Five Tiny Frugal Things

by Katy on April 17, 2024 · 97 comments

    1. I was able to score a free gluten-free Domino pizza using the points I’d earned from buying previous gluten-free pizzas for my daughter. This may sound like no big deal, but the free pizza using points is a medium and their gluten-free pizzas only come in size small. I accomplished this finicky feat by calling the actual location, (as opposed to their central number) and explaining that I was going to order a medium, but actually wanted the small.

      If this sounds both boring and convoluted, I would agree. However, in the end I was able drop a free pizza off at my daughter’s apartment. To balance out the delivery of mail that keeps getting delivered at our house.

    2. I picked up a library hold copy of The Summer Book Club, by Susan Mallery. This was extra frugal as the library was directly on my way home from running errands.

    3. A woman in my Buy Nothing Group asked for volunteers for a free life coaching session, which she needed to renew her certification. I though this sounded interesting and an opportunity for introspection, so I raised my digital hand and made an appointment.

      She came by the house this morning and we had an interesting and intense half hour of conversation and tea. It’s not normal to immediately share private thoughts with a complete stranger, but it was somehow freeing to step away from standard conversational boundaries. Even if it was just a one off.

      My main takeaway is that there’s value to engaging in a healthy dose of self involvement. It made me think of this tired old joke:

      “But enough about me, what do you think about me?”

    4. I had a thrifted vintage flip clock that I tried to fix and then set aside as I realized that I had no idea what I was doing. I didn’t have the slightest idea how to put it back together, so I brought it to my favorite vintage store and gave it to an enthusiastic employee who might have better tinkering skills than I. I called it a “clock kit.”

      To clarify, I gave it to him and do not want it back as I dismantled it at least four years ago. Tag, you’re it!

    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.

{ 97 comments… read them below or add one }

Avery April 17, 2024 at 8:26 am

1.) for the past 3 weeks, I’ve been holding my landlord accountable to make a necessary fix. While I do have to move out of my apartment temporarily, I am getting a $100 credit on my rent.
2.) I have been reading a lot of library books in Spanish to improve my skills. Currently I am reading Javier Castillo’s “El día que se perdió la cordura”.
3.) I am currently working on getting food stamps. I have been using my gift cards that I forgot about.
4.) I dropped off my solar eclipse glasses at Warby Parker to be reused. I also did the same at CVS with my empty prescription bottles. It’s not necessarily saving me money, but it is environmentally friendly.
5.) I didn’t buy or thrift a Lear Jet.


Heidi Louise April 17, 2024 at 8:39 am

Interesting about the pill bottles: When I looked online, it said CVS does not recycle pill bottles, though does take medications for drug recycling and disposal. I’ll have to ask at our local store.


A. Marie April 17, 2024 at 9:33 am

I’d love to hear more about this or any other options for reusing/recycling pill bottles. Our county recycling agency no longer accepts them, and I feel guilty as sin just throwing them away. I’ve got a large stash in the basement.

And, of course, this ties into Christine’s recent remarks about the fact that very few plastics are actually getting recycled. Frankly, folks, China doesn’t want our recyclables any more–so it behooves us to cut down on plastic use however we can, as Christine said. With pill bottles, however, most of us don’t have much choice.


MEM April 17, 2024 at 1:48 pm

Here in Massachusetts you can’t recycle pill bottles either – whether prescription or OTC. No matter how well washed they are, MA considers it “medical waste”. My daughter is a Vet Tech and veterinarians won’t take back pill bottles even if it’s just to refill the same pet’s prescription.


Danielle C April 20, 2024 at 7:33 am

Perhaps try calling an animal rescue? In my area there is a cat rescue that reuses pill bottles.


Avery April 20, 2024 at 11:21 am

Hi! I live in Brooklyn and noticed that some CVS locations take them, but not all!


Katy April 17, 2024 at 2:41 pm

Sending you strength and fortitude on getting food stamps, that is a finicky and frustrating task.


Avery April 20, 2024 at 11:21 am

Thank you so much!


K D April 17, 2024 at 9:40 am

1. We have been watching season 9 of Brokenwood using hoopla! which the library provides free access to.

2. I cut some lilacs and dropped them off at a neighbor’s house. I used a tall clear glass spice jar as a vase.

3. I helped out a friend in a bind. Her family traveled overseas for her daughter’s wedding and all their luggage was stolen from their rental car (that of the mother, father, and brother of the bride). I went to her house and virtually walked through it with her to gather items they were unable to purchase in Italy. A friend of hers picked up a suitcase from me Monday night so she could fly with an extra bag yesterday.

4. We are back to working on eating excess food. Hello to a frozen black bean burger for a snack two days this week. Also butternut squashes cooked in the Instant Pot.

5. I am listening to digital audio books borrowed from the library including This American Ex-Wife, Evolve Your Brain, and My Name is Barbra.


Katy April 17, 2024 at 2:39 pm

How absolutely awful for your friend!


Ruby April 17, 2024 at 9:43 am

There’s a charity called Matthew 25 Ministries that accepts clean OTC rand prescription bottles and caps for medicine distribution:

I have donated to it, although it took me nearly a year to save up a mailing box full. I included the blue and green bottles from my two elderly dogs’ many prescriptions but used Barkeeper’s Friend to scrub the doggie and kitty pictures off the caps so there would be no confusion if the recipient is not literate.


MEM April 17, 2024 at 1:52 pm

That’s good to know. I had heard about it, but I am not a very trusting soul and wondered if it is a legit organization.


Susan April 18, 2024 at 2:44 am

I live in Blue Ash, Ohio where Matthew 25 Ministries is located. They are amazing and help people worldwide and in US. Check out their website.


Katy April 17, 2024 at 2:38 pm

That’s good to know, thanks for sharing this.


Ruby April 17, 2024 at 9:56 am

For the frugal stuff, I got my hair cut today with a $5 off coupon, popped next door to the fancy supermarket afterward and bought canned tomatoes and dog chewie treats on sale.

Yesterday I followed the grocery clerk doing the yellow stickers on the fresh meats and bought some chicken and turkey for pre-pandemic prices. Which was great because our freezer is really bare. Also caught the premium kibble for the dogs on sale and saved 25%. Bought a baby-themed gift bag and some tissue paper, the latter suitable for all seasons, at Dollar Tree along with pretzels and two cartons of shelf stable milk.

Did not stop at Trader Joe’s after some astoundinglyv efficient laser surgery yesterday — it literally took five seconds to fix my eye. The quarterly visits to my eye doctor’s office are the only errand that puts me in that area, so breaking up with TJ’s was pretty painless. 😀


Katy April 17, 2024 at 2:37 pm

Sometimes the fancy supermarkets have the best sales!


Ecoteri April 17, 2024 at 9:17 pm

Well done on following the grocery clerk! I asked the young meat-person if they had more of the (not really inexpensive but ok priced ) boneless skinless Chicken thighs that were on special, as the shelf has been bare the last two times I have dropped in. He kindly said he was bringing that brand out next and would check, so I wandered looking for bargains (chips are NOT a bargain, but…) and came back to find what I was hoping for. Came home and stuff one tray into the Instant pot (after smooshing some chilli powder and other spices on them) and will have some more ready-to-eat protein for the wonder kid (and me) before I go to bed. I should have asked what time they discount the meats…. hmmmm


A. Marie April 17, 2024 at 10:00 am

FTFT, Really Small Stuff Edition:

(1) The found change total for the first half of April is 55 cents, most of it in pennies and dimes. I think pennies are the least likely to be picked up when dropped, and dimes are the most likely to slip out of a hand or a pocket unnoticed.

(2) I continue to start the few plants I still raise from seed. The thyme, Greek oregano, and shallots I’ve already started are now outdoors in my mini-greenhouse; I started my beloved Cut and Come Again zinnias on Monday; and I’ll be starting mini-basils (the small-leaved ones I use for drying) and Tuscan kale shortly. (Note: The thyme and oregano are this year’s experiments, and I sure hope they come through. I have so little luck getting thyme in particular through our Central NY winters that I’ve decided I might as well treat it as an annual.)

(3) I found $5.40 worth of NY State deposit bottles and cans on this morning’s walk. Looks as if more people than usual didn’t have the energy to return them for the deposits and just put them out for recycling. 😀

(4) I discovered to my surprise that I’m about to use up the last of the deodorant soaps that didn’t work too well as deer deterrents in the garden, but were still perfectly usable for their original purpose. Fortunately, I saved enough chips from the old bars that I can make one last bar with the old Miles Kimball soap mold I’ve had for at least 30 years.

(5) And I’m about to make a reasonably healthy dinner with frozen tilapia, rice, and spinach. On yesterday’s semi-annual visit to my PCP, my BP behaved itself and my weight was down 4 pounds since my last visit, but some of my blood test results were less good.


Christine April 17, 2024 at 12:56 pm

I’m always amazed at the amount of deposit cans/bottles you find! Are you like me in that looking for cans/bottles and coins adds a dimension of fun to walking for exercise? It’s very motivating for me…lol.


A. Marie April 17, 2024 at 1:54 pm

Christine, I regard bottlepicking as a form of cognitive exercise. I walk a different route every day, have to check in some cases whether or not the containers have a deposit, etc., etc. It’s certainly more profitable and more fun than most of the “brain teaser” games out there.


Julia April 20, 2024 at 7:28 am

I enjoy finding change although it’s slim pickings lately. And it’s fun to keep track of it. So far this year I have found $5.83 but $5 was a five dollar bill I found cleaning up trash in front of my house.


Katy April 17, 2024 at 2:36 pm

I’m always so impressed with your can foraging and general ingenuity! You have me beat with found change, as I seem to be on a roll of only finding pennies lately.


Edie April 17, 2024 at 10:06 am

Yesterday was my birthday. Some frugal fails:

1) I will be getting together with some friends down in Eugene later on this week, so yesterday was more thoughtful and quiet. I had lunch at IKEA- hot entrees for $3.99 using the family card. I priced out both outgoing discontinued bathroom fixtures and the new incoming ones- having a refurbed bathroom is a goal for this year!

2) I gave myself the gift of new casual clothes and shoes- truly needed!

3) I bought 2 new rose bushes and some veggie starts. Kept them indoors due to the frost warning for last night.

4) Drank a small 350mL thing of prosecco, because why not. And bought Kari Kari chili crisp, which is a horrifying $36. But delicious, and worth every penny.

And 2 small wins:

5) My Oregon Kicker amount was a whopper, and much needed!

6) I start my new job on Monday! After nearly of 4 months of unemployment, with just gigs supplementing my income this is welcome! It’s not as much as my previous position, but because of living mindfully and frugally I am able to make this work , and use this position as a stop gap to the higher positions I would be able to achieve with this position.


Heidi Louise April 17, 2024 at 10:48 am

Good luck with your new job!


BettafromdaVille April 17, 2024 at 1:41 pm

Happy Birthday AND congrats on the new job!


Katy April 17, 2024 at 2:34 pm

Hooray for consistent paid work, may your new job lead you to even higher paying positions!


Vickey April 18, 2024 at 3:30 pm

Happy Birthday and Congratulations, Edie!


Christine April 18, 2024 at 5:51 pm

Happy Birthday to you!


Blue Gate Farmgirl April 17, 2024 at 10:12 am

Next door neighbor is building a huge shop w/offices above and I offered to take the leftover scraps. I will organize by size shape, if it’s too small they will get chipped for use in the garden walkways. He was thrilled, saving him thousands in removal costs. We are good neighbors with a gate between our property for easy visiting (otherwise it is a 2 mile trek on the road).
I repotted my over wintered geraniums (70) and tuberous begonias, using compost that I make (this is 3 year covered compost that is naturally baked and turned)
I filled, sanded, scrubbed a back door that my brother’s puppy demolished (it was a $900 2 yr old door), one more coat of paint and it will look good as new.
I used my new to me ryobi batt powered leaf blower. It came with a 6 hour cell that took a charge. I paid $10 for it at a garage sale.
I washed and hung up to dry 3 huge 16 x 20 tarps, folded them and stored them in a rubbermaid bin for future use.
*In my family and neighborhood, we say “No Backsies”!
I did not thrift or buy a new tractor or dump trailer. hmph.


Katy April 17, 2024 at 2:33 pm

Wow, I also didn’t thrift a new tractor. Such a coincidence!

Did you really repot 70 geraniums? This impressive, then again, your “frugal things” are always impressive!


Michele April 18, 2024 at 6:26 am

“No Backsies” is a saying I’m going to steal!


Karen April 17, 2024 at 10:20 am

Some very tiny frugal things:

1. Made fried rice as a side dish to use up some odds and ends of frozen veggies I found in the freezer. I was able to use up brown rice (it doesn’t have as long a pantry life as white rice, so I needed to cook it up). Also some raw chopped broccoli and a random can of water chestnuts I found lurking in a cupboard.

2. Oldest son ended up in the hospital for surgery; before I headed to the hospital to wait with his brother, I filled two reusable water bottles, including my new LifeFactory glass bottle, so we wouldn’t be tempted to go buy water while waiting. I also brought my Kindle and a book but ended up distracting myself with my phone and the free hospital wifi. (Son is fine, by the way! He had a Meckle Diverticulum and is recovering nicely.)

3. Also in clean-the-freezer mode; after DH took son to the ER I decided to finally use up the turkey and chicken bones I had stashed away. Bone broth is always nice for recovery from surgery, and I used some of the broth in soup for tonight as well.

4. Library books on repeat.

5. For mindless entertainment I found Night Court (the old one from the 80’s!) on FreeVee on Amazon. Comfort watching for me at its finest.


Christine April 17, 2024 at 1:03 pm

Glad your son is fine now and recovering.


Katy April 17, 2024 at 2:31 pm

I’m very happy to read that your son is on the mend. You sound like a very nice mama!


Lindsey April 17, 2024 at 10:25 am

This is not a frugal thing I need but it may be essential for someone else to know. If this is old news, I apologize but it is new to me. I am working with a hospice person’s insurance and they keep refusing to pay for a medication because it is not what it is intended to be used for. She absolutely cannot afford to pay for it out of pocket. This person is dying, for God’s sake! Anyway, I tried all the fight techniques I knew, to no avail. I finally got someone human on the phone when I called the insurance company, who practically whispered “Check out Mark Cuban’s site.” I guess he is on that show Shark Tank and he ended up starting a cut rate mail order pharmacy. I talked to someone at our oncology center and she said it is legit and they have advised patients to try it. You go in and register, which is a short process. Your doc sends in the prescription and the site contacts you when that happens and tells you how much it will cost, plus shipping. Not all drugs are close to free, but their rates are really, really low. My hospice lady got meds that cost $500 for $12.50. It took about 10 days from going into the site to receiving the drugs; outside of Alaska the shipping times are probably shorter. This is not a scam, I don’t have anything to do with the site or this guy who started it. It may be of use to someone so I pass it on in that spirit.

That was my frugal victory for the week. The rest of the stuff is just the daily slog of not wasting food, etc. Boring but it adds up.


Jill A April 17, 2024 at 12:07 pm

That is an amazing difference in cost for meds. It is so kind of you to do that. Thanks for sharing.


Christine April 17, 2024 at 1:05 pm

Invaluable information for many! Thanks so much for sharing.


BettafromdaVille April 17, 2024 at 1:45 pm

Mark Cuban was a guest on Trevor Noah’s podcast – he is a fascinating disrupter!


Heidi Louise April 17, 2024 at 2:41 pm

He was the subject of a press release this week: Said he paid $278million or so in taxes; pays because this country has done so much for him; knows it might not all be used wisely but is proud to give back; said after military service that paying taxes is the most patriotic thing one can do. I really appreciated considering his point of view.


A. Marie April 17, 2024 at 2:00 pm

Lindsey, as usual, your superpowers are showing! As yet, the only prescriptions drugs I’m taking are inexpensive generics–but if I ever need a drug that costs an arm and a leg from most sources, I’ll keep this site in mind.


Katy April 17, 2024 at 2:29 pm

Thank you so much for bringing this up! I’m aware of this website, but had kind of forgotten about it!


MEM April 17, 2024 at 2:30 pm

Yes, Mark Cuban is a billionaire (and Pittsburgh native!) who wanted to remove the middleman and make generic drugs more affordable to us real people. His CostPlusDrugs doesn’t have all of the generics of course but people are encouraged to contact the company and let them know of the demand for any generic they don’t carry. I have referred a number of people to the site and as my retirement is looming in early 2025, I did a little research into my generics to see what they would cost out of pocket.


Brenda April 17, 2024 at 11:47 am

First time poster – long time reader! We’ve been fighting against the astronomic food costs here in NYC by being super organized with our food and meals. So far I have shaved off a TON of money just by meal planning all of our meals. It’s amazing how having that plan written on the white board on our fridge has caused my whole family to be more aware. I’ve started a monthly budgeting spreadsheet system where I go through all of our transactions and log them in by category. Then I can see monthly and annually how much we spend. Our enormous 12 year old grew out of all of his clothes, so I decided to build him a capsule wardrobe. Only items he likes and will wear – no extras! Man oh man is life expensive!


Katy April 17, 2024 at 2:28 pm

So expensive, but it sounds like you’re figuring it out with being thoughtful and deliberate. My young adult nephew is coming to visit from NYC and I’m freezing a couple meals ahead of time and also bought groceries that’ll make easy tasty meals so we don’t end up eating out due to lack of planning. So far I’ve frozen Mexican-style chicken soup, (serve with toppings and it’s a hit) twice baked potatoes and have everything for chicken adobo and Thai red curry noodles.

Here’s the recipe for the chicken adobo:

Easy, cheap and a crowd pleaser. I’ll serve it with rice and roasted carrots.


Ecoteri April 17, 2024 at 9:42 pm

Capsule wardrobe for a 12 year old? OMG that is brilliant!!!!


Jill A April 17, 2024 at 12:10 pm

I combined errands today and also stopped at the library. I picked up the next book club book since it wasn’t available on kindle. My week so far has consisted of weeding and walks in the woods.


Katy April 17, 2024 at 2:24 pm

Ugh, I hate weeding! My parking strip is overgrown with weeds but I can’t make myself deal with it as it’s officially city property and therefor not really my issue.


Roberta April 17, 2024 at 12:14 pm

Yup, more daily slog here.

1. Watching Doc Martin from the library, instead of paying for it.
2. Knitting socks for my husband while I’m subbing at school. It keeps me more focused than zoning out on my phone, and gives my family socks that make their boots more comfortable. I equipped both my kids, now it’s my husband’s turn.
3. Taking extra jobs to make up for a short month, due to spring break. I’ll be starting a load of laundry tonight, so I can hang it up tomorrow morning and skip the dryer.
4. Succeeded at bringing home the new-to-us table saw that is the EXACT same one my husband bought 25 years ago, and wore out. Despite my mother’s concerns, the nonagenarian who sold it to us did not murder me.
5. Made pumpkin fritters to use up cooked squash, finished some loquat pickles just in time to make more, me husband weedwacked this week (we discuss hiring it out every year. We haven’t caved yet) and I made magnesium oil to relieve his sore muscles. Blah, blah, blah. We’re going to a “free” concert tonight, but we’ll be buying dinner out, but at least it’s out of our rut.


Katy April 17, 2024 at 2:23 pm

I would’ve love to watch a teacher knit socks when I was in school, what a cool thing to do in front of the kids.


Ecoteri April 17, 2024 at 9:51 pm

thanks for reporting that your saw seller didn’t murder you – love the saga of the saws!
Can you share your magnesium oil making process?


Roberta April 19, 2024 at 7:38 am

For magnesium oil, warm up some water (depending on what’s going on, I’ll do anything from a quarter cup to a full cup — a full cup during weeding season!) and when it’s warm, add an equal amount of epsom salts. Heat it up more, and stir until all the salts dissolve. When it’s cool enough to touch you can rub it on wherever you expect to be sore, or where you are actually sore.

It’s shelf stable, and you can use it room temp. If any of the salts precipitate out, you can reheat and restir to redissolve them.


Julia April 20, 2024 at 7:36 am

Once I went to buy a bookcase off of Marketplace and they lived up a rutted, steep lane called Chainsaw Road. I didn’t get murdered either. lol


Kathleen April 18, 2024 at 3:47 pm

In high school we had a substitute who brought her inkle loom to class. I still use mine. She was really cool!


Christine April 17, 2024 at 1:09 pm

Your #4…so funny! It sounds like something my mom would’ve thought about too. I don’t think our mothers ever stop worrying about us. I know I’m still worrying about my 40 and 37 year Olds! Lol.


Vickey April 18, 2024 at 3:56 pm

Reminds me of one of my favorite quotes:“Making the decision to have a child – it is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body. ” ~ Elizabeth Stone


Christine April 18, 2024 at 5:56 pm

Oh Vickey, I love this! What a beautiful and realistic description of parenthood.


Vickey April 19, 2024 at 12:05 pm

Right? I remember, and share, that one A LOT. Lived it last night, when I learned that my adult son, whose unexpected call began with “I’m ok” (uh-oh!), had been in a motorcycle accident. Cue rant here about irresponsible dog owners – it was a feral chihuahua running into traffic on the Marquam Bridge that started the cars around him swerving.

Heart walking around outside my body indeed.


Christine April 19, 2024 at 5:39 pm

Yes, or heart pounding outside my body in this case. Glad he’s okay.

BettafromdaVille April 17, 2024 at 1:20 pm

I had a friend who was doing his certification to become a life coach and needed someone to earn his hours for credit. I found it to be fascinating and helpful as I had been in a total stagnation to finish my dissertation.
1. I finally made the switch to Better than Bouillon. We make our own stock but we use more than we can make. I recently read a fascinating article about how cartons of chicken stock are made from… “chicken broth” – first ingredient, which is largely made from chicken seasoning! BtB will save me about $7 per bottle vs. if I bought the same amount in carton, priced via Aldi. And, according to most taste tests, BtB is better tasting, too.
2. Used a coupon to stock up on dishwashing liquid and made sure to only consider the liquid variety after reading Katy’s discourse on “don’t tell me how much I should use” re: tablets.
3. It is my partner’s birthday and I’m taking him out to dinner at a restaurant that he has been wanting to try, and using a gift certificate that HIS parents gave ME for Christmas. Hmmm. But, I still get credit for taking him out, and it shouldn’t cost much out of pocket.
4. Did a mystery shop dinner last night and took out a friend who is retiring. She got a kick out of doing a mystery shop and I got credit for taking a friend out for free to celebrate.
5. Partner just walked up to the library to return a couple of books, I listened to free Hoopla audiobook on my long commute, 2 of our Swiss Chards wintered over and are looking good in the garden, seeds that partner started (basil, summer squash, cucumber, radishes & lettuces) are looking good.
Bonus: Floated idea for inlaw’s joint 80th birthday that we do bbq pulled chicken, as I think I can get all chicken for free from mystery shops, cole slaw with mayo that I got for free, bbq sauce that I got for $1 a bottle, which means I think I can make lunch for 50 for about $50, only having to pay for hamburger buns, chips, cabbage, and some cucumbers and beans to pickle.


A. Marie April 17, 2024 at 1:58 pm

Betta, your #1 has convinced me that it’s still worth it to make my own chicken and beef broths/stocks at home!


Lindsey April 17, 2024 at 2:17 pm

Depending on the chicken and what vegetable ends I have been hoarding in the freezer, some chicken stocks turn out meh…for those a bit of Better Than Bouillon is enough to super-charge them. I have tried other “enhancers” for my homemade broth, but BtB is the best I think.


Katy April 17, 2024 at 2:21 pm

I both make my own stock and also add an extra scoop of “Better Than Bullion” when cooking. I add a spoon to rice, which is a delicious game changer!

You are so clever with how you pull everything together, I could learn a thing or two (or three!) from you!


Ecoteri April 17, 2024 at 9:57 pm

@BettafromdaVille ever since I started to make my broth in the Instant Pot (and continue to save the bones in the fridge) I haven’t considered using a boullion cube – salt is something I need to watch, according to my GP. I happen to live 1 kilometre from the local chicken slaughterhouse, so if I needed more bones for broth I could always go down there and buy a cheap box of necks – cook them up for a bit, pull off the meat, and continue cooking the bones for broth. I have lots of broth pressure canned and ready to pour in the basement, too. I consider it my Fort Knox – jars of liquid gold!


BettafromdaVille April 18, 2024 at 8:14 am

@Ecoteri: I’m jealous of your bone sourcing!


Bee April 19, 2024 at 5:19 am

I find the best chicken stock is made in the Instant Pot (IP). I think the pressurized cooking makes it much more flavorful. Budget Bytes did a how-to a few years ago. However, beef stock is best made on the stove.


Christine April 17, 2024 at 1:30 pm

Yay for free gluten free pizza!
1. I found a dime on the floor in a store.
2. My monthly payment on the budget plan for heating oil went from $188 per month down to $163, a savings of $25 each month or $300 over the course of the year. I guess keeping the thermostat down, extra blankets and washing laundry in cold water paid off.
3. We have a new soft serve ice cream maker at work and my boss wants us to try it. Okay! She’s given me two free ice cream comes over the last two days.
4. I walked a trail with a friend for exercise and socialization.
5. I’m going to make myself a banana cake for my birthday which is this Saturday. I have some overripe bananas to use up. It’s just doubling a banana bread recipe I have, baking it in a 9×12 pan and putting frosting on it. So easy and so good.


Katy April 17, 2024 at 2:18 pm

Yum, my husband loves banana cake — it’s his absolute favorite! Happy birthday!


Christine April 18, 2024 at 4:50 am

Thank you!


Elizabeth M April 17, 2024 at 2:19 pm

1. I am using physical therapy exercises I found inline for free to treat back pain.

2. I am eating down the pantry and stretching out the time between grocery purchases.

3. I placed several bulk orders from Amazon subscribe and save to get discounts on 6 months worth of vitamins, air filters, pantry items, and pet supplies.

4. I used up some ingredients before they went bad by making a mixed berry cobbler and a batch of pancakes.

5. I made biscuits and immediately froze half of them for later since they don’t stay fresh very long.


Katy April 17, 2024 at 8:51 pm

That’s a good idea to freeze the biscuits.


Ava April 18, 2024 at 5:25 am

I make up biscuits and freeze them before baking. It is easy to pull out as many as you want. They seem to rise better after freezing. No need to thaw before baking.


Katy April 18, 2024 at 8:45 am

I bet this also works for scones then.


mary in maryland April 17, 2024 at 2:53 pm

Tomorrow is free ice cream day at Ben and Jerry’s.


Mary Ann April 17, 2024 at 3:26 pm

1. Winco shopping proved top dog against Grocery Outlet. At Winco : delish Cosmic apples for .99 a pound (I am going back tomorrow for more) ; 2 pounds of shredded sharp cheese for 3.24 a pound : 2 bakery-made pizza doughs for $2.00 each. Into the freezer they go until I don’t feel like cooking. Cheapest fast food in the world.

2. I have been using scraps of leftovers or freezer one offs for dinner. Usually I just put two, 3 min eggs on them. Yum. Yesterday was scallop potatoes and today was two random brussel sprout patties I found in the door of the freezer.

3. Continue to measure my food to avoid waste in my body. I am about 20 pounds overweight. That means I am eating too much which is a waste. So I am measuring many things to quantify how much I need to cut down for me to lose. I am being pretty general – a cup of food for dinner, focus on veggies, etc. . . 1 T. in cream in my coffee, things like that. I am not going to go all OCD.

4. I now have $135 balance at Poshmark. I am wonder if they should send me a check or I should just use it for replacement items. It itches that little shopping scratch with no out of pocket.

5. Letting my hair growing longer between cuts.


Katy April 17, 2024 at 8:49 pm

Winco really is the best! 100%!


Jenni April 18, 2024 at 12:46 pm

From time to time I get out of the habit of going to Winco and kick myself at the cheap goodness I miss out on- they really are hard to beat on so many things. Last week they had the large Darigold cottage cheese for .98. Sign me up!


Elizabeth April 17, 2024 at 3:33 pm

1. My 19 year old son cleaned out his closet and got rid of a bunch of clothes. My husband took some, my daughter took a sweatshirt, I took about 5 sweatshirts plus size small joggers that hadn’t fit him in years and are currently my favorite pants to walk the dog! Most of the rest I sold on Facebook marketplace. What doesn’t sell will be put on my Buy Nothing group.
2. Have a date set to drop off a bunch of stuff I’ve been decluttering all winter to a lady who owns a consignment shop up north. I drop off at her house and some months later I receive a check for 50% of whatever sells. She donates what doesn’t sell.
3. Went to a free painting class with a friend put on by the library. It was a really fun time and afterwards we got a glass of wine sitting out by the lake which she treated me to because I drove!
4. Went to see the cherry blossoms at our local botanical garden. Our cherry blossoms have been voted by Travel + Leisure as one of the best in the US. I have a yearly membership and I use it often (while the membership isn’t frugal the price I pay per time going there really brings it down because I go a lot!). While I was there I also saw the butterflies in the tropical conservatory and two interesting art exhibits!
5. Today I utilized a free coaching session through Headspace which is paid for by my husband’s company as one of his benefits. Tomorrow I’m going to a cooking club lunch where the theme is Polynesian. I’m bringing a Hawaiian dip and am excited to try all the other food. I love being able to sample lots of different food for the price of what it takes to make whatever dish you’re bringing.


Katy April 17, 2024 at 8:48 pm

I love cherry blossoms, I grew up with three white variety trees in front of my house and am always sad that they’re gone now.


Loretta April 17, 2024 at 4:37 pm

1. I have booked an extremely extravagant Winter lunch experience, which includes a truffle hunt, with a group of friends (not something any of us normally do)and am funding it by walking a friend’s dog for a week. She needed a dog walker for her very active kelpie cross and I need the hour’s extra daily brisk walk and the cash is a bonus! It may lead to more paid gigs and as I am no longer working, that would be perfect!
2. I am still eating the last of the homegrown tomatoes on home made sourdough toast for breakfast. And accepting everyone’s excess as they are sick of eating them.
3. A few friends and I have started using my son’s gym in our shed for regular workouts and weight training. No paying gym memberships, I get to see my friends more often, and I don’t have to leave my house to do it. Win, win, win!!
4. Reading ALL the library books.
5. Today I will plant a year’s worth of garlic, from my own garlic heads. I have frozen last summer’s cloves before they started sprouting so will have garlic all winter. We eat a lot of it!


Katy April 17, 2024 at 8:45 pm

ALL the library books? No wonder the ones I want always have a long hold time!


Kara April 17, 2024 at 5:53 pm

1. I’m doing some online work for a school. Thankful for the pay, and I save money by not commuting.
2. Took on a tutoring student.
3. Batch baked. Potatoes for dinner, bacon for tomorrow, and quinoa granola.
4. After struggling with the free frozen purple carrots (I hate the texture of frozen and then cooked carrots and they can’t be put in a soup or casserole or they turn the whole thing an awful color), I tried cooking them and then pureeing them. They taste just fine and there’s no objectionable texture. Free food and creativity for the win.
5. Returned the 1 gallon bucket to our kitchen sink to start catching warm up and clean rinse water again now that the weather is warming and the rain is decreasing. We save a LOT of water this way.


Katy April 17, 2024 at 8:40 pm

Creativity is almost always “for the win!”


Ecoteri April 17, 2024 at 10:16 pm

1. I decided to restart my yogurt making as I am eating more – I use my Excalibur dehydrator as it is the easiest option, but my buddy uses her Instant pot for the same reason. And I found a free pile with a yogurt maker (remember those) which I brought home, but haven’t been able to convince myself to use. Might take THAT to my daughter as she is eating more yogurt these days and is noticing the cost…
2. I also am continuing to cook squash in the Instant pot – the dog gets some and I put some in my morning smoothis/glop drink. It ain’t pretty but it keeps me satisfied, and I know everything in the mix is as close to unprocessed as is possible.
3. Spent some time this afternoon dumping out pots of soil to see if anything survived our horribly unusually cold winter. I dump the soil out into an old wheelbarrow that has a crack in the barrow part so any soil drains after rain – and I reuse that soil over and over. I found some surprises (including three indignant frogs, LOL) and used a lot of the ‘used’ soil to size up many of my hostas – those DID survive the winter and are all bursting out of last year’s pots.
4. I spent some time filling trays of 4” pots with good (new) potting soil – feeling inspired by @Marybeth from NY, who posted last time about all the cells she has filled with seeds! I have a lot of seeds, and with 108 pots ready to go I intend to get more seeds out of the packets and into the soil where they will thrive.
5. I have re-created a Very Delicious Tofu Snack (Past Ecoteri would never have put THAT sentence together, LOL).
First, find discount tofu (firm or extra firm) and freeze it.
Pour hot water over, to get rid of any excess ice, and boil the whole block at a simmer for 10 or 12 minutes.
Strain and let cool.
Grab the block and squeeze gently to remove more water – don’t worry about squishing it all out.
Cut the tofu into cubes (big or small – 24 or 36 pieces, no need to be too particular).
Mix up a marinade – I use about 1/4 cup soya sauce (any variety), 2 Tablespoons toasted sesame oil, 2 Tablespoons siracha, 1 teaspoon chili paste, slug of black bean sauce, some grated ginger, a bit of chopped garlic (optional) -in other words, random condiments. I add a good 2 Tablespoons of sifted cornstarch, stir it all up, gently stir into the tofu chunks and let sit, covered, in the fridge for 1 hour to 36 hours…
Cook on a tray in your toaster oven (or oven), spaced a bit apart, at 400 degrees for 20 min (your time may vary). They should be crispy on the outside and still moist inside.
WARNING – these seem to be addictive, so keep an eye out for tofu on sale. Talk about a healthy snack!


Jill A April 19, 2024 at 4:16 am

i’ll have to try your tofu snack. Thanks


Vickey April 19, 2024 at 6:12 am

Your tofu snack sounds Very Delicious indeed! Just curious – why boil it? It’s already made of cooked soybeans, and you cook it again when you crisp it up. Does the boiling make a noticeable difference in the texture, making it worth the extra step? Frozen then thawed tofu is already pretty spongy will soak up whatever you give it for flavoring, so it’s not clear the boiling would make a difference there.
Enquiring minds want to know… 🙂


Ecoter April 19, 2024 at 10:49 am

@Vickey, I think the boiling is to speed up the thawing, as well as draw out more of the moisture. I have frozen then thawed tofu before, this takes less time (of course) but I think the tofu is also somehow firmer and a bit dryer (although the snacks are still moist inside). If I take them out of the freezer and boil them when I am doing other things (like making the marinade and randomly chopping other foods for dinner) then let them cool (while continuing to do other things) I am not impatiently waiting for a huge chunk of tofu to thaw. By the time I have a ‘break’, the tofu is cool enough to handle, cut and stir and cover (I put in the fridge but probably not necessary if you are going to cook within an hour).
So, to answer your question, I think it is both convenience and speed, as well as a slight improvement in texture. I know it isn’t cooking as much as ‘processing’ in the best possible way


Vickey April 19, 2024 at 12:07 pm

Thanks, Ecoteri. I see a tofu experiment in my near future. 🙂


Cindy in the South April 18, 2024 at 7:02 am

1. I made a soup/Chili/dish that I don’t know what to call, maybe Cindy’s mess ….lol from browned ground beef, combined with a can of brown sugar baked beans, honey, a can of carrots, a can of rotel tomatoes with green chiles, garlic powder, etc., and cooked in the crockpot. It is certainly filling.
2. I walked in my neighborhood.
3. The city is putting in new (and free because of some sort of a grant) water/sewer lines. They accidently broke a water line and flooded my front and back yard. So free watering of yard? I did slip on the mud but managed to catch myself….oops.
4. I took a nap.
5. I didn’t use air nor heat.


lulutoo April 18, 2024 at 7:48 am

Katy, your getting the coaching session reminded me of a very interesting book I just read (from the library, of course). It’s called ‘Rental Person Who Does Nothing: A Memoir’ by Shoji Morimoto. He doesn’t charge anything to people (except his travel-by train-expenses and any food they share) and he advertises and just listens to people (does NOT give feedback or advice). Most people who use his services really seem to get a lot out of the service.


Nancy from mass April 18, 2024 at 6:15 pm

Howdy everyone!

1. I’ve been going through some of my “not quite junk” drawers and have a bunch of stuff to donate. I threw away some stuff. Also why do we keep so much stuff?
2. I finally canceled cable television. I was really only watching like five stations. I’m not going to admit how much money it’s going to save me every month.
3. When I canceled the cable TV, I got a better deal for three times the Internet speed (it’ll basically be the same cost. I was paying for Internet) and I get a new router for free.
4. Was really craving some fish and chips for dinner (a local grocery store makes amazing F & C) but instead, I took something out of the freezer that I needed to use up. Sometimes the store has a special coupon for a few dollars off. I guess I’ll wait. oh, it’s always so fresh and good.
5. I didn’t donate to pay a grifters legal fees.


Vickey April 19, 2024 at 6:15 am

Hi, Nancy! Love, love, love your #5!!


Selena April 21, 2024 at 7:07 pm

Me either – ultimate grifter I might add.


Michele April 19, 2024 at 6:13 am

These are going to be small, as I feel we have been leaking money this week.
1. Saved 1/2 off a very expensive med by using the Manufacturer Savings Card. 🙁
2. Got back on track packing food for work. Had a very stressful audit at work and I didn’t seem to have the bandwidth to be able to add one more thing to do!
3. Husband flying to see our son in WY and while he is away I plan to eat up all the assorted things in fridge and pantry and freezer. Will drop him off at airport to avoid parking fees. He will have one of their cars to use while he is there.
4. Meal at our house tonight includes a regional food that all will enjoy. It’s basically hotdogs with a special meat sauce on it- so frugal.
5. Smaller check this payday as we went to see the eclipse. Will deal with it as it was so great to see the eclipse with old friends and son and daughter-in-law.


Dori April 19, 2024 at 8:32 am

It is so very satisfying to find a new home for an item that is not something you need anymore. Cool to find someone who would enjoy tinkering with it, and satisfying to have it out of your house and off your mind!


Vickey April 19, 2024 at 12:18 pm

Few Frugal Things:
1. Made a batch of “beanie bars” – no-cook bean-based snack bars that DH has on his longish drive home after a day of physically demanding work. No cook, *and* no plastic wrappers going to the landfill.
2. 2nd dentist’s opinion is in, and one tooth has to come out. Calling around for best estimated prices on the extraction. Surprised at how widely they vary. Looks like where we’ll go depends in part on what level of anesthesia DH wants.
3. Refashioned a tomato cage as a plant ring support to reduce the spreading Philodendron Lickety Split’s wingspan. Found a bigger pot in the stash in the garage to use when we repot it. We’ll use soil we have on hand, thanks to our compost bins, previously emptied nursery pots, and some yard reshaping.
4. The rear handle mechanism’s cover plate came away in my hand when I tried to open the hatchback door on our 18 y.o. Prius yesterday. Since it has wires to Important Features attached, I can’t just take it off. We’ll order parts this evening, and already have YouTube and other how-to resources identified and noted. Meanwhile, we applied the copious amounts of black duck tape as neatly as we could to hold it in place until parts and amenable weather arrive.
5. Engineered a Franken-box to return an unused item.
6. DH relocated the asparagus plant that appeared spontaneously in a flower pot, into the asparagus patch the deer trampled last spring *just* after we replanted there..
7. Trimmed my bangs to delay spending out for a full haircut.
8. Buying in bulk, cooking from scratch – made garbanzos in the IP w/extra water for extra aquafaba to have for dressings, etc. “All the usual.”

Thanks to Katy for continuing to host and post!


Ecoteri April 20, 2024 at 10:14 pm

“beanie bars” ???? recipe, please and thank you….
Sorry about the door handle. our household’s stable of elderly vehicles (2003, 2005, 2007)…are likely going to begin to offer such ‘challenges’, you have my sympathy and enthusiastic support for the repair


Vickey April 24, 2024 at 8:10 am

Thanks for the sympathy and solidarity, Ecoteri. 🙂

Beanie bars are beanie balls doubled up in size so DH only has to grab one to add to his lunch workday mornings.

Dry Ingredients:
(place powders in food processor 1st to cut down on dust)
– [ ] 1/4 C. cocoa powder
– [ ] 1 t. cinnamon
– [ ] 1 T. ground flax
– [ ] 1/2 t. vanilla powder (if using)
– [ ] 1 C. rolled oats
– [ ] 1/3 C. raisins or other dried fruit
– [ ] 1/3 C. nuts or seeds

Liquid Ingredients:
– [ ] 14 oz can of black beans, rinsed well and drained
– [ ] 1 banana, in chunks
– [ ] 1-2 T. water
– [ ] Lemon, orange, or tangerine zest
– [ ] extract – vanilla, etc. if using liquid form

Directions (these are very detailed wrt specifics for my kitchen and equipment):
– [ ] Pulse oats, cocoa, flax, cinnamon, vanilla powder, and raisins or other dried fruit in food processor til fruit is chopped. Pour into medium mixing bowl.
– [ ] Process liquid ingredients in food processor til smooth.
– [ ] Return dry ingredients to food processor and pulse to blend well.
– [ ] Return mixture to mixing bowl. (Makes next step easier.)
– [ ] Divide into sixths.
– [ ] Use spatula to fill 6 medium muffin cups.
– [ ] Shape into bars with hands. (Cuz that’s how they fit best into the storage container I use, and the individual containers DH uses to pack his lunch each morning.)
– [ ] Freeze.

These are fairly soft when thawed, not a dry style of bar.

You can substitute other beans for black beans, and vary the dried fruit and nuts/seeds, flavorings, etc. E.g., garbanzo beans, dried cranberries and walnuts, a citrusy extract (lemon, orange, etc.), omitting the cocoa powder and substituting addt’l oats (2-3T?), etc.
Play with it and see what you come up with!


Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: