Five Frugal Things

by Katy on April 3, 2021 · 64 comments

  1. I sold a number of items on eBay, including:

    • A CPR dummy, which I bought for $15 and sold for $90.

    • A pair of Wii controllers, which I bought for $8.99 and sold for $45.

    • An almost weightless rosary that I bought at pre-pandemic at a Goodwill Outlet. Paid maybe 10¢ and sold for $10.

    • A Super Mario Sunshine video game that I bought for $4.99 and sold for $55.

    • A Miele vacuum floor brush that I bought for 99¢ and sold for $23.

    • A Microsoft ergonomic keyboard that I bought for $4.99 and sold for $38.

    • A vintage Patagonia fleece vest that I bought for $12.99 and sold for $50.

    • A Rock Band Guitar Hero gaming guitar that I bought for $4.99 and sold for $50.

  2. My son woke up with an idea to go treasure hunting for something to sell on eBay. We grabbed our masks and hit two Beaverton Goodwills with the theory that the thrift stores nearest to the Nike campus would yield the most valuable sneakers. (His specific area of expertise.) This strategy paid off as he scored a $40 pair of highly desirable “Air Dunk” Nikes that should sell for $250.

    They’ve been cleaned up and are ready for him to photograph, so I’ll keep you in the loop of how well this $40 gamble pays off.

  3. I gave away a couple of items through my Buy Nothing group. These were things that I’d bought for resale, yet had been unable to unload. They’d been sitting in my spare bedroom for years and I was happy to put them in the hands of people who wanted them.

    The small amount of money spent was a sunk cost, so I lost nothing giving these items away for free.

  4. I picked up more free used packaging material from a local business, my son and I stopped at the Franz bakery outlet for bread and bagels and I made sure to spend over $10 to qualify for a free loaf, I brought some ginger snaps to my favorite taco cart owner who provides 1/7 of my family’s dinners, I planted a flowerpot of spider plants from rooted babies, my friend Lise gave me three pea plant starts that she didn’t have space for, Lise and I went for an evening walk that featured poking around a few curbside “free boxes” which netted me a set of four shop towels, (and then received an overnight soak in off-brand oxyclean) and my husband and I watched a DVD we already owned of Napoleon Dynamite.

  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.

{ 64 comments… read them below or add one }

Kathy April 3, 2021 at 3:29 pm

1. Online sales have been brisk. In fact a couple of items I had on Facebook marketplace for months sold
2. At hubby’s suggestion I minced leftover pork tenderloin to use for stuffed peppers
3. My sister gifted me a box of of hair care and body care products to
last a year
4. Used a Groupon to get a haircut for $20
5. Got a $7.72 class action check

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MB in MN April 3, 2021 at 4:07 pm

Katy: It’s so enjoyable to read about the items you buy and sell. Amazing really.

1. Created a raised bed garden out of old limestone bricks and scavenged rocks.

2. Made a delicious, simple, inexpensive lunch from roasted potatoes (from neighbor’s patch last year, still good in the root cellar), black beans (made my own from dried), salsa (from last year’s garden) and a bit of shredded cheese (this I had to buy). Had the same thing for breakfast the next day with a fried egg (from neighbor’s flock) on top.

3. Another easy, frugal meal: As I was looking at the potato chip remnants at the bottom of the bag, I remembered a sandwich my mom used to make us kids on “special” occasions. It was basically a grilled cheese sandwich, dipped first in egg and then in crushed potato chips before frying up in the pan. So I made one and it was just as yummy as I remember.

4. Repurposed old wire freezer baskets in clothes closet for workout gear and sweaters.

5. I have been overspending (especially in groceries and home decor) but you know that blast of steam that fogs up your glasses when you open the door of a really hot oven? I use that to clean my glasses. That’s a frugal win.

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ann April 3, 2021 at 4:44 pm

Amen to the peace of sunk cost and the joy of gifting ginger snaps with gratitude.

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Bee April 3, 2021 at 5:14 pm

Wishing everyone the happiest of spring holidays.
1. I sold 2 items on eBay this week – some pieces of Royal Worchester China and a NWT lavender cashmere sweater. Unfortunately, the sweater seems to have disappeared during shipping. Grrrr….
2. I cleaned out and straightened up my closet. I try to do this every spring and fall. I recycled some pieces that were beyond hope, donated a bag full of nice clothes, and consigned a few stylish nearly new pieces. I also listed some accessories and vintage pieces on eBay.
3. I have requested a book from the library — Cooking with Scraps. I’m looking forward to looking through it to see if I can learn something new. I am listening to a book on Hoopla as I putter around my house, and I am reading The Magpie Murders which is a British mystery reading a bit like Agatha Christie. I do love my library,
4. I have restocked my pantry and freezer after nearly emptying them in March. I have taken advantage of the many holiday specials being offered, and have used digital coupons when possible. I scanned my receipts to ibotta and Fetch. I finally received enough rewards with ibotta to withdraw $20!!!!! It can be a slow process when you don’t buy many name brands and cook from scratch. However, in two years, I have earned $145.
5. I have been doing all the usual things – cooking from scratch, drinking primarily water, and brewing my own coffee. I made turkey stock from the carcass and scrap veggies. I saved the yolks of 3 eggs after using the whites. I added asparagus to my scrambled eggs.
Wishing everyone peace, health and frugality.

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Janice Riggs April 4, 2021 at 10:16 am

Be patient with the missing package – I had one that tracking said was in my friend’s mailbox, but it wasn’t! 2 weeks later, it showed up… Oh the pathetic mail system…

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Bee April 6, 2021 at 4:03 am

Service has improved greatly since December. Since I ship all over the country, I have noticed there are problem areas. Things that go through Pennsylvania post offices seem to get stuck there.

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Lindsey April 3, 2021 at 5:49 pm

1. This week was our “Using up things we hate to eat” week, by design. We eat only two meals a day but each one of them was some version of cleaning out the fridge and freezer so as not to waste money. Like a gravy I made using onions and tomatoes that was so bad I froze it until I could in good conscience throw it out because it had become freezer burned. Well, husband added sour cream and we ate it three nights running, on meatballs, chicken and finally on egg noodles. Today, we finished the last crappy food we could unearth and enter Easter’s food feast with a clean conscience! (We did reward ourselves every night with a slice of cheesecake I made…)
2. Exchanged two dozen of our chicken’s eggs for a loaf of homemade chocolate babka by a friend who is the baking queen.
3. Had to do two post office mystery shops, which require sending a package to someone, anyone, so the PO can track how long it takes to arrive there. Used the opportunity to send out gifts for two upcoming birthdays, free.
4. Said gifts were homemade canned food items from last summer’s garden berries, so little cost.
5. Shredded the contents of a four drawer cabinet holding court cases that long ago settled. Mixed it with straw and will be using it for hen house bedding. If spring ever arrives (it snowed 4 inches last night and is scheduled to snow another 14 inches by Friday night), the soiled straw and paper will be shoveled out and thrown in the compost heap to feed my plants later this season.

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MommaL April 4, 2021 at 6:04 am

I kind of love it that the court cases will be pooped on. That would make me feel kind of satisfied.

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Shona April 3, 2021 at 6:31 pm

1) Needed an oil change and called around for prices. Got a notice from Honda that there was a recall on my car, please make an appointment. Made an appointment and turns out the dealer charges less than anyone else for a oil change.

2) I think making the appointment triggered Honda to send me an oil change coupon. $15 off. Thank you.

3) Honda included a car wash and vacuum with the safety recall and oil change. My car needed a bath badly. Thank you again.

4) Another accidental frugal even though money was spent. We needed work done on our house and with so much new construction in my city it’s next to impossible to get anyone out on a 90-year-old house. Got someone to accept my the job, but he later rescinded. Got a recommendation for someone else who quoted us $1050 less than the first guy and he finished the job yesterday.

5) Still no desire to thrift shop, feeling like I have enough. No money spent on things nor stuff.

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Shona April 3, 2021 at 6:47 pm

6) I forgot there was one more- I noticed an on/ off switch for an extra rinse cycle on my washer. Hu… 13 years and I really never noticed this. Switched to “off” and it will be interesting to see if this lowers my water bill.

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K D April 4, 2021 at 10:47 am

We have a wonderful Honda dealership and I use them for just about everything. The oil change price is reasonable and they wash the car. Last time I needed a new (to me) vehicle I bought a Honda because I didn’t want to leave the dealership.

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Mand01 April 3, 2021 at 6:55 pm

Katy, I am interested to know how you price your time when calculating your total profits from re-selling. This is just out of personal interest – I am a freelancer and all of my time is costed out. I can see that you make a strong profit on the items you sell, but that you also have to drive to the store, spend time searching for items, and in some cases you restore items before you re-sell.
Just interested as a business-person myself.

Five frugal things:
TBH I don’t have many. Life has been very expensive around here lately.
1. Still picking some vegetables from the garden, and I have a tree of pomegranates ripening and soon ready to pick.
2. I divided some houseplants the other day and also took cuttings of others. I am hoping to have them ready for Mother’s Day to give to my friends (not my Mother as she has a zillion houseplants).
3. I have a lot of work on right now.
4. Went through my wardrobe recently, and once again realised there is nothing I need to buy. Since I gave up working in an office (pre-COVID) almost two years ago, my wardrobe has been cut by two thirds and what is in there is very basic and serviceable. Not having to wear office clothes is a huge money saver, even though I did buy the majority of my wardrobe secondhand.
5. I reduced the Easter purchasing, by giving my adult and teen a cash gift, and buying some mini-eggs to share. I have a small treat for my niece and nephew. That’s it. No more pile o chocolate in this house. My kids were happy to receive some money instead. Some might disagree with this approach to a sacred holiday, but we are not religious.

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Christine from US April 5, 2021 at 11:36 am

Your #5…I agree…My grandchildren are all in their teens and twenties (one of them) and they are thrilled to get cash instead of candy. All four are students and told me they can really use it. I am religious/spiritual but see no reason why a sacred holiday can’t be commemorated with a gift of any type for loved ones. I put the cash in an Easter card and personally give it to each one (they all live nearby).

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Lisa M. April 3, 2021 at 8:46 pm

5+FF: Spring Fun

1. Received 1st Covid vaccination cost-free & happy that vaccine was one with > 90% efficacy.

2. DD needed to mail a borrowed book to a friend who had moved to another part of the state. Found plastic sleeve that checks were mailed in & it worked perfectly, so able to repurpose & avoid new packaging material.

3. Fully funded Roth IRA for 2020. Also received federal tax refund.

4. Fixed lunch for DH to take to Jury Duty selection d/t no cafeteria. After arriving @ specified early AM time & being instructed he would be needed in the afternoon, he maximized his waiting time by finding a quiet room where he was able to work remotely for several hours before eating his packed lunch. He managed to work 4 hours & was later excused, making it a 1-day event.

5. Shopping Day wins: Combining loss leaders from local grocer, clearance & clearance bakery rack @ big box & freebies from gas station perks, had $9.34 in savings from 1 grocery trip that covered 2 weeks. Always spend less with fewer trips, even true with a holiday meal that incurs increased costs.

6. Kitchen creations: Italian Casserole & then Easter dinner made entirely @ home with 5 items made from scratch. Thankfully, most of the items can be made in advance or @ least prepped in advance. Scratch items on the menu: Spiced Asparagus, Mardi Gras Salad, Easter Egg Potatoes, Bacon & Brown Sugar Brussels Sprouts & Deviled Eggs.

7. Enjoying series “Doctor Foster” on Netflix for entertainment.

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Bee April 4, 2021 at 10:37 am

I felt like celebrating after receiving my Immunization. I had such a sense of relief. This Easter feels especially joyous… a new beginning,

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Lisa M. April 4, 2021 at 5:44 pm

Bee, I couldn’t agree more. There is reason to be optimistic about the future.

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Jill A April 4, 2021 at 4:35 am

I also like seeing all of your Ebay sales. It’s great inspiration and always interesting to see all the amazing things you find at the thrift stores.

1. My Ebay sales have also picked up a bit. I’ve been thrifting for more finds. I’ve also been watching The Recycled Life and Laura Caldwell on YouTube for even more inspiration. Thanks for the tip.
2. I’ve been reading library books on my kindle. The last was Hidden Valley Road which was fascinating and sad and very hard to put down. My daughter gave us her HBOMax password and I was able to watch a movie that I’ve been wanting to see.
3. Spring is here and all the yard work is already beginning including refilling the holes my daughters 130 pound puppy dug in my yard. My mother gave the kids some free top soil that was taking up space in her shed. We put on some grass patch that was purchased many years ago and hopefully that will do the job. If anyone has any tricks to prevent dogs from digging, I am all ears.
4. My daughters and I dug out five ugly, half dead, overgrown barberry bushes. I’m refilling the holes and covering them with a fresh layer of mulch and leaving those spots empty for the time being until I figure out a more permanent and hopefully inexpensive solution. My daughter’s boyfriend also picked up mulch for me with his pickup truck, saving me a delivery fee.
5. While thrifting for Ebay, I also found a pair of sandals (for $3) that are just what I was looking for. I’ve been thinking about splurging on a pair of Birkenstocks, but these are a knockoff by Born and I love them and they are like new.

Oh and also, all my kids have received their first vaccine doses and I will receive my second on Thursday. What a relief.

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Roberta April 5, 2021 at 6:40 am

For your digging dog, I have tried filling the hole with dog poop, then covering it up. I have had mixed results, but if your dog is trying to dig a particular spot this might help.

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Jill A April 6, 2021 at 5:18 am

Thanks for the tip. We definitely have plenty of poop for that. I never would have thought of it and it is actually frugal using poop instead of top soil.

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Ruby April 5, 2021 at 8:27 am

Dogs of the Nordic breeds — spitz, huskies, Akitas and the like — or primitive breeds like Carolina dogs will dig small, deep holes called snout pits. Basically they dig a hole, stick their faces in it and inhale the scent of the earth. Nothing stops this behavior. One of our long-ago spitzes was such an enthusiastic snout-pit digger than our entire back yard looked like it had been tilled. We just followed behind her to fill in the holes, rake the dirt smooth and throw out grass seed. We never lacked a spot to bury dog poop! She slowed down as she got older and we had a really nice yard due to all the digging, raking and seeding.

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Jill A April 6, 2021 at 5:19 am

That is very interesting.

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kathleen April 7, 2021 at 3:50 pm

We had one dog that only dug to get under the fence. When we moved, before we put in the fence, I had my husband lay chicken wire down flat on the fenceline, so that the fence actually sat perpendicularly atop of the chicken wire. Added some dirt over it and grass. When the dog went to dig out, he did not like catching his nails in the wire. He finally stopped trying and my little escape artist was contained. 🙂 It would be hard to cover your whole yard, but if he has a limited space that he likes to dig in, you might give it try it. If burying the poop doesn’t stop him, that is…I agree that the poop would be much more frugal as dogs are little poop machines! LOL

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Jill A April 9, 2021 at 4:28 am

I love this idea. I actually considered doing this alongside my deck and covering it with mulch. I don’t have a fence because I live on ten acres, so we have an invisible fence. I use old grill grates to cover the spots under the deck steps and that’s done the trick but it looks awful. Definitely a great idea that I will consider for those areas that I can. Thank you.

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MommaL April 4, 2021 at 6:17 am

1. Found a very soft denim shirt in my TALL size at GW, I was excited.
2. Was gifted a box of greeting cards on our local buy nothing group. I organized them in a square basket I already had, with card stock I’d saved.
3. Using a cute Easter card from that stash of cards, will plant a cutting for my SIL and put the card with it to brighten her day.
4. Was gifted a nice shawl from the same SIL. She has nice taste in clothing and gets bored of them, so I benefit. 🙂
5. Started to keep a bag of scrap clothing if the fabric is strong, for patching pockets. I’ve discovered I’m very hard on pockets, with carrying a radio, phone, pens, keys, etc. in them at work.
Not frugal: I’m exhausted. To the point where I’m spilling and dropping things, so I’m not going to handle any glassware for a few days. Already broke 2 things this weekend, including a glass painted by a friend who passed away. 🙁

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Lindsey April 4, 2021 at 12:06 pm

I am very tall as well and I always feel like I discovered something wonderful when I see a long shirt that fits. I am old and in my youth I never met another girl who was over 6′ tall but these days I see a lot of young females that reach that height. I figure eventually clothing manufacturers will start making more clothes for tall women. When I was a working professional, I got so frustrated that I hired a seamstress to make me five suits I could wear for court. Best investment I ever made, both in durability and finally having something that fit so I was not always pulling down on the front of my shirts to make them longer.

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Momma L April 6, 2021 at 6:57 am

Lindsey, yes, I’ve hired tailors to alter clothing so it fit. I buy it bigger, so the torso is longer, then take it in.
Or I buy men’s shirts, which always have longer arms!

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Mary in Maryland April 4, 2021 at 6:25 am

1. We celebrated the Mister’s one year anniversary of drinking only home-brewed coffee. He’s gone from three cups per day at Whole Foods to one cup at home. He has lost weight due to not getting pastries to eat with his coffee.
2. A neighbor got a BOGO on five pound bags of spuds and gave one to us. We treat one another’s pantries as extensions of our own, passing garlic, onions, peppers, etc over the fence.
3. Fifteen years ago I bought 6 baggies of half square triangles for $2. I have made three large and five small quilts using them. I’ve used all but the last five making a 40×40 inch quilt for a baby coming in seven weeks.
4. Quilters are all supposed to have a design wall, so one can see one’s work before committing. I made mine by throwing a flannel sheet over a very large painting I found in someone’s trash.
5. I was given all the batting my guild deems “too small to sell at the yard sale”. About 8 baby quilts worth. Lucky me.
6. I’ve found a couple of excellent soup recipes that feature peanut butter in the broth. The soups taste richer and more complex than I know them to be.
7. I am charged with selling all the fabric dyeing equipment and chemicals that were donated by one guild member. Mini-washing machine, microwave, hot plate, etc. and six boxes of dyes, resists and other treatments. May take a page from Katie and list things separately.

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Christine from US April 4, 2021 at 7:46 am

Noticed there was another Christine here the last time I blogged and from her writing I believe she is from the UK so the US will differentiate us.
1. I cleaned out my coat closet which also contains boots and hiking shoes. When added to the shoes in my bedroom closet, I’m embarrassed to say I have 16 pairs of shoes and boots. How and when did this happen? Needless to say I will not be buying these items for a very long time.
2. I donated unwanted clothes and worn (holey) wash clothes to Goodwill. I have heard they accept scraps of cloth and rags. I already have more than enough cleaning rags to use so into the bin they went.
3. My youngest grandchild is 13 and with no prospects for more on the horizon I decided to give away the more than50 books I used to read to them. I put them into a large basket set on a chair at the end of my driveway with a Free Books sign on the front and will continue to do so every good weather day. When it appears my neighbors and passersby have taken all they want I will donate the rest to a local school or organization.
4. Using coupons and BOGOs, I reduced a recent grocery shopping bill from $62 to $37.
5. Reading library books, walking and hiking with DH and friends on streets and wooded trails, making my own iced tea, tea and coffee, cooking meals at home including today’s Easter dinner, a neighbor brought us two bowls of chili last night ( we now seem to be the “older couple” in our neighborhood although we are only in our 60s), DH set out our lawn furniture on the deck…outdoor beer and wine dates coming soon with the improving weather…got my first Covid shot and feel more elated in my soul than I have for a long time and made one sale on FB Marketplace.

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susanna d April 7, 2021 at 1:03 pm

I can really identify with your #1! A couple of years ago, when I was showing a friend pictures of our remodeled master bedroom, she asked if I was trying to rival Imelda Marcos with shoes after seeing a picture of the new closet. Okay, I just took inventory, and I do have 12 pairs of shoes and boots. And of course, I can justify every pair – or try to, anyway. But like you, I won’t need to be buying any shoes for a long time!

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Ruby April 4, 2021 at 7:57 am

1. Still whittling down our weekly grocery costs. I did splurge this week on a lamb shoulder roast because lamb was the same price as beef for the Easter holiday. It will be $20 well spent as my husband and I should get four or five meals from it.
2. Mended two shirts this week. One was my husband’s favorite winter long-sleeved red undershirt, which has been mended so many times I finally had to do a patch in the armpit. It should last him another winter.
3-5. Doing all the usual: Packing my lunch and drinks from home, rocking the cute thrifted outfits, eating the leftovers in sometimes unusual combinations.

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susanna d April 4, 2021 at 8:11 am

1. Hit the grocery store at what was apparently a good time for markdown produce. Red mesh bags of vegetables/fruits are 99 cents on the markdown shelves, and the contents of the 5 bags that went home with me were: 8 limes. 5 cucumbers. 5 bunches of scallions. 5 avocados. And at least a “normal” bags worth of mini peppers ( I forgot to count those). Some of the haul was frozen for later use, but most of it held up just fine for eating fresh. Or sort of fresh.
2. This month marks 13 months of home haircuts. This has saved us $400 (after deducting the cost the the clippers for my husband’s hair). We’re both sold on our home haircuts so I see continued savings in our future. Especially since my husband used to go for haircuts at least once every 4 weeks.
3. This month also marks 13 months of NOT coloring my hair. My granddaughter calls my hair “tiger hair” or “zebra hair” because of the streaks of white and gray among the dark brown. Savings on not buying hair dye has been $73. It actually was $90, but when I noticed a distinct yellowish color in what should have been the white streaks (for which I blame our overly mineral/iron rich well water), I invested in a big bottle of purple shampoo. Said shampoo should last a long time, since it’s only used once a week. However, my husband has decided to use it on his almost-pure-white hair (I have serious hair envy of his hair!) so it might not last quite as long.
4. We bought several cabbages when they were on sale last month, and have been experimenting with making single jars of sauerkraut. The first jar was a big success, so two more jars have been started this past week.
5. I found another big bag of kale that I’d frozen but forgotten (apparently kale grows extremely well up here, because I ended up with SO. MUCH. KALE. at the end of last gardening season). Kale has been finding its way into soup and chili recently, and will probably be found in this week’s spaghetti sauce as well.

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Kim April 4, 2021 at 6:18 pm

Congrats on letting your hair “graduate” to the natural color it longs to be.
May will be one year for me of not coloring my hair every 2-3 weeks. It’s almost all white, I’m not fighting it anymore.

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susanna d April 5, 2021 at 1:28 pm

I’m finding that I like my natural color way more than I liked the dyed color. No matter what I tried, my hair always ended up an unnatural shade of auburn after a few weeks (pre-gray, my natural color was dark brown). Oh, it was kind of a shock a couple of months into the process of going “natural” when I saw my reflection in bright sunlight. But I got over that pretty quickly. I bet your white hair looks amazing – my husband has pure white hair that I seriously envy!

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Shona April 5, 2021 at 11:39 am

The only time in recent memory Vogue provided any use in my life was while reading an article in my doctor’s office about more women embracing their grey hair.

I started going grey in my 30’s and decided to let nature take it’s course. I’ve watched my mom dye hers for decades and cost aside, it’s too much of a hassle.

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susanna d April 5, 2021 at 1:34 pm

I read a similar article, and also have found youtube channels of women charting their progress as they went gray. Fascinating, and it kept me motivated. I always HATED coloring my hair and it’s such a relief to be free of it. I was ridiculously happy to throw out the ratty old bathrobe that I’d put on when I colored my hair!

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Christine from US April 5, 2021 at 11:54 am

I look in the mirror at my hair these days with greys coming in and the last of my highlights at the tips and am reminded of the old Burl Ives Christmas song…”Silver and gold, silver and gold…”

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Mary in WA April 8, 2021 at 1:42 pm

Susannah, isn’t it great to be free from the hair dye and beauty salon/barber routine? I gave up trying to color my hair years ago…it was just too much work just to have a skunk stripe in a week. Like yours, my hair grows ridiculously fast. I let my hair grow out of its “almost a boy cut” when I discovered my white hairs had curls. Now I use the upside down unicorn method of cutting layers into my longer hair. So. Darned. Easy! I wear it up in a pony tail most of the time – keeps the tangles to a minimum and makes it easier to wear my N-95 mask that has elastic straps, not ear loops. The pony tail holds up the top strap, lol.

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Bettypants April 4, 2021 at 8:37 am

Seeing your vintage Patagonia sale makes me regret not buying the vintage Patagonia fleece I found. It seemed so old and had a VERY odd fit, that I didn’t think it had much value.

1. The resale store near me had a buy one, get one free on clothing. Spent $12 for an Under Armour shirt for my teen that he liked, a Packers shirt that he didn’t, and a fancy pottery mug that I already listed on ebay. A lot of people in there wearing masks under their noses, which annoys me to no end.

2. Went out to my dad’s for a visit and he gave me 3 peach baskets, 2 wooden crates, and a bunch of old clothespins to sell. Also picked up a Wall-e DVD and a lot of vintage binding tape.

3. Work bought us pizzas for lunch on Wed, and someone else dropped off a delicious loaf of fresh bread, which made excellent toast the following day.

4. I sold a large lot of DVDs on ebay, and a lace skirt I had pretty much given up on selling. Mailing out both tomorrow using recycled shipping bags. Lowed prices on a few of my existing listings.

5. My coworker brought in a bunch of really nice hair care products for me that she was no longer using. I thanked her with a few hand knit dishcloths.

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Jennifer April 4, 2021 at 8:44 am

Love the shoe find! You have taught your children well!

1. Finished filing everyone’s taxes here. Most everything was a refund, though we owed a small amount of local tax. We have a lot of side business income that we pay taxes on at the end and I never know if we will owe or not. Phew!
2. Lacrosse season is in full swing which means the extra money is rolling in (he is a referee). I am putting it all in various savings accounts to help cover needed expenses or anticipated expenses (new to us car and college savings). Having extra streams of income is a great way to ensure income security.
3. Worked in the garden for a bit cleaning up the wild raspberry canes and thinning out trees that have been growing up in them. Also planted a packet of peas, yum!
4. Did our monthly trip to Costco and Costco brand toilet paper was on sale. I have been feeling the need to stock up again on certain things just in case. Glad TP was on sale! I stuck to my list and avoided the clothing section completely.
5, We had to replace our microwave and the one we got had a different type of plug that made it unusable for where we had our microwave. This forced us to rethink our kitchen and rearrange the small appliances to make more sense with how we use our kitchen. We had to add an outlet, which dh did himself.
6. Needed to update the maps on our GPS. We have been struggling to get it to work and were thinking we might need to replace it. Come to find out we just needed a micro SD card which cost $13. Much cheaper than replacing!

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K D April 4, 2021 at 11:15 am

1. I walked to a friend’s house for an outdoor visit the help her celebrate her birthday. Her gift will be lunch together after we’re both vaccinated. On the way home I found $.16. Finding money these days is as rare as hen’s teeth.

2. He had “Easter” lunch at home. Vaccinated relatives joined us. We kept it casual and dessert was homemade GF brownies from the freezer. The Easter basket I put together was a few boxes of sale candy and a grocery store gift card.

3. We continue to print sparingly on our ten year old laser printer. It has black ink only, I print on the backsides of paper most of the time. When Brother says the cartridge is used up I put electrical tape over the “eye” and continue printing until the quality is bad.

4. I pulled two credit reports the other day, one foe me with one of the credit bureaus and one for my husband from another credit bureau. I usually do this three times a year, rotating through the credit bureaus. Right now the three major credit bureaus are offering free weekly credit reports, because of Covid-19. The website is AnnualCreditReport.com

5. Entertainment continues to be cheap, books from the library and shows on Netflix and Hulu.

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Tonya April 4, 2021 at 12:55 pm

1) Returned some pants to REI and got a pair of hiking boots in the garage sale for $38. I’ve had hiking boots on my list of “things to buy” for a while.
2) Picked up some inexpensive groceries for the week. I’ll bake chicken thighs and cauliflower tonight and eat leftovers for a couple of work nights.
3) Used my discount Sprouts gift cards to pay for said groceries. They ran a “get $100 card for $89.99” deal and I bought three.
4) Didn’t buy coffee out, brewed it at home.
5) Hiked, composted, used the library, and ate leftovers this weekend, all the usual frugal prooves.

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Ali April 4, 2021 at 3:01 pm

1. I used $20 of air miles cash to buy some halibut for dinner. Only 3 servings, halibut on sale, but is super expensive here.
2. Sold DH’s well loved black leather jacket for $20 to a lovely man who was thrilled with it. Was probably $300 or more, many years ago, and closet is less stuffed.
3. Sold a chaise lounge for our deck that we hadn’t used in years, for $60. Another happy customer.
4. Sold a “classic” scrabble game for $10.
5. Went back to the store where I had purchased two pairs of compression socks, and was supposed to get 25% of both. Turns out I only got the discount on one pair. The clerk wanted to give me a store credit….but it was his error, so I asked him to put the refund back on my credit card, which he did, but reluctantly. $10+ back to me.
6. Savings $50 a month by stopping the dog’s liver supplement, which a different vet said she didn’t need. A bit annoyed the first vet put her on it.
7. Rewatching the British show “Line of duty” on Netflix, which I loved the first time around, but the next season will be out soon, and I need to refresh my memory on what happened.
I recommended it to two friends, and after the first episodes, which they thought was maybe too violent for them, I encouraged them to stick with it, and now they are hooked.

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Anne April 5, 2021 at 9:07 am

I certainly don’t want to tar all vets with the same brush, but this over medicating of animals has happened to us more than once, eventually killing one male cat who got breast cancer, exacerbated by meds prescribed by a vet.

I’m really wary of meds now.

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Ruby April 6, 2021 at 6:46 am

Our oldest dog has been on several supplements that had stopped working for her, so we gradually cut them out. This means $75 that we don’t have to spend now. I do like the younger vet at our practice because she explains when a supplement is meant to help with a temporary condition and we don’t wind up with an over-medicated elderly dog.

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Hawaii Planner April 4, 2021 at 7:42 pm

1) Sold things on eBay
2) Used Fetch & iBotta for grocery store rewards, plus was finally able to cash out a $25 gift card on Swagbucks
3) Sold a travel gift card for our scrapped 15 year anniversary trip on Raise. We’ll go another time, and likely not to Italy for a while
4) Used a free item coupon to pick up a fast food lunch for the kids
5) Used grocery store rewards to offset some Easter purchases

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Marie-Josée April 5, 2021 at 2:21 am

What a score on those sneakers!

Winter is probably over, here in Quebec. I mended my winter coat that I had torn two winters ago, as well as my gloves and washed my coat as well as my husband’s and our scarves and hats.

I have been reviewing our montly expenses and I am absolutely shocked by how much we spend on food, supplements and the occasional take-out. My husband and I both want to reduce our work weeks next January, but we still want to eat well, save for retirement and travel while working 4 days a week. We eat gluten-free, organic and pasture-raised for ethical and environmental reasons. I am intolerant to FODMAPS and allergic to casein. If I weren’t we would eat vegetarian meals, but unfortunatly, that doesn’t work for us. I purchase the food and am the cook in our family, so I need to make adjustments and reduce those costs before we reduce our income.

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LB April 5, 2021 at 9:27 am

1. Cut up a shirt to make rags to apply face toner with instead of using disposable cotton rounds. It’s going…okay. I think once I get used to the adjustment they will be fine. My skin seems to be all right with the transition though!

2. Eating every leftover in the house before I go food shopping. Somehow still pulling meals out of the fridge!

3. Met up with my family for an outdoor easter dinner. We went to a local restaurant with a massive outdoor patio and spent 4 blissful hours eating and talking! No gifts exchanged hands other than some Easter candy.

4. My sister got a new job and we are so excited for her! We have a saying that is “we don’t want pie in the sky, we want cake on our desk” to say we don’t daydream, we get what we want. She got me a statue when I won an award back in 2017 of a big piece of cake and I opted to repurpose it by updating the year to 2021 and giving it back! Love the idea of us passing it back and forth as we continue to pursue–and accomplish–our goals.

5. Just finished up week 3 of a youtube workout program. If anyone is looking for something motivating but modifiable, Sydney Cummings on youtube puts out well-programmed and challenging workouts every day! Currently working through the HIIT Burn program and feeling much stronger.

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Bettypants April 9, 2021 at 1:15 pm

I like your cake/pie motto!

And thank you posting the workout program. I checked it out and am going to give it at try.

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Christine April 5, 2021 at 12:18 pm

1. We will more than likely owe money on our state and federal taxes so are waiting until the last minute to file.
2. One of our two stimulus checks was distributed over our three savings accounts, Emergency account, Christmas and Birthdays account and Regular Savings account. The other will be used for some much needed repairs and updates to the house. I am also using some of it for purchases at my friend’s local Indy bookstore. As her store is an oasis of books, art and culture in our little town, I want to see her business thrive.
3. My neighbors made a pot of chili and some garlic bread and brought a meal of it over to me and DH. Not having to cook for a night means the world when you eat all your meals at home.
4. A friend loaned me two jigsaw puzzles.
5. I am reading the book American Ghost by Hannah Nordhaus, a fascinating read about an ancestor of the author who supposedly haunts a hotel in Santa Fe, NM. Set in the 1860s, he story starts with a young Jewish woman from a small town in Germany who marries a young merchant barely known to her and travels to the southwestern United States as a newlywed. A very detailed telling of what it was like in the day and time to venture forth as they did. Well written.

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kathleen April 7, 2021 at 4:34 pm

Thanks for the book recommendation!

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Julie April 5, 2021 at 1:58 pm

1-a neighbour was thinning out plants so I picked up two big bunches of lilies. It was more than I needed so I shared with another neighbour. 2-used some leftover seeds from last year and they are sprouting.  3-son’s grad and prom are both cancelled, it’s a bittersweet way to save money & when it’s safe to do so we will have a small family celebration. 4-I rescued a shopping cart blowing around the parking lot and was rewarded a loonie (one dollar) for my efforts. Carts are expensive in Canada. 5-Currently using up the random bits of food and we are really working on making only as much as we need or having a plan for leftovers. I think it’s working as we had a very small bag of compost last week. 

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Bethany M April 5, 2021 at 5:23 pm

Submitted some paperwork and got a medical baseline allowance. Thanks to Heidi Louise for the suggestion. Should save quite a bit by keeping us in a cheaper tier of electric usage.

Kids are getting lots of Granny Smith apples in their school lunches. They aren’t thrilled, so I chopped them and am making some homemade apple cider vinegar.

Picked up 3 containers of mushrooms while they were on sale at Aldi. Made 11 bags of condensed soup for the freezer. I can’t eat MSG because it gives me carpal tunnel. Side note, I have to say this is tastier and more cost effective.

Got a self addressed stamped return envelope inside a letter that we never intended to return. Peeled it off to mail a bill (A stamp that had never been used, to be clear.)

Made a large batch of strawberry yogurt for the family. Our single use portions for our family of five got out of control. But hey I’m still pumping in the probiotics!

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Heidi Louise April 6, 2021 at 6:31 am

To give proper credit, I might have read the tip about electric companies giving an allowance for medical devices, including C.PAP machines, here first. Perhaps it was on another frugal blog. Such discounts don’t seem to get advertised, at least not to long-time customers.

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Cindy in the South April 6, 2021 at 11:43 am

1. I made red beans, turkey sausage, and rice in the crockpot. I only used half of the package of turkey sausage so I have enough left over for another week. 2. I made a crust less onion pie from onions I bought for 99 cents, frozen eggs, and powdered heavy cream I bought at the beginning of the pandemic. It worked well.
3. I walked for my exercise…free. 4. I dyed, with $3 dye, just the front part of my hair that frames my face. It has been about eight months, and I just wanted highlights. 5. My frugal fail, I did not get my weekend nap…boo hiss.

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Cindy in the South April 6, 2021 at 11:45 am

Oh, I forgot, I planted mustard greens with my Dollar Tree soil. We shall see if the seeds work with this soil. The Miracle Grow I used last year was a huge success.

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Nalani April 6, 2021 at 4:36 pm

My FFT:
1. Got to work from home on Monday so saved on gas and the stress of having to fight traffic. I am hoping once our busy season is over and we don’t need to be in the office in-person and we’ll be allowed to work from home a few days a week. It really is more efficient when I don’t have to spend time commuting.
2. Increased my 457(b) contributions. I am trying to max out my contributions for the year.
3. Have to work late most night this week but work will be providing dinner. Will stretch tonight’s dinner to save some for lunch tomorrow. Work dinners aren’t the healthiest but if I know we are getting dinner that night, I’ll try to eat healthy the rest of the day to compensate.
4. I usually only cut my hair once a year, but my hair dresser (who was actually a friend first) decided to retire. I bought good quality scissors and just did it myself. While not perfect, I’m sure I will get better with practice and I am not particular to begin with.
5. Enjoying watching Gardeners’ World on Amazon Prime. Makes me happy to see all that nature when I am stuck in an office 12-15 hours a day most days.

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Marilyn April 8, 2021 at 5:51 am

I am all in favor of working at home too. As you say, it is more efficient and easier on the nerves if you don’t have to fight rush hour traffic. Also my car will last longer and require less maintenance and fewer repairs. This is a big change in the workplace for a lot of people but probably one that is overdue.

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janine April 6, 2021 at 5:08 pm

Incredible sales of goods, Katy!
1. Heavy spring rain this evening. Car washed for free although I will need to clean out the inside myself.
2. Son usually pays for take- out fried chicken once a week which saves me cooking time and $$ .
3. We bought dessert with a gift card left over from DH’s birthday with 96c to spare!
3. Mending and fixing up old clothes for future use.
4. Rain also helped with newly planted garden – still have much to put into the ground but lettuce will appreciate the moisture.
5. Haven’t joined or contributed $$ this month to charity or political causes. I voted in our telephone company’s monthly donation program for a favorite environmental group and plan to use the $100 reimbursement program MN allows for political contributions. ( you contribute to your choice of political candidates at the state level and get back your contribution up to $100)

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Norma April 7, 2021 at 4:08 am

I haven’t posted in a long time but had an unusually frugal week

1. My charging port in my computer stopped working and my husband was able to fix it saving us at least $100, This happened on one of my former computers. Took it in to the shop. They charged me $80 and told me they did the best they could. First time I plugged it in it broke again. Husband (who is extremely mechanical) took it apart and fixed it.
2. Was able to go in my favorite grocery store first time since the pandemic. Picked up lots of mark-downs including some freshly prepared meals to put in the freezer for those nights I am just too lazy to cook.
3. Bought supplies to prepare freezer to crockpot meals to prepare for the upcoming miserably hot weather here in the south. Will save running out for take out.
4. Continue making my husband large pitchers of his favorite mint flavored iced tea. Much cheaper than buying already prepared.
5. Didn’t buy anything gold plated.

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Bethany M April 7, 2021 at 9:34 pm

I don’t see or hear the name Norma much. Both of my grandmother’s names were Norma. It’s special to me!

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Norma April 8, 2021 at 5:47 pm

My Mom was named Norma. And you’re right – don’t hear the name too much.

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rebecca April 7, 2021 at 3:58 pm

1. I haven’t been to the grocery store for a bit and using stuff up.
2. My dog doesn’t have to take some expensive meds anymore so that will save me $90 a month.
3. Going to a botanical garden on the weekend with a friend who has a membership. I love free fun.
4. I have a pack of wild flower seeds from I don’t know when. I will plant them in one of my garden boxes in a few weeks and see what happens
5. Bothe my summer classes are slowly filling. Fingers crossed as summers can be kind of lean if they don’t go.

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rebecca April 7, 2021 at 3:59 pm

*Both

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Morgan April 9, 2021 at 12:12 pm

1) Peeled, chopped, par boiled and froze about 15 pounds of potatoes that were about to go south. It needed to be done and no potatoes were wasted! Considering the sheer volume of potatoes I eat, it would definitely have been a shame to waste them.
2) My dad and his buddy installed a new toilet for me, saving me from having to hire out for this project! I am FAR from handy (as is my father but don’t tell him that) but his friend knew exactly what needed to be done and now I have a shiny new toilet!
3) During quarantine I had some health issues and had to give up drinking coffee (oof, not fun) but I am allowed to have chai and other teas with caffeine. So I have perfected my iced chai latte with almond milk at home! They cost a minimum of $4 per drink literally at any coffee shop so this is exponentially cheaper.
4) I watched random shows on YouTube TV through my friend’s login. I do not have cable and a number of friends and I all share login info for different platforms. None of us are bored!
5) I have been working from home for over a year now. This means no commuting, less gas money, no more trimet pass, no paying to park downtown, less wear and tear on my car. So many things that have saved me so much money!
Bonus: Portland is having some really lovely weather lately, so I have been able to hang my clothes to dry outside in the sun!

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