Five Tiny Frugal Things

by Katy on October 11, 2023 · 68 comments

  1. I stopped by the Franz Bakery outlet store with a completed punch card that would normally be worth five loaves of bread. Unfortunately pickings were slim so I grabbed just a single $2 loaf of Seattle sourdough bread and brought it to the cashier. I explained that I had a full card but wouldn’t be using it since it was just the single loaf. She then gave me the bread for free and marked my card as such.

    Hooray for free food! This bread is excellent for grilled cheese sandwiches and we’ve already used it for tuna melts.

  2. My son’s iPhone 8+ got wet from a leaky water bottle which frustratingly  happened on a Saturday night. The repair place we like is closed on Sundays, so we took it to a different place that charged us $35 to let us know that the phone was unresponsive. I picked up the phone the next morning and brought it to the good repair place where they’re now subjecting it to a 48 hour intensive drying treatment. And unlike the other place, they don’t charge you anything if they can’t fix the phone.

    My son has plans to buy a second hand phone if this one has truly kicked the bucket. The over-manufacture of consumer goods, specifically electronic devices has led to an environmental crisis, so I’ll always at least attempt a repair.

    ** Update: The second repair shop was able to clean and dry the phone and even installed a new battery for just $50! Phone works fine now and we’ve avoided having to  buy a new phone!

  3. Having said that, I did buy a brand new set of LL Bean sheets in 2020, which were actually a gift from my mother as a house-ish warming gift. (I suppose it was technically a “bedroom warming” gift, but that term gives me the icks!) My husband and I had repaired a few things in our bedroom, repainted everything and invested in a new mattress to replace the one we’d gotten for free over a decade ago.

    The sheets were no bargain at $160, but I went with the NY Times’ Wirecutter recommendation and profusely thanked my mother for her generosity. (Thanks, mom!) Unfortunately, the fitted sheet split in an odd spot the other day, which quickly turned into a 24-inch long raggedy tear that was in no way easily mended. So I called their customer service and was told that the one-year warranty had ended, but I could mail it back for them to evaluate. I know this seems silly, but I feel like three years is too soon for sheets to fall apart at any price.

    I’ll drop them off at the UPS store tomorrow and keep you updated.

  4. I bought two bag bags of Hi-Chew packaged candies at Costco for just $6.99 apiece. (They were priced at $9.99, but had a $3-off instant rebate!) I’ll hand them out on Halloween and won’t even burden my neighbors with storing them, as I don’t find them even remotely tempting. However, they were a huge hit with the trick-or-treaters last year.

    I used to hoard Halloween candy coupons in order to not spend a fortune, but $13.98 is a bargain and so much easier than playing the coupon game.

  5. I didn’t buy a tiny Lear Jet.

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 }

Amy October 11, 2023 at 6:24 am

I hope LL Bean stands by their sheets. I have a yard sale set on my bed right now, with a gifted set of The Big One sheets (from Kohls) They are holding up rather well, but I did look into a new set and almost fainted. More yard sale sheets are in my future.


Katy October 11, 2023 at 11:50 am

Their prices are swoon worthy!


Julia October 18, 2023 at 7:40 pm

Yes! Sheets are ridiculously expensive. We have a king sized bed and the new sheet prices are off the chart. I did get a nice set years ago at Costco that wore well. Most sheet sets now are those microfiber ones and I don’t like them. I’ve gotten some really nice used sets on Marketplace for very very reasonable prices. And I pick up bottom sheets at thrift stores when I see them.


Anne October 11, 2023 at 6:26 am

I am totally with you on sheets not tearing after three years, ANY sheets, let alone $160 sheets. (Unless you’re married to Edward Scissorhands.)


Danielle C October 11, 2023 at 7:20 am

…or Edward ScissorToeNails. 😉


Katy October 11, 2023 at 11:50 am

Luckily there’s no scissors handed men in my bed.


A. Marie October 11, 2023 at 6:55 am

First, Katy, please keep us posted on the LL Bean sheet drama. My own observations indicate that, across the board, LL Bean’s stuff ain’t what it used to be.

Second, an update on a Monday Frugal Thing: I just presented the local-china-brand platter I bought for 99 cents on Monday to the co-author of the cabaret (along with a Trader Joe’s congratulations card–TJ’s greeting cards are the other big bargain there besides bananas). And I’m pleased to report that she laughed fit to split. It’s always good when a gag gift is taken in exactly the spirit in which it was given.

Finally, I hope that this doesn’t make me sound like the Grinch Who Stole Halloween–but our street has had so few trick-or-treaters in the past several years that I’m going to do what I’ve done for the past two All Hallows: put out all my front lights from dusk to 9 pm to indicate that I’m not participating. Many of my neighbors are doing the same. Benefits include not only not buying candy, but not having the candy around to tempt me.


Heidi Louise October 11, 2023 at 7:38 am

I understand your decision about Halloween. We have been getting smaller numbers of Trick or Treaters for several years, partly as there are fewer children in the neighborhood, and partly because of local events like Trunk or Treats. I understand why parents and children like the convenience of those. Yet at the same time, I am old enough to think of that as cheating, not having to face one’s neighbors and walk all the spaces between houses.
I also think Trunk or Treat leans into We Must Have Safe Spaces fears, in a community that is fortunately largely safe.


K D October 11, 2023 at 9:38 am

A. Marie, I agree with your assessment of L L Bean goods. Many years ago we had an L L Bean store in our area and we bought a few items there. I had to return a pair of jeans my husband bought because the fabric was defective after a few washes/wearings. I had to return a bathing suit I bought for our daughter because the elastic was shot after a few wearings. I was not sad when the store was closed for an overhaul of that area of the mall.


Katy October 11, 2023 at 11:50 am

That’s too bad about so few treat-or-treaters. I love seeing their costumes and confusion with the younger ones. There’s always a toddler or two who walks into the house when I open the door.


Heidi Louise October 11, 2023 at 1:01 pm

Yes, the very little ones are the cutest! And I like to see creative costumes.
One of my favorite clips of President Obama is from trick-or-treating at the White House, where a little one arrived dressed as the pope, in popemobile, with her Dad as “security.” Obama died laughing.


Pat October 12, 2023 at 8:14 am

Having seen the candy prices….Grinch away!


Jill A October 11, 2023 at 7:04 am

I can’t believe how expensive sheets have gotten and how quickly they wear out. It’s disappointing. I hope LL Bean does right by you.
1. I used a coupon for an oil change yesterday that saved me $15.
2. I had a piece of metal removed from my tire yesterday at Costco. Fortunately it didn’t puncture the tire and I can drive my car without worry. It cost me nothing since I bought my tires there and luckily nobody yelled at me for using the service that they promised.
3. I ordered prescriptions at Costco the day before so I wouldn’t have to make an extra trip. I spent the hour I waited for my car at Costco browsing the aisles and bought only the items on my list. I enjoyed the free samples for an afternoon snack.
4. I’m eating leftovers and shared some excess with my Mom so that she didn’t have to cook last night.


Katy October 11, 2023 at 11:48 am

It’s always good when you don’t get yelled at.


Michele October 11, 2023 at 7:28 am

5 Frugal Things( mother of the groom rehearsal dinner edition)
1. Rehearsal Dinner at local restaurant. Nothing frugal about this, but I will get a meal out that I like?
2. Using their decor- with a simple sign ( “tomorrow we do”) and a cookie with the same design at each plate. Apparently gift bags for all the guests is a thing?, but I’m not doing it.
3. Cash bar at rehearsal dinner- we are paying for alcohol at wedding
4. Dress for 26.00- found at JC Penney (the dress I’m wearing to wedding was 70.00)
5. Have been saving forever for this (putting cash away monthly) so nothing will go on credit card. Older son got married in June of ’21 and we did so much work at the wedding and I felt like I wasn’t “present”.


Heidi Louise October 11, 2023 at 7:41 am

Wishing you lovely happy wedding memories, and, most importantly, congratulations and best wishes to your son and new -in-law!


Michele October 12, 2023 at 4:19 am

Thanks! So happy for them.


Katy October 11, 2023 at 11:47 am

Congratulations, mama!


Ava October 11, 2023 at 7:48 am

I don’t have five frugal things, tiny or otherwise. We are expecting out of town guests who last visited a year ago. My husband and I have both been getting multiple vaccines that have wiped us out. I looked around at the house in need just of straightening and said that the visitors should just cast their minds back to last year when we made everything sparkling for them. Energy saved.


Katy October 11, 2023 at 11:46 am

A genius energy saving method!


Karen J October 11, 2023 at 9:20 am

My five frugal things (newly retired school librarian edition):
1. Reviewed my homeowner’s and car insurance with an agent here in my town. With the changes plus the $20 6 hr defensive driving class I took online, I saved $583 for the year. Not too shabby!!
2. Found a bag of returnable cans when cleaning my basement so I cashed them in for $2, used the $2 and a $1 digital coupon to purchase a 5 lb bag of on sale King Arthur flour for 99 cents. I didn’t buy anything else.
3. Called Spectrum to cancel my cable because baseball season is over (for my team at least). Always talk to the retention department because I got $60 off my bill plus 5x the internet speed. The current cost is $10 more than I would have paid for internet alone which I probably would have spent on a streaming service. I’m content for now. The rep also told me that I would probably qualify for the ACP program as a retiree and sent me the link. I will still need three months of pension statements to apply but this could take another $30+ off my bill.
4. I picked what will probably be the last of the tomatoes yesterday to make sauce. I have never had tomatoes this late in the year ever- I live in the Mohawk Valley of NYS. As much as I enjoyed the fall garden, this makes me worried. We should have had a frost a month ago.
5. The usual- cooked and ate at home, drank water from the tap, didn’t drive my car for three days, etc.


Katy October 11, 2023 at 11:46 am

I wonder if my insurance company offers a similar discount for a defensive driving course.


Lynda October 11, 2023 at 12:29 pm

My insurance company offers the rebate.


Karen J October 11, 2023 at 12:51 pm

In NY, a defensive driving class takes about 10% off for three years. If you have younger drivers on your policy, it’s a serious cost savings (my son is on his own but I’m encouraging him to do this). I couldn’t say if this applies in other states but I would imagine there’s at least something similar. I found the links on my insurance company’s website. Costs vary but naturally I chose the least expensive option. The rest of the money I saved was on homeowner’s insurance because my insurance agent combed through the policies to get as much discounted as she could. Being retired saved me 5%.


Katy October 11, 2023 at 2:05 pm

I recall asking our insurance about this a few years ago, but it might be time to revisit this possibility.


Christine October 11, 2023 at 2:59 pm

Your #4…same here in Massachusetts. In the past, we often got frost at the end of September. I always made it a point to take my houseplants inside by September 15th, just in case. Not so anymore. No frost yet. Climate change seems to be coming at us at a furious rate.


K D October 11, 2023 at 9:35 am

Katy, I’m sorry to hear about your L L Bean sheet experience. It seems they should last longer than that. I have a set I bought probably 25 years ago, on clearance, at Sears that I still use most of the summer. Not all the time but a good bit of it.

1. I continue to use the dregs of stuff in jars. This morning I used the dregs of a jar of applesauce in my oatmeal (by swishing water in it). I do the same thing with jam in oatmeal and also use the dregs of pasta sauce in soups.

2. I visited the Grocery Outlet and bought large cans of no salt added tomatoes for $.99/can. There were not a lot of customers and they seemed to be shopping carefully. I hope the store will survive.

3. I took my vehicle in for an oil change and asked about tire rotation, which was mentioned last time I had the oil changed. They said there no need for tire rotation at this time so that saved some money.

4. I met a friend for a brisk walk on a wooded path. It is a great way to catch up.

5. I waited for a sunny day to wash clothes and have them hanging outside.


Katy October 11, 2023 at 11:43 am

I dopped the sheets off at the UPS Store just now, so it’s out of my control, but I’m crossing my fingers!

Long live the dregs!


kathy October 11, 2023 at 10:00 am

1. Sold another 2 items online
2. Used our $10 United Healthcare rewards for groceries at Walmart
3. Using a spatula to get eye cream out of jar
4. Enjoying fall weather. Washed dog mats and let them
air dry
5. Used Katy’s method of Franken box to mail the online sales


Katy October 11, 2023 at 11:42 am

I wish I could take credit for the term “Frankenbox,” it’s so good!


Lindsey October 11, 2023 at 11:19 am

Back from the Last Hurrah Tour, during which we spent money like someone was paying us to do so. I am happy to report we came home $64 under budget! (We did not really have a budget as such, just an amount I had saved specifically for the trip but there is $64 left in that account.) We jumped right back into our frugal ways:
1. While on the road, arranged to do a grocery mystery shop the day we returned home. It was pick up so as we pulled into town we took a swing by the store and they brought the food out to us. It was $35 worth of food so we were able to put the basics like eggs and milk and so on into the empty fridge without spending money or any extra gas.
2. Going through my wallet I realized we had supported a local fund raiser a year ago by bidding on an oil change but that it was only good for a year—which ended today. Called and talked to the store manager and he gave us an extra week to use it. Years ago I would have assumed there was no use in trying to talk to the manager. Oil changes are $110 so this was a significant savings. We used to do all oil changes as mystery shops but the agency lost the contract so this year we will have to (gasp!) pay for our own oil changes.
3. Opened two months of mail to find $130 in rebates I had filed for many months ago. Companies count on people not sending in rebates but I am a hawk about them. Thanked my past self for being so diligent.
4. Received 69 cent check for a lawsuit settlement. Hey, every penny counts!
5. Did two post office mystery shops this morning, which allowed me to send out two birthday gifts for free plus I made $14 for each shop.


Katy October 11, 2023 at 11:41 am

You have such a cool routine worked out, it’s so impressive!


Ashley Bananas October 11, 2023 at 11:33 am

1. I have been taking navy showers, and showering less often. I have also been trying to pour excess water from things like questionable opened bottles of water outside. Also retaining noodle water and giving it to plants. My small efforts added up, my water bill was $10 lower this month.
2. I had an event on Monday, there was left over food we were welcome to take home. I took some pulled pork home. It was a nice treat that went well for dinner the next day.
3. Someone brought bananas in to work and there was a bunch that didn’t get used. I brought them home and will make banana bread or save for smoothies.
4. We had a potluck/luncheon at work today. Instead of buying something and bringing it in, I reused a party platter from another work event, and filled it with items I had including baby carrots, celery, dark chocolate covered almonds, and avocado toast crackers, as well as a hand mixed French onion/sour cream dip. I was the only person who brought in any vegetables. It went over well, and I didn’t run to the store and blow $20.
5. I wanted to eat out this week and made a homemade cauliflower pizza instead. It’s a good exercise in restraint.


Katy October 11, 2023 at 11:37 am

This is all so impressive! That party platter sounds amazing!


mary in maryland October 11, 2023 at 1:29 pm

I once went to a potluck from a day of weeding a friend’s garden She had given me a huge bunch of turnips and the cupboard was bare. I cut the turnips themselves like French fries and roasted them. I stir fried the finely chopped greens with garlic and pepper flakes. So-so, but everyone else brought deli meats so the turnips were a hit. Who knew? It cured me of taking extra-special things to potlucks.


Ashley Bananas October 11, 2023 at 3:28 pm

I have an entire list of things that I usually make for potlucks. But I also have the category of, ‘Food I bought when I thought I was someone else in the grocery store that’s about to expire’. I wanted to use those avocado chips and was tempted to go buy hummus, but I withheld and looked harder….it’s so easy to run to the store. I spent maybe ten minutes prep time on that thing. The only other person who brought in homemade food made muffin frittatas using eggs from her ducks. I didn’t have one as I’d had eggs for breakfast, but I was super impressed.


BettafrmdaVille October 11, 2023 at 4:30 pm

3 of my colleagues and I have started a monthly dinner get-together. Held at one of our houses, we all bring food/part of the meal, but the rule is that you can only bring food that you already have in your house. One time I brought beef, cheese & buns that I got free from mystery shop and, for another, I brought mystery shop ice cream for dessert.


Kathy Sell October 12, 2023 at 5:23 am

I like this idea…bring something you already have on hand. Inspires creativity and new tastes for everyone.

Ashley Bananas October 12, 2023 at 9:31 am

Betta, That is a lovely idea. One of the biggest hinderances to going out is affordability for a group. Similarly to host an event even a small get together you may feel the need to have snacks/food/drinks etc and that can add up. When hosting my friends birthday party I bought a few cake decorations but had all snacks, drinks, and cake mix etc on hand so I didn’t go crazy buying things. I’m trying to watch my budget very closely lately.

Valee October 11, 2023 at 12:19 pm

That is crazy that the $160 LL Bean sheets ripped that much after just 3 years. I hope your efforts in sending them back will reap rewards.
The last time I bought sheets was at a church garage sale a few weeks ago. Pillowcases were only .50 and fitted sheets were $1 (all I needed was some fitted sheets and pillowcases. For some reason I just don’t like using a top sheet) I was so pleased to have found ones in good shape. One of the fitted sheets was a queen size in flannel, so that was a great bargain.
My frugal efforts today:
I went to a Little Free Library and found a book for my son.
Using my marked down dishwasher gel ($2.15 a bottle, for 42 loads). I had never had a dishwasher before we moved to this house last year. I was amazed and appalled how much dishwasher pods cost for just a small amount of them. I’m pleased to have found a slew of many bottles of discontinued dishwasher gel recently and I will probably not have to buy any more for at least a year.
My weirdest frugal action was reusing a plastic ziploc package that men’s underwear came in, to keep some meat from freezer-burn. That plastic for some reason seems particularly thick and sturdy. I didn’t like having a man in his undies looking at me in my freezer, so I covered him up with my label of what kind of meat was being stored in the bag.


mary in maryland October 11, 2023 at 1:33 pm

When I was in high school my Dad worked in a men’s clothing store. Everything came in plastic bags. Dad saved them when he took clothing out to furnish displays. We used them for sandwich bags in our lunches, lining a coffee can for collecting food waste, and as snow boot liners. I still have one in my sewing room as a souvenir.


Katy October 11, 2023 at 2:00 pm

I’m going through a lot more plastic bags with two kitties using the litter boxes. I haven’t had to buy any yet as food packaging bags mostly work just fine.


Ashley Bananas October 11, 2023 at 3:29 pm

I reuse bags for everything including old ziplock bags after they’ve been used a few times and look beat up. Or, if they had food items in them that I dont want to wash and reuse I then use them for cat liter. One more use before they go in the trash.


Q October 13, 2023 at 5:19 am

I use the liners from cereal or oatmeal for food storage, and reuse little glass jars, as well. This site has inspired me to really try to avoid purchasing needless packaging.

Marybeth from NY October 13, 2023 at 6:19 am

My sister and a friend save their bags for me. I have never bought poop bags for our dogs.


Selena October 11, 2023 at 7:12 pm

I usually buy pods/tablets at a discount big box store – the large boxes. Scored a good deal a couple of times as the boxes were a bit smashed (as were a couple of the tablets but I just dumped them into the detergent compartment). If you have a Target store in your area, keep an eye out as a couple times a year they run really good sales on pods. Not sure if they even make tablets any more as I had so many stocked up from the big box that I really didn’t need to buy any. Likely should have since prices aren’t going down but I only have so much space allocated for dishwasher detergent storage.


Q October 13, 2023 at 5:20 am

Selena, thank you for this suggestion!


Ginger Allain October 11, 2023 at 12:51 pm

1) Cut short a 2-week trip when the campervan heat would not work. Two days of 55-degree weather convinced us to head south to our home in Florida instead. Hopefully, the warranty will fix the heater.
2) Scissored open my toothpaste tube to get 3 more uses from the paste that wouldn’t squeeze out.
3) Bought 1 tomato plant and 1 pepper plant to grow in pots on our patio. The tasteless $2.50 single tomato from the store inspired my switch to gardening.
4) Have been diligent in eating leftovers for our lunch each day. Keeping the fridge decluttered.
5) Picked up some reading from our retirement community library and will visit the public library next week to renew our cards to get books there and also stream their Kanopy movies for our weekend movie binges.


Katy October 11, 2023 at 2:05 pm

Crossing my fingers that your heat will fall under the warranty!


Christine October 11, 2023 at 2:39 pm

Shame on that first place you took your son’s phone to. It’s a sad thought to contemplate how much money innocent people have dropped there.
1. DH found 5 golf balls on the road alongside the golf course and driving range he frequently walks by.
2. He also found a nickel in the road.
3. I’ve worn the black pants I purchased at the Salvation Army Store twice already, once to calling hours and once to a funeral. Black pants are such an integral part of my wardrobe. Next item I’ll be searching for is a plain black skirt. Both seem to be work with different tops for so many different occasions.
4. Reading library books for entertainment. Latest is a memoir While You Were Out by Meg Kissinger. Excellent read and valuable information about mental illness within the family unit.
5. Made my own pie and Apple Crisp from .89 lb. Cortland apples.


Ruby October 11, 2023 at 2:46 pm

I have mostly stayed home and dealt with the estate I am executor for, which thus far does not have enough money to pay all its bills. I hope that will change soon when I can start selling some assets. This particular relative spent money like it was on fire with nothing to show for it. *sighs*

However, did take another load of stuff to Goodwill, cut up some scrap thin sheet aluminum to mend a small hole –chewed by squirrels — in the soffit of our house (and painted it to match the wood trim it was nailed to), spent only $60 for groceries this week, used up the last of September’s eggs making brownies, and used a free gift card to buy a couple of used books.


Mar October 11, 2023 at 3:59 pm

I don’t buy candy as we never have trick or treaters here. I just wanted to say I had to Google HiChew as I never heard of them!


Mary October 11, 2023 at 4:50 pm

I made some serious savings decisions:

1. I help my mom with expenses sometimes. She needed to fly home from Thanksgiving. The flight was going to be around $300 and have a stop which is difficult for her to make at 88. I convinced her to catch a ride with my little sister to a larger airport. I was able to buy her a nonstop 1.5 hour flight. I had a credit so it only cost me $20 and it is better for her.

2. Eye glass appt time. This is usually a $375 extravaganza and that is WiTH my insurance. I have a favorite pair of frames so I have an extra pair of glasses brand new that have been neglected. I will wear the latter. The favorite glasses I will fill next month when I am not cash strapped. I am also going to check out Zenni to get prescription sunglasses for my winter sports.

3. I went to grocery outlet and ONLY bought eggs, bananas, frozen veggies and bread. These were needed to use up my pantry stuff.

4. I did NOT buy anything on Amazon’s sale.

5. I got a Sam’s club discount because I let my membership expire. I didn’t want to spend any money this month. They offered me a $35 dollar discount. OOP $15.


Q October 13, 2023 at 5:33 am

Katy, your column really motivates me to figure out ways to save money: I think to myself “Have I done 5 frugal things this week?”

Anyways, here goes:

1. Learned about the “reward” function on my Lidl app, and received a free jar of jam, which I will use in cookies, etc. It was so much fun, I showed a friend how to use it, and she got many free things.

2. Won a drawing for free membership in the spice club at the library: a free spice every month in 2024. I like cooking and trying new recipes. I love my library.

3. Gladly accepted a gift of oysters, and also some oyster cages that are now non-functioning, but which will make some cool raised beds. I raise oysters, but mine are not big enough yet, but my husband loves them.

4. Received a $500 rebate check for planting native plants, and am depositing into checking. I have been learning how to use my bank’s cell phone app, and it is pretty useful. That way, I can be sure that even small checks (like one for $1.11 that we received) get deposited.

5. Bought slate stepping stones that I found on Marketplace, for a great price, to use in my yard. They were a bit of work to load onto my little trailer, and then unload at home, but the free workout was a bonus, I figured…I skipped my weight lifting workout that morning, so I could use all of my strength.

Also, all the usual: line drying, sweater wearing (rather than thermostat), mending, etc, and cooking from scratch. Also, avoiding Amazon’s sale.


Katy October 13, 2023 at 9:07 am

Such an impressive list! I’m curious about the native plants rebate, who was it from?


Q October 13, 2023 at 1:03 pm

Thank you, Katy. I did have a lucky week. That was my second find of a good lot of garden stone this fall: I plan to combine them for walkways and a little seating area, etc. A friend suggested that rather than lay them as I acquire them, I wait until I have enough for my project, so I can intermix them for coherency.

The garden rebate for native plants was part of the Long Island Action Plan to reduce Nitrogen. If you livedon Long Island, you could go to this website: and followed the directions. The application was here: Although they are not accepting more applications this fall, they are hoping to be able to re-open it in the spring, as they have some rebate money left. The new rebate will require plants to be purchased during a certain window. I found the people who administrated to be enthusiastic and helpful when I called and emailed them with questions. It is worth a search in other areas, I would think. It was so much fun to get more plants, and they did use noticeably less water. You could select any plants that were on a long list of natives, and had to document with photos where you planted them in your yard. I think it is a very forward thinking plan. I am trying to have mine look as attractive as possible, so as to entice neighbors into planting more natives.
Perhaps other local governments will follow suit!


Katy October 14, 2023 at 11:23 am

What a cool program!!


Q October 13, 2023 at 1:06 pm

Here is a source of native plant grants for Portland:


Emily October 13, 2023 at 5:45 pm

1. On our nightly walk that passes a school, my husband saw a stasher bag sitting on top of the trash from lunch. He grabbed it and put it in his back bag to take home. Score!
2. Very early in pregnancy but starting to gather some things here and there. Grabbed some free pregnancy tea and pack of newborn diapers from our buy nothing group.
3. Got 3 allergy shots this week. Frugal because I need to get through the serum before January or it expires and I’d have to buy it again !
4. Ate McDonald’s for dinner with the app coupons . Our kitchen sink and faucet are broken until Sunday so cooking is a no go and despite not eating McDonald’s in years, the only thing my pregnancy nausea could handle was a fast food burger. At least take out was cheap!
5. “Tortured” our dog with our own nail trimmer rather than spending the cash to have someone else try and fail … lol.


Katy October 14, 2023 at 11:29 am

I had to look up what a “stasher bag” was. I have one, although it’s perhaps a different brand. The zip-top never stays closed, which makes it functionally worthless.


Q October 14, 2023 at 7:59 am

Mine was sponsored by Long Island nitrogen action plan.
They may offer it again next spring. They were super helpful.
(I’m sorry, I thought I had posted this previously. )


Katy October 14, 2023 at 11:24 am

Thanks for finding this. It looks like the grants are just for “community spaces” right now though.


texasilver October 14, 2023 at 11:59 am

1. My husband had a crown that cracked. I recently changed our dental provider as the former dentist was out of network. Hubby went to new dentist who wanted 1800$ for a new crown. He then went to the former dentist who installed the crown. That dentist said he could do a crown repair for 255$. A win!
2. I got a coupon worth 20$ of Walgreens Cash Rewards due to getting my RSV vaccine there.
3. Got a free senior soda at Wendy’s on a few occasions. I go by there on my daily 4-mile walk. They have low sugar options & tea in addition to HF corn syrup drinks.
4. Repaired a pair of reader glasses that broke by using the earpiece of a scratched pair.
5. A lady at Restore (in the parking lot) gave me a case of evaporated milk that is still in date. She said her daughter is on WIC & cannot drink it all. The milk is going to a food bank across the street.
6. Found a huge number of slightly expired packages of Takis chips. These were in a large trash bag sitting on the top of cardboard at a Walgreens dumpster. I offered them to the Hispanic crew who are doing construction on the buildings at my condo. They seemed happy to get the chips.
7. Found a brand-new pair of men’s leather Topsiders. These went to the Restore shop for resale. I had previously found a silver metal mirror on a stand. No one wanted it. I donated it to the jewelry counter at Restore. Now I see it each time i visit the store. The shoppers can try on jewelry & see how it looks if they wish. Maybe the store will sell more jewelry items.
8. I am continuing my change challenge. I find change on the sidewalk or street almost each evening I walk. I started Jan. 1, 2023 & have around 30$. I got free paper tubes at the bank & I am rolling the change. I am going to bypass CoinStar & deposit the coins in my checking account at the end of the year.
9. Made some veggie soup using some tough meat I had. That meat has been baked in the oven & then cooked in crock pot to make BBQ. Still tough so it went into soup. Finally tenderized !
10. My veggies soup turned out too salty. My neighbor gave me a few small potatoes & an ear of corn. The soup was desalted & turned out well. Tough meat, salty broth, I can’t catch a break.


Terri C October 15, 2023 at 8:45 am

My 2c on your sheets, I don’t pay anywhere near that much for cotton sheets from Target and they’ve last longer than yours. I would think the sheets you had ought be an exemplary quality and last longer. Funny thing, I could walk up to my granny’s house and lay hands on sheets that probably 50 years old and they’d still be good!


Katy October 15, 2023 at 7:50 pm

I think I had a single set of sheets throughout my entire childhood. Raggedy Anne!


Ecoteri October 18, 2023 at 10:59 pm

@Katy, my mom just brought me a set of tablecloth/napkins wrapped up in a familiar looking pillowcase. I asked if she wanted the pillowcase back, and she laughed and said ‘That was from your bed when you were a girl”. Huh, I did think it looked familiar. Well, now it is in my linen (HA) cupboard, holding some lovely tablecloth/napkins for a family dinner part…


Katy October 19, 2023 at 11:59 am

Subversive decluttering.


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