Five Frugal Things

by Katy on September 25, 2023 · 80 comments

I had a pretty low key week as I’m still absolutely exhausted from what I can only assume is the dreaded Long Covid. As a result, my “frugal things” are mostly passive. Think “I stayed home and leafed through library books” rather than “I got this amazing deal on a flight and free museum tickets!” So buckle up for a slow and dull ride!

  1. I read an article about a woman’s vintage-style remodeled kitchen that really resonated with me. The article mentioned that she found inspiration in the book Bungalow Kitchens, by Jane Powell and Linda Svendsen, which was sadly not available through my library. Instead I found it on eBay for $6.17 with free shipping and didn’t hesitate to buy myself a little treat.*

    The library did have two other of the author’s other books, (Bungalow Bathrooms and Bungalow Details: Interiors) so I get to leaf through these books to find inspiration for my own 1914 bungalow.

    Mind you, I’m not looking to remodel anything, I just like looking at pretty pictures of pretty old houses.

  2. I’m continuing our Recalibrate Our Food Spending month and frankly I’m sick to death of it. (But that might just be the Long Covid talking.) Yes, I’ll keep on it until we hit September 30th, but I don’t like having hard and fast rules, even when I’m the person to set them. Then again, I doubt anyone attempting to stretch a grocery dollar would classify it as “joyous.”

    We’re at $327.28 with a week to go. I spent $74.24 at Winco this week, which is higher than normal, but included stocking up on a few pricier items like cheese, sugar, and cooking oil.

  3. I walked to the library and took a different route home, which resulted in me coming across a box of free bay leaf branches. This was an amazing coincidence as “bay leaves” was the only item on my grocery list! (I make a lot of soup this time of year.) I’m drying them out over a heat register in the kitchen and look forward to enjoying lovely flavorful meals.

  4. • I made a big batch of Broccoli Parmesan Soup, motivated by some broccoli that I bought over a week ago. It also used up the last of a bag of orzo and it turned out perfectly! P.S. I used bottled lemon juice and the world stayed on its axis. Also, I didn’t add the parmesan to the soup as it cooked and instead just sprinkled it on top when serving.
    • I accepted a bag of random bag of high end canned cat food from someone in my Buy Nothing Group.
    • A friend came in from out of town and treated me to breakfast.
    • I picked up some windfall apples from a neighborhood tree.
    • I washed and scrubbed my mildewy shower curtain liner. I refuse to replace what can be cleaned, even when it’s a pain in the tuchus.
    • I drove through McDonald’s for a 50¢ double cheeseburger on National Cheeseburger Day.

  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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* The eBay links are referral links.

{ 80 comments… read them below or add one }

K September 25, 2023 at 5:09 am

Love the bungalow kitchen article! I love those older style kitchens, and appreciate anyone who has the desire to keep the original style of old homes. I’ll have to look for the books at our library, like you, just to admire. Sending you good vibes you continue to recover from covid!


Jill A September 25, 2023 at 5:30 am

I’m sorry about your long covid symptoms. I hope it improves soon. I love that you found some bay leaves for free (I’m also in need of some). It’s amazing how often those small miracles happen.
1. Speaking of covid, I was able to order four free tests at which starts today.
2. I paid my yearly car registration renewal online saving a stamp and with an e-check which meant I didn’t need to pay the credit card convenience fee which seems to be cropping up frequently.
3. I’m still trying to use up items in my pantry and freezer. I made some tacos with a pound of ground beef from the freezer. I used a copycat taco bell seasoning recipe which was really good. This fed me, my youngest daughter and my Mom & sister with leftovers for another dinner or two. I also made a red lentil soup in which I also used bottled lemon juice with no ill affects.
4, I pulled my plants out of my pots yesterday and beat all of the excess potting soil out of them to reuse next year. I should have been doing this every year but I’ve been too lazy.
5. I’m reading library books on my kindle. Right now I’m reading Romantic Comedy. Thanks again for the book recommendation. I’ve turned off my air conditioning hopefully for the year and taking advantage of the cool evenings and mornings.


A. Marie September 25, 2023 at 7:38 am

Jill A, thanks for the heads-up on the new availability of free COVID tests. I’ll be ordering mine today. (I just went through my stash and threw out several test kits that were definitely beyond the pale, so I can use some new ones.)


Lynda September 25, 2023 at 1:24 pm

The government has just extended the expiration dates on most Covid kits.


Katy September 25, 2023 at 10:50 am

I applaud your efforts to save your potting soil. I pretty much do the same thing and can’t remember the last time I bought any.


Julie Hamann September 25, 2023 at 1:40 pm

Thank you for the reminder about the free tests; just placed my order.


K D September 25, 2023 at 5:49 am

1. We went to the local grocery store pharmacy for the latest Covid booster. We did a walk up appointment so it took a bunch of time but it is done and our medical insurance covered the cost. I ordered “free” government Covid tests. I also checked the extended expiration dates chart and all our tests are good for seven months past the listed expiration date. I wrote the new dates on the test boxes.

2. I had a colonoscopy so on the prep day ate only Italian Ice (purchased on sale and with a coupon), a can of ginger ale, and a few Lifesavers.

3. I walked to a friend’s house for an outdoor visit. I met another friend for a walk through a wooded path.

4. I attended a yoga class I don’t normally attend since my Pilates classes left the studio schedule. I paid for a monthly membership at the beginning of the month and then most of my usual classes were cancelled (teachers quitting) so I am trying other classes to get my 2-3 classes/week monies worth. I may switch to a different way of paying going forward.

5. Same old, same old: meals at home, clothes from previous years, walking where I can, books from the library.


Heidi Louise September 25, 2023 at 7:19 am

Yes, ordering for free covid tests opened today in the U.S.!

The link to checking expiration dates is also on that website.


Katy September 25, 2023 at 10:45 am

Thank you! I’ve put in my order!


Plaidkaren September 25, 2023 at 5:30 pm

Heidi Louise, thanks so much for posting this, just ordered mine! My mother, who is 86 and healthy as a horse, has come down with a very nasty case and I need to test.


Christine September 27, 2023 at 4:05 pm

Thank you Heidi Louise! That was quick and easy.


Katy September 25, 2023 at 10:48 am

Your “same old” is the cherry on top of the sundae!


Tina S. September 25, 2023 at 6:47 am

I had covid last fall and the extreme fatigue lasted six weeks. The thing that finally made a difference in feeling better was NAC (n-acetyl cysteine). Health food stores and supplement stores carry it. Just wanted to mention it because it really helped me.


Valee September 25, 2023 at 3:14 pm

Thank you for sharing the tip about the NAC helping with post-covid fatigue.


Bee September 26, 2023 at 2:02 am

I took NAC with a B-complex vitamin.


MB in MN September 25, 2023 at 7:02 am

Katy, I’m sorry to hear you’re still exhausted. For being passive, you sure had a lot of great frugal things. Those bay leaf branches are especially amazing.

My five:
1. Received an unexpected inheritance from my husband’s aunt. (I’m not going to bury the lede!)

2. Sister- and brother-in-law treated us to dinner.

3. Had a fabulous day thrifting with my niece, going to Costco, going to the discount grocer, and enjoying the annual picnic at my financial advisor’s office where they offer a delicious lunch (along with free paper shredding, although they offer that service all year long).

4. Our pup continues to receive daily treats from our apartment’s management office. The new dog park at our complex should be opening soon. There’s also an onsite dog washing station. We are enjoying all the dog-friendly amenities here while we search for a house.

5. Received more great things from my Buy Nothing group and offered up things as well. When I went on one pick-up, the person also gave me a bag of free tomatoes from her garden. I love food, and I love free food even more!


Katy September 25, 2023 at 10:46 am

Free food is the best!


Jill A September 26, 2023 at 3:47 am

Your day out with your niece sounds like a perfect day.


MB in MN September 26, 2023 at 8:46 am

Jill A, it truly was! I called it one of the top 10 days of my life – and I’ve been around for 64 years! It’s such a gift to call my niece more of a friend now that she’s in her 20s. I didn’t mention another thing we did… a couple enterprising young boys had a snack stand near this huge community rummage sale. They were offering packaged snacks 2 for $1. I didn’t necessarily need or want any but, like a must-stop lemonade stand, I wanted to support their endeavor. Anyway, I had a $5 bill and watching them figure out together how many snacks I could get for that amount was delightful (the answer changed several times). My niece and I were famished so we scarfed down several snacks on the way to the picnic. There we continued our unhealthful eating and had a blast. My slim, fit niece had two brats and two full plates of sides – and more chips! We laughed and laughed and created wonderful memories.


Ava September 25, 2023 at 7:51 am

1. I found 8 cents.
2. Like Katy, I washed my shower curtain and liner. I do that in the washer. No scrubbing needed.
3. I cut open a couple of almost empty paint tunes and scraped out the contents.
4. My friend keeps giving me apples from her mom’s tree. So far, I have put enough fillng (apples, cornstarch, sugar and spices) in the freezer for 4 pies. When i got tired of peeling, i made a batch of applesauce. For that, i cook apple slices with peelings and use an immersion blender to pulverize everything. Sweeten to taste.


Ava September 25, 2023 at 10:35 am

Paint tunes, not tunes


Ava September 25, 2023 at 10:36 am

I know I didn’t do that again! Tubes


Katy September 25, 2023 at 10:44 am

I like your applesauce method and may give it a try!


Ava September 25, 2023 at 1:46 pm

Including the peelings makes the applesauce thicker and adds fiber. Of course I trim off any blemishes or rough spots.


Casey September 25, 2023 at 8:20 am

Re: washing the shower curtain liner. I put it in the washing machine with my load of towels. Then, into the dryer for a bit so I don’t have to cart a dripping liner through the house.

Making applesauce from our apples.
Making cucumber relish and pickles from our cucumbers.
Eating fruit from our trees.

Feel better, Katy!


Christine September 25, 2023 at 8:25 am

What a thoughtful person to put out those bay leaves! I hope you get your energy back soon Katy. It’s not fun to feel run down all the time. Recovering from pneumonia years ago and Covid last year gave me a whole new appreciation for what those with fatigue causing chronic conditions go through.
1. I received the free RSV vaccine and the new Covid vaccine at my pharmacy. I got them both at the same time and wished I didn’t. I woke up the next day with chills, low grade fever and general malaise which caused me to cancel plans with friends. I would caution people to perhaps get them one at a time. I’m still glad I got them, just wish I kept them a week or two apart.
2. No new fall decorations purchased. I love to decorate for fall but have enough to make the house look festive.
3. I emptied two large pots from my deck and used the soil to fill in divots in the lawn.
4. DH and I are in a contest to see who can go the longest without turning on the heat. I’m determined to win.
5. I need another bathrobe, so I have been checking the Salvation Army store but no luck to far. I’m very specific: it needs to be fluffy, it needs to be long and it needs a tie so I can wrap it snugly around me. Note #4…I’m determined to win but need the correct clothing. My old one is full of holes and after a health issue this summer I feel I need a decent one just in case I’m ever hospitalized. I’m really not a pessimist but it is what it is.


Katy September 25, 2023 at 10:43 am

I spend a healthy amount of each and every day in my bathrobe, which technically belongs to my husband.


JDinNM September 25, 2023 at 4:43 pm

They recommend that, although you can get the flu shot and the Covid vaccine at the same time, you wait at least 2 weeks before getting the RSV vaccine. Or vice versa: get the RSV and wait 2 weeks for the other.


Marie-Josée September 25, 2023 at 5:15 pm

I received a COVID vaccine with the flu vaccine last November and felt really poorly after. I usually just get a bit of soreness at the site of the vaccination, but my immune system seemed to be really overwhelmed by that cocktail. I was recovering from a viral infection to boot. I will be receiving the COVID vaccine once it becomes available in Canada and will wait a few weeks before getting the flu vaccine. I unfortunately don’t qualify to receive the RSV vaccine, which is reserved for infants and people 60 years old and older in Canada.


Valee September 25, 2023 at 5:35 pm

I had the same problem. I felt poorly for about 5 days when I had my flu and Covid shots at the same time. I’m going to get them on different days this year.


Christine September 26, 2023 at 11:17 am

Same here a few years ago, receiving the flu shot and Covid vaccine at the same time. Had one of those zero days (trail talk from DH) where I did nothing all day but take Ibuprofen and sip tea. You’d think I would have learned…


Ruby September 25, 2023 at 8:33 am

The fatigue does linger. Be kind to yourself and try to get good rest.

The frugal five at my house:
1. Mixed up a pint of pale gray oil paint from the remainders of black, white, and medium gray paint in the garage to use on the back gate.
2. This project was the sixth and last time using the same 99 cent paintbrush from Ollie’s Outlet, which had cleaned up great but the bristles finally became too frazzled for further use. Despite the low price, this was a good quality brush before I wore it out.
3. Had to attend a funeral on an unseasonably chilly and rainy day. Did not go shopping for an autumn dress and instead wore black dress slacks, black and white blouse, and dark teal cardigan, all of which were thrifted earlier and worked fine.
4. Refreshed some slightly weary radishes back to crunchiness by soaking them in a bowl of ice water.
5. Read three e-books from the library.


Katy September 25, 2023 at 10:42 am

I’m sorry to hear that you had a funeral to attend.


A. Marie September 25, 2023 at 9:06 am

First, Katy, I hope your persistent symptoms don’t turn into true long COVID. Keep taking it easy and give yourself time.

Now, FFT, Frugal Things Past and Present Edition:

(1) Katy’s bay leaves remind me of my doozy of a bay leaf story from several years ago. The Bestest Neighbors had a potted bay tree so big that it had to be wheeled out of the house in the spring and back in again in the fall with a dolly (bay trees don’t do well outdoors in Central NY winters). For many years, Ms. BN would prune the tree before bringing it in for the winter; I would dry the leaves from the prunings (flattened in pages of our unabridged dictionary and other big books, so they wouldn’t curl up); and we’d split the booty. But, alas, the tree got too big for home maintenance, and the BNs decided to donate it to a local medical office with an atrium. However, Dr. BN decided unilaterally to take it to its new home **before** Ms. BN and I had done one last pruning/drying. Dr. BN spent a night or two in the metaphorical doghouse, and Ms. BN (who tends to overcompensate in situations like this) ordered me four big bags of bay leaves from Penzeys. I still have 1.5 of these bags. And, coming from Penzeys, the leaves are still plenty potent after all these years.

(2) Count me in among those who routinely launder and reuse a (fabric) shower curtain liner. Like Ava and Casey, I run it through the washing machine, with bleach and some bleach-safe towels. Then I just carry it back upstairs and hang it back in the shower stall to dry. (I routinely tote wet laundry up two flights of stairs to hang on my drying racks, and I’ve never found dripping to be a problem. This is also a good cheap upper-body workout.)

(3) I found two Canadian quarters and two Canadian dimes in the Coinstar machine at Wegmans this morning. As I’ve often noted earlier, most local merchants will accept Canadian coins up through quarters at face value, since we’re only about 90 miles from the border.

(4) I found three packages of boneless pork rib meat Reduced for Quick Sale at Wegmans. Fall and winter stews, here I come.

(5) Frugal fail/win: And I treated myself to a half gallon of Wegmans’ peerless Honeycrisp apple cider. Not cheap, but available for a limited time only, and well worth it. It’s lighter and drier than typical apple cider.


Katy September 25, 2023 at 10:41 am

I should have clarified that I put the liner through the machine. However, it still had mildew stains afterwards so I scrubbed using a random bottle of generic windex and then put it through the machine again.


Kristen | The Frugal Girl September 25, 2023 at 11:36 am

And here was me coming specifically to say I run my fabric-ish liner through the washing machine and it’s so easy. Bummer yours didn’t get all the way clean that way!


Katy September 25, 2023 at 12:09 pm

I tried a fabric-ish liner and it also get mildew-y, but in a way that wouldn’t scrub out. Oregon = damp!


Valee September 25, 2023 at 9:54 am

1. It wasn’t particularly frugal, but we got repairs done on our 2010 and 2012 cars. My husband’s reminder was that it was ultimately more frugal than purchasing a new car.
2. Shopped at a church garage sale and got some new-to-me clothing for $1 each.
3. Made our after-church lunch of homemade subs from Jimmy John’s day-old 50 cent bread. I like their bread and even the day old tastes good and makes a yummy meal. I froze some of the bread for later.
4. Still doing most of my grocery shopping at Aldi, which is the cheapest grocery store in my area.
5. Most of my entertainment is listening to CD’s or the radio, watching You Tube, reading library books, and taking walks to enjoy nature.


mary in maryland September 25, 2023 at 9:55 am

1. I cancelled my appointments with the oral surgeon and the podiatrist. Neither office is COVID-careful. I think COVID is more dangerous to a couple in their 70s (us) than a missing tooth or ugly toenails.
2. Our Quaker meeting has a set of banquet tablecloths we use for big events—but no washing machine. I brought 13 big ones home after a memorial service on the 17th. Instead of doing three quick loads I’ve done them in thirds with my regular weekly wash load. Not needed until a wedding in mid-October.
3. A friend who is moving gave me some canned asparagus. It’s just as vile as I remember, but the dog thinks it’s a fabulous treat.
4. I worked a Repair Café on Saturday. Free pizza for lunch.
5. This morning I did an inventory of all the nonperishable food in the house. I also looked at the emergency water supply. 30 gallons in gallon plastic water jugs (reused those from other folks’ recycling bins). They have a plastic taste to the water, but it’s for cleaning and toilets. As I empty canning jars I fill them with water and put them back on the shelves in the basement. Fifteen quarts at present.
6. We’re planning some “Produce Tourism”. Our CSA runs through mid-December. In the years before we got the CSA I used to stock up on fall produce. And I need to. We’re going to Lancaster, PA to the Amish produce auction looking for potatoes, Sweet potatoes, winter squash, onions, cabbage, and apples.
7. Frugal fail–I knit a lot with size 2 circular needles. Somehow I’ve lost my favorites. I ordered replacements from Knitpicks. After scouring thrift stores for a lid for my instant pot, I bought one.


A. Marie September 25, 2023 at 11:34 am

Re: your #3: My mother, may she rest in peace, thought canned asparagus and all other canned vegetables were just fine. I had to grow up and leave home before I discovered the joy of fresh asparagus. (My sibs and I loved our mother dearly, but it definitely wasn’t for her cuisine.)


Kristen | The Frugal Girl September 25, 2023 at 11:37 am

I share your opinion, A. Marie: with the exception of tomato products, most canned vegetables are not worth eating!


Valee September 25, 2023 at 12:03 pm

Canned spinach, UGH. I grew up eating canned spinach; it was on my mom’s regular veggie rotation. Sorry, Popeye, but it’s really terrible. Growing up in the ’60’s I too was raised on canned veggies. What a revelation as an adult eating fresh or frozen (also much better than canned).


kathy September 25, 2023 at 2:08 pm

Boo to canned veggies
Except maybe corn

Plaidkaren September 26, 2023 at 3:03 am

Mary, years ago I found a recipe for a sandwich spread using canned asparagus. Used it for a baby shower and everybody loved it. That’s the only way I’ve ever found it palatable


Ashley Bananas September 25, 2023 at 10:31 am

I felt bad for several weeks after having Covid. It did get better though. Please be easy on yourself so you can recuperate more fully.
1. We finally got some good soaking rains this past week. It was downpouring when I came home on Thursday and I washed my hair in rainwater as it came off my roof. It was freezing, but fun, and my hair is extra fluffy.
2. I continued to shop for deals using bogos, clearance, and ibotta. I was able to earn $85 in ibotta apps, use coupons, all but one were digital, and buy clearance. I now look like a food hoarder and am considering taking a break from grocery shopping for a while. Thankful that I am in the boat to have enough though.
3. When shopping I looked at can goods for the first time in a long time. I noted that canned beans/corn etc in the Walmart brand are .64 cents each, and name brand labels are up to 1.80 roughly. I was shocked. The canned goods I bought two to three years ago to bulk up were.49 for Aldi brand and .50 for Walmart brand. I still cant believe how much food costs have gone up. I’m thankful for my past purchases at better prices.
4. My very handsome neighbor and I talked for a while last night where he offered me water, libations, and fresh caught fish that he fillets and then vacuum packs. I took a bottle of water but not the libations. And while I accepted the offer of fish, we both neglected to hand them off before I left. Whoops! Will have to try again in the near future.
5. I neglected to buy a lear jet, Tesla, new clothing, or other impulse buys this week.

Have a great week!


texasilver September 25, 2023 at 11:00 am

Could you tell us the kitten’s name? I am obsessing over her picture.
I am sorry for your fatigue. Oddly my case of Covid did not sicken me much. However, a few months later I got influenza for the 1st time. I was laid low for several weeks. The fatigue was epic. Maybe that is what Covid fatigue is like. I got my flu shot & Covid booster. Maybe we (Katy & readers) will have better luck this year after immunizations.


Valee September 25, 2023 at 12:01 pm

I forgot to say that someone from church left a basket of tomatoes from their garden and left it on the ministry desk. I took one small lovely tomato and anticipate the good BLT in my future.


Jill September 25, 2023 at 12:07 pm

What a dreamy kitchen! I, too, love looking at old house books. Gonna have to check my library for this!
1. When my son’s house was being built the construction workers left their trash in his crawl space which clogged a drain and cause his floors to buckle. So his home warranty is replacing his floors this week and he is staying in a hotel. The cost of the hotel is covered but it is 20 minutes from us – so not only are we keeping our grandson during the day but also at night so we don’t have to commute to pick him up. Which actually makes for a very frugal existence. Lots of walks, visits to the park, library and reading books. On the plus side, the weather here has been out of this world fantastic.
2.No food waste project is still happening. I ate up the sad looking carrots and last of the berries last night at dinner. And I’ve been making lots of muffins and smoothies with bits and bobs of veggies and fruit.
3. Finally listed my ebay items that have been languishing in the corner of my bedroom. I sold one item and just went to the library to print off the label.
4. Scheduled our flu vaccines which are covered under our insurance – though I’m pretty sure that you can get them at grocery stores and pharmacies too. But I like that it’s no cost.
4. Ran errands – by myself! – and one place I went was the Dollar Store. Got some canned vegetables, coloring book for my grandson, and some uber fancy looking sunglasses for my daughters for their Christmas stocking.
5. Went to a different library in our system than our closest one and got about 10 books about trucks for the grandson and scored on the latest Thursday Murder Club Mystery (The Last Devil to Die by Richard Osman) I can order the books to be sent to my closest library but sometimes I like to look through the picture books for my grandson. And I was in the area.


JDinNM September 25, 2023 at 5:11 pm

So jealous! I love the Osman books and have been waiting for #4.


Kris September 26, 2023 at 12:59 pm

I think the fourth is the best to date and, that’s going some distance, since the they’ve all been great!


Jill September 28, 2023 at 7:10 pm

I agree! He really hooked me in and I didn’t guess the ending


mary in maryland September 25, 2023 at 12:15 pm

Grocery stores and pharmacies give vaccines for the same cost as if you go to the doctor’s office,


kathy September 25, 2023 at 2:16 pm

The good, the bad and the ugly
1. Had a better paycheck as I used vacation time as I was off work at a dog show. Paycheck cover our Costco and Walmart trips
2. Hubby’s cataract surgery went well. Our co pay was $150
3. Expensive week $1500 new tires, $1200 tree trimming and $375 other maintenance
4. I had 2 virtual Visa cards totaling $10.15 that I used to donate to bulldog rescue during north Texas gives big. Donations doubled
5. Continued eating from pantry, freezer, refrigerator


Katy September 25, 2023 at 5:24 pm

RE: Your #3 — Ack! Isn’t it just like life for all these expenses to come at once.


Mary Ann September 25, 2023 at 3:04 pm

I am so glad you mentioned the bungalow books, I ordered all three which is reasonable since ( drum rolll please!!!!!!) I might be moving into a 1900s mansion. I prefer not think of it as a mansion but a large farmhouse on a river. Hubby says it qualifies at least as an estate. Before anyone gets any grand ideas that a leer jet is in my future. Let me explain. Hubby is a farmer. He did an land exchange with a property that will be adjacent to land that has been in his family for 6 generations. The exchange came with the century home ( let’s call it that.) Dh wanted current owners to parcel the house off and we would get the farm land. No go. House has to come with it. Our choices: Burn down a landmark; make a landmark “good enough” to house multiple families ( 4,000 square feet) which would mean this beautiful space would be thrashed within two years; or for us to move there, selling our place and using the money for a top notch renovation When I went to see it, I fell in love. I also love the idea of preserving history. There are just two of us home now but I think we can do this sustainably with out going “dream house crazy”.

Here is my frugal and sustainable living commitment

1. We will keep all the cabinets, open beam wood, built-ins in original condition. They are beautiful and perfect in their imperfections.
2. Life is full of serendipity. My suburban house without me realizing it is filled it with antiques which will fit beautifully. This is mostly because I buy vintage plus we are in line to inherit nice pieces from my 92 year old parents. I guess I was always supposed to move into a 1900s cherry wood home. One of the pieces is a table brought over on a wagon in the 1800s. Talk about destiny.
3. The only flooring we will toss is the rugs and laminate that cover hardwood. We will refinish. We will keep all vintage glass. There is a claw foot tub that has been ditched in the property. We are going to make it the central piece of the one bathroom we must add.
4. I will only bring what I love from my current house with no desire to “fill up” the next space. I don’t want my dear son to have to clear out 4,000 sq foot of “stuff” like the current heirs of of the century home are currently facing – miss matched, crappy low quality THINGS.
5. I have already decided the countertops (which must be replaced) will be ethically source soapstone or butcher block.

Above all I will go slow and wait for pieces to magically appear as they should in their own perfect time. I will not rush out and buy anything I can function without. It is time to practice what I preach in terms of sustainability and ethics. This will be a labor of love and what a wonderful project for my first two years of retirement.

Keep good thoughts that our marriage and my ethics will survive. ( I don’t even want to talk about the grounds. I have a black thumb. They really will require devine intervention.


Heidi Louise September 25, 2023 at 4:19 pm

What wonderful plans, Mary Ann!


Katy September 25, 2023 at 5:22 pm

Wow, that’s a huge endeavor! I’d love to follow along on this journey!


MB in MN September 25, 2023 at 5:39 pm

Mary Ann, this is so exciting! It sounds like you and this home are going to be good for each other. You have your eyes wide open and you will do good things. Looking forward to hearing all about it in the time to come!


Selena September 25, 2023 at 6:41 pm

If you plan on aging in place do the work at that time (main floor laundry, doorways etc). And with that much space, you might consider a decent set-up for live-in help.


Marie September 25, 2023 at 7:08 pm

What a adventure! We will all want updates from time to time


Bee September 26, 2023 at 2:28 am

Perhaps, you’ll consider doing a renovation blog. Did I understand what you wrote correctly? Did you say the new home is American cherry?


Jill A September 26, 2023 at 4:06 am

That sounds like a dream project that was meant to be. I can’t wait to hear all about it.


Mary Ann September 26, 2023 at 6:39 am

Thanks for all the enthusiasm. I will absolutely keep everyone up. It might be fun to blog about it. It wont be ours till November. It is so old there are no modern specs like square footage, etc. . . We need a full engineers report. But all in all, the big stuff is good, foundation, walls, plumbing. Still it will take at least a year and a half to finish and move in. Right now we can’t even insure it with the knob and tube wiring in place. But we can take our time since we are comfortable in our current house.

Cherry wood is the interior wainscoting.


Cindy in the South September 25, 2023 at 3:47 pm

Love low key weeks and love original bungalow kitchens! I like my green walled kitchen (painted by my middle son) with white cabinets in my house built in 1950, because my momma’s kitchen was painted, the same color of green! It reminds me of her.


Katy September 25, 2023 at 3:58 pm

I love this!


Mar September 25, 2023 at 4:31 pm

I caught Covid for the first time in April. I am just now starting to notice my fatigue easing up. I do make sure that when I do have energy I use it to walk the dog. My 5 frugal is only going to work and back so no spending here.


Katy September 25, 2023 at 5:02 pm

I’m sorry to hear that it’s been such a long road for you. I don’t feel on the mend at all, my husband and I were just talking about how we feel worse than when we actually had Covid. No sore throat, but so very tired.


JC September 25, 2023 at 4:58 pm

Katy, I had covid in 2021(?), still have periods of exhaustion that threaten to flatten me. I have been slowly trying to up my iron intake. I think it is helping, hoping it will help because it is hard to fell so tired and want to do so much.
Bay leaves placed in a dry goods cabinet will help repel weevils/bugs.

1. DD’s officemate brought 2 large buckets of pears because we are known for not turning down produce. IF we can’t use it or find someone to take it I can always feed it to my hens.
I have been using the pears as they ripen to make pear preserves.
2. gave a jar to the officemate that provided the pears….keep those wheels greased LOL
3. we as a family have made 70 pints of salsa…..
4. traded a jar of pear preserves for a bag of fresh rosemary to make hair rinse.
5. used my last 5 off 35 coupon to stock up on needed stuff for upcoming winter.
* bonus…DD brought home a sack of k cups from an officemate, officemates mom had been to Vegas and they were complementary in the room….they don’t have a Keurig, DD does.


Katy September 25, 2023 at 5:01 pm

I have what has become a rosemary shrub and you’d be welcome to take as much as you could carry!


Jennifer September 25, 2023 at 5:01 pm

Ugh, that stinks about the covid. But wow on the bay leaves, what a find just when you needed it.

1. Dd needed her oil changed but when she went out to bring the car home she had a flat tire. Luckily we are only 30 minutes away so my dh went to investigate. Something was wrong with the valve stem . He was able to pump up the tire, bring it home, watch a you tube video and fix the tire and change her oil. Bonus is that then her and her boyfriend came over for a few hours while he worked on it.

2. I got massive broccoli heads from the farmer’s market for $3 each. I made a huge batch of broccoli fritters. Dh took some for lunch but I froze 6 meals worth for him.

3. Combined sales and ibotta deals to get 10 cans of progresso soup for $1 a can. Also cashed in for a $20 starbucks GC from ibotta

4. We are switching our dog to a different and cheaper dog food. it’s only a little bit cheaper but it’s a bigger bag. so it is a bigger savings than it seems. He has major skin issues so we have to be careful but these are essentially the same ingredients so it should work.

5. Ordered my 4 free covid tests. Sold an essential oil on ebay and made $20. Dh cut his hair. Dh also has been riding his bike to school 2-3 times each week.


Katy September 25, 2023 at 5:19 pm

Canned soup is such a great backup item to have stashed in the pantry. Well done!


Marie-Josée September 25, 2023 at 5:37 pm

I hope you and your husband feel better soon. That deep fatigue is so life-altering. COVID infections are on the rise here in Quebec and I want to avoid getting COVID once again especially due to long COVID risk. Generally, people don’t seem to be preoccupied by the current rise in the number of infections or the risk of long COVID. I attended a funeral Saturday and I stood out as being the only person wearing a mask. Attendees were mostly in their 70’s and up. I am also still mostly the only person wearing a mask while using public transit.


Ruby September 25, 2023 at 5:48 pm

Forgot to mention I tried the tip someone mentioned here and sprayed WD-40 on the fogged plastic cover of our gas meter. It cleaned up instantly! One wipe with a shop towel and it went from too blurred with urban acidic air to read to every dial being crystal clear. I was stunned.


Alexia September 25, 2023 at 9:46 pm

I’m not sure if you know this but throwing the shower curtain liner in the washing machine with a healthy dose of distilled vinegar does a fantastic job of getting all the soap scum and other undesirable residues off of it. I’ve been using the same liner for 6 years doing this.


Jan September 26, 2023 at 4:49 am

Katy, so sorry you are still feeling poorly. Ugh. I had a bad cold (tested negative for Covid, but still felt awful), & finally my dear wife insisted I go to an UrgiCare and get meds. It was covered by my insurance, they prescribed 3 cheapo Rx, and finally I feel better.
Other tiny frugal things:
1) Ordered more Covid tests
2) Made out my will, copying DW’s & switching names, instead of going online or seeing a lawyer & paying for that.
3) DW & I went to daughter & boyfriend’s house for a delicious dinner & brought home enough food for another dinner.
4) We’re in the in-between weather of not needing AC or heat, which is fabulous.
5) Our dog was really listless last night but today looks fine, saving us a trip to the vet for mucho bucks.
6) I’ve been trying to remind myself that I don’t always need to turn lights on when I go into a room. It’s hard to break the habit, but I’m trying.
7) Been walking with my dog around our neighborhood, picking up litter. Found a dime.


Selena September 26, 2023 at 6:13 pm

Don’t know your age but I use lights to mitigate falls. Better to spend a few cents in electricity than untold dollars for our less than stellar yet somehow better than most medical system.


Jan September 27, 2023 at 5:00 am

Selena, I totally get that. I only go without lights if it’s light enough to see obstacles and find what I need! 🙂


Jan September 26, 2023 at 4:50 am

PS. Forgot to mention, I can get my will notarized for free at my workplace.


Heidi Louise September 26, 2023 at 6:36 am

Reading these comments makes me understand better the news article I saw yesterday, that a test is being developed to diagnose long covid. I suppose that way, the effects of the virus can be better understood, people can get better treatments, and also know if what they have is Not long covid, so they can be examined for something else.
I’m imagining all those medical scientists, all those microscopes, all those people having blood draws, all those nasty little round band-aids, all contributing to the research.


Emily N October 1, 2023 at 3:27 pm

Katy, definitely ask your librarian about any books that you want that aren’t in the catalog. Often they can inter library loan it from a library that’s part of a different library system.


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