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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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  • Cindi October 10, 2017

    I'm very impressed. That took a lot of work and commitment. Congratulations.

  • beckyh October 13, 2017

    Thank you so much for sharing your weight loss journey. I don't believe it's the easy way out at all! Good for you! I'm glad you are doing so well :)

  • J October 09, 2017

    That is a very impressive weight-loss. Good for you!

  • Vicky in Missouri October 13, 2017

    gardenpat, I loved your post! You sound so productive. It's inspiring. Can you tell more about your side business making wood items? Are you using smooth wood pieces left over from lumber projects or rough pieces (branches etc) gathered from the yard? Or both? It all sounds so interesting. For years in the 80s and 90s my mother and I had a craft business and attended shows every weekend in the spring and fall. We also had a small shop. For several reasons that all faded away as often times happens in life and I have missed it very much. I have slowly began gathering supplies and paints and want to venture into being creative again. I have been eyeing a pile of old bricks after looking up ideas online of what to make with them. Also gathered up the pieces of wood left when hubby and a neighbor built a shed. The neighbor thought I was a nut until I showed him some of the autumn decor I made years ago from such chunks of wood. Then he went to his place and brought another armful! Do you have a blog? Your days sound delightful and would love to read more.

  • Luba @ Healthy with Luba October 08, 2017

    Enjoy your pomegranates, Brandy. Your daughter will have some beautiful things for college when she goes.

    Here is my list of frugal accomplishments:
    * Got some great exercise and saved $15 by parking farther away at a networking event.
    * Combined trips to save on wear and tear on my car.
    * Stayed at home one day except for going to church.
    * Organized a business meeting in the same place and right before another to save time and money.
    * Gladly used a $5 off $50 coupon from a family member to purchase groceries I needed anyway.
    * Joyfully cooked and baked at home for better tasting and healthier meals!

  • Maxine October 08, 2017

    You got some great deals, Brandy!

    For me, the usual frugal stuff is turning down the heat or turning up the A/C, cooking from scratch,using up leftovers, bundling errands, not using disposables and a lot of stuff that I'm sure you do, too. Here is what I did this week that was UN-usual:

    (1) Sold $370 worth of tools and listed a ladder on craigslist.

    (2) Cut out an apron made from one leg of a pair of old jeans. I plan to sew it up this weekend. This will be a Christmas gift if it turns out well, otherwise it is for me.

    (3) Used a $4 Catalina coupon at Rite-Aid and also clipped a few coupons for things I might buy.

    (4) While looking for earring wires in my jewelry box to make earrings for DDI discovered a Native Alaska charm I bought back in 1992. I put it in my stocking stuffers box for DDIL (who used to live in Juneau). I found the wires, too, so it's all good.

    (5) Inventoried my stocking stuffers box while I was at it. I got a $5 Target gift card for stocking up of. Scott's TP and put that in the box for DS.

    (6) I EMPTIED my big freezer and moved it all to the fridge-top freezer at our vacation home, where we are living. I probably still have 3-4 weeks of meat lef, but it's all here. (We may get very tired of turkey and ham, but oh well).

    (7) A friend gave me a big bag of Italian prune/plums. I canned 15 pints plus one 24 ounce jar. One pint did not seal. I refrigerated this jar and used it last night to make a batch of QuickFruit Cobbler from the More-with-Less cookbook. Fast, cheap, easy and delicious.

    (8) I have been looking for more dinner plates for DS. I struck out (again) this week, but found 3 matching bowls in mint condition. They were .20 each, plus an additional 15% off.

    (9) I have been using my dishwasher on the fast cycle, and haven't had to re-wash anything yet! One hour cycle vs. 2.5 hours for the normal cycle.

    (10) Paid all of my bills online, saving postage (about 10 stamps).bag

    (11) Bought a 6.75 lb. bag of banana singles that weren't even turning dark for $1.99. That's a little over .13 lb. I have a loaf of banana bread in the oven right now.

    FRUGAL FAIL--I cleaned out my refrigerator, which was incredibly groady, and tossed a grocery sack full of forgotten odds and ends. I even put bleach in the rinse water--that's how groady it was!

  • Margery October 09, 2017

    “Groadu.” As in “groady to the max!!! That made me smile. I haven’t heard that word in a long time!!

  • Maxine October 09, 2017

    Sorry about that post above...LOTS OF TYPOS.

  • Lorna October 09, 2017

    Hello Brandy and everyone from Australia :) .

    Brandy I am so glad you got such wonderful bargains at the garage sales and were able to get some really cheap clothing too.

    Our joys for the week were that we had plenty of rain that filled up our 2 x 1100lt rain water tanks and our newly adopted homeless kitten was also a great source of joy. She has now worked out she can jump 6ft and tightrope across the boundary fence and tease the dogs next door :) , not wise if she falls off.

    Here is our frugal accomplishments and savings for last week -

    Extra income earned -
    - DH earned $50 from some CIH gardening work he did and I earned $42.80 from selling saved vegetable seeds saved from the gardens and a 5 layer cotton eye mask I made on the internet.
    - We used these funds to purchase 2 needed trolley wheels for our garden trolleys, a bag of urea, and 2 lge trailer loads of cow manure to amend the soil in 1 garden bed and fertilise the rest of the house paddock and some of the back paddock lawns for spring with.

    In the kitchen -
    - Made a large 7lt batch of pumpkin soup from a pumpkin and onions picked from the gardens which lasted us 3 nights for tea saving $54.50 over buying the same amount premade in the supermarkets.
    - Blanched and froze turnips making 15 more meals for the freezer and 4 more meals of broad beans.
    - Cooked a large family roast chicken that we purchased on special making 3.5 meals for us, a meal of raw chicken wing tips for the cat along with one night's tea of cooked chicken for the cat too.
    - Made a large vegetable bake with sweet potatoes, turnips, broad beans, and silverbeet picked from the gardens topped with grated cheese and bread crumbs which lasted 2 dinners for yesterday and today with meat.

    In the garden -
    - Picked 6kg of turnips and 2.2kg of broad beans from the gardens saving $48.27 over purchasing them.
    - Purchased a 25kg bag or urea to add nitrogen to the soil for the vegetables from the local agricultural store saving $50.40 over purchasing smaller bags in the local hardware store.
    - Purchased 2 large trailer loads or 5.19 cubic metres of cow manure from our local livestock transport company for $40 saving $969.35 over purchasing the equivalent amount in the local hardware store in bags.
    - We fertilised the remaining 3/4's of the house paddock lawns, the front footpath, some of the back paddock lawns and our remaining 10 x 5mt vegetable garden we needed to amend the soil in.

    Trading -
    - We received the first 15kg of honey for helping our neighbour move and clean his home saving us $129 over purchasing the same amount in the local supermarket.

    Shopping and purchases -
    - Ordered $300 worth of grocery gift cards for both our fuel and groceries for the next 6 weeks saving 5% off the face value or $15 through our local roadside assist club.
    - Purchased 2 garden cart trolley wheels of Ebay for $24.89 saving $45.11 over purchasing them in our local hardware store.

    Electricity savings -
    - Only turned on our electric hot water system for 10.5hrs and used our solar lanterns to light our home saving $10.37 in electricity.

    Have a wonderfully frugal week ahead everyone :) .

  • Juls Owings October 09, 2017

    Lorna thank you...for reminding me I had turnips to process today LOL. I totally forgot they were in the back of the mudroom frig.

  • Lorna October 09, 2017

    Most welcome Juls :D , it is amazing by reading how it reminds you of other things you need to do. Glad I could help.

  • Athanasia October 10, 2017

    Lorna, I am glad you and the kitten are bonding. Will she be an outside cat? One thing we do (beside spaying etc) for our barn cats is they all wear a reflective collar. We don't bell them as they earn their keep by mousing. But the collar makes them visible when the car headlights shine on them should they chose to be in the drive at that moment. The collars are breakaway, which is very important, should they snag on something.

  • Lorna October 11, 2017

    Athanasia yes the kitten is beautiful and getting settled in and is far less nervy and jumpy. She will be an outside cat and has her own trampoline enclosed cat bed outside but has taken to coming in the house in the mornings and sleeping until 2.30pm in the afternoon and then spending the rest of the day outside. Somehow I don't think she will be a mouser as she appears to be far too gentle, although you never know she did catch and eat a moth the other day :) .

    We got her a sparkly pink breakaway collar with a bell on it for her. Fortunately she keeps well clear of the car and hides in the garage on the opposite side until we are gone or under the house so I think there will be no problems with her getting in the way of car wheels. She also hides under the house as soon as any visitors arrive although in the coming months we will try and socialise her a bit with visitors when they arrive.

  • Athanasia October 16, 2017

    Lorna, she sounds very lucky to have been found by you :)

  • teresa October 09, 2017

    Good morning!
    I don’t keep any pops in my home so I drink a lot of water. I do want to get some lemons or limes to flavor my water. I’m considering getting a big bag from the flea market and then slicing and dehydrating them to add to my pitcher of water. I’ve been using the bottled lemon juice (the little plastic lemon) but would rather save this for my ACV (apple cider vinegar) tea.
    We drink a lot of General Foods International coffee and this is getting ridiculously expensive. Even though I’ll have to spend some money initially, I’m going to buy a 4-cup coffee maker. Huny only drinks coffee in the morning and this would be just enough for him to start his day. A regular can of coffee plus his creamer will still be cheaper than those cans of GFI coffee. I don’t really drink regular coffee so this will help me to get back to drinking tea in the morning. I drink herbal teas and the ACV tea so less caffeine for me too!
    At my community garden plot I sowed old beet seed. I don’t know if they will come up but I wanted to try them. I do have some newer, old seed that I can put in if all or most of this first sowing doesn’t come up. I’d rather try these in the garden than throw them out. I’m also going to plant some of the newer, old seed here at home. If after all this none of them come up, then I will go buy some new seed. We didn’t plant a garden last year or this spring so that is why I have all this old seed. In March this year, the community garden gave out some 2015 seed that was donated to them. I got some broad beans that I’ve wanted to try so I planted some at the plot and I have a different variety seed packet that I’ll plant here at home. I also planted some elephant garlic that I saved from my spring garden, nasturtiums from the donated seed and some old larkspur seed that I’ve had forever. We’ll see if these come up. Old lettuce seed got planted too. Carrots were sowed in a pot and they are coming up. I have plans for more old seed and will try to use up as much as I can. I have parsley, radish, celery, leeks, onion seed, spinach, broccoli, peas to go in this week. I hope to get a full garden of produce. Everything will be canned, frozen, dehydrated and of course eaten fresh. Let’s just hope all these old seed cooperate with my garden vision.

  • TerriC October 13, 2017

    My daughter bought me a canister of Coffeemate dry powdered flavored coffee creamer. It's not too sweet which I like but does impart flavor and creamy. It reminded me a great deal of the GMIF coffees which I always enjoyed during cold weather. I thought this was a much more reasonable option to add to my regular coffee. It's about $4 for a small canister but you don't need much so I think economical over all and it feels indulgent.

  • sarah October 09, 2017

    This week wasn't one of my best frugal weeks and it feels good to acknowledge that and move on to this week. There were a couple of items done frugally

      Used all vegetables from CSA. I am seriously considering not doing CSA anymore because of my increasingly longer list of dietary restrictions it might no longer be the cost savings it was once. Grouped all driving so I was going out once for all trips. I even was able to utilize the gym to change so I wouldn't have to go all the way home in between friend events Ate leftovers first before making more food. I'm taking time to determine portions depending on how hungry I am so not to have a lot left on my plate that might get thrown out. The garbage disposal is acting up once again and is leaking water. I (temporarily) fixed it myself about a month ago but it didn't stick. After cleaning everything up and tightening all the connections, the drip slowed considerably. It has made me uber conscious of water usage from that sink which is a good thing! I've been shutting off the water more when washing dishes and hands. I'm going to do some research before calling the plumber. Although it looks like the faucet in the master bathroom is on it's way out as well so a plumber might be necessary.

  • Becky October 09, 2017

    Your attendance at the free UNLV FAFSA presentation sounds much like whet we've been doing. Our eldest will be entering college next fall to study Graphic Design, and is putting together a portfolio of her work in art and design to submit as part of her art scholarship applications. Next weekend we will attend a free workshop at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago about how to present your best portfolio possible, and then the following day we will return for a free event where big art schools from around the country will look at students' portfolios and give feedback. Although she plans to attend a small, liberal arts university, we are taking full advantage of the free advice and guidance the large schools are offering. We have also attended free workshops at local libraries about financing a college education.

  • Holly October 09, 2017

    I went to the donut shop about twenty minutes before closing and they gave me three fresh donuts of the same type I bought.

    My nephew and his girlfriend came to visit (very special and rare occasion) so we wanted to cook them dinner. My first thought was roast beef, but the affordable roasts last week didn't look company worthy. Turkey breast was on sale so that is what we bought. I planned on putting it in our slow cooker very early Friday morning. On Friday morning I learned that (a) it takes more than 36 hours to defrost a big turkey breast in the refrigerator and (b) the turkey was way too big for the slow cooker. Oh dear. I thawed the bird under running hot water enough to remove the giblets. And I searched the depths of the cupboard for an old roasting pan that was big enough. I sliced two onions to use as a roasting rack and plopped one in the cavity to add moisture and flavor. Some chicken broth went into the bottom of the roaster and a generous amount of Mrs. Dash was rubbed on the bird. Then it went into the oven at 325 breast side down. Several hours later and the skin around where the neck had been was getting very brown. Too brown. I decided to flip the bird, literally, and very carefully rotated it so that the breast would gain some color. The oven temperature was turned down to 250 because dinner was still quite some time away. The rest of the meal consisted of grandma's mashed potatoes, frozen mixed vegetables, rolls made from frozen dough (as I had spent the time I thought I'd be making rolls wrestling with a frozen turkey), jarred gravy (first time mom and I had ever bought the stuff but it let us spend the precious minutes just before dinner enjoying the company), and a Schwann's chocolate pie that was a deal since we had a $10 off coupon. We left stuffing off the menu because none of us needed the extra carbs. I had hoped to buy a small quantity of cranberry sauce at our local grocer's deli but couldn't (wrong season?). I had never cooked such a large piece of meat before but it turned out well. Mom and I ate turkey Saturday, and then we had turkey sandwiches on a picnic to Belle Isle in the Detroit River with the out-of-town visitors when we met up with them again Sunday. We took them to the oldest public aquarium in the United States (free admission with donations accepted) on the island. If 94-year-old mom's energy and mine would have permitted, we would have taken them to the Victorian or Edwardian era greenhouses next door too. But what we were able to do made for a very pleasant and free except for gas outing. I heated the turkey remnants and broth thoroughly yesterday evening to reset the clock on keeping it. Today, I plan on making turkey and bean soup and, if I am ambitious, turkey pasties for the freezer.

    The black walnut trees are dropping their bounty along the shoulders of roads and on some sidewalks around here. This year, I would have a very difficult time bending down to pick the nuts up or else I would be knocking on some front doors, offering to clean up the dropped walnuts with a half-for-the-tree-owner, half-for-me deal. I will be venturing into our own yard to harvest some grapes for juice and jelly and some apples for sauce.

    Congratulations, Brandy, on increasing your command of French. Keep up the good work. How much time are you able to spend studying each week?

    I enjoy reading everything on this blog.

  • RKS Ne TX October 13, 2017

    Holly-When my father became unable to bend and stoop for pecans and walnuts, he nailed an empty can to the end of a stick and would just scoop them up.

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