Five Frugal Things

by Katy on October 9, 2021 · 106 comments

I’ve been putting off publishing a blog post, as I felt it needed to be amazing and extra special since it’s been awhile. However, this mindset was a barrier to getting back in the game, so I present to you . . . a regular, run of the mill post!

Sorry about the lapse in blogging, I just needed to let my life be my own for a bit. 

  1. My husband and I recently returned from a two week trip to NYC that included a five day detour to Pittsburgh for a family wedding. The plane tickets were painfully expensive. However, we consistently lives below our means, which means that we could absorb the extra expense. Did we then use the YOLO (you only live once) mindset to justify unfettered spending? Nope! We did have a few surprise expenses, specifically a highly recommended “you have to go there” bagel joint in Pittsburgh that bafflingly set us back more than $90! Still annoyed. Seriously.

  2. I sold a number of things, through both Facebook Marketplace and eBay.

    Notably I sold:

    • The last of the 10¢ Bailey’s Irish Cream chocolate chips from earlier this year. I lotted them up as groups of four for twenty bucks apiece and gradually sold them all. I made more than $200 from ten cent chocolate chips. Kind of a fun experiment in retail arbitrage. Update: I had a few extra bags, so I upped the price to $20 for two bags, and sold some to Australia!

    • A $35 Breuer chair back piece that I garbage picked while visiting friends in Brooklyn, NY.

    • Two yards of discontinued IKEA fabric that I thrifted for $4.99 and quickly sold for $50. I pick up IKEA fabric whenever I come across it as it’s always a quick seller.

    • A 99¢ Cutco knife that sold almost immediately for $35. By the way, Cutco is a fantastic brand to scan for while thrifting!

    • A number of quality Halloween costumes, including a $75 Harry Potter cape, a $55 Back to The Future jacket and a $39 Captain Picard uniform shirt. (all adult size costumes, which is why I priced them so high.) I’m kind of nervous that I bought too many costumes, as I’m now sitting on a dozen or so kid’s Halloween costumes. Hopefully the run up to October 31st will prompt buyers to find me on eBay. Update: I’ve sold six additional costumes since I wrote that last sentence.

  3. After two weeks of extremely mediocre New York and Pittsburgh restaurant meals, (which were preceded by two weeks of hosting out of town family for an additional two weeks!) I came home with fresh motivation for frugal yet delicious home cooked meals.

    Cool evenings have ushered in soup season, which means I pretty much always have a pot of homemade soup in the fridge that everyone can just ladle from. Chicken soup, (both traditional and Mexican-style) chili, white bean rosemary soup, red lentil soup — it’s all a hit with my family, especially when paired with crushed tortilla chips, dumplings, cornbread or biscuits.

    Tonight I’ll assemble a couple of homemade pizzas and top them with some leftover sautéed onions with spinach from last night’s burrito buffet. And if all goes well, there should be leftovers for tomorrow. Update: my son had a friend over and there was precisely zero leftover pizza.

    I love indulging in an occasional restaurant meal, but sometimes enough is enough. Especially when not all restaurant meals are worth the splurge.

  4. I found a slightly rusty Westhof knife on the Oregon coast that I brought back to life with some Barkeeper’s Friend, my husband and I have been watching Only Murders in The Building through my friend Lisa’s Hulu subscription, I’m listening to The Personal Librarian through the library’s free Libby app, my husband and I each enjoyed a free Krispy Kreme donut thanks to our Covid-19 vaccination cards, my friend Lise and I have been going on evening walks, which ticks my “social life” box, I bought tickets to see a play that my friend is directing, as non-consumerism is about being deliberate with spending rather than being cheap for cheap’s sake.

  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 earns a small commission for me. This costs nothing extra to you.

{ 106 comments… read them below or add one }

Kathy October 9, 2021 at 1:24 pm

Your blog has been missed!
1. Took 2 bags to consignment store $70 richer
2. Made stuffed bell peppers last week and chopped onions and carrots I had to add to leftover Spanish rice with the ground chicken. Didn’t have tomato sauce so substituted salsa
3. Used cards from my stash to send get well wishes
4. Dejunked make up, skin care and hair products. Other than shampoo I need nothing until 2022
5. Organized cleaning supplies. In good shape for a while


Shona October 9, 2021 at 1:53 pm

On a whim I decided to check for a new post. So happy to see you return, but needing time for yourself, no one will fault you for that one bit. Sounds like it was a good break.

1) I am forever kept in [free] fresh, homemade bread from the bakery I work at. Side note: I have ruined my husband for all other grocery store bread and he loves every bit of it!

2) Speaking of my job, I’ve been putting my tips aside and now have enough to pay city and county property taxes in cash.

3) We closed on selling our rental house. It was my husband’s house from before we were married and the value quadrupled Since he first purchased it. Also get a partial refund on the homeowner’s insurance and property taxes.

4) Went on a local camping trip for our fall vacation (long ago originally planned as a trip to meet my patents in LA and drive to June Lake for a week stay- stinkin’ pandemic!!!). Coincidentally some friends were camping in the vicinity so we spent part of the time with them. A wonderful social time outdoors with people we haven’t seen since NYE 2020. Oh the resolutions for travel we made that night.

5) Not frugal, but every now and then I need to not be frugal and treat myself. Placed orders for beautiful linen clothes from a couple sellers on Etsy, one I’ve purchased from in the past. I’ve had my eye on these items awhile and seldom spend money on myself so I have no qualms.

I hope everyone is safe and healthy


Mary October 9, 2021 at 8:50 pm

Respect for paying your taxes in cash ! I wish more of some levels of society would pay their fair share in cash our any other way.


Katy October 12, 2021 at 11:06 am

Rare splurges are so much more special. Enjoy your linen clothing!


Lee October 9, 2021 at 2:23 pm

How did bagels set you back $90? There must be a cautionary tale in there somewhere!


Katy October 12, 2021 at 11:05 am

If you can’t be an inspiration, at least be a cautionary tale.


Carla October 14, 2021 at 4:36 am

Words to live by!


Mary in Maryland October 9, 2021 at 2:37 pm

Wrote a first draft 8/24 because it’s good to keep track of frugal successes.
1. I’ve been helping to clean out a friend’s house. The commenter on Katie’s last post who was appalled about dumping stuff ”that used to be good” struck a chord with me. So much inventory, so dirty, so musty. My co-cleaner and I found several boxes of unused candles and a huge box of partially burned candles. She suggested tossing the latter because—you aren’t supposed to light used candles at a dinner party. Beeswax candles, no less. They are safe in my dining room. I also snagged and 8 qt dutch oven, and ten nearly new pillows which I free-cycled.
2. I’ve canned 59 quarts of tomatoes. Seconds are $15 for 28 pounds. We ate 74 quarts last year, so I have more canning ahead of me. I saw the farmer this morning, and he said he’ll have plenty of tomatoes for most of September. Will can another bushel when it won’t strain the A/C. (I canned another 26 quarts in September.)
3. My farm share has been rich in green peppers. I’m exploring the universe of pepper stuffing—so far I’ve stuffed them with rice and many bean dal, Thai fried rice, chili with corn, mashed potatoes, and millet pilaf. They bake in the toaster oven for about 40 minutes.
4. A friend gave me a bushel of apple seconds. I canned 15 quarts and we ate the rest.
5. Someone on buy nothing was giving away a cake with fruit between the layers and buttercream frosting. Almost the whole cake! I gave pieces to two families in the hood, but we had dessert for two meals in a row.
6. Still missing the dog–maybe more so now that I can remember all the years of joy and not the very hard last three months. However, my dogless credit card bill is tiny. No meds, no vet visits, no grooming, no dog food. Small compensation, but may as well appreciate savings where they exist.
7. Missing A. Marie and hoping she/you is/are doing well.


Kristen October 10, 2021 at 9:25 am

I hear from A. Marie pretty frequently on my blog, mostly on Thankful Thursdays, when she usually posts updates about how things are going with her DH. She’s doing well!


Mary in Maryland October 10, 2021 at 11:02 am

Good to hear.


janine October 9, 2021 at 2:42 pm

Glad to see you are back home safe, sound and frugal judgement intact!
1. Celebrated son’s birthday with family dinner at an expensive restaurant. Fortunately, I signed up to be a member of their bread club and received a $15 gift rewards card. My other son remembered an old (pre-pandemic) gift card he had in his billfold which came to an additional $25, so a total of $40 off the bill! Downside was that the place was overcrowded even in the middle of the week, and my reservation was not honored for a table. We were crowded into a booth in the bar area with absolutely no social distancing of any sort. Food was just OK and am not sure it was worth the $$$ to return anytime soon.
2. Grocery prices are definitely rising but we found some good deals: blemished fruit and veg but lower prices at a produce market, and $4 off sale priced pork loin at Costco.
3. Drought conditions this summer resulted in making use of our rain barrel for days when we were not scheduled to water the garden. The plants appreciated our foresight.
4. Speaking of our garden – it is still producing an abundance of zucchini and peppers – fresh vegetables are priceless.
5. Not a huge savings, but increased stops at fast food joints and takeout places has resulted in a free stack of napkins we store in the glove compartment for the inevitable “messy family mistakes”.


Katy October 12, 2021 at 11:04 am

Sometimes it’s good to get a reminder that not all restaurant meals are an enjoyable splurge.


Christine October 9, 2021 at 3:57 pm

Katy, great that you are back. I missed your wise words and seeing the sales you make but I am so glad you took time off. Please don’t ever feel guilty about it. We might whine a little but totally understand.
1. I just returned from the dollar store where I picked up 3 cards, each .50 that I will need in the next week. This was on my way back from a friend’s house so I thought I would swoop in while going by.
2. I borrowed a jigsaw puzzle from the library and was delighted it was brand new when I opened the box. Nothing frustrates me more than working on a puzzle for a few weeks only to discover there is one missing piece!
3. I’m reading such a good library book written by an ER doctor in NYC about his experiences with the Covid pandemic: Every Minute is a Day – A Doctor, an Emergency Room and a City Under Siege.
4. I pulled out all my autumn decorations and had fun putting them around the house. I picked up a scarecrow while at the dollar store and put it back. I’m trying to use what I have and not add to the glut of cheap goods floating around. I did purchase a group of Indian Corn to decorate my door. The birds and squirrels will get a feast after Thanksgiving.
5. Although I’ve retired, I’ve been filling in at my old job occasionally. It’s fun and it helps out when someone needs time off. Plus extra $$$ for me.


Christine October 9, 2021 at 4:11 pm

Forgot to add the authors’ names: Robert Meyer, M.D. and Dan Koeppel


Katy October 12, 2021 at 11:03 am

I love doing jigsaw puzzles, but I get obsessive about them and they end up making me anxious! Then again, I’m a big weirdo.


Christine October 13, 2021 at 9:33 am

Ha ha! I can’t do them at night for similar reasons. My mind speeds up as I try to find the pieces and then I can’t sleep! Only daytime puzzling for me.


Kara October 9, 2021 at 4:06 pm

I’m glad you had a good break and I’m SO thankful to see a new post! I’ve been back east helping kids move. We have sold a LOT-they are leaving a house and moving into a fifth wheel. I’m very happy with the stack of cash they have made. I’ve enjoyed shopping at Aldi, as I always do when visiting them. Gas is cheaper here than on the west coast. I have to remember that wages are (in general) lower here.
I had my husband pick up an item from Buy nothing group and also mail 2 eBay items that sold.
I received a $70 check for participating in a study.


Katy October 12, 2021 at 11:01 am

I’ve still never been to an Aldi, although I have noticed them on trips to Texas and Nebraska.


Kara October 14, 2021 at 7:28 am

I think I heard it owned by, or used to be owned by, same company as Trader Joes. They have many things that are identical to Trader Joes, just in different packaging. And other things are identical to name brand things, but also in “off brand” packaging. The stores are smaller than Trader Joes, and it has a Winco like feel. Bag your own groceries. Also you put a quarter in to release a shopping cart, like many supermarkets in Europe (well, not a quarter there, but a coin).


Mary in Maryland October 22, 2021 at 8:30 am

Aldi’s bought Trader Joe’s–I read about it in The Secret Life of Groceries.


Marie-Josée October 9, 2021 at 4:34 pm

Missed you, Katy. Glad to read you were living it up spending time with your family. I am celiac, so eating out is a challenge, particularily on vacation. I am so glad when I return home and develop a renewed appreciation for our simple, tasty and healthy meals. I wish that feeling wouldn’t always be so fleeting…


Katy October 12, 2021 at 11:00 am

My daughter has to eat gluten free, so we certainly eat at home a lot more because of it.


Holly October 9, 2021 at 4:36 pm

Never apologize for a “regular” blogpost! What is ordinary to you is often amazing and inspiring for the rest of us!

$90!? Did they come with gold leaf?


Katy October 12, 2021 at 10:59 am

I wish. It was four sandwiches, a dozen bagels and two small tubs of “schmear.” The restaurant highly recommended by my husband’s friend, (who is now my mortal enemy) and like a car accident it just happened so quickly it was over before I knew what was happening.


Lynn D. October 12, 2021 at 4:51 pm

Was it Korshak’s Bagels?


Katy October 12, 2021 at 10:25 pm

No, it was Pigeon bagels.


Regina October 9, 2021 at 4:46 pm

Just wanted to say that after about 2 (or so…maybe 3?) years, with snippets of time in between university classes, the pandemic, life, and everything else, I’ve finally read all 285 (now 286) blog pages. Thanks for the great reads (and the extra time to catch up on all the previous posts). 😉


Katy October 12, 2021 at 10:56 am

Wow, that’s a impressive feat! Seriously!


Jill D October 9, 2021 at 5:03 pm

I have that Westhof knife! In fact, I have a set of 4 that I must have bought some 40 years ago. Still good as new. Still use them every day. Good save!


Katy October 12, 2021 at 10:56 am

I actually have one exactly like it that my father gave to me a dozen or so years ago, it really is a quality kitchen tool!


bettafrmtheville October 9, 2021 at 8:03 pm

So glad you are back!

1. Listened to a book via library app and found another that I needed free from internet archives.
2. Made dinner at home with nephew and his friends and walked down to public festival rather than eating out. The cooking ended up being a great group activity.
3. Gladly accepted a box from CSA drop off/pick up that was not picked up. Also shopped all loss leaders last week, getting $100 for $40.
4. Convinced partner that we should not just order pizza for dinner (because it was late and we were tired).
5. Did not send myself into space.


Katy October 12, 2021 at 10:55 am

Wow, so many readers didn’t go to space this week. Good work, all!


Marilyn October 9, 2021 at 10:59 pm

I am now feeling inspired to make a chicken-vegetable soup this week — thanks, Katy.
1. The weather has turned a bit chilly. I have not turned on the heat yet, but I have been wearing my old fleece jacket around the house and snuggling under a fleece blanket when watching TV. All this fleece works for me until the weather gets seriously cold.
2. Reading some of the “Chet and Bernie” mystery books about a detective (Bernie) and his dog (Chet). Chet is the very funny, unreliable narrator. Of course, I am getting these books from the library.
3. Went out to dinner with friends a couple weeks ago and really enjoyed it. I have not been out to dinner in months which made this evening out especially enjoyable.
4. Although I am not much of a seamstress, I found a needle and thread and repaired a tear in our old comforter. It does not look as good as new but it’s okay with me. I’m sure it will last for at least a few more years.


Heidi Louise October 10, 2021 at 7:21 am

Chet and Bernie has some of the most creative narration I’ve ever read! I like mysteries best when I can solve along with the detectives, like these. Author is Spencer Quinn.


Katy October 12, 2021 at 10:54 am

You’re welcome! Even if your comforter doesn’t look “as good as new,” it’s not like hordes of judgmental people will be traipsing through your bedroom to inspect your handiwork!


Jenelle October 15, 2021 at 7:05 am

Ya know, I think about that all the time. not one soul outside of our immediate family SHOULD be in my bedroom. So who gives a rip what you use.


Jill A October 10, 2021 at 4:27 am

Welcome back!! You were missed. I love a regular old post since I live a regular old life and I’m easy to please.

1. I called my garbage service because my bill again was raised several dollars. I was going to cancel service and go with their competition. They gave me an even better price lowering my bill by $142 for the year.
2. I canceled our prime membership as our Prime Student ended with my daughter’s graduation. We will reevaluate to see if we want it back.
3. I had a fun dinner at a friend’s house. They made homemade pizzas on the grill and I brought some mint for mojitos and some brownies for dessert. Nothing fancy but more fun for me than a loud and more expensive restaurant.
4. I’ve been thrifting and going to estate and garage sales. My Ebay sales have been steady and I’m enjoying having some more money coming in. I’ve been picking up items for my daughter and her boyfriends new house like a broom, dustpan etc. I wish I’d done that for my first house instead of buying everything new. My daughter has been coming with me when she can and has bought several pieces of furniture.
5. I made homemade glass cleaner and shower cleaner from supplies that I have on hand. I’m still searching for a good recipe for dusting spray. Until I find a good one I’ve filled a thrifted plant mister with water and Murphy’s Oil Soap. It’s good enough anyway and I like not adding more plastic/metal spray cans to the garbage/recycling.


Katy October 12, 2021 at 10:51 am

That must have been a very satisfying phone call! I’ve been sharing garbage service with my next door neighbor for at least eight (ten?) years and we just split the bill. We’ve saved a ton of money over the years.


Bee October 10, 2021 at 4:57 am

I saw on Instagram that you were posting once again. Welcome back!


Katy October 12, 2021 at 10:49 am

I kept up my Instagram, which is always a good way to get bits of content even when I’m not blogging.


Heather Juno October 10, 2021 at 6:57 am

Just: Yay! Welcome back! I missed the blog!


Katy October 12, 2021 at 10:48 am

Thank you!


Dori October 10, 2021 at 7:38 am

I love it! Your frugal fives always inspire. Welcome back!!


Katy October 12, 2021 at 10:48 am

Thank you!


Heidi Louise October 10, 2021 at 7:43 am

So glad to see a new post. I appreciate your time spent monitoring the comments and your overall encouragement to take note of ordinary savings.
1. Continue to play along with my health insurance bonus program, watching short videos and reading brochures online, to earn points for a debit card (which only works in a few places but seems better than the premium items in their catalog). When my husband and I shared insurance, we each could earn the points because we had separate logins to the system.
2. Enjoying my one fall perennial plant, bought many years ago for the name alone: Japanese Toad Lily.
3. Reserved a book that is “in processing” at my local library, meaning it doesn’t come out until next week. I’ve found I can get to the top of the reserve line by planning ahead.
The book is “State of Terror”, co-authored by Louise Penny (of the Armand Gamache series) and Hilary Clinton. Combining Penny’s character development and Clinton’s knowledge of world culture and politics has me very curious about it.
4. Watching for loss leaders and trying to build up some grocery storage. Still working to get on the same page with my husband about that. He shudders at big totals at the checkout; I shudder at paying full price when we need some staple item.
5. Wearing mostly thrifted clothing. I forget to mention that, as it is so normal, and I don’t have to dress up very often. Splurged on a lovely cotton t-shirt for new at Itasca State Park, which I have mentally labeled my special occasion t-shirt.


priskill October 10, 2021 at 3:03 pm

OOOO — love Inspector Gamache and had no idea she was pairing with HRC — must check out!


janine October 11, 2021 at 7:59 am

Glad you were able to get up to Itasca State Park -( reputed to be the headwaters of the Mississippi River. ) We usually try to get up there at least once a year but were unable to make it this year. Incredibly beautiful park!


Heidi Louise October 11, 2021 at 8:51 am

We would go to Itasca with a neighbor family every fall when we were young, so this was a sort of pilgrimage for my sister and me who no longer live in MN. A live-stream camera broadcasts from the headwaters, and we phoned our husbands to tune in as we waved to them.
I forgot to mention that t-shirt styles this season are loooong, as in the shirt is about ten inches longer than my older ones. If I thought I could hem it properly, I would cut it off. We found the same with some “tall” t-shirts we got elsewhere for my son.


karen October 17, 2021 at 7:12 am

Oh my goodness, I was at Itasca State Park one month ago. My son and daughter in law live in Colorado. So when we drive out to visit them every year (except last year) we always make a big loop to see the country.

Several years ago we were about an hour away from the source of the Mississippi but did not have time to go that trip but put it in the back of our mind. We did it this year and loved it!! It was one of the best things we did. It was so cool to “walk” across the Mississippi.

Wish I would have known about the Tshirts being long. Since I am tall I usually never bother. But I like to buy things, if I ever do, at State or National parks to give them the revenue.

One more thing earlier on the trip my keen scandals broke so I rubber banded them and walked across the Mississippi. So I will have this memory.

Heidi Louise October 19, 2021 at 4:36 pm

Really enjoyed the comments from other visitors to Itasca! It doesn’t have geysers or mountains, but there is something about laughing with/at other barefoot or wet-to-the-knees people crossing the rocks at the start of the river that is wonderfully comfortable.

Katy October 12, 2021 at 10:48 am

I was thinking about my second hand outfit yesterday, which looked like this:

Coat – free box
Shirt – free from a charity event
Pants – Goodwill
Socks – Goodwill bins handmade socks that were in brand new condition. Since darned a time or seven.
Shoes – eBay to get the exact style I wanted


Jenny October 10, 2021 at 8:38 am

So glad to see an update. I rushed over as soon as I saw the insta post 🙂

1: Sewed new felt bottoms onto my 2 year old $1 store slippers. The uppers were fine but I had walked through the thin bottoms.

2: Had a date day with the spouse. Instead of going out, we split grocery story California rolls and sat on the beach, watching the boats go by.

3: Signed up for free monthly library “subscriptions” for some e-magazines I had been thinking about paying for the print editions of.

4: Drained the excess liquid from some meh lentil stew, added a half jar of salsa and some corn, and turned it into delicious lentil burritos for an encore dinner.

5: Gleaned some apples from an abandoned tree and made applesauce and dried apple rings.


Katy October 12, 2021 at 10:44 am

Must be nice to live close enough to the ocean to just stop by. The Oregon coast is a bit under two hours from our house, which is envious to my Nebraska relatives, but hardly a spontaneous trip.


Anna Chan October 10, 2021 at 9:14 am

How do bagels cost $90? Maybe you accidently bought bagels for everyone in the restaurant. I would have been going over the receipt number by number. I can relate though, we went out for ice-cream after my son’s confirmation lunch, we got gourmet paletas or Mexican popsicles, four of them somehow cost over $30.

Five run of the mill frugal things:
1. I bring my lunch to work everyday and also drink the very good free coffee and water at work.
2. pressed Amazon for a refund for a computer charger that stopped working after only about a month.
3. Eat most meals at home
4. called the car insurance company and told them that my daughter was at school and not a full time, under-aged driver. The agent reduced our premiums by a little bit.
5. Didn’t buy a trip to the moon.


Katy October 12, 2021 at 10:42 am

I may have to steal your #5! And keep in mind that Bezos didn’t actually go to the moon, he just up went up in space and back again. Kind of like the time in high school when we were visiting a suburban family member’s bay area home. My sister and I begged our father to let us go into San Francisco. He drove through it but wouldn’t stop the car and let us walk around even a single minute. Trapped in the back seat, it was a completely empty experience.


Anna Chan October 10, 2021 at 9:16 am

I have question for all the ebay sellers: I have a few things listed, is there a way around the high ebay fees? Did they increase recently? I haven’t really looked into it, but it seems the fees taken from the purchase price are really high.


Kathy October 10, 2021 at 9:56 am

Try Facebook marketplace or Mercari


Katy October 12, 2021 at 10:36 am

I don’t think so. It’s around 15%, which isn’t that high when you consider how widely their audience is.


Kristen October 10, 2021 at 9:26 am

Welcome back to blog world, friend!!!


Katy October 12, 2021 at 10:35 am

Your nagging texts certainly played a role.


Kristen October 12, 2021 at 1:13 pm

Let the record show that “nagging texts” does not accurately describe the tenor of our text conversations. 😉


Katy October 12, 2021 at 10:29 pm

I use the word “nag” as a positive in this situation.


Rebecca in MD October 10, 2021 at 9:30 am

I am always impressed by your Ebay sales. Do you have to claim this as income on your taxes?


Katy October 12, 2021 at 10:34 am



Lindsey October 10, 2021 at 9:52 am

Seriously happy you are back in the world of blogging.


Katy October 12, 2021 at 10:34 am

Thank you!


Sandra Hendry October 10, 2021 at 11:25 am

So glad to see you back.. I missed you.
Five frugal things:
1. I just made a big pot of Minestrone, threw in a wrinkled red pepper, chicken broth from the freezer, beans from the freezer, a couple pieces of leftover onion, and the last two carrots. also some zucchini sticks that were left over from a party.
2. Made a loaf of bread to have with our soup.
3. Pulled out last winters clothes and found most of them still fit (sigh). No need to run out and buy the next size up.
4. Reading magazines and books given to me by my son and daughter.
5. Made chicken broth from Costco rotisserie chicken carcass, plus added vegetable scraps from the freezer.


Katy October 12, 2021 at 10:34 am

That Costco roasted chicken makes the best broth! I’m guessing sorcery is involved.


Dicey October 23, 2021 at 6:57 am

Sorcery, thy name is probably sodium, alas…

Missed you immensely, KWS. So happy to see a new FFT. ♡♡♡


Katy October 25, 2021 at 11:34 am

Thank you!


Ann Y October 10, 2021 at 1:04 pm

Oooh….loved The Personal Librarian. Glad you are back….missed your posts.
Trying to stay frugal here –
1. Made soup from Costco chicken…seems that everyone does this. I live in an 55+ apartment complex and like to drop off soup to neighbors who are under the weather.
2. Visited the library and score! Got the new Stephen King book Billy Summers and loved it.
3. New Great Clips opened near me so I enjoyed a $4.99 haircut and will get one for $6.99 this month.
4. Made a huge batch of pumpkin muffins with canned pumpkin from the local discount grocery…55 cents a can!
5. Used leftover spaghetti sauce as my pizza sauce when making my own whole wheat pizza.
Have a great October….


Katy October 12, 2021 at 10:33 am

I was only “so so” on “The Personal Librarian.” Great historical figure, but I felt that the author (authors?) wrote the book in the narrative style of a romance novel. Very cringey at points.


Jean October 18, 2021 at 4:58 am

I enjoyed “The Personal Librarian” too. Had never heard of the character and only peripherally of the library. When I read historical fiction I often seek out other non-fiction sources to learn more. I did that in this instance too and was a bit disappointed to read about a more realistic (read: very human) Belle than the fictional character portrayed in the book.


Ava October 10, 2021 at 2:20 pm

Thank you for the effort you put into your blog. You were missed.
1. Made and froze several pints of applesauce from reduced apples . There is no comparison between store applesauce and homemade.
2. Made several sales on Etsy. Katy has been selling costumes. I have been selling costume patterns. Not as much profit to be made on patterns but so easy to store and to ship. I have sad Ebay stories to tell but I will save that for next time.
3. Bought bras in a color that was on sale and saved $10 per bra.
4. Picked up free cards and cooking magazines from a donation supplied art and craft store. Shared with daughter and friend.
5. Went yardsaling with friends and picked up several items for myself and my daughter to sell.


Katy October 12, 2021 at 10:30 am

Thank you for the kind words. My eBay sales looked impressive only because it had been so long since I last reported on them!


Ruby October 10, 2021 at 2:41 pm

It’s so good to see a new post. Glad you had a lovely break and wow! with the eBay sales! I have been absolutely fascinated to see how the Bailey’s chips experiment would turn out.

Today I gave my son a haircut, which saved $16, and mended another shirt for him. Gave our three dogs a bath and trim at home, which saved at least $15 a dog over taking them to the dog wash place. Made pot roast for my husband’s lunches with a big chuck roast that was marked down by 30 percent. That should feed him the whole workweek for an expenditure of $15.

Still doing all the daily stuff: wearing cute thrifted outfits, brown bagging my lunches and beverages, hanging laundry to dry, and doing no unnecessary spending. Also did not shoot myself into space. 😀


Katy October 12, 2021 at 10:29 am

Yes, I will definitely be scanning the Winco clearance shelves for the Bailey’s chips again after Christmas!


Hawaii Planner October 10, 2021 at 6:20 pm

So happy to see a post from you again!

1) I haven’t posted anything on eBay recently (busy time at work), but I’ve had sales, so that’s a nice win. Junk out, money in.
2) I’ve been paying more attention to the grocery bill, as prices climb. I’m attempting to make more things at home. Over the last few weeks: granola bars & French bread (from The Frugal Girl recipes), apple crisp, apple sauce, etc. Yum.
3) We are driving our electric car as often as possible, and we can charge for free at work. We’ve put 5000 miles on it in the last six months, with lots of driving the kids around.
4) I use Fetch & iBotta where it makes sense, to save a bit here & there.
5) We made a delicious butternut squash soup for dinner tonight, with homemade bread & the aforementioned apple crisp. Perfect fall dinner.


Katy October 12, 2021 at 10:26 am

Thanks for mentioning butternut squash soup! I haven’t made any in a very long time and I think I need to add it to the rotation.


Tonya Z Jenkin October 11, 2021 at 9:04 am

We missed you! And I hope you feel refreshed and renewed. It’s been hard to maintain momentum during the COVID doldrums.

1) Booked a flight and hotel using points. Free checked bag from my credit card rewards rounds out my “free” trip.
2) Picked up a “lucky day” book at my library! It’s the new Lianne Moriarty book, which I was 90th on the hold list. So fun when you get to “skip the line” this way at my local library. I was very enthusiastic and the librarian noticed. 🙂
3) Eating all my perishable food before I leave for the trip.
4) Hiked this weekend and enjoyed the beautiful fall colors. Met cute puppies on the trail.
5) Wearing a totally thrifted outfit today at work, even a pair of ThredUP new to me Danskos that I had been hunting for more than a year.
6) Grateful to have received my COVID booster as I work in healthcare.
7) A neighbor’s 11 year old is cat-sitting for me during my trip, frugal because cats can stay home (boarding cats is dumb) and also because I can pay her and feel good about supporting a kid in the neighborhood with some extra spending money.
8) Can we all just get vaccinated? Wouldn’t that be great?


Katy October 12, 2021 at 10:22 am

I’m envious of your “Lucky Day” find. My library system has either paused or completely stopped offering this program. It was always the first shelf I hit at the library.


MB in MN October 11, 2021 at 10:35 am

Welcome back! My five:

1. Won a pumpkin at a local patch after correctly guessing the weight.
2. Made croutons from various bread remnants. They’re so flavorful and crunchy that my husband packs them in his lunch for snacks.
3. Pocketed a penny found while picking up trash on our rural road. Donated 6 cents found while volunteering at the library.
4. Brought aluminum cans to our community fundraiser drop-off.
5. Had our neighbor/carpenter add some cabinet drawers for much-wanted office storage. We provided the cabinet pulls that were left over from another project.


Shona October 12, 2021 at 10:08 am

The bakery where I work is a last stop after people make the rounds at the farmer’s market (in front of our shop) so we get to see what everyone buys. Two young girls came in with a pumpkin each and silly me asked the first girl what she was going to make with it. Nothing, it’s for decoration. Her friend ordered and said “mine is not a decoration, I’m making a pie!”


Katy October 12, 2021 at 10:19 am

I love that you won a pumpkin using your “guess the weight” skills! I was better than any other nurse or doctor on guessing baby weight when I was a labor and delivery nurse, which was a non-monetized skill. Seriously, I was often correct down to the specific ounce!


Cindy in the South October 11, 2021 at 11:27 am

I am so happy you are ok and got to spend time with family ( minus the $90 bagels…uhmmm…lol). 1. I have both the heat and air off. It is in the upper 80’s during the day but I am at work. It cools down nicely to in the upper 60’s at night. My power bill was under 50 bucks for the month. 2. I did not eat out nor get drive through food during September, and so far, October. This is mostly because I bought a lot of steaks in a box on sale at a popup grocery store, and I also have bought a lot of hamburger meat, and sandwich meat, and sliced cheese. So I have simply bought bread, buns, ice cream, grapes, apples, carrots, lettuce, salad dressing, eggs,, tomato soup, and Gatorade ( for grown kid.) Rinse repeat. I am eating with him every weekend and cooking so he is happy with the above. I just take sandwiches, carrots, grapes, and apples, to work for lunch every day. To be real, I have been too busy at work to think about the fact I am eating the same thing every day. For some reason, I have lost a couple of lbs. without trying. Ok, I will take it. 3. I am cleaning my nasty house today, myself. I seriously need a shovel. I am also sorting through things and throwing away stuff. 4. I walked at the river for free. 5. I sold my backup car because the prices of used cars are insane. I put the money in my youngest child’s law school living expense fund.


Katy October 12, 2021 at 10:16 am

Used cars are insanely expensive right now. My Prius was in an accident, which caused enough damage for the insurance company to “total” the car. (worry not, no one was hurt) However, they set the value for more than we paid for it six years ago! We did end up keeping it and having the repair work done, which cost us just $500 out of pocket.


Ruby October 13, 2021 at 5:39 am

Clark Howard did a piece about selling his minivan for more than he paid for it two years ago. Resale prices are crazy. My lovely supervisor and his wife are getting by with one car, which is not easy for them, because they are waiting for things to improve with the cost of cars.


Bethany M October 11, 2021 at 3:46 pm

Made the decision not to buy any more Diet Cokes at the supermarket. Not healthy and not frugal. I’m also giving up my late night snacking. Time to make health a priority!

Had leftover rice in the fridge. Made chicken fried rice. Everyone liked it. I love when I can feed my family with just one chicken breast. Plus get those leftovers used before they get tossed.

Found a great thrift store in our new town. Moving from Southern California to Northern IN we needed a winter wardrobe. I got everything that the kids needed. Just need to hem up the pants for my girls. I was stoked to find it all at one thrift store!

Cashed in my Fetch rewards for a Red Robin gift card. We stopped in on Sunday, but they only had one cook and one server because of labor shortages. Even though it was a ghost town, it was still an hour wait so we went to Costco and got a $10 pizza.

Did an Azure Standard order for the first time. They had the best price I’ve ever seen on powdered buttermilk which I use for homemade ranch powder and the best price I’ve seen on blackstrap molasses which I put in my coffee every morning for a supplement and also because it’s like a little taste of Heaven. Picked up a few extras that were good prices and nice to get stocked up on.


kathy October 12, 2021 at 5:44 am

Bethany M
We moved from So Cal to Central OK last November. Thankful I had a winter coat I bought 4 years ago to wear on a trip to Iceland and then wore on a trip to OKC. However I did splurge and get flannel sheets for the winter


Katy October 12, 2021 at 10:10 am

Ooh . . . flannel sheets are worth every penny!


Katy October 12, 2021 at 10:12 am

Ready to eat food at Costco is such a great deal, especially since their employees are paid well and don’t take tips!


kathy October 12, 2021 at 5:45 am

Bethany M
We moved from So Cal to Central OK last November. Thankful I had a winter coat I bought 4 years ago to wear on a trip to Iceland and then wore on a trip to OKC. However I did splurge and get flannel sheets for the winter


Jennifer October 12, 2021 at 9:23 am

For the first time ever we went to family weekend at a child’s college. We usually go a different weekend because it is cheaper and less crowded. But with it being military school we HAD to go this past weekend. We’ve had very little contact with our son and he/we needed to see each other. It was absolutely NOT frugal, but there are frugal things we did.

1. Hotel – very few places to stay there as it is middle of nowhere VT. I had booked a lodge in April for 3 nights. Once the schedule came out we were able to go down to just 2 nights saving me $200. Also, while I had to pay a fortune for this place it was the cheapest thing available in April and prices were up to $1000 a night by the time October rolled around. So a huge savings to plan early.

2. We packed dinner for the first days drive stopping only once at a rest stop for the first 6 hour day.

3. I saved my tip money from my volunteer work with the local professional sports teams. We used this cash to cover everything we could. Using the CC for just gas and the debit card once. So none of our daily expenses had to come out of our regular budget.

4. We made it our goal to eat/shop local while we were there. We did have to go to Wal-mart for breakfast supplies (I thought we were getting breakfast but I was wrong) as that was the only grocery in a 30 mile radius. I got breakfast and snacks for our room that has a kitchen.

5. We packed a snack bucket that was much used and a case of water.

We were able to “adopt” 2 students that didn’t have family come. Maybe not frugal, but it was awesome to get these kids off campus for a couple of nights of relaxation. And SO good to see my son.


Katy October 12, 2021 at 10:08 am

Snack bucket? I’m in love with this!


Jennifer October 12, 2021 at 4:55 pm

I’ve been packing a snack bucket for road trips since the kids were little. This alone has saved so much money and stopping.


Katy October 12, 2021 at 10:30 pm

I just associate the car bucket with someone being car sick, so it’s funny to me.


Virginia Allain October 12, 2021 at 4:48 pm

1) After isolating for a year and a half, we took our campervan for a 3-week trip. Only stayed in RV parks twice. Spent a few days at a relative’s and also at a friend’s (camped in their driveways and borrowed their showers). Also, camped some nights in Walmart parking lots and interstate highway rest areas for free.
2) Cooked all our meals in the van or ate with the people we were visiting. My sister hosted family on her porch in Missouri for a beef vegetable stew lunch. An outside meal to be safer, otherwise we all wore our masks.
3) Took my sister some vintage books from 1910 era that my local library was cleaning out of their collection. Sis sells used books online and was happy to get them.
Now, I need to rest up from the traveling, so can’t think of anything for #4 or #5.


Katy October 12, 2021 at 10:27 pm

Sounds like a fun advenure!


Julie October 12, 2021 at 6:48 pm

1- at 21 the older son was aging out of our benefits, so he saw the dentist and eye doctor one last time while covered.
2- scored 2 new pairs of jeans in almost perfect condition for $1.00 at a garage sale.
3- received a new to me winter coat from my local freebie group. It has been good to me this summer so I have been sure to pay it forward.
4-Covid continues to impact us but I look at it as a savings opportunity since both DH and I are working from home. So no take out lunches or coffee.
5- at 95 my FIL gave up driving and gifted us his much newer vehicle. So for less than 100.00 we have a car that has less than 15000 kms and is 3 yrs newer than the one we will sell.
So happy to see you back Katy.


Katy October 12, 2021 at 10:26 pm

Thank you, I’m happy to be back! That’s an amazing deal on the car!


LDA October 13, 2021 at 5:49 am

So glad you are back! I enjoy reading about all your thrifty/non-consumer activities, but totally understand the need to take some personal time, especially when it involves family & friends. Sounds like you were busy!


auntiali October 13, 2021 at 3:03 pm

So glad to “see” you Katy!
My frugal 5 or 6:

1. Questioned my medical insurance for a bill from a doctor at my local ER. I went there with an infection in my foot that could have landed me in the hospital. The doctor who saw me was out of network and charged $989! Oh no I said to myself. Medical insurance looked in to it. Bill went down to $183. Now that’s a savings! I chuckle to myself thinking did they really think I would pay that much?

2. Getting my physical therapy for free now since I met my out of pocket deductible. I got 2x/week.

3. Interviewed a house cleaner and she started freaking out a little bit when I told her I didn’t want any strong smelling cleaners due to my asthma. She didn’t like my idea of her not bringing her vacuum and just using my Swiffers on the floors. She texted the next day saying she would have to raise the price from $100 to $140. I told her thanks but no thanks.

4. We’ve got a new library director in out town so I’m excited to see what new technology and ideas she will bring with herself.

5. I use Fetch too and have enough points to get something. Maybe just a Visa gift card?

6. Dh and I had a date last Friday at the Walgreens to get our flu and booster covid shots. Both are free.


Ashley Bananas October 14, 2021 at 8:40 am

I’ve checked in on your blog from time to time and wondered where you went. It’s great to see you update. And everyday posts are awesome, but you do what’s good for you.


K D October 16, 2021 at 10:16 am

I’m happy you’re back posting Katy!

1. I hit some great clearance deals at the grocery store. Snacky nuts were 75% off, organic pasta sauce was too. I also scored some chili verde sauce for 50% off. Safeway gave me $5 off my order.

2. I have been finding coins here and there. They don’t add up to a lot but for many months there were none to be found.

3. I continue to meet up with friends weekly for an outdoor walk and, when we have time, outdoor visiting. I have worked on walking more/driving less to the drug or grocery store, yoga, a friend’s house, etc. Green for the planet and a bit of savings for me.

4. We continue to borrow items from the library: ebooks, digital audio books, books, DVDs, and digital shows. Our library stopped collecting fines.

5. Not cheap but I took a trip with a family member to visit family 300+ miles away. We drove the most fuel efficient vehicle and stayed with relatives. We packed food for the road. Sometimes important events are not cheap.


rebecca October 25, 2021 at 7:14 am

So glad you took a break and so glad you’re back, Katy.
1. My neighbors came over for coffee yesterday. I was able to throw a cheese and cracker plate together with all indredients coming from aldi. I also made some surprisingly delicious crescent cookies using store bought pie crust that had been languishing in the fridge, nutella and powdered sugar. Yay for pinterest! I love when entertaining is low cost and, more importantly, full of laughs and good conversation.
2. Sorting through stuff to give away to unclutter
3. Working through a pile of books that were covid buys. I will pass them on as I finish.
4. Picking up stocking stuffers as I see them to avoid panic buys. Gourmet popcorn, hiking and biking socks, a cookbook, and a dog toy. Will bake some cookies and get scratch tix closer to the holidays.
5. The grocery store had chocolate chips and canned pumpkin on sale. I am replinishing my baking supplies.


isa October 25, 2021 at 9:56 am

Better late than never……

* My drink of choice is water. Everywhere, all the time. At home, visiting someone, in restaurants. Tap water, that is. Frugal and healthy. IF i drink something else it will be a glass of milk, once in a blue moon. And this is by taste. I hate coffee, I hate alcool, I don’t enjoy pop or juice on the regular, etc. Water it is.

* Speaking of pop, I used 3 cans of pop given at work to cook a pork shoulder roast in the crock pot. Discovered this trick a month ago and it’s a game changer! Never before have I been able to cook pork in the crock pot without it being hard and chewy. This trick gives a fall-off-the-bone pulled-pork. One big roast, enought pop to cover it (real sugar, not the fake stuff), pepsi/coke/Dr Pepper, whatever you have on hands. Cook 10 hours on high. Then, I dump all the liquid, shred and add BBQ sauce. Yum!!

* Entertainment is still mainly reading books from the library (free), watching Netflix (13$/month), take walks alone or with loved ones (free), play board games we already own (free), go to yoga (definitely NOT free, but I am using a pass bought a long time ago instead of letting it go to waste), public pool with the kids (free), badminton (free), etc. So very very frugal.

* Eating less meat lately, and supplementing with beans and lentils. If a recipe asks for a pound of ground beef, I’ll be using half a pound and add 2 cups of cooked green or brown (not red! )lentils to the beef while it’s frying. It absorbs the taste of the cooking meat and make it very palatable. High in fiber, high in iron, very cheap, good protein source : can’t ask for more!

* Tween daughter has started to organize her room, getting out bags and bags of trash and stuff to give away. This is sooooo great, and I am hopeful the new environment will give her a taste of minimalism/not filling her room with crap (that she buys or picks up) again. saving her some money in the long run.


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