Five Frugal Things

by Katy on February 12, 2024 · 99 comments

  1. I booked a flight to New York this summer and was able to pay just $205 by shuffling frequent flier miles. I had almost 25,000 miles sitting idle in an account but was separate from the miles that my husband and I accrue through an airline credit card — unfortunately the ticket required 70,000 miles. I called customer service and they walked me through how to transfer miles for the least amount of money. My husband tells me that the ticket was going to cost $800, which seems insane but apparently it’s a popular time to travel.

    I also made sure to purchase a direct flight ticket that has me landing early enough in the day, so I can take public transportation to my sister’s house during daylight. This saves either the cost of a taxi or the bother of someone driving to get me.

  2. I was able to thrift six drinking glasses to match the three that my son and I bought a couple weeks ago. I deliberately chose a popular design that I knew would be easy to thrift if broken or misplaced. I thought they were Ikea, although I might be wrong. Either way, I was right that three could be thrifted on one day and the rest on another.

    He now has five tall glasses and four shorter ones and I paid maybe $12 for all.

    My personal Working Glass drinking glasses were also chosen as they’re easily thrifted and can be replaced singularly if broken. People think that buying used means you live with a jumble of hodge-podge belongings, but with a little patience that’s simply not true.

  3. I’m currently enjoying a laughable number of library books, as a bunch of my holds came in at once. One that I’m halfway though and thoroughly enjoying is Nobody Wants Your Sh*t: The Art of Decluttering Before You Die. It’s a tiny book, but doles out the pragmatic that you need. Seems like it might be a parody book, but it isn’t.

    The perfect book for people who prefer their advice with a tremendous amount of swearing.

  4. • I baked a loaf of no knead artisan bread and continue to use the 99¢/5-lb flour that I scored in November. Total cost of the loaf? Around 15¢ once you account for the yeast, salt, sesame seeds and cornmeal.
    • I sprinkled Winco bulk purchased corn meal in the bottom of the pan instead of using the recommended parchment paper. I’ve never bought parchment paper and consider it to be wasteful.
    • I was craving a treat last night, so I pulled out my thrifted air popper for a big bowl of popcorn. Melted butter and a generous sprinkling of salt scratched this itch. Unsurprisingly, I scoop my popcorn from the Winco bulk bins.
    • I watched the movie Misbehaviour last night through the library’s free Kanopy app. Excellent movie about the 1970 Miss World beauty competition and how it sparked Britain’s women’s liberation movement. Stacked with A-list actors such as Kiera Knightly and Rhys Ifans, I highly recommend.
    • I noticed that Safeway had Challenge butter on sale for $3.99/lb without a limit. I picked up four pounds as butter freezes well. I wish that $4/lb wasn’t a stock up price.

  5. I didn’t thrift any Lear Jets.

Katy Wolk-Stanley

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

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{ 99 comments… read them below or add one }

Kara February 12, 2024 at 5:54 am

Made butternut squash soup with beans instead of chicken broth. The soup is pureed so no one knew the difference.
Rode electric bike for errands.
Darned a sweater of my husband’s. It’s very threadbare but may go a bit longer as a work sweater. After that it becomes a home sweater.
Had my husband make some minor adjustments to a shelf unit so it works better in the space I want it. Repurposed a homemade TV stand to be an outdoor bench for my buckets of gardening tools. Nice to have those buckets higher up.
Listed a couple things on eBay. Slow there these days.

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Katy February 13, 2024 at 9:59 pm

I like your system of sweater demotions.

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Ruby February 12, 2024 at 7:36 am

I was determined to stay out of the grocery store on Super Bowl weekend, when it’s crazy overcrowded, even though the fridge was looking bare. Freezer and pantry to the rescue: I mixed up a quart of powdered milk for cooking, made iced tea, a big pan of apple-raisin baked oatmeal, sautéed a lot of bits and bobs of frozen veggies as a side dish to homemade fish cakes with rice, and thawed out a pack of bacon for pancakes and bacon for supper with applesauce on the side. Happy family and no money spent.

Also used a piece of fabric from a yard sale to refresh the cloth cover on the pet steps our girl cat uses. Sewed it on with some of the thread given to me by a long-ago neighbor. Repaired the screen door yet again. Mended another gnawed up dog toy.

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Katy February 13, 2024 at 9:57 pm

Apple raisin baked oatmeal? That sounds delicious!

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MB in MN February 12, 2024 at 7:44 am

Thanks for the decluttering book recommendation. I requested it from my library. The author also wrote an earlier book titled Tidy the F*ck Up: The American Art of Organizing Your Sh*t. For those offended by swearing (which I’m not), her book titles are forewarnings! So apt that the author’s name is Messie Condo and funny that it’s so close to Marie Kondo.

1. Used a 20% off coupon from Habitat for Humanity ReStore that I received when I donated items. Also received a free lightbulb.

2. Saved the back of unused checks from a closed account to use as scratch paper.

3. After buying some books from the neighbor kids’ sale table (in their driveway as it was close to 60 degrees. In Minnesota. In February), we received a pack of goldfish crackers along with a thank you note. So cute.

4. Ordered a sandwich for lunch at a restaurant. It came with red onions, which I dislike raw, so I put them in my reusable container that I bring with me everywhere. Eventually used these onions in a homemade soup.

5. Received a jigsaw puzzle from our niece as a housewarming gift.

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Lindsey February 12, 2024 at 9:28 am

I salute you for bringing home the raw onions!

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Val February 12, 2024 at 3:13 pm

MB, I don’t like raw red onions either, and I’ve done that too, brought them home and cooked them later. My husband kind of rolled his eyes! But I feel bad throwing them away when I like them once they’re cooked.
Also, very dear that your neighbor’s kids sent you a pack of Goldfish and a thank you note.

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Katy February 13, 2024 at 9:56 pm

That’s an insane temperature! I am very impressed that you brought home your onions, as I also don’t like raw onions, but I’m not sure I would’ve thought to do that.

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Christine February 12, 2024 at 7:51 am

I made two bowls of stove popped popcorn for DH and myself last night too. It must have been in the air. I find adding a tablespoon or two of butter to the oil in the pan gives it that “movie popcorn” flavor. I prefer salt and DH prefers grated parmesan cheese, so we do two separate bowls.
1. I made a cake for my grandson’s 16th birthday. Also, some cash since he is saving up for driving school and a car.
2. I’ve found that with the increase in Social Security we’re able to save more. I wasn’t sure we could with the overall increases in prices but happily we’re able to.
3. I went to an art show opening at my friend’s Indy bookstore. The artwork was done by people in the community and I was glad to see some of my friends and acquaintances had entered an item or two into the show. Lots of fun to see them and talk with them as they were talking about their work. There was a table full of treats they had brought in for the guests so no need to eat lunch that day!
4. We stayed home for the Superbowl. We had a bowl of tuna salad in the refrigerator and DH was good with having tuna sandwiches for dinner. Plus, the above mentioned popcorn was a delicious snack later.
5. I mended the lining of a favorite old coat after sticking my hand through it.

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Katy February 13, 2024 at 9:55 pm

My husband and I didn’t watch the Suberb Owl as he was working on a plumbing issue and I went outside to prune and tidy up the garden. I don’t like football whatsoever. Thankfully neither does my husband.

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Vickey February 25, 2024 at 7:22 am

Thank you for saying this publicly. Nice to know I’m not the only one.

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Ava February 12, 2024 at 8:09 am

1. I sold a nice jacket that I picked up from a dump pile at the recycle bins. The buyer gave me a 5 star review.
2. We discovered that my husband’s new insurance plan had errors in their website and some of his doctors were not covered in spite of being listed. It took a gazillion phone calls to insurance, doctors and insurance broker to find out what was actually going on, and then a visit to the broker to switch back to his old plan. Now all his doctor visits will be covered. In addition, we were trying to get info on a day he actually had an appointment. His doctor told him to keep his appointment and if he wasn’t covered, that they would not bill him for the visit. I thought that was extremely kind.
3. We had a loaf of good bread that wasn’t getting finished and was also somewhat crushed. I turned it into crumbs to top homemade macaroni and cheese.
4. My husband won a $25 gift card to a new ice cream store that opened near us.
5. We have very fluffy cheap bedside rugs. They are light colored and show dirt fast. I tried putting them through the washer but they didn’t look any different when they came out. I then tried washing them in the bathtub and so much filth came out in the water! After they dried by hanging on a fence and being brushed with a dog brush, they are ready to go into service again.

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Katy February 13, 2024 at 9:53 pm

Yummy free ice cream! Hooray for figuring out the best way to clean your rugs!

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A. Marie February 12, 2024 at 8:38 am

FFT, Monday Morning Miscellany (also posted this morning at The Frugal Girl):

(1) I took my semi-annual bagful of thrift shopping mistakes to Clothes Mentor last Thursday and got $35 in store credit, of which I spent part on a lovely J. Jill top and a new-in-package set of three Jockey brand undies.

(2) I went to the bakery outlet Friday and got three loaves of Arnold’s whole wheat and a package of hot dog buns for a total of $5.

(3) Having sampled a Wegmans Italian Classic frozen pizza recently (I had a digital coupon on it) and decided I can make a better pizza at home, I made one Saturday afternoon with olives, onions, mushrooms, and a little Gianelli turkey sausage as toppings.

(4) Unfortunately, in getting the cast iron pan I use for pizza out of the oven, I burned my left hand, not badly but painfully. (The pot holder slipped.) I cut a bottom leaf off one of my aloe plants, split it open, and applied it to the burn off and on for the next hour. The next morning, the pain was gone, and there was next to no trace of the burn.

(5) And I celebrated my annual Ignore the Super Bowl tradition last night by taking a good book to bed at 8 pm. Cost = $0.

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Michele February 12, 2024 at 9:01 am

I read during the Super Bowl, too!

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Shona February 12, 2024 at 9:16 am

So did I

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Ecoteri February 12, 2024 at 10:15 pm

Ha. What’s the Super Bowl? LOL. not on my radar – I did a bunch of chores, walked the dog to get my steps, pruned more branches, and ate leftovers for dinner. Perfect Sunday, in my world.

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auntiali February 13, 2024 at 5:13 pm

My sister in law was here for the Super Bowl – she likes football – and she talked the entire time non stop. Didn’t get to really see any commercials. So before I started screaming I went and got a box of photos and went through them.

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Katy February 13, 2024 at 9:52 pm

It’s been a long time since I’ve made pizza from scratch, as my daughter can’t eat gluten. However we’re empty nesters, so I should make some in the near future.

Sorry about your burn, but hooray for aloe vera!

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Michele February 12, 2024 at 8:59 am

1. Used a gift card for an expensive restaurant. We actually chose that restaurant because we had a gift card. Very good and we will go back, but might avoid all the extras we got with our gift card.
2. I also had to venture out on Super Bowl Sunday, but I was able to get in and out of Aldi, DG, and Sam’s quickly.
3. Meal prepped using stuff that needed to be used up. Wrinkly pepper, chicken with taco seasoning , and cauliflower rice made enough bowls for 4 days. Also cut up some getting-soft cukes for snacks and made bowls of yogurt with some no-one-is-eating cereal on top for breakfasts.
4. Bought a cute 1.oo vase to add to my Valentine decorations.
5. Spent a great night with my parents on Friday Eve. We drove, so they bought our dinner. We are in our 50s and have jobs, but they will seldom let us pay!

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Heidi Louise February 12, 2024 at 12:25 pm

My husband and I, as well as another couple we are friends with, also had parents who would seldom let us pay!
Though (unlike a sibling of mine), there is a ritual of offering to pay and making sure to say “thank you” twice.

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Bee February 12, 2024 at 12:42 pm

My son is in his late 30s and is an executive in a rather large company. He is careful with his money and had done well for himself. When he met his wife’s family for the first time a few years ago, we all went out to dinner. My son quietly paid the bill for everyone. When my DIL’s father asked the waiter for the check, all hell broke loose. FIL-to-be told my son that he had disrespected him that the “adults” always pay for dinner. My poor son was dumbfounded and embarrassed. The good news is his in-laws live 1000+ miles away.

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Selena February 13, 2024 at 7:51 pm

How rude on all fronts. I might have decided that I didn’t want to be part of that family. 1000+ miles away would have been too close for me.

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Katy February 13, 2024 at 9:38 pm

That’s a controlling man and it sounds like a proper amount of distance.

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mary in maryland February 12, 2024 at 4:25 pm

Fifteen years ago a friend and I in our mid-fifties went to a quilt show in Harrisburg and stayed with her parents in a senior living complex. Her 84- year-old father went to the basement and turned on the lights so “the girls” wouldn’t trip in the dark. Sweet, but we were safer on the stairs than he was.

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BettafrmdaVille February 12, 2024 at 8:14 pm

My mom never seems to mind when I pay, but if my dad is there, he will always pay (I’m in my 50s). The one exception is when it is a mystery shop, and they are ALWAYS up to join me on those.

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auntiali February 13, 2024 at 5:17 pm

Our son and daughter in law were here for Christmas and my son paid for 3 dinners. That was a great feeling. One dinner I had a bit of money on a gift card and used my AARP discount and he paid the rest.

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Katy February 13, 2024 at 9:51 pm

That was very generous of your parents.

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Jill February 12, 2024 at 9:30 am

1. As promised I cleaned my son’s downstairs of his house for one of his birthday presents. Stovetop, refrigerator, and laundry folding included. One countertop that is his “clutter spot” still remains to be done but I will do this with him. I’m doing my grandson’s room and upstairs bathroom at a later date.
2. I’ve mentioned before that my husband scored an incredibly priced season ski pass for a more “local” ski resort. That is his day off of childcare so I decided mine would be going thrifting. I hadn’t been in a few months and found out it was 99 cent sweater and toy day at my local thrift store. Scored a big bag of toy trucks and 5 sweaters.
3. My husband was given two free burger coupons for Carl’s Jr for their free burger day today so that will be dinner tonight.
4. I gave away a bag of books to a home day care on Buy Nothing along with a bag of little boy socks to another person.
5. – I made a batch of homemade play dough for these colder days inside for my grandson. I worked at a not for profit preschool that didn’t have a supply budget so making playdough is something I could probably do in my sleep.
– Scored 4 liquid soaps for 60 cents each at Kroger. We only used liquid soap at the kitchen sink so this should last us a good long while.

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Katy February 13, 2024 at 9:49 pm

You’re set with sweaters now! I used to make playdough from scratch when my kids were little, it was especially enjoyable when it was still warm.

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texasilver February 12, 2024 at 9:39 am

1. I took the kitten my husband brought home in January to low-cost vax clinic. The vet tech said she was around 6 months old. She got kitten shots which will be followed by a booster. I also need to book a spay for her. Pets cost $ to take care of properly.
2. Found a can of loaded baked potato soup in the grass outside a Dollar General.
3. My husband hit the coffee jackpot! He found around 15 boxes of coffee pods for a Keurig coffee maker. (We don’t have a Keurig so I will give these to my goddaughter.) He also found around 20 tubs of ground coffee. He drinks hot coffee so these will get used. He found these in garbage bags in the Dol Gen dumpster.
4. Found a quarter in the Walgreen’s parking lot.
5. I found a large amount of different types of dried peas & beans that were in their original packages & in date. I think they came from a food bank. The curb where I found them was at a house where a family moved out. I am sad that food is being thrown out after it is given to people. I kept a few packages, but we can’t eat this much. I will find some place to donate them.
6. I took a used backpack, lg canvas bag with a shoulder strap, 2 new small pocket notebooks, markers, and a cutesy clipboard and girly notebook to donate to a church I attend. I found or was given all of these items. Some were new. The church was collecting school supplies & bookbags for students going to seminary in Zambia. Good to get the surplus out of the house & to someone who can use it.
7. Found more discarded clothes to wash, fold, & take to local psy. hospital. I did find a 100% cashmere cardigan. This one I kept.
8. The move-out house also yielded a large box of dishwasher powder & an ugly xmas sweater for a man. My husband kept the ugly sweater with a dinosaur on it.
9. Hubby & I went to Outback for an early lunch. I had a 10$ reward in my DineRewards account & I had a GC. A tasty lunch at no cost.
10. Hubby invited a friend over to watch the Superbowl. He & friend ate almost an entire grilled chx & several pounds of veg followed by brownies. It was a cheap meal & less that chips & dip etc.
What frugal scavenging adventures await me (and you) this week?

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MB in MN February 12, 2024 at 6:09 pm

Texasilver, I continue to be amazed and impressed by your finds outside Dollar General and on curbs!

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texasilver February 12, 2024 at 7:14 pm

Many places here in the Dallas Ft Worth area lock their dumpsters. It is hit or miss to find things. Now that I am semi-retired, I have more time go look. My BFF said I am a natural born scavenger. I don’t know if that is a compliment or not. (I give some of the things I find like the coffee pods to her.) My husband tends to be a pack rat, so I try not to add to clutter.

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Roberta February 13, 2024 at 10:23 am

I work in a local food bank, and I know that sometimes people have a hard time utilizing the dry beans we give out. Either people don’t have the time, the resources (crockpot to the rescue!) or the knowledge to transform dry beans into dinner.

We are fortunate to have a shelf where people can leave things they can’t use, and others who are able to process them can take what otherwise would be unused.

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Katy February 13, 2024 at 9:21 pm

That’s better for people to swap what they won’t use.

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Katy February 13, 2024 at 9:46 pm

You went “gleaning” for soup! Good for you for not letting your neighbor’s old stuff go to waste.

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Lindsey February 12, 2024 at 9:47 am

1. A friend gifted me five jars of her homemade salsa, made in September with ingredients from her garden.
2. Husband forlornly asked if we had any con queso sauce in the house. It would have been a miracle, since I have never bought it…But he seldom asks for any special foods, nor does he usually watch football, and he never complains when I make so much soup that we have it for dinner four nights running, so I used a jar of the gifted chili and cheese that we had and chips from a mystery shop. He was thrilled and I left him to it while I read in another room.
3. Sold a book on eBay that I listed with no hope of selling. It was gone in two days! Once again proving that I have no idea what people will or will not buy.
4. Picked up two books from the library.
5. Husband did four gas mystery shops and filled the tank for free.

Someone asked if Houndini (thanks for A. Marie for that most apt of names for Poun Hound #1) is making friends with Clobber Paw (Pound Hound #2, adopted last week). Slowly, although I am sure the relationship was cemented when the husband went to the bathroom in the middle of the night and caught the two of them sharing an entire loaf of the challah I make every Friday morning. Clobber Paw had snagged the bagged loaf down off the top of the bucket of flour, which was on top and all the way to the back of the kitchen counter. It has been 5 years since we last had a giant breed and I had forgotten how far they can reach when they rear up on their hind legs. He is only 8 months and is taller than the 5’10” husband. We are now back to putting edibles on top of the fridge as we go to bed. At least he shared with Houndini. Giants are prone to bloat if they eat too much or too fast and an entire loaf could have caused real problems, culminating in death or surgery, so we were lucky. Our fault, not the dog’s for doing what puppies do.

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A. Marie February 12, 2024 at 1:31 pm

Well, Lindsey, we already have two illustrations for the revised children’s book “The Adventures of the Pound Hounds, Houndini and Clobber Paw”: CP relaxing in your wheelchair, and CP and H enjoying the challah. But I’m glad that CP didn’t eat the whole challah, for the reasons you describe. And I’m flattered that you consider Houndini a good sobriquet for Pound Hound #1. Give Auntie A. Marie’s regards to them both.

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texasilver February 12, 2024 at 7:19 pm

We once had a German Shepard dog. She had to take steroids at one time. In humans, steroids often increase the appetite. The dog got an entire loaf of bread off the counter & ate the whole thing. Evidently the steroids increased her appetite too.

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Katy February 13, 2024 at 9:45 pm

Houdini is a great name for a dog!

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Shona February 12, 2024 at 9:50 am

1. Sold 2 more items from my recent closet clean out.

2. Found a nice umbrella on my walk. It will replace the kinda broken one I’ve been using forever, which was left at the doctor’s office I used to work at and never claimed.

3. 95 cents found in the vending machines on campus.

Happy I now have an alarm clock I really like. Not happy that I bought it from Shmeff Shmazos. I kept finding the same crappy ones at the thrift stores and was tired of searching. This purchase is one more detachment from using my smart phone.

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Katy February 13, 2024 at 9:44 pm

You’re killing it with those vending machines!

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Maureen February 12, 2024 at 9:51 am

Libby. So as not to receive too many books at once. I delay/hold them all out 180 days or more. When I am 1-2 hours from finishing a book I remove the delay/hold on the book that is next on my list, the one that says it is available immediately or even up to 2 weeks from being available.

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Q February 12, 2024 at 10:51 am

Maureen,
that is a great tip!

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Selena February 13, 2024 at 8:03 pm

Perhaps my library has that feature now too – have to renew my card but there was no option to delay a hold, just cancel it.

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Jill A February 12, 2024 at 10:03 am

1. I visited my DD#1 in the next state. I filled my car with gas at Costco beforehand and drove my hybrid.
2. We ate all meals out – not frugal. We didn’t eat lunch. I did share a couple meals with my Mom. We often order the same thing and only can eat half so it worked out well.
3.We visited a Goodwill Outlet. I found a glass butter dish for 69 cents. It’s not what I want but it will be a good place holder until I find one I like better. I can sell it in a garage sale at that point.
4. I also found a nice pair of jeans in the bins for my new smaller size.
5. I picked up the three birthday cards I needed at Trader Joes last week for $1 a piece. Their selection isn’t very big but their cards are nice.

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Val February 12, 2024 at 3:16 pm

I really like Trader Joe’s greeting cards. They are so colorful and creative, something different than a typical card. The price is good too.

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Katy February 13, 2024 at 9:43 pm

Hooray for jeans-by-the-pound!

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Bee February 12, 2024 at 10:21 am

Great job persevering and saving 75% on your plane ticket this summer. I fund most of our travel using loyalty and credit card points. However, with the cost of air travel getting much more expensive, it is getting much harder to do. As the cost of tickets increase, the number of points required for any given trip has also gone up. We are trying to go visit our nephew this year and tickets cost twice as much in dollars as they did pre-covid. They also require 3X the number of points. I really do not like the new normal, but I count my blessings. I am thankful for all that I have especially the frugal skills necessary to make it work.

I’m having a really hard time thinking about anything that I have done that is frugal beyond all the usual things. I have been brewing my own coffee and drinking primarily filtered water during the day. I have eaten all my meals during the month of February at home and have been cooking from scratch. I have been reading and listening to books courtesy of my local library. Batching errands and so forth. I have also done the following;
1. I paid my annual visit to the eye doctor this morning. I am still as near-sighted as I always have been. I paid for my visit and my new contact lens using my limited use FSA. I also gladly accepted a rebate form for my contact lens purchase.
2. I used leftovers to make my lunch today. My husband made a pre-game nacho last night. I repurposed the meat, beans, roasted corn, chips, and guacamole into salad toppings.
3. I have started my spring cleaning. I currently have pillows in the wash. These are always such a hassle to clean, but I feel much better when they’re done.
4. I had coffee with my dear friend on Friday. Once again, we met at the nonprofit coffee shop where we sat and talked about life and nothing much. After we finished our chai and chat, we walked over to the thrift store where I bought a skort. I know for some this is an odd piece of clothing, but here they are worn 7 -8 months out of the year along with sandals.
5. I made an appointment to have my car serviced this week. This will be my 200,000 mile check up! I am bringing in my beloved Volvo wagon for its regular maintenance. This is the car that my insurance company tried to total a couple of years ago. It has been fixed and still drives as well as it did the day I bought it. The sales people at the dealership have stopped trying to get me to buy a new one. However, I understand that Volvo gives a new car to anyone who drives their Volvo 1 million miles. I am trying for this. My BIL pointed out that it might not be possible — killjoy. If I drive 20k miles a year for the next 40 years, I will reach the million mile mark in time for my 100th birthday. I wonder if we will have cars anymore. Time will tell.
Wishing everyone peace, strength and prosperity.

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Heidi Louise February 12, 2024 at 12:38 pm

Bee, I’ve forgotten if you read Mary Russell/Sherlock Holmes books, by Laurie R. King?
The next one comes out tomorrow, “The Lantern’s Dance.” I will be stalking my library online reservation system until they get it entered there.

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Bee February 12, 2024 at 12:49 pm

I have not read these, but will add them to my list. I read/listened to the whole Mrs. Polifax series on your recommendation and enjoyed them immensely.

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Heidi Louise February 12, 2024 at 1:12 pm

I will be glad if you like them as well! I don’t generally care for Sherlock Holmes, but these tricked me into appreciating him. Although they don’t need to be read in exact order, starting near the beginning would be good. (The first is “The Beekeeper’s Apprentice”).
Does your Volvo have any equipment for playing tapes or CDs? Or just an AM radio….

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Cindy Brick February 12, 2024 at 1:54 pm

LOVE Mrs. Pollifax — read the first one (which really changed my attitude on aging)…and didn’t realize for years that there were more! (I did the same thing with LION, WITCH AND THE WARDROBE as a kid, not realizing there were more Narnia stories. Not too bright, I guess.)

Try the DVD series with Jeremy Brett as Sherlock Holmes. He and his Watson do a tremendous job.

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Heidi Louise February 12, 2024 at 3:56 pm

Yes, the Jeremy Brett series portrays Holmes with more humanity than sometimes comes across in the books.
I chuckled at you not knowing about more books that you might like.
How different it is with the internet now! I celebrated when I found a mystery I didn’t know of when I was looking up an author I like.
I have a list of all the authors/series that interest me and noted when their next books come out in 2024.

Katy February 13, 2024 at 9:42 pm

That sounds like a wholly delicious salad! And hooray for 200,000 miles!

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Marybeth from NY February 12, 2024 at 11:52 am

1. It was Hubby’s birthday. We went to a quick serve burger joint for lunch. It’s his favorite. It’s about 25 minutes away so we don’t go often. Brought drinks with us. We ate in the car because it is too cold to eat outside and those are the only tables.
2. He wanted a small wine rack for the dining room so I got one from the thrift store as a present . He was happy.
3. I cooked dinner for us and the younger kids who live near by. He asked for fried chicken cutlets(I rarely fry) so I made a bunch extra for him for lunches this week.
4. I cooked 3 times the baked potatoes we needed for dinner. Now I have easy potatoes to make breakfast potatoes quick.
5. I made a dairy free cheesecake with cherry topping. It was what the birthday boy requested.
6. Hubby watched the Super Bowl at home. I watched the half time show. We happily ate leftovers.

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Katy February 13, 2024 at 9:39 pm

Mmm . . . I love baked potatoes, I think I’ll throw some in the oven tomorrow.

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Janet February 12, 2024 at 12:33 pm

Dollar Tree has glasses with lids that are identical to the working glasses.

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Katy February 13, 2024 at 9:38 pm

Good to know, although I do try to buy used whenever possible.

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Cindy Brick February 12, 2024 at 1:50 pm

We use a stovetop ‘whirly’ oven popper. (Also thrifted.) I’ve found that using butter (about 3 oz), instead of oil to pop the popcorn works just fine — saves oil — and gives you that nice buttery taste.

And yes, real butter. No messing with margarine. I buy that on sale, too. (Easter’s a good time to look for sale butter and eggs.)

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Ecoteri February 13, 2024 at 3:21 pm

ooooo thanks for the whirly popper idea. Went on Marketplace, found a new in box one for 1/3 price that was only a few blocks from my Daughter’s place. Sent her the link and told her I would pay for it if she could get it. She was successful. She is short on pots and was using a good stew pot to make frequent bowls of popcorn – making the bottom a bit hard to clean. Next time I visit I will scrub that pot clean. I burned one of her few other pots (I had given it to her, but still) so I feel badly that she is short of decent cooking implements. they are just so important to make cooking easier for someone who isn’t in to cooking (as she unfortunately isn’t). This feeds two birds with one crust, freeing her big pot for better use and giving her something that is better on her glass stovetop anyway. Win win!

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Vickey February 26, 2024 at 7:38 am

>>feeds two birds with one crust<<. Love this! Thanks for this lovely improvement on the violent old saying.

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Farhana February 12, 2024 at 3:24 pm

I’ll never understand the point of using profanity, especially in the title of a book. It doesn’t add anything to the message. It’s so sad and disgraceful.

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Selena February 13, 2024 at 8:09 pm

I have to respectfully disagree. As you are entitled to your opinion, I (and others) are too.

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Katy February 13, 2024 at 9:35 pm

And it’s okay to disagree. I swear a lot.

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Kristen | The Frugal Girl February 12, 2024 at 6:42 pm

So, tell me about the Challenge butter. Does it taste a lot different than other butters?

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Katy February 13, 2024 at 9:33 pm

It’s higher butterfat, which can only be a good thing. Flavorwise, that is. I haven’t do a taste comparison though.

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BettafrmdaVille February 12, 2024 at 8:26 pm

I was shocked to see Aldi’s butter was $3.69 per pound! I haven’t even looked since before the new year when I added 6 pounds to my stash at $2.99 per pound. I have enough to last until Easter.
1. I picked up a mystery shop (lunch + $20) as it was on my way along my long commute (2.5 hours) today.
2. Last night, I reheated some artichoke dip that I had brought home from Sat. night mystery shop dinner and made it better but also added some leftover broccoli that I had also left over.
3. My dad reglued the sole of a pair of boots that had come undone.
4. I lost both of my cats to cancer in the last 6 months, so I brought 3 cases of wet food that my cats didn’t like to my parents who feed 2 feral cats. They seem less picky…
5. I had done product testing for a travel coffee mug where I was paid $50 and got to keep the mug. After the testing period was over, the company offered another $50 if you would send the mug back. I have plenty of other travel mugs, so I jumped at the chance to make another $50 and t0 NOT have another mug….

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Christine February 13, 2024 at 1:37 pm

I’m very sorry about your cats. How kind to give their food to kitties your parents feed. Hugs.

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Lindsey February 13, 2024 at 3:13 pm

Would you mind saying if the product testing is through a mystery shop or some other shop? Thanks.

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BettafrmdaVille February 13, 2024 at 9:59 pm

Lindsey,

It is through Shark Ninja. https://www.sharkninja.com/

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Selena February 13, 2024 at 8:13 pm

Hugs from me too – hard when a fur baby passes. I have a neighbor who, like me, feeds any cat that needs a meal (plus the many she has – she’s not a hoarder!). Before I started feeding my feral, I bought some wet food neither cat liked. Off it went to her house. My feral is really our feral – he dines at both houses, depending on his mood I guess.

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Katy February 13, 2024 at 9:32 pm

And once again I’m sad that Portland doesn’t have Aldi’s.

So sorry about your kitties.

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Ecoteri February 12, 2024 at 10:52 pm

I am re-reading a book that I JUST got out of the library “A Strange and Stubborn Endurance” (I also have book two – “All the Hidden Paths”) by Fox Meadows, a Queer Australian author.
This is the second ‘set of two books’ that I have inhaled and then immediately started to re-read again this year. (The first set is Fourth Wing and Iron Flame, by Rebecca Yarros).
I love it when I find a new author who writes in a way that fully captures my attention, but I also read so fast to find out what happens, so a second slower read is warranted when I am enthralled.

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Alexandra February 13, 2024 at 4:08 am

1. DH continues to hit the mother load of curb finds and dumpster diving. This time he found an entire bag of children’s clothes some that still had the tags on them. He is taking that to the mission thrift store. The big success was he found a $50 gift card to Longhorn steakhouse. He finds gift cards all the time and they almost always have a little bit of money on them. I’m sure whoever lost This one was really bummed.
2. We reconnected with a very old friend and instead of meeting up in a restaurant, we had her come over for lunch on Saturday. I made a copycat recipe of Tuscan chicken with pasta, garlic bread, and a side of green beans. I enjoy cooking, she and DH enjoyed my cooking, and we sat around for 2 1/2 hours catching up. Can’t do that in a restaurant!
3. I’m traveling for work this week and really enjoying earning hotel points and rental car points while my company is paying for the services. I’m counting my blessings and enjoying the perk.
4. We are continuing to do workouts daily with YouTube videos. Free! We have several family members in their 80s and one of them is in such awful poor health. Such a reminder to take good care of your body!
5. I just read the book “Poverty, by America”. A really good book on the multiple issues that are contributing to poverty and homelessness in the US. He has some good solutions. I like to listen to the podcast “money with Katie” annd she also addressed this book and some others about solving these problems.
I recommend both.
As a result I am absolutely committed to not spending any money at Starbucks anymore. Why would I support a company that actively works to bust up unions?

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Katy February 13, 2024 at 9:28 pm

I just saw an Instagram reel where someone got a Longhorn Steakhouse kid’s meal to go and it was actually a lot of food.

And thanks for the book recommendation!

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Vickey February 26, 2024 at 4:37 pm

Love your #5! Especially re committing to not supporting union-busting companies. And thanks for the podcast recommendation – I’ve given hers a follow now.

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Mar February 13, 2024 at 4:19 am

I want to read those books! My parents needed to read them. After spending 7-8 months, 6-7 of us working every Sunday to clean out their house. I understand those who grew up during the Great Depression kept everything and I understand there was a LOT of stuff they could not get rid of for whatever reason. I will not do that to my kids. Those of us cleaning out the house were split 50/50 between let’s donate it all and we have to keep all of this stuff after all it was our parents belongings.

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Bee February 13, 2024 at 7:26 am

Clearing out my in-law’s home was challenging. My father-in-law grew up quite poor during the depression and was afraid to get rid of anything useful. When they passed away in their 90s, they owned a lot of “stuff.”
There were some definite hot spots — the kitchen, my FIL’s office and the garage.

The pantry had foods that expired two decades earlier. The office was filled with paper — newspaper articles, old bills,and thousands of cancelled checks going back 45 years. The garage was filled with everything imaginable. The strangest thing we found was a brand new pair of women’s ice skates still in the box. Considering that my in-laws had lived their entire lives in Florida, this was an unexpected find. Because of this experience, I make sure that I shred my papers regularly, keep an inventory of my pantry, and try to keep my garage organized.

I also learned that estate planning is important, your wishes need to be specific and well thought out. My in-law’s will specified that my SIL — who has hoarding issues — had complete discretion in disposing of an distributing the contents of the house to her other 4 siblings. After the food and some of the papers were disposed of, my SIL took nearly the entire contents of the house, garage and two sheds and put it all in storage where most of it still remains 8 years later.

Every once and awhile when my SIL comes to visit, she’ll ask if I want a specific item. I always say yes then I pass it on to the family member who really wanted it in the first place. Sadly, when my SIL passes, I am sure her only child who lives 2000 miles away and barely knew his grandparents will quit paying the rent on the storage facility, and the entire mess will end up on an episode of Storage Wars.

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Katy February 13, 2024 at 9:46 am

Ugh, what a nightmare!

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Katy February 13, 2024 at 9:25 pm

That is such a waste to pay to store stuff that’s destined to sit idle for no reason. Thank you for sharing your advice and cautionary tale.

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Ava February 14, 2024 at 12:56 pm

It took me a year and a half to empty my parents house. I was a 2 hour drive away and could mostly just work on it on weekends. I have no siblings. There was no close by recycling or places to donate clothing and household goods. It was a horrible time. I don’t want my kids to go through anything like that.

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Katy February 15, 2024 at 11:52 am

That sounds awful, I’m so sorry you went through this.

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Alexandra February 13, 2024 at 9:35 am

Mar, the books are great although I recommend reading small doses. It gets overwhelming.

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K D February 13, 2024 at 4:49 am

We too have Working Glass as our primary drinking glasses. The smaller ones have lids so I sometimes use them for refrigerator/freezer storage. We’ve had them so long I’m not sure where we bought them.

1. On Sunday I found a smallish kitchen cooling rack in the street while we were walking. It had bent sections but a careful session with a pair of pliers restored it to 95+%. I could use another cooling rack for when I make large batches of cookies.

2. I am scheduled to go to FL with a friend to visit a mutual friend. The trip has evolved into a trip to Disney World. I have no interest in going there, let alone paying the price of such a trip. I am going to bow out. My flights were purchased with Southwest points earned years ago. When I cancel the flights the points will be returned to me.

3. DD signed up for a free trial of Paramount+ so they could watch the Super Bowl. She offered to share the password with me but I couldn’t see anything they offer that I’d want to watch. She has the “with ads” subscription and we don’t do ads these days.

4. Safeway has a promotion that offers $10 off on a future grocery purchase when you spend $50 on certain gift cards. I did the deal a couple of times, for a Hulu gc and for a PetSmart gc.

5. I am awash in library books, both print and digital. I love both the audio and written version of electronic books. I am reading My Name is Barbra and listening to Frozen River.

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Katy February 13, 2024 at 9:45 am

Both of my cooling racks were pulled from someone’s recycling bin a very long time ago.

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Katy February 13, 2024 at 9:46 am

You must not be the Star Trek fan that my husband and I are!

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Christine February 13, 2024 at 1:46 pm

I have Frozen River on hold at the library through the interlibrary loan system. Looking forward to reading it. I read A Midwife’s Tale, the non-fiction book on which it’s based, and really enjoyed it and learned a lot from it.

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Katy February 13, 2024 at 9:26 pm

I have the lids as well, which really ups their functionality.

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Dicey February 13, 2024 at 10:47 am

I “inherited” a small selection of Duralex Picardie glassware, because they came with the husband. Over the years, I’ve added to the collection via thrift stores. I now have at least twelve of everything. They come in handy, because we entertain a lot. They’re a classic style, made of tempered glass so they’re very sturdy and withstand hot and cold well. I have a large, well-stocked kitchen and most of it had been thrifted over time.

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Selena February 13, 2024 at 8:20 pm

Love the glassware. Thrifting in my area is spotty at best so I bought another set (NOT from Schmezos) – they are durable but they can break. The sizes were *not* quite the same as the original but close enough.

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Katy February 13, 2024 at 9:20 pm

I had to look those up, but I see those in almost every thrift store. Excellent inheritance!

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Dicey February 16, 2024 at 11:43 pm

There are a lot of knockoffs. I only buy the Duralex brand, because the glass is tempered.

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Roberta February 13, 2024 at 11:21 am

1. I repurposed old lasagna noodles into “fazziolini” pasta. You basically break up the noodles into squares, and treat it like pasta. Got rid of a box from the pantry! Can dry pasta every go bad?
2. My husband used scrap, including the backing from a framed poster, to convert the old heater blower into a closet. No money spent on the conversion (the actual heat pump was _not_ cheap.)
3. Posted a couple of Lego sets on Craigslist. I need to take good pictures to post them to ebay, and I am hoping they will sell so I don’t have to do all the work of getting set up on ebay again. But it’s better than just letting them sit and make me feel guilty.
4. The new closet project required I remove some pantry shelves while the work was done (they’re all back now). During the moving-stuff-around process, I was able to evaluate what I have. With the exception on one can of refried beans and one can of cranberry sauce, everything else was stuff we use and staples. The refried beans will go to the food bank. The cranberry sauce will go into brie and cranberry grilled cheese next week.
5. The usual: menu planning, hanging laundry, eating down the pantry, decluttering.

Not as frugal, but necessary: spent almost $300 on new glasses, I’m getting progressives for the first time. We also put in the heat pump, through Costco, so we’re getting both a tax rebate and a Costco rebate. And the ablity to rent our home, in time. Tonight the arborist will come by to give us a quote on tree trimming. I am glad that frugal living in general will give us the means to do what is necessary.

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Katy February 13, 2024 at 9:19 pm

Crossing fingers for your Lego sales!

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auntiali February 13, 2024 at 5:49 pm

Frugal has been good to me lately:
1. Went to my DAR (Daughters of the American Revolution) meeting and they such a set up for lunch! Two soups, sub sandwiches cut into reasonable pieces and desserts. OMG the desserts! I grabbed a brownie on my way out.
2. On my Nextdoor Neighbor app a person in the next town over was giving away 5 Bonne Mamon jars with lids. These must be the 12 ounce (?) ones. Waiting now to store spices or anything else or for a Christmas/birthday gift.
3. Did a free Valentines Day craft at the library.
4. Hubby and I went to the Mall to get chair massages – put $3 in the machine and get 9 minutes of massage in a chair. Then we went to PF Changs as they were celebrating the Lunar New Year. I couldn’t get any swag cause hubby and I don’t do Instagram but the kind young man gave me a box of party stuff. I got 4 sets of nice chop sticks, 4 oragami cranes, a corkscrew and a bag of PFChange confetti.
5. I went into Bath and Body Works and got my free 32 ounce carton of foaming hand soap. Carton can be recycled when done.

Also let Thredup know that I wanted to return a shirt and they let me keep it and gave me a credit. I got a black tank top from them for free. Land’s End had tshirts on sale and I had a credit there so that made the shirt about $5. Free shipping cause I have their credit card.

Set for Valentines Day for dh as I bought a card, small bag of Hershey’s Kisses and a pack of gum for him at Dollar Tree.

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Katy February 13, 2024 at 9:15 pm

Ooh . . . you’ve been busy!

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Selena February 13, 2024 at 8:26 pm

The title reminds my of the great George Carlin (how I miss him – I haven’t brought myself to read the last book of his I bought). When it belongs to you it is stuff, when it belongs to someone else it is sh*t. In my mind, pretty much puts her title in perspective.

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Katy February 13, 2024 at 9:14 pm

That’s very true.

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