Five Frugal Things

by Katy on July 8, 2024 · 87 comments

  1. Portland is in the midst of a heat wave, not as bad as the “heat dome” of 2021 when we hit multiple days of 114° to 116° F, but still crossing a line of of +/- 100° for five days in a row. (We’re already on day #3) Perhaps you’re reading this from Texas, Arizona or Australia and scoff at these numbers, but you need to understand that the majority of Oregonians do not have central air conditioning. Yes, my husband and I are lucky enough to own window units for the bedrooms, but we can’t just hole up in bed all day. So this means fans, lots of them.

    • I run the “summer fan” function on the furnace, which brings up relatively cool air from the basement.

    • I switched our living room light fixture over to a ceiling fan two years ago and you know I’m running that puppy 24 hours/day! And yeah, I got it from someone in my Buy Nothing group!

    • I have an air purifier in the dining room and am running it on high.

    • Lastly I have a standard fan that I’m running in the living room, windows open in the mornings and then closed as the weather heats up.

    Why don’t we install central air conditioning? The average cost in Oregon is $5850, so yeah . . .

    Update: My husband installed the AC unit from our daughter’s old bedroom into our dining room and it was the best decision ever! Duh.

  2. Someone in my Buy Nothing group offered up two cans of Oregon brand dark sweet cherries, so I’m going to walk over to pick them up this evening. (After it cools down a bit!) I love this brand, as the graphics are reminiscent of vintage advertisements, and I’ve even seen people use them as bookends! Plus they’re normally $8 apiece! I’m not sure what I’ll do with them, (pie?) but they’ll be pretty to look at until I make up my mind.

  3. I sold the curb picked IKEA office chair for $60 and most of a vintage Plycraft chair for $125. I’d originally planned to refurbish the chair myself, but the motivation evaporated from my soul. I’m happy to pass it along to someone else, especially since I got it for free.

  4. • I finished reading Sleeping Giants, by Rene Denfeld and added it to my pile of books to try and sell to Powell’s Books.

    • I started reading  The Last Train to Key West from the library.

    • I abandoned a Libby audiobook as the pacing was excruciating and the main character was wooden. Even though I was six hours into it!

    • I downloaded Emily Henry’s Funny Story through Libby.

  5. I didn’t rent a set to make it appear that I fly in my own private plane.

Katy Wolk-Stanley

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

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{ 87 comments… read them below or add one }

Jessica Wolk-Stanley July 8, 2024 at 5:09 am

OMG! The end is nigh ‍♀️
Renting a set up so it looks like you are on a private jet???? What us next? Fake hobby farm with rescued farm animals? Now with AI we can create all kinds of semi-convincing facsimiles of a life excitingly lived.


Jessica Wolk-Stanley July 8, 2024 at 5:10 am

That female symbol was supposed to be the face palm emoji.


Katy July 8, 2024 at 3:21 pm

Hey, I can be exciting from the comfort of my own couch.


MB in MN July 8, 2024 at 5:26 am

1. Received a lot of leftover food from our family’s July 4 celebration.

2. Brother gave us water softener pellets he no longer needs. And a watering can, too.

3. Made potato salad to use up the potatoes I got from the discount store. The last time I made this the potatoes turned out mushy even though I thought I undercooked them, so I took several extra (ridiculous?) steps to make sure that didn’t happen again. I put a sheet pan in the refrigerator while the potatoes were boiling and then I drained the potatoes and spread them out on the cool pan. Next, I took the tray down to the cool basement and set it on the tile floor. For good measure, I trained a small fan on the potatoes (after making sure the fan blades were clean). Success!

4. Farm friend gave us two dozen eggs.

5. Found a combination dog leash/collar on the street in front of our house. No one came back for it, so I put it in my car to use if I come across a lost dog.

P.S. Rent a set? Good grief.


Katy July 8, 2024 at 3:20 pm

Wow, you really didn’t want mushy potatoes! I’m impressed with your efforts, you are a real problem solver.


MB in MN July 8, 2024 at 6:35 pm

They were for a July 4th potluck dinner so I was extra diligent!


Casey July 8, 2024 at 7:00 pm

I’m with you on mushy potatoes for potato salad. I’ve found that if I cook the potatoes covered in water in a crock pot for about 3 hours, I get perfectly cooked potatoes, which don’t fall apart. The other advantage is I put the crock pot out on the deck and it doesn’t heat up the kitchen.


Fru-gal Lisa July 8, 2024 at 6:03 am

I AM in Texas and yet I feel for you — and everyone else — experiencing triple digits! After a sweltering July 4, we got a break: a “cold” front blew in and the mercury went down to the upper 80s with a cool breeze. I had 2 days off in a row (a rarity!), so I went out on the patio and read my book. Sooooo nice! (Except for mosquitoes.) I’m tempted to buy one of those portable room ACs and put it out on the covered patio so I can enjoy summer evenings out there…not frugal, but at least I won’t be cooped up in the house. Right now, I have fans stationed at key points through out the house in addition to the central air and ceiling fans. I’m trying to keep the AC on 79 or 80 and just supplement it with moving air. Still, I feel my electric bill will look like the national debt.
Hurricane Beryl is barreling throughout South/Southeast Texas and we got some light rain showers from her outer bands this morning. So it will be cooler, but very humid. A brief respite from our usual blast of hot air. We’re far enough away that we won’t get much damage, and I am very, very thankful my electricity is still on. I can do without lights, and don’t even care that much if the freezer meats rot, but don’t leave me without AC! Already installed a natural gas fireplace for winter storms, but I need AC in the hot weather; I want a Generac (home generator) so bad it’s not funny.


Bee July 8, 2024 at 8:18 am

know that you and the other NCA readers like NYT word games, but do not necessarily want to pay the fee. Merriam-Webster – as in the dictionary publisher — has many free word game offerings online including one that is similar to Spelling Bee called Word Blossom. Here is the link
I play it daily!


A. Marie July 8, 2024 at 8:29 am

Bee, I too am a regular Blossom player. And, as you say, the Merriam-Webster site offers many other word games and puzzles.


MB in MN July 8, 2024 at 8:44 am

I am old school when it comes to word games, plus I don’t want to be on my phone or laptop more than I already am. Using various free sites, I play the daily Spelling Bee, crossword puzzle and Sudoku by writing down or printing what I need on scratch sheets of paper. I enjoy them so much!


Christine July 8, 2024 at 5:15 pm

Same here!


K D July 8, 2024 at 10:30 am

Thank you for sharing Word Blossom. I can see that I’ll have to limit my time on the site.


Katy July 8, 2024 at 3:07 pm

Thank you so much for sharing this!


Katy July 8, 2024 at 3:19 pm

Texas … always getting the dramatic weather! I’m already excited for Wednesday when the heat wave lifts and I can enjoy my back yard again.


Auntiali July 9, 2024 at 7:56 pm

Thanks for the Blossom link. Now I can challenge hubby to his Wordle hobby. I wonder if he gets it for free or if he pays for it.


Laurie July 8, 2024 at 6:25 am

Good lord I sure hope it wasn’t 144 degrees! Seriously though, keep cool!


Katy July 8, 2024 at 9:19 am

Thanks for pointing out my typo! fixed it.


Hawaii Planner July 8, 2024 at 6:27 am

We’re in the bay area (south bay), & we’ve had a string of super hot days as well. We’ve used our AC (we put this into our house when we moved in in 2017, because…climate change) a few times sparingly, and only when we’ve had multiple days over 90. If it’s less than that, we can typically get the house cooled off during the morning, and then it’s manageable during the afternoons.

1) Used up garden items for meals. We have super aggressive rabbits & squirrels, but we’ve finally gotten enough strawberries to enjoy. We’re still working on how to keep the rabbits out of our garden beds. I did salvage a zucchini that they’d pulled off the vine, but weren’t able to drag away, because it was too big for them. I roasted it last night with parmesan, & it was fabulous.
2) Went to Lake Tahoe for the 4th of July & had two free rooms. One of our teens was in LA for his senior trip, so D17 was able to bring two other friends. They golfed, using their Youth on Course golf membership. It’s $5/visit, so an extremely frugal activity. If anyone has teens who might enjoy this, highly recommend researching & having your kids & friends sign up. He got his golf clubs off of Buy Nothing, of course!
3) Used Southwest points to cover DS18’s flight for his senior trip. Although, Southwest was incredibly delayed last night, and he got in after 1 am. Bless that sweet parent who gave him a ride. Luckily, he’s off of work & can sleep in a bit.
4) DS17 passed both of his AP classes, which means he’ll be able to skip those classes in college (calculus & environmental science). Fewer college credits is always frugal!
5) We’ve been on three trips over the last few weeks, so we have a weird selection of leftovers, freezer meals, etc. I went through all of our fridge & freezer items to make a menu plan, and was more creative than usual. Although, we started off the week on a decidedly unfrugal way by having steak. We’d decided to have steak in Lake Tahoe on Friday night, but ended up needing to pick up the teen golfers quite late, got stuck in traffic, and then nothing was open. We sent the teens to Subway & went to bed without dinner. Ever since, I was craving the steak. We did make it at home on the barbecue vs going out, so it was much cheaper!


Heidi Louise July 8, 2024 at 7:12 am

Such a boost from the AP classes to avoid repeating what he knows! I don’t quite know how this works.

Did he get actual credit for the classes, meaning he now has 6 (or whatever) credits toward his degree?

Or did he get advanced placement, meaning he doesn’t have to take those two, but will need two other ones to make up the total number of credits needed for graduation?


Hawaii Planner July 8, 2024 at 11:34 am

He got 12 credits for the classes (8 for calculus, 4 for environmental science). DS18 similarly got 12 credits for the tests he passed. It is also a big advantage when registering for your first round of college registration, as you are enrolling with already having credit.


Heidi Louise July 8, 2024 at 1:45 pm

Thank you for the reply, and congratulations to them and you!
As time goes on, he will be almost a half-year ahead of people who entered with him, making him a sophomore sooner for things like housing sign-up and other situations where older students get priority.


Marybeth from NY July 9, 2024 at 7:48 am

My youngest daughter graduated a semester early from college thanks to all of her AP classes in high school. My oldest only took 2 classes her last semester because of AP credits. Saved us a lot of money.

Katy July 8, 2024 at 3:17 pm

Wow, that’s a lot of plans going off course! I’m impressed with your son’s AP class success — well done him!


Selena July 8, 2024 at 7:13 pm

Both my kiddos started college as sophomores credit wise. Whatever the high school charges for AP classes is a fraction of what a four year university charges. The kicker is classes for their chosen degree – some are only offered during certain semesters (aka four years not three or three 1/2).


Katy July 8, 2024 at 8:51 pm

That’s a huge savings!


Jill A July 8, 2024 at 6:45 am

I feel for you. We were in Portland in 2017 in an AirBnb with no air conditioning and no fans and it was over 100 degrees. It was miserable.
1. My youngest daughter had a four day weekend so we headed to the Upper Peninsula with my mom and sister. I reserved hotel rooms which offered free breakfast. I used some expedia points for one room and booked the other hotel on my credit cards travel portal for 5x the points. I’m hoarding points for a future trip.
2. We brought our water bottles and packed food in a cooler for lunches on the road. The hotels had refrigerators in between.
3. We had dinner at a steakhouse. My daughter and I shared an entree and so did my mom and sister. We also shared nachos with the table. Everyone was well fed.
4. My middle daughter and son-in-law had to work so they dog sat for me. They stayed in my house and invited his family over for the 4th to grill out and swim in the pool. They apparently had a good time and it was like a mini vacation for them too.
5. The leftovers from my #4 are still in my fridge. My son-in-law told us to keep them if we want. It’s a little too much for us to eat but we did eat some hot dogs for dinner last night. After a full day on the road it was nice to have something easy for dinner. I’ll send the rest home with my daughter tonight when she comes to get her dog (I dogsit for her on Monday’s).


Katy July 8, 2024 at 3:15 pm

What a perfect situation for them! No one here has pools, so I can only imagine how cool it is to have your own on a hot summer day.


GJon July 8, 2024 at 6:48 am

I’m 6 hours into a Libby book and I keep thinking of abandoning it but…. I am doing an alphabet challenge (reading a book that starts with each letter of the alphabet in a year) to help me decide what to read in my want-to-read pile and this book has a tricky first letter in the title. Since it’s an audiobook I will more than likely just power through.


Katy July 8, 2024 at 3:13 pm

Well then, I’m sending fortitude to get through your book. Maybe listen at 1.25%?


Bee July 8, 2024 at 7:53 am

I’m so sorry that you are experiencing such high temperatures for your area. It is difficult when you are not acclimated to it. Of course, I’m a Florida Native but I’m not acclimated to it. I complain every year when the temperatures get into the 90s. Drink lots of water!
I have abandoned a few audiobooks recently too. The reader can make all the difference. I was listening to a series of cozy mysteries that I was really enjoying. When I downloaded the 6th book, I discovered that the narrator used for books 1-5 was no longer reading for this series. The new one was terrible — absolutely awful. I finally gave up listening.

It’s been a busy week:

I sold some uranium glass plates on a local sale site. I bought them some years ago, but rarely used them. Since uranium glass is a hot collectible right now, I decided to try to sell them. I got my price, however, now that it’s done, I’m afraid that I’ll miss them. I also sold some white Fire-King Coffee Mugs and a pair of Vintage Fostoria candlesticks. These were all culled during my recent declutter.

My nephew is retiring from the military after 28 years of service. We have been invited to his retirement celebration in Hawaii which has turned in to a week-long family reunion. (Our family has trouble celebrating special occasions in any kind of reasonable fashion. That includes me.) This will be our one and only vacation this year. In order to afford this trip, we
* Are using my husband’s airline miles so his airfare is free.
* are sharing a condo with family.
* are using five free days of car rental that we accumulated through a rewards program. Our week-long rental will be $185.

I am preparing ahead so I can avoid island pricing. I have borrowed snorkeling gear for trip. I did not want to rent it and I certainly didn’t want to buy it. I also bought extra sunscreen at Costco. They have great deals on sunscreen this time of year

Lots of little frugal things too

* I had a salad dressing recipe that called for 2 teaspoons of sugar. I used two single-serving bags of sugar that were given to me at the coffee shop when we were traveling last week. No need to waste them.
* I made our weekend chore list on the back of a used envelope.
* I paid bills using my bank’s electronic system.
* I scanned my receipts from Costco and Trader Joe’s to Fetch. I received $0.10 on ibotta for scanning any receipt.
* I saved the ends of an onion in my soup making bag.

Wishing everyone peace, good health and prosperity.


Heidi Louise July 8, 2024 at 1:46 pm

What a wonderful, memorable trip you have planned!


Katy July 8, 2024 at 3:08 pm

What a fun trip that you get to look forward to! You’ve made some very smart plans to keep the costs under control, well done!


Cee July 8, 2024 at 4:46 pm

@Bee, what a great trip you are planning to Hawaii. Just a note about sunscreen – Hawaii requires reef safe sunscreen, meaning certain common chemicals in sunscreen are not allowed as they damage the reefs. Generally I think it’s mineral sunscreen one needs. I was there on a rare trip last September and we bought sunscreen in Kona for maybe $10-12 at the local drugstore. It wasn’t outrageous and we knew it met their requirements. A certain public snorkel spot offered free sunscreen as did a snorkel boat trip we took. So I would suggest checking what you bought. Have a great trip!


Bee July 9, 2024 at 4:24 am

Thank you for reminding me of this. Since we live in Florida, we use sunscreen a lot. Although I wear what is recommended by my dermatologist, I have found that it is not reef safe. I will make the exchange – permanently. Our oceans need all the help than can get. Mahalo.


Fru-gal Lisa July 8, 2024 at 7:12 pm

Tell your nephew congratulations — and many thanks for his service! After 28 years in the military, he deserves a big, wonderful retirement bash — and it looks like he’s getting one!


Bee July 9, 2024 at 4:28 am

Thank you everyone. We are very proud of my nephew and are looking forward to our trip. I’m glad that we figured out how to do things affordably.


BettafromdaVille July 8, 2024 at 8:35 am

1. Bought dented-vegetable-shelf limes to juice and freeze.
2. It is summer in New England: a mystery neighbor left 3 zucchini on our front porch.
3. Dinner tonight will be salmon (also given to us from a neighbor) and a ginger-garlic-soy Napa cabbage (free from CSA box that partner gets free from work) and maybe our first tomato of the season from our tiny urban garden.
4. Received unexpected honoraria in the form of a Visa gift card. Using it to purchase olive oil (from the evil empire) that is less expensive than my local big box store.
5. I asked my mil for a new shower curtain (my beloved linen one was shredded in the washer/thanks partner [although it had been repaired twice already]) and suggested that if she found a used one at a thrift store that I would be fine. Instead she sent me a gc for Pottery Barn. I found one that I liked, originally $79 (for a shower curtain!!!) from their “open box” clearance for $47.99. I really want new towels that better match but my 20+ year-old-towels are still in fine shape, so they will remain.


Katy July 8, 2024 at 3:06 pm

Yes, $79 is a lot of money, but it’s also a tremendously larger piece of fabric than any piece of clothing.

I was just thinking today that I’m kind of bored with my old patterned shower curtain, which led to think about how it’s okay to be bored. I don’t need to “refresh” my bathroom and how much money I save through the years by not switching up my decor to cure boredom.


Coral Clarke July 8, 2024 at 4:39 pm

I’ve used RIT dye very successfully on towels, just go for the darker end of the colour range you like. First wash , put it with dark colours and one light coloured rag to verify colour is thoroughly fixed, I never had any issues, but caution is never wasted! When you are dying the towels, see if you have anything else that has become a bit discoloured and toss that in , too!


Fru-gal Lisa July 8, 2024 at 7:19 pm

Maybe it’s not 100% frugal, but this time of year, if I need/want towels, I go to Walmart, Ollie’s Outlet, Big Lots or a similar store and get the beach towels that go on sale after July 4. They clear ’em out to make room for Back to School. You can usually get some really nice designs, bold and bright, and they’re nice and big. Of course, you have to make sure they’re quality made, but I haven’t had any trouble finding good beach towels. Did I mention they’re on clearance and they’re extra cheap?


Christine July 8, 2024 at 9:04 am

1. I bit the bullet and purchased a portable air conditioner I can move from room to room downstairs. I’ve had one in our bedroom window every summer for years just so I can sleep (my heart races in the hot weather and prevents me from falling asleep) but after the heat dome of last summer I made an executive decision and used some of our savings for a portable one. I know our electric bill will reflect this, but I am willing to cut corners elsewhere to cover it. I’m still hanging all laundry outside and paying attention to lights turned off when nobody is in the room. Also, absolutely no eating in restaurants or take out.
2. The raspberry bushes in the side yard are exploding with delicious fruit.
3. My wall calendar is marked with alerts for all the free summer concerts in our local park and library. Nine in all!
4. I found a beautiful table runner I had forgotten about in a closet. I ironed it and put it on the kitchen table to change up the kitchen appearance a little. I, like most or all of you, try to use what I already have instead of buying.
5. My new to me iced tea maker is being put to a lot of use with the heat, I’m going swimming in my DD’s pool today, when the sun switches around to the west each afternoon, I ensconce myself on the eastern facing deck with a book in one hand and an iced tea in the other, cooking all meals at home, I made a banana bread from one good sized overripe banana, applesauce and chocolate chips I had on hand. I’m determined to only make our snacks from scratch with the goal being less money spent and fewer calories consumed.


Katy July 8, 2024 at 3:04 pm

No restaurant meals here either, even though Portland has the most amazing options. And yes, “use what you have” is the clear winner for us as well.


A. Marie July 8, 2024 at 9:05 am

FFT, Fourth of July and Still More Summer Stuff Edition:

(1) The neighbors on the other side of my next-door neighbor (NDN) had a glorious Fourth of July cookout: On offer were shrimp skewers, lobster tails, steaks, and assorted summer salads! I unashamedly confess that I had some of everything, and even NDN had two shrimp skewers (which is almost unheard of for her these days). I was also given the lobster shells to take home for a future lobster stock.

(2) On learning that NDN is down to only one pair of slacks that fits her, I hit the Salvation Army hard this morning and brought home an armload of pants (most for 99 cents a pair; it was 99 cents for white tags day) in various small sizes. We’ll experiment to see what works for her. Her continuing weight loss is something I’ll be bringing up with her PCP when I take her to her 6-month appointment Wednesday; her other close friend (CF) usually does this, but CF had shoulder surgery in June and still isn’t cleared to drive.

(3) Frugal “call it a draw”: I dropped off a box of books Saturday at one of our county’s two Goodwills, and had a good shop there as well (I found a bundle of five 1-quart canning jars, always necessary in refrigerator pickle season, for a nice price). But I swung by my local branch library on the way home to return two books I’d borrowed, and found that its book sale had become a book giveaway: People were being encouraged to haul the remaining books off! So, of course, I came home with another box of books. 😀 But I’ll be giving a couple of these as holiday gifts, and I also swiped some old Martha Stewart books that will probably become fodder for next year’s Martha calendar for the Bestest Neighbors.

(4) It’s hot here today (not as hot as in Portland and other locales, but hot enough, thankyouverymuch). So I’m keeping a low profile and doing a load of laundry, since that gets me into the cool basement. (Also, see today’s post at The Frugal Girl for a brisk discussion of laundry methods.)

(5) And in a foray into the storage room off the main basement that DH and I used to call the “Stalag” (since it reminded us of Stalag 13 in the 60s TV show Hogan’s Heroes), I rediscovered some bottles of wine gone rogue that I’d asked various neighbors to give me for herb vinegar experimentation. Since my basil plants are starting to go berserk, I pulled out two of these bottles and will make some test basil vinegar–as soon as I can persuade myself to venture out into the heat with a pair of garden shears!


Katy July 8, 2024 at 3:01 pm

Oh yes, unexplained weight loss is not to be ignored. Good to bring this to her Dr’s attention!

I’ve decided to follow your lead and call what I’m doing keeping “a low profile” instead of “couch potato-ing.” It sounds much more mysterious.


Fru-gal Lisa July 8, 2024 at 7:24 pm

A. Marie, Does your basement storage room include a secret tunnel out toward the woods near Hammelberg? LOL! Loved Hogan’s Heroes!


A. Marie July 9, 2024 at 6:38 am

“I know nothing, NOTH-ING!”


Kara July 8, 2024 at 9:56 am

No baby yet, which is good.
I’ve blessed my son many times for installing solar panels. Their air conditioning runs almost non stop. It is 114 here.

1. Loving the free valet parking at the hospital. I’ve gone every day for the last 3 weeks, to take my grandson to see his mama. He recognizes the valet spot and says, “there’s the bally.”
2. Buying only groceries. Albeit for more people than usual, but it’s a small thing I can cover for my son.
3. Cooking zucchini from my daughter-in-law’s garden.

That’s all I’ve got! Life is simple and limited right now.


Bee July 8, 2024 at 11:08 am

It’s good news that Baby is waiting! Wishing you and your family great happiness!


Kara July 8, 2024 at 11:58 am

It is so good. We are thankful.


Katy July 8, 2024 at 2:55 pm

Happy to read that your grandchild is cooperating so far!


K D July 8, 2024 at 10:14 am

1. Free “socializing”. We helped family members clean their house one day and their garage another day. DH brought home a mini greenhouse that was no longer wanted. I brought home some items to give away on Freecycle and also some paper that has only been printed on one side which I’ll use in the printer for puzzles.

2. A niece and her husband, along with their large dogs, stopped while on a cross country driving trip. The high energy dogs could not be left so we visited at our house. I baked and served egg free muffins and also provided fruit, yogurt, and beverages. It was good to see them.

3. Items you don’t want are clutter so I listed things in that category on Freecycle. Many of them have been picked up. For any that linger I’ll give the Facebook Buy Nothing group a try.

4. It’s hot so we walk early in the morning and do some yard work before it gets too hot. Slow and steady wins the race with yard work.

5. DH had a big stash of yogurt containers with lids. He was going to put them in the recycling bin but I saved them to use to give people food in. I’ll use them for everything from fruit to cookies. That means containers do not need to be returned.


Katy July 8, 2024 at 2:54 pm

I love the generosity of the frugal things this week!


Marilyn July 8, 2024 at 10:35 am

Across the river from Portland in Clark County, WA, we are doing all we can to stay cool during this heat wave.
1. Our house is a tri-level with family room, laundry room and one bedroom on the daylight basement level. The daylight basement stays fairly cool year-round, so we are currently spending a lot of time down there.
2. Upstairs, we have the shades drawn and the blinds closed. Also we have fans in the bedrooms.
3. For cooking, I’m using a small countertop oven rather than heating up the kitchen with our regular oven.
I’m lucky in that I’m retired so I can ride out this heat wave at home. I do feel for people who have to work outdoors or have to do a lot of driving.


Katy July 8, 2024 at 2:53 pm

What a perfect time to have a daylight basement. Our basement is certainly cooler than the rest of the house, but it’s not even slightly a finished space.


Kathy July 8, 2024 at 10:36 am

1. Had last test (CT scan with constant on Wednesday) Now waiting to meet with cardio surgeons.
2. Channeling my Betty Crocker and made herbed beer bread and zucchini bread over the weekend
3. Saw Horizon on 4th of July. Husband’s seat didn’t reclined so we got free passes to use another time
4. Organizing for garage sale with a friend for Friday and Saturday
5. Yes it’s been hot and humid in Central Oklahoma. Our a/c is set at 75. We had about 3 inches of rain last week. No need to water for a few days


Katy July 8, 2024 at 2:28 pm

Best of luck for your garage sale! Do you have a plan for what you’ll do with unsold items?


kathy July 9, 2024 at 10:26 am

Depends on what is left. Most likely I’ll donate to Assistance League for their pop up thrift store


rebecca July 8, 2024 at 11:23 am

1. It has been beastly heat here. The lowest I will go with my air con is 72 degrees.
2. Friends are visiting. I stocked up on sales to help make it affordable.
3. I have purged a lot and brought things to a charity shop and books to the library for their monthly sale. My house feels so much lighter.
4. Watching a relative’s dog in a few weeks. Frugal for them for sure and for me. I get my dog fix w/o the expense.
5. The usual -coffee and h2o from home, loss leaders, ect.


Katy July 8, 2024 at 2:27 pm

So smart to make a frugal plan before your houseguests arrived.


Lindsey July 8, 2024 at 11:43 am

Reading the temperatures from various readers makes me cringe. I was complaining about the massive forest fires and how they had to evacuate Denali National Park (on the biggest tourist weekend, the 4th) because the flames were heading for the gate; the local hospital opened breathing rooms our air quality was so bad. Then the last five days it has rained steadily so the air is cleaner and it is 58 degrees as I write this. Now I feel so fortunate compared to you guys suffering with heat!
1. Traded basil for lettuce this morning. As usual, I overdid the planting of basil…
2. Had some defunct electronics so took them to recycling. Clutter out makes me happy even if it does not save me any money.
3. Sold a dozen fancy bottles suitable for giving gifts of homemade liqueur. Only made $10 but I remind myself that $10 is $10 and it took only the effort of putting them in a box and setting them on the porch for pickup.
4. Faced the fact that the knitting phase of my life is over. I have all the sweaters and scarves and mittens I need and so do my friends. I took my 30 gallon trash bag of yarn to a knitting met-up and sold it for $350. These are knitters who realized that the stuff I had was top quality, $20 a skein yarn in some cases so people were eager to buy select pieces. However, when a woman offered me $100 for the entire bag, I took it so I did not have to mess with divvying it up and possibly ending up with leftovers. She got at least $1500 worth of yarn so was very happy and I was happy to finally stop feeling guilty when I saw the bag of never-to-be-done projects. A lot of it was yarn I bought when we lived in Scotland, and there was a lot of qiviut, the incredibly soft yarn from musk ox. A one-ounce skein of that sells for $125 these days; it was about $80 a skein when I collected the stuff from a coop in one of the villages.
5. Library for the books and puzzle exchange table.


Lindsey July 8, 2024 at 11:44 am

$350, not $100 for the bag of yarn. Why don’t I proof read??


mary in maryland July 9, 2024 at 2:26 pm

I am drooling about your yarn but grateful not to have been exposed to temptation.


A. Marie July 8, 2024 at 12:22 pm

Lindsey, your description of your various yarns would make Ms. Bestest Neighbor and every other knitter of my acquaintance drool with envy. As the lady who paid $350 is well aware, she got a major bargain.

And I’m still giggling over your description at The Frugal Girl of guys who look as if they’re wearing dead weasels for toupees. This, of course, reminds me of my own description of the actress who played Anne Elliot in the 1971 BBC Persuasion, and who looked as if she was wearing a dead weasel for a hairpiece. Some of those 1970s BBC Jane Austen productions were pretty freakin’ weird.


Katy July 8, 2024 at 2:26 pm

It can be an emotionally difficult act to get rid of things that were pricey to begin with. However, the money spent has already happened, so there’s no actual loss. The cost is sunk.


Michele July 8, 2024 at 12:08 pm

1. Keeping track of expenditures and did great last week except for groceries. Need to pare that down.
2. Cleaned up spare room and put garage sale items in one corner. Having zero luck on ebay!
3. Moved two old pics to make room for the ones my husband just framed and matted. Less than getting them done professionally, but not cheap. We buy old frames at thrift stores and he uses the glass and the old hardware.
4. Walking for exercise.
5. Keeping air a little higher after last electric bill. Sitting under fan. One load of laundry a day. (A challenge for me).


Katy July 8, 2024 at 2:23 pm

That’s how you and I are different. Laundry is my favorite chore as there’s no decision making and it takes something gross and turns it into something nice.


cathy July 10, 2024 at 8:29 am

Laundry is probably my favorite chore. It’s kinda soothing. Silly as it might sound, one of the more difficult parenting tasks for me was making my kids start doing their own laundry (as part of learning to become responsible adults).


Frau Rosen July 8, 2024 at 12:16 pm

I used to get those Oregon brand canned fruits for a great price from Bartell Drugs in the Seattle area, so I always had some on hand. Since Rite Aid bought out this local chain four years ago (grrrr) I don’t think they sell the brand any more. I love the packaging! I always drain the juice they come in and save it in the fridge for adding to plain sparkling water (or wine or other booze, for that matter!) as it’s very sweet and flavorful. I’ve used the drained fruit in coffee cake or it’s also good on plain, unsweetened Greek yogurt. I usually use unsweetened frozen berries, cherries etc. for baking out of season, and the canned fruit tastes quite sweet to me, so I use less sugar when I bake it into something.


Katy July 8, 2024 at 2:10 pm

Thank you for the idea to save the syrup for drinks!!


Jeni July 8, 2024 at 12:56 pm

I live in Arizona, but I feel for those of you with temps around 100 and no AC. My brother in Ashland, OR sent me a screenshot of a forecast of 106 for them over the weekend. My AC was out for almost 48 hours a few days ago and it was rough! Today’s high here is supposed to be 118, but thankfully my AC is now fixed and working!


Katy July 8, 2024 at 2:09 pm

Ugh, your poor brother and poor you! However . . . I love Ashland and miss visiting there when my daughter when to college there!


Jeni July 8, 2024 at 4:04 pm

Yes, Ashland is a great place! I have enjoyed visiting him there.


Elizabeth M July 8, 2024 at 1:03 pm

1. I needed some new-to-me tank tops for summer, since most of my old ones are worn out and have been relegated to sleepwear or the rag pile. I ordered them from Thredup during their Fourth of July sale and used a coupon for free shipping too. Luckily, they all fit, so I’m now set for summer clothes.

2. I got $9.67 in cash back from Ibotta when I bought groceries.

3. I signed up with Capital One Shopping because they offered a $40 bonus if I spend $15 through their site in the next three months.

3. I’ve been hanging my laundry to dry (indoors, to prevent it from getting covered in pollen).

4. Keeping the thermostat at 78 or 79 during the day and using fans and cold drinks to keep cool. I feel for you, having to endure 100+ temps without central air. Even with it, last week when we had several days of temperatures in that range, it was pretty miserable. I’ve lived in Texas all my life but I never really get used to this weather.


Katy July 8, 2024 at 2:08 pm

So smart to order your tank tops this way!


Bee July 9, 2024 at 4:42 am

I also hang my laundry indoors. I’m concerned about pollen, bird poop, and fading in the Florida sun.


Kathleen July 8, 2024 at 1:14 pm

I DO live in Texas, but my first thought when I saw the opening image was ‘Damn!, that’s not just uncomfortable it’s dangerous!” My extended family lives where central A/C isn’t practical, yet. I’m 25% into The Ministry for the Future, so I’m already feeling depressed over climate change and its politics.

No judgment here on anyone who does choose/needs to stay in an air conditioned bedroom under these conditions. Feeling so sorry for my fellow Texans (many of them family members) who live in Houston area and are without power today due to Hurricane Beryl.


Katy July 8, 2024 at 2:06 pm

Oh no, poor Houstonians! I might need to check in with family.


Ruby July 8, 2024 at 1:23 pm

It’s 98 F here, which is a tad warm even for July in southeast Tennessee. My husband has been working in the garage building stuff, and we cooled it down by using the house’s old Nutone fan to pull cool air from the laundry room into the garage.

Yesterday I used a $5 off coupon at the hardware store and then saved untold sums by regrouting a large section of our shower. Today I used up all the bits and bobs of fresh fruit in a crisp, cooked a small pork shoulder roast on a bed of veggies turned up during the freezer inventory two days ago, and sewed slipcovers for my dogs’ beds from a thrifted sheet and the remains of a store-bought quilt.


Katy July 8, 2024 at 1:58 pm

Wow, you’re on a roll!


Coral Clarke July 8, 2024 at 4:54 pm

When down sizing/ house hunting last year climate change was a definite factor in my choice! A vertical retirement village in West End( sub tropical, inner city, Brisbane, Australia) 5 minutes walk to shops and library, bus to hospital etc across the road. I see power load shedding as being inevitable in future, so I chose a unit only one flight of stairs above street level, so lifts being out won’t be a problem, and chose a unit that puts me in line with really good through breezes, in anticipation of no air con during load shedding. I think it’s worth being pro active in later life decision making, and I’m delighted with my one bedroom unit. 500 sq ft, neat kitchen, small bathroom that holds my small washing machine, and my living room and bedroom are large enough for me.


Katy July 8, 2024 at 8:53 pm

So smart!


Blue Gate Farmgirl July 8, 2024 at 6:01 pm

A tad jealous of any a/c owner right now! I am about 90 mi S of Katy and we had 105 one day 103, 102, 102. We sit under the apple tree which is about 15 F cooler and stick our feet into pans of water. I use my Grandma’s trick of a frozen gallon of water set behind the fan. Oh! This too shall pass. I just heard from a good friend in Houston w/no power, they are using their camper that has a/c. Another in Galveston and she said it was like walking thru a sand blaster to get to work. No fun.
I baked bacon and egg muffins in the solar oven and some cookies (dough from the freezer) for the awesome guy helping me in the field with his much bigger tractor. I picked the last of the tart cherries to make another gallon of vinegar for holiday gifts.
I cleaned/purged the 1st bay of the big shop, looks wonderful and I found 4 things to sell. I sold my parent’s cruiser bicycles in a resort town thanks to a friend who has a vacation home there and placed an ad on FBM. $900 found money!


Katy July 8, 2024 at 8:53 pm

Hooray for found money! Sending cool virtual thoughts and breezes your way.


texasilver July 8, 2024 at 7:14 pm

1. My car is in the shop for warranty covered work. Of course, they tried to upsell an air filter, cabin filter (whatever that is), & brakes. My husband is a mechanic. He will look at the car whilst at the dealership to see if it actually needs these things. If yes, then I’ll use my Fetch rewards to get a GC at a place that sells car parts. My husband will install them. The dealership picked the wrong customer to sell extra items to.
2. I read online that you can eat radish greens. I cooked some in a skillet w/ diced onion. They taste somewhat like turnip greens.
3. We had some burgers & French fries for the 4th. I had the meat & fries in the freezer. All that was needed was buns.
4. I use my Sip Club at Panera daily or more. Yes, I had to pay for the subscription, but I use it a lot. In the Texas heat, a cold drink is always welcome. Plus, the Panera is very near to my home.
5. I keep the a/c at 80 degrees. With fans it is bearable. Beryl brought some rain & cooler weather to north central Texas.


Katy July 8, 2024 at 8:50 pm

Smart consumers!


Selena July 9, 2024 at 3:47 pm

Still processing $5850 for A/C *only* in your area. Six or seven years ago we replaced our A/C unit AND our furnace for around $3K. Yeah, we have a connection and am glad we still do!


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