Five Frugal Things

by Katy on April 10, 2021 · 80 comments

  1. I sold a number of things through eBay and Facebook Marketplace, including:

    • A pair of $3.99 crampons that sold for $65.

    • A $2.99 Stumptown Coffee artist collaboration mug that sold for $30.

    • A pair of my son’s old Nike sneakers that sold for $40.

    • A $9.99 partial set of Marimekko sheets that sold to someone in Australia for $32.

    • A $4.99 Sylvania DVD/VCR combo that sold for $50.

    • A $4.99 collection of 1990’s keychains that sold for $19. This was the leftovers from a huge bag of keychains from which I’d already cherry picked the more desirable items.

  2. I binged my way through four seasons of HBO Max’s The Great Pottery Throwdown, which made me nostalgic for the pottery classes I took from Antioch College’s world renowned professor Karen Shirley.

    I made dozens upon dozens of pieces, but short sightedly sold almost everything at a stoop sale as A: I was broke, and B: I didn’t relish schlepping heavy breakable things from Ohio back to Oregon. Luckily two of my friends bought pieces and miraculously kept them through the decades. So thank you Lisa and Maura, I love seeing my creations in your homes.

    I did keep one vase, which I gave to my father and step mother, but it turns out that they didn’t remember that I’d been the person who made it and there was no issue with me reclaiming it. My vase is now enjoying pride of place on the mantle and I love owning a piece of my own artwork again.

    Note — The above photo is the piece my friend Maura has kept since 1998, not the one I gave to my father!

    For those wondering about how my world renowned cheapness and an HBOMax subscription co-exist . . . my husband signed up for a month of the service, which we’ll cancel after 30 days have elapsed. Watch the stuff that interests us and and then move on.

  3. I sacrificed a single-armed pair of reading glasses to repair my only decent pair of sunglasses. Luckily the scavenged screw was the correct size and I’m relieved to be headed into sunny sky season without resorting to the scratched up pairs that multiply while I sleep.

  4. I used my vaccination card to get my son a free Krispy Kreme donut, (it’s across the street from Goodwill, so there was almost no extra driving) I returned a $27.99 case of Kirkland brand canned cat food that my normally gluttonous cats refused to eat, we enjoyed a few meals from a Costco rotisserie chicken and then transformed it into an enormous pots of soup, my husband brought home an armload of bubble wrap from work, I cut a spray of forsythia from my garden to make a nice flower bouquet, I drove my 14-year-old Prius to the nearby O’Reilly Auto Parts store to take advantage of their free “check engine light testing” service, I gave away a jumble of excess reusable water bottles through my Buy Nothing Group, we’ve been enjoying hot buttery popcorn from bulk-purchased kernels and a thrifted air popper, I’ve been listening to Emily Henry’s Beach Read through the library Libby app and I received my second free Covid-19 vaccination.

  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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{ 80 comments… read them below or add one }

Lindsey April 10, 2021 at 11:48 am

1. I ran out of Brillo pads and sponges so bought a small box of each. As soon as I got home, I cut each pad and sponge in half. This helps get into small corners and I don’t lose an entire Brillo to rust a day after I use it (I know you can freeze them to preserve them but this works for about as long and less annoyance). I go through them a lot slower when I use the half sizes than full sized ones.
2. Seamster husband used up fabric scraps and made me a neck pillow I can warm up, rather than spending $20 plus to buy one.
3. Used left over scallion and pak choi seeds from last year’s seed starting rather than buying new ones. It is hard to believe I will be putting seedlings in the ground in mid-May, given that our five foot fence is totally buried beneath snow, but hope persists.
4. Filled out a satisfaction survey for the grocery store months ago and won a $100 gift certificate to said store.
5. Did a box store mystery shop and made $18 plus a small bag of potting soil that I intended to buy anyway.

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Katy April 10, 2021 at 12:13 pm

I sometimes cut Brillo pads in quarters if the job is small enough.

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Marie April 10, 2021 at 7:53 pm

Don’t remember where I read it but if using a brillo pad just a little,put in a napkin, or piece of paper towel, and let dry. I put mine in the cabinet under the sink. Doesn’t rust, then can be used multiple times.

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Christine from US April 11, 2021 at 8:59 am

I have a heavy duty piece of plastic mesh that contained something once upon a time. It’s two layered. I keep it on the back of my stainless steel sink and put my used steel wool pads on it to dry. Amazingly, they don’t rust between multiple uses. They last about two weeks, give or take a few days.

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Isabelle April 13, 2021 at 9:13 am

I don’t use SOS pads anymore since I got reusable scrubbing dishclohes.

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Mary in WA April 16, 2021 at 10:15 pm

I use 0000 steel wool (found in the woodworking supplies in hardware stores) instead of buying SOS or Brillo pads. I can pull off a small amount to use depending on the size of the job and just use dish liquid with it. So much cheaper! A bag of the steel wool only costs a few bucks and lasts for years. I still throw the used steel wool in the freezer if it looks like it will handle another scrubbing session. Waste not, want not….or as Katy says, “What am I, a Rockefeller?” Love that, and I’m totally stealing it, lol!

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Katy April 19, 2021 at 8:10 am

Ooh . . . good tip!

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ecoteri April 10, 2021 at 12:28 pm

OMG you guys with the Brillo (SOS) pad cutting!!! I love it, and am going to do that right now. I hate how they rust, and prick my fingers. But I never would have thought to cut them up….Whoot!

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Coral Clarke April 10, 2021 at 12:39 pm

Where possible, use a clothes peg as a brilliant pad handle.

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Katy April 10, 2021 at 8:46 pm

I like to cut the regular sponges in half and never fail to declare “What am I, a Rockefeller?’

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Jill A April 10, 2021 at 12:32 pm

Congratulations on being fully vaccinated. I just got my second one also. What a relief.

1. My daughter signed us up for the free Disney+ bundle when she changed her Verizon plan. We also will receive Discovery + free for a year instead of six months.
2. I made a large batch of taco filling using the Cook’s Illustrated Beef Taco recipe which turned out delicious. I doubled the recipe by using a pound of ground beef and a cup of lentils cooked. We enjoyed our taco night with half a $12 bottle of Kirkland Strawberry margaritas which beats the cost of going out for dinner and drinks.
3. I repaired my daughter’s winter coat even though it’s too warm for her to wear it right now…at least it’s ready for next winter. I’m reading library books on my kindle. I finished “The Book of Lost Friends” and now I’m reading “Untamed”.
4. My daughter brought home more free food including several loaves of bread, bagels and rolls. I put a couple loaves in the freezer and we’ll share some with Grandma. Tonight we’re having dinner and game night with friends. My friend is providing a casserole and I will provide salad with homemade croutons made with our abundance of bread and I also made Katy’s Tea Towel Dressing and some ranch dressing using a very, very old packet my daughter found in the pantry.
5. I took advantage of a 20% off pet purchase coupon at Meijer to stock up on dog food and treats. I also will receive $6 off my next order for spending on a specific brand of dog food. Hopefully now that I’m fully vaccinated I can return the mountain of cans and bottles that have been accumulating since the last time I felt safe enough to go into the tiny little bottle return room. My next grocery bill should be well discounted.

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Kathy April 10, 2021 at 1:28 pm

1. Continued Facebook marketplace and Mercari sales
2. Sent the new Grisham book I finished to a friend
3. Got my eyes lifted paid by Medicare. My vision should improve
4. Hosted Easter and had leftovers for the week
6. Used credit at consignment store to buy a birthday gift for daughter in law

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Lisa M. April 10, 2021 at 2:05 pm

5+FF: April Showers

Tree allergy season is requiring antihistamines but the grass is greening & the birds are making great use of the 10# of economy bird seed (purchased previously @ big box) during their busy season of building nests. Bought a bonus pack of suet @ Aldi this week as price lower than singles @big box, as some birds seem to prefer it.

1. Frugal in untold number of ways, our 3-member nuclear family has each received the free 1st Covid vaccine.

2. Leftover nirvana – The day after Easter, DH enjoyed dinner with his friend who proceeded to send no fewer than 4 containers of leftovers. Those & Easter leftovers provided a break from food production for 4 days. Crockpot Ham & Potatoes are on the menu to utilize remaining portion of Easter ham.

3. Shopping wins – Big box scores included a Canadian quarter that the Coinstar machine rejected, 50% off a couple of Easter items, clearance item, multiple clearance bakery rack finds & discounted deli pizza take & bake; along with gas station perks for a combined saving of $13.50.

4. Packed away the Easter decorations & pulled out the spring/summer decorations, all of which have been used many years.

5. Spring cleaning – Frugal in the long-term although my motivation runs higher for fall cleaning. So far have sent washer through deep clean cycle; cleaned door plates/window tracks to be able to utilize fresh air (not needing to use any heat currently is frugal ), cleaned DD’s humidifier for storage & recycled a sack of unnecessary paper junk.

6. Continue to use streaming services for entertainment – currently watching “Broadchurch” on Netflix.

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rebecca April 12, 2021 at 6:50 am

Broadchurch is so good!

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Lisa M. April 12, 2021 at 8:53 am

Rebecca – I totally agree. The pandemic has caused us to watch so many more shows that we ever did, as we were never regular primetime TV viewers. We especially enjoy series like “Broadchurch” where each episode leaves you hanging & wanting more!

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Shona April 10, 2021 at 2:58 pm

I tried my hand at pottery at many points in my life. None of my pieces were keepers. My husband had taken a community course and we use several of his pieces daily in the kitchen.

1) Darning our collection of Smartwool socks only I didn’t know how to darn nor did I have an egg. Youtube and a $2 wooden dolls head from the craft store did the trick. A darning egg was $12. Smartwool socks currently run around $25 for the styles we have. Lots of $ saved and a new skill.

2) Mending other clothes.

3) Big shopping trip to Trader Joe’s, Patel Brothers, and the international market just to change things up. We now have ingredients for many many evening meals.

4) Getting better aquatinted with my area discount grocery and discovered the sell the bread my husband loves for $1.49 as opposed to the $4 he usually pays. It’s made locally and they get a fairly regular delivery. (They also had Ben and Jerry’s for $1 a pint so I splurged on one).

5) $1++ in change found on long walks, in parking lots, and under a vending machine.

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Bettypants April 10, 2021 at 3:13 pm

1. I cross stitched one small pattern multiple times while in lockdown and sold them on Marketplace until I ran out of frames. Found some nice frames cheap at a church rummage sale. Sold one last week and listed two more today, which are both pending pickup for tomorrow.

2. I have been wearing and washing the same few fabric accordion masks that I sewed a year ago, and the elastic was stretching so the fit isn’t great. Paid $3.99 for a three pack of masks from the Gap, and also treated myself to some striped socks from the clearance section. I LOVE striped socks.

3. Walked uptown and picked up my library holds today before the rain came.

4. Last fall I picked up a hosta for free and then didn’t plant it. It sat in the pot through the winter. Today I saw a bunch of shoots coming up in the pot, so I can stop feeling guilty. Yay for hardy hostas!

5. Took three items into work and put on the free table for anyone to take. Donated a stack of cookbooks to the library. Threw away 2 stretched out bras.

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Shona April 10, 2021 at 3:27 pm

I’m just curious if your love of stripped socks stems from Pippi Longstocking? Mine does.

And I was just mentioning to my husband that all those early pandemic items are flooding the clearance shelves. Great find on the mask 3 pack.

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Bettypants April 11, 2021 at 4:57 am

No, I just like stripes. 🙂

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Tonya April 10, 2021 at 4:12 pm

1) Sold a couple of items on Facebook marketplace. It’s nice to clear out the space in my house and to pass on things I no longer use.
2) Cooking from the pantry tonight. Pasta and sauce with some sauteed veggies that were needing to be used going into the sauce.
3) Used a free zoo admission pass the other day, and will use a free museum pass later this week.
4) sat on my porch this afternoon in the sunshine, drinking homemade iced coffee and reading library books.
5) My 18 year old son gets his first covid vaccine this week through my employer.

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Ruby April 10, 2021 at 5:04 pm

Cheers for getting your second vaccination, Katy! And we are doing the same thing with the HBO subscription.

The FFT:

Cooked a week of breakfasts and work lunches for myself from ingredients on hand. Bought a few much-needed summer clothes after diligent bargain shopping on Swap.com, Poshmark and eBay. Am eating a slightly expired jar of sour cherry jam on peanut butter toast and sandwiches. Received coupons from our local grocery store for useful things like apples, milk and store-brand ginger ale. Changed out a couple more subscriptions to publications to the academic rate I qualify for, thus saving a few more dollars a month.

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Ava April 10, 2021 at 5:44 pm

1. Cut my husband’s hair and it doesn’t look too bad this time.
2. Found a quarter and two pennies in three separate incidents.
3. Grated a withered apple to sub for 1/4 c applesauce in a muffin recipe.
4. Organized my garden seeds. Now I can see exactly what I need and find what I have.
5. Got my garden boxes ready for planting and cleaned out one compost bin. I have already planted cucumbers and radishes and put out a few tomato plants. More planting to come.

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Bethany M April 10, 2021 at 5:49 pm

Paid off our solar loan with our stimulus check. Wasn’t the flashy expenditure I wanted, but it was the responsible choice, I felt.

Asked the library to purchase a dvd so we could borrow it. It’s my final attempt to watch this literature-based film for free in conjunction with a reading assignment, I’m giving my kids over the summer. Lol, already checked with all my friends.

Harvested the new growth of my romaine ends that have been sitting in little cups of water on my windowsill for a salad for lunch.

Scored 2 tubs of clearanced Greek yogurt for 49 cents each. Clearanced items are new to our store. The only thing they ever clearanced before was holiday junk after said holiday. I’m so excited!!!

My homemade apple cider vinegar is brewing away and smelling very vinegary. Just started a mango peel mint vinegar.

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Bee April 11, 2021 at 10:10 am

I am very interested in your vinegar making. Are you using a starter of sorts?

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Bethany M April 13, 2021 at 6:23 pm

I’m following Mary’s Nest’s instructions from YouTube. No starter. Just apples non-fluoridated, non-chlorinated water and sugar.

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Bee April 14, 2021 at 4:23 pm

Thank you. I will take a look at Mary’s Nest. It sounds very interesting.

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Isa April 13, 2021 at 9:16 am

* Using public library a lot (for books)

* Started biking to work. No gas, no parking fees, free exercise!

* Kids are doing virtual schooling at the moment. Very grateful for the used laptop they got from the grandparents

* Too much Covid in our region, so no summer camp for the kids this year. Saving money.

* Doing prices match at the grocery store saves a lot

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Isa April 13, 2021 at 9:17 am

Ooos, wrong place!

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Ruth April 11, 2021 at 4:00 am

Not sure I’m doing much but love to read others sensible savings ways.
I gave away clothes and a home gym to a friend and her husband, they offered me money but I just don’t want to take their money, it felt good to be helpful

1) I’ve recently become an empty nester so am working my way through food in the house rather then buying much
2) went out for tea with a friend that’s struggling, I bought a smaller meal ( one grilled fish instead of two) because I don’t need that much food and she bought me a drink so that was a cheap night
3) not bought clothes for about two months which is good for me as I’ve recently lost a bit of weight and needed clothes. I had been buying some second hand clothes which I never used to do but lately figured I don’t need anything at the moment so not buying just to buy.
4) planted “winter” tomatoes, I live in a non frost area in Australia and have heard these “may” fruit all winter …let’s hope, also planted lots of spinach and rhubarb
5) pay extra into my mortgage each month and with the interest rates being very low here the amount I owe is dropping fast .woo hoo!!!

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Bee April 11, 2021 at 6:10 am

Katy, you are a talented potter. Do you still dabble in it?
1. I have sold 3 things this week on eBay – all breakable. I sold a piece of blue depression glass, a set of coin dot Fenton tumblers and a cookie jar by McKenzie Childs. I re-used some packaging materials. I also listed some additional items that I purchased at an estate sale including a sealed 1000-piece Harry Potter Puzzle and some vintage Byers Carolers.

2. I mentioned that I had ordered the book, Cooking with Scraps, from the library. I just picked it up, and I recommend it. I don’t use cookbooks often, but this one has some wonderful recipes in it. ( Beautiful photography too) There are many ideas on how to use things like broccoli stems, banana peels and apple cores. Perfect for the thrifty cook. I might order my own copy.

3. When I cleaned out my closet last week, I realized that I haven’t bought clothes in a year with the exception of running shoes and a bathing suit. I guess it’s not necessary when you aren’t going anywhere or doing anything. However, life is slowly returning to normal for me. I need clothes especially considering that I have gained some Covid pounds — 10 to be exact. Our local thrift stores have not had much to choose from. So I ordered a casual summer dress from ThredUP using a credit that I had. Still hunting for great secondhand items.

4. When DH and I walk our rescue pup in the early evenings, we have been taking the route by the golf course. My husband has been collecting the stray golf balls as we go. He is a golfer and has been using them when he plays. At $4-$5 a ball, this is tremendous savings especially when he will most likely lose them anyway. (At least, this is what he says.) He has collected over 3 dozen in the last month. All neatly stored in egg cartons in the garage.

5. I started watching The English Game on Netflix. It is written by Julian Fellowes who created Downton Abbey. As a total Anglophile, I love it, but the jury is still out for the rest of the family. I recycled my printer cartridges rather than throw them away. I am cooking from scratch, brewing my own coffee, drinking primarily water, batching errands — all the usual things…

Wishing everyone, peace, health and frugality

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MB in MN April 11, 2021 at 6:40 am

Bee: I checked out “Cooking with Scraps” from the library after you mentioned it in an earlier post. It’s a gorgeous, inspiring book. I may also order my own copy using trade credit at my local bookstore.

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Bee April 11, 2021 at 9:53 am

I’m glad you are enjoying it. It is really filled with wonderful ideas. It is much more than I expected. There are several secondhand copies available on eBay.

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Christine from US April 11, 2021 at 9:12 am

Your #4…DH’s golf ball collecting…brought back memories of when my DH had a hiking route that brought him by a golf course. He collected all the golf balls in the road nearby from errant swings! He ended up with so many I suggested he sell them online but he ended up sharing them with fellow golfers.

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Bee April 11, 2021 at 9:49 am

I mentioned this to a friend of mine, and she said her father had a side hustle selling used golf balls when she was growing up. She also told me that her parents once had an argument, because her dad washed them in the washing machine. I consider myself blessed, but I did find a dozen in the kitchen sink.

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Isitaneedorawant April 11, 2021 at 7:31 pm

Wayne Gretzky’s ( #99 in the NHL ,National Hockey League) father Walter recently passed away. One of the tender anecdotes he mentioned about his father at the funeral was his habit of gathering mis- shot abandoned golf balls . He would take them home and wash them( washing machine) and have his son Wayne sign them. When his father was at all the fundraisers he supported he would hand out the golf balls. His son said he would gladly purchase them but his frugal father saw no need to do that, he had his system.

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Bee April 13, 2021 at 3:57 am

I love this story. I run across signed golf balls from time to time when thrifting. I hope I run across a Gretzky.

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susanna d April 11, 2021 at 6:26 am

1. I’ve been pretty consistent about working out with weights 6 days a week. Besides “healthy is frugal”, it’s frugal in that I’ve had these weights for over 30 years. Are they pretty? Nope, they’re a mishmash of different looking weights, bought at different times. But as I told my son when he laughed about my still having the weights I had when he was a child “each set of weights weighs the same as it did 32 years ago so why would I need new ones?” I mean, doesn’t he know me by now?
2. Downloaded a few more free books onto my Kindle. The Kindle was a retirement gift. This year it’ll be 9 years since I retired, and the kindle is still going strong (as am I). Newer models probably have more bells and whistles, but my old kindle still does what I need it to.
3. My husband – who has much more of a sweet tooth than I do – was looking at lemon bars in the grocery store bakery. I knew I had all the ingredients to make them at home, so that’s what I did. Using ingredients I had beat paying $5.50 for 6 lemon squares by a lot.
4. Not especially frugal, but when we were out walking along the highway, dh commented “someone lost a hat”, followed by “it looks like one of yours.” I flipped it over with a stick and sure enough, that logo told me it probably WAS mine. I’d taken it off the day before and put it in my pocket. Not far enough into my pocket, apparently. I put the hat in one of the bags I keep in my jacket pocket for treasures my grandkids find while hiking, brought it home and ran it through the wash. And yes, there was no hat in that jacket pocket. Kept me from having to buy another hat, so I’ll take the win.
5. We’ll be baking up the super cheaply purchased “Easter” ham (actual Easter meal was a stir fry) and I’ll be playing the annual “how many meals can two people get from this ham” game. Answer: A lot.

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Bee April 11, 2021 at 10:02 am

The weights my husband and I use were in my FIL’s boxing gym which he owned in the early 60’s. They are so old that they are now cool. If only, I was a disciplined about using them as you are.

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MB in MN April 11, 2021 at 6:31 am

1. During a recent downpour, we moved our vehicles out of the garage for free car washes.
2. Rescued a great desk chair from a dumpster bag placed at the end of someone’s driveway.
3. The tall handle on a basket was coming loose so I removed it and gave it new life as a garden hoop.
4. Chopped up Easter candy and used as the chocolate chips in cookies.
5. Used a rolling pin to crush hard clumps of laundry detergent. Got two loads out of what was once unusable.

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MommaL April 11, 2021 at 8:56 am

1. Dinners this week are bits of what’s in the freezer. Last night was soup and a couple of fish sticks. (being holed up made me crave battered fish and chips a LOT)
2. Shopped this week at the produce stand only. Spent $15.00 on a big brown bag of veggies. Brought my own bag.
3. Our school uses brown shopping bags for the virtual students’ library book check out, so I bring them in when I can.
4. Took some house plant cuttings that I rooted. to our free plant library, got some herbs and a small tomato plant in exchange. Its such a friendly group, I love it.
5. Got some hand me down sweaters in my favorite color from a relative.
Funny how this group has changed my thinking: DH said to me today, we should buy some clear plastic cups for the cuttings, and I looked at him and said, “buy???”. Then I rinsed out a plastic jelly jar and handed it to him. 🙂 I’m going through a clumsy phase, I think he was worried about all the glass jars on the windowsill.

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Christine from US April 11, 2021 at 9:24 am

Congratulations on your second shot Katy!
1. My former boss asked me to come back for a day when they were squeezed for help. I did and found a penny on the floor. I got paid too which was nice for this retiree.
2. 17 year old granddaughter is coming over for the day and asked if we could bake. Frugal fun plus I’m thrilled she still wants to hang out with me and do the things we did together when she was little.
3. While gas prices have soared everywhere, it’s funny how two gas stations a few hundred yards apart can have such different prices. Using my Gas Buddy app I found gas nearby for $2.71 (still highway robbery). The gas station within view had gas at $2.89.
4. A friend gifted me two African Violets. She moves to a different area in the winter months and tired of dragging them along. I already got one to bloom. I didn’t do anything special but I think they might like eastern light. She had them in a south facing window and they did nothing.
5. I ordered and picked up the two memoirs of Beverly Cleary from the library. I’ve been sitting out on the deck, my happy place, with tea in one hand and a book in the other. We’ve had a wonderful warm spell. Weather this week looks to be in the 50’s but better days are ahead.

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t April 11, 2021 at 10:00 am

Already in summer mode of eating. Keep big bowl of half iceberg and half baby spinach and kale ready, deli turkey, boiled eggs, & provolone for salad or sandwich on gluten free bread. Make a big batch of chicken and rainbow vegetable soup and freeze in portions, and cook and freeze in portions brown basmati rice to put on soup. Frozen pineapple spears, cherries, and black grapes for treats or occasional smoothie. Easy quick food. I also bought sale bag of OreIda crinkle fries that I put a little olive oil in nonstick pan and sizzle till golden brown and crispy. Mmmm. So crispy. Pink salt and dip in BBQ sauce or whatever. Then I get Mexican, Asian, BBQ, or pizza from take out when I want a change. I can get 3 meals out of 1 order and it tastes better than I can make. And I always ask for free extra sauces. Oh and baba ganoush and tzatziki sauce from Greek sandwich shop I dip my own cucumber and pepper slices in. All set for summer!!!
I stick a tea bag in my bottle of water for my own cold brew tea.
Hanging up clothes to dry, flip flopping feet until december, can’t wait to open windows when pollen dies down, it’s not the beach, but my favorite webcams of the beach show too many people so unless you can afford to rent a private island 2021 looks like a way over crowded beach year or so I tell myself.

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Louise April 11, 2021 at 10:18 am

Crampons: the world’s most uncomfortable form of feminine hygiene.

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Katy April 11, 2021 at 12:50 pm

The jokes from the word “crampon” are delightfully endless.

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Anne April 12, 2021 at 9:23 am

Every time I come across that word I stumble and have to think about it. Like you, Louise, all I can picture is tampons combined with doubled over menstrual cramps.

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diane c April 11, 2021 at 12:38 pm

bought a like new computer chair at a local thrift shop for $5.00

A friend gave me a new large jar of jiff natural peanut butter and large unopened jar of grape jelly

I got several samples of sunflower seed butter

I have been eating out of my pantry.

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C April 11, 2021 at 4:28 pm

– I got a few new spring/ summer shirts from goodwill to wear to work. I’m actually teaching a class on campus this summer (!!!) and I am so excited to get out of the house and not teach to a bunch of blank screens anymore.
– I got my second vaccine (the next day was pretty rough- but worth it). It was far away but I batched errands and made it work.
– made chicken broth from my freezer stashed bones and scrap veggies.
-working in the yard- we’ve always done all the work on our five acres ourselves (aside from some help taking down big trees) and it’s great to think of all the money we save just by getting outside and putting the family to work.
-working from home, planning for the future. Things seem so hopeful now- the world is cautiously opening up, spring is here, the new administration is active and capable… we just might make it after all!

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Li April 11, 2021 at 6:50 pm

It’s frustrating that Goodwill sheets almost always come without the pillow cases. What’s up with that? Do people not donate the pillow cases? Do the get separated from the sheets? Do they wear out before the sheets do?

Luckily, the last time I went “sheet shopping” at the bins, I found a complete set with one extra pillow case! Score!

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Mary in Maryland April 14, 2021 at 7:00 am

Pillow cases get so disgusting that no one bothers to take them to the thrift shop? I make pillowcases out of the second hand sheets that are almost free because of a rip or a big stain.

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Jann in Maine April 12, 2021 at 5:32 am

Same old same old here in Maine.
1 Month post vaccine and have volunteered to do vaccines at our local mass vaccine site–first time was so pumped everyone so nice and enthusiastic about getting their vaccines. As my DD said: “You’r part of history”. Will go back on Wed and they do give us free lunch and snacks.
Called around regarding a part replacement and buying it through our local lumber yard was less than half of the Anderson windows website and no shipping cost.
Eating at home,brewing our coffee,driving very little and hanging laundry on the line. In fact we realized we have not used the dryer at all this winter and this is in central Maine.
Our garlic is coming up. We grew 5 varieties and will be gifting some to friends who are delighted at the prospect. They are already poking up and homegrown garlic is the best.
Realizing that I will have some difficulty reentering life when things actually do get back to “normal.” Not sure how or what that will feel like.
Enjoy reading Katy’s column and the responses–thank you all for a good read.
Stay well and carry on!

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Christine from US April 13, 2021 at 2:29 pm

I had no idea there are more than one variety of garlic. Is one type tastier than another and do you have a favorite? Maybe I’ve been living in the dark ages!

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Heidi Louise April 14, 2021 at 7:04 am

Seems like garlic connoisseurs should be like those who are passionate about wine or brandy or cigars. Some garlic would be more intense, full-bodied, with a lasting taste, lighter, fruitier, smokier– All sorts of subtle adjectives.

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Jenelle April 12, 2021 at 5:53 am

1. Not the best reason to be frugal, but this weekend I sprained my ankle playing with my kids at the local trampoline park. Needless to say, I didn’t feel the need to go anywhere for the rest of the weekend! Saved me money!
2. I didn’t feel the need to go to the ER for a sprained ankle. I’ve done it so many times that i know how to treat and we already own crutches that were given to us. Saved us $150 on the ER co-pay.
3. Tediously working with my insurance company to ensure that a procedure is covered. The procedure isn’t until Aug. so I have plenty of time to get it figured out.
4. My hubby is finally jumping on board of our Ebay business and helping by taking photos. It makes everything SO much easier for me. We can list more and hopefully make more money.
5. All the normal things: packing lunches, making my own coffee for work.

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Joyce April 12, 2021 at 9:01 am

1. Trimmed my hair. I may actually PAY for a haircut later this month, post second Covid shot.
2. Cut husbands hair.
3. Glued the supports on a porch chair.
4. Spray painted an Adirondack Chair for the porch, also.
5. Best of all, got 3 free dining room chairs! I will spray paint them black.
6 got a free tote full of fabric. Big enough scraps in there to make pillow case dresses for grand daughters

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Cindy in the South April 12, 2021 at 10:07 am

1. I got my free Krispy Kreme doughnut with my vaccination card too! 2. I made red beans and rice from dried red beans (cheap.) 3. I walked for exercise…free. 4. I brought my lunch from home. 5. Hmmm, I don’t know…..maybe made my meals at home with supplies I already had. I am very repetitive but that is how I live.

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LB April 12, 2021 at 11:28 am

1. Compost dropoff site was giving “completed compost” back on Saturday, so I got some to top up my indoor plants. I wouldn’t say I have a green thumb–it’s more like very light brown–so this is a welcome addition to their pots! Added satisfaction of knowing this compost started as our community’s scraps.

2. Almost done with my youtube workout series–very proud that I stuck with it for an entire month!

3. Vaccinated friend wanted to hang out but we are both wary of indoor dining or other things we usually enjoy. We switched it up and went for a hike for the price of tolls and two peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. It was great to explore nearby and we learned we are good hiking buddies–always a good thing to have extra of!

4. With rain in the forecast, I had to bite the bullet and buy a raincoat. REI had their brand one on clearance + gift card + membership dollars = a really great raincoat for $5. I was extra pleased that it came in my favorite color (purple!) and fit great.

5. Crafting using stuff I already have and avoiding anything I have to buy new. At one point I had so much hot glue I didn’t think I’d get through all of it!

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Kristen | The Frugal Girl April 12, 2021 at 1:04 pm

Yay for two vaccine shots!!

How did you feel after the second one? I was mildly incapacitated for about 48 hours after mine.

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c April 13, 2021 at 7:39 am

Me too! I don’t want to be dramatic because the last thing I want to do is discourage anyone who is hesitant about getting the vaccine- but I was definitely not up for any adventures. Short lived and worth it.

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Katy April 14, 2021 at 12:20 pm

I got the Moderna and had a sore arm and was super tired the next day is all.

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Jennifer April 12, 2021 at 5:49 pm

My college dd came home for the weekend now that we are all vaccinated. It was so good to see her.
1 – Entertainment was hiking and watching her brother play rugby (free admission).
2 – I let her shop in my pantry to take groceries back to school. I honestly don’t notice much gone though she took 3 bags of food.
3 – The dog is having allergy issues and chewing his paws. With all the pollen in the air I was feeling the need for a paw wipe of some kind and spent a long time looking online for something that would work and be affordable. In the end I had my dh stop at the grocery store and pick up a tub of hypoallergenic baby wipes for $2.39 – about 10% of the cost of “dog paw wipes” online. Hopefully cleaning them well after he goes out will help.
4 – Came home late after an appt and found only my college grad ds home rummaging through the cabinets. He asked what was for dinner and I had decided to scrounge for myself since no one was home. He ended up taking me out to eat! Such a nice treat – and good conversation to boot.
5 – Washing full loads of laundry, furnace isn’t running much now that it is warming up, dh is working a lot of lacrosse games, ds eating lunch free at school every day, the rest of us are packing. Doing lots of the usual.

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Alison April 13, 2021 at 12:25 pm

My dog also chews and licks her paws due to allergies.
Finally a swab taken between her toes showed an abundance of yeast.
The vet says to use Nizoral shampoo (from the pharmacy) to wash her feet.
Seems to have improved things. She also has an allergy pill she gets twice a day.

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Jennifer April 14, 2021 at 5:08 pm

Good idea! One time between his pads got so gross, stinky, gooey, you name it. Had to take him to the vet and whatever they gave him cleared it up. But he still chews. I will look for that shampoo, thanks!

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Ruby April 19, 2021 at 9:17 am

We use Douxo Chlorhexidine PS shampoo from Chewy on our allergic dog’s feet and face when pollen is really bothering her. She causes an overgrowth of yeast by licking and chewing her itchy feet and then gets crusty little sores around her lips. The shampoo kills fungi and bacteria and soothes itching. It stops her feet from itching right away and lets her mouth heal.

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Marie-Josée April 12, 2021 at 7:34 pm

I cried while watching almost every episode of Broadchurch. So sad and moving. And the soundtrack – hauntingly beautiful.

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Lisa M. April 12, 2021 at 8:50 pm

While intriguing, much of “Broadchurch” subject matter was quite tragic. Went back & listened to some of the soundtrack – yes, amazing.

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Hawaii Planner April 13, 2021 at 6:41 am

1) Made an impromptu taco dinner, after getting back later than planned from a weekend out. We were feeding six, and I briefly thought of how easy takeout would be, but sucked it up.
2) Made pico de gallo to go with the tacos, and used cilantro & jalapenos from our garden
3) Used up grocery store rewards for taco ingredients
4) Sold a few things on eBay & FB marketplace, including an old gaming system for $70. Felt great to get it out of the house, & money in our pocket.
5) Defrosted chicken & enchilada sauce from the freezer for chicken enchiladas

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Isa April 13, 2021 at 9:18 am

Using public library a lot (for books)

* Started biking to work. No gas, no parking fees, free exercise!

* Kids are doing virtual schooling at the moment. Very grateful for the used laptop they got from the grandparents

* Too much Covid in our region, so no summer camp for the kids this year. Saving money.

* Doing prices match at the grocery store saves a lot

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rebecca April 13, 2021 at 10:33 am

I really have nothing to report. I feel like there is a huge sucking sound from my bank account.
I keep doing the regular things-making coffee, eating from home,
haven’t filled my gas tank in a few weeks, walking my dog for exercise, growing my private practice, appreciating spring starting to bloom, watching robins in the yard from my desk while doing telesessions and bringing brunch to my elderly aunt and uncle’s house on Saturday. We are all vaccinated and I am making everything from ingredients already in fridge, freezer and pantry (frittata, bacon, blueberry coffee cake). My cousin will bring fruit. I haven’t seen them in a year.

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Jennifer April 15, 2021 at 2:40 am

I know that bank account feeling well – there are times for everyone when this is the case. Hopefully it lets up soon for you.

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cathy April 13, 2021 at 10:37 am

1. Got my second Covid vaccine yesterday. I made sure to use my arm a lot, and to stay hydrated, and it seems to be working. Last night I had a barely sore arm and some fatigue (same side effects as #1). Maybe a little tired today? My husband is fully vaccinated, and our two young adult kids will both have their second doses within the next week. I don’t know if it matters, but we all got Pfizer and my side effects (if I can even call them that) were the most “severe.”

2. I love my library! They’ve started showing the amount you’ve saved on the receipt. As of a few weeks ago, I’ve “saved” $670.31 in 2021, but I know that’s an understatement. The book I checked out was valued at only $13.08, and it was a hardcover, new release. A few months ago, I discovered the Russell & Holmes series by Laurie R. King, and fell in love with it. Read the whole series. I’m now hoping to find copies of the books at either the used book store where I have credit or at neighborhood Little Free Libraries.

3. Received six cute blue and white Scandinavian-style floral Ikea mugs through the Buy Nothing group. They appear to be somewhat rare, so if I decide not to keep them, I’m sure I can resell them.

4. Starting to plant the garden. Most seeds are leftover from last year or earlier. Only a few bought new (to fill in gaps). Got two seed starting trays w/ peat pots and lids from someone in the Buy Nothing group. Also starts of Brunnera plants for the shade garden.

5. Sold a set of our Origami Yoda book series on NextDoor. Money in, and a great deal for another family.

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Heidi Louise April 13, 2021 at 1:43 pm

The next Russell and Holmes book comes out in early June! I really dislike Holmes in just about every incarnation, yet those books are so creative and so humanizing of him, I have enjoyed this different interpretation of him. (Some of course more than others, as with any series). The author, Laurie R King’s, research for the books is fascinating!
I found that my library will often order new releases promptly, and list them on the electronic system as “in processing.” The system allows me to put the books on hold then, so I sometimes get the jump on my reading competition. I also will reserve large print books, even though I don’t need them, if they are available sooner.

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cathy April 13, 2021 at 5:21 pm

Heidi Louise, I am patiently awaiting the publication of Castle Shade. It seems a lot of fans are reading Dracula in preparation, but I can’t really get into Dracula. Agreed, though, that LRK’s research is amazing and so in depth. I’m with you on requesting large print if I can get the book faster. Ditto requesting books that are on order. For some reason my library doesn’t have Castle Shade on order, so I requested they purchase it. Hoping that moves things along! I actually enjoy reading books about Holmes, but am not quite as drawn to the Conan Doyle originals. Go figure.

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Heidi Louise April 14, 2021 at 6:55 am

King mixes fact and myth so wonderfully that it reinforces my lack of interest in reading Dracula. I’ll let her do the work.
I have not read the young adult series of Enola Holmes, (Sherlock and Mycroft’s teen sister, who lived with their mother), but found the Netflix movie charming. I am sure I would have liked the character when I was young.

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Roberta April 14, 2021 at 1:15 pm

I enjoyed the Laurie King series, but my husband is obsessive! He has read the series repeatedly.

The Enola Holmes episode on Netflix was quite faithful to the spirit of the books, if not completely accurate. My daughter and I listened to the entire series on our way back and forth to class. I highly recommend them!

Texasilver April 13, 2021 at 1:52 pm

You can fix eyeglasses with a staple if the screw comes out. I’m not sure how long it will hold but it is a way to keep the earpiece on. My niece told me her 3rd grade teacher fixed her glasses like that. I tried it & it works as you bend the staple & thread it thru the hole where the screw went. Then bend the staple to stay put. Voila!

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Christine from US April 14, 2021 at 9:32 am

Good to know in a pinch!

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Betta from daVille April 15, 2021 at 11:07 am

My first three are less frugal intentions, but the generosity of others (but I accepted without shame!):
1. Friend owns a business that is the pick up for farm shares. 4 boxes went unclaimed, so he just dropped one off, which included sunchokes and ramps! We just revised our meal plan to include these.
2. Upstairs neighbors had grocery deliveries, but it was not theirs! They gifted us a jar of peanut butter that I will use to make a peanut butter ice cream cake to celebrate father-in-law’s retirement.
3. Because of the year of no travel, my parents had an extra timeshare week that they were not going to use. My colleague, her son, and I just booked it for a inexpensive summer holiday trip.
4. Just had dryer fixed — it is 43 years old (which my parents handed down to me 20 years ago) and the repair cost far less than a new one would have. I know it is not the most energy efficient, but there are only 2 of us so it isn’t used terribly much.
5. Another “yea library!” — I turned off my internet at the work apartment, but have had to spend a night there every few weeks over the last 4 months. My library has a “library of things” which includes personal wifi devices that we can borrow for a week at a time. It has saved me $200 over the course of the semester of not having to have internet turned on.

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Jess April 18, 2021 at 4:24 pm

Small world!!I have been following your blog for years and I too took ceramics with Karen Shirley and graduated from Antioch. I made lots of tea bowls and slabwork shoes!!! What a cool connection!

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Katy April 19, 2021 at 8:10 am

She was so amazing! I was her studio aid for my “Cwispy” work study job, which was so much better than any of my other on campus jobs. I even got to run that industrial dough mixer she’d adapted for clay.

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Gina K April 22, 2021 at 10:03 am

5 Frugal Things (my first time posting )

1. My friend gave me a box of eggs – I always give her leftover bread for their chickens so this is a win-win
2. I made my daughter 2 scrunchies out of an old pyjama top.
3. In a bid to reduce my wool stash I am currently making a crochet bunting.
4. Found my old Microsoft Lumia 950 XL phone in a drawer and decided to list it on FB Marketplace. I loved that phone, it has a great camera but a lot of apps don’t work on it any more (Microsoft is no longer supporting it). It seems to go for over 100€ on Ebay though, so here’s hoping.
5. The zip on my husband’s bedlinen broke so I sewed on a load of snap fasteners which do the trick.
Frugal fail of the week – didn’t have/make time to batch bake cookies and ended up buying croissants instead

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