Five Frugal Things

by Katy on July 10, 2023 · 61 comments

  1. I took two partial boxes of stale cereal, two partially full but stale bags of marshmallows, the last of a jar of peanut butter and three-quarters of a stick of long leftover margarine and assembled a pan of the most delicious faux Rice Krispy treats.

    I’m happy to rid my cupboards of this old food and ecstatic that the result was so delicious!

  2. My husband and I took a spontaneous day trip to the Oregon Coast, which we timed to take full advantage of the low tide. As always, we stopped in Tillamook for Mexican food. Our favorite food cart was closed for the day, but the one down the road was decent enough. Our burritos were enormous and served as both lunch and dinner and we’d filled our travel bottles with enough water for the entire day.

    We spent a couple hours on the beach looking through the tide pools for marine life and were rewarded with views of anemones, crabs, sea stars and tiny fish. The tide was even low enough to walk all the way across to some caves, although not low enough to actually go in them. We then sat on a bench to watch the tide come in while munching our burritos.

    Lastly we drove up to the Cape Meares lighthouse to enjoy the view that never disappoints.

    We could certainly rent a hotel room or a cabin to stay overnight, but I actually really like how a day trip puts me back in my own comfortable bed by nightfall. Less to plan, almost nothing to pack and the cost is simply a bit of gasoline.

  3. I used some neutral Resor-A-Finish to gloss over a watermark from where I stupidly set my tea slightly off the inset tile on my midcentury coffee table. This stuff is a freaking miracle, although it’s supposedly a controversial product in the furniture refinishing community. But really, can you argue with these results?

  4. • My son and I drove over to a friend’s house to ooh and ahh over her two-week-old kittens. She sent us home with 18 freshly laid eggs from her backyard chickens.
    • Me being me, I’d just bought two packs of eggs at Safeway as they were priced at 97¢ per dozen. Oh well, I’m set for quite awhile!
    • I boiled up the last of the 10¢ ears of corn and then poured the cooled down water over some backyard ferns.
    • I received a free, yet new looking pair of Marimekko espadrilles through my Buy Nothing Group.
    • I stopped by the dented vegetable store and came home with two grocery bags of produce plus two boxes of matzoh crackers for only $10.31.
    • I picked up an extra $1 bag of organic Roma tomatoes for my friend Lise.
    • I thrifted a $4 frame for a watercolor that my insanely talented and creative daughter painted her first year of college. It’s been sitting dusty and propped up in her room ever since then, but it’s now protected and on hanging the wall of her childhood bedroom.
    • I know I already blogged about it, but I’m including that I painted over a large stain to keep my porch rug in use.
    • I’m almost done listening to Willa Cather’s My Antonia through the library’s free Libby app.
    • I found four items in my kitchen, (two mugs, a plate and a glass growler) that can go to Goodwill. Not an impressive amount, but it’s these consistent small donations that keep my house from getting too cluttered.

  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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{ 61 comments… read them below or add one }

mary in maryland July 10, 2023 at 6:07 am

1. We have been helping an older couple deaccession stuff before they move to be closer to a daughter. We’ve taken a carful a week to the thrift store. I’ve picked out for us a Brita water carafe and a Le Creuset 3 qt lidded casserole.
2. Last week I rescued their weaving bench from the trash. It’s slightly higher than a chair—works well at the dining room table since I’ve lost some height above my waist. The bench is dirty, but they were also throwing away Murphy’s oil wood soap.
3. They gave us a few things that the thrift store refused. Think really old TV. I found someone on the Timebank who makes trips to the transfer station who is willing to take it for us. Saves me a half hour drive.
4. Still working through Medicare payment for some pre-extraction dental imaging. The billing team at the dental office has been very interested—I clued them in that they’re sending patients home with the wrong form. Still not clear if the right form works, however.
5. Have moved 665 items out of my house since 5/24. Keeping a list really motivates me.
6. Someone mentioned prepaying for a funeral, so I started looking into it. Either burial or cremation cost thousands. I’m thinking seriously of donating my body to a medical school, even though gross anatomy was the low point of my life.


A. Marie July 10, 2023 at 8:15 am

Having just been through the process of donating DH’s body to our local medical school, I recommend it highly if you and your loved ones are up for it. Not only would DH have been pleased (as noted in my earlier comments about this), but the savings were significant.


Karen B July 10, 2023 at 3:47 pm

Congratulations on the 665 items! Wow! I kept a list of items I parted with through Buy Nothing Project for the first year I did it and exceeded my goal. the list was an encouragement to me, too.


kathy July 10, 2023 at 6:17 am

1. Planning on using my free car wash today or tomorrow as looks like no rain in the forecast
2. Mailed a birthday card from my stash to a friend
3. Thawing out left overs for dinner tonight
4. Posted on multi sites clothing for sale (many new with tags)
5. Gathering up books I have to read on our trip to Maui this month


MB in MN July 10, 2023 at 6:49 am

1. Husband bought three pairs of like-new shoes at Goodwill – total of $35. First time he’s ever bought anything himself at a thrift store.

2. Made a crustless quiche with all manner of leftover veggies, cheeses, herbs, and milk that I had frozen before it went south.

3. Made a lot of veggie stock and used it for cooking both rice and barley. So flavorful!

4. Since I already had the oven on to bake bread, I piggybacked on that and baked/roasted three additional items.

5. Added water to shampoo bottle to use up every last bit.


Iforonwy July 10, 2023 at 7:23 am

I have been sorting through some old photos and weeding some out. I came across some photos taken on our first trip stateside – in 1982! There we are standing on the beach near Tillamook! We had visited the cheese factory.


Susan from Cincinnati July 10, 2023 at 7:40 am

Your day trip sounds lovely.
1. Celebrated 3 family birthdays at once. Made a box of brownie mix that had been hanging around in my pantry. Made it with coffee instead of water and added chocolate chips I had in my freezer. Made brownie sundaes. Spent $9 at Trader Joe’s for gluten free cupcakes and small chantilly cake. Served ice water as beverage. Decorated the table with a tablecloth we use for all of our celebrations, and use flowers Someone had given me for my birthday for the centerpiece. I had leftover candles and happy birthday napkins from another party.
2. Peanut butter on sale today for buy three get two dollars off each one. I know the price is not going down so I bought six large jars of peanut butter saving $12.
3. Coffee on sale. Also, buy three get two dollars off each one so I bought 3.
4. Lunch yesterday was from a local barbecue place where we had gift cards. It was enough for lunch and dinner.
5. Got my daughter a pair of new balance, leather work shoes and used Kohl’s gift cards. We get the gift cards from our insurance company for doing.
regular check ups.


Blue Gate Farmgirl July 10, 2023 at 7:43 am

Garage Sales were abundant this past weekend!
I bought a set of three enamel cast iron sauce pots 3 qt, 2 qt, 1 1/2 qt all 3 for $2.
I got 50 ft of 1 inch rope in a milk crate for $1, 4 stainless steel baker’s racks for $10 each and a splitting maul for $4. I bought a 5 gallon hydrangea from a sidewalk sale in a new subdivision, I will use it as a housewarming gift for a dear friend who is restoring a 120 yo cottage *she hinted that she wanted one*.
I unloaded a bunch of fishing gear for the community garage sale that funds our giving tree at Christmas time.
I bought a $20 Husqvarna sewing machine to clean & tune up to donate to the local 4-H group.
Frittata[s are a mainstay using up bits and bobs of veggies from the garden and eggs from the chickies and finally using the 12 lb block of emmentaler swiss cheese that I picked up, chunked up and vacuumed sealed for the freezer. Delish!
Picking the sour cherries today to pit and freeze for various desserts and sauces. The next batch will be dehydrated for my granola and breakfast cookies. Busy time of the year!


Christine July 10, 2023 at 8:11 am

You really hit the jackpot with that yard sale! Especially with the cast iron pots. Nice!


Hawaii Planner July 10, 2023 at 8:00 am

1) Used a free drink coupon for my son, when I picked him up after tennis camp. He played 50 hours of tennis in six days, so he was famished when I picked him up. I ordered him a meal at Chipotle (using a gift card) & avoided getting anything myself. I made a sandwich at home.
2) Picked up lunch supplies for my teens (they are good with sandwiches, as they are easy to prep, and hold up well in their bags) using grocery store rewards. They are both working at a summer camp, earning their own spending money for the year.
3) The usual: charged our electric car for free at work, ate two meals a day (Tuesday-Thursday) for free at work, took water on errands to avoid buying anything.
4) Helped my dad with travel planning, and traded gift cards for miles, to help him out. I get gift cards as they generate grocery store rewards, and we travel a lot, so we always have them on hand.
5) Gave away a ton of stuff on Buy Nothing, and also picked up some mini travel container freebies (BN) for an upcoming trip.


Christine July 10, 2023 at 8:04 am

1. We receive a statement from our electric company every month letting us know how we compare in electrical usage to similar homes in our comparison group. I’m happy on two counts: 1. Our energy usage is 24% lower than other efficient homes. 2. Our energy usage decreased 15% compared to our energy usage in the same period last year.
2. I found a beautiful sturdy basket for $3 at my church’s thrift shop. Also found a matching dinner plate to the ones I use on holidays for $1.
3. I called the oil company and questioned why my budget plan balance is listed in the “over 60 day” category which carries interest. This has never happened in the past. Turns out they have a new office manager who does things differently than the one who left, and she assured me we are not and will not be charged any interest. Better to check than to worry.
4. The raspberry bushes I planted a few years ago are booming. I have to keep an eye on the canes though, as they have already spread. I don’t want them to take over my side yard.
5. Reading library books for entertainment. Making iced tea at home to get us through the heat and humidity and running the A/C only at night to sleep. Turned in $3 worth of cans and bottles at the recycling center. DH found a penny on one of his hikes for the found change jar. Cooking meals at home. Last night was teriyaki drumsticks in the crockpot which yielded enough for two meals…yay! No cooking tonight! Looking at my little yard and thinking how nice it is to be here.


Selena July 10, 2023 at 7:13 pm

You in IL lol!!?? I take the usage report with a grain of salt, our lifestyle, and when we consume the most energy. The most efficient “home” on our list barely varies in Kw usage month to month. We’re home all the time, I work from home. We use far more in three winter months than we do in the summer. We rarely run the A/C but winter means outdoor Xmas lights for almost two months (it is pitch black out here so being able to see as you walk down the drive to get the paper = less chance of falling). And avoiding ice dams on the roof. As well as keeping the bug eating critters watered during the winter.


Christine July 11, 2023 at 4:37 am

In MA here.


Christine July 10, 2023 at 8:07 am

Katy, yum on the homemade cereal bars! Now I can’t wait to try it.


Ruby July 10, 2023 at 8:40 am

Katy, your use-it-up treats look so delicious!

1. Bought a beautiful zip-up cardigan at Goodwill only to discover that the zipper did not work. So I removed the zipper and used the thin strips of knitted facing fabric that covered the zipper on the inside of the sweater to make buttonhole tabs and added buttons from my sewing stash. It turned out quite nice.
2. The sun has moved around with the season so that our laundry room, which has a very large window, is now quite hot. This makes it great for rack drying laundry indoors.
3. In tidying up our pantry, i found a box of mac and cheese with a best by date of May of this year and incorporated it into supper, also using up the tail end of a stick of butter to make it.
4. Scrubbed the sides and soles of a pair of light gray Clark’s fisherman’s sandals with The Pink Stuff, then laundered them and a less filthy brown pair in the washer. Let them dry outside in the sun and they are now respectable to wear again. Never tried machine washing suede and nylon shoes before, but it kept them out of the free pile.
5. Filled the hatch of my little car up with more decluttered stuff to go to Goodwill.


A. Marie July 10, 2023 at 8:42 am

FFT, Filthy Lucre Edition:

(1) On my most recent trip to Wegmans, I spotted a large wad of change in the Coinstar machine’s return slot. Although I found when I reached in that it was coated with some kind of oil, I grabbed the filthy lucre nevertheless and wrapped it in several cart-cleaning wipes to get it home. At home, I dumped it into a scratched Pyrex pan I keep for cleaning up ooky messes, and soaked it in dish liquid with some paint thinner thrown in. I ended up with $3.75 in mixed US and Canadian change (recall that local merchants accept Canadian coins up to a quarter at face value, since we’re only about 90 miles from the border), plus a UK 10-p coin.

(2) I continue to eat weeds. Also, I picked another pint of wild black raspberries from local bushes (the season for these is winding down), and a neighbor who’s gone on vacation has invited me to harvest lettuce from her garden.

(3) I also continue placidly enjoying garden work and other local pleasures instead of heading off on elaborate vacations, as the lettuce-sharing neighbor and several others are doing. The urge to travel more than a half-day’s drive from home left me during the pandemic and hasn’t returned.

(4) I did make a gumbo with my homemade lobster stock, as described in my last FFT. I added some shrimp purchased on sale at Price Chopper, and shared the gumbo with a friend. (This friend’s wife dislikes all fish and seafood, so he rarely gets any at home–and he comes running when he gets an email headed “Gumbo alert!”)

(5) Finally, I’ve been getting energy usage reports similar to Christine’s as described in her #1. I expect to be pulling ahead of National Grid on the budget plan payments in the next month or two, despite recent AC usage. (Blessings on DH for insisting we get those solar panels some years ago.)


Anne July 10, 2023 at 7:57 pm

A. Marie, love the filthy lucre story. During the pandemic I still picked up any coins I saw on the ground, not because I didn’t have a huge respect for the virus. I did. It’s jut the pull of the cheap side of my brain was stronger and quicker.

We have lost most desire to travel also, I think because 1. we’re getting older and most travel ideas result in a neon mind sign that keeps flashing “BEEN THERE, DONE THAT, ALREADY THREW AWAY THE T-SHIRT.” 2. being in an airport is absolutely torturous these days, and 3. our three cats lead very complicated lives and it’s very hard to leave them.


mary in maryland July 11, 2023 at 5:42 am

I hear you on the cats. When we adopted yet another complicated, elderly dog, friends asked. “What about your lifestyle? What about traveling?” Our lifestyle is the mile-long walk around the neighborhood twice a day picking up trash and coins with the dog.


K D July 12, 2023 at 5:33 am

Great score at the Coin Star.

I always throw found change in the silverware basket of the dishwasher. Even the coins stuck together generally come out clean. DH has a box of foreign coins, many of them found in Coin Star Machines over the years. It is quite a heavy, though small, box.


Lindsey July 10, 2023 at 9:23 am

Those treats are positively inspiring! I have a jar of Biscoff cookie butter that is getting old and might work instead of peanut butter. And we have stale cereal, too!
My goal of getting rid of one thing a day continues. This was inspired by something I read on another blog and it is working for us better than massive decluttering projects. This week I gave away hedgehog supplies, threw away panty hose that I had saved for tying up onions for the winter (don’t ask), forced the husband to give me the holey underpants off his butt and threw them away, sold a book, recycled a wheelchair battery, gave three silver spoons I collected years and years ago to a jewelry maker who used them to make rings that she sells at the farmers’ market, and ate up two bags of frozen shrimp. Okay, the last one was not a struggle but we are leaving on our Last Hurrah trip in a month, so I need to empty out the chest freezer so I can unplug it. Made butter shrimp that we ate for four nights. Our house smells like a delicious Indian restaurant. I would have used the shrimp shells to make broth but Pound Hound pulled the colander of shells off the counter so they were a total loss. I came back in the kitchen to find him sitting on a pile of shells, happily eating them; the closer I moved, the faster he ate. Good thing he is cute.


A. Marie July 10, 2023 at 10:39 am

Lindsey, I repeat my periodic reminder that we need to collaborate on a children’s book called “The Adventures of Pound Hound.” I can just picture him smiling his way through the shrimp shells.


Lindsey July 10, 2023 at 4:34 pm

A. Marie, the book would have to include the fact that today Pound Hound returned the shells to the back porch, neatly upchucking them in one pile. His breath smells appalling. Good thing he is cute. And I do appreciate that he was thoughtful enough not to do it on the bedroom carpet in the middle of the night.


A. Marie July 11, 2023 at 4:06 am

Well, kids who like books with lots of bathroom humor should love this story…


Ecoteri July 11, 2023 at 10:07 pm

@A. Marie and @ Lindsey, enough talk you two, get cracking and write the first book. Considering the stories told here, I KNOW it is going to be only the first in a very successful series. where can we send pre-orders?

Christine July 10, 2023 at 10:44 am

So funny, the picture of your your Pound Hound furiously eating the shells faster as you approached! My former dog and wonderful companion appropriately named Company, was a bit more fussy. One New Years Eve, I had put out a one pound tray of shrimp on the coffee table and made a quick trip to the bathroom. When I went back into the living room, Company had eaten every last shrimp and spit out the shells on the floor! Needless to say, shrimp or any food was never left unattended again with Company around.


Anne July 10, 2023 at 8:00 pm

Lindsey, “the holey underpants off his butt.” Priceless!


Jill A July 10, 2023 at 9:31 am

Your trip to the coast sounds wonderful. I agree that there is something to be said about sleeping in your own bed. Also wondering about your foot. You haven’t mentioned it lately. I hope it’s getting better.


Katy July 10, 2023 at 10:32 am

It is doing better, although it’s temporary as it’s due to an ultrasound guided steroidal injection which does wear off. I’m careful not to walk too too much.


Kristen | The Frugal Girl July 10, 2023 at 11:37 am

Ok, so, why is Restor-a-Finish controversial?


Katy July 10, 2023 at 2:26 pm

It’s considered a quick fix instead of the honor of doing an entire refinish.


Vickey August 15, 2023 at 2:48 pm

You mean like the taped-up hem on my pants, or the safety-pinned waistband or the unbent paper clip laundry basket mend? (Thank you, Amy Daczycn.) Sounds like my kinda fix! 😉


Marie-Josée July 10, 2023 at 11:45 am

Your day out to the coast with your hubby sounded wonderful and restorative. I’m glad your foot is feeling better.


Katy July 10, 2023 at 2:31 pm

Thank you, my foot is doing a lot better and our day trip was close to perfect.


Ashley Bananas July 10, 2023 at 12:47 pm

Hi Katy, the treats look amazing and sound frugal, and the day at the beach sounds perfect. And yes, I agree sleeping in your own bed is so nice and also…frugal. Costs for travel are high and negating them is wonderful. Thank you for suggesting Restor-A-Finish. I curb picked a lovely little mid century coffee table and it desperately needs love. I was going to sand and then do a bunch of other stuff, but if this does the trick, that would be amazing. I’ll have to look for it next time I go to Home Depot or Lowes.

In my own five frugals…
1. I continue to do Door Dash. I made $150 last week, and $200 on the week that just closed out. My year of unexpected expenses continues, but I hope that with mindful spending and also making some extra income I can collectively break out of any debt I have and come out debt free much sooner. I’m trying to work my way up a bit more each week with my Door Dash earnings to get back to the higher amount I was making before our last trip.
2. Weight loss continues. I am down 105 lbs total since last year. Letting go of clothes continues to be a struggle and chore. I have five bags of clothing to let go of. One is Goodwill/Giveaway. The others I was hoping to sell. I took them to second hand stores and they only bought 7 items. Not strange as they seem to be very limited with buying plus size, but a little frustrating. I have clothes in smaller sizes that I’m currently in, but may need to buy some more to pad out my wardrove. I’d do it all again though, I feel so much better now that I’m lighter on my feet. I guess this is a shrinking pain??
3. My son wanted an Oculus Quest, I have dubbed this ‘that video game you strap to your eyeballs’. I told him he could buy it himself, and he asked, how? I said I would sign him up to do yard work for some people. Within a week he made almost $500. We have to go back to one or two of the houses for ongoing maintenance to yards and bushes. But what a great way for him to finally see the value of things. He bought the headset this past week and it’s his newest addiction. He still continues to mow my lawn for free, but reminds me he charges others for the same service…
4. My cat who was diagnosed with lung cancer has been thoracentesis free for about two months now. We think he may have had an undetected injury to his chest area that caused the liquid in his chest. I am so thankful that we did not put him to sleep. He is very happy and loved. And, perhaps has finally outcost his older brother, who had a second urethra surgery five years ago, as being the most expensive cat. Win all over the place, my 15 year old cat is still with us, and I’m not shelling out money for vet bills every week.
5. I did a ton of grocery shopping for 4th of July week. I bought about $200 worth of groceries utilizing sales and bogos, and was able to earn back about $80 in rebates and coupons from ibotta and It was a lot of work. But our cupboards are full!!

Hope you are all having a great week!


Christine July 11, 2023 at 4:47 am

I loved all of your FFTs but especially lived your successful weight loss and the recovery of your cat.


Christine July 11, 2023 at 4:47 am



Ashley Bananas July 11, 2023 at 6:23 am

Thank you! I hope to lose a bit more as well.


mary in maryland July 11, 2023 at 5:45 am

Have you mentioned to your son that many have to pay for laundry and meals?


Ashley Bananas July 11, 2023 at 6:31 am

Mary in Maryland, He’s 14. I’ve jokingly told him he will have to start paying a bill. Sometimes he thinks I’m serious. Maybe when he’s older lol.


Vickey August 15, 2023 at 2:56 pm

Our local district’s child psychologist once jokingly referred to her “indentured servants” who had been tasked with painting their garage door at home.


Ecoteri July 11, 2023 at 10:15 pm

@Ashley Bananas – congratulations on your ongoing weight loss = well done you! As for the clothing, have you tried FB marketplace? Sometimes you can sell a ‘lot’ of clothing in one fell swoop, maybe for not as much as you were hoping to make but a) gets it out of the house and b) sweetens the pot for the purchaser and c) maybe a few bucks?
As for your #3, I just LOVE that you helped your son get some work (and it appears are continuing to help considering the “we have to go back” part). What a great way to show him the value of working toward a goal. Future Son might be wise to also learn the pay-yourself-first 10% practice, starting to sock it away when you are young is a wonderful thing to learn early..
I continue to be impressed with your Door Dash successes – baby steps seem to be your mantra this year, on weight loss and debt reduction. Go you!


Ava July 10, 2023 at 1:28 pm

I don’t think I have 5.
1. Ordered some sandals and used a new customer code that saved me 15%. Unfortunately, the lower price meant that shipping was no longer free. I still saved $6.
2 . Noticed that 1 pack of rolls in the grocery was half
the price of the others. That’s because whoever packed it labeled it chocolate chip cookies. I asked the cashier if I would pay what it was supposed to cost or what it was marked. She rang up the marked price.
3. Made a delicious Thai style peanut sauce from ingredients at home. While shopping, I noticed that a bottle of similar sauce was selling for $6.
I think that’s all I can come up with this time.
The cereal bars look yummy and we would love to see the painting.


Katy July 10, 2023 at 2:30 pm

Alas, it’s not my art to share.


Ava July 11, 2023 at 11:05 am

Yes, I understand.


Valee July 10, 2023 at 4:19 pm

Katy, besides toasted oat type cereal, and maybe Chex type (?) what other cereals are in your odds ‘n ends bars? They look really superb, better than regular Krispie bars.


Katy July 10, 2023 at 5:07 pm

This batch was just Trader Joe’s O’s and Corn Chex. I keep forgetting that no one in this household is scarfing down the cereal anymore.


Denise Porter July 10, 2023 at 4:32 pm

Born and raised in Tillamook. My family is still there. Thanks for the visit.
I too, love that food cart. And Linn’s Chinese restaurant.
Did you go to Oceanside?


Katy July 10, 2023 at 5:05 pm

We passed through to get up to the lighthouse, but didn’t get out of the car in Oceanside on this trip.


Karen B July 10, 2023 at 5:14 pm

Your day trip sounds lovely!

1) I bought a larger number of mangos than I normally would have because they were close to half off and I planned to freeze some. However, I had an unfortunate reaction (mango skin and the fruit closest to the skin contain erushiol, the same itchy oil in poison oak and poison ivy, which I’ve had a bad time with on multiple occasions) and I’m not going to risk making it worse, so I gave away the remaining 14 mangos to 2 Buy Nothing Project members. On a side note, I am glad I didn’t get rid of the covid masks as I currently have what looks like mild poison ivy all around my mouth. I wore one out in public today.

2) Son and I went to our favorite rummage bin store. All items in the bins today were $3 (price declines daily for each set of items). I’m rather happy with my haul. 3 packages of over the counter medicines I use (dates good for at least a year), a very nice looking recipe binder (working on a cookbook for teen son), gluten-free macrobars, peanut butter, and 4 small artificial succulents for my kitchen windowsill, total retail price of approximately $92 but paid $21.

3) Son is working toward testing for a driver’s license soon, so I’m having him do most of my driving for me so the gas does double duty. He drove us to the bin store and then to deliver to the second mango recipient, who has given me ground cherry plants, shiso cuttings, and a basil plant recently. I so appreciate her generosity, delivering keeps her from having to load her little kids in the car, and son needs the driving practice currently so the gas is going to be spent anyway.

4) The main course tonight is Goya brand yellow rice with shredded salsa chicken. The rice was a 50 cent per box find at the bin store and the chicken was a freezer rescue and rehab. The 5 large chicken breast halves were mildly freezer burnt (affects texture and flavor, but not safety if it has been kept frozen), so I put them in a slow cooker with a little salsa and taco seasoning until shreddable. Came out great and family approved. We’ve already used some in burritos with beans and in quesadillas. The rest is frozen to use gradually once or twice a week.

5) Homemade gluten-free muffins and waffles were made at a fraction of pre-baked. Also bought a secondhand electric vegetable spiralizer for about $6 that looked like it may have been used only once before. I’ve already used it twice. Being gluten-free and aiming for lower carbs, I plan to use it a lot. And if it ends up to not get used much, it’ll be going to my Buy Nothing Project group.


Teri July 10, 2023 at 5:33 pm

Love that “freezer rescue and rehab”.:)


Selena July 10, 2023 at 7:24 pm

Kudos for the use-it-up but a) you can’t go wrong with peanut butter, b) you can’t go wrong with marshmallow (aka sugar) and butter BUT having a mother who made the BEST Rice Krispy treats, even calling them faux makes me a bit sad.
Given we have a well, watering the garden doesn’t cost us but a bit of electricity. Which is more than paid for by the fresh food we harvest. Soon the first slicer tomato will become that ever-so-good BLT (none of that Oscar Mayer which is *not* any cheaper than butcher shop and far inferior to the butcher shop bacon – think 1/2 strip of butcher shop cooked is bigger than a whole slice of OM etc.).
For those who end up with excess of shelf stable food, consider donating to your local food pantry. Or even excess of non-edible – hygiene products of any sort are *not* cheap these days. If your budget allows, that sale on shampoo etc could help a person in need.


Ann July 11, 2023 at 6:27 am

If you take a 1/2 bag of chocolate chips and a 1/2 bag of butterscotch chips and melt them together and use that as a frosting, you improve the quality of your cereal treats by millions. My family makes these kinds of bars all the time using generic rice krispies or corn flakes. We call them scotcheroos.


Heidi Louise July 11, 2023 at 10:24 am

Expert opinions, anyone?
I was in a part of my basement yesterday I don’t usually go in when the AC came on, and I found there is a vent blasting chilled air into the basement, (we have central air, unit outside, furnace in the basement). It must have been doing so for the twenty some years we have lived in this house. The basement was finished at one time way before us, probably flooded out and all finishings removed, so the grill in the vent is probably from then.
Is there any reason NOT to cover it up? Do I need more cool air in my basement?
And/or should I uncover it in winter to get some warmth in that damp space?


mary in maryland July 11, 2023 at 12:37 pm

We cover that vent in the summer and run a dehumidifier. In the winter it’s dry and cold, so we don’t do anything .


Heidi Louise July 12, 2023 at 6:44 am

Sounds good to me! Thanks.


Jennifer July 11, 2023 at 2:04 pm

I have been in the “use up odds & ends” phase too. Great job on the vacuum repair too!

1) I used the ends of 2 cereal bags to make peanut butter oat balls. Also using some oats that had been lingering.

2) Homemade pizza for dinner using – open jar of home canned sauce, last of a pepperoni bag, most of the open brick of mozzarella, and the ends of containers or feta and parmesan. Yum!

3) Still working on mulching our front flower bed. I scrounged in the garage and found the ends of 2 different rolls of weed barrier. We finished them off. I still had to buy more, but I’m glad we now don’t have 3 ends of rolls in the garage.

4)Working this week supporting a student at summer camp. Let’s just say he is working my mental and physical stamina – both good in the long run, but dang it is only Tuesday and I am over it already! The pay will be nice though! 1 more semester of college for 2 kids and we will be done. Trying to pay cash for both.

5) Dh’s car has been rattling for quite some time. He finally investigated and was able to screw a plate back in and mostly stopped the noise.


K D July 12, 2023 at 6:32 am

1. CVS sent me a coupon for a free 8×10 photo. I printed one from DD’s wedding two years ago. I will pick it up when I am driving by CVS tomorrow.

2. DH bought an OBX themed photo frame at a thrift store a few weeks ago. I looked through old photos to find one to print. I chose one to print at CVS and used a 40% off code. While looking at 2007 photos I discovered I still have/wear shorts I wore back then.

3. We have a couple of tomato plants in pots on our patio. They are taller than their cages and one was all over the place. I used a pair of old pantyhose, with a run in them, to rein in the sprawl.

4. I had a package of chicken tenders to cook. I coated them in a lemon Dijon mixture to use the three lemons that were in the refrigerator for many weeks. I used the leftover juices/mixture to cook quinoa. I read the quinoa bag and discovered it does not need to be rinsed before cooking. That will make me more likely to cook it in the future, I found rinsing quinoa to be a pain.

5. I used three very ripe bananas to make GF muffins.


rebecca July 12, 2023 at 12:17 pm

1. Made pasta salad from homemade pesto and bits and bobs from fridge and freezer.
2. Cancelled an automatic order before I could be charged for something I don’t need anymore.
3. Decluttered and gave a friend some things I didn’t need anymore.
4. It’s been so hot and trying to keep my ac at 74 degrees
5. The usual-making coffee and iced at home. I am finding homemade iced tea, couple of bags steeped in a pitcher of cold water for a few days, to be so delicious and refreshing, hanging laundry, loss leaders ect


auntiali July 12, 2023 at 3:39 pm

1. I have become the energy police again, especially now that hubby is retired. I follow him around our small house and turn off the lights he leaves on – mostly the kitchen and hall light. Keep the AC at 78 during the day even when it’s 90 out side but put it down to 72 to sleep.

2. Hubby and I are sharing a car now that he has turned in his company car. So far so good. We sync’ed our calendars so we know who needs it on what days. Daughter has graciously volunteered to take me to my library meetings while Wednesday night golf continues.

3. We bought a new fridge to replace our 19 year old one. The new one will be more energy efficient and the old one will be picked up by our electric utility to be recycled and we will receive $50 for it.

4. Got my very first iPhone it’s a 13 and have my Fetch rewards back on to use.
Will earn gift cards for that. Have to learn to use ibotta.

5. We are now on Mint Mobile for cell phone service and we will save a ton of money. It’s $15/month for each line. My old cell phone service was Verizon and I was paying $140/month for unlimited data service. When I called to make sure I wasn’t under some kind of contract the rep told me I was paying too much. So hubby and I share our Mint Mobil and daughter is getting her own new phone and a Mint Mobile plan.

6. Have met my out of pocket medical insurance limit so my two cardiac stents that received last week will be cost free.


BettafrmdaVille July 12, 2023 at 8:53 pm

1. harvested 8 lbs of potatoes and 1 summer squash from the garden.
2. continue to do one grocery mystery shop a week, which includes a few staple goods.
3. had a colleague/friend over for dinner rather than going out. Fed her free mystery shop chicken.
4. “check engine” light went on for my car with 174,000 miles on it. Had to take it to the dealer since my local guy couldn’t help me before a 200-mile drive to work. They estimated $6,000 worth of fixes, but still drivable…. for now. Have an appointment with local guy to see if fixing or the not-frugal choice of replacing the car.
5. While waiting for car to be fixed by hanging out at bff’s house, I found a mystery shop for delivery food, so made $10 by getting free lunch for 2.
Bonus: Amazon had a deal for $15 credit if you uploaded to their new photo storage (which I have no plan on using, but I uploaded 2 photos of plants to get the $15). Bought toilet paper on sale.


Loretta July 13, 2023 at 3:35 am

Used up all of my scrap wool for a craft project.
Made banana bread with choc chips to take to a function.
My son and I filled both our car boots with FREE mulch, and are going back to get more tomorrow. This discovery is a Godsend (it is in one of the Council-owned sports ovals and all the excess tree trimmings get dumped there for residents to take). I am slightly obsessed with it already, as we have a lot of large garden beds which are hungry for mulch.
Decluttered yet more stuff in preparation for our eventual downsizing. Not for a few years but I like to be prepared!
Free entertainment: my regular ocean dip and walk with my girlfriends. I am grateful every day that I live so close to a beautiful beach.

Glad you got to enjoy the beach life, albeit for a day, Katy!


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