Five Tiny Frugal Things

by Katy on May 9, 2024 · 66 comments


    1. An old Antioch College friend came into town and took me out to breakfast, which was a lovely treat. So great to catch up with her and hopefully we’ll see each other again while she’s in town visiting with her son.

    2. I found two nickels and a penny while walking home from the restaurant. So yeah . . . I recently came into some money.

    3. My friend Lise and walked to Fred Meyer (Kroger) on Tuesday, which was their monthly senior discount day. I didn’t actually need much, but I did pick up clearance price bags of kale, spinach and tomatoes; plus I used a 65¢-off coupon for eggs and a coupon for free Haagen Dazs. I’ll make a batch of kale pesto and save the vanilla ice cream for when I next make an apple crisp or pie.

      10%-off Fred Meyer is still more expensive than Winco.

    4. • Portland remembered that it was Spring, so now I get to open the windows and keep the heat off.
      • I was late returning two library books, but Multnomah County Library no longer charges late fees.
      • I rewatched the first three seasons of The Detectorists (best show!) on the free Roku channel.
      • My downstairs bedroom acts as a kind of catchall for this, that and the other, which means it can get disheveled. I spent a half hour or so reorganizing and cleaning everything, so it looks all nice and ordered again. No items were purchased in the making of this room refresh.

    5. I didn’t pay any hush money.

Katy Wolk-Stanley

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

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{ 66 comments… read them below or add one }

Kara May 9, 2024 at 5:36 am

1 I picked up 14¢ left at the self checkout at Safeway while I was there getting cheese on sale.
2. I cooked pinto beans in IP for a very easy dinner. Our daughter works at a winery and brought a free bottle of wine to go with the dinner. I don’t drink but she and my husband enjoyed the wine. Fun fact, at the corporate offices of the winery they have wine and bourbon on tap
3. Sold 2 items on FB marketplace, amid a host of flakes.
4. Needed a treat amidst my nausea. Walked down to Wholefoods and spent $2 on some additions to my salad.
5. We bumped our Netflix down to the $6.99 plan with ads.


Denise May 9, 2024 at 6:02 am

So, Katy’s got a daughter who works in a posh grocery store and gets great freebies. You’ve got a daughter who works in a winery and gets even better freebies. I’ve got a nephew who is an accountant and I don’t need an accountant… May I adopt someone useful, please? Or at least get sent some wine parcels??


Kara May 9, 2024 at 8:40 am

This winery job really is pretty sweet. Though I have more use for an accountant, since I can’t drink alcohol!


Lindsey May 9, 2024 at 9:04 am

One nephew of mine constructs boats. I now understand he has been remiss in not giving us a boat, even a small one.


Leslie May 9, 2024 at 9:15 am

My daughter works at a museum so I get into her museum free anytime and most Boston museums when I tag along as her guest.


Katy May 9, 2024 at 9:28 am

Oh yes, the Facebook Marketplace “flakes” are a special treat for anyone brave enough to sell on the platform. Bourbon on tap? Blegh!


Selena May 9, 2024 at 7:11 pm

Bourbon on tap, sign me up. Would be rate that a teetotaler would work for that company.


Marybeth from NY May 9, 2024 at 12:59 pm

I worked at a movie theater while my kids were in school. When I started it was free passes for the family and unlimited fountain drinks and popcorn. When I left(13 years later) it was 2 passes twice a month and a tiny popcorn and drink for employee only. It was one of the many reasons I left.


Denise May 9, 2024 at 6:22 am

1..Tomorrow is “D-Day”, or rather “DC Day” as we head out (sister, accountant nephew and me) from London to Washington DC. I’ve been eating everything in the fridge. Not joking, I’ve had indigestion a couple of times which I attribute to some of the peculiar combinations I’ve concocted. My brother grows masses of his own food, and gave me herbs, rhubarb and kale last week. There’s only so many ways I can use parsley and I am so sick of it that it’s going into the compost bin.

2. I have bought fruit and snacks (nuts and a bit of dark chocolate) but luckily, all the meals and drinks (alcohol, pop and hotties) are free on-board. My stash is for the schlepping round Heathrow.

3. I have painted my new garden gate this morning so that’s a tiresome job done. Future me shall be grateful. Frankly, present me is pretty smug right now! I was quoted £100 by a handyman who was hanging new internal doors for me. Old doors were hanging off their hinges, nasty state and some broken panels. I wanted glazed ones and my brother has some nice, mega cheap new ones so I treated myself. Does the door-spend cancel out the “painting my gate” save??

4. I have hacked through some of the denser shrubs in my garden and found some gems behind them, being strangled by the lack of light. My biggest wins are a sad little clematis which huddled looking dead (it’s an armandii, so it’s evergreen), and has just bloomed into a lovely, rich, sturdy plant and a tired, stunted climbing rose, which was likewise strangled and starved of light by a tedious laurel. It’s now blooming, after light, regular rain actually reaching its roots, and fertiliser. Vivid magenta roses, with one of the most heavenly scents I’ve ever encountered. I’m going to try to propagate it, it’s so lovely.

5. Not one I can truly claim is frugal: I did a sort-through of my files,and I found an entirely-forgotten stash of $254 left from my holiday in Melbourne Beach in Florida in December 2022. Given that I pay for everything on a credit card on holiday now (a no-fee on foreign transactions card), the cash will see me through tipping and some spending in DC. Yippee.

One observation, Katy on your kale bag: do people truly need to be told that it’s great for cooking???


Ecoteri May 9, 2024 at 7:58 am

I love love LOVE the personifications you included in your #4 – “strangled, sad, huddled, tired, stunted, (likewise strangled) starved, tedious….” a delicious paragraph that had me both visualizing and laughing in delight.
Re you #3 – if the door replacements inside will bring you joy, they add to the smugness regarding the painted gate. I gather that the folk who engage on Katy’s page are ones who are frugal so they CAN hang new doors when desired/required – because they haven’t wasted money on lawyers and hushing people up…


Katy May 9, 2024 at 9:27 am

And here all this time I though kale was “great for insulation.” Apparently we Americans like things dumbed down as much as possible. I’m impressed with your gardening and gate painting, even impressed by your parsley composting as it’s better to not force yourself to eat increasingly odd combinations of food.


Selena May 9, 2024 at 7:15 pm

$254 won’t go far in DC. Do go to the Ford Theater. I also recommend the International Spy Museum. Bummer Newseum closed down – it was quite the interesting place. If you can swing a visit (it is a bit of a drive but not too bad) to Gettysburg, do so.


Katy May 10, 2024 at 11:08 am

However . . . the Smithsonian museums and zoo are free though, right?


Liz B. May 10, 2024 at 1:51 pm

Yes, I believe the Smithsonian museums are free. Some do require you to make advance timed reservations, though….at least, they did 2 years ago when we were there. We were unable to get into the African American Smithsonian museum, because we were unaware of the need for timed entrance reservations.


Heidi Louise May 9, 2024 at 6:30 am

I have an opportunity to meet up with friend for a few days in June, starting in Seattle and, as we’ll have a car, move around to Portland and nearby areas.
Suggestions for can’t miss stops? Thank you!


Katy May 9, 2024 at 9:22 am

Hmm . . . the Crystal Springs Rhododendron Gardens are free on Mondays, Mount Tabor Park, especially at sunset for the view.


Jenni May 9, 2024 at 12:32 pm

The Vancouver, WA waterfront is a beautiful place for a picnic.


Heidi Louise May 10, 2024 at 11:58 am

Thank you, Katy and Jenni!
We hope to spend much time outdoors and I will add those suggestions to the list.


Fru-gal Lisa May 9, 2024 at 6:38 am

1. Attended a community Arts and Crafts Night party hosted by the Salv. Army ladies. Paid $10 for materials, but was able to make a fancy tray and coaster. These items are going to be future (Christmas? Birthday? Housewarming?) gifts. Also, they have a buffet table so I got a free supper included in the deal. And it’s nice to socialize with others.
2. In searching for another item, I found a like-new T-shirt missing almost forever. Into the laundry it goes. Now I have another summer shirt to wear!
3. Redeemed two coupons for free meals at fast food joints.
4. As always, brewed my own coffee and packed my own lunch. Including can of soda — much cheaper than vending machine!
5. For hot (brown bag) lunches, bought some $2.39 calzones at Aldi. Much cheaper than going to the local pizza joint’s buffet, and just as delicious.


Katy May 9, 2024 at 9:19 am

Yay, you know I’m always team “free food!”


Mary Ann May 9, 2024 at 6:39 am

Tough to come up with some frugal wins this week. Son is home from college and normal is thrown out the window but in a great way.

1. This week is teacher appreciation week. In my mailbox I have been gifted lifesavers with a nice poem, a worry – stone heart, a rose, and a breakfast buffet invite for tomorrow.

2. It is warmer so I am not living off Good Earth Sweet and Spice Tea with Chobani creamer in it. During this transition I just stopped drinking anything but yesterday I made a firm commitment to fill my Stanley Quencher twice. Apparently I am now quite fashionable with the teens because of the Stanley . Hubby got it free from a conference with some large chemical companies name on it. Water is free compared to tea and creamer so – a win!

3. I scrounged for lesson plans on Antartica for my World geography class. I often resort to Teachers Pay Teachers but I found a great free powerpoint and activity. We study all the continents except Antartica. Since i am going on an expedition there in February I thought it would be fun. Friday fun will be March of the Penguins which I will have to rent for 3.99.

4. My teaching aide has a bday tomorrow. I will go to Sam’s for cupcakes for the class but I will put together a nice gift basket for her from things I already have.

All in all, I am certainly not going to match the austere budget of last month but I that is not how I have to live. I will save where I can and celebrate when it is important.


Lindsey May 9, 2024 at 9:10 am

My friend did one of the expeditions to Antarctica and loved every minute of it. What a great opportunity!


Katy May 9, 2024 at 9:18 am

How great that your son’s visit and teacher’s week overlapped!


Coral Clarke May 9, 2024 at 4:06 pm

And that encapsulates my version of frugality! I live frugally (waste not, want not, reduce, reuse , recycle, upscycle, swap, share etc) and I live gloriously, and have enough to share with others! If you don’t celebrate you are opting out from life!


Ruby May 9, 2024 at 7:57 am

I popped into Food Lion yesterday afternoon to buy grapes and mustard, did a quick look at the yellow stickered fresh meats and found a huge whole chicken marked down to $2.22. That’s for the whole bird, not per pound, a price I have not seen for about 13 years. The check out lady said, “You go, girl!” when she scanned it.

Otherwise, I used store coupons at the hardware store and Big Lots to save $10. Big Lots had no mustard in stock at all but I was able to save a few dollars on cat food and refill bottles of Clean Freak degreaser. I added some discounted greens to a bowl of salad fixings and did extensive alterations on an adorable but too flouncy blouse from Goodwill so that it now fits just right.


Katy May 9, 2024 at 9:15 am

I love it when the checker out people compliment my frugal finds, because you know they see it all!


Ecoteri May 9, 2024 at 8:19 am

I haven’t posted for a while, been really busy, so this is a bit of a catchup.. Chatty as usual!
1. I was at an event a few days ago, and someone I know complemented me on my outfit. Cute, she said. I laughed, as did the friend sitting beside me – “Thanks, I wear this all the time. It is wool, though”. They both both impressed, although the one friend knows that I am essentially in my uniform (I have two Wool& dresses that I wear with tights for much of the year, and with shorts for the rest of the year. I never did the 100 day challenge, but can guarantee that both these dresses have been worn for at least 365 days – I have had them for at least 3 years… I don’t get bored, and as we all know, ‘Women of a Particular Age’ are well-nigh invisible in this society, so it means that dressing myself is almost mindless, most days).
One consequence is that I now know that it is time to purge my closet. That day will come but not during good planting weather
2. I have completed planting-on my tomatoes. I had a lot of saved seeds and a lot of varieties, am being disciplined about only planting 3 4” pots, and putting any remaining plants in a 4th pot with a label – I will share those later. Still, with the number of varieties I have, I am needing to start moving some of my more robust ‘starts’ out to the big greenhouse so the more tender tomatoes and peppers can fit in the grow room. I don’t regret my hoarding habits when it comes to pots – this spring has seen me using a lot of larger sizes for my perennials, and the yearly potting-up of tomatoes/peppers/eggplant and many flowers means I need a lot of 4” pots. “So there, Mother dear, you can quit telling me how to ‘get rid of’ them all! I need them!”
3. I made another batch of yogurt in the Excalabur – the milk was old when I bought it on sale and was languishing in the fridge but my picky nose and mouth said it was fine, so converting to yogurt happened and it is delicious – tangier than usual and I love that.
4. The instant pot is getting a workout this month, lots of squash, and beans, and more beans (#2 loves black beans) and more squash, and two batches of chicken thighs from the not really discount but no bones or skin so kind of cheap sale.. Trying to up my protein intake, and reduce my carbs, back using the fitbit to record everything I eat (!!) and noticing that my carb intake is likely the culprit when it comes to my stubborn weight. If I have ready-to-eat food ingredients (cooked if not compiled into a specific meal) in the fridge, I am much less likely to snack. Wish me luck sticking to this, as there is also some pasta in there made up for #2 son. It isn’t calling my name yet… but it could!
5. My usual credit card got compromised so I had to wait for a new one. I have others, however I used this as an excuse to reduce my spending for 10 days or so. Now I have the new card and am doing the tedious job of contacting all my regular donation folk to change over….
6. My rice cooker is also on regular rotation, using up many different varieties of rice I seem to have on hand. Cooked up some using the last of some chicken broth from the fridge – so tasty, making broth ensures I am squeezing those chickens out of every drop of “ good for us” nourishment.
7. Went to a fundraiser for the local Mental Health folk – paid a lot (however I have decided to consider it a donation) and came home with a sign that I created by producing a lot of waste, I am sorry to say (cri-cut vinyl stencil that we picked out the letters from, then stuck to a sign-board made of cedar strips, and dabbed paint onto). I am not very excited about the look of the sign I came home with, however I did have a ‘dinner’ of lovely tasty delights from a local restaurant (yes, I ate veggies from the tray, too). I also met a very nice Indigenous woman, which is one of my goals – spend time with folk different from me. I am very pleased to say that I succeeded in driving up prices on a number of the silent auction items and came home with NOTHING. Money saved, the charity gets more… WIN!
8. My gym membership has expired and I am now walking in the FAR TOO EARLY morning with my still-working girlfriend. It is just amazing to be up so early, and the lovely weather helps get me into a super mood. My days end earlier, reducing my snacking, and I get a lot done in the early morning when I get home.
9. The dog is aging, and also has informed us she doesn’t like squash. I converted some of the huge squash I had already cooked up into a squash soup – using chicken broth from earlier in the week. Not my best soup but pretty tasty.
10. Am working on reducing my pantry – I could feed an army for a week and hardly make a dent, so #2 Son and I will be enjoying some enjoyable old standards. If I can stay out of the grocery store, I don’t bring home the bargains.
It is a very interesting exercise in self-awareness, my need to have an over-abundance of food in storage. There is a lot of self-talk as I notice ROOM in some of the cupboards.
Even during the worst of Covid the grocery stores had food on the shelves – might not always have what I was looking for, but I can make a meal out of a lot of different ingredients, so I need to DO that with the ingredients I have, and trust that the ongoing discounts will be there in the future, as they always have been in the past.
Self awareness can be painful, y’all!


Katy May 9, 2024 at 9:14 am

I’m sorry to read that your credit card got compromised, although it sounds like you find that sliver of bright side. Your gardening and food related activities are impressive, well done!


Selena May 9, 2024 at 7:21 pm

Last fund raising event we attended, I was going to stop bidding on a silent auction item (even while “correcting” bid increments for those who did/chose to not read the rule for raising bids. Better half reminded me it was fund raiser so yes, I came home with a couple of usable/consumable items. The other might become a donation to another fund raiser or a gift. But it all went to a good cause.


Ecoteri May 9, 2024 at 10:09 pm

There were a few items I was interested in, but someone else there was also interested and jumped in every time I put in a bit (it was funny/not funny… but I decided to laugh – there were three of the same item and she was outbidding on ALL THREE!!). but She is $70X3 poorer, the charity wins, and it was going up to the ticking clock with her and another attendee… sheesh


Sandra May 9, 2024 at 8:21 am

I really like your mix and match wine glasses with the ceramic stems. They are just so charming.

1. I received a precious handmade May Day Basket from someone. It was a “Ding-Dong Dash” affair, but later a small band of neighbor children rang the bell again and told me that they had delivered the May Basket. It was Halley, about 9 and her three brothers, 6, 4, and 2. Halley declared that she made the basket and the boys delivered it. So sweet!

2. I found a pair of side tables on Marketplace. I had been looking for some time and was even thinking about buying new in order to get the size and design I wanted for my living room. What a nice surprise when I found a perfect pair for sale very near me for $40.00. They are in very good used condition and a little bit of cleaning and furniture polish made them ready to use. I am so pleased and it was a fraction of what I was seeing “new”.

3. My daughter was shopping at the dented vegetable store and found deeply discounted bags of mixed vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, and baby carrots). She bought 4 bags, two for her and two for me. I roasted all of mine with olive oil, herbs, and sea salt. I ate some hot and have been enjoying the rest cold as a salad. She also found large tubs of arugula and baby spinach, also deeply discounted. I already have plans for those, too.

4. Recently I saw a video on U-Tube where a man used boiling water to kill weeds. I decided to try it, nothing to lose and a lot to gain. Since then I have been using boiling water to kill weeds in the seams of the driveway and it seems to be working as well as the commercial weedkiller that I have used in the past.

5. A couple of days ago I put away the Easter decor. It was so cute and spring like that I left it out for a while, but I knew it was time to put away the bunnies and chicks. I searched around and found other decor items to use until Memorial Day when I will go Patriotic.


Katy May 9, 2024 at 9:07 am

Hooray for boiling water! Cheap, earth friendly and easy. That is so sweet of your young neighbors!


Jane May 9, 2024 at 8:46 am

Your last line cracked me up.


Edie May 9, 2024 at 9:28 am

1) I ALWAYS go to the Fred Meyer on 102nd first when shopping and pick up the clearance produce. It’s usually still good for at least 4-5 days more. I will blanch and freeze for soups, stews and sauces. The big 1 pound boxes of greens go into green smoothies or juices if on clearance, and I always pick up the $1 pound of dented veg or 49/pound ‘overripe’ bananas for smoothies.
2) But WINCO is still top of the pops for all other produce and goods- including Tony’s smoked salmon, a delightful treat. When visiting friends in Eugene, it sold at Market of Choice for $10-13 /package; at WINCO it sells for $5-7/package. A lovely treat to have with avocado toast or bagels!
3) Frugal self control: Vitamix is having a Mother’s Day sale- and I would like to upgrade my now 10 year Vitamix! BUT: The 10 year old VitaMix is still going strong- making smoothies/soups/sauces/sherbets , grinding flour, chopping veg. The upgrade would be for mere aesthetics- the new Vitamix has touchscreens and an app for recipes, which I do not want (nor need) .
4)Frugal fail: Got a new job via an agency- and the agency benefits are poop. And I made a stupid mistake and did not complete the enrollment for ACA when I was laid off in December. Pure fail. The agency’s benefit’s are not crap, but expensive as hell, and barely passes standard of care. Friends, don’t be dumb if you are in the USA – enroll in ACA and complete the contract asap if you are laid off.
5) Frugal Win: Through the agency I got a remote IT job. I am making less than I was making with my last job, and with the poo benefits, it’s a real loss of money. BUT the hours are good and it allows me to improve my skillset, enjoy summer days in the garden and have time to do projects that I was thinking I would need to hire out for.


Heidi Louise May 9, 2024 at 1:24 pm

I agree with your #4. When our employer closed, we thought COBRA (continuing on our previous health insurance and paying employer and employee shares of premiums) would be less expensive than ACA. Boy were we wrong. For months.
Affordable Care Act/ has been very good to me.


Lindsey May 9, 2024 at 9:46 am

Here is my feel good, cry a little, moment of the day. Week, actually. Yesterday I got a card in the mail from a foster son we had for about 2 years when he was a teen. Enclosed was a picture of him holding his Ph.D. and a note telling me that until he lived with us, he never thought he was smart, so he wanted to thank me for helping him get his doctorate. He reminded me that all the times he was suspended from school, I made him sit at the kitchen table all day studying, and those hours finally paid off. It has been at least 20 years since we had contact with him. Now, on to frugalities:
1. While at the grocery store for a gallon of milk, I made sure to pass by the cheap meats section. Hamburger that had to be sold that day for 99 cents a pound, 90/10 fat composition. I took 5 of the 10 one pound packages; I would have felt guilty taking all 10. Then I circled over to the dented can rack and found 2 cans of Canadian bacon, for future Eggs Benedict, for another 99 cents each. Finally, the corner where they put expiring fruit had a bag of apples for a dollar. Great scores, all of them.
2. The apples turned out to be sort of mealy, so I made them into applesauce and threw in some rhubarb from last summer’s garden. Yum.
3. Traded a dozen of fresh chicken eggs for two six packs of sage transplants. I still have 56 eggs in my fridge, so am happy to be trading some out. Later this afternoon I am dropping off another two dozen to a friend who is always bringing by her leftover lasagna because her family refuses to eat leftovers. (I have to bite my tongue so I don’t tell her my opinion of the husband modeling this behavior and then applauding the kids by saying that “we are not so poor we have to eat leftovers.”
4. Made a hummingbird cake for a friend’s birthday. I don’t care for it at all, too damp, but she loves it and I love her.
5. Collected some no longer needed tools to take to the library tool swap this weekend.


A. Marie May 9, 2024 at 10:08 am

Lindsey, I love your intro story. But the husband in your #3 is appalling. I’m glad you and your husband are profiting from his behavior, but…!!


Heidi Louise May 9, 2024 at 1:29 pm

How wonderful your foster son contacted you with such great news!

(Is there anyway to give the woman a smaller pan so she only makes half a lasagna?)


Coral Clarke May 9, 2024 at 4:14 pm

No! Don’t kill the Golden Goose! Friend would have done that if it was import, and is no doubt happy with lovely eggshell!


Frugal Aussie May 9, 2024 at 1:45 pm

Such a beautiful story! You did a great thing!


Lindsey May 9, 2024 at 6:05 pm

He is the one who did the great thing. This kid never had much stability and was always in trouble in school, trying to get kicked out so he could spend the day with his buddies roaming the streets. He ended up in youth services and went to juvie jail 13 times while with us, for doing stupid crap. This is a case where a probation officer kept his foot on the kid’s neck, giving immediate consequences when he screwed up (which seldom happens, even though we knew contemporaneous consequences have the most impact with the young). When he aged out and left, we thought he was gone forever; I wish he had written more about how he managed to make it as far as he has. He is in his late 30s now.


Jill A May 11, 2024 at 5:39 am

Lindsey, I love this so much. Every foster child should have someone like you.


Katy May 10, 2024 at 11:19 am

Ooh . . . I remember you writing about your friend’s husband. That makes my blood boil!

However, that is balanced out by your foster son’s achievement and letter.


A. Marie May 9, 2024 at 9:52 am

FTFT, This and That Edition:

(1) DH’s contractor friend just came to get the huge, awkward piece of equipment and two other tools he bought from me on Tuesday out of the garage. I am so glad to have the Huge Awkward Thing out of here, I’d turn handsprings if I thought I could do it without winding up in traction. (The money is secondary, but I don’t regard it as any calamity.)

(2) I took my next-door neighbor (NDN) grocery-shopping today, and she let me use her Tops card again on a couple of loss leaders, for which I have reimbursed her.

(3) NDN also voluntarily brought an almost-dead houseplant out and asked me for an opinion. I took three cuttings of the few live bits and disposed of the rest of the plant in my “organic fence” (the vertical brush pile at the back of part of my property). Believe me, getting a hoarder to get rid of ANYTHING is a small victory.

(4) My dear Betty cat is a little better today, after several days of rear-end problems (both #2 and #1). I’m keeping her vet appointment tomorrow anyway, though, since I want to get her tested for a UTI. She’s been a joy and a comfort throughout the long ordeal with DH, and I want to keep her going as long as I can without resorting to extreme measures. (She’s 12 now.)

(5) And, like Katy, I haven’t had to bribe anybody or pay anybody off for anything I haven’t done. It’s true that virtue is its own reward. 😀


Coral Clarke May 9, 2024 at 4:17 pm

It’s good to be reminded that virtue is its own reward, I frequently feel it’s its own punishment,! All my favourite things seem to be vices!


Katy May 10, 2024 at 11:17 am

Such a coincidence on #5!

Poor kitty and frankly — poor you, as rear-end problems are no fun for a pet owner.


Christine May 10, 2024 at 2:05 pm

Your #2 holds true for virtue being its own reward too. Kind of you to bring your neighbor shopping and the use of her Tops card helps you. Kindness breeds kindness.


Auntiali May 9, 2024 at 11:07 am

I finally get to join in on a Five Frugal Things post!

1. While picking up a sandwich for myself at the convinence store (boo!) I was able to get an extra receipt for Fetch scanning and 4 pennies left in the self check out.

2. I picked up some Too Good To Go food on Saturday from a fancy schmancy butcher/deli for $6.99. Ate one meal that night and saved the two servings of turkey and stuffing for hubs and I to eat later.

3. Lost my Costco card so I couldn’t get gas there. I did drive to two places to try and get the cheapest gas. Ended up at the $3.67/gal station but only put $10 into the car. That will last me until I get my Costco card fixed.

4. I was treated to Chinese food last night. My friend and I ate on the deck and it was beautiful outside

5. Still fighting one medical bill from last year. Hubs and I had a series of unfortunate events regarding our medical insurance and I had met my out of pocket deductible by the date of so my cost should be zero. I’m being charged $64.80. Talked to insurance company and doctor’s office today so I won’t be sent to collections.

6. One more: hubs cancelled his Apple “my fitness app?” therefore saving $82.00.


Katy May 10, 2024 at 11:15 am

Sending strength and fortitude your way for the medical bill!


Autumn May 9, 2024 at 11:13 am

1. Paid for my car repairs with cash. Better to repair the car than buy a new one, better to pay cash than with credit.

2. Drove my sister’s car to work while my car was in the shop. The only thing I paid was the cost of a tank of gas and some time cleaning the trash out of her car. My sister asked for nothing in return for driving her car- so I think the gas and little tidy was money and time well spent. I would never borrow something so major from my sister without giving in return.

3. My fiancé made a crockpot of chili yesterday for dinner- everything we didn’t eat has been put in the freezer to save for days where I can’t be arsed to cook. The chili was fantastic, and I will happily eat the five quarts until it’s all gone.

4. Tonight I’m going to start sorting through my clothes to sell/donate. I have a ton of things I’m not wearing, and a local resell boutique that could use an infusion of new clothes.

5. I’m on a four-day no-spend streak. Feels good.


Katy May 10, 2024 at 11:13 am

Four days no spend? Hooray X4!


Marybeth from NY May 9, 2024 at 11:42 am

1. Made a chick pea salad. Used some of the aquafaba in muffins as the egg replacement. Froze the rest.
2. I messed my knee up and have been going to PT. They charge a 4% fee if you pay by credit card so I have been paying by check.
3. Since it was raining, I made a large pot of sauce with parsley and basil from last years garden. I am almost out of parsley. Froze 4 meals worth of sauce.
4. I have been working in the garden/yard a lot lately. I set up the crockpot before I go outside so I don’t have to worry about dinner.
5. My BIL offered us a bunch of his pots that are getting old. He bought new matching ones. I don’t care if things match so I happily took them all. My youngest then stole 2 of them. I garbage picked a plastic tote that I will use for carrots and 2 pots. I planted parsley, basil and dill in all of the pots. I mixed free compost with old dirt, wood ash and lime.


Katy May 10, 2024 at 11:13 am

Such a healthy five frugal things!


Mand May 9, 2024 at 3:14 pm

1. Have been working, working, working. So much work that I have not driven my car anywhere, used any petrol (gas) or really left the house, so haven’t spent any money.
2. At some stage of all this work I just started living on peanut butter sandwiches and instant pot chickpea curries for days. While I do hope I don’t have scurvy, it was very cheap. Thank goodness for the instant pot – put the food on, go back to work, wait for the beep. The most used appliance in our house.
3. Only resorted to takeaway pizza one night of the six weeks.
4. No socialising = cheap. However all projects were submitted yesterday and I have full social calendar for next week so my enforced and frugal hermitry is coming to an end.
5. That also means my uniform of jeans and flannel shirts and uggs might have to be changed up. While I hate to agree with Mark Zuckerberg on anything, wearing the same thing every day is a very simple and definitely a very cheap way to live. Maybe Ecoteri is correct, and it will be irrelevant what I wear as I too am of a certain age, except I doubt I would receive any compliments on flannies and uggs.


Ecoteri May 9, 2024 at 10:30 pm

Yeah, harder to jazz up flannel shirts with a scarf or necklace (one and done) – so time to dig in the closet for your ‘leave the house’ uniform. I must admit that when I am having a home / garden day, I am in appalling stretchy worn out tank tops (no bra!!!) and my old stretchy biker style (though cotton) shorts. I won’t win no fashion contest, but I stay cool and it is easy to hose off my legs if the garden dirt gets too obvious! But I can get into my ‘leave the house’ Wool& uniform in about 1 minute, so if I do need to head out it isn’t a pain. It has, however, just begun to be the weird weather where I need the tights in the morning and am a bit too warm in the afternoon. shouldn’t complain, Spring has SPRUNG!


Katy May 10, 2024 at 11:11 am

I love that your season of work was followed by a season of socializing!

P.S. Sorry about the scurvy.


Texasilver May 9, 2024 at 4:03 pm

1. We took an extra car in for what hopefully could be a free repair. Hyundai has several recalls for the 2013 to 2015 models. The car we took in has an oil & one of the recalls is for an engine repair.
2. Found 6 bottles of spray shower cleaner in a box in a Dol Gen dumpster. One bottle I’ll take. The others will go to the homeless shelter.
3. Found a 14 lb bag of kibble dog food. That will go to the animal shelter.
4. Found 40 cents in the soft drink machine coin return at school.
5. The campus police were having an end of school cook out. They gave me a hot dog, burger, and a sack of chips. I ate the hot dog & brought the burger home for hubby.
6. I found a ripped bag of landscaping dirt behind the local hardware store. It was 50 lb so hubby had to go get it. I am not sure how landscaping dirt is different from regular dirt, but he said he could use it. I also found 2 smaller bags of potting soil near the Dol Gen dumpster.
7. Found around 20 pennies near a dumpster when I was scavenging.
8. Got a free medium iced coffee at Dunkin on Nurses’ Day.
9. Found a full can of Wizard air freshener missing the top. It is lavender vanilla & actually has a light pleasant scent.
10. Found 30 cents in change in the drive thru at Dunkin when I got my free coffee.
Another day tomorrow. Another dumpster adventure!


Ecoteri May 9, 2024 at 10:32 pm

I love and envy your dumpster adventures. And particularly envy the dirt – busy potting season right now!


Katy May 10, 2024 at 11:09 am

Wow, you are on a roll!


Elizabeth May 10, 2024 at 5:30 am

1. Went to the Tulip Time Festival in Holland, Michigan. Actually I went one day before it started. The tulips were in full bloom, it was sunny and I avoided the giant amount of crowds by going right before it began. It’s about a 45 minute drive from my house. I found free parking and walked all over the downtown and the parks blooming with tulips! People were eating outside at restaurants and the weather was so nice I briefly considered doing it myself. But I realized I wasn’t really hungry and I didn’t want to spend money on food out when I’d had leftovers in the fridge at home I’d been planning on eating, so I stuck with the original plan. It was such a fun (and free) little excursion! Saw so many beautiful tulips that it was like going to the actual Holland to see them except without the international airfare!
2. My kids are home from college. My daughter went through her makeup to thin things out and had all these powders and blushes that were practically brand new that she was getting rid of. I took them all (since I paid for them anyway since I’m still funding her life ). I’m set for powders and blushes for a while now which is good considering I was limping along with my old blush and powder I had repotted to be easier to use since there was product left only in the corners! Good timing for her to do a makeup cleanup!
3. I took some time to look up all the free things going on in the city this summer and write them in my calendar. I’m always amazed how much free entertainment is available! Free heritage and art festivals downtown, free outdoor yoga, free outdoor movie nights, free concerts at a number of different parks throughout the city and suburbs, free classes at the library, etc. All my friends are always so amazed that I know all this stuff going on in the city – but you really only need to spend a little bit of time looking online!
4. My two college kids are home for the summer. My daughter lined up two jobs for the summer while she was at school and starts next week. This is frugal for me because she’ll be earning money that she’ll use for weekend excursions while she’s studying abroad next fall in Barcelona. My son also secured 2 jobs: one with a rental company setting up for events and one with Abercrombie. He’s not necessarily the best at this point with managing details (in fact when he got the offer at Abercrombie he forgot to accept it and they had to tell someone else to tell him to accept it ‍♀️) so I hope he’s going to be able to make both schedules work and not accidentally be scheduled for overlapping times. I’ve been hearing it’s kind of hard for a lot of kids to find summer jobs this summer so I’m glad they’ve got some set up!
5. I attended a book club zoom with the author the other night! One of my book clubs read “What the Bears Know” by Steve Searles (from “The Bear Whisperer” on Animal Planet). The author agreed to meet with us and was so friendly and accessible. I got to ask him a number of questions. It was a really neat experience! Also, the book club host said we could invite other people not in book club to join the talk too so my sister and my aunt were also on the zoom.


Katy May 10, 2024 at 11:06 am

So smart to go the day before the festival started!


Ecoteri May 10, 2024 at 12:30 pm

Your tulip trip sounds glorious (and uncrowded, smart you!)
I am going to copy a page from your playbook and take some time with some of our local magazines that list summer activities. I have a very busy couple of weeks (and have already had two busy weeks) so am feeling swamped, but I also know that there are some things I enjoy attending – as well as some things where I feel a responsibility to show up – so time to do what I call ‘calendaring’


Christine May 10, 2024 at 1:59 pm

1. I found a penny on the floor in a store.
2. DH and I worked at our local elections. Long day but the paychecks will be nice.
3. Fought the temptation to go out to lunch today at the bookstore I frequent. I made two eggs with a slice of melted cheese on each of them. The protein kept me full for hours.
4. I haven’t bought flowers but instead have enjoyed seeing the perennials come back to life with the warmish Spring weather. The only flowers I plan on planting are the marigold seeds I plant in large pots on the deck to keep the bugs at a distance (hopefully).
5. Have not been required to show up at a courthouse and be in the presence of an orange object.


GK May 11, 2024 at 2:40 am

Love kale, I would have snapped up that packet, too! I chop it up, stir fry it with onions and garlic (and sometimes mushrooms), then serve it with pasta, parmesan and good olive oil for drizzling on top.

Your flower bouquet in the background of the first picture is beautiful!

* Recent favourite library read: Strange the dreamer by Laini Taylor. (Apparently classified as YA as I found out after reading it.) Can’t wait to read the 2nd book!
* Found 3 items on the 1 Euro rail in our local charity shop: a Polo shirt with a tiny hole for my husband (easily mended), a long sleeved top for myself (from the men’s section but it is perfect as an additional layer when it’s cold!) and a t-shirt for one of my teens.
* I am reusing baking parchment about 10 times. I know that ideally I could not use it at all but I have had bread sticking to the pan that way – half the bread is lost then, there is no way to get it out other than using water to soak it. Been there, done that, shouted the swear words and resolved to using baking parchment after all!
* I am forever turning off lights that my lovely family members leave on.
* I am writing shopping lists on old music sheet copies.


Katy May 11, 2024 at 11:32 am

I sprinkle cornmeal on the bottom of the pan to get my bread to not stick.


Ecoteri May 11, 2024 at 8:04 pm

I am team parchment when it comes to bread. Have made bread on and off for over 50 years (sheesh) and at times made MANY loaves. Unless the pans are old and with a good patine, I had many sticking loaves and swear words. Once I discovered Parchment paper, I have not gone back (unless I am lathering the pan with butter and laying down a thick coating of nuts and seeds). I do many things that are good for the environment, and I do put the parchment in my compost, so I am parking the guilt. And I reuse, a lot.


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