Five Frugal Things

by Katy on October 16, 2023 · 67 comments

  1. We celebrated my daughter’s 28th birthday at the house featuring a gluten-free box cake with homemade chocolate frosting. My mother and stepfather provided takeout from our favorite barbecue restaurant, which was much appreciated even though the restaurant forgot to include my entree. Luckily I had a Costco rotisserie chicken in the fridge, which hit the spot just fine once I added BBQ sauce to my portion. My stepdad called the restaurant for a refund, so it was actually a frugal event?

  2. I put the last of the rotisserie chicken in the Instant Pot and made two pots of chicken soup, (one with dumplings) plus enough broth to stock the freezer. This meal was perfectly timed as my son is nursing a nasty cold and Portland is finally enjoying some chillier weather. Soup and sweater season has finally arrived!

  3. • My friend Lise brought over a surplus bottle of rice wine vinegar she no longer wanted.
    • I also brought home more apples from the neighbor’s tree. They’d set out a big bag with “FREE” written on it, so I took enough to bake a pie.
    • My husband used a $25 Fetch Fred Meyer gift card to buy his work lunch supplies. It took forever to accumulate enough points to earn this card, but it was minimal effort so I’m happy to jump thorough a few hoops. I’ve been more consistent with tracking deals, which translates into earning points a little faster.
    • I picked up three tubes of toothpaste and two bottles of shampoo from Dollar Tree.

  4. I nabbed another Bonne Maman jar from my neighbor’s recycling bin. I utilize these jars for bulk spices, as well as bits of leftovers as I prefer cohesive storage and think their faceted sides and gingham lids are super cute. Being able to easily source them for free ain’t too shabby!

  5. I didn’t buy a Lear Jet, not even on Amazon Prime Day.

Katy Wolk-Stanley

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

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{ 67 comments… read them below or add one }

MB in MN October 16, 2023 at 5:26 am

1. As a vegetarian, I used to ask the servers at restaurants to omit meat from a dish. Since my dog isn’t vegetarian and I was still paying the same price for the dish anyway, I now ask for them to put the meat on the side and then I transfer it to my own to-go container. My dog is delighted!

2. Received $5 off our next print order at FedEx Office after submitting a $30+ order for my husband’s small business.

3. Had three Buy Nothing pick-ups on the same day, all within a three-block radius.

4. I have so many books that I want to read, so I’m making a concerted effort to find audiobooks at the library that I can play in my car so that I can increase my amount of reading.

5. After donating blood platelets, I snacked on a complimentary, nothing-artificial Cooper Street Granola Bake bar. So delicious… I may have had two.


Katy October 16, 2023 at 11:32 am

Your #1 is so smart!


Julia October 18, 2023 at 5:26 pm

My husband loves the chicken salad subs from the corner deli but the put sliced cheese on it which he doesn’t like so he gets it on the side since he is paying for it any way.


Hawaii Planner October 16, 2023 at 5:32 am

1) Made two loaves of banana bread from over ripe bananas. Side note: stop buying so many bananas.
2) Charged my car for free at work. And, ate free meals Tuesday-Thursday at the office
3) Gave a coworker two international flight upgrades (I have these from travel status). She thanked me with a $200 gift card. This is the second time I’ve done this this year, as my upgrades are likely to expire. Also added my DH’s friend to an upgrade list for one of his flights. I hate to see the points going to waste, so may as well try to use them.
4) Picked up graduation stuff (banners, balloons, etc) on BN. I have a senior in high school, so this should save money in June.
5) Bought Southwest gift cards at Costco ($429/500, plus a bit back from our Costco credit card) for flights. Turned around & used these for holiday flights.


Katy October 16, 2023 at 11:31 am

You must be a very popular friend!


IsaI October 16, 2023 at 5:49 am

* Been receiving (and giving) a lot from my Buy nothing group

* Consciously reducing the groceries amount ($) this month since we already have so much food at home

* Been using my gym membership consistently since registering. I know I could exercice for free at home but the gym motivates me. I got a membership to the cheapest gym in town (35$/month)

* Gave 20$/kid budget to my kids for Halloween costumes. One spent it and asked for more, to which I said : “No, your budget was 20$. You’ll have to get creative!”

* Been reading books from the public library, as usual


Katy October 16, 2023 at 11:31 am

Creativity is the key to the very best costume!


Selena October 16, 2023 at 6:33 pm

Yes it is. One year my Mom turned my sister into a not-so-big Big Fig Newton.


Ruby October 16, 2023 at 6:26 am

1. Gave my husband and son haircuts. Trimmed my own hair.
2. Used the can of juice-packed peaches obtained free with a store coupon to make a pan of peach- blueberry baked oatmeal for breakfast. Delicious!
3. Mended two pairs of jeans for the menfolks in the family.
4. Added a limp carrot and some small interior stalks celery to a chicken-veggie stew.
5. Baked a loaf of rye bread for our lunches.
Bonus: Decluttering continues and a carload of stuff I had set aside to think about went to Goodwill yesterday.


Katy October 16, 2023 at 11:30 am

Your baked oatmeal sounds delicious!


mary in maryland October 16, 2023 at 6:27 am

1. Folks donating textiles and scraps add in some pretty weird (and weirdly useful) things. Last week I picked out a flexible yet waterproof pad for the bed. It’s an upgrade from the crunchy plastic pad I’ve had on the guest bed. Having a pad eliminates the need to ask guests about whether they leak.
2. I’ve scored twelve Bonne Maman jars via Buy Nothing and friends just by asking. For holiday gifts.
3. I cleaned out my mosquito traps on a warm, sunny day. I bought two for ten bucks each, but I’ve found three more in other folks’ trash. The cleaning took about an hour which saves me $50. I see how I could make them from stuff from other people’s recycling bins.
4. My quilt guild’s meeting location has moved five miles farther from me twice in the last six years. As grateful as I am for scraps and fellowship, driving the Beltway is getting edgy. Last week I went to a meeting of the guild whose show I had visited. Seventeen miles closer, no highway driving, and I met a couple of women who live within walking distance of my house. This aligns with my intention of making my social life more local.
5. Our knees get sore when we sleep on our sides. So I upcycled a small dog quilt I had made with a puffy batting. We stuff it between our knees—such comfort from such a small fix.


Katy October 16, 2023 at 11:29 am

I wish my social life was closer. The hospital where I worked for 24 years is almost ten miles from the house, so my old friends live nowhere near me. I do have close friends in the neighborhood, but there are simply some friendships that didn’t survive the distance as they live much farther out than ten miles.


mary in maryland October 16, 2023 at 12:44 pm

I hear you. We’ve entered the “No driving after dark” stage of life. I belonged to a mini-group in my old guild, but it took 90 minutes to get home during rush hour. I’m really into finding friends within walking distance–which is also not what it was ten years ago.


Mary October 16, 2023 at 6:28 am

Saturday was 2 months on plan for my non- Ultra Processed Food challenge. I am really thrilled to not feel the addictive pull of manufactured sweets that are all over school. My challenge remains portion control of the healthy foods.

Now that the food I am eating is correct and my exercise is back on track, I am taking another big leap in my weight reduction plan. I set a screen timer on my Macbook to limit it to 2 hours a day. I have been averaging 4 hours a day ( blush) playing chess, surfing, researching, whatever. That means 4 hours of sit time; 4 hours to get up and graze. That is in addition to the computer time I put in at work. Sitting is the new smoking I have heard.

The boundaries of the new habit are simple. I can read, watch tv, look up recipes/ projects on my Kindle, but I can not settle in my favorite chair and zone for more than two hours.

Yesterday I put in 1:45 mins. For the rest of the time I did the following:
* laundry
* mending pants that had been on my desk for two months
* two loads of dishes
* yoga
* used left over wild rice, cauliflower, and cheese to make frittatas for the school week.
* experimented with homemade granola using sorghum, rye, and oat groats (Farmer Hubby’s co-op). I added dates, almonds and pumpkin seed. Rather than go to the store, I made homemade almond milk to soak the granola in. ( I got out my unused coffee press rather than a nut bag to strain it.)
* experimented with making almond flour and turned it into blueberry muffins for the week. ( I have 5 pounds of almonds from the co-op as well.)
* read half a book on a kindle.
* wrapped a gift for my friend’s 60th bday in March and wrote a card. I was cleaning up the office and just “got it done.”
* finished the season of Strange New Worlds on Paramount since my trial is up tomorrow.

Zero money spent. I am determined to get back to the library having decided I enjoy holding a book more than a kindle. So, all is well.


MB in MN October 16, 2023 at 6:43 am

Mary, repurposing your coffee press as a strainer is brilliant!


Katy October 16, 2023 at 11:26 am

Did you like “Strange New Worlds?” I absolutely loved it!


Mary October 16, 2023 at 2:37 pm

I loved Strange New worlds – especially the musical episode. I laughed the whole way through.


cathy October 21, 2023 at 1:12 pm

That episode was hysterical!


Ashley Bananas October 16, 2023 at 11:47 am

Being productive has so much to do with how you manage your time and see where you lose time to say….doom scrolling on Facebook. Good for you!


Ava October 16, 2023 at 7:02 am

1. Found 2 pennies.
2. Ordered a $25 Swagbucks gift card.
3. Had 3 Etsy sales.
4. Saw a book by an author I like on the library sales shelf. Paid $1. Read it and enjoyed it. Loaned it to a friend who loved it. Plan to loan it to another friend. After that I will either donate it to the senior center or back to the library or put it in the little free library. That is a lot of reading pleasure for $1.
5. Still have out of town guests. Way too much eating out. All other entertainment has been free. I am resolved to do a lot more eating at home after they depart.


Katy October 16, 2023 at 11:25 am

That’s a lot of enjoyment from a single $1 book!


Blue Gate Farmgirl October 16, 2023 at 7:56 am

Picked up more acorn tops, sold the first batch of 500 on etsy.
Purchased $70.00 for 5 gal of S/W lifetime white paint for the fences on the farm. Savings of $300.
Demolished neighbor’s cedar fence, removed nails/screws while visiting around the fire pit and now have year’s supply of kindling.
Found a $10 bill on the road while walking to a friend’s house. Put it in my garage sale fund.
Took a pile of patterns and hobby magazines to the senior center.
I signed up to teach 2 classes in upcycling denim and found objects.
Bought on clearance 20 lbs of cat food, equivalent to “sweet cereal in human world” I mix the very expensive w/that and a super nutritious blend for the fall/winter to cut down on cat litter use. Yes, I live on a farm, but we have cougar, bobcats, coyotes & eagles that live here too, so the cats come to the house when they don’t feel safe.
I scored free tickets for my alma mater football game last weekend. So much fun!


Katy October 16, 2023 at 10:12 am

I just love your “five frugal things!” so different from mine, yet with a similar goal and mindset!


A. Marie October 16, 2023 at 8:26 am

FFT, Pre-Surgery Activities Edition:

I’ve got cataract surgeries coming up on Oct. 25 and Nov. 8, and may not be able to drive for a while after each one (especially as I may have complications from a pre-existing condition affecting my corneas). So I’ve been out there rocking the thrifting and other activities for a few days.

(1) I went to one of our two local Goodwills on Saturday (both of these are inconveniently far from me, so I don’t get to them that often). I was delighted to find a number of housewares bundled together at really low prices: two Corning Ware dishes in a pretty pattern and exactly the sizes I needed (I’ve broken a couple lately); four votive candle holders; five Ball and Kerr quart canning jars; and four ice cube trays (for freezing small amounts of tomato paste/sauce, etc.)–for a total of $12. Yowza!

(2) On Sunday, I loaded my Honda Element with a few Corning Ware dishes I wasn’t nuts about and/or rarely use, various baskets I’ve been accumulating, and several odds and ends, and sold these for $75 to the young proprietor of the secondhand-housewares shop out in the ‘burbs with whom I’ve been doing some business since June. As noted earlier, she and I have very similar tastes in junque, and she seemed delighted with my finds. I also took some notes on what she’ll be looking for next spring (she plans to keep the shop, which is in an unheated barn, open through Christmas and to reopen it near Easter).

(3) Before the run to the shop, I took a bird walk around the pond at a local park with two friends from the days of DH’s cognitive care programs. One of them, who is a regular “customer” for my refrigerator dill pickles, brought me not only her own two empty quart jars from the pickles, but three other Ball canning jars in various sizes. So I’m doing fine for canning jars. (I use the smaller ones for drinking glasses, and all sizes for various purposes.)

(4) This morning, I went to Ollie’s with a “15% off your whole purchase” coupon and stocked up on various things–mainly peanuts and birdseed for my bird feeders, plus other things I buy in quantity at Ollie’s when I have the extra inducement.

(5) Finally, I’ve begun clearing spent zinnias and other plants out of my garden beds, even though we haven’t yet had a killing frost. Since I’m supposed to be taking it easy after the surgeries (no lifting heavy weights, doing much bending over, etc.), I figured I’d get a head start on this.


Katy October 16, 2023 at 10:10 am

So smart to take care of the chores that are unadvised post surgery in the here and now. It sounds like you have a richness of friends, which is the very best at all times.


MB in MN October 16, 2023 at 2:53 pm

A. Marie, I just had my first cataract surgery and will have the other in a couple weeks. Good luck to you!


Christine October 16, 2023 at 4:21 pm

Best of luck with your upcoming surgery A. Marie!


Christine October 16, 2023 at 8:50 am

1. I cut DH’s hair with the buzzer.
2. I made a chocolate fudge cake with almond frosting for my friend’s birthday. The cake mix was on sale for 1.33 and I made the frosting from scratch. She appreciated it.
3. I gave a bag of tattered and worn-out clothing to St. Vincent DePaul. They have a bin in my town and will take any clothing in any condition to sell the cloth. Perfect recycling IMHO as they use their funds for charity work.
4. I planted a Spider Plant baby in a container I had for a friend.
5. DH and I are taking walks around the neighborhood for exercise now that cooler weather is here. It’s fun to see people’s Halloween decorations, too. Some are pretty creative and entertaining. As for my yard…well, I’m good with a pumpkin and a pot of mums on my porch. Works through November for Thanksgiving decor, too.


Katy October 16, 2023 at 10:06 am

I swear that spider plants are the most frugal plants ever as they provide so many starts!


Kathy October 16, 2023 at 8:58 am

Hubby and son were gone this past weekend.
1. Sold a few more items
2. Took a class at local nursery on potting a plant for the porch
3. Cell phone died to bought a new one. Not frugal but necessary
4. Mailed birthday gift (items from my gift box)
5. Dined on homemade Mac n cheese


Katy October 16, 2023 at 10:05 am

Mmmm . . . I love homemade mac n cheese, I might need to plan one.


Selena October 16, 2023 at 6:45 pm

Mac-n-cheese is an excellent vehicle adding/using up onions, peppers, mushrooms, bacon. Easy to make a large batch and it freezes well.


Jill A October 16, 2023 at 9:01 am

That soup with dumplings looks delicious.
1. I made soup and sandwiches for 5 to bring to my MIL. My daughters and I and my mother all stayed and had lunch and visited.
2. I treated my daughter to take out. We were both exhausted after weeding my aunt’s garden for four hours. I ordered a kids meal with milk. I stopped buying milk since we haven’t been drinking it. It’s the perfect size for use in a recipe.
3. I used a $3 off coupon at Meijer to buy Talenti Sorbet which is a delicious treat and not very high in calories (I’m dieting).
4. After visiting my MIL we stopped at a discount grocery outlet. I stocked up on Droste dark dutch chocolate for 50 cents for a small container of pastilles. It is so good and the perfect amount for when I’m craving a little chocolate. I also picked up some discounted yogurt and cheese.
5. I picked up my Mother’s Christmas gift at Costco since it was on sale. I also bought gas when it dropped below $3 a gallon.


Katy October 16, 2023 at 10:05 am

It’s been a looong time since we’ve seen gas for less than $3/gallon here in Portland!


BettafrmdaVille October 16, 2023 at 9:08 am

Had 4 girlfriends over for the weekend at work apartment. Kept it frugal by:
1. Getting burgers from local [delicious joint]. I had a $50 gc that covered all but $2.55 (plus tip). We brought home burger and fries so that we could drink beer/cider that we had at the house. Free ice cream from mystery shop was the dessert.
2. Made pancakes that I made with free mystery shop milk & eggs from sister’s chickens. Maple syrup was Xmas gift, and bacon and butter was on sale in freezer.
3. We spent ALL day at a 120 acre sculpture park. Admission is free/donation, which I covered, the equivalent for a tank of gas, for the 5 of us + a dog (who also appreciated that we picked an outdoor activity that he could enjoy).
4. For lunch, one girlfriend and I split a sandwich, 2 folks just drank water.
5. We decided that we didn’t really want to go out to eat, so we ate snacks that everyone had brought and I cooked off a mac & cheese that I happened to have in the freezer.
6. For Sunday breakfast, we enjoyed apple sauce cake (we decided that it was really a muffin in a cake form to make it culturally acceptable to have for breakfast) that a mother of one of my girlfriend had sent with her, and more Aldi’s coffee made at home.
All in all, I think each paid $30 + gas for a 2-night getaway. Plus, of course, it included countless laughs.
(Note: we were wall-to-wall blow-up mattresses in my 2-room, 1 bathroom, work apartment. But for us, it was perfectly fine!


Katy October 16, 2023 at 10:03 am

This sounds like so much fun. Well done!


Dori October 16, 2023 at 12:11 pm

I am loving your Bonne Maman jam jar saves – what a great idea to use those for your loose herbs/spices! It’s the pretty little saves like that that make frugal/eco-conscious living so very rewarding at times, I think. I absolutely love my little collection of glass Oui yogurt jars with reusable lids. They are just too perfect for little scrips and scraps of food/snacks of all kinds!


Bee October 16, 2023 at 1:05 pm

Do you use the regular size jars or the miniatures?

1. I returned home Saturday from a birthday trip. (Thank you for birthday wishes last week.) We reduced the cost of this adventure approximately 70% by using points from various rewards programs that we participate in. Since my husband travels for work, he has a Delta Sky Miles Account, Hilton Honors Account and Rental Card Rewards. These programs are very generous and made our trip affordable for us.
2. It’s a long trip from the East Coast to the West Coast and I needed to stay busy. I brought a library book with me, Pineapple Street, which is my book club’s selection this month. I also downloaded some magazines using the library’s Libby App and then utilized free wi-fi on the plane to read them. I love English Home magazine which is expensive to subscribe to, but available through the library’s app.
3. My husband and I brought our reusable water bottles with us, and we used fill stations whenever possible.This frugal thing is an oldie but a goodie especially when traveling and hiking.
4. I sold a book on eBay while I was gone. It was a local buyer, so I met him at the Trader Joe’s today. It saved both of us a little money and I had to head out anyway. I needed $0.19 bananas. 🙂
5. My trip was not without frugal fails. Firstly, breakfast was supposed to be included with our hotel room. Unfortunately, the coffee was undrinkable. It looked like mud, tasted like mud and no amount of milk and sugar made it any better We went to Starbucks every.single.morning. The food was also terrible. In order to stay on budget, we bought yogurt, granola and berries to keep in the hotel mini fridge.
My second frugal fail is rather odd. I purchased a guide book from a rather prominent secondhand source. When it arrived it looked to be in excellent condition. I thumbed through the guide marking points of interest and manageable hikes. When we arrived at the park, my husband said he would like to hike Yosemite Falls. I looked in the index of my guidebook and only to find those pages weren’t there. The book went from page 71 to page 77. I had not noticed this before. Although it has been two or three months since I purchased it, I’ll send a note to the bookseller anyway. I was bummed.

Wishing everyone peace, good health and prosperity.


Amelia October 18, 2023 at 9:12 am

Thanks for reminding me about Libby for magazines! There are a few British ones I love, but can’t justify the expense to have them in the US.


Jennifer October 16, 2023 at 2:37 pm

I have found myself hoarding food lately. Sales have been much better in recent weeks so I am in a stocking up phase. My oldest ds moved home and he eats a ton. Add that to impending surgery in November and I guess I am trying to prepare? I keep thinking I will have an eat from the pantry week or 2, but then decide I don’t want to lol. My inner frugal self is fighting with itself I guess.

1. Had a 4 day weekend and was able to tackle some small projects at home that I had been avoiding – like defrost the freezer, get a goodwill donation together, start a painting job.

2. Combined found items in the freezer to make a pot of ham and blackbean soup for dh’s lunches this week. Also found way too many frozen bananas. I made a batch of muffins and will keep in mind to make more over the holidays when we have company.

3. Paid just $40 for a facial at a semi local Brown Aveda School – done by my daughter who is there to be an esthetician. Best $40 I have spent in a very long time.

4. Got the estimate for my upcoming surgery. $86k and I will pay $0. I love our good healthcare and realize that not everyone is so fortunate. Also, in order to be only paying $0 means I already paid a lot earlier in the year on other health related things.

5. Since I will be recovering over Christmas I am trying to be on top of all shopping, planning and such. I am foregoing our usual stockings – likely for good as the kids are adults now and don’t really care about the stockings. I think I will just fill with candy and a gift card or 2. Also, keeping shopping simple and already started over Prime Days.


Ashley Bananas October 17, 2023 at 9:57 am

I have known some families who skip large gifts, but have fun filling the stocking with little gifts and might slip in some pricier gifts or gift cards with it.


Jennifer October 16, 2023 at 4:11 pm

Also, I know you shop at Costco. Our Costco has the Dave’s Killer Bread for around $8 for 2 loaves. Maybe it would save you money to get your dh’s lunch bread there?


Julia October 18, 2023 at 7:24 pm

I love Dave’s killer bread! I get mine at Costco
I keep one loaf out and freeze the other one.


auntiali October 16, 2023 at 8:41 pm

My rear brake light went out but dh was able to replace it with the one of the package of 3 that he bought in 2013.

It’s been chilly so we’ve been wearing layers in the house.

We are eating in even though dh made a failed pizza this weekend. He was able to scrape enough off the pizza pan but it didn’t appeal to me. To the rescue: egg bites in the fridge.

Took my souvenir hoodie to the tailor in town. She will fix it by making the neck into a more V shape so I’m not chooking on it.

Dh made chicken soup and then I discovered that he bought about 100 containers of 1 pint plastic containers with lids for him to freeze them in. I will make sure to get some re-usable ones after these run out or we could keep putting them in the dishwasher and re-using them.


Q October 17, 2023 at 5:45 am

Entering 2nd year of retirement, am actively learning more about budgeting and planning. I meet once a week with DH, and we work on it together. It has been interesting, sometimes frustrating, and quite rewarding.

1. Following a friend’s suggestion, Iwent into subscriptions list on my phone (go into “settings” and click on your name), to eliminate excess subscriptions: found a Paramount plus app, including Showtime. The genius part of her suggestion: did the same on DH’s phone: we were both paying for Apple TV, and he had many apps that he was willing to cut, to the amazing tune of $1400/year total! (astounding!)

2. Talked to Citicard: they removed interest charge of $158. I now have a better understanding of how the interest charges work, and will have none going forward. (I had found out that we had $900 in interest charges this year.)

3. Frugal fail with redeeming qualities: after cleaning out my jammed and slightly smelly refrigerator, I located a bad cucumber and pepper. Although disappointed in poor planning and overly optimistic purchasing, the win part was that other vegetables had a bit of life left for soups, pickling, roasting. I made up several prepared meals and stored the pickled radishes in a cute jam jar, decanted raisins out of their big cartons into small glass jars, etc. (TY for inspiration here!) Now everything looks great, the waste is halted in its tracks, and easier to cook again.

4. We celebrated my mother’s 90th birthday at my house, with family after originally planning on restaurant. Inexpensive plants from Lidle’s supplemented flowers from the yard. I assigned specific jobs to siblings: providing cake, entrees, hors d’oevres. This time was the first time I delegated this much, (I did no food, and specified that nothing could be prepared in my kitchen during the party, it had to come finished)and we split the cost. It was amazing how much more fun the party was this way (especially for me!). We used real plates, etc. My mother had a wonderful time, and I was able to get a lot of great photographs that my niece will put into an album for her. It could not have gone better. Bonus frugality: it was a bit dreary out, but too warm for fire: I used (for first time) a candle rack from Freecycle. made for the fireplace, with battery candles leftover from years ago DD3’s rehearsal dinner. It looked so good and was so easy that I left it set up for now!

5. The leftover Italian bread (from the party) made great croutons. I baked some vegan pumpkin breads using canned pumpkin bought on clearance last year, and froze one for Thanksgiving, gave three away. A frugal/healthful tweak is that I made two small loaves along with three bigger ones, and DH and I kept a small one, as we did not need to eat a whole one, not needing that much dessert (although we could have demolished it in two days!) I used the recipe from Nora cooks, but omitted the pumpkin seeds on top. Nora points out that using unbleached flour rather than whole wheat keeps the vegan pumpkin bread (which we use as dessert) from being too dense and gummy.

Line drying, soup making, still learning Mint, etc, accepted art supplies from a friend which I will mail to a niece. Have a great week everyone!


Jennifer October 18, 2023 at 3:22 am

We are never too old to learn! Way to go for getting involved and learning all you can. Sometimes I feel overwhelmed when learning new things but I try to tell myself it’s good for the brain. Also great job in cutting so many expenses, little things definitely add up!


Q October 18, 2023 at 1:43 pm

Thank you, Jennifer!


Ecoteri October 18, 2023 at 10:51 pm

Your #4 is so heartwarming and inspiring. I love both your delegating AND your directions to bring food finished, rather than have folk take over your kitchen to make a mess etc. I just might add those ideas to my idea stash!
and well done on your sleuthing in your phones for savings, as well as identifying the credit card charge issue (and getting refunded!). Your baby steps are giving you some big frugal wins!


JC October 17, 2023 at 7:59 am

Have been under the weather and weather has been dreary so most of mine are inside the house frugals.
1.used another 2 of the 5 off 35 coupons. they are now being used for sale/stock up items. Frozen OJ and cream cheese, etc.
2. made a pot of beef veggie soup using marked down thin cut chuck steak from the freezer and some gnarly potatoes that needed used. Used leftover small amount of pizza sauce and it was just the touch it needed. Good crop!!!
3. could not dry clothes outside so hung them around my wood stove.
4. on the one pleasant day that sun was shining I opened windows and gave the house an air exchange
5. trimmed and brought in my ancient Angel wing begonias, I have lost count but they have to be between 9 and 10 years old.

Covid is coming back to my area in a big way, I am so over it.


Ashley Bananas October 17, 2023 at 9:27 am

I also use Fetch and Receipt Hog. I have never checked money out of the Receipt Hog app, it seems like a slower accumulation on that app. Fetch I seem to do well with earning points and getting a gift card every three to four months.

This week in frugalville
1. My Kia with the broken engine sold for far less than I wanted it to. I was able to get a refund on part of the car insurance premium. I am relieved that it’s off my plate, but disappointed in the return on the investment. Nothing to do but move forward from that one.
2. We ate out once last week. I’m good with that as a ball park number to eat out per week. We did take out Chinese food. The food was excellent, the price however keeps creeping up.
3. I was able to purchase several bags of dirt for 1/2 off and use them to fill in a second garden bed. A few more purchases of dirt and it will be full enough to plant in. I’m excited for this to happen as the acquisition has been slow.
4. We’re getting a cold front in Florida. It was 59 degrees this morning. We’re all a little relieved as our air conditioners got a break from running for a bit.
5. I plan on starting to do Door Dash again a few days a week. I will have to go out at peak times only to really maximize my time and the worth of gas costs. Thankfully gas has come down just a little.


Katy October 18, 2023 at 2:59 pm

Hmm . . . I’ll have to check out Receipt Hog.


Ashley Bananas October 17, 2023 at 9:44 am

Frugal thoughts and feedback…my neighborhood community center is having a holiday bazaar with tables for $25. I am considering having a table with baked goods. The last time I made pumpkin bread, the recipe yielded 14 small loaves and I gave many to neighbors. Several asked me if I was having a bake sale and offered to pay me, and some asked for more. I am considering doing this with pumpkin bread, and banana bread. I have one large can of pumpkin filling left, and have been freezing unused bananas. So many of the materials are on hand. If I sold loaves for $5 each, I would only have to sell 5 to recoup my cash investment in having the table.

If you were doing this, what other baked items might you consider that would be seasonal and also easy to make in batches?


Bee October 17, 2023 at 1:12 pm

My DIL makes cookie decorating kits for special events. Cookies, icing and other decorating items. What is included depends on the holiday. For example if you made Christmas cookies, you would include green icing and Christmas tree decorations.


Anne October 18, 2023 at 6:56 am

I second the idea of cookies.


Christine October 18, 2023 at 2:58 pm

I third the idea of cookies. Put them in one dozen batches for selling. I take part in my church’s bake sale at their Harvest Fair every year and cookies are always a good seller. Especially toll house. The other big seller is one you are already doing: breads. People love them. I would make more pumpkin or cranberry bread…anything with a fall theme…instead of more banana bread which seems to be something a lot of people make on their own. Best of luck!


Katy October 18, 2023 at 2:58 pm

It might just be a fun day either way!


Heidi Louise October 18, 2023 at 4:59 pm

Cookies are easier to make if you use a cookie recipe and make them as bars, instead of having to do all the dough dropping.


Julia October 18, 2023 at 7:32 pm

I love your bread theme and second adding a cranberry one. And anything chocolate is yummy. Is there a chocolate bread?


Ashley Bananas October 19, 2023 at 9:57 am

I was thinking of doing a few varieties of banana bread. I have a chocolate chocolate chip banana bread recipe. I also would do one with nuts and chocolate chips, and one with just chocolate chips. Choosing these two flavors because I have a can of pumpkin puree to make the bread with, and I have a lot of frozen bananas to use up. If I do cookies they will most likely be recipes that use Crisco as I have a large container I rarely use, so maybe peanut butter kiss cookies. I also have my amazing chocolate chocolate chip pudding cake recipe. If I did that I think I’d sell it by the slice.

I think it will be a fun day either way, but worry about actually selling all of my items or being stuck with them. Events at the Civic Center are hit or mess where they get amazing attendance all day, or they get 10-15 people. My son told me he wanted to sell juice by the cup…so I guess I’ll just chalk it up as a fun day if nothing else.


Ashley Bananas October 19, 2023 at 9:58 am

*Chocolate chocolate chip pudding cake


Katy October 19, 2023 at 11:58 am

Those all sound delicious!


Nancy from mass October 17, 2023 at 4:01 pm

1. Still sick, so I’ve been making quite a bit of soup. stuff from the freezer and some bobs red mill soup mix from the cupboard. (This is week four for me. I’m tired of this)
2. I’ve been working at home, so I really haven’t driven anywhere.
3. I did buy a 1.5 L electric kettle on Amazon prime day (also my birthday) for $15. It’s come in very handy as I’ve been drinking a lot more tea and hot water with lemon to help my head.
4. I’m making a sweater with leftover wool from other projects. But some of the wool I had was slightly thinner than normal worsted. So, I’ve doubled it up and it’s going to be just fine. No one‘s gonna know the difference.
5. My father-in-law gave me his CD components since he wasn’t using it anymore and now it is hooked up to my system in my living room!

Katy, The L.L. Bean flannel sheets are outrageously expensive, however, they last a long time. My set is going on six years but my sons fitted sheet only lasted three years as well. I hope they replace it for you.


Katy October 18, 2023 at 2:57 pm

I think I’m done buying LL Bean sheets for awhile. Unless they’re thrifted!


kris October 18, 2023 at 11:39 am

I was at Goodwill this past weekend and they had one of the Bonne Maman jars for sale for $2.99. Dude, it’s a recycled jelly jar, $2.99 really? I do have to say, I got a few great deals otherwise. It was a successful thrifting day.


Katy October 18, 2023 at 2:56 pm

Yeah, there’s always oddly priced items at Goodwill. I guess it’s the necessary balance to the possibility of a $9.99 Picasso.


Roberta October 18, 2023 at 6:45 pm

1. A year or more ago, a neighbor gave us a bunch of fish (and other foods) before she moved. I found the fish in the freezer, and cooked it for the dogs. They are not complaining about anything, and I can stretch the dog food a little farther.
2. I used leftover frozen pumpkin from last Halloween to make pumpkin fritters. Really well received — I’ll be making more when I cook up this year’s pumpkin. Ate these as an appetizer, so DH and I were able to split one hamburger for dinner.
3. Emailed the neighborhood garage sale in time to be added to the list. It’s motivation to clear out a bunch of stuff that needs to go.
4. In over a year, we’re hoping to downsize to an apartment and rent out our house. We’ll be closer to work, able to use public transit, have less to clean, lower utilities and a pool and jacuzzi. We’re using this time to do “market research” on apartments in the area we want to live. I like the way “market research” makes me feel organized and adultish.
5. We’re doing “market research” on days that are too hot for walking outside. We’re still having those. On other days, we’re walking outside for free exercise and weight loss!


Katy October 19, 2023 at 12:00 pm

I love the expandable quality of “market research!”


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