Five Frugal Things

by Katy on October 30, 2023 · 71 comments

  1. I made my own sauerkraut on Saturday, which is still in the fermentation phase so I can’t report on its success yet. However, I’m feel very optimistic as the process is so simple I can’t imagine how anything could’ve been done incorrectly. I wrote a blog post about it on Sunday, but am including it here in case readers didn’t catch it.

  2. I cut multiple armloads of flowers from my backyard hydrangeas as I didn’t want their blooms to be destroyed by an overnight frost. Instead of clogging my home with floral arrangements, I put together eight bouquets of five flowers apiece for various neighbors. Some of whom I know well, others less so. However all appeared happy to receive a surprise flower arrangement.

    I even brought flowers to my backyard neighbors who I barely know as they’re renting the house from a family member. They weren’t home when I deposited the hydrangeas on their porch, so I texted their cousin so he could let them know who the flowers were from. (I didn’t want them to be weirded out.) They in turn surprised me with a thank you note and a heavy bag of apples from their tree!

    This was so much fun, I know I’ll repeat the practice in 2024.

  3. I spent the week that my husband was playing baseball in Las Vegas visiting with friends and family, puttering around the house and garden; and indulging in the most delightfully low brow TV shows.

    I’d initially planned to accomplish mighty tasks, but somehow somehow it felt better to chill out and not force myself to be performatively productive. It was cheap, relaxing and not too shabby!

    P.S. My husband didn’t gamble a single penny.

  4. • I set out the very same Halloween porch decorations that I’ve put out every year since 2006 or so, when an old neighbor handed them down to us.
    •  I pulled a pound of sale price butter from the freezer as I’ve decided to make my Thanksgiving apple pies ahead of time. (Seriously — so many apples!) Stocking up on sale price food saves me a ton of money in the long run, even when it costs extra at the time of purchase.
    • I raked my sidewalk and brick patio by myself instead of paying someone to run a leaf blower as many of my neighbors do.
    • I made a huge pot of chicken soup with carrots, onion, celery and peas using the last scraps of a Costco rotisserie chicken. Cooking it down in the Instant Pot also supplied extra broth for the freezer, which is a favor to my future self. A perfect meal for this cold weather.
    • I walked with my friend to drop her paper grocery bags at a consignment shop that’ll put them back into use.
    • I haven’t touched the Halloween candy that I bought at the beginning of September at Costco. This, my friends is a true frugal accomplishment!

  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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{ 71 comments… read them below or add one }

MB in MN October 30, 2023 at 6:00 am

Katy, I love that you gave hydrangea bouquets to your neighbors!

1. Based on comments by A. Marie, I checked out the book “Onions in the Stew” from the library. Such a fun read!

2. Received onions, garlic, avocadoes and potatoes from my sister-in-law. Just because.

3. While vacationing, we paid cash for most meals since restaurants were tacking on a 3-4% charge if paying by credit card.

4. Brought small jars to restaurants and used them for taking home leftover dressing, butter and ketchup.

5. Ordered free Covid tests from the government.


texasilver October 30, 2023 at 1:54 pm

1.Katy’s post made me also think of chili. I have some languishing in the freezer. I got a bag of corn chips at Dollar Tree that were marked down to 50 cents. I think the chili w/ a sprinkling of chips will make a tasty supper.
2. I made some baked beans from scratch that turned out well. I had cooked navy beans in the freezer to work with along with a leftover onion and other pantry ingredients. Alas when I turned on the oven to bake them the oven would not heat. Then I tried the toaster oven. That did not work. Into the crockpot they went. Old faithful cooked them & they were eaten at the potluck.


texasilver October 30, 2023 at 1:57 pm

I forgot one thing. If you use the Taco Bell app you can get a free Doritos Locos taco each time a base is stolen during the World Series. I have one free taco waiting for me on the app. Go Texas Rangers!


Katy October 30, 2023 at 6:10 pm

Thanks! I just checked my app and I had a free taco waiting for me.


Katy October 30, 2023 at 6:13 pm

I love baked beans! I should make some, thanks for the reminder.


Ruby October 30, 2023 at 6:24 am

1. Took two of the 66 cents each on clearance single-serve packs of tuna, a bread heel, an egg, some dry herbs and spices, and made tuna burgers for supper. We had no lemons so I added a teaspoon of red wine vinegar to the mix for a nice tang.
2. Took another load of declutter to Goodwill. Went inside and bought two dishes for feeding my dogs and a winter shirt for myself. Paid $7.64.
3. Cleaned out our garage. Properly disposed of some deteriorating paint by mixing cat litter in the cans. Took a carload of good paint, unused flooring, cleaning supplies and gardening odds and ends to the Habitat Restore to donate. Decluttering is frugal because it prevents buying duplicates of what you can’t find.
4. Paid attention to an e-mail from the company I buy an arthritis supplement from and saved $6 on an order.
5. Needed some thank you cards and found some blank greeting cards with photos of nature scenes on the fronts in my husband’s desk. These were a long-ago gift from a company I did some work for, so they were free.
Bonus: Made pumpkin muffins with a can of pumpkin bought with a store coupon. Boosted the sweetness by finely chopping two snack size bags of prunes obtained free from Walgreens (sale plus Walgreens bucks) to add to the batter.


Sandra October 30, 2023 at 8:06 am

I bet those pumpkin prune muffins were super moist and delicious. I had some stewed prunes languishing in the refrigerator and spread some on my toast this morning in place of jam……a perfect replacement and they are naturally sweet.


Katy October 30, 2023 at 10:05 am

I love your 5 this week and blank notecards are a great thing to have on hand!


Selena October 30, 2023 at 6:51 pm

Clumping or non-clumping cat litter? Hoping non-clumping as that is much cheaper.


Ruby November 1, 2023 at 7:33 pm

Clumping was all we had, but a 20 pound bag from Ollie’s Outlet is $5 when bought with a customer loyalty coupon, so it was still very cheap.


Selena October 30, 2023 at 7:29 am

“I’d initially planned to accomplish mighty tasks, but somehow somehow it felt better to chill out and not force myself to be performatively productive. It was cheap, relaxing and not too shabby!”

Yeah there are times when I tackle projects when I am home alone. But you just end up wearing yourself out by going full bore. I try for balance but sometimes we all need to just recharge.


Katy October 30, 2023 at 10:03 am

Yes, I definitely recharged.


Anne October 30, 2023 at 7:52 am

Hydrangeas are my very favorite flower in the world and, if I could, I would fill my back yard with them. Unfortunately, I live in the So Cal desert, which, temperature wise, is at the front door of hell.

I do have three in pots tucked into my shaded patio, but there is nowhere else to put them. I do envy you.


Katy October 30, 2023 at 10:03 am

I did fill my backyard with them, so you’ll have to live vicariously through me. I think I have eight.


Kara October 30, 2023 at 6:47 pm

Your ‘front door of hell’ made me laugh. I loved near Fresno for a long time. I think it qualifies for same description.


Sandra October 30, 2023 at 8:27 am

I loved your Sunday post about sauerkraut. Thanks for sharing your daily happenings with us.

I am a big fan of hydrangea’s, too. I used to grow lacecap hydrangeas. They dry so well and can be reused as filler in different arrangements throughout the year. What a lovely gift to your neighbors.

I, too, reuse Halloween decorations as well as other seasonal decor. It doesn’t take a lot to recognize a holiday and it lifts my mood as well as that of others when I decorate with a special wreath or other outdoor ornamentation. When the occasion passes, I pack everything away for next year.


Katy October 30, 2023 at 10:01 am

I have a few lacecap hydrangeas, but they’re in too shady a spot in the backyard. Unfortunately, there really isn’t a better space for them.


Cindy in the South October 30, 2023 at 8:52 am

I am especially impressed you have not touched the Halloween candy. I shall plead the 5th as to what happened to my Halloween candy…ha!


Katy October 30, 2023 at 9:59 am

It helps that none of it is chocolate.


MB in MN October 30, 2023 at 1:35 pm

Yes to no chocolate! I think I will always buy Starbursts for the kids as there is zero chance I will eat any.


K D October 30, 2023 at 9:16 am

Katy, I love what you did with the hydrangeas. So thoughtful and locally grown flowers are the only flowers that interest me.

I think of myself as generally frugal but it is hard to keep up with you these days:

1. We went to a local produce and greenhouse and I bought a box of “seconds” apples for $12. There were several dozen and a few varieties. DH and I worked together to slice them into the slow cooker for applesauce. I just add cinnamon when they are done cooking, no sugar is needed. This time we didn’t peel them, it was much quicker and there was very little waste (just the cores and they went in the compost bin).

2. I also bought a $2 pail of “seconds vegetables, a butternut squash and several daikon radishes. I am going to try roasting them with carrots using recipe I found online.

3. A neighbor picked lots of small tomatoes because the end of the season is near. She put out three large bowls with a “help yourself” sign. I grabbed two handfulls, The tomatoes are mostly green but hopefully will ripen on the kitchen windowsill.

4. A friend and I took a long walk this morning. We do this every couple of weeks. It’s nice to catch up and be out in nature and getting exercise at the same time.

5. DH reworked our garage. We do park in it, it is the primary purpose for us, though many in our area use their garages for storage. He replaced an old set of plastic shelves with Closet Maid shelves I curb picked 2-3 years ago. SIL said he wanted them but the statute of limitations on waiting had run out. The change gives us both more shelving and it take up less space in the garage. A win-win. A neighbor took the old shelves.


Katy October 30, 2023 at 9:57 am

I love the “statute of limitations” phrasing. Like there’s a 18 page contract to reference for any and all garage related decisions.


Selena October 30, 2023 at 6:55 pm

Not sure of your “geo-location” but the tomatoes under a sheet of newspaper might hasten ripening. I’ve found that the lone tomato of “the lot” (last of the green) may not ripen as it has no companion.


Marybeth from NY October 30, 2023 at 9:28 am

1. I ate pizza ate work Friday and Saturday. I was sent home with 1/2 a pizza. It went into the freezer.
2. Had our neighbors over for breakfast Sunday. We made french toast, bacon and cinnamon apples. We don’t use regular milk in our house(allergy) so I told them if they need if for coffee to bring some. I love that I can say that to friends. Years ago I would have ran out and bought some and it would have been wasted.
3. Neighbors brought a delicous crumb cake. I will be snacking on it all week. It has dairy so poor hubby can’t have it.
4. I brough lunch to work.
5. I found a shiny penny on the ground.


Katy October 30, 2023 at 9:55 am

Yes, it’s nice to have a close enough relationship with people so you’re comfortable enough to be honest.


Heidi Louise October 31, 2023 at 8:40 am

It is a form of being honest. It is also a way of asking for help, which some people find hard to do.


Kara October 30, 2023 at 9:44 am

1. I made a new planner for the coming year. I designed the pages on Canva, printed it at home, used old cardboard for the front and back cover and took it all to Staples to be spiral bound. Paid for the binding with a $5 reward for recycling ink cartridge. I like having the pages set out how I actually used them, and I leave a blank page between each week to write lists, notes, etc. This way I don’t have random lists floating everywhere. I write in the date by hand, so I just design one page with the days of the week and print 52 copies. So easy and zero out of pocket.

2. Attended a housewarming. I took homemade granola ( oats bought in bulk, nuts bought in bulk, dried cherries free on Buy Nothing) and a small thyme start that I had grown from my own thyme plant. The hostess was offering large bags of organic quince, so I happily got one of those. One of the other attendees needed to get pass on some home-grown organic carrots-if I would come dig them up. Um, yes. I brought home 15 pounds of them.

3. We did the family (husband and I, 3 kids, 2 spouses) drawing for Christmas. Among the 7 of us, we each draw one name. Limit is $25. We each make a wish list. It makes it SO easy. It also spurred me on the nicely tell my sisters and their collective 11 mostly adult children that since I was only spending $25 on my own children/husband, that I was also going to limit my spending on their families to $25. I said it very graciously and it seems to have gone over ok.

4. Ate soup, quesadillas/nachos instead of going out to eat last night

5. Accepted leftover cheese from the housewarming yesterday. Promptly used half of it in the quesadillas above. Husband will use the rest in his lunches this week. Both the hostess with the cheese and the attendee with the carrots were apologetic to be offering free food. I told them that free food was gold in our house and I would always be delighted to accept it.


Katy October 30, 2023 at 9:54 am

That is so smart to have a bank page imbedded in your date book!


Jean C October 30, 2023 at 3:54 pm

The dollar limit in gifts reminded me of a Christmas gift exchange I participated in. There was a $15 limit. I complied with that but shopped at the thrift shop I volunteer at. I was accused of exceeding the $$ limit but could honestly say I didn’t. I have gotten wonderful inexpensive, often new items there.


Kathleen October 30, 2023 at 11:15 pm

Kara, I’m right there with you designing planner/calendar! Having a simple layout that makes sense to me and has everything I need keeps me so much more on target. My printer went out recently (damn planned obsolescence!), so I’m trying to get by, but my calendars may be the thing that makes me buy another.


A. Marie October 30, 2023 at 11:49 am

FFT, Eye Update/Miscellaneous Edition:

(1) The Muro 128 ointment recommended by my eye doc last Thursday has done its job of clearing up my corneal edema after the first cataract surgery, and I’m now enjoying myself hugely by taking off my old glasses from time to time and appreciating my new and improved distance vision in the operated eye. (I got the lens that Medicare pays for, and asked for it to correct for distance vision, since I haven’t had any of that since age 7.) I can also now see colors in a whole new way through that eye, as several folks told me I might. Woo hoo!

(2) Inspired by Katy’s chili in one of her frequent recent posts, I made a chili on Sunday that included the following: 12 oz. of RFQS Wegmans turkey sausage that had been in my freezer for a year; 1 can of Wegmans diced tomatoes and 2 cans of Wegmans kidney beans that also needed to be used; and 2/3 of a jar of Wegmans mild salsa that had been in the fridge since the last time I indulged in Wegmans black corn chips. I realize that this sounds like an advertisement for Wegmans, but I doubt that Danny Wegman & Co. will want to put it on the website. 🙂

(3) Now that my vision has improved, I’m going to stroll around to the curbside apple tree with the excellently flavored apples tomorrow morning and see if I can bring home any more. The forecast for the next two days is for rain mixed with wet snow.

(4) The recent chilly weather has put an end to my zinnias and other cut flowers from my garden, though we haven’t actually had a killing frost yet. But, like Katy and like today’s Meet a Reader participant at The Frugal Girl, I have definitely been enjoying making bouquets for self and neighbors all this summer.

(5) And for a desk/appointment calendar for next year, I’m going to use a blank book that JASNA BFF gave me a while back, instead of buying a new one for 2024. $20 or so saved.


Katy October 30, 2023 at 12:17 pm

Chili is such a great dish to use up all the bits and bobs that fill our pantries/refrigerators.

I’m very happy to read that your eye surgery seems to have been a success!


Jean C October 30, 2023 at 3:59 pm

Years ago I asked a friend for her chili recipe. She replied, “Who uses a recipe for chili?”. . Over the years I have improvised and it’s always good and always different. I highly recommend Penzey’s Chili 3000 and Chili 9000 spice blends which I think kick it up a notch.


Christine October 30, 2023 at 6:43 pm

So happy to read your eye surgery was so successful! Best wishes on your next surgery for the same outcome. I’ll bet you can’t wait to discover how improved your eyesight is when both eyes are done.


Anne October 30, 2023 at 7:55 pm

I had my cataract removal and lens replacement surgery last February. I STILL occasionally find my hand slipping up to my face to adjust my readng glasses. Old habits.


Bee October 31, 2023 at 2:57 am

I’m glad to hear things are going well and your vision is improving.


Q October 30, 2023 at 12:35 pm

Those flowers look beautiful. And how nice to build your relationships with neighbors.

1. Applied for, and received, a $500 annual senior citizen reduction in sailing club dues. This represents a 25% decrease in costs. We really use the membership a lot.
2. Called and negotiated with cable company, and they reduced phone, internet and cable total to $150, down from $245. $150 is still a lot of money, but DH loves his tv. New price includes a higher internet speed and fiber optics. Will still be investigating ways to lower this bill.
3. I made a loaf of “The Best Vegan Meatloaf” from Nora cooks for last Wednesday’s potluck, and enjoyed it for lunch for a number of days. It was so good that I just now cooked some garbanzo beans from scratch, and will be making two more meatloaves, one for the freezer for over the holidays.
4. I visited the library to ask how to find good movies more effectively, and the reference librarian taught me how to find and search the database by genre. She also demonstrated Kanopy and Hoolapy. (sp?) and figured out how I could create and share a list of library movie offerings. In the past, it was tough to quickly find a movie I would like, as there are so many choices. Now, I can go to the library and easily find one, or download one from Kanopy. I am going to come up with a list of library movies and share as a google doc with friends. This is another step towards downgrading cable.
5. Used a method from “the art of doing stuff”to make a bean sprouter from three nesting takeout containers. I had wanted to do this for awhile now and was inspired your post, Katy!


Katy October 30, 2023 at 6:18 pm

It’s Hoopla, but excellent try!

And hooray for senior discounts!


Christine October 30, 2023 at 6:51 pm

Libraries are so invaluable. What a wonderfully helpful staff member to show you how to easily access the materials you want.


Christine October 30, 2023 at 1:30 pm

Who would not love a bouquet of Hydrangeas from a neighbor? Such a sweet yet frugal way of showing neighborliness!
1. I had my free once a year check up with my primary care nurse practitioner last week. I feel so fortunate to have these once-a-year visits paid for with insurance. I would never not think of taking advantage of this opportunity to catch any issues that might be happening unbeknownst to me.
2. I found a penny for my found change jar.
3. I purchased a smallish whole chicken. The first day DH and I had it from the crockpot cooked with veggies. Two days later, I picked the chicken off the bones and made Chicken-a-la-king over mashed potatoes. Ditto for the next day. Tonight, I will make a chicken soup with the bones. A lot of hearty meals from one chicken.
4. DH and I visited the Salvation Army Store but didn’t see anything we needed or really wanted so walked out emptyhanded.
5. I’m going to another free program at the library tonight. The speaker tells strange and haunted New England tales, many which reportedly happened in Massachusetts, my home state. Should be fun and entertaining!


Katy October 30, 2023 at 6:13 pm

One neighbor who I don’t really know seemed a bit suspicious. S’alright with me!


Selena October 30, 2023 at 7:01 pm

FYI to avoid any surprise charges stemming from an annual “free” checkup.


Ava October 30, 2023 at 2:36 pm

1. I have mostly kept to my resolve to cook more at home since our guests left and thus ended the eating out frenzy. Things I have cooked since the resolve: pancakes, fish soup, popovers, cherry cobbler (unsuccessful but it got very old cherries out of the freezer and it was eaten), meatloaf with potatoes and carrots cooked along side it, the Frugal Girl’s green chili and corn quesadillas (first time to make them and they were excellent), mac and cheese, and smoked sausage plus sauerkraut with apple and onion.
2. I received $1 in the mail from a survey company with a promise of $20 more if I completed the enclosed very short survey. I did it and received a check in the mail.
3. I got Halloween cards for the grandkids for 50 cents each at Dollar Tree.
4. I am getting ready for a craft show Saturday. I sold 2 items already for $25 each.
5. My husband and I needed a new place for haircuts. We tried the beauty school where I go for pedicures. That was my first time there for a haircut . We both got better haircuts than at our old place for $12 less, each.


Katy October 30, 2023 at 6:07 pm

I love how inventive your list is this week! What do you sell at craft fairs?


Ava October 30, 2023 at 6:41 pm

Christmas decor items and ornaments from thrift store supplies. The two items I sold were rolling pins painted like Santas.


kathy October 30, 2023 at 3:37 pm

Listed a few more items online
Worked Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Saturday am the chef made Belgium waffles for us with fresh berries
Saved .10/gal on gasoline with rewards
Finished two books I got from the second have book store. Will donate to library
Cooked from refrigerator and pantry


Katy October 30, 2023 at 5:35 pm

Belgian waffles with fresh berries sounds absolutely delicious!


Nancy from mass October 30, 2023 at 3:37 pm

1. Next Friday would’ve been my husband’s birthday. I am going to donate to the food pantry for his day. I read an article the other day that people give a lot of cereal to food pantries, but no one gives aseptic milk. So, I have purchased some and will donate that, as well as Chex and Cheerios cereal (purchased for $1.97) and some jiffy packages for muffins. I will also pick up a few packages of piecrust packs and cans of pie fruit and put one of each in a brown bag to donate. The majority of this is being paid for from the remainder of a gift card from a focus group.
2. I have to go in the office tomorrow (first time since 9/16) and because it’s Halloween, they are doing a costume contest. I saw a TT clip over the weekend that someone created the push button walk sign. So, I crafted one this weekend and I will be a walk button.(Complete with saying “walk, walk“)
3. Took my furnace filter out and did a good cleaning of it today. It must’ve worked well, because the furnace was on while I was cleaning and I could really smell the oil furnace. Once I put it back in, when the heat kicked back in, it didn’t smell anymore.
4. I will only get a few trick-or-treaters tomorrow and picked up a couple of packages of snack size candy bars. $3.18. It’ll be sufficient.
5. Our temperature went from 85 on Saturday to 45 yesterday. And rained all day yesterday and today. The heat is on (64), the flannel sheets are on and two quilts are on my bed.

Boy, these are long frugal facts.


Heidi Louise October 30, 2023 at 3:51 pm

Nancy, I hope you have many happy memories of your husband for his day.


Jean C October 30, 2023 at 4:05 pm

What a lovely way to commemorate your husband’s birthday.


Katy October 30, 2023 at 5:34 pm

That is a lovely way to honor your husband.

Cleaning instead of replacing your furnace filter is not something I’ve considered. I’ve certainly cleaned my vacuum cleaner furnace through the years.


A. Marie October 31, 2023 at 1:23 am

Nancy, yesterday (10/30) would have been my DH’s and my 44th wedding anniversary. Your #1 has inspired me to do something similar to commemorate it. Thanks.


Nancy from mass October 31, 2023 at 5:11 pm

I’m so sorry A. Marie. 44 years is a long time.

On his birthday, our anniversary and his death anniversary, I either volunteer or donate. But since I just got over bronchitis, I thought this would be the safer thing for me to do this year. But since I just got over bronchitis, I thought this would be the safer thing for me to do this year.


MB in MN November 1, 2023 at 12:08 pm

Commemorating birthdays and anniversaries in this way is really lovely.


Bee October 31, 2023 at 3:27 am

What a lovely way to commemorate a special day in your life. Food pantries are in need now more than Ever.

I have volunteered at a food pantry for sometime. Shelf stable milk is certainly something that is needed and rarely donated. Other things that food recipients love to receive include salt, pepper, mayonnaise, cooking oil, mustard, honey, sugar, and seasoning packets.

Think simplicity when putting together your food pantry donations. Recipients often have limited kitchens, limited skills, and limited time. As someone who’s super frugal, I look at a bag of beans and think, “There’s four meals here!”However, a mother of three children who works two jobs does not view that bag of beans the same way. In all likelihood, she does not have time to soak them and cook them for two or three hours to make a meal. She may not even have the pan to cook them in.

One last thing, if you have a local food pantry that you donate to regularly, ask if they will except gently used kitchen items items. Crock pots, cooking spoons, pots and pans all help greatly.


Nancy from mass October 31, 2023 at 5:12 pm

Bee, thanks for the reminder about the condiments. I’m picking up the rest of the items this week, and I will add some of those things to it.


LaNell October 30, 2023 at 5:15 pm

How do you make your Apple pie? Especially details about making ahead of time, please?


Katy October 30, 2023 at 5:31 pm

I’ll assemble the uncooked pies and then place them in the freezer. Nothing fancy.


Anne October 30, 2023 at 8:01 pm

I feel kind of dumb asking this but I just realized that I didn’t know if your hydrangeas were dried or not. Are they in water?


Katy October 30, 2023 at 8:12 pm

They’re not dried and the flowers in the photo have just been cut.


Ecoteri October 30, 2023 at 10:59 pm

FFT the Daughter-moving edition (with a nod to A. Marie’s lovely subtitles)
1. my #1 Daughter (I have a #2 but we chose each other) is a really frugal young one, at 22 (!!) she has managed to save enough with a bit of help from mom and has bought a condo in Victoria BC (VERY high prices – her condo cost more than my farmhouse on two acres). It was moving day but she didn’t hire movers. Instead, with suggestions from her #1 mom, she asked for help from her friends – who showed up with a couple of cars, a Van, and good will. I brought my truck down and we managed to get most things moved tonight.
2. In the spirit of ‘paying the movers’ I suggested to #1DD that we make a Vegetarian Chili – which she came up to help me make on Saturday. We used homemade and canned tomato sauce (from my tomatoes) plus onion, carrot, squash and sweet peppers from my garden, along with oregano I had dried and some ground up peppers as part of the flavouring. Bulk barn spices (chilies and cumin and pepper) along with home canned black beans plus kidneys and a medley from my pantry stash. Nothing was purpose bought for this save celery and that was ’cause I had run out and needed more for the crisper.
3. Before I drove down today I made two ‘Johnny cakes’ in round cake pans (Johnny cake is cornbread – like jiffy corn bread mix but from scratch). I always add a bit of corn kernels and chili powder for fun. both the Chili and the cornbread were inhaled (seconds!!) and extras were packed up in yogurt containers that #2 actually had ready to send home with the helpers.
4. Otherwise, I am continuing to eat out of the freezer/pantry and making lovely tasty different meals. It is great having #2 son living in the barn loft next door, as he is very helpful in eating up the leftovers so I don’t get bored. I haven’t had to feed the chickens ANYTHING out of the fridge for the last month, which is a miracle.
5. On the same front, #2 Son has learned how to make homemade hash browns and is gleefully eating up some of the several hundred pounds of potatoes we harvested this fall. The chickens have really slowed down but the gal I sell extras to is snowbirding south in a week so it all will balance out – we have fewer eggs and the client isn’t here! #2 son has been eating eggs regularly with said hash browns – so my egg filled fridge isn’t groaning as much as it has been
6. (bonus) I noticed that the plastic door shelf for my fridge was quite badly broken on the bottom. I carefully pressed it back together-ish and used liberal amounts of packing tape to attempt to structurally re-assemble. I suspect that if I am careful it might last! just need to reduce my tendency to load that shelf with full mason jars of yogurt and sauerkraut….


Marilyn October 30, 2023 at 11:14 pm

The hydrangeas are lovely. What a nice idea to share them with your neighbors.
1. I don’t buy Halloween candy until Halloween day just so I won’t be tempted. I worry a bit that the stores will run out of candy, but that never seems to happen so this works for me.
2. Finally finished cleaning out the garage. Big job which I have put off for months. On Saturday, I took old cans of paint to the county hazardous waste disposal site where household hazardous waste is accepted free of charge.
3. Found 2 dimes and one penny when cleaning the garage.
4. My son’s girlfriend ordered COVID tests for me and they arrived in the mail last week.
5. I am wearing an old fleece jacket around the house and using an equally old fleece blanket when watching TV. All that fleece is so cozy! I haven’t had to turn the heat on yet.


Dizzle Oregon October 31, 2023 at 6:25 am

By simple smiling persuasion, I have steered DH to kitchen cooking thrift….he is 67, not a slow learner but resistant, sometimes to my charms. 🙂
The young man next door gifted us with both elk and deer meat so we had a lovely dinner of deer steak, corn and salad. Delicious!
Hydrangeas are so lovely…so good of you to share.


Melissa R. October 31, 2023 at 8:12 am

I love fresh flowers and especially free flowers from my own garden. Over the summer, I snipped sunflowers from my garden. Too many for my own home. My teen then helped me deliver bouquets to 5-6 neighbors. The responses were so wonderful! I’ve decided that I’ll do it every year.


K D October 31, 2023 at 8:24 am

I found this interesting:

Though it is preaching to the choir here.


JC October 31, 2023 at 9:37 am

That was a lovely thing to do for your neighbors. I love flowers, inside and out.
So many of my frugal 5 are wash and repeat.
1. Line drying on the outside lines in good weather and inside around the wood stove today because it is ucky outside.
2. Made pizza last night, made enough dough for 3 more pizzas…it freezes well.
3. reheating leftover pizza on the woodstove.
4. cooked chicken on the woodstove and have been having some awesome wraps with it and the markdown salad.
5. DD lent me an aquarium, it is holding my pond plants. I started with 2 each od water lettuce and water hyacinth from a nursery last year and they reproduced enough to cover my pond along with my water lillies. The lillies will overwinter fine in the pond. The others won’t so I am trying to save as many as possible. I know I can’t save them all but will see what I can do.


Katy October 31, 2023 at 1:27 pm

Do you roll out the dough before you freeze it?


Hawaii Planner November 1, 2023 at 5:42 am

It has been a week, and frugality was at the back of the list of priorities. I’ve been spending all of my non-paid job time working with DS17 on college applications. My goal was to avoid takeout, which we managed.
1) We get a small stipend at work for personal development classes (yoga, foreign language, ski lessons, etc). My husband & I took two pickle ball clinics when we were on vacation, so I submitted those for reimbursement. I also noticed I hadn’t submitted my monthly gym membership reimbursement, so got that sorted as well. The gym saves me $40/month, so happy to check a few boxes & upload a receipt for that ROI.
2) We cobbled together dinners, largely out of easy to prep Trader Joes items. While not as cheap as true homemade, we didn’t eat out or get takeout, so I’ll take the win.
3) We were flying back from Hawaii, and the Kona airport is teeny tiny with minimal food. We opted to order meals from Alaska Airlines for the return flight. I found a small cash back offer via our credit card, which saved us a few bucks on in flight purchases.
4) My dad asks me to occasionally stay on top of a few of his accounts (travel related) to make sure he hasn’t wasted anything. I found a $365 Alaska credit that was going to expire by the end of the year, so he & my mom are making some sort of travel plan with that.
5) I am going to London next week for a work trip. We have very specific travel caps for flights & hotels. I used a business class upgrade for the return flight, earned from my travel status. So, maybe I can sleep (although, doubtful), but either way, I’ll be comfortable for the long haul back. Additionally, I chose the same hotel I’ve always stayed out, but it was much pricier than usual. I choose it because it’s walking distance to the office, and has room service & a gym. All of which are requirements for me. Oh, and a window, because apparently the other hotel that was suggested has now windows in the rooms!!!! Anyway, used my hotel points to cover one night, thus dropping the overall cost below my work budget & avoiding have to pay anything out of pocket. It makes me irritated that I’d have to pay anything, given how much family time I sacrifice for work travel, but at least I found a way to offset this go round.


Katy November 1, 2023 at 11:18 am

Okay, I’m officially jealous of any work trip that takes you to London. I lived there for almost three years growing up and wish my employer would send me there.


Hawaii Planner November 2, 2023 at 5:37 am

I get that a lot, but as someone with lupus, I’m not a fan. I don’t sleep on flights, the only sites I see are the hotel, my office building, & the airport. Oh, and occasionally a fun dinner. I also give up weekends (have to leave on a Sunday) & come back very jet lagged. I miss a lot of sleep between the trip, and the post trip jet lagged. Do not recommend business travel for personal interests! It’s not the same. I’m grateful my work travel has been cut in half, post COVID (I am now averaging 4 international trips/year.)

I wrote up a post about one day on a trip to Tokyo, as I get asked a lot what it looks like. If you’re interested. 🙂


Katy November 2, 2023 at 10:48 am

I just read your blog post, it certainly painted a vivid picture of how unexciting your trip was!


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