Five Frugal Things

by Katy on February 18, 2021 · 124 comments

  1. I sold just a few things, including a $20 curb picked boom box and a $75 Nintendo Wii system which were apparently worth trekking through the snow to pick up in person. Needless to say, there was no thrifting.

    Here’s what sold:

    • A $55 midcentury floral painting that I picked up at Goodwill a million years ago, but had moved on from.

    • A $20 teeny tiny Benjamin Franklin plate that had been in my eBay inventory for at least a year.

    • A $25 set of midcentury silver rim “Dorothy Thorpe” glasses that are hopefully very well packaged.

    • A couple more of my daughter’s $5 Shonen Jump magazines.

    • A cute and goofy $15 two-faced flowerpot. (Facebook Marketplace)

    • Another pair of Dansko “Professional” clogs that I’m supposedly selling for $50 on Facebook Marketplace this afternoon. Edit: They didn’t fit her, so they didn’t actually sell.

  2. Portland had a multi-day snow and ice storm that left thousands without power for days. Somehow we never lost electricity and didn’t experience any damage to our home or property. (My husband and I were remarking on how we were the only people we knew outside of our immediate neighborhood that kept power. Seriously, even our next door neighbors lost power for a short period of time!) A friend of mine works for an arborist and has been burning the candle at both ends from the endless calls from homeowners with tree damage.

  3. I stopped into Winco as soon as the roads were safe enough to stock up on a few necessary items such as bulk beans and produce. We’re actually walking distance from two grocery stores, (a Kroger and a Whole Foods type store) but I prefer to drive to employee-owned Winco as they’re massively cheaper and appear to be an ethically run company. I don’t have a standard pantry for backup food storage, although recent weather events might nudge me over the edge to get creative about where I can store shelf stable dry goods.

  4. I worked my way through my mending basket to darn eight individual socks while watching “The Good Place” reruns, my husband and I rotated our new mattress to encourage even wear, we watched the Wild Bill British TV series through my sister’s “Britbox” Amazon Prime subscription, (I promptly thanked my sister, to which her response was “I hope I’m not paying for that.” Indeed she had accidentally subscribed at some point, so I cancelled her monthly $6.99 subscription per her instructions) and then I ate countless bowls of homemade soup. I am the soup and the soup is me. Soup.

  5. I didn’t buy a Lear Jet or fly my family down to Cancun for a fun getaway.

Katy Wolk-Stanley    

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

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{ 124 comments… read them below or add one }

Tonya February 18, 2021 at 12:33 pm

I love Five Frugal Things, Katy.

I brought my lunch to work for the millionth time today.
I washed my laundry on cold again.
I bought cat food at Costco.
Ate leftovers for dinner.
Didn’t send $$ to TX- feeling judgy today about all those Republicans getting the consequences of their climate change denying beliefs….wish I could be more compassionate, but not today.


kathleen February 18, 2021 at 8:32 pm

Don’t feel bad. I LIVE in Texas and feel the same way. My side eyes may freeze that way with all my trump loving, non-masking, climate-change denying neighbors. Aaargh!


Anne February 19, 2021 at 3:56 pm

Tonya and Kathleen, how very kind of you to tamp down any sympathy for people in life threatening situations because they don’t have the same political beliefs as you.


Kate February 19, 2021 at 5:24 pm

I’m with ya, Anne. It’s always rich to see the judgemental anti-republican types generalizing an entire state in times of dire need. Per usual, compassion is present only when it aligns and fits an agenda.


Lindsey February 20, 2021 at 1:02 pm

You are assuming that all republicans support the madness that has taken over the party.

Maria February 21, 2021 at 11:24 am

Anne and Kate, I am curious what efforts you have undertaken to help out folks on the other side of the political aisle in the past year.

Kate February 22, 2021 at 4:31 am

Since I cannot reply directly to Maria below, I will reply here.

I donate to organizations focused on children who come from homes of all party lines, I would imagine. I do not vet the parents political beliefs. They are hyper local so I will not share their names but last year I donated over $5,000 and donated significant chunks of my time.

I am also surrounded by quite a few Republicans (and Dems). I have been gently prodding a few of the conservatives to consider alternate view points and how some of their beliefs hurt others. There have moments of success which I am happy to see. While that isn’t monetary, it’s still valuable.

I hope that satisfies your curiosity.

Mia February 19, 2021 at 8:48 pm

Not all people who live in Texas are Republicans. We just moved here last year and are not. But all the people in Texas, regardless if they are Republicans or not, do not deserve all the horrible things that have happened due to the weather.


Audry February 26, 2021 at 2:16 pm

Amen. I’m a yellow dog Democrat in Texas. As are most of my friends. We work hard to get liberals elected in Texas. Not only that, the major cities are mostly democrats. Still, we are all people and deserve better than we got from many sources during the cold wave and snow.


Bee February 19, 2021 at 3:20 am

Part of the problem in Texas is the result of reliance on wind energy for electrical power. 20% of comes the state’s energy is produced using this method. Sadly, the electric authorities did not include de-icing mechanisms when building the wind turbines. Also, there were other failures to equipment that were weather related.


Mary in Maryland February 19, 2021 at 7:18 am

ten per cent comes from wind energy.


Bee February 19, 2021 at 6:34 pm

Perhaps, I am wrong. My source was the BBC.


Pattilou February 19, 2021 at 9:56 am

The problem in Texas was not due to wind turbines freezing. There were many factors that led to this horrifying situation.
pipelines also froze
None of the infrastructure was winterized
Texas has a stand alone power grid that’s deregulated. That means Texas can’t import power from other states when needed.
The majority of the state’s power is controlled by ERCOT which did not have a large enough reserve margin to meet the demand. Why? Because the market is unregulated and the companies don’t want to shoulder the cost.

Climate change is a real thing and it is leading to more severe weather events. We need to look to alternatives to fossil fuels, like wind and solar. (I’d also like to note that more birds are killed per year by running into panes of glass than are killed by wind turbines). We need to step up, especially in this country, in order to ensure that future generations have a chance.
I’ll get off my soapbox now. If you can’t tell, I’m pretty passionate about this. I could go on and on but nobody wants that!


rhonda hoehne February 19, 2021 at 1:05 pm

You are correct. ERCOT did not learn from the cold spell from about 10 to 12 years ago. Of course it was no where as extreme as this was. Remember when Perry said that Texas would rather suffer blackouts than be connected to the U.S. power grid? Yea he was and is a dumb ass.


t February 19, 2021 at 3:06 pm

The same grid Texas uses runs north to maybe Canada, so states besides Texas suffered because of their mistakes. We had rolling blackouts here because of them.


Mary in Maryland February 21, 2021 at 1:43 pm

No, Texas has their very own grid, so they are not subject to federal regulations regarding, safety, prices, etc.

t February 21, 2021 at 5:14 pm

Wrong. Texas is not just one grid.
Parts of the state are on the western grid and were sucking power.

Julia February 19, 2021 at 10:04 am

They use wind turbines to generate electricity in Arctic regions. Cold weather is not the issue.


Bee February 19, 2021 at 6:32 pm

Perhaps I should clarify that I do not believe that renewable energy is to blame. However, maintenance equipment is. Indeed, many bad decisions were made by many. I think that I was shocked by the lack of compassion for the people of Texas. They are suffering regardless of political affiliation and/or beliefs.


Bee February 19, 2021 at 7:01 pm

Also, I was trying to point out that Texas is making an attempt to use renewable, clean energy. This, the entire state can’t be made up of climate-change-denying citizens.

Bethany M February 19, 2021 at 10:41 pm

What’s wrong with being Republican?


Jean February 20, 2021 at 6:41 am

I had an internal struggle (elections DO have consequences) but my good self won and I made a donation to Legacy Collective (non-profit based in Texas) who is collecting funds to help. Texas Disaster Relief Fund.

My heart was also warmed by a NYT article relating how a grocery store, H-E-B , allowed all customers to leave with their groceries/supplies without paying a cent when the power went out,


Audry February 26, 2021 at 2:18 pm

HEB is legend in Texas for providing help to their communities when needed.


Christine February 20, 2021 at 9:45 am

I just read the comments posted here with interest and hopefully understanding. I definitely am of the opinion nobody on this site believes that Texans “got what they deserved”. I do believe that many people in this great country of ours are still on edge…whether from what they may feel as having to endure four years of Trump or from what others see as a stolen election. We will all chill, hopefully, as time moves on. Some of us may be in a position to help out Texas or others who are suffering in one way or another through monetary means while some of us simply can’t or won’t. All of us are human too and our feelings may change day to day. Saint and sinner here!


priskill February 25, 2021 at 2:44 pm

I really appreciate this statement. I have VERY strong political opinions but dang — saint and sinner here, too. To paraphrase the great lawyer whose name I have forgotten: I must try to hate the ideas, not the person. And sometimes it’s a challenge 😉 Very sorry for any suffering in Texas or anywhere and hope they see relief soon!


priskill March 8, 2021 at 3:38 pm

Whoa ,I reread my comment and need to add I rarely hate ANYONE, and certainly not for political ideas — this is America, after all, and freedom of opinion is enshrined in our national DNA. The quote was Clarence Darrow, the great 20th century lawyer who said something like, I hate the crime, never the criminal. Gosh I should look it up. But that is what I meant. I feel like Mr. Darrow would understand the Saint-Sinner conundrum. Thanks for letting me clarify — this is such a civil space and I would hate my comment to cause strife and anger thru misreading (misstating, more like) 😉


Cindy in the South February 23, 2021 at 4:19 am

Wow. Just read this. I donate to people hurting whether in “liberal” California, “conservative” Texas, and all points in between. They are people, who are hurting. I am sure some of California’s policies and past have made wildfire risk worse, just like some of the coastal building in my state has put folks at risk for devastating hurricane losses. It still does not change the fact that folks need help in disasters. I mean, Nee Orleans is very low and certainly had issues that caused more devastation in Katrina. Does not change the fact that people were hurting and needed help. Are we so political we are not gonna help folks???? Yikes!!!!


priskill February 25, 2021 at 2:46 pm

So well-said


Kathy February 18, 2021 at 12:44 pm

1. Sold 3 items via Mercari
2. Since we’ve been snowed in since Sunday we’ve been couch potatoes.
3. We lowered thermostat to 63 and using minimal electricity
4. Hubby is finally eating leftovers for lunch
5. Enjoying homemade jams sent by a friend


Mary in Maryland February 18, 2021 at 2:48 pm

1. Have completed the research that proves my hair only becomes unbearably greasy at 11 days post shampoo. It itches for a couple days before that.
2. My husband is making bread machine bread a couple of times per week. I scored a 25# bag of bread flour for 12.50 (North Dakota Sate Mill).
3. I freecycled scraps of lumber and buckets and bins I’ve trash-picked.
4. Scored a homemedic foot bath from someone who came to pick up moving boxes. We’ve been enjoying soaking our feet. . . a very cheap thrill.
5. I bought a solid walnut writing desk at the Canadian embassy in 1989. It’s gorgeous, andI love it. Alas, I can no longer see my monitor when it’s at the back of the desk. I offered it on Craig’s List. The person who wanted it agreed to pay me in $5 bills, so I’ll have more options for tipping. It went out the door on Tuesday.
6. Still reading library books, drinking tap water, and cooking/eating all our meals at home.


Christine February 19, 2021 at 8:27 am

Nice score on the bread flour. Plus you have a built in bread baker. Can’t go wrong!


Lisa M. February 18, 2021 at 3:31 pm

5FF: Surviving the Deep Freeze

1. One benefit of multiple days where the temp did not raise above zero, able to extend grocery shopping to 13 days.

2. Eventual shopping day wins: Found a cart with a quarter inserted @ Aldi; took the time to show the teller my receipt with a $4 overcharge from 2 weeks ago for 2 products that were mismarked (fortunately the manager recalled the mistake & had refunded other customers, so promptly handed over $4 cash); saved $4.24 @ big box nabbing a marked down store brand deli pizza & clearance bakery items, found a penny (heads up!) @ gas station. Total savings: $8.50 with minimal effort.

3. Forwent Valentine’s Day spending by baking a winter cake mix purchased on clearance @ big box in a heart shaped cake pan from my DM. Used a free card from the card shop & free cat charm for DD’s gift, along with seasonal candy from big box & gc from coffee chain (purchased prior to the start of Arctic temps).

4. Misery of extreme cold on the car realm – DH’s battery failed. He used AAA membership for 0 OOP expense for jump to get to dealership & I located $10 battery coupon on their website that he utilized. D/t state updating license plates, mechanical issue required a power tool to remove his old plate but fortunately body shop provided service @ no charge. We plan to drop off a piping hot canteen of gourmet coffee from our local coffee chain to them tomorrow as a thank you.

5. DH broke my recliner. It was a purchase from my single days & had many years of daily use after we were married, so was extremely long lasting. Able to purchase a 2 month old recliner on Nextdoor for same price I paid new 33 years ago. Bonuses are that it was not upholstered & the replacement is better suited to my husband’s size than my original.


MB in MN February 18, 2021 at 3:47 pm

Sending good wishes to everyone dealing with dangerous weather issues. Uff da.

1. Retrieved breadcrumbs from the bottom of the toaster to add to my jar in the freezer. I use as needed for the top of dishes like mac and cheese.

2. After my dentist referred me to an out-of-network periodontist, I gave her a list of in-network providers and she was able to recommend someone else. Big savings even though I’ll be driving a bit further.

3. Made a luggage tag out of an extra AARP membership card. Punched a hole in the plastic card and tied it to the luggage handle with some sturdy cord.

4. Turned a frugal fail into a frugal soup when I steamed broccoli florets into oblivion. When life offers mushy broccoli, make broccoli soup!

5. And when life hands you so-so apples, cut into small chunks and cook them down in butter and cinnamon-sugar. If there’s any left after they’ve cooled off, they’re yummy in oatmeal or yogurt.


janine February 18, 2021 at 5:34 pm

Uff da to you too! Does anyone outside of MN understand the term? Context is everything. Just happy that our northern grid is working in this beautiful below zero degree F weather. Really appreciating the sun brightly shinning on our snowy yard from a comfortably warm house.


theprairiemadwoman February 18, 2021 at 6:08 pm

I live near an historic Swedish village in central Illinois… Uffda is well-known in these parts too!


Ellen February 19, 2021 at 5:55 am

Uff Da over here in Jersey!


Heidi Louise February 19, 2021 at 7:05 am

I know the term well from growing up surrounded by Scandinavians, especially Norwegians, in MN. But my German family did not use it.


Mary in Maryland February 19, 2021 at 7:21 am

Across the border in North Dakota, it’s spelled oofda. It’s Norwegian for oy vay.


Christine February 19, 2021 at 8:33 am

Uff da on this cold weather from here in Massachusetts. I grew up in a village that was a Swedish enclave within a city so am very familiar with it too.


Judy February 19, 2021 at 10:08 am

Uff da from Albuquerque, NM! I grew up in Mn and remember the
-40 degree and 9 mos of snow. Thankful to not live there now, but
I’d choose Mn over Texas if I ever had to make that choice.
Thankful for a warm house, sunny skies, and spring is on the way!
Stay warm and stay safe!


Cindy February 19, 2021 at 10:11 am

Uff da from Wisconsin, but I am a Minnesota transplant!!


MB in MN February 19, 2021 at 4:20 pm

Loved seeing all the uff das and learning of the phonetic oofda spelling. I use it as an expression of dismay or concern.


Jenny S. February 20, 2021 at 9:08 pm

I’m going to put in a “Sisu” tonight.


Mand01 February 18, 2021 at 5:00 pm

1. Down Under we are having a mild Summer, but the past few days have heated up. The heat has caused the garden to ramp up and it has produced an abundance of tomatoes, zucchini and eggplant. My freezer is full of tomatoes, tomato sauce, peaches, and grated zucchini. We are eating lots of tomato based dishes.
2. Making coffee at home.
3. I have been visiting some thrift stores and updating my wardrobe.
4. I am growing a monstera from a cutting.
5. Lots of eggs coming from my lovely hens.


Gina February 21, 2021 at 8:47 am

Mando1, are your winters mild enough that you have a winter growing season as well? Never been but always assumed you had warm enough weather to grow year round. Would be wonderful if that’s the case.


Juhli February 18, 2021 at 5:03 pm

Got our first vaccine jab. Frugal to not get sick.
A neighbor just offered to deliver some just picked navel oranges to our front porch. Yes please.
Hubby managed to fix our pretty new but very loose shower faucet handle.
Eating all our leftovers as usual.
Borrowing books from library as usual.


Jill February 18, 2021 at 5:22 pm

We live in a subdivision of about 100 homes but it’s on a lake so it’s only on one street that curves around the lake. We have two power companies on the street – our next door neighbors are on one company and we are on another. So sometimes we lose power and can look up the street and they have lights. Or the other way around. Once we lost power during a snowstorm for five days and our neighbors did not! I’ve never lived anywhere else like it.


Christine February 19, 2021 at 8:39 am

I live on the literal edge of two states and have often had power while my neighbors in the other state do not. We are on separate grids but I see that we keep our power more often than they seem to and if we lose it, it gets restored faster. I feel for them, especially in the cold weather.


Hawaii Planner February 18, 2021 at 5:43 pm

1) It’s my son’s birthday & the kids are out of school for “ski week”. We’re skipping skiing to stay COVID safe. Aside from the money spent not skiing (adios, planned Whistler trip), I agreed to treat everyone to a few fun meals to mix things up.
2) Bought a Subway gift card at a small discount to get the birthday boy a sandwich
3) Used a Panera gift card (+ free birthday freebie) to get the kids lunch one day
4) Used Uber gift card leftover from previous work travel to buy the birthday boy Chinese food. Also used an Uber reward from who knows when, to save another $5. The dinner has so far provided two additional lunches, and two additional dinner servings, with maybe a couple more to go.
5) Made the birthday boy homemade cupcakes & frosting, vs buying something.
6) Selling things here & there on eBay. Picked up free mailing packages on my local Buy Nothing. Gave stuff away on Buy Nothing (frugal for others). Bought Home Depot gift cards for a house project at our local grocery store, earning $60 in free groceries.


Kara February 18, 2021 at 7:26 pm

Walked an Etsy order to the post office and walked the long way home for more exercise.
Bought 1/2 cubic yard of compost at local place, shoveled and bagged it and heaved it all into the car by myself. Good exercise! Good soil is important for a productive garden.
Interviewed on zoom for a job that is right around the corner from our house. I hope I get it. No commuting costs would be awesome.
Put a fluorescent zip tie on the handle of my favorite trowel. If it gets left in the garden it’s hard to spot. And with a wooden handle, it will only bear so many days of rain.
Tempted by the post-Valentines sales, but too lazy to go to the store. I guess that’s good.


Shona February 18, 2021 at 8:06 pm

For 4.5 years I walked 5 blocks to work and it was heaven. I saw it as retribution for commuting in LA for all those years.

Good luck on the job


Shona February 18, 2021 at 8:15 pm

Realizing retribution is not the word I was looking for, but it was certainly pay back for a lot of hours spent on the 405.

But I still hope you get the job.


Mary February 22, 2021 at 8:59 pm

Reward, compensation?


Kristen | The Frugal Girl February 23, 2021 at 4:41 pm

Maybe a type of remuneration? I know that’s not the exact meaning of the word, but maybe it works here!

Vickey March 6, 2021 at 10:05 am



MommaL February 19, 2021 at 3:39 am

The bright zip tie is a great idea. I have lost some of my favorite tools in my yard!


Mary February 22, 2021 at 8:57 pm

I’ve been known to spray paint tool handles bright orange for the same reason. Makes them so much easier to locate.


Heidi Louise February 23, 2021 at 7:02 am

Or few strips of brightly colored tape around the handle.


Shona February 18, 2021 at 8:02 pm

1) ice and snow since Sunday so I’m working from home. Spent no $ and drove nowhere.

2) sold an item on Poshmark and messaged the buyer that once we thaw out I’ll send. Her reply: no rush.

3) got a text from the utility company asking to reduce usage to prevent possible need for rolling blackouts. Reading their list of ways to conserve, we’ve been doing these things for years.

4) got out the blankets to cover some of the drafty doors and windows. A rolled up towel at the bottom of the basement door. Oh, this old house.

5) prior to the ice I found .31 on my weekly long walk.


Mary February 18, 2021 at 11:00 pm

We had 15″ of snow from the same storm as Katy, but thankfully missed the ice.

1. Stayed home, stayed home, stayed home. One of the Joy’s of retirement is not having to go out on the roads in that kind of weather. The snow is mostly melted away, but I still have nothing I need to leave home to do.
2. I’m continuing to work on reorganizing my home library. I really enjoy mysteries and collect my favorite series. I’m making a list on my phone’s notepad of the books I’m missing so I can stop buying accidental duplicates. I have another bagful of books to donate to the library/booksale at the VFW Post. Proceeds to our free book days at the local elementary school when we’re able to do this again.
3. Can’t sort and list books without stopping to re-read favorites. I have to pay for a library card here, and it’s a long drive to the nearest libraries, so not renewing for a while longer while I read what I own is frugal.
4. My favorite neighbors were at Costco yesterday. They texted me the sale price on canine glucosamine supplements and offered to pick them up for me. I paid for 4 bottles of supplements and a rotisserie chicken when they got back. $115 will take care of Muttley for 6 months and my daughter and I will eat off that chicken all week, from drumsticks to soup.
5. I filed a tax return for my daughter, who is on SSI so she can finally get the 1st 2 stimulus checks. Now I just need to do my own.


Lindsey February 19, 2021 at 12:38 pm

I have never heard of having to pay for a library card!


Carolina Cooper February 21, 2021 at 11:36 am

I pay for a library card ($10 a year) because I live on the border of NH/ME and the library is only free for those who live in ME and I live in NH. It is a great library with an awesome book club that I belong to—and well worth it!!!


Mary February 22, 2021 at 9:02 pm

Oh, how I wish my card was only $10. I’d happily pay that. Any of the surrounding libraries are ~$100/yr.


Mary February 21, 2021 at 12:42 pm

There is no library in my immediate area, so I have to pay for a non-resident card at any of surrounding libraries/library systems. Everyone pays for libraries, either through their taxes or through a non-resident library card. I believe it is one of the best uses of our tax dollars, but out here in the boonies, sadly, not enough of the populus agrees.


Marie February 21, 2021 at 4:01 pm

We live 8 miles from the nearest small town. After living here 14 years, they finally made it free, if you lived in that zipcode.
It started last January, then covid hit in march.
Eventually, it will be heaven to have a library.
So, I too have been going through my books and reading again.


Ruby February 24, 2021 at 10:24 am

I live in a very tiny city attached to the border of a much larger one. Tiny city has a one-room library that’s free for us to use and we can check out e-books free through the county digital library, but the offerings are slim pickings. I got lucky and have found four books worth reading in the past year.

The large city, the city of limits of which are only a few blocks from my house, has a good library with lots of e-books and audio books, but to use it, I have to pay $50 a year because we do not pay city property taxes. Our taxes pay for the one-room library and the county digital library.

So for the first year we lived here, I did pay the $50 to have access to the excellent city library, but could not justify the expense since then. I am aiming to save up and get a non-resident subscription to the Brooklyn New York Public Library, which is also $50 a year and has far better holdings than the same price library here.


Mary February 26, 2021 at 12:53 pm

Ruby, I didn’t realize the NYC library was only $50/year. That might be a more affordable option for me. Thank you for posting this!


MommaL February 19, 2021 at 3:47 am

1. Bought marked down Valentines on Feb 15, handwrote a message on each to give to my staff. Morale is so hard to keep up right now.
2. Went to the dentist, first time in 15 months. Cleaning was covered by insurance and fixing a chip on a crown was no cost.
3. Picked up some books and cookbooks from a free pile at work.
4. Found a little free plant group on FB, one is very near to my house! Its kind of like the book libraries, but plants. So happy. Working on cuttings to donate and hope to find some treasures of new plants there.
5. DH got a really big tv for his birthday from a relative and he is so excited. I have never had a big tv before, and I want it mounted safely, so we are taking our time and researching wall mounts and how – tos before putting it up. Not jumping into this too quickly.


Mary Beth Danielson February 19, 2021 at 6:08 am

1. At my blog I wrote 9 ways to disaster prep.

2. Needed a new computer. Son’s company gave him a new one, I took his old one, and it is awesomely faster.

3. Moosewood Cookbook lentil soup three dinners this week. It’s so good even the third night is a win

4. Still making wet cat food from canned mackerel and boiled zucchini. Half the price of commercial and … more to the point….the only food our recently adopted 13-year-old sisters don’t barf up.

5. Husband is a volunteer AARP tax guide. Because he does this, he gets free software plus multiple days of instruction each year. Google it if you would like free tax prep OR if you are interested helping others after doing the extensive training. I don’t “get it” but am grateful to be married to it. Lots of protocols to keep it mostly virtual.


Mary in Maryland February 19, 2021 at 7:27 am

My guy is doing AARP tax prep again this year. They are still figuring out how to do it. He’s the receptionist–making sure everyone has their materials ready.


Mary Beth Danielson February 19, 2021 at 9:16 am

The receptionist has a huge job collating and keeping track of people’s forms. This is my husb’s fourth year and through the season he does taxes for 100-120 people, many of them not financially savvy and also on the low-income side. This tax service is a huge but not too well known help to a lot of people.


Christine February 19, 2021 at 8:49 am

Mary Beth, I volunteered at a cat shelter and we used pureed pumpkin mixed with wet food for the kitties who had belly issues. I wanted to mention it as another alternative if they suddenly decide (as cats often do) they don’t like zucchini!


Mary Beth Danielson February 19, 2021 at 9:12 am

Thanks! I will keep this in mind. The first few times I made their food, I tried carrots and chicken and it made them upchuck a lot. Even commercial chicken cat food upset them. We took one of them to the vet; we thought she was going to pass away. $350 later, she came home, mopped up mackerel and zucchini and has been (mostly) fine with it since. I’m nervous to change! I’m even getting used to throwing (canned) mackerel bodies in the Cuisinart, though it is not my fav thing. The things we do for love…


Ruby February 21, 2021 at 8:47 am

One of my dogs has terrible allergies and I occasionally have to make home-cooked meals for her based on mackerel when we can’t find her allergy safe food in stock. It stinks up the entire kitchen, but she thrives on it. Her burps afterward can clear a room, though, and she seems to insist on giving me a close-up loving gaze right as she unleashes one! 😀


Mary February 21, 2021 at 12:50 pm

Oh, Ruby, you gave me such a laugh over those mackerel burps! I can so relate. My lovely old Muttley dog never loves me quite so much as after he’s been chewing on some old carcass he found out in the woods. His breath, as he’s gazing into my eyes adoringly, could stun an elephant!

K D February 19, 2021 at 7:20 am

1. Same old, same old. Meals at home. Walks with friends for socialization. Zoom gatherings with friends to replace in person gatherings.

2. I have been doing a lot of baking and sharing it with friends, neighbors, and family. Porch drop-off for the win.

3. Icy weather prompted the rescheduling of a hair cut appointment. It’s been over four months. Hopefully next week I will shell out money for a haircut.

4. I have been working on income taxes. Since the tax laws changed a few years ago I have bought/used Turbo Tax. It lets you fill out five returns (so my daughter is able to come fill out her taxes too). It also fills out your state return. It charges for e-filing the state return but this year it might be worth it to pay. It looks like we’ll get a federal refund so I’ll finish the work and file by the end of the weekend.

5. Staying home, wearing the same clothes, using up food in the pantry and freezer, using yarn I already have for charity knitting, using the library.


Betta from daVille February 21, 2021 at 12:18 pm

For those of us who have to file in more than one states, FreeTaxUSA is a much better option than TurboTax, which quickly moves from free to quite costly (last year I paid TurboTax $200!).


Michelle February 23, 2021 at 11:01 am

I second Free Tax USA! I did both of my children’s state and federal returns 10 days ago and both have received BOTH of their refunds (state/federal). Total cost was $19 each to file with State. (P.S. Go through Rakuten and get a % back to your account). I received $3 back for doing both.


Isa February 19, 2021 at 7:35 am

* Public pool is opening up again. Yay for free exercise!

* Sister in law is getting married tommorow. I’m wearing a dress and shoes I already own and had bought at Value Village with a 20% off coupon. Got nylons at the dollar store. Got shoes for the kids on sale (15$ for both pair). Hubby got his wedding suit out. He married me in this suit 10 years ago, so it might be a little outdated (?), but no way we are buying a new suit now.

* As part of the wedding celebration we are going out to eat at a restaurant tonight. I could choose a 40$ steak, but I already decided on a 10$ burger! We had a “leftover” gift card from this place, that we got as a Christmas gift 2 or 3 years ago, so 30$ less out of pocket. Hopefully it will be less than 100$ for the 4 of us, since I only have 150$ left in the February budget for groceries and restaurants combined.

* Entertainment is very cheap at the moment, since we are not doing much outside of the house. Using public pool, public library, taking walks with friends, watching YouTube videos, playing board games, etc

* Daughter is pestering me about being allowed to be a vegetarian again. We tried it before and it didn’t turn out well (she lost weight, no energy, refused to eat the necessary proteins), so I’m not in agreement with this. She’s only 11, too young to take charge of this. But I am open to cook more vegetarian meals, which is much cheaper than meat.


Christine February 19, 2021 at 8:57 am

My daughter went through this at the around the same age. After a few months of it, she became anemic. I suspected it because she had low energy and was frequently cold. After putting her on vitamins with iron and coaxing her to eat small amounts of meat, she got healthy again. Her and I both lean towards vegetarian dishes or meals using small amounts of meat. I am 61 but distinctly remember when I was a small child absolutely hating meat and my mother trying to get me to eat it. I think it’s a texture thing and maybe runs in our family! My son loves meat and dislikes most veggies. Go figure.


Ruby February 19, 2021 at 11:00 am

I went through spells of vegetarianism as a child and young teen and also disliked meat. My mother was not a good cook and managed to make every piece of meat tough and flavorless, which I suspect had a lot to do with it.


Roberta February 19, 2021 at 3:08 pm

I have been vegetarian since before my kids were born, and they have both been veggie all their lives. If iron deficiency is the only problem, cooking in cast iron could be the solution. Acidic foods (like tomato sauce, tomato soup and chili) absorb iron readily from the pots, and it is available.

Could your daughter contribute a vegetarian meal for the family, maybe once a week? Eleven years old is old enough to start cooking. Teaching my kids to cook was the greatest gift, to them and myself!


Vickey March 7, 2021 at 7:12 am

Isa, the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine and both have lots of great info for plant-based diets. With black beans, spinach and other dark leafy greens, and many other equally healthy plant-based foods, there’s no reason a vegetarian diet has to be iron-deficient. You can also find there some ways of preparing veggies that your son could learn to love.
The more we learn from nutrition science, the more we realize how important it is to NOT consume meat-and-other-animal-product-heavy diets in order to avoid cancer (my hamburger-loving, vegetable-hating cousin died in his 30s of testicular cancer, making me that much more impassioned about preaching the value of a plant-based diet), heart disease and a host of other diet-related illnesses. Good luck!
Healthy is frugal!


Christine February 19, 2021 at 9:22 am

Glad you didn’t sustain any property damage and you and your family are safe Katy.
1. I counted up my found change from 2020 and it came to $9.75. This included money from deposit cans and bottles I found while walking and hiking pre-Covid. Once the virus set in, I just got the skeevies from picking up containers others had used, even wearing gloves. Once I am fully vaccinated, I will start picking them up again. My first and only change I have found in 2021 so far was a dime I found under my couch while cleaning.
2. We had another couple over for a socially distanced and very cold campfire and meal. I made a chicken dish in the slow cooker and my friend brought carrot cake cupcakes. We have been getting together with them monthly for outdoor get togethers but I feel like I’m done with sitting outside in the snow with temps below freezing. They mentioned May for the next get together and I’m on board. We live in New England after all!
3. I’m reading a library book, Iron Lake by Krueger, set in Minnesota. If I can’t travel anywhere right now I’m very happy to read books set in places far away and which have good story lines too. I’m less than 100 pages in but am hooked.
4. I made a pizza from scratch from The Complete Tightwad Gazette. Really good and only took about 20 minutes to throw together. It fed DH and I for supper and we have a slice leftover. Hmmm…let’s see who gets to it first…
5. I replaced the cats’ Taste Temptations with dry cat food using the empty Taste Temptations container. About 1/3 of the price. One didn’t notice a thing and happily gobbled it up. The other cat turns up his little nose! I will try another brand of dry cat food for the fussy one. Making all meals at home except for Chinese food meal specials for our anniversary, making our own coffee, tea and iced tea, got two “bites” on FB Marketplace which will hopefully pan out, looking at my coat closet and thinking Sheeeesh, do I really need every coat in here? so listed a leather one on FB Marketplace and will donate one to The Salvation Army, walking the neighborhood roads due to the trails being snowed in, reading, reading, reading, doing free crossword puzzles and a jigsaw puzzle for entertainment.


MW February 19, 2021 at 9:53 am

I’ve been reading road trip guides for the same escapist reasons. . .


Christine February 24, 2021 at 7:10 am

MW, when my kids were little and there was no $$$ for travel, I used to read my US Atlas and do the same thing!


Mary February 21, 2021 at 1:03 pm

Christine, I used to buy my cats the Costco Kirkland brand kibble in the purple bag. They loved it, but it was higher in fat and they were turning into little butterballs. I’ve tried a lot of brands, but the one they all seem to like is Paws and Claws from Tractor Supply Company. The 38 lb bag is under $20, and they all seem to thrive on it. Glossy coats, proper weight, less tartar buildup than with wet food, no digestive issues that are food related (with 3 of our cats being longhaired, we still have the occasional hairball hork) You can order on line for home delivery if there isn’t a store near you. I believe they have a money back guarantee.


Christine February 24, 2021 at 7:11 am

Thanks for the tips Mary!


MW February 19, 2021 at 9:52 am

Ah! Soup! Sweet soup! Nectar of the gods! And savior of frugal households! Bean soup, chicken soup, pasta soup, vegetable soup, cold fruit soup . . .

Frugal 5:
– Saved our refrigerator of food during our power outage by packing the food into coolers packed with ice from the yard.
– Avoided the siren-song of takeout during the power outage by raiding our well stocked pantry. I made a fast dash to Winco once the power came on to re-stock on perishables.
– Finished making the lined wool skirt of my dreams from thrifted fabric and odd notions. Being tall and not being able to currently try clothes on at thrift stores, I gave up on finding the ideal skirt and just made the sucker.
– Got my boys to work with me to make Valentine cards for our family members and elderly friends. Used thrifted stamps and some inexpensive note cards to brighten people’s lives. I made cookies with the boys to add to some of the hand-delivered cards.
– I’ve been enjoying my library books, drinking homemade coffee, eating homemade meals and skipping the whole commute thing by working from home.


Ruby February 19, 2021 at 9:56 am

1. Frugal due to staying warm and cutting back on laundry: I have one pair of heavy jeans. Was careful to keep them clean (and do a daily sniff test), while I wore them four straight days this week in the worst of the weather.
2. The weather has been so awful that for two straight weeks I have spent money on only one day, which was grocery day when we spent only $55.
3. Our oldest dog has been on some vet-suggested supplements that I suspect have stopped working for her. They are quite expensive, so I have cut her back to every other day and am watching to see if there’s a negative change in her behavior.
4. Still packing my lunch from leftovers from home. This week I’m using up the last of a large bag of white rice I bought for the middle dog when she was on an extremely limited ingredient diet.
5. Using up some slightly expired oat bran to make baked oat bran with coconut and the last of a jumbo bag of frozen blueberries. It tastes just fine and makes a nice breakfast.


Pattilou February 19, 2021 at 10:38 am

1. The wrong Instacart order was delivered to me. Since they can’t take the food back, they told me to keep it. I kept a few things I knew I would eat and gave the rest to my neighbor. She was thrilled to have extra milk, iced tea and meat products because her adult Grandson is now living with her.

2. Aside from the Instacart order, I have only purchased fruit, bread and milk in the last month. The above mentioned neighbor’s grandson has picked those up for me when he goes to the grocery store.

3. I baked cookies and muffins for Valentine’s Day and Birthdays and when we finally got a break between snow storms, I dropped them off on my loved ones porches.

4. Filled out a rebate form for the medicine I needed for my dogs.

5. A friend was given a big box of oranges so she gave me some of them. Yum.

I am coming up on a year of unemployment and the job search continues. It’s hard enough to find a job in this environment but to have to change a whole career, due to the fact that your career no longer exists, makes it harder. I’m scheduled for my vaccine in March so that should open me up to other possibilities. Right now I am looking for work from home positions because of being high risk. So for now, I stay at home which saves on gas. I keep the heat low and conserve water. I watch Netflix and read. I have to say that I am so glad I haven’t had to battle the elements to get to work over the last month and a half. There is a blessing in that.
Sending out good vibes to all who are dealing with the weather, health issues and job/food insecurity. I believe better days will come.


MB in MN February 19, 2021 at 5:17 pm

Pattilou: Sending good vibes to you on your job search. And a big yes to better days ahead.


Pattilou February 20, 2021 at 8:10 am

Thank you, MB.


janine February 21, 2021 at 4:58 pm

Good luck on your job search in these troubled times, and thank you for your response post on the TX situation. As you so clearly explained, it is far more complicated that a sound bite. Elections and actions of government officials do have consequences and this was a horrendous one. In any case,, many of us thought it through and sent a contribution down to those folks who are facing the life threatening disasters of no power and broken water manes.


janine February 19, 2021 at 2:25 pm

1. With my extra time I located some freebie offers which turned out well.
-An art calendar done by nuns in Illinois
-A small climate action planner with interesting dates noted, such as when MN ratified the 24th amendment to the constitution banning poll taxes in 1963 –An almanac from Utah featuring some interesting articles such as “The Nazca Lines ” a little known collection of geoglyph etchings located in southern Peru.
2. Below zero cold spell . However, bright winter sun is incomparable and hound gets free sun bath everyday while basking in our sunporch.
3. Concocting interesting wins and fails with pantry staples. Potato-corn chowder was tasty. Trying to use up my frozen stash of rhubarb and zucchini before the gardening season is again upon us.
4. Staying home and not dinning out is saving us some $$.
5. No gold plated purchases this week.


Linda February 19, 2021 at 6:55 pm

For the first time last week, I wore the same sweatpants four days in a row. They stayed clean because I’m inside all the time. Sweatshirts are another story. I have not gone out shopping, to restaurants, basically nowhere. I get books through Libby online and Kindle and videos from Amazon Prime. Waiting for vaccine appointment end of March. I haven’t worked (as a caregiver) since mid-October. My patient went to FL for the winter, so it gave me a chance to get the right knee replacement I’ve needed for a few years. If the weather ever gets better, I need to get outside and really walk. I did pt and still do exercises at home, but it’s not the same as walking. At least I’m not spending money. Also, saved the stimulus checks in my emergency fund. Hope everyone is staying sane. We can do this!


Betta from daVille February 21, 2021 at 12:23 pm

I’ve been fortunate to have seen the Nazca lines in person! They were really cool. What I remember even more, however, were the awesome Peruvian chicken restaurants in that town.


t February 19, 2021 at 3:21 pm

Though it’s been horrible at least I’m not living in a tent in the mountains like I was a year ago. Thankful. Got out today and bought a drive thru gluten free hamburger(yum) and another case of water for all.


Vickey March 7, 2021 at 7:26 am

T, I am very glad you’re not living in a tent in the mountains!


Bethany M February 19, 2021 at 10:35 pm

Husband and I picked out a Henckles set of knives for his gift from his 10 year anniversary with his company. I’m so excited!

Had a jicama make its way into my surprise $15 salvage grocery box. It sat in the fridge for weeks, but I decided to do something with it today before it rots. Family liked it. They love having side dishes.

Weeding out the picture books. My family is growing and changing. They’re all readers themselves now so we don’t need so many read alouds. Going to box up some for grandkids someday. Making little bits from them off VarageSale.

After watching Meals with Maria and Mary’s Nest on YouTube, I’m inspired to start making my own Mayo. We use a lot in homemade salad dressing and on sandwiches. I can save money and use healthier ingredients. Win-win!!!

I put a halt on the gym membership idea. After we cut cable, hubby wanted to join. We could all use extra exercise, but after 20 min of prep, 15 min drive there, getting hit up with extra fees, and then a 15 min drive back home, I totally lost interest. With a trampoline, a pool, bicycles for all, nice sidewalks throughout the neighborhood and being adjacent to quiet dirt roads, and exercise videos at our disposal, clearly an exercise that requires more hassle isn’t the answer. We just need to get our tail in gear.


isa February 22, 2021 at 7:36 am

I`m with you on the gym subject. Gyms are opening up again in my area, so my conscience is telling me to ”go get a membership!!!!”. But honestly I already have all that I need at home (elliptical, treadmill, weights, yoga stuff, etc, Youtube videos), I walk outside and I use the (free) public poll 3x per week, so what`s the point?


Virginia Allain February 20, 2021 at 10:41 am

It’s a good time to be living in Florida and to be retired. For my frugal things,
1) Picked tomatoes from our patio plants for our salad.
2) Found a free game online that I like (Forge of Empire) which entertains and challenges me.
3) Picked up a free jigsaw puzzle at the community library for something different to do while listening to the evening news (Rachel, Lawrence, Brian) on TV.
5) Took advantage of a free Shutterfly book offer to make a photo book. Just had to pay postage on it.
Miscellaneous wins: Tried out a new combo of ingredients (sausage, green peppers, mushrooms, black olives, & Rotel spicy tomatoes) to make boxed macaroni and cheese interesting. Got a defective GFI replaced by a local handyman so saved having to call an electrician.


Jennifer February 20, 2021 at 11:33 am

1. It’s been cold and snowy with some ice as well. The heat is cranking more than normal even though I haven’t changed the setting – but we aren’t really going anywhere, we even had a snow day. Mostly cooking from scratch.

2. I had to take bagels and cream cheese to work for a coworkers birthday. I made sure to grab the leftovers afterwards and we enjoyed bagels for breakfast the next day at home.

3. Dh changed the cabin filters and engine filters in our cars. My heat is extremely slow to warm up and he looked it up online and changing the filters is the first step. Definitely cheaper to do it yourself.

4.Ds attended another webinar for his #1 college choice. The person running it said if they put their deposit down by march 15th they get the required iPad for free. yes please! Today he talked with the Rugby coach about playing for the rugby team and that went well. He is top of it! I love seeing it because for so many years he would be the least likely candidate for going after what he wants.

5. Starting the process of possibly refinancing our home. Interest rates are down, but we would have to take out a loan for a longer term than what we have left. On the fence, but looking into it because if it is a huge savings, we will do it.


Jill A February 20, 2021 at 4:40 pm

I don’t have anything to exciting to add but I’ll try.

1. My Ebay sales have been sporadic but I’m not going to complain. Every little bit helps. I’ve packaged with reused materials and dropped them at the post office while I’m out instead of having a pick up since my driveway is a little iffy with all the snow. I’ve found a few things to sell by thrifting. This has kept me occupied since I’m experiencing Covid fatigue. I spent a couple peaceful days listing items.
2. I’m reading library books on my Kindle. I’ve read Sanctuary and also The Invisible Girl, both were good and kept my attention. Reading is so relaxing since you can’t really multi task while doing it.
3. I’ve been keeping my long driveway cleaned out with the snowthrower attached to my husbands tractor and thanking him for purchasing it before he passed away. I like not having to depend on someone else to clear the driveway and I wasn’t strong enough to operate the old one. It’s also nice not to have another expense.
4. We’ve been cooking and eating at home. I’ve used many free items from a box that my daughter’s school gives to students upon request. My daughter has also brought home many free items from work including some delicious leftover Paczkis from a local bakery and another day a whole box of pastries that were going to be thrown out. This was breakfast for several mornings. My daughter and her boyfriend made us all dinner tonight. Delicious Cuban sandwichs and fresh homemade french fries with the skin and it was better than restaurant fare.
5.I paid the car insurance bill in full for six months to avoid any extra charges and I’m now paying less than half than I have been. Michigan changed it’s car insurance laws regarding PIP and I also have just two cars insured one is full coverage and one PL & PD and the other two are just under storage insurance since my youngest daughters college classes this year have been entirely remote and she isn’t working so we share a car. The other car is an extra in case my old car croaks I’ll have another old shabby car to drive while I shop for something newer. Also my middle daughter has been called back to work and will have full insurance that is much cheaper than what she had before. She’s still in college and I will pay for that until she’s done.


Jill A February 20, 2021 at 5:22 pm

Beautiful photo by the way. Ice storms make everything look magical. Very destructive but beautiful.


Katy February 20, 2021 at 6:33 pm

Thank you, it was certainly very dramatic!


AuntiAli February 20, 2021 at 6:34 pm

After almost 2 weeks of snow storms on and off I’m a little tired of it. Last year hear in Northern NJ we had 4 inches of snow and this year it’s over 30 inches. Haven’t gone anywhere in 2 weeks.

Frugal 5:
1. Have eaten at home for the last two weeks. Thanks for the Allrecipes tip. I’m dying for different food to eat instead of my old same old.
2. While not entirely frugal I’m thankful for our snow removal guy. He does a great job, I don’t have to worry about dh having a heart attack doing the shoveling and this guy uses his leaf blower to clean off our cars.
3. Finished my part of the taxes and now dh has to do his thing.
4. Finally got our stimulus check deposited. I couldn’t get to the bank – or as my hubby says “what’s a bank”? – so hubs did an online deposit with his phone.
5. Thankful that we didn’t have to go through what Texas did even though we got tons of snow.


cynthia February 22, 2021 at 12:37 pm


What is the Allrecipes tip please? Do they have a way to search uses for certain ingredients? Boy would that be a help!


MommaL February 23, 2021 at 3:29 am
Once you’re on the website, look to the left, near but not at the top. It says “search by recipes” There’s a field for the topic, such as “dinner” “skillet”, etc, then a field where you add ingredients. Put them in and recipes pop up! You can even type in what ingredients you don’t want.
This is my favorite site!


cynthia February 24, 2021 at 11:00 am

Great tip–thank you!


Chrissy February 21, 2021 at 5:56 am

Sending loads of positive thoughts to those dealing with harsh weather conditions. As a Floridian, I can’t help but feel the same sense of anxiety for you all as I do during hurricane season here.

1. Dropped off items to a local consignment sale for tagging. The ladies who do the work of tagging everything sent me $120. before the sale for items they bought! That was a quick and unexpected gain!
2. Enjoyed dinner with some family as they purchased several pounds of fresh stone crab claws for a seafood boil. They asked me to stop and purchase a plastic table cloth on the way but I opted to take a Valentines’ one I’ve stored for years and my fun dinner out of the house cost me $0.
3. My child has been feeling cooped up and asked to go to the thrift store the other day. We masked up and made the trip. We purchased two new to us board games for $6 (like brand new). Came home and looked them up and discovered that each one sells for over $30 new.
4. Slowly cleaning and purging my sons room. We found $.76 in change in various spots as we were moving things.
5. Picked up the free USDA provided lunches for my kiddo. We got lots of great produce this week and then a friend called and asked if we wanted the produce her family wouldn’t eat. Yes, please!


Betta from daVille February 21, 2021 at 12:34 pm

1. found 3 carts untethered at Aldi. I took one for .25 and figured 2 other people might also be happy.
2. I sent partner to the store with detailed shopping list. He forgot to give the cashier his “member” card and overpaid. I sent him back to get a refund.
3. Upon returning home, I realized that the customer service folks did not do the refund correctly and that we were still short money. Went back today and got the rest back.
4. Did nothing for Valentine’s day (although we never do) except we made one of our favorite take out meals: gyros & avgolemono soup. Made our own gyro meat, tzatziki, and soup (using homemade chicken stock) for about $8, rather than the $30 to get take out.
5. Brought coffee, lunch, and afternoon snacks for my 7-hour commute.


Cindy in the South February 21, 2021 at 4:27 pm

1. My oldest son was in two very rare ice storms in the northern part of our southern state and slid off the road on the way home from work in the second storm.A doctor slid off right besides him. A good Samaritan gave hum a ride home. Now, he has a very sore throat and I am worried about him. This is the kid with the medical emergency this summer. I told him he was like a cat with nine lives, and he needs to be careful. 2. The youngest son recovered from strep throat ( no he has not been around his brother in months,) 3. The middle son had a thousand dollars in dental work done, as did my daughter. 4. I am just glad everyone is alive. 5. I did not fly off to Cancun in the middle of the storm and leave my kids who needed help because of dental, medical and storm disasters. I spent my money paying for teeth, tows, propane, doctors, and meds. P.S. I seldom make political statements but leaving the dog in a cold house was not a good look, Cruz. I consider animals a part of the family and just dropped 2 grand last month saving a family dog. I am not rich either. I am not even gonna touch leaving his voters. Geez.


Christine February 22, 2021 at 8:06 am

I’m glad your son is ok after the accident but sorry to hear he has a sore throat. Hope he’s ok. Scary times we’re living in…especially for those with underlying health conditions.
I’m with you 100% on your #5 after spending the weekend going back and forth from DD’s house one town over from me feeding, giving meds and walking her dog while she and her family were away for the weekend. While there, I noticed the heat was running too, so her dog would be warm. When I saw the little dog peering out from Cruz’s door, my heart broke. The uncaring attitude spilled over from no concern for the citizens who elected him to his dog. A lot of lines were crossed here.


Kate February 23, 2021 at 4:52 am

Cruz is an idiot but the dog thing isn’t quite true. He has a security guard at his house who was taking care of the dog.


Cindy in the South February 23, 2021 at 4:06 pm

I know the dog was left with a security guard. I am not happy that his owner left the country on a warm vacation and left the dog in a cold house. I saw some posts where some houses went down to 12 degrees inside!!! I do not know if that is accurate but the dog should not have been left like that. I know I sound like a crazy animal lady. I am. I am also unhappy that the owner left his voters but I am trying not to comment on that aspect because I will go on a big rant.


Kate February 24, 2021 at 1:34 pm

Full disclosure, I am not a crazy dog person and find it very strange that humans have wild animals in their house. Lol. I get crazy dog people though….many of them in my life.

I guess I don’t get it because we don’t know the temp in his house….can’t assume it was 12. Should he have brought his dog to Mexico?? Boarding a dog could have had bad results too if they lost heat.

Overall he shouldn’t have gone obviously. Personally I wish you’d rail on that instead of the dog stuff, which very well might be completely inaccurate. I think your feelings of crazy dog feelings match my feelings of confusion about overall dog obsession! To each their own!


Christine February 24, 2021 at 3:05 pm

I don’t own a dog but I feel compassion for them. Different sources have different stories about the dog. Perhaps the one I read was inaccurate. If it was, I apologize for not researching it. I personally did rail against Cruz as I stated above:”…the uncaring attitude spilled over from no concern for the citizens who elected him to his dog.”

Cindy in the South February 25, 2021 at 11:53 am

The story you posted said house/block lost power and it did come back on Wednesday night. Dog left alone in house without power. The picture, nor reporter indicate a chimney nor seeing a fire. Does the house have alternative heat? Could have, I don’t know. Did his particular house go down to 12 degrees? Again, I don’t know. I did not say his house went down to 12 degrees, I said “I saw some posts where some houses went down to 12 degrees inside.” Cruz obviously lives in a wealthy subdivision and has money so he could afford alternative heat sources, and may have extra insulation. We are giving him a lot of benefits of the doubt. If he had alternative heat sources, I wonder why his house was dark but again, perhaps it was a wood fireplace. That is all speculation. Lots of folks do not have alternative heat sources and were very cold, at least according to news sources. We do know this, according to news sources you posted, the house was dark, the neighbor confirmed power was off until Wednesday night, the security guard said he was keeping the dog, and the dog was in the dark house via the picture. Cruz was in Mexico. We also know, because of other news sources if they are accurate, that he supposedly left because of the pending storm and went on vacation, and it was planned that week, if the news sources are accurate about the leaked wife texts. So, dog, dark house, power out, but yeah, you can give Cruz the benefit of the doubt, that dog was not cold. I won’t. Maybe he will post a copy of an alternative heat source bill, or a fire in the fireplace going. So far, he has not.

Cindy in the South February 26, 2021 at 4:33 am

Texts by Heidi Cruz, obtained by The New York Times, said the house was “FREEZING”. Since you wish for me to personally rail on why Cruz should not have gone on the trip, I suggest you do that. because this was my post, and you have the freedom to make your own post, Kate.

Christine February 26, 2021 at 9:25 am

Cindy, thanks for the clarifications. I am with you in not giving a man who made such a poor choice as traveling to Cancun while his constituents were suffering and dying the benefit of the doubt.


LB February 22, 2021 at 11:09 am

1. Continuing to drink the giant bin of medicore coffee we bought instead of running out for a better brew.

2. Grocery outlet continues to provide everything we need (and some treats!) at a fraction of the cost. Besides getting us to think outside the box a bit, we even found Impossible Burgers for very cheap so we enjoyed burgers last night (I can’t eat beef, so finding these at an affordable price means I get the joy of a real hamburger without the bad effects).

3. Drinking lots (and lots and lots and lots) of tap water.

4. Living with a small subset of my belongings temporarily has inspired me to reduce the amount of stuff I own. Feeling confident that I am happy with the clothes I have and it has significantly reduced my interest in buying new clothes!

5. Rented snowshoes yesterday for $15 to explore an area nearby. I wasn’t sure I’d like the sport so I’d been hesitant to buy a set (usually $115+new). I enjoyed it, but maybe not enough to run out and buy a set. Glad to learn this lesson affordably!


Gina February 23, 2021 at 10:22 am

We keep getting small snow events here in southern NJ this month. Nothing disastrous. Free sledding fun for the kids and sometimes I get to work from home if the timing is right. I’d say it’s a savings but since the pandemic started, I get a stipend from work towards meals and transportation, and I’ve never done the math to figure out which is cheaper, going in or staying home.
1. My mother gave me a bottle of my favorite wine. Combined with working on a puzzle with my husband and listening to music on YouTube, not a bad Friday night.
2. I am driving myself crazy trying to figure out how to best replace our couch, which has had it. I was thinking of having a new slipcover made for it (which I’ve already done once), but it’s pretty expensive. I am trying to wait patiently for a used one to come along that I like, periodically checking Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist, Kaiyo and more. I am being awful picky, but there’s no rush since the current couch is functional and it’s not like we are really entertaining guests these days.
3. I brought lunch to work today. (Not yesterday. But today.)
4. I started seeds using the same yogurt and applesauce cups and Tupperware containers that I’ve been using for a couple years now. Thinking spring…
5. My husband “accidentally” (long story) placed a $50 bet on a sports betting website and won $1,000. He promptly went out and bought NY strip steaks and potatoes and cooked for everyone. Now I have to talk him into putting the rest into savings.


Julie Hamann February 26, 2021 at 12:27 pm

1. Still working from home full time while taking care of my mom saving gas and wear and tear on the car.
2. Thanks to my boss, was able to get both COVID shots as an essential worker.
3. Eating lunch at home everyday has saved me money and my waistline. When I was working at the office, I was taking Stouffers and Lean Cuisine entrees to work for lunch every day.
4. Extended warranty on the car is about to expire. Shopped around and found a warranty program that was a lot cheaper than getting another warranty at the dealership.
5. Using my insurance to get needed dental work done.


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