Five Frugal Things

by Katy on February 20, 2023 · 107 comments

  1. I watched a 5-1/2 hour YouTube video series about farming in 17th century Wales. This Tales From The Green Valley BBC video sent me down the deepest of rabbit holes to unapologetically binge watch Victorian Farm, Edwardian Farm and am now four episodes into Tudor Monastery Farm, all of which are thankfully on Amazon Prime.

    The featured participants in these living history shows are deeply knowledgable archeologists and historians, which make these shows educational but also utterly fascinating. There’s absolutely zero false drama or interpersonal conflict, which is a sharp contrast to how an American version would be produced. Just gently informative content.

    How is it that I’ve been able to consume such a gluttonous amount of TV? A combination of an extended cold that knocked me off my feet and cloaked me with brain fog.

  2. I haven’t been thrifting at all and possess zero energy to list on anything on eBay, (I can’t oversell how much this cold has sapped my energy, which is already minimal this time of year) this equates to selling almost nothing on eBay.

    • I did sell this handmade wooden boat for $75, which I thrifted at least a year ago for $15.

    • I sold a huge stained glass hanging light fixture that my parents commissioned in 1977 for their dining room. My step mother was going to donate it to Goodwill, so I brought it home and listed it on Facebook Marketplace. It took a long time to sell, but it finally went for $250 to someone for his soon to open Cuban restaurant, which I love. I look forward to being able to visit it again.

    • I sold the bamboo bar stools that I thrifted earlier this month. I paid $9.99 apiece and sold the pair through Facebook Marketplace for $175.

    I may not have sold much, but I’m always happy when the physically large items I bring home to sell actually leave the house. Bringing stuff home without actually selling it is a slippery slope to being a hoarder.

  3. My husband and I spent an afternoon running multiple tiny errands, none of which warranted their own trip, but together added up to a worthy accomplishment. Not only did it save gas to batch our errands, but it was nice to actually leave the house have a buddy for what would’ve otherwise been a dull endeavor. Together we dropped off plastic recycling, returned a glass milk bottle for a $2 deposit, returned and checked out new library books, stopped at a uniform store to order his baseball team’s customized jerseys, dropped off lightbulbs and batteries at Ikea to be recycled, enjoyed Ikea’s $1.15 veggie hotdogs and free coffee and finally stopped at Costco for a $5 rotisserie chicken and food for my husband’s work lunches.

    I hate when these tiny tasks build up, so it’s cathartic to cross them from my to-do list.

  4. • I gave each of my young adult kids a hundred dollar bill for Valentine’s Day. These were from selling my parents’ hanging light, which felt right.
    • My daughter continues to gift me with random high end food items from her grocery store job. This recently included a glass jar of milk and some protein bars.
    • I lent my son our new Eufy robot vacuum for his apartment bedroom. This room has wall-to-wall carpet, and although it seemed clean enough, it always smelled a bit stale. He ran it for four or five consecutive nights, each time sucking up an impressive amount from what had seemed like decently clean carpet. His room suddenly smells fresh and clean again and I can only imagine is a healthier breathing environment.
    • My husband clamped and glued our son’s roommate’s dining room chair back to functionality.
    • I cut some forsythia from the garden to force into bloom. No overpriced Valentine’s Day roses here!
    • This cold has turned me into an absolute and utter couch potato, which is a boring but frugal existence. Seriously, just concentrating on writing this blog post is making me feel a bit lightheaded and I think I need to cue up another living history video.

  5. I didn’t buy a Lear Jet, not even one from the Tudor period.

Katy Wolk-Stanley

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

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{ 107 comments… read them below or add one }

K D February 20, 2023 at 5:40 am


I’m sorry you are under the weather and hope that you feel better soon.

1. We do not do Valentine’s Day at our house but my husband took the day off on the 13th and we ran some errands, went out to lunch at an inexpensive Thai restaurant, and stopped at a state park on the way home to take a hike.

2. Safeway offered $5 off on a $5 order. We were near there and stopped to get two bags of Sumo Citrus. It was $.98 out of pocket. They are DH’s favorite citrus but we will not pay regular prices. Also, DH found several coins in the CoinStar.

3. We have been watching Extraordinary Attorney Woo on Netflix.

4. We still had money in our Flexible Spending Account for 2022. I urged DH to get the two dental crowns that our dentist recommended. He exhausted the 2022 fund when he went for the dental work on Friday. That means no funds will be forfeited and I won’t have to work on spending remaining funds.

5. I filed our federal and sate income taxes. I purchased a copy of TurboTax Premier online from Target while it was on sale. I used a gift card I earned via a rebate site to pay for part of the expense. The state allows you to file electronically for free so I don’t pay TurboTax for state filing and they e-file the federal at no charge. I will let our daughter use one of the remaining uses of the software (they allow five).


CarolineRSA February 20, 2023 at 5:45 am

Feel better soon, Katy. I love that your husband is not stingy with his skills!


Liz B. February 20, 2023 at 11:09 am

@K D,
Sumo mandarins are a big favorite of mine, too. My local stores sell them for $2.50 EACH (2/$5). Not frugal, but I do pay it as a treat for myself, since the season for them is so short.


BethC. February 26, 2023 at 8:22 am

We LOVED Extraordinary Attorney Woo. I am an attorney and a lot of the back story about large law firm life rings true!


Kristen | The Frugal Girl February 20, 2023 at 6:23 am

Man, this is making me miss my robot vacuum! It’s at the other house.

Maybe I need to pony up and buy one for myself.


Jill A February 20, 2023 at 6:31 am

I am also tempted to buy one. Vacuuming with dogs is never-ending.


susanna d February 20, 2023 at 8:30 am

After reading about the robot vacuums here – and finding out how much my daughter-in-law loves hers – I’m just about ready to make the robot vac purchase myself.


Cynthia February 20, 2023 at 6:58 am

I am on week six of healing/rehabbing a back injury I incurred pushing a heavy vacuum over deep carpet (2 cats and a dog, lots of pet hair.) It has been painful, boring, depressing (and did I say painful?) As with so many of these injuries, it seemed like I did “nothing” and suddenly I was on the floor. Get that robovac!!!


J February 26, 2023 at 9:39 pm

But WHICH robot-vac?? I’m agonizing over this! Hundreds of dollars in differences!


Roberta February 24, 2023 at 1:55 pm

I’m curious about what you do about bags. Ours filled up pretty fast, and I manually emptied it for a while, but I wasn’t sure about the long run cost of bags.

Mine also refused to vacuum most of the room, so I passed it along. It was a gift to me as well, so maybe it’s just a bad individual.


Jill A February 20, 2023 at 6:28 am

Feel better, being zapped of energy after being sick always feels like adding insult to injury.
1. I donated two bikes to a couple who fix bikes and then donate to those in need. These will go to two adult foster care residents. No money in but crap out is good.
2. I reorganized my small chest freezer so that I can use up what’s in it. I realize how much a regular inventory & grocery list is necessary as evidenced by the 16 pounds of butter in the freezer.
3. I made sloppy joes and chili with the ground beef I excavated. We ate sloppy joes on hot dogs buns as we had no hamburger buns and no hot dogs.
4. I purchased a high quality $200 down pillow new in it’s package for $10 at an estate sale. This has been on my wish list for years but I couldn’t bring myself to spend that much. Hard pillows give me a headache but I’m a side sleeper so I need some support.
5. I added some water to the dregs of a bottle of puppy shampoo we no longer use and poured it into a hand soap bottle. I’m running low on liquid soap. I also purchased a mostly full bottle of hand soap at the same estate sale.


Lindsey February 20, 2023 at 11:19 am

Given how much the price of butter has gone up, you could probably finance a vacation by selling those frozen butters!


Bee February 21, 2023 at 5:02 am

A great find!!! I bought a beautiful Pottery Barn king-size blanket at a sale this week. It’s 100% cotton in a thick herringbone weave. I really needed a new one, and at $10, there was not any problem fitting it into my budget. I bought a few items to resell, but nothing practical.


Jennie February 20, 2023 at 6:45 am

Hi Katy,

First thank you for your inspirational posts. Nice to know one is not alone in their frugal efforts. I am going to be retiring in three months and so have been tracking expenses and working hard to live within what will be my income once I stop working. This has actually made me feel so much better about my spending habits!

1. In my large crockpot, simmered the last of 2022 Thanksgiving’s turkey caress with cut-up onion, carrots and poultry seasoning. This made 2 quarts of delicious turkey broth (for future soups) and enough turkey/veggies for a qt. of soup.

2. Went to my local IGA (independent grocer) because boneless chicken thighs are on sale for $1.49 this week. Bought 5 lbs. Noticed other meats had reduced stickers on them (all were 1 day before their sell by date). Bought a lb. of reduced ground pork (froze immediately when I arrived home) and a slight spurge of reduced portabella/blue cheese hamburger patties.

3) Also at the IGA, bought reduced fresh green beans, green peppers and yellow squash, all for $0.99/lb. All in great shape. Roasted the sqaush and peppers and cooked the beans when I got home for salads that I have for lunches for the next few days.

4) Paid at the IGA with a gift card; this IGA, during December, offered a deal where for each $100 in gift cards, one would get a $20 additional gift card for free! I figured out, for the year, I would likely spend ~$300 at this IGA so bought a $300 gift card. Here in CT, there is not an expiration date on gift cards, so no pressure to spend all $360 total in gift cards this year!

5) Thought I was going to have to buy postage stamps this month. But cleared out my greeting and note cards storage area recently and found I had two full books of holiday stamps left over from 2021! So, I’m all set with stamps for the next 3-4 months!


MB in MN February 20, 2023 at 7:48 am

Katy, so sorry you’ve been down for the count. Hope you’re back to new soon.

1. Received a notification from our insurance company about an additional premium for our umbrella policy. This was incorrect so I contacted my agent. Wasn’t the first time their new computer system did something wacky.

2. Invited to a Super Bowl party and received a lot of leftovers at the end.

3. Stealthily went through a relative’s garbage to rescue pantry items they had thrown out based on the expiration dates (and some were still months away!). I ignore expiration dates and decide for myself whether something is still edible and safe. Got at least $30 worth of free groceries.

4. Realized how much money I’ve saved in chiropractic costs over the last several months since I cut out the coffee that I learned was the main reason behind my regular migraines. The few headaches I still get can be alleviated by taking Benadryl before bed.

5. Rescued items from a dumpster, cleaned them up and donated them to Goodwill.


Bee February 21, 2023 at 5:17 am

#5 – I have taken things off the curb many times and donated them. I have a few neighbors who seem to throw out wonderful things. Why?
On another note, migraine headaches are terrible. I am glad you discovered the source of yours. I also used to suffer from these. Not everyone can eat everything. The foods we eat or don’t eat can have a tremendous impact on our health and well-being.


Jann in Maine February 20, 2023 at 8:00 am

Feel better,Katy. Sometimes it’s hard to get out of one owns way.
Baby steps. They add up.


Ruby February 20, 2023 at 8:06 am

Katy, I am glad you are a bit better. My husband had that same nasty super-cold at Christmas and was exhausted.

1. Mended a shirt for my son.
2. Rack-dried a big load of dish towels and cloth dinner napkins.
3. Used up a bag of leftover frozen cooked and cubed chicken in a pot of black bean-chicken-veggie stew that also incorporated the lone sweet potato in the vegetable drawer. Homemade soups and stews are one of my frugal secret weapons.
4. Our 50-year-old, third-hand electric skillet kicked the bucket this week. We have certainly gotten the good out of it, having used it for 36 years. A local store had just sent me an email about a sale with a 15% off coupon, so replacing it was not painful.
5. Cleaned, decluttered and organized the heck out of the kitchen this week. DH was talking about buying a buffet cabinet to store things, when reall we needed to get rid of stuff we no longer used and use our space better. Goodwill received a nice donation of glassware and we saved at least $800.


Christine February 20, 2023 at 8:14 am

I hope you’ll get your energy back soon. Do you think you could possibly have had pneumonia? I had it years ago but remember that same zapped energy for about a month after the fact.
1. While walking I found a holiday flag in the leaves by the side of the road. It perfectly fits the wrought iron hanger I already have. I washed it and have put it away for next December. I also found a quarter and a penny.
2. DH and I took advantage of Free Admission February to a historical museum in my hometown (city). It was so much fun seeing photographs and items from businesses familiar to me. We ended the day using a restaurant gift card we received for Christmas.
3. In this world of rising prices, it was great to get a notification from our library via Facebook announcing they have lowered their prices on copies and prints. Black and white for .10, color for .25.
4. I cut DH’s hair. Buying the Wahl clippers at least 15 years ago has been a huge money saver.
5. Some friends and I started a walking group during the early days of Covid to get out of our houses, get exercise and safely socialize. Now we still continue as we enjoy each other’s company and it’s a frugal form of staying healthier. We go every Sunday afternoon, weather permitting and walk nearby wooded trails.


susanna d February 20, 2023 at 8:27 am

I hope you feel better soon, Katy! So sorry to hear you have the cold from hell. I got my “once every five years” cold last month (it had been almost seven years thanks to covid mask wearing for two years) and for whatever reason it was the worst cold I ever remember. It was kind of frugal tho since I went nowhere and spent no money for a crazy long amount of days.

My five frugals, family visit edition:
1. Our son and his family came up for a long weekend, and the grandkids stayed two extra days since they had off school. I did less shopping than I normally do when we have company on account of the freezers still being pretty well packed.
2. My grandkids love treasure hunts, and I provided one that had all their valentine treats as prizes. Each clue led to either a few pieces of candy, a $5 bill or – their favorite prize – a mechanical pencil for each.
3. Pizza and movie night is a tradition the kids love, and was even cheaper this year courtesy of a free frozen pizza from the grocery store, popcorn made in a pan on the stove, and of course…valentine candy.
4. Entertainment for the kids was provided by nature since unlike where they live, we actually had snow. We built snowmen, had snowball fights, made a snowbank “bulls-eye” with red food coloring and had snowball target practice, walked on the frozen lake and did some tracking. So much fun, and all of it was free.
5. After everyone was gone, I went through the pantry and refrigerator and gathered up the food that we wouldn’t eat. Froze the milk and yogurt, and foodsavered the snacks like cheddar bunnies to keep for their next visit.


Ava February 20, 2023 at 8:33 am

Feel better, Katy. That after sickness fatigue is very wearing.
1. A friend gave me several items to sell.
2. We started a massive clean up/organization of the house. This included moving furniture around in a way that gave us improved seating for no money spent.
3. Took five boxes of books and clothing to Goodwill as part of the clean up.
4. Took Katy’s recommendation and bought a Eufy robot vacuum and am very happy with the $100 spent. The first robot vacuum we had was made by Neato and it was fantastic . We wore it out, then wore out a rebuilt one. After that we had a series of inexpensive unsatisfactory money wasters, then none for a long time. This one does a fine job .
5. Had out of town company plus family for a big meal. Bought the barbecue and bread. Made all the sides plus two desserts. All leftovers will be eaten or shared with others.


Katy February 21, 2023 at 12:36 pm

I love how the vacuum goes under furniture, which really removes the dust and random crap!


Anne February 20, 2023 at 8:34 am

We’ve watched all of the “farm” series, also, and loved them.

I can so relate to your day of errands. We do that every week or two, depending on need. It fulfills my OCD needs and gets us out of the house. We almost always have a cheap lunch somewhere. Since we are ancient, it makes up a large part of our social life, too. 😀


Katy February 21, 2023 at 12:35 pm

It’s so satisfying to knock a large number of items from the ol’ to-do list!


Mary February 20, 2023 at 9:32 am

Very sorry you are unwell. I too feel like caca but have to be up and about for my husband who is becoming more and more feeble. It really is a blessing I chose to quit my prof life.
1) Still walking for errands as far as possi le saving on bus tickets which are not immune to inflation.
2) since feel like caca, am not spending in entertainment and reading books I have to hand.
3) Consisyently able to eek two meals out of one meal for both of us. No kne is going hungry.
4) Held firm with internet provider to replace box at no cost.
5) Reusinh packing material from mive to help safely store a few items.


Karen A. February 20, 2023 at 9:52 am

I hope you feel better soon, Katy!

1. It has been a year and three months since my last haircut in a salon, where I made an advisedly ill-thought decision to get a pixie cut. It felt great, but I forgot how much upkeep they are. Luckily I rarely go out, so I just bit the bullet and have been growing it out, saving on haircuts. Which leads me to:

2. My hair was at the stage where the back(mullet) part really needed trimming, and if it got trimmed then I’d actually look like I had a short bob. I waffled mentally about going to a salon ($$, plus time) and finally put my big girl pants on and trimmed it myself, and it actually looks decent enough for me! I am now telling myself I’ll wait until Mother’s Day or my birthday to go to an actual salon and get it touched up. I already cut my boys’ and husband’s hair at home, I’m the only one who occasionally goes to a salon.

3. Hanging our towels by a fan in the laundry room at night rather than using the dryer (six people + small bathrooms can lead to mildewy towels if you’re not careful) has saved us quite a bit in utility costs. I still use the dryer for laundry, but not just to dry damp towels at night. Drying the towels thoroughly between uses also cuts down on how much they need to be bleached.

4. Husband found a great “buy some” deal at the grocery store that saved us $$ on shampoo.

5. My wonderful son, while helping with grocery shopping, thought he was getting no salt added tomato paste that we needed for some stew, but in fact he got no salt added tomato sauce. I told my oldest son, who was making the stew, to use it anyway and I think it was better! Froze the rest of the can in an ice cube tray for longer storage.


A. Marie February 20, 2023 at 10:04 am

From Katy’s and other reports, this cold is something else again. (I think I’d keep masking in all public places even if I didn’t have to produce a negative COVID test every time I visit DH in the nursing home.) Feel better, everyone!

Now, FFT, More Fails Than Wins Edition:

(1) Over the weekend, I finally reached the end of the road on using RTFM to keep my garage door opener going, and called the garage door repair folks this morning. The repairman, after doing the equivalent of CPR on the motor for a few minutes, finally got it going again at least temporarily. But he thinks that a new motor is in my not too distant future. This is going to run about $550-650. @$%!!

(2) Except for two small splurges on food (hot dogs and buns at Price Chopper because I had a craving for hot dogs, and salmon from the good fishmonger at the Regional Market because I had a craving for salmon), I have been fairly successful at keeping to a low-spend February. But I’ve had two negative life happenings in the past two weeks (unrelated to DH’s condition) that have had me too bummed out to do much of anything. Situational depression may not be as physical as a killer cold, but it’s had the same effect on me. Oh, well, at least it’s saved me some money.

(3) In better news, the continuing mild spell in the US Northeast has permitted me to get out and do some garden cleanup (even though it may not actually be that good for the garden, in various ways).

(4) The mild spell has also permitted me to have a record-breaking stretch of bottlepicking and finding dropped change. I’m at over $2 for found money for the month of February already. And if NY State ever gets around to passing the Bigger Better Bottle Bill (which would increase the container deposit to 10 cents and include sports drinks, fruit juices, teas, etc.), I would really have myself a side hustle!

(5) Finally, I found one of those two-piece “tankini” bathing suits (apparently never worn, although I will of course launder it thoroughly) at the SA superstore this morning for $4. The proof will be in the trying on after laundering, of course–but it appears to meet my main requirement in a swimsuit: It appears to have been designed by the Army Corps of Engineers!


Lindsey February 20, 2023 at 11:35 am

I feel you on the garage stuff, A. Marie!! And here is hoping your situational depression eases.


Christine February 20, 2023 at 2:48 pm

I hope the situational depression takes a hike. The lethargy is real. I’m also waiting for an expanded bottle bill here in Massachusetts too although I’m not holding my breath. Walking in my neighborhood I see so many nip bottles, water bottles and sports drink bottles by the side of the road. Like you, I could start a new side hustle.


Jennifer February 20, 2023 at 5:29 pm

I would replace the garage door opener entirely rather than just the motor. Those run $200-300 last time we had to replace one. Hoping yours lasts awhile though!


Bee February 21, 2023 at 5:30 am

Sometimes life just stinks. . You have been through a lot. I hope you feel like yourself again soon. Sending you wishes of strength and peace.


Katy February 21, 2023 at 12:31 pm

It’s frustrating because I still mask in public. However, my husband and his brother went to visit his elderly father and it turns out that the brother was already sick. My husband came home very sick, but slept in our spare bedroom to try and spare me.


MB in MN February 21, 2023 at 9:12 pm

A. Marie, I’m sorry to hear about your depression and hope it lifts very soon. I’m glad your trademark humor is still intact!


Jill A February 22, 2023 at 1:16 pm

Feel better A Marie.


Lindsey February 20, 2023 at 11:15 am

If you have to be sick, finding something as pleasurable as those living history shows at least makes it tolerable. Get well soon. Your $100 gift to each of your kids reminds me of when we were in the age group to have various children, cousins and children of close friends graduating from high school. Our standard gift was a $100 streamer that I made by taping or stapling a hundred one dollar bills together and then rolling it up to wrap it. Always a hit. Not many savings to report this week.

1. Our hedgehog went to hedgehog heaven last week. We are leaving the hedgehog rescue avocation so I put the remaining food and accessories on FB marketplace and they sold within minutes. Who knew?
2. Did a mystery food shop that was curbside. $32 worth of food in the freezer.
3. There were so many substitutions in the food shop that the store sent me a coupon for $10 off my next grocery purchase. Husband’s turn to bring a snack to a meeting, so he is putting it to good use today, on those divine Sumo oranges.
4. regular library.
5. tool library.
6. Yet again our garbage can was run over so we had to buy a new one. First went to the grocery store to buy a gift card to Home Depot, so we made points on the grocery store fuel program. Since it was double points this week, we earned money off our next gas purchase. And then I ordered the can through the Home Depot website, using My Points website, so made points there that can be cashed in for various gift cards. Not huge amounts but it takes only a minute to organize things so I squeeze every penny out of the money I spend.


A. Marie February 20, 2023 at 11:28 am

Lindsey, RIP to Esmeralda the hedgehog (that was her name, as I recall?). You and your husband did your best for her. And I send my regards to Pound Hound as usual.


Lindsey February 20, 2023 at 11:46 am

Pound hound, who has never dug up garbage in all the years we have had him, dug Esmeralda out of the trash. I did not know this, since he did this while outside (at 17 below zero, I might add. Apparently he really wanted to say his farewells to her! He is probably the real reason our outside garbage can keeps getting messed up). He brought her frozen carcass back inside, unbeknownst to me. When I spotted her, I was horrified, thinking she had not really died, and I had put a live animal out in the freezing cold and she had managed to claw her way out of the can and into the house. That lasted about 15 seconds because it was clearly an absurd thought, but it did give me a start to see her corpse sitting on the living room carpet. And there was pound hound, looking like he had given me a great gift, tail wagging so hard he was nearly tipping himself over. She went back outside, double bagged, and will be hauled off with tomorrow’s trash. It seems cold hearted to throw her away but there is no way to dig a hole at our temperatures and I am not going to keep her around until the ground is workable in May. When I lived in the bush, the dead had to be stockpiled until graves could be dug in the spring, and I had enough of that then.


Ruby February 20, 2023 at 12:12 pm

Lindsey, I would not let DH bury our beloved middle dog last week when she passed away at home because her sisters are both half-dachshund, with tremendous digging abilities and senses of smell. I doubted his back would hold up to dig a hole deep enough thwart her sisters from trying to bring her back. Macabre, but realistic, as we know these dogs. We lovingly wrapped her in an old sheet and took her body to the vet’s office for final care.


A. Marie February 20, 2023 at 12:28 pm

Oh, dear, Lindsey: Poor Esmeralda, poor Pound Hound, and poor you! In your shoes and in your location, I probably would have let out a scream they could have heard in Vladivostok.

Ruby, I’m sorry about your middle dog as well. And, given your knowledge of your other two dogs and your DH’s back, your decision sounds wise.


Selena February 20, 2023 at 5:29 pm

Have not had deceased pets dug up but did have one dog bring back a deceased not once, but TWICE – second time teaming with maggots. Totally understand the hedgehog making her final trip via waste management. Better half dug a grave before it froze in the event our one elderly cat went to the Rainbow Bridge during the Midwest winter. She was not looking good for a while but is still doing quite nicely.


Anne February 22, 2023 at 8:30 am

This reminds me of a story my baby sitter told me many years ago. The family pet hamster died and the children, of course, wanted a funeral and burial in the back yard. This was done.

Several days later the neighbor mentioned seeing her hamster running around her own back yard. Shocked, my sitter quickly dug up the shoebox coffin to find the “dead” hamster gone.


Ringo February 20, 2023 at 11:43 am

@Lindsey, I’m very sorry about your hedgehog. I enjoyed reading about it.


Christine February 20, 2023 at 2:55 pm

I’m so sorry about Esmarelda. The story about pound hound, though, trying to resurrect her is equal parts funny and horrifying. Good for you for keeping your cool.


Ecoteri February 22, 2023 at 3:17 am

So sorry to hear about your hedghog – And her apparent revival.
My dog is notorious for occasionally burying and digging up and re-burying and RE digging up (ad nauseum) dead chickens.
She puts them in the soft soil of my veggie garden beds.
I though I had dealt with the problem by using ‘waste management’ to address the aged hens who die, however I think that one of my roosters (who died for no known reason ) was disposed of in the compost by my landscape guy last summer. Skye-the-dog buried that carcass all over the place, leaving feathers behind when she moved it. GAH. I would go out and find all the empty graves, and never did locate the carcass.
She currently is moving a duck that died in my pond, I am hopeful that it is lost to her somewhere and I won’t lose any more overwintering veggies. It is not fun, however I do find it kind of funny, particularly as she isn’t a bone-burying kind of dog…


Jill A February 22, 2023 at 5:52 am

So sorry to hear about your hedgehog. I love that pound hound was trying to “help”.


Sandra February 20, 2023 at 11:42 am

Thank you so much for making the effort to publish this week. I so look forward to your weekly posts and I was missing your voice. Don’t know if I have Five Frugal Things, but here goes.

1. Made all meals at home, snacks, too. Carried our own coffee or tea to work or running errands.

2. Checked out two library books for book club reads, also picked up some free magazines while I was there.

3. Traded puzzles that I had picked up (free) at our community center with a neighbor. She likes to work large (1,000) piece puzzles and I prefer the smaller ones, so I watch for the larger puzzles for her when I go to play cards once a week.

4. We took a box of homemade cookies to our next door neighbor for Valentine’s Day. Dear neighbors in turn brought us a
Valentine dinner. They made chicken and beef fajitas and shared two plates with us. What a treat and enough left for two more meals!!

5. We regularly shop a grocery outlet and enjoy huge savings on their marked down salad mixes of hardy winter greens i.e. kale, cabbage, radicchio, etc. We’ve also found bargain bags of apples (3 Lbs) for $1.00.


Denise February 20, 2023 at 12:00 pm

No Lear Jet (not even one from the Tudor period)?? Surely that would be a “King Lear” jet???


Heidi Louise February 20, 2023 at 1:35 pm

Good thought. I was just figuring a Tudor Lear Jet would be a rock.


Katy February 21, 2023 at 12:20 pm

Actually, they were much more advanced and resourceful than I realized. Might have been made from iron ore, woven reeds or wattle and daub.


Heidi Louise February 21, 2023 at 5:06 pm

True– they flew kites, didn’t they?
I am always curious about how things are discovered. Who first smelted iron, or made grace? Decided it was a good idea to do all the steps to make soap? Figured out how to distill stuff? Made gasoline?


Heidi Louise February 21, 2023 at 5:07 pm

Not sure how “glass” turned in to “grace.”

A. Marie February 20, 2023 at 1:38 pm

On takeoff, instead of the usual rigmarole, would the pilot recite “Blow, winds, and crack your cheeks!…”?


Denise February 21, 2023 at 2:09 am

We are clearly on a (rock’n’) roll, here, folks!


Katy February 21, 2023 at 12:25 pm

The slowest of “slow claps” for the most perfect Shakespeare pun ever!!!!!!!!


anne February 22, 2023 at 8:32 am

Very good!


Jill February 20, 2023 at 12:14 pm

Hope you are feeling better soon, Katy!
1. I’m going to have to check out that You Tube series. I’ve been on a “bands from the 70’s” documentary kick watching about the Bee Gees and Fleetwood Mac recently. Also, Frugal Queen in France videos – she’s a British early retiree living in France and sharing her frugal tips. All are on You Tube.
2. Gathered together quite a few of my grandson’s toys he’s outgrown plus his highchair, gave them all a good scrubbing, priced them and am selling them at a local consignment sale this weekend.
3. Hosting family this coming weekend so pulled out my recipes for a brunch casserole and looking for some dinner ideas – hoping to cook more than eat out though I know my brother in law will want to hit up some local breweries so I know there will be some adult beverage intake.
4. Always taking advantage of the services our wonderful library offers – the once a week storytime for our grandson, the books for he and I and the many DVD’s they offer – checked out copies of the current seasons of All Creatures Great and Small and Midsomer Murders this week.
5. Sticking to my no clothes purchasing – mostly. Found a pair of petite jeans in my size, which are so hard to find, at Goodwill so I sprung for them. They won’t go to waste.


Cindy in the South February 20, 2023 at 12:34 pm

Hope you feel better soon! I have a similar cold and sound like a snot nosed foghorn… oh wait… I am a snot nosed foghorn! I know everyone is gonna enjoy listening to me at work tomorrow… lolz. 1. It is 70ish degrees here so I went walking for an hour trying to clear out my head. No such luck. I have been walking/dragging myself around the flat walking trail for several days in hopes that it would help. Nope! 2. I ate at home and brought lunches to work. .3. My work pants have given out and while I bought a pair last month, I felt like I needed a backup so used an on line 20 percent off coupon for JC Penney in the store.. Their pants fit me because apparently their size 16 model is fluffy in the middle like me, Winnie the Pooh build. That is all I have for ya!


Katy February 21, 2023 at 12:23 pm

As long as you don’t dress like Winnie The Pooh!


Ava February 21, 2023 at 12:59 pm

Winnie the Poo does not wear pants.


Cindy in the South February 27, 2023 at 5:46 am



Kathy February 20, 2023 at 12:56 pm

1. No hours at work=partial unemployment. Less driving, however less $$
2. A few sales over the last few days
3. No valentines celebration as we had theatre tickets the weekend before and had dinner out
4. Reading books I have on the shelf
5. Lots of cooking at home


Nicola February 20, 2023 at 1:12 pm

1. finally forced myself to do some new ebay listings, after a 2 yr hiatus! Husband is talking about moving to Scotland at some point. To give away all the treasures I have found to sell, would be heartbreaking for me, so finally feeling motivated. Nothing has sold, but did sell some fibre on a specialist fb group. Poor buyer is on a rural postcode, as am I, so the postage was horrible.
2. Our small house is open plan, but has a weird half wall/open shelves between the door and the lounge. Toyed with pulling it down, but then mocked up fill in the back of the shelves, with a cardboard box. What an amazing difference, and my chair no longer has a view of the fridge! Husband has used some scraps of wood to fill in the back permanently, and I have sanded and waxed the shelves. Unexpectedly, it’s made the room feel cozier and is trapping the heat from the woodstove, so it is actually warmer in this part of the room. I think we might be able to put up some hook on the back side for coats, and maybe take off the dry wall and make some shoe slots at the bottom, as that side is by the front door.
3. Decided we could make do with one chest freezer instead of two. We used to buy the dog’s food in bulk, but now buy in smaller amounts. The unused freezer has gone to a new home. It was very old and very ugly. I got it as a curb pick and it’s been ours over 10 years. I hope it’s just as good for it’s new owners.
4.Amalgamating the freezers made me reorganize the remaining one. Needless to say, we have been eating lots of meals made from things I found.
5. My son is coming to visit in March. He lives in a city, we live in the middle of nowhere. Found something I wanted on Marketplace near him. He’s going to pick it up for me and bring it with him :-).


Cindy Brick February 20, 2023 at 1:13 pm

Keep feeling better, Katy. This current flu takes a while to get over.

Just from an appraiser’s standpoint, your 1970s woven hanging would sell faster, if it was lower. E-mail me, if you’re curious.

I would love to say I’m getting all sorts of things accomplished…but today is the Brick’s birthday, so I’m doing stuff for him. Chipped up a bunch of carrots so he could have his beloved carrot cake, and made him waffles for breakfast. (Simple tastes) His presents are largely from the library’s used book room — various videos, plus a book on the Scorpion. (He is a former submariner.)

Tomorrow is our errand day, and I’ll check the thrift shop for goodies then.


Katy February 21, 2023 at 12:22 pm

Thanks. I actually have it up as decor in my son’s old room and would be perfectly happy to keep it. That’s why I have it priced so high.


Amanda P February 20, 2023 at 1:31 pm

1. I scored 11 precooked Aldi hams that were marked $5 off AND 53% off in addition! All told they rang up for about 50 cents per pound; I froze most of them, gave one to the in-laws, and am simmering the hock from another in a pot of pea soup (one of my sons has been begging for some and it was fun to oblige him).

2. Remembered to ask the eye Dr if they’d mind us snagging an extra pair of contacts for my son when we went in for his annual exam. We usually order his lenses online, and this spare pair gave him a bit of a buffer before we needed to buy another year’s worth. They always are glad to oblige.

3. Snagged $40 worth of breakfast sausage/pancakes on a stick free from a friend whose kids weren’t impressed with them. She’d bought enough to stock up, and my kids were thrilled!

4. Made my own gift photo calendars for grandparents this year instead of doing them online and having them printed. We have the printer with ink wells instead of cartridges, and I had photo paper a friend had given us from an office clean out. It was so much faster, cheaper, and the quality was great! I’ve had bad luck the last 2 times I’ve had them printed elsewhere, so this was exciting to find a good alternative.

5. Got a huge stack of audiobooks from a library sale, priced at $1 or less each. Classics, kid’s stories, mysteries, etc. We all love listening to books, and at that price any we don’t end up liking I can flip on Paperback Swap easily.


Bee February 22, 2023 at 5:11 am

What a great deal on the hams!!!


JC February 20, 2023 at 1:36 pm

Oh Katy, I feel ya…. I too have been down with one of the worst head colds I have ever had. I thought I had done it to myself because I got a huge case of Spring Fever and was outside cleaning up brush and burning it. DD tells me it is something going around because her office mates have been passing it around. I still do not have my usual “hyper” energy…I miss it.
1. sick…. so went absolutely nowhere , no fuel used
2. ate whatever I could find in the fridge when I had a bit of an appetite. Mostly eggs and toast or biscuits.
3, cooked everything on the top of the woodstove
4. used the orange peels in vinegar as a cleaner, works so well.
5. hung all laundry around stove to dry. Dryer that is less than 4 yrs old on the fritz… trusty repairman called. I hardly ever use it and the fact that isn’t even that old but not working right just pisses me off royally.


Linda February 20, 2023 at 4:29 pm

PBS made some great “live back in time” shows—also drama-free. My favorite was “Frontier House” which was living in Montana in the 1880s. There was also, “Victorian Slum House” and some others that I can’t remember.


Katy February 21, 2023 at 12:10 pm

Ooh . . . I loved “Frontier House!”


Krissy in Sacramento February 22, 2023 at 11:02 pm

There was also The 1900’s House (SO GOOD!) and my personal favorite, the 1940’s House. I loved the Victorian Slum House. But the Ruth Goodman ones Katy was watching are wonderful!


Katy February 23, 2023 at 10:42 pm

Yes, I watched all those when they came out.


Jennifer February 20, 2023 at 5:40 pm

We have been sick here twice since the new year. not fun and I think things are more severe this year. I hope you feel back to normal soon Katy!

1. We were going to drive 30 minutes to the Science Center to watch an imax movie today. But dh’s appt ran late and the day was gorgeous so we opted for a free hike instead. Saved around $30 in tickets and parking.

2. Used my Costco rebate check to help restock staples in my pantry from January’s pantry challenge.

3. Ran a “load” of machine cleaner in our dishwasher and washing machine. We have hard water that really does a number on appliances. After dh did major repair work over Christmas break we have been running these cleaner tabs every couple of weeks and have had no issues. Hoping this helps extend the life of both machines.

4. We are running full washing machine loads and dishwasher loads – and with just dh and I (along with ds who is not here much) we are only running these things every few days rather than the every day I did when all 4 kids lived at home.

5. Dh rode his bike to work a few times. He cut his own hair. Been cooking at home and taking leftovers for lunch.


Katy February 21, 2023 at 12:18 pm

We’re lucky to not have hard water issues here in Portland.


Selena February 21, 2023 at 8:08 pm

We have a well filter and hot and cold water go through the softener. Also drain a bit out of the water heater to minimize the “crud” build up on the bottom of the tank. Drinking soft water is icky and so is ice. So we have a frig filter. We’ll see if a less expensive one works or not. Big savings if it does but if not, I’ll budget for filters. They do last quite a long time. And soft water is much easier on appliances and fixtures.


Bee February 23, 2023 at 4:42 am

Florida has very hard water. I put a cup of vinegar in the dishwasher before running it twice a week. It keep the line scale build up at bay.


Selena February 23, 2023 at 8:17 pm

Softener for hot and cold water is what we do. Hard water is hard on fixtures (faucets, washer, toilet, water heater etc). And periodically we drain the hot water heater (not an on-demand) to get the “crud” out.


Dmarie February 21, 2023 at 8:02 am

sure hope the return to normal-ish for you comes sooner rather than later, NCA Katy! My 5: 1. stooped to pick up 25¢ from just under a coinstar machine
2. a cobbler made with closeout/clearance cake mix is in the oven now. (with frozen blueberries grown in our yard.) I continue to be a “bottom feeder” at the grocery, which helps, but if I had the energy of my younger years, I’d make everything from scratch, which is more often the very cheapest way to go. 3. Brought home about a cup of red beans n rice leftovers from our anniversary lunch out & immediately cut up some veg, added broth & one leftover plant “sausage” (clearance bought) & made a little crock of soup out of the leftovers for supper. 4. Enjoying movies/books from library & succeeding in struggle not to buy Netflix subscription. 5. My silliest micro-frugal habit: I pick up rocks in parking lots & other places where they don’t belong & bring them home to toss onto our gravel driveway. I like tossing the stone while walking to my car & just started tossing into my car. (I always park a distance to lessen chances of dings.) Cracks me up to think of free-range rocks!


Mary in Maryland February 21, 2023 at 11:34 am

1. The fridge was looking empty and I hoped to delay shopping until my Dr’s apt on Friday. Ten minutes of thinking revealed that I can make black bean and sweet potato enchiladas, many bean dal, borscht, General Tso’s soy curls, black bean and pumpkin chili, pumpkin peanut soup, and jambalaya with ingredients on hand. I may not even need to go shopping on my March 2 outing.
2. Eating at home. Drinking tap water. Wearing clothes I bought in 1999.
3. Hung the sheets outside to dry yesterday and enjoyed smelling them all night.
4. Our 2005 Prius is now legally an adult. 135,000 miles. We bought it used in 2015.
5. Not frugal. The older dog we adopted last September seemed sluggish Monday and Tuesday. Vomited at 2 am Wednesday, so we took him to the vet. He had a hematocrit of 10 and an upper abdominal mass. Cancer. He died Thursday afternoon after 28 hours of being told how much we love him (We told him that most every day.) He crossed off one of the items on his bucket list, as we let him sleep on the bed. Spent about $750 on diagnosis and good-bye. I keep thinking I’m hungry, but it’s just that I feel empty.


Katy February 21, 2023 at 12:12 pm

Poor guy, but it wounds like you gave him the very best life.


Ruby February 21, 2023 at 1:22 pm

I am so sorry about your dog. What a loved life he had with you right up to the end. That’s such a wonderful thing.


Bee February 21, 2023 at 2:48 pm

I’m so sorry for your loss. It is wonderful that you gave this senior pup a loving home in which to spend his golden years. I wish you love and peace across the miles.


rebecca February 21, 2023 at 3:05 pm

My sincerest condolences.


Christine February 21, 2023 at 3:46 pm

I love that your dog had a bucket list and you were able to grant him a wish. He must have loved sleeping in your bed. What a sweet gift.


Lindsey February 21, 2023 at 4:52 pm

How wonderful that your pup was able to spend the last part of his life indulged and loved. Older dogs often don’t get that. I’m only sorry that it causes you heartache.


Carolyn February 24, 2023 at 8:40 am

Stained glass light fixtures are expensive! That $250 price sounds like a bargain. We have one that came with the house a few years ago, and it had a couple pieces missing out of it, and it cost $125 to get it repaired. The guy who repaired it said it was a high quality piece and was worth several hundred dollars.
We have a dozen Burpee seed trays on a plastic table next to the sliding glass door. Tomatoes, peppers and assorted herbs are started. We will put them in the raised beds out in the garden later this May. Last year we yielded over a hundred pounds of peppers, three varieties, one was hot, we canned them with onions and a couple cloves of garlic. They are great in a batch of chili.
Not frugal upfront, but we bought a Vermont Castings wood stove. We have a lot of good hardwood here on the farm that will burn well and produce a good amount of heat. The good news is that we will be getting a $2000 tax credit because it is a high efficiency unit, plus our electric bill will go down as well as our house has electric heat.
My husband gave each of my teen sons a haircut this week. Their hair grows so fast, he does them about every three weeks. I got mine trimmed on Monday when a coworker stopped by to get her hair cut. It was crazy long, she was starting to sit on it. She had him cut it to her elbows.
Her husband loves her hair long, so she did not want to go any shorter. He was pleased with her haircut.
I can understand how you feel losing your dog, we have a dog as well, and he is like another member of the family.


Katy February 24, 2023 at 11:14 am

I wish I could have used the stainless glass fixture in my house, but it was huge, (24″ across) and would have dwarfed the room.

Selena February 24, 2023 at 8:28 pm

Our VT Castings stove is almost 40 years old but still going strong. Top load that doubles as a griddle/cook “top”. I’m sure you won’t be disappointed. While I knew prices of stoves had risen, I was still in a bit of shell shock. We paid less than $800 for ours but regardless of what you paid, you’ll recoup in no time (be it utility cost or health wise).

Selena February 21, 2023 at 8:12 pm

Condolences – always hard no matter how long s/he has been a family member. I always remind myself that s/he was loved and lacked for nothing forever how long s/he was with us (and that includes strays I’ve fed, tried to shelter, and care for best they’d let me).


MB in MN February 21, 2023 at 9:09 pm

Oh Mary, I’m so sorry for your emptiness. You gave him a good life in his last six months and a sweet good-bye.


Jill A February 22, 2023 at 5:58 am

I am so, so sorry.


A. Marie February 22, 2023 at 10:12 am

Mary in MD, I add my condolences on your #5 to everyone else’s. I agree with Christine that “He crossed off one of the items on his bucket list” is precious.


Katy February 21, 2023 at 12:14 pm

You’re just “grouping like items,” which is very satisfying.


rebecca February 21, 2023 at 3:37 pm

Katy, I hope you’re feeling better.
1. It’s my birthday this week and got a free brownine from Panera. I will go every day this week for a free bagel to stock my freezer. It’s a nice perk.
2. I will also get my free coffee from Starbucks. I only use gift cards that have been given to me so it is the gift that keeps on giving.
3. Gave some cookbooks to a friend. I have too many and she really seemed excited to get them.
4. I had a 40% coupon at cvs, $5 extracare and some other discounts and it made my total tolerable.
5. When asked what I would like for birthday gifts, I requested people to make donations to my favourite charity. I am excited to have raised $750.


rebecca February 21, 2023 at 3:38 pm

1. *brownie not brownine. Yikes, editing is important.


Bee February 22, 2023 at 5:13 am

Wishing you the happiest birthday ever!


Karen B February 21, 2023 at 8:43 pm

We’ve had 3 routine vet appointments and some other extra extra expenses in a short time, so I’m making an extra effort to keep spending to a minimum.

1) In food expense reduction efforts in the last week I’ve made blueberry muffins for quick grab and go breakfasts for hubby and son, gluten-free waffles for me, cut up onions and the slightly wrinkled but still good bell peppers to freeze for fajitas (some of which I’ve already used), and made chili with homemade seasoning mix, $2 per pound on sale ground beef (less than half the current typical and frozen tomatoes from last summer’s ridiculously prolific volunteer cherry tomato plants. I’ve also made extra food for a few dinners that work extra well in my husband and son’s sack lunches.

2) I have only eaten out once since the start of January.

3) Son and I went to a bargain outlet store yesterday. It tends to have a lot of what appears to be store returns and overstocks and sometimes has many of the same item. We did extra well at deciding what we would really use and not getting impulse items. His top bargain item was a pair of pajama pants (very much needed) that were at least $10 at Christmas, but yesterday all items were priced $3. After trying them on at home he liked them very much, so I offered to go back today on $1 day and got him 2 more pairs. $5 instead of $30 for 3 pairs of pajama pants! My top item was a shower curtain with a realistic library scene–I use scenic shower curtains as fun bargain backdrops when filming myself playing an instrument for family. I’d admired the same shower curtain but not the $20 price when I’d seen it online but wasn’t willing to pay that. $3! My $3 frugal fail was another curtain I thought would be a pretty backdrop but when I opened the package realized it was a pair of short window curtains and not a big shower curtain. Too small for my backdrop use and not good colors for any of our rooms, so I immediately posted it in my local Buy Nothing and it’s already gone. I get so many nice and useful things from this group and am happy to pass along my oopsies and useful things we’re not using anymore.

4) Returned library materials on the way home from the above stop yesterday, which saved about 1 1/2 miles of driving. Every bit counts!

5) I’ve offered 5 items in my Buy Nothing Project group in the last 2 days and they’ve all been picked up already or will be shortly, keeping them out of the landfill and it’s easy and cost-free for me.


Bethany M February 21, 2023 at 9:02 pm

Scored tickets to the Indianapolis Children’s Museum for their free day. Family of 5 plus 2 visitors is a $175 value. It took three phone calls to make sure I knew exactly how and when to access the tickets because I knew they’d be gone in a flash. Going to pack a lunch for everybody that day. They encourage you to bring your home-prepared lunch in their cafe and only purchase if you need/want to.

Bought 4 boneless hams for $5 each from Flashfoods. Took them to the deli to be shave. It really took the deli a while, and I felt bad partway through it when I realized they didn’t have an auto slicer, but we all made it through and I get to feed my family despite back-breaking inflation.

I wanted to leave crescent rolls off my shopping list so I decided to make a batch of dinner rolls instead. Made some of them bigger to swap out my hamburger buns. Rolls and canned soup make an easy throw together meal when you arrive back home from somewhere and don’t want to stop for dinner out. I’ll freeze those rolls and then set them out on the counter the day we head out to the Children’s museum.

I’ve even been playing it easy on thrift shopping. I usually pop into a good thrift store at least once a week. I usually have a few things I’m looking for and I’m not bashful about leaving without a purchase or waiting until the item gets reduced, but I’m pretty content with what we have right now and my mom has been getting a bunch of clothes from a friend and a few are just a tad too small for my mom so she plans to give them to me. Looking forward to that, and you can’t beat free!

I found some fun activity books on our shelf that had no writing in them yet. My kids got bored with activity books. I will wrap them up for a birthday present for my son’s best friend. I’d love to buy him something, but we really can’t afford an extra expense right now.


Heidi Louise February 22, 2023 at 9:27 am

Indianapolis Children’s Museum is The Best!
We’ve also been to Chicago and to Minnesota Children’s Museums (though some years ago for all). I realized one difference was that those two, while certainly very fine, are obviously set up to handle huge groups of people. Indianapolis must also be arranged so, but it was somehow set up to invite people to take their time and not rush ahead.


Bee February 22, 2023 at 4:57 am

I hope you are feeling well soon. The brain fog from a virus seems to be more difficult for me to overcome the older I become.

Although both are difficult on southern Atlantic Coast, I also have a interest in farming and gardening, I bought a wonderful book many years ago at a library sale entitled, Cottesbrook: An English Kitchen Garden. It follows the gardening staff through the seasons as they tend a 5-acre estate garden that produces an enormous amount of food and flowers for the main house and village. It was fascinating. In the similar vein, The Duchy of Cornwall is an interesting look at the operations English estate.

Things have been a bit spendy lately. My son in graduate school underestimated his expenses and I’ve had to buy a new dishwasher. Despite the setbacks, I do try to be frugal.

1. I made a trip to the Dollar Store to buy cards which even now are 2/$1. Two people that are dear to me were just diagnosed with cancer. I try to send a card or something small to them weekly. Budget cards may be frugal, but they allow me to be generous in spirit.
2. My husband had a injury and had to buy a knee brace at CVS and received $15 in Extra Bucks. I used them to buy some much needed moisturizing cream.
3. I sold two items on eBay and mailed them in recycled packaging. One was a patch that can be worn on a jacket. The other was interesting. It was an antique cast iron address plaque from a historic home in Savannah, Georgia. It is going home. A gentleman bought it for the family that used to live in the house.
4. I roasted a turkey today. I bought it at Thanksgiving when Turkey was $0.49 a pound. I made mashed potatoes and Brussel Sprouts. My dear hubby was thrilled!
5. I am doing all the usual things – using my library. I have cooked and eaten every.single.meal at home for the last 10 days. I have been brewing my own coffee and drinking primarily filtered water
Wishing everyone peace, good health and prosperity.


Jill A February 22, 2023 at 6:07 am

I love that the address plaque is returning to the homes previous owners. A roast turkey sounds wonderful right now. I didn’t have room in my freezer for an extra turkey or I’d have taken advantage of the turkey deals at Thanksgiving …maybe if my freezer hadn’t been so full of butter.


Bee February 24, 2023 at 4:40 am

I love it when something finds the perfect home especially when it’s been cast aside as junk. I once found a 150-year old Bible at the GW Bins that was in tatters. I paid $0.25 for it and gave it to someone who restored its binding and cherishes it.
On completely different note, I am trying desperately to clean out my freezer and get it better organized. I have a feeling it will soon be filled with sliced Turkey and stock.


A. Marie February 22, 2023 at 10:10 am

Bee, ooh, you’re a fellow Cottesbrooke fan! I bought that book more years ago than I care to think about, off a bargain table at a London bookseller’s (the book has some minor cosmetic damage). But I used to fantasize about working there.

You may like to look at the current website for the estate ( The current owner appears to be the grandson of the owner who was always respectfully referred to in the book as “her ladyship.” He and his staff seem to be doing what they can to keep up with the times. The only thing I can’t figure out from the website is whether the kitchen garden is maintained to its early 1980s standards–possibly not, I fear.


Bee February 22, 2023 at 1:22 pm

Thank you for the link. I would love to have a garden like Cottesbrooke. I was astounded at the productivity of the garden. I imagine it would be difficult to maintain it at the same standard – and not cost effective. If I remember correctly, they employed 8 or 9 gardeners.


Hawaii Planner February 24, 2023 at 2:35 pm

We were on a ski trip this week, so it wasn’t the most frugal. But, we did do a few things to save money:
1) Rented a very inexpensive condo, which had plenty of space, a kitchen, & a laundry area.
2) Prepped our meals at home, then froze them & brought them with us. The frozen taco meat & spaghetti/meatballs served as freezer packs for the cooler.
3) We needed to pick up a few things at the local Safeway, so I downloaded a few coupons before I went into the store, saving $2. I also picked up the penny in the change machine.
4) Food on the mountain is super pricey, so my husband & I split one item, & then supplemented with protein bars I got for free from a neighbor.
5) Our son brought a friend along on the trip, and he was celebrating his 16th birthday. I made brownies & picked up ice cream, so the boys could have treats on the big day. I even remembered to bring candles from home.


Katy February 24, 2023 at 4:50 pm

You are now in charge of planning all my family’s future vacations!


Hawaii Planner February 26, 2023 at 7:06 am

I love travel planning! I’m in 🙂


Jann in Maine February 26, 2023 at 10:43 am

Have been parking the car at least 3-4 days a week to reduce carbon footprint and save on gas. Cooking at home and the benefits of that are just not economic…I know how food was prepared and stored and also can control portion size. Since it is Lent and DH has given up sweets I am on a baking hiatus.
Somehow my almost dead eBay account has semi-reserected itself…but this is first year since 2000 that I may have a business loss. Gross was down by $17k which I knew just did not know how much.
Walking,making coffee and snacks here and making do.
Tomorrow will hit the bread outlet and stock up. Then errands will be batched to save on gas.
While we have a number of snow storms back to back this week will hopefully be off the roads during the storms.
And thanks for the freezer reminder to do a deep dive to see what’s hiding!
Thanks all for consistent good tips!


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