Five Frugal Things

by Katy on May 27, 2024 · 62 comments

  1. The credit union where we keep our high yield savings account is having a promotion where they award a $10 rebate if you use their debit card twelve times in the month of May. We don’t normally use that checking account, but I’m not one turn down free money. I got over any perceived notions of appropriate shopping behavior and hit up the $1 produce section at Fred Meyer. Lastly I used the self checkout for twelve individual transactions and schlepped it all home.

    Two dollars for ten peppers, one cauliflower, two double bags of multi-color carrots and 22 apples. My arms just about dropped off by the time I got home, especially since I’d also checked out an obscenely heavy library book!

  2. My neighbor brought by some dug up mint from her backyard, as well as a jumble of the thicker plastic bags that come with her delivered groceries. (She knows that I reuse these sturdy bags as kitchen bin liners.) I planted the mint in a curb picked flowerpot saved for this exact purpose and shuffled a few plants around in order to forage enough potting soil.

    Necessity is the mother of invention. Always and forever.

  3. I washed our sheets and hung them on the laundry line. We’re only just now coming out of the rainy season and I look forward to being able to use our backyard solar system with more regularity. I do use an indoor rack, (especially for my husband’s synthetic baseball, hockey and soccer uniforms) but nothing compares to the freshness of sun dried laundry!

  4. • I sliced and froze all the peppers for later use.
    • I went for a walk by myself after dinner, as none of my regular walking buddies were available.
    • I checked out an obscenely heavy library book.
    • I read a library “Lucky Day” book — I Must Be Dreaming, by Roz Chast. I will read anything from Roz Chast!

  5. My legal debts don’t top half a billion dollars.

Katy Wolk-Stanley

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

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{ 60 comments… read them below or add one }

Karen A. May 27, 2024 at 11:13 am

Roz Chast is pretty awesome.

1. The mulberry trees in our yard are ripening; I know this because I keep a keen eye on the birds and when they poop purple, you know it’s time to harvest mulberries. We have two in our yard, and there are at least three others in our neighborhood within walking distance. DH and I went boldly forth with a sheet and a berry pickin’ jug and came home with 2 pounds of mulberries. Even if mulberries were sold in stores (they’re not as they’re too fragile), we estimated they’d cost at least 15 bucks for that much.

2. I made a makeshift pie with half our harvest; on the walk home I mentioned to DH that I do not have a gift for making pie crust, and he suggested an extra large tortilla for the bottom and a crumble for the top. I looked up some recipes for mulberry pie and concocted my own, and it was well-received. Plus I didn’t have to fiddle with pie crust or go to the store for anything.

3. I froze the other half of the mulberries.

4. I got a refund for the secondhand book that never arrived from Amazon, and did what I should have done in the first place: put in ILL in at my library for it. I doubt I’ll really want to keep it around, I want to read it mostly for nostalgia and to introduce it to my youngest.

5. I only needed a few things to start my soup in the crockpot this morning, so Sunday, DH suggested we bike to Mass and then to the grocery store, since everything I needed was shelf-stable. All told it was 7 miles, our longest bike ride yet! This was great exercise and we saved gas.


Selena May 27, 2024 at 7:03 pm

While I don’t begrudge those who eat mulberries (or leave them for wildlife), I ate WAY too many as a child and have not touched them since. It has been well over 50 years – can you tell how many (I shouldn’t have) ate lol. I do remember they were oh-so-good.


Kristen | The Frugal Girl May 27, 2024 at 1:05 pm

Man, I’m jealous of that $1 produce section!


Katy May 27, 2024 at 3:02 pm

It’s at my Kroger store. Technically walkable, but my bags were so heavy I about lost my mind carrying it all home!


Selena May 27, 2024 at 7:05 pm

You’re getting soft lol. And do let at least me know how your bank is “playing” the rebate. $10 is under the tell-the-IRS-limit BUT you are supposed to declare it.


Katy May 29, 2024 at 11:43 am

Looks off to the side.


mary in maryland May 27, 2024 at 1:10 pm

I love Roz Chast and have no legal debts. Actually, I have no debts.
1. On our morning walk a neighbor pressed her rosemary prunings on us. I hung them in the basement to dry.
2. Fresh corn 8/$2 at Giant. Bought 16 ears and gifted 8 to a neighbor. They let me use their vacuum and driveway to clean out my car. Then we spent a couple hours chatting at the table we gifted them twenty years ago.
3. Someone was speed-gifting a chocolate cake on Buy Nothing. I responded immediately and called the Mister to pick it up on his way home from the library. Cake was fabulous but too much for us. We gifted the leftovers to the friends across the street. The next day they sent us back the remains, so we each had another small piece.
4. We have friends who don’t get out much. Saturday eve we picked up mezze for four at the Lebanese café and visited them for and with dinner. $50 to feed four is a bargain.
5. An acquaintance brought me three bins of her late mother’s quilty things. (We got carloads a few years ago, but a granddaughter had thought she might use these.) I sorted the bins into packaged UFOs for the quilters’ yard sale, a big box of assorted interfacings, and empty storage containers. I have passed on the last two classes of objects via buy nothing. Swedish death cleaning—do it!


Sandra May 27, 2024 at 1:24 pm

1. A neighbor and I share puzzles. She then shares them with her Dad. Everybody wins. I get to pass along puzzles I’ve already worked, she then works them and sends them on to her Dad. He lives out of town so she saves them up for their visits.

2. Baked a pie yesterday with apples gifted to me from my daughter and marked down pie crusts. It’s been ages since I baked an apple pie, but a large amount of fresh fruit was just calling to me and I happened to have the pie crust languishing in the back of the refrigerator. I had a slice for breakfast this mornign


Ecoteri May 27, 2024 at 5:46 pm

Pie for Breakfast! It became a bit of a slogan around my home maybe 15 years ago, when I was in the habit of making pies, and my partner at the time was in the habit of eating a (HUGE) slice at breakfast time. For whatever reason, the term “Pie for Breakfast!” makes me giggle. Perhaps because I say it with a southern US accent. Not that I have a southern US accent, but I pretend. Glad you had PAAAAIE for breakfast!


Ruby May 28, 2024 at 6:00 am

Pie for breakfast is a Dec. 26 tradition at my house. By then I am sick of cooking and it’s so good and easy.


Katy May 29, 2024 at 11:34 am

That’s my breakfast for the day after Thanksgiving!


Ruby May 27, 2024 at 1:30 pm

Way to go on using the card on those veggies, Katy!

I did one of those big purchases with a bit shaved off today. We have needed a new mattress for a while, having gotten 25 years out of the same set, which came with a 20-year guarantee. Memorial Day is a big day for mattress sales, so I scoped out what we needed at a store over the state line that we’d bought our son’s bed from. a couple of years ago. The sale, lower sales tax, and a $100 discount for being a repeat customer knocked $280 off the final cost. The new set has a 20-year guarantee, so if we have the same luck as before, it should be the last time we buy a mattress.

Everything else so far has been small: made up several use it up meals, hung a rug up in the back yard to dry, read the grocery ads, got an ice cream instead of a meal out.


A. Marie May 27, 2024 at 3:48 pm

Ruby, as a native of your current hometown, I don’t recall my folks making the sorts of trips over the state line to save money that you describe. (Fast trips over the state line back then were generally made by eloping couples in search of the “marrying squires” in the other state!) But the area below the state line wasn’t nearly as developed back then, and this was also before the age of big-box stores. And, given the sales tax differences you’ve mentioned, I can well imagine the savings on major purchases.


Ruby May 27, 2024 at 5:29 pm

You would be amazed at how much Fort O. has grown. There’s pretty much everywhere anyone would want to shop in a fairly compact area. It’s much easier for us to pop over there on US 27 than try to deal with city traffic, which is just awful now that it’s the second fastest growing city in the state.


Lindsey May 27, 2024 at 2:34 pm

1. I ran short of transplants so went to the nursery to buy some basil. There was a six pack but five of the holes had two basil plants in them. When I got them home carefully teased apart roots and ended up with 11 plants instead of six, so five freebies.
2. I start scallions indoors in February, with staggered start dates, so the first of them have been ready to start harvesting them for about 10 days now. I use smaller pots so can bring a pot in at a time, use the scallions and rotate it out for a new pot that has been growing in the greenhouse. Just this tiny fresh produce makes it feel like summer, and given that scallions are often $2 for 8 or so of them, it does save money to plant our own. By the time I run out of them, it will be time to start using the early leeks.
3. Wanted to make a quiche but did not have any flour (waiting for a sale) to make a crust so shredded some elderly potatoes to make a crust.
4. A friend bought the wrong kind of tuna, she only eats albacore, so gave me a dozen cans. I used some to make tuna chowder that fed us for three days and also used us the rest of the elderly potatoes and scallions instead of potatoes.
5. Library, library, library.

I did not spend thousands of dollars having a bronze cast made of my breasts and torso, which I recently read in the Wash Post is the latest craze among those with enough money to indulge themselves.


Yvette May 27, 2024 at 2:43 pm

Made a quiche using tortilla wraps instead of pastry base. Also use bread with crusts taken off, or follow recipe for non base quiche


Yvette May 27, 2024 at 2:37 pm

Autumn here in Australia, slim pickings in the garden but will pickle the last of the green tomatoes and made pesto from garden greens and herbs.
Used up sunchokes by roasting and then made soup. Processing quinces into paste and freezing rest for later use. Citrus is abundant now so marmalade making comes next and recycling all my jars. A friend cut and delivered a load of firewood in exchange for assistance with some catering. Local preschool has chooks and offered me their eggs for locking them up at night.


Mand01 May 27, 2024 at 2:41 pm

So many limes! I keep giving them away and they keep coming. Lemon curd and marmalade time here.


Ecoteri May 27, 2024 at 5:51 pm

I love that you use sun chokes and quince. I don’t know what to do with sun chokes, and I get a LOT of quince on my tree so am interested in how you process both of these power foods. Quince are SOOOO hard (and fuzzy – peaches have NOTHING on Quince when it comes to fuzz). and waxy under the fuzz. Looking for not too tedious ways to address all of that..


Yvette May 27, 2024 at 7:37 pm

Google cooking quinces in Cyprus. I followed the advice and washed off the fuzz, placed unpeeled in large pot , covered quinces with water, bring to simmer point and leave for 2 hours(large quinces used). Next day remove and peel falls off, just core and slice and freeze. Alternative is cut quinces in half place in baking pan with 1/2 inch water, cover and bake in oven 1 and 1/2 hours. They turn red, then next day peel and slice. I don’t add any sugar until I am ready to eat them. At this point you can make the quince paste.
Sun chokes need scrubbing not peeled. Place in roasting pan with drizzle of oil, when cooked make into soup.


Jennifer May 27, 2024 at 2:39 pm

1) I got bogo ground turkey and made my own breakfast sausage. Also bogo Haagen Dazs, which we will just eat.

2) Walked with a friend for entertainment today.

3) Painted our bathroom myself. I used up the remains of 2 rolls of tape and just was very careful on the parts I couldn’t tape. I did NOT want to go to the store. Now the bathroom is all refreshed and new looking for just the price of a gallon of paint.

4) Shopped the loss leaders and sale items this week in preparation for my parents visit next week. Start now with figuring out a meal plan incorporating cheaply bought ingredients.

5) We have been in a phase of no heat or AC for at least a month now. And it has rained plenty so I have rarely been watering my very small garden. Lower utilities for the win!

6) I had a bunch of shirts that I could wear to work in my Amazon cart because menopause combined with a hysterectomy have not been kind to my body and I need new clothes. I realized we have 3 more days of school so I am deleting all the items so I won’t be tempted. I have all summer to either fit back into my old clothes or source used clothes that will work in the fall.

Frugal fail – I tasked my ds into grilling the burgers to go with our dinner tonight. He caught them on fire and we now have hockey pucks. He made a Culvers run to go with all the sides I made lol



Christine May 27, 2024 at 3:43 pm

Culvers! So wish we had one around these parts. We visited one in Lexington, Kentucky while visiting stepson and another one in Rapid City, SD while on my Laura Ingalls Wilder Vacation (a lifelong dream).


Cheryl May 29, 2024 at 12:23 pm

My Sister and I have been talking about planning a Laura Ingalls Wilder trip — would love to hear what you did and how you planned it?


Selena May 27, 2024 at 7:10 pm

Dang, there is rarely a time when a piece of meat is too well done for me to eat. I always joke that the piece of meat that got away from the grill person is mine.


MB in MN May 27, 2024 at 3:04 pm

Roz Chast fan here, too!

1. Finished a large bottle of cinnamon powder. There was some sticking to the sides so I added hot water, swished it around, and added it to my oatmeal.

2. Contacted Renewal by Andersen to come out for some adjustments on a couple doors and windows. The warranty was transferred to us when we bought our house, so no cost to us. The terrific technician checked every single door and window and tweaked them all to work perfectly.

3. Purchased a mid-century dining room table and chairs for a reasonable price from a friend who is moving out of state.

4. Had my broken earring fixed by a woman who was offering her free services on Buy Nothing.

5. Went to a graduation open house and stayed until the end. Per my usual M.O., I helped clean up and then was given free food to take home.


Katy May 29, 2024 at 11:57 am

That’s great that you were aware of your windows’ warranty, I can see how that might not have been communicated for many people.


A. Marie May 27, 2024 at 3:42 pm

Roz Chast is one of the two or three people I’d like to swap heads with. I actually OWN most of her books (gasp!).

FFT, End of May Edition:

(1) My May found-change total to date is $2.96. Finding two $1 bills (on separate occasions) was the big booster.

(2) I’ve gotten most of my homegrown transplants into the gardens, and I now know where I’m going to put the rest of them. (Setting out transplants is sort of Evening at the Improv for me, except that I like to do it first thing in the morning while it’s cool.)

(3) I only bought one set of transplants: a two-pack of basil containing seven plants, which I divided up as Lindsey did hers.

(4) My National Grid bill (electricity and gas) for this month came to $53.37, of which exactly $3.94 was for gas supply and $0 was for electricity supply. The rest of it = delivery charges, which they’d hit me with no matter what. Thank you, my darling DH, for installing those solar panels on the garage roof and retrofitting the house so beautifully. (And I think DH is looking down from Home Energy Performance Heaven and calling, “You go, girl!”)

(5) I’ve just shared a Memorial Day picnic with the Bestest Neighbors on their screened porch. Summer has arrived!


Christine May 27, 2024 at 3:48 pm

Your #4! I’m echoing your DH with “You go, girl!” That low bill is remarkable, thanks to your DH and I’m guessing some careful energy usage on your part. Way to go.


Ecoteri May 27, 2024 at 5:59 pm

your double whammy on delivery charges was what I managed to avoid when I put my solar panels in, as at that time I also replaced my gas furnace and gas hot water heater with a heat pump and electric Hot water. I had been sold a bill of goods about ‘cooking with gas’ being the best thing, and HAD been saving up to convert to gas in my kitchen. after further research, I got a cheap and good induction stove (brilliant stove and oven!!) and with the replaced furnace and hot water heaters to electric, I cancelled my gas service. they put a lock on the meter and I have saved the $25/month delivery ever since.
Hydro is only $8 per month, and I do Net Metering so the electricity I send them in the summer pays for all my fees (and then some).
I, too, am very grateful for no hydro fees.


Lindsey May 28, 2024 at 8:47 am

Did you see the profile done a few months ago by the Wa Post or NYT on Roz Chast? Had a picture of her and her study. If not, let me know and I will find it for you. I sent it to another Roz Chast fan so it will be easy for me to locate.


Katy May 29, 2024 at 11:34 am

I didn’t, but I’m going to go looks for it, thanks!


Katy May 29, 2024 at 11:55 am

Did you read Chast’s “Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant?” Amazing memoir, totally stuck in my mind!

Finding two individual dollar bills out in the wild? Impressive!


A. Marie May 29, 2024 at 12:21 pm

I not only read the Chast memoir, but own it.

And there was an amazing follow-up to it in The New Yorker, about Chast’s discovery of the graves of an older sister (who died as an infant and was never talked about) and her mother’s parents. Here’s the link (, even though it may not be possible to get over the paywall.

And to answer Lindsey’s question, yes, I did see the interview with Chast (in the NYT, I believe).


Katy May 29, 2024 at 2:52 pm

Thank you for sharing that. There was no paywall, so I was able to the read it.


Christine May 27, 2024 at 4:15 pm

1. I planted the Marigold seeds I bought for 4/$1 at the Dollar Store in pots on my deck. I recently also found Sunflower seeds at the Salvation Army Store of which I bought 2 packages. I planted them in a perennial garden to give it a little height. These Sunflowers are expected to be 6′ tall so here’s hoping. Not bad for $1.50. The rest of my flowers are perennials. After all the rain in the Northeast last year, they’ve really taken off. I actually have to thin them and will put out the ones I thin in pots for people to take for free. We have so many walkers, joggers and dog walkers in our neighborhood, it never takes long to find new homes for things left out at the end of the driveway with a FREE sign on them.
2. DH and I went to a friend’s house on a lake for a Memorial Day cookout. Too chilly for swimming in the lake but it was lovely to look at. I brought a large potato salad and told her to keep the leftovers. She made a pot of chili and her daughter grilled hotdogs and chicken. We had gluten free cake after dinner in honor of another guest’s birthday. I’ve never had it before. Delicious. She said it was a Pillsbury cake mix…if anyone out there is looking for a good one.
3. DH found a penny on the ground while out hiking.
4. I bought a Pyrex sauce pan with cover in pristine condition at the Salvation Army Store. I’m phasing out my old Teflon cookware. At our age we have enough microplastics floating around inside us without adding more. I feel guilty giving the Teflon pans away and I feel guilty for throwing them away to add to the glut. I guess disposing of them is the safest thing to do in regards to others ingesting chemicals and plastics.
5. Eating down the meat in the freezer before DH goes back out on the Appalachian Trail. Then I won’t buy any more until he gets back, in about a month. This will save some serious grocery $$$. I mainly cook it for him and will eat a little of it for the protein. I was never crazy about it ever since I can remember. My poor mother struggled to get me to eat it. I would…a little. The taste and the texture of meat and poultry never appealed to me. Fish is ok but not too often.


Bee May 28, 2024 at 8:06 am

The metal recyclers/ scrappers might take your pots and pans.


Christine May 28, 2024 at 8:10 am

Thanks Bee. Never thought of them.


Katy May 29, 2024 at 11:52 am

The Pillsbury “Funfetti” gluten-free cake is what I buy, as it tastes about normal and isn’t crazy expensive. I wish they had other flavors, but oh well . . .


Cindy in the South May 27, 2024 at 4:54 pm

Aldi is 20 minutes walking time there and 25 minutes (up hill) walking time back and the last time two college kids ( college town) stopped and asked if I needed a ride… lol. I so feel ya on the heavy grocery bag Katy!!!’ I am 64, trend fluffy and was red faced so they were concerned… lol. 1. I went to the state park and swam for $2 bc I am over 62. 3. I squeezed into my last year swimsuit so new dudes were not needed. The squeeze was tighter though bc of the trending fluffy. 4. I walked in Neighborhood bc of the tight squeeze mentioned in 3. 5. I took a nap bc it is a holiday!


Katy May 29, 2024 at 11:50 am

I was indeed very red faced by the time I got home!


Ecoteri May 27, 2024 at 6:26 pm

I am relieved to be on this side of a very busy Saturday event that I was totally involved with both planning and managing. It was a huge success and I am very pleased with what we managed to do with a small and mighty team of people committed to finding positive solutions around Climate Change. Lots of cross-talk between the exhibitors (who all could bring their displays for free) and among the attendees (who also could come for free). We received enough small grants to cover the cost of renting the hall, and everyone pitched in to ensure nobody was left with a mess and no help at the end (I have seen that happen and it isn’t pretty).
As some of us have noted here about the advantages of staying late, I did benefit from leftovers from the kitchen – however, I donated into the kitty, as the goodies were purchased by some of the volunteers.
I have frozen some sweets for us, and #2 son is eating the rest (whilst complaining they are a ‘bit sweet’ – it doesn’t slow down his consumption). I also brought home a big box of the boxed sweets and have frozen them with a plan to bring to some future volunteer gatherings … THOSE have notes taped on, to ensure #2 knows their purpose in the freezer.
1. While looking in the freezer for room for the sweets (above) I found a turkey and I actually read the package: “cook from frozen’. (Wow, who knew?). Since I needed the freezer room, and I like turkey, I pulled it out on Sunday morning, read the directions and put it in a covered roaster in the oven for 3 hours. Gardened with a timer on, and when I came in I did a bit of temp testing, cooked it for a bit longer, and TA DA! Bob’s your uncle, roasted turkey! I cooked up some peas and carrots from the freezer and fridge, boiled up some asparagus from the fridge, and made up a package of dehydrated Scalloped potatoes. NONE of these things were much good (save the turkey and the frozen peas). The carrots tasted soapy (even the dog wouldn’t eat them. They were carrots, for heavens sake, how can carrots that I peeled and cut up and boiled taste of soap?) the asparagus was gritty (and I had washed it – obviously not thoroughly enough, though), the scalloped potatoes had too much liquid. #2 son and I laughed throughout the meal. “Whatever!”, I kept saying. “Don’t bite the asparagus!” Leftover turkey won’t be served with any of the leftover veggies, that’s for sure.
2. Did the ‘Walk of Shame’ back to my library today. We don’t pay late fees, and I tend to load up when I go in, so today was the day – so many books it was two trips from the car. Three full to the brim tote bags…
I can’t even say I have changed my ways! Came home with another bag stuffed full.
I have been reading from all over the library, and finding that I am impatient with a number of my novels – if they aren’t on the mark, I read the ending and move on to the next.
3. Speaking of reading, I am trying to ‘speed-read’ a book for tomorrow’s Hospice volunteer book club. I had started and become less enamoured, however this club is partially my responsibility to run, so I had better get at least half way through.
It is not particularly possible to speed read a book about a beloved Buddhist master – “In Love with the World – a Monk’s Journey Through the Bardos of Living and Dying” by Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche.
Wish me luck
4. Continue to plant when I find time, got 38 tomatoes into the big greenhouse on Sunday. First I had to remove the leaves that I had piled on the bed, then prep the soil, then water water water as it was all bone dry.
However, instead of behaving like Past Ecoteri – and trying to get the entire Greenhouse ready – I just did one part of one bed. The result is that I got some plants in the ground.
Our weather is unseasonably cool and wet, for which I give many many thanks, as we are still in drought conditions and there is no snowpack for later in the season. The wetter now, the less water we use up early.
5. My saved-seed sunflowers that I got in the ground a couple of weeks ago have begun popping up in earnest, and a few squash and pumpkins are appearing. So are the weeds so I am going to be doing a lot of preemptive gentle surface weeding over the next couple of weeks.
My potatoes look great, and 3/4 of the ‘ring of potatoes’ (at the outer end of one of my circular sprinklers) is also weed free. More of that work to come, baby steps!


Katy May 29, 2024 at 11:48 am

Wow, you’ve been busy! Did the frozen turkey not have giblets inside of it? I would worry that I was baking a plastic bag.

And the idea of speed reading a book about Buddism made me laugh!


Ecoteri May 29, 2024 at 2:11 pm

@Katy, the turkey was empty – not particularly well cleaned out, as I discovered when I was tearing it down for broth. I guess I do a bit of extra poking around in a thawed bird. It was interesting to see that it did cook without drying out, I normally don’t roast in a pan with a lid. A part of me is tempted to try with those discounted two-chickens-in-one-bag that we sometimes see up here – I buy them and freeze them (wrapped better than the store) but they have no giblets/necks etc inside, either.
As for the speed reading – not very successful but we had a super conversation anyway, some of the others had read it twice so I willingly let their enthusiasm carry the show. Two of the more important book club members weren’t able to attend, we might meet up for coffee another time, so I am going to continue to read the book but at a less frantic pace…. it isn’t for inhaling-the-plot, that’s for sure…


Katy May 29, 2024 at 2:53 pm

Interesting, thank you following up!


Selena May 27, 2024 at 7:21 pm

Gardening – frugal or not, good exercise and know-your-food. Asparagus season is over (we stopped harvesting to strengthen the plants though a few that are up *are* tempting). Super early strawberry season – climate change is real AND it is here. Did a harvest in the rain yesterday, will look harvest again tomorrow. At least 7 days early, if not 10 days. What we’ve planted for the perennial garden is looking super good. Even have a couple of volunteer plants (read: not hybrids hence we can harvest). Weeding is cathartic and good exercise.


Katy May 29, 2024 at 11:42 am

Impressive sounding garden, I wish we could share photos in the comments section.


Selena May 29, 2024 at 7:04 pm

Perhaps when I retire, I can expand my garden to “grow a row”. Gardening – which I define as growing things one can eat – is the anti-thesis of my job. We enjoy sharing our harvest with friends/relatives when we can. I too wish I could share pictures of the cicada holes that while not unexpected in the perennial beds, were surprising in the annual bed.


Katy May 30, 2024 at 12:37 pm

i’ve seen footage of the cicadas and it’s insane!


Autumn May 28, 2024 at 4:49 am

Frugal moments from the holiday weekend…

#1 – Hosted my future sister-in-law for the weekend. She is 16 and easy to please. We took her to the local lake beach for the whole afternoon on Sunday and spent less than $15 on ice cream for the 3 of us. She also needed a dress to wear to her cousin’s graduation, and we found a vintage one at Goodwill for 99¢. She is learning very quickly how to spot good finds at the thrift!

#2 – Remembered to pack my lunch for work today; leftover spaghetti from Sunday. I struggle to remember to eat leftovers AND pack lunch, so it’s a total win-win.

#3 – Made a vegetable tray for the holiday with veggies I already had in the fridge. We grilled on our free grill using leftover charcoal from last year. Planning on repurposing any leftovers for this evening’s meal. Went to my parent’s for an evening cookout and took our leftover watermelon and cake, as there was tons of both.


Ecoteri May 28, 2024 at 9:34 am

Re your #2 – when I worked and had made a lunch, I put my carkeys on the lunch in the fridge. sometimes I put a note where the carkeys were supposed to be, however I STILL put the keys in the fridge!


Katy May 29, 2024 at 11:39 am

I think we were all in our learning acquisition phases at 16, it sounds like she’s lucky to have you teach her about thrifting and such.


Michele May 28, 2024 at 5:16 am

I’m jealous of the produce section, too! We have one grocery store in town that marks down produce, but the prices are not that great.
1. Started back with meal-planning. I use the end of the school year being “hectic” to just scavenge around and wing it every night and this is not healthy or cheap.
2. Did not go anywhere (except the airport to drop my parents off) yesterday, which is rare for me!
3. Bought 1/2 off picture frames at our local thrift store on Sunday. My husband is matting and framing diplomas and our travel posters and he uses the glass.
4. Helped husband move a huge engine ?winch? out of the garage to sell. It was his Dad’s and his Dad passed a year ago. He was quite a collector of stuff and my husband said it has sat there for 15 years and had never been used!
5. Meal-prepped lunches for week, organized planner supplies (so won’t buy more), read my library books, and had a Late Mother’s Day Party at our house rather than a restaurant.


Katy May 29, 2024 at 11:36 am

This marked down produce section is very hit or miss. I’ve never been able to get myself to meal plan consistently, but I’m still pretty good at figuring out meals.


Erma May 28, 2024 at 5:31 am

Could you use the new Cabela’s baseball cart for Kroger runs/walks so your arms don’t fall off next time?


Katy May 28, 2024 at 7:54 am

Unfortunately I didn’t know I’d be buying so much produce. I’d thought that I’d buy individual apples and garlic to get those twelve transactions.


rebecca May 28, 2024 at 12:40 pm

1. I have been decluttering. I was going to try to sell some of it on ebay. It’s been hanging around and I decided to donate and get the tax decution. I was never going to sell it on e-bay. It seems daunting to me.
2. Loss leader groceries for the win.
3. A friend gave me a copy of Horse. I am looking forward to reading it. I will pass it on when I am done.
4. I have been making my own salad dressing. It really does make a difference.
5. The irises in my garden that my neighbors gifted me from their yard are looking beautiful.


Katy May 29, 2024 at 11:33 am

I’m at a point where I need to go through my “stuff to sell on eBay” stash and make some difficult decisions. I just haven’t had it in me to deal with it lately.

Hooray for free books, flowers and loss leader groceries!


Blue Gate Farmgirl May 29, 2024 at 9:42 am

Yay for fresh mint, grown in a freebie pot. I love learning “get arounds” from this blog!
After taking elderly neighbor to dr appt, we stopped by a couple of thrift stores. I always keep a bag to donate in order to receive 20% off any purchases. Plus my senior discount and it was a great day! Bought new w/tags jeans, 2 pair of leather work boots, summer dress top and 2 decorative tins for flower bouquets all for $14!
Got a quote to fix my brush cutter $190 for parts and labor. Watched a youtube on fixing it myself, ordered the parts and for $12.90 I am back in business!
Lawn tractor died last week, I pulled the battery, found the fuse box and replaced a 25 cent fuse and it works like a charm. Learning the mechanical side to things has been very stressful since my dad, brother and hubby died. I am celebrating these tiny wins!
I was gifted 1 unit of mint compost to use in my raised beds, it smells divine!
I used up the rest of last year’s apples (a little wrinkly from cold storage) in my grandma’s applesauce sheet cake, making quarter sheet cakes to give to 3 friends celebrating birthdays this week.
Eating asparagus, strawberries, lettuce, broccoli, kale, parsley, pea pods and carrots.
Took bouquet of roses to the vet’s office when I stopped in to make appt. I also shared a batch of doggie treats for the vet to give to his patients.


Katy May 29, 2024 at 11:30 am

I am so impressed with your repairs, but so sorry to read that you’ve had so much loss. Big virtual hug!


Ecoteri May 29, 2024 at 2:21 pm

boy howdy, you are encouraging me to up my game when it comes to the mechanicals here. Not a thing I love, however Youtube for the win.
Speaking of, Youtube is so annoying with their ads I am almost ready to buy a prescription (and I use that word on purpose). I use Youtube as a research tool, rather than for entertainment, so when I am looking for how to fix the swivel wheels on a stroller, I don’t have the patience to sit through two minutes of ad (yes, this is now happening….). Need to have a little look-see at what a prescription costs and do a value calculation, but as you say here, Blue Gate Farmgirl, there are huge savings with the right research and some willingness to pull a few things apart. ONWARD!


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