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Frugal Accomplishments For The First Week of October

October Garage Sale Finds 1 The Prudent Homemaker

Saturday's garage sale finds: Vase $1, lidded basket $0.50, bust $1, silver-plated knife $0.50

I updated my garage sale list in preparation for going to the community garage sales on Saturday. There will be even more this upcoming Saturday and I hope to find lots of items on my list.

October Garage Sale Finds 2 The Prudent Homemaker

I found several things for my eldest to put aside for her future college apartment, including a brand-new stainless steel teapot that was just the right size for one person (and included a brand-new tea ball!) for $2, a pastry blender for $0.10, a small fancy bowl (just for fun) for $0.50, a soap dish for $0.50, and a 2-cup glass measuring cup for $0.50.

I found several pairs of jeans for $0.50 and $1 for my two eldest girls and myself.

I found a couple of items for my youngest that I will give him for Christmas: a board book and a brand-new hat with the tags still on.

My mom and I went to the sales together, and she found a couple of items to give as Christmas gifts to two of my children. Last year she made a goal to purchase all of her Christmas gifts at yard sales. She said that as the year draws to a close, she always has to watch to make sure she doesn't take too much out of her IRA and receive a penalty. Buying gifts at yard sales not only saves her money but helps her to stay under her maximum withdrawal amount.

I found a brand-new watch for myself for $5. I was going to get a new band for my existing watch, but this was less money.

I sowed seeds in my garden for Swiss chard, artichokes, nasturtiums, and arugula.

I cut garlic chives from the garden to top our baked potatoes.

I paid off our hospital bill and emergency room bills from earlier this year over the phone, saving myself the cost of 2 stamps.

My eldest accepted a regular twice a month babysitting job. 

My eldest and I attended a free presentation from a local university 's (UNLV) financial aid counselor on the FAFSA, which was very helpful.

We were able to turn off the air conditioner for several days and most of the day for the other days last week.

I downloaded the Target app to my phone so that I could use two coupons that were only in the ad or available on the app. With these, I was able to get a $20 gift card and a $5 gift card for buying things that I had planned to buy anyway (diapers and hairspray). 

I was taking photos of a house for sale and remarked about the owner's pomegranate tree looking ripe. She offered me a bag and said I could fill it full of pomegranates! Then after I filled it, she handed me another bag and told me I could fill it too! As most of the flowers on my pomegranate trees were blown off in our high winds, I was delighted!

A fun note about the bust above: I bought it from a French couple who has lived in town for 27 years. My mom bought a bicycle from them. While my mom was working out how to fit the bicycle in her car, I had a lovely conversation with them in French. I came home elated because I noted that I was able to speak without hesitation and that I had no problems at all with comprehension! I can see where my French study has really paid off and it gave me a confirmation that I need to now concentrate on the little grammatical errors that are easy to miss and so important in being fluent versus speaking well. I'll also continue to work on learning more French expressions to use in my conversations with French friends.


What did you do to save money last week?



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  • Athanasia October 10, 2017

    Annaliese, we saw the Blue Angels this summer at the air show. Amazing flying!

  • PJGT October 09, 2017

    With a three day weekend, we have been catching up on sleep and around the cabin work. I'm impressed at your garage sale finds. We rarely have decent sales, but the thrift stores more than make up for it. It's a rather depressed area and those with the nicer things donate them to the charity thrift shops rather than have sales.

    I spent quite a bit more time than expected preparing the rv for when my dear husband will be insulating and sheet rocking the cabin. We will be staying in the rv during that process. I'm so thankful he is able to do this type of work. Such a blessing to have a debt free place to live. It allows us to work on paying off the debts we have accumulated these past couple years.

    My MIL didn't take any money for the things she bought from Sam's club for us. I was quite surprised, but very thankful. We also were treated to Chinese food and butternut squash soup for lunch and took the leftovers home.

    My husband's aunt that moved gave us yet another box of food. Such a blessing.

    It has been neither too hot nor too cold so we have saved on heating and cooling this week.

    My son and I saved up to go to the movies and had hamburgers out. He just loves to go to the movie theater, so it is a special activity for us to do. I saved the tomatoes for a sandwich for lunch today. I needed something from Walmart which is next to the movie theater, so was able to get it when we went to the movies rather than have to make the 45 minute drive each way just to buy the one item. I also looked for something for work that I couldn't find and solved the need without purchasing anything.

    Was given cookies at work that will be a treat for my son's lunch on his super long day. They are packaged with a nice note about being kind; I'm passing the note on as well.

    I called and found out how to pay on a medical bill online thus saving the cost of an envelope, stamp and check. I stopped in and had the bank send my DD a debit card for my account here so I will quickly be able to give her money when she is in need. Her on-campus job doesn't always cover all her expenses.

    Wishing everyone a blessed week.

  • Juls Owings October 09, 2017

    Brandy I have been searching for a 2 cup measuring glass for 3 yrs. Every morning during my first cup of coffee I read the frugal posts. Somethings I make notes of and we talk about them when Hubby gets home from work.

    I spent the day caramelizing over 10 lbs of onions, kept the onion juice/oil for frying potatoes and onions or bean soup after we went to Menards this morning for softener salt that was on sale.. Blanched turnips and they are in freezer. I have onions in dehydrator to come out (I'll put potatoes in next to take the odor out) and rosemary and oregano to bag up.
    I took all the cereal/etc box inserts after washing them and letting them dry on the drying rack and wrapped them around a empty paper towel tube and put it in the empty spot on my wall with the wax paper and paper towels are. I used my single cup tea bags 3-4 times with just letting them soak a bit longer each time. I took advantage of Burpee 10 for $20 (even though it's slim pickings) and saved $24.80 on the seeds. I can't find some varieties of winter squash we like so that was the priority when I started looking.
    Hubby has taken to wiping his paper plate off (it's mostly crumbs) and reusing it as long as he can instead of getting a new plate every time. I realized the issue of him not using a regular plate comes from his mother who uses at least a dozen paper plates and paper bowls a day and according to his dad, always has. He also has stopped leaving a light on in the kitchen on the nights he is home from work (he works 3rd) made a comment that the security light is enough light as I do have a small night light at the door way of the front room to the dining room and the bathroom has a night light also. We used gasbuddy to check best prices for gas and used my Kroger fuel points also. The rest of my frugal week is here. http://chefowings.blogspot.com/2017/10/frugal-first-week.html

    Blessing to you and yours Brandy and all that post here.

  • Maxine October 10, 2017

    Juls, thank you for mentioning that you store cereal liners on a roll. I have been trying to think of a better way of keeping mine, and this hadn't occurred to me. BTW, I do not wash the liners. I mostly use them for flouring meat. Here is a tip: don't tear open the liners on the seam until you are ready to use them. There are some tasks that are better done in the bag--such as flouring chicken pieces or pork chops--and if you haven't opened them yet, you've always got a bag. The seams are absolutely sealed and you are not going to make a mess shaking flour in the bag.

  • Marcia R. October 12, 2017

    I flatten and fold mine and keep them in a plastic bag. My main use is for rolling out pie crust between two sheets, but I also use them when chopping food--like for a stir fry---and also for breading or rolling things in flour. At least they are used twice, if not more.

  • Jeannie October 13, 2017

    Carmalized and dehydrated ten pounds of onions! Impressive. It would have cried the whole time!
    Jeannie @ GetMeToTheCountry.Blogspot.com

  • Melonie K. October 09, 2017

    So excited for you on the paid off medical bills - and I love that you noted not using the stamps. :D It reminds me that my husband brought home something some would think odd, after his mother's passing. While helping his dad sort things at their house, they came across an envelope STUFFED with stamps. They are years and years old, but unused. My father-in-love didn't want them, so my husband brought them to me. He knows I will quite gladly use multiple stamps to get to today's postage amount!

    My post for last week is here:

  • Shirley October 09, 2017

    Melonie...maybe they are collectibles and worth some money.

  • Molly October 09, 2017

    Frugal accomplishments from my house this week:

    - My grandson lives out of state, but was here to visit. We took him to the Renaissance Festival. He qualified for the 5 and under - FREE admission and we found a BOGO coupon that helped with costs for our admission. It was a beautiful day weather wise and we enjoyed it very much.
    - I received a bill for the full amount of a mammogram I had done last November. Although we do have health insurance, they covered nothing. Apparently they do not cover "routine screenings". By now I have had many mammograms and never before has the insurance co. declined. I called the radiology dept. where the mammogram was done and asked if I could pay a lower rate since my insurance wouldn't pay. She gave me 25% off if I paid in full... which I did. I am finding this insurance stuff to be very confusing anymore. We are paying $750/month just to have it and they seem to pay very little or decline everything. This has never been the case with our past insurance plans. Unfortunately, there aren't too many options available. Frustrating (and expensive).
    - I saw that our local Publix had Starkist tuna 10/$10. That is the brand we usually buy, so I stocked up.
    - Made a large pot of vegetable soup yesterday. Used up some "oldish" celery and a carrot. Also finished up little bits of frozen vegetables from the freezer and the end of a bag of ditalini from the pantry. Flavored the soup with kale, basil and oregano that I had previously dried from the garden.
    - Exercised several times using videos from YouTube.
    - I was thrilled to find a little kitchen gadget brand new at a thrift shop for 50 cents. It is a little plastic container that you put part of a stick of butter in and roll the other end across corn on the cob to butter it. Kind of hard to describe, but it provides a neat and easy way to achieve the task. I had one that was over 20 years old when it finally broke. I figured I would never find another. You just never know what little treasure might be found at the thrift store. :-)
    - I make my coffee in Keurig as my husband is not a coffee drinker. I don't like the cost or the waste created by using the k-cup pods. I have been using the re-usable k-cup that has a wire mesh filter you can put your own coffee into. After a few years of use the filter had a small slit in it and the grounds were winding up in my cup of coffee. I looked online and found that I could buy the wire mesh filters without having to buy the plastic case that it goes into. Since that part was still perfectly fine, I purchased the filters only.
    - Went to Target for a facial lotion and noticed the offer for receiving a $5 gift card with the purchase of $20 or more in beauty products. Figured out how to obtain the coupon on my phone. The cashier was unable to get it to scan so he just took $5 off the total bill. I also used my own bags and received 20 cents off the bill for doing so. I try to always remember to bring my own bags as I detest what all of those plastic bags are doing to our environment. It is especially rewarding to do so at Target where they pay you to do so.

    I guess that is about it for last week. I look forward to reading everyone else's comments.

    Brandy, I admire the way you and your mom keep lists and shop at the garage sales. It is amazing how often you are able to find just what you are looking for.

  • Melonie K. October 09, 2017

    I didn't realize Target gives a discount for using your own bags - thank you for noting that! I will have to be better about carrying my bags in when shopping there. I only go every couple of months and had no idea.

  • Molly October 09, 2017

    Target gives you five cents per bag if you use your own bags. They should scan five cents off of your total per bag. Sometimes I have had cashiers who don't remember to do this, but usually they do. It may not be a huge amount, but I think we frugal types will agree that it all adds up.

  • momsav October 10, 2017

    Our insurance isn’t the best, either. At this point, we still have coverage for mammograms and colonoscopies. (Thankfully!!!) I did mention to the head nurse that we would be one of the millions without care if the ACA was taken away. This would impact the Dr.s, the drug companies, hospitals and many other things I can’t think of! Scary times!


  • Alethea October 12, 2017

    Molly, I've had many mammograms as well since I'm considered high risk. You may find that insurance will cover it if the radiology dept will submit it as diagnostic (which they might if you've ever had a suspicious mammogram). It might be worth looking into.

  • Mary October 14, 2017

    This is good information to know. I will have to make sure mine are coded that way. I have been paying for all the follow up mammograms and it is not cheap!

  • Kandace October 09, 2017

    A girlfriend from out of town needed a place to sleep for the night. She brought with her lots of Mexican food for a dinner party she had hosted the night before. It made a yummy dinner and about three days worth of lunches.

    My sister is running for office and didn't plant a garden this year to focus on the campaign. But she has grapes that she is not able to use. DH and I picked four five-gallon buckets of them and turned them into 35 quarts of juice. She also has an apple tree and isn't able to use the apples, so I picked two boxes and so far have canned seven pints of applesauce and made an apple crisp. The core and peelings have been boiled for apple syrup.

    I cleaned through the garden on Saturday harvesting a few tomatillos, tomatoes, and herbs to dry.

    Got a $41 check for items sold at a consignment shop, $43 in credit card rebates, and notification that I had overpaid on another account and had a $22 credit, which I used to buy some picture frames. The income went into savings.

    I helped my mom sort through her closet and ended up with two boxes and a bag of clothes (and a sweater for me). In the past I have given a friend and her daughter the clothes because they are more their tastes. I again gave them the clothing. My friend will take what they don't want to a thrift store and bring me the receipt for the donation.

  • Margaret @ApproachingFood October 09, 2017

    I always find it interesting to see what you find at garage sales, Brandy! Sounds like a nice haul!

    My week was a bit quieter than usual, but I still managed to get a few things done:
    - I redeemed Pinecone Research Points for $10 to my Paypal account
    - I took the week off of work to recover from a medical procedure. My husband had planned to order in dinner during the week to make it easy on me to recover, but I spent the previous weeks cooking and froze lots of delicious things that I then just had to pull out of the freezer: meals included pasta with veggieballs and homemade tomato sauce, homemade pizza on rosemary olive oil crust, and broccoli cheddar soup. Snacks included chocolate chip banana bread, lemon poppy seed muffins, and home-canned pear sauce, home-canned pears, and home-canned peaches. I plan to take it easy for another week, and will pull out meals from the freezer like taco soup served with homemade rosemary olive oil bread, schoolhouse dinner rolls (http://approachingfood.com/waste-not-want-not-schoolhouse-style-dinner-rolls/) or veggie burgers with homemade mushroom soup as gravy and home-blanched broccoli and homemade stuffing. It took some planning and a bit of work, but I feel very well-nourished and no money was spent on take-out! My freezer will be half empty after these two weeks, but this is why I have food in my freezer after all!
    - With my husband to open heavy drawers and such (I can’t lift heavy things for a few weeks), I made microwave caramels for my husband to bring to work as well as for us to take to my family for (Canadian) Thanksgiving and to give to a co-worker as thanks for covering some work for me while I was recovering.
    - I received a free snack sample from a research company, which I ate as a snack one afternoon. I do love free food products!
    - I traded a loaf of chocolate chip pear bread (recipe from last week’s comments, thanks Becky!) for a bag of groceries (two bags of carrots, half a red cabbage, a sweet red pepper, and a package of organic celery), via my local trading app. I had made the bread using pear sauce that I had made from mostly pear peelings, so it was particularly frugal. I did the trade on the way to my parents place for Thanksgiving dinner, so I didn’t have to go out of my way at all.
    - Redeemed Swagbucks for a $10 gift card to Old Navy
    - I cut off the bottom of a tube of toothpaste to get the very last bit out, after not being able to squeeze any more out.
    - My mum sent the DH and I home with Thanksgiving dinner leftovers, which was super-nice, and meant that I didn’t have to cook anything the next day. She also sent us home with two bags of bread crusts (leftover from her homemade stuffing recipe) which I put in the freezer, and will turn into breadcrumbs, bread pudding, and stuffing at a later date. My dad sent us home with several pomegranates as a Thanksgiving gift, which I will add to salads this week.
    - Strawberries were on sale for $1.97/lb so I bought 6 lbs to turn into strawberry jam, which I will use as a mix-in with my homemade yoghurt.

    Looking forward to learning from everyone else, as always!

  • Athanasia October 11, 2017

    Margaret, you said you adjusted the recipe. Is the 3 cups of flour your adjusted amount? Or was that the original amount and you added 1cup to make it 4 cups? One cup of liquid to 3 to 3 1/2 cups is a pretty good ratio.

  • Margaret @ApproachingFood October 12, 2017

    Hi Athanasia! Three cups is the adjusted amount. The recipe that I wrote out in the post is the modified recipe. Hope that helps!

  • Jeannie October 13, 2017

    I hope you are feeling better. I hate going to the vet also.
    Scooter @ GetMeToTheCountry.Blogspot.com

  • Laurie in AZ October 09, 2017

    Brandy, I love your yard sale finds. Especially the bust!

    • Found another gallon bag of tomatoes in my freezer. Canned 3 ¾ pts. of tomato sauce with them.
    • Ate out at our Trivia night but used a coupon we had won a previous week.
    • Hubby changed the oil on my car.
    • DD and her husband had us over for dinner on Friday. We only had to bring wine. My daughter asked if I had any pinot grigio and I had to laugh as that is the kind I got so much of for under $2.25 per bottle. I brought her 6 bottles to fill up her wine rack as part of her birthday present.
    • Hubby brought his lunch to work 2 times. He was a tough sell for a long time, but now he sees the amount he is saving is adding up. Plus he wants to do recreational shooting at the shooting range. He figures the money he is saving not eating out will pay for that, which I think is a great trade off.
    • Have been trying to eat up food we already have. Was able to use up 6 items out of the freezer and 7 items off of the pantry shelf.
    • Forgot to add this last week. I only drink water that has been purified. Our city water is terrible. Since we are in a rental, we cannot install a reverse osmosis system like we have in all our previous houses. I had been buying bottled water at 99c/ gallon. I had completely forgotten about the “fill your own” dispensers outside of the grocery store. For the last 2 weeks I have refilled 5 – 1 gallon bottles for only 30c/gallon. $3.50 savings / week. If I had been doing this since we moved into the rental, I would have saved $280. It all adds up, doesn’t it?
    • Our niece got married this weekend in a town 3 hours away in the mountains. My DD found a cabin to share online, so we each only had to pay for 1 night. Combined the wedding trip with a fishing trip for Hubby and SIL too. It was a catch and release weekend, so they didn’t come home with any fish to eat, but they had a good time. And DD and I had a great time catching up while they were fishing. And since it was a cabin, we were able to eat our meals there instead of going out.
    • Made $50 babysitting.
    • My birthday was on Thursday, so DD took me to get a pedicure as my birthday present.
    • My niece treated me to lunch for my birthday also.
    • Found a quarter in a parking lot! That is always fun!
    • Also did all of the usual – used free toiletries, coffee & tea, kept AC as high as possible, etc.

    Have a wonderful week, everyone!

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