Five Frugal Things

by Katy on February 26, 2024 · 75 comments

    1. I scored an adorable antique dresser from my Buy Nothing group, which was sorely needed as my son’s old bedroom had devolved into a literal “bed” “room,” as it contained a bed and no other furniture.

      I’m trying to avoid spending money on extras as we had a deluge of unwelcome expenses in December and January. My goal is to not touch our savings account if at all possible.

    2. I try to balance the giving/receiving when it comes to the Buy Nothing group, so I looked over my eBay inventory for something to part with. I chose four vintage style blow-mold Santas that somehow didn’t sell over the holidays. I list quality items pretty frequently, so I’m not concerned about it being a precise exchange of goods.

    3. I finally scored appointments for a pair of free haircuts for my friend and I through the Supercuts training center. I didn’t get a response to my first email inquiry, but a follow up a few days later was a success. The stylists are all fully licensed and often have years of hair cutting experience, they’re simply new employees.

      If you’re also looking for a free haircut, call around to see if the Supercuts in your region have a training center for their newly hired employees.

    4. • I yelled at a passerby to stop picking my neighbor’s daffodils, which resulted in my neighbor being able to enjoy what was left of her flowers. I rarely absolutely do not approve of theft as a “frugal hack.”
      • Someone left an empty kombucha can in front of our house, so I added it to our stash of returnable cans. I’m never going to turn down an easy 10¢.
      • A different neighbor borrowed our muffin tins and returned them along with two frosted cupcakes.
      • I drove to Safeway to pick up a $1.49 half-gallon of milk and their 99¢/pound chicken quarters. I took a minute beforehand to glance at Ibotta* and loaded a 5¢ coupon for “any brand milk.” Meh.
      I spent an hour or so pruning my backyard wall of hydrangeas and otherwise tidying up our outdoor space. A yard that’s simple enough to maintain on my own is a frugal choice.

    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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{ 75 comments… read them below or add one }

Q February 26, 2024 at 6:20 am

I love the white bureau! It is very pretty.

1. I like seeing my Christmas wreath, as it reminds me of the holiday and everyone coming together. I (finally) took it apart to store the ornaments for reuse, use the greens as mulch, and save the metal ring to use as the spine for a cloche. I left a small amount of greens on the bottom half (after trimming), and made it into a hanging Easter decoration: I stuck some moss on it, some small plastic speckled eggs, and a couple of pompom chicks. I used the thin wire to hang it over our dining room table. It looks surprisingly nice, and adds to the spring green feeling I am going for.
2. I filled some metal vases with boxwood branches, and two small vases with magnolia cuttings that will force into bloom, using marbles to hold the small cuttings upright, and twine to give the branches the right angle (I stripped the bottom of the branches, and they look great.. To this I added three Aldi’s $.3.79 hyacinth bulbs that came in cool little clear glass forcing vases. I dropped one vase, so I propped the bulb in a pretty footed drinking glass, using toothpicks, like we used to do with avocados. I stacked garden books as pedestals for the plants. The table cloth is linen colored, the backside of a piece of fabric a friend gave me. The result is conservatory, spring, artsy: it makes me smile! And my yard got some trimming that it needed.
3. Yesterday, we went for a walk at a local refuge. I exercise enough, but am aiming to get my husband back into exercise, and it was a nice outing. Later, I made a simple sheet pan dinner NYT: Herb marinated seared tofu and I subbed asparagus for the string beans. I made sure to put the lunch portion aside in a glass container, as otherwise we just eat it for seconds, and we don’t need the calories.
4. I am going through the library copy of the cookbook I thought I wanted to buy, and see that there are only a few recipes that I will actually cook, so I will copy them and not purchase the book.
5. Off to dermatologist: staying on top of little skin cancers is frugal and healthy, as I have lost family members to that disease.

take care, everyone.


Bee February 26, 2024 at 3:57 pm

Your spring arrangements sound lovely! I am always foraging for greenery and flowers. It saves a fortune.


Kara February 26, 2024 at 6:50 am

1. Ate up the last of the soup with purple carrots in it. Tasted great, looked terrible.
2. Had a lovely birthday, the sun was shining, and I chose to have my husband help me with projects in the garden. He built a seed starting rack entirely out of free wood I’d picked up here and there. I already have it loaded with seeds!
3. Sewed a drawstring bag to wrap a gift in.
4. Have meals planned for week with nothing needing to be bought, so I can stay in my grocery budget for the month.
5. Picked up a free kitchen island to flip on our way to my birthday dinner out.


Heidi Louise February 26, 2024 at 7:10 am

Sounds like a great happy birthday day!


Bee February 26, 2024 at 3:59 pm

Happy birthday! May all your wishes come true!


Katy February 26, 2024 at 4:50 pm

Happy birthday, Kara! Let us know how the kitchen island flip goes!


Selena February 26, 2024 at 7:26 pm

Happy bday and may the dinner meet or exceed expectations.


MB in MN February 26, 2024 at 7:47 am

Katy, the white dresser looks fabulous against the dark wall!

1. For a family get-together, I purchased a quart bottle of kids’ organic juice on clearance – paid $1.89 vs. the mind-boggling original price of $6.29.

2. Made a big pot of Cream of Wheat and portioned it into individual jars for breakfasts. In the morning, I add milk and heat the jar in the microwave. When I’m feeling really fancy, I add some sugar or maple syrup.

3. Combined a distant medical appointment with a stop at a discount foods store and a favorite thrift store (enjoyed perusing while buying nothing).

4. Found a terrific thrift store just a few miles from my house. They had all of the items on my list for much less than Goodwill.

5. Picked up puzzles at City Hall at the free puzzle exchange.


Katy February 26, 2024 at 4:49 pm

Are puzzle exchanges a new thing, or did they did hit my awareness all at once? Such a good idea!


Fru-gal Lisa February 26, 2024 at 7:35 pm

I get free jigsaw puzzles by working them online. has not only a daily jigsaw, but a daily word search, Word Roundup and several other fun games and they are all free. There are other jigsaw sites, too. The best thing about them is no missing pieces! Plus, you don’t have to find a place to work it, and there’s no cleanup afterward. And did I mention it’s free?


Stacie February 27, 2024 at 12:06 pm

Our Senior Centers in the area offer puzzle exchanges for free. You leave one and take one or take one and bring back.. 🙂


Val February 26, 2024 at 5:42 pm

That’s a great hack on the Cream of Wheat to save time in the mornings. Very smart of you.


Karen A. February 26, 2024 at 8:05 am

1. Used up a cup of brown lentils that wasn’t enough for soup; cooked them with brown rice in the rice cooker and froze the result for at least a week or more of lunches for me.

2. Home haircuts for two kids and I trimmed my own hair, a true feat for me. I’ve been growing it out since an ill-conceived pixie cut in 2021. It’s finally down to my shoulders so I can trim split ends a bit easier, and that satisfies my desire to go “get it cut.”

3. We’ve had buckets of rain–literally–and have stored up a lot of clean rainwater. This will be a help in the future.

4. Stocking up on staples like oats and tuna which are on sale right now. I’ve been eating oats for breakfast for about a month now, rather than eggs.

5. My (admittedly cheapo) electric kettle bit the dust. It lasted 5 years, which I guess in Made-in-China speak is a lifetime. DH tried to fix it but said it was so shoddily made it really couldn’t be fixed. Decided to switch to a stovetop kettle, using a hot plate (so I don’t mess up our rental’s smooth top stove by accidentally forgetting it). DH researched and ordered a copper kettle made in India….pricey, but if it lasts longer than 5 years and isn’t flimsy I’ll call it an investment. I do love my tea, and the microwave is not the same for tea making!


Katy February 26, 2024 at 4:48 pm

I love that my stovetop tea kettle should late beyond the decades that it’s already been in service.


Ecoteri February 27, 2024 at 11:16 pm

My Daughter snagged a lovely blue enamel stovetop kettle that she wasn’t using (she gets distracted to an electric with auto shutoff is her go-to). for once the used-and-free highway lead from kid to mom! I love that thing, it sings loudly on my induction stovetop and comes to a boil in under two minutes for enough water to make my pourover coffee… kettles, so useful!


Jill A February 26, 2024 at 8:29 am

I love the white dresser. I can’t believe it was free.
1. I took my daughters for dinner and used gift cards from Costco that were 20% off. The restaurant was part of a local restaurant group. I joined their rewards club which gives you 30% off your bill on Monday’s.
2. I made bean soup yesterday which used up a chunk of ham in my freezer. I used the same recipe but did it in the crockpot since I was going to be gone. The flavors are pretty blah so I’ve got it simmering on the stove this morning. I added some more herbs to see if that’s the problem.
3. I washed a dry clean only dress on gently cycle and it turned out great.
4. My mom gave me half a bag of potatoes as she’d bought too many and also some bags of licorice she didn’t like. I gave her a loaf of bread from the two pack I got from Costco.
5. I’m reading a library book on my kindle. I washed my laundry in cold water and hung it to dry. I drank my one cup of coffee a day at home. I’m eating up leftovers and trying to eliminate food waste. I’ve sold several items on Ebay and working to list more. I’ve ordered a postal pick up of my shipped items. I’m taking lots of free walks in the forests for exercise and mental health.

Happy Monday everybody!!


Katy February 26, 2024 at 4:43 pm

Sounds like you really made the absolute most of those restaurant gift cards!


Katy February 26, 2024 at 4:45 pm

How wonderful to have access to a forest for walks! And I agree about the dresser, I feel very lucky.


Ava February 26, 2024 at 8:35 am

1. I found a penny and also got 7 swagbucks through a search for The Nonconsumer Advocate.
2. Both my husband and I went to the nearby beauty school for haircuts. We paid $13 each plus tip vs $25 each plus tip.
3. We acquired a free bookcase a neighbor put on the street. We hauled it into the guest room and when I walked by the room later I said “What’s that smell?” The smell was not noticeable at all outside but inside it was giving off a strong smoke smell. I have tried various smell eliminating products like baking soda, skunk spray deodorizer, cat pee destinker, layers of newspaper. The newspaper seemed to help more than anything else. My most recent effort is pine scented cleaner and that seems to have made a great improvement. I think the smell is almost tolerable now.
4. We had a redistribution of socks for the greater good. My husband will only wear a certain kind of very thick wool socks. He has been gifted with and rejected various kinds of socks over the years. He had a box full of new socks which we took with us to visit family. Two grandsons were not interested at all. Son in law was highly excited at the prospect of new socks and took 2/3 of them. Meanwhile, youngest grandson is changing his fashion image and getting rid of all the bright colored graphic design socks he loved a short while ago. I took four pairs for myself and one for a friend. On the way home, we stopped to visit the oldest grandson at college and gave him the rest of the box of socks. He was also highly excited. I think we made maximum use of the sock redistribution system.


Jill A February 26, 2024 at 9:12 am

I love your redistribution of socks!!


K D February 26, 2024 at 9:19 am

I second that.


Marybeth from NY February 26, 2024 at 9:47 am

Try dry coffee grounds to get rid of the smell. Leave them for several days. It really helps get smells out.


A. Marie February 26, 2024 at 9:53 am

Ava, your “sock redistribution system” tickles me. A friend of ours is likewise very fussy about his socks (understandably so, as he wears a size 13 shoe and often has trouble finding socks to fit). DH was the lucky recipient of many of this friend’s rejects for years. I’ve reciprocated with many large/tall shirts from LL Bean, Eddie Bauer, etc., all thrifted.


Katy February 26, 2024 at 4:42 pm

I absolutely love your family’s redistribution of socks! I forget to use Swagbucks, so thanks for the reminder.


Michele February 26, 2024 at 9:32 am

1. Meal-planned and bought the very few ingredients I needed for the chosen meals. My meal plan is not set in stone. I just know that I have the ingredients to make those meals!
2. Flying to see out son and DIL next Saturday. We stay in our basement bedroom (it sounds like a prison, but it’s actually lovely) and try to have meals ready when they get home from work. We will do free and inexpensive stuff during the week while the kids are at work.
3. Meeting with retirement people tomorrow. Trying to learn as much as I can.
4. Started a monthly envelope system to have enough on hand for the IRS next year. This is the first year we owed 🙁 and I had enough to pay, but I do not like to be unprepared!
5. Husband is steadily organizing and keeping what he needs in our large barn, and selling unwanted items. Crap out, money in!


Katy February 26, 2024 at 4:38 pm

Hooray for crap out, money in!


Selena February 26, 2024 at 7:37 pm

If one or both of you are still W-2 employed (or making estimates), I’d adjust withholding (married withhold higher single rate and/or extra $x per pay period OR higher estimate). It isn’t the end of the world if the feds have $200 MOL of my money each month during the year. Any refunds go to savings (be it straight savings or towards property taxes which I pay lump sum in one payment). Even if the interest rate is almost 15% – don’t laugh, at one time it was – a whopping $30 per month (based on a starting balance of $2400). IMHO, owing puts you on the radar.
And yes, crap out is a win, with money in is a win-win!


Michele February 27, 2024 at 7:08 am

Good idea. Will check with finance.


BettafrmdaVille February 26, 2024 at 9:47 am

1. Over over-the-range microwave/vent/light died. I was able to hold off and wait for sales from Presidents’ Birthday sales. I bought one (opened box) online [mentioned last week] only to find out they had already sold it. Waited another day, and a different one appeared in the warehouse, with a dent/scratch, so I was able to save an additional $50, getting a $550 microwave for $199. We still went to pick it up saving $199 in delivery fees.
2. I’m making quiche for dinner tonight but I do prefer it with some cream rather than all milk. I get milk free from a mystery shop and I found a recipe online that “makes cream” by mixing milk with melted butter. I’ll use on-sale Aldi butter.
3. My nephew offered to take me/partner out to dinner but I had a meal planned that would have had extra anyway: pork banh mi burgers. The pork and the buns were free from a mystery shop, and I already had all of the salad and potatoes, so dinner cost under $5 for the 3 of us. He brought beer.
4. Partner started some seeds yesterday. We normally buy starts, but we figured we would try and we already had the soil, and the starter pots. We got the seeds 40% off at Ocean State Job Lot, and used our gift card from the 40% back (in the form of gift certificates) that they offered as their anniversary special a few weeks back.
5. Found a deserted cart at Aldi yesterday, making .25.


Katy February 26, 2024 at 4:37 pm

I’m impressed with your patience and ingenuity to get such a good deal on the microwave/vent/light!


Marybeth from NY February 26, 2024 at 10:02 am

I totally understand unwanted expenses. Thank goodness for our savings accounts.
1. I sold an item for $100 on Facebook Marketplace. Last week the guy asked me to hold it for him until he got paid. I figured I wouldn’t hear from him again but I did and he paid asking price. Listing more items daily.
2. Hubby fixed the backup camera on his truck.
3.My sister dropped her dog off for the week as she is traveling this week. I told her ahead of time to come for dinner. She insisted on bringing the food. She brought steaks, porkchops, asparagus and broccoli. Hubby cooked everything up with some potatoes I got on sale. My daughter and her fiancé came for dinner too. She also brought macaroons for dessert.
4. We were running low on dog treats so I pulled out some frozen pumpkin and made a double batch. I used apple sauce instead of eggs since the price of them has gone up recently. I gave some to my daughter for my grand pup too.
5. I happily ate steak(leftover) and eggs for breakfast.
6. My son wasn’t feeling good over the weekend, so I dropped off some food and covid tests that I got free. It was negative. So many things are going around right now. I left everything outside his apartment. I don’t need to catch anything.


Katy February 26, 2024 at 4:35 pm

You’re a very nice mother, grandpupmother and sister!


Marybeth from NY February 27, 2024 at 7:45 am

Thank you. You are a great wife, mother and sister too.


K D February 26, 2024 at 10:14 am

1. We ran errands Saturday morning. DH loves going to the Grocery Outlet and we were across the street from it so we stopped in. He scored boxes of Cinnamon Puffins cereal for $.99/box. He loves to snack on cereal and this one is relatively healthy.

2. We ran a neighbor to the airport Friday morning. It’s only ten miles away and an easy drive. She has in the past and will in the future return the favor down the road.

3. I’m meeting a friend for a walk this afternoon to take advantage of the spring like weather. Cheap entertainment.

4. I read The Women by Kristin Hannah via a digitally borrowed book from the library.

5. I’m still wearing the same old, same old clothes.


Bee February 26, 2024 at 4:21 pm

Did you like The Women? Sometimes I like Kristen Hannah’s work and sometimes I don’t,


K D February 27, 2024 at 9:53 am

It was very well written and definitely an eye opener. I did not love The Four Winds but highly recommend this.


Katy February 26, 2024 at 4:33 pm

Thanks for the book recommendation, I’ve like Kristin Hannah’s books in the past.


Selena February 26, 2024 at 7:44 pm

#5 – you are not alone. Truth be told, the older they are, the longer they are likely to last. Still fitting into same-old-same-old-clothes is an uber frugal win in my book. After mom died, I snagged a couple pair of (she hemmed) flannel lined jeans. I wish I had snagged a couple more but I know someone else is making good use of them. I cherish wearing the made-in-USA items I still have.


K D February 27, 2024 at 9:55 am

I have a few clothing items that were my moms and they have seen a lot of wear. I also have clothes my daughter was getting rid of. I love not shopping for clothes.


A. Marie February 26, 2024 at 10:15 am

FFT, Winter Into Spring Edition:

(1) With the latest thaw, found change is picking up again. I have 56 cents so far for the month of February, which is an improvement on January’s 3 cents.

(2) And with the latest thaw, the secrets of snowdrifts in the form of redeemable bottles and cans are again being revealed. Also, I commend the young man who wrote this article about his bottlepicking grandfather for the NY Times (here’s the link, if you can get over the NYT paywall: Here’s hoping that we actually get an expanded bottle bill passed in NY State this year, so that all of us bottlepickers/canners/whatever can get a raise.

(3) I spent yesterday afternoon making beef stock with a full bag of beef bones from the freezer, since I’d used up the last of my homemade beef stock in my most recent pot roast.

(4) I had a productive morning out at my local Lowe’s and Salvation Army today. First, I had to go to Lowe’s to recycle some defunct CFL/LED light bulbs and buy furnace filters anyway, so I stopped to look over the clearance rack for houseplants, since I’m craving a little variety in my little sunroom. I found one of those pots of three different types squished together that looked salvageable, for $7.98 plus tax. I’ll divide the three into their own pots, thereby getting three new-to-me plants for under $3 apiece. (Honestly, I’m not even sure what two of these are–but I’ve been wrangling houseplants since my college years, and I’ll do the research.)

(5) I then found a working table lamp at the Salvation Army for half off $15, or $7.50. It could use a somewhat nicer shade, but I need a lamp for my guest room, and the lamp body seems to be solid brass. (Whatever it is, it’s heavy as hell.) And I’m trying to talk JASNA BFF into coming up here for a visit to see the solar eclipse on 4/8, so a lamp for that room was needed.



Lindsey February 26, 2024 at 11:49 am

A. Marie, I immediately thought of you when I read that article in the Times!


A. Marie February 26, 2024 at 12:45 pm

Lindsey, a dear friend of ours (she died of metastatic breast cancer the day I checked DH into the nursing home; as you can imagine, it was high tide for tears in my house that night) had parents who were professional domestics to the rich and famous. Their final client was a certain fashion designer whose name was seemingly emblazoned on the derriere of every pair of jeans sold in the late 1970s. Anyway, my friend’s parents took up bottlepicking on their arrival in NYC and never gave it up–to the extent that the doormen of their employer’s building on Central Park West had to ask them to stop bringing their finds in through the front door. And my friend’s father’s mantra was forever “Get nickel! Get nickel!” I’ve always admired them for that.


Katy February 26, 2024 at 4:22 pm

I love this! I accompanied my husband to his hockey practice today and helped myself to seven 10¢ cans from the garbage in an unoccupied area.


Selena February 26, 2024 at 7:48 pm

@A. Marie – are you referring to Gloria Vanderbilt jeans lol.. I will admit they were well made even thought I cannot remember if they were made-in-the-USA or not. I do know they were pricey (and even then, I did buy the one pair on sale – sister and I both wore them).


A. Marie February 27, 2024 at 4:57 am

No, I meant the other famous late 1970s jeans designer. The guy.

Katy February 26, 2024 at 4:33 pm

May the expanded bottle bill odds be ever in your favor!


Shona February 26, 2024 at 10:57 am

1. Didn’t spend any money for several days last week. I didn’t go into it intentionally, we just had everything we needed/wanted at that time.

2. Turned in a bag of books & CDs to the Buy Sell Trade used media warehouse. Came out with a nice stack of books, a CD I had been wanting for awhile, and still have $18 in credit.

3. Mixing up meals, last week’s soup will carry us over for a second week (I realized this early on and froze half).

4. The campus vending machines have been a bust, but several coins found in parking lots the past several days.

5. About 30 hair ties found on the ground over the past several weeks. My stash was running very low. Of course the criteria is they must be clean and not overly stretched out. They get a nice little hydrogen peroxide soak before use.

Comment on the previous post about frugal hacks. Mine is making veggie broth from bits of veggies that would otherwise just go into the compost. Once I have about 2 gallon bags filled in the freezer I make a large batch and freeze in old yogurt containers for my weekly pot of veggie bean vegan soup.


Katy February 26, 2024 at 4:30 pm

I just put found hair ties in the silverware bin and let them go through a dishwasher cycle. Your veggie broth sounds perfect!


Ruby February 26, 2024 at 11:51 am

That dresser is lovely, Katy. Great score!

I went grocery shopping early this morning and snagged a fresh whole organic chicken on last day of sale for $5.15. Cooked it for our lunch today and froze the giblets to cook for the dogs when I next make homemade kibble topper for them.

Picked up two pennies in a parking lot.

The puppy nibbled through the nylon zipper on my old fluffy robe. I trimmed out the zipper, put a button on the robe and hand-sewed a buttonhole. Wonderful old robe remains wearable!

Finished reading a library e-book.

Did laundry today and am rack-drying a load.


A. Marie February 26, 2024 at 12:35 pm

Ruby, one of my Sunday morning walking buddies (the assistant director of family services at DH’s nursing home, and my guardian angel while DH was there) has a rescue dog who has chewed up not one but two of her winter jackets. She could probably use your mending expertise.


Ruby February 26, 2024 at 2:25 pm

I thought the little stinker was nibbling her nails while lying in my lap. Fortunately she looked up and I saw pink fluff in her teeth! I don’t dare leave my sweaters where she can jump up and grab them.

She’s 35% cattle dog and 100% chaos most days, but we love her.


Katy February 26, 2024 at 4:29 pm

Hooray for your now bionic sweater!


Lindsey February 26, 2024 at 12:05 pm

1. It took me three hours but I went through every cupboard and our pantry and organized them so I would stop doing things like, for example, buying yet another can of roasted red peppers or pepperoncini when I already have several jars of each.
2. A friend is moving out of state and we scheduled a final dinner together. She asked that I make a cake for dessert and I was able to do so with ingredients I already had instead of buying an expensive grocery store cake.
3. Made some potholders with material I had hanging around, rather than buying new ones.
4. Took the last of the frozen fruit from the freezer, pulverized it and swirled it into yogurt that I then froze for healthy treats. That frozen fruit was mostly berries picked last summer so we really needed to use them.
5. Took a load to Salvation Army and got a tax receipt. Left without spending any money.

Frugal fail: I have forgotten the habits one must adopt when living with giant dogs. Took out a pound of butter and put it on the counter while I took a shower. Returned to find the Dane we adopted had eaten the entire pound. That was a $5.99 loss at current butter prices. Also had to mop the area near the fridge as he has apparently figured out how to get water by pressing his tongue on the fridge door dispenser. Husband is going to disable that handy feature of the fridge this afternoon.


Bee February 26, 2024 at 12:30 pm

What a smart dog! Thank you for making me laugh. I would love to see a video of that,


A. Marie February 26, 2024 at 12:49 pm

Lindsey, I see two more illustrations for “The Adventures of the Pound Hounds, Houndini and Clobber Paw,” featuring Clobber Paw’s latest misdeeds!


Katy February 26, 2024 at 4:28 pm

One episode of Scooby Doo should have warned you about this possibility.


Bee February 26, 2024 at 12:22 pm

I love the white dresser against the green wall. What a great BN gift to receive! BTW, it takes me months to earn enough from Ibotta to make a withdrawal.
It has not been a particularly thrifty week, but it’s not been a spendy one either.
1. I finally decided it was time to deal with my covid 20 (weight gain) or buy new clothes. Being thrifty by nature, I decided to do the right thing. As I was looking through my insurance benefits, I found that our health insurer has a free diet and exercise program for adults over 50, Livongo. It is designed to help prevent the onset of Type 2 Diabetes and High Blood Pressure. Although I have neither, I was able to participate because of my age. I downloaded the app and I was sent a smart scale. I also now have access to nutritional counseling. It is nice to have some needed support. Similar programs cost quite a bit of money. Just one week end, I’m 3 pounds down; 17 to go!

2. On Katy’s recommendation, I borrowed Katrina Rodabaugh’s book, Make Thrift Mend, from our library. Although it was not available at our local branch, the librarian ordered it from another branch in our county. I love the author’s concept of slow fashion. Many NCA readers are already adept in this area of clothing repair, but I’m a work in progress.

3. I have started watching Sandition on my PBS app and I continue to watch Antique Road Trip. With 26 seasons of Road Trip, this may take a while. Free TV.

4. My daughter was here for a brief visit, and we made a trip to the GW. We purchased absolutely nothing. Zilch. Nada. There was not a thing that we wanted, could use, or resell. I haven’t seen the thrift stores like this since 2008. I can’t decide if people aren’t replacing things or if resellers are gleaning off everything worth having. Perhaps it’s a little of both.

5. I’ve done some of the usual things. This weekend was a bit crazy. We took care of our son’s children — two under two—and our daughter was here for a weekend visit. I admit to taking a few shortcuts at dinner time. Friday I bought a precooked filet of salmon from the gourmet grocery and Sunday night I purchased a rotisserie chicken. Saturday night, I think we just ate veggies and hummus and called it a night. Dinner was too much trouble. We did drink water, brew our own coffee and I took a quiche that I made earlier out of the freezer for our breakfast.

Wishing everyone peace, good health and prosperity.


Katy February 26, 2024 at 4:27 pm

My theory on the general crappyness of thrift store right now is that w’re looking at the aftermath of poorly designed and manufactured goods that were too cheap for people to bond with. Easy to buy, easy to donate and not worth buying at the thrift store. Fast fashion, fast decor, fast everything.


Bee February 27, 2024 at 4:57 am

Yes, there is very little of quality. There are things with fast fashion labels, poorly constructed furniture, and mugs…lots and lots of mugs.


Jill February 26, 2024 at 1:49 pm

Very nice dresser, Katy!
1. Last week was all about the kids consignment sale – buying and selling. I made $125 and spent $ 185 so I’m calling it a win. I had gone online to Old Navy, Children’s Place and Kohls so I knew what current prices were for needed items for my grandson. I found so many nice, affordable clothes – $3 jeans for example – and bought a few toys for his birthday in the spring.
2. I printed all the tags for the consignment sale for free at the library.
3. Gave away two more bags of boys clothes on my Buy Nothing group.
4. Still planning meals around the loss leaders at Kroger.
5. One sorta frugal fail – I had a loaf of Dave’s Killer Bread that I got on sale and was going to make french toast with it but waited too long and it was starting to mold. So I cut the loaf in half and made half french toast. But still had to throw out half.


Katy February 26, 2024 at 4:21 pm

That’s so smart to use the library’s free printer for your labels!


Bee February 27, 2024 at 5:04 am

I think that these community wide consignment sales for children’s clothing and other baby items is a bit of genius. My DIL has been able to buy things she needed and sell quite a bit too. I want to go with her next time.


Betty February 26, 2024 at 2:35 pm

1. Been reading lot of my to be read like and ebooks from library, with each title an entry in the librarys winter read contest and I won 2 visa cards!!
2. Sold some stuff on marketplace and made $15 so far
3. Went out to dinner on Tuesday to the place our daughter works. Found 3 quarters in parking lot and daughter paid for our dinner.
4. Went to local restaurant for my birthday where they give you a $15 discount. Yum!
5. Told son we’d take his discards to thrift store for him and pulled out a couple of things to resell.


Katy February 26, 2024 at 4:19 pm

Three quarters in a parking lot? That’s like winning a very small lottery.


Denise February 26, 2024 at 3:30 pm

1. I bought a house last summer which had been owned by a heavy smoker. I’ve had a nightmare getting rid of the stink. All of the (good quality/good condition) carpets had to be cut up and taken to the council refuse centre when I moved in. Professional steam cleaning cost a lot but made no noticeable difference, unfortunately. I’ve found a lovely cheap carpet, which looks and feels like something twice the price. Although I’ve bought it room by room as I have decorated, I negotiated a bulk-buy discount at the outset so it’s even better value. I’m usually a total wimp about these things but am actually growing a backbone and asking nicely. And my head hasn’t exploded. So, another bit of frugal progress.

2. I paid someone to decorate my sitting room and they had to do extra work because the builder who sorted out a structural issue in the room had made a total hames of finishing it off. I had it out with the builder this morning and he agreed to pay the £690 he had cost me. More frugal backbone growing!

3. I have so much of “everything” in my larder cupboard that it’s overwhelming. I read that one woman manages over-stocking when she has bought too much by making meals with just one thing till it’s gone. So I’ve had brown rice with every meal for a week. Finished it all off, before the expiry date, last night. Started on the quinoa tonight. When the two packets (weeeeks’ worth of quinoa for one person) are gone, I’m going to be so sick of it. Still, it’s a nutritional superfood, so I can simper with a self-righteous smile after each meal…you will be able to hear me in Portland, Katy!

4. I have decided to cancel Amazon Prime next month. A big step for me. Let’s see how it goes. I’m going to look for DVDs in the library and see how I go.

5. I cleaned my linen armchair myself instead of paying someone to do it. Great suggestion I read about for stains anywhere: good quality car upholstery cleaning spray, generally more effective than standard carpet/fabric cleaner. The recommended one (by “Which?”, the UK’s Consumer Association’s publication) was by Simoniz, for anyone who is interested).


Katy February 26, 2024 at 4:18 pm

I am impressed with your frugal backbone, well done! And yes, I can hear the quinoa all the way here in Portland!

By the way, you can still access Amazon’s Freevee content without Prime, you’ll just watch a few commercials.


Denise February 27, 2024 at 1:49 am

Thanks for the freevee tip. Amazon has started running ads on prime in the uk at least (unless you pay even more for the ad-free experience), so it won’t be much different.


Ecoteri February 28, 2024 at 12:12 am

Wow, your plan to eat the one thing until it is used up is both brilliant and brutal. I think I would be VERY creative with seasonings, and sides, to get through that much Quinoa. oh, wait, I think I HAVE that much Quinoa. sigh. Great idea, gonna look at the ‘awkward things’ in my pantry and take a swing at ‘taking one for the team’ and getting them cooked and eaten. hmm, if I can gamify it in my brain, maybe I can have fun with it.


Grammy's Grub February 29, 2024 at 10:04 am

I like to mix some red quinoa into my rice. It cooks about the same time and it makes the rice look festive. I also love knowing I’m getting an extra boost of protein and nutrients.


Mary Ann February 26, 2024 at 4:51 pm

The big frugal adventure I have decided on a plan to deconstruct 35 years of curriculum. So much is gone when I converted to digital in the pandemic and left middle school. I have promised a few things to teaching mates. For the rest:

1. Some curriculum I will reformat for Teachers pay Teachers. This will become passive income if other teachers buy the plans.

2. Some hard copies I hope to sell on EBAY. I need to see how that will work.

3. I will use SellBackYourBook app to see if anything is worth buying. Two years ago my High School’s library got rid of it’s non fiction section. I spent an hour after school for five days and ran the barcodes to see if anything was worthwhile to turn in. I made about $200.

4. Anything I don’t feel like messing with, I have promised to another retired teacher to recreate for teacher pays teacher.

5. I will scrutinize with a careful eye what might come home for crafts. I did take a paper reem of NCR multi colors. I know there must be tons of things to do with them.

Knowing this plan will help me through the next three months to declutter. Anything I use now will be the last time. List, store for the summer , or toss.


Katy February 26, 2024 at 4:54 pm

Ooh . . . let us know how it all goes. So interesting!


Selena February 26, 2024 at 8:09 pm

A few not technically frugal short term but are longer/long term:
1 – hiring a company to do some b*ll/back breaking work – neither of us are spring chickens. We’ll get the benefit and a locally owned firm keeps local people employed. I consider that a win.
2 – Aforementioned yeah, the government (fed and state) sit on a bit of my money. Due to age and years with my company (where DID the time go?), I expect a smaller refund next year. I’m meeting with the CPA to discuss this and *not* potentially sticking the kiddos with a “good news you inherited IRA money, bad news you’ll pay more than I would in taxes” situation. I knew the rules when I contributed pre-tax money. Yeah, I did a pretty good job of investing said pre-tax money. Goal is to pay my fair share, kiddos get what I didn’t need for living expenses.
3 – Told what @A. Marie would deem a bestest neighbor when I could use a pet sitter. Her calendar is free and she told me what dates she needs me to pet sit. We’ve both marked out calendars – you can’t beat a very local pet sitter. Next door neighbor and my parent will also watch/help out.
4 – While eating out (not talking fast food) is not inexpensive, leftovers providing another meal softens the blow.
5 – More stuff out of the house – I’m a bit OCD about items I know have decent resale value but the other items, re-home is re-home. Stuff if gone and better half has less to oink about (unless I mention what better half has stored that is).


texasilver February 26, 2024 at 10:36 pm

1. I have not had a haircut in 8 months. I went to the local beauty school for this. They cut, washed, & styled my hair for 11$. I looked into the Supercuts training center near me, but it has closed.
2. Found 65 Cents in the vending machine at school.
3. I found a pair of white jean capris. I plan to cut & hem them to make Bermuda shorts. It is too hot in the Texas heat (for me anyway) to wear long pants or capris.
4. Found another bonanza of slightly outdated Special K cereal. I’m going to see if the homeless shelter will take them. When I volunteered at a food bank, they would not take outdated items.
5. Got a breakfast burrito at Taco Bell w/ my reward points. It sustained me after church when I went urban foraging.
6. I had a small amount of notepads I was given or found. I also had some pocket notebooks, markers, a backpack, and ink pens. The church I attend is taking donations of school supplies, book bags or satchels for students who are going to seminary in Zambia. I know those items will be put to good use.


Bettypants February 27, 2024 at 11:45 am

I LOVE that you confronted the daffodil thief. What a dick move to pick someone’s flowers.

1. Someone listed a Cuisinart soft serve ice cream for free on FB Marketplace and I was congratulating myself on a great find, until pickup when I found it was absolutely filthy. Bleach solution applied and most parts could be run through the dishwasher. Now it looks good as new.

2. I had to make a trip to a town an hour away. Scouted out a couple thrift stores ahead of time to hit on my way home. Got 2 cardigans, a mug, and a J Jill dress for myself, and a bunch of items to resell.

3. The handle on my Moen sink came off, bought in 2017. I also noticed the plastic tube on the side sprayer was ripping. I contacted the company and they mailed me a new screw, Allen wrench, and all new side sprayer for free.

4. Someone on a message board linked a free 3 month trial of Apple TV from Best Buy. I’m not an Apple fan and would never pay for this, but I am enjoying their content for free!

5. My teen found some glitch on an online subscription to a sports tv service, so he has one free year. I’m so proud that he’s discovered that scouting out deals is fun.


Vickey March 23, 2024 at 5:03 pm

Bettypants, your first comment made me chuckle at the new meaning of “dick pick”.


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