Five Frugal Things

by Katy on May 6, 2024 · 64 comments

  1. It’s been a super low key week and Portland’s constant rain sure didn’t motivate me to go out and about for exciting adventures. Everything I need is at the house and I feel zero guilt about hunkering down and potato-ing the couch. My homebody status also happens to support the frugal lifestyle.

    Going nowhere and doing nothing for the win!

  2. I got a bottle of soapy insecticidal houseplant spray from someone in my Buy Nothing group. My son had just noticed gnats on a plant, so I feel like we caught it early.

  3. • One of those curb picked planters from last week had a quartz crystal buried in the soil. My sister, who is a high school Earth Science teacher was most excited.
    • I planted some rooted fuzzy bunny starts into my pot of purple heart plants as it was looking a bit sparse. More no budget gardening for the win!
    • I rolled the recycling bins to the curb for most of the block and brought home a 10¢ refundable can as a reward.
    • We ate every last bite of free pizza I got for free a couple days ago.

  4. A couple of not frugal things to keep things spicy:
    • I threw out some leftover fried rice as I recently learned about fried rice syndrome and am employing some justified paranoia. It had reached day five in the fridge and I don’t want to make anyone sick.
    • My son and nephew borrowed two nice umbrellas from me and I don’t think I’ll see them again. The umbrellas, not the people.

  5. I didn’t buy a Lear Jet.

Katy Wolk-Stanley

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

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{ 64 comments… read them below or add one }

Avery May 6, 2024 at 9:24 am

1.) I haven’t meal prepped in WEEKS, but I went to a church event, and they had leftover food, some of which they gifted to me. I do plan to meal prep later this week though.
2.) I am still working on getting approved for food stamps.
3.) I am used the rest of my Target gift card for things I actually needed.
4.) Not-frugal: I booked an Airbnb for a beach trip but at least I did it through Delta, so that I can get flight points for it!
5.) I didn’t buy a Lear Jet.

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Katy May 6, 2024 at 9:47 am

Wow, the Lear Jet company must be hurting these days. 😉

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Ashley Bananas May 7, 2024 at 10:15 am

I just started collecting Delta’s points for flights and have just come to realize you can also use them for hotel stay. Great way to travel for less!

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Marybeth from NY May 6, 2024 at 11:55 am

1. Made $30 from a survey for less then an hours work.
2. I used 99¢ a pound chicken thighs to make the dogs food for the week. I also used some in the crockpot for us for dinner. There should be more then enough for lunch tomorrow too. The dog gets all of the skins from ours too.
3. Baking this week was a loaf of bread in my bread machine, a batch of oatmeal cookies, a batch of banana muffins and a batch of chocolate walnut cookies.
4. Hubby’s work has a full kitchen with food always available. They always have snacks, bread, fruit and drinks. Hubby ate breakfast 2 days at work(bagels). He brought a hard boiled egg with him. He always keeps his DF cream cheese in his office fridge. He had coffee 6 days at work. He ate several snacks (fruit or nuts)last week and had a diet coke every day. We had talked about trying to reduce our grocery budget so he is trying to be more mindful and eat at work more where it is free to him. We have cut all soda from our grocery shopping. He still gets to have it this way. We have several large expenses coming up this summer so we are trying to not touch our emergency fund.
5. My daughter asked if I would go to a GF showcase with her. Her fiancé had to work. She wouldn’t let me pay her for my ticket. We got to try lots of different foods that she could eat. We brought home tons of samples and coupons. I kept a few for Hubby because they were also DF. I got my steps in that day.
6. My daughter and I also went to Westbury Gardens. It was beautiful as always. The pass was free from the library. All of the tulips were in bloom. We brought our own water and snacks. Another day I hit my steps with no problem.
Now my not so frugal and a little complaining. My daughter and I carpooled to my niece’s baby shower. They asked for a book instead of a card which we are happy to do. Then they asked everyone to bring a pack of diapers and gave us a size. Then I had to bring a gift too. I feel like these things are getting out of control. I gave a check because she doesn’t need anything else. She had over 80 people. She ran out of time opening all the presents. We had been asked ahead of time if we could help clean up. We were happy to do so. My sister in law gave us a centerpiece of flowers and I told my daughter to take it home. She will enjoy it more. We each come home with a bar of soap, a chocolate covered pretzel and a baby cookie. I feel 3 favors is a little much. My daughter and I talked about the costs of the shower. We estimated it had to cost about $8K. Thankfully she though that was insane also. I have to do her bridal shower next year.

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MB in MN May 6, 2024 at 1:36 pm

Marybeth, I am gobsmacked by your baby shower experience. We attended a wedding with similar over-the-topness and it was very uncomfortable. Later someone called it a “Pinterest on steroids” wedding.

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Lindsey May 6, 2024 at 2:50 pm

Your baby shower experience was unbelievable! I started out thinking, “How nice, they just wanted books!” before reading the rest of your story.

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Katy May 6, 2024 at 5:33 pm

Two words — The. Audacity.

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Selena May 6, 2024 at 7:27 pm

Audacity is being nice. I’d have sent a book, nice card, and my regrets. Things that used to be a simple celebration/event (baby shower/wedding shower/PROM) is now a competition. I’ve drawn the line in the sand a few times over the years – showers of any sort for 2nd/2nd+ marriages/baby for 2nd/2nd+, receptions for 2nd/2nd+ – you get the drift. Your baby shower was bad enough, the wedding receptions looking to fund a “honeymoon” or house purchase (uh, don’t spend 5 figures on the wedding?) isn’t coming out of my pocket. I’ve also drawn the line in the sand for those.
I remember seeing wedding shows on TV – one Disney wedding sticks in my mind. Daddy forking out the bucks for his little princess dream wedding (complete with Cinderella horse drawn carriage). What I’m thinking is the groom doesn’t stand a chance. He’ll never be able to provide the lifestyle to which the princess is accustomed.

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Fru-gal Lisa May 7, 2024 at 7:40 am

Selena, I’m with you on these over-the-top showers and weddings and such.
My theory is that when couples have elaborate weddings, they (the bride and her mom, bc the grooms usually get left out) spend all their time planning the wedding — and not very much time or effort at all planning the marriage. And that’s why a lot of marriages fail. Case in point: then-Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer. After their royal wedding, things went downhill very, very fast.

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A. Marie May 7, 2024 at 9:33 am

Fru-gal Lisa, I take this opportunity to repeat A. Marie’s Law of Matrimony: The happiness and stability of the marriage are in inverse proportion to the eclat of the wedding.

MB in MN May 7, 2024 at 1:48 pm

At the wedding I referenced above, the couple was divorced within two years and before her parents had paid off the loan they took out for the wedding.

Liz B. May 7, 2024 at 3:39 pm

I’m not a Royal watcher, but honestly, Lady Diana and Prince Charles’ wedding was doomed before it even happened. It wouldn’t have mattered if it was a quiet private ceremony or the humongous worldwide spectacle that it was.

Isa May 7, 2024 at 2:16 am

That baby shower….. Yuck! Not only do you have to bring requested (???) gifts, but you are also asked to help clean up? Hmmmmm…. nope. This is wrong on so many levels.

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Roberta May 7, 2024 at 7:47 am

I went to a shower last weekend, and it was the nicest shower I have ever been to — and super low-key! No games! Just visiting with the parents-to-be.

They had an extensive charcuterie board, which they made themselves, and cupcakes.

There was a diaper raffle, where you got a ticket to win a prize (no idea what the prize was), but it wasn’t mandatory.

I’m just mentioning it to say that there are still reasonable, modern options out there!

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Marybeth from NY May 7, 2024 at 9:58 am

I know there are . We went to a friend’s daughter’s shower last fall. They asked for used books as a card. I gave them a stack of books with a check. She had a modest size registry. It was outside and beautiful. I would say maybe 40 people. It was a Jack and Jill which I had never been too. It was Hubby’s first baby shower. They had several games and Hubby won one.

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Ashley Bananas May 7, 2024 at 11:21 am

I agree with most everyone…it seems like a bit of an over ask to say please buy X, Y, and an additional gift Z, and clean up afterward. I think saying something like we would love a book and or package of diapers, would sound less demanding, instead of multiple items.

A coworker was invited to a large baby shower recently where the host asked everyone to bring a food item. She was asked to bring lightly browned butter rice crispy treats in the shape of a half moon half dipped in light purple dipping chocolate….for 200 people. Just my thoughts if you want such a large party, consider the cost of catering? And if you cant afford that cost, consider down sizing the party so you don’t pass the cost on to the guests who are coming with gift in hand.

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MB in MN May 7, 2024 at 1:45 pm

Ashley Bananas, I read your baby shower story out loud to my husband. I was laughing so hard at the half moon shapes dipped in light purple chocolate that I could barely get the words out. That’s insane.

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Liz B. May 7, 2024 at 5:21 pm

MB in MN, it’s the “lightly browned butter” part that got me….well, all the rest of it, too…..but not overly browned, just “lightly browned”.

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Marybeth from NY May 7, 2024 at 3:05 pm

OK you win. 200 people for a shower is crazy. I thought 80 was nuts.

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Katy May 7, 2024 at 3:17 pm

I’m going to start assigning elaborate and finicky food for anyone who stops by.

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Ecoteri May 7, 2024 at 8:46 pm

@Katy, you made me laugh out loud all alone in my living room. LOVE the idea. Invite your buddies for a potluck, and be ever more elaborate in the food that is expected….

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Liz B. May 7, 2024 at 3:34 pm

Wow. WOW. I seriously thought, okay, a book and a pack of diapers is more than enough *as a gift*. A book by itself would be great. The shower you went to was bonkers.

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Juhli May 6, 2024 at 1:00 pm

I love that your sister got excited about the crystal! Sounds like she is in the right career.
1. I made a big pot of vegetable and grain/legume mix soup using homemade broth. So far three servings out of it and hardly a dent. Half will go in the freezer.
2. We are down to fixing ourselves the small all but annoying things in the house we bought last spring. 2 done, many more to go.
– the toilet paper holder now stays level.
– half the excess glue is off the tile under the shower door and the water is already draining off better.
– a spot missed for exterior paint touched up after borrowing a tall ladder from our son.
3. Working on getting our 2 year old dog to let me brush his teeth to try to avoid future expensive doggie dental problems.
4. Frugal for others – we babysat so our son and DIL could have a good long time out by themselves for their anniversary.
5. I too did not buy a Lear jet or any other ostentatious unnecessary item.

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Katy May 6, 2024 at 5:31 pm

I was telling my sister a story about how a neighbor kid was throwing rocks over our shared fence, and her response was “What kind of rocks?”

My husband and I need to attack the thousands of tiny jobs in our own house, I am massively impressed!

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Nancy May 7, 2024 at 7:00 pm

I keep an unending list of every single tiny job and we do a few a week. Sometimes we actually reach the bottom of the list but owning a house is unending upkeep. If just makes it manageable to choose one most nights and it’s often a 15 minute job.

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Ruby May 6, 2024 at 1:08 pm

Katy, I had to laugh at your clarification of people versus umbrellas. 😀

Over the weekend I machine-stitched the leg of my husband’s jeans that had come unstitched somehow. Went grocery shopping today with some sales noted and coupons in hand, which the receipt says saved me $26. I did pay $17.79 for a chuck roast, which I cut up into three sections before freezing two and cooking the other for the next few days of lunches.

It’s pouring rain here every day, but my vegetable garden in giant pots is flourishing. The tomato and onion plants regrown from grocery store veggies are looking great.

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Katy May 6, 2024 at 5:29 pm

Moment of silence for my bestest umbrellas.

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Denise May 6, 2024 at 11:52 pm

Ummm…can’t you ask for at least one of them back??

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MB in MN May 6, 2024 at 1:24 pm

Katy, I like your verbing of potato!

1. Received numerous items from my brother due to his move from a large house to a townhouse, including furniture, lawnmower, snowblower, wheelbarrow, ladder, and many other miscellaneous items. I gave him A LOT of money many years ago that I will never get back, so this helps to minimize the feelings I have over that whole situation.

2. Shopped my own home to add items to finish the “rec room” vibe that began with furniture from my brother.

3. Listed oodles of items for him on Buy Nothing and brought even more oodles to the thrift store.

4. Helped my sister by identifying furniture and things she could use from our brother’s clean-out.

5. Added some of our junk to his Got Junk pick-up.

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Katy May 6, 2024 at 5:28 pm

I’m here to keep the English language alive!

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Christine May 8, 2024 at 2:38 pm

Kudos to you for keeping your cool with your brother and accepting some items in lieu of the cash you will never see. Have been through this with a relative but unfortunately will never see cash or items. Lesson learned. Such is life. Glad you got somewhat compensated.

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Heidi Louise May 6, 2024 at 2:08 pm

1. Made many people happy, or at least pleased, with my All Free yard sale for the city-wide day on Saturday. Gone are a large number of flower pots (thinking of you all), a few chairs, a box of msc. glue and tape that only needed a jar of old screws and hardware to make someone’s day, a box of Rit dyes, two artificial Christmas trees, sheet of peg board, empty egg cartons, small chest of drawers, assorted metal pieces and broken appliance parts for scrap, basket of old linens and towels, lawn mower that hasn’t been started for three years, and so on.
Also put out a couple bottles of water with very long cuttings from my much overgrown pothos plant, and someone else has them now.
2. The garden shed is much more easily navigable now and I can see all the pots I kept so I know what I have.
3. In the shed is the orange five dollar wheel barrel I got at a garage sale a decade or so ago. It had a sticker on it from a moving company, clearly has been around. I don’t need one enough to buy a new one, yet have appreciated this at a good price.
4. I have a couple of recipes for loaf cakes and found that using two small pans instead of one big one works better. It makes cutting just a small piece easier, and I could freeze one if I wished.
5. Keep finding more morning glory sprouts in places I didn’t plant them.

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Katy May 6, 2024 at 5:27 pm

That was very kind of you to give away so much stuff!

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Christine May 8, 2024 at 2:40 pm

Your #1…so nice of you to give things away and also nice for the environment that they got second lives.

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Lindsey May 6, 2024 at 3:12 pm

1. It is snowing as I write this. One dog is licking snow off the other, like he is a hairy snow-cone. What is frugal is that I did not leave my carts of plastic covered transplants out all night, as they would have died from the cold.
2. Accepted 31 potted dahlias from a friend who apparently went crazy while reading the catalog in December.
3. I love pineapple and the store had them on sale, so I stopped there for three of them. Too bad husband also stopped there to surprise me with two pineapples. We spent yesterday afternoon chopping and freezing pineapple chunks. I love them frozen for dessert so no waste.
4. Finished some geriatric mac and cheese for my lunch today. I can’t lie, the dogs helped.
5. Clobber paws has now jumped our fence when it was 4, 5 and 6 feet. He is like some freakish mix of Great Dane and jumping show horse. Husband bought some more wire to make the fence taller and is leaning it inwards, so that makes it harder to jump. As I have said before, the governor of Texas could have built this fence, it looks so menacing and impossible to scale. Am praying this is the puppy phase. He is 10 months almost and now 175 pounds so eventually he should not be able to launch himself over obstacles. The neighbors are tolerant but I fear that he will run around to the front (we are on a river, so can’t go in that direction) and scare someone who does not know him and get shot (concealed carry is very popular in this state) or will be hit by a car. I keep telling him that I am going to return him to the pound, but he snorts and takes off.

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Marie May 6, 2024 at 3:58 pm

You have a jumper, I have a digger. Rescue from 3 years ago has recently decided I cannot leave the property without her.
Husband fixed all spots of escape, so she just dug under the gate. Good news is we live in the country on a gravel dead end road.

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Bee May 6, 2024 at 4:32 pm

Have you thought about using coyote rollers on the top of your fence. I know they have been effective for a friend who also has an escape artist. https://coyoteroller.com/.

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Fru-gal Lisa May 7, 2024 at 7:51 am

Bee,
I never heard of a coyote roller, but I followed your link and it is the greatest thing since sliced bread IMO. Thanks for sharing!

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Lindsey May 7, 2024 at 8:54 am

We actually looked at those but he clears the fence, he doesn’t use the top for leverage. Our moose do the same thing, not fence climbing but fence jumping. Like the Dane, they are huge bodied and spindly legged but somehow can boiiiing straight up and over. He has not made it over this latest fence extension in two days, so here’s hoping.

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Katy May 6, 2024 at 5:26 pm

Canine adventures for free entertainment?

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Kara May 6, 2024 at 3:59 pm

I’m struggling with side effect of nausea from an immunosuppressant I’ve started taking, so it’s been a slow day.
1. Not frugal to me since I paid postage (but discounted through pirate ship), but frugal for my son-I mailed his old uniforms for his start in the reserves. He had given away everything after active duty except the couple of sets I’d asked him to give me for the memory box. Now they are seeing the light of day again. Brings back a lot of feelings for me from when he first commissioned.
2. Bought a side table on FB marketplace. I’ve been looking for one for a while. My mother and sister are coming to visit and I’m trying to do some low-cost spiffing up of the house. Not because I have to, but because I’d like to.
3. Listed a few things on FB marketplace…a couple for me and a couple for my kids. Got to keep the stuff from taking over!

I don’t think I can come up with 5, though I guess food costs are less since I can barely eat…

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Bee May 6, 2024 at 4:33 pm

I’m sorry you are feeling poorly. Feel better soon!!!

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Katy May 6, 2024 at 5:24 pm

Being unable to eat is not a recommended frugality hack. Sorry you’re feeling poorly.

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A. Marie May 6, 2024 at 4:07 pm

I’ve decided to extend Katy’s usual #5 into a full Things I Didn’t Do Today Edition:

(1) I didn’t buy a Lear Jet to…

(2) go down to the Met Gala, model a thrifted gown, and tell the admiring journalists, “I bought this at my favorite little boutique–the Salvation Army.” (They’d probably have thought I said “the Salvation Armani,” anyway.)

(3) I didn’t get hit with contempt-of-court penalties for talking out of turn about a court case I would never have been involved in to begin with.

(4) I didn’t shoot a dog and a goat and then brag about it.

(5) And this is the only one I genuinely regret: I didn’t win a Pulitzer Prize. My self-protective story as a geeky, unpopular high schooler was that I would eventually win a Pulitzer for writing the Great American Novel. Unfortunately, I discovered at a point between then and now that I don’t have the juice to run the engine for being a fiction writer. Fortunately, I discovered along the way that I’m a far better editor than a writer, so I was able to make a decent living this way–and a lot of wannabe novelists can’t say the same.

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Bee May 6, 2024 at 4:37 pm

Salvation Armani made me laugh!!!! IMHO, the met gala hype in quite strange.

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Ruby May 6, 2024 at 5:00 pm

Salvatore Armani, that trendy upscale boutique in your local strip shopping center. 😀

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Fru-gal Lisa May 7, 2024 at 7:54 am

Two of my favorite stores are Salvation Armani and the GW Boutique.

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Katy May 6, 2024 at 5:21 pm

So weird, I also didn’t get hit with contempt-of-court! Life is full of coincidences.

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Christine May 8, 2024 at 2:46 pm

Still laughing at FFTs! So funny. Got my laugh for the day!

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Ava May 6, 2024 at 4:38 pm

Katy, the danger from improperly stored cooked rice is very real. One of the times I was sickest in my life was after eating rice pudding from an Indian buffet. No doubt it was made with leftover rice. After 3 days of sickness, l actually went to the Dr. She said “come with me” and the next thing I knew, I was on a table with an IV in my arm. A baked potato kept at the wrong temperature can cause similar food poisoning.

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Katy May 6, 2024 at 5:15 pm

I’m so sorry that happened to you, that sounds miserable.

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Denise May 7, 2024 at 12:05 am

Cooked rice always goes in the bin. It’s a religion in England: I have very few friends who would keep cooked rice. Pasta: I pour a kettle of boiling water over the leftovers, to rinse off even more starch, then run it under the cold tap. Five minutes spread out on paper kitchen towel then resealable plastic container (from Indian takeaway). Then the fridge in the coldest part at the bottom. I usually use clean rags in the kitchen, but sometimes I just need the paper towel! And Indian takeaway? Occasional lazyitis.

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Ruby May 7, 2024 at 6:07 am

I have sworn off rice from restaurants after recently seeing huge open bowls of cooked rice cooling on a table in the hallway to the bathrooms at our favorite Asian restaurant. My husband and son don’t eat rice — their particular form of sensation aversion with Asperger’s makes it unpleasant for them — but I always did. No more!

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Dee in AZ May 8, 2024 at 6:12 am

I took some humus to a neighborhood potluck, where it sat out for three hours or so. I took it home and ate some the next morning. Was puking all night and went to the doctor. She gave me IV fluids and said to be careful with beans and also rice. She never eats them away from home.

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Isa May 7, 2024 at 2:28 am

* I’m on vacation this week. For one, I’m paid for it (thought I would not). Keeping it very low key, chillin at home, ready my library books sitting in my backyard. I lead a very exciting life

* Celebrating Mother’s day today for my mom. Simple diner at home (spaghetti and home made lemon pie) and a couple treats food items she likes as a gift (25$). Keeping it very simple.

* I need a new bathing suit. Not wanting to pay 50$ for it. So I’m on the lookout for a thrifted one and might hit thrift stores today for it. Yeah yeah, I know, “ewwwwww!!”. Don’t care. Clean it well and it will be good to go.

* Daughter and I were not using our gym memberships enought to justify a 80$/month cost (for both). Decides to cancel mine and combine it with hers, saving me 45$/month. The only thing is that we can’t use it at the same time (meaning only one person at a time can be at the gym using this pass, but the pass can be shared amongst unlimited people). It’s fine, I like to go during the day and she goes at night. Win-win

* Used a coupon to get 40$ off when buying for 160$ of groceries. Stocked-up on sale and needed items.

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Hawaii Planner May 7, 2024 at 6:34 am

Isa, that gym option to share a pass is very cool!

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Hawaii Planner May 7, 2024 at 6:45 am

1) Sold an outgrown hoodie on eBay
2) Made the most of garden items (basil, mint, garlic scapes & red lettuce), by including them in DH’s salad.
3) Bought gift cards at the grocery store, and earned $30 in store rewards.
4) Picked up graduation balloons & a sign for our soon to be graduate on Buy Nothing.
5) Purchased flights for DS18’s orientation using flight credits. Bonus, I was able to time the orientation (they had multiple options) to overlap with the weekend of my aunt’s 70th birthday, so we will also be able to attend her party, which she’s very excited about.

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Ashley Bananas May 7, 2024 at 6:58 am

I thought I left a comment the other day. But, maybe I didn’t? Forgive me if I am posting twice.

1. In the grocery store wars…I have made a combined goal of only spending $200 on groceries and eating out this month. I am about halfway through the funds for this but well stocked up and attempting to buy underprice on everything and eat out very little, for free, or on the cheap.
*I bought clearance cat crunchies at Walmart. One bag of 15.5 lbs for $6 and another at 22 lbs for $10. This should last for two months or more, and is a larger quantity with a lower unit cost than if I bought at Costco where I normally buy this for my home.
*I went to Costco and bought protein drinks on what seems to be a clearance sale, I got more quantity for a lower overall cost. 12 for 11.99, as opposed to 18 for 29.99. I bought two boxes. Not sure I would buy them again, but it lowered my bill and will get me through the month.
*I also looked at unit price for cooking oil and decided to buy in bulk at Costco for a lower price than sale priced oil at my favorite grocery store.
* I made a list with coupon matchups and rebates and spent $40 at Publix saving a little more than half the cost of full retail.
2. This weekend in free and thoughtful food…
*We went to a church even Saturday and enjoyed free sandwiches and more.
*Saturday night my son and I were treated to dinner by a friend.
*Sunday we ate breakfast, dinner, and snacks at home.
*I continue to pack lunches for work.
3. I got on the phone and was verbally told by my heloc lender that they didn’t require X amount for hazard insurance as stated in a letter they sent to me, and would accept my insurance with values for X amount for my house which I currently insure my home at. I asked them to send me a letter in the mail stating as much. I am saved from another premium increase – thankfully!
4. I picked up four glazed pots from a neighborhood curb alert. I plan to propagate jade plants or spider plants in them. In other gardening news, four of six pineapple crows I planted seem to be successful.
5. My washing machine flooded the laundry room this weekend. I called the appliance store I bought it from, although it is past warranty, they will send someone out to look at it and see if it’s fixable, I believe at no cost, on Friday. Wish me luck!

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Christine May 8, 2024 at 2:54 pm

What a great price on the dry cat food. Wish I could find prices like that. I have two cats and one would eat all dry food if allowed. He takes a few bites of wet food per day but drinks water too so he gets some liquid.

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Roberta May 7, 2024 at 8:09 am

1. Went to a church event Sunday night. Beautiful music, Scottish dancers, good conversation, and an elaborate tea with sandwiches, deviled eggs, scones, and lots of other yummies.
2. Hit Goodwill for a bunch of things I don’t NEED, but I have wanted. A new quilt and pillow shams set, to update our bedroom for summer. I also got a couple of curtains, so I can get rid of the horrible blinds we put in when my son was born, 22 years ago. Found a brand new game that we really enjoyed last summer, but we couldn’t justify the expense of buying it new. Brand new beach towels that will actually absorb water. Etc.
3. Also found a tiny, one person, French press coffee maker for my daughter’s birthday present. Sunday. I’ll put this together with some coffee supplies and ??? for a gift.
4. Bought wine glasses for my mother who always breaks glasses, and my husband will make a bottle of lemon drop martini mix that will hopefully store in the freezer. I’ll test that before bottling it.
5. I’ve started a physical list of all the “silent to-do list” things that nag me around the house. Scrub and paint the shower caddy that has begun to rust. Plant mint in the empty pots on the porch. Clean the oven. Not only will things get fixed, but without the background nagging from my stuff, I’ll be happier at home.

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Heidi Louise May 7, 2024 at 8:56 am

I appreciate the phrase “background nagging from my stuff.”

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Val May 7, 2024 at 9:05 am

1. Katy, I read the article you provided on Fried Rice Syndrome. Yikes. Had never heard of that, but it was so interesting. I got rid of some iffy (age-wise) leftover salsa rice (rice I mix with salsa that I sometimes have with tacos). I think it may be at or even a little over the 5 day limit. Thanks for saving me from possible food poisoning.
2. Using Katy’s blog for educational purposes! Frugal, fun, entertaining.
3. Walking with my husband or a friend for exercise, no cost of joining a gym.
4. Found a nice pair of pants of the style my son wears in a free pile. He is an adult but needs pull on type because of developmental delay and motor skills difficulties. It was nice finding a pair for free because he can be tough on his clothes sometimes.
5. In same free pile, some nice lightweight reusuable bags. Someone had bought some expensive cookware called HexClad (had never heard of, looked up online, very $$$$!) which must have come in these bags. There were 9 bags total, of different sizes. I will use them as both laundry bags and shopping bags. Some are little enough for produce bags.

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Laura May 7, 2024 at 10:35 am

DH replaced the shift tube in my truck. It’s a twenty-year-old farm truck, so not pretty but functional. I’ve been commuting to my town job in it. Our car is in the shop because I hit a deer not long ago. Eager to get it back, since my truck is built for power, not milage. The truck was bad enough that I could only drive forward, trying to put it in reverse was asking for the shift tube to break completely.

We’ve had good rains recently and the tornadoes spared us last night. Our ponds are nice and full again after almost 2 years of draught. The rain water will be used to water our herds. We don’t use municipal water for stock, only in the house. I actually grew up with no municipal water. We used water that ran off the roof and into the cistern. When it didn’t rain, Dad hauled water from the nearest town to fill our cistern. With rural water, we now have urban sprawl…… yippee*** If my farm were to fail, it would be subdivided and turned into McMansions. All the wild animals and birds would have to find homes somewhere else. The verdant waist high pastures would be scalped and dosed with chem lawn. Diversity would decrease, water infiltration would increase, and chemicals would blanket the land.

I will load and deliver a pen of grass-fed beeves today. They will be finished on another man’s farm and sold locally to families and better restaurants. He’s much better at marketing than I am or desire to be. It would be worth the effort to ponder the practicality of feeding large amounts of corn and soy to factory farmed animals. Especially when the vast majority of beef and lamb can be produced with nothing more than solar power harvested by plants and a little rain water. I think that Alan Savory explains it better than I ever could in his Ted Talk.

Darned a sock, composted, hung out the wash, cooked from scratch, and fixed fence.
Did not buy a king ranch ford 🙂

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Christine May 8, 2024 at 3:00 pm

The hardest part for me when seeing farmland sold off and subdivided for houses or businesses is wondering where the animals and birds will go. I hope your farm doesn’t fail. I’m at my happiest in a National Forest knowing the wildlife doesn’t have to relocate somewhere because of development.

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