Five Tiny Frugal Things

by Katy on November 21, 2023 · 36 comments

  1. I found a damp $13.48 Goodwill voucher in the Winco parking lot.

  2. I’m listening to The Matzah Ball audiobook through the library’s free Libby app.

  3. I baked two loaves of no-knead artisan bread this morning and will cube it up to get stale for Thursday’s stuffing.

  4. I didn’t have to hire an expert to help me vacuum and declutter my vintage flowerpot collection.

  5. I didn’t buy any tiny Lear Jets.

Katy Wolk-Stanley

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

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{ 35 comments… read them below or add one }

Jill A November 21, 2023 at 12:25 pm

You are the perfect person to have found the GW voucher. It was meant to be. Also I love the cat on the vacuum…does she ride on it?
1. I purchased a power cord for my generator at Menard’s. They have their 11% rebate going on right now. I made sure to complete the rebate info as soon as I got home and it’s all ready to mail tomorrow.
2. I picked up the items I need for Thanksgiving and remembered to use a $2 off coupon.
3. I’m continuing to use items in my fridge and freezer. Tonight we will have impossible burgers which have been in my freezer for almost a year. Hopefully this will take care of my craving for fast food.
4. I finished a library book on my kindle. I read Lady Tan’s Circle Of Women and it was so good. Thank you for the recommendation.
5. Also no lear jet for me


Katy November 21, 2023 at 12:43 pm

She does ride on it, although she accidentally pushes the buttons and resets what it’s supposed to be doing. And I love Lisa See, she’s an amazing author!


Teri November 22, 2023 at 6:31 pm

I just finished The Island of Sea Women – highly recommend.


Katy November 22, 2023 at 8:27 pm

I read that book a few years ago and it really stuck with me. Such amazing writing!


Jill A November 23, 2023 at 6:17 am

I just put that one on hold


Mary Ann November 21, 2023 at 12:30 pm

I spent the weekend in beautiful Pismo Beach. My father lives there. I was driving my mother to be with the reunion. I stayed two nights before I sadly ( happily) returned back home to be with Hubby’s side.

1. There were no point rooms available at my beloved IHG hotel. I had to pay out of pocket $400 total. It was worth having some boundaries from a large family that is often chaotic. Also, I received 5,000 points which is equal to about 100 dollars depending on how I use it. It came with breakfast for both of us both nights. I did book a free night halfway home so I could avoid traffic during T-day craziness.

2. I ate every meal with the family. No out of pocket meals for 3 days. I pitched in by buying Mom some new shoes and warmer shirts. I also babysat my adorable nephew. I brought snacks in the car.

3. I have been hunting the Black Friday deals for an instapot. I don’t buy electrical appliances used. Just me. I pulled the trigger on a Target $59.00 model. I was looking at one twice the cost and then decided it wasn’t needed. We will be making more meals down at the ranch while renovating the century river home. This will save a ton of money.

4. I have mentioned Anderson House “clean” soup mixes. I waited for their 25% off sale then joined the email club. That gave me an extra $10. 13 mixes which give at least 4 meals each were about $5.00 a piece.

5. I am eating down the pantry through the holidays. We are going on a Christmas Market European cruise to celebrate my 60th. It took me 9 months to pay back my emergency fund for the purchase. But now I can see the savings in small ways. No entertaining. I am not giving presents this year – just New Year cards from the boat. No tree. Etc . . .


Edie November 21, 2023 at 1:19 pm

Happy Birthday! That cruise sounds like a amazing gift- worth the careful frugality!


Katy November 21, 2023 at 1:34 pm

We use our Instant Pot at least twice a week for beans and soups, I was hesitant to be buying such a gadgety item, but it’s a great kitchen tool!


Kathy November 21, 2023 at 3:27 pm

The market cruise will be awesome! Happy Birthday


Peg November 22, 2023 at 8:06 am

What a wonderful birthday present! Happy birthday (early)! An acquaintance/spouse went on an around the world cruise for her 60th birthday. It was certainly not cheap, but not nearly as expensive as I thought.


Christine November 22, 2023 at 12:15 pm

The cruise sounds marvelous! Enjoy yourselves and have a very Happy Birthday!


Ecoteri November 23, 2023 at 12:25 am

Happy Birthday – what a lovely idea for a celebratory cruise, and I love that you are seeing a couple of ways to refill the emergency fund, now that it has been spent, as you will be away for the (expensive) holiday times, and will have eaten the pantry in preparation.
As for the instant Pot, I love mine! use it at LEAST once a week, beans are a favourite, cooking down smaller batches of chicken (etc) bones for broth, soups, fast cooking frozen chicken for an OMG WE ARE HUNGRY meal that is faster than driving 25 min each way for takeout… I don’t do everything one can do (not a cheesecake fan, so don’t do that, but my buddy IS and DOES), (I make my yogurt another way, but my buddies plural use the IP for that), and still the darn thing is used so very very much. Glad you are getting one!


Bee November 23, 2023 at 6:04 am

I love Pismo Beach… another thumbs up for the IP. One of my favorite kitchen tools.


Edie November 21, 2023 at 1:32 pm

1) Friendsgiving tonight and I am hosting! Stuffed squash with savory quinoa, olive oil mashed potatoes, southern styles greens and mushroom gravy. Everyone else is bring wine & desserts & themselves. Everything(but the mushrooms) is from the garden or pantry. Huzzah!
2) Have been tempted to buy holiday candles because of sales. I have candles in my linen closet that are beautiful. I did not buy holiday candles!
3) Sold off jeans I no longer fit but wear brand new with tags (booo) on eBay and promptly mailed them. I will never be a size 4-6 EVER again.
4) After that, made a batch of chocolate chip bar cookies.
5) No Lear jet, not even a baby one.


Kathy Sell November 22, 2023 at 5:57 am

I love candles for holidays, too. Have an old not so pretty one that I’m thinking of putting a gold ribbon around to brighten it up. Many candles which don’t get used…


Ruby November 21, 2023 at 1:51 pm

I would be so tempted to craft paper wings and a nose cone for the robot vac and put the kitten on it as her own personal jet. 😀

That voucher was meant to be yours!

I saved $2 on yeast infection treatment, needed after taking an antibiotic for a sinus infection. *sighs* Otherwise I stayed home and tried to settle several matters with my late brother’s affairs. Made no progress.


Kristen | The Frugal Girl November 23, 2023 at 8:47 am

Offering sympathy on the yeast infection. I had to be on an antibiotic this past summer for 30 days (!!!) and I got repeated yeast infections.

I HATE being on antibiotics for this reason.


Ruby November 24, 2023 at 7:44 pm

Oh, that’s just horrible! I tried hard not to need an antibiotic, but one of my sinuses was operated on as part of doing a tooth implant and it sometimes gets a stubborn infection. My whole cheekbone ached for days before I gave in.


A. Marie November 21, 2023 at 1:57 pm

FTFT, Small Change Edition:

(1) Fail/win: Some mischief-maker decided to tag the “Dead End” sign at the end of our cul-de-sac with graffiti over the weekend. But this person also dropped a $1 bill in the street on the way out. I collected the dollar and reported the graffiti to our city councilor, who is pulling strings to get it abated.

(2) I found a Canadian quarter in the Coinstar machine at Wegmans today.

(3) A lady in a hurry gave me two NYS deposit cans as I was feeding cans and bottles into the Wegmans machines today. So a total of $1.35 for items (1)-(3).

(4) At my visit to the Rescue Mission/Thrifty Shopper store near the airport after dropping the Bestest Neighbors off for their flight to FL today, I found three excellent books and a small Corning Ware dish. These came to under $5 after my senior discount.

(5) And I got gas for $3.27 a gallon ($3.32 a gallon plus 5 cents off a gallon with my Price Chopper store card) at a gas station near the airport. Gas is considerably cheaper in the northern suburbs than in the city at the moment.


Lindsey November 21, 2023 at 4:22 pm

1. I cut husband’s lush curly locks.
2. Husband cut my unruly locks. I do not know how to explain this but in the last year my ramrod straight hair has become curly. Nothing to rival the ringlets of Botticelli’s angels, or my husband’s, but still curly. My entire life I have wanted to be thin with curly hair. Recent illnesses have sliced off the weight and now the hair curls. So there I will be in my casket, having finally achieved what eluded me my entire life. And my friends will be correct when they peer into the casket and say, “Wow, she looks better dead than she did alive.” (Off topic but the tradition of my culture is to take pictures of the dead person alone and then another with family gathered around the casket. When my father died, his wife (American number 3) asked my husband to take the pictures. Somehow, I had never shown him photos of various dead family members in their caskets. His reaction is proof that eyes can get as big as saucers.)
3. Dog sat for a friend. This dog was the perfect guest. My friend had gone to Seattle and brought back a two pound box of See’s nuts and chews to repay me for babysitting. This was a week ago and I have managed to have only one candy per day.
4. Got a marked down cabbage from the grocery store. Made homemade cole slaw dressing instead of buying Marie’s dressing.
5. I have special spatchcock shears that I bought about a dozen years ago. My neighbor borrows them every year at Thanksgiving and I am glad to have them to offer. Why is this frugal? Because we borrow from each other all the time, instead of owning duplicates. Good neighbors do stuff like call you to say that your dog has jumped the fence and is now sitting on our porch waiting to be let in.

Happy Thanksgiving to those who celebrate it. I love cooking like a maniac for two days and then eating leftovers for a week.


Selena November 21, 2023 at 7:31 pm

As we age and our hair starts to lose pigment, it gets more coarse, aka curly.
I think the pictures at funerals started a long time ago. Plenty of them from one side of my family. Pictures were a luxury for a long time and IMHO, pictures of stillborn/died shortly after birth were part of the grieving process. And why some insist on closed casket/cremation for his/her send-off.
Embalming can take care of those pesky wrinkles.


Ecoteri November 23, 2023 at 12:33 am

Your number 2 cracked me up, once, twice, thrice… (the eyes as big as saucers was the kicker….) . Lindsay, you are so funny! As for your #5, I borrow from a buddy all of her random cool gadgets (lemon/lime press from the 40s – works like a hot damn when I have found a killer deal on dozens of limes). She borrows my dehydrators and food mill – although my mom just gave me a spare mill so I am going to gift that forward to buddy-o-mine…


Mar November 21, 2023 at 4:25 pm

Lol the picture of the airplane cracked me up!


Selena November 21, 2023 at 4:29 pm

Yup, she’s living up to her tortie-ness for sure. And with any cat, always helpin’


auntiali November 21, 2023 at 5:45 pm

My frugal 5:
1. Found a penny today
2. free boot for my foot for plantar fascitis from my doctor. Zero co-pay cause I’ve met my deductible.
3. Hubby made a mad dash to Maryland today – from NJ – to pick up our daughter for Thanksgiving. Saved her money for not taking the train and got his car on the highway to vroom vroom. No wife so no nagging.
4. Noticed an error on my Walgreens receipt. Will go in tomorrow to get it corrected. The deal was three 12 packs of soda for $12.99. I got charged for 2 even though I had 3 and the two were $9.99 each. No thank you.
5. Must cut hubby’s hair.


K D November 22, 2023 at 5:49 am

1. A friend loaned me a library copy of “the little liar” by Mitch Albom since it is not due for 2+ weeks. He doesn’t have much money but is generous with what he does have. This cost him nothing yet will benefit me. I started reading it last night and so far it is very good.

2. I finished listening to a library copy of Being Henry. I didn’t love the book but did come away liking Henry Winkler. I started listening to Ultra-Processed People and so far it is interesting.

3. We watched comedian Mike Birbiglia in The Old man and the Pool on Netflix. It was both funny and serious. I think laughter is good for your health which is good for frugality in the long run.

4. We will host a Thanksgiving breakfast tomorrow and then a lunch on Friday. Neither of these will be big deals, just a couple of family members joining us without expectations of a huge feast since they will get that elsewhere on Thursday afternoon. Our guests are mostly vegetarian so breakfast will be meat free and lunch will be turkey chops.

5. I am wearing a pair of sweat pants my daughter had for high school gym class (she graduated ten years ago). They look like grandpa high waist pants but they are warm and comfortable for walking on a cold day. I will switch to jeans after I walk.


Ava November 22, 2023 at 6:34 am

Katy, was the baby on the robot the cause of the decluttering incident?


Katy November 22, 2023 at 7:12 pm

Why yes, she was.


A. Marie November 23, 2023 at 5:37 am

Oh, dear, Katy, this may have created a bad precedent: The baby may start knocking more plants off shelves just to catch another ride on the robot!


Anne November 22, 2023 at 8:00 am

Katy, your cat’s twin is living at my house.


Juhli November 22, 2023 at 8:11 am

Love the cat on the robot and it also got a chuckle from my husband! Our pup provides endless entertainment. Pets are wonderful.
1. Hosted Hubby’s 71st birthday dinner at home for the whole family. A DIL helped with cooking and kitchen cleanup. Hubs choose the menu. Mega bucks more frugal than taking 7 people out or getting take out and way more fun.
2. Weeded our yard myself.
3. Collected a lot of paperwork to get a partial refund of home purchase city transfer tax and found the online form to complete now that the earthquake retrofit is done. It will only be about 15% of what the retrofit cost but still is very worth the effort. Will send it all off on Monday when everyone is back at work.
4. Gratefully using food a son and DIL brought with them for their week long visit.
5. Bought a needed replacement blanket at Black Friday sale price.


Ecoteri November 23, 2023 at 12:47 am

Drove to see my 93 year old mom (about 70 min away – unless every light is red, which they were today). she is starting to repeat herself and there are some lawyer forms that she got completed prior to this recent decline – but we need to get them signed by my #1 son in order to be able to make medical and financial decisions for her when it becomes necessary. Her own lawyer hasn’t been very responsive so I got some stuff from her to get MY lawyer to ask HER lawyer to send the stuff up here, where #1 Son will sign. Visit was illuminating – my Daughter has dinner with mom every week, and had been saying there were signs of forgetting.. The 3 hours I spent with Mom today showed this to be true. Sad, but inevitable, and she is still going to be fine in her condo for a while. We just need to ensure the (financial and medical) safety nets are secure.
2. Went to see Daughter after mom’s. Daughter at 23 has purchased her own condo, and although it is pretty awesome the kitchen faucet was NOT. We had purchased a new one, and so I went to help her learn how to adult and change a faucet. We had some challenges with the angle and some stubborn pieces, but we persevered and got it all apart.
3. Before we put in the new faucet, daughter had to attend her Zoom Condo AGM (that she had studied for!!!!) so I made her dinner rather than picking up the takeout that was rather appealing to me being only 2 blocks away and me being all hot and bothered and muscle-tired from wrestling the faucet. But Daugher had makings for homemade Mac and cheese and some random fruit and veggies, so I made up a meal for us both and fed her while she attended the very very long meeting.
4. when the meeting finally ended, she and I were SO successful in very quickly assembling and installing the new faucet. go us!
5. Last week, I had taught my daughter how to make no-knead fast bread (by walking her through it on the phone) – we were away together with the whole family, and she had wisely frozen sliced bread. Which I used on top of the baked Mac and Cheese. Now that she has discovered how expensive bread is and how cheap it is to make, I suspect she will be making a LOT more of her own bread going forward. Frugal is catching!


A. Marie November 23, 2023 at 2:06 am

Good for you for getting that #1 paperwork done, Ecoteri. I only got it done for my DH in the nick of time (three weeks later, he became unable to produce a signature), and there are many sad stories on the forums from relatives who did NOT get it done in time.


Ecoteri November 23, 2023 at 7:08 pm

@ A. Marie, I feel blessed to know that the paperwork was done almost two years ago, and rather annoyed at my busy self for not getting the final 5% done until now – I just keep putting it off, but she has the new will in her hands as of a month ago (and I got a copy at the same time!! – I found her ‘lost’ copy yesterday). she signed the paperwork for the Power of Attorney and what we call a Rep 9 agreement (healthcare decision maker) but the lawyer won’t release them until all the responsible folk (my #1 son and me) sign. and her lawyer wasn’t getting back to my son when he was trying to set up signing time. We are going to move Mom’s stuff to my lawyer who is close to me and far more responsive. but it takes action when the law offices are open, and that has been the challenge for me. ONWARD!


Hawaii Planner November 23, 2023 at 7:06 am

1) In a frugal fail turnaround, I bought DS16 a watch when we were in France, & thought I bought the one he wanted. I was mistaken. Listed & sold it in two days on eBay, as it’s a limited edition only available in certain locations. Made more than I paid for it.
2) Made cranberry sauce out of cranberries frozen last year. Turned the other half into a batch of cranberry muffins, which also used up yogurt from the fridge.
3) Used the last lemon on our tree to juice into the cranberry sauce.
4) My back bothers me, particularly after long international work flights. I got a discounted massage for $40, and it really helped. The relief is often short lived (and in fact, I have another long flight on Tuesday), but I’ll enjoy it while I can.
5) Listed a few items on eBay, after a long drought. Posted a ton of stuff on BN, most of which has already been picked up. It’s always nice to clean stuff out.


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