Five Frugal Things

by Katy on May 29, 2022 · 55 comments

  1. I curb picked a couple of high quality metal organizing cubes, which prompted me to attempt a semblance of order in our coat closet. You know, like the women on the Home Edit TV show. But without good lighting, bright colors or the company of friends.

    I’ve repeatedly tried to organize this coat closet through the years without lasting success. It’s a sideways Harry Potter-style closet, which means that it’s deep, but without much usable space towards the back. Add in that it’s dark and has no door, and it’s an eyesore waiting to happen.

    The job ended up being so much more work than I thought it would be, but as my friend Lise told me “Rome wasn’t organized in a day.” However, It looks and functions much better now, especially since I was able to get certain family members to let go of a few of their unused coats.

  2. We celebrated both my husband and son’s birthdays last week. (It seems like he was an infant just a few years ago!) We kept to our “Birthday Day of Adventures” theme, which as always involves planning out a day of surprise activities where I am the only person who knows the itinerary.


    • Enjoyed bagels with lox at a local restaurant.
    • Drove down the Columbia Gorge to the town of Hood River, stopping at Multnomah Falls along the way.
    • Watched the windsurfers and kite surfers who flock to the area from all over the world. Such an amazing sport to watch from my safe dry vantage point!
    • Enjoyed an early supper at a brewpub that my husband had been wanting to try.
    • The two of us shared his free fancy Starbucks birthday coffee.


    • Splurged on brunch at a southern restaurant, where we proceeded to stuff ourselves with fried chicken, biscuits, grits and waffles.
    • Drove to a suburban mall that I hadn’t been to since 1982. Why? The Lego store! Some things are never outgrown. My son chose a Seinfeld Lego set!
    • Indulged in scrumptious Texas-style barbecue for dinner.
    • My son’s favorite cake is cheesecake, specifically the Costco cheesecake, so I’d picked one up the previous day. My parents drove over that night to share cake and wish their grandson a happy 24th birthday.

    It’s really hard to find activities that don’t feel unsafe in Covid times. As such, we end up just eating all the delicious food. We rarely eat in restaurants, so it’s a real treat.

  3. We had a freak snowstorm last month, which ravaged both our front and backyard maple trees. Five major branches off our backyard tree and three from the one in our parking strip.

    My husband borrowed a chainsaw to cut the bigger branches into firewood, but the smaller ones got piled up for me to break into pieces for curbside yard debris pick up. Our neighbors generously let me add to their bins, so I was eventually able to work my way through a truly massive pile of fallen branches. I’d estimate that I densely filled 20 rolling yard debris bins by the end.

    I saw multiple tree service vehicles in the neighborhood over the last month. It would certainly have been easier to hire a service, but it cost us nothing to do the job ourselves. Luckily, the trees should pull through, but I gotta say that home ownership is kind of a bitch.

  4. I sold a number of things over the past month, most notably another Ikea egg chair for $100, (that’s three so far, if you’re counting!) I put a layer of free mulch onto our otherwise neglected side yard, I continue to shop the grocery liquidator each week before hitting Winco, I got a small Andromeda bush from my Buy Nothing group, (which I transplanted into a free curb picked terra cotta pot) I gave away some kitchen supplies, furniture polish and a huge bag of bubble wrap through the group, I thrifted a pair of vintage lighting globes, which I immediately sold to a local store and I listened to The Magnolia Palace and The Flatshare through the free Libby app.

  5.  I didn’t buy a Lear Jet.

Katy Wolk-Stanley    

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

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{ 55 comments… read them below or add one }

Shona May 29, 2022 at 12:01 pm

1. Curb picked a nearly new, maybe used once, air frier. My husband wanted one and was researching which one to purchase. No more research, he got the free one. We’re using it almost daily.

2. The city was giving away red bud tree starts which was the very tree we wanted to replace the Bradford pear we had removed.

3. Drove some friends to the airport and they insisted on paying me what they would have paid Uber. Paid a utility bill with the money.

4. Not frugal, but right now I’m preferring to spend my money locally. Buying all I can at the farmer’s market and we’ve been enjoying some beautiful food.

5. Not a local item as I don’t live in a citrus growing state, but lemons were .89 each at Kroger- ouch! They had several .99 discount bags, 3 bags and I got 18 lemons for juicing and freezing in ice cube trays.

6. (Catch all) Continuing to minimize my driving, walking everywhere I can, shift meals and free bread from work, and a few coins and a $1 bill picked up here and there. So many good movies coming out on DVD which I have been able to get free at my local library.


Kathy May 29, 2022 at 12:05 pm

1. Feeling blessed I found a well paying part time job. If I work over 6 hours/day I get a free lunch
2. Local wellness center membership is $15/mo for seniors. Open 5 days a week w/indoor pool, classes, gym. Both hubby and I joined
3. A few online sales which will help defray the rising costs of gasoline
4. Continuing to use less of everything and still get the job done
5. Enjoying our Netflix and Amazon prime memberships for entertainment


Jill A May 29, 2022 at 1:49 pm

Great to see a new post. Those birthdays sound amazing.

1. Made Instapot Yogurt which I turned into 22 servings of dog ice cream. Ben & Jerry’s dog ice cream is $5 for 4 servings. My dogs love ice cream and it was getting expensive.
2. I’ve been on the lookout for a good sturdy pair of sandals. I really wanted Birkenstocks. I found a pair at an estate sale. Never worn in the box for $10. My size and exactly what I wanted.
3. I fluffed up my old garden mulch after weeding and ended up using only about half the mulch that I usually do. I paid for my daughter and her fiancé mulch as they picked it up for me. Win for both.
4. I’m cleaning out my closet and getting rid of all the clothes that no longer fit (most of them). I’m picking up thrifted items as I find them to replace my depleted wardrobe. I found a cute pair of capris for $4 at the thrift store and a top for $1 at a yard sale.
5. We’ve been hosting dinners with family instead of eating out and then sharing the leftovers. Today my Mom invited us for dinner. She sent us home with so many leftovers since she always makes too much.
6. Free entertainment. We’ve been watching a nest of baby robins in a nest by our front porch. Great walks in a nearby nature preserve. Friends treated me to coffee for loaning out some wasp powder and bellows for a huge nest. Re-reading old non-consumer advocate posts. Library books on kindle- Local Woman Missing by Mary Kubich was very good.


Bee May 30, 2022 at 3:55 am

Rescue Pup would love to have ice cream regularly. Do you do anything special to make this? I have a IP so I have the equipment and know the basic process.


Jill A May 30, 2022 at 7:18 am

Hi Bee. Nothing too special. I added peanut butter and pumpkin. In the past I’ve done blackberries, banana or fruit that needed to be used up.


Kate May 29, 2022 at 2:50 pm

1. Daughter is going to grad school in the fall and wanted an adjustable standing desk. She found several online, but wow were they expensive! While we talked I looked on Craigslist in her city and found one of the same ones she liked listed nearby for a fraction of the original price.
2. Nursing all the free vegetable and herb seedlings my husband got from a coworker who had more than he needed for the university garden.
3. The only plant I’ve gotten from a store this year was a big rosemary plant, which I actually got for free with a gift card I received for spending 30 seconds every day letting my asthma medicine manufacturer know that I took it and doing their surveys.
4. Cut my bubbly flavored water habit and switched back to plain water.
5. Cooked up a bunch of apples that were getting squishy and the resulting applesauce was gobbled right up.


Christine May 29, 2022 at 5:48 pm

1. I went to a lovely lunch given for the library volunteers. I enjoyed three different salads, all delicious, which made me think I should expand my salad recipes beyond elbow mac and mayonnaise with chopped celery and onions for the summer. We were also served homemade baked goods…scrumptious.
2. My neighbor gave me a coupon for a free ice cream cone at a local ice cream stand.
3. Using some Marigold seeds I saved from last summer’s flowers, a packet of free Sunflower seeds from the library and an old terra cotta pot, I planted what I hope will be an attractive addition to the side of my front steps.
4. Due to the rising gas prices, we’re keeping pretty much to home these days. We batch errands, especially when they are out of town. We’re both retired so I know we’re not feeling the pinch as much as some. I feel for those who have to drive distances to get to work or care for family, etc.
5. DH and I worked at the town election earlier this month. It was nice to get the checks. I immediately put some of it into savings and the rest went to home projects. Another special election is being held next month and we are already planning on working that one too.


Marie-Josée May 29, 2022 at 6:12 pm

What a lovely photo of you and your son.

My husband is still on strike, so we cancelled our Ogunquit vacation plans. We have booked a two-night stay in Quebec city to get out of the house and our own city for a few days. A first since 2019.

I continue to watch for sales on a weekly basis and have sold another item (a 4 quart sprayer) that was not being used.

Have returned to the office a few times and have gone out to lunch with friends and colleagues and I am finding it expensive. The actual point of returning is to connect/socialize so I need to see this as an investment. I’m also happy to support some downtown venues that really struggled during the pandemic. As time goes on, I will suggest to friends meeting in food courts or parks where I can bring my lunch.

I am resisting renewing my wardrobe even though I am sick of wearing the same work clothes over and over again. I am slowly losing weight and feel this would be a waste. Summer is such a short season where I live. I will avoid prints in the future, as solid colours are more inconspicuous.

Enjoying beautiful walks during the weekend in our neighborhood boasting one stream, two small lakes and the Saint-Lawrence River. Lots of flora and fauna to admire and they bring joy to our hearts.

We are slowly organising small dinner parties with friends we have not seen since the beginning of the pandemic.


Kathy May 30, 2022 at 8:40 am

I too am revamping my wardrobe. I’ve gone back to work part time and am finding many of my clothes don’t fit well. I have some consignment store credits that I’m going to use


Ava May 30, 2022 at 6:00 am

1. Got free chips and deodorant with store coupons.
2. Made “compost cobbler” from soft apples, hard pears and tasteless blueberries. It was great.
3. Enjoyed another thrift store jigsaw puzzle. When we find pieces are missing, the puzzles go to the art supply thrift store. When all the pieces are there, we pass them on to other puzzlers. Surprisingly, most are complete. Evidently other people don’t have a dog who instantly eats every dropped puzzle piece.
4. Cooking more at home.
5. Was gifted a box of canning jars from my daughter’s estate sale job. Will share with my friend.


Bee May 30, 2022 at 6:32 am

I have issues with my cat and puzzle pieces. She loves to bat the pieces around and they are then lost forever.


janine May 30, 2022 at 7:58 am

Enjoyed your characterization of “compost cobbler” Will have to incorporate it into my vocabulary.


Jill D May 30, 2022 at 2:51 pm

I laughed out loud at that one. Particularly the “It was great” punchline!


Karen B June 1, 2022 at 1:14 pm

We’re not puzzlers ourselves, but we’re active in our local Buy Nothing Project group (a group for asking for or asking for items or gifts of service for free only). Puzzles are super popular when offered and many people don’t mind if a puzzle is missing a piece or 2 and will still request it when that’s mentioned. An art supple store is a great option, too, though.


Bee May 30, 2022 at 6:29 am

I love your family’s birthday celebrations! Thank you for sharing your activities. It sound like a wonderful time was enjoyed by all.
My Memorial Day edition of FFT plus one.
1. I decided to attack my reseller’s Death Pile and clear the house. Thus, I spent part of the day last Wednesday listing items on eBay. I sold three of the items immediately and garnered a nice $100+ profit.
2. I planted bedding plants which I received for free from a local landscaping service. They were preparing to dispose of several flats of Pentas, because a client changed her mind. I also found a Fiddle Fig Tree which was about 4 feet tall that had been put out for the lawn trash. It has been fed, watered, and repotted. It loves its new spot in my home office.
3. We have a wedding of a family member to attend out of state this coming weekend. We used Southwest and Hilton loyalty points to substantially reduce our travel cost. I had to buy a dress, but I borrowed shoes and jewelry.
4. I am so thankful that life is returning to normal, but I’m finding that I need clothing. I still search secondhand sources first, but I’m having trouble finding much. So I have tried to remain focused buying only what I need. (I made a list). I found some sandals at a major retailer, but the only pair they had in my size were scuffed on the bottom. They looked like someone had worn them in the store. So I asked for a discount. The manager gave me 20% off.
5. I have just finished reading the bestseller Apples Never Fall. I was 244th on my library wait list when I found a copy at my favorite thrift store for $1. I have enjoyed it and will pass it on along with The Salt Path which was my book club selection last month. I love to share books. I now have a new library book waiting for me as well as a copy of The Wild Silence (a follow up to The Salt Path) which I purchased used from an independent eBay reseller.
6. I have been doing all the usual things. Drinking primarily water, shopping carefully, cooking from scratch and trying to make the most of my food resources. Like many of you, I am trying to negotiate higher prices. I am thankful that I am thrifty by nature. I have watched our monthly expenses increase by 15%. I am becoming concerned with potential food shortages and am trying to buy a few extra items for my pantry when they are on sale.
Wishing everyone peace and good health.


Hawaii Planner May 30, 2022 at 6:49 am

This has not been a particularly frugal life season for us, but we are looking for wins where we can:
-My husband always washes & details our cars himself, which adds up to quite a bit of savings, especially because he keeps them clean weekly.
-We picked oranges off of our neighbor’s tree. We have her permission, and hang over our fence. If we don’t pick them, they fall into our pool. I juiced them, and made delicious orange muffins.
-Used a few grocery store rewards to stock up on things we needed, plus a few splurge items
-Found a great deal on Costco travel for our anniversary trip. Declined the car rental, & opted for the shuttle to/from the hotel, which saved even more.
-Used leftover/stale rice krispies to make treats for the kids.


Ruby May 30, 2022 at 7:23 am

Katy, a couple of those inexpensive battery powered tap lights have done wonders for our lightless closets. Our house was built in 1952, when people found their coats by feel. 😀

1. We adopted a cat this weekend from a rescue. Not frugal at first glance, except that her $100 adoption fee covered spay, complete inoculations, flea treatment, deworming and microchipping. She is also the cutest little kitty ever and found all my husband’s lost socks behind his armoire.
2. It was also our son’s birthday this weekend, so I used some accumulated vacation time to take Friday off. Did some sewing for him, baked homemade cupcakes, and his dad and I took him out for burgers twice.
3. Had to clean out some piles of accumulated junk at work and found $2.06 in loose change. Also found a dime on the sidewalk.
4. Laundered the dogs’ favorite napping rug and the rubber backing began peeling off. It’s the perfect rug for them, so I picked off the rest of the rubber and cut a sheet of foam, which I had in my sewing stash, to go under the rug so it would not slide. They gave it two paws up!
5. Sewed a huge comfy reading pillow for our bed using the stuffing from two lumpy old bed pillows and some nice fabric bought at a yard sale. The same fabric was sewn a while back into valances for the bedroom windows and a cover for the sections of box spring that show at the foot of the bed when our bedspread is tucked in. It looks coordinated now.


rebecca May 30, 2022 at 10:36 am

Adopting a pet=priceless!


Anne May 31, 2022 at 7:09 am

“Found their coats by feel.” Love it.


Christine May 31, 2022 at 7:27 am

Enjoy your new kitty! Well worth the $100 when you consider all the veterinary care she received prior to adoption and all the love and fun she’ll give your family.
The dogs napping rug getting two paws up! Got my chuckle for the day.


Selena May 31, 2022 at 7:07 pm

$100 is an extremely frugal cost for a new pet. I’ve taken in two strays during a 4 month period (and do not regret it for a second). Not inexpensive but two great pets – you cannot put a price on that.


Ruby June 1, 2022 at 5:39 am

It really is a very frugal cost. The rescue we adopted our dogs from charged something closer to the actual medical costs for vetting each dog while they were in rescue. We never regretted paying the adoption fees, as they’ve all been the best pets. New kitty is the sweetest little girl too.


Karen B June 1, 2022 at 2:24 pm

I had a fantastically productive morning yesterday. I got 6 errands done (numbers 1-6 on my list) and groceries put away in under 3 hours, plus all the errands are pretty much in a straight line across town and I did them in order by location, so great gas and time saving, too! Stops 3, 4, and 5 are on the far side of town, but within blocks from each other.

1) It was an optional school day, only for meeting with teachers if needed. My son was missing multiple assignments in one class, but had the option of making them up for full credit, which he took. (Frugal because better grades can result in paying less for college or having to retake a class.)
2) Next I went to a library to pick up the first 2 Spiderman movies in a series he’s been wanting to watch.
3) Next I went to a second library to pick up the 3rd movie in the series and a specific book he wanted (I’d checked online last night to locate which branches had what ahead of time).
4) I hit a thrift store and found 2 shirts I love for under $4 each. Several of my shirts are looking worn and the necklines are getting floppy and are being demoted to yard work and dog walking shirts. I’d looked online at a store I like that was advertising clearance up to 75% off, but the only clearance t-shirts I liked were $35 each at half off! Nice quality dressier t-shirts, but not in my desired price range for a t-shirt and then add shipping! Very happy to pick up second-hand shirts in good to new condition.
5) Next I stopped at an Aldi grocery store and they had 5 gluten free pizzas I love marked 50% off! (I am gluten-free.) They stick a discount sticker on packages when they have too many of an item or items are close to date, and I was freezing all but one anyway. $20 savings, plus got other grocery necessities.
6) I headed toward home to wait for my son to let me know he was done. Just as I was about to pass the school, my phone dinged, so I pulled over to check, and he was done and ready! Perfect timing!
7) We have been getting great enjoyment from a local park, enjoying watching the baby geese and ducks grow up and the changing flowers.
8) Received lovely presents from our Buy Nothing Project group: chocolate mint cuttings and an art print. Have a box of things ready that I’ll be offering next week.
9) Movie night(s) at home instead of the theater, saving $50-60 with library movies, homemade popcorn in our thrift store air popper, and bargain drinks.


Jill D June 2, 2022 at 4:09 pm

Wow! I so admire the military planning and precision with which you executed this mission. Well done, Frugal Soldier!


Katy June 10, 2022 at 2:45 pm

You are giving me Aldi envy! We don’t have them in Oregon and I know that we’re missing out!


janine May 30, 2022 at 8:24 am

Happy Memorial Day!
Loved your picture and list of innovative adventures!
1. Every spring I become more appreciative of that great invention – iced tea-
Cheap and delicious.
2. My Ford Hybrid has been in the dealer’s hands for a month – supply chain problems with a transmission part. Looking on the bright side – gas savings and more batched errands. Doubt that I will make up the estimated $1800 repair cost, however.
3. Restaurant splurge this evening instead of picnic or outdoor dining. Predicted rain, but will use a $10 gift certificate toward an otherwise expensive meal for our family.
4. Found some gift certificates left over from Xmas – not used because of the pandemic. Planning a day of free extravagances including the purchase of a bottle of good olive oil and some great books for my already overflowing library.
5. Looking through my stash of summer clothes. Have adequate supply to make it through the season . A Couple of years ago took advantage of a department store going out of business sale and got some incredible bargains.


A. Marie May 30, 2022 at 9:29 am

FFT, Hot Sunny Holiday Weekend Edition:

(1) I got my 1.5 asphalt driveways re-sealed yesterday. (We have two driveways; one is all asphalt and the other is half asphalt, half brick. Looong story.) I got a discount on the first one for paying cash, and I wasn’t charged for the second one because the sealer was fixing something he goofed up last fall. Both are now baking nicely in the hot sun.

(2) Also baking nicely in the sun is a black plastic trash bag with two trashpicked, gunky pieces of cast iron cookware getting the Easy Off oven cleaner treatment: a Griswold #5 frying pan (no kidding) and a nice small muffin pan. I’ve never tried this method before and will be interested to see how well it works. And what the heck, I have nothing to lose but my trashpicks, the trash bag, and some oven cleaner.

(3) Up on our deck, I’ve got a half gallon of sun tea brewing. (Thanks to janine for the inspiration.) I have the teabags on hand, and the price of Diet Pepsi (along with everything else) just passed Mars and is still going.

(4) I was tempted to go to a Memorial Day chicken BBQ on the other side of the county, but decided to stay home, tend to things here, and save the price of the gas (which would have rivaled the cost of the BBQ).

(5) And I was both delighted and flabbergasted to see on our latest National Grid bill that we paid NOTHING for electricity usage this past month. We have a smallish set of solar panels on our garage, but these don’t usually cover the full cost of our electricity here in cloudy Upstate NY; I believe this is the first time this has happened. I only wish there were some way DH could know about this. Those solar panels were his babies, and he’d be so proud.


Bee May 30, 2022 at 11:03 am

What a great trash pick – Griswold cast iron!! Would like to hear more about this method.
My MIL had severe dementia. One day when I visited her, she was having a very good day. She told me that she wanted to redo her bathrooms. She had always hated the way they looked. So I took out my iPad and we looked at options. The next day things returned to “normal.” She was back to calling me names, and the bathrooms were never redone under her watch. My son bought her house after she passed and we redid the bathrooms. I can’t tell you how happy this made me. I think somewhere this made her happy too.


A. Marie May 30, 2022 at 11:39 am

Sadly, Bee, DH is now so far gone mentally that he wouldn’t understand what I was trying to tell him even if I showed him the bill. But I admire your finesse in making the most of your MIL’s good day. And I’m glad that you and your son finally redid the bathrooms.


Bee May 30, 2022 at 3:17 pm

I’m so sorry, A. Marie. My heart is with you as you tread this difficult path.


Lindsey May 31, 2022 at 9:11 am

Oh, A. Marie, I cannot imagine the difficulties on the path you must trod. Your upbeat attitude is amazing. The one time I spent quite a bit of time with someone with early onset dementia, it was so hard to find ways to communicate. What finally saved me was bringing tapes (tells you how long ago that was!) of gospel music, which seemed to unlock at least that part of her memory. I was not raised with it, but her daughter told me she loved it so for much of the rest of her life my visits consisted of the two of us (both with terrible voices) singing away to the tapes. Jim Neighbors, of Gomer Pyle fame, was a favorite. So when I think of you, I imagine you singing along with your husband.


Jill A May 30, 2022 at 1:39 pm

Congratulations on the trash picked pans. I’ve never been brave enough to try cast iron. I’m sorry about your husband. Thinking of you.


rebecca May 30, 2022 at 10:56 am

1. Entertained guests this weekend. I was able to use a bunch of on-hand ingredients for brunch and cocktail hour. I baked, cooked and grilled. Woks of Life website has a delicious chicken satay recipe that I used to rave reviews.
2. I have been getting rid of a lot of clutter. It’s been freeing and feels good to donate good clothes that someone else can wear.
3. Watching the celtics, red sox and french open for entertainment.
4. I found a bag of coffee and a bag of dog biscuits in my pantry that I didn’t remember I had. score! lol
5. The usual-making my own coffee, using digital coupons and shopping loss leaders at the grocery store and hang drying some laundry.


Cindy in the South May 30, 2022 at 12:48 pm

1. My neighbor put a pile of stuff out for garbage. I trash picked two folding chairs. 2. Went to thrift store a couple of weeks ago and bought an array of tshirts bc my old ones were not suitable to wear in public anymore. The t shirts cost me from 99 cents to $1.99. 3. I brought all lunches to work. I think I have gotten takeout maybe three times this entire year and I have not set foot in a restaurant. 4. I am still spring cleaning my positively dusty, jumbled house. It is slow going. 5. I picked mulberries from my tree, froze them, and have enough to last me for the next year I think.


Shona May 31, 2022 at 12:13 am

Sadly, the squirrels got to my beautifully ripening mulberries before I could pick them.


Marilyn May 30, 2022 at 1:23 pm

What a lovely picture, Katy! I think old family photos are real treasures. I also appreciated your mention of watching the windsurfers from your safe, dry viewpoint. I have done the same myself on trips to Hood River.
1. I am getting serious about making sure we really need or at least enjoy the things we’re spending money on. To that end, I have finally canceled Netfix for good this time. We just weren’t watching many Netflix shows. Also canceled a magazine subscription.
2. For a treat this weekend, DH and I went to Voodoo donuts. The famous Portland donut shop opened a branch here in Vancouver, WA late last year and we had never been there, so it felt like a tiny adventure to try something new even if it was just a fancy donut.
3. One good thing about economic conditions these days is the fact that there are more job opportunities for young people than ever before. My son has gotten a promotion to a new job at work and is very happy about it. Makes me happy too!
4. Got new glasses, both frames and lenses. Made sure I did not choose frames which cost more than the amount allowed by my vision insurance. Also resisted all of the add-ons to the lenses since those were not covered either. Buying glasses is a bit like buying a new car with various extra features increasing the cost.
5. Still wearing a mask when in the grocery store or the library although it is no longer required. I am in the minority on this but I don’t really mind.


Juhli May 30, 2022 at 2:30 pm

Lately we have been the recipients of lots of food others couldn’t use as well as office and craft supplies. We are eating our way through the food gifts. Winners have been tilapia, half a turkey breast, crackers and more. I was able to defat some beef burgers that wouldn’t have suited us by cooking them up as ground beef, drawing the fat and then rinsing I hot water. I froze it in small portions for use in chili or tacos.

We are slowly washing our house’s windows, screens and plantation shutters after not being able to do it for two years. My husband fixed the lock on our front door. I have stopped buying books and finding plenty through the library or friends.


MamaMinou May 30, 2022 at 7:28 pm

Five Frugals:

1. Built a garden arch out of sturdy poles and twine for a self-planted clematis to train over the front path
2. Scored beautifully printed and soft felt scraps and made a set of “tinkle towels” with my mother’s trusty 1958 Singer sewing machine
3. Did not drive once over the long weekend
4. Participated in a community trail run using credits from volunteering pre-Covid. I wore a mask. Not many others did though (one other).
5. Doing use-it-up food challenges. Only buying a few fresh things (fruits and veggies are important)

Thank you Katy for your blog, and the community of readers/posters!


Gina May 31, 2022 at 7:14 am

I have a few worth mentioning…..
1. Used some rewards on our warehouse membership card….$19.15 saved!
2. My work had spring cleanup days and I worked 3 overtime hours one day and 3.5 hours overtime the next. We don’t get an opportunity for overtime at my job, so I try to work some when they offer it.
3. A co-worker bought me a package of my favorite candy as a surprise….peanut m&m’s!
4. I needed a haircut, so I used a coupon towards it, saving $6.01. Hubby also wanted a calzone out for dinner so I used a coupon towards that as well.
5. We sometimes order cold foods from Schwan’s, but one day an insulated bag sat on our porch. Neither hubby or I ordered anything that week. Hubby called & explained that we didn’t order anything; the company checked and credited back the charge to husband’s account and said to keep the food as they can’t take it back. Savings credited back was $54 plus all that food!


K D May 31, 2022 at 9:59 am

1. Our weather has been all over the place temperature wise. We managed to go a week without using HVAC. I keep the temperature high during hot summer days and run a fan if I feel hot. We keep it a bit cooler at night or I wouldn’t be able to sleep. On a day that was not hot I baked a couple double batches of GF muffins to freeze for breakfasts/snacks.

2. The season changed so I dug out my summer clothes. They are the same clothes I have worn for years. Some of my shirts are hand-me-ups. My weight tends to be stable so I love that I don’t need “new” clothes very often.

3. I think we are winning a pharmaceutical battle. Our insurance no longer covers an Rx my husband has used for 4-5 years. A competitor product is being offered at a bigger discount but it has more known side effects. Through effort from the doctor’s office and a lot of effort and phone calls on our end it looks like a co-pay card will cover much of the Rx even though primary insurance refuses coverage. A local pharmacy is also to thank for making this work (fingers crossed). We plan to transfer the few other prescriptions that are at the big drug store to the local pharmacy. Go local business.

4. Our daughter and SIL gave us a patio table they were not using. The glass on our glass top table broke last fall. It’s nice to not spend money on a table and even nicer to not have to figure out what to buy.

5. I cut the first watermelon of the season. $2.88 for many cups of fruit is a bargain. I shared some with a neighbor. I have been giving away unneeded items on Freecycle and we put items out for free during our semi-annual community yard sale.


LB May 31, 2022 at 12:01 pm

1. Stayed (semi) local for memorial day and stayed over with some friends, eliminating the cost of a hotel. Spent that money on some very very very good food instead.

2. Planning a full week of delicious summer foods to replace eating out.

3. Using my existing fitness apps to increase my amount of exercise instead of giving in to paying a gym fee–saving for a 2 month stint at a gym this summer when I know I have the time to use it.

4. Managing my craving for buying new summer clothes by only purchasing items found on Poshmark in my size!

5. Supporting local to buy gifts for my two niece’s birthdays next month–with the cost of shipping etc it netted out the same, and the money goes into a community member’s pocket. very satisfied!


LB May 31, 2022 at 12:09 pm

OH! I also trash picked a brand new beautiful fan that my neighbors had put out and a giant white board. Both were items I was considering purchasing and was happy to nab before other savvy stoop shoppers walked by!


Auntiali June 1, 2022 at 7:02 pm

1. Cancelled Netflix
2. Got 4 jars of store brand 28 oz peanut butter for 1.49 each
3. Picked up 2 pennies this week. Kudos to my weight loss surgery that allows me to bend like this again
4. Daughter had a bracket that was hanging off the underside of her car. Hubby was able to screw it back in so no large repair bill for that
5. Pampers have been on sale at Walgreens during May for 2/20. Every time I bought 2 I got a $5 register reward that I was able to roll into my 2/20 which ended up being 2/15. Giving them to my friend who’s daughter has a newborn.


Ruby June 2, 2022 at 5:13 am

We also cancelled Netflix, after a quick poll of family members revealed that none of us were watching it.

Congratulations on your weight loss — you are doing so well!


Jennifer June 2, 2022 at 5:56 pm

1. One of our cars was making a scraping sound when we turned. Took it to the mechanic and there was a piece bent that he bent back in place for free. Same car a tire had a nail in it. At first glance they thought we needed to replace 2 tires, maybe all 4 (AWD). Ordered everything and the next day when they took the tire off they decided to try patching it. it seems to be holding well so I think the $25 repair was huge!

2. Family was in for graduation so I put dinner in the crockpot to make my life much easier between work and needing to be out the door. Much cheaper than going out.

3. Bad storm came through last night leaving most of my town without power and no school today. We lost a tree – as did most everyone it seems. Tree services are everywhere working like crazy. My dh got out there with his ax and saw and took care of it himself. The only cost will likely be the poison ivy he always seems to get after heavy yard work.

4.It’s been one of those years medically speaking so I am taking advantage. I had a needed MRI, have scheduled a mammogram and will be getting a colonoscopy scheduled asap. Dh is heading to the dermatologist.

5. Piling up the cash for a car purchase and starting to really look. hoping I can find something affordable in my price range this summer. We need another car by the fall. Hopefully having research and time on our side will help us find a great deal.


Selena June 5, 2022 at 7:25 pm

It behooves everyone to learn what poison ivy/oak/sumac looks like AND to take preemptive action. I am the finder and remover of “ivy” in my household. Truth be told, it isn’t hard to identify, even if in the midst of safe/wanted plants/greenery.


Isa June 7, 2022 at 1:06 pm

* Gracefully accepted MIL help offer (my DD is presently hospitalized) by requesting a couple home made meals to keep us fed.
* Hubby needs new quality shoes but does not want to pay that much money for them. I have decided on a pair as a gift for his upcoming birthday: initially 90$, reduced to 65$, minus 50$ in store points= 15$ out of pocket. And free shipping, of course
* Fancy wedding coming up. Not spending a dime on clothes and shoes, just using what I already have. Listening to other women going, it’s absolutely needed to buy a new dress for each wedding….. euh, why? Not me. Like people will care about what I wear! And I will wear the same dress for the next wedding too


Heidi Louise June 8, 2022 at 7:34 am

Hope your DD is home soon!
What is it with men and cheap shoes? I have convinced my husband a couple of times to buy good ones, but not always. He only wears his dress shoes for a few hours at a time, so says it won’t matter, yet it does if it restricts his movements. He will buy heel cups or inserts, which are NOT cheap, and help but have to be replaced, for his everyday shoes.
Poor shoes lead to sore feet, injured feet, poor posture, callouses or more, medical or chiropractic bills– they are not a frugal choice.


Texasilver June 8, 2022 at 8:38 pm

Your baby in your photograph looks just like your husband. Some people say that newborns look like wizened old people. (Not to suggest your husband is a wizened old person.) The baby’s ruddy complexion & reddish hair reminded me of pictures of your hubby. Very cute! You look like the quintessential Earth Mother.


Christine June 9, 2022 at 11:35 am

I had the same thought about Katy’s son in this photo. I think both of her kids resemble her husband very much. Sorry Katy…9 months of pregnancy, labor and delivery, breast feeding, all that and sometimes they just don’t look like us moms!


Katy June 10, 2022 at 2:38 pm

Our oldest looks more like her dad, (skin tone and hair color especially!) and our son looks more like me. But really neither of them are spittin’ images of either of us.


Christine June 10, 2022 at 6:02 pm

I couldn’t remember if your daughter or your son is your oldest child. In any case, the one you’re holding in the photo looks a lot like your husband there. Mine tended to change through the years too, sometimes looking more like one side than the other and then changing yet again. Some people swear I’m my Mom’s clone…others say I’m twins with two of my cousins on my Dad’s side.


lulutoo June 12, 2022 at 8:31 am

I needed a professional haircut (for the first time in years–I have been making a low pony tail and cutting it off almost to the nub myself at home for the past few COVID years). The reason is, I would be meeting a relative I hadn’t seen for a loooong time and I wanted to look good. So I made an appointment at a beauty school near me (would cost about $50 for a wash and cut, plus tip). Well, when I got there, there was a sign on their reception desk saying “We do not take cash–only cards.” Well, I do not carry cards anywhere–I use cash only as much as possible and it never occurred to me that they wouldn’t take cash. So I explained and left, downhearted. But I ran into a neighbor and told her my sad plight and she said, “I go to Sport Clips.” Me: “Huh? Isn’t that a guys-only place?” She said, no, they cut women’s hair (and they take cash!) So I made an appointment and though I felt mildly out of place (many screens on walls with different sports playing, slogans on wall, ‘it’s good to be a guy’, and me being the only female there at the time besides the haircutters) I got a decent haircut for $24 plus tip that same day. So it was an unexpected frugal win.


Katy June 22, 2022 at 8:58 pm

It’s always such a morale booster to get a decent haircut!


lulutoo June 27, 2022 at 8:04 am



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