Frugal Photos from Someone Not in the Mood to Write

by Katy on March 6, 2011 · 18 comments



I bought this vintage mantel clock at Value Village for $10. It was non-functional, but I had a battery unit installed a few years later as a birthday gift from my husband. I don't remember how much that cost, but it was pretty cheap, maybe $30. I love this clock!


We lived with super cheap $3 light fixtures for years before making the leap to something more period appropriate. I bought a pair of these chandeliers from eBay for $35. My husband re-wired them and I bought the glass shades for $25 for the two of them. Portland is the home of both Rejuvenation Lighting and Schoolhouse Electric. However, they were both out of our budget, and I like the uniqueness of our lighting.

I bought this framed Maxfield Parrish print at an estate sale for $18 and change. (It was all the cash I had on me at the time.) It's from 1918 and looks perfect in my 1914 house.


I have a hard time not wasting garlic and ginger, so I chop them all at once and them store them in glass jars ready to be used in the refrigerator. Very convenient and very frugal!

When I chop an onion, I chop the entire onion and keep it in the freezer. This time saver streamlines making dinner and ensures that we never send onion to the compost bin. The crusts are for making bread crumbs.

I found this vintage piece of fabric in my mother's basement. It is simply hung over a tension rod, which is good enough for me. The vintage glass shade set me back a couple dollars and I think it looks great in my older kitchen.

{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

Kristen@TheFrugalGirl March 6, 2011 at 3:02 pm

I love it, Katy! You should be not in the mood to write more often if this is the result. 🙂


Katy March 6, 2011 at 3:41 pm

I spent some time looking through which is wonderfully photographed. Both she and you put me to shame.



Kristen@TheFrugalGirl March 7, 2011 at 3:39 am

Oh yes, I read SouleMama too. Her photographic style is different from mine (at least I think it is! Did you think we’re similar? I’m curious.), and I don’t think I’ll ever take up the uber-cool art of knitting, but I always enjoy taking a peek at her life.

Your pictures look good, though! They don’t give off an “I took this with a point and shoot in a dark room with the flash” kind of vibe at all.

So, more of them, please.


NMPatricia March 6, 2011 at 3:57 pm

Thanks for sharing a bit of your home. It is most gracious of you.


Practical Parsimony March 6, 2011 at 4:07 pm

That is a fabulous piece of fabric. Unfortunately, I have to pay someone to rewire all my light fixtures and lamps. I should marry an electrician! Chopping all the celery, onions, and Bell peppers is the only way I can keep from losing them to crisper imp.


Kathleen Harris March 6, 2011 at 4:56 pm

Fabulous idea! I found it quite nice as I was someone who was not in the mood to read! Lovely photos! 🙂


T.M. March 6, 2011 at 5:27 pm

thanks so very much for sharing some of the highlights of your home with us!


Alison March 6, 2011 at 5:58 pm

A picture tells a thousand words…and illustrates the style savvy-ness of the photographer!


Lisa P. March 6, 2011 at 6:22 pm

Thanks for the photo blog – that was fun & the onion info will save me $$$.


Jinger March 7, 2011 at 5:31 am

I love, love, love seeing each and every frugal find that you photographed in your home…so simple and elegant. More , please!


Elaine March 7, 2011 at 9:31 am

I love the mantle clock! It’s just beautiful.

My grandparents had a mantle clock that I loved. After Grandpa died, and Grandma went into the nursing home, some of their things went to family members (I found out later). My cousin took the clock, which was all right with me, I guess. She’s one of my favorite cousins, so I told myself to just let it go.

Going forward about 20 years, she brought it to a family reunion. I was devasted. So was the clock. It looked like it had been out in the weather all those years. She had just stuck it in the garage and it remained there all those years.

Someday, I’m going to get a nice mantle clock that chimes.


Dmarie March 7, 2011 at 9:42 am

what a GREAT post. especially loved the vintage fabric, but these are all great buys/great ideas. Thanks!!


Queen Lucia March 7, 2011 at 12:00 pm

Love the photos! We were in Portland recently and slobbered over Schoolhouse Electric, then visited Restore when we got home and picked up two vintage fixtures, similar to the one in your kitchen, for $3 each. We’re replacing all the fixtures in our circa 1990 home with these super cheap vintage fixtures, in the hopes of making it a little more 1914-ish.


Jean March 7, 2011 at 12:36 pm

Thank you for sharing–I love to see how others handle vintage houses (ours is 1929 and suffered from a very bad 70’s remodel before we got our hands on it) on a budget. We love the Re-Store. I have drooled over the lighting catalogs from your fair city also, but just cannot spend as much on a fixture as my house payment is!


Deb March 7, 2011 at 6:46 pm

Soul Sistah! Hubby and I have been making fab frugal finds at thrift stores including an old cast iron candle stick lamp that was in rough shape. We stripped it, painted it, rewired, gave it a beautiful new globe we found at Habitat for Humanity Store, and it’s an oustanding addition to our little old house.

I also have several Max Parrish’s, but have never scored found one at the incredible to-die-for *BARGAIN* price that you did. Great find!!

Just scored a gorgeous vintage 60s solid wood credenza for the office, a mere $25 at Habitat store. Will sand & stain, and keep the cool orginial hardware. Much less expensive than the $400 vintage wood credenzas at those Portland Retro Stores.

I’m a big fan of those revamp photos, you guys have done a great job at decorating on the cheap!


Katy March 7, 2011 at 6:49 pm

Deb, sounds great! I did find a gorgeous rack that I use for shoes at the Habitat Re-Store. I also found perfectly matching wooden knobs for a dresser.

You are inspiring me to take a further peek.



Barb @ 1 Sentence Diary March 8, 2011 at 6:34 pm

So much fun to see your photos! I’m going to have to come over and see those things in person. (It’s kind of a long trip for me…)

And what did you ever end up doing with the curtains?


Katy March 8, 2011 at 6:38 pm

Each curtain in line with their window. This way felt so much more open and let in as much light as possible. My mother and I worked on them today before she pooped out. She’s coming back tomorrow and we’ll get the F*%ck@@% finished. 😉



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