Five Frugal Things

by Katy on March 20, 2023 · 88 comments

A pre-pandemic photo — hence the mask-free face!

  1. I recorded a interview with the dudes Matt and Joel over at the How To Money podcast a couple weeks ago, which is finally available for your listening pleasure. I was sure that I full on rambled during the interview, but now think it actually turned out pretty decent.

    Fun facts:

    • Joel Larsgaard was my editor when I first starting writing for Clark Howard. He was an excellent communicator and processed my payments in a timely manner.
    • They very specifically told me that their podcast was “family friendly ” and to not swear. I’d like to think that this messaging was specifically for me and not a warning given to all their podcast guests. Ya’ll already know that I’m #cheapaf and not afraid to say it!

    Click HERE to listen to my interview.

  2. My son works for a tech company that needed study participants for a special program. Although I’ve done paid consumer opinion studies in the past, the location for this one was in person and so very far from home, so yeah . . . I was dragging my feet. However, I was curious to poke around his workplace, so I drove out and completed the hour-and-a-half long study.

    The “pay” was a $150 gift card to spend at 200 different corporate companies. I’d hoped that Paypal would be among the choices, but such was not the case. Instead I chose Albertsons, which can be used at Safeway. So yeah . . . the most boring choice. However, I’ve enjoyed playing their loss leader digital coupons game over the past few weeks, so I’ll pair the gift cards with those deals. Of course, I’ll continue to shop for staples at Winco for consistently low grocery prices.

  3. I’m borrowing my mother’s car while my husband and I take our time to search for a reasonably priced used car. I finally had to gas it up the other day and had a mild panic attack while waiting in line to buy discounted gas at a Fred Meyer gas station. Why? because I couldn’t locate the lever to pop open the gas tank door. I even googled the issue and pulled out the owner’s manual, but still couldn’t find the information. I eventually made it to the front of the line and confessed that I didn’t know how to open the door, but the attendant showed me that the little door opens by pressing on it.

    Good thing that Oregon doesn’t allow you to pump your own gas, otherwise I’d have been completely stumped.

  4. • I took advantage of another Safeway loss leader digital coupon by pairing a $5-off-$5 coupon with 67¢ jars of Nutella. (Limit 4) I added a big-ass bunch of bananas and spent $1.84.
    • I drove past a Krispy Kreme donut shop and noticed that their “HOT NOW” sign was lit in red, so I pulled over and scored a free glazed donut.
    • I gave away a small stack of elm firewood that’s been sitting under my front porch furniture for a last couple years. I’ve burned a few pieces in the fireplace, but my asthma protested greatly. Gotta love Buy Nothing groups for getting rid of just about anything!
    • I moved all my porch furniture off to the side and gave the porch a deep clean beauty treatment. The porch now looks great and I didn’t spend a dime.
    • My husband had an errand to run and bribed me to come along by promising a Goodwill trip to the Oak Grove store. I almost left empty handed but ended up buying a vintage brass and glass table for just $14.99. It’s not my style, but I’ve seen other people incorporate them into their homes in a super cute way. I put it up for sale on Facebook Marketplace.
    • I went to the dented vegetable store and picked up a huge package of organic spring greens for $2, as well at 39¢/lb onions.

  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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{ 88 comments… read them below or add one }

Amy March 20, 2023 at 6:45 am

Always trust the attendant will know, they see so many cars in a day.

1. Mended 4 socks to get through the rest of winter. I also got a deal on a pair of Bombas socks cost shipping and a review. I wanted to see what the fuss was about.
2. Used Flashfood to top off my groceries. I am challenging myself to spending less than 200 on groceries this month.
3. Read my gas meter to get the 2% savings.
4. Carpooled to work 4/5 days last week.
5. Sent my Jansport bag in, hoping they can fix the zipper. But will accept a new bag.


Kara March 20, 2023 at 7:31 am

I loved the podcast!
I learned how to correctly record items donated for tax purposes, thank you!
I also copied you and picked up a set of Christmas stockings with embroidered names FREE from FB marketplace and will pick the embroidery off and sell the stockings.
I sold a stroller for my DIL. The hood part had been ripped off by careless baggage handlers on a flight, and she hadn’t felt it worth the bother to submit a claim to the airline. I bought a replacement hood, and still sold the stroller for a profit. One less thing in the landfill! She gets the profit, I like to help out a young couple in legitimate ways.


Katy March 20, 2023 at 9:36 am

I love that you’re picking out the stitches!


Jill A March 20, 2023 at 7:49 am

1. We are eating up our leftovers and eating most meals at home. I made an egg casserole which used up some sprouting potatoes and leftover impossible sausage that was in the refrigerator.
2. I’m making butternut squash chipotle chili. I cubed the leftover squash and froze it in empty plastic cracker bags for future meals.
3. I purchased a nice set of bed sheets for $6 at an estate sale. The timing was good because mine are starting to fall apart and I didn’t have a second set. This set is a beautiful color but doesn’t coordinate with my other bedding but they are so luxurious I think I can overlook that.
4. I’ve sold several items on Ebay. I packaged them up and ordered a free pick up from the post office.
5. A friend loaned me several books to read. I’m also reading books on my kindle. I’m making coffee at home. Hanging my laundry to dry.


Jill A March 20, 2023 at 9:55 am

Also, really good podcast interview.


Katy March 20, 2023 at 11:00 am

Thank you!


Mary in Maryland March 20, 2023 at 9:59 am

When my sister complained about my sheets not matching the decor (or each other) I pointed out that we sleep with our eyes closed.


Katy March 20, 2023 at 11:00 am

That is the goal. Maybe even sleep better as you’ll be more likely to keep your eyes shut.


Ruby March 20, 2023 at 8:13 am

That was worth the effort to earn the gift card, as you have a true knack for working the deals at the grocery store.

1. I altered to fit better a pair of very nice pajamas that had become way too loose on me due to weight loss.
2. For Sunday night supper, made two homemade pizzas, topped with pepperoni, Italian sausage, black olives, and sauteed sweet onions and peppers, with chocolate pudding for dessert. Everything came from our pantry and freezer and cost about $9 in ingredients. And we have leftovers!
3. Mended a pair of fleece pants for my son.
4. Bathed and groomed the dogs myself.
5. Did purchase new a pair of sandals to replace my pair that is wearing out, but bought on clearance and with free shipping from a real shoe store.


Heidi Louise March 20, 2023 at 8:25 am

Love that organic girl lettuce! But I also can’t handle paying full price. It stays safe several days beyond the sell-by date. Tubs are also #1 recyclable and I have several used for storage in various parts of my house.
Jacqueline Winspear, author of the Maisie Dobbs series, has a new book out tomorrow, “The White Lady.” 1947 Britain, the heroine was an “operative” during the war and that life pulls her back in.
I have various bulb flowers coming up in my yard from potted plants I was given over the years. Always heartening to see.
Everything around here seems so routine that I don’t really have five to write. Been using the library a lot.


Katy March 20, 2023 at 9:33 am

I’ve read a few of her books, they’re really satisfying.


Tammy Brackett March 20, 2023 at 4:03 pm

I love Maisie Dobbs!


Ava March 20, 2023 at 8:30 am

1. Hung out laundry on a lovely sunny day before winter came back.
2. Went grocery shopping and cashier said “someone left a $14 off total order coupon for the next person checking out”. What a nice surprise.
3. Bought a hat I didn’t need. On the way to visit family, we stopped at a Goodwill and I got a cute hat new with tags. It came in very handy on the trip when we sat outside in frigid weather watching grandkids’ sports events. And to add to the hat’s charm, I found out it retails for $40.
4. Listed an item on Etsy and had it immediately deleted. I received an email saying that the listing violated their protocols and that the email should answer all my questions. I still didn’t have a clue why so I contacted customer service. After two days I received an email saying Etsy made a mistake. They explained the issue and immediately resisted the item.
5. Came up with a way to keep the giant mutant terrior from romping through the raised garden box. I first tried stakes and strings around the edge. That worked for a while. Then he figured out how to get in but couldn’t find his way out. Then I remembered I had a big roll of bird netting bought years ago. I ran that around the edge and the box is now dog proof using only supplies I already had.


Ava March 20, 2023 at 11:53 am

Ref #4: resisted the item, not resisted


Ava March 20, 2023 at 11:54 am



Ashley Bananas March 20, 2023 at 8:54 am

We just had a Krispy Kreme open up here in the last year or two, do you know if they do free donuts nationally when a sign is lit saying ‘Hot now’ ? I cant eat donuts currently, but my very hungry teenager can. lol

This past week…
1. My son, best friend, and I dressed in green and went to Krispy Kreme the day before St. Patrick’s day and got a free glazed green donut. It was quirky and cute. I didn’t eat my donut, so my son had it for breakfast the next day.
2. I saw an online Facebook advertisement for KFC where you can get a $10 8 piece bucket of chicken if you order online or through their app. My hungry teenager was fed for a few days again.
3. I hosted a neighborhood yard sale with the help of my best friend. This is the second year we hosted the sale, and finally got really good results with over 50 houses participating and a very low budget for balloons for mailboxes, prints of maps, and we ordered signs this year. Many neighbors had a great results and we’re looking forward to doing this again next year.
4. After recent weight loss surgery I have a very limited diet. I decided to make things on my current phase of the diet at home, which has been a great savings.
5. I went through all of my kitchen pantries and gave extra food that was recently expired to my neighbors who have no fear of expiration dates. This helped me realize I over buy groceries and we just dont go through them as fast as we used to. It also allowed me to pass it on so that that food hopefully gets a second life at my neighbors. The laundry room and bathroom closet are next on my hit list.

Have a great week!


Katy March 20, 2023 at 9:30 am

I looked it up and it says that you can get one free glazed donut when the “hot now” red sign is lit. But it did say “with a purchase.” You can always call your local location to ask.


Selena March 20, 2023 at 6:51 pm

Apps – I HATE them and refuse to download them. I don’t care how much money I can “supposedly” save. Apps are a cancer IMHO. Sorry about the rant but seriously – they can continually bother you. They use up storage on your phone then you need a new phone. UGH. Rant over.


Ashley Bananas March 21, 2023 at 6:16 am

Hi Selena, I deleted the KFC app after I placed and picked up the order. I do have a CVS app and a few others for stores I shop at more often. But, I agree, they can feel very intrusive with little savings.


Katy March 21, 2023 at 9:32 am

Good rant. I approve.


Christine March 20, 2023 at 9:04 am

Your podcast with HTM was informative and enjoyable. I loved listening. To add to that, thanks a bunch for turning me on to HTM. I’ve already signed up for their newsletter.
1. I hung out sheets and pillowcases today on the umbrella clothesline in my yard. Although they dry nicely inside slung over doors and backs of chairs, there is nothing to replace the fresh air scent when you doze off in them the first night after hanging them outside.
2. I dug out my Easter decorations and put them around the house. No need for anything new.
3. Temperatures are predicted to be in the 50s and possibly low 60s this week so the heat can stay off.
4. Making a pot of soup for the week today using all things on hand: celery, carrots, onions, frozen green beans and corn, whole wheat store brand pasta and black beans I cooked in the crockpot and froze for future use. A vegetarian once told me: ” Beans, greens and grains make up a whole protein.” This soup should cover it.
5. I picked up a book in the Joe Pickett series by CJ Box I had put on hold in the interlibrary loan system at the library. Love his characters. The tv series was good too.


Cindy in the South March 20, 2023 at 9:21 am

Wonderful podcast! 1. I did not buy any groceries this week. I am trying to eat what I have.
2. I cooked a turkey breast that was in my tiny above fridge freezer (see above.) I will pair this with probably canned cooked green beans seasoned with lemon juice.
3. I walked in the neighborhood.
4. I took a nap over the weekend.
That is all I have.


Katy March 20, 2023 at 9:27 am

Thank you, I was really nervous.


Lindsey March 20, 2023 at 9:39 am

1. A restaurant was giving away halvah on the local free site, but you had to take all of it. All of it turned out to a be an 11 pound, still sealed bucket of vanilla halvah. I love the stuff but this is an embarrassment of riches. Once I open the seal, it will be good for only six months; unopened it will be okay for a year. I am now rounding up friends who want to share in this bounty. It does not do well with freezing…
2. Did two grocery shops and a gasoline shop, netting over $50 of free food items and a small amount of gas. Also a bottle of pop, which we rarely buy.
3. Sold a book and mailed it doing a post office shop. Whenever I can, I try to combine a shop with an eBay sale. Sometimes I have to throw in beans or Alaskan rocks to make the weight match the shop requirements, but for free shipping I am happy to wash off some rocks!
4. A pair of Allbirds I bought turned out to be a bit tight. I borrowed shoe stretchers from a friend and now they fit.
5. Accepted 10 empty dog food bags from my neighbor, who saw me trash pick out a bag years ago and now just saves them for me. They hold 40 pounds so a large enough to use in our garbage cans. Saves me money and gives the bag one more use before going to the dump.


Jill A March 20, 2023 at 10:09 am

I had to look up Harvard. Sounds delicious. 11 lbs. Wow. You’ll have enough treats to last you a long time.


Heidi Louise March 20, 2023 at 10:21 am

Spell check causes trouble again! I wonder if there is a nonsense song: “I was happy eating halvah at Harvard– Hooray!”


Katy March 20, 2023 at 10:59 am

I’d listen to that song!


Jill A March 20, 2023 at 11:12 am

LOL. Oh dear. I really should learn to proof read.


Katy March 20, 2023 at 11:01 am

So smart to stretch the shoes!


Alison March 24, 2023 at 4:00 pm

I could easily eat 11 lbs of halvah in 6 months. Haha I love the stuff!


Mary in Maryland March 20, 2023 at 9:56 am

Relieved that the mask was from the before times. My biggest find this week is Hoopla–a service from the public library that lets me read books, but only on my computer. I had thought it not very useful but have been checking out books and reading enough to see if I need to buy them. So far–four noes and one yes.


Audry March 20, 2023 at 1:55 pm

There’s a Hoopla app for mobile devices. Have you tried that?


Mary in Maryland March 20, 2023 at 1:58 pm

No, because I don’t have a mobile device.


Bee March 21, 2023 at 4:21 am

I downloaded the library’s Hoopla App to my smart TV sometime ago. I have access to Acorn and a variety of movies that change monthly. I don’t use it often, but the cost is zero!


Ashley Bananas March 22, 2023 at 9:19 am

Hi Mary,
You may want to inquire if your library also has the free Libby, and Kanopy apps. Libby focuses on ebooks and eaudiobooks. Kanopy has a focus on shows and films. My library has both as well has Hoopla. They all have good points, especially if you dont want to drive, or forget to turn things in. Digital items can never be turned in late or lost!! =)


janine March 20, 2023 at 10:03 am

1. Bought a large bag of sale bananas for 49c. Peeled and froze pulp for future banana bread baking efforts. Purchased at a local small business produce market that also has a good deli. We make up for the great deals on produce by buying lunch from them – not terribly high priced, but I think the deli is their profit center.
2. Plan to borrow Winspear’s book from the library. Thanks for the tip Heidi Louise. Own many of her previous books.
3. Celebrated St. Patrick’s Day dinner at home with corned beef and cabbage.
4. Met with bookclub via zoom . Previously met at a restaurant for lunch so there was a small savings involved. Miss in person meetings tho.
5. Keep putting off Florida vacation for various reasons including husband’s doctor appointments, car and furnace problems etc. Hope the prices go down!


Bee March 21, 2023 at 4:35 am

My book club began meeting via Zoom during 2020 and continues to do so. Being a social person, I really dislike this. My husband travels for work and my children are grown. I want to get dressed leave the house to enjoy the company of others. On another note, the weather in Florida is perfect right now, but I don’t think prices here will go down anytime soon. The state is booming and costs in all areas are rising dramatically. A blessing and a curse. Our expenses have risen by 20+% since 2020 without any change in lifestyle.


Ashley Bananas March 22, 2023 at 9:21 am

I second the weather in Florida being perfect right now. I’m in Fort Myers area though which was ravaged by hurricane Ian, so sadly it’s not the best time to visit if you want to go to the beach in our area.


Heidi Louise March 20, 2023 at 10:19 am

My sister sent me a recent book I really liked: “Miss Graham’s Cold War Cookbook” by Celia Rees. The first few chapters introduce many characters, (government workers, spies, journalists, soldiers, everyday workers, English, American, Russian, Jewish, German, Nazi, and lots of refugees), whose stories are interwoven. Set in Hamburg just after WWII when the characters are trying to decide what is best to rebuild Germany and to position their countries for the future. Each chapter starts with a recipe eaten by the characters in that chapter. Very thought-provoking and well-written from a painful time I didn’t know much about.


Christine March 20, 2023 at 11:03 am

Sounds interesting. I love cookbooks that have a storyline or stories attached to them. Have you ever read Recipes from the Dump by Abagail Stone? Hilarious and touching.


Ruby March 20, 2023 at 12:34 pm

I loved that book. It was just fascinating.


Coral Clarke March 23, 2023 at 7:11 pm

Thanks for the recommendation, I have ordered it from my library here in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. I can recommend Nella Last’s War, by Nella Last. In Britain a project, during WW2, was tasking housewives with keeping a diary regarding their family life during wartime. This one is such a vivid rendition of one housewife’s life in those years, a woman to woman conversation.


A. Marie March 20, 2023 at 11:41 am

Katy, I’ve linked to the podcast and will listen to it tonight in my recliner with my feet up. Looking forward to it.

Now, FFT, Taxes, Neighbors, and Friends Edition:

(1) I went to our accountant’s office today to sign off on the tax paperwork and hear how we did. We came out exactly $1 ahead of the Feds (don’t worry, I won’t spend it all in one place) and br0ke even with the state. First time we haven’t had to pay anything in a while, so there’s something to be said for being old and dropping down a tax bracket.

(2) The Bestest Neighbors and I are doing a run tomorrow to a new-to-us place that accepts a wide variety of dead electronics and appliances for recycling. Crap out of both our houses, if not money in.

(3) The BNs also just put an old lidded wooden bucket out on the curb. Once I’d determined that it was in fact falling apart, I claimed it anyway and broke it up with a hammer for kindling.

(4) DH’s friend who takes care of various small household matters for me paid a call last Friday. He brought back my bedside lamp (on which he’d replaced a faulty switch) and changed out light bulbs in several ceiling fixtures that are hard for me to reach. (I’m a short woman with a lousy sense of balance on stepladders.)

(5) And I’m eating down the perishables in the fridge, as well as the pantry and freezer, in preparation for my week in NYC with my JASNA BFF starting Thursday. (Because of the trip, I won’t be posting an FFT next Monday.)


Ruby March 20, 2023 at 12:37 pm

Good for you for coming out a buck ahead on taxes. We are making Uncle Sam a happy guy this year, but next year should be okay because I’ll have been retired without renumeration for a year.


Bee March 21, 2023 at 4:39 am

I hope you have a great trip and looked forward to hearing about your frugal NYC adventures!


Anne March 21, 2023 at 6:28 am

A. Marie, your number 3 brings back memories of 12 years in a house we heated only with a fireplace. (So. Cal. so not hard to do.) Anything broken up, but made of wood got burned, even an antique-ish chair.


Nicola March 20, 2023 at 12:51 pm

1. Finally got to looking at some pension paperwork from the UK. Seems there’s more there than I recall, hurrah! UK pensions “unlock” at 55, which is soonish for me. They both need updates to address and other details. Went to the notary today to get what they need and will get them sent in. I may not access them yet, but it’s good to have the option, if we want or need to. Will get some up to date figures from them, too.
2. Son and his partner came to visit. Used up some pulled pork I had precooked and frozen for this occasion. Did spend on our (rural, local) takeout. It’s important to support them in our small community. Had a triumph in making a lactose free cheesecake for my son. He was thrilled.
3.Roast chicken dinner fed 4 of us, enough left for at least another meal, and a soup.
4. Roasting some apples that are a bit wrinkly today.
5. Scored some “mill end” firewood. It’s a lot cheaper than the regular stuff. It may need a bit of re-splitting, but most loads do, as our house and stove are small. We can do that a bit at a time.


MB in MN March 20, 2023 at 3:42 pm

Looking forward to listening to your podcast episode!

1. Spilled some muddy water on an area rug at our friends’ house where we’re staying temporarily. After a couple tries with different products, I was able to get the stain out by pouring boiling water over/through the stain. This saved a trip to the drycleaners – or worse, buying a replacement rug if they couldn’t get the stain out.

2. These same friends have a wonderful nonstick frypan called a Green Pan (minus the usual health and environmental hazards). Noticed online that it was too pricy for our budget. Went to Goodwill and found one for $8 (after the 25% senior discount). Now we can donate our frypan that has become too heavy to handle.

3. Since we’re currently living about 1.5 hours away from our home turf, we make sure to combine as many errands/events as possible when we make the trek.

4. Rented an apartment starting April 1 that includes a garage space in the monthly rent. But the other fees for the apartment and for setting up utilities? Holy moly, I could weep. I swore instead.

5. Moving saga continues! We learned that we can pull some items out of the movers’ storage facility and have them delivered to the apartment for a reasonable rate. This will save us from having to round up needed items from friends, family and thrift stores and move them ourselves.


Jennifer March 20, 2023 at 5:35 pm

I love that you find those paid research gigs – I tried one time here and drove out there to find it was canceled and no one had told me.

1. More drain issues in the basement. Dh rented a tool from the hardware store for $26 and at the limit of 50 feet he finally got the clog out.

2. Dh was given a huge pan of smoked corned beef along with onion rolls. Good thing I had bought a sale cabbage and we made our own coleslaw to go with it for dinner.

3. Made a batch of muffins for our breakfasts the next few days. We have been eating tons of oatmeal lately so this will be a nice change.

4. Packing lunches, not buying any clearance clothing for next winter even though I am tempted. I put a piece of tape over a small hole in my down coat to stop the feathers from coming out. it’s in a weird, not noticeable spot – we will see how long it lasts while I figure out a more permanent fix.

5. Taking care of my health by getting a spot checked on my face that I think is skin cancer. Don’t wait when you notice these things – they get harder to remove.


Katy March 21, 2023 at 9:34 am

That is frustrating and so rude of them!


Lindsey March 21, 2023 at 9:45 am is what REI recommends you do for down jacket hole. We used it once and the patch is still working years later.


Jill March 20, 2023 at 5:52 pm

I so enjoyed the podcast, Katy!
1. A bout of bronchitis has totally kicked my behind for the last week or so which means very little spending of money. It also means very little cooking so we splurged on a deal from our favorite pizza place of 50% off a large pizza which meant several meals that I didn’t have to cook.
2. When we moved last year from a 5 bedroom house to a one bedroom apartment – and quite quickly – we saw the need, for the first time in our lives, for a storage unit. My goal was to have it for only a year and this past weekend we moved the last of the items out of the unit- at just a year. So no more $200 per month payments. Wahoo!
3. Friends are coming to visit for a week for their Spring Break. We’re taking a short road trip over the weekend where we will share a hotel room and all other costs while we enjoy seeing the scenery of beautiful Colorado and enjoy each other’s company.
4. Our health insurance changed at the beginning of the year so I spent some time online making a new gp appointment, mammogram appointment and gyn appointment. Nothing more frugal than some preventative health.
5. Library book is Remarkably Bright Creatures, enjoying Beyond Paradise on Brit Box, and Ted Lasso on our free 3 month subscription to Apple tv.


Bee March 21, 2023 at 4:47 am

I really enjoyed Remarkably Bright Creatures. I love that one of the major characters is a Giant Pacific Octopus. This ignited my curiosity and have read quite a bit about this interesting sea creature.


Katy March 21, 2023 at 9:33 am

Thank you, I felt pretty nervous but think I hid it.


Bethany McLean March 23, 2023 at 1:47 pm

I testified before the Indiana Senate last week. My hand shook for 10 min afterward! Lol!


Katy March 23, 2023 at 4:11 pm

Yeah, that adrenaline is no joke.


Selena March 20, 2023 at 7:10 pm

Better half cooked corned beef and cabbage (taters and carrots too) at home. *Maybe* $15 outlay and five meals plus enough for a sandwich left. Better half picked up another corned beef which will be cooked again soon. Watching sales and if another to be had at a discount price, into the freezer it will go.
Old laptop was on its final legs (aka not repairable). Can’t complain after 10 years of use. Will wipe/destroy its hard drive, recycle battery and what is left of it. New one should last another 10 years.
After tax season rush is over, will be visiting the CPA (bonus of paying a CPA) for retirement/IRA withdrawals strategy. Likely won’t collect SS until I’m 70 and am “young” enough where in today’s world, won’t have to take RMD until I am 75. Converting some IRA to Roth *might* be doable but I’m watching tax brackets. And last two years of income before 65 sets one’s Part B premiums – IF I chose to go on Medicare even though I’m still working. Also don’t want to send the kiddos into a higher bracket since they’ve changed the non-spousal inherited IRA rules. While I don’t think passing along high amounts generations after generations, I do which they’d exempted the first $200K or so. For some, that may be the only retirement money s/he has.


Marcia March 22, 2023 at 8:47 am

I did not know that about the Part B premiums! I’ll be reaching that landmark soon. Thank you for sharing your ins and outs of the process.


texasilver March 20, 2023 at 8:22 pm

1. Trash picked a cat tower for my cat. He had mostly destroyed the old one. He was happy to have a new post to scratch.
2. My sister went to work at a new lab. Guess who will inherit her old scrubs? That would be me. She has to wear a new color. I am allowed to wear whatever color I want.
3. Made veg beef soup w/ a cooked steak I found in the freezer along w/ canned veg & an onion. It was tasty on a cold day. Used up food I had on hand.
4. I found a nice black wool short length coat. The label says Australian wool. It fits well & I can use a short coat.
5. I trash picked some children’s clothes in good repair. These went to a shelter.
I also have some adult clothing I trash picked. These were washed & will be donated to a local psychiatric hospital where I & my students go for clinic rotation. Sometimes patients come in with only the clothes on their back so these will help.


Christine March 21, 2023 at 2:14 pm

Your #5 warmed my heart.


Selena March 21, 2023 at 7:01 pm

Mine too. Most of us have the ability, time, and fortitude to help others IF we so chose. 90%+ of folks needing help would rather they did not. I chose to focus on that, not the 10% (or less) that think otherwise. Or in other words, I don’t like throwing the baby out with the bath water which all too many (including politicians) like to do. Children don’t chose to be homeless, without necessities, and/or hungry.


Christine March 24, 2023 at 7:13 am

Agree with you Selena. I often think of that when I hear people grumble those old common refrains: “Nobody wants to work anymore.” …”Those people on food stamps…” “They get everything and don’t work for it.” There are very likely those who scam or perhaps take advantage of a system when it’s not needed out there but what about the people who do need some help, especially with children or elderly in the home?


Mary March 20, 2023 at 10:09 pm

Looking foward to the podcast. I like the finance and money management reporting on the BBC radio, too.
1) cooking all our meals and am a wizard with leftovers. Much easier to do now that I am no longer employed.
2) broke a tension rod trying to get it back in place but have some stragglers which should provide a homemade replacememt I can cut to fit. For once am glad I did ot drip off this stash at the local charity second hand shop
3) used up a lingering bag of coconut flour- could not remember why Ibhad bought it to begin with – to make a batch of pancackes. Really good in fact.
4) scored 2 boxes of spring annuals for 4.80 Euros at Lidl, total 12 plants (think sprouted daffodil bulbs, primavera…) for my front of house beds.
5) finally used up my remaining Air France frequent flyer points that would have expired in April for a round-trip Paris-Atlanta GA to see my family. Have not seen them since pre-Covid. Can’t wait…


K. Herbison March 21, 2023 at 6:56 am

#3 reminded me of one of my mom’s stories. Took place in the early 80’s, I think.
Mom was borrowing or renting a much nicer car than she was used to and when she went to buy gas she could not find the door over the gas cap. At all. Not on either side of the car. So, she drove to a full service station, hoping they would know, and she’d just watch them.
Unfortunately, the attendant walked around the car a couple of times and then asked her where the gas cap was. She got out of the car and helped him look. They finally found it under the license plate.


Katy March 21, 2023 at 9:26 am

That is hilarious! I would have never found that.


Selena March 21, 2023 at 4:21 pm

Plenty of 1960s model cars have it under the license plate. Can be a bit of a pain however but we survived.


Hawaii Planner March 21, 2023 at 7:19 am

1) I’ve been providing some guidance to my teens on getting a job, helping them with applications, etc. It’s frugal in that they will be employed this summer (hopefully), which means they will be building a skill, saving money & growing their resume for future employment. My DS17 worked at this summer camp last year, and both of my teens are applying for this year. I also drove around DS16 for reffing games, so he can earn a bit of money.
2) I burned the bottom of a curry dish that I’ve made many times. I managed to salvage enough for dinner one night, but I do a batch cooking (cook once, eat twice), and don’t feel good enough about it to serve it to my other diners. I’ve been having the leftovers of that for lunch.
3) I picked up avocados from a neighbor on BN, and they are the best avocados we’ve ever had. Turns out that they are called bacon avocados & are amazing.
4) I also picked up two containers of toilet bowl cleaner on BN, and gave away six pair of outgrown teen shorts.
5) Tracked down $10 in a erroneous toll charge. I’d gone the email route the first time, and didn’t ever get it corrected, so I actually did a phone call yesterday. I dread using the phone in cases like this. But, they were quick to answer, and the woman was lovely & helpful. Double win.
6) Returned a few things I bought & didn’t need, within the exchange window.


rebecca March 21, 2023 at 9:10 am

Really good podcast, Katy!
1. Bought a chicken at Costco and it lasted for a bunch of meals. Pretty tasty too.
2. My dog is older and very picky about what she is eating. I purchased some no-salt turkey at the deli and when the man found out it was for my dog he threw in a couple of ends for free. He said they would have to be thrown out because they don’t slice well. It must have been about a pound extra. It also made me sad about food waste in the US. At least let workers take it home.
3. I was able to get a theater ticket for $25.00. I have been able to do this a few times. I love supporting the arts and seeing shows and certainly believe the arts deserve more $$. So do social workers and I appreciate the ability to go at that price.
4. Returnng a few clothing items I realize I don’t need.
5. The usual-coffee and h20 from home, turning the heat down a few degrees and using cold water for all my laundry.


Katy March 21, 2023 at 9:25 am

Thank you!


Bee March 21, 2023 at 1:13 pm

Can’t wait to listen to your interview. I am quite envious of the selection of grocery stores you have in the Portland area that offer great savings. Thank goodness I have a Trader Joe’s nearby I travel every other week to Costco – 45 minutes each way. Other nearby stores include Publix, Whole Foods and Fresh Market which are all super pricey.
1. I cashed in my Fetch Points for a $25 gift card to Whole Foods, I do shop there on rare occasion to buy some of the gluten-free items that I can’t get elsewhere. Also their salad greens are much less expensive and fresher than those available at other nearby stores. There aren’t any stores that have Organic Girl greens for $2!
2. I just set-up auto pay for our family’s cellular service. This saves us $10 a line or $30 a month. I am using my American Express card for this purpose. When you pay your cell phone bill with this credit card, you have automatic coverage for a lost, stolen or damaged phone. I now can drop the insurance charge too!!!!!
3. I sorted some items that I have been storing in the garage. Many things will be given away. I think that It is wasteful to store things for the long term that you don’t use. However. I found two books that I had been looking for. One was a copy of The Frugal Gardener that had belonged to my dad. ( I needed this for reference) The other was a copy of the Velveteen Rabbit that had belonged to my oldest. The Easter Bunny had given him this book on his first Easter. Now I am going to give it to his first son (my first grandchild) on his first Easter.
4. I continue to fight with the auto insurance company regarding the repair of my vehicle after my September accident. Among other problems, there is a $1000 error in my settlement offer that is NOT in my favor. Since they have refused to correct this error, I asked the state for help. They requested mediation from the insurance company on my behalf. However, the insurance company has denied this request. The company’s policy specifically allows for mediation and I have followed the process laid out in the policy. I have alerted both the state and the insurance company of this problem. I am finally considering asking a friend who is a lawyer for some help. In the meantime, I continue to drive my beloved Volvo Wagon and try not to get dispirited about the situation.
5. I am glad that I used my health insurance to stock up on free Covid tests before this benefit expires. My husband contracted it on his last trip out of town for business.we need them once again.
Wishing everyone peace, health and prosperity!


Christine March 21, 2023 at 2:28 pm

Oh Bee, that insurance company issue doesn’t sound right on their part where the policy specifically allows mediation. I hope you don’t have to use a lawyer but then again a thousand dollars is a thousand dollars.
On a brighter note, the savings on your cellular plan is impressive.
And even brighter is your son’s Velveteen Rabbit book going to his son this Easter. Some of my favorite memories were made reading my kids’ books to my grandchildren and telling them how this book and that book were favorites of their mother. It proves true the saying: It’s the little things…


Bee March 22, 2023 at 7:26 am

It is exhausting dealing with this insurance problem. It’s a hard choice to obtain a lawyer, but I would rather give $1000 to the lawyer than allow the company to keep it by cheating the consumer.
On a happier note, I was excited to find the book. I now need to find a plush Velveteen Rabbit.


Lindsey March 21, 2023 at 4:47 pm

Before you spend money for a lawyer, you might want to try calling your local legislator. Maybe it is because Alaska is small in population, but I have had very good luck with having a staff member from a legislator call the insurance company and say magic words about regulatory bodies that insure compliance by insurance companies.


Bee March 22, 2023 at 7:42 am

I have thought about this The protections for consumers in Florida need an overhaul, Property & Casualty Companies are extremely stressed after Hurricane Ian and not behaving ethically. The regulators and the Department of Financial Services are working as hard and as fast as they can. I’m sure that the DFS would benefit from additional help and funding. At this time, it is difficult to get help on such a small matter when some have been left with nothing. This has all been compounded by the staggering growth along the coast over the last decade. Insurance Companies are leaving the state, dropping coverage and increasing rates astronomically. I pay nearly $5000 a year to insure my little house. Rates could double this year. I’m trying to get my house paid off so I can carry a high deductible.


Ashley Bananas March 22, 2023 at 11:16 am

Hi Bee, I’m in Fort Myers. My insurance with with UPC who sold my policy to another company. My home owners insurance has gone up $250 a month…..I have never made a claim. It’s very frustrating.


Bee March 22, 2023 at 12:47 pm

I’m sorry!!! Those kinds of increases are a budget buster for certain. I wish there was an answer. I tried to make the deductible on the Hurricane portion of my policy 10% (that’s 10% of the value of the dwelling), but my mortgage company would not allow it. I too have never made a claim. If I pay $8000 a year in premiums over 20 years, that is $160k if I could invest that amount annually instead, I could pay for nearly anything that could happen except for an absolutely catastrophic loss. Best of all, I would have to argue with anyone to fix my problem!

Ashley Bananas March 23, 2023 at 8:17 am

Bee, I have never thought of the longterm amount of X years x amount for insurance. I often think of my mortgage in terms of amortization, but not my insurance. Ouch….yes, I want to pay the house off sooner than later. Several of my neighbors who have paid of their homes do not carry home owners insurance, they refer to themselves as self insured. One neighbor in his 40’s, a bit younger, his home is paid off and he has said quite a bit that he wont get home owners insurance as they have never made good on paying out for anything when damaged. It’s a sad state of affairs for the consumer.

Selena March 23, 2023 at 7:09 pm

Go without homeowners at your own risk. I just don’t want to see you on TV/other media whining/hand wringing that you have no insurance. As with any other choice in life, all factors (read: costs) should be factored into where you live. Do I sound callous to some, yes. But don’t come crying when something bad happens and you chose to not mitigate your out of pocket expense. There is no such thing as a free lunch.

Jill A March 22, 2023 at 2:41 am

I love the re-gifting of the book for your grandson. That’s great savings on your phone bill and nice credit card benefit. I should check into that for our own phone bill. We are on my daughter’s plan so she pays the bill.


Bee March 22, 2023 at 7:45 am

I was super pleased with the cellphone discount and this credit card benefit. Money in my pocket. I’ll get my credit card points too.


Bernadine March 21, 2023 at 4:36 pm

Katy – The podcast was great! You didn’t sound at all nervous. I loved listening to it. Loads of good information. Well done.
(I wonder how many new readers/followers this brings to you.)


Katy March 22, 2023 at 2:23 pm

Thank you. I was nervous, but we chatted off air for a bit before we started recording which helped.


isa March 22, 2023 at 10:45 am

* My old (2015, given to me) cellphone has stopped charging. Boooo! Instead of looking for a new model, I’m looking for a refurbished on. Probably Iphone 8, for 200$. This is also what we got our teenager for her 1st cellphone this year, and it works just fine. We both have the cheapest plan possible, 15$/month.

* I’ve been buying my clothes online lately. I wear Plus Size, and the selection and prices online cannot be beat! It’s even better that thrifting.

* Using my Buy Nothing group to give a lot of stuff and get some too.

* I still price match, use a loyalty card for returns ($) and look at the discount rack at the grocery store.

* Never paying for applications (on cell), there’s more than enought free ones and I can live with advertisements.


Katy March 22, 2023 at 2:17 pm

Have you considered having the battery replaced?


Selena March 22, 2023 at 6:57 pm

I concur – not sure where you are located but we have Batteries Plus and they are quite reasonable on cost of batteries. And so far, they’ve always had what we/family has needed in stock.


JC March 23, 2023 at 12:49 pm

Late to the game with my frugal 5 but oh well…
1. Made a dust bath for my chickens with cold ashes from my wood stove they love it and the ash helps prevent mites
2. found out that the previously frozen sliders are still really good when thawed and reheated. Kind of impressed LOL
3. cherry picked at the grocery store and because of a heads up from an online bargain buddy was able to buy butter for 2.49# Limit 6 but if I have to be in town before the sale is over, I will whip in and get 6 more.
4. washed a too big for the washer sized rug in the bathtub instead of hauling it to the “mat”
5.made yogurt for my smoothies using 1/2 gallon of milk that was fixing to go bad before it could get used.


Selena March 23, 2023 at 7:11 pm

I’ve used “the mat” (love that term) in the past. Not so much for washing but drying. I do have a drying rack that handles small rugs. How did you dry yours (still kinda dicey yet for outside drying in my neck-o-the-woods)?


JC March 26, 2023 at 8:27 am

I dry mine on a separate shower rod until it is dry enough to hang around the wood stove to finish. Works great for me.

I have a standing fan beside the wood stove all heating season (because of the shape of my house) so laundry gets warm air blown onto it . It’s a process LOL


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