Five Frugal Things

by Katy on August 26, 2020 · 113 comments

  1. I sold a number of things including:

    • A Thule bike rack that I bought at Goodwill for $4.99 and quickly sold for $75.
    • A stack of free pile law school books that sold for between $15 and $100.
    • A free pile Title Nine exercise skirt that sold in precisely 18 minutes for $25.
    • Six or seven of my son’s old textbooks, which continue to sell every other day-ish.
    • My husband’s old prescription Oakley brand eyeglasses, which are currently on their way to England. Fifty bucks!
    • A $7.99 new-with-tags Queen Bee Creations shoulder bag that sold overnight for $75.

  2. I was somehow able to get my insurance company to pay the $300 to install an anti-theft catalytic converter shield after some jackass stole the catalytic converter from under my Prius. A crime that I’ve since learned has become increasingly common across this great so-so nation of ours.

    Mind you, we still had to pay the $500 deductible.

  3. We discovered that a semi-local Mexican food cart sells their tacos for a buck apiece on Tuesdays, which has gifted us a sorely needed break from the monotony of cooking. Plus, it gives us something to look forward, which is otherwise lacking in our lives right now. We’ve since hit week three of Taco Tuesdays and I’d like to send a ginormous wave of gratitude out to Su Casa Tacqueria!

  4. My son has rented an unfinished apartment for his last year of college, which differs from his previous apartments which only required he provide furnishings and supplies for the kitchen, bathroom and bedroom. He’ll have three roommates, but only one of them is from Oregon. I was able to score a free nice couch from a neighbor who is transitioning her den into an in-home classroom for her sons and I found a great end table that another neighbor had put out for free.

    We’ll pull out his last apartment’s stuff from the attic next week to clarify what still needs to be sourced. We moved him out of his last apartment in a rush last March, and I have a strong recollection that we packed up some dirty dishes.

  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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{ 113 comments… read them below or add one }

Cindy in the South August 26, 2020 at 11:31 am

1. Internet down at office so during web on prepaid iPhone 6. Not the latest and greatest tech but fine for me. Not having to have latest tech is cheaper in my wallet. 2. We had rain from Tropical Storm Marco so I did not have to run the air. Even though my owner bills have been under $60 bucks a month in the hit, humid Deep South, because I am never home, it is nice when I am there to not have to turn the air on. 3. I packed my lunch, as always. Boring is good. 4. I walked at the local river park pre Marco. 5. I took a nap to the sound of rain on my hot tin roof…..6. I did not purchase a retirement home after inspection revealed significant problems.


Cindy in the South August 26, 2020 at 11:33 am

The typos are worse than usual and are for your enjoyment You are welcome. Giggling with you.


Vickey August 29, 2020 at 9:43 am

Loved this! Thanks, you!


Midwest Beth August 26, 2020 at 11:35 am

1. Using dehumidifier water to water potted plants outside on the deck.
2. Collecting rain water in containers to water garden with.
3. Went away for the weekend and turned the water heater to vacation mode, turned the air up to 79 degrees and closed all the blinds to conserve on utilities while we were gone.
4. Just listened to There, There and The Girls with No Names compliments of the library. Also checked out a hot spot for free internet/WiFi which came in handy on vacation day trips.
5. Frugal Fail – went on day vacations and spent lots of money! Did use my AAA discount when I bought our ferry tickets to Mackinaw Island and used free birthday meals for family style dinners at Zehnders of Frankenmuth. We also redeemed our coupon for free ornaments at Bronners.


Donna Wilson August 26, 2020 at 2:52 pm

This sounds too familiar to this Michigan girl. We haven’t made it to the Island this year, but our summer “vacation” consisted of two nights at the Bavarian Inn using Perks Club points and birthday coupons 😉 Then a wander through town.
Our “entertainment” was sitting at the Fischer Platz listening to the accordian and drinking a cheap beer, lol. Forgot to stop at the Michigan Rest Area so no free ornament for us, didn’t spend TOO much at Bronners though. Still it was a great time. It’s the small things.


Midwest Beth September 6, 2020 at 1:18 pm

Yes, it is the small things. So thankful we were able to go and that the crowds were manageable.


Lea August 29, 2020 at 6:11 am

Former Michigan girl here that is a wee bit jealous of your Frankenmuth visits – especially Bronner’s. At least I can order online!


Midwest Beth September 6, 2020 at 1:19 pm

You definitely need to come back for a visit


A. Marie August 26, 2020 at 11:50 am

FFT, Living in the Now Edition:

(1) I put together not one but two chicken, pasta, and tomato salads from leftover chicken, leftover fusilli, tomatoes, an assortment of other veggies, and an herbed goat cheese that wasn’t getting any younger. So far, we haven’t died. I’ll keep you posted (or my executor will).

(2) Got dragged kicking and screaming into Google DUO when DH’s long-term care insurance required a reassessment through this app. Both DH and I did better than I expected with the technology–although it was gut-wrenching to have to listen to DH fail the Mini-Mental State Exam flat (only 3 or 4 correct answers). I have to keep reminding myself that this is a good thing as far as the insurance is concerned.

(3) Had the joy of a Zoom meeting this morning with my two best friends from the Literary Society (one is in NYC, and the other is in the next Upstate city over to the west). We all have late August birthdays, and this was our substitute for our usual in-person meeting at about this time of year. I ended the call with “Next year, in Jerusalem–or at least at [our preferred hole-in-the-wall restaurant for meetings]!”

(4) Am giving all further food donations from my elderly friend to DH’s home care aides, whose need is greater than mine. I also sold some of our 1/4 steer at our low price to one of the aides, who had to ask me to wait to cash her check till her paycheck from the agency clears. Jane Austen would have recognized all three of these ladies as “gentlewomen in reduced circumstances” (since she was one herself), and I’m doing what I can to help out. (Not trying to collect kudos points here, either. We all have to do what we can do to help out.)

(5) Finally, I’m totally enjoying the co0ler temperatures here. I dislike running the AC, on both financial and mental health grounds.


Mary in Maryland August 26, 2020 at 2:12 pm

I always have to remind myself that helping my husband cheat on the mental status exam wouldn’t actually improve our lives.


A. Marie August 27, 2020 at 10:23 am

Although I’m far from glad that you’re in the same boat, I’m glad that someone else in the same boat has had the same thought. Thank you, Mary. (And thanks also to Linda and Patricia for their comments.)


Mary in Maryland August 28, 2020 at 12:54 pm

We’re not in the your boat quite yet, yet I can see it pulling into the dock. He seems not ever to know what comes next. We can’t stay in the house indefinitely, but we can’t afford to start “senior living” any sooner than we need to. And nobody else notices anything amiss yet. So I’m staying alert to getting moved before his deficits are obvious.


linda shirley August 26, 2020 at 3:09 pm

You are a great lady. There are so many hard working people who are not paid a living wage. Waste nothing. Someone needs it.


Patricia Koernig August 27, 2020 at 1:41 am

Thank you A. Marie, for your humor and your grace.


Cindy in the South August 28, 2020 at 2:59 pm

Hugs. A. Marie


Elizabeth B August 30, 2020 at 2:07 pm

A. Marie: “So far, we haven’t died. I’ll keep you posted (or my executor will).”

This almost made me snort cookie crumbs out my nose. Well done, you. Thank you for your humor and your kindness. The world sorely needs people like you. Bless you and your family.


Alison August 26, 2020 at 11:52 am

Good luck with those dishes in the attic!

Thanks for this post. I clicked over to it from Twitter – it was the most normal tweet I’ve seen in days.


Edie August 26, 2020 at 12:53 pm

Five frugal things:

1) Replanted my backyard veggie garden for fall.
2) Deep cleaned and refreshed a room in my home for a renter, who has socially distanced and tests negative for COVID.
3) Bought a set of lounging chairs for $25 to use on my patio.
4) Picked up FREE novels and self help books.
5) Drinking smoothies from home made from fresh fruit in greens in my yard and in the neighborhood.


Lindsey August 26, 2020 at 12:53 pm

Did four mystery shops, so more free gas and some cash.
2. Sold off a bunch of canning supplies. With only two of us now I don’t do as much canning as I used to, so $142 pocketed for jars and equipment that served me well for years.
3. Donated some fox mushing gloves that we purchased years ago when we lived in a village. They were beautiful and never used and should bring in a good sum for a local charity. Made sure to get a tax credit.
4. Sold three dozen eggs from our over-productive chickens.
5. Someone gave us a HUGE stuffed animal for our dog. He could not even lift it easily. I chopped off the head and appendages and sewed the raw ends shut. I will be handing them out piece by piece as he destroys them. He doesn’t know he is wrestling with just a head or a leg instead of an entire stuffed bear.


Jenny August 30, 2020 at 8:44 pm

Lindsey, I have to ask- what are fox mushing gloves? If I say it out loud, “fax machine”, but that doesn’t make sense either… Are you a fox musher? Do some do it bare-handed?
Also, hilarious about your dog toy


Lindsey September 1, 2020 at 10:59 am

Mushers wear gloves that are thick and able to keep hands warm at temps well below 40 below zero. These were made of fox. We are not mushers but over the years of living in rural villages where dog teams and mushing are common, we collected gloves made of various furs. (Trap lines are still a source of income for many rural folks here. I know some people oppose using fur but I having been outside at 60 below temperatures that go as low as 90 below zero if you consider wind chill, I am here to say that no man made materials have ever kept my face as warm as a parka with a huge fur hood that I could pull down over most of my face.) As we have been downsizing to move into a smaller place, we are slowly getting rid of things like the mushing gloves collection.


Jill A August 26, 2020 at 12:58 pm

1. I’ve sold several items on Ebay including an old percolator that I had purchased at a garage sale several years ago and have been using to heat water for tea since giving my daughter my electric teakettle. I found a new electric teakettle still in the box at a garage sale for $8 and sold the old percolator for $30. All items were packaged in reused boxes and packaging material and picked up at my home by USPS.
2. I ordered some chemicals online to take care of a large yellow jacket nest in the soffit by my back door. A friends husband came over and helped. We donned my bee suits and took care of it with no stings. This saved the cost of a pest control professional visit. I have leftover supplies which friend will be able to use also.
3. I emailed Chewy regarding a car seat cover that had torn. They responded within an hour and are mailing me a new one free of charge no questions asked. I will give the torn one to my daughter to use. I also messaged a company that I bought a puffer for administering powdered pest chemicals about a nozzle that was lost in the soffit when using it hoping that I could purchase just that part. They sent me an entire new one free of charge.
4. My daughter’s college notified us that they would be going to all online classes in the fall. This was two weeks before classes were to start, three hours after I had just purchased her parking permit, two days before we planned to move her in and of course a weeks after paying her full tuition, room and board. I have already received a refund on the parking permit and she will be able to live at home and will be receiving a refund on the room and board. This cancels her lease for the year so we will see what happens in the spring. We might be scrambling for housing if they decide to do in person classes.
5. I made my own hand soap from a bar of soap melted in water. I was able to use. I was able to use over $5 in coupons when buying groceries. I’ve been air drying clothing, cooking at home except for the occasional fast food splurge. I bathed the dog at home and vacuumed out my car at home. We’ve been taking free walks in a beautiful nature preserve near our home. We’ve been enjoying socially distant potlucks with my Mother and other family members.


Kara August 27, 2020 at 11:26 am

We are in the same limbo regarding college housing in the spring!


Jill A August 27, 2020 at 12:30 pm

It’s a little nerve wracking. I’m a little concerned that if she can’t get a room in the university apartments that we’ll end up spending even more than we’re saving by ending her lease.


shona August 26, 2020 at 1:05 pm

We finally accomplished something we have diligently been working on for several years…


We are now 100% debt free. Living just outside Nashville, some friends asked us if we were going to try and get on Dave Ramsey’s show to do the debt free scream. Nope, just telling a handful of people IRL and mentioning it here.

Afterwards there was the discussion of remaining frugal and not forgetting what got us to this point, however, my husband really wants an iPad, so a basic no frills one will be entering our lives soon.


MB in MN August 26, 2020 at 1:58 pm

Shona, how wonderful that all of your hard work resulted in reaching this major milestone. Congrats!


Jill A August 26, 2020 at 2:26 pm



Shona August 26, 2020 at 5:55 pm

Jill & MB, thank you! It was quite a road, especially considering that just 13 years ago I was barely living paycheck to paycheck. I just got tired and knew there had to be a better way. Actually I got tired because I had a lot of sleepless nights worrying about money! I have since married a wonderful man who shares my money values and we made a plan and stuck to it.


Lisa M. August 26, 2020 at 8:12 pm

Very impressive story! Goes to show what can be achieved if one is determined & committed & has a partner with the same financial goals. Kudos to both of you!


Patricia Koernig August 27, 2020 at 1:53 am



Bee August 27, 2020 at 4:12 am

Awesome!!!!! Congratulations on a job well done.


Kara August 27, 2020 at 8:58 am



A. Marie August 27, 2020 at 10:14 am

Huzzah for being debt-free!!!


LB August 27, 2020 at 10:16 am



Sarah August 27, 2020 at 12:30 pm

Congrats Shonna!!


Christine August 27, 2020 at 2:12 pm

Congratulations on your new found freedom and hurray for having no debt!


Lindsey August 27, 2020 at 5:13 pm

WOW!! How great is that accomplishment!


Shona August 27, 2020 at 6:37 pm

Thank you everyone!! I’m not on any social media to join the FB group and having so many people congratulate us in this space is wonderful.


Vickey August 30, 2020 at 5:35 am

Then let me add mine! Congratulations to you both! We paid ours off a couple of years ago and are soooo glad to have one less worry this very worrisome season. Welcome to the club! ☺️


AuntiAli August 30, 2020 at 9:51 pm

Congrats on paying off your house! Welcome to the debt free club.

Cindy in South August 31, 2020 at 9:56 am



MB in MN August 26, 2020 at 1:24 pm

1. Repurposed an office armoire into a pantry. Sometimes I open the doors just to peak at the various jars and baskets, all nicely organized. I might have to add labels just to go full-on Martha Stewart.

2. Borrowed a plethora of materials from the library to read during recuperation from foot surgery. Also received delicious, healthy homemade meals from friends and family. Food is love and I’m forever grateful.

3. Also grateful that I signed up for premium insurance at the last annual enrollment. Both my husband and I have had issues this year that would have cost more via higher out-of-pocket costs than the extra we’re paying in monthly premiums.

4. Niece set up Disney+ for us under her family account.

5. Husband planted what he thought were pumpkin seeds only to find out we have A LOT of butternut squash instead.


Bee August 27, 2020 at 7:14 am

I hope you are on the mend and are up walking around in no time.


MB in MN August 27, 2020 at 8:57 am

Bee, thank you. Recovery is going well!


Dmarie August 27, 2020 at 7:26 am

just curious: what meals did the family gift you with? I have a hard time thinking of anything beyond lasagna when it comes to taking a homemade dinner to someone


MB in MN August 27, 2020 at 8:59 am

Dmarie, lasagna was one of the items! I also received fresh fruit, zucchini tart, tomatoes drizzled with herb dressing, fixings for both stir fries and grain bowls (rice, veggies, tofu, marinade), watermelon salad, orzo salad, and chocolate chip banana bread. I’m one lucky girl!


Isitaneedorawant August 27, 2020 at 10:31 am

I’ve made a (mild)butter chicken that always gets rave reviews:)
I’ve dropped off perogies, spring rolls and samosas that were food items I purchased from friends who make extra to sell when they cook for their families.
My friends do cooking like A.Marie’s comment of “ gentlewomen of reduced circumstances”. It’s a win-win for maker and recipient, I’m just the broker in between:)


Shevaun August 27, 2020 at 11:22 am

I usually cook-double / eat-one + freeze-one, leaving out the carbs. Then, I can make the second dinner another day. Those meals make perfect gifts for folks recovering from illness or trouble. For example, tikka masala (frozen) over roasted potatoes, or chicken stir fry (frozen) over rice, or beef stroganoff (frozen) over egg nooodles…. you get the idea. I’ve even make gyro-style meatballs and a modified tzaziki, frozen it, then served it later with fresh pita/onions/cucumbers/tomatoes. The frozen bits of the meals just need a thaw and either a stove-top or oven warm up, and the carb part is rarely more than boiling water.


Kara August 27, 2020 at 11:35 am

Since food budget is tight for us, when I take a meal to someone it is usually vegetarian, and my favorite is baked potatoes, and a variety of toppings, and a salad. Everyone seems to enjoy it, and people can tailor it to their food preferences.


Bee August 28, 2020 at 11:13 am

I have used the Budget Bytes Weeknight Enchilada Recipe and tailor it to the recipients. It is a vegetarian meal, but sometimes I add cheese, chicken or beef. I also vary the sauce. It depends on individual dietary needs and what’s on hand. I then add a side of yellow rice, corn or salad. The recipe makes two dozen for about $8.


Marybeth August 30, 2020 at 3:02 pm

It really depends on the people and season. In the summer I usually grill something and do a salad from my garden veggies. In the winter I do soups with bread, chili or a casserole. Also don’t forget dessert


Christine August 27, 2020 at 2:17 pm

My go-to meal for friends and family has usually been a pot of Boston Baked Beans and Hotdogs. It’s frugal for me and people seem to see it as a comfort food. Hope you’re feeling much better.


Mand01 August 26, 2020 at 1:56 pm

1. I’ve been learning to make bagels.
2. Last night’s veggies were entirely from our veggie patch. So delicious.
3. We are still eating last Summer’s pumpkins. We had pumpkin soup and pumpkin brownies this week.
4. Our freezer is full of serving size lunches (leftovers) so I’m eating a curry or soup a day until it’s gone to make room.
5. We just got chickens. Not sure it’s exactly frugal (set up costs etc) but we are already getting eggs even though it’s still winter, and it’s fun.


Roberta August 27, 2020 at 7:18 am

We’ve had chickens for years. In the last year or so I’ve been picking up spoiled produce from a local foodbank — lettuce leaves, squashed tomatoes, broken melons, etc. The chooks really like the variety, and it saves on chicken feed! If you have a market or foodbank you can source, it saves them money on disposal, saves you money on feed, and saves carbon in the air!


Kathy August 26, 2020 at 2:39 pm

Living in the eye of the storm.
1. Decluttering to either pack, sell, donate or ditch
2. Used rewards for a free pizza last week
3. Worked my on call gig yesterday
4. $36 from consignment store sales
5. Reusing a frame and antique post cards I was given to make a gift for a friend


MB in MN August 27, 2020 at 5:45 am

Kathy, I hope you and your loved ones are safe from the storm.


Kathy August 27, 2020 at 6:55 pm

We’re geographically not in the eye of the storm
More of a metaphor as we’re getting home of 41 years ready to sell, move 1300 miles away and hubby is having foot surgery


Flora from West Virginia August 26, 2020 at 4:34 pm

I’m still reading your older posts. I’m up to mid May 2010. Those posts were written during the Recession,. Things were hard on us during that time. My husband was laid off and I was working a stressful low paying job. My husband did receive unemployment, but it was tight. My husband smoked and I told him we couldn’t afford over $200 a month. He quit cold turkey in 2010, and still doesn’t smoke. That was the 1 good thing that came out of that time.
10 years later and I am retired. My husband still works plus receives Army retirement. Things are so much better now. But now some family are having it tough.
I have been decluttering lately and giving things away.
I’ve been paying extra on debt.
I’ve been stocking up more and putting
Thanks for this wonderful blog. I’ll keep reading your blog and enjoying it very much. Can’t wait to read all the comments.


Shona August 26, 2020 at 5:50 pm

Flora, I’ve been reading my way backwards through this blog and currently I’m in 2012. Good to hear your life is better all these years later amidst all the current economic turmoil. I quit smoking a couple years before your husband and was shocked to learn the current price of cigarettes. Why???!!!??? Cheers!


Lulutoo August 27, 2020 at 4:22 am

I quit smoking June 4, 1980. Cigarettes had just gone up to one dollar a pack (that was not why I quit) but I thought ‘who the heck would pay ONE DOLLAR for a pack of cigarettes???’ hahaha


Ava August 26, 2020 at 5:57 pm

1. Gave my husband a haircut. One of the dogs was fascinated.
2. Made a rare trip to Goodwill. Mask compliance is not very good in this area so we seldom go there. Purchased a dog bowl for 2.00 and a Melissa and Doug pull toy for the center where my daughter works. At 2.50 for a 25.00 toy, I couldn’t pass it up.
3. Closed out the canning season with a total of 24 pints of bread and butter pickles.
4. Reading library books. Have read several enjoyable ones in a row after a streak of not so good ones. Just requested a new batch for curbside pick up.
5. Not frugal, but it does mean free snacks. Got reinstated as a blood donor after being excluded for several years. Their requirements recently changed and I am eligible again.


Lisa M. August 26, 2020 at 6:32 pm

5+FF: Fall is Coming!

1. Ran 2nd Garage Sale of the season for 2 days in conjunction with friend & neighbor (who is moving). Added additional inventory from DD who went through her room @ home for more discards. Star sell is new, large baby play mat received free from Nextdoor a few years ago. Successfully sold after taking out of packaging for display. Now working on packing remaining inventory away in garage until next summer. Garage sales goals are to declutter & make a bit of $ @ the same time for DD’s 529. Have found some ways to streamline effort over the years but routinely happy & relieved @ end of final sale of the season.

2. Had accumulated a large amount of rejects in covered nut container of toffee nuts from trail mix, along with extra Na & fine components in the bottom of bags. Pulled out the large toffee covered nuts & put in a disposable container in my inventory & gifted to neighbor who is moving (verified 1st that he liked them). Then went through & sorted out the regular peanuts & bits that we would eat into another repurposed disposable container. Lastly able to toss out excess Na & fine contents from many bags of trail mix. Lesson learned: In future will only buy trail mix that contains 100% of items that are used.

3. DD is moving home as her roommates are moving home & her classes are all online. Minor expenditure of renting cargo van for large items but negligible compared to significant long-term savings on rent, utilities & food. Looking forward to her cat living with us since we miss our little dog. A nice feline distraction.

4. Speaking of felines, boarding DD’s cat & her roommate’s cat during their camping adventure. Frugal for them & we receive bonus entertainment.
A bit of a mishap as DD was transporting her cat here & animal shampoo was @ her apt. I was meeting with DF (friend) @ coffee shop after final sales accounting to reimbursee from garage sale. Instead of an emergency purchase of baby shampoo, went to DF’s house where she poured out a small amount of animal shampoo into a cup. Love reciprocal friendships: provided her access to sell @ the garage sale & she spotted me for a small amount of animal shampoo when unexpected need arose.

5. Charged for 2 gallons of milk versus the 1 that I purchased @ gas station, so made that the 1st priority when riding along with DD on her errands. Typically occurs when forgetting to check receipt once getting back to car during shopping.

6. Received reimbursement from jury selection process. Between daily stipend & mileage reimbursement, it amounted to a decent little check.

6. Plan to list a child’s bookshelf (originally from GW) on Craigslist that has been in GS inventory for many years. Have tried posting on Craigslist before without success but maybe this will be the year it finds a new home.

7. Have been in contact with customer service from a restaurant chain with which I set up a rewards account this past year & recently received a birthday reward. Unlike all the other rewards accounts that I participate with, this one appears to require email submission of receipts for points if one does not own a top-of-the-line phone. Fortunately, I rarely eat there as the points issue appears untenable for those of us with less smart phones.


Lisa M. August 26, 2020 at 8:20 pm

Cindy in the South – You may have typos but @ least you can count. Sadly, math is not my strong suit. 🙁


Cindy in South August 31, 2020 at 10:03 am

lol. I have math “issues” also.


Mary M August 26, 2020 at 9:16 pm

1) made my nightgown pillow that so many of you commented on or liked. I was amazed at the response. Merci.
2) Continue to work with Hubs on our twin pallet beds from the “gifted pallet” that I knock named Stonehenge. Using re-purposed or forgotten wood scraps uncovered in the garage to complete what is missing from the pallet, huge as it is we need a few extra bits.
3) Found a can of great paint from 2013 in fine condition to use for the new beds. Really want to keep this no to very low extra costs.
4) Did what I could to repair the great quality suitcase my mother surprised me with when I went off to college in 1982 to be able to use again.
5)cleaned out the attic where the Stonehenge beds will go and donated some nice things to local charity shop, also realized I will never need to or have an excuse to buy another Christmas ornament again, ever.


Bee August 27, 2020 at 6:01 am

1. I continue to sell on eBay. I have had a decent month selling a total of 21 items so far. I have a bit of a backlog to list, but I’m working through all inventory that I have on hand including that which I acquired for the vintage flea market. This market is a twice a year event, but it was cancelled last spring and things are not looking good for this fall either. So I have a garage full of stuff and it’s driving me crazy!!!! Most of these items are difficult to ship and/or are inexpensive to begin with. I hope to find a new home for it all one way or another.
2. My elderly neighbor of 20 years has gone to live with her daughter. There were some things on the curb last week ahead of garbage day, so I had to look. One of the boxes contained 4 bottles of fine French wine (Bordeaux) from the 1960s which is very collectible among wine aficionados, so I am looking for a buyer. This is a bit tricky, because of legalities.
3. Although this is not particularly frugal, it is a form of non-consumerism. I purchased 2 masks from my great niece who has started a mask making business. She is only 13, but she is an excellent seamstress. I admire her skill and entrepreneurial spirit. Best of all, they fit perfectly!
4. Like Katy, I need something to look forward too. I love my home, but the monotony – accompanied by a constant barrage of media negativity — is making me a little crazy. I am a Florida native and have spent every summer doing “Florida things.” Since it is Florida and there is little seasonal change, we do those same things in spring, fall and winter; however, these activities are punctuated with holiday celebrations, birthday parties, trips to the gym, sports, club meetings and so forth. This year, of course, there has been none of that. Since September will mark my 35th of marriage, my husband and I are planning a trip out West to the Tetons and Yellowstone. We are primarily using loyalty points for this that my husband earned before Covid. So it will be very inexpensive and prevent me from going nuts!!!!!
5. I have been doing all the usual things – drinking primarily filtered water, brewing my own coffee, cooking from scratch, using everything from my CSA including the okra, walking regularly, reading library books, and streaming my television programming.
Wishing you all peace, good health, and frugality.


Jill A August 27, 2020 at 10:26 am

Bee, I’m also in need of something to look forward to. Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons was one of our favorite vacations. Unfortunately my husband passed away so the memories are somewhat bittersweet. I’m looking forward to planning a post covid vacation with my kids. Kudos on accumulating enough points for an entire vacation.


MB in MN August 27, 2020 at 10:57 am

Jill A, I’m so sorry. I hope you and your kids can create new travel memories that are not bittersweet.


Bee August 28, 2020 at 4:31 am

I hope these memories, although bittersweet, will warm your heart and the future will bring with it new joy. I wish you love and peace, and I send a virtual hug across the miles.


Jessica August 27, 2020 at 6:41 am

Have been a student recently, you really are doing a good deed selling the textbooks so that some other student can use them. The whole textbook thing is such a racket, particularly how minor changes are made in order to be publishing “new” editions. A lot of schools and educators are making a move to use OER, or Open Educational Resources–free online textbooks. Otherwise the high cost of textbooks is another barrier separating students with money from those with more limited access to money.


Roberta August 27, 2020 at 7:38 am

1. Returned two textbooks from a course my daughter dropped. Instead, she’s taking a course with a free online textbook (hooray!) and a $100 computer program for lab simulations. Still money ahead.
2. Found a leather chair offered free curbside. It’s in perfect condition! Replaced a chair that hurt my back, and completely rearranged the living room for free. Now I can look out the big picture window and watch the birds at the bird feeder. Best of all, we had just decided to purchase a new (to us) table to replace on that I have hated for 25 years. The new arrangement eliminated the need for that table or a replacement!
3. I used a beverage dispenser to make “fancy water;” I threw some orange slices I had in the freezer in with ice and tap water. It dramatically increased my family’s water intake! I also used a vanilla bean one day, and some frozen raspberries another. It’s keeping us hydrated and happy. (Careful if you use raspberries, as they can clog the spout, we learned.)
4. We were exposed to COVID Sunday when we went to say goodbye to my sister’s family, who are moving out of state. So we’ve been staying home more then usual. I have a wonderful friend who dropped off milk and blueberries to sustain my family in the mean time.
5. Due to a change in the CDC guidelines (grrr), only people with symptoms are being offered tests through our insurance. But the great state of California is still supporting testing for people who have merely been around someone with COVID, so my son is getting tested today for free.


Christine August 27, 2020 at 2:30 pm

Best of luck with the results from the Covid tests for you and your family. Hopefully all negative. Take good care.


Christine August 27, 2020 at 2:32 pm

Ooops…just reread it and see that your son is the only one in California. Well, best to him and hope you all stay well.


Roberta August 28, 2020 at 7:03 am

Test for my husband (they gave him the test because he had symptoms) came back positive. His symptoms are about like a flu so far, we’re hoping for the best.


Christine August 29, 2020 at 5:58 am

So sorry to hear this Roberta. I wish him and all of you good health. I sincerely hope he has one of the more minor cases.


LB August 27, 2020 at 7:39 am

1. Another week of diverting takeout money to bail funds, medics, and others on the front lines fighting for black lives. I’m so grateful to still have a solid income so I can support these causes. [Although Katy, if anyone had $1 tacos, I would certainly adjust my budget for that! What a steal!]

2. I’ve been paying down my credit card debt and have reached a point that a balance transfer and a large payment from my savings can get me away from paying interest. The balance transfer gives me 18 interest-free months to pay it off, which I am able to do! I’m giddy to have this financial problem under control and with the end in sight.

3. Bought a dress off Poshmark I’d been eyeing on the retailer’s site for a while–for 1/4 of the price. Now I can feel like a cute business professional princess while sitting in my living room on video calls.

4. BF does not like zucchini or cucumbers (how??) and our farm share has been -full- of them this month. He won’t be eating dinner at the same time as me tonight, so what’s on the menu? Zucchini fritters and tomato cucumber salad. I can’t wait, and I’m sure my fridge is excited to stop holding these items as well 😉

5. Getting back into some creative exploits after not feeling interested in them for a bit. Starting a foray into embroidery, which is a nice transition from cross stitch and feels challenging but not impossible to learn. While the embroidery kits are not cheap (and pretty marked up right now with everyone trying new hobbies), a $50 kit has already given me hours of entertainment and sanity-saving time! Plus, the kit comes with measured out thread so minimal waste once the project is done.


Dmarie August 27, 2020 at 7:46 am

1. homemade beer bread in the oven now 2. to “fill” the oven and get the most out of that electricity, some sliced eggplant is roasting alongside the bread 3. I rinsed my hands and the knife over the bread dough bowl, rather than running water into it immediately (to clean excess dough out before placing in dishwasher. Though our fairly new dishwasher suggests no rinsing, Hubby’s not a fan of clearing out the food trap) 4. ceiling fan running instead of turning AC on to keep us a bit cooler 5. loaded up on books and DVDs from the library – no need for Netflix, etc.


Bettypants August 27, 2020 at 8:41 am

1. Our local resale store had a 50% sale. Their prices have been raised substantially by management, so it was a bust for me on finding items to resell. I did buy a nice Under Armour shirt for my teen boy, who is a little picky, so I considered it a win.

2. Bought a pair of Nikes at a yard sale for $1, which looked close to brand new after a thorough scrubbing. Sold on FB for $15. From the same round of garage sale purchases, I also sold a North Face fleece for $15 (paid $3), a small bookshelf for $10 (paid $2), a gazing ball for $12 (paid $3), earring rack for $5 (paid $0.50), books for $13 (paid less than $2), and rug for $45 (paid $15). I am taking advice from Katy and getting items listed ASAP instead of letting them pile up.

3. Bath & Body Works sent out coupons for a free product with any purchase. Bought one hand soap for $2.60 (one day sale with a 20% coupon) and got a free full size body wash.

4. Kohl’s sent me $5 in Kohl’s cash. I spent it on a Neutrogena face wash that looked promising.

5. Had free Qdoba nachos for lunch today, using the birthday coupon they sent me. I regret picking steak instead of chicken as it was kind of chewy. Lesson learned.


Katy August 27, 2020 at 1:07 pm

Letting items “pile up” is never a good idea!


Bettypants August 28, 2020 at 4:26 am

I think of you when I get home with my pile of stuff. “Katy would get this shit listed pronto.”


Kara August 27, 2020 at 9:05 am

I dehydrated a batch of free apples. We picked around 50# at a friends orchard. I sorted them into “good” and “use now” piles (some had bruises or worm holes). I have made 2 apple crumbles, dehydrated 1 gallon (after drying), have one entire shelf in my fridge and one of the 2 veggie drawers in the fridge full, and still have a batch of ‘use now’ on my dining table. We are thankful.
Our daughter is coming today so I have to clear my sewing room/her bedroom. I’m busy in the middle of some special orders for my Etsy shop. Mostly Happy Birthday banners.
I got a coupon in the mail for a month of free car washes. It’s great timing since we are in the fire zone and my car is covered thickly with ash. I would never pay for a car wash!
I have my meals planned for our daughter’s visit, mainly around beans! She will make a birthday cake for my husband with a cake mix from Wholefoods, which came from a lady in my Buy Nothing Group.
I have a 20% off coupon from Joann which I will use strategically for fabric for my Etsy shop. Much of my fabric is repurposed, but occasionally I have to buy new.


Hawaii Planner August 27, 2020 at 9:38 am

Here’s what we’ve been up to:

1) We made/prepped all meals at home (kitchen remodel is almost done), minus a socially distanced patio dinner on Saturday. Which was lovely, but $$. The restaurant has had to increase prices greatly due to lack of demand/COVID.
2) Continuing to list things on eBay. Sales are very slow, but we’ve gotten a few things out of the house. I use only recycled packaging, which I learned on this site.
3) Order a few replacements to disposable products (makeup remover cotton rounds, qtips, & feminine hygiene). Excited to try these, and while they will not prove to be frugal (they are expensive, so payoff period would be quite long), the environmental win is worth it for me.
4) Eating lots of produce from our garden (tomatoes, jalapenos, etc)
5) Built a planter box for future gardening & to expand what we can grow at home.


Ann August 27, 2020 at 11:32 am

We had the same problem with our Prius a while back but we replaced the Catalytic converter with a non Toyota one as advised by the Met Police here in London. There were people getting it stolen more than once for the precious metals contained in it which they then scrap for a fraction of the value. It is very annoying parasitic behaviour. The car seems to run well enough with a non Toyota part, but it may affect the value I guess. It’s a flaw in the design of some of the older models which has been rectified in newer models.


Jill A August 27, 2020 at 12:34 pm

Ann, do you know what years this is a problem with? My daughter has a 2010 Prius. She’s moving home this weekend so as long as she’s here I think we’re safe from this issue.


Julie August 27, 2020 at 11:48 am

Long time lurker here. I greatly enjoy reading everyone’s comments so I decided it was time to join in the conversation.
1. The agency I work for is allowing everyone to continue to work from home. This allows me to take care of my 97 year old mother full time saving me the cost of respite care.
2. Working from home has saved the wear and tear on the car and I haven’t bought gas in weeks.
3. My favorite used bookstore is now open for business so I have been taking in grocery bags full of paperback books that have been on my bookshelves for years. So far I’ve earned over $100 in trade credit.
4. Said bookstore also takes in and resells knickknacks, electronics, and kitchen ware. I’ve been debating with myself for two weeks now on using some of my trade credit to “purchase” a bread machine that they have. I really do not have the room for it and I probably will not use it if I do get it. OTOH, I could put it up for resale thereby turning trade credit into spendable cash.
5. Actively paying down debt so that I can be debt free by the time I retire in 5–7 years including having the mortgage paid off.


Lisa M. August 27, 2020 at 2:56 pm

Welcome to the party, Julie. It’s always refreshing to hear different ideas from new contributors.


Shona August 27, 2020 at 6:47 pm

Julie, I’ve been a long time lurker as well and only recently started commenting. I had a bread machine for many years and used it regularly once I realized how easy it was and how inexpensive a loaf each loaf costs to bake. I don’t eat much bread anymore. And all the best wishes to you and your goal of becoming debt free!


Christine August 27, 2020 at 2:50 pm

1. I gave DH a haircut using the Wahl buzzer we’ve had for years. A tiny bit of Wahl oil applied to the blade keeps it sharp.
2. I concocted a pan of Apple Squares using a can of apples I had picked up awhile ago for .99. The crust was made from a recipe from a maple syrup cookbook I’ve had forever and the crumb topping was thrown together with ingredients on hand…butter, brown sugar, oatmeal and flour.
3. We’ve been walking over to the free Community Beach one street over. It’s little but it gives us access to the lake. Sometimes some of our neighbors are there too so it’s good for safe social contact.
4. We both have been reading library books and more library books. Seems we were starved of them for the 4 1/2 month library shut down.
5. We are in a severe drought area and have been put on water restrictions. We can only water or wash the car or use water for outdoor activities on the even days ( our house # is even, so we are allowed to use outside water on even days). My potted plants may suffer a little but my water bill will hopefully come down. The lawn and the perenials have always been on their own!


Nalani August 27, 2020 at 4:17 pm

1. Bumped up my contributions to my deferred compensation plan, making extra principal payments on my mortgage, and moving money into a higher interest savings account.
2. Stopped myself from buying hair dye from CVS. While it’s cheap, I really don’t need it. Ditto for lots of other things from CVS LOL.
3. We are back on lockdown where I live so only going into the office once or twice a week and working the rest from home which saves on gas, time, and sanity.
4. With the Olympics canceled, I received a refund for my airfare to Tokyo and put it right into savings. If I do end up going next year, the money will be there for airfare.
5. Appreciating what I already have and selling and passing on things we no longer need.


Pattilou August 27, 2020 at 6:03 pm

1.Live chatted with a Target employee about My disappointment with how a product was delivered to me. Although it was slightly damaged it was still usable. Target replaced the item free of cost and told me to keep the damaged one. Both will be used to the fullest.
2.I wrote an email to a food company about a problem with their product. They are sending coupons for the replacement value.
3.Enjoying the cherry tomatoes that I grew from old seeds I found in my basement. I got so many plants from the package that I was able to share with my niece so they are enjoying them too.
4. I sewed back together the dogs favorite toy. It is missing a leg, which I can not find anywhere in the house. Quite curious. They are thrilled to have their favorite toy back in service.
5.I’ve been doing lots of chores around my mother’s house for her ( painting, staining, cleaning etc.) I’ve had much more time since I’m unemployed to get some big chunks done at a time instead of the usual small amounts I usually can do.


Ruby August 28, 2020 at 5:07 am

Katy, you must have had a skinny thief if he could get under the Prius. They usually go after vehicles with higher ground clearance, as my friend who owns a Toyota 4Runner found out to her sorrow.

I have done routine but effective frugal stuff all week: packed my lunch, drinks and snacks to work from home. We did not eat out. Heck, we didn’t even cook: supper was sandwiches all week because Mama is tired. I wore my cute thrifted outfits to work every day and my cute thrifted pajamas to bed every night. Did some grocery expense analysis one day and damn, prices have gone way up since COVID hit. Needed office supplies for my new office mate, and scrounged around the place to find them or created them: her new paper tray was made from a box a keyboard came in, which she was delighted with. (Our employer is stingy beyond belief, which she knows.)


tia August 28, 2020 at 3:07 pm

I ate a can of Vienna sausages for dinner.
Tourist, vacationers and campers have brought covid to town, the nursing homes are reporting deaths everyday.
You suck.
The people staying with me that I drive to work each morning and pick up each evening are no longer Unix/Linux administrators but janitors and they still have food to eat and whatever they need to live. Covid has ripped away a lot of illusions.
The other night right before dark there was a huge super bright rainbow shooting up from the earth. So little light made so much beauty. Sometimes just standing still and taking a look around can be enough.
The cat the stupid HOA made me re-home was adopted by someone who owns dispensaries. This made me smile.
My whole life no politician has decided the quality of life. My actions, my thoughts, make my life what it is.

Thank you for sharing Sara.

A thousand miles beyond this sun-steeped wall
Somewhere the waves creep cool along the sand,
The ebbing tide forsakes the listless land
With the old murmur, long and musical;
The windy waves mount up and curve and fall,
And round the rocks the foam blows up like snow,–
Tho’ I am inland far, I hear and know,
For I was born the sea’s eternal thrall.
I would that I were there and over me
The cold insistence of the tide would roll,
Quenching this burning thing men call the soul,–
Then with the ebbing I should drift and be
Less than the smallest shell along the shoal,
Less than the sea-gulls calling to the sea.

Sara Teasdale


Virginia Allain August 29, 2020 at 9:53 am

I love reading this blog and all the input from other thrifty folks! Here’s my week.
1) I got so carried away planting seeds and various cuttings in leftover nursery pots, that I now have a bunch to give away to neighbors. Took cuttings off sprouted sweet potatoes from our pantry too.
2) We restrained ourselves from going into Sam’s Club after our doctor visit. We always get carried away shopping there.
3) Filled up the car with gas for the first time in 3 1/2 months with cheap Sam’s Club gas.
4) Continued eating from our freezer and pantry with no carry-out and no restaurant meals.
5) Signed up for free Kanopy through our public library and binged on the French films.


MW August 31, 2020 at 1:09 pm

So sweet of you to share your plants!


betta from daVille August 29, 2020 at 2:01 pm

1) Heard from a friend that bikes are the new toilet paper, so we dragged 3 old bikes out from the basement and sold them all on FB marketplace for full price within 24 of posting.
2) Also sold 3 books and 2 Kitchen Aid attachments. Free space on shelves! We had scored a free toaster from the “buy nothing” group, and in karma thanks, gave away a coffeemaker, rolling pin, and colander that we’ve had but not used (all doubles).
3) happily received free cucumbers from friend and continue to eat from our tiny garden. And I’m seeing it as a personal challenge to come up with new zucchini recipes (1 plant is just enough for 2 of us!)
4) this was big: switched car insurance companies. Exact same coverage but saved $500 a year.
5) Changed internet service and saved $20 per month.


janine August 31, 2020 at 2:46 pm

We have four plants and our freezer is filling up fast! Sauteed zucchini, fritters, used in casseroles and soups etc. This has been our most successful zucchini year in history. One plant will be enough for us in the future.
Green beans – too few – tomatoes seem to be about right – never seem to get garden produce right 100% of the time.


rebecca September 14, 2020 at 5:07 am

Bikes are the new toilet paper is the funniest thing I have heard in awhile. Thanks for the chuckle!


Susan August 29, 2020 at 4:49 pm

-Enjoying lots of fresh veggies from the garden. Using lettuce in salads, although it’s beginning to bolt. We are sick of beans but forcing ourselves to eat them instead of buying something else. Used online grocery order to keep myself from overspending at the store. Stocked up on blueberries for the winter, freezing them in batches. Started a batch of fermented spicy pickle relish. Made egg salad for sandwiches instead of lunch meat. I was given milk and dairy products from a neighbor who went to a food giveaway. Ate ice cream at home even though I REALLY wanted to go out.
-I use bleach and rubbing alcohol at work, a medical office, which has been sold out. Able to buy a few bottles of each at CVS. Also got extra care bucks for another trip.
– Passed along clothes my kids have outgrown to friends. Most were passed down to me and only worn a few times. Sold a few items on eBay and FB marketplace.
-Local vitamin store was going out of business. I was able to stock up on vitamins for the next year.
-Rode bike with kids in bike trailer to a meetup at the park with friends. Saved on gas and got free exercise.


Julie August 30, 2020 at 6:32 am

1- Covid means no vacation to the west coast this year, it’s a crappy way to save money but the funds are set aside until we can travel again.
2-spent vacation purging. Sold a few things but posted lots for free and karma repaid me with a excellent desk and filing cabinet for free. No more working on a dining room table for DH.
3-used what had on hand to carve out a cozy workspace for me, DH will take the office as he has suffered at the dining table for the past 6 months.
4-having friends over for dinner and drinks on the patio rather than meeting up. This was we can safely distance and save money.
5-younger son has grown and it looks like he will be back in class soon so have been slowly rebuilding his wardrobe. Thankfully he does not care if we look to the clearance rack 1st.


tracy August 30, 2020 at 6:39 am

1. Bought three large ceramic planters on Craigslist for $20 total. Would have been $150 or more at store. Largest pot very big, transplanted existing hydrangea that had been languishing in broken pot.
2. Bought perrenials marked down from $8 a piece to $3 each to plant in other two planters.
3. Made a pot of baked beans from scratch, a large amount of food for less than$5, used up some frozen Jimmy Dean sausage bought a long time ago on sale in beans. Yummy!
4. Cancelled trip to Hawaii in November 🙁 COVID too uncertain.
5. Roses were on sale 12 for $6, got some red roses (my late mother-in-law’s favorite) and took them to her grave on her birthday yesterday.


AuntiAli August 30, 2020 at 10:34 pm

I am so upset with all the unrest in the country. It breaks my heart when a 17 yr old can kill 2 people with a rifle and think he is doing something good for America.


1.This week dh got pizza and brought his change jar to pay. Pizzaria guy was happy.
2.We also did takeaway from Outback and used half of daughter’s gift card to pay for it. Was a bit pricey but hey, I need something to look forward to, too.
3.A kid down the street had a birthday today and her mom put up a banner that said “honk it’s my birthday”. I went by that house 3 times today and honked with a smile on my face.
4. I have an iPad that my hubby got me for Christmas but I really am not comfortable holding it to read books. Keep thinking I’m going to drop it and shatter it. Didn’t like the case for it either. Guess I’ll get my books from the library or buy them.
5. Got gas for the first time all month today.
6. I am finally enjoying Netflix that we’ve had for 2 yrs or so.


Patricia Koernig August 31, 2020 at 12:02 am

I hear you, AuntiAli. May this week bring hope to us all.


Christine August 31, 2020 at 5:53 am

My heart is broken over the division sowed into our country’s heart and soul lately. The 17 year old’s life is all but over, two innocent people are dead and one is wounded. What more do we need to see to show us something needs fixing?


MW August 31, 2020 at 1:07 pm

1) Finally found an $8 skateboard at Goodwill for my son who wants to try it out (I’ll buy pads new). My first inclination was to sign him up for a community center class with loaner boards, but, Covid. It took all summer, but it happened.
2) Sewed myself a much needed night gown and making shirts from some cotton sheets that I picked up half off at Goodwill.
3) Making Halloween costumes for the boys using stuff around the house and a few oddities from Goodwill. There may not be trick or treating, but there will be a scare crow and a Harry Potter in my house.
4) Quickly made some tomato sauce for the freezer from tomatoes in the garden that were quickly reaching peak ripeness.
5) Talked my husband into borrowing one computer from the school instead of buying a second one for our remote learning kids.


Jennifer August 31, 2020 at 6:03 pm

School started today – meetings last week for dh and I. Busy time!

1. I did ZERO back to school shopping for my 2 high schoolers or my dh and I.
2. Made sure to use my CSA credits (vacation week) before they expired. Also, emailed what I hope was a nice complaint letter as I am tired of getting produce that I have to throw out the day I get them. They have had to change their procedures due to Covid, but I still should not get rotten produce. I haven’t heard back yet, but I feel better having said my peace.
3. Had a sudden spurt of cherry tomatoes in the garden and we have picked 1/2 dozen meals of green beans. I did a fall planting of green beans, peas and beets – all of which came up quickly. Also, the lettuce I planted in May has finally decided to do something and we have had salads once a week from it.
4. Tried to cook for the freezer some with muffins and homemade turkey sausage. At least breakfast is made.
5. Haven’t had the AC on in a week or so. Got mulch for the bed that was in bad shape for $2 a bag. I hate the waste, but couldn’t pass it up for a quick fix to what was really an eye sore – even dh agreed and he never thinks anything is bad. had leftover night for dinner. Ds brought home a box of pastries from Panera that they were going to throw away.


BethC. August 31, 2020 at 6:04 pm

1. Got food poisoning from a grocery store salad. Called the store to report it. I am being gifted with a $50 gift certificate for my hours of praying to the porcelain god.
2. My husband and I each have free DoorDash dash passes via credit cards. They have been running weekly “Summer of Door Dash” promos that have netted us a decent amount of very inexensive food.
3. I used Koh’s cash from buying birthday gifts for my Mom to refresh my wardrobe by buying 2 clearance t-shirts. Net our of poclet to me: $1.18.
4. Have been picling zinnias from the gardent with abandon. They really brighten up our kitchen table. pre-pandemic, I never took the time to pick the flowerd in our garden.
5. While this is not frugal, I am happy to be able to spend time visting my Mom at her nursing home for the first time in 6 months in honor of her birthday! New York still only allows drive by visits, but the nursing home is giving us the last time slot so we can bring her gifts and a cake and spend more than 5 minutes with her. I live 3 hours away, so I am happy they are allowing my sister (who lives 5 minutes from the NH and can do the drive-bys easily) more time


Christine September 1, 2020 at 3:27 pm

Nice that you can spend some time with your Mom on her birthday. I feel for the residents of nursing homes and their families at this point in time. Covid has hit the residents especially hard in so many ways. Also the family members and friends who are separated from them. Best to you.


Katy in Africa September 1, 2020 at 12:28 pm

1. Had a meatless day yesterday. Breakfast: bread with various spreads. Lunch: Rice with a read bean sauce and potatoes (beans from our garden) Supper: Lentil sheperds pie with bread.
2. Using the internet I learned how to fold money into letters to spell out a boy’s name whose having a Birthday soon. It will be part of his gift.
3. We made fried pies for a day of travel. Cinnamon sugar ones for breakfast and canned meat (similar to spam) ones for lunch.
4. Reusing gift bag and paper for the above mentioned gift.
5. My kids made some homemade gifts for him too.


Lauren September 1, 2020 at 8:39 pm

1. I found a heavily discounted whole chicken whilst shopping. We had roast chicken last night and I pulled the leftover chicken off for chicken pasta bake tonight.
2. I sold some Tupperware that came free with my order on FB marketplace.
3. My dad gifted us his old lawn mower and whipper snipper. He did our garden for us before he moved away, so now the bf is up!
4. I used the McDonald’s app to order a $1 medium latte via drive thru. Maccas has my favourite coffee.
5. Posted an ad for Nanny jobs to boost my income. I’ve already had two enquiries.


Mary September 3, 2020 at 2:40 pm

Lauren, I love the term whipper snipper – so much more charming than “weed eater”. I take it you are in Oz?


Mary September 3, 2020 at 2:45 pm

7 frugal Things – Continuing Covid version:

1. One of my hens brought out a brand new batch of babies and I put one hen on 15 eggs on the 1st and another on 18 eggs on the 2nd. The poultry auction is back open, so I will have a market for the extra poultry, if I can keep them safe from the coyotes.

2. I took the plunge and shut off my DISH as of tomorrow morning. Between on-line services of the local stations and CNN, and taking on HULU and Amazon Prime, I think I can cut our TV expenses by about $70/mo. I was paying over $100 for Dish, and it’s just not worth that much to me anymore. I can watch what I want on line, and I want to watch less TV overall.

3. Entertainment continues to be simple things like sitting around the campfire and roasting marshmallows in the dark, watching the stars come out and the moon come up. I sometimes just sit in the shade on a warm day and watch the chickens scratch and the horses play, or just sit with my Muttley dog and groom him.

4. I continue to get my exercise by raking and picking the brush and sticks out of my woods, which are then used for my campfires or set aside for use as kindling for the woodstove this winter, by working in my garden, and doing general chores inside and out.

5. I cut up a couple of old swimming pools and will use some of the plastic as ground cover in my garden until it starts to fall apart, getting one more use before it has to go to the landfill.

6. I am in the process of building sheds out of pallets to store equipment and hay. I will be using some 2x4s and plywood for the roof, but the primary construction is made of free pallets. Last year, I build woodsheds out of pallets, and they are serving me very well.

7. I’m anxiously counting down the days to November 3rd when I can hope that we elect a president that will serve his country instead of himself.

I don’t post here nearly often enough, but I really enjoy reading all the comments, as well as the blog posts. You all inspire me to try to do better. Thank you!


Christine September 4, 2020 at 2:41 pm

Great use of old pools. I’m with you on #7 too.


Karen B September 3, 2020 at 10:22 pm

I’m in a part of Iowa that got hit hard by a derecho (straight-line wind storm), so some of my frugal activities were affected by 11 days of no electricity and 24 days of internet other than my cell phone.

1) Stargazing. The whole city was without power at first and it coordinated beautifully with a meteor shower. Without the city lights the stars were so much brighter. The 3 of us sat on the front porch several nights and on the peak night of the meteor shower we all saw multiple shooting stars.
2) Book and board game—I had picked up The Dangerous Book for Boys (it doesn’t really contain danger, it’s more boy scout-style info) in book and board game form secondhand before my son was quite ready for them. It’s been sitting for years and I thought maybe he would never decide he wanted either and asked one more time if it was okay to give it away and he said no, he’d start reading. He enjoyed the book a lot and we had fun playing the game, too. It had an awful lot of rules, but once we got going it was terrific.
3) Cooking at home. I think it’s been about 2 months since we’ve had anything cooked by someone outside our house, not even takeout. We are extra cautious about avoiding COVID-19.
4) More library books. We have a pretty steady supply of new free books coming in thanks to them.
5) Purchased 2 used books that our local library doesn’t have on eBay instead of Amazon and saved quite a bit on each.
6) We lost the big tree in our yard to the storm. What was left of it had to be professionally removed, but we saved money on it by agreeing to only have them cut it down and we would haul it ourselves to the curb for free pickup by the city.
7) Some of the items we used to clean up from the storm or get through the outage were borrowed.
8) I have a small data plan on my phone which for 24 days was my only internet. In order to reduce how much extra we would pay for, I drove to a parking lot nearby that was offering free wifi


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