Five Frugal Things

by Katy on March 18, 2024 · 78 comments

  1. I stopped by the Goodwill near my father’s house and splurged on a like new queen size Ikea Kärrdunört duvet cover and pillow case set for just $9.99. I’d admired this pattern in the store as it’s William Morris adjacent without the William Morris price tag. For this bedding set, patience was key.

    The old duvet cover in my son’s old bedroom had a fair number of snags on it and I’d passively been keeping an eye out for a replacement. We currently have three spare bedrooms, but this room is our main one as it has a full-size bed. (The other spares have a twin and a fold-out couch.) I want it to be guest ready at all times.

    I know the duvet pattern looks a bit discordant against the bold stripes from my son’s middle school years, but I don’t have it in my heart to paint over them yet.

  2. I pulled out a saved pair of shoelaces and cut them in half to sew into the corners as Ikea doesn’t put ties inside their duvets. (Why Ikea, why?!) I hate how comforters bunch up in duvets without some form of attachment, so this is my hack.  There may be a better solution, but this method works for me so I don’t overthink it.

  3. My husband pulled out our standing fan last night only to discover that it had fallen over, and the circular plastic piece that connects the front and back cage pieces was broken. I took a closer look this morning and decided to attempt a repair. Often plastic is not worth repairing, but I came up with the idea to brace the plastic with a cut zip tie and super glue it into place. Binder clips worked as clamps, so we now have our functional fan back in action.

    While many people look for opportunities to replace their old belongings, I’m always hoping to make my stuff last forever.

  4. • My husband repaired and re-stained one of my father’s antique dining room chairs.
    • I found a dime, a nickel and a penny while bagging my groceries at Winco.
    • I found someone in my Buy Nothing group to take the old duvet. Unsurprisingly, it’s also thrifted Ikea.
    • I finished reading my library copy of Kate Morton’s Homecoming, which I devoured both to and from Nebraska. 560 pages of delicious writing.
    • I started listening to The Lost Wife through the library’s free Libby app.
    • I cooked a small batch of pinto beans in my Instant Pot for refried beans. It’s a hard transition to cook for just the two of us, but I’m getting there. I know I can freeze extra food, but I’d prefer to just cook the actual amount my husband and I need. Food waste, be gone!
    • I began propagating more fuzzy bunny plant starts, as they do fantastically in outdoor flowerpots. I like the quote “The best time to plant a tree was 30 years ago, the second best time is now.” You know, but for free plants instead of trees. I don’t mind having multiples of the same plants in my garden. Plus the idea of something being a “house plant” rather than an summer “outdoor plant” is a false premise.

  5. I didn’t buy a Lear Jet.

Katy Wolk-Stanley

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

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{ 78 comments… read them below or add one }

Julia March 18, 2024 at 5:27 am

1. Found a quarter out in the wild. Grand total so far this year $5. 27.
2. Took advantage of several nice days to catch up on laundry and,line dry it all.
3. Made pancakes on a new to us griddle. As able to make some for breaky and the rest I froze (in re used packaging) for later.
4. Had a friend help me put together my new chicken coop. Cancelled the $250 assembly fee.
5. Maximized all coupons, rebates, bonus buys… and got $93 of groceries for $41.
One fail- rabbit needed emergent surgery. Too many pets for pet insurance in everyone. But small price for little fuzzy buddy to be ok and we made friends with a new exotic vet!


Katy March 18, 2024 at 10:11 am

That’s an impressively high found change total, did you find paper money? $250 savings must feel amazing!


Bee March 18, 2024 at 5:58 am

I love William Morris inspired design, and his arts and crafts style is perfect in your home. The comforter is a great score!

These are my FFT:
* I took down the storage box that contained my Easter decorations and such. Most of these had not been seen for a decade. I sorted through them and gave many things to my DIL and son who have two little ones. I had approximately 100 plastic eggs that I had used for egg hunts year after year. They will now be used again. No need to buy new. I also gave my son his childhood Easter basket. He wants to repaint it and use it for his son.
* I have been sorting through my closet and drawers. Culling and reorganizing my clothing is necessary. I currently have a closet full of clothes but nothing to wear. Things don’t fit right on my body or in my life.
* I am pulling together my tax paperwork. I always leave this for the last week in March. This may be my least favorite chore. In my family, this responsibility has always fallen on me. There is nothing particularly frugal about this except that perhaps I will receive a refund — doubtful but there is always a chance.
* The wait for my book club’s selection is several months at our library. I’m 136th in line. I searched for a secondhand copy of the book online and ordered it at a considerable discount from a reseller. As usual, I will either pass the book on to someone else or resell it myself.
* All the usual things — meals at home, brewing my own coffee, drinking primarily water, using my bank’s electronic bill pay system and taking care of business in a timely manner.
Wishing everyone peace, good health and prosperity.


Katy March 18, 2024 at 10:09 am

I’m curious, what is your book club reading? I need to go through my dresser as I pretty much wear the same few tops on repeat, yet the drawer barely closes. I feel you on the taxes, not an enjoyable task.


Bee March 18, 2024 at 4:29 pm

This month’s selection is The Lost Bookshop by Evie Woods. It is supposed to be an uplifting book. Our last selection was a wonderful book but a hard read. Everyone wanted something less emotionally difficult.


Katy March 19, 2024 at 10:07 am

Thanks! I put it on hold at my library.


Kara March 18, 2024 at 6:23 am

Love the duvet cover! And I understand about the paint in your son’s room. I’m in a similar stage of life.
1. My mother was getting rid of 2 flannel fitted sheets, and 2 sets of cotton sheets (elastic was shot in the flannel, color faded or stained in the sets). I harvested the flannel which will either back a quilt or be made into pajamas. I harvested the elastic on the faded sets and put the fabric parts in my “practice fabric” bin (bin was trash picked last year!)
2. After a really wet spring we’ve had nice weather and I dried 2 loads on the line yesterday. It felt awesome.
3. My mother gave me 4 cute quilt blocks that she didn’t want. I made them into 4 drawstring bag, using other fabric that I’d been given. I will probably use these as gifts. I find them so useful for organizing in my suitcase.
4. Made Meyer lemon marmalade with free lemons. It’s like sunshine in a jar, and oh so delicious.
5. I keep listing on FB marketplace and ebay.


Katy March 18, 2024 at 10:06 am

You’re so creative with the sheet reuse, I’m super impressed!


Kara March 18, 2024 at 1:15 pm

Thank you. Somehow a lot of sheets have come into my life recently. Since I do sew, they are a very frugal source of a quantity of fabric. The flannel particularly makes me happy. And if my mother had donated those flannel sheets with busted elastic, they probably would not have been bought at a thrift store and then they would have become scrap or landfill. So it feels great to give the fabric another life.


Mary Ann March 18, 2024 at 6:29 am

Lots of Frugal Wins. I want to say thank you for this blog. I finding myself looking for fun frugal wins just to post here.

1. I asked my husband’s coop rep for nuts in December. He forgot. I reminded him last week and he doubled the order. I now have 10 pounds of almonds and 10 pounds of halved walnuts for free. Last year I had a huge fail not realizing walnuts can turn very quickly. I so enjoy the fresh taste I didn’t want to freeze. This year I will food saver everything.

2. At my hairdresser, I picked a lunch bag full of kumquats. They are now in my kale salad lunches with dried cranberries, pumpkin seeds and Mandarin olive oil. Yum.

3. I ran out of homemade yogurt. I made a commitment to NOT buy anymore milk until I finish the smoothie fixings that are going to go bad. This is a big give for me because I love the yogurt. I went through an absurd powder phase and overbought. For now, breakfast is two scoops nut powder, kale powder, matcha, Knudsen all veggie and fruit juice I bought for .99 cents ( reg 6.00), and left over frozen fruit from LAST summer. You know what? It is just fine. I read once that maturity is delayed gratification. i am being mature.

4. I developed a small rash on my left hand. At first I thought it was a bug bite then I realized it was either infected or something else. I drove to Urgent Care and saw a line out the door of sickness. Bleh!!!! I came home and used the MDLIVE video chat that my insurance has. Sent a picture to a doc who verified I wasn’t dying, sent in a prescription that cost 1.89. The session was free. I saved time, exposure and a $30 copay.

5. I subbed for a neighbor on my prep which is $90. Helps with the few days I missed two weeks ago.


Katy March 18, 2024 at 10:03 am

Keep looking for those frugal wins, I get so many great ideas from my own comments section! Delayed gratification makes that pleasure so much sweeter.


Christine March 18, 2024 at 7:19 am

That bed set is very pretty. Great score.
1. I found another penny.
2. I purchased 4/$1.00 packs of marigold seeds at the dollar store. I like to plant them in pots on my deck since they are a natural insect deterrent. They do well started from seed outdoors and bloom all summer and into the fall.
3. I made a banana-applesauce bread with some overripe bananas. The recipe I use (my grandmother’s) calls for 3 bananas but I only had 2. I’ve found adding about a half cup of applesauce makes up for the missing banana and works well for the flavor and moistness.
4. I’m doing a 1000 piece jigsaw puzzle for entertainment. I like the 1000 piece puzzles because it gives me several weeks of “puzzling”. This is one of the several puzzles in a basket given to me by a friend who had won it in a basket raffle.
5. I worked two extra days at my deli job to fill in for a coworker who was ill. I’m tired but will appreciate the extra $$$. I plan on putting it right into savings.
Happy Spring everyone!


Katy March 18, 2024 at 10:01 am

So smart to seed your savings instead of treating yourself with an unnecessary purchase. I love marigolds, that is an amazing price!


Jill March 18, 2024 at 7:34 am

The duvet is beautiful

1. I’m not a huge fan of mending but I’m also not a fan of just getting rid of something because it’s got a hole So over the last week I mended 3 pairs of sweatpants, a pillow and a sweater while I was watching tv. One of the sweatpants may be a loss because more holes are developing but I think I’ve saved all the others.

2. Today is packing day. I leave on Wednesday to fly to surprise my mom – and her twin sister -for their 96th birthday. It’ll be a short weekend visit but my sister and I will split the hotel cost (my aunt’s house is already full of guests) and I’m packing airport snacks. Fingers crossed we can pull it off.

3. I used some bananas to make banana bread – my toddler grandsons current favorite.

4. My son has been looking at preschools for our grandson to attend this coming school year. He has found one with a good schedule – 3 mornings per week – and that, I think, is quite affordable. So woohoo for some social time for the little guy and a few hours off for grandma and grandpa.

5.We have been having a problem with our furnace filter working it’s way out of its space (no clue why) and not doing its job of filtering. So my husband used a sort of clamp system to secure it in place and so far, so good.


Katy March 18, 2024 at 9:59 am

I’m crossing my fingers for you furnace filter to stop its escape plan! I agree about the duvet.


Ruby March 18, 2024 at 7:34 am

That bedding set is beautiful! I also saved shoelaces because they are so useful for mending items. The skinny belt for my summer dress is actually a super-long new black boot lace. When it’s knotted in a pretty way, no one can tell.

The 5 frugal things at my house:

1. Sewed another button from my big box of recycled buttons on my old fluffy robe to replace the zipper our puppy chewed up. The robe is too big for me and strategic button placement makes it fit lots better.

2. Revamped the elastic in the waist of a pair of new-with-tags pajamas bought through Poshmark. The factory elastic was not stretchy or soft. This works much better.

3. Finished a crocheting project that used up some small balls of fine cotton thread bought in error. I thought the balls were larger, but made it work.

4. Bought color-matched paint to touch up some scrapes on the bumper of my 14 year old car. The last paint I bought lasted nearly five years with careful storage, so it’s not expensive to keep the car looking good.

5. Ordered a book through the library. Cooked lunches for us from the pantry and freezer. Decluttered a couple of closets and found a few items to donate.


Katy March 18, 2024 at 9:57 am

That’s smart to keep up with the scratches on your car. And shoelaces are handy in multiple ways!


Jacqueline Jauregui McFeely March 19, 2024 at 7:33 am

How did you get the color matched paint?


Ruby March 19, 2024 at 3:40 pm

There is a manufacturer’s plate inside the driver’s side door that lists the paint color. I did an internet search and bought it using that information.


Cindy in the South March 18, 2024 at 7:36 am

I actually like the duvet with the wall stripes.
1. Large carton of sliced mushroom BOGO at Winn Dixie so two cartons for the price on one. Good thing I like mushrooms!
2. I continue my four month soft food saga with my mouth/jaw issues so I ate lima beans, scrambled eggs, the above mushrooms, lots of juice and soups etc. I have also lost a bit of weight. That was unintentional but a good thing since I trend fluffy. Continued to eat at home or bring my lunch/breakfast to work.
3. I walked in the neighborhood.
4. I bought gas at SAMS since it is the cheapest there and has ranged from $2.80 to $2.92 a gallon last week.
5. I took a nap related to the jaw/mouth issues.


Katy March 18, 2024 at 9:55 am

We just paid $3.70/gallon for Costco gas. Sorry about your continued saga, that’s sounds tedious and uncomfortable.


Jane March 18, 2024 at 10:34 am

“I trend fluffy” is my new favorite saying!


Katy March 18, 2024 at 10:51 am

I too am “on trend.”


A. Marie March 19, 2024 at 8:07 am

I don’t just trend fluffy; I trend floofy!


Christine March 18, 2024 at 3:31 pm

Another “fluffy trend girl” here! I love that phrase!


MB in MN March 18, 2024 at 8:24 am

Wow, what a beautiful bed set! I just recently learned of William Morris when I received a William Morris thermos from my Buy Nothing group – a $40 value! I use it for soup on the days that I volunteer in my niece’s classroom.

1. Got my oil changed at the car dealership and received a free car wash.

2. Bought an item at JOANN and asked the salesperson if there were any coupons. She showed me how to access the website so she could scan the 50% code. I don’t think I would have known to ask were it not for here or The Frugal Girl blog.

3. Used a coupon from the mail for ordering new checks.

4. Received our first water/sewer bill at our new house. For the last 20+ years, we’ve lived out in the country and had our own well and septic system. Now we have a baseline from which to improve (reduce) our water usage.

5. My old straw-like garden hat was very dirty and I couldn’t get the stains out. As a last resort, I put it in a mesh laundry bag and washed it with a regular load and then air dried it. It came out great!


Katy March 18, 2024 at 9:52 am

Oh yes, Kristen, (AKA “The Frugal Girl”) is savvy with the Joann coupons! And hooray for a fresh clean gardening hat!


A. Marie March 18, 2024 at 1:54 pm

In the news today: Joann has just filed for bankruptcy ( Sad news for its many fans.


Liz B. March 18, 2024 at 3:16 pm

Yikes. I wonder if they will have to close some stores in the long run.


Vckey March 27, 2024 at 6:35 am

Bummer! I much prefer shopping in-store the rare times I need to buy new fabric. Colors, patterns, weight and texture are hard to judge online.


Kate March 18, 2024 at 9:04 am

I just want to say that I really love it when you include book recommendations. I often put the books you recommend on hold through my library app, and I have enjoyed a lot of them.


Katy March 18, 2024 at 9:39 am

That’s great to hear, I’m always looking for book recommendations myself.


Marybeth from NY March 18, 2024 at 9:13 am

1. Got our small tax refund. Sent it right to the mortgage.
2. Currently reading Dirty Thirty by Janet Evanovich. She makes me laugh. It is from the library.
3. Had the heat off the last few days as it was in the 60’s. Opened windows to air out the house.
4. Hung laundry out.
5.Hubby is almost done with his closet reno. He used primer and stain that we had.
6. My son took a few boxes of his stuff from the basement to his apartment. I didn’t even have to ask.


Katy March 18, 2024 at 9:50 am

I used to read Janet Evanovich, but kind of forgot about her. Opening windows after winter weather is one of life’s greatest joys!


Shona March 18, 2024 at 9:18 am

1. Gorgeous Saturday weather enabled me to hang our laundry on my beloved drying line for the first time this year.

2. My husband’s work just changed the dress code, collared shirts and khakis. He’s good on khakis and the .99 bins at this very strange local thrift store came to the rescue with 2 polos.

3. 2 more items sold on Poshmark from my recent closet clean out. Most items I’m breaking even on what I originally paid, which is all I really want from the sale.

4. Lots of walks and we’re getting into creek stompin’ season. Free fun in nature.

5. More change found round town and on campus. On a recent bike ride I turned around after spotting a penny on the bike path 🙂


Katy March 18, 2024 at 9:48 am

I’m curious, what makes the thrift store “very strange?”


Shona March 18, 2024 at 3:31 pm

It’s tucked in the back of a shopping center with no other tenants. The space is sectioned off into rooms that are strang proportions and shapes. And with the exception of the .99 bins (I say bins, but they’re actually shopping carts placed sporadically around) pricing makes no sense with Banana Republic, Underarmor, Ralph Lauren, and Marc by Marc Jacobs found in the .99 shopping carts and a Walmart brand shirt hanging on a rack for $7.99. It feels like you could walk in and perhaps disappear, but needless to say I keep going back for the .99 shopping carts


Bee March 18, 2024 at 4:34 pm

I want to go! It sounds interesting. Does it support a non-profit?


Shona March 19, 2024 at 8:29 am

I think they support a Christian organization, but what exactly I’m not sure. It’s definitely an adventure every time I go.

Katy March 19, 2024 at 10:07 am



Lindsey March 18, 2024 at 9:36 am

1. Bought milk radically reduced in price because it was out of date the next day. Used it to make yogurt and clam chowder and husband finished the last of it for breakfast today.
2.After dismembering all available stuffies, Clobber Paws gutted his bed. shredded the stuffie corpses and gathered up the innards to restuff his bed. (He had dragged it out the dog door, which is large enough to accommodate a Great Dane, so bed innards were scattered all over the snow and pretty useless.)
3. We belong to a mushroom CSA and we were a bit late picking it up, arriving just as the farmer was closing down the pop-up he opens one a week to distribute the orders. Two people had not picked up their orders, so he gave us our order plus the other two for free. Brought them home, sauteed them, and froze them in portions ready for them to be added to future soups. I never knew how gorgeous some mushroom types were! Blues, corals, yellows, whites…the box always has several varieties, with the names provided.
4. revived a bag of stale tortilla chips by baking them in the oven for a few minutes. They were better than when we opened the bag fresh!
5.Husband wanted syrup for his pancakes and we were out, so I added a bit of water to a jar of peach jam and gave it a zap in the microwave. He loved it. I was raised with pancakes being a savory, so have never liked syrup or the like on my pancakes. Besides, the syrup covers up the sourdough taste, so I eat only butter on my pancakes.


Katy March 18, 2024 at 9:46 am

I used to crisp up stale cereals in the oven, but we hardly buy cereal anymore now that the kids are grown. Smart to do with chips!


A. Marie March 18, 2024 at 1:55 pm

Clobber Paws may need to be renamed Destructo Puppy! But I’m envious of your mushroom haul.


Michele March 18, 2024 at 9:46 am

1. I enjoy the book recommendations, too. Best one lately ws the Christie Affair. Save money by not buying. My library is good about getting from afar if not at my tiny local library.
2. Husband cleaned out my dryer lint area as my dryer not drying well. He first went up on our slippery tin roof and couldn’t access from there, then remembered he has a flexible chimney sweep tool. Got a 5 gallon bucket of lint! No wonder it wasn’t drying well and thank goodness whole house didn’t burn down.
3. Diced up two ancient poblano peppers and froze to throw in future casseroles.
4. Inventoried freezer to avoid going grocery shopping.
5. Meal prepped, drinking more water, batched errands, and changed AC filters.


Katy March 18, 2024 at 10:14 am

I have that right now from the library. I started reading it and it didn’t grab me. Maybe I should give it another chance.


Michele March 19, 2024 at 5:41 am

Life is too short to read books you don’t like. 🙂 I just returned a book to library that didn’t grab me, but picking up some holds, so I know I’ll get something I like eventually.


Katy March 19, 2024 at 10:03 am

Yeah, I read another chapter and I still wasn’t into the premise.


A. Marie March 18, 2024 at 10:42 am

FFT, Indiana Jones Edition:

(1) Not frugal for me personally, but certainly frugal for my next-door neighbor (NDN) with the cognitive issues: Her other close friend (CF) and I *finally* found most if not all of her 1099s, after spelunking for several days through the massive piles of mail in her living and dining rooms. (Between CF and me, I started calling this hunt “Indiana Jones and the Search for the Missing Tax Paperwork.”) I just dropped these off this morning at the office of NDN’s longtime accountant, who (a) was a tremendous help in telling us what to look for, and (b) says he’ll take everything (including getting duplicates of the few forms we couldn’t find) from here. Phew!

(2) My own taxes have long since been done. I’m not getting any refunds, but I don’t owe the Feds or the state anything either. Fine with me. (This is, of course, the last year of my filing jointly for myself and DH, and I’m a bit apprehensive about what I can expect in the future as a single filer.)

(3) Indulging my inner Indiana Jones, I treated myself to some more Monday morning thrifting on the way home from the paperwork dropoff. At my newest thrift shop (the one in the disused bowling alley that’s run in aid of a church food pantry), highlights included the following: (a) an absolutely lovely old Corning Ware 13x9x2 casserole dish (a bit high at $20, but it isn’t selling online for less than $35); and (b) the book Madly, Deeply–a collection of excerpts from the late Alan Rickman’s diaries–for 50 cents. Be still, my beating heart. And RIP once again to the best Sheriff of Nottingham, Colonel Brandon, and Severus Snape ever.

(4) Then on to the Salvation Army, where highlights included a one-of-a-kind basket with a deer antler for a handle, for $10. (I can’t decide whether to keep this, give it to the equally deer-plagued Bestest Neighbors, or peddle it to my young friend with the secondhand-housewares shop!)

(5) I’ve done well in the kitchen for the last couple of days, too: I’ve made a mulligatawny soup with brown lentils (approved by the BNs, NDN, and two other friends); a loaf of bread machine bread with potato flakes (denser and more satisfying than the regular bread machine white); and a sheet pan of chicken drumsticks with sweet potatoes. (The less said the better, however, about the soup mix in the pantry–an “Italian bean mix” with spelt–that I tried to use up last week. It looked revolting and didn’t taste much better. I confess that I threw about half of it out.)


Lindsey March 18, 2024 at 12:12 pm

A. Marie: We saw Alan Rickman live in a play in London. Front row seats! We have seen a lot of the British luminaries live, like Derek Jacobi, Jeremy Irons and Ian McKellen, but Rickman was the best. I told the husband that Rickman was the only man I would ever leave him for because I could not pass up the opportunity to wake up next to that voice every day. Husband has relaxed considerably since Rickman died, eliminating his competition. I have not read the diaries yet, but I do own the movie Truly Madly Deeply.


A. Marie March 18, 2024 at 12:26 pm

DH and I saw Derek Jacobi in The Tempest at the Barbican in Dec. 1983, but none of the others you mention. And I confess that if I’d ever seen Rickman live, I’d probably have swallowed my tongue and died.


Lindsey March 19, 2024 at 8:34 am

A. Marie: We were living in Scotland (where we got married) in 1983, until March of 1984. We took the train to London once a month to see shows—we might have passed on the streets of the West End!


Ava March 18, 2024 at 2:04 pm

Truly, Madly, Deeply is one of my absolute most favorite movies ever.


Ruby March 18, 2024 at 12:29 pm

I loved that book. He was so witty!


Mary Ann March 18, 2024 at 1:50 pm

Totally agree with Colonel Brandon and Snape. He is also a fav in Love Actually.


Christine March 18, 2024 at 3:41 pm

Had to chuckle at your description of “spelunking” at your neighbor’s house. The first time I heard that word, I thought the person saying it had made it up. It sounds so funny rolling off the tongue!


Q March 18, 2024 at 2:06 pm

Just got Homecoming from library, and am looking forward to reading it. I love the book suggestions, thank you.

1. Packed healthy snacks and food, water, rather than buying them on the ferry. Brought library book and read it, rather than buying internet access on ferry.
2. Stopped at wine shop in New Hampshire enroute to inlaws and bought some inexpensive wines for a good price. We will drink some and gift some.
3. We stayed at SIL’s house this weekend when visiting DH’s parents who are in assisted living. (Gave her a bottle of wine!) We treated everyone to dinner at an Irish pub, then went back to parents’ apartment for dessert (SIL made cake) and some more Guinness: it was frugal, and worked out well, too, as in-laws use wheelchair and walkers, etc, so they got home and relaxed at not too late of an hour, and it was a little easier to talk there than at pub, which was nice but a little loud.
4. I got a little hole in my new-to-me thrift shop green sweater, when I got it caught on something while packing car to travel. I ran into house, grabbed needle and thread, and mended it on the ferry portion of our trip.
5. I am still chauffeuring husband to work, to site visits, meetings, etc. He priced an Uber for one of our short trips, and it would have been $60, so the savings of my driving is considerable. (He has a partially torn Achilles and is wearing a boot and should not drive.)

We are doing the usual, clothes hanging to dry, exercising to keep healthy, cooking from scratch, etc. Some of the seeds that I just winter sowed have already sprouted: very exciting!


Katy March 19, 2024 at 10:26 am

Ooh . . . let me know if you like the book! Your “frugal five” are fun this week, . . . so much wine, so much beer!


Elizabeth March 18, 2024 at 4:52 pm

1. I’m in two books clubs and was able to get an audio version of one of the books (The Book of Hope by Jane Goodall and Douglas Abrams) and already have a copy of the other one (The Orphan Mother by Robert Hicks). Both very good so far.
2. Made that artisan no knead Dutch oven bread yesterday for the first time to go with our St. Patrick’s Day meal. Split the dough in half and have half in the refrigerator to make another loaf later this week.
3. Even though it’s currently snowing, we do have some daffodils in bloom so I cut some and made a nice bouquet for the family room. They make me happy every time I look at them.
4. Tomorrow I’m dropping off a library book I borrowed for this month’s book club and am picking up three books offered by a Buy Nothing group member that’s close to the library.
5. Went through my Easter decor the other week and listed some stuff I wasn’t going to use anymore on Facebook marketplace. Someone just bought it to use to brighten up the senior living center she works at.


Q March 19, 2024 at 4:57 am

Elizabeth, I never thought of splitting dough in half for the Dutch oven bread: genius! I’m going to do that!


Katy March 19, 2024 at 10:06 am

That’s a really good idea to save some of the dough.


BettafromdaVille March 18, 2024 at 7:29 pm

1. I made two lonely brioche hot dog buns into French toast.
2. I made dinner for the next 3 nights (at work apartment) using mystery shop ground beef, milk, and cheese + kale stems that I had saved from Sat. night dinner.
3. Found a big bag of baby spinach, pasta, and taco shells on the dented rack. I’m envious of all of you who live near a dented grocery store!
4. Using just the heated mattress pad instead of the heat.
Frugal fail: I tried a new-to-me recipe that sounded delicious, but it was not. Neither my partner nor I could rally to eat the one extra serving leftover.


Katy March 19, 2024 at 10:06 am

Sometimes it’s not not worth taking one for the team.


texasilver March 18, 2024 at 8:31 pm

1. Found a quarter & 2 dimes on my daily walk.
2. The 50 year old doorbell at the condo gave up the ghost. Hubby could not repair it & I had to buy a new one. Not everything is repairable.
3. Drip dried clothes instead of paying to use the dryer at the condo.
4. Got a free carton of boxed 1% milk & 2 loaves of submarine sandwich type bread at the senior center.
5. My BFF father died a year ago. She gave me some of his medical items. I have 4 rolls of Kerlix gauze & an Ace wrap. There is a woman at the senior center who can use these items. (She has some sort of issue w/ her calves & wraps them.) Anyway, I don’t pry into her issue but bring her medical supplies from time to time that she can use. The leftover alcohol wipes & Band-aids I will take to school & put in the nursing lab. The items that my BFF gave me were in a slightly faded Vera Bradley duffle bag. I need a new gym bag so now I have one.
6. I had an ancient Victoria’s Secret GC. I got 2 powder pink belt bags for 10$ each. I needed a gift for my sister’s birthday gift. I can use the other one. I tend to stuff my belt bag too full & mine rip, or the belt part rips away from the bag. I have repaired them in the past but eventually they just wear out (like my doorbell).
7. BFF also gave me a nice Jansport backpack. Hubby’s off name backpack is falling apart. He will get the Jansport & throw away his ratty one. Jansport backpacks have a lifetime warranty. I sent mine in for repair. The put in a new inner divider & mailed it back.


Katy March 19, 2024 at 10:05 am

Jansports are the best!


Blue Gate Farmgirl March 18, 2024 at 10:02 pm

I love that duvet set. I thrifted a nice down comforter a few years back and it had velcro sewed into the corners, so now I just have to sew the fuzzy size into the corner and presto bango no movement.
Found a nickel and a penny along side the road when I was fixing a flat tire on my flatbed trailer. I had gone to mow a field for a elderly lady that I’ve adopted. The money may have come from the rowdy teens that drove a little close to my trailer as I worked on it.
Neighbor showed me how to prune my orchard with a jig saw, gave me one that is ancient and very well used as he’s a contractor, I purchased a new battery and I’m in business.
I fertilized my blueberry plants and planted my new to me roses (I dug them up from a flipper house – the builder said to take anything and everything).
Gave the lawnmower a tune up and sharpened the blades. Helped the neighbor in replacing the belts on his riding lawnmower. I have smaller hands to fit it into place. He gave me the sawzall as a thank you.


Katy March 19, 2024 at 10:04 am

Rowdy teens, randomly with spare change. I love this!


Vickey March 28, 2024 at 5:36 am

>>the rowdy teens that drove a little close to my trailer as I worked on it<< sounds a bit ominous. !!
I do sometimes wonder at what license those whose pre-frontal cortex hasn’t matured should have.


KarenB March 19, 2024 at 10:14 am

Five Frugal Things – (Mostly) PreNatal Edition – Family Wins
Prelude: I too love that duvet…. and William Morris prints!

My daughter is expecting our first grandchild in April (so much joy) and is doing a great job of keeping baby costs in control. We are helping as much as possible. Wins include:
– Buying almost everything for the nursery second-hand and gratefully accepting hand-me-downs from all friends/family.
– Lovely and low-cost baby shower was held at the beautiful old house they are renting. Almost all decor and party supplies were borrowed or improvised. My husband, who started his working life as a photojournalist, took the pictures. A dear friend made the mini-cheesecake dessert. Many of the attendees live in her neighborhood and walked to and from the shower. The “entertainment” for the shower consisted of decorating bibs and cloth diapers that will be used for burp cloths, a single trivia game my son-in-law created, and written advice for the parents that was read aloud and enjoyed by all.
– My daughter thrifted some lovely dresses to use for her Maternity photo shoot. One had a small tear, which I mended. My husband took these photos as well. Many were taken in her home – so much character in old houses – and the rest were taken within walking distance in her historic neighborhood.
– My son-in-law checked with their insurance and found out that it covers a breast pump. They are getting a highly rated one for FREE!
– My daughter’s latest pregnancy symptom is swollen lower legs and ankles. I am loaning her a couple of pairs of compression socks to help (with approval from her doctor).
– The parents-to-be have already stocked up on easy prep food to minimize ordering out during the crazy first months. I will also be preparing some freezer meals for them to have on hand. Baby visits will include freshly-cooked meals as well.

Non-Prenatal Wins
– Currently simmering a ham bone I had in the freezer for bean soup that will also use up several partial packages of different types of beans from my pantry.
– Was able to consolidate 4 loads of laundry into 3 by spreading out the smallest one amongst the other three. I am in a condo so can’t have a clothesline but I do hang up most of my clothes to dry on a rack in our garage.

Nothing to do with saving money, but I have finally settled on my “grandma name.” I wanted something that no one else in the family is using, that is easy to say, and that isn’t too “cutesy” (cause I am the farthest thing from Glamma you can imagine)….. The winner is Oma! It’s German for grandma, and, my daughter informed me, used in Korea for Mother. Since she spent time in South Korea teaching English, she thinks it is a good choice. The Grandpa equivalent is Opa but when I asked my DH if he wanted to be Opa he said no because he is afraid we would turn into Ooompa and Loompah as some point! LOL – he’s sticking with Grandpa!


MB in MN March 19, 2024 at 12:08 pm

Congratulations, Oma! I love your joy and excitement for your first grandchild!


KarenB March 19, 2024 at 12:30 pm

Thank you MB!!!!


Nancy from mass March 19, 2024 at 6:16 pm

1. Walked downtown with my neighbors to see an Irish band on Saturday night. Tickets at the door were 25 but my neighbor bought me a water and a slice of cake. Best of all, the band was fantastic and it was a great way to spend an evening.
2. Have gotten quotes for my basement issues. French drain quote came in staggeringly high. And I had to get a quote to replace the pipe that goes from my street into my house and the excavator who was here said he also installed sump pumps from time to time. His aunt used to own the house next-door and his cousin lives kitty corner to me, so he’s familiar with our neighborhood, and most importantly, our horrible, absorbent soil. His quote came in at 1/6 of the price of the French drain. He’s installing it next month.
3. Because I’m having shoulder surgery in May, I will not be able to take care of my yard at all this year. (There’s no way I can pull the cord to start my lawnmower.) so, I’ve gotten some quotes. And I’m going to go with a local company. It’s a good thing. I’m saving money and not installing the French drain.
4. I found some nice fabric and pulled out a pattern for a shirt. I’m trying to see if I can figure out a way to modify the pattern for after surgery. We’ll see.
5. Still trying to eat from the freezer and minimizing purchases other than perishable things.


Regina M Erbin March 20, 2024 at 3:58 am

I had shoulder surgery 21 years ago. May I suggest button down shirts to wear afterwards. Much easier to put on yourself with no help. T-shirts just didn’t cut it. I wore them for 8 weeks, but they were a life-saver. After that I didn’t want to wear button down shirts for awhile.


Vickey March 28, 2024 at 11:04 am

Nice tip! I’m wondering if snaps would be even easier to fasten one-handed.


GK March 20, 2024 at 8:06 am

The print on the duvet cover set is beautiful!

1. There are lots of mentions regarding book recommendations in the comments – I too come here for book recommendations! And as so many here I also order my books from the library 99% of the time. My recent favourite reads were both by Una Mannion: A crooked tree and Tell me what I am. Really gripping books!
2. I have repurposed an old pillow case as a hot water bottle cover.
3. I painted the bathroom with paint we already had.
4. Needed a black folder for an event and was able to use a school folder of my daughter’s which she (temporarily) emptied out for me.
5. Mended another two pj bottoms. What is it with pj bottoms, I am forever mending them! I guess the fabric is nice and soft but therefore not very durable.


Ashley Bananas March 20, 2024 at 11:49 am

1. I finalized changing my home owner’s insurance. I may have to pay the higher amount this month on the mortgage again, but moving forward I will not pay so much as I have mitigated my cost. I’m relived and ready for that to all start to actuate. My overall savings is over $3k a year.
2. The roofing company for the 1 shingle repair sent me photos and an invoice for $600 and told me verbally not to pay them, that it was just a curtesy so I could show the repair was done professionally. The electrician did similar charging me $100 but sending an invoice for higher so it looked believable.
3. I spotted two folks doing tree stump grinding Sunday near my house. I asked if they would like an extra job, they came over and I paid them $300 in cash to remove three stumps. This is very reasonable. I often overlook things to avoid spending money. I’m glad I invested a little in where we live.
4. I organized the neighborhood yard sale and therefore did not have a sale. I asked my next door neighbor if she would be ok with me putting some items in her sale. She sold several items and I netted about $120. Thank you neighbor.
5. Our freezer and pantries are very full. My son is home on Spring break. I took time to cook including making popcorn on the stove top, and puppy chow, as well as pre cooking some meats so we had taco meat and bacon for fast easy meals. We haven’t eaten out yet this week. I continue to shop deals at the grocery store and keep us stocked.

Hope everyone is having a great week!


Katy March 22, 2024 at 9:16 am

Lucky son to get all those home cooked meals!


Vickey March 28, 2024 at 11:08 am

Ashley, you get an “A” in advanced adulting for seeing things thru on your insurance and property maintenance chores. 🙂


Selena March 20, 2024 at 6:45 pm

The look is eclectic. I don’t subscribe to any one style, “designer”, and/or time period. Yours is not quite early attic, just eclectic.


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