Five Tiny Frugal Things

by Katy on January 31, 2024 · 66 comments

    1. I watched what my sister calls a “short form cinema,” (aka Instagram reel) where someone was making a baked cottage pie and I realized I could scrounge most of the ingredients from what I had on hand. I had maybe a quarter pound of ground turkey in the fridge, but I figured I’d just bulk up the veggies to make up for it.

      I sautéed and simmered mushrooms, carrots, (both diced and grated) frozen peas, onions, cilantro and celery with beef broth, herbs and spices with the last of some marinara sauce and a few squirts of ketchup. (I didn’t have any tomato paste.) The last of a bag of potatoes provided the mash, to which I added sour cream, butter, milk, grated cheddar cheese and a handful of home dried chives.

      The above photo is before I put it in the oven and I cannot oversell how absolutely satisfying this meal was. Comfort food at its best!

    2. I printed two eBay labels for free at the library as my printer is currently only spitting out blank pages. I swear that my eBay only makes sales when it senses that my printer is on the fritz!

      What did I sell?

      The copper fish pan that I thrifted on my birthday. $60
      A Pendleton wool blank book that I pulled from a free box maybe three years ago. $18.80

    3. My neighbor put another empty Bonne Maman jam jar in her recycling bin, which I brought home and washed for reuse. I recently sent a few to my son’s apartment filled with coffee, tea, dishwasher detergent and butter, so I was actually running low. I love these jars for storage and small amounts of leftovers.

    4. • I picked up groceries at Trader Joe’s for a neighbor whose whole family has Covid.
      • My son had me over and made spaghetti carbonara for the two of us.
      • Yesterday was up to 60°F in Portland yesterday, so I cracked open all the windows and turned the heat off. There’s just something about actual fresh air in the house that can’t be replicated.

    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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{ 66 comments… read them below or add one }

Kara January 31, 2024 at 10:29 am

That’s a very common English dish. Similar would be shepherd’s pie. That has baked beans in it with ground meat. The rural English know how to eat for cheap, stretching meat with veggies, beans or carbs (like Yorkshire pudding).

1. Working 4 days this week. My goal is to work 4 days a month. Spread out would be better but I take what I can get when I sub. So the heat is off at home, meals have been ultra simple.
2. Disputed a medical bill and won.
3. Am in the middle of a big diagnosis. I’ve had so much attention from my multiple specialty doctors by email, saving me at least $100 on multiple in-person appointments.
4. When I’m working in the office I wear the same pair of pants every day and change as soon as I get home (just as I did through grade school with a school uniform). It makes a lot less laundry and since I couldn’t say what a coworker wore yesterday, I’m guessing they also don’t notice my same pair of pants (clean shirt every day!)
5. Bought a nice Maclaren double stroller for $35 on FB marketplace for family member. I still have the single Maclaren stroller that my kids used (now 24 and 27). I use it for my grandson now. It still looks fantastic and doesn’t have a single thing wrong mechanically.


Katy January 31, 2024 at 1:08 pm

Yeah, nobody is paying attention to one another’s trousers unless they’re wide-wale corduroy with orange stripes and pink flowers.


Lindsey January 31, 2024 at 1:43 pm

As a lover of corduroy, the color orange, and bright big flowers, I most certainly would notice such pants and might try to buy them right off him or her!


K D January 31, 2024 at 2:28 pm

I only have one pair of “dress” pants. I bought them in 2006 and still wear them when the need arises. No one cares about your pants. I have loosely followed Courtney Carver (Be More With Less) and she wears the same 33 articles of clothing and accessories for 3 months at a time.

1. I ran an errand for a neighbor that was overwhelmed. She needed to pick up meds for her pet but was working from home and had a busy day in general. For a bit of gas and time I took a weight off her shoulders.
2. I am wearing jeans I almost gave away several years ago. They are good enough for my day to day life.
3. I went to Aldi as they had a lot of good produce prices: 3#s clementines/$2.89, 3#s Gala apples/$1.99, 5#s grapefruit/$3.99. I also grabbed some bananas. Some of the bags of clementines will be added to baskets of baked goods that will be given away tomorrow and Monday. Full disclosure: I also bought two slices of Turtle Cheesecake on sale for $1.79.
4.I have a batch of blueberry muffins in the oven. I had some sour cream languishing in the refrigerator. I was a bit short of what the recipe called for so I added a bit of plain Greek yogurt.
5. I don’t have a new luxury closet like people featured in the WSJ (which I read digitally for free through the library):


Mary Ann January 31, 2024 at 4:55 pm

This closet article is unbelievable!! I do like to look nice and I appreciate high quality wardrobe items But i would feel like a closet with this much stuff would weight me down like an anchor. At 60, believe, life is too short and “NOONE IS LOOKING!’

In an ironic note, we inherited a 5,000 sq foot century river house we are renovating. the closets are all small. Hubby asked if I want to make them bigger. Nope. I would rather have less and love what I wear.

Katy January 31, 2024 at 6:38 pm

My husband and I share a small closet and it has yet to be an issue.

Mary February 1, 2024 at 4:34 am

I stopped reading at Champagne button

Katy January 31, 2024 at 6:38 pm

It my mind they were also flared.


Lindsey January 31, 2024 at 1:41 pm

I was taught that shepherd’s pie is the one made with lamb and the cottage pie was made with beef. This was from our landlord when we lived in Scotland, who was insulted that we would think she, a sheep farmer, would make a cottage pie.


Sandra January 31, 2024 at 7:58 pm

My mother always made her Shepherd’s Pie with ground beef. Years later I was talking to my Scottish neighbor and she said in Scotland they would call it Tatties and Mince.


cathy February 6, 2024 at 8:10 pm

Lindsey, that’s absolutely the distinction between cottage pie and shepherd’s pie, though it seems in the US both often get referred to ask shepherd’s pie.


Bee January 31, 2024 at 4:56 pm

Hoping things go well for you, Kara. Medical issues and insurance problems are challenging.


Ashley Bananas February 1, 2024 at 9:45 am

Having a simplified wardrobe is nice for many reasons. Good for you for not spending all the money you make on clothes to go wear them to make more money to buy more things to work, work, work endlessly.


Shona January 31, 2024 at 10:59 am

1. Found a total of $22.21 walking through campus. As my brother commented “it pays to walk.”
2. A friend is spending a month in Kyoto and mentioned that she needed to make the thrift store rounds for a merino wool sweater. Instead I’m lending her my (thrifted) cashmere and wool one and my sweater gets to take a trip to Japan.
3. Today’s trip to the metal recycling center yealded $8.67
4. I work 4 blocks from my house and with all the recent ice, I only spent $14 in gas this month. The first week of Jan prices dropped to $2.45/ gallon so I filled up.
5. My non water resistant/ proof phone somehow survived being dropped in water. Excited that I don’t have to replace a 4 month old phone.


A. Marie January 31, 2024 at 11:46 am

Shona: (1) What campus are you walking through to pick up that much loose change, and are you willing to lead tours? And (2) will your sweater send you a postcard from Kyoto?


Shona January 31, 2024 at 2:10 pm

Hehe. My dad is coming to visit in April and a walk through campus is on his list of things to do. There is a row of vending machines and no one seems to collect their change. Today I found a quarter someone left behind.

And my guess is my sweater might bring me back some candy.


Katy January 31, 2024 at 1:06 pm

I love that your sweater is going on an international adventure!


Bee January 31, 2024 at 11:55 am

The cottage pie looks delicious! I made a vegetarian recipe for cottage pie that used lentils in the place of meat Iast month when my daughter was visiting. It was very good. It is a challenge to address everyone’s food restrictions and this did.

1. I brought a friend to the airport which is on the other side of the city. I made a stop at a Costco that was on the way home to do my monthly shopping a few days early. This is my least favorite Costco in our metropolitan area, but It saved gas, time, and aggravation to combine this stop with another errand. I also stuck to my list!!!
2. I sold an Ekelund woven tea towel on eBay. This company is Swedish and their work is lovely. I picked up this towel for $0.50 and sold it for $14. I utilized a previously used Amazon shipping envelope to mail it. (My friend saves these for me.) This sale will not make me rich, but I put the proceeds from eBay in my mad money account. With inflation, the household budget is much tighter than it used to be so it’s nice to have money that has not been allocated to anything at all. Sometimes I think that I’m the only one feeling the pinch.
3. I have taken several things off eBay that haven’t sold. I am packing them up and will be donating them to the Garden Club rummage sale. The money earned at this sale will help to provide the funding for gardening programs at local schools.
4. I used a $5 rewards coupon at Michaels to purchase a craft item that was on sale for 50% off this week. Regular price was $24. I paid $7.
5. I paid our monthly bills online saving the cost of a stamp and ensuring that the payments arrive on time. I peeled 3 overly ripe bananas and put them in the freezer to use in smoothies. Scanned my grocery receipt on IBotta and earned $0.25. I stayed on budget during the month of January. Woot! Woot!
Wishing everyone peace, good health and prosperity!!!


Katy January 31, 2024 at 1:05 pm

That’s a good idea to make it with lentils, I’ll have to try that!


Christine January 31, 2024 at 6:35 pm

You’re not alone in feeling the pinch. I have yet to remake our budget for this year as I’m a bit fearful of what it will look like. Trying to look on the bright side and be grateful for what we have.


Marybeth from NY January 31, 2024 at 12:57 pm

1. I made a pot of sauce with on sale sausage and slightly freezer burned beef chunks. I have very little ground beef so I didn’t make meatballs. I pulled a piece of old Italian bread out of the freezer and made garlic bread. I made a pound of pasta so we are having the same thing tonight. 3 containers of meat and sauce were put in the freezer for future meals.
2. My youngest daughter and I took the dogs to the dog park in between rain storms. I then did a lap on the pathways while they waited in the car because it started to slightly rain again. Trying to get my steps in is hard with all this rain.
3. YD and I pulled up some paint and she painted the window sill that the dogs love to look out of while I touched up the living and dining rooms . It isn’t perfect if you look close but I don’t see spots everywhere anymore.
4. My son called me from Aldi. They had polish sausage marked down to $1.89 a pound. He grabbed me 2.
5. I have been decluttering. There is a pile for each kid, a pile for my cousin(going through a divorce). Holey towels have been cut up into rags. Coats, hates, gloves and scarves were donated to the church for the homeless.


Katy January 31, 2024 at 1:04 pm

That’s a good son!


Karen B January 31, 2024 at 1:07 pm

That meal looks Yummy!

I whole-heartedly agree about fresh air! I was doing housework yesterday and got overwarm. Decided to slightly open windows after turning down the thermostat way down. It was lovely even though our temp was only 35 F! The windows weren’t open long but the house was so much fresher!


Lindsey January 31, 2024 at 1:38 pm

Your temperatures go up, ours are scheduled to go back to 53 below. Right now we have warmed up to -38 because the sun is out for a few hours. Your cottage pie sounds perfect for a cold day, so tonight I am going to ape you only with beef and not turkey. Thanks for the idea!
1. Today scheduled 8 grocery shops for the month of February.
2. Yet again I am battling insurance to pay for Viagra. They are refusing to cover it because I am a female. Now I have to have the doctor explain YET AGAIN that it is a vasodilator to open the passageways in my lungs. Meanwhile, the doc has given me a month worth of samples to tide me over. What makes this even more annoying is that my husband had a type of cancer that is detected by a pregnancy test (not the kind you buy over the counter), so once a year I have to battle insurance to pay for that because he is a man. Do they think the doctor does the test for a lark?
3. Mended husband’s shirt that had ripped in three places. It is so old and threadbare I wanted to turn it into a rag, but he loves it so what the hell.
4. The trash man showed up at the door again, this time with a piccolo someone left on top of their garbage pile—and not on his route, on the route of a coworker who heard this trash guy knew someone who liked abandoned instruments. Usually he brings me accordions. I was about to tell him I don’t know anything about the woodwind family of instruments but a friend is a music teacher so I graciously accepted it and passed it on to her. She then asked me to give him a thank you note from her, so there the husband was, dragging our trash can to the street and putting a huge piece of paper with the thank you note pasted to it so it would be more easily seen than a regular envelope. The piccolo is now owned by a kid who could not afford one, with three adults absurdly happy over that fact.
5. Sold a book on eBay.


kathleen January 31, 2024 at 1:57 pm

Lindsey, I absolutely love that there is a save-the-music network even in the bitter cold! Cheers to you all!


Jill A February 1, 2024 at 7:06 am

Lindsey, your insurance battles are certainly unique. I’m hope you’re able to to sort it out soon. I love that your husband is still wearing his old shirt. My husband liked to do the same. I even had some of the holey ones put into a quilt of t-shirts I had made. I especially love that the garbage picked piccolo is bringing joy to so many people.


karen February 1, 2024 at 7:19 am

Love, Love the piccolo story. Wish more people had garbage men like you.


Q February 1, 2024 at 8:54 am

The piccolo story brought tears to my eyes. That is terrific.


MB in MN February 1, 2024 at 10:24 am

Lindsey, your posts are always interesting and informative; your #2 has to qualify for some kind of “best of” award!


Ecoteri February 2, 2024 at 1:09 pm

That piccolo story is another kid’s storybook story – so MANY positive vibes and messages (sharing, caring, thanking….). As always I love to read your posts as your adventures don’t have to be far from home to be very entertaining.


Ruby January 31, 2024 at 2:40 pm

My husband received a bonus at work and we spent a tiny amount of it on a meal of Chinese food out. There were enough leftovers to freeze for two lunch portions.

I thoroughly dusted all the furniture in my house with Swiffer-style dusters, then handwashed the dusters and hung them up to dry.

Read the last free book on my canceled Kindle Unlimited subscription.

Found a penny in the Walmart Market parking lot when I went there to stock up on powdered laundry detergent and dishwasher detergent, hot chocolate mix and my girl kitty’s favorite wet food. If I have to go to the WM, I stock up on those items so as not to have to return for months.

Took seven year’s worth of old paper bills to be shredded and got a 10% discount.


Katy January 31, 2024 at 6:37 pm

Whoah, that must have been very cathartic to shred all those old bills!


Selena January 31, 2024 at 8:17 pm

Yes it is cathartic to tame “the paper tiger”. When I took time off from work, I culled through 20 years of paper. Anything payroll related needed to be kept as did title policies etc. Yeah, had hundreds of pounds that I took to a non-profit organization certified to shred.
Watch if a local bank/credit union offers free shred day. Yeah, they may have rules (in my case, a bag/box could not weigh over 35 lbs). Took our papers plus a couple of relatives papers.
No matter how you slice it, stuff out of the house is always cathartic. As is marking things off a list (either done or no longer needed).


Kathy Sell February 1, 2024 at 5:08 am

I’m finding it very satisfying to shred years of documents. My need to destroy something after a disastrous meeting was a great incentive, too.


Ava January 31, 2024 at 3:14 pm

1. During the great snow-in, we ran out of dog food while waiting for a delayed delivery. I cooked a pot of potatoes, carrots and broccoli for the dogs and topped it with some freezer burned cheese. They said it was the best dinner they ever had.
2. We started to run low on people food too while waiting for the snow to go. I found a pasta recipe I thought I could make if I subbed broccoli for kale, chicken broth for wine, and added the 6 petrified capers from the bottom of the bottle instead of the generous amount called for. It was really excellent-except for the broccoli. The broccoli was a mistake but the dogs were glad to take care of that.
3. I bought my husband some medical supplies with my insurance debit card.
4. I learned how to make spiced nuts at home. This is probably not frugal or a good thing for me to know. But it is so easy and so good. The nuts will make great presents.
5. We had a fun movie night with friends. We watched a library movie (free!) and had popcorn. Next movie night will be at our house.


Katy January 31, 2024 at 6:36 pm

I oddly miss the days of library movies before streaming became the norm. It was more focused.


Kathy January 31, 2024 at 3:22 pm

Hopefully February will be frugal
1. I sold another item online. I think I ended up with 5 sales this month. All were packaged in upcycled packing.
2. Finally a couple of days of sunshine so rugs were washed to put out to dry
3. Bought pork medallions marked down so we will get several meals
4. Not frugal however we renewed our known traveler ID
5. After a chilly winter we’ve turned down the heat to 65


Katy January 31, 2024 at 6:35 pm

Washing rugs shows true optimism that the sun will be out for more than an afternoon!


Karen A. January 31, 2024 at 4:04 pm

1. Library books, both physical and e-variety

2. Finally started using Thriftbooks. I wanted to nab some Mrs. PiggleWiggle books with the old (Hilary Knight and Maurice Sendak) illustrations, before they’re completely gone. I deeply dislike the new illustrations in the newer editions. DEEPLY.

3. Hand-drawing a card for my nephew’s birthday. Could I just buy a cheap card at the Dollar Store? Yes, but I don’t want to. And I have all the pens and cardstock anyway.

4. We’ve had a guest for dinner every day this week (a student of DH’s, in town on business), and we’ve just been serving up our regular family fare, for which he’s grateful, as it’s saving him money at a restaurant. *My pro tip for entertaining: create a salad bar. Even if you don’t have a ton of exotic toppings (We do romaine, spring mix, shredded red cabbage, shredded carrots, cherry tomatoes, hardboiled chopped eggs, garbanzo beans, and shredded cheese, but you don’t even need all of those!), it’s impressive and the leftovers last quite a while for lunches and even the next day’s dinner.

5. When we were in Florida, my husband bought some cornmeal for roasting a turkey–he used an oven bag and it calls for a tablespoon of flour or cornstarch. He couldn’t find cornstarch, so he got cornmeal. It worked! And we had a full bag of cornmeal we brought home. Oldest son was making hamburger stew tonight, and normally that’d be all we serve, but with company I thought we needed a little something extra. The bag of the cornmeal bag had a no-flour recipe for cornbread, and it looked more economical than the recipe I use that calls for yogurt, so I made it. Tasty, dairy-free (for me), and used up a lot of the cornmeal!


Katy January 31, 2024 at 6:34 pm

I went down a Betty McDonald rabbit hole a few years ago, but I never did read any of the Mrs. Piggle Wiggle books.


Karen A. February 1, 2024 at 12:46 pm

Oh, they are fun! Only read the first four, though, and avoid Happy Birthday, Mrs. Piggle Wiggle. I understand her daughters’ wanting to continue the legacy, but honestly, it doesn’t read the same, and doesn’t have the charm of the originals, which took place in the Leave it to Beaver Universe.


Katy February 1, 2024 at 2:12 pm

Have you read her memoirs? They’re amazing!


Karen A. February 1, 2024 at 5:05 pm

My favorite is “The Plague and I.” I’m not sure what that says about me!

Anne February 1, 2024 at 9:19 pm

I’ve read all her bios, as far as I know. But my favorite is “Anybody Can Do Anything.” I love the idea of the large family living in a big house during the depression and pulling together.

Gina in NY January 31, 2024 at 4:37 pm

Oh, yum! Your cottage pie looks delicious! I make them with lentils and, erroneously, call them shepherd’s pie.

Ok, the five…
1. Survived month 1/12 of very low spend year. I kept track of all my spending (outside of bills), both planned and unplanned and I still spent more than I wanted, but much less than normal. For Feb, I will separate out the planned from the unplanned for the helluva it.
2. I reviewed and made some changes to my retirement savings. We received a substantial raise this year and I decided to send most of the difference to this fund. I’ll see the raise on the next paycheck and plan to do some adjustments once I see the net. I am really hoping (wishing, dreaming, etc) that I will get to retire in 13-14 years, but who knows what the future holds.
3. Experimenting with winter sowing of seeds this year and asked the Buy Nothing group for milk or similar jugs and they came through for me. I have 7 containers planted so far.
4. Still eating from the pantry and freezers and have used up most of the items that needed used (near or past BB Date). I am seeing much less food waste as we eat the leftovers to completion as well.
5. Canned up some tikka masala starter sauce using the final two jars of tomatoes I grew in my 2023 garden. I also made two liters of broth from the veggie bones I had in the freezer. It will be used to make potato soup probably tomorrow.


Katy January 31, 2024 at 6:27 pm

I used to make “shepherds pie” with lentils when my husband and I lived in London in the late 1980’s. I’d totally forgotten about it.


Vickey February 14, 2024 at 7:10 pm

Maybe we can call our lentil-based versions “Gardener’s Pie”?
Also: say more about veggie bones, please. Are those aka veggie scraps?


Mary Ann January 31, 2024 at 5:07 pm

OK: Five absurdly thrilling little nothings.

1. I took one of the empty 2 pound coffee cans from my AA meeting. I put my plunger in it. it stands straight up “mess free” in the corner of the garage now. Before it was covered in a plastic bag (yuck) which I had to unwrap.

2. I sold a yellow Chantelle bra on Poshmark for $15.00. I get $10.00. Posh pays the shipping. For me bras are like shoes. I spend an incredible amount of time and resource to find the right fit. I bought this yellow one for $60 ( 1/2 price sale) with another bra the same price. The other fit perfectly, this did not. I just have to eat the costs of experiments because it takes several wearings to know what will work. So the $10.00 is added to other Posh money and I will buy a bra that is my new dream – Prima Donna. Nothing else makes or breaks my day like a good bra and good shoes.

3. I printed a card for a teacher who just got tenure. A friend asked where do I get such cute, interesting cards. Hmmmm . . .

4. I was going to go shopping for more reward treats for my students but decided to make do until next week. Putting off grocery shopping for as long as possible forces me to eat down the storage and get creative.

5. I requested an ENT appointment for ringing ears and some ear pain. The primary said they are suppose to try several things before referring. I said, I am trying several things but can’t you refer while that is happening. good thing. First available appointment was in July. At least i am on the books.


Katy January 31, 2024 at 6:25 pm

Good for you for advocating for your health care!


mary in maryland February 1, 2024 at 4:55 pm

I feel that buying bras has lots in common with buying lottery tickets. Chances of a win are one in a million.


Ecoteri February 2, 2024 at 1:19 pm

As for your #1, my main AA group isn’t currently serving coffee, but I wonder if one of the other groups that meets in our space still does, shall look next week. I Love the idea of not needing the (urk!!) plastic bag coverings…
As for shopping, I am really paying attention to how much I save when I stop going to the stores for a while – there is enough here to more than make do, and if I go in for one thing I come out with 10…. so avoidance is my best preventative measure!


Christine January 31, 2024 at 6:31 pm

1. Used a .75 coupon for four cans of cat food. They were also on sale, .10 off each.
2. Canceled dinner plans with friends. DH wasn’t feeling well but it was a big savings for us, anyway so it was fine.
3. Continuing to eat the large sandwich for dinner I get sent home with the 3 days per week I work at the deli at my 15 hour a week “retirement job”. When I stop working, I’ll have to start to come up with dinner 7 nights a week. Well, I did it before; I can do it again.
4. DH and I went for (paid) training for the new voting equipment our town will begin using on Super Tuesday. We’ll be working 4 elections this year…the presidential primary, the local election, the state primary and the general election. Another nice “retirement job” for each of us and it feels good to do my little part in our country’s election process.
5. Our mechanic told us since we use synthetic oil, we only need to change our oil every 7,500 miles. For us that equals about two changes a year.


Lindsey January 31, 2024 at 9:11 pm

Thank you for working the elections. The husband and I both work them but every year the government practically begs people to work the elections, even though they pay a healthy hourly wage. It has been a pleasure to watch our precinct people, the new citizens, the young people who have reached voting age, people announcing they had gotten married since the last election. My favorite was a woman in her 60s who came in with a name change, and announced that she had married for the first time after losing hope that she would ever have someone to “grow old with.” Marriage is not for everyone but if that is what you long for, good for you!


Christine February 1, 2024 at 4:09 pm

Thanks to you and your husband for working at the elections too. At the new equipment training class, I noticed there were only about a dozen of us poll workers. Hopefully by the time the first election rolls around, they’ll be more of us.


Jill A February 1, 2024 at 7:27 am

1. I also used up some leftovers. I made fried rice with leftovers and ate half for dinner and I had half of a sandwich with the last of some tuna salad. A strange dinner but very filling.
2. I went to an estate sale about a mile from my home and purchased a couple sealed bottles of maple syrup for next years Christmas stockings and a bottle of dessert wine. They aren’t allowed to sell alcohol so they just sold me the “bottle” for $1.
3. I went to the salvage grocery store. I purchased items that I thought we would actually eat. The deals are so good it’s tempting to buy everything. I bought a couple of cans of Pillsbury pizza dough. My girls have been nostalgic for pizza rolls I used to make with this when they were kids.
4. I sold an item on Ebay. I packaged with re-used materials and requested a pick up from the post office.
5. I took a long walk with one friend for free exercise and therapy for us both. She’s great listener and gives great advice. I hope that I do the same for her.
I also met another friend at a dog park so I could meet her new grand-dog. Neither activity cost money beyond gas.


maryann February 1, 2024 at 5:24 pm

I bought four piece Pillsbury crescent rolls for .25 a piece. They really add to any meal. I cut them into chicken stew for dumplings. I rolled them with ham and cheese and add them with a salad. Simple meals.


MB in MN February 1, 2024 at 1:49 pm

1. Redeemed a coupon for a free “extreme” car wash with a regular price of $23 – sheesh! Also received a microfiber cloth to clean the inside on my own.

2. Received a gift of maple syrup in a canning jar. I then transferred the syrup to a bottle with a spout and added water to the small amount of syrup remaining in the jar along with some ice for a refreshing drink. After all, it’s 50+ degrees in Minnesota on February 1 and not a speck of snow. Scary crazy.

3. Continuing to purge items left by the seller of our home. Listed four more things that were picked up promptly and was able to fulfill someone’s request for items, too.

4. Mixed the dregs from the bottom of the Tostitos bag with some sour cream and salsa for a quick and satisfying snack.

5. Opened up all the junk mail and saved the sheets without anything on the back for scratch paper.


Jill A February 2, 2024 at 4:33 am

It was 50 degrees yesterday in Michigan. Definitely weird but I enjoyed the beautiful day.


A. Marie February 2, 2024 at 8:06 am

MB, I commend you on your restraint in your #4. My preferred use for the dregs at the bottom of any corn chip bag is to invert the bag carefully into my open mouth.


Selena February 2, 2024 at 7:47 pm

Use them on a taco or chili stuffed potato OR on top of chili or a taco salad. There are times when I’m eating the above that I wish I had opened the bag from the bottom OR carefully removed the more/mostly whole chips into a big bowl, use the dregs then put the more/mostly back in the bag.


Michele February 2, 2024 at 5:21 am

1. Submitted my travel miles- it will be a nice (tiny) surprise when it lands in my account.
2. Started another CD with savings- it’s a safe way for me to save and get a little interest. I’m going to use that money to supplement my retirement income.
3. Looks like I can save $70 a month on auto insurance. I felt like it was creeping up, but was told by my company that “everyone is going up”. Asked for a 2nd opinion!
4. Going to Sam’s to pick up prescriptions and a few things. Still working through pantry and freezer.
5. Someone in our school district volunteered to donate to our school nurses- tissues, wipes, underwear, etc. Like teachers, we spend a lot of our own money every year so our “kids” can have what they need. Nothing makes us happier than clorox wipes!


Kathleen February 2, 2024 at 6:47 am

we’re getting away from the cold of the north and visiting the warm(‘ish) south. For the first time in a few years, one of the active-duty Navy kids is stationed where it is warm(‘ish). So we’re staying here (read: mooching). Then we’ll go mooch from another kid that is further up the Atlantic coast but still warm in March. I don’t need the heat of southern FL—I just need to be away from ice/snow. In return, I help w/ home-owner stuff, even though they rent: deeper cleaning, healthy food prep., clothing repair, small home repairs/improvement, and dog-sitting during TAD.
1. This kid is not particularly frugal, but she is a bit of a minimalist since she moves so much and is single. I do some comparison shopping for her and meet my frugal tendencies. Like shopping around for towel racks and buying lots of fruit and veg. from Aldi—she barely has time to go to any grocery w/ her 60+ hrs/week and online school so she only goes to one store 1x/week.
2. I’m re-purposing left-overs so we don’t waste any food –and– we have a variety of meals at home every day.
3. Not motivated by frugal mentality but by health issues: having a harder time stabilizing blood sugar so not buying sweets, snacking on fruits/veg. instead of candy and chips and making smaller servings w/ meats and veg.—only occasional starches. And none of us need huge portions—we all have plenty of excess ‘insulation’. In the end, the result is pared-down grocer bills and less extra food going bad in the ‘fridg. And we are able to use or Medicare supplement card that allows for healthy foods even though we are not in our home state. That helps a lot! $250 over 3 mo. toward HBA., groceries, non-Rx meds. that doesn’t have to come from the household budget.
4. Not going to the fitness center, like I have to do in the cold weather were we live but walking in the neighborhood daily. 2 – 2.5 mi. at least 6 days/week. Some days I have to squeeze it in around the rain, or walk in smaller distances but I get it in most days.
5. Entertaining myself w/ projects I brought—finished already a queen-size quilt top from a kit gifted me and made gift for my local children’s hospital. Also, catching up w/ friends/family w/ old-fashioned letters. I brought stationary w/ me.
Just trying to stay sane—and warm.


Blue Gate Farmgirl February 2, 2024 at 8:09 am

We didn’t reach 60F like Katy did, but it was 55 and raining. Strange Oregon weather. I didn’t mind as I was splitting firewood and cleaning out one of the barns.
Not frugal: had to buy a weedburner, used a visa card that was paid to me for bartered work. I needed a smaller propane tank, started looking around the barns and shops and found a 3 gal and a 7 gal (full). I took them into a propane service center and had them recertified, saving me $45 vs a new one. Win.
Neighbor gave me a bag of old nylons that I turned into cedar chips/lavender/cinnamon/peppermint potpourri bags to place in engine compartments, under seats of the tractors and trucks /cargo haulers that don’t get used every week. This will keep the vermin at bay. Those potpourri bags that you can buy at the parts store are $60 for a pack of 4. I also made 8 more for guy gifts for V Day.
I harvested 80 lbs of beets, will keep 10# to eat fresh, gave 20# to a neighbor (he loves beets) and I pickled the rest as we like to eat them on top of green salads.
I want to share you can create cards and customize them for the recipient. I also make ‘junk journal’ style cards for those that appreciate the art. Great winter hobby. Have a great weekend, everyone!


Dori February 2, 2024 at 9:40 am

I love, love, LOVE a good cottage pie or shepherd’s pie this time of year! So perfectly delicious on a chilly winter evening. Great job pulling that together in a thrifty way! Just a great frugal recipe too, because it makes truly delicious leftovers.


Alison February 3, 2024 at 9:17 pm

Katy, have you really sold 1.4K items on eBay??


Katy February 4, 2024 at 12:04 pm

I started selling on eBay in 2005, so it adds up.


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