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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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Comments

  • Athanasia October 11, 2017

    I hope your almond tree will be very productive in the coming years. Have you ever tried shade cloth to protect areas of your garden ? It is used up here by the ginseng growers.

  • Maxine October 11, 2017

    Hazelnuts grow very well around Portland, Oregon. Although Portland has a mild climate, it's a lot colder than yours and never as hot in the summer; plus they get a lot of rain. I know that hazelnuts also grow in England, which has a similar climate and rainfall. I don't really know if they would grow in Vegas, but I'm guessing...not. Be interesting if anyone knows for sure.

  • momsav October 10, 2017

    What a lovely week you had. I love garage sales!
    At work, I saved water bottles, with water still in them, for the dog. Just two more weeks til the Summer job ends! I am so looking forward to that!
    Two of our gas stations have 1.00 coupons off gas about once a month, three to four coupons each. We use one every time we get gas. We usually put six dollars in with one dollar off. Love it!
    I received a large bag of onions from the last CSA delivery. I froze those for Winter use.
    We went for lunch at Applebee’s with an old gift card. It paid for the whole thing and we still have a few dollars left. While in this neighborhood, we visited the Big Lot’s and found a few bargains. (Mostly chocolate, don’t ask.

  • Marybeth October 10, 2017

    Those were some great finds Brandy. I love going to yard sales.
    -Sold 3 items on EBay
    -Traded movie tickets with my friend for a gift card to a restaurant
    -Transplanted my mums from my garden into pots that I put out front. Will bring them in when the temp drops.
    -Picked the rest of my bush beans and froze a bunch, Still picking tomatoes, pole beans, peppers, carrots,corn and herbs.
    -Worked an extra shift(someone called out). My husband made a huge pot of chili and cornbread. I froze half of the chili for future meals.
    -Made food for the dog with leftover scraps
    -My husband did his truck's breaks.
    -My son brought home bread and pastries from work
    -Used a $10 off coupon at a store.
    -Bought 2 pairs of sneakers at B/1/G/1 half off. I wear sneakers everyday at work. I put the second pair away for next year.
    -I cut up paper bags and put them in a Ziploc. I use them instead of paper towels for greasy foods.
    -I hung laundry outside. It was beautiful a few days, otherwise it went on the clothes rack inside.
    -Did lots of cooking. Made potato cheese soup, pasta fagioli, biscuits with sausage gravy, pancakes, pasta salad, steak. I also grilled a large batch of chicken cutlets that we have been using in multiple ways for lunch and dinner.
    -I went to the dentist for a cleaning. Came home with free goodies. It is covered by our insurance so it cost $0
    -I watched my sister's dog for a few days. When she dropped him off she gave me some milk that was almost expired, cheese, sad looking carrots and cookies for the kids. When she picked him up she brought a cute heart basket that she had been given and hotel shampoos and conditioners.
    -My husband went for his yearly physical.
    -My in-laws came for dinner. They brought a bottle of home made wine. They had gone apple picking and made apple sauce so we received a jar and 6 huge apples. I gave them a jar of peach jam that I had made.

  • Hilogene in Az October 10, 2017

    Brandy,
    Glad you were able to get a good stock up this month and congratulations on the great garage sale finds!

    Frugal activities

    -Looked for books to read, went online to the site for our city library (to download as kindle books when available) and put myself on the waiting list for a few, and found two to download now.
    -ate all but one meal at home (I budget one meal out a week, we try for lunches...last week I tried to use a gift certificate I won but it wouldn’t work, so we had to pay for the meal, and now I am arguing with the certificate company who blames everything on the restaurant....now I have to go back to the restaurant and try again to use the certificate....it is not worthy of the drive or the second meal but I refuse to let $50 go away).
    -updated the freezer contents list and made a list of potential dinners for October.

  • Mary October 10, 2017

    Hello to all! Nice finds, Brandy. My frugal week -

    - checked out several books from the library
    - combined errands so I did not go out much
    - I made some oatmeal muffins using up sour milk. They were ok little too dry.
    I received a medical bill. I put on our credit card and will pay the whole bill when it comes and get cash back.
    I did all the regular things I do to save - wash baggies, wash full loads and hang clothes.
    I hope all has a good frugal week.

  • Terry calkins October 10, 2017

    The garden is winding down. We have freezing temperatures predicted for nights this week. We have harvested a wheel barrow of winter squash and at least a wheel barrow of green tomatoes. The rest of the tomatoes are covered.
    Meals continue to be from pantry, garden and freezer. Albertsons had a special to introduce their delivery service. 20 dollars off your first order of at least 49 dollars and free delivery. I stocked up on sale prices boneless skinless chicken breasts, macaroni and canned soup.
    Baking homemade bread, cookies and pizza and making all meals from scratch. The weather has turned cold at night but our gas fireplace warms the house nicely in the mornings. Still able to leave the furnace off, and hang laundry outside. We have a cold winter predicted so I am enjoying these beautiful fall days and the turning leaves

  • Annie-Blake October 10, 2017

    Great garage sale finds. This week our accomplishments were-

    -I received $25 in gift cards for the big box grocery and department stores. I got them for completing 2 online surveys. One took me 20mins ($15)and the other took 10mins ($10);
    -my mother in law purchased an expensive Christmas present for my son which I had really wanted but did not wish to spend the money on. What a blessing;
    -I received some basil seeds for free;
    -my children and I attended a kids festival and everything we did and received was free. We got tomatoe plants & strawberry seeds, toothbrushes, pens, 2 large water bottles, 5 apples, 5 mandarins, 15 nut and honey bars, 5 packets of dried fruits & sultanas, a children's book, bubbles the kids x 3, stickers. While there we received fruit kebabs, cookies, watched a Peppa Pig show, my children went on 4 amusement rides, did multiple art and craft and sculpting activities (& took home their result), cooking lessons (also took home the raw balls they made!), animal farm. I can't believe it was all free. We had a fun day;
    -went to the farmers markets today and got lots of inexpensive fresh fruit and vegetables;
    -all groceries for the week came in at under $15;
    -I borrowed an outfit from a friend. Very grateful;
    -picked an abundance of tomatoes from our vegetable garden and continue to use them in cooking and salads.

  • Athanasia October 11, 2017

    Annie, that was quite a generous children's festival. How nice you were able to attend.

  • Laura October 11, 2017

    Writing to you all from London, England, where I read Brandy's every post.

    We do not have muffins here, pretty much, except at Starbucks. How do you make oatmeal muffins? Do you have special tins?

    And - big question for us Brits - what do you do with all these pumpkins you have? Over here, they are only used for making Halloween lanterns. But I am guessing you thrifty women have all sorts of meals you make from them?

  • Yes, we do have muffin tins specifically for making muffins. You can spray them/grease them or you can use paper liners to keep the batter from sticking. They're a quick bread, raised with baking soda and/or baking powder and eggs. Here is an example: http://amzn.to/2gcjUdp There are also extra large-sized muffin tins and mini-muffin tins as well.

    Pumpkin for baking is sold in cans (tins) here, usually during October and November, and used especially for making pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving. The most traditional pumpkin pie recipe is found on the most common brand of canned pumpkin, and it is delicious. Here is the recipe:
    https://www.verybestbaking.com/recipes/18470/LIBBYS-Famous-Pumpkin-Pie

    Pumpkin has grown in popularity is the last few decades and is used in other quick breads like muffins and loaf breads or cakes.

    The large pumpkins here are used for Jack o' Lanterns on Halloween, but there are smaller types called pie pumpkins that are more meaty and better for using for pies, though you can use both. In the last few years there has been a growing interest/market for heirloom pumpkin varities and squash of the same shape (often in other colors). A lot of people use those for decorating, but they are also good to cook as well. Whether or not you can find them depends on if the stores near you carry them. My stores have very few options right now for anything besides traditional large pumpkins for carving for Halloween and tiny orange ones, but I have seen beautiful choices in other places on the blogosphere and on Instagram. Colder climates had pumpkins weeks ago.

    After October, the only pumpkins you find in the U.S. are the tinned, already cooked ones for baking. Whole pumpkins are nowhere to be seen in the stores after Halloween.

    I don't have a recipe for oatmeal muffins, but I suggest Pinterest for recipes searches as well as pumpkin recipes.

    In the U.S., when we make pumpkin pie, there is a spice mix that many people use to make their pies called "pumpkin spice." A lot of people like to use the spice in the fall in other things, such as coffee.

  • Mary October 11, 2017

    Oatmeal muffin recipe

    http://cooks.com/5a33g90i

    I would add some fruit also.

  • Laura October 12, 2017

    Wonderful Mary, thank you!

  • Rob October 11, 2017

    We are away this week .Brought food from home shared when we eat out ' used senior discounts and saved by going off season . Used discounted gas and stayed closer to home. Used our senior park pass ( our national parks pass ) to get into two parks and enjoy the outdoors. We save as much as we can all year to vacation, we use the parks a lot and coupons gift cards and food from home to cut costs going off season helps a lot too. I was gifted a jacket for my grandson. Frugal fail after years of travel together and always bringing hubbys pillows I lost his pillows somehow (although might have been a five finger discount from the maids) Aniother frugal fail hubby broke his mic he did not pad it enough when packing. So this particular trip will cost us more when we get back on buying replacements .


    On the cereal liner when I use them for coating chicken I just tun them inside out , also I saved my tube and box from wax paper long ago and just roll it.

  • Rhonda A. October 11, 2017

    To add to Brandy's wonderful explanation, muffin tins are similar to Yorkshire pudding pans. If you want to try making muffins, you could probably use one of those. I second Brandy's suggestion on finding muffin recipes on Pinterest. There are tons of great muffin recipes of all kinds to be found, and use simple ingredients that you'd have in England as well.

    The use of pumpkin or winter squash is a tradition that relates back to the pioneers learning from the Native Indians (Americans refer to them as American Indians, Canadians call them First Nations People). Those that immigrated from England, Ireland and Scotland had no idea what would actually grow in this new world. They learned much from the people that were already here (our Thanksgiving holiday tradition was born from this). Corn, beans and squash were being grown here as companion plantings by those Native communities and is a nutritiously complete meal when cooked together. This summer I tried my hand at making a lovely soup called "Three Sister's Soup" which is a traditional meal made from corn, beans and squash. It was really good! Today, most of us in North America more relate the use of pumpkin to use in baked goods. If you'd like to try cooking with pumpkin, again, I'd refer you to Pinterest. There are instructions on how to cook the pumpkin into a puree, how to freeze it, and many recipes to use it in. In regards to "pumpkin spice", they don't really sell that here in Canada. However, it's just a mix of spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. If you come across a recipe that calls for "pumpkin spice", look for a separate recipe on how to mix up your own pumpkin pumpkin spice mix. Personally, I just look for another recipe that lists all the spices separate...it's easier that way!

  • Laura October 12, 2017

    Thank you so much Rhonda! Half of my family emigrated from Scotland to Canada in the 1920s. I will make your Three Sisters' Soup in your honour!

  • Joanne October 11, 2017

    Hi to you from the UK - we absolutely do have muffins in England in all stores not just Starbucks!! Libby’s tinned pumpkin purée is available all year round, definitely not frugal
    at £2/tin approx €2.64!! I hollow out my pumpkins, my 2 sons carve them and I make yummy curried pumpkin soup with the flesh. Can’t wait til Halloween!

  • Laura October 12, 2017

    Thank you so much Joanne, for the Libby's recommendation. And the curry idea. All I've ever managed is to toast the seeds but now I have many new ideas for this year.

  • Mable October 12, 2017

    I make pumpkin guts quick bread after I pull out the seeds to toast them. There are several recipes on line.

  • Laura October 12, 2017

    You are a natural-born teacher Brandy, thank you so much! I have managed to find the spice and am going to make the pie in honour of your Thanksgiving. Halloween here, incidentally, is now a nationwide event derived almost entirely from American trick or treating. When I was growing up in Scotland, we used turnips instead of pumpkins for lanterns, and 'dooked' for apples, trying to pick apples out of tubs of water with our teeth, hands tied behind our backs. And then we passed oranges round a ring of children and adults, tucking them beneath our chins, until one team dropped the fruit and the other won. Do you all do that there too?

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