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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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  • J October 09, 2017

    I love the 2 cup glass measuring cup. Cute and useful!!!

    This week our dryer died. Not frugal. I hang most everything to dry, but because of space restrictions and humidity, and the cold they usually need a 10 minute zap. Right now our laundry is literally hanging in our front window and we look like the Clampetts. Ha. But our new dryer (there was literally only one option for our small space that did not result in having to change from a full size to a compact dryer) should arrive within 2 weeks. Really hoping it is sooner rather than later!!

    I cooked 8 lbs of onions (caramelized and frozen) over the weekend for future use. I was able to get butter on sale again, so I bought 4 lbs and put them straight into the freezer. I also got Stove Top on sale. Now I will be focusing on only buying milk, eggs, cheese as needed until January. And produce of course, but minimal.

    I am going to take our rebate cheque from Costco and use it to purchase a few needed items like Vanilla and mayonnaise.

    We are having a birthday party for both our sons (it will be small) in 2 weeks so I have been prepping for that. I am doing a gourmet grilled cheese bar, DIY cheesecake for desserts (individual), a rainbow cake (my son's favourite), some crudités, etc. Just keeping it simple and food that my kids love, since it is their birthdays. If it is cold I will probably make hot chocolate. We do not drink coffee but I will probably ask my mother in law to bring her coffee maker because everyone else seems to drink it and get annoyed when we don't have it (this is what I call....borderline caffeine addiction haha - why not tea? (I know it has caffeine too...) - or I will just make hot cocoa for all.

    I finally got around to posting my September grocery recap:

    For this month, I have stocked up on what I need to and now I am focusing on getting projects done before I go back to work (the anxiety of needing to get some projects out of the way is starting to creep in). My youngest will be doing a few trial mornings at daycare this month, and then will ease into full days in November. This is much easier than going cold turkey (and also more affordable!!). Thankfully - he will be at the same place as his older brother. It is private and there are only 3 children during the day so I know he will get lots of attention. The teacher has been a total Godsend for us. She is wonderful. In addition, she allowed me to reduce the days my older son was going while on mat leave (most daycares in Toronto (or the GTA) would NOT allow this and I would have to pay for full time daycare whether he was there or not in order to keep his spot). This has been such a blessing for us.

    I hope you all have a great week.

  • Athanasia October 10, 2017

    J, the birthday party for your boys sounds fun and the food, delicious.

    This is just my take on the coffee. I know among me and my people, coffee is a given at any gathering, no matter what time of day and temperature, if there is any kind of a sweet food. You just have a pot going. Visit your neighbor? You get a cup of coffee and a cookie or piece kuchen. And a bit further for my particular point of view is that coffee is a calorie free beverage, same as tea. I drink unsweetened. It is the best option often at a gathering where the beverage might be a punch or soda or in your case you were thinking hot chocolate. ( Ice water is always the best, but that wasn't on the list, though it may be a given.) I watch what I eat very very carefully so as to not gain any weight that could further aggravate my joint problems and I would rather have that piece (albeit small) or two of cake.

  • J October 10, 2017

    Athanasia, you are right about the coffee!! My husband is literally the only other person I know who does not drink it. How did two non coffee drinkers marry each other? Who knows! If we ever move to a bigger house I will buy a coffee maker to have for company, but we are living in a space deficit so for now I will either borrow my mother in law's or buy a carafe of coffee from McDonald's. The other thing I have discovered is that people turn up their nose at our instant coffee ;). I actually love the smell of coffee brewing, but I have never enjoyed drinking it. My exotic drink is steamed milk with vanilla or maple syrup.

  • Rhonda A. October 11, 2017

    Your not alone with the non-coffee drinking, J. Both my husband and I also do not like coffee, tea or hot chocolate. Even more weird, my 14yr old autistic daughter like drinking all three! How'd that happen?:o

    If I host a get together, I always ask my mother to handle the coffee and tea. Since I don't drink it, I don't know how to make it either. I'd rather pass that responsibility to someone who actually knows if it tastes good or not.;)

  • Athanasia October 11, 2017

    J, steamed milk with flavoring sounds good! I will have to try that, maybe at night. I agree about the instant. It does taste different and unless you are used to drinking instant you probably would not like it. Also, it can go stale as most people just keep it on hand for the occasional coffee drinker, but, it may have been sitting open who knows how long.

  • Mable October 12, 2017

    Another coffee hater here. And I detest bacon, too! My husband jokes that if he'd known these two things, he never would have proposed.

  • Cindy in the South October 11, 2017

    I have relatives who are LDS, and lots of friends, as I am also, so I also do not know how to make coffee...lol. I usually serve water and lemonade. I have a funny story about coffee, I was pregnant with my first child and my boss asked me to make coffee. I had no idea how to make it (this was pre-internet) and I guessed on how much coffee to use. You should have seen the look on his face when he swallowed. He quietly poured the rest of it out and never asked me to make coffee again....lol.

  • J October 11, 2017

    That is funny! It was probably like a full mug of espresso!

  • Wyoming Gal October 09, 2017

    We enjoyed an outing on Saturday to savor autumn, before the snow (which came in a small amount on Sunday). We drove to Yellowstone National Park , enjoying the golden aspens and cottonwoods in the Shoshone River Valley (north fork). (Yellowstone is about one hour's drive from home.) We hiked in the park then went to the geyser area and saw two geysers erupt. I packed a picnic lunch and our Senior Passes admitted us to the park. The sky was a beautiful blue. We listened to lots of music my husband loaded in the MP3 player passed down to us by a family member.

    I darned the toe holes (I have long, skinny feet) in several pairs of tights using an old light bulb as my darning egg, just like my mom and grandmother did.

    I am continuing to lose weight through careful eating and exercise. Ladies who have lost weight - what clothes can I easily alter as they get bigger? I am a decent seamstress but not great at tailoring. I don't expect to alter lined blazers or skirts, but what about slacks, sweaters, blouses, pj's, dresses that have simple lines, shorts, tee shirts, tunic tops? Your experience would be helpful.

  • Gardenpat October 09, 2017

    Well done on your weight loss!! I am also a seamstress but while my weight was changing, I would buy just a couple tops and a couple pairs of pants at our local Salvation Army. Every Wednesday is half price day on everything, so I would go there every couple of months, spend maybe $12- $14 for a bag of pants/tops, a skirt and blouse, occasionally a sweater, hoodie or jacket. I enjoyed the "new" wardrobe as a little reward to myself while not spending much time or money on the clothes.

  • Jennifer O October 11, 2017

    My weight has been changing up and down (medication issues) and I bought Lularoe dresses and leggings. A bit expensive, but not as expensive as having to hunt down new clothes every month or 2.

  • Carolyn October 09, 2017

    I bought 6 knives and forks of the pattern of the silverplate knife you have pictured at Goodwill a couple of years ago for a couple of dollars. My intent was to donate them to the medical office where I worked as folks kept walking off with the knives and forks in the kitchen and there were therefore never any available to use. One of the doctors didn't like them, so I brought them home and just recently discovered, to my delight, that they are silver plate. They are quite pretty all polished up, and I am enjoying using them occasionally.

  • Patsy Bingley October 15, 2017

    those are fish knives. I used to have a whole set of forks and knives that were to be used only for the fish course.

  • Marci October 09, 2017

    I lucked into a pretty good sale on pork roast last week. I cooked it up with sauerkraut and then added some dumplings. It made enough for me to eat three servings and freeze enough for 6 more. I also froze 4 2-cup bags of shredded pork. I got all this from about 40% of the roast--I froze the rest for later. I used made-from-scratch homemade "bisquick" for the dumplings, saving just a little there. After making sure all my future servings had enough meat, I froze 4 2-cup servings of shredded pork. I used some of that yesterday to make myself a pork, scrambled egg, and cheese quesadilla for lunch yesterday. I also got a deal on a 25 pound bag of onions (about $.40 a pound--I noticed a store has these same onions "on sale" this week for $.68 a pound). I have chopped and dehydrated about 60% of them and I'll be working my way through the rest. I may turn some of the dehydrated onions into "onion powder" later on. And, as always, everything except a blanket and sheets was dried on the indoor drying rack. I got the air checked in my tires and several were low--the place where I've been buying tires provides this service for free for the lifetime of the tires. I drove nowhere but to work and back and now should save a penny or two on gas mileage. I was thrilled it was finally cool enough to drive to work most days without any air conditioning. I want to say thank you to Brandy for sharing her ideas giving others a place to share their money saving ideas as well. You ladies all inspire me and give me great tips on how to live more frugally.

  • Rhonda A. October 09, 2017

    Thank you for sharing your lovely garage sale finds with us, Brandy. I love seeing some of the treasures you find. Congrats to your eldest for finding a babysitting position as well. I'm sure the money earned will be saved and used towards her college needs. So glad you were able to attend a free info session on financing college. I'm sure this info was very helpful indeed!

    I am finally getting caught up on all my food preparations for winter. I still have some frozen berries and peaches that can be used to make jam, but I'm not panicking over getting that done. We may also use some to make some pies this year, just for a bit of change. Our frugal accomplishments this week included:
    *Meals made at home included BBQ hamburger and hotdogs, make-your-own pizzas, cream of potato and corn soup with homemade garlic toast, chicken bacon ranch pasta, homemade lasagna with Caesar salad, and Thanksgiving turkey dinner with all the trimmings.
    *Had the forethought to put aside some of the meat and toppings from the taco bake we had the previous week to make burritos for DDs school lunch on Monday. Although DD decided she didn't like them, hubby sure did!
    *Peeled, sliced, blanched and froze nearly 20lbs of carrots for use this winter. Saved all the scraps in a freezer bag for making future soup stock.
    *Cooked almost 3 dozen cobs of corn I received for free, cut off the kernels and froze them for use in winter. Though tempting, I opted not to try making corn cob stock with the leftover cobs this time.
    *Made healthy Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Bars (recipe link: https://www.livewellbakeoften.com/healthy-peanut-butter-chocolate-chip-oatmeal-bars/) on Friday, as a treat to snack on over the holiday weekend. I literally decided to make this just to use up 1 egg in a carton, to make more room in the fridge. They were gone by Saturday night.
    *Asked my husband one night what he would like for dinner and his answer was "pizza". This time I said, "We can have make your own pizzas, then." He agreed in defeat, effectively ending his full on plea for take out!;)
    *Shared some of the leftover lasagna with MIL and my visiting brother. Kept just enough for my family to eat up easily as leftovers this week.
    *Found a Thanksgiving sale on crackers my family loves for $1/box (I buy then fairly regularly @ $2/box). I bought 12 boxes (the limit) which will keep us going for quite a while! I also picked up a packaged of clearance bagels while at the store, and my family acted like they died and gone to heaven. Wish it was this easy to please them all the time!
    *Resisted the urge to buy lunch at Costco while shopping one day. Went home and had leftover soup instead.
    *Signed up for a free Parent Conference, hosted by our school board. The event is being held at a school close to us this year and they had some workshops that were of interest to us (anxiety in teens and stress behaviour/self regulation). My mother and I will be attending later this month.
    *DD found a free app for her smartphone that allows her to draw and create digital animations. She's really enjoying it and is really good at it, too!
    *Family Fun: We went to our favourite fall country fair on Saturday with my MIL. It's not frugal, but has become a wonderful family tradition on Thanksgiving weekend. We also met up with another family that has a son on the Autism spectrum the same age as DD. They also run a foster home and came few a few other children. DD enjoyed having other kids to go on the rides with this year!

    Thank you for all who share your frugal accomplishments here. I've enjoyed learned so much from all of you!:D

  • Christina October 09, 2017

    You always find the neatest and most useful things at yard sales. That season here is long gone, but I've been keeping an eye on my local Buy Nothing Facebook Group.

    This weekend I discovered the joy of free kid's workshops at Home Depot. My son made a fire station bank for free, and they gave him an orange HD apron and special pin. Apparently they have these classes every Saturday.

    My dryer broke so I've been forced to hang clothes to dry inside.

    Here are a few more frugal things I did this week:

    Happy Monday, Everyone!

  • J October 09, 2017

    The kids classes at Home Depot are fantastic!!

  • Jo October 09, 2017

    I took my saved bits and pieces of soap leftovers and softened them in a little water in the microwave. I squeezed them together and now have a large, multi-colored, egg-shaped piece of motley looking soap that works perfectly in our master bathroom, where no one but us sees it.
    I baked more bread
    I bought fish food online at Chewy's and got free shipping since I ordered two tubs. With two outdoor "ponds" filled with goldfish, we went through way too many of those expensive canisters from Walmart. The tub is a lot cheaper per ounce.
    We took our dog to the bi-monthly low-cost vaccination clinic that supports the animal shelter improvements. I'll still take her for her check up, but the shots were only $38 for two regular shots and a five-in-one at the low-cost clinic. Our vet also writes her prescriptions so that I can fill them at a pharmacy off of their $4/$10 list.
    I stayed under my budget for groceries.
    We grouped errands and hit all the grocery stores on one run, plus a stop at the garden center for my husband was done at the same time.
    We are far from turning off our air conditioning. The sunrise temperature was 79 degrees and the humidity at 8 a.m. had climbed from 98% to 99%. I am so ready for cooler, drier weather and lower electricity usage!

  • Jenna October 11, 2017

    I am laughing because I somehow missed the "Soap" part of the leftovers and I was thinking you were talking about food that you softened in the microwave and squeezed together. I was so grossed out. ha ha. Then I finally realized you said soap. I cannot stop laughing.

  • Annaliese October 09, 2017

    Hello everyone and hope this finds you well! I did save a little on our trip to San Francisco. Use some points from Swagbucks and picked out a free gift certificate from Starbucks for coffee and got some on the way there and back plus it was double points for purchases so I got more points on my Starbuck account. Then they sent me a survey from both and I received more points. Stayed in a 5 star hotel with hubby and his company paid for it due he was working a convention there and they bought one of my dinners. Went on one of those bus tours where you could get on or off at specific places and I got off at the Golden Gate Park where all the museums and the most beautiful gardens were. I must of been lucky for on that day, all of the fees for admissions were free!!! Saved about $30!! Hubby received some free swag form the convention too- a Bluetooth speaker, a tablet, 5-6 nice Nike polo shirts for work, a couple of those silly spinning things( I forgot what they are called), pens, snacks and a very nice water bottle. It was Fleet Week down there so while we were on the wharf, the Blue Angels were flying around-so another free show! Used a few Groupons to go see and eat. On the flight back, I was in two planes that showed movies. I saw 3 movies for free that I wouldn't have spent money on but wanted to see. At my layover, I used a gift cert from a Christmas gift to get something to eat. While we were gone, my DMIL helped my son organize his many toys and cleaned my house. Went to the store the next day after we got home and got a free package of some crackers and had some free reward money on my store card I didn't know I had! What a great surprise!! The reminder of this week will be very frugal- eating out of well stocked pantry and freezer and did make out a 3 week meal planner/schedule. I do want to try to make some laundry detergent from scratch...Have a great rest of the week!!

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