Five Frugal Things

by Katy on September 16, 2020 · 69 comments

  1. I sold a few things here and there, although nothing individually impressive as my thrifting has greatly diminished lately due to the convergence of Coronavirus and the hazardous breathing conditions here in Oregon. (Fresh inventory generally sells better than stale listings.) Unless stated otherwise, everything was sourced from one of Portland’s amazing Goodwill stores.

    Here’s what sold:

    • A large aerial map of Alaska’s Bristol Bay that I picked up at a Goodwill Outlet pay-by-the-pound store at least six months ago. It was part of a large tangle of maps that another customer had grabbed, but discarded this one for some reason. It weighed next to nothing, so I’d estimate that I spent 15¢ on it. It sold locally to someone who travels up to Alaska each year to work on a fishing vessel. $20

    • Another pair of my husband’s old prescription glasses that he no longer wears due to vision changes. (They were Oakley brand, which I makes them more desirable.) This is one of those oddball eBay categories that’s consistently sold well for me. Opticians can fit used frames with new prescription lenses, so this detail doesn’t matter. If you have a jumble of outdated prescription glasses in your junk drawer, you might as well give this one a try. $45

    • A set of darling vintage acorn carved wooden bookends. $20

    • A length of wool fabric that I’d sold once before and had accepted as a return. $45

    • A lot of my daughter’s old Shonen Jump magazines. I give her the money whenever I sell her stuff. $35 

    • A book of Patrick Nagel art that I also picked up at a Goodwill Outlet store. $25

    • A pair of vintage Canoe Muffin ice tea spoons that I plucked from a bin of Goodwill silverware. $20

    • A small golden Homer Simpson figure that’s leftover from a huge bag of collectible figures that I picked up for maybe $7.99 last year. (One sold for $75 and there were probably 40 others in the bag.) The valuable ones sold almost immediately, and these last few ones sell for not much. $5

    • More of my son’s textbooks. I still have six unsold books, but these have been selling at a good clip. I give him the money whenever I sell his stuff. $12, $30, $23, $15

    • A designer purse that my college best friend received from her step mother. She didn’t want it and gave it to me as “Do you want this, maybe you can sell it?” gift. $110

    • A pair of Starbucks mugs that took way too long to sell. I won’t be picking these up again. $17.99

    • A vintage chrome foil/paper towel/wax paper dispenser that took up way too much space in my eBay inventory corner. $30

    • A set of professional level dominos that I somehow both underpriced and also accidentally listed with “free shipping!” ^&%$‰›fl‡fl‡! I didn’t lose money, but I could have made some good money with this sale. Oh well, live and learn . . . $35

    • A Polaroid camera that I grabbed from a free pile. $20

    • A pair of brand new of Solmate socks that were sadly not my size. $17.99

  2. We’ve been continuing to designate Tuesdays as “Taco Tuesday” by grabbing pickup from a local Mexican food cart that sells their tacos for a buck apiece once a week. Although in true non-consumer fashion, I always balance out the cheap cost with a generous 33% tip.

  3. My husband taped a furnace filter over the back of a box fan to create an indoor air filter that quickly picked up a disgustingly satisfying amount of smoke particulate. We already had these supplies on hand.

    For those who may be unaware, Oregon, Washington and California are in the midst of an unprecedented wildfire season, hammering home the fact that climate change is a global crisis which demands which our attention.

  4. I listened to the fantastic audiobook of Fiona Davis’ The Lions of Fifth Avenue for free, as I’d done a free 30-day Amazon Prime trial account which included a single audiobook download, (I cancelled the Prime subscription before any fees kicked in) neighbors have been sharing their garden bounty with us, I borrowed my father’s power washer to clean up our dirty/mossy back patio, and then used it for everything else I could think of, (wicker hamper, adirondack chairs, outdoor rug, front steps) I stocked up on a year’s worth of Bonne Maman marmalade as they were 50%-off at a local store, and I’ve been otherwise been cooking inexpensive meals from scratch that are mostly bean based or soups.

  5. I didn’t buy a Lear Jet or a traitorous, pathologically dishonest or 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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{ 69 comments… read them below or add one }

Jill A September 16, 2020 at 12:13 pm

Great sales. I’ve sold a few small things but nothing to write home about.

1. I had a garage sale. I didn’t make a lot of money but I did get rid of a lot of past garage sale items and ebay items that didn’t sell. Money in, crap out is my plan.
2. I put my daughters car under storage insurance since she’s doing her classes remotely this semester and it’s not being driven. The three of us (two youngest daughters and I) will share two cars.
3. We had a birthday dinner for a friend. We served Costco rotisserie chicken, homemade Ratitouille using a free summer squash, homegrown tomatoes and eggplant from a little stand down the street. We also made Tabouli with homegrown ingredients. Dessert was homemade carrot cake, delicious and inexpensive. My daughter made her some thumb print cookies as a gift.
4. I made a large fruit salad which is how I prevent waste. If I cut it up it all gets eaten. I used the leftover cut off orange peels, and some of the fruit in an inexpensive lemonade sangria.
5. I’ve been combining errands, reading library books on my kindle, hanging my laundry to dry, walking for free exercise, made my own glass cleaner, cooking at home and returned an unused purchase to Costco. My daughter also received a full refund for her fall housing. Yay!!

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Midwest Beth September 16, 2020 at 12:19 pm

1. Went grocery shopping and as usual went through paper and store electronic coupons, read the store ad and only bought produce that was on sale – grapes 97 cents a pound – bought two bags, score daughter loves them! Also stocked up on butter (1.99), Coke 99 cents for pizza night, B1G1 packs of boneless chicken breasts, etc., and stuck to my list!
2. Using a free app on my Kindle to track food and exercise. Being laid off gives me the time to focus and be more aware.
3. Just redeemed 2,200 in Swagbucks and got a $25 Lowe’s gift card to use for needed fall yard supplies. I mainly watch videos, play SwagLive, and print coupons, for Swagbucks which can then be redeemed for free gift cards. Want one too? Check out Swagbucks! Click my link to join: https://www.swagbucks.com/?cmd=sb-register&rb=13631373&cmp=197&cxid=2001-app
4. Listening to The Song Of Achilles for free through hoopla and I am really enjoying it. To me it’s an adult version of Rick Riordan.
5. Cooking more and spoiling my daughter who is a senior and home doing virtual high school. I bring her water, fruit etc., trying to get her to eat healthier.

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Ruby September 16, 2020 at 12:44 pm

1. Rehomed a two-shelf wall shelf kit, new in the box, that was abandoned in my work office for months. If my husband does not have a use for it, we will donate it to Goodwill.
2. Also rescued some bananas and an apple from work that would have been thrown out.
3. In a fit of Enhanced Frugality, I took all the cold cereals no one was eating and mixed the opened packages together to make a surprisingly good cereal melange that I have been having for breakfast. A couple of mornings it was topped with chopped up baked apple leftover from supper. The other mornings used the free bananas.
4. Plated up leftovers and took them to work for my lunch.
5. Work provides plentiful free chilled water, which I have been drinking instead of bringing extra canned drinks from home.

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Michelle H September 16, 2020 at 12:49 pm

1. Husband decided he wants less stuff and more time to enjoy fewer things, so we’ve been posting tons of stuff for sale. I started a spreadsheet to track his profit, and it’s given him incentive to list more things. Several big items are now out of the way, and I’m hoping the smaller ones sell before he changes his mind.

2. Stopped into Tom Thumb (Safeway affiliate) to pick up 2 items they had sent me free loadable coupons for. Combined this with another errand that had me passing right by the store anyway.

3. Meal planning to avoid food waste. Lunch today was a tasty stir fry using up half a bell pepper, one chicken breast, a handful of frozen shrimp, and a zucchini that was at the end of its life. Delish!

4. Taking advantage of the library for books and DVD’s.

5. Not necessarily frugal, but kids went back to school in person this week and husband and I had a lunch date yesterday in an actual restaurant. First time in 6 months. We went to our favorite local Italian place, got there as soon as they opened at 11 so it wouldn’t be as crowded, and left a 50% tip.

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Kathy September 16, 2020 at 2:34 pm

1. Our home of 41 years went on the market on Monday. Although we made some pricey repairs prior to listing our realtor paid for deep cleaning, carpet cleaning, minor interior repairs and staging
2. I’m rethinking stuff I set aside to take with us. I sold $25 of blue sky decor within a few hours of listing and have more things listed.
3. I sold a Tag Hauer watch for my boss $175. I won’t get anything $$ wise other than he’s a great guy to work with. I won’t have that gig when we move.
4. Used a Groupon to get my frisky chin whiskers and eyebrows waxed. Saved 50%
5. Using up HABA items as I don’t want to pack and travel with them

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MB in MN September 16, 2020 at 3:23 pm

1. Succeeded in canning salsa for the first time. Yielded 20 jars in a process that was much easier than I expected it would be. (On the less stellar side, I spent too much time and money sourcing enough lids when it turned out I miscounted how many I had in relation to the number of jars on hand. Math is hard.)

2. Scoped out a Goodwill store in a wealthy Twin Cities suburb, although the selection didn’t seem much different from other locations. Scored a few pieces of exercise clothing at a 25% off promo. Also picked up a travel pillow for around my neck in case we’re ever able to travel again someday, somewhere.

3. Saved the annuals from a killing frost. Earliest date that I can recall.

4. Found a small side table at Habitat ReStore. Not an unbelievable bargain, but $$ definitely went to a good cause.

5. Tempted to buy a new Uno game as our cards were grimy from much use. Instead, I cleaned every single card (all 108!) front and back with hydrogen peroxide, and everything is good as new.

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Mary September 19, 2020 at 9:50 am

I applaud your card cleaning efforts!

For all of you having trouble sourcing canning lids, I’ve gone to using Tattler lids. They are reusable canning lids. I paid about .70 per lid, which is about 8.40/dozen, so it is a bit of an upfront investment, but the price of single use lids just keeps going up. At today’s prices, I figure I’ll have paid for them in 3 uses. After that, I will be canning for free!

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MB in MN September 19, 2020 at 10:18 am

Mary, thanks so much for the tip! I had never heard of reusable Tattler lids.

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Economically Proud September 16, 2020 at 3:24 pm

1. Gifted a new to us patio table and chairs. Pressure washed our old set and sold for a few dollars, also sold an ice bucket and refreezable cubes, and some thermoses we never used on Marketplace
2. Also gifted donuts, shampoos, body wash and a jacket
3. DH borrowed a carpet cleaner and is taking on a room or 2 a day. Carpets look and smell better
4. Wonderful dinner of gifted salmon, croissants,broccoli, & strawberries. I provided the mac n cheese & cantaloupe
5. No heat or ac on for several days. Enjoying the cooler, drier air

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Kara September 16, 2020 at 4:17 pm

I always appreciate and enjoy a new post!
I worked at the community garden and brought home a free butternut squash and a Brussels sprout start.
I sold 3 sets of cloth napkins yesterday. This makes me happy because it’s such a frugal and environmentally friendly item and that is in line with my personal and business goals. Lots more available! https://www.etsy.com/shop/fabricspeaks
My garden is still producing all our veggies except for carrots.
Doing our mid month bank statement check/budget today. This has saved us so much money over the years
Enjoying some shows on Britbox with free trial. If you have any understanding of British humor and local dialects, “Only Fools and Horses” is hilarious!

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Ava September 16, 2020 at 4:29 pm

1. Non frugal part: bought some Keen sandals (on sale but still expensive) after doing a lot of research and reading reviews. They are wonderful. The frugal part is that once I knew what to buy, I got a second pair from ebay for $15.
2. Made a sort of tart from withered apples, dried cranberries, dried mulberries we don’t like, candied orange peel and an Aldi pie crust. Called it Autumn Surprise. It was excellent.
3. Rehomed a table cloth that I bought just for the fabric, then found it wasn’t big enough.
4. Made a project for my daughter’s classroom of 3 yr olds. She had seen hand kites, otherwise known as ribbon rings, and wanted them badly. I thought they looked easy to make. With wood curtain rings from the thrift store and ribbon I already had, I was able to make 11 for $3.00. Plus, I used up some of my way too abundant ribbon supply.
5. Had previously bought a dress I really like and got another on clearance for half price. The original price was dirt cheap but 1/2 off is even better.

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Christine September 16, 2020 at 5:26 pm

Katy, I think of you every times I see the wildfires in Oregon and the West on the news. I live 40 miles from the Eastern seaboard and the sky is so hazy from the fires on the opposite side of the country, I can only imagine how it is for you and the residents of the affected states.
1. I had my free yearly check up, free flu shot and found out the first bottle of my new prescription was free also.
2. Our plastic shower curtain liners were really getting gross so I took them down and spread them out on the deck and took my mop full of bleach and water and started to scrub them. They came out great, clean and free of mold. I washed the cloth shower curtains in the washer on cold water and hung them out to dry. They look and smell wonderful.
3. I found another penny on the floor at work for the found change mug.
4. I was given a snuggly North Face jacket by DS’s girlfriend at their yard sale last weekend. It hadn’t sold by the end of the day so she told me to take it. It will be ideal for fall hikes in the woods.
5. I’ve been harvesting seeds from the bygone marigolds. My raspberries put out another crop. The lawn is almost dead from the drought but we’re saving money on not mowing it. It will be back next Spring.

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AuntiAli September 16, 2020 at 8:17 pm

A tip for cleaning plastic shower curtains: I put mine in the washer on hot and then hang them after washing. I am a lazy girl, lol!

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Monica September 17, 2020 at 7:46 am

Me too! So much easier in the washer. I also wash my yoga mat in the washing machine. I think of it as a washer tub-cleaning opportunity too. Best part, I don’t accidentally splash bleach and gunk all over myself which happens when I try to clean them outside!

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Christine September 19, 2020 at 5:39 pm

Thank you both and I wish the washing machine would have sufficed. These two shower curtains required a little…ahem…extra scrubbing at the bottom edges! Next time I won’t let so much time lapse between washes.

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Lisa M. September 16, 2020 at 5:39 pm

5+FF: Gray Fall

Enjoying the cooler temps but what happened to the sunshine? It has been in short supply in the upper Midwest, even before the haze caused by wildfires.

1. DH repurposed a monitor gifted by neighbor who recently moved, from an additional work computer for himself to a TV for DD. His work required a larger screen, so the smaller monitor was converted to a TV for DD by purchasing a Roku stick. He placed it on a small antique table I purchased for DD @ church mega sale last summer for $5. It takes up precious little floor space. DD did not have a TV in her room growing up but @ 19, she is better equipped to use it judiciously.

2. Packed away the spring/summer decorations & put out the fall ones. They are very minimal but a balance to holidays that I heavily decorate for: Halloween, Christmas (mega) & Easter. Enjoy seasonal decorations but very rarely add to my inventory @ this stage of my life, so no cost.

3. Planned a trip out-of-state to see family but the virus has increased there & senior living complex not renting guest cottages. Visit @ this point could introduce risk for my DD (Dad) & quite expensive to stay @ hotel, so visit delayed until possibly spring which saves gasoline & housing $ for present.

4. Signed up for 3 additional complimentary webinars to further pad CE hours requirement for 1 license. Do not typically accrue excess but @ no cost, time is the only necessary investment & I have plenty of that.

5. Received free mega size box of cereal from General Mills thanks to Kristen @ The Frugal Girl’s 9-9-20 post. Reimbursement straightforward even with my “not-so-smart” phone. Forwarded link to my frugal friend whose DD likes the type of cereal.

6. Recent kitchen creations: 3 Cheese Chicken Pasta Bake (in part to use up opened bottle of spaghetti sauce that DD moved home), Surprise Slaw & Zucchini Lasagna with garlic cheese breadsticks (from bakery clearance rack @ big box). So wonderful to be able to use the oven again…

7. Started fall cleaning by completing the annual defrost of my upright freezer. Technically frost-free, it still builds up some ice over time. Frugal as removing ice decreases energy consumption to maintain below freezing temperature & hopefully extending life of appliance.

8. Nightly Netflix viewing for entertainment. Recently enjoyed “The Staircase” & “Evil Genius” series, now watching “Paranoid”.

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Nancy from mass September 16, 2020 at 6:18 pm

I hope you and your family stay safe with all these wildfires going on. I feel so bad for everyone out there.

1 I found five dimes, one penny and a quarter in the past week. I had gloves on when I found them so I was able to pick them up, put them inside a gove (when I took them off) and then washEd them when I got home. It’s still kind of weird picking up coins though.
2. Spend some time with my insurance trying to get a vitamin D test covered from my physical in February. So far they’ve cut the bill in half and it’s still “in process“ so I may not owe anything. Fingers crossed.
3. I bought myself a stationary bike and have been riding every day for 45 minutes. Trying to get back into shape after six months of being home.
4. Called my car insurance company, told him I’ve been home for six months and will be home for probably another six months. They sent me a refund check for the difference for being a low mileage customer now. Whenever I do start going back in the office, hopefully not till next summer, I will call them and have them reset my insurance.
5. Armchair traveling for whenever we can leave the country again. Lots of new places I want to add to my list. My grand niece just started basic training at Pariss Island and we found out will be stationed in Okinawa for four years. Will probably visit her while she’s there.

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Roberta September 17, 2020 at 8:01 am

I lived on Okinawa four four years as a kid. Beautiful beaches, culturally very distinct. I hope you get to go!

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Bee September 16, 2020 at 6:41 pm

The fires in Oregon, Washington and California are heartbreaking. Although the scars will dot the landscape for years, I hope that the fires will soon be 100% contained and the smoke will subside soon. This year has just been awful!!!! This week’s FFT include:
1. I too have been selling on eBay. Sales have been somewhat erratic. Last Friday evening, I sold 7 items in less than 3 hours, but all has been quiet since. Four were older items and three had been listed very recently. There seems not to be rhyme or reason. However, I expect that eBay is like everything else in life – I usually get out of it what I put into it.
2. Like many of you, I have had a young adult child at home this summer as a result of Covid-19. My DS has been able to move on, but I am having a heck of a time adjusting my grocery shopping and cooking to fit the needs of just two people. I find that I’m doing a lot of “leftover management” to avoid waste. Today, ripe bananas went into the freezer. Soft apples were made into applesauce. A chicken thigh was frozen with the carcasses to make soup later. Green peppers were chopped and frozen. I didn’t realize DS ate approximately 1/2 of the food I purchased weekly rather 1/3. This will improve the grocery budget once I get a handle on things.
3. I started to watch a quirky little show on BritBox, “The Detectorist.” It is a wonderful escape from reality and oh so British. Although I don’t watch a lot of TV, the days are getting shorter and I’m finding It difficult to find anything interesting on the tube. What is everyone watching right now?
I am also listening to a book on Libby, the free library app — The Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert. I love to listen to audiobooks when working around the house. It makes housework less painful.
4. My husband tickled me – figuratively speaking. He came back from the store with his prescription and two beautiful beefsteak tomatoes. I was perplexed. It would be very unusual for DH to go into the grocery store and buy just two tomatoes. Evidently, he saw these red beauties roll out of someone’s grocery bag when she was loading her car. He picked them up and tried to give them back to her. She insisted that they were not hers and would not take them. Not knowing what else to do. He brought them home. I washed them well and roasted them as a side with dinner.
5. This past weekend, I bought three pieces of thrifted clothing at GW. The first thing I have purchased since March. It seemed rather strange actually to think that I might have a reason to wear a skirt again. I have lived in shorts, bathing suits and t-shirts for 6 months now. I want to venture out into the world.
Wishing everyone peace, good health and frugality.

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Lindsey September 17, 2020 at 9:12 am

My husband and I have each brought home potatoes we found in the Safeway parking lot, either on the ground or in an abandoned cart. Not a bag, but single potatoes. Very weird but we scrub them like crazy and eat them.

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A. Marie September 17, 2020 at 10:08 am

I’ve done the #4 a few times at our Regional Market (picked up individual veggies fallen on the ground; the vendors have never wanted them back, though I always ask).

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AuntiAli September 16, 2020 at 9:09 pm

Another one saying thanks for your posts. I always like to see what you sell. That dice or domino set is so pretty.
I watch in horror at the wildfires out west. Then hurricane Sally. Gosh, 2020 can’t be over soon enough.
My frugal five:
1. It has cooled down here so no more running the AC all day. I do need to run it cause of my need for circulated air. I followed hubs around the house turning off the kitchen light and saved $20 on my electric bill with that and the cut in AC.
2. I’ve been good at thinking up dinners and even had dd cook one up this week.
3. I’m still without a dishwasher as the earliest I can get a repair guy is Oct. 6th or somewhere around there. Hubs took care of my battery and I can’t remember the 3rd thing that went south this month. Took dd’s car which is really hub’s car to get the body work done on it. Paid $2000 cash to replace the bumper, replace a side mirror and something to the front. Signs of a kid on the spectrum who’s 26 and still doesn’t like driving. Oh well no one was hurt in the fender benders and only one reported to the insurance. No increase in rate cause the other car’s damage was under $500. Dh has a company car he uses but seeing as he’s working from home he won’t put the gas cost on the company credit card. No biggie.
4. Bought a Coach purse from the outlet through Rakuten but the purse is going back. I thought it was bigger than it was. I can’t even treat myself when I want to, lol!
5. Called to get our street light turned back on, ordered a corner shower shelf/pole from Bed Bath Beyond with 20% coupon and curbside pickup. No shipping YES! BBB is about 3 miles from my house.

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Mand01 September 17, 2020 at 2:13 am

1. Still picking most of our veggies from the Spring garden.
2. Planted seeds for the Summer garden and all came up – including the watermelons this time. Watermelons are my Achilles fruit.
3. Working like crazy for the next month, which I am hoping will cover a much delayed and very necessary bathroom renovation.
4. Made chicken stock from veggie scraps I had saved in the freezer and a roast chicken carcass.
5. Getting a lot of eggs from our four hens – gave some to my mum and we are eating eggs daily. Some nights almost the whole meal comes from our backyard, which is awesome.

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C September 17, 2020 at 5:27 am

My heart goes out to those on the west coast suffering now.

We made a difficult decision yesterday which ultimately ended up being a financial decision. We made an emergency visit to the vet with a young, previously very healthy cat and found out he would need very expensive surgery, be boarded in the hospital for several days, possibly require more treatments down the road and have to be on an expensive special diet for the rest of his life. We’re talking many thousands of dollars with the potential for many more. My husband and I decided years ago that we wouldn’t spend a crazy amount of money to keep any of our animals alive with a questionable quality of life.

I hate that this had to be a financial decision but it always is. We have a large family, my hours have been cut due to COVID and I feel that, though heartbreaking, this was the rational, right thing to do.

I worked in a vet hospital as a teenager and it always upset me to watch people take out lines of credit and sell belongings to keep their pets alive for just a few months. I know it’s a matter of priorities and not everyone feels this way, at times I feel guilt over it but I know that our big fat cat had a great short life filled with treats and snuggles and naps in sunny spots.

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Lisa M. September 17, 2020 at 6:40 am

C – I am so sorry about your cat. What a heart wrenching situation you found yourself in. You did your best for this unfortunate feline in its short life, while taking into account your family’s needs as well. Yet, that doesn’t lessen the heartache. My condolences for your difficult & complex loss.

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shona September 17, 2020 at 6:43 am

This absolutely breaks my heart. I remember when I was faced with the decision to put my old and sick dog to sleep. The vet gave the option of doing surgery and treatments at a cost of around $5000, but it would only give him maybe 3 more months. He had already outlive the life expectancy of his breed and those 3 months would have been more about me holding on and not his quality of life.

It’s such a difficult decision and yes, being a financial decision makes it even more difficult.

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Marie September 17, 2020 at 8:14 am

I’m so sorry. Vet costs have gotten so prohibitive
that soon only the well to do will be able to afford to have a pet.
I have a very old border collie that I am nursing along until it gets to more than she can handle.

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Mary Beth Danielson September 17, 2020 at 8:18 am

When we had three kids, not enough steady income, and pets – several times we came up against this. Thousands of dollars to preserve the life of a sweet buddy. It helped to realize in the past we put hundreds of dollars into care for some of our furry friends when the expense would make their lives longer and better. But there comes a time.

And this is why I’m writing – one of our kids, when we explained we were taking one of our cats in to be euthanized the next day – that kid explained to her younger siblings very carefully that their kitty was going to “the tea party in the sky. ”

It helps to this day, to think of our all our cats lazing around in a sunny meadow with saucers of treats.

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A. Marie September 17, 2020 at 9:21 am

When my BFF and I each lost a cat at about the same time, I wrote a short play to cheer us both up, depicting the arrival of both cats in Kitty Heaven and the welcome from all our previous cats. My first cat (the oldest of the group) showed the newcomers around KH: hot and cold running milk, seafood buffet, endless self-regenerating mice, endless cozy nap spots, etc., etc. Complete nonsense, of course–but there are times when fantasy is helpful. So I appreciate MBD’s daughter’s “tea party in the sky.”

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Lindsey September 17, 2020 at 9:14 am

I am sorry for your heartache. We have had to do a similar thing and it is one of the most wrenching things ever.

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MB in MN September 17, 2020 at 12:33 pm

C: I, too, am sorry you had to make this heart-wrenching decision. You did what was best for your situation and I hope your guilt is short-lived. Your last line summed it up well – “our big fat cat had a great short life filled with treats and snuggles and naps in sunny spots.” May we all be so lucky with however long we have.

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Bee September 18, 2020 at 2:56 am

I’m so sorry. Sending healing thoughts your way

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Kristen | The Frugal Girl September 18, 2020 at 7:54 am

Hugs to you. I think this is a very understandable decision, though of course it is very hard!

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Jill September 17, 2020 at 5:35 am

1. I was enjoying a bonfire at a friend’s lakeside cabin when I dropped my phone while trying to take a video and cracked the protecting glass screen. Luckily, I had registered it and there is now a new one on it’s way to me.
2. I’ve been enjoying watching Le Tour de France as some escapist TV. I enjoy the scenery and history that comes along with the bike racing and it’s part of my cable TV streaming package.
3. While sheltering at home I have been doing some Christmas shopping. If I find a good deal on something I’ve purchased it. Done.
4. My library has continued to supply me with books and DVD’s – Untamed by Glennon Doyle, Seasons Two & Three of Grantchester, Ford vs Ferrari, and with our Netflix account we are now watching Bloodlines.
5.My husband’s company is requiring them to take vacation days by September 30 so we have booked a condo by the beach and used a Travel Zoo deal to book a hotel so he doesn’t lose his days and we can enjoy some days off close by. Not a far drive and a kitchen included so we can cook during the week. We could have just stayed home but since we’ve spent so much time at home we decided to travel as responsibly as we can.

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Gina September 17, 2020 at 6:24 am

I have a few to share:
1. I forgot about a postage reimbursement, but received the $8.20 check the other day. Every little bit back in my account helps!
2. DH was gifted a weed whacker and string and all attachments and 5 cans of special gas from a widowed friend who said it was too heavy for her (it IS pretty heavy). We will change the oil in her John Deere tractors yearly for her in exchange.
3. We ordered some shirts from the firehouse $75 for 6 of them. A board member decided he wanted to pay for shirts for all members who ordered, so we got our $ back! I sent a nice thank you to this kind soul.
4. DH and I are purchasing some items for our new camp and we got some gift cards to use on the purchase, earning $1.90 off/gallon gas which then we promptly used as DH needed gas in his truck. Those fuel perks saved us $42.12 on the fill up
5. We purchased a door for the camp that had a small ding in it (that we will fix and you’ll never notice it). We asked for a discount if we bought the door and were granted a $50 discount for asking!
6. Shopped prices on windows for our camp and saved $70 by shopping another store for the same windows. Pays to shop around!

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shona September 17, 2020 at 6:36 am

1) 4 days a week I go into the office and I discovered that I can just put 2 scoops of espresso into my travel mug & fill it with hot water from the hot water filter on the cooler. It steeps, the grinds fall to the bottom & I have a cup of stout coffee with no need to prepare it at home in my stove top (thrifted) moka pot.

2) Borrowed tools from our neighbor to take down the death trap of a back deck. A friend is letting us borrow a sawzall to cut up the boards.

3) Found 16 cents in the dirt under the old deck.

4) Bought a bag of 5 dragon fruit from the .99 discount produce bin at Kroger. I had been wanting to try one, but at $3.99 each… 20 cents each is way better

5) Not at all frugal, but we have been treating ourselves here and there to take out meals. We have a handful of local family owned restaurants we frequented pre-COVID and would love to see them stay open. We decided to try an empanada place not on our rotation and sadly we won’t be back. When we visit my parents in L.A. (but not this year) we make a point to eat empanadas at this one place and were hoping to find an equivalent near us. My husband described these as “half as good at twice the price.”

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LB September 17, 2020 at 6:54 am

1. Farm share is coming to an end, which I’d be sad about but it has been mostly vegetables that are not favorites around here. Managed to hide some swiss chard in salads last night, and made baba ghanoush with the two eggplants from last week. Declined almost half the veg this week as it was stuff we just don’t eat. Also, I just hate eggplant!

2. A new stay at home accomplishment: we actually used up an entire pack of coffee filters. A testament to the number of coffees made at home instead of bought out, and the filter+grounds go into the compost so nothing in the trash. We celebrated this milestone by…opening a new pack of coffee filters!

3. After forgetting to bring a return package to the post office for at least two weeks, it suddenly occurred to me that-duh- the USPS worker will pick it up on their rounds. Looking forward to the $50 refund for what were truly the ugliest shorts imaginable.

4. Enjoying the flexibility the Libby app gives me to just…not finish reading a book I don’t like. No guilt for having bought something and not finishing it either–just returning it and hoping the next person enjoys it more than I did.

5. Vacation starts tomorrow! Can’t wait to isolate in a new place 😉 Vacation rental doesn’t have a stove, just a microwave and fridge, so planning breakfasts and lunches that don’t require cooking and we have saved up a little bit to enjoy getting takeout for the few nights we are there.

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shona September 17, 2020 at 7:10 am

As someone whose FFF consists of coffee related things lately, cheers to #2!

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LB September 17, 2020 at 7:55 am

YES! Cheers to that!

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Cindy in South September 17, 2020 at 7:39 am

1. Was off work because of Hurricane Sally, which tore our small coastline up in Alabama. I do not live on the coast, but anyone around here knows hurricanes cause major damage miles away from the coast also. The air conditioner was off also because Sally brought moderate temps, as well as tons of rain and wind. I had no damage so I count that as a big win. 2. I made mulberry chocolate bread with my free mulberries. 3. I was feeling “fallish” so I roasted a delicious array of root vegetables, carrots, potatoes, parsnips, rutabagas, etc. I used up leftover chicken, red beans and added rice and spinach to the concoction. It was good. 4. I diluted my laundry detergent with water. 5. I walked, before the hurricane winds picked up, at the local park. None of this is spectacular, but hey, I am always happy to stay home.

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Patricia Koernig September 17, 2020 at 9:52 am

Cindy, Glad Hurricane Sally missed you. My daughter, son in law and grandson live in Pensacola. 🙁 They are safe and not in the flood zone, but the destruction to their neighborhood has been horrible. Expected to be without power for around 2 weeks. Giant Oak trees down. Her food forest gone.
Onward.
Patricia/S. Florida

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Cindy in South September 17, 2020 at 11:02 am

Oh Patricia, that is terrible! Glad they are ok, but yikes on the damage and power outage.

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Monica September 17, 2020 at 7:47 am

Katy, you and your family, your community and my Portland Cousin and Aunt are in my thoughts. I hope the weather changes soon and the smoke clears.

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Roberta September 17, 2020 at 8:15 am

I can’t think of anything frugal right now (but I will come up with things later today, it happens every time). However, I do want to share werenew.net, a free service for tracking your carbon footprint. It will tell you what areas you produce the most carbon in (for us it’s transportation), and offers suggestions for reducing your carbon production. It even lists the financial savings for reducing carbon (a non-consumer win!).

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Michele Davidson September 17, 2020 at 10:18 am

1. Trying a new grocery budget- – 10 % below my normal. Find that giving myself one quarter of budget every week helps.
2. Packing my lunch every day, planning my meals, using Aldi pick up, and using crock pot a bunch.
3. Trying to pay off my car in one year. Sending every extra dollar to that loan.
4. Started contributing a lump sum monthly to my retirement fund to “catch up”. Start early if you can. We did not!
5. Cancelled dismal garbage company and bringing my trash to dump when I need to- I have to go to drop off recyclables anyway. Saves $185 a year.

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A. Marie September 17, 2020 at 10:27 am

FFT, This and That Edition:

(1) Have sold over $15o worth of our 1/4 steer to others, and have bartered more (six packages of hamburger and all the extremely meaty soup bones) to still others for services rendered. Beef from the friend who raised it: Endlessly useful!

(2) Am spending a drizzly afternoon repotting houseplants that urgently need it. Have just realized, however, that I may actually have decluttered too many plant pots. Off to the local thrifts during DH’s aide day tomorrow to see what I can do.

(3) And I’m grateful for the drizzly afternoon, given our own serious need of rain plus the good some rain could do on the West Coast. Adding my good wishes to all the others for some relief soon for Katy and the other West Coasters.

(4) BKTs (bacon, Red Russian kale, and tomato sandwiches; I prefer the kale to the lettuce in these) for dinner tonight. Starting on the last package of bacon from our friend’s 2019 pork, alas (the friend decided not to do a pig this year).

(5) Washed a load of laundry this morning and hung it on our indoor racks, some of which are over 70 years old. I do this so routinely that I don’t often mention it, but it still counts.

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Deborah September 17, 2020 at 10:42 am

Umm…your DAUGHTER’s Shonen Jump magazines? I’ve only been reading your blog since January (LOVE IT!), but I don’t recall you ever referring to a daughter before. Granted, I’m still working my way through your archives, but still..???

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Katy September 17, 2020 at 10:50 am

My amazing daughter is trans.

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MB in MN September 17, 2020 at 12:45 pm

Katy, my heart skipped when I read your comment about your amazing daughter. I wish every trans person could feel so loved and accepted by their family.

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Katy September 18, 2020 at 6:52 pm

I’ve mentioned her transition before, but I think some readers missed it. I wish it wasn’t a big deal for parents to continue to unconditionally love their kids. I should get no more credit than any other parent who loves and supports their kids.

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Deborah September 17, 2020 at 2:16 pm

Katy, how wonderful that you feel that way! I agree with MB in MN. Every trans person should be loved and accepted by their families. As well as the by the world in general.

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Mand01 September 18, 2020 at 3:26 pm

Both my young people are queer and non-binary identifying. It’s great to be part of a blog community that is welcoming to the trans and gender diverse community.

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Katy September 18, 2020 at 6:48 pm

Welcome one and all, but especially those who might not feel welcome elsewhere.

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Patricia Koernig September 19, 2020 at 12:24 am

Feeling particularly vulnerable this morning. The acceptance and love read made me incredibly weepy. Much love to you all.

Patricia/Fl

Lindsey September 19, 2020 at 12:15 pm

What a wonderful way to put it. Thank you.

Cindy in South September 17, 2020 at 11:03 am

Oh Patricia, that is terrible! Glad they are ok, but yikes on the damage and power outage.

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Kara September 17, 2020 at 11:48 am

So sorry to hear about the flooding in Pensacola. We stayed with our son there once. I spent the whole night getting emergency alerts on my phone about flooding. I lay there wondering what on earth we were supposed to do. Decided that we’d probably evacuate to base if we needed to, and son wasn’t getting up, so I ignored them all.

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MB in MN September 17, 2020 at 12:32 pm

C: I, too, am sorry you had to make this heart-wrenching decision. You did what was best for your situation and I hope your guilt is short-lived. Your last line summed it up well – “our big fat cat had a great short life filled with treats and snuggles and naps in sunny spots.” May we all be so lucky with however long we have.

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tia September 17, 2020 at 4:37 pm

1. I was sawing a floor plank on the deck, sneezing and snorting, when I realized pandemic, fire, and hurricane doesn’t mean we get a break from fall allergies. I forgot all about them but they found me. Get out the cheap generic Zyrtec.
2. I really wanted some soup. Googled and chicken noodle looked good. Found chicken broth in freezer, twirly brown rice noodles in cabinet plus canned chicken, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, pepper grinder, red and green bell peppers in fridge, and butter. Fine chopped peppers and sauteed in butter, added spices, chicken with liquid and broth, when bubbling added noodles. Finished with extra butter and salt. That Kerrygold butter makes a silky rich yellow broth. Mmmmm *happy*
3. Pulling up and putting down flooring in entire place is a lot more work and skill that I planned. I am learning but really slow. The living room and kitchen/dining rooms are done and I love them. It’s like a peaceful oasis. I put a big seascape on one wall and rock in my chair and float away. I still need to paint a big blue sky canvass with white puffy clouds for another wall. My cat refuses to go in any other rooms. >^..^< these are mine now and I want your puffy rocker too says miss fluff.
4. Since school started tourist are fewer so I may go wander some trails.
I only had my Destin flip flops since February so I found a 30$ pair of Nike air at the outlet. I will bring my mask and go home if people show up. A 40 year old female health care worker died here recently of covid. I don't want to be part of putting others at risk.
5. I found a new show on my antenna TV. Dead Pixels. It makes me laugh. it may not even be funny but I cackle away, I know these people.

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Jill A September 18, 2020 at 4:05 am

I just realized why Shonen Jump sounded so familiar….we just sold some of my daughter’s in our garage sale. Oops.

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rebecca September 18, 2020 at 5:13 am

1. same old, same old-no take out (1 time) , cooking from home, no coffee out (1time)
2. Bought everything on sale at the grocery store. Groceries have gotten so expensive.
3. Watching sports (go Celtics!!) for entertainment and a few other shows
4. Friends came over for a physically distanced bbq and everyone brought food to safely share. It was lovely
5. The fires in the west coast are horrendous. We need to change our environmental policies and take climate change seriously…….Science folks!

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Katy in Africa September 18, 2020 at 5:35 am

1. I made vanilla oatmeal muffins using Amy Dacyzyn’s extremely useful universal muffin recipe.
2. I accepted a free squash which I cooked 3 ways, but the family’s favorite was squash fritters. Here’s the recipe I kinda followed for an idea https://southernbite.com/squash-fritters/
3. I also accepted 3 free shirts from a friend.
4. Eating plenty of vegetarian meals, especially with the beans from our garden.
5. Enjoying decorating the table with fresh picked flowers. I think nothing’s prettier to decorate with than God’s creation.

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Katy in Africa September 18, 2020 at 5:39 am

I forgot to leave a link to the universal muffin recipe.
http://baskersfunfoods.blogspot.com/2009/02/universal-muffins.html?m=1

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Jennifer September 19, 2020 at 9:02 am

I made zucchini fritters last weekend that everyone in my family loved – it was a shock! I guess when you add enough cheese and fry it they can’t tell it is a vegetable?

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Jennifer September 18, 2020 at 6:05 pm

Now that we are back in the swing of school we have developed more of a routine for grocery shopping and meal prep which is nice. Phew, my budget needed this!

1. Dh has been riding his bike to work 3-4 days a week which he loves and saves gas money. He’s currently teaching from home though as he was exposed by a student last week. Ugh!
2. I only hit Starbucks 1 time this week before work. It took me 3 full weeks to get back into school mode where I was not completely exhausted all the time. progress!
3. Our fall entertainment is going to my ds’ cross country meet (senior, first year running) and then hiking each day. Both are free. And sometimes the farmers market.
4. MIL wanted the new book RAGE for her birthday. Rather than buy it local and ship it, I ordered it online and had it delivered directly to her.
5. I am finally getting a good bit of cherry tomatoes from my garden. I picked another meal of green beans. I made another batch of homemade pesto ( no pine nuts makes it cheaper). I also planted a fall batch of peas, green beans, and beets.

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Jenzer September 18, 2020 at 7:48 pm

I bought my daughter a used graphing calculator on Ebay for $30 less than buying a new one retail.

The ties on my homemade face mask shredded in the wash. I replaced them with a pair of shoelaces salvaged from a worn-out pair of sneakers.

We tried Trader Joe’s French vanilla coffee and didn’t care for it hot. But with Pioneer Woman’s recipe for iced coffee? Yum!

We’ve been drinking our iced coffee out of pint-sized Mason jars outfitted with recycled parmesan cheese container lids. The large holes in the lids are just the right size to hold reusable straws.

My last four-pack of stick deodorant came with a sample-sized can of dry-spray deodorant. I hate making a mess of my bathroom counter / sink / mirror with aerosol sprays, so the sample sat in a drawer for months. Then I figured out I could apply the spray in our shower stall, so the mess would stay contained. A small use-it-up victory.

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cathy September 18, 2020 at 8:32 pm

We do have some wildfires here, so our air quality hasn’t been great. But, I’ve really been watching the AQI for the West coast, especially Oregon since we have friends and family up and down the state. Did I see that you’re finally going to get some…rain? Hoping that helps firefighters get more containment and you all see some air quality improvement soon.
L’Shana Tova, Katy. Wishing you a sweet New Year.

1. Reading a bunch of library books, both hard copies (available for curbside pick-up) and e-books. I love my library!
2. Harvesting tons of cherry tomatoes, herbs, cucumbers, plums, eggplants, and green beans from the garden. Several zucchini, salad tomatoes, melons also on the way. Planted seeds for beets, arugula, romaine, and radishes for fall garden. Tomorrow starts our Eat Local Challenge for a week. I’m trying to ramp it up to include local ingredients in every meal.
3. Found out the fairly local eggs we’ve been buying won’t be available anymore at one store, and were ridiculously expensive at another. Called a friend with chickens to see if she had a dozen I could buy. She did, but wouldn’t take money. I paid her in herbs and tomatoes. Also connected with a member of our Buy Nothing Group who does sell her eggs, but she also loves barter. So eggs from much closer to home, and better price!
4. Cooler temps = AC off, and no so cool that we need heat.
5. Signed up for a free 7-day trial with newspapers.com. Have an alert on my phone AND in my paper calendar to cancel before I get charged.

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MommaL September 19, 2020 at 6:43 am

1. Secret shopping again. Its weird because one of the things I have to look for now is if the employees are wearing masks properly.
2. Cut down chives and freezing them. First time trying to freeze in jars.
3. Listed some items on ebay, including a part of a nu wave oven that’s been sitting around. You all inspire me to list “replacement parts” to sell!
4. Culled through my mugs. Donating the ones I really hate, I don’t need all those mugs.
5. DH felt well and strong enough to surprise me and vacuum my car when I was at work. I told him that counted as my birthday present. 🙂

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Lindsey September 19, 2020 at 12:19 pm

I believe that culling mugs is a never ending chore. They must mate and reproduce when we are not looking, that is the only explanation for how I keep accumulating more despite all efforts to depopulate my cupboard.

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