Five Frugal Things

by Katy on February 27, 2021 · 92 comments

  1. I slowly but surely sold some stuff on eBay, including:

    • A $25 Chantal tea kettle that I bought for $4.99.

    • Seven yards of fabric that I bought for $3.50 and sold for $45.

    • A Blues Brothers mug that I bought for 99¢ and sold for $20.

    • A Guitar Hero Rock Band guitar that I bought for $12.99 and sold for $90.

    • Four bags of Bailey’s Irish Cream chocolate chips that I bought for 10¢ apiece and sold as a lot for $22.

    • A pair of Ugg’s slippers that I bought for $4.99 and sold for $27.

  2. I was super annoyed that my husband’s schmancy pillow was wider than standard size and annoyingly stuck a good two inches past the pillow case. I even went so far as to put up a request in my local Buy Nothing group asking if anyone had an extra white king-size pillow case to gift. (I’m fully aware that this minor issue doesn’t matter, but this goddamned pandemic is skewing my priorities.) Then I realized that all I needed to do was unstitch the wide hem and re-stitch it with the extra released fabric.

    The unstitching-restitching process took at least an hour, but spare time is far from scarce these days, and this project gave me a much needed sense of accomplishment.

  3. I discovered that there are some decent free-with-ads full-length movies on YouTube, so my son and I watched “That Thing You Do” which I’d been wanting to rewatch ever since the songwriter Adam Schlesinger died from Covid-19 at the beginning of the pandemic. It would have cost $3.99 on Amazon Prime.

    This got me thinking about how much free streaming content is available, such as:

    • Free trials, which are only a bargain when you remember to cancel your subscriptions on time.

    Kanopy, which is a free streaming platform available to most public library patrons and university students.

    Six months of Discovery Plus, (if you have Verizon wireless) which I signed up for and have been taking full advantage of. There are no commercials, (hip-fucking-hooray!) and my husband and I have been enjoying Rehab Addict Rescue and a few other shows.

    • Free Hulu subscription, which seems to be available with most of the major cell phone carriers. (Verizon, Sprint and T-mobile)

    • Sharing streaming services with friends and family members. For example, my sister and I share her Amazon Prime membership, and her family uses our Netflix.

    I could go on and on with all the free available streaming content (PBS! Peacock! Tubi!) and the options seem almost endless. So I ask for you to share your favorite free streaming services in the comments section below.

  4. I was able to enjoy the 10%-off “55-and-better” senior discount at Goodwill because my husband (who is two years older than I am) was shopping with me, (Wednesdays, for those who are local to the greater Portland area.) I was able to source a nice $35 desk through Facebook Marketplace for my 22-year-old son who had outgrown the one I bought for him in third grade, my husband and I watched one last BritBox TV show before my sister’s subscription ends and I cooked and then cleaned up from 7,433 monotonous meals.

  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.

{ 92 comments… read them below or add one }

Jen February 27, 2021 at 8:38 pm

I was wondering what you were going to do with all of those Bailey’s chips that you bought for 10 cents each. Nice sale! Your FFT came as a delight to my Inbox as I am having a “blah” day. Thanks for posting. Going to go enjoy some free streaming now. 🙂

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Ruby March 1, 2021 at 7:15 am

I was wondering how it would go with selling the Bailey’s chips. It’s a brilliant move!

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Texasilver March 1, 2021 at 7:44 pm

The little library is adorable. It looks like a Swiss chalet w/ the snow covered roof. The cutest Little Library I have ever seen!

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Lisa M. February 27, 2021 at 8:51 pm

5+FF: Heat Wave

1. Required additional optometry services @ OOP expense. Brief phone call to office resulted in $30 discount for payment in full.

2. DH received a 2nd installment of food items from former manager of an Italian fast-food chain who was tasked with closing multiple stores. Received a gallon of cooking oil, 1.5# roasted garlic seasoning & 20# (yes, you read that correctly) of Italian spaghetti. Will be sending so much pasta with DD when she moves to on-campus apartment next fall. She & her roommates wisely secured their quarters with a recent deposit. That means that the parental unit will garner 12 months of savings for rent & utilities for the period she lived @ home.

3. Accepted offer of parents’ bed frame & dresser with mirror when my DF moves to an apartment @ his senior living complex. Plan to rent small trailer to hitch onto DH’s SUV after post-vaccination visit, as we anticipate eventually outfitting 3 bedrooms.

4. Recent shopping wins: Capitalized on discounted take & bake pizza, along with bakery clearance rack items all from big box, as well as electronic coupon @ gas station for a combined savings of $4.64.

5. Recent kitchen creations: Surprise Slaw, Black Beans & Rice, Country Chicken Casserole, Twin Cheese Fondue & Zesty Bean Soup (from dry pinto beans). Also enjoyed DH’s friend’s continued cooking frenzy gifts: Stuffed Cabbage Rolls & Raspberry/Blueberry Crumb Cake.

6. Following #4’s good eats, we continue to exercise daily @ no cost in our home gym. DH extended the freeze on his gym membership until virus situation is further improved.

7. Watching Amazon’s (free with Amazon Prime membership) “The Affair” nightly for entertainment. A bit graphic for our tastes, it is nonetheless a gripping saga.

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Kara February 27, 2021 at 10:09 pm

Mended my daughter’s favorite and very well worn Smartwool sweater. It was a hand-me-down to her and she has loved it. She caught the holes in the sleeve edges quite early, which is always easiest for the person doing the mending!

Planted lettuce seedlings that were gifted to me. Always remembering the sluggo plus, which is awesome.

Got a stack of old musicals from the library, which I’m enjoying with my daughters. We use Peacock to stream a few things (we’re English and they show the Premier League football (soccer) games). We have access to Hulu and pay for netflix, which we share with our kids. And free DVD’s from the library. That’s about the sum total of our TV.

Got some birthday freebies. Printed out the coupons, 99% of which are for food I cannot eat (literally one whole page of food allergies), but my husband happily goes and enjoys the freebies.

Found fabric new on ebay that a customer requested. I was very happy about that. It’s a fun nurse print and she wants a bag with it for her niece. I have enough of it that I can make a few more bags to list in my Etsy shop.

Saw the first leaf tip on my fig tree. Spring is coming!

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Joyce February 28, 2021 at 4:43 am

1. Cut my hair, again…will this plague ever end??
2. Mended grandkids’ homemade mouse family
3. Pulled slip covers onto old loveseats…not going into furniture stores until?
4. Signed up for my first Covid vaccine
5. Cashed in grocery points for $7.00 off!

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MEM February 28, 2021 at 6:01 am

I finally have FFT to share! Actually, 10.
1. Sold a trash-picked faux fiddle leaf fig tree on FB marketplace. It wasn’t very full or symmetrical but the woman was glad to have it for $5.
2. Added some dried out carrots and spongy potatoes to a crockpot curry and they tasted fine. Usually I would compost them.
3. Continue to make my decaf cold brew in my French Press and use unsweetened vanilla almond milk instead of creamer
4. Frugal for others – listed candles, Mason jars, baking supplies and a puzzle on my local Buy Nothing Group on FB.
5. Frugal for others – donated about 40 pairs of clean and gently used or new socks to the one shelter I could find that will take them.
6. Keep refilling my foaming hand soap containers from Bath and Body Works with the giant SoftSoap refill from Costco.
7. Frugal for others – a shelter for women was looking for plus-size clothes so I donated Winter tops and pants that I neither love nor wear. Nor like how they look on me.
8. Ignoring the siren song of the seed and bulb catalogs and putting them directly into the recycling bin. I have plenty of seeds from last year. So I tell myself.
9. Returned some slippers to LL Bean – they don’t make them like they used to – after a month of wear the insoles were bunched up and very uncomfortable and there was no fixing them.
10. I plan to list some new Yankee Candles on FB Marketplace for $5 each for the large jar candles. I have reached the age where candles give me a headache. 🙁

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Shona February 28, 2021 at 6:49 am

I’ve found several free movies I’ve been wanting to watch on IMDB. My library tested out Kanopy but has not yet subscribed for patrons but when my husband was in school I watched a lot through his student log in.

1. Making pots of soup from what I have on hand. Fine tuned my on the fly recipe the second week and nailed it.

2. With $10 in hand I decided to go hog wild- 99¢ day at a local thrift store and the World Market sale shelves. Wool shawl, jacket, linen napkin, solid perfume stick, and not on sale can of craft beer.

3. Get my second vaccine shot this week.

4. Seeds stared for this year’s garden are thriving.

5. Found a quarter on my weekly long walk.

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Jill A March 1, 2021 at 4:42 am

Congratulations on receiving your second vaccine!!

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Shona February 28, 2021 at 7:20 am

I just realized the photo is your LFL. It’s lovely

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Hawaii Planner February 28, 2021 at 7:28 am

In positive (non-financial) news, one of my kids just got a return to school date for hybrid learning in April. Although it’s limited in person learning time, and still a month away, I’m thrilled at the small return to normalcy.

1) Used $14 of grocery store rewards for items we needed, and also earned a tiny amount ($.10) on milk via iBotta
2) Sold a few things on eBay/FB, but it was a slow week. I sold a fridge magnet, a winter jacket, a running jacket & an Ikea kids desk chair.
3) Used up all the food in the house. Defrosted a chicken curry from the freezer on Friday, & ate it after I had finished a fast. I was unsure on the quality, but either it was much better than I remembered, or I didn’t care because I was hungry after the fast.
4) Put our credit card rewards for the year towards our mortgage.
5) By far the best/biggest part – I spent hours & hours over the course of months chasing down our cancelled ski passes. Numerous emails went unanswered, so I finally disputed with our credit card company. I feel bad for ski companies right now with COVID. They are actually getting their money, but their insurance company (who ignored every request I sent on pass coverage for months) is being required to pay for lack of response. I’m thrilled. It’s $2k, so well worth the time investment.

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Ruby February 28, 2021 at 7:45 am

1. Brought home two unwanted single serve containers of apple cinnamon oatmeal from work. Hello, my weekend breakfasts! I love healthy free food.
2. Read two e-books from the library this week.
3. I did not spend any money in February except on grocery shopping days, which came to 23 no spend days. It helped that the weather was simply horrible most of the month.
4. Someone gave us a couple of stuffed Valentine toys we had no use for. Checked them over carefully and decided they would be okay for our dog who likes toys. She has been enjoying carrying around her new pink bears. (That’s all she does is carry toys and rest her head on them.)
5. The biggie: My husband accidentally laundered and ruined the remote key fob for his car. The dealership quoted him over $400 to replace it and over $200 to reprogram a new one to match our spare fob. He decided to go with the second option. The key tech did it at no charge. That was an amazing surprise.

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Em March 3, 2021 at 10:39 pm

Key tech? Is that an independent locksmith?

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Ruby March 4, 2021 at 5:33 pm

No, that’s the technician at the car dealership who programmed the replacement key fob. My husband was short on time and did not try getting it done at a locksmith’s shop. Turned out to be a good thing he didn’t,

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K D February 28, 2021 at 8:30 am

Same old, same old in the Mid-Atlantic region:

1. Our library provide access to both Kanopy and Acorn TV streaming. We have used Acorn to watch shows from Britain, New Zealand, Australia, and Canada. I continue to borrow electronic print and audio books.

2. The weather has changed from frozen precipitation to rain. I’ll walk outside even if it means carrying an umbrella and needing to change clothes afterwards. It is good for my mental health to be out there, and out of the house. I figure positive mental health is frugal in the long run. Walking with friends constitutes a large part of my Covid safe social life these days.

3. I have been availing myself of a couple of streaming meditation sessions. They are offered for free. One is a gateway to signing up for other offerings and the other is a friend that just wants to spread love and compassion in the world.

4. This is more non-consumer than frugal, I’m getting ready to list a bunch of stuff on Freecycle (on a non-rainy day). Some of it is ours, some items my offspring asked me to list, one item a friend asked me if I’d list it. The more you list the more items can find new homes.

5. I’m still working on spending the balance of our 2020 Flexible Spending Account on OTC items we will use in the future: sun block, band aids, pain relievers, etc. Use it in the next couple weeks or lose it.

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Ava February 28, 2021 at 8:53 am

1. Cut my bangs again.
2. Sold 5 items on Etsy after a period of no activity.
3. Frugal health care: Had my regular teeth cleaning and was advised that my gums needed more care. Was given toothpaste for that problem.
Got my first Covid shot as soon as I could get an appointment.
Tried to donate blood and was rejected because of low iron. Was almost rejected for slow pulse. That indicates I need to get my thyroid levels checked, so I will make an appointment for that. At my age, something always needs tweaking.
4. Friend gave me a great bean soup recipe. I made 2 batches which used up my ancient bean soup mix.
5. Discovered the deliciousness of tuna noodle casserole. Somehow I went all my life without ever making or tasting it. But when we were snowed in and I was looking to create something good with dwindling pantry ingredients, I made it and loved it. Very economical, easy and delicious. And husband won’t touch it so it is all for ME.

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Anna Chan February 28, 2021 at 9:29 am

I agree with your husband, my mother used to make it all the time, I still can’t stand it 😉

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Jill A March 1, 2021 at 4:48 am

I love Tuna Noodle Casserole. I don’t make it because the rest of my family won’t eat it but sometimes my Mother will share some leftovers with me. Perfect comfort food.

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Lindsey March 1, 2021 at 12:29 pm

Another tuna noodle casserole lover here, as is the husband. So long as no one puts canned peas in it (how his mom used to make it but thank God he didn’t like the peas part!)

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Ava March 2, 2021 at 4:10 pm

Frozen peas are the way to go.

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Katy in Africa February 28, 2021 at 8:55 am

1. I’m looking for used school curriculum first before I order new. My hope is to spend less than the money we saved for it, then we can put that money into something else.
2. My husband bought dish soap in huge containers. I found that a used BBQ sauce squeeze bottle works well as a dish soap container.
3. Our tax return should be in real soon. My husband was more careful this year to record work expenses.
4. I’m wanting to spend less time on the internet this week. While my main reason is for time efficiency, it could also save on our internet budget.
5. I added more to my price book. Since I’m so bad at remembering prices, this should be of great help to me and the people I shop for.

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Mary Beth Danielson February 28, 2021 at 9:21 am

1. I talked about the movie Nomadland, the book Nomadland, and Braiding Sweetgrass on my blog https://www.marybethdanielson.com/content/two-books-one-movie-reviews-me-2242021 I mentioned that one of the best places I’ve found for good book recommendations is NCA.
2. The electric toothbrush/water pick would no longer hold a charge and a new one costs more than $100. The battery store replaced it for $15.
3. My glasses slip off my face when I wear a mask. Had them tightened twice but it didn’t help. Put small rubber bands over bows where they rest behind my ears and this works.
4. I had the dregs of honey that wouldn’t come out of its jar and dregs of crystallized homemade pancake syrup that wouldn’t leave the old Log Cabin jar it was in. Poured a little boiling water in each jar. Used the honey water to make limeade and the syrup water to boil sweet potatoes. Full disclosure: used the left-after-boiling sweet potatoes water (with milk but not much more sugar) and a cup of the mushy sweet potatoes to make a pint of sweet potato ice cream.
5. We have several large pieces of left-over hobby Foam core in our office. We put them in the windows to block the sun when working on our computers, changing throughout the day depending on which computer is getting zapped. Our ordinary curtains only reduce light, they don’t block it. Also, in the summer we use a windshield sunscreen to block light in the piano window next to the TV.
6. I wrote this a couple years ago. It’s about the cost per square foot of your home, and why it can be frugal to consider it. https://www.marybethdanielson.com/content/how-big-grandma-do-you-need-more-space

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Cindy in the South February 28, 2021 at 12:53 pm

Loved your links. Yes, I live in a 912 sq ft cheap house because I do not want to oay more to house stuff.

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Midwest Beth February 28, 2021 at 9:24 am

1. Love the PBS app which some how is still free to me. I donated $60 and was given access to the app last year. Being laid off didn’t feel I should donate/renew in November with $ being tight and somehow I still have it. Love being able to watch all episodes at once some even before they air on TV.
2. Saving plastic gallon milk containers to start seeds in, saw a method using them outside in the snow! Also saving plastic fruit container holders from fruit/produce buying now to store and/or giveaway tomatoes etc. from my garden this coming summer. Right Now we are having fun watching the ends of Romain lettuce re-growing in water until I can start gardening again. If your bored also fun to re-grow celery and green onion ends.
3. Keeping myself accountable by updating my budget, so far so good for the month.
4. Earned another $25 Lowe’s gift card by doing Swagbucks.
5. Daughter having problem with her Chromebook – requested a Chromebook through the library to pick up Saturday and one from the school to permanently use.

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Anna Chan February 28, 2021 at 9:27 am

I hate when I forget to cancel something; when I sign up for a free trial, I immediately cancel it the next day. I still get the full free trial period, but I don’t have to remember to cancel anything a month later.

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Jenzer February 28, 2021 at 12:23 pm

Friendly reminder: public library services are NOT free. All the technology, infrastructure, and skilled staffing it takes to bring e-books and streaming services to our homes costs $$$, usually in the form of tax dollars.

I bring this up because public libraries are an easy scapegoat for people of certain political persuasions who work to axe as much local government spending as they can. When those people get elected or appointed to positions where they have the authority to cut library budgets, they do. I’ve seen the politics at some libraries in our state get really, REALLY ugly over the last decade (here’s one example that made national news: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2012-06-29/the-book-burning-campaign-that-saved-a-public-library ).

If you’re a regular library user, consider keeping yourself up-to-date on the proceedings of whatever entity manages your local library (library board, city council, county commission). Budget cuts are harder to do when people who oppose them are paying close attention.

Off my soapbox now. 🙂

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Christine February 28, 2021 at 5:14 pm

Thanks Jenzer. In addition to being a book hound, I enjoy using the library in my town because we as tax payers DO pay for it. Why not take advantage of this service in addition to others? I use the town beach, I attend outdoor concerts in a park the town constructed along a river, I walk the streets for exercise after the plows have cleared them and I attended free author talks, concerts, craft classes and movies at the library (pre-Covid…hope to be able to get back to this). I’ve also had to call the fire department after my house got struck by lightning. Knock on wood…hope that’s a one time thing.

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Robin February 28, 2021 at 12:38 pm

I am a librarian and I can share that Kanopy is one of the most expensive services libraries provide. Kanopy is extremely popular and I’m glad so many libraries can provide Kanopy films, but I have to say, “containing the cost” of streaming video services is one of the most stressful parts of my job. Kanopy is not giving libraries a deal on the content just because we’re libraries, unfortunately :-/

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Jenzer February 28, 2021 at 12:43 pm

Thank you for the work you do, Robin.

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Jennifer February 28, 2021 at 1:12 pm

1. Cashed in grocery discount to save $23 off my order.
2. found 2 packages of marked down meat to stick in the freezer
3. Opted not to go out for dinner with the gymnastics team after our children’s districts victory. A – we don’t want to eat in restaurants and B – my 22 ds called at the perfect time offering to pick up take out. Since we walked in the door at 7 pm this worked perfectly.
4. Working on completing my taxes and it looks like we will at least get a refund from Fed. possibly will owe state and local. In the end will net a small refund which is just the way I like it. Don’t owe and only getting a little back.
5. Cashed in ibotta deals for a $20 Starbucks gift card. Just in time for traveling for the state meet!

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Gina February 28, 2021 at 2:15 pm

We have Hulu Live and Netflix, and I pay $5/ month for PBS too. We haven’t felt the need to add anything else. I like Pluto, which is available for free through Roku. I’ll have to look into Kanopy, had not heard of that. The kids watch YouTube more than anything else.
1. Due to a mixup, we ended up with a free duplicate of our takeout food order last night. Free food! My sister took some home and we are trying to eat up the rest today.
2. I filled out info online to get a rebate for my contacts.
3. I went to the new “At Home” store near me today, out of boredom more than anything. Didn’t buy anything and doubt I will go back. Shopping for fun just isn’t a thing for me anymore, thankfully.
4. I gave away some St. Patrick’s Day decor on my Buy Nothing group.
5. My son (14) made homemade beignets and cinnamon rolls within the past few days! I love that he has gotten into baking.
6. I think I came up with a plan to avoid getting a new couch: just getting new back cushions and having the rest of the couch cleaned. Somewhere online (maybe on the NCA Facebook page) I saw pictures of couches with rips embroidered over, which is awesome!

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Mand01 February 28, 2021 at 1:27 pm

1. Made my own seed raising mix using what I had in the potting shed, and planted up seeds for the Autumn garden.
2. Picked plenty of garden produce from the end of the season – we have had a great year for tomatoes and eggplant, but a so-so year for zucchini and a terrible year for pumpkins (usually my best crop). My freezer is full of tomatoes. I won’t have to buy canned tomatoes for months, and we haven’t bought fresh tomatoes all Summer.
3. Made curries for dinner using all garden produce. It’s very satisfying to feed your kids entirely from your own garden.
4. I am realising more and more that there is not a lot I want. Took my youngest in to organise their school prom (here we call it a ‘formal’) outfit over the weekend, and stopped in at various shops and a market. There’s nothing I really want, except my health, and plants. I love plants.
5, Speaking of plants, I successfully propagated a monstera and I feel so chuffed about it. The ‘mother’ I propagated it from cost me $30, so if it continues to do well, I have saved myself $30. If this one keeps going nicely I will do it again for some gifts.

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Marie March 1, 2021 at 8:24 pm

I love plants too. Seems to be new interest in houseplants for many.
I’ve gotten new starts for ones I don’t have in the last year, and have traded for others

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Alison February 28, 2021 at 1:56 pm

1. Used $20 of air miles cash rewards for groceries.
2. Gave away a box full of VHS tapes on WW 2 and others. They are from my parents house, I’m helping them declutter.
3. Sold a few beading supplies, again from parents.
4. Still making the boss and myself salads every day for lunch. She helps pay for the ingredients.
5. Best one of all: will be paying a few thousand dollars on my smallish mortgage on March 1, the anniversary date. Saved all year. Hope to have it paid off in another 5 years or less.

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Lindsey February 28, 2021 at 4:19 pm

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/20/style/vhs-tapes.html?action=click&module=Well&pgtype=Homepage&section=Style

This is an article that ran in the NY Times yesterday and includes some info on how valuable some VHS tapes have become. You may want to read before giving any more away.

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Alison March 1, 2021 at 11:00 am

Thanks for the tip!

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Marie-Josée March 1, 2021 at 6:43 pm

What a wonderful arrangement with your boss!

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Alison March 2, 2021 at 12:59 pm

Yes, she is also a friend, so I am glad to make sure she gets a healthy lunch. Her job is so demanding and stressful, that I’m sure she would go without if I didn’t make it for her.

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Bettypants February 28, 2021 at 3:58 pm

1. Someone gave me a large number of DVD box sets. I sold two lots on ebay, and have three more listed, all of which have watchers. Sold 7 books, and two coats on Marketplace. One of the coats I had bought several years ago and never worn, and I always felt guilty when I saw it hanging in the closet. Good riddance.

2. My friend gave me $20 in Kohls cash she didn’t want, which I spent on two Neutrogena moisturizers I have been wanting to try, and used curbside pick up.

3. Walked outside on two of the decent days here, but otherwise have been sticking with my treadmill.

4. Took a crock pot of soup to share with the ladies at work on Friday. Everyone was appreciative and complimentary, which was nice.

5. Bought 6 tubes of John Frieda conditioner for $5 from someone else on Marketplace. Looks like it is discontinued and sells pretty good on ebay.

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MB in MN February 28, 2021 at 4:05 pm

1. Received $50 for referring a friend to our financial planner / tax preparer. My friend also received $50.

2. Helped niece gather items for her first apartment – combo of thrift store finds, extra stuff from my house, and extra stuff from others once they heard what she needed.

3. Made a stir-fry sauce out of a can of coconut milk and a medley of leftover condiments (curry sauce, tahini, sriracha sauce, and chutney).

4. Inherited some freezer paper that I use to line drawers and wrap gifts.

5. Took a shower with my bra on – on purpose! Easy and thrifty way to wash it.

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J March 2, 2021 at 10:09 pm

Lol, MB! Never thought about this! Undies and socks next? Always good to think of new ways…

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MB in MN March 3, 2021 at 3:08 pm

J: Funny! I only did my bra because I typically hand wash it. Since then, the washer stopped working, so you’ve given me an idea for how to wash the rest of my clothes!

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Cindy in the South February 28, 2021 at 5:40 pm

1. Made chocolate mulberry cobbler with the frozen mulberries from my tree. I need to make room in the freezer for the new crop, which is about six weeks away. I made a vegetable casserole using leftover broccoli, asparagus, rutabagas, an odd assortment of cheeses, and Amy’s white sauce from The Tightwad Gazette. I fried dandelion fritters from all the dandelion flowers blooming in my yard from the five days of 80 degree weather. I cut up carrots to take with my work sandwich. I have saved thousands over the years, packing my work sandwich. 2. I have walked for exercise for five days straight in this 80 degree weather. 3. I looked in the mirror and decided my pandemic hair would be fine for work this week. I guess I just do not care anymore, or at least not this week. 4. I took a long nap. 5. I have tried to come up with a four year life plan but……..

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Marie-Josée March 1, 2021 at 6:50 pm

I am always happy to read your posts, Cindy. I see your comments on the Frugalwoods blog as well! I enjoy reading about your experiences and life in the South (as well as Mand01 from Autralia, and Katy from Africa, to name a few) I am really impressed by your napping abilities – I only manage to nap when I have a terrible cold or influenza.

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Cindy in the South March 8, 2021 at 8:47 am

I work 12 plus hour days Mon-Friday. The napping is on weekends. I need a lot of sleep and just am not able to get enough during the week because of work and my two hour round trip commute.

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Christine February 28, 2021 at 5:44 pm

1. I sold my leather jacket on Facebook Marketplace. A young woman bought it for a friend of hers who had ripped her own leather jacket and was in the market for a replacement. Happy ending.
2. I made a pot of soup using things in the cabinets and freezer…a combination of fresh, frozen and canned veggies, a can of cannellini beans, half a box of elbow mac and some chicken bouillon cubes. We ate it for several meals and DH enjoyed it despite the fact it had no meat in it.
3. Our old glider rocker finally bit the dust. It has been slowly dying over the past few years…a missing spoke in the back, coming unglued in a few places that don’t want to stay re glued for any length of time, broken springs. The other day DH stood up from it and something made a dreadful sound. I sat down in it to test it and my butt bottomed out. Not fun. Into the cellar it went. Will look into professional repair but for now we are using a wooden captain’s chair from the dining room set with a fluffy blanket covering it to replace the glider rocker.
4. Three friends and I walked the neighborhood today as the trails are still pretty icy. These Sunday afternoon walks have quickly turned into a social event for us and I look forward to them.
5. DD’s birthday is this week and I was going to order her flowers to be sent to her work to cheer her up (Covid has reared its ugly head again at the long term care facility where she is employed and she is stressing again). Instead I’m going to buy her some flowers and take them to her house where she and her whole family can enjoy them. It will also save me some $$$.
6. Free show: saw a Great Blue Heron gliding overhead from my backyard today. They migrated back already…maybe a sign of an early Spring.

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Bethany M February 28, 2021 at 9:37 pm

Rice, black beans, salsa, sour cream and sharp cheddar for lunches this week. It’s seriously insanely good and cheap as all get out! Get your salsa at Aldi. $1.18 for a large jar and it’s great!!

Picked up free pomelos from a neighbor on the Nextdoor App. Was needing some citrus.

Windows open! Healthy air! No heat no air conditioning, no excess energy or gas bill.

Getting my CPAP machine that I’m eligible for. My 5 year old one is still kicking, but you just never know when a layoff or job loss could happen, so best to get my back up while it’s free of out-of-pocket expense. Thanks BCBS!

Picked up some cement blocks off VarageSale. Been meaning to get some for emergency preparedness. So I could use as a rocket stove in a pinch and still cook. Saved a smidge over Home Depot and helped eliminate a heavy item from someone moving. Picked up some uber cheap swim goggles from her too. 6 pairs for $3. I might not have to buy any from Costco this year. Score!

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Heidi Louise March 1, 2021 at 9:44 am

I read this perhaps even from you a year or so ago: Check with your electric company to see if they have discounts for people who use medical devices at home.

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Bethany M March 4, 2021 at 7:33 pm

Oh man! You’re right! Sent out my paperwork today. Thanks!

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Astrid Chapman March 1, 2021 at 12:51 am

I’ve had a great frugal day today, a Public Holiday in Western Australia.
1. Young friends were visiting for morning tea. They’re expecting a baby in April so we handed over some baby things that I had picked up for free from our local Buy Nothing Group (they don’t do Facebook).
2. I baked a banana bread using brown bananas from the freezer. They brought along a cake to share so we did a cake swap for added variety of leftovers.
3. While hunting for the frozen bananas I cleaned out the freezer. I’m going to make a quiche with various bits and pieces when the ingredients are defrosted. This will be eaten for lunches over the next couple of days. It feels like we’ve been doing grocery shopping quite frequently lately so we’re looking to use up food we have on hand and avoid the supermarket for a little while.
4. I’m planting out a new garden bed in our yard using plants from other areas in the garden. We get A LOT of wind so these plants will be pioneers, once established they will provide protection for purchased plants.
5. Asked a friend if I could borrow a book I need for a course I’m taking. She’s going to lend it to me. I could access it on the internet but would prefer a hard copy without the cost.

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Jill A March 1, 2021 at 5:30 am

1. I also have been enjoying my free 6 months of Discovery +. I will cancel after the six months is up or I will sign up for cheaper $5 version with Ads if I decide it is worthwhile. Maybe rotate some of the streaming channels which we don’t use as much. I really like Rehab addict (I love how she tries to preserve and re-use so much of the original materials). I’ll have to check out Rehab Addict Rescue next. Thanks. I also have been streaming for free “The Curse of Oak Island” on the History Channel App on my Roku. It’s fascinating.
2. My daughter’s boyfriend changed the burned out bulb on my taillight saving me a trip to the mechanic. It only cost me the price of a bulb. He also showed me how to do it myself in the future. He and my daughter moved in with me 6 months ago so they could save money for a house and he is very handy to have around.
3. My Mom, Sister and I made an hour trip to the next state to recycle a couple years worth of styrofoam we have been saving. This was the closest option for us unfortunately. We made the most of the trip and I made up for the cost of the gas by stopping at two Goodwill’s on the way back. I found some items to sell on Ebay and also a few pieces of my own dishware which I’m trying to replace but it is really hard to find my pattern. We all enjoyed the trip. It was the furthest I’ve been since the Pandemic began. I had a brief panic when I saw the “Welcome to Indiana” sign…Oh no do I need my passport….LOL. I don’t know what I was thinking….
4. I’ve been enjoying the warmer weather and have been walking with friends and also enjoyed a nice cup of socially distant coffee at a friends home after a dog park visit. My family enjoyed some chicken and waffles that we all cooked together for dinner last night. It is less of a chore and more entertainment when we cook a meal together. The kids made the chicken in the deep fryer and I made some scratch waffles. It was delicious and I don’t miss paying the price at a restaurant.
5. I’m slowly selling items on Ebay. I sold a Cutco steak knife that I bought for a quarter and sold for $35. I wish I could do that everyday. I’ve been reusing and being creative with my packaging material and using free boxes to ship.

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isa March 1, 2021 at 8:41 am

My “favorite” streaming service is Netflix, and only because it’s the only one we have. And we don’t have cable. We keep Netflix for the kids, really. One screen subscription, so they have to share. Hubby and I very rarely sit down to watch TV, so Netflix is mostly useless to us.

My 5 frugal for last week:

– Daughter broke my beloved ceramic eggs holder yesterday (a container to hold boiled eggs in the fridge, in case you are wondering what it is). I checked on Amazon for a new one, but it’s 25$ and up. Not willing to pay this price. So I took an egg carton and slapped some paint on it. I’ll be using this until I (hopefully) find a ceramic one at a thrift store… some day.

– Daughter asked for a new lunch box since her own is in a bad shape. I had put my own old one in a give-away pile since I got a new one for Christmas. So I fished it out of the pile, gave it a good cleaning and gave it to her instead of buying a new one.

– Cooking more vegetarian meals lately. Not because I think they are healthier (I love my meat!), but because it’s much cheaper than meat.

– My favorite jarred spaghetti sauce comes on sale once or twice a year, priced at 1$\jar (instead of 2,50$). So I stock-up, bought 24 jars.

– We stopped buying “snacks foods” like chips, crackers, granola bars, etc. I don’t know if this will actually save us money, since we are now snacking on fresh fruits, yogourt and nuts instead, but it’s healthier for sure

– Been exercising at home for the last year, even if the gyms are re-opening in my region. I could get a gym membership for 40$ and up, but I have all that I need and it’s already paid for : elliptical, treadmill, weights, yoga stuff, walking outside, public pool, etc. “Free” exercice, yay!

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Jenelle March 2, 2021 at 5:36 am

Just an idea about your egg holder. Could you attempt to create on yourself by using a styrafoam carton as a mold and maybe using clay or concrete?

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J March 2, 2021 at 10:24 pm

I keep my boiled eggs in a bowl. I never knew there was a method or reason to do anything else! My raw store eggs sit in their carton, and the free eggs I receive sometimes go in an old egg carton that I mark with a date if I remember, just for a vague idea of what’s oldest.

Different topic: tonight I found a package of brand name Hawaiian dinner rolls way in the back of the big freezer FROM 2013, you guys! They looked and felt OK, so I wrapped in foil and heated in the oven, and they were FINE! Just like the ones fresh from the store! I don’t know what this says about them or me, though!

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BethC March 1, 2021 at 8:59 am

1. My birthday was on 1/20, which was a red letter day for many reasons besides my turning 65. I have been cashing in my birthday freebies with abandon (Starbucks, PF Chang, TCBY, Kohl’s, Panera, Red Robin, Ulta, Sephora, and a free 64 ounce cranberry juice from Old Orchard juice, among others). I noticed that some programs have extended the expiration date for birthday goodies. I still have a free Moe’s burrito that does not expire until April, and a free Jersey Mike’s sub and drink that don’t expire for a year.
2. Our beloved pup passed over the rainbow bridge on New Years Day, so I have listed a large bag of food on my buy nothing group. Our local shelters do not accept opened bags, unfortunately.
3. I got my first COVID vaccine dose yesterday (Pfizer). Slightly sore arm and was sleepy earlier, but I actually slept very well. Not easy to do these days because I have had trouble falling asleep between loss of pup and pandemic stuff (have 2 friends that lost their Moms recently, and another long time friend who died of a long time illness several weeks ago.
4. I volunteered for a local group that is trying to book COVID vaccine appointments for seniors who are not tech savvy. Booked 6 people over the weekend. I got to notify one of my assigned people on her birthday-she said it was the best birthday gift!
5. Have been ruthlessly cleaning out our 2 freezers. For the one that is part of our fridge, I created separate drawers for pasta/bread, meat, veggies and the all important ice cream/frozen fruit bars.
6. I glom off of my daughter’s Netflix account. She gloms off of our Amazon account. We got the discounted Hulu offer back around the holidays. We have access to PBS Passport via a donation, although I can’t figure out how to use our Amazon Firestick to cast it onto our non smart TV. We have Kanopy via the library, but have not used it yet. Just finished the last episode off Schitt’s Creek (I am very sad-one of the things that got us through the pandemic). We are currently watching Lupin (Netflix), All Creatures Great and Small (PBS) and Stanley Gucci’s Italy (CNN). Love them all!

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Lindsey March 1, 2021 at 12:40 pm

Have you tried Kim’s Convenience, on Amazon? Sweet comedy set in Canada and featuring an immigrant Korean couple often befuddled by their western raised kids. Maybe it resonates with me because my parents were immigrants and I can remember some of the stuff they used to say; they were not Korean but in my experience many immigrant parents react the same way to their kids who were born and raised here. It is not Schitt’s Creek, but if you are looking for another comedy…

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priskill March 1, 2021 at 2:24 pm

Love Kim’s Convenience!

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priskill March 1, 2021 at 2:26 pm

Sorry to hear of your losses and hope your birthday surprises cheer you up — Happy Birthday!

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BethC. March 2, 2021 at 11:58 am

Thanks Priskill-still grieving over the loss, but I feel fortunate to have good things in my life. She was a special girl, and I know she was happy right to the end.

BethC. March 2, 2021 at 11:56 am

Thanks for reminding me about Kim’s Convenience. I saw a couple of episodes and thought it was funny-got sidetracked with SC.

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LB March 1, 2021 at 9:14 am

1. We are relocating back home next Sunday, which means we are in use-up mode! All the food needs to get eaten in the fridge and I’m hoping to use up some products I brought with me that I assumed would not last a month (like a face wash that I absolutely hate but am determined to use up since it does a decent job on my face!)

2. With a week left, we are moving through all the activities we want to do while we are in a mountain town. Excited for a “community ice skate” night at the local high school, with free rink time and a free rental tonight. Ice skating isn’t my favorite winter sport but I love the variety, so having it be a free evening in the fresh air is exciting.

3. Managed to use up an entire class pack for online workout classes even with disruptions from the holidays and a varied work schedule. Felt good about getting our money’s worth and looking forward to some schedule stability to work with and buy another class pack.

4. Playing video games my fiance already beat for entertainment. I never pay close attention to what games are out there but I like playing them, so this system works well for me!

5. Sticking to free books and TV from the library and streaming services. Good tip on Kanopy–I’ll have to check out if my library participates.

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Roberta March 1, 2021 at 2:06 pm

1. Upcycling boring onesies for my mom’s shop with embroidery or bits of lace. I’m happy to make the boring ones look more “giftable” without people needing to buy new products for shower gifts.
2. I bought 25 pounds of pinto beans for $17, plus a 30% off coupon. I used some to make refried beans, and I had huevos rancheros with homemade enchilada sauce this morning.
3. Took the kids to IKEA and the Container Store to look for things they want for college — but didn’t buy things. They took pics of the stuff they want, and I will spend the next year and a half sourcing wooden cubes and shower baskets secondhand, instead of new. Doing something concrete to plan for the future really gave them a lift. Covid will get over eventually!
4. Shifting dry goods around to make the most of storage. My husband wanted to buy beautiful new glass storage jars for our dry goods. I talked him down by promising that I will buy some at the end of March if I haven’t come up with a better solution — so now I’m on a deadline, but I didn’t buy jars at the Container Store!
5. Doing the usual: hanging laundry out, making a curry for dinner using overpurchased dry goods, reading Libby.

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priskill March 1, 2021 at 2:22 pm

Youtube has seemingly ENDLESS bunches of stuff that people are posting and we somehow stream (?)it on our television through roku. So. Much. Stuff. Have discovered British mudlarking, French bulldogs with hilarious captions, low carb lifestyle, all kinds of cooking, huge numbers of “tiny house” and “Stealth living” in your vehicle vlogs, lifestyle vlogs (The Positano Diaries, which makes me want to get rid of everything I own and move to Italy). You can just type stuff in the search box — Russian revolution, fixing your bicycle, photography, crafts, etc. etc. All free. Plus it’s how we get our news without cable — all the major cable channels post frequently across the day. Highly recommend!

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Heidi Louise March 1, 2021 at 3:08 pm

If I had a small child, I would use Mudlarking on the Thames with Nicola as mellow TV watching time. Just so peaceful, and she models patience and curiosity.
My husband chooses British game shows and comedy-talk shows, (we are in the U.S).

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Katy March 1, 2021 at 6:18 pm

I love Nicola! I lived in London for a few years growing up and went mudlarking on the Thames in the Hammersmith area once and found an interesting bone, which I then took to the natural history museum. My father made an appointment with one of the scientists who treated me seriously, which was amazing since I was only 11 at the time. He told me it was a sheep bone, and probably a couple hundred years old at least. Educated me about how everyone just threw their garbage into the river at the time. I kept the bone for a long time.

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Marie-Josée March 1, 2021 at 6:55 pm

What a wonderful experience. Now I have to look up mudlarking.

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Heidi Louise March 2, 2021 at 8:41 am

Adults who invite children to share their professions are priceless. What a great memory!

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Nancy from mass March 1, 2021 at 3:36 pm

I just realized it’s been along time since I’ve posted anything. Good sale on the chips!

1. Finally finished an Afghan I started over a year ago. It’s called a sunflower granny square and it came out so beautiful but man, is it heavy.
2. Put on two masks and gloves and went to my favorite consignment store I haven’t been to in a long time. I bought a gorgeous blueberry lamp ($8) that I now have in my dining room and two wine glasses for a dollar each because I broke one of mine a couple weeks ago and I was down to one.
3. Turns out my male cat has major heart defects and is now on two medicines per day. Once we get the dosing right, I am going to find out if I can find it cheaper somewhere else. Otherwise, it will cost me 90 a month. But, it will keep him alive for a long time.
4. Thankfully I did not get rid of my small chest freezer this time last year. It has come in very handy and is packed with all sorts of things to eat. Including the pounds of butter I keep getting for $.87. I now have about 8 pounds of butter in my freezer
5. Won a bid on an item for a local PBS station. They sent it to me and sent me the wrong thing. So I told them, shipped back what they sent me in error and when they shipped the correct item they sent me a bunch of Cabot free coupons. I gave some to my local food bank and have been stocking up on cheese with the rest.

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Patricia Koernig March 2, 2021 at 1:18 am

Nancy: Thanks to information you provided several years ago about Social Security Survivors Benefits, I applied to by late husband’s SS benefits 2 years earlier than I thought! So glad you posted so I could thank you!
With deep gratitude,
Patricia

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Nancy from mass March 2, 2021 at 4:12 am

That’s wonderful Patricia! I’m very happy you were able to get the benefits early.

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Jill A March 4, 2021 at 4:16 am

I’d be very curious about this information also. Can one of you clarify? You never know what you don’t know.

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Patricia Koernig March 5, 2021 at 12:55 am

Jill, as a widow you are able to access your spouses social security benefits at the age of 60. Yes, 60! You can apply for them 3 months before your 60th birthday ( call Social Security to set up a phone appointment). Due to Covid there are no local offices open , at least here in South Florida. You will start receiving benefits a month after your birthday.
Hope this information helps you.
Be well,
Patricia

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Jill A March 6, 2021 at 5:33 am

Thank you. I actually did know that but like I said you don’t know what you don’t know. I actually benefit more by waiting until I’m 67 to take his SS and take mine early at 62

Ruby March 2, 2021 at 6:52 am

Nancy, if your kitty is on medication that’s also prescribed for humans, you can get it filled at a pharmacy and use a Good RX card. We did this for our elderly cat who developed hyperthyroid disease and also for one of our current dogs who was on Tavist, an antihistamine, for a while for her severe allergies. Tavist used to be quite cheap, but the price skyrocketed when it was found to be useful in treating multiple sclerosis. So the Good RX card helped a lot.

We still laugh about the dog getting mail addressed to Lily Dog at our home address because the pharmacy did mass mailings from the prescription database and that’s how she was entered.

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Nancy from mass March 2, 2021 at 1:37 pm

Hi, he’s on amalodipine and something else. Tractor supply company does have a prescription service, but they don’t have the dose pill that he’s taking. I have to find out if the milligrams come in a human pill. The other one is really cheap it’s the amlodipine that’s more expensive. And he hast to take it multiple times a day. Because once a day only brought his BP from 290 down to 190. he has a leaky aorta, two misshapen valves, a very strong heart murmur (4+ on a scale of 5) and his BP average was 290.

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Liz B. March 5, 2021 at 5:07 pm

I do know amlodipine is prescribed for humans, and it’s a fairly “old” medication….I hope you can find it in the prescribed amount your pupper needs.

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geri March 9, 2021 at 9:05 am

Nancy-if you are near a ‘big box’ store you can price the Amlodipine there-you don’t have to be a member to use their pharmacy. They carry quite a few pet meds, although Amlodipine is also used for humans and isn’t particularly pricey if you shop around. Also, check out Chewy. Depending on your cat’s dose, and your vet’s advice, you may be able to pill split{cut a pill in half}, if your vet feels it is safe. Hope your cat continues to do well. Our dog was on it for a year and it worked wonders.

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Nancy from mass March 18, 2021 at 8:10 am

Hi, I’ve been searching everywhere. The problem is, it’s a very small dose and no one seems to have it. The one pet store pharmacy I did find, it was the same price as my vets.

laura March 1, 2021 at 7:04 pm

Thanks for another update, so nice to see the cool snow as we sit here in Queensland Australia in such humidity that my long haired cats hair is curling on him!

We share streaming services amongst family and used a login to a service to start watching the Americans. I find it easy to hold just one account and share log ins to change variety of what we see.
Read my library book – love Reeses book club for suggestions of good stories and noone else seems to follow it and I can always get the book with little to no wait times from the library. Sadly the library has cancelled their Kanopy subscription as they found it too expensive 🙁
Dates with hubby this weekend were out and about at the beach, walking the long pier at King Tide to marvel at the height of the water and watch for fish and playing a free game on our phone that is location based (Wizards Unite)
Eating through the fridge to play the game of how long til we have to shop
Working on basic maintenance and cleaning around the house to preserve things.
Have taken extended leave from my job as I was not enjoying it (must be my mid life crisis) and thankful I can get a long time off paid to explore other opportunities without having to just take a leap of faith

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Jill A March 4, 2021 at 4:20 am

Bee, I hope you come back. I like reading your FFT’s.

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Bee March 4, 2021 at 5:00 pm

Thank you, Jill. I continue to support Katy’s mission to live frugally and tread lightly upon the earth. Although I am reading the blog, I am taking a break from commenting until I can be positive and less reactive. I have lots of emotions at the surface right now. I apologize for any feelings I’ve hurt or feathers I’ve ruffled. I appreciate your kindness.
I wish you all peace, health and frugality.

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Patricia Koernig March 5, 2021 at 12:57 am

Love your comments too, Bee. Hope to see them again soon.
Be well,
Patricia

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MB in MN March 5, 2021 at 5:52 am

Bee: I second what Jill and Patricia said. It’s funny that while I wouldn’t recognize anyone in the NCA community in the physical world, I recognize when someone has gone missing in the virtual world. I also miss A. Marie and think of her and her husband often.

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Liz B. March 5, 2021 at 5:12 pm

Same here….I rarely comment, but I love reading everyone’s comments and suggestions. Bee, I hope you get to a point when you feel comfortable commenting again. I miss A. Marie, too.

Ellie March 5, 2021 at 5:35 pm

Me, too. I seldom comment, but always read, and miss Bee and A. Marie especially.

Jill A March 6, 2021 at 5:31 am

I think everyone’s emotions are running high right now. I didn’t find any of your comments to be reactive or unkind. I wasn’t affected by those circumstances in that situation but I think most people could recognize that you meant no offense. I also miss A. Marie and hope she is well.

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Kristen | The Frugal Girl March 6, 2021 at 10:07 am

She’s doing ok last I heard, but she is very busy doing care-taking for her husband.

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Lindsay B March 5, 2021 at 3:19 am

1. While organizing/purging my closet found an extra phone case and replaced my cracked, beat up phone case.
2. Not exactly frugal, but I gave myself permission to throw away/recycle/compost (as appropriate) a few soap slivers/toiletries/spices and other small odds and ends. I almost always have “frugal guilt” over not using up every drop, so I count this as a mental health win. I’m not perfectly frugal all the time, and as Marie Kondo says, I can thank these things for helping me learn what I do not like. Holding on to them, or forcing myself to use them, was definitely not sparking joy.
3. Sold a waffle iron on the local Craigslist for $18. Still trying to sell two nightstands before we move soonish.
4. After 14 months without a haircut (they are so expensive in Scandinavia!), I finally took the scissors to my own curls. While it’s definitely a “hack job,” it’s not too bad.
5. Utilizing my already-paid for professional membership to work on completing 20 needed CE’s to apply for a new state license. Getting CEs through my membership is so satisfying, versus paying for separate CEs.

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MB in MN March 5, 2021 at 5:57 am

Lindsay B: Wow, love your perspective on #2. I will now think twice when I’m faced with a similar decision – especially eating food that I dislike or that isn’t good for me simply to use it up. Yes to mental health and sparking joy!

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Lindsay B March 5, 2021 at 10:11 am

MB in MN: you’re welcome! I can drive myself crazy sometimes with little things that don’t matter. I think it’s all about my perspective– if it’s a fun “game” for me, that’s fine– but if I start to feel guilty, then I need to let it go. Sometimes it’s baby steps, which was why I posted about it above. 🙂

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Jann in Maine March 5, 2021 at 12:27 pm

Several of these posts remind us to be mindful of not only being kind to others but be KIND to yourselves…
Sometimes we forget all the rules for treating others applies to ourselves!
Carry on!

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Tonya Parham March 14, 2021 at 7:04 am

I loved Kanopy and had it through my workplace. Our librarian encouraged us to use it and to tell our students about it.

Well, I did and told my students to. Next thing I knew, we had to get approval for anything we watched. Apparently, it was set up that anything watched over three times was “bought” by the school. So we quickly burnt through the budget for the entire year. I felt bad about that but I also was bothered that we were encouraged to use it and to encourage use of it and then it was taken away.

I see Netflix is trying out methods for anti-password sharing. I also share Netflix and I won’t ever pay for it again as I find that it’s 1) damn near impossible to browse with the videos starting instantly and 2) so much of it is just crap anyway.

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