Five Frugal Things — Turkey Soup, Kitty Katfish & The Perfection of a Single Carrot

by Katy on December 1, 2013 · 12 comments

Turkey soup

1)  My younger son had two friends over yesterday to play FIFA 13, (soccer video game) and then to actually kick the ball around the soccer field. (Whoever said that video games don’t lead to exercise would be wrong in this case.) I took advantage of the opportunity to clear some leftovers from the fridge. I cut up almost an entire bunch of celery stalks and served it with the last of some spinach/kale dip from Thanksgiving. I also served turkey soup with dumplings for dinner and treated the boys with the last of the Martinelli’s cider. Needless to say, we are no longer burdened any leftover pie.

2)  I killed time while the boys played soccer at the nearest Goodwill thrift shop. (I know, big shocker!) Although I didn’t find any vastly underpriced pieces, (my goal — always!) I did snap a few photos of things that caught my eye, like the graphics on this box of vintage Christmas ornaments:

Vintage Christmas ornaments

And this “Kitty Katfish” tile trivet from Taylor & NG:

Kitty Katfish

I confess that the tile trivet came home with me, as it was priced at $4.99, and they sell on eBay for $20.

3)  I bought two $10 gift certificates to our locally owned art supply store. I used my American Express, as well as my husband’s. The entire amount will be refunded thanks to Small Business Saturday, and I’ve already rolled the certificates up like scrolls to put into the boys’ Christmas stockings. I had a lovely conversation with the owner of the store, which would have been unlikely if I’d shopped at

4)  I spent a half hour or so raking leaves in front of my house yesterday, which resulted in the lovely side effect of conversations with both of my next door neighbors. Most people in my neighborhood do their own yard work, which is very different than the neighborhood I grew up in. Although the home owners of the 1970’s mowed their own lawns, raked their own leaves and planted their own garden, this is no longer the case. My parents bought their house in 1969 for $20,000, but similar houses now sell for a million dollars or so. So even though the yards have not changed in size, the incomes of the home owners have. Gone are the days of neighbors chatting over the fence while puttering around the yard. Kind of a loss to their community. (It goes without saying that my parents do their own yard work.) Not to mention the auditory assault of the constantly running leaf blowers.

5)  I walked to the grocery store yesterday where I bought a single carrot for the soup. I didn’t wander the aisles, and I didn’t try to think of what else we needed. One loose carrot, my own bag and done. I truly feel that this purchase sums up my style of simple frugality. I didn’t wait for a sale, find a coupon, travel across town for a once-a-week farmer’s market or plant my own garden. I bought exactly what I wanted, nothing more, nothing less. It would make a less than gripping blog post, and no one would share it or retweet it, and it would certainly never go viral. But there it is, in a nutshell.

Now your turn. What frugal things have you been up to lately?

Katy Wolk-Stanley

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

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{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

A. Marie December 1, 2013 at 12:55 pm

It all sounds good, Katy–as usual. BTW, “Kitty Katfish” is one of the two Taylor & Ng trivets I acquired some 30 years ago (“Doggie Do-Good” is the other). If I could bear to part with them, I’d be over to eBay with them in a heartbeat.

The foray into Amish country we undertook with our friends on Black Friday resulted in a surprising purchase. An Amish family up in the Chautauqua County hills has opened a discount boot shop, and I ended up buying a much-needed pair of winter Muck Boots for $97 (retail $150) in a most un-Amish shade of screaming pink. As Mrs. Rachel Lynde remarks at one point in the Anne of Green Gables series, “You’re never safe from being surprised till you’re dead.”

And after the boot shop, we visited a local Audubon Society nature center and reveled in being about as far from a mall as we could get!

This afternoon, I’ve been making up Christmas bags for a few friends: locally produced soaps and chocolates, postage stamps (rates are going up again at the end of January, so get those Forever stamps now while they’re still 46 cents!), and other smalls. Lots of OCD fun!


Karen December 1, 2013 at 1:23 pm

Still on the cleaning and organize rampage. Tackled the junk drawers in the kitchen today. An unreal amount of crap was stuffed in there. Had to have DH identify some of the 50 cords. Added at least a grocery bag full of stuff to the Goodwill pile from yesterday. Dropped it off, so no one (ahem, husband) could go through and change their minds! Heading to costco later to have my winter tires put on, which will result in at least an hour and sampling for my 5 year old and shopping. Trying to stick to the basics and not come home with extra stuff, but it’s hard there 🙂


Maureen December 1, 2013 at 1:51 pm

Hubby wins the frugal award this weekend! He has been pricing tires and found them at Sam’s Club but did not buy them just yet. Walmart had a sale this weekend and when he went in to get the tires that would save him $100. from the Sam’s Club tires, they were all out. So he asked for the gift card that they were giving instead so he could order them on line (their new pricing guarantee). The manager said, no gift cards to the clerk, offer him a different brand. So instead of 1 different set of tires, the clerk offered my husband 3 different kinds — one being a way better brand of Goodyear. Score on his account and he saved $150.!

I’m in the process of painting the living room and we purchased new heaters, which he installed. They other ones are old and inefficient. Took him a while to figure out the installation (instructions were not clear), but they look so much nicer. Hoping for a little bit of reduction in my electric bill!

Hubby will also be making turkey tacos for dinner. I made turkey salad for lunch. Sadly, we still have quite a bit of turkey left from Thursday as the 7 lb turkey breast we cooked was way more than we realized. Turkey all week long!


marie December 1, 2013 at 3:27 pm

Good laid back weekend. Went to the dump saturday. We haven’t dumped garbage since last may.That cost $20
Took back almost $8 worth of pop cans (we live in oregon, so nickel deposit on each) Used that money for fresh veggies for the week & a sunday paper with $2.00 change back.
Sold something a the facebook garage sale site and made $50.00
Picked up the xmas present at jc penneys I’d ordered for granddaughter. I asked for a giftbox and they gave me 4 of them That was a score, some stores charge.
Picked up my mail, I’ve been avoiding that, and finally after 5 weeks, they accepted my unemployment claim. Yay, now I can pay a couple of bills
one daughter got me a 25 cent lb turkey. It’s 20 lbs, now we can make soup!!!
Oh and I’ve read almost an entire book. Caroline Leavitt’s Pictures of you, great read!


Patricia Mattoon December 1, 2013 at 4:14 pm

Friday, I taught my 11 YO granddaughter how to make turkey stock and we made 2+ gallons. After cooling significantly outdoors, I then froze all but a half gallon. From a quart of the stock I taught her how to make barley vegetable soup and the highlight for her was adding the herbs and spices and learning why to add which. We then had a gallon+ of delicious barley vegetable soup. Four of us enjoyed 1 – 2 bowls each of the soup, then I cooled and froze about 3 quarts. Since the turkey carcass was free from her folks, we did quite well with our investment of electricity, veggies and barley . Oh, and she took a quart home for her folks and the carcass for their garbage pick up, no expense there for us, either. Tomorrow I plan to take the other quart of stock that I did not freeze and use it as a starter for pot of pea soup, my favorite. Cost for 2+ gallons of soup has been a can of tomatoes, 2 pkgs. mixed veggies, a few onions, a few carrots, a couple stalks of celery and the cup of dry barley. The pea soup will be even cheaper.


Jane in Seattle December 1, 2013 at 4:25 pm

Frugal things, I didn’t go grocery shopping this week. I made a turkey casserole for dinner, didn’t go to Black Friday and took advantage of all the free stuff I could use for stocking stuffers at rite aid. Went back and bought the homeless family things they will need and toys for some of the kids with the rewards bucks.


Mackenzie December 1, 2013 at 4:56 pm

Your Christmas bags sound like such a lovely idea 🙂


Diane December 2, 2013 at 5:07 am

I bought some of those vintage ornaments for a song back in 2005 in a Tucson Goodwill. They grace my little tree today.

Yesterday I went to the Renegade Craft Fair and bought nothing as prices were beyond my budget. But, then I went over to South Congress where I found a fleur de lis bracelet made in the USA, a Vegas shot glass, and a tiny clay bird candle holder. Now my shopping is done and it’s on to making my edible gifts, peppermint bark and maple cinnamon glazed nuts.


Lilypad December 2, 2013 at 11:49 am

We are currently renting in a townhouse community and every Thursday, workers bearing leaf blowers descend and ruin my peace and quiet. This starts at 8:00 a.m. when my son is usually sleeping (he has trouble falling asleep at night due to health issues and homeschooling means I can let him sleep as long as he needs to) so I’m always worried that horrible sound right below his window will wake him up. I feel sorry for the workers, I know it isn’t their fault (and their poor ears subjected to the noise and their poor lungs subjected to the fumes!) but I’m always so glad when they go away. I always raked my own leaves previously and never have owned one of those horrible machines. This obsession with immaculately groomed grounds and not a leaf to be seen makes me so mad—what a waste of time, money, and precious natural resources. I grew up on 5 acres in the boonies and it was wild and wonderful.


SusieQ December 2, 2013 at 12:30 pm

I’ve done ok this past week. I dropped off three large bags at the Salvation Army. They give a £2 stamp on their loyalty card for each bag so that’s a nice little addition to my charity shop budget! The bags had a few things from the house but most of it I was given for free by a nice lady at the car boot sale. She was finishing up for the day and didn’t want to leave the stuff behind as rubbish. She filled two huge bags. I was able to use quite a bit of it but the rest filled out the donation bags.
We bought furniture from another charity shop – including a great 2 seater recliner sofa – leather! – for £30 less than the original price because we bought another two items. Nothing was expensive, all three items were needed and I saved the cost of the delivery charge.
Small scale thrift – I got loyalty coupons from Boots (major pharmacy/beauty stuff retailer) and a £5 voucher off a supermarket, again through the loyalty programme.
And finally – my first attempt at a truly random leftovers dinner – roast chicken, leftover rice, fried onion and sultanas and leftover noodles. Actually surprisingly tasty : )


Megyn December 3, 2013 at 11:18 am

I too love doing my own yard work…and cleaning! I’m always so surprised at how many people I know who pay for cleaners to come!

I’m in the process of teaching my husband my frugal grocery shopping ways. Since he’s a firefighter, they often take turns making dinner. At some stations you bring your own food, others you chip in, and others just take turns. I’ve been working to help him plan a meal and shop frugally to keep his prices low for the times when he just has to pay. I hope he’s slowly learning although he did just have to buy a massive crew a steak and shrimp dinner. Thankfully, he was able to split the cost between two other guys, but it was still $80! Some of the traditions of firefighters are really making it an expensive career choice lol!


Katy December 3, 2013 at 12:11 pm

Steak and shrimp dinner?!

Yumm . . . .



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