Five Frugal Things

by Katy on March 13, 2023 · 81 comments

  1. I stopped into Safeway for a gallon of milk and noticed that their half-gallons jugs were $1.27, which was significantly less than the half price of a full gallon. I reluctantly downloaded their app to get the price. The next day I received a Safeway circular which advertised Haagen Dazs ice cream for just 97¢ apiece, so opened up the app back up for the deal. Guess what? They also had a $5-off-$5 coupon which was perfect, as you could buy up to five pints. I added a bag of carrots to up the total and spent a total of $1.84.

    I actually don’t love “gamification” of grocery prices, as I feel it doesn’t align with saving money in the long run. Yes it was super fun to score this loss leader price, but gimmicks are, well . . . gimmicks. I appreciate no frills stores like Winco and my beloved dented vegetable store, whose everyday low prices don’t involve customer manipulation. Sure, I’ll probably keep an eye on the Safeway app for the occasional screaming deal, but it’ll be just that — occasional.

  2. My mother and I spent an afternoon together, which predictably involved a trip to Goodwill and then a couple hours cuddled under blankets watching Resident Alien. I did splurge on tacos from my friendly neighborhood Mexican food cart, but it was $10 well spent! Quality time on a budget is my love language.

  3. I splurged on three sets of brand new Pyrex snap-lid food storage containers. Yes, you read that right — brand spanking new! However, I feel perfectly mostly fine with these purchases as Pyrex is manufactured in Charleroi, Pennsylvania and their employees are even unionized! I did order from Amazon*, (normally my last choice) but only because Target was charging $40 for the same thing and Bezos had it for $22.99. I just couldn’t justify the higher price.

    Why three sets? My son has been meal prepping for his work lunches and our leftover containers seem to have devolved into bottoms with no lids and visa versa. Plus I figured that my daughter could also use a set, So yes, I bought three sets.

  4. • I stopped into Dollar Tree to pick up toothpaste and dental floss and wasn’t able to resist a grocery basket filled with Godiva chocolates packets for 25¢ apiece. I exercised a modicum of self control and only bought six.

    • My daughter brought me a day-old rotisserie chicken and some gourmet cheese from her schwanky grocery store.

    • My friend Lise and I went to IKEA and enjoyed cups of their free coffee.

    • I listened to The Dictionary of Lost Words by Pip Williams through the library’s free Libby app.

    • We rearranged our spare bedroom to function as a TV room to accommodate our neighbor’s hand me down couch. I slipped them some Godiva chocolates and will also have them over for dinner.

    • I spent a non-rainy afternoon tidying up the yard, which was a bit overdue. It’s not my favorite chore, but not too painful once I get going. The yard still needs attention to deal with some overgrown perennials, but I should be able to get the garden in order without spending any money. I don’t enjoy gardening, so I try to keep it as straightforward as possible.

    • I gave pints of ice cream to my daughter and my friend Lise.

  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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*Please note that there’s no link to Amazon, as Jeff Bezos has enough money.

{ 80 comments… read them below or add one }

MB in MN March 13, 2023 at 5:40 am

1. Appealed a medical insurance non-payment and lost. Grrr. At least I tried.

2. Car that we purchased just before our trip had to be jumped three times while we were away. Battery and alternator are fine so the dealership gave us a loaner to use while they figure things out.

3. Staying at friends’ house while they are gone in March as we continue to look for a house. Starting in April, we’ll be renting an apartment, initially for 3 months with month-to-month renewal. New home inventory is so low and our needs are more specific as we want/need to age in place.

4. Since our household stuff is at the movers’ storage facility, we’ll outfit the apartment on the cheap as that will be less expensive than having everything moved to the apartment (where it wouldn’t all fit anyway) and then moved again to the eventual new house. Friends and family will be providing some things and we’ll thrift the rest.

5. All of the issues with the trip, our housing situation and some other stressful things have resulted in a loss of appetite, so I’m saving money by eating less. But now my pants are too big, and I don’t have the sewing skills of Ruby to take them in (plus my sewing machine is in storage anyway!), so I’ll be hitting the thrift stores for some smaller pants. (This is still preferable to my previous practice of managing stressful feelings by doing more comfort eating.)


Heidi Louise March 13, 2023 at 6:02 am

MB, I have admired from afar the lengthy plan you have committed to: packing, selling, and then finding the house that is best for you, and doing the traveling in between. I know that spring is still a few weeks away in MN, but your new home time is coming!


Ruby March 13, 2023 at 7:28 am

We noticed over the years in our neighborhood that houses tend to go on the market in the spring when school is finished for the year, so there’s a good chance something might turn up soon. Keeping fingers crossed for you.


karen March 13, 2023 at 7:47 am

MB thank you for sharing your story with us, I always look forward to your posts. I think you are brave to step out of the everyday routine and experience life.

Unfortunately this does bring on some unexpected problems. But you did it! And when you find your forever home you can look back and be proud of what you did and how you handled it.


susanna d March 13, 2023 at 1:04 pm

MB, thank you from me, too. I also enjoy reading your posts. My husband and I are in the beginning stages of deciding where we want to end up when we sell our current home, and your posts are very helpful!


MB in MN March 13, 2023 at 5:44 pm

Thanks to all for your supportive words. They mean a lot to me, especially when I sometimes feel more foolish than brave. Some days we are so far out of our comfort zone that we may as well be living in outer space! But then I think of how lucky we’ve been through the generosity of others and with our financial cushion. Things that have happened are clearly first world problems and, as always, life could be so much worse.


Lindsey March 13, 2023 at 11:56 am

As someone who regularly fights insurance companies for hospice folks, I urge you to try again with your insurance claim. Keep going up the chain of appeals. And, if the amount is high enough and you really think they are refusing to pay something your policy entitles you to, write a nice letter that you will be contacting your state’s insurance regulators. And then do it.


MB in MN March 13, 2023 at 5:45 pm

Lindsey, many thanks for the sound advice on the medical claim. Appreciate it!


Bee March 13, 2023 at 5:05 pm

As a fellow word game lover, I have to ask. Have you played Word Hurdle yet? It is the 6 letter version of Wordle.


MB in MN March 13, 2023 at 5:45 pm

Bee, I have not. I’ll check it out!


K D March 13, 2023 at 5:44 am

1. Our electricity contract was going to expire next month. Our current provider sent a letter telling us the default action (12 months at a fixed price) and also promoting a 36 month fixed rate. I didn’t like either option (rate wise) so I looked online and found the same company offered lower rates. I called to inquire and was offered rates at bit lower than what was shown online. I signed up for a 36 month fixed rate contract. The rate was a bit more than 24 months would have been but I feel good locking in for a longer period of time. We also received a $25 gift card. I was emailed a link that offered many different gift cards and I redeemed right away so as not to forget the gift card.

2. The local grocery store had jars of honey on clearance for 75% off. I bought a couple of jars and will use it when I make granola, since it is cheaper than maple syrup.

3. DH wanted to take treats to work for his staff. I offered to make blueberry muffins since I think home baked goods are better than store bought. I placed them in a two tier muffin/cupcake carrier that a neighbor gave me after I borrowed it and she realized she doesn’t use it or want it back. She, of course, reserves the right to borrow it at any time.

4. A friend wanted to go to lunch today but there’s not much intersection between what I’d want to eat and what they would want to eat. Instead I proposed a ride along on my errands today. It will be a cheap catch up.

5. I didn’t pay for four people to spend three days tearing out our yard as our new neighbor did.


Katy March 13, 2023 at 6:57 am

Your #5 is a big picture money saver. My afternoon of tidying the yard occurred in a neighborhood where many home owners hire out the task.


Bee March 14, 2023 at 3:49 am

As you probably have read, people are moving to Florida in large numbers. Sadly, this is true. In North Florida where I live, so many of the newbies have been ripping out their existing landscaping and replacing it with tropical foliage. What they don’t seem to understand is that this part of Florida is not tropical. It does get cold here. This winter we had 5 nights in a row of hard freezes. All this beautiful vegetation died.
These folks are shocked.Many have spent thousands of dollars and have torn out beautiful healthy plants. Their landscape designer did not tell them that these plants would need to be kept warm. It’s so important to use plants that are in your growing zone.


A. Marie March 14, 2023 at 2:45 pm

Bee, it’s so true about Florida newbies’ not understanding that Florida north of, say, Fort Lauderdale can get cold. As I recall, the town of Frostproof was named that because it didn’t get a freeze back in the 1920s, when most of the surrounding area did–but even Frostproof has had freezes since then.


Bee March 15, 2023 at 11:27 am

If you move here in July or August, it is hard to ever imagine being cool again! I do save as many plants as I can. I’ve learned not to be helpful.


Mary in Maryland March 13, 2023 at 5:45 am

1. Since my 1984 Honda Accord died in 1997, we’ve rocked being a one car couple. We do have to plan ahead, and we do go more places together than most couples. We also live walking distance from a Zipcar point which we use when we both need the car—making sure that the one with the shorter trip gets the rental. We bought our last two cars from neighbors for the price that CarMax offered for them. The Mercedes was an overly complicated money pit. When I told our mechanic I was looking for a better car, he said, “I have one word for you—Toyota.” We’ve been happy with our low maintenance 2005 Prius since 2015. We did need to buy a new big battery, but it seemed easier than car shopping.
2. We have only a two-drawer refrigerator that I bought used when a neighbor redid their rec room. The need to pack in produce (top drawer) and cooked food (bottom drawer) occasions a game we call “Fridge Tetris”. Sometimes we have to eat a container of rice and one of stew before I can fit any more cooked food into the drawer.
3. I sold a sewing machine. I didn’t get top dollar, but inventory was way too high here at “The Home for Wayward Sewing Machines.”
4. I’m involved with the sorting and pricing for my guild’s yard sale. It feels like Christmas opening all the bags and boxes of donations. Imagine my surprise when I found the two strip sets left over from the quilt I’m working on. I donated them six years ago. Someone must have bought them at the last sale and donated them back again. I was thrilled. Guild rule—you don’t have to pay if you take back your own donation.
5. More about sorting—there are a couple of quilt patterns I would love to make but making them would be much easier using very expensive templates. While sorting on Tuesday I bought a set I had been lusting after for years for $10. When I got home and looked them up online, I found that a new set costs over $100. That same day I saw a set of double wedding ring templates. When I got home, I watched a couple of videos of women using those templates. On Thursday I bought them for $5. And kept sorting/pricing only to find another set of DWR templates. I bought those as well. (Two different ring diameters. And such a bargain!)


Katy March 13, 2023 at 7:19 am

Oh yes, we’ve owned four different Toyotas through the years and they’ve been *chef’s kiss* perfection!


K D March 13, 2023 at 8:50 am

Years ago I read The Millionaire Next Door (the basic finding was that millionaires tend to be frugal, not living high on the hog as many would assume) and it reported that millionaire engineers own Toyotas.


Katy March 13, 2023 at 10:09 am

Smarty pant millionaires!


susanna d March 13, 2023 at 11:58 am

The best car we ever owned was a 1979 Toyota Celica. We wanted to keep it until it hit 250,000 miles and almost made it. But the car threw a MAJOR meltdown and we let it retire with “only” 249,000 miles on the odometer. While I hope our current, non-Toyota vehicle gives us several more years before we need to replace it (there’s only 210,000 miles on that one so I’m crossing my fingers), when we do replace it, it’ll most likely be with some manner of Toyota.


Ecoteri March 13, 2023 at 6:22 pm

Toyota family here! First NEW vehicle I bought was a 4X4 toyota pickup truck (red, of course). Regretted trading it in at 10 years for a Ford van (should have also kept the truck), Traded the van in for a Toyota Senica Van, loved it, traded that in a fun 3 way event with a friend, I bought a new (red Toyota) truck, she bought my van, I bought her little old Toyota Echo (stick, Red). My daughter has taken the Echo away, so I bought a blue toyota matrix from the same friends, recently gave that to my #1 son and bought a used (red) toyota Matrix from another friend, which my #2 son drives sometimes, and I drive sometimes. so currently due to best-insurance -rates, I own three red toyotas. Daughter Outlaw came by today in the blue matrix to share that#1 son’s Toyota Hylander might be on the bad fritz, her matrix is over the odometer reading (299,999 km) and has been for ages. Go toyota!


Mary in Maryland March 14, 2023 at 6:37 am

Sounds like you are playing Toyota Tetris.


Katy March 14, 2023 at 9:08 pm

This is fantastic!


Bee March 13, 2023 at 5:48 am

Five pints of Haagen Dazs Ice Cream for $0.97! What an awesome deal. So glad I don’t have access to that deal. Ice creme – especially Dulce De Leche -is my weakness and I would have eaten quite a bit of the 5 pints by myself. There was an iBotta deal for Haagen Dazs also last week.

1. I recently subscribed to the Wall Street Journal through my library’s service. It is delivered to me daily via email saving me hundreds a year.
2. I ordered a garden reference book on eBay for $8.01 which included tax and shipping. This book is more than $35 at first-hand booksellers.
3. I sold two items on eBay over the weekend and two books on Thursday.All had been sitting since last April. They were packed securely in recycled packaging.
4. I have been spring cleaning. I cleaned all the drains this week using baking soda and vinegar. Aired out the house and wiped the baseboards. I hate housework but love a clean house. Now that pandemic restrictions have ended, I have visitors again. I am motivated!
5. I am doing all the usual things – brewing my own coffee, cooking from scratch, using up leftovers, drinking primarily filtered water, and batching errands. I’m currently slogging through my book club’s monthly selection, The Love of My Life, which I thankfully picked up from the library. I’m 1/2 way through and I’m still hoping it will become a more engaging read. I hope I can finish it! At least, I don’t own it!
Wishing everyone peace, good health and prosperity.


Katy March 13, 2023 at 6:49 am

Yes, I also uploaded my Safeway receipt to Ibotta after a NCA reader pointed this out over at the NCA Facebook group.


Katy March 13, 2023 at 7:18 am

I wish my eBay stuff would sell a bit better. Of course it doesn’t help that I haven’t been listing lately.


Bee March 13, 2023 at 8:54 am

Did you actually make money on the Haagen Dazs buy? My eBay sales have been sporadic at best. I don’t list as much as I used to. I am also finding it difficult to find potentially profitable items. Thrift stores are charging more. eBay’s fees have increased as have shipping charges. This, the economics of the sale has changed.


Katy March 13, 2023 at 10:09 am

I did make money on the Haagen Dazs buy. I spent $4.85 for the 5 ice creams, got $5 off my purchase and then got a $5 rebate from Ibotta. So I made $5.15.


Selena March 13, 2023 at 7:22 am

Not that I personally take care of this maintenance item, better half drains some water out of the water heater a couple times of a year. Helps keep the sediments from building up in the bottom. Helps we have a floor drain not far from the water heater.


Ruby March 13, 2023 at 7:47 am

1. Repaired the attachment point for the handle on our mop bucket with some super-heavy duty Flex tape.
2. Groomed our youngest dog’s feet and gave her a nail trim, saving me the $27 this service costs at the vet’s office. She is an anxious dog and it took years of training her by gently playing with her feet to get her used to the idea, but is worth the effort.
3. Still not eating out. The last few times we did, the whole experience was so aggravating that I’d rather stay home.
4. Still being my own landscaper by trimming back ivy and raking up leaves and sticks in preparation for seeding the back yard with white clover. I was amused to see that our huge brush pile awaiting pick up at the street is smaller because some enterprising person claimed all the logs from it. Good for them!
5. Bought three pairs of barely-worn capri shorts on eBay for an average cost, including shipping, of $14.66 per pair. This is enough to get me through the summer. The brand and style is still being sold in department stores for $40 per pair. Wow!
Bonus 6th: Ollie’s Outlet sent me a 10% off coupon just as I was in need of food storage containers easier for my arthritic hands to open. Found just what was needed for half the price of the same on Amazon, along with a bottle of the $8 Neutrogena shampoo that best suits my scalp for $4.99.


A. Marie March 13, 2023 at 10:30 am

Ruby, it’s Ollie’s for the win again! I stopped in last week and picked up a tube of Neutrogena “Sports Face” sunblock at a discount similar to the one you got on the shampoo. Ollie’s doesn’t have Neutrogena that often, so I figured I’d better move on it. As we both know, “When it’s gone, it’s gone!”


Jill A March 13, 2023 at 11:59 am

I think I might to need to give Ollie’s a try again. I’ve had no luck in the past.


Ruby March 13, 2023 at 12:55 pm

The two items I mentioned were the only ones of their kind in the whole store, so I popped them in the cart right away. I also bought some free of everything bad baby shampoo for DH, who is having topical chemo treatment on the little skin cancer spots on his head, and a bag of wasabi soy almonds, which are awesome if you like a scorching hot snack.

Lately our Ollie’s has totally been hitting it out of the park. The only thing it’s been short of are cat treats.


geri March 29, 2023 at 2:47 pm

Ruby, our local Dollar Tree has had name brand cat treats recently. Our foster dogs enjoy them and my boyfriend’s “Not My Cat” that he feeds several times a day also likes them.

Jill A March 13, 2023 at 12:09 pm

That’s a great savings on WSJ. I love my library. I can’t get the WSJ but can get the New York Times.


Roberta March 13, 2023 at 8:59 am

According to their website, Target price matches for Amazon, among other companies.

I’ve been spending money more than saving it, so I have nothing to report on that front. I’m glad we have to money to spend, from past frugal endeavors!


Katy March 13, 2023 at 10:07 am

That is super useful to know, thank you!


A. Marie March 13, 2023 at 9:26 am

FFT, For What We Are About to Receive… Edition:

Here in Central NY (along with other parts of the Northeast), we have a winter storm warning from 6 tonight to 8 am Wednesday. So I’m doing various forms of frugal storm prep:

(1) I went to visit DH this morning (a day or two earlier than usual; I generally go at midweek), and I’ve asked to reschedule the care plan meeting for him that was originally scheduled for tomorrow. See Katy’s comments a post or two ago about not getting stuck by the side of the road during a giant snow dump.

(2) I’m doing a lot of cooking this afternoon: the nicest sirloin steak from our 1/4 steer (the one I’d be sorriest to lose to a power outage), some roasted root vegetables, and a loaf of banana bread (using up two ancient bananas). The banana bread will go into the oven as soon as the root veggies come out.

(3) I’m topping up bird feeders, taking out the compost, bringing firewood up from the old attached garage for a fire in the woodburner tomorrow, and all that other good “homesteader woman” stuff.

(4) I will entertain myself tomorrow by (a) starting a pile of dead small appliances, electronic devices, etc. (the Bestest Neighbors have offered to do a run after the weather improves to a local business that recycles such things for free), and (b) considering what besides a lot of DH’s tools I might put into the street-wide garage sale that’s been proposed for the early summer. In turn, also when the weather improves, I will be hauling several bags of clothing and miscellaneous that belonged to a recently deceased relative of Dr. BN’s to the Rescue Mission.

(5) And in other news, a friend of Ms. BN’s who has an eBay account has kindly listed four books for me. (I’ll cover the Media Mail postage and the eBay fees.) I don’t want to start an eBay account of my own at this point for various reasons (Bee mentioned some of these above)–but, long story short, I thought these particular books would do better on eBay than anywhere else. One of them has sold already.


Katy March 13, 2023 at 10:07 am

Wow, your productivity is very impressive!


Jill A March 13, 2023 at 12:01 pm

Stay safe. I hope you keep your power. I have PTSD from losing ours a couple weeks ago.


Lindsey March 13, 2023 at 12:13 pm

I am tired just reading everything you are doing!


Julie March 13, 2023 at 10:24 am

Your comment about the new Pyrex jogged my memory of your mention of the Eufy robot vacuum. Are you liking it? I’ve had one in my cart for a few weeks but keep going back and forth.


Katy March 13, 2023 at 10:52 am

I love it! Having the floors clean at all times, including under furniture has made a noticeable difference in our indoor air quality. Even though the house already seemed very clean.


Barbara March 15, 2023 at 5:27 am

I, too, have had the Eufy in my amazon cart for a while. I had decided to buy it after reading your post, but the price had gone up to $230! I keep checking for another screaming deal every few days, but so far, no luck.


Katy March 16, 2023 at 8:17 am

Yeah, I paid around $100 for mine, although it’s not as fancy as other models. Still loving it.


Jann in Maine March 13, 2023 at 10:53 am

We,too,in Maine are going to get hit with the same storm. Stay safe all.
Have been invited to a wedding in Connecticut in Sept–bride has a block of rooms but when I tried to book found could only do so for 2 nights. Called 3 different numbers and the third one told me yes she would honor a one night at that rate. Saved $50 over the other “best” rate.
Cooking at home,batching errands, using the library–same old same old.
Thanks for the library WSJ subscription idea will see if ours also does this. We also have magazines on line–hundreds of them–and this has cut down my weakness for magazines.
We have limited options up here for small markets, scratch and dent and outlet places. Makes it more challenging for sure. And of cours Aldis,Whole Paycheck and Trader Joes are over 2 hours each way. We just “make do.”
Have not used my dryer at all this winter. Electric costs have skyrocketed here and every little bit helps.
We got $195 from a study we did and are also currently enrolled in a Lyme Disease vaccine study. Have had 2 vaccines so far and will get a booster in April.
Every little bit helps. Thanks all for your tips!


Jill A March 13, 2023 at 11:55 am

I also hate the grocery games. I prefer Aldi but I do pick up loss leaders at Meijer as well as taking advantage of Costco deals.
1. I’m continuing to try to use up items in my freezer. I made a lasagna that used up some ground beef, impossible sausage , cheese and three tablespoons of tomato paste which I had divided and frozen when used for a previous recipe. I brought the meal to my MIL’s house and fed her, my mom, sister and three kids.
2. I made yogurt. I usually use my daughter’s instapot but she kept forgetting to bring it over. I used The Frugal Girl’s method and now I think I don’t need to purchase an instapot unless I find a screaming deal at a garage sale.
3. I asked my daughter’s fiance to come help get youngest daughter’s car started. I took them to dinner at Olga’s as a thank you. I used gift cards that I purchased at Costco for 30% off. It’s great to have a mechanic in the family.
4. My favorite waterproof hiking shoes have sprung a leak after many years of faithful service. I found a new pair of trail running shoes at Marshall’s for 70% off the retail price that I will use during the summer months and a new pair of waterproof hiking shoes on Amazon (also tried to find them elsewhere) for 50% off to use for hiking and walking through slushy trails in the winter. I should be all set for many years hopefully.
5. Discussed cars with my mechanic when I had my oil changed. He also suggested Toyota. He also told me to hang on to my car until it dies and that I don’t need a new car. I think that’s pretty good advice although I cringe when I think about having to rush to buy a car when that happens.


Selena March 13, 2023 at 7:24 pm

Olga’s as in spinach pie restaurant? If so I am so jealous. Our local one closed a number of years ago but a quick search shows the one in my state is a 4.25 hour drive. Which I can’t justify but I do see some recipes for making them.


Jill A March 14, 2023 at 2:01 am

Yes, the same one. My kids love it and so do I. They grew up eating there and we all always order the same thing. Three Cheese Olga. We did make our own during the pandemic and they were easy to do and tasted really close to the real thing.


Lindsey March 13, 2023 at 12:36 pm

1. Sold two books on eBay. This is a lot for me because I hate dealing with eBay and have to force myself to list stuff.
2. When I worked in an office, I used to wear a lot of intricately beaded necklaces. I have not worn them since retiring so I listed them on FB and sold them within a day. $223 for seven of them—they cost me a lot more back in the day but I happily wore them for 25 years so I got my money’s worth and am glad to have less clutter and money in the bank.
3. Chickens are laying like crazy again, even though it is 19 below this morning, the increased sunlight fooling them into thinking it is spring. Sold 3 dozen for $4.00 a dozen.
4. Did three gas station shops, so free pop and gas.
5. March is birthday month and I dug up some card making supplies and spent an evening half-watching a movie and making all the cards I need for this month. I love pop-up books and had a friend who knows how to make them teach me the techniques so I could make pop-up cards. They are pretty cool, if I do say so myself.


Jill A March 13, 2023 at 12:46 pm

19 below just sounds painful. It’s going to be 23 tomorrow morning when I plan to go for a walk, I want to cry just thinking about it.


susanna d March 13, 2023 at 12:44 pm

1. From December through mid-February, it seemed like almost every major winter storm missed us – the most snow we ever got at one time was four inches. Nature decided to make up for lost time, and has been gifting us with twice weekly winter storms since mid-February. At least 7 or 8 inches of snow each time, often more. It’s not a bad thing – our lake levels were low from getting very little rain last summer and we need precipitation, no matter what form. It’s a frugal thing because seeing all that snow piled up seems to reduce our desire to go out and drive as much as we had been.
2. Since we needed to make a several hundred dollar purchase at Home Depot (sigh) and since Kroger was having another “earn quadruple fuel points on gift cards” promo, we bought a gift card to cover the purchase price (and then some, since my husband always seems to need something from HD). All those fuel points will save us $70 on gasoline purchases. We fill 5 gallon gas cans along with the gas tanks to make sure we can use the maximum allowed. So in a roundabout way, I can say we cut the price on the item we needed to buy. Right?
3. I hadn’t been keeping up with my lettuce planting in the basement garden, and thought I’d need to start buying grocery store lettuce again. One look at the slimy mess that was being passed off as lettuce in the stores had me looking for an alternative. Which I found in my freezer. I’d frozen a lot of bags of kale and chard from our garden this past fall, and all that “frozen when super fresh” goodness has more nutrition than the antique lettuce from the store. Despite what I might think, I do not NEED to have a salad every day. Cooked greens are a wonderful substitute.
4. Our current home was never meant to be our “forever home”; it was part of a “ten year plan”. Ten years was up in 2020 – yes, covid lockdown 2020. We’re finally moving forward with figuring out where we want to end up. While it’ll still be a year or two before we make the move, I’ve started the great declutter adventure of 2023. I won the battle with my husband, who had said “When the time comes, we’ll just rent the biggest dumpster we can find.” No way I was agreeing with that; I remember all too well the ridiculously high cost of renting a dumpster when we remodeled our home ten years ago. I’m sure the cost is even higher now. Plus I’m filling bags of “stuff” to donate (and save from the landfill), and I’ve even found a few forgotten “treasures” that are proving very useful.


Katy March 13, 2023 at 2:30 pm

I agree with you on salad. We used to make a big salad every night and I got burnt out on them, so I serve and eat vegetables in other forms now.


Jennifer March 13, 2023 at 2:57 pm

1. Sat down and looked at the budget to figure out a way to meet our goals – pay off car, travel, continue to pay for kids college, save money for a newer car at whatever point that dies, etc. We could do lots with our money – but first we have to save $4000 to pay Uncle Sam. I hate delaying goals. But having a plan and knowing what we want and where we want to be is huge and helps us stay frugal.

2. Drain in the basement clogged again, so dh ran a snake in it to clear it.

3. Volunteered at the MAC Championships to earn money for college. Kept me busy for a day making money rather than spending money.

4. Youngest dd got out of on campus housing requirement (she is switching to an associates degree). A townhome near campus will be half of what room and board costs.

5. Managed to get 2 big appointments on 1 day so as to just miss work once rather than twice. Also, canceled the PT appts that were not helping at all. Saves me a big drive and the copay.


Mary March 13, 2023 at 3:16 pm

You can buy just the lids for pyrex bowls on Amazon. They always go way before the bowls.


Jill D March 13, 2023 at 6:59 pm

You can order them directly from Pyrex online. No need to go through Amazon. And Pyrex is running a 20% off sale at the moment.


Katy March 14, 2023 at 9:06 pm

Good to know, thanks! However I have a numver of lidless glass containers that are random other brands.


Jill D March 13, 2023 at 7:00 pm

And don’t put the lids in the dishwasher. Wash them by hand and they’ll last as long as the bowls.


Jill A March 14, 2023 at 2:04 am

I always wash the lids and any plastic by hand and they still have cracked. I have one set that has the Snapware lids and those have held up much better but the set with the regular lids always crack.


Jill D March 14, 2023 at 11:38 am

As always, YMMV.


Christine March 13, 2023 at 4:49 pm

I didn’t realize Pyrex is made in the United States AND unionized. Good reason to buy from them.
1. I haven’t grocery shopped in about 3 weeks. The freezer and cabinets are still yielding food.
2. I was craving something sweet so made a banana bread using up some ripe bananas and a small container of applesauce. Threw in some chocolate chips for good measure.
3. I cared for my son’s cats while he and his wife were away. My grandkids assisted me. Time spent with cats and grandkids, especially in combination, is never wasted.
4. Walked with DH along a river for exercise and relaxation.
5. Listening to free podcasts on my laptop for entertainment and to make doing chores seem better and easier.


Bethany M March 13, 2023 at 5:04 pm

Finally landed a job. It’s a non-profit helping families in big ways. I’m really excited. During my second interview I was telling my life story that lead me to qualifying for and interested in this position. They loved it and invited me to join their lobbyists at the State Capitol this week to tell my story to the State Senate advocate for a bill they are about to vote on. This is totally down my alley! Can’t wait!

We made a family trip to the Salvation Army. It was 1/2 off clothes. Such good deals it felt like we robbed the place.

We cashed out our Fetch Rewards and ate at Red Robin. With tip we spent $17 out of pocket for the 5 of us. Score!

Started my seeds in the bathroom window sill. Cute little tomato and basil sprouts coming up! Hope to see my bell peppers and jalapeños coming up soon!

Traded a day of housekeeping for certified electrical work on 3 non-working outlets in the house.


Heidi Louise March 13, 2023 at 5:31 pm

Hooray for important work you are excited about!
And your attitude and experiences are also important to energize your co-workers as well.


MB in MN March 13, 2023 at 5:49 pm

Bethany, congrats on the new job – and a meaningful one at that!


Jill A March 14, 2023 at 2:06 am

Congratulations on your new job. I love that you traded housekeeping for electrical work. I would love that option.


Bee March 14, 2023 at 6:22 pm

Congratulations!!!! I’m so happy for you.


Amanda P March 13, 2023 at 6:31 pm

With you all the way on Pyrex!!

1. My guys went to a men’s breakfast at church Saturday morning and the cook sent them home with leftovers, a lovely treat! When we were at church the next day I did a kitchen sweep (I’m on the hospitality team and keep an eye on supplies) and noticed still more leftovers left from the breakfast. Things like that often get forgotten, so we approached the fella in charge of buying it all and asked if we could purchase it so it wouldn’t go south. Absolutely NOT…but we could certainly have it! So several gallons of milk, pounds of bacon, butter, cream cheese and oj are in the fridge now. My kids are in heaven, since we get those things sometimes but in much smaller quantities.

2. My expensive immersion blender died (a gift) and while Costco gave me a refund, I couldn’t justify $50 on a new one, however handy they are. I found one for $2 today at a thrift store and got to support a lovely cause.

3. I FOUND A WORKING VINTAGE VITAMIX 3600 WITH ALL THE PARTS FOR $5!!!!!!! My husband is an electrician so if the cord ever makes me nervous he can swap it easily. Always wanted one but couldn’t bite the $$$ bullet. Yay!

These last 2 are for trying to refresh my style a bit. (My kids lovingly pointed out that I “still” had some of the clothes from some old pictures when we went down memory lane recently. )

4. Dyed my brows again with a $20 Godefroy kit that’s lasted me at least 18 months, maybe more.

5. Did a little brainstorming on what’s currently in style that would suit me and that I’d actually wear, and found 4 shirts and 2 pairs of shoes for a grand total of $5. I’m planning to refresh the dye on some favorite jeans that are fading but still fit nicely (I’m a dark wash fan).


Coral Clarke March 14, 2023 at 2:54 am

Always look forward to your posts! In Australia it’s free to pay bills electronically ( my bank to billers bank) and I have free off peak bus travel, which is very economical! Frequent, convenient bus service, 10 minutes to library, art gallery, museum, river, parks, hospital, shops etc. I grocery shop monthly, if I run out of something, I eat something else! Exception is salad veg! Don’t use disposables, and shop second hand where possible, although our thrift shops are MUCH dearer than yours! My Air Fryer, Induction Hob, Electric Kettle, Toaster, Crock Pot and Toasted Sandwich Maker are all hand me downs! I’m 75 next month, and economising has been a way of life for a long time! I’m fortunate to have free health care, subsidised prescriptions, and use ceiling fans in our very warm weather! Winters are, generally, mild enough for extra clothes !


Christine March 14, 2023 at 6:55 pm

I grocery shop monthly too. It saves time and money. Like you, when I run out of something, we eat something else. My exceptions are milk, bread, cold cuts and cheese, fresh fruit. When these run out, I buy more. If I crave something sweet, I make it. It works for us.


Katy March 14, 2023 at 9:05 pm

Interesting to read about your life in Australia, thank you for sharing!


rebecca March 14, 2023 at 1:20 pm

1. Friends came over for dinner the other night and cooked chicken thighs from the freezer and even whipped up a pie with a homemade graham cracker crust.
2. I keep making soup with stuff in the fridge.
3. Fought the urge for takeout twice.
4. I have had a few driveless days.
5. The usual-coffee and water from home, heat at 66 degrees, ect


Katy March 14, 2023 at 9:03 pm

Fighting the urge for takeout is never ending.


Selena March 15, 2023 at 6:56 pm

Living out in the country does a good job of decreasing the urge for takeout/carryout. It was planned during the pandemic (state wisely shutdown and I am forever grateful for a sane governor and judicial system) to keep family owned businesses. It is much easier to make-n-eat at home.


Texasilver March 14, 2023 at 7:42 pm

1. The dryer was not drying properly. I asked hubby to investigate. He removed a clog of lint from the vent tubing that goes outside. It is back to normal now. The dryer was given to us around 15 yrs ago by the across the street neighbor.
2. I returned a defective purse to Fossil. They sent me a gift card worth 80$. The purse I wanted was 330$. I waited & Fossil had a sale & a 50% off the sale price. My purse was on sale & I got it for 18$ using the gift card. It is leather & will last a long time.
3. I will take the cat this weekend to the low cost vax clinic for his shots.
4. I returned a burned breakfast quesadilla that was inedible. Taco Bell prepared a fresh one for me. I used my reward offer to get the food but I did want to be able to eat it.
5. Working my summer job to fund a kitchen remodel. The kitchen in my condo is 50 years old. The laminate is peeling away from the cabinet doors. The ballasts in the ceiling lights are not working. It’s time for them to go.


Katy March 14, 2023 at 9:02 pm

Wow, that’s an impressive deal on your purse!


Cindy in the South March 15, 2023 at 7:02 am

1. I have a newly elected boss who submitted approval my work health insurance for a part time employee. That is a biggie. Haven’t received it yet but soon.
2. Son’s tire disintegrated after hitting a pot hole. So, I agreed to buy another one and went to the cheapest place in town. It was a $100 for a brand new tire but much better than other places around.
3. Walked in my neighborhood.
4. Brought lunch to work
5. I took a nap after work, always good..


Ashley Bananas March 16, 2023 at 1:42 pm

I had surgery in late February and did very little for two weeks. Despite not being able to eat solid food I cooked for my son the entire time and we were able to stay home more, drive less, and enjoy being together more. I am back to work and packing my lunches. I’ve also successfully gotten my child to eat bagels several mornings, protein bars, and even prepackaged donuts. He swears by WaWa hash browns as the best morning food on the planet, but my budget is telling me to curb that. lol….I attempted to get back in the grocery game. You mentioned the gamification of groceries for discounts. Sadly I’m at a budget place where I’m willing to play a few games and be a little dicey to get the discounts. This week I should be able to get free ketchup at Publix as long as they’re not sold out. It’s very exciting over here. In other news I have now lost almost 70 lbs and pulled out long stored clothing and believe I will fit into them again in the near future. Frugal win? I guess so I have some clothes that I question what I was wearing 15+ years ago….tank tops that look like dish rags, skirts that are far shorter than I remember, although maybe they will get longer with more weight loss. I told my manager I may look eclectic for a while as I want to wait to buy more clothes until I lose more weight. The entire process has been all consuming, but I’m so happy to be on a path to weight loss that will lead me to better health.


MB in MN March 16, 2023 at 7:18 pm

Ashley, 70 lbs – wow! Kudos to you and wishing you continued better health!


Hawaii Planner March 19, 2023 at 4:59 pm

1) We’re doing a big trip to Dubai in a month, to see my husband’s family. (We can only meet in a few countries, as they live in Iran). I’m jazzed to meet my SIL, many relatives, but mostly for my MIL to see our kids for the first time in 14+ years. We are paying for much of the cost, and I noticed that the hotel rooms had dropped very slightly in the nightly rate. When you have six rooms, and you are staying for close to a week, it all adds up. Rebooked everything online, & saved $400.
2) Used a gift card to book travel for the summer. We buy gift cards at the grocery store, and earn rewards. Then, when we need the gift cards for travel, we’ve already saved a bit.
3) Bonus: I used the grocery store gift cards to buy a few extra treats for my son’s 16th birthday this week. We got an ice cream cake, a few gallons of ice cream (seriously, why so much ice cream? His request). And, then I picked up a few packages of mini cupcakes, for his tennis team, which had a match on his birthday.
4) For the upcoming trip, I need a few options that are not what I’d normally wear (we’re going during Ramadan). I borrowed wraps from friends, pulled some stuff out of my closet, and tried to keep the shopping to a minimum. I did buy a few items to wear.
5) I really, really did not do a good job on a curry recipe last night, despite having made it many times before. We almost got takeout (I don’t think we’ve ever done this because of a failed recipe before), but I was able to scrape the non charred curry off of the bottom, and just avoid stirring. It certainly wasn’t the best meal we’ve ever had, but everyone was fed. 😉
6) Sold a couple items on eBay, drove a now 16 year old to some reffing games (he has his drivers test in 2 weeks!), & helped the teens with job applications for the summer.


Lori March 24, 2023 at 4:41 am

That’s great savings on those hotel rooms! Thanks for the reminder to continue looking even after booking


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