Five Tiny Frugal Things

by Katy on February 27, 2024 · 90 comments

    1. My husband and I were driving back from Vancouver, Washington, (which is just across the river) and decided to stop into Ikea as it was on the way home. I wasn’t hungry, but my husband ordered two meatball kid’s meal instead of one adult one, as it’s the same amount of food at $8.58 vs. $9.99. ($1.41 savings!) Instead, they were running a special where it was somehow $3 for his two plates of food using the Ikea family card!

      This prompted me to look up their deals once I got home and here’s what I was able to find. Note that you need the free Ikea Family Card.

      Monday: Meatless Monday — All plant based meatball plates are $3. (Did the cashier think my husband’s meatballs were veggie?)
      Tuesdays: $3.99 adult meals.
      Wednesday: Two free kid meals with the purchase of one adult meal.
      Thursday: $1 off Meatball entrees.
      Friday: 50% off adult entrees.
      Weekends: No deals.

      Not too shabby, especially since there’s no tipping and the coffee is free.

    2. I’m listening to Marge Piercy’s Gone To Soldiers through the library’s free Libby app and reading a Lucky Day library copy of Weyward, by Emilia Hart.

      Gone to Soldiers is one of my favorite books ever, but this is the first time that I’ve listened to it as an audiobook.

    3. My husband and I stopped into a Goodwill while in Vancouver, but all we bought were a 99¢ commemorative baseball, (my husband) and a 99¢ spice rack, for our son. I still have the remnants of a Goodwill gift card from Christmas, so our out of pocket cost was just 54¢.

    4. • I picked up seven discarded 10¢ deposit cans while my husband was at hockey practice.
      • I keep two foldable reusable fabric tote bags in purse at all times, which came in handy for the cans. They’re machine washable, which is great as there were a few sticky drips.
      • The Supercuts Training Center had to change my appointment time, which meant my friend could no longer go. I got a $12.99 Great Clips coupon in my Instagram feed, so I signed my friend up for the offer. Not free, but still a good price.

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

Katy Wolk-Stanley

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

Click HERE to follow The Non-Consumer Advocate on Instagram.
Click HERE to join The Non-Consumer Advocate Facebook group.

{ 90 comments… read them below or add one }

Wendy February 27, 2024 at 11:46 am

How are you enjoying Weyward? I think you are the first person I have found mentioning it (IRL and online). I think it’s the best book I have read, so far, in 2024.


Ashley Bananas February 27, 2024 at 12:18 pm

This is the first time I have heard of this book too. Just put a hold on it at my library =)


Bee February 27, 2024 at 4:36 pm

Both my daughter and read Weyward and enjoyef it. It was very original.


JC February 29, 2024 at 9:46 am

I read Weyward last month and thought it was so good I renewed it and had my 2 Dd’s read it. I loved it!!!!


Katy February 29, 2024 at 10:27 am

I loved it so much, I wouldn’t change a word of it!


Lindsey G February 27, 2024 at 11:59 am

The IKEA meal deals were a happy surprise for my sister and me a couple of weeks ago as well. We happily lucked out as I was in town to help her move into her new home and she had a couple of items on her move-in list from IKEA. I offered to treat her to lunch and it was a delightful $8 + change for the two of us as it was a Friday!


Ashley Bananas February 27, 2024 at 12:39 pm

1. Friday night we commented on a local restaurant’s status on Facebook asking for a preview of a new menu item. The owner messaged me and said to come over and he’d make one for us. We picked it up and he said it was a sample and wouldn’t take my money. Thank you!! We made some nice posts to promote the dish.
2. For the neighborhood yard sale this year, which I organize, I made 8 ads on a legal size paper, printed many at the library for .10 cents a page. We have hung them on doors for about 2/3 of the neighborhood. We walked on foot. Frugal advertising.
3. My neighbor needed a microwave, I had three I curb picked for free. I gave her two…long story. Frugal extension.
4. I have taken a break from Door Dashing for almost two weeks. Gas prices going up has grounded me a bit. I like the extra money but not the wear and tear on the car and time away from home. I need to find a different part time job or side hustle.
5. My home insurance went up by $4,200 this year. I have contacted four companies to get a new and better quote. I am hoping to get this down. Wish me luck. Insurance in SWFL has gone up for a lot of reasons, it is pricing people out of their homes.


Bee February 28, 2024 at 4:44 am

Ashley, another Floridian here. Although I don’t live in a hurricane prone part of the state, homeowner’s insurance went up 400% between 2020 and 2023. When my annual premium reach $7000+, I shopped it. I had a broker help me and received about a dozen quotes. I did not go with the cheapest, but I was able to cut my premium in 1/2. However, some premiums were as high as $12,000 a year! I went with a private company, but the state company, Citizen’s is available.


Ashley Bananas February 28, 2024 at 8:33 am

Bee, it’s nice to hear that this isn’t just me. I was shocked that the price nearly tripled. I got on the horn yesterday and two of four agencies got back to me with quotes. The lowest quote I received was for a little over $3k. I have to get a new 4 point and wind mitigation report/inspection to change as mine are old. But that is well worth it for the potential savings of over 3k a year. Strangely my current insurance agency wanted me to wait to investigate this until May when my insurance renews, however my mortgage company already redid the math and had me start paying more in advance to spread out the cost. So my mortgage payment was about $600 more this month. I’m hoping to change the insurance before that happens again, even if I have to pay for the new policy upfront to switch it. I have to do this to try and save myself long term financially from this budget killer.


Bee February 28, 2024 at 12:46 pm

Just one more thing: let your mortgage company know that you are not planning on renewing with your current company. It gets to be a mess if they receive a bill from your current company and pay it while you are still shopping. Ask me how I know 🙂


Ashley Bananas February 28, 2024 at 1:03 pm

Thank you. Once I have it set up I will contact them. They already spread my payment out three months before my insurance renews to try and spread the increase out more. My 4 point and wind mitigation are Tuesday next week, I need newer versions of these before I can swap insurances, so hopefully I can continue to push this through.

Selena February 28, 2024 at 7:43 pm

@Bee – what??? Letter(s) about force placed insurance?? Which is a nasty arse gouge in my area where we don’t have hurricanes (and if we do, FL will have already been obliterated along with TX and all the states in between) and don’t have earthquakes or wildfires. I can just imagine the look of glee on mortgage holder’s face when it gets to enact force place insurance.
Don’t know if either of you own your home outright but if you do, kudos on maintaining insurance. So many pay cash, don’t insure, then whine in the media. No sympathy from me and before any one asks, I don’t feel bad about it either.

Denise February 27, 2024 at 12:41 pm

Honestly, the library app I’m using in England is beyond useless. None of the books you reference from time to time are ever even listed. I even looked at Amazon and it only has £10 used paperbacks available. Grrrrrr.


Coral Clarke February 27, 2024 at 4:01 pm

I live in Brisbane Australia, have easy access to 2 libraries, one 3 minutes walk away!


Kim February 27, 2024 at 12:48 pm

Sounds like some frugal successes!
I’ve had some wins lately.
A medical office near my physical therapist is changing hands, and the had a nice assortment of free things. I picked up two really cushy waiting room style chairs that look unused, three large, clean waste baskets and a couple small wicker baskets.
I may graduate from PT soon(ish) and went to check out Planet Fitness. My initial membership payment still applied, so all I have to pay is the $10 monthly fee.
On the other hand, there are fails.
I had planned to swap out my burned out headlight before my surgery last August, but didn’t get to it. The second surgery has really made it seem unlikely that I would be able to do itmyself any time soon. I called a garage, told them I had the bulbs and asked them if they could help me. They said to come on by.

Welllll…apparently my specific car takes a different bulb. One that costs in excess of $200 for the bulb. One bulb. GULP! So they are getting the bulb and they’ll fix it next week.

On the other had, the woman who came in just after me had a problem they couldn’t fix, so she’s facing getting a new car. I feel lucky by comparison.


Q February 27, 2024 at 1:02 pm

First, thank you to Bee, who posted about her health insurance coverage for nutrition, inspiring me to research this afternoon, and I found mine will reimburse to cover my community pool membership, saving $220/year. I have to go roughly twice per week, which is my goal: this will keep me honest and fit!

Katy, I am going to sign up for the ikea card! We don’t go often, but we do pass by it once in awhile. Those meal deals sound sweet! and I have requested Gone to Soldiers from the libraryy!

I would say my best frugal hack is to read the NCA, and be inspired by fellow readers, and by Katy!


Coral Clarke February 27, 2024 at 4:15 pm

Life for me,is tough and infixable right now, as it is for many ! Katy and the rest of you are my oasis in a storm! Bless you all! Frugality and good humour can’t be beaten


Katy February 27, 2024 at 5:42 pm

I’m sorry to read this. Big virtual hug!


MB in MN February 27, 2024 at 6:00 pm

Coral, I think of you regularly. I’m especially sorry for the unfixable part of your situation.


Jill A February 28, 2024 at 5:11 am

I’m so sorry for whatever you are going through right now. Thinking of you.


Christine February 28, 2024 at 4:04 pm

Coral, thinking of you and hoping you can find small moments of peace where you can. Unfixable situations are the toughest, as you know firsthand. Hugs coming at you from me.


Bee February 27, 2024 at 4:41 pm

I am so happy the information was useful and resulted in a savings for you. I have been really trying to use all my benefits lately. Happy swimming!


Katy February 27, 2024 at 5:53 pm

I like your best hack, then again I may be a bit biased!


Melissa R. February 27, 2024 at 1:03 pm

I keep empty bags, sturdy cardboard box, and gloves in my car for impromptu trash pickups around town. It’s my thrifty way of giving back to my community. An idea I got from Bea at “Zero Waste Home.” It’s a constant personal struggle though because I’m equal parts excited to pick up discarded bottles/cans for the CRV refund and also totally grossed out by the state of said bottles/cans. I once picked up 3 bottles, only to discover 2 had slugs inside and the 3rd was somebody’s “toilet.” Ever since, I mostly bypass them.


A. Marie February 27, 2024 at 2:29 pm

Melissa, I decline to pick up NY State redeemable containers only if they contain dead rodents. Everything else, I can deal with–and I ain’t dead yet.


Katy February 27, 2024 at 5:53 pm

You are made of stern material!


Selena February 28, 2024 at 7:48 pm

@A. Marie – if you didn’t read my post on frugalgirl re: how to handle dead rodents (fully or partially intact) you know I’d figure out how to deal with said dead rodents. Long line of farmer genes serves me well 380 years later.


Selena February 28, 2024 at 7:49 pm

If you *DID* read, not didn’t. DOH – long day.


Katy February 27, 2024 at 5:52 pm

That is a horrifying story, I’m so sorry that happened to you!


Kara February 27, 2024 at 1:25 pm

1. I batch cooked yesterday, making baked potatoes, oven baked bacon, roasted carrots with the bacon fat leftover in the pan, and a peach cobbler using free frozen peaches from Buy Nothing. It felt like a great use of one oven session.
2. Sold a PIECE of one of the $5 bookcases I bought last week. When my husband cut the bookcase to be shallower, the cut off piece looked just like one of those kitchen counter spice ledges. I painted the piece black and sold it today. Just $5, but that brings the profit on the two $5 bookcases that I bought to $35.
3. I gave away 10 parsley starts on Buy Nothing. I had let my plant go to seed and now I have at least 100 starts that I just pick out of the ground and pot for friends and neighbors. The 10 I put on Buy Nothing were all snapped up.
4. I won a book called Frugal Seeds in a giveaway on Instagram. It came yesterday and was a fun read. It was a list of 501 frugal ideas. I am super frugal but I even learned some things. I will re-gift the book once I’ve taken action on the multitude of bookmarks I have in it.
5. Making sure to use the eggs before they expire. Made egg salad for my husbands lunch sandwiches. He will also eat scrambled eggs one night that I am gone this week.


Katy February 27, 2024 at 5:52 pm

I love that you upcycled the extra piece!

And do share — what did you learn from the book?


MB in MN February 27, 2024 at 6:08 pm

I’m interested, too! The book is not available anywhere in my state’s library system.


Q February 28, 2024 at 5:44 am

I’m in, as well! The book sounds interesting!


Kara February 28, 2024 at 12:50 pm

So much to tell! I’ll post a few things I bookmarked for myself when I comment on your next few posts!


Ashley Bananas February 28, 2024 at 11:01 am

Eggs are almost $3 a dozen here in FL. It’s a good time to make sure you use al those eggs before they expire or the prices rise again!


K D February 27, 2024 at 2:03 pm

1. My right shoulder/arm/elbow has been bothering me. It may be a return of a herniated disc/pinched nerve I suffered many years ago. Before I give in to seeing a doctor and going to PT I am working to see what I can do. I have been doing an 11 minute neck and shoulder stretch video and just started rolling my forearms. I have more range of motion and less pain today so I will give it more time before I call for a doctor’s appointment. I am hoping to save time and money.

2. I will fly to FL in April to visit a friend that moved there a couple years ago. I will stay with her and she will do the driving. I used Southwest points earned before the pandemic to “buy” my flights.

3. I made a batch of GF granola and used up a bag of Craisins (which are cheap when they are on sale at Costco) and the remnants of a bag of roasted chick peas.

4. I am reading The Armor of Light, by Ken Follett, and listening to The American Agent (a Maisie Dobbs book) both borrowed digitally from the library.

5. I walked to drop off some things to a friend in the neighborhood.


A. Marie February 27, 2024 at 2:32 pm

K D, I have recurring tension in my right shoulder, which is where all my psychological stress goes. I’ve found that simply doing a forward and reverse shoulder roll helps immensely. But if you can send a link for that video you mentioned, I’d appreciate it.


K D February 28, 2024 at 2:39 am

There is a longer video from the same person that I have not tried:


Vickey March 24, 2024 at 6:34 am

Thanks for sharing those links! We’ve had great luck here with Dr. Jo on YouTube, for a range of things.


Heidi Louise February 27, 2024 at 2:54 pm

One of the PT shoulder exercises I could do well with was the overhead pulley. The therapist pointed out the pulleys are easy to find online and I ordered one for about twelve dollars. It hooks over the top of a door and hangs on the inside of the closet, waiting for me to slide over a chair and get to work….


K D February 28, 2024 at 2:40 am

That’s a great idea. I do several exercises including using free weights and bands.


Katy February 27, 2024 at 5:50 pm

Maisie Dobbs books are so much fun!


K D February 28, 2024 at 2:42 am

I only have a few more to get through. I will be sad when I am finished with the series. I think the final book will be released in June.


Lindsey February 27, 2024 at 2:07 pm

1. Moving friend continues to bless us with foods and cleaning supplies she does not want to pay to move to Vegas. Today on her way to work, dropped off a 50 lb. bag of white rice. We eat rice pretty much only when it comes with this Asian food mystery shop I do about once a month; I never make it at home. Clobber paws has a sensitive stomach so we will be using it up slowly by mixing it into his food when he is having stomach troubles.
2. Brought a book to a mini library (located next to a busy road with no place to park. What were they thinking?). Found a title that interested me so brought it home. Inside was a half-page of 18 cent stamps. I looked it up and that was the price of mailing a letter in 1981! There was no name in the book so I could not trace anyone down to return them. Not sure what I will do yet, probably bring an extra-large stash of books to that little library in a sort of repayment.
3. Have a birthday present to mail so snagged another post office mystery shop to mail it next week.
4. Yet another person we know died and I needed a sympathy card. Pulled out supplies and made five of them, since we seem to be roaring through them.
5. Can’t think of anything else beyond the usual: eating at home, making our bread, mending, and giving Pound Hound, aka Houndini (name from A. Marie) a shower. (When Clobber Paws saw that, he decided to join in. So, two naked elderly humans, a 70lb. lab who hates water, and a 150 lb. Dane who apparently loves water or else loves shower parties, in a 5 X 5 shower.)


Heidi Louise February 27, 2024 at 2:51 pm

That’s funny about the stamps. In my childhood stamp album, in a box that hasn’t been opened for many many years, I just found an unused full sheet of USPS State Flowers and Birds stamps, up to 20 cents, from 1982.
I know USPS policy is to honor all stamps, no matter how old, even back to the lick-able era. Has anyone ever used decades old stamps, and does it seem to slow down the delivery time?
I also have a stack of pre-printed 15 cent postcards, (America the Beautiful stamp), that I found at a thrift store for almost free that I could add postage on to.


Katy February 27, 2024 at 5:44 pm

Oh yes, you can use stamps of any age. Shouldn’t effect the transit time.


Anne March 1, 2024 at 8:42 pm

This reminds me that when my MIL passed away in 1990, she had an
entire collection of stamps of many denominations, saved over the years. The entire family was convinced this was worth a great deal of money. I volunteered to liquidate and they weren’t worth anything but face value. I sold some and used all the rest over the next couple of years. As the higher denominations got used up my postage row on envelopes got longer and longer. I loved it.


Juhli February 27, 2024 at 4:39 pm

Good idea on the rice for your sensitive stomach pup. We had a little miniature poodle and she loved it mixed in but too much made her constipated so just a heads up on that.


Katy February 27, 2024 at 5:50 pm

Umm . . . you paint a vivid picture. And yes, people in the midst of moving tend to get very gifty. We eat rice pretty regularly, but that is a lot of rice!


MB in MN February 27, 2024 at 6:11 pm

Lindsey, I’m laughing here with that image of all of you in the shower!


Marie February 29, 2024 at 6:55 pm

Me too! Can’t imagine giving my dogs a shower while I’m naked. But the image is very funny!


A. Marie February 27, 2024 at 2:39 pm

Lindsey, as always, I’m delighted by news of Houndini and Clobber Paws–and the family shower party delights me immensely. Give both the doggos and your wonderful husband my regards.


Ruby February 27, 2024 at 2:50 pm

Katy, your tales of meatballs and free coffee make me wistfully sigh.

Today I did a bunch of little frugal chores: cooked up a big pot of kibble topper for my dogs, which included the chicken neck and giblets from the whole chicken bought on mark-down yesterday; changed out my cat’s litter box and refilled it with litter bought with a coupon at Ollie’s Outlet; and made up three freezer meal lunches for myself from leftovers supplemented with some cooked rice, as I had to cook rice for the dogs as well. Avoided the overpriced snacks at the drug store while picking up a prescription. Founded a dime in the washer while doing the family laundry.


Katy February 27, 2024 at 5:45 pm

It’s so satisfying to knock out all those little chores at once, well done! I award you ten cents!


Marybeth from NY February 27, 2024 at 4:15 pm

1. Called about a dentil bill that was wrong. It went from $220 to $68 for about 15 minutes on the phone.
2.Ran to Aldi and only spent $16 on fresh food. Trying to eat down the pantry and freezer. Got 2 free carts.
3. Got a free kids meal at Panera which is in the same shopping center as Aldi. It is more then enough for me for lunch since I am trying to lose weight.
4. Worked out on the elliptical that we bought many years ago on Craigslist. Used a 3 pound weight I got from the thrift store for $1 and I have been borrowing my daughter’s 10 pound kettle weight too. No need to go to a gym.
5. Buffalo Wild Wings had a promo for 6 free wings if the Super Bowl went into over time. It did so yesterday was the day. Hubby took a late lunch because the promo was from 2-5. We arrived at 2 and took our food to go. We did splurge on onion rings. We ate at home with celery that I had chopped before we left and drank iced tea that I make all the time. It cost less then $10 for lunch for both of us.


Katy February 27, 2024 at 5:42 pm

I happened to be next to a Buffalo Wild Wings yesterday at this time, but the app wasn’t taking orders and the lobby was CROWDED, so I got back in the car and ate delicious leftover restuffed potatoes at home.

A Gold Star is awarded for taking care of that dental bill!


Bee February 27, 2024 at 4:47 pm

Today I hung around the house and did chores. I ate leftovers today, drank water, and brewed my own coffee. That’s it not much that was frugal but nothing that cost money either!


Katy February 27, 2024 at 5:37 pm

These days are the foundation of a frugal life.


Juhli February 27, 2024 at 4:48 pm

Always so much inspiration here!
1. We trimmed our neighbor’s trees on our side of the fence to keep our homeowner’s insurance happy in this high wildfire risk area. Borrowed a pole trimmer from our son but didn’t need to use it.
2. Our 1 year birthday gift for youngest granddaughter was 5 pairs of needed pajamas bought on sale.
3. Family visited for the first birthday party and we served homemade soup plus salad when they arrived. They took BART from the airport meaning we had a very short drive to pick them up.
Not so frugal was paying for the visiting family’s plane tickets and some of the birthday party expenses but we are frugal elsewhere so we can do that.


Katy February 27, 2024 at 5:36 pm

Happy first birthday to your granddaughter!


MB in MN February 27, 2024 at 5:57 pm

1. Picked up a large can of unopened, still-fresh paprika on Buy Nothing. We make our own roasted vegetable spice blend and use a lot of paprika this way.

2. Gave away many things on Buy Nothing. Since no one in my BN group wanted several window blinds, I tried giving them away on Craigslist but all three potential takers never showed up. Boo hiss. I cannot find anyplace that will take them (thrift stores, Habitat ReStore, etc.)

3. Had family over to visit and the kids used the bananas in our fruit bowl to make/receive phone calls. Quite amusing, but the bananas became pretty bruised, so I mushed them into our oatmeal the next day.

4. Taking advantage of my membership at the community center by walking 5-6 days per week for an hour each time at the indoor walking track. Although the weather has been quite nice here, it helps to walk inside as I’m prone to skin cancer and I can get in more walking that way vs. taking our dog for a walk, which consists of A LOT of stops and sniffs (aka “gathering intelligence”) so my husband takes her instead.

5. Purchased some Christmas cards on clearance.


Katy February 27, 2024 at 6:15 pm

Can you please repeat yourself? I can’t hear you, I have a banana in my ear!


A. Marie February 28, 2024 at 7:03 am

Wasn’t there actually a desk phone with a receiver shaped like a banana, back in the weird 70s? Or am I ready for the funny farm?


LDA February 28, 2024 at 9:15 am
Blue Gate Farmgirl February 28, 2024 at 12:21 pm

MB, you may have luck giving away mini blinds to a local community garden. We cut them up (plastic or metal) and use the blades for identifying plants. We go thru many as we grow starts to sell at the local farmer’s markets.


MB in MN February 28, 2024 at 6:41 pm

Blue Gate Farmgirl, thanks so much for this terrific suggestion!


Anne March 1, 2024 at 8:48 pm

Those venetian blind slats can be cut into six inch lengths, packed up and given away as vegetable garden markers.


Vickey March 24, 2024 at 7:20 am

Maybe the local seed library would be happy to take some of those plant marker packs?


texasilver February 27, 2024 at 9:10 pm

1. My Medicare Advantage rewards its enrollees when you complete various activities. I had a bone density test done in Jan. I checked & there was a 50$ incentive added to my reward card. Next, I am due for a mammogram which will earn 25$. I would likely get these done anyway but the reward dollars are appreciated.
2. I sent a Turbotax referral to my husband’s email. I should get a 25$ GC after he files his taxes. (He used a CPA when he had a business. Now he is retired.
3. On my evening walk I found some slightly expired canned food on a curb in my neighborhood. I went back w/ my car to get them. Some are things we don’t eat like canned ravioli, but I think will be good to hand out to the homeless.
4. Also found 1/2 full pump jug of bug killer. I have the husband to spray the house several times a year for bugs. Now he has the spray to do the job.
I like the Ikea meatballs, both meat and the veggie ones. Their cafe has tasty healthy food that is good. I got a kid’s meatball plate last month. It was plenty of food to fill me up.


Ashley Bananas February 28, 2024 at 12:52 pm

My neighbors also curb perfectly good food. I have a plethora of canned food from this. I appreciate it. We have been working down our canned goods for a while and still have much to go through. #Thankful


Michele February 28, 2024 at 4:42 am

5 tiny frugal things
1. Called the Florida Retirement System after I got some pushy/sketchy advice from a visiting “retirement planner”. Talked to a really knowledgeable (unbiased) financial advisor who cleared up some questions I had.
2. Bought sale green peppers at Save a Lot (.59 for huge peppers) and made stuffed peppers last eve. Really tasty and I chopped up the excess peppers and froze in 1/2 cup portions for future use.
3. Invited MIL over for dinner. We will eat our regularly scheduled meal. 🙂
4. Will search and put on hold the books that you all suggested at the library.
5. Will reach out to the same broker we used to lower our home insurance to see if she can lower our car insurance.


A. Marie February 28, 2024 at 7:15 am

FTFT, Late to the Party Edition:

(1) My February bottle/can deposit total as of today is $27.90 (and that’s probably where it’ll stay, given tomorrow’s weather forecast–lake effect snow and high winds). Not bad for a winter month in which I wasn’t out every day.

(2) My February found change total remains at 56 cents.

(3) I’ve divided up the three houseplants in one pot that I bought Monday at Lowe’s into individual pots. They separated readily, appear healthy, and should do fine. I’ll probably spend part of this wild weather day (lashing rain and wind at the moment; the temp is supposed to drop like a rock later, and then the rain will turn to snow) repotting a few of my other houseplants and potting up a couple of spider plant babies.

(4) I’ll probably also spend part of this day lighting a fire in the woodburner, to keep me warm and cheerful once the weather turns to complete $%#!!.

(5) And I’ll spend a few minutes making a quick, easy, and delicious pasta sauce from olive oil, some Trader Joe’s Campari tomatoes that are ripening a bit too fast, and some mushrooms. In fact, this is my favorite thing to put on pasta these days.


Christine February 28, 2024 at 4:20 pm

$%#!! weather, coming soon to a state near you. It’s been nice not turning the heat on the last couple of days but the deep freeze will be crystallizing over Massachusetts after it passes by you. Stay warm!


Bettypants February 28, 2024 at 7:33 am

1. Another company brought in lunch for my office – Jimmy John’s subs and a vanilla cake with raspberry filling.

2. My son had a library book that he wanted to keep, so I checked Paperbackswap and ordered a copy for him. I have a little stockpile of credits there left from a couple years ago, and they come in handy.

3. I have a peanut butter/bacon dog treat recipe that my dogs have always liked, and made up a batch of them for our local shelter. I also gave some to a coworker who had expressed interest.

4. Kroger still mails paper coupons to my house on a monthly basis and there is always one for a free item. I walked over and picked up my free bag of Lay’s chips.

5. My spider plants are loaded with little plant babies. I cut off the largest ones to share with two friends.


Farhana February 28, 2024 at 9:45 am

Thank you, Katy, for the Ikea meal information.


Nancy from mass February 28, 2024 at 2:44 pm

1. Well, I have hit my deductible already for the year and I am roughly halfway to my out-of-pocket. Which is good because I need shoulder surgery. So all of my recovery PT will be free and anything else I do the remainder of this year.
2. Because I know I’m gonna have surgery, I have been knitting and stitching because I won’t be able to do anything for 6 to 8 months.
3. Picked up a somewhat fiction book about World War II that was based loosely on another World War II book. That is true. So I ordered the true book as well from the library.
4. Picked up a “Monday night special“ of a rotisserie chicken at the grocery store. I’ve had two full meals, made stock from the bones. Made a batch of Bob’s Redmill veggie lentil bean soup (about four servings), and still have 2 cups of broth and a good amount of chicken leftover.
5. Have not donated to a supposed billionaires “pay his fines“ grift


Selena February 28, 2024 at 8:13 pm

Nancy from mass – remember if you have an FSA at work with a “life event”, you can increase your FSA amount (up to your max). I played the IRS’s game when better half had knee AND shoulder surgery PLUS one kiddo aged off my insurance plan. I am a firm believer of avoiding tax code rules that don’t benefit me and taking full advantage (legally mind you) when possible.
Your HR department and/or intranet website can provide what qualifies as a “life event”.


Nancy from mass February 29, 2024 at 6:29 pm

I do not have an FSA, But a friend was telling me yesterday that the Commonwealth of Mass has a special FMLA disability and even if I’m receiving disability from work, I qualify for a smaller disability payment through the state. (Since STDI typically is 66% of your pay, and I pay into the optional STDI, which adds another 15% on top of that.) She said she would help me apply for it because she did the same when she had thyroid cancer and was out of work on stdi.


Selena February 29, 2024 at 8:09 pm

I’ve always paid the optional but mine would be 80%. Best to double check but I believe disability benefits paid by another can be taxable income (fed/state) but paid by you is not. Don’t want you to have a surprise come tax season 2025.


Christine February 29, 2024 at 2:57 pm

Your #5…I have also avoided that particular grift.


Norma Burke February 28, 2024 at 6:31 pm

Been a pretty frugal week:
1. Saved over $200 by paying my car insurance in full instead of monthly.
2. Found a cart at Aldi. Put it back and retrieved the quarter. Every little bit helps.
3. Picked up my free jar of peanut butter at Kroger.
4. Got eggs at Kroger for $1.49/dozen. Going up to over $2.00 in most stores
around here including Aldis.
5. Made potato soup for a sick neighbor using ingredients on hand.


BettafrmdaVille February 28, 2024 at 7:26 pm

1. Partner made me a big tortilla española with free eggs from mystery shop and wrinkled potatoes for my loooong commute (roundtrip) and 2 nights of dinners.
2. He reuses the onion-infused evoo every time he makes one and just keep adding more as needed.
3. My 3-month free premium of Spotify has ended so I had partner add me to create a “duo” subscription. Even though it is not frugal, the drive is long enough for advertisements to really be annoying. It is $6 a month, so I’ll do one extra mystery shop per month to cover it.
4. Now that football season is over, partner will cancel Hulu, although I’ve already reminded him 4 times…. grrr
5. We normally travel to Europe over the summer, but plane ticket prices are crazy high. We might switch to Newfoundland. If so, I’ll buy the ferry tickets before March 17, getting 25% discount.


Ecoteri March 1, 2024 at 9:49 pm

@BettafrmdaVille, if you do choose Newfoundland, my sister and her husband (who live in New Brunswick) reported that booking with a tour is really the best almost ONLY way to find accommodation in the smaller towns – the Come From Away musical has made Newfoundland very popular, but many of the small towns just don’t have the infrastructure – hard to support it when your ‘summer’ is only a few months long – so many places to stay are spare bedrooms and they book up quick. Sis and her hubby had a wonderful time while they were there, apparently


GK February 29, 2024 at 6:11 am

1. No need to buy fresh flowers, brought in some daffodils from the garden, plenty left still in the garden for outdoor enjoyment, too.

2. Husband had to have some physio sessions but thankfully they were virtual ones which saved us a lot of petrol (and driving).

3. Found a really nice spring jacket in the charity shop, one of the pockets was coming off but I knew that would be an easy mend so I bought it (10 Euro). Already mended and in use!

4. Sold a heated blanket, just in time I guess, heated blanket season is nearly over!

5. I discovered a Youtube channel that I really like, it’s by a woman that is mudlarking and I find her videos enjoyable and interesting (the rest of the family does not agree ). I love looking for sea glass on the beach but only get to do that occasionally so this is the next best thing for me! It’s free to watch these videos but I made sure to tip the creator via SuperThanks.


Heidi Louise February 29, 2024 at 7:46 am

My husband will occasionally turn on a mudlarking channel, or one of the metal detecting ones, if he wants to fill a short time. If we had small children, I would use the videos as mellow examples of discovery and joy over small things, as well as the soothing sounds of water and wind or air in diving tanks in the underwater one.


GK March 2, 2024 at 8:05 am

Agree, my children would have loved it when they were small! Alas, they now think it is the height of boredom


Grammy's Grub February 29, 2024 at 9:08 am

I’m so glad I found this site yesterday. Reading the posts and comments are so inspiring and its nice to see so many others choosing to live better with less as I am.

1. I grind my own burger. Seventeen lbs of beef brisket @ $3.98/lb and 18 lbs of Bone-In Pork Boston Butt @ $1.98/lb for a total of $2.97 per pound (not accounting for the bones in pork which will be used for stock). This created a delicious grind that I’ve used for burgers, meatloaf, etc. Best part is I know what cuts of meat are in it, I can grind it rough for chili or finer for burgers.

2. I grow and can/dehydrate tomatoes, onion, potatoes, carrots, dry beans. For the recipe share below I costed the items used at the cost of the lid to keep it simple for myself. I realize others take into account many other factors. I just wanted a swag.

3. There’s only 2 of us now but I often cook for my daughter’s family as she works full time with 3 kids and hubs is deployed. I buy in bulk most often (when practical) and portion everything into smaller bags using a food savor. We have found over the years that the cost of the bags is worth it for us as we lose way less food to freezer burn. I also use recycled containers to store rice, beans, dehydrated veggies from our garden, etc.

3. I found a recipe for layered beef enchiladas and also one for mexican rice. I made lg = 13×9, med 7×5, sm 6×4 casserole dishes from 1 lb of my grind, 1 cup of rice and a ton of veggies from my garden, home canned black beans, as well as my home canned broth.

I estimate there is between 9-15 servings (I think there will be even more as it made a ton of food).

The newly purchased store bought items consisted of corn tortillas, refried beans and enchilada sauce. I had everything else in my pantry and freezer.

The cost per serving for 9 servings (not accounting for leftovers) is $1.87. If I were to make the tortillas, refried beans and enchilada sauce from scratch (I have all the ingredients – just not the time today) it would be $1.08 per serving. WOW!

I’m sharing this meal with my daughter (household of 6), my neighbor (1) and hubs & myself.

I’m proud of my frugality, the quality/nutrition of this food and that it enables me to share with others.


MB in MN February 29, 2024 at 12:26 pm

Your first list is inspiring! Lots to be proud of. Welcome!


Dana March 7, 2024 at 5:34 am

Thrifty repurpose of the month: using the plastic item that comes with the Cologuard kit as a riser for my cat’s water bowl! Regular cereal bowl fit purrfect plus dressed it up with a new dishcloth!


Katy March 7, 2024 at 6:25 pm

Okay, this is hilarious and amazing!


Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: