Five Frugal Things

by Katy on October 3, 2022 · 61 comments

  1. I received a large postcard of coupons for a high end grocery store that’s normally too pricey for my cheap blood. It included a coupon for a free jar of pasta sauce, which I promptly snipped. This coupon was dated for a week or so out, so I added it to my calendar to make sure it wouldn’t slip my mind. I then gave the rest of the postcard to my next-door neighbors as it had multiple coupons for 10%-off this and that, and they do shop there.

    This may sound like a lot of trouble for a single food item, but it involved just a few minutes out of my day. I normally make my own pasta sauce, but this pantry staple will serve as a time saver on an inevitably busy day in the future. It’ll bar me from to succumbing to takeout’s siren song and feed the people I love. I do love me some free food.

  2. I cooked multiple frugal meals from scratch, (endless, is the word “endless?” Because that’s how it sometimes feels.) This includes red lentil soup, cheesy grits, tacos with bulk purchased pinto beans, baked potatoes, twice baked potatoes, thrice baked potatoes and even a $5 Costco roasted chicken that snuck a bit of meat into our diets.

    I buy our produce from either Winco or the Everyday Deals grocery liquidator, although I’ve been trying to hit the liquidator more often as their prices are at least 75% less that any traditional grocery store. Unfortunately the store is a schlep from the house, although it’s literally next door to a big Goodwill, so I’m able to rationalize it as “combining errands.” Worth it though, as the above cart of produce set me back a mere $13.

  3. I saw an Instagram ad for a bra that might work for me, so I gathered all the details and instead bought from eBay. Not only did I save money, ($14 vs. $36) but I also supported a small business person and my purchase didn’t prompt the manufacture of a brand new item.

    Choosing eBay or similar keeps otherwise unwanted goods back into circulation and puts money in the hands of people who spend money in their communities instead of hoarding wealth or spending it on ego driven rocket ships. Officially, “bras” are on my self-approved list of items I’ll buy new, but there are millions of new and “like-new” items available on the secondhand market. Already manufactured, just waiting to be put back into use.

    And no, it’s not gross.

  4. I gave away a piano keyboard, a fabric sunshade, a magazine holder and some random pantry items through the Buy Nothing Group, I listened to The Four Winds by Kristin Hannah through the free Libby app, I asked for and received a pair of pruning shears for gardening, I walked my laptop over to the library for a free tech help session, my next door neighbor gave me a huge tomato from her garden, I lent her a shovel and bin and I sold a pair of sneakers on eBay that never fit right. 

  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.

{ 61 comments… read them below or add one }

MB in MN October 3, 2022 at 8:49 am

Wow, that’s an incredible deal on produce!

1. I started keeping a reading log on October 1st last year. I knew I was reading a lot, but didn’t realize just how much. Now I do! Here are the stats: I read 160 books in the last year, about three per week. Ten books were purchased from my local bookstore with the rest from either the library or friends/family. Out of the 160, six were audio books. I’ve stopped keeping the log but I’m sure glad I tried it for a year.

2. We’ve sold our home to a lovely young couple in a private sale. Now we need to find one for us; months of fruitless effort have been frustrating. Since we’re going away for two months this winter, we’ll be closing by the end of December and will put our possessions in storage and find transitional housing for our return in March if we haven’t found a house before we leave. Not looking forward to this upheaval, but it is really nice to have our house sold while the market is still holding.

3. Starting to periodically set out free things at the bottom of the driveway. These are things that we don’t want to move and can’t be donated to the thrift store – miscellaneous garage stuff, furniture that has seen better days, etc. Virtually everything gets taken which gives me such a thrill.

4. Purchased a generic printer cartridge at Target that was $13 cheaper than the normal HP product I buy. So far, it’s working great so hopefully this will be a lower cost solution. If my husband didn’t have his own business, we probably wouldn’t have our own printer and would instead rely on the library’s printer.

5. To save on ink I print in draft mode.


Katy October 3, 2022 at 10:00 am

That is an impressive amount of reading!!!!


Christine October 3, 2022 at 4:40 pm

160 books! That’s a great amount of reading. Nice to see the majority of them came from the library and friends and relatives.


Bee October 5, 2022 at 4:20 am

That is an impressive number of books!!!! Do you read primarily fiction, non-fiction, biographies, how-to, or memoirs? What have been your favorites this year?


MB in MN October 5, 2022 at 7:56 am

Bee, memoirs and fiction ruled my reading this past year. Here are the books that stood out for me:

1. Between Two Kingdoms: A Memoir of a Life Interrupted by Suleika Jaouad
2. In Love: A Memoir of Love and Loss by Amy Bloom
3. Smile: The Story of a Face by Sarah Ruhl
4. Unglued: A Bipolar Love Story by Jeffrey Zuckerman
5. These Precious Days: Essays by Ann Patchett

1. Sharks in the Time of Saviours by Kawai Strong Washburn
2. The Book Woman’s Daughter by Kim Michele Richardson
3. The Five Wounds by Kirstin Valdez Quade
4. The Midnight Library by Matt Haig
5. The One Hundred Years of Lenni and Margot by Marianne Cronin
6. The Seed Keeper by Diane Wilson
7. The Story of Arthur Truluv by Elizabeth Berg


Bee October 6, 2022 at 6:32 pm

Thank you for sharing your list. I always love to hear what others are reading. This way, I discover hidden gems that are not going to be found on the Barnes & Noble book list.There are several new-to-me titles on your list. Happy Reading!!!


joyce October 3, 2022 at 9:22 am

Wow Katy I would have bought all of those raspberries. Actually, everything showing in your cart I would have bought also.
1. baking bread again now that our weather has cooled off, I use a roaster to bake in so way cheaper than the gas oven.
2. made peanut butter cookies. so cookies, popcorn and bargain bought apples for snacks for the family.
3. All laundry drying on the lines, I love “crunchy” towels I feel like they are exfoliating me. LOL
4.made cheeseburger soup only uses 1/2 pound of ground beef and feeds the family for days.
5. movie night in after a home cooked meal. I like to cook but will confess to getting tired of my own cooking. So when family gets together everyone brings something.
as a bonus , have been cherry picking at the “expensive” store… found some marked down meat. not processed stuff the real thing LOL


Katy October 3, 2022 at 10:02 am

I left three or four packages of raspberries at the store, but only because they had some moldy ones. We ate a package and then I froze the rest.


Heidi Louise October 3, 2022 at 11:14 am

Also love the crunchy towels!


Christine October 3, 2022 at 4:43 pm

I’m with you on the crunchy towels. For some reason they seem to dry my skin after a shower better and faster too.


Kathy October 3, 2022 at 9:30 am

1. Moving is a challenge Wishing you the best.
2. I’m dubbing October as money diet month. I’m awaiting approval for a heart catherization. I’m anticipating copays, time off work, etc
3. Sold another item online
4. Have 2 boxes for consignment store
5. Used a $39 class action voucher from Massage Envy to buy a couple of gifts. Spent $4.76


MW October 3, 2022 at 10:15 am

– I’ve made three of the nine pairs of flannel PJ pants that I’ve committed to making for Christmas gifts. I’m using thrifted and going-out-of-business-sale flannel and am tracing off patterns so that I can keep sizing up as kids get bigger each year.
– The older son scavenged costume parts from Goodwill- I’ll put some of those sewing skills to use to customize it for him. The younger boy is happy to use costume bits that we already have.
– I’ve started cleaning up the garden. I snagged a haul of green tomatoes- I’m sharing them with my southern neighbor for her fried green tomatoes needs, pickling a few and I may give those fried green tomatoes a try tonight.
– After losing a few Covid-related pounds, I’m fitting back into my pre-Covid wardrobe.
– Still taking the bus, making my own coffee, packing a lunch and generally living that thrifty life.


A. Marie October 3, 2022 at 11:02 am

First, a mild complaint: The pop-up video ads that have started occurring throughout my attempts to read comments here are annoying. Katy, I know you need to monetize the blog and all that, but can anything be done about these ads?

Now, FFT, Gum Grafting Edition:

(1) As noted last week over at The Frugal Girl, I had gum grafting done last Tuesday. Briefly, this involved having some tissue shaved off my upper palate and grafted onto my upper left exterior gum. Exactly as unpleasant as it sounds–but thank goodness for my graduate school BFF, who flew in on Sat. 9/24 to get me through the worst of it and flew home on Sat. 10/1. Among other things, she got me through an unexpected bout of sciatica co-occurring with the dentistry, and made me two pots of post-surgery soup. (Not to mention the major catching up on news, cheerfully snarky gossip, etc.) All hail BFF!

(2) Thanks also to the Bestest Neighbors, as usual. Dr. BN came over to check out my back and confirmed that it was just sciatica and not a slipped disk. And Ms. BN made a special trip out to get me a back support belt.

(3) I’m sufficiently recovered from everything that I will be attending the festivities tomorrow for our local Habitat for Humanity’s reopening in a new space. The simplest way of dealing with DH’s massive collection of tools, etc., seems to me to donate a lot of them to the H for H ReStore, and I’m hoping to make contact at the ceremony with some former friends of DH’s who are involved with H for H.

(4) I’ve also reserved a space at a “Junk in the Trunk” event at a local Episcopal church this coming Saturday. I’ve got about a Honda Element hatchload’s worth of things I’d like to dispose of this way, and I’ve been wanting to try an event like this for some time.

(5) And since I haven’t done a load of laundry in over a week (the guest room, which BFF was occupying, is my main drying space), I’m washing and hanging things to beat the band!


Heidi Louise October 3, 2022 at 11:13 am

I wondered if the ads were just new to me, (I use a laptop). The lower left corner fifteen second video has appeared three times in the last two minutes, loads slowly, and doesn’t put up the X to close it until the last three seconds.
I absolutely support paying bloggers for their time and effort. (Another ad just appeared, ten seconds this time). I also find this annoying and hope it quits.


Katy October 3, 2022 at 5:00 pm

So sorry, I am working on getting the pop ups removed.


Lindsey October 3, 2022 at 12:07 pm

A. Marie: I like reading fiction set in the 1300s to 1500s. When one of the characters dies young, as most did back then, I think, “But at least you didn’t live long enough to have to endure…” I am going to add having your gums shaved to the list. I hope your recovery is a rapid one!


Christine October 3, 2022 at 4:52 pm

Ugh! I had the gum grafting in March and it was no joke for ten days. The site of the grafted tissue healed quite quickly but the shaved area of my palate was bordering on excruciating. The only thing I could tolerate was room temperature black tea on it. On the positive side, it did help with weight loss. Glad you’re feeling better. I had my post surgery six month check up today and all is well.


Ruby October 4, 2022 at 4:41 am

The tannin in tea soothes wounds. If you get a burn, making a compress of cool brewed tea will make it feel much better.

I had to have a sinus lift with a bone graft as part of getting a tooth implant in my upper jaw and would not wish that on my worst enemy, especially since the oral surgeon talked me into trying nitrous oxide and it turns out I’m one of those people it does not have an effect on. That was grim.


Katy October 3, 2022 at 4:59 pm

I 100% agree about the ads, I’m working with someone and will remove pop ups. I was NOT HAPPY to see them!


Becky October 4, 2022 at 8:27 pm

A. Marie, I read your posts and am fully convinced we’d be bff’s in real space. You got extra points for using my all time favorite word. Snarky


Ruby October 3, 2022 at 11:34 am

Ooh, that is such a yummy looking basket of produce! And it is so nice to have you reporting your five frugal things every week.

1. Hand-stitched the waistband of a pair of yoga pants that suddenly became too loose to safely wear in public. Repaired one of my sandals. Repaired and altered a pair of pajama pants for my husband.
2. Put up the clothesline on the back porch and hung up freshly laundered dog bedding to dry. Hand-washed bras and hung them on the drying rack to dry.
3. Gave all three of our dogs a bath and trim in the laundry room sink on Sunday. Put their collars in an old pillowcase and laundered those along with the doggie bath towels.
4. Used some gifted too-powerfully scented shower gel to clean the toilet. Used some wax-free shoe polish and a soft rag to refresh the seating surface of our brown leather sofa and conceal a scratch on the back courtesy of one of the cats.
5. My favorite coffee went up to $11.69 a can, so this weekend I went around to a couple of clearance stores and bought heavily discounted coffee there, after reading a couple of articles about best coffee brands and making notes. Should be set for well into the winter.


Christina October 4, 2022 at 9:38 am

Good plan on the coffee stock up. I only drink Swiss Water decaf now, due to health reasons, and sometimes Safeway has the Nabob kind I like on a pretty good sale. Next time I see a sale I’m going to grab a few!


Susan October 6, 2022 at 3:59 am

The shower gel tip is genius repurpose hack! I have some $0.99 kids cleaning gel from years ago (my kids are 16 &18) that I was going to put to buy nothing, but will now repurpose! Thanks for sharing this!


Kim October 3, 2022 at 11:46 am

Good stuff!
Im coming to the end of my gardening season and working on “putting up” some of my bounty. I ordered some off brad kids for my canning jars, and I won’t make that mistake twice! They didn’t seal consistently and one of them even buckled on my last batch! I went out and bought the good ones this afternoon?


Anne October 7, 2022 at 6:51 am

I know it was a typo, but I love “off brand kids.” I think we all got those.


Lindsey October 3, 2022 at 12:24 pm

1. Hard to explain how this happened and how no one got killed, but the pound hound jumped up onto my husband’s garage work table. It tipped slightly from the weight, the dog panicked, fell hard against the only single paned window we have in the house, and then fell through it. I was in the garage with the dog and it happened so fast I could not believe my eyes. The terrified dog refused to come into the house so I could check him for wounds, which is his habit if he thinks he did something wrong and might be beaten. We have never so much as raised our hand to him but his old life lessons have not left him. Anyway, the frugal thing was that we had been wanting to replace that window for a triple paned one and when we went to the glass store they had one that someone had failed to pick up. The frame was a hideous color so we got it for less than half price. My husband and the neighbor are going to install it this weekend, after the repainting of the frame (with paint from a previous job that we stored correctly) has a chance to dry. The dog did come in late at night, when the temperature was 30 degrees and he was cold. It breaks my heart that three years later he still gets this scared of people. The only scratch he had on him was on one paw and it was not a deep one.
2. The seat in the van has been torn up so badly it cannot be fixed. Husband found a match at our one junk yard and replaced it. $40 was all it cost.
3. The quail egg fest has ended, as the neighbors processed them for winter meat. They generously gave us four cleaned birds. Not my favorite, but with the right sauce we will make thankful use of them.
4. Did the usual gas shops, so gas and free pop earned.
5. The seamster needed a new sewing machine, having worn the other one out. Found a still in the box new Singer on FB marketplace, for about half the price of a new one. I mean the various extras were still in sealed plastic, it is that untouched.


A. Marie October 3, 2022 at 12:51 pm

Lindsey: Poor pound hound! I’m so sorry that he is still so spooked by things, and glad that his injury was minor. Give him some extra treats from his aunt A. Marie.

And, believe me, gum grafting is *very* minor compared with everything you and your DH have been through. My mantra, as always, is “It could be worse.”


Ruby October 3, 2022 at 2:46 pm

Oh, poor pup! Our youngest dog was abused as a puppy and it’s taken six years of constant, consistent love and gentleness toward her to get her to the point where she will voluntarily climb in our laps. She is the sweetest, smartest little dog and it breaks my heart that she was so badly damaged.


Jill A October 4, 2022 at 3:34 am

Oh no poor baby. I’m glad he wasn’t badly hurt.


Christina October 4, 2022 at 9:40 am


What a terrifying ordeal you went through, and your poor little dog! I’m so glad he’s ok, and also glad that he’s with loving and kind pet owners/parents like you.


LB October 3, 2022 at 1:03 pm

1. realizing how hectic of a week it will be, we bought salad kits and some other items to help make food this week. trying to reduce food waste by only buying what we’ll eat as well.

2. “shopping my closet” for updated outfits as I have to go into my very trendy office. I won’t win any fashion awards but at least I don’t need new dress pants!

3. Enjoying the free lunches that come with in-person events.

4. Trying to reduce the number of taxis I take by planning my days better. This is including waking up an hour earlier to make -sure- i get the right train in the morning! It’s been tough but ultimately will make the days lower stress.

5. Was told my hair looked great so…canceling a haircut!


Kate October 3, 2022 at 3:40 pm

1. Made several eBay sales over the past few weeks, despite the fact that we were down with Covid.
2. Finally started feeling better and buckled down to post a few more listings, which resulted in two almost immediate sales.
3. I’ll be doing my son’s FAFSA tomorrow, as his school gives a $1000 tuition reduction each year just for doing it. I can do it in about 30 minutes, which is a dang good hourly rate!
4. I’ve been working on squeezing one or two more meals out of what we have before I break down and go to the grocery store. Tonight was a crustless quiche that included a couple sausage and broccoli. I cut up the rest of the broccoli and will make soup out of that tomorrow.
5. Stocked up on a few loss leader snacks for my son who will be home this weekend.


Ava October 3, 2022 at 4:00 pm

1. Got a flu shot and a covid booster. Took a walk and a nap.
2. Made a couple of good sales on Etsy.
3. Pulled an enormous roll of bubble wrap out of the recycle bins. That kind of plastic is not recyclable here. I will share with others.
4. Used carrots, onion, celery, potatoes and half and half (all barely clinging to life) to make delicious potato soup.
5. Gathered an enormous pile of donations for upcoming church yard sale. I can actually see a few bare spots where I have cleared things out. Money for them, space for me. In the process, I found a few things I think I can sell.


Ecoteri October 3, 2022 at 8:50 pm

Well, folk, you have me thinking that I can do ONE MORE THING! Harvest season is upon us and my lower back is talking loudly so it has been a difficult day here, however:
1. pressure canned 7 3-cup sized jars (Pasta sauce mason jars that a friend saved for me) of cherry tomatoes in water. My niece put me on to this – such a time saver and I have MORE cherries to deal with tomorrow.
2. Roasted and stick-blended 2 quarts worth of tomatillos. Roasted a pan of more Cherries – will stick blend and add to the tomatillos and pressure can for use as ingredient base for winter salsas. I likely will get another canner load out of this if I get some peppers roasted up.
3. batched errands in town last week to reduce # of trips, got SO much done in a time crunch as I had an appt at the end of the day. So successful I am going to make a point of booking later appointments and then listing my errands by route, going forward – I do think of this and not quite as frugally as I could. Go me.
4. Went to purchase a case of pears at the local farmers market. They didn’t have any, and I didn’t do my usual ‘buy everything’ shop there. I had a short list of other things but the reason I stopped was for the pears, and I wouldn’t have stopped for that short list without the pears. HOWEVER, since I was already there, I bought the three other things and nothing more, and carried them out in my hands to save 5 cents on a purchased bag.
5. Bought a replacement chainsaw blade. Not really frugal yet it is: I HAD a replacement blade in stock, and when my helper guy said that the current blade was beyond awful, I could pull the spare out and he could continue working. THAT was frugal, worker not sitting around and the project got done that day. so buying another one for Future Teri is frugal, even though it costs money now.
6. only bought ground pepper at bulk barn, and I was hungry when I went in!
Frugal fail? Have been in town 3 times in the last week and bought fast food each time, due to not planning my eating or snack carrying. Shall work on that


Lindsey October 4, 2022 at 10:00 am

Yum to roasted tomatillos and a pat on the back from one canner to another for persevering despite the back yelling at you.


K D October 4, 2022 at 3:12 am

1. I did another Flash Food deal, this time for a box of fruit. There were a variety of apples and pears, a couple of peaches, and a nectarines. All are in edible condition. It was quite a bargain for $5. I am able to walk to the store to pick up the deal.
2. The local grocery had a deal to give 6x reward points on certain gift card purchases. Since my husband occasionally buys things at the big box hardware store I bought a card that can be redeemed for a big box hardware store e-gift card. We will save several dollars on groceries there. I also used a competitors coupon to save $10 on a $50 order. I bought Berger cookies for an out-of-state relative, clearance cereal, and on sale ice cream to make it to $50.
3. A friend was delayed in her return trip to FL. I invited her to a free social event and over for lunch. We had leftover soup and other items and I sent her off with additional soup, fruit, and snacks. They didn’t cost me much and it saved her from having to go to the store.
4. I continue to give way items using Freecycle. I am happy when things find a new home.
5. I made pumpkin banana muffins to use up the last of the frozen bananas a neighbor gave me and leftover pumpkin. I have a friend that may be giving me frozen bananas when she cleans out her freezer in the near future.


Jill A October 4, 2022 at 3:30 am

1. I returned a car seat cover after finding it didn’t cover the large rip in my seat which has been spilling foam every time I get in the car. I covered the rip with Duck tape and used an old but good condition black t-shirt to cover the seat. It fit perfectly and works great and is much more comfortable.
2. I also purchased some easy meal items. We’ve been eating too much fast food and meals out.
3. I’ve made more instapot yogurt and since it used up the only milk in the house I’ve been adding it to my oatmeal instead of milk. I’ll make more dog ice cream today and use up the last two overly ripe bananas with some peanut butter for flavor. They love it and it makes me happy to see them happy.
4. I had dinner out with friends. Not frugal and the meal was ridiculously expensive but the portions were big enough to be another meal for both my daughter and I.
5. It is getting chilly here but it’s beautiful fall weather. I haven’t turned on my heat yet. I’m hoping the weather cooperates and I can hold off a bit longer.


Christina October 4, 2022 at 9:31 am

Yay, another post by Katy!

1. Received a gift of the most delicious Indian takeout food around. (From my Mom.) Shared said gift with my cousin and his wife, and in return they gifted us a beautiful bottle of wine and 4 luxurious chocolate bars. Win-win and happy bellies all around. (P.S. The Cadbury’s salted caramel milk chocolate bar was so delicious.) My Mom is seriously the best, and I always send a thank you card.

2. Used up two overripe bananas to make banana muffins. Wrapped up the leftovers in foil and froze them, and enjoyed a treat with coffee other days.

3. Made another bottle of homemade lavender spray, that we keep in the bathroom. I have had that bottle for well over 10 years, since the little lavender shop we bought it from in a tourist town has been shut down for years now. I refill it by simply adding about 20-30 drops of real lavender essential oil, and then topping with water and giving the bottle a good shake. Makes a nice pillow spray too.

4. Having an omelet soon for lunch – we use Daiya ‘cheese’ and have veggies on the side. A nice, restaurant-style ‘cheese’ omelet for a lot less. (If you can’t eat dairy either, I’ve found the Daiya alternative quite good. But it tastes better melted, and takes longer to melt than regular cheese.)

5. A not-very-frugal visit with our cat to the vet is coming up on Friday. He has such long, unmanageable fur on his belly and bum, poor fellow. But we stretch out the visits for him to get a shave by using clippers at home. That means we only have to take him in every 7-8 months.

Glad I managed some frugal things! Haven’t felt especially frugal lately, so I need to smarten up and re-read everyone else’s comments and Katy’s older posts too.


Christina October 4, 2022 at 9:32 am

P.S. I meant to say too that Katy, that load of produce in your cart for that price was downright amazing!!!


Bethany M October 4, 2022 at 10:00 am

Reheating leftovers for the kids lunches, because it’s cheaper than lunchmeat. I don’t like the extra work in the morning or the extra dishwashing in the afternoon, but it’s saving money.

Getting low on a few pantry staples, but waiting on Thanksgiving sales so we can eat them all year long for the lowest price.

Used some butcher block paper that we had leftover from our CA charter school supply order. We aged it with leftover coffee and made a scroll for my daughter’s Ancient Egypt project at school.

Picked up a free protein bar and got a screaming deal on yogurt with Ibotta. Got a great deal on curly-hair shampoo for my daughter with coupons and a buy 2 get 1 free deal. If I get the wrong shampoo for my daughter she gets dreadlocks. I literally had to cut chunks out of her hair before I figured out the right products, so I do try to get a deal on this more expensive shampoo.

Kids scored really well on their recent Math and English achievement tests. Makes me feel good about our homeschooling years. Saving on tutors since I’m able to continue to help them through these subjects. Schools are providing excellent resources.


rebecca j robbins October 4, 2022 at 1:14 pm

1. Went grocery shopping at Aldi for basics and got one of their pizzas. I have been getting more takeout this past week and not happy about it. I thought having that in the fridge, while not the healthiest food, it is healthier for my budget.
2. I bought a new coffee at the farmer’s market. I don’t really like it very much but I will drink it as it still gets me going in the morning.
3. I have 2 new clients.
4. Was offered a class to teach next semester.
5. I am staying home tonight and don’t want to spend money. Plus, it is bloody cold here!


Shona October 4, 2022 at 1:39 pm

My husband just returned from a 5-day fishing trip (not frugal, but for the first time in our lives we are in a position to be able to afford such a trip) and while he was gone I sorted through my things resulting in a big free pile on the front lawn. Funny, the only thing remaining was a pair of shoes I was not entirely ready to let go of but figured if they were taken, fine, if left, they were meant to be mine a little while longer.

During said clean out I switched out hot weather clothes for cold and realized I have some wardrobe gaps, namely warm over things like sweaters and maybe a sweatshirt or 2. Bought a fun Keith Haring sweatshirt second hand from Mercari. A longtime fan of his artwork, I was excited to find a souvenir from the MOMA exhibit. Hopefully 2 cashmere sweaters and this sweatshirt will get me through winter.

Found more change in parking lots.

HVAC unit is off and I threw an extra blanket on the bed. I’m asking for at least one month please without needing to use this machine.


Mary in Maryland October 4, 2022 at 2:28 pm

1. Read an article this morning about storing one’s emergency water in empty jars. I have many, many depending on the time of the year.
2. So I listed on Craigslist and sold today both of the 55 gallon food grade barrels I bought at last year’s estate sale. They were too heavy and awkward for folks our age.
3. I’m cooking with the canned chipotles I bought eleven years ago. Two cans for a dollar. I freecycled the second can years ago and am working off some stored in the freezer. Chipotles are apparently not our thing. I have a couple dried ones I bought in 2001
4. I freecycled a laundry basket I pulled out of a neighbor’s trash ten years ago, because I found one in the trash that nests with our other one. I put clothes for the line in one and clothes for the rack in the other.
5. The foster dog is adopted—by us. He has fallen in with our routine so well. Today he reminded me that I lie down for a while mid-afternoon. He could probably be trained to remind us of meds, but we don’t take any.


Bee October 5, 2022 at 4:35 am

Here in Florida, I often use mason jars to store water when I storm is on its way. This is to supplement the cases of water I buy and the jugs I fill.,


A. Marie October 8, 2022 at 9:23 am

Mary in MD, re: your #5: If you can clone this dog, he’d be an invaluable aid to senior citizens everywhere!


Christine October 4, 2022 at 4:07 pm

1. DH and I each received free flu shots and Covid boosters.
2. While there I asked for and received 8 free Covid tests.
3. A mum I planted in front of my house last fall after it finished blooming is ready to flower. I found the trick to getting mums to bloom year after year here in cold New England is to plant it right up next to the foundation of my house where the sun can warm it during the winter.
4. Switched up my curtains from room to room to create a new look. My windows are all a uniform size except for the smaller one over my kitchen sink. Valances to the rescue.
5. I decorated the front porch with old crocks I already have, a pumpkin I purchased for $5.99 (it’s huge…thanks Market Basket) and Bittersweet I picked in the backyard and stuck in one of the crocks. Also, a mum I bought about a month ago and will plant in the ground after it finishes blooming.(see #3).


Heidi Louise October 5, 2022 at 6:45 am

Some mums have been hybridized to have great blooms but few roots, to only last one season. Good luck!


Jennifer October 4, 2022 at 5:13 pm

Great produce finds! I wish we had a grocery liquidators store.

1 – Vegetarian dinner today using up the remains of a yellow squash and cherry tomatoes from the garden. I found a bag of uncooked tortillas buried in the freezer and while they had slight freezer burn no one noticed.

2 – Dh rode his bike to work as well as reffed some lacrosse this weekend. Making money and saving money – got to love him!

3 – My glasses got very scratched at the beach this summer from the sand I believe. I have been putting it off but finally called. They are under warranty and the lenses will be replaced for free.

4 – Almost caved and bought a new bathrobe since the sleeves of mine have numerous holes and splits. I don’t really have the money so I am making due. Will repair what I can and be careful. If I don’t find something second hand I will ask for a robe for Christmas from my in-laws. They want you to give them 1 specific idea so this will be it if I still need one.

5 – Enjoyed a fire in the firepit last weekend as free entertainment – and burned all the sticks that had been piling up from the yard. Scrounging for random lunches instead of ordering in. I am really in a lunch rut but keep forcing myself to take from home. Have a loose menu in my head for dinners this week to avoid eating out.


Nalani October 4, 2022 at 7:03 pm

1. Cut my own hair. Not my best work this time but I mostly wear my hair up so no one will notice. I have also resisted dying my hair even though the whites are getting a little wild these days. My natural hair color is very dark so the white is quite obvious. Wish it would just go white all at once.
2. Made a meal plan for the week to prevent buying out. So far so good. Used Starbucks rewards to enjoy coffee with a friend.
3. Have resisted the urge to rejoin the gym and continue to just work out at home and run/walk in the neighborhood.
4. Reading free books from the library per usual.
5. Went with a friend and her dog to the neighborhood dog park. Free entertainment and doggie snuggles.


Katy October 4, 2022 at 8:17 pm

I really need a haircut, but am holding out as long as possible.


Ruby October 5, 2022 at 5:40 am

Your son did a really good job trimming your hair that time during the pandemic lock down. Think you could prevail on him to do it again?


Christina October 5, 2022 at 9:41 am

Not sure if you want to try this, but I’ve been cutting my own hair from home ever since the pandemic started! One of the ways I’ve used is on YouTube, something called “the unicorn ponytail method” or something similar.

Basically you pull all your hair up into a ponytail, and depending on how long you want the layers you adjust where that ponytail is on your head before cutting. I’ve had pretty good success! I’ll probably eventually go back for a professional cut, but now that I have good haircutting scissors (which came for free with the hair clippers we got for me to do my husband’s hair) I may not!

Those haircutting methods obviously only work if you have long hair. AND if you want layers. I’ve also just simply parted my hair down the middle, brushed it out, put ponytail holders on and cut an inch or two at a time. Easy! Not perfect, but pretty good. And I learned to only cut DRY hair. Otherwise you can take off more than you intended.

MI’ve never been a huge fan of getting haircuts, I don’t know why. It sometimes makes me feel pretty anxious…


A. Marie October 6, 2022 at 2:20 pm

I dimly recall that Katy did try the ponytail method once and, shall we say, it didn’t work out. Katy, can you confirm?


Katy October 6, 2022 at 6:13 pm
MB in MN October 5, 2022 at 7:55 am

Bee, memoirs and fiction ruled my reading this past year. Here are the books that stood out for me:

1. Between Two Kingdoms: A Memoir of a Life Interrupted by Suleika Jaouad
2. In Love: A Memoir of Love and Loss by Amy Bloom
3. Smile: The Story of a Face by Sarah Ruhl
4. Unglued: A Bipolar Love Story by Jeffrey Zuckerman
5. These Precious Days: Essays by Ann Patchett

1. Sharks in the Time of Saviours by Kawai Strong Washburn
2. The Book Woman’s Daughter by Kim Michele Richardson
3. The Five Wounds by Kirstin Valdez Quade
4. The Midnight Library by Matt Haig
5. The One Hundred Years of Lenni and Margot by Marianne Cronin
6. The Seed Keeper by Diane Wilson
7. The Story of Arthur Truluv by Elizabeth Berg


MB in MN October 5, 2022 at 7:57 am

Whoops, this posted twice! It belongs with my original comments up top.


Susan October 6, 2022 at 4:22 am

Katy – I am enjoying your more frequent posts. I just found you and this group late summer! I’m new to you but not to striving to be frugal. 🙂
1 – One big thing I’ve learned from you is the value of eBay. I have things that I don’t need or want and I dipped my toes in selling. I’ve sold over 50 items so far, and started checking out thrift stores for items to resell.

2 – I had plantar fasciitis three years ago and wear inserts in sneakers. WFH during covid allowed me to only wear sneakers and I’ve had incredible results doing so. The sneakers that fit my feet and relieve my pain are $180+. That’s not frugal, but as anyone who’s been sidelined by foot pain knows, if you have the ability to do something to heal/relieve pain, it’s money well spent. I have bought all of my sneakers on eBay for $100-$120 (new in box). This week I got a pair I was following for $65!!!!!

3 – I sold 2 pre worn sweaters from my closet, a board game I had two of, one of my teenagers dress shirts that was new with tags.

4 – I froze grapes & half a peach to keep them out of the trash. They made a nice mid week snack in lieu of ice cream.

5 – Trying to adjust the Friday and Saturday habit of ordering takeout. I didn’t order takeout over the weekend!


Auntiali October 6, 2022 at 1:51 pm

I think I can catch up with you all on frugal postings.

1. Went to “Coffee with a Cop” last night at my local library. Six guys from the police force where there including the chief of police. Got a free coffee mug and brought home two apple cider donuts that were left over for hubs and daughter.
2. Hubs was in Chicago this week and brought me back about 10 pens from his sales meeting.
3. Daughter and I ate from home this week even with hubby gone. I don’t eat very much due to my gastric sleeve surgery.
4. Finally gave up on my jeans as they are so big and baggy now. I have 2 pairs of yoga pants that I bought and had hemmed so those will be my going out pants till I find a pair of jeans that I like. I have other yoga pants that are a bit big but I can wear them around the house.
5. We had 5 days of rain and cold due to the remnants of Hurricane Ian. I had to turn the heat on cause it was so chilly in the house. Turned it off at bedtime as I layered up with blankets.


Roberta October 7, 2022 at 12:56 pm

1. Our poor little poodle mix needed to be groomed, and the groomer hadn’t called back to make an appointment, so I did it myself. He currently looks like he was left alone in a room with a five year old and a pair of scissors. He makes me laugh every time I look at him, but I will give it another go with an assistant to hold him. At least his paws look better than they did last time he came home from the groomer (still furry).
2. I made an easy and yummy casserole with stale bread and one and a half pounds of aging spinach that came home with us from the food bank. Yay for preventing food waste!
3. Subbed for an extra class today. I didn’t want to, but talked myself into it since the classes I’m subbing are easy, and I want the extra money. I’m proud of myself for toughing it out.
4. Made a beautiful taco salad with black beans, sweet potatoes, pumpkin seeds, guacamole dressing from avocados I saved last winter. And leftover tortilla chips as a topping. A friend has been out on disability for a month, and I stopped by to visit.
5. Spending the weekend doing yard work instead of driving to the zoo. Saving gas, and doing work that needs to be done. I borrowed a tool for trimming tall branches from a neighbor, instead of buying one. I’m really excited not to have to store it!


A. Marie October 8, 2022 at 9:27 am

Roberta, if you can give us a recipe for your #2 casserole, that would be great. As a newly single senior who often has more stale bread and aging salad greens than she knows what to do with, I can use it. I continue to work on cooking for one after 40+ years of cooking for two.


Ashley Bananas October 14, 2022 at 6:16 am

Hi Katie, Glad things are going well in your world. Getting online after the last few weeks post hurricane Ian here in SWFL. No power for 8 days, no internet for 9 days. I’m putting on my list of things to do to call my cable company (internet only) and ask for a discount as we were out of service for several days.

To add to some of your frugal endeavors….I also have started buying bras on Poshmark, they are typically new and about 1/3 of the price that they would be full price in the store. My primary store closed it’s in person location, so if I cant get a good price on their website, I have turned to Poshmark and had good results, with almost always new items.


Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: