Five Tiny Frugal Things

by Katy on January 24, 2024 · 64 comments

    1. I had the kids over yesterday to work on their taxes, which was not a task to be procrastinated as they both had refunds coming their way. Especially their state taxes, as Oregon is handing out “kicker” refunds due to the state miscalculating their budget. They both used Turbotax, which is free at their income levels. I rewarded everyone with pizza afterwards.

      My husband and I will start our taxes today.

    2. We ordered Domino’s Pizza, as their gluten-free pizzas are actually affordable and my daughter likes them. My initial plan was to get just the one for her, (my son wasn’t at the house at the time) but then I saw that they were running a deal for $6.99 two-topping large pizzas, so I ordered one for the rest of us. I then picked them up to get the deal and saved the cost of delivery.

    3. My neighbor across the street dropped off some heavy duty plastic grocery bags that come standard with her grocery pickup service. This exact size works as kitchen bin liners as they’re both sturdy and perfect for our small trash can. I’m good about remembering my reusable bags when shopping, so sometimes I end up scrabbling for liners.

      She knows this about me as we’d chatted last year while she unloaded her grocery pickup bags. Tired mom that she is, she complained about how she needed to later return the bags for recycling. I told her I’d be more than happy to take them for reuse and she’s been bringing them to me ever since. Portland’s curbside recycling and compost, (which we share with our next door neighbors for extra savings) means that my family doesn’t need a standard American size kitchen bin, so grocery bags work perfectly for us.

      Am I going to get rich by forgoing the recurring expense of kitchen trash bags? Highly doubtful, but when you add up all the things I don’t spend money on, the answer gets a little blurry.

    4. • I returned overdue books to the library and picked up my holds. In the past there would’ve been overdue fees, but the Multnomah County library system did away with late fees a few years ago.
      • I picked up cheap powdered dishwasher detergent at Fred Meyer (Kroger) as I refuse to transition to using pods or tablets, which I consider to be a profiteering scheme. How? They’re tremendously more expensive per use and you don’t get to choose the amount to use. (I use a tablespoon of powdered soap per load.) Plus, there’s the whole issue of microplastics, which makes it even more baffling that the American public switched over to buying them. As you can tell, I feel strongly on the issue.

    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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{ 64 comments… read them below or add one }

JEG January 24, 2024 at 1:21 pm

I ran into the grocery store a week or so ago to pick up a few things. They had large pizzas reduced. $3.95. You can bet I bought a couple. And at my meat market, quarts of clam chowder were being sold over the weekend for $8 qt. At the fish market it was $24 qt.


Cathy January 24, 2024 at 1:22 pm

I happened across an article that first introduced me to the idea of The Compact (Sunset magazine, December 2008) at the same time I was pondering something that will be both a frugal purchase and a potentially/maybe secondhand one. I’m just curious if you have an opinion about officially refurbished items (like cell phones, tablets, gaming systems, etc). Seems like a secondhand purchase because the item has already been produced but needed repair. But…kind of a fuzzy/gray area?


Katy January 24, 2024 at 2:26 pm

I consider that a great purchase as you buying it doesn’t trigger the manufacture of a brand new item. My last laptop was a reburbished one from Apple.


Cathy January 24, 2024 at 11:16 pm

Thanks, Katy.
For several years we’ve purchased refurbished cell phones. One of the things we like is that each refurbished item has been checked out for every issue to make sure it works properly, whereas not every new phone on the line gets the same review. Of course the reduced price helps as well! This time, one of our kids wanted a specific gaming console. He found that he could buy a refurbished one, by the manufacturer, that not only was less money than brand new, but comes with full warranty.


Katy January 25, 2024 at 9:46 am

Smart son to get that refurbished gaming system!


Farhana January 24, 2024 at 1:46 pm

Which detergent do you use? Is it environment friendsly? I used to buy the Trader Joe one which they recenrly disconitnued 🙁


Katy January 24, 2024 at 2:27 pm

I also used to buy the Trader Joe’s powdered detergent as well, but they now sell tablets as I’m sure they’re a much more profitable item. I’m not worried about the branding being “environmental.” I use very little and the packaging is paper so it’s recyclable.


Mand01 January 24, 2024 at 1:58 pm

1. Still eating from the garden.
2. Canned salsa from our homegrown tomatillos. Only got 4 jars but it’s delicious and we will be happy it’s there later in the year.
3. Working, working, working.
4. Found my old kindle keyboard, that I thought was broken. Charged it up to discover it still works. It’s well over 10 years old. Found my cache of kindle books and have been reading them again. I wouldn’t have bought a new kindle but it’s great to keep using the one I already have. I know I can use the kindle app but I don’t like it, I find it annoying to use. I prefer the Libby app.
5. Speaking of the Libby app, I’m using it to read magazines for free. Magazines are a big waste of money in my view but sometimes I like reading a gardening mag. Free on Libby is perfect for my needs.


Katy January 24, 2024 at 2:31 pm

My sister uses my Libby app to read books as her library system doesn’t allow many holds at the same time. I don’t like reading eBooks, but to each their own.


Mand01 January 24, 2024 at 2:57 pm

I read both ‘real’ books and e-books, but I find as I get older and my eyesight continues to decline, e-books are a good option as many paper books have small font. I can increase the font easily and change the lighting depending on the time of day.
Libby is also great for free audiobooks, which I listen to when working on mundane tasks and gardening. Recently listened to a bunch of Dickens novels, which I would likely not have read myself.


Katy January 24, 2024 at 6:07 pm

Oh yes, I love Libby for audiobooks!


kathleen January 24, 2024 at 6:40 pm

My husband and I love our Kindle Keyboards! When the screen broke on my original and it no longer was usable, I ordered the parts needed and fixed it myself thanks to YouTube! I have a Kindle Oasis (bought because it’s waterproof) but still use Keyboard for all library books, because if I haven’t finished them, I can turn off wifi on Keyboard, and they stay on and readable till I turn wifi back on (a tip I learned here!) Can’t do that on the newer Kindle models.


Bee January 25, 2024 at 5:20 am

I also use the Libby app to read magazines. I subscribe to several British home and garden magazines that are quite pricey in the States.


K D January 24, 2024 at 2:23 pm

I have a friend that always tries to use everything at least one more time before it is thrown away. She carefully cuts the wrapping on the large packages of toilet paper she buys at Costco to use them to line her kitchen trash can. I give her bread bags to use for picking up dog poop.

1. I made a pan of granola and used more GF oatmeal than buckwheat groats since they are cheaper.

2. We had work done on our chimney a little over a year ago. Recently the damper was not closing all the way. I called up the company that did the work and they sent someone out to fix the problem. The work they did previously was not cheap and they were good about coming out to deal with this at no charge.

3. Tomorrow I will spend part of the afternoon with a friend and a 6 year old she watches occasionally. He likes to play board games and he is fun to be around. Free entertainment.

4. I continue to borrow eBooks and eAudio books from the library. I get through quite a few books during the course of a week.

5. Same old, same old.


Katy January 24, 2024 at 2:29 pm

January really is such a “same old, same old” month.

I reuse plastic bags for the daily scooping of our three litter boxes, (one for each floor of the house) which gets one more use out of them.


Ashley Bananas January 25, 2024 at 1:10 pm

I love the idea of trying to use something one more time before throwing it or giving up on it.


Jill A January 24, 2024 at 2:26 pm

I also use powdered detergent in my dishwasher. It lasts forever and I like that there is zero plastic. Also re-using your neighbors grocery bags is environmentally friendly as I’m sure you know. I dislike all the plastic.
1. After cooking dinner three days in a row we are enjoying the leftovers. No cooking and no food waste.
2. Lunch with a friend today was canceled unfortunately but since I don’t think I’ll be able to get back up my driveway anyway it was for the best. I’ve had a little too much socializing so I am enjoying staying in my pj’s and reading a library book on my kindle. No money spent.
3. Inspired by others on this blog I repaired my dog’s toy. She loves to tear them apart and this is the only one currently not buried in snow.
4. Also inspired by another reader I put some of DD#2’s dog’s kibble in an empty treat bag. I’ll be giving this to my dog instead of treats and at least it’s not her own kibble so kind of a treat. They both love to eat each other’s food. I keep a bag of his food at my house because he is here so often.
5. I sold another small item on Ebay and I listed a couple more. I’m trying to motivate myself to list things since I haven’t done it in months.

Also good for you and your family getting your taxes done so early.


Lindsey January 24, 2024 at 3:27 pm

1. Husband came home after being gone 12 days. I found a mystery shop to take him to breakfast today, so free food plus a small payment for doing the shop, instead of costing us.
2. Listed three things on eBay and FB Marketplace. I am forcing myself to list 3 items a day until I clear out the box of things waiting to be listed. This is a chore I despise.
3. While gone, husband saw a tiny book library so the next day took the book he finished on the plane and left it there. Then he saw a book by an author I like so took that in exchange and dragged it home in his suitcase. I was so impressed that he didn’t just leave the book in the airport bathroom with a note that someone could take it if they wanted it. That is what he used to do until we discovered tiny libraries.
4. At a doctor’s appointment today, they wanted to order an expensive and somewhat scary test that has a small stoke risk attached to it; it is a new test so might not be covered by insurance. I asked exactly what would the test tell them that we did not already know about my condition. “We hope it would confirm what we already think.” So after a year on a new medication that is working fine, they want to see if things are really what they thought they were? A hard no. (And get this: the doctor turned to my husband, who comes with me to these appointments so he can advocate for me if needed, and says, “What do you think?” He said, “I think she can make up her own mind about her body.” I felt like saying, “Hey! Doc! 1950 is calling you to come home!” Good thing this doc saved my life not once but twice, or I would divorce him.)
5. Mended sock toes, yet again.


Katy January 24, 2024 at 6:07 pm

You husband is 100% a keeper. He gets it!


A. Marie January 25, 2024 at 3:29 am

Yes, Lindsey’s husband rocks! (And I’ll bet Pound Hound is happy to have him home, too.)


Ashley Bananas January 25, 2024 at 1:14 pm

I would find a different doctor. Don’t talk about me like I’m not in the room.

What company do you do the mystery shops through?


Lindsey January 25, 2024 at 5:05 pm

I work with several mystery companies. Here is a blog post that talks about several of them. This guy’s blog has other articles on mystery shops you might want to look up. (Also called secret shops by some companies)


Trish January 24, 2024 at 3:28 pm

Oh man! I just started grabbing the cheapest pods, without really contemplating it. I need to check to see if my walmart (yuck, but cheapest option locally) still offers powder.

It’s just my husband and me at home, and we are fervid recyclers so our weekly trash is typically one bag partially full. I got the idea to start using our cat food bags – we have barn kitties we feed, and go thru a bag a week in winter. I love doing this, gives me a thrill both for saving money and for avoiding a plastic trash bag.


Katy January 24, 2024 at 4:26 pm

Yes, please follow up if you make the switch! Our kitties eat the dry food so slowly, the bag lasts us around a year.


Bee January 25, 2024 at 5:40 am

I wondered if anyone out there has tried Earth Breeze. It is laundry detergent in a fully dissolvable sheet. I’ve thought about trying them. There are many environmental benefits.


Heidi Louise January 25, 2024 at 7:58 am

Following a discussion of laundry detergent, my sister sent me a box of laundry sheets and a box of soap nuts. The soap nuts I have only tried once, seemed ok. The laundry sheets work fine, though not the brand you mentioned.


LDA January 25, 2024 at 8:34 am

Bee, I’ve used Earthbreeze a few times. Love the concept, however, I sometimes found leftover residue on clothing, especially dark items, despite putting the detergent sheet in the detergent dispenser. Currently back to using liquid detergent even though I hate the thought of so much plastic.


Iris January 25, 2024 at 10:27 am

I agree with you, LDA, about Earthbreeze leaving residue on your clothes, especially towels. Not a fan at all. I try to get Percil on sale and then I split it between two bottles and add water. Use very little and lasts a long time.

Agree with you Katy about pods, etc. I use liquid. Pods can stop up your pipes with the plastic that does not dissolve. Thanks for all you do in giving us this blog to read.

Katy January 25, 2024 at 9:42 am

Doing my research about pods I read that the dissolvable sheets contain plastic as well.


Lindsey January 25, 2024 at 11:51 am

Well this is depressing, as I just switched to the Earthbreeze sheets and was patting myself on the back over it.

Selena January 25, 2024 at 7:49 pm

While I have purchased the pods that are “squishy”, most of the time I use the tablet type. Which I think are basically “original” type pods.

Bee January 26, 2024 at 6:19 am

Thank you for the info on the washing sheets. It seems that plastic is everywhere. As consumers we can try to eliminate as much as possible, but business also need to search for alternatives to plastic. Sadly, even when they exist, business ignore them. For example, plastic bags

Vickey February 14, 2024 at 4:50 pm

Thank you for posting that, Katy. The laundry sheets can be more expensive per load, but we were thinking of getting a few for travel. Now we know better.

Hadilly January 27, 2024 at 7:03 am

I really really like Biokleen powdered detergent. I use half of an already small scoop. A box lasts forever. I use the unscented, hypoallergenic version. Great stuff.


Bee January 24, 2024 at 4:00 pm

Boy Oh Boy, I do dread tax season.Filing my tax returns may be my least favorite adult chore. I would rather clean the bathroom. Currently, I have none of the paperwork necessary to complete our returns so I can put it off a little longer. Whew!!!
You are a good mom, Katy. You make tax season fun.
Here are my tiny frugal things this week.
1. I used my IP and made a large batch of potato soup which used up two sad leeks, a little more of the Christmas ham, and some of the gallons of chicken broth currently in my freezer.
2. My favorite brand of herbal teas were on sale BOGO at our nearby Publix. I stocked up on chamomile and lavender teas to save a little money in the long run.
3. I listed 3 items that have been in my death pile. I have a love hate relationship with online selling. I used the IA tool now offered on eBay. It made things go much more quickly, but editing was still required. The description was light on facts.
4. Not frugal for me but frugal for my son and DIL – we watched the little ones on Sunday so they could have a little break. They have two kiddos under 2. I was rewarded when my 18-month old grandson climbed up next to me and gave me an unsolicited kiss on the cheek. Be still my heart! The best things in life really don’t cost a thing!
5. I bought what I believe is an Alaskan Inuit basket at Goodwill for less than $5. I was going to sell it, but have decided to keep it. It is beautiful and I can’t bear to list it.
Wishing everyone peace, good health and prosperity!


Katy January 24, 2024 at 4:23 pm

Nobody enjoy doing their taxes, that’s for sure!


Selena January 24, 2024 at 7:52 pm

Well color me odd – I miss the tax booklets they used to send out so now I read online. I relish the challenge to make use of the tax code that benefits us and avoid the code doesn’t like the plague. I *kinda* miss doing quarterly estimates. Last few times I had to do them I was within $17 of what we should have technically estimated.
Even though I know the kiddo is more than competent to do it by himself, it is an annual thing.
I’m nowhere close to having all the forms we need to file. One investment company waits-until-the-very-last-minute to send out a simple 1099-DIV. After tax season settles down, I’ll meet with the CPA to discuss strategy. My income from W-2 work will change (this year will be the one I need to plan out). And soon RMD will start for the better half. And that will likely determine my withdrawal schedule. I don’t mind paying taxes on pre-tax money – that is a known despite plenty of Boomer whining these days. BUT if I turn to ashes too soon, I want the kiddos to be prepared for their likely tax hit. While I don’t agree that pre-tax money should be passed on tax free forever, I wish they had exempted $100K-$200K per parent. This would at least give kiddos an opportunity for retirement money that some would otherwise not have. I’d be okay with exemption being kiddo income based truth be told.
And yes, as statements come in (not tax forms), the “I’m dead file” is being created.


Bee January 26, 2024 at 6:22 am

The part that I like least is writing the check. I am a bit of a tightwad. Oops! I am frugal!


A. Marie January 25, 2024 at 6:44 am

Bee, you have inspired me (a) to put off starting my tax paperwork a little longer (since I too do not yet have all the necessary forms) and (b) to make a potato soup (I too have sad ingredients to use up).


Heidi Louise January 25, 2024 at 8:05 am

I kind of like doing taxes. We have a running joke about the state: No matter how we set our deductions or added in a little, we always owe the state ~$180. This has happened for years.
I was very angry several years ago when I was trying to do our taxes promptly, right after January 31 when I thought all forms were supposed to be sent to the taxpayer. I learned that a few types of investments (I think that include real estate) do not have to have statements available until sometime in February, as they do not have all the values calculated until then. Rude word deleted here.


Selena January 25, 2024 at 7:52 pm

That is why I have a large envelope (reuse each year, striking former tax year, adding current) where I stash the forms as they come in. Then mark them off the list which is based on last year’s return. I think I’ve received almost half of what I need.


Kara January 24, 2024 at 6:41 pm

1. Just ate IP pinto beans and rice for dinner. What would I do without Mexican for no-motivation dinners?
2. Walked in my neighborhood and did my weight exercises at home. I reached out to a trainer a few weeks ago, who thankfully never got back to me. I decided I could find the motivation myself.
3. I made a master calendar of all my garden and household tasks on one page. It’s helping me make my food garden even more productive. I also have sprouted radish and arugula growing on the windowsill. I have 2 batches on the go, so when I harvest one batch the other is nearly ready. Makes a tasty fresh addition and I have satisfaction when I can grow them for free (free seeds even) when they cost SO much in the store.
4. I’m wearing a sweater I knit myself and a scarf from favorite auntie to keep warm in the house
5. Going for a MRI with contrast tomorrow so may visit the nearby thrift store as a reward for getting such an unpleasant task done


MB in MN January 24, 2024 at 7:47 pm

I, too, feel strongly about the whole microplastics issue and despair that we seem to be moving further away from solving it and other issues related to our environment and health. One recent article:

1. Using up some old surgical soap in my nightly foot soak.

2. Bought a new swing arm wall sconce for 50% off.

3. Chose the Zoom option for two events to save gas and avoid having to drive at night. My cataract surgeries were not entirely successful and night driving is still a problem. A procedure in a couple weeks should help with that, although I will continue to need glasses.

4. My best friend gave us a dozen delicious and somewhat healthy muffins (aka cake) and two pricey bags of dog treats. She is generous in every way.

5. Another friend gave me some berry syrup that I’m using in yogurt and granola parfaits.


Selena January 24, 2024 at 7:58 pm

Pods – yes I used be vehemently opposed. And yes, I take the recommended brand for my swanky dishwasher (which I love – nice and quiet, water thrifty) seriously. The “fancy” pods are plastic wrapped, the low end are wrapped in a foil type. I only buy pods when on sale and thanks to the “these boxes are beat up and heavily discounted”, I have the luxury of waiting for a good sale on the next box(es) of pods. As with anything, one has to do the math.
Not sure how humid your area gets but I’m not missing dealing with chunks of powder.


Michelle January 24, 2024 at 9:53 pm

On the subject of pods, I recently saw a laundry expert talk about pods of laundry soap and he said they are not a deal for consumers, he said there is enough soap in one pod to do 3 loads of clothes. Yikes! Also as you mentioned, the micro plastic


Katy January 25, 2024 at 9:46 am

Exactly this! We as consumers should get to decide how much detergent to use for each individual load!


JC January 25, 2024 at 5:00 am

I make my own dishwasher tabs, they are cheap to make and in my machine work really well. I do have softened well water.
I use an old Feria Roche (?) container to form them.
They only take baking soda, citric acid and Dawn dish soap.

1. making sourdough bread and using the stale and crumbs for breading or stuffing cubes.
2. working on a “ginger bug”…hope it turns out.
3. moving furniture from room to room as my needs change.
4.figured out how to cut the toes off some too big wool socks and resewed them for use in my muck boots
5. found roasts on sale and have pot roasted one on the woodstove. So good and the bits and pieces are to become beef-veggie soup.
* truly over the wet, dreary heavy fog. But… at least it is not snow


Katy January 25, 2024 at 9:45 am

Mmm . . . homemade bread is the best thing ever, both to smell and then to eat.

I love your creative thinking with the too big wool sock toes!


A. Marie January 25, 2024 at 6:58 am

FTFT, Passive Winter Frugality Edition:

For fun, I thought I’d list all the things I haven’t been doing, or have been doing differently, because of our (ahem) varied winter weather. (I’ve mentioned some of these in previous comments.)

(1) Showering less, thus creating savings in hot water and toiletries.
(2) Keeping the furnace at 63 F throughout the cold snap (believe me, it’s been running like a maniac even at 63) and wearing what I call my “Grizzly Adams” sweater.
(3) Not going much of anywhere, thus generating savings in gas, Thruway tolls, and wear and tear on Nellybelle (my 14-year-old Honda Element).
(4) Cooking creatively, thus making warmth in the kitchen and using up oddball stuff. (I made a chili over the weekend that used up half a jar of salsa and some dated canned goods. Next up, a potato soup inspired by Bee.)
(5) And standing in front of my open dishwasher after the cycle was done the one time I ran it during the cold snap, and pretending I was in a sauna. (I confess to using Finish brand pods, purchased at Ollie’s. But as a single woman who runs the dishwasher maybe once a week, I’m not going to get my knickers in a twist about it.)

But now we have a major thaw in progress. So I’m doing a jailbreak!


Lindsay B January 25, 2024 at 7:49 am

A. Marie, my parents also use Finish brand pods but cut in half. They had issues with their dishwasher and the appliance repair man told them the pods were too big, at least for their dishwasher. It’s a little iffy cutting them in half (a big chef’s knife, and a few little crumbly bits on occasion- these get tucked into a reused ziploc bag with the remaining half) but I guess that trick alone fixed whatever issue they were having! Not that you need any additional frugal advice- you’re at black belt level 😉


Bee January 26, 2024 at 6:10 am

I have a little trick to use up those crumbly little bits besides using them in a dishwasher. If you have a caked on, baked on mess , put these in the casserole dish or pot and soap overnight. Most of that mess will come off without scrubbing.


Katy January 25, 2024 at 9:35 am

I call what you described as “sauna” as “my housewife beauty treatment.

I’m so happy to read that your region is starting to thaw out!


Michele January 25, 2024 at 10:30 am

1. Scrounging to make lunches for this week- trying to hold off on grocery shopping. I have had PB and J and egg salad sandwiches. I think I am done with lunchmeat. It gets slimy too quickly and too expensive. I also pack leftovers from dinner.
2. Going to contact the broker who found me cheaper house insurance to see if she can look into car insurance. FL rates have risen astronomically. Our two grown sons are off our policy. It should not be this much!
3. Watching All Creatures Great and Small every eve with my husband. I have watched them all, but he is catching up. Cheap entertainment.
4. Making my DIL’s favorite appetizer for Bday get together. Only need one ingredient- I have all the other items. Our family started doing appetizer get- togethers and we’re never going back! Easy and delicious.
5. Driving carefully to save gas, keeping track of mileage for work, setting timer for dryer, and measuring laundry soap (I use 1/8 cup and it works).


Jenne January 27, 2024 at 10:42 am

Longtime reader and lurker, first time commenter.

What laundry soap do you use?


Ruby January 25, 2024 at 2:16 pm

I use the old style Finish dishwasher tablets wrapped in foil, which I last bought at Ollie’s Outlet. The tablets prevent my husband from overloading the detergent container: we used to be able to taste detergent on the rims of the glasses before making the switch.

After the freeze has come the flood. This week rain is keeping me at home. DH dug through his stash of gardening stuff and came up with pine bark nuggets to put down in the mushy area along the fence where our dogs were getting filthy and tracking in mud. I sewed up another ripped dog toy and mended a bra. Used some frozen bread and extra eggs to make a pan of apple-raisin bread pudding for breakfast and the freezer also had a pack of manager’s special sweet Italian ground sausage that made outstanding spaghetti. Hemmed a shower curtain with some more of the thread given to me by a long-ago neighbor.


Christine January 25, 2024 at 2:38 pm

Your #3 Katy…as Amy D. from the Tightwad Gazette has said: It’s all the little frugal things that add up to savings (or words to that effect).
1. A few weeks ago, while walking for exercise, I picked up a gift card sitting there in the leaves for Dunkin Donuts, a chain coffee shop here in the Northeast. Turned out it had $10 on it. DH and I had a little date at the town beach and enjoyed free coffee and donuts today although I always feel bad when I find a gift card because it’s someone else’s loss.
2. I purchased an in the package BPA-free plastic cold beverage travel cup at a thrift shop for .50.
3. Today was a rare 52 degrees here in Massachusetts so the heat was turned off for the day.
4. Our cheap-o subscription to Paramount ran out so we canceled it.
5. I got Aveeno body wash (ordered by my doctor) for 40% off plus $1 off at CVS using their coupons.


Mary Ann January 25, 2024 at 4:24 pm

1. Not Frugal / Frugal: I bought a personal steamer for my first ever sinus/head/ ear thing. So easy to push the Amazon button. The next day I discovered my instapot was the best personal steamer. The next day the package arrived and I was refused the return. Home / health supplies. But they refunded my money. How is the world so crazy that they DON’t want me to return a product?

2. Bought a rotisserie chicken at Sam’s. The last two years I have received a free year membership. What a deal! I rarely shop there but 4.49 for six chicken meals ( which is what it usually makes) is precious.

3. Last week’s Kale purchase is still going strong. I have had delish salad and added warmed up rice all week.. So good.Tomorrow I am going to try baking the rest of the Kale with olive oil and salt.

4.I better get reading. I have five hold books waiting. Now that I have switched to actual books ( I sold my kindle on Poshmark) I realize library holds come much more quickly than Libby Holds.

5. I discovered that my fav store Grocery Outlet is not representing the actual price of items when comparing it to their items. I am very disappointed. A jar of jam showing a savings of 3.00 is really only a savings of 1.00 when compared to Sam’s or Amazon. This means I have to get my phone out to shop there. Blast. Of course there are slamdunk bargains to be had but I have to be more aware now.


Lesley January 26, 2024 at 6:23 am

I just want to say a huge *thank you* for all the loyal fans who continue to post to the TFT threads … I learn so much every single time, and it truly feels like a community here.


Heidi Louise January 26, 2024 at 8:31 am



Stephen January 26, 2024 at 11:33 am

A lot of libraries, including my own, began waiving fines during COVID.


Ecoteri January 27, 2024 at 1:38 am

FFT Jan 27 Snow is finally leaving and rain is pouring pouring edition
1. Snow kept me happily at home for a lot of days – and out of the stores. My mom was wise and chose to not drive up for a birthday celebration on Sunday, however #2 son (turning 25 but will be away ) and I went to #1 son and Daughter Outlaw’s place for a planned coffee and cake and delayed Christmas celebration.
Boy howdy did THAT not turn out as expected! Once a tour of the new kitten was had by #2 son, (I am allergic so declined) I was handed my Christmas ‘gift’ which was wrapped in an old BC Coast Chart. I was very excited about the chart and happily talking about that when I finally noticed the present.
Cardboard box, with a Guess What? on the cover.
Opened it up to find a Hi Grandma! Onsie.
Tears of joy – didn’t ever want to ask if they were trying, but they have been for a year. Pretty darn good Christmas present, wouldn’t you say? AND I haven’t been able to talk to my Mom about it as they haven’t been able to visit due to our horrid weather. Hopefully that will happen this Sunday and I can tell the world.
2. I am now going to need to learn how to mend an old knitted blanket (the ‘Cuddledy Blanket’) that #1 son was gifted when he was born 35 years ago. I can stitch on a new flannel backing, of course, but there are some sections with stitches just wearing out or letting go, and my darning isn’t really up to that, (yet) but I am going to learn! The old ripped flannel has been unpicked, a new-to-me flannel blanket/sheet collected from the thrift store (it will be softer than new) and a project is born.
3. Speaking of, for the next 6 Sundays I will be hosting a Make, Mend and Repair event at my house – fairly casual as it is a random group of my friends and acquaintances getting together for themed potlucks at 5 and an online zoom event at 7, which is run by someone I kind of know in Vancouver BC.
Who knows what it will look like, but hoping one of the friends who comes can assist in the blanky repair. I have lots of little hand repair jobs to do, so imagine I will be getting some of them done in the company of friends and good conversations.
4. My broken bread machine part has arrived and been attached with success, however other events have delayed the rest of the re-assembly. Instead, I am back to making bread by hand, which is soothing in and of itself, so not a thing that frustrates me. I just needed a kick in the pants to get started.
I made a lovely couple of loaves stuffed with pecans and brown sugar, that all got converted into french toast (either eaten or saved for some #2 son lunches or frozen for future). Chickens are still producing but at a pathetic rate – I am contemplating getting more chicks or pullets, but really need to get rid of the roosters, first.
5. I found a huge stack of clear plastic garbage bags stuffed full of spruce curly ‘pot packing material’ – with a large ‘FREE’ sign beside them. I was in the truck and, although it was dark, raining, the ground covered with melting snow, slush, puddles and muck, I filled the back with at least 18 bags – strapped them down with the straps I always carry, and brought them home for the garden. Excellent mulch manifestation if I do say so myself – I had just been thinking I needed to find more inexpensive lightweight mulching materials for my gardens to reduce weeding this year. I am taking two or three bags down to the garden in the wheelbarrow (carefully because they are large, light, and awkward) every day when I go to the sheep


Heidi Louise January 27, 2024 at 8:36 am

Big “AWWWWW” for your Christmas present!
I hope all goes well for them. Best wishes for the blanket re-do.
(When they got engaged, a friend received a framed picture of her husband as a child with some scraps of his childhood security blanket in the frame, with a caption something like that she was his security now. I can’t remember the wording, just that it was a touching way to welcome her to the family).


Shona January 27, 2024 at 4:26 pm

It’s been awhile since I’ve commented

1. A coworker’s grandfather passed away and while cleaning out his apartment she came across 50 bottles of wine. I’m currently enjoying a glass of Cabernet that is far more than I would ever spend. Thank you sweet coworker!

2. Traded in a bunch of books at the local used media warehouse. I didn’t find much, but have a lot of credit for my next visit.

3. Used a Great Clips Instagram coupon to get my hair cut.

4. Cleaned out my closet and made some sales on Mercari.

5. Made my weekly pot of soup. I’ve always said that soup is the cornerstone of my frugal life.


Nancy from mass January 28, 2024 at 7:29 pm

One of these days I hope to have some frugal fives.

Let’s see, my shoulder has been bothering me since the beginning of the month. I went to bed it was fine, I woke up I was in pain. It’s the same shoulder I had reconstructive surgery done on in 2011 that has not bothered me a day since. I’m now going to PT twice a week. We’re not entirely sure what happened. I feel like I’m gonna need surgery again.

I had my plumber come over to take a peek at something, and he pointed out that the water pipe that goes from the street to my house was original to the house and steel. .So I’m getting quotes now to replace that. (I need an excavator with my plumber to replace it) it is starting to rust. That is not good.

I bought a 1928 pin at the thrift store right before Christmas for 3 dollars. I absolutely adore 1928 jewelry. I realize the other day it’s no longer on my jean jacket. The only place I’ve worn the jacket is work.

I don’t even wanna think about taxes right now. I’m wishing $$ for everyone though.


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