we kept one and they each have one to use at school now.
4. They will need a shower curtain and rod – thankfully I saved my ds’s shower rod when he moved out in May and will reuse that. Also raided his kitchen things and found a brand new can opener and several tupperware like containers for dd to take.
5. I plan to let them shop my pantry before we leave, but will also do what I always do when a child moves into an apartment and will take them grocery shopping when I move them in. Then she will be responsible for her own groceries, but I will get her set up with a kitchen to start. I already have a Kroger card from my ds being in school (we don’t have Kroger near us) and I will check the sale ad before we head out.


Marie August 9, 2020 at 6:42 pm

When my son moved out, I did a big shop for him. The basics, herbs, salt, pepper, stuff you don’t think of. Also remember buying a huge package of tp.


Marie August 9, 2020 at 6:32 pm

1. A spendy packets of seeds I ordered on a whim didn’t work out. They germinated then died. E- mailed the company, and they decided, they were not for my zone, so I’m picking a free replacement of my choice.
2. Raspberries, 9 gallons have been picked, now on to blueberries. Made a wonderful cream cheese blueberry bread. Tastes like pound cake, so it’s a keeper.
3. Not exactly frugal, but since the coin shortage, which I still don’t understand, my daughter couldn’t find quarters for laundry.
I went through all our coins, which never seen to make it to the bank, and gave her $51.
4. working in the garden daily, feeding excess to my sheep, and saving seed for next year.
5. Husband was in need of new tennis shoes. Our store has a friends and family event twice a year. Bought a $70 paid of shoes for $47. Which will last for awhile. Wears work boots most of the time! Yay!


Mand01 August 10, 2020 at 1:07 am

The coin shortage is caused by people not going out, shopping more online, and when they do go out, spending less and when they do spend, using cards instead of cash due to fear of the virus. This means fewer coins are in circulation than would normally be.
I used to use primarily cash. I haven’t used cash since January. The coins I would have put back into circulation as change (even more so in Australia as we have $1 and $2 coins) are no longer coming from my hands.


Bettypants August 10, 2020 at 7:31 am

Even though I read and understand your explanation, I’m still surprised by the coin shortage. It seems like people who paid in cash before the pandemic typically paid in bills and then just accepted the coins, tossed them in their car or in some random place in their house.

I swear the only time people put them back in circulation is when picking up items from my porch. They then use all the quarters and dimes in their car.


Ruby August 21, 2020 at 12:37 pm

I mused aloud to my husband the other night that billions of dollars in coins must be locked up in the vending machines inside office buildings that abruptly shut down and sent their employees home months ago.


Heidi Louise August 10, 2020 at 8:34 am

Had also read the coin shortage is a problem with production (mints slowed production due to Covid-19 issues, safety of employees, etc., though should be picking up speed again soon), with large-scale distribution (like everything else, coins need to be transported across the country to banks, stores, etc.), and with more localized problems, such as small stores and coffee shops that usually turn over coins are not open.


Lindsey August 10, 2020 at 9:05 am

Can you give the source for the recipe for blueberry cream cheese bread? Thanks in advance.


Roberta August 10, 2020 at 8:29 am

Mostly Christmas edition:
1. Went garage sale-ing for my mom’s shop. I picked up a vintage wooden high chair for $2, but she looked at the pic and said she didn’t want it because it was too old. At a later garage sale I swapped the high chair for a large vintage suitcase, a set of four silver (plate?) napkin rings for gifting, and two rolls of ribbon. The suitcase was from her shop where it was priced at $28 — she was asking $15 at the garage sale. I am already transferring over my Christmas wrap to this case for better, easier storage.
2. Started working on Christmas presents for my four nieces and nephews who are moving to snow country, from Southern California. Everyone will get a wool knit hat and scarf (or cowl?) to keep out the cold. They’ll likely also get candy, so it won’t all be practical.
3. Finished making bath sachets for my mom, for either her birthday or Christmas. She doesn’t like acknowledging her birthday, so I might save them. I used sheer fabric from a curtain my dog ate, a free basket I decorated from a garage sale, leftover epsom salts, rose petals from the garden, and oatmeal (which we would have eaten, and is the only expense). Also finished knitting a second pair of socks for my dad’s Christmas gift.
4. Found two unopened long-hair swimcaps for my daughter. They had their price tags on them, $21 for the two. They will be put away for a future gift, closer to swim season, as well as a brand new in box competition swimsuit. If it doesn’t fit her, I’ll post that on ebay. I also found a couple of stress balls for my son’s stocking, in a free box.
4. Trying to stay crafty with things I have lying around, instead of buying stuff to make stuff. Next up are gift bags for boxing and giving, out of an old sofa slipcover.
5. My son ordered two of his books through chegg, for less than Amazon charged. One is a rental, for only $25 for the semester! (Way less than I ever spent on buying used books and selling them back, back in the day). I’m glad he hunted around for the best deal, since he can’t find a job.


Jennifer August 10, 2020 at 8:49 am

I too started Christmas shopping when I was cutting through the NCAA fan gear aisle at Meijer and happened upon a Gamecock fan puzzle for half off. My dad is super hard to buy for and now I am done. Yay!


Aunt Diane August 10, 2020 at 10:28 am

t 1.) I made spiced “apple” rings out of zucchini! Used a melon baller to form a hole in each slice. Looked like apples, tasted like apples! Refilled the jar with more slices after we ate the first batch.
2.) Went to Goodwill. Bought 6 of my favorite French bistro glasses for $.49/each, 2 necklaces for me & 1 for Granddaughter @ $.99/each.
3.) Made homemade pizza last night. Very good!
4.) Used a $5 off coupon for Hallmark at Walgreens. Also had 3,000 points on purchase of 2 Hallmark cards. When I looked at the receipt, I was rewarded 6,000 bonus points!
5.) Leftovers for lunch: 1 lonely meatball, 3 tiny pickles, a scoop of starting-to- get-mushy cantaloupe, & thankfully, 1 absolutely delicious brownie!
P.S. I love this blog!


Debbie August 10, 2020 at 12:07 pm

Tax-free weekend edition:

1. This weekend was tax-free weekend in Texas on school supplies, clothes and shoes. I noted it earlier this summer and checked on which school supplies my kids still needed after reusing last year’s stuff that was still good, raiding our home stash, and bought the rest tax-free, which came out to less than $25 for 2 kids.
2. Bought some jeans and dress pants for my son who loathes wearing them but needs them for orchestra performance at school (assuming they ever do concerts again this school year), tax-free at the local kids consignment store. The jeans looked to be in practically new condition. He’s already outgrown the ones I bought for him last year, so they will be saved for his younger brother.
3. Same son reminded me he has also outgrown his current flipflops and needed some new ones (pre-teen growth spurts!), but this was late last night after the stores had closed. I checked around online and ordered the cheapest pair I could find on Zappos, then remembered that I had a $5 rewards on DSW. Somehow I found the exact same pair on DSW for the same price, was able to apply a $10 coupon PLUS my $5 rewards and only spent $3! I then quickly cancelled my Zappos order. Found out DSW charged me tax even though it was still within the tax-free weekend window. Messaged them today and they removed the tax from my cost. Even though the tax was 0.19, it was the principle of the matter!
4. Posted some kids books and excess new scrapbooking materials I purged from my current stash for sale on our local FB garage sale site and sold them throughout the week. Was able to coordinate 3 sales at once at a local meetup place to save time and gas.
5. My younger son pulled out his mini table tennis set he got as a prize a while back and started playing on our dining table for some free entertainment. He also remembered I had bought a chemistry experiment set from Toys R Us a few years ago when they were going out of business and saved it for future gifts. Well, my kids’ friends are at the age where they are quite selective about what they like for birthday gifts so I said my son could open it and use it. Both educational and keeps him off screens for the win!

6. Sort of frugal, but maybe less so: I have been intrigued by wearing Tieks Italian leather flats but never would pay the crazy amount they sell for (almost $175+). A couple months ago they offered a $100 gift card to healthcare workers, which I qualified for. I perused the site and found I neutral color that I liked and bought this past weekend to save the tax. Ended up paying less than half for a pair. Will try on at home to see if I like it (they offer free shipping and returns if you don’t like the shoes as long as they aren’t worn outside). I figure they are of good quality and if I take care of them, they should hopefully last a long time.


BethC. August 10, 2020 at 12:27 pm

1. I have sallied forth into the world of survey apps and an academic survey website. My favorite app is Survey Monkey-I have made over $50 so far in Amazon gift cards. I also do academic surveys on the website-they often take less than 10 minutes. I have earned about $80 in 6 weeks doing the suveys very, very intermittently-certainly not every day.
2. My insirance co offered me the opportunity to participate in an online weight loss program (Omada) for free and sent me a lovely new digital scale to use. I have been eating a lot less junk and a lot more veggies and fruit. During the first week, I craved my nightly Ben and Jerry’s Phish food ice cream fix, but now I don’t think about chocolate half as much as I used to. I am down almost 9 pounds in 4 weeks. The program has participants tweak their food and exercise habits gradually.
3. Our garden is bursting with lemon cucumbers (tasty but very seedy) and yellow/red tomatoes. I am getting sick, sick, sick of cucumbers, but the lemon ones are smallish and round, so good to have as a snack with lunch. DH has been making lots of tomato sauce-her will do quarts 7, 8 and 9 tomorrow. I could never get tired of our lovely fresh tomatoes.
4. Tonight, I will finish the last episode of the most recent season of This is Us-a total of 72 episodes watched durng the pandemic. I guess that is an acheivement?
5. Continuing to take a weekly walk in one of our local county parks once a week. I used to work very long hours and had a very long commute. I never knew that the parks existed until I semi-retired. I also never watched TV. Never realized how much my commute and the full-time practice of law ate into my personal time until now.


BethC. August 10, 2020 at 12:30 pm

sorry-he will cook and freeze quarts 7-9 tomorrow.


Ava August 10, 2020 at 3:53 pm

1. Had a friend come over for grilling and distancing in the back yard. He brought his dogs so our dogs could have a dog party. That helped a little with the hunger to socialize.
2. Was gifted with a box of jalapenos. My husband likes them in omelettes so we chopped and froze them. Almost burned off our fingerprints.
3. Discovered the wonders of the potato taco. Microwave potato cubes until tender. Brown in skillet with taco seasoning. Fill flour shell with potatoes, cheese, lettuce, salsa and sour cream. Cheap and delicious.
4. Found a new, more comfortable , free mask pattern on line.
5. Was gifted tomatoes for canning from one friend and many linen napkins from another. Our paper napkin usage is about to be greatly reduced.


Kathleen in Kansas August 10, 2020 at 5:53 pm

Would you share your mask pattern, please? I’ve made a zillion, but finding a comfortable one would be great. Thanks!


Ava August 11, 2020 at 6:46 am

She has several patterns. The one I like is the veil. Definitely cooler for summer.


Vickey August 27, 2020 at 11:35 am

Ava, after losing an entire night’s sleep to lying awake with burning hands, I decided wearing disposable gloves to process them was the way to go. I reuse the same pair all season, they hang discretely out of the way between uses. HTH


Lindsay B August 12, 2020 at 2:57 am

1. Feeding animals for a friend while she’s out of town, and I get to keep any eggs laid. So far, 9 chicken plus 6 duck eggs. We love eggs at our house so I’m unreasonably happy about this.

2. Grateful once again for my reusable cloth pads, purchased about two years ago from an Etsy maker. So comfortable and I love not having to purchase menstrual supplies every month (especially during pandemic times).

3. Wearing oldest clothes on repeat around the house, saving wear and tear on newer things.

4. Saving some electricity and trying not to heat the house by defrosting things at room temperature rather than using hot water or microwave to thaw.

5. Cooking beans from scratch and combining with sauteed veggies, olive oil, thyme, and garlic for my new favorite frugal lunch.


MEM August 12, 2020 at 6:51 am

Dear Lindsay B.,
#4 is not safe and I would strongly advise against it. Food should only be thawed in the fridge or in the microwave and then cooked right away. I know some people’s gut microbiomes can handle the “thawing on the kitchen counter” technique but it is not a good idea. Its worth the little bit of electricity to do it safely.


Lindsay B August 12, 2020 at 10:18 am

Hi MEM, thanks for the feedback. For the record (and to provide clarity), I’m a Nurse Practitioner, and we’re basically vegetarian, so this means thawing frozen veggies or beans for a few hours then immediately cooking and eating them. I totally agree with you that this is not safe with anything containing meat or eggs, and definitely would not consider saving a negligible amount of electricity worth the risk of food-borne illness. Thanks for your reply!


Kathy August 12, 2020 at 4:57 pm

1. Dejunking continues for the house to be listed 9/15
2. Sent dvds and cds to decluttr=$12.14 and a bag to buffalo exchange=$21.63
3. Last week sold two laminate bookcases, end table and a Waterford golf club paper weight $75
4. Hubby got his pay reinstated (20% cut) back to April 1. That check went into savings
5. Sending over $700 in silver flatware to


Heidi Louise August 12, 2020 at 5:28 pm

Kathy, I’ve been watching your comments about
How are you handling shipping? Are you fortunate enough to be close enough to drop boxes off, or making enough profit to be able to pay it?


Lauren August 13, 2020 at 1:28 am

1. I made a big batch of spaghetti and froze the leftovers for a quick dinner/ lunch for work.
2. I received $20 off my grocery shop thanks to the store loyalty program.
3. I ordered discounted Tupperware sandwich containers as ours had all broken or gotten lost. They came with free containers which I have listed for sale on FB marketplace.
4. I joined BP rewards to earn money off in store. I only fill up at BP as it’s close by and easy to access.
5. Stayed home, made needed purchases online which had free shipping, drinking 1/2 price coffee sachets instead of takeaway coffees, cooking at home and using up leftovers.


Alexandra August 13, 2020 at 2:19 pm

1. Utilized my company’s EAP (Employee assistance program) free counseling after feeling like PTSD after hurricane hit her in NC. So incredibly helpful! Wonderful counselor and got 3 free sessions to boot. I am not shy about taking help during this pandemic.
2. DH is giddy we moved back into the margin of lower than “efficient” in our electricity usage, according to our power company.
3. Proud I remembered to cancel my STARZ free subscription before the fee kicked in. I have Disney and amazon prime right now. That is plenty for tv watching. We switch around with Hulu and Netflix when we get bored.
4. Booked 2 rooms for 2 nights for a wedding in Sept with my points earned from previous work travel (pre-covid) and credit card points. All rooms free!
5. Continuing to eat at home, hang laundry, drink home brewed iced tea, and just not buy much more than groceries!
PS, I noticed when reading comments on my phone, the ads at the bottom would refresh and send me to the top of the comments time and again. I re-started my phone but it continued. It may be your advertiser having a glitch.


MB in MN August 14, 2020 at 5:49 am

Alexandra, I’m so glad you highlighted your employee assistance program and hope your comment encourages others to follow your lead. These programs are a phenomenal benefit to employees.


janine August 13, 2020 at 4:30 pm

Not always frugal due to pandemic take out food -a developing habit!
1. However, I spurned DH offer of Culvers fast food in favor of fresh garden green beans, tomatoes, zucchini and cold chicken for dinner this evening.
2. Shared our CSA box with son; tomatoes and carrots plus garden vegetables and our surplus fruit. Makes me feel better about his eating habits when he has a refrigerator full of good food.
3. Accepted a snack from other son of fast food goodies I would never have purchased for myself. I love French Fried Onion Rings and A&W root beer.
4. Staying home = fewer expenses and temptations in stores.
5. Using fans instead of AC, cooking from scratch, etc. but continuing to make dumb mistakes like not rechecking to make sure all food which needs to be refrigerated reaches said appliance!
Stay safe and healthy!


rebecca August 14, 2020 at 11:55 am

1. Using as much as I can and sharing the rest of my share of a CSA. I have lots of kale and zucchini in the freezer for soup in the fall and winter.
2. I was tempted to use door dash the other night for food delivery but ate what was in my fridge instead.
3. When my sister died last December, I inherited her beautiful china. I have a set but am looking to sell it as it means nothing to me whereas, my sister’s is prettier and memories of my dad’s 80th birthday from it.
4. I am helping my parents move and am taking some of their furniture and getting rid of some of mine. I am able to pass it on to others and so glad it isn’t going into landfill.
5. The usual-coffee from home, friends over in the backyard for physical distancing visits, walks with my dog, shopping the fliers and cooking from home.


Christine August 14, 2020 at 4:15 pm

I’m glad you kept your sister’s china as opposed to a set which had no emotional significance to you. My daughter asked if she could have my mother’s china, which is actually a beautiful set of pottery from the 1940s. I am so happy she has it and loves it as much as my mother did. Funny, the two of them always reminded me of each other…artistic, dreamy, literary, VERY independent and an eye for the unusual, be it decorating or clothing. They even have the same taste in china.


Bee August 15, 2020 at 1:38 pm

I love it when things are handed down in families from generation to generation. It is really the ultimate in non-consumerism. Things sometimes become more beautiful with age. My dining room table was my great-great grandmother’s (circa 1830) and has come down through our family. It was cut down at sometime from banquet size. It is not the most practical, but every time I serve a family dinner at this table and set it with my mother’s China, it transports me back to the long -ago Christmas celebrations and Thanksgivings. It even held my parents’ wedding breakfast. Nearly 60 years ago. In a throw away world, I think this is pretty awesome .
So this is my long- winded way of saying that I am so glad you saved the China !!!


Christine August 16, 2020 at 11:10 am

Bee, what a lovely story about your dining room table and the china, both family heirlooms. Seems like they should be together…as if they have come full circle and both are enjoyed at family gettogethers.


Christine August 14, 2020 at 4:19 pm

Thanks to the generosity of friends and neighbors, I have an overabundance of Zucchini. I would like to shred and freeze it for breads and muffins this fall and winter. Does it have to be cooked before freezing or will it freeze well raw? Any help is appreciated!


MB in MN August 15, 2020 at 8:05 am

Christine, I freeze mine raw, squeezing out as much liquid as possible. Enjoy!


Christine August 15, 2020 at 12:44 pm

Thank you! I appreciate it.


Heidi Louise August 15, 2020 at 8:45 am

Re: Freezing zucchini: My sister-in-law, who never had much money, had some volunteer plants come up by her compost heap. She shredded and froze the zucchini, then used it to make zucchini bread for her office-mates at Christmas time. Little cost, and by that time of year, a more unusual gift than banana bread.


Christine August 15, 2020 at 12:40 pm

Thank you MB and Heidi Louise! I appreciate it. I will start shredding( and freezing) this afternoon.


AuntiAli August 14, 2020 at 10:13 pm

Last week was a week. Tropical Storm Isiais came through and knocked out our power for 4 days. I am a large woman and survived with my cute battery operated fans that hubby got me but on Friday it got humid and I knew I couldn’t stand another night in the recliner with no AC. Booked a room at a local hotel and 5 minutes before I left the house the dang power came back on. Hubs went out on the front stoop and yelled “Wahoo” to the neighborhood. I went to the hotel as I would have lost out on money anyway and the dh and I needed some time apart. He wasn’t able to work from home due to no power and no internet so he was sort of climbing up the wall. Frugalness since then”
1. Lost the food in the fridge and freezer. It was all covid-19 food as it was bought with our stimulus debit card so it didn’t cost me anything. My insulin is another story. I put mine and daughter’s into a small cooler on ice. Not sure if it’s still good. Don’t want to have to pay out of pocket costs because of something out of my control.
2. Got a $23 check from my car insurance company due to lower driving because of covid.
3. Getting more into Netflix which is good as I am paying for it again. On Indian Matchmaking one woman is from a town about 7 miles away.
4. My Sears is closing and I’ve realized I’ll not have a place to buy my Kenmore appliances. Stove, washer/dryer and fridge are Kenmore – dishwasher is Bosch. Never had a problem with Kenmore.
5. My son used Chegg to rent books when he was in college and he got good deals on that website as well as Amazon. My daughter used her college’s rental program.
6. Tomorrow night hubs and I have a date to go to Walgreens. I watch the coupon queens on Youtube and have a couple of deals worked out. I need him to push me in my transport chair – if I had a wheelchair I could probably do it myself and he could wander – but he gets aggravated and we have a grand ol’ time.
7. Hubs is on vacation next week – thank God – and he will play golf, take daughter down the shore and go back down the shore to spend time with is sister. I’m no longer fond of the shore and my sister in law talks too much so I will be happily socially isolating. Hubs will spend money but it will be much less than what we would have spent on vacation. I’ll get some me time too.


Roberta August 17, 2020 at 7:16 am

I remember, in the back of my head, that the electric company will reimburse for food lost during a blackout. I don’t know if this is true, or if it applies to a hurricane, but it can’t hurt to check!


Momma L August 16, 2020 at 5:06 am

Not a frugal month for us.
-1: Washing machine stopped spinning. I tried everything the manual said, then I unplugged it to reset, and the outlet sparked. Calling a repairman.
-2: Next morning, the coffee maker broke. This is a mainstay here. Ordered one online. Boiling hot water to pour over the grounds in the meantime.
-3: DH is in PT now, for sciatica. He has been, up until now, my DIY guy for all things to fix, do yardwork, take care of the car, etc. Hiring someone to do yardwork for at least a few weeks now.
+1: Redoing our budget for now to include all of the above and cut out other things.
+2: Fortunately, our summer company left quite a bit of food, so I’m meal planning around that.
+3: Grateful for our health insurance to pay for most of the PT.
+4: My job is part remote, so I’m able to care for my DH part of the day.
+5: Redid our wills. Worth the cost for my children’s peace of mind. That’s been a good gift for me, that my parents took care of their own affairs as much as they could.


Christine August 16, 2020 at 11:14 am

Here’s hoping that your run of through-no-fault-of-your-own-unfrugalness ends soon and that your DH feels better in no time. Best of luck!


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