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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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  • Juls Owings October 09, 2017

    if you have tiled floor the steam mop can mess up the grout if you use it often. My son just had to have his redone and the company that was fixing it said their business is up due to steam mops.

  • Jeannie October 09, 2017

    Juls, thank you for the warning!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I was looking at steam mops and wondering how they would work on my kitchen floor which is brick and grout. It has already crumbled in one spot in the main walkway and I was able to repair it because the previous owner had left an extra can of grout in the garage (So nice of him). It is something I don't want to have to do again. I suppose I must continue to rely on Scooter to keep the floor clean.

    Jeannie @ GetMeToTheCountry

  • K October 09, 2017

    Thanks for the warning! Fortunately I only have tile in the bathroom, which is small enough that I should be able to handle it without the steam mop.

  • Melissa V October 10, 2017

    We do not hand out candy at Halloween - it is an expense that we cannot do. We turn ALL the lights off outside and on the main floor and "hide out" downstairs. There is no reason anyone HAS to hand out Halloween candy!

  • Linda Shields October 12, 2017

    We do the same. Some people are so into Halloween but we do not think it is a good thing.

  • mable October 08, 2017

    1. Last week got a super bargain on apples so spent yesterday making quarts and quarts of applesauce. To extend the expensive apples, I added rhubarb. This time all I did was core the apples, I didn't peel them. After cooking, I used the immersion blender and the peels (as well as the fibrous rhubarb chunks) blended right in. Saved a lot of time and nutrients not to peel, so will never peel again. BY adding the rhubarb, I extended the apples by about a third. And the Honeycrisps were so sweet that even with the rhubarb, no added sugar was needed. Then I boiled up the cores with only a little water and had enough juice to make 10 pints of apple syrup for pancakes. The boiled remains of the cores went into the compost.
    2. Traded pumpkins for salmon with our fisherman neighbor. I make salmon bisque, which stretches the salmon and makes good use of the potatoes and onions I grew this summer.
    3. A friend's husband has developed an allergy to their clothes detergent. She offered it to me and I repaid her with three quart jars of homemade spaghetti. A good trade for both of us.
    4. Was doing a final turning of the garden today, as a lot of snow is forecast for tonight and tomorrow. Found 8 large potatoes I had missed when harvesting. Apparently I didn't dig deep enough.
    5. Burpee was having a sale of 10 packs of seeds for $20, including postage. What I ordered would have come to over $50, and I know the seeds of these varieties are good for years if properly stored. Now I pretty much have all the seeds I need for next spring! Usually free shipping does not apply to Alaska, so I was pretty happy when I realized this offer included us.
    6. Dug out some old supplies and made all the cards I will need for the months of October and November.
    7. There was a play in town that I wanted to see. A friend in the production got the director to agree that I could come to the dress rehearsal for free, as long as I sat in the back and noted any places where the words were not heard. She said they had cast members who could do it but they knew all the lines so tended to hear them in their minds even though they were indistinct.
    8. I cut husband's hair. He cut my hair.

    Need some help from this community: I found a case of clams I bought at a case lot sale over a year ago and then promptly forgot about them. They are not out of date but I want to use them. I make a great clam chowder but there are 48 cans of the stuff and that is a lot of chowder! I looked at online recipe sites and pretty much the only other thing I found was a recipe for fried clams and another for clam fritters. Both of those use a lot of oil...Does anyone have any ideas for what else I can do with them? Husband won't eat clam sauce on spaghetti. Thank you in advance for any help.

  • Deb October 08, 2017

    How about using mashed potato, onion, and an egg mixed with the clams to make clam cakes with some cooking spray in a non-stick pan? (although I could cheerfully eat clam chowder weekly!) I keep dehydrated (or instant mashed) potatoes just for this type of thing as well as to thicken soups.

  • Mable October 09, 2017

    Thank you! Never thought of clam cakes. I make salmon and tuna cakes all the time.

  • TerriC October 13, 2017

    You can make a clam sauce for pasta, too.

  • Juls Owings October 09, 2017

    paella, pizza topping,ceviche, cream cheese wontons,cold clam salad,in stuffed mushrooms (or stuffed in anything else including bread stuffing/dressing) In stir fry or fried rice,clam dip, clam mousse (does that tell you my age?LOL), clam and corn souffle, baked clam/seafood casserole(google it there was several),Sailor clams (allrecipes) cheese and clam rolls, Clam and cheese sandwiches (son does it as a grilled cheese or as a sub with the cheese melted on top)... I don't eat clams but my son sure does LOL

  • Mable October 09, 2017

    I am going to make the cream cheese clam wontons tonight. Another great idea I would not have thought of. Clam and cheese sandwiches I have to think about--an unusual combination but I stick other things in cheese sandwiches. Thank you.

  • Marybeth October 09, 2017

    Baked clams. I always used old bread as the bread crumbs.

  • Julie V October 09, 2017

    What about clam dip?

  • Athanasia October 09, 2017

    Does one batch of chowder use 2 cans? My recipe does. So that is only 24 times you need to make chowder. Once a month for the next two years sounds very reasonable to me. Clam chowder is the only way we use canned clams. Once is gets cold would be easy enough to have chowder every other week or so, for us. I wish I had a case of clams.

  • Mable October 09, 2017

    It does use two cans of clams, but we also have a lot of halibut given to us during the summer fishing season so I make that into chowder about once a week. Plus someone gave us some salmon not too long ago. I am thankful for the abundance but if I make chowder twice a week the husband will get pretty sick of it and gravitate toward take out on the way home!

  • Athanasia October 10, 2017

    Mable, it is nice you have so much ocean fish to use. Our salmon we use is always from a can. We do have a lot of lake fish...bluegill, bass, perch...as my husband enjoys fishing.

  • Mable October 12, 2017

    Athanasia: Alaska is heaven for certain ocean foods. We never lack for salmon, halibut, burbot, and trout. My husband doesn't go dip netting for salmon anymore; I think he lost the heart for it when a friend was swept away in the river and the body was never found. He wasn't tied off to the shore, which is pretty important in a raging river, but that was the last time my husband went salmon fishing. We are lucky to have generous friends and neighbors. And I can usually score some inexpensive king crab during the season. I am ashamed to say that I sometimes hear myself whining, "Why can't we grow ____ or ____?" instead of remembering to be thankful for the bounty we do have.

    BTW, I love your name. I have always hated mine, even as a child. I was a chubby child and my ears still hear the taunts of "Mable, Mable, wide as a table."

  • Athanasia October 16, 2017

    Thank you Mable. I like it too, but, being as it is a Greek name everyone else that has it is Greek. My twin sister is Petronia...my parents just liked the names.

    I never heard the saying you mentioned, but we used to have a jumproping song, Mable Mable Set the Table.

  • Jennifer O October 11, 2017

    You could alternate between red and white chowder to make it seem different. After that, I second wontons and clam pizza.
    Perhaps you could use them for entertaining over the holidays as toppings for canapes or puff pastry or or filling fillo dough bundles?

  • http://http:Vickie@Vickie's Kitchen and Garden October 08, 2017

    We are still going to sales too Brandy. I'm so glad you were able to find a new watch. Good luck with the garage sales this week.
    We have had a most unusual warm Autumn and we are loving it. I'm still wearing my flip flops!
    I recently twisted my knee and though I did do some frugal things really I just tried to do the most important things to keep the family going. I make sure I washed the dishes, laundry, made dinner (simple meals) and made my menu plan. Thank goodness it's healing and I'm back to more normal.
    Although I don't have a frugal post up this week I'm sharing 7 Tips that Will Help Make Meal Planning a Breeze!

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