One Frugal Thing

by Katy on February 20, 2017 · 58 comments

  1. I’m sick, that is all. I’m nothing but spaced out in front of Netflix, and my voice is so gravely that my boss jokingly called me “sir” when I called in sick. That is all. Sick.

Now your turn. What frugal things have you been up to?

Katy Wolk-Stanley

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

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{ 57 comments… read them below or add one }

Val February 20, 2017 at 3:29 pm

Get well soon Katy!


Terri February 20, 2017 at 3:33 pm

You look like you have what I have, right down to the inhaler! It suuuuuucks!


Yvette from down under February 20, 2017 at 3:42 pm

Sorry to hear you are unwell. Keep warm, delegate tasks to your family and rest,rest, rest.


Roberta February 20, 2017 at 4:06 pm

Feel better, Katy. We live on hot lemonade (lemon juice, local honey and hot water, sometimes with candied ginger, too) when we’re sick. I hope it passes soon. (BTW, that’s still a cute Union Jack table.)


Lori February 20, 2017 at 4:27 pm

Hope you are better soon. I just had it too.


MamaMinou February 20, 2017 at 4:27 pm

Hope you feel better soon! It’s been a terrible winter for respiratory crud here in the PNW. My advice would be to stay in bed (or at home, taking it easy) one day longer than you think you need to. It might pass faster that way.


Mariana February 20, 2017 at 4:30 pm

My dad swears by boiled milk with honey and garlic. Kills bacteria and keeps immune system strong. Seriously, he has not gotten sick in years. He is 80 years old and has the healthiest diet and habits. It tastes kinda gross to me (and I’d rather be sick than drink it) but you may want to give it a try.


Betty Winslow February 20, 2017 at 4:35 pm

Sorry you’re not feeling up to snuff…. get well soon.


rebecca February 20, 2017 at 4:38 pm

feel better!


janine February 20, 2017 at 5:04 pm

I am just recovering from my second bout of the crud – different virus I believe, not that this helps much. Do stay home an extra day – advice I should have followed. I’m not sure what you tell a nurse about health except to extend sympathy and include home remedies. In our case NSAIDS, lots of water, vitamins etc.
Also being thankful that NCA comes easily when there isn’t much temptation.
Happy President’s Day to All – hang in there!


Trish February 20, 2017 at 5:18 pm

Sick here too, but am starting to feel well enough to plug away at a list of to-dos

1. doing a hot oxyclean soak for some hand-me-downs from my nephews. They have those yellow spit-up stains that always show up after baby clothes that look clean sit in storage for a few months. Anyone know any tried and true methods of removal for spit-up stains?

2. Went to the thrift store to find a few items/sizes not available as hand-me-downs. They were 50% off for President’s Day. I found a little cardigan and a onsie that mix and match well with with the hand-me-downs. I still need a few more 9 month outfits, but I have several months to find them.

3. Using a leather repair kit to fix the office chair. So far the practice run is yielding pretty poor results, but I will practice a bit more.

4. Going through the basement looking for and boxing up garage sale items. when in doubt, I am just boxing things up. If I miss them between now and May (when we actually have the sale) I might opt to keep them, but I have a feeling I will like absence of clutter more than any of the items I’ve boxed up.

5. While out at the thrift store this afternoon my 3 year old son said he was hungry and wanted to go out for lunch. Instead, we wandered over to the Grocery Outlet and bought 33 cent yogurts, 20 cent oatmeal bars and he was just as happy.


K D February 22, 2017 at 1:34 pm

The stain removal recipe shared in The Complete Tightwad Gazette (page 274) worked well years ago:

Add one cup each of powdered Cascade (powdered dishwasher detergent) and Clorox II to 5 gallons of the hottest water to come out of your faucet. Soak several articles overnight, and launder as usual.

This procedure will remove 90% of the stains that do not come out with normal laundering. I do not use this recipe for delicate fabrics, or fabrics that are not color-fast. It is particularly good for removing food stains.


Valerie February 20, 2017 at 5:19 pm

You should definitely whip up a batch of fire cider. This stuff is nasty but it kill everything…and also hot and sour soup, another germ killer!


Patti February 20, 2017 at 5:41 pm

Hope you feel better soon. Nothing worse than being sick and not feeling like doing a thing. Just take good care of yourself!


kathleen February 20, 2017 at 5:49 pm

Get well, get well soon, we want you to get well.
Elaine Benes


priskill February 23, 2017 at 5:24 pm

Requires cake!!! 🙂


Marcia February 20, 2017 at 5:51 pm

Sorry you have joined the MANY sickies this winter. My husband and I are happy to stay at home more than usual with so many bugs going around. So far, so good. Get better soon.


Marilyn February 20, 2017 at 6:13 pm

Sorry to hear you’re Not feeling well. Hope you’re better soon. Your kitty looks like he’s (she’s?) staying cozy and warm in this miserable weather. Take care.


Lindsey February 20, 2017 at 6:27 pm

My husband says he likes having a cold with a cough because I force him to drink my home concoction of brandy, a smashed up peppermint candy cane, the juice of a lemon and a tablespoon of honey. Put in a jar and shake. The candy cane bits will melt within a few hours (if any is left by then).


Jennifer February 21, 2017 at 10:00 am

My grandmother used to make this, too


Mrs. Picky Pincher February 20, 2017 at 6:32 pm

Ack, sorry to hear you aren’t feeling well! Way to keep it frugal with the reusable items. 😉 I recently switched to cloth hankies and it’s been awesome for my pocketbook!

This week:

1. I just got back from the thrift store. For $7 I got at least a dozen very nice shirts for work. The store was having a giant fire sale for President’s Day, so most of the already-cheap stuff I bought was 75% off. I love it!

2. We ate leftover homemade soup for lunch today.

3. My birthday is this weekend and my family asked for gift ideas. I try to tell them I don’t need anything, but then they just get me stuff anyway. This year I requested items that I wanted to buy anyway but was waiting for a good sale anyway. I know I’m getting some pie weights, which will help me cut down on wasting rice when I blind-bake my pies.

4. I cleaned my floors and counters today with a diluted vinegar solution instead of storebought cleaners.

5. Instead of Febreeze, I make my own home/fabric spray with a mixture of essential oils and vodka. It gives the house a wonderful clean scent without the weird extra chemicals.


Lindsey February 20, 2017 at 8:02 pm

I always ask for toilet paper for my birthday gifts; I buy the cheapest but love to get the really soft, more expensive stuff as a gift. One year I had five friends give me a case each—I was in heaven!


Bee February 21, 2017 at 7:47 am

Toilet paper has gotten so expensive. It’s like flushing money down the toilet — literally.


WilliamB February 21, 2017 at 9:08 am

Mrs. Picky Pincher: You can reuse the rice or whatever, that you use for pie weights. I have used the same 3 cups of dried beans for about 15 years now. As long as you let them dry out before putting them back in jar, they’ll last.

I reuse the tin foil on which I put them as well, natch.


Mand01 February 22, 2017 at 2:03 am

Yes I’ve used the same rice for years as well


Alexandra February 23, 2017 at 4:56 am

I have been using the same rice and bean combo for 10+ years for my pies too. Keep in a ziploc bag. I don’t re-use the foil as I find it too hard to clean.


Kristen February 20, 2017 at 7:02 pm

I hope you feel better soon, Katy!


Katy February 20, 2017 at 8:19 pm

Thank you. This bug seems to be the lingering kind.


Diane C February 21, 2017 at 8:05 pm

Yeah, mine lingered for two and a half weeks. I’m not going to offer any home remedies to a nurse, except to say please continue take good care of yourself, dear Katy.


Pattilou February 20, 2017 at 8:05 pm

Feel better Katy.


Deanna February 20, 2017 at 8:56 pm

I really hope you feel better soon- ish Katy. Do not rush it. I did that and it just backfired. Ugh= not a good thing. Rest up and hope your back in the “saddle” when your fully recuperated. ~ Deanna


Susan February 20, 2017 at 9:18 pm

So sorry you aren’t well. We had the crud and fevers last week in our house. Baby yourself! And maybe make your husband baby you as well. 🙂


Diane February 21, 2017 at 4:40 am

Well wishes! Be gentle with yourself. All good thoughts.


Savannah @ Dirt Road Daist February 21, 2017 at 5:00 am

Same, Katy! Strep, that time of the month, AND shingles. Although, it’s been nice sitting at home, binging on Netflix while everyone else is at work/daycare 🙂


Cindy February 21, 2017 at 6:21 am

Being sick sucks, hope it passes soon.

My 5 frugals while grocery shopping:

1. Didn’t buy anything in the snack aisle
2. Didn’t buy anything in the frozen food aisle(s)
3. Didn’t buy anything in the bakery section
4. Didn’t buy anything in the liquor aisle
5. By-passed several other aisles but did refill a prescription at the pharmacy. This particular cholesterol medicine is FREE!


Tracy February 21, 2017 at 6:40 am

Katy very sorry you’re sick. It is SO going around this winter. We went to Springfield for my 13 year old stepdaughter’s volleyball tournament but she got sick and had to leave early, high fever, bad cough. So many people have been really sick at work too. Feel better and be good to yourself.


Bee February 21, 2017 at 7:52 am

What a bummer for you. Feel better soon.


Vickie February 21, 2017 at 8:24 am

Get well, Katy! Being sick sucks.

1) I used a 20% coupon at the Feed store to buy cat food & dog treats.
2) I’m defrosting hamburger meat & chicken thighs in the fridge, to make lasagna and chicken veggie soup for meals this week.
3) I picked up and dropped off audiobooks and books using my favorite shopping card at the Library.
Last – I didn’t buy a lear jet, a golden palace apartment in the sky, or a family resort in Florida. Dang – I saved a LOT of money this week!!


WilliamB February 21, 2017 at 9:16 am

Sorry you’re feeling sick but I bet you’re not spending ~anything~.

The big thing I did this week was cook in advance. I prepped 3-4 meals, for lunch, for dinner, or both. Frex, today’s lunch is last night’s pork tamale filling(I don’t like cornbread) over the remnants of romaine and spinach.

The fridge of the friend who lets me stash bulk purchases at her place, broke. I had to skedaddle over there to see if the 2 turduckens were still OK (they were), and cart away the 3 Year Egg Nog and the 2 gallons of “old” bananas. I’ve already made fruit smoothie pops and several loaves of banana bread with the defrosted bananas – one of which is for the friend.

I probably won’t use all the bananas because I’d rather stuff my freezer with the on-sale frozen shrimp than cheap banana bread. I can get cheap bananas anytime, cheaper shrimp is a rarity.


Michelle February 21, 2017 at 10:04 am

Hi everyone! I’m new to FFT and I absolutely love reading everyone’s posts. Here’s my first:

1) Amazon had a flash-sale a few hours ago and I got my dishwasher detergent tablets for $7. They are now selling for $28.
2) Paid for above with Amazon gift certs from my Swagbucks and Bing.
3) Rolled my ECB from CVS and mfr coupons to buy more shampoo and conditioner. Also slowly starting a Dorm Box Drugstore for my daughter, who leaves this Fall for college. *bought Advil and Tums thus far, with a coupon.
4) Lowered our electric bill $50 from last month.
5) Didn’t buy beach property or a golden palace apartment.


Vickey February 21, 2017 at 10:04 am

Hope you’re feeling better soon, Katy! Have you tried elderberry juice or syrup? Worthwhile even if you have to buy it at retail, when you consider the loss of income it can prevent. We drink some (made from homegrown berries) at the first sign of a cough, ache, fever, or throat tickle, and have managed to avoid full-blown colds or flu for several years now by doing this. When you get a little energy, perhaps you could read up on the clinical studies proving efficacy?
1) Re-evaluating my love affair with Netflix, since their uber-rich CEO has channeled millions to privatizing public education. I want my dollars used for good, not evil. I say this as someone who homeschooled for a few years, when the inadequate public school system could not meet my child’s special needs.
2) Made a pot of stew on the woodstove with planned-over scratch-cooked beans (bought in bulk through a buying club), dried veggies from the pantry put by last summer, garlic and onions bought in bulk from local organic farmers last summer, garden green beans from the freezer, etc.
3) Worked on making insulated shades for the windows, and a modification for older doors that are drafty. These are all made from secondhand fabrics gathered over time via garage sales, thrifting, or repurposing, and include sheets, blankets, shower curtains, mattress pads, duvets (a particularly good source of low-cost yardage.)
4) Had planned-over porridge for breakfast, from a batch baked in the woodstove while it was already going.
5) Caught up on billing clients, something I fell behind on late last year in the cloud of post-election horror, a death, and a close family member’s health crisis.
6) Resisted the temptation to buy new phone with larger screen and bigger memory. I run out of space on both.


Roberta February 22, 2017 at 8:21 am

Thanks for the info on Netflix. My husband is a teacher AND a Netflix addict. We’ll have to consider this carefully. The next season of Stranger Things doesn’t come out until Halloween, so we can probably make it that long.


Sue February 22, 2017 at 10:00 am

I think both of you should do a little research on Reed Hasting CEO of Netflix before you make statements about any company or individual.. he is critical of President Trump. Of course he is not out spraying building or smashing in cars!
This has been quoted from Reed Hasting in the press and is on Reed Hasting FB page. This is a direct copy from FB.

“Trump’s actions are hurting Netflix employees around the world, and are so un-American it pains us all. Worse, these actions will make America less safe (through hatred and loss of allies) rather than more safe. A very sad week, and more to come with the lives of over 600,000 Dreamers here in a America under imminent threat. It is time to link arms together to protect American values of freedom and opportunity.”

I believe in the facts.. and please all, vet your choices before you make decisions or try to influence others. Be smart, check the source. To me, that is a lot of what is going on in the world today, not fact based. I hope Katy posts this, as I would hope she would for misinformation on BOTH sides of debate.


Vickey February 22, 2017 at 4:47 pm

I agree, facts are important! Here’s one article discussing Hastings’ $100 million gift to an effort to privatize public schools.

It would be a mistake to assume I didn’t check facts before posting.


Cindy in the South I February 21, 2017 at 10:11 am

I just had to leave work and drive my secretary 30 miles, one way, to her mom, because she was ill. She refused to go to hospital in the town where her mom lives, the town in which we work does not even have a hospital. At least she is with her mom, and can go to the hospital if she continues to get sicker. It is pouring down rain here, and warm, which makes things worse. The flu is all over the place here. Hope you get well soon, Katy.


LisaC February 21, 2017 at 3:34 pm

Hope you feel better soon Katy.


Val in MN February 21, 2017 at 4:12 pm

Bummer…’tis the season – wishing you a full and speedy recovery. I am just finishing up a 6 week run with the crud – yuck.


Mand01 February 22, 2017 at 1:51 am

Feel better soon Katy!
I have been in the outback all week; heading home tomorrow. I have had some opportunities for frugality:
1. My room here has a toaster, fridge and kettle. I bought bread, yoghurt, butter and Vegemite and have made my own breakfast every day, instead of eating out. I am sleeping underground in a dugout and it has been fantastic. If you ever get to the outback of South Australia, come to Coober Pedy and sleep underground. It is a wonderful experience.
2. Tons of free entertainment: colleagues have very generously taken us out to visit a national park that is also important Aboriginal country and told us the stories, and also to visit old and newer dugouts (underground homes). I feel very grateful for this opportunity.
3. Free wifi where I am staying- and it’s actually fast.
4. There are three thrift stores here. I managed to get to one and I found a brand new travel mug for $3.
5. I didn’t buy a flashy opal necklace


Gina in KY February 22, 2017 at 6:46 am

Yes, the pests and pestilence are bad this year for sure. The warmer weather is not going to help at all. Hope you feel better soon!


MamaMinou February 22, 2017 at 8:58 pm

Katy, are you feeling any better? Hope this was a quick bug.


SueB February 23, 2017 at 2:56 am

I hope you’re feeling a bit better today.


Vickey February 23, 2017 at 7:57 am

P.S. That ad at the bottom of the page for the Consumer Financisl Protection Bureau is *perfect*. Just the ticket for this crowd! 😀


K D February 23, 2017 at 12:15 pm

Katy, I hope you are feeling better soon. It truly is a year of endless sickness on the east coast as well. I’n knocking on wood that the various cruds stay away from our house.

1. I made a batch of Sweet Potato Carrot soup early this morning so I can eat it for lunch the next few days. I also made a double batch of gluten free muffins. Some will be frozen.

2. We were on our last thing of checks so I ordered more. We have free checking, including checks. The check printers wanted us to pay $20+ for shipping. I lived dangerously and chose free shipping via USPS (no tracking). The checks arrived with no issues.

3. I have been using a mug that we gave my MIL several years ago. It is purple so not something I would usually select, but it reminds me of her, her love of purple, and what a wonderful person she was.

4. I am getting messages that the printer cartridge is low on toner. Once the printer refuses to print I’ll cover the eye of the cartridge with electrical tape and the printer will be fine for several more months. It is so inexpensive to print if you stick to black ink with a laser printer.

5. I have been working on earning airline miles via surveys.


Lisa P. February 23, 2017 at 12:37 pm

That’s so sweet about the purple mug! Purple is my favorite color too, smile.


Emily February 23, 2017 at 3:03 pm

Day to day life has been a little more stressful lately, but trying to focus on the things I have done right!

1. focusing on less food waste, which is going pretty well! I have been eating very snacky lunches this week (celery and peanut butter-also extremely cheap, cheese and crackers, fruit, you get the idea) This has actually been a lot better on my stomach too, snacking here and there rather than eating a big meal.

2. Got an invitation for a wedding over Labor Day weekend. It is out of state, and across the country, however it is one of my oldest friends so I WILL be attending. Already on the hunt for a pretty dress (thrifted) and made a new sub savings account and titled it “maggies wedding”!’

3. Got my oil changed and a new headlight for 50 dollars the other day. I used a coupon, but this was VERY cheap. My car uses all synthetic oil and has wildly overpriced filters (ughhhh I will never get another VW) AND they vacuumed out my car :).

4. Increased my 401 K from 6% to 10%. Nothing amazing, but I’m in my 20s and paying off student loans so I am proud that I can do a little bit of both.

5. Have a ton of work to do tonight (hi im procrastinating) so am eating a Blakes pot pie for dinner. I buy them on sale when they are 2/6.00, and they are so yummy. It’s my treat instead of take out!


Bee February 23, 2017 at 4:40 pm

I think it is wonderful that you are stashing money away in your 401k already. I have children who are in their 20s, and I am always preaching the benefits of saving early. (They aren’t listening) Your future self will thank you many times over. You should be proud! 🙂


Bee February 23, 2017 at 4:42 pm

Oops! This is a response to Emily who is saving early!


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