Five Frugal Things

by Katy on June 22, 2022 · 62 comments

 

$13.85 of discounted food!

  1. My Facebook Marketplace and eBay sales have been slow lately, but I know that it’s directly related to me being a homebody.

    However, sales have been trickling in:

    • A vintage Cathrineholm enamel bowl that I bought for $2 and sold for $65.
    • A wool sweater that I bought for $8 and sold for $55.
    • A Wii gaming system that I bought for $20 and sold for $99.
    • A Michael Graves desk organizer that I bought for $4.99 and sold for $35.
    • A Yakima bike rack that I bought for $10 and sold locally for $50.
    • A vintage Coleman cooler that I bought for $10 and sold locally for $90.
    • A DVD/VCR combo that I bought for $10 and sold locally for $75.
    • A Rock Band gaming drum set that I bought for $20 and sold locally for $120.
    • An American Girl doll that I bought for $5 and sold locally for $40, although I did sell her sweater separately on eBay for $25.

  2. Food prices are no joke right now and though I’m lucky enough to be more knowledgable than many people when it comes to budget shopping, it still takes effort.

    Here’s what I’m doing:

    • I’m doing the majority of my family’s grocery shopping at Winco Foods, which is a Pacific Northwest staple for low cost food. They have an impressive bulk food section and tend to be located in working class neighborhoods. (At least here in Portland.) They also take off 6¢ per reusable bag, which I appreciate.

    • I stop at the Everyday Deals grocery liquidator every couple weeks. Their inventory is random, but they always have a large variety of organic salad greens for under a buck, as well as cheap fruit and veggies; cheese, crackers and high end yogurts. Plus, this location is delightfully next door to a Goodwill thrift store.

    • I stop by the Franz Bakery bargain store to stock up on bagels and sandwich bread and always have them stamp my frequent buyer card.

    • I buy a few specifics from Trader Joe’s, like their 19¢ bananas and their amazing hummus. (Plus their 100% recycled content toilet paper is less than half the price of Seventh Generation!) Their prices seem to be more stable than corporate chains like Safeway and Kroger.

    • I downloaded the Too Good To Go app to see if I could score cheap food while supporting their “Save Food, Save The Planet” goal. This app connects food vendors with consumers to buy up the extra food that would otherwise go to waste at the end of the day.

    Unfortunately, there aren’t many participating restaurants in Portland, but I did score two muffins and two loaves of artisan bread that would normally have been $10 apiece for $4.99 total. You get zero control over what you’re buying, so its usefulness is limited. I’ll probably use it again, but just as something fun.

    • I’m pretty much cooking 100% from scratch, even though I don’t particularly enjoy cooking. All I can say is thank you to whoever invented free library audiobooks for welcome distraction. I know that many people love this task, but I find it to fall under the umbrella of household drudgery.

  3. My mother sold the last of her short term rental houses and gifted the towels to us. Our towels had slowly (but very surely) devolved into terrycloth mayhem. I think I last bought new towels in 2004, so they were a welcome addition to our home. I then bagged up the scrappy but clean towels and donated them to the Humane Society.

    I’m very fancy now.

  4. I scored a vintage Copco Dutch oven from my Buy Nothing Group, I listened to a library audiobook of This Time Tomorrow by Emma Straub, (SO SO GOOD!) I mended a sweater for my son, I lent our car to our next door neighbor, I transferred most of my bulk spices into hoarded Bonne Maman jam jars, I stocked up on Tillamook butter when it hit $1.48-per-pound, I checked out a library DVD of Serenity as I had rewatched Firefly through my sister’s Prime Video, I’ve watched various “Feed a Family of Four For Just $40!” style YouTube videos and have even tried out a few recipes, (like Frugal Fit Mom’s potato cheese soup.) and I scored a perfectly good Timbuk2 backpack from a free pile.

  5. I didn’t buy a Lear Jet, as aviation fuel no longer fits in our budget.

Katy Wolk-Stanley    

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

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Disclosure: This blog post includes eBay affiliate links, which earns a small commission for and costs nothing extra to you.

{ 62 comments… read them below or add one }

Coral Clarke June 22, 2022 at 9:10 pm

I used a curtain I already had to keep the heat from escaping through a doorway.It was 5 inches too short so I made 65 ( yes, 65) tassels to lengthen it! Works really well, looks good total cost $4 , and the lack of patience I experienced while making the tassels and sewing them on has been replaced by my sensense of achievement! It looks just right on my elderly home! I got more library books, because I don’t buy books anymore, I earned $200 in e-gift certificates ( wish it was just dollars!), I made foaming hand soap ( love it) using original Sldi container and gifted shower gel/ water combo( I’m a bath girl!) and I think O have tracked down the cause of my reflux! I’ve been taking turmeric, and I think that’s when it started and I find it’s an acknowledged possible side effect!
No Lear jet for me, either, not even a car!!

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Shona June 22, 2022 at 11:48 pm

It’s been a somewhat expensive month for me.

1) I’ve never had allergy issues but this year I felt the full effect. A trip to the doctor to assure that I didn’t have bronchitis with a co-pay and a $5 prescription for Singular, which solved the problem. Unexpected expense, but grateful for our good insurance.

2) Slow drip in kitchen faucet which I tried to fix, made the problem worse, and just bought a new faucet and installed. Another unexpected expense, but grateful my limited handy work capabilities include installing a faucet and I didn’t need to call a plumber. Being a native Californian I had been collecting the dripping water and pouring in my Burkey, I cannot let water go to waste even though water scarcity is not an issue where I currently live.

3) Husband has radically changed his diet from mostly processed foods to mostly fresh fruits and veggies, which has had immediate amazing results. Not frugal, but in terms of his health and preventing future medical issues, far less than hospital visits. New smaller pants are needed, again, not frugal, but well worth his improved health and goal of getting off some of his prescription meds (with co-pays).

4) Thanks goes to the Kroger employees who are reckless with box cutters. I have benefited from packages slashed when opening boxes and with no damage to the products, they cover the hole with packing tape and sell on the clearance shelf for 1/2 off. 2 bags of Blue Buffalo cat food and my brand of very frugal single ply jumbo roll TP have been recent finds.

5) Continuing to get free loaves of sourdough bread at work, shift meals, picking up found coins, walking to work, hypermiling when I do use my car, cooking neatly everything from scratch, not buying stuff, paid house & car insurance in full for the year to save on the monthly charge expense, and utilizing the library and Libby app to it’s full extent.

During this heat wave all curtains are drawn, limited stove use, and the AC is set at the highest temp we can tolerate while still being comfortable.

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Mary June 23, 2022 at 12:42 am

Am voluntarily leaving my job (highway paid executive) bc life is too short so very glad to have a frugal fiber to my being as plan to live off savings until I can officially retire in a few years.

1. Negotiated – as in insisted and won – that my company continue my husbands expensive health insure ace for a few more months until we relocate back to our home country which is good bc his meds just cost 1,200 USD and Al was covered.
2. Getting in my own Gyno/mammogram/ultrasounds in now while still covered myself.
3. Mended husband’s at least 25 years old favorite t-shirt in two places.
4. Recently collected all scraps of fabric I can find to start a new rag rug on my homemade loom.
5. Am staying in and cooking a lot bc it is 45 degrees C outside – to hit 52 today – and using up as much as I can before we leave current HOT location in the Middle East where Lear jets and jet fuel costs are less of an issue …

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Katy June 23, 2022 at 8:05 am

I had to look up how many Fahrenheit 52 degrees celcius was. 125 degree! Oof.

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Merv June 26, 2022 at 7:07 pm

Where is your home country? Good luck w everything

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Jill A June 23, 2022 at 2:07 am

Another Cathrine Holm, lucky you. Some day I’m going to thrift in Portland.

1. I drove my Mom to the airport an hour away saving her two weeks of parking fees. Savings for her but I shopped the goodwill bins in that town while I was there both times. I managed to pick up enough to sell on Ebay to offset the gas costs and found items on my own want list also. My daughter came along on the first trip and we were able to visit a comic book store and her favorite bookstore for which she had a credit for previously selling them some used books. The second trip I went alone and packed my lunch, snacks and a water bottle.
2. Instead of mowing my whole lawn at once I’m mowing the slower growing areas less frequently as well as letting the large patches of clover go un-mowed…less gas and good for the bees.
3. I cut my daughter’s hair and she is very happy with it. Her hair is very wavy and curls up on the ends hiding any mistakes.
4, It was mine and my youngest daughters birthday’s last week. She wanted an ice cream cake and I purchased the smallest one which was just enough with a couple pieces leftover. My daughter made me a delicious mocha cake which is just as good if not better than the same cake at our favorite bakery. It was the gift that kept on giving as I was able to eat it for breakfast several mornings. Yum.
5. Except for the birthday dinners I have been cooking at home. I’ve managed to avoid trips to the grocery store by using food my daughter brings home from work and using items that are in my pantry and fridge/freezer. I picked up some shelf stable items at a grocery outlet type store to replenish and build up an emergency type food storage.

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Lindsey June 23, 2022 at 10:27 am

I cut my husband’s hair and everytime I thank his genes for giving him hair that falls into ringlets and thus hides every mistake I make! In 39 years I have saved thousands that I would not have been able to if he had straight hair ande had to go to the barber.

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Julia June 24, 2022 at 6:55 am

I cut my curly hair too. Curls hide any mistakes. I did a fun thing with my tiny fenced in lawn. I put my three Guinea pigs out during the day (when it’s ok temp wise) in open bottom cages and let them trim my non chemical treated grass. They eat the grass down to a nice even length and I move their pens each day. No power used for lawn mower, Guinea pigs get a free meal and grass looks great. Just takes a long time! But free fun entertainment. Lol

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Jill A June 24, 2022 at 4:03 pm

I love that.

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K D June 23, 2022 at 3:13 am

I’m with you on cooking. It is a necessary chore. I too am thankful for library audio books to listen to while in the kitchen.

1. I had a gift card buying spree yesterday. At Safeway buying a $50 Home Depot gift card yielded a $10 off your next purchase coupon. I did the deal twice as my husband plans to buy wood at Home Depot. I used the coupons immediately for a couple of local specialty food items for out of town relatives. I also bought gift cards for streaming services (Netflix and Hulu) at Target since Discover is giving 5% cash back on Target purchases this quarter.

2. We are eating at home. I am focusing on using up what is in the freezer and pantry. Much of our fruit is melon since cutting one yields a lot of fruit for not much money.

3. I continue to wear clothes that I have had for years. Four days in a row I wore shirts previously owned by relatives. I love that it not only saves money but also time and is good for the environment.

4. We transplanted some volunteer lilacs to the back of the yard. We’d planted azaleas last year and they were decimated by the Brood-x cicada infestation. It was time for a cheaper solution to that bare area.

5. I continue to use the library for ebooks, audio books, and DVDs. It’s a wonderful resource. My husband has been building jigsaw puzzles that were in a free curbside pile.

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A. Marie June 23, 2022 at 4:28 am

(1) I found two $1 bills and 6 cents in change during one of my recent morning walks.

(2) I haven’t spent anything on groceries this week because I’m working on eating down the pantry and freezer. (I’m about to blow that by going to the Thursday farmers’ market at our Regional Market, however. Fresh local asparagus, snow peas, and strawberries are too good to pass up.)

(3) Although I ended up spending a bit more on garden plants this year than I’d hoped (I needed to replace more perennial herbs than I thought at first), I still saved a bunch by not having to buy things that self-seed readily for me (dill, fennel, marigolds, catnip, etc.) or things that have drifted in from other gardens or the wild (lambs’ ears, St. John’s wort, etc.).

(4) Temperatures here in Upstate NY have been all over the thermometer so far this summer, but I’ve only had to run the AC during two brief hot spells.

(5) And although I am having to (ahem) upsize my summer wardrobe this year, I’m concentrating on doing so at our Thrifty Shopper outlet store and with 99-cent specials at our Salvation Army superstore.

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Barbara June 23, 2022 at 8:05 pm

Hi A.Marie,
Delighted to find you commenting here and over at
TFG ( I confess I read and thoroughly enjoy both blogs, but I’ve never had the courage to actually comment myself. )
Best, Barbara
PS) First basement sale in 2 1\2 years at the FFL on 8\13\2022. I’ve saved several Jane Austin titles for you. Would be wonderful to see you there!
PSS) Thank you to all of you who comment here, its like a masterclass in frugal ways and I am most grateful for all the wisdom shared here and to Katy and Kirsten for creating and maintaining such wonderful blogs.
I’m currently refreshing my Paramedic certification and preparing to start nursing school in August so the entire household is on board the frugal train now ( pups included).

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A. Marie June 24, 2022 at 4:19 am

Hi, Barbara! Thanks for your update, and thanks also for the news about the library sale. I’ll be there, God willin’ and the creek don’t rise (as my mother used to say)!

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Mary in Maryland June 23, 2022 at 5:32 am

1. Our A/C stopped working. The repair guy said the good news is that it only needs one part that costs $1800. The bad news? Back-ordered—probably will come in about five weeks. That was three weeks ago. I am doing all I can to NOT generate heat in the house.
2. The instant pot uses only 30% of what the stove uses. Due to some skillful trash-picking, I have two of the pots. I’ve been doing all my cooking with them and my
3. Solar Oven. I’ve had it for 12 years and used it intermittently until now. (Great investment—bought it for $100, now they sell for $459—all my investments should do so well.) Using it in the back yard turns out to be much easier than in the front—no steps to get it out of the house from the basement. It’s heavy to move as the sun moves across the back terrace, so I put the oven in the wheelbarrow we got on freecycle years ago. My deep internet dive into solar cooking has stirred up some lust for newer models, but I’m resisting.
4. We slept the first few nights without A/C in the basement on a sofa bed mattress borrowed from our neighbors. It’s a long way to the floor at our age. I was lucky enough to score an IKEA futon with a lovely foam mattress on Buy Nothing. Appears to cost $500 on IKEA website. The cover has needed quite a bit of patching, but the price made it worth it.
5. We’ve been a one car couple since 1998. Yesterday we had to shuffle appointments so we could both use it. However, I once read a study that showed a couple with one car that fills the gaps with bus, bike, zipcar, etc saves an average of $5000/year. We must have 120,000 more than we would have had.
6. We walk early on Thursdays to look over trash before the trucks come through. The mansion that’s kitty-corner from us had out four huge trash bags—of YARN. And not cheap, trashy yarn either. Good colors, good brands. I am so excited, but I’m waiting until my afternoon slump to sort through it.
7. Yesterday I combined errands. After my visit to the PT, I dropped off my sewing machine for service. It had started squeaking three days earlier. I don’t believe in the sacredness of yearly servicing, but I do get it in as soon as I notice anything pathologic.

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Shona June 23, 2022 at 7:38 am

We have those across the street neighbors who seem to have more money (and perhaps debt) than sense who curb expensive like-new items. We recently scored a $100 air frier (an item we were actually wanting to buy) which we use daily in the heat. Shortly after they put out a chrome Cuisinart toaster. I had no need for this item but it only lasted a few minutes on the curb. A kid’s bike was put out next.

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Mary in Maryland June 23, 2022 at 8:45 am

They are THOSE neighbors. Turns out one of the four trash bags holds three complete sets of king-sized sheets. Some stains, but who cares? Not me, apparently.

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Danielle June 23, 2022 at 7:48 am

Wow that’s a long time without AC, hopefully your weather is mild.

When our AC died during an intense heatwave, we asked the hvac guy if he had a portable unit we could borrow. He showed up with one the next day! It was noisy but it helped us not die.

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Mary in Maryland June 23, 2022 at 8:47 am

Not very mild, although we have been able to cool the house and sleep in our “real” bed a couple nights a week. Sleeping in the basement is fine. And this has caused us to make the backup plan we’ve needed for when the power goes out. I am very conscious of pulling down shades when I leave a room. It’s also been a revelation as to which rooms are cool at what time of day.

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Katy June 24, 2022 at 12:28 pm

We used to sleep in the basement a couples times per year when I was a kid. Mind you, not a finished basement! It was fun, as it felt like a slumber party with our parents.

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Katy June 23, 2022 at 7:52 am

I use my instant pot and slow cooker on the front porch during the heat of the summer. It does help to keep the kitchen a bit cooler.

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Mary in Maryland June 23, 2022 at 8:48 am

I haven’t turned on the stove since June 1. Have been mostly using instant pots in the basement.

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Patricia Koernig June 23, 2022 at 11:27 pm

Bags of yarn?! What a treasure!
Patricia

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Ruby June 23, 2022 at 5:58 am

1. Bought black work slacks and new socks on eBay. I also altered the slacks to fit better, as petites in my size are rare but mediums are not. For the 2,000th time, knowing how to sew saved me money.
2. Continued to use culinary magic to turn whatever is a manager’s markdown in the fresh meat case at the grocery store and in our pantry/freezer to create a delicious meal with leftovers for us. Like Katy, I do not love scratch cooking all the time, but it saves us a pile of money and is healthier.
3. This has been an expensive month for us: car repair, house repair, vet bills, my new glasses were expensive. I did some analysis of small, controllable spending and cut some more things out.
4. Using all the leftovers!
5. Keeping on keeping on: rocking the head to toe thrifted outfits, brown-bagging my lunches to work, driving my 12-year-old car like it’s an egg, keeping the blinds down on the hot side of the house, turning the lights off behind everyone, hanging up and rewearing still clean office clothes.

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Christine June 23, 2022 at 6:27 am

The photograph of your food haul…ya did good Katy!
1. I received the 2 free Covid test kits (each with 2 tests) I ordered from the government on the USPS website. These come in handy such as last week when DH had a bad case of seasonal allergies. I tested him before we attended a graduation party to ensure he wouldn’t turn it into a super spreader event. Negative…yay!
2. I scored 3 0ne liter bottles of Seltzer each for .34 on the bargain shelf at my pharmacy while picking up a prescription. I have been making mocktails out of ice, orange juice and Seltzer to enjoy in the afternoon.
3. I made my own trail mix using a jar of on sale peanuts, a single serving bag of M & M’s (it would be cheaper overall to buy a larger bag but that would defeat my purpose of creating a healthy snack) and on hand raisins and dried cranberries.
4. I’m reading a library book The Kissing Bug by Daisy Hernandez. Non-fiction. Interesting read about a disease carried by an insect in the Latin American countries and the southern U.S. affecting a family member of Hernandez’s which this New Englander had never heard about. Also reading The Giver of Stars by JoJo Moyes lent to me by a friend. Wonderful book based on an actual program implemented during the Depression whereas women on horseback delivered library books to rural dwellers.
5. I found a White Mountain jigsaw puzzle at a library sale for $1. My favorite brand of puzzles which I strictly buy second hand. I’m already stocking up for the long Massachusetts winter.
All the usual…conserving gas by staying home and batching errands, making my own iced tea, tea and coffee (and delicious mocktails), cooking at home, reading library books and books lent by friends, letting nature water my lawn and gardens, cancelled Paramount after a deal expired. I cleaned out my jewelry box for an upcoming yard sale and told DH to remind me about it if I ever go to buy another piece of jewelry.

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Katy June 23, 2022 at 7:50 am

I’ve read “The Giver of Stars,” such a good book!

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Bee June 23, 2022 at 3:57 pm

I also enjoyed “ The Giver of Stars.” It really was a wonderful read.

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MB in MN June 24, 2022 at 1:14 pm

Since you liked “The Giver of Stars” as much as I did, you may also enjoy “The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek” and the recent follow-up “The Book Woman’s Daughter.” So good.

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Christine June 25, 2022 at 9:57 am

Thanks MB. I will reserve both at the library.

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Audry June 23, 2022 at 7:20 am

I live in Dallas. We have been in our house about 24 years. In the Before Times, when our acquaintances were buying ever bigger houses and cars, we bought new energy efficient windows, more attic insulation, a radiant barrier, and other unsexy things. Today, we are enjoying those frugal (but not inexpensive) choices. And today, I baked a pound of on sale bacon in the oven, and now have a loaf of bread in the oven since it’s hot already. I made some pesto with basil from my garden. And there will BLT Sammie’s for lunch with forementioned bacon, and homegrown tomatoes. Curtains and blinds are closed and we will stay in during the worst heat of the day. Might drag out a much used jigsaw puzzle too. Stay safe and cool, friends

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Karen B June 23, 2022 at 7:59 am

1) Discount entertainment. We rarely go to the movies and I don’t think we have all this year, but there was a new movie my teen wanted to see playing at a local theater that offers $5 tickets on one weekday. We did buy a popcorn to share and a soda for him, but still a big savings and a nice summer memory

2) Gave away in Buy Nothing Project a pair of items which had been a nifty curbside find I couldn’t pass up but which had been sitting unused for a few years since. They were exactly what the recipient wanted and she was fine with the procurement.

3) Received a lovely pair of prints from Buy Nothing Project.

4) Continuing to enjoy early morning before-the-heat walks in a nearby park with our dogs and enjoying the ever-changing assortment of flowers.

5) Son bought 2 costume pieces he will use repeatedly year-round (filming home music performances and wearing around the house, the pieces are both really, really him) from a costume shop which has decided to stop rentals and only sell. The items were both on his wish list before he saw them. The pieces were in great shape, originally manufactured as durable real clothes, not cheap costumes, and will stand up to years of use and laundering.

6) Realized my ukulele was way overdue to have the strings replaced (notes sounded “dead” and had greatly exceeded the normal number of hours of play). I’ve only been playing 6 months and have never changed strings. I went to a local music store with terrific customer service (where it was bought), the price of the strings was less than Amazon, and instead of charging the normal $25 restringing fee in the interest of customer service (we are repeat customers they hope will buy more instruments, we’ve bought 2, had them repair a quality secondhand instrument, and bought sheet music) they not only didn’t charge, they showed me how to do it myself next time!

7) We have guests arriving next month for a short visit, one of whom should use a booster seat in the car. I received one (unexpired, no accidents) in our Buy Nothing Project group and already have it promised away to the next recipient when our guest leaves! Yay, no storing it after! I stuck the next person’s name on our calendar to contact them after our guest leaves.

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Marie-Josée June 23, 2022 at 8:32 am

Your # 7 is so thoughtful!

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LB June 23, 2022 at 8:10 am

1. Eating almost exclusively at home, creating some relatively unique food ideas. Feels good to know there’s almost always something prepared in the fridge to eliminate the temptation to eat out/get takeout.

2. Reducing our energy usage significantly by turning off the air conditioner and using fans unless it gets particularly warm. This is a blessing with both of us working from home, requiring our apartment to stay cool throughout the day, spiking our bill this year in particular.

3. Cleaned out our front and back porches to create nice spaces to relax in the summer. Helps avoid the siren song of bars with nice patios and gives us spaces to entertain guests instead of going out.

4. On the “wear it out” side, I unfortunately had to say goodbye to my favorite pair of sneakers. They are completely and hideously worn out, including holes through the soles. It will be a journey to find another pair I love so much but I so appreciate the 4 years I got out of them as my go-to adventure and day to day shoes.

5. Aiming to achieve my goal of hiking each week at least once this summer. This gives me free enjoyment of the outdoors, stress release, and endurance exercise that only being around trees can offer. I’m 3 weeks in and already feel myself focusing better and sleeping better! Highly recommend for anyone looking for more adventure this summer.

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Marie-Josée June 23, 2022 at 9:11 am

Great scores at Everyday Deals!

My husband continues to be on strike/lock-out and has sought and gotten a job for a building maintenance company in our neighbourhood. He is excited about this prospect, unlike me, who sees mostly the loss of many great benefits he had at his former job. He’s a plumber and hasn’t performed maintenance work in many years as he has been employed in an industrial sector for the past 24 years. I am worried about his body holding up to the hard work involved. This jog is offering him the possibility to explore this, earn money and make an informed decision if and when the stike/lock-out finally ends. We have been managing well on my salary alone, so I intend to squirrel away his earnings and catch up on our retirement savings.

We ended up cancelling all of our vacation plans due to financial considerations and poor weather. I have been working my butt off, as our team of four is now a team of two (one maternity leave and one colleague who was on maternity leave and decided not to return). I am taking a week off next week and apart from caring for my grandchildren for two days, the only planned activities are walks in our neighbourhood, a visit to the museum and a few meals out. I am so drained that I don’t really feel like doing much.

I offered to pay a $ 25 000 business expense for the firm I work for on my personal credit card, which accrued points on my card and I will be able to exchange those for a $1000 cash-back next month. I had a bit of control over the moment the expense was charged, so I made sure to charge it at the beginning of a bill cycle to give our accounting service enough time to reimburse me before the account was due.

I continue to peruse and benefit from weekly sales on food and toiletries via the Reebee app, and PC Optimum (Canadian). Our freezer is our best friend, as I can buy meat in bulk when it is on sale.

I plan to list three handbags on FB Marketplace during my vacation. I have been procrastinating on this project.

I don’t like cooking as well, and neither does my husband. I listen to podcasts like Frugal Friends, You Can Afford Anything, Choose FI and Stacking Benjamins.

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Katy June 24, 2022 at 12:26 pm

Thanks for the podcast suggestions, I needed some new ones.

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Katy June 24, 2022 at 12:29 pm

I am impressed with your husband’s ability to pivot. I worked at the same job for 24 years and it’s not easy to switch it up.

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Heidi Louise June 23, 2022 at 12:08 pm

Nice to see a new post!
1. I really like the Organic Girl lettuce, top of your photo. It is too expensive for most shoppers in my town, so almost every week it can be found for .99-1.99 on clearance. Keeps a week after the sell-by date; paper towel in the container helps absorb moisture; red leaves go soggy first, followed by spinach. It doesn’t taste like rubbing alcohol as some of the bagged stuff does to me, and the containers are #1 recyclable, or useful for other storage. (Didn’t mean to make this such a testimonial! But the more appealing expensive greens make it easier for me to eat salads and healthily manage weight).
2. Keeping my outside potted plants alive with dutiful watering. Becoming very conscious of water use in even tiny amounts, though we are not in a drought risk area.
3. Husband got second Covid booster in town 20 miles away, which we combined with trip to drug store, library in our chain, and butcher shop. We’re happening kind of people.
4. Library books and books from my shelves: Re-reading Lord Peter Whimsey and Ngaio Marsh paperbacks that are falling apart but still worth revisiting.
5. Stocking up on food bargains when I find them to stay a little ahead of higher prices.

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Sandra Hendry June 23, 2022 at 2:50 pm

How I love reading your blog and all the comments. It is a treat worth waiting for. Keep saving, keep thrifting, and tell us all the details. Thanks always.

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Bee June 23, 2022 at 4:32 pm

I am extremely impressed by your grocery shopping deals. I wish that I had the variety of grocery stores that you have. With rising costs, things do not feel particularly frugal, but I do what I can where I can.
1) I had a baby shower to attend and nothing appropriate to wear. As A. Marie mentioned, nothing seems to fit right anymore — tight in all the wrong places. However, I found and bought a dress at my favorite thrift store that I loved. I made a few minor alterations and it was just perfect.
2) Using Lindsey’s frugal trick as I’m repurposing Rescue Pup’s food bag. I’m using it as a trash can liner in the kitchen.
3) I listed two items on eBay. I have a death pile, so I’m trying to list an item of two each day. Sales are a bit slow, but I remind myself that profits are directly related to effort.
4) I love an estate sale. I went to one today. I bought some beautiful little, silk chandelier shades for my dining room. These look to be brand new and were being sold $12 for 8. Although i only need 6, the price was too good to pass up. I will do something with the others or pass them on via Buy Nothing.
5) I have done all the usual things. Most especially, I fill my Yeti with ice water before I leave the house everyday. We have had some excruciatingly hot days even for Florida. Being sent to the hospital for dehydration is NOT frugal,

Wishing everyone peace and good health!

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Christine June 24, 2022 at 11:06 am

I’ve noticed from your posts you shop estate sales. There doesn’t seem to be too many of them in my area as opposed to yard sales which pop up everywhere in the warmer weather. I have been to one estate sale on my old mail route (hey, I was on my break…) and purchased some baking pans which have held out well. I’m always interested to read about your purchases. Great deals and it sounds like fun.

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Bee June 25, 2022 at 5:27 am

Yes, I’m an estate sale fan and a regular attendee to these sales. I think Florida has a large number of sales because of the state’s demographics. Also, tag sales are not seasonal here. Estate Sales are packed with beautiful furniture, art, china, crystal as well as useful household items. I’ve even bought toilet paper and windex! The prices are generally higher than the thrift store but the selection is extensive.

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Katy June 24, 2022 at 12:23 pm

Thank you!

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Jennifer June 23, 2022 at 3:10 pm

Hmm, life is finally slowing down as my summer started late this year.

1. dd had surgery that required a hospital stay. I packed most of my own food and just had my ds bring me a sub sandwich for dinner when he visited. Surgery will cost $0 OOP as we have maxed out everything this year.

2. While dh was out of town I smelled an odd burning type smell from a cabinet that has an outlet in it. Upon further investigation it was a huge fire hazard as the wires were charred. Of course it was 10 pm on a Friday night. I turned off the breaker to that area and did a lot of research. The next morning I tore out the outlet which was quite melted and capped the wires to make them safe until dh got home to replace things. Yay for youtube!

3. Got 8 pints of seconds strawberries from the farmers market for $6 and promptly came home and made 9 jars of jam. Yes, I did have to throw a lot way, but considering a pint of good ones was selling for $6 I really made out!

4. Listed some items on our local sale page. If they don’t sell there soon I will look into Ebay. I don’t like dealing with shipping and prefer to sell local.

5. I defrosted my freezer and cleaned it out really well. Found some things that need using, a few things that needed tossing and made a lot more room for sales.

6. made breakfast muffins from scratch, dh is cutting back on his coffee from 6 cups to 2 cups a day (Heart reasons), dd needed ice for her ice machine after surgery so I stashed it away in containers prior as our machine made it, so I wouldn’t have to buy a bag, and finally I’m going to go porch drinking at a friends so we don’t have to pay at a restaurant to socialize.

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Mary in Maryland June 24, 2022 at 6:56 am

Re: your number three. I scoop up half rotten stuff for almost free–better odds on lucking out than if I bought a lottery ticket. (Which I never have.)

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MamaMinou June 23, 2022 at 3:23 pm

Katy,
It’s always nice to read a new post from you as well as the comments it inspires. As an aspiring homebody myself, I wonder if you would write about your decision to retire from your RN job. How did you know it was time, and what had to be lined up?

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Katy June 24, 2022 at 12:22 pm

I just felt that it was time. My hospital wasn’t supporting their nurses properly and things were going downhill — and this was before the pandemic. I got out just in time.

I’d rather live on pennies than kill myself from stress.

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Texasilver June 25, 2022 at 2:51 pm

I agree. Nursing is a grueling job at a hospital. I resigned from my hospital job 4 yrs ago. I currently teach nursing which is not as demanding. Then COVID hit & we went online. I miss my hospital job at times but not the exhausting shifts. It was exhausting pre COVID. I could only imagine what it was like during the worst of the pandemic.

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Ava June 23, 2022 at 3:49 pm

1. Mended husband’s tee shirt.
2. Made a couple batches weak lemonade with artificial sweetener to keep in the fridge as a change from drinking water.
3. Discovered a TV service we have for free. Evidently we have had it for a while and didn’t know.
4. Teenage granddaughter spent the night and was well entertained by watching a movie we already had, making bread (and taking a loaf home) and grooming a disheveled cat.
5. Traded jigsaw puzzles with friends.

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Kathy June 23, 2022 at 3:52 pm

1. Spent last week pet/house sitting for a friend in So California (I live in central Oklahoma). Was able to visit with friends I hadn’t seen in months
2. Friend is moving gave me 2 trash bags of clothes while I was there. I kept the ones I liked and passed on the ones to my friend who works for a non profit organization which has a thrift store
3. Sold an item on Mercari which will net me $68
4. Using my Groupon purchased months ago for a facial tomorrow
5. Increasing hours at work from 16 to 25. Downside is I’ll be driving 5 vs 3 days a week. However the $$ outweighs the commute which is about 20 minutes

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Virginia Allain June 23, 2022 at 5:52 pm

1) Got a big batch of ugly, outdated advertising postcards at a thrift shop. I’m making them new again with double-stick tape and pictures from old calendars. I like to send them to the homebound or those in nursing homes.
2) Added to my collection of Florida air plants that I started with 2 from an arboretum. Now, I have over a dozen after realizing there were similar ones growing on the trees in my yard. I attach them to my trellis using holders from the wire toppers from champagne bottles.
3) Gave my neighbor my stash of amazon boxes and padded bags. I gained some space in my garage and she saves on shipping out things that she sells on Poshmark.
4) Am rereading old favorite books that I’ve had for 30 or more years. Some I still love, but others don’t charm me as much as they did before. Into the box for charity pick-up they go.
5) I found a free online game (Forge of Empires) that distracts me when life seems oppressive. It’s rather addictive so I may be sorry I started.

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Christine June 24, 2022 at 11:14 am

I love to reread books that I devoured in the past. It’s funny how some still thrill my soul while others now just seem sort of meh. I see from your #4 I’m not alone.

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Cindy in the South June 24, 2022 at 1:32 pm

Visiting daughter and since airline ticket was almost three times my previous normal amount, that was not a score. 1. But, I did see the $8 membership for Sam’s and bought my daughter a membership. 2. This is frugal for her, not frugal for me, but I thought it was a practical birthday gift, so I let her pick out stuff she needed from Sam’s, such as soap, shampoo, etc toiletries, food they normally eat, toilet paper, and paid for all of that for her birthday. I told her she could tell folks her momma bought her tp for her birthday. That would have been really funny before the pandemic. Now, not so much……3. We ate at her house for the week….. so far. 4. My youngest son dog sat for me. 5.I walked in my daughter’s neighborhood for exercise.

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Bee June 25, 2022 at 12:23 pm

The cost of a plane ticket was absolutely shocking. I am paying for my daughter and younger son to come home for their big brother’s wedding in October. It was nearly as much as the rehearsal dinner.

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Cindy in the South June 26, 2022 at 6:14 pm

Bee: you are so right about the plane ticket cost!! I flew at Christmas, purchased tickets in September, and it was $258 round trip. This ticket was $714 dollars with no luggage!!Same airline and same airport!!!!! I keep clothes at my daughter’s house so I don’t have to pack a bag.I shipped them last year.

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CINDY BRICK June 24, 2022 at 2:18 pm

THANK YOU for posting again! I had gotten very tired of checking, and was just about to write you off entirely.

I really enjoy your posts on 5 frugal things, and have been doing my own monthly ‘Hits & Misses’ reports for years now. Here’s the latest one:

https://cindybrick.blogspot.com/2022/05/frugal-hits-misses-may-report.html

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Selena June 24, 2022 at 7:07 pm

I never lived in a house with A/C until I was almost 40. I had no problem sleeping on the floor in front of the patio door. We pretty much gutted this house before we moved in and do not regret the new windows, insulation, and new duct work. We’re now well past the break even point. We get ahead of the heat/humidity meaning the A/C may take 24+ hours to kick on.
My Mom passed away recently. While most of her clothes fit me, I’ve only kept some items – most were not even-my-around-the-house-style and there are those in more need than I. BUT.. some really cool vintage items (that my sister can’t fit into so mine, mine, all mine).
Even more glad we paid off the house earlier this year and bought (as in cash), more land very close to us. We have some future plans for it but push came to shove, a lot more garden space.
We’ve never felt deprived living a frugal life. I’ll go as far as saying we’ve been at peace during challenging economic times.

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Ruby June 25, 2022 at 6:20 am

Congratulations on paying off your house! We put on a huge push last year and paid ours off at the end of the year. The relief is enormous, especially these days.

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Shona June 25, 2022 at 5:37 pm

Congratulations on paying off your house!!! In a time of personal upheaval I had to learn to be frugal in order to keep my house and instead of feeling deprived, I have thrived and paid off my own house a couple years ago. There has not been a single night’s sleep lost to stressing about money since.

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janine June 25, 2022 at 8:10 am

I am amazed and impressed by Katy’s continued success in finding unique merchandise for re-sale.
1. Summer reading: “The Darling Dahlias and the Red Hot Poker” by Susan Wittig Albert – great light fiction about Alabama life in the Depression. Got the book with B& N gift certificates left over from Xmas.
2. Continue to wait for parts for my Ford Hybrid – going on two months in the shop – sharing our ‘Vintage’ Alero with Husband. Difficult to keep a humorous outlook about the situation but some savings on gas. ( Bill for parts and labor estimate at $1800) In other necessary but difficult to classify as frugal actions, we are cleaning out drains/sewer pipes from house to street which will set us back several thousand dollars but better than the alternative! Frugal savings in other areas needed to offset these unexpected expenses which include:
– Making use of discount table at produce market which usually nets us an abundance of fruit and vegetables as well as cooking and freezing garden produce.
– Trying to get along without A/C again this year.
– Skipped winter vacation but hope to enjoy one this summer!

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Julia Park Tracey June 25, 2022 at 7:55 pm

1. My neighbor got a concrete driveway poured so when they were taking up the old gravel I asked her for some. I split it with another neighbor, and now I have a giant pile of road base rock in my front yard. I am slowly paving around my garage with it. The side and back of the garage are near the property line and they were full of weeds and probably rats. I got one side done but it’s slow going. For one thing it’s in the 90s for the foreseeable future, and for another, I can only take 6 to 8 shovels max in a wheelbarrow load because it is darn heavy. I think of it as my arms workout.
2. We have been working our way through the pantry and the freezer. I found some edamame and put it into salads. I tried growing alfalfa sprouts but they kept getting nasty. I’m not sure what the problem is because I have done it many times before successfully. Maybe it’s just too hot? Or maybe I should do it in the refrigerator? Help?
3. I’ve been baking cookies at night and I also baked a couple of loaves of bread using smaller loaf pans instead of one giant loaf. I put them both in the freezer until we needed them. Because they have no preservatives, I need to store them in the refrigerator once I cut into them. I am reusing plastic bags to keep them fresh.
4. I have not bought any books for myself for a while, using the library and the request system to my advantage. However, for Father’s Day and for my grand niece’s birthday, I used credits I had at ThriftBooks. Pretty much I only had to pay shipping on these secondhand books. In case you’re wondering, “Icebound “ is a seafaring tale of the far Arctic, and I got that for my dad. I got some books from the “warrior cats” series for my GN.
5. We are coasting into the end of the month on fumes. I spent too much on a long time handyman project that ended up costing me way more than anticipated and budgeted. So last month and this month we barely scraped by. Handyman is gone now and I will have to finish up some of these projects myself, but it’s doable. I’m glad my garden is starting to produce: baby lettuce, baby radishes, fresh herbs, a handful of strawberries and raspberries.
6. One more thing. Because we are expecting power outages this summer, I want to put some gallons of water in both freezers and they will act as ice blocks if and when the power goes out. The gallons I bought last year cracked and when I pulled them out they thawed all over the floor instead of being usable water. So this year I am reusing my gallon milk jugs and filling them less than full so there is room for expansion. Free!
Thank you for continuing to challenge us, my friend.

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Ecoteri June 25, 2022 at 10:36 pm

For freezing extra ice in the big chest freezers, I have taken to using 4 litre Vinegar jugs. They are sturdier than milk jugs, and are a better shape for freezing, and for putting into a cooler – they don’t tend to bow out at the sides and turn into basketballs! I (touch wood) haven’t had one break on me. Because they are so sturdy, they get reused which pleases my frugal soul.
1. Speaking of freezers, I needed to check mine out to find room as I had sent 20 chickens to freezer camp – I tend to cut them up and foodsaver shrink them into thighs or drumsticks or breasts or wings packages, and wanted to ensure there was enough room. Found a loaf of bread and a package of pita that a friend had brought by from the local food bank where she works – they had way too much frozen breadstuff, so she brought some over to share. I had jammed it into the barn freezer, where it was forgotten. Not any more!
2. Number 2 son has been eating sandwiches with some other freezer bread, using meat slices that were hugely discounted – 2 packages for 99 cents, and some were 3 for $0.99! I really should have picked up more. One package is more than enough for a sandwich so they are very frugal. they weren’t even close to stale dated so I didn’t freeze any. Now with the ‘found’ bread I don’t even have to make any for a bit!
3. The aformentioned chickens aren’t really frugal, but the meat is certainly local! and when I cut them up, one bird can give me 5-7 ‘meat’ servings (we don’t eat large meat portions) plus I always make broth (natch), some of which I will pressure can tomorrow. I only got 6 of the 20 birds cut up and frozen today, girding my loins for tomorrow.
4. We have had a lot of lettuces out of the garden, and if I get out there tomorrow I will pick a mess of sugar snap peas. They are a great snack, satisfyingly crunchy and maybe my waistline will thank me for it. Most other things are way behind due to our long cold spring, I hope we get a few things out of the garden before August!.
5. Setting up my son in the barn loft, he decided that he wanted to learn how to paint so instead of hiring we have been doing it ourselves. He now knows he doesnt’ like painting. I am reminded that I actually do, if I have the time to do it. The loft part is mostly done, somehow in the next two days I need to finish around the kitchen so he will finish moving in. We were given a lot of lovely furniture including a great ikea fold down couch, which we disassembled, and today spent an hour trying to find the bolts. They are SOMEWHERE but there have been two other big moves since we collected the couch, and the box that we both are imagining has somehow gone missing. driving us both mad! I do NOT want to try to source the missing bolts, it will be a huge pain. We will have to continue looking. HOWEVER the frugal win is that I have saved a LOT of money by us doing the painting rather than hiring it out, and I am going to hold on to enjoying those savings.

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MB in MN June 26, 2022 at 5:09 am

That’s a great idea to use sturdy vinegar jugs.

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Heidi Louise June 26, 2022 at 5:36 am

Agree on the vinegar jugs. Just don’t fill to the top so there is room for water to expand.

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