Five (More) Tiny Frugal Things

by Katy on February 2, 2024 · 105 comments

    1. I went and picked up an upright vacuum cleaner from someone in my Buy Nothing group for my son’s fully carpeted apartment. I’ve had a number of interactions with this woman, (plus we have a friend in common) so I went up to her apartment to also look at a Joybird sofa that she’s giving him at the end of the month. My son did buy a sofa already, but he thinks he could use a second one or maybe resell the one he got and keep this one.

    2. My next door neighbor texted that she had too many eggs and asked if we’d like an extra dozen. I’m thinking they’re from a farm share or something similar, so that’s an exciting addition to the fridge. Hopefully my standard grocery store eggs won’t get an insecurity complex.

    3. I finally got my free Covid booster after four (!!) unsuccessful attempts through CVS. As in I’d make the appointment online and then get a text the day of the appointment saying that “Due to unforeseen circumstances” my appointment was being cancelled. Umm . . . I think at a certain point those circumstances are actually “foreseen.”

      Anyway, I’m back to being fully boosted and I didn’t have any side effects beyond a sore arm. I have two fully vaccinated friends who just got Covid for the first time, so there’s no reason to not take every precaution.

    4. • We had another day in the 50s here in Portland, so I fully turned off the heat for a full day. My husband was out of town, so I didn’t have to worry about anyone’s comfort but my own.
      • I bought an almost a desk piece of furniture that didn’t work for my son’s apartment. I bought it on Facebook Marketplace thinking it was a desk and since the guy carried it to my car for me I didn’t realize it until I got home. However, it’s still a cool piece, so I wiped it down with Oz polish and threw it back up on Marketplace last night as a “console table” with full measurements and better pictures. I bumped the price up by a hundreds bucks and have six people so far who want to come by for it.

      Update — sold for $150!

      • I ate up every last bite of the cottage pie leftovers.
      • I was able to book a spay appointment at the Humane Society for Mama’s Little Meatball. Because she’s my son’s cat and his income is fairly low, they were able to prorate the cost which’ll save him more than $300.

    5. I didn’t thrift any tiny Lear Jets.

Katy Wolk-Stanley

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

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{ 105 comments… read them below or add one }

Heidi Louise February 2, 2024 at 12:05 pm

Such good help you are providing your son!

1. My husband and I each owned a vehicle when we married, long ago, and were always a two-vehicle family. However, his 2003 Chevy pick-up has reached the tipping point of cost of repairs being more than value. So we have sent it off to auction and perhaps will get a few hundred out of it. Becoming a one-car family is like a life-changing turning-point of some sort, certainly reflects a different time in our lives.
2. We will get back money from the truck’s insurance we paid two months ago, though also will lose our multi-vehicle discount on the other car and have to make that up.
3. We will see if we can recover some of the registration fee as well, not that there is much money involved in either insurance or registration.
4. Cleared out mental space by taking unworn and too large clothing to donate to the thrift store yesterday.
5. It finally should be above freezing and not raining on Monday so we can get the recycling out for city curbside pickup. Aside from the environmental benefit, having less trash to pay for is a good thing.


Christine February 2, 2024 at 2:54 pm

DH and I worked together, same hours, and rode to and from work together and we noticed one of our two cars was just sitting in the driveway most of the time. We gave one car to DD who was struggling financially at the time and kept the newer one. We’re both retired now and have never looked back. One vehicle is so much less expensive to maintain and insure.


Katy February 3, 2024 at 2:40 pm

Less trash is always a good thing.


Allyson February 2, 2024 at 12:08 pm

1) I switched from Verizon (~$80/mo) to Mint Mobile (~$35/mo). The introductory offer is actually $15/mo for 3 months. It took about an hour and some serious cursing on my part to switch, but I think it will be worth it.
2) My neighbor and I share our surplus food items. This week she gave me homemade bread, and I gave her jalapeños.
3) Our favorite local bluegrass band, One Button Suit, played a free show in Davis CA. So we went, and had a fab time! We tipped the band of course.
4) Monday I had a friend over for a sushi lunch. I have learned how to make sushi…what?!?! I spent $22 on ingredients from the Japanese market, but I calculate that if we ate/drank what I served (including wine, yes I’m an advocate of day-drinking), in a restaurant with the tax and tip it would have been upwards of $70.
5) I can’t think of a #5


Iris February 2, 2024 at 12:56 pm

Any pointers you could give on making homemade sushi? I would love to try to make.


Allyson February 2, 2024 at 1:37 pm

For the sushi, you need a super sharp knife! Mine need to be sharpened. I just went on YouTube for some sushi-making recipes and tutorials. I make the rice in the morning, so it has time to cool. Do as much as you can in advance (cutting cucumber, making crab salad, etc), because the actual sushi rolling and cutting can be a little stressful, if done at the last minute. And have a wet paper towel handy so you can rinse and wet your knife between every cut. I also re-used a squeeze bottle to add on a drizzle of homemade spicy mayo on top. It looked and tasted like legit sushi!


Iris February 2, 2024 at 4:44 pm

Thank you Allyson! Great tips.


Ecoteri February 2, 2024 at 12:57 pm

@Allyson, I think we should put a $ value on serious cursing – the upside is the release of tension (+$) and the downside is the need to curse in the first place (-$). Overall, when I have done such switches, I have calculated that I have made hundreds of dollars back for that one hour of pure unequivocal annoyance.
Your #4 makes me realize that my Daughter and I ought to plan a sushi making time. She is a huge fan (me not so much but, hey) and is kind of broke and lives only 3 blocks from THE store that sells both sushi (excellent) and supplies (she is near the University and there are a tonne of Asian students who want a taste of home). I have taught her how to make the easiest one-bowl bread, which she now whips up regularly to the astonishment of her friends. Sushi would blow them away! Thanks for the reminder!


Mary Ann February 2, 2024 at 2:02 pm

Ecoteri, Could you share the recipe for one bowl bread?


Ecoteri February 2, 2024 at 11:44 pm

if you look up alexandracooks. dot. com and search for her mothers peasant bread you will find the recipe. we increase it by half again (as described in her notes) to make two bread pans of bread rather than two round breads in pyrex bowls, but I have done the pyrex approach too. I usually just put parchment in the bread pans rather than lavishly butter. as with all recipes, once you get it figured out you can play – I am encouraging my daughter to add some whole wheat flour and a bit of oatmeal, playing with the water to get the right kind of dough. it should be quite sticky made as described. Alexandra does have a video that is well worth watching. good luck!


Katy February 3, 2024 at 2:40 pm

We make sushi from scratch, although less often than when our kids were at home. So yummy and so what if they’re misshapen?


Joan February 2, 2024 at 12:36 pm

Next time you need a booster, walk into Costco. No need for a membership, and in Chicago area, better availability and larger selection. Only places I could get Novavax around here in November.


Katy February 3, 2024 at 2:39 pm

Good to know, I’ll try and remember this when the next booster rolls around.


Ruby February 2, 2024 at 1:18 pm

That not quite a desk is a cool piece of furniture.

1. Took my Valentine’s coupon to Ollie’s Outlet and bought 160 pounds of cat litter. Do I know how to live it up or what? We have three extra large kitties and it takes 20 pounds of litter to completely refill their boxes, so 60 pounds of it was used this morning after emptying and washing the boxes.

2. Bought my wild child puppy a chew-resistant toy on clearance. She disemboweled it today, a few minutes after receiving it. I did not bother to restuff it but did sew up the poor dinosaur’s head and embroider him a new eye while mending the other three toys she had mangled.

3. Cleaned our beautiful blue 1952 bathtub with Awesome degreaser from Dollar Tree, which requires opening a window for good ventilation while it melts off soap scum.

4. Made some pumpkin oatmeal muffins that did not rise properly. They are a bit chewy but still good. They make a tasty breakfast spread with some cream cheese.

5. Patched an item that needed mending with a piece of fabric from an old t-shirt.


Katy February 3, 2024 at 2:38 pm

Mmm . . . now I’m thinking I should thaw out a bit of pumpkin puree for a sweet treat!


A. Marie February 2, 2024 at 1:31 pm

First, a brief explanation of the two reasons I’ve been kinda quiet this week:

(a) My SIL in Texas called Monday afternoon to let me know that my BIL (DH’s 7-years-younger brother, a year younger than I am) now has a formal diagnosis of early-onset Alzheimer’s. I offered my SIL what comfort and support I could, but both she and I know all too well from DH’s experience where this is going.

(b) And I just received a confirmation today from a dear neighbor, Bailey dog’s mom (I walk Bailey on days when her humans can’t be home at lunchtime), that BDM has been diagnosed with pretty advanced ovarian cancer. (So advanced that she’s going to have to have chemo just to shrink the tumor before they can even consider surgery.) BDM is 10 years younger than I am; she’s my best friend among the neighbors after the Bestest Neighbors and my next-door neighbor; and this is simply awful. I will of course be pitching in to help her where I can as well.

But here are a few FTFTs anyway:

(1) I made a pork and veggie stir-fry (loosely based on a Taste of Home recipe) to use up some Reduced for Quick Sale boneless pork rib meat and some elderly cauliflower.

(2) I continue to go through books and CDs and to pack up the discards for donation. (I find that the question “Do I really want to take this along to wherever I end up for senior living?” concentrates the mind wonderfully.)

(3) With the latest thaw, I’m scooping up the many NY State deposit bottles and cans revealed by melting snowdrifts.

(4) And I’ll be exploring a new-to-me Asian food market down on the Boulevard shortly. When I went over to the Bestest Neighbors for a dinner of salmon burgers last night, I noted that a nice fat frozen duck from this market was out on the counter, and made further inquiries. The BNs raved about the bargains to be had there. so I’ll be checking it out in the next day or two.


Jill A February 2, 2024 at 1:45 pm

A Marie, I’m so sorry to hear about your BIL and your neighbor. That’s a lot of bad news to take in.


Ecoter February 2, 2024 at 1:57 pm

Oh @A. Marie, what terribly difficult news. My heart goes out to you, to DH’s SIL, and to BDM who all must be feeling quite bereft. It is heartrending when you get bad news, and know there is isn’t much you can do about it other than be supportive (and have a good cry on someone else’s shoulder). I know you will be a grand support for both of your people, your kindness and wisdom shines on these posts so I imagine that in person it is even more lovely.


Lindsey February 2, 2024 at 2:35 pm

I’m so sorry you are having another experience with dementia, this time adjacent to it. At least in you your SIL has someone with experience to help her navigate some of the issues. And your friend, another hit.


Christine February 2, 2024 at 3:01 pm

Oh A. Marie, I’m so sorry to hear both pieces of bad news in your life. As is said: when it rains, it pours. It sadly applies here. Your SIL and sweet neighbor are fortunate to have you though, and I know you’ll do as much as you can to lighten their loads.


Coral Clarke February 2, 2024 at 4:03 pm

Having recently downsized I can tell you my pared down living style was a real blessing. I had a month from signing to settlement, but was shocked to have my darling daughter diagnosed with stage 4 bowel cancer, which had spread. Her hospital admission for 3 weeks meant that I was coming home from the hospital after 10-12 hour days to pack! 3 months on , she is achieving good results from massive radio/chemo therapy, has lost all her hair, and a lot of her hearing, but has bought us time. Most disorganised move ever! At 75 my move too a beautiful little one bedroom apartment ( inner city, West End, Queensland, Australia) is perfect for me, and the bus stop across the street is only a 10 minute trip to the hospital she is being treated in!So, yes, declutter!


Susie's Daughter February 2, 2024 at 6:36 pm

A. Marie,
Well, doesn’t that news just rot. I’m so very sorry for your beloveds who are receiving such life altering news. And I have no doubt, no doubt at all, that your loving presence, walking alongside them, is a great comfort. Sending light from here.


Christine February 2, 2024 at 8:41 pm

I’m so sorry to hear of your DD’S diagnosis. A very tough one but I’m glad to hear you are in such close proximity to her. Time together is priceless and you’re right there if she needs you. You sound like a terrific mom.


Katy February 3, 2024 at 2:12 pm

I’m so sorry to read about your daughter’s diagnosis, sending a big virtual hug!


MB in MN February 3, 2024 at 7:49 pm

Coral, you’ve been dealing with a lot. I’m very sorry for your daughter’s stage 4 diagnosis and glad that treatment has given the two of you the gift of time. Sending comfort and light to both of you.


Q February 4, 2024 at 6:55 am

Coral, I am sending hugs to you and your daughter. I am glad you are able to spend time her, and to focus on your love for each other.


Ruby February 2, 2024 at 7:01 pm

A. Marie, I am so sorry that such awful things have happened to people you love. (((Hugs)))


A. Marie February 3, 2024 at 5:36 am

Thank you all for your kind words. Coral, I’m glad to hear that your daughter is doing somewhat better, and that decluttering/downsizing helped you to make a rapid move a bit more easily.


Selena February 3, 2024 at 8:19 pm

Sad to say it runs in families. So far two from the generation after the first in my family.


Bee February 3, 2024 at 7:19 am

My heart goes out to you, A. Marie. Sending you wishes of love, peace, and strength during this difficult time.


Liz B. February 3, 2024 at 8:07 am

Oh, A. Marie…..I’m so very sorry for the bad news you have received. Your SIL and BDM must be devastated, even though your SIL knew something was going on with your BIL. I know you will be much help and comfort to all of them as they navigate the future.


MB in MN February 3, 2024 at 8:31 am

A. Marie, I’m so sorry for this double whammy of awful news from your loved ones. Sending you comfort from the heartland.


mary in maryland February 3, 2024 at 10:21 am

I am sorry you and yours are dealing with such devastating news.


BettafrmdaVille February 3, 2024 at 11:45 am

Echoing what others have already said. I’m so very sorry.


Katy February 3, 2024 at 2:37 pm

I am so sad to read about your brother in law’s diagnosis, what terrible news for your family. Hopefully your knowledge will help with your sister’s in law’s learning curve. Sending a big virtual hug your way.


Nancy from mass February 3, 2024 at 6:51 pm

A. Marie, sorry to hear about your BIL!


Q February 4, 2024 at 6:53 am

A. Marie, this is very difficult, terrible news. I am so sorry to hear it. I wish you strength and grace.


texasilver February 2, 2024 at 1:42 pm

1. I got a rust mark off a cotton flannel shirt using Lime Away cleaner.
2. Found a 10$ bill while walking on Monday.
3. Will take stray cat we adopted to low-cost vax clinic when there is clinic close to home.
4. Found a large mostly full bottle of dishwashing liquid. (I read the comment about dishwasher pods.) The pods I was using did not get my dishes clean & they were streaked. I bought some Cascade Platinum pods & dishes were sparkling clean. They are expensive & contain plastic, but they get the dishes clean.
5. Found a large amount of Red Baron frozen pizza in the dumpster at Dollar General. The pizza boxes were still cool to the touch & the weather had been cold so I think was okay to eat. Plus I knew they were not in the dumpster the previous evening as I had checked. I also found some boxed donuts & snack cakes which I will pass out to the homeless on the street corners.


Christine February 2, 2024 at 3:09 pm

This is a lovely post, especially the last sentence of your #5. And thanks for the tip about Lime Away on clothing…who knew?!


Katy February 3, 2024 at 2:34 pm

Hooray for free pizza!


Blue Gate Farmgirl February 2, 2024 at 1:51 pm

That is a cool console/wanna be desk. It is raining buckets here, so we went to an estate sale this morning. I bought new jugs of rose food/systemic for $4 ea instead of $25. I picked up a 60 pc set of drill bits from the 80’s when steel was steel for $4, I picked up 4 sets of lag bolts for hanging gates in my corral system, ($1 ea instead of $12), a frou frou fold up antique metal tier appetizer or cookie display $2 and a LeCreuset utensil set for $4 in the package, never used. It will go in the gift cupboard. We will go back to the sale tomo morning for 1/2 price day as I was eyeing a few things.


Christine February 2, 2024 at 3:10 pm

Fantastic scores at the estate sale!


Bee February 3, 2024 at 7:21 am

I find that estate sales are wonderful places to buy tools and hardware for just pennies on the dollar.


Katy February 3, 2024 at 2:33 pm

Sending good estate sale luck for day two!


Ecoteri February 2, 2024 at 1:53 pm

FFT Feb 2

1. Pleased to report that the first loaf of bread from the repaired bread machine rose beautifully after the dough’s 3 day long vacation in the downstairs fridge. I formed it late one night and baked it 10 hours later in the morning, when sliced it was perfect inside. Have sliced and frozen 1 and 1-1/2 of the 2 loaves, as #2 son is away, I’m enjoying the rest with gusto.
2. The very hard avocados I got on discount were bagged with a banana and an apple and watched like a hawk. I got two into the fridge when they were just softening, and ate the third on some scavenged homemade bread slices from the freezer. I rarely manage to get avocados when they are prefect, so it was an extra treat. Will eat the remaining two with the bread from #1 above.
3. I phoned my #1 son to get clarity about what his expectations and hopes were in regard to my involvement with his upcoming BABY!!!. He was so pleased that I was looking into this before August (due date) – and we had a lovely conversation about what he is dreaming of and imagining. Thank heavens he is seeing the same vision as me – I get to be an involved Granny and will have the babe here for long farm visits as well as doing help/care at their house. I hate to step on toes with assumptions (been there, done that…) so this early conversation has settled a lot of my concerns and opened the doors wide for more conversations. Now, to discuss what they are wanting/needing and how I can help look for second-hand. They aren’t at all opposed to getting things used, (well, he isn’t. She was raised in a far less frugal home) so I am excited to be part of the searching team.
4. With the need to be able to get up from the floor more readily (per #3 above), I have dusted off my occasional exercise program and am working on moving more every day. My Accountability Buddy is also keen to get back in the saddle, so we are meeting at the gym to do our own unique programs at least twice a week – I work around her work schedule, but it seems that I get to be the one who agitates for actually GETTING THERE, these days. Oh, well, that ‘enthusiasm for exercise’ ball seems to travel from my court to hers on a regular basis – good thing we both see ourselves as accountability buddies and push each other when enthusiasm wanes..
5. I continue pressure cooking the many small squash/pumpkins that I grew last year and that have been languishing (I mean curing) in my kitchen and living room. The dog loves cooked squash/pumpkin in her supper, and I am now adding 3/4 cup to my morning smoothie/glop – it is surprisingly satisfying and I know is super good for me. Squash, along with homemade yogurt and kale from the never-ending supply I keep picking in my garden, plus some discount protein powder and some chia and flax seeds and cocoa powder… well, it isn’t pretty nor is it anywhere near delicious, but it helps to lower my cholesterol and provide me with real foods to sustain me for most of the day.
Putting a scrubbed squash into the Instant pot on a trivet, with a cup of water, cooking for 20-22 min and letting it release on its own (often for an hour, I get distracted) then cooling until I can handle, means it is easy peasy to de-seed and spoon out of the peel.


A. Marie February 3, 2024 at 8:09 am

Congrats on the upcoming grandchild, Ecoteri! And your #3 indicates that you’re a very considerate and thoughtful mother/MIL.


Katy February 3, 2024 at 2:32 pm

That’s very exciting to have grandbabies, and good for you to be respecting the parents’ wishes.


texasilver February 4, 2024 at 4:11 pm

I never realized that family help was not welcomed. My father died when I was 7. My young mother was left w/ 4 children aged 7 to 3 months to raise. She was glad for any help that came our way!


Ecoteri February 4, 2024 at 9:41 pm

@texassilver, my relationship with #1 son is still slightly fraught due to my behavioural challenges – prior to my choosing sobriety as a lifestyle.
With that in mind, and taking lessons from counselling, AA, maturing, not wanting to model my own Mom’s assumptions, and a lot of current reading, I figure that better to avoid assuming and just ask what they want. #1 son has been a bit stiff-necked/stubborn when he feels unheard.
My Mom, wonderful as she is, was always one to see a job that “needed doing” and just go ahead and do it – without taking into consideration the others involved (who might not have seen things the same way, not wanted the help in that arena, or didn’t like at ALL how the job was done [to them] because there was no consultation.)
Respect is something that seems to be abandoned too quickly, by those who see the world from their own ‘perfectly logical’ judgmental place. I was raised to be judgemental, it is really hard to be shedding that overlay, and I don’t want to behave that same way with my kids.
I know it sounds weird, and I really am hoping (and trying not to be EXPECTING) to be very involved with helping this couple and being with the baby and generally being supportive. I just need to respect what THEY want and how THEY want to be supported.
As I keep saying here: GAH! so hard to keep being the adult here and take the higher road all the time! however, the rewards I am reaping are marvellous.


Jill A February 2, 2024 at 1:56 pm

I agree that your not-a-desk is a nice looking piece of furniture.
1. I used up my large stash of Lysol I bought on clearance 10 years ago or more. I’m reusing the spray bottles by filling with water and vinegar for future cleaning.
2. I filled my car with gas at Costco which was 20 cents cheaper than anyplace else. I also put free air in my tires and ate free samples for an afternoon snack.
3. I’ve gotten in more walks for free exercise and therapy.
4. I made dinner last night using items in the freezer and pantry that needed to go.
5. Costco had their base layers on sale for $5 so I bought an extra set for myself and one for each of my girls for stocking stuffers.


Katy February 3, 2024 at 2:30 pm

You’re not the only who liked the not a desk. I listed it for $150 and had eight people who wanted to buy it by the next morning. Sold it that afternoon to happy buyers.

Sounds like you’re making good use of your Costco membership!


Jill A February 4, 2024 at 4:54 am

Woo hoo! Nice way to put some cash your pocket. Money in, crap out!!


Katy February 4, 2024 at 12:04 pm

Money in, crap it!


Marybeth from NY February 2, 2024 at 2:16 pm

1. Used $5 Kohl’s cash that was going to expire. Got 2 Halloween kitchen towels on clearance. Spent$0.
2. Got gas for $2.97 a gallon.
3. Made bread in my bread machine.
4. Made Chicken noodle soup with leftover chicken, celery and carrots were from my garden last year. I cooked the bones of the chicken so I have stock for the next pot of soup. Made Hubby Matzo balls for his because he loves them.
5. Made 3 dozen pumpkin muffins from Halloween pumpkins. Gave some to my neighbor, gave some to my son and his landlord and Hubby took a bunch to work. Kept 4 for us.
6. Went to the thrift store. Got 3 books, a football, 2 whisks(for my son), a bundt pan and a birthday gift for Hubby. Total $14.

Fail. Basement keeps getting water with all this rain. Hubby called to see how much a French drain will cost. Got prices for $10K-$12K.


Selena February 2, 2024 at 8:07 pm

Yowza, at that price, perhaps drain tile and sump pump is a better choice?


Katy February 3, 2024 at 2:26 pm

Oof . . . home ownership comes with so many unpleasant surprises. Sorry.


Nancy from mass February 3, 2024 at 6:54 pm

Hi Marybeth, I’m having the same problem with my basement. Haven’t had water in it in 14 years. I am also getting quotes for sump pump installs. Sump pumps are cheaper to install than a French drain. If you have water coming in all around the perimeter of your basement, I think that’s when a French drain is more beneficial. In my case, the water table underneath the basement floor is filling in and then it’s coming out through these two holes I have on the floor. So I only need a sump pump. Good luck!


Marybeth from NY February 4, 2024 at 1:48 pm

So the French drain does include a sump pump too. Thankfully we do have a home repair fund. We asked how much if we pay cash and he gave us a 5% discount. Every penny counts.


Christine February 2, 2024 at 2:47 pm

Your #2…makes me think of the time my niece’s husband remarked he wants to take his own eggs from their chickens with him every time they go out for breakfast because they’re so much better tasting than the restaurant eggs.
And yay for the Humane Society! That savings of $300 for your son is a good-sized chunk of change and it’s helping to keep the cat population under control. Good bless them for the good work they do.
1. DH and I went to visit the historical museum in the city I grew up in, about 20 miles away (I drove and of course kept the speed locked into 64mph cruise control to conserve gas). The museum has free admission during the month of February so it was free date. The exhibit we were interested in was all about the department store my mom worked in when we were kids. So many great memories. She worked in the Display Department and decorated throughout the store and also the large floor to ceiling windows fronting Main Street. Back in the 60s and 70s these windows there and most stores were gorgeous and detailed and brought many customers into the stores.
2. Continuing the Massachusetts Reading Challenge for the month of February. This month the challenge is to read a book with a color in the title. At my friend’s indy book store’s BOGO 50% off used book sale, I purchased Bone White by Ronald Malfi, a book set in Alaska. I’ve always loved books set in Alaska.
3. I batched a bunch of errands yesterday.
4. Tomorrow I’ll be baking for my church’s coffee hour on Sunday. I’ve noticed a lot of people bring in store bought baked goods but it’s so much less expensive to throw a recipe together. I know some people’s time is at a premium so I don’t blame them and it all is delicious! And others simply don’t like to bake, understandable.
5. I used my .50 cold cup from the thrift shop today for the first time so I would have a drink for the ride up to the historical museum. Works great and I didn’t have to stop for a drink through the drive-thru…not that I would have anyway.


Katy February 3, 2024 at 2:24 pm

I’m sure your church members will appreciate your home baked treats!


Mary Ann February 2, 2024 at 2:50 pm

Happy Friday!

1. I have bought a subscription for flower arrangements from my high school students. That was last week. I pulled out a smaller vase, removed the dead flowers and kept the fresh ones, recut the stems, and filled with new waters. Beautiful.

2. I am going to a two year old’s bday. The parents say the kids have too much stuff so I suggested books. I picked out three almost never used that I sourced from various place and added a brand new matchbox car I sourced from somewhere. I put it in an Amazon gift bag that someone had sent me and printed out a colored card with graphics I snipped from the internet placing it in yellow envelopes I bought at Goodwill. I have a template I made in pages that fits these envelopes exactly. I just switch out the graphic according to the occasion. The envelopes and cardstock came from Goodwill.

3. I picked another several pounds of the best clementines ever. Saturday, Hubby is bringing the picker so I can get the ones remaining at the top of the tree. They are too good to go to waste.

4.I cleaned the button on my hairspray. i was almost going to throw it away because I am so annoyed at the fact it has been sticking since I bought it. I hearby refuse to buy anymore aerosol hairspray.

5. I am practicing patience while trying to source everything for the River House. . Right now i want a cast iron bench for the rose arbor white. I have seen them priced from $300 to over a $1,000 new. I am also searching facebook and ebay for tiffany lamp shapes. They are super expensive new. In six months I will be retired. I will have plenty of time to antique and do estate sales. I am such a “Pull the trigger and move on person.” Errrrrrrr!


Bee February 3, 2024 at 6:17 am

Doing a period restoration can be challenging. You are very fortunate to have several wonderful architectural salvage stores/yards in California especially in and around LA. (Maybe a road trip after you retire). There used to be a great salvage center in Berkeley, but I think it’s closed.
It is far, but if you are looking for something special check Hudson Valley House Parts. It is a business in New York State that specializes in architectural salvage. I follow them on Instagram. They get some beautiful things and ship nationwide. Hardware, plumbing, fixtures, lighting and building materials.
Here is their website.


Mary Ann February 3, 2024 at 7:30 am

Thanks, I will check into it. Berkeley is only 90 miles away. Funny. But you reminded me I live in a farming community. Salvage is everywhere I look. I better remember though to keep my tetanus booster up to date 🙂 This could definitely be a fun next life!!!! I am pretty crafty.


A. Marie February 3, 2024 at 8:16 am

Bee, I think the Berkeley salvage market you’re thinking about is Urban Ore. I just checked its website, and if I’m reading it right, Urban Ore seems to be very much alive. (What a relief. DH and another BIL–my oldest sister’s husband–spent happy time together at both Urban Ore and Hida Tool and Hardware, also in Berkeley, back in the day.)


Bee February 3, 2024 at 11:53 am

Yes, that is it. Although I visit California every year, it has been a decade and a half since I’ve been to Berkeley. I hope the salvage yard is a wonderful as I remember it.


Mary Ann February 4, 2024 at 9:15 am

Thias is awesome. I am putting it on for a field trip in summer.


Katy February 3, 2024 at 2:22 pm

Lucky two year old!


Lindsey February 2, 2024 at 3:21 pm

It continues to be between 40 and 50 below, with terrible ice fog. For some weird reason, the colorblind husband can still see red but not green or yellow lights through the fog and he absolutely had to go out today, so I went along as the co-pilot. Everyone was driving at about 35 miles an hour because with the air moisture crystallizing in the extreme cold, trapping wood smoke and car exhaust close to the ground, you cannot see. Even I, who loves winter, am ready for it to go to 20 below so the ice fog will disappear. The car is now back in the garage and will stay there until it warms up.
1. So, no errands means gas saved so money saved.
2. I listed a few more things on eBay.
3. I managed to spill something on my pants on the first day of wearing them. Spot cleaned it off so that I was not adding more to the washer.
4. Neighbor called asking if I had any cake flour. She is making husband’s birthday cake and has none; she has twins less than a year old and did not want to take them out in the cold. I told her how to make it from regular flour. Last night she brought over two slices of the cake left over from the family party. No one has ever paid me in cake for my baking advice!
5. The arm fell off of my favorite glasses. The husband, who lives for opportunities to demonstrate why he never throws away a nail, screw, random piece of wire and so on, unearthed several pairs of old glasses from a box in the garage and one of them fit so he reattached the arm.

I wish the husband’s hair would grow back faster. Every day I am reminded how I botched the hair cut up and see how frugality can be ugly! I was so distraught that I neglected to save a lock of it to put in a baggie and label with the date, so I could add it to what he calls my serial killer memento drawer full of baggies with a ringlet from each of 40 years of haircuts. I have thrown away the new hair cutting tool that seemed so promising; I did not even try to give it away or sell it.


Lindsey February 2, 2024 at 3:31 pm

One of the screws fit the detached arm of my glasses—he did not just attach a random arm from another pair of glasses.


Katy February 3, 2024 at 2:14 pm

Your husband sounds like a keeper!


A. Marie February 4, 2024 at 8:13 am

Lindsey’s husband is as wonderful as my own DH was. (And that’s a compliment I don’t pay lightly.)


Lindsey February 4, 2024 at 11:40 am

I consider the comparison a high compliment.


Katy February 5, 2024 at 8:17 am

That’s an amazing compliment.


Shona February 2, 2024 at 4:00 pm

1. Just returned from a bike ride through campus with my husband and the vending machines yealded $4.70. Silly students not valuing coins.
2. We’re going to hit 64 degrees tomorrow so I’ll utilize my beloved laundry line.
3. Mended my favorite jeans.
4. As a native Californian, currently living down south, on nights when we’ve had to drip faucets I’m collecting the water in buckets for use elsewhere.
5. Month 3 of water only hair washing and it’s going well. Nearing the end of menopause, I got tired of buying a promise in a bottle with each new shampoo so this is where I’m at. We have a year’s worth of shampoo for my husband.

Necessary but not frugal, we finally had to call the professionals to evict the squirrels from our eaves. We tried so many different methods, and had the problem fixed for several months, until they came back.


Selena February 2, 2024 at 8:12 pm

I am confused by #5 – are you experiencing hair loss as you go thru menopause?


Shona February 3, 2024 at 5:34 am

Not hair loss, just a change in texture. It’s straight and thick but now straight, thick, and course.


Katy February 3, 2024 at 2:13 pm

That’s an insane amount to find in vending machines!


Ava February 2, 2024 at 5:15 pm

1. Found a penny.
2 . Used a 10% off coupon when getting the dogs bathed.
3. Fussed at the husband about his dish washing technique and our water bill dropped by $25.
4. Got together with friends at the mall food court. We each bought our own lunch and played many rounds of a word game we like. We had plenty of room to spread out and could stay as long as we wanted, unlike at a restaurant.


Katy February 3, 2024 at 2:11 pm

Whoah, that’s an impressive water savings!


Bethany M February 2, 2024 at 7:52 pm

Needed shortening for a blubber simulation lab in my 6th grade. Had funds and permission to buy. I bought one for my emergency preparedness shelf and used the old one I already had in the lesson.

Got my $200 bonus from my new Custom Cash card. Now I have to get to work on my new Ally card for the $200 bonus. Guys, I’m dedicating to not overspending! This going to be spent on apples, chicken drumsticks and tomatoes not vacation or a Coach purse.

I got my SMART goal finished. I just have one last observation to get my raise.

I am on track for not buying clothes or kitchen stuff for myself this year. I fell off the no-fast food in 2024 already. I had fasting bloodwork. Should’ve packed a breakfast. I succumbed to a quick breakfast. Breakfast cost double what I expecting. Lesson learned.

Hubby and I attended a sales pitch (which we politely declined multiple times) and earned a free cruise for two. I’m sure it’ll be in the winter, a bunk-bed situation, and no windows, but we will enjoy it!


Mary Ann February 3, 2024 at 7:34 am

Bethany, you had me at “blubber simulation.” The teacher language made me feel right at home. After 35 years I can finally forget “the next verbage” smart goals, PLC, CFAS, ELDS, sheesh. The only thing I will miss is the camaraderie of the teachers and the students’ humor.


Katy February 3, 2024 at 2:10 pm

I’m super impressed with your free cruise!


Selena February 2, 2024 at 7:57 pm

Holy crap – even my vet in a not so inexpensive area does not charge $300 for a spay. Did the $300 include vaccinations/microchip?


Katy February 3, 2024 at 2:10 pm



Selena February 3, 2024 at 3:48 pm

Correction – anesthesia was a separate line item so it was a little over $200.


Kara February 2, 2024 at 8:07 pm

1. Made chick pea curry in instant pot for dinner. And there’s leftovers.
2. I have 2 loads of laundry hanging on indoor racks right now.
3. Printed postage for a small package on and walked it over to the post office. I LOVE printing usps postage at home!
4. I’d been stalking a pair of loafers that were out of stock in my size everywhere. Today I found them in stock and $30 cheaper. I bought them quickly.
5. Really needed to go food shopping but I’m not going on the weekend. We’ll make do with what we have and I’ll go on Monday. Saves a few days on the grocery budget.


Katy February 3, 2024 at 2:09 pm

I’m with you on avoiding the grocery store on the weekends!


K D February 3, 2024 at 3:58 am

1. I picked up a night stand offered on Freecycle. It needs a bit of work (something DH enjoys doing) and we think our SIL’s friend will be able to use it when he moves back to our area. After arranging pick up the Freecycler also offered an additional night stand that was on their porch. It was not as great as the original but I did see a quarter and a penny in one of the drawers and went ahead and took it. I can always give it away.

2. I placed an order with Vitacost after they offered me 20% off my order. They sell millet and sorghum flour which I like to use for GF baking. I also ordered molasses and oat bran. Of course I spent just enough to receive free shipping and I shopped through a cash back rebate site.

3. A friend and I walk down a local trail to meet another friend at a cafe. I bought just a banana ($1) as it is less waste than a beverage in a disposable cup. We sat outside since it was sunny and the temperature was in the 50s.

4. I transferred funds to our online bank. It is paying 4.35% interest whereas our local credit union is paying almost nothing.

5. A friend hosted breakfast for another friend and I. She made a big pot of oatmeal and there was fruit. The company was good and the price was right.


Katy February 3, 2024 at 2:08 pm

Free furniture for you, a satisfying project for your husband!


Bee February 3, 2024 at 7:12 am

The Joybird sofas are beautiful!
Here are my five tiny frugal things:

1. I found a penny and I picked up. It was heads up so hopefully it will bring good luck.
2. I have been working on eBay listings. I have been slowly getting through my death pile. Evidently this has stimulated my algorithm and I am once again selling things — 5 items this week. I don’t know what makes me happier. Getting these things out of my house or the extra cash it puts in my mad money account.
3. I had chai latte with a friend at the not-for-profit coffee house. All profits go to lend financial support to handful of local philanthropic programs that are close to my heart.
4. I had been waiting for several books from the library. Of course, they all came available at once. I checked out 3 of the 8. These included The Heaven & Earth Grocery Store by James McBride. This is our book club’s selection this month and was Barnes & Noble’s book of the year so I am looking forward to reading it. I also picked up The Other Eden which won the Pulitzer Prize, and The Exchange, another John Grisham legal thriller. I have my reading materials for the next few weeks.
5. I arrived home later than expected last night having whiled away the afternoon visiting in the coffee shop with my dear friend. I whipped up dinner quickly making a salad and doctoring up a Gluten-free frozen pizza. I buy these pizzas at Costco at a cost of a little less than $5 each. I then top them with whatever is in the frig. Last night that included spinach, mushrooms and chicken sausage. There is enough leftover for lunch today.
Wishing everyone a weekend of peace…


kath February 3, 2024 at 12:54 pm

I’m on the wait list for The Heaven & Earth Grocery Store. I loved his The Good Lord Bird.


Katy February 3, 2024 at 2:06 pm

I believe all found money is good luck, whichever way it happens to have landed. Those pizzas sounds delicious, I’m going to borrow your idea!


Jill A February 3, 2024 at 2:31 pm

I also am waiting for the Heaven & Earth Grocery Store. I’d love to hear what you think.


MB in MN February 3, 2024 at 8:35 am

I have one teeny tiny thing. I was at the doctor’s office for a test and after I had provided my sample, the technician whisked all of the remaining, UNUSED supplies in the trash – including two packages of moist towelettes and a Ziploc bag. When she left the room, I took them out of the trash and put them in my purse.


Lindsey February 3, 2024 at 10:44 am

Years ago, I had to go to the wound clinic every day for several months. They threw away all the unused supplies that came in the packets, including scissors. I asked them to give them to me and the nurse said she loved doing that because she felt guilty every single time she had to get rid of perfectly useable things. I still have some of those leftovers and shared the scissors with friends.


Bee February 3, 2024 at 11:49 am

I love this! The little alcohol wipes in the single use package are amazing to have on hand. You can use them to clean your phone or iPad. I keep them in my purse snd clean the cart at Goodwill too.


Katy February 3, 2024 at 2:04 pm

Good for you, the waste in medical care is beyond acceptable.


Dori February 3, 2024 at 8:43 am

What a great frugal week!! Keep on keepin’ on!


BettafrmdaVille February 3, 2024 at 2:24 pm

1. I went to Ocean State Job Lot as it is their anniversary week so you get 40% back on your purchases in the form of a future gift card. I bought birdseed, seeds for humans to grow things, and a jar of Bonne Maman marmalade for my mother-in-law, plus some Bob’s Red Mill products. I’ll use the gift card to purchase toilet paper and paper towels.
2. I organized a shelf in my pantry and found several bags of random/stale crackers. I put them all together and they will be the topping for tonight’s baked flounder.
3. I was able to get 2 jars of Hellman’s mayo (one of the few name-brand products that I buy) each for $1.55 making them competitive for the cost of Aldi’s mayo.
4. Started putting the heat back down to 58 at night. We had a dying cat the last couple of months and kept the heat up for him.
5. Working hard this week to have no food waste. Meal plan with partner to make sure we are in agreement, like finding 3 recipes to make that all use cilantro so to not waste that.


Nancy from mass February 3, 2024 at 6:57 pm

I buy all of my Bob’s Redmill from OSJL. They have the best prices (even better than Market Basket).


Jodi February 5, 2024 at 4:30 pm

Thanks for mentioning the sale, I would have missed it!


JJ February 6, 2024 at 11:01 am

I’m so glad you mentioned the sale at Ocean State — thank you!


Bee February 4, 2024 at 5:43 am

That is an amazing price for Hellman’s mayo. The local market where I live sell it for a little over $8 for a quart size jar. I was able to buy it BOGO near Thanksgiving. My DIL has started making her own.


Janice February 4, 2024 at 9:46 am

That’s a telephone table! You sit on the low part, and the phone (with the phone book!) sits on the higher part. That’s where you make and receive phone calls away from everyone else so you won’t bother them…

I remember thinking that it was the absolutely most elegant thing to have a specific piece of furniture JUST for telephoning. The 60s were a different world…


Louise February 4, 2024 at 10:07 pm

That’s how I remember it too!


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