Five Frugal Things

by Katy on October 9, 2023 · 77 comments

  1. I laundered my living room curtains and washed the windows to brighten everything up a bit. These curtains aren’t really my favorite, but they’re neutrally acceptable and I already own them. I picked them up in 1999 from a friend’s garage sale for $1.50 per panel, which was my budget for anything not absolutely necessary at the time.

    Interior designers (and content creators) switch up their style every few years, as their careers would stall without the excitement of fun! new! decorating ideas. But I’m no decorator. I’ll replace the curtains at some point, likely when I find replacements through my Buy Nothing group or a free box. Until then they’re fresh and clean and absolutely inoffensive.

    I find that cleaning and organizing can scratch that itch when I’m tempted to replace my dull but otherwise perfectly fine belongings.

  2. I rewatched the PBS Frontier House documentary from 2001 on YouTube. This historical documentary reality series followed three family who spent five months attempting to recreate the lives of those who came to Montana to homestead in 1880.

    Utterly fascinating and informative, this show does not sugar coat the struggles these families faced. They made sure to educate on how this westward expansion displaced the Native Populations, as well as the plight of the Asian railroad workers. There’s a bit too much interpersonal drama, but I still really enjoyed watching it.

  3. My step mother is methodically decluttering the house my father’s been living in since 1969. She asked for me to come look through a couple of boxes to make sure there wasn’t anything I was unduly attached to. I grabbed a Camp Namanu mug that I bought in 1976, two Dundee Orange Marmalade crocks and four half-gallon canning jars for kitchen storage.

    The marmalade crocks now hold pens, the canning jars have been filled with bulk grains/beans and the Camp Namanu mug has been added to the excess of mugs I already own.

  4. • I made sure to swing by Safeway while their digital coupon for $5.97 Tillamook cheese was still valid. I bought two, which was the limit and chose the white cheddar as it normally costs $13.99! I may not officially be doing a grocery challenge like last month, but I’ll always grab that cheap Tillamook cheese!
    • I gave away a pair of Greek souvenir plates that no one in the family claimed to own. Thanks, Buy Nothing group!
    • I used a two month old sweet potato for a stacked sweet potato recipe I found online. They turned out a bit burnt, but it was nothing that a squirt of ketchup couldn’t fix. I won’t link the recipe as it wasn’t worth using up so much butter.
    • I planted the rooted cuttings that I brought back from my sister’s house in August. She rooted her plants from our aunt at least twenty years ago.
    • I set an awkwardly sized storage jar I no longer needed on the curb with a “free” sign.

  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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{ 77 comments… read them below or add one }

Amy October 9, 2023 at 5:17 am

The Dundee crock made me laugh. My grandma had one on her phone stand with pens and pencils in it. My younger sister “inherited” it after Gram died and one of my nieces or nephew knocked it off the desk it was sitting on and broke it. She has been lamenting it for 5 years. Either way it’s a good addition.


Katy October 9, 2023 at 6:34 pm

They’re classic!


Hawaii Planner October 9, 2023 at 5:31 am

1) Went through & inventoried all of our gift cards, travel credits, vouchers, etc. We had a lot, and now they are all tracked & in one place. This was in preparation for setting a travel budget for 2024, as well as booking holiday flights. (San Jose to Portland is over $700/pp, regardless of which airline, or even trying to fly out of SFO). The price of flights right now is absolutely outrageous. I used a combination of: a flight credit from my husband’s account, a companion fare from our credit card, and a gift card. We’re on 3 different itineraries, but it was the best I could do, and still not great.
2) Made an early lunch for DS16 ahead of leaving for a far away soccer game, and packed my own lunch. His team has moved up a division, and it means more driving, as you have to play other teams at your level. Similarly, I prepped dinner before we left (marinated the chicken, diced the veggies, made the yogurt sauce) for chicken shawarma. My husband got home before us, so he baked the chicken & dinner was ready right when we got home. Avoided any meals out, despite the long day.
3) We have a large Amex gift card that we received as a gift. I find it irritating to use, as not all online retailers accept it. I keep forgetting about it. Instead, I have been trying to use it at grocery stores (minus Costco, who doesn’t accept it), and leaving it in my purse. Lowering our out of pocket grocery spend is always a win, and I’m using it up.
4) Made a 5x batch of taco meat, out of discounted ground beef I found at the store this week. Kept one lb out for dinners this week, and the rest went into the freezer. Also made applesauce muffins (I made applesauce out of a neighbor’s apples recently, and this got the applesauce out of the freezer) & banana bread (out of overly ripe bananas in the freezer.)
5) Both of my teens went to homecoming on Friday, and wore clothes from my husband’s closet. They are all roughly the same side. No out of pocket purchases, minus a belt, which will hopefully last DS16 awhile.


Katy R. October 9, 2023 at 9:20 am

Check on SW Airlines out of Oakland. I can often get a RT flight for under $200.


Ruby October 9, 2023 at 5:34 am

1. Used a store coupon to stock up on saltines while grocery shopping.
2. Did more decluttering and took a pile of stuff to Goodwill. Did not go inside.
3. Altered some pajamas and a jacket to fit better.
4. Took the leftovers in the fridge and plated them up to make three individual meals to pop into the freezer.
5. Used a 10% off $10 coupon at Dollar Tree to buy olives, coffee, baking cocoa, chocolate, popcorn, and shampoo.


Sherry October 9, 2023 at 3:54 pm

Can I ask where you got the 10% of $10.oo coupon for Dollar Tree?


Ruby October 9, 2023 at 6:28 pm

It was stuffed in my bag at the store on Saturday. Good only on Sunday. I live in Tennessee.


Katy October 9, 2023 at 6:31 pm

I call your #4 “Doing a favor for your future self.”


Ashley Bananas October 9, 2023 at 5:55 am

Your limited spending last month encouraged me to work on my spending this month. I am paying close attention to our groceries and eating out budget.

1. We only ate out twice this week. The second time was free through PaPa John’s reward points and also a coupon from a survey sent to me in an email.
2. I had a small get together with friends at my house Saturday to celebrate my best friend’s birthday. I spent $13 on decorations for the cake, everything else, chips, pretzels, nuts, the cake, was homemade or already on hand. It was nice to get together and not spend a ton of money.
3. After most of the party left my son put Canadian Bacon on, kind of a joke as our friend is Canadian. We watched the movie on Hoopla which is free through our library.
3. I made my list for the grocery store, and crossed half of the items off. Sometimes I buy too many groceries. Buying what you don’t need on sale is still buying something. I nixed some of that and reduced our list and spending.
4. Yesterday my son was clearly hungry but infamously didn’t know what he wanted to eat. I pulled two burritos out of the freezer and warmed them up for him. He ate both of them ease. Score a little more food out of the freezer.
5. I didn’t buy a lear jet, which is fortuitous as I can’t afford one.


Katy October 9, 2023 at 6:28 pm

I love the too-hungry-to-know-what-to-eat-dilemma! I get that sometimes as well.


mary in maryland October 9, 2023 at 6:04 am

1. We went to a wedding at meeting Saturday. We’ve known the bride for decades but are not super close. I made a couple of potholders quilted with their names and the date. They cleverly had a small garden reception with snacks (on very small plates—a hint as to appropriate portions that I am going to steal) and a larger sit down dinner with dancing in the evening by invitation. So much fun to see her grown children who I taught in Sunday school.
2. I went to a quilt show that had a rummage sale section. I got five cones of great thread in a brand I love and colors I need for $3. I also bought a pair of quilting gloves with rubberized fingertips for a dollar. They work well—my hands and shoulders are much less tired. Alas, the grippy tips are disintegrating. So I ordered a pair online. Worth a dollar to find out how well they work.
3. I’m helping a friend make a baby quilt for her granddaughter. Her machine needs a new needle. Very old frugality—grateful to past Mary–I bought a packet of 80 machine needles for $20 in 1987. I’m giving her the last one today. Don’t worry; I have others, many others.
4. I made Thai fried rice late last week. I overdid the Thai chili paste (homemade). However, we had it again last night as stuffing for Acorn squash and it was delicious when diluted that much.
5. I had a stash of Euros from a trip we took in 2016. I offered them at market rate on our Senior Village list serve and now have the more spendable dollars in hand.
6. I have been having trouble with the light on my sewing machine blinking on and off. I suspected something was loose. Found a website yesterday with repair guys online. For $5, Roy talked me through the very minor fix. What a fabulous service!


Heidi Louise October 9, 2023 at 6:50 am

Online repair guys– That sounds like a great service, and a good deal for the workers as well.

Re: Appetizers: If you are at a schwanky (did I spell that right?) place with appetizers, note that quite often the cheaper items, such as vegetable sticks, are closer to the start of the line. If the guests fill their plates up with the less expensive things, they might not have room for the more exotic items.
Hors d’oeuvres are my favorite food group.


mary in maryland October 9, 2023 at 7:05 am

I didn’t feel one bit bad not to be invited to the sit down dinner. The finger food is my favorite part as well. When we married we had an all hors d’oeuvres reception.


Katy October 9, 2023 at 6:23 pm

That’s an interesting observation about the veggies being first in line.


Katy October 9, 2023 at 6:27 pm

I love your wedding gift!


Mary Ann October 9, 2023 at 6:42 am

1. Hubby stopped by the field we rent out to melon farmers to get free fruit. I cut up several and put them in a large container so they will be an easy “go to” snack.

2. Today I am going to seriously menu plan from my pantry and freezer. I am already out of money for the month ( due to taking advantage of a great travel opportunity in the spring.) First on the agenda is to batch cook soup for lunches. Also I am going to incorporate a smoothie a day to use up almond power, frozen fruit that needs rotation, flax seed, etc. . . It will also help with my health goals.

3. My sister asked me to bring pies to the Thanksgiving day. I wont be able to join them since I will be celebrating with Hubby’s family. I declined bringing the pies but will drive my mom 5 hours down to them so she can join them. I felt driving expenses were enough of a contribution. Sometimes it is hard for me to set boundaries on what I will spend.

4. We are traveling to a friend’s wedding. The friend graciously invited us to the rehearsal dinner. We decided to decline the dinner as it would mean I would have to take an additional day off work which would cost of $200. Instead, we will stay an extra night at hotel I get free nights. Hubby and his friend can have a private breakfast after the festivities.

5. I rearranged the yard a bit instead of buying new plants. It looks good and I didn’t spend a dime.


Ashley Bananas October 9, 2023 at 10:21 am

It’s comforting to now that saying no to things politely, or deciding what to skip to save your budget and sanity, can also be hard for other people in setting boundaries for yourself and others. It’s a good exercise however in saying no and declining.


Katy October 9, 2023 at 6:23 pm

Sounds like it’s going to be an interesting month for meals!


Heidi Louise October 9, 2023 at 7:11 am

1. Can’t be quite a non-consumer, but close: We were waiting for afternoon check-in at our hotel (most are 3:00 but this one was 4:00) and spent three hours pounding the pavements at Mall of America without buying anything except two expensive cookies and a lemonade. I hadn’t been there for some twenty years. Interesting to see how anchor stores and larger stores have moved out, if I recall the Mall correctly. Was not tempted to buy any things.
2. Two of the three h/motels we stayed at on our trip had large refillable toiletry bottles instead of the little ones. No, Marriott, I am not going to impulse buy your good-smelling brand big bottle for $45. Nice try. I shall miss the little bottles of motel shampoo, and still applaud the environmental savings.
3. Took snacks and water and used some motel points earned from reward program credit cards.
4. Our gas mileage was the best we have ever had, any car, any where. Is it just me, or does driving the speed limit of 70 (ahem– 70 plus) get better gas mileage than going 55-65, which is the recommended speed for best gas mileage? I have always found going faster got better mileage, and we aren’t driving for as long. Cruise control undoubtedly helps.
5. My zinnias are blooming more than ever! This was the first year I have had any luck with growing them from seed. I found two huge blue ceramic pots for $10 each a few years ago at a yard sale and just about any plants look good in them.


MB in MN October 9, 2023 at 7:35 am

Heidi Louise, did you make it to the Charles Schulz exhibit at the History Center? I plan to go soon. It’s only 15 minutes from me.


Heidi Louise October 9, 2023 at 8:23 am

Yes. The History Center was very important to my Dad, so we “visited” his contributions to the Greatest Generation exhibit that has been up for several years, and went through the Charles Schulz exhibit, (as well as the others).

The Schulz exhibit was very well curated, a good combination of things to read, things to look at, and things to touch. It wouldn’t be hard to find all the information elsewhere, but I enjoyed seeing it all in one place.

Also, we picked up the free “Making Minnesota” book, an activity book for ages 7+. Educational, charming illustrations, puzzles, can be ordered free online.


A. Marie October 9, 2023 at 7:24 am

Thanks to everybody for all the tips on shoe shopping. I’ve gotten to the age and stage where I need an extra-large toe box to accommodate bunions. Quel treat.


A. Marie October 9, 2023 at 7:25 am

Whoops, that was supposed to be a comment over at The Frugal Girl! (See comment just above about my age…)


Katy October 9, 2023 at 6:21 pm

No problem with that, Kristen and I are secretly the same person.


Plaidkaren October 10, 2023 at 2:54 am

A. Marie that’s so funny because I had to stop and think which blog I was reading!! Every morning I read NCA and Frugal Girl and often get them mixed up!! Love them both!!


Gina October 10, 2023 at 8:26 am

I am a reader of both blogs as well and love them a lot!


Katy October 10, 2023 at 10:56 am

Love this! Kristen and I text all the time, I’ll have to let her know this is going on in my comments!


Jill A October 9, 2023 at 7:33 am

Thank you for the youtube video recommendation. It sounds like something that would be interesting to me.
1. My sister was in town for a week. I made dinner one night to feed the whole family. I used up a pound of ground beef and some cilantro lime chicken that was in my freezer. I made enchiladas with homemade sauce and tacos with homemade seasoning. It was a delicious meal with a lot of leftovers which fed 7 of us for very little.
2. My cousin flew into to the airport that’s an hour away. There was no shuttle and she wasn’t renting a car. I was able to save her an expensive 40 minute uber ride to her destination and picked her up. We were able to spend some time together and visit with other family members who haven’t seen her in many years. This same cousin kindly offered for my daughter to live with her for 3 months while doing an internship a couple years ago.
3. My sisters, Mom and I all took a small trip up north. I drove my hybrid car which saved a lot on gas. I booked hotels with a member discount and chose ones that provided breakfast for additional savings. We brought along snacks for between meals and ordered appetizers to share for dinners each night since we had a large lunch.
4. My daughters and future son-in-law coordinated to take care of the dog so no dog sitter was needed.
5. Instead of booking a wine tour we drove to a few favorite wineries. We shared tasting flights of wine so no one drank too much and it was very affordable. One winery even gave away free apples.


Katy October 9, 2023 at 6:21 pm

I love me a hotel breakfast!


Julia October 18, 2023 at 8:29 pm

Me too! The hotel breakfast buffets rule!


Ava October 9, 2023 at 7:43 am

1. I worked through the last of the neighbor-gifted apples. There were the roughest yet. So many bad spots. but at the end I had a big bowl of delicious applesauce.
2. I spent $3 at a yard sale for craft supplies and a crank pencil sharpener. I have the pencil sharpener listed for sale for $18.
3. I made a stir fry with a greatly reduced bag of stir fry mix from the grocery and shrimp from the freezer. I had frozen the extra rice left from the last Chinese carryout . I thawed that to complete the meal. There was still rice left but the dogs got rid of that and all leftovers were eaten.
4. I made a great sale on Etsy. I sold an industrial dough cutter for $75. Paid $5.
5. I am listening to audio books from the library while working on crafts for 2 craft fairs. I have really cut back on buying supplies, trying to be innovative in using what I have.


Katy October 9, 2023 at 6:20 pm

Wow, you’ve been really productive!


A. Marie October 9, 2023 at 8:21 am

Now, my real FFT, A Legend in My Own Time Edition:

(1) A friend of the Bestest Neighbors has co-written a “cabaret” of comic songs about various aspects of life in our dear old Rust Belt city. (It’s the Allan Sherman/Weird Al Jankovic/etc. approach to such topics as deer, snow removal, etc.) I attended the cabaret’s premiere with the BNs on Friday night, and we were greatly amused by a song about a lady who buys clothes, votive candles, and our formerly famous brand of local china at Thrifty Shopper stores. Since I can’t imagine who else our co-author could possibly have meant, I’m returning the compliment with a small platter of this china, bought this morning for 99 cents. (The only small failure in verisimilitude was that I bought it at a Salvation Army instead of a Thrifty Shopper.) I will present it to her the next time I see her.

(2) Another thrifting-related item: The friend with whom I’m watching out for the next-door neighbor with cognitive problems has, at my request, knitted me an XL men’s cap (I have a huge head) with some extra-chunky Lion Brand yarn I found at the SA a couple of weeks ago. This friend must knit two or three caps a day, so it was no real trouble for her to work mine into the queue–and I’m delighted to have a winter cap that fits.

(3) And Ms. Bestest Neighbor is shortening the sleeves on a thrifted Eddie Bauer men’s XL Polartec jacket that otherwise fits me, in return for the box of thread I got her at the Cat Coalition garage sale.

(4) Finally, two good meals: I made a pork stir-fry over the weekend with Wegmans RFQS boneless pork, Wegmans snow peas, and my own onions, garlic, and Tuscan kale…

(5) …and, now that the weather’s turning nippy, I’ll be making a beef stew tonight with beef from the 1/4 steer, beef stock from the freezer, and assorted vegetables (including a potato that was about to go off; I found this down in the furnace room, where I’ve been storing sweet potatoes and baking potatoes, when I was changing the furnace filter this morning).


Katy October 9, 2023 at 6:19 pm

Yum, I love beef stew, thanks for the reminder to make some!

And I got a giggle picturing your XL head and short arms! Love you!


Sandra October 9, 2023 at 10:02 am

So many good things in today’s column. I love all the sharing. Thinking of coffee mugs, I remembered that I got a new one recently at the Senior Fair. It’s not exactly that I need another mug, but it fits in with my Fall assortment. I usually keep about 6 to 8 seasonal mugs in my kitchen cupboard at a time. I group them by the season and extras are stored in a basket in the pantry. It’s a small thing, but I rotate them so that I can keep sentimental ones.

Speaking of large storage containers, I have a friend who saves her clear vinyl jars to give to my daughter who uses them to keep her pantry and laundry organized.

When I do grocery shopping I always start at the “scratch and dent” store first. I also check the weekly grocery ads for any loss leaders, but only buy what I need on my list. I use small amounts of protein and center my meals around salads, grains, and vegetables. I enjoy cooking and usually prepare enough for several meals at one time. I also like to make two casseroles at once so that I can freeze the other.

The days are getting shorter and cooler, too. My patio planters are beginning to slow down and look a little tired. I trimmed everything up and rearranged my pots, plus added a little fall decor and now it looks good enough to go another few weeks before I have to bring things into the garage to winter over. Of course, not everything can be saved, but the grasses, geraniums, and succulent pots usually hold over.


Katy October 9, 2023 at 6:18 pm

Do you get much light in your garage?


Cheryl October 9, 2023 at 10:03 am

Our local store (Tops) here in western NY now carries Tillamook cheese and ice cream. Delicious! I am now a Tillamook fan!


Katy October 9, 2023 at 6:17 pm

Their cookies and cream ice cream is the best!


rebecca October 9, 2023 at 10:04 am

1. Dropped a box off at the charity shop. Stuff out.
2. I am not turning my heat on until 11/15/23. I don’t care if there are icicles hanging from my rustic chandelier. 🙂
3. Katy has inspired me to be really mindful of my grocery bill. I am also eating a bit more from my freezer before I buy something I think I need.
4. I continue to watch frugal youtubers. The realistic ones not extreme. I have decided to keep a coin jar and whenever I use cash put it in. Not expecting much by 2024 but maybe it will buy a tank of gas. Good idea from one of the youtubers.
5. The usual-coffee and water from home, cold h2o laundry, short showers, ect


Edie October 9, 2023 at 11:09 am

Same with the furnace and eating out the freezer as much as possible!
1) Katy and I live in Portland,OR so it’s really not cold yet- nothing that a sweater or sweatshirt can’t handle and a nice comforter at night.

2) I have so much food in the freezer! So I am trying that down before doing a major grocery shop!


Katy October 9, 2023 at 6:17 pm

Which YouTubers are you watching? So many of them recycle the same old content.


MB in MN October 9, 2023 at 10:13 am

1. We found a house! Finally, after two years of searching and almost a year of transitional living. It’s in a nice area where it will hold its value, especially after some frugal exterior renovations that should reap future rewards, either by helping to fund the care we may need in our final years or by leaving more money to our heirs. There’s nothing on the interior that we’ll need to change. We are giddy and in love!

2. Picked up a brand-new baby gate from a free pile which we’ll use to keep our dog out of certain spaces in our new home.

3. Bought a compact bread maker at Target using a 15% off online offer and around $5 in Target Circle earnings. This appliance will more than pay for itself.

4. Went to a Belgian waffle breakfast put on by the Lions Club. Delicious, fun and frugal.

5. My Buy Nothing group continues to be the gift that keeps on giving. Although one of my treasures turned out to be a too-big sun hat that had such a floppy brim, I looked like a basset hound.


A. Marie October 9, 2023 at 10:34 am

Congratulations on the house! I know from your continuing posts what a struggle this has been, and I’m delighted that it’s now happily resolved. Mazel tov!

And congratulations also on the bread maker. Mine is now 15+ years old and still going strong.


MB in MN October 9, 2023 at 10:58 am

Thank you, A. Marie! I wish we all lived closer so that I could have you over!

I looked far and wide for a used bread maker before purchasing new, but they were all just too large for our apartment and we had no other place to put it but the kitchen counter.


mary in maryland October 10, 2023 at 1:45 pm

Our bread machine was a wedding present to a friend. She married in 2001 and hadn’t used it by 2008 when we married. I told her it would be a perfect gift–and it is.


Sandra October 9, 2023 at 12:21 pm

I use my breadmaker every week. It is a big money saver and the bread is so good. I actually happen to be breaking bread today. I use the Dough setting and when it is finished with it’s rising I place it in an oiled loaf pan and bake. My loaves turn out great and I can vary them depending on the type of flours I use. Happy bread baking to you and congratulations on your new house.


MB in MN October 9, 2023 at 1:28 pm

Sandra, thank you! Love your tip about using the Dough setting and then transferring to the oven. That will be my next experiment.


Katy October 9, 2023 at 6:13 pm

Congratulations on your new house!!!!!!!


Jennifer October 9, 2023 at 12:31 pm

I love the cheese deal! We can only get Tillamook at Costco here and it is almost $10 for a 2-lb block.

1. Ds turned 21 Saturday. Originally I had offered to take him out with 2 siblings and significant others. When I realized this would cost around $200 I changed it to cooking whatever meal he wanted. He picked something I hadn’t made in a long time and that I had the ingredients for already.

2. I pulled my basil plants and did the painstaking task of removing all the leaves and putting in the dehydrator. I needed basil anyway so I’m glad my dh reminded me of drying them. I was thinking of making another batch of pesto, but I don’t need that.

3. Opened a can of pumpkin puree and made pumpkin spice scones and baked cranberry/pumpkin oatmeal. I still have half the can to make muffins later this week.

4. Cashed in my ibotta acct for a starbucks gift card.

5. Made sure to go to the grocery store on National Pierogie Day and got 5 boxes of pierogies for $0.99 each. Plus got a free pumpkin for going that day too.


Katy October 9, 2023 at 6:11 pm

Yum, I love pierogies!


Edie October 9, 2023 at 12:53 pm

Deeply Unfrugal:
1) Went to Vivianne’s Pantry and bought a book- and had a glass of wine while looking at books. I liked it so much that I decided to buy the bottle, since i thought that would be more frugal. BUT! I was charged for the glass of wine AND the bottle- which wound up being a bit of an ouch. Lesson learned!

2) Bought a cookbook from same shop. Beautiful essays, photos and intriguing recipes. But this was a want, not a need, as I now see some of the recipes are repeats from the author’s previous books.

1) I am on a use it up kick with my fridge/freezer pantry! I have lots of bits and bobs to use up PLUS herbs from my garden to preserve. I just made a batch of pesto and basil oil, plus chicken bone broth from rotisserie carcases I kept in the freezer.
2) Part of this is making my own cured salmon (gravlox) which turned out amazing. I had frozen salmon in the freezer, so I thawed it out, made a dry brine, wrapped it in garden herbs and let it cure for 1 1/2 days. Rinsed off excess cure and let it set up in the fridge for another day. The result was really good, lean Chinook salmon lox, served with cream cheese, nasturium seed pods (for capers) and garden cucumbers, nasturtium leaves and sliced shallots. No more $15 bagel lox brunches for me!
3) After nearly 15 years, gave up Netflix. I watch movies but I find myself going more and more to Redbox and library for recent movies. It would be MONTHS before remembering that I had a Netflix subscription. And since they are giving up the dvd portion of business, there is no need to hang on to it!
4) I am on a no buy for cosmetics and perfumed products! I have enough for the Queen of Sheba or Cleopatra herself!
5) No lear jet for me!


Katy October 9, 2023 at 6:11 pm

It’s never occurred to me to make my own cured salmon. Thanks for the idea!


XenaLouise63 October 18, 2023 at 6:58 am

The book Make the Bread, Buy the Butter gives directions for smoked salmon and lots of other thing that are worth making.


Katy October 18, 2023 at 2:55 pm

I forgot about that book, maybe I should check it out from the library again!


K D October 9, 2023 at 12:58 pm

1. A friend invited me to bring a lunch to her house as she was planning to eat leftovers and I am tough to feed given that I avoid gluten. We went to a local nursery that also sells a lot of local produce. I discovered they have boxes of “imperfect” produce. I bought a box of apples for $12 and counted 56 apples, most of them quite large, when I emptied the box. I made a batch of applesauce in the slow cooker yesterday and have enjoyed many fresh apples as well. I also discovered that you can buy a box of apples, of any variety they carry, for about half the price of buying them by the pound. I informed my friend and a neighbor that like to buy produce there and they were happy to learn of the opportunity.

2. Safeway has a current promotion where you earn a $10 coupon towards a future purchase when you spend $50 or more on certain gift cards. Both DH and I bought $50 worth of gift cards that we’ll use and then used the coupons for sale produce.

3. I gave a neighbor a very large reusable tote bag to use as a gift bag. It is made from recycled plastic from the ocean but I have more bags than I can use, including some that are more than 30 years old.

4. I tried a new yoga class last week since most of my regular classes were cancelled. I really liked the class and the teacher, and the class time is reasonable. It looks like I will keep my monthly membership, which is the cheapest way to attend classes.

5. I didn’t buy a new house or a new fall wardrobe.




Katy October 9, 2023 at 6:09 pm

That’s an amazing price for apples!


Christine October 9, 2023 at 1:10 pm

My great grandmother and then my grandmother always kept a Dundee Marmalade crock on the stove with teaspoons in it to use to stir their coffee. I ended up with the crock but decided I didn’t like it left on the stove as it became too greasy from food splatters. So now it sits in a display case with my three kids’ assortment of baby spoons.
1. The spice of the month at the town library is Allspice which I happen to use a lot. So, I got my free little packet of it along with some delicious looking recipes.
2. We still haven’t turned the heat on, although nighttime temps here in the Northeast have dipped down into the forties. A blanket and a thick comforter save the day (night). Temps warm up into the low sixties during the day, so no heat required yet.
3. DH repaired the ceiling where water had leaked down from the second floor due to a broken pipe in the wall. We let it dry out for about a month before repairing.
4. DS moved his television out to his yard for the day and we watched Sunday football sitting around a fire eating chili cheese dogs. So nice to be outdoors with family on a beautiful fall day.
5. Talked with a hospital rep about a $7000 bill that they said I owed after recent surgery. Turns out the insurance company simply wanted to know if I had a second insurance. I contacted the insurance company and gave them the info they wanted. No more bills from the hospital and no more worries about paying such a big expense out of pocket.


Katy October 9, 2023 at 5:54 pm

Your library has “spice of the month?!” That’s so cool!


Katy October 9, 2023 at 6:08 pm

I’ve had that happen as well with insurance not paying a bill until I confirmed my single insurance plan.


Selena October 9, 2023 at 7:20 pm

I had an in-network provider get denied (they grossly overbilled). Then said provider sent me a bill for a lower amount. Uh, I don’t think so – you have a contract. Insurance company sent them a factually, to the point letter requesting they quit trying to bill me. Suffice it to say I’ll never use that provider again. Bad enough the billing issue much less the blatantly false information on my visit.


Patti October 9, 2023 at 3:50 pm

1) I went to my 50th High School reunion last week and worked it out to take snacks and drinks for the road, homemade granola bars for breakfast, and ate a lunch/dinner so as not to order out when we met the first night. My husband stayed home but ate leftovers so he cleaned out the refrigerator for us!
2) I am trying to eat cheaply and with what I have at hand. Fixed blueberry pancakes with blueberries and maple syrup from my DIL’s grandfather’s farm (she brought both to us as a gift in August). What a treat!
3) Used veggies we had frozen from our garden to make a Vegetable Calzone. I made homemade bread with my 46 year old KitchenAid Mixer… baked one half of the dough for a loaf of bread and used the other dough for the calzone.
4) Last night I cooked a tray of chicken breasts that I purchased on sale. I made half of them in my stovetop pressure cooker (also over 40 years old) and baked the other half in the oven. We now have cooked chicken to last for many future meals.
5) I visited a fabric store that has a remnant/recycle room where I was able to buy some great fabric at a steal. I bought a yard of black and white striped fabric for $5 which is now made into a Halloween pillow that features a button on and off patch. I intend to make a patch for Thanksgiving, Christmas, etc. – all out of scraps I have on hand. I also was able to buy 6 1/2 yards of a plaid fabric for $15. This will make at least one garment, if not two. I love buying someone else’s donations vs. new fabric.


Katy October 9, 2023 at 6:07 pm

Wow, you’ve had a very impressive week!


Karen B October 9, 2023 at 4:03 pm

I especially like the last line of your #1, Kathy, “I find that cleaning and organizing can scratch that itch when I’m tempted to replace my dull but otherwise perfectly fine belongings.” When I go through stuff, I frequently find something I forgot I had and want again. I refer to it as “shopping in my closet” even if it wasn’t in a closet. The weather is changing quickly here (highs in the 80’s and 90’s became highs in the 50’s and 60’s in about one week. I’m looking forward to unpacking my favorite sweaters and hoodies. It always feels like seeing old friends again.


Katy October 9, 2023 at 6:03 pm

Have fun with your “new” wardrobe!


TEG October 9, 2023 at 6:45 pm

(1) Family member had a guest from out of town. Gave them multiple discount coupons that come when you have yearly memberships to many of the museums and attractions in my city.
One was for a “ family”( for 4) pass to a nature area. The three friends were able to use this complimentary admission.
In looking for these coupons also found a car wash coupon that expires this month and a unused gift certificate.

(2) Shortened 3 shirts for a family member. They were appreciative to the ironing of the shirts after I finished the alterations.

(3) A birthday came up and I had two gift cards that weren’t likely to be used by us but were perfect for the recipient.

(4) Found a bottle of rubbing alcohol in the back of a cupboard dated BB 2018. I use it wipe off the grease marker numbers on my restaurant take out containers. They are all reusable containers and I save them for food gifts.

(5) Purchased a Flashfood produce box based on the high value items shown at the top of the box. Found 8 large avocados perfectly ripe underneath. Gave as many away as I could, a perfectly ripe avocado is like finding a unicorn.


Blue Gate Farmgirl October 9, 2023 at 7:18 pm

Took 2 large laundry baskets of clothes to community ‘closet’
Listed 3 pair of Born shoes that no longer fit after broke 5 bones in foot. Waaaa
Listed 5 leather bound books that I found in my brother’s belongings.
Got the same great deal for Tillamook Cheese @ Safeway
Traded out pillows on the couch with fall pillows. I will only buy these for $1 or less at estate sales or tag sales. I store them in space bags in the back of the guest room closet.
I made 20 grape vine wreaths for the community craft fair happening next month. I also picked up acorn tops, I dry them and sell them at the fair with felted wool balls instead of the nut, they are big sellers for very little cost.
I sold a MCM chair that my parents got for free 58 years ago, it brought $400.
That will be used for interior paint.
Made a batch of low sugar Cinnamon syrup for yummy coffees.
Made chamomile and lavender sachets for Christmas presents.
Bought pre-show tickets for an upcoming quilt show and saved 25% for my group of 10 friends.
I, too, watched the Frontier House all those years ago.
I did find $30 cash when I washed a man’s shirt that I bought at a garage sale. Score!
I did not buy a new tractor. sigh.


Katy October 9, 2023 at 8:32 pm

That must have been an amazing chair! What was the brand?


auntiali October 10, 2023 at 12:13 am

Some frugal things this week:
1. One of the livingroom lamps was flickering and we couldn’t find out why without rewiring it. But dh found another lamp upstairs in the walk in closet so a save there.
2. Dh floor lamp in his basement office broke. I had a pretty big floor lamp for helping you to see better doing projects. Dh bought it for me years ago thinking it was one of those natural sunlight lamps. It’s down in the basement now and I can move it when I will work on jigsaw puzzles.
3. Got a free travel size lotion from Bath and Body Works. Saving all free things for Christmas.
4. Cashed in credit card points for our trip to Disney World. I was able to get a $250 card so I figure that will save on our meals. We will go to Epcot which is still running it food and wine festival. You can buy small plates there and we can use it in our resort restaurant.
5. Did one day of Walgreens Deals last week and just said forgetaboutit for the rest of the week. I’m getting tired of couponing there as they always, always have the same stuff on sale. I’ve been donating health and beauty aids to our local food closet and now I think I’ll just write a check every month or just one for the whole year.
6. Hubby and I have Mint Mobile and we have locked in for $15/month for each phone. So rather than paying $160/month we are paying $30/month and have paid off our year of service in advance for a small discount.


Katy October 10, 2023 at 10:58 am

I started investigating Mint Mobile last night, but my husband informed me that we get a special rate on Verizon due to him being an emergency responder.


Kathy October 10, 2023 at 5:48 am

1. Used reward points from Mathis Brothers to purchase 3 throw pillows=$7.80
Will save for gifts
2. Sold 4 items on Mercari
3. Tracked my activity=$10 rewards at Walmart
4. Faithfully carrying refillable flask. Get free beverages when I work
5. Opened windows to enjoy fresh air


Katy October 10, 2023 at 10:55 am

I love your #5! I run the “summer fan” on our furnace throughout warm weather and it’s good to open windows as well!


Cindy in the South October 10, 2023 at 8:35 am

That cheese is fantastic and sooooo expensive here!


Carol October 11, 2023 at 10:05 am

Thank you so much for the Frontier House link! That is amazing!


Carol October 11, 2023 at 10:06 am

If I can also recommend 1940s House from BBC, it’s great as well!


Katy October 11, 2023 at 10:10 am

I watched 1940s house when it first came out. I lived in London for a few years growing up in the 1970s and my friend still had a bomb shelter in her backyard, which we used to play in. Might be time for a rewatch!


Donna October 12, 2023 at 4:41 am

I too wash the curtains in our house…30 years old….not a thing wrong with them. I loved that PBS series. They had a couple of different locations. I remember one guy was losing weight… show doctor said he was a normal weight for that time period because of labor intensive work and of course no junk food.


Katy October 12, 2023 at 8:18 am

Yes, he was insistent that he needed massive amounts of protein, but the doctor did some education with him. He also gently explained that he’d been overweight to begin with.


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