Five Frugal Things

by Katy on February 4, 2021 · 62 comments

  1. I didn’t sell much on eBay, then again I didn’t thrift much last week. I did try to stop at the N.E. Broadway location after hitting the Franz Bakery outlet, (high end $1 loaves and bagels!) but there was a neighborhood blackout and all the businesses were dark.

    • I parted out a marble chess set, and sold the pieces for $40 and then the board for an additional $15. Not too shabby considering that the set was $4.99!

    • I sold a $3.99 inflatable “Rody” horse for $25. I tried to sell it locally, but had no luck and then sold it overnight on eBay.

    • I sold a few more of my daughter’s $5 Shonen Jump magazines, which have been slow but steady sellers.

  2. I signed up to get six free months of Discovery Plus,which includes HGTV, Discovery, History, The Food Channel, Lifetime, Animal Planet, OWN, TLC, plus a bunch of other channels. I’ve been enjoying Alaska: The Last Frontier, which is surprisingly addictive for this indoorsy city gal.

    This was an amazing tip, especially since it’s the commercial-free version. I made sure put a reminder in my iCal to cancel it on August 1st before it switches over to a paid subscription. Thank you, Jill!

  3. I built a nice fire in the fireplace using wood that I’d gathered after a neighbor’s trees were cut down last summer. These were long burning logs, so two lasted through the entire evening. I have a couple dozen more logs, so we might be enjoying more frequent fires.

  4. We’ve been snacking on bulk purchased air-popped popcorn, I drove my son through McDonald’s a couple times for free McNuggets after the local NBA team scored more than 100 points, I redeemed Kroger coupons for free pasta sauce and cheap eggs, my husband brought an armload of bubble wrap home from work, I glued a broken shaving brush back together, my husband sharpened my good kitchen knife, I took plastic bags to the grocery store recycling bin, (I used to give them to a friend for dog poop bags, but her pup sadly passed away) I gave away a couple things through my Buy Nothing group and I pretty went nowhere and did nothing.

  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.

{ 62 comments… read them below or add one }

Midwest Beth February 4, 2021 at 11:03 am

1. Daughter needs new boots, hers leak. In the meantime she has been wearing a pair of mine that are to narrow for me. Her feet are a size smaller but she says there fine for shoveling.
2. Using the free version of CC Cleaner daily on my computer and Kindle-wondering does anyone have a free app they use on their phone for cleaning? I have a 6S and proud of it, lol.
3. Meijer credit card is offering $15 back if you spend $500 at other locations by the end of March. Usually I use my Discover card but will switch till I reach $500 – I follow a budget and pay credit cards off every month.
4. Using my daughters old Kindle Fire for games and to watch Netflix on using headphones while she is doing schoolwork at the kitchen table as to not distract her with the TV; bonus is I do Swagbucks on the computer and my phone at the same time.
5. Remember easy listening music I.e. elevator music? Was in the mood when I asked Alexa to play easy listening she played easy pop, not the same as what I remember- all current songs. Asked for Henry Mancini (think cocktail lounge) now going down memory lane of movies, TV sitcom theme songs (remember those?). Think Pink Panther, Moon River, Love theme from Romeo and Juliet, Baby Elephant Walk, Peter Gun, What’s Happening!, Newhart etc.,-remembering my school orchestra and jazz band days playing many of these songs. ❤️


Jess from NC February 4, 2021 at 11:41 am

1. Thanks so a long ago tip on this site, I looked up unclaimed property in my name and found that I had a sizable amount waiting for me. No idea where it was originated but I’ll take it.

2. We’ve been snowed in for most of the week which eliminates the temptation for take out or delivery. Actually, we’ve been snowed in for most of the past 6 weeks and it really shows on my bank account. (I live in the mountains, that’s why I have lots of snow but live in the southern US)

3. Donating blood this afternoon. I’ll receive a small gift card and a free covid antibody test for my time.

4. I’m knitting a sweater for my husband for his birthday this month. The yarn is a hard-wearing wool, inexpensive, and from my stash. He loves his collection of hand knit sweaters and he’s thrilled to have another. Plus, knitting keeps me out of trouble.

5. All the usual: meal planning, not buying things I don’t need (though I seriously considered new snow boots this week), putting on a sweater instead of turning up the heat, etc.


kathy February 4, 2021 at 12:07 pm

It’s freebie February for me. I’m using my birthday coupons.
1. Free dessert
2. $5 off kohl’s so I bought a trio of holiday toys fir the dogs $4.99
3. Free cookie
4. Free Starbucks
5. $5 off at DSW so I bought individual wipes for cell phone $1.99 out of pocket
6. Redeemed the Free Hallmark card coupon .26 out of pocket
7. Used credit at consignment store to buy a new blouse plus 15% off coupon
8. Continued sakes via Facebook marketplace, Mercari and Poshmark


Amy February 4, 2021 at 1:37 pm

1. Finally dumped AT&T as my cell provider. Went with Mint Mobile and I’m saving $60 per month! After my three-month trial, I’ll pair down to less data and pay only $15. Huge savings!
2. Got a pair of Merrill hiking boots free on my BN site. They fit perfectly.
3. Rescued 4 bags of food from a dumpster. All were in clean plastic bags that were untouched by the trash. Made a huge donation to my Little Free Pantry.
4. Took my car in to the dealership for a free tire pressure check and free air. This will help save on gas.
5. Bought two high-end puzzles on Marketplace for $4 each and shared and received other puzzles from friends for free.
6. Upgraded my nightstand to a 3-drawer model that will fit all my socks, underwear and pjs. (I choose not to have a dresser.) Found it on Marketplace marked down to $70. Paid $50, which the seller was happy to accept. It’s pristine and was originally about $300.


Shona February 4, 2021 at 1:53 pm

Since I last commented on Monday (this post came on quick!)

I am my mother’s daughter and posess a well rounded jacket collection but lacked a light weight one for rain. Today I found a really nice North Face one at the Goodwill for $8.


susanna d February 4, 2021 at 1:56 pm

1. We’ve been shopping in a different area, due to the lack of mask wearing in our area (among other things). We’ve found a few bargains we haven’t seen in our area in quite a while – our favorite being the 59 cents per pound chicken leg quarters. And we’re just strange enough to consider shopping away from our home area both an adventure and a mini-vacation. Okay, a very mini vacation.
2. Every year we buy a quarter of grass fed beef from a local farmer. This year’s quarter was on the large side and we were running out of freezer space. However, living in the frozen north has its benefits. We’re taking advantage of “nature’s freezer” and storing the overflow in a cooler in the screen room. We’ll use the stuff up before it gets above freezing in there. Maybe a long time before it gets above freezing, from the look of the forecast.
3. The frame cracked on a pair of my Dollar Tree reading glasses, making one of the lenses wobble. A little dab of hot glue, and the glasses are usable again. Does it look strange? Probably. But it doesn’t interfere with my ability to use the glasses for their intended purpose – reading. Even though they’re pink, I didn’t buy them to make a fashion statement. Although the glue drop is probably making some kind of statement.
4. We’re happily spending our way through the $100 VISA gift card from a tire rebate. And re-stocking a few household items in the process.
5. Got my husband a pair of socks from Eddie Bauer for 53 cents out of pocket. I’m sure they wanted me to use that $10 gift card on some bigger ticket item, but the thrill of 53 cent socks won out.


Katy in Africa February 4, 2021 at 2:03 pm

I like how your #4 is actually a thousand things! Haha
1. My roll on deodorant fell and shattered, so I found an almost empty men’s deodorant in the cabinet and am using that until I get to the store again.
2. We had a vegetarian lunch of beans and noodles.
3. I’ve been buying local oranges lately for a cheap healthy snack. About 15 cents an orange.
4. When I took some fabric to the tail to make skirts I also took a pair of my husband’s jeans to be mended.
5. I’m currently wearing a pair of airline socks… I’ve gotten so much use out of them!


Christine February 4, 2021 at 2:16 pm

1. So far I’ve been sticking to my decision to not buy any sweets. This is not easy as I have a terrible sweet tooth. I blame my mother who indulged in Hershey bars while pregnant with me back in 1958-59. Thanks Ma! I have not, however, totally sworn them off. I decided to only make sweet treats if I want them. This will help in all aspects including weight loss, savings and trips to the dentist. Or so I’m hoping.
2. DH and I went hiking in the snowy woods today. The trail had ben packed down by snowmobiles which made it easier walking. Still it was a work out and I’m feeling it now.
3. DH and I once again shoveled ourselves out after the latest snowstorm. I’m trying to see it as exercise and saving money on a plow person.
4. I listened to a cleaning expert on NPR who touted dish detergent as a really great cleaner. I have been using leftover dishwater and a dishcloth to clean my kitchen cabinets and walls for years so I can see where it makes sense. I have used it for my kitchen floor too with a bit of bleach.
5. Cooking all meals at home, making my own iced tea, tea and coffee, watching political news although it has gotten a little boring…that’s good…carefully cut a mat off my long haired cat, listed a few more things on Facebook Marketplace, happily reading library books and doing crossword puzzles that come in free newspapers, painting rocks for my Facebook group members and others to “find” on trails, started to watch Hinterland (love it) on Netflix which we get from my stepson and enjoying writing and receiving handwritten notes from an old school friend who doesn’t have email.


Jill A February 4, 2021 at 3:16 pm

I like your #4. We always cleaned our bathroom when we were kids with a squirt of dish soap in water. We also used it as bubbles in our bath (I’m not sure about doing that again though).


Val February 5, 2021 at 8:52 am

I had a friend (back in the 70’s) who had greasy hair, and washed it with Dawn!


priskill February 4, 2021 at 2:37 pm

#4 — i need to try this, thanks!


Jill A February 4, 2021 at 3:31 pm

I’m glad someone else is enjoying Alaska The Last Frontier. It’s my guilty pleasure laying around and watching someone else work.

1. I made dinner two nights in a row using steak scraps my daughter brought home from work that were going to be thrown out. I made a cottage pie two nights in a row because it was so good. I cooked the steak in the instapot with some beef broth and a splash of wine. I added some carrots that were getting soft and a half a can of peas and topped it with some free mashed potatoes that she also brought home.
2. My daughter brought home more free food from work so dinner is set for the next couple of days (also breakfast because she brought home a pile of donuts). I am running out of fresh produce so I will need to stock up soon.
3. I was planning to pick up some lemon oil polish at the store but I found a half a large bottle at an estate sale today for 50 cents. I think I’ll look at the cleaning supplies at estate sales from now on. I don’t like using the plastic bottle but it’s already pre-purchased by someone else. I also picked up a new tarp which I will need in the future.
4. I picked up some items at the thrift stores and estate sale to sell on Ebay. I’ll spend the next few days listing them.
5. I cleaned out my driveway with the snow thrower instead of hiring someone to do it. It costs me to have someone swap my mower deck and snow thrower on my husbands tractor each spring and winter but it’s still cheaper than hiring someone to mow and snow throw.


Bee February 5, 2021 at 5:02 am

Estate sales can be a gold mine for cleaning products and other household necessities. I recently purchased a brand new box of band-aids, a bag of cotton balls and a new package of sonicare brush heads.


Dusty February 5, 2021 at 6:44 am

I went toban estate sale recently….i did buy some vintage Corel bowls…they threw in a huge box of decaf tea bags….a microwave egg poacher and a box of paper cups which i put on guest bathroom…no cleaning products but a good haul


Ava February 5, 2021 at 4:37 pm

I have found estate sales to be good sources for light bulbs, paper napkins and spray paint.


Lindsey February 5, 2021 at 2:13 pm

Alaska The Last Frontier is a totally scripted and unrealistic view of “living off the grid.” These guys live near Homer, which is accessible by road, sea and air. They are not subsistence folks, far from it. They were caught substituting grocery store chicken for supposedly hunted pheasant…If you want to see families living off the grid and totally isolated, the best of the reality shows is The Last Alaskans. It used to be shown on the Animal Channel but we no longer get cable so I am not sure where it shows now. It follows the few families who are allowed to live inside the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (they were grandfathered in, you can no longer homestead within the Refuge), which is the northern most part of Alaska so the weather is not the mild weather they experience in Homer. They do not have access to grocery stores, like the Kilchers do, and their location is not accessible by road or sea. There is no manufactured fighting between family members for the drama of it, only a small camera crew that follows these four families living in some pretty rough conditions. The camera folks were small in number and lived in a tent, even at 70 below, so if you get a chance watch the episode that talks about how hard they had to work to stay warm and keep cameras functioning. They also discussed how hard it was to try and figure out when to intervene if the person they were filming was getting into trouble, like, for example, having a snow machine break down in the extreme temperatures and then having to walk back to their cabins—do you let them possibly experience frostbite or do you try and help even though you are supposed to be there just to film. The earliest seasons are the best.


Joyce February 6, 2021 at 8:18 am

Thanks, Lindsay. My DH and I lived and worked in Alaska for a few years. And Homer is. def not off the grid! I worked out of Bettles and Anaktuvik Pass, DH spent time in Arctic Village but we got to go home to Frairbanks.


Katy February 6, 2021 at 2:37 pm

I take all “reality TV” with a grain of salt.


Jill February 4, 2021 at 3:57 pm

1. My husband is planning on retiring next year so we decided to add me to his vision insurance plan. I made good on that extra payment today by having an eye exam which was my first in 5 years. (I don’t wear glasses and have never had eye problems but am getting older so it seemed a good idea) All is good.
2. Lots of library book reading – currently One by One by Ruth Ware – netflix watching – currently Longmire – staying home, doing crossword puzzles from the dollar store and eating down the pantry.
3. Had two neighbors who had surgery and I was able to make and take them a meal out of items I already had on hand. Win-win.
4.My mom fell and broke her hip last October. We were able to provide her with a walker and cane from past accident’s of my husband’s.
5.My husband’s employer will pay him $100 for getting both doses of the vaccine. He’s not eligible yet but you can bet he will be getting it as soon as he can. (He would have anyways but money certainly motivates him)


Lindsey February 4, 2021 at 4:45 pm

I was sorry I watched Longmire a few months ago because now I don’t have it to watch in the future. I am not one to watch something twice, even when I really enjoy it the first time around.


Chrissy February 4, 2021 at 4:19 pm

1. The state has been providing free meals to all persons under the age of 18. We’ve been picking them up each week for months but yesterday we didn’t show for pick up until almost the end of the window. To my great surprise they loaded an extra bag of produce into my car. I washed, chopped, and froze much of it today- and baked a pear crisp! Yum.

2. I signed up for a free 7 day trial of FuboTV yesterday. I can catch up on a couple of shows and my kid can watch the Superbowl. I’ll cancel the day before the trial ends.

3. Had to get my oil changed today and the dealership accepts competitor coupons so I searched high and low until I found the best coupon I could before going. I saved over $25. off of the dealership price. The service agent noted that my car made a funny noise upon starting. They found a broken piece in my steering console that is still under warranty. I go back next week for that to be replaced. She told me it would have been $800 without warranty. Whew!

4. Pre-covid we frequented the library at least a couple of times a week. My card had expired in the last few months and I was putting off having to go in and renew, but I finally got that done this week. My kid was excited and had a whole list of books he wanted me to request.

5. We needed a break from being home so I packed myself a lunch and picked up my child’s Book-It personal pizza from Pizza Hut ($0.) yesterday. We took our food and went to the local botanical gardens for a walk and a change of scenery for homeschooling. It was a nice change of pace.


Katharine Lea February 4, 2021 at 4:53 pm

1. Reserved some more books at our local library, which has drive-thru pickup right now.
2. Really, really wanted take-out, but fed everyone noodles and tomato sauce instead- we’ll save take-out for a day when I can really enjoy it.
3. Called another mover- we’re getting at least 3, maybe more, quotes for our upcoming move, and we know we’re packing our boxes ourselves. In related news, I am scoping out the neighborhood group for moving boxes!
4. But…. rather than just tossing all my reusable holiday gift bags and tissue paper- I just boxed them up as padding for some other things- that will save me money next year when it’s time to wrap presents!
5. Signed up for the summer CSA- I get a discount by doing it now, and the extra benefit this year is that the food will come in after our move, when we likely are down to one income- so it will feel like “free food” by then!


Bethany M February 4, 2021 at 5:34 pm

Bought a food processor from a garage sale for $5 and flipped it for $10.

Got my kiddo some new lenses with our vision insurance.

Got a duo pack of EOS with Kohl’s cash and just a little change.

We were out late with errands, but I brought cheese sticks and we were able to make it home without going out to eat.

Doing lots of free activities like watching the old Rescue 911 episodes with the kids, taking walks, keeping in touch with family and play dates with neighbors.


Jenny S February 6, 2021 at 6:48 pm

Bethany, where or how do you watch old episodes of Rescue 911? We LOVED that show from the 80s-90s!


Bethany M February 6, 2021 at 10:48 pm

Jenny, we have an LG smart TV and it has a menu where you can access Hulu, Netflix, and LG provides you with like 800 free channels including a Rescue 911 channel. It’s just episode after episode.


MB in MN February 4, 2021 at 6:06 pm

1. Bought five small baguette loaves for $1 at a local bakery. Day old is fresh to me, plus we freeze our bread anyway.

2. Used up the mustard remaining in the squirt bottle by adding vinegar and making a dressing. Then as I was rinsing out the bottle for recycling, I realized how fun it would be to re-use it as a squirt gun for when my great nephew comes over to play in the future.

3. Kitchen towels were wearing out so I replaced them with large vintage damask napkins I already had. They work great!

4. Used leftover wild rice in pancakes. So good!

5. Had some yarn left over from a couple projects and plan to repurpose it for gift ribbon.


Val February 5, 2021 at 8:56 am

What bakery, MB? I’m in Brooklyn Park. We used to have a bakery called Jack’s here, but it closed years ago, and I miss the marked-down sales.


MB in MN February 5, 2021 at 12:45 pm

Val: La Delicious Bread near Little Canada. I live about an hour north of there and was “in the cities” for other errands.


Lisa M. February 5, 2021 at 1:51 pm

You were in my old stomping grounds as we lived in an apt. in Little Canada for 3 years after relocating to MN. My DD & I stopped in to La Delicious Bread last spring & she enjoyed a macaroon & fancy coffee, as our dentist is east of Cub Foods on CR B. I’ll check out their clearance rack during my next visit to the area. We are in the south metro. Maybe we Twin Cities NCA folks should plan a rendezvous when the weather improves. Talk about a small world! 🙂


MB in MN February 5, 2021 at 4:58 pm

Lisa M: That would be fun. That would also mean I’d have to blow my cover and emerge from the witness protection program!

Lisa M. February 5, 2021 at 5:59 pm

MB – Not sure that a NCA get together would justify compromising your personal safety but it might be surprising how many like minded individuals there are in our neck of the woods. 🙂

Jennifer February 4, 2021 at 6:26 pm

1. Dh has been riding his bike to work a couple of times a week – even when it is well below freezing. 7 miles each way, saves gas money!

2. I made homemade chicken noodle soup for dinner with broth from the chicken I made last weekend. We have lots of leftovers too. Homemade muffins for breakfast.

3. Used Diva cup and Thinx for my cycle.

4. Packing lunches for work.

5. Dh is working the local NBA game to earn money for college for the kids.


meghan buchman February 4, 2021 at 6:36 pm

How did you get Discovery+ for 6 mos free? I’d love to know how. My mother is dying for it but I can’t justify the cost right now.


Katy February 4, 2021 at 9:05 pm

I googled “Discovery Plus Verizon,” which took me to the Verizon wireless page about the perks that go with having Verizon cell phone service.


ellen February 5, 2021 at 5:56 am

I believe we got Discovery+ for a year free, not sue how my husband was able to get that…..


susanna d February 5, 2021 at 10:28 am

We got Discovery+ free for one year, too. I think which Verizon plan you have determines how long your free period is.


Katy February 5, 2021 at 1:43 pm

It does seem like there’s enough free streaming content out there to never run out of stuff to watch.


Marci February 4, 2021 at 8:43 pm

I love Alaska Railroad! My husband loved trains, but I think I am more addicted to this show than he was!


Teri February 4, 2021 at 9:42 pm

Care to share your tip on getting Discovery + free for 6 months?


Kara February 4, 2021 at 9:54 pm

We had our furnace checked. I called around and found a well-reviewed business that offered us a free visit (instead of the usual $89 service call) because we are new homeowners.
I received a bag of food that was leftover from someone’s school lunch pick ups.
I bought a 6 pack of kale starts-there were actually 24 starts in it! That was well worth the purchase.
I am taking advantage of free zoom doctor visits through our health insurance to find a primary care doctor that is a good fit for me.
I made candied meyer lemon peels for the first time today. I follow the Zero Waste chef and it was a post from her. I peeled the lemons before squeezing them. The peel I candied, and the juice went into my homemade kombucha. I love using up all of the bits!


Lindsay B February 5, 2021 at 5:00 am

1. Finally got some furniture up on the local version of Craigslist to sell, and sold a spare bed frame for $115 that we received for free(!). Also sold two bikes. Fingers crossed for the rest, and looking around with new eyes to see if anything else should be listed.
2. Continue to use up dry goods and pantry ingredients before moving. Trying to meal plan and use up as much as possible, including spices.
3. It took two phone calls, but was able to track down a $4 rebate from a previous electricity provider that had been sent to an old address (mailed rebate notice to current address but rebate to the old address, go figure!). It was only $4, true, but my time is free right now.
4. Discovered I can wear a pair of thin dress socks with a pair of ankle socks instead of hiking socks on my daily walks. Frugal because I had just recently worn out my hiking socks after many years and multiple darnings, and I’m using what I have on hand (at least until we move).
5. I ended up not needing to make a train trip to the capital city for bloodwork. And a related follow-up doctor visit will happen via phone rather than in person, saving another train trip.
6. Continuing to use a free premium subscription to a mindfulness app until it expires in April. After that, I will switch to a free two-month premium trial of Headspace thanks to Starbucks (use gift code STARBUCKS). Also enjoying the Headspace series on Netflix– highly recommend when you need to take a quick pause in your day.


Ruby February 5, 2021 at 7:42 am

1. Been taking advantage of a work perk (I work in a college dorm) and doing my personal laundry on my break. This saves me a tiny amount of electricity and water, but the true savings is time as I can do several loads at once instead of one at a time at home.
2. I rarely have much appetite in the evenings and have been using up frozen blueberries having yogurt parfaits for supper.
3. Bought myself a Dollar Tree gift card before Christmas that has really come in handy as we’ve been socked by medical, dental, optical and veterinary expenses all at once this month. Present me is grateful for past me for making cat treats, note pads, soap, and toothpaste free!
4. We ran out of dark brown shoe polish, so I spiffed up my work oxfords with a little dab of Vaseline rubbed into the leather and buffed off.
5. Still doing all the usual: packing my home cooked lunches made up of whatever needs to be used up, rocking the cute thrifted outfits, drinking lots of home-brewed tea and water, and still loving being able to get e-books free from the library.


Dmarie February 5, 2021 at 7:43 am

wonder if your Goodwill would like those grocery bags?? Thanks for keeping this blog going…always worth the trip <3


Katy February 5, 2021 at 10:21 am

There’s a plastic bag ban in Portland, plus they have their own branded bags. I’m pretty good about bringing my own bags when I grocery shop, so these bags were all bread, tortilla and other food bags.


Marie February 5, 2021 at 12:06 pm

All of Oregon now. I live in the far northwest part of oregon, and take my said bags to Winco


Katy February 5, 2021 at 1:39 pm

I love that they deduct 6¢ per bag from your total. It adds up!


Anne February 5, 2021 at 8:18 pm

Do you know anybody who has to regularly scoop a cat litter box? I use my bread bags for that.


Katy February 6, 2021 at 2:32 pm

I daily scoop my litter box, but still had too many bags.


Jenny S February 6, 2021 at 6:52 pm

Bethany, where or how do you watch old episodes of Rescue 911? We LOVED that show from the 80s-90s!

Jenny S February 6, 2021 at 6:57 pm

Bethany, where or how do you watch old episodes of Rescue 911? We LOVED that show from the 80s-90s!
In Illinois, our stores still don’t allow bringing our own bags of any kind to use when shopping “due to COVID-19”. I find it ludicrous that a man wearing his mask
improperly is lecturing me (a nurse) about how my own clean cloth bags “can spread corona virus”. And yes, I complained to manager and was told “ it’s the law, I think”.

Bee February 5, 2021 at 10:45 am

1. Although I continue to sell on eBay, I have begun looking for alternatives to this platform. ( December was a disastrous. I feel like eBay doesn’t support it’s sellers.) I have had some luck selling locally and preparing for the vintage flea market this spring. I suppose this is frugal, because I haven’t thrifted anything new.
2. I asked for some folding chairs from my Buy Nothing Group. Someone kindly messaged me and offered a set of 4. When I picked them up, they were dirty and smelled like smoke. DH cleaned them with our little steamer. They are as good as new and served their purpose perfectly.
3. My SIL is redecorating their beautiful home, and I am helping her to dispose of items that will not be part of her new decor. (She is an interior designer). She gave me some curtain panels that are over the top beautiful. I can’t wait to hang them.
4. Two of our front windows fogged up. This is not unusual for window to do this in Florida. We replaced just the glass rather than the entire window saving $4000.
5. I have been doing all the usual things – cooking from scratch, brewing my own coffee, drinking primarily filtered water, and eating locally grown veggies. I am reading books from the library (currently Firefly Lane by Kristen Hannah) I have re-homed a few items on Buy Nothing. I lost one gold earring my mask must have caught it and pulled it off. So I sold the remaining one as scrap and made $120.
Wishing everyone peace, health and frugality.


Ava February 5, 2021 at 5:00 pm

Didn’t do anything dramatically frugal. In fact we got someone to do a deep house cleaning because it just wasn’t getting done by me. Some areas like base boards and behind things, I just can’t get to any more. Then I thought about things I have done in the last 3 days that are typical every day events.
1. Wore thrifted clothing, some of which I have had for years.
2. Shopped at Aldi.
3. Picked up library books curbside.
4. Drank iced tea from the gallon I always keep in the fridge.
5. Finished a project to list on Etsy.
6. Used both lotion and toothpaste from tubes with the ends cut off.
7. Made a cobbler with some withering apples.
8. Wore my very warm and comfy Goodwill $2.50 suede boots.
9. Ate leftovers.
10. Cooked and cooked and cooked.
11. Composted a head of lettuce. Not frugal, but we have almost no food waste ever. If we do, it seems to always be lettuce. At least it got composted.
12. Reading magazines given to me by a friend and I will pass them on when I am done.


A February 5, 2021 at 7:37 pm

1. My local grocery store app often will have random coupons for free things. It’s not always something I need, but this week I got bananas, a tub of strawberry ice cream, and a free candy bar, so it’s worth checking for sure.
2. I was able to order a needed new pair of knitting needles with a gift card. Ive been trying to knit everyday to help with stress and to have homemade gifts always on hand to give to friends as well.
3. I ate from my freezer or pantry everyday this week, even though I really wanted to go buy something more interesting instead.
4. I signed up to be in a flu study where you answer a few questions about your health everyday via email–I will earn a small amount of money, but it also helps science, too.
5. I sewed up the ripped pocket in my coat and two holes that appeared in my very favorite sweater, hopefully prolonging their use for many more wearings.


AuntAli February 5, 2021 at 10:07 pm

Thanks for keeping this up Katie. Gives me something to look forward to and I’m always amazed at your ebay sales.

1. Survived the 3 day Nor’easter that brought at least 2 feet of snow to my suburban – 30 miles from NYC – town. Town 15 minutes away got 35 inches of snow. Did not get mail for 3 days.

2. Cashed in my Fetch rewards for a virtual $50 Visa card. Used it to buy myself a desperately needed new pair of pants and a shirt.

3. In my family we only use men’s deoderant. It’s me, my hubby and my daughter. I’ve found that scentless or fresh shower smell works good for all of us. My grocery store often has sales on deoderant for .99.

4. Was considering get Discovery + so thanks for the tip to get it. I have Verizon cable and cell phone services.

5. While it’s not particularly frugal we have a guy snow blow our driveway. So while it may be expensive to some people – $300/season – it’s gives me less worry than having hubby out there shoveling 2 feet of snow with a heart condition.

Frugal fail:
gave hubby the grocery list today and he ended up losing it and the coupons in it. I was heart broken as there was a $1 off your grocery order coupon, .75 off of Bandaids, $1 off of Hellman’s mayo and I can’t remember the other one. I usually don’t get Bandaids but my big toe had an ingrown nail so I’m keeping it covered good with the Bandaids.


Lisa M. February 5, 2021 at 11:46 pm

Amen to #5! Keeping your hubby around is worth every penny…


Jill A February 6, 2021 at 3:41 am

#5 – 100% worthwhile. My husband died 3 years ago after shoveling his parents sidewalk. I would pay any amount to have him back.


MB in MN February 7, 2021 at 4:17 pm

Oh Jill A, your comment touched me. I’m so sorry for the circumstances of your husband’s death.


rebecca robbins February 6, 2021 at 8:28 am

1. I’m going to celebrate a friend’s birthday (in my pod) and am bringing the cake. I am really tired and thought about buying one as I am a 98% scratch baker. Instead, I realized I had 2 trader joe’s vanilla cake mixes in the pantry (for the 2% of the time not scratch baking) and ingredients for a butterrestaurantscream frosting.
2. I found 8 clementines for .77 in the rewrapped fruit section and a loaf of tasty pumpernickle for 1.59 on the day-old bread rack.
3. My niece just bought her first home and I am donating some lovely family heirlooms that she likes and wants.
4. Frugal fails-take out twice in 2 weeks. yes, helping to support small, local restaurants, yet expensive for me
5. Passing a book on to a friend and another friend lent me one.


rebecca February 7, 2021 at 9:47 am

oops butter cream frosting


Alexandra February 7, 2021 at 5:01 am

1. DH said reminded me he was working his “second job” this morning, prepping to bike 5 miles (each way) to work. Packing his lunch then packing his pannier bike bag, dressing in layers, wearing high visibility vest. Not owning a car saves us thousands.
2. I borrow a car sometimes for multiple errands. I give it back with gas AND clean windows/surfaces and vacuum. I have family fight over whos turn it is to loan me their car. (:
3. My multiple errands yesterday were hitting 4 different grocery stores in a 6 mile radius. I got all the loss leaders. The haul was tremendous for $130. We won’t shop again for 14 days. It was a time commitment and frankly was exhausting. Today I have to manage all that food, dividing up the family sized chicken and ground beef. Meal planning. This is MY part time job. Saves us thousands.
4. I copied an excel document a fellow shared online of his grocery price book. I am fairly good at knowing a good price on a lot of items but not all. This is divided by store and I’m just copying and pasting from my weekly ads and receipts. I think one more week or two and it will be essentially finished for 80% of what we buy. Knowing what is really a sale and stocking up is a key. I learned that from The Tightwad Gazette book by Amy Dacyczyn.
5. I left my marketing job last week after realizing our emergency fund is in stellar shape. I can not work for 9 months and not hurt our future plans. Proud to use money as the tool I set out to use it as. I am doing some side hustle work helping small businesses work on their social media accounts very inexpensively. It isn’t hard, but it has a big learning curve for them. Glad to share what I know. I also have several job interviews lining up as hiring is happening again. Yes!


Mary February 7, 2021 at 5:15 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

Just wanted to add, 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.


Ecoteri February 12, 2021 at 11:30 pm

So interested to hear your report on which chainsaw lumber maker is best! I am a 60 year old momma (had my second two kids VERY LATE) not sure if I will ever be a grandma – but I DO have a chainsaw. Currently I am not really physically well enough to use it, but it is so helpful to HAVE THE TOOLS when I ask my sons or others to help me. Chainsaw, helmet, boots, protective pants and gloves, face guard and hearing protectors…..


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