Five Frugal Things

by Katy on November 7, 2022 · 88 comments

  1. I took my mom to the Goodwill bins, where I scored a small LLBean duffel bag, a new looking Land’s End lined rain coat, (in my size!) a lazy Susan and a miniature wooden Pinocchio. All of which I’m keeping.

    The Adventure duffel was unfortunately embroidered with the name “Eleanor,” which I’m 93% sure is not my name. While it would’ve been perfectly acceptable to keep the monogram in place, (maybe it’s the bag’s name and not that of the previous owner?) I decided this was the perfect opportunity to experiment with removing the lettering. I paid around 50¢ for the duffel, so it wasn’t exactly a big gamble.

    Luckily I own a lil’ seam ripper, which worked perfectly. Sure, it was a slow and finicky job, but I used it as an excuse to watch delightfully mindless TV.  I probably spent 45 weirdly satisfying minutes picking out the stitching, all the while being verrrrry careful to not snag the fabric.

    Can you still read the “Eleanor?” Sure, but I’m guessing it’ll fade with laundering and use. I’m going to keep the bag as the quality is excellent and it’s the perfect size for an overnight trip or some sort of local adventure.

    You can click HERE to watch my step-by-step process.

  2. I’ve gotten lazy again with listing stuff on eBay, which translates into few sales. However I did sell these items this week:

    • A vintage flying geese wall art piece — I paid $1.99 and sold for $48.
    • A Cutco slotted spoon — I paid 99¢ and sold for $13.50.
    • A cashmere flat cap — I paid $4.99 and sold for $70.
    • An Aristocats stuffed animal — I paid $2.99 and sold for $30.

  3. I asked for and received my neighbor’s “$10-off-$50” Winco Foods coupon that came in the mail. I know they don’t grocery shop there, so it would’ve otherwise gone to waste. This may reek of over the top moochiness, but I always tuck my New Seasons Market coupons into their mailbox so I feel zero guilt on this one.

  4. I used some chicken thighs that my daughter brought home from work to brew up a huge pot of chicken noodle soup, (which also included four bendy carrots and the zest and juice of a lemon leftover from my aunt and uncle’s visit!) I called Costco and got a $100 refund due to the three documented scratches from the delivery and installation of our new refrigerator, I served my mother a bowl of reheated broccoli potato soup after the bahn mi restaurant we initially tried was closed, I listened to Summer at Tiffany by Marjorie Hart through the library’s free Libby app, and then started listening to Little Beach Street Bakery by Jenny Colgan.

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

{ 88 comments… read them below or add one }

MB in MN November 7, 2022 at 5:46 am

Excellent work on Eleanor!

1. Got my free COVID booster. And the resulting nausea meant I ate and spent less on food for a day or so.

2. Was in charge of my Friends of the Library book sale. Fabulous finds for cheap. And here’s a tip if you’re looking for a quick and legal way to make a buck: go to your library’s sale, pick out books in top condition, pay very little for them (e.g., we charge $1 for hardcover and .50 for softcover) and sell them to your local bookstore for either trade credit or cash on the spot. It’s a win for everyone. Ideally, you’d also read the books before reselling them!

3. Beautified our dog’s water bowl stand by sanding off the rusty spots and repainting using spray paint borrowed from a friend.

4. Picked up a nickel in a parking lot and passed it on.

5. Ahead of our upcoming move, I took some furniture, artwork and other home accessories to the consignment store.


Bee November 8, 2022 at 4:47 am

Our Spring Friends of the Library Sale was cancelled in March of 2020 and has not returned. They have had small sales in the library lobby now. I miss the big sale that would have once a year with thousands of books. I especially miss bag day. 🙁 The adjacent town has a sale, but they all the book dealers to come in first. Thus, it’s not as much fun.


Bee November 8, 2022 at 4:49 am

Geez! I hope you can figure out what I’m trying to say. Autocorrect strikes again!


MB in MN November 8, 2022 at 11:43 am

Bee, that’s so unfortunate that book dealers get first dibs. Our local bookseller and her employees make it a point not to go to the sale at all. I hope your library brings the big sales back soon!


Cindy in the South November 7, 2022 at 6:05 am

Love the bag! Also absolutely love your deck but for some reason every time I tried to comment on my phone about the deck, it would blank out and an ad would pop up. So, this comment is on the computer….lol 1. I bought six large pumpkins at Walmart the day after Halloween. They had been listed for $5.99 a piece but were marked down to $1.99 a piece. Everyone in line was asking me if I was going to decorate with them. No, I am going to cook them and then they wanted to know how. Pumpkin is only popular here in the canned version. Sweet potatoes are the orange vegetable of choice around these parts. I may be regretting my decision, after I cut these open and make a mess….lol. 2. I walked in my neighborhood. I soaked my work clothes in my bathtub and then hung them up to dry. I regularly do this to make them last longer. 3. I went to Sams and purchased a large bag of potatoes. I have not bought any in a while, because they were so terrible tasting this summer but these looked delicious, and that are. I also bought dog food, and anything else I need in a large quantity. 4. Other than work, and going to get groceries, I have stayed home, although I did go walk in a local park one day. 5. I took a nap this weekend.


A. Marie November 7, 2022 at 11:21 am

Cindy, see the FFT I’m about to post below about using pumpkins.


Kim November 7, 2022 at 11:32 am

Great frugal activities, as usual!
Here are some of mine:
1. I heard about using old Jack-o-lanterns to enrich soil, so I asked people for theirs, if they were just going to throw them out. I got fifteen carved pumpkins and five whole pumpkins! The old ones are buried in my garden beds, and I’ve already cooked one. I made almost half a gallon of soup, and more than a gallon of puree – and I still have four more to go!
2. I washed my clothes during off peak hours and dried my clothes on my rack I got for $5 at an estate sale five years ago.
3. I got a $40 “check” from Talbots. I stopped in and picked up a new white shirt and walked out without pauing anything.
4. I mended a messenger-style bag that my father gave me one year for Christmas, and patched it with a scrap of cloth Ihad bought for my mother back in the ‘80s. Since they have both passed, this warmed myheart.
5. I didn’t sign any contracts for pricey home improvement projects.


Jill A November 7, 2022 at 1:03 pm

My Mom keeps telling me that jack-o-lantern type pumpkins aren’t good for cooking? I’ve seen that many people do cook them and make puree. Am I correct that you can cook a carving pumpkin?


Lindsey November 7, 2022 at 1:30 pm

I will use any pumpkin for pulp. But for jack o lantern types I line a strainer with a doubled piece of cheesecloth and put the pulp in there for a few hours to let excess juice drip out. When I lift the pulp out to put in the freezer container, I first twist the cheesecloth to force out any extra liquid left. The flavor of the larger ones can be more bland, depending on the variety, but since I use the pulp for dog biscuits, to hide in chili, and for sweet breads and pies, the spices make up for any lack. I also use the seeds for snacks and the guts for pumpkin guts quick bread (lots of recipes on line), and Jack o’lanterns work just fine in those incarnations, too.


Katy November 7, 2022 at 2:47 pm

I’ve frozen pumpkin puree almost every year for other people’s leftover uncut pumpkins. I do it in two portions. as that seems to be the amount in recipes.


Lisa M. November 8, 2022 at 8:32 am

Jill A – Your Mother is correct concerning the best pumpkin for baking purposes. After researching this question many years ago, I purchased both a large carving pumpkin & its’ smaller cousin, the pie (or sugar) pumpkin for ~ 15 years. My daughter & I carved & later baked the seeds for both pumpkins, but I only baked the pie pumpkin. Pie pumpkins are ideally suited for baking due to their lower moisture content. My baked pie pumpkin puree’ was then drained, measured & frozen for later use in holiday pumpkin pies. That said, the larger pumpkins can be baked & used in a variety of recipes but often require additional draining d/t the greater moisture content as noted by Lindsey.


Vickey November 10, 2022 at 6:09 am

That drained pumpkin juice would make good starter stock for fall soups.

Ruby November 7, 2022 at 6:25 am

You did a great job un-monogramming the bag. The seam ripper is probably the hardest working tool in my sewing kit — right up there with the scissors.

The FFT at my house:
1. Reinforced the about-to-crack-through edge of the pint water bottle I take to work with some colorful duct tape we’ve had forever.
2. Took up the waistband of another pair of too-big slacks by running elastic through it.
3. Ran last week’s office clothes through the dryer on fluff for a few minutes to get stray cat and dog hairs off them. They are good for a second week of wear without needing washing.
4. Made my family two delicious homemade pizzas for Saturday night supper, using up ingredients from the pantry and freezer. Used up the leftover mushrooms and onion from pizza making, the meat from two large chicken drumsticks, half an open box of bow tie pasta and some frozen veggies to make a yummy chicken-spinach-mushroom casserole for my lunches.
5. Went to Goodwill after a nearby dentist appointment seeking a few winter tops in a smaller size (I have so far lost 27 pounds), bought the only one that was just right — for $4 — and left. There will be more another day, as thrifting is a lot like fishing. 🙂


MB in MN November 7, 2022 at 7:07 am

Ruby, good for you on your significant weight loss!


Ruby November 7, 2022 at 12:18 pm

Thank you. It’s been slow but pretty steady. Eventually I hope to be in Goodwill shopping for an entire new wardrobe of much smaller clothes.


Jill A November 7, 2022 at 12:17 pm

Congratulations on your weight loss.


A. Marie November 7, 2022 at 12:59 pm

Ruby, three cheers for you on the weight loss! I only wish I could say the same.


Christine November 9, 2022 at 5:38 am

Good for you Ruby on the weight loss! Congrats!


kathy November 7, 2022 at 6:28 am

1. Using Fitbit provided for free from insurance company to log my steps. Hit over 11,000 one day
2. Spent a quiet weekend at home. Watched football and read
3. Organized closet again. Gathering bag for consignment
4. Listed a few more items online.
5. Polished my silver jewelry


Hawaii Planner November 7, 2022 at 6:33 am

1) Used a companion fare from our airline credit card to book flights to Portland for the holidays. It’s still well above & beyond anything we’ve ever paid before, and is outrageously expensive. But, here we are.
2) On a similar travel theme, we are going to Dubai to visit my MIL & a few other family members. The trip is a big deal, as I’ve never met my SIL or niece, and we’ve been married for 17 y ears. My ILs have have only ever been able to see our kids 2x, the last time was close to 15 years ago. Travel for folks that live in Iran is very difficult, so Dubai it is. Booked economy flights, and used rewards points to try & upgrade to business class for myself & my husband. Also used hotel points to book one of the rooms. We’ll cover the hotel rooms for my SIL & MIL, so we need to really be saving.
3) Needed pesto for a recipe, so made some out of basil from the garden, as well as fridge & pantry random ingredients, including a mini bag of parmesan that was hanging out in the fridge from an old bag of salad, and walnuts instead of pine nuts.
4) Picked up two free pumpkins at the grocery store, after Halloween. Roasted & pureed them. Froze most of the puree, but made a triple batch of muffins out of the rest.
5) Remembered I was receiving a Costco cash card, and set it aside to cover out contributions to all of the family holiday celebrations. My sister buys all of the food & drinks at Costco, and I usually give her cash. This year, I’ll send her the Costco cash card in advance, so she’ll be able to cover the expenses with the Costco card.


Bee November 7, 2022 at 3:07 pm

Your trip sounds very special. Have a wonderful time!.


Hawaii Planner November 10, 2022 at 2:29 pm

Thanks, Bee! We are looking forward to it. I need to try & learn some Farsi.


Ava November 7, 2022 at 6:37 am

1. Got paint on a shirt I shouldn’t have been wearing for painting. When it didn’t come out in the wash, I applied dish detergent and baking soda and scrubbed it with a toothbrush. All stains came out.
2. Had a successful craft show. Have another coming up and have to work hard to have enough items to sell.
3. Made cobbler from withered apples.
4. The weather has been great for keeping both heat and air off. We have had two months in a row of extra low electric bills.
5. Staying out of stores. No recreational thrift shopping.


Mary in Maryland November 7, 2022 at 6:59 am

1. Don’t be embarrassed by asking for coupons. Our snobbiest neighbor once asked for an airline coupon I had put out in paper recycling. I relished seeing someone who thinks we’re déclassé sifting through our trash in the dark. Cheap thrills.
2. When a neighborhood acquaintance we meet dog walking every morning asked about our shore plans for this fall, I said the friends we go with couldn’t afford their half and we couldn’t justify paying for just us. She said she and her husband owned his late mother’s place at the shore but never get there and loan it out for free. I talked to her hubby. We don’t know them well enough to take it for free, but I offered a third of what we’d been paying. He accepted. Nine days at the shore—our friends joined us for the last four. (I did not tell them we paid anything—they’re having a hard year in many respects.)
3. Prepping for the shore I felt like a worker at Blue Apron, but it’s cheaper to plan and to bring food from home than to grocery shop at the shore.
4. I mended some pillowcases and bedspreads at the shore. We washed all the linens we used before we came home.
5. The friends wanted Chinese their first night with us. It came with a boatload of brown rice. We got two meals for the four of us from the Chinese. The remaining brown rice made two breakfasts for the Mister and I as well as two entrees for the four of us—pilaf one night, fried rice the next.


Anne November 7, 2022 at 8:26 am

Absolutely adored your number one.


Mary in Maryland November 7, 2022 at 10:39 am

We stood in the dark and giggled while he sorted. Priceless.


A. Marie November 7, 2022 at 11:23 am

I’m sure that some of my neighbors are amused by my trash-sifting efforts too (see the FFT I’m about to post below). But as Mr. Bennet in Pride and Prejudice reminds us, “For what do we live to make sport for our neighbors, and laugh at them in our turn?”


Bee November 7, 2022 at 3:05 pm

One of my favorite lines ever!!!!


Anne November 7, 2022 at 3:43 pm

Mine also!


Marilyn November 10, 2022 at 1:10 pm

I love that line too


susanna d November 7, 2022 at 8:33 am

1. Switched my husband’s Medicare prescription drug plan to the one I use. Between the lower premium and the lower cost for his prescription, it’ll save us around $150 next year.
2. Dropped a feature on our cell phone plan. While I’d love to be able to use one of those much cheaper plans, there’s only one cell company service that works inside our house – although you sometimes have to sit right in front of the signal booster. Living in the woods is beautiful but can have technological challenges. Anyway, dropping the feature will save us another $100 per year.
3. My husband and I are trying to be less coffee-snobby and have switched to a cheaper but acceptable brand. That should save us another $60 or so per year. Giving up coffee is not an option…at this time anyway.
4. I’ve been hearing about more increases to natural gas and electric costs so I’ve been going around unplugging things (why was the microwave in the basement plugged in AND the clock set? No one has used that in…four months at least). I’ve also been experimenting with lowering the thermostat. So far my husband hasn’t complained, although he did let me know he’s aware of what I’m doing. Ah, so THAT’S why he’s been wearing a hat in the house.
5. The car and truck have been taking a staycation in the garage, and neither has gone anywhere since Thursday. While this might not seem remarkable, we live in an area with a walkability score of ZERO, which means we need to drive everywhere. To avoid stir craziness, we’ve been taking even longer hikes than usual (living in the woods has its perks, too). The health benefits make it a double win.


Christine November 7, 2022 at 8:41 am

1. I sold an old stamp collector’s book on Facebook Marketplace.
2. I won a wonderful gift basket at my church’s Harvest Fair. Yes, I will gamble for charity (modestly). Included in it: a sorely needed beautiful warm nightgown since my old ones have seen better days, a fluffy throw blanket and pillow, two pairs of winter socks, a mug, cocoa, chai. tea and a big can of chicken soup, a Eucalyptus candle, a winter hat and two pairs of gloves.
3. I thought I had lost my favorite Fall jacket but found it at work while cleaning out my area!
4. My neighbor gave me a bunch of green peppers from the last of her garden surplus. I will fry them up and freeze them.
5. We’ve had such unusually warm weather for November here in New England that we haven’t had to turn the heat on. Temps in the 70s and sometimes it is actually humid. DH and I agreed it feels more like August than a couple of weeks away from Thanksgiving. Nice for our oil bill.


Ruby November 7, 2022 at 12:12 pm

That is an awesome thing to have won!


Susie's Daughter November 7, 2022 at 9:15 am

Katy – love the color of the duffel. Good work with the seam ripper!

1) Still hanging out laundry. It is unseasonably warm in my part of the world and though this gives me climate change angst, it works for drying laundry.

2) Using the electric skillet, toaster oven, microwave and both kinds of “pots” (insta/crock) to limit use of gas stove. This is essentially a brand new stove which I longed for after years of a terrible electric range. We made this investment during our COVID kitchen renovation, about 6 minutes before all the research about climate/health impacts of gas ranges came out in the press. Am batch cooking when the oven is on and looking at what I can cook in other ways.

3) DS got skis at the annual ski swap for $40. This is a huge savings over new. And the $40 goes to the PTO to help make winter sports program free for all kids at his school.

4) Loving the app for a popular photo printing/gift site. Made a thank you book for our neighbor who kindly invited us to her 7th birthday party at a Christmas themed amusement park. I *think* I have photos of everyone who attended in her book. Cost was shipping only, about $8.

5) Beloved neighbor and I are planning to batch prep/cook/freeze meals together to a) save effort b) always have a freezer alternative ready c) have fun together. We will prepare 10-12 servings of each entree. There are VERY few options for take-out in our part of the world and most are meh at best. This will help with the cooking blahs.


Bee November 8, 2022 at 4:58 am

I used to batch cook when my kids were younger. It was a life saver. I have a friend who lives on a street with 3 other single women. They each cook a meal on Monday and divide it into 4 servings. They then do an “exchange.” I thought this was a wonderful idea.


Susie's Daughter November 7, 2022 at 9:19 am

PS – Anyone have any good uses for Brazil nuts (already shelled)? They come in our Costco mix, but neither Dear Wife nor I particularly like to eat them that way.(Always the ones left at the bottom of the dish). Trying to figure out how to use them creatively.


MB in MN November 7, 2022 at 11:08 am

Susie’s Daughter, Brazil nuts are the first ones I fish out of the mix because I love them so much! Would you and your wife be able to handle them chopped up in baked goods, granola, oatmeal or sprinkled on top of cooked dishes, pasta, salads, or desserts? They also work in pesto. Bon appetit!


Lindsey November 7, 2022 at 1:20 pm

Also can use them in nut crusts for pies.


Susie's Daughter November 7, 2022 at 4:00 pm

Lindsey – MIL makes a “Fudge Brownie Pie” with a nut crust. Hello Brazil nut FB Pie?!


Susie's Daughter November 7, 2022 at 3:58 pm

MB! I am sorry that I can’t put them aside for you in a jelly jar to share! But your suggestions are great. I’m thinking I might chop them and then lightly toast with a little cinnamon for oatmeal or salad purposes.


Judi Pavlovszky November 7, 2022 at 10:23 am

Just a point of clarification, an embroidered name on an item is not a monogram:mon·o·gram
Learn to pronounce
noun: monogram; plural noun: monograms
a motif of two or more letters, typically a person’s initials, usually interwoven or otherwise combined in a decorative design, used as a logo or to identify a personal possession.
“a handkerchief with his monogram embroidered on one corner”


Lynda November 7, 2022 at 12:17 pm

Rather rude


Selena November 7, 2022 at 12:49 pm

Let’s hope it make her feel better


Christine November 8, 2022 at 8:03 pm

Sad that people feel they have to publicly correct others. That being said…who cares? Everyone I know calls embroidered names/initials a monogram.


cathy November 9, 2022 at 2:48 pm

Not only do most people refer to embroidered names–not just initials–as monograms, but that’s how companies like LL Bean and Lands End describe it (when they ask if you want to spend the extra money).


Lindsey November 7, 2022 at 10:56 am

I never would have thought of taking off the Eleanor, I would just not have purchased the item. I will remember this trick!
1. Cut husband’s hair, which grows at an astronomical rate.
2. Sold a book (your selling rate puts me to shame) on eBay.
3. Took on a grocery shop that netted us $32 of free groceries. The paperwork to submit the shop took literally 7 minutes, which is a pretty good rate of pay since I was going to buy the stuff anyway.
4. It is consistently in the 20s or colder now so we unplugged our freezer and put the contents in three Rubbermaid totes that are now spending the winter on the back porch. From November through March we save electricity by using nature’s freezer.
5. I put a gro-light bulb in my desk lamp and set my lone pot of basil under it. When I am working away, my basil is growing away with no added cost to me. I cut some basil from my garden just before the frosts, put them in a glass of water and planted the ones that grew the best roots.


susanna d November 7, 2022 at 12:37 pm

#4 – I live in a cold climate, too. Not as cold as yours Lindsey but it’s very rare for us to get even close to the freezing mark in January and February. A lot of times it doesn’t get above zero. We did use our screen room and several Rubbermaid containers to hold excess beef for the month of February a few years ago, when our beef order turned out to be much larger than we expected or had room for. But it never occurred to me until now that I could unplug one of the freezers for a couple of months and let nature handle the cooling. Thanks!


Susie's Daughter November 7, 2022 at 3:52 pm

Lindsey and Susanna d –
We are also in the colder climes (Northern New England), though not so much yet this fall. I am looking forward to using the “Walk In Cooler” as soon as the weather holds steady under 35. The porch does a great job of holding what the fridge won’t, especially around the holidays.


Christine November 8, 2022 at 8:06 pm

Brings back nice memories of my grandmother using her back hall as an extra refrigerator in the winter. “Chrissy, go out and get me so and so…”


A. Marie November 7, 2022 at 11:45 am

FFT, Loving My Neighbors Edition:

(1) I’ve just struck a deal with my yard/snowblowing guy to cut out some weed trees that are growing too close to my next-door neighbor’s house (this is the neighbor who makes the killer brownies), as her Christmas and birthday presents combined. She has an early January birthday, so this works out brilliantly. And since a lot of us on our lovely street are at the age where we don’t need “things” as presents, I’m looking for more stuff like this that I can do this holiday season.

(2) Since Katy mentioned her brilliant save on an LL Bean bag, I’ll mention this: I’m not clever enough with a seam ripper to do what she did, so I just make up stories about the names/monograms on LLB bags that I find. I recently found a small Boat and Tote bag in mint condition, with a monogram that’s pretty close to my #1 neighbor’s initials, so I will use this as the carrier for the “gift certificate” for the tree work. I’ll use my MA in English/creative writing to make up a story for the oddball initial.

(3) My less frugal neighbors have provided me with some deals and entertainment as well. One newbie couple on the street had a big pre-Halloween party the weekend before H’ween, and then put out all of the NYS 5-cent deposit containers from the party out on the curb and left town for a couple of days. No prizes for guessing who was all over those.

(4) Two other neighbors up the street apparently went in together on a tree removal service to cut down a very dead ash and an unfortunately very much alive red maple, and have piled almost all the wood on the curb. In tribute to my DH’s “urban logger” instincts, I’ve collected everything that was 16″ long or less, since that’s what our rather small woodburner will take. DH would have been up there with a chainsaw himself, but nobody in his/her right mind would trust me near a chainsaw. Sigh.

(5) Finally, the Feast of the Abandoned Pumpkins has begun: I collected a Queensland Blue pumpkin (light blue/green skin, about 10 lbs.) off the curb of the neighbor who routinely pays premium prices for “decor” pumpkins and routinely discards them the week after Halloween. The cut-up pieces are roasting in the oven now and smell heavenly. I plan to have a few for dinner tonight (along with the .99/lb. chicken drumsticks I’m roasting alongside them) and freeze the remainder.


Jill A November 7, 2022 at 1:00 pm

I love your FFT especially #1. I’ve been debating something similar. My Mom and MIL don’t need things and neither do I but having someone help with something around the house would be such a welcome gift.


Heidi Louise November 7, 2022 at 2:03 pm

I had a purse of exactly the right style I liked, with a “D” on it. If anyone asked, and very few did, I said it was a High- D.

For service gifts, one year I wrapped my very uncomfortable pregnant friend’s gifts for her, a chore she hates anyway. Went over to her house, husband wrote out tags, and she provided the supplies. She was thrilled and I did it a couple more years after that.


Katy November 7, 2022 at 2:44 pm

That was very nice of you.


Jill November 7, 2022 at 12:01 pm

1. My niece had a baby which also coincided with my sister’s Big Zero birthday. My sister was there helping out (she normally lives on the opposite coast)so I scored a cheap flight to San Diego where I : took my sister to lunch to celebrate her birthday, helped with my niece’s other two kids, attended a fun Halloween celebration at my great nephew’s school, stayed for free at their house and cooked a meal for them before I left. My only cost was my flight and lunch for my sister and I.
2. Found out we are closing on our new house (woohoo!) mid December so we started pricing the 3 appliances we need – refrigerator, washer and dryer. After an exhaustive search we were able to purchase all 3 with discounts for bundling and using “Black Friday” sales. All are in stock and we will get free delivery and hook up. (I got my way with the bare bones, old school washer and dryer but let my husband have his ice maker refrigerator. Gotta give him a win sometimes)
3. My brother sent me a $10 Dollar General gift card when we moved in February and we don’t have any near us. Searched for one when doing other errands and picked up a massive pack of toilet paper. (If you knew my brother, who is 100 percent more frugal than me, you’d know that he’d be thrilled with that use of the gift card)
4. Am reading my current library book, This Time Tomorrow, and savoring the new season of Somebody Feed Phil on Netflix.
5. Walked my grandson to a very cool nearby playground, stayed in for most of the weekend and did a fairly decent cleaning of our apartment, Skyped with our daughter in Australia, voted, and did mostly repetitive things that I do everyday to save money.
One frugal fail: I left my boots in a hotel room when visiting my daughter and though I’ve filed a lost item claim I could kick myself that I now have to replace my favorite pair of fairly new boots.


Katy November 7, 2022 at 12:42 pm

I Loved “This Time Tomorrow,” definitely one of my top reads of 2022!

P.S. Sorry about your boots.


Jill November 7, 2022 at 3:14 pm

Thanks! I’m just so mad at myself about the boots. I’m just starting This Time Tomorrow but I can tell I’m gonna like it already


Mary in Maryland November 7, 2022 at 1:25 pm

During our stay at the beach house we were stunned by the complexity of the washing machine–eleven separate programs. We laughed that all the systems in the house were smarter than we are.


Jill A November 7, 2022 at 12:46 pm

1. I was gifted two butternut squash. I used one to make a moroccan stew which used up the kale and veggie broth in my freezer and some of the couscous that’s in my pantry that is well past it’s sell by date. All ingredients were things I had on hand which is great. Going to the grocery store for just one or two items usually ends with a cart full of groceries. It was delicious and made many meals.
2. I invited my mother and sister over for the stew and naan bread from the freezer. This is my plan for the winter to feed and entertain my family and friends instead of eating out etc. I also sent them home with enough for another meal.
3. I sold my unfortunately unrepairable van to a junk yard. They came and hauled it away and paid me in cash. I emailed my insurance agent afterward and canceled the storage insurance and have already received the refund.
4. Helped my Mom’s neighbor rake up their backyard leaves which unfortunately blow into her yard. He’s helping care for his 90 year old father and hasn’t had time to deal with it. They were so thankful for the help that they fed us a nice lunch.
5. I gave my dog a bath in my shower. I had a new shower nozzle installed a while ago with a hand held sprayer for this purpose. This saves me $10 each time.


rebecca November 7, 2022 at 1:11 pm

1. Threw together a housewarming gift from things on hand-a bottle of prosecco and a cookbook and baked a banana bread.
2. Keeping my heat low. It has been warm around here so it’s not been a particular hardship.
3. Stayed in yesterday and didn’t use my car.
4. Had people over for brunch on Sunday, made a vegetable and cheese frittata, muffins, coffee and a fruit plate from what I had on hand. Brunch is such an easy and cost effective way to entertain. Maybe $10? It is so much more relaxing as well.
5. The usual-coffee and water from home, turning lights out and hanging some laundry to drive. I also made pea soup from ingredients I already had on hand and added spinach and tomatoes that were on their last legs.


BettafrmdaVille November 7, 2022 at 1:27 pm

1. A friend invited me to a fiber fair on Saturday. She paid for the gas and the entrance and I set us up to do a mystery shop for lunch and another for dinner, getting $45.45 worth of food for free (plus I made $35 for doing the paperwork).
2. I received a coupon for $10 off $10 at a local grocery. I planned around BOGO and sales/loss leader & got $19.63 for 1 cent! (Bought bacon, OJ & broccoli)
3. Used up the last of the green tomatoes from the garden to make fried green tomatoes, using kale from the garden for an upcoming dinner party, and spaghetti squash from garden for a vegetarian meal from this week. Partner is drying the last of the basil and I’m shelling beans that dried on the vine to eek out the last bit of food from our tiny urban garden.
4. Working the polls tomorrow and it will be slow. I’ll bring my computer and try to finish a freelance article, so hopefully it will be an extra $540 in my pocket (before taxes, of course!)
5. Moving more money from my traditional bank (checking account) to my Ally account to make as much interest as possible.


Selena November 7, 2022 at 7:50 pm

Working the polls also but not making near that much per day lol. I’d do it for nothing truth be told but it is a very long day. We’re usually steady throughout the day if a federal election. Local stuff (school boards etc.), not so steady. I’m a bit surprised you’re allowed to bring your computer however.


Lindsey November 8, 2022 at 11:24 am

This is the first year I have not worked the polls, and I miss it; this is a bad wheelchair week and the bathroom at our location sucks. The husband and I did it together and it was fun to meet the same people year after year. Husband says the first hour today was an absolute crush. Thank you for working the polls, as it is hard to find people. This year there is a 19 year old working with my husband and he is so happy to see a young person doing it.


BettafrmdaVille November 10, 2022 at 9:09 am

I only used my computer when I was out in the lobby directing people to the room to vote! (I also only used it to type a word document; I could have also just used a pad of paper if anyone preferred it).


Selena November 10, 2022 at 8:08 pm

Completely understand – thankfully no poll watchers looking for “problems” that don’t exist did not bother you. Not too happy with our area’s “watchers” this year. UGH.


Shona November 7, 2022 at 2:05 pm

I’ve done the same satisfying seam ripping on a corporate logo embroidered letterman’s style jacket. The jacket was free so it was worth my time.

No-spend November is going fairly well. Last month I bought a 20# bag of jasmine rice for $13 ($10 off) and this morning I transferred it all into 4 large French lidded jars. This is going to last awhile.

My husband bought a 3# bag of apples at one store and they were $2 less and the second store. We would pass the first store on our way home so we bought the less expensive bag and returned the other.

I’m helping a local organic farm plant garlic later this week and in exchange they will send me home with veggies. I regularly buy from them and recently asked if they needed a volunteer from time to time. I got a DM asking if I was available this week.

Unfortunately today was my last time walking to the health foods store less than a mile away. I have to cross a fairly large intersection where drivers ignore pedestrians and after today’s crossing this no longer feels safe. Such a disappointment because the library and the discount grocery is on the way and I usually batch these walking errands together.

Not a frugal fail, I am so excited that Patti Smith included the nearest big city on her book tour. Me and a friend bought tickets, which include a reading, performance and a copy of her new book. I’ve always wanted to see her so I couldn’t pass up this opportunity. I let me No-spend November accountability partner know and she agreed that “seeing Patti Smith was an essential purchase.”

Watching Grantchester on my mom’s Prime account.


Katy November 7, 2022 at 2:43 pm

I loved Patti Smith’s memoir about Robert Mapplethorpe. I agree that the tickets are essential.


Christine November 10, 2022 at 3:29 pm

I’m sorry you won’t be walking to the stores and library anymore but if your safety is at stake it’s just not worth it. The only store I can walk to from my house requires walking along a twisty, curvy road with guard rails on both sides that would prevent me from jumping into the weeds. No sidewalks either, I might add. The alternative would be to cut through swampy woods along a path that in most seasons requires one to jump across a brook. Plus as a female I don’t feel comfortable being in the woods alone. We must do what we must do.


Jen November 7, 2022 at 3:16 pm

“which I’m 93% sure is not my name”.

Thanks for making me almost spit out my kombucha all over the keyboard, Katy. 🙂


Bee November 7, 2022 at 3:48 pm

The time change has me a little discombobulated. I haven’t done anything especially interesting. I’m on frugal autopilot right now.
1. Dear hubby and I had a budget meeting which was very productive. I know that I have complained that our cost of living has increased astronomically with no change in our standard of living. Expenses have increased by 15% over the last year or so. Since I handle the household bills, it’s nice to get another set of eyes to look at things. We now have a new strategy for savings and spending.
2. Not frugal for me, but helpful for my son. Dear hubby and I went to my son’s and DIL’s house this weekend to help with the baby. They ran errands while we watched the baby and cooked dinner. I’m not sure if there is anything that can prepare a person for the early stages of parenthood when you are suddenly on call 24/7. We all need a break now and then. Sitters are so costly!
3. I have given things away this week on Buy Nothing and listed items on eBay. I sold two items also.
4.I spoke with the membership representative at the YMCA and had my son added to our membership free of charge while heis staying with us . He had a gap of two and a half months after completing his summer research project and the next semester of grad school.
5. All the usual things!


Christine November 10, 2022 at 3:38 pm

I totally agree with your #3. I gave birth to 3 children in 4 1/2 years and while I was certainly busier with 2 and then 3 children, I always say going from 0 to 1 baby was the biggest life changer. Nice that you are close enough to give them a break.


Christine November 10, 2022 at 3:39 pm

Ooops…I meant your #2.


Bee November 11, 2022 at 4:47 pm

The first child is the hardest. Of course, this is true of so many things. Parenthood is just a huge adjustment.


janine November 7, 2022 at 6:07 pm

1.Rushed home in time to make husband a sandwich and salad because I was scheduled to do some calling for a couple of favorite candidates. Decided that son could better use his funds to pay for needed car repairs so declined his offer of Culver’s burgers.
2. Computer problems developed so husband used his skills to get things back and running once again.
3. Son gifted me a gallon of orchard apple cider – a favorite fall beverage.
4. Favorite small thrift shop had Xmas opening today. Didn’t buy anything because lines were so incredibly long and didn’t have time to wait. Will return tomorrow to see what is left. Prices were very reasonable. Prob.ably saved me from some impulse buying.
5. Picked up sale peppers, day old bakery bread and a few other goodies but missed all the day after Halloween candy sales which probably was both frugal and healthy.


Christine November 10, 2022 at 3:42 pm

Oh Janine you are a strong woman to decline Culvers! We don’t have a Culvers near us but anytime we travel to the South or Midwest, we make it a point to stop in and indulge.


Selena November 7, 2022 at 7:52 pm

Obviously you are not a Beatles fan else you’d have added “Rigby” after/below “Eleanor”. It would be the bags name of course.


Katy November 7, 2022 at 9:41 pm

A complete lost opportunity!


Anne November 10, 2022 at 7:36 am

Selena…..very clever.


Marilyn November 10, 2022 at 1:24 pm

“Eleanor” being my middle name, I might have taken the bag and left the monogram. I’ve always liked the name.


VLY November 8, 2022 at 2:26 pm

Katy, I found an LL Bean zippered tote bag at the Bins long ago and it was monogrammed CRV, which are not my initials, but I was fine using it anyways because as you say, the quality was so good. I am very impressed you were patient enough to remove “Eleanor”! It barely shows now. Also, I think it’s really cool you are fine with asking your neighbors for coupons and you give them coupons in return. It’s how the world should be.


Katy November 8, 2022 at 7:23 pm

My neighbors on both sides are very used to my frugal shenanigans. They benefit from it as well, as we lend out tools, last minute dinner ingredients and all manner of random things.


geri elkins-alexander November 10, 2022 at 5:36 pm

I’ve had coupon exchanges with friends and it has always worked out well. Also, back when newspapers were paper and were delivered, either wrapped with rubber bands or in plastic bags, I’d give my friend the papers when I was done as he was on a very fixed income-and we’d split the rubber bands and plastic bags{<good for dog walking pick up duty} and then he'd take the used papers to the animal shelter. A neighbor got on to me, jokingly, for not recycling the papers and I had to explain that they had to get used quite a bit before we could even consider recycling them.


Amy November 9, 2022 at 5:45 am

15 years ago I bought a Land’s End Boat tote at a rummage sale for .@25. It had MOM on it. It could have been a monogram or just a personalization. I decided since I am a mom to keep it. We still call this bag the MOM bag. I have used it as a beach tote, market bag, school bag. It is still going strong.


Katy November 9, 2022 at 1:02 pm

If you can have “mom jeans,” then it follows logic that you can also have a “mom bag.”


Christine November 10, 2022 at 3:45 pm

Ha ha! Good one Katy!


Amy November 11, 2022 at 5:52 am

The true upside is that everyone knows what I am talking about when I say go get the MOM bag.


Texasilver November 10, 2022 at 10:58 am

1. Went to the credit union & changed my CDs to the current interest rate. Yes I paid a penalty but the current interest rate is 2 to 3 times what I formerly had. The penalty will be erased by higher earnings.
2. Sent a Fossil brand purse back to company as the PVC strap cracked & peeled. The company sent me an 80$ voucher for a new purse. This time I will get 100% leather as it lasts & lasts. (I have a leather Liz Claiborne shoulder bag that is 30 yr old. I got it out this week to use after I mailed the PVC bag back.)
3. Made an enchilada type quiche using leftover tortilla chips for the crust, Bisquick, small amt. ground beef, small quantity of frozen corn & other odds & ends. It was tasty.
4. Got a coupon for $7.99 haircut at Quick Clips in the mail. Hubby went to get a haircut.
5. Vacuumed out my car at home instead of spending $ to use car wash vacuum. (I love my cannister vacuum as it can clean nooks & crannies in the house or the car.)


Bethany M November 10, 2022 at 11:18 am

Threw half a bag of spinach and a zucchini I had forgotten about into my lasagna. I’m getting so much better at not wasting produce.

Signed up for a credit card with promotion of spend $500 get $200 credit. Will use it carefully for groceries and Christmas gifts.

Picked up a pair of pants for my son and reminded him to stop sliding on his knees in the church gym. Stay on your feet, bud!

It’s a heat/ac off day and I opened the windows for fresh air.

Putting off all errands until Friday when my daughter has a spare minute to run out and get some things she needs.


Jennifer November 10, 2022 at 3:54 pm

1 – I really didn’t want to cook dinner last night. So I pulled out a convenience dinner. Once I turned the oven on I found my motivation and made a double batch of breakfast sausage with ground turkey and muffins for our breakfast.

2 – We are going to visit my dd at college to see her present her capstone project. I booked a hotel a couple of weeks ago and tonight looked again at the rates on I cancelled and rebooked for a $17 savings.

3 – Used a free gift card to stock up on dog treats. Also won a Barnes & Noble gift card at work. Going straight into someone’s stocking.

4 – Had to pay my ds’s tuition for 1 class. I used a CC to earn the points and paid it off in full afterwards. Received a $5 off hair cut at Great Clips coupon in the mail and made sure ds had it on his way to get his hair cut.

5 – A grocery deal I was trying to do did not give me the discount advertised. I stopped at customer service on my way out to ask. 1 item was not exactly the right one one. I returned all items as I am not paying $22 for 5 food items. Would have been a good (for current times) deal had it worked.


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