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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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  • Laurie in central NC October 08, 2017

    Two bags of free pomegranates sounds like a marvelous thing! So far, my dwarf pomegranates bloom, but don't fruit, but they're still pretty young. However, I noticed our first ever goji berry today, and I'm pretty excited about that. The silver plated knife you found is lovely. It's fun to see the things you're gathering for Winter. How wonderful you were able to pay off your medical bills. I hope you and your family have no need for ER's or the hospital any time soon. While you were turning your air conditioning off, we had to turn ours back on today. I'm quite sure this is the latest it's ever been on. This too shall pass. I'm happy to be joining in here: https://abelabodycare.blogspot.com/2017/10/hope-of-more-to-come-frugal.html

  • Dara October 09, 2017

    We have several Gogi berry bushes and our family doesn't care for them. We think they taste like underripe tomatoes. ;) We just throw them in the frozen berry bags and use them in jam or smoothies where you can't taste them as much. We are in KY and our bushes produce on a cycle similar to raspberries - a few in the late spring and most in Sept/Oct.

  • Laurie in central NC October 10, 2017

    Thanks, Dara. I bought dried ones once, and wasn't impressed. Hopefully, I can figure out something good to do with the fresh ones once it starts bearing well.

  • Kerri October 09, 2017

    Good luck with your goji berry. I found out the hard way that I am allergic.

  • Laurie in central NC October 10, 2017

    Well, that would be disappointing! I've had dried ones with no challenges, so hopefully I'm good. My husband has some odd allergies though, so something to keep in mind. Thanks!

  • Jeannie October 08, 2017

    My goal for this past week was to get the winter garden planted and I almost did it, almost. I pushed until I was exhausted, sore, tired and tanned. I got tanned from working so long in the garden, in October! Hurricane Nate was scheduled to arrive this weekend (he did) so I worked fast. A week of backbreaking garden work for a winter full of fresh vegetables, is worth it, in my opinion. Since I was so busy in the garden, Scooter kindly volunteered to share a post about our celebration of the Feast of Trumpets.


    *Another big money saver was my trip to Dollar General to use coupons. Living in a small town limits my money saving choices so I watch my few stores closely and then leap when I see a good opportunity. This week they had $5 off of $20 if you bought DG Health (drugs) and DG Home (paper and cleaning) products. Plus they had $5 off of $25 for everything else in the store along with online coupons for laundry detergent. It requires MAJOR organizing to be able to coordinate everything and most of the time some of the online coupons don't work. You must keep a running tally to compare with the total at the register to show the mistake quickly because a line of people always forms behind you. This time the $5 off of $20 did not work. The manager came over and did an override, again, for the millionth time. They know me. It was worth the effort because I saved $16 off of $41. Woohoo!

    * The final big money saver is my husband has decided to begin selling his guns because of health problems. He can no longer handle the recoil because it hurts his back. He used the money from all the sales to buy one that is really lightweight and is designed with little recoil. To be honest, I really didn't care about the money savings. I would rather he have his health and see him spend money on a thousand guns than to see him in pain. Anyway, at least I was able to take pictures and share the excitement of being inside of a gun store! ;)


    Jeannie @ GetMeToTheCountry.Blogspot.com

  • Melonie K. October 09, 2017

    I love that you shared this about the gun store, Jeannie! I have rheumatoid disease (aka rheumatoid arthritis) and a few years back had to sell a revolver I loved, but my hands didn't. We later found a pistol that works way, way better for me. Some might think it odd, but it was truly a blessing.

  • Jeannie October 09, 2017

    Thank you Melonie, I was hesitant about sharing because it is so mundane for us; however, I seem to enjoy the simplest things others share. Why, oh why, do I want to read everyone's shopping list and what they did this week to save money??? The only thing I like better is when people show how they organize their kitchen cabinets.
    Jeannie @ GetMeToTheCountry.Blogspot.com

  • Jennifer O October 11, 2017

    I feel the same way when I make a comment about our wine cellar or going to a wine tasting. I'm afraid of offending someone, but it is something we truly enjoy.

  • Jeannie October 13, 2017

    Thank you, Jennifer

  • Becky October 08, 2017

    I like the vase you found, and it was great you could gather items for Winter. I really wanted to go to some garage sales the past few weeks, but have been too busy. I hope by the time I have the time, they aren't over for the season!

    The roasted chicken and beef from last weekend's cooking lasted into mid-week. Then, on Wednesday, since my mom and aunt were coming for lunch, I had the girls I homeschool (niece and daughter) each make something. My niece made cheesy potato soup and my daughter found some shrimp in the freezer and made coconut shrimp with peach/lime dipping sauce. I stir-fried some zucchini and onion with fresh basil (all from the garden) and we all enjoyed it very much. The zucchini bushes look awful, but occasionally make more zucchini anyway:) I made orange chicken and rice later in the week, and did make lasagna and pork chops for the next couple of days.

    I noticed the library was offering a free event where a model train club was setting up their train sets and inviting the public to view them. My autistic niece loves trains so much, as does my nephew. So, their older sister met me at the library with the kids and we enjoyed them enjoying the exhibit. At just under 2 hours, we had to pry them away. They could have stayed all day, but the girls had other things to do.

    I have still been getting a few things, like raspberries, from the garden. I have been trying to spend a few minutes every time I can when I have been pulling up or trimming off old plants. Tonight, I pulled up the green onions I planted last fall. They were huge, and had large seed heads, which have dropped some seeds and babies have come up already around the row. I left all those that I could, and in fact have used some of them. I added a bag of steer manure I had leftover from summer to the area and crushed/dropped the remaining seed heads in the enriched area. Hopefully, they will come up, if not this fall, at least next spring. I have also assigned pulling a bucket of weeds to the kids again, on days when it's not rainy, but there's so much yard and garden work to do out there....

    We've struggled with various colds, stomach flus, etc. this week, so did not go through the amount of food we normally do. So, I still really don't need anything. I did clean the fridge out really well, and the food that is in there is much more visible and therefore more usable. There is plenty for my husband to pack in his lunch and for the ones who are home at noon to eat. We are all set up for the next 2 days, as I work late afternoon and don't get home until 6:30 and don't want either myself or my husband to have to start cooking from scratch when we get home.

  • Jeannie October 08, 2017

    Did you ever find butter?
    Jeannie @ GetMeToTheCountry.Blogspot.com

  • Becky October 09, 2017

    Not yet. I'm going to have to pay at least $3/lb for a few to get me by until I do.

  • Jeannie October 09, 2017


  • Gardenpat October 08, 2017

    This has been a terrific week! I have been doing more canning using my new steam canner and it's amazing how much time and water and energy I'm saving versus regular water bath canning!! And when I had one leftover filled jar to process, I didn't have to add more water to the canner!!! Pineapples are 77 cents each this week so I will probably can more as chunks and some more into Sweet and Sour Sauce.
    My local chain grocery has been totally renovated with a trendy produce department and so the produce manager feels like he is being scrutinized by the big bosses. Because of that, he has been worried about their reaction to my harvesting discarded veggie pieces from their bin as they cull it. Since he has been so generous with us over these 6 months for our chicken feed, we don't want to put him in an awkward position. So we haven't been asking for their discards for two weeks now.
    A friend who is excited about canning called me with some questions on Saturday and happened to mention a produce wholesale place that also sells cash and carry to the public! I got over there about 30 minutes before they were closing and bought a 5 pound bag of Coke slaw mix ( used some for egg rolls that night) for $1! , (3) 10 pound bags of Russet potatoes for $1/bag! I saw a rolling waste container by the checkout with some celery pieces on top and I asked the owner if I might be able to purchase their discards from there for my chickens. She was happy to give me all that they had! I happened to have a big kitchen trash bag in my purse and was able to pack it full! My chickens are thrilled and I found a new source for them and us for discounted produce!!
    I found new recipes using French baguettes and Ranch chicken and also a ground beef mixture and made 2 loaves of each in the oven for dinner one night and packaged lunch grab and go for other days! So tasty! There is also a taco variation using refried beans, ground beef, taco seasoning, etc that I will try with a free baguette I was given yesterday!
    Just sold 2 more wooden pumpkin sets ($70 total) . This will probably mark the end of our wooden pumpkin sets for the year, but all of our pumpkin inventory is sold so we won't have to store any! We are gearing up for some Christmas/winter products and have 10 sets of wooden candles ready to start marketing! We donated an additional set to a charity sale and our price point was spot on and it sold in the first few minutes! This is using reclaimed wood we have (free) so it becomes income-producing as well as decluttering our wood storage!!
    I found bricks on Craigslist for free from a chimney removal! Came home with over 200 whole bricks, another 50 half bricks and 10 oversized cinder blocks. The bricks became an enlarging of our side yard walkway and the cinder blocks will be used in the outdoor pizza oven we will build by the grill this Spring!! We are ecstatic!!!
    We went to poll workers' training and will be working the Nov. Election. That will earn an extra $168 for each of us. We enjoy doing it- our polling precinct is just about 3 blocks from our house so we get to see our neighbors and feel the bond of friendship and community that we share!
    I realized that the winter jacket and coat that I bought at Salvation Army last year were too big on me this year ( I've lost 50 more pounds since then - 100 in all) , so I went to SA on Wednesday- half price day and found an amazing wool jacket with more of a fitted waistline in a smaller size and it fit and I love it!!! Cost after discount- $8.50 and it's like new!!! Score!!!

    I'm working on quilt #4 of 7 small quilts for a client that are made from quilts her mother made cut down into smaller ones to give her great-granddaughters! I'm also designing and making a memory quilt for another client made from her grandfather's clothes. And a reupholstery job and a new client coming over this Wednesday for a custom baby quilt! That is coupled with custom wood pieces that we are working on! Our "side" business is flourishing and we are grateful!!
    We are still harvesting the last of the season tomatoes and hot peppers from our garden as well as Swiss chard which will continue until the snow falls!
    We have been abundantly blessed!

  • Juls Owings October 09, 2017

    Gardenpat... If I remember correctly you are in Ohio. Where is the produce wholesale store? I'm in northwest Ohio but I have kids in Columbus and Dayton/Cinncy areas

  • Gardenpat October 09, 2017

    It is just south of John Glenn Airport - on Fifth Avenue. There are several companies there- Mancaluso, San Filappo, etc. They all do cash and carry to public too as well as wholesale. I went to San Filippos. They are open Tues- Sat. I went at 2:30 Saturday. They close at 3 pm. My friend went on Sat. Morning and got great deals on tomatoes/peppers. I got the $1/10 pound bags of potatoes and $1/3-1/2 pound bag of Cole slaw mix.
    PM me at gardenpat@hotmail.com and I can give you directions/store hours, etc!

  • beckyh October 09, 2017

    How did you lose your weight? Awesome job, btw!!

  • Gardenpat October 09, 2017

    I had gastric surgery on May 2, 2016. After 11 children and my mom living her final 3 years with us and her Alzheimer's , my weight had gone up to 250 pounds! I know about portion control, we had switched over to almost total "from scratch" meals, I grew and preserved our veggies/fruits. Canned, froze and dehydrated! Grind our whole grains to make bread, cereals, etc.
    I walked on a track every morning for an hour at 5:30 in the morning for over 6 months but after about 18-20 pounds, my weight would just plateau.
    My feet hurt all the time, I had to use a CPap, my blood pressure sky rocketed! Interestingly enough and perhaps because of my normal whole food type diet- I never had Diabetes or high cholesterol!
    But I had no energy! I have 33 grandchildren and I would be to tired to play with them when they would visit. So, after several months of prayer and research and talking with my family doctor, I started the process for the surgery which was another complete year. It was done at a Center of Excellance rated hospital and has support groups that meet regularly with dietician, nurse and psychologist to help this continue to be a success.
    People may think this is the easy way for the weight loss, but there is a commitment needed and for me, it became my steppingstone. Now, the other eating habits have been able to sustain the loss and I have new found energy! And no more CPap or hypertension meds!!!
    I am now 150 pounds after 18 months. Not the choice for everyone, but for me, it has been just what I needed!

  • J October 09, 2017

    11 children! That is also impressive.

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