Five Frugal Things

by Katy on March 6, 2023 · 113 comments

I am not a boob light.

  1. We lent our Sawzall reciprocating saw to a neighbor to cut through a stubborn root from a long forgotten tree, and when he returned it I reminded him that he was welcome to borrow anything from us at any time. He responded with “as are you.”

    This isn’t because we live in some naturally occurring utopia, where belongings are all shared amongst neighbors. It’s because I started by giving out bouquets of hydrangeas, (we have so many in the summer!) sharing excess baked goods and watering plants when neighbors were out of town. This resulted in the neighbors feeling comfortable enough to then borrow from us. I guess it helps that we’ve lived on the block longer than anyone else, so we were in a unique situation to set some of the culture.

    It’s not transactional, there’s no “one A” for two of your “B’s.” It’s just neighbors knowing they can trust and count on each other.

  2. We hosted my step father’s 73rd birthday at the house, complete with a chicken dinner, rice, roasted carrots and a gluten-free birthday cake, plus a couple episodes of Seinfeld. Why Seinfeld? My step dad is a native New Yorker and loved the show back in the day. His gifts included a chocolate babka and a bag of fusilli pasta, thus giving the night a Seinfeld theme.

    The simple frugality of the meal didn’t lessen the evening whatsoever. You don’t need to spend a lot of money to create a special meal for the people in your life.

  3.  My mother is going to let me borrow her car, as we’ve been putting off the purchase of a used car until prices came back down to earth. (She stopped driving a few months ago, so her car isn’t currently being driven.) My husband and I have been sharing a single minivan since last summer, when we lent the Prius to our son for his long commute. He’s going to buy it from us, but we’re having him wait until he turns 25 in a few months, as insurance rates for an under-25 year old man are outrageous. We offered to sell it to him for half the value.

    We have the money to buy whatever car we’d want, but that doesn’t mean that we’re eager to overpay. Ideally we’d like to buy another used Prius, as our 2007 model is the best car we’ve ever owned. Borrowing my mother’s car will allow us to be patient and deliberate with the unpleasant task of used car shopping.

  4. • My husband and I installed the new-to-us ceiling fan/light that we scored through our local Buy Nothing group. Buh-bye, boob light!
    • I gave away a garment rack, a tote bag and the booby ceiling fan through the Buy Nothing group.
    • Our other next door neighbor let us recycle a gargantuan piece of styrofoam with their Ridwell pickup, a service that otherwise costs $12 – $16/month.
    • I bought $1/package strawberries and 3/$1 yellow peppers from the dented vegetable store, (Everyday Deals on S.E. 82nd) and quickly chopped and froze them for future use.
    • I stocked up on spaghetti noodles at Trader Joe’s as their price of 99¢/pound is now less than Winco!
    • I watched a bunch of the ShabazSays Instagram reels, where he points out some of the more ridiculous wealth divide differences. You may have seen his “you can’t do this, you’re a povvo” content before, which always hits the nail on the head.

  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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{ 113 comments… read them below or add one }

Juhli March 6, 2023 at 5:40 am

Your posts are always so encouraging! We are in the midst of a quite spendy phase as we move from our relatively inexpensive home to a twice as expensive one that is just 3 miles from our son, DIL and young grandchildren. We are comforting ourselves with the facts that we did not overpay in a hot housing market, the house has all the features needed to age in place until we need care and has been thoroughly renovated, and it will pay us back in joy dividends. So here are my frugal 5 in that context.
1. We are moving ourselves as we did 6 years ago using rental truck and hourly hired help to load and unload.
2. Having learned how to stage a house to sell we did it ourselves using what we have to market our current house. Happy with the interest shown so far.
3. We are eating down our pantry, frig and freezer with the goal of not having to throw out anything when we move at the beginning of April.
4. Using the library only and a free trial of Amazon Kindle for books.
5. To be gone for 4 hours while our house was being shown and having an enthusiastic one year old dog, we planned an afternoon of almost free dog happiness activities. Rides in the car! Walks in new places! Pet store visit (to order new ID tag with new address but a new chew bone may have been bought too)! People to meet! A visit to the local brewery to practice good “bistro dog manners. Well, that last one was really for the humans and not free but not costly either.


janine March 6, 2023 at 8:30 am

We will also need to pick up new tag at the pet store. I just remembered that our active dog managed to lose his ID a couple of weeks ago. Son found license tag on our steps, but no sign of ID. Sounds like doggie had a marvelous day of adventures! Thanks for the reminder!


Juhli March 6, 2023 at 9:07 am

He was a happy and tired dog. This morning he was angling to get in the car and go again!


Christine March 6, 2023 at 8:41 am

Best of luck with your move! Wise of you to plan for the future with the ability to age in place as long as possible. DH and I are currently mulling over some options for ourselves.


Juhli March 6, 2023 at 9:06 am

Thanks. We are already 70 and 73 so aging in place is definitely on our minds as we want to be close to our son and his young family but not a burden.


A. Marie March 6, 2023 at 10:48 am

Juhli, the phrase “bistro dog manners” cracks me up. I have a vision of the doggo sitting at the table with napkin tied around neck, asking to see the canine menu.


Katy March 6, 2023 at 2:13 pm

Or specifically woofing for “Grey Poupon.”


Bee March 6, 2023 at 1:43 pm

We have a nearby dog park that is a brewery and dog park in one. They are packed all the time. Lattes in the morning. IPAs in the afternoon.


Christine March 6, 2023 at 5:45 pm

I think I need to move to Florida and get a dog.


Jenny March 7, 2023 at 10:08 am

I just love hearing about your dog-happiness activities- you made my day! Having no dog, I’m thinking of what an old cat happiness afternoon would be like: staying home! Napping! Not meeting anyone or going anywhere! Definitely frugal


Ava March 6, 2023 at 7:07 am

1. Picked up some flower pots and grow bags from a free pile.
2. Continued to move furniture to different rooms for better arrangements. I thought we needed to replace two small mismatched couches that have taken a lot of animal abuse. Daughter in law suggested new covers instead so for much less money we have a much improved room.
3. Turned leftover restaurant fajita vegetables into a new meal with the addition of eggs, cheese, salsa, sour cream and corn chips. Also used French bread and ancient pasta sauce from the freezer to make a quick and delicious pizza. My original plan was to use the sauce for a dish for the dogs. But after seeing that it wasn’t freezer burned at all, I ate it myself.
4. Did yard clean up ourselves after massive wind storms. There are lots of things I can’t do any more but I can pick up sticks.
5. Still slowly cleaning out and organizing the freezer and already it is much easier to find things.


Katy March 6, 2023 at 8:18 am

Happy that it was just “sticks” and not branches!


Katy March 6, 2023 at 8:19 am

Leftover wizardry is a noble art!


K D March 6, 2023 at 7:09 am

1. I was thinking of Katy as I bought four 26 ounce jars of Bonne Maman Four Fruits Preserves for $4.91/jar on clearance at Sam’s Club this morning.

2. We ate all meals at home this past week, except for my husband’s packed lunches and my packed snack.

3. We have some Southwest travel credit from flights we did not take three years ago. We let our daughter use it to book a flight to go visit her cousin. She chose the airport with both lower fares and better travel times (both are about an hour away from her cousin). She arranged for a family member to transport her while there and will stay with said cousin. I’ll send a favorite local cookie to thank the relative providing transportation.

4. I held my daughter’s hand while she signed up for long term disability insurance through her job. She switched jobs a while ago and the insurance coverage should have transferred (a different institution under the same umbrella organization) but apparently did not. It’s now open enrollment for the insurance and she knows it is important to have it.

5. I continue to read the Washington Post for free via my library card. Since I’m not paying I give it as much or as little attention as I feel like giving it each day.


Katy March 6, 2023 at 8:14 am

They do have the best jam!


MB in MN March 6, 2023 at 7:57 am

Katy, love the part about you and your neighbors trusting and counting on each other.

1. Niece and family treated us to lunch and dinner in the days before we left Sacramento to head home to the frozen tundra.

2. Family member gifted us a tin of Williams Sonoma hot chocolate. Just before heading out of Sacramento, I mixed some of it with the remaining milk in the fridge and we enjoyed delicious, hot cocoa as we traveled.

3. Requested lower cleaning fees at our Airbnb due to our multiple separate stays. Saved $450!

4. Requested and received a discount on our pet fee at a couple hotels on the way home.

5. Had to make an emergency eye appointment in a small town in the middle of our drive home. They took me in that morning. Before I called them, I made sure they were in-network so I only had to pay the minimal co-pay. Luckily, no retinal detachment as feared and we were back on the road in just a few hours.

Hotel on the way home erroneously and unceremoniously cancelled our reservation. Although they helped us find another room an hour and a half away (at 9:00 p.m., at our request), we have asked for a free night from this chain. We’re still ticked off so we will continue to pursue.

Our 2 ½ month trip was filled with numerous challenges with weather, money, health, accommodations, and our car, but we survived it all and strengthened our resiliency muscles.


Cindy in the South March 6, 2023 at 8:07 am

Excellent on the car borrowing! My oldest son let his middle
Brother borrow his 2006 back up car, which I had passed on to oldest after I was given it by my uncle. That one has not been hit by a deer.. lol. So four family member have driven it including uncle. We call it the family mobile! I packed my peanut butter and banana sandwich for lunch, walked in my neighborhood, cooked at home, and just generally chilled. The weather has meant no heat and no air but looks like this coming weekend will require heat again. Bummer.


Katy March 6, 2023 at 8:10 am

I’ve never heard of anyone eating a peanut butter and banana sandwich other than Elvis. I’m intrigued!


Bee March 6, 2023 at 1:49 pm

It is a staple in our household. Maybe it’s a southern thing,


Ava March 6, 2023 at 4:23 pm

It is indeed a Southern thing. Some people add honey. Some slice the banana and some mash the banana and the peanut butter together.


Joyce March 7, 2023 at 4:28 am

I LOVE peanut butter and banana sandwiches! I have taught the grandkids to eat them, too! I think Elvis may have added crispy bacon to his.


Plaidkaren March 6, 2023 at 5:01 pm

Oh I grew up on them (in Atlanta!) in the 60s and 70s!! Of course its even better with a nice cold glass of milk to go along with it


Selena March 6, 2023 at 7:44 pm

It is a southern thing. Good on toasted or not toasted bread. IMHO, the riper the banana, the better. Some grill them a la grilled cheese sandwiches. I like mine with potato chips or Fritos, chocolate milk please.


Cindy in the South March 7, 2023 at 7:02 am

We ate Peanut butter and banana sandwiches all the time growing up in the deep South. My momma also ate a banana sandwich, which is just banana and mayo….lol. I prefer the tomato sandwich, which is fresh garden tomatoes which are peeled, salt, pepper, a generous supply of mayo, and soft white bread, preferably homemade but Sunbeam will do…


Heidi Louise March 7, 2023 at 8:44 am

My Mom, (in the north), loved to go to the garden and pull and slice a couple radishes and put them on fresh bread.


Cindy in the South March 7, 2023 at 9:10 am

Oh, a radish sandwich sounds good! I will have to try it because I love radishes.

Selena March 7, 2023 at 5:24 pm

I presume you’ve partaken of PB and mayo sandwiches as well as fried (in butter) bologna and mayo sandwiches? Food of the gods let me tell you.


Ruby March 7, 2023 at 9:47 pm

I am a Southerner and we also ate pineapple sandwiches: mayo on the bread and two pineapple rings cut so they would fit on a slice of bread. It was a nice treat on a really hot day.


Kristen | The Frugal Girl March 7, 2023 at 8:22 am

I grew up eating peanut butter and banana sandwiches!


Katy March 7, 2023 at 9:58 am

I am very specific about textural stuff and just the thought gives me an uh-oh feeling.


Ringo March 11, 2023 at 2:46 pm

@Katy, try peanut butter and very thin apple slices in a sandwich (or as is). That’s my favorite.

Julie March 7, 2023 at 4:43 pm

I love crunchy pb and bananas on toast and I am very Canadian. I have no idea how I stumbled on this but it’s a definite treat for me.


Alison March 11, 2023 at 4:18 am

Another Canadian here, but born in Scotland. My family has always eaten banana and peanut butter sandwiches. My grandmother used to have toast and peanut butter and banana for breakfast everyday, and she lived to be 105. So I think it’s good for you.


Carolyn March 11, 2023 at 11:10 am

A car not hit by a deer? It seems everybody I know has hit a deer, some multiple times. One friend at church hit one in January and it damaged her bumper, grill, etc. and because of the age of the car, the insurance company totaled it. About ten years ago, my husband had one run in front of him, it slid over the hood and it broke the passenger side mirror with it’s rear legs, it kept on running. He hit one with his truck in November, he had stopped completely for several deer crossing and as he started moving again, a deer ran into the front of his truck. No damage, deer ran on. He wasn’t so fortunate in December, he had stopped for a couple deer, and as he was moving again another doe ran in front of him. This time it cracked the plastic on his bumper and broke the retaining clips. Still drivable, and after he got the bumper replaced, he installed the bull bar. There are a lot of deer in my area, which is fine with me, but I and my husband would prefer that when we hit a deer, that it is with an arrow or bullet, so the venison goes in the freezer. He did put two large does in the freezer last fall, and we have been eating a lot of venison all winter.


Sandra March 6, 2023 at 8:38 am

Good Monday morning! Its beautiful today and I feel like saving money. Here’s my list for this past week.

1. I was hostess for my bridge club last week. Coffee and tea were provided by the club. I made a veggie tray with hummus, turkey picks with cheese and pickle, pizza pockets with dripping sauce, fresh fruit tray, and smoked sausage bites with BBQ sauce. By watching sales the last week or so and shopping my pantry, fridge, and freezer and I managed to spend under $20.00 to serve 26 people.

2. My garden club is doing Show and Tell Easter Eggs next week. Member are asked to bring an egg or representative of an egg that uses all natural items in the decoration. I found an old blown egg among my Easter decor and went to work covering it with dried herbs from the pantry and flower petals I had on hand from potpourri.

3. I was invited to a birthday dinner for a dear friend this week. Guest are asked to bring a homemade card in lieu of gifts. I had a fun time rummaging through my craft supplies to come up with materials to made a special card. It was fun and I already had everything I needed to make a personal memento.

4. Went to defrost a quart of chicken stock from the freezer and discovered it was fruit juice. I like to keep a few quarts in the freezer and I was out. That meant it was time to pull out some frozen chicken bones and a bag of vegetable scraps to make stock. I have three quarts in the freezer again. Liquid gold!

5. Keeping it simple, no Lear jets in my future.


Christine March 6, 2023 at 8:50 am

Your # 2…sounds like a beautiful egg and it must have been fun imagining it and then making it! It will be fun to see what all the other eggs look like too. Also, the homemade card sounds intriguing. I’ve done similar things when I couldn’t get to the dollar store. People always seem to be very appreciative of homemade cards.


Cathy March 6, 2023 at 8:55 am

Katy thank you for sharing your frugal adventures and how it works so naturally into your day-to-day life. Having good and trusting relationships with your neighbors makes life so much better for everyone. We’re fortunate that 5 of us on our block have lived here for over 30 years since our children were very young and now we have grandchildren! It’s so fun when all the generations are outside together talking and playing and being friends. We help each other with projects, share baked goods, and produce from our gardens. And of course we know we can borrow from each other when we need. So keep encouraging your followers to get acquainted with their neighbors…it really is a good thing.


A. Marie March 6, 2023 at 9:33 am

I’m living proof of Katy’s and Cathy’s emphasis on the importance of good relations with the neighbors. DH and I moved onto this street almost 38 years ago, and the relationships we’ve forged with the Bestest Neighbors and many others go deep and wide. In my present situation, I shudder to think what my life would be like without them.


Katy March 6, 2023 at 2:19 pm

It makes such a difference to be surrounded by good neighbors.


Christine March 6, 2023 at 9:13 am

The alternative to the boob light…a noteworthy improvement!
1. I helped a customer who couldn’t access his wifi in the deli and he came back with a beautiful bouquet of flowers in thanks.
2. I’ve been listening to free Michelle Singletary podcasts. Great advice about finances and frugal living.
3. DH and I both have colds and have spent the weekend indoors, partly due to feeling punky and partly due to not wanting to spread it around. Covid has given me a whole new awareness about “keeping my germs to myself”. To combat this cold, I’ve been conscientious about taking my multivitamin and have added zinc and elderberry to the mix, all of which I keep on hand. No money spent or gas used all weekend.
4. Painting rocks I find that have a smooth surface with little scenes, positive messages and lighthearted historical facts. Also, weather tidbits taken from the Olde Farmer’s Almanac. I “hide” these around trails and parts of town to be discovered by passersby. It’s through a Facebook site so the finder can post them online and then choose to keep or rehide them. A frugal and healthy hobby as it gets me out walking and hopefully the recipients get a little joy.
5. Looked at coats in the winter markdowns section of Kohls and decided I don’t need another one.


Katy March 6, 2023 at 2:18 pm

Love Michelle Singletary. “If it’s on your ass, it’s not an asset!”


Christine March 6, 2023 at 6:00 pm

Yes!!! That and “If debt was a person, I’d slap it.”


Jill A March 6, 2023 at 2:41 pm

I really like your #4. That’s a great hobby especially if it involves walking and hiking.


Christine March 6, 2023 at 6:05 pm

Thanks Jill. It’s a lot of fun and great exercise. The rocks I paint are all rocks I find on my walks, take home, wash and paint so the only cost is the paint. Minimal cost as the paints last me for years. Beach rocks are definitely the best as they are naturally smooth and easier to paint and write on. Unfortunately, I don’t get there as often as I’d like. I need to work on that!


Pat Gaudreau March 6, 2023 at 4:19 pm

My friends grandson needed a kidney transplant desperately,none of his family members were a match.
His girlfriend started painting rocks with his info on the underside and visiting friends & family would take some to distribute in their travels,a donor was found this way!
Sadly,the same disease that attacked his own kidneys,did the same and after some dialysis,he passed away last summer.
It was the first time I had heard of painting rocks and it looks to be a popular pastime.


Christine March 6, 2023 at 5:58 pm

I’m so sorry about your friend’s grandson. Absolutely heartbreaking. I’ve never heard of painted rocks being used this way and I am intrigued. We have a family member who is presently on dialysis and awaiting a donor kidney. Any idea what info was on the rocks distributed? Thanks.


Pat Gaudreau March 12, 2023 at 3:35 pm

Blood type and a phone number.


Selena March 6, 2023 at 7:50 pm

I enjoy reading (sorry, not a podcast person) her articles. Always heartening to read how her grandmother influenced her. I can almost hear her grandmother saying “hate debt like the devil”.


Christine March 7, 2023 at 1:57 pm

I love her “grandmother” stories too or I should say Big Mama stories as that is what Michele calls her. She must have been quite the woman, raising five grandkids. I have a friend whose daughter died. My friend then took on the upbringing of the daughter’s three kids. We’re around the same age and I get tired just thinking about her daily routine!


A. Marie March 6, 2023 at 9:52 am

FFT, Big Apple Edition:

Sound the trumpets, beat the drums: I will be visiting my JASNA BFF on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, for the first time since 2015! (DH’s condition has been stable for a while now, and I’d like to go ahead and make this visit while I feel comfortable about doing so.) Herewith, thrifty travel planning:

(1) I used my senior discount to buy Amtrak tickets.

(2) BFF has memberships for almost every museum in the five boroughs (or at least it seems that way), including several that permit her to bring a guest for free. So we will be going to the Met, the Morgan Library, and whatever else she and I can work into the available time.

(3) A well-known JASNA member and author (she’s the one who also does roller derby under the moniker “Stone Cold Jane Austen”) will be giving a free presentation at the NY Public Library during this time. We are of course planning to attend.

(4) A mutual JASNA friend who’s taken up painting in her retirement (and is **very** good at it) will be meeting us for lunch and then giving us a tour of her studio.

(5) And during the few times when BFF has prior commitments, I’ll be taking myself to various thrift shops. I already know the Housing Works store on Broadway near 96th and the St. Francis thrift shop at 97th and Amsterdam, but further suggestions from Katy and others who either live in NYC or visit there regularly would be welcome.


Jill A March 6, 2023 at 10:36 am

Your trip to NYC sounds fantastic.


Lindsey March 6, 2023 at 11:03 am

Hope you have a great time!


Heidi Louise March 6, 2023 at 11:32 am

Yeah, Amtrak! For your situation in particular, very generous luggage allowances, so you can buy lots of thrift stuff. (Or you can look and enjoy and not buy much at all, of course).


A. Marie March 6, 2023 at 11:56 am

As usual back in the olden days when I traveled more often, I’ll be traveling with clothes I plan to drop off at a thrift shop (the St. Francis shop, in this case) the day before I leave. This saves room for whatever I may pick up in the course of the action. On the JASNA 2009 tour of England where BFF and I met, I was the only one on the bus who wasn’t paying a lot extra to ship books and souvenirs home; I was able to get everything into my luggage.

But Heidi Louise is right about the generous baggage allowance on Amtrak. This, plus more personal room and other reasons, is why I’m taking the train instead of Greyhound or a plane.


Christine March 6, 2023 at 6:10 pm

Brilliant plan of leaving clothes to donate in order to fit souvenirs in your luggage. Win/win for everyone.


Katy March 6, 2023 at 2:14 pm

Ooh . . . I’ve never made the time to visit the Morgan Library, even though it’s on my list.


Katy March 6, 2023 at 2:16 pm

I haven’t done much thrifting in Manhattan recently, so I’m afraid I’m not too much help here. Sorry.


Pat Gaudreau March 6, 2023 at 4:23 pm

Amtrak is such a nice ride from upstate NY to NYC.
I left from Utica to NY Penn to see my daughter in SC in 2014 and enjoyed that leg of the journey so much!
Have to say,the “Palmetto Express” to Charleston was very long
Enjoy yourself!


Cindy in the South March 7, 2023 at 1:25 pm

I love Amtrak! Have fun!!


Jill A March 6, 2023 at 10:55 am

1. I’m still working on eating out of the freezer and pantry. I made split pea and ham soup. This used the large ham bone in the freezer, 2 pints of homemade chicken stock from the freezer and a bag and a half of split peas from the pantry. It made a lot so I’ll share with several family members as well as freeze some.
2. I helped my daughter sort and fold clothes that she’s getting rid of so she can take them to Plato’s Closet for cash. Hopefully sometime in the next few months her room will be empty and I’ll have it to use for future guests.
3. I purchased a replacement plastic lid for one of my Pyrex glass bowls at the Goodwill bins for pennies. It’s one of things I keep an eye out for because both my Mom and I have several lids that are cracking.
4. I loaned some wood clamps to a friend’s husband. I emptied some plastic shelving from my basement and gave it to one of my daughters.
5. I’m brewing my coffee at home. Eating mainly oatmeal for breakfast. Reading library books on my kindle. Hanging my laundry up to dry on hangers and racks. I made some more delicious pizza and used some leftover spaghetti sauce for topping. So in other words nothing super noteworthy.


Jill A March 6, 2023 at 10:56 am

I forgot. Eggs were $2.20 a dozen at Aldi so purchased two dozen. Woo hoo!!


Bee March 6, 2023 at 1:55 pm

Finding the Pyrex lids are a huge money saver. I miss the bins! The ones closest to me closed during Covid band never reopened. The big bins aren’t as much fun . People are so competitive.


Katy March 6, 2023 at 2:11 pm

Oof . . . I need some replacement Pyrex lids as well.


Katy March 6, 2023 at 2:12 pm

Using up food that’s cluttering a fridge or freezer is one of life’s great pleasures.


Jill A March 6, 2023 at 10:58 am

Also the new fan is FAN-tastic!!


Lindsey March 6, 2023 at 11:19 am

1. Between grocery and restaurant shops, we spent less than $50 on food in the last 30 days.
2. Someone in the Buy Nothing group mistakenly bought a dozen jicama thinking they were turnips. I was thrilled to take them, as I love jicama raw and cooked.
3. Felt like having pasta for dinner yesterday but did not want to use gas to go to the store just for that item. Husband suggested we make it from scratch so we spent a fun afternoon making pasta together. (Another instance where I thought that my 20 year old self would never believe old me would find it fun and romantic to make pasta on a Sunday afternoon with the husband.)
4. I am almost at the bottom of cleaning out the chest freezer and what do I find but yet more tiny baggies of various fruits and more tiny baggies of cheese nubs. So, as I write this, I have a mixed fruit pie in the oven and for dinner we are having mac and cheese, thus using up all the little baggy bits of both.
5. Husband repaired the vacuum for about the 100th time. Every single time it is because the machine is not up to dealing with Pound Hound’s copious and constant hair shedding. He is now putting the vacuum on a weekly hair cleaning maintenance schedule, in the hope that this will prolong its life.


Jill A March 6, 2023 at 11:47 am

Yum. Mac ‘n Cheese and pie sounds awesome. I’m a little jealous that you’ve reached the bottom of your freezer.


A. Marie March 6, 2023 at 12:04 pm

As you already know, Lindsey, I’d give *anything* to be doing *anything* with my DH at home on a Sunday afternoon–even if it was cleaning out the basement. Making pasta sounds like one of those romantic Italian movies at this point. Give your hubs my best regards–and, as always, Pound Hound too.


Lindsey March 6, 2023 at 2:46 pm

You know, A. Marie, I sometimes think of you as the husband and I are doing something together, and wish you had longer with your love. It reminds me to stock up on memories like pasta making just in case I lose him to death or dementia.

On another note, congrats on the gc win on another blog!


Bee March 6, 2023 at 1:58 pm

Much rather have jicama than turnips. Delicious in salads!


rebecca March 6, 2023 at 12:31 pm

1. My neighbors and I discussed going out for coffee but I suggested coming over to mine for coffee. I baked muffins with ingedients I had on hand and sent them home with muffins. I hosted for less than going out for coffee.
2. I couldn’t find no-salt added peanut butter at the store. The cashier asked me if I found everything. I said I couldn’t find thethe no salt added pb. The bagger went to get it for me as she said they had it. The cashier said, please try it on us. So kind.
3. Haven’t driven my car in 4 days.
4. Made a turkey stirfry from the freezer turkey and vegetables that needed using up. Not great but eating it anyway.
5. Doing everything I can to save money, lower heat, no spend and no drive days, hanging clothes, loss leaders ect. Just can’t seem to get ahead right now.


Christine March 6, 2023 at 6:34 pm

Your #5…Inflation is making everything harder right now even though it sounds like you’re doing everything right. Hang in there. I heard egg prices are on their way down…hopefully other groceries too.


Bee March 6, 2023 at 12:39 pm

My husband an I are also sharing a car. We gave my husband’s old beater to our son who is in graduate school who found himself without a car. How this happened exactly is a very long and convoluted story. However, like you Katy, we are hoping to see the price of cars decline. In the meantime, we are managing well enough.
My son’s automobile fiasco actually started, the craziness that had plagued our household for the last 6 months. During this time, even the easy stuff just hasn’t been easy. Perhaps this has something to do with the alignment of Venus and Jupiter in the western sky. I’m just thankful that nothing has been life changing just aggravating. That being said here is this weeks frugal five—
1. I recently had to purchase a new dishwasher. My old one was beyond repair. I purchased the new one from the appliance department of one of the big box stores that offers a 12 month same as cash program to credit card holders. At that time I also payed for home delivery, haul away/ recycling, and installation adding $250 onto the total purchase. ( Gasp!) When the dishwasher was delivered, the person who was supposed to install the dishwasher said he was unable to do so because the valve under the sink showed age. They left the new dishwasher in the middle of my kitchen and didn’t unhook the old one. I was told I would receive a refund for the services that they did not provide and noted this on the delivery receipt.. Fast forward 3 weeks, when I received my monthly statement, the $215 credit had not been applied. I called the customer service number on the bill and was told that it a credit could not be issued on the phone. I then gathered up my paperwork and headed to the customer service desk at the store. I repeated my story, showed her my receipts, the manager was called and the credit was issued. But really, it shouldn’t be this hard! I saved $215!
2. I made a trip to the library and I found that the Friends of Library Book Store was having a BOGO sale. Two books for $3. I purchased a book entitled, the bee cottage story (all lower case). I immediately thought that I must have this book. On the cover it read, “How I made a muddle of things and decorated my way back to happiness.” It was calling my name. Serendipity? Maybe. Now if I could only find time to decorate!
3. I purchased two items this week for resale and made sure I listed them immediately. eBay seems very slow lately. I wondered if anyone was having success with selling platforms other than eBay, Etsy and marketplace.
4. I purchased my toilet paper, dish washing soap and laundry detergent this week at Target and received a $15 gift card for my purchase of $50+. I used a gift card that I had received last time they did this promotion to purchase these items and added additional coupons to my Target circle app. I saved quite a bit.
5. I have been doing all the usual things. Brewing my own coffee, drinking primarily filtered water, and cooking from scratch. There is a chicken carcass in the IP as I write this being made into stock for homemade ramen tonight.
Wishing everyone peace, good health and prosperity.


Katy March 6, 2023 at 2:08 pm

I very happy to read that you weren’t charged for the non-installing of your new dishwasher!


Jill A March 6, 2023 at 2:28 pm

Homemade ramen sounds wonderful. My youngest daughter is a ramen lover. Is there a recipe you use?


Bee March 6, 2023 at 3:58 pm

I make standard chicken broth then I season it with garlic, ginger, Tamari (gf soy sauce) and sesame oil. You can also add miso. However, I don’t because of the gluten. I buy gluten-free brown rice ramen noodles rather inexpensively at Costco and cook them in the broth. Then just add the things you like and top with scallions. Tonight I have chicken, bok choy and mushrooms in mine.


Jill A March 6, 2023 at 10:03 pm

Thanks. I’ll have to look for the noodles at my Costco.


Christine March 6, 2023 at 6:45 pm

DH and I started our one car life about ten years ago when DD was in school and needed a vehicle. I’ve noticed my one car story, your story and Katy’s story all start with a child needing a car! In our case, we never went back to two cars. It was easier for us than most as we worked at the same place, same hours. Even now in retirement, we have decided to continue with sharing a vehicle. The savings for us is worth the very occasional glitch when we both need transportation.


Nicola March 6, 2023 at 1:13 pm

1 Re arranged the furniture in our main (only, lol) room. The elderly dog must be sleeping differently, and has been scratching the wall and disturbing us at night. Moved his bed and a sofa. Unexpected bonus in that it allowed us to no longer have trailing wires, hopefully, win win.
2. filled in the backs of someweird shelves between the main part of the room and the front door. Really improved my view from the sofa, no longer looking at the microwave! It’s meant we can install a couple of hooks on the door side too, so no more coats on the chairs and somewhere to hang wet stuff whilst it dries. It’s changed the air movement in the room, too, so we seem to be burning less wood.
3. My son and his partner are coming to visit in a couple of weeks. I am slow roasting a huge pork butt today, we will have some for dinner and the rest as pulled pork when they visit. This way we don’t all have to endure the pork smell for 5 hrs and we get to eat all the crispy skin. I use the Jamie Oliver slow roast pork shoulder method. Bought 3 chickens on special offer. I find if I have some protein in the fridge, I will snack on that instead of other, less suitable snacks. One of the chickens will become something during their visit, too.
4. There’s a weird bit of shelving over the fridge, we don’t use it and it looks ugly. Lovely husband is going to remove it today. This week he also remade a stool that was just a bit too tall and has made a bowl raiser for the aforementioned elderly dog.
5. Noticed my son is always engaged in lots of projects when he visits his partners parents. I have not really asked him to help us, I had presumed he would just want to rest. Turns out he loves the projects. I have kept a couple of things back he can help with when he’s here, if he wants to.


Lindsey March 6, 2023 at 2:52 pm

I managed to snag, for free, a copy of Jamie Oliver’s latest cookbook, called One. It has some great recipes in it, including an eggplant stack that has become my favorite. The husband does not eat eggplant so when I get one, I eat it for every meal until it is gone. I have not minded that one bit since I found that recipe.


Ruby March 6, 2023 at 1:40 pm

1. Cut my husband’s hair.
2. Made weekend suppers of burgers and fries and homemade pizza (all ingredients bought on sale) and did some quick math: the two meals at home totaled about $15, as opposed to about $100 in a local restaurant.
3. I have lost 43 pounds and had to take up some pajamas that were falling off me. While the sewing machine was set up, I experimented with taking up a pair of my Jockey underwear. It was a little time-consuming to figure out but it worked, so all my panties in that style will be easy to alter to a smaller size and won’t have to be replaced.
4. After discovering the local starting price for cat grooming is $91, my son held our youngest kitty, who is part Maine Coon, while I carefully trimmed out some mats on her tummy and brushed her. She is a very good natured cat, thank goodness.
5. My husband had to buy a new chainsaw to do it ($350 expenditure) but saved at least a couple thousand dollars over that price by cutting down two trees on our property.


Jill A March 6, 2023 at 2:31 pm

Congratulations on your weight loss and the huge savings on the tree work.


Bee March 7, 2023 at 4:15 am

Congratulations on your weight loss! I have to say I am very impressed that you are able to alter your undergarments. I don’t think that I would have thought to do this. You are a frugal queen.


Ruby March 7, 2023 at 3:45 pm

I really just love those Jockeys too much to give them up. 😀


geri March 10, 2023 at 12:17 pm

I accidentally misread the cat trimming sentences and the part where your husband had to buy a new chainsaw to do it, and had to re-read #4 and #5.


Ruby March 11, 2023 at 12:50 pm

My eye jumps around like that when I read, so I can see how that happens. The kitty was groomed with my handy hair scissors and the chainsaw was used on the trees. No need to call the humane society! 😀

I love those Goody hair scissors. They aren’t expensive and the tips are rounded so I can wiggle the points through and under mats without poking or cutting the cat or our fluffy dogs. Today I trimmed the armpits of our youngest dog, who has an undercoat like silk and a tendency to get little mats there. She was so good about it.


JC March 6, 2023 at 3:57 pm

Ruby, I have a chainsaw and I know how to use it, wish I lived closer I would have helped you!
I feel like this week has been frugal but boring.
I. found a cleaner that is used a lot in the UK, called Pink Stuff, works great on so many things and costs little.
2. dug out the bottom of a can of Bar keepers friend, can had gotten wet but still good. It works a treat in the toilet.
3. All meals at home, family get together homemade and so much cheaper than ordering out.
4. used the last bag of marked down salad mix that had a date of 1/15/2023 no brown, no slime it was awesome.
5. calming down by burning candles and turning off the news.

Boring but oh well.


Ruby March 6, 2023 at 5:01 pm

I love the Pink Stuff. Our stainless steel kitchen sink looks so much better using that on it.


Jen March 6, 2023 at 4:03 pm

So happy that you got rid of the boob fan. Hurts just to think about! I wonder if the new owner of it will notice?


Katy March 7, 2023 at 10:26 am

I did not refer to it as a “boob light” in my buy nothing listing. So hopefully the new owner will see it with fresh eyes.


Ruby March 6, 2023 at 4:56 pm

Thank you. My son and I did all the hauling of logs and limbs to the road for pick-up and were joking that no one needs a gym membership when they’re on Dad’s team of amateur lumberjacks.


Jennifer March 6, 2023 at 6:11 pm

Love the new light! We just had to replace our ceiling fan/light over our kitchen table after we had some sort of electrical issue and they can be pricey when you have to buy something asap!

1. I was eating breakfast last week and suddenly all the overhead lights on 2 floors went out. Dh is pretty handy but this was odd and confusing. He called a friend who is an electrician for help. The guy was here for 2 hours on a Friday night. Got most things working, dh worked on it all day Sunday to complete the fix. Question – the guy doesn’t want to be paid and said “oh just give me $50” – this doesn’t seem fair – WWYD?

2. Made homemade bread to go with dinner – split it into 2 loaves and froze one.

3. Borrowed books from the library, dh cut his own hair, made muffins for our breakfasts.

4. Successfully kept at it over some medical bills that should have been covered last year and weren’t. We hit all our deductibles by March last year and everything was free the rest of the year. Suddenly in October insurance started denying claims. In the end we got it straightened out and we owe nothing rather than almost $500.

5. Tightening our belts to save up the $4000 in taxes we owe. I’m half way there. Hoping dh’s lacrosse checks start rolling in soon. But we have been reducing our spending and canceled our spring break trip for more of a staycation.


Christine March 6, 2023 at 6:55 pm

In the case of the electrician who only wants $50…how about the $50 and a gift card to a local restaurant or store? Put both things in a sealed envelope and hand it to him to lessen the chances he’ll say no! Or on a more frugal note…give him the $50 at a special meal you cook for him and his family at your house or offer to help him with a project he may need help on.


Geri Elkins-Alexander March 10, 2023 at 12:20 pm

If he really doesn’t want to take any more payment, would he accept a gift card or…..even better, a couple of loaves of homemade bread? Fresh bread is always a nice surprise.


Fiona March 6, 2023 at 6:39 pm

We stopped off at the dented vegetable store on your recommendation while travelling from Canada to Oregon coast. Loved it – 8 avocados for a $1, 2 big bunches kale $1, blackberries 87 cents and lots of other deals. We love the Pupusa food cart at Cartlandia so nice and close.


Frau Rosen March 6, 2023 at 8:20 pm

We still have my 2006 Prius, it’s going strong at 118,000 miles. It’s also the best car I’ve ever had. In January though, we finally bit the bullet and bought a used 2020 Prius Prime, a plug-in hybrid that can go about 30 miles on electric before the gas engine kicks in. Most of our driving is to places within that 30 miles, so we’re enjoying having an electric car and just plugging it in to a regular outlet overnight. (Not the kind of outlet that costs $1500+ for an electrician to do.) We traded in my husband’s 2011 Kia Soul. (Yes, my husband sold his Soul. 😉 ) We’d been watching the used car market for a long time. We finally saw one come available that had less than 6000 miles on it at a dealer almost an hour from our house, and my husband negotiated well. I will say that 2020 car technology versus 2006 technology is pretty amazing. To quote Seinfeld—-we’re living in the future! (said with George’s accent LOL)
My other frugal win was making my own birthday cake the other day. I can’t believe how expensive store bought cakes are these days, and besides, I don’t need a full on fancy layer cake in the house! Cake is my favorite treat and that kind of temptation is too much! So I made a little one layer “wacky” cake (Depression era recipe without eggs), mixed together a random amount of butter and powdered sugar for frosting and called it goo. It was delicious if I do say so myself. The birthday splurge was restaurant pizza, which I hadn’t had in ages and I enjoyed it tremendously! A childhood friend of mine passed away from cancer at age 55 in January. I’m not freaking out about turning another year old—getting to be 56 and spending time with my precious family, that’s the best gift there is.


Frau Rosen March 6, 2023 at 8:22 pm

*called it “good” LOL. Although chocolate goo works as a name for frosting too I guess :-)!!!


Bee March 7, 2023 at 4:36 am

Happy Birthday! I do so agree that every birthday is a gift. It is fortunate to be given yet another year to live, love, laugh and stretch those dollars.


Karen March 7, 2023 at 6:52 am

Love your blog! But I have not received any new posts to my email this year. Then your blog is mentioned for “stealth wealth” on another blog so I click over and low and behold you are posting!! YAY!! I tried to resubscribe but a whole bunch of computer coding pops up instead.. Is there anyway I can fix this , so I automatically receive new posts? Thanks Katy!


Marie March 7, 2023 at 7:37 am

Same thing, but says I’m already signed up.
So, I just look it up every Monday night


Katy March 7, 2023 at 10:01 am

Ugh, sorry about that. The company that did my subscriptions was discontinued. I need to figure out adding a new service.


Kristen | The Frugal Girl March 7, 2023 at 8:23 am

“the unpleasant task of used car shopping” OH MY WORD YES. I really, really hate shopping for used cars.


JDinNM March 7, 2023 at 11:33 am

It’s actually much easier now with all the online services (car guru, carvana, etc.) and because all the dealers have their own websites so you can check inventory without going to the dealership. Pricing is very transparent and easily compared. And everyone supplies the carfax reports which are very, very helpful. The car I wanted popped up in my email early one morning; I told the dealer I wanted a test drive; checked it out and drove it home that afteroon. And I had been dreading, absolutely dreading, this experience. Easy peasy.


Kristen | The Frugal Girl March 8, 2023 at 2:53 pm

That’s true if you go the dealer route. I’ve always bought my used cars from private parties, and that is WAY more annoying. Cheaper, but definitely more of a headache.


JDinNM March 8, 2023 at 4:52 pm

But all the online resources make it easier to know what to pay (at least the ranges) and therefore give you good negotiating parameters. And you may find there are advantages to going through a dealer — I had the car fax to rely on, my new-to-me car was thoroughly checked out and serviced by the dealership, they handled registration and licensing, etc. No safety concerns taking a test drive with the sales rep from an established dealership. Just because you’ve always … ?


Kristen | The Frugal Girl March 9, 2023 at 5:38 pm

Oh yeah, it is definitely easier to buy a used car from the dealer! But most of my used car purchasing has been helping teens get a car, and the types of cars I’m looking for are lower-end than what a lot of dealers seem to keep in stock.

Now, down the road when I buy my dream car (a late-model Honda Civic with a sunroof), I might consider a dealership! 😉

Carolyn March 7, 2023 at 3:09 pm

1. Started seeds in a dozen Burpee seed trays, tomatoes, peppers, and various herbs. The cucumbers, pumpkins, squash and cabbage will be started at the end of this month in jiffy pots later this month, arranged in flower boxes. A package of seeds is less than $3, buying tomato plants at a nursery or big box store can be $8 each.
2. Made venison stew, potatoes, onions, carrots, garlic and herbs were from the garden. The venison was harvested on our farm. Free range, antibiotics free, delicious lean meat. Slow cooked in a crock pot.
3. Loaded the wood stove up each night and each morning since we got our wood stove delivered. The wood is from the farm, labor involved, but we are saving on our fuel bill.
4. Husband gave my two teen sons each a haircut, I was talking to a friend of mine that wears her hair short, that was longer than she usually keeps it, she joked that she needed to know when my sons were getting their haircuts, because she needs to visit on haircut night and take her turn. I told her Saturday afternoon, and she showed up. Yup, she got a haircut.
5. Sunday night will be pizza night. Tomorrow hubby will make the dough to cold ferment. He bakes the pizzas at 500 degrees, on two cooking steel plates. Six medium pizzas, we each have our favorite toppings, it is a family activity. The crust is super crispy, ingredients cost less than $20, comparable artisan pizzas would be $15-18 each depending on toppings, plus transportation costs and tips. So it is a great savings. And being it is so inexpensive, it is a perfect meal to entertain guests.


Bethany M March 10, 2023 at 9:25 am

I attacked my teenager’s room. (She needs to clean it up. I’m aware…no parental shaming please) We are now fully stocked on pens, pencils, and hair ties. I moved out a dozen articles of clothing she wasn’t wearing and passed them down to my middle child. Both girls were thrilled!

Speaking of clothing, my mom has 3 garbage bags of clothing for me. She’s one size up from me. She was given a truckload of things and is paying it forward to me with the things that are too small for her.

A friend put me on the CVS rewards thing. I needed some vitamins so I figured I might as well try it. It spit me out coupons and rewards like I couldn’t believe. Went back a couple days later and got 5 boxes of granola bars for $1 out of pocket and it spit me out another coupon for $5. Using these in the kids’ lunches.

Reading a library book, “Capturing Jasmina” by Kimberly Rae about a girl sold into slavery in the textile mills. Some crushing phrases like, “It’s called a snowsuit. It’s for Americans to use when they go skiing.” What an abundance of privilege we have. May we eliminate our goods consumption that enslaves children. More thrifting for me!


Katy March 10, 2023 at 11:53 am

No shaming from me, I cleaned and organized my kids’ rooms, (especially one of them) more times than I can count. It’s a loving act of service.


Joyce March 11, 2023 at 5:33 am

Listened to a YouTube piece by Robert Reisch about the Albertsons/Kroger merger…disturbing for those of us who only have one local grocery…..It is in the Albertsons chain.
We all need to purchase less, use what’s we buy and grow our own if we can.
We can also see if we can stop this merger…i
Rant over.


Kara March 12, 2023 at 8:49 am

I recently read a news article where it talked about how frugal people can help bring down inflation. As long as consumers are willing to buy things/food at the inflated prices, the manufacturers will keep the prices up. The more people stop buying, or buy cheaper alternatives,, the sooner prices might come down. I know it’s not quite as simple as that, but it was nice for me to think that I’m doing my bit to lower inflation.


Katy March 12, 2023 at 6:28 pm

That’s an interesting theory, one which I am happy to support!


Selena March 12, 2023 at 7:28 pm

Pretty much the law of supply and demand. Less/no demand = lower prices. Of course price elasticity of demand can come into play – some goods will be in demand no matter what the price. Price elasticity of supply also exists (think how much one pays for rent given the availability of housing).
Ever notice no one complains about the price of soda/cola, chips, Oreo cookie yet complains about the price of eggs?


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