Five Frugal Things

by Katy on December 4, 2023 · 60 comments

  1. My neighbor Nancy and I met up for tea at her house to catch up on each other’s lives. That’s it. No gift exchange, no baked goods, no obligation — just tea and conversation. Finding contentment with the simple option is a freeing mindset, as it means you don’t have to be financially flush or Martha-effing-Stewart to nourish your friendships.

  2. My friend Lise invited me to go to the Goodwill pay-by-the-pound Outlet with her. Here’s what I bought for $13.55:

    • A Variera IKEA bin. I thrifted the smaller one a couple months ago and had been keeping an eye out for another one. I use them for fridge organization.
    • A cute vintage 1960s/1970s hand towel.
    • Two tiny baskets that I might use as part of the kids’ stockings.
    • A zip-up hoodie for my son and a pullover hoodie for my nephew.
    • A cheap-o organizing bin that matches the ones I already use for drawer organization.
    • A Pyrex glass food storage container to pair up with a lid that came with a set of replacement lids I recently bought.
    • An Elvis Presley Christmas ornament.

  3. My son wanted to make a pasta recipe that specifically called for guanciale pork, so we drove over to Providore Fine Foods, which was a first for me. This “food lover’s playground” contains multiple high end culinary businesses selling impressively gorgeous gourmet items. The prices were outside of my comfort zone. Think $10 cans of tomatoes.

    Instead of bumming me out, the store actually made me feel really good about my own methods of shopping, cooking and food preservation. No, I’m not going to spend $9 on a small jar of jam, but I will forage my own blackberries for jam, dry my own chives, experiment with sauerkraut and bake bread to enjoy the same luxury items as the customers who crowded the store. For pennies on the dollar.

    Seriously though, it was so crowded!

  4. • My neighbor put an empty Bonne Maman jar in her glass recycling, which I brought home to use as food storage.
    • I picked off an embroidered corporate logo from the new looking hoodie that I picked up at the Goodwill Outlet. It’s my son’s size and an expensive brand.
    • I picked up my hold copy of Stephanie Land’s Class, which I’d put on hold as as soon as it was available. The book is crisp and I’m pretty sure I’m the first person to check it out. Every library patron’s dream! I’ll let my step mother borrow it when I’m done reading 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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{ 60 comments… read them below or add one }

A. Marie December 4, 2023 at 5:53 am

FFT, Between-Holidays Edition:

(1) My Thanksgiving hostess (the other close friend of my elderly next-door neighbor) kept her promise about putting her turkey carcass in the freezer for me. Boy, did she ever: I got not only the carcass itself, but all the extra necks and wings that she says she uses for making gravy. So I hauled out my seldom-used 20-quart stockpot and spent Saturday afternoon making 9 quarts of turkey stock. (The weather was dull, gray, and rainy–perfect for this activity.)

(2) I used 2 quarts of the stock, plus the usable meat I wrangled off the bones before starting the stock, to make a sort of turkey minestrone (featuring my own Tuscan kale) Sunday afternoon. I froze the rest of the stock. No need to make poultry stock for the foreseeable future!

(3) My next-door neighbor tends to let almost-finished loaves of white bread pile up in her refrigerator, so I’ve started occasionally asking her for these so I can make croutons. (It beats letting the bread get moldy, which it usually does.) I took her some croutons yesterday evening, along with a container of the minestrone.

(4) I found some bottom-branch clippings from someone’s Christmas tree on a nearby curb last week, so I collected these and made my annual easy-peasy Christmas bough to hang from the flagpole bracket next to the front door. I reuse the ribbon from year to year.

(5) And since Katy has mentioned Martha Stewart, I’ve already procured a suitable calendar for the Bestest Neighbors’ annual Martha parody calendar–a proud tradition that’s now in its 27th year. This one is a sort of Anne Taintor-style collection of elegant 1950s ladies saying snarky things, so all I really need to do is to paste cutouts of Martha’s head onto the ladies as appropriate.


Jill A December 4, 2023 at 6:05 am

I like all of your frugal fives especially the Martha Stewart calendar. Also happy to hear you are still finding uses for your kale.


Bee December 4, 2023 at 6:11 am

Nearly every time I read your FFT, I find myself wishing I lived in your very fun and caring neighborhood! But alas, I could not withstand the winters in upstate New York.


Katy December 4, 2023 at 11:45 am

Homemade soup with homemade croutons? What a perfect early December treat. Lucky neighbor.


Lindsey December 4, 2023 at 4:48 pm

We had a pig named Marth Stewart. She fell in love with the next-door neighbor’s dog and whenever she could escape her HUGE pen, she would run to their house and get in his doghouse with him. If he was not there, she would head butt their front door until they opened it and let him out. When she got into the hundred-pound plus range and I started getting scared of her favorite trick of trying to knock you over, we gave her to a farmer. I could not stand to butcher her. The husband declared “No more pigs!” after that, so I switched to miniature sheep breed called Baby Southdowns.


Jill A December 5, 2023 at 4:08 am

I love this.


A. Marie December 5, 2023 at 11:16 am

Lindsey, if Martha ever found out how much fun I’ve had making fun of her over the last three decades, she’d probably name a pig after me. (And she’d be casting a gimlet eye over me every day for my possibilities as kielbasa.)


Liz B. December 5, 2023 at 10:43 am

@A. Marie, I *LOVE* Anne Taintor’s calendars (and similar style calendars, magnets, etc). Your Bestest Neighbors will love your modifications!


Bee December 4, 2023 at 6:07 am

I’ll be interested to hear about the book, Class. I have it on my list of must-reads, but I know of no one who has read it thus far. The NPR list of notable books for 2023 came out recently.
As always, I have looked it over and added several more books to my list.
My FFT for the first weekend in December:
I rescued a beautiful parlor palm tree from the curb. It is approximately 5 feet tall and completely healthy. It was simply put out with the yard trash. I live in an area without much traffic, so placing something out on the curb almost always means it ends up in the landfill. Yet, my neighbors do this all the time. I’ll never be able to comprehend this type of wastefulness.

We needed 4 new tires on one of our vehicles. We qualified for a $75 rebate from Goodyear. I spent a few minutes filling out the paperwork and submitting it online.

I have been foraging greenery to deck my halls this holiday season. I also stopped at a Christmas tree lot when out running errands and gathered a bundle of free evergreen boughs. I also purchased several large spools of Christmas ribbon early in the year at estate sale for $1. I put it away to use for my holiday decor. The house looks very festive now and it cost very little.

I have bought a few items online for the holidays. In doing do, I have searched and used discount codes whenever possible. I also have signed onto my ibotta app before shopping and checked for cash back offers. There are other apps that also have this options.

My house had begun looking rather sad and worn. The last two years had been very busy, and home matters can be time consuming especially when you are on a tight budget — lots of secondhand shopping and DIY. This fall I began to focus my efforts in this direction ahead of the holidays. The last thing I really needed in the living area was a pair of chairs. The last pair I had purchased for $5 at a church sale, bought fabric, and had them upholstered. Unfortunately, my upholster passed away and the discount fabric store that I loved had closed. When investigating alternatives, I realized that it was going to be a small fortune to have these chairs redone. (14 yards of fabric @ $50 per yard plus labor costs). This weekend on a whim, I stopped into my favorite thrift store and there were the perfect chairs. I even had a 20% off frequent buyer card that I had been hanging on to for a long time. These chairs were a real bargain!!!! I am still excited. My husband steamed cleaned the old ones and we have donated them.

Wishing everyone good health, peace and prosperity …


Jill A December 4, 2023 at 6:30 am

Bee, it sounds like those chairs were meant to be in your home. I love when I am able to thrift things that I need or want instead of buying them new or paying a fortune. I’ve been looking for a new kitchen table and chairs for a while. Hopefully with some patience I can find the perfect thing too.


Katy December 4, 2023 at 11:43 am

Wow, I’m so happy you were able to find chairs you liked instead of having to pay for (and wait) to get them reupholstered!


Lindsey December 4, 2023 at 5:51 pm

I loved that you steam cleaned the chairs before donating them!! I have a friend who works at a rescue mission and she tells horrifying stories of people donating unwashed used clothing—sometimes even unclean underpants!!


Christine December 4, 2023 at 6:40 pm

I volunteer at my church’s thrift shop and there are times when I am shocked by what people deem acceptable for donating. Shirts and jackets with food dribbled down the front of them is one I find particularly strange. Truly, would the person who donated it buy something like that? We’re not a laundromat. Thankfully, I have yet to dig through bags with dirty underwear in them!


Bee December 5, 2023 at 3:28 am

It is important to only donate what can be used. Of course, we all have a different idea of what this may be, but dirty is never good. Our thrift shops often turn large items away if they don’t think they are sellable. A friend of mine was moving who had a really nice Balsam Hill artificial Christmas Tree that she could not take. It even had the storage bag to keep it dust free. I brought to several stores and they all turned away. I was able to find it a home on Buy Nothing.


Christine December 5, 2023 at 5:17 am

I’m glad you found the Balsam Hill tree a home. I’m surprised nobody wanted to take it as a donation. Having finally reached the point where I no longer wanted to deal with and pay for (average price in my area was $75 to $100 ) a real Christmas tree, last December I searched high and low for a used artificial Christmas tree. Fruitless effort. I finally settled on an on-sale tree at Walmart. I would have much preferred a secondhand one to keep it out of the landfill.

Kathy Sell December 5, 2023 at 7:51 am

I learned that folks who donate think clothing is washed or drycleaned by the charity/thrift store before being put out for sale.


Jill A December 4, 2023 at 6:23 am

Your post makes me nostalgic for the Goodwill bins. It’s been a while. The expensive store reminds me of a visit we made to Erewhon store in LA…oh my. Definitely culture shock.
1. I signed up for my health insurance after speaking with my HR friend. I chose the least expensive of two options that included my preferred doctors and were HSA compatible. This should be a very large savings. I haven’t reached my deductible in years so knock on wood that continues.
2. My youngest and I put up our old, used to be pre-lit Christmas tree yesterday. I left the unattached strings of lights in place when I packed it up last year and miracle of miracles they are still working. Yay!!
3. We were exposed to Covid. We will test today using the free tests we received in the mail. So far we are symptom free.
4. I’m reading a library book on my Kindle. It is Yellowface by R. F. Kuang. I’m not sure how I feel about it. So far I’m just annoyed, but since I’m a third of the way through I will continue to read it.
5. I stopped into an Estate Sale the other day. It was day 2 so everything was 50% off. I found a top for $1 that fit perfectly and some Otagiri Horizon bowls that should sell well on Ebay.


Bee December 4, 2023 at 7:45 am

I am also reading — actually listening to — Yellowface. It has made every major book list. Like you, I am not sure how I feel about it. It is a well-crafted story, but I do not find the main character very likable. In fact, I think that she has behaved abominably. However, I will continue listening to it. There must be some reason it’s on everyone’s list this year. Let me know what you think when you’re done.


Mand01 December 4, 2023 at 11:19 am

I haven’t read it but her book Babel is one of the best books I’ve ever read. I also enjoyed the Poppy Wars trilogy – they also had a flawed main character that made poor choices. Try Babel if you want to read something by her that doesn’t have a character like that – it’s one of the best new novels I’ve read in the past ten years.


Katy December 4, 2023 at 11:40 am

Crossing my finger for you with the Covid. I’m hearing about so many people getting it right now, even those who’d been able to avoid it until now.


Selena December 4, 2023 at 7:56 pm

RSV is another watch out for. Know of a person who had it, unsure of vax status but person is not anti-vax, and spent time in the hospital. I had six “sticks” in not quite five months. Glad it’s over but glad I did it.


BettafrmdaVille December 4, 2023 at 6:39 am

1. Made a delicious soup that called for pea shoots or kale but also mentioned that one could substitute – used most of the last of the Swiss chard from the garden. The last will be used up tonight for dinner, including all of the stems.
2. Brought home all of my bedding from my work apartment to wash using laundry soap that I got free using a combination of sales & Swagbucks. A friend is borrowing the work apartment and will pay me far below market price to use the apartment for a weekend, which will cover the utilities and I’ll give the rest of the money to a cat shelter.
3. Bought spaghetti squash on sale this week that I will use for a frugal side dish for a family Xmas party. I’ll also use chickpeas that I got on sale last January – Moroccan spaghetti squash with chickpeas & feta (enough for 60 people – I have a large extended family!)
4. I bought JUST enough gas at my local, but expensive, gas station to get me to the cheap gas station (save .50 per gallon) where I filled up.
5. I’ll leave earlier tonight than I need to so that I can make it to the cheap gas station before it closes, which will save me $5.00.
6. I ordered kitty litter from Chewy but my partner forgot that I did that and bought some from the grocery store, which is far more expensive. I asked him to return it and he did (he hates doing that as he finds it embarrassing).


Katy December 4, 2023 at 11:38 am

I love all the creative thinking in your “frugal five!”


ElbowGrease December 4, 2023 at 6:51 am

I love your outlook on the high quality things that you have made versus spending money to have someone else make them. The sound of your son’s recipe makes me want to dig out my jowl bacon from my freezer. Although mine is smoked and tastes a lot more like bacon than a typical cured pork product (like prosciutto for example). Better to eat it than to let it go to waste.

I’ll give this a shot.

1. The one I am most excited about is fixing my oven ignitor. I was somewhat forced into it because the local repair shop doesn’t work on my brand, and I knew myself well enough to know that I won’t call another place, and the encouragement of the internet and friends let me tackle the project. It ended up costing around $35 and less than an hour of my time. My oven now gloriously heats up in under 10 minutes, versus not getting to temperature in 2+ hours.

2. I have made a sticker chart to keep myself on my financial goals. My friend had old stickers so I didn’t need to purchase anything new. I have given myself a sticker for both sticking to a list and not buying new belongings for my house, but also when I finally do something I have been putting off. I’m hoping it triggers enough of a reward for my brain to keep me on track.

3. While running errands this weekend during lunchtime, I did choose the more frugal option of a bagel from a local grocery store versus Dunkin Donuts, or a similar take out bar. I also said no to the other (quite yummy looking) prepared foods. Should I have brought a snack, yes, but the bagel was the best choice in the moment.

4. I mostly stuck to a meal plan last week to use up what I had versus needing to buy new from the store.

5. This is somewhat grasping, but I am doing a winter CSA with a friend. This is frugal because last year I did a single share by myself and ended up wasting a lot of product. It is not only cheaper, but also less food waste to split it with another. Plus I get to eat local vegetables over the winter.


Katy December 4, 2023 at 11:37 am

I love an adult sticker chart!


Ava December 4, 2023 at 7:36 am

1. We have a movie night planned for this week. Friends will come over and I will make either popcorn or a dessert . We went to their house last week.
2. I have been listing and selling Christmas items on Etsy. Sales are coming fast.
3. I rescued a pint jar from the recycle bin for my friend who cans a lot.
4. I stared in horror at the packed mall as we drove past. We have mostly been staying out of stores except for grocery stores.
5. The art and craft donation store had a sidewalk giveaway of items . I had a lot of fun going through bins, but probably didn’t pick up anything I strictly needed. I got note paper, cards, drawer organizers, odds and ends.


Katy December 4, 2023 at 11:36 am

I would have a hard time turning down a free drawer organizer!


Mary Ann December 4, 2023 at 8:03 am

Big weekend for sweat equity and little spending.

1. Keeping the frugal community in mind. I released to the universe a beautiful old roll top desk (two big guys and a truck came to pick it up.) It opened up a world of possibilities for me in terms of freedom and space to design my perfect home office/ craft room.Using the internet, I picked out a triangle lay out of sewing center , cutting table / stand sit desk and ironing board ( what a luxury.) My back has been really suffering. I was using it as an excuse to put a new Steelcase chair and stand sit desk in a shopping cart. Then I stopped myself with the reminder of only sustainable in the new century home we will move into in two years. I left it in the cart. The next day on Craig’s list, I found the perfect refurbished Henry Miller Aeron and Stand/Sit Desk for less than the new chair. Luxury. The theme in the office was no display – only working tools and projects. I released 12 cubic feet of obetcs and books to friends of the library and Good Will, tore up two rooms, two closets and a hall re arranging, and am now sitting in a wonderful space with nothing stuffed or shoved in it, my sewing machine set up permanently on my desk with room for my computer as well and mason jars holding all my supplies. Yeah!!!

2. In the chaos I thought hard about a hand painted stepping stool that was in the mud room. I won it an an auction for my niece who had suffered through a bone marrow transplant at 1 year old. Thank god she is healthy and happy but there were very dark days for many reasons. I decide I didn’t want to think about the time anymore and donated the stool. Done. I replaced it with two 4.00 collapsable work steps. No emotional baggage.

3. A quick trip to the Century home on the river was not quick but we made huge headway on a rose arbor. before: after: The sculpture was abandoned in the barn and made by the grandson of the original family. I love it and have a ceramic globe that will go on top.

4. I took 10 clippings from a rosetta cactus before the planters were destroyed. They will be replanted in wine barrels I think around the new fire circle.

5. I worked so hard this weekend I ate much less. Yeah! frugal and healthy.


Katy December 4, 2023 at 11:34 am

You described your sewing room so well, I can picture it in my mind perfectly. Well done!


Lindsey G. December 4, 2023 at 9:50 am

Oh how I do love a crisp, new, library book. I always feel lucky to be the first reader!


Katy December 4, 2023 at 11:30 am

It’s such a luxury item!


K D December 4, 2023 at 10:00 am

1. We helped a neighbor string outdoor lights on their porch and bushes. We spent some time visiting with them.

2. Another neighbor listed a jigsaw puzzle on the Buy Nothing group. It had been out there for several hours with no requests so I asked for it. She dropped it off on our porch. I ran into her later and told her we have puzzles she can borrow and/or have and to not buy more. She said the same thing.

3. I listened to The Matzah Ball, per Katy’s plug, thanks to the library. It was a light seasonal read.

4. DD asked if I could get a couple of books from the library. I put them on hold and should be able to pick them up early next week when I am in the area.

5. I made a quick trip to Aldi to pick up on sale produce, including bags of Mandarins to include with a box of baked goods. I like to include a food item on the healthier side of things.


Katy December 4, 2023 at 11:32 am

I like doing puzzles, but rarely do them as I get obsessive about them.


Susan December 4, 2023 at 11:45 am

Me too, Katy…just one more rabbit hole I don’t need to go down


Selena December 4, 2023 at 8:02 pm

Not a bad idea to take a break with said Tortie in your house. I’ve had a puzzle for years (make that decades) that I want to do. But I’ll need a “tiger proof” set-up as I know pieces will disappear otherwise.


Alexandra December 4, 2023 at 10:54 am

1. Picked up some gorgeous beets at the farmers market. Went home and “handled them” fully that day. I’m speaking specifically of the greens. I always mean to do something with them but they languish in the fridge for days and they’re not very nice by the time I get around to them. This time I washed the greens and used most of them to make beet green pesto.
then I sautéed up all the stems, gosh there were a lot of stems! They were sautéed in bacon grease
then I cubed up half of the beets and roasted them in the oven along with some chickpeas.
So for lunch, we had spaghetti noodles cooked along with the rest of the beet greens. I drained them all and tossed it with the beet green pesto and the sautéed stems, and the cubed, beets and chickpeas. Tossed all together and topped with a little bit of feta cheese. Really delicious! a fair amount of work but that’s super fresh produce made an excellent meal
2. There was a holiday open house at a local historic property. We walked the beautiful grounds and interacted with some of the historically dressed participants. They also had made spiced apple cider and homemade cookies, which was fun
because it was a holiday open house, It was free.
3. DH needed a particular screw for a nice solid end table. He had trash picked. Two months later, he found the exact screw. He needed while trash, picking through some tools on the side of the road.
4. I wanted a particular style of boot and could not seem to find them anywhere. I ordered two different pairs online and both were too short. Thus rubbed my calf unpleasantly. I found exactly what I wanted but it was $500. I have decided my current selection of shoes will suffice. Lucky me I just saved $500 !
5. We moved recently, and part of our plan was to get new mattresses. We were careful to choose mattresses that could be returned if we didn’t like them. One of them is a success. So much so that we want a second one just like it. We contacted the seller of the other mattress and they told us to just keep it! They already refunded our money. We have ordered the other mattress and are looking for a good way to donate a two week old mattress


Katy December 4, 2023 at 11:30 am

Are you in a Buy Nothing group? I’m sure someone would be more than happy to take your almost new mattress!


Alexandra December 5, 2023 at 3:52 am

Great idea! I had just joined one. I’ll list it there


Blue Gate Farmgirl December 4, 2023 at 11:31 am

Oh the bins! In our family, we call it bin diving. It is on my list of must do’s this month.
We went to an estate sale and I picked up a bow saw as earlier that morning I was discussing this exact subject with my brother. I asked the Universe for a used one and viola! I got one for $4. We went back early the next morning for 50% off day and picked up a 60’s maple 2 shelf, 2 door cabinet to use in the mudroom. It is made of all wood and painted a horrible mint green. I’ve already begun sanding it and will stain it when it is not so rainy. I also picked up a $1 Fire King loaf pan and a stainless steel basket to use in my airfryer. I also picked up farming supplies (fencing bits and bobs) that I will need when I begin building new fence on the back 15 acres.
I bought a 3 gallon bucket of dirty beeswax for $10 and will use it to make utilitarian candles in collected tins and pinecone fire starters for Christmas baskets.
I walked on a new to me trail on the way home from an out of town doctor’s appointment and picked up paintable rocks to paint and give to a friend who likes to leave them on her walks. Every year I try to paint her 52 rocks to leave on her daily walks. I do this for her birthday and Christmas.
I did not buy a new tractor…even though it had a cute wreath on it. That cute tractor cost double what I paid for my first home. sigh.


Lindsey December 4, 2023 at 6:01 pm

For decades I have longed for/fantasized, entered every applicable contest that I could, hoping to someday own a Baby Bobcat. It makes no sense because once I set up my raised beds and filled them with soil, I had no need of such a machine. I cannot justify it, and I have tried, yet still I lust. Just what the world needs, a 72-year-old woman with a huge brace on her leg, piloting a Bobcat…yest still I lust…


Selena December 4, 2023 at 8:06 pm

Kudos for not yielding to the “s/he who dies with the most toys wins”.


Mati December 9, 2023 at 1:41 am

When my husband retires, Ima buy him an acre and a bobcat.


Emily December 4, 2023 at 12:51 pm

You may be able to sub bacon for the guanciale. I consider myself a foodie and don’t think there’s much taste difference between the two. Bonus for buying the bacon on sale (of course!).


Ruby December 4, 2023 at 1:31 pm

1. Mended a small hole in the ankle of a sock.
2. Rack dried a lightweight quilt we use as a furniture protector.
3. Made up some homemade all purpose cleaner in an empty spray bottle that’s safe for the old marble countertop in our bathroom.
4. Turned two cheap bed pillows into a cushy bed for our mini-size rescued cattle dog by cutting the long side open on each pillow, removing a bit of stuffing, and stitching the covers together to make one large, marshmallow soft pillow and wrapping it in a fleece throw. The new pup feels safe in her bed, which sort of cuddles up around her.
5. This one’s for A. Marie: Went to our mutual favorite discount emporium (Ollie’s Outlet), where Christmas is in full roar, and had to hunt for cat litter, kitchen cleaner, and a pack of toothbrushes, but was successful. DH was so happy not to have been required to slog out in the rain to buy 140 pounds of kitty litter that he poured it up into our reserved lidded pails and hauled it into the house without saying a word.
Bonus: Decluttering is frugal! Mini cattle dog chewed up two wool dryer balls, but we have a back-up set found while cleaning out a cabinet and now stored with the laundry stuff. I had left the balls that became chew toys on top of the dryer for an unguarded moment. She can jump like a kangaroo. Lesson learned.


Katy December 4, 2023 at 2:21 pm

What an ingenious way to make a dog bed, gold star!


A. Marie December 4, 2023 at 2:30 pm

As always, Ruby, Ollie’s for the win!

Also, I hope that the wool dryer balls made it out the other end of the dog without complications?


Ruby December 4, 2023 at 3:28 pm

She just chewed them up instead of eating them, thank goodness. She is about 15 months old and not out of the gnaw everything stage quite yet.


CatherinefromFrance December 4, 2023 at 2:21 pm

Not a FFT but a reflection on how much expensive are the platters’prices from the shop « Providore , Fine Food » For instance on summer I used to make myself this sort of vegetarian platter with homemade hummus ( very easy) , chickpea salad , grilled red peppers , dried tomato confit spread , breadsticks … and even with French cheeses my aperitive tray for several people doesn’t reach these fantastic prices. Et heureusement ! And fortunately!


Katy December 4, 2023 at 2:23 pm

And yet the store was mobbed!


rebecca December 4, 2023 at 3:23 pm

1. Made turkey stock and then turkey vegetable soup from the Thanksgiving carcass. So good. There is some in the freezer as well.
2. My friend invited me to a concert with tix they were given for this coming weekend. No cost entertainment? Yes, please.
3. I cancelled an order from Azure market. I didn’t read the pick up information fully. I saved about $60.
4. I continue to watch youtube videos on money saving and reselling thrifted items. I am going to post a couple of things on ebay and see how it goes.
5. I had a long drive today and was hungry. (Yes, I should have brought something from home). I did not go to a fast food place. I went into a grocery store where they make sandwiches and got one and a drink for half the price and a lot healthier. I was really proud of myself.


Marybeth from NY December 4, 2023 at 4:42 pm

1. I had the eye doctor. I got a new prescription. My new glasses will cost me $0 out of pocket.
2.Aldi had a ton of chicken marked 50% off. I got 6 packs of chicken breast which brought the price to under $2 a pound. One got grilled right away and the rest went into the freezer. My daughter was with me and she got 3 packs.
3. Lunch today was grilled chicken on homemade bread with homemade pesto I made over the summer. Dinner was a grilled chicken Greek salad with homemade dressing.
4. On Friday Hubby brought home a bunch of leftover taco food, steak, black beans, brown beans, yellow rice, Pico and hot sauces. He offered it to the other 4 people in the office and they all told him to take it. We ate if for several meals over the weekend.
5. My FIL came over Saturday and helped Hubby fix the boiler. He is a retired plumber. I came home from work to heat.
6. My son got a $5 Christmas tree at the thrift store for his apartment. It needed a stand. Hubby made one out of wood pieces we had. When we decorated our tree I told him to take whatever ornaments he wanted. He also took some other decorations. He is happy with the way it all came out.


Jennifer December 4, 2023 at 5:57 pm

1. I am recovering from major abdominal surgery last week. We have only eaten out once and we used a door dash GC given to me by my coworkers. I did send my dh to the store today with a small list. My staying out of the stores will definitely save us money.

2. Dh is taking 8 work days and I am taking 6 weeks off – but we have tons of sick time so we will get paid as normal. We rarely take sick time so it piles up. Plus we work for good employers that give us plenty of sick days each year.

3. I borrowed books and magazines and DVDs from the library to occupy my time. But I am already fairly bored.

4. Only wearing pajamas definitely saves on laundry. I mean my dh is doing a lot less than I normally do lol. I am not allowed to do stairs so I haven’t been to the basement in a week

5, I have been staying away from online shopping while also watching videos about no spend months and no buy years.


Marie-Josée December 6, 2023 at 2:19 am

Wishing you a speedy recovery!


Christine December 4, 2023 at 6:52 pm

Wishing you a speedy recovery Jennifer!


Christine December 4, 2023 at 7:16 pm

1. I hadn’t heard of a Lucky Day section at the library until you mentioned it recently, Katy. Lo and behold, today I walked into my town’s library to return some books and pick up two more I had ordered and the librarian said “Don’t forget to check our new Lucky Day section.” Hallelujah! There were some single and some multiple copies of popular and recently published books, many on the bestseller lists. I walked out with the two book I ordered plus Cassidy Hutchinson’s new book Enough.
2. I wore an old plaid flannel shirt I’ve had forever to Plaid Friday the day after Thanksgiving at my friend’s Indy bookstore. Doing so got me a free raffle ticket to a drawing. I’m happy to say I won a large canvas bag that says Shop Small on it and a t-shirt with a stack of books printed on it with the words: I CAN’T. I’M BOOKED. She also had calendars I wanted as gifts 10% off that day so those came home with me…one an Advent calendar (perfect for DS who was born at the end of November) and another hilarious one with Audobon-like paintings of beautiful birds who swear.
3. I put together a lasagna pan size Baked Ziti with meatballs and sausage that had been languishing in the freezer. Homemade sauce with on sale crushed tomatoes and store brand elbow mac. We’ve eaten it for three nights and still have one more serving in the refrigerator.
4. I made two loaves of bread this weekend using a no-knead recipe from an online source, One Good Thing by Jillee. With the dough hook on the Kitchen Aid mixer, it’s super easy. I baked two sweet potatoes which had seen better days in the oven at the same time as the bread. One was lunch yesterday, the other one today.
5. I made a Banana Bread although I was short one banana for the recipe. I added what I imagined was the equal to a ripe banana in applesauce and it came out fine.


A. Marie December 5, 2023 at 11:22 am

Christine, re: your #2, I’m glad you’ve discovered Effin’ Birds (I assume this is the calendar with the “beautiful birds who swear”). Great fun. And I thought I cussed like a stevedore…?


Christine December 5, 2023 at 7:07 pm

Yes! The Effin’ Birds strike again! My friend sells the Effin’ Birds calendars at her Indy bookstore. Those birds really have fresh mouths…make that beaks. They have comebacks I wish I’d thought of at certain times…


Sandra December 4, 2023 at 7:21 pm

Thank you for suggesting another good book. It is out at my library, but I have already put in a reserve request. I just finished reading a previous book that you recommended, Lessons in Chemistry. I had to wait for that one, too, but it was worth the wait. Thank you for sharing.

I made an inventory of leftovers in the refrigerator and saw three things that need to be worked into a meal plan. There was leftover marinara sauce that got incorporated into a layered pasta casserole. There were also boiled potatoes and ham from Thanksgiving that went into a ham and potato hot dish. It was a morning well spent making several centerpieces for meals with the addition of a vegetable and salad.

The house is decorated for the holidays and no money was spent. It is pure nostalgia bringing in the totes of decorations from years past. I thinned out my collection a few years ago so that what I kept is just my favorite pieces that I love to see every year.


Christine December 5, 2023 at 5:26 am

I did the same with my collection of Christmas decorations. It feels good to have less “stuff” to have to store for 11 months and then try to find places for during the Christmas season. Most of the things I kept are things our kids and grandkids have given us through the years. Easy decorating and putting away.


Liz B. December 5, 2023 at 11:21 am

@Sandra, I loved Lessons in Chemistry, and the series on AppleTV+ does not disappoint.


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