Twelve Tiny Frugal Things

by Katy on April 3, 2024 · 86 comments

    1. I noticed that there was an offer for a free “Chicken Cantina Taco” in the Taco Bell app, so I drove through for one while out running errands.

    2. My friend Lise and I walked to Fred Meyer to grocery shop and take advantage of their 10%-off once-a-month senior discount day.

    3. I scored three $1 bags of produce and now I have eight apples and three oranges, plus two $1.03 bags of spinach. I also loaded an e-coupon for a free Oikos yogurt and used a paper coupon for a free pint of ice cream. Lise nabbed the mushrooms.

    4. I stopped at the Dented Vegetable Store™ and walked out with six enormous yellow peppers, three boxes of matzoh, a huge bag of sliced mushrooms, some jalapeño ranch dressing, fresh mozzarella and a package of Wensleydale cheese for eleven bucks.

    5. I sliced and froze the peppers to use at a later date.

    6. I earned enough Fetch points for a $25 Safeway gift card, which got spent on very exciting items like a case of canned cat food, milk and asparagus.

    7. I scanned my Safeway receipt into the Ibotta app,* which awarded $2 back on the cat food purchase.

    8. I then grabbed some Safeway receipts that were sitting on top of a garbage scan to scan into the Fetch app.* I also scanned a couple of random receipts at my mom’s house, one of which was worth over 1000 points!

    9. I had a half box of stale matzoh in the cupboard, so I set them in a warm oven for about ten minutes, which crisped them up perfectly.

    10. Someone stabbed a steak knife into a neighborhood tree, so I brought it home, (the knife, not the tree) and scrubbed it up for my son.

    11. My son needed a ladle and I noticed that my mother had three, so she let me pick one out for him.

    12. I didn’t thrift any tiny Lear Jets.

Katy Wolk-Stanley

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

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{ 86 comments… read them below or add one }

Michele April 3, 2024 at 6:34 am

1. I reviewed recipes in my binder last eve and prepped dinner for my MIL tonight with stuff we have on hand.
2. Weather on our trip is supposed to be cold, but I’m gonna layer (think Michelin Tire Man) with every sweatshirt I have.
3. Used my Upside App to fill up on gas.
4. Scanned my gas receipt and the one that someone left before me for Fetch.
5. Can’t think of a 5th one. Packed all work food. Didn’t eat out. Careful about unplugging stuff not in use and turning out lights.


Katy April 3, 2024 at 8:14 am

I think you did think of a fifth one!


Ruby April 3, 2024 at 6:42 am

I was holding my breath for the story of the knife in the tree! 😀

My frugal stuff lately:

Planted most of this year’s container garden yesterday. Last year it kept us in handfuls of cherry tomatoes every day. These freeze great and add a lot to homemade pasta sauces.

My 65th birthday is just around the corner, so I signed up for the appropriate parts of Medicare. Also spent a long time creating an appointment calendar to post on the fridge door, using a software program that is free but made me mutter bad words.

Cut down a small but sturdy plastic box from the garage clean-out to hold a collection of music CDs in my car so they’ll stop falling off the passenger seat.


Katy April 3, 2024 at 8:13 am

There are no bad words, only bad computer programs.

And well done to reconfigure what you already owned for car storage!


Jill A April 3, 2024 at 7:01 am

I love that you pulled that knife from the tree and are putting it to good use. What a waste otherwise. I love seeing what you find at your dented vegetable store. The grocery salvage store I go to doesn’t have any produce. It’s still fun. I consider it entertainment as well as grocery shopping.
1. I’m using up old tubes of conditioner that used to come with my box hair dye which I used pre-pandemic. I haven’t bought conditioner or even shampoo for years. My bar shampoo seems to last forever.
2. I used up the rest of my toothpaste tube by cutting it open.
3. I cut up a single sock that belonged to husband (bigger) and used it as a knee pad when scrubbing my floors. I have one exceptionally boney knee.
4. I ate leftovers for dinner last night.
5. Frugal Fail – My library didn’t have the digital version of this months book club book and I didn’t want to go physically to the library so I bought it on Amazon. I had less than a weeks notice. Boo!! It was really good. I wasn’t expecting it to be my kind of book but I enjoyed it. It was Nights Of Rain And Stars by Maeve Binchy.


Katy April 3, 2024 at 8:12 am

I saw bags of mixed greens on my way out, but I didn’t want to get back in line.

I love, love, love Maeve Binchy! One of my favorite authors!


Bee April 3, 2024 at 4:09 pm

I always cut the end off of my toothpaste. When I do this, I am usually able to get enough toothpaste for a week or more. Yesterday when I was at a local big box store, toothpaste was on my shopping list. I use a toothpaste my dentist recommends. It has always been a dollar or two more than the competitors’ brands, but I have always check for rebate offers and digital coupons to keep the price in line. As I went to put this toothpaste in my cart yesterday, I noticed it was now $9 a tube! I was shocked. I left the store without it.


Katy April 5, 2024 at 11:05 am

That’s an insane amount for toothpaste, even speciality stuff!


Selena April 5, 2024 at 7:07 pm

Not insane but a pure gouge. No income tax means squat in this case.


MEM April 3, 2024 at 7:02 am

1. I’m a total snob when it comes to jigsaw puzzle brands – only Ravensburger will do. I joined a Ravensburger sell or trade FB group and sold four puzzles for $67 including shipping. Shipping can be a deal-breaker for buyers as no one wants a premium puzzle shipped in bubble envelope and boxes are expensive to ship. I also joined a Puzzle Swap group in my town but the puzzles are the less expensive brands I don’t like.
2. Continue to wash and reuse foam earplugs. Once they air dry I put them in a jar with a dessicant packet from one of my medicines.
3. Retrieved returnable cans and bottles from DD27 recycling barrel – approximately 60 cents worth.
4. It was only me, DH and DS29 for Easter dinner as DD spent it with her boyfriend’s family. We had a Kirkland lasagna from Costco and I made the no-knead peasant bread from Alexandra’s Kitchen blog – I believe Ecoteri shared it here.
5. Frugal Fail – Our VW Passat is in the shop again. DH (probably) hit one of the many enormous potholes in the Greater Boston area and the sway bar broke. VW parts are getting hard to obtain (my brother in Pittsburgh is a mechanic and it said it’s a challenge). We are without a car for the fifth day in a row – no loaner available. Don’t know how much the repair will be – my brother said a few hundred dollars but those are Pittsburgh prices not Boston prices.


Katy April 3, 2024 at 8:10 am

Ugh, so sorry about your car!


Lindsey April 3, 2024 at 8:22 am

Another Ravensburger snob here so thank you for the info on how to recycle by selling them when I am done! I had no idea.


Christine April 3, 2024 at 3:29 pm

Sorry MEM and Lindsey. I have to disagree on the puzzle snobbery. White Mountain Puzzles are my go-to. My heart sang for joy when my friend won a raffle basket full of White Mountain Puzzles and actually handed it over to me! Been having fun ever since.


Kristin April 5, 2024 at 5:05 pm

White mountain is the only brand my puzzle loving mom wants to do right now- she loves the bigger pieces since they are easier on her eyes.


Ashley Bananas April 3, 2024 at 7:04 am

This too is the week where I redeem receipt rebates for gift cards…
1. I cashed out my Fetch reward points for a Darden family brand gift card for $50. It’s taken forever and I’m excited to take my son out to eat soon.
2. I’ve been scanning receipts on the Receipt Hog app for what seems like two or three years now. I was finally able to cash out my points for $40 they are sending through Paypal.
3. I took a few minutes to figure out how to use a gift card my sister in law sent my son, I had to register it online before using. This unlocks $20 he will probably use for food, because he is always hungry.
4. I did a food rebate digitally with Publix which gives me ten dollars to use on future grocery purchases. I’m excited to use that this week.
5. I went to a single mixer and got an appetizer and water keeping my bill with tip light.


Katy April 3, 2024 at 8:09 am

$40 here, $20 there and $10 around the corner ain’t too shabby.


Ashley Bananas April 4, 2024 at 7:34 am

I also redeemed a $50 gift card to Honey Baked Ham which I won as a door prize back in December. I was able to get a turkey breast and gravy. Pricey, but with the card I only paid two dollars and change. =)


Katy April 4, 2024 at 8:38 pm



Bee April 3, 2024 at 7:15 am

You really took advantage of all the grocery store bargains out there! Most places in Florida do not give senior citizens’ discounts until 65 and most don’t give them at all.
My frugal news is not exceptionally motivating or interesting.
1) We have been eating the Easter dinner leftovers that my SIL shared with us.
2) I carpooled with a friend when attending a PEO meeting last night.
3) I used a $15 promotional gift card from Target to buy toilet paper.
4) I also bought 3 hair are items at Target and earned another $5 card.
5) I brewed my own coffee this morning and have been drinking primarily filtered water. I scanned my Target receipt to Fetch. I have dinner in the crockpot because I have busy day ahead.

Wishing everyone good health, peace and prosperity!


Katy April 3, 2024 at 8:03 am

I was surprised it started at 55. Of course they don’t card you.

$15 of free toilet paper? That’s very exciting in my books!


Selena April 3, 2024 at 7:07 pm

@Katy – but only if the “good” stuff. I’m pretty hard core when it comes to a few “staples” in life – TP is one of them. Plus I have a septic.


Katy April 5, 2024 at 10:58 am

It’s the little luxuries in life.


Bee April 5, 2024 at 6:21 am

The worst is when you receive the senior citizen discount without asking for it!


Katy April 5, 2024 at 9:56 am

I’ll take it!


Fru-gal Lisa April 3, 2024 at 8:35 am

Five frugal wins:
1. Free Sunday breakfast via the church’s Easter brunch.
2. After refinancing my car, Kia Finance refunded me my last payment; I went to the credit union and applied it to my current car loan.
3. The free bin at the used book store yield me a hardback novel; word search book (who cares if it has yellowed pages and 2 or 3 puzzles already done? the rest is brand new/useable to me!); and a National Geographic hardback history of ancient Rome and Greece. All free!
4. Volunteered to work during the Eclipse Day (our area will have a total blackout, and schools and businesses are closing for this “big” event), and got extra hours.
5. Didn’t buy my usual blueberry muffins for breakfast; have been eating PB&J sandwiches instead — already have ingredients at home.


Katy April 5, 2024 at 11:16 am

So smart to put the car refund back into paying off the car. So many people would’ve blown that money.


Mary Ann April 3, 2024 at 8:37 am

I have made a goal of only spending $200 a month on Groceries this month for the two of us. I will be using up the last remaining pantry items.

1. Sam’s Club provided the protein: 5 dozen eggs for 9.98, a boneless spiral ham discounted $10.00 off the bag.) I found the smallest bag) and a rotisserie chicken for 4.98. I bought new yeast for the home made bread I will make this month. Total ( with discounted Irish spring bars which Hubby is brand specific) was $55.00.

2. I buy our only brand specific items at Winco: 3 half gallons of Fairlife non fat milk ( hubby); Chobani Creamer (me) , and 1 lb xtra sharp Tillamook cheese for the outrageous 6.95. With bananas. $30.00 total.

3. Grocery Outlet: DH loves the Nature’s bakery fig bars so I bought 4 boxes for $11.00.

4. I made 2 loves of persimmon bread from the fruit I picked in summer; a batch of Chicken White Chili from soup mix I had on hand and remaining rotisserie chicken; a crustless cheesecake using six month old cream cheese, hand picked lemons, eggs, and almond protein powder I am using up. I will put a left over can of cherry pie filling on it. This is an experiment but what the heck.

5. Still feasting on smoothies from powders, juices and dates. Kale salad remains with my roasted hand picked pecans, self picked kumquats, dried ginger bits and
and bargain blue cheese crumbles from last month.

1. $96 spent. & $104 remaining when I go back to the store in two weeks.

Wish me luck.


Vickey April 4, 2024 at 6:49 am

Picking persimmons sounds lovely! :sigh: Our youngish tree has yet to hold on to the baby fruits long enough for them to ripen. We’re looking forward to it maturing enough to sustain bearing til ripe.


Katy April 5, 2024 at 11:14 am

Wow, those are some impressive grocery savings!


Lindsey April 3, 2024 at 8:46 am

1. This is silly but here goes: part of my Easter basket included Dove chocolates. Husband asked me if the receipt would work for Fetch and when I said yes, he insisted on doing it so I would not see how much he spent on my basket. They gave me 500 points, so worth it.
2. Husband’s singing group had a recruitment evening and he came home with a bag of moose sticks made by this guy who really knows how to make them delicious. The guy knew I liked them so brought some special for me! We will get several meals out of them, on those nights when dinner is a plate with cheese, crackers, hard boiled eggs and fruit.
3. Clobber Paws needs to take some meds. Vet offered me some sort of edible pill pack that I could use to disguise the pills because there is no way to force a pill down the cavernous jaws of a Dane. Instead, I am hollowing out a cube of cheese and sticking it in there. Cheaper.
4. Reconstructed a dog bed Clobber Paws eviscerated. I now do more mending of dog items than human items, but he is only 9 months old now so I hope he will grow out of the see it/destroy it phase. I still love him.
5. Husband is off doing a free mystery shop oil change and then picking up a free burger meal that is large enough we can both get lunch out of it.

Clueless remark of the week: two days ago it was a wheelchair day and I went grocery shopping in spite of that. We had a long line in the check out and the woman behind me was sighing and I smiled to commiserate. “Must be nice to be able to sit while we are waiting,” she said. One of my super powers is that I can cry on demand (I can also vomit on demand, which was more helpful in high school than in adult life.) Tears sprang out of my eyes and I said, “That is one of the most thoughtless and hurtful things anyone has ever said to me. Would you like to trade places with me and have useless legs instead of the ones you are standing on?” She was suitably horrified and I think she will not say the same thing to someone who might be devastated by a remark like that. I don’t think she was being mean, just thoughtless/oblivious.


mary in maryland April 3, 2024 at 10:39 am

Even cheaper–I have good luck getting my spaniel to take her meds by wrapping them in mashed beans or pumpkin.


Denise April 3, 2024 at 12:37 pm

Okaaay: are Moose sticks actually, um Moose??

And I would personally prefer the ability to vomit at will as a super-power/lifeskill. Not entirely sure why, but if those were my choices, that’s the one I would go with. Well done for showing such restraint in the queue, though.


Lindsey April 3, 2024 at 5:35 pm

Yes, they are made of moose. No different than beef sticks in that way.


Lindsey April 3, 2024 at 5:43 pm

In the boarding school I went to, vomiting on the nun’s shoes got me a lot more sympathy and escaping of chores than crying ever did. Crying works with my husband, although I only use it when he refuses to go to the doctor, which became an issue after he finished his cancer treatment and could not abide the look or smell of any medical appointment. And I always say, “I am going to make myself cry,” so the manipulation is no secret. Still, it works. That is the only time I use it with him because one must not misuse a super power.


Cee April 3, 2024 at 2:02 pm

Oh my. That is an incredibly thoughtless and clueless comment regarding sitting in a wheelchair. I am so sorry you had to hear this. I never park in or near a handicap spot leaving all the room for those who need it and having utmost admiration for those who go out and about and enjoy life whilst also carrying this addition challenge.


Christine April 3, 2024 at 3:39 pm

Regarding the woman standing in line behind you: There are times I think some people don’t use the brains they were born with. Sheeesh. I hope your statement (and tears) will make her think twice about spewing drivel in the future.


A. Marie April 3, 2024 at 4:04 pm

Lindsey, I will never understand why some people are such boneheads about disabilities. Well done on the clueless remark of the week.


Lindsey April 3, 2024 at 5:38 pm

Not as clueless (nor was my response as terrific) as the young girl I met in P.T. A guy came up to her when she was at the movies, waiting for a friend, so sitting alone at the time. A guy came up and said, “Must be hard to get a boyfriend when you are in a chair.” She said, apparently without missing a beat, “Must be hard to get even a date when you are an asshole.”


Katy April 5, 2024 at 10:59 am

Good for her!


Selena April 5, 2024 at 7:09 pm

I’d have said “Must be hard to get a date when you are an incel”. Sorry, I have zero tolerance for what I call sub-species.

MB in MN April 3, 2024 at 4:05 pm

Lindsey, I’m so sorry you were on the receiving end of such a thoughtless comment. I admire you for speaking up.

My only experience with inane and hurtful comments has been when someone has died. “God needed another angel” (awful and so off the mark) or “God doesn’t give us more than we can handle” (said to my good friend whose young daughter suffered terribly and died of cancer, to which I responded, “I hope that’s the last time you say that to someone”) or “God only takes the best” (um, we all die). Expressing sympathy can be hard and uncomfortable and a simple “I’m so sorry for your loss” is enough.


Marybeth from NY April 4, 2024 at 9:48 am

You are my hero. My daughter was in a wheelchair for 6 months and people said so many stupid, unkind things.


Christine April 4, 2024 at 3:16 pm

My granddaughter had cancer and ended up with a below the knee amputation. This was when she was 12 years old. Yes, she is my hero. She is now in her early 20s and doing well with a prosthesis. One thing people frequently ask is: Did you lose your leg in an accident? (Um…why would a stranger want to know?) The statement many people make to her is :Thank you for your service. They assume it’s a “war wound”. I guess I don’t understand the curiosity over prosthetics and wheelchairs.


Katy April 5, 2024 at 11:12 am

That was such a clueless comment, I’m so sorry. However . . . I join in with everyone else in my jealousy of your super power!

I finally decided to investigate mystery shopping and signed up with a company. My husband and I went to a “fast casual” burger chain and ate lunch for free! (Plus $11 or so that I’ll be paid.) Thanks for the inspiration.


A. Marie April 3, 2024 at 8:48 am

FTFT, Post-Easter, Pre-Eclipse Edition:

(1) I join others in commending Katy on the steak knife rescue. DH did, and I continue to, pick up quite a few of these around the ‘hood. And not only do oddball steak knives have numerous uses around the house and garden, but I’ve always regarded collecting these as a way of getting potential weapons out of circulation.

(2) I’ve also joined others in eating Easter dinner leftovers. I finally polished off the remains of the pork roast and asparagus yesterday, and I’m still working on the potato flake bread. Nom nom nom.

(3) I started two containers of thyme and Greek oregano seeds about 10 days ago, and will now be “potting on” 16 seedlings of each. I can tell from poking around in my garden that I’ve had a lot of winter kill in both these categories (this has been the third winter in a row of repeated freeze/thaw/freeze/thaw, which is not kind to perennial herbs), and I already had the seeds in the freezer, so I figured what the heck. If these thrive, I’ll be saving a *lot* of money on plants at the Regional Market.

(4) I stopped at the Salvation Army on Monday. I restrained myself from making any non-essential purchases, and scored on several small things I do need (some clay plant saucers, and a Revere Ware lid that fits the 8-quart Revere stockpot with extra handles I found at a Thrifty Shopper two weeks ago).

(5) As noted earlier, JASNA BFF is coming up from Manhattan for the solar eclipse on Monday. For the eclipse itself, I think we’ll just set up some chairs on the lawn for ourselves, my next-door neighbor (NDN), and any other neighbors who care to join us. (Preliminary reports indicate that all public places around here will be horribly congested.) And I will of course entertain BFF on other days as usual with excursions to Wegmans, Clothes Mentor, and a selection of thrift stores.


Christine April 3, 2024 at 3:46 pm

I shopped at the Salvation Army this week too and found a Revere Ware medium sized saucepan in optimum shape but alas…there was no cover with it, a must for this frugal girl when heating things up on the stovetop. I did get two needed summer tops and a sundress. DH was excited when he scored a hooded shirt for hiking. $21 for 4 items.


A. Marie April 3, 2024 at 4:01 pm

Christine, Revere Ware pans and lids are pretty easy to find around here, since there was a Revere factory in nearby Rome, NY, for a long time. So I was confident I’d find a lid for my stockpot; I just didn’t expect to get lucky so soon.


Christine April 3, 2024 at 6:20 pm

Glad you found a matching lid so fast! Like you say though, you location probably helps. I have found a Visions medium saucepan with lid and a large frying pan with lid, also Visions, at the Salvation Army. Remember Visions Cookware from the 1980s? Both work great and the handles really do stay cool!


Katy April 5, 2024 at 11:08 am

Yikes, I hadn’t even though about it being a weapon.

We’ll only get partial eclipse here, plus it’s forecasted to be cloudy anyway.


Selena April 5, 2024 at 7:16 pm

Even if there hadn’t been recent sad-sad-really-sad-happenings in my neck-o-the-woods, weapon is the first thing that crossed my mind. Five, yes FIVE, people have been stabbed to death, in a four day span. Plus five others were injured.


Susie's Daughter April 3, 2024 at 1:04 pm

1) Hung the clothes out yesterday in windy 50 degree sunshine. Supposed to snow anywhere between 4-14” tonight. April in New England…
2) Forgot to use the coupon taped on the already-on-sale gallon of milk, but the coupon is good til Jan 25!
3) Leftovers, leftovers, leftovers. I had leftover arugula salad for breakfast yesterday – delish
4) Gave two pieces of kid storage furniture to our local independent preschool – DS’s alma mater – as they are in desperate need of storage and I have vowed to start collecting “open space”
5) Accidently saved $20 on NYT games subscription as my credit card had expired before renewal. NYT offered me a ½ price renewal for this year. Yes, thank you!


MB in MN April 3, 2024 at 4:16 pm

Susie’s Daughter, I like your positive spin on collecting open space!


Ecoteri April 4, 2024 at 12:11 am

“collecting open space” – love it. A friend of mine taught me to do a bit of a celebration whenever something(s) leave the house, she measures in (approximate) Cubic Feet. I don’t see her often, but we both will occasionally text the other with “4 cubic feet gone!” – usually no more details than that until the textee responds with questions. Fun to have a little inside joke or inside joy with someone. Every cubic foot gone will now also be added to my open space collection!


Susie's Daughter April 4, 2024 at 7:16 am

Ecoteri – I have just such a friend! It is wonderful to be able to text each other a high five on redispersal of stuff to the world or encouragement when slogging through a “sticky” pile. Sticky is her word for those things that are the most difficult to let go of – even when it is something we don’t use, need or particularly love. I always appreciate her cheerleading my collection of open space.


Katy April 5, 2024 at 11:06 am

Accidental savings? I love this!


MB in MN April 3, 2024 at 4:12 pm

I wonder how that knife came to be in the tree! Actually, I may not want to know.

1. Found another quarter at the walking track.

2. Ordered pet meds from my vet’s mail order pharmacy for a lower price than in person.

3. Eye doctor gave me oodles of eye drop samples for free.

4. My sister drove for our weekly “Adventure Club” outing to see a flower show (free) and go out to lunch together (not free). She puts very few miles on her car so she likes to drive when she can, and I’m happy to save the mileage on my own car.

5. Helped my husband buy a pair of jeans online. He wanted the same pair that he had purchased at a store a couple years ago, but they are no longer available as they’re being discontinued. After a bit of searching, we found them for $30 off (they’re pricey to begin with).


Katy April 5, 2024 at 11:04 am

I also do not want to know the specifics of how that knife found itself in a Japanese cherry tree!

Hooray for sale priced jeans!


Christine April 3, 2024 at 4:17 pm

The picture of that knife in the tree was a little startling but glad you rescued it and will give it to your son.
1. Using a coupon, points, markdowns and after Easter sales I bought conditioner, a 32 oz. pump bottle of hand sanitizer, a Reese’s peanut butter egg, a chocolate covered peep, a milk chocolate bunny and a 6.5 oz. box of Hershey foil eggs (the candy was all for my friend in the nursing home) all for $8.22. The savings came to $16.24.
2. I like to fall asleep in a very dark room. Instead of a mask, I use a very OLD black rayon shirt (looks like disco era) that molds to my face when draped over my eyes. DH jokingly calls it a Sleepy Rag. It is a little raggy at this point in time but hey, it works.
3. I found a nickel on the floor at work.
4. I needed to organize my cleaning products and had thought about buying a plastic organizer with a handle. I found a cardboard box around the same size and keep the products in there instead.
4. DH found Thomas’s bagels, our favorite, half priced today and brought home two packages.
5. Received a bill I was pretty sure I paid last month and went to my banking site online to check it out. Already paid it.
6. My cats are still thrilled to get regular dry cat food poured out in a little pile on the floor. They think it’s Taste Temptations so we will continue the charade. One is crunching on it as I write this.
7. I’ve been burning a candle my granddaughter gave me for Christmas which is holiday scented. Who cares if it smells like Christmas around here. The house smells nice.
8. So grateful the neighbors cut the big trees down that leaned toward our house in this Spring Nor’easter we’re getting tonight and tomorrow.
9. Picked up my free prescription while shopping at CVS. I guess my insurance company figures it’s cheaper to foot the cost for this one than paying a hospital bill if I didn’t take it. Not sure on that one but I’m happy about it.
10. Making our own tea, iced tea and coffee. Almost done with my puzzle. Last one until fall. Once the weather warms up, I’d rather be outside reading or gardening. Batching errands. Cooking meals at home.


Katy April 5, 2024 at 11:03 am

That box/organizer will work perfectly and gives you time to come across exactly what you needed. And congratulations on the nickel, now you can mention that you “recently came into some money!”


Selena April 3, 2024 at 7:15 pm

What is it with those of our parental age “unit” having so many kitchen stuff? My folks had at *least* seven spatulas (of the same size) – why? Some “excess” is being re-homed. While I don’t have duplicates of many, if any, kitchen items, I’m working on re-homing/re-selling/donating some items. I’m cognizant of the worth of items I have as well as what my parents have. You just might see me selling on e-Bay in the near future.


Ecoteri April 4, 2024 at 12:18 am

@Selena, I can speak to the extra large utensils, as I have a startling number of wooden spoons, silicone spatulas, metal spoons, ladles, whisks etc all in a couple of counter containers. A year or so ago I huffed at myself and pulled them all out, intending to purge. Turns out I only got rid of a spaghetti spoon (not mine, and I have an aversion to them anyway) and that was IT. Every other item is used at least once a month, most are once a week and some are used daily. Since I don’t have a place elsewhere to store the extra long spoon (once a month) it stays in the mix… I consider the excess to be my own small luxury in the kitchen – when I am cooking I might honestly need all 4 of the sets of tongs for different things! I also don’t mind washing them, either – if they are needing a wash it is proof that I am cooking real meals. Funny how we all have random areas of our house that are inexplicable to our loved ones, huh?


Katy April 5, 2024 at 10:57 am

I cannot answer for my mother on this, but it is handy when I need something and she’s likely to have an extra in her house.


Ecoteri April 4, 2024 at 12:37 am

1. Stacked errands at the town an hour away – time with my mom which was well spent, although her confusion is obvious. Thank heavens, A. Marie, I finally picked up the POA from my son, and made sure mom has copies of that, her will, and the “Rep 9 Agreement” which is how I will be able to speak for her when it comes to physical care and medical issues. PHEW. We also just had a couple of fun positive hours with me answering her questions two or four times, and her sharing with me some precious family mementos. Also got to an PT appointment the to the grocery store to pick up things to cook with my Daughter. Serious price shock, I am only an hour away but food is at least 25% more near her house. I brought her the food (frugal for her! LOL) and showed her how to cook another meal, encouraged her to bake a cake with a mix that is stale-dated, as the oven would be on. She was shocked that I was able to prep green beans, guay Lan, and a big carrot and cabbage and pepper salad, as well as get the ‘hash brown quiche’ assembled, during the time she made the cake. My kid is no whizz in the kitchen, so it is painful to me that she isn’t enjoying cooking nor eating particularly healthy/varied. However, great visit.
2. I phoned a friend who lives very close to my daughter asking for grease for door hinges. We walked over halfway through our dinner (waiting for the hashbrown quiche to settle) and my daughter has met a new-to-her couple who will gladly ‘aunt and uncle’ her – it was SUCH a great time, walking there, being totally entertained by my friend, getting a house tour (full of art done by her mom) then he and my daughter had a long, technical and entertaining conversation about LIDAR and the mapping of forests and databases and programs… My daughter is thrilled to meet a ‘grownup’ who also knows this stuff, she is short of people in her life who understand what it is she does… The friend also provided us with three different ‘grease’ options, so SUCCESS (frugal fun)
3. I have planted all the tomatoes I will start this year, the peppers are next (I am late but on a roll). I have a bit of a labelling system set up and am steadily filling flats and pots
4. Invested in some compressed straw bales to spred on my garden beds, they cost under an hour’s (minimum) wages, and will save me multiple hours of my own time or paid labour (which I pay well over minimum wage) as most weeds will be suppressed, and those that do get through are much easier to pull.
5. Continued to get truckloads of compost spread on the raised beds…
6. Have decided to risk the greenhouse plastic surviving another summer. There are some long TUCK tape scars holding it together, but other that some sections that require more ‘bandaids’ I think we can make it happen, so the replacment will happen next January instead. Fingers crossed..
7. I have managed to rescue some turkey that I failed when I cooked it to dry and chewy. Gravy to the rescue, and I cut up some very dry breasts in to tiny chuncks to make a turkey salad sandwich fillling. Hate to waste it, but am unimpressed with my pathetic cooking skills. I had cut the bird up a few months ago, thinking that cooking smaller parts would be effieient. But I don’t know how to do that well (yet) so am planning on roasting chicken from the freezer soon, to prove to myself that I still have (most of) it!


A. Marie April 4, 2024 at 5:34 am

Ecoteri, I too am glad that you’ve gotten the advance directives completed for your mother. My NDN’s other close friend and I did manage to get a NY State health care proxy form completed for her last summer, but she still doesn’t have a POA or a will.


Selena April 7, 2024 at 6:45 pm

A. Marie – unless you know NDN has s serious wish as to how her estate is distributed, I’d be more concerned with the lack of POA – financial POA specifically. The NY State health care proxy is great but it is not an advance directive. While you and NDN’s other friend have time, be thinking and documenting if NDN made *any* reference to no life support/do everything you can statements. Push comes to shove, someone may need to go to court and become her legal guardian. Again, before it becomes a necessity, do your homework as to what this would entail. No matter who becomes financial POA, meticulous record keeping is a must.


Katy April 5, 2024 at 10:56 am

I consider myself to be a decent and efficient cook, but you would beat me any day of the week!


Ecoteri April 7, 2024 at 3:44 am

Thanks @Katy, I try hard to be creative – and probably have 50 go-to suppers in my head, if I were to think about it for a bit and write them down.. Give me a thing to start with and my mind can produce multiple options for what to make and how to cook it. I LIKE cooking – just wish my kitchen had more counter space…


Avery April 4, 2024 at 7:22 am

1.) My cousin gave me a jacket that she bought and never wore, and I’ve actually been wearing it.
2.) I’ve been utilizing my library quite frequently for books, e-books, and even eclipse glasses.
3.) I tried “TooGoodToGo” for the first time.
4.) I’m getting zippers repaired for a pair of my favorite jeans as well as my work bag.
5.) I am holding my landlord accountable for the water leakage in my bedroom. It’s a disaster but I am staying on top of the situation.


Katy April 4, 2024 at 8:39 pm

Good for you for holding your landlord accountable, I can only imagine how doubly unpleasant that is for you.


Q April 4, 2024 at 3:08 pm

1. DH called doctor and got a prescription for a knee scooter, so no out of pocket for a scooter that he was able to use on trip.

2. Repaired daughter’s favorite sweater, and was so pleased with result that I mended one of my own sweaters today, our first day back. I also repaired 3 flags after studying the sewing machine manual to figure out how to use the double needle. Hunted in the attic for a part, and am happy to have the machine up and running!

3. I saw some lovely cut flowers for DD’s house, but space is tight in her house, so we picked out some perennials and some pansies together from the hardware store instead, and washed up and planted pots by her front door. Her three-year old son was quite proud of the flowers, and they will last a long while.

4. This morning I trimmed some old boxwoods down to stubs: they have been infested with leaf miner, and I don’t do insecticides. After several years of sad looking shrubs, I have decided to remove them and replace with something native. The next couple of days will be quite rainy, and I figure I will be able to dig the stumps out out easily once the ground is soft.
I am working on my yard an hour or so each day that is not too rainy, and this is much cheaper than having someone else do it, plus I love to be outdoors.

5. Foraged around and baked a delicious pizza for dinner, topped with random veggies, olives, etc. This was accompanied by a NYTimes delicious cabbage/leek/ onion soup recipe. I put the pizza together early in the day, before I got too tired from my projects.


Katy April 4, 2024 at 8:37 pm

Good for your husband for figuring out how to get the cost of his scooter covered!


Elizabeth April 5, 2024 at 12:31 pm

1. This has been an expensive week due to my cat having a medical emergency. Luckily, I had enough money in savings, so I saved by not going into debt.

Other little frugal things:
2. I had homemade chocolate chip muffins and dyed eggs for Easter (both breakfast and dinner).

3. Got cash back from Ibotta for groceries, soap, and pet items bought this week.

4. I had enough points from scanning my groceries to redeem for a $25 gift card from National Consumer Panel. I combined it with a $5 coupon from Chewy to get more needed pet items without spending actual money.


Vickey April 5, 2024 at 4:40 pm

1. Contacted my local library to refresh my card so I could request items online, including “Adventure”passes.

2. Learned they now have Kanopy, too! So signed up there as well. Oh, and I can get access to The NY Times (thought of you, A. Marie.)
This seems like a good time to remind any New York State residents here that you qualify for a free NY (City) Public Library card, too. Massive online borrowing potential. (Visions of Katy borrowing her sister’s card…)

3. Making plans and provisions for a thrifty spread during our modest eclipse gathering. Homemade black bean spread on homemade tostada shells is evocative of an eclipse, right? Anything round partially hidden by something layered atop it counts in my book. Hummus on rye rounds is a “negative” of the image (like camera film.) Might also have a soup in the Instant Pot that’s full of round things. Half the fun is coming up w/silly, pseudo celestial-sounding names.

4. Found a local “sharing shed” that has puzzles, among other things. Now I can feed DH’s recently discovered jigsaw puzzle addiction for free, and not have to store the ones we’ve already done.

5. DH’s shoelace broke, so he fetched another pair from the cupboard where I’ve stashed laces salvaged from worn-out shoes.

6. Dining room renovation is almost done. Loving the refreshed space, w/a ceiling I’m no longer afraid will fall on our guests. DH took the opportunity to add insulation, so we’ll be warmer in winter, cooler in summer. And, oh yeah – fortified some rafters that were questionable and (ahem!) secured others to the sill plate! We had no way of knowing they *weren’t* tied down without tearing out the ceiling or peeling back the roof (overhead space is a crawl space, and you cannot physically get to where the junction is from inside it.) So besides loving the fresh paint job, etc., we’re benefiting from the roof literally being more secure over our heads. !! We didn’t buy any new furnishings, just the necessary paint, drywall, insulation, etc.

7. Bulk purchased, bulk prepped meals and snacks, always. Water, home brewed coffee and tea. Plants only, which reduces food costs by up to one-third. Not to mention the savings on healthcare costs!


Heidi Louise April 6, 2024 at 6:26 am

During some recent crazy book banning a few years ago, New York (City) Public Library made digital books available to teenagers all over the country. I don’t recall the details and I think they have modified the program– Anyway, they now have a nationwide Teen Banned Book Club. I greatly admire them for these programs.


MB in MN April 6, 2024 at 7:18 am

Heidi Louise, I also support the freedom to read. Here’s a link to the program you mentioned: The American Library Association also has excellent resources around this issue:


MB in MN April 6, 2024 at 7:25 am

Heidi Louise, I also support the freedom to read. Here’s a link to the program you mentioned: The American Library Association also has excellent resources around this issue:


Vickey April 6, 2024 at 8:15 am

Very. Cool!


MB in MN April 6, 2024 at 7:24 am

Vickey, your eclipse-inspired food is so clever!


Vickey April 6, 2024 at 8:18 am

MB, thanks! I firmly believe we’re never too old to play with our food. And having a sense of playful adventure helps open us to trying new, healthier ways of eating.
When DS was young and his friends who were here for meals looked askance at our plant-based foods, I told them they were Klingon recipes and they ate them right up.
Mostly. XD


Heidi Louise April 6, 2024 at 9:51 am

Vickey, this made me laugh! Even if they did roar like Klingons when they were finished.

I wonder if Denny’s is dong anything special with the Moons Over My Hammy meal on Monday.


Katy April 6, 2024 at 10:41 am

Did you serve prune juice, aka “warrior’s drink?”


Vickey April 6, 2024 at 11:25 am

No, but family members did a Klingon roar when I read them your comments. 🙂

Vickey April 6, 2024 at 12:09 pm

>> No, but family members did a Klingon roar when I read them your comments.<<
Sorry, that may have sounded dismissive, which is not what I intended. To clarify, it was a “Klingon roar” of laughter and appreciation.

Katy April 6, 2024 at 10:43 am

Ironically, my sister uses my library account as NYC allows a lot fewer holds on Libby than Portland does.

And there’s nothing frugal about a collapsed ceiling — well done!


Ecoteri April 7, 2024 at 3:41 am

Holy! you have a wonderful joyous approach to food – I am SO going to borrow it. My clever kids (now adult) will get a kick out of creative naming. the round-thing foodstuff around the eclipse sounds like a great way to remind us all of the wonders of the skies.
You ceiling adventures sound like the home Reno I inadvertently did when someone gave me a free new bathtub. Before the dust settled all the plumbing in my house had been replaced, as well as all the electrical wires and many fixtures, as well as asbestos removal, concrete poured in a crawlspace, a new well line and well pump and insulation and the whole interior of the house painted.. (except the parts I haven’t finished in the kitchen, still….). It is sometimes scary to find the corners that were cut by the builders of our homes. Glad your roof will be secure! and the ceiling is solid.


Vickey April 9, 2024 at 3:52 pm

Aww, thanks! I hope you and they have fun with it. And, Wow! Your “Project Dominoes” experience was much bigger than ours! Must be a sweet relief to get to enjoy the fruits of those many labors.


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