Six Frugal Things

by Katy on March 15, 2020 · 96 comments

  1. I haven’t sold much over the past week or so, which I believe to be due to people’s understandable focus on Covid-19 rather than the accumulation of cool quirky vintage items. (Hardly a priority right now!) However I did sell:

    • A midcentury dining room chair.

    • A lot of embroidery floss.

    • A Pendleton travel mug.

    • Two double sets of high-end ski gloves that I pulled from a neighbor’s free box.

    Supposedly I have someone coming by today to buy a jumble of Thule bike rack pieces that I brought home from that same neighbor’s free pile. Although I know from experience to not count my chickens before they hatch. Edit: They just now picked everything up!

  2. I haven’t been stocking up on groceries any more than usual, although we probably have enough on hand for a couple weeks of meals, especially if we relax our standards about what passes as a normal meal.

    “Lasagna with shredded white chocolate chips instead of mozzarella? Okay!”

    I’ll let you know if we dig into the three jars of handmade fig jam from 2019, 2018 and 2017 from my husband’s co-worker.

    I really don’t like the texture of fig jam!

  3. Portland’s brick-and-mortar library system is closed for an indefinite amount of time, (snif!) but their digital services such as Libby and Kanopy continue to serve patrons.

    I have three physical library books at the moment, although my focus is pretty scattered right now, so I’m not sure how much reading I’ll be doing. I got twenty pages into a library copy of The Night Watchman by Louise Erdrich last night, and will try to prioritize taking time to read, as I’ve found that I do best when I read in big chunks rather than starting and stopping.

    I also have a few meaning to read them books that deserve a bit of love and attention.

    Luckily we have Netflix, my mother’s Amazon Prime, a friend’s Hulu and our own CBS All Access. (Star Trek: Picard!)

  4. My son is coming home from college today for an unspecified amount of time. We’ll still have to pay his rent, but it’ll be cheaper for him to eat home cooked meals than to pay for separate groceries. This is the only silver lining, (and really only the tiniest sliver) to his university putting all classes online.

    I already know that my son is going to be super bummed to spend an extended time away from his friends and community.

  5. My 84/almost 85-year-old father came over for lunch on Friday. We normally walk to a nearby popular Mexican restaurant, but both felt it would be best practice to avoid crowded areas. Instead recreated his normal “Bryan’s Bowl” order and presented it as a “Tony’s Bowl.”

    This dish varies seasonally, (as it always includes lots of fresh veggies) but mine consisted of pinto beans, black beans, rice, avocado, sautéed onions and peppers, roasted sweet potato chunks, tortilla chips, cilantro, salsa and avocado salsa. Very frugal, certainly filling and societally responsible.

  6. I didn’t buy a Lear Jet or a vulgar gold-plated apartment in the sky.

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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{ 96 comments… read them below or add one }

Anne March 15, 2020 at 11:28 am

Before I gave up dairy, this sandwich was my all-time favorite, it’s beyond amazing and the only way I’ve ever eaten fig jam.


Mairsydoats March 15, 2020 at 8:46 pm

Yes! This, and a particularly chi-chi burger and a very upscale and $$ burger place called a Figgy Blue Piggy: it’s a Beef Burger with Bacon, Blue Cheese, and Fig Jam. Surprisingly delectable!!


Bee March 16, 2020 at 5:04 am

I love fig with Brie! So yummy.


Roberta March 16, 2020 at 7:05 am

I was going to recommend figs with brie, but everyone else beat me to it. I was going to say (and will still) that adding other foods, like brie, distracts me from the horrible fig texture.


Jill A March 15, 2020 at 11:38 am

Happy you are doing okay.

1. My daughter is also home from school with classes online until the end of the semester. She will also have to pay rent but it is at least a 10 month lease. We will save money also by her eating at home. She brought some of her groceries home to share.
2. I stocked up on groceries yesterday and should be okay for a couple weeks. I bought only what we needed. Luckily we have enough toilet paper – the store was out.
3. I worked as an election inspector on Tuesday which will pay me for 15 hrs. It was a fun day. They fed us dinner and we all brought our own lunch and snacks to share. I made some scones. I read a library book on my kindle. I downloaded a couple more that I’ll start this week. Lots of free entertainment.
4. I have a terrible sinus infection which is making me miserable but at least I don’t have coronavirus. We’ve been spending all our time at home except for a couple errands and taking the dog for a walk. Also enjoying Netflix, Prime and Hulu.
5. I filled my car up with the really cheap gas while I was at costco picking up coffee and taking advantage of the vitamin sale going on right now.


Jill A March 16, 2020 at 2:35 pm

**Update** My daughter has been informed that she will be partially reimbursed for her on campus housing since the University is going to all virtual classes and she will be moving home.


Beth Ann March 17, 2020 at 8:16 pm

Dear Jill,
Thanks for the update about your daughter’s housing. I have been wondering what my son’s university is going to do about this. He is on campus and has a meal plan, which of course he cannot use. I do feel for him, though, because he is going to be missing his pals and does not like online classes. Oh, well….we must adapt.
Beth Ann


Momma L March 15, 2020 at 11:48 am

1. Eating down the pantry. Stocked up a lot last month as our local grocery store’s ad ran a 20 off 100 coupon every Wednesday for a month.
2. Apparently we are going to drink down our bar…I heard that our local ABC store is closing some time this week. It is state run, so that makes sense.
3. Going to online learning soon at our school as the state has closed all public schools. Won’t be spending much if I don’t go anywhere or see anybody.
4. I miss my local thrift shop, but think its prudent to stay away for a while, my DH is in his 70s, so I’m being extra careful. I am going through my own things and putting things aside to take in to GW.
5. Using up my health benefits card before it expires: glasses, ibuprofen, first aid supplies.
6. Sadly, won’t be visiting my granddaughter any time soon. Thankful for FaceTime.


Patti March 15, 2020 at 11:59 am

1) I didn’t buy extra food or paper goods because we have plenty on hand. I will use this time to try some of the recipes I have stockpiled and found when cleaning out a cabinet in the kitchen.
2) I listed some knitting items on ebay and had one sale immediately. People are buying stuff to keep them busy.
3) My husband is missing the sports events on tv so we both are watching serial programs on Netflix, etc. My son is sharing his codes to Disney Plus with us and we are sharing our Amazon Prime with him.
4) It looks like my job will be on hold so I am using this time to clean out clutter, sew, knit, read, and do things I never have time to do = all of which I already have the needed items to do. No spending planned.
5) Will be cooking up some convenience meals in case I get called to help out my parents who are 98 and 96 and still living at home. I am investigating instacart and other ways to get what they need to them since they are in another state.


Bettypants March 16, 2020 at 4:25 am

Wow, 98 and 96 and still in their own home. I am impressed.


Alexandra March 16, 2020 at 5:16 am

I work in the grocery industry. You might check if their local grocery store offers an online presence. They are typically a better deal than insta-cart and shipt as the store usually only charges a flat fee ($4.95 is common).
Shipt and Instacart have “no fee” but they tack on a convenience fee to EACH item. This can add up fast.


jacqueline ferrara March 19, 2020 at 9:05 am

Walmart offers delivery in many places (right now they’re only doing schedules out 2 days though due to the huge increase in demand). You can pay one fee for a year of deliveries for $98.00 or by the delivery for $4.95-9.95 depending on day and time. They DO NOT due an upcharge on their items like other stores do.
Also, Target owns Shipt – they also offer a one year for $99 and $0 for as many deliveries as needed – they typically have several stores they deliver from – Publix, Target, Costco, Harveys, Office Depot and more – you’d have to check your parents’ area. You can have deliveries made to more than one address which makes it nice – I do that for my son and us – he lives alone about 8 miles from us. Target prices on Shipt are the same as in the store however the other stores have an upcharge on many items. You can add additional items to your order within 1 hour of your delivery as well as you’ll have communication with your shopper so you can help them find substitutions if the item you want is out of stock. (Walmart does not offer this option – their employees do the shopping and they contract with Door Dash for their deliveries).
I hope you’re able to work things out for your family.

Here’s a link for Shipt at 50% off their yearly subscription – making it $49 for the year with no additional delivery charges.


Mary in Maryland March 15, 2020 at 12:06 pm

Fig jam- -blech. If I was starving on a desert island and someone offered me a fig newton, I’ say, “No, thanks, I just flossed.”
1. Pasta was 69 cents a pound last month. Got 20 pounds.
2. I also bought six 25 pound bags of grains and beans last month. Plenty to share.
3. A couple of Fridays ago, I was wild for eggplant Szechuan. Found a recipe online which scratched that itch.
4. I’ve given two Zoom dinner parties this past week. We set up our laptop to watch us eat and a couple of friends do so at their house. A lovely hour of adult conversation and no extra dishes.
5. I’m hoping to be picked by someone who’s freecycling whole wheat bread flour.
6. Plenty of time to quilt on fabric already in my possession.
7. Ran meeting for worship via Zoom this morning. I loved the Zoom tutorial I watched ahead of time. The Presbyterian minister in the video sent his peeps into their kitchens for the elements (bread and wine or water) and had them all hold up their bread element to be consecrated. Someone held up a pop tart.
8. We are staying home. For us, and to lower the chances of others becoming ill. However, I am taking the spaniels on long walks outdoors.


Kate March 15, 2020 at 6:46 pm

Your #7 made me smile – a poptart! My husband has A LOT of food issues, which our church thought they were solving by offering gluten-free bread at communion, but it has a bunch of things in it far worse for him than gluten. So, tucked in his pocket under his choir robe is his little container holding a bit of rice cake. I’m sure he’d prefer a poptart if it was safe! 🙂


Economically Proud March 15, 2020 at 12:16 pm

1. Staying home more than usual, stopped going to our local gym for a week or two
2. We are a homeschool family so even though all the local schools are shut down for weeks, we keep rolling on
3. Did not stock up, (could not afford to), We will practice using up what we have and getting creative if need be.
4. May read Laura Wilder’s A Long Winter to remind us that we can make it through almost anything
5. Will be visiting one of our children that goes to college out of state. We will pack our food and drinks for the ride there and back. We will also take stuff with us so we don’t use up all of their resources


cathy March 17, 2020 at 11:40 am

I love your #4. The Long Winter sounds like perfect reading!


Christine March 17, 2020 at 12:42 pm

Yes, The Long Winter would be perfect for inspiration to get us through these stressful times. I have re- read it when I’ve hit on particularly hard times and it definitely helps with regaining a can-do attitude!


Kathy March 15, 2020 at 12:32 pm

1. Just had a weekend away for hubby’s 71st. That’ll be the last of our adventures for sometime
2. Will re inventory what we have. I know we will need food.
3. eBay and Facebook sales have come to a screeching halt
4. My gigs have dried up for the meantime
5. Using this downtime to seriously dejunk


Lisa M. March 15, 2020 at 12:37 pm

5+FF: Spring is in Sight!

1. Finished 16/16 days of full-time work stretch. Now happily heading back to part-time. Because of the early start of spring, exceedingly busier than the same time frame the past 2 years.

2. Used a coupon for 2 huge burgers for $6 ($4.38 savings) & survey for free frozen custard ($2.29 savings) in amazing flavor (dark chocolate decadence) for a weeknight dinner to supplement small amount of left-over White Chili, part of my saving sanity strategy while temporarily working full-time. Completed next survey before even eating the food!

3. Speaking of the food front, it was beans again last weekend with regular chili. Feel I’m running out of time to fix all my regular soups & chilis, so capitalizing on final opportunities before the temps climb out of soup range. Next weekend: White Bean & Sausage Soup.

4. Mended one of my gloves which had sprouted a hole & a pair of work pants that had both leg hems coming undone.

5. Animal sitting for DD while she road trips to Florida with her roommates for spring break. The 3 girls are sharing expenses & staying with a grandparent in FL. We’re doing our parental frugal part by caring for DD’s cat & geckos, along with a roommate’s younger cat. The cats have been raised together, so have each other for emotional support during temporary housing. It’s the least I can do for the roommate who is providing the vehicle & housing. So happy for DD that she can experience spring break in FL economically.

6. More little things – picked up a card for my Dad’s upcoming birthday at Free Card last Friday; will pick up a card for my father-in-law’s birthday this Friday; utilized Aldi’s outstanding double guarantee when ultra-delicious cheese bagels turned moldy before the date on package – replacement & refund; after tax appointment went to restaurant chain we have eaten at for 23 years post-taxes using their $10 promo – burger, fries & pie with water & carting home left-overs, split pie for snack the next day & my remaining ½ burger was Monday’s lunch; found a penny while walking little dog after significant snow melt; missed out on last freebie through gas station rewards program (a one day limited duration but they had run out by the time I was there), so emailed them with idea for rain checks for time limited give away items & they credited my account for the free Oreos; took an enormous Asian sticky rice/yellow bean/pork roll from the freezer gifted by a client from a former job & cut it in 3 large pieces for 3 work lunches.


Em March 16, 2020 at 6:41 pm

I don’t mean to be rude, but I’m curious as to why people are encouraging /allowing travel and more exposure at this point. Especially staying with an elderly person. The safety of others is much more important than experiencing a frugal spring break.


Lisa M. March 17, 2020 at 12:13 pm

Em, you have a valid point. My entry was written between Katy’s posts of 3-2 & 3-15, so routine life & not state of emergency. I do it this way because otherwise I wouldn’t remember frugalities nearly as well. I typically have an ongoing entry & don’t compose after Katy has posted. In this case it was not real time due to the rapid change of events.


A. Marie March 15, 2020 at 12:59 pm

FFT, Accentuating the Positive Edition:

To be honest, peeps, it hasn’t been a great couple of weeks around here. DH seems to be entering a new, not-good stage of his Alzheimer’s, and I’m having to avoid looking at our investment accounts. (Paging the Ray Stevens song “The Streak” from the 1970s: ” ‘Don’t look, Ethel!’ But it was too late…”) Fine time I picked to declare full retirement in a few months. In the meanwhile, however, here’s what we’ve been doing right:

(1) As I’ve been keeping an adequate stockpile of essentials on hand ever since the Y2K scare at the turn of the millennium, I have not joined the hordes clearing the grocery shelves of anything and everything. I confess that I did swing into our local Wegmans Friday morning for some fruit–and, believe me, it wasn’t a pretty sight. I grabbed my apples and bananas and got out of there ASAP.

(2) I’ve telecommuted since 1984, so no change in how I work. My sympathies to all of you who are having to adjust to this–but trust me, it isn’t the end of the world. In fact, as a born introvert, I’ve thrived on it.

(3) As an in-home project for yesterday, I fished an elderly organic chicken out of the freezer that I bought at the Regional Market on markdown about a year ago. The vendor warned me about the chicken’s age (it was a laying hen well past its prime) and recommended a slow cooker. As I don’t own one and don’t intend to, I fished out a Martha Stewart recipe for chicken stock that involves oven-searing the chicken and then simmering it for 3-4 hours. (Yes, I do sometimes take Martha seriously.) It needed about 4.5 hours, but came out falling apart at the joints and utterly delicious. Even supermarket organic chicken isn’t this good.

(4) I’m currently using some of the chicken, plus some of the excellent stock, to make a chicken and winter veg soup.

(5) And we’re still hanging laundry on our Antiques Roadshow-worthy laundry racks indoors and doing all of the usual stuff. Plus which, it’s been gloriously sunny (though cold) today, so the solar panels should be doing their bit for us. We keep on keeping on.


Heidi Louise March 15, 2020 at 1:31 pm

Oh, Ethel! I will have to keep that image in mind as I try to decide on a healthy pattern for looking at our retirement investments. Or not doing so.


Kathy March 15, 2020 at 2:20 pm

I loved the analogy from The Streaker to investments performance or lack of.
April 1 starts the 20% decrease in hubby’s work week and pay. Having him home an additional day will make me cray cray

My take on the virus and the economy is “brace yourselves is going to be a bumpy ride”


MB in MN March 15, 2020 at 4:34 pm

So sorry for your husband’s decline. Your humor and positive outlook are intact and that’s a good thing. This “stranger” will be holding you close to my heart in the time ahead.


Christine March 15, 2020 at 4:41 pm

A.Marie, I had to chuckle at your #3…my daughter’s sister-in-law is Cambodian and she makes a dish popular in Cambodia that specifically calls for “old” chicken. When my daughter first described it to me I thought she meant chicken that had started to turn bad but no…the chicken used in the recipe needs to be from an older chicken to make the meat tougher. Apparently it’s pretty tasty.


kathleen March 15, 2020 at 9:49 pm

I know looking at investment account statements make one’s stomach drop as much as their account values. But try to remember that is a picture of the value on that day. You only lose real money if you have to sell while the value is down. At our age, it is scary, especially since you are ending your job soon and your husband has special needs. Let’s hope that this Covid 19 season will end with the warmer weather like cold/flu season. If it does, the market will come back. And you have excellent frugal habits. Take heart. Many are praying for you and care.


Bee March 16, 2020 at 9:46 am

I send my love and positive thoughts as you and DH fight this insidious disease. Also, I hope this crazy, economic response to the corona virus will right itself before you retire.


Patricia Koernig March 17, 2020 at 2:26 am

Sending you love, A. Marie.


tracy March 17, 2020 at 11:37 am

A. Marie, sending love. It’s a really tough time already with your DH’s Health situation, even without a pandemic and economic free fall.


sea March 20, 2020 at 8:07 am

Your #3 gave me a chuckle — that’s a lot of personal information to know about that chicken! I’m one of those animal lovers who eat meat, but don’t like to think about where it actually comes from (I know, I know).


Lindsey March 15, 2020 at 3:07 pm

Marie, I am so sorry that your husband is entering a new stage of his illness. If good thoughts and wishes are of any help, judging from all the supportive comments, this site has your back.

1. A friend stopped by to pick up piles of newspaper she wants for packing. She brought a huge jar of popcorn as a thanks, so we are having that for snacks for the foreseeable future.
2. At the grocery store, as the bagger was putting in a five pound bag of flour, he ripped the top open. The cashier pulled out some tape and securely closed the bag and then gave it to me for free!
3. Stopped by my volunteer gig to find that someone had brought in a bag of pistachio nuts with a note: “I thought these were unshelled but they are not. I hate shelling nuts so these are free for the taking.” It was the end of the day, the only employee remaining didn’t want them so I took them home. Too lazy to shell?? While watching the dismal news, husband shelled the entire bag so now I have a bag of shelled pistachios in the freezer, so they don’t get rancid before I figure out how I want to use them.
4. The library is going to close as part of the corona virus precautions, so we stopped by and picked up 10 books. That was the limit. I don’t know if these precautions are an over-reaction, but if the government did nothing and the virus killed off thousands, I would be mad that they had done nothing so even if it is overly cautious, I am good with it. I suppose it is sort of like being effective at stopping terrorist actions before they happen—if your efforts do keep down terrorist strikes, the public will never really know how bad it could have been and they will wonder why we are paying for doing the job when something that never happens.
5. The grocery store had potatoes at the unbelievable price of 69 cents a pound, so we bought 20 pounds.
6. Have used up canned and frozen vegetables and today started on the dehydrated stuff. I get this Little House on the Prairie thrill when we use the food I harvested last August to feed us in the winter. That is on top of the money it saves us all year long. I need to remind myself of this feeling when I am starting hundreds of leek seeds next week for transplanting in June.


GoddessTantra March 15, 2020 at 3:56 pm

I agree, my sales are tiny atm, I’m hopeful though, love you work xo


laura March 15, 2020 at 4:15 pm

Five frugal things
1. Decided to be unfrugal and attend local businesses to spend my money this weekend. All hygiene precautions taken but I don’t want to see them all go under. (Note I’m in Australia and we are not in lock down yet)
2. Cleaned out the pantry to list meals we have. Cooked what I could in advance. Work in health and expect it to be busy so don’t want to fuss for food
3. Continued knitting on projects for gifts
4. Skyped a friend for her to look through clothes I am looking to pass on and made a pile of what she wanted
5. Scheduled bills and expenditure for next few months so we can cash roll it as required. Using the list to keep eye out for bargains or competitive quotes.


I. March 15, 2020 at 4:24 pm

Try that fig jam on crackers with goat cheese (or cream cheese). That’s been a big hit here!


Christine March 15, 2020 at 4:25 pm

1. Our mattress pad developed many holes on it’s top (sleeping) side. I had decided it was time for a new one and had washed it before recycling it.Taking it down from the clothesline, I noticed the intact rough material underside didn’t feel as scratchy as it looked. I put it back on the mattress with the underside up and put a sheet over it. We slept great on it and didn’t notice any difference.
2. Our local library is closed for at least two weeks but I managed to get there on the last day it was open to pick up two books- Where the Crawdads Sing and The Body by Bill Bryson. Their programs are cancelled or postponed so no free quality entertainment for now. Ditto that for our church. Best to keep everyone safe as possible, especially the vulnerable population.
3. I needed a gift bag for granddaughter’s birthday presents but didn’t have one so I used red and white striped Christmas paper and plain white ribbon I dug out.
4. Staying home more has saved us in gas money so there’s a small silver lining to all this.
5. Fresh air is free and we’ve been getting a lot of it on walks and hikes.
Stay safe and healthy everyone!


Lindsey March 16, 2020 at 11:24 am

Loved The Body. Bryson can make anything funny and interesting!


MB in MN March 15, 2020 at 4:29 pm

1. Used my local shoe repair shop to extend the life of three pairs of expensive boots, including two for my husband’s work.

2. Was gifted birdseed by my sister-in-law. And the cardinals found it!

3. Went to a local discount food store for the first time. Bought 11 bunches of asparagus for $10. Roasted some, steamed some for dipping in aioli and putting in frittatas; the rest was blanched/chopped/frozen for later enjoyment in soup, stir-fries, etc.

4. This is a truly privileged one: Cancelled trip to France to visit my niece who is coming home early from studying abroad. We’re both disappointed (and I’m relieved) but we plan to substitute a U.S. adventure together whenever it is safe to travel again. Trying to stay calm and strong until she actually gets home; her journey from southern France starts Tuesday morning.

5. Made the mistake of purchasing activated charcoal toothpaste. Unless you have an all-black bathroom, I would not recommend brushing with black toothpaste!

Katy, I’ll buy your fig jam! I love it. And I know I have a recipe if you wish to disguise it in something, but I’m so distracted I can’t think of what it is right now.


Texasilver March 15, 2020 at 4:48 pm

1. Went on my SB trip that was paid for with airline voucher & miles.
2. Donated a unit of blood & got 2 free movie tickets.
3. Ate frozen food from storage in freezer. Spent little in Florida on SB.
4. Bought a new king size electric blanket for $21 in Florida. These rarely go on sale in Texas & I have yet to find one in a resale store. We get some cold weather in TX so it will come in handy. Toted it home in the plane cabin.
5. Now that I am home I have to go to work to figure out how to finish instruction for the term. The college forbade students on campus but required faculty to report. I’m healthy so that is frugal. (Dislosure: I have been a nurse > 40 yrs. Not to sound cavalier but the COVID 19 is just another disease to me.) If you don’t read another post from me then you know I should not have been cavalier.


janine March 15, 2020 at 5:02 pm

1. Found a penny – they are rare around here!
2. Went to 1/2 price book store where they were running a 50% off sale with coupon; got some escape reading materials
3. Like many poster have myriad of home projects to keep us busy in the coming shutdown of almost everything in MN.
4. They include lots of cleaning., cooking and baking projects
5. We arrived home from a Fla. vacation – DH needed operation. Put lots of necessary tasks on hold. Very glad we got home before all the craziness we are hearing about on the news today!


Ava March 15, 2020 at 7:04 pm

1. Saved .25 a gal on gas with supermarket points.
2. Found a nickel.
3. Saved $5 on groceries with a credit card rebate.
4. Needed a frame for a painting I did for a class. Spent 2.50 for a framed picture in Goodwill. Painted the frame black and used it on my painting. The frame came with glass which I don’t need on the painting, but which is the right size to replace broken glass on another picture I need to reframe.
5. Husband saved $140 on a prescription by asking the pharmacy to call to see why his discount card from the drug company was not automatically being applied.
6. Mostly staying home and that is always a money saver. We are not wearing masks and hoarding toilet paper, but we are both old and diseased, putting us into the high risk group, so just being extra cautious.


Ruby March 15, 2020 at 8:17 pm

1. Used a $5 coupon at Ace Hardware to get a nearly free bag of dog biscuits safe for our little dog with many food allergies. They are locally made too!
2. Realized I was not wearing the marvelously comfortable Merrell sneakers bought on a screaming deal sale last year because the laces won’t stay tied. Replaced them with bungee laces for $5.99 and I have happy feet.
3. Sold two old cell phones and their chargers to a local store. Did my research beforehand and what we netted was $5 better than I expected. Turned an iPhone 4 with no resale value into a music player for the kitchen and sewing room. All this cost was about $12 to buy a new charging cord and a small external speaker to boost the sound. It’s really nice to have free music of my choosing instead of whatever the radio can pick up.
4. Sadly discovered that our local bread outlet has permanently closed, so I went to Aldi to stock up on sandwich bread for 15 cents a loaf more. This worked out well as far as errands went because Aldi is near Ollie’s Outlet, where I was already going to buy 80 pounds of cat litter for $20 and tax.
5. Did not do any crazy stocking up or hoarding because we couldn’t afford it (I am still trying to find a job) and really didn’t need it. As frugal people, we were well enough stocked in the freezer and pantry with previous sales that Saturday’s grocery trip just the usual plus cold meds, as our house guest and son both have a plain old cold.


kathleen March 15, 2020 at 9:27 pm

Wish I lived next door to you, Katy. I would trade you good stuff for that fig jam!

1. I work in a two-person office without a lot of traffic. Unless I actually get sick, I doubt I will miss any work.
2. Husband worked 2 extra days to cover for a co-worker who had to be out for a pre-planned reason.
3. Habitually keep a well-stocked pantry and freezer.
4. We have a water well, so no need to buy plastic bottles of water.
5. After all the hype about toilet paper shortages, I thought maybe I should check our supply. Five rolls in the master bath. Three rolls in the half bath. JACKPOT!…forty-eight rolls in the guest bath cabinet…purchased on sale months ago and stored out of sight and mind! Can’t ‘wipe’ the smile off my face over THAT discovery.


Lindsay B March 16, 2020 at 1:49 am

1. Decided to add waxing/polishing my leather boots to my list of monthly tasks, hopefully extending their life. I use a homemade polish of 50/50 olive oil and beeswax, melted together in a jar placed in a shallow pan of water then cooled. Also use it for lip balm and a decadent hand butter!

2. Should have a recurring mending item for FFT. This week, mended some yoga pants and a holey wool sock. Went to mend the acetate lining of a wool coat and discovered it was falling apart in multiple places and beyond mending. May have to consider a tailor to make a new lining for me as I’m not sure it can be repaired.

3. Made a list of pantry items to work on eating: excessive amounts of green curry sauce, popcorn kernels, mustard powder, a can of sardines, a sweet potato. Have been slowly working on using them. (this was pre-COVID-19, ha)

4. Post-COVID-19, DH and I reassessed our pantry and made a spreadsheet of our current supplies, and made a sort of game out of rationing our “total goodness units” by week to avoid eating only rice and beans if we have to avoid grocery stores for a month (unlikely but possible). We live in Norway and DH will be working from home for at least a month. We live near countryside and forest trails so can take long walks for sunshine and sanity. Otherwise, we will be checking in with other expats we know and making sure everyone is doing ok, both with supplies and mentally. So surreal.

5. Have made lists of the tasks that always get put off to work on during time at home. This list also includes naps.


Elizabeth March 16, 2020 at 3:12 am

1. We got two bags of books from the library to see us through the next few weeks…just in case our library shuts down.
2. My mom dropped off milk, sour cream, and eggs for us from her stockpile because the stores were packed and I refuse to pay Dollar General prices for those items. My mom is wonderful! I babysit my autistic sister often for her so she insists on no reimbursement, but I cram the money in her purse anyways:)
3. My husband switched to a new credit card company to maximize cash back rewards on his business trips. Not sure if it will payoff this year due to travel restrictions??
4. I bookmarked lots of free educational sites to try out with my kids during the school shutdown. We homeschool anyways, but free and new is always nice.
5. Enjoyed a cookout with my extended family before the quarantines started and received a nice goody bag from my sister that included a large Reese’s egg…it will not last long!


Bee March 16, 2020 at 5:01 am

The last two weeks have been very strange! Life was moving along as usual and BOOM everything is different. I hope everyone is safe and stays well. Here are my FFTs from the last couple of weeks.
1. Before the pandemic, my resale business was going well. I sold sold 13 items on eBay during the first 10 days of March, but I haven’t sold anything since. I have a small backlog of items that I will list this week while home. I am hoping people will get bored and shop on line.

The vintage market that I participate in twice a year – spring and fall – has been cancelled by the city. I had purchased vintage Easter and garden items for this sale. Many are not appropriate for eBay. They are too big and heavy to ship. I suppose I will list them on marketplace.
2. At the end of the month, my sister is moving from South Florida to a house near me. I drove down last week to help her pack. ( So glad that I decided not to fly under the circumstances.) She gave me several pieces of clothing and some items for resale. I love her dearly, but we are different in some ways.

I rescued many things from the garbage and pack them into the boxes that will be picked up by charity. Things such as pots, pans, baskets and velvet covered hangers. All in excellent condition and still usable. I have tried to change her perspective on this for years.
3. When I came home from my trip, I inventoried my freezer and pantry. I made a 3-week food plan and headed to the grocery store. I had to alter my plan slightly and go to two other stores because of shortages. Besides being out of TP and cleaning supplies – which I thankfully had – the stores were out of or low on – eggs, chicken, spinach, carrots, potatoes, honey, cheese, dairy items, and bacon. I have never really seriously thought about the possibility of being effected by food shortages before. However, I was still able to stay in budget!!!!
4. My niece is putting in a pool. Since she would no longer have a place for it, she gave me her outdoor furniture. It’s lovely and I really needed it. My son moved it for me. I took them to lunch
5. I have a list of things to do around the house and hope to lay low for the next couple of weeks. I will read books on my bookshelf, declutter, spring clean and garden.

My thoughts and prayers are with all financially impacted by the COVID-19. I haven’t been this worried since 2008.


Mary in VA March 17, 2020 at 5:29 am

Bee, I’m the same way about rescuing things from the garbage. It drives me crazy when perfectly good things get put in the trash. Even if an item requires some TLC first, I’m happy to do it. Then I turn around and donate it. It gives me such a good feeling to know the item will go to someone who loves it, and will also make money for the thrift store.


K D March 16, 2020 at 6:03 am

Just about everything is cancelled/closed in the mid-Atlantic region.

1. We cancelled a trip to see my mom, in the Midwest. It would have involved flying and then three hours of driving from the airport. We were not sure we’d be allowed in to see her, as every day the restrictions on assisted living visitors are tightened. It turned out to be a good decision because the day we were to arrive they limited visiting to just the main contact person. It’s sad but it did save us the cost of the hotel and rental car (for now). Southwest will let us use the value of our air fare for up to a year (from purchase date).

2. Even though it is early in the morning I just made a big pot of lentil soup. It used up carrots I’d sliced and frozen previously, before they went bad, as well as other food items I had on hand. It will be good for lunches for the next several days.

3. Our library system is closed for at least two weeks but I have a few ebooks and physical books borrowed from them, as well as some books picked up from Little Free Libraries that I have not read. We have Netflix and Hulu subscriptions.

4. I will work in the yard and walk in our neighborhood. I will make sure I communicate with those I would normally see. This will be a good time to get more done around the house. I have been cleaning out and shredding old files. I should be able to consolidate a file box in the basement with the files in my filing cabinet when I am done.

5. I am focusing on what is still right in the world. My husband will get paid whether he works from home or goes to the office. We generally have more than enough food and other supplies on hand. This event should not impact the availability of electricity and running water. I am (just) over 60 but healthy. I may not enjoy doing yoga and Pilates at home alone but I am able to do them and can use online videos as a guide. One of the yoga teachers at the studio where I takes classes is going to return to working as an ER nurse because she feels compelled to help as she can. I feel she is a real hero and I’m lucky to have her in my life. A friend has just stepped back into working as an urgent care doctor, after a hiatus. There are a lot of good people in this world.

I’m hoping and praying everyone survives this without too much pain and suffering. As I’ve been telling people, I’ll see you on the other side.


LB March 16, 2020 at 6:42 am

Sending anti-anxiety hugs to all in this weird, uncertain time–and I’m feeling particularly grateful for this community of resourceful, practical people!

1. Since it’s irresponsible to visit our elderly parents or friends right now, we packed up all of our souvenirs for them in re-purposed packaging to mail out. As long as the US mail is running, we can safely get them some gifts! It did a lot to lift our spirits as well.

2. Already accumulated a good base of beans, coconut milk, rice/pasta, etc from a few strong grocery shops in the past month, so our only pre-isolation purchases were fresh produce from a stand around the corner. They are supplied all by local farmers within driving distance, meaning they will likely never close–and I love supporting them.

3. I swapped a bunch of books with friends before we all got shut-in. Looking forward to tearing through the second and third books in the Crazy Rich Asians series, then watching the movie…possibly all in the same night?

4. Excited to utilize streaming workout services from my gym and also from Daily Burn, which offered a free 60-day trial through Groupon. I haven’t started mine yet but I’m very interested. Now, to find the space in a one-bedroom apartment with both inhabitants working from home (and two cats VERY thrilled about their humans being around 24/7)

5. I know this isn’t necessarily frugal, but I feel like it’s in the scope of this group–we have been purchasing gift cards to our favorite bars and restaurants as a “pay now, use later” sort of scheme. Their margins are razor-thin and are now being mandated to shut down (for good reason). Buying gift cards online–I’ve been doing $20 each–means that they will still be there for us when this all blows over. Plus, good karma doesn’t hurt.

Stay safe everyone!


cathy March 17, 2020 at 12:07 pm

I follow an Instagram account called @the_shopkeepers. Usually they post photos of the storefronts of cute shops (I’m always looking for window display ideas). Now, though, they’re actively encouraging people to support small businesses, and one of the ways is exactly what you’re doing: buy gift cards (for yourself or others) now to spend later. Local shops in my town are encouraging their customers to do the same–indie bookstore, small cafes and restaurants, boutiques. It’s a great idea.


Cindy in South March 16, 2020 at 6:52 am

1. Jury trials were cancelled, we are only talking to folks through the glass window at office, we are only doing emergency court hearings, and church services in my denomination were cancelled world wide. So, it is frugal to try to prevent from spreading the virus. 2. I walked in my neighborhood and spoke to my neighbor at an appropriate social distancing. 3. I took a nap. 4. I ate from my food I had at the house, I always stay stocked for about three months worth because of living in the boonies. So, I didn’t have to deal with the crowds. 5. I am helping financially, my grown kids who have already been laid off as chefs when the restaurant temporarily closed down, construction projects were abandoned etc. It is what it is.


Jenelle March 16, 2020 at 7:21 am

1. We are taking this virus seriously, but I am also trying to live our live as normal as possible so not to totally scare our kids. We are being vigilant and washing our hands and sanitizing but not limiting EVERYTHING we do. We still play outside, we still went to the park and got ice cream. Until total isolation is mandated, we will continue to live cautiously. I also want to make sure that we support some of the local businesses during this time.
2. Over the weekend we used two gift cards from Barnes & Nobles (that the kids got for Christmas) for the kids to pick out a few new books. We then went to the Goodwill for them to get even more books. I’m appalled at the price of new books!! I found the same books at the Goodwill for 99 cents!
3. Utilized all of the free instructional materials floating around the internet to provide my Daisy troop with a few badges they can earn while we are not able to hold meetings.
4. We are always stock piled with food and essentials, so no unnecessary shopping trips.
5. I’m trying the money only method. It really works!!


Roberta March 16, 2020 at 7:59 am

I did some stocking up on Thursday, and finally realized just how crazy things are. I needed tp (it happens, in the normal course of events), but refused to stand in the 2-hour line at my Costco. I bought cheese, more cheese, and sour cream. I did eventually find a couple of packages at a second store. I regret not buying the tp online when I had the chance, but I didn’t want to spend the extra for shipping and surcharge. I will not be subbing, since schools are closed, but my husband will still be paid, so I am grateful.

1. I had already been eating down the pantry, so I’ve been spending some time in stores, stocking up on things we’ve diminished. I am making menu plans for things we have in abundance. Fortunately, the chickens are laying and our weeds are being successful, so we can eat eggs, nettle and purslane as fresh food, as well as citrus from our trees.
2. We hit the library Friday night, right after school got canceled. We also ate out that night, since it will be our last chance for a while. We came home with a huge basket of paper books for the duration, in addition to whatever e-books we borrow. We only have two phones to read books on, for four people.
3. We went for a long walk yesterday, because we had a break in the rain and we want to stave off cabin fever. We passed a couple people on the trail, but we kept good social distance.
4. We are looking at these extra weeks off school as a gift, to accomplish things we usually are too busy to do. My daughter will practice French, which she studied last semester, but has been ignoring since. My husband and I will be doing a lot of decluttering and posting to ebay. I’m hopeful that things for keeping kids busy (Legos and games) will sell well.
5. And, doing the usual: washing laundry on days it’s not raining, so I can hang it out, avoiding food waste, not buying things for amusement.


Betta from daVille March 16, 2020 at 9:05 am

1) My college closed down for 3 weeks (we couldn’t move online because we are a culinary school) and they canceled our summer break to make up for the loss of time. As such we have canceled/postponed a trip to Seattle for my birthday (we have airline vouchers and airbnb had full cancellation. Will save a lot of money there.
2) The annual professional conference that I attend was canceled. Even though I am reimbursed, there is still a few out-of-pocket expenses. Will save some money there.
3) Our annual summer vacation will have to be greatly reduced in length. Will save a lot of money there.
4) My partner loves to eat out, but since there is a ban, even if we occasionally get delivered food, we will save on alcohol and tips.
5) We have gone through our fridge and inventoried food that should be used first, and are looking up the 19th recipe (Covid-19 inspired) in each of our cookbooks to try something new. Today we made cream scones to use up the heavy cream that we had had for a dinner party before this all started, tonight is Indonesian chicken soup, to use up lemongrass and ginger, and tomorrow is a green olive and ricotta ravioli, to use us the last of the ricotta…. The one nice thing as a result of all of this is the great creativity that folks have.


nancy March 16, 2020 at 10:17 am

Fig Jam rescue…heat it in a small saucepan, adding water as needed to get it as liquid as possible, mashing as you go. Strain it (forcibly push if needed) through a fine mesh colander to remove all the “crunchy/gooey” stuff. Put the strained sauce back in the saucepan and cook it down until thick (if needed add cornstarch) Now you have a sweet basting sauce for grilled chicken or kabobs!


Bee March 16, 2020 at 1:15 pm



Isa March 16, 2020 at 10:57 am

*pretty much everything is closed here because of Covid (schools, all public places except for stores and restaurants, gyms, libraries, etc) so we are keeping really quiet at home, passing the time with (borrowed) books, walks, crafts, etc
* I had started a freezer/pantry challenge at the beginning of the month and I am sticking to it amidst the general panic in grocery stores in regards to stocking up. I’m going the opposite way. We are also eating less meat at the moment, and more beans, in order to stay on budget.
* We are still using (very part-time, as a second car) the 2004 Echo. Those cars are indestructible!
* I had a piece of metal sticking from under said-Echo. Went to the garage to ask what it was, then came back home and “fixed” it myself with a bungee cord. Not spending anything on that car anymore.
* I’ve been compulsively reading since the beginning of the year (reading challenge) and I’m very happy with my library system. I am sad that it’s temporary closed right now, but very happy to have books from them, but also from various free piles. I would be very unhappy without books to read! (I don’t like the digital ones). And it’s a free hobby, yay!

Have a great frugal day!


Kim March 16, 2020 at 11:08 am

Maybe you can heat up the jam (so it thins) and use it as a mix-in for oatmeal?


Lisa M. March 16, 2020 at 7:27 pm

I think your idea has potential. Some of the odd consistency of the jam could be absorbed by the oatmeal, making it more palatable while flavoring the oatmeal at the same time.


Nancy from mass March 16, 2020 at 2:47 pm

Everyone stay safe and healthy out there!
1. Did a little bit of shopping to stock up on some extra stuff last week. I didn’t need any toilet paper but I did end up buying about 45 cans of cat food to tide me over with the kittens for at least three weeks. The grocery stores have been crazy, so when I have gone and I’ve walked up and down some of the files to see what people have bought.
2. We’ve been sent home to work for at least two weeks and maybe longer. I don’t think we’re going back until May 1. At least I won’t need any gasoline.
3. Since I’m working at home, that gives me extra time to be able to knit and embroider and paint and Crosstitch and needle point. I hope to finish a few things before I go back into the office to work
4. My French classes that I Take in Providence have been switch to online only. It’ll be different but at least I won’t have to drive in and out of Providence every Saturday now.
5. DS thought that maybe we should buy more food, but we definitely have enough food to last us three or four weeks. If nothing else, it’ll be an excuse to give the freezer and cupboards a good cleaning and emptying out.


Em March 16, 2020 at 7:02 pm

1. Had a group of family in last weekend for a surprise proposal. Under the circumstances, we mostly kept to ourselves in the mountain house, played games, cooked, and hiked. Ended up being a much more frugal weekend than most expected. I’m feeling guilty they all traveled so far to come celebrate, but thankful they are all home safe.

2. Did a reasonable amount of grocery shopping. I have planned meals/ prepped/frozen items all to make sure We have healthy things for the next few weeks. I may have to do one more grocery pickup. My Income has taken a hit and trying to spend very little at this time.

3. Filled up our gas tanks at 1.85 per gallon, which will remain full for a long time as we are working from home.

4. We are flattening that curve over here, and enjoying a Staycation engagement-moon. Cooking, organizing, diying, and walking the dog. It is very frustrating to me as a healthcare provider to see people not understanding the seriousness of this situation. I plan on staying home as long as possible, and wish others would look at the bigger picture outside of themselves and do the same.


Bee March 17, 2020 at 3:17 am

Congratulations on your engagement!


Em March 17, 2020 at 8:05 pm

Thank you!!


Bethany M March 16, 2020 at 9:33 pm

Well, I did stick up on groceries. Three kids depend on me, so I did so reasonably and responsibly. The financial hit wasn’t too bad, and bonus we have toilet paper.

We took our probably one and only chance to see Disneyland. We had some friends of friends that work there and got us in as a favor to our friends. It was a blast. Got in right before they closed for two weeks and then we’ve sequestered in case we picked up a CV souvenir. We would have rescheduled, but doing so might have kissed our one and only chance goodbye.

And yeah not driving anywhere. Arranged for Spanish and piano lessons to be done through FaceTime.

Given a Disney+ Subscription which has been fun.


Anne March 17, 2020 at 9:01 am

I realize it’s a typo but I love the “stick up on groceries”. It rather sounds like you got the toilet paper at gunpoint. Just struck me funny.


Bethany m March 17, 2020 at 3:06 pm
Mand01 March 17, 2020 at 4:44 am

1. Preparing my garden for autumn veggies. It’s calming and practical.
2. We are mostly living out of our vegetable patch right now in terms of fresh veggies. I love that. It will stop soon, but it makes me happy.
3. Cooked a big chicken. Got three dinners out of it.
4. Just trying to do as much work as I possibly can before the country goes into lockdown and there will be no more work available for my business. Preparing mentally and financially to have reduced freelance income over the next few months. I’m assuming there will be less call from business for people like me. Making sure today to invoice everyone that I’ve worked for lately.


KJD509 March 17, 2020 at 3:15 pm

Mand, I’m in a similar business (though not freelance) and we are slammed right now. Seems like places want to put out calls for proposals so there will be plenty of work lined up once things are back to normal. I hope it stays comfortably busy for you as well.


Mand01 March 17, 2020 at 5:44 pm

Thank you, I hope so too. It really does depend on my clients I guess, and whether they feel comfortable spending their cash reserves on bidding for new work right now.


Alexandra March 17, 2020 at 6:44 am

1. Worked all weekend at grocery store helping with online grocery shopping (all grocery stores biz in this dept is up like crazy) and also cleaning/sanitizing in store. I was traveling to help and appalled at the behavior of folks in this area. No one taking it seriously. I left as soon as I could. Did not take advantage of free breakfast except one waffle because too much closeness from other patrons. It was empty when I made my waffle.
The maid who sneezed in her hand and then wiped on her trousers next to me on the elevator made me realize they don’t care here.
2. Day 2 off. My company, a grocery store business, trying to make sure we are taking time off so don’t get too run down. I am cooking and inventorying freezer, fridge and pantry.
3. Looking at ways to stretch meat as that is what we are lowest on. Did a trick I read about from depression-era cooking. I added cooked lentils and pinto beans (1/2 cup each) to leftover pot roast and gravy. Meat all chopped up. Topped with mashed potatoes for “cottage pie”. Did add extra Worcestershire sauce. No one noticed the beans. Really stretched out the “beefiness”!
4. Making a list of things to do while staying in: remove pots and pans and clean that cabinet, empty out pantry and clean shelves, reading cookbooks for ideas for meals, cleaning blinds, DH putting up crown molding (yes!), YouTube video exercise, helping mom and neighbors via phone and internet.
5. I would recommend everyone switch to online grocery shopping. It is a much safer, easier way to shop for the customer AND the staff. Chick fil A closed their doors and are only doing pick up and delivery. I think this is the direction we will see many businesses go.


Christine March 17, 2020 at 12:58 pm

Thanks for your recommendation about grocery shopping on line. I work at a small business deli/grocery/ethnic food store but cannot get everything I need there. Wishing you well. Stay healthy.
P.S. As for that lady who sneezed into her hand and proceeded to wipe it on her pants…eeeewwww…and shame on her in these troubling times. Good reminder to keep washing/sanitizing our hands to keep our most vulnerable fellow human beings safe.


Julie March 17, 2020 at 4:07 pm

1-Took advantage of the local little free library and picked up a few books because I am pretty sure I will get sick of watching TV, also dropped off what I was done with so others can have fresh material. Very happy with the awesome online offerings of my library as the physical library is closed until at April 5th.  
2-Our province declared a state of emergency today so we all need to be smart and limit going out in public. All schools/daycare, restaurants and public places have closed.  Since I rarely shop online I see a lot of savings ahead.
3-We are one of the lucky families as both DH can work at home with no financial impact. I do not take this for granted and have connected with my family members to see how we can help them though this.
4-I worry most about my very elder in laws and am grateful that at 93 my FIL uses an iPad so we can still see them even if we cannot be with them.  
5-Using this time to purge and have posted a number of old toys and games to give away. Not frugal for us but good for the parent that has something new to entertain their kids and I am very happy to get to tasks that free up space.    


Jennifer March 17, 2020 at 5:27 pm

We are out of school, likely for the rest of the school year, but we will both get paid. All extra income has ceased though as sports are canceled. Loss of income expected to be $7-8000 – which was going to pay our dd’s college tuition in the fall. Not sure how we will scrape it together, but we will figure something out.

1. Did major stocking up. I really focused on looking at what I had and buying ingredients that would allow me to make more meals.
2. I cleaned and organized the pantry, freezer is up next.
3. I did have to make an emergency run to dd’s college 4.5 hours away to pick her up and move her home. Long day and money spent on gas and food. But she is home and now with not going anywhere, costs should be extremely low. Plus, I now have her medicine kit at home and all her cleaning supplies. And random snacks that the other kids pounced on.
4. Started watching the Marvelous Ms Maizel on Amazon Prime to help pass the time at home and going on lots of long walks.
5. Dishwasher is acting up, dh trying to repair himself. Frugal if it works but it seems to be the year of appliance repair/replace and this would be #4 in 5 months. Fingers crossed he figures it out.
6. Really refocusing on our garden this year and trying to think through why things haven’t been growing (animals and lack of sun) and taking steps to fix that. I am worried about long term food supple.


Gina March 18, 2020 at 4:33 am

In the midst of this crisis, I’ve still found a few ways to save:
1. A friend of ours was decluttering her Tupperware cupboard. I looked thru her stuff and got 4 new things for our house.
2. I moved our little dog’s grooming out 2 weeks as he really didn’t need it at that time, thus prolonged that spending.
3. DD2 needed a long-sleeved shirt to go under a tshirt. Looked in clearance in women’s but didn’t find anything. Looked in men’s and found a small one to fit her for $5. But when we got to the register, it rang up for $2!! Better deal….it was just a black shirt.
4. DH got transferred to a different work station much closer to home saving him 25 minutes commute time each way, saving lots of time, gas & mileage.
5. Mother-in-law got a whole bunch of pint milk and bread that she couldn’t use & passed it along to us and my sister-in-law. We will definitely use it!
6. A neighbor was giving away a free foosball table online. I responded & we went and picked it up last night. It is made of heavy wood & in excellent shape. Youngest DD and I played many games on it last night and had lots of laughter & fun.


ouvickie March 22, 2020 at 12:38 pm

As far as saving money, that part isn’t happening at my house right now. We are spending more on groceries and utilities, since my daughter and grandkids are staying with us for awhile. However, it is helping her to save money and we are socially distancing as a family.
1) We are eating meals at home. Leftovers are definitely being eaten up.
2) We decided to take a drive to the Wichita Wildlife refuge, so we packed sandwiches, chips, snacks and drinks and spent the day seeing the sights on the drive and enjoying fresh air, when we got out to stretch our legs.
3) I’m working remotely, since our Campus is closed, so no fuel cost on my part for work.
4) My daughter is helping me declutter my bedrooms/closets.
5) I’m so thankful for the Overdrive app. I just finished one book and downloaded two more.


rose March 25, 2020 at 3:13 pm

Sending support and caring. Assume you are working a lot. HOPE it is labor&delivery and that you are highly totally isolated from the other stuff at the hospital.
Assuming you are super busy. Hoping you all are safe and healthy. Even a 3 word post would be nice to see as encouraging.
I am in a early adopter location for shutdown. Prayers for all!
I have known you since way back in The Compact Days …. So proud of you and all you have influenced.


Vanessa March 26, 2020 at 9:39 pm

Bryan’s bowl is my favorite!


Jill A March 28, 2020 at 3:24 am

Starting round no. 2 of my frugal fives. Trying to be hard core frugal.

1. Used grocery rewards to buy ice cream and only spent 99 cents.
2. Also used a redbox code to rent a movie spending only 89 cents.
3. I’m running out of liquid hand soap from washing hands so often. I made liquid soap by grating one free bar soap and melting in 9 cups of water water.
4. Staying home and cooking and baking all meals except for one hot n ready pizza. Substituting foods as needed when I don’t have the ingredient.
5. Bathed the dog at home in the bathtub.

Frugal fail – the dog had what appeared to be a UTI. My regular vet was closed for cleaning so had to take her to the emergency vet where they prayed on my fear and recommended a bunch of test costing me $1274. Looks to be a simple UTI as I originally thought. Why do I let them do this to me?


Lisa M. March 28, 2020 at 6:53 am

Jill A. – The experience at the emergency vet = price gouging. They are taking advantage of vet office closures during the virus crises to capitalize on their money making opportunities. They should be making accommodations during the crisis by offering pared-down options/costs for routine, nonemergent care & offering creative financing like payment plans, etc. due to the unavailability of standard care. I would search for a licensing board who regulates veterinary care in your state & submit a complaint regarding what equals price gouging for routine care in the midst of a crisis where most vet offices are closed. Ethically totally unacceptable. This could potentially help scores of pet owners avoid price gouging.


Bethany M March 28, 2020 at 3:21 pm

Hey ya’ll! Just curious how you are all doing with life. It’s a beautiful day here and perfect weather. How are you?


Patricia Koernig March 29, 2020 at 2:06 am

Hanging in there, Bethany! Staying frugal, hopeful, and cautious. Visiting with my blogging “friends” is helpful.
Be well everyone. Stay safe.


Christine March 29, 2020 at 7:28 am

Hi Beth,
All is well at our house in south central Massachusetts. We’ve been staying healthy so far, trying to follow the CDC’s guidelines and the directions of our state Governor Baker. Yesterday was beautiful and quite warm. DH and I went for a walk carefully using social distancing with other walkers. Living the frugal life is not so very different for us. We stay at home anyway to stay on the frugal track…now it’s a matter of keeping everyone safe. Take care Beth and everyone else!


Jann in Maine March 29, 2020 at 8:44 am

Hope Katy and family are healthy during this Covid outbreak. And to the other readers on this board!
We are on Day 16 of social isolation which is certainly easier here in rural Maine than most other places. Have been out to walk daily.
Still hanging our laundry outside and scheduling laundry on days we know will not be snowy or rainy.
Cooking from scratch because that is what we do and we live too far out for “delivery”. Sometimes that is a good thing!
Keeping in touch with friends and family and reaching out to some I have not been in touch with as frequently as I should be.
Looks like our daughter’s wedding will be cancelled this summer. Trying to be calm about it and hope the vendors that she has chosen and we have paid will weather the economic downturn.
Eating well, taking supplements and trying to support those who are self-employed.
Everyone stay well and carry on best you can!


Mand01 March 29, 2020 at 12:27 pm

Sorry to hear about your daughter’s wedding. That must be heartbreaking for her.
Here in Australia weddings can now only be held with five people: couple , celebrant, and two witnesses.
Funerals are ten people only.
We are ok but my kids, both of whom are autistic, are finding the changes to routine very difficult.
I’ve been gardening a lot, and blogging regularly. If you want to read about gardening over the other side of the world:
We both still have work for now, so that’s good.
Stay safe everyone.


Diane C March 29, 2020 at 4:29 pm

Hey everyone! I love the support everyone is showing each other. I was worried about Katy and her family, so I sent her an email a couple of days ago and got no response. Even more worried now, so I thought I’d check out the latest comments. After seeing these great responses, I just thought to check Instagram. Oh, thank goodness, our dear Katy has posted a few things there. Looks like she’s alive and well, tackling this pandemic at home with her usual sense of humor. You don’t have to be a member to peek at the posts, just scroll down.

IIRC, she’s active on FB too, but I don’t have an account there and not starting one now, lol. I’m just relieved to know our favorite Non-Consumer Advocate seems to be just fine. Whew!


rose March 30, 2020 at 8:16 am

I too was getting more worried by the day.
Katy, you are missed here … but take of you and yours as priority.


tracy March 30, 2020 at 4:59 am

So happy to see some new posts here! I’ve been wondering how our little community is doing. I have a mix of frugal and not frugal I’m afraid.

1. Going nowhere doing nothing that costs money.
2. New dryer (!) isn’t working, need to work with Costco to replace (it’s literally only a couple months old). The frugal part is that until we can get this sorted (pandemic is slowing that down) I am hanging all laundry to dry (inside) saving on power. This balances out the extra heat we are using being home all day.
3. Eating down freezer and pantry. Made a huge pot of chili yesterday using dried beans and frozen hamburger.
4. When I do have to go in office (very infrequently, like 1x week when no one else is there) I have a free parking pass.
5. Cancelled trips to Palm Desert and Washington DC (one a work trip, one a vacation) which will save $
Not frugal:
After 3 months of buying nothing for myself I did a little Coronavirus stress reduction shopping this weekend, and ordered some clothes/shoes. Obviously I don’t need them since I have nowhere to go and where them, obviously not a very healthy coping mechanism but not going to beat myself up.


tracy March 30, 2020 at 5:00 am

“wear” not “where”


Heidi Louise March 30, 2020 at 8:15 am

Tracy: If you (eventually get to) wear the new things often and with pleasure, I do not think that is unhealthy. Maybe consider it hopeful clothing.


Bee March 30, 2020 at 10:59 am

I’m glad to hear that many of you are doing well. I miss my blog friends! Social media, phone calls, text messaging and blog post certainly help to ward off feelings of loneliness. I think this will be even more important over the next 30 days.
Here in sunny Florida we are trying to follow CDC guidelines Since everything is closed but grocery stores and pharmacies, we really don’t have much choice.
Sadly, the beaches, state parks, boat ramps, gyms,libraries and s pools are all closed. To keep from going stir crazy, I am walking, riding my bike, and cleaning out my flower beds. I have a list of household projects that I also have done. I miss my friends, activities, and extended family. However, this too shall pass.
Sending all of you wishes of good health – both mental and physical.


Ellie March 31, 2020 at 11:19 am

Bee – so glad to see your post – I worry about the NCA posters when they are too quiet. Now I wish A. Marie would check in.


Lisa M. March 31, 2020 at 12:35 pm

Ellie – You can go to The Frugal Girl’s March 25, 2020 post: Five Frugal Things/Because normal feels good. Scroll through the comments & you will find A. Marie’s post as Katy has “gone quiet lately” (her words). Seems that she is fine.


Ellie March 31, 2020 at 1:20 pm

Thanks, Lisa , I will.


A. Marie April 1, 2020 at 12:10 pm

Hi, all. Thanks for the concern. DH and I are continuing to hang in there; we’re both still physically healthy, and thank goodness that the home care aide is continuing to come in on Wed. mornings (so I’m retaining a few tattered bits of sanity). Frankly, I’m now worried about Katy at this point. Earth to Katy, Earth to Katy, come in, please???


Florencia April 1, 2020 at 5:21 pm

I think Katie’s okay. She’s been posting stories on Instagram. 🙂


Nancy from mass April 2, 2020 at 5:01 am

That’s good to know. I was wondering why we hadn’t heard from her in a while And I was worried about her.


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