Five Tiny Frugal Things

by Katy on March 27, 2024 · 67 comments

    1. My friend Lise texted asking if I wanted to walk with with her to the schwanky pet store. It looked like it might rain, but that’s a normal occurrence here in Portland, so I grabbed my rain jacket and headed towards her house. I buy my cat’s dry food at Costco and the canned stuff from Safeway, but it’s always interesting to widen my horizons. I didn’t purchase anything, but the cashier gave each of us a sample envelope of “lobster and cheese” cat treats, which my cat Zelda absolutely inhaled.

      I’m starting to suspect that my cat harbors a high end palate. Secretly schwanky cat?

    2. I took my next door neighbor out for lunch to thank her for taking care of Zelda while we were in Nebraska a couple weeks ago. Not looking to be a mooch in the name of frugality. Plus supporting a local business while strengthening a friendship is big picture important.

    3. I stopped at Safeway for bananas (last day of 39¢/pound!) and picked up two abandoned receipts in the parking lot and then scanned them into the Fetch app*. My receipts normally scan for just 25 points apiece as I’m not one for corporate food brands, but one of the receipt scanned for a full 1615 points! This put me over to top to cash out on a $25 Safeway gift card. Thanks, random littering Safeway customer!

    4. • I also found a penny and a dime in that Safeway parking lot.
      • I walked my returns back to the library, even though they were really heavy. It’s a half mile each way, so I give myself a pat on the back every time I walk this errand. Luckily none of my new holds were too heavy.
      • Someone filled my little free library with quality books right after someone else decimated the inventory.
      • I went through our streaming services and cancelled one, (HBO) while pretending to cancel another, (Paramount+) which prompted a “two free months” offer. I’ll wait to see if HBO sends us an offer to resubscribe.
      • I cut daffodils from the garden and put them in one of the curb picked sake glasses from last week.

    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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{ 67 comments… read them below or add one }

Ashley Bananas March 27, 2024 at 10:42 am

1. I called my mortgage company to change my finances with the new insurance. Over $500 a month saved!
2. I went a week and a half without filling the gas tank. Tonight I will fill it up. That makes it three times so far this month I have put gas in my tank. Lower usage than average.
3. I was gifted a box of clothes from a neighbor and scored several items from the box including jeans which I needed. passed the remainder of the clothes on to another neighbor. I have not gone to a traditional store and bought clothing in over two years, and in those two years I have lost about 130-140 lbs. I
4. I found a dime on the ground at the grocery store yesterday. The day before a penny when walking.
5. I continue to be frugal with groceries. Eating what we have at home is a blessing this month as we work toward previously unrealized expenses again.


Katy March 27, 2024 at 11:18 am

$500 per month savings? That is seriously impressive!


K D March 27, 2024 at 11:28 am

Congratulations on both the weight loss and the ability to replace your clothing so frugally. I find staying the same size a big time, and money, saver.


Bee March 27, 2024 at 12:21 pm

I’m glad to hear that the homeowner’s insurance situation is now behind you. Woot! Woot! It is a bit difficult to transition to another company, but worth it. My savings was $4000 annually.


Jill A March 28, 2024 at 4:19 am

Congratulations on your huge savings and huge weight loss. It must be fun to buy clothes now so congratulations on not spending wildly.


Vickey March 29, 2024 at 5:33 am

Congratulations on those big change for economic and physical health! (Which are sooo closely tied together!).
You mentioned in an earlier comment that you were looking for low-cost ways to supplement your income, and when I saw this, I thought of you:
The YouTuber who hosted that guest is reputable, and the guest’s suggestions based on her own experience seem sound.


K D March 27, 2024 at 11:35 am

1. I finished and filed income taxes. We owe just a little between federal and state taxes. I was happy to pay it to be finished with the ordeal.

2. I stopped at Costco, despite the crowds, after my annual gyn appointment. I bought just a few food items after doing a return. I also stopped into Aldi for sale produce since those stores are in the same shopping center.

3. I received a Covid booster at a local pharmacy. I am trying to embrace the positives of being 65 and being eligible for the booster is among them.

4. DH will take me to the airport and pick me up when I fly to visit a friend. I will cancel my Fast Park reservation. His workplace is about midway between our house and the airport.

5. I redeemed more Rewards points at Giant for butter and baby carrots.


Katy March 27, 2024 at 11:45 am

Getting in and out of Costco just buying “a few food items” is an accomplishment. Well done you!


Lindsey March 27, 2024 at 11:46 am

1. Here is my biggest frugal score of 2023: last night we finished our taxes and found we made $4,567 in shops, in cash, plus all the free groceries, gas, restaurants, and assorted other items we were told to buy and then were reimbursed. I know mystery shops are not as lucrative for some folks who live in other places but up here it works out. It is our pin money, to use my grandma’s term, and pays for our weekly house cleaning that I am too decrepit to do, and the snow shoveling and garden dirt hauling. I could still do some of those things but my energy is limited and I cannot predict when I will have “off” days, so I am happy to do mystery shops that I can handle and use the money to pay someone to do stuff I can’t do.
2. We have a friend with no vehicle so often we take him with us when we go grocery shopping and what we charge him (he asked to pay some gas but we are going anyway) is that he gives us his receipts to scan in. He is well off but hates to drive, he is single and hates to cook, and he buys name brands—his receipts often generate huge Fetch amounts. This is the guy who also gives us his rotisserie chicken carcasses because he eats only the breast meat and would throw them away if we didn’t take them. He more than repays us for carting him along, through chicken carcass donations alone!
3. We finished helping our moving friend vacate her apartment and accepted her final remnants of food and cleaning supplies that are not going to Vegas with her. The amount she gave us today is staggering, mostly pasta and canned tomatoes sufficient to open a soup kitchen, plus jar after jar of basil. Also 5 bottles of fancy shampoo I would never spend money on but love to experience it second hand through her! She will accept no money, so we are going to send her a bouquet of flowers when she settles into her new home.
4. I was offered four geoducks from someone’s freezer. After last year’s freezer cleanout vomiting up more geoduck than I wanted to see in a lifetime, I was tempted to say no but it was me or the garbage he said. So, I took them and found someone through FB that wanted it. Felt good to salvage the food but was happy not to wrestle with those wretched things again. No money savings but banked some goodwill from both the giver and the recipient of the geoducks.
5. Because Clobber Paws figured out how to dismantle the console in our van, we found an old gift card that had slid under the unit. We never would have discovered it otherwise and he didn’t kill the console, only temporarily relocated it, so it was a win for us. We had our pizza lunch yesterday on this newly discovered gift card and gave him the crusts as payment. I swear that dog has retractable opposable thumbs he brings out only when we are not in the area, because he manages to do stuff no other dog we have had even attempted. I am sure our old dog thinks, “I have been driving around in this van for a dozen years and never knew that if I opened that I could gorge on mints and trail mix!”


Susie's Daughter March 27, 2024 at 12:24 pm

Lindsey – What an awesome 5! And way to look on the bright side of the gift card and Clobber Paws’ enrichment activities.


A. Marie March 27, 2024 at 1:55 pm

Lindsey, as usual, your comments slay me–especially #5 about Clobber Paws. And be watchful about what CP is teaching Houndini. Even an old dog can learn new tricks if trail mix is involved.


Jill A March 28, 2024 at 4:29 am

I love all of your FFT but especially #5. That pup is a character.


Christine March 28, 2024 at 4:49 pm

Clobber Paws and his handiwork (pawiwork?) for the win!


Kara March 27, 2024 at 11:49 am

1. Did my usual volunteer time as Master Gardener. We are working on up-potting 3000 tomato starts for our annual plant sale, which is our one fundraiser for the non profit that grows organic produce for the food bank. I came home with some free carrots another volunteer had brought, as well as 2 muffins.
2. Rode my e-bike to above work, my husband charges it at work when he rides it.
3. Starting to eat down the small chest freezer that is in our garage. I turn it off when the weather turns warm, to save on energy costs. I grow, and am given, a LOT of produce. When I turn the freezer on in the fall I fill it right up with free fruit and vegetables, which last us until spring when I make sure it’s all eaten and the freezer gets turned off. I feel I get the best of both worlds-extra freezer space without exorbitant costs of running a freezer in a hot garage during the summer.
4. Replied immediately to the email asking for availability to work summer school (yes!)
5. Up-potted my own tomato seedlings, re-using plastic tags because I write on them in wax pencil which can be scrubbed off. So many friends write in sharpie which cannot be scrubbed off, so the tags can only be used twice (front and back) and then they buy more. I’m always happy when I do not have to buy another plastic item. I have also made tags out of cut up yogurt pots, but now I make my own yogurt, so I don’t have that source. I suspect I could find someone who would give me theirs.
6. My husband’s carpool buddy gives us his newspaper, which I fold origami style to make liners for my counter top compost pail. We in turn give him our empty egg cartons, since he has backyard chickens and can use those. I LOVE these type of exchanges.


MB in MN March 27, 2024 at 3:49 pm

Kara, this is a great list. Lucky you on the bountiful produce! I’m with you on all the plastic. Creating plant tags from yogurt containers is brilliant.


A. Marie March 28, 2024 at 2:00 am

Kara, one of our local Master Gardeners also raises tomato seedlings as a fundraiser, and both Dr. Bestest Neighbor and I have bought ours from her for the past few years. Good for you.

Back when I raised more of my own seedlings, I would cut up plastic gallon jugs for plant tags. In a pinch, both those and yogurt pots can be easily obtained from recycling bins (take it from an experienced bin surfer!).

And both the Bestest Neighbors and I save egg cartons for vendors at our Regional Market who sell eggs. They’re always delighted to get them.


E March 28, 2024 at 2:33 pm

I’m not sure if you’ve tried it but I wanted to mention that you can usually remove Sharpie from plastic with methylated spirits. Same with old whiteboard marker writing that won’t rub off. I have reused many plastic signs or labels with this trick (school teacher!). Best of luck to your tomatoes!


Juhli March 27, 2024 at 11:59 am

1. Noticed a few places where paint was coming loose on the house probably as a result of the vibrations from our earthquake retrofit work. Hubby pulled out the paint that came with the house and redid those spots to keep it waterproof.
2. We had some seasoned canned tomatoes and bits of fish left from a dinner which I turned into pasta topping when only one home for dinner. I rarely can’t come up with a way to use up bits of leftovers.
3. Not my doing but my Pilates session was canceled by the instructor saving me one week’s fee.
4. Still being careful to run the dishwasher, washer and dryer during lower electric rate times. However our gas bill for heating was quite high.
5. Finding lots of books to get from the library.


MB in MN March 27, 2024 at 3:51 pm

Juhli, thanks for the tip in #4. I’m going to check with our electric company on times when electric rates are lower.


Bee March 27, 2024 at 12:15 pm

I love your second frugal thing, Katy. There are people that we count on who make our frugal lives better and easier. Hooray for friends, family and neighbors. (Blog friends, too!)
1. I sold an item at auction on eBay. I’ll clear about $15. I won’t be able to retire at that rate. However, that’s crap out and money in.
2. Our utility company was hacked. Several people that I know have had some serious issues as a result of this. We enrolled in the free credit monitoring that is being offered and put fraud alerts on our bank accounts. My husband and I are checking our accounts every morning as a precautionary measure. Grrrr!
3. I cut the bottom off my toothpaste tube, added water to my bottle of body lotion, and brought home a used bar of soap from hotel stay last week. Use it up!!!
4. Two years ago, I rescued an amaryllis that was passed its prime and planted it by our mail box. I counted 14 buds today. It will be just beautiful next week.
5. I scanned my receipts to Ibotta and Fetch, but none were especially noteworthy. I’m continuing the culling of my wardrobe, rehoming pieces that I won’t wear, and reorganizing my closet. I’m brewing my own coffee and eating at home.
Wishing everyone peace, good health and prosperity.


Susie's Daughter March 27, 2024 at 12:20 pm

1) Tightwad Gazette casserole for dinner last night which included declining mushrooms, previously cooked chopped breakfast sausage patties and chicken stock based white sauce with leftover rice. Not as tasty as other past variations, but what DS calls “Catfood Casserole” for the win.

The remaining four all have to do with our vacation to movie based theme park in Bee and Ashley’s (and other frugal contributors) home state!

2) Booked the trip through Costco with discounted tickets and hotel stay so we get a small rebate from our executive membership and also the credit card points on my mastercard. Using credit card points to pay for purchases in the park and related to the trip. I often hoard my credit card points, but am trying to remember the earned cash back is only helpful if one uses it.

3) On that vacation, we had a room with a kitchenette so we shopped Trader Joe’s, brought snacks and water bottles into the park and ate dinner in the room every night – which was great since my feet were too tired to want walk anywhere by dinnertime.

4) We ended up paying for one checked bag which was worth it based on the sun screen and snacks we were able to put in that bag.

5) Bought most of our clothing souvenirs online and preloved both before we went and when we got home. DS was stunned at the cost differential from the in-the-park stores to resale sites and loves his themed tshirts from the secondary market. Also made him a free photo notebook, paying only for shipping, as an Easter present.


Ee March 27, 2024 at 1:26 pm

I hope that you had wonderful weather while visiting. If we are someplace with a TJ’s, we always stop for snack provisions too.
I chuckled at DS’s cat food casserole comment. Sounds like something one of my kiddos would have said.


Marybeth from NY March 27, 2024 at 1:40 pm

I do the same thing with receipts I find. The flowers are so pretty.
1. I went to Shoprite to get my 4 pounds of asparagus for 99¢ a pound. Chicken thighs were on sale for $1.19 a pound so I got 3 packs of those. I try to keep meat at under $3 a pound. I miss when is was $2 a pound but this is the time we live in. I always look for manager stickers. I got 2 roasts marked 50% off so $2.75 a pound. I cut them both in half and vacuum sealed them.
2. I then went to Stop & Shop down the road and got 4 more pounds of asparagus for 99¢ a pound. Can you tell I love asparagus. I also got 4 bananas since they are cheaper at Stop & Shop then Shoprite. I used the self checkout and paid in coins. My purse was getting heavy. I picked several catalina coupons out of the garbage can by self checkout. One was for $1.50 in free bananas and another was $5 off a $50 order. They are both good for a while.
3. I washed, chopped and cooked 4 pounds of asparagus for omelets and quiches. I saved the bottoms to use for a future soup.
4. Someone asked about an item that I have for sale on Facebook. I answered all of her questions and we agreed on the price. I then mentioned that I had something that goes with it for sale also. She was very excited. She is picking them both up tomorrow(hopefully).
5. All of my usual, only doing wash on cold, hanging laundry, washing baggies, using cloth items instead of paper goods, keeping heat low or off as the weather allows.


Marie March 28, 2024 at 2:01 pm

Safeway here for he .99 lb asparagus.
My homegrown is way behind with cold wet spring.


Ruby March 27, 2024 at 2:10 pm

1. One of the quilted hot pads bought 33 years ago at an Amish quilt show finally developed a worn thin spot on the front. I mended it with some thread given to me by a long-ago neighbor. The red fabric had faded so much with time that a dark pink was the right shade for mending. Only the really loud colors remain in that batch of gifted thread, so it was nice to have a use for the pink.

2. I don’t know what switch got flipped in the universe’s coupon generating system, but another more than half price off coupon for a haircut came in the mail. That’s three this year — awesome! I had to stop cutting my own hair due to rapidly worsening arthritis in my hands so the coupons have been very helpful.

3. Decluttering is frugal: I cleaned out the drawer in the china cabinet and found all the missing cooking utensils. No need to buy a new meat fork or pancake spatula.

4. Frugal fail: Attempted to make croutons out of some whole-grain homemade bread. They came out greasy-salty-chewy, more like bread jerky than crunchy salad toppers.

5. Rolled up some old fitness bands into a big, soft ball to use as part of hand therapy exercises. It’s held together with rubber bands from bundles of mail.

Bonus: Received a reimbursement check for $416 from the imaging center that massively overcharged me for something that should have been covered by a $30 co-pay. That center has such terrible management problems that DH told me to run straight to the bank and cash the check immediately, which I did and then deposited the cash straight into savings.


MB in MN March 27, 2024 at 3:58 pm

Ruby, “bread jerky” is very funny, although I’m sure it wasn’t while you were chewing it.


Ruby March 27, 2024 at 7:20 pm

It was so weird-tasting. Never had that happen before making croutons. I’m sticking to making them with less robust bread.


Michele March 28, 2024 at 4:38 am

I laughed out loud at “bread jerky”!


Christine March 28, 2024 at 5:00 pm

I had a chuckle over “bread jerky” too. Not an appetizing image at all!

Katy March 28, 2024 at 8:29 am

I’m happy to hear that you got reimbursed for the overcharge!


Heidi Louise March 27, 2024 at 2:26 pm

Guess I am going tiny here.
1. Grocery clearance had a last-dated four pack of avocado toast spread in little tubs for 99 cents. Tasted very good and I froze two for a later time.
Also found slightly smashed box of larger-than-kitchen trash bags on sale. I bought them to use in kitchen anyway, as they were still cheaper than proper sized ones.
2. Wearing one of my two “new” pairs of pants from a trip to Goodwill and Salvation Army when I had to drive to a nearby town.
3. Our homeowners’ insurance policy renewal indicated the company needed to know how old our roof was, so I called to tell them it was replaced last summer. I don’t think it will affect the premium but might make a difference if we file a claim, something about matching in case of partial roof damage.
4. One of my ancient amaryllis bulbs is blooming. I have never seen them planted in the ground outside, as Bee wrote.
5. I did not win the MegaMillions, nor would I want to. Worry about personal safety, financial fuss overall to manage the money, finding trustworthy advisors, obsessive stalkers asking for money, and otherwise upending my life– No thank you. I would get rid of the winnings as fast and anonymously as I could.


Katy March 28, 2024 at 8:27 am

I also forgot to win the MegaMillions!


Vickey March 29, 2024 at 9:03 am

Friend of ours has a t-shirt that reads “The Lottery: a tax on those who don’t do math”.


MB in MN March 27, 2024 at 3:43 pm

Katy, I love how you said, “Supporting a local business while strengthening a friendship is big picture important.” I also love the cool glass that the daffodils are in. You have a great aesthetic.


Katy March 28, 2024 at 8:26 am

Thank you and thank you!


texasilver March 28, 2024 at 10:37 am

The deer on the glassware reminded me of the deer ornament you have outside. (I think attached to your house.)


Katy March 28, 2024 at 2:49 pm

I believe you are referring to “Goldie Fawn.”


Mary Ann March 27, 2024 at 3:59 pm

Popped by grocery outlet. I had an hour to burn before a school meeting. I must say the deals were scarce. As people have been saying for months, bargains are much fewer and far between.

1. I passed up 1.99 fresh tortellini because I have plenty of pasta.

2. I picked up half and half even though my list said cream. I lresearch on my phone and saw that it would do well as a replacement in the pasta dish I planned. It was $1.00 a cup versus creams 2.50 a cup.

3. Fresh mozzarella was on sale for 2.50 a pound. That is a big deal. I checked and knew I could freeze fresh mozzarella. I bought four. I also bough a 24 ounce container of Blue Cheese crumbles container of blue cheese for $6.00. Hubby’s fav it will go into lots of recipes to make things ect. special even though they will be from the pantry.. I splurged on 2 packs of pre cut cheeses for the two days I will be gone. DH makes quesadillas with them. Easy enough. expensive at $6.00 a pound.

4. I bought a 2lb bag of cut kale and three heads romaine. 2 organic crescent rolls dough. All this will make Easter salad and bread for pennies. I am in charge of the meal at Easter. Hubby has already BBQ’d two trip tip and frozen them a couple of weeks ago. I am going to bake cookies. Done.

5. I decided to buy regular tortillas – 20 for $4.00 ish instead of 8 for low carb which is what I usually buy. I am trying to cut down on weird ingredients. The flours tortillas are pretty simple and much cheaper.


A. Marie March 28, 2024 at 2:06 am

Mary Ann, our local bakery outlet (plus other outlets in the same chain across Upstate NY) closed permanently and without warning last week. Not only am I sore about losing a source of great deals on bread and buns, but I fear that this closing will affect business at the adjacent grocery outlet.


Michele March 28, 2024 at 4:44 am

Wish I had a grocery outlet. Just checked. Closest one is 1024 miles. 🙁


Katy March 28, 2024 at 8:26 am

I used to pop into Grocery Outlet with some regularity as it was close to my kids’ high school. I haven’t been in years.


Marie March 28, 2024 at 2:14 pm

Our little town has only a grocery outlet, and a dollar general. Needless to say I visit the grocery outlet regularly.


Jen in Santa Cruz March 27, 2024 at 4:24 pm

I love using Fetch on “Litterbug” receipts.

Just looked up your Sake Reindeer glass and it looks like they sell for @$12+shipping each. I can’t help myself, I look everything up. Today on eBay I sold a box of driftwood pieces that I picked up at the beach. (Don’t worry, they are asking people to haul all of the beach wood away). Love the thrill of a sale, especially when it is something sourced for free.


Katy March 28, 2024 at 8:25 am

Thanks for doing the research on my sake cup, now I need to look up the other ones. However, I think I saw the same reindeer sake glass filled with sake at H Mart earlier this week.


Jann in Maine March 28, 2024 at 4:05 am

Lots of great savings going on! Bravo!
Our fav bakery outlet closed as well but there is one about 60 miles away. I do my best to coordinate trips down that way with a stop at the outlet for a major stock up. Some also have senior days. Then I freez
Made a quiche from leftover drips and drabs that needed to be used up. I would highly recommend Molly Katzen Enchanted Broccoli Forest recipe.
I notify insurance company with any upgrades such as new roof or our new radon mitigation system…it might and can result in savings. Plus they have it on file.

OK so I learned that if your home is in a Trust for estate purposes ( and you have named trust as owner) that you also need to add the Trust as an owner on your homeowners policy. Some insurance companies are using the reason to not cover a claim is that the Trust was not named as a policy holder. Call your agent to have it added if nothing else for covering your bases. You can google it to get more info. So I tell people about it hence this PSA!
Still doing clothes on racks or outside, keeping my car parked for days, and enjoying all the benefits of putting my head on the pillow at night knowing we are not knee deep in debt.
Carry on!


Katy March 28, 2024 at 8:23 am

Hmm . . . that’s interesting about adding the trust to your insurance plan. Thanks!


Cathy March 28, 2024 at 10:00 am

Yes to adding the trust to your homeowner’s insurance. Also, these accounts/assets should either be named in a trust or have the trust added as a beneficiary:
bank accounts
investment accounts
retirement plans
business interests
foreign assets

I could go on and on. I work for a trust attorney, and I can’t tell you how many times we speak with people who have empty trusts, which creates issues with probate, family squabbles, etc. So much lost money. time, and peace of mind.


Selena March 28, 2024 at 7:29 pm

But only if your trust is truly the beneficiary. A checking/savings/CD/bond et al can have beneficiaries (or POD(s) – payor(s) on death. In some states, real estate can be TOD, transfer on death. PODs avoid probate in my state and likely many other states. TOD(s) avoid probate in some states. IRAs/401ks are a different animal when it comes to probate (if non-spousal beneficiary). So do consider tax implications for your non-spousal heirs.


Vickey March 29, 2024 at 10:42 am

Jann, Cathy, and Selena, thank you all for this very helpful trust information. Collecting notes over here for when we set ours up later this year.


Christine March 28, 2024 at 5:07 pm

Jann and Cathy, thanks for the insurance information. I had no idea.


Jill A March 28, 2024 at 4:58 am

I love that you’re able to walk for so many of your errands. I love my rural lifestyle but sometimes that sounds so appealing.
1. I nabbed a plastic planter that was blowing around my mom’s neighborhood for several days. I will use it this summer to plant some more veggies close to the house where the deer hopefully won’t eat it. My goal is to find free or very, very inexpensive planters for a container veggie garden.
2. I’m using an empty dog food bag in my garbage pail. A few pennies saved but mostly less plastic in the world.
3. I sold a small item purchased at the bins for resale. I reused a box and packing material given to me by a friend. The post office picked up the package for me. Crap out, money in.
4. My mom and sister overbought carrots and radishes so I purchased half from them. We often share items since we are both two person households.
5. I picked up a receipt off the ground at Meijer and scanned it into fetch. Great idea.


Katy March 28, 2024 at 8:22 am

Team random receipts!

My walkable urban neighborhood has pretty much everything I could want, which includes, two grocery stores, (one of which is a Fred Meyer which also sells home goods, toys, DIY supplies, etc.) library, hardware store, restaurants, book store, consignment shop, UPS store, mechanic, and multiple random other businesses. I could conceivably walk every aspect of my needs. I’m very lucky.


Christine March 28, 2024 at 5:20 pm

I grew up in a city and lived there until I was in my early thirties. Like Jill, I love the semi-rural area we live in, but there are lots of times I miss the convenience of city living. My mother was a single mom and could not afford a car (my grandmother eventually bought her a used car) but during those years we walked or took buses everywhere. Very doable. I don’t know if it was my early life that started my love of walking, but I became a mail carrier and spent my working days walking. It’s frugal to get exercise while working or like you Katy, while doing errands.


Vickey March 29, 2024 at 10:49 am

I’ve been avoiding the scanning receipts thing because, life data sellers. But the idea of scanning feral receipts for points while fecking with the algorithm pleases me. Maybe I will take that up. 🙂


Michele March 28, 2024 at 5:29 am

That Fetch receipt would have kept me excited for a week. I guess I don’t buy any name brands, because mine are always 25 points.
I also believe in “big picture important” expenditures. Going to lunch today with two friends that work at different centers.
I don’t think I have 5. Just all the regular stuff – packing drinks and breakfasts and lunches, brewing coffee at home, fixing meals at home, recording expenses, and keeping all credit card balances paid up to get the rewards/cash back and never pay interest.


Katy March 28, 2024 at 8:16 am

Hey, all that “regular stuff” is the backbone of frugality!


Fru-gal Lisa March 28, 2024 at 8:10 am

My 5 FTs have a redecorating theme for my hallway project:
1. The hallway carpet, installed 15 years ago, has seen its day. It had “cattle trails” (flattened areas where people walk) and stains in it. Took up the carpet but left the really good carpet padding underneath; no need to buy that new.
2. After searching all over, I found a patterned rug I really liked. It was on clearance at Walmart. Decided to have it installed as hall carpeting.
3. Hired a retired guy, who has done some handyman work for me, to install #2. He used to install carpet for a living. He will cut off the binding and make it look like one solid bit of carpeting.
4. My choice of flooring is unexpectedly frugal, in that it should last a long time and be very durable. The hired man looked at what I got and said since the backing is rubber and not jute, and the pile is short, there is a lesser chance of it developing “cattle trails”– it will spring back. He thinks it will last for several years.
5. The guy needed some special carpet-laying tools so I got him some at a discount hardware place and some secondhand tool stores. He will subtract what I paid from his fee.


Katy March 28, 2024 at 8:16 am

How clever of you to carpet your hallway with a rug!


Vickey March 29, 2024 at 10:53 am

Thanks for sharing the carpet backing and pile choices for durability tip. Our stair carpet is so worn it’s got more like hoof puddles than cattle trails, and it’s near the top of the list for next reno project. We’ll choose more wisely now.


Elizabeth March 28, 2024 at 2:36 pm

1. A neighbor had a $75 sound and energy healing gift certificate that she won from a wellness center and she wasn’t going to use it. I picked it up and will put it to use!
2. Went to Goodwill when they were having a 25% off sale and found a beautiful wool lady jacket from J Crew. Found it online for $250. I got mine for $4.50.
3. Joined a local “silent book group”. The moderator just posted that she had complimentary tickets to the “Murder on the Orient Express” play downtown next month. Signed up to bring myself and my husband!
4. Sold some of my daughter’s clothes she didn’t want anymore on marketplace and also sold some Easter decor
5. I’m in a cooking club. This month’s theme was Middle eastern. I signed up to bring wine (I usually cook something). I brought two bottles of wine that we already had. It was a delicious meal that I didn’t need to spend any money for since we already had the wine which was my contribution this month. And I got to take some leftovers home. Along with the rest of the wine which I poured into ice cube trays to have on hand to use in cooking (we’re not drinking much these days – just doesn’t feel good for our middle aged bodies!)


MB in MN March 28, 2024 at 2:47 pm

Elizabeth, pouring leftover wine in ice cube trays to use in future cooking is a great tip!


Elizabeth March 28, 2024 at 3:25 pm

Yes, it’s so great! We hardly ever finish a bottle and this way it doesn’t go to waste. We already used a couple “wine cubes” in a roast we made the other day!


Christine March 28, 2024 at 5:24 pm

Elizabeth, what is a silent book group? I’ve never heard of it before.


Elizabeth March 29, 2024 at 5:43 pm

A silent book club is where the group members meet at a predetermined location, bring the book they are currently reading and just sit around and silently read together.


Christine March 30, 2024 at 9:49 am

I love that idea! I always enjoy reading with others. The Indy bookstore in my town would make a perfect spot!


Christine March 28, 2024 at 5:38 pm

1. I found a dime in a parking lot.
2. It’s been very windy here and I’m so grateful the couple who bought the lot next to us took all the big trees down. They all leaned southward toward my house and it was a worry during fierce wind storms or ice/snow storms that one would fall on my house, shed or car. Peace of mind that didn’t cost me a penny.
3. Some of the laminate flooring in the dining room buckled up from water damage while we were having new doors put in. We plan on eventually having it replaced but in the meantime, we bought an inexpensive indoor/outdoor rug to cover it. This will find a new home on the deck when we replace the flooring.
4. A friend is teaching me to knit and gave me the needles and the practice yarn.
5. I’m pricing air conditioners. I’ve had one in my bedroom window for many years so I can sleep but never really needed it throughout the house. Last summer I decided it’s time, I just can’t tolerate heat and humidity like I used to, so I will invest in a portable AC I can move from room to room downstairs during the day. The reduction in physical misery will be well worth it, I think.
Happy Easter!


Bethany M March 29, 2024 at 5:55 pm

Saved us $255 reminding my husband we have car renter’s insurance as a credit card perk. I even read him the fine print to assure him. He was determined we needed to tack that on to our trip expense this summer.

Sticking to my not buying clothes this year rule. There was a cute pair of pants I saw in a video and wanted to find a match on Amazon, but i stopped after looking a bit. Then I found a dress for $4 at the thrift. It didn’t scream, “my style,” but would be nice to have something new to wear to church, but my rule kicked in and I passed.

Insurance said they would cover 100% of my custom arches. Went today to get my molds made. It was 20 minutes away, but close by there’s a discount produce stand. Got us a flat of strawberries for $2. I go back in 2 weeks to pick up my arches. I will definitely be stopping in at the produce stand.

Took a third clipping of herbs from the biology class’ project. Added the basil on top of some leftover lasagna tonight. Now I have the stems rooting in the window. Tasty and free to me!

The bougie couple across the street gave my husband a ton of hand-me-downs. I believe they have started the Swedish death cleaning.


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