Five Frugal Things

by Katy on February 1, 2021 · 51 comments

  1. I sold a steady stream of things, my favorite of which were free items dragged home from other people’s curbsides and “free boxes.”

    • A sweet antique cupboard that I sold through Facebook Marketplace for $100.

    • A slightly ratty and entirely soggy Carhartt sweatshirt that a neighbor had dumped into a “free box.” Laundered and then sold for $22.50 on eBay.

    • A set of what I termed “industrial” drawer pulls that I removed from an otherwise worthless curb desk. Sold for $15 on eBay

    • A remote control that I grabbed from someone else’s “free box.” Sold for $7 on eBay.

    Of course I sold other things, including a $100 Arcteryx jacket and a $50 Michael Graves tea kettle, but I wanted to shine a light on how it’s possible to make a bit of money with zero cost of goods.

  2. I continue to cook all meals from scratch, with a weekly exception for “Taco Tuesday.” ($1 tacos from a local Mexican food cart!) I do try to vary the menu, and the past week has seen such meals as:

    • Meatloaf with mashed potatoes and peas. This meal incorporated two frozen pieces of gluten-free bread, plus multiple individual packets of ketchup, hot sauce, red pepper flakes, barbecue sauce and A-1 sauce. I normally make a ketchup/brown sugar paste for the top, but ran out of ketchup which is how this meatloaf happened to use A-1 for the topping. This was delicious and I will never go back!

    • Enchiladas filled with rice, scratch cooked black beans, cheese, onion, canned jalapeño, frozen corn and a handful of leftover green salsa containers from previous “Taco Tuesdays.”

    • Chicken soup and potato-bacon soup.

    • Reuben sandwiches. This was prompted by the purchase of a $1 loaf of marble rye bread from the Franz bakery outlet.

  3. I repaired a pair of Birkenstock clogs as the upper had pulled apart from the sole. I’d been meaning to check off this task since the fall, so I gave myself a huge pat on the back even though the job itself took no more than five minutes. All it took was some clear Gorilla glue and a couple of clamps. Then I rode that pat-on-the-back momentum to repair some slippers and a shaving brush.

  4. My friend Lise dropped off a box of bubble wrap, I gifted a couple of items through my Buy Nothing Group, I started rooting another batch of spider plant babies, I boiled up a small batch of cranberry sauce from a 50¢ bag of cranberries, I went for a dental cleaning and then batched errands as I was across town, (such as stopping at Trader Joe’s to pick up their nothing-beats-it Mediterranean hummus and 19¢ bananas) and I started a new audiobook through the free Libby app.

  5. I didn’t buy a Lear Jet.

Katy Wolk-Stanley    

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

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Disclosure: This blog post includes eBay affiliate links, which may earn you a discount, as well as a small commission for me. This costs nothing extra to you.

{ 51 comments… read them below or add one }

Edie February 1, 2021 at 1:00 pm

We survived.

1) We had a wild storm which blew down my property line fence. I went ahead and replaced it along with the aging and damaged back fence, and repaired the remaining parts of the property line fence. I hired a handyperson to help with this. My neighbor was not in the position to help, so all of the work wound up costing $600 in materials and another $500 in labor. But this is a long term investment in the maintenance in the property.

2) My washer machine started to leak from the bottom- turns out it has basically started to rust out! and the dryer attached to it was slowing down, despite the change in filters. So I bought a new washer & dryer combo. Again, a long term investment.


1) Funded my IRA for the year.
2) Refinanced my mortgage to a lower interest rate.
3) Am still cooking from home- have done some takeout, but am now so used to cooking at home that the cost seems almost prohibitive ( even if it is supporting local businesses! )
4) Exercising at home for stress relief.
5) I did not incite a riot at the nation’s capital, and I do not live in Palm Beach.


Midwest Beth February 1, 2021 at 1:19 pm

1. Participated in a free library cooking class via Zoom about soups. Excited to try French onion as I have a ton of onions and the clam chowder sounded wonderful!
2. Excited to be picking up season 3 of Yellowstone from the library tomorrow and returning the DVD “84 Charring Cross Road.” I enjoyed it so much I listened to the audio book through my library hoopla app. Great book to fall a sleep to.
3. Redeemed $11 rewards for my dogs allergy medication towards her next month’s prescription.
4. Used two $10 off hair salon rewards for my daughter and my haircuts.
5. Read my free People magazine – got a free subscription from doing a survey; verified my Discount Tire rewards card of $20 online; doing Swagbucks while watching TV/reading or housework; updated my Everydollar budget for last month which came in way over due to tire and rims purchased for my car; reapplied for unemployment as it expired (prayers); looking into college scholarships for my daughter; signed up for a free online session on how to pay for college through my state; helped my daughter prepare for two virtual interviews for college scholarships.


Bee February 2, 2021 at 2:48 am

I also just picked up Season 3 of Yellowstone from the library. Although I live in Florida, I am fascinated by the American West. I did want to encourage you to look at PEO online for scholarship information. They are a group of women with chapters all over the country. Their goal is to support women in their educational endeavors, so there are millions of dollars in scholarships available. The link to the international follows, but you may also want do a search for PEO in your state. They may have additional scholarship offerings.


Midwest Beth February 2, 2021 at 5:24 pm

Thank you so much, will definitely check it out. ❤️


Kathleen February 5, 2021 at 5:35 am

Speaking of college scholarships, I have a friend who was homeschooled and graduated from high school at age 16. Parents did not want to get student loans for her college, so she told her parents that instead of getting a 40 hour/week job to pile up cash for college, she would spend a year living at home and looking for college scholarships to pay her way. She spent 40 hours/week researching (lots of books and websites on how to find scholarships), writing essays (which she used more than once for different places), and applying for scholarships online. She was able to completely pay (!!) for 4 years of college with the scholarships, and graduated with a degree in nuclear engineering! Remarkable!


Roberta February 1, 2021 at 1:43 pm

1. Sold a Muppet scrapbook on ebay. It was something my husband collected as a child, and now it is no longer cluttering up our home! Reused wrapping to ship.
2. Grocery shopped at the surplus stores — Grocery Outlet and a local one. Following Amy D’s pantry principle, for the most part, to menu plan. I got a ton of lettuce for free, so salads will be featured until that is all used up.
3. Researching colleges and scholarships for my daughter. She applies next year.
4. Knitting for the future: wash clothes for future gifts, hats and scarves for my daughter who wants to go to school back east. All my yarn has been thrifted.
5. The usual: mending socks, hanging laundry out, cooking at home. I’m learning a language on Duolingo, and watching youtube videos about travel, to keep my spirits up. I’ll get to do new and exciting things someday!
Not frugal: spending more than the car is worth to replace the clutch on my daughter’s car. But it was free to us, and replacing the clutch will be less expensive than buying something else, but still…! This way she’ll have the opportunity to learn to drive stick.


Ruby February 1, 2021 at 1:49 pm

1. Did the math and determined that bringing my lunch and tea from home equals two house payments a year. Since we are zeroed in on paying the house off before the end of this year, that gave me the boost I needed to keep doing the extra work and not buy seemingly cheap frozen meals and bottled drinks.
2. Did a deep dive into the freezer and came up with chicken and pork that needed to be used (it had been well-wrapped but frozen almost a year). Ditto for a box of spinach, specialty canned goods leftover from Christmas, frozen biscuits, an acorn squash, and a few potatoes too small for baking. My lunches this week and our Sunday dinner are/were delicious, except for the biscuits, which had been frozen too long and didn’t rise well.
3. Repaired two white spots on the finish of the kitchen table (caused by someone taking a plate from the microwave and setting it down on the tabletop) with a nail buffer sponge and a few drops from an ancient bottle of Old English scratch cover.
4. 2021 is the year of no silly spending for my family, and we did great in January. I personally had 20 days in January in which I spent no money at all, and my husband gave up his two great vices of beer and ice cream. (His doctor is pleased about that!)
5. I keep finding odd, abandoned things at work. Last week it was two pairs of brand new plain black men’s socks. No one claimed them, so now my son has them, just in time for some job interviews.


priskill February 1, 2021 at 5:56 pm

#1 Wow that is wonderful and really motivates me to keep on brown-bagging and cooking


Susan February 1, 2021 at 1:49 pm

My 5:
1. Pocketing a phone/internet stipend from my company for WFH needs as my current services suffice.
2. Making my coffee at home and avoiding the siren call of Starbucks.
3. Actually using the family spotify subscription I pay for. Mostly we have it for the kids but I am using it more now.
4. Libby app to check out books from the library is keeping me in books. I can read a book every 2 days or so. This saves me a ton!
5. Meal planned with an eye towards our double busy work week ahead where my husband and I are both facing big deadlines. The quick meals on our menu will keep take out at bay until our weekend planned order in day.


Shona February 1, 2021 at 2:05 pm

1) Scouring grocery stores for good citrus bargains because I crave citrus in the winter.

2) Collecting moss specimens in search of tadigrades to view under our microscope- spent part of yesterday watching one chomp on some moss.

3) Get my 1st COVID vaccine shot tomorrow.

4) Sold more items on Poshmark to cover the newer boots I bought for winter. Sold the winter boots I bought last year and ended up not loving.

5) Found .93 in pennies, nickels, dimes, and a quarter over the course of 3 long walks in my neighborhood.


Bethany M February 2, 2021 at 11:58 pm

At least in my area there’s a coupon for $2 off 2 bags of Sunkist. I get free citrus here usually. There’s always someone bringing in the loot from their lemon, lime, orange or grapefruit tree.


Shona February 3, 2021 at 2:09 pm

That would be my parents in LA. I flip out (in a good way) over a 5# bag of grapefruit for $3.50, meanwhile they can’t give theirs away fast enough and end up throwing tons in the green bin! My aunt in NYC paid $2.50 for a single one just because she missed the taste so much.


AuntAli February 5, 2021 at 6:03 pm

I just noticed a “sale?” at my grocery store. 10 oranges for $10. What the heck?? I remember when youth groups did citrus sales. They got the fruit from Florida and you could buy a 10 lb bag or 20 lb. I remember back in the good old days when you could check out the people coming from Florida cause they’d have a huge bag of citrus with them.


Christine February 1, 2021 at 2:19 pm

1. I bought two loaves of wheat bread for 2/$1.00 that were at their sell by date. Froze one and am using the last of the first one for toast.
2. Continuing at home yoga practice through classes included in my Amazon Prime subscription. On good weather days I walk the neighborhood and hike nearby trails.
3. Organized my pantry and discovered I had more than enough to get DH and myself through the month and still had two full bags of groceries to donate to the food pantry my church supports.
4. I sold a lovely Sydenstricker candy bowl on Facebook Marketplace and was quite happy about it due to the sad fact I haven’t sold anything online in more than a month. Plus the woman who bought it was very enamored with it and I believe will get a lot of joy from having it.
5. I got many good ideas about future books to read from Katy’s last blog. Thanks to all for the suggestions. On order at the library I have American Dirt by Cummins, Iron Lake by Krueger, Still Life by Penny and lastly Floating In My Mother’s Palm by Hegi which I have been meaning to read for awhile. From what I gather it’s a prequel to Stones From the River, an emotionally moving book about the Nazi Regiem and its effect on the main character who is a Little Person. Great read.


Roberta February 3, 2021 at 8:44 am

I hope you love Still Life! I have read the whole series, and find it really gripping!


betta from daVille February 3, 2021 at 5:40 pm

Ditto on Louise Penny books! I really loved the latest and cannot wait for the next installment!
My partner and I have even gone up to the Eastern Townships in Quebec, looking for Penny’s inspiration for the bistro…..


Katy February 4, 2021 at 10:59 am

I looked her up, but do not enjoy reading crime novels so will give her a pass. But please keep the suggestions coming!


Mary in Maryland February 1, 2021 at 3:05 pm

1. The Mister has been making machine bread every week. He’s using up oddments of flour.
2. I threw an outdated soup mix into a pot of jambalaya as part of eating down oddments. Not bad. I used another ancient mix (lentil-rice) to use up the last of the chestnuts in a Debarah Madison recipe. Gone.
3. I decided to get a CSA for this next season. In deciding what size box we need, I asked a friend what she does with extras. SHE FREEZES THEM. How brilliant—I can only use half a pound of green beans per week, so I blanched and froze the second half for the same soup in a few weeks. Good for short term rescues as well as prepping for the four months without a share.
4. We’ve been getting two meals out of carryout.
5. More library books on Kindle, two on hold to pick up tomorrow.
6. My life is organized on the backs of used envelopes. Couldn’t find one yesterday, so I did the rough prep for our income taxes on the back of the credit card envelope, transferred the info to a clean sheet, and mailed the envelope.


Lisa M. February 1, 2021 at 4:09 pm

5+FF: More Daylight!!

Yes, dialing back the timer for my living room window lamp to turn on was a highlight! Hard to believe that my neighbors ran many of their holiday lights all night through January – my holiday lights were disconnected on December 26th.

1. One of my kitchen creations was particularly frugal: Sweet & Sour Meatballs, a recipe that my dearly departed DM gave me 20 years ago that I made for the 1st time. Used 3# 90% lean ground turkey that was a special deal @ Aldi, 2 C. gifted regular oatmeal stored in the freezer for many moons & the remaining gifted onions from my DF. It made 3 dinners with adding carbs like Oven Potato Sticks or Italian Potato Puff to the menu.

Re-focusing on bean-based recipes – recently made Sausage & Bean Stew. Using bean “broth” produced from cooking beans in crockpot to make “bean rice” to go underneath burritos with fixings.

2. DH’s DF gifted half of a bakery Tiramisu cake that was delicious & not something I would purchase. DD’s boyfriend gifted us several baked treats from the coffee shop where he works.

3. Half frugal/Half non-frugal: Dishwasher quit spraying water, so found a “how to” clean the bottom instructional video on a Clark Howard article. After thoroughly washing all removable parts with soap & hot water, it was still not functional. Although a fail to save the 10 year-old machine, plan to implement the know-how annually with new machine to maximize its life span. In 1 month, both stove & dishwasher failed requiring 2 new appliance purchases.

4. Inverted 6 small bottles of travel sized shampoo bottles into 1 dispenser for the shower.

5. Shopping Day scores: At gas station: 50 cents Bismarck with perks account coupon; From big box bakery clearance rack: French bread 37% off & strawberry/cream cheese pastry 25% off; Using receipt from qualifying purchases @ big box: Redeemed points for $5 e-gift card for Sephora from Kellogg’s Family Rewards for DD.

6. Mended 3 of DD’s tops that all had some seams splitting.

7. Able to save my parents’ vintage floor lamp now being used by DD. Researched & found local shop to replace faulty socket. Checked prices for new floor lamps while there, verifying that repair definitely frugal as opposed to a new purchase.


MB in MN February 1, 2021 at 5:52 pm

Katy: I love to hear about the money you make on curbside freebies!

1. Spent my favorite kind of day in the kitchen prepping food – making grains, noodles, rice, broth, veggies, fruit chunks, hard-boiled eggs, shredded cheese, washed greens, etc. Mealtime is more enjoyable when the fixings just need to be assembled.

2. Found some sweet vintage valentines at the thrift store that I’ll mail to the little ones in our family.

3. During my library pick-ups, I’ve been checking out several magazines each week. My library now allows the most current issues to be checked out since no one is allowed to sit inside the library to read them.

4. Been saving money on deodorant as I don’t need it as much during the winter.

5. Found a large wooden outdoor barn quilt on Craigslist for a few hundred dollars less than those on Etsy. It did involve a long drive to get it but it was still well worth it. Plus it was brand new and we got to meet the artist, too.


Bee February 2, 2021 at 3:07 am

I had never heard of barn quilts before, so I did a quick search. They are beautiful. It is wonderful to own a piece of original art. Are you hanging yours inside or out?


MB in MN February 2, 2021 at 1:46 pm

Bee: So beautiful. Ours is a sundial design in happy colors. We’ll be hanging it outside on an outbuilding in our backyard.


Kara February 1, 2021 at 6:47 pm

I got a new charger for my laptop. The charging port and original charger never had a good connection and the laptop could not be moved a millimeter while charging or the connection would be lost. So the laptop was usually on low power mode and frequently spontaneously turned off. While researching this issue I came across a converter that changes the original charger into a magnetic charger. It arrived today and it is AWESOME. This saves dumping the solid hard drive laptop that otherwise runs very well!
On a similar note, I have finally reached the end of my patience with the defective battery in my iphone 6. I was tempted to get a new phone, but will replace the battery only, since otherwise it works well. And no, Apple won’t take care of it, even though it is one of the iphones involved in their battery throttling incident.
I got daffodils for $1.79 at Trader Joes today!
I’ve greatly improved the row covers on my raised beds. This will decrease losses due to aphids and caterpillars. My collard trees are still producing well, and the cuttings I took are doing well under the grow light. I will attempt to sell them when they are a bit bigger.


Kathy February 1, 2021 at 7:13 pm

We relocated 1300 miles about 2 months ago. It’s been a bumpy ride.
Frugal finds kitchen chairs for $10 each
Continuing to clean out items I shouldn’t have moved. Listing on Facebook marketplace, Mercari and Poshmark. Sales have been good.
Hubby and I have been meal planning and making a shopping list
Exploring our new community for free or low spend activities or events


Bethany M February 1, 2021 at 7:29 pm

Selling lots of kids clothes, books, bits and bobs around the house. Used plain ol’ cash that had been stacking up to pay for my Winco basket. Have enough left to pay my portion of the lot of chicks my friend ordered for us. Can’t wait to get our babies.

We’ve been in a mashed potato groove lately. So delicious, so very frugal!!! Tomorrow is Martha Stewart’s potato soufflé that uses leftover mashed potatoes

Enjoying a free trial of Hulu. Will be canceling before I incur a charge.

Been printing off coupons and using. My favorite one is from S&W website. $1 off 4 cans of beans. The only thing more frugal than eating beans is using a coupon for said beans.

Didn’t need 4 things I purchased for our chicken coop, because we were able to repurpose things we already have. Returned and saved $17.


K D February 2, 2021 at 6:25 am

Still Staying Home Edition

1. I have been making meals which sometimes provides leftovers. We don’t mind eating the same thing a couple times then not having it again for a while. I been working on low sodium chicken breast recipes using what we have in the house. All versions have been at least satisfactory.

2. I continue to do curbside pick-up and delivery of groceries. Yes, I do tip so it is more expensive than going in person but I’, trying to minimize risk of Covid. Right now the local grocery chain is offering free, or almost free, delivery on Tu/Wed/Th. The impulse purchases are greatly limited.

3. We’ve had snow, and other forms of frozen precipitation, since Sunday morning. It’s not a lot but enough to make it snow day like. We haven’t gone anywhere except to walk around the neighborhood after clearing the sidewalk. I wore the snow pants I’ve had for 20+ years.

4. I have been reading and listening to digital books borrowed from the library. We do pay for Netflix and Hulu for streaming shows/movies but that is the sum total of our entertainment budget at the moment.

5. I’m off to make a big pot of lentil soup. I’ll store it in jars and eat it for lunch/snacks/dinner. I have been having oatmeal with raisins and honey for a use-it-up healthy snack.


Hawaii Planner February 2, 2021 at 7:00 am

Good work on rescuing things out of the freebie boxes.

1) My husband I have been fasting 2 days/week. It’s for health reasons, but definitely saves money on the grocery bill as well. It gets easier over time, I’m finding.
2) Found a nice Columbia fleece on the ground in my neighborhood on a rainy day. Brought it home to wash, & posted it in our local alias to see if the owner could be found. After several months, I discovered it in the back of my closet & listed it on eBay.
3) Listed & sold a bunch of stuff on eBay (makeup samples, a biking jersey, outgrown hoodie, two books from a freebie pile, etc).
4) Cleaned & re-organized our freezer & garage food inventory, so I can easily find what we are looking for. It’s made a huge difference.
5) Used grocery store rewards, iBotta & Target rewards to save a small amount on grocery purchases


LB February 2, 2021 at 7:44 am

1. Managed to get a few good items out of the house via our buy nothing group. Unfortunately, due to the snowstorm in NYC many folks have gone dark on pick ups. A little frustrating, but a hazard of a free-stuff group. I’ll find other homes!

2. Currently clearing out food from the fridge and pantry in advance of living elsewhere for a month. I think I successfully bought just enough at the store to make meals instead of random items. Feeling pretty good about it!

3. With an impending move, our cats needed a place to stay. My partner’s parents are bored sheltering at home and offered to take our two dummies for the month to liven things up a bit. They are settling in nicely and getting lots of scritches, and we are saving a boatload of cash we would have had to otherwise spend on a petsitter.

4. Got a $10 award from Achievement (app that gives points for recorded exercise and healthy activities) which is a great testament to my ability to stay motivated and exercising in our apartment.

5. I did not put any money into the stock market wackiness last week and happily maintained my bank account.


Jill A February 2, 2021 at 8:52 am

1. I made liquid hand soap again using a bar of soap. It’s inexpensive and lasts for months. I would prefer the store bought bulk liquid soap since it seems to suds better but this is cheap but mostly it avoids the use of plastic and it’s using soap bars that I don’t care for. Once I’ve used that up I think I’ll try it with a glycerin soap to see if it’s any better.
2. I’ve been cooking at home using a lot free food my daughter brings home from work. I made a casserole yesterday with meat scraps picked off some chicken thighs and off some ribs. I added a can of cream soup, cheese and I made dressing with some dry white bread that was free from a box she receives from her school. Next I’m going to make a cottage pie with leftover steak scraps and mashed potatoes she brought home.
3. My sister gave me a free metal radio flyer wagon that the day care she works at was giving away. The wagon I use for yardwork has been taken over by my daughters bee supplies. I shared some of the free food that my daughter received with my Mom and sister.
4. I’ve been enjoying the free Discovery + streaming channel that we got for being Verizon customers. My favorite show of all time is Alaska the Last Frontier. I’ve missed being able to watch it since we cancelled cable. I’ve caught up and rewatched all nine past seasons so hours of entertainment for free. I love how resourceful they are. They are homesteaders and it’s fascinating to me all of the things they do.
5. I’ve been staying home like everyone else so not filling my car with gas too much. I have been walking with my Mom and friend on some local nature trails which is great free entertainment and a great stress reliever. I’ve downloaded some library books on my kindle but haven’t been able to concentrate to read much. Maybe now that the big orange baby is out of the WH I can finally relax.


Katy February 2, 2021 at 2:01 pm

Thank you for the Discovery Plus tip! We have Verizon as our cell phone carrier, so we’re able to get 6 months free. And don’t worry, I’ve added “Cancel Discovery Plus” onto the calendar for August 1st, 2021.


Jill A February 2, 2021 at 5:39 pm

Great. Hopefully you can share some show recommendations. I’ve found some great shows and books from this blog.


Marie February 2, 2021 at 6:38 pm

Since the pandemic started, I’ve been using up old shampoo, hair conditioner, as pump hand soap.


Jill A February 3, 2021 at 4:02 am

Great idea. I have some conditioner no one is using.


Shona February 3, 2021 at 10:41 am

My mom is in search of really good natural deodorant and what she doesn’t like she passes along to me. Summer time down south, these are not going to
work on me, but in these colder months I’ve gathered her cast-offs and have amassed quite a stash.


Cindy in the South February 2, 2021 at 9:30 am

1. I sent to my much appreciative son, leftover sausage, red beans and rice, dish, turkey coconut curry mandarin orange noodle dish made with leftover turkey that was frozen, and ramen noodles, bbq crockpot meatballs made with homemade and free refrigerator mulberry jelly( rather than grape jelly as the recipes calls for) , and bbq sauce (son said this sauce was outstanding). 2. I made fresh turnip greens, with rice cooked in the “pot likker”, and a root vegetable melody of carrots, turnips, potatoes, and sweet potatoes. I also have been baking catfish for supper sometimes (I bought a case of locally grown catfish.) 3. I walked around my neighborhood. 4. I took my rather boring turkey and cheese sandwich to work . 5. Got my car tags on time.


Gina February 2, 2021 at 10:45 am

Just a few frugal wins for our household….

1. Hubby wanted to eat out but I told him what I had planned on eating and he liked what I chose and we saved cost on eating out. When we do eat out we ask if there are any specials or try & use a coupon (if I can find one)
2. DD1 boyfriend was gifted a $50 gift card from his work that you had to redeem all at once, so he treated us all to dinner one night 🙂 Bonus: I didn’t have to cook!
3. After 9 months of phone calls, I finally got my full rebate from Lowes (for paint) that I was owed. Yes to $130!!!
4. Our work hosts a food pantry out of our building using curbside pickup. They had some extra perishables that they offered to me and my co-workers. I ended up with 2 dozen eggs and three huge bunches of green leaf lettuce.
5. Our neighborhood has it’s own facebook page and yesterday a neighbor was offering 4 free butternut squash. I said I’d take them all so I baked them in the oven & scooped the innards out and froze in 2 cup packages for baking/eating. I got 5 bags from the squash plus a little left over which I ate with my lunch today.
6. This past weekend I was super busy so I asked my daughter to go grocery shopping for me (she loves driving and going places). She had a budget and stayed under it by $37. Maybe I should have her do my shopping for me 😉


Texasilver February 2, 2021 at 8:08 pm

1. Used 2 out of date pumpkin spice cupcake mixes. The spice flavor was overwhelming in previous box I made. I added 3/4 cup dry cocoa, 2 overripe bananas, a handful of percans & the result was good. I did not use the noxious orange pumpkin frosting mix. Not sure what to do with that.
2. Got a free medium coffee at Dunkun Donuts. You had to purchase something so I got 5 munchkin donut holes for a buck. Plus I earned enough points to get a free drink of my choice next time.
3. Free breakfast sandwich at Einstein bagels for my birthday.
4. Free large drink & popcorn at movie theatre for bday. (Perhaps 6 people there so I figure we were socially distanced.
5. Got a 5 lb bag of flour free from my Nextdoor Neighbor group.


Mary February 3, 2021 at 6:10 pm

Happy birthday! My dad was born on Groundhog’s Day, and so was my cousin. My granddaughter missed it by a day…her birthday is today. Couldn’t get the c-section scheduled for the 2nd, darn it!


Patricia Smith-Koernig February 3, 2021 at 1:25 am

I miss your comments and wit A.Marie. I hope you and yours are ok.


Jennifer February 3, 2021 at 3:42 am

1 – I participated in the Good Cheap Eats pantry challenge in January and was able to use up a lot of randomness that had been lingering too long. I know I saved money as I tried very hard to meal plan around what was in the house. That is a habit I hope to stick with.

2 – We received several bills late because of the mail mess in December and January. We called each utility and were able to get the late fees waived. We have never paid late. I pay when I get the bill and a couple of times I got the bill weeks after the due date! I think everything is sorted out now though.

3 – Continue to pack lunches every day. Ds eats free at school (all year, the district got a grant). I have been avoiding Starbucks during the week by making my own drinks at home.

4 – It is very much winter here and there is truly nothing to do because of covid. So we have been hiking/walking. I am still working on a puzzle in the evenings and we have Netflix now (a gift).

5 – Did not buy a new car and am no longer tempted even though my heat doesn’t work great in my van. I did tell my dh that before next winter I would like to really look at replacing it but in the meantime I am continuing to save money towards it as well as putting $500 a month into college savings. Yay!


Patricia Koernig February 3, 2021 at 9:26 am

Missing A. Marie’s wit and comments. Hope all is good.


MB in MN February 3, 2021 at 9:54 am

I miss A. Marie, too!


Ellie February 3, 2021 at 3:23 pm

Me, too !


Heidi Louise February 3, 2021 at 12:14 pm

She just commented on Frugal Girl’s Thankful Wednesday post.
I so appreciate blogs like that one and this one, where strangers will encourage each other and admire each other’s hard work in tough situations.


Bettypants February 3, 2021 at 10:06 am

1. Funded my Roth IRA for the year. I read a tip that funding your Roth at the beginning of the year instead of the end gives you a full year of non taxable earnings. Kind of embarrassed I never figured that out on my own.

2. Sold 17 books on ebay, all of which came very cheap from a local library sale.

3. My burr grinder died, and my research concluded the motor died. I have been searching on Marketplace to no avail. Found a Cuisinart today for $15 nearby! At the same time I was picking up my grinder, a lady was picking up an Elf on the Shelf from my porch for $15, for which I had paid $1.

4. I checked out the $1 clothing sale at the local resale store, but only found one Anne Klein cardigan that I will list on ebay. A friend also talked me into giving Poshmark a try, so I am listing there also.

5. Found three bars of Native soap on clearance at Walmart for $2 each, and Secret deodorant with essential oils marked almost 60% off. I will have to start checking that aisle for clearance more often.


Shona February 3, 2021 at 10:51 am

I’m having luck on Poshmark with higher end and unique items (Dansko boots, Elvis & Kreese purse, REI day pack). But had J.Jill and ExOfficio tops that sat there forever. I ended up giving away one to a friend and I’ll just put the other back in my closet. It’s free to list (they take 20% once sold) so it’s only time that you invest, but do some research, it might be worth it.


BethC. February 4, 2021 at 6:03 am

1. My sister and I own the condo that my Mom lived in before she went into a nursing home. It is in NY. I don’t live there. I discovered that anyone who lives, works, goes to school, or owns property in NY state can get a New York (NYC) Public Library card. I signed up and have been happily reading Ebook versions that have been on my Paperback Swap wish list for years.
2. I joined my local Buy Nothing group and won a giveaway of useful odds and ends in a nice reusable gift bag. We lost our beloved black lab on 1/1, and am hoping to pay it forward by listing the 25 pound bad of senior dog food that only had 1 scoop taken out before she passed away.
3. We cleaned out both of our freezers and organized them- we literally had been just dumping stuff in freezer drawers. We now have a meat drawer, veggie drawer, , frozen meals for lunch drawer, ice cream drawer, bread and ravioli shelf, and frozen homemade soup drawer. My meal planning is now much easier, and will be more frugal.
4. Used some of my birthday freebies, including, but not limited to, a free takeout appetizer from PF Chang, free TCBY, free Starbucks, and a coupon for a free large bottle of Old Orchard juice.
5. A regional chain-Anthony’s Coal Fired Pizza- had a bonus gift card promo over the holidays. I had an issue accessing the bonus gift cards, and the local manger was aware of the issues. I placed a pickup order-he comped half of the order, so I only had to use part of the bonus card. The meal provided a nice dinner, several days of pizza lunch leftovers, and 2 days of side salads at dinner.
6. Not frugal, but a 6 degrees of separation occurrence. I discovered that a friend of mine who is an LA lawyer knows and worked with the Second Gentleman. Says he is a really, really nice guy.


Jenelle February 4, 2021 at 6:04 am

1. Frugal fail: purchased new couch, but it was MUCH needed. we were supporting the old one up with wooden blocks that we normally use when jacking up our camper!! The good part of the new couch is that we attempted to recycle as much of the cardboard and packaging as possible. Kids used two of the huge boxes for a fort, hubby cut up the rest for the recycling man. I grabbed all of the bubble wrap for my Ebay shipping and I folded up the nice cheesecloth like bags each section came in. (i’ll find a use for those sometime) We also used the stuffing from the old pillows to refresh the kids bean bag chairs. The kids claimed the seat cushions for inside their box fort and the remaining pillows are now down in the basement for the kids to lounge on when they play video games (or want something to dive into!) I think the only thing that was thrown away was the frame of the old couch.

We’ve been snowed in the last few days so that’s all I can come up with for now.


Mary February 6, 2021 at 1:32 pm

Great work on the recycling. Too bad you didn’t know anyone who wanted the wood frame for firewood, lol!


Mary February 6, 2021 at 2:21 pm

Always happy to find a new post, Katy! I’ve been happily reading while I tried to come up with my frugal five. Thank you, all who post…so many good ideas.

1. I’ve fallen back into the bad habit of buying bottled water at Winco. Our well water is truly awful, even still tasting slightly of iron after going through the very expensive whole house filter system, and even Brita filters don’t get it all. Not only is this a major frugal fail, it’s really bad for our planet.

Years ago, I built a homemade Berkey water filter system using 2 food safe 5-gallon buckets. (Lots of videos on how to do this on YouTube.) I used it for a long time, but I got a bad batch of filters. I didn’t know they were bad until long after I could have had the company replace them, and I set them aside for a home mending session involving large quantities of hot glue. Okay, really,? The truth is, I procrastinated and got lazy, lol. Anyway, I decided to look into filter prices in January as part of my refocus on frugality, and after buying a 5 gallon water bucket with lid and spigot for 5.99 at Goodwill. I found a number of replacement filters that were much less expensive than the name brand that had given me trouble. I ordered 8 of the black Berkey knockoffs and 12 ceramic “domes”. Unless you knock them against something or drop them, the ceramic filters pretty much last forever with gentle cleaning. The black ones are good for at least 3,000 gallons, which is a lot of water, too! I figure I’m now good for the rest of my life, and enough left over to leave in my will, lol.

It will take a while for the filters to pay for themselves at $4/week, which is what I was spending on bottled water, but the filtered water tastes great and is much less wasteful of our limited resources. The remaining water bottles I have on hand will be washed and refilled repeatedly, so they will stay out of the landfill stream as long as possible.

2. This is directly related to #1. I’m testing every single one of these new filters before drying them back out for long term storage! The test is simple. Add red food coloring to the top bucket that holds the unfiltered water. If any color shows up in the lower bucket, the filter is bad. These are filters that can remove bacteria, cysts, viruses, etc. and can literally turn water in a nasty puddle into sweet, drinkable, safe water. (No, I don’t get anything for recommending any of these filters – I’m just a fan of pure water.) By testing them now, l can get any defective filters replaced or refunded so I can try a different company. Purchased through Amazon, I get free return shipping, so no risk frugality!

3. I bought an Alaskan chainsaw mill and an inexpensive chainsaw lumber cutting jig to compare which works better for turning my windstorm-downed timber into lumber, and am also buying a bigger Stihl chainsaw for the Alaskan mill. I’m using my stimulus money to buy quality, lifetime tools. Lumber prices have about doubled in the last year (thank you, Covid ), and I have a number of outbuildings to, well, build, so using free lumber from my own trees is very frugal. I’m a 61 year old grandma (soon to be a great-grandma), and I love my chainsaws!

4. Called the poultry auction about the missing payment for my roosters they auctioned 2 weeks ago. They are supposed to call me back…I’ll keep on them, as I’ve had trouble before with slow payment from them. If there was another auction, I’d switch, but they’re really the only poultry auction available. I don’t even know how much the birds sold for at this point.

5. Still no Learjets here, either…just lots of mask wearing, hand washing and socially distanced walks with the neighbors.


Mary February 6, 2021 at 2:28 pm

Just wanted to say, I ran the math and 20 filters plus the water bucket will take 66.4 weeks to pay for themselves. Not bad for a lifetime or more of free, pure water.


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