Five Frugal Things

by Katy on July 2, 2022 · 75 comments

  1. I still haven’t been thrifting, but I did sell a few things, including:

    • A groovy midcentury plate that I bought for $1.99 and sold for $38.
    • A handmade Christmas tree skirt that I bought for $2.50 and sold for $20.
    • A high quality Wizard of Oz guard costume that I bought for $7.99 and sold for $40.
    • An Atomic Ranch magazine that I bought for 25¢ and sold for $10.
    • A Jadeite mug that I bought for maybe $2.99 and sold for $25.
    • A pair of Hoka sneakers that I bought for $4.99 and sold for $30.

  2. I treated our brick back patio to a thorough beauty treatment, which is always a fair bit of work. (And for this reason I only do it every couple of years!) This job involves power washing both the bricks and stone retaining wall, as well as sweeping clean new sand in between the bricks. Luckily my next door neighbors are always happy to lend me their power washer, plus I was able to source free sand by posting a request through my local Buy Nothing Group.

    Not only is our backyard now ready for hosting friends and family, but doing this maintenance work protects the value of our home and property.

    Click HERE for more backyard pictures!

  3. I stopped by the Everyday Deals grocery liquidator store on S.E. 82nd Avenue and struck produce gold! Seriously. I bought:

    • An entire flat of strawberries for $3, which I immediately cut up and froze on baking sheets.
    • Two melons for 50¢ apiece, one of which I gave to my friend Lise.
    • 3/$1 bundles of garlic scapes.
    • 5/$1 heads of garlic, one of which also went to Lise.
    • Two 50¢ containers of grapes.
    • A huge $2 container of organic baby spinach.
    • Two containers of fresh wild mushroom pasta for $1.25 apiece, which I served to myself and son one night and then to my mother and myself on another night. Of course I topped them with homemade marinara sauce. I looked this brand up and they’re normally $6.50 apiece.

    My plan had been to stop at the regular grocery store afterwards, but I didn’t want to risk leaving this vulnerably ripe produce in the back of a hot car. Food is so freaking expensive right now, and I knew this heavenly manna needed to be processed in a timely manner!

    Food is never a bargain if it goes to waste.

  4. I watered the next door neighbor’s plants while they were out of town, (and also gifted them a box of fancy cookies as a thank you for lending us their power washer) I scrubbed down all our outdoor furniture as I’d rather clean and repair my belongings instead of replacing, I power washed our concrete front steps and the sidewalk in front of our house, my other next door neighbors gave us some bagels their daughter didn’t like, I listened to an audiobook through the free Libby app, my son and I watched a library DVD of Witness, (which prompted me to deep dive into multiple YouTube videos about modern day Amish families) we also watched a library DVD of Brassed Off, I picked up toothpaste, shampoo, conditioner and ginger snaps from Dollar Tree and I contentedly exist despite my salt-and-dishwater hair.

  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 me and costs nothing extra to you.

{ 75 comments… read them below or add one }

Selena July 2, 2022 at 3:49 pm

Power washing is adult water fun. We use our power washer a lot. Decks, sidewalks, house, gutters, garden shed (interior and exterior), garage (it is amazing at how dirty the garage floor gets, even if you religiously sweep it). Pick a hot day and enjoy. Plus it is good exercise. Maintenance is the name of the game.
Next summer we’ll consume our garlic scapes, now that I know what the cook can do with them.


Selena July 2, 2022 at 3:52 pm

We have a well so no water bill impact. One spigot is connected to soft water (for washing cars) but the other three are not. We always turn the softener off when we’re using the one spigot for power washing. But we’re still cognizant of water usage (pressure tank and pump too) and don’t power wash everything on the same day!


Lindsey July 2, 2022 at 3:54 pm

1. Accepted two dozen quail eggs from a neighbor, who was going out of town and didn’t want them to go bad in her fridge. We have 3 chickens so get a supply of eggs daily but I don’t turn down free food. We are having two friends over tomorrow so will be serving crepes to use them up.
2. Sold some more fencing that I found while cleaning up a part of the yard that I seldom go to, since it is behind our shed. $44 in and stuff bound for the dump out.
3. Went to visit a friend and brought a bouquet of dahlias from my garden, rather than purchasing something like balloons.
4. Accepted a mystery shop 101 miles away, round trip. Even with the gas I used, I made $150.
5. Accepted a post office mystery shop, which paid me for mailing my sister’s birthday gift to her!
6. The MUCH younger neighbor offered to trim our overgrown lilac bush, which badly needed a scalping, not just a trim. He refused payment saying he was passing forward a good deed done to him. I took over a loaf of pesto swirl artisan bread I’d made to thank him.


Joyce July 3, 2022 at 4:12 am

A friend reminded me that I had brought in deviled quail eggs a couple of years ago.. the perfect size to plop into your mouth.
Raccoons got my son’s quail, so no eggs this year or last.


Marie-Josée July 2, 2022 at 4:36 pm

Another great score at Everday Deals.

My husband is starting his new job on Monday and is getting cold feet. His employer has reached out to his union and they will probably present a new contact offer which might resolve the lock-out and now he feels bad about committing to his new employer. His job of the past 24 years provided him with a good pay and great benefits and he will return to it if he has the opportunity. He isn’t used to dealing with this type of anguish.

I have been off work for five days, which includes a statutory holiday and a weekend, and it has been really good for my mental health. We ate out a few meals which gave me a break as I am the official family cook. Other vacation extravaganzas have been taking lovely walks, drinking wine and reading e-books borrowed from the library. And watching episodes of season three of For All Mankind which I really enjoy.

My daughter and one of her children are infected with round 2 of COVID. Last infection was in January. My husband babysat our grandchildren on Monday and Tuesday, our grandson was feverish on Monday, but tested negative. My husband had COVID two months ago, so we assessed that the odds were good that he would not become reinfected if our grandso was in effect infected with COVID. He is fine and we have tested ourselves since then and have not become infected. This pandemic has ruined so many plans for our family.

I have been working more hours and accruing overtime which is great for our budget in light of my husband’s job situation.

Looking forward to reading library books and visiting splash pads and pools with my grandchildren over the summer. All free activites.


Jennifer July 2, 2022 at 5:08 pm

Your patio looks great!

1. We went on vacation and packed tons of non-perishable food. My mom had done a huge shopping trip when they got there and we hardly used any of what I packed so I brought it all back home – plus some my mom got that never got eaten. I did go to the grocery store to get perishable items my family eats and my share of dinner stuff for the group that I couldn’t bring but I shopped the sales and asked to use a discount card at the register.

2. We went thrifting one afternoon when it was raining and I found a nice t-shirt for $1.

3. We cooked at the beach house except for ice cream out twice – but when you are at the beach you go out for ice cream lol.

4. I exchanged garden watering with my neighbor and she took care of things while we were gone. We set the AC higher than normal and had 1 light on a timer.

5. Kept to my list at the grocery store and since it was a large stock up trip (my fridge was very empty after being gone) I used my perks at the end to save 20%. I saved $25 – yay!

July is going to be a low spend month for us – I am determined! I have set a low grocery budget for us and am hoping to eat down my freezers and pantry. I have been spending entirely too much on food lately (partly my fault partly inflations fault). Time to get it under control. I am working on a plan to make this work.


Jill A July 2, 2022 at 5:21 pm

Your patio looks great.

1. Painted a $5 garage sale cabinet using a pretty green paint sample from Lowes. It’s perfect in my half bath and a very economical storage solution.
2. Meijer had ground beef at a special price making it $1.25 a pound. I picked up 6 – 1 lb packages and am having a cookout potluck tomorrow with family and friends.
3. A friends husband had excess ant treatment so he sprayed and spread it in areas where I’ve been having an ant problem.
4. We’ve had some very cool evenings so I’ve been able to open windows and cool the house down to hopefully decrease air conditioning costs.
5. Combining errands, reading library books on my kindle, eating mainly at home, doing as much of my own home maintenance as I’m able, hanging my clothes to dry and taking advantage of free entertainment.


Kathy July 2, 2022 at 6:32 pm

1. Changed my work schedule from 3 x 6.5 hrs to 5 x5 hrs. Even with the extra mileage I’ll net over $300 more a month
2. Made $68 in eBay sale
3. Picked up 4 clothing items 2 which were new with tags at consignment stores. Spent $18 out of pocket as I took stuff in
4. Sold several items on which paid for new dress pants
5. Used a Groupon purchased month ago for a much needed facial


Ava July 2, 2022 at 7:06 pm

1. Went on a six night trip and husband used points for all but two nights.
2. Neighbor watered the garden while we were gone. I made her apricot bars as a thank you.
3. Found two pennies and a dime.
4. Refreshed withered lettuce by soaking it in ice water. Used it in a taco salad.
5. Turned some ill fitting shorts into a well fitting skirt.
6. Got a very nice glass topped patio table from a free pile around the corner from our house. It wouldn’t fit in the car so we carried it home through neighbors’ yards. It will be great for outside dining if the blazing hot weather ever allows.


Katy July 2, 2022 at 10:16 pm

I was well into adulthood before I learned that lettuce trick.


Ava July 3, 2022 at 10:36 am

I learned it from your buddy the Frugal Girl.


Kristen July 3, 2022 at 10:59 am

Aww, yay!! Doesn’t it feels so magical? I almost like having witty lettuce, just for the joy of seeing it crisp up again.


Mary Ann July 3, 2022 at 1:38 am

I have a few vintage plates very similar, if not the same as the one you sold, catching water under houseplants. Looks like I need to give them to my husband for his Ebay sales pile.


Katy July 3, 2022 at 11:08 am

Yes you do! Under plant plates are supposed to chipped plates, not valuable ones!


Mand01 July 3, 2022 at 2:52 am

1. We are hosting several large events in the next couple of months. We have been sprucing up our house. Biggest job has been painting. Originally I intended to pay someone but in the end we decided to do the job ourselves. So tired right now but the savings were totally worth it. Total cost was under $400 for three rooms, and it looks lovely.
2. I’ve also been cleaning up the yard. But tough here due to cold & wet weather but slowly plugging away. Replacing old woody lavender bushes with salvias, most purchased for $5, with a couple of splurges up to $15. The early spring bulbs have popped up so it might look better by the time of the first event.
3. I’m switching to a vegetarian diet. This is also after making other dietary choices to reduce my cholesterol, which has cut our food bill by about $50 per week. The vegetarian decision is more for ethical reasons than health but I expect it will have health and financial implications. The only thing I think I’ll really miss is bacon, but I’ve been cutting back on that for a while now anyway.
4. Despite the cold weather, my garden is still productive: limes, turnips, lettuce, onions, herbs, and collards. Now can anyone tell me how to cook collards please? I grew them out of curiosity but they are not commonly grown or eaten in Australia.
5. Listening to books on Libby. Currently: “The Fix” about women in the workplace and before that, “Ten Steps to Nanette” by Hannah Gadsby, which was stupendous.


Ruby July 3, 2022 at 7:58 am

Traditionally collards are cooked with some form of smoked pork as a seasoning, like bacon or a smoked ham hock, but the above looks to be a good vegetarian recipe. Depending on how mature the leaves are when you harvest then, you may want to slice out the central stem from each leaf. It is tough and takes a lot of cooking. Collards are not delicate like spinach and can handle a ot of cooking time.


Liz B. July 3, 2022 at 1:50 pm

I have made vegetarian collards using a similar recipe, except using Liquid Smoke for that smoky flavor – I don’t know if that product is available in
Australia, though?


Mand01 July 4, 2022 at 3:51 am

Thank you so much! Will try it!


Shona July 3, 2022 at 8:58 am

Re your #3, I’ve recently cut meat and dairy out of my diet. Dairy because for the first time since moving to the south 24 years ago I’m experiencing severe allergy issues and both because of ethical and intensive water consumption reasons. For now I’m still eating some eggs from a local farmer. Cheers to you on your dietary change.


Mary in Maryland July 3, 2022 at 11:04 am

Save the stems you cut out. Chop them up and put them in soup. Don’t waste any flavor or nutrition.


Katy July 3, 2022 at 11:08 am

I loved Hannah Gadsby’s comedy special. Amazing woman!


Mand01 July 4, 2022 at 3:51 am

We missed seeing ‘Nanette’ live when she was touring it across Australia, and I’m kicking myself. She is in an Australian comedy ‘Please Like Me’, which is just brilliant.


A. Marie July 3, 2022 at 6:55 am

FFT, Donations Edition:

(1) The Bestest Neighbors went to their lake house for 4th of July weekend and took with them three boxes of donations from me for the annual antiques/collectibles auction that benefits the library in the nearby town. (Members of Ms. BN’s family founded this library and have been on the board ever since.) I’m happy to support this cause, happy not to have to fool with this stuff any further, and especially happy to take a rather whomping tax deduction on it.

(2) I also donated six boxes (two boxes of books and four boxes of miscellaneous that didn’t make the cut for the library auction) to the local Rescue Mission, and am taking another tax deduction. Crap out of the house, tax deductions in.

(3) I continue to eat out of the freezer and pantry. And since I had a molar extraction last Tuesday, I’m eating (a) not as much as usual and (b) primarily soft foods.

(4) The neighbors for whom I do occasional dog-walking are away for a week (with the dog) and have invited me to help myself to the salad greens in their garden. Since my own container-grown greens are done, I’m taking them up on it.

(5) And I dropped four books into local Little Free Libraries and picked up one: a hardcover of P. D. James’s Death Comes to Pemberley. I wasn’t nuts about either the book (on first reading) or the TV show based on it, but for free, I’m willing to give the book another chance.


Katy July 3, 2022 at 11:05 am

I love “whomping tax deduction!”


Ruby July 3, 2022 at 8:26 am

Your back yard looks so lovely now! Our front walk gets slippery with urban grime and our son loves power washing it. Since he does not naturally love cleaning, I figure it’s the combo of getting wet, power tools, instant results. 😀

My frugal things:
1. Doubled down on controlling food costs for both ourselves and our herd of dogs and cats. DH and I both agreed to substitute some less expensive foods for some pricey favorites. We returned to shopping at Aldi after the store did a reconfiguration that widened the aisles and made the lighting better. I did a couple of hours of internet research to scope out a different provider of food for our dog with allergies. This should give us back some wiggle room in our budget.
2. Continuing to do culinary magic with leftovers. Some peaches and cherries my husband did not eat in a timely manner became the base for a delicious baked oatmeal for breakfast.
3. Still packing dinner leftovers for my work lunches. I usually eat a fruit salad or a sandwich for dinner, so I’m not eating the same thing twice a day.
4. Loving the freebie culture in our neighborhood. My husband cleaned up an old garden storage chest we did not use any more, put it at the end of our driveway, and a neighbor adopted it in a couple of hours.
5. Received some more donations of items from student apartments being cleaned out. A bag of household goods and clothes went to Goodwill and I washed some plates to put in the office kitchen.


Shona July 3, 2022 at 8:47 am

1) 2 restaurant dinners planned for our anniversary over 2 nights. After the first dinner our waitress informed us that our check had been taken care of by a friend. I’m not supposed to know that my boss called ahead and paid for our meal. Second dinner we paid for with our collected pocket change restaurant fund.

2) Cashed in all the money I’ve found so far this year. I’m also including money made from taking cans to the metal scrapyard. $50.82 will be donated to Planned Parenthood (I’ll round up).

3) Not buying any stuff.

4) Too hot to do anything, I’m mostly staying in reading and listening to audiobooks. Shades drawn and AC set at the highest temp we are comfortable with.

5) Some Sundays and recent federal holiday Mondays off for my husband have been spent fly fishing in a nearby river which stays a constant 60-something degrees, perfect for dips and keeping cool. It’s a bit of a drive, but all hwy and the Fit gets 41 mpg on these trips.

And the usual, free bread from work, shift meals, washing laundry in cold water and line drying, walking everywhere within reason in hot humid weather down south, recently cut meat and dairy out of my diet, and of course the library, which I love so much.


Christine July 3, 2022 at 9:24 am

Your #2…very much liking your choice of the donation recipient. My heart goes out to all women whose lives are negatively impacted by the Supreme Court’s decision on Roe v. Wade. Not looking to stir the pot here and will not argue on a blog with anyone. Just glad we still have freedom of opinion.


Katy July 3, 2022 at 11:03 am

Thank you so much for donating to Planned Parenthood. I listed a new item on eBay the other day and switched the charity it supports from Everytown For Gun Safety to Planned parenthood. America is such a messed up country.


Patricia Koernig July 4, 2022 at 12:06 am

It is, Katy. Just heartbroken.


MB in MN July 4, 2022 at 8:07 am

I’m with you all on Shona’s #2.


Lindsey July 4, 2022 at 9:47 am

I never thought of switching the eBay charity support to Planned Parenthood! Thanks for the idea, I am going over to switch right now.


Vickey July 5, 2022 at 3:40 pm

This sub-thread right here exemplifies one of the primary reasons this blog is my favorite thrifty place. Thank you all.


Katy July 7, 2022 at 10:47 am



Auntiali July 8, 2022 at 9:21 pm

When I was younger in my late teens and early 20’s Planned Parenthood gave me affordable birth control pills as well as annual check ups. They also treated me for a STD that some guy gave me. They are my super heros.

Christine July 3, 2022 at 9:16 am

The brickwork and stonework in your yard are beautiful. Reminds me of my late Dad who loved to do projects like that all over his yard.
1. I repotted a Spider Plant I found hiding underneath a large Christmas Cactus in a big pot. I had planted the little Spider Plant in with the cactus when I was short on pots for replanting. It never did too much growing in the shadow of the Christmas cactus. Doing much better on its own and I like having a Spider Plant or two around in the cold weather when the house is closed up as they produce a decent amount of oxygen.
2. Covid finally caught up to DH and me. We had eluded it for two and half years but in the end, it won. I attended a show in which one of the performers unbeknownst to them, had Covid. It was a small venue, and I was in the second row. Several of us now have the virus, including DH who caught it from me. I can’t say enough about having a medicine cabinet stocked with basics just in case. Store brand Ibuprofen and Acetaminophen, throat lozenges and electrolyte drinks are a must for us. We’re on the mend now.
3. Reading a library book I had taken out before we got sick…so happy I did! The fourth book in C.J. Box’s Joe Pickett series is what I’m reading now that the Covid brain fog is lifting. Excellent.
4. We’re painting two kitchen light fixtures instead of replacing them to finish off our newly painted kitchen. We painted the kitchen ourselves to save $$$.
5. A neighbor gave me about $20 worth of cat food her cat didn’t like. Luckily our cats devoured it.


Christine July 3, 2022 at 9:18 am

See that “4.”? The brain fog is real…I can’t remember typing it! Lol.


Lisa July 3, 2022 at 9:22 am

1) Gave a friend a lift to pick up his car after it was repaired, and that took me close to the closest grocery outlet. $0.99 Ben & Jerry’s and Talenti, $0.99 quarts of strawberries, and $1.49 packages of ravioli that looked like food service packages. The ravioli was amazing, I wish I had purchased more!!
2) We harvested squash from the garden – the first veg that was ripe. The garden itself was my Mother’s Day present – I always ask for a day working together rather than “stuff”
3) Had a very unsuccessful yard sale with a friend – but we saw a lot of friends, and the leftovers went straight to a great charity, so it’s still a win. No money was spent (other than gas to the charity). Frugal friends are good to have.
4) i planted hostas that were from a friend’s garden when she split hers. Now if I can just keep the deer out of them!
5) Made an extra effort to use herbs from the garden – and dry oregano for use this winter.


Kristen July 3, 2022 at 10:58 am

Regarding your #4…yes, keeping your hair the color that it grows out of your head is both easy AND frugal.

Wins in my book. 😉


Heidi Louise July 3, 2022 at 11:47 am

1. Called insurance agent to say husband’s very old pick-up is driven less than 3,000 miles a year and got $45 off premiums.
2. Went to the highly overpriced local CVS where I hadn’t been in a few months. 30% off regular priced merchandise coupons they mail me on occasion just bring the prices down to what other stores charge. Their “extracare rewards” kicked out $6.33 when I checked my account, plus $2.00 more after I paid. I dislike the seemingly random nature of the rewards but will spend them when they appear.
3. In my change was a 1945 quarter, estimated value online at $3.59. By the time I find a coin dealer, it will probably be worth even more!
4. Great summer for lilies in my garden, both bulbs and daylilies planted many years ago.
5. Found a few greeting card boxes at a yard sale that I expected to pay a quarter each for, but the seller informed me I needed to take the whole box she had set out and she would carry it to my car for a dollar. It was fun to go through a good sized mix of nice stationery, single and boxed cards, and other msc. I pulled a few good things (tasteful sympathy cards are so hard to find) and have more than made my dollar back. Will donate the rest.
Library books. YouTube for the British quiz shows my husband searches out.


Lindsey July 4, 2022 at 9:49 am

I would love to find a greeting card deal like your garage sale one! Lucky you.


lulutoo July 5, 2022 at 7:53 am

Hallmark stores have closed down (at least in my area) so the place where I work (which sells cards) reduced all the Hallmark greeting cards to 20c each. People were buying shoeboxes full of them. (All other brand cards are regular priced–that is to say, RIDICULOUS priced.) We were told that Hallmark stores are closing because e-cards have negatively affected their sales of cards.


Heidi Louise July 3, 2022 at 12:02 pm

U.S. postage stamp prices are going up on July 10.
58 to 60 cents for first class “Forever” stamps.
Also increases for metered first class mail, second ounce, postcards, and international mailings.

In other words, buy your stamps now to get ahead or if you have a big mailing coming up, (a wedding, for instance).
Forever stamps were a brilliant idea.


A. Marie July 3, 2022 at 12:28 pm

Thanks for the heads-up re: the latest postage increase, Heidi Louise. I’ll lay in a supply of Forevers before the 10th.


Katy July 7, 2022 at 10:53 am

Thanks for the heads up!


Hawaii Planner July 3, 2022 at 1:56 pm

1) Mostly, we’re all about the garden right now. I made a huge batch of pico de gallo to use up tomatoes, cilantro & jalapenos. Lots of lettuce & tomatoes in our salad. Made a chimichurri out of parsley & oregano. Caprese salad out of tomatoes & basil. Making a 4th of July salad tomorrow that uses mint, and a cake that uses strawberries. I also have some zucchini and a squash to use up. Juiced up all of our lemons, and they are now ready to go on salads. Made a huge macaroni salad, using green pepper & tomatoes from the garden, plus the last of some celery that was at the bottom of the produce drawer from forever ago.
2) Bought 5+lbs of tomatoes at the produce stand in the $1 “got to go now” bags. Already had enough garden produce, but they were closing, & I knew they would be tossed if I didn’t pick them up. Made a huge batch of fresh tomato sauce, with some herbs, & a little butter at the end. That’s now in the freezer.
3) I was burned out on eBay after a terrible buyer interaction at the end of the year. Finally got myself together & listed a few things. Sold a shirt, & have it ready to be mailed off, in a repurposed mailing envelope.
4) Gave away a ton on Buy Nothing. Frugal for others, and it clears clutter out of my house. Double win.
5) Bought travel gift cards at the local grocery store for an upcoming trip. Earned $60×2 grocery store gift cards. It’s a crazy good deal.


Bee July 6, 2022 at 4:16 am

I’m sorry about your negative eBay experience. I used to sell much more than I do. I had three terrible experiences in a row during Covid. None were my fault — two dishonest buyers and one eBay error. I found that eBay refuses to help the seller anymore and rarely sides with them in the case of fraud. Now I sell much less often. I don’t ship internationally. I never sell anything valued over $100 that I can sell in some other way.


Katy July 7, 2022 at 10:52 am

Sorry about the bad experience on eBay. I’ve mostly had good experiences, but have had a couple of bad ones, luckily on low price items.


Cindy in the South July 3, 2022 at 3:15 pm

1. Neighbor gave me delicious free cucumbers and tomatoes. 2. I walked and the park for an hour. 3. I have been deliciously reading a book from the free little library located at the park. 4. Cooked all meals at home. 5. I have taken a nap on this holiday weekend.


Cindy in the South July 3, 2022 at 3:17 pm

“In the park”….I so need to wear my glasses when typing on this little phone…. Sigh


bettafrmdaVille July 3, 2022 at 5:50 pm

The patio does look great! (and here in the greater Boston area, we’ll take some of that rain…)
1. Did 6 mystery shops that included 2 grocery shops. Making some extra $$ and getting some free food.
2. Tried out FoodFlash app. Got 2 packages of meat at 50% off.
3. Began carpooling with a colleague one day a week.
4. Made lunch for friends instead of going out. Used lettuce, basil & mint & rhubarb from the garden; sweet potatoes, cucumbers, lime on sale; ice cream for crisp was from mystery shop. Our store also sells frozen shrimp pieces (already shelled) for a fraction of the price. The recipe necessitates chopping the shrimp anyway. Total in for 3 people was +/- $6
5. Went on a frugal adventure, walking part of the Emerald Necklace in Boston (on way to mystery shop). Happened upon the Boston Victory Garden, and walked through it, which was beautiful!
Bonus 6. Used OpenTable points for a hotel room for a fall trip.


rebecca July 4, 2022 at 5:22 am

May I ask what store you went to for the shrimp? I live in the greater Boston area and would love to know. Thanks.


bettafrmdaVille July 4, 2022 at 4:43 pm

Rebecca, it is the Market Basket in Chelsea. I live closer to the Somerville branch, but I’ve never seen it there. If I remember it is a couple of bucks cheaper per pound than the regular frozen shrimp AND it is shelled, so it is all shrimp. I actually about 30% ratio to 70% meat (calculated after removing the head) so it makes for a considerable difference in cost.


rebecca July 6, 2022 at 3:02 am

thanks for the info. Market Basket can be as good Aldi for prices at times.


Lindsey July 4, 2022 at 9:57 am

It makes me so happy to see you able to take advantage of mystery shops! I keep track of how much I make, both in pay and free product, and am always surprised at year’s end to see what those little jobs bring in.


bettafrmdaVille July 4, 2022 at 4:46 pm

Lindsay: my goal is to pay for a fall trip entirely by side hustles. The mystery shops have been fabulous for this goal. I am SO thankful to you for introducing them to me.


Leslie July 5, 2022 at 5:13 am

I am also in the Boston area. I have tried to use the FlashFood app but it reports that there are no stores within 2,000 miles. Any suggestions?


bettafrmdaVille July 6, 2022 at 4:43 am

Leslie, I was down in the Hudson Valley for work when I did it (but clearly within 2,000 miles of Boston!). That is weird.


Jann in Maine July 4, 2022 at 3:24 am

Some frugal wins and some fails but such is life..
Wins: Did 2 surveys via zoom that netted $360. We also will get some $$ from the State of Maine as part of a rebate.
Fail: Needed a new roof which we have been waiting a year for. Will apply our rebates to that job and have also contacted the insurance company to let them know we have a new roof–usually a small credit for things like that.
Garden is starting to come in and we are enjoying pea pods garlic scapes, lettuces and kale. Other things are slower as we are in central Maine.
Continuing to walk,make coffee at home,and park the car for days at a time. Will batch errands to town and have my normal route of the thrifts, library,market and dumpster diving for packing materials. Cooking at home and incorporating garden produce. Husband is an “easy keeper” and does not mind leftovers for days on end. Frankly it makes it much easier this way!
Sent a friend a birthday card and gift card which I got with points from my credit card she will be thrilled and while I did “pay ” for it it feels different.
Ebay has been very slow and I am trying a booth at a new group shop to move big and heavier items and items that I think would do better there. We shall see!
Enjoying summer and DH kayaking daily at a lake 1 mile from our house. Perfect!
Enjoy summer! And Happy Fourth of July!


K D July 4, 2022 at 4:35 am

1. We loaned a neighbor our power washer. They are getting ready to host a BBQ. We will take their leftover burgers and chicken since they are pretty much vegetarians.

2. Our daughter and SIL came over for lunch. We stretched the spaghetti meal we were planning to have by adding some jarred sauce to the homemade marinara from the freezer. They shared extra beans from their garden.

3. I am working on using up odd bits of stuff hanging around in the pantry and freezer. A cooked grain (millet, rice, quinoa) plus veggies (from the freezer) make a great starting point for a bowl meal.

4. We watched Alone Season 8 on hoopla! (free streaming via the library). If that doesn’t make you appreciate any and all food available every day I don’t know what will. I have also been listening to library borrowed audio books while working in the kitchen and exercising and reading library borrowed books (paper and digital).

5. I paid our annual property tax bill online. There was a $.95 processing fee but I didn’t have to use a stamp, I didn’t have to rely on the USPS or county employees, and we received a discount for paying it now.


Anne D Husk July 6, 2022 at 7:28 pm

Yes to No. 4. Every time we watch an episode, by the end I am cold, lonely and hungry.


Katy July 7, 2022 at 10:49 am

I *LOVE* Alone, which is pretty funny since I am very much an indoorsy person. I just find it fascinating.


Liz B. July 4, 2022 at 7:14 am

Your patio looks so nice!
I rarely comment, but love reading every new post and comments. I’ve learned a lot from everyone.

1. Made a big batch of quinoa taboulli salad, using up a wayward cucumber, a tomato left from another recipe, and the best bits of parsley from two bunches in the fridge. The quinoa had been gifted to me. All other ingredients I had on hand. Lunch is ready for the week.
2. Purchased needed replacement parts for a vacuum picked up from a free pile via Buy Nothing group. $33 and change sure beats $100+ for a new vacuum. Our old vacuum had recently died, so the timing was perfect.
3. Have given away lots of stuff via Buy Nothing. It feels so good to move things along to others who need and want them.
4. Watched community fireworks display from our back deck. This is a feature of our house that we love, and also appreciate our small town for putting on this annual show.
5. Filled gas tank at outlying gas station with much lower gas price than in-town stations (40 cents less per gallon) on way home from batched errands.

Happy July 4th to all in the US!


Mindo July 4, 2022 at 10:21 am

1. Can’t drive right now due to broken wrist so resorted to grocery delivery . Managed to recoup the delivery fee by switching my purchases to those with good coupon deals.
2. Watched a couple of good series on the PBS app my daughter pays for and shares with family members.
3. Listened to free drama and comedy on the BBC Sounds app, and read free Amazon books on the Kindle app.
4. Cut peonies from my garden and gave some to my daughter, there are still enough in the yard for neighbors to enjoy on walks.
5. Bought a bag of from Dollartree when I was feeling particularly frustrated with not being able to knit, or do any of the summer renovation projects I had planned – at least I only spent $1.25 and felt some exercise!


Mindo July 4, 2022 at 10:22 am

*bag of candy*!


rebecca July 4, 2022 at 1:57 pm

1. Refund for 2 tickets for a show that had to reschedule due to cast members having covid. Unfortunately, 2 friends cannot make the new date. The refund is money back but the disappointment is real. Covid is still here. I continue to wear my mask because as I don’t get paid if I don’t see clients, getting covid is not cost effective.
2. Returning some clothes I bought for a wedding.
3. Chicken legs on sale have become a mainstay on the menu. Some are marinating right now.
4. Going to work on a low-spend week this week.
5. The usual-coffee from home, batching errands, cooking at home ect.


Vickey July 8, 2022 at 3:14 pm

Rebecca, I’m wholeheartedly with you on your #1. The more we know about the lingering neurological and other effects of Covid on many who get it, the more we realize getting Covid is not cost effective, period.


Norma July 5, 2022 at 7:43 am

Don’t post a lot but had some good finds this week.
1..Husband went through his old wallet and found $39.80 in misc. gift cards.
2. Found a penny on the ground (not much but in this day and age every penny
3. Found a quarter in an Aldi cart.
4. Next day nice gentleman gave me his cart – another quarter saved.
5. Put my artificial flowers back together after deer tried to eat them. No real flowers for me this year. Either can’t tolerate the SC heat or the deer eat them. I love flowers but enough is enough.


Ruby July 5, 2022 at 11:14 am

I also gained a quarter by returning a loose cart at Aldi. People are pretty lax about returning them at our local store. I could probably make a few bucks just by roaming the parking lot on a busy Saturday.


Bethany M July 5, 2022 at 3:59 pm

Kids with grandparents this week. Hubby and I are playing it low key with videos from the library and a Starbucks date with my Fetch rewards.

Harvesting from my garden. Lesson learned, plant a bunch more next year!

Picked up a prescription. I planned to pick up a candy bar and a soda, but then I decided to bring a handful of flavored almonds I had in the pantry and a glass of water.

Picked up free compost from the county for my garden. It was on the way home from the pharmacy.

Hubby is allowing the family to use his hybrid commuter vehicle for church. It’s a squeeze for the kids but a substantial gas savings over driving our van.


Mary in Maryland July 7, 2022 at 8:48 am

Big win. The trash bag of bedding I found last week had been trashed because the pillowcases were greasy. Being married to a man I generate greasy cases here already. I did an internet search and would up soaking them in hot water with Dawn and baking soda and then scrubbing them against one another. Then an overnight soak in more Dawn and a wash with usual detergent and a cup of white vinegar. The grease is gone! I’m so excited. Same treatment to sheets will improve them mightily–thought I should do a sampler (eight pillowcases) first.


Katy July 7, 2022 at 10:33 am

I love it! Good sheets are expensive and worth caring for properly.


Heidi Louise July 7, 2022 at 12:27 pm

Good luck!
My Mom had a printed sheet from a yard sale that she washed every time she did laundry, hung out to dry, and left outside in the rain. It moved from greasy to a lovely white over several weeks.
Though my parents’ home had wonderfully soft water, which I miss.


Mary in Maryland July 7, 2022 at 3:04 pm

In England rain is referred to as “the final rinse”


Katy July 8, 2022 at 12:52 pm

I love this!


Mary in Maryland July 7, 2022 at 3:03 pm

And they are much higher quality that we had been using. I wouldn’t have guessed that West Elm made sheets. And their percale is more comfortable than sateen.


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