Five Tiny Frugal Things

by Katy on August 2, 2023 · 65 comments

I try to have my “frugal things” be somewhat significant, (which is hopefully informative) but there’s always the smaller things that fall under the radar, so I’m going to start writing mid-week blog posts where no thing is too small.

  1. I got two grocery circulars in the mail for the schwanky grocery store close to the house. I rarely shop there, as they’re out of my budget by a loooong shot. However, my next door neighbors do, so I cut out the pair of $5-off-$35 coupons and tucked them into their mailbox.

  2. I lent our Eufy robot vacuum to my son as the bedroom in his rental house has wall-to-wall carpet and there’s just there’s no way to clean under the bed. (A fully carpeted room gets so musty!) He borrows the vacuum every few months and it always comes back like it’s seen combat.

  3. My husband suggested takeout pad Thai for dinner last night, but I’m on a mission to process our perishables before we head out for a two week trip. I was able to assemble enough dribs and drabs from the fridge/freezer to set out a burrito buffet that scratched that takeout itch, plus served to use up a satisfying amount of miscellaneous fridge items. (Rice and beans, cheese, sautéed onions and peppers, lettuce, broken tortilla chips.) I also prepared a batch of shepherd’s pie to use up ground turkey, carrots and potatoes, as well as a big pot of Mexican-style chicken soup from the last scraps of a Costco rotisserie chicken.

    We’ll indulge plenty on our trip, so we might as well defer the splurge.

  4. I was one of the millions of Americans whose passport renewal was taking a ridiculous amount of time to be processed. My husband and I had planned on looping through Toronto during our East Coast-ish road trip this summer, but we finally gave up and switched out our plans. I did finally receive my crisp new passport after three months, but we really don’t want to re-plan everything all over again.

    How is this frugal? Staying in Toronto would’ve required staying in a hotel and the new plans are 100% staying with friends and family in New York, New Hampshire and Pennsylvania. I’m kind of bummed to miss out, but I’m also thinking it’ll be nice to not rush through visiting with everyone. My husband and I are consoling ourselves with vague plans of a short Vancouver B.C. trip in the near future. Complete with a hotel room.

  5. I didn’t buy a Lear Jet.

Katy Wolk-Stanley

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

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{ 65 comments… read them below or add one }

kathy August 2, 2023 at 4:30 pm

1. Two days into August and I’ve sold and shipped 2 items
2. Packaged up a new book I won to send to a friend who is going thru some challenges. Packed up another book to a friend in the hospital and regifted a birthday gift to another friend. Used blank greeting cards. All ready to go to the post office. Also used packing materials I had
3. Inventoried all possible gift items I have on hand. In good shape for birthdays thru the end of the year and substantial dent In Christmas
4. Watched movies on tv. Too darn hot to go out
5. Received a $10.50 class action settlement


Heidi Louise August 2, 2023 at 4:43 pm

I will see what tiny or routine things I can ad.
1. I bought a fairly inexpensive bunch of gladiolas at the grocery store and put them in my yard sale purchased brightly colored probably tourist vase. The inside and bottom of the vase are not glazed, so I put a small jar inside it to hold water, thus keeping the actual vase from making wet rings on my furniture.
2. I dutifully checked for sales before grocery shopping today.
3. I am creating good chi energy in my basement by sorting and purging. I need someone who wants an authentic mid-70’s puka shell necklace, or a small wooden rocking horse that says “Heidi” on the side, and is probably not up to any modern safety standards.
4. Glad you are set for ten years for your passports, even if they didn’t come quite in time! We got ours done this spring, just in case.
5. I am playing geography games on-line for free; now know where many of the counties in England are, and thus I can feel smart when a ‘shire name comes up in something I am reading. Of course, if I ever go to Kent in real life and it isn’t bright pink, and Lincolnshire isn’t purple, I will be lost.


Ashley S. August 2, 2023 at 5:29 pm

Lol! I’m intrigued by these geography games you speak of! What are they called?


Heidi Louise August 2, 2023 at 5:42 pm

I started playing World Le, which posts one puzzle a day, an outline of
one world country. It is kind of nice to have just one puzzle, with follow-ups if I wish.

Then I searched for some ways to learn the English counties and settled on World Geography Games, in particular
A few others will show up in a google search for “learn counties of England.”


Anne August 3, 2023 at 7:07 am

Oh, the plethora of puka shell necklaces there are in the world. We go to Hawaii somewhat regularly and always end up with one or two more of the unwanted things. They are kind of like the coffee mugs of the jewelry world. I always end up tossing them into my latest charity shop box, but I simply can’t imagine anyone actually buying one.


Ashley Bananas August 3, 2023 at 8:12 am

When I was in high school in the late 90’s early 2k’s they were pretty popular where I lived. I know I bought one or two. Not sure what happened to them. I guess they’re a pleasant nostalgia item.


Juhli August 2, 2023 at 4:51 pm

We made a big move 4 months ago but we’re able to take some food and I kind of lost track of how old some of it was. After having to throw out or give away some staples I attacked things needing to be used.
1. Green lentil and carrot soup, mashed instant potatoes and pumpkin muffins made a dent.
The new house needs large expensive work and little annoying things fixed.
2. Hubby tacked down cables and dug out a giant unwanted plant.
My walking shoes were hurting my feet and this is a very walkable area plus the pup enjoys many walks a day.
3. Tried on 5 pairs of potential replacement shoes and sent back 4. Happy feet and continued free exercise. Onward to replacing walkable flats.
Granddaughter #2 is 5 months old and we moved to be hands on grandparents.
4. Received a very nice 3 in 1 high chair from Buy Nothing that only needs a thorough clean and a new seat cushion.
Closets are small and few in the new house.
5. Went through my clothes and am giving away 9 items that will not be replaced.


Ruby August 2, 2023 at 4:51 pm

Katy, your cooking always sounds good!

1. Did not hire out some cosmetic work on our front porch. I’m doing it, although in bits and pieces due to the heat and my arthritis.
2. Needed something to store music CDs in inside a bookcase. Realized the boxes protein shakes are packed in are the right height, and we had two empty boxes. Some glue and Contac paper later, and it’s a storage system.
3. Washed, cut up and packaged all the fresh veggies for deconstructed salads AND showed my husband where everything was in the fridge. So that he would actually eat it instead of overlooking it.
4. Used $2 in shopper’s dollars at Walgreens toward hearing aid batteries.
5. Paid $2 for a quart can of oops paint at the hardware store that matches the paint in our laundry room, for touching up nicks in the paint.


Nicola August 2, 2023 at 5:18 pm

Ugh, here you on the passport, currently trying to renew my PR card here in Canada. They sent it back, because it had been over 90 days since it was submitted. The delay was because they were on strike. They want me to re-sign it and the reason for the re-sign doesn’t apply, because I cant leave the country as MY PR CARD IS EXPIRED. It’s starting to feel like that song about the hole in the bucket! Their processing time is still showing as over 90 days, so I am expecting it back again in a month or so’s time!
Had an unexpected $400 sale on ebay, which was a lovely surprise.
Used some of the proceeds to buy a few pieces of clothing from Poshmark.
Picking and processing berries and veg from the garden.
Tried some new sauce recipes so we can have more “fakeaways” not takeaways.
Made a few items for our first grandchild, who is due in November. He will be born in New Zealand. Hand knitting with natural fibres is not thrifty and shipping to New Zealand, even less so. Hopefully the good vibes of hand knit items will compensate for the vast expense!


Jennifer August 2, 2023 at 5:40 pm

You are going to have so much fun on your trip! We just did a 2+ week road trip and spent most of the time visiting family out west. It was awesome and well worth it. I feel like much of frugal living comes down to the little things. You do those way more often than the big things come up.

1. Over the course of our trip I found $0.25 on the ground.

2. I’m plugging away at the meats that were unearthed in my children’s pantry challenge. Today I made a chicken/Bacon/apple BBQ dish served over rice. The chicken and bacon were bought in the spring. I don’t do a good job of rotating my large chest freezer and need to do better. It felt good to use those items.

3. Dh and I had a date afternoon and hit up Starbucks for half price iced drinks and then hiked a nice trail nearby. Hiking and coffee dates are frequent for us, but today was cheaper than usual. We have found this to be a cheap date compared to dinner out.

4. Thawed 2 cups of pumpkin puree cubes I put up last fall. Used this to make a double batch of pumpkin chocolate chip muffins and froze half.

5. Got a few pounds of yellow squash for $0.99 a pound and made a very large batch of squash casserole. I hate it, but my dh loves it. Every summer I make a large dish of it and freeze it in meal size portions for him to take for his work lunches. For about $6 I got 8 meals worth. I used the last sleeve of ritz crackers that no one was eating in it, so that felt good too.


Christine August 4, 2023 at 6:09 am

Your #3…I love hiking dates. Alone time with a loved one, free exercise and views of nature. What more could we ask for?


Jean C August 2, 2023 at 7:04 pm

I was in Vancouver last month to go to Butchart Gardens. We stayed at a smaller hotel called the Exchange (maybe 3 blocks from the harbor) and it was terrific. I took the sky train from the airport and the hotel was only 2 blocks from my train stop – so definitely convenient / frugal. We did a walking food tour of the historic district (Gastown neighborhood) that was fun and delicious. Whale watching was a bust, but we took a sea plane to Victoria (and then a short tour bus ride to Butchart Gardens) which was a fun adventure. Watching the seaplanes go in and out if the harbor airport was fun even if you are not taking a flight.
There is an app you can use in advance of your arrival in Canada which expedites that process. Also, check with your cell phone provider for cost of international roaming – some plans are only $5 a day, others charge by the minute and can be costly if you are not careful. Hope you have a great trip!


Katy August 2, 2023 at 7:20 pm

Thank you so much for sharing all this, it sounds like you had an amazing trip!


auntiali August 2, 2023 at 9:00 pm

After having to get a new fridge, new toilet and dh getting over a virus which was NOT Covid, thank God things are evening out. Dd got into grad school and will be leaving in about another week. The school is a 3 hour drive from out house.

1. Walgreens was offering 25% Walgreens cash for each purchase and if you purchase the catagory of the day you got more money. Spent less than $99 and earned $99 back in Walgreen’s cash to be used on future purchases.

2. Getting some things for dd’s studio apartment. Got some things at Aldi for a good price. Also received some hand me downs from my friend who is downsizing her house.

3. With dd out of the house we will save on electricity, water and food.

4. We thought about getting a second car for dh when he retired but due to his illness we postponed it. Now dh has seen how small the downstown area is where dd will be living he’s proposing a not take the car to school as you won’t be able to park if anywhere. Therefore dh will get his car back and all will be good with the world. College is only 3 hours away from our house.


A. Marie August 3, 2023 at 4:43 am

1-5. My five tiny frugal things for today are the five small handmade, signed, dated baskets (brand names include Longaberger, The Workshops of Gerald E. Henn, and 19th Century Handmade Baskets) that I found Tuesday at my Salvation Army superstore, along with three similar medium-size baskets. These were all priced exactly the same as if they were the standard crappy baskets for sale (FTD, etc.), so I got all eight for $19–my best thrift score for ages. I’m keeping three or four of them and will use the rest for resale or gift giving.


Ruby August 3, 2023 at 6:27 am

A. Marie, that is an amazing score! What a good eye you have to have found those in the basket jumble.


A. Marie August 3, 2023 at 7:54 am

Ruby, I’ve often wished that you and I could go knock over a few thrift stores together. I think we’d be the Dynamic Duo.


Ruby August 3, 2023 at 3:24 pm

I have a good eye for fabrics and handbags. Copper items too. We’d make out like bandits!


louise August 3, 2023 at 12:13 pm

You were meant to be the guardian recipient.


Ava August 3, 2023 at 6:26 am

I feel like my frugal things are almost always small.
1. I brought home a book from the little free library because I thought my husband might like it. He wasn’t interested, so I returned it.
2. I had another sale on Ètsy of something that has been listed a long time.
3. We got Chinese take out and two days later I made a great stir fry that used up the left over rice.
4. My husband cleaned out a closet and found a piece of fabric I had forgotten about. I listed it on Etsy and it sold in a few days.
5. We loaned two puzzles to friends and they loaned two to us.


Christine August 4, 2023 at 6:13 am

It seems like most frugal things are small but together they all add up. Yours sound great.


Danielle C August 3, 2023 at 7:01 am

Five tiny things:

1. Every day when I walk my dog I use produce or bread bags to pick up his droppings. I have a roll of potty bags on the leash as well, just in case someone else walks him and forgets to grab a bag. Savings: pennies

2. The tiny ends of five toilet paper rolls were set aside at a place where no one was going to use them so I brought them home with me and used them up. Savings: pennies

3. I had two indoor plants that were outgrowing their pots. Before I went shopping for new pots, I scoured my backyard and found two that would be perfect. After a little scrubbing theyre now being enjoyed indoors. Savings: tens of dollars

4. When I do laundry now, I toss the liquid measuring cup into the load for the wash cycle. The cup is always clean and the detergent all gets used. Savings: pennies

5. My son was invited on a day trip to an amusement park and the best place I’ve found to get tickets is through my husband’s union membership. On the four tix we bought, we saved at least $10 each over the park’s online ticket + fees.


MB in MN August 4, 2023 at 6:39 am

Danielle C., this is a great list. I also use leftover plastic bags for dog droppings. My niece saves her bags for me, too, and it helps alleviate the guilt when we can’t avoid purchasing something in a plastic bag.


MB in MN August 3, 2023 at 7:32 am

Little things definitely add up!

1. Watched free YouTube videos to exercise. Saw a quote the other day that resonated with me, something like “if you make time for wellness now, you won’t be forced to take time for illness later.” Plus, I enjoy it.

2. Participated in my Buy Nothing group. This week’s score was a set of handweights (this was an “ask”) and two packages of hot dog buns (these were a “flashgive” and no one else was biting). Even though we’re vegetarian, we’ll use the buns for sandwiches, croutons, etc. Not the healthiest bread, but free works for me. And I gave away things that others could use.

3. Went to Goodwill on 25% off day for seniors. Bought more CDs (all of our CDs are in storage while we hunt for a house; I kept the boombox out of storage but forgot to keep our CDs out). At $1+ each, they qualify as frugal since I will get hours of entertainment from them.

4. Continued to take advantage of online library classes on a wide variety of topics. Getting smarter for free!

5. I brake for both free signs and lemonade stands. I figure my savings at the free piles make up for my generous tips at the lemonade stands. I’m still smiling over the earnest little boy who explained the two flavors of lemonade on offer, his sister’s eyes bugging out at the large tip, and then his squishy little arms serving me the cup of lemonade, being careful not to spill any. Priceless.


Marie-Josée August 3, 2023 at 3:35 pm

Your description of the squishy armed lemonade seller is adorable and made me smile.


Christine August 4, 2023 at 6:16 am

I love the quote from your #1…makes a lot of sense.


Anne August 5, 2023 at 7:06 am

Been stopping at lemonade stands all my life. And I hate lemonade. Stopped at one a few days ago (figuring I would just pour out the lemonade a few blocks later) and got out of the car with the small bills from my wallet, a five and two ones, as there was no price posted. When I asked how much, they said “anything you want.” I gave them the whole seven dollars.

My sister was aghast. She said she would have given them a dollar. I explained that iced tea (which is what I ended up buying) was four dollars in some restaurants and was not a lot of money to me, but probably made those kids’ day.

I think she hasn’t been looking at her restaurant bill lately. 😀


MB in MN August 5, 2023 at 8:11 am

Anne, I love your story! The lemonade stand is not about the lemonade. I can rarely drink what I buy.


Terry August 3, 2023 at 7:38 am

How about some tips on frugal packing for a 2 week trip? Specifically–number of shoes and outfits? Leaving for Italy in late September and want to pack as minimally and frugally as possible. Not into fashion but want to blend in…


Heidi Louise August 3, 2023 at 8:27 am

That must be a lovely time of year to travel!
You’ve hit one of my pet peeves in helpful articles. “How to pack with just a carry on” articles seem to start with a person who is a size 2-4, not an 18 with size 10W feet.
I think it comes down to how much laundry you wish to do and how you will have it done. Rinsing out underwear in the sink and hanging it on an umbrella to dry? Having laundry done by hotel service? Finding some form of public laundromat? Leaving clothes behind as you move to new places? And how much luggage are you capable of carrying around? Good wheels are worth paying for.
Wear your biggest stuff on the plane if you can do so comfortably, though other passengers will appreciate not having to wait for you to take off your hiking boots in the security line at the airport.
A friend had his jeans “professionally” washed and pressed in the states before his trips, so they looked neater and repelled dirt longer.


Terry August 3, 2023 at 9:26 am

Heidi Louise — Helpful insights. Loved your pet peeve comment!LOL Great tip about the jeans. Thanks!


Mary Ann August 3, 2023 at 11:52 am

I went to Italy in February with an under the seat flight bag and a back pack purse. So glad I did.

What I wore on the plane:
City walking boots
Black nit dress
Puffy Jacket

This is the capsule. Used everything.


Mary Ann August 3, 2023 at 11:56 am

also, “knit”

The infinity scarf is also a passport holder. I bought it on Etsy. The polka dot sweater is cashmere. The white shirt is UV SPF The two shirts are J.McLaughlin . High Quality, expensive, super packable. I bought mine on poshmark. The jogger suit was my pjs.


Ecoteri August 3, 2023 at 8:09 pm

@Terry – on the ‘wanting to blend in’ bit? My sister and I repeat to each other, over and over and OVER again, when we go on travel adventures “We will NEVER see these people again”. This allows us to avoid blushing over our cheapo regular clothing that can’t hold a candle to the fancy $hmancy hiking and sun-repellent clothing that others seem to be able to afford.
I know I will never blend in, being a non-fashionista with rather untameable curly red-blond-grey hair, a big laugh, and impatience with shoes that rub or pinch.
Also, I am not interested in having a special travel wardrobe – so I look at what I own that I know is comfortable, washes up by hand reasonably well, then cull cull cull until I am down to way fewer tops and bottoms than I started with. My preference is to wear a dress (with stretchy cheapo cotton shorts under – or tights in cooler weather) for most occasions.
Take a scarf or two, and a couple of inexpensive necklaces. both can gussy up an outfit, the scarves can also cover your hair when polite/necessary, or your shoulders when sunny, your mouth when masking seems judicious, or let you blow your nose in an emerg.
Wear any of the saved shoes and sandals you find in the back closet around the house for half an hour. I sent 4 pairs to Sally Ann after I discovered that my aged feet have lumps and bumps that are painful in those precious saved favourite shoes. sigh.
Don’t take favourite clothes, necessarily. Take different colours if you are going to take photos (my trip to Peru had me in three green tops of different shapes but almost identical colours… oops). go for flexible options. Layering


A. Marie August 4, 2023 at 5:55 am

My frugal tip for packing for a trip where you know you’re going to want to bring stuff home is to take clothing that still looks respectable but is approaching donation time, and to donate it to thrift/charity shops en route. This strategy worked brilliantly on the 2009 JASNA tour of England: I was the only one on the bus who wasn’t paying extra to ship books and other souvenirs home. I got everything into my suitcase.


Katy August 4, 2023 at 8:03 pm

Unfortunately this describes most my clothing.


Ashley Bananas August 4, 2023 at 9:51 am

I went to Europe for a month when I was a teen and only brought a book bag. One pair of sneakers, one pair of sandals, one pair of pants, one pair of shorts, one bathing suit, a few t shirts. Brought a few underwear and socks. One bra. Bought a sweater there. Bought my first pair of Birkenstocks in Germany. Brought home some gifts for family. It was a school trip and we went to multiple countries traveling a lot, and staying at hotels without elevators, using subways in a few places, and buses. The people who brought large suitcases needed help getting their items up stairs, and were tired when having to haul them. I’ll never forget one girl bringing excess pairs of shoes and boots. I believe she thought she was going on a fashion runway somewhere. I brought less and it literally made my load lighter. If you want to purchase or bring an empty bag, you can fill it up and check it in with bought items as gifts later. I am not a fashionable person, but am presentable. Despite this I did have a great trip.


Katy August 4, 2023 at 8:00 pm

Less is definitely more.


Plaidgirl August 4, 2023 at 3:51 pm

Terry, the first time I traveled abroad (27 years ago!) a wise friend who was a seasoned traveler gave me one piece of advice. She said to lay out everything I was planning on taking then put half of it back. I was skeptical but she was so right!! Enjoy Italy, it is magical!!


Mati August 6, 2023 at 10:28 pm

I pack things I’m OK with losing, then pass them on if I find something better. So, I brought an ordinary wool sweater to Ireland and came home with a handknit. This way, I never have to pay to ship.


texasilver August 3, 2023 at 8:38 am

Your big & small savings on needed items allowed you to put your children through college, retire early from a stressful job, and now live on one income. I’d call that a win in all ways.


Mary Ann August 3, 2023 at 12:03 pm

I have begun a low buy August:

1. I wanted to organize my new side by side fridge. Looked at You tube videos. I went to mMarshalls and selected 50 bucks worth of fancy containers. Put them back and used what I had including and old cardboard soda box. I’ll wait till I find used items.
2. I drain the first five gallons of water from the new water filter. i put it in a bucket and water my flowers with it.
3. I am a cookie dough addict. ( judge me not) but I am taking a non-UPF challenge. I made a 1/4 batch of dough. I divided into four servings and froze it. I eat a serving a day. . Usually I buy the dough from the store, eat some and throw it away because it is so addictive. My homemade version is pennies, it is not addictive because it is not engineered to produce bliss point/ cravings, I get full During this challenge I have lost four pounds over 2 weeks without counting calories. I am just not as hungry.
4. I ordered The Ultra Food Processed People at the library and am next in line.
5. I did not buy any new school supplies.


Selena August 3, 2023 at 6:56 pm

We all have our “quirks” and far be it from me to judge on cookie dough. Full disclosure, I like it too. I somewhat snub the “raw egg” – using egg you’ve bought is a bit safer than profit-at-all-cost corporate America. So better to make your own (go ahead and make a full batch next time and divide).


MB in MN August 4, 2023 at 6:32 am

No judgment here! (Coming from someone who ate paste as a kid and still loves to lick generous amounts of cookie dough off the spoon.) Cookie dough is one of life’s pleasures and it sounds like you have your addiction well under control.


Sandra August 3, 2023 at 12:32 pm

I took Katy’s advice about using a tablespoon to measure out my dishwasher compound. I could tell immediately that I had been wasting a lot. Thank you, Katy for a timely tip.

On the same thread, I started using a 1/8 cup measure for my liquid laundry detergent. I was previously using two and three times that amount. These two pieces of advice will add up to real savings.

Instead of using disposable pads for dusting with my dust mop, I have reusable microfiber cloths that pull on over the mop head. When finished I can throw them into the laundry.

I have purchased cloth napkins at discount stores, thrift stores, and garage sales. In this way I have accumulated several sets. I never buy paper napkins anymore. Most of my napkins are wrinkle free so require no ironing and for the few that do, it’s a simple chore. Over the years this has added up to considerable savings.

Some years ago, I was given a bottle of hand foam. I liked it and kept it by the kitchen sink. When it was almost empty I added a small amount of liquid dishwashing soap and filled it up with water. It worked fine and I have continued to use it year after year. Big savings for me and the environment.


Christine August 3, 2023 at 2:02 pm

1. I got 40% off a large container of Aveeno body wash which DH and I both have to use per doctor’s orders.
2. My one tomato plant, potted and on the deck has finally been giving us some tomatoes.
3. We’re planning a day trip to the Edvard Munch exhibit at a museum about 1.5 highway hours away. We will be going on a Sunday as the 1st Sunday of each month is free admission. His famous painting The Scream is not there but apparently there are some Scream lithographs.
4. I’m watching democracy stay intact on my Paramount subscription.
5. A friend gifted me a new book of crossword puzzles.


Lindsey August 3, 2023 at 2:03 pm

1. Cut the ends off toothpaste tubes and shampoo bottles so that I can use up the very last bits. The husband hates this but puts up with it because I get a totally disproportionate amount of joy from doing it.
2. Gathered some weeds to round out a salad. I do this all summer every summer. Given the price of greens here, and the dismal quality when they are flown or trucked up, gathering them from my own yard saves a fair amount of money and pleases my taste buds.
3. Gather and freeze excess chickweed and lamb’s quarters for winter soups. These weeds are more nutritious than cultivated greens and if I do the gathering once a week all summer, I usually end up with enough to keep us supplied for a lot of the winter.
4. Although we are leaving for a trip this weekend, I have been gathering raspberries from my yard and freezing them. Once you get one raspberry cane, in a few years you will have so many you won’t have the energy to pick them all clean. We have saved a lot of money this way over the years.
5. I save all wrapping paper and ribbons that I can, ironing them if need be, to make them presentable. I have not purchased wrapping paper for literally deades.


Lindsey August 3, 2023 at 2:05 pm

P.S. I love your term “defer the splurge” Katy. We have been doing that too before our upcoming trip and some clean out the fridge and freezer meals really required a lot of self-talk to consume weird combinations.


Katy August 3, 2023 at 3:24 pm

Yes, our meals are to get a bit hodge podge. I’d 100% prefer a food cart burrito, but we’ll hold off and defer the splurge!


A. Marie August 3, 2023 at 2:33 pm

Lindsey, if you can take time from trip prep to describe how you freeze weeds, I’d love to know. As you know, I use weeds lavishly while they’re in season, but I’m not sure how to freeze them. (Spread them out on cookie sheets in the freezer and then put them in Ziplocs, maybe?)


Lindsey August 4, 2023 at 8:24 am

I used to blanch and then freeze and then read an article about how blanching removes some of the nutrients. Add that to the time and mess, and I was happy to read that my lazy method works fine. I use winter weeds in soups and stews so now I put that day’s washed harvest in a small amount of chicken stock, wait for them to wilt down and then freeze the weeds and stock in bags or some of the really large ice cube trays I have. (Silicone, purchased from Amazon years ago and they have worked for weed freezing and pesto freezing.) This way I have the makings of a soup started. If I want them for smoothies, I freeze them washed and dried in plastic bags just as they are. They break off easily for use in smoothies. I have a friend who dehydrates all her greens, weeds or not weeds, and throws the powder into everything from smoothies to chili to gravy and soup.


Lindsey August 4, 2023 at 9:33 am

hot chicken stock, not cold


Marilyn August 3, 2023 at 7:00 pm

Okay some tiny frugal things:
(1) Cleaned a grease spot on upholstered recliner using a couple drops of Ivory dish liquid, some water and an old soft toothbrush. It worked! And I did not have to buy any special upholstery cleaning solution.
(2) Removed covers from our living room couch cushions and washed them in the washing machine on the gentle cycle. I have never done this before (mostly just vacuumed the cushions in the past). I was really pleased with the results, the couch looks almost new.
(3) Instead of meeting a friend for lunch, met with her for coffee. Bought a small cup of coffee and we sat and chatted for 2 hours.
(4) Took the time to get several estimates on roof and gutter cleaning job. There was a wide difference between the highest estimate and the lowest.
(5) Read a review of a book which sounded like something I would enjoy. Our library did not have it, so I put in a request asking the library to purchase it. Today, I was notified that the library has ordered the book and I will be #1 on the list to borrow it when it comes in. To our local Library: Thank you!


Katy August 4, 2023 at 8:06 pm

You know I love a good stain removal!


K D August 4, 2023 at 5:17 am

1. I used two very ripe bananas to make a double batch of Gluten Free pumpkin banana muffins. They free well and DH loves to have muffins for breakfast.

2. I redeemed grocery rewards for for good deals on baby carrots and oat milk. I lost some points yesterday trying to redeem for sparkling water. I emailed customer service to ask for them to be restored.

3. I walked to a friend’s house even though it was warm and humid and also looked like it might rain. I used an umbrella as a “parasol” since I don’t love using a lot of sunscreen. I also walked to my evening Pilates class though it looked again like it might rain.

4. I am wearing clothes I’ve had for years or are hand-me-ups. I don’t believe in following fashion trends and I’m abhorred by the environmental destruction wrought by clothing manufacturing.

5. We collect scrap metal and then give it away when we have a bunch. I pick up nails and screws (potential tire puncturers) and all kinds of metal while walking and we take things apart and save the metal when they are irrevocably broken. Someone just picked up our scrap metal today.


Whitney August 4, 2023 at 7:56 am

It’s been a crazy week with several sets of visitors, but a few things come to mind:

1) free/discounted museum passes. Our annual local museum membership is expiring, but I’m not going to renew it because my new job gets me in for free. We were able to use the last week before renewal to take family to two museums. I miss DC so much every time a museum isn’t free!

2. The heat, while driving up our utilities, has kept our ambitions/spending low. I go to work and come back home, stopping for necessary errands only. All I want is to sit at home, with a fan on me and not move. I worry about the coming years and how everyone I know will be ok. Family in south are just miserable. Climate change is scary!

3. Went through my closet and found items that I don’t wear or don’t fit. A couple are new with tags from Costco, so they can be returned. Gotta feed the hungry teenager somehow!

4. This weekend my local library is having a craft/fiber swap. I’ll take in some fabric scraps and misc and I’m sure come home with interesting things I don’t need. But it’s free and a good way to connect with other makers.

5. It’s a HUGE pain, but I spent a few hours this week rolling over my (laughably small) retirement funds into a new employer’s plan. The paperwork is thankfully digital now, but it’s still a pain.


Katy August 4, 2023 at 8:02 pm

Bring the teenager with you when you return at Costco. At least they can somewhat fill up on samples!


Farhana August 4, 2023 at 8:16 am

Hi Katy, which Eufy vacuum do you own? Thank you.


Katy August 4, 2023 at 5:12 pm

It’s the Eufy 25C.


Farhana August 8, 2023 at 4:33 pm

Thank you SO MUCH!


rebecca August 4, 2023 at 3:02 pm

1. I made a casserole using an out of date corn meal stuffing mix. Not great but it got eaten.
2. Made muffins from things on hand. I over baked them. They got eaten. Not a stellar cooking week
3. Gave some dog stuff to a friend.
4. Air conditioner is still off.


Cindy in the South August 4, 2023 at 3:27 pm

I always stay with friends and family when I travel now, unless it is a paid for by work hotel room. I reciprocate and I also buy groceries. I am not feeling like paying anything extra these days. I have even considered getting a tent to camp if needed, or car camp.


ve in mn August 5, 2023 at 4:46 am

my small 5 food edition…

1. brought lunch to work every day
2. put too much pepper in pasta dish, took out as much as I could as I hadn’t stirred it yet, was still quite peppery so added butter to calm it down and still ate it all, dh loved it
3. made a pan of blondies with on hand ingredients to avoid buying an overpriced bag of candy for dh who has a serious Reese’s Thins addiction but they’re $7.44 per bag!
4. ate on hand fruit and yogurt to quell my sweet tooth 🙂
5. cleared bits and ends of air fryer foods hanging out in the freezer


ve in mn August 5, 2023 at 4:49 am

* #5. by cleared I mean ate, which I’m sure most of you understood 😉


Nancy from mass August 5, 2023 at 4:55 pm

1. Took a trip down memory lane. My childhood home went on the market and I went to the open house! It was nice to Wander through the house after 23 years. I saw something in the garage that belong to my dad and I asked the realtor if she could ask the seller if I could have it. (It was a piece of card stock with fire codes on it) I spoke directly with the owner and went up with my son. She allowed him to wander through the house since he was a baby when it was sold and I now have that piece of paper. I did bring her a bouquet of flowers as a thank you.
2. Hung out three loads of laundry this week.
3. Was gifted a giant zucchini from a coworker so I made up a large batch of zucchini bread, a batch of chocolate chip zucchini muffins and I gave my neighbor about 3 cups of finely shredded zucchini so she could make zucchini cakes
4. I finally got my vet to give me the human prescription for the two medications my male cat takes. From the vet it was cost me $121 a month for that medication. From the grocery store, it cost me just under $12 for a six month supply.
5. I did not get into a bidding war with the three people for my childhood home. I enjoyed my visit and let it go.


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