Five Frugal Things

by Katy on March 11, 2024 · 62 comments

My husband and I traveled to Nebraska for a family member’s memorial service. Not all that frugal, but I still keep expenses under control when possible.

  1. I brought a library book to read on the airplane and during down times. Homecoming, by Kate Morton. I’m about a third of the way and fully invested in the story. My husband and I also snacked on low effort bags of mixed pretzels with trail mix on the plane.

  2. The airline left my suitcase in Denver, but issued a $50 PayPal voucher to help with my associated costs. I ended up getting my suitcase that night, but I know my rights and that the airline is liable for any costs incurred had I needed to purchase replacement items. The very nice airline employee did not know this information and only offered the voucher when I asked for one. I didn’t hit “accept” on the $50 until I got my suitcase and confirmed I wasn’t going to need to rebuy all my clothing.

    Click HERE to read your rights.

  3. My husband and I stocked up on healthy hotel room food at Aldi, which’ll transform to flight food in a few days. We don’t have Aldi in Oregon, but it’s the darling of frugality writers, so I had to hit it up.

    I see the appeal, but Winco is frankly better as they have a huge bulk section, plus it’s a standard size grocery store so you can buy everything on your list. Plus, Winco is a bit cheaper and employee owned.

    Employee owned > Billionaire owned.

  4. • I’m filling my water bottle from the filtered water dispenser in the hotel lobby.
    • We went to see my cousin’s band play at a downtown Lincoln venue, which luckily didn’t have a cover charge. We also saved money by not ordering one of their famous revolting bowls of alcohol.
    We made sure to set an alarm to hit the breakfast buffet, even though the advent of daylight savings and the time difference made this a crack of dawn endeavor.
    • Those orange sunglasses that match the Aldi branding? Pulled them from a free pile a month or so ago.
    • I din’t use traveling as a rationalization to buy new stuff. My clothes are good enough, as are my travel supplies. And I don’t mean to brag, (I totally d0) but my Diane Von Furstenberg roll-aboard suitcase was pulled from a Westchester county Goodwill dumpster.

  5. I didn’t charter a Lear Jet.

Katy Wolk-Stanley

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

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{ 62 comments… read them below or add one }

Alexandra March 11, 2024 at 3:56 am

i. DH pulled 2 tickets to local aquarium out of the trash (inexplicable) and also a bag of the tokens needed to use to by food to feed the otters, etc. There is $25 worth! As you can imagine, we are scheduling time to visit our aquarium (normal tix $18 a piece).
2. We used hotel points to snag a hotel room in walking distance to venue to see Pat Methany perform. Great show! Reasonably priced tix too.
3. After enjoying our free breakfast, we visited friends then drove home without stopping for lunch. Had a great lunch at home from the freezer and no annoyance at ourselves for spending money on overly high priced restaurant food.
4. Continuing to listen to the ChooseFI podcast and enjoying their community. Great food for thought on financial independence, regardless of stage of life and finances.
5. Loved the book, “The Christie Affair” that I heard about here. Thank you! Really good book!


A. Marie March 11, 2024 at 4:57 am

Alexandra, I’d say your husband “fished out” a great deal on those aquarium tickets and tokens!


Lindsey G March 11, 2024 at 5:21 am

Ha!! I enjoy a good pun, so thank you A. Marie.


Jill A March 11, 2024 at 7:19 am

I really liked The Christie Affair too!!


E March 11, 2024 at 5:38 am

Be sure to check out Sid Connor’s Architectural Salvage & Antigues while you’re in town! Open 10-6, M-S. It’s a wonderland for old house randomness—light fixtures, window pulley rope, crystals from chandeliers, entire stained glass windows, every doorknob type imaginable, etc. It’s also handily right by a Goodwill and an independent bookstore. No, I don’t work there or have any affiliation, aside from having found treasures for our own old house.


MB in MN March 11, 2024 at 6:37 am

1. Since no one else was interested, we took home a lot of leftover salad greens and soup from an event. We froze the soup and have been eating the greens every day for almost a week.

2. Succeeding in our concerted efforts to reduce the number of times we go out to eat. We even stayed in on our wedding anniversary a while back. February’s expenses in this budget category were half what they normally are.

3. Made two loaves of delicious, easily sliceable bread using this recipe from Ina Garten.

4. Used a coupon from the mail for $20 off my husband’s truck repair.

5. Started using a large Tupperware container to hold vegetable scraps in the freezer for future broth. I had been using several individual 2-cup containers and they were not up to the task.


Ecoteri March 11, 2024 at 9:31 pm

AH! Tupperware in freezer for scraps. why haven’t I done this yet? Well, a) hadn’t thought of it and b) wasn’t doing such a concerted scrap saving as has recently become the norm. I even have the perfect container currently filling up a large corner in a cupboard. much better use in the freezer. Thanks!


Jill A March 11, 2024 at 7:18 am

1. I have been eating up leftovers which have made for some odd meals…meatballs and brussel sprouts for breakfast. I also ate some leftover rice with milk and cinnamon sugar.
2. I used $15 in pet store rewards to buy dog food.
3. I signed up for a free Apple + subscription and I set a reminder on my phone to cancel when the period is up.
4. I finished reading my kindle library book Happy Place. It was a fun read but made me cry a little at times.
5. My daughter accompanied me on some combined errands. I treated her to $1.50 Costco hot dog and we also had some free samples.


Bee March 11, 2024 at 9:50 am

Jill, we seem to be reading/listening to the same books at the same time with some frequency. I just finished listening to Happy Place. It was my “gym book” last week. I agree it was a sweet little read. I also listened to Book Lovers by the same author last month.


Jill A March 11, 2024 at 2:42 pm

Bee, I’ve noticed that we read a lot of the same books. I’ve started putting your suggestions on my reading list. I’ll have to add that one.


Marybeth from NY March 11, 2024 at 8:25 am

This is my frugal sick edition.
1. Been using tea that we had. I put warm water in the bottle of honey to get the last of it.
2. My son was going to BJ’s and offered to shop for us. He got us 2 cooked chickens, and bananas. Hubby cut up both chickens. I boiled the bones for stock. Hoping to make soup today.
3. I put water in my conditioner bottle to get the last of it out.
4. Haven’t gone anywhere since last Monday so no gas used.
5. Pulled out several meals from the freezer so we didn’t have to get take out everyday.


A. Marie March 11, 2024 at 8:38 am

FFT, Another Monday Miscellany Edition:

(1) I appealed a $14.95 service charge on one of our checking accounts (the one that was primarily DH’s back in the day) at our local bank branch. Not only had the charge been applied in error, but the branch manager–a personal acquaintance–happened to be standing right there and expedited things.

(2) I paid a visit Sunday noon to the Rescue Mission’s fancy-schmancy boutique store next to the campus of our local party-school university. (It was the first day of spring break, so I had no trouble finding a parking place, and it was Sunday, so I didn’t have to feed a parking meter.) No major finds, except for eight new-in-package votive candles and holders that were actually priced less than votives usually are at the regular Rescue Mission stores.

(3) I decided to have a go this morning at cleaning out my dishwasher’s filter, since I don’t think I’ve done that since we bought the dishwasher. I got a gratifying amount of gunk out, but then I couldn’t get the filter and the spray arm back in place. (On an aptitude test in junior high, I scored lowest in “spatial relations.” Also, in my defense, the illustration in the manual wasn’t terribly clear.) Fortunately, DH’s guy friend who usually bails me out of jams like this was available for a house call, and solved the problem in 45 seconds. He has the magic touch.

(4) DH’s friend also replaced the strobing LED overhead light fixture in the breakfast nook, since he had a similar fixture on hand. (He’s a landlord and keeps things like this in stock.)

(5) Finally, I finished Lyanda Lynn Haupt’s book The Urban Bestiary, and was pleased to find that I’m already doing most of the things Haupt recommends in the final chapter for becoming a good human member of the bestiary. And a lot of these things also contribute to frugality.


Selena March 11, 2024 at 6:52 pm

“Service charge” meaning profit. I read the definition of fees on my phone/internet “new and improved” bill. Fees are what should be cost of doing business – buildings, property taxes of said buildings, maintenance of said buildings. In other words – should be part of your base rate but then you could not brag about only x dollars per line (with paperless billing and auto pay, read the fine print). Best as I am able, I avoid fees like the plague. Good for you for speaking up. And it would behoove businesses to remember the 50s/60s might be calling but we’re not going back.


Ecoteri March 11, 2024 at 10:07 pm

Dishwashers. guh. I don’t know how to take the spray arm out of mine but it likely needs me to. Others have mentioned a regular clean out, I must find a way to be so disciplined. Dedicated scrubbing tools are helpful, however my biggest solution is to use ammonia and water – almost the only place / time I use ammonia. Take the filter out, put it to soak overnight in ammonia and water, and much of that terribly hard to remove film will come off with a few swipes of a scrub brush/toothbrush. Sometimes I remember to put a glass measuring cup in the dishwasher with a cup of vinegar in it – and run the machine with just that – seems to help. However, sometimes one just needs to get on one’s aching knees and get in there to deal with the horrible guck that has collected in random corners that the designers weren’t thinking about when they created the machine.
On a happier note, I now have The Urban Bestiary and her newer book on hold at the library. by the time a copy shows up for me I will not remember where I got the recommendation, but thanks for that! someone else mention ed The Happy Place so that too is on hold. always love a new to me author, and many books recommended here have been big wins.


Christine March 12, 2024 at 12:51 pm

I need to read The Urban Bestiary. I’ve seen it recommended often enough to believe it’s a good read. And I am interested in anything to do with frugality.


Ashley Bananas March 11, 2024 at 8:39 am

Glad you are making the most of the trip, despite the circumstances. Looking good Katy!!!


Ruby March 11, 2024 at 9:04 am

Aldi is a great place to have in one’s frugal toolkit if one lives where there are no discount or bulk buy options. Because of the seasonal nature of some Aldi goods, it is a challenge to do all one’s shopping there for sure. Our Aldi does not stock Worchestershire sauce, which is just odd.

On the frugal front, DH bought plywood at Lowe’s for only 25 cents a sheet due to it being not in the store’s system. A manager summoned to price it said it was something they should not have received in a delivery and were getting rid of it. DH made a second trip to get more.

I used a coupon for a haircut, bought protein shakes, cat food and treats with coupons and saved $8, took yet more stuff to Goodwill, and took up several pairs of yoga pants that I am shrinking out of.


A. Marie March 11, 2024 at 9:16 am

Ruby, good for your DH on the plywood deal! Back in the day, my DH and his friend (see my FFT above) used to score deals like that at Lowe’s and Home Depot, and the friend still does.


Ruby March 11, 2024 at 3:59 pm

Your DH’s good friend is a good friend to you as well.

I discovered the hard way that chia seeds washed out of the smoothie blender in the dishwasher would get caught in the filter and try to sprout. That was a mess to clean out. There’s now a new, dedicated to the purpose toothbrush stored under the kitchen sink just for the monthly scrub of the filter.

There are a few household chores that happen on a monthly basis, like changing the HVAC filter and giving the dogs heartworm preventative, that are grouped on the same day for efficiency. It makes me feel quite accomplished to get those taken care of.


Selena March 11, 2024 at 6:56 pm

The installer of my second-ever-in-my-life dishwasher (and it is an upscale brand made a big point of take the filter out once a week and rinse it. I faithfully do so. Once in a while there is a slight film so I do a gentle scrub. Every once in a while a few pieces of debris from a dish is in there but so far so good. I also only use the brand of rinse/detergent the manufacturer recommends.


Christine March 12, 2024 at 12:55 pm

When I purchased my Bosch dishwasher about ten years ago, the salesperson specifically told me to rinse the dishes before putting them in the dishwasher, opposite of what is usually recommended. I’m surprised I bought it after hearing that but I’m glad I did. I liked enough of its other features. I can tell you, that filter only needs cleaning a few times a year.

Ecoteri March 11, 2024 at 9:47 pm

$0.25 a sheet for plywood. Oh, the envy-green I have become — although so very happy for all your future construction projects. At that price I would be building another shed (and I have [um, let me see now…] 5 sheds already….)


Michele March 11, 2024 at 9:14 am

Not Very Frugal Travel Edition
1. Flew to WY to see son and DIL. Tried to get good prices on flights and car. See #5. Bought them a Sam’s renewal and groceries while there. Husband and I went to a few museums while the kids were at work and ate out for breakfast a few times.
2. When we got home I made up 2 meals for work lunches from dregs of fridge.
3. Friends checked on our cats. We have a mutual agreement. I always feel like our cats don’t notice when we’re away! 🙂 They are chill strays who appreciate our home but like us to know they don’t NEED us.
4. Bought a few long sleeved shirts at thrift stores while there. Scored nice Duluth and Cabela’s top for $3.50 each. My husband got a boat anchor for $1.75. He now loves to thrift.
5. Fail. Flew into Denver and went with a cheap-o rental car and found out that we couldn’t LEAVE Colorado (our son is in WY) without a $350.00 fee? Got permission to leave, but the whole place seemed sketchy, so I await final billing…….


Bee March 12, 2024 at 4:50 am

One of my sons lived in Central Wyoming. It was a difficult place to get to in a thrifty manner. I also flew into Denver and drove. It is a beautiful state. It is so different from Florida and I loved it.


Michele March 13, 2024 at 3:53 am

I do prefer to visit in June, July, and August!


Christine March 11, 2024 at 9:35 am

1. We had a chili cook-off at our house yesterday and hosted eight friends, five of whom brought pots of various chili. We had four homemade desserts, two pans of cornbread and a platter of beer bread which I had never tasted before… delicious! We sprung for some beer and two bottles of wine and a great time was had by all.
2. Reading a used book I picked up at an indy bookstore while DH and I were on a weekend trip with friends to the White Mountains of New Hampshire. We drove our car up, 3 hours. During that time, we split the cost of the Airbnb and the food three ways and cooked all meals at home except for the last day when we ate breakfast at a renowned pancake parlor overlooking a mountain scene (it helped that one friend is a marvelous gourmet cook). The only money spent by us was a couple of piles of wood for the fireplace, $12 I spent on chocolates and the $6 I spent on the book.
3. DH and I have been walking for exercise and he maintains his $10 monthly fee at the gym. He uses it about 3 times a week so well worth it.
4. Yay for the extended hour of daylight at the end of the day. I can begin using my umbrella clothesline around this time as the sun will peek over the roof of my neighbor’s house soon to shine on the laundry.
5. I donated some flannel sheets with penguins on them to a local church whose members make and distribute sleeping bags for the homeless. My grandchildren used them when they were little but don’t sleep overnight anymore since they are all in college and high school now. Nostalgic and a little sad to see them go but better they are on the way to help someone who can use them.


A. Marie March 12, 2024 at 2:36 am

Christine, re: your #5, a tenant left a tattered set of what were probably those same sheets in one of DH’s rental properties over a decade ago–and I’m still using some of the remnants for rags!


Christine March 12, 2024 at 4:09 am

Glad your “penguins” found a second home too!


Heidi Louise March 11, 2024 at 9:40 am

1. Made cheddar-chive biscuits with ingredients on the edge: Chives that either overwintered or started coming up in the yard in the not-typical warmth; end of jar of ancient dried parsley; milk just about to go sour; bacon grease instead of shortening. The bacon grease gave a great boost in flavor.
2. Watching my stocks in retirement and investment accounts trend higher, and most fortunately have no need to withdraw from them.
3. I want to keep supporting traditional journalism, so I buy one, sometimes two, Sunday papers. But they are mere shadows of their past.
4. Using said newspapers to try to absorb mildewy odors out of my childhood stamp collection. I hadn’t opened the box in years, so I took out as much extraneous paper as I could, and put it all in a plastic tub with newspapers and a cup of baking soda. Will switch out the newspapers for clean ones with a cup of coffee grounds in a few weeks to continue the smell transfer.
I like to use sunshine to treat mildew smells, yet fear putting envelopes of old stamps outside in the light would just make it snow postage.
5. Treated myself by ordering a set of return address labels. These used to be ubiquitous in unsolicited requests from charitable organizations. We must have made clear that we do not feel obligated to donate to causes we didn’t sign up for in the first place, as the charities are no longer writing to us. Frugal for them. Now if they would just understand that my generous 97-year-old father died several years ago and is no longer donating….


Bee March 11, 2024 at 11:55 am

My MIL died in 2015. We still receive requests for money from the various charities that she supported. I’ve tried everything that I can think of to get them to stop.
Recently, my husband fussed at me for throwing away this correspondence without shredding it first. He was concerned that someone might still his identity. Although I took his concern seriously (sort of), I secretly wondered if this was one thing that might get the junk mail to stop.


Selena March 11, 2024 at 7:05 pm

My BFF friend’s mom did her best to stop mail for her deceased husband. Not sure if she marked it return to sender – bankrupt or used the pre-paid envelope to say bankrupt. Regardless, it stopped.
@Bee – I am with your husband. ANY piece of paper with our address, even if it says occupant, is shredded. Those who would *not* work as a sanitation worker otherwise have no qualms about picking through trash. I would not go with identity theft as who knows what other miscreant would try something before the gig was up.


Heidi Louise March 12, 2024 at 7:40 am

When Dad died, I put his names and related info on the “do not contact” and the “deceased, do not contact” lists on line. When I switched his address to have all mail come to me, I registered his “new” address on the websites. After several years, about eight organizations continue sending mailings to him at my address, in a state where he never lived. I will spend one stamp to tell them to stop, but that’s it. It is now their problem, that they have not checked their mailing lists against the master.
I looked quickly now to find the online services, (DMA I think is what I used), and saw there are fees of a few dollars that weren’t there a few years ago.
As for identity theft, I think names and addresses are so easy to find in other ways that I wouldn’t worry about someone pulling a sheet of return address labels from the trash. Credit card offers are a different situation.


Selena March 12, 2024 at 7:04 pm

My issue is a breach of the sending organization. I have *no* way of knowing what information said organization has in its system. Hence my motto of shred anything with name and/or address on it.


Ecoteri March 11, 2024 at 10:13 pm

I still get those return address labels, thanks for the reminder I need to return to the discipline of taking their postage paid return envelope and sending back the donation form with a PLEASE DO NOT SEND MORE JUNK MAIL written across it. if nothing else, they pay attention as they don’t want to pay for the return mail with no donation. I have enough return address labels for as long as I intend to live in this house, which is at least another two decades..


Kara March 11, 2024 at 9:53 am

1. I sold cloth diapers on FB marketplace for my daughter-in-law.
2. Got a bunch of free Asian sauces/marinades donated by a parent at school.
3. Ordered 5 free photos from CVS, which I will make cards with
4. Took a single fitted sheet that had worn through in the middle and took all the elastic (still good) off of it, then made 2 pillowcases with the side sections of sheet that were still good.
5. Cut up a pair of pants of my grandson to use the fabric to see a Waldorf doll for him in preparation for baby sister coming!


Roberta March 11, 2024 at 10:23 am

1. We finished grooming our geriatric dog. We started two weeks ago, and finally finished this weekend. He won’t win any awards, but he’s lighter in weight, and no longer clumpy.
2. This same dog wakes up at about 4:30 every morning, and demands breakfast. We don’t do it, so he makes our last couple hours of sleep interrupted. My daughter suggested we get him an antler from the pet store, because the year he got on for Christmas, he stayed up all night to eat it. A small antler costs $20 at the store, but a beef bone is only about $5. When he woke up, we put him outside with the bone, and we slept in for the first time since my daughter moved out! When we got up, we put the bone in a plastic bag and gave him breakfast. This bone should last the rest of his life.
3. In January, our flight on Alaska Airlines was rebooked, and the new flight was awful. We had to book a new flight at the last minute, which wasn’t cheap, but it gave us back two days. Alaska has agreed to refund the difference between what our insurance paid, and the flight on a different airline — over $800!
4. Our goldfish has outgrown her bowl. We decided to hit an estate sale, and found exactly what we wanted! Three times the size of the old one, and on half-price since it was the last day of the sale. I know goldfish bowls are questionable, but I keep it in a prominent place so it has to be pretty. I change a portion of the water every night, and she has a plant for added cleanliness.
5. I was supposed to bring barbeque jackfruit to a family party, but Trader Joes has discontinued their plain jackfruit, and I can’t eat the new stuff. I subbed in 99 cent mushroom from Aldi’s, and they were very well received as a substitute.


BettafromdaVille March 11, 2024 at 10:26 am

1. Pulled a free card from the drawer that had sent as a fundraising effort and used it for mil birthday card.
2. I bought some zucchini and summer squash from the “dented” produce rack for 50% off.
3. cooked off some chicken for salads and used the schmaltz to saute the summer squash.
4. I had received some oranges and I had one that I wasn’t eating. I pureed the entire thing and threw it in the freezer. I’ll use it today to make a whole orange tea cake.
5. Was desperate for a coffee while 2 hours from home. Used a coupon from the McDonald’s app to get one for .99; stopped partner from filling up on gas as I knew we would pass by a BJ gas saving .20 per gallon saving $3; chose an appetizer for my entree at dinner out for mil, picked up a mystery shop for my long commute home last Thursday, picked up a mystery shop yesterday before the long 2 hour drive for mil birthday dinner and making my dinners for the week to bring to work apartment for this week.


BettafromdaVille March 11, 2024 at 2:16 pm

two years ago, on a trip to Europe, the airline lost our luggage for 9 days, which included the days when we were in 100 degrees Modena and 30 degrees Alto Adige. Luckily, the airline paid for everything and it included a nice new pair of Superga and a pair of hiking boots.
We made out much better than friends who had flown to Italy the same time, for a black-tie wedding. They, a family of 5, got their luggage back AFTER they returned home from the trip.


Elizabeth March 11, 2024 at 11:06 am

Frugal Entertainment edition:
1. Our local botanical and sculpture garden, which we are members of, had six free nights this winter where they showcased different entertainment (candlelit string quartet, ballet dancers accompanied by a cellist, bluegrass, hip hop and opera collaboration, etc). The entertainment was great and though you could purchase cocktails or food I didn’t. Just enjoyed the entertainment.
2. Remembered that my library sometimes has passes to events. On a whim I checked and was able to get two passes to see “La Boheme” put on by our opera company next month. I’m very excited about that because I was considering buying tickets for it!
3. Looked online and discovered that our symphony was having a free performance this month to showcase their upcoming season. Booked it on the calendar and rsvp’d.
4. I’m in a book club but wanted to join another one also to vary what I read. Found a local one on Facebook and went to a meeting where I knew no one. They were all nice and I think the discussions will be very interesting. Plus the leader of it is often able to get the authors to meet over zoom at the meetings! I was able to borrow the current book from the library (“Caste: The Origins of our Discontent” – such an important book and I’m learning so much from it).
5. Attended a free community band concert and was treated to some great music! By looking under “events” on Facebook I’ve going some great stuff to do for free (concerts, outdoor yoga every Saturday this summer, upcoming festivals, free watercolor or acrylic tutorials with Jesse Robertson on Facebook live)!


Bee March 11, 2024 at 12:02 pm

You found a lot to do for not much money. That’s awesome! I belong to two book clubs. One reads primarily fiction and the other nonfiction and historical novels.


Eee March 11, 2024 at 11:23 am

I am glad that your bag arrive safely – although a little late. This is one of those times when the adage better late than never rings true. As I read this, it occurred to me that I should take photos of my suitcase when it’s packed and do a quick little inventory before heading out the door in case I should ever need it. However, I have never had a bag which did not arrive when I did. As often as I have traveled, this is a complete and utter miracle. I hope that I haven’t jinxed myself.

1. I did my once-a-month stock up at Costco Sunday. I stuck to my list. I buy primarily ingredients – butter, nuts, dried fruit, eggs, almond butter, 1/2 and 1/2, milk, coffee, onions, oatmeal, potatoes and so forth. I buy very few convenience foods, but it was still an expensive trip. I have been eating down the pantry, and we were out many things that I only buy every 2-3 months. Of course, I bought a $4.99 rotisserie chicken which will be the basis of several meals this week.

2. I did a little thrifting and estate saling this weekend.
*•I bought myself three much needed tops/blouses.
• I bought some sterling silver which slid under someone’s radar. I put it in my bag of gold and silver scrap to sell later.
• I also bought two beautiful handmade needlepoint pillows. The pair was only $9. I brought them home and put new fillers in them.
• I also had a bit of a frugal fail. I bought a lovely little lamp for a small hall table. It had a hideous shade, but I thought I had the perfect shade at home. I did not!. I will thrift for a new one and ask in BN. However, the shade may end up costing me a great deal more than the lamp. Sigh

3. I accepted an eBay offer on some Christmas ornaments that I had listed a few weeks ago. Although my asking price was fair, my timing wasn’t great. Since the buyer had asked for less than a 20% discount, I boxed them up with previously used packing materials and let them go.

4. My doctor recommended a OTC product to help me deal with some of the symptoms of my seasonal allergies. CVS had a genetic option available of this product. I read the label and the effective ingredients were the same as well as the other ingredients. Best of all, it was a bit cheaper, so I selected the generic.

5. The usual things: library books, home-brewed coffee, batched errands, home-cooked meals, walks with the dog and trips to the gym.

Wishing all of you peace, good health and prosperity.


Bee March 11, 2024 at 11:30 am

This post was from me, Bee. What a typo! I don’t know my own name!


Selena March 11, 2024 at 7:11 pm

I am a fall back person, not a spring ahead person (unlike my better half). It was a long day at work so Eee gave me a good chuckle.


Michele March 12, 2024 at 4:23 am

I thought so, but briefly wondered who Eee was!


texasilver March 11, 2024 at 1:30 pm

I have never had much luck finding a used lamp shade. They are usually wrong shape or color. I was impressed by the reader who repurposed the fitted sheet in several different ways.
1. I am traveling for Spring Break. My colleague (who is a saint) agreed to cat sit my 2 cats for the 10 days we will be gone. This likely saved me 500$ in boarding fees. I gave her a 100$ Starbucks gift card I previously earned. I knew she would not likely not take $. (I also host her from time to time at Ladies’ Happy Hour.)
2.We used airline miles for airline tickets. Spring Break is usually a pricey time of the year to travel.
3. I paid for long term parking at a secured lot. Yes, there are cheaper places to park but did not want to return to a vandalized or stolen car. Sometimes you need to spend more $ for a safer solution.
4. Sending the husband across the street from the condo to get an 11$ haircut. He did not get well-groomed before we left.
5. I have plenty of food in the condo in the freezer. When I leave, I store things in the freezer for the next visit. We will likely go out to eat a few times. I tend to gain weight on restaurant food so will do so occasionally.
6. Inspired by the reader I mentioned, I plan to use a damaged fitted sheet to make some pillowcases.


Selena March 11, 2024 at 7:19 pm

I won’t accept $ from my neighbor when I cat sit. She and/or her kids usually pick me up something from where they visit. I do it to be a good neighbor, not for the money. And I love cats so it is a win-win.
I did however, paid her the one time she cat “sat”. The two now deceased pets were high maintenance. For only the second time, I’ll need her/her kids for one daily visit when I’m gone. Good opportunity for her kids to earn a bit of cash. The current pets are not high maintenance. Good people are hard to find, good neighbors are even harder to find.


A. Marie March 12, 2024 at 2:30 am

Bee (Eee??) and texasilver, I just ended up having to buy a lampshade at Ollie’s for the table lamp I recently scored at the Salvation Army for $7.50, since I too had no luck thrifting a decent shade. At least I paid only $8 for the one at Ollie’s.


Bee March 12, 2024 at 5:02 am

I had not thought about checking Ollie’s. The one in our city is off the beaten track, but there are so many bargains. I need to get there on a more regular basis.


Ruby March 12, 2024 at 7:11 am

Ollie’s is the best for lampshades. The prices are not much higher than when the pricing crew at Goodwill gets all slaphappy with the tagging gun. 😀


A. Marie March 12, 2024 at 8:51 am

As always, Ruby, Ollie’s for the win!

Mary Ann March 11, 2024 at 4:32 pm

1. Farmer friend dropped off 7 pounds of dried cranberry beans he grows.
2. Dinner for hubby a dish of cashew chicken leftover from a restaurant trip of light eaters. I ate a quesadilla. I would rather feed him well. I made new rice to go with it. Tomorrow he will have the broccoli chicken. I used my food saver to preserve both.
3. I have a large flight credit on Jet Blue. I want to go see my son who is struggling right now over a heartbreak. In order for me to make the trip free I have to have a six hour layover in New York. ( No direct routes with jetblue.) Hubby is coming with me. I am bringing my silk sleep sack I use in my sleeping bag along with my ostrich neck pillow ( which has travelled the world with me) and plan to sleep a few hours on the floor in a corner of the airport. DH never sleeps on trips so I feel safe.
4. I am meeting with a insurance gal to compare health insurance for my son when I retire and he is no longer included in my policy.
5. I reduced my housecleaner to once a month till I retire and then will completely clean the house myself. TYhis was hubby suggestion. I was going to go cold turkey this month but he says there is still too much going on emotionally for that to be a good idea. What a guy!


Selena March 11, 2024 at 7:22 pm

Please give your housekeeper a heads up. When the Great Recession hit in 2008, a number of house cleaners took a huge financial hit – totally out of the blue.
And really – are you ready to do all that dusting?


Mary Ann March 12, 2024 at 6:22 am

Good Point.

She agreed to once a month. I think I will raise her day 20% to help a little. I also want to keep moving in retirement. Housecleaning and gardening is a great addition to scheduled exercise.


Marie-Josée March 11, 2024 at 5:03 pm

I have a thing for bags and boy, is that Aldi bag calling my name! You look great!


Jennifer March 11, 2024 at 5:06 pm

I’m sorry for why you keep having to travel to Nebraska.

1 – Pulled the last of the money from various online savings accounts opened up 2 decades ago for a good interest rate and a bonus. There wasn’t much left, but now things are moved to a savings account that is paying well over 4% instead of far less. I will be closing the other accounts.

2 – Was able to take advantage of various frozen food deals at the grocery store with Frozen Food Month specials

3 – Made a knock off Starbucks egg bites recipe. Rather than pay $10 for a 4 oz block of gruyere, I used the dubliner bought at costco that I already had on hand

4 – I filed my federal taxes myself with turbotax. I opted to skip the state return ($59) and file with my state’s website for free

5 – I’ve been doing free exercise videos online to strengthen my core. I don’t see the need to pay for a gym membership when there are so many free ways to exercise.


Ecoteri March 11, 2024 at 10:54 pm

1. Today, the library checkout machine told me I owed $9.97, so I wandered up to the desk to pay. There has been an ongoing notice that I have a book overdue, time had finally come round to replacement. The librarian said ‘let me just go check on the shelf’ and came back with a grin and the MISSING BOOK!. My house has become a bit tidier as I searched for it, so that is one plus. The second, of course, is that she gleefully reversed the charge. Our library doesn’t charge late fees but when time has become quite unreasonable it will ask us to replace. Yippee, ducked that bullet
2. I finally got around to the bank to close my account, now that I am no longer wishing to bank there. Enough time has passed that I know all weirdness has been ironed out in the transfer to the (pay me money to move there) Credit Union.
There were $8 in fees on a $0 balance account, so I was technically overdrawn – however the lovely Teller kindly reversed those charges. I was also going to close #2 son’s account (that we own jointly) however he is wishing to keep it for now, even though there are fees; once he is a student again they will return him to a free student account. $8 in savings for me, and no more banking fees!!
3. Speaking of the Credit Union, my daughter reported this afternoon that she got $400 deposited into her new Credit Union account (she has been diligent in following all the rules about how to ‘earn’ that perk for moving from the bank). Not exactly frugal for me, but SHE is thrilled and will apply it toward an upcoming dental bill not completely covered by her benefit plan.
4. The last of my enormous bag of cheapo broccoli was cooked up tonight – I had been wise while sorting it and these last bits were actually in the best shape of all of them. I love broccoli, however likely will give it a rest for a week or so, once this has been eaten up.
5. Although Spring daylight hour-stealing switch does eventually give us our afternoons back, I already struggle enough in the morning due to my chronic health issues. Sunday I was supposed to visit my mom, and then my Daughter. What with the switch and an ignored alarm clock, I found myself phoning my mom at around the time I should have been arriving – to say I hadn’t even finished chores at my house. (I am at least an hour away from her)
I knew all would be forgiven, and her unfortunate forgetfulness serves me well here, as she sometimes can’t remember if or when I am coming, even when she has notes. She took a nap and I didn’t stress on my way there. We spent some time chatting and reviewing her finances (she will be FINE, I told her – and she will be) and I was reminded yet again that time is passing.
She is thinking of moving to assisted living, and so she plans to move much closer to me as two of my three kids (plus the upcoming great-grandbaby) are living up here. Her changing house is a process that I dread, however her willingness to address the issue and start looking is a tremendous relief. She won’t be kicking and screaming as the family forcibly removes her from her home, instead she will likely plan much of it herself. (GO MOM!). My heart is a bit sore, though.
6. Visited my daughter after seeing Mom, and we continued with the painting project. We had erred and applied latex over oil, so our last two ‘painting’ times we were removing the latex. Did you know that water does much of this job? If you wet and gently pull, you can often get sheets of paint off without using chemical strippers!! This visit we were applying some of the last of the Kilz stick-to-everything primer to those surfaces to prep for a re-painting day.
We had taken the hinges and knobs off, as the hinges were covered with paint (and we are replacing the knobs). My daughter did research, then I visited my “basement of useful things” and found a sad old crockpot.
During our painting session, the hinges and screws were boiling in the crockpot –after 3 hours of stewing it took fewer than 15 min of joyous peeling to get them almost completely bright and new looking. We put them in for another stew, and she will work on them this week. So two paint strippings in ways that are great for the environment. The crockpot will be labelled as ‘for crafts and paint stripping only’ and stored in the workshop when we are done.
My daughter is really appreciating my help with the painting, and learning the lesson that it is a much bigger job (we are, of course, doing a very complicated entry-way first, which is far less satisfying than vast expanses of walls). I am enjoying watching her patience and maturity – she has handled our setbacks with aplomb and grace, and we have found a lot of pleasure in our hours together.


Mary Ann March 12, 2024 at 6:25 am

Good Luck with Mom. when we move to the river house, although it is huge we will be bringing hopefully only half of what we have here. I don’t need to fill up space just for my son to clean out when we pass.


Ecoteri March 12, 2024 at 9:19 pm

@ Mary Ann, luckily my mom planned her move from the family home to her current one bedroom seniors condo, and she is constantly going through drawers and getting rid of stuff (she is NOT me!!) I sometimes have to remind her that I would like to see what she is getting rid of (two days ago it was a stack of books that I burst into tears when I saw, such great memories of reading them 50+ years ago… Luckily THOSE were books she got out to re-read and was going to offer to me because there is a family connection…). I suspect if we get rolling on this we might move her to a similar sized place but with food made for her down the hall. at least, that is my dream.. And I can dump some of my older furniture to claim some of hers (and my Daughter has put dibs on a table mom has….) so I think it will just be hanging pictures and moving only a very few boxes. even her kitchen now is getting leaner and leaner. Like I say, I wonder how we are related sometimes! LOL


Vickey March 26, 2024 at 10:34 am

Ecoteri, I love your generously long posts. And the “basement of useful things” phrase!


Janice March 12, 2024 at 7:41 am

It drives me nuts that there are all of these clothes marketed as “travel” things. Like a travel scarf – ALL SCARVES ARE TRAVEL SCARVES! You don’t need special gear to sit in a car, a train, or on a plane…


Julia March 14, 2024 at 5:06 am

1. Found 25 cent to add to my 2924 found change pot.
2. Bought a new chicken coop after much deliberation. Had also paid to have it assembled but they kept delaying the date so my friend Tammy and I put it together. So easy, like only 40 screws and less than 2 hours. Saved $250. Girl power!
3. Bartered a dog bath and cut with our groomer for us Guinea pig sitting for a week. Pun intended (wheek, wheek, wheek!) savings $70.
4. Hung clothes to dry on warm windy days
5. Used powdered Gatorade for all sons sports evens. SOOOO much cheaper than buying the pre mixed bottles.
Fail- pet rabbit needed to have a massively broken toe amputated at exotic vet. You pet folks know that hit the pocketbook heavy. But we rarely have more than routine vet visits and it’s the cost of having pets. I’m happy to report that Blaze is fine and back to his old self.


Katy March 14, 2024 at 11:18 am



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