Five Frugal Things

by Katy on June 19, 2023 · 80 comments

  1. You may remember how I’ve been on the hunt for a dresser (and a rug) for my daughter’s old bedroom, which I’ve graaaaaaduallllly been reassembling since she moved out. (With all her furniture.) I’ve even taken to muttering “dresser and rug, dresser and rug” under my mask whenever I enter a thrift store.

    Thus far, my incantations had landed on deaf ears. Until yesterday when I took a circuitous route home from the library and passed by a derelict $300 Nordli IKEA dresser set out on the curb. Visually, it wasn’t too promising, with grubby drawers and a note about how one drawer was “broken.” However, my husband and I are fairly handy and the price was right.

    My husband and I spent an hour or so cleaning every nook and cranny and then a year off our lives humping it up the stairs. (It’s both insanely heavy and lacking any logical grab points for carrying!) And that wonky drawer? Mostly fixed.

    Now, to find a rug.

  2. My daughter brought us more free food from her schwanky grocery store. This week it was:

    • Cherries
    • Marinated shrimp skewers
    • Lactose-free sour cream
    • Four eggs

  3. • I got an almost full bottle of CeraVe Facial Moisturizing Lotion from my Buy Nothing Group.
    • I was able to get a refund at Winco after being double charged for yams. This was despite the clerk denying her mistake and customer service being closed. I had to get back in line and start over with a new cashier, but received $5.27 for my efforts. Don’t worry, I was super polite throughout the process.
    • I went to Trader Joe’s and only bought the toilet paper, butter and bananas from my list. I always think this should earn me some kind of reward as Trader Joe’s is 95% impulse items.
    • I did get a cookie sample at Trader Joe’s.
    • I scored three mesh bags of red, yellow and orange peppers for $1 apiece from the Fred Meyer clearance shelf. I then sliced and froze them for future use.
    • I remembered to use a Fred Meyer coupon for a free print of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream before it expired.
    • We loaned our wheelbarrow to the neighbors across the street for their landscaping project.
    • My husband and I shared a single enormous burrito from the neighborhood taco cart, which was plenty of food for both of us.

  4. This last one isn’t necessarily a “frugal thing,” but I’m going to include it anyway because it’s so freaking cool! Remember that free pile from a couple weeks ago that provided my new fireplace screen and the vintage trash bin? It just hit the market and the Zillow listing is the best thing I’ve seen all year!

    Total 1909 time capsule house, as in I don’t think a single thing has been updated or “remuddled” since the day the day it was built!

    Click HERE for the Zillow listing and then come back and tell me what you think of the stove!

  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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{ 79 comments… read them below or add one }

MB in MN June 19, 2023 at 6:00 am

Nice score on the dresser! The house listing… oh my. We’ve been looking at listings multiple times a day for a year and a half and it’s so depressing. That house (and stove) could be a thing of beauty with the right owner (with money) and the right updates.

1. Saved the round plastic lids that came with takeout containers after the bottoms cracked. These lids are the perfect size for placing over bowls or plates of leftovers.

2. Friend gave me a huge bowl of homemade hummus.

3. Went to Goodwill on Wednesday when it was 25% off for seniors – sometimes it pays to be old! Found two colorful pillows for outdoor chairs for just $5 each and two pairs of pants, also just $5 each. One of the pairs is from Chico’s (originally $95) and they fit like a glove, which has rarely happened in my lifetime.

4. Wasn’t planning to plant any flowers at our temporary apartment (most everything is in storage), but the lack of beauty was getting to me. Sister gave me a pot she wasn’t using, niece gave me leftover potting soil, and I bought four annuals that were 20% off. Our deck looks much better now with the flowers and the thrifted pillows.

5. Went to a garage sale where everything was free. Brought home two notebooks and an eyeglass case. I did spend money at the lemonade and cookie stand that the homeowners’ kids were hosting. (One of my life’s rules is to always stop at kids’ lemonade stands and to always leave them a big tip.)


Kathy Sell June 19, 2023 at 6:54 am

So good to hear that you have some beautiful flowers on your deck. Beauty of Nature in any form is a wondrous thing.


anne June 19, 2023 at 7:08 am

I do the same thing with kids’ stands.


Katy June 19, 2023 at 8:29 am

I like your life rule! What are the others?


MB in MN June 19, 2023 at 12:23 pm

Katy, what a fun question! And a hard one in a way, so I asked my loved ones to help me with the other “rules” that I live by. I learned I’m weirder than I thought!
1. At the Girl Scouts cookie sales table, ask them to tell me about their cookie offerings (even though I know I’m going to buy the Trefoils shortbread) and then buy at least two boxes.
2. Go to the line with the cashier (vs. self-service) and exchange pleasantries (at a minimum).
3. Pay cash/check at small local businesses so they’re not saddled with credit card fees.
4. Tell the telemarketer to have a nice day. (Although I once told a scammer that they needed to find a different line of work.)
5. Always leave something better than I found it, including picking up other people’s trash.
6. Move spiders in the house and woolly bear caterpillars on the road to safer locations.
7. Give people the benefit of the doubt. (This drives my husband crazy.)
8. Park far from the door. (This drives my sister crazy.)
9. Never park alone in a parking ramp.


Bee June 19, 2023 at 4:26 pm

I love these…
I can’t decide which one I like best.
This would make a great post.


rebecca June 19, 2023 at 4:30 pm

Love these!


Ecoteri June 19, 2023 at 4:36 pm

@Katy I think this would be an awesome prompt for your readers, like your frugal question from last week. @ MB in MN, love your rules! I ALWAYS go to the cashiers and I talk with them about real life things. They see me coming, now, and don’t look unhappy. Small things to make someone’s day better…


Val June 23, 2023 at 3:23 am

So cool – that is one of my life rules too! Another that I have is always get the doughnut. I try to make healthy choices, but this certain grocery store makes the best Bavarian cream doughnut and life is fleeting so… always get the doughnut. 😉


K D June 19, 2023 at 6:32 am

Cool old house for the right person. Hopefully it won’t be gutted though the stove looks like it would be a challenge to use.

I has not been a frugal week. We rented a house at he beach but it was a wonderful vacation.

1. We rented a beach house not too far from home so there was not a lot of gas used nor tolls paid.

2. We packed food, paper goods, etc. to save time and money on the beach trip. We bought some groceries at Food Lion, it was closer and cheaper than Harris Teeter. They gave us discounts despite a lot of a store rewards card and I used a $5 gift card I was given months ago.

3. DH and I used our senior National Parks pass to visit a National Seashore. It is a one time purchase good for your lifetime.

4. I put my flip flops in the dishwasher after our beach trip as they were a bit smelly. They were glued back together after our beach trip last year.

5. DH wanted to buy some new tools so I bought a few Lowe’s gift cards at Safeway, which earned me a few coupons to save $15 on a future purchase. I used them to buy individually wrapped chicken breasts that were on sale and also on clearance (an additional 50% off), which I threw in the freezer, and I also bought a watermelon.


Katy June 19, 2023 at 8:28 am

You were very cleve with that Lowe’s gift card, very impressive!


Kathy Sell June 19, 2023 at 6:58 am

Love the built in cabinetry of this house. The stove does look like a challenge, but wouldn’t want to move it (replace it, yes). The bathrooms need work, porch decking probably needs replacement, and the kitchen would benefit from some remodeling. If the roof, plumbing, and electrical are up to code, what a buy!


Ruby June 19, 2023 at 7:22 am

Katy, the words “knob and tube wiring” in the listing description gave me pause. Yep, totally untouched! It is a gorgeouse house, though, and that stove is amazing.


1. Mended more ripped jeans for my son. These jeans were secondhand to him, so they’ve seen a lot of wear. I warned him that he ought to wear them just at home, given the propensity for seat failures.
2. Bought an itty bitty whole chicken on sale and roasted it for our weekend meals. Small chickens tend to be very tender.
3. Chopped up more extra peppers for the pizza topping bag in the freezer. There’s a larger bag for excess carrots and onions intended for roasts.
4. Received a 30% off one item coupon from Ollie’s Outlet right after our little food processor kicked the bucket. Will be employing the coupon today to obtain a replacement.
5. Frugal mishmash: Diluted some too perfumy body wash with plain liquid hand soap to make a nicely scented liquid soap. Saved a couple of dollars with store-brand coupons at the grocery store. Plated up leftovers to make nice ready to microwave indivdual freezer meals (meatloaf with roasted potatoes and asparagus, yum!) Hung a load of clothes on the drying rack to dry overnight in our rather hot laundry room.


Katy June 19, 2023 at 8:20 am

I’m going to be so sad if it gets flipped without honoring its historic details. But yes, modern electric is good.


Selena June 19, 2023 at 7:21 pm

My folks house had push buttons to turn lights on/off. Went through a short period of you can’t run x and y at the same time else you’d blow a fuse and not sure it was even fuses. Might have been the really old style like better half and I had in a tenant house which when you had to replace, best have one person with an object to separate you from any jolts. Ah, the good old days LOL.


Plaidkaren June 27, 2023 at 2:35 am

Me too, Katy!! Those pictures just make me happy!!


Heidi Louise June 19, 2023 at 11:16 am

I went to Ollie’s for the first time today while in another town. Was impressed by how clean the merchandise was, how everything had a tag, and how they had housewares/linens, which I hadn’t expected.
Bought Suave shampoo, generic ziploc bags, and two large containers of red pepper spice to sprinkle around our house. We have visiting racoons, I identify by their droppings, which they have no shame about dropping in the middle of wherever they are. Supposedly, they don’t like strong scents, and since it isn’t raining in the midwest, the scent should last quite a while.


Ecoteri June 19, 2023 at 4:42 pm

@Ruby – Knob and Tube. Gah. THAT cost me a pretty penny when I was given a free bathtub and ended up with needing to replace all electrical., all plumbing, update our water filter system for the well water, redig the well line, find (!!!) and remove ($$$$$$$) the asbestos insulation……. and, yes, I could go on. all that money and all I can see is the new bathtub (and the additional bathroom which IS a bonus, although a rather expensive one, considering the invisibility of most of the places money was spent)


Katy June 19, 2023 at 8:26 am

I like how it looks like there’s original linoleum in the kitchen, bathrooms and mud room. The mud room floor is especially amazing.=!


Hawaii Planner June 19, 2023 at 7:07 am

1) Used our free lounge access to get dinner at the airport on Friday night. Now, frugal fail. We get two free passes, so the adults used it, but I didn’t pay extra for our teen, & bought him a sandwich to eat at the gate. Airport food is so expensive than it was a $2 cost difference on the lounge access vs sandwich, and the food would have been much better & he would have gotten a lot more options + volume (important for a teen ;-)). Next time, we will just go that route, if the teens are hungry.
2) Bought a discounted travel gift card on We travel a lot to see family, so it’s always nice to save a bit, particularly when the cost of travel is so crazy expensive right now. We have the Costco credit card, which saves a bit more off of the top as well.
3) Didn’t rent a car for our trip to Portland this weekend. Instead, coordinated our flight timing so we could get rides with my sister (she lives in Vancouver, so it’s very close for her).
4) Saved a batch of hummus that a guest brought to the graduation party, but wanted to toss. It just needed a bit of extra olive oil & lemon juice. It was their first time making hummus, so I showed her how to finish it off, and tweak it to hit the right taste & texture. Homemade hummus is delicious!
5) Brought snacks from my parents house, to avoid needing to purchase food/snacks at the airport.


Katy June 19, 2023 at 8:25 am

“If the teens are hungry?!” Are they ever not hungry?


Anne June 19, 2023 at 7:12 am

Katy, love the shades in your daughter’s room. Would have loved that when I was young.


Katy June 19, 2023 at 8:24 am

I made these for both my kids in 2005 or so. They’re from circa 1950 based on the countries such as a single “Korea,” but an “Israel.”


Jill A June 19, 2023 at 7:20 am

Nice dresser and love the price. The house is beautiful with all the built ins and those kitchen cabinets. The stove is great but it would have to go…cooking is enough of a challenge.
1. I saved the leftover dirt from planting some perennials to use for future dog holes. The critters occasionally like to dig
2. I planted some lettuce seeds in an old planter I filled with some leftover potting soil. I’ve never planted lettuce before.
3. I’m using an empty plant container as a sieve to clean the dirt that has accumulated in my landscape stone instead of buying new ones to put on top.
4. My mother treated me to lunch yesterday for my birthday. A friend is taking me to dinner tonight. My kids want to make me breakfast next weekend. Another friend would like to have me over for dinner or lunch to celebrate. I will be well fed this week.
5. I spent Saturday with my middle daughter. She’s working on clearing out her bedroom and it’s taking a while. I bribed her with lunch out using gift cards I purchased at Costco for 30% off.


Bee June 19, 2023 at 4:40 pm

Happy Birthday, Jill! May all your dreams come true…


Jill A June 20, 2023 at 1:54 am

Thanks Bee


Marilyn June 19, 2023 at 7:30 am

Your dresser cleaned up very nicely. Well worth all of the work you put into it. The stove is interesting as it is labeled “Magee ElectriCoal.” Perhaps it cooks with electricity or coal — choose your fuel.


Katy June 19, 2023 at 8:17 am

It’s amazing!


Bee June 20, 2023 at 3:33 am

The stove was made by the Magee Furnace Company c. 1920. There are companies that will convert these old stoves to gas or electric. Restored it would sell for about $7500, so keep your eye on the curb,Katy.


JC June 22, 2023 at 7:55 am

The gas stove that I use is from the 1920’s, bought it for 1.00 at an auction. Probably because no one else wanted to move it, it’s very heavy. It is a step-side stove on tall Queen Anne style legs. I have used it for well over 20 years.
I actually moved it into my house by myself and only had to have someone come in to plumb the gas lines and level it.
Of course I was well over 20 years younger then so……
For me the best feature is it has to be lit with a match, no pilot lights burning gas.
It goes well with my 1930’s fridge, which being smaller and better insulated uses very little electricity, plus being smaller can’t be packed full and then have wasted food.


Susan Robinson June 19, 2023 at 7:46 am

Great find on the dresser!! And I WANT THAT HOUSE!!


Katy June 19, 2023 at 8:16 am

It’s amazing, like a living history musueum!


Ruby June 20, 2023 at 7:11 am

According to the listing, it last sold in 1988, which explains the peachy and blue paint colors. It looks like whoever bought it put a fresh coat of paint on it then and made that the only real change.


JC June 19, 2023 at 8:38 am

Katy, I am probably behind the times but I would only clean, paint and have updated wiring.
I love the stove and would have it checked out for safety and then use it! I pray whoever buys that house doesn’t “update” it and ruin it.
That house is amazing to me.

1. having someone clean an area of my property, it is full of poison ivy and trust me would be way more expensive for medical care for me than it is costing to have it sorted out. Once it is cleaned up I will be able to mow and weed eat to keep it up.
2. laundry done in cold and hung to dry. This saves me in 2 ways electricity for the dryer and not having to run the AC because of the heat from the dryer.
3. used jalapeno peppers from the mark down rack to process “cowboy candy” we go thru a bunch of this stuff and so much cheaper to make off the mark down rack. Plus I am growing some so we hopefully will have plenty.
3. pulled 2 oranges from garbage(someone else’s) to cut and feed the orioles. they were soft but still good.
4. moved and planted a sunflower growing beneath the bird feeder.
5. making peanut butter cookies in the toaster oven. fresh and cures the sweet craving.


Katy June 19, 2023 at 8:54 am

If only you could be the buyer.

I think that having an expert pull your poison ivy is an excellent use of money!


Liz B. June 19, 2023 at 10:04 am

I’m with you! I’d do the same thing. Replace the wiring, clean/paint/freshen anything that needed it. Have the stove checked out, then learn how to use it! I love vintage stoves, and have a friend who purchased a near-mint 1960s era stove from a house clean out….for $8. He will make that money back many times over when it sells (and he’s in no hurry).


Ava June 19, 2023 at 8:56 am

1. The not frugal is we traveled to visit family and paid for gas and pet sitting. The frugal is we stayed with family and cooked there. Our hostess was delighted to have home cooked food and we left her with leftovers.
2. Before we traveled, we avoided going to the grocery and scrounged for anything edible in the house for days.
3. Sold a thermos jug that had been unused in the closet for years.
4. Harvested some potatoes that grew from composted peelings. I have seen gardens growing all my life but it still amazes me that I can bury garbage and months later dig up food.
5. I met a neighbor. I gave her some perennial flowers and she gave me some seeds.


Jill A June 20, 2023 at 12:48 pm

Now I just want to go bury some potato peels.


BettafrmdaVille June 19, 2023 at 9:07 am

1. THIS IS BIG: my decidedly non-frugal partner picked up a package of red peppers from the clearance rack at the grocery store! I’m so very proud of him! (This is the same guy who offered to go buy me one specialty item that I needed at an expensive grocery store & who came home spending an additional $67 dollars there!)
2. Between a sale at Walgreens, Swagbucks & Ibotta, I got 4 tubes (6-ounce size!) of toothpaste for free and 2 additional ones for $1.50 – and it is our preferred brand. The regular price for toothpaste is crazy!
3. Between sales & Swagbucks, I made a few dollars purchasing 8 bottles of rice vinegar & mirin.
4. Oiled wooden sandwich/snack plates that I got from my mother when she decided she wanted new ones. The ones that I now have are from the 70s.
5. I didn’t need to hire lawyers to defend me for hiding classified documents in my bathroom.


MB in MN June 19, 2023 at 1:11 pm

BettafrmdaVille, that IS big! I’m sharing in your excitement.


Kristen | The Frugal Girl June 20, 2023 at 7:41 am

lol at your number five. Heh.


Christine June 20, 2023 at 2:51 pm

Your #5…just have a spokesperson say bathroom doors have locks on them. That should take care of any legalities.


Karen B June 19, 2023 at 10:13 am

1) My husband helped his employer solve a problem quickly and efficiently. He got a bonus of passes for 5 days of free food in their cafeteria–it’s a nice cafeteria with good choices and it was extra nice timing as I’m recovering from a health issue and was so glad to not be packing his lunches.

2) My son and I took a free online class last week that tied in with our creativity and engineering interests. We both thoroughly enjoyed it.

3) I picked up a new plant to add to my garden, ground cherry, for free in Buy Nothing. Super happy to try it.

4) Son and I went to a local store that has bins of assorted stuff that mostly seems to be store returns and food close to or slightly past the best by date. The price declines each day of that assortment and we went on $1 day. My second best item was 7 packages of gluten-free keto cookies (I’m gluten free and low carb). Total $7, but ordered online they would have been $77-$91 depending on whether it was a one time order of subscription. I would NEVER pay that! But I’m very much enjoying my $7 worth of cookies!

5) My top deal at the store above was filters for a medical device one of us uses in a big package (still sealed) that will last over 2 years. I knew it was the right brand and confirmed it’s for the correct model. Bought and replaced at the schedule recommended it would normally cost us approximately $300, but paid only $1!


Christine June 19, 2023 at 11:56 am

Your #5…great score on the filter. Saving almost $300 is beyond impressive!


MB in MN June 19, 2023 at 1:15 pm

Karen B, free food from the company cafeteria is a neat bonus! And the screaming deal on filters for a medical device – wow!


Jill June 19, 2023 at 10:44 am

1. Using my King Soopers app and coupons (from them) that were mailed to me and very carefully purchasing only what I need, I saved $27 at the store this week. This included a free package of Sargento sliced cheese. And I agree, Katy, that anyone who avoids impulse purchases at Trader Joe’s deserves an award. I love that store but really have to watch myself in there.
2. Scheduled my once in a decade colonoscopy – covered by insurance – for this coming Friday. Certainly not my, or anyone’s, fave, but preventative medicine is much better than uh-oh medicine.
3. Was out of town over the weekend so offered to make a home cooked Father’s Day meal for my husband and son tonight.
4. Found a pair of rain boots and several “too big” pants and shirts for my grandson at Goodwill.
5. Made my weekly library visit, still watching Britbox and Netflix plus You Tube, eating at home, even though sometimes it’s just “assembled” meals and trying to make my needs small

When I was in 7th grade we had to write a book about us and I cut a photo out of a magazine (remember those?) of a house just like that listing. I would say that’s a dream house for me but unfortunately, after years of house upkeep and repairs, my husband would give a hard pass on it. I, too, hope that someone doesn’t “update” it and keeps it as is.


Lindsey June 19, 2023 at 11:32 am

1. Our bachelor friend who buys rotisserie chickens and eats only the breasts freezes the carcasses and when he has a few he drops them off to us. On Friday he dropped off 8 of them! I spent Saturday thawing and picking off a huge amount of flesh left when you eat only the breasts and Sunday roasting the bones and then using my crock pot and two of them borrowed from friends to make literally gallons of stock. Today I am making pot pies and soup for the rest of the week and for the freezer. I cannot begin to calculate how much money this saves us. I always offer to bring him some of the soups and so on that I make but he says he doesn’t like those things. He used to throw the carcasses away and says it is enough payment to know that the food is not going to waste.
2. The neighbors who bought our chickens and coop sent over their 8 year old to pick weeds to bring home to feed the chickens. The kid used to watch me do it, knowing the chickens love weeds, so now she has taken on the task. Free weeding!
3. Sold two items on FB marketplace, making $90 total. The stuff cost a lot more and I had to keep reminding myself that I no longer used these things and they were not making me any money sitting behind the couch.
4. Had a CD that was expiring and either needed to be turned in or put back into a new CD. It was only $1000 but I made it work harder for me by moving it to another bank where it will make 2% more than it was making.
5. Saturday was a tour of our local libraries: Book library for two books. Tool library for a cordless weed wacker. Seed library for their transplant event, where I picked up someone’s excess pumpkin plants and I left trailing lobelia.


Katy June 19, 2023 at 11:55 am

I like that your bachelor friend is picky, but is trying to not let it lead to waste.


Lindsey June 19, 2023 at 11:45 am

I meant to ask you, Katy, if you saw the Today show feature on this couple in Detroit who made a business by picking up junk and now dilapidated property and turning these reclaimed pieces into really cool new stuff.


Katy June 19, 2023 at 12:03 pm

I hadn’t seen that, thank you for sharing it. I love this couple’s energy and ideas!


Christine June 19, 2023 at 1:32 pm

The stove! The woodwork! The windows! The floors! The built in cabinets and bookcases! The garage tucked in under the house! The only thing I can say with certainty I would do to that house is to sand and varnish the wood floors and replace the missing window next to the backdoor. Outdoors I would seed the back lawn and place a few trees…something like birch or a Japanese maple that wouldn’t overpower the yard. Oh, and add an umbrella style clothesline (a necessity for me).
1. We used a $50 gift card I won in a raffle to go out to eat.
2. DH borrowed a limb saw from his son to trim some trees in our yard.
3. Maybe because the winter was quite mild for New England this year my perennial garden exploded with color and blooms more than I have ever seen it do. It actually looks a little crowded now but we needed less mulch to cover the exposed dirt so that’s not a bad thing. I’ve tried unloading some on neighbors but no takers yet.
4. A couple of months ago, I put the end of a head of Romaine Lettuce in water until it grew big enough (about 6 inches tall) to plant in dirt. At that point it stopped growing leaves but produced two long sprouts with buds which look as if they may flower. I decided I like it as a plant since it sits in a decorative pot and now have it on my deck.
5. Hid (in plain sight) some painted rocks I made with positive messages on them. Two were posted on the rock group FB page I belong to and I was happy to see two children found them.
Still making my own coffee, tea and iced tea…determined to drink very few calories…using my library and walking my neighborhood for exercise.


Katy June 19, 2023 at 1:36 pm

Did you notice the original linoleum floor in the back mud room? Amazing!


Christine June 20, 2023 at 2:54 pm

I did! Incredible house. So glad nobody went overboard with renovations.


Ecoteri June 19, 2023 at 4:57 pm

@Christine, love your romaine lettuce story. You are going to get a LOT of romaine seeds – once the flowers are done, they will produce seeds with fluffies like dandelions, only a lot more. carefully cut off the seed stalk when things look kind of dry, put it upside down in a paper bag and hang to dry. once dry, you will be able to rub off the seeds – and plant your own romaine! might not grow totally true if it was from a hybrid plant, and you still will get nice little lettuces. — I have a romaine stub growing beside my sink right now, actually, and now you have let me know it likely will bolt rather than give me leaves, but that is ok with me!


Christine June 20, 2023 at 2:56 pm

Thanks for your tips. I’ve never tried growing my own Romaine Lettuce before so it should be fun and interesting. In the meantime, I have a very cool plant.


Jill A June 20, 2023 at 12:51 pm

I love the painted rocks. I think it’s so fun for the little ones.


Christine June 20, 2023 at 2:57 pm

I always hope kids are the ones to find the rocks I paint and in this case, my hopes were realized.


Ruby June 19, 2023 at 1:56 pm

A. Marie and I are huge Ollie’s fans. You never quite know what you’ll find, but the price will be awesome and frequent shoppers are rewarded with high value coupons.


A. Marie June 19, 2023 at 4:31 pm

Ruby, I’ve got a 10% off coupon at Ollie’s, which I intend to use on a tower fan and a few other things as soon as I can get over there. The press of other events has gotten in the way recently.

And I too am gobsmacked by the Zillow listing for the magic house near Katy. That stove! That everything else! Totally drool-worthy!


rebecca June 19, 2023 at 4:46 pm

That is an awesome house. It hasn’t been a very frugal week.
1. I had to spend $368.00 at the dentist for work done. I do get 10% off due to buying 2 yearly cleanings and 1 yearly emergency visit package by check. Yes, dental health is very important and frugal in the long run. Just ouch today.
2. I had a quiet weekend due to weather and watched “Air” about air jordans. It was really good, actually. I also watched Daisy and the Six, also really good.
3. Groceries were a lot of loss leader and sale items.
4. I filled my car up at the usually cheapest gas station then drove by 2 that had cheaper gas. One was 10 cents less a gallon.
5. The usual-coffee and water from home, cold water laundry, air drying a lot of the laundry, ect.


Bee June 20, 2023 at 3:37 am

I have watched Daisy Jones and the Six, but the book is one of my favorite, fun reads.


Jill A June 20, 2023 at 12:52 pm

Thanks for the book suggestion.


Jennifer June 19, 2023 at 6:12 pm

I’ll just start with the unfrugal and get it out of the way. WAY back in November when Taylor Swift tickets went on sale, I happened to be off work and able to try for them. After 7 hours in the que I was able to get 6 tickets. I did pause at the total – even for the nosebleeds. But my mantra for the past year has been experiences and adventure. I’m frugal in a lot of areas and I had dreamed for 10+ years about taking my 2 girls to a concert. So yeah, I bought the tickets. Show was Saturday. Hotel, expensive parking, drinks inside the stadium (ACK!), dinner inside the stadium (cheaper than drinks!), merch – oh my! I saved for this and enjoyed every minute of my splurge.

1. We did pack water bottles and snacks, but could never find a fountain and in the end bought more water and dinner food. We were in the stadium for 7 hours.

2. We got a free upgrade at the hotel and ended up with a 2 bedroom/2 bath suite. We stayed 20 miles outside the city to make it more affordable.

3. I picked up extra work last week to boost my paycheck. I work in the schools but have decided to work extra this summer.

4. Still no AC, though I actually had to turn the heat on 1 morning last week. We are having a very cool summer so far.

5. Starting to harvest peas from my garden and my garlic is looking almost ready. Basil also is growing well.


Jill A June 20, 2023 at 12:38 pm

My daughter and son-in-law also went to see Taylor Swift. They said it was amazing. I think it was well worth the cost to them. I took my girls years ago when ticket prices weren’t so insane. They still talk about their first concert. I’m sure your daughter’s were thrilled. She’s an amazing performer.


Marie June 19, 2023 at 6:59 pm

Absolutely love that house! Though housing is so overpriced, I’d buy it in a minute, if I was going back to Portland. My husband is a carpenter, and to restore it to its original beauty, wow. And yes, I’d use that stove.
1. Someone posted rugosa roses $3 each. They were actually just starts. When she saw I was disappointed, she gave me 2 extra. I’m trying to hide from the neighbors graveyard of dead vehicles.
2. Needed a few new hens, and wasn’t up to raising chicks. I posted on a local site, and a woman raises cHickens, she had over 100, and gladly gave me 4 new girls.
3. Eating at home daily, no going out.
4. Raising a big garden as usual, and had our first stir fry tonight, from snow peas, purple mustard, kale, asparagus, onions, and garlic from my garden.
5. Grocery shopping frugally, and doing the Safeway deals every week. Saves A ton on meat, and dairy


Selena June 19, 2023 at 7:15 pm

1 – We too had the overcharge at the grocery store – charged for 10 avocados, we bought one. Customer service was open so $9.90 refunded.

2 – As to the house – quite rare all the original is still present. All too often the woodwork, windows, etc. are stripped out and sold. However…
We’re talking a veritable boat load of money to get it back in shape. No good shots of the roof but a re-roof will not be cheap much less a tear off. Chimney looks to be in good repair.
Can’t speak for your area but hot water heat in my area = only 1 or 2 places for any service calls $$. To replace the system, I’d expect a minimum of $55K. Cracks in wall might be age or signs of water issues. Bringing me to state of plumbing and electrical. What is the state of the pipes (presume city water/sewer) and “knob and tube electric”. Oh boy, no where near up to code.
If the one car garage is under the house, the realtor should take up writing fiction. No shots of the basement so foundation is a wild card. Floors in all places need a lot of TLC. Whoever buys it should have $250K, preferably in cash, to do the required work. And interesting with the buyer’s agency fee – greed abounds. Buy and hold for 35 years (paid $33K) so will be curious when if it sells to know the price. Stove is cool looking and *could* bring in a few bucksbut no where near enough to restore the house to its full glory.
I got a good chuckle out of seller will not make any repairs. I’d offer $275k at the most – in cash. I suspect few banks will finance and finding HO insurance might be another challenge. We have a similar phone we kept from our prior house (room it was in was torn down).


Alexia June 19, 2023 at 9:10 pm

That house is a dream, except for the floors that aren’t stained where the rugs are meant to be and the basement. But THE KITCHEN AND THAT STOVE would more than make up for it.


Cindy in the South June 20, 2023 at 12:32 am

OMG! The bathtub, the stove, the woodwork, the doors, the porch, the windows! I am in love! I need to move and be your neighbor!!!


Bee June 20, 2023 at 4:19 am

A beautiful house! One of my favorite Instagram accounts is Cheap Old Houses. It showcases older homes that are for sale for under $200,000. There are some amazing homes out there for someone who has the know-how, the ability and the drive.
This week’s FFT:
1. Our toilet was running. The flush valve and the flapper had disintegrated over time. We watched a YouTube video and made a trip to the hardware store. Two hours later the problem was solved.
2. I repotted and fertilized my orchids this week. They needed some attention. I used several orchid pots that I had picked up on trash day. In fact, some of these orchids I had picked up on yard trash day.
3. I stacked coupons at CVS to by mascara. 40% off the brand I use, $5 extra bucks, $2 back from IBotta making the final cost $1.40 with tax. I also scanned the receipt to Fetch for points.
4. Accidentally frugal: I went to the theatre to see a play with my SIL. All that was left on the night that we could both attend were the “cheap seats”. Since the playhouse only holds 300, the seats ended up being quite good. We decided these would be our usual seat now. It saved us $23 each.
5. All the usual things – cooking from scratch, using leftovers, brewing my own coffee, and drinking primarily filtered water. I am batching errands, reading books from the library, listening to books on Libby and Hoopla, and watching Endeavor on the PBS app.
Wishing everyone peace, good health and prosperity.


Kristen | The Frugal Girl June 20, 2023 at 7:42 am

MAN. That is a super cool-looking house!


mary in maryland June 21, 2023 at 6:25 am

I love the stove. My Grandma had a gas stove that sat on curvy legs. She felt that pilot lights were the gas company stealing from her and rigged a way to turn them off–which involved bubble gum. Her house always smelled like gas. The other Grandma unplugged anything she wasn’t using.
I get the “dresser and rug” incantation. I spent a few months muttering “down comforter” everywhere I went. Finally found a fabulous one in the trash room of a friend’s very expensive condo building. It had some vomit and other bodily effluvia on it, but that’s what the big commercial washers are for (after scraping most off outdoors.)


Katy June 21, 2023 at 1:09 pm

You are a brave brave woman!


MB in MN June 21, 2023 at 2:14 pm

Mary in Maryland, I admire your courageous approach to rescuing the comforter!


mary in maryland June 21, 2023 at 3:17 pm

I was an OB/GYN for 30+ years. Bodily effluvia don’t faze me at all.


Laura June 21, 2023 at 7:35 am

I love that stove!!!! My grandmother cooked on a half propane half wood stove!!! In her farm house bungalow. I love everything about that house. I bet the linoleum crackles. The way the floors are stained up to the area rugs, the fixtures, it’s perfect!!!!
I screen shot the floor plan! So great, thank you.

And well done on your dresser!


Julie Hamann June 21, 2023 at 11:52 am

Now I need to win the lottery in order to buy that house and restore it. Knob and tube electric is worrisome and would need to be brought up to code otherwise it is a fire hazard. That house would be a labor of love for the right homeowner.


Katy June 21, 2023 at 1:09 pm

Maybe I should pick up a lottery ticket today!


Selena June 21, 2023 at 6:32 pm

That or a money pit for someone who did not do his/her due diligence and/or live in reality. No pictures of the foundation but the house is actually unsafe for occupancy.


Dicey June 22, 2023 at 8:53 am

DH and I help people choose their first house. We do it behind the scenes, for no money, because we can’t buy all the houses ourselves, and it’s fun. The other motivation for us is that when buying a house, virtually everyone you interact with is getting paid by you. No sale, no earnings for them.

There’s a ton to like in this house, and it has a lot of challenges. The things that struck me, besides the amazing stove, are the giant-height cupboards in the kitchen, the galvanized pipes, the probable asbestos and lead paint, etc. The best thing is that it looks like Alfred Hitchcock has photobombed the dining room in picture #16…so it comes complete with an intriguing ghostly guest?


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