Five Frugal Things

by Katy on February 27, 2023 · 98 comments

  1. Portland got slammed with a dramatic storm, which dumped close to a foot of snow on a day that had been forecasted to receive a “dusting of snow.” This led to nightmare traffic, especially on our hilly streets and freeways. My son’s normal 30 minute commute stretched into two hours, although he was luckier than so many others! The guy across the street? 16 hours sitting immobile on the freeway and eventual abandonment of his car!

    Luckily we didn’t lose electricity and had ample supplies on hand. We’re now a couple days past the drama, but are still hovering at the freezing level with dramatic wind gusts so I’m happy to hunker down at home with a cup of tea and my favorite cozy sweater.

    Here’s how we kept things frugal:

    • We share a snow shovel with our next door neighbors and we took turns using it.
    • I wear the same size shoes as my son, so I lent him my heavy duty snow boots.
    • I shoveled porch steps for the people across the street, as well as our other next door neighbors.
    • A pulled together a big pot of chicken soup, using the last of a Costco rotisserie chicken.
    • I hunkered down inside and saved myself an emergency room bill from an avoidable “slip and fall” injury!

  2. My eBay woke up and I made seven sales, despite not listing anything new. I’m utterly and completely baffled with these sales, as they’re all the dustiest of stale inventory and I don’t understand what made them sell mostly on the same day.

    • A pair of CB2 curtain tie backs, which I bought for $5 and sold for $50.
    • A Lego instruction manual that I pulled from the recycling awhile back. Sold for $11.
    • A pair of vintage VW hubcaps, which I bought for $15 and sold for $30.
    • A set of Journey To The Center of The Earth 3-D glasses, found in the house and sold for $8.
    • A video game controller doohickey that I bought so long ago that I don’t know what I paid. Sold for $16. Good riddance!
    • An empty box for a Nike Fuel band. Sold for $11.
    • A single Adidas shoe. A totally random find that I listed as a “what weird thing can I sell” experiment. I probably took three (four?) years to sell. Sold for $15.

  3. I scored a new to me ceiling fan for our living room through my Buy Nothing group. Yes, I did just curb pick up a perfectly good one just last year, but it’s a “boob light.” It turns out that I can’t stand to look at it, as it features a chain coming directly out of the nipple! I spent 24 years working as a labor and delivery nurse, which included extensive breast feeding education, and I am here to tell you that for me, this ceiling fan is deeply disturbing.

    So yes, I jumped on the chance to replace this light fixture with one that won’t give me flashes of intrusive thoughts. But you know, in a frugal fashion.

  4. • I stopped by the Franz Bakery Outlet store and nabbed four loaves of bread, three sleeves of bagels and some English muffins for just $14.
    • I listened to Nora Goes Off Script by Annabelle Monaghan through the free Libby app and I read a physical copy of Really Good, Actually by Monica Heisey from the library.
    • I propagated and planted a couple spider plant starts.
    • My husband worked a paramedic shift at the Bruce Springsteen concert, which saved him the cost of an overpriced ticket, plus was a tasty “premium overtime” shift!
    • My neighbor across the street gave me two adorable bottles of her homemade vanilla extract.

  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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{ 97 comments… read them below or add one }

K D February 27, 2023 at 5:15 am

1. Our state income tax refund was deposited into our checking account two days after electronically filing it. I transferred the funds to Ally bank where the interest rate is 3.4% and they have CDs available that pay 4.6%. We did not spend it on a splurge.
2. I went to Lidl and bought sale items: mandarin oranges, lemons, chicken tenders, green pea pasta (GF), and frozen butternut squash cubes. On the way I stopped at Giant to pick up a few Flexible Rewards items.
3. It was cold and windy on Saturday so we stayed in much of the day. We walked in the morning then watched the snow flurries in the afternoon while enjoying a fire in the fireplace. There was no accumulation of snow and yesterday was like a spring day.
4. A neighbor took my poinsettia home with him since I was going to dump it come March. He also took glass jars from Oui yogurt (clearanced at 75% off) for use with his plants. He will start and plant a couple of cherry/grape tomato plants for me in the spring. He has a very green thumb and I do not.
5. I washed the ice maker in our refrigerator. Sometimes making a beverage cold makes such a difference in how it tastes, including water.


Katy February 27, 2023 at 3:48 pm

I like your neighbor!


Cindy in the South February 27, 2023 at 5:58 am

Wow on the weather! it was 70’s/80’s last week here at work and our air gave out in south Al. 1. I paid off my car. Whew!!!!!!Hopefully, this one won’t get sideswiped by a deer. I have hit no less than three deer in the past 20 years and no, I was not speeding, which is why car, not me was the only thing “injured”/totaled. The deer, well, two out of three survived. Of course I travel in very rural areas on the way to and from work so….2. I walked for exercise. Which has not helped my sinuses with everything in bloom, including azaleas a month early. 3. I brought my sandwich from home for lunch. That is all I have for ya.


Jill A February 27, 2023 at 6:51 am

Congratulations on paying off your car!!


janine February 27, 2023 at 7:54 am

Glad you survived your deer encounter! Husband admonished me not to hit any deer when I was visiting rural friends. He didn’t say anything about the deer running into my car from the side which it did. Don’t know if it survived because it ran off into the woods . Insurance covered most of costs.


Christina February 27, 2023 at 8:43 am

Hooray for paying off your car!!


Katy February 27, 2023 at 3:38 pm

Congratulations on paying off your car! I’ll have a word with the deer to make sure they leave you alone.


Cindy in the South February 27, 2023 at 3:39 pm

The deer encounter was a good while back and was the reason for the new to me car, and having to get yet another car loan…. groan. I am so happy to have that thing paid off. I swear I have more drama driving to work, tornadoes, deer, wild hogs (don’t ask…. lol)


Audry March 2, 2023 at 10:32 am

Oh my. My step father hit 2 deer in one year driving back and forth to work from our relatively large to a smaller town. Rural Kansas. He finally installed deer whistles on his truck and had no more encounters after that.


Sandra February 27, 2023 at 6:10 am

Good Morning – Glad to find your post. No snow here, but freezing temperatures.
Well, here goes with my favorite five.

1. My bread machine, which I use every week to make dough, died. I know how to make bread without it, but it does make a really nice dough while I can be doing other things. I started checking out Facebook Marketplace and Craigslist. Found one that had been relisted on Craigslist. Owner said it was rarely used, maybe a few times and he would take $10.00. I bought it. I still have bread from last week, but will be baking my first loaf soon.

2. Went to a free concert with friends. Such a treat. There is something special about sharing an experience as part of an enthusiastic audience. The performers were great and we will be talking about this for a long time. You can’t put a price on good memories.

3. I tried a new coffeecake recipe. My daughter had bought several cake mixes on clearance and I wanted to use one rather than starting from scratch. I found a few recipes that gave me inspiration. One writer suggested that I could substitute 1/4 cup of yogurt for one egg. The recipe called for 4 eggs, I substituted 1/2 cup yogurt. The writer also suggested using 1/2 cup applesauce for a package of instant pudding mix. I tried that, too. Suffice to say the cake turned out great, otherwise I probably wouldn’t be writing about it today.

4. Stopped by my local Walmart to purchase a bathroom rug. While I was there I found a few other things, such as organic cherry tomatoes for 25 cents a clam shell (woohoo!), also some nice $3.00 clearance long sleeved knit tops which can be layered now and then worn into spring

5. I didn’t buy a Lear jet either.


Jill A February 27, 2023 at 6:49 am

1. We lost power for two days due to an ice storm. I did not use it as an excuse to eat out every meal. We ate the last of some chili heated on the gas stove. Made coffee and tea at home using a saucepan to heat the water. Peanut butter and jelly for breakfast and so on. We saved the food in the fridge or what wasn’t already headed for the compost already by putting it in coolers outside.
2. Dog dragged food out of one cooler that was accidently left open. He destroyed a quart of half & half and chewed the lid off a bottle of ranch dressing. I interrupted his feast and saved the rest. Made up for the loss of food in entertainment value for me and the dog.
3. I binged what I wanted to watch on Discovery + before canceling the 99 cent a month black friday deal ended.
4. I purchased my dogs flea tick/ heartworm medicine at Costco saving enough to pay for the membership.
5. I did not buy a whole house automatic generator for $15,000 even though I would have really appreciated it over those two days.


Bee February 28, 2023 at 3:31 am

#4 – I was wondering if Costco filled prescriptions for flea and tick medications. Is this done at the pharmacy?


Jill A February 28, 2023 at 3:35 am

Yes, it’s right at the pharmacy. My vet gives me a written prescription to take tbere. Your vet might even call it in for you.


Bee February 28, 2023 at 3:51 am

Thank you !!! I will check into this. These medications — like everything else — have gotten sooooo expensive especially when you have a big dog.


Ruby February 27, 2023 at 6:57 am

That was some snow! I hope you thaw out soon.

1. Made a bulk batch of pancake mix from ingedients on hand after the boxed stuff hit $6.99 for a small package. The pancakes were much tastier too.
2. Used some Fels Naptha bar soap and a little bleach water to scrub/soak some yellow stains out of my apron. Hung it outside to dry.
3. Made my husband a loaf of pumpernickel bread for his birthday. It’s his favorite and I’d never made it before, but a used paperback bread machine cookbook from eBay had an excellent recipe and it turned out fine.
4. Using the top sheet from a set of old flannel sheets as a light blanket. The top sheet never wears out, so this is a good use for it.
5. Sewed some lightweight terrycloth fabric we already had into hand towels for the bathroom.


Christine February 27, 2023 at 7:33 pm

Your #4… great idea. I never thought to do that with my flannel top sheet in the warmer weather but will try it in the Spring. For now, here in Massachusetts I need the comforter!


Jill A February 28, 2023 at 3:38 am

I like the idea of a flannel sheet for a blanket in the summer. Great idea. I’ll have to keep my eyes open for one at the bins.


A. Marie February 27, 2023 at 7:01 am

FFT, Back to Winter Edition:

(1) After an abnormally warm January and first half of February, we’re back to winter in Central NY. It either sleeted or snowed here from Wednesday afternoon through Saturday night, with only one 2-hour break on Saturday morning. And we’ve got two more big dumps predicted for this week. So I have had, and will have, ample opportunity to practice the adage “It’s harder to spend money if you can’t go anywhere.”

(2) Between the weather and my efforts at cleaning out the pantry and freezer, I’m doing pretty well on my low-spend February, as my grocery receipts for the month indicate.

(3) I cooked two unusually small chuck roasts (from the 1/4 steer we buy each year) side by side late last week. I ate one of them as regular pot roast and made the other one into a beef barley soup, which I shared with the Bestest Neighbors (who had a death in the family over the weekend).

(4) I baked a loaf of bread machine bread to go with the soup (and shared half the loaf likewise). My condolences to Sandra on the demise of her bread machine, and I hope her new one works out for her. Mine is the only single-use appliance I make room for in my smallish kitchen, and it’s still going strong after 15 years or so.

(5) And I continue to obtain free winter entertainment from watching the birds at my feeders. I stocked up on birdseed last fall when Country Max had a 20% off sale, and I also got some seed and suet for Christmas, so I haven’t had to buy any bird food lately either.


Katy February 27, 2023 at 3:34 pm

We have a bread machine that my husband bought a million years ago, but Ive never used it. Perhaps it’s time to dust it off.


Ruby February 27, 2023 at 7:12 pm

I started using a bread machine just recently because the cost of good bread is out of sight and the arthritis in my hands hurts too much to make it the traditional way any more. eBay had some excellent used books on bread machine baking that have really helped.


Pam E-P February 28, 2023 at 5:27 am

Before I started making no-knead bread I made my bread dough in the machine and took it out and cooked it in the oven. I hated fishing the paddle out of the loaf and I liked the crust better from the oven. Still made it way easier!


Ava February 27, 2023 at 7:15 am

1. Can’t remember if I listed this one before. We had a large container of hand soap that just wouldn’t lather for hand washing. For some reason it works fine as shower gel. In other shower related matters, I found that my shampoo works better if I dilute it.
2. Helped a friend with an estate sale . I bought $11 worth of items to Etsy or use for crafts. Paid $20 as my donation to her moving fund. I will make a profit.
3. Cleaning out the freezer by serving the dogs freezer burned vegetables and ancient fish and spaghetti sauce. It would have been more frugal to use these items ourselves but they somehow got forgotten for too long. Dogs love their cooked meals and we save on dog food. Also a friend gave me frozen chicken nuggets that she said are unfit for human consumption. Dogs find them acceptable.
4. Continuing to have movie nights with friends, alternating houses. Hosts provide dessert or popcorn.
5. Wanted a place to keep jigsaw puzzles set up without covering the dining table. Moved a card table out of the shed and spray painted it with paint I already had. That is a much better arrangement.


Katy February 27, 2023 at 3:32 pm

How fun to have rotating movie nights!


Ava February 28, 2023 at 12:22 pm

We trust each other’s movie recommendations so sometimes so sometimes we end up seeing a great movie that we never would have picked.


Lindsey February 27, 2023 at 6:26 pm

In 2004 I “inherited” 98 packages of instant potatoes. I did try mightily to consume them but only managed to eat four or five. A few weeks ago, I rediscovered them in the back of the cupboard. Turns out our chickens love, love, love warm mashed potatoes when it is 26 below (as it was this morning). To be fair, I did try to give them away to humans but no one on the Buy Nothing group wanted them.


Bee February 28, 2023 at 5:13 am

I find it interesting that no one wanted the instant potatoes. When I volunteer at the food pantry, instant potatoes are always sought after, and we never seem to have enough.


Lindsey February 28, 2023 at 2:53 pm

I think the 2004 expiration date spooked people. But as it turns out they are not being wasted, although I don’t feed them to the chickens every day so I will still have packages around for quite some time. I think of it as a circuitous route to the garden: chickens to poop to compost to garden.


Joanne in the UK February 27, 2023 at 7:25 am

Some of you may have heard about the fruit and vegetable shortages we have in the UK at the moment causing me to save money as there were very few fresh vegetables available to buy! I managed to buy some frozen pre sliced peppers for our weekly stir fry and I am glad I have previously frozen surplus fresh vegetables so I do have a relatively full freezer to fall back on.
Hard not to be political about what is going on in England at the moment, needless to say I am not entirely happy with the way the country is being governed!!
Our landlord announced last year that he wanted to sell the property we have been renting for over 10 years and whilst it will be a big upheaval for us we have decided to move out at the end of March as a really lovely house has become available quite close by. Currently sorting out the garage and shed in preparation for the move, luckily we will have a short period of having two houses so the move can take place quite gradually and we only need a ‘man with a van’ for a morning to move the large, heavier items that we can’t manage. A full house removal quote was over £1,000 a ‘man with a van’ will cost us £150, quite a bargain!
Feeling quite generous by putting items outside for people to collect for free, things go within minutes of me putting them out which mean they must be wants or needs. I usually sell surplus things on eBay but as I want these things out of the house now gifting them to the community is a good thing!
I decided not to buy a Lear jet, preferring to save my money to perhaps have the opportunity to buy a cucumber as these are now rationed to one per customer in many supermarkets!!


Katy February 27, 2023 at 3:31 pm

Smart of you to choose the cucumber over the Lear Jet.


geri February 27, 2023 at 7:47 pm

We are saving our pennies in the US to buy eggs, so perhaps with your cucumber and any
eggs we can find, we can meet for brunch.


Katy February 27, 2023 at 9:42 pm

If yoiu can even find them. There were none at Trader Joe’s on Sunday.


Joyce Forbush February 28, 2023 at 4:57 am

I have been following a few UK bloggers and really feel for you folks. I hope growing veg at your new place is possible.
You and Katy should be looking into buying a seized Russian Oligarch’s yacht! Sure the carrying costs are high but you could live aboard and the BRAGGING RIGHTS are really something.
DH and I are retired so we will be staying out for a while.


Katy February 28, 2023 at 11:16 am

Thank you for the suggestion, although I’ve tried owning a mega-yacht in the past and it didn’t work out as well as I’d hoped.


Joanne in the U.K. March 1, 2023 at 12:14 pm

Luckily our new house has a vegetable plot that we intend to grow lots of vegetables. There are also a couple of apple trees which look healthy!! Fingers crossed we’ll get lots of produce this year.
Hmmm not sure about the mega-yacht I get terribly seasick, I’ll stick to the Lear jet I think


MB in MN February 27, 2023 at 7:39 am

Katy, only you could sell an empty box for $11! Glad you survived the storm unscathed.

1. Used up leftover salsa in scrambled eggs.

2. Found a quarter on the ground. I almost always leave smaller change for the next person but this one I stuffed in my pocket!

3. Made lasagna and used existing cottage cheese instead of purchasing ricotta.

4. Took advantage of free oranges offered by neighbors where we’re staying in Sacramento.

5. Had a bout of the stomach flu and niece brought over a care package of saltines and ginger ale and then some other food for when I got better.


Katy February 27, 2023 at 3:30 pm

I always use cottage cheese for lasagna and no one has ever noticed the difference.


Selena February 27, 2023 at 6:06 pm

Cottage cheese also makes an awesome baked potato topping.


Lindsey Goodwin February 27, 2023 at 7:37 pm

I had no idea that cottage cheese could sub for ricotta or I would’ve used it in my once-every-3-year lasagna I made yesterday!


Katy February 27, 2023 at 9:34 pm

I puree it first.


Christine February 27, 2023 at 8:00 am

Oh my goodness…that pull chain on the nipple…almost painful to look at!
1. We’ve had a few plumbing issues going on that needed tending but were out of DH’s limited skills. Got to a point we HAD to call in the plumber and although the bill stung…$550…we were able to take it out of savings. I can’t reiterate enough to the young folks: Pay yourself first.
2. It’s been one month since my last grocery shopping. Although the pickins’ have been slim for the last few days, we’ve enjoyed pulled-together-meals and even snacks thanks to a stash of popcorn I keep on hand.
3. DH hung a beautiful panoramic tapestry in a gorgeous frame an older relative gave us.
4. I repotted two plants, one a struggling Christmas Cactus. I planted it with an older established Christmas Cactus which will hopefully help nurture it.
5. Filling up my travel mug with tea whenever I leave the house (I love having something to sip on while doing errands), reading library books…the book I’m now reading is The Love You Save by Goldie Taylor, a memoir and excellent read…keeping the heat to 65 during the day, 60 at night, cooking at home including making our own tea and coffee, walking with friends for exercise and watching Winter march into New England after a fairly warm, snowless January and February. Nature has to balance itself out, I guess. Sigh.


Mary in Maryland February 27, 2023 at 8:36 am

We leave the heat at 62 all the time. I thought we could turn it down at night, but the Mister took measurements and says our bedroom is usually about 56 even at the 62 setting. Good temp for sleeping and storing squash and sweet potatoes.


Ruby February 27, 2023 at 12:02 pm

The ornate boob light in our den has a stripper-worthy nipple and I cannot get my DH to agree that it’s ugly enough to replace. It makes me wince every time I look up. Even dragging him along to Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore shop to find a replacement did not sway his opinion of the Baroque Boob. *shudders*


Katy February 27, 2023 at 3:25 pm

At least it’s putting on a show!


Lindsey February 27, 2023 at 6:28 pm

Those boob lights must have been all the rage at one time because our old house has five of them. Every time we wash out the cover, I pray it will break so I can replace them in good conscience…it has now been 11 years of waiting.


A. Marie February 28, 2023 at 9:15 am

Lindsey et al., we too have a boob light, and I too can’t yet bring myself to replace a perfectly good light fixture. But if it had a string hanging out of the nipple, I’d probably have made the move.

Ruby February 27, 2023 at 7:02 pm

I am considering sewing it a bra cup fot modesty’s sake. Or at least a nice tasseled pasty!


Christine February 27, 2023 at 7:37 pm

Ha Ha! Good one Ruby!

susanna d March 3, 2023 at 6:37 am

The boob light and boob light comments have me laughing so hard! That nipple chain, tho – I wish I could un-see it.

We don’t have a boob light on our ceiling fan (the ceiling fan itself is butt ugly enough, thank you!) but we make up for it by living in a house with natural cedar tongue and groove boards on both the walls and the ceilings. It’s amazing how closely some of those knotholes resemble nipples. Very…anatomical. It went a step further a couple of years ago when my then six-year-old granddaughter started laughing and said “there’s a breast on your wall. A BIG breast!” Sure enough, not just a knothole, but a big round area surrounding the nipple, I mean, knothole. She has since found a few more wall “breasts” throughout the house. Once you know they are there, you can’t un-see those, either.

Mary in Maryland February 27, 2023 at 8:29 am

I know what you mean about the nipple chandelier. I once made a quilt that reminded me of vulva.
1. Still mourning the pup. I sold his fabulous Orvis bed on Craigslist for $10 more than I paid for it. Riley loved it, but it took up too much of our bedroom floor.
2. Scored three smallish sofa cushions on buy nothing. I can make them into two dog beds with the bolster around three edges that dogs love.
3. After swearing that I’m too old for gardening, I planted lettuce and snow peas in the boxes on the front porch.
4. I picked up two nearly full gallons of paint that the garbage men had rejected (rightly) at a neighbor’s. Freecycled them within six hours. (I count scoring frugal wins for others as well as myself.)
5. Combining errands this afternoon—doctor visit, Demon Copperhead and daffodils to a friend, and bulk apples at the orchard store.
6. Fail—I bought a second-hand quilt book that I had owned and given away. But it was only $5 with shipping and buying a PDF pattern online is usually 12 or 13. And my taste has matured enough to know I want to make two of the patterns.
7. Taking one for the team—I began quilting in 2000 because I wanted to make a bargello quilt. I bought new fabric for it. Then I discovered scrap quilting. I did some sewing on the bargello in 2004, 2009, and 2017, but it never achieved liftoff. I was thinking of scrapping it, but my husband once again enthused about how spectacular it is. This weekend I sewed on borders and am seeking a backing. Will wait for my guild’s yard sale in April. Fabric is like cars—it loses about 80% of its sticker value when it leaves the lot.


Katy February 27, 2023 at 3:28 pm

Now I want to see that quilt.


Mary in Maryland February 28, 2023 at 6:21 am

I’ll try to upload a picture after I finish the quilting. Given my past rate of progress this may take another decade.


Mary in Maryland March 4, 2023 at 10:21 am

Wait, you want to see the vulvar quilt. I cut it into strips and put other fabric strips between them. The Mister said it then looked like vulva in prison. When our first dog died, I used it as a shroud when we buried her. So, hopefully decayed by now.


Katy March 5, 2023 at 1:28 pm

“Vulva in Prison” sounds like an off-off Broadway play.


Christina February 27, 2023 at 8:40 am

Glad you guys are okay!! That storm looked insanely intense. I live in Canada, so we’re used to snow storms, but 1 foot of snow in that short a time is crazy – even for us!

My frugal five:

1. Snagged strawberries for only $3.49/lb. Not all that long ago, that would not have been considered all that great a deal. But now it really is. Around here (and at that store) the regular price is $6.99 a lb, minimum. Gulp. The bonus is that they tasted amazing too – about to eat the last of them in a few minutes.

2. We’ve both been struck down with a bit of a stomach bug — we’ve both tested for COVID and so far so good. I guess this is a frugal thing, as we really aren’t eating as much as usual.

3. But, I did feel like a homemade hot chocolate! I just use cocoa powder, a splash of vanilla, and a spoonful of xylitol so that it’s not as high in sugar. It’s delicious, and a lot cheaper than a posh hot chocolate out.

4. Watching YouTube videos is cheap and fun, right? I love “Holly the Cafe Boat” about a young family in the UK who live on a narrow boat on the canals, and have another boat for their cafe business. And, ‘Outdoor Boys’ is a new one to me. A young family who do ‘extreme’ camping – the last one is of just the Dad being dropped off in the middle of Alaska, and how he does it. Pretty entertaining!

5. I won a few things on a recent grocery store contest: a free milk chocolate bar, a big bag of Lay’s chips. Hmmm…not exactly healthy, but oh so good!! And our favourite price of all: FREE oh FREE oh!

Take care all. Your posts are always super inspirational, of course yours in particular Katy. :)))


Katy February 27, 2023 at 3:27 pm

Thanks for show recommendations!


Q February 27, 2023 at 10:24 am

Love the lamp upgrade story!
1. Continue to cook from scratch at home, and using 35 year old hot air popper to make the bestest popcorn. I brought a soup and a delicious cake to a birthday, where the birthday girl has requested that my present to her be some of my recipes. (I am going to make them for her.) We are going on a big trip in a month, and I am going to try hard to use up existing food beforehand. This week, am back to menu planning as a way to be the most efficient when cooking, and to avoid trips to the store. My husband and my 89 year old mother both requested that tricolor quinoa with vegetables be on the menu, and I am thrilled that they like the healthy foods: staying healthy is frugal and fun.
2. Organized garage: watched Youtube videos to learn how to use drills, jigsaw, electric screwdriver, put up hooks, etc. Mostly just moved the hooks, repurposed containers, etc. I did not have to buy anything and am very pleased with how the project turned out. I found a canvas bag for the top of the car that I repurposed to store our patio cushions. I gave away many surplus yard tools to a young man I know who just moved to a small farm where he cares for rescue animals, which include horses, a donkey, and two tortoises, as well as many other unusual small animals. He kindly invited me to bring my mother and grandchildren to visit this summer, and he and his teenage son will plan a special day for us. We are all looking forward to it. I think it will be more fun than going out to an official petting zoo. I am thinking that when I start my seeds, I will bring them some flowers.
3. I sorted out and consolidated cosmetics and soaps, and was able to come up with a good-sized bag of full samples, which a friend is collecting to send to the Ukraine. This project seemed to run over to the rest of the house, and I came across many useful items, both to donate and to use. I have been using some of the products (mainly moisturizers) a little more, and going through them makes me realize I do not need to purchase any!
4. I almost bought a “cruser” type bike, but after clearing out the garage, I realized one reason I did not like to ride the 10 speed bike I already own was that it was hung on the wall in a corner that was difficult to get to. So part of the reorganization was rehanging the bicycles to an easier location, which might just make this bike seem easier to ride, if that makes sense.
5. In a similar vein, I almost went clothes shopping, but decided to watch some youtube videos on how to dress for body type, how to look a little more current than I usually do, etc, and then I “shopped my closet.” I was very pleased with how the outfits came out.
I continued all the usual: library books and dvds, consolidating shopping trips, keeping lower thermostat, bartering for exercise classes. Have a good week, everyone.


Heidi Louise February 28, 2023 at 8:05 am

These are all such productive and comfortable moves, I think!
I read an article long ago about cleaning, perhaps about living with another person and deciding who would do what and how, and it pointed out that there are two kinds of clean. One is scrubbed/dusted/dirt free and one is picked-up/sorted/organized. I am clearly in the second category and will consider my house “clean” if it is picked up. Organizing the garage or closet are my kinds of cleaning.


Katy February 28, 2023 at 11:20 am

I’m with you on this, I much prefer to tidying and organizing over scrubbing and other acts of physical cleaning.


Q March 1, 2023 at 11:12 am

I agree but the funny thing it becomes so much easier to clean after organizing. It’s like I want to showcase my work.


Katy March 2, 2023 at 5:11 pm

That’s very true.

Q March 1, 2023 at 11:10 am

I am with you on that one! I enjoy it, and I feel like a kid playing house when I organize. It’s like a game! And then, when I regime things, I like knowing we’re being non consumers!


Kathy February 27, 2023 at 12:18 pm

As a local put it our weather in central Oklahoma is bipolar
1. Used $10 birthday coupon to buy kibble at tractor supply
2. Got a free drink at Sips
3. Sold a couple of things online
4. Haven’t been asked to work however got my first 2 weeks unemployment. Upside is I’m not driving anywhere, I don’t dress up nor do I wear makeup.
5. Had family over for dinner and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves


Jill February 27, 2023 at 12:53 pm

1. My brother and sister in law visited for a long weekend. We took a two night trip from our house and shared lodging, traveled in our car, hit up as many free sights as we could and enjoyed a frugal getaway. The other two nights we stayed here at our house and played cards, talked and enjoyed each others company.
2. My sister in law and I hit up a Goodwill on our travels and I managed to score 3 flannel shirts for my husband, two tshirts for me and some winter snow boots for my grandson.
3. Read two Agatha Christie mysteries from the library, hit up the Dollar store for some birthday cards for friends and family, watched some new episodes of Vera and Death in Paradise on my Britbox subscription and made about $60 at a consignment sale selling my grandson’s high chair and a few toys.
4. Did all our printing at the library, picked up a travel book for a trip we’re going on this summer and enjoyed storytime for my grandson at the local library.
5. Frugal fail – Purchased food to make a meal for my visiting family and son & grandson but didn’t return home from our weekend getaway in time to prepare the meal before everyone expired from hunger and the little one’s bedtime….so I made a salad (which would’ve been part of our family meal) and we picked up pizza. Sometimes you win and sometimes you pick up pizza.


Heidi Louise February 27, 2023 at 2:18 pm

Jill: I love “Death in Paradise”! (just renewed for two more seasons). Does Britbox have the season that just concluded in Britain? And does it have “Beyond Paradise”, the new show that stars Humphrey and his wife Martha in Devon?


Jill February 28, 2023 at 7:07 pm

Heidi Louise, Yes they do have Beyond Paradise releasing each new episode weekly so right now there is only the first episode. And I’m not sure of the Death in Paradise season that just concluded in Britain. They are up to Season 12 I believe.


Katy February 27, 2023 at 3:24 pm

“Sometimes you win and sometimes you pick up pizza” should be a bumper sticker.


rebecca February 27, 2023 at 2:29 pm

1. A friend paid for brunch yesterday as a birthday present. So unnecessary but lovely. We had a nice time chatting and catching up.
2. Bought gas for $3.16 a gallon today.
3. We are getting snow tomorrow and I am going to do some baking with ingredients on hand.
4. I passed up a trip where accommodation was going to be free due to a spare bedroom. I really thought about going but I just can’t. These folks like expensive restaurants and I just don’t have the cash to treat for a thank you gift right now. I really am broke.
5. Grocery shopping at Aldi today. I used to think they were so much cheaper, I’m not so sure anymore.


Katy February 27, 2023 at 3:23 pm

Yes, treating people as a “thank you” can get expensive very quickly.


JC February 27, 2023 at 2:56 pm

OMG the “boob lamp” I thought I was the only one that saw things like this.
It has been frugal around here because of the weather, when the sun shines I want to be outside not spending money.
I. local store sent out 5 off 35 coupons, I received 2 sets in the mail. I got 12 whole fryers at .97 per pound and used both coupons. I put them thru the register as 2 orders.
2. a friend found and offered me 12 laying hens, 22 weeks old so was able to skip the chick stage that is so very expensive and messy. Yes, I paid for the hens but taking into account the fact that I didn’t have to buy chicks, starter feed and run heat lamps plus having to do the clean up…because they may be cute but they are dirty/messy. This was a much better deal for me. They are already laying eggs. I have a market for any extra eggs.
3. Cooking everything at home, have been on a buttermilk biscuit kick and using my peach jam.
4. Made peanut butter cookies to share with family, cheap and easy to make.
5. scored potatoes and strawberries on a sale and had digital coupons.
Bonus brag…last summer I showed my DD how to bread and flash freeze okra, she was skeptical about family liking it. She told me this week that it has been a huge hit and we will be doing it again this year.
We try to do restaurant style meals as a treat at home, they made a great appetizer plate.


Katy February 27, 2023 at 3:22 pm

Your cooking sounds amazing, I want everything you just described!


Heather February 27, 2023 at 3:53 pm

Wow. Once you see the chain coming out of the nipple thing you really can’t unsee it.


Katy February 27, 2023 at 5:01 pm

You really can’t.


Kathy February 27, 2023 at 7:24 pm

Yep I’m looking at that same ceiling fan light right now


Alison February 27, 2023 at 9:35 pm

I have not been frugal at all lately, as we moved house in the summer, and it seems there are many things to buy to set the house up, even thought it’s only 913 sq. ft.
There is also a 300 sq. ft. cottage to outfit for guests and possible short term rentals.
My husband has a separate garage, now workshop that has lots of tools. And,
the property is 2.5 acres, so garden beds, etc need to be created. And last but not least, our beloved Mexican rescue dog Lola needed surgery for cancer, which was $3,300.00, and was a success, likely extended her life, and she requires no more treatment. But I will try:
1. My very handy DH built the bedframe for the cottage out of wood that was cut down from our property, and left by the previous owner, and it’s gorgeous!
2. I used a $100 Eddie Bauer gift card that was almost two years old to buy a raincoat that was already marked down, something that is very necessary on Canada’s west coast.
3. I had very short hair, and would have it cut every 5 weeks or so for $50. I decided to let it grow, and haven’t had it cut for 6 months. ( but it’s getting to the stage where I will have to have it cut).
4. Instead of watching the Super Bowl with our spouses, my sister and I went to the local Casino, where I won $100. I then took us out for dinner, before returning home. It was an enjoyable afternoon/evening.
5. I needed a dresser for the new house as storage is limited, bought one for $28 at an online auction. It isn’t perfect but will suffice, and I will eventually paint it.


Bee February 28, 2023 at 5:08 am

The amount of snow that was received in the Western US was staggering. Meanwhile in the Southeast, it has been unseasonably warm. I absolutely dreading summer.

1. I made a gallon of stock from the turkey that I roasted last week. It is in the freezer awaiting cooler weather.
2. My dear husband and I had our annual budget meeting. ( A little late this year.) We looked over spreadsheets and projections. We planned our spending for the coming year carefully. As we move closer to retirement, we are nervous about what lays ahead. So much uncertainty. The enormous increases in the cost of living have diminished our spending ability and derailed our previous plans. It was time to re-evaluate.
3. I spent 30 minutes on the phone with my credit card company who did not post a payment correctly — “a glitch.” I made sure they refunded the late fee and interest. These issues seem more prominent lately. Am I the only one experiencing this kind of thing?
4. I was able to borrow my book club selection from the library this month. I had to buy last month’s book, The Dictionary of Lost Words, because the library’s waiting list for it was so long. I do try and borrow my book club reads as often as possible. I hate buying a book that I don’t enjoy and this does happen.
5. I have been doing all the usual things – brewing my own coffee, enjoying most of my meals at home, and drinking primarily filtered water. I have been batching errands which saves time and money. Watching inexpensive, streamed content on TV and working on spring projects.
Wishing everyone peace, good health and prosperity.


Christine February 28, 2023 at 1:03 pm

I had to “re-do” our household budget this January too, due to rising costs. No fun at all to see our $$$ unable to buy what they have in the past. I’m glad we’re low maintenance people…as we call ourselves…and find happiness in our frugal lifestyle.


Cindy in the South March 1, 2023 at 5:34 am

Bee: My total budget/retirement plans has been upended by inflation, prices going sky high, etc. That is why I have continued to work part time (which is actually 38- 40 hours a week, but not 60 hours anymore) so that I can be certain I have enough if costs continue to spiral out of control. I thought I had fool proofed my original retirement plan but apparently not…..sigh. I just keep on rolling and hoping….


Selena March 1, 2023 at 8:09 pm

For the average working person, retirement is such a crap shoot. My folks would probably spit coffee if they knew how much I’ve managed to save. BUT.. giving life expectancy and I’ll say it out loud, corporate greed, I’m not sure it will be enough. Plan is to not collect SS until I am 70. And while I do like the law change where the 2%+ can’t keep handing down bloated retirement accounts to their progeny, I do think $200K (today’s number mind you) be exempted. An inherited IRA may be the only retirements savings for some.


Bee March 3, 2023 at 5:35 am

Sadly, the financial instability of the last 15 years has been hard on those of us who like to plan. Our fiscal and monetary policy – as well as trade and domestic policies – has brought to this place. I guess we just have to deal with it. I suspect that things will change soon, and we will face a different set of problems.


Bee March 2, 2023 at 3:38 am

Christine and Cindy, three cheers for being frugal and flexible. You both have such great attitudes. I want to stomp my feet and say WTF!


rose February 28, 2023 at 4:33 pm

SO>>>> What happens if/when you have to Abandon Car on Freeway due to snow and problems? How do you get to destination? How do you retrieve car? Where do you retrieve car? Are there towing charges… and like about how much? How do you figure it all out? How do you prevent others from ramming into Your SnowHeap? And ALL the details. Non-Snow people REALLY want to know. Please, a whole post. (PS: I did Live In Snow Country for 5 winters. Never faced this issue, And Am So GRATEFUL!)
Super grateful things worked out safely (I am assuming) for you and yours.


Katy February 28, 2023 at 6:09 pm

I have the same questions. I know a lot of people got unwelcome towing bills.


Dori February 28, 2023 at 5:58 pm

Your new-found ceiling fan looks really great! Nice score. Maybe you can post again once it’s all installed!


Katy February 28, 2023 at 6:07 pm



Hawaii Planner March 1, 2023 at 6:29 am

1) We’ve made so much progress on our freezer clean out that I can actually see the entire contents of the freezer! It’s wild. This is the emptiest our freezer has ever been, minus when we did a kitchen remodel & we ate literally every possible freezer option, due to not having an oven/stove.
2) Tonight we are having butternut squash soup (see freezer clean out above) that I made with squash from the garden this summer, & then pureed & froze. I’ll serve it with another item we’re trying to use up. Bacon wrapped chicken, which I enjoyed, but others were not really fans of.
3) Sold two pair of sandals on eBay. They never fit properly, and have been lingering at my house. I’m happy to see them go.
4) Gave away a bunch on BN, and picked up a free toaster oven. It’s in much dirtier shape than expected, so I’ll give it a full clean up. Our gas bill is insane, and I’m hoping to use the toaster oven for quick teen lunches & the like, vs heating our oven.
5) Discovered ice cream bars clearanced at the grocery store. They also had an iBotta & Fetch offer, making them very, very inexpensive. The teens were thrilled.


janine March 2, 2023 at 10:57 am

Out of control inflation has also hit our family – formerly adequate retirement accounts no longer look as good as before.
1. Husband found dollar bill encased in ice – he was out chopping our prolific
sidewalk supply (of ice). He brought it in and dried it out for the win.
2. Cutting down on luncheon meetings at restaurants. Tomorrow hearing a well known “wealth expert” at a local gathering. Hope I learn something!
3. Made bean soup with dried beans and homemade vegetable broth for lunch today.
4. Book club selection for March is “It Can’t Happen Here” by Sinclair Lewis. Checking Library first, then second hand book store – read it years ago but due to current conditions we decided it was a good choice for our mainly non-fiction group. Last month’s selection, “Whiteness in Plain View”, a history of racial exclusion in Minnesota, was a dry read. Thankfully, it will return to the library today. I love my book collection, but my shelves are overflowing.
5. Furnace was acting up – no joke in this land of snow, sleet and blizzards. One company said minor fix OK – the other one said a new furnace is needed ; in any case it now works and we will contemplate next year’s winter needs.


Katy March 2, 2023 at 5:10 pm

Oof . . . my retirement account is a lot lower than it was pre-pandemic. However, I’m not drawing from it for quite awhile so I try not to think about it.


Selena March 2, 2023 at 8:00 pm

A lot of stocks and other investments were overvalued pre-pandemic IMHO. I keep the mindset that for a stock where my cost basis is $2.00 drops from from $175 to $150, I have not lost any money – even if I sell. Would I not make as much profit, sure. Interest rates were too low for far, far too long. Rates on deposit accounts are *not* rising near as fast as liability (borrowing). Back in the early to mid-80s, mortgage rates were 15%, 15%+. But CDs were paying 13%, 13%+. Unemployment was 25% in my area at the time.
Those who can live below their means are a shrinking pool, going the way of the middle class. The middle class was the backbone of the US yet became a target starting in 1981. Sad to say they’ve just about succeeded in eliminating it.


Norma March 3, 2023 at 11:38 am

1. Gentleman gave me his cart at Aldi without taking my quarter. I will pay it forward as I have many times.
2. Husband went for an endoscopy. He was asked if he wanted to participate in a research project which involved him having a small balloon inserted in his throat and then removed. He said sure as we are all for anything (well not quite anything) that will further science. Afterwards the research assistant told him she would follow up with him in 24 to 72 hours after which he would receive a $300 check!!! He would have done it without the money buy we’re not turning it down!!!
3. Purchased several marked down desserts at Kroger. Like to keep them in the freezer for unexpected company.
4. Friend/neighbor is gluten free Have found several gluten free items at a local salvage store for about 1/4 of what they would cost at a regular grocery store. Again these go in the freezer for when we get together.
5. Comtemplated getting a mega yacht but decided against it.


Christine March 3, 2023 at 3:35 pm

Your husband…what a great guy for volunteering for the research project. It’s people like him who help keep science and medicine moving forward. I’m so glad he received the $300 although like you said, he would have done it for no compensation.


Katy March 4, 2023 at 10:09 am

That medical study sounds worth more than $300. Gag!


texasilver March 3, 2023 at 10:51 pm

I think your frugal ways were an asset when you decided to retire at a young age. I read about some people who must work well past retirement age as they do not sufficient money to retire. I am semi retired & will hold off on drawing retirement money for now. Working in health care is stressful & COVID surely did not help. I was so glad to be able to be able to teach nursing online when COVID hit. Do I think the students got the best experience? No, but we made do.


Katy March 4, 2023 at 10:11 am

Yes, being able to stretch a dollar is more pertinent than ever!


Katy February 28, 2023 at 11:33 am

They’re a menace to womanhood.


Katy March 3, 2023 at 11:28 am

I’m fine with breasts, it’s the chain that gives me the ick.


Selena March 3, 2023 at 7:59 pm

So the Fifty Shades of trilogy is not on your reading list? Sorry, could not resist.


Katy March 4, 2023 at 10:10 am

Not. Even. Slightly.


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