Five Frugal Things

by Katy on April 29, 2024 · 54 comments

    1. I bought my son a used toothbrush.

      Okay, I guess I should elaborate — I bought my son a refurbished Oral B electric toothbrush handle for $20 on eBay instead of the $50 it would’ve cost new. This may cross the line for what’s okay to buy used for the majority of some people, but hard plastic can be sanitized and the $30 savings is nothing to sneeze at. I like that however long I’ve been on my Buy Nothing New journey, (18 years and counting!) there’s always something new to add to my bag of tricks!

    2. The “trigger” piece on my beloved Revere Ware tea kettle snapped off and to buy a replacement part was $20. I ended up ordering a used kettle on eBay. I paid $30 with free shipping after clicking “Add to watchlist,” which prompted the seller to send me an offer. I spent $10 more than buying the single part, so I suppose this isn’t technically a frugal hack. Still though, I stayed on track with my buy nothing new Compact.

      I’ll probably figure out a way to 3D print the piece on my own, but until then Katy needs her kettle!

      Click HERE to see the kettle I’m talking about.* And by the way, a brand new one costs $180!

    3. I woke up to find a Sunday NY Times newspaper on my front porch, which was mysterious since we don’t subscribe. I texted both my next door neighbors, but it belonged to neither of them. I then asked on a Facebook group for people on my street and received no response. Having done my due diligence, we then enjoyed a leisurely read through America’s best Sunday newspaper!

    4. • My husband brewed a pot of coffee that didn’t get touched, so I poured it into a pitcher and stuck it in the fridge overnight. It’s not yet iced coffee season here in Oregon, but the coffee was perfectly fine when microwaved the following day for our morning coffees.
      • My father gave me a wooden cigar box filled with marbles, as I collected them as a kid. I added the marbles to my existing collection and found someone in my Buy Nothing group who wanted the cigar box.
      • I had a $5 reward on my New Seasons account, which I used towards a $5.99 piece of of their famous banana cake for my husband and I to share. I rarely shop there as their prices are insane, so I guess me picking up the occasional loss leader sale item finally added up!
      • I finished listening to a Libby audiobook that wasn’t good enough to recommend, yet not bad enough to give up on. I then loaded up a Libby copy of Jodi Picoult’s The Book of Two Ways.
      • I cut open a tube of hand lotion for access to everything that I paid for!
      • My no-knead artisan bread has been a big hit with my nephew, so I baked another loaf this morning. Of course, I served it with my homemade blackberry jam made from foraged berries!

    5. I didn’t pay any hush money or legal fees.

Katy Wolk-Stanley

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

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* This is an eBay affiliate link, which earns me a commission if you it to buy something. It doesn’t cost you anything extra.

{ 54 comments… read them below or add one }

Jann in Maine April 29, 2024 at 5:22 am

Lots to celebrate in your frugal wins, Katy.
We have been enjoying growing our seedlings for our vegetable and perennial garden. The flowers that I grew for my DD’s rock garden have done surprizingly well as I checked them out this past weekend. And compared to the cost of plants these days it was a huge savings.
Continue to just be a daily frugalista. Have not used my dryer at all this winter. And today is sunny so have laundry hung out. Otherwise we use a rack in our bathroom.
Husband’s birthday was this weekend and his gifts included both new thrifted items as well as a couple of new . Trying to find a specific item in our small town can and did prove challenging…but when I went to Amazon the item has a coupon and free shipping. That was a win. We ate at home per husband’s request and had 3 dinners from the leftovers. And cooking at home has so many advantages and for me it’s the taste and the fact that I know how the food has been handled and stored.
Someone on FB had free rhubarb plants which we got. Procured enough to share with DD who has a new to them home. We both got ours in the ground and will at least welcome this week’s rain to settle them in. I was sure I left pleanty of rhubarb for others and did thank he on FB. Very generous!
Oh and last week had a major score on greeting cards at a local dumpster. All new some of which were $14.99 each. Have shared with friends and family. I did bring a stool to get into the dumpster but was able to easily get out. Since I just turned 70 it was a win for me! HA.


Coral Clarke April 29, 2024 at 2:20 pm

As Aretha said”RESPECT!”


Selena April 29, 2024 at 7:13 pm

When it comes to non-invasive plants, rhubarb is in the top five hardiest/hard to kill.


Fru-gal Lisa April 30, 2024 at 10:33 am

Jann in Maine,
My two college buddies and I used to scavenger hunt in the store dumpsters near our campus, so your dumpster dive brought back old memories for me! What a great frugal win for you! While I haven’t dumpster dived in a long while, I have found greeting cards for a dime each at a local thrift store. Much better than paying $14.99, that’s for sure!


Ruby April 29, 2024 at 5:53 am

1. Washed my car the old fashioned way out on the driveway, vacuumed it out, wiped down the interior and cleaned all the interior glass. This cost nothing but a few cents worth of water and electricity and an hour of good exercise, as opposed to $47 at the hand car wash.

2. The micro mesh sanding pads I used to get scratches out of our stainless steel flatware also did a fine job of polishing my wedding band when I scratched it while doing some landscaping. It cost $60 the last time the ring was professionally polished. The pack of pads was $19 and have been used on three projects with plenty of life still in them.

3. Cooked kibble topper for my dogs, which saves about 35% of the cost of canned food and no cans to recycle. Made a quart of meaty chicken stock to use in their next batch of food by cooking down the carcass of a roasted chicken.

4. Bought an additional door bin for our 10 year old fridge for $19, which should help with making the fridge space work better. It’s smaller than most current fridges and the design wastes space in the door. An extra bin is far cheaper than a new fridge.

5. Made a pitcher of delicious summer tea with some frozen tangerine juice, mint from the garden, and a drizzle of honey added to iced tea. The juice came from some fruit that was getting a bit dry faster than I could eat them a few weeks ago.


Janice April 29, 2024 at 6:33 am

Regarding the toothbrush – it’s not as if your son was planning to lick the plastic handle of the thing – why NOT buy a used one? People need to think a little bit about what makes them squeamish. Yes, the actual brushes purchased used would cross a line for any sane individual, but your purchase was just smart!


Katy April 29, 2024 at 8:38 am

Thank you and yes, we do purchase the brush heads new.


Heidi Louise April 29, 2024 at 10:41 am

I learned the hard way that brush heads are like printer ink cartridges: The cost isn’t the original item, but the replacements. My son’s tooth brush heads have become progressively more expensive and hard to find.


MB in MN April 29, 2024 at 6:46 am

1. To protect our semi-outdoor couch from the rain, I covered it with an old shower curtain. It worked great! But it didn’t look great, so I’ve put a clear shower curtain/liner on my list of things to acquire.

2. Added hot water to the leftover syrup in the bottle, swished it around, and added it to the cooking liquid for my Cream of Wheat.

3. Brought our compost scrap (which I store in the freezer) to a closer drop-off site that opened this month. We’ll go there until our community rolls out organics pick-up with our regular trash pick-up (everything will go in one bin for robots to sort out). We dislike having our own compost pile.

4. Continue to reuse bags from crackers, cereal, frozen veggies, bagged lettuce, shredded cheese, bread, well-used Ziplocs, etc. for picking up dog poop. I try to avoid packaging, particularly plastic, but it helps that I can at least use it one more time without having to buy poop bags.

5. A few weeks ago, I bought a jar of Target’s Good & Gather organic cherry pomegranate fruit spread on sale. Absolutely delicious and no mystery ingredients. We have this on toast, brie, yogurt or by the spoonful. Too bad I didn’t know it was going to be such a hit or I would have bought up all the remaining jars on sale!


Bee April 29, 2024 at 9:54 am

Hooray for no-cost poop bags. This is something that I never, ever buy. There is too much plastic in the world as it is.

Also, the Good & Gather products that I have had have been exceptionally good. I particularly like the lemon hummus.


MB in MN April 29, 2024 at 1:43 pm

We’ve had dogs for 40 years and have yet to buy a poop bag!

The hummus sounds yummy. I looked for it today at my Target and they don’t carry it. I guess a trip to Florida is in order!


Bee April 29, 2024 at 2:29 pm

It’s getting warmish already. I dread summer. You may want to wait until January when our weather is perfect.


Fru-gal Lisa April 30, 2024 at 10:39 am

Bee, I used to live in Florida and when folks visited me during the winter, I’d tell them to bring a mostly empty suitcase when they flew out. Then we’d go to the thrift stores, where they could buy winter coats, sweaters, and other woolens/warm clothes for next to nothing. Usually we’d have to sit on the suitcase to get it to close with all those nice cheap clothes in there. Don’t know if you live in a cold climate or not, but if so, you might take advantage of the fact that Sunshine State thrift stores get way more donations of warm clothing than they can ever sell, and they price them accordingly.

Sandra April 29, 2024 at 6:53 am

1. I baked bread, too. It is one of the most satisfying things I do. It is a money saver for sure, but it also scratches my itch to bake at the same time.

2. A friend gave me a couple of branches from her daughter-in-law’s Christmas cactus. They were about three inches long and one of them broke in two. At first I was disappointed, but then I decided to break the over one into two pieces as well. I put the 4 pieces in a small container with a little water and waited to see if they would root. Success! All four pieces have roots so I have the beginning of a pot of Christmas cactus.

3. I found a family size bag of baby carrots, cauliflower, and broccoli at the dented vegetable store for 99 cents, also 2 pounds of green beans 99 cents, and a bag of salad mix for 99 cents. I roasted the carrots, cauliflower and broccoli for dinner that night. The next night I cooked the green beans and seasoned with bacon and onions. I’ve had breakfast salad (with an egg on top once and a scoop of leftover casserole the other time) twice. There is still enough salad mix left for another meal.  

4. Friends invited me for dinner a few days ago. As a hostess gift I took a planter that I already had and put a lovely cyclamen in it. The cyclamen was full of blooms and it was on sale at the grocery store for just a few dollars…..much cheaper than a bottle of wine and lasts a lot longer.

5. Always on the lookout for ways to save and live a more sustainable life.


Blue Gate Farmgirl April 29, 2024 at 8:49 am

Not frugal, but totally fun – Took my mom to her and dad’s favorite garden centers in a town 40 mi away. She picked out “fancy geraniums” and trailing flowers for her Mother’s Day front porch wrought iron planter. I will plant a coordinating hanging basket for her upcoming birthday. I save the geraniums over in the greenhouse year to year. She enjoyed herself immensely. We also picked up flower seeds to plant our annual ditch flowers and cutting flowers in the garden.
Filled 10 1/2 whiskey barrels with free mint compost from a friend’s co-op share. I gave her 3 perennials potted up in payment. I mixed up the mint with my horse/rabbit/chicken rotted compost, perlite and peat moss (mixed it in a 70 cu ft trailer with a shovel and rake. Smelled so good!
Picked up 20 pallets from a local business. Have orders to make 3 planter box/benches, 1 potting bench and 2 adirondack style folding tables.
I found 77 cents while visiting the 3 garden centers. It was a very good change day!
I ordered a $2 replacement plug for my mom’s Rainbow vacuum, the last time she took it to the dealer, it cost $99 + parts. Nephew who is an electrical technician in the Air Force replaced it for a batch of cosmic brownies.


Bee April 29, 2024 at 2:33 pm

That is an exceptional Mother’s Day gift!!! I would love to do that with my daughter.


Roberta April 29, 2024 at 9:07 am

1. Since we will not be moving any time soon, I’m sprucing up the house. My husband and I took a walk through the neighborhood, and I pinched a few starts from vine-y plants to try to propagate. Right now they are living in test tubes, in a test tube rack we have had for years (my husband is a chemistry teacher). It is a beautiful look for the time being, and hopefully they will grow!
2. Mooching old fence boards from a friend who is taking down a wooden fence. I will sand them down, and use them as cladding for the laundry room.
3. Found a shower curtain I like at the charity shop. It wasn’t much less than a new one from Target, but it was less, and it didn’t trigger manufacturing.
4. Made a phone appointment for my husband’s back pain. It not only saved us hours of sitting in an uncomfortable chair, but it saved the copay.
5. Had dinner with my in-laws, at my sister-in-law’s instead of a restaurant. I brought a cheese board, and had to buy almost everything. But it was still much less than a meal at a restaurant, and we were able to sit and talk much longer than we would have at a restaurant! (I spent $11 on marinated mushrooms, because I didn’t plan ahead and make them myself. But they didn’t come with a “may contain lead” warning label, like the cheaper ones did.)


Marybeth from NY April 29, 2024 at 9:36 am

1. My sister returned from Italy and came and got her pup. She brought me a huge wedge of Parmigiana. I will put it through the food processor and then share with my kids. She also gave me lots of hotel samples that I use when we travel.
2. Hubby and I did lots of yard and garden work. My baby tomato seedlings are being transferred into bigger pots. I only have to buy soil. Everything else I have. Basil, lettuce and eggplant have all popped up. They will get transferred soon.
3. I made beer bread with an IPA Hubby was gifted and didn’t like. It tastes fine in the beer bread. I made a coffee cake at the same time. I also threw in 6 potatoes into the oven. If I’m going to turn it on I might as well use it.
4.We did the fire pit the other day. We burned all of the sticks from the yard.
5. Our wheel barrel is beyond repair at this pint. We put it out front and a scrapped asked if he could have it.
6. I did an Amazon return at Kohl’s for Hubby. I quickly left the store because I don’t need anything even if it 20% off.


Lindsey April 29, 2024 at 10:14 am

Envy for the cheese gift!!


Marybeth from NY April 29, 2024 at 10:36 am

She always brings me food because I don’t want collectibles. I am happy to dog or cat sit for friend’s and family. I just ask for food instead of stuff. We have gotten lots of great stuff over the years, lots of cheese, maple syrup, wine, vanilla, cookies, pies. In my younger years people would bring me knick knacks. I learned to say something. They are happy to get me food instead.


Selena April 29, 2024 at 7:18 pm

For the most part, I’d rather have edibles too. I don’t like taking cash for just being a good person/neighbor. Plus I enjoy pet sitting.


Marybeth from NY April 30, 2024 at 5:14 am

Me too. It’s weird to take money from friends and family. Plus we love animals.

Lindsey April 29, 2024 at 10:13 am

1. Planted corn and pumpkin seeds so they will be ready to transplant into the garden in a few weeks.
2. Used rubberized gardening gloves that I scavenged from the dump’s exchange site to thin out raspberry bushes.
3. For 6 months I had a wound that I had to have dressed at the hospital. Each time they opened a fresh kit. The first time they threw away the scissors, extra gauze and surgical gloves (they wore their own so threw these away), I asked that I be given the throw away items. I did give away the scissors to a teacher friend (150 pair!) but I continue to use up the gloves, usually for gardening. Used a pair for seed starting this week. They only last a day or two before ripping but at least they were used before being discarded.
4. Was gifted a dozen eggs from a home coop. I already had about four dozen so I passed it on to someone else who sometimes drops off homemade donuts.
5. Thanks to the person who recommended The Marrying of Chani Kaufman, which I got through our library. In grad school I briefly dated a guy who had left the Hasidic group in N.Y. Anyone who knows me can tell you this was a wildly bizarre mismatch of personalities and beliefs that probably left him traumatized, but it left me with a lifelong interest in that sect.


Lindsey April 29, 2024 at 12:05 pm

For those who love Tudor mysteries and may not have heard, CJ Sansom, who wrote the Shardlake series has died. I did not know that a Disney series on his books is being released (all at once, not dropped once a week) on May 1. I will have to do a free trial subscription to Disney, I guess, and binge watch them in a week.


GK April 30, 2024 at 6:48 am

Well done on saving all those scissors and gloves from going to landfill straight away! My goodness, what a mountain of waste that hospital must produce every day 🙁


Bee April 29, 2024 at 10:50 am

Approximately 80% of the items that I own have been purchased used, inherited, or “found.” However, I think that you are the Queen of Buy-Nothing. Sometime ago you shared with your readers what you were unwilling to buy used. Do you think this has changed over time? Do you think that the more you buy used, the less you a put-off by the ewww factor? Do you ever give in and buy new?

I have been extremely busy the past week. Thus, most of my frugal wins are passive in nature. I’ve just been too busy to spend money.

As always, brewing my own coffee, drinking primarily water, an eating out of the frig.

I did stop at an estate sale where I purchased a brand-new can of my favorite furniture polish, The Original Bee’s Wax, for $1. This is usually between $10-15 a can, so I am very happy. I also purchased a piece of 1940’s McCoy pottery which I will use for my succulents. New things have gotten so expensive that this stylish, 75 year-old container is approximately the same price as a shallow terracotta dish.

I took some cuttings from a friend’s succulents. This seems to be something that I do regularly as of late. I have wonderful luck rooting succulents. I also took the seeds from my amaryllis now that they are done blooming. A garden club friend told me how to do this so I’m going to try to grow these beautiful flowers from seed.

That’s all I can think of at the moment. Wishing everyone peace, good health and prosperity.


Selena April 29, 2024 at 7:21 pm

Time and patience are the basic requirements of frugality. I have plenty of patience but time is another thing. So if I choose to pay, there is a pecking order – local, business, domiciled state, distance etc.


A. Marie April 29, 2024 at 11:07 am

FFT, Spring Has Sprung Edition:

(1) Birds that are spring/summer residents here in Central NY are arriving in droves. Numerous house wrens checked in vocally during my lovely foggy early morning walk today, and a gray catbird has just reported from the top of a tree across the street. Welcome, feathered friends! (No particular frugality here except joy.)

(2) Like Lindsey, I have continued to start seeds indoors–in my case, the few herbs, flowers, and veggies that (a) I still grow from seed, (b) can either be protected from deer or are unattractive to deer, and (c) are difficult to obtain at the Regional Market. I just moved my Cut and Come Again zinnias out to my mini-greenhouse, and I still have my mini-basil and my Tuscan kale under lights.

(3) I paid my first visit to the Regional Market in several weeks on Saturday. When I presented the Bestest Neighbors’ and my accumulated egg cartons to the Mennonite farmer from whom I usually buy eggs, he gave me a 50-cent discount on a fresh dozen. I haven’t bought any plants at the market yet; I’m still waiting to see how many perennial herbs I may have to replace.

(4) I had the first two of these eggs over easy this morning, in the pan I’d used yesterday for the delicious slice of “American Salmon” I bought with a digital coupon at Wegmans (and copiously seasoned with homegrown dried dill).

(5) And I used a 50/50 solution of 6% vinegar and water to clean off the stove after the salmon and eggs. (I **finally** used up the last of the generic Windex I had to keep buying while DH still lived at home. When he still had a few marbles left and I mentioned that I’d like to switch to vinegar and water, he said plaintively, “If it isn’t blue, how will I know what it is?” I didn’t have the heart to argue with that, so I kept buying the generic Windex till after I’d placed him in the nursing home.)


Bee April 29, 2024 at 12:09 pm

Isn’t it wonderful that true joy rarely costs any money at all. The sound of bird song is beautiful to hear. Like a symphony!


Coral Clarke April 29, 2024 at 2:27 pm

That’s as good a definition of what love is as any I’ve seen!


Christine April 29, 2024 at 6:17 pm

Oh A. Marie, another sweet story about you and your DH. I truly feel as if I got to know him…at least a little bit…through your sharing of your memories. Thanks.


Katie from Buffalo April 29, 2024 at 11:55 am

1. I have not had success in the past making hummus at home – it never tasted quite right. My mom’s is wonderful and she suggested using a specific type of tahini. Code cracked – made a whole batch of delicious hummus, for a lot less money than Ithaca’s Hummus (my fave!!) costs.
2. Spring has finally arrived and our offices are very warm today. Instead of caving and buying an iced tea in the cafe, I have made myself content with water.
3. I had an event to attend for work last week and I wore a dress that a coworker gifted me. I wore a dress from the same coworker 2 weeks earlier to an event. Although my string of luck is coming to a close – I’ll need to buy something for an event in a few weeks.
4. My partner’s brother is in town for a week, and we’ve managed to skip eating out so far, which is huge for us. We usually like to take visitors to all.the.places we love when they’re in town. But luckily, this guest is more frugal than we are! As we were trying to figure out dinner for tonight, my brother reached out and invited us over for burgers!
5. I babysat my friend’s daughters over the weekend (who are more like my nieces). My friend lives out of the area but had a wedding in town and wasn’t alerted until the last minute that the reception was kid-free. Frugal for my friend as she didn’t need to pay to fly her mother-in-law to town. Frugal for me because it is always entertaining to spend time with the kiddos. And they gifted me a bottle of my favorite spirits as a thank you.


Jill A April 29, 2024 at 12:23 pm

I’ve never made hummus. It’s on my to do list. Can you share the brand of tahini?


Katie from Buffalo April 30, 2024 at 4:51 am

Yes! It is Krinos Tahini. My mom has also had good results with Ziyad tahini. Also, if you like lemony hummus, add in a few grates of lemon zest, along with the lemon juice.


Jill A April 29, 2024 at 12:21 pm

1. I had my tractor swapped over from snowblower to mower deck so I can mow my own lawn again this summer. It’s a huge savings even though it’s expensive to do the swap.
2. I picked up loss leader produce at Meijer including a $1 2lb bag of onions, $1 3lb bag of potatoes and some other odds and ends. I used a $2 off coupon I had gotten last time I checked out there.
3. Saturday was a read books in our pajamas and sip mimosas day. The OJ was purchased with a 75 cent coupon that some kind person left on the shelf next to the OJ cartons. The prosecco was leftover from wine tasting for my DD’s wedding.
4. I sorted garage sales items for a sale in a couple weeks and found a few clothing items that fit me now that I’ve lost weight. Nothing spectacular but I needed some things to work in the yard and these will fit the bill. I also found a small soup thermos that I thought was long gone. My daughter could use it to pack work lunches.
5. I’m reading more library books. I just finished reading Let’s Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson. It was a very light hearted memoir that had me laughing so hard I couldn’t read. I recommend it if you haven’t read it already.


Jenni April 29, 2024 at 2:31 pm

1. Found the wet cat food on clearance for .37/can. Scooped up a bunch.
2. Located Dave’s killer bread english muffins for 1.99 at Grocery Outlet. Had wanted to try them, but unwilling to pay the $6.00 plus price.
3. Used a coupon for grocery pick up at Safeway and got $75 worth of groceries for $40.
4. Continued to keep and empty cereal and bread bags to use to clean out cat box.
5. Air dried all my work clothes to avoid shrinkage and dryer time.


Karin April 29, 2024 at 2:36 pm

Popping in to say I too have purchased a refurbished electric toothbrush on ebay. The toothbrush heads were all new and sealed of course and the handle being “used” does not bother me one bit.


K D April 29, 2024 at 2:45 pm

I believe in my eBay selling days I did sell an old Oral-B electric toothbrush. More recently I gave a couple away using Freecycle.

I love your “I cut open a tube of hand lotion for access to everything that I paid for!”. I have be4en doing that for decades. I try not to think about the waste if one does not do that.

1. We drove to CT on Thursday to meet up with family. We left early to avoid bad traffic and packed snacks for the road. We stopped to see one of my SILs and her husband. She loves to cook so she served lunch. We walked at a local state park and they have an annual pass so admission was covered. The next day we met up with SIL #2 and her husband. We hiked in a different state park that is close to their house. They know an entrance that offers parking but does not require an admission fee. This park offered woods, rocks, marshes, a beach, and open water. There was visiting with additional family in the afternoon. Day three brought a large gathering of family at SIL #3’s house. We paid for lunch but it was mostly pizza and the fifth one was free. Others provided drinks, chips, and desserts.

2. On our trip we used points and a free night certificate from Hilton. We packed breakfast (the Hampton Inn offers a free breakfast but other than grabbing an orange one day none of the food appealed to us), dinner, and snack foods.

3. We drove home early on Sunday and traffic was good all the way. We provided a ride to a relative that flew up on Friday saving her the cost of return airfare.

4. I read/listened to The Stranger in the Woods borrowed digitally from the library. It is the true story of a man that lived alone for 27 years in the woods of Maine and how he was finally caught. It was interesting.

5. A friend gave me a library copy of the latest David Baldacci book since it is not yet due. I will try to make my way through it before it should be returned.


Jill A April 30, 2024 at 2:05 am

I read a stranger in the woods. It was fascinating.


Mary Ann April 29, 2024 at 2:53 pm

1. I have a bad habit of not counting the last two or three days of a month in a budget. I just kind of slip expenses into the next month. Progress: I am marching through 3 more days on my grocery challenge. The problem is Hubby drinks milk everyday and I hate to seem him with out it. Super tempted to use cash to buy some milk but my grocery budget is done for the month. What to do? I remembered I had sweetened condensed milk. I did a little research. I ended up putting a cup of condensed milk in with about four cups of water in my vitamix. Then I melted the natural bittesweet chocolate in a microwave and added it. I ended up with two quarts of pretty good tasting chocolate milk in mason jars. yum.

2. I had five potatoes left. I peeled and cooked them in the Instapot. I blended them with the dregs from a sour cream bag, butter, cheese, and some of the boiling water t ( like I said I am out of milk.) I added cooked bacon and bleu cheese crumble. Then baked. Twice baked potato casserole. delish.

3. I have one egg left. I scrambled it up with shredded brussels sprouts and cheese. Very tasty dinner.

4. I held a baby at a 3 year olds bday party. Free joy.

5. I used an old muslim draw string bag to cover a packing box. I filled it with tissue paper and some dried flowers. I added an unused Starbucks cup, a burlap bag with free -trade earrings in it and a sample set o L’occitane. Ready for a surprise bday invitation.


Elizabeth M April 29, 2024 at 2:57 pm

I cooked beans and cornbread and ate them for several days last week.

I put half the beans in the freezer – will make chili with them later.

Used all leftovers from the fridge and freezer.

Did not buy snacks.

Got $7.90 cash back from Ibotta for groceries plus a $5 bonus for redeeming 10 offers

Redeemed my cash back for a gift card I can use to buy more groceries

Received money and a gift card for my birthday, which was celebrated frugally at home with a homecooked meal and cake and playing games we already had.


Christine April 29, 2024 at 3:46 pm

That bread looks so good. With the .99 flour, you can’t beat the price.
1. DH and I went for a long walk along a river trail with oldest granddaughter and her new dog.
2. Her graduation is coming up and I already know I’m wearing a dress and shoes I already own. Her school is about an hour away so we can actually attend the ceremony. She assured me it will be no longer than 2 hours!
3. While at the river walk, I came across a Little Free Library. I helped myself to two books, American Dirt and Gap Creek, both of which I can use for the Massachusetts Reading Challenge I’m taking part in. I plan on returning them and a few more when I return to take another walk.
4. I donated a set of curtains and some clothing to the Salvation Army, some scrap cloth to St. Vincent de Paul (they accept cloth to sell for their charity work) and some more sheets to the church in town for the sleeping bags they make for the homeless. A medication I take comes delivered from the hospital pharmacy in puffy all cotton pads which they took too, to use for pillows.
5. I got 3 pea plants from the library on Earth Day which are thriving in a sunny window and awaiting transplant outside.


Bee April 30, 2024 at 2:59 am

I’m impressed! You re-homed some hard to recycle items. I wish this was easier to do.


Christine April 30, 2024 at 1:06 pm

Here in Massachusetts it is now illegal to put clothing or fabric into the trash stream. It’s a little challenging to find “homes” for it all but thankfully the 3 places I do drop offs at are less than a mile apart.


Selena April 30, 2024 at 6:44 pm

An organization in my area has a few clothing re-cycle/up-cycle events every year. Even the smallest scraps of cloth are accepted. My family is “picky” about clothing we donate. What doesn’t make the cut ends up as rags.


Kara April 29, 2024 at 5:39 pm

1. Went to the last day of an estate sale and bought 2 items that are identical to ones I’ve recently sold, for a total of $4.
2. Worked the plant sale at the community garden where I volunteer. They provided pizza for lunch (GF for me!) and I brought home leftover pizza and baked treats for my husband. I also was given 3 sturdy tomato cages for free. I bought a used shovel for $5. Our shovel was over 50 years old and it finally broke.
3. Our neighbor offered us stuff from their garage clean out, and I took it all. I will either sell it or list it on Buy Nothing. They texted us hoping that we would take it all!
4. I use a very handy 1 gallon bucket (free from our water company) to catch water in our kitchen sink. It is truly amazing how much water I collect there in a day-and we are super frugal with our water use. But all the end-of-washing-hands, the rinsing of veggies, the final rinse of dishes that must be handwashed, they really add up. I almost exclusively water my 5 grapevines with water collected in this one bucket.
5. I have challenged myself to stay within food budget for this month, and I was invited to a potluck yesterday. The fridge is absurdly bare, but I made homemade rolls (dough made in breadmaker then taken out, shaped by hand and baked in oven). My husband says they were delicious and they were well received at the potluck. While I had the oven on I baked cheese and potato pie for another dinner (it’s an English thing), and crisped up homemade granola. Got my money’s worth out of that electricity. Soon I’ll use the solar oven again!


Ashley Bananas April 30, 2024 at 5:37 am

I went through a phase where I was an extreme water miser. I used containers to collect shower water, and bath water when my son was little. I then used that water to flush the main toilet in the house we use. Where we live we are charged a gallon rate of what comes out of the faucets, then another rate for what goes down the drain. By doing this I halfed my usage. I also saved most lightly used water from the sink for plants etc. It was great, but a lot of work.


Nancy from mass April 29, 2024 at 6:19 pm

I love baking, easy bread recipes. Peasant bread is my favorite.

1. Boys found an apartment! It’s about 90 minutes from here. So next Monday, I am driving the U-Haul for them. I told them I would pay for it and drive to help. I also help my son with the security deposit. It’s been a long four months for them to find a place. And I’m very happy for them.
2. I am hiring a landscaper to do all the yardwork this summer since I can’t with my shoulder. I had a bunch of river rocks and cobblestone next to my shed that I do not need. So I had my neighbors on each side take what they wanted and neighbor is having a friend come over for the rest. That way, I won’t have to pay to have them removed.
3. Still working through my freezer and cabinets, but I picked up a rotisserie chicken tonight. It’ll last five or six different meals. I may make some chicken quesadillas too.
4. I picked up a roll of replacement screen and spline for a project for my brother to do while he’s here a few days post-surgery. Some of my downstairs window screens need to be replaced.
5. I did not give my hard earned money to a grifter.


GK April 30, 2024 at 5:20 am

3 D printing would have been handy alright in that case! I have recently learned that the library in my closest city provides a 3 D printing service which is quite amazing.

Frugal 5:

* Recent favourite library read: Bel Canto by Ann Patchett
* Was able to buy a t-shirt on sale that I know my dad will love for his birthday in October. Snapping up presents when they present themselves rather than last minute before the event is key to frugal gifting!
* My sister’s and my niece’s birthday are only a few days apart so I mailed presents and cards for both of them in the same envelope (from my stash of padded envelopes to be reused).
* One of the presents was a necklace bought in a charity shop (still in its original packaging).
* I was reimbursed for a routine blood test by my health insurance.


Fru-gal Lisa April 30, 2024 at 10:26 am

You didn’t pay any hush money or legal fees…..but does that mean you finally bought that Lear Jet? (Used, of course!) LOL!


Katy April 30, 2024 at 11:01 am

I am thisclose to the 11 million dollars that a new Lear Jet costs.


Ashley Bananas April 30, 2024 at 11:48 am

It’s been a little over a week since I returned from a 5/6 day out of state trip to visit family. I am still recovering from it and shocked at how much we spent especially in the food department. Time to change my sails though…

1. I came home to a leaky sink and a leaky drain pipe from the washing machine. I prepped the areas for a plumber to get the plumber in and out as efficiently as possible, he was there for less than an hour. I figure if I can make it more efficient perhaps the price would reflect that, they said they gave me a small discount. I thanked him with a Gatorade and chocolate candies.
2. My best friend offered to wash some laundry for us to help out while the washer was down. She washed and brought back two garbage bags of clothes. I saved the bags as garbage bags for the house.
3. I decided not to grocery shop last week except for some chocolate milk and bogo Ben and Jerry’s ice cream with a digital coupon. Total spent $7 and change.
4. I went to a program at my church that served sandwiches and snacks. It was a great time and a nice lunch.
5. I am now back on the horn with my insurance but for different reasons. I have a small home equity loan, and the bank is now insisting I Insure my house for almost $400k…..which I can do but will raise my insurance about 1400 a year. I’m so exhausted by this. I may see if I can refi the house to consolidate the loan. Or if anyone else has any other ideas, I’d be happy to hear them.


Selena April 30, 2024 at 7:09 pm

Typically if your home is insured for enough to cover your mortgage balance plus what you owe on the home equity loan (fixed or variable rate – presume not a prime plus HELOC?), you should be fine unless your mortgage holder insists you be insured for replacement cost – which is a bit bogus and not a precise science. Your FL state gov is looking to go the insure what you owe but I can guarantee the financial sector is going to squeal like the character in Deliverance. Haven’t found if FL requires insurers to cover rebuilding to code or not.
That being said, avoid forced place insurance at all costs – basically a profit venture between the mortgage holder and an insurance company.
Your HO insurance situation is not going to get better any time soon, regardless if you file a claim or not. It might be time to take a long hard look and do the math re: continuing to live in FL.


Katy May 2, 2024 at 3:14 pm

I have no suggestions, but I’m sending strength and fortitude your way.


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