Five Frugal Things

by Katy on February 6, 2023 · 77 comments

  1. I stopped by Goodwill on my way to the dented vegetable store and scored two Ballard Designs counter stools for $9.99 apiece. They’re currently on sale on the Ballard website for $265, but are an almost exact dupe of the $450 Williams-Sonoma’s version.

    How did I know to buy them? They stood out as quality pieces of furniture, so I examined them and saw the manufacturer information on the bottoms of the seats. A quick internet search gave me the value and a quick wiggly “sit test” sealed the deal.

    I’ve since listed them on Facebook Marketplace for $150 apiece, but will lower the price if I don’t find a buyer after a couple of weeks. Patience is key.

  2. I convinced my doctor to switch me from a name brand medication to the generic. He was hesitant to do so, but the price difference for a 90-day supply is $107.09 vs. just $14.87 for the generic! This is an annual difference of $368.88, so it’s at least worth a try.

  3. I was chatting with my across the street neighbor as she unloaded her grocery order, and she complained about how she’d need to run an extra errand to return the plastic bags back to the store for recycling. Mind you, these were the heavy duty bags designed for multiple use, so I asked her if instead I could have them to use as garbage liners. She happily agreed.

    My family doesn’t put out a lot of garbage, which means that we’re able to get away with a small kitchen bin, and this style of grocery bag works perfectly as liners. However, we’re pretty good about remembering to bring reususable bags when shopping, so we don’t actually get plastic bags that often. We are now the proud owners of a half-dozen or so sturdy bags and should be set for a month or two.

  4. • I lent the across the street neighbor a fat stack of Pokémon “early reader” books for her son.
    • I remembered to cancel our Paramount+ subscription before the 99¢/month deal expired.
    • I scored a huge butternut squash for a buck at the “dented vegetable” store!
    • My next door neighbor asked if we’d be interested in taking their TV room fold-out couch, as they’re switching to recliners. I gave it approximately two minutes of thought before accepting their generous offer. I know from experience that anything from their house is sure to be immaculate, and I’d been puzzling how to turn our adult daughter’s old room into a spare bedroom without spending an arm and a leg. A hide-a-bed couch is the perfect solution, as it allows us to reconfigure our current spare bedroom into a TV/family room, yet still have a backup bed for guests. The bed from the old spare bedroom can then be moved upstairs for our daughter’s old room.

    Luckily the recliners won’t be delivered until April, which gives me enough time to wrap my brain around the details.

  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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{ 77 comments… read them below or add one }

Jill A February 6, 2023 at 6:00 am

Good morning. Those chairs are beautiful. I’m guessing they’ll be gone soon. I’m thinking about using the butternut squash I have to make Cookie & Kate’s butternut squash mac & cheese.

1. I gave my dog a bath in my shower which saves me $10 and I will also be trimming her nails today which also saves $10 plus tip.
2. I’ve cooked some meals at home including a delicious sweet potato, pepper and black bean enchilada recipe also from Cookie & Kate. I substituted some sad peppers that were given to me and used one sweet potato of the several I bought at Christmas when they were super cheap on sale. The enchilada sauce was from scratch. A very, very inexpensive meal that was so good. I love that.
3. I drove my Mom to the airport an hour away. While there I stopped at some thrift stores and the goodwill bins. I purchased enough items to list on Ebay to keep me busy for a while and to more than pay for the gas.
4. My Mom treated me to lunch on our trip to the airport. It was McDonald’s “Dollar” menu items which is our go to since it seems to be plenty of food for both of us and a nice occasional treat and doesn’t break the bank. Food out is getting to be ridiculous.
5. I signed up for an autoship for my dog’s food during the holidays which included a hefty discount for the first order. I also used a code my mother gave me for a free $20 gift card which I just used on my second shipment. I will be canceling the autoship since I plan to change food for my dog.


Lindsey February 6, 2023 at 12:24 pm

HA! I initially read this as you were getting an autopsy of your dog’s food!


A. Marie February 6, 2023 at 1:15 pm

Lindsey, I routinely misread “autoship” or “autopay” as “autopsy,” so you’re not alone in this. (On the other hand, I’ve seen some dog food that could have used an autopsy…)


Jill A February 6, 2023 at 2:56 pm

Too funny…both of you.


CatherinefromFrance February 9, 2023 at 2:29 pm

Me too! But I have the excuse to be french 🙂


SC from MN February 11, 2023 at 2:13 pm

Thanks for sharing about Cookie & Kate! Great website!


Mary in Maryland February 6, 2023 at 7:29 am

1. Riffing off Katy’s joy in trash bags—I gifted frugal friends the last seven of my CSA bags for their wedding anniversary because they have snarfed them up in the past. I also included a jar of my home-fermented Kraut.
2. The frugal equivalent of a lottery ticket—I spent the money to roast a gifted decorative ten pound white pumpkin. On the coldest day of the year running the oven was not painful. And I won! The pumpkin was tasty enough to make good soup, and I froze enough in appropriate aliquots to make another six batches. Win! Win!
3. A good friend died two years ago. Her husband is down-sizing at a snail’s pace and asked if I would take her craft files. Sure. Six big boxes of ideas clipped from magazines and handouts from workshops dating back to 1978. I spent a nostalgic afternoon reliving things we had made together and filling the paper recycling bin. He also gave me a bag of thread which I will save and handout as I rehome sewing machines. I freecycled a box of graph paper and another of manila and double pocket folders.
4. I’m teaching the 10-year-old next door to use a sewing machine. The foot pedal was giving her trouble. It troubled me when I tested it, so I spent a day watching Andy on youtube disassemble and rehab one. Resuscitation was unsuccessful but very interesting. My sewing machine repair guy attached the old cord to a new pedal.
5. I can’t lift as much (safely) as I could in the past. I scored an aluminum tortilla press on Buy Nothing and will rehome my cast iron one on Buy Nothing. I’m also looking to do my fermentations in wide mouth jars rather than my kraut crock.


Amy February 6, 2023 at 9:26 am

A friend gifted me with a Mason jar fermenting kit similar to this one. Mine had 2 of the lids and 2 of the springs. Link for clarity.

I hating the idea of it, but tried it once to see. I loved it. I love my crocks but they are too big, and too heavy. I had thought about using jars with water filled bags too.


Mary in Maryland February 6, 2023 at 1:46 pm

I have many wide mouth jars and did spring for the coils and lids. Glad to know you are happy with them.


Amy February 7, 2023 at 5:19 am

I used them on 2 2 quart jars and got almost the same amount of kraut as using my old 2 gallon crock. The crock is too heavy for me to safely move around.


Mary in Maryland February 7, 2023 at 6:21 am

Both my back and the crock were in danger the last time I washed it out. I traded in my cast iron for stainless steel pots about ten years ago. Lately I’ve been doing most of my cooking in my instant pots (got a second on buy nothing). Cooking with heat that TURNS ITSELF OFF is also good at my age.

A. Marie February 6, 2023 at 12:23 pm

Mary in MD, I hear you on your #5. Much as I love my 100% thrifted cast iron collection, I’ve already rehomed a few pieces and will be doing the same with a few more, such as my 7-quart Dutch oven. Same goes for flowerpots: If I can’t pick one up any more without saying “Oof,” it’s outta here.


Ecoteri February 8, 2023 at 12:59 am

@A Marie and @Mary in Maryland, I hear you both on the oof factor. However, I also have decided I can do something about it, particularly after watching a gal on Instagram showing the one year improvement in her 75 and 80 year old mom and dad when she put them on a very gentle program of strength training. Absolutely amazing what they are able to do now, and they move so differently (not so frail and fragile). I am doing a concerted effort to strength train (just signed up at the local gym with a personal trainer!!!!) as I am going on an adventure with my sister who just turned 65 (I am 62) – and I want to be strong, agile, flexible, and have the endurance that means this holiday adventure is fun and fabulous. Just like me!
My 93 year old mom has started a bit of an exercise program because her knee was bothering her, and she now can get out of a chair without needing her hands, and she does that multiple times as part of her daily workout routine. I think that we can surprise ourselves with what we can gain back, even when we think we have ‘lost it’.


A. Marie February 8, 2023 at 9:46 am

@Ecoteri, I hear you on the strength training, and I’m not denying I could use some. But in addition to feeling the “oof” factor, I’ve been spending this winter doing some serious decluttering and plan to continue it into the spring and summer. In Marie Kondo terms, saying “oof” when I pick something up does not spark joy–and is likely to land the something in the “sell or give away” pile.


Mary in Maryland February 10, 2023 at 6:24 am

We are in our mid-seventies and do resistance and cardio training about 200 minutes per week. And we are agile. Yet the crock is too much.


Michele Davidson February 6, 2023 at 7:46 am

1. Our adult son has bought a house and I had just about decided on the fold out couch option, too, as I hate to keep a designated “guest room” for out infrequent overnight guests. Hard to believe our once cramped house has TWO spare BRs now. Good thing we didn’t do the addition I was sure we needed when our boys were younger!
2. Made a really good rice bean chicken crockpot concoction that has made a ton of leftovers and will give me lunches all week.
3. Switched to Spectrum for cells/internet/TV which has saved us $150 a month.
4. Went to a great play put on by a semi-local college for my Bday. Not sure how I got on their email list, but glad I did.
5. Sauteed up some wilty spinach and made (2) pretty good quiches last eve. 6 eggs, but it made 2 quiches.


Cindy in the South February 6, 2023 at 9:09 am

Gorgeous chairs…wow! 1. I am soaking dried lima beans to cook for supper this week. 2. Currently eating a ham and cheese sandwich from home for lunch during lunch break. 3. Walked an hour in my neighborhood. 4. Needed work jackets so went to J. C. Penney’s and got two jackets for $39 a piece but had a coupon (on line but could be used in store) for 25% off so total for two jackets was $59. I seldom buy work clothes so this should last me several years, hopefully, until the end of my career, or at least close to it. 5. Plan on cutting my own hair this week. I also had frugal fails: I went to SAMS club to get things I buy in bulk. I came upon a cobalt blue, ceramic. pots and pan set. $159 dollars later…..


Heidi Louise February 6, 2023 at 10:02 am

Good for you, Cindy! You rarely write of treating yourself and I think the new pan set will make you smile whenever you see it.


Anne February 6, 2023 at 2:18 pm

Cobalt blue sounds stunningly beautiful. I would buy ANY pots and pans that made me want to cook.

Some time back, as the cashier at Costco was checking me out, she said that Costco is the number one store in America for “impulse” buys.

The struggle is real.


Marie-Josée February 6, 2023 at 5:03 pm

Glad you treated yourself to new pots and pans. I LOVE cobalt blue.


Cindy in the South February 11, 2023 at 8:24 am

Thank y’all!


Ava February 6, 2023 at 9:27 am

1. Sold a vintage wool sweater on Etsy. Unfortunately, I under calculated the postage so I didn’t optimize my profits. But the sweater was given to me, so good enough.
2. Got a $25 gift card from Swagbucks.
3. Made 7 pints of applesauce from reduced grocery store apples. The apples at .99 a bag were a good mix of tart and sweet. Not much sugar needed. Then I discovered that people sell canned homemade applesauce on Etsy for $8 per pint. So in an alternate universe or if I lost my mind and ordered applesauce instead of making it, I could say I saved $52.
4.Bought several reduced items on my last grocery shopping trip and used store coupons to save $10.
5. Enjoying free entertainment in the form of gifted books, thrift store puzzles, and watching birds at the feeder. The giant woodpecker is especially entertaining.


Christine February 10, 2023 at 8:41 am

Your #3…I often look at chores and projects in terms of money saved too. $52 saved is a great savings!


Amy February 6, 2023 at 9:33 am

1. Using Flashfood for most grocery purchases. Still buying milk and eggs.
2. Eating all food made from home, some semi homemade. Using up some odds and ends. Mac and cheese made with ziti is awesome. We also were given a bunch of white cheddar bacon Mac and cheese. We are eating it despite the fact that no one likes it.
3. Decided to cancel Netflix.
4. Watch a DVD of Groundhog Day instead of renting. Thank you dear sister.
5. Reused an old throw rug as insulation on my pantry floor. I now has vinyl under an area rug under a large throw rug. Pantry is on an outside wall not well insulated and it has my canning.


Edith February 6, 2023 at 9:34 am

Wow- what a find on the chairs!
I live in Portland- can you tell me where is the dented veggie store? I would love to check them out!


Katy February 6, 2023 at 10:14 am

It’s actually called “Everyday Deals” and it’s on S.E.. 82nd Avenue. It’s directly across the street from Krispy Kreme. Technically Clackamas.


Edith February 6, 2023 at 11:49 am

Oh wow! Okay- that is worth a bike ride!


Lindsey February 6, 2023 at 12:28 pm

Having a vegetable shop across the street from a Krispy Kreme would, for me, negate any health benefits from going to the dented veggie store. I could not visit one without visiting the other…


Katy February 6, 2023 at 1:54 pm

They had a deal in 2021 where you could get a free glazed donut by showing your vaccination card. I hit my fill.


Nancy February 8, 2023 at 7:57 am

There is a larger Everyday Deals on 600 SE 146th Ave. Portland that I find better deals at, but it totally depends on the day since this store is busier.


Katy February 8, 2023 at 11:39 am

Yes, I’ve passed that one, but it’s simply too far out of my way.


MB in MN February 6, 2023 at 9:42 am

Love the stools. If I lived closer to you – and had a home to put them in – I’d buy them!

1. Ate at our Airbnb for our 41st wedding anniversary. You know you’re frugal when you’d prefer to use up what you have rather than go out to eat!

2. Received my first check from the consignment store where I had brought some items before moving.

3. Niece threw away the plastic zippered case that her new comforter came in. I trash picked it and am using it for storage during our trip to corral miscellaneous items.

4. Niece gave me a huge Christmas tin that held three different flavors of popcorn. I’ll use it during our trip to hold dog food. Once we’re home and have a house, I’ll store Christmas lights inside it.

5. Niece had some leftover cranberry sauce that she wasn’t going to use so I added it to both yogurt and a wild rice salad concoction.


Bee February 7, 2023 at 4:32 am

I love cranberry sauce in my yogurt. It is also very good in oatmeal.


Katy February 7, 2023 at 10:52 am

I always make much more cranberry sauce than I need for Thanksgiving and then use it for topping things. My favorite thing is blintzes with cranberry sauce on top.


K D February 6, 2023 at 10:14 am

1. I bought some great clearance deals at Giant yesterday. Certain flavors of multi-packs of both RXBars and Lara Bars were 75% off. They are a go-to snack for when we’re away from home. I also bought some clearance-priced fancy chocolate chips and a few other sale priced items. I used a $10 off a $50 purchase coupon to cap it off.
2. I continue to eat from the freezer. I just ate a Beyond Burger, the last few frozen french fries, and green peas for lunch.
3. We tried a new stir-fry meal from Sam’s Club. We didn’t love it but it provided four good sized servings which were more than adequate lunches and it was a lot cheaper than takeout.
4. I am rereading Lessons in Chemistry. I think it was my favorite book last year. Of course I borrowed it from the library. I’m still enjoying it tremendously. I’m also listening to the Songs of Willow Frost.
5. Our neighbors will be moving to a new location in the near future and they are clearing out thirty years of accumulation. Last week I picked up a basket and an enameled roasting pan from the corner in front of their house. If we don’t use them I’ll pass them along.



Ruby February 6, 2023 at 10:30 am

1. Still eating down the freezer to ease the cost of groceries. The chicken legs thawing for tonight’s dinner were purchased in June of 2022, so it was time to roast and eat them.
2. Our local grocery store sells a really good and cheap line of cold and allergy medication, which is what I bought today to unclog my head.
3. I keep moving around stuff we already own to get our den arranged just right.
4. Mended my husband’s slipper again. It keeps ripping parallel to the side of the sole, so this time I sewed it in such a way as to allow some ease brought up from inside. Perhaps that will do the trick.
5. Still rack drying as much laundry as possible. Our king-sized bedspread, which is so hard to tumble dry, dried very nicely laid across two drying racks with the dehumidifier put between the racks. It took less than a day to get that behemoth dry.


Lindsey February 6, 2023 at 12:23 pm

FYI: I end up with a lot of those super heavy plastic bags because of mystery grocery curbside shops. Our local food bank is thrilled to have them, especially in November and December, when they give out holiday food boxes/bags. Since the bank is located next to where my husband’s singing group practices, it costs us zero in gas to drop them off to them.

1. In my usual “found food in grocery parking lots” category, I snagged a lemon and a lime, frozen solid, in the basket of a grocery cart. I took them home and put them in our freezer and will use them in future meals. A lemon went for $1.49 this week at this store, so I consider this a $4 find.
2. Accepted a gallon of chicken shells from a friend. I crush them and put them in our chickens’ feed to strengthen their shells. I have another friend who saves egg cartons for me and another who freezes his Costco chicken carcasses and gives them to me. (He eats only the breasts!!) I have found that people are happy to recycle if it is easy, and especially when it will help a friend. (Or maybe it is that I give them eggs every so often?!) Free chicken shells means I don’t have to buy calcium for my chickens.
3. Sold a book, sent it off for free by timing it with a post office mystery shop.
4. Library for books and a puzzle.
5. We had an old freezer and a dead sewing machine. School of You Tube did not help us resurrect them so we gave them away on a free cycle site. The father and pre-teen son who picked them up were so excited to have something to work on fixing (son wants to be a mechanic) that I was sorry I didn’t have any other defunct items to pass on. Frugal in that it got something out off our back porch, to it being recycled/repurposed by someone instead of going straight to the dump, and I was happy for hours remembering how excited these guys were. (I am not always a very happy person…)


Edith February 6, 2023 at 12:24 pm

Weird frugality incoming:
1) I am hosting a teenager, and they like to get delivery. With fees and higher prices, a delivery from McD’s can come up to $30. OUCH TO THEIR BUDGET! So I have frozen turkey and beef burgers and hamburger buns plus bagged frozen french fries. Result: in less time than delivery, they are learning to make their own burger treats for 1/10 of the cost.
2) I increased my 401k contributions and Roth IRA contributions. As it turns out, the increase only lowers my take home by a few dollars.
3) I am still biking and taking mass transit around the city!
4) Planning my spring garden with leftover seeds.
5) After looking at the price of paint, I am going to choose MetroPaint or Valspar over Benjamin Moore. Like- Bmoore paint is now $83/gallon. Yeesh.


Katy February 6, 2023 at 1:55 pm

That’s the current price of paint?! Color me surprised.


Ruby February 6, 2023 at 2:35 pm

We have to wait until the paint store’s periodic 25% off sale to buy paint. I had to buy a fresh gallon to paint the garage door and it was around $55 after tax even with the discount.


Edith February 6, 2023 at 4:27 pm

LOL! Mom joke is mom.
And yes, paint can be shockingly expensive! But MetroPaint is like $14/gallon- a significant savings.


Kathy February 6, 2023 at 12:28 pm

1. Using my birthday freebies: Starbucks, Panera, Nothing Bunt Cakes
2. Returned a gift son got for his gf. Used the return $$ to buy dog food. $71 for 30 lbs of kibble
3. Sold a item so $24 into my pocket
4. Starting new book from my stash
5. Rescheduled hair appointment to stretch out haircut 10 more days


Jane February 6, 2023 at 12:38 pm

My frugal 5:
1) going through my dead pile of stuff to list on ebay and sold 10 things last week
2)redeemed my Fetch points for a $50 Starbucks card. Between using that and getting the star points, my drinks will be free for about 6 months(just go occasionally for a special treat)
3) Using up freezer food and grocery bill is way down
4) Local grocery store had family size Cheerios for .99, bought the limit of 4, with exp. dates of next year. Set for my in home daycare kids for awhile!
5) Asked on our buy nothing group for small boxes and packing material for my ebay sales. Within 30 minutes had a couple of offers…FOUR big bags from each stop…I am set for awhile.


A. Marie February 6, 2023 at 12:40 pm

See my comments today over at Kristen’s The Frugal Girl and Donna Freedman’s Surviving and Thriving for various recent frugalities. To these, I will add a couple more (just in):

(1) I finally got around to running the ArsVita CD lens cleaner I got a while ago through my ancient CD player. I’m now doing a test drive with one of the CDs I’m considering culling, and so far, the cleaner seems to have worked. (Not so sure about the CD…)

(2) I made a chicken cacciatore yesterday that was absolutely scrumptious (all ingredients already on hand, therefore meeting low-spend February requirements), but there turned out to be more sauce than chicken. So I’m thawing another pound of boneless/skinless chicken thighs and will put these in the rest of the sauce. Nom nom nom.

(3) I’m planning to get my long-delayed haircut this week, and thus will soon be joining Katy in the Ex-Sister-Wives club. Will get it at a Supercuts and skip the shampoo.

Th-th-that’s all, folks.



Katy February 6, 2023 at 1:53 pm

“Ex-Sister-Wives-Club?!” I love this!


A. Marie February 6, 2023 at 12:42 pm

Good for you for your #1, Edith. Give a teenager a burger and fries, and you’ll feed them for a day; teach a teenager to make their own burgers and fries, and…


A. Marie February 6, 2023 at 12:43 pm

The preceding was intended as a reply to Edith above–and, Katy, can you shorten my name to my usual handle if you can?


Katy February 6, 2023 at 1:20 pm

Done! 😉


Christine February 6, 2023 at 3:45 pm

1. Reading library books.
2. Took a walk with friends in a state forest.
3. Cost of living and pension increases make it possible to save a little more.
4. Gave two books from my stash to a friend who broke her arm. She gave me two from her stash. I walked to her house.
5. DH had his free-with-our-insurance annual checkup and received a free pneumonia vaccine.


Bee February 6, 2023 at 4:40 pm

I love the barstools!
My frugal five this week —

1. I just purchased a year’s worth of contact lens to receive a discount. I also filed the paperwork for the $100 rebate offer.

2. This one is thoroughly accidental, but I’ll take it. My husband who travels for business used our personal AMEX in the Atlanta airport during a 4-hour flight delay, and the card was compromised. (Only use cash if possible when flying through this airport.) We caught it immediately, blocked the card, and called our card’s fraud department. Unfortunately, I forgot to unblock the card once everything was fixed and my dog food auto ship order did not go through. I had to order it again, but I received a $30 Chewy gift card with my $100 purchase. Not too shabby. I then purchased lots of kitty litter! Free Kitty litter is a good thing.

3. I spent $1.25 on a Sudoku book at the Dollar Tree. I love puzzles and this is cheaper than printing them. Although it’s even cheaper to do them online, I enjoy being off my devices from time to time. $1.25 isn’t too much to pay for a little fun, and I believe the activity books can be recycled along with magazines.

4. I made fresh broth this week and roasted a pumpkin that had been sitting on my kitchen counter for many weeks. I ate all but one meal at home. I brewed my own coffee and drank primarily water. I had brunch with a friend on a rainy, cold Friday morning. I noticed the price of omelets is on the rise. Breakfast is no longer the cheapest meal out.

5. I am also reviewing my budget and questioning everything. I am still at odds with my auto insurance company and awaiting a response from the state DOI. I have requested a refund from AT&T who has been quite stubborn about returning my money to me after the mishandling of account by and employee of their company. I really miss the days when a company valued your patronage and provided excellent customer service.
Wishing you all peace and good health!


Jill A February 7, 2023 at 3:44 am

I really wanted to take advantage of that $30 gift card from Chewy but I didn’t have $100 worth of pet supplies I needed since I just got a shipment of dog food.


Selena February 7, 2023 at 8:11 am

Me too re: order of cat food. My sister sent me a text about it but I had to pass.


Kristin February 12, 2023 at 5:02 pm

Have you reached out to your state’s Consumer Affairs (Attorney General) dept? Maybe they can provide some assistance with ATT?


MB in MN February 6, 2023 at 6:41 pm

Bee, as a fellow puzzle lover, I’m with you on #3! I do three daily puzzles in paper form: New York Times Spelling Bee, Sudoku, and a Crossword.


Hawaii Planner February 7, 2023 at 6:27 am

1) Used a $10 Safeway reward, a $4 CVS reward, and converted $20 of grocery store points into a reward. I’m being more thoughtful with all of the “free” app rewards & offers, and combining them with sales to reduce our grocery prices. This is new to me, and it takes time, but given the cost of groceries, is worth it.
2) I had to buy new cleats for my teen. I knew he needed some, so I picked up Nike gift cards the last time our grocery store offered them with a reward. I then clicked through Rakuten before purchasing online. Altogether, it saved me about 20%.
3) I gave away a few things on Buy Nothing, and noticed a neighbor was giving away a box of Costco samosas, which we love & I almost bought on our last shopping trip. She graciously gave them to us, and we will have them for the Super Bowl
4) We meal planned, found things out of the freezer, and generally kept leftover waste at bay.
5) My 16 year old visits a friend who works in a bakery, and often comes home with treats at the end of the shift.


Katy February 7, 2023 at 10:51 am

I just started using Fetch, which seems promising. I have Ibotta, but I rarely buy anything that gets the cash back.


Jane February 7, 2023 at 7:53 pm

Fetch can be slow at times but I just keep scanning every receipt and it does add up. I don’t really pay attention to their deals, as I don’t want to be tempted to buy something that isn’t on my grocery list. I do know that is the best way to rack up points.


Bee February 8, 2023 at 6:02 am

I use Fetch and Ibotta also. I never buy anything that is not on my list, and I rarely buy anything processed. I do my shopping and then check and scan my receipts. However, I still manage to get cash back. I just withdrew $20 from Ibotta. My “lifetime earnings” which stretch over approximately 5 years are $264. Fetch also can be a good little earner. I nearly have enough points for a $25 gift card. It’s not a lot of money, but all the little bits add up!


Hawaii Planner February 8, 2023 at 2:50 pm

My trick for iBotta is to do my shopping as usual, and then check the app with the receipt when I’m done. I look up only name brand items, but I’d say about 5-10% of the time, one of the items on my list matches the offer. Sometimes it’s an “any brand” offer, like hamburger buns, or sometimes the brand at the store that happens to be the least expensive is also having an iBotta offer.

I find that milk alternatives (soy, almond, oat, etc) are really having a moment on iBotta, and my grocery store almost always has them on sale. For those in particular, I look to match the store offer with the iBotta offer, and sometimes end up with 90% off, or better than free between the two. iBotta doesn’t adjust the amount you get back, regardless of the sale price, which is a nice perk.


Teri February 15, 2023 at 8:31 pm

Thank you for this info! I use Fetch, but was wondering about adding biota or Checkout 51. Think I’ll just use Fetch. I’ve already gotten a $25 gift card.


rebecca February 7, 2023 at 3:54 pm

1. Taking on some new clients as enrollment is down at the university I am an adjunct at. I’m bummed as I really prefer a mix of what I do.
2. I’ve been really cold lately and am wearing more layers. I did put the heat up when it was 10 below but back down to 65 now that it is normal winter temps.
3. I continue to buy loss leaders and this is really helping with my grocery bill.
4. I have been using my crockpot a lot lately to make soup. It is so easy to throw everything in and then have deliciousness for days to heat up.
5. I found a box of chai tea bags that were hiding in a cabinet. I’m not sure how long it has been there but it still makes a lovely spicy and warming cuppa.


Katy February 7, 2023 at 4:18 pm

Love me some loss leaders!


Jennifer February 7, 2023 at 5:51 pm

I started our tax returns – things have changed with the tax laws and our life the past year with the kids getting older and out of college. It is looking like we will owe quite a bit! First time owing, though we have been close a couple of times. Time to tighten the belt!

1. We were out of bacon. Ds (20, living at home rent free) wanted bacon. I reminded him he is capable of stopping at the store and then texted him a small list of things that he likes to have on hand that we are almost out of. He stopped on his way home and got them. Teaching these kids to adult is a challenge sometimes! My other kids would have just gone to the store without asking me about it. This saves me money and a trip to the store.

2. With only 3 people at home I am finding we are running the dishwasher and washing machine a lot less frequently.

3. Met up with a friend and we exchanged puzzles. Reusing something that we both only do once and saving money from buying new. Winter time I like to have puzzles going during the long evenings.

4. Thawed 5 lbs of meat (beef, turkey, pork and elk) and made a double batch of breakfast sausage and a triple batch of meatballs. I used up 6 end pieces of bread from the freezer as well.

5. Paid some bills online. Dh cut his hair. Packing lunches for work. Cooking at home. Watching YouTube videos for entertainment.


Sharon February 7, 2023 at 7:37 pm

1) Replaced the binding on a blanket that my Father gave me for my 13th birthday. To give you an idea of the age of the blanket (and me) the tag says made in West Germany.
2) Got out my gardening tools and took apart the snips and soaked the rusty parts in vinegar. Cleaned them up with steel wool, sharpened the blades, oiled them and reassembled everything. Ready for spring!
3) Started my tomato and pepper seeds for the garden
4) Went to a class at the local library presented by our county master gardeners group. Learned about winter sowing. Basically you make little green houses out of milk jugs. We don’t drink milk or anything else out of gallon jugs so I posted a ISO on our Buy Nothing group. I had twenty jugs by that afternoon! There are now 20 jugs outside planted with perennials and cool weather greens.
5) I’ve been learning about refinishing/painting furniture this last year. I worked on 4 dining room chairs and a side table last year. This year I plan on redoing the dining room table and at least two side tables. My favorite place to learn from is Repurposed, Refinished, Upcycled Furniture. Using her guidance I purchased several things from the Dollar store, chip brushes, gloves, sponge brushes and small tarps.


Selena February 7, 2023 at 7:49 pm

You’re not alone still having (and using!) an item from your formative years (as I call it). I’ll have to check the tag on a sleeping bag I have. Much as I hate to admit, it is over 50 years old. Also have clothes of mine Mom kept – those are getting closer to 60 years than 50. Both my kids wore them and they still have useful life. I’ve saved Made in America items – be it clothing, toys, household goods. Sad that greed got the better of this country. Don’t get me wrong, I like money as much as the next person. But really, how much is enough? I fear for some, it is never enough and it may be the downfall of world.


Jill D February 8, 2023 at 8:51 am

I remember East and West Germany — and East and West Berlin! I had my Time magazine confiscated by the East Berlin guards when I passed into West Berlin. (I assumed they just wanted to read some contraband news.)


Bee February 9, 2023 at 5:25 am

They say the wall came down was one that will be lodged in my memory for the rest of my life.


Jill D February 11, 2023 at 5:21 pm

Bee, I will forever remember Leonard Bernstein conducting Beethoven’s Ninth in East Berlin on Christmas Day 1989.


Heidi Louise February 9, 2023 at 9:01 am

Facilitating escapes from East Berlin was an often-used story line in the original “Mission: Impossible” TV series. It will always color my view of that time, not even including the sound track.

du. du. duDU du. du. duDoo.


Texasilver February 10, 2023 at 4:58 pm

I was helping clean the nursing lab at a school I worked for. The lab had inherited some beds, etc from an army base hospital that had closed in the late 1970’s. I found a green 100% wool army blanket with a “made in 1943” label. This happened around 2003 or so. I wonder if blankets made in 2023 will last 60 years?


Selena February 10, 2023 at 7:58 pm

Likely not – I have my Dad’s green wool blanket and now I’m going to look to see if there is a label. If not, he may remember it having one.


Bethany M February 8, 2023 at 12:08 pm

I have a bunch of things I want to order but I haven’t even added them to my Amazon cart. One thing I’d really like a new phone case, but I just took mine apart, replaced the glass with an extra I had on hand, scrubbed all the pieces, and reassembled. Doesn’t look perfect, but it’s better.

Made a batch of rolls to go with dinner. Mashed potatoes would have been better, but it would have required me to go to the store. Used tallow I made from some meat I cooked up, instead of the butter the recipe calls for. Sometimes you have to experiment to be more frugal. We enjoyed them!

My dryer gave out with 2 wet loads waiting. My first inclination was to finish it at the laundromat, but my neighbors are moving and had given me the key while they’re gone extensively. I texted her and she said to help ourselves as needed. Blessings!

Did my monthly Costco haul. Paid with my rebate check and got $2 back. Picked up a Costco pizza for lunch and wrapped up the rest of the slices for the kid’s lunches for the rest of the week.

My kids are required to bring reusable water bottles to school. They keep breaking them. I’ve already spent an unspeakable amount on water bottles. So today I picked up a Tervis and another water bottle at the Salvation Army for $1 each. They are in the dishwasher now. At first a used water bottle sounds gross but I reminded myself that it never seems gross at fine dining to put the same girl in my mouth that has been in hundreds of other people’s mouths.


Bethany M February 8, 2023 at 12:11 pm

*same fork in my mouth….drat you, auto correct!!!


Hawaii Planner February 8, 2023 at 2:53 pm

I was admittedly wondering where you were going there, with the fine dining girl example, Bethany 🙂


Julie Hamann February 10, 2023 at 2:23 pm

1. It was my birthday on Wednesday so I went to Black Bear Cafe for my free breakfast. There was so much food that I ended up eating pancakes for breakfast yesterday and today.
2 Lunch Wednesday was a free 8″ beef and cheese sub from Jersey Mike’s. Ate half and saved the other half for lunch yesterday.
3. The microwave died. Rather than replace it I am relearning the skills of warming up leftovers on the stove and using the kettle to heat up water.
4. My mom passed at the age of 99 last September. I’m slowly going through her clothes to see what will fit me.
5. Made $36 at the neighborhood yard sale three Saturdays ago; $12 of it was by selling pavers to a neighbor. I was going to give them to her for free but she insisted on paying for them so more money for me.


Roberta February 10, 2023 at 2:58 pm

1. My glasses broke. I needed an exam anyway, so I went in. Since my insurance only covers new frames every other year, I gave them some old frames to update. They were going to charge me $20 for not buying new frames! As I stood there, planning to just take my prescription to Costco and get them to fill the script, the woman working the counter looked at my face, read what it said there, and comped my “fee for using my own frames” or whatever it’s called. I can see again, but it took two days and several trips to get it done.
2. Going to a potluck tonight, using up farro from a bulk purchase and some pickled veg to make a salad to share.
3. Worked an extra class period, so I get 1.2 paid days for today.
4. Eating at home, even though my husband is craving dinner out. I’m hoping the potluck satisfies his need to eat out.
5. Hanging laundry out, eating leftovers, carpooling with my husband, etc, etc.

We were trying to decide where to go for vacation this year. Barcelona sounded exciting, but at $1500 a ticket, I think we’ll be vacationing in the PNW this year.


Katy February 7, 2023 at 10:49 am

I have vintage cast iron skillets, which helps as it’s not as heavy as the new stuff.


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