Five Frugal Things

by Katy on March 19, 2022 · 93 comments

I apologize for letting the blog lie dormant, but there’s been a lot going on at casa Wolk-Stanley. Plus, I happen to be a wee bit lazy. 

  1. I’ve been starting to incorporate the “Everyday Deal$” grocery liquidator as part of my regular grocery shopping routine. (Food prices are no joke right now!) This store is beyond your ordinary “grocery outlet,” and there is some actual poking past the moldy tomatoes to find a fresh one. Much of the inventory is packaged for the restaurant industry, which makes for some interesting shopping. I’ve been enjoying some amazingly good deals such as:

    • Large clamshell packages of organic mixed greens for 50¢ apiece.
    • 50¢ packages of blueberries, which was enough to make four jars of refrigerator jam.
    • A $1 bag of chopped red onions, which I’m pretty sure weighed around five pounds. I then separated them into smaller bags for the freezer.
    • A yuuuuge $1.69 bag of cilantro, which I used for a few days, shared with my friend Lise and then froze for later use.
    • 50¢ bags of organic tortillas.
    • 3/$1 avocados.

    The best part? The one on S.E. 82nd Avenue is next door to a Goodwill.

  2. Our washing machine suddenly stopped agitating, which began a two week journey into the world of appliance repair YouTube videos for my husband. Two used motors and a carburetor later and we now own a freshly repaired machine that should last us for a very long time.

    This machine was a hand me down from my mother around fifteen years ago when she upgraded to a shiny red front loading set. For reference, this one is a 1980-ish Kenmore model with groovy fake wood detailing. However, it’s straightforward enough to be repairable by your average Joe, which turns out to be the winning factor.

    Total spent? $155, although I plan on reselling the one motor that my husband incorrectly ordered.

  3. I’ve been wanting to spruce up our shady backyard, and after a bit of Googling realized I could just divide a row of ferns that I’d originally dug up in the woods maybe 24 years ago. I’d kind of forgotten about them as they’re in a spot that’s only visible from the neighbor’s property.

    I went ahead and confirmed that the neighbor knew they were mine and got to digging. This may seem like a minor “frugal thing,” but large individual pots of ferns are $39.99 apiece at the local nursery so this hack will save me around $160.

  4. My friend Lise gave me a large bag of black eyed peas, my musician son scored a electronic keyboard through our Buy Nothing Group, I got a free box of books for our little free library, (which hilariously included the above Kama Sutra “Weekender Kit”) I gave away another antique vase, I read multiple library books, both physically and through the Libby audiobook app, I sold a curb-picked table for $65, my husband brought home a big bag of packaged burritos, chips and salads that were left over from a work event, I cooked 743.2 meals from scratch and I received a check for $240 from a class action lawsuit from my former employer engaging in illegal time clock shenanigans. 

  5. I didn’t lose money in the sketchy Non-Fungible Token market.

Katy Wolk-Stanley    

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

Click HERE to follow The Non-Consumer Advocate on Twitter.
Click HERE to follow The Non-Consumer Advocate on Instagram.
Click HERE to join The Non-Consumer Advocate Facebook group.
Click HERE to follow The Non-Consumer Advocate on Pinterest.

{ 93 comments… read them below or add one }

Kathy March 19, 2022 at 1:16 pm

1. Received 4 class action settlements=$115 which helped fund my dog show trip last weekend
2. Sold multiple things online which paid for two nights at La Quinta for dog show
3. Tried on everything in my closets which garnered $9 from consignment store and start a bag for donation
4. Donated a couple of items to dog club for their raffle
5. Made cauliflower pizza


Ruby March 19, 2022 at 1:43 pm

Those are some awesome savings at the grocery outlet and with your husband rescuing the washer. I believe I cooked a similar number of meals in the past month, between Covid still raging here and doing a no spend February. 😀

For frugal things, I gave my son and husband haircuts and trimmed my bangs with the delightfully named Tinkle razor comb, which gave them a nice layered edge. I rescued 14 delivered meals at work that no one wanted after an event (they were all roast chicken with roasted potatoes and steamed broccoli rabe, so maybe they were too plain for most people). However, they froze and reheated just fine, so I have free lunches I did not have to cook.

We switched pharmacies and I saved $17 on my thyroid medication at the new store. I made an extra effort lately not to let rewards and coupons expire, and thus got a bottle of acetaminophen for 45 cents out of pocket and used all the relevant store coupons sent to me by Food Lion in February and March. These are for very practical store brands of things like apples, bacon, jelly, almond milk, and the treats we buy for our cat. We haven’t paid full price for his treats in ages!

I had to meet someone after work at Starbucks one day and used up a gift card I had been carrying around for more than two years to buy a drink while I waited.

Best score was for a supplement our elderly, almost completely blind dog takes for anxiety. It’s $40 a bottle, which lasts a month. The company offered me a 25% off coupon on the next order, and I realized we could order the size for the next larger weight class of dog and cut it down for her size. That and the coupon gave us four months of supplement for $44: a huge savings!


Jill A March 19, 2022 at 2:07 pm

Good to see you back. I used to have an early 90’s Kenmore washing machine and I’m still sad that I got rid of it. That thing would have lasted forever. Another example of how they don’t make things like they used to. I’d kill for a grocery outlet. I’ll have to try freezing cilantro. I’ve never thought about it but we use a small amount and it inevitably goes bad before I need it again.

1. I made a trip with oldest daughter to pick up youngest daughter in Las Vegas. We flew in and drove her car home but first we visited LA for a couple days. On the way back I reserved hotels that include a full breakfast and we stopped and bought fresh fruit, cheese and crackers etc. to eat in the car on the way only stopping a for a sit down meal three times in four days saving me a few dollars.
2. I’ve been on a mission to use up food in the freezer. One bag of chicken leg quarters turned into several meals and some frozen quarts of chicken broth.
3. I contributed to my HSA for 2021 after determining I would save $700 on taxes by doing so.
4. I’ve read several library books on my kindle. This also helped pass the time in the car on the trip back home.
5. I used a gift card I received in a class action lawsuit to buy a carpet squeegee instead of splurging on a new vacuum cleaner which is what I’ve been wanting to do. I have a central vac which works great for the wood/tile but isn’t a great on carpet.


Bee March 20, 2022 at 1:09 pm

It is wonderful that you took advantage of your HSA. This is so often overlooked, and it has so many benefits such as:
-Paying medical bills with before tax dollars.
– Ensuring that medical insurance premiums can be paid in the case of job loss
– Setting aside money for long-term care if it should be necessary.
They are awesome accounts!


Marie March 20, 2022 at 1:37 pm

I’ve been eyeing a carpet squeegee, but wasn’t sure if worth the money.
I have 2 dogs that shed heavily.


Mary in Maryland March 21, 2022 at 9:18 am

My strategy was to get rugs the same color as the dogs.


Julia March 27, 2022 at 3:38 am

I always buy brown, or as I like to say “dirt colored” couches so whatever the pups bring in doesn’t show. Lol


Stephanie Mazzon March 19, 2022 at 2:15 pm

Last time I froze chopped onions my whole freezer smelled like onions. It was bad every time I opened the freezer. Are you having this problem? Red onions are milder so I hope all is well. I loved your NFT comment. Got a chuckle!

1. Continue to cook and eat at home!
2. Driving less on purpose. Not complaining.
3. Read all books from HOOPLA
4. Shopping at Aldi whenever possible. O.3 miles from my house. I don’t love their meat department tho.
5. Donating to Jose Andres World kitchen. Great cause! Great human!


Katy March 19, 2022 at 4:18 pm

The freezer smells okay so far, but I do cook with onion regularly enough that I should be able to use it up in a timely manner.


Ruby March 19, 2022 at 5:47 pm

A couple of years ago, we received five pounds of onions as part of a free food box giveaway. I sauteed them before freezing them and had no problems with smell. They were frozen in a sort of flattened form so I just broke off a chunk to add to whatever was cooking. It worked really well.


Kara March 19, 2022 at 8:34 pm

I freeze onions all the time and never have a problem with smell.

My eternal memory of onions will be of my father-in-law who ate an entire platter of raw onions for breakfast (they were leftover from a barbecue and we were all leaving that day on a road trip). We all 7 of us piled into the minivan and the smell of his onion breath could have peeled the paint. Who eats an entire PLATTER of raw onions?


Ruby March 20, 2022 at 9:11 am

Most people who ate a platter of raw onions would be experiencing …uh, onion breath from the other end as well, so it could have been much worse. 😀 You do have to wonder what on earth possessed him to do that?


Katy March 20, 2022 at 9:26 am

That must have been an extremely unpleasant car trip!


Lindsey March 19, 2022 at 2:32 pm

1. I take a lot of medications and was complaining to a friend that the daily pill binder I have, which lets me do pills for a month at a time, was falling apart and I could not find any place that makes them anymore. This week she dropped off four binders, salvaged from her mother’s house. The mom died about a month ago and my friend is cleaning things out, so she saved these for me. So thoughtful that she remembered me in the middle of her sad chore.
2. Same friend also gave me four house dresses like the ones I wear to garden because they have huge pockets for carrying seeds and the dirt washes out beautifully. All seersucker, which is out of style but one of my favorites.
3. Notified that I was getting $100 from an Amazon class action settlement. It had taken me about an hour to collect the materials they wanted initially, but well worth it to be paid $100 for an hour’s work.
4. I cut the husband’s hair again. This is a love/hate task because I love him but every time I do it, I want to scream “How can you have a head full of gorgeous silver ringlets at 74 when I am younger and have had straight, fine, crappy, disobedient hair my whole life!!”
5. Husband’s barbershop group had a potluck and he came home with leftover hot dogs, sauerkraut, buns, and one poppyseed muffin of the giant sort you get at Costco. Except for the muffin, which was inhaled the next morning for breakfast, there was enough food for four future meals. Not my favorite meals, but okay and especially if they are served weeks instead of days apart.

Glad to see another posting from you. Kudos to your husband for fixing the washer. I worked as a weekend helper for a plumber for two years, to help pay for college, and as a result I can fix anything bathroom related if I have to, but working with appliances even with tutorials on You Tube is beyond me. Luckily my husband is good at that stuff.


Jill A March 19, 2022 at 3:33 pm

You are apparently not the only person to like the vintage seersucker house dresses. They sell fairly well on Ebay. I purchased one recently at a thrift store to resell. I tried it on and was tempted to keep it.


Marc March 22, 2022 at 5:35 am

I live that you live seersucker vintage dresses. That’s the best


Marc March 22, 2022 at 5:36 am



Ecoteri March 22, 2022 at 10:42 pm

@Lindsay, I had to double take at your #5 after just reading your #4 (wait, what? I thought you said you cut your husband’s hair!!) and then I had a good laugh at myself.


Ava March 19, 2022 at 2:33 pm

1. Made delicious soup from split peas that were gifted to me long ago.
2. Replaced elastic in 20 yr old pajamas. That was the only part worn out.
3. Used up some shampoo I disliked on my hair for shower gel.
4. Received $5 in the mail in what looked like junk but was actually a survey from Neilson. Alerted 3 of my neighbors to watch for an orange envelope . Two of them received $5 also.
5. Watched library movies & read library books, as usual.


Bethany M March 19, 2022 at 3:45 pm

Canceled Hulu

Bought thinning shears on EBay, 1/2 cost of Amazon and cut and thinned my daughter’s hare. 1/3 of the price of Great Clips.

Family day at the thrift store paid off. Went with a list. I was hard core not allowing anyone to deviate from the list. Didn’t need extra fancy belts, rollerblades that will never be used like the last pair. Got almost everything we needed. I had checked online prices for new items before we went thrifting, and it was obscene for what we needed!

Switching out organic sugar for the maple syrup in my son’s oatmeal. He didn’t notice. Must find more ways to save.

Been buying local farm fresh eggs. Not cheap, but more nutritious and if taught me a lesson. I was hard boiling some for salads. First one was really undercooked. My first inclination was to toss it, but I could never do that to a perfectly cooked soft boiled farm fresh egg. Salted that puppy and that was my afternoon snack. If I switch to store bought and I may because inflation is the ever tightening noose, I’ll try to be less wasteful!


Bethany M March 19, 2022 at 3:46 pm

*hair Lol!


Katy March 19, 2022 at 4:21 pm

Gotta get that “hare” ready for Easter!


Jill March 19, 2022 at 4:17 pm

1. My husband retired at the end of last year and we have a new health care plan. It denied his blood pressure medicine refill so the kind pharmacist told us about a coupon for a 3 month supply until we can get this worked out. Saved us a lot.
2. Our new apartment has printers in their lounges but they are all non working right now and don’t seem to be a priority. We don’t have a printer and were planning on using the ones here if needed. Found out our local library offers free printing with a library card. Yay!
3. Went to a local consignment sale to buy items for my grandson (who we babysit during the week) Was able to score a few items for my toy and book basket for him.
4. Took advantage of some beautiful weather and headed to a nice city park for a fantastic walk. Have been inside too much with apartment living.
5. My husband won a trip through his former employer. All expenses paid for 5 days at a resort, airfare included. Bought a new dress through Thred Up to wear to one of the dinners his employer is holding. So excited.


Katy March 19, 2022 at 4:29 pm

Five day vacation with paid expenses? That sounds like heaven! have fun!


Heidi Louise March 20, 2022 at 6:55 am

What a great trip!

Closer to home, we use our library’s scanner a few times a year, thus not having to purchase our own.


lulutoo March 19, 2022 at 6:00 pm

I adopted two cats, Bernard and Eve, from Tony LaRussa’s ARF (Animal Rescue Foundation). They are bro and sis, 12 years old. The cost to adopt a ‘senior’ cat (7 and older) is $50 each so I’d brought $100. But when I got there, ARF informed me if you adopt two at the same time, they deduct $25 from each. Yay. I gave ARF the ‘extra’ $50 as a donation. This sounds like a great frugal ‘win’ — which it was — except then I had to take Bernard to the vet because he wasn’t eating. $475 dollars worth of tests later, vet said he is fine healthwise–I guess he is just getting adjusted. Still, the good health news was priceless. And, I get to quote one of my favorite lines from the internet: “I usually don’t post about expensive trips I’ve taken, but I just got back from the vet with my cat…”


Selena March 19, 2022 at 7:30 pm

Thank you for adopting those seniors. Think my newbie (who is young) *might* have an allergy to one flavor of dry food. So I too will be making a vet visit but don’t think it will be quite that pricey (though ensuring he was healthy/neuter when we first took him in wasn’t).
We too received an SEC settlement – looked like junk mail which I always open as a matter of practice. Closer to $1k than not so glad it just didn’t hit the shredder!


Selena March 19, 2022 at 7:31 pm

took him in WAS).


Christine March 20, 2022 at 4:15 pm

I’m so happy to hear you adopted two senior kitties! When I worked at a cat shelter it was the seniors or those with health issues who were most often overlooked. Kittens went first and then the younger ones and on up so you adopting not one but two older cats is phenomenal. I’m very glad to hear Bernard’s eating problems were an adjustment issue. Have fun and enjoy your new babies!


lulutoo March 20, 2022 at 5:27 pm

Thank you both! I love Bernard and Eve!


Anne March 21, 2022 at 6:07 am

Bless your cat lovin’ heart.


Donna March 19, 2022 at 6:11 pm

1) Did weeding and cleaning of yard. Planted some seeds from the “ seed library” at our local library.
2) Washed the car at home and not at one of those all-around-the- town expensive car washes. Vacuumed it, too. Nice and clean!
3) Got dressed up and went to dinner with my husband at a nice Italian restaurant. Dinner was paid for by the $50 gift card I was given at Christmas.
4) Been reading a book for my monthly book group that I checked out from the library.
5) Went on a 2 mile walk with my dog. Been doing this every day I can. Beats paying for a gym membership!


Jennifer March 19, 2022 at 6:16 pm

I LOVE it when my dh can fix old appliances – it’s like we beat the game or something.

1. Had some downtime today so I made peanut butter/oat balls for snacking and homemade dog treats. We were almost out of our store bought ones and the prices have not only risen, but they are getting harder to find. Savings of at least $15 considering the batch made about 80 treats.

2. I’ve been paying more bills online saving a stamp.

3. Dh has been riding his bike to work a couple of days a week to save gas and I am trying to do better at combining errands. We are also only filling up at Costco which saves around $0.20 per gallon.

4. A friend was heading to visit the school my ds attends so I quickly threw together a care package for her to take him. I filled it with snacks and treats from around the house and no shipping cost.

5. Dh cut his own hair, he got a $25 home depot gc for helping a neighbor, he’s back to reffing lacrosse and in general doing a great job at earning his keep around here lol. So glad I have a partner so frugal and hard working.


Katy March 20, 2022 at 9:28 am

It is like beating the game. Or more like “Not today, Satan!”


Karen B March 19, 2022 at 7:14 pm

1) My husband wins the frugalness award at our house this week. He is doing a repair/maintenance thing that would cost $500 professionally and only $50 in supplies plus his labor. He’s using skills taught to him by his dad.

2) The gates to both our back yard and our dog pen get very muddy and I’ve been considering a dog paw washer (a cup with soft silicone pieces that you add water to, insert paw, and it helps remove mud). I was the lucky recipient of one for free in our Buy Nothing Project group, and it was even 1/3 as far away as the pet store.

3) We replaced 2 pieces of well-worn furniture, one of which really never fit me (I’m quite a bit shorter than the rest of my family). We listed the worn pieces on Buy Nothing Project with accurate descriptions and someone was delighted to receive one of the 2. We shopped carefully for our new furniture and got a great price on furniture that fits us well and has a pet-friendly fabric (cleans easily and a texture not attractive to cats).

4) One of our replacement pieces came in a very large box, fantastic for a little kid playhouse. I gave the box and a set of cookie cutters (which we bought secondhand 3 years ago and never used) to a Buy Nothing Project member as they were both perfect for a party she was planning. She lives fairly close to an errand I was running and I have a vehicle big enough to move the box , so I threw in delivery, too. It didn’t save me gas money, but was better for the planet than her driving to pick it up and me driving nearly to her house to run my errand, plus my son and I have been lucky recipients of things she has offered and she’s been very generous to the group, so it feels good to help her. 🙂

5) Teen son received a gift card for a new activity place and had planned on using that plus a set amount of his own money. I gave him some extra money just because and rather than upping his total budget he stuck to his original spending plan and just pocketed the extra money. After having gone to the new activity place, he could see that while it was fun how fast money went there and that there’s a smaller, less showy place that for him would be just as much fun, maybe more, and cost significantly less. Yay for practicing making responsible spending choices!

6) We had figured he wouldn’t be there very long, so rather than dropping him off and going home, I ran an errand that was only about 1/2 mile away. I did spend about twice as much on an item as I may have on Amazon, but in this case that meant $15 vs. $7 or $8 (not much more), and I supported a local store with EXCELLENT service. I asked multiple questions, got very helpful information that was well worth the extra I paid.


Katy March 20, 2022 at 9:27 am

I bestow upon you (or your husband) The Frugalness Award!


Marie-Josée March 20, 2022 at 3:25 am

My condolences for the loss of your mother-in-law.

I swear I checked the blog two days ago to see if I had missed one of your posts. I missed you!

What a score on those food savings, but I must admit I don’t find foraging through moldy food appealing.

My husband is on strike. He is eligible for a $300 strike compensation if he pickets 20 hours a week. I am so happy this stike is occuring now, when we are a few years from retirement and not when our children were in school or getting orthodontic care, on top of our mortgage. My heart breaks for all his colleagues who may have many financial committments and who are probably worried sick.

Before the stike, my husband began his pre-retirement and had Friday’s off (he enjoyed two before the stike) and this new schedule really changed our life. He ran our errands on his day off and it freed up so much time during the week-end for which I am so grateful. He is also on board on making a few stops on his shopping run to take advantage of better deals.

Apart from fresh produce, I have taken on the challenge of buying everything else on sale (food) or used (non-food). Food prices are very high in Canada compared to the US in general, but with inflation, prices are jaw-dropping. Organic bacon is $11! There are 9 slices of bacon in that package. I wish we had Aldi’s! I also recognize that I am privileged to be able to take advantage of sales to stock up on expensive items (especially meat). We continue to financially support a local organisation that assists less fortunate individuals in our community.

We are watching and really enjoying The Expanse series on Amazon Prime, before I cancel our membership. I highly recommend it if you like Sci-Fi.

Borrowed 20 children’s library books before my daughter visited with our grand-children who are 7 and almost 4. We had such a wonderful time reading them and it brought back such wonderful memories for me of doing this with my daughter and our son at the same age. I love Mo Willems!


Katy March 20, 2022 at 9:26 am

Luckily the food there is mostly not moldy.


Julia March 27, 2022 at 3:53 am

We love Mo too!


Shona March 20, 2022 at 6:06 am

Not a frugal month at all. We owed a lot in taxes due to selling my husband’s old house we had been renting. He did, however, calculate that with what he paid in 2005, living in it for 12 years, renting it for 5, he lived in the house for free and came out ahead. But writing that check was still painful.

Had 3 trees removed and 3 pruned. The 150 year old cherry with rotting limbs that hung over the neighbor’s house is gone. Every time a storm came through my anxiety rose. And some limbs that hung over our house, also gone. An expense, but peace of mind.

Bringing home shift meals, leftovers, and sourdough loaves from work. I also salvaged some no longer fresh veggies they were tossing. Chopped & froze for soups.

Our grocery outlet gas been slim pickings lately. Previously frozen veggies and pumpkin puree is being used in current soup making.

Thankful I work 4 blocks from my house. My husband’s commute is 10 miles round trip.


Kathy March 20, 2022 at 6:21 am

I feel for you on the expenses
This month natural gas line installed, new tankless water heater, new water purification system, storm shelter installed. Vet bills and next week I am getting a crown.
Hoping the worst is over


Selena March 20, 2022 at 6:46 pm

While painful to part with the money, having the money to pay cash is peace of mind.
Shona you were smart to deal with trees that were a liability. Every time I see a downed tree, be it local or national news, that is rotten, I shake my head. Yes, not cheap to remove. But the damage done when the tree comes crashing down is far more expensive.


Mary in Maryland March 21, 2022 at 9:21 am

When we bought our house it had a large dead maple in the front yard. Do you know that insurance doesn’t pay if your house is damaged by your own dead tree? We settled late on a Friday and had the tree taken down on Tuesday. It fueled the woodstove for a few years.


Shona March 21, 2022 at 6:11 pm

Selina, I mentioned to my husband that it was hard to part with the money, but thankful we had it in the bank. Pre-frugal living there were times when I barely had $20 in my bank.

Mary, If the tree is healthy insurance will cover as an “act of nature,” dead tree, definitely not paying for neglect. When the owner gave me the estimate I didn’t blink and he made a comment about this. I told him it was far cheaper than covering damage insurance wouldn’t pay for. The first guy I had out wanted more to remove the dying cherry tree than this guy wanted for the entire job. So happy with his work I recommended him to another neighbor.

janine March 20, 2022 at 6:19 am

Glad to hear from you Katy!
1 Spring is just around the corner and we are looking forward to some fresh produce from our garden. DH is looking for good prices on some seeds and passed on some pricey ones the other day at a local hardware store. We did use a $5 coupon towards a package of their N-95 masks that we will still need as another crappy Covid variant looks to be on the horizon.
2. Cooked corned beef and cabbage a couple of days late in honor of St. Pat’s celebration . Got the corned beef at Aldi’s – usually do not like their meat but this was a good price and I decided to take a chance. Put it in the slow cooker and it eventually got tender enough to enjoy.
3. DS#2 is downtown at a gaming conference he treats himself to every year. He reported a couple of savings: free corned beef sandwiches on St. Patrick’s day and after checking the parking fees at his hotel ,($50 per day) opted to ask us for a ride. He is not naturally frugal, but a few habits may have seeped in.
3. Purchased three of those prepackaged baskets that folks gift each other for
Xmas at a discount grocery and in addition to the nice wooden boxes which will be repurposed, received fig spread, cheese, strawberry tart like cookies, and crackers etc. – all for $3.99 marked down from $20. Husband had a marvelous time opening it all up and trying out the goodies for the price of one box of crackers in these inflation filled times.
4. Some of the usual: borrowing library books to read for book club and buying used books; I like the feel of them in my hands and good to keep some booksellers in business. Plans for this summer may include a “little free library” in our yard.
5. I can sympathize with the cost of vet services. Wish our pets could talk and explain their maladies. Just found a box of heartworm pills I had forgotten- enough for six extra months. Yay! When we adopted our rescue dog, our vet discovered heartworm which was a fairly costly procedure and involves on-going medication.


Katy March 20, 2022 at 9:24 am

Thanks, I really should blog more often. It floors me that I blogged seven days per week for an entire decade!


Bee March 20, 2022 at 1:14 pm

We miss you! You have your own style of frugality not matched elsewhere. There are few places – on the internet or in real life- where I can share an awesome garbage pick and it is understood.


Jenny March 20, 2022 at 7:21 pm

Wow, seven days a week for ten years! I found you somewhere in the middle of that time, I think from Kristen The Frugal Girl. When I have some time, I’d like to start reading then consumer from the very beginning- is it easy on your blog to find out how to do that? Always have, and always do enjoy reading your material, and always learn something!
I’m sorry if there was a family loss recently (read something above).


A. Marie March 21, 2022 at 8:23 am

I’m late to the party here, but I’m another one who’s glad to see a new post. Will have to put myself on the notification list. (And I did see a couple of the Tweets you reTweeted from Mr. NCA re: your MIL, so I was guessing that this was the reason for the latest hiatus.)


Selena March 20, 2022 at 6:49 pm

This is the recipe we’ve (and I use the term we loosely as I am *not* the cook)


rebecca robbins March 20, 2022 at 6:30 am

Things have not been so frugal here the past month or so with added expenses for my dog and other things but here goes-
1. Got a refund check for something for $9.76
2. My practice is full and even though I feel overwhelmed at times, it is good because I sure do love paying my mortgage.
3. I am able to get free admision to a museum I am going to due to my teacher card. Along the way I will return clothes that I ordered online instead of spending $ to send them back.
4. I bought organic chicken thighs on sale.
5. The usual-cooking and coffee at home, takeout only once in 5 weeks (this is huge for me), appreciating that spring is coming and the birdsong is different and bundling errands.


Katy March 20, 2022 at 9:22 am

I’ve only been to a one museum (Museum of Natural History in NYC) once since the pandemic began. I love museums.


Jill D March 20, 2022 at 8:16 am

What’s with all these class action settlement checks all of you are getting? I’m feeling ripped off that nobody ripped me off. Grrr.


Katy March 20, 2022 at 9:20 am

My former employer really gamed the time clock. Jerks.


karen March 20, 2022 at 10:55 am

My employer had us working off the clock, one reason I quit. Years later, like 10 years I had a lawyer contact me about joining the lawsuit and I did because this was one I felt needed to be sued.

Many months later he contacted me again and wanted the specific dates of when I worked off the clock. I told him it was 10 years ago and all my records were shredded. He said make something up. I said no way and he said I would be dropped from the lawsuit. I said fine and thought even more time that company stole.


Jill D March 20, 2022 at 6:41 pm

I did receive a notice about a Morgan Stanley class action settlement. Sadly (or perhaps happily) I never had an account with them.


Christine March 20, 2022 at 8:45 am

1. Received my free Covid tests in the mail and have ordered another two free boxes on the USPS website. The pharmacist at my drugstore loaded me up with free N95 masks after I told her I was trying to avoid Covid in the weeks leading up to my son’s wedding which I successfully accomplished.
2. I cut DH’s hair.
3. Our town library has started up their programs again after a long hiatus due to Covid. Concerts and author talk reminders are dotting my calendar for the next two months. I’m using the interlibrary loan system to order books they don’t have in their collection.
4. I purchased a piece of corned beef at 2.99 lb. It was the cheapest cut they offered but slow cooked in a cast iron Dutch oven it came out tender and delicious. With two of us eating, so far we’ve each had two meals and DH has had two sandwiches from it. Sunday night supper planned for tonight using more of it.
5. Signed up for a class action lawsuit about six months ago. I haven’t heard anything back yet but I figured it didn’t hurt to apply.


Katy March 20, 2022 at 9:18 am

I just ordered more free Covid-19 tests from USPS as well!


Bee March 20, 2022 at 1:55 pm

I wish we had more choices in my area for grocery stores. Costco, Aldi and less expensive retailers are all a 45-minute drive from my house. I’m trying to figure out if it’s cheaper. Should I shop nearby and pay a lot for groceries, but little in gas m? Or pay less for groceries but more for gas? I’m beginning to get concerned.
1) I was given to cuttings by a friend for plants. I have rooted a piece of Pathos and a piece of Irish Petty Coat.
2) I earned a $20 gift card to Whole Foods with Fetch. I use this to buy special GF options thst I can’t find at other nearby stores.
3) Last week was an expensive week at the grocery store, but this week I should be able to get buy on very little. I planned my menu to use up all the fresh veggies I currently have on hand. Tonight we are having burrito bowls over raw spinach. Tomorrow night, I plan on making a large stir- fry. This should last me most of the week. Like Katy, I feel like I have cooked a million meals.
4) I found a pretty, sterling silver photo frame at an estate sale this week for $5. I polished it and put my son’s photo in it. It’s on my desk.
5 ) I am doing the usual things… cooking from scratch, drinking primarily water, brewing my own coffee, reading library books, and thrifting for my needs and wants.


Christine March 20, 2022 at 4:27 pm

The decision to drive further or not to drive further is a tough one considering the rising costs of both gas and groceries. I do my big monthly grocery trip at a Market Basket, a fairly inexpensive store although their prices have risen like everywhere, about 6 miles away. I love Aldis but we don’t have one in the area so I made the decision to only shop there if I go by it which isn’t too often.


LaNell March 21, 2022 at 5:58 pm

Christine…..are you in Texas? Market Basket is a local chain where I live.


Christine March 22, 2022 at 10:44 am

No, I am in Massachusetts. Is there a Market Basket in Texas? I thought they were a New England chain. I believe the family who owns it is from Tewksbury MA.


bettafrmdaville March 23, 2022 at 6:56 pm

Market Basket (Somervillian here) is the bomb! I started saving so much money than when I shopped at Whole Foods (don’t ask), Stop & Shop, and Star/Shaw’s.
And I love supporting the company after the whole hostile takeover/strike issue and Arthur T. just sounds like an amazing owner.

Marie March 20, 2022 at 1:59 pm

Happy to find non- consumer email this morning. Enjoy the Facebook blog, but this is better.
Been working, first time in 2 years. I’d forgotten what it was like to have my own money. Which was timely, as our 16 year old Kenmore washer quit. It has been not spinning out the water off, and on for months. And one day just gave up. My husband is great at repairs, but washers don’t have belts anymore, so apparently it was the transmission? Buy the time he had researched the problem, watched a 100 u- tube videos, I had already picked out my reasonable priced top loader on the home depot website.
Between the sale price, and a home depot gift card we had it was under $600.
And since I’m now working, we paid cash. Yes, maybe we should have tried to fix it, but really wanted a larger machine for a long time.
We went out for my birthday dinner, and paid with a restaurant gift card. Felt weird eating out. First time in 2 years
Only been buying fruits, and vegetables, milk and bread, trying to eat down the freezer.
Oh, and had 6 new lambs born. Not necessarily frugal, but we do sell them, and just as cute as a button. Free entertainment


Christine March 20, 2022 at 4:36 pm

Baby lambs! Nothing much cuter than them. When my sister’s sheep had lambs and they were weaned, she kept them in the kitchen in a pen for awhile but would let them out to run around. Their little hooves made them look and sound like they were tap dancing around the room. So much fun!
I have to tell you a trick a plumber told me about when I had called him to come in to fix my washing machine that would not drain. This was many years ago. He got it going and then told me it was a simple fix. The screen across the drainage hose was clogged. He said if you take the screen out, clean it and put it back the problem is solved and it was something a homeowner could do themselves. It happened a few years back that my front loader wouldn’t drain. I took the back off, found the screen, cleaned it, voila! Just something for future reference.


Julia March 27, 2022 at 4:02 am

I had the same problem with my front loader and was able to get it going thanks to YouTube! Just cleaned the drain thing that I didn’t even know was there!


Mand01 March 20, 2022 at 3:22 pm

‘Tis the season: for washing machines to go on the fritz. Ours is also playing up, and as it is only seven years old it is very annoying. My husband is going to have a look at it.
1. My husband has finished building the trellises in our food forest. He’s not a builder by training or trade, but he has figured out how to build a lot of things, including a retaining wall and proper espaliering trellises, saving us a lot of money in the process. He seems to be able to watch a YouTube video and then follow the instructions.
2. Still picking eggplant, chillies, basil, beets and pumpkins from the garden, and planting up the garden with seedlings started indoors.
3. We have been making fresh pasta. As we have a lot of eggs from our chickens, this is a cost-effective meal. We plan it for when one of us has a day off, so we have the extra time. I guess it’s not cheaper than buying a packet of dried pasta, but it probably comes out even (taking out the time) and it’s fun and tastes much, much nicer.
4. We have made a commitment to each other to try to retire in ten years. That will bring us ten years under the Aussie retirement age. It’s not as early as many in the FIRE community, but we started late due to raising two kids with disability – so I think that is still ok.
5. Found a great no-knead bread recipe online a couple of weeks ago and have been making that when it is not too hot. Minimal hands on work for a loaf that everyone in the family loves.


Roberta March 21, 2022 at 7:56 pm

When it gets hot here in Southern California, I make foccacia-style bread on the barbecue, in a cast iron skillet. It’s not great for sandwiches, but it’s good for everything else and doesn’t heat up the house.


Avery March 20, 2022 at 4:37 pm

1.) I’ve been cooking a lot more at home recently and am eating out a lot less often! I didn’t realize how long I’ve been craving my home-cooked meals and love that I’m consuming more vegetables recently.
2.) My coworker gifted me a $15 restaurant giftcard for the main location restaurant that she never goes to. So thankful because I am always over there!
3.) A friend cleaned out her closet and gifted me a turtleneck which has been perfect for work.
4.) I’ve been doing a lot more free entertainment recently. The weather’s getting nicer, so today, I ran in a park and it was lovely. Also, watched a movie from home with a friend.
5.) Using ReceiptPal to slowly gain points for giftcards.


Christine March 20, 2022 at 4:39 pm

I’m so happy to hear you adopted two senior kitties! When I worked at a cat shelter it was the seniors or those with health issues who were most often overlooked. Kittens went first and then the younger ones and on up so you adopting not one but two older cats is phenomenal. I’m very glad to hear Bernard’s eating problems were an adjustment issue. Have fun and enjoy your new babies!


Christine March 20, 2022 at 4:41 pm

Oops! Hit the submit button again on accident.


Elizkat March 20, 2022 at 4:45 pm

1. My Sweet Adeline chorus is headed to our international competition after two years of cancellations due to Covid. I scored frequent flier seats for me and my roomie to Phoenix. She pays for ground transportation and her husband drives us to the airport and picks us up so it is worth it to me. Plus company on a trip is always nice.
2. I am eating through my freezer and haven’t been grocery shopping in a few weeks. It makes for some interesting meals.
3. My daughter invited me to cook the St. Patrick’s Day meal while I babysat my granddaughter who was home from school. I had a great dinner and they sent me home with leftovers.
4. I did my taxes early and got a $20 discount on the tax filing software.
5. I have let my hair go gray and am embracing the new silver look. It came in better than I thought it would and I now am saving money on hair dye. And I wasn’t kidding anyone at 72.


Marc March 22, 2022 at 3:22 pm

Love that you have “let it go”, the hair color that is. I’m heading there too


My Daily Money Diary March 20, 2022 at 6:21 pm

Yay, Katy, you’re back!! Love your FFT posts.


Auntiali March 20, 2022 at 8:32 pm

Katy is back!! Thanks for the update Katy.

Frugal things:
1. Hubby cut his own hair.
2. I got my hair cut and used a debit card I got for an over payment.
3. Needed new windshield wipers and dh got them and installed them. He p aid $58 (!) for them but labor was free. He turned down the one year warranty for $6. I hate when stores try to sell them. I like to ask “are you telling me that this item won’t last for 1 year?”
4. Bona hardwood floor cleaning pads were on sale so hubby got them when he grocery shopped. I have original 1950’s hardwood floors and there were a couple of nasty dirty areas on them. The cleaning pads – too big for the swiffer – cleaned them up perfectly. No Stanley Steamer for me! I didn’t want to buy the special mop head for them.
5. We watched House of Gucci last night – $6.99 + tax . I didn’t like it but hubby did. I watched the first episode of Call the Midwife’s new season tonight and found out that my local PBS station will be doing movies on Saturday nights.

My late aunt made herself 3 seersucker sundresses/housedresses once and wore them forever. She would wash them then dry them on the clothesline inside out in the Florida sun.


EssexFish March 20, 2022 at 8:58 pm

1. Switched from pine pellet kitty litter from a pet store (about $11 per 20 lb. bag) to pine pellets from a farm supply store (about $7 per 40 lb. bag)
2. Gave away an old tackle box via an online site. The person who picked it up left me a loaf of Irish soda bread in return
3. Brought along a few 5 gallon bottles on a state park trip and filled them with artesian well water to take home. The park permits this and even has a well outside its gates for public access after hours
4. Found a pair of barstools curbside and sold them for $80
5. This month’s free entertainment: a gallery I’ve visited sent an email seeking volunteers to review and rate proposals for exhibits from artists around the world. It’s been my nightly reading


janine March 21, 2022 at 6:28 am

Your #5 sounds interesting , unique and entertaining.


EssexFish April 2, 2022 at 8:42 pm

It’s been fascinating. I’ve read 150 proposals so far with only a couple of days left until the deadline. There are a lot of very imaginative and thoughtful artists out there!


Ann March 21, 2022 at 6:39 am

Good to see you back on the blog!
1. Shopped at discount grocery store…got crackers that sell for 2.99 at other places for 99 cents.
2. Used a Costco chicken to make many meals…including 5 freezer containers of soup.
3. Instead of buying a new winter robe when the zipper separated I ripped it out, went to a local store that stocks lots of fabric and notions for the Mennonite/Amish community and found a zipper almost the right size for 4 dollars. Ripped the old one out, put the new one in….love it!
4. Used a 99 cent bag of lentils to make a pot of soup
5. Used my 20 year old crock pot to make the soup.


LB March 21, 2022 at 11:52 am

Hope everyone is all right in your family! Glad to see a new post 🙂

1. Biggest win…I am officially out of credit card debt. Some ill-thought out purchases, medical expenses, and two moves kept me in the cycle but I finally broke out. Cheers to having a living wage and the ability to save money!

2. A dear friend with excellent taste is downsizing to a smaller apartment and gave away mountains of clothes. I picked up some great dresses to wear to a few weddings I have this summer as well as some phenomenal work pieces. Grateful to have such great and generous friends keeping me stylish!

3. Realizing that I was not wearing many of the things I owned, I listed a pile on Poshmark yesterday. Looking forward to making some sales and paring some things down on my end.

4. Wanted a cookie from the store up the road but could not justify the trip (plus, it’s never just one!) so I found a great recipe online that I could make with ingredients in my pantry. It’s a hit! Brown butter chocolate chip beats out the bakery, especially fresh from the oven. Plus I made enough to bring to a friend’s housewarming which saved me from buying a dessert.

5. Saying no to some fun that will set me back in financial goals–lots of concerts now that the summer is coming. Trying to remind myself to pace things as I continue to work long hours and study for grad school. I won’t have the energy for two concerts in a week, let alone the outlay for tix! I’ll appreciate the down time later.


Heidi Louise March 21, 2022 at 2:19 pm

Hooray for your past-debt being past!


bettafrmdaville March 23, 2022 at 7:05 pm

Huge congratulations for paying off your credit-card debt! I’m guessing that you will not ever carry a balance again!


Auntiali April 3, 2022 at 12:51 pm

Congratulations on paying off your debt! Don’t you feel like you just lost 100 lbs?


susanna d March 21, 2022 at 2:14 pm

Great save on the washing machine repair, Katy! My husband YouTube(d) his way to fixing our washing machine a year or two ago, and when I posted it here, you said “You win the internet today.” Now I’ll say it back to you – YOU win the internet today with that repair!

My 5 frugal things:
1. I took inventory of all the food we have in the pantries (yes, plural) and freezers (again, plural) and decided this month was going to be a buy almost no groceries month. And that I’d take the money budgeted for groceries this month and donate what wasn’t spent to the local food pantry. That’s also a win for me because it makes me feel like I’m able to do something in these crazy, crazy times.
2. Normally I “save” at least 60 cents per gallon on gasoline each month when I cash in my Kroger fuel points. With spending next to nothing on groceries, I figured there wouldn’t be gas discounts for us this month. However, the promo for 4X the points on gift card purchases ran at a time my husband was just about to drive to Home Depot for a sort-of-major but much needed tool purchase. I bought enough HD gift cards to cover the cost of said tool, and we earned $1 off per gallon of gasoline. Cool how that worked out.
3. I DID need mushrooms yesterday – well, if mushrooms are a “need”. Organic mushrooms were marked down to way cheaper than regular mushrooms, so I picked up four packages of them. Sauteed them all up, used what I needed, and froze the rest. I also found a giant cauliflower in perfect condition on the 99 cents shelf, and that came home to be blanched and frozen for future use. I mean, I said I was going to buy very FEW groceries, not none, right?
4. My husband got an offer for a free FitBit from his Medicare provider. He said yes, and is amusing himself by studying his sleep patterns as well as tracking his exercise. Free entertainment! Not being of Medicare age myself, I am very happily making do with my ancient, old school pedometer. It does what I need it to do – even if it’s so old I can no longer read the buttons. On the other hand, I don’t need to read the buttons – I’ve had it forever so I know it inside and out.
5. Used a coupon from the Kroger mailer to get a free Tombstone pizza. Pizza in front of the TV tonight! I’m looking forward to it – yes, I AM a cheap date!


Shona March 21, 2022 at 6:22 pm

Kroger has been offering up some great produce on their 99¢ racks near me. 5 oranges/ 4 grapefruit/ 3 red & yellow peppers. Plus some good manager’s specials on disconnected items. I’ve not received any coupons in awhile however.


Katy March 21, 2022 at 7:25 pm

We are co-winners.


K D March 22, 2022 at 6:50 am

1. We drove to the next state to visit my BIL and then a niece. I waited until our state suspended their gas tax (for thirty) days to fill my gas tank. It is a hybrid and set to ECON mode. We packed lunch to eat at BIL’s house since he doesn’t eat takeout. We also spent a night in a hotel at the beach. It was a free night earned, before the pandemic, for having a credit card (cancelled before an annual fee was incurred). We didn’t see any restaurants that sounded worth patronizing so we bought some food at the grocery store for dinner. We also packed food for breakfast and lunch the next day.

2. I have bought produce, and a few other items, at LIDL. It is cheaper and they have quite a few organic items.

3. We received a second set of rapid Covid tests from the federal government.

4. Thank you public library: I continue to read and listen to books from the library. We watch DVDs borrowed from the library and stream shows via hoopla!. I also borrowed a kid’s game that I’m going to play with a four year old that a friend watches occasionally.

5. The more time I spend outdoors the better I feel and sleep. I’m getting out when I can and especially trying to get the yard in shape.


bettafrmdaville March 23, 2022 at 7:21 pm

FFT: The Empanada Edition.
1) Used 1 lb of ground beef that I got free from a mystery shop
2) Extended the filling by adding a can of black beans (bought on sale at annual “can can” sale)
3) empanada dough/discos, onion & red pepper were all on sale/Ibotta rebate
4) used stock made from kitchen scraps
5) olives were free from a GIANT unopened jar given away by a bar owner (shutting business, sadly) on local Buy Nothing group
6) egg wash was from free eggs from mystery shop
= 24 empanada @ .27 each


Jann in Maine March 25, 2022 at 2:35 am

Nice to see your recent post,Katy. Had been thinking about you.
Searched my state’s site for unclaimed money and also for my parents who have been deceased for years. Found my Mother had some unclaimed $ which I applied for and received after quite a bit of work. Don’t forget to check your state’s unclaimed funds list.
Still doing everything we did before-brewing coffee at home,using the library,walking for excercise etc.
Getting ready to start sets.Discovered Etsy sold seeds! We bought a packet of a variety of zucchini that seems to be sold out everywhere else.
Have not used our dryer at all this winter. Now I should say there are just 2 of us at home. And I time my laundry for a sunny day and hang out or for the wooden drying rack.
And we did update our wills and advance directives last month. While not frugal in the initial outlay of $ it hopefully will save our kids much in the long run with updated and clear directions.
Eating a primarily vegetable-based diet and enjoying lots of new to us leguume and bean dishes.
I did harvest a variety of gorgeous Morning Glory seeds and have been sending them around the US to friends. For the cost of a stamp and my homemade packet of seeds I brightened their and my day knowing I have shared these with my favorite friends.
Still continuing to dumpster dive and get packing materials for free for my ebay sales.


Jill A March 25, 2022 at 4:00 am

Thanks for the reminder about unclaimed money. Just found some for my daughter. I have some beautiful morning glories that I guess must reseed themselves because they come back every year. They are a deep purple and I’d love to collect some seeds for my Mom. I’ll have to do some research on how to do that.


Ashley Bananas March 25, 2022 at 6:28 am

You inspired me to look up liquidation grocery stores near me. I found a few but they’re not very close by. However, if I’m in the area now I will stop by. We had one for years near us that I would go buy scratch and dent cans mostly for 5-10 cents each. The store closed however.

I often go for walks in my neighborhood. I have been trying to maintain 10k steps a day since January first only missing a few days so far this year for various reasons like travel. Last weekend I went for a walk on Saturday night, Sunday night is garbage night and people often put things out early for people to pick up. There was a tote at the end of one driveway and it was filled with cans and jars of food that were not expired. The tote was in the free position. I ended up taking home about three bags worth of groceries including peanut butter, tuna, soup, and lots of veggies and beans, and some canned pasta like spaghettios. Although I wouldn’t have bought all of these items in this capacity, I just thought thank you and took home what we would use.

I work in an office and have wanted to add some new clothes to my wardrobe. I was lucky enough to see a post in my neighborhood Facebook group by a woman of my size giving away clothes. A friend who lost weight also gifted me some clothing. My mother also sent me a care package with a few workout wear items. I feel very lucky and fortunate for these items as I dont have a large budget for clothing.

Around Christmas I also went shopping for clothes for my very tall and growing teenager. We went to a store called the Teen Challenge thrift store. It may be local to my area. It has a great mission to help youth in the area. Their prices are also significantly lower than Goodwill where were live in SWFL. The men’s polo shirts which my son needs for school were $4 each, and we went on a day where they were half off. I had looked at places like Old Navy considering buying a handful of matching shirts but the shirts were all $19.99. We were able to buy them for roughly 10% of the cost of retail by going to the thrift store. I’m very thankful for the savings, especially as I know he will grow out of the clothing in the near future.

Anyway, live long and prosper…..or try nd keep your finances in check as much as you can.


Hawaii Planner March 27, 2022 at 7:18 am

1) Reached out to an airline when our flights were cancelled, and we spent the last day of vacation on the phone trying to get through & figure out options. They are supposed to provide compensation automatically, but surprise, don’t unless you follow up. Received a $250 voucher for myself & my sister.
2) Used a coupon code (generated from buying a birthday gift) to buy my son boba on his birthday. I’m not a boba fan, but it’s all the rage with the teens. They like having the gift cards, so they can get boba after school. There are several shops strategically placed near the high school.
3) I’m on a mission to use up gift cards, so used a gift card for a delivery lunch date with my husband. We discussed going out, but the gift card was free, there was a $10 off coupon code, which covered the delivery charge + tip, and we sat out on the patio & ate in the sunshine. It was so lovely.
4) Bought my teen lunch out after his first reffing job, because it was a lot for him. Luckily, he’s a cheap date & enjoys Subway, & I had a gift card.
5) Uploaded all of our receipts to Fetch, saving a bit of extra money.


Laura April 13, 2022 at 12:40 pm

I always buy my meat directly from local farmers. My neighbors have been giving me eggs, as it’s spring time and the hens are really laying. I have freezers and we use half a beef and a whole pig per year. The butcher makes the packages to suit our tastes. It makes such a difference not having to stop off at the store or have to cut back when one of our paychecks is a little short. Stocking the freezer removes the temptation to carry out too.
I currently have BBQ beef in the crockpot and last week my FIL came over. We grilled t bones and helped our 3yo roast marshmallows for smores. He was so excited! Fun and frugal (:
Get a small town, old school farmer, they charge less. The new age guys are waaaaaay more expensive.


Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: