Five Frugal Things

by Katy on February 1, 2022 · 61 comments

  1. Our down comforter was no longer providing the same warmth it once had, so I knew it was time to bite the bullet and buy a “new” one. (Shivering isn’t a good look for me.) I started my research with the NY Times’ Wirecutter website to see what they recommended and saw that the Costco one ranked high, so I clicked around on eBay until I found a “new without tags” version for $74.95 instead of $220. I also bought a new-in-package Pottery Barn duvet cover for $76.99, which seems expensive until you realize that it was probably around $200 to begin with.

    People often assume that a decision to buy used is the lesser choice in terms of comfort and dare I say it — luxury. However, there’s almost nothing that can’t be found on the second-hand market. My purchases support independent sellers instead of morally corrupt companies that bypass environmental accountability and worker rights in the name of shareholder profits.

    If I can avoid triggering the manufacture of a brand new item, that’s always going to be my first choice.

  2. I awkwardly turned down a bid to prune our backyard maple tree as it came in at $3250. (Awkward, as we’re socially connected to the arborist.) I did receive a bid from someone else last summer that was much lower, but it somehow got buried in my inbox and I’m not sure the bid still stands.

    I gotta say that home ownership can be a real pain in the tuchus. Yes, we’re building equity, but it’s only realized if we sell the house or borrow against it. Sometimes owning a home is just a series of boring expenses.

  3. I went to Costco and only purchased items from my list. (Cat food, olive oil, chicken bullion, honey, frozen berries and a roasted chicken.) This may seem like a non-impressive “frugal thing,” but stores count on customers finding off-list items to bolster their profits. It’s not evil, it’s just the Science of Shopping. Whether it’s food purchases prompted by a tasty sample or the physical setup of the space, your impulse purchases are far from random.

    I’m just as swayed by store displays and fun new products as anyone else, so I consider it a win any time I’m able to grocery shop without sprinkling my cart with impulse items.

  4. I received a $20 refund from my doctor’s office, I started listening to Anatomy: A Love Story by Dana Schwartz (my friend’s future daughter in law!) I sold a thrifted Calphalon frying pan through Facebook Marketplace, I gave away a cluttery antique vase through my Buy Nothing group, I returned a bag of unused miscellaneous Home Depot stuff, I picked up a $13 headlight bulb from an auto supply store for my husband to install on our Prius, (this’ll save us $22 over taking it to Jiffy Lube) my husband’s friend gave us a big bag of books for our Little Free Library, my friend Lise planted a native plant in a corner of my backyard and I donated two bags of clothing and random items to Goodwill.

  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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{ 61 comments… read them below or add one }

Mand01 February 1, 2022 at 6:59 pm

1. Have been active on the local Buy Nothing group: gave away a camera lens, book, two bluetooth Apple keyboards, and a clothing rack, and received back a compost bin and a universal remote control, both of which I had been considering buying.
2. Picked a bagful of pears from my daughter’s tree and will pick a bagful of apples tomorrow. She had an orchard in her backyard. I’ll make some pear jam and some chutney, and stew some for the freezer, and make a pie.
3. Due to COVID I have avoided a hair cut since November. I have very thick, fast growing hair that I usually wear very short and have cut every month, which is a pretty pricey exercise. It’s now the longest it’s been in about 20 years. I think I’ll just keep growing it at this stage and see what happens, as I don’t want to risk COVID just for a haircut – saving $35 a month.
4. Still picking most of our veggies from the garden.
5. Watching Ted Lasso on a family subscription to Apple+ through our close friends.


Kym Hopkins February 1, 2022 at 8:31 pm

You’re still picking from the garden on Feb. 1st? That’s exciting and you must be in Australia.


Mand01 February 2, 2022 at 2:18 am

Yes in Australia, still middle of Summer here. Generally we can pick up until end of March, then start planting for Autumn/Winter veggies and Spring crops. Even in Winter there is usually something to pull out of the garden.


Shona February 7, 2022 at 4:33 pm

In middle TN I noticed gaping holes in the distilled water, canned cat food, ramen noodles and frozen French fries & hash browns areas. A lack of variety within brands. The national chain grocery store only had gallon containers of whole milk and 1/2 gallons of 0% yesterday, nothing else


rose February 1, 2022 at 8:21 pm

Your bag of cat food reminded me I hear in the Atlanta Area canned cat food is in short supply due to covid supply chain. In CA I hear distilled water is supply chain delayed. Others in other locations?


Ruby February 2, 2022 at 8:13 am

Canned cat food has not been plentiful where I live in southeastern Tennessee. Our old cat (he is at least 15: he came to use as a stray 13 years ago) eats a very small amount every morning. The store shelves have been largely bare and I’ve been buying only a few cans at a time so that some is left for others.

If necessary, I could probably cook something he would eat. He enjoys fish quite a bit and would eat a piece of cooked pureed fish.


Nicola February 2, 2022 at 1:56 pm

I noticed the cat food shelf was looking bare here in BC, Canada. Individual tins not too bad, but no multipacks. Distilled water has been in and out of stock constantly for over a year here. It’s a challenge, as I need it for my CPAP.


Christine February 2, 2022 at 1:58 pm

Very, very little canned cat food here in south central Massachusetts too and scarce quantities of dry food. I had to order from Chewy (which I don’t like to do because of the shipping costs) for the canned food and even they were limited on choices. My two cats aren’t crazy about the kind I ordered but we’re making do.


Emily N. February 2, 2022 at 4:31 pm

Finding distilled water has been hit or miss in NY. Our tap water is awful for the humidifier, so I try to buy a bunch when I find it. I hate buying water, but it’s better than having to buy a new humidifier and/or having white dust of who-knows-what all over.


Bee February 3, 2022 at 4:43 am

I live in Florida. The stores have little in the way of cat food. My source for pet food has also been out of dog food in the last few months as well as kitty litter. I cook ground chicken in place of canned food.


MamaMinou February 1, 2022 at 8:49 pm

1. Made a big pot of from-scratch garbanzo beans and am preparing them different ways…
2. Baking from-scratch whole wheat bread every 3 days or so from a super-easy, super-delicious recipe (almost no kneading, still turns out great)
3. Library books! One serious, one frivolous. Alternating according to attention span
4. Knitting baby sweaters for colleague’s future beans from thrifted yarn
5. Taking walks and doing Yoga with Adriene at home. I used to attend yoga classes in a studio. Wouldn’t do that now with Covid, but also would not want to go back to paying $10-20 per class.


Karen B February 1, 2022 at 9:44 pm

1) On Buy Nothing Project gave away a harness that doesn’t fit either of our dogs and denim pieces and damaged denim jeans I’ve been saving for a sewing project I haven’t done in the probably 3 years I’ve been saving them
2) Received from Buy Nothing Project a dog sweater for our smaller dog.
3) Made an emergency dog coat from a sweatshirt of mine I never wear for our larger dog who is short haired. He doesn’t usually mind the cold so terribly, but we had an extra cold snap. The sweatshirt is just safety pinned together, so I can turn it back into a human sweatshirt if I come up with a better plan or receive one for him, but he has an exceptionally large chest and is hard to fit.
4) I found out a book my son liked has a sequel and after confirming with him he’s interested I put it on hold at the public library.
5) My husband replaced a malfunctioning lock and rekeyed it so we can continue using the same keys.
6) Son has had a soft sided carry bag for a musical instrument he plays and while he doesn’t currently take it elsewhere, it’s been our plan to get him a hard case for it to protect it better. A case for a similar shaped instrument came up on Buy Nothing and it was a pretty good fit, but it smelled heavily of smoke. I first packed it with newspaper for several days and that helped, but there was still an odor. I asked for suggestions in The Non Consumer Advocate Facebook group and one of the suggestions I felt would be both effective and unlikely to damage the instrument or case was to treat it with ozone. We have a friend with an air purifier that produces ozone who was happy to loan it to us! Free vs. probably a minimum of $80 for a new hard case!


Heidi Louise February 2, 2022 at 1:28 pm

Great save on the case smoke! I have used newspapers in damp-smelling books, but did not know about ozone as a cleanser. You might make up a sachet of some dry coffee grounds in a paper towel to keep in the case to absorb smells if the smoke comes back, or keep putting newspapers in it. Smoke smell is SO horrible and hard to get rid of, and I think the smell of things like Fabreeze is just vile.


Bee February 3, 2022 at 4:47 am

Kitty litter also works well to absorb unwanted odors.


Merv February 10, 2022 at 2:52 am

I heard charcoal absorb odors too


Jessica February 2, 2022 at 12:54 am

My daughter has a rescue greyhound which feels the cold in a Scottish winter and she buys children’s jumpers from the charity shop.They fit nicely over his chest shoulders and chest and can be thrown into the wash easily.


Marie February 3, 2022 at 9:06 pm

When my 60 lb Aussie mix had surgery, I found a 3t t-shirt fit her well. The cone of shame was $30, and a thrifted t-shirt was 1.50. Win, and she looked kinda cute in a tye dye


Ruby February 4, 2022 at 6:24 am

Years ago, our very old Welsh corgi developed a skin disorder and a wore 2T children’s short-sleeved t-shirts from the thrift shop instead of a cone, which would have been very uncomfortable and distressing at his age. I just tied a knot in the tail of the shirts on his back and everything fit perfectly and was tucked up in all the right places. He looked so jaunty in his little shirts.


jblank February 2, 2022 at 5:21 am

Do you ever worry that the “new” used items on ebay are stolen?


Katy February 2, 2022 at 10:54 am

Nope, but I don’t think I’m buying from the categories that would likely be stolen.


Deb February 3, 2022 at 2:26 am

I have a sister that is clotheshorse. She purchases clothes, sticks them in her closet and never wears them. She gave me a lot of clothes with the tags still on that I sell on different FB buy/sell sites and ebay.


Jill A February 2, 2022 at 5:45 am

Wow, another post. Thanks, I really look forward to them.

1. I’ve read one library book on my kindle this week and started on another. I’m trying to take more time during the day to relax and read since by evening I’m too tired to concentrate on anything.
2. We continue to eat food my daughter brings home from work. This week we’ve eaten wagyu burgers, fresh fruit and a variety of pre-made sandwiches. She also brought home two bags of coffee beans. They have been experimenting with different varieties at her work.
3. Today I will be making some split pea soup with a ham bone my mother gave me and we’re going to attempt to brew a tea concentrate (with free tea leaves) that we can add store brand club soda to as in experiment to limit our diet coke addiction.
4. I found some high end wrinkle creams unused from an estate sale just as I was shopping around for a good deal. I also picked up a step stool for friends. They’d asked me to look for one….frugal for them but it’s good to repay the many favors they’ve done for me. I usually shop for items to sell on Ebay but I’ve been picking up household items I need like dusting spray etc, and sometimes even unopened food.
5. I loaned my daughters fiance my car since his is sitting in the shop waiting on a part for the last three weeks. This saves some gas since I usually drop him off and my daughter has to pick him up.


Bee February 3, 2022 at 5:29 am

In reference to your #4, I think that estate sales are fabulous places to find many useful household items more so than any other secondhand source. I have picked up silver polish, dish soap, hair care products , skin care items, bandages, a case of olives, garden supplies, and so forth. My latest example – I bought a full bottle of hair product called WOW for just a $1. I love this product. However, I never buy it because it retails for $28 a bottle.


Katharine February 2, 2022 at 6:14 am

1) For weekend entertainment, we went ice fishing with friends and sledding in our backyard- so everything was free, though we did take hotdogs and brats to our friends’ ice shanty for sharing.
2) Reading lots of library books right now.
3) Gathered up all the medical bills in one pile and now can sit down with the reimbursement site to get reimbursements from our FSA.
4) Found the leftover Valentines from last year and since the kids’ classes are smaller now, we won’t have to buy any new ones!
5) I’ve been using lots of freezer odds and ends- and aside from one day when my husband asked why there were chickpeas in the chicken pot pie, no one seems to have noticed anything! 🙂 He’s on board, though, and I challenged him tonight with coming up with something for the tiny chunk of ham and tiny chunk of turkey left over from previous meals I made with leftovers frozen at Christmas and Thanksgiving!!!


rebecca February 2, 2022 at 8:05 am

Ice fishing sounds like so much fun! For #5, what about a stir-fry or fried rice?


rebecca February 2, 2022 at 8:04 am

1. We had a blizzard last Saturday, no problems and the electricity stayed on.
2. On the Friday before, I filled the gas tank for the first time in 3 weeks.
3. Celebrating a friend’s birthday with them, other friends and their kids. I am going to make the birthday cake. Nothing fancy but think I will make the Hershey’s chocolate cake recipe that is on their cocoa box. So good (and ingredients on hand)
4. I got take out the other night but used a gift card.
5. Same old, same old-coffee at home, buying healthy groceries on sale ect.


Ruby February 2, 2022 at 8:09 am

Totally agree on searching for secondhand first. I managed to find clothes for myself from the skin out this past year, shopping on Poshmark and eBay for items new with and without tags. That some enterprising person scooped up lots of Jockey panties from a department store going out of business and resold them new in the package at a third of what they would have cost on the rack in the store makes my heart sing and my bottom happy. 😀

For frugal things, I tightened up a loose button on a pair of thrifted dress slacks before it became lost; worked magic with leftovers to create five delicious brown-bag work lunches for myself; turned two apples no one wanted at work into a feature in a pan of baked oatmeal; been reading a lot of library books; gave our dogs a much-needed mid-winter trim of their long coats; and turned some manager’s special cuts of Boston butt roast and some odds and ends from our vegetable drawer into a slow cooker of herbed pork and vegetables that drew rave reviews from my husband.


Kathy G February 2, 2022 at 9:02 am

Thank you for opening my eyes to searching for ‘new, without tags’ things online. I never would have thought of that.


Gina February 2, 2022 at 9:38 am

Homeownership expenses can be a pain in the behind. But I consider it the same as buying your car. Eventually, it’s paid in full and the maintenance is a fraction of the monthly payments you were making. Although when the big expenses hit they can be devastating. I had to have three large oak trees removed several years ago due to age and danger (about 150 yrs old and started breaking boughs in harsh weather – smashed my car once). It was about $6K each and that was the least expensive quote. That set me back for a long time!

I do have a 93 year old home – so the repairs and maintenance seem never ending. I learn how to “make do” patch work things until I can afford proper fixes. And other things I have become adept at and can do better job than hiring out – because it’s my home and I’m going to pay attention to detail – vs someone who is trying to hurry to finish a job as quickly as possible so they can get paid and move on to the next job. Had a plumber leave my house once and after he pulled out of the driveway I turned on the faucet and water started gushing out from below – he was working so quickly/with his mind on other things he forgot to reattach the pipes?! I had to wait 3 hours for him to return and fix it correctly. Because he didn’t want to be late to the next job he made me wait! I have had lots of experiences like that! Thank goodness for the people who share their expertise on you tube!!

I had a successful no-spend month for January. Eating out of the pantry/freezer/fridge. This is my fourth year doing it. Gas has gotten tight a couple of years. But I work close so I just cut out other trips. I always am surprised how easy it is and I have more time from not shopping and dining out. I find clothing and shoes in closets that I haven’t worn in a winter or two that seems like a shopping trip. I spend my free time cleaning, doing small household repairs, working on the long “to do” list, planning my spring garden, down sizing “stuff” and donating to charities, schools, animal shelters and the zoo. You would be surprised the items they need and will gladly take gently used. I also received a few duplicate gifts, so I had some new things to donate. Small kitchen appliances are appreciated for their break rooms. Towels and blankets for the animal shelter, etc. I think I was a bear in a past life because I really prefer to hibernate in the winter anyway – so I don’t feel like I’m missing out on any outings and I actually look forward to staying in for the month.


Jill D February 3, 2022 at 4:25 pm

I have learned to always, always check the plumbing/electric/whatever repair before I pay and before they leave. Don’t ask how I learned that!


K D February 2, 2022 at 10:57 am

I had two dental crowns replaced late last year. Each time they required a $400 deposit and both times insurance required me to pay less than that. I called and asked for a refund on the balance we had (you know they wouldn’t wait to bill you for an unpaid balance).

2. I stopped at Safeway to buy sale produce (and used a save $3 on a $15 purchase offer) and yogurt (of course I selected the flavor that was on clearance).

3. I walked with a friend and her dog. It’s our primary way of catching up every couple weeks.

4. A relative is moving away from our city in the next couple days. He is not able to take his bed with him. If he does not find someone that wants it I’ll pick it up and find it a new home. It is not that old and I hate to think items might go in the landfill that can still be used.

5. It finally clicked with a me several months ago that glass jars, saved from food stuffs, make wonderful leftover storage containers. Food is easy to see, the lids seal tight, and jars come it lots of sizes. I had used them in the past for storing pantry items like oatmeal, seeds, and dried fruit but now I’m also using them for leftovers. I feel silly for not doing this sooner (says the person with Pyrex containers that are at least thirty years old).


Jill D February 3, 2022 at 4:29 pm

Those leftover glass jars are also great for miscellaneous hardware items (screws, nails, picture hangers, etc.). Got tired of running to the hardware or home improvement store when it turned out I had what I needed but didn’t know it.


Lindsey February 2, 2022 at 12:59 pm

Nothing noteworthy to report. Just wanted to thank you for posting again so soon.


Christine February 2, 2022 at 2:24 pm

1. Cleaning out a closet, I came across some old, tarnished silverplated utensils. I know I will never use them. Polishing is not my thing. That was a job that was always handed to us kids before a holiday and I never liked it. I sold them on Facebook Marketplace.
2. I donated a bathrobe, two shirts and some dishes to The Salvation Army. DH and I had “outgrown” the clothes and the decorative dishes were no longer to my taste. Nice to know that someone will perhaps put them to use.
3. DH went with DS and Granddaughter around the corner to ice fish. When they came home we had pot roast in the crock pot and watched a free movie together. If there is anything that cooks a cheaper cut of meat to tender perfection better than a crock pot, I haven’t found it yet.
4. Found a great recipe for homemade bread. The site estimates it costs around .40 a loaf to make. Delicious and easy. No kneading required but it must be made the day before you bake it as it needs to rise for 12 to 18 hours.
5. Our new neighbor, a nice young man, came over with his snowblower at the height of a raging blizzard and cleaned out the end our of driveway where the plows had left snow. I baked him a Swedish Almond Cake to say thank you.


rebecca February 3, 2022 at 8:19 am

Hi Christine,
Would you, please, be willing to share your bread recipe?


Christine February 3, 2022 at 9:13 am

The blog I got it from is One Good Thing By Jillee. The recipe is use is No-Knead Overnight Bread.
Jillee uses parchment paper which I find not necessary. I use a cast iron Dutch Oven to bake the bread and find that A COUPLE of drops of vegetable oil spread on the bottom of the pan do the trick. Any more than that and the pan smokes a lot while heating it up before baking the bread.


Christine February 3, 2022 at 9:13 am

…the recipe I use…


janine February 2, 2022 at 5:44 pm

1. Visited favorite thrift store which now has a loyalty card with a point system for purchases. Ended up with three books for a total of $.79.
2. Read this month’s book club selection of ‘Ida B the Queen’, a biography of Ida B. Wells, an early civil rights leader written by her great grand-daughter. Borrowed it from our local library system.
3.Continued to find bargains on the back shelf of a produce shop which were slightly out of date or had small bruises.
4. Big box store online pickup gave us a bag of expensive avocados because the single fruit we ordered was out of stock.
5. In the process of deciding where to donate our free 2022 political contribution. You donate it to a qualifying candidate and the state refunds the $$ up to $100.


Ecoteri February 2, 2022 at 10:29 pm

1. For entertainment purposes, I have been experimenting with homemade vegan burgers – tried two different black bean recipes, and one old standby lentil nut version. all three were excellent however the lentil nut one was by far the most delicious. Now, to remember the subs I made in that recipe? LOL
2. To provide burger buns, I pulled my trusty and dusty bread-maker up from the basement. I have almost no counter space, but someone brilliant somewhere said that she just leaves hers in another room, and simply carries the inner container out to it. So I just have put mine in a corner on the floor, and it works just fine. Using it to make dough only, then forming and baking the buns in the oven. I figure it is, total, less than 10 minutes of my time, and the buns are delicious. Such a savings to make your own, and much fresher. @Christine and @MamaMinou I would love it if you gave us more info on where your bread recipes came from!
3. I am reading like a fiend, and slowly learning to wean myself from my wild book purchasing habit. Haven’t completely quit, and likely never will, however I am using my library like a woman infatuated with learning – have over 50 books on order, although I have ‘frozen’ some, and others have huge wait lists. I also have finally begun to read ebooks from the library, what a wonderful way to indulge my occasional urge for fluffy romance, or to catch the next in a series that has got me hooked. Our library didn’t charge late fees or even send us notices during the worst of the last few years, although they now are gently reminding us to get the books back.
4. I am also cooking from my pantry. Not completely, as I had intended at the beginning of January, but significantly. It is so FUN! My cupboards were kind of groaning, and now I am consciously looking up recipes to use up jars that are at or a bit past the best by dates. I am still buying dairy, and fresh veggies, but not leaping on the deals in the sales flyers the way I have been wont to do – noticing that I have a bit of a grocery shopping habit, and this month has been a great reminder that I need to use what I have. Far less waste (er, chicken food) and we are eating some really varied meals.
5. Not really frugal, however helpful. I will be financially helping my eldest son and his partner when they purchase their first Townhouse next month. My son is really good at organizing, so he has been ‘donating’ a bit of time every once in a while to help me get my barn-workshop cleared out and organized. Today we got in about 3 hours, and my middle boy came home early from his job, somehow he was chivvied into also helping, and the two ‘boys’ (they are men) filled my truck with recycling and garbage and did a dump run for me!!!
6. Posted on my Facebook that I wanted to borrow a mini trampoline to see if it would help with recovery from hip surgery. Got given one by someone, and have found a 5 minute beginner session on Youtube. OMG – It is so fun and it is HARD WORK. Yoga with Adrienne was the first half of JAnuary and I will go back, adding this little quick and challenging workout keeps everything fresh.


Susan February 3, 2022 at 4:15 am

-We are also trying to be more thoughtful about purchasing off of eBay. Bought and sold a few items through marketplace.
-Just returned from vacation in Mexico. We take clothes my kids are about to outgrow and find someone who works at the resort with little ones, and gift them all of the clothes. We’ve been using Duolingo for about a year to work on our Spanish. We’ve been enjoying some freezer meals I made last fall, even though I wanted to get takeout after traveling. Didn’t buy any cheap souvenirs, just some quality vanilla. Experiences over stuff!
-Enjoying some free ebooks from the library
-I despise grocery shopping, but my online Kroger account is having issues. I did a stock up trip at Aldi instead of ordering groceries from the more expensive grocery store in town.
-Neighbors plowed our driveway last night, so we will make muffins as a thank you.
-Overwintering herbs on our sunporch for the first time means we have fresh parsley, rosemary and mint


Gina February 3, 2022 at 10:56 am

I hope I can come up with 5….
1. A friend of ours brought us a pan of peanut butter pie dessert as a surprise….said it was a thank you for all the work we did on his rental property last year. It sure was yummy!
2. I’m trying to keep track of “no spend days” each month. I had 4 thru mid January but I lost track after that. I hope to have more than that this month.
3. My hubby brought home 2 free tickets for our local hockey team for any home game this month, plus he won another 6 in a giveaway, so we have 8 free tickets to use, $20/each value.
4. I ordered the 4 free Covid tests thru the USPS. Now waiting on them to arrive.
5. I got home late last night due to a work meeting and oldest daughter’s boyfriend decided to treat us to Chinese takeout! I didn’t have to cook!


Hawaii Planner February 3, 2022 at 12:02 pm

It’s been a busy work week, so limited on what I’ve done:
1) I earned a sizable & unexpected bonus at work, for a project I picked up.
2) Took a large Costco package of ground beef this weekend & turned it into taco meat & spaghetti sauce. 1/3 went to the fridge for dinner this week, and 2/3 for the freezer.
3) Made good use of leftovers this week, ensuring nothing got wasted
4) Used lemon curd (freezer) to make lemon muffins
5) A neighbor gifted me additional lemons, which we use on salads (with olive oil) in place of dressing


Shona February 3, 2022 at 2:30 pm

It’s cold and I’m not getting out much so I’m not spending much $.

1) Gigantic block of Kerrygold cheese at the grocery outlet for $3.99- cut it into 4 pieces and froze.

2) Reading A LOT of library books. Normally in winter I watch an excessive amount of TV, this year nothing is interesting me so I turn to books.

3) More free food from work.

4) Year of not buying stuff is moving along.

5) Anticipating a frugal fail when I get our Jan gas bill. 3 snow storms (people in the northern states are more than welcome to snicker at us in the southern states with what we call snow storms) and most nights below freezing. We keep the thermostat at 63 degrees, but given the high Dec bill despite unusually warmer temps…grrrrrr.

I generally shop with a list, really try to stick with the list and veer off if I find an amazing deal that I cannot pass up on an item we would actually eat – close out Italian imported pasta not made from enriched wheat for .25!?!?! Yes please!


Selena February 7, 2022 at 12:41 pm

I only snicker at the ones (usually male) that spin their tires so long (in what we northerners would not call a snow storm) that one or more tires catch on fire.


Vickey February 12, 2022 at 5:50 pm

This Northerner wouldn’t dream of snickering at what you call a snow storm. And hopes you won’t snicker when I complain this summer about what I call “heat”.


Jennifer February 3, 2022 at 6:48 pm

We are being hit by a huge storm right now, as is much of the country. Staying home definitely helps save money!

1. Needed gas so dh went with me to Costco and got gas while I ran in to get a couple of things. I did not get a cart and only got 2 things by doing this. It was fascinating to see the way other people were prepping for the storm. I need to make a big trip, but I need to plan it out more and didn’t want to just end up throwing stuff in the cart.

2. So far dh has shoveled snow 3 times. Obviously this provides free exercise and costs nothing.

3. Dd had to work today and it was really slow and they closed early. She brought home bagels for our breakfast that were going to be thrown out.

4. Salvaged some broccoli and steamed it up for dinner. We are really focusing on using up the produce we have on hand before buying more – which is one reason I only bought 2 things at Costco.

5. Ds is wanting me to mail him some things at college but his girlfriend is flying out next week to visit. I am organizing with her to take the stuff to him.


Bethany M February 4, 2022 at 7:05 am

Husband spent the night close to work on a company expensed hotel room because of the snow. 15” and I shoveled out enough for him to get in the garage. He finished it up when he got home. Saved $40.

Getting 50% off meats, dairy, and some produce with clearanced foods on the Flashfoods App. It’s not widely known about, but I did start a grocery steals and deals group on Nextdoor and shared it with them.

My kids are really getting into the library deal now that we moved to an area with a great system. they’re always asking about some book or video.

Went in for a fasting blood draw. McNasty was calling to me, but I started the coffee pot before I left and decided I’d really rather go home.

I was having a hard time falling asleep lately with our new lower furnace setting. Deeply upset with the ineptitude of our leadership that had led to this, but nevertheless I persist. Added an extra blanket and doing better at night.


isa February 7, 2022 at 8:35 am

With the 15′ of snow and the Flashfood app, I can just conclude that you are Canadian, right?! I use FF too, it`s great.


Bethany McLean February 11, 2022 at 12:06 pm

NW Indiana


Jill A February 12, 2022 at 3:10 am

I just found out about the Flash Food App. I wondered what those refrigerators were for at Meijer. Can’t wait to try it.


Bethany M February 12, 2022 at 3:37 pm

If you don’t have a code, you can use mine. We both get $5 off if you spend $10. BETH398ZS


Jill A February 14, 2022 at 3:00 am

Oh no. Im sorry. I just saw this and I already signed up.


Texasilver February 6, 2022 at 9:05 pm

1. I made some decorative lantern lights w/ tin cans for almost no expense. You take off the label & wash the can out. Next you put small holes in the can for the light to shine thru. I spray painted the cans w/ leftover spray paint. I did have to buy a pack of battery operated candles at Dollar Tree for $ 1.25. You could also insert a regular candle & light it if you have these on hand.
2. Fed my husband & his friend who were working outside w/ crockpot great northern beans & sourdough bread slices. (I got the bread free). Cheap meal & hungry men fed.
3. Mended a frayed hand towel on my sewing machine.
4. Attended a free Evensong concert at a church I attended as a child. My work friend & my sister went too. Lovely ancient music. (I did leave a tithe as the church is undergoing repairs.)
5. Stayed home for 2 full days as the roads were frozen over here in Texas. No $ spent as I was not brave enough to drive on the ice. My husband had a 4 W drive truck but I do not.


Christine February 7, 2022 at 9:04 am

The decorative lanterns you made sound lovely. The leftover spray paint on them adds a nice touch too. Thanks for the idea. I think they will look very nice on my deck this Spring and Summer.


Isa February 7, 2022 at 8:40 am

* We go out less and less, therefore Valentine will be extra cheap this year : a small gift for the kids (slippers, 10$ total), a chocolate fondue made with cheap chocolate bars and an at-home diner with hubby. No gifts exchanged between us.

* Using the library like a mad women.

* Going to work even if I feel like staying home (hey, this IS frugal!)

* Free parking at work for the month

* Got my niece a gift for her baptism, no card. I usually don’t collect cards myself, so they feel like a waste of money to me. I`d rather spend more on the gift instead


auntiali February 7, 2022 at 4:58 pm

I am a wee bit tired of the snow and freezing rain around here. I try to get out of the house when the weather is 40 degrees or above. Easier to do now that I’ve lost 60 lbs post gastric sleeve surgery.

1. Still not eating much so saving money on groceries.
2. Daughter got a debit card for a refund from an overpaid doctor bill. I asked her to get a check but that didn’t happen so I have the debit card now. I thought it would only be about $2 but it’s $120! I get it as hubs and I pay for her medical insurance and her doctor bills.
3. Trying to keep the heat at a reasonable level but it’s been so cold. I’m on the budget plan for my natural gas but every one else on my next door neighbor app is complaining about high bills.
4. I was able to go out to Walgreens and got hubs a Valentine’s card. Did look at the price…$6.99! What??
5. Brought my 32 yr old Wusthof chef’s knife to get it sharpened. It will be $8 instead of over $100 for a new one. Woman said it will last me forever with occasional sharpenings.


Ruby February 8, 2022 at 6:03 am

You are doing so well with your post surgery weight loss. Big cheers from here! That’s also great about the low cost of getting your good knife sharpened. I have a few that could use being sharpened, but I keep them “steeled” and they are doing okay for the present time.


EssexFish February 12, 2022 at 9:42 am

1. Put up artwork with an appraisal value at auction of $2900 that I found curbside.
2. Found a nail gun and reciprocating saw in good working order in a junk pile. Gave the nail gun away and kept the saw.
3. Redeemed a $10 gift card I got for donating blood during a drive. I scheduled the donation with no idea they were giving gift cards so it was a nice perk.
4. Picked up a free pine furniture set including an armoire, dresser, and coffee table (I saw the same pieces online for about $1000) plus an ottoman and some mirrors from a curb alert.
5. Found and claimed $2000 for a relative through a missing money site.

Good week.


Katy February 12, 2022 at 12:07 pm

Wow, those are some insanely great frugal things!


Texasilver February 12, 2022 at 12:46 pm

That is a honest appraisal of the pine furniture. 30 years ago I bought an Ethan Allen pine armoire & it was 1200.00$. Solid wood, no particle board. I don’t buy expensive furniture like that now. I still have the armoire. I’m going to give it to my sister. Her now ex-husband took a lot of her things. (She said she has had her eye on the armoire when she lived w/us during her divorce.)


Coral Clarke April 14, 2022 at 9:06 pm

Some months ago I promised myself I would do 15 minutes “Make or Mend” every day , because decluttering had uncovered so many unfinished projects, craft stashes and clothes/ things that weren’t being used because they needed mended/ altered. I leave myself an IOU for increments of 15 minutes when life “happens”!! Quite a few “to be mended/ altered “ items looked like donations when I realised,realistically, how much time/ money would be required! Easy decluttering!! Some projects had lost their appeal and were regifted, some were actually finished, and some repurposed! Stashes were resorted, in some cases into kits as gifts, a couple were finished and a couple are actively being worked on! My IOUs have been used up while doing projects, and I mostly find 15 minutes possible to find! If I’m on hold , I put the phone on speaker and start a small project, amazing how often I get my 15 minutes in!!


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