Five Frugal Things

by Katy on October 2, 2023 · 55 comments

  1. My husband and I were at Safeway picking up his work lunch supplies, (avocados, Fage yogurt, Dave’s Killer Bread and sliced roast beef) when I spotted a paper circular at the checkout that boasted “$5-off-$25.” I realized I’d forgotten to check the app before shopping, so I pulled up the app and downloaded the coupon. I then took my receipt to customer service where the employee refunded $5 back onto our debit card.

    I also found a penny.

  2. I bought a brand new mattress for my son’s old bedroom to replace the ancient and decidedly uncomfortable futon that I stuck into his room after he moved out with all his bedroom supplies. Choosing a mattress on the internet triggers my decision paralysis, so I clicked over to the NY Times’ “Best Cheap Mattresses” Wirecutter website and ordered the one they recommended. The full size version was slightly under $300, which I consider to be a decent price for a vetted mattress.

    This space is just a spare bedroom right now, but there’s no point in having uncomfortable sleeping arrangements in the house. Now I just need to figure out what to do with my 25-year-old stained futon. I wouldn’t wish it upon my worst enemy, so I think I already know the answer.

  3. I got together with a childhood friend and served a nice breakfast for her at the house instead of going to restaurant. I baked a frittata using bits and bobs from the fridge, (spinach, scallions, cottage cheese, “everything but the bagel” seasoning and cheddar cheese) and topped it with small blobs of homemade pesto, which took it to the next level. (Seriously, so good!) I also assembled a batch of homemade biscuits, which I presented with strawberry and blackberry jam options.

    It was great to enjoy our meal at the house without the distraction of a restaurant and it was certainly a lot cheaper! Plus there was enough leftover food to feed both my son and I for dinner.

  4. • My daughter gave me a four-pack of chicken thighs and sushi from her schwanky grocery store.
    • I cut down the full size foam mattress topper from the full-size futon to fit the twin bed in my daughter’s old bedroom. I’ll use the extra foam to construct a cat bed or two.
    • We continue to stay on track for low spending with recent dinners consisting of black bean burgers, bangers and mash, marinated chicken, roasted carrots and broccoli pasta soup. We won’t be coming under $400, but that’s greatly influenced by my husband’s work lunches which are non-negotiable and unchanging. He doesn’t have access to a microwave and can’t heat up leftovers, which was always my go-to frugal lunch when I worked at the hospital.
    • I asked for and received a trackball cat toy through my Buy Nothing Group.
    • I earned enough points through the Fetch app for a $25 Fred Meyer (Kroger) gift card. For those who may be unfamiliar, Fetch is an app where you scan your receipts and eventually get enough points to buy gift cards. I like it better than the Ibotta app as you don’t have to add the offers before you shop. Yes, they’re both tracking my spending for nefarious reasons, but I’m okay with it.

    For clarity, these are referral links. For my own nefarious reasons.

  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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{ 55 comments… read them below or add one }

Bee October 2, 2023 at 5:23 am

I think you have done a remarkable job on the grocery challenge. Are you going to report your final results?

1. My frugal focus this week has been on my homeowner’s insurance. I have been trying to reduce the cost of the insurance on my home in a very contentious Florida insurance market. My annual premium has increased by 400% in just 3 years from $1700 in 2020 to $7000 in 2023. Fortunately, shopping has gone better than expected and I have several options. It looks as though I can reduce my premium by $2900 annually. Hooray! I did not go with the cheapest company, because of the number of complaints logged against them. I chose a company in good financial health. I did increase my deductibles for both other peril and hurricanes, but honestly there is not any reason to file a claim unless our loss is catastrophic. Filing a small claim can result in cancellation.

2. Last January, my husband and I gave our second car to our younger son. We have been making due with one vehicle which has been challenging at times. My older son offered us his 8-year old truck yesterday. He purchased a new-to-him car — one that has room for two car seats for his children. Since we have been sporadically looking for a second vehicle, we gladly accepted his offer. It will suit our needs for the time being.

3. I participated in the sharing and second hand economies this week with zest! I sold two items on eBay and two on Marketplace. I did a bit of decluttering and dropped some items off at the Goodwill. I gave away a few items on Buy Nothing. I accepted a pot for my succulents and some binder clips from a friend. I picked up a few items on BN for my daughter who is coming to visit this week including a Pureology Haircare gift set, two Jamie Oliver cookbooks, and a $20 coupon to Ann Taylor.

4. Indoor entertainment continues to be nearly free. I have been using PBS Passport which is a fabulous streaming service. (A donation to your Local Public Television is required.) I am currently watching Unforgotten and Antique Road Trip. I am reading library books and using my Hoopla and Libby Apps for audio books, Wall Street Journal and Magazine subscriptions. I believe it was Heidi Louise who suggested Mrs. Polifax series. I have enjoyed listening to it while doing mindless tasks around the house. I like the reader. I bought Elf and Home Alone on DVDs for $1 each at an estate sale. We do not own these movies and every Christmas the streaming services charge a premium to watch them. Old technology can be cheap.
5. I redeemed $51 that I earned from IBotta. I put this into my travel fund for my birthday trip along with my other miscellaneous funds that I’ve earned.

Frugal Fail – I still have too much food waste. I can’t seem to get my act together. Those spinach leaves I threw out looked dollar bills as they went down the garbage disposal.
Wishing everyone peace, good health and prosperity.


LDA October 2, 2023 at 5:36 am

Bee, I love Unforgotten on PBS. Also loved reading the Mrs. Pollifax books.


Lesley October 2, 2023 at 5:35 am

Laughed out loud at your own nefarious activities. Will happily support such things!


mary in maryland October 2, 2023 at 5:45 am

Here in Maryland many of the teachers’ groups in high poverty schools have arranged to sell scrap fabric to scrap fabric dealers. They take anything! Including truly tiny scraps from my quilt guild, a carful of musty basement rags, and a roll of rusty canvas I found cleaning out a friend’s house. I bet they’d love a stinky futon full of stuffing. Not suggesting that you send it to MD, but that maybe there’s a similar opportunity in Oregon? I’ll check their website for you.


Katy October 2, 2023 at 11:26 am

Cool, thank you so much for this idea!


Ruby October 2, 2023 at 5:48 am

The kitten is so cute with her toy. My cats loved those when they were young.

1. Made a big pot of chili with canned tomatoes bought super cheap at Ollie’s Outlet.
2. I am the executor of a relative’s will and have a lot of PDF forms to fill out. Did some research and downloaded a free PDF program to use that is working well.
3. Stocked up on eggs with a store coupon.
4. Our step-on trashcan’s lift mechanism wore out beyond repair — DH had repaired it previously — and we kept it in service by bolting a window sash handle to the lid for ease of lifting.
5. Took one for the team and ate peanut butter sandwiches until the dregs of a long-open jar were used up.


mary in maryland October 2, 2023 at 5:56 am

Katy–feel free to read this and cast it out of comments–it’s the info piece I wrote for my guild about where scraps go.
Many of you have asked what happens to the car full of scraps and used textiles you gift me at most meetings. I screen donations and set aside the good sewing fabric for the refugee projects I supply. The really junky fabric, used clothing, and sewing scraps go to a huge bin at Forest Knolls Elementary School. I found out about their project when I delivered fabric to a sewing project at St. Camillus Catholic church and met the mother of one of the Forest Knolls teachers. She assured me that no fabric is too small, too dirty, or too trashy to be useful.

The fabric goes to Capitol Clothing Recyclers, LLC, a Textile collection company that collects for, buys from, and helps transport clothing and household items for many different charitable non-profit organizations, and some for profit entities. They offer their “Clothing to Cash® ” recycling program to schools and organizations to raise needed funds. They accept any and all textiles of whatever size, i.e. scraps are welcome!

The company believes that the collection of used textiles serves two very important purposes. The first is to provide sustainable fund raising capabilities by providing an outlet to sell used and unwanted clothing, clothing accessories, and household items. For many charities—including Forest Knolls– these funds are life sustaining to their programs.

The second purpose is protecting the environment. This recycling program keeps millions of pounds of unwanted items out of landfills. Quilters notice a third purpose—helping us keep our quilting areas clean enough to work in.

At Forest Knolls elementary school a high proportion of students’ families are living below the poverty line. The teachers use the funds to benefit their whole school. They have used the money from Clothing to Cash to purchase recess equipment, the license for a reading website, clothing for the nurse so she can help when children have accidents, materials for the Pen Pal program, and materials for the Bookshop (free books for all students).

I have been amazed at the generosity of Nimble Fingers members. Every month I think that maybe now all our studios are clean and there will be no more donations—only to be amazed again.


Heidi Louise October 2, 2023 at 6:43 am

Thank you for this information! I keep old fabric, t-shirts, etc., much longer than is healthy on the chance I will find a program in my area. Reading about another one gives me hope that this recycling will become more and more the norm instead of the exception.


Bee October 2, 2023 at 4:06 pm

One of the local high schools near me participated in this program. I have dropped things off before, Now I know that the recyclers will take any type of fabric. I will participate more often. Thank you, Mary.


MB in MN October 2, 2023 at 7:40 pm

Mary, what an awesome program! Thanks for highlighting it.


K D October 2, 2023 at 6:00 am

1. A friend bought the digital copy of the Barbie movie. We watched it with her yesterday.

2. There were small ants in the basement bathroom. I dug out my old jar of Borax sugar water and a cotton wad from a pill bottle and placed a saturated cotton wad on a piece of foil on the sink edge. They took the bait and have now disappeared.

3. We curb picked a small piece of furniture (maybe a night stand, maybe an end table). It needs some work but DH wants to fix it up and use it instead of an old end table we have.

4. On Friday evening we saw yard sale signs in our neighborhood. We walked around Saturday morning and looked at a few sales. I did buy two Gap NWT long sleeved shirts for our SIL for $2 apiece. Sunday morning we walked past the houses where we saw yards sales on Saturday. There was a contraption for turning a bike into s stationary bike which we hauled home. If we don’t use it we’ll give it away.

5. My found change for the third quarter was $7.70 (that included $4 in bills).


Anna-Catherine October 2, 2023 at 6:03 am

Regarding lunches for your husband, I was in the same situation until last Christmas. I received a hot logic. It’s a lunchbox warmer. I get to work, put my food in the hot logic and plug it in. By lunch, my food is hot but not overdone, I will often put a piece of frozen fish or chicken in a dish with uncooked veggies a bit of oil and seasoning and by lunch it’s cooked. There is also a version available to plugs into a vehicle. It was a bit up front but has been a game changer, especially since I’m not big on cold sandwiches. I’ve even put jars of soup in to warm up, I just turn the device on it’s side so nothing spills.


Anna-Catherine October 2, 2023 at 6:15 am

I know your try to avoid buying new and especially the website linked above. I grabbed the first link on a Google search, there are other outlets for purchase if desired.

That said, frugal things,
Todays lunch is in my thermos, not aforementioned hot logic.leftovers from the fridge.

I made all other lunch packers in the house pack leftovers instead of creating new meal items.

Someone slammed the door of our 15 year old fridge and broke the molded plastic bump that holds the door shelf one. A bit of super glue and duct tape and letting the glue cure before adding weight and I think we are back in business.

Did not give into the very tearful demands of the 4 year old for fast food and ate at home,

Returned library books and borrowed more both physical books and digital versions. My voracious readers should be occupied at least for the next week.

Carpooled to the boys soccer games. They were at slightly different times at two different locations that are a bit too far for the 4 year old to walk and he has out grown the stroller. Instead of taking two cars, we all piled in the van, my oldest and I had a bit of a wait before his game and the others watched the end of the oldest’s game when the younger was done. It was a beautiful day and both teams won.


Ava October 2, 2023 at 6:49 am

1. I found several bags of greatly reduced produce and salad mixes when I went grocery shopping. I have been eating salads with Katy’s tea towel salad dressing. Another reduced bag will be used for a stir fry.
2. I have had The Frugal Girl’s bread to go along with the salads.
3. I made biscuits for the freezer. I make the dough, cut them out, and freeze unbaked. Then bake as needed.
4. I went to a free concert. A musician friend gets together with his talented buddies once a month. They play for about an hour and have a great time . So does the audience.
5. We are trying to maintain whatever degree of health we have. My husband went to the dentist last week and also got a covid booster. I got a mammogram and I am going to the dentist tomorrow and also getting my covid booster.


Katy October 2, 2023 at 11:23 am

For those who’d like a link to my “tea towel” salad dressing:


Ashley Bananas October 2, 2023 at 6:54 am

Regarding the husbands lunch preferences, if you are saving money over him going to say Subway for lunch every day, you are still saving money. So yay for some shopping and planning.

1. I reconciled my September budget and was shocked by how much money I spent on groceries as well as eating out. I found that much of my money spent on eating out was breakfast at WaWa for my son who I let go in by himself and he often spends 10-15$ mostly on chocolate milk, candy, and some hash browns. To combat this I have started pouring him a chocolate milk in a reusable to go cup in the morning, and have started making him breakfast sandwiches at home saving the trip to Wawa and the money typically spent.
2. I decided to challenge myself to only spend cash on hand, $36, for the rest of the week for groceries. I also found change in my purse and car and used that to extend my spending. I have about $6 left. However my fail is that I used a coupon at CVS and ended up spending $62 on Halloween candy. I get about 200+ trick or treaters….so I’m buying early so it doesn’t all hit me at once.
3. This was my weekend off and I spent a lot of time in the kitchen. I made spare ribs, mini frittatas, mini taco cups, cooked bacon for breakfasts, baked off cookies for snacks, made tuna salad…was there more? It felt like more. And today successfully made my son a breakfast sandwich before we left for school and work.
4. After discussing groceries and how we had a lot of canned food and MRE’s my co-worker suggested that I have a ‘survivalist night’ at my house once or twice a week where we just eat these foods. I suggested it to my son and he is game on.
5. I am in an online auction group locally on Facebook and won an auction for a 30 count case of canned cat food for $7. The cases go for about $30 at Walmart now. Yay for savings!!!
6. I went on Hoopla on my tv and picked out several movies to watch later. This helped us actually use this service this weekend. It is free through our library. I did end up watching 3 lifetime movies this weekend and now have huge stranger danger vibes >.< lol

Have a great week!


Pam E-P October 2, 2023 at 7:22 am

My husband and I are Survivor fans so when the kids were still at home everyone picked out leftovers the night it aired and we called it Survivor Night. Was always a big hit!


Christine October 2, 2023 at 2:05 pm

Your #2…I wish I could buy my Halloween candy early if I see a good sale but I’m afraid I would eat some and there goes the savings. Hopefully closer to Halloween some good sales will pop up.


Katy October 2, 2023 at 3:53 pm

I usually buy my candy early when I can get it on sale. I then store it at a neighbor’s house as I know myself too well.


Christine October 3, 2023 at 5:10 am

I like that idea!


Ecoteri October 2, 2023 at 9:18 pm

@Ashley Bananas I always love your posts because you are so real about both your successes and – er- challenges. For the breakfast sandwiches, At one point in my busy world I made up pseudo egg-mcMuffins (toasted ’roundy bread’ which is what we call English muffins, cooked eggs in canning jar rings, assembled with cheese (we don’t eat ham etc) and wrapped tightly, put into the freezer. my daughter still does this, and takes them out the night before. my son justs puts them straight into the microwave. you get to be creative about wrapping – try parchment paper then cling wrap. now that I am reminded of this, I might make some up for #2 son as I have a surfeit of eggs right now…. Other pre-made and freeze options are pancakes or waffles…


Heidi Louise October 2, 2023 at 6:58 am

We are planning a trip to the Twin Cities area. Minnesota History Center has an exhibit about Charles Schulz and “Peanuts”. Son wants to gawk at the Mall of America; chances we will buy anything are very low.
I saved up lots of hotel points through credit card churning, I believe the term is, so housing will be taken care of. Will take snacks and beverages in the car. Driving is easier, in that we aren’t restricted by luggage size as in an airplane.
We have not see my Dad’s veteran-military supplied footstone since it was installed in the cemetery where he and Mom are buried, other than a photograph, so will also go there. They share a headstone with lots of information carved on it and Mom does not have a footstone. Family does not completely agree about whether we should buy one for her spot or not.
Took the very few items we had to the county annual Hazardous Waste Disposal drop-off: about a dozen batteries, three light bulbs, and, found when we moved into the house over twenty years ago, four partial cans of spray paint and a rusted can of Tung Oil that I feared would disintegrate in my hands. The people collecting stuff at those events always seem so happy and thankful to have our trash!


MB in MN October 2, 2023 at 7:36 am

Your breakfast with your friend sounds so yummy.

1. Renewed annual TIME magazine subscription for our nephew for just $25/year and also renewed our own for the same discounted rate. This is half of what we paid last year.

2. Received coupon in the mail for a free car wash at the new place in town.

3. Noticed at the grocery store check-out that the small parmesan cheese wedge I chose was $13. Wowzer. Had them remove it from my bill. The next day I was at another store and found a huge wedge for $8 – still a lot of money but not as eye-popping.

4. Invested in a new pantry shelving unit for our temporary apartment. Repurposed a small closet for it. It’s a versatile unit so I’m sure we’ll have a place for it somewhere in our next home if it can’t be a pantry.

5. Repurposed glass jars that once held store-bought peaches into nice pantry jars. Painted the tops black to make them prettier and used my trusty label-maker to finish this OCD-satisfying project.


Q October 2, 2023 at 7:54 am

1. Started using MINT to get a hold on finances. Husband has agreed to meet once a week to discuss spending, etc. I want to cancel some subscriptions, etc, and would like him to be on board. He has been in charge of the bills for most of our 40 year marriage, and I am taking over this job.

2. Said “yes” to two free tickets to a concert next Friday. I think we will have a great time.

3. I think I may have read about this here: I made oat milk with Love and Lemons recipe: 3 cups water
1/2 cup rolled oats
2 tsp maple syrup
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/8 tsp salt
Blend all ingredients together and pour through mesh strainer into a jar with a tight-fitting lid. Don’t push the mushy oats through the strainer or else it will be gritty.
I stored mine in a recycled jar. I was really impressed with ease and with flavor.
This cost about 25 cents for 3 cups, and means much less packaging, transporting of water, etc.

4. Mended husband’s favorite blazer’s lining. It is a really nice blazer, but the lining hem is a little frayed. I think mending it now will give it many more years.

5. I was a volunteer photographer for a fundraising race, and received a surprise yummy gift basket containing many delicious local foods from our farmer’s market.

Continued all the usual: library books, hanging laundry, batch cooking using crock pot, doing yard work. Fielding requests from daughters re: grandkids’ sizes and needs, for the big consignment sale held this Thursday.


rebecca October 2, 2023 at 9:04 am

1. Made chili from ingredients in the fridge, freezer and pantry. I was able to use up 2 half jars of salsa.
2. Donating a few things to a charity shop today after a sweep of things I don’t need, use or want anymore.
3. Going grocery shopping today after 2 weeks on not going.
4. Did not listen to the siren sound of Dairy Queen on my home.
5. Been watching a a bunch of youtube videos about the envelope system and 0 budgeting. Anyone use either? What are your thoughts? Thanks.


Jackie October 2, 2023 at 9:53 am

I’m on the struggle bus with expensive lunch too since changing jobs. I went from being a mother/baby nurse with plenty of time to heat up leftovers to an L&D nurse with no guaranteed lunch break most days and if I get one, it’s 30 min on the nose and I hate wasting time heating food. Often I’m eating snacks or eating quickly watching my fetal strips in the break room. I think I’ll try sandwhiches next!


Ecoteri October 2, 2023 at 9:25 pm

@Jackie, my buddy who works away from home often takes hardboiled eggs (she pre-peels so no time on that) for her lunch. They are a very fast protein for hard pressed folk, might be a plan for you even if you do make sandwiches. AND I encourage you to cut your sandwiches into 4 pieces not just in half- you might find that you can grab that smaller sanny in a moment, and eat it all up, rather than have an unappetizing half sandwich with bites taken our to come back to after getting pulled away. Thank you for supporting those hardworking mommas as they bring their babes into the world!


Valee October 2, 2023 at 10:11 am

I have a question for this frugal community. Has anyone on here switched from AT&T to Consumer Cellular? I have heard all the commercials and ads from CC, but don’t personally know anyone with the service. I did watch a Clark Howard podcast and he said they have very high customer service rating, and they use the same network as AT&T. It’s just about half the price of AT&T. I’d be interested in hearing your experience, if you have switched to them, since we’re considering it. Thank you.


A. Marie October 2, 2023 at 11:23 am

I’m a very satisfied Consumer Cellular customer (I joined via my AARP membership). I can’t speak to the AT&T vs. CC comparison, and I do have just an old-fart flip phone with minimum service, so your mileage may vary.


Valee October 2, 2023 at 11:59 am

Thank you for your feedback, A. Marie. Much appreciated. We have smart phones but they’re very basic ones, not iPhones, and they are older models. We don’t do much on them except your basic texting and occasional call. We are AARP members too and I have seen the CC ad in the magazine.


Theresa in Texas October 2, 2023 at 5:58 pm

We switched from Verizon to Consumer Celllular a few months ago, when Verizon was going to raise our rate and discontinue the discount I had when I was working. We’re saving about $40-$50 each month for 2 lines with unlimited data. Service has been great so far and CC is easier to deal with than Verizon ever was.


Kara October 2, 2023 at 6:18 pm

We are super happy CC customers, and have been for over 5 years. And our kids were on it with us in their late teens and early 20’s. Customer service cannot be beat, and is ALL U.S. based. We pay $35 per month for 2 lines, 1GB of data and unlimited talk and text. If we exceed the data, there are no penalties, they just move us up to the next price bracket. We can call and ask to go down again if usage drops. We have used them when travelling internationally, as well as from coast to coast in the US and have always had service.


Deb October 3, 2023 at 1:36 am

Yes, we’ve switched to CC from AT&T and still have the same great service, with a boatload of savings!


A. Marie October 2, 2023 at 11:21 am

FFT, Thrifting Fun Edition:

(1) On Friday, I attended the local Cat Coalition garage sale to which I donated twice (see earlier comments). The young lady who did both of my pickups was at the cash-out table and was surprised to see me; I replied, “Hey, this is a two-way street!” Anyway, I made out like a bandit at the sale: two handmade-in-USA baskets priced the same as the made-in-China junk (I will resell at least one of these to my young friend at the new local resale shop); a winter’s supply of votives and other small candles (I like to burn votives in the winter predawn hours–my way of praying for the state of the world, I suppose); assorted toiletries; and a box of thread that I will pass on to Ms. Bestest Neighbor, my alterations lady. Total cost = $15.

(2) I then hit the Thrifty Shopper store in the same area as the CC sale, and found two more votives plus six skeins of yarn for the friend who’s helping me keep my next-door neighbor with the cognitive issues afloat. The friend knits like Madame Defarge in A Tale of Two Cities and is always happy to get thrifted yarn–and I’m happy to keep her happy.

(3) On Sunday, I went to the used-book sale at the local branch library near a popular annual local street fair, and again made out like a bandit. Love me these library sales.

(4) And the library let me park my purchases behind the desk while I enjoyed the street fair. I managed to soak up the atmosphere and the lovely day while not buying anything else.

(5) Finally, I continue doing all the usual stuff (hanging laundry on my indoor racks, not running the dishwasher till it’s full, etc., etc.).


JC October 2, 2023 at 12:34 pm

Katy, your breakfast visit sounds wonderful.
My frugal five never sems to change much.
1.Received another group of 5 off 35 coupons from our local hometown style Kroger. I use my calculator as I am shopping only buying what is on my list that I know is cheapest in that store.
2. found a family size package of cube steaks in that store marked down half price.
3. yet another recipe of comfrey salve is started.
4. DD’s friend gave her the coupons for us to use, 5 off 35 for 4 week stretch.
they will be used to buy the rolls of sausage that are on sale.
5, making yogurt for smoothies. So much cheaper.
bonus* finally used all of the pears, making preserves and not sorry to see the bottom of the container LOL


Mary Ann October 2, 2023 at 2:22 pm

My Frugal Five:

1. Biggest money saving decision in my life: I celebrated 36 years of sobriety yesterday. If I were to count up the money spent on alcohol alone If I had continued to drink I would be over 100,00o at least and that is if I was just spending $50 a week on it. ( Yeah probably a lot more.) Throw in the cost of hospital bills, legal bills, divorce settlements and broken relationships that are the inevitable cost of active alcoholism – sobriety is priceless. I have a 21 year old son who has never seen me drink. So grateful. ( could also count up the savings of quitting smoking 23 years ago.)

2. I used up a flight credit I didn’t know I had. How that happened I will never know. I am off to the Cayman Islands and using my points from my hotel card for 8 nights free on the beach.

3. I made my first homemade bath bombs. Their ok for a first try.

4. I bought full priced Crocs. What? Yep.! They are for backpacking. I chose them over flip flops which are unsafe camp shoes and wear out easily. Crocs will last me a life time of backpacking.

5. I bought Katie’s recommendation of the Bungalow Books ( kitchen, bathroom, exterior) All were used. I am making some excellent simple decisions using them for the future century home that is 30 days from being ours ( hopefully) . I have decided all of the bathrooms will be redone in white subway tile and 1 inch honeycomb floors with a few black accent tiles. ( Maybe a Wiliam Morris reproduction border.” Cheap and historically correct decisions. I will keep each bathrooms layout to save money. Both showers are walk in which is great for when I am 90. I will accent with color with rugs I already have, towels, and photos. I will sew the window treatments. I’ll also repaint the existing cabinets to match the dark cherry wood throughout. I do want to add more vintage glass works – stained glass, diamond pattern etc. . . Maybe a new vanity mirror. I’ll see what I can find.


Heidi Louise October 2, 2023 at 3:14 pm

And may you still be sober when 90-year-old-you is enjoying your home! Congratulations!


Alexandra October 2, 2023 at 3:36 pm

Congratulations on your sobriety and making your health a priority. Hugs!


Kara October 2, 2023 at 6:20 pm

Congratulations on your sobriety!


MB in MN October 2, 2023 at 8:01 pm

Mary Ann, hooray on your sobriety milestone!


Ecoteri October 2, 2023 at 9:40 pm

Congratulations on that awesome sobriety birthday!


Christine October 2, 2023 at 2:24 pm

That kitten is just too cute!
1. I found a pair of black pants at the Salvation Army Store just in the nick of time as I have a relative’s funeral coming up. My old pair finally bit the dust. A pair of black pants is almost a necessity in a wardrobe for me. They can be paired with so many blouses or sweaters and dressed up or down as needed. My pursuit of a winter bathrobe continues.
2. I picked up a set of colored pencils for $5 at my church’s thrift shop. One of the volunteers said they sell for $31 at Walmart. These went right into my gift stash.
3. I also picked up three sets of note cards for $1.50 for all three at the thrift shop. I have a friend in a nursing home who loves to write to friends and relatives, so they went right to her. I usually pick her notecards up for her at the Dollar Store ($1.25 Store!) but these were a better value as there were more cards in each set.
4. I switched up some paintings from one room to another, kitty-cornered a small bookcase and finished putting out my fall decorations for a new look.
5. I found a penny for the found change jar.


kathy October 2, 2023 at 4:40 pm

1. My club’s 3 day dog show ended. I was the recipient of 1/2 box of kind bars, 24 pack of Diet Coke and an 8 pack of seltzer water leftover after show
2. Sold two items last week and one today
3. Won a free car wash
4. Made use of eggs, cheese and leftover artichoke hearts for a quiche for dinner
5. Inventorying what I have for the holidays: gift wrapping supplies, decor, cards and gifts


Jill October 2, 2023 at 4:53 pm

1. I sold two items on ebay – a pair of shoes that gave me blisters and some face cream (unopened) that I had received as a gift. I have rosacea so many face creams/lotions cause more harm than good.
2. My daughter-in-law’s sister just graduated from dental hygiene school and passed her state boards. I am making her a pasta dinner on Wednesday night to celebrate – rather than eat out – and am making her favorite cake. I tried to take the easy way out and purchase the cake (red velvet) at the grocery store but the price tag of $18.99 stopped me in my tracks. Baking, it is.
3. Score. I purchased a suitcase at my local thrift store to take Christmas items and food to my daughter in Australia at Thanksgiving. It’s a good size and was in pretty decent shape. It just has to make it through one trip and then we will donate it again once there – unless my daughter decides to keep it. At first I wasn’t thrilled with the $15 price tag but it’s better than purchasing new and will serve it’s purpose. Gave it a good scrubbing and let it dry in the sun.
4. Using our zoo pass tomorrow. We try to go once per month but tried to go last week which was unfortunately, a day off school for our area. It was heaving with people and no parking. Tomorrow will be a better day. I also found info at our local library for free museum days for our city so I’ve marked those on the calendar. Hopefully will make it to a few.
5. Usual trip to the library this week and checked out a big stack of books for my grandson, did any printing we needed and I got a new book for me – Death in Avignon by Serena Kent. Still need to see about finding The Detectorists movie Katy mentioned – I love that show!


Nancy from mass October 2, 2023 at 5:05 pm

It’s not really a frugal week for me.

1. I had to fly out to CA for a meeting for work so I extended it in additional week. Since I was extending my flight back, it brought the airfare down to less than what it would cost find phone back after the meeting. So, work paid for me to fly to California and stay two weeks.
2. I got a fantastic rate on the rental car (since I was keeping it longer) and despite putting thousands of miles on the jeep wrangler they gave me, it only cost $220 for a week +180 in gas.
3. However, I started getting sick towards the end of the first week. By the time I flew home, I had visited one minute clinic and 2 urgent cares. I came home with conjunctivitis (dual) a sinus infection and bronchitis that I am being monitored to make sure it doesn’t become pneumonia.
4. Because I wasn’t feeling up to par, I would basically eat breakfast and then one other meal for the day. So I saved a lot of money on food.
5. Other than going to the doctors for a follow up today, I have not left my house in three days. No driving equals no gas used.


kathy October 3, 2023 at 3:00 am

Nancy I hope you were able to enjoy some of California before you got sick.
Last January I was there for a week and came home with an upper respiratory infection. Two months later I drove to Dallas for a weekend and came home with pneumonia
Luckily I haven’t been sick since then


Nancy from mass October 8, 2023 at 4:13 pm

I was talking to a coworker the other day, she said I am one of two dozen people that she knows that were diagnosed with the same things after visiting California (or a living there). She herself was diagnosed with the same things 5 wks ago and still has the cough.

That’s too bad that both times you traveled, you got sick.


Bee October 3, 2023 at 3:03 am

Feel better!!!!


Dori October 2, 2023 at 5:43 pm

That little kitten is so darling!! And clearly loving her new, free ball track toy. What a great score!


Kara October 2, 2023 at 6:27 pm

1. I’ve just come in from the garden. I ate the handful of strawberries that I picked. And added the tomatoes I picked to the dozen that were already on the kitchen table. Green beans are being picked almost daily. We eat some fresh, and I freeze some.
2. I picked up at the library my garden book club’s latest pick.
3. I got a new vegetable peeler at the dollar store. My last one from there lasted 4 years, so I didn’t feel the need to look elsewhere.
4. I listed items on ebay and FB marketplace.
5. Checked with power company and we used 2000Kw hours last year. We would need to have used 4000 to break even cost-wise on solar panels. Good to know.


BettafrmdaVille October 2, 2023 at 7:58 pm

1. We are still eating some veg from our tiny urban garden, including Swiss chard, beets, summer squash, and zucchini.
2. I had a glut of eggs from mystery shops, so DP kindly made me a tortilla espanola to eat for dinner at the work apartment this week. The potatoes came from some that had sprouted and we planted in the garden.
3. I bought the BJ membership (for $10 annual from credit card offer) since I have to fill up gas 1.5 times per week & I realize that there is on along my VERY long weekly commute. I paid for the $10 within 2 weeks.
4. BJ also seems to have a $10 off $50 coupon every week. I found some things on sale that I needed (like Worchester sauce) and arrived at $53 before the $10 off. I kept having to tell DP to put things back since I had figured out what to buy to get us as close to just over $50 as possible. (Yes, I know he is an adult, but these items we would not use this week and he can add them to another week to get the additional $10 off.)
5. Similar to Katy, I brought dinner and made it at a friend’s house: I used ground pork and brioche buns (that I got free from mystery shop) to make pork banh mi burgers. Sides were 1 sweet potato (made into fries) and roasted broccoli (on sale). She provided dessert and third friend brought beverages. We decided to do this once a month.
Frugal Fail (or is it?): $2500 car repair bill. But cheaper than buying a Lear Jet…


Ecoteri October 2, 2023 at 10:01 pm

Thanks to Katie’s reminder, I have made a couple of rapidly devoured apple crisps (although I currently have some Brown Sugar so didn’t pull out the molasses… yet).
1. Made ANOTHER crisp with very sad appearing (yet delicious inside) bartlett pears and italian prune plums that I had purchased at a great price, in a fit of enthusiasm for delicious fruit. They weren’t getting eaten (and the pears were pretty ugly on the outside) so I peeled and chopped them, and added the 5 sad apples that had been sitting on the kitchen table under a towel because they had ‘bad spots’. Two lovely batches of crumble made, go me!
2. the garden continues to bury me in tomatoes and peppers. I have managed to stay ahead of the tomatoes this year by halving and roasting them (cherries go in whole) in a big turkey roasting pan. I get it going in the oven and sit at the sink and de-stem cherries and pare the bad spots out of the bigger tomatoes, dumping them into the roaster when I have a bowl full, and giving it a stir. I roast at a lower temp which means I avoid burning them, and the long slow roast removes a lot of excess water. Once the pan is full and has roasted for an hour or more, I let it cool and run it through my food mill. Then boiling water bath can either as-is (with lemon juice) or jazzed up a bit (sometimes meaning I need to pressure can).
3. Same plan with apples – I core and quarter them, cook to mush, run through the mill and Boiling Water Bath can what #2 son doesn’t devour.
4. working through my pantry and freezers to make meals – lots in there so I keep reminding myself when I see a sale that I am not allowed to buy more chicken until I have used what I have.
5. Continuing to move things to my new Credit Union so I can close my Bank account and Credit card. I figure another month of trailing expenses, and the Credit card has some cash-back that I am claiming. I might use THAT money to buy gift cards rather than keep the credit card hanging around, I don’t need quite as many cards as I have, so once I get the $253 deposited to the card from my cash-back (and have used it to buy gift cards) I am going to close that account.


Marilyn October 2, 2023 at 11:06 pm

1. Seeing Katy’s kitty with his new toy reminded me of the cat we had years ago whose favorite toy was a paper grocery bag. There was no reason to spend a lot of money on fancy cat toys for that cat!
2. Doing some serious de-cluttering of cabinets and drawers now that I’m retired. I’m sending things to my adult children, donating things to Goodwill, shredding things (like tax returns from 2003) and setting a few things aside to try and sell. I’m very happy with a more organized life.
3. Found three pennies in the parking lot at the library.
4. Watching the Senora Volpe mysteries on free library streaming service.
5. Now that the rainy season has arrived in SW Washington state, we don’t have to water the plants and shrubs around our yard so we should see a savings on our water bill.


Mary October 4, 2023 at 4:28 pm

Well my frugal wins came upon me withoit me even trying…
1) Décider to cancel my one and only débit card/crédit card after making an online payment to the mobile Phone company…it was just that much suspicious that I got nervous and cancelled the card. It was Sunday and I had just come back home from my sad and long trip to the US for my brother’s funeral and had no French cash. So have been eating g my way through my cupboards and freezer. It is now Thursday…taking this as a challenge before new card arrives, Yes, i could go and cash a check but here I am in my challenge.
2) While I was away, my car battery died so no gas or tolls to pay just now…

Two is enough.


Katy October 5, 2023 at 2:08 pm

I’m so sorry to hear about your brother, may his memory be a blessing.


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