Five Frugal Things

by Katy on April 22, 2021 · 92 comments

  1. I got home from running errands and noticed that my neighbor was taking advantage of the hot sunny weather to power wash his car. Although I do have access to a power washer, (both my step mother and my next door neighbor let me borrow theirs) it’s a pain to set up and put away so I normally wait until I have a butt load significant amount of stuff to be cleaned.

    My family uses a large wicker basket as our laundry hamper, but it can get a bit grubby. I’d noticed some superficial mildew and was thinking I’d give it a spray the next time I was in possession of a power washer, so I grabbed the basket  and asked my neighbor if he’d give it a quick spritz. He happily obliged and the basket now looks as good as new. And since it was a hot sunny day it even dried before the sun went down!

  2. My son and I drove over to the Franz Bakery Outlet to stock up on bread. I learned that they run a Tuesday special of an extra $10 punch on their frequent buyer cards. This may not sound newsworthy, but it only takes five punches to earn a reward of five free bakery items. Considering that my sandwich loving husband’s preferred bread is normally $5 per loaf, this has the potential for significant savings.

    I guess I’ll try to remember to run this errand on Tuesdays.

  3. I surprised my daughter with a trip for gluten-free fish and chips, which was a special treat due to her dietary restrictions. This takeout was a splurge as we don’t normally choose restaurants with $20 entrées, but I made sure to eat beforehand to keep the tab under control.

    My daughter savored every delicious bite.

  4. My son sold a pair of $40 thrifted sneakers for $235 through my eBay account, I returned a bra that didn’t fit right, (why does the cup size change when the band size goes up?!) we skipped Taco Tuesday this week as my son had booked a 7:39 P.M. vaccination in a far out suburb, I mended the belt loop on a pair of my husband’s work pants, I listened to Jenny Lawson’s Broken: In The Best Possible Way through the free Libby app and then started listening to Sarah Penner’s The Lost Apothecary, I lugged home a curbside stack of free organizing cube pieces and have been using them to put our closets in order, (click HERE for a “before & after”) I sold a $5 bag of wooden marble roll blocks for $25 and a $5 framed Andy Warhol poster for $40 through Facebook Marketplace, I cut dogwood and lilac sprigs from my mother’s garden and I went for a walk with my friend Lise, and while I didn’t bring anything home she grabbed a couple stainless steel dog bowls for an upcoming dog sitting stint.

  5. I didn’t buy a Lear Jet.

Katy Wolk-Stanley    

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

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Disclosure: This blog post includes eBay affiliate links, which may earn you a discount, as well as a small commission for me. This costs nothing extra to you.

{ 92 comments… read them below or add one }

Heidi Louise April 22, 2021 at 1:07 pm

1. I cut tulips and daffodils to enjoy inside, and my husband hauled my few outside herb plants inside for the few nights below freezing we had here in the Midwest.
2. The grocery store has had bake-your-own Pillsbury Easter cookies on sale for 99 cents for several weeks now, and I have enjoyed a few boxes of them raw. For healthier purposes, I am getting a sense of when the produce markdowns are put out in the late morning, so I can get the expensive packaged greens also for 99 cents. I have lost a great deal of weight over the last several years eating salads.
3. Slowly savoring the last few episodes of Schitt’s Creek on Netflix.
4. As I met my out-of-pocket a month ago on health insurance, (had second knee replacement surgery), I am mentally planning ways to make the most of my insurance for the rest of the year. This includes getting any procedures done (hopefully none!), and getting ahead on prescription refills if possible.
5. Paid first installment of property taxes. They are quite low, (my Dad’s comment once when I mentioned how low being, “Do you even have fire and police services?”). By checking out one book, I used the $18.62 annual tax charge our household pays for the library in one visit, and I didn’t even have to store it and dust it when I was done.

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Tracy C Baton April 28, 2021 at 3:11 pm

A trip to the dermatologist is probably in order. It’s a treat in some ways and they can check for skin cancer, and give you tips on aging well if you have a spot or mole you’d like them to see.

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Lisa M. April 22, 2021 at 1:15 pm

5FF: April Showers/Snow

1. Received 2nd free Covid vaccine; wonderful relief to be fully vaccinated.

2. DH purchased a stainless steel step-on waste container for the kitchen @ big box. Noticed there was a flyer for a magazine inside the new container & was about to deposit it in recycling when I looked closer. In small print, it stated that the card could be completed with “REFUND” written to get $6 back. The request was in the mail the next day.

3. DH & I completed enrollment for new health/dental/vision insurance in a timely manner. He added vision & dental appointments on his to-do list, as he previously postponed both.

4. Recent kitchen creations: Crockpot Ham & Potatoes; Pasta, Peas & Ham to finish off the Easter ham leftovers; Lasagna Roll-Ups, Monterey Bake & Chili. For vegies: Surprise Slaw & steamed some < than fresh full-size carrots & prepped them Mediterranean style.

5. Shopping Day wins: Found a penny in the Aldi parking lot; Located item on clearance, item on clearance bakery rack & clearance deli take & bake pizza @ big box; Used gas station discount; Utilized perk reward @ pet store for a combined savings of – $10.09.

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shona April 22, 2021 at 1:20 pm

1) Bin dove for a bunch of beautiful apples & filled our fruit bowl for the week

2) Got a wild hair and decided I wanted lipstick for Zoom calls. I’m not currently a make-up wearer, but long ago in my 20’s I wore a particular shade of MAC lipstick.. Was near Marshalls and they had tubes of Mini-MAC lipsticks. MAC no longer make my color but for $5 bought a shade darn near close. First Zoom call with lipstick was with my aunt who was stunned.

3) Gorgeous spring weather. Windows are open when home and laundry on the line. A cold snap here and there so we cannot turn off the HVAC unit just yet.

4) Still staying out of thrift stores with no desire to add more (other than the above mentioned tube of lipstick) to the stuff. Subtracting stuff by means of the curb. In fact, I recently put black wire shelves like the ones in your photo on the curb. Stuff gone, no need for stuff to hold the stuff.

5) More coins found on the ground.

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Coral Clarke April 22, 2021 at 1:29 pm

Loved the organiser! Having moved house last year I have reused the shelves of my overburdened IKEA Billy bookcase to make kitchen shelves. Changed from desktop to tablet, so ccomputer cupboard is now my pantry.( older home,blissfully seperate, good sized kitchen, contained nothing but a sink unit and stove!

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Lindsey April 22, 2021 at 1:53 pm

1. Sold two books on Amazon
2. and with perfect timing I signed up for two post office mystery shops…so I mailed the books for free, plus earned $12 for doing so.
3. needed a birthday gift for a friend and am awash in eggs right now, so made her a huge batch of homemade pasta and delivered it and a jar of home made spaghetti sauce I made and canned during last summer’s harvest.
4. had a VCR sitting in a closet and sold it on FB. It was gone within minutes of listing it; I thought it would never sell.
5. Donated 11 blankets that we have collected over the years to the animal shelter. Also two large bundles of newspaper.

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kathy April 22, 2021 at 2:19 pm

April Showers/May Flowers?
My April showers have been
1. Eyelid lift surgery paid by Medicare to improve my visual field. When the swelling goes away..no more saggy upper eyelids
2. Went t0 nephew’s wife 50th birthday party. They sent me home with a Christmas cactus for our home. I’ve been wanting one for years!!
3. With menu planning I am able to stretch out shopping trips to every 10 days.
4. Sister gifted me with a box of hair care products (mostly unopened).
5. Sold several items the past week.

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Jill A April 22, 2021 at 3:19 pm

1. I followed other NCA readers advice and filled a hole the dog dug with poop (the dog’s of course) which meant that I didn’t need to use as much top soil to fill it. Frugal win and hopefully it keeps the little bugger from digging in that spot. Thanks for the tip.
2. I replaced some lightbulbs with heavily rebated LED’s from Costco. I will deliver the used florescent bulbs to our county’s Hazardous Waste Disposal facility which is free to residents.
3. My Ebay sales have been steady. I’ve found several new items to list and spent part of my morning taking photos, listing and making boxes out of cardboard can trays since many of the items I have been selling have been kitchen utensils and require smaller odd shaped boxes.
4. I’ve been reading library books on my Kindle. I finished reading The Happiness Project which has been on my list forever. Right now I’m reading A Gentleman in Moscow, and next I will read At Least In The City Someone Would Hear Me Scream by Wade Rouse which is a book I’ve read before but I like to read it when I’m feeling down. I’ve also put Broken, in the best possible way on hold so should be able to read it in the future.
5. I returned $45 worth of cans to Meijer yesterday and sadly I have more but I couldn’t fit them all in my car. The refund payed for my few groceries that I picked up and I took some cash home. The best part is now I don’t have bags of cans lying all over my garage.

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Bee April 23, 2021 at 4:12 am

I love A Gentleman from Moscow. It is beautifully written and speaks to the strength of the human spirit. It was enjoyed by most of my book club too. Happy reading!

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Liz B. April 24, 2021 at 9:20 am

I loved The Happiness Project. Gretchen Rubin, the author, has a great podcast (Happier), if you’re interested. She and her co-host, her sister, are so funny together.

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priskill April 24, 2021 at 2:15 pm

Everyone loves A Gentleman in Moscow — my entire book club, my friends, my friends’ book clubs. Something so wonderful about it. Enjoy!!

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Karen B April 22, 2021 at 3:46 pm

Your closet organizer looks great, Katy!

1) Not buying green onions this year. Last year I planted the leftover ends of green onions I bought and this year they’re growing faster than I use them. I just trim the greens as I use them and leave the bulb growing.

2) Free catnip for our kitties: last year’s plant is thriving.

3) We ended up driving 3 hours round trip to get an urgently needed book (closest location, no time for shipping), but before the trip I looked online for a nice place to hike–make the same gas do extra duty. We’re continuing to social distance and all needed an outing. Since the book was being picked up curbside we brought our dogs, too. Super nice outing for all and we were surprised by funny photo ops along the trail, which I later scrapbooked digitally with free software.

4) Hubby mixed his own fuel for the chainsaw. Gas needs an additive. Buying the fuel pre-mixed is about $20 per gallon. Mixing it himself is about $2.50-$3 per gallon. He then used it to cut up a downed tree for a good neighbor we think is dealing with something extra and could use some help. He’s also been using the chainsaw to cut our own downed trees into firewood. We’ll be giving what we are not likely to use to a friend who has done favors for us, too, and has a fire pit.

5) Free virtual edutainment this Saturday: Super STEM Saturday https://www.csusm.edu/superstem/index.htm (STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. One may also see STEAM events, the A standing for Art.)

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Karen B April 24, 2021 at 7:07 am

Address correction for the STEM event: https://www.csusm.edu/superstem/

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Roberta April 22, 2021 at 4:06 pm

1. Sold a book on ebay that I had moved from the ebay pile to the garage sale pile. It had been listed over a year! Glad it’s gone — the garage sale won’t be until June, but I’m collecting now.
2. Bought a giant wheel of brie at the discount store. I’m making grilled cheese sandwiches on the George Foreman grill with $2 brie and free baguettes. It’s cold, so I might make a pot of tomato soup to go with it.
3. Returned nice, organic sheets I got at Costco because they were damaged. Waited in line for almost a half hour, but keeping sheets that are already worn would not be worth the price in the long run. (They were only $40, so I picked up another set.)
4. Carpooled with my husband to get our second shots!
That’s is for me. Everything else is boring: hung out laundry, picked up chicken chow from the food bank, stayed home. I’m not even getting called in to sub this week — teachers are staying healthy because of masks and handwashing, so I’m just staying home and cleaning things that have needed it for a while.

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Roberta April 23, 2021 at 7:24 am

I forgot to mention: there’s a Ted Talk about why bra sizes are the way they are (and there is a better solution!). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GrxJ-9_qXeM

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MB in MN April 22, 2021 at 4:42 pm

1. Not frugal but well worth my sanity: Had airline credit from last year’s cancelled international trip. Planned to use it for several domestic trips to visit family but instead finished using it on a first-class ticket just to be done with the extraordinary hassle of redeeming it (since it requires customer service help each time, the most recent redemption took multiple attempts and several hours on the phone or in fruitless online chat sessions). Never, ever, thought I’d ever fly first class, ever.

2. Bought a Rubbermaid mop pole at the thrift store. Contacted Rubbermaid to see what mophead it uses and they’re sending me some complimentary refills. Woot-woot!

3. Received vaccine. Turned out to be frugal as 12 hours of nausea and puking meant zero food costs. (I had the same reaction to the shingles vaccine a couple years ago, so I wasn’t surprised.)

4. Since we received a large Federal tax refund, we adjusted the withholding from my pension so that we get more of that money throughout the year.

5. Made a birdbath out of a large terra cotta planter saucer placed on an upside down planter.

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Bee April 23, 2021 at 4:27 am

I’m sorry about the side effects from the vaccine. I was queasy too the first time. The second time was easy-peasy, but I’m so excited to have things to look forward to. My life next week looks a little like it did pre-Covid.

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Christine from US April 24, 2021 at 7:25 am

Bee, any chance you had Covid this past year, even a mild case? My husband swears up and down he had it back in January 2020. After he was administered his first vaccine he had extreme fatigue, a headache and general malaise. It lasted a few days. When he went for his second shot he mentioned to the nurse he was surprised at his reaction to the first shot as most people experienced little to no side effects with it. The nurse told him people who had Covid already had more of a reaction to the first shot than the second. True to form, he had no side effects with the second shot.

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Bee April 24, 2021 at 5:01 pm

I was told that also. There is a chance that I had Covid. In February of 2020 my husband, who often travelled for business, returned to Florida from a trip to NYC. He was not feeling well and 3 days later I started feeling poorly. I saw the Nurse Practitioner 3 times who diagnosed me with pneumonia. it took me about 5 weeks to recover. I had never been that sick.
When I saw my regular doctor in December, he read through my records and felt that my illness was consistent with the virus. Although it had been 9 months, he did order the antibody test for me, but it was inconclusive. Strangely, I have also lost my sense of smell. Unfortunately, I’ll never no for certain.

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Lisa May 2, 2021 at 7:17 am

I work in healthcare, and was told the antibody test is only effective for the previous 3 months – so, one may never know just who’s had it and who hasn’t. Also, we’ve had several cases recently where folks have had covid back in say Nov/Dec – then were fully vaccinated early spring and now are covid positive again, but with a much milder version.

Lisa M. April 23, 2021 at 5:32 am

MB – I too had very similar side effects to the 2nd Covid vaccine as I did with the Shingles vaccine. Thankfully, no gastrointestinal side effects but I did experience fever, chills, generalized aching, headache & then fatigue/malaise later on. I am thankful the side effects have subsided & am now feeling close to normal. Hope you are feeling healthy again as well.

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MB in MN April 23, 2021 at 11:51 am

Thank you for the well wishes! I was good as new by the following day.

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susanna d April 23, 2021 at 12:54 pm

I’m so glad to hear you recovered quickly, MB in MN! My side effect was basically the same as with the first one, a very sore arm. Totally worth it, tho. Strangely enough, my husband and I just had this incredible burst of energy following our second shots – it lasted the entire day. I don’t know that I’d call it a side effect, since I’ve never heard anyone else talk about it. I’m guessing it was kind of a natural high produced by the incredible relief we felt at finally being vaccinated.

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Liz B. April 24, 2021 at 9:27 am

Brilliant idea for a birdbath! I just might “borrow” that idea.

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Jen April 24, 2021 at 7:47 pm

First Class! Sounds amazing. Enjoy!!

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Ava April 22, 2021 at 5:29 pm

1. Now that our vaccines are fully effective, we visited family out of town. Took advantage of different Goodwills to get some much needed wardrobe changes. Removed old clothes from the closet as I added new things. Those will go back to Goodwill from whence they came years ago.
2. Made a large Etsy sale. Large in size, freeing up space and large in price. Yay.
3. While thrifting, found a couple of vintage items that should sell well.
4. Bought 20 onion sets for .45. If they grow into full size onions, that will be a real bargain. If not, there is not much lost.
5. Fed some undesirable leftovers to dogs. Dogs were happy to help prevent food waste.

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priskill April 24, 2021 at 2:23 pm

those are some obliging canines 😉

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LB April 22, 2021 at 6:15 pm

1. Used up every pepper I bought before they got soft!

2. Only splurges have been at local places. Keeping our restaurants and bookstores open means keeping money out of chain restaurants and amazon. Maybe not explicitly frugal, but definitely appreciated!

3. Excited to wear a dress I bought on closeout last year to my first gathering of all vaccinated people.

4. Said small event will be an outdoor baby shower. My contribution is a diaper cake. I love giving a gift that I know will get used! The roll of ribbon I bought for it was just enough to make the cake and a bow for the top. I was pleased with myself that I didn’t overbuy, especially a craft supply I have no clear use for after this project. It came out great!

5. Restoking my love of libby books by putting a bunch of reads on hold as people recommend them to me. I’ll be all stocked up for summer!

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Bee from Florida April 22, 2021 at 6:33 pm

1. I have been doing some spring cleaning … and clearing. There is a fine line between being a reseller and a hoarder. I am starting to feel that I just had too much stuff — again. So I have been working through some household hotspots during which time I found 3 Forever Stamps, $0.10, and a Visa Gift Card with $3.69 left on it. I also found some treasures to list on eBay. I feel lighter. Treasure hunting in my own home!

2. My book club selection is one from a small university press and it is not available in our library. Our local Barnes & Noble had it for $32 a copy, but I found a small online book seller who was selling it for $18 plus $4 in shipping — a $10 savings. However, this one may backfire on me. It’s been 10 days and it hasn’t arrived yet. I hope to have time to read it.

3. Consistent with my desire to declutter everything, I have been using all the odds and ends in the freezer. This has been and on going project. I hope by the end of the month it will be nearly empty. This week we ate a turkey pot pie that I made earlier and had frozen for later. I made stock from frozen chicken carcasses and veggie scrapes. I made enchilada casserole from frozen pinto beans.
4. I took care of my son’s dogs for several days while he was out of town. This isn’t particularly frugal for me, but it is for him. This is one of those things that you only do for those you love. It was exhausting. I had three dogs and a cat in the house on a rainy weekend. Two of the dogs were over 70 lbs and my son has a 10-month old retriever that is a handful. However, I’ll expect him to return the favor in the future.

5. I have been doing all the usual things – drinking primarily water and brewing my own coffee. I am currently reading a library book – The Giver of Stars which I’m enjoying. I used a coupon for $15 off $75 as well as digital coupons at the grocery store this week. I then scanned my receipts to Fetch and Ibotta. I batched 7 errands yesterday. I brought my new glasses in for adjustment and ended up requesting new lens.

Wishing everyone peace, good health and frugality.

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Jill A April 23, 2021 at 3:59 am

I resemble that remark….I too have to declutter some of my Ebay stock. My pile is small because I don’t sell as much as I used to but many years ago my basement was full of Ebay stock. If you didn’t know me you would have thought I was a hoarder. Also I loved The Giver Of Stars. It was a Sunshine Book Club pick and I tend to enjoy those books.

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Bee April 23, 2021 at 4:41 am

It’s hard to determine how long you should keep things listed before giving up. I usually take everything to a local vintage flea market that was held twice a year. However, the last two have been cancelled. We have one scheduled for May 22. I’m keeping my fingers crossed, because final approval has not been given. Meanwhile, I have sent many lovely items to the local food pantry thrift store where they seem to sell fast.
Also, I agree Sunshine Book selections are usually quite good. They always have such strong women characters. Have a great weekend!

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priskill April 24, 2021 at 2:35 pm

I hear your chagrin re: book club books that are hard to source! Usually my library provides but I’ve had to buy a couple and it chapped my hide. Our next pick is available, tho — 74 copies and I am number 310 in the queue 😉 We’ll see.

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Grey42 April 22, 2021 at 7:08 pm

My husband gave me an electric pressure washer for our 20th anniversary and it is my favorite present ever. And when I’m out using it, cleaning something a neighbor brings over would never be a problem. Just don’t ask me to set it up for one bin.

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Catherine April 23, 2021 at 12:28 am

It seems to me that your photo represents a cavy cage for guinea pigs .Am I good ? Catherine from France , guinea pig Mum 🙂

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Hawaii Planner April 23, 2021 at 5:24 am

1) Used our Costco rebate to buy groceries last week, and got cash back for the rest. We buy all of our groceries at Costco, and the combo of the executive membership, plus the credit card (we pay in full each month) has been great for us.
2) Went through my husband’s old movie & CD collections (that we’ve been storing & dragging around for a decade) & listed everything on Decluttr. I’ll get them packed up & mailed this weekend. SO much junk out of the house, and $35 or so back. I’d get rid of them for free, so this is a big win.
3) Gave away a bunch of stuff on Buy Nothing. Frugal for others. I was able to fulfill an ask on Buy Nothing, which was also great, because I rarely have what other people are looking for. It was nice to help out.
4) Used radishes (planted from seed) in our salads, and used the greens to sautee for dinner. Win/win.
5) Returned soccer cleats that fell apart in under 30 days, and were super pricey.

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Joanne in the U.K. April 23, 2021 at 6:43 am

Enjoying fabulously warm (63 degrees atm) and dry spring weather here in the U.K. and have been busy in the garden weeding etc.
Photographed and listed 97 items on eBay to take advantage of the £1 maximum selling fees promotion. Have sold 18 items and made £120 in 5 days, not bad as I’m only selling stuff either I, my mom or my MIL doesn’t want/need anymore.
Reorganised my eBay storage area (a corner of my kitchen extension) and have found more things to list and more importantly made it tidy rather than just piles of stock everywhere.
Shopped at Lidl this week as I’m trying to make the ££s stretch further as I’m between jobs at the moment.
I have an interview on Monday for a job I applied for in February 2020 which was put on hold due to covid, it’s in my field, close to home and £5k more than I have ever earned in my life, I have everything crossed that I’ll get it.
Sorted out my interview clothes and have decided to change the buttons on my navy blazer (they look cheap as they are too shiny and too gold) to some vintage pearl buttons I found in my nan’s button tin whilst sorting the eBay stock pile.
Cooking from scratch and eating all the leftovers hoping to stretch this week’s shopping trip to last 9 days rather than 7, it all adds up!!

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Katie from Buffalo April 23, 2021 at 7:49 am

Keeping my fingers and toes crossed that you get the job, Joanne! Good luck!

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Lindsey April 23, 2021 at 10:35 am

I was stupefied by how much I made selling buttons out of a huge bucket of them she had collected over the years. She was a tailor by trade, pretty high end tailoring for men’s suits, and I don’t think she ever threw away a button. Some were real silver and there was a set of carved ivory ones. All in all, I made about $200 over a year of selling them set by set.

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Lindsey April 23, 2021 at 10:36 am

It was my grandmother’s bucket of buttons.

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Ruby April 23, 2021 at 11:46 am

Fingers crossed for you, Joanne. That was brilliant about swapping out the buttons for something much more classic.

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MB in MN April 23, 2021 at 6:17 pm

Joanne in the U.K.: Fingers and toes crossed for you from here in Minnesota!

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Christine from US April 24, 2021 at 7:47 am

Best of luck with the interview. Vintage pearl buttons on the color navy should look very stylish!

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priskill April 24, 2021 at 2:38 pm

Good luck to you!!

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Joanne in the U.K. April 29, 2021 at 1:34 pm

Thank you for all your good wishes, I didn’t get the job unfortunately. I interviewed well and performed great on the tasks set and it was a close call but ultimately I didn’t get it.
I have another interview set up tomorrow for a different sort of job so fingers crossed for that role.
Joanne xxx

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Heidi Louise April 29, 2021 at 1:59 pm

So sorry to hear! I know you had mentioned this interview before and had high hopes for it.
I’m glad something else is open. And if asked for evidence that you are detail-oriented, you can point to your blazer buttons. Good luck!

Christine from US April 29, 2021 at 6:35 pm

Sorry to hear you didn’t get the job. Fingers crossed for you for your upcoming interview.

Ruby April 30, 2021 at 5:12 am

Joanne, I hope the second time is the charm and you get that one.

I always look on interviews as exercise for the one I’ll ace for The Job. It helps keep it from feeling like such a grind. Best wishes!

K D April 23, 2021 at 7:50 am

1. I received my second Covid-19 vaccine. I had very minimum side effects and heeded the advice to hydrate pre and post vaccination. I was also extremely hungry that day so I ate more than usual. Greatly lowering the chances of get Covid should lower any health/wealth costs associated with it.

2. I joined a friend for lunch on her covered front porch. We each ate our own leftovers. It was a great day for a long chat.

3. I walked with a friend and her dog yesterday and will walk with two friends today. We’ll sit and chat, outdoors, afterwards.

4. I found a quarter in the street and we have been finding a penny here and there lately. For months there was no found change to be had.

5. I often wear clothes that belonged to my daughter, mother, or a friend as well as clothes I bought years ago. I like not having to shop and I especially appreciate the environmental impact of not buying new.

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Midwest Beth April 23, 2021 at 8:08 am

1. Daughter stayed home this week remote learning as Covid numbers are high in our state/her school. We are out of bread, etc., for breakfast and she was sick of cereal. It’s a cold morning and muffins sounded perfect. Whipped up can of pumpkin and yellow cake mix muffins with cinnamon/nutmeg/clove spices – she was so appreciative, and they were so good with coffee. If anyone is interested just cook at 350 degrees in sprayed muffin tins – All Recipes.com has the recipe. Use pumpkin pie spice or a spice cake mix to make it even easier.
2. My pet/cat sitting gigs are coming back – yeah! booked one last weekend and a five day gig this week. Still doing Swagbucks to supplement home improvements with gift cards to Lowes.
3. Batched errands yesterday – dropped off library loans and water bill (saving cost of a stamp) on the way to my pet sit. Needed to go to the grocery store but decided to do it another day as it was after 5 and grocery stores are usually so busy then and trying to limit possible Covid exposures . Will batch errands again today i.e. getting gas for the lawn mower with going to grocery store and will use coupons and store rewards program.
4. I always write about the library – such a God send getting a loaner computer, hot spot for wifi, books, dvd’s (just finished the leftovers 1-3 seasons), hoopla, seeds for the garden, etc. I probably over do it. I volunteer in the used bookstore so feel like I give back.
5. Trying to get back to routines. Depression has been kicking in with the catch-22 of being laid off but love being home with my daughter, liking being home and away from work drama, uncertainty of what I want to do to go back to work with unemployment running out and jobs that are available do not match my old salary per hour or unemployment as well as my body not able to do the physical jobs I used to – bad knee and shoulders due to heavy lifting. I’m trying to be patient with myself and focus on walking every day and gentle stretching to keep and improve my range of motion and striving every day to eat healthier but struggle with night eating.

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Bee April 23, 2021 at 1:27 pm

Sending good thoughts your way as you negotiate your post-Covid path. The answers will come sometimes when we least expect them to. What a long, strange trip the last 13+ months have been.

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Midwest Beth April 26, 2021 at 8:04 am

Thank you Bee- good thoughts back at you.

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Lisa M. April 23, 2021 at 2:37 pm

MW Beth – Your #5 resonated with me. You are not alone – there are so many of us with unclear paths ahead. I am occasionally called to fill-in @ my old position but gone are the regular part-time hours. Do I optimistically wait or should I give up & aggressively search out a different opportunity? My thinking is in line with Bee’s, we will end up where we are meant to but it is anxiety provoking not knowing the path forward. Agree with you that self-care is critically important in these tenuous situations.

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Midwest Beth April 26, 2021 at 8:05 am

Thanks Lisa.

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Susie's Daughter April 23, 2021 at 3:49 pm

Midwest Beth – I am with you on the need for stretching and the adjustments to a body that doesn’t do what it used to. I’m not sure if your PBS station carries it, but since April 2020, I have become a devotee of “Classical Stretch” – a gentle exercise show that is on PBS here at 6am. (I’m up early anyway, but even more so during pandemic.) There are also DVD’s so perhaps the beloved library may have those or be able to request for you? It works as a mood booster for me also. Sending you good thoughts.

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priskill April 24, 2021 at 2:47 pm

Just want to mention that youtube has many free exercise videos of all kinds and levels (plus every kind of self help/DIY/etc.) We beam youtube onto our tv via Roku stick and watch all manner of things (and listen — so much music for free) but of course you can use computer or phone. You might find some useful stuff there. I wish you the best of luck. Bee said it so well! Take care!

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Midwest Beth April 26, 2021 at 8:11 am

Yes thank you I have checked out Youtube etc. Right now I am going to focus on walking and getting back into yard work. 😉

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Midwest Beth April 26, 2021 at 8:08 am

Thanks Susie, yes I have tried classical stretch and liked it. Not gonna lie not a morning person but something to consider. ;=_

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Pattilou April 23, 2021 at 8:12 am

1.Thanks to being vaccinated, I am able to spend time with my family again. While with my niece, she cut my hair and I love it. The only cut I have had in over a year was a not so great trim I did myself.
2.My niece was cleaning out her clothing and gave me 3 big bags of clothes. She told me to do whatever I wanted with what didn’t fit me. I now have lots and f new to me clothes to wear.
3. I then sent a big bag of the left over clothes to Thred Up. I have never done that before so we will see. I had a bag of left over clothes that went to Goodwill.
4. A friend of mine, who is quite a consumer and also very generous, decided she needed new patio furniture. She gave me the chairs she bought two years ago. I now have two comfy, new to me chairs for my deck.
5. I got a $25 rebate for my dogs flea meds. I put it toward a rug for the deck. I get direct southern sun on it and the dogs love to be out there. The boards get too hot for their little paws.

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susanna d April 23, 2021 at 12:44 pm

1. Planted a bunch of seeds in containers under the LED grow lights, and I’m ridiculously excited as I watch the tiny seedlings emerge.
2. Knowing that there are some vegetables that I haven’t had much luck starting from seed, I ordered those plants from the local organic farm. The seedlings I’ve bought there in the past were amazing – super healthy, super productive. Even though growing from seeds is cheaper, the cost of the seedlings is covered many times over by all the vegetables we’ll harvest from those seedlings.
3. I needed a few more packages of lettuce seeds (I grow lettuce under grow lights in the basement all winter and much of spring/fall – we have an incredibly short growing season). The place where I prefer to order seeds is offering free shipping during April, which was a nice surprise.
4. Since nothing is growing here right now (besides my basement lettuce), I got my cheap thrills once again from the markdown produce section at the grocery store. The latest haul of 99 cents per red mesh bag produce included 4 eggplants, 5 organic yellow squashes, and incredible quantities of super giant radishes (which were very sweet) and poblano peppers. Everything has been either eaten fresh, cooked up, or frozen. These markdown veggies wouldn’t have saved me any money if they spoiled before they could get used/preserved.
5. Non food related: Husband and I got our second Covid vaccines this week. We will be considered “fully vaccinated” two weeks after that day. What an incredible relief!

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janine April 23, 2021 at 12:55 pm

1. Cleaned out car and found 52c in change.
2. Borrowed Library book for April book club selection. Written by a Harvard ethics professor, it detailed how money corrupts congress. Will also borrow next’s month selection. Interesting discussion, but not a book I want to keep. (prices too high- I am used to shopping in used book stores.)
3. Still using up bags of apples son brought home around Easter gifted by his employer along with other goodies.
4. Lot of usual activities – trying to drink more water, homemade iced tea, packing lunches and cooking a lot from scratch.
5. No unusual extravagant purchases. Needed car repairs, professional oriental rug cleaning, as well as spring garden supplies keeps me believing that we spend lots of $$ without much thought!

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Julie April 23, 2021 at 1:17 pm

Covid continues to result in a lot of savings around here & I will actually be happy when I could spend money if I wanted too, not that I will.  
1-DH needed an oil change and a local place was offering a free set of windshield wipers, we had just replaced them but still took the free set for next time we need them. 
2-Have received several outdoor outdoor plants from the local freebie group and they have survived and are doing well.
3-We are one again in a pretty strict lockdown so that is a great way to save money because we never leave home. 
4-It was my birthday last week and a neighbour started a cupcake business and she gifted us the most gorgeous and yummy cupcake so no cake purchase. 
5-Taxes are done and submitted and we are getting a hefty return as a result of the extra money we put into our retirement funds (thanks Covid).Both DH and I have received our 1st dose of the vaccine and while it won’t change much for the foreseeable future it is an incredible relief.     

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Susie's Daughter April 23, 2021 at 1:34 pm

Frugal friends – It has been a long time since I posted. The most non-frugal thing of recent months is that I contracted COVID at the dealership while buying my new car in December. I was the most cautious person I knew so this was deeply distressing. I was consoled by the fact that no one else in my circle contracted it from me.
Though my initial illness was not severe, I have been one of those “post COVID” folks whose wide variety of symptoms have been slow to abate. My experience is a perfect example of the late 1990’s song “I’m not sick, but I’m not well”. I am improving every week, but it is humbling, especially when I consider that others with similar circumstances are still struggling to get out of bed. I have been able to work and contribute at home, but am just now getting back to exercising and feeling more like myself. Please, please do all you can to stay well – even if you have already been vaccinated. Nobody wants this virus.

On the frugal front:

1) Like Katy, I am shopping at the bread store when I am nearby for high quality bread at low cost.

2) Shopping the “hand me downs” bin for our growing boy since I have not been thrift shopping since last summer.

3) Still cooking almost all meals at home – though enjoyed take out several weeks in a row with my folks when they were fully vaccinated. Dinner with family = priceless.

4) Ordered High Mowing seeds with our Christmas gift certificate and planning our two veggie gardens

5) Using freebies from Shutterfly to create end of year teacher gifts and little gifts for grandparents

6) First Moderna vaccine completed and second scheduled and I am believing that I will be one of the people whose Post COVID is resolved by the vaccine.

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Lisa M. April 23, 2021 at 2:43 pm

Susie’s Daughter – Welcome back. I am so sorry you have struggled with post-Covid symptoms & hope the vaccine will bring you back to complete good health with no lingering effects.

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susanna d April 23, 2021 at 4:40 pm

I’m so sorry to hear of your struggles with COVID. I, too, hope that the vaccine brings you a complete recovery!

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MB in MN April 23, 2021 at 6:13 pm

Susie’s Daughter: I second what the others are saying!

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Christine from US April 24, 2021 at 7:57 am

I third it! Wishing you the best in your recovery. To recover from a lingering illness gives the word “patience” a whole new meaning. Hoping the vaccine + the passage of time = preCovid health.

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priskill April 24, 2021 at 2:51 pm

What everyone has said — wishing you complete recovery as soon as can be!

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Bee April 25, 2021 at 12:45 pm

I’m glad you are back. Wishing you a speedy recovery. It sounds as though you have been amazing frugal despite the challenges.

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Susie's Daughter April 27, 2021 at 10:03 am

Thank you all for your kind thoughts and good wishes! I am two weeks + out from the first vaccine and feeling more energy than I have in a long while. (And concur with others in another post above about a reaction to the first shot – I was reminded 24 hours after the first shot of how poorly I felt in Dec/Jan/Feb).

There are so many folks in a similar spot and I will be very interested (and occasionally anxious) to learn more as research uncovers more about COVID and the aftereffects.

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Vickey April 29, 2021 at 3:11 pm

Glad to hear things are improving!

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Bettypants April 23, 2021 at 1:34 pm

1. My sister orders a fair amount of stuff online (I don’t) and saves all the shipping bags for me. She gave me two big bags of them to reuse for mailing out ebay items. I also brought home a stack of small empty boxes from work.

2. I sold 12 books on Marketplace, and four assorted items on ebay.

3. I don’t post books anymore, but I do still have a little pile of credits on Paperbackswap. One of my wish list books, an Oliver Jeffers picture book was posted, and ended up being a like new copy with the dust jacket. Lucky me!

4. I bought four Rae Dunn ceramic dishes from Marketplace at a great price to resell. She posted several more, but some sell for higher prices than others, and I only bought the ones I could make a good profit on. I also found 3 brand new Sandra Boynton mugs and a pottery mug at our local resale store, which I listed on ebay.

5. My Blue Apron free box arrived. We enjoyed the steaks and chicken dish, but I don’t feel it worth paying for the convenience so I closed my account.

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Jennifer April 23, 2021 at 1:38 pm

1 – Dh has been reffing a lot of lacrosse and I find myself home by myself for dinner. We have had super simple meals or eaten leftovers a lot lately.
2 – Water kept appearing in the basement and we finally called a plumber. They came out and wanted $250 to snake it. Dh said no and rented a snake himself for $70. It seems to have worked and I am not sure why he didn’t do that to start with.
3 – Sent dh to Costco with a produce list and we topped off what we had for $53 for the week for groceries.
4 – Volunteered at the local MLB game to get money for college. Another game this weekend too, third of the month.
5 – Fighting an insurance rejection. I went for a skin cancer check, dermatologist found a corn on my foot. It was billed as an appointment for a corn which my insurance doesn’t cover. They are reviewing. I hate how doctor’s offices are always trying to get the most money out of their patients.

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geri elkins alexander April 24, 2021 at 7:13 am

*Please note that the error appears to be that it was billed as for the wrong reason for the initial visit but the INSURANCE company turned it down. Blaming the doctor’s office rather than the insurance company by saying “doctor’s offices are always trying to get the most money out of patients” seems misplaced. Since insurance will pay for a skin cancer check, that part of the visit should be covered, but the corn removal, which is not covered, will likely not be covered-again, that is on the insurance company and not the physician.

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Jennifer April 25, 2021 at 5:44 pm

The doctor’s office billed it as a “corn & callous” visit. it was not, it was a skin cancer check. Dr found a corn – did nothing at all about the corn other than tell me it was a corn and not skin cancer. Insurance should have turned it down since it was not what was billed. I am fighting the insurance rejection by dealing with the doctor’s office to make sure it is submitted correctly.

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Christine from US April 26, 2021 at 7:28 am

I would fight that charge too. I get regular skin cancer checks after having it and what they find on a skin check shouldn’t be billed as “corn and callous.”

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Frugal Aussie April 23, 2021 at 2:42 pm

1. I’m visiting my daughter who lives interstate. Flight was free due to credit card reward.
2. I sat with her all day while she was in hospital for planned surgery, took a packed lunch with me.
3. Took myself on an excursion while she was resting at home. Found a thrift store, spent $5 and enjoyed a long walk. I like walking in new places, looking at the houses, plants and people watching. Today I’m going to take myself off to the city to explore and visit the art gallery which has free entry.
4. Instead of buying lunch out when on my excursion yesterday I went into the supermarket and spent $4.50 on a couple of snacks.
5. Haven’t eaten out once while visiting so saving A LOT as eating out in Australia can be expensive, with a glass of wine at least $40 – $50 each.

All my frugal ways over the years has allowed me to now spend generously for my daughter’s 30th birthday and pay her share of rent for 2 months while she recovers from surgery. That’s why I do it!

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Bettypants April 24, 2021 at 3:37 pm

Good for you, getting out and enjoying tooling around in new places!

I misread #5 and at first thought you were saying each glass of wine was $40 or $50.

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Jen April 24, 2021 at 8:51 pm

Wow, that is so nice that you are doing that for your grown daughter!! Getting my kids through college debt free is my “Why” for now. I guess it never ends with kids ’cause we love them so. How nice that you can help out in her time of need.

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Kathe Westbrook April 23, 2021 at 3:26 pm

1. Had a garage sale before the local historical society holds their big sale—then I’ll take everything left here over there and get it out of here before summer. 3 half-days = ~~$250.
2. Using last year’s potatoes that have nice sprouts in the cellar to plant a potato patch this year. Hopefully, they’ll be successful. I used most of them this year before they started to sprout, but had enough tiny ones to plant an 8′ x 4′ box.
3. Sold more stuff on Ebay and FaceBook; not only does it bring in a few $$, it gets more junk out of the house.
4. Continue to borrow DVD’s and audio books from our local library—at no charge. They are even delivered from other branches to my local library—5min drive.
5. Sold more books to the locally-owned bookstore. Now have over $100 in credit—in separate gift cards for 3 different birthday gifts coming up. I only have a few books left to take in and will have a couple more gift cards waiting to be given or used.

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Christine from US April 24, 2021 at 8:23 am

Seeing those bins reminded me of when DH and I were starting our household. We had no dressers and no money so we used cardboard boxes stacked, standing on their sides so we could view the clothes they held. Those bins look much sturdier.
1. I took four of DH’s books on Civil War history to the used book store where we will now have credit.
2. I worked 3 days at my old job after being called to fill in for someone. Found another penny on the floor. I will work at the upcoming local elections the week after next. These seem to be my side gigs lately as Facebook Marketplace has slowed down to a trickle. I don’t mind as I like the interaction with people the work provides yet I don’t have to do it every day.
3. We went to a socially distanced campfire one night at a friend’s home. They provided pizza and I brought a homemade Swedish Almond Cake for dessert plus a bottle of wine. The temps were in the forties so not too bad for New England. This was exponentially more enjoyable than the campfires we had over the winter, dressed in layers and inching yet closer to the warmth of the fire.
4. I received my second dose of the Covid vaccine and will be considered fully vaccinated one week from today. I experienced a deep fatigue the day after the shot which slowly ebbed over the course of five days. Small price to pay for the protection.
5. Reading library books, listening to free NPR podcasts on my laptop, I did a crossword puzzle in the area’s free newspaper, started a jigsaw puzzle a friend lent me, taking homemade iced tea with me when I run batched errands (I love to have something to sip on in the car) and walking when the weather permits.

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Betta from daVille April 24, 2021 at 8:23 am

1. Filled out a survey and received a $10 gc to Amazon.
2. I’ve used TurboTax in the past. Because I work in a different state than I live, it has cost me $200 to use it. This year, I switched to freetaxusa, and saved $170.
3. borrowed a cookbook from the library that is centered on using food scraps; hopefully will cut down even further on food waste.
4. Worked my schedule so that I don’t have to go to the office next week, saving me $35 in gas & $12 in tolls.
5. For some reason, Raise gave me $10 credit. Used it to buy a $25 gift cert. for Airbnb to help pay for upcoming trip. Went through Swagbucks for an extra 15 points.
All of the regular stuff: coffee at home, cooking all meals from scratch.

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t April 24, 2021 at 10:43 am

All the local Walmarts have switched to self checking only. Covid has allowed them to do this sooner than they planned. This is a vacation town and help wanted signs are everywhere. Some restaurants have switched back to take out only because they don’t have staff for table service. The town is packed but most seasonal workers moved away during the shut down. All the mask mandates are gone in a four state area though some businesses still require them. I wonder how much covid business change will stay around. It still surprises me that grocery shelves are not as fully stocked as before covid.
Made a big pot of chili and froze in portions. And batch of taco meat. My electric bill was $40 which is nice as I was wanting to cut my phone data but have to increase it. I started taking meetings on zoom and really upped my data usage. I wonder if history will refer to pre and post covid world that we all were forced kicking and screaming into.

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Ruby April 25, 2021 at 8:30 am

1. Received my free second dose of Covid vaccine. It’s kicking my butt, but I do not regret doing it in the least.
2. Bought about a dozen summer garments from online thrift stores, since my summer wardrobe was practically nonexistent from wearing out.
3. Altered a few of the new to me items for better fit using my stash of gifted thread and buttons saved from other garments.
4. Had a cookfest Sunday and made up a casserole of pantry ingredients that fed me work lunches all week.
5. Repaired a hole in one of the slate tiles in our kitchen floor with tiny flat pebbles from the yard set in grout and painted to match the tile, using my stash of sample paints. The slate in that spot wears away from my husband pushing his chair back, but the quartz pebbles are hard enough to withstand that kind of use.

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Bethany M April 26, 2021 at 10:15 am

Signed up to be sponsors for the church for camp. Church pays. Free little getaway to look forward to this summer.

Sold an odd assortment of things while decluttering.

Signed the kids up for two field trips in May. Using up our public charter school funds before they expire. Love a “school” day that includes a museum. We’ll be there for their first opening day (limited capacity, so it won’t get too crazy) since Covid!

Took Costco pizza to the beach. Way better than spending $40 at McDonald’s.

Preparing for a possible move to Indiana. Got untied from everything in California except selling the house. If it works out, the company will pay for the move, closing costs, pay for real estate scouting trips, and give us a moving stipend. Will be grateful to walk away from CA taxes and gas prices! This will put us into driving distance of my parents so we have fewer flights to pay for in the future as well, if this all works out.

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Vickey April 29, 2021 at 3:23 pm

I imagine housing prices will be quite a bit lower in Indiana, too. Then again – winter.

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auntiali April 27, 2021 at 7:22 am

Dh (dear husband) went back to work today and was like a kid getting ready to go back to school. I am having my first alone day at home in 13 months. Dh will only work 2 days a week at work – rest at home.

Thanks for the property tax reminder. Ours are due on 5/1.

Dh put his old lawn mower out at the curb for the trash pick up but it was rejected. Someone picked it up later that night so it’s gone. Same for the rusty car ramps he put out.

Dh had his cataract surgeries and all went well. He is so happy to have 20/25 vision after wearing glasses since he was 7 yrs. old.

Got a cash settlement from Sirius FM for $9. It came in check form.

Dh saved a lot of his spending money during Covid so he is paying me cash for when the credit card bill comes in for the new lawn mower.

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Lindsey April 27, 2021 at 4:34 pm

I had to have cataract surgery in my 30s, after a medication caused them. I used to wear Coke bottle glasses and the first thing I did in the morning was put on my specs and the last thing I did at night was take them off. I ended up with 20/20 vision after the surgery and wept with gratitude at how my life changed from that short and painless surgery. I am in my 60s now and don’t need bifocals! Glad it worked out for your husband.

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Shona April 28, 2021 at 7:42 am

Last year was the first year we paid property taxes ourselves. Despite my telling the county & city that we paid off our house, please send us the bill, their system is set up so whoever is notified on Jan 1 is who will get notified. I was not aware of this glitch (?). Happened to be checking the local paper for a specific story and came across a notice that city & county property taxes deadline, usually due on Oct 1, had been extended to 12/31/2020 due to COVID. December last year I paid my somewhat overdue taxes with no penalty. I’ve marked this year’s calendar for the last week in Sept. just in case the don’t notify me again this year.

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Marie April 27, 2021 at 6:32 pm

We had our first vaccine last week. Husband did great, I was exhausted the next day. But, didn’t have much of a sore arm. Not like the shingles vaccine, which soreness lasted a week.
Still going to the food bank for fruits, and vegetables. Amazing how much they get in, and it saves in our grocery bill.
Sold an elliptical, we bought in marketplace, last summer. Thought we’d use it. But no, I prefer walking the dogs. Sold for the same price I bought it for.
We have a bread store that is affiliated with a senior center. They ask for donations, to pay for the fuel it takes to pick up the bread.
It is a great service, and I give more than is expected, to help make sure it keeps running.
Working in the garden daily, have veggies planted other than the warm crops. Enjoying fresh asparagus every few days.
Have a line on a part time job, it is the kind of job I want. Not many hours, but I will make it work.

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Vickey April 29, 2021 at 3:54 pm

1. Picked asparagus from the garden to add to dinner’s roasted veggies tonight. We’ve also been enjoying overwintered leeks from the garden, collards, kale, and lettuces from our modest little unheated greenhouses, and parsnips from the – surprise! – root cellar.
2. Made the short, focused round of errands to pick up all the necessities at the best prices possible, including being mindful of credit card rebates. Bit dismayed to see the foodstuffs that stores are still out of.
3. Picked up our bulk food order, saving significantly over retail prices.
4. DH is renovating his workshop, sorely needed for better workflow for his business. He’s using salvaged insulation panels, hand-me-down kitchen cabinets that he’s fortified to hold the additional weight, and rebuilt the work surface using materials from the old one. It’s exciting to see it go from shabby and dishearteningly disarrayed to looking full of promise and potential.
5. I’ve been purging and decluttering left and right. Happy to donate it to friends, a local antique dealer friend, or the thrift store (which gives me a 20% off coupon on my next purchase.)
6. Exercising regularly on the secondhand treadmill. Bring on the Brain Derived Neurotropic Factors!
7. Found and applied a 20% off coupon on an online essentials order.
8. DS was here for a visit last month and helped us install new batteries in our older iPhones, scavenged the screen from a secondhand and now so-old-it-can’t-connect-anymore tablet to replace the malfunctioning screen on a slightly new also secondhand tablet, and just generally spiffed up our tech life.
9. Took advantage of a “first two months free” offer from a small local ISP to move to fiber-optic, exuberantly (but politely) breaking up with Spectrum *and* saving $10/month *and* getting about 10X the speed. (Too bad a certain governor didn’t make good on his threat to kick them out of our state – in The Before Times.)
10. Made it through our free vax shots without *too* much discomfort, and are still savoring the feeling that there’s a light at the end of the tunnel.
11. The veggie seedlings we started are growing so well they’re taking over the dining nook. The pepper plants are blossoming!
12. Taking great joy in finally getting back into the sewing room and doing some fabric and other creative play, emphasizing using what I’ve got. Maybe it’ll keep me so busy I save on groceries by snacking less. Maybe. 😉
Ever hopeful…

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Mary Walker May 5, 2021 at 11:53 am

Going to many doctor’s appointments, tests, specialists, etc, trying to figure out why wasn’t bouncing back like I should after another episode of pulmonary emboli (blood clots in my lungs) way back in September of last year is playing havoc with my gas budget, but is finally yielding some answers, which is a great relief. Part of the problem is that some of the clots still haven’t fully dissolved, part is that my occasional, mild asthma has become much worse. Thank goodness I live in a state that expanded Medicaid under Obamacare, so I’m not facing bankruptcy over the medical bills all this would have generated. The new inhaled steroid I have to use twice a day would be a huge expense in and of itself. The cost of my blood pressure machine is the only out of pocket expense other than gas. There are still some issues to be resolved, but I’m feeling so much better than I was. Having energy and stamina again has not only made it possible for me to start getting things done around my place, but I’ve lost over 15 lbs of the weight I’d put on since September. Yay! I guess all that counts as the first of my FFTs, lol.
2. I’ve been using the magic of spray paint to freshen up my plastic patio chairs and planters. It’s amazing what a difference it makes! I chose a variety of fun, tropical, summer colors and now have a 3 piece set of chairs and side table in different blues, a coral, and 3 more chairs in white, coral and (my personal favorite) purple. I have a few Adirondack style plastic lawn chairs that don’t really match the “theme” now, and I think they will also get the spray paint treatment. As sunlight breaks down plastic, I suspect that painting them will also provide some protection and lengthen the life of both the chairs and the planters. A can of paint is much cheaper than replacing the patio furniture, too…of course, the ones I painted were all trash picked freebies.
3. I did spend too much money on plants for my planters, but I’m stretching those plants with plants that are already growing here at home. For example, I have tons of violets that grow wild in my vegetable garden. They freely reseed and spread like crazy, and come in a variety of color patterns. Since I’ll be tilling the garden soon, I have dug up numerous clumps to replant in my planters.
3. I plan to repot any violets that I don’t use and offer them to friends and neighbors, or sell them at a Saturday market this Spring/Summer.
4. I sold another 4 dozen eggs for $20 yesterday. I’ve already purchased a ton of bulk feed for them this year and the hens have paid for it all now. Other than some shavings and oystershell expense, all the rest of the egg sales this year will be profit. Plus, they go broody at the sight of a golf ball, so they reproduce themselves. We have 2 clutches hatching right now, and I suspect there are more broodies setting in our woods, hidden under the salal. Part of the fun of free range chickens is having hens bring out surprise new babies.
5. My daughter found a new horse she really wanted as a project. Thanks to her early training at garage sales, she was able to get nearly 1/3 knocked off the purchase price. I think she chose a good prospect – he’s a beautiful gray registered Thoroughbred stallion with lovely confirmation, a kind eye and a willing nature. He’s very calm for a stallion, but if he proves to be too “hot”, he will be gelded. He’s only been track broke and that was 10+ years ago, so she’ll be training him from scratch, basically.
6. Said dd had her 2nd Covid shot Sunday, so we are both fully vaccinated. In a couple weeks, we can start visiting family again…I can’t wait!

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Heidi Louise May 5, 2021 at 2:00 pm

I love violets! And I’m glad your body is healing!

Regarding healthcare.gov/ Obamacare/ Marketplace: As I learned on another frugal site, various recent government programs have increased the tax subsidy for plan premiums. I logged on and reviewed all my information. Even without any changes in income or household size, the amount of tax credit we receive increased significantly.
If left alone, the credit will appear when filing next year’s taxes, but I saw no reason to wait.
I left us enrolled in the same plan we have, so as not to restart any deductible and out-of-pocket costs. It is also possible to change plans now.

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