Today I Am . . .

by Katy on January 12, 2015 · 31 comments

Today I am . . . 

  • Stopping at both The Grocery Outlet and Fred Meyer on my way home from dropping my son at school. I bought two huge bags of groceries plus an enormous bag of oranges for only $28 at Grocery Outlet and then paid $5 apiece for 2-pound Tillamook cheese loaves using the in-store coupon and this coupon tip from Frugal Living NW. (My son is the grilled cheese master, and as a result we go through a lot of cheddar cheese!)
  • Opening up all the curtains to let in a rare bit of Oregon sunshine.
  • Planning a split pea and pancetta soup for tonight’s dinner using ingredients from The Grocery Outlet.
  • Dropping two bags of miscellaneous stuff at Goodwill that’s already been rejected from the consignment shops. Not going into Goodwill as I have enough stuff, thank you very much.
  • Thinking that I should stop into Goodwill later on. You know . . . to take pictures for the blog.
  • Loving that Downton Abbey is back up with a fresh new season for us Americans.
  • Happy that I finally got someone to take my bag of sealed Japanese food packets that I’d put up for free on craigslist. I’d received almost countless replies, but getting someone to actually show up to take them was a challenge. They were all gifts from host students and had all the directions in Japanese. I could have figured out what to do with them, but I figured it was better to just hand them over to someone who definitely would.
  • Trying to get as much dull stuff done today so that I get actual productive stuff accomplished later in the week.

Now your turn. What are you doing today?

Katy Wolk-Stanley

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

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{ 31 comments… read them below or add one }

Jeanne January 12, 2015 at 12:17 pm

Today I am:
-Taking advantage of the cold weather (but still mild winter compared to others) when I went for a quiet early morning walk. It was a short one, but I was out and home before the sun came up. Oh, and I met a neighborhood cat that walked with me for a bit!
-Taking care of two of my favorite charges this afternoon and looking forward to making things and reading with them. Always a pleasure to be around children that appreciate what you do for them.
-Tweaking my resume and building a cover letter for a job that is just around the corner from my house. I would love the short commute and would probably walk or ride my bike on most days. It would be 37 hours a week, which is better than the 20 I work now (and only 4 of that is for the family mentioned above).


Jennifer N. January 12, 2015 at 1:54 pm

Today I:

1. Dropped the oldest off at school then went to Target to pick up food for lunches this week. Walked out with exactly and only that.
2. Volunteered for my oldest’s Kindergarten class and got to work with some very cute kids on their site words (not native English speakers, so they have a slightly harder time.)
3. Went to the SSA to replace a lost card. It only took an hour and the gentleman who helped me was very pleasant.
4. Brought the youngest to his check-up at the pediatrician. He got one shot, which was not so pleasant, but now we’re good until his birthday!
5. Picked the oldest up from school and now we’re home. He got good behavior today at school so he’s using his reward (1 hour of video game time) while I relax in front of the computer.

It’s amazing what one can accomplish when you take the day off work – and everything was nice and spread out so I never felt rushed. Woohoo!


Jennifer N. January 12, 2015 at 1:55 pm

And everything was free except for the gas to get around!


A. Marie January 12, 2015 at 2:46 pm


-Working on pantry cleanout. Used some beans I pickled last summer (and didn’t particularly like the taste of when eaten straight from the jar) in a salmon salad: 1 small can salmon, 1 hard-boiled egg, lotsa chopped celery, lotsa chopped beans, and just enough mayo to hold it all together. Much better use of the beans, IMO.

-Helping DH with an extensive trashpick on our street. A pair of young folks with more money than sense have separated soon after their wedding and are tossing out bags and boxes left and right (the house just sold and the new people are moving in shortly). Loose change, unused stamps, an Amazon Kindle that we’re hoping we can resuscitate, several boxes of school/office supplies (which we’re going to donate to the educational nonprofit a block over), and too much etc. to list. We’re both appalled and delighted.

-Went nowhere in a car. Thank goodness for telecommuting (in my case) and retirement (in DH’s).


Katy January 12, 2015 at 3:02 pm

Surely there’s a word for appalled + delighted. If not, we should make one up!

Maybe “delightified?”


A. Marie January 12, 2015 at 3:24 pm

“Appallighted”? “Horrilighted”?? “Delalled”??? Let the word games begin!


cathy January 12, 2015 at 5:22 pm

It’s been pouring rain all day, now morphing into snow, so I’m making French onion soup for dinner. One of my faves and always frugal. Other varieties of leftover soup for those who don’t like onion.

Since I was the only one home most of the day (and often am), I was more mindful of keeping lights on only in the room I’m in. I’m trying to make a dent in our utility bills.

Scheduled some tutoring for my son who’s struggling in a particularly difficult class.

Re-reading The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo. I like to read books on decluttering for the inspiration. Her approach is pretty unique and I love her criteria for determining what to keep and what to let go: hold each individual item (as in every piece of clothing or every book you own) but ask yourself if the item “sparks joy” for you. I’m amazed at how that simple question has helped me let go of so many things I never realized I didn’t like!

Katy, I’m really enjoying your frequent posts. This is my favorite blog!


Katy January 12, 2015 at 6:07 pm

Thank you! I have that book on hold at the library and am looking forward to reading it.


Mairsydoats January 13, 2015 at 12:51 pm

I impulsively bought the book (not frugal – whoops) but first thoroughly enjoyed it, and just this week mailed it up to my sister as part of her birthday package (extra re-gifted books in addition to actual present). A couple of the shirts I kept though they were on the fence, I realized did NOT spark joy when worn, no matter the great color! Boom! Into the Goodwill/Clotheswap boxes! It will fit someone else, and not be annoyingly an inch too short on them…


cathy January 13, 2015 at 9:44 pm

I also bought the whim on impulse. I was at our local indie bookseller’s New Year’s sale (25% off everything) and saw it. I knew nothing about it at the time, but it grabbed me–maybe it was the subtitle: “the Japanese art of decluttering and organizing”. I’ve been incredibly pleased with how much I like the book, and her suggestions, but also like the fact that she says if the book doesn’t spark joy for you, then let it go!

I actually found myself using the “does it spark joy” criteria at the thrift store today and it helped me to NOT buy something I was on the fence about. The method is a little method, but surprisingly accurate.


cathy January 13, 2015 at 9:45 pm

Sorry. Meant to say “The method is a little wacky, but…”

Betty Winslow January 12, 2015 at 5:46 pm

My frugal move today was to read the backlog of NCA blog posts I’d missed, delete a LOT of emails, and sign up for the NCA Facebook page. Hey, I didn’t get the car today, so didn’t leave the house, so there wasn’t much else I could do!


Patti January 12, 2015 at 6:32 pm

Today I paid my Verizon bill in person so I could ask some questions about my phone. Then I went to Goodwill (next door) and found a summer nightgown from a favorite designer that was brand new and only $1.50!!! I left there and hit two drugstores – the Walgreens where they have eggs for $.99 because the manager ordered too many. I saw the sign Saturday and bought 3 dozen, then went back today for 3 dozen more. Our Aldi eggs are now $1.99 and the news says eggs are going to be more expensive in 2015 so I am stocking up!! We ate egg salad sandwiches with our soup on Saturday and a big breakfast meal yesterday. I plan to bake some items to freeze and also make a breakfast casserole for a get together. I left there and went across the street to CVS where I got shortbread cookies for 90% off – or $.39 a bag (they were leftover from Christmas). I had been there Saturday and bought a bunch of M&Ms for $1.07 a bag but they were all gone today. We have two parties in January – one for my Bunko group and one for the Superbowl. Guests will certainly enjoy the cookies and the M&Ms at both. Next was my visit to the grocery store to stock up on meats (they are having a 3 day sale with some great prices) and then to Aldi to buy the rest of my groceries (actually just onions and mustard). After all my shopping, I went home and unpacked the stuff then planned my dinner for tonight using what I have on hand. After lunch, I did two tasks that I absolutely dreaded – visiting a creepy old man in a nursing home and calling a friend whose ex-husband just died. Turned out both of those were blessings in disguise. I was able to take the gentleman some books that I have finished reading and needed to purge and my friend was grateful for the call because she had some questions about the funeral and didn’t know who else to ask (I work for a church and can ask my minister the proper procedure). After work, I went to yoga and then home to my planned and easy to fix dinner. Oh! and I forgot to mention that I found two quarters on the ground outside one of the stores. By the end of the day, I felt I have had a very “Katy” day!!


Katy January 12, 2015 at 8:04 pm

Is “egg envy” a real thing? If so, I have it!

I do not have “creepy old man” envy though.


Karen January 12, 2015 at 8:02 pm

I came across this weblink today and couldn’t resist sending it on to you and your readers. Some great ideas here! (You may have to copy and paste this link.)


Kim January 12, 2015 at 8:06 pm

~Enjoyed my frugal much at work today- a pulled chicken sandwich, baby carrots and a honeybell tangelo. The pulled chicken was a new crock pot recipe that my son found in the SEC Southern Living cookbook I bought for 75 cents at a church sale last month. The carrots were 25 cents a bag at Aldi’s and the tangelos came from the 30 lb. case we received as a gift on Friday.
~Sold 3 books on Amazon today so I packed them tonight with all free packing materials. Envelopes and foam wrap from Freecycle friends and packing tape paid for with Staple rewards. Thank you husband’s corporate account!
~Cooked rice in my rice cooker so I have it for the week.
~Making pompoms on a fork with yarn I got from freecycle. Going to use them for a valentine garland.


Kim January 12, 2015 at 8:08 pm

Frugal lunch not much. Stupid smart phone.


K D January 13, 2015 at 3:56 am

Due to freezing rain my morning volunteer activity was cancelled. I took the opportunity to try a new yoga class (I just started a monthly membership last week so it did not cost me anything additional).

I stopped at the library to return items that were due.

After PT I stopped at Aldi for pears and apples. The apples will be used for applesauce, my husband’s favorite. They had 96% lean ground beef for $2.00/# so I bought several packages. I’ll cook it and freeze it in meal size packages.

I made chicken soup from a rotisserie chicken carcass. That was dinner for me. Everyone else made their own Mexican meal, using seasoned meat I made on Saturday. Now I have soup for lunch for the next two days.

On Sunday I did violate my minimum-spend pledge. Sam’s Club had the large cans of pumpkin for $1.91/3-pack. I was almost out so I bought enough to last for about a year.


kris January 13, 2015 at 5:05 am

**Working until 4:00
**Taking my lunch from home, which is last night’s leftovers of spaghetti and meat sauce
Tonight, I’ll be
**Making applesauce, I’ve got a huge bag of red delicious apples that my MIL gave us and no one in the house eats those (we’re picky about the types of apples we’ll eat, lol) but we will eat applesauce made with them (go figure)
**For dinner I’m making turkey enchiladas, using the last of the turkey I cooked on Christmas. I’ve just about used all of my (leftover put in the freezer) turkey and ham from the holidays. My husband is a teacher and they pay them weird in Dec. They get their check that’s normally paid on the 31st on the 15th and they don’t get paid again until the 15th of Jan., so I really depend on those leftovers to carry us thru, especially these last few days before his paycheck hits the bank!
**Watching Master Chef Junior tonight with my son (on my antenna)


Amanda January 13, 2015 at 6:25 am

Today I am
1. Taking my son and myself to the dentist. They tell me preventative maintenance saves buckets of money down the road.
2. Studying for my foreign language exam with the book a fellow student passed along for free. He passed so we’ll see.
3. Working on my winter “whole house clean.” I want it spotless now, so it won’t be such a disaster when we get to the end of the spring semester.
4. Maybe booking vacation flights!
5. Making kale and bacon pasta to use up the kale left over from pizza.


Isabelle January 13, 2015 at 7:48 am

Today I am

1. Working my 3.5 hours shift at the hospital and picking up my girls from day care early because it’s so darn cold here (-35) that they are stuck inside anyways.
2. Going to Bath and Body Works, with a 2 for 1 coupon, to buy candles for my MIL for next Christmas.
3. Eating at home (as opposed to eating at the restaurant).
4. Making a healthy smoothie for myself and my family for tomorrow’s breakfast.
5. Trying to come to terms with the fact that I spent 232$ last December to enter a diet club for 6 months, with weekly weigh-in, and that I’ve decided it’s not for me and don’t want to go anymore. So I’m basically throwing this money out the window. And I feel really guilty about it (even if it’s MY money), so I keep going but it makes me feel bad about myself to go (because I am not doing the program, so I am not losing weight at the moment…). So I’ve decided not to go anymore (I can’t get a reimboursment, so it’s just lost money), and I just have to be gentle with myself about this. Mistake was made, moving on (eventually…)

Have great frugal day!


Vickie January 13, 2015 at 7:54 am

I made a payment on the PlayStation-4 I have in layaway at a Pawn Shop for my grandson’s birthday.
I picked up 4 more audio-books from the Library for my listening pleasure.
I’m thankful for the $5 coupons I get on a regular basis from Petco. They come in handy when I buy dog & cat food each month.
I’ve managed to remember my lunch for the past few weeks, saving money instead of eating out.
I’m having a birthday lunch with a friend today. She has a BOGO coupon for Johnny Carino’s, so we’re treating ourselves but saving a little on the bill!


Betsey January 13, 2015 at 11:06 am

I am currently trying to get my printer to work. Grrr.
I went to Bible study this am, will take my mom to the doctor at 2, and then I will make my world famous turkey chili to freeze in portion containers.
I am looking for an area rug for the living room until I found the prices to be exorbitant. When I went to the carpet distributor, I found a remnant 10 by 12 that was perfect. Some man there will bind it, and as it has a cotton back, I do not need to worry about scratches. All this for $89!!!


Diane C January 14, 2015 at 2:02 pm

Hi Betsey,
Friction causes scratches, so anything that’s walked on can potentially cause damage. Be sure to check your floors often to make sure it’s not happening to yours. Don’t let your inexpensive rug score cause expensive damage. If your floors get direct sunlight, using a pad and rotating the rug help minimize fading. A pad also helps minimize the danger of tripping. I’m retired from the flooring industry, so I have seen all of these things happen with my own four eyes. Trust me, you don’t want it to happen to you. Great deal BTW!


JD January 13, 2015 at 12:31 pm

1. I had to put something in my safety deposit box at the bank, so I took the bowl of pennies we’ve collected and had them rolled (free for customers) while there. I got $3.66 from the pennies (so I got one penny back, ha, ha!) They only roll coin on Tuesday and Wednesdays, so I waited to visit my SD box until today.
2. I had nothing to pack for lunch today, or so it seemed. I found 3/4 of a cup of homemade chicken veggie soup, a given-to-me grapefruit, and a homemade yeast roll that was in the freezer from the holidays. That was lunch. Weird, but actually good, and I didn’t spend a penny for it.
3. I turned down a free cupcake. It may be free monetarily, but not calorie-wise!


Nathalie January 13, 2015 at 1:37 pm

Today I…

* earned a free drink from Panera’s for watching 6 shorts videos on their new broth bowls (also got $5 coupon off 1 but probably won’t use it)
* enjoyed my husband working from home!
* ordered gardening supplies from via Swagbucks, paid with a Lowes gift card from CoinStar and part of a Lowes gift card from Swagbucks so my total was $0. I will also earn about 50 swagbucks from this purchase. I will pick up said supplies from the store tomorrow and will be able to start new Roma tomatoes and jalapeño seeds indoors.
* received another $5 Amazon gift card from Swagbucks.
* am about to go harvest cabbage leaves from my garden to make Stuffed Cabbage Leaves for dinner.
* am counting the hours until after dinner when I can figure out whether I have enough calories left to eat a small piece of leftover birthday cake (I’m using MyFitnessPal). The clock is moving wayyyy too slow 🙂


Katy January 13, 2015 at 2:29 pm

I joined the Panera club only to learn that the only one is my area does not participate because it’s a “Panera Cares.”


Nathalie January 13, 2015 at 5:15 pm

So doesn’t that mean that you could actually get the drink for free because you pay whatever you want at a Panera Cares location? I’d personally feel weird about doing it (I feel that I have to buy something from a gas station or a fast food restaurant if I have to use their bathroom) but I guess that’s what they count on…


Nathalie January 14, 2015 at 4:49 am

I feel slightly like a stalker… because I woke up thinking about you and how I forgot to tell you that you can donate your Panera Rewards to a friend! Just log into your MyPanera account, go to your dashboard, and for each Reward that you have earned there is a link to donate it to a friend. You need their email address. The reward will be loaded to their MyPanera card automatically and they will be notified but IF they had chosen not to get alerts from Panera, they might not know about it so I would email them privately to give them a heads-up, just in case.


NMPatricia January 14, 2015 at 6:11 am

(This is for yesterday) Not sure if I can do this right but…
1. Went to the grocery store with my DH and he commented “that is all you need”. 🙂 I planned all my meals and am using up what is in the cupboard and freezer.
2. Had a power failure – this is NM when an inch of snow shuts down the city – and found myself being able to do stuff that didn’t require electricity quite nicely – zoom loom, knitting, darning
3. Darned my very favorite pair of Smart Wool socks so they will last a little longer. My darning efforts are nothing I would show anyone, but they seem to do the job.
4. Learning that I don’t have to eat nearly as much as I thought I did, mostly because of getting my emotional eating (and boredom eating) under control
5. Continue to eat from scratch rather than buy pre-made stuff, i.e. made myself some Gingerbread Granola for snacks from the Minimalist Baker. yum.

One minor glitch
I had ordered some LL Bean stuff earlier in the year – all on sale – and they were a great deal. I saw on my email an alert that I had another charge that I didn’t remember making. When I called around, it was a backordered item. The glitch – I am limiting myself on my spending to get it under control and this is going to push it up earlier in the month. Just forgot to log it. The bright side – incredible customer service from LL Bean. When I called, a human answered the phone. WOW.


Katy January 14, 2015 at 8:39 am

Yes, LL Bean and Land’s End are the pinnacle of customer service!


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