Five Frugal Things

by Katy on December 7, 2021 · 75 comments

  1. My husband installed a hood vent over our stove after a mere 25 years of home ownership. He’d been stumped on how it would vent as it wasn’t an exterior wall. However, the discovery of a $99 clearance priced hood at Home Depot prompted him to watch some YouTube videos, and I am proud to say we are now proud owners of a fully functioning stove hood!

  2. I found a soggy and rather filthy knit cap in the middle of a busy street and brought it home. I promptly gave it a thorough wash in a basin and then a quick once over with my sweater shaver. It turned out to be a Filson brand wool hat that sells new for $45. However . . . it was out of stock due to “supply chain issues” at the time, so I popped it on eBay for $44 and it sold within a couple of days.

    Very satisfying.

  3. My next door neighbor Nancy and I recently both read The Beneficiary, a biography about author’s Janny Scott’s wealthy and accomplished extended family. Scott’s socialite grandmother was rumored to have been the inspiration for Katherine Hepburn’s iconic character in the The Philadelphia Story, which prompted me to put the DVD on hold at the library.

    Nancy and I then indulged in an afternoon movie date at her house, complete with popcorn and terrible impersonations of Hepburn’s mid-Atlantic accent.

  4. I thrifted a midcentury end table for $12.99 and proceeded to clean it, repair some chipped veneer, refresh the finish and then sold it for $200, I had enough thrifted candles to get through the eight nights of Hanukkah, I picked up some free used bubble wrap from a local business who gives it away, we hosted Thanksgiving dinner and then ate from the leftovers for over a week, I’m finishing up an audiobook of The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue through the library’s free Libby app, I gave away some notebooks, an unused planner, socks, bowties and a jacket through my Buy Nothing group and I got my free Covid-19 booster shot at a community clinic.

  5. I didn’t go on an ego driven space jaunt with my fellow billionaires.

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.

{ 75 comments… read them below or add one }

Kathy December 7, 2021 at 3:36 pm

1. Participated in a colon cancer study and will receive $200 in gift cards
2. Destashed 4 goodie bags from national dog. Gave hot chocolate packets and treats to a friends 3 year old.
3. Goodie bags provided 6 rolls of paper towels
4. Mailed all but one Christmas gift. Majority of gifts were from stash I had including regifts and NWT items bought at garage sales and thrift stores
5. Sold 4 items online


Christine December 7, 2021 at 5:03 pm

1. I worked 5 days at my old job. Someone was on vacation and they needed a fill in. Nice to see my co-workers and to receive extra $$$. I’m retired but occasionally get called back in.
2. I popped into the Dollar Store to pick up two boxes of Christmas cards. I then went to the pharmacy and was told at the check out I had $4 in bonus cash to use. Yes please. I then proceeded to The Salvation Army store to search for two containers I can use to make cemetery baskets for this Christmas. I found two great ones right away but was a little disappointed at the prices which I found to be a little high. I purchased them anyway knowing I was helping to keep them out of the landfill. I’ll fill them with freebies I cut myself: red berries from my backyard and greens from my daughter’s yard.
3. I’m reading a library book, a novel, The Childrens Blizzard. I’m not crazy about it and am wondering if it will get better. Hope so. I’m 59 pages in.
4. I told my kids I’m only giving gift cards this year for Christmas. I got spoiled last year when we decided to forego exchanging presents since we weren’t getting together anyway due to Covid. At 62 I’m done with shopping, online or in stores. I am hosting Christmas Eve but will concentrate on food, fun and group games…Christmas Trivia, Christmas Song Trivia and whatever else I come up with.
5. DH and I are splitting a frozen $3.99 pizza for supper tonight.


Coral Clarke December 7, 2021 at 6:31 pm

Here in Australia ” cemetery baskets” either don’t exist, or we call them something different. Is it perhaps a way of sending flowers to a funeral?


Jen December 7, 2021 at 9:39 pm

I live in California and have never heard of Cemetery Baskets, either. Please fill us in on what you use them for. 🙂


Holly December 8, 2021 at 6:17 am

I can’t speak for the OP but where I have lived in US South many people will make a holiday arrangement for the grave of a loved one.


Christine December 8, 2021 at 7:18 am

Cemetery Baskets are containers filled with seasonal flora; at the holidays, mostly greens, berries, white birch branches. Sometimes I add a bow to the front but nothing garish. They are left at the graves of loved ones. I live in New England where flowers wouldn’t live for long out in the weather. Some people make or buy Autumn themed baskets to put out on graves in the fall but you don’t see too many of them. Another big day for Cemetery Baskets or decorating graves is Memorial Day, a day set aside on the last Monday in May to honor the war dead although it is a popular time to decorate all loved ones’ graves. Here in New England the weather is getting warmer then and it’s safe to plant outside.
Florists, garden centers and hardware stores sell Cemetery Baskets fully made up to bring to graves but they are expensive…I’ve seen them as low as $19 or up to $50. I bought the two containers for $9 together. The filling I use is free thanks to Mother Nature!


Jen December 10, 2021 at 10:48 pm

Thank you for explaining!


Christine December 12, 2021 at 8:17 am

You’re welcome!


Ava December 7, 2021 at 5:08 pm

1. Made some great trash soup from all the refrigerator scraps. Used up a jar of salsa that had almost no salsa taste. It was more like tomato sauce.
2. Purchased some Christmas gift cards at the grocery and got points for .75 a gallon off gas. Also saved gas and time by purchasing the cards at the grocery rather than going to the individual stores.
3. Sold some items on Etsy and listed some more. Sold three Christmas tree toppers for a total of $68. Paid $1 each.
4. Fished a good canning jar out of the glass recycle bin and gifted it to my neighbor.
Can’t think of anything else at the moment.


Katy December 7, 2021 at 8:45 pm

I love that you gave your neighbor a trash-picked canning jar! That’s the world I want to live in.


Ava December 8, 2021 at 6:36 am

I always check the glass bin for canning jars and also for items that shouldn’t be in there. In addition to several canning jars, I have also rescued a metal bucket to use for craft purposes, a candle holder, a soap dish to donate, a cannister with lid that matches the ones I already have. It seems people pay no attention to the signs and just throw anything into the bin.


rebecca December 7, 2021 at 7:47 pm

1. Made soup from frozen CSA vegetables and ate it for lunch the past week or so.
2. Bought stocking stuffers and able to use coupons for them.
3. Hung fitted sheets up to air dry. Yes. to save a little $ but mainly to avoid the tangling hassle that occurs in my dryer.
4. I have 2 new clients and am looking forward to working with them.
5. I’m going to be looking at refinancing my house. Fingers crossed for a better mortgage rate


Marie Roush December 7, 2021 at 8:28 pm

The tangling in the dryer with sheets. Why?
Mine has just started that. Have to fix it a couple of times during a cycle.


Virginia Allain December 23, 2021 at 12:26 pm

My Samsung dryer tangles the sheets so badly that it looks like an oversize cocoon. The old Maytag that I had never did that.


auntiali December 8, 2021 at 3:36 am

1. The Christmas baskets for graves are called grave blankets here in New Jersey.
2. Looks like it will be gift cards for Christmas this year. I am 5 days out from my gastric sleeve surgery so I don’t know how I’ll feel afterwards. Plus I don’t want to go out into Covid/Omicron world either. I can get gift cards on line.
3. Been playing around with the thermostat as the temps have been up and down. I will need to roll up my beach towels to use as draft dodgers under the doors.
4. I’m drinking protein shakes and drinking lots of water. Saving money that way.
5. Praying everything will go well with my surgery.


Barbie December 8, 2021 at 5:52 am

Good luck AuntAli! I had the procedure about ten years ago and it is life changing. Go VERY slowly with yourself when you first get home as your little stomach won’t let you eat much at all. You will gradually be able to hold more but 1/2 of a scrambled egg would fill me up. There are a ton of support groups and recipes online that will help you so check those out. Good luck!


Christine December 8, 2021 at 7:24 am

Grave blankets is a term I’ve never heard before for Cemetery Baskets. Interesting to hear the regional terms for things.
Wishing you the best with your surgery. I hope everything goes well and you have a smooth recovery.


Lisa December 8, 2021 at 4:18 am

1) It was a small Thanksgiving gathering in our house this year and for the first time ever I didn’t get a turkey. Felt weird initially but made for a more relaxing day. Still made too much dressing but everything else was successfully pared down.
2) winter means different hours for the power company’s variable rate program. Trying to avoid high rate hours, do laundry on the weekends, use the delay setting on the dishwasher so it runs at the lowest rates, etc.
3) Used $$ from side hustles to buy a load of firewood, so we can use the wood burning stove and further reduce the electric bill.
4) Since I buy presents throughout the year, took inventory of what’s on hand to avoid accidentally over-spending. I especially like buying stocking stuffers ahead since they take up little room. I’m still mad about the year I waited until the last minute and spent too much on junk just for stockings. Never again!
5) Sold a car we’ve had for 7 years for more than we paid for it. It was ugly as heck, but cheap and reliable – very helpful in keeping transportation costs down during this time. Unfortunately the other car I had was the exact opposite: unreliable and a money pit.


Katharine December 8, 2021 at 6:45 am

1) We ate Thanksgiving leftovers for over a week, including sandwiches, turkey pie, turkey dinner redux, soup, and turkey tacos. I also now have 7 quarts of turkey broth (for future soups/ turkey pie), 3 meals of turkey taco meat, and 3-4 meals of turkey pie meat in the freezer for future meals. (I asked for a small one from my local farm, but it was a big honking turkey!!)
2) We finally got the wood stove hooked up in my husband’s office and have been able to cut back on the electric heat in there, plus he’s much happier since I wasn’t letting him set it above 67 F!
3) Eldest son started basketball through school. At our old town, we would have had to pay for the Y team or team sports, but here it’s so small everyone automatically can play school sports.
4)Got boosters and last two Covid vaxes for the kids last week- all free!
5) Checked out books from library, bought a few gifts from Ebay (used) instead of Amazon (new, supports space-traveling billionaires), and roasted and froze all the countertop squash/ pumpkins that were threatening to rot *before* they rotted, so we can throw it in lasagnas/ soups/ and breads all winter.


Mary in Maryland December 8, 2021 at 7:52 am

1. A friend raked my yard while I did some mending and hemming for her.
2. I’ve been working at a table for the past couple years. Someone offered a desk with a drawer on freecycle, and I snapped it up.
3. Store delivery services substitute something larger when they don’t have the exact item. My neighbor got 5# of carrots rather than one and gave us a couple pounds.
4. Groups that rent our church leave tons of food in the fridge. Last Sunday we found fifteen two pound containers of dressing. We didn’t know how long it had been unrefrigerated, so I was uncomfortable passing it on. However, it’s fabulous. I’ve built several meals around the four containers I brought home.
5. Ditto—a wedding bought tons of pumpkins and squash for décor and left them behind. The dog is grateful for the extra treats.
6. We have not decorated a tree for the past three years. I freecycled all but the eight sentimentally valuable ornaments.
7. I cleaned all the outside drains, as I do every time I hang out laundry. Cheaper than letting them fill up and back water into the basement.
8. While picking up trash on our morning walk, I found two half gallon metal paint cans—rusty with no labels. I took them to the household hazardous waste station. Prevents the expense of a contaminated water table. Protecting the commons is frugal for all of us.
9. Still eating at home, walking for errands, hanging laundry outside, reading library books. Having checked out Viva Vegan for eighteen weeks last year, I bought a used copy.
10. No trips to outer space for me.


janine December 8, 2021 at 2:45 pm

Loved your #8 with regard to the water table!


Vickey December 11, 2021 at 10:40 am

Me too!


Mary December 13, 2021 at 8:05 pm

Why no Cmas tree the last yheee years?


Mary in Maryland December 16, 2021 at 2:13 pm

We get overwhelmed and almost always had a fight while we decorated the tree. And it’s just the lights that we love. We actually bought new a couple strings of LED lights–one arranged in glasses on the mantle, the other on the sideboard in the dining room. That and singing, and Christmas is complete for us.


Mary December 21, 2021 at 7:59 pm

So you do decorate just not w ornaments, that’s
Cool and very sophisticated


Julie December 8, 2021 at 8:33 am

1. I was able to hang out wash twice in this past week. For New England this time of year I was pretty excited!
2. Working on maximizing all of my cash back apps to help save with rising grocery costs.
3. Really trying to dig through our freezer to find some “hidden gems” that need to be used up. We had some creative, but tasty, meals this week. This helps with keeping the grocery costs in line.
4. Finally worked on my mending pile. I do not have this job nagging at me anymore.
5. I was running very low on wrapping paper and I had some birthday gifts to mail out. I had some small scraps that were fairly colored coordinated and I was able to wrap using what I had. It prevented me from shopping and reminded myself I have resources available at home.


Ruby December 8, 2021 at 11:52 am

The sale of the hat and the revived table are truly impressive!

My five frugal things are all sewing- and cooking-related: Hemmed and mended a pair of jeans for my son. Darned one of my socks using an old baby food jar (it holds a stash of buttons) as a darning egg. Am busy saving an old quilt by recovering it with fabric bought on sale. Made black bean-chicken chili for my work lunches and used up the last of an open bag of quinoa as a side dish. Made beef-barley-veggie soup for our dinners and used a bag of manager’s special beef that I had the foresight to slice up thin before freezing. The beef had not a speck of fat on it and I was afraid it would be tough or ropy, but it cooked up great in the soup and is getting rave reviews from the family.


K D December 8, 2021 at 1:20 pm

1. I just returned from a short walk around our neighborhood.The neighbor on the corner has a couple of nice looking baskets out with her trash. I will retrieve them after dark and make sure they find a new home, they should not go in the landfill.

2. My daughter gave my some of her excess holiday cards.

3. I gave away many items using Freecycle. A wide range of items have new homes and I listed a few more this afternoon.

4. We received a subscription to Disney+ as a holiday gift. I love the non-material aspect of it.

5. I just finished listening to The Boys (Ron and Clint Howard) which I borrowed from the library. I didn’t love it but it was okay in the background. I am currently reading When All is Said. So far it’s good. I borrowed it electronically from the library.


Cindy in the South December 8, 2021 at 3:11 pm

The mid century table sounds wonderful’ 1. I cleaned house. I consider that an accomplishment… lol. 2. I walked both in neighborhood and at River park. It has been lovely recently, with temps in 70’s. Today, not so nice. 3. I made chicken and rice, turnip greens and rice and cooked carrots. I also made spaghetti. We are sick of turkey. I am currently cooking dried red beans for next week. 4. I soaked my jeans and bra in the tub and then washed them by hand and hung them up. I am trying to extend the life of them. 5. I cut my hair myself, over two days, very carefully.


Marie-Josée December 13, 2021 at 3:46 am

Hi Cindy, my thoughts went out to you when I read about the devastating tornadoes that hit the plains. I hope you are safe, as well as the other commentators of this blog.


Cindy in the South December 14, 2021 at 6:49 pm

Thanks. The big tornadoes went about 200 miles north of me. So sad the devastation in Arkansas, Missouri, and Kentucky and some in Tennessee.


Marie-Josée December 30, 2021 at 2:17 pm

Thanks for responding, Cindy. So happy you are safe! Happy New Year!


janine December 8, 2021 at 3:13 pm

1. Son used a turkey gift cert. from work to obtain our Thanksgiving bird. It proved to be the gift that gave and gave! Casseroles, a la king, sandwiches etc.
2. Xmas trees proved to be expensive this year. Our realtor friend gifts clients and friends either a tree or wreath every year, and although it was first come, first served, we arrived early and got a beautiful specimen. Wrote her team a very grateful thank you card.
3. A local Italian eatery offers $6 spaghetti special on certain days. Nice to dine out for a reasonable price once in a while. At another place the server gave us free popovers even though this place now charges for them.
4. Thrifted a couple of old vintage Starbucks mugs – value almost $100.
5. Found two boxes of holiday cards while cleaning out, as well a a roll of old stamps hidden in the back of my desk. Now the harder task ahead of me is to write, stamp and mail them!


Tonya December 8, 2021 at 5:39 pm

1)I’m eating from a pot of homemade soup that I made a couple of days ago. Delicious!
2) Spending time with loved ones this week instead of spending lots of money.
3) Paying off my mortgage this month.
4) Getting ready to celebrate my oldest child’s college graduation next week.
5) Wearing beautiful hand-me-downs and enjoying so much life in gently used fashion. It helps that my sister (who hands down her clothes) has beautiful, comfortable, taste in clothes.


Marie December 8, 2021 at 7:09 pm

#3 paying off your mortgage is huge.
I’ve been doing extra work, and so I’m adding an extra $300 every month.
Owe, $75 thou, want to see it drop.


Tonya December 9, 2021 at 10:36 am

Thanks, it feels wonderful to do so!


Christine December 9, 2021 at 7:22 am

Congratulations on your mortgage payoff! Wonderful!


Tonya December 9, 2021 at 10:36 am

Thank you! I’m very happy about it.


Shona December 9, 2021 at 6:54 pm

Congratulations on paying off your mortgage! We paid ours off August 2020 and the excitement has not left me. Kudos on the major accomplishment.


Jessica December 12, 2021 at 5:26 am

We payed our mortgage off this year and I started a direct debit to our savings account as I reasoned I had done without it for 25years and if it stayed in my account I would spend it.


Bethany M December 8, 2021 at 3:24 pm

Asked the library to purchase two reading books for me and two piano books for my daughter. They are purchasing and processing.

My husband recycled some scrap metal that his boss threw away. We used the money for a birthday of adventures and played laser tag and did some arcade games.

Set my empty coconut oil jar by the fireplace and melted down the last nubbins. Poured out in a small container for lip balm. Washed and dried the container and filled with oats. Need more containers so I can store up the 50 lbs I bought from Azure Standard.

Putting a new roof and gutters on our house. Found a guy with an A+ BBB rating that was thousands less than our first bid. Roofer is also going to fix a siding problem and add facia on an area that had a mysteriously (lots of mysteries from previous owners. Lol) missing section.


Jennifer December 8, 2021 at 6:12 pm

I love all the bartering I see on here! Nice find on the hat Katy!

1. Received a $10 rewards card from Eddie Bauer. Figured I would browse the small items for stocking stuffers. They had very warm fleece socks with grippy stuff on the bottom on sale from $18 to $6.99. I bought 2 pairs for my girls. Total $4 OOP!

2. We have been needing a new mattress for various reasons. We can’t afford it (college expenses). I started researching memory foam toppers. In the end we asked for it as our Christmas present from the in-laws. Hopefully this helps and at no cost to us.

3. Last year I did minimal outdoor lighting. I made a garland with lights and bows out of stuff I had. Well this year once we put it up the middle lights are out. We are just not having it lit up this year. Saves energy anyway.

4. Our furnace broke. We paid someone to come out and diagnose it. Dh watched what he did and asked a bunch of questions. Found out what was wrong. The man needed to order a part anyway ($570 for him to do the job) but mentioned that my dh seemed handy and could do it himself. Told him where to order the part and how to replace it! We ordered it for $60 + the service fee of $200 – we are saving half at least.

5. Cashed in all our volunteer work at the professional sports teams in town. $3000 of the $4000 college tuition bill was covered!

6. Found a trilogy that my ds wanted for Christmas but is no longer in print for just $15 on Ebay!


Isa December 9, 2021 at 2:31 am

* Keeping the pantry and freezers inventory up to date, so I jnow what I have and what to use up

* Using public library for books, books, books!

* Date night with hubby : free babysitting (grandma), movie with a 2 for 1 (13$)

* taking 4 extra shifts this month

* Not buying any new outfit for Christmas. Keeping it low key with immediate family.

* Trying to think of low cost trinkets for the kids Christmas stockings, while avoiding the Dollar Store (a.k.a unnecessary crappy stuff that will end up in the trash in a month or so). They are 9 and 12 (girls). Any ideas????


Bee December 9, 2021 at 3:49 am

When I was a kid, I loved to get “special” school supplies – pencils, erasers, notebooks, etc. I enjoyed lip balms that were flavored. 7-up and root beer were my favorite. Card games and handheld puzzles like Uno and the Rubick’s cube. Paperback books would also work if they were readers. I used to put CDs and DVDs in my kids stockings. Lol.My have things changed.


Sharon December 9, 2021 at 7:08 am

Friendship bracelet wheels and embroidery floss. The wheel helps them create patterns. My daughter loved them when she was a tween.


Heidi Louise December 9, 2021 at 8:22 am

For stocking stuffers:
Food they don’t have to share with anyone else. Grown-up things, like cheese, individually wrapped in foil.
The parts for a bigger gift. Give them the forks and make a fondue pot a family gift. (My mind is on cheese today; can you tell?).
Gift certificates for something in the summer, like a ride somewhere they usually have to walk.
Nice or pretty or colorful underwear or socks, unlike what they usually have.


Roberta December 10, 2021 at 7:45 am

We put Christmas crackers in the kids stockings: some pretty paper wrapping, a cardboard tube, a couple of jokes, a charade, a bit of trivia. If we buy them they sometimes they come with a paper hat, but the personal, handmade ones might be more fun for your family. At the end of the day, it’s all compostable.

I second snacks that are outside of the normal snacks you usually buy.

If they’re from “you” and not “Santa”, coupons to not have to do chores are still well received at my house. Not doing dishes on a night with lots of homework is the gift that keeps on giving.

Necessities that you would end up buying eventually: when the kids were little I got them fruit flavored toothpaste (instead of mint), colored pens or pencils, a really big eraser, a small Lego set.


isa December 10, 2021 at 8:13 am

Thanks for all the great ideas! They would surely love coupons for us to do their chores for a week, aha!


Bethany M December 12, 2021 at 6:00 pm

No new Christmas outfit for me either. I thought about getting a new sweater. The choir members were supposed to wear green or red. I had a teal sweater and I called it good. Lol!


Jann in Maine December 9, 2021 at 2:56 am

I think once a tightwad pretty much always a tightwad. It’s who we are!
Had DH cut some greens and red osher (red dogwood) branches for outdoor decorations–free. Continue to use the candles in the windows that are electric–sure beats replacing batteries for so many lights.
Neighbor giffted me a number of appliances she no longer wanted. And very nice ones–Breville etc. Christmas came early. Will flip the ones we don’t want.
Daughter had a wedding last month that had been postponed for 2 years–I bought the bouquet up here which they boxed up for me saving $125. They also sold me flowers for the wedding cake which I made and transported. Frosted and decorated once we got to our destination.. Still reading library books,drinking my own coffee,hanging out laundry,and making use of the sun and pellet stove to heat our home. We have cut down on not only presents but baking and cooking. After Thanksgiving they had fresh turkeys for 39 cents a pound and bought another big bird. Using it to provide cheap protein for later freezer meals. I also freeze the gravy so I can use that to fortify soups or chicken pies. Making my English buttercrunch and hot caramel and butterscotch sauces as gifts. Easy and very happy recipients. Happy belated Chanukah wishes and future Christmas wishes to all.


Christine December 13, 2021 at 7:44 am

I love your first statement. I believe that too. I grew up with frugal parents and a frugal grandmother, hooked into The Tightwad Gazette monthly newsletters as a young adult and embraced the lifestyle. 62 years old and still living it.


Shona December 9, 2021 at 7:26 pm

1) Sent home from a potluck thanksgiving with smoked turkey which turned into turkey noodle soup. Only had to buy onions, carrots & celery, all other ingredients on hand.

2) Fall pumpkin decorations destined for the trash were rescued by me and turned into pumpkin black bean curry soup. Only had to buy onions, all other ingredients on hand.

3) Now that I’m walking to work a few blocks away I’m filling the gas tank of my Honda Fit about once a month.

4) Inter Library Loan- The Day the World Stops Shopping by J.B. MacKinnon. Not what I was expecting and far more interesting.

5) Coffee, Prosecco & Japanese rice cookies were my prize in a dirty Santa game. I contributed a homemade pie. So much fun.

Slight fail but not really) My neighbor informed me that my compost pile was attracting skunks which was why his dogs kept getting sprayed. Oh no, I felt horrible! I immediately ordered a compost tumbler, let him know I was addressing the issue, and now I have a really quick source for compost. The cardboard shipping box went to line the beginnings of next year’s garden and all is well in the neighborhood for $88.


Christine December 10, 2021 at 7:17 am

In this instance “good fences make good neighbors” (thank you Robert Frost) becomes “good compost tumblers makes good neighbors”!


Shona December 10, 2021 at 8:35 am

Yes indeed, nicely put. Funny enough, this neighbor and I were born and raised in the same place, 2,200 miles from where we ended up, and never met until recently.


Christine December 10, 2021 at 12:17 pm

What an odd coincidence! Seems like you were destined to be neighbors. Good that the “stinky” problem is solved.


Shona December 10, 2021 at 8:33 am

Turned in the found money for the year at the coin machine at my bank (free) , this year’s total- $19.88 in coins, $22 in bills. All will go towards the annual family charitable donation in lieu of gift giving. On the drive I picked up 3 intact pumpkins from a neighbor’s curb which I’ll turn into future soup.

Since embracing frugally, I’ve made soup the cornerstone of my budget.


Anne December 10, 2021 at 1:00 pm

I’m just stunned you found $22 in bills. Do you live in a major city?


Shona December 10, 2021 at 3:10 pm

I live in a college town & most of that was found on my weekly 5 mile walk which takes my through campus. I cut through several parking lots where people either don’t realize they’ve dropped money or don’t bother to pick it up. I’ve also found that people don’t always get their change from the coin return at grocery store self check outs where I routinely find money. I mentioned this to an attendant once and she said to just keep it, she collects a lot of money through her shifts. I didn’t ask her if she kept what she found though.


Katy December 13, 2021 at 2:08 pm

My theory on parking lot money is that they spill coins when grabbing their keys from the pockets. That money then rolls under a car, so it isnt accessible until the car is moved. I’ve given this some thought.

Jill A December 10, 2021 at 3:51 am

Nice find on the hat. I’m wondering how you fix chipped veneer?

1. I continue to help my daughter and her fiance with their new home. A large group of friends and family and with a little bit of paid help we managed to install a privacy fence saving them $2000. It was a fun few days and all of us learned something from the experience.
2. Thanksgiving was wonderful. My daughter brought home a free turkey from work where she was able to brine it in their refrigerator. We made a traditional and inexpensive meal that was delicious. I also purchased a turkey before my daughter informed me about the free one which is great because it was extremely cheap and is small enough to store in my freezer for a future meal.
3. I was able to purchase each of my kids free gift cards using points from Swagbucks and Erewards. I do this each year saving me $500.
4. Received my free Covid Booster and Flu shot.
5. Keeping my heat set low. Hanging my laundry to dry on racks. Driving my hybrid vehicle and combining errands. Taking walks in the woods, watching Netflix etc. and spending time with family and friends for cheap and free entertainment.


Jill A December 10, 2021 at 3:55 am

Also I ordered my dogs food on Thanksgiving day since I was close to running out and it just so happened that it was on black friday sale saving me 31%


Katy December 11, 2021 at 11:08 pm

I used stainable wood filler.


Jill A December 13, 2021 at 2:40 pm

Oh nice. Good to know. I had no idea there was such a thing.


Hawaii Planner December 10, 2021 at 7:24 am

Nice work on the hat sale. I can see how it would be extra satisfying to save it from waste, and turn it into a financial win. Awesome!

Here’s what we’ve been up to:
1) I did a freezer inventory a few weeks back, and it’s been super helpful in my attempts to make dinner on busy days. It’s really been useful in a pinch. It’s also helped to reduce our freezer inventory, which is a bonus win.
2) I’ve taken advantage of some great deals on toiletries that are either free or drastically reduced to pick up items for our local shelter. It feels great to be able to score some awesome deals on things like toothpaste & deodorant, that are in high demand at the shelters.
3) I’ve been working to maximize my volunteer hours, which get matched with a cash donation by my employer. They upped the amount of hours we could volunteer this year, and I don’t want to let them go to waste! Luckily, there are always great volunteer opportunities available.
4) Sold a few holiday related items on eBay. I’m really over at eBay at the moment due to some shenanigans, but the reach is hard to beat. Also sold a pair of outgrown skis/poles on Facebook marketplace.
5) Took advantage of a gift card deal for Home Depot (we have a few upcoming house repairs) via my local grocery store. I earned $30 in grocery store rewards.


Katy December 13, 2021 at 2:09 pm

It was indeed a very satisfying sale.


Roberta December 10, 2021 at 9:07 am

1. A teacher broke her ankle badly, so I am subbing every day for her (instead of the three days a week I prefer). More money, but less time, this time of year. I am continuing to make dinner at home (which is challenging!) instead of getting takeout.
2. Using the produce from my neighbor’s fridge. She went out of town, so if we don’t eat it, it will go bad. I made three bags of broccoli slaw into curry one night, pasta another.
3. Turned off the sprinklers, probably for the rest of the winter, since rain finally arrived.
4. Keeping the heat off, and adding blankets.
5. Many of my kids’ gifts are college oriented this year. They’ll need the stuff eventually, so we’re including it under the tree.

My daughter got accepted to one of the schools to which she applied — with a hefty merit scholarship! It should cover almost half her tuition, before we hear back from FAFSA! Yay, her!


Heidi Louise December 10, 2021 at 9:34 am

Hooray for the school acceptance!

You mentioned college-oriented gifts. Looking past that, depending on their future professions and if they have stopped growing, they might need Professional Gifts for internships or after they graduate: winter coat, trench coat, good shoes, instructions in how to keep them good, socks, suit, shirts, tasteful high quality jewelry, good gloves, scarf, watch, briefcase, purse, satchel, etc. A trip with a personal shopper, or with a successful professional with a good sense of classic style at one of the higher quality stores, even if they don’t buy much, could be very valuable. And do people still “get their colors done”? I am not saying one must buy expensive stuff at full price, but that it is difficult for someone moving from high school to college to career to figure out what they need to dress appropriately and look good.


Bee December 13, 2021 at 4:39 am

Congratulations to your daughter! Awesome news. To get accepted to the school of your choice and merit scholarship is no small feat. I am happy for both of you.


t December 10, 2021 at 1:24 pm

Mine are mostly fails.
Always wanted Dyson vacuum Costco had 150 off already lowest price. It is really a great vacuum, almost sucks the floor loose. Cleaned and donated previous vac.
I kinda collect cotton liberty print clothes. I found super low prices on shirts and shorts and indulged.
Driving home through the hills there was a dog running along the shoulder of the road. I stopped and he came to the back of car so I opened and he jumped in. I’m a cat person and never rescued a dog before. Stopped and got some dog food
At home I could see he was really skinny and had some ticks so he got a bath and dinner. He was so cute and well behaved. Next day I took him to the shelter and they named him Sherlock Bones. I didn’t even have him 24 hours and miss him. Basset Hounds are awwwwwesome.
I like Costco better than Sam’s, they have more gluten free and organic foods and I love the Chilean sea bass, also not frugal.


Jill A December 11, 2021 at 3:24 am

I’ve been debating buying a Dyson vacuum also. Just wondering which one you purchased? I always miss the black friday sale.


t December 11, 2021 at 6:47 am

The V11 animal. I avoided the black Friday sales too, but they had them still marked down in the store Monday or Tuesday. I think the animal just has furniture attachments.


Jill A December 13, 2021 at 2:43 pm

Okay. Thanks 🙂


t December 11, 2021 at 7:55 am

I have a small place and no carpet and the charge on the cordless us plenty. If I had a larger place with carpet I would need to recharge it to finish the whole house.


Katy in Africa December 11, 2021 at 11:05 am

Hi Katy,
We’ll be Stateside for several months and are considering reselling things. You’re very inspirational and have a lot of experience. Do you have a post about reselling?


Bethany M December 23, 2021 at 3:18 pm

Merry Christmas, all!


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