Five Frugal Things

by Katy on April 8, 2024 · 131 comments

  1. My husband and I lunched at IKEA on Friday to enjoy 50%-off adult entrees. My husband said “yes” when the worker asked if he wanted an extra side of macaroni and cheese, which was an extra $2.49. I pointed out that it was actually less expensive to buy it as a full entree rather than as a side, which doubled the portion and was 50¢ cheaper. My reward was half his macaroni.

  2. I spent a couple of hours working on gardening, which meant planting rooted starts into outdoor flowerpots as well as transplanting a gifted indoor succulent into a larger flowerpot. Everything now looks fresh and tidy and I look forward to a pretty garden while spending almost no money.

    I’m holding off on doing anything with my schwanky new half-barrel planters until next week, as I think can score free potting soil through Fred Meyer’s Fuchsia Saturday as long as I buy tomato starts. (Which I would be buying anyway.) I even have a variety of big lightweight pots all ready to get filled.

  3.  My husband and I spent an evening watching a single episode from each of the Star Trek shows, which was super fun. (Except Picard, because . . . blah.) It started with a need to rewatch The Chase episode from Star Trek: The Next Generation, as it sets up the newest season of Star Trek: Discovery.

    This was super fun and will definitely be repeated, perhaps with a theme such as time travel, holodeck hijinks or identity crisis.

    Here are the episodes we chose:

    Star Trek: The Next Generation — The Chase
    Star Trek: Deep Space Nine — Far Beyond The Stars
    Star Trek: Enterprise — Twilight
    Star Trek: Strange New Worlds — Those Old Scientists
    Star Trek: Lower Decks — Old Friends, New Planets
    Star Trek: Original Series — This Side of Paradise

    We did watch the last episode in bed, as we were losing steam. An entertaining night that cost nothing more than the $5.99/month that we’re already paying. I did threaten to cancel our Paramount + subscription a couple weeks ago and got an offer for two free months. I then put it in my calendar to reconsider the subscription before the price goes up again.

  4. • I picked up a La Croix can outside IKEA to return for the 10¢ deposit.
    • I read a library copy of Talk Bookish to Me, by Kate Bromely.
    • I picked up a discarded receipt outside Winco and scanned it into the Fetch app.*
    • I made a homemade pizza pie to make use of the 69¢ fresh mozzarella that I bought at the Dented Vegetable Store™ last week. Topped with sautéed yellow pepper slices, (Also from D.V.S.™) it was a a deliciously frugal hit. I used to make homemade pizza once a week or so when my kids were growing up, but I stopped when I learned my daughter shouldn’t eat gluten. She no longer lives with us, so it’s time to start this tradition back up again.

  5. I didn’t buy a Lear Jet.

Katy Wolk-Stanley

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

Click HERE to follow The Non-Consumer Advocate on Instagram.
Click HERE to join The Non-Consumer Advocate Facebook group.

* This is a referral link.

{ 131 comments… read them below or add one }

K D April 8, 2024 at 4:26 am

1. I flew to FL to visit a friend. I used Southwest points for the flights. DH ferried me to/from the airport, a bit out of the way from his work. I stayed with my friend and she ferried me to/from the Sarasota airport. One day we attended an aqua-aerobics class at her community pool (no cost). Another day we went to Myakka State Park, definitely worth the $6 cost of admission. All but two meals were eaten at home.

2. We went to The Grocery Outlet and I bought a large package of BL SL chicken breasts with resulted in a Crock Pot worth of pulled chicken. Some was shared with a neighbor and some was frozen for future meals. I also bought potatoes, and no salt added diced tomatoes for $.50/can, and a few other items. They took $5 off the order since it was $25+.

3. We are doing our own yard work, including removing old forsythia bushes. It is a lot of work but good exercise.

4. I hung laundry outside. I was happy to have a warm and sunny day yesterday.

5. I did not buy eclipse glasses nor a special outfit.


Katy April 8, 2024 at 10:31 am

Sounds like a great trip, what a treat!


MB in MN April 8, 2024 at 4:51 am

Katy, good thinking on the mac and cheese.

1. Had a ground squirrel chew through the wiring on our new HVAC system not once but twice, in the span of two days. All three service calls were covered under warranty, including the one at 10 p.m. on a Saturday night to put a temporary fix in place so we could have heat over the weekend.

2. Went thrifting with a friend for an entire day. A few blocks from my house, we came across an estate sale and found several treasures 25% off. We split a hummus platter for lunch at a local restaurant. I went back to the sale the next day when everything was 50% off and found a couple CDs and a pencil sharpener, which I asked if I could have as a “gift with purchase” and they said yes.

3. Went to a discount food store and used their $1 off coupon that I received via email. Best bargain: box of Triscuits for $1 each. They’re our favorite cracker and have no mystery ingredients.

4. Received vintage handkerchiefs, a set of poetry books and milk from my Buy Nothing group.

5. Used a $5 coupon for dog food and used another $5 coupon for pet meds. These coupons were on the back of a grocery store receipt.


Katy April 8, 2024 at 10:33 am

An entire day of thrifting with a friend? Heaven!


Coral Clarke April 8, 2024 at 5:23 pm

Have you put out a contract on that Squirrel? How can you squirrel proof this? I do hope there’s an inexpensive solution!


MB in MN April 9, 2024 at 4:33 am

Coral, they used a combination of steel wool and some special kind of putty, so we didn’t have to put a contract out on that squirrel.


Texasilver April 9, 2024 at 3:11 pm

I had a friend here in Texas who had a rodent problem. The mice chewed through the seat belts in her late model car which was parked in the garage.

Kristen | The Frugal Girl April 8, 2024 at 5:02 am

You and the gluten is gonna be me and shrimp when Zoe moves out. 😉


Katy April 8, 2024 at 10:34 am

I do still make a lot of gluten-free meals though as she might stop by. It’s as simple as using gf soy sauce mostly, so don’t get too impressed!


mary in maryland April 8, 2024 at 5:18 am

1. I have aged out of doing my own toenails—or at least the ones that were traumatized by my years of distance running. Manicurists won’t touch them. This week I found a podiatrist willing to dremel down the five that need it. (I used to dremel my own but can’t reach them for the time it takes anymore.) Her price was reasonable for something I should have done a couple of times a year.
2. I got a bulk order from Webstaurant—50# oatmeal and 20# each of lentils and pintos. I prescreened the bags of beans on two successive days to avoid burnout.
3. Our elder spaniel sometimes leaks when she’s asleep. The sofa cover needed washing due to her accident. I had a similar cover that I got via Buy Nothing a year ago—but the donor had cut it apart. I sewed the two pieces back together and put it on the sofa.
4. I spent the day working (mending) at a Repair Café. Having found and donned my bra, I was able to take off my sweater (new in 1989) and mend the two runs. I still had the mending yarn that came with the sweater, but it had frayed during the past 35 years. Used it anyway.
5. The guy next to me was recovering a chair seat. I was able to convince him that it would be improved by using some of the dead pillows in my car as additional padding. It was.
6. My latest inventory showed that I need to use up quinoa, masa, and cannellini beans. Quinoa cooks well in the solar oven in the summer. We spent some time just now making 20 tortillas. They are much tastier than store bought. Maybe worth the work, maybe not. But worth using up what we have.


mary in maryland April 8, 2024 at 5:20 am

A note of clarification–I was wearing a tee shirt under my pullover sweater. I did not sit and mend wearing only my bra.


Anne April 8, 2024 at 7:09 am

“Having found and donned my bra,,,” I love this. I used to think braless old ladies were nuts, now I am one. Unless I’m leaving the house, then I get “formal”.


A. Marie April 8, 2024 at 7:26 am

Ever since the pandemic struck, I’ve been “Erin Go Braless” except when I have to be in the public eye. (Sorry if this is TMI, but I know Anne and the other old ladies here will understand.)


Katy April 8, 2024 at 10:24 am

I take any and all opportunities to remove my bra, as I value comfort over everything else in life.

mary in maryland April 8, 2024 at 11:24 am

I don’t have much estrogen-dependent adiposity in the front. I only wear a bra when it might show–summer–and then mostly because it makes me chesty enough that no one calls me sir.

Pat April 8, 2024 at 4:53 pm

I’m with you,definitely the first thing to go when I’m in for the day.
I’ve also perfected my bag lady look,pj pants & an oversized hoodie:) finally worked up the courage to leave the house for my mail.

Coral Clarke April 8, 2024 at 5:27 pm

Loved the Gaelic! Erin go bra(gb) to you also, from sunny Brisbane , Australia! Slainte!

Selena April 8, 2024 at 7:04 pm

Bras – a pox on them. Necessity when leaving the house when nursing a kid but otherwise pretty much nope. Have one, maybe two for *some* reason, which I never wear. The upside of not being, as they say, well endowed. I wonder how much I’ve saved since I was 16 years old?


Katy April 9, 2024 at 8:18 am

As someone is ridiculously endowed, I can ensure you that you’ve saved thousands of dollars!

Jill A April 8, 2024 at 8:10 am

Thank you for that clarification. I also go braless at home and I usually don’t wear underwire bras anymore…if you don’t like my droopy tatas don’t look.


Marybeth from NY April 8, 2024 at 11:06 am

My mother in law passed away years ago from breast cancer. Several of Hubby’s cousins have had it. Both of my girls have been checked. Their doctor told them to wear a bra as little as possible. They are both tiny so they can get away with it. He gave them a list of things like no smoking and I had never heard of not wearing a bra was on the list. Because it constricts the natural flow of our bodies. I asked a friend that currently has breast cancer if she knew this and she said it was on her list too. So now we all go braless as much as possible.


Christine April 8, 2024 at 2:12 pm

Thanks for the valuable information regarding not wearing a bra. I have heard of the smoking and obesity risk factors but never wearing a bra. Since, like most of you, I go for comfort, this will be an easy one, at least around the house.

Jill A April 9, 2024 at 4:33 am

I have not heard of this recommendation. Thank you for sharing. I have three daughters and a family history (aunts) who have had breast cancer.

Roberta April 9, 2024 at 11:33 am

Do you have a citation to research on this? All the cancer societies I looked at said this was a myth, but I want to make sure before I make my choices. I am battling between comfort and vanity here.

MEM April 8, 2024 at 6:17 am

Your #1. I inherited my Dad’s ingrown toenails and they have been a source of great pain and frustration for the past 10 years or so. I do not wear too tight or too small shoes. Over the years I have had my big toe AKA “great toe” nails removed completely. Then for several years until recently I had regular pedicures that seemed to keep the ingrown toenails in check. Then those appointments became excruciating so I saw a podiatrist who “permanently” removed 50% of my big toenails – 25% on each side of the nails. She used a chemical that is supposed to dissolve/kill the nail “seed” so that part of the nail doesn’t grow back. Ever? So my big toenails are very narrow and I really don’t care. I’m saving money on pedicures, at least.


M April 8, 2024 at 7:05 am

My husband had this done in the Army 35 years ago and they haven’t come back.


Marybeth from NY April 8, 2024 at 11:10 am

My sister had 1/2 of her big toe nail cauterized when she was 12. She is 38 and it never grew back.


Ecoteri April 9, 2024 at 9:47 am

Ah, I hear you @MEM on the ingrown toenails, finally got my one toe addressed by the family doctor in her office (What a fool I had been to wait so long). 5 min and the nailbed cauterized, sad bits dealt with, and a couple of weeks of soaking regularly. the narrow nail is still growing in so don’t know what it will look like, but I have hikers feet so toes aren’t gorgeous anyway.
@mary in maryland I can relate to the ‘hard to get down there for long enough’ comment, however with a new grand baby coming I am determined to increase my flexibility again. Small gains every day! Grunt-groan


Heidi Louise April 8, 2024 at 8:02 am

The senior services in my Dad’s town would have a monthly toenail-trimming event of some sort. I don’t know that they would deal with extreme situations, but they might have some names of appropriate podiatrists at a place like that.


Edie April 8, 2024 at 8:34 am

Just in case youdidn’t know this: medical pedicures are covered by insurance!


mary in maryland April 8, 2024 at 11:26 am

Yes, but the podiatrist said unless I have circulatory problems or diabetes, it’s not covered by insurance. Paying is probably cheaper than diabetes.


Ecoteri April 9, 2024 at 9:49 am

” I prescreened the bags of beans on two successive days to avoid burnout.” BRILLIANT! I am going to make a commitment to future me, and do this with some of the jars I have. Will put a bit of painter’s tape on any pre-screened jars, that will speed things up on days when the extra 2 min means I reach for a can rather than the dry beans. HA!


Ruby April 8, 2024 at 6:09 am

1. Gave my dogs a bath and groomed our very fluffy cat. This saves about $90 every time all three pets get an at-home spa day.

2. Made two large homemade pizzas for our Sunday dinner, using ingredients from the pantry and freezer. Served it with some pretty decent cheap wine from Aldi.

3. Finished planting this year’s container garden with some half-bushel baskets that turned up during the garage clean-out being used as planters.

4. My husband gets the credit for taking on the herculean task of moving our finances from the Bank of Ridiculous Service Charges to a credit union that’s much more customer friendly. This is saving us $45 a month in service fees.

5. Mended the corner of the living room rug that our rescued pup gnawed off with some crocheting thread that is a very close color match. Years ago I accidentally bought a lot of small “bon bon”-size balls of thread that were hard to work with. Some were used up, some went to Goodwill, and I kept a couple of neutral colors just for mending. It works well for that.
Bonus points: Cut open a empty tube of lotion to discover it’s still one quarter full. Juiced seven tangerines that were drying up and froze the juice in two little containers to add to a marinade in the future.


Katy April 8, 2024 at 10:39 am

Three cheers to credit unions that exist to serve their members rather than victimize them!

Thank you for the idea of juicing citrus fruit! The “oranges” I bought last week are actually grapefruit, which I don’t like. However, I can juice them and do a marinade.


Lindsey April 8, 2024 at 10:56 am

I envy you the grapefruit. I cannot eat it due to medication interactions and I so love them. In my youth, I ate them like oranges. When I had more money than brains, I would buy those expensive large containers of peeled and segmented grapefruit in their own juice and would eat a whole jar for a meal. I miss them. I do not, however, miss the spinach and chard I am not supposed to eat anymore.


Vickey April 9, 2024 at 4:26 pm

A wee bit of salt sprinkled on the grapefruit flesh will make them less bitter, if that’s any help.


Katy April 9, 2024 at 5:27 pm

Thanks, but I’ve actually decided to juice the grapefruit to use in a marinade.


Mary Ann April 8, 2024 at 6:12 am

1. I was researching Amazon registry for a wedding gift. There was a backpack that I knew I could find at the Sportman’s Warehouse for which hubby had a Christmas gift card from a service provider. I learned how to remove the item from the registry even though I didn’t purchase it through Amazon. I used the last bit of the gift card to buy vacuum sealer bags. They help so much with all the fresh produce I can pick in season.

2. I stopped using butter in the pan cooking my sunny side up eggs on toast. A 2 second spray of pam olive oil is much cheaper with nearly 0 calories.

3. I brought Hubby lunch Saturday and Sunday as he worked down at the Riverhouse with tree removal. As a treat I made it Subway. I bought the drinks and a big box of snack size chips from Grocery Outlet. I ate leftover grain bowl. Price of two lunches for two days was 26 dollars. That still seems outrageous.

4. Back at school today. Lunches for the week are packed along with a big thermos of hot tea.

5. Used a three year old car wash gift card. It was an inside /outside service so the ski muck is out of the car which is super nice. Normal price for the service is $36. Again, how are people paying money for these kinds of services on a regular basis? So nice to get the giftcard out of my stack.


Katy April 8, 2024 at 10:41 am

There is something so very satisfying about cleaning out the interior of the car. Even better if someone else is doing it.

You are on a roll with fully utilizing your gift cards!


MEM April 8, 2024 at 6:35 am

1. Cut DH77 hair – incredibly he still has 90% of his hair except for a small bald spot on top that no one notices because he’s 6’3″ tall. Plus his hair is jet black with silver tips, like a bear. Mine is snow white and I wish I could trade. I do a basic buzz cut on him and DS29 – who wasn’t in the mood for his haircut when I did his Dad’s.
2. Removed returnable bottles and cans from DD27 recycling barrel. Its 5 cents per can or bottle in Massachusetts so about 60 cents for that haul.
3. Trying to eat our way through the fridge and freezer so it will be mostly empty and DH can try and fix the ice maker. Better than putting everything in a cooler.
4. Pet Insurance! We have three rescued chihuahua mixes and one of them (age 6) has developed a lung disorder similar to asthma but not. Good Rx at Walgreen’s had the best price on her inhaler and Trupanion will pay for most of it. Will also cover much of other, expensive tests – like a trans-tracheal wash. We have paid Trupanion a small fortune over the years and finally seeing some of it in return.
5. Not frugal – our 2016 Passat had an issue with its sway bar and was not safe to drive. Mechanic replaced the sway bar, brackets and some other things that were rusting out. $900 for all. My brother the auto mechanic lives in Pittsburgh while I live in Boston. After I described the repairs, he thought the price was actually quite fair as some of those repairs are a b*tch to do.


Katy April 8, 2024 at 10:43 am

I haven’t done this personally, but I’ve read that the Costco pharmacy has excellent prices for pet medication.


mary in maryland April 8, 2024 at 11:29 am

Good Rx also offers deep discounts on some pet meds


Crunchycon April 10, 2024 at 1:28 am

Can confirm this one. Our Boxer needed some expensive gallbladder meds, even at Petco prices. I was able to pick them up for about a third of the price at our local Publix with GoodRx. It never hurts to check.


MEM April 10, 2024 at 6:20 am

Many “pet meds” are identical to “people meds”. My dogs over the years have been on human meds like gabapentin, metronidazole, prednisolone, Prilosec, etc. Our vets are usually willing to send an e-script to CVS or Walgreen’s and since my dogs have “human” names, CVS never questions it and I can use GoodRx.


Selena April 8, 2024 at 7:13 pm

I’ve done a bit of comparison shopping re: the pet med one “tiger” needs. Yeah, I can save a few bucks – not talking a lot – BUT if ever comes the time when finances are tight (one never knows these days), I’m convinced my long term relationship with our vet clinic will help. Come the day my vet retires/sells out her share, I have another vet clinic I’ll use. I get excellent service from my vet. I’ll not angst over $5 per Rx 3-4 times a year.


Anne April 8, 2024 at 7:40 pm

In my case it’s a whole lot more than $5.00. When the vet first started selling pet medicine it was less expensive than Chewy so I bought from the vet. I didn’t watch for price increases. The last time I picked up his thyroid meds they were now THREE TIMES as much as Chewy. My cat takes three pills per day, so the savings will be substantial.

I am also going to check Costco now. My vet has many, many clients. He will certainly not notice that I have stopped buying meds from him and if he did I would not care. With three pets going there he gets a great deal of money from me.


Bee April 8, 2024 at 6:55 am

I haven’t been to IKEA for awhile. It is one of the few places like that where one can get GF cake. They usually have the DIAM almond cake which is delicious!

I had an OMG-prices-are-getting-out-of- control moment this past week when I found out that the toothpaste my dentist recommends for me is now more than $9 a tube at the local big box store. Holy Moly! I searched online for the best price checking both Walmart and Amazon, but all were in the same price range. I then discovered that I could order my toothpaste straight from the manufacturer (Crest). The price is only $6 a tube ( which still sounds absurd) if I buy 3 tubes and shipping is free. I placed an order but I am wondering if I should just go with homemade baking soda and hydrogen peroxide paste in the future. Does anyone else do this? I have an elderly periodontist friend (94) who told me the paste does not matter. It the actual act of brushing correctly that makes the biggest difference.

A neighbor of a friend gave me several cuttings of the succulent Donkey’s Tail (Sedum morganianum) also commonly known as Burro’s Tail. I am very excited because I don’t have this plant. Succulents are fairly easy to propagate and they like the weather where I live. I had enough to fill two succulent pots. If they root well, I’ll give one to my daughter.

My DH had an emergency room visit last month and we reach our deductible. (Nothing to worry about.) A few days later he made a trip to the dermatologist who charged him the cost of the visit or $340 upon leaving. The claim has now processed, and the dermatologist was nearly paid in full by our health insurer. My husband is only responsible for $24.87. I made a quick call and made sure that he would receive a prompt refund. That is a chunk of change.

My DIL found a ToeTol Child’s Kitchen Step Stool that had been placed at the side of the road. Since she and my son already have one for my grandson, I’ll keep this one at my house for by visits. I will scrub it down really well and repaint it if necessary.

Of course, I have been doing all the usual things – eating at home, drinking primarily water, brewing my own coffee, reading and listening to library books, paying bills online and batching errands.

Wishing everyone peace, good health, and prosperity!


M April 8, 2024 at 7:12 am

Toothpaste is one of the few things I still stockpile using coupons from CVS, etc. My husband’s favorite paste is $8/tube and I just got four for $7 after CarePass (CVS discount program), coupons and cashback.


Bee April 10, 2024 at 5:02 am

I need to look more carefully at CVS. I know that you can really do well combining coupons and Extra Bucks. I have done this a few times successfully.


Katy April 8, 2024 at 10:54 am

I still buy my toothpaste at Dollar Tree, I’m good with the standard Colgate so far and stock up when they have the bigger tubes.

Score on the step stool!


chit April 10, 2024 at 10:34 am

You can get FREE toothpastes and brushes are Walgreens with coupons


Christina @ Bargain Blog April 8, 2024 at 7:18 am

Well done on the macaroni, Katy! Haha That was quick – frugal – thinking!

1. Starting to write again on my blog. But, am doing a lot of brainstorming this time around to make it a place that will be helpful and useful for readers. Hmmm…I used your ‘Five Frugal Things’ as inspiration, Katy. Thank you for that.

2. Using inexpensive melatonin every night to help with my sleep. I also read that it may help with certain perimenopause symptoms, and I have found it helps a bit. So, those few pennies a tablet are worth it to me.

3. Washed my old slippers to keep these babies going a bit longer! They are getting a bit raggedy, but boy are they comfortable.

4. Buying a large bag of quinoa at Costco rather than smaller bags at our favourite store. We like making up a pot of quinoa to have for lunches — we add our own favourite toppings, such as leftover chopped up chicken, veggies, etc.

5. Staying in today, working on websites and spending zero pennies!


Bee April 10, 2024 at 5:18 am

A friend of my daughters had a dog who was an escape artist and was constantly going over the 6-foot fence. They added coyote rollers. . Of course, your pup may be too tall for these to be effective, but I thought I would pass it on.


Sandra April 8, 2024 at 7:51 am

I wintered over several patio planters. Yesterday I brought them in one at a time to look them over and trim them up. It was very successful. A few petunias and marigolds had died, but for the most part the planters were in pretty good shape. I will add a few starter plants for color and my patio will be summer ready.

A friend made a batch of homemade ricotta recently. She used half in lasagna.
Then baked the rest of it in a six inch casserole with a little more lemon juice, some thyme, and a dash of red pepper flakes then served it with pita chips. It was so delicious. I asked for the recipe for making her ricotta, which I had never made before. It was so simple. Scald 1 quart whole milk, then add 4 tbsp fresh lemon juice, and 1/4 tsp salt. Drain in a sieve or cheesecloth. The next time I need ricotta, I’m making it myself.

Lettuce seed I planted in my outdoor planter box is coming on. It is seed that is from several years ago and I always wonder if it will germinate again. It did! I always seem to have way more seed than the area I have available for planting.

Speaking of pizza, I think there is some in my future, too. My daughter brought me two packages of lactose free mozzarella from the dented vegetable store. One is earmarked for lasagna and the other will be for pizza.

I didn’t buy a gold plated anything!


Katy April 8, 2024 at 10:23 am

You can also use the whey for bread, which gives it an extra kick. My only planters that overwintered were oregano and chives.


A. Marie April 8, 2024 at 7:58 am

FFT, JASNA BFF’s Visit Edition:

My dear JASNA BFF came up from NYC on Friday for the eclipse and will be here till Wednesday morning. So far, here’s what we’ve been doing to paint the town a discreet Wedgwood blue:

(1) Upon her arrival, we exchanged prezzies (books, mostly) and talked nonstop. I’d also saved three pairs of Keen sandals that, alas, no longer fit me because of old-lady foot expansion. She’s a shoe size down from me and experiencing the same thing, so the two newer of the three pairs worked for her. We agreed that the third pair had too much wear on the soles. (Frugal ethical dilemma: Should I donate these, toss them, or try to find a shoe-recycling program? Your opinions are welcome, as always.)

(2) We went on Saturday morning for the obligatory (for BFF) shopping expedition at my local Wegmans, the largest store in the entire chain. We did sanely and sinfully indulge in four cupcakes topped with chocolate wafers stamped “Solar Eclipse 2024.” But we also found two on-sale packages of California sushi rolls (Danny Wegman must have been feeling generous), and otherwise stocked up on enough groceries to enable us to eat most meals at home.

(3) We’ve also been to two bookstores: my favorite local used-book store, and the first new indie bookstore to open up in my city’s downtown for well over 30 years. Several purchases were made at both, and I will certainly be back to the indie bookstore, which is a very good one. We also stopped into an antique/junque store near the new bookstore, where BFF bought an old board for learning letters/numbers (a bit like a Ouija board, for those of you who can remember those) for her grandkids. (Actually, it’s probably really for her, but…)

(4) Our one meal out thus far was a lo mein lunch at an unassuming but very good Chinese restaurant, also near the new bookstore and also unknown to me till now.

(5) And we are getting ready for an impromptu eclipse party on my front lawn this afternoon. It was originally going to be just BFF, my next-door neighbor, one or two other neighbors, and me, but things have gotten a wee bit out of my control. Check Tuesday’s FFT at The Frugal Girl for details!


Katy April 8, 2024 at 10:20 am

That sounds like so much fun! Food, books, food, books, eclipse!

It’s too cloudy here in Portland to enjoy the bit of eclipse that we’re currently experiencing. Boo!


Selena April 8, 2024 at 7:22 pm

No Wedgewood blue here eclipse wise – it is rather interesting how 91% totality (read: odd sunlight) is so different from 100% totality. Not sure if the temp drop we eclipse related or gusting winds. It was a bright and sunny day so quite fun to watch the moon.


Bee April 8, 2024 at 11:50 am

It’s very cool that you can see the Total Eclipse. I tried but was unable to have this experience. I was tempted to head up your way!!! The natural world is so intriguing.


Anne April 8, 2024 at 7:51 pm

I have to say I just loved the chocolate cupcakes that say Solar Eclipse 2024. Are we Americans not the king of marketing? There is nothing that can’t be up marketed for a few extra sales.

I’m honestly not pretending to be superior because I would have bought, and eaten, chocolate cupcakes even if the icing spelled out COVID 2019.


Jill A April 8, 2024 at 8:41 am

1. I have watched several episodes of Alone on the free History app on my Roku. Thank you for the suggestion Katy.
2. I picked up two pairs of vintage Dr. Scholl’s exercise sandals at an estate sale for $4 each. I’ve been looking for a pair in DD#2’s size for a couple years now and one pair did fit her. She has very wide dutch feet thanks to her father and she really wanted a pair. She is very happy. It proves again that if you’re patient you can find just about anything second hand. The second pair will be sold on Ebay.
3. I had lunch with a neighbor at Panera. I used a discounted gift card I’d purchased at Meijer. I drank water instead of ordering a soda.
4. I helped my daughter submit her taxes online and sent my own tax payments in the mail.
5. I’m using up food in my freezer and pantry. I’m also eating up leftovers. I ate leftover asparagus for breakfast.


Katy April 8, 2024 at 9:27 am

I need more people to discuss Alone with, so happy I’ve influenced at least one person to give the show a try!

I used to wear my mom’s Dr Scholl’s and have a strong sense memory (trauma) of what it felt like when your foot slips back and your heel steps onto the back incorrectly. Ouch!


Mary Ann April 8, 2024 at 4:29 pm

After your recommendation of Alone, Hubby and I watched Season 1. We were super happy with the winner and I immediately wanted to see post menopausal women on it. I applied. No kidding. I have had a lot of experience backpacking and hiking. They sent a survey questionnaire and I realized for today it is out of my league for season 12, However I now have a “checklist” of activities to accomplish. Live in my own shelter ( I have always just used a tent); build a fire with a fire rod ( I use waterproof matches); hunt and gather for food. This could be my post retirement job.


Anne April 8, 2024 at 7:56 pm

A few months ago Australia ran it’s first “Alone” season. Three men left in the first day and a half. The winner was a woman in her fifties. When I realized she was the winner I ran around the living room, hooping and hollering.


Katy April 9, 2024 at 8:14 am

I’ve seen that this series exists, now I need to go watch it. Extreme cold and extreme heat are such different beasts.

Vickey April 10, 2024 at 7:46 am

Mary Ann, I hope you make it onto the show! That. Would. Be. Awesome! Great way to bust stereotypes of post-menopausal women.


Jill A April 9, 2024 at 4:44 am

That is so funny. Every person I know or met who wore Dr Scholl’s has the exact same response of stepping off and the pain. OUCH. I was warning my daughter to expect it and of course my mom and sister did the same. I guess that’s a memory you don’t forget.


Katy April 9, 2024 at 8:13 am

It’s just that the pain comes out of nowhere. Worse than my memories of childbirth.


Lesley April 9, 2024 at 5:58 am

Katy, I share this same remembered trauma of the heel pain! Oof. But also wonderful memories of walking downtown to the local pharmacy for Mom to choose her Dr Scholl’s for the summer … would it be the red leather, navy, or camel? Halcyon days.


Selena April 9, 2024 at 7:13 pm

Navy – IMHO no other choice. I do miss them and would have a pair again in a heart beat. It is all in the toes when it comes to not stepping off. Foot width also helps.


Q April 8, 2024 at 8:57 am

Katy, the Star Trek night sounds like fun, thank you for sharing which episodes! I think we will try that!

1. Yesterday, immersion blender died when making soup. This morning, thank you to YouTube, for showing me how to repair it for free! Yay!
2. Accepted a large platter of crackers and fruit that was left over after a fundraiser. Enjoyed some of the fruit with breakfast oatmeal, will be enjoying crackers with soup, etc for awhile. Particularly nice as this is a use up the pantry week. Also won a fruit basket at the same fundraiser. It was a small basket, but had some nice treats in it.
3. Setup some old planters on my upstairs balcony to protect plants from groundhogs. Am hoping to get into a rhythm of growing arugula (aka “rocket” because it grows to quickly) so as to save money but also to use less plastic packaging, etc…
4. Picked up monthly allowance of four seed packets from library. I also got some eclipse glasses, as well as some drums to play to during the eclipse, and I researched and checked out library books on garden design, and will use the principles to guide my plantings this summer. Yay for my library!
5. I am straightening out Medicare, which we overpaid for my husband as we didn’t adjust our autopay downward when the premiums decreased. It was a little confusing to fix, but very worth it, and we are now even! I am pretty good with numbers and computers: the Medicare website is not very clear, in some ways, as you don’t see a balance, etc…but now I get it!


Katy April 8, 2024 at 9:25 am

I am properly impressed with your library! Good for you for dealing with Medicare even though it was difficult and far from straightforward. I’d guess that the majority of people would give up.


Jill April 8, 2024 at 8:59 am

1. Gave away bathroom rugs on my Buy Nothing group and was gifted a Construction Equipment birthday party set with invitations and decorations for my grandson’s birthday next month.
2. Finally signed up for Fetch and scanned all available receipts.
3. Spent our weekend at home doing laundry, had a phone catch up with my niece, watched basketball, sat outside in the sunshine and generally, didn’t spend money with the exception of using a gift card for dinner out last night (we spent $3 beyond the gift card amount)
4. Somehow lost my library card so had to go get a new one. Checked out Homecoming by Kate Morton on Katy’s recommendation. I love it so much that I’m savoring reading it a little at a time.
5. We’re not in the path of totality for the eclipse (possibly see 60%) but the library was giving out free glasses so I didn’t turn them down.


Katy April 8, 2024 at 9:23 am

Kate Morton is an amazing writer, you can check out her other books when you finish this one.

Your weekend sounds just perfect, even if you didn’t do anything officially impressive. That’s the foundation of frugality.


Kara April 8, 2024 at 9:12 am

1. I made some granola using quinoa flakes. I had imprudently bought more quinoa flakes than I should have (I’m gluten free) and I just don’t like quinoa. However, food that has been purchased WILL be eaten, and the granola makes the quinoa flakes almost enjoyable.
2. Our new couch (first new couch from a real store, after 30 years of marriage) came with 2 throw cushions. I used the fabric from one cushion to make a set of armrest covers. I used the stuffing to replace old stuffing in a different throw pillow, and I used the zipper on a throw cushion that my daughter in law asked me to make. I LOVE to use up all the pieces.
3. Working on an embroidery kit that I bought a while ago. Why is it that even things I want to do I don’t get around to?
4. Accepted leftovers from my daughter who is travelling.
5. Sold a set of chairs on FB marketplace. I picked them up for free (on FB), re-covered the seats using $2 worth of upholstery fabric purchased from fabric thrift store, and sold them for $45 the same day I listed them. I priced them to sell since I don’t have the space to store them.
6. Yesterday I picked up 2 free pieces in my neighborhood, one is already listed on FB marketplace.


Katy April 8, 2024 at 9:17 am

That is so smart to use the throw pillow fabric in such an ingenious way, I am deeply impressed!


Coral Clarke April 8, 2024 at 5:44 pm

Kmart Bamboo couch tray is worth $10! Bamboo slatted section that fits over arm of ANY couch, saves the spot that, for me, is where wear always shows first, and living in a tiny space, meant I could give away the coffee table!
Hate buying new, but love the space this has saved! Reminded myself that one of the aims of frugality is being able to afford the things that make life better for you! On another note, when I see people mention finding coins, here in Australia , coins are really disappearing from daily use!


Edie April 8, 2024 at 9:23 am

5 Frugal things, eclispe edition:

1) No eclipse glasses- you can make a low cost viewer instead out of household materials. Which is exactly what I am gonna do. And besides which, it is cloudy here in Portland, so we may not get the best view.

2) Got stain & sealant for my IKEA runnen tiles! I cleaned and test a couple of tiles- and they held up to the cold April rains that always starts the month! Will do the rest of the patio once we have a couple of days of dry weather.

3) Back on my juicing game- and have been harvesting my so called weeds for components for my green juice! The out of hand burnet, burdock, dandelion and even turf grass are all game go into my secondhand cold press juicer& older VitaMix. That plus $1 apple bags from Fred Meyer and ginger makes for a daily shot of vitamins, minerals and well being! Comparing this to a local company that charges $9/juice or smoothie.

4) I have also been taking advantage of IKEA’s lunch specials- they have a special every weekday, usually under $4, for lunch (you have to be an IKEA family member tho). The idea is to get people in the doors – but if you live or work in the area, it’s a really cracking deal. It’s nice to not cook lunch and be taken care off.

5) Bath and Body Works had a bodycare sale; I went to sniff the new things and did not buy anything. I have a lot of bodycare at home and have been really good about doing my own manicures, pedicures and spa days. Plus the body mists are big and can last a long time, even with spraying multiple times a day.

Frugal Fail: I bought a delicious chili crisp for $35 (Christ) – Kari-Kari. It’s a big jar and will last for a while, but still. STILL!


Katy April 8, 2024 at 10:29 am

My cousin sent me a case of four chili crisp jars last year and I’m still working on them. A little goes a long way!


Lindsey April 8, 2024 at 11:17 am

We have a small business on the coast of Alaska that makes chili crisp out of kelp.


BettafromdaVille April 8, 2024 at 6:59 pm

Did you all see the big dust-up about David Chang trying to TM “chili crisp”? I mean, it is nothing like DVS [Dented Vegetable Store]…


Selena April 8, 2024 at 7:26 pm

A VitaMix, I am jealous. Someday I’ll find a pre-2000 one to own and use. I have a pre-2000 Excalibur dehydrator which I love.


Jill A April 9, 2024 at 4:56 am

I have never heard of chili crisp. I googled and now I need to buy some. Also if I lived close enough to an IKEA I would stock up on their frozen meatballs. Yum.


Ecoteri April 9, 2024 at 7:37 pm

I make a smoothie every morning with a huge handful of kale, some homemade yogurt, a scoop (3/4 c or so) of squash cooked in my IP, a T of chopped ginger, plus some chia seeds, ground flax seeds, turmeric, shake of pepper and cinnamon, tablespoon of cocoa powders, and a scoop of protein powder. sounds like a complex thing but I premix the chia, flax, turmeric, pepper and cinnamon, and now scoop two or three days of pre-measured cocoa, protein and the chia mixture so I have a quick dump in the morning. Always blend up the greens first. I have been putting frozen bananas in but am currently needing to restock the freezer upstairs – and anyway, I have been guzzling this glop for a couple of years so the flavours have grown on me.
I like the idea of making a second drink for the afternoon with whatever random greens are annoying me because they are growing in the wrong places… well, whatever EDIBLE greens! Shall give it a try.


Vickey April 11, 2024 at 7:02 am

I do something similar, in that I make “smoothie packs” in wide mouth quart jars, a week’s worth at a time, and store them in the freezer. That way I only have to get out the ingredients and measuring cups & spoons 1/7th of the time. Less time spent cleaning up, too. Just pull a jar out of the freezer in the morning and in a couple of hours it’s thawed enough to blend and enjoy. If I worked away from home or wanted the smoothie first thing in the morning, I could put the jar in the fridge overnight to thaw.

Our oral micro-biome adjusts to what we eat, and drives our taste buds to drive our brain to want that thing again. Which is how we can end up *craving* healthy foods!

I’m a nutrition nerd. 🙂


Blue Gate Farmgirl April 8, 2024 at 10:18 am

Kara, I ground up some mixed quinoa into a flour and mixed with sorghum, rice and buckwheat flours to make pasta. Great protein content, I made tortellini, wide lasagna type and broken spaghetti type.
Made a big batch of granola. vacuum packed into 1 pint bags for pantry storage.
Delivered dinner to neighbor 3 doors down (1/2 mile away) as they just adopted a new baby a couple of weeks ago. I made her an eye spy quilted play mat for tummy time. When she turns 1 she will get a tactile fabric ball, at 2 she will get a toddler bed sized quilt.
Today am installing 6 more bird houses on 10′ posts for tree swallows to nest in around the orchard.


Katy April 8, 2024 at 10:27 am

I just love your comments, they’re always so creative and interesting!


Coral Clarke April 8, 2024 at 5:48 pm

What beautiful gifts! The dinner was so thoughtful of you, my daughter has been undergoing chemo, in and out of hospital, etc, and the meals ( cooked and packaged with love) from her ex workmates have been treasures beyond compare!


Vickey April 11, 2024 at 7:04 am

Coral, I’m sorry your daughter is going through that (tho’ glad to see the support she has.) Here’s to her full and swift healing.


Lindsey April 8, 2024 at 10:49 am

1. I do not understand how a now 160 pound dog who can stretch out to over 6 feet in length can jump a five foot fence, but there you are. We have had giant breeds before but none of our Irish wolfhounds would jump a two foot fence, let alone a taller one. We priced replacing the fence but it would be over $2,000. Husband figured out an effective but ugly way to add three feet to the fence. He talked to the neighbors on either side, to be sure they could stand ugly. That could so as I write this he is installing ugly fence for $230.
2. Spent 45 minutes doing four gas shops, filling the tank and getting 8 bottles of pop (required purchases). We went together and stopped midway for an in-the-vehicle picnic facing the mountains.
3. Repaired a dog bed.
4. Started tomato seedlings for June 1 transplanting.
5. Teen helper who is working on the fence with the husband came with meatloaf leftovers from his mom. They don’t eat leftovers so we are often the recipients of that mindset. (She eats them but the kids follow the example of the father and there are only so many days she can stand of meatloaf.)

Thanks for posting frequently. We don’t have an Ikea here but after reading all your posts about it, we plan to seek one out on our next trip. Cheap mac and cheese convinced me.


Marybeth from NY April 8, 2024 at 10:56 am

1. Sister #1 had Easter at her house in CT. I was in charge of homemade carrot cake. She sent us home with lots of extra ham. She is a single mom of 2, 1 is autistic. We tell her to make us a list of things we can help her with/fix when we visit. Hubby brought some tools. I cleaned her dishwasher filter and the rest of it. Hubby fixed an outlet and changed some high lightbulbs. My son checked her air pressure and filled up her car fluids. Other family members did other tasks. Total time was less then 1/2 hour each and she got lots of items checked off her to do list.
2.Sister #4 is a teacher and had lots of extra eclipse glasses so she gave all of us a few pairs.
3. Hubby took home sister #3’s dog. I slept at her house. Monday we went to Newport RI for 2 nights. I have never been. It was my 50th birthday present from her. She is like you and likes to do adventures instead of stuff.
4. We used her membership pass to enter all museum/mansions except 1.
5. We shared lunches everyday. They are huge. One day was a lobster roll with fries. Another day was a chicken creaser wrap with potato salad and grapes. 3rd day was leftovers. We had a fridge in our room. Breakfast came with our room so we filled up then.
6. The place we stayed was an old converted house. It was beautiful. I made sure to take all of the free soaps and shampoos. They left toffee in the room everyday. They gave free coffee, tea, hot chocolate , water bottles and soda. We made sure to use it. They even put 2 water bottles in your car every time they pulled it up. I was very pampered. At night they left chocolate boxes with 2 truffles and a bedtime story on your pillow.
7. The weather was bad on Wednesday when we came home. We were supposed to take the ferry but they were all concealed so my sister had to drive us around. I told her to sleep over since the weather was bad.
8. The only souvenir we bought was fudge. Hubby was given the little jars of jelly and honey that came with our breakfast every day. The kids each got one box of the chocolates from bedtime.
9. Hubby ate meals from the freezer and food at work while I was gone.


Lindsey April 8, 2024 at 11:21 am

I love your number 1. We have a young friend who comes to visit once a year and he always asks for a to-do list and then he and the husband spend a day knocking off chores that require two people or are too arduous for the husband to do anymore. I am always so thankful.


Q April 8, 2024 at 12:33 pm

Marybeth, your whole post was lovely. What a wonderful, thoughtful family


Marybeth from NY April 8, 2024 at 4:32 pm

I sometimes feel bad for Hubby because whenever we go to one of my sisters or my parents he always helps with jobs. He says he doesn’t mind and it keeps him busy. None of my sisters are married and my dad is in his 80’s. I got a good one and am very grateful for him.


Coral Clarke April 8, 2024 at 5:52 pm

I can’t see him him, but I bet he looks just like Jason Momoa! What a treasure!


Jill A April 9, 2024 at 5:05 am

Marybeth, I love your #1. What an incredibly thoughtful thing to do.


Vickey April 11, 2024 at 7:11 am

I *love* how your family “crowd-sourced” helping a family member. Pretty sure that cooperative of a tribe is an evolutionary advantage. Those who can’t move past fighting and petty bickering waste so much time, energy, other resources. Example: my brother who is threatening to sue our sister over mom’s estate. She died *16* yrs. ago!
So thanks again for sharing that heartwarming example. Gives one hope.


Katy April 8, 2024 at 10:57 am

Free gas for the win, I’m envious as it’s almost $5/gallon here.


Ashley Bananas April 8, 2024 at 3:10 pm

$3.34 in SWFL last night when I filled up.


Vickey April 11, 2024 at 7:13 am

$3.59 in WNY leading up to the eclipse event. Predatory capitalism much? It was 20 cents a gallon lower the week before.


Christine April 8, 2024 at 2:34 pm

I love dates at home watching something we both enjoy. Best part are the snacks, like pan popped popcorn or store brand potato chips.
1. A friend gave us 3 pairs of eclipse viewing glasses.
2. Oldest stepson came over to watch the eclipse with us. He arrived at 11:30 and had just rolled out of bed. I asked him if he preferred a lunch or a breakfast. He chose breakfast so I made the three of us pancakes, scrambled eggs, sausage and leftover Potato and Cheese Casserole. The day was unusually warm for Massachusetts, so we sat outside to watch the free show and have our frugal breakfast.
3. I went to a friend’s house to clip her cat’s claws. She gave me 4 books and her daughter made us a delicious lunch. Bartering is the best although I would have cut the kitty’s claws for free.
4. I washed the shower curtains and hung them outside to dry. So nice the time of year to do that is here.
5. I ordered two memoirs I’ve been wanting to read on the library’s website. There is also a free Eagles Tribute concert there on Thursday, which we plan on attending. What would I do without my library? I’m working at my church’s thrift shop this Saturday, so I’ve been pulling a few donations together to bring up there. I booked a dentist appointment and a doctor appointment, both in the same town, on the same day about 2 hours apart. One trip for two appointments works good for me, gas-wise and time-wise. We began Spring yard cleanup today. Just a dent but a beginning anyway.


Katy April 9, 2024 at 2:16 pm

We didn’t do snacks as we’d just eaten dinner. Maybe next time.

And I very much love that you bartered clipping cat claws for a meal and books!


Ashley Bananas April 8, 2024 at 3:03 pm

1. I decided to pick up Door Dash this week and made $202. I was very picky about orders to conserve on gas. I will try to do this more in the future but will decline orders that don’t make sense for gas to pay ratio.
2. I scheduled myself for a biometric screening through my employer, this will get me a $50 Amazon gift card. I will apply this toward a grocery purchase/order.
3. I finished my taxes with AARP at the library for free. They were great and got my taxes down substantially, and saved me the cost of what TurboTax charges.
4. I listed a few things for sale on Facebook and made $10. I used this toward groceries.
5. I went through my hallway closet and cleaned out two old purses netting me ~$6 in coins and three small gift cards. I went to Target and used the gift card and coins to get mint extract. I went to Dunkin Donuts and got two chocolate milks for my son with a gift card and the spare change. I went to Starbucks and bought a protein drink ($4.95 for one!!) with a gift card and spare change.

Frugal Fail: We have a monthly celebrations party at work on Wednesday. I signed up to bring in the cake. I pulled out two Jiffy cake mixes, because they’re not what I usually use, and I thought why not launch them at work? I made them last night. They came out incredibly thin….I decided to make a second cake and now have a four tier chocolate and yellow cake >.< I ended up using far more eggs and oil trying to use the Jiffy cake mix (plus the other mix), than if I had just used a cake mix I actually liked. Groceries have started to take up such a large part of my budget that I am working extra hard to minimize the cost. Well, I tried.


Katy April 9, 2024 at 2:15 pm

I kept waiting for you to write that you gave up and had to buy a cake. At least you were able to salvage it!


Ashley Bananas April 10, 2024 at 7:00 am

I wish I could post a photo on here….it’s ridiculously tall. Hopefully it tastes good!!


Elizabeth April 8, 2024 at 3:49 pm

That Star Trek night soùnds like fun! I might try having similar theme nights myself.

1. I got a two for one deal on Claritin, which is much needed at this time of year.
2. I cooked beans for dinner tonight. I think it was someone here who mentioned having black beans on corn tortillas as eclipse themed food. I had that for a fun and frugal meal.
3. I stayed home to watch the eclipse from my backyard, with no crowds and no temptation to buy stuff. I live in the path of totality, and it was great free fun.
4. I finally did my taxes and found I owe less than I thought.


Katy April 9, 2024 at 2:13 pm

No crowds in your backyard? Crazy.

And hooray for fewer taxes to pay!


Elizabeth April 8, 2024 at 4:09 pm

I forgot number 5 – I have been reading a library book and a book I already own but hadn’t gotten around to reading yet.


Jennifer April 8, 2024 at 5:00 pm

We had to unexpectedly travel over spring break due to a family emergency. Here’s what we did to help mitigate costs.

1. Used points to book a night at a hotel.

2. Packed snacks and a cooler of drinks.

3. Cashed in ibotta for a Starbucks gift card to pay for much needed coffee on the 24 hour drive

4. Stopped at Blaze pizza and opted to split 1 pizza and get water. We love Blaze pizza, but had no way of keeping leftovers. This made for an affordable dinner on the road

5. Our fancy Easter dinner was bought from the 7-eleven at a rest stop. $7 filled in the gaps of what we had in the car


Katy April 9, 2024 at 2:12 pm

I’m so sorry that you had a family emergency, but it sounds like you were able to keep it from becoming a financial emergency.


Vickey April 11, 2024 at 10:36 am

Wow, Jennifer, those frugal habits you’ve built really paid off when you needed to apply them under stress during a difficult time. I’m in awe of the 24 hr. drive, too.


BettafromdaVille April 8, 2024 at 7:06 pm

1. I did my biometric screening that will save me 10% on my health insurance.
2. Picked up a mystery shop (Katy, I’m assuming it is the same as yours – but I need to cut back on these – see #1!) but made $18.
3. Wanted fish (a local shop delivers it as they do not have a storefront). I wanted salmon or flounder but decided to go with ‘fish of the day’ since it is $5 cheaper per pound than either. It was flounder.
4. Made tacos for dinner tonight. The ground turkey was on clearance, the shells were from the “dented” rack, and the cheese was free from a mystery shop.
5. Went another day without going to the grocery store. I wanted seltzer water, but I’ll go without this week.


Katy April 9, 2024 at 8:17 am

Yeah, the mystery shops here aren’t for health food.


Carol April 9, 2024 at 5:14 am

Question for you guys, if you have a second. I’ve heard a lot of comments from the group about the Fetch App. Can I get your insight on the app and what’s involved? Thanks so much!


Hawaii Planner April 9, 2024 at 6:34 am

Hi Carol. I use the app to scan a picture of all of my receipts. They often also run what you could think of as “coupons”, where you get extra points for special items (almost always brand name). Because I rarely buy brand name items, I use this less frequently, but occasionally there’s an overlap with something I need or want.

If I find a receipt out in the wild, I always scan those as well.

You can cash out the points for gift cards.


Carol April 10, 2024 at 11:37 am

Thanks so much!


Vickey April 11, 2024 at 10:40 am

Seems like many on here use multiple apps, too – Fetch + Ibottta, and even Rakuten? The latter lets you apply online purchases too, or so I’m told. (Still haven’t waded in…)


Hawaii Planner April 9, 2024 at 6:37 am

Largely travel related, as we were in your neck of the woods this weekend, Katy. We were doing a college tour/admitted student day in Corvallis. Fingers crossed that DS18 comes to a decision soon, because not knowing is killing me!
1) Made DS17 a late lunch before we headed to the airport. DS18 & I headed to the airport lounge (free) & he had a couple of mini sandwiches & a cookie.
2) DS18 & I got upgraded to premium economy on the flight. I paid to upgrade DS17, so we could all board together & be near each other. I received free wine, and they both got chocolate bars, thanks to my status.
3) My sister loaned me her car, and we crashed at her place for two nights, cutting the costs tremendously.
4) My parents hosted a lovely dinner at my sister’s house on Saturday night, and brought the teens goodie bags, which they used as snacks at the airport for the return flight home.
5) The college provided $5/off purchases at the dining hall, and lunch was really inexpensive, especially given that the teens also had dessert.


Katy April 9, 2024 at 8:12 am

Everyone I know whose kids went to Oregon State were extremely happy with the experience if that helps.


Hawaii Planner April 10, 2024 at 5:55 am

We all really loved the college, and DS17 has also now added it to his list. He joined & went to some of the engineering sessions, and was super impressed. DS18 is having a hard time deciding & is pretty torn between his top 3 choices. OSU is my current favorite, so fingers crossed!


Texasilver April 9, 2024 at 3:04 pm

1. I mended a potholder & a frayed light quilt for the bed w/ my sewing machine.
2. My husband (who I trained in dumpster diving) found around 30 lbs of an assortment of Little Smokies sausage, uncured cheeses hot dogs, & bologna.
They were in cello packaging & still cool. I donated a goodly amount to the homeless shelter. We ate some of the Little Smokies this evening w/ canned sauerkraut, and some canned applesauce I curb picked.
3. My tablet is issued by my school. It had stopped charging. I took it to the IT man & got a new cable. A fringe benefit of my PT job that offers a device & IT support.
4. My friend is having a garage sale next weekend. I loaned her some long tables. I have some things I would like to sell & she said I could add them to her items.
5. I watch the AA website for ticket deals. I got a one-way ticket to West Palm Beach from Dallas for 5K miles. That is a deal! Never saw the price so low except during COVID years. The 5K deal came & went in 48 hours so it pays to check the website often.
6. I found a wallet w/ debit card, ID, and 5$ in Florida. I tracked down the owner’s address and phone number online. The owner of the wallet was a young woman who lived in Kansas. I figured she was on Spring Break. The father instructed me to mail the wallet which I did. After it arrive the mom put a 50$ reward in my Venmo account along w/ kind words. I thought it was a nice gesture.


Katy April 9, 2024 at 3:35 pm

That is a an amazing deal for a plane ticket! You have a great frugal five this week!


Val April 10, 2024 at 4:06 am

1. I planted a bunch of bulbs my sister gifted to me. I’m looking forward to this summer when they are all supposed to bloom.
2. I went for a mile run followed by a 3 mile walk and enjoyed the beautiful weather.
3. I went to a local ribbon cutting and ate free food
4. I finished a book on my phone using a free trial.
5. I used up the rest of a Starbucks gift card to get coffee, a muffin, and a protein box for lunch since I’m in the office today.


Heidi Louise April 10, 2024 at 8:32 am

Val: I think bulb flowers are the best: easy to handle, easy to plant, often spread quickly, good for cutting. Great gift!
I was just noticing that I have some tulips and hyacinths that have been moved around the yard by ghostly paws, presumably squirrels, to places I didn’t plant them. That adds to the fun of gardening.
If you do have rodents, which like many bulbs, you might try sprinkling the area with (no salt) pepper flakes or other strong spices to deter them.


Katy April 10, 2024 at 9:03 pm

I love your turn of phrase — “ghostly paws”


MW April 11, 2024 at 12:09 pm

It’s kinda of fun seeing where those bulbs wander. . .


MW April 11, 2024 at 12:08 pm

1) I’m supposed to wear grey pants for a work function. I dug out the one pair I have and discovered that they have paint or bleach spots on them. I snagged my husband’s markers and “colored” it in well enough for a one day job where nobody should be too terribly close to me. I don’t have a hack for black sneakers, but unless they want to pay for it they’ll have to deal.
2) I’ve been sorting through my thrifted fabric and uncovered a few UFOs (unfinished objects). I have the oomph to deal with them now that they are seasonally appropriate. It’s hard to get excited about a summer skirt in late October. . .
3) On a similar note, I’m finally getting around to shortening a pair of pants. I NEVER find pants that are too long, so this is an unusual task for me.
4) My older son managed to send his flip phone through the washing machine. Thankfully his little brother found a phone that he (big brother) had lost. $10 later he has a functioning phone. And he gets to pay me back. Someday he’ll keep track of things. . .
5) Still taking the bus, packing my lunch, making my coffee and rocking that second hand and me-made wardrobe.


Ashley S. April 27, 2024 at 10:19 am

Love my Paramount+, checked out the cancel offer for 2 free months offer and the fine print stated it will would go to $11.99/mo after the 2 months. I plan on keeping it a while so I stick with the $5.99, but FYI 🙂
“100% off next two months then $11.99/mo. Offer applies to your next billing cycle. If you make any changes to your plan prior to your next billing cycle, this offer is no longer valid. Existing subscribers only.”


Katy April 28, 2024 at 8:42 am

Yes, thank you. I have it marked in my calendar of when to pay attention to this subscription.


Alexia May 1, 2024 at 10:10 pm

Wait…what’s wrong with Picard? Please tell me that Patrick Stewart hasn’t turned out to be deeply problematic in some heretofore unknown way?


Katy May 2, 2024 at 2:59 pm

No, I just didn’t love the series.


Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: