Five Frugal Things

by Katy on July 24, 2023 · 76 comments

  1. I read a library copy of Lady Tan’s Circle of Women, by Lisa See, which was as close to perfection as a book can be. I usually bury my library reads at the end of a blog post, but this book deserves its own spotlight.

    Click HERE for an excerpt.

  2. My mother handed down an antique barrister bookcase that my parents bought in 1963 or so. I grew up with this piece of furniture and always liked it, so I knew I had to say “yes” now and figure out where to put it later. Luckily it tucked perfectly into a corner of the dining room where we’d always kept an antique tall boy dresser. The dresser got demoted our downstairs spare bedroom.

    Putting this piece together was a challenge as my husband was out of town and it disassembles into twenty pieces and normally would require a second set of hands. I somehow figured it out without smashing any of the glass panels and feel like I should’ve been handed an acceptance letter to Mensa by the end.

    The tallest top shelf is perfect for my husband’s cocktail supplies and I’ll figure out what to display on the lower shelves at a later date. You know, after I complete this Mensa admission exam.

  3. I’ve been enjoying oatmeal for breakfast a couple times per week lately. Of course it’s bulk purchased from Winco Foods, which makes it super über frugal. Having all my bulk food in such organized pretty jars makes this choice much more appealing.

  4. • I watered a neighbor’s garden for her while her family was out of town and she gifted me a jar of her fantastic homemade pesto as a thank you.
    • I listed a couple items on eBay, which I haven’t done in a long time.
    • I sold a single item on eBay, which was a groovy Tate Museum T Shirt.
    • I put “FREE” signs on a plant stand and a weird thrifted painting and then set them out on the curb. Fly free, stupid purchases!
    • I cajoled my friend Lise into coming with me to Trader Joe’s, which ticked off both “grocery shopping” and “socializing” from my to-do list.
    • I stopped into Safeway and bought nothing more than the 97¢ sale-priced eggs.

  5. I didn’t buy tickets to go see Taylor Swift in Seattle.

Katy Wolk-Stanley

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

Click HERE to follow The Non-Consumer Advocate on Instagram.
Click HERE to join The Non-Consumer Advocate Facebook group.

{ 76 comments… read them below or add one }

Jessica Wolk-Stanley July 24, 2023 at 5:05 am

Now I kinda want to take the Mensa test. But I don’t want to pay. Is there a coupon code?


Ava July 24, 2023 at 7:34 am

I am putting that book on my “to read” list.
1. I hung laundry outside.
2. I made the famous and delicious tea towel salad dressing. I also made a Greek salad dressing for my husband.
3. I had three great Etsy sales in a row and another today. I hope the dry spell has broken for a while.
4. I requested the cook book that was mentioned in your last post and will be picking it up from the library today.
5. I cleaned out the fireplace and added the ashes to the compost bin. I have read very mixed advice on adding ashes to gardens but my compost is too wet so I will try the experiment.


Katy July 24, 2023 at 7:49 am

Lisa See is one of my favorite authors, so there’s even more amazing books to read of you like the book.


Julia July 25, 2023 at 6:24 am

I added wood ash to my garden (which is didn’t plant this year). My only tip is make sure there are no embers still smoldering. I accidentally set my garden plot on fire. Thank goodness the garden hose was right there. No harm
No foul. But it could have been really bad. Lesson learned.


Katy July 25, 2023 at 11:50 am



A. Marie July 25, 2023 at 8:41 am

Ava, whether or not adding ashes to compost is a good idea depends on your local soil’s pH level. If you have acid soil (low pH), go ahead. But if you have alkaline soil (high pH), as we do here in my limestone-laden patch of Central NY, don’t do it.


Selena July 25, 2023 at 6:54 pm

And when it comes to perennials, not all of them like wood ash and some only need so much. Search engine time for the plants you have.


Donna Wilson July 24, 2023 at 7:48 am

We have a very similar barrister’s bookcase in our home. My husband comes from a long line of lawyers on his Father’s side, DH is a rebel he became a physician. No lawyer jokes please!! 🙂 Never thought of using it as a bar, but it looks perfect. Enjoy!


Jan Hardy July 24, 2023 at 7:48 am

1. My dear wife and I babysat her brother’s very active, non-housebroken boxer puppy for a while Saturday. Gave us a chance to relax on our deck for a couple hours. Bro-in-law thanked us with a pint of mint chocolate chip ice cream. I gifted him with 3 red crocosmia plants to attract hummingbirds to his yard.
2. Dear wife asked our neighbor what plant grew in her backyard and she gave us a pot of them — prickly pears with yellow flowers. She also gave us three leaves to put in water, and this week I noticed they’ve weirdly grown roots, so I’ll plant them soon.
3. For my birthday later this week I requested a trip to the National Aviary in the spirit of “experiences, not things.” Our aviary does a lot about conservation & education, so I feel it’s a good investment.
4. We’re saving money and supporting SAG/AFTRA and the writers by not seeing movies at the theatre. Even though I really want to do the “Barbenheimer” thing.
5. I’m reading “Just Mercy” and we’re bingeing CBS’s “The Good Fight” and the last season of the awesome “Handmaid’s Tale,” both borrowed from our library. Go libraries!


Marcia July 24, 2023 at 1:47 pm

Thank you for supporting the strikes! However, though it is not my goal to undermine your frugality efforts, SAG-AFTRA and the WGA are not requesting that anyone refrain from seeing movies, or cancelling streaming services. “We’re not at this time calling for a boycott of anybody. Our focus is on shutting down production. … But that’s not to say that that won’t be something we do in the future” (Duncan Crabtree-Ireland, SAG-AFTRA’s national executive director and chief negotiator)

The movies and shows that are currently out were completed months ago. Where producers will start to feel the pinch is when they run out of new product and people have seen everything they are interested in. This happened during the COVID shutdown and can I tell you boy howdy they were more than willing to pay the extra costs of covid-safe production then!

I’m an IATSE member (production crews) and am 100% in support even though it means I’m out of work. Okay, I’m getting off my soapbox and I promise I’ll someday do a proper FFT post.


Jan Hardy July 26, 2023 at 4:52 am

Marcia, thanks for clarifying this! I heard from a SAG-AFTRA member that we shouldn’t go to movies, or even watch streaming services (which we have been doing) until the strike is settled, so it’s good to hear the official word from the unions. I do hope the strike is settled fairly and soon! Meanwhile – Barbenheimer Weekend! 🙂


Heidi Louise July 24, 2023 at 8:10 am

I have two unusual places to donate unwanted or broken jewelry.

First, (and I don’t remember who posted this on The Frugal Girl website–thank you again!), is the Veterans Watchmaker Initiative. They train disabled vets in watchmaking and repair. They accept broken watches for their classes to practice with.

The second group had a full page news story in yesterday’s “Indianapolis Star” newspaper: Ethical Metalsmiths. They are working to address the human and environmental effects of how raw materials are mined for the jewelry industry.
Donations of fine or costume jewelry, whole or broken, are collected to be reinvisioned, remade, used for teaching metalsmithing and jewelry design, and sold. Under the Programs tab, look for RJM, Radical Jewelry Makeover, which will be having an event in Bloomington, Indiana, working with Indiana University. They welcome stories about the items being donated with the donation form.

I have not yet given anything and will do so soon, my Dad’s defunct watch to the first group, and some oddities that I have accumulated to the second.


mary in maryland July 24, 2023 at 2:30 pm

The first wedding ring, my PBK key, and other assorted things (how about the tooth with a gold cap?) may have finally found a home.


Ashley Bananas July 24, 2023 at 8:37 am

Whenever I hear about Mensa I think about an episode of Cold Case Files, where a couple who were both members of Mensa and went to Mensa social events had killed their neighbor by poisoning her, they also poisoned her sons, but they did not die. A detective went undercover as a member of Mensa and infiltrated the killer couples social circle, becoming good friends with them, and when they moved, the undercover detective rented their house and immediately allowed for it to be crime scene tested providing enough evidence to bust them. And, apparently there was a book written about this case as well….

So, anyway, that’s what I think of whenever I hear about people who are Mensa members >.< lol

My five frugals…
1. This week I made $565 with my side gig doing Door Dash. I will continue to use this money to help cover many unexpected expenses I have incurred this year.
2. I attempted to lower my cable bill. I watched a Youtube channel on frugality where the Youtuber has said she worked for Comcast/Xfinity before, and that they have an unadvertised lower price cable plan, and if you call and ask they will tell you about them and allow you to opt into that lower price plan. I called and asked and they had no such plans. I was a little bummed, but I tried. Frugal attempt?
3. More phone calls, I noticed that Mint mobile has been advertising unlimited call/text/data for $15 a month. I've been with Mint for about two years and pay $15 for 5 gigs currently. I found out that the $15 a month is for new members only and only for the first three months. This has made me look around and price compare, ultimately I'm staying with Mint at $15 a month for now. Frugal attempt?
4. In Craft club endeavors I have planned the majority of next years crafts for the local program I am running. I have intentionally made several low cost or free as far as supplies go, and started sourcing items for the crafts through the neighborhood Facebook group. I plan on teaching how to pour candles using recycled wax. I have sourced containers and candles for this, and will use recycled wax and wicks. I have sourced egg cartons to use as paint pallets. I have sourced glass jars to use for snow globes. A friend and neighbor had a yard sale and let me take her left over craft items that didn't sell, score several used canvases and a large amount of soap for soap making.
5. My neighbor came to my house and helped put on two window shutters that blew off this past September in hurricane Ian. He didn't charge me for this, but said if he does other work at my home he will charge me for those things at that time. My son hung up two pieces of art work I bought over a year ago and hanged them in the house. Finally, my porch is clearing up from dreaded 'stuff'.


Coral Clarke July 24, 2023 at 8:41 am

Can you rejoin mint with your partners name?


Ashley Bananas July 24, 2023 at 9:38 am

I suggested this when I called and spoke to a person. They said I could end my plan and start a new one, but would have to buy a $45 dollar sim card to do so, which would negate the savings for the three months.


Christine July 24, 2023 at 10:10 am

Boy oh boy, you’d think Mensa members would be smarter than to pull off an incomplete murder…sheeesh…what’s that organization coming to anyway? (VERY sarcastic tone used here)


A. Marie July 24, 2023 at 9:04 am

Katy, I’m shocked! Shocked to think that you’d actually pay $$ to take the Mensa test!! Me, I prefer just to contemplate my own genius free of charge. 🙂

Now, FFT, Taking Positive Steps Edition:

(1) As time goes on, I find I feel more like reading again. (For the past few years, I’ve had the attention span of a gnat, given DH’s long decline.) So I’ve taken two steps that should (a) have me reading more and (b) help me kick the Amazon habit, since Chase Amazon Visa canceled DH’s card faster than you can say “Jeff Bezos” when I called Chase to report his death. First, I’ve renewed my long-dormant Barnes & Noble membership, which is now slightly more expensive but includes more benefits. This will help when I feel I absolutely have to buy a book.

(2) Second, I’ve gotten myself my first-ever county library card. This card is good at all the excellent suburban libraries in our county as well as the not-so-good city branch libraries–and I’ve discovered that there’s more to even our closest city branch than first met my eye. So, as all you long-time library users out there know, this should save me a pile over the long haul.

(3) I just deactivated my Twitter account. Not only has Elon Musk really gone off the deep end this time, but my feed for the past few months has been about 50% ads, which has been tiresome. I’ll keep up with my favorite British working cats (George the Stourbridge Junction Station Cat, Cilla the Outwoods School Cat, Hodge the Southwark Cathedral Cat, etc.) some other way.

(4) On Saturday, I attended an “everything must go” moving sale at DH’s and my first house. The couple who bought the house from DH and me back in 1985 is now, sadly, moving because one partner’s physical disabilities have gotten so bad that he now needs a single-level house. But it was great to reconnect with folks I haven’t seen in a while, to have a chance to say “hail and farewell” to the old digs, and (of course) to buy some great stuff. The female half of the couple and I have always had similar tastes in junque. (And this is all stuff I can either use myself or give as gifts, so it wasn’t just impulse buying.)

(5) Finally, I continue to eat locally (a lot of my food dollars are going to the Regional Market these days) and to work down the freezer and pantry. And, yes, I’m still putting weeds into stir-frys!


Jan Hardy July 24, 2023 at 9:29 am

“Junque” – I love that! 🙂


Christine July 24, 2023 at 9:50 am

Welcome to the Wonderful World of Libraries! Be warned: it quickly becomes a (good) habit. As soon as I enter through the door of my town’s library, I feel as if I’m walking into a free bookstore and so much more. Enjoy your new library card!


Sara B July 24, 2023 at 4:42 pm

Library cards have so many awesome benefits, and libraries have great programs too. I live in a rural area and really appreciate the apps for books, magazines and movies/tv.


Ashley Bananas July 24, 2023 at 12:51 pm

Hi A. Marie, you may want to inquire with your local library if they have Hoopla, Libby, and Kanopy. These are digital services that a lot of libraries now offer. Hoopla typically has ebooks, eaudiobooks, emagazines, and usually has show and movie loans available. Kanopy also offers free loans of movies, shows, etc. Hoopla and Kanopy can both be loaded onto smart tvs and Roku boxes as streaming channels which you can view on your home entertainment system. Libby has ebooks and eaudiobooks. I find that when people figure out the digital apps they’re happy to let go of Barnes and Nobles memberships, Audible, and whatever other services there are out there that are paid services.


Pat Gaudreau July 24, 2023 at 4:09 pm

Try the frugal MENSA,watch Jeopardy for a week and keep your score,LOL


Katy July 24, 2023 at 6:01 pm

That show intermittently makes me feel so smart and so ill informed!


Ashley Bananas July 25, 2023 at 11:45 am

I got a huge laugh out of ‘frugal Mensa’ watch Jeopardy >.< lol

And yes, I often feel like I'm either the smartest or least informed person in the room when watching Jeopardy.


Madeline July 24, 2023 at 9:15 am

I LOVE LISA SEE! I read that book last week, and disappeared into another world! SOOO GOOD!

Frugal stuff lately:

Making ALL our meals.Even going out to breakfast is too rich for my blood these days,except once a month we do get a breakfast burrito at a local joint which is so big we can split one, on our way back from our (FREE) date at the river,for ice cold swimming. We have one of those lifetime park passes for “America” you could get for $10 when I turned 65.. it’s more expensive now I hear.

Cloud library provides all my free reading material.

Free card playing date with 3 neighbors tomorrow.we all live on the block,so no driving! free snacks. We take turns hosting.

Husband is camping for 3 nights up North, a yearly solo trip he enjoys. He packs all his own food. I am cooking some of the bits and bobs in my freezer for my meals while he is gone.

Using up some craft supplies and making packages of greeting cards to use as gifts throughout the coming months. Fun hobby,frugal too.Can be done INDOORS, a real plus in PHOENIX this week.

Needed better shoes, per my podiatrist, the expensive ones like Vionics..I found them on ebay for half the price of new, and got 2 pair with tags still on them! Told me to wear CROCS while in the house, but I found an alternate brand online for less, that are more comfy.

My skin is dry dry dry (I live in PHOENIX where it is HOT HOT HOT right now!) and I use Trader Joe skin care products, the hyaluronic acid serum is just $10 and lasts a looong time. I use their sunscreen, their retinol product (also just $10) and I use Cera Ve moisturizer,except the walmart knock off and it’s great. My friends pay a fortune on pricey skin care stuff but my basics work for me. Dollar store has cool lipsticks. I do like to wear a little makeup almost very day.

Don’t have room for a clothesline outside but I had my hubby hang a pole in garage and I don’t use my dryer except for towels. In Phoenix your whole load of laundry will be dry in about 10 minutes!!

Whenever friends want a ‘coffee date” I offer to host it at HOME.I prefer my home brew and I can always use up my old bananas and make a banana bread. Saves $$ over pricey bagels and 4 dollar coffees!! When it is cooler, we sit out by my pool and I turn on the waterfall..much nicer atmosphere over messy noisy coffee shops!

Love your blog-please keep telling us about the books you read.. I’ have gotten some good tips from your reading lists!


K D July 24, 2023 at 9:42 am

I just downloaded that book, courtesy of the public library, yesterday. I look forward to reading it.

My parents had, for many decades, a barrister book case that belonged to my grandfather when he practiced law. I think my lawyer sister took it when my parents house was emptied five years ago.

1. I listened to Middlesex courtesy of the public library. It was long but good. I am now listening to George: A Magpie memoir and I’m Glad My Mom Died.

2. We have been eating at home. I did join two friends at a local cafe one afternoon but I just had herbal tea. Avoiding gluten, chocolate, and caffeine greatly limits eating food outside the home.

3. I was able to give away, with, items we’d curb picked with the intention of keeping them out of the landfill. I gave away two outdoor folding chairs and a kitchen trash can. I also gave away several items we no longer wanted/needed.

4. A nice trail at a local state park reopened after being closed for many months. Not only did they replace the washed away bridges but they also repaved the path. Taking a walk on it was a wonderful Saturday evening date. It was not crowded nor hot. We each have senior passes that were a one time $10 apiece purchase which we used for park entry.

5. I stopped at Aldi, I was going right by, and bought bags of plums. They were a good price and since they added self check it is always quick to check out.


Christine July 24, 2023 at 10:05 am

Thanks for the tip about Lisa See’s books.
1. I attended the free Johnny Cash concert at the library. Excellent singer and guitarist who entertained us with many of Cash’s songs and told stories about Johnny’s life between songs.
2. Friend’s hosted a cookout yesterday at their home. I brought a homemade blueberry crisp which everyone seemed to enjoy. DH suggested we stop at the store to pick up a dessert instead of making one. I just gave him a look. You’d think he would know better by now!
3. I just finished Reckless Daughter by David Yaffe, a library book bio about Joni Mitchell. If you’re a Joni fan, it’s worth the read.
4. My raspberry bushes are yielding about 30 to 50 berries every day.
5. Oh happy day. We had a pipe let go inside a wall over the weekend. DH noticed a slow drip coming out of a downstairs hall ceiling when he got up early to let one of the cats out. He turned off the water and we cleaned up the mess with a couple of beach towels, but we’ll need plumbing and dry wall work to remediate it. Thank goodness for savings accounts.


Katy July 24, 2023 at 6:06 pm

I hate to re-tell my Johny Cash story, which was that he was staying at the same Portland hotel my husband and I were the evening of our wedding. I walked into the lobby in my wedding dress and he walked over to congratulate us! We had a nice chat and it was all undocumented as it was 1993 and people didn’t have cameras on them at all times like they do now.


Christine July 25, 2023 at 4:30 am

I love that story and I will read it anytime! Lucky, lucky you! A good omen on your wedding day.


Katy July 25, 2023 at 11:51 am

It was, as we’re celebrating our thirtieth anniversary next month!


Christine July 24, 2023 at 10:06 am

Friends hosted…


Ruby July 24, 2023 at 10:13 am

I have been spending some money lately for a daybed in DH’s home office and a small birthday present for myself, so my frugalness is not hugely impressive:

1. Did save $120 on the daybed by comparing prices at two online furniture stores. The one we bought from also had a sale on sheets and a mattress pad.
2. I play CDs, bought secondhand in my car. Rather than have the cases scattered all over the passenger seat, a $1.25 book bin from Dollar Tree velcroed to the side of the transmission hump in the passenger footwell is holding them nicely. This was my second attempt at corraling my CD collection and is a nice size that doesn’t rattle.
3. Stopped at the more expensive grocery store this morning because it is less expensive on a couple of items I buy. It also will mark down bread close to the sell by date. Came home with seven loaves of seeded bread on manager’s special, saving $21. Left out one to eat and put six in the freezer.
4. Took another load of stuff to Goodwill and did not go inside.
5. We moved our little chest freezer over the weekend to clean under and behind it and discovered the frame under the enamel on one side is almost entirely rusted away. It’s 30 years old and still runs, but it’s probably time to deploy frugal shopping super powers and look for a small upright. The arthritis in my back makes bending over a chest freezer somewhat difficult. There’s stuff in the bottom I’ve lately given up on reaching.


Pauline in Upstate NY July 24, 2023 at 2:20 pm

Ruby – I hear you on the reaching-the-bottom-of-the-freezer problem! What helped for me was adopting the use of reusable “canvas” grocery bags with handles to corral like items – e.g. yellow holds chicken items, red holds beef, blue holds pork, green holds fruit/veggies, etc. If you have someone who can help you with the initial haul-out and bagging, this may simplify life. You just have to grab the handles and lift out the bag you want.


mary in maryland July 24, 2023 at 2:36 pm



Katy July 24, 2023 at 2:46 pm

So smart!


MB in MN July 24, 2023 at 5:12 pm

What a stellar idea!


Ruby July 24, 2023 at 5:40 pm

That is really clever! Right now I have stuff in plastic baskets and there’s some wasted space between them because they are stacked on top of each other. It’s not the best system, but all I could think of at the time.


Ashley Bananas July 25, 2023 at 7:24 am

I echo others, great idea!


Katy July 24, 2023 at 2:48 pm

Donating to Goodwill without going inside is the ultimate frugal act!


Ruby July 24, 2023 at 5:33 pm

It is tough! I was not entirely virtuous and did go across the parking lot to Dollar Tree for one of those big chocolate bars made in Poland to share with my husband and son. Dessert for three for $1.25 is pretty frugal.


Juhli July 24, 2023 at 12:56 pm

1. Thanks for the book recommendation. I requested the ebook version from my library and am #261 on 21 copies so it will be a while until I know if I like it as much as you did
2. Walked to the neighborhood little grocery and only bought a cantaloupe as I don’t want to miss the season. Decent price, local business and local produce plus free exercise.
3. Used a 30% off coupon to get a second down comforter cleaned. I can’t wash them as they are too large.
4. Not frugal now but wise in the long run category – we are determinedly fixing all items identified in the home inspection of the house we recently bought. Today was the start of repairing all the wood damage under the house caused by termites over many decades plus treating the white fungus on some of the wood resulting from last winter’s torrential rains and a failed sump pump.
5. We didn’t take a summer vacation instead fixing the house and occasionally taking family out as we explore our new area.


Katy July 24, 2023 at 6:03 pm

Yes, I put it on hold at the library before they even had a copy!


Bee July 24, 2023 at 3:41 pm

I love a barrister’s bookcase. They have a great look. My FFT’s this week include :
1. I had to drive to the airport on the other side of the city. I agreed to meet someone who lived outside of the city who wanted to buy a flute that I had listed on Facebook Marketplace. This saved her a 1.5 hour drive one way and put some money in my pocket.
2. I had put my book club’s selection on hold at the library. While there, I picked up a movie that my husband wanted to see. We did not want to spend the $3.99 it cost to rent it. I also made a trip into the Friends of the Library Book Store where a purchased two cookbooks for $4. One of these I absolutely love. One I may list on eBay I’m not sure thatI love it. I also put two magazines in the share bin. I believe that is where they came from to begin with. Love, Live my library.
3. I have a very fancy luncheon to attend the end of August. I don’t have anything to wear. I seemed to have changed shape. I have scoured the thrift shops and tried on some very bad dresses. ( Laugh out loud bad!) At the beginning of the summer, I had spotted the dress I wanted, but it was $200! I received an email this week that featured this dress on sale for $99. I was still thinking about it and when I received a coupon in the mail for $25 off of any dress! Then I realized I had $10 in store rewards points from the app and if I paid with the app, I receive another 5% off. We are also having our sales tax holiday in Florida saving another 7%. My dress was $59 out the door. No, it’s not thrifted. I feel a little guilty about buying new, but I don’t do it often. So I have decided to enjoy it!
4. I bought a round trip plane ticket to visit my cousin using points. Total cost was $11.60 for the processing fee.
5. I’ve done all the usual things – brewed my own coffee, cooked from scratch, batched errands, followed my budget, eaten leftovers and so forth. I received two large terra cotta urns from BN for either side of my walkway. I am continuing my mid summer clean out. I decluttered house is my Midsummer Dream.
Wishing everyone peace, good health and prosperity.


Katy July 24, 2023 at 6:02 pm

Your dress bargain is so multi layered it’s hard to even track the savings!


MB in MN July 24, 2023 at 4:31 pm

I love barrister bookcases and the cocktail supplies look great in there!

1. I’ve been really lucky on the Buy Nothing (BN) front lately. First, I am the grateful recipient of a gorgeous banker’s desk chair. It has a round leather seat, nailhead trim, cane back, swivels, and wheels. Swoon. I believe it is worth several hundred dollars.

2. Next I received 5 lbs. of potatoes from my BN group. Used most of them to make potato salad for a family get-together.

3. Then I received a small side table from my BN group. The price sticker was still on the bottom – a $50 value. The table has come in extra handy as most of our furniture is in storage while we hunt for a house.

4. Returned a broken fan to Target after just six months of use. I’m happy with the full merchandise credit they gave me and promptly used it to buy groceries and some over-the-counter meds.

5. Bought another fan online that I hope will be the last one we buy in our lifetime, given how much we paid for it.


Katy July 24, 2023 at 6:00 pm

Thanks, and your chair sounds amazing as well!


Megan July 24, 2023 at 6:50 pm

I too avoided going to see Taylor swift. I was hoping some of the $67 tickets would go up for sale at face value, but I never saw anything less than $650! Hard pass and serious bummer, but at least it’s a frugal win 🙂


Katy July 25, 2023 at 11:58 am

These concerts really do sound like they’re worth the expense though as she puts on a four hour concert?!!


Lindsey July 24, 2023 at 7:36 pm

1. Sold a brass and wood Punjabi Lock Box for $120. I bought it to store my husband’s ashes when he was so ill that I thought he was going to die. That was 40 years ago…recently the husband told me it creeped him out to see it sitting on a shelf in the living room, waiting for its occupant.
2. I have developed a lung ailment that is stabilized by using low doses of Cialis. Until I saw the doctor last week, I did not know it was developed as a vasodilator and only later did they discover its magic effects on male equipment. A friend’s husband died months ago and while here for tea, she mentioned that she did not know what to do with his meds, she hated to throw them away. Turns out he had a stockpile of Cialis so I got nearly a year’s supply for free, and in the right dosage. (I did call my cardiologist to see if this was okay. She did caution me not to let my husband steal them, which apparently is not an unusual occurrence when she prescribes them for women. The husband was insulted when I told him what she said.)
3. Made $75 in free groceries again, from three shops.
4. Managed to book a high-falutin hotel in downtown NYC for credit card points; we will be there as part of our Last Hurrah trip. It normally goes for over $600 a night during tourist season.
5. A neighbor went out of town and said I could harvest her greenhouse if I watered it. So far, 13 tomatoes and 9 English cukes. Alas, she returns tomorrow.


texasilver July 24, 2023 at 8:08 pm

Number 2 is funny. The male ego in all its’ glory.


Bee July 25, 2023 at 3:02 am

Your second frugal thing is funny! But I can’t wait to hear more about your Last Hurrah trip.


Katy July 25, 2023 at 11:57 am

That must have been quite the intimate conversation with your friend!


Lindsey July 25, 2023 at 3:08 pm

No. Her husband (in the husband’s all male barbershop singing group) as always suggesting to his buddies that they try Cialis because he considered it a miracle drug. His wife, meanwhile, was her friends that she wished the miracle drug had never been invented. Everyone who knew them was aware of Cialis, believe me! My husband said that whenever anyone in the group gets ill, the next time the group meets there is an organ recital of who is on what meds (they are all in their 60,70s and 80s) now and this guy kept talking about Cialis so much that one day one of the men apparently said, “We are tired about hearing about that organ of yours. Please stick to organs like hearts, lungs, kidneys or the like.” The joys of a relatively small town…


texasilver July 24, 2023 at 8:02 pm

My dumpster finds.:
1. A case of water & 4 boxes of dry cereal that will go to homeless shelter.
2. A new w/ tags Vineyard Vines long sleeve linen shirt. This will go to husband. The tag said $118.00 & was priced at $59.00.
3. Found 4 bags of out-of-date dog treats which will go to the Humane Society.
4. Some new with tags men’s lounge pants which will go to homeless shelter.
5. A large sack of corn chips & 2 small sacks of potato chips that were a few days out of date. I kept these for my sandwich lunches for work. (I sanitized the outside of the bags w/ wipes before bringing into the kitchen.)
6. A large filling fell out of my tooth. I was preparing myself for a root canal, crown, and other costs as well as pain. The dentist merely replaced the filling.
Cost was $60.00. I was happy & grateful! No pain, very little cost.
7. Found a bar of Dove soap in its box in the parking lot of the grocery store.
8. Found 60 cents in change in the change slot at the self-checkout at Walmart.
9. I used some Walgreens cash rewards to buy 2 midi-length tee shirt dresses. One of my current tee shirt dresses is faded & the other is a bit short for work wear. The Walgreens dresses were 7.50 each. It’s hard to find tee shirt type clothes in thrift stores as they are often worn or faded. I also wanted a longer length. My legs are good, but I am a senior citizen!


Bee July 25, 2023 at 3:05 am

Isn’t it amazing what people throw away? I’m glad you have redistributed these things.


Katy July 25, 2023 at 11:55 am

The wastefulness of some businesses is absolutely infuriating, thank you for putting these items to use!


texasilver July 25, 2023 at 8:05 pm

I appreciate the encouragement. I don’t know why more businesses do not contribute items that do not sell to charities. I know Panera Bread gives their day-old baked items to shelters. Publix grocery donate their day-old items to senior centers in Florida. I guess clothes that do not sell go in the trash. My friend says, “If everyone would give a little then everyone would have what they need.”


Ecoteri July 25, 2023 at 12:17 am

I was gifted a slightly different barrister bookshelf/Secretary – there are three levels, the top one is a folding down desk with all the delightful little cubbies, the bottom two are those funky glass fronted doors that you lift and slide back. It is part of a set of 5 pieces that my Grandmother’s cousins gave to me – and I found the original bill of sale from 1905 in the drawer of the other Secretary (why there are two Secretaries in the set I don’t know, they are quite different and yet each lovely). Anyway, they make up part of my living room of gifted and thrifted furniture (see last week!), and they bring me joy.
1. I have had some unusual expenses this month (new greenhouse plastic to replace what is now ten years old. The current plastic SHOULD survive the summer due to judicious applications of TUCK tape (looks like a particularly gruesome set of stitches, but it holds!) however if there is a huge blowout, I know I am going to want the plastic available. The greenhouse is 50 feet by 24, so you can imagine the cost ain’t cheap. Is it still frugal if it is a preemptive purchase for a known and necessary replacement ? I think so.. (sigh)
2. Picked blueberries at a local farm – I booked a time, and asked a girlfriend along. In the end, another friend who we hadn’t seen in a couple of years was also yoked into the event, we had a delicious time picking and catching up on our lives and those of our children (who all went to school together). the berries were about half the cost of in the stores, socializing was priceless. The one error I made was freezing 3/4 of the berries when I got home. Turns out #2 son and I can eat a LOT of blueberries in a very short time. The farm is only 5 min from my home so I am hoping to find a hour this week to go back for more.
3.volunteered at a local city’s yearly celebration day. I went to actually promote an organization I support, but they put a hi-viz vest over my branded Tee shirt. So I just volunteered for the city. Except they gave me a $25 Farmer Market script, so I certainly came out ahead – and my organization at least got credit in the eyes of the city crew who knew from whence I came…
4. The garden is producing – lots of broccoli which we love, the lettuce is almost done yet more is coming on, peas have been delicious (there will be a lull until the next vines come onboard). The potatoes are a huge treat and I am remembering how much I like them (and how many ways they can be cooked, and how much protein they contain). my zucchini and pattypans are just coming online, tomatoes in a week or so, cilantro and dill on steady rotation as well as basil. All of this and free exercise for me – as well as much needed meditative times when I am down tending and tilling.
5. Related to #4, a frugal thing I did this spring was repair the irrigation systems that are over my raised beds. We had most of the necessary pieces and what we did purchase was cheap. I am saving so much TIME with a system that doesn’t leak, doesn’t empty my well, and lets me walk away for 30 or 45 min at a stretch. there are 8 raised beds, and if I set my phone on a timer, I get up from what I am doing and switch from bed to bed every half hour or 45 min. I have decided to find joy in each movement interval – it adds to my steps, and I get to experience gratitude each time for the hands free experience of watering without having to be there. an additional huge benefit is that my seeds get a much better start with regular watering – I don’t delay watering out of a lack of hand-watering hours.
6. Bonus – the blackberries are JUST beginning to ripen. my walk tonight after our much celebrated rain included ten perfect berries. I decided to ONLY pick the PERFECTLY ripe ones – my mouth appreciated it… later I will do a more thorough jam-worthy pick, this one was just hand-to-mouth.


Katy July 25, 2023 at 11:54 am

Mmm . . . I love fresh blackberries!


Mary Ann July 25, 2023 at 8:29 am

Thanks for the link here.

In my next life I am earning a GG certification. ( i have taught for 34 years). As a gemologist I want to be able to offer my services in fair trade /ethical/ sustainable jewelry. Don’t even know what that will look like but I did receive my certification in Diamonds last summer.


Heidi Louise July 25, 2023 at 10:18 am

Sounds like an interesting profession! Many secrets seem to be hidden in gem stones. One of our favorite appraisers on “Antiques Roadshow” is Kevin Zavian, who does jewelry, with great enthusiasm and fascination.


Katy July 25, 2023 at 11:48 am

I just love that show! I went in person 25 years ago when they hit Portland, but alas they did not weep over the value of my item.


mary in maryland July 25, 2023 at 8:38 am

We have seven of the barristers’ bookcases. Mostly empty in the Mister’s study, but I have plans for them if we move someplace without built-ins.
My frugal five are mostly helping others not waste or consume.
1. A late friend’s husband asked me to take care of the cleaning and office supplies left after his household auction. She had been germphobic and let him go to Costco alone. (Cue scary music.) She long suspected that their basement was full of cleaning supplies, and she was right. I gave cleaning supplies and tools to three sets of neighbors, my cleaning person, and a Craigslist person. I kept the Murphy’s oil soap. Someone on Freecycle took fifteen three-ring binders, which is near miraculous.
2. The next day he brought a carful from the bathroom and linen closet. We nabbed the cotton balls and eye drops called Systane. We have never had our eyes feel this good.
3. I also nabbed a second pair of sheets (full) for the guest bedroom and passed on another couple of sets.
4. Neighbors returning the Czech Republic gifted us three house plants.
5. I saved a packet of outer cabbage leaves thinking I might make stuffed cabbage. I didn’t, but I chopped them and added them to General Tso’s soy curls. Delish.
6. 753 item out—I did count the stuff from the friend’s that I was able to let flow through.
7. The Mister was pulled into the undertow of my decluttering and decided to clean out the closet in his study. He moved on a couple of boxes of community theater history (complete set of 52 years’ worth of programs!) by signing someone else up to take them. And also a lot of other things.


A. Marie July 25, 2023 at 9:02 am

Mary in MD, your and the Mister’s #7 will be appreciated by the community theater, I’m sure. I’ve heard more than one story lately from folks who are regretting that no one saved the ephemera from various organizations.


mary in maryland July 25, 2023 at 9:52 am

We aren’t the ones who saved it. Others have passed things on to him. Theater, his academic department, church finance committee, etc. I’m so grateful that he’s finding successors on his own.


Selena July 25, 2023 at 6:59 pm

Systane eye drops are really good but pricey in comparison to other brands.


Heidi Louise July 26, 2023 at 6:17 am

At my check-up yesterday, the doctor gave me coupons for money off on Systane! I have seen coupons for that brand in the paper (at the same time it was on sale in stores), but it is pricey.


rebecca July 25, 2023 at 1:39 pm

I’ve not been so frugal lately, unfortunately, but I will try….
1. Made a delicious fried rice with different things in my fridge and freezer.
2. Keeping my air conditioner at 74 degrees.
3. I used my year long parking pass to access the beach this weekend. Yes, the pass is $60.00 but I make good use of it.
4. Gave some things away to declutter.
5. The usual-coffee and water from home, cold water washes, line drying things when I can, using half as much detergent as recommended, ect.


Katy July 25, 2023 at 2:04 pm

You’re smart to get the yearly pass and then make good use of it.


Cindy in the South July 25, 2023 at 3:08 pm

Love the bookcase! Part time work is being full time with overtime thrown in and it is overwhelming. The positive is that I have lost a little weight bc of stress! I am “fluffy” so this is good. I eat egg sandwich for breakfast, cheese sandwich for lunch and tomato or cucumber sandwich for dinner, with peanut butter crackers sometimes. I am still five yrs old in my eating habits when stressed… lol But hey, they are cheap!


Marilyn July 25, 2023 at 7:00 pm

As a part-time employee myself, I know what you mean! I don’t work full-time, but the work is on my mind pretty much full-time.


Karen B July 25, 2023 at 5:13 pm

1) I play ukulele and sometimes film myself playing for friends and family. I like using colorful backdrops to add to the fun. My son and I went to a store with rummage bins this week (mostly store returns) and one of my 2 prizes was a lovely photographers’ backdrop with greenery and orchids for only $3 vs. $30-40 on Amazon. My other prize find was a pair of sweatpants, warm and a brand I know I like, that will get much use this winter, also $3. Both items were in brand new condition.

2) Bought chicken legs and breasts on sale. Will be part of son’s cooking instruction (skills for adult life, cooking is so much more frugal than eating out). This was partially a frugal fail. We decided we wanted to marinate them and rather than find a marinade recipe we chose to buy 2 bottled marinades. My being gluten-free limited our choices and we ended up paying $10 for marinade for our on-sale chicken instead of $1-2 for ingredients at home. However, the price difference is still part of the cooking/frugality lesson.

3) Husband is replacing my car’s tail light and tuned up son’s bike instead of paying pros to do them.

4) A relative an hour away spotted a freezer for sale in our area’s Facebook Marketplace at a great price, but wasn’t able to get it that night. We were able to pick it up for them with the help of a furniture dolly borrowed from a friend.

5) The garden is starting to produce. About half of the plants came from my Buy Nothing Project group, some were bought on clearance, and the cherry tomatoes are volunteers that keep returning year after year.


texasilver July 25, 2023 at 8:06 pm

I appreciate the encouragement. I don’t know why more businesses do not contribute items that do not sell to charities. I know Panera Bread gives their day-old baked items to shelters. Publix grocery donate their day-old items to senior centers in Florida. I guess clothes that do not sell go in the trash. My friend says, “If everyone would give a little then everyone would have what they need.”


Joanne in the UK July 26, 2023 at 7:26 am

Oh wow Katy I just followed the link to read an except from Lady Tan’s Circle of Women and I’m hooked.
It’s available at my local library so I’m off there first thing in the morning to get it.
Thank you for the recommendation!


Katy July 26, 2023 at 9:13 am

Yay, let me know how you like it!


Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: