Five Frugal Things

by Katy on November 28, 2022 · 85 comments

  1. This week was very much dominated by Thanksgiving, which we always host. Even though the meal is elaborate, it’s actually an inexpensive way to feed a crowd, especially when you account for the wealth of leftovers. I think we spent around $35 total.

    • I got the turkey for free last year, as part of a “spend X dollars, get a free turkey” deal at Winco. It’s been sitting in my deep freeze ever since.
    • I made multiple pans of mashed potatoes from a 10-pound bag, which was just a couple of bucks at Winco.
    • I baked two apple and two pumpkin pies, plus a gluten-free apple crisp. The apples were 79¢/pound at the dented vegetable store and the the puree was baked down from a neighbor’s leftover Halloween pumpkin. I made the crust with sale priced butter.
    • I made the stuffing from a loaf of fancy artisan bread, which I did actually buy at full price.
    • I made the cranberry sauce last week as I’d nabbed two bags of sale cranberries from Winco.
    • My mother brought bakery rolls and my brother in law brought a vegetable side dish.

  2. Leftovers. Endless amazing Thanksgiving leftovers. It’s why I made five pies, ten pounds of potatoes, two quarts of cranberry sauce, etc, etc. I actually hate hosting Thanksgiving, but I love that all the leftovers belong to me.

  3. I did my own version of Black Friday shopping over the weekend, which is to say that I scored two items from two soggy free piles. Here’s what came home with me:

    •An Ikea shelving board, which I’ve set aside until I can figure out how to make best use of it.
    •An antique style end table, which I’m now using as a plant stand as it already had some light water damage to the top surface.

  4. I stopped by the dented vegetable store for the big $2 container of organic mixed greens that’s always in stock, I returned a Goodwill shirt that fit weird, but then thrifted a couple items to sell, (a “Rogue Ales Brewery” Christmas sweater and a pair of Victorian style boots) my mother noted that our cloth napkins were ratty, so she sewed up a new set from thrifted flannel shirts, my printer ran out of the yellow ink and is being a little bitch stopped printing, but my neighbor let me print an eBay label at her house, I gifted slabs of warm pumpkin coffee cake to a couple different neighbors, my friend Lise texted the day before Thanksgiving asking if I needed anything from the grocery store and she picked up a loaf of artisan bread and a gallon of milk for me, (thus saving me from an deeply unpleasant errand) and I stopped by the library and ended up checking out nine random books. 

  5. I didn’t buy a Lear Jet or fly to Qatar to watch controversial sport ball.

Katy Wolk-Stanley

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

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{ 85 comments… read them below or add one }

Jill A November 28, 2022 at 5:43 am

It sounds like a wonderful Thanksgiving. I admire your black friday shopping.

1. Thanksgiving at our house was wonderful and frugal. My niece came for the week after finding a $99 plane ticket. I haven’t seen her in 5 years. My kids were all home and of course my Mom, sister and good friend all came and contributed desserts and side dishes. We had a ton of delicious food. My daughter was given a free turkey which she was able to brine in her works commercial refrigerator which made it delicious. I also spent very little as did everyone else.
2. I’m also eating the leftovers and loving not having to cook. Pumpkin pie for breakfast. Yum. I saved the outside leaves and stems from brussels sprouts to roast and ate those for dinner last night. They’re like brussels sprout chips.
3. I have taken advantage of sales to buy Christmas gifts and anything I have anticipated needing during the year such as underwear, bras etc. I found a screaming deal on my favorite slippers and stocked up (they usually last 3 years or so before they are no longer repairable). I ordered online to save gas and my sanity.
4. I’m reading library books on my Kindle and just enjoying the calm that comes with winter.
5. I took advantage of the Discovery+ 99 cent for three months black friday sale to watch the new season of a favorite show. I plan to cancel my subscription after the three months are up.


Juhli November 28, 2022 at 6:09 am

Your free pile finds never cease to amaze me and your Thanksgiving sounds lovely.
1. After a week out of town at a son and DIL’s to celebrate granddaughter’s 6th birthday and hubby’s 70th, we spent Thanksgiving by ourselves. Cooked a turkey breast given to us by another son and DIL who are traveling long term, instant mashed potatoes, carrots and peas plus the only three things we bought (canned cranberry sauce, gravy and Trader Joe’s hand pies). We enjoyed it immensely and the cost and effort were.small. Still there were leftovers.
2. We took the 9 month old pup with us on a trip and he proved to be a good guest and a great traveler on an 8 hour drive even making friends at rest stops. No boarding fee.
3. Wanting to move closer to the young granddaughter and her soon to arrive sister, we scouted neighborhoods and found 2 possibilities within our budget. We will learn more about them over the next couple of months as we make a decision about moving.
4. I am once again deep cleaning, decluttering and organizing our current home and so far have found almost nothing that has expired or been unused except all those stacks of old photos and other family memorabilia!
5. We have decided to keep our old low mileage car and invested money in some repairs like replacing struts and new tires. Maintenance of assets is frugal IMO.


Katy November 28, 2022 at 8:41 am

“Maintenance of assets is frugal” is a huge tenet of a frugal life. So many people simply assume it’s not worth it to put in the money to maintain their belongings, which is a nightmare in terms of money spent, but also (and perhaps more importantly) the environment impact of people needlessly throwing things out that still had life in them.


MB in MN November 28, 2022 at 6:21 am

Nice Thanksgiving deals! I just love leftovers.

1. For Thanksgiving dinner, we only needed to bring Brussels sprouts. Found this delicious recipe:

2. Went to appliance store to get a free, oversized box for moving/storing pillows and linens.

3. Holy moly, our homeowners insurance shot up 40%. (One more reason we’re glad we’re going to be nomads for a while.) Insurance company cited the following national factors: 8.5% inflation hikes, 18% increased construction costs and 18 billion spent on natural disasters.

4. Played a library audiobook while packing and cooking up concoctions from the pantry and freezer.

5. Made Katy’s tea towel salad dressing in a rice vinegar bottle as the recipe called for the amount that was left in the bottle. I could drink that dressing, it’s so good.


Bee November 28, 2022 at 7:18 am

In Florida, my homeowner’s insurance has gone up 250% over two years. It now runs about $400 to insure an ordinary house. This does not include flood insurance. It is one of the line items that has really increased in our budget.


Katy November 28, 2022 at 8:26 am

Yikes, that’s a big expense! Although Florida certainly hits the news a lot for dramatic weather.


isa November 28, 2022 at 8:46 am

just curious : 400$ by….month? Year?


isa November 28, 2022 at 8:47 am

(It has to be monthly, right..)


Bee November 28, 2022 at 9:52 am

It is $4800 annually or $400 monthly. In 2020, I paid $1700 for coverage and in 2021, the premium was $2750. I think the increase is being driven by the increase in construction costs and materials. We do have storms, but a lot of the damage is due to rising and tidal waters which is not covered by homeowner’s insurance anyway. I live approximately 1/2 mile from the ocean and have been through a dozen or more storms. I have never filed a claim.


Jessica November 28, 2022 at 12:14 pm

I’m live in a two hundred year old cottage in rural Scotland and couldn’t believe the cost of your insurance . I’ve just renewed my house cover including flood and storm damage for £320 a year this is building and contents cover including computers jewellery and artworks. I know the USA is expensive but this is astonishing.

Heidi Louise November 28, 2022 at 1:20 pm

Jessica: This cost must be highly potential-natural-disaster and construction-material-available dependent. In the center of the U.S. in the Midwest, my costs are less than a fourth of Bee’s in Florida.
Of course, it is possible my house is nowhere near as valuable as her’s. I am not in a flood-zone, and tornadoes are possible but fortunately rare.

Bee November 29, 2022 at 4:40 am

Yes, the higher rates are partially due to location. I think what I find stunning is the amount of the increase — 250%! The two large increases happened in years that had little hurricane activity. However, it is just one of the many things that have increased in price over the last 2 years.

geri December 1, 2022 at 4:20 am

I live in inland Texas{DFW area} in a home worth less than the median here. My homeowner’s insurance is about $2200/yr. That does not include any flood insurance although I am in a flood plain.

MB in MN November 28, 2022 at 1:48 pm

Bee: Uff da (as we say in MN). We live in a small rural home and our new annual premium is less than a quarter of yours, so now I’m going to reframe it as a frugal win.


Hawaii Planner November 28, 2022 at 6:27 am

I love that there are free piles in your neighborhood!

1) Gave away a bunch via Buy Nothing, and picked up two items myself: a Costco sized bag of fresh cranberries, and a large bag of apples from a neighbor’s tree. Surprised the neighbors can grow apples in our area – we’re more of a citrus fruit climate. The apples are delicious.
2) Really did well with leftovers this week. We eat a lot of leftovers anyway, but this week required more creativity than usual. I did discover that taco bake over mashed potatoes is delicious.
3) Went to the gym on Black Friday, and avoided buying anything, with the exception of milk & a gift card I needed. The gift card offered a $5 reward for purchasing that day.
4) Listed a few items on eBay.
5) Cashed out Fetch offers, & uploaded my son’s movie outing receipt to Fetch & earned bonus points on something.
*Bonus. Rather than buy my son a laptop for Christmas (his wish), we remembered we had one in the closet gathering dust. Searched the house for the charging port yesterday, and got it cleaned up, installed, & ready for use. Win/win.


Katy November 28, 2022 at 8:36 am

I had to look up “taco bake,” as I’d never heard of that term before.


Hawaii Planner November 29, 2022 at 5:04 pm

This taco bake was a keto friendly version for my husband, so think seasoned meat, onions, peppers, tomatoes, etc. I’ve also seen it with various pasta, which would be awkward, to say the least, over mashed potatoes!


Ava November 28, 2022 at 6:34 am

1. Was persistent in returning 2 pair of pants in spite of various difficulties. The customer service lady was soooo nice. I believe she appreciated that I was very patient.
2. Brought home Thanksgiving leftovers from son’s house. I should have brought more.
3. Made cranberry relish from cranberries bought on sale and frozen since last year.
4. Stayed out of stores on Black Friday, as I always do.
I think that’s it. I love seeing those free piles. In this area, people often put furniture out for interested takers, but usually not other items.


Katy November 28, 2022 at 8:34 am

I’ve put out countless items in front of our house through the years and they always find a taker. Usually just a thing or two at a time, which helps.


Shona November 28, 2022 at 9:18 am

In my neighborhood “curbing” an unwanted item is a time honored tradition. A coworker told me in the neighborhood where she grew up there was a designated utility pole for free items and thus everyone would “pole” their unwanted things.


Katy November 28, 2022 at 9:33 am

Love this! I actually put my stuff out at the corner when I’m curbing/poling, as it gets much more traffic and the area in front of our house isn’t very visible from the street.


Ecoteri November 28, 2022 at 9:40 pm

I am lucky to live on a fairly busy road and we built a great parking area out by the road when we were still selling farm-gate stuff. we are on the outside of a slight curve, so excellent visibility if I put things out (actually at my neighbour’s telephone pole, as my inset ‘parking’ isn’t so road visible). After a bit of a mad yard clean I put out a number of fairly rough and random items about 10 days ago – 2 road-bike frames, a sad plastic two-wheeled garden ‘barrow’ (that I hated), a sad ride-em garden roller seat, a roll of fencing… I was astonished that EVERYTHING was gone within two hours (one woman’s junk…) save for the fencing, which was and is IMHO the only really useful thing. If it still out there this weekend I will bring it back in and put back into the pile-o-fencing for another future project.
My friend from whom I bought this place did 5 months of house-clearing by carrying out her weekly ‘items’ to the end of the driveway… often to have half of her donations gone before she got back to the house.
I love free piles!

A. Marie November 28, 2022 at 12:33 pm

On my street, we call it the “[Name of Street] Flea Market.”


Ruby November 29, 2022 at 8:07 am

Our neighborhood has a healthy curb pick up culture too. I don’t see him often, but there’s a guy with an old truck who picks up scrap metal. Furniture gets taken pretty quickly and mattresses too.


Ava November 28, 2022 at 6:38 am

Oh, and I had pumpkin/sweet potato pie for breakfast. That is not an unhealthy choice. Since it had two vegetables and eggs in it, it was practically a fritatta.


Bee November 28, 2022 at 7:23 am

My mother always said most fruit pies and ice cream were okay to eat because they had nutritional value.


Katy November 28, 2022 at 8:32 am

I love pumpkin pie for breakfast!


Jill A November 28, 2022 at 10:53 am

I love Bee’s mother.


Bee December 1, 2022 at 4:21 am

She was wonderful!!!!


MB in MN November 28, 2022 at 1:37 pm

In my book, pumpkin pie qualifies as both a vegetable serving and a happiness serving. If it’s an especially big piece, then it’s even more beneficial. I love making up the rules.


Katy November 28, 2022 at 4:54 pm

I’ll follow those rules!


K D November 28, 2022 at 6:38 am

This week it was mostly food and money finding/saving:

1. We took a walk after Thanksgiving dinner and I found a crumpled $20 bill.

2. Lidl had an offer to earn a $20 credit if you spent $100 on a gift card. I bought $.69/# apples and a gift card we will use. The $20 should be available by the end of this week.

3. Safeway gave me $5 off a purchase. They also had an offer to get a coupon for $25 off your next purchase if you bought $150 worth of certain gift cards. I paid less than $2 for a 5 count box of RxBars on clearance when I bought the gift card. I then paid just over $1 for four more boxes with the $25 coupon.

4. Our neighbors are away so I am keeping an eye on their house. I brought in their recycling bin and found a quarter in the street. Looking out for your neighbors is frugal and helps build/maintain relationships.

5. I redeemed some of my Discover points for a 25% off gift card for a loved one. I requested cash back rewards from another credit card company.


Shona November 28, 2022 at 9:07 am

What a find! Getting exercise and a $20 bill.


Mary in Maryland November 28, 2022 at 6:42 am

1. I made a fancy vegan cassoulet for Thanksgiving and two subsequent meals. Lots of root vegetables.
2. While the cassoulet was baking, I used the hot oven to roast a neighbor’s giblets for the dog, bake sweet potatoes for enchiladas, bake an apple galette for dessert, and brown bread crumbs for the cassoulet topping.
3. My husband loves hot and sour soup. I always thought it needed water chestnuts and bamboo shoots, but googling recipes revealed so much variety! I’ve been making it with cauliflower leaves, tough leek greens, and bland acorn squash. It cooks so long that tough and/or peels are not a problem. All you need is broth, hot sauce, vinegar, and detritus from the produce drawer.
4. Buy Nothing made my black Friday. I was gifted a bag of dog toys that seemed good for a dog much bigger than our 22 pounder. But the pup is racing around squeaking a Kong he can barely lift. Such talent—we think he might like a harmonica for Christmas. I was also given a pumpkin pie that the donor said was too thin to serve their company. We loved it.
5. I’m a scrap quilter, but have made a couple of gorgeous, middle-sized lone star quilts from newish fabric. I would love to make a huge arty lone star, but we don’t need one and I can’t justify buying new fabric. So I offered to make one for my guild’s next raffle quilt if the guild pays for the fabric. The Board is considering my offer.


Anne November 28, 2022 at 7:01 am

Love the idea of your dog getting a harmonica for Christmas. Would be kind of like giving one to a three year old. 😀


janine November 28, 2022 at 2:52 pm

Innovative Hot and Sour soup ideas! Would never have thought of acorn squash as an ingredient!


Christine November 28, 2022 at 7:10 am

1. I went to a free author talk at my friend’s Indy bookstore. Interesting talk about the poem Twas the Night Before Christmas. I didn’t buy the book but enjoyed learning about various illustrators and writers connected to the poet.
2. DH and I have been walking the neighborhood for free exercise and even ventured out on a trail wearing bright orange although no hunting is allowed on this particular trail.
3. We had a wonderful and frugal Thanksgiving at DD’s house. Everybody brought something to contribute. She asked me to bring a corn pudding and an apple pie. I got the apples on sale for $2.49 for 3 lbs. of Cortlands and baked a Swedish Apple Pie (crustless). DH and I have a tradition of having pie for breakfast together the day after Thanksgiving so I baked a Pumpkin Pie for this using a can of store brand pumpkin. I had all the spices except for ground cloves so I used the same amount of Allspice I had on hand instead. No discernible difference.
4. SIL sent us home with a whole meal of turkey and sides for Friday night’s dinner.
5. This year, I’m not putting up Christmas decor that is tied to electricity until the week before Christmas including the tree. With electricity costs in our area going up by 64%, it’s not worth the cost to us. We’ll enjoy the decorations the week of Christmas instead of all month as we have done in years past.


Katy November 28, 2022 at 8:29 am

Holding off on putting up electricity based decor is a smart choice, especially when there’s so much cute stuff that doesn’t require even a single kilowatt.


Ecoteri November 28, 2022 at 10:54 pm

Your #5 reminds me that just about the ONLY thing I do for Christmas is find a plug to plug in the 50 foot long string of LED White Christmas lights that hang on the gutter of the barn at the front of my property – #2 son lives in the barn, and the cheery lights are my way of staving off the winter darkness for most of the dark-at-four months. I have a long driveway past the barn to my house, every time I pull in and see that cheery and off-kilter line of lights I feel welcomed home. LED use much less electricity, and (ahem) #2 son pays for that electricity, and furthermore (ahem ) our provincial government just gave anyone with a hydro bill a $100 credit (!!!) so win!


auntiali November 30, 2022 at 8:07 pm

Thomas Nast drew the iconic picture of Santa Clause with his long, narrow pipe. He lived in a town near me and I’ve gone to a museum to see his other drawings.

We put the tree up on the Friday after Thanksgiving as my son and daughter in law were here from Singapore. Dh turns the lights on every night. I’ll have to combat that electrical usage by eliminating something else.


Christine December 1, 2022 at 4:15 pm

The author who gave the talk mentioned Thomas Nast. Nice to have a museum to view some of his other drawings.


Ruby November 28, 2022 at 8:02 am

1. I took gluten-free chocolate cupcakes to the family Thanksgiving. The store-bought mix was a bit pricey, but I made a delicious GF buttercream icing from scratch with ingredients on hand. Also made an apple crisp that used up the last of a bag of apples.
2. Still doing the No-spend November and finding it not that difficult.
3. I made a veggie-packed quiche from stuff in the freezer to eat as a late lunch/early dinner.
4. Decluttered a bunch of work stuff after I retired a couple of weeks ago and took it to Goodwill.
5. Our sewer costs, which are tied to water use, have a 9.8 % increase if a household goes into the second tier of water use, so we are taking steps to cut our water use. The sewer bill is already four times the cost of water, making that a hefty utility expense.


Shona November 28, 2022 at 9:01 am

Participating in No-spend November as well and with the exception of Patti Smith tickets (I could not pass up seeing her) I’ve not found it difficult either. Probably going to extend through December as we don’t exchange gifts.


Ruby November 28, 2022 at 9:58 am

I am thinking about continuing through December as well. We have the money saved up and earmarked for the few gifts and charitable giving we do at Christmas, and bought the Christmas frozen duck at Aldi this summer.


Ecoteri November 28, 2022 at 10:56 pm

@Ruby, I have really appreciated you mentioning your no-spend November. Keep reminding us (me) as I have found it really has helped me to remember that I can wait a while or forever…


isa November 28, 2022 at 8:55 am

* I’ve discovered Shein (online shopping), and it’s a God send for Plus size clothes! Plus size is soooooo expensive in store, and not always cute. Shein offers lets me get dressed in a fashionable way for much less$$. I always wait for the free shipping offers too.

* Went to a Christmas market and didn’t buy anything. It was just fun to stroll around

* Got 300$ back from our home insurance for having closed our line of credit. This cost 900$ at the notary to be done, but it will save 300$ every year in insurances so it was worth it.

* I am tired but I’ve worked full time for the past month anyways. Christmas break will be nice!

* I keep my cellphone service at 15$ per month. (unlimited text, 100 min phone calls, very little data but WIFI is everywhere nowadays), same for my daughter. Everyone around me pays like 100$/month… Crazy.


Heidi Louise November 28, 2022 at 9:58 am

I’ve never understood why attractive and abundant plus-sized clothing, which is a large portion of the American market, (no pun intended), is so rare at thrift stores and yard sales. Do we larger people wear it longer and wear it out more thoroughly? Buy less, so have less to donate or sell?


Selena November 28, 2022 at 11:18 am

I’ve never heard that a line of credit affected the cost of homeowners insurance. Is this an anomaly of your state or have I just naive of this fact all these years?


Anne November 28, 2022 at 1:43 pm

I don’t mean to be nosey, but what the heck did the notary do that cost $900?


Shona November 28, 2022 at 8:56 am

I mostly grocery shop at two stores across the street from each other. First store, got items on my list, second store 2 items bought at first store were on deep sale so I bought and returned those items to first store. $8.24 knocked off that receipt.

The locally owned health foods store is a semi-frequent stop as is their *free* shelf which they place soon to be expired or discontinued items. Picked up a bottle of probiotics this time.

A regular customer at my work is on the board of our local symphony and gave the entire staff +1 tickets for their Christmas show this Thursday.

We were guests at our friend’s Thanksgiving gathering so no leftovers, but it was a wonderful day.

Found gas for $2.78/ gal


Christine December 1, 2022 at 4:18 pm

Nice find on the gas for $2.78! In my area it’s still upwards of $3.70. I heard gas prices are on a downward spiral. Keeping my fingers crossed and my foot off the gas pedal…


MEM November 28, 2022 at 9:00 am

1. I usually don’t bother, but I did make broth in the crockpot with the bones from the turkey breast. So.Many.Dishes. Hats off to those of you who also can the broth you make!
2. I’m decluttering my Christmas decorations. Collected a very random box of ornaments and offered them in my Buy Nothing Group.
3. Sold some new dog toys that were duplicates of BarkBox toys (not frugal, but fun!). $10
4. Not frugal – my elder brother passed away in July. His son was overwhelmed by clearing out his house and hired some “estate sellers”. They clearly had no idea what they were doing. Had priced boxes of Shiny Brites from the 1940s and 1950s for $2 each box. My younger brother swooped in and got them for me. I live 600 miles away so dear brother took them to the UPS store to have them wrap and ship them. Did not get a quote, however. I now have a bill for $200 for two extra large shipped boxes. I feel I should try and sell some of the ornaments now 🙁
5. I whittled down my FSA funds to $12. I never have money leftover but this year it was over $1000 by the end of October. Amazon is very weird about what they will allow me to use my FSA card for. Band-Aid brand but not Curad? Band-Aid fabric bandages but not Band-Aid sensitive skin?
6. I also posted a 5 quart non-stick stock pot on BN – but I recognize the people expressing interest as resellers. Technically, our group does not allow reselling but there is no way to prevent that. I want the pot to go to someone just starting out and I expressed that in my post.


Ecoteri November 28, 2022 at 11:01 pm

@MEM – I have blocked a few unpleasant folk on my BN facebook group – one because she was the FIRST to ask for absolutely everything, and another because she was really rude when I expressed in my post who I wanted my offering to go to. Sigh. Anyway, maybe you would be happy if you blocked the problematic BN folk and then you wouldn’t even SEE them asking (nor would they see your posts at all)


MEM November 29, 2022 at 6:14 am

Thanks for the idea – I did finally block them. The other day I blocked a guy who was verbally abusive toward me directly. Every week he posts his small business service in our BN group. When we remind him it’s a Buy Nothing group he says “yeah, I know lol lol”. He told me to butt out, shut up, etc, since I’m not the Admin. The Admin won’t remove him from the group. He has contributed exactly nothing to the group.

Anyway. I’m slowly decluttering and giving away or selling things very inexpensively.


Bee November 29, 2022 at 11:35 am

My BN Group is extremely strict. I posted a gift of 20 Talenti containers and linked an article that showed how to remove the labels. It was taken down, because of the link. Our admin considered it a violation, because the article was a a blog spot.


Katy November 29, 2022 at 12:18 pm

My mom’s group is oddly strict as well. Mine seems really balances.

Bee November 28, 2022 at 10:48 am

I do miss all the leftovers when I don’t host Thanksgiving at my house. This week‘s five frugal things also centered around the Thanksgiving holiday for me.
1. We made a 10 hour trip to spend Thanksgiving with our daughter in North Carolina. We used loyalty points that my husband earns through business travel to pay for our hotel room for three nights. The room also came with a free breakfast and we enjoyed the gym. (We needed to burn some extra calories.) We also brought our rescue pup with us, and she stayed at my daughter’s home. This saved on boarding fees as well as the hotel’s pet fee.
2. I used the library’s Apps, Hoopla and Libby, to listen to audiobooks when on the road. (Even I can’t talk for 10 straight hours!) We brought water and snacks with us on the way up. My daughter made us a picnic lunch out of Thanksgiving leftovers for our trip home. We did make one stop at a Starbucks as we were in desperate need of a pick-me-up. Otherwise, we only stopped to stretch our legs and walk with the dog.
3. I used a coupon to buy a year’s worth of undergarments for my daughter and myself. Soma sent me a coupon for $50 off a purchase of $100. I used this coupon and stacked it with other special offerings. I ended up with 20 pairs of underwear(10 for me, 10 for DD) and 2 bras for approximately $65 including tax and shipping.
4. Even though I did not cook Thanksgiving dinner at home, I purchased a deeply discounted turkey and have put it in the freezer. You simply cannot buy any other type of meat for $0.49 a pound anymore. To make room for this purchase, I made a huge pot of “clean out the freezer” vegetable soup. I have a few other freezer meals planned this week to make room for other holiday specials as they come available.
5. I sold eight items on eBay during Thanksgiving weekend. I am packing all those items up this morning primarily in recycled materials. I’ve done a bit of decluttering — sharing some items through Buy Nothing, donating some things to the food pantry thrift store, and mindfully disposing of items that should not be placed in the household trash. (I brought a bag of medication to the pharmacy drop at Walgreen’s).
Wishing everyone a season filled with peace and love.


Katy November 28, 2022 at 10:53 am

Sending peace and love back at you!


Christine November 28, 2022 at 5:33 pm

Your #3…nice score on the undergarments. Bras especially are very expensive.


AM November 28, 2022 at 11:31 am

1. Made bone broth, obviously haha
2. Returned a pair of pants that had gotten too small to REI. I was bummed when I ripped my favorite pants from them a year ago and was even more bummed when I found out they’ve been discontinued. I bought the XL kids size (cheaper than woman’s too) and have worn a few times but they’re too small to be comfortable really. I love their 1 year return policy for members. I hope someone will get a great deal on these pants in the members garage sale section. Also, I did not know you could return stuff to goodwill. Good to know
3. Took advantage of a black Friday sale for 30% off gift cards at a massage place I love. That’s a very significant discount or something so costly, but they’re important to my health. Also took advantage of a 50% off sale from a game website and plan to resell them
4. Sold a tee shirt for $250!! I got it around 5 years ago at a concert from a niche band and I did not realize they’re are so many die hard fans.
5. I’m participating in another study, 2 hours on zoom for a hundred bucks. Nice


Katy November 28, 2022 at 12:46 pm

Whether you can return stuff to Goodwill depends on your region. And score on the T-shirt sale! High five!


A. Marie November 28, 2022 at 11:46 am

FFT, Teabag Wreath/Thanksgiving/Black Friday Edition:

(1) First, a shameless shout-out for a post over at The Frugal Girl, since Katy kindly commented on it there ( This is an incredibly easy, inexpensive, and fun holiday gift for the tea or cocoa drinkers in your life. And we all had a blast doing it. Major kudos to my goombah Lisa Brown for putting in all the work on making this happen, and for taking the photos.

(2) Now, Thanksgiving. The Bestest Neighbors (a) hosted and (b) split the major culinary duties with a friend of Ms. BN’s who cooks at a near-professional level, so we all went home with happy tummies. I contributed a bottle of wine and a dish of marinated green beans, which I was able to renegotiate from the original assignment of roasted broccoli. (An aversion to broccoli is probably the only thing Bush 41 and I had in common.)

(3) I was also awarded custody of the turkey carcass at the end of the dinner, and I made this into a stock on Black Friday afternoon. (Somehow, turkey stock is way better than chicken stock.)

(4) I then made this into a turkey noodle soup on Saturday morning, which I distributed at Saturday lunch at the BNs’. Dr. BN made his usual incomparable turkey shepherd’s pie.

(5) And bless me, Katy, for I have sinned (sort of): I did do some Black Friday shopping in the morning. But my first stop was the 40% off everything sale between 8 and 10 am at Clothes Mentor (my outpost of a small local chain of consignment shops), and my second was the nearest Rescue Mission Thrifty Shopper store to use up a 10% off electronic coupon. Total haul = a pair of Skechers slip-ons, four knit tops, and six votive candle holders. (I like to burn votives in the winter predawn hours. My version of praying for the world, I suppose.)


Katy November 28, 2022 at 12:45 pm

RE: Your #5 — no need to feel bad about buying a few things on Friday. <3


Holly November 28, 2022 at 5:12 pm

I may need that coffee cake recipe. On my walk this morning I spied 6 large pumpkins set out for trash. I came home, got my car, got the pumpkins, AND one of those cutesy hay bales that will make excellent mulch. I baked one of the pumpkins and created 15 cups of pumpkin purée. What am I going to do with 5 more of them?! Tomorrow I’ll try roasting the seeds.


JC November 28, 2022 at 7:22 pm

Katy, when I see those pictures of the free piles available to you, I am just amazed.
I would have grabbed that little white table also. Maybe use it out on your deck or front porch.
1. We do roast chickens for Thanksgiving, with stuffing of course. Used the carcasses to make broth and soup. Picked them clean beforehand.
2. picked chicken made into chicken salad and used bits on chef’s salad.
3. saved receipt from grocery store and when I went this week received 6.58 in refunds because on several items I was overcharged.
4. laundry hung by wood stove on rainy days and outside when the weather permits.
5. do not like pumpkin pie at all, but cottage cheese with leftover cranberry salad makes a great breakfast or snack also.


Katy November 28, 2022 at 9:31 pm

I’m always aware to not bring too much stuff into the house.


Bee November 29, 2022 at 4:48 am

Cranberry sauce is delicious in oatmeal or mixed with vanilla yogurt for breakfast.


Mary November 28, 2022 at 8:46 pm

Grateful for this blog and admire everyone’s commitment to frugality.
1) Spent Tgiving with my DAR chapter as we hosted a catered dinner for 65 persons. Sadly, no leftovers but no time spent cookong or shopping.
2) SInce I voluntarily left my job with no unemployment allocation (in order to actually live..) I cintinue to have no spend days by walking vs a buss ticket clocking 15k steps daily quite often. No need for gym membership !
3) Am double checking all food prices and as always use up all we bring in and now have the time to plan meals and be creative with cooking which I love.
4) Donating much to local Salvation Army tyoe organization and to friends to pare down belongings. Twice contrubuted to local fòd bank, especially important when I see the cost of food and baby items today.
5) Happily air drying laundry 100% of the time, as no dryer and will finish up my home made detergent ingredients before i decide if I want to continue making my own or not.


Cindy in the South November 29, 2022 at 6:00 am

I ate pie, the whole d&$n thing by myself, and don’t regret it. Best. Thanksgiving. ever!


Katy November 29, 2022 at 8:08 am

My name is Katy Wolk-Stanley, and I approve this message.


Ruby November 29, 2022 at 10:21 am

The best thing about the day after a holiday is eating pie for breakfast!


Christine November 29, 2022 at 5:44 pm

Yes! A post-Thanksgiving tradition in our house.


Texasilver November 29, 2022 at 8:59 am

It seems you got your new fridge just in time to accommodate all the leftovers!
I had the flu around Thanksgiving so no cooking or much appetite for me. Oh well. There is always Christmas to make up for lost eating.


Tonya November 29, 2022 at 12:43 pm

1) I always appreciate the Five Frugal Things posts. It’s nice to read about the ideas and practices that my fellow NCAs use.
2)Jumping on the leftover bandwagon, we also had pumpkin pie a couple of mornings for breakfast! So yummy.
3) Walking with neighbors and catching up on life instead of shopping on Black Friday. I didn’t buy much, and my young adult kids both asked for experiential gifts (vs things), which makes me immensely happy.
4) I joined a gym near me. The weather in CO is cold and I don’t walk as much as I’d like in this dark weather. Plus I got a discount through my employer. It will be fun to mix up the movement routine.
5) Reading library books, watching The Morning Show on my sister’s borrowed Apple account (this show is excellent), using leftover gift bags to wrap gifts, making stovetop popcorn and brewing coffee at home for snacks, and just generally trying to marinate in gratitude, which is difficult at this darker, colder time of year. I’m contemplating getting a SAD lamp, to see if that will help with my doldrums.


Roberta November 29, 2022 at 2:06 pm

1. I found a thirty pound box of organic pecan halves for $15! I will be giving spiced pecans as Christmas gifts, in addition to having plenty of pecans for oatmeal this winter.
2. Making lots of meals out of free frozen food. I used up some stale baguettes from the food bank, frozen cherries, and chocolate chips from a neighbor who’s moving to make a breakfast bread pudding (it only had one teaspoon of sugar, other than the chocolate chips). It was really well received. I repeated it a few days later.
3. I still have whole pumpkins sitting around the house, waiting for their turn in the oven, They’ll store fine for a while, I’m still overloaded on freezer food (my neighbor had a ton that she’s not going to move across country!) and it will give me something to throw in the oven when it’s cold and I want to heat up the house.
4. Almost done reading The Golden Thread, non-fiction about the history of textiles. It’s absolutely fascinating, and covers everything from Neandertal use of spun fibers, to mummies, to the Chinese Silk Roads, to the manufacture of rayon to space suits. Absolutely fascinating, thanks to the library.
5. Spent the week off school doing my best impersonation of a cat: sleep late, snack a little, take a nap, go for a walk. We ate out lunch once, at a local place, that was the only money we spent except for groceries.

I was rather peeved to see that Amazon *raised* the price on something that is only sold on Amazon. The manufacturer provides a link to Amazon (with the former, lower, price). My niece specifially requested this item, and she is the person whose name I drew this year, so she might just get a gift certificate instead.


Christine November 29, 2022 at 5:51 pm

Nice score on the pecan halves! While shopping today I was looking over the nuts in the baking section and noticed the pecans were $5.99 lb. Ditto that for the walnuts which I purchased. Expensive but a good tool in keeping cholesterol down.


rebecca November 30, 2022 at 11:53 am

1. I had a small gift for someone and a bottle of wine for someone else and used previously used gift bags. I used 2 cards from my stash.
2. Bought a few tickets for concerts on sale over the holidays and a pair of winter boots that I needed.
3. Keeping my heat at 65 degrees
4. I bought a rotisserie chicken and will get at least 6 meals from it and broth.
5. Using up the dentist sized toothpaste tubes before I buy a larger tube. Somehow, I had 5 unused ones.


auntiali November 30, 2022 at 8:39 pm

My son and daughter in law were in the States after a destination wedding to Jamica. The wedding was “underwhelming” according to my dil but they did get to go into New York City to see Book of Mormon and a comedy show. They live in Singapore and will be moving full time to Korea in March.

Thanksgiving was at my sister in laws house which is a 1.5 hour drive away. I brought pumpkin pie, rolls, cider, thin mints and a few other things. Hubby and I gave our host a gift card to the grocery store as I’m sure she spent a fortune on food and alcoholic beverages. Her two kids were there so the cousins got to hang out.
Daughter made an extra pumpkin pie for us. It’s my aunt’s old time recipe and is sooo good.
Found a penny heads up yesterday in a parking lot.
Eating from the freezer. Hubby bought a $20 (!) bottom round roast for pot roast. Seared it in my Aldi’s version of the Always skillet and plopped it in the crock pot. It smelled delish.
Keeping an eye on electrical usage as hubby turns on the Christmas tree lights on every night. So I’m rinsing the dishes well so I can wash them on a 30 minute cycle in the dishwasher. Also follow him around our small house turning off lights.
Not frugal – had the abutment put in my jaw for my implant yesterday. It was another $1600. The antibiotic made my blood sugar go wonky. It was down to 19 at 4:30 a.m. this morning.
Got a $5 register reward from Walgreens. I have to go back and get a couple more deals. They are for toothbrushes and toothpaste and I like to put them in my food pantry donations. I can’t imagine anyone having to pay $4 for a 4 ounce tube of toothpaste1


Q December 1, 2022 at 7:45 am

Five frugal things Nov. 29, 2022

1. Made pumpkin bread from pumpkins that had been decorative. The bread was popular. I found a great recipe for no knead baguettes, and brought some on our trip last week: they were a big hit, and very easy. I am eating soups that I made from scratch, and having them multiple times this week: cook once, eat many times.
2. Twenty years ago, I planted some trees far too close to the house, and this fall I carefully took two down We got an estimate of $2500 to chop down five trees, not including removal. Instead, I am being slow, steady, and careful, and working on chopping them into fireplace logs and kindling. It is taking awhile, but I enjoy being outside, and I like seeing the pile of firewood (slowly) grow.
3. I’m baking a delicious birthday cake for a friend, rather than chipping in for an expensive bakery cake. I am also going to use one of my stash of pickets (From fence) to make a cute sign for her as a gift.
4. We played many board games and sat together, just enjoying each others company over the holiday, rather than going out to a movie. Being together, and laughing and talking and listening to family members sing, is my favorite thing.
5. The usual, watched the last season of Outlander on a library dvd, reading library books, hang drying laundry, composting, keeping lower thermostat with help of layered clothes. I am going to an exercise class in exchange for tutoring a friend’s daughter, bunching errands. I am pleased that I finally convinced my husband to wear layers so that we don’t have to crank up the thermostat. He was surprised to see what a difference it makes. Lastly, I was about to order a pair of jeans from Lands’ End, and decided to wait overnight, and then found I was okay with not ordering them. It is funny how I felt like I needed them, and then I realized I did not.


janine December 1, 2022 at 3:41 pm

1 Son obtained a free coupon for Turkey from employer and I cooked it for our immediate family. Lots of leftovers which I turned into casserole, soup, sandwiches and freezer meals for the times when we aren’t tired of turkey.
2. Loved to read about everyone’s delicious sounding pumpkin disposal methods. Realtor friend gifted us a free pumpkin which resident squirrels found tasty, so no “problems” with a possible over eating of pie or other goodies.
3. However, our snowblower person and his wonderful wife gifted us with a French Silk pie which was appreciatively consumed.


Selena December 1, 2022 at 7:56 pm

There is such a thing as tired of turkey – why that is like too much fun! I’d eat it every day until gone if better half didn’t freeze some of it on me.


Katy December 2, 2022 at 9:39 am

Now I wish I had a snowblower person!


Reid December 1, 2022 at 5:18 pm

Long time reader, first time commenter etc etc but I just wanted to say that multco libraries have free (and unlimited… an extent I’m sure) printing! Thanks for all of the thrifty portland ideas. I learn so much from your perspective, too!


Katy December 2, 2022 at 9:37 am

I’m going to stop by the library today to print an eBay label!


Katy November 28, 2022 at 10:11 pm

They are THE BEST! Both for giving and for getting.


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