Five Frugal Things

by Katy on October 31, 2022 · 77 comments

  1. Our new Costco refrigerator was delivered today, but was lightly scratched in the transportation process. The installation worker took photos of the scratches and informed me that Costco would contact me to either replace the doors or refund some money as compensation.

    I think you can guess which one I’ll choose.

  2. Portland finally remembered that it’s a cold damp climate, not an arid desert. Here’s what I’m doing to keep heating costs under control:

    • I closed off the heat registers in the kids’ empty rooms as there’s no need to heat their unused spaces.

    Edit: I’ve just been informed that closing off heat vents is a bad idea. I looked it up and here’s what I found:

    “The short answer is no; you should not close air vents in your house. Closing vents can actually waste more energy than operating your system normally. How does closing air vents waste energy? Because when you close vents in unused rooms, your central air system will push the excess air to other places in your home. Let’s take a look at what happens to all that extra air.”

    ‘Nuff said. I guess I’ll go open those vents back up again!

    • I’m dressing in cozy warm layers to heat myself instead of the entire house.
    • I ensure that there are ample lap blankets available to anyone who happens to sit still in the living room.
    • I flipped the switch on our new ceiling fan so it can spin warm air towards the ground.
    • I’m making sure to not run the bathroom and oven exhaust fans too long as I don’t want to pay to heat a room to only suck that expensive heat back out of the room.
    • I switched from Crocs/sandals to last year’s eBay shearling slippers and have added wool socks to the equation.

  3. My hair has once again grown to the “sister wife” length and I’m in desperate need for a haircut as I’m either wearing it in braids or it tangles with no in between. I’ve used the Supercuts “training center” for free cuts at least six times, but it was organized through a Facebook page which seems to have been abandoned. I finally remembered to call the Supercuts salon that houses the training center and was told that cuts are now arranged through email. I quickly typed out a request and am hoping I can zip over for a free cut in the next few weeks.

    I’ve gotten my hair cut through beauty schools in the past and not had good experiences, but Supercuts’ training centers use certified stylists who often have years of independent experience but happen to be new hires. It doesn’t take any longer than a normal appointment and I get to hit an awesome Goodwill that’s out of my normal sphere of errands. WIN-WIN!

  4. My friend Lise texted asking if I wanted to go with her to the “bent vegetable store.” I bought three salad kits, two bags of mixed greens, two cucumbers, three containers of fresh mozzarella, a pound of bacon and a restaurant size package of cut and prepped broccoli for $16.35, (I was accidentally double charged for the cucumbers, so it should have been $15.35.) I got my free Bivalent Covid-19 booster vaccine at  the CVS in Target and didn’t browse for stuff to buy and my daughter continues to drop off free random groceries from her work which includes eggs, provolone slices, chocolate chips and cake.

  5. I didn’t buy a Lear Jet.

Katy Wolk-Stanley    

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

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P.S. I drove to the library’s free tech help session across town to get assistance with the excessive advertising situation on the blog. Unfortunately the person who’s the supposed WordPress expert called in sick that day. In other news, I’m making enough money to cover blogging expenses again.

{ 77 comments… read them below or add one }

Kristen | The Frugal Girl October 31, 2022 at 6:05 am

First off, it’s super cool that your library has a Wordpress tech help person! Secondly, if the ads are through SheKnows, is there a chance that you can change a setting in your SheKnows dashboard? I haven’t been with them since they were BlogHer, but I know back then you could opt in and out of various ad formats.

I would totally take the discount over a new set of unscratched fridge doors. 😉


Katy October 31, 2022 at 10:56 am

I’m not entirely sure that they do have a Wordpress savvy tech help person. I had emailed the library and asked and this single librarian said that she was, yet wasn’t there when I I went to the “tech help” session. All the other library patrons were senior citizens and I overheard sessions that included “let’s practice logging into the gmail account that we made last week,” so I need to manage my expectations.


Whitney C Archer October 31, 2022 at 1:47 pm

As a librarian, it’s a *huge* need for super basic computer literacy for seniors. It’s so hard for them and when Gmail required two-step log ins, it made it 10 times worse.


Ashley Bananas November 3, 2022 at 8:41 am

*raises hand* agreed! Library woman here. We have many patrons who have a technology gap and the library is the only place where they can have access to a device, internet, printing, and a friendly person to help. It’s just like the school system, you have kids who need so much help and others that could skip a grade.


Ruby October 31, 2022 at 6:05 am

Katy, good choice on the minor cosmetic issues with the new fridge. You can always slap a few magnets on it. 🙂

My FFT are of the keeping on, keeping on variety:
1. Rehabbed a pair of winter pajamas by using a sweater shaver all over the pilly interior and running new elastic through the waistband. They are so comfy now!
2. Skipped grocery shopping last week and did a restocking up trip this week after careful study of the online ads for the local stores. I spent $168, which averages $84.50 a week for 2.5 adults (our son who lives with us buys some of his own food).
3. Also checked ads and online sources for best prices and stocked up on dishwasher detergent, paper towels (we use them for cleaning up pet mess), cat treats, canned cat food, and bar soap. Also took a 10% off coupon to Ollie’s Outlet and bought six 12 oz. bags of coffee for $4.99 each, two bags of salmon-sweet potato dog treats for $3.99 each, and a big canister of cat treats for about half price. Also threw in a pair of Goldtoe socks for myself for $1.99 because who can resist teal paisley socks? The dog treats are a rare item safe for our dog with terrible allergies, so I may go back and get a few more bags. They are good until next September.
4. Sewed up a tiny hole in the toe of my suede house slipper. This is my year to mend shoes, having previously done a similar repair to the other slipper and to my husband’s slippers.
5. Cut my husband’s hair. With clippers this takes 10 minutes. Been trying to get ’round-tuit for two weekends. Saves $15 plus a tip every time I do it.

Bonus round for silly grocery store sales tricks: I noticed our local grocery store selling a bundle of five boxes of Kraft mac & cheese for $6.29, but the same size boxes were on sale five boxes for $5, or $1 per box, which usually sells for $1.20 per box. Store brand was 99 cents a box, and store brand tastes dreadful. I bought the five separate boxes — my son loves the stuff, so it will be used up quickly.


AM October 31, 2022 at 12:21 pm

Frugal tip for cute fridge magnets- use the thin random ones that come in the mail from real estate agents/dentists/whatever and put a sticker on it then cut off the excess


A. Marie October 31, 2022 at 1:57 pm

Great job on the Ollie’s deals, Ruby. As you know from the NCA, I’m a dedicated Ollie’s shopper myself–especially now that I’m living alone and a warehouse club membership no longer really makes sense.


A. Marie October 31, 2022 at 1:57 pm

The NCA in the previous comment should, of course, have been The Frugal Girl…


Ruby October 31, 2022 at 5:29 pm

I knew who you meant, A. Marie. Great minds think alike. 🙂

We have a Costco membership just so my husband can buy gas and hearing aid batteries. He also bought his hearing aids there. But as far as food goes, it does not really make sense for us. I do much better triangulating deals between Aldi, the local Food Lion and Ollie’s.


Alexandra November 1, 2022 at 11:54 am

I’m new to shopping at Ollies. The only times I have been there I wasn’t impressed. Are there things you particularly look out for there? I’m willing to give it another try.
We got a Sam’s club membership during their $8 membership sale. It is really only good for gas and occasional items. I think Costco simply has more that we would want but it is just the 2 of us so there still isn’t much worth getting imho.
If anyone wants to chime in on the advantages of Ollies, I’m all ears!

Ruby November 1, 2022 at 1:00 pm

Alexandra, our Ollie’s is particularly good for rugs, towels, washcloths, quilts and comforters, snacks, small appliances, t-shirts and underthings, shelf stable foods, pet items, and a small amount of automotive and home repair stuff. It also carries some books, some craft stuff for kids, and a small stock of cleaning stuff and shampoos.

I go there for the rugs, towels, pet items, and whenever the sales flyer shows the store has in stock something I want, like a good sale on coffee.

Jill A October 31, 2022 at 7:03 am

Laughed out loud over the “bent vegetable store” comment. Hopefully your blogging expense are still paid for if you get rid of the pop-up? It’s a minor annoyance and a small price for readers to pay to read your blog.

1. I had friends over for a dinner of leftover spaghetti sauce, salad with homemade dressing and bread. I made mojitos with the last days of fresh mint from my patch. It’s the first of hopefully many dinners I’m planning for the winter to keep myself, family and friends entertained inexpensively. Winters are long and boring and eating out is getting so expensive.
2. I left a review for a bra I purchased that broke within six months. It’s the second time his had happened with this particular company. They only allow returns 3o days after purchase. Last time they replaced the broken bra with permission to remove the negative review. It’s doesn’t sound nice but bras are expensive and shouldn’t be a disposable item.
3. I’m continuing to list my death pile of Ebay items. I leave the pile on my dining room table so I can’t ignore it. It usually works. I’m making a dent. I’ve cleaned and reorganized the office that houses all my listed items and where I package and ship them. I’m happy to say it’s no longer a death trap.
4. I again resisted the impulse to purchase an expensive leaf blower and raked up leaves in my yard instead. Since I live on 10 acres I’ve just raked them off the grass into the weeds under the trees they’ve fallen from. I’m happy I don’t live in a stepford neighborhood where there’s not a weed or stray leaf in sight. The benefits of living in the country is nobody cares about such things.
5. I hit the jackpot while shopping at a favorite thrift store. I was able to find some jeans, several shirts and a quilted vest all of which are needed items and are from quality brands that should last years. All look new or barely worn. The total cost was less than $35.


Katy October 31, 2022 at 11:11 am

I loved “bent vegetable store” as well and will now and forever refer to it as such.


Lynn D. October 31, 2022 at 4:42 pm

My husband refers to the small selection of discounted meat found at most grocery stores as “roadkill.”


Dmarie November 1, 2022 at 4:07 am

*chuckle* love that I now have two new terms to use when grocery shopping clearance buys: bent vegetables and roadkill 😀


Heidi Louise November 1, 2022 at 9:39 am

My aunt called the Day-Old Bakery the “Used Bread Store.”
But I think that one has been around for a while.
(She also talked on the phone-less cord and would hear footprints down the hallway).


Audry November 6, 2022 at 1:50 pm

Re: leaves – I kid you not, I saw a neighbor on his hands and knees in his front yard vacuuming his lawn with a shop vac. I went around the block to look again because I couldn’t believe it. FYI our house will never get yard of the month


Katy November 6, 2022 at 4:26 pm

He’s going to get so mad at the wind!


susanna d October 31, 2022 at 8:19 am

1. In my quest to rebuild the emergency fund after it took a massive hit from the cost of removing the giant fallen trees, I decided that with all the food in our house we could cut our grocery spending from the usual $400-ish to $200 or less for the month. October’s total was $201.25. I went slightly over, but all the crazy fresh apples I bought from an orchard should keep us in fruit for November and possibly beyond.
2. My husband apparently enjoyed this little “cut the grocery spending game” so much that he proposed we do it again for November, but with a goal of $100 in spending for the month. He’s a keeper. I had my doubts but after going through the freezers and pantries, I think we can do it. Or at least come very close. Sure, if there’s a phenomenal sale on something and we want to stock up, we’ll go over. But since there were very few – if any – phenomenal sales in October, I think our goal is safe.
3. While going through the kitchen pantry, I finally got out the step ladder to get to the very back of the top shelf (we have vaulted ceilings and the pantry cabinet is crazy high). I found a food-saver sealed half gallon jar of basmati rice, and not one but two sealed quart jars of pistachios. The pistachios have become our daily snack and will continue to be until they’re gone (one jar done, one to go). I made salsa rice with some of the found rice. Salsa rice is one of my tightwad specialties. When we make pico de gallo (and we make a lot of pico de gallo when our tomato plants are in full production mode) we drain the excess liquid into jars and freeze it. The liquid is used in place of water for…salsa rice, making it a super cheap, flavorful dish.
4. Since I was cleaning out the top shelf, I went through the entire pantry cabinet. Not many surprises – I am much better at keeping on top of things on shelves that I can reach on my own – but I did unearth an unopened bag of lentils that were “best if used by January 2022”. They were fine. I cooked them all up, used half for lentil sloppy joes and froze the other half for a later date. I decided that I’d really like a t-shirt that says “I eat ‘expired’ food”.
5. Since gardening season is all but over up here, I started my basement garden this weekend. We’ll have fresh salad greens, chives and basil this winter, as we’ve had for the past two years. And it’ll beat the quality of grocery store produce by a mile.


Q October 31, 2022 at 8:32 am

I love your challenge of eating from the pantry. It is one I usually do in the spring, but a great idea to do before the holidays. Your basement garden is inspirational: I am going to see if I can rig up something similar: I love gardening, and often start plants from scratch, but have never grown greens in winter. It sounds like fun, as well as being frugal and good for the earth.


Katy October 31, 2022 at 11:09 am

I’d wear that shirt!


A. Marie October 31, 2022 at 1:53 pm

I’d wear that shirt too. And I suggest adding this line: “That which does not kill me saves me money.”


susanna d October 31, 2022 at 4:02 pm

I love it – the t-shirt idea has gotten even better with that addition. Thanks, A. Marie!


MB in MN October 31, 2022 at 8:23 am

Thanks for the reminder to switch the ceiling fans!

1. Made an easy and velvety smooth butternut squash soup with coconut milk, vegetable broth, and curry.

2. After we checked in to our cabin rental, we found a cupboard of unopened snacks left by the previous guests (at least $30 worth). Owner said to keep or leave. Most of the snacks were junk that we don’t eat but we sure enjoyed the rest!

3. Steamed carrots and then used the orange water to make rice.

4. Husband went through his box of childhood items and was going to toss a small football (as in get rid of, not throw it in the air). Instead, we added it to our pup’s collection of toys. She loves the new addition!

5. Batched nine errands. Oof, tiring but worth it.


Janice Riggs October 31, 2022 at 8:36 am

Don’t worry about the ads too much; anyone who enjoys reading your blog can figure out how to scroll past ads. We are 21st century computer users! And your content is worth it…


susanna d October 31, 2022 at 8:57 am

Well said, Janice. I totally agree.


Wendy October 31, 2022 at 9:49 am



Katy October 31, 2022 at 11:01 am

Thank you, I feel like it makes me look like such a hypocrite. I don’t do the normal referral links to Amazon that most bloggers do, so it’s not so easy to cover expenses.


Christine October 31, 2022 at 1:35 pm

I agree. We all know how to scroll or we wouldn’t be reading a blog. It’s all okay Katy.


Katy October 31, 2022 at 4:12 pm

Thank you!


Plaidgirl November 1, 2022 at 3:02 am

Agree! I just turn my Kindle sideways so ads are at the bottom out of the way!


Mati November 7, 2022 at 8:58 am

The only ad that bothers me is at the lower left-hand corner, because it suddenly covers part of the text I’m reading so I have to stop and scroll. If you can’t get rid of it, I’ll just get used to scrolling continuously to keep the text above it.


Mati October 31, 2022 at 8:50 am

We’re celebrating a new job, so having a few more treats than usual and balancing out a sushi/sake blowout at a new restaurant.
– cut up the leftover buckwheat pancakes from breakfast into an ovenproof dish with some foraged serviceberries from the freezer, added whisked bartered backyard eggs and milk, topped with cinnamon and the leftover melted sale butter and bartered maple syrup: ready-to-bake bread pudding for another morning in less time than it would take to put everything away
– scored next summer’s “fancy wear” Birkenstock sandals on eBay, cleaned and repaired the old pair to go into storage, cleaned up my husband’s shearling slippers, relined mine with thrifted shearling footbeds, and started a return for Darn Tough socks that didn’t quite fit right.
– played chicken with our fuel perks and got a full tank at 70 cents off per gallon, just before expiration
– from Facebook Marketplace, picked up six free swing-top liter bottles for homemade ginger beer and 32 yards of large cuts of beautiful silk fabrics in new condition for fifty cents a yard (!) – some for me, some to make gifts – and combined multiple errands to save gas
– finished off my husband;s awesome chili made with venison from hunter neighbors who are teaching me to process, changed plans with visiting friends from dinner and a movie to a leisurely chat in a cushy cafe, pulled together an unplanned dinner at home from what we had on hand: sale chicken thighs, plums nobody was eating because they were hard and not very flavorful, wilty basil, some of the fresh thyme I’m trying to root for next year and the last onion. Roasting the plums with the chicken and the honey/lemon marinade made them melty and delicious; this also works for peaches that aren’t what they ought to be. Served with wild rice and walnuts, salad from the garden with pineapple scrap vinegar and $2.50/bottle clearanced olive oil, and a decent bordeaux from the clearance bin at our favorite wine shop, it felt pretty fancy, and the leftovers will make a pilaf for another night. Here’s the recipe:


Katy October 31, 2022 at 11:01 am

Wow, I am seriously impressed with your frugal five! I think I need you to manage my life.


Mati November 7, 2022 at 9:00 am

*blush* I think this sounds just like one of yours… with extra deer processing. You’ve really inspired me over the years to step up my game, develop a thirfty community and integrate more frugal and conserving habits into daily life.


K D October 31, 2022 at 9:56 am

1. We went to a local state park, using our $10 senior passes (good for the rest of our lives) for entrance. The trail we thought we’d walk on was closed and that led us to discover a wonderful hiking trail. It was scenic and an easy trek. It was a perfect day to be in the woods.

2. We helped a neighbor with an outdoor project then spent time chatting afterwards. Free socializing and we like helping people.

3. We put our tomato plants in the greenhouse hoping they will continue to produce during the cooler and darker days.

4. We like the Kevin’s entrees, as an alternative to eating out, but it is cheaper to buy the sauces when they are on sale and buy chicken separately. It also makes for meals with a lower sodium content.

5. The usual food hacks: cutting large ripe pineapples, baking muffins with overripe bananas, packing lunches,…


Alexandra October 31, 2022 at 10:04 am

1. Took cake home from a party that had too many desserts on the buffet table. Glad I saved from the trash and I love cake!
2. A neighbor gifted us a bag of apples and a bag of grapes she was given from work. Score!
3. Visited old friends and was impressed with his frugal cooking. He taught me to make homemade gnocchi. Then picked broccoli rabe from his garden that he sautéed with some sausage. True peasant food extraordinaire! I will copy his ideas.
4. Super proud of our $215 grocery spend for the month of October. We have a fair amount in freezer and a lot in pantry!
5. Found a much needed quarter zip fleece top for cooler weather. $4.99 at goodwill


Katy October 31, 2022 at 10:58 am

Hooray for thrift stores keeping us cozy!


Christine October 31, 2022 at 11:00 am

1. I found a sizable gift card to a bookstore on the sidewalk and purchased this month’s book club read with it.
2. I’m making a raffle basket for my church’s Harvest Fair. My theme is the letter E. I purchased a gift card for an area Mexican restaurant whose name begins with the letter E. Off to the Dollar Store to buy a container/basket for it and hit the jackpot with items to “dress up” the basket. Being Halloween season they had lots of Mexican Day of the Dead doo dads…a tall Dia de Muertos candle, a colorfull garland with little skulls on it and a honeycomb centerpiece of a skeleton like woman playing the accordian. All very South of the Borderish. With the purple tray I bought to put it all on and the cello wrap to keep it together, it hopefully will be attractive to people wanting to take a chance on a basket.
3. I had family and friends over yesterday for a Football Sunday meaning we watch the game and have snacks. I made a beef stew with on sale meat in the crock pot. I would 100% rather do this to get together with people than to go to a restaurant. Cheaper and we sat around and talked for 5 hours.
4. I was planning on making a Halloween themed cake for my guests who came to watch the football game. When I saw the price of the decorative icing and seasonal colored sprinkles, I changed it up to an old favorite, Apple Cake. I bought an on sale yellow cake mix for $1.39 and some marked down apples for .69 lb. The whole 9 x 12 pan went so it was nice to see everyone liked it.
5. Eating supper 3 nights a week with large sandwiches my boss sends home with me from the deli. Sometimes we add homemade soup if I’ve made some or a salad. We are buying less groceries thanks to this.


Katy October 31, 2022 at 11:16 am

I make apple crisp a lot as it’s easy to make as a gluten-free dessert, plus it’s good way to use up less than perfect apples. But your “apple cake” sounds intriguing.


Christine November 1, 2022 at 3:13 pm

The cake is very easy or I probably wouldn’t make it! Any brand of yellow cake mix. Make as usual and spread into a 9 x 13 pan. Slice apples (about 1/2 thinner than you would slice apples for a pie) and place the apple pieces evenly over the top of the cake. Sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar. Bake according to directions on cake mix box. You have to leave this cake in the pan instead of turning it out because the apples are on the surface of the cake. If you’re making it for company or to take somewhere, a pretty glass cake pan might be nice. If you’re making it for family, any old pan will do!


Katy November 2, 2022 at 7:00 pm

Thanks, that sounds delicious!


CeeLee October 31, 2022 at 11:08 am

I’ve read from a number of sources that closing off heat registers doesn’t do the good you think it’s doing. It adds pressure to your system which causes it to work less efficiently! So it’s outdated advice on saving money.


Katy October 31, 2022 at 11:23 am

Thanks, I’ll have to look into it. Although the heat isn’t so very hot by the time it gets from the basement to the second floor, so maybe it is helping push the heat into our bedroom?


Selena October 31, 2022 at 7:14 pm

I would think it depends on your furnace – the newer, energy efficient natural gas furnaces start blowing hot air ASAP – can’t speak for propane/fuel oil. Unlike the old ones that did not blow heat until a chamber full of hot air. We close off first floor registers to push more heat or A/C upstairs when someone is using an upstairs bedroom. Summer time the vents in the basement are closed as is the one in the bathroom – who needs cold air blasting on him/her as he/she steps out of the shower? Basement is cool in summer regardless of outside temperature however we run a dehumidifier year round.


Lindsey October 31, 2022 at 11:52 am

1. Mended more socks. I swear the husband has a switchblade under his large toenail that pops out and rips every sock in the exact same place. Doesn’t matter the brand of the sock, all of them fall victim to his killer toe.
2. We continue to make our way through the Jello with a death date back in the 20 teens. Apparently we really liked cherry Jello at some point in our lives.
3. Had a lot of vegetables about to die as well as some Velvetta cubes. Made a surprisingly tasty cheese vegetable soup that fed us for several meals.
4. Took out all the packets of berries in the freezer, no matter the variety, and threw them into two berry pies, one of which went to a pot luck meeting. Also surprisingly delicious and it cleared out some freezer space. I don’t know why we just don’t eat the last quarter cup of raspberries, strawberries, honeyberries and blueberries instead of having them end up tiny packages in the freezer…
5. Stopped by the local co-op market to pick up a box of expired greens and other vegetables that we feed our chickens. I think they have learned to recognize that a box means tasty food because when they see me approach they start this little impatient dance waiting for me to throw in the contents.


Katy October 31, 2022 at 4:15 pm

Sorry, but your #1 is an unfortunately vivid image. *barf*


Lindsey November 1, 2022 at 9:19 am



Ruby November 1, 2022 at 11:59 am

Lindsey, the phrase “killer toe” is awfully funny. 😀 I had a mental picture of your sweet husband as a Bond villain.

Before he started seeing a podiatrist about his dry skin, my husband’s heels actually sanded through a fitted sheet. The doc got him straightened out: the condition was painful, and not just to the linen supply, so we’re both happy now.


Mati November 7, 2022 at 9:36 am

Chicken treat dance is the best dance. I’m gathering materials to build a new chicken coop with a few upgrades to the old design and add a few this spring. My last coop cost $20 (oops paint, some hardware) because I was offered free chickens and was in a hurry, but this time I’m reusing the hardware and got free hardware cloth from Buy Nothing – it should cost nothing at all!

I’m especially excited because I’ve had healthy black soldier fly larvae populations in my compost for the past few years and will be adding a harvest tube from the bin to the coop for auto-treating.


Cynthia October 31, 2022 at 12:28 pm

Katy, I’ve had luck covering small nicks on hard white surfaces with white nail polish. Did the trick with a small nick on my bathroom sink surround. Not good on wood. It might work on your fridge (try a small out of the way spot?)


Katy October 31, 2022 at 4:13 pm

That’s a great idea, thanks!


Selena October 31, 2022 at 7:17 pm

You could also pony up for some appliance paint – when we purchase from a local appliance store (competitive prices, delivery, service, AND free haul away), we can get appliance paint. Think we have some left as the frig has a couple of spots that have worn off (got if free at the time). I swear the manufacturers use the bare minimum these days.


Ava November 1, 2022 at 8:34 am

I covered a big chip on my black stove top wirh black nail polish. It has endured just fine for several years.


Ruby November 1, 2022 at 11:53 am

Several decades ago during a move, a loose tabletop hit the side of our fridge during a hard stop by the moving van, leaving a big scrape/dent in the side of it that faced the dining area. I put a nice little poster over it and no one was ever the wiser.


AM October 31, 2022 at 12:59 pm

-I turned a sentimental mug with a crack in it into a planter-an upgrade from a yogurt container for that particular plant and I made sure to take in my herbs for the winter instead of leaving them to frost like last year
-forgot about a turnip in the bottom of my fridge. Despite it’s wrinkled and brown appearance, was still good in a ground turkey, squash and greens hash
– I’ve been making a jug of mint black tea at the beginning of the week and packing some for work so I’m not tempted by the vending machine
-i wanted a new tote bag. But I have very many. So I didn’t buy one. I’ve implemented an online shopping rule that I must leave it in the cart for at least a day before deciding
– took my sister to the salvage grocery and we stopped at the goodwill wholesale bins a mile further down the road. Got around 10 pieces of clothing for $10, good because I’ve been changing waistlines again
– made roasted pumpkin seeds from the jack o latern


Mary in maryland November 1, 2022 at 7:47 am

I update my tote bags (cheap from the thrift store but with advertising) by sewing a made by me potholder over the advertising.


Mati November 7, 2022 at 9:42 am

When my 21yo was a preschooler, I thrifted a bunch of the old-school, heavy canvas reusables, used masking tape and scrap plastic bags to mask off the area around the advertising, and had them paint the rest. Some of these are still in rotation and the paint has survived inside-out washing in the machine. I’ve also seen vintage napkins, embroidery etc. stitched over the ads.


rebecca October 31, 2022 at 1:08 pm

1. I skipped the urge to get take out last night.
2. I was going to buy more Halloween candy but what I bought was on sale and I think I will have enough. When I run out, the lights will go off. &:30 is my cutoff time. I hope I don’t sound like Scrooge…..
3. No new clothes until I lose some weight.
4. I need new brakes, ugh, but I do have a coupon to help offset the cost a wee bit.
5. The usual-coffee and water from home, working through some pantry and freezer items ect


Tonya October 31, 2022 at 1:22 pm

1) I hiked this weekend! It’s so therapeutic being outside and moving my body. It was snowy on the ground but sunny!
2) Working from home today, saving money on gas for my car. I ate yummy leftovers for lunch and walked to the library to pickup a hold that was ready.
3) I was so tempted to buy something new to wear. I just get bored with my work clothes. Went to goodwill instead and found a great pair of black skinny pants that will be cute with winter boots. Self control is hard sometimes.
4) My college kids will be home soon. I’ve been stocking up on pantry items that we will need when they are home. I like making them feel cozy while they are here by making their favorite foods.
5) Got the furnace serviced. It is comforting to know it’s safe and should run well for another winter.


rebecca October 31, 2022 at 1:09 pm

whoops! 7:30 is my cutoff time


Patti Parnell Hall October 31, 2022 at 1:26 pm

Frugal five, COVID style:
1) Been at home for over a week now (10 days for me, less for the husband) and eating just fine from the freezer and pantry. Also have necessary meds and cleaning supplies. It pays to keep a stock of these instead of rushing to pay high prices when you get sick.
2) Found I had some money on a local delivery service (had to inquire and have them track it down). I also found an old DoorDash gift card so we will be able to have a restaurant meal this week, too.
3) Been using old tee shirts for pajama tops as the ones I have don’t fit (too big). Plan to cut the pj ones down to resew in my size or use the fabric for something else.
4) Read all my library books but able to access books on my iPad from the library for free. Also watching lots of streaming shows that we had not had time to see.
Knitting while watching tv means a sweater is coming right along.
5) Able to make plans for the holidays (gift making and food prep) while I have plenty of time! I may be the most organized ever this year!
6) Because of illness, I did not purchase a pumpkin this year. I did buy the candy but my neighbors are going to give it out for us.
About your refrigerator: the last one we bought has double doors on top which have scratched both my extra freezer and the refrigerator when opened. It made me mad as it did it due to the construction of the doors vs. the door on one side kind.(Who knew?) I just covered the scratches with magnets holding papers and no one is the wiser.


Bee November 1, 2022 at 12:10 pm

I hope you make a speedy and complete recovery. My sense of taste is still not back after 3 1/2 months with the exception of sweets. i’m eating too much ice cream now and still not getting enough exercise. A dangerous combination for certain!!!


Mand01 October 31, 2022 at 2:38 pm

The ads don’t bother me. Almost every site has them.
1. We managed to stretch two veggie curries over three nights. As it’s often just the two of us now (one kid has moved out and the other has an extensive social life), we can extend a lot of meals. Of course this is offset by feeding our youngest child’s mates on the nights they are home, but we don’t mind.
2. Picking lots of lovely spring greens from my garden: peas, asparagus, chard, lettuce, onions, etc
3. Wearing my Oodie instead of using the heater, as it’s still really cold and wet here, even though it’s almost Summer. The weather is crazy.
4. My daughter needed a lamp and wanted a specific, hard to find item for her birthday. I found them both on the Buy Nothing page.
5. I listened to the new book by Jeanette McCurdy of iCarly fame, free on Libby. It’s a current bestseller. I enjoyed it but I’m glad I got it for free. So sad!


Juhli October 31, 2022 at 4:54 pm

New appliances are more energy efficient so there is that benefit to spending the money. We get a new dishwasher installed next week and also new shower faucet system. The joy s of home ownership lol.
1. Hubby fixed the chair leg the pup chewed on with some stain.
2. I ordered 2 items from ThredUp to expand my wardrobe for an upcoming event.
3. No food waste this past week.
4. Our outing Sunday was taking the pup to the local college grounds on Sunday afternoon. New experience for him and free for us except for gas.
5. Made blueberry muffins to use up frozen ones languishing in the freezer.


Bee November 1, 2022 at 12:03 pm

A few years ago I bought a new washing machine, and when it was delivered, it had a small dent in the side. The delivery company sent me a check for $100. I was very pleased with this as the dent could not be seen. It was a great deal for me!
Life is getting back to normal at my house. Here are this week’s FFT:
1) I repurposed some of the decor items for my son’s rehearsal dinner to decorate my home for the fall. Everything looks very pretty and didn’t cost me an extra penny.
2) I bought Halloween candy early when it was on sale, and successfully hid it from my husband and son. Now that Halloween is over, they are welcome to the leftovers. I learned from last year when I did not hide the candy. I ended up buying candy twice.
3) My favorite thrift store had a 50% off sale. I went and bought only two items. I bought a Vintage handpainted tole tray. Although tole painting is not popular in Florida, I love this folk art. It was fun to add another one to my collection which decorates the walls of my laundry room. My other purchase was a pair of beautifully embroidered white cotton pillowcases. These were made by Montauk whose linens are crazy expensive! I think I did pretty well for $2.25.
4) I attended an estate sale a couple of months ago, and I was accidentally given a bag of 80 skeins of DMC embroidery thread. I tried to give it back and I held onto it in case the rightful owner contacted the company. However, they never did. I posted it on Buy Nothing and have found it a good home.
5) I have been doing all my usual things drinking primarily water, brewing my own coffee, and cooking simple meals at home. I continue to utilize my library. I’m enjoying my book club and other inexpensive social activities. I continue to sell here and there on eBay Facebook Marketplace. I have started collecting coupons ahead of the Christmas season in case I need to use them to buy gifts..
Wishing everyone peace and good health.


Shona November 1, 2022 at 12:05 pm

Frugality has eluded me recently and today I overheard one of my co-workers mention that she’s doing a “no buy November” so I jumped into the conversation and elected to be her accountability partner and participate too.
County property taxes
That’s it for this month


Shona November 1, 2022 at 12:09 pm

I forgot to mention my big purchase yesterday- Sprouts discounted their heirloom pumpkins 2/$1 and I picked up a blue Hubbard for .50 (was $8). Cubed and into the freezer for my new favorite quick meal, quinoa and air fry roasted squashes and root veggies topped with balsamic.


Dicey November 1, 2022 at 6:20 pm

Lol, yesterday, I woke up and decided my hair was too long. I handed DH the sharpest scissors we have and asked him for a “trim”. If 2+ inches counts as a trim, that’s what I got. He did a great job and we’re both thrilled with the results. I’m posting this because my hair’s pretty similar to yours, Katy. If you just want the ends cleaned up, perhaps your husband or one of your kids will do it for you. Nothing to lose (lol) and a lot of money to be saved.


Katy November 2, 2022 at 7:00 pm

So true. I’ve had my son cut my hair a couple times and he did a great job.


Bethany M November 1, 2022 at 6:41 pm

Gave my son a haircut.

Watched a movie about Georgia O’Keeffe from the library.

Asked my husband to make me something out of scrap metal from work that I wanted instead of ordering it.

Today I interviewed at the County office for a flexible hour job. If I get it, it will allow me to see my kids on the bus and be home in time to help with homework.

Signed up to work the polls and taking my training class tomorrow.


Jennifer November 2, 2022 at 3:01 am

Hope the new fridge works out well – the scratch won’t effect anything.

1 – Before the frost I picked all the green tomatoes and have them in paper bags ripening. I also planted garlic when I did the garden clean up.

2 – Slowly gathering cheap small items to go in our saran wrap ball game for Christmas. Hoping I can gradually accumulate the items for little money. Planning to go through my toiletries stash this weekend.

3 – Kids came over to carve pumpkins. I had $20 in Papa Johns rewards that were expiring so we had pizza for cheap. I now have a ton of roasted pumpkin seeds. Also made pumpkin scones from scratch with some of the puree.

4 – Cleaned out my closet and have a huge pile to donate. I can now see what I have easier and have been wearing a wider variety of my clothing – which means I am not as bored with my clothes.

5 – Taking care of medical procedures this year since we maxed out everything by March. Colonoscopy done and all clear.

*Also paid bills online, ate at home except the pizza ordered in and the free pizza at the neighborhood party, dh cut his hair, packed our lunches, ds brought some free food home from work.


Hawaii Planner November 2, 2022 at 5:38 am

We added a new teen driver to our car insurance, and went on (a planned) vacation, so it wasn’t a particularly cheap week for us. But, we still found some wins:
1) Signed up for the waitlist for an airline upgrade, as I have status from work flights. I’d normally do a paid upgrade on a longer flight, but stayed patient, and got upgraded for free. More leg room, a free drink, and generally better seats.
2) Used a companion fare and flight credit to offset the price of some very expensive flights to my parents house for Christmas.
3) Sold a gift card on Raise, and a hoodie on eBay.
4) Made a big batch of chicken & dumplings in the crockpot, and froze most of it for easy lunches. I’ve also eaten it for dinner 3x.
5) Kept the heat off until November 1st (we’re in California, so this is only a moderate win, although the last few days have involved a lot of layers), made banana bread to take as breakfast for our vacation, packed snacks for the flights, stopped at Costco to have a few cheaper options for our hotel room, went to a laundromat to wash our stuff vs paying the outrageous hotel prices, etc.


Ashley Bananas November 2, 2022 at 8:29 am

Dear Katie and Friends,
What would you call shopping at a store like TJ Maxx, Marshalls, HomeGoods, etc…where they do buy offs of inventory that didn’t sell at the end of a season, or items that are no longer wanted. They sell them first hand, but they are really not on a first hand sales cycle like they would be when at say a mall store.

I was trying to describe this to my son recently and called it ‘firsthand Goodwill’. Was wondering if there is a term for shopping at retailers like this.


Katy November 2, 2022 at 6:58 pm

I’m not sure if there’s a specific term for that type of retail store. However, a lot of theie merchandise *are* specifically manufactured to sell at those stores, so it’s not that different from shopping at a traditional retailer. They also allow companies to deliberately over manufacture consumer goods, which worsens the issue.


Cindy in the South November 3, 2022 at 5:23 am

1. Well, it got up to 80 degrees here yesterday so no heat nor air (of course, I can only do a fan, since lightning fried my air this summer and I haven’t bothered to fix it.) 2. I bought six large pumpkins the day after Halloween to process them to eat all winter. They were $1.99 a piece on sale. My orange vegetables are hopefully taken care of until spring. 3. I got a turkey at Walmart for 98 cents a lb. 4. I made soup with either a can of mustard greens, collard greens, or turnip greens, but I really don’t know since I was not wearing my $1.25 Dollar Tree glasses… I added a can of generic Rotel tomatoes, leftover vegetables, bullion cube, spices, and water. Put hot sauce and a splash of apple cider vinegar on top of it and called it good. I ate it for four days for supper. … Cost me under $2 Obviously, I am not picky. 5. I walked in my neighborhood.


Q November 21, 2022 at 8:22 am

Nice work on the pre-prepped meal, Katy! It sounded delish! This list is for the last month, not the last week: I haven’t posted since October, although I enjoy reading everyone’s posts.

1. Rescreened old screens at home, instead of sending out. Was even able to re-use the spline to hold it in place. Figured out why one screen kept falling out, and made adjustments to fix that. Spring always seems too busy to get around to this chore, but now it is done for next year. Also, finally(!!) finished fixing four more children’s bicycles that a friend was tossing out, and found them homes with kids who will really appreciate them. They came out great! Also learned this week how to use a pop riveter by watching youtube videos.
2. Divided many plants, and replanted around yard. Copied Katy’s post, and took cuttings from a rosemary and tossed the dead part of plant. Bought seeds for many native plants for next spring. This will not only be cheaper than buying new ones, it will mean far less plastic, oil for transport, etc. I will plant them using the “winter sowing” method. I saved the screening from our repairs to use to cover the seedlings from the birds, as last time some fat robins and jays came along and demolished my plantings in one afternoon! The native plants support the ecosystem, and don’t need fertilizer or much watering after they are established. Also will be gathering seeds to give away.
3. I bought and am making small food items (jars of pesto, bruschetta, etc, for Christmas stocking stuffers) and decided to really, really make Christmas less consumer oriented. The grandchildren’s stocking stuffers are from a popup consignment I attended in October, and they are things they will love. The adult gifts are on a much smaller scale than in the past, and still feel good.
4. Packing snacks, etc, for long drive to Cleveland, and leaving early in morning, to miss traffic, and to have time for walking break. More frugal than stopping overnight at hotel. Bringing gifts for one daughter’s family, as we won’t see them during the holidays, and this way I won’t have to mail them. I’m cutting some holiday greens, etc, today for daughter who lives in Baltimore with a concrete backyard. We are bringing a large ottoman that I bought at a neighbor’s yard sale for another daughter. We will look like the Beverly Hillbillies, driving with it on our roof, but it will be fun to arrive bearing useful things.
5. The usual: Home cooking from scratch, using a vegan crockpot cookbook that I found at the library for inspiration, hanging clothes to dry, layering outfits rather than turning on heat, (today the heat did go on, but making it until Thanksgiving week is a definite win!!) batching errands, got free flu shot, eating leftovers, cooked delicious pumpkin bread using our Halloween pumpkins, and bringing many homemade contributions to Thanksgiving, for days before and after Thanksgiving, so only one meal will be takeout: we have to have Dewey’s Pizza one night in Cleveland!

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!


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