Five Frugal Things

by Katy on September 19, 2022 · 72 comments


  1. I sold a number of things through eBay and Facebook Marketplace.

    • I thrifted a goofy “Bun in The Oven” maternity costume for $5 and sold it on eBay for $40. But not before wearing it around for a bit. Not sorry at all, it was delightfully comfortable!
    • I thrifted a kid’s Trek bicycle for $15 and sold it locally for $50.
    • I thrifted an antique typewriter for $20 and sold it for $75.
    • I thrifted a licensed Wizard of Oz Scarecrow costume for $4 and sold it locally for $30.
    • I thrifted a Pottery Barn pumpkin costume for $3 and sold it on eBay for $35.
    • I thrifted a set of Eddie Bauer flannel sheets for $7.50 and sold them on eBay for $35.

  2. I took the two $1.99 glazed flowerpots that I picked up from a Tacoma, Washington estate sale and potted them with peace lilies. I knew I wanted to plant them with something for indoors the house as we’re only a month or so out from frost, but I also didn’t want to spend any money. I have a peace lilly on top of the piano that’s grown quite large and this was the perfect opportunity to transplant some of it. I grew up with a greenhouse plus a lot of houseplants, so I wasn’t worried about damaging the lilly, and confidently took a knife to separate out the roots. I now have two “new” peace lilies and all I paid was $3.98 for the pots.

  3. My husband and I stopped into Costco to pick up a rotisserie chicken and gas up the car. This guy is a diehard coffee drinker and has very much not enjoyed whenever I’ve attempted to reign in our coffee expenses. Although, he does point out that he always brings his own coffee to work instead of driving through Starbucks.

    Anyway . . . we were headed to the register when I noticed that the 2-1/2 pound bags of Starbucks beans were on sale (“instant rebate”) for just $14.99, limit six per customer. So we bought six. After all, $6/lb is a screaming good deal for high end coffee.

    I’m relieved to be at a point in my life where I can shell out an unexpected $89.94 and still pay my bills. I’ve certainly lived through times when I wouldn’t have been able to take advantage of this sale price, and would’ve ended up paying more in the long run due to not having funds to cover the cost. The issues of poverty and food insecurity are part of the daily news cycle more than ever and my heart goes out to those in the midst of their struggle.

  4. I glued my aged dish scrubber back together, I listened to the audiobook of Sea of Tranquility by Emily St. John through the free Libby app, I baked a batch of pumpkin spice muffins using the last of last year’s pumpkin puree, (which was baked from a neighbor’s uncut jack-o-lantern) I shared a plate of muffins with those neighbors, I hung multiple loads of laundry on my backyard clothesline, I grocery shopped at Winco with my friend Lise, which ticked off both “socialize” and “grocery shop” from my to-do list, my backyard hydrangeas are still blooming, so I’m assembling bouquets for friends and neighbors, (I planted them 24 years ago from starts my father propagated in his greenhouse) and I washed my Prius in the driveway instead of paying for a carwash.

  5. I didn’t buy a Lear Jet.

Katy Wolk-Stanley    

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

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

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

{ 72 comments… read them below or add one }

Marie-Josée September 19, 2022 at 5:35 pm

Love your smile in that costume and your flowerpots are really lovely. I am enjoying reading your frequent blog posts and all the comments. Thank you, Katy! Hope your foot is healing.

I baked two dozen almond flour muffins and used up almond flour that was taking up precious space in our freezer. My husband has announced he prefers Clif bars for his morning snack and we agreed that we would liquidate the almond flour first. A dozen muffins were gifted to our daughter. Also baked two batches of homemade granola and gifted one batch to our son.

Ran around to two pharmacies to buy some liquid hand soap that was on sale (a local company that makes biodegradable products). Thankfully, we drive an electic car that my husband charges for free at work. There was only one container left and we saved $2.50. This was not a really good use of our time, but will tide us over until the next sale. We were hungry after this run of errands but resisted the call of takeout and ate lunch at home.

Work has slowed down and I am feeling less stessed out and sleeping much better. We have made plans to host family for our Canadian Thanksgiving and a family member’s birthday. I will be making lasagna, brownies and an apple crumble – all gluten free.

Our daughter’s car broke down while she was driving to visit us. We took care of having it towed to the nearest Toyota dealership. They initially called to let me know that just the part was $3700 for her 10 year old Prius. My daughter is a single mom to two and this expense was a really hard blow to her budget. Buying another used car was not an option: there are hardly any and they are super overpriced. The dealership called the next day to let me know that Toyota had agreed to cover all of the costs as part of the extended warranty. My daughter was so happy and releived! Thank you Toyota! She is buying us dinner tomorrow to thank us for helping her with this. She is a teacher and I acted as the liason officer in this saga as she can’t be reached during the day. My husband organized the towing part.


Katy September 19, 2022 at 7:33 pm

Thank you, my foot is okay right now, but only because I got another steroid shot.

By the way, my liquid hand soap hack is that I put very watered down dish soap in a foaming pump dispenser that I bought at Trader Joe’s around 2-1/2 years ago. Works great, especially since as a nurse I understand that the soap itself is less important than proper handwashing technique.

I love that your daughter’s story turned out well. Car ownership is rarely a fun thing.


Marie-Josée September 25, 2022 at 3:04 pm

I’m glad your foot is feeling better. Thanks for the soap recipe. I tried a variation of this by using castille soap and water and it was rejected by my soap snob husband. I don’t have a foaming dispenser which may be the reason it wasn’t a success. It wasn’t very sudsy.


Katy September 26, 2022 at 9:01 am

Yes, the key is to use a foaming dispenser.


Christina September 30, 2022 at 8:02 am

I do the exact same watered down hand soap for foaming soap dispensers. At the lovely kitchen store I used to work at, we sold those dispensers and there was a little line on them, I’d say about 1/6th of the bottle if that. That was for the fancy ‘soap concentrate.’

Seriously, just using regular liquid hand soap and then adding water to top up works just fine. Just leave enough space so that you can shake it well to thoroughly mix the water and soap. Works so well!


Katy September 30, 2022 at 11:37 am

I used to use liquid hand soap in my foaming dispenser, but I ran out and switched to liquid dish soap and it works great as well.


Ruby September 19, 2022 at 5:46 pm

You look so cute in that costume, and hooray for the sales!

1. Ran new elastic through the waistband of my pajamas, which are at least a dozen years old and holding up great except that the elastic wore out.

2. Figured out how to alter a pair of pajama pants for my husband, using some fabric bought at the Salvation Army. The pants were part of a badly made pair he bought on Amazon and did not return because he thought they fit okay. And then the seat ripped out the second time he wore them.

3. Pulled an empty ceramic pot out of the pot graveyard next to our trash bin and repotted one of my husband’s exotic cacti after its pot was accidentally broken. Lotsa pot in that sentence!

4. Used up three elderly apples making apple bran muffins. Used up some bread heels making meat loaf. Made my work lunches from odds and ends in the freezer before compiling this weekend’s grocery list. This used up all the opened bags and packages.

5. Received a flu shot and the new Covid booster free at work.

Bonus: My husband, son and I dug up an ancient brick patio that was just a weedy dog potty, put down 2,400 pounds of topsoil, followed by grass seed and straw, and by spring it should be a nice section of lawn. We saved $25 on supplies using coupons from Ace Hardware and Heaven only knows how much in labor.


Juhli September 19, 2022 at 6:29 pm

The photo of you in the costume is so joyous!
1. Made a double batch of chili with half the meat usually added. I will freeze some for later.
2. Used a coupon to get a gallon of white vinegar for 99 cents. Bargain of the month I expect.
3. Bit the bullet and donated clothes that were too tight. I seem to still have enough left for fall and winter with just a couple of additions. Off to find good prices on suitable items that will last.
4. We are storing son and DILs car while they travel for 3 months thus becoming a two car family again. It has not made us want to get a second car of our own which is quite frugal and helpful as we will soon need to replace our own car.
5. Asked the vet to prescribe prednisone pills for our puppy’s skin problem instead of giving the much more costly shot. They did the trick and there are enough to treat the problem if it returns until he turns one and can take a different medication. So 5 months of no reason to see the vet for this issue.


Katy September 19, 2022 at 7:27 pm

Oh yeah, I donated an armload of smaller size jeans a few weeks ago. Begone, tiny pants!


Katy September 19, 2022 at 7:34 pm

If I’m adding meat to chili I make sure that it’s extra flavorful so that a little can go a long way. A good example of this is spicy sausage.


Dmarie October 1, 2022 at 5:48 am

agree! if I leave the cooked spicy sausage in pretty sizable chunks (rather than breaking it up completely while cooking), the chili or meat sauce or whatever doesn’t seem skimpy on meat. Somehow an occasional big bite of spicy sausage seems more generous than little bits in every bite ha


Jenny September 19, 2022 at 10:20 pm

Good to hear from you, and the costume is great. One Halloween many of us L&D nurses wore pillows in our middle with maternity tops or big scrub tops. It was a hoot for our patients, families, doctors, other hospital employees, especially to see the very senior nurses “pregnant”.
Also I really like that fawn or deer art that is by your pots. I don’t remember seeing that before, and what’s the story? Another question- I don’t seem to remember that you grew up in a greenhouse, so would like to hear more about your childhood and stuff. Have I missed lots of your writing somehow?
Thanks so much!


Katy September 19, 2022 at 11:27 pm

I love that!!!!! I would definitely worn a fake pregnant belly to work when I was a labor and delivery nurse. Missed opportunity.

I must have not explained that properly. My dad’s house has a greenhouse on the property, but the house itself is a normal structure.

And the deer? She’s a $2.99 Goodwill find and her name is “Goldy Fawn!”


Ava September 20, 2022 at 8:15 am

The deer name is hilarious.


Katy September 20, 2022 at 5:33 pm

I am a walking taking “dad joke” machine.


Kathy September 20, 2022 at 3:53 am

Love the costume!
1. Inspired by your death pile post. Listed a couple of items and viola $69 in sales
2. Donated a bag of clothes to local church clothing closet
3. Friend moved near me and had stuff she didn’t want. I took children’s books for friends, a mini teapot set for my ex boss and 5 bars of Kirkland brand dove soap to send along with some other items to a friend’s daughter studying in Ireland.
4. Took friends Dooney Burke purses to consignment store $102 and used books $11. My friend will donate $$ to a dog rescue organization
5. Received a $15.91 class action settlement check
On to Fall


Jill A September 20, 2022 at 4:33 am

I love the new pots and the costume is great!!
1. I’ve been recovering from vacation and have spent much time at home getting caught up on weeding, mowing etc. I am suspicious of some bug bites received on vacation and so with caution I’ve left our luggage in the garage and washed and used the dryer for laundry to prevent any bed bugs we may have encountered.
2. I took my Mom on a ride in the country (her favorite thing). I drove my hybrid to save on gas. We stopped at small road side produce stands. I picked up some veggies that I roasted and served over rice for an inexpensive and delicious dinner. We split a dozen ears of corn which they were selling for $5.
3. My mother stopped by and I fed her a lunch of salad with homemade vinaigrette dressing. We sat on the front porch in the shade and enjoyed the perfect day. She left me some goulash leftovers that she and my sister did not want to eat. This made an easy and free dinner. Cheap entertainment and the best company.
4. I stopped at the library with my daughter. She checked out some books and I checked out Season 4 of Yellowstone. It’s such a great show I think I’ll start at the beginning and watch it again.
5. I also have had an Ebay listing block problem. I blame it on the insanely busy summer months. Although several items have sold I’m planning to spend some time this week getting back into the groove again.


Bee September 20, 2022 at 4:35 am

It so nice to have you back, Katy.
My life continues to be super busy right now — new grand baby, my son’s wedding around the corner, growing my little business. The good news is I don’t have time to spend much money. Here are my FFT for this week…
1. I sold a French design magazine on eBay for $10. I had picked it up for free in a magazine exchange bin. Before finding it a new home, I enjoyed looking at the photos and tried to read some of it.
2. A took a cutting from a rare red and orange passion vine. I’m attempting to root it and am hoping it takes. I’m not sure where I’ll put it, but I’m sure I’ll find a place.
3. I needed a dress to wear to an event honoring my BIL. The consignment shops and thrift stores have very little in the way of special occasion clothing. (I suppose this is the result of two years of quarantine.) I used a coupon code an saved 25% on the purchase of a dress. Hopefully, it will look nice on.
4. We are hosting a welcome party in place of the rehearsal dinner for my son’s October wedding. We are expecting 150+ guests on Friday evening which is a budget challenge. His bride comes from a large family. She has 14 aunts and uncles and 50 first cousins. To save money and for fun, my dear friend and her sister are helping me with the flowers. Others have donated fall decor items which will be integrated into the decorations – baskets, hay bales, pumpkins, lanterns, burlap and so forth. All will work well in this lodge-like venue. Thank goodness for friends. Sharing is my favorite frugal hack.
5. All the usual things – brewing my own coffee, cooking simple meals from scratch, drinking primarily filtered water, batching errands paying bills on line, and using the library. I borrowed the new Downton Abbey movie from the library and am continuing to read Sea of Tranquility which is a wonderful book. However, I read before bed and I’m so tired that I barely get through 10 pages at a time before I must turn out the lights!
Wishing everyone peace and good health!


Vickey September 20, 2022 at 2:56 pm

“Sharing is my favorite frugal hack.” – Love this!


Jill A September 21, 2022 at 4:06 am

Bee, I love your #4. I agree. We all own too much stuff. It’s great when you can share with each other.


A. Marie September 20, 2022 at 5:35 am

The costume is great, but the smile on top of it is even better!

Now, FFT, Odds and Ends Edition:

(1) See the FFT I just posted over at The Frugal Girl, re: various small frugalities I practiced on a trip over to the next city west for the first in-person meeting of my Jane Austen Society of North America (JASNA) chapter I’ve attended in almost 3 years. (Several of us comment both here and on The Frugal Girl, and I don’t think that either Katy or Kristen minds.)

(2) Re: the discussion above of liquid soap hacks, I’ve just started putting diluted Dr. Bronner’s into an empty liquid soap dispenser. I don’t know why this didn’t occur to me before now. As I believe others here do, I buy Dr. B’s by the gallon.

(3) Speaking of Dr. Bronner’s, I dropped the bottle of it (also diluted) that I use in the shower onto the shower floor, breaking the bottle cap. I took the cap off an almost-empty bottle of shampoo and put it onto the Dr. B’s bottle. Then I emptied a small bottle of hand sanitizer into my larger hand sanitizer dispenser and put the shampoo into the small bottle. Much ado about not very much, perhaps, but it amused me.

(4) I discovered by chance last week that Friday morning is the prime time to hit my local Price Chopper supermarket for Reduced for Quick Sale markdowns. I got $2 off a gallon of skim milk that doesn’t even reach its sell-by date till later this week, plus some good deals on pork and chicken.

(5) And I watched almost all of the Queen’s funeral and committal service online (and caught up with the parts I had to miss because of a medical appointment later). I’ve never missed having a TV or cable service since we ditched them both 6 years ago.


Ruby September 20, 2022 at 10:19 am

I did some similar cap-hacking over the weekend. My husband finally used up the enormous pump bottle of baby shampoo bought two years ago and noted that my sensitive scalp shampoo is hard to get out of the bottle, which I agreed with.

The pump from the baby shampoo bottle was a little too big for my shampoo bottle, but I stabilized it with one of those big rubber bands the postal delivery person uses to fasten a stack of mail together. Total win and and I can now get a dollop of shampoo out without my arthritic thumbs hollering.


Hawaii Planner September 20, 2022 at 6:04 am

Love the costume! And, your new potted lilies are beautiful. Like some of the other commenters mentioned, you inspired me to tackle my eBay pile, and I got three items listed. No progress as of yet, but just getting them listed was a great milestone.
1) Did a full inventory of all of my gift cards, after I nearly missed a bunch & let them go to waste. I’m frustrated with myself, and will not being buying them for this purpose again, because the risk of losing something & voiding years of savings is too high. Also, who wants the hassle of tracking everything?
2) Made lots of interesting meals for lunches: breakfast burritos, sandwich wraps using bits & bobs around the house, scraps of this & that.
3) Uploaded receipts to Fetch & iBotta
4) Menu planned, inventoried our fridge/freezer/pantry before grocery shopping. Intentionally created leftovers, so we would avoid eating out on busy evenings.
5) Took advantage of work perks (I’m quitting in a few months). Three free workout classes, meals & electric car charging.


Heidi Louise September 20, 2022 at 10:31 am

Re gift cards: Can’t say I shop new enough to go there, but just a note that Bed, Bath, and Beyond is closing a large number of but not all stores. Might be time to use up any gift cards. Are those commonly received as wedding presents?


Selena September 20, 2022 at 6:40 am

Not $ frugal but he’s a great cat – has to back to 3x a week on his meds. At least only 4-6 weeks but he’s gained a pound so his dosage increased.
Able to save $5.22 at checkout when ordering food online.
Needed a bit more herbicide for this year and one at the ready for next season (poison ivy and a couple other invasive plants). Normal haunts were out but scored two bottles for $18 (and getting in my steps) instead of $44.

Plenty of firewood and kindling ready for the winter with plenty in reserve. Better half helps neighbors (when it is safe mind you) so we get a lot of free wood from them. He doesn’t charge them but not uncommon for them to give him a few bucks for fuel.

Harvesting the last of the garden (looking like an early winter here, haven’t checked the snow predictions yet). Time to till and plant garlic. And of course the never ending weeding of perennial garden areas.


Mary in Maryland September 20, 2022 at 6:59 am

1. While the cleaning magicians were at the house, we did a batched errand run and both got our flu shots and COVID boosters.
2. I figured out how to pay my credit card bill by phone. Besides saving the cost of a stamp, I was able to specify what day I wanted the payment credited.
3. My husband wanted to paint a wooden bench we have in the front yard. I asked and received both outdoor primer and porch paint via Buy Nothing. Other BN savings—but not for me—gave one neighbor six small nails to replace her house number and gave another three inches of Velcro.
4. I’m vegan and really miss chicken quesadillas. Thinking that soy curls would be the perfect sub for the chicken, I bought some. Twelve pounds—because the bulk discount was huge. I didn’t realize they need to be refrigerated or frozen until they got here. I gifted a couple pounds to friends who are also curious. They are delicious. Have made General Tso’s soy curls and Arroz sin Pollo. Both were wonderful.
5. The Mister and I read The Yearling together. I checked two copies out of the library to prevent fussing. I hadn’t read it since freshman year of high school. My perspective has changed a lot in 58 years.
6. I was gifted a sewing machine that I couldn’t afford to fix for the refugees. I freecycled it to a woman whose husband is a tinkerer. She sent me a thank you note that said he got the complex functions working.
7. And a fail—we are fostering dogs again. Three weeks with a gorgeous, retired breeder who hadn’t any house experience. He was on the table, the end tables, the sewing machine cabinet, the bookcases, etc. Eating hardbacks, electrical cords, and the Mister’s belt (while he was wearing it). Luckily the universe sent an adopter before I totally lost my mind. Now we have a morbidly obese 8-year-old who got bounced from his first foster after twelve hours for attempted cat slaughter. His energy level is more compatible with ours—we have specialized in fosters who need to lose weight as we do a lot of slow walking.


Lindsey September 20, 2022 at 3:34 pm

Until recently we have always had Irish wolfhounds, who average 160 to 180 pounds. The animal shelter asked us to take on an IW foster because they did not have employees who could handle a 310 (!!!) pound IW. This is a calm breed, so I think they were just scared of his size. We spent months and months bringing him down to a healthier weight. The poor guy was so hungry at first that he would go to great lengths to steal food from everywhere–the garbage, our plates as he walked by us during a meal…he was so tall he could reach our counters without standing on his hind legs (which our boys can do, too, but were trained not to) so we had to hide even canisters of flour and sugar because he knocked them off the counter and ate what he could before we heard the noise. We got him down to 225 before someone adopted him.


Mary in Maryland September 22, 2022 at 10:01 am

This guy came to the shelter at 34 pounds when his person died. He’s down to 24 but there’s no feeling his ribs yet. I’m thinking he’ll be a 16–18-pound dog. But he is good in the house and no accidents after the first day–and those are expunged from a foster’s permanent record.


Sharon October 25, 2022 at 9:26 pm

What type of soy curls did you get? I bought some years ago that I hated. I couldn’t even give them away and had to throw them out. Maybe I just bought the wrong kind.


Ava September 20, 2022 at 8:04 am

Yay! Another posting !
1. Found 3 pennies and a quarter in separate events.
2. Hung laundry outside today and should be able to again tomorrow. We have a few hot days left before cooler weather arrives.
3. Had 2 Etsy sales in 1 day. That encourages me to stop being lazy and get more stuff listed. Of course I printed shipping labels through Etsy for a discount on postage and used recycled mailing materials.
4. Helped daughter package her sales. I took her a couple of items to sell and she gave me a couple that haven’t moved for her.
5. Had a stopped up kitchen sink so bad I thought I would have to call a plumber but I persisted and it finally cleared.


Ann September 20, 2022 at 10:13 am

I love the plant pots Katy. They are gorgeous. I love getting babies from my house plants. There’s nothing more satisfying than knowing you’ve looked after them well enough for them to multiply.


Katy September 20, 2022 at 5:33 pm

Funny, I’d never thought of it that way, but I love your perspective.


LB September 20, 2022 at 10:33 am

jealous you got in the queue for Sea of Tranquility! I’m so far down the list I swear I’ll get to listen to it in 2024 🙂

1. My friend wrote a book on fashion waste called “Worn Out.” It’s available on preorder through Barnes and Noble. I realized I had an old GC to B&N (rarely buy books) and was able to get it for $12.99 out of pocket. I still count towards her sales and got to use up an old GC: win/win!

2. Eating straight out of the freezer this week to make up for the takeout decisions this weekend (the pizza wasn’t even good, ugh!). Life is good–salmon burgers, chicken nuggets, and turkey meatballs are all on the menu this week.

3. Generally drinking less has been a huge improvement in my budget. You don’t realize how much happy hours are draining out of you until you are saving the $20-30.

4. Got the new booster and the flu shot–staying healthy is frugal!

5. Loving my rechargeable bike lights, especially as it’s getting dark earlier. Less battery waste!


Mary in Maryland September 20, 2022 at 2:17 pm

I’m on the wait list for Worn Out at the library. The queue is moving very slowly.


Katy September 20, 2022 at 5:32 pm

Hooray for modern medicine!


Christina September 30, 2022 at 8:05 am

I just placed a hold for ‘Sea of Tranquility’ on the Libby app. I have no idea what the book is about, but I’ll figure that out later. Haha Sounds wonderful, and I haven’t read that author before.


K D September 20, 2022 at 1:18 pm

1. A neighbor was trying to make room in her freezer so she gave me frozen bananas, blueberries, and strawberries. I gave her chocolate banana muffins and Cowboy cookies. When I make cookies to take somewhere I make an extra large batch so I can share them with a few other people in my life.

2. I am keeping things out of the landfill by listing them on Freecycle, including items a neighbor asked me to find new homes for. Not glamorous but good for the environment.

3. I’ve been sending GIF birthday greetings to people in my life. I think people are just as happy as they would be to receive a card.

4. I feel extremely fortunate that we can afford to do some stocking up when food/beverage prices are reduced. The thing that gets me is that some grocery store sales give you a price on multiple items that is only slightly less than buying a single one of those items (tortilla chips $1.99 each when you buy three or $4.49 each for any other quantity or similar deals when you buy four boxes of cereal).

5. I continue to enjoy cherry tomatoes from a couple of potted plants and some surplus from a neighbor. Regular tomatoes don’t survive the critters (especially squirrels) and weather. I have had tomatoes everyday for many weeks.


rebecca September 20, 2022 at 1:52 pm

1. I went to the museum with a friend. I have a membership so she went for free. We spent a lovely afternoon there seeing lovely things and sat outside in the courtyard with a cold beverage afterward and chatted. She treated. It’s so nice to have friends where give and take is so easy.
2. Saw a play last weekend for $25.oo. It was intense and thought provoking and I am also glad I didn’t spend more on the ticket.
3. I have resisted takeout the past couple of days and ate what was in the fridge and freezer. Peanut butter and crackers for dinner one night. Can’t beat the price 🙂
4. I’ve not been in a great mood recently and a friend mentioned they had started watching Ted Lasso. I am now in season 2 and loving it. It is so good and funny.
5. I need to make an apple crisp for a family event. I bought packaged apples that were discounted and saved about$1.50. Every bit helps……


Q September 20, 2022 at 2:16 pm

Katy, that photograph! Love it!

1. Made a delicious from scratch “Greek” pizza using the “Easy Whole Wheat Pizza Dough” ecipe from Cookie and Kate. The dough was simple and quick to make. Topped it with olives, cilantro stems chopped finely (they are delicious and added color) air-fried onions, red peppers, some doctored up canned tomato sauce, and vegan feta cheese. It was incredibly gorgeous and tasty, and vegan pizza is insanely expensive here, as well as not amazing. I had been craving this. We devoured it.
2. Brought many delicious foods from home for our trip to a family wedding in a resort town. We stayed 6 minutes away from the quite nice but very expensive venue where the rehearsal dinner, wedding, and family barbeque was held. (Notice the omission of the oxford comma there!) Rented a wonderful airbnb house at a fraction of what staying on site would have cost, and meant that two of my grown daughters and their families stayed with us, for less than the cost of one room at the hotel. (They were not sure they were going to attend, but the free accommodations sold them on making the trip! The price was helped by the fact that the brides chose the weekend after the season ended: weather was still great, but prices were down. Bringing pre-prepared foods and snacks for many meals (and especially bringing coffee beans!) gave us more time to enjoy each other and relax, as well as saving money. It was a wonderful 4 days: playing with my grandchildren is my favorite acitivty.
3. We were able to give our in-laws a lift to the wedding, and on the way home, we looped around and spent two nights in another Airbnb in Montreal, to leverage the maximum benefit from the gas we burned and the drive we made. We picked an airbnb that had convenient and cheap parking, and was next to a Metro station. (Qualities that are easy to check on the website.) It was a treat to be in French speaking Montreal for little extra mileage, and I had been wanting to visit there.
4. Repairs: I paid a wonderful high school student we know to replace some springs on a broken Sunfish tiller. He charged much less than if I had to bring it to a shop, and did an excellent job. I brought some paint to my mother’s house to paint a baseboard, so she would not have to go buy, and later store, a whole new bucket. I am working on repairing a trailer that I use in my gardening endeavors. A dear friend gave it to us more than 20 years ago, and the wood sides, etc, need replacing. It took awhile to figure out exactly what to buy and how to do it, but I am hoping by the end of the week that it will be good for another 20 years!
5. Still cooking at home, reading library books, hanging laundry, keeping busy: a friend called at a time when I couldn’t talk, and we went for a long beautiful walk today instead and caught up while enjoying a wonderful park and each other’s company. I am doing a lot of yard work, and figuring out how to grow lettuce while keeping it from the groundhogs, etc. I wish everyone a wonderful week.


Lindsey September 20, 2022 at 3:17 pm

I laughed SO HARD at that bun in the oven costume. Great find, great profit, plus larking around in it for a few days…does frugality get any better than that?
1. Walked out to see our dog gleefully rolling over and over on a dead bird carcass. I mean, he looked like he was in the throes of ecstacy. Instead of taking him to the dog groomer, husand and I dutifully stripped, lured the dog into my shower (5′ by 5′, so pretty large), and scrubbed and scrubbed until we all came out smelling like Dove soap. I did try a reader tip to use peanut butter smeared on the shower wall to distract the dog. It did not work, he just rolled his head in it and then tried to make a run for it. But I am quicker than I look and I managed to grab his tail and bring him back in, holding on tightly until the husband was done soaping and rinsing. This all took us about 2 hours…to save $70.
2. Made five dozen deviled eggs, which I hate, for a meeting/potluck. I had enough eggs hanging about from my over-producing chickens and I had purchased mayo on sale a few weeks ago, so pretty cheap contribution. And they were eaten up early in the potluck.
3. Bought a raffle ticket to support kid’s soccer, for $5. Won a drive through coffee shop gift certificate for $50.
4. Needed a gift so used the gift certificate I had won. I don’t drink coffee and the husband does not like frou-frou coffees, so it was not a hardship to give the card to someone who will really enjoy it.
5. I had dug out a lot of clothes from when I was a lot heavier, intending to take them to Salvation Army. Seamster husband saw the pile and offered to take them all in so I could start wearing them again. A few evening’s work and I had four more dresses and nine more pairs of pants to wear.


janine September 20, 2022 at 5:47 pm

Husband was once part of a law firm which hosted an upscale client holiday party. He asked for deviled eggs to be added to the menu and they reluctantly agreed. Became an instant hit and a new tradition was established. Five dozen seems like a lot of eggs……..!


janine September 20, 2022 at 5:48 pm

Opps! I meant Lindsey.


Christine September 21, 2022 at 2:56 pm

You had me there for a minute! I was thinking “Hmmm….I don’t remember posting about eggs…”


Selena September 20, 2022 at 7:06 pm

I have a recipe for no-mayo deviled eggs. I’m not sure I’ve ever eaten a deviled egg made with mayo!


Mary in Maryland September 22, 2022 at 10:05 am

After chasing a deer poop-soaked dog who was all sudsed up down the stairs, I installed a grab bar that takes a dog leash in the shower. Because sometimes peanut butter doesn’t work.


Katy September 22, 2022 at 12:12 pm

Woof, that sounds like a scene in a terrible sitcom.


Lindsey September 22, 2022 at 12:12 pm

Mary, I am horrified to read your tip for restraining a soapy dog. Horrified that I am so dim that I did think of this! My shower is designed for my wheelchair and has grab bars all over the place, for when I can stand and when I cannot. We could easily tie him to one of them. I read your tip to my husband who said, “More proof positive that the four graduate degrees we have between us are basically useless in real life.” Thank you for taking the time to post because you have just made our lives a lot easier.


Mary in Maryland September 24, 2022 at 10:28 am

We have four graduate degrees as well, and sometimes the obvious isn’t.


Ruby September 23, 2022 at 10:27 am

It’s been a number of years since our Welsh corgi crossed the rainbow bridge, but my husband used to have strip down his underwear and get in the shower with him for bathing. It always sounded like a sudsy mugging was taking place in there. My poor husband would come out, looking absolutely exhausted, and say, “How can a 25 pound dog put up such a fight?” And I would always say, “He was bred to take on herds of cows. Uphill. In Wales.” 😀


A. Marie September 23, 2022 at 2:34 pm

Ruby, I can’t help wondering what the servants who had to bathe the late Queen’s corgis would have said about your post–but I bet it would have given them a good laugh.


Christina September 30, 2022 at 8:09 am

Oh, I think deviled eggs are completely a love or hate thing. I love them with a strange passion! Hahaha If I see any on a buffet table I make a beeline for them. And they’re also always gluten free, so I know they are safe for me to eat.

I make them so plain: egg yolks scooped out and mixed with good whole fat mayo, and salt and pepper. A sprinkling of paprika on top if I happen to have it. Yum yum yum. I totally want some now. Oh deviled eggs!!!


Katy September 30, 2022 at 11:22 am

No mustard?


Dmarie October 1, 2022 at 6:59 am

okay, now you have me craving some!! we love them with Wickles Pickle Relish added in for a variation. slightly sweet/spicy very yummy


Christine September 20, 2022 at 4:41 pm

Katy, your peace lilies look fantastic in those pots. It was nice to see Goldy Fawn keeping watch over them, too.
1. I’ve found a dime. a nickel and three pennies on the ground these last couple of weeks. Into the found change cup they went.
2. I made a crock pot full of chili and a large pan of brownies and invited a few people over to watch the Sunday football game on tv. Lots of fun and the food was made ahead of time so I could relax and enjoy the company.
3. A friend loaned me a book “Miss Benson’s Beetle” which is a good read. Quirky characters and funny.
4. I used water from the dehumidifier in the cellar to water the raspberry bushes.
5. I went back to my old job at the deli to fill in for some college students who went back to school. The owner gives me a sandwich every time I punch out so that along with soup, a salad or some chips is supper on those three nights.


Ava September 21, 2022 at 5:04 am

I LOVED Miss Benson’s Beetle. Highly recommend it.


geri September 21, 2022 at 3:34 pm

Thanks to you both for the recommendation-I just grabbed the e-book Miss Benson’s Beetle for my kindle from the library.


Shona September 21, 2022 at 3:23 am

1) intercepted some food headed for the trash at my work. I came home with a bag full of gorgeous beet tops to use as salad greens- all the better because they came from a local organic farm.

2) not exactly frugal on the front end, but definitely frugal in the long run, the plumber fixed a potentially damaging issue in our only bathroom. The great relief was the subfloor was not damaged.

3) gathered with friends at home. Pre-COVID we would meet at a brewery and started our porch gatherings once we were all vaccinated. We’ve continued meeting at someone’s home and eliminated the alcohol element as well.

4) I’ve had a run of luck finding new tennis shoes for work at Goodwill. On my feet all day, I wear out shoes fast. A pair of New Balance and Adidas for a combined $16.

5…) using the drying line, shift meals at work, walking to work, free bread from work, hiking with friends, free hot chocolate at my bank, eating what we have on hand and buying only perishables, library books and movies and CDs, bending over to pick up a penny on the street.


MB in MN September 21, 2022 at 2:39 pm

I was the lucky and grateful recipient of several items of food from friends and family:

1. Homemade butternut squash ravioli
2. Several pounds of green beans, squash, tomatillos, jalapenos and onions from the garden
3. Large jar of homemade salsa verde
4. Baguette with yummy stinky cheese
5. Twenty jars of unopened and still-fresh spices from the clear-out of my husband’s aunt’s home


Jann in Maine September 22, 2022 at 9:06 am

Neighbor moved out of state and I was the recipient of freezer and refrig items AND a John Deere riding mower. They could not fit that in the vehicle. Will gift the meat to my daughter and husband as we don’t eat it. Luckily I have room in my freezer.
Reading library books, walking for excercise,sharing garden produce with neighbors and lending a hand when I can.
Fall is here–we have our pellets in the garage and oil tank is full during a dip in prices. Here if you are a senior they give you 3 cents off per galloon all you have to do is ask.
Hit a really good yardsale this past weekend and bought some ncie items to sell on ebay and to gift. Love it when that happens!
Got my Omicron booster and flu shot so hopefully covered for any future event. I do a “flu box” with all sorts of necessary items in it that in case either or both of us are sick we can just grab the box and it’s all in one place. I know my DH is not on task of knowing where everything is and rather than try to explain it it is all together.
Don’t forget that if you need more Covid at home tests your local pharmacy is the new source and just show your insurance card. Some of your kits may be expiring/expired so check their dates as well.


Heidi Louise September 22, 2022 at 11:16 am

Thanks for the last note about Covid tests at local pharmacies.
Also, some expiration dates have been extended as the shelf life has been proven to be later than first thought. Search online for details.


Julia September 23, 2022 at 7:26 am

I like the idea of a “sick” box. I may need to,do,that. I know where everything is but others don’t.


Christine September 23, 2022 at 2:01 pm

I hadn’t heard about pharmacies having free Covid tests. I will check it out here.


Susie's Daughter September 22, 2022 at 9:18 am

1) Costco membership was up for renewal so I combined my brother’s thoughtful Christmas “gift of a membership” card with our Executive rewards check and renewed the Exec Membership for $42 total. Only bummer was that it had to be done in person and Costco is 75 miles away, but…

2) Shopped at aforementioned Costco and managed to avoid the mega Halloween bags of candy and instead stuck to my list. I had a hefty debate with myself about buying a 25lb of flour, but as it has gone up .25/lb since the spring I decided it was worth it. Also got gas there, saving .15/gal.

3) While in the big city, I also shopped Once Upon a Child for DS who is continuing to grow faster than I can keep up. What is too big now may be too small by January. He is generally not picky about what he wears, is not brand conscious and doesn’t care that it has been lightly worn. I’m gonna ride than train as long as it goes…

4) Family coming to visit from Seattle (hellooo PNW!!) and we will eat lunch out and dinner at home each night. We shared a beloved aunt and I will make some of her favorite recipes while they are here. Reminiscing through food!

5) Got Heartstopper books one and two at the library and DS and I will both read them. Brewing my own coffee since it’s better than anything I can buy locally. Will hang out clothes again once it finally stops raining! Eating end of season produce from our garden – arugula, zucchini, herbs and kale.


Jennifer September 22, 2022 at 1:51 pm

It is such a good feeling to be able to have the money to take advantage of a huge sale!

1. Made a couple more ebay sales. I need to list more items though as I definitely have a pile waiting and now not a lot of things listed.

2.Been dealing with horrible sciatic pain that landed me in the er last weekend and after no relief from meds at the dr today. Will need some nerve injections asap. We still have money on our flex card to use so that paid for the prescriptions and everything else will be free because we hit all our deductibles this year – like in March, ugh. But we have unfortunately been able to take full advantage of this this year due to many, many health things.

3. Through all of this I have still managed to cook dinner every night, or at least have my dh do it. I placed a walmart pick up order to avoid going shopping and spent 1/3 what I normally spend there because I just searched for exactly what I needed and wasn’t walking down every aisle lol

4. Picking lots of tomatoes from our garden still. Taking the cherry ones for lunch every day and dicing the larger ones to go in meals. Pasta with fresh diced tomatoes sauteed in olive oil and garlic is delicious and we have had it twice this week.

5. Spoke with BIL who is a PT about some exercises I can do. No AC or heat in weeks. Borrowed books from the library. Went through the freezer with ds and organized and figured out what meat I have. Tons of wild game left that we now have a little bit of a plan for. Cashed in ibotta points for a starbucks GC.


Cindy in the South September 24, 2022 at 4:00 pm

Love the costume! 1. I brought my lunch to work. 2. I managed a few slothlike walks. 3. I am still sleeping about 11 and a half hours a day, slothlike. 4. All of this means I make a grocery store run but I am too sleepy, or maybe Covid made me not give a ….. to shop for anything but the bare essentials, which are usually hot dogs, hamburgers for the grown kid, fresh spinach, tomatoes, eggs, sandwich meat, cheese, and bread. The end. All of that makes for very easy meals. 5.????I am sitting on my front porch for entertainment.


Katy September 26, 2022 at 9:03 am

I guess you’re not back at work yet.


Cindy in the South October 1, 2022 at 9:46 am

I was back at work a week after having Covid but part time.


janine September 24, 2022 at 5:22 pm

1. Husband is in hospital for open-heart surgery so there are additional expenses associated with parking fees, eating out etc. However, tonight, no
parking charge because we left hospital after ramp had closed for the evening saving a few $$. (Short Weekend hours apparently) Lucky to have good insurance!
2. Purchased a couple of kits to put plastic sheeting on some of our windows – (large drafty sun porch) plus other spots where tightening up spaces will help with expected soaring natural gas costs this winter.
3. Friends gifted son with Viking tickets for tomorrow’s game which he is excited to use. He will pay for parking for the group.
4. Refrigerator full of food – hospital is feeding DH for the most part.
5. Signed up for latest covid-19 booster shot. Thanks for the information on testing kits at pharmacies. Will pick up one for us when we go in next week.


Bethany M September 25, 2022 at 5:23 pm

I picked up an Azure Standard order. They used the cardboard at end of a box tape to cushion my order and it had several inches of tape left. Daughter is taking it to school to construct an insulator project for science.

Since the date in milk was a ways out, I bought 2 weeks of groceries and am staying out of the grocery stores. Trying my hardest to save money!

We did one farewell trip to Fair Oaks farm before our family membership expires. Took our lunch and walked through the apple orchard and pumpkin patches without purchasing. There were tons of free activities for the kids so they really didn’t feel like they were missing out. We even resisted the ice cream shop and the fresh made doughnuts.

Gave my kids all a haircut. I cut my own with YouTube help a month ago. Currently we have no out of pocket on haircuts. Although I relish getting layers put back in mine. I look like a fluffy mess when it’s not shampoo day!

One financial bummer, our neighbor sold us his riding lawnmower for $1000. We were happy about it until another neighbor came over and said, “Oh no! I was going to give you mine when we move!” We we’re still really moved by his generous thought!


Christina September 29, 2022 at 8:13 am

Hahaha, that photo of you wearing that funny apron seriously almost made me make a total mess of my computer screen. (I was sipping my homemade hot chocolate at the time.) So SO funny!!!

My five:

1. Loving the Libby app! I can hold library books from my local library, and when I get them if I don’t love them and want to read the whole thing, no biggie. I can just let it go…and it didn’t cost me a single penny. And I’m discovering new authors!

2. Also because of the Libby app – I can enjoy pricey magazines that I would never want to buy. The Economist magazine is one example of such a pricey magazine.

3. Curling up with a microwave heating pad when my feet feel chilly. The temperatures around here have been very warm for this season, yet my feet sometimes feel cold. This little heating pad stays warm for hours and feels cozy. I’ll be using it more and more as it gets colder outside. A quick 1-2 minute heat-up in the microwave and it is amazing how long it can stay warm…

4. Writing on my various blogs helps us earn a bit of money AND is a fun and free way to spend my time. Rather than shopping, I can write.

5. Carefully perusing local grocery flyers to find good deals. One example: Sweet potatoes are quite expensive around here. But this week I noticed that Safeway has them for only $0.99/lb which here in Canada is a bargain! So, I’ll buy a few of them, and we’ll happily eat those over the coming weeks. Sweet potatoes are filling, delicious, healthy and a good base for all sorts of uses. (One of my favourites is to top with chicken or vegetarian chili. Yum!!)

Hugs sent out to all of you. Your posts, Katy, and everyone’s comments are truly inspiring. :)))


Katy September 29, 2022 at 8:15 am

Thanks for the reminder about sweet potatoes, I think I’ll pick up a couple next time I’m at the grocery store.


Jessica December 5, 2022 at 1:40 pm

I recently fixed a very irritating electrical problem on our washer, and there really is privilege involved. I wasn’t as anxious to attempt it knowing we could get a new one if we had to. I had the energy and attention span (trauma and stress are DISTRACTING) to work on it and the time to watch umpteen YouTube videos across several days/weeks and comb through the manual trying various repairs until something stuck. Having a dad who’s a professional contractor is another privilege– when I get too overwhelmed or confused, calling him for advice is an easy button. Being able to drive around for parts is a big one. I love that you addressed this issue rather than glossing over it and calling people wasteful for not attempting repairs. Like you said, it’s more complicated than it seems.


Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: