Five Tiny Frugal Things

by Katy on October 19, 2023 · 66 comments

  1. I hosted a family dinner for an out of town cousin last night, which took a bit of creative planning as:

    1) Two guests were vegetarian.
    2) One of those people was about to board an airplane, which removed “beans” as an option. This decision was a public service.

    I went ahead and served “bangers and mash” as it was simple to pull together and it’s just as easy to cook veggie sausages as it is to cook regular ones. Plus I had the last of a 10-pound bag of potatoes that needed to get used up. A bag of frozen peas, a free loaf of ciabatta bread and a homemade apple pie completed the menu.

    There were no complaints.

  2. I used free apples from the neighbor’s tree for last night’s apple pie. Free food somehow always tastes better.

  3. My scooped up my cousin for an afternoon of adventure during his stay here in Portland. His first choice was to visit the Portland Japanese Garden, but sadly it was Tuesday, the one and only day that they’re closed. Instead we drove up to Forest Park and hiked around for an hour or so, which ended up being a perfectly acceptable plan B. Plus it was free.

  4. • My daughter gave me a pound of butter, a bag of corn tortillas and the aforementioned loaf of ciabatta bread from her schwanky grocery store.
    • I refreshed the stale ciabatta bread by running it under water for a second, wrapping it in aluminum foil and then reheating it in the oven. This hack is amazing!
    • I smoothed out the aluminum foil and put it back for reuse.

  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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{ 66 comments… read them below or add one }

Sherry October 19, 2023 at 1:40 pm

That sounded like a yummy dinner. Very simple yet homey!


mary in maryland October 19, 2023 at 1:50 pm

I freshen stale bread by putting it in a paper bag, quickly wetting the bag, and putting it in the oven until the bag is dry. Your way is even simpler.


Katy October 19, 2023 at 5:16 pm

I’ll have to give this technique a try as well!


Ruby October 19, 2023 at 3:24 pm

That sounds like such a lovely meal.

1. The cap would not come off a new bottle of olive oil and I had to pry it off with a screwdriver. Poured the oil up in a glass bottle with a screw-top from our stash of reusable containers.
2. Found 60 cents in the washer..
3. Used the old dirt in pots from the container garden to fill in holes in our yard.
4. New pup is using the basket of old dog toys.
5. Took more stuff to Goodwill and did not go into the store.


Katy October 19, 2023 at 5:15 pm

Your #5 is key to decluttering!


Bee October 19, 2023 at 3:46 pm

I’ve never heard of this bread hack. I’m so glad that you shared it.
I really can’t think of much that I’ve done that is thrifty over the last few days.
1. I put a chicken carcass in the IP today to make broth. This was the basis for tonight’s dinner of ramen.
2. I found a small roll of dog poo bags that must have fallen out of a on-leash dispenser. I’ll use them when walking Rescue Pup. As a matter of principle, I never pay for doggie poo bags.
That’s all I’ve got. I haven’t spent money, made money or done anything particularly creative. All in all, it been a quiet week.
Wishing everyone good health and prosperity.


Katy October 19, 2023 at 5:15 pm

Free poo bags is a score!


Kristen | The Frugal Girl October 19, 2023 at 3:56 pm

Ooooh, a free pound of butter is an AWESOME grocery store freebie! Why was the store getting rid of the butter?


Katy October 19, 2023 at 5:14 pm

I’m not sure if it’s nearing its sell-by date or if they overordered. Either way, they make all unsold food available to their employees. They even have a specific refrigerator/freezer for this purpose.


Christine October 19, 2023 at 6:02 pm

What a great perk!


Katy October 20, 2023 at 7:23 am

It really is, her grocery bill is super tiny as a result.


Ashley Bananas October 20, 2023 at 5:17 am

I’m curious to know where your daughter works. I’m sure you don’t say the exact name for privacy reasons or maybe not to advertise that you find X grocery to be schwanky. But I’m so curious. That is very generous and green of the store.


Katy October 20, 2023 at 7:17 am

Sorry, but I do want to shield her privacy a bit. There are too many creeps out there in this world.


Selena October 21, 2023 at 6:46 pm

Totally agree with shielding her privacy. What really gets my dander up is when relatives (and sad to say, usually grandmothers), post pictures on social media after being asked *not* to do so.

Christine October 19, 2023 at 4:16 pm

Thanks for the bread freshening hack. So easy. Here’s my 5 tiny things:
1. It’s definitely getting a little chilly here in New England so I switched out my warm weather wardrobe for my cold weather duds. Around the house I’m wearing a sweater or a sweatshirt and slippers with warm socks.
2. I made a big pot of vegetable soup using winter root veggies like turnip and carrots (couldn’t find parsnips), onions, celery, a can of diced tomatoes, elbow Mac and lime beans which I soaked, slow cooked in the crock pot and then added to the soup. We’ve had some every night. I’m hoping food like this will help to keep us healthy this season.
3. I’m still getting raspberries from the canes in my yard. With frost predicted for next week, this may be the last of them for this year. I agree with you Katy; free food is the best!
4. The local no-kill cat shelter in my town had a benefit spaghetti dinner DH and I attended. I won a new fancy schmancy pocketbook in a raffle they held. I will hang on to it and give it as a gift this Christmas as it is a little too small for all the stuff I carry around with me. They do so much good for these beautiful animals that I am happy to support them.
5. Bringing tea in my to-go cup while out and about, cooking at home, making my own iced tea, threw a comforter ( or as we call it, a puff) on the bed for extra warmth, reading library books…the library…what a gift…and listening to free podcasts for entertainment. Does anyway listen to Spooked podcasts on NPR? So fun and great for Halloween.


Michelle H October 20, 2023 at 2:03 pm

Love Spooked! But I’ve learned not to listen to them if my husband is going to be out of town – I barely slept for 2 nights, lol


Christine October 21, 2023 at 7:16 am

Glad I’m not the only one! If he’s away, I can’t listen to ghost stories or real-life murder mysteries. I lay in bed listening for every little sound!


Julia October 19, 2023 at 5:28 pm

Sick this week so not a lot.
1. Made chicken corn noodle soup with supplies on hand
2. Mended a small hole in a bottom sheet before it became a big hole
3 used my drill and some zip ties to fix the lid on one of my chicken food containers instead of buying a new one. (saved $30-$40)
4. Gladly excepted veggie and garden scraps from 3 friends for our Guinea pigs. (Celery, lettuce, carrot tops and marigolds!) what they can’t eat fresh in time I’ll dehydrate for later.
5. Our favorite sorbet was buy 2 get one free. Yum. Mango.


Katy October 20, 2023 at 7:24 am

I agree that mango sorbet is the best flavor!


BettafrmdaVille October 19, 2023 at 6:17 pm

Tiny Frugal Five: The French Toast Edition:
1. Used bread free from mystery shop.
2. Used milk free from mystery shop.
3. Used eggs free from sister from her chickens.
4. Used butter on sale (Easter time) from Aldi that has been in the freezer.
5. Used vanilla extract that I made myself (using nips for the booze, free from a plane ride!)
Bonus: Maple syrup was a gift.
Frugal Fail: I had to pay for the cinnamon!


Katy October 20, 2023 at 7:22 am

What a terrible fail! It’s so hard to get ahead financially when your money is tied up in a tiny amount of cinnamon.


Selena October 21, 2023 at 6:50 pm

We have cinnamon (regular and Ceylon) and sugar in the pantry. Suffice it to say I was not particularly happy when better half bought a bottle of cinnamon-sugar at the store the other day – at a cost of $3.19…sigh.


Ecoteri October 19, 2023 at 10:04 pm

Last night I finally finished roasting a full roaster of tomatoes (large and small) until they were seriously reduced. Tonight I ran them through the food mill, and got 28 cups of thick sauce. Made tonight’s supper pasta sauce with 5 cups of sauce, some of our garlic, and a good handful of the last of my basil. The noodles had been in the pantry for a while, cooked up just fine, thank you very much!
I made another batch of yogurt in the dehydrator – using it in my smoothies so I am less picky about how it turns out. I might put a quart through a cloth to get ‘greek style’ if I don’t eat all 4 quarts up first.
Still picking my kale for my morning kale and random cholesterol-reducing healthy if not tasty ingredient smoothies. Either the kale is getting tastier or I have finally trained myself to like this stuff. No matter, my Cholesterol is reducing, so I shall carry on
I got a full dehydrator of apple chips done. a bit long, so they are crispy. I now have decided that I really LOVE them this crispy. ah, how many years have I been doing this? Anyway, hope to find the ‘spoons’ to put another full dehydrator on the go tomorrow with the MANY apples (see note below)
#2 son wanted to learn how to make apple crumble, so I gave him a lesson with the sneaky plan to have extra topping left over. He followed my verbal directions while I madly ran the peeler/corer/slicer – we ended up with three deep pans of apples with crumble on top, one of which he froze for an event later this week, and two of which we baked. Both of THOSE are gone (whoosh). There IS some more crumble topping in the fridge and #2 just offered to help me make more crumbles tomorrow. YAY
small fail was #2 son had been procrastinating about picking the apples from my last tree, and we have had some windy weather. I got out today to pick what I could, (crying over what was chicken pecked on the ground) and he finally finished by jumping for what I couldn’t reach. probably wasted 40 pounds of apples. I would cry more about the loss (they ARE the. best of my apples) but we are drowning in apples and I can only process so many every day.


Jill A October 20, 2023 at 5:18 am

Drowning in apples sounds like a great way to go. Reading your frugal five is making me crave apple crisp.


Ashley Bananas October 20, 2023 at 5:48 am

Your yard sounds ‘fruitful’!!!


Katy October 20, 2023 at 7:21 am

I feel your pain on the wasted apples, but at least you’re processing the ones you already had. There are always things outside of our control.


Ecoteri October 22, 2023 at 6:16 pm

@Katy I did have to take the last of one tree’s worth of apples (maybe 8 or 9 apples) down to the sheep, they were all pocky throughout the flesh, for some unknown reason. the ones we got to early we could cut down, but these last ones I fed to the sheep so I could freely move on to the better fresher apples. it is hard, but if I don’t do that I end up chasing the good fruit down the ramp-of-ripeness, because I have been trying to save the older fruit that is past its best by date.
@Ashley Bananas, yes, always a fruitful vegetableful yard, each year different foods… I try to celebrate and enjoy rather than feel overwhelmed and grumpy. I am MUCH better at this, these days


Juhli October 20, 2023 at 5:00 am

That apple pie looks so good!

Little frugal things at our house
1. Gave away lots of pots and bags of fill dirt from our landscaping project so lowered dump charge. There will be more as we plant more but these people said they would like more. Yeah for Buy Nothing groups.
2. Baked brownies to take as contribution to a meeting snack table.
3. Being sure to return anything we don’t use for yard project within full refund window.
4 Finally did alterations that have sat around for months.
5. Looks like we can reduce cost of auto and homeowners insurance by switching companies. Waiting for final policy pricing.


Katy October 20, 2023 at 7:18 am

Oh yes, Buy Nothing groups are amazing!


Jill A October 20, 2023 at 5:36 am

What a great frugal five. I can’t wait to try the bread hack next time I need to refresh some bread. My frugal wins are few since I just took a trip up north with two of my three daughters and my Mom.
1. We rented a cottage for a few days which had everything we needed. We brought food along for breakfast, lunch and snacks as well as supplies for cocktails. The plan was to eat one meal out each day.
2. All activities were free except for one visit to a winery where we paid for wine tasting. We enjoyed some great hikes but mostly just admired the beautiful fall colors that were at their peak.
3. I drank water with all my meals except for one boozy shake which I do not regret at all.
4. Since we brought dogs along, including my daughters 140 lb newfie, we took two cars. My daughter and I both drove our hybrids which is a significant gas savings.


Katy October 20, 2023 at 7:15 am

What a fun sounding trip!


Mary October 20, 2023 at 6:52 am

Good Morning.

1. My October floral arrangement was delivered to my classroom. I bought a $240 dollar subscription at the beginning of the year to support the floral design class. It was pricey but a good cause. This month’s arrangement is in a spooky jack o latern. It makes me smile to know all the good it does for the kids. It is also a good deal for a floral arrangement these. 10 for the year.

2. I am at the end of the week for the homemade granola attempt I cooked on Sunday. I used sorghum, oat groats, rye, pumpkin seeds, dates and almonds. The recipe definitely needs tweaking. The grains need to be cooked more and I added too many seeds. Wayyyy to much chewing involved and my stomach didn’t appreciate the work out. I had made homemade almond milk to soak but it was still too dense. I have a couple of pints left and I don’t want to waste it. I put the leftover in the Vitamix. I add a banana and water. Now I have pumkin spice smoothies for two days. Not bad.
3. I physically went to the library. The kindle is interrupting my sleep at night.
4. The “student store” is open for the kids today. I usually hit the store to supplement. I am going to just let them buy out what I have and refill in November because I am out of cash this month. It is hard for me to not have everything “perfect.”
5. I made pasta in the IP using leftover pesto, a random jar of mushrooms and chopped olives. I served it with a precooked hamburger patty Hubby loves. I didn’t have a hamburger bun. Hubby approved with the savings of calories. Yeah. Another strategy for talking myself out of going to the store. I always thought I need a hamburger bun to serve a patty.


Katy October 20, 2023 at 7:14 am

I love that your “five things” and you paint a very vivid picture of your granola!


Marybeth from NY October 20, 2023 at 7:18 am

1.Work offered a free CPR and first aid course. It was a late night but happy to refresh my skills. They also fed us pizza.
2. Getting my aloe plants ready to bring back inside. Pulled 32 baby plants from my 4 big pots. I potted them in garbage picked pots and free county compost. Hubby took a bunch to work for their free shelf. Friends have been stopping over to pick them up.
3. My daughter and I canned applesauce over the weekend. Used the cores to make 3 quarts of ACV. Used the peels too make apple syrup and apple cinnamon chips.
4. My sister was having windows replaced and needed me to watch her dog for 2 weeks. She picked him up and brought a 6 pounds of cold cuts, a pound of coleslaw and a dozen rolls. Hot open turkey sandwiches for dinner tonight.
5. Still picking figs, eggplants, peppers, swiss chard, lettuce, beets and carrots.


A. Marie October 20, 2023 at 7:58 am

FTFT, More Pre-Surgery and Autumn Activities:

(1) I bought a pair of no-frills +2.5 reading glasses at Wegmans this morning. These are supposed to tide me over from just after my second cataract surgery till I can be fitted for new postsurgical glasses. (I’ve chosen not to go with the fancy lens replacements that Medicare doesn’t cover, since I’ve worn glasses since age 7 and would feel naked without them anyway.)

(2) At Wegmans, I also bought 10+ lbs. of Reduced for Quick Sale boneless/skinless chicken thighs at $1.74/lb. I much prefer boneless/skinless thighs to chicken breasts in recipes calling for cut-up chicken, and this is as good a price as I’ve seen recently. Into the freezer they’ll go!

(3) This week’s culinary highlight at Chez A. Marie was a soup made from a butternut squash that I managed to grow (in spite of the deer) last year, and that was decorating my dining room table in fine condition till last Monday. I added various other veg that needed to be used (two ears of late corn, a potato, half a yellow tomato, 1.5 carrots, etc.). With ginger and a pinch of cayenne, this was fabulous (as the Bestest Neighbors and my next-door neighbor agreed).

(4) And I had my soup with a Panera sourdough boule that was part of my bread haul back at the Triple Birthday Celebration in August, courtesy of the TBC co-celebrator who works at a Panera. I was in a hurry and probably thawed it too quickly, but I found that unwrapping it and letting it sit on the counter for 30 minutes, followed by first 3 minutes and then 2 minutes on “time defrost” in the microwave, worked fine for a very hungry person. I have, however, been taking notes since then on various methods of defrosting/reheating bread.

(5) Finally, I’ve just come in from planting next year’s garlic: 17 plump, perfect cloves. That, plus spreading some compost, may be all I have time to do in the garden before my first surgery–but there’s nothing else that really can’t wait till spring.


Lindsey October 20, 2023 at 11:17 am

I am so excited for you to have this surgery! I think I have mentioned that I wore Coke bottle glasses until my 40s, when one of the medications I had used since teen years caused cataracts and I had to have the surgery. I was able to get the version where one eye is for far and one is for close, but together they give me 20/20 vision. I had a longer recuperation because that was the norm back then; friends who have had the surgery recently have almost no down time, so in my mind’s eye I see you having the surgery one day and making soup for your neighborhood the next day!!


Katy October 20, 2023 at 7:40 pm

Sending a virtual hug your way and best wishes for your surgery.


Ruby October 21, 2023 at 5:14 am

I hope your recovery is completely trouble free. My severe myopia c caused catarcts early, and the insurance covered lenses to correct it. It’s a daily wonder still to wake up and be able to read the clock on the dresser.


Ecoteri October 22, 2023 at 6:27 pm

May your surgeries both go well, with smooth healing between and afterward.
Thanks for the garlic planting report! Mine still isn’t in, however I WAS inspecting the raised beds and planning where I will begin to put them in. I plant a few more than you do, but that shouldn’t mean I can delay much longer….


Roberta October 20, 2023 at 9:07 am

1. After looking at another apartment complex for next year (we have a winner!) I resisted my husband’s and daughter’s appeal for burritos at the local place the manager suggested. Instead, we went home for dinner.
2. I had rescued three portabella mushrooms from the food bank, and they became burgers for dinner, with freezer buns, and haloumi from the freezer. The burgers were supposed to have cooked spinach on top, but we had apparently eaten all the spinach and all we had left was mixed greens. So I picked out as much spinach as I could find in the time we had, and cooked that with some of the other lettuce in the mix. Pure spinach would have been better, but we didn’t have to make a grocery run!
3. After looking at the apartment, my husband is really excited about decluttering. He found a bunch more stuff for tomorrow’s garage sale already.
4. Working today, instead of taking the day off to set up for the garage sale.
5. After too much research, we’re sticking with the health care plan we had last year. We had hoped to switch to a cheaper plan, since both kids would be using their school health insurance, and they were offering a better plan than we have for cheaper. But the better plan doesn’t cover my husband’s medication, and covering my daughter for dental and my son with traveler’s insurance when he visits the states would be more than we would save. It was a long, boring, complicated process to learn that no change is the best for us this year.


mary in maryland October 20, 2023 at 3:25 pm

Sounds like just enough research!


Katy October 20, 2023 at 7:37 pm

Necessity of the mother of invention!


Ashley Bananas October 20, 2023 at 10:04 am

Your pie looks delightful!!!
1. I looped my grocery shopping into my commute home last night helping avoid extra miles and gas on the car. This morning I stopped at Walmart to grab the last of what we need while driving to work, again avoiding extra miles and gas.
2. I made a grocery list, checked it twice, and spend $51 on groceries yesterday, getting back $20 from ibotta. Starting to feel much better about the grocery store game lately.
3. This morning I found red meat marked down at Walmart. I didn’t save a substantial amount of money, but better than paying full price. Has anyone else noticed the increase in meat prices in the last year? And sadly, my Aldi seems to be discounting their meat less often.
4. Our ‘rainy’ season has been very dry lately. I put a non leaking garbage can under my roofs rain area and let it fill up. I will use this for watering etc in the coming weeks. I try and use as little water as possible as water rates have gone up substantially.
5. I took advantage of a 0% credit card offer and made a transfer saving me about $50 in fees/interest etc a month. I am also considering doing some credit card hacking to benefit more from daily usage on cards.
6. My son and I were invited to a haunted walk with some friends. The cost per person is $25. I declined to go. I think my money is better spent on other things right now.


Heidi Louise October 20, 2023 at 11:11 am

Aldi and WalMart have both announced they are cutting prices for holiday meal supplies, starting November 1.
(I am not able to shop at either, just mentioning it for people who might wish to pause shopping until they see what the bargains are).


Christine October 21, 2023 at 7:18 am

Thanks for the tip Heidi Louise!


Ashley October 23, 2023 at 5:29 am

Something to look forward to @HeidiLouise

Yay for good prices on meat @Katy meat has gone up so much in price!


Katy October 23, 2023 at 7:06 am

I yes, I knew to jump at that price!


Katy October 20, 2023 at 7:35 pm

I bought two packages of full chicken thighs for 87¢/pound at Safeway today. The limit was two packages, so I made sure to buy the biggest ones. I’ll prepare one package for dinner tomorrow and I’ll freeze the rest. These prices comes rarely these days, so I knew I needed to jump on it.


Lindsey October 20, 2023 at 11:33 am

That pie looks so scrumptious! Since we returned from our Last Hurrah Tour almost two weeks ago now, we have spent our own money for just milk. The husband also does shops, so he did grocery mystery shops, restricting his buying to items like potatoes and mushrooms that helped us use up canned or frozen foods we already had. I even managed to use up a can of smoked octopus and one of smoked geoduck that we received as a gift last Christmas, using them in a seafood soup. (If you are looking for unusual food gifts, you might want to check out Wildfish cannery, which is based in an Alaskan village of fewer than 1000 people that produces wonderful products.) I don’t care for octopus at all and after force feeding us so many pounds of geoduck that I swore never again, but in a seafood chowder they were quite good. The other three nights of this past week we ate chicken stew, using up some perhaps freezer burned chicken that spices managed to make quite tasty. Lunches were mostly cracker and cheese based, since we had a lot of partially used boxes of crackers that needed eating. I am trying to make it until the end of the month before I send the husband off to do a real grocery shop. I am still sidelined by a back injury so he is actually doing all the meal associated chores…


Katy October 20, 2023 at 7:27 pm

I applaud your never ending ingenuity!


Ecoteri October 22, 2023 at 6:33 pm

@Lindsey, considering how hard you worked to eat down your pantry before your Last Hurrah Tour, I continue to be inspired by your willingness to stay-the-course for even longer and clear out all the darkest corners of your pantry/freezer.
Sad to hear your back is giving you grief, though… Glad your husband can do some of the mystery shops for your household!


Nancy from mass October 20, 2023 at 5:35 pm

1. Week four of bronchitis. Very tired of soup. Very very tired of soup.
2. My friend heard how tired of soup I am, so she brought me a Vietnamese spicy tofu rice bowl for my dinner tonight. We sat and chatted and had a nice little visit and I am so full.
3. Bought a bunch of squash that was on sale.. Acorn, spaghetti, honey nut, and some sweet potatoes. Spent six dollars.
4. Received a $25 virtual gift card from Hyundai for complaining to them about how they reset my radio system without telling me. Causing me to think there’s something wrong with my electrical system. There wasn’t.
5. To save my son and his boyfriend some money, I had him drop off his laundry to me last night and I did their laundry for them. Money is tight and that will save them about 30 dollars.


Katy October 20, 2023 at 7:24 pm

I love that you did your son’s laundry for him. That’s such a loving thing to do!


Akin Das October 21, 2023 at 1:37 am

Fantastic ideas. Thanks


Nancy from mass October 22, 2023 at 4:21 pm

I’ve offered a number of times before (sometimes the laundromat can be so expensive) and he finally took me up on my offer. Sometimes he just brings it here and does it himself. But I knew I wasn’t going anywhere this weekend, so I told him to drop it off. (I don’t mind doing the laundry)

when he picked up his laundry today, I also sent him home with a bag of groceries. I have way too much. And I still overbuy if I hit a good deal on stuff, so I have no problem sharing.


Marilyn October 20, 2023 at 7:32 pm

Gosh, that pie looks good!
My few frugal things this week include:
1. I paid $10.99 (plus tip) for haircut today during a GreatClips special.
2. Enjoyed a free cup of coffee at my credit union yesterday when they were celebrating National Credit Union day.
3. Found a new series of courtroom drama/mystery books (at the library, of course). They feature a lawyer named Andy Carpenter, his dog, his various quirky associates and the impossible cases of the criminal defendants he represents. The books are titled after various dogs (he also operates a dog rescue center). I’m currently reading one called “Holy Chow”.
4. My sister sent me a box of maple shortbread cookies from Vermont. S-o-o-o delicious!
5. Now that I’m retired, I’m even more serious about saving money where I can. Last week’s groceries for my husband and myself totalled $65.28. This is probably not a record for serious savers, but it’s good for us.


Nancy from mass October 22, 2023 at 4:23 pm

#5 is great!!


Suzanne October 21, 2023 at 7:25 am

Hi everyone!

1. On a rainy night, jazzed up a potato mushroom stew that was not great by baking some ancient refrigerator biscuits, playing some music. Lit candles, straightened up living area a little more. Somehow, the stew was tastier!
Ate said meal instead of springing for the available “theatre package” before going to a local production with “free” tickets. (Not exactly free, as DH makes a significant donation every year, but at least we did not waste tickets.) Then stopped for a beer on the way home after the show. It was a compromise, and much cheaper than going out for the dinner.

2. Really wanted to buy some pants that were on sale at Lands End, but the shipping was too much unless you bought $100, even with codes. I thought I “needed” them, but deep down knew that I did not, and I wanted to stick to my three new items per year. So, thought about it overnight, and deleted the cart in the morning. Felt really good about it.

3. In same vein, almost drove up island to a native plant sale: had keys in hand. Researched what plants would be available, thought about the gas and time costs, and decided to research how to best plant a bunch of seeds I bought last fall, and how to propagate some bushes I already own.

4. Finally cancelled my Consumer Reports membership: we had been paying $10/month for a membership we bought a few years ago. Needed customer service to cancel it, as I had unsuccessfully tried to cancel in past, but was determined! They figured out that it was under my husband’s nickname.

5. While at library, remembered they give free microwave popcorn if you check out a DVD on a Friday, so I checked one out. I usually love my own hot air popcorn, but the chemical deliciousness of the microwave popcorn called to me. Decided to create a list of good movies that the library owns. Our media expenses are in my sights for the next round of cuts.

By the way, when I cancelled last week, I found out that they keep your information on file, and that you can reaccess your family tree by rejoining. That is how I persuaded DH to cancel the subscription. It was very expensive.


Nancy from mass October 22, 2023 at 4:27 pm

For genealogy,, try the familysearch tree app. The genealogy is done by the Latter-day Saint (I believe they are tops in genealogy research). Once you enter your info and your parents info, you should be able to hit the arrow above your parents or maybe your grandparents and will bring you back generation to generation. Mine goes back 35 generations all the way to the year 874!
They just won’t be able to match you with DNA matches. But they will send you email saying they found second cousins are third cousins etc.


Susie's Daughter October 21, 2023 at 1:23 pm

Tiny frugal things are about all I got these days.
1) Making my own “fancy coffee” at home with 1T of instant coffee (bought on sale) and 1T of cocoa mix (cheaper from Costco than grocery store).

2) Made another batch of my favorite stain remover today. Equal parts baking soda, hydrogen peroxide and blue Dawn. Cheap and effective.

3) Wearing my retro (1988) fleece sweatshirt rather than turning up the heat (yet).

4) Reading library books on my Libby app. Our system carries a lot online I wouldn’t be able to access in print without Interlibrary loan.

5) Trying out monofocal contacts (for those of us of a certain “progressive lense” age) before I buy. My eye doctor gave me 5 single wear pairs to trial first.

Hope everyone is staying well and “mostly upright” (a phrase I heard during the pandemic which I love).


Christine October 22, 2023 at 1:11 pm

Your “fancy coffee” sounds scrumptious, easy to make AND frugal. Win win.


Bethany M October 21, 2023 at 3:35 pm

I bought just one bag of 8 ct. buns when we had 2 bun-worthy meals planned for my family of 5. I just low-carbed it. $1.29 saved. A win is a win! Lol!

I reluctantly took a side-gig from my former would-be boss. I quit when they wouldn’t pay me mileage. They held an event at the school that hired me, reached out to me for help, and incentivized me pretty good. $300 in the bank. I also took home a large leftover pizza and a mega-sized extra delicious salad for the family.

Made my own yogurt, because that stuff is getting expensive. Making homemade mayo and granola today too…

Not hiring a housekeeper for $100 for the 5 things I’ve procrastinated. I’ll just pay my kids $1 each. They’ll be excited, but they don’t get an assigned paid chore until their room is clean.

Cooked a massive $12 pork roast. It’s going to be bbq sandwiches, carnitas, Mexican casserole and a soup by the end of the week.


Susan in TN October 22, 2023 at 7:42 am


Our hospital usually gives 10% off for paying a bill in full. During April (tax season) they give 20%. But now I discovered they have gone up to 25% all the time! You have to go to the cashier and ask for it, but I’m glad to do that. I saved $73.79 total off my last two bills. Put it on the credit card to earn rewards, then paid it off a couple days later.

Made a hotel reservation and remembered a few days later I could go through Rakuten for some $ back. I noticed the price was actually $10 cheaper for the exact same room so I made the new res and canceled the old one. We have free cancellation until 1 day before. Will keep checking the price and if it goes down, will do it again.

Our persimmon tree has gone crazy this year. My husband has all the persimmons he could want for snacking.

Found a bag of peanuts in the freezer and have been making homemade natural peanut butter. No other ingredients needed.

Received a $4 Ibotta survey via email, got my free covid tests, free flu vaccine at hospital where husband works, found out a recent $240 charge from my recent hip replacement that insurance considers investigative is being written off by the physician’s office.


texasilver October 22, 2023 at 6:48 pm

Taco Bell is offering a free toasted breakfast taco on Oct 24 & Oct 31 (Taco Tuesday) in their app. I got one last Tuesday & it was tasty. I added some fresh spinach to my taco filling at home. Topped with Taco Bell breakfast salsa. Yum Yum! No purchase required to get the free item. During breakfast hours only.


Katy October 22, 2023 at 8:27 pm

Cool, thanks for this!


Blue Gate Farmgirl October 22, 2023 at 9:03 pm

Love the bread hack! I can’t wait to use it.
*picked the last 5 bushels of braeburn apples to share with 5 neighbors. Got sweet new baby snuggles with the newest neighbor. Gave him his “welcome to the world” eye spy quilt.
Planted bulbs and perennials for a friend of a neighbor who’s health does not allow her to work in the garden. She gave me her itty bitty tiny tractor with mower to mow trails for our tree farm as the boy scouts use the property year ’round.
I am decluttering and have cleaned out 3 bathroom vanities…oh the antiquities! I found my Wonder Woman hand mirror from 1971. I’m keeping it.
I have been taking 1 can per day out of the garage pantry and using it somehow for a meal. It is going pretty well and without complaint from the peanut gallery. I took several partial boxes of crackers, added nuts, chex-type cereal and made spicy mix. It got devoured during fire pit sits.
I helped an elderly neighbor cut the cord and I installed a very strong tv antenna, installed his smart tv and taught him the ropes with large print instructions.
I cut up a bunch of limbs and trees that blew over, stacked them in the barn for next year’s use.
My cousin gave me 25 lbs of lawn seed. I used my tiny rototiller to scarify the lawns and over seed.


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