Five Frugal Things

by Katy on November 13, 2023 · 55 comments

Bride of Frankenbox!

  1. My husband somehow nicked his car key with a landscaping tool, which resulted in the key being close to impossible to remove from the ignition. It still worked, but it was definitely hinky. He then got the idea to fill in the small nick with resin and then sand it smooth. I was skeptical and worried that this “fix” would actually make things worse, but he proved me wrong!

    New car keys are expensive, so I have to give credit to my husband for fixing the key using what we already had on hand. Good job!

  2. My son needed to hit the grocery store for meal prep supplies, so I tagged along, but I first made sure to scour the Fred Meyer (Kroger) app for loss leaders. (I’m currently in full-on detective mode for flour, butter and sugar sales!) Those items weren’t cheap enough yet, but they did have 99¢ peanut butters and canned tomatoes priced at 50¢ apiece. So yeah . . . I bought the limit for both.

    I’ll do a proper full grocery shop at Winco later in the week, but I’ll never say “no” to a tasty loss leader.

  3. I fell down a rabbit hole of binging How To Renovate a Chateau videos on YouTube. You might think that watching content centering on remodeling an historic French chateau wouldn’t appeal to my cheap-ass self, but you would be wrong. The owners, Anna and Philipp don’t actually have the budget to throw money around and have become DIY masters as a result. From learning to reupholster furniture to creating her own linoleum printed wallpaper, there’s almost endless inspiring content.

    I may not live in an 18th century French chateau, but I’ll never tire of inspiration and fresh new ideas. Even if that idea is “I should sweep the basement stairs.”

    Here’s their website.

  4. • I processed another free Halloween pumpkin for purée and baked a loaf of artisan bread.
    • I sold a framed print that I’ve had up on eBay for at least three years. I’m deliriously happy to see it go, so much so that I wasn’t even annoyed when I accidentally undercharged the buyer on shipping. Buy-bye!
    • I made a “Frankenbox” to mail out the framed print, which used three cardboard boxes plus a satisfying hodge-podge of styrofoam and bubble wrap. It was very cathartic.
    • I donated my leftover Halloween candy to a middle school counselor in my Buy Nothing group. Many readers pointed out that returned candy gets discarded, so I bit the bullet and donated it.

  5. I didn’t buy a Lear Jet.

Katy Wolk-Stanley

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

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{ 55 comments… read them below or add one }

Ruby November 13, 2023 at 10:51 am

Right with you on loving the loss leaders on staple items. That was very kind giving the candy to the counselor.

Tiny FFTs at my house:
1. Sewed up a shredded dog toy with some of the thread gifted by a long-ago neighbor.
2. Took advantage of the good weather to rack dry a rug and some laundry.
3. Mended a hand towel with a raveled binding.
4. Repaired a little chip in the exterior base of a mug with a tiny bit of matching nail polish.
5. Read another free library e-book.


Katy November 13, 2023 at 12:02 pm

I remember good weather . . .


mary in maryland November 13, 2023 at 11:00 am

1. I’ve been pulling four empty gallon spring water jugs out of a neighbor’s recycling bin every trash day. I’m using them to beef up my emergency water supplies.
2. The heat is on, so it’s time to disassemble and clean out the dehumidifier. It’s now sitting in pieces in the kitchen with the reservoir full of soapy water.
3. The hem of the bed skirt in the guest room was unraveling and dangerous to the vacuum cleaner. Rather than move the mattress I sat on the floor and repaired the hem with a simple running stitch.
4. I mentioned to the CSA that their spaghetti squash is a loser—offered by many on Buy Nothing right after delivery. They said I could exchange mine for another squash any time my box included a spaghetti squash.
5. I’ve rehomed via freecycle or Buy Nothing two sofa cushions that the dog wasn’t using as beds, a lamp with a disintegrating shade, a four pound exercise ball, and a dog bowl that attaches to the inside of a crate.
6. Batching errands, cooking at home, drinking water, walking every morning with the Mister and dog for entertainment.


Katy November 13, 2023 at 12:01 pm

I feel like I’ve mended something in a corted position before, although I can’t think of what it was.


Edie November 13, 2023 at 1:02 pm

Interesting that you say that- a discounter in PDX is offering spaghetti squash for 2/$1- every other squash goes for much more EXCEPT spaghetti squash.


BettafrmdaVille November 13, 2023 at 1:21 pm

Aw, man. I LOVE spaghetti squash – Smitten Kitchen has a great recipe for Moroccan spiced spaghetti squash that I will top with some white beans, feta and nuts to make it into a complete meal.


Vickey November 13, 2023 at 4:00 pm

That sounds delicious! We enjoy spaghetti squash here, too.


Roberta November 13, 2023 at 11:04 am

1. Made a compote out of freezer fruit for yesterday’s breakfast: peaches, loquats and blueberries, with a little bit of candied ginger that has been in the fridge since dirt was new. The family loved it over yogurt, and there were enough leftovers to round out today’s lunch.
2. Decorated for Thanksgiving using things we have had for years.
3. I struggled Saturday night, but I was victorious and pre-made tonight’s dinner. It’s sitting in the fridge at home, so I have no excuse to go out or get takeout. I even made my own breadcrumbs out of unloved bread ends (which required planning).
4. Mended my husband’s slippers.
5. Playing the decluttering game with my husband. We’ve put stuff on Craigslist, but only the free stuff has been claimed. We also delivered three boxes of canning jars and lids to a woman at church, and she hinted at gifting us jam. We have plenty of time to sell stuff, locally or through ebay. We have time to get stuff to people who will need it, so they won’t have to buy new. And we’ll have free yummy jam.


Katy November 13, 2023 at 11:59 am

“Since dirt was new?!” <-- I love this! And all mundane household chores should end with free jam.


BettafrmdaVille November 13, 2023 at 11:04 am

1. My Aldi circular advertised butter for $2.99 lb. But, after reading another comment that it was $1.99, I stopped in at an Aldi that I was driving past. Alas, it was $2.49, but I still stocked up on 6.
2. I am on dessert for Thanksgiving (boo…) but I’ve picked three recipes that will limit what I need to buy to 3 ingredients: a can of pumpkin puree (thanks, Aldi!), a bag of cranberries, and an orange. On the list: pumpkin pie, apple sauce crisp bars & a cranberry curd tart. All eggs and milk are free from mystery shops.
3. I’ll not go to Thanksgiving celebration at in-laws to stay home with my cat who is terminally ill. Since I don’t like Thanksgiving food, I’ll use up what we have to eat in the fridge and strive for a non-waste week.
4. I AM going to a Friendsgiving. We were asked to bring our favorite side dish. I offered a baked mac & cheese. All of the cheese and milk were free from a mystery shop, I bought a box of pasta on sale, and I used homemade breadcrumbs made from stale bread (free from mystery shop) so the entire 9×12 pan cost me under $2 for the pasta, herbs & butter.
5. I’ve been driving to BJs to get gas. It is inconvenient, as it is about 1 mile out of my way, but I’ve estimated that I save $5 each time that I fill up there.


Katy November 13, 2023 at 11:36 am

Aldi, come to Oregon!!!!!!

A “Friendsgiving” sounds delightful. All the fun of the holiday without family dynamics.


Marie November 14, 2023 at 7:59 pm

Yes please, Aldi.
Winco had butter for $3.49. Sadly I was expecting A better price


Edie November 13, 2023 at 11:44 am

1) The key to finding semi affordable butter/flour/sugar is to have bought it last year, it seems! I am just buying what I can as I need it for holiday baking. I always did before, but more than ever I sympathize with so many people in the past when good butter & refined sugar were defined luxuries!
2) If you like renovating a chateau, may I introduce you to Tudor Monastery farm, Victorian Farm, Edwardian Farm and Wartime Farm, starring a group of actual historians doing incredibly hard, creative labor using tools of the period. Ruth Goodman is an outstanding and keen historian of household labor, and watching her literally make something of nothing is extraordinary, and makes me appreciate my ancestors in the Caribbean more, and some of our foods have now started make more sense.
3) A GF wanted to get together for burgers, but a good fast casual burger is now $9- and since we buy fries here separately , another $4! So I bought just over a pound of good local Oregon stewing beef for $12, and made a really good beef stew with garden veggies & herbs, homemade bone stock and potatoes. My GF said it was very good stew, and treated me to dessert & coffee at Crumbl. The price per serving was $4 for the stew-with leftovers! The coffee & dessert cost more than our main!
4) I am happily ignoring all the beauty product sales- my bathroom could be a shop, and I am determined to use up what I have!


Katy November 13, 2023 at 12:04 pm

Not only did you save money by cooking from scratch, but the act of cooking for someone is such an amazing and loving act.

I’ve watched almost all of the Ruth Goodman videos, although there’s almost a few that skipped my attention. Maybe it’s time to circle back to them. Thanks for the reminder!


Roberta November 13, 2023 at 2:14 pm

I LOVE the Ruth Goodman videos. I would love to see more of them, as well.

I remember fondly the nights spent powering through those shows. I’m hoping to visit the actual Edwardian farm this spring, because my son is going to school just across the river!


Q November 13, 2023 at 12:15 pm

I have a couple extra, as I have missed the last few postings.

1. I take my friend (who is blind) to her doctor and pt visits: taking care of friend: priceless! And frugal for her, as taxi would be $25 each way. Plus, who wants to go to the doctor alone to get a cast removed? We are organizing a team to take her to her appointments for her broken arm…

2. We received two light up shot glasses at an Oktoberfest party: I asked for a 3rd, as they had many leftover, and now have great stocking stuffers for my 3 young grandchildren, who will not realize they are shot glasses, and will just think they are very cool. I would not buy these plastic doodads, but at least they are getting a second use. I am saving (eg hiding from DH) the leftover Halloween candy for the stockings as well.

3. I knew I would be getting back late from the doctor visit, so in the morning I mixed up the Slow Cooker Black Bean soup recipe from budget bytes. Topped with a little avocado, some oyster crackers, and a slug of sherry, it was perfection for dinner. I make the inexpensive oysters crackers, from Lidle’s, last by keeping them in a recycled jar. Having the delicious smelling and tasting soup awaiting us on a rainy, cold evening helped make it certain we would avoid takeout. This recipe is very easy and very delicious. As a nice bonus, my niece and nephew are stopping by after their brother’s game, giving us a visit and saving them takeout as well.

4. Accepted free toothbrush at dental check-up Made it to November 1st before caving on heat this evening. It feels delightful to be at 68 degrees! I borrowed a temperature gun and a watt meter from the library to gauge some of our energy users and losers next week.

5. This one involved spending money, but was a very good buy. DH is very tall, and very picky about his dress shirts for work. Costco is discontinuing the line of no-iron dress shirts that he really likes. I managed to find them on Costco online, combined two discounts to buy 12 shirts, and spent under $150. These shirts are terrific. I will put half aside for the next time he needs brand new ones. The shirts last well, and so I think these will see him through his career!

6. Made bread and soup for friends instead of us going out, and brought it to a friend who has a broken arm, so we could all have a good visit. Packed snacks and lunch for ferry ride. Tonight am making my husband a sandwich and some treats to avoid takeout when I am not home for dinner. (will be at book club, with books checked out from library!)


Katy November 13, 2023 at 12:47 pm

Mmm . . . I love black bean soup!


A. Marie November 13, 2023 at 12:21 pm

FFT, Holiday Prep Edition:

(1) I’m joining a lot of you in rocking the pre-Thanksgiving specials on baking supplies and suchlike. Not that I do a lot of holiday baking, but I do make bread machine bread and proper Southern “no @#$!! sugar” cornbread all year round. (The cornbread is one thing I can’t get locally from my Panera friend or anyone/anywhere else.) Aldi and our Upstate NY Price Chopper chain have already had some good deals, and I’m on my way to Wegmans tomorrow to see what Danny & Co. have decked the early halls with.

(2) Although the Bestest Neighbors will be taking a well-deserved break from their usual Thanksgiving hosting by going to Florida to see relations and friends this year, the friend with whom I’m keeping an eye on my next-door neighbor with cognitive issues has kindly invited me and NDN to her Thanksgiving spread. I’ve offered to bring my kale, apple, and carrot salad (featuring my own kale), and the offer was enthusiastically accepted.

(3) I’ve also rummaged through the glory holes to see what I can donate to the (2) friend’s church’s Operation Christmas Child effort, and I have come up with a few odds and ends (soaps, toothbrushes, some small toys, etc.).

(4) I’ve gone through the guest room closet (where I keep items for holiday giving as I acquire them throughout the year) and made mental notes on folks for whom I need to fill in around the edges.

(5) And when I’ve finished shopping this week, I plan to stay the heck out of the stores from Thanksgiving onward unless a run to a grocery is absolutely necessary. In particular, no Black Friday madness for me (unless the BF 50% off everything sale at my Salvation Army superstore counts!). My Christmas Eve lamb was bought RFQS at Wegmans after Easter and is in the freezer.


Katy November 13, 2023 at 12:46 pm

Wow, you sure do feel strongly on the cornbread issue. I guess I shouldn’t share the recipe I use.


A. Marie November 13, 2023 at 1:09 pm

I may be an expatriate Southerner, but I hold this truth to be self-evident: Cornbread with sugar in it is corn *cake.* That is all.


Ruby November 13, 2023 at 6:05 pm

I may have told this story before (getting old so I repeat myself) : My mother was generally not a good cook and her Southern cornbread not only had no sugar, it had no fat of any kind. You could have used it as a doorstop. I enthusiastically embraced Jiffy corn muffin mix as a new bride as a result. Tradition can go hang! 😀


Selena November 14, 2023 at 7:43 pm

My Mammaw made her cornbread with white cornmeal and water. Baked in a greased (likely bacon) cast iron skillet and it was *not* like a doorstop. I don’t think she ever measured – dumped cornmeal, added tap water to I guess her preferred consistency and into the skillet it went.

A. Marie November 14, 2023 at 3:20 am

Ruby, I didn’t learn about Southern cornbread at my mother’s knee, either; my mother, like yours, was not a good cook. (And, yes, cornbread *does* need to include a fat.) But our occasional maid when we four kids were small made superb hoecakes, and–believe it or not–the public schools in my former and your present city included cornbread in the otherwise awful school lunches. Sometimes the cornbread was the only thing on the lunch tray I’d eat!


Bee November 14, 2023 at 5:17 am

I am with you. Cornbread should be free of sugar. My mother made a sweet cornbread dish for breakfast that we called spoon bread. It was traditionally eaten with molasses, but we never did that. It was too sweet. On occasion, we would put a little maple syrup on it.

Teresa November 13, 2023 at 2:07 pm

I really admire your tenacity in selling things. My mom passed away and I have many things to sell. I posted a few things on FB marketplace. It’s so disappointing to have a million inquiries and and no replies to my “yes it’s still available”. There seem to be a lot of online questions about paying with zelle before we even discuss the item, and then they just disappear. I was forewarned about a “zelle scam” so that’s off the table right away. But these are local people who can just show up to buy the item — and they just don’t. EBay was easiest for me in the past and most successful, but it’s a lot of work to pack and mail for inexpensive items. Do you get a lot of people flaking when you try to sell nearby /in person or do people follow through?


Christine November 13, 2023 at 2:42 pm

1. I was able to hang laundry (sheets and pillowcases) outside today. The sun barely peeks over my neighbor to the south’s house to hit the clothesline, but they dried sufficiently. They will smell nice while drifting off to sleep tonight.
2. I bought 3 Thanksgiving cards at the Dollar Store to send to friends in nursing homes and one to my mom’s cousin who in an assisted living facility. Cost is small but I think it means a lot to them.
3. DH used our monthly $10 off at CVS to purchase two batteries for our car key fobs. Cost was $1.95 after the discount.
4. I had a $3 off coupon for Sambucol and used it at Walmart as it is cheapest there. I like to keep Sambucol on hand for colds since it must be taken as soon as symptoms appear for it to work best.
5. Reading library books for entertainment. Walking for exercise. Cooking at home and like most of us, looking for food bargains with Thanksgiving in mind.


K D November 13, 2023 at 3:10 pm

1. DH needed new compression socks. I Googled for a discount code and I was able to order four pairs for the price of three.

2. I stopped at the Grocery Outlet to buy $1.99/# BL/SL chicken breasts. I also picked up $.99/# pears and $.75/box Puffins cereal (with a use by date in early December).

3. I paid $6 for a one year digital subscription of the Baltimore Sun. My previous subscription had not quite run out but at that price I went ahead and bought. I still read the Washington Post, and occasionally the Wall Street Journal, at no cost through our library.

4. Tonight I will join a few friends for charity knitting/crochet. Some of the yarn will be from my stash (purchased years ago at rock bottom prices) and some will be yarn I have been gifted.

5. We are watching Doc Martin using hoopla! (free through the library) and I have been reading/listening to Maisie Dobbs books borrowed from the library.


MB in MN November 13, 2023 at 3:41 pm

1. Averted a mess and saved the cost of an egg. I had set out milk and an egg to come to room temperature for a quick bread. The day got away from me so I put them back next to each other in the fridge. The next day I went to get them back out and I noticed the egg was missing. I immediately knew that my husband had taken it in his lunch thinking it was hard-boiled. I contacted him just in time! Typically we keep the hard-boiled ones in a bowl, but my husband thought since there was just one egg on the shelf that I must have decided to remove the bowl. Fair enough since I’m always consolidating and organizing to maximize space.

2. Needed a smaller bottle for storing cider vinegar. While out on a walk, I found a smallish empty booze bottle that, after deep cleaning and removing the label, became a vinegar bottle.

3. Niece roasted and pureed her Halloween pumpkin and gave us all of it. She also gave us a jar of fig spread that she wasn’t using. I am positively giddy when it comes to free food.

4. Went to Trader Joe’s (it’s a regular stop as I find their prices reasonable and competitive). Bought the frozen hashbrown patties – 10 for $2.48. Delicious, convenient, and cheap. My husband shopped with me, and I beamed with pride when I watched him pick out the largest squash (with no prompting from me) since they were all the same price.

5. Received an unexpected $5 gift card at Target because I had purchased two face products. I gave it to my niece as she did the reconnaissance and went with me to buy them.


Bee November 14, 2023 at 5:50 am

I’m glad you adverted disaster. I’m sure your DH would have been quite surprised if he had cracked that egg. Raw egg is so difficult to clean up.


Lindsey November 13, 2023 at 5:53 pm

1. Did a mystery shop for a company that is hard to deal with, but they offered me $100 so present me did it, knowing future me would be happy with an extra $100 paid on December 15. It took me longer than I thought, as I am still recovering from a broken bone in my back, but I can hear my doctor telling me to move as much as I can, so my walking skills don’t get “deconditioned.”
2. Accepted a painted silk scarf from a friend who hates the orange and yellow colors of it so was going to throw it away; it was a gift to her and she had no way to return it to the store. I was shameless enough to ask her to give it to me instead of throwing it out.
3. Found crumpled up a little past our driveway: a tea towel with a GIGANTIC bee as the only decoration on it. It looked almost new so I hung it up on the corner of the fence, thinking someone might come back for it. Three days later it was still hanging there so I brought it in and washed it. It is now in my tea drawer. It really is rather a horrifying looking thing.
4. Three inches of snow last night so any street coins or other treasures are covered up. I went out to collect the mail and found that someone had shoveled our entire driveway as well as the walkway needed by the oil man to fill our tank. This is frugal for us, but I still have no idea who gave us this most welcome gift.
5.The grocery store had 10 lb. bags of onions for sale, so I brought one home. I peeled them, husband ran them through the food processor, and then I caramelized them all. At one point I had four skillets going at once, but I now have plenty of packages of them in the freezer.


Marie November 14, 2023 at 8:10 pm

How do you freeze them? Ziploc bags? I’ve lost most of my onion harvest, my husband left them hanging in the shed, and they froze. So looking for a way to save the ones that aren’t froze


Bee November 13, 2023 at 5:58 pm

On occasion, I watch the Chateau Diaries on YouTube. It features a youngish British woman who left London for France. She is in the process of renovating the Chateau with her friends and running it as a guest house. I am very jealous whenever they make a trip to the Brocante or flea market. There are so many interesting things. This show sounds similar to the show that you have been watching.

My list has not changed much over the last couple weeks.
1. I am trying to refresh my home frugally. I painted the family room and kitchen and I have started painting the trim work. The most reasonable painter that I could find charged $30 an hour. So I am saving quite a bit doing it myself. However, my hands hurt from gripping the paint brush for hours.
2. I am listening to books on Hoopla and Libby while I work. I currently finishing The Club which has been on a few must read list.
3. I have made some adjustments to my auto insurance to better reflect our current lifestyle and needs. Insurance of all types has gotten so expensive in Florida which is now among the most expensive states in the country.
4. I bought two vintage leather chairs at an estate sale for my living room. They were an absolutely bargain.
5. Some of the usual things – reading a library book, brewing my own coffee, drinking filtered water, batching errands.
Wishing everyone good health and prosperity.


Edie November 14, 2023 at 10:39 am

As someone who is refurbishing her home on a very tight budget: Consider getting a roller brush and spray paint machine. You can buy spray paint machine used and just clean it or buy it new. I have found that buying the machine was equal to 3 hours of painter labor and saved me so much time and lots of repetitive use injuries!

Live long and prosper!


Jennifer November 13, 2023 at 6:00 pm

My dd came home for the weekend – a very rare thing and we had a fabulous time! Including going out to dinner and to see the Taylor Swift movie. Quality time was very worth it. Taylor swift was our jam while my kids were growing up, so we wanted to see the movie together. It’s been years since I was in a theater and a lot has changed lol

1. We hiked and hung out at home to fill the rest of the time, which was just as fabulous and free.

2. I sent them home with homemade turkey sausage and banana chocolate chip muffins. I also went through my pantry to find things they could take back with them.

3. Dh changed their oil while they were home.

4. I am preparing for my surgery and trying to stock the freezer a bit as well as make a list of easy meals my dh can make. I made a double batch of firecracker meatballs and large batch of dinner rolls. We had 1 meal of the meatballs over cous cous and it generated a ton of leftovers. Rolls were frozen as an easy side.

5. I got my garlic planted and the garden cleaned up. I also opted to NOT buy mums this year even though I love them. Money is tight so I skipped this year.


texasilver November 13, 2023 at 7:52 pm

1. Took 2 insulated cup lids to the Habitat Store to find cups to fit. I found 2 Yeti type cups that my lids would fit. Since you have to handwash these type cups I like extras to keep in rotation.
2. I got a free med iced coffee w/ purchase at Dunkin w/ app. I had to buy something, so I got 3 munchkins. A nice treat for $1.40. Plus, I get to sample their holiday drink concoctions w/o spending a fortune.
3. Bought a thin pizza crust at Dollar Tree & made a veggie pizza from left over stuff in the fridge.
4. I have white curtains that I dislike as they drag the floor & gather dust. I took them down & washed them. I then took one curtain & put it vertically on the curtain rod like a valence. New look, no dust collection, no expense.
5. I disputed a charge with a pest control company. I was charged $225 & they never got rid of my bugs. The credit card company credited my account. I bought some pest control items at the hardware store. I think I have almost won the war on bugs & it did not cost $225.


Katy November 14, 2023 at 1:54 pm

Finding cups to fit the lids you already own?! Blue ribbon for you!


NaiveOrBrave November 13, 2023 at 11:11 pm

I seriously fell of the frugal wagon when I moved…
but tiny things, right?

1. After being out for a whole day, going to a café in the afternoon I bought potatoes at Aldis for dinner instead of stopping for fast food.

2. Selling the books I can sell easily through an app. Giving some to friends. Putting some into free-libraries.

3. Giving stuff away for free that just takes up space.

4. Pushing off the urge to buy new/nicer things.

5. Reading through my un-read books.


Katy November 14, 2023 at 1:53 pm

Nothing like decluttering to kill that urge to buy new stuff!


Selena November 14, 2023 at 7:51 pm

I have a number of items in my house that either a) have been donated, b) will be donated, or c) will ask a local organization if they would like said items for their next fundraiser.
As a side note, if you have an American Legion in your town, check to see if they are collecting blue jeans. Since I am seriously domestically challenged (I garden well as well as bring in a more than decent income), kudos to those who can turn aforementioned blue jeans into something that can hold “stuff” for vets with walkers/wheelchairs. Makes sense to me in my head but I could never execute.
And no kidding with decluttering to kill new/new to you stuff urge.


Ecoteri November 13, 2023 at 11:55 pm

I was up late last night (reading a novel) and remembered that #1 Daughter was wanting to learn how to make bread, and had purchased flour and taken home a spare block of yeast that I had in the freezer. I know that a bread machine makes homemade pizza pretty darn easy, so I hopped on Marketplace where I have been watching prices for a couple of months. Last night I struck gold, found a good horizontal loaf type that was only $20, barely used and just 6 min away from her. She picked it up this morning and paid cash and I transferred the money to her as I had promised to provide her with one and then had given it to her brother when she was in the smaller home. WIN to get such a deal
2. While on Marketplace I found an estate sale ‘lot’ of a LOT of kitchen items – including an electric pressure cooker, two blenders, three coffee percolators, a waffle iron, tonnes of dishes and utensils and cutlery and bread pans and cake tins and cutting boards and – I don’t know, so many things! for $100. Such a good deal so I messaged them, and also said I wanted another smaller lot of sewing supplies (a multitude of bobbins and spools of thread in many lovely old-fashioned sewing luggages. ). Apparently they were swamped with replies, but I guess my cheerful written voice caught their attention and they picked me. when his wife heard that I was collecting for my daughter’s new home, Jim kept texting me to say that she was “Putting more on the pile! hurry up because I might be next!!” We had a lot of fun texting about things before I got there, and then he helped me fill the back of my Toyota matrix – with the back seats down, the boxes were piled 3 feet high in places. We won’t use it all (and it is currently still in the car) but I will share, perhaps post a few things on Marketplace and recoup a bit, and pass on to my buy nothing groups and. a local thrift store and some charities that help newcomers and women fleeing violence. Jim and his wife were just thrilled to have everything gone without having to deal with dozens of people – and I had fun joking around with them.
I managed a costco run that had me only buying what was on my list, end not even all of that – I kept saying “Only what is on the List” and managed to do just that. Proud of myself, particularly today which was a holiday for many so the store was packed with full carts lining up to buy. Go me for knowing what I needed and sticking with the plan.
Chicken thighs and chicken legs are kind of on sale so I stocked up – knew things were busy this week so I homemade shake-and-baked a tray of thighs which means I cannot justify buying food when I am out, as there is something ready to eat at home.
#1 Daughter and I did our lovely mom and daughter thing – a good visit, dog walk, conversation, check out in Mom’s pantry and small appliance basement (pre my haul so more of this will happen) then I worked with her to look at the flyers of where we like to go, we wrote lists, and got her some good deals on foods she will eat. Every time we shop together she gets more ideas. She has a new Credit Card that will give her $50 on her first use and another +$200 if she spends $3000 in the first three months. We used her card to purchase MY groceries, and I etransferred her the money each time- we are going to nibble away at that $3000 using this method, her paying and me sending her the money. I already got my rewards for my new card – paying car insurance for three vehicles in the same month will rack up those points. So I don’t need the points and she does to get the deal. Teaching those frugal hacks – she will end up with around $7-800 in bonuses if she plays her cards right with the various offers at the new bank


Katy November 14, 2023 at 1:52 pm

I applaud your energy and inventiveness!


Kristen November 14, 2023 at 3:14 am

Ohh what a perfect Buy Nothing group recipient for your candy. I love that!


Katy November 14, 2023 at 12:24 pm

I’ve given this woman our leftover candy maybe three times over the years. She keeps candy in her office for when students need a sweet pick-me-up treat.


Jill A November 14, 2023 at 5:46 am

What a great save with the key Car keys are so expensive. I follow a blog called What have we Dunoon. It’s a young couple in Scotland who accidently purchased a derelict Victorian home at auction. There is a TV show in the UK called Accidental Renovators but it’s not in the US. Very interesting to see what they’ve done.
1. I made a delicious potato soup which used up a collection of sad potatoes and other odds and ends in my fridge and freezer. I saved some for lunches, shared some with my Mom and froze some for future meals.
2. My Mom invited my youngest daughter and I for dinner Saturday night. I invited her and my sister for dinner Sunday night. We each got to eat out this weekend without paying restaurant prices and we got to use up some freezer items.
3. I have been reorganizing my freezers and making room for a Thanksgiving turkey. We’ve been making meals to use up items in our freezers and pantry and trying to avoid the grocery store.
4. I mowed my own lawn for the last time this fall. A local company will come and put my snow thrower on my tractor so I can clean out my own driveway this winter.
5. My daughter repaired a broken coaster with a little glue. It doesn’t look great but still functional.


Katy November 14, 2023 at 12:22 pm

RE: Your #5 — “good enough for government work!”

Thanks for the show recommendations!


Hawaii Planner November 14, 2023 at 6:29 am

It’s an expensive time of life for us, so I have to continually remind myself that both small things & the large ones all up. And, the small ones are good practice, and typically good for others/the environment/etc.

1) Earned $45 via Rakuten cash back. I’m very good about always remembering to click through Rakuten first.
2) I’ve started making a habit of checking my credit card cash back offers. While I won’t make an extra purchase to take advantage, I will pull forward a purchase (Christmas gifts, stock up on things I will use like a new pair of running shoes, lotion, etc). I’ve saved another $100 or so this year on those efforts. I’m actually for the first time trying a non drugstore face lotion, because suddenly I feel very old! We shall see if it helps & is worth the extra cost.
3) DS17 found out he earned a large scholarship at one of the university’s he’s considering. This is great news in itself, but inspired me to build an elaborate grid of schools, costs, relative ranking, advantages (e.g. location, major, overall quality of degree) in order to help him narrow his choices. The wide spread of costs between different types of schools is pretty wild.
4) Planned meals, and made a quick pivot when DS17 brought home a friend unexpectedly for dinner. Unfortunately, I then rushed to fix something that could feed everyone, and didn’t take the time to taste the dinner (fajita chicken rice skillet, which is typically delicious) & it definitely could have used more seasoning. Drat. I will figure out how to spice up the leftovers.
5) I had to unexpectedly go to a parent soccer meeting, so we flexed dinner plans again, and DH made a different dinner, using the defrosted ground beef.


Katy November 14, 2023 at 12:21 pm

Ah, I remember those years of balancing dinner planning with the business of teenagers. Not easy. Congratulations to your son on his scholarship!


Hawaii Planner November 16, 2023 at 5:31 am

Thank you! Academics have not always been his thing, so this is a particularly exciting moment!


Selena November 14, 2023 at 7:54 pm

Now pass on the grid skills to your son!


Hawaii Planner November 16, 2023 at 5:32 am

We are working on it! I’m impressed with how much they learn in school about building presentations, and he’s taking accounting, so he does have some spreadsheet knowledge. Just hadn’t thought of applying it to college selection.


Marybeth from NY November 14, 2023 at 8:43 am

It was an expensive weekend. My Husband’s aunt passed away. We had to go to Massachusetts. I saved where I could.
1. We wore clothes that we already owned.
2. I brought a cooler with food and drinks for the road and the hotel. I brought several aloe plants with me to give to cousins. I ran to BJ’s to get desserts to bring to his cousin’s house for after the funeral. Bjs is cheaper then running to some random store that I don’t know.
3. The hotel had a breakfast buffet included so we ate there both mornings. They had free coffee/ tea/hot chocolate all the time, in the lobby, so we had some several times. They also had a bowl with bananas and apples out near the coffee station so we each grabbed a banana every time we walked by it.
4. After the funeral we went to a great Italian restaurant. It was family style and they just kept bringing food out. After the appetizers, the waitress asked if anyone would like them boxed up. I spoke up and said I would take some. It was 3 huge tables of 20 people. She brought me a huge bag of food and said no one else wanted it from the other tables so she gave it all to me. After the main course a few people spoke up. She did come up to me and tell me there was more food in the back that we could take or it would be thrown out. I said to please pack it up. Later at Hubby’s cousin’s house, I pulled out food and heated it up for dinner. No one had to cook. Our cousin did send us home with the rest because he doesn’t eat leftovers. We were happy to take it.
5. Hubby’s cousin took his mom in years ago after his dad died. He was telling everyone to take stuff because he wanted it gone ASAP. He was getting a dumpster Monday. He knows I like plants so he told me to take her beautiful snake plant. He said he knew I would keep it alive. We also took a blanket she made and some dish towels she made. He is going to put together a box of clothes and send them to us so my oldest daughter can make them into pillows and stuffed animals for the family.
6. The next morning we went to Hubby’s uncle’s house. He has bad dementia so we wanted to see him. His aunt went overboard on the food and sent us home with some. They get insulted if you don’t take stuff. She sent us with half a dozen drinks, cookies, pastries. Needless to say we had leftovers that night, Monday and today.


Katy November 14, 2023 at 12:16 pm

So sorry to read about your husband’s aunt, may her memory be for a blessing.


Marybeth from NY November 14, 2023 at 2:53 pm

Thank you. While we were away, my mom’s sister passed. It’s been a bad week. This aunt live near me so no traveling. On a good note, our friends became grandparents this weekend.


Christine November 15, 2023 at 3:21 pm

1. Using BOGOs and store coupons, I brought a $43 grocery bill down to $33.
2. I found a dime on the floor while I was at the grocery store.
3. My cats are inside a lot more now and sleeping much of the time due to the cold weather. I find they’re splitting one can of wet food per day and munching on dry food as opposed to the warm weather when they are outside more and each eat a can a day plus dry food. Little bit of savings there.
4. Batched errands after work yesterday.
5. I went through our winter outerwear and found we have plenty of coats, hats and gloves to keep us warm this winter. I donated about ten scarves to St. Vincent de Paul since I hardly ever wear them.


Katy November 15, 2023 at 3:38 pm

Then you get to use my line of “I recently came into some money.”


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