Five Frugal Things

by Katy on August 18, 2022 · 64 comments

  1. My husband and I used credit card/airline points to book a single night at the Hotel Elliott in Astoria, Oregon for our 29th anniversary.

    I’m always trying to find that thin line between spending, without being too painfully tight with money. If it were up to my husband, we’d eat each and every meal in a brewpub and order $17 bacon cheeseburgers and wash them down with $10 pints of beer. If it were up to me, we’d bring rice and beans from home and splurge on a single food cart meal. Instead we ate at Fort George brewpub, where I convinced my husband to split an order of fish and chips, as the servings looked enormous. (They were, and it was plenty of food.) He enjoyed an IPA while I sipped my refreshing glass of water. This truly is us in a nutshell.

    The hotel had a free breakfast buffet that was actually quite good, definitely a step (or two) above your typical Best Western version. Plus there was also free coffee and fruit available throughout the day. We availed ourselves.

    Although the trip was just a night away from home, we left relaxed and happy.

  2. We got a notice in the mail that our mortgage broker’s office had been burglarized, specifically the drawer that held our records. I took this as an opportunity to freeze our credit with all three major credit bureaus, using this guide from Clark Howard. lt took maybe twenty minutes for the two of us, and I’m happy to know that it’s now extremely unlikely that anyone can open accounts in our name.

  3. I picked enough free wild blackberries to make six jars of jam and even fill a bag for the freezer. It took about an hour and I only got mildly scratched up, which I consider to be a win. This location is in the very far back of a store’s parking lot and just a 15 minute drive from the house. I plan on going back again, but am waiting until the Portland temperatures aren’t in the high nineties.

    I do love me some free food!

  4. I mended a blouse that had split along a seam, my daughter brought home a variety of free cheese and eggs from work, my husband’s friend took all the wood from our tree pruning to use as firewood, I picked up two organic salad kits for 50¢ apiece from the grocery liquidator, my husband and I spent the day at a family member’s mountain cabin, I’ve been preparing mostly vegetarian meals as the price of meat is simply too much, I listened to The Henna Artist through the library’s free Libby app and I thrifted a cute used pair of cotton socks for just 49¢.

  5. I didn’t buy a Lear Jet, and instead borrowed one from Taylor Swift.

Katy Wolk-Stanley    

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

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{ 64 comments… read them below or add one }

Heidi Louise August 18, 2022 at 1:53 pm

Happy Anniversary to you both! And many more! What a great outing!

I love finding salad kits on 99 cent clearance, as I can try out dressings and toppings I would not normally buy, (mesquite slivered almonds were very good. bacon, of course. ). And one can always add more greens if the proportions are off. Or put the strong smelly shredded cabbage mix in the garden as either mulch or for the rabbits to eat.
1. Got a mega-motel-chain credit card for the points. Will be able to make the required points for the bonus in the next three months and then will set it aside. Hoping to travel again soon!
2. Have made a note to do something to keep airline points account active before expiration in November. Am checking all my point accounts for expiration dates, not that those are listed in obvious places online.
3. Ordered several months worth of M&Ms on sale from the M&M website. Those are a standard treat here, and red-white-and-blue ones taste the same as the other colors. Chocolate and candy prices seem to keep increasing and I can’t imagine they will go down.
Now have three gel cold packs from the shipping box as well.
4. Have an abundance of marigolds this year. Throwing deadheads into the gardens where perhaps they will reseed next year in unexpected places. I will dry a few properly for next spring, after we get into fall.
5. Library books. Loss leader and careful sale grocery shopping. Not over-cleaning my house. Lovely weather to keep windows open. Good week to all!


Cindy in the South August 18, 2022 at 2:27 pm

Thanks on the freeze info. I ran a 101.5 temp today but tested negative for Covid so far. Was around over 200 folks this week at work so I am hoping it is not Covid. I won’t be allowed back in courthouse u til I am at under 100 temp. 1. So I slept. 2. I made a hot dog with sauerkraut and mustard. 3. I slept some more. 4. I drank Gatorade at gas at the house. 5. Going back to sleep… lol.


Cindy in the South August 18, 2022 at 2:28 pm

Happy Anniversary! I meant to say that in previous post but I am kinda foggy.


Cindy in the South August 20, 2022 at 12:26 pm

Update: positive for Covid… sigh


Ruby August 20, 2022 at 1:02 pm

Oh, I am so sorry! I hope it’s a light case.


Cindy in the South August 20, 2022 at 3:36 pm

Thank you Ruby!


Katy August 20, 2022 at 5:55 pm

Crap! I’m so sorry.


Cindy in the South August 21, 2022 at 6:17 am



Bee August 21, 2022 at 3:41 am

Feel better, Cindy. Covid stinks!!! I hope the brain fog lifts soon. It’s very, very real.


Cindy in the South August 21, 2022 at 6:21 am

Thanks! I am fully vaccinated, have had both boosters, and I am sure I caught it in courtroom. It is what it is.


Marie-Josée August 22, 2022 at 1:41 pm

Hope you have completely recovered, Cindy!


Cindy in the South August 18, 2022 at 2:30 pm

I drank Gatorade I had at the house. I did NOT drink gas…..Sigh


Vickey August 21, 2022 at 10:43 am

We knew you wouldn’t. We trust you. 🙂


Kathy August 18, 2022 at 3:13 pm

1. Received $150 class action settlement via a prepaid visa. I’ll keep aside for some thing specific
2. A gal at work brought me a bag of clothes. I’ll go thru and bring back the no’s to her
3. Continuing to bring my water bottle to work. I add flavor
drops to make it tasty
4. Bought new bras not frugal. Don’t fit well so I’ll return them.
5. Cooked at home every night


Mary in Maryland August 18, 2022 at 4:06 pm

Happy anniversary! We’ll hit 30 years in December. The Mister always thinks we should throw a huge party. I always think it would be nice to have a few people to dinner. That sums us up.
1. Tomatoes—bought 5 half bushels and canned 62 quarts. 53 sealed. I froze those that didn’t seal and will eat them first.
2. I bought a bunch of the reusable lids. This is the fourth year I’ve used them, so the savings are adding up.
3. Have only turned the stove on twice since we started using AC. Solar oven and Instant pot. I’m getting good at cooking two things at once in the latter.
4. The Mister did wangle one functioning wheelbarrow using parts from the two that weren’t, plus several trips to the hardware store. He needed a bolt cutter. Rather than buy, we drove the dead barrow to the hardware store and rented for an hour. I went along having joked for years that he spends so long at the hardware store that he must have a girlfriend there.
5. A couple years ago I cut pieces for a hand-pieced quilt from my scraps and sewed three blocks. Last week I got out the project and started sewing, because if I don’t love it, it needs to move on. PRO TIP—if you haven’t worked on something in two years read the instructions before you start. After sewing two blocks I read the instructions and spent a couple hours ripping out. However, I love the block and have finished 13 in the past four days.
6. A fail . . . I met someone with an Instant Pot via Craigslist. I noted a missing piece (which runs $6) and a small dent. I talked him into lowering the price from 20 to 14, but totally missed a huge dent on the other side. Oh well, I’ve never bought a lottery ticket, and this is the first Craigslist purchase that won’t work. Since the inner pot sells for more than $14, this may not be a total loss.
7. Eating at home, drinking water, reading library books, not driving anywhere.


Karen B August 18, 2022 at 4:28 pm

Contact Instant Pot and sent them a picture of the dent. Ask them if it’s a safety issue. It is usually just cosmetic.


Karen B August 18, 2022 at 4:25 pm

1) Picked up a sack of t-shirts with an employer’s logo on them from a fellow Buy Nothing Project member. I plan to turn them into t-shirt yarn and knit a rug for my son’s room this winter. Free entertainment and decor.
2) Stopped at a grocery store on the way home from the t-shirt stop, so the fuel for the first stop (which was only a mile and a half away) covered driving to the grocery store, too. This store has been putting a very few items on super sale each day and a couple that day were things we wanted. I only bought the items planned, plus eggs that I hadn’t seen in the ad but were half the price per dozen I’ve been seeing lately.
3) Checked out library books for my son.
4) Picked up a piano bench from a Buy Nothing Project member to go with the keyboard I already had (purchased used). The cushioned seat needs to be recovered and a bolt needs tightened, but those are easy fixes.
5) Went to Aldi and 8 of the items I purchased had stickers marking them $2 each. I knew I had the freezer space, so I was able to save money by stocking ahead with the bargain. Aldi frequently sticks a red $ off sticker on items that they have too many of or that are close to the sell by date. If there is more than one $ off sticker, total them for your discount.
6) Tomato season is booming. I only bought one plant this year, but I’ve had 4 volunteers return. I’m planning to slice and dehydrate my excess to use later and if they end up producing more than I want (the volunteers are up to 6 feet tall), I’ll be giving away extras in my Buy Nothing Project group.


CINDY BRICK August 18, 2022 at 5:31 pm

I LOVE your five frugal things posts — thank you for doing them regularly!

Finally got Husband to consolidate our errands into one day — usually on Sunday, since we have to drive into town for church, anyways. (20-30 min.) I hit up the clearance aisle at King Soopers ($2.99 huge jars of cheese-its ‘Chester’s Paws’) while I bought a dozen roses for myself, plus a dozen for a friend. ($12 total) Came out, to find that Husband had sneaked in and bought a couple dozen, as well! What a guy.


Christine August 18, 2022 at 5:43 pm

Happy Anniversary to you both! Nice that you could get away alone together.
1. My neighbor told me to pick and take home anything that was ripe in her vegetable garden while she was away on vacation this week. Thank you, Kindest Neighbor!
2. I bought a new pair of Puma running shoes at my church’s thrift shop for $5. Similar shoes online sell for around $70. They are a hot pink color but that doesn’t bother me as I wear them walking trails in the woods.
3. I donated the items I didn’t sell at my yard sale to various organizations. The books and clothing went to St. Vincent de Paul while the household items and DVDs went to The Salvation Army and my church’s thrift shop. It’s good to know these objects will hopefully have a second life while freeing up space in my home.
4. Yay for the price of gas coming down! Cheapest I’ve seen it in my area is $4.15 down from a high of $4.99. I still batch errands and drive at 64 mph in cruise control on the highway though to save on gas and avoid speeding tickets.
5. Reading library books for entertainment. At my town library, every book read earns a raffle ticket for various prizes for local businesses and gas stations. Presently reading Alexander McCall Smith’s newest Isabel Dalhousie cozy mystery The Sweet Remnants of Summer.


Bee August 19, 2022 at 4:49 am

I love the Isabel Dalhousie stories. I listen to these on my library app when doing things around the house. I am swept away to another place and forget I’m cleaning the bathroom!


Christine August 19, 2022 at 7:48 am

Yes, I would much rather be in Edinburgh than cleaning a bathroom!


Liz B. August 19, 2022 at 3:52 pm

I love the Isabel Dalhousie books, too!


Christine August 22, 2022 at 2:01 pm

I love the Isabel Dalhousie series too including the one I mentioned above which I just finished. I also love the Precious Ramotswe series. McCall Smith’s characters are so realistic and goodhearted, but not in a cotton candy sweet way. More like a good old friend or neighbor.


Auntiali August 18, 2022 at 9:01 pm

1. I’ve been doing frugal things that I can pass along to others. At Walgreens I got Ticonderoga pencils for $2.29 and lower. Three packs of Elmer’s stick glue for .49 and 4 bottles of regular Elmer’s glue for .49. I’ve bought six pairs of blunt end scissors too. This satisfies me in two ways: I get to do back to school shopping and I’m donating things that will be needed.
2. Other thing I do that may not be exactly frugal but it brings me great joy. I’ve been buying diapers for my friend’s granddaughter. I get Pampers when they are 2 for $20. I get such a thrill in being able to pass along what my church family did for my kids. My kids exclusive picks from the clothing donations for the rummage sale and the woman who did it for me loved finding things. For her I’m extremely greatful in helping us out. She even bought some clothes at Consignment shops and got my daughter a precious pretty 3. winter dress coat with a hat and a muff!
3. Next item: going to the shore for vacation. We are renting a condo so I pack up everything we will need from sheets, towels and blankets to assorted sundries in the pantry department. Thinks like bread, peanut butter, protein shakes and bars, cheese, diet soda, and water. I don’t think my husband knows this but I plan to have a take out seafood dinner every night. Or every other night as with my gastric sleeve I can make 1 dinner last two nights. I’m game to sit outside on the water to eat too. Sun – with mucho sunblock – sand – waves and a great boardwalk with games, food and tramcars that go up and down the boardwalk. I may be going on a week’s vacation but I’m going to try and make it as frugal as we can.
4. Even though I was on electric patrol this month the electric bill was $173. We had a lot of hot and humid days in between. I’m utilizing the ceiling fan in the living room cause that can circulate the air around the house.
5. Hubby has become an excellent pizza chef. Really prefer his to the pizzaria’s. We had a guest for happy hour who brought me a “money tree” as a hostess gift. I was so surprised and I love it. We had tons of shrimp cocktail and hubby offered burgers but our guest said no so I brought out the pan of brownies I made and was happy for that. So nice to be able to entertain now that I’m 98 lbs smaller and it’s easier.


Q August 19, 2022 at 4:32 am

I love that you are passing on the helping, with school supplies and Pampers: the recipients must feel very supported. If I see some buys like that, I will think of you and do the same. I used to do that long ago, but got out of the habit. I remember bringing my Girl Scout troop to a field trip, and stopping on the way at a big sale for supplies: they each bought the limit, so we had quite a bit to donate. Also, congratulations on the 98 pound loss: that is quite a feat.


Mary August 18, 2022 at 9:16 pm

Happy Anniversary, Katy – today is 27 for us.
1) No big celebration this time around but I did use up some ingredients and made Husband some cookies.
2) Adding water to eek out the last ounces of liquid laundry detergent
3) Cutting open all tubes if anything to get it all out – major pet peeve so much seems programmed to remain unused
4) Am moving back to home country and have 4 bags of towels and linens to donate to a local labor camp
5) Going through jewelry box to identify and sort out very nice items to gift nieces at Christmas.


Lindsey August 18, 2022 at 9:25 pm

Today was all about harvesting, and the garden in and of itself is frugal. However:
1. I did a second harvest of my basil and there was so much I made a quart of basil salt that I will put into small decorative canning jars as gifts for several friends who have birthdays in September.
2. I made basil pesto and took pesto pasta to a small group potluck this evening.
3. I dried several pounds of tomatoes to use this winter and shared some with the friend who always passes on her magazines.
4. I have way, way more compost than I need so I sold three 40 pound dog food bags of it to a guy on FB, for $15 total.
5. While he was picking it up, he heard one of my chickens letting out the satisfied sound she makes every time she lays an egg. He asked if I sold eggs and although I usually do not, right now I am overrun with all the chickens producing every day, which they are not supposed to do. I sold him three dozen for $5. I made $20 from him that was unplanned but felt strangely good—I basically sold eggs and decomposed poopy straw from chickens who eat my garden and kitchen remains.
6. I picked a quart of raspberries from bushes that are finally reaching the end, much to my relief because I have enough other stuff coming in and usually raspberries are done by this time. I am going to make a raspberry Pavlova tomorrow for a neighbor’s birthday, which also will use up more egg whites. She is pretty stove up at 86, still lives alone but doesn’t make things that require standing up for more than a few minutes. She will love this dessert and I am thrilled to do something for our community watchdog who calls if we forget to close the garage door or the back of the van after unloading groceries. It used to annoy me, when we first moved in, but now I just see her as one part of the net of six neighbors who look out for each other, and share produce, fish and moose depending on who is better at what.


Jill A August 19, 2022 at 3:51 am

I love your frugal five especially the dessert for your sweet neighbor.


Bee August 19, 2022 at 4:42 am

When does your harvest season end? September? With growing season be short and intense, this time of year must require you to spend a great deal of time gardening and processing.


Lindsey August 19, 2022 at 12:21 pm

Where I live, the first frosts come at the end of August. Sometimes it warms up again for a few weeks but meanwhile the first frost has killed off all tender plants. So I harvest those first, knowing that my leeks and pumpkins and potatoes will wait for me to have more time. One year it snowed in July! Only briefly but long enough to kill a lot…I live in the colder part of the state, the more southern parts sometimes have winters with almost no snow and their days and nights are more like those of the Pacific Northwest. At the most northern tip of the state, there is no growing season because it frosts every month of the year. When we lived there I used to grow a pumpkins plant a year under a light in our living room, and the kindergarten teachers would bring their kids over to see them.


Auntiali August 19, 2022 at 8:36 pm

Three dozen eggs for $5 is a bargain. Congrats of your use of recycling to make some cash. It really is one big circle.

The dessert will be appreciated I’m sure. I wish I had a neighborhood watch dog like that. I guess with me being home I’m the watch dog. Woof!


Jill A August 19, 2022 at 3:48 am

Happy Anniversary!! My husband and I would have celebrated our 28th anniversary last month if he’d lived.

1. Spent the last two weekends having a garage sale with my mother, sister, daughters and a couple friends and neighbors. We carted what was left from the first sale to my mother’s house for the second weekend. All total we sold $1200 worth of stuff and gave away many items with a large free pile. We donated many of the leftovers. Money in, crap out right?
2. Garage sale participants (mostly family) traded with each other for items we needed/wanted. My sister was selling a pair of pajama pants that were identical to my all time favorite pair that I wore until I had to cut them up into handkerchiefs. I also got a lightweight cardigan sweatshirt from my mother which I have been on the lookout for a couple of years.
3. All of my proceeds were spent on dinners out with kids, mom and sister both weekends but well worth it to get rid of stuff and spend time with family.
4. Unfortunately using the free covid tests from the government. My daughter got sick after attending a concert. The rest of us have been testing negative so far. Fingers crossed that continues.
5. Combined errands (when I was actually leaving the house) which included a stop for Costco gas which was 25 cents less than others in the area. Eating food that I have at home including free food my daughter brought home from work. Drinking water. Sharing streaming accounts with my oldest daughter. Reading library books and watching library DVD’s. Hanging my laundry to dry. Etc. Etc. Etc.


Alicia August 19, 2022 at 4:11 am


I’m glad to hear someone else has a partner who spends differently! Mine can be quite frugal at times but then has spontaneous bursts of intense spending lol. I keep thinking in time we’ll meet somewhere in the middle but until then we have to roll with it.
1. Froze leftovers of our dinners from the week then contributed them to our local food swap. I picked up a loaf of sour dough, some rice, a packet of noodles and four very ripe bananas which I mashed through a vanilla cake mix.
2. Didn’t buy one take away coffee or meal out this week for myself or anyone in the family.
3. Utilised the ‘bargain box’ at the market – picked up 8 zucchini’s for $2.00(Au) half of which I froze and the other half I turned into zucchini relish.
4. Was going to purchase some new potting trays for my seedlings then remembered there were some egg cartons in the recycling bin!
5. Harvested my neighbours lemon tree as he was moving and wasn’t needing any more. I offered to advertise his unwanted trampoline online in lieu.
6. Attended a friends birthday and didn’t bring a gift (verrrry unlike me!). Decided my presence was all he really needed and he was pleased as he didn’t want or need anything.
7. Sent some accumulated items to a company who specifically recycle what others don’t. In return, they’ve sent me a $15(au) voucher to spend at their store.


Bee August 19, 2022 at 4:36 am

Happy Anniversary!!!! May you enjoy many more wonderful years together.

I had to laugh when I read about your dinner out. It sounded so much like a night out with my frugally-challenge husband who always orders an IPA —or two. Much like you, I happily drink water and order off the appetizer menu.

1. One of my favorite frugal activities involves sharing. This week, my sister loaned me a little black dress for a party that I needed to attend, and I loaned her a suitcase for a trip to the mountains.
2. I have taken a little side project that has the potential to pay well. With my son’s wedding coming up, the extra money will come in handy.
3. Inflation has had a dramatic impact on my family. With everything from haircuts to homeowner’s insurance going up, our monthly expenses have increased by approximately $1200 without any change to our standard of living. I have implemented a question everything strategy. Slowly, I am going through every line item in my budget to see if I can reduce costs. This week, despite the summer heat, I turned up the thermostat and I’m shopping my homeowner’s insurance.
4. I gained weight (16lbs) during the two years of the Covid quarantine. Although I’m finally back at the gym, the weight is stubborn. I have looked into one-size-fits-all weight-loss programs like Weight Watchers and Noom, but they are costly. I discovered health insurance offers 6 free sessions with a nutritionist and a calorie/carb tracking app. (Some offer gym memberships) I have my first appointment scheduled. I hope that this can put in the right direction without straining the budget.
5. I’ve been doing all the usual things. I have been eating at home, brewing my own coffee and drinking primarily filtered water. I bought a summer outfit at my favorite thrift store. I sold a few items on eBay. I borrowed a book from the library to participate in my family book club. I brought my ink cartridges in for recycling. I batched my errands to save gas.
Wishing everyone peace and good health!


Mary in Maryland August 19, 2022 at 5:52 am

I’ve had great luck with the “No s diet”. Google it for some laughs and ideas.


Q August 19, 2022 at 4:42 am

1. In the last couple of weeks, I gave away many useful things on facebook freecycle, making room in my house, but also helping people who get what they need: frugal for them. When people came to pick up, I had other items ready, which they could have and not use extra gas. (Someone came to pick up a dress, I found similar items and offered to them, etc.) Keeping things out of landfill, and frugal for me because makes it more efficient to clean, etc
2. Using up food in garage refrigerator, so we can get rid of 2nd refrigerator: it is a waste of electricity to have two refrigerators for a two person household. Going through the frozen food also means a savings on groceries. If we miss the second refrigerator, it would be cost effective to buy a new one, or a freezer, as the older garage probably uses too much electricity. I am going to try to see if I can just avoid using the garage refrigerator for this year. (I am going to measure electric use of garage refrigerator with a meter I can borrow from library.)
3. Bought a large box of #2 tomatoes for $25. The price for this has gone up this year, but still very inexpensive for tomatoes around here, and the tomatoes are delicious, as I don’t grow my own due to heavy woodchuck pressure. I like to support this family farm, and I love really ripe, fresh tomatoes. I make major amounts of tomato salad while they are in season, and I sent everyone home from a family party with party favors: tomatoes! (we are a fresh ripe tomato-living family.) I try to really go crazy eating tomatoes while they are in season, so I don’t mind buying much, much less of them during the year.
4. Fixed my mother’s air conditioner: I thought it would be tough, and was prepared to do the steps from the youtube videos I watched, but when I got there, it just required cleaning the air filter which had a thick, thick layer of felted fur, dust, etc.
5. Continuing porch renovation: our screen door lock has been replaced 3 times, lasting only about 6 years each time. I could not find a better quality lock anywhere. Rather than buy same lock again, I went online to etsy and bought a refurbished lockset from the 1950’s which had a solid metal part, instead of plastic and flimsy metal, which was not durable. Instead of hiring locksmith, had husband help install (I got most of it in by myself). Then we needed a new strike plate, which I could not find at hardware store, but stopped by locksmith store to buy. They did not have one, but very nicely put the old one in a vise, and straightened it out. They would not accept anything, but I will be dropping off a baked treat next time I make one.
6. Bonus! Continue to read library books, drinking water, hanging clothes to dry, Costco gas, using solar electricity. Bought a nice book for 50 cents from library sale. Almost bought another book for full price online, but re-searched the library catalogue online, and was able to find it from library. Yay!


Q August 19, 2022 at 9:39 am

PS: I meant to start with: Happy Anniversary!


Bethany M August 19, 2022 at 6:01 am

I popped my own popcorn for the kids school lunches and snacks instead of buying chips.

I bought hamburger for $1/lb through the Flashfoods App and had $10 of referral rewards really bringing my total down.

Made my own Mayo and yogurt…healthier and cheaper!

Watched a library movie the other day. Nice free treat. Enjoyed a home brew of coffee with it.

Doing 2 meals a day, no snacks, no dessert. Lost 8 lbs in 2 weeks, hungry a little through the day, but going to bed without a hungry belly. No special diet menu or diet products, so it’s saving me money too.


Mary in Maryland August 20, 2022 at 7:50 am

I’m on the “no s” diet. No snacks, seconds or sweets, except sometimes on days that start with S. Google it–it’s fun and quite effective.


Bee August 20, 2022 at 1:03 pm

I’m glad it has been effective for you. It sounds like a sensible diet which is easy to follow. I wish it was that simple for me. However, I do not have normal thyroid function which is a big problem. I held on the first year of covid but year two did me in. I’m hopeful that I nutritionist can provide some personalized guidance.


Ruby August 19, 2022 at 6:19 am

Happy anniversary! Your #5 frugal thing always makes me smile. And those are such cute socks!

1. The state I live in normally taxes groceries, but that tax is lifted for the month of August, so I did a little bit of stocking up.
2. Have lost enough weight to need smaller slacks, and bought two pairs on eBay, new with and without tags, for half the price they would be in a retail store.
3. My husband needed some new summer pajamas, which he wears in all but the coldest months of the year, and I found him two pairs, new without tags, on eBay, also for half the price they would be, if we could have bought them retail. Men’s traditional woven cotton pajama sets are going the way of the dodo bird.
4. Last Saturday I had a pile of potatoes that needed to be used up and put in the time peeling, dicing, cooking and then freezing them for use in my future brown-bag work lunches. Did the same with a carton of mushrooms and a spare onion, so now I have a bag of delicious stuff to add to the next pot of homemade spaghetti, and no wasted veggies.
5. I accidentally spent nearly $6 on a bag of organic apples, which are quite delicious, although my family really does not eat apples raw. So for this week’s snacks and lunch box goodies, I made a huge batch of apple bran muffins to use up a fair number of the apples.
Bonus: It’s been so hot here in Tennessee that we’ve had no interest in eating meals with meat, so the carefully gathered stash of manager’s special meats in the freezer remains stable. Makes me feel like I have lots of cash in the bank. 😀


Shona August 21, 2022 at 5:40 am

And with our high sales tax in TN the grocery tax reprieve has been a great bonus.


Selena August 21, 2022 at 7:21 pm

Thanks for your comment re: high sales tax. We have relatives in TN who brag about no income tax. Yet have no response when I mention the sales tax in TN.


Ruby August 22, 2022 at 2:20 pm

The sales tax certainly spurs me to lead as much of a non-consumer lifestyle as possible. By the time local taxes added, it’s 9% where we live.


Katy August 22, 2022 at 2:48 pm

We have no sales tax in Oregon. However . . . property taxes are absolutely insane as a result. My husband and I pay $6400+ per year.

Selena August 22, 2022 at 3:15 pm

Food is 1% (currently suspended) and with local, 8.25 – 9.25%. Our property taxes run around $7200 now that my husband has turned 65.

Ruby August 23, 2022 at 5:21 am

Katy, we deliberately chose to live in a little city that is on the border of a big city to cut our property tax by half. We drive just a little farther to enjoy the benefits the city offers. That is a quirk of geography not available to most folks, but we sure enjoy it.

Kate August 19, 2022 at 11:53 am

Happy anniversary! I’m likewise leaning into tap water these days. 😛

1. We went on vacation to a rental condo at a ski hill. As it’s not ski season, it cost way less than a hotel and slept our family of 5 comfortably (and it had a/c!). My province announced a “staycation tax credit” of up to 20% back on accommodation in 2022, so I’ll see a chunk of the cost come back next year.

2. Despite being a ski destination, the condo was a short drive from a historic hiking trail (which is free) and a gorgeous, sandy, WARM Great Lake beach (also free). Youngest Kid is big enough and sufficiently enthusiastic to do short hikes now. We found free parking for these activities rather than paying $10 per hour for the pleasure of leaving our car two minutes closer to the sand.

3. We used our provincial park pass to access some cool parks. The pass has ended up being 50% off, as 2021’s was extended through 2022 due to the pandemic. Hooray! I’m highly motivated to see some more parks before it expires in November.

4. We made use of my favourite travel hack: pre-grinding coffee beans and packing a Melita filter so as to satisfy caffeine needs without having to buy coffee first thing in the morning.

5. Rental condo had a full kitchen. I scored a family-size pre-made tray of rigatoni with meatballs for $12 from the grocery store for supper one night. Given the current cost of ground beef, I couldn’t have made it for less. It was huge and we had lots left over for the next day’s lunch.


Ava August 19, 2022 at 1:35 pm

1. Husband saved .15 a gallon on gas.
2. Found an interesting looking pepper mill at GW for $2.69. It turned out to be made by Dansk and very collectable. I listed it for $65. That was half the price of the next cheapest one listed. When I find a great bargain I like to give the buyer a good deal too. It sold quickly.
3. Found metal tomato cages in the plastics bin when we hauled off our recycling. I need tomato cages so they came home with me.
4. Ate all the desirable leftovers and most of the undesirable ones. We need much improvement in cooking and eating at home but we hardly ever have food waste.
5. Can’t think of anything else interesting . Continuing with the usual stuff: lots of library use, hanging clothes outside when possible, thrifting, finding entertainment at home.


A. Marie August 19, 2022 at 1:46 pm

FFT, Book Sales and Book Friends Edition:

(1) I was bright and early on Saturday 8/13 for the first book sale in 2.5 years at the FFL (one of our excellent suburban public libraries). The lovely Barbara, who volunteers at this sale, had put aside various Jane Austen-related materials for my consideration–and a homegrown summer squash of her own! And I found several other good books and CDs. (Note: Barbara says she hopes to start commenting here more regularly. I hope she will, too.)

(2) My JASNA NYC BFF arrived on Sunday afternoon for her by now annual visit. After exchanging our usual birthday boodle Sunday evening (she turned 71 on 8/16 and I’ll be turning 67 on 8/29), we met a JASNA friend from the next city over (who has an 8/20 birthday) on Monday for a triple-birthday lunch and a tour of the Women’s Rights National Historical Park in Seneca Falls. Park admission was free. And I picked up some stocking stuffers for friends at the park gift shop, plus a bumper sticker for myself: “Got Rights?”

(3) Tuesday was devoted to “the fatigue and brainwork of Shopping,” as a not-too-bright Victorian lady once delightfully put it. First stop was Clothes Mentor, where we blew my 15% off August birthday coupon and my remaining $36 in store credit on various purchases. We went next to a specialty bra shop, where BFF partook of a fitting and a bra; the local branch of LL Bean, where BFF found a couple of things on sale; and Wegmans, where we had lunch and BFF enjoyed her annual visit to a real supermarket. (There is actually a Wegmans in Brooklyn, but it’s a subway ride and two bus rides away from BFF in Manhattan, and she says she’d rather just shop here!)

(4) On Wednesday, after I’d paid a visit to DH at his nursing home, we went to a local coffee shop for lunch and then to my favorite secondhand bookstore. The owner and I are now on very friendly terms, since he bought a pretty good chunk of DH’s book collection last fall. And still more books and CDs found their way into our bags.

(5) Alas, a mutual friend in NYC with whom BFF had had lunch on Thursday 8/11 notified BFF Wednesday night that she (the friend) had tested positive for COVID. So we self-quarantined on Thursday. But this was no evil for either of us, since we both had plenty to do and enjoyed the extra casual hang-out time. Heck, I wouldn’t have minded if she’d had to stay longer–but we both consistently tested negative through this morning, so she decided to go ahead with her scheduled departure today. (Thank goodness for all the free test kits I’ve received from friends and relatives!)


BettafrmdaVille August 19, 2022 at 6:47 pm

Happy Anniversary!:
1. BIL rented a house for him/kids/in-laws/my partner and me on the Cape–we went for 3 nights to avoid the crazy weekend traffic to get there/back.
2. My colleague (from another state) was looking for a cheap vacation, so she house/cat sat for us – free pet sitting for us/free lodging for her.
3. With careful planning around mystery shop, garden & super sales, I was able to feed 16 people appetizer, dinner & dessert for about $20: chips & salsa (a company was giving out free jars of high-end salsa at my job), hamburgers & hot dogs (beef & rolls free from mystery shop), mac & cheese (some cheese & milk free from mystery shop, pasta on annual sale, breadcrumbs homemade from heels, butter on sale) tomato salad (tomatoes from garden), baked beans (doctored up from .19 per can of B&M double sale), cabbage slaw (all time frugal vegetable!) and homemade ice cream cake (1/2 of ice cream free from mystery shop).
4. While visiting aunt, noticed that her rhubarb was back for 3rd (!!!) harvest of the year – she was happy for me to harvest some, so 6 cups free are chopped and frozen.
5. Stopped on the long-ish drive home at a Vietnamese grocery. Got enough food for our lunch (in car) and dinner once we got home & knew we wouldn’t want to cook for $21.
Frugal fail: generous brother-in-law does not plan/nor is frugal. Ended up having to buy several items at grocery during the week that we could have brought with us/gotten beforehand on sale had he been willing to plan with us….


Katy August 20, 2022 at 7:59 am

Wow, I’m impressed with your planning and ingenuity!


Hawaii Planner August 20, 2022 at 5:30 am

Happy Anniversary! I love Astoria, & Fort George. They do make great IPAs 😉

1) Once again, planned out elaborate carpools, to reduce driving time, save other people time, & save on gas for soccer practices. Only a few months left until my 16 y.o. can take the driving test. Fingers. Crossed. So much mom driving.
2) Took two free fitness classes at work, charged car & ate breakfast/lunch/snacks for free
3) Used a coupon & an iBotta offer to pick up two containers of oat milk (my current coffee favorite)
4) Sold a few items on eBay
5) Continued to eat a lot from our garden, meal plan, use leftovers & our freezer stash, etc.


K D August 20, 2022 at 9:59 am

1. Per Katy’s suggestion, I borrowed the digital audio book version The Henna Artist, from the library. I’m about one third of the way through it and it is worth listening to.

2. I went to the closest grocery store and bought items on sale and clearance. I used a competitors coupon to save $10 on a $50 order. I bought a watermelon and a very large cantaloupe, both will provide many cups of fruit for just a few dollars.

3. I paid our auto insurance using our double cash back credit card. There is no fee for paying it that way and no discount for not charging it. I will pay it off when it is due.

4. I took my husband’s vehicle for an oil change and made sure they washed it as well. That is a complimentary service. I also availed myself of snacks they provided while I waited.

5. We had a notice that our Fios equipment needs to be upgraded. There is no charge for that and it turns out we can pay less for faster internet service. Apparently I missed the memo that the price went down. For many years it was a struggle to get them to not up the rate. I said “yes please” to changing to the better plan and agreed to auto pay to save an additional $10/month.


Shona August 21, 2022 at 4:08 am

Another couple weeks of unexpected expenses with upcoming expected expenses to follow.

Finding more coins in parking lots.

Found an almost new pair of $7 Adidas running shoes at Goodwill for work.

Gas is hovering just above $3 but still walking and hypermiling when I do need my car.

No food bargains recently but I’ve been keeping to a staple list of items; oatmeal or rice and eggs for breakfast and a huge salad with mostly local organic veggies for dinner. Shift meals 3 or 4 days a week plus leftovers help offset grocery bills.

Returning aluminum cans to the metal scrap yard. Some from our own use but mostly picked up here and there on hikes, grocery store parking lots, and walking to work.


tonyatawana August 21, 2022 at 7:33 am

1. Had a tree in the backyard that was rotting in half. Got a couple of quotes $850 from one place, “$700 or maybe more” from another, then finally $600 from one place and I asked, “Do you have a cash discount?” He told me “No, but I can get rid of the stump for free.” So, I took him up on it and also got him to take an ENORMOUS bush (that I hate) that got dug up when our plumbing got redone and it was just plopped in the yard. (It had to have weighed 300 lbs!)

2. Eating at home. Making meals I like in bulk ahead of time. Always having something there so I am not tempted.

3. Did two trainings at work for extra money.

4. Am giving a friend my signed Anthony Bourdain book for her birthday. I always adored him but after his suicide, I just can’t read anything by him. I figure it is decluttering for me, a great gift for her.

5. Took a little drive to Florence AL (about a two hour drive) to see the Rosenbaum house. Got Milo’s Hamburgers while in Alabama. Not a free event– the house tour was $10 and the burgers were $25 for us both but it was a lovely drive, a nice way to spend a day and I DID pack a lunch which we ate when we got home. (We’d never had Milo’s and wanted to try it! The fries and tea were excellent. The burger was okay.)


Shona August 22, 2022 at 3:30 pm

I used to spend a lot of time in the Florence area and last saw the Rosenbaum house when it was in shambles behind a chain link fence. I forgot about it, but glad to hear it’s been restored. Next time I’m in that area (a 3 hour drive for me).


Jennifer August 21, 2022 at 2:05 pm

We really need to get back on the frugal/non-consumer wagon as we were moving our youngest into college. She didn’t buy a lot of extra and we did no back to school clothes shopping. We did eat out a few times. She helped her roommate move in and then they got lunch. Her time slot was 5-7 pm. We moved her in and then got her dinner. Today was her birthday so we took her to brunch and coffee after a hike. Time to stop eating out again!

Happy anniversary Katy!

1. Bought a bushel of seconds tomatoes at the farmers market for $14. So far I have 10.5 quarts of diced tomatoes, 11 pints of salsa, and pizza sauce cooking down as I type. I love canning food in the summer for winter meals.

2. Back to school we go! My team went out to lunch the first day to reconnect, but other than that I have packed a lunch, drinks and snack. And I cooked at home every dinner last week until college move in. I have already made a menu plan for this week to avoid eating out.

3. Ds transferred from his military college to a local CC for fire fighting/paramedic. MUCH cheaper!

4.Sold some essential oils on Ebay.

5. Ds went to Sports Clips for a hair cut – $35!!!!! Oh my! He paid and I don’t think I could cut his hair the way he wants it. But my dh buzzes his every few weeks and now I know we are saving big bucks! After I saw his total we called several barber shops in the area and they too charged $35 for a simple men’s haircut. Wow!


Julie August 21, 2022 at 4:24 pm

1-my brother moved 2000 km away so this is summer vacation for us now.But he has moved to Nova Scotia so it’s no hardship to vacation out here. We drove as renting cars is almost impossible now. So this was a huge savings as my mom came with us.
2-sons stayed home for the 1st part of our vacation and will join us this week. This saved a lot of money for dog care and we brought their luggage so no extra costs for luggage.
3-bff is driving them to the airport so no parking.
4-younger son leaves for college the day he returns and same bff had much of what we needed for residence.
5-lots of time with family is amazing and he is not the only one here so we have had lots of catching up with cousins and aunts and uncles. Meals are prepared at home and the biggest expense is ice cream.


rebecca August 22, 2022 at 11:15 am

Happy Anniversary!
1. Lots of frugal fail lately-eating out and take out, renewed a museum membership and bought some theatre and concert tickets. My wallet and waistline are both not so happy……but I remind myself that I enjoy socializing and good food.
2. I bought gas for $4.05 a gallon 2 days ago.
3. Passing a book onto my sister. It is one in the stack of covid book buys that I am slowly working through.
4. It is raining outside today. It is a lovely relief and I am really enjoing the free coziness of a rainy day.
5. Not much else going on except for coffee at home and looking at grocery store fliers.


Marie-Josée August 22, 2022 at 4:58 pm

Hope you have a complete recovery, Cindy!


Marie-Josée August 22, 2022 at 5:44 pm

Happy anniversary. I’m glad you enjoyed a nice getaway with your husband and I admire your commitment to keeping expenses low even when celebrating. I hope your foot is on the mend.

My husband is still laid off and I am really hoping the conflict will resolve soon.

I have developed hip and groin pain and my physician has requested FIVE mri’s. I am so grateful for my private employer insurance as these have been scheduled quickly via a private clinic. We have free healthcare in Canada, but non-urgent mri appointments performed in hospitals have a very long waiting list. I suspect performing the job of three employees for the past nine months + my husband’s work situation have a lot to do with this pain syndrome.

When not working, I have been spending time with my daughter and my grandchildren. Enjoying our bright and spacious appartment and the pool on site, reading library books to the little’s. We visited one of our urban beaches last Friday and took a short ferry ride to get there, plus a bus to and from the beach on the island. This was very exciting for a 4 and 7 year old. It wasn’t sunny, nor super hot, so we had a big section of the beach all to ourselves. We brought a picnic and the day had such a wonderful 70’s vibe. No technology, chatting and swimming, children playing in the sand.

I tried two recipes for gluten-free bagels that I consider a failure. One recipe turned out bagels that were very eggy and airy and the other recipe produced very sweet and too dense bagels. I buy some at a wonderful gluten-free bakery. They are delicious, but $2.50 apiece! I have saved two new recipes to try out. Montreal bagels are delicious – such a high benchmark.

The credit card I use to pay for most of our expenses has announced changes to it’s point accrual program. Commencing September 1, we will accrue five points for each dollar spent on food and restaurant purchases, which represents the bulk of our expenses. I was so excited about this that I kept the announcement email and reread it a couple of times. For anyone interested it’s the World Elite Mastercard from the National Bank in Canada.

We’ve spent too much money on take-out recently. I was just too wonked out to cook some dinners in the past weeks and also felt I deserved a break. As work normalizes for me, I will get back to my good habit of cooking all of our meals.

Been enjoying playing Wordle every morning.


rebecca August 24, 2022 at 5:03 am

Montreal bagels are so good!


MB in MN August 27, 2022 at 2:03 pm

Happy anniversary to you and your husband!

1. Ordered more free COVID test kits from the government. It looks like the program is ending September 2.

2. Corralled and organized the various items in a miscellaneous drawer using several nonrecyclable black plastic containers that mushrooms come in. No money spent and nothing sent to the landfill.

3. Found 50 cents in a parking lot. Gave it to a teenager walking nearby who was as excited as I was!

4. Used my stash of little jars in my restaurant kit to come home with (and not waste) the following condiments: blueberry jam, chipotle mayo, tomatillo sauce.

5. Received lots of cukes from my neighbor. So many that I was able to share with others.


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