Five Frugal Things

by Katy on April 28, 2023 · 68 comments

  1. My mother found a box of stuff that I stashed in her basement when I left college in 1988. Many of the contents were easy straight-to-garbage decisions, (which I appreciated) but I did choose to keep a few items, most notably my age ten Nancy Drew Diary from when we lived in London.

    Please enjoy an excerpt:

    January 3, 1979

    Dear Diary,

    Today I saw a big brown thing out in the snow, so I asked daddy where the binoculars were and he said they were in the green cupboard so I got them and put them up to my eyes and saw in between two cars what I thought was a rabbit or a cat. So I got on my warm clothes for snow and new boots and went outside. Outside it looked remarkably like a bird but when up close was a big cat shaped, dirty, ugly, awful lump of snow, much to my relief as better to be snow than an animal dead!

    These are important memories. Historians take note!

  2. I helped my son put together a couple eBay listings for some of his Lego minifigures. One already sold for $140 and I imagine that the others will also sell in a timely manner. I’ve helped my kids to sell their unwanted stuff through the years and I hope that this skill stays with them as it’s a handy way to scrape together a nice chunk of change.

    I also sold a puppet, a hand crocheted wool afghan and a landline telephone. None of these were high dollar sales, but I was still happy to send them on their merry way.

  3. I’ve been sick with a horrific cold for the last five (six?) days, which is why this blog post is so late. (And boring.) Add in that I sustained a injury by hitting my head really hard on the open medicine cabinet door, (I’d crouched down to pick up a dirty sock)  and it wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that I’m deep into a Met Gala level pity party, which means I have watched a tremendous amount of television and have a couple recommendations:

    Jury Duty on FreeVee. Like The Truman Show but better. So so so good! FreeVee is a free streaming service, so you have no excuse not to not watch it. WATCH IT!
    Vengeance, which I think I watched through my sister’s Prime Video account. This movie is not what you think it is, but in a good way.

  4. • I gave away a pair of speciality lightbulbs and some cute enamelware dishes from my box-o-stuff through the magic of my Buy Nothing Group.
    • I was too sick to go to the Darcelle XV Celebration of Life, so I lay on the couch and watched the live stream on YouTube.
    • I’ve been too sick to set foot in a grocery store in over a week, which turns out to be an extremely frugal practice.

  5. I didn’t buy a Lear Jet or pay out a $787.5 million settlement.

Katy Wolk-Stanley

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

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{ 68 comments… read them below or add one }

Ruby April 28, 2023 at 11:20 am

So sorry you’ve been sick and ow! on whacking your head!

Arthritis pain has been kicking my behind all week, so I stayed home and spent little money except for #2 below.
This week’s FFT:
1. . My husband, who works from home, ate lunch out with his work team and brought home for me the roasted potato and asparagus that was one of his side dishes. I added some cheese and had a delicious supper.
2. Did the math and figured out that four small boxes of dishwasher tabs on sale at Ollie’s Outlet were $3 cheaper than one large box containing the same amount bought from Amazon. I drove there and stocked up.
3. Have altered almost every garment I own to fit better. This is hundreds of dollars cheaper than buying smaller clothes.
4. Mended my husband’s oldest canvas work jeans, which had two major holes, three minor ones and hems frayed all the way around. Fixing the major holes required seam ripping the exterior pocket off the leg, patching the holes, and then resewing it back on.
5. Cleaned out the fridge and turned the leftovers into a couple of days of frozen lunches.


A. Marie April 29, 2023 at 7:24 am

Ruby, once again, it’s Ollie’s for the win! I bought a box of those dishwasher tabs there yesterday myself (just one, since I only run the dishwasher about once a week now and I’ve still got some to use up from the last mega-box I bought). I also stocked up on raisin bran and some of my other staples, since I had a 10% off coupon.


Ruby April 29, 2023 at 9:41 am

I wish we ran ours only once a week, but sometimes it’s twice a day with three people eating every meal at home. Our dishwasher also is weirdly narrow, about five inches smaller than older ones. It fills up fast.

Ollie’s has been paying off lately: got the bread machine there, some wonderful towels, coffee, spices, big bottle of vanilla extract, loads of birdseed, and food storage containers I can open with my gnarly fingers.


Bee April 29, 2023 at 10:56 am

I also bought dishwasher tabs at Ollie’s. A year’s supply at a cost of $14. Amazing really.


MELISSA R April 28, 2023 at 11:57 am

Just wanted to share a tip to get well faster from my old school country doctor taught me years ago for getting over a cold. It’s to sterilize your toothbrush DAILY! He told me that either sterilize the toothbrush daily or you just re-infect yourself with sick germs. He suggested one of two ways: 1) Use a 50/50 mix of hydrogen peroxide + water in a drinking glass and just store your toothbrushes in it. Dip and swish your toothbrush before each use. Use fresh solution daily. 2) Stick your toothbrush in the dishwasher with your dirty utensils and just run your load as usual. The heat + soap will also sterilize your toothbrush. I hope you feel better soon!


Ava April 28, 2023 at 12:02 pm

I hope you are feeling better now from both the cold and the head wracking.
1. Bought some half price Easter candy to add to youngest grandson’s birthday loot.
2. Staying out of stores and restaurants more than usual, though we spent a small fortune at the grocery store.
3. Found a long lost gift card. Seven years ago my friend gave me a craft store gift card and somehow it got lost in the Christmas chaos. I looked everywhere and decided it had been accidentally thrown away. A couple of days ago, I found it outside in my garden box. It had obviously been through some rough times. I called the 800 number and confirmed that it was still good. I have no idea how it got where it was found. It will remain an unsolved mystery.
4. Sold a doll that I paid .99 for.
5. Dropped off recycling. As so often happens, someone had left a pile of non recyclable “stuff” near the bins. There, right on top was a man’s vintage jacket , clean and in almost new condition. I picked it up with the intention of donating it. But after I googled it, I decided to sell it as fall approaches.


Christine April 30, 2023 at 7:09 am

I like to entertain at home too, not only to save $$$ but because we can sit around and talk for as long as we want. Isn’t that what friends and family do? That’s what I grew up doing, mostly Sundays at my grandmother’s house or with relatives coming to our house. I also have many, many memories of my mother sitting at our kitchen table drinking endless cups of coffee with her cousin and many with friends and neighbors. Don’t know when we got to the point where we think we need to go out for coffee or to socialize. Anyway, sounds like you had a great visit with a friend who can surely use it.


Christine April 30, 2023 at 7:10 am

Sorry Ava…this was intended for Allyson Trethewey!


Allyson Trethewey April 28, 2023 at 12:59 pm

Thank you for sharing the darling diary excerpt. I was glad it was only a cat-shaped lump of snow, whew! I don’t have 5 frugal things this week. But I have a few!
1) A dear friend really needed some girlfriend time (her dad is in palliative care). We normally go to hip lunch spots and get lunch AND drinks ($$!). Instead I invited her to my house for a homemade lunch with boxed wine, sitting in the backyard. It was SO nice. She loved it so much, she sent me a nice greeting card the next day. And I spent I think $8 on it?
2) I joined my local Buy Nothing group and picked up 2 huge bags of grapes, which I love to freeze and put in smoothies.
3) I actually went to Costco. I know, I’m SUPER late to that party. But in my previous life, I was so drowning in work, that I’d pay through the roof for the convenience of shopping at my little neighborhood market. Now that I’m semi-retired, I can shop at off-peak hours.

Thanks again to all of you in this group for your ideas and inspiration.


Kathy April 28, 2023 at 1:06 pm

1. $5 GC for participation in a short online survey
2. Full rebate $3.19 on a product I bought
3. Sold a couple of things on line
4. Signed up for a variety of programs thru health care company and received $40
to spend at Walmart
5. Added an extra part time job


janine April 28, 2023 at 1:28 pm

Katy, best wishes for a full recovery – knocks on the head plus a cold are painful!
1. We will be on a long postponed vacation next week so not an anticipated frugal win. However, we have discovered an upscale grocery- deli near our hotel with reasonably priced meals so will buy many of our meals from them. A couple of splurges on our favorite seafood places will suffice.
2. Attended a community group meeting held at a downtown restaurant but ordered only a bowl of soup which was less expensive than their full lunches. (Still felt obliged to tip generously because servers are friendly and helpful.)
3. Bought Susan Wittig Albert’s mystery “Hemlock” at our half priced book store to read on the plane.
4. Son shared a small slice of his take-out pizza with me -decided to order only a beverage and it worked out well.
5. We are attending a big bucks political fundraiser this month so I have been trying to be mindful of my sometimes impulsive spending habits. Drinking mainly water and iced tea, attending a free concert with a friend, and cleaning out our abundance of clutter .


Marilyn April 28, 2023 at 1:29 pm

I’m sorry to hear about the miserable cold. No fun! Hope you are now on the mend.
1. I am awaiting hip surgery scheduled for May 1 and I have been pretty much homebound due to difficulty walking. It is boring and isolating, but it is frugal. I have given up on in-person grocery shopping (too much walking for now) and I am ordering groceries online weekly. My husband picks up the order. I would prefer to shop in person, but I find I am not spending too much more than I did in the past, maybe because it has forced me to organize the meal planning a little better.
2. I’m re-reading a book about the early history of Seattle called “Skid Road.” The colorful characters who founded and built the city are so entertaining! I’m also reading a book about Janet Yellen which is simply titled “Yellen.” Without getting into politics, I’ll just mention that the author notes that Janet Yellen drives an old car, she loves to cook and she made sure to teach her son to cook, so a bit of a role model for frugal people.
3. Stocked up on videos from the library which I will watch while recovering from surgery. This includes the new season of Brokenwood which I am looking forward to. Katy, thank you for mentioning FreeVee. I will definitely look into that.
4. Have set up a system to keep track of medical bills and out-of-pocket medical expenses. Found out about an outfit here in SW Washington state which specializes in used medical equipment such as canes and walkers. I’m sure Goodwill has these items too. So many people only use things like this for a few months, then donate.
5. I am on FMLA from my job. Very happy and grateful to be getting a paycheck while unable to work.


Bee April 29, 2023 at 11:07 am

I see used medical equipment everywhere from canes and walkers to shower seats and potty chairs. I would love to see an organized approach to reusing these items. I recently gave 2 sets of crutches to my BIL who is a Podiatrist and volunteers at the homeless clinic. I am sure many of these items end up in the landfill or are produced/purchased needlessly.


Katy April 30, 2023 at 4:21 pm

Yes, being housebound is so very very boring. My foot keeps me at home more than I would prefer and I feel for you. Hopefully your hip surgery will be the beginning of a fresh outdoorsy life again.


Mary in Maryland April 28, 2023 at 2:01 pm

1. We hired folks to spruce up the yard. We don’t compare it to how much it would cost if we did it ourselves—we compare it to the monthly fees at the senior living home.
2. I set up five families from our buy nothing group with raspberry canes. They didn’t do well in our yard—too little sun and a nearby black walnut tree.
3. One of the women who came for raspberry canes gave me a large dog bed cover to replace the pillow case covering our dog bed.
4. Yesterday I got a notice that the Quaker congregation nearest us was having a repair café and needed volunteers. I signed on and got my mending kit together. Spent three hours this morning reattaching pack straps and darning socks. Because I hate darning socks I hadn’t brought my darning egg. Looking around the meeting kitchen I found a ladle which served perfectly. I have been lusting after a darning mushroom, but I think the ladle works just as well and I already have one. One of the fixers was asked to close rips in sheets. She didn’t have any patches. The old sheet that lives in the trunk of our car stepped up and patched three different sheets. Helping others not consume goes on my life list.
5. We took a working Instant Pot that had such a large dent it seemed unsafe to be repaired. The dent is gone and now it doesn’t work at all. It will free up space in the cabinets. We did get a couple of knives sharpened and spent a fabulous three hours schmoozing friends and neighbors.
6. MAJOR ACHIEVEMENT—I have been being very aware of water use and got our daily use down to 53 gallons—average daily use per person is 55 gallons, and there are two of us.
7. The Mister got new rechargeable hearing aids and had thirteen six packs of the old batteries left. No takers of Freecycle. Last night a public school teacher with students who have hearing aids snapped them up from Buy Nothing.


Jean April 29, 2023 at 2:54 am

The repair cafe sounds exceptionally wonderful on so many levels. Had never heard of such a thing. Will keep my eyes/ears open in my community.


Jill A April 29, 2023 at 3:40 am

I love your #4


A. Marie April 29, 2023 at 7:26 am

Me too, Jill A. I also like the #5, which I think is connected to the #4.


Bee April 29, 2023 at 11:11 am

I also think that your Fourth frugal thing is quite special . Sharing your skills with others to prevent waste is s wonderful thing to do. Know-how is a necessity when living a frugal lifestyle,


Katy April 30, 2023 at 4:19 pm

I’ve never been to a repair cafe, even though they do happen here in Portland. I’m thinking I need to keep an eye out.


MB in MN April 30, 2023 at 4:53 pm

Mary, I also loved your #1. Good way of looking at paying others to provide a service.


Roberta April 28, 2023 at 2:18 pm

1. Patched together flatbread pizzas from stuff in the fridge and frozen flatbreads from Trader Joes. We made them at my niece’s, which was way cheaper than ordering in pizza. (She has new twins, so we try to get over there once a week, with dinner, and I was out of ideas.)
2. Most afternoons, we’re walking by the lake for exercise and stress relief.
3. Bought a 25 pound bag of organic, stone ground, whole wheat flour at Smart and Final for $31. I am happy with the price, and we go through flour really fast.
4. As my daughter is not going to a school that requires twin XL sheets, I will be giving the clearance-bought sheets and mattress pad to a friend of hers who will be going away to a normal college.
5. Had a friend over to dinner, instead of going out to happy hour. We had so much fun, drank too much wine, and spent much longer talking than we would have at a restaurant.


Lindsey April 28, 2023 at 3:03 pm

1. Had a friend over for lunch. When I came back from using the bathroom she said she was sorry but she realized her sandwich had mold all over it so she threw it away. It was not mold, it was the dill I had liberally added to the bread recipe when I made it the night before. She was mortified, which changed to shocked when I pulled it out of the garbage and fed the meat and cheese and tomato and avocado inside to the dog and took the bread out to the chickens. I gave her half of my sandwich, since I had no more tomato or avocado left, and stopped myself from starving by eating a huge piece of the pie she had brought as her contribution.
2. Took another box of my husband’s work shirts to the rescue mission, since he does not dress in a suit and a tie everyday anymore. It was hard to let these go because I bought them in London years ago to celebrate his promotion, handmade specifically to his body by a fancy assed tailor I had read about, so reminded me of a sweet time in our lives every single time he wore them. They were hideously expensive, but I had more money than brains back then. I hope the gentlemen down on their luck who wear them to go job hunting can feel luxurious in them. Got a tax receipt.
3. Gave a loaf of dill bread to the wonderful neighbors on either side of us, making sure to explain that it was not mold. This is frugal to my mind because it helps keep our circle of caring active and we all benefit from helping each other.
4. Made chocolate pudding from some milk that was about to expire.
5. Cancelled a magazine I have grown too old to find relevant anymore.


Bernadine April 29, 2023 at 6:24 am

Number 1 is fantastic. What a great story. 🙂


A. Marie April 29, 2023 at 7:22 am

Lindsey, any friend of mine who did what you describe in your #1 would be an ex-friend. I commend your forbearance, as well as your creative solutions.


Lindsey April 29, 2023 at 8:50 am

I’d rather she did that than pretend to eat it and stick it in her purse to take home and throw away! We had a good laugh about it.


Christine April 30, 2023 at 7:20 am

Oh my…the dill story! Gave me a chuckle. I adore dill but never thought of adding it to bread. My next loaf of bread will have a liberal dose of it, for sure! Can’t wait to try it.


Katy April 30, 2023 at 4:16 pm

I promise to never throw out food at your house, especially if I’m served homemade bread!


Texasilver April 28, 2023 at 3:08 pm

It sounds like fellow reader have their share of pain & up coming surgery. As for myself I had a nasty fall last week during my daily 3 mile walk. I landed on my left hip. I guess that’s what the fat is there for. No fractures just a sore behind. My frugal five:
1. Found a 10$ bill in the bushes outside the local Taco Bell.
2. Got a free Taco Bell burrito using my reward points.
3. Took home some leftovers from a work function & served them for dinner.
4. Made a crock pot recipe of taco beef soup using a small amount of cooked ground meat from the freezer & several cans of beans, corn, and some pinto beans I cooked several days ago that didn’t soften much. After another 5 hours in the cooker they were good.
5. Curb picked an electric skillet. Not sure if I will use it but the price was right.



Christine April 30, 2023 at 7:23 am

You have given me a whole new way of looking at hip fat! Maybe I won’t mind it so much now…lol. Glad you’re ok.


Hawaii Planner April 28, 2023 at 3:24 pm

All of the inspiration from your #4, even as a non-sewer. Also, this right here: “Helping others not consume goes on my life list.” – love everything about this motto, and adding it to my own goals.


Hawaii Planner April 28, 2023 at 3:25 pm

That was supposed to be a comment for Mary in Maryland


Hawaii Planner April 28, 2023 at 3:31 pm

It was not a frugal week, as we took an international trip to visit my ILs, and paid for the trip for 10. But, zero regrets. We will do it again in a few years if we can, because it’s our only opportunity to see my MIL. She hadn’t seen in our kids in 14 years, so super worth it.

1) I used a meal delivery service for the week we came back from our trip. It was $19 for 3 dinners, serving 3 people, which was infinitely cheaper than takeout. It did generate quite a bit of waste, which is a turnoff. We use these pretty sparingly, and will need to cancel again because of the waste. It was a nice reprieve from cooking.
2) We’ve been using garden lettuce for salads this week, stretching some romaine lettuce that had been in the fridge since before we left.
3) Cauliflower is now $9-10/head, so we’re skipping that, even thought it’s my husband’s favorite. Is it made of gold?!!
4) All four of us got upgraded to business class, on a 13 hour flight last week, using airline vouchers, earned from work travel. It was a happy (for them) accident that the teens were upgraded, because we’d never normally upgrade them. They were thrilled, but the flight home in economy, on a 25+ hour travel day, was all the more painful, once they’d had the taste of business class. 😉
5) My MIL brought us treats from Iran, and my husband can’t eat sugar, and they are not my jam. I brought them to my office, with a little note, and they were happily enjoyed in just a few hours. Waste not, want not.


Bee April 29, 2023 at 11:17 am

Your trip sounds as though it was special for everyone. I can’t imagine the joy that your MIL experienced in seeing her grandchildren. Awesome!!!! Times like that make every frugal decision worth it.


Cindy in the South April 28, 2023 at 3:57 pm

Hope you get well soon!


Katy April 30, 2023 at 4:13 pm

Thank you, I’m almost back to normal energetic self!


Karen B April 28, 2023 at 7:16 pm

1) My son and I went to a local store that has rummage bins filled mostly with what appears to be store returns and occasionally food approaching or slightly past best by date. The prices decrease each day through the period offered and my son happened to have a day off school that lined up with all items being $1 each. His top prize of the week was boxes of 21 assorted snacks from Turkey. For $1! We considered how many he would enjoy before getting tired of them and wanting something different and bought 6, one of which we dropped off to his best friend. My son is fairly picky, but we are delighted to find he liked every single item in the box (they are small and he eats a couple at a time). I found this box being offered at approximately $33 instead of the $1 we paid!

2) My frugal fail at the above store was what I thought was a packaged shower curtain in a print I’d like, but when I opened it at home I found was 4 zippered throw pillow covers that would not look good at all in our living room. Oh, well. It was only $1 for the set and it’ll be going to our Buy Nothing Project where I’m sure someone else will be very happy with it. The group has been wonderful for us and I’m happy to pass it along.

3) We have pizza night weekly. Last time instead of frozen pizza I made it from scratch with grated mozerella cheese bought on sale, Greek yogurt that needed to be used up, and flour that needs to be rotated out–until recently I wasn’t baking much at all. For the crust I used 2 ingredient dough that calls for only Greek yogurt and self-rising flour (since I was using all purpose flour I added baking powder and salt as the recipe said). It was a hit, both with regular flour and gluten-free. If someone else would like to try this recipe, I used this one: . It has suggestions for several other ways to use the same dough and my teen is eager to try making cinnamon rolls with it.

4) Hubby changed his vehicle’s fuel filter himself tonight.

5) So far this year I’ve only eaten out 5 times total, not even a gas station soda other than that.


Em April 28, 2023 at 9:27 pm

A week of necessary and unnecessary but important major expenses.

1) Nail in the sidewall of my husband’s fancy, and discontinued, tire. We talked through the options, I called around for an old stock or lightly used one that might match – no luck. He’s having the front pair replaced with new at Costco.

2) We have a very fat, very fine, newer model baby niece to meet. I’m not in great shape to travel (it seems we’re all falling apart at once), so our son booked a flight on Southwest and will go alone next week. He’ll stay with family, and DC is full of wonderful free things to do when he’s not snozzling baby chubs and helping his great aunt with genealogy projects.

3) Last year, I snagged a mini thermoelectric fridge on Buy Nothing to keep my husband’s meds in the upstairs bath instead of the kitchen fridge. Neither one of us has the knees to run up and down stairs if something is forgotten. It’s been great, but now it’s broken. We decided it was worth the money to get a new one with a warranty, since they don’t come up often secondhand. I found a good deal, ordered, and we’ll take one last crack at fixing it before opening the new one.

4) My husband mentioned that he needed a new computer briefcase, and I pulled out a new $90 Wenger that cost $1.20 at the bins. I’d planned to sell it, but this is better.

5) We’re eating down the freezer, and there have been some great clearance deals at the grocery store, including spendy GF pasta and Red Boat fish sauce for $1.98(!). I did some quick calculations and bought years’ worth, just as with the $1.50 jugs of quality balsamic vinegar I found eight years ago (just opened the third jug). Tonight I made parmesan grits with a delicious shrimp succotash cobbled together with freezer bits and pieces; white wine and garlic go a long way. Leftovers will be acquainted with eggs for breakfast. I’m still using dishwasher pods from the clearance jackpot last year, I switched some streaming subscriptions around, explained the municipal electrical aggregation to a neighbor who finds it suspicious (it will save us 4 cents per kWh this summer, for 100% renewable energy), our new insurance kicked in and took $1000+ off the orthodontia bill, leaving another $2000, I picked up some venison that I had helped butcher from a friend’s freezer and made a delicious stew, and found an unused gift certificate and filed it away for this summer.


Anne April 29, 2023 at 6:56 am

I absolutely love “schnozling baby chubs.”


Katy April 30, 2023 at 4:12 pm

Score on the computer case!


Nicola April 28, 2023 at 9:54 pm

Much winning and failing over the last couple of weeks!
Our first grandchild will be born, in New Zealand, later this year. We of course want to go and visit, but will wait until their Fall, in Feb/March to visit for a month. Big, massive spend of a vacation. On the winning side, we booked Air NZ and a “sky couch” which is cheaper even than premium economy, and a creative use of a seat space. It ensures we get a 3 seat row for the two of us, which I think will be helpful. A friend, who lives in a trailer, is excited to come house/elderly dog sit, no payment wanted, so she has somewhere warm to stay for a month. I will stock the groceries for her before we go.
To help this be more frugal, we have decided we should work hard to list/sell the vast piles of things I have accumulated to sell on ebay etc, that currently just live in boxes and use that money to pay for the trip. It’s a huge total to aim for, but big hairy goals are motivating, right? 😀
My husband is disabled and his system just found a new, challenging, way to express that (another hormone not being produced). On the bright side, I just got medical coverage at work (Canada), which will save a fortune on various appliances, appointments and meds that our system doesn’t cover.
I did a bit of an inventory of the freezers. I am on target to use up the frozen fruit from last year before the new stuff comes in. There’s a lot more meat in there than I thought, and the bag of tomatoes I found, husband made into soup for dinner.
Husband just had a birthday, so we used a gift card from 2019, to a local, fancy restaurant to treat ourselves to lunch. We don’t usually do indoor dining, so that was interesting! We don’t do presents and we just had a snack dinner, so very little expenditure.
The baby tomato and pepper plants are looking good, so hoping for good harvests later this year. I love to turn seeds into plants. Already gave some away to friends, who are likely to send something back in return as the season progresses.


Laura Despres April 29, 2023 at 4:07 am

Hi Sis from another mother I have been enjoying your blog x? 10 yrs. Here is how we are related via ? Star Trek Tekion stream vs worm hole. 1. Iam cheap my is decorated in early American basement/yard sale. 2. RN geriatric vs incoming. 3. Like you there is a 75% supper will involve a bean: 4. Put 2 kids thru college on the motto- A good education is expensive so please steal it. And Lastly- the morning I was being the postop nurse for my daughter’s M to F surgery you posted you proudly had a daughter. Just wanted you to know in these hard times- You will always have a friend in Massachusetts.


Katy April 30, 2023 at 4:09 pm

I do have an amazing daughter!


Katy April 30, 2023 at 4:10 pm

Nothing like a deadline to spark motivation!


Jill A April 29, 2023 at 4:15 am

Feel better


rebecca April 29, 2023 at 7:55 am

I hope your on the mend, Katy.
1. I was able to find a theatre ticket for $25 for show I want to see. Looking forward to it.
2. Invited folks over for hot dogs and baseball game for cheap entertainment.
3. Haven’t been driving much recently. So gas $ saved and I can feel virtuous saving the environment 1 less car ride at a time.
4. I was offered a couple of short-term teaching gigs at the university I adjunct at this summer. Much needed $. I am really grateful. Summer would have been soooo much tighter financially without these.
5. The usual-make my own coffee, h20 from home, loss leaders, short and cold h20 laundry loads, ect.


rebecca April 29, 2023 at 7:56 am

Ugh, I hope you’re on the mend Katy!


Katy April 30, 2023 at 4:08 pm

I am 94.3% mended, thank you very much!


A. Marie April 29, 2023 at 7:57 am

Katy, I’m sorry to hear that you’ve been both under the weather and under the cabinet door. I hope you feel better pronto.

(1) I enjoyed Katy’s youthful diary excerpt, as well as the fact that she felt comfortable with leaving the diary at her mother’s. Although I loved my mother dearly, I would never have stored my adolescent diaries with her or any other family member (too much angst and negativity). In fact, I worked up the courage last winter to put all of these diaries in a box, secure the box with Gorilla Tape, and throw the sucker out. Peace of mind = priceless.

(2) Now, on to more recent frugalities. I’ve been working like mad all week on cleaning up my garden beds and moving perennials around, and now Phase I is over. I can relax and enjoy the next few days of predicted rain while I wait for volunteer annuals to come up, which will kick off Phase II.

(3) So far, the only money I’ve spent on the garden this year has been for three bags of our locally produced “Seven-Year Gold” composted horse manure. And the price for these was the same as last year’s. (As I remarked to the vendors, the source of supply must be more or less inflation-proof.)

(4) I’ve just come back from spending this rainy morning at one of our only two local Goodwills. Both of these are inconveniently far from me, but I thought I’d take the time this morning for my “luckier” one–and it was *very* lucky. I found a bundled set of five older canning jars (no lids); a new set of Yankee Candle votives; a pair of men’s Merrell Satellite Mocs in excellent condition (which fit me fine); and a Kelty Redwing 44 backpack, also in excellent condition. Total = $26.16. The backpack is especially welcome, as I’d noticed on my recent NYC trip that the Eddie Bauer daypack I was using wasn’t quite adequate for the purpose–and I intend to make more trips to NYC on Amtrak in the future. (And I can’t find the Kelty retailing online for under $90.)

(5) I intend to spend the rest of the day starting some kale and mini basil seeds indoors, setting up my outdoor mini greenhouse if/when the rain lets up, and deciding what else from the house can go into the street-wide garage sale we’re having the first weekend in June. Almost all of DH’s tools and paraphernalia already in the garage will be up for sale, as soon as I’ve given one or two more friends their choice of these.


Christine April 30, 2023 at 7:35 am

Great score at the “luckier” of the two Goodwills!


Katy April 30, 2023 at 4:04 pm

I’m apparently under everything! Actually I’m doing much better now with almost normal energy and no worrisome head injury symptoms so far.


Katy April 30, 2023 at 4:06 pm

The discovery of this middle school diary made me read through my high school diary and shred almost all of it. No reason for my kids to ever find out how awful I was.


Selena May 1, 2023 at 7:11 pm

I’d shred also (or burn). When sibling and I were cleaning out our mother’s possession, we both simultaneously puked and got pissed at a “book” we found. After I show the disgusting thing to my offspring, it will be burned. That era of history needs to be relegated to the ash pile.


Katy May 3, 2023 at 11:55 am

Yikes, I’m too scared to ask what was in said book!


Lisa April 29, 2023 at 9:05 am

1) I caught a ride to a city about an hour away where’s a salvage grocery store. Bargains includes 40# of boneless skinless chicks for $40 (pre-packaged in 40# boxes) and Ben & Jerry’s for $1.24 , Bear Naked granola for $3, $0.10 frozen pie crusts. That meant a lot of work when I got home to unload the cooler, package chicken for freezing, plus cleanup – but a significant savings and we are set for a while. I benefit from going to this store but it’s too far away to do it often, but I try to work it into business trips or other life events that take us out that way so I don’t have to factor in the cost of gas.

2). I work a second job and set aside that $$ for household expenses. This week I used it to get a small used trailer off of Marketplace. We will use it to haul brush and large items to the landfill – something we previously rented a truck to do, so in the long term it should be a money saver. Definitely more convenient as well.

3) my son works in the solar industry and while he’s not an electrician he has picked up a lot – the overhead light in my kitchen has been out of commission for a while. He figured out what is wrong with it and ordered the part & fixed it. Yeah for talented children!!

4) we have a regularly scheduled family game night – great opportunity to spend time together and $0 cost.

5) I took a trip for work and drove past the exit for the Lodge cast iron outlet. Would have been a fun place to visit but I truly don’t need anything.


A. Marie April 29, 2023 at 11:08 am

Lisa, I applaud your restraint in driving past the exit for the Lodge outlet. I don’t need any more cast iron either (in fact, I have far too much of it, all found at thrift stores), but I don’t think I could have resisted.


Bee April 30, 2023 at 4:13 am

I’m sorry you have had the crud, and I’m glad that you haven’t taken your head injury lightly. I had an injury December 2021 and had 6 staples in my head. It took me a few weeks to get back to normal. You need lots of rest and a Tetanus shot.
Here’s my Five Frugal Things:
1. I wanted a copy of the newest book written by the Welsh celebrity antique dealer, Drew Pritchard. My library did not have a copy of it, and the bookstore price was $32. I did a quick Internet search and found a used copy in good condition for $7.29 with shipping. A small retailer somewhere will benefit and I will get to read my book.
2. I stop weekly at a nearby thrift store. I am currently searching for silver picture frames. I was able to purchase a nice 4 x 6 frame for $1 and I purchased a Lampe Berger with oil for only $4. It is nice to get something I want and support the local food pantry at the same time.
3. I gave my adult son directions on how to make chicken stock. He is in graduate school and does not have a lot of money or time. But with a little help, he has now figured out how to get 4-5 meals from a grocery store rotisserie chicken. I’m so proud. 🙂
4. I sold two items on eBay. One was a silk Starry Nights scarf. The other was a piece of Delft. eBay had been a bit slow, but that is partially my fault. You get out of things what you put into them.
5. I may have mentioned that I have a weakness for impractical things especially linens, china and crystal. I love to set the table. For years, I have picked up inexpensive items like these from thrift stores and estate sales. This week I began whittling down my collection and gave some items away on Buy Nothing. The set of china that I bought at Goodwill 15 years ago for less than $20 is now making someone else happy. It also makes me exceptionally happy.
I have also done all the usual things – cooking from scratch, eating leftovers, brewing my own coffee, using the library and drinking primarily filtered water.
Wishing everyone peace, good health and prosperity.


Christine April 30, 2023 at 7:43 am

Your #3…always satisfying to see our frugal ways rubbing off on the next generation. The grocery store rotisserie Chicken is not only delicious but a great learning tool on how to stretch a food dollar and also to pick up some cooking skills.


Katy April 30, 2023 at 4:01 pm

That rostisserie chicken is almost magical with how many meals it can provide!


Christine April 30, 2023 at 8:01 am

Oh Katy…that awful cold and the clunk on the head(ouch)…hope you’re feeling better by now.
1. Using six dollars in points and coupons, got my bill at CVS down to $18 and change. Two of the items purchased had a deep discount too.
2. Half a mile up the road at Rite Aid, I found two hair highlighting kits on the clearance shelf for $3.47 each. It’s very easy to do and requires no skill! I like to highlight my hair once or twice a year when I need a lift. Friends who get highlights at the salon tell me it is now upwards of $200.
3. I brought home leftovers from a birthday party we attended. Delicious fried fish which I don’t buy anymore due to the high cost.
4. DH and I are both working at the town elections tomorrow and have decided that on each of our one hour meal breaks (lunch and dinner) we will come home to eat. Our house is only about four miles from the pols and we are able to take the same slot of time. We get a stipend to buy our meals out but will save it. I’ve already pulled some frozen ziti and meatballs out of the freezer to defrost for a quick dinner. Lunch will be sandwiches.
5. Pulled out some old pillowcases from the linen closet as the ones we’ve been using have holes in them. I will recycle these through St. Vincent de Paul as they accept cloth. Our sheets, pillowcases and blankets have not matched for years!


Katy April 30, 2023 at 3:58 pm

Yes, I am finally better. Thank you for your kind words. That takes a lot of self discipline to pocket that stipend, well done!


Selena May 1, 2023 at 7:14 pm

When I work the election, leaving the polling place is verboten. When COVID hit, direct orders no potlucks. Which was fine by me. But another worker likes them so she asked if it was okay for next year – it is. She will be in charge of said potluck lol..


JC April 30, 2023 at 11:39 am

Katy, I once bonked my head on a cabinet door so hard I saw stars. It made me instantly sick from the pain. but….no concussion. Hope you feel better soon.
1. potted up my overwintered angel wing begonias…they are at least 8 years old could be 10 ….I have lost count. They look rough but should come out of it.
2. using up all leftover coffee in iced coffees for the afternoons. poured over ice cream darned good. One small scoop of ice cream works well for me….
3. making more yogurt for my smoothies, heating the milk on the woodstove. Incubate the yogurt after removing bread from the cooker. requires thinking ahead but works great.
5. using frozen fruit for the smoothies that I got off the mark down racks and froze.
4. have an abundance of eggs, so I boiled and pickled some in beet juice. Great grab and go when I am busy and need a little something.
5. made 2 seedless black raspberry pies this morning, one baked, one in freezer for another time. Trying to get the freezer eaten down for this year’s crops.
Bonus point: gave away a bunch of crocheted doilies, my Victorian decorating days are well over and found someone that uses them for some sort of sewing and crafting. She loved them, I have an empty tote…so win-win.



Katy April 30, 2023 at 3:56 pm

Yum, I love all things beets!


MB in MN April 30, 2023 at 5:27 pm

Katy: Ugh to your terrible cold and yay to your finally feeling better.

1. Niece treated me to dinner.

2. Attended a community theatre production of La Cage Aux Folles. Well worth the $30 price of admission for 2.5 hours of fun and appreciation. While not entirely frugal, it was certainly less expensive than the professional theatre.

3. Went out to lunch with my sister and ordered the least expensive item – a large bowl of soup. Very satisfying.

4. Picked up free composting bags from City Hall.

5. While I was at City Hall, I noticed there was a corner stocked with free puzzles. When I’m done with the one I picked up, I’ll return it and borrow another one.


MB in MN April 30, 2023 at 5:28 pm

And ugh to your head injury too! So painful.


Ashley Bananas May 1, 2023 at 10:40 am

In the world of…..I cant believe I watched this movie/show etc; this weekend my son and I watched Cocaine Bear on the Peacock network. I didn’t expect much, but was informed by my son and one of my library patrons (strangely a 10 year old) that the film Cocaine Bear is based on true events. While some of it is theatrical, it was also believable in a reality is stranger than fiction type of way.

We continue to eat in. I have started doing a part time delivery job for extra income. Frugal life happens moment. My senior cat at 15 was diagnosed with lung cancer, he has fluid in his chest. Today I was told that our next visit needs to be with the vet to plan end of life treatment for our cat. We’ve been going through this for a month now. It’s hard to play God with someone you’ve had since they were a kitten. ;(


Selena May 1, 2023 at 7:20 pm

Sorry you’ve hit the downside of being a responsible pet owner. But sad to say society allows us more compassion with an ill/dying pet than it does with humans. Not an easy thing to do, been through it a number of times (including a stray who showed up at my house – not talking calling animal services but taking to my vet). We love our pets and don’t want to see them suffer or be in distress.
I have one senior and two very juniors – all strays I took in. They bring so much joy, especially when it seems nothing is right in this world.


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