Five Frugal Things

by Katy on November 19, 2020 · 107 comments

  1. I sold a few things on eBay including:

    • An Anthropology mug to a buyer in France. $25

    • An unused pair of Birkenstock arch support inserts. $20

    • Two yards of thrifted Ikea fabric, which is a specific category that’s consistently sold well for me. $35

    • A 1990 American Splendor comic book. $25

    • A midcentury rosewood candlestick. $20

    • A merino wool sweater that required a mend from me. $20

    • A pair of beaten, but collectible Nike sneakers. $30

    • An antique fraternity paddle. $50

    • A pair of ornate silk slippers. $25

    • A 1998 Backstreet Boys concert T-shirt. $60

    • A vintage Revere Ware saucepan. (This link will show you how to identify the vintage pieces.) $25
    • A long sleeve NASA T-shirt. $20

    • A jumble of collectible plastic horses. $40

    • More playing cards from a Ticket To Ride board game that I’ve been piecing out. $5

    You may notice that there’s pretty much zero pattern to what I sell, other than A) It can’t be too finicky to ship, B) I try not to sell anything for under $20 and C) Buy low, sell high.

  2. I summoned up my courage and hit Winco for a big grocery trip yesterday, but try as I might I couldn’t hit the $100 necessary to earn a free turkey. My plan had been to stock up on certain non-perishables if I was close, but since my filled-to-the-brim cart was barely over $60 I bit the bullet and paid for my turkey. We don’t have Aldi in Oregon, which is a bummer as I hear so much great stuff about them, but Winco is an amazingly cheap regional chain that carries all the major brands, features a sizable bulk food section and (this is my favorite part) is employee owned.

    Another thing I love about my beloved Winco, is that they seem to be exclusively located in low income areas. (At least here in Portland.) You read so much about food deserts across America, which are “geographic areas where residents’ access to affordable, healthy food options (especially fresh fruits and vegetables) is restricted or nonexistent due to the absence of grocery stores within convenient traveling distance.” Offering inexpensive quality groceries in traditionally underserved areas? Respect!

  3. I watched a number of YouTube videos from a couple of different side income dudes, (and yes, they are unappealing “dude” guys) who’ve found financial success “flipping couches” as a side hustle. I have neither the upper body strength nor the ownership of a truck to work this into my routine, (not to mention I’m taking the latest lockdown very seriously.) However it did inspire me to unzip and launder the cushions on my own couch, which resulted in a marked improvement. The cushions hadn’t seemed particularly nasty, but they sure look a hell of a lot better than before. I call that a frugal win!

  4. I brought home a free curbside wooden cedar planter and then transplanted the overgrown and leggy sedum into a different flowerpot, I rescued an orange Fiestaware enamel bowl that was rusting away in my father’s greenhouse, I gave bouquets of backyard hydrangeas to all my neighbors and the woman at my favorite taco cart, I incorporated the last dribbles of a large number of fridge items into some meatloaf which not only made it tastier, but served to empty the fridge in readiness for Thanksgiving, and in the same vein as “don’t replace, just clean/repair what you already own” I scrubbed my stainless steel tea kettle back to a mirror finish using Barkeeper’s Friend.

  5. I didn’t buy a Lear Jet or refuse to admit that I’m being evicted from my gold plated apartment in the sky.

Katy Wolk-Stanley    

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.”

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{ 107 comments… read them below or add one }

Lisa M. November 19, 2020 at 11:28 am

5FF: Pre-Thanksgiving Edition

I’ll preface by agreeing with other commenters from Katy’s last post. I love reading others’ frugal efforts & it keeps me accountable personally as well.

1. Recent shopping wins: From big box clearance bakery rack: Variety crème cake slices 37% off & French bread 34% off & from gas station: BOGO burritos for a lunch change-up. Found quarter in Aldi cart & penny in big box parking lot.

2. Recently gifted box of holiday lights via Nextdoor had 2 NIP snowmobile parts at bottom of box. Contacted owner to return but she requested that they be discarded since she & her husband no longer own snowmobiles. Instead they will be added to my garage sale inventory. Bonus was an invoice that listed the purchase prices, so will be extremely useful in pricing since my knowledge of snowmobiles is 0.

3. As Christine mentioned in the last post, decorated for Thanksgiving with items in my holiday decorations inventory. I enjoy decorating seasonally but appreciate a reprieve between Halloween & Christmas. Have been building up grocery supply for Thanksgiving dinner slowly, so only have a handful of items to buy. Purposefully holding off on a few pricey items to take advantage of any possible holiday sales.

4. In my never-ending quest for organization, spied an impressive “card keeper” online knowing that DD’s high school graduation cards were languishing in a box in the garage. That & the facts that I had accumulated $15 in Bonus Rewards & had free shipping with the manufacturer. After receiving the green light from DD, paid $2.13 for item inc. tax (88.3% discount) with free shipping.

5. Just as DH was contemplating returning to his gym, encouraged him to call & freeze membership d/t rising #s of Covid. The gym offered a 3-month complimentary suspension which will save him close to $100. The very next day our governor announced plans to close gyms for 4 weeks.


Kathy November 19, 2020 at 12:17 pm

1. We’re now staying with son and daughter in law while we search for a rental.
So no more hotel bills or take out food
2. Started a bag of donations for the local women’s shelter
3. Got my free flu shot at target
4. Sister gifted me a nice jar of body creme
5. Found a NWT shirt at local thrift store


Lindsey November 19, 2020 at 12:40 pm

First, a bow of respect to you for giving away backyard hydrangeas to sundry folks. What a frugal way to completely change someone’s day.
1. I continue to be amazed by how much value people put on eating eggs from backyard chickens who live in a cute little coop and eat lots of kitchen leftovers. I give away a lot but also have neighbors offer to trade things like moose roasts for eggs. And I would love my chickens even if they produced nothing because they compost many of our food remains and provide lots of free entertainment.
2. Sold more Spode Christmas dishes I’d collected over the years and didn’t use. I use the plates and mugs year round because it cheers me up but platters and the like get no love so they are being moved into better homes. So far, $75 in for platters and serving bowls out.
3. Let me count the ways I love you, library. This last week for books, a puzzle and several movie DVDs. The method they have for keeping everyone safe is a bit cumbersome but I love the staff for finding a way to stay in service.
4. Needed several food grade five gallon buckets. I have tried going the Craigslist and FB marketplace route, to no avail. I found out Fireside Subs lets you buy their 5 gallon pickle buckets for $3 and the money goes to their non-profit that helps first responders, so I bought 4. More frugal than buying from a store and I like that the money will be used to help the community.
5. My friend’s son, who can fulfill his pandemic home school phys ed credits by doing physical labor that he cannot be paid for, came over for the third time. No snow shoveling this time but he spent the time cleaning out the chicken coop, putting up the rest of the outdoor Christmas lights, cleaning out the hedgehog cage, and four different times running around the perimeter of the yard with a stick of pepperoni in his hand so that our dog would chase him and get more exercise. The husband and I found that part of his visit very entertaining. I feel a bit guilty using him for labor without paying him so I sent him home with eggs and a plate of cookies I know he likes.


Susie's Daughter November 20, 2020 at 2:35 pm

Lindsey, I always look forward to hearing what is happening in your part of the world. But can I just say??? I LOVE #5 SO MUCH. The pepperoni image is cracking me up right now. Thank you for the much needed laugh.


Trish in Colorado November 24, 2020 at 6:37 pm

Oh gosh yes! #5 Rocks!! Hilarious images and wonderful help and payments! <3


Jill A November 19, 2020 at 12:53 pm

1. Selling a few odds and ends on Ebay. Reusing boxes and packaging material to ship. I’ve found a few more items at Estate sales to sell. I also found a pair of vintage Levi’s for my daughter. This is one of her few wish list items that she’s had her eye’s open for. She prefers to buy only pre-owned clothing.
2. My daughter made “Olga” bread. Olga’s is a Michigan chain restaurant. Their pita bread is awesome. We’ve been enjoying making our favorite 3 cheese Olga’s at home instead of eating out.
3. I clipped my dog’s toenails. It not only saves me $ but time and hassle by doing it myself. I used a dog birthday coupon to purchase a christmas gift for her at the pet store. I also found a cheaper option for her to chew on – water buffalo horn vs. an elk horn. She’s a high energy dog so it’s nice to have something for her to chew to expend some energy.
4. I paid my youngest daughter’s last tuition bill. Yay!! Due to Covid all of her classes this fall were online so we were able to cancel her lease , saving several thousand dollars. It looks like all of her spring classes are also online due to Covid so we won’t have to pay for housing for the entire year. Although it’s disappointing it is at least one bright side.
5. We celebrated daughter’s BF’s birthday with dinner at home. My daughter is a phenomenal baker and made a delicious mocha cake. We’ve been taking socially distant walks with friends and visiting the dog park. Watching not free but cheap Netflix and watching the news on free channels.


Stephanie November 19, 2020 at 1:31 pm

I remember Olga’s from our time in Ann Arbor! Would you mind sharing your daughter’s Olga bread recipe?


Jill A November 20, 2020 at 10:00 am

Of course. This is the recipe she used. She did say that she’d do a second proof next time so it will be puffier like Olga bread.


LB November 19, 2020 at 12:56 pm

1. We have moved to cancel our nuclear family thanksgiving, since we live in different households. Eliminating risk is frugal, and I’m likely going to spend the money I would have on tolls to drive the two hours on pies from local bakeries. Win/win.

2. Feeling energized to continue making dinner at home every night and I’m having a blast putting menus together. I think I’ve finally achieved pantry nirvana, where everything in there actually correlates with a meal I cook regularly. For example, I made chili and the only purchase this week was some fresh jalapenos.

3. We will not turn the heat on until our fingers turn blue or it’s January, but for some reason this year I am very cold. I swear, I forgot I could wear scarves since I usually only wear them out of the house, but now that I’ve remembered I am at cozy-level-100 and ready to face the waning temps.

4. Cases are on the rise which means our dining out (already minimal) is back to zero. I’m sure this weekend will bring some takeout and to-go drinks but I saw our bills going up and realized it was all from eating and drinking. Crazy how relatively small expenses add up so quickly.

5. Surveyed my holiday gift-buying and the bank account I put $10 in per week has been a great idea this year. I’m sure the money in there will cover everything and it feels great to know I can get my family gifts I know they will like and use without affecting my monthly budget!


Midwest Beth November 19, 2020 at 1:19 pm

1. Used a feature on my washing machine I have never used before – used the delayed start so it would run in the evening hours during the cheaper electric hours.
2. Checked out a personal hotspot from the library for wifi when we are out of the home; picked up two free adult fall coloring booklets and colored pencils kits from the library for me and my daughter and checked out my next book club book.
3. Applied for and received a Up Together $500 grant to help with increased utilities etc., due to being laid off and our family being home 24/7. Also went and picked up food for us from an emergency food bank to help stretch our dollars, very grateful for both.
4. Picked the last of the kale from my garden and made kale, potato and sausage soup- turned out okay, to salty for my taste.
5. Did a side gig dog walk this week making a little extra cash and while walking picked up a few pine cones to pot and hopefully grow some little pine trees. Already going through garden withdrawal. I moved my pots with herbs from the deck to the garage in front of a window in the hopes they will grow over the winter.


Christine November 19, 2020 at 4:03 pm

Nice to hear you got the Up Together grant and are making use of the emergency food bank. Also the side gig walking the dog. I feel for you and others across our nation who have lost jobs or had their hours reduced to to the pandemic. You sound very resourceful and are doing the very best you can, I’m sure. Best to you and wish you and your family a Happy Thanksgiving.


Christine November 19, 2020 at 4:04 pm

…due to not to to…geez…


Midwest Beth November 23, 2020 at 5:39 pm

Thank you Christine, Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family as well.


Lynda November 19, 2020 at 5:26 pm

I am not sure if you are planning to plant the whole pine cone? That will not work as the seeds are deep within the cone, if they are still there. You can google planting a pine cone and it will tell you how to get the seeds out.


MB in MN November 20, 2020 at 12:23 pm

Midwest Beth: So glad there are resources available to help see you through. I will be holding you close to my heart in the time ahead.


Midwest Beth November 23, 2020 at 5:41 pm

Thank you MB.


Bee November 21, 2020 at 5:37 am

Thinking of you during this difficult time.


Midwest Beth November 23, 2020 at 5:42 pm

Thank you so much Bee.


janine November 19, 2020 at 2:56 pm

1. Due to newly announced shutdowns DS#2 will be furloughed tomorrow. He is lucky because he only has utility and food expenses – no mortgage or car payments at this time. We will need to find ways to help many who will be in trouble this winter if a new stimulus package is not forthcoming ASAP.
2. Son’s employer handed out coupons for Turkeys – ended up paying a reduced price.
3.Stocked up for our nuclear family’s Thanksgiving – still bought all the goodies tradition demands such as special pickles, relishes etc.
3. Not spending money on entertainment is adding up to increased savings – you tube and a TV special helped us get through last week.
4. Inventing new recipes with my recently stocked shelves. It helps with a small feeling of security when I look at full jars of flour, rice, dry milk, and beans!
5. No putchases of gold plated anything.


Christine November 19, 2020 at 4:10 pm

Your #1…”We will need to find ways to help many who will be in trouble this winter…”, yes, sadly. Today a disabled friend told me he will have to go to a food bank to get him through the end of the month. I know he is too proud to take cash from me. I’m thinking of anonymously mailing him a gift card to a grocery store. Not looking for a pat on the back here. Just wondering if any of you have helped someone anonymously and how you went about it.


Lindsey November 19, 2020 at 9:18 pm

I’ve made a lot of casserole dishes that I know an unemployed friend likes and we eat one and take one to her; somehow she seems to take food better than she would money. Would that work with your friend? I also bring her eggs once a week, as she knows our hens manufacture a lot more than we can eat. I have not figured out the anonymous trick yet but I know someone who has dropped a $20 bill to the ground near this same friend. I don’t think you could do that more than once. Sorry I don’t have something more original.


Bee November 20, 2020 at 6:37 am

When I was young and going through a rough patch, my family often gave us food gifts. My sister’s husband bought a side of beef and it would not all fit in their freezer. I was the recipient of 20lbs of beef.(Wink, wink) My mother would have us to dinner and send home an enormous amount of leftovers with me. Sometimes one of them would bring by a casserole. They were little things, but they helped a lot without calling attention to my situation.
With grocery delivery services being more abundant now. You can order a delivery for someone else. Many stores sell prepared Thanksgiving dinners that can be delivered. Also, this time of year, it is not unusual to give someone a gift of food.

As a food pantry volunteer, I ask you to please donate. Many people from all walks of life and in all sorts of situations make use of these services. The one I work at is a cooperative effort among the churches in my community.. Although the focus is on nutritious foods, there are things that are absolutely wonderful to be able to give out. Coffee, tea, shelf stable milk, sugar, mayo, mustard salt, pepper and ketchup to name a few. For example, mayo and mustard allow clients to make a can of tuna into a sandwich, sugar helps flavor bland oatmeal and so forth. Spaghetti sauce and instant mashed potatoes are always in demand, and we never have enough. Canned pumpkin not so much. One last thing, the food pantry that I work at also accepts dog and cat food as well as personal care items.


janiine November 20, 2020 at 12:06 pm

-My dad loved to garden and deliberately planted much more than he needed. After he passed we found out that he had a regular route delivering fresh veggies to those who otherwise would have had a hard time paying for them.
-Years ago I worked for a self- sufficiency food program where we charged a nominal amount for nutritious food and asked participants to take part in a community activity as a basis for membership. There were no income requirements and we encouraged people of means to join because the more food purchased, the lower were the wholesale prices we paid. We were able to pass the savings along to our customers. Also this helped alleviate any social stigma. There are still some of these programs around. Hopefully they will multiply.


Isitaneedorawant November 20, 2020 at 12:50 pm

I have also found that the gift of casseroles/ soups/ baking on a weekly basis is more readily accepted. We always seem to cook too much and I pack up in my reusable takeout containers. Grocery gift cards and paying utilities( phone the company), are another idea. If I know I’m going to go through my pantry for donating, I’ll offer first dibs for others.
I brainstorm with them ways to raise fast cash, selling plasma, consigning clothes, using trading groups that require no cash.
I’ve hired people to do cleaning and mundane tasks that I needed done for my son’s therapy.
Does your friend know of resources in the community to assist. A phone call to a food bank or unemployment office may unearth new sources of resources or cash. In some areas (Ontario)if you make below a certain threshold you get reduced hydro bills.
Bless your heart for thinking of them.
I am also interested in what others would suggest.


Isitaneedorawant November 20, 2020 at 12:57 pm

Also one of my kids ( precovid) but who knows there could still be this demand, was writing her masters thesis. She found a family on the Rover app that wanted her to live in and look after the walks , feeding and companionship of their three giant dogs. She made a couple of thousand dollars for living in their house for two weeks while they flew halfway across the country to secure housing before moving. When you think of kennelling fees , many dog owners are more than happy to pay pay for someone to be in their home. Ask me how I know.


MB in MN November 20, 2020 at 2:03 pm

Christine: Your friend is lucky to have you! I have found it works best to give non-cash gifts in a way that the recipient doesn’t feel like a charity case (because they’re not). Since it’s Thanksgiving, maybe it would be easier for your friend to accept a gift with your sentiments of “I’m so thankful for your friendship” as this would highlight your relationship rather than his need. This could be a food basket, fruit basket, something homemade, or a gift card like you mentioned – whether directly from you or “An Admirer.” Given that he told you he doesn’t have enough food, maybe you could follow that up by saying something along the following lines so that he feels like he’s helping you more you’re helping him: “You know I love to cook and have extra time on my hands, would you enjoy some of my special ?” or “I have more than I can use – could you use some?” Lastly… when you’re with your friend or in their home, see if you can find a chance to slip some cash in a pocket or elsewhere that they’ll be happy to discover later.


Christine November 20, 2020 at 2:44 pm

Thank you my friends! You have all given me some great ideas, one or more which I will put to use. This a for a humble man with a disability who had a job at a restaurant doing dishes prior to Covid. The restaurant is now struggling also. I so appreciate all the ideas…I knew you would come through.


edie November 19, 2020 at 3:05 pm


Ordered pizza delivery. With the delivery fee & 20% tip, it was double the price of the pizza. Local pizza, it’s really good, it’s a treat- but it was unnecessary.
Bought a perfume dupe of a very popular scent- It’s fine, but I did not need it!
Bought a wig- it looks very wiggy BUT it ‘s well made and perfect for those days when I will go out to jog with my face mask.

Exercising at home- no other choice, but still a savings of $60/month!
I have new certifications for my career!
Using up all the bath bombs, whipped shea butter and face creams under my bathroom counter. I feel and look very smooth indeed!
Still biking everywhere- but now, only to WINCO and Gresham and back!


Katy November 19, 2020 at 7:30 pm

We’ve certainly ordered pizza a time or two this year, making sure to splurge on a locally owned place.


Christine November 19, 2020 at 3:51 pm

Ooooh…that paddle…ouch! Hope it was just a showpiece but I know fraternities back in the day had some crazy indoctrination practices.
1. I cut DH’s hair with my trusty Wahl clippers.
2. I went to the eye doctor who told me I can still use the “drugstore” glasses (in my case Dollar Store or Ocean State Job Lot glasses) for now. Saves me some $$$.
3. DH and I have been bundling up with thermals, warm socks and sweatshirts around the house to keep the heat down.
4. I mended my old bathrobe which had started to rip at the seam under the arm and the tie end had started to unravel. I’m not a sewer (wish I was but had zero interest in home ec or at home where my mother and grandmother both sewed very well and creatively) and regret not learning from them. But I can baste and know how to mend reasonably well to repair clothing.
5. Canceled my Sunday paper after the introduction rate expired.


Alison November 22, 2020 at 9:29 am

Haha at first glance I thought you cut his hair with “rusty” clippers!
That’d be taking frugality too far.


Christine November 22, 2020 at 10:30 pm

I have enough of a time using well oiled ones, thank you! LOL. Although it has certainly become much easier the more I keep cutting it.


Mand01 November 19, 2020 at 4:01 pm

1. My garden is in production mode for apples, apricots, berries, and tomatoes. I can see a very productive couple of weeks coming up, with delicious fresh produce from my garden.
2. We are eating and giving away a lot of eggs. Four chickens = four eggs a day at the moment.
3. Watching The Crown on Netflix while doing other things, like making dinner and working out. Ugh that is definitely not the life for me – much rather my simple life than their privileged one. I know it’s fictionalised, but not one of them seems happy at all. Reading books on Libby and sticking to my rule of not buying any new books – every time I am tempted I look at my full bookshelf, and choose something from there or download free from Libby.
4. We are back in full lockdown after seven months without any cases in our city – Government has instituted a two week lockdown to prevent a spread of a small outbreak in our city. No leaving the property even for exercise – I guess we will save money on gas, eating out, entertainment etc. The case was spread from a hotel quarantine from a returning traveller from OS.
5. All takeaways etc closed so cooking each night.


Katy November 19, 2020 at 7:21 pm

Wow, that’s really strict! I wish the United States would get uniformly strict. How are people buying food?


Mand01 November 19, 2020 at 8:46 pm

One person per household may leave to buy food or other essential supplies.
It has just been softened a bit actually (announced today) as it was discovered that one of the positive cases lied about where they had been, so it is not as virulent a strain as feared. Still restrictions in place but not as strict.


susanna d November 19, 2020 at 5:18 pm

1. Toward the end of the cycle of washing masks yesterday, our 8 year old front loader washing machine played a death march instead of its usual “your wash is done” song and threw an error code. We tried all the suggestions from Google and YouTube but always ended up at “if this doesn’t work, call a repair person” . Instead, we decided to sleep on it (and by “sleep on it”, I mean brainstorming ideas, not the washing machine) and try again in the morning. Disclaimer: wine may have been involved. This morning, we cleaned the heck out of every part of the machine we could reach (it’s a stacker in a small cubby near the garage, so we couldn’t reach much), plugged it back in and voila! It ran an empty machine cycle just fine. Better yet, I’ve run three more full loads of wash and it’s running like a dream. We live in a remote area in the middle of nowhere, and hiring a repair person would not only have been costly, but if our past experience is anything to go by (and it is) it would have been several weeks if not months before we got an actual repair person to come out and look at it.
2. Our grandchildren came up for awhile earlier this month (one of the benefits of virtual schooling). I felt bad that there was no trick or treating for them, and borrowing an idea (sort of) from “The Connors”, planned a “trick or treat in our home” for them. This was done cheaply…er, frugally…with post-Halloween-sale candy, LEGO freebies from prior Christmas/birthday gifts, reuasable travel straws (another great freebie) and a few other free or cheap treasures. The incredible level of excitement from the children made it absolutely priceless.
3. Now that the grandchildren have gone, we’re using up leftover foods that we normally don’t buy but had on hand for them. Meals are interesting but (almost) always tasty.
4. Home haircuts have saved us $300 since Covid began and will continue to save us money, since my husband and I have perfected the art of home haircuts. Or close enough to perfect. Seriously, my hair has never looked better. Since I’ve always hated, loathed and detested getting salon haircuts, this is a double win for me.
5. Actually, home haircuts are more like a triple win – or more: each one saves 2 gallons of gasoline and well over an hour of our time to get to and from a salon.


Katy November 19, 2020 at 7:17 pm

I proclaim that your #1 wins the internet for today. Hooray for DIY repairs!!!!!


susanna d November 20, 2020 at 8:03 am

Thank you! Crazy as it may sound, I was actually excited while doing laundry yesterday, and looked forward to finishing it today. My husband and I are still smiling and high-fiving over this one.


Alison November 22, 2020 at 9:35 am

I have a similar story. DH called a repair man for the less than year old dryer he said wasn’t heating up enough. Before coming out, the repair guy asked if the vents had been cleaned. DH said yes. I then asked him if he checked outside, as we have had lots of wind recently and leaves etc pile up again the house. So he checked that, and yes, there was an outside vent clogged with dryer lint. No repair man needed.


MEM November 19, 2020 at 5:47 pm

1. I contacted Amazon to return 6 bags of decaf coffee – the grind was too fine for my French Press. They told me to keep it and I got my $31 back. I suppose I could try and sell it cheaply on FB.
2. I contacted Chewy about some vegetable-based tartar control chew sticks – one of my three chiweenies bit the chewy in half and tried to swallow the half – I had to remove it from his mouth. Chewy refunded my $50 and asked me to donate the unopened packages to a shelter.
3. I made pasta sauce with the two raw hamburgers I had plus the tomatoes from my garden that I had frozen whole back in August.
4. I cancelled an order for a second Fire Stick – my husband says he doesn’t use the one we have.
5. I cancelled a subscribe-and-save (also Amazon) for Swiffer cloth refills. I really hate the waste but my disabled adult son does the swiffering in the house – with three dogs and hardwood floors Swiffer is still the best. I’m trying to get him to use microfiber cloths but there is a steep learning curve.
6. Poshmark cancelled a purchase of mine because the seller delayed and delayed. I got my $22 back.


LB November 25, 2020 at 7:43 am

I share your frustration with the Swiffer cloths. With tile floors and cats, the broom or mop only does so much to capture fur in comparison. I am hesitant to go to the microfiber because I don’t have a washing machine and don’t necessarily want to hand wash or throw them in at the laundromat with the rest of my clothes. I imagine our other frugal/eco practices cancel this one out to some extent!


Sarah November 19, 2020 at 6:54 pm

Katy, your site inspires, amuses, and has been a great comfort during the last many plague months. I also appreciate everyones shares, good to know there are like minded folk all over.

Happiest of Thanksgivings to you!


Katy November 19, 2020 at 7:27 pm

Thank you so much for your kind words!


Kara November 19, 2020 at 10:15 pm

I volunteered at the food bank. So many smiles from people. It’s held in the parking lot, and the weather is cool but sunny.
I came home with the leftover persimmons, which I love.
I finished buying the Christmas gift for my sister’s family. With 4 teens in the house, nothing is appreciated more than yummy snacks. I bought one favorite food for each of the 4 kids, chocolate truffles for sister and brother-in-law, and Popcornopolis popcorn from Grocery Outlet for the whole family. I got it all early so that I didn’t have to mail it-other family will take it with them when they go down.
I made another batch of homemade kombucha. So delicious. I enjoyed my homemade gluten-free crackers with homemade soup using veggies from my garden. That is deeply satisfying.
We had lovely rain (sorry to everyone who lives in wetter places, but where we live, rain will NEVER get old). It filled our water barrels to the brim and I didn’t have to water the garden.
A friend dropped of old jeans for me to use for sewing for my Etsy shop, plus clothes to list on my Buy Nothing group. She lives in the country and doesn’t have a local Buy nothing group of her own. She also offered for my girls to take anything they wanted. There’s a Levi’s jacket that I think my youngest will like.
I am unashamed in saying yes to any freebies. Whatever I cannot use, I always find someone else who can. I came across a lovely quote, “Friendship multiplies the good of life and divides the evil. It is the sole remedy against misfortune, the very ventilation of the soul.” Balthasar Gracian, philosopher.


Bee November 20, 2020 at 5:21 am

I was so surprised and happy to see a new post already! Thank you, Katy.
I’m trying to stay calm and carry on — I’m also trying to be frugal.
1. A frugal life without friends would be more difficult. A friend dropped off a nice supply of previously used boxes and packing supplies for my eBay sales. Another sent me a $10 off $50 coupon for the small, local organic grocery that I shop at regularly. Yet another dear friend gave me a stack of magazines that I enjoyed thumbing through. Very kind of all!

2. I started the week with an odd assortment of food. To avoid food waste, I have made some interesting meals. I added some roasted baby eggplant and zucchini to my bolognese sauce. My husband who insists he hates eggplant announced that this sauce was particularly delicious. I haven’t told him that he ate this hated veggie. I also made some chicken broth from a carcass that I had left over, roasted some beets, and saved some wilted lettuce by soaking it in ice cold water.

3. I have a $20 off $100 coupon that I will use today when doing my Thanksgiving shopping. There aren’t any great free turkey deals where I live. However, we will have a very small holiday this year which is frugal. There will be just 4 of us rather than the 30 or so of us who usually enjoy the holiday together. Covid sucks!!!!

4. Rescue Pup who started life as a hunting dog was having some behavioral issues, and we were looking into the services of a trainer —- soooooo expensive. Without going into a lot of detail, I figured out my new pup had been click trained in her previous life. This is a technique where you use the sound of the clicker and positive reinforcement to encourage good behavior. Although we had never done this before, my husband and I watched several YouTube training videos and purchased a $3 clicker. Within 24 hours, she became a well-behaved and happy dog. YouTube is the most extraordinary resource!

5. I have done all the usual frugal things cooking from scratch, brewing my own coffee and drinking primarily water. After Katy mentioned it, I was encouraged to read The Shell Seekers again. I had a copy that I purchased at the Friends of the Library sale back when life was normal. Hubby and I are watching The Queen Gambit on Netflix. Of course, Rescue Pup and I continue to walk for miles and miles and miles for exercise.
Wishing everyone health, peace and frugality!


Jill A November 20, 2020 at 11:12 am

Bee, that is so interesting about the click training. I think your rescue pup is a very lucky dog.


Bee November 21, 2020 at 5:43 am

Thank you, Jill. I feel like I’m the lucky one. She is such a sweet dog. When I first met her, she laid her head on my chest. I knew then that this pup was going to be a wonderful companion.


Lisa M. November 22, 2020 at 12:30 pm

Bee – I am so thrilled about your sweet new dog who is now well-behaved & happy as well. Canines add so much to life!


Christine November 20, 2020 at 2:55 pm

Your #2…so funny about your husband and the eggplant, especially his announcement about the particularly good sauce! Sometimes what husbands don’t know won’t hurt them.


Bee November 23, 2020 at 4:15 am

My farm bag (CSA) which was just delivered contained more eggplant! I’m not sure how to camouflage it this time.


Christine November 23, 2020 at 12:38 pm

You might try grinding it very fine and then adding it to meatloaf. When my kids went through fussy phases about food, I would grind/puree veggies and add them to meatloaf although I must say I’ve never tried to do it with eggplant. And alas, one at age 34 is still picky about veggies.


Bee November 23, 2020 at 3:32 pm

That’s a great idea!!!!!

K D November 20, 2020 at 5:23 am

1. I preserved airline miles that were about to expire. I had my husband order something we needed at Staples anyway (an inexpensive tech item he needs as he continues to WFH) through the airline shopping portal. I also had my daughter order some lawn bags from Home Depot through the airline shopping portal. Small purchases that will add but a few miles to their frequent flier accounts but should keep the miles they had from expiring.

2. Covid numbers have risen in MD. I will not pursue getting my hair cut until the numbers are down again.

3. I took the lint out of our hair dryer. It now runs much better and I assume more efficiently.

4. I helped a neighbor bag leaves. Later that day we set up the power washer and we washed our two vehicles and then our daughter and her SO brought their cars over and washed them. Much cheaper than the car wash, more exercise, and it was probably quicker. It was a sunny day and it passed for a social event during Covid quarantine.

5. I walked with a friend then visited with her in the backyard. All meals have been at home. I will Zoom with my siblings on Thanksgiving day, no traveling for any of us this year.


Kim November 20, 2020 at 5:51 am

I know you don’t post as often anymore so when I see you pop in my feed it makes my day! I love your frugal tips but number 5 is always my favorite! Have a great weekend!!


isa November 20, 2020 at 7:33 am

* Still using city services at a very low cost of 60$\year\family : badminton, indoor skating rink, pool, library
* No cable or subscriptions apart from Netflix (lowest membership, 10.99$\month). We are 4 people in the house, so we share (1 screen at a time allowed). I also watch lots on content on Youtube.
* Decided on a personnal shopping ban for 2021. So while this is not frugal YET, it’s already putting me in the right mindset
* Covid is sure curbing any entertainment plan, which makes us save lots of money between myself, hubby and the two kids. A little upside to an otherwise devastating situation
* Trying to empty the freezers and pantry. I said TRYING, because I’m kind of a food hoarder (can pass on a good sale!). Another 2021 goal. So hopefully this will lower the grocery costs a little.


t November 20, 2020 at 8:55 am

When I got home from dropping off the workers this morning and was walking to the door a huge bald eagle sailed right over me. Wow. I needed that.
A new Aldi’s is in town!!! Jump around! 40 cent celery woo hoo!
I’m eating a rotisserie chicken sandwich on my rice bread with leftover brewed lemon ginger tea on ice. Delicious and probably less than 50 cents.
Gas was $1.46 a gallon yesterday. No heat or air for over a month. Mint mobile 20 bucks a month call text and data.( They have a $30 month unlimited plan) Antenna TV and DVDs.
I read stuff and books on my 40 dollar phone. Dollar reading glasses. I don’t thrift store anymore and find I actually buy less stuff. Clothes, I seem to only want to wear the same stuff everyday so that’s what I do, comfortable top & knit pant or jeans and sweater. I use simple cleaning products and buy cheaper in bulk. I used to hang my clothes to dry but too many people in small place to do that right now. Walk or run around in house or out, or jump around for exercise. Cut and do my hair, my growing out pixie looks kinda like a poodle or shaggy dog, no one’s patted me on the head yet. My total monthly utilities are under 100.
Words that motivate me: Luke 10:42
. Only a few things are really needed, perhaps only one.


Momma L November 21, 2020 at 4:32 am

t, I haven’t thrifted since February and I too, have simplified what I think I need, and have only really bought a couple of things since then. I’m more satisfied with what I already have now.


MB in MN November 20, 2020 at 9:57 am

Katy: I’m doing the Snoopy Happy Dance over this new post so close on the heels of the previous one. Reading your posts and everyone’s comments is such a treat and helps build much-needed community, especially when in-person activities are either limited or non-existent.

Here’s what I’m up to:

1) Helped my niece organize both her pantry and baby nursery. Used the “organize what you have first, then see if you need any organizers” method and – no surprise – she didn’t need to buy any bins, baskets or organizer thingies.

2) After going without a Christmas tree inside our home for many years, we decided we will have one this year for some extra cheer (our tree will be free – a perk of my husband’s work at a Christmas tree farm).

3) Pulled all the dead annuals out of four large plastic pots on the deck and filled the pots with red twig dogwood branches from our property, various leftover evergreen boughs from the Christmas tree farm, and dried hydrangea heads from our garden.

4) My doctor’s office called to change my upcoming visit from in-person to a phone call. They’re trying to limit the number of people in the clinic. This will save me a 100-mile round trip and parking fee.

5) Planning a simple soup supper for Thanksgiving with my husband and sister. I wish all of you a healthy and happy holiday!


Christine November 20, 2020 at 3:04 pm

Leftover side effects from a speed reading course I took many years ago in high school, I sometimes read way too fast. I read your #3 and thought you had written “Pulled all the dead animals out of four large plastic pots…”. Gracious, I’m happy I was wrong! Lol.


susanna d November 21, 2020 at 12:08 pm

I initally read “dead animals”, too. This isn’t the first time I’ve mis-read something, or even the 20th. I always re-read things when my initial thought is “Wait, what?”


Ellyn Wolfgram November 20, 2020 at 10:21 am

Referring to the couch-flippers as “unappealing dude guys” bothers me.


M December 5, 2020 at 12:24 am



Cindy in the South November 20, 2020 at 1:22 pm

1. Negative Covid test, only sinuses. It is frugal to not catch this stuff.
2. I made dried red beans in crockpot and added mustard greens. I will eat that this week before Thanksgiving.
3. In all the commotion of the past few weeks, I forgot to say I found two abandoned kittens, wet, and crying after the hurricane. They looked pitiful. I have been feeding them in my house with kitten replacer milk, not frugal for me but frugal for them….lol. I will find them new homes when they are a big older. They were probably a few days old when I found them.
4. I have been bringing my lunch to work, which is the usual.
5. I don’t have a tv because I don’t want to watch all the commotion that goes on, especially during election year. I save on electricity and on my nerves!


Christine November 20, 2020 at 3:05 pm

Bless you for taking in those two kittens!


Anne November 20, 2020 at 5:48 pm

Bless you on the kittens.


Bee November 23, 2020 at 3:37 pm

I hope all goes well with the kitties. Calico Kitty who I have mentioned a few times was found when she was only a few days old. I’m so happy we cared for her. Let us know how it goes.


Momma L November 21, 2020 at 4:30 am

1. Boss let me go home Friday 2 hrs early for free. What a gift that was, as it was a nice day. I’d been working hard on projects challenging in this pandemic time, this was my reward. 🙂 I believe that time is the one thing we can’t make more of, so this was precious to me.
2. Used that time to get takeout lunch with DH using a bday gifted GC to a local restaurant.
3. After lunch, used a GC that I unburied in my home office to get some books for Christmas gifts for my grandkids.
4. Going to an outdoor housewarming today, so I’m taking a gift from my thrifted gift stash, a cute cheese board, brand new. The box looked old, so I re-wrapped it in tissue and put it in a pretty gift bag (saved from previous gifts of course).
5. Made a card from a pack of cute blank generic cards I bought a while back.
Not done yet, but I’ve been eyeing my stash of wax that I save from the bottom of candles. I’m researching how to make candles out of all that scrap wax, safely. Haven’t been brave enough to try.


Christine November 21, 2020 at 9:07 am

I’ve heard that chess sets are hard to come by now that everyone is staying home and also due to increased interest in chess since the miniseries The Queens Gambit on Netflix premiered. The homecoming gift of one will be appreciated, I’ll bet.


Anne November 21, 2020 at 9:27 am

I couldn’t understand your reply and then I finally figured it out. She said “CHEESE board”, not chess board. 🙂


Christine November 21, 2020 at 4:15 pm

Thanks Anne. As I stated above, sometimes I read over things way too fast!


Momma L November 22, 2020 at 9:48 am

haha me too Christine! I like cheese and chess!

Patricia Koernig November 22, 2020 at 1:00 am

Momma L, I usual melt all my wax left overs in an old pan, on low heat. I pour in saved containers from candles . I do buy candle wicks (at Michaels). I find the process quite calming, and I feel like the queen of frugality when I do it.
As a matter a fact, just got 4 “new” candles in reused containers from my latest attempt. Youtube, may have several tutorials. Be Brave!


Momma L November 22, 2020 at 9:49 am

I will try! Probably at Christmas time, as DH and I are staying home for that, too.


Joyce November 23, 2020 at 7:15 am

I make candles from old all the time. I made a bunch from Stubbs of church candles, added color and scent and our church sold them.. the candles were already blessed!


Ruby November 21, 2020 at 5:50 am

Thanks so much for the new post. They really help keep the frugal inspiration going.

1. There’s another shirt to mend on the sewing machine. This is no longer looked on as an annoying chore but rather “Yippee! Let’s save a shirt and not spend money!”
2. After several years of searching, I finally bought on eBay a black cardigan sweater that I hope will be a worthy replacement for the amazing black cardigan bought at a thrift shop many years ago. Beloved cardigan is thin across the back from wear. There may be a ceremony when it is retired from service. 😀
3. I continue to be gifted with unwanted healthy snacks from work. This week was more fancy trail mix, banana chips, and granola bars. Family is extremely happy.
4. Used some ground mild Italian sausage bought on sale with a coupon and bread heels from the freezer as two components of an amazing meatloaf that fed my family for half the week. Also used up some surplus and aging apples (previous rejected healthy snacks from work) to make a big apple crisp.
5. Still doing all the usual: wearing cute thrifted outfits every day, brown-bagging lunch and cold drinks, making coffee at the office in my $3.99 Goodwill coffee pot, and cooking/eating at home (an activity no longer considered weird these days).


Lindsey November 21, 2020 at 3:07 pm

Thank you for the suggestion of reframing things—not an awful chore of mending but a way to save money and time shopping for another shirt. Sometimes I forget and let frugality seem burdensome.


Viv December 9, 2020 at 9:47 am

Ruby. You inspired me with your shirt mending story. I had a skirt with a fallen hem – all I needed to do was to get out the ironing paraphernalia and use a bit of hemming glue. All done now. I feel so pleased as this job had been hanging around for weeks. Whilst iron was hot I got out my ‘saved’ ribbon box and ironed all those that were creased. All ready for Christmas gift wrapping. Thank you for the motivation.


rebecca November 21, 2020 at 7:32 am

1. The usual of eating at home and shopping fliers.
2. Baking a bunch of pies for friends as I am so thankful for them. Lots of ingredients purchased on sale.
3. Having a small Thanksgiving here for 3 of us (in my pod). We decided a turkey is too big, so a chicken it is. I have one (bought on sale) in my freezer.
4. Looking forward to having a few days off from work this next week. I see walks and catching up on paperwork for frugal activities
5. My niece just bought her first home and I was able to buy her a housewarming gift for 20% off and free shipping


Jennifer November 21, 2020 at 9:07 am

Wow, so jealous of Winco! I got up early and shopped today to avoid crowds. My cart was nowhere near full and it costs $139. Only splurge was a 12 pack of seasonal beer that had a $5 rebate attached. Setting it aside to enjoy over the holidays.

1. College dd is coming home today and is now a vegetarian. I will only go so far to accommodate this. If she doesn’t want what we are eating she can cook for herself. That being said I pulled tortillas out of the freezer and grabbed some cans of refried beans, an onion and salsa and will make a pan of burritos for the freezer for her. Cheap!

2. Trying very hard to shop smarter right now. We ran errands Friday night returning a part to the new fridge that we had been told we needed and did not. Used a free gift coupon at Bath and Body works for some stocking stuffers. hit Target at almost closing when it was dead to get needed items and actually remembered to use my random gift cards I had had forever. Saved $17 that way.

3. Dd wants books and reusable grocery bags for Christmas. I went through her list of books and reserved most of them at the library. There were 2 that we were almost #200 in line for. I bought those on sale at Amazon to wrap. Dh went to pick up dd from college and first stopped at Kroger (we don’t have it here) to fill up on gas, buy the grocery bags and a grocery gift card. And I am done shopping for her!

4. PTO put together goody bags for the teachers for conferences and for some reason most were never taken by the teachers. I have been enjoying snacks and treats all week from the grab bowl. Even set aside some packs of gum and candy for my kids stockings.

5. Ordered my Thanksgiving package from the local CSA – a 17 lb turkey and all the ingredients for sides. It will just be my family and we will have a massive amount of leftovers. But that is ok, I’m good with not cooking for a few days.


C November 21, 2020 at 5:19 pm

The cancer is back. It’s stage one, which is good- the diagnosis still sends me into a bit of an existential crisis though. This is my second time around with Melanoma and while some people have told me “it’s the BEST cancer you could have” (seriously- why would anyone say something like that?) it still feels like a harsh reminder of mortality.

– Various doctor and surgeon appointments mean I have an excuse to wander to the across town Goodwill’s and Salvation Army’s, trying to see the silver lining here.
-Polishing my resume and sending it out- my hours have been cut so far back due to COVID it’s time to come up with a new plan.
– Still taking courses for my second Master’s degree for free at a University where I teach English Composition.
– The kids are remote learning for a bit and while this is really challenging for my household of four young boys and two working parents we’ll get through it. This 2020 journey has not been easy but it has given me awareness and gratitude for small moments of peace.
– pulling together holiday gifts so I’m not panicking at the last minute. The only black Friday shopping I do is order a photo album from Snapfish every year. They have great deals and it’s a good excuse for me to make a family book for the grandparents. This is the only way I have been motivated to keep up with photo albums for the last 10 years.


MB in MN November 21, 2020 at 6:19 pm

Oh C, I’m very sorry your cancer is back. A harsh (and unwelcome) reminder of mortality indeed. I am sending extra positive vibes to you, your young family, and your medical team.


Lisa M. November 21, 2020 at 10:21 pm

Any type of cancer would be terrifying to the core.

Hoping for quick resolution & recovery.


Patricia Koernig November 22, 2020 at 12:54 am

Much Love to you, C.


AuntAli November 22, 2020 at 10:13 am

C, sending you positive thoughts.


Lindsey November 22, 2020 at 1:47 pm

How terrible to be fighting this again; I’m sorry. Sending good wishes your way.


Katy November 22, 2020 at 5:11 pm

I’m so sorry to hear this. I’ve had malignant melanoma twice before, the first time when I was 22 that even required a skin graft.

Virtual hugs, Katy


Christine November 22, 2020 at 10:46 pm

2020 has certainly been a year of hardships and I’m really sorry this recent diagnosis has been added to yours. Hugs coming at you and here’s hoping your surgery and recovery go smoothly and quickly.


Cindy in the South November 23, 2020 at 7:09 am

Virtual hugs and prayers.


Bee November 23, 2020 at 3:39 pm

Wishing you the best on this difficult journey.


Jill A November 25, 2020 at 8:36 am

I’m so sorry. Thinking of you.


Elizabeth B November 25, 2020 at 4:03 pm

C, I’m so sorry to hear this. All my best wishes for the best possible outcome for you. May 2021 be kinder to us all.


Gina in KY November 30, 2020 at 4:53 am

I am so sorry to hear about the cancer diagnosis. I have treated breast cancer and, while I have been very lucky (early diagnosis due to knowing I had the BRCA2 mutation), it is always there in the back of your mind. I have also heard “it’s the best one to get” and I so agree it is a heartless thing to say (even if not intended to be that way). All cancers are scary and require horrible treatments. So virtual hugs and positive energy, I send to you. <3


Alison November 21, 2020 at 8:07 pm

1. DH, stepson and I got free flu shots.
2. Used $10 rewards from Eddie Bauer to get two pairs of socks.
3. Sold pampered chef item on Facebook marketplace for parents for $5.
4. Gave away trivial pursuit game to coworker. No money in, but clutter out.
5. Sold 10 masks made by my sister-in-law at my workplace.


AuntiAli November 22, 2020 at 10:24 am

Thanks for posting Katy. Always a reminder to be frugal. This Covid thing and winter is getting me down. I have a little glimmer of hope with the vaccine soon becoming available.

1. Still eating oatmeal for breakfast.
2. Having a new deck put on the house. We’ve saved up the money for this.
3. Purchasing Christmas gifts online. No going out to stores for me! Getting dd’s birthday gift this way too. Her birthday is in January.
4. Have enough Fetch Reward points to pay for a take out dinner from Applebees.
5. Have $20 in Walgreen rewards that I want to spend. May have a date with dh to go there and pick up on sale shampoo, etc.
6. Got a free turkey breast from my supermarket after spending $400. It will just be dh, me and dd for Thanksgiving.


Jenelle November 23, 2020 at 7:01 am

1. Finally took the cover of the sewing machine this weekend and mended a pair of my sons shorts. I was about to throw them away because the entire seam in the back end was out. But I decided to save them and just sew them up. Good as new!
2. A local department store was having a friends and family event and I knew i could score some presents there for a good price. Sure enough…even the cashier was surprised how well I did for $25!
3. DD has a girl scout “assignment” to make a toy from items around the house. Being six years old, I had to prompt her on what to make but after working on it together for a few minutes, she took over and I was proud to see her creativity some out.
4. I’m still being blessed by some families with clothing to sell on Ebay. While organizing the clothing, I was able to put together an entire bag to donate to a lady in my church who adopted 5 siblings!
5. I’m keeping up with my Ebay goal of listing and photographing 5 items per day. I do work a 9-5 job and have two small kids, but I’m making myself keep this goal!


Roberta November 23, 2020 at 9:50 am

1. Made persimmon muffins out of persimmons in the freezer and the last of the frozen eggs.
2. Sold Lego instructions on ebay. Not much money, but they’ll be useful to someone.
3. Hit a couple of garage sales this weekend for the shop, and found a few things for the household at the same time. A baking stone for the kids’ “hope chest” (for stocking their college apartments), a leather jacket for $1, chicken plates and bowls for fun, and a set of fancy tealights new in package to put toward my sister-in-law’s Christmas gift.
4. Collected a few more items to drop off at the local food bank.
5. The usual: hanging clothes on the clothesline, cooking my own beans, eating leftovers.


Shona November 24, 2020 at 1:38 pm

1) Uninstalled Poshmark app. My original intent was to recoup the cost of new winter boots, which I did, but then I was using my streak as an excuse to go to the thrift shops & found myself buying when I really don’t need anything and not finding much to re-sell. Anything that tempts me into unnecessary purchases has got to go.

2)Still having some nice weather for porch visits with friends and hanging laundry outside.

3) What looked like it was going to be a fail turned out to be more of a win. My car died & had it towed. Turns out it was fixed with a routine maintenance tune-up.

4) Even with below freezing temps at night, we’ve been comfortable in our old house keeping the thermostat low. First colder weather gas bill did not make we wince

5) Found a penny


Diane C November 24, 2020 at 7:30 pm

My closest Winco is 27 miles in a direction I rarely have reason to travel, but thanks to your mention, I decided to make a pilgrimage today. I’m sure you know the bulk bins have been ravaged by Covid. A lot of the reason I shop there is the bulk bins and the DIY fresh ground peanut butter, which alas, was also unavailable. Nonetheless, I managed to fill my cart with $175 worth of groceries, easily qualifying for a “free” turkey. As DH likes to deep fry them, I chose a 15 lb. bird, which is as big as our fryer can handle. I had already purchased a 15 lb. birdie at Costco, so this will become the designated Christmas Bird. The “free” one will taste better, right? I’ll have to take my family’s word for it, as I’m the resident vegetarian. Thanks for the tip, Katy!


Katy November 25, 2020 at 5:00 pm

You’re welcome!


betta from daVille November 25, 2020 at 7:49 pm

It is only the 2 of us for Thanksgiving and I (heretic) don’t care for turkey. So, instead, we purchased 2 ducks on sale:
1. confited the legs, which we will have for Thanksgiving dinner
2. Made cracklins out of the skin, which I made into Moo Shu for dinner (with cabbage, red pepper, cilantro & hoisin/sesame oil/chili paste). Made the pancakes and it uses a totally cool method to roll them out & cook hem.
3. Made the breasts into pastrami, and they are in the freezer
4. the livers became paté
5. the neck, remaining giblet, and carcass became stock for future ramen dinner.

Zero-waste cooking.


Lori November 27, 2020 at 6:57 am

Betta, so creative! That’s inspiring


Jill A November 27, 2020 at 7:00 am

We also had duck instead of turkey since our plans changed and there were only four of us. My daughter made confit also and we used the duck fat over hasselback potatoes and duck gravy over mashed. It was a delicious dinner and I didn’t miss the turkey or the huge amount of leftovers. We zoomed with older daughter and son-in-law who are many miles away and all cooked our dinner together while we visited. It wasn’t a typical Thanksgiving but we did our best.


Gina in KY November 30, 2020 at 4:43 am

I love Aldi, but I so pine for a Grocery Outlet or Winco over here in KY!

I am back on the Frugal Highway…not that I ever left. Years of following along on 5FTs have made a lot of it habit at this point, but still, I falter here and there.

1. Had a plan to buy a new rural house because I began to hate my urban neighborhood which is challenging, congested and loud. I even went so far as to look at houses and found one. Then, I went to the credit union to get a mortgage and found that while the bank was really happy to give me a lot of money, I ran into a couple of snags not related to my finances and, ultimately, the Universe convinced me that this was stupid because I already have a mortgage-free house and I can visit any number of state parks within a 30-mile radius of the city if I need a little peace and nature. I now have a renewed love for my historic house and historic neighborhood. I also decided I would still put the “mortgage” payment into a separate savings account starting in January.

2. Also related to my neighborhood: I live in an underserved area and the school my 13 yo goes to is great, but due to the number of impoverished children, all students, regardless of parent’s income, get free lunches. This year we are on NTI (online school) due to Covid19. I received a EBT card in the mail for my son back in June and I threw it away thinking it was a mistake. I guess I was not the only one as we received a second card with instructions to not throw away free money and use it. So, I did. I let my son pick out a few of his favorite things to round out the pantry and then we used the rest for things like spaghetti sauce and pasta, canned beans and veggies, rice, and other non-perishables and donated it to the food bank.

3. I have a large stack of books to pick up at the library this week (again, pandemic requires an appointment to pick up held books, but I so miss the physical library). I made a new 101 in 1001 days list and some of the topics are around those goals.

4. I made a Tofu Turkey from scratch for my younger son and my Thanksgiving (I am vegan and those pre-made things are salty…as in expensive). It turned out great! I actually made everything from scratch and then realized at 50 years old, this is the very first time I made an entire Thanksgiving meal. When I was married, we went to the in-laws or my parents and the holiday was my ex’s with my sons until this year (I now have full custody-2020 has been a strange year in so many ways). I even used sage and other herbs from my own garden.

5. Tomorrow is Dec 01 and I will make out a new budget. Then, I will stick to said budget.

PS My heart goes out to all of you furloughed or unemployed. I will make more donations to the food banks here this week. I wish I could help and hug all of you in these stressful times.

Reply November 30, 2020 at 11:42 am

Kentucky girl here too. I love Aldi too but I’m with you. I want a Grocery Outlet so bad I can’t stand it. I also wish that 99¢ stores were close!!


Cindy in the South November 30, 2020 at 12:07 pm

I so feel your post. My town is gritty, poor, and gunshots ring out at night about once a week directly behind my house from rival gangs. So far they are apparently shooting in the air, because I call 911 every single time. However, I know that will change eventually. My house is paid for, and I am safe here (I am on the “safe” street that the gangs do not frequent, unlike the next street over. It is hard to explain, but I am safe unless a stray bullet finds me accidently.) I will probably move/sell once I retire, but the house is so darn convenient for work, plus my neighbors are retired school teachers, other current state employees, solid middle class etc so I really do not want to move until I retire. I just do not want to have a mortgage, nor do I want to spend a lot of money and I do not know exactly which town (child) I want to live near. I would like to live where I have a bit of land and peace and quiet. It is a hard decision.


Julie Hamann November 30, 2020 at 8:46 am

Frugal/Not frugal Thanksgiving dinner. Ordered a “dinner for two” from a small local catering company that recently opened. It was a bit pricey but I felt that I would have spent that much taking mom out for Thanksgiving dinner in pre COVID times. Went to pick up the food the day before and discovered their “dinner for two” was enough food to feed a family of four. Since mom eats like a bird that food, not counting rolls and slice of pumpkin pie, fed us for four days and the rest is in the freezer for Christmas dinner. What started out as a frugal fail turned into a frugal win.


Bethany November 30, 2020 at 9:51 pm

Hemming up a pair of jeans. Used a Michaels coupon to save 60 cents on my thread.

Cooked up a big batch of sausage gravy with extra milk and flour. Will split between two breakfast for dinner meals tomorrow and the next day.

Using up a big bag of potatoes before our holiday travels, if the Newsom allows it. Actually, I’d rather he lockdown before we go than not allow us to return afterward. Who knows what could happen.

Gave my girls a haircut.

Bought unisex boots years ago for my girls and saved them. They now fit my son for our winter activities.


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