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Thankful: November 2nd

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Lemon Tree The Prudent Homemaker

Today, I am grateful for the pleasure of a video phone call to friends in France. I am still amazed that this technology exists and that it doesn't cost anything to call (so different from paying high prices per minute for a regular phone call!) plus I get to see everyone's smiles and see how much their children have grown. 

What are you thankful for today?

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Thankful: November 1st

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Dahlia detail The Prudent Homemaker

Each November, I post every day about something simple for which I am thankful that day.  Often, we are thankful for the large things, but we forget to see the small and simple blessings that surround us each day.

Today, I am thankful for beautiful weather. I have the windows and doors open, and we are enjoying this beautiful day. It's 77ºF here (23ºC). It's much cooler than yesterday (it was 84º yesterday), and we should have a few days this week in the 70's before it drops into the 60's next week. 

 

What are you thankful for today?

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Grocery Shopping Plans for November

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Thanksgiving table The Prudent Homemaker

 

November in the U.S. is a great month to stock up on so many items on sale for holiday cooking. Canned goods and baking supplies are on sale. Meats are on great sales, with turkey for Thanksgiving being the main feature. Squash, potatoes, onions, apples, celery, clementines, and cranberries go on sale.

Some items (such as canned vegetables) have a limit of the number you can purchase on sale. I'm looking for canned corn and canned green beans on sale for under $0.49 a can. There are likely to be coupons online that I can print for these as well to bring the price even lower. In years past, I have been able to pick up these two items as low as $0.20 a can on sale in November with coupons.

I'm not sure who will have the best prices for several seasonal sale items, so I'll look at the ads each week. The grocery ads come in the mail here. There are a number of stores within 2 miles from my house, so I expect good competition. My budget for our family of 10 for the month is $300. I also have $30 worth of Target gift cards that I earned last month, which I may or may not use for groceries, depending on the deals I see.

 

Produce:

potatoes

clementines

lettuce

carrots

celery

frozen petite peas

squash

apples

cranberries

onions

 

Canned goods:

corn

green beans

pumpkin

evaporated milk

cream of mushroom soup

enchilada sauce (Note: I'm buying green enchilada sauce).

 

Meat:

whole chickens

turkey (I'll buy several if the price per pound is low enough)

pork roast

 

Baking items:

flour (I'll get this at Sam's Club.)

sugar (also Sam's Club)

Ghiradelli white and dark chocolate melting chips (Sam's Club has these on sale this month for an incredible price.)

chocolate chips (also Sam's Club)

Butter, if I see a low enough price. The lowest I've seen so far is $2.49 a pound. I'm not sure if this is the best price yet or not.

marshmallows

eggs

whipping cream

 

Other items:

salsa

ketchup (at Sam's Club)

milk

spreadable margarine

mozzarella cheese

toilet paper

 

Thanksgiving Arrangement The Prudent Homemaker

 

What are you planning to stock up on this month?

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October Arrrangement The Prudent Homemaker

I cut flowers from the garden to enjoy inside. 

I harvested Swiss chard and pomegranates from the garden.

My husband got a new prescription for his glasses (after wearing the same glasses for years). He needs progressives. We tried them out at the store, but he was hesitant to spend so much money. We decided to come home and see if we could find something online from Zenni Optical. We ordered online instead for a savings of $184.35! In addition, I went through Ebates first to earn 2% back.

I used a $5 off coupon at the nursery to buy some violas for the garden. Violas do well from October through April/May in our climate. I bought tiny plants, which will fill in during the cool weather months. I shared photos of them over on my Instagram page.

I cooked two large batches of pinto beans in my solar oven. We had bean burritos a few times this past week.

I collected warm-up water from the shower and used it to water potted fruit trees in the garden.

I enjoyed reading one of the books, Suite Française, that I picked up at a garage sale the week before last for $0.25.

My husband repaired a broken sprinkler head with a part that we already had.

 

What did you do save money last week?

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Last Week's Frugal Accomplishments

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October Bicycle and Flowers The Prudent Homemaker

I cut flowers from the garden for arrangements in the house.

I mended a hole in a shirt.

I studied French online using free sources.

We had a free video call with our former exchange student from France to wish him a Happy Birthday.

Blue and White Vase with Iceberg Roses The Prudent Homemaker

I have had blue and white vases on my garage sale list. I didn't find any the last couple of Saturdays, but I was on a local Facebook garage sale page and I noticed someone had posted photos of her garage sale from last Saturday. I saw a blue and white vase in her photo and asked if she had sold it, and if not, how much. She said she was selling it with two blue vases for $20. I only wanted the blue and white one, so I sent her a message telling her so. Then, instead of asking how much for just that one vase, I tried the question my mom and I often have success with at actual garage sales. I asked, "Would you take $5?" Most of the sales we go to don't have prices, and when we ask that question, we often get a yes, and end up paying what we consider a reasonable amount for the item.  She said yes, and I picked up a great vase!

I planted seeds in the garden for arugula and alpine strawberries.

I harvested Swiss chard from the garden.

My husband and I attended the free Henderson Symphony concert together as a date (thanks to a reader in Henderson who told me about this!).

I redeemed 2200 Swagbucks for a $25 gift card to a restaurant, which I will use for a lunch date for my husband and me.

I used 7 of my remaining free 100 prints at Sam's Club to print photos for the refugee family to whom I am teaching English. I gave them the two brand-new frames I had picked up at garage sales the previous week for $1 each, filled with free pictures. They were delighted with them!  (I shared a picture of the frames with the photos in them over on Instagram).

My mom found a few more neighborhoods having community garage sales this past Saturday using the yardsales.net website (October and April are the most abundant garage sale months here, as the weather is perfect, so most homeowner's associations allow their residents to hold sales on two weekends a year in October and April). I found a few more items to give to my family for Christmas gifts, including Legos ($20, and I will divide them between 4 daughters), 3 origami books and origami paper ($2), and blank Harry Potter journals ($2 for 2); a game ($2) that my children have been wanting, a pad of watercolor paper ($0.25), and a few books for $0.25 each. I found a king-sized bedskirt ($1) that looks like it could be a little girl's skirt (it's white eyelet and is rather long). I'm going to cut it up and make some skirts and/or slips with it for my younger girls. I found a warm pink scarf at the same sale that I liked but noticed a hole in it. The seller said I could have it for free. I'll mend the hole.

October Chair The Prudent Homemaker

The best find of the day was a chair. I have been wanting a chair for the above spot in the house, and there was a chair that would fit in this narrow spot for $30. I said, "Would you take $20?" expecting her to come up to $25 or possibly insist on the $30, but to my surprise, she said yes! 

I still hadn't found any clothes for myself in my new size in three Saturdays of shopping garage sales, so I headed to the thrift store. I was able to find one long-sleeved t-shirt ($3) that fits that will work for the in-between cooler days of fall. I still need to find some more things for the current temperature, so I'll need to do more shopping at the thrift stores than I had anticipated. I plan to return to the same store later as well as try another thrift store nearby. I don't want to spend much, and the thrift store charges $3 to $5 for shirts (versus $1 to $2 each at garage sales) so I will try to find just 4 to 5 shirts for our shorter period of nice weather where it's too hot for a light sweater but a little chilly for short-sleeves.

 

What did you do to save money last week?

 

 

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October Christmas Gifts Vintage The Prudent Homemaker

I cut and dried basil from the garden.

We picked pears from the garden.

My husband gave my two elder boys and himself a haircut.

I gave two daughters a haircut.

I found one of my daughter's college texts used on Amazon for $30 less than buying it from the university bookstore. 

I received a survey in the mail from Neilsen Ratings. I almost threw the envelope away. I opened it, and there was $2 cash inside! The survey took me less than 2 minutes to fill out and they said they will pay $5 cash for surveys received by the second of November.

My twelve-year-old old son attended a free teen lock-in/escape room challenge at the public library.

October Garage Sale Christmas Gifts 1 The Prudent Homemaker

My mom and I went to the community garage sales. We both found Christmas gifts for people (my mom even found a beautiful hat for me that she is going to give me for Christmas!) I found the above items that I will give as Christmas gifts to my family: small globe, $1; framed picture, $1; Lego ideas book, $0.50; a vintage necklace, $1; a wool-blend skirt ($1); a book ($0.25); Lego Friends Advent calendar ($0.50 for the whole thing; the pieces are already put together and I will divide them up as stocking stuffers in the younger girls' stockings); a vintage brooch ($1); a brand-new coloring book ($2) and colored pencils ($1). (Also pictured are the brand-new hat ($2) and the board book ($0.75) that I bought last week at garage sales as Christmas gifts for my youngest).

I found a few more things for my eldest daughter to put aside for her future college apartment, including drawer dividers ($1), a Cuisinart immersion blender ($2), and a free aloe plant.

I picked up some other great items as well: books for $0.25 each, a free package of streamers, a brand-new first aid kit ($4), drawer dividers ($4), a blue quart canning jar ($0.10), a vase ($0.25), a shirt for my oldest ($1), a set of three blue canning jars with glass lids and rubber rings ($3), a picture of a whimsical, vintage-looking racecar I hung above the baby's crib ($1), a new (probably only used once) Sequence game to replace our worn-out one ($1), a small jar with a flower frog lid ($1) and a Christmas wreath ($2).

I bought a few gifts for other people at the sales, including some books ($0.25 and $0.50 each), two brand-new picture frames ($1 each), and a like new baby toy ($0.25). The picture frames and some of the books are for the refugee family that I visit each week. I used a free print code from Walgreen's (thanks to a reader who emailed me about the offer) to print a free 8 x 10 to go in one of the frames for this family. (I took pictures of them a couple of weeks ago.) The other frame has 6 openings for smaller pictures that I will print at Sam's Club for them. I printed some coupons for Command hooks from the company's website so that I can pick up something for them to hang them with that won't leave holes in the walls, as they live in an apartment.

I planted some seeds in my garden. 

What did you do to save money last week?

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Good Things to Make This Month

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Lemon

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White Bean

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How To Eat Beans Every Night
Writing a Garage Sale List