Frugal Accomplishments

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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179 Comments

  1. A friend took me for a 380 km drive through the mountains to see the larch trees that had turned golden. I offered to pay her gas but she said no that it was a gift. We were blessed with sunshine just as we reached the larches
    and so I took photos of the larches backlit by the sun. The parks department had plowed the road and the sun had dried them so the roads were marvellous. There was snow in the ditches but the snowfall had not knocked off the larch needles so some of them were still at their prime. It was a God-given day.

    On our way, we stopped at a greenhouse. I had won a gift certificate at a raffle draw for plants from this greenhouse.
    I purchased 6 perennials with the gift certificate. I divided some of them. I found low-cost perennials grown by an individual and he sent them to me by special post. He put in several free plants as well as one primula that needed to be divided and that I got 4 divided plants from for the price of one. Those are the last perennials I wanted to buy for my upgrading of the flowerbeds. Now it will just be weeding and maintenance. It will be lovely to see what comes up next spring.

    Another friend gave me 2 bags of pears that are just now ripe. I can’t quite decide what to do with them. I think pear butter is on the agenda for some of them but I may slice them and simply freeze some of them.

    It is Canadian Thanksgiving here. It is a beautiful sunny but chilly day. Despite the lack of money, I am thankful for so many things; first and foremost the friends who have come to my rescue, the wonderful days we have stolen away from busy schedules to go to see migratory swans on their stopover, to go to the farmers’ market, to go on my favourite short hike to see wild orchids, to find a patch of wild orchids of a different species, for the sun that shone at just the right moment for good photos, for the friends who let me visit their garden every year to take hummingbird photos. To my occasional gardener who lets me pay slightly later for her services. Above all I am grateful for all of the things that I can still do in spite of health problems. With a little help from my friends…and that I can still do to make a difference in others’ lives…

    Happy Canadian Thanksgiving! Ann

  2. What great yard sale finds. I don’t usually find anything practical like those items to be in good condition, if found at all at sales around here.
    I’ve been listening to the “inner Brandy” and thankfully have been able to stretch the meakest of unemployment checks to cover the ultilities, and tuck a tiny bit into savings. It’s been hard. There are so many times I had myself convinced I needed to go out and purchase something, but instead, taking my time to get ready and working around the house, I was able to convince myself that I really had what was needed. The “inner Brandy”.
    Funny thing, no one has suffered, been miserable or even realized what little money has been worked with and created so much.

    A few friends have been facing financial hardship, so I told them about this site.

    I was able to find a PT job which will be doubling what unemployment was offering. This is such a blessing. It also allows me to be home plenty to keep the chores done on time, so we can actually relax on the weekends.

    My nephews bday (twins) is approaching. They get plenty of money from the grandparents, and overloaded with gifts. I saw 2 like new and same sized tack boards being tossed in my neighborhood. I scooped them up and painted one with super hero on one, and miilitary plane on the other (those are their interests right now). I figure they can use them in their bedrooms to hold memories, schedules and such. Cost was just my time.

    We don’t use dairy milk in the house, and miss it in baking (almond milk just leaves baked goods too dry for me). I found powdered buttermilk in the bulk section of the grocery. $2 for 2 cups dry. Made muffins with it, and they are more moist than just using almond milk. Yay!

    Have a great week everyone!

  3. What great garage sale finds — and yum on the pomegranites. What will you do with so many? I have only ever eaten them fresh.
    We put the camper away for the winter. I emptied out the cabinets and cleaned everything and my husband drained it and filled it with RV antifreeze. He only had to buy one gallon – the rest he purchased earlier in the year at a garage sale, and some a neighbor gave us.
    I made sandwich bread, French bread, brown sugar, and chai tea mix, and cooked a big pot of dried beans, then froze the beans in meal-sized portions.
    From the garden, I harvested lettuce, chard, collards, parsnips, okra, bok choy, a few tomatoes, onions, and a few raspberries and strawberries. The green tomatoes I harvested two weeks ago are starting to ripen also. I fertilized all the garden beds with chicken manure from the local organic nursery. They sell large bags of pelletized chicken manure for $8. One bag is enough for my whole garden. I planted green peas in the greenhouse. I don’t know if they will have enough time to make, but this was the last of two-year-old seed, so I thought I would give it a try.
    My husband donated blood. The blood bank awards points for donating, and he has earned enough points for a $10 Amazon GC. It’s not the reason he donates, but it’s a nice perk.
    Our local electric co-op had a Customer Appreciation day in which they hosted a free lunch and gave out gift bags with locally-made toffee, hot cocoa mix, and a jar opener (which I needed, as I have misplaced my old one.)
    We stopped by the local humane society thrift store and my husband found a pair of new-looking Wrangler jeans in his size for $8. He wears jeans almost every day and most of his were looking worn, so this was a great find. I bought a crocheted shawl off the $1 rack and unraveled it for the yarn, which is a nice medium blue sport weight. I ended up with four large balls of yarn.
    I had a $10 off $10 coupon from JC Penney. I used it to purchase a package of 8 washcloths that were marked exactly $10 – so zero out of pocket for me. We were down to only two washcloths in our bathroom, so this was a welcome freebie.
    My husband changed the oil and air filter in my car and checked the air in my tires.
    I always look forward to being inspired by every else’s frugal activities — it keeps me going.

  4. Cooked at home. Son gave me a couple squash. Been eating tomatoes and peppers from the garden. Will be working the next couple of days at farm building our house ourselves. Hope to be in there before too long. Borrowed books from library to read. Walked outside for exercise. Going to plan meals to cook at home this week. Will look on internet for inspiration.

  5. I was super busy last week, which meant I didn’t really have time to spend money!

    I’ve been meal prepping lately, because its a relaxing activity for a Sunday and I’m not usually home in time to make dinner anymore. Last week, I made a mushroom bolognese to go with pasta for lunch and jambalaya and chicken cornbread casserole for dinners. I also bought apples on sale for 66c a lb (I got 4 bags!!) so we’ve been eating those are part of lunches and snacks. This week’s meal prep looked like: potato, bacon, and onion mini frittatas for breakfast (potatoes were on sale last week as well), chicken, bean, and potato soup (I made a 5 qt batch, which should last us all week) and a black bean taco skillet for dinners. Lunches are going to be simple- I pulled some sliced ham from the freezer and we’ll have sandwiches and apples for lunches. This way, I at least have my basic meals covered!

    It was my birthday yesterday, and we saved money by not doing anything. XD It’s kinda sad, but I had lots of homework and grading to do, plus the weather was too crappy for a walk in the park like we had planned, so we just stayed home. My mom got me an immersion blender and a steam mop as gifts, which I’ve wanted for a while now, as our floors are no longer carpeted and I am sick of trying to use a Swiffer mop to clean, plus the blender will allow me to more easily blend soups as we move into soup season. Instead of a cake, I baked myself a loaf of banana bread with chocolate chips. Delicious 🙂

    I wrote out a meal plan for the next few weeks and made a trip to Aldi last week- I only spent about $70 and got most of the groceries we’ll need for the month, though I did forget to grab canned tuna… I’ll also need to decide what to do about Halloween, as I’m very certain that the kids in the apartment complex are going to come around trick or treating.

    I also got my flu shot this week, which should help me avoid the worst of the flu this year. Because I work in education, I get exposed to a lot of germs every day, so I try to take as many preventative measures as I can! Being sick tends to be a money sink for me, because I usually have to make a special trip to purchase medicine if it’s really bad, plus I don’t usually feel like eating, so I resort to more expensive, snacky food. So, I’m trying my best to not get sick (or, at least not terribly so!)

    I think that’s all for this last week. I hope everyone’s had a good first week of October 😀

  6. 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.

  7. 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!
    http://www.vickieskitchenandgarden.com/2017/10/7-tips-that-will-help-make-meal.html

  8. 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

  9. 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.

    http://getmetothecountry.blogspot.com/2017/10/signs-in-heaven-from-god-what-do-they.html

    *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! 😉

    http://getmetothecountry.blogspot.com/2017/10/my-husbands-favorite-country-store.html

    Jeannie @ GetMeToTheCountry.Blogspot.com

  10. 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.

  11. 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!

  12. 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!

  13. 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!

  14. Mable,
    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.

  15. 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 🙂 .

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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
    [list]
    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.
    [/list]

  20. 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.

  21. 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.

  22. 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

  23. 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:
    http://www.lifefreedomfamily.com/2017/10/the-great-grocery-project-september.html

    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.

  24. 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.

  25. 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.

  26. 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.

  27. 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.

  28. 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

  29. 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:
    http://2minimize.blogspot.com/2017/10/last-weeks-frugal-efforts_9.html

    Happy Monday, Everyone!

  30. 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!

  31. 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!!

  32. 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.

  33. With a three day weekend, we have been catching up on sleep and around the cabin work. I’m impressed at your garage sale finds. We rarely have decent sales, but the thrift stores more than make up for it. It’s a rather depressed area and those with the nicer things donate them to the charity thrift shops rather than have sales.

    I spent quite a bit more time than expected preparing the rv for when my dear husband will be insulating and sheet rocking the cabin. We will be staying in the rv during that process. I’m so thankful he is able to do this type of work. Such a blessing to have a debt free place to live. It allows us to work on paying off the debts we have accumulated these past couple years.

    My MIL didn’t take any money for the things she bought from Sam’s club for us. I was quite surprised, but very thankful. We also were treated to Chinese food and butternut squash soup for lunch and took the leftovers home.

    My husband’s aunt that moved gave us yet another box of food. Such a blessing.

    It has been neither too hot nor too cold so we have saved on heating and cooling this week.

    My son and I saved up to go to the movies and had hamburgers out. He just loves to go to the movie theater, so it is a special activity for us to do. I saved the tomatoes for a sandwich for lunch today. I needed something from Walmart which is next to the movie theater, so was able to get it when we went to the movies rather than have to make the 45 minute drive each way just to buy the one item. I also looked for something for work that I couldn’t find and solved the need without purchasing anything.

    Was given cookies at work that will be a treat for my son’s lunch on his super long day. They are packaged with a nice note about being kind; I’m passing the note on as well.

    I called and found out how to pay on a medical bill online thus saving the cost of an envelope, stamp and check. I stopped in and had the bank send my DD a debit card for my account here so I will quickly be able to give her money when she is in need. Her on-campus job doesn’t always cover all her expenses.

    Wishing everyone a blessed week.

  34. If baking calls for milk you can use a variety of different things in place of the milk that will leave it more moist. I sometimes use apple or pear sauce, yogurt, mashed bananas, pureed lentils or beans (especially if you are making muffins or quick bread), or switching out the white sugar for brown sugar.

  35. Brandy I have been searching for a 2 cup measuring glass for 3 yrs. Every morning during my first cup of coffee I read the frugal posts. Somethings I make notes of and we talk about them when Hubby gets home from work.

    I spent the day caramelizing over 10 lbs of onions, kept the onion juice/oil for frying potatoes and onions or bean soup after we went to Menards this morning for softener salt that was on sale.. Blanched turnips and they are in freezer. I have onions in dehydrator to come out (I’ll put potatoes in next to take the odor out) and rosemary and oregano to bag up.
    I took all the cereal/etc box inserts after washing them and letting them dry on the drying rack and wrapped them around a empty paper towel tube and put it in the empty spot on my wall with the wax paper and paper towels are. I used my single cup tea bags 3-4 times with just letting them soak a bit longer each time. I took advantage of Burpee 10 for $20 (even though it’s slim pickings) and saved $24.80 on the seeds. I can’t find some varieties of winter squash we like so that was the priority when I started looking.
    Hubby has taken to wiping his paper plate off (it’s mostly crumbs) and reusing it as long as he can instead of getting a new plate every time. I realized the issue of him not using a regular plate comes from his mother who uses at least a dozen paper plates and paper bowls a day and according to his dad, always has. He also has stopped leaving a light on in the kitchen on the nights he is home from work (he works 3rd) made a comment that the security light is enough light as I do have a small night light at the door way of the front room to the dining room and the bathroom has a night light also. We used gasbuddy to check best prices for gas and used my Kroger fuel points also. The rest of my frugal week is here. http://chefowings.blogspot.com/2017/10/frugal-first-week.html

    Blessing to you and yours Brandy and all that post here.

  36. So excited for you on the paid off medical bills – and I love that you noted not using the stamps. 😀 It reminds me that my husband brought home something some would think odd, after his mother’s passing. While helping his dad sort things at their house, they came across an envelope STUFFED with stamps. They are years and years old, but unused. My father-in-love didn’t want them, so my husband brought them to me. He knows I will quite gladly use multiple stamps to get to today’s postage amount!

    My post for last week is here:
    http://meloniek.com/2017/10/frugal-accomplishments-week-ending-8-oct-2017/

  37. Frugal accomplishments from my house this week:

    – My grandson lives out of state, but was here to visit. We took him to the Renaissance Festival. He qualified for the 5 and under – FREE admission and we found a BOGO coupon that helped with costs for our admission. It was a beautiful day weather wise and we enjoyed it very much.
    – I received a bill for the full amount of a mammogram I had done last November. Although we do have health insurance, they covered nothing. Apparently they do not cover “routine screenings”. By now I have had many mammograms and never before has the insurance co. declined. I called the radiology dept. where the mammogram was done and asked if I could pay a lower rate since my insurance wouldn’t pay. She gave me 25% off if I paid in full… which I did. I am finding this insurance stuff to be very confusing anymore. We are paying $750/month just to have it and they seem to pay very little or decline everything. This has never been the case with our past insurance plans. Unfortunately, there aren’t too many options available. Frustrating (and expensive).
    – I saw that our local Publix had Starkist tuna 10/$10. That is the brand we usually buy, so I stocked up.
    – Made a large pot of vegetable soup yesterday. Used up some “oldish” celery and a carrot. Also finished up little bits of frozen vegetables from the freezer and the end of a bag of ditalini from the pantry. Flavored the soup with kale, basil and oregano that I had previously dried from the garden.
    – Exercised several times using videos from YouTube.
    – I was thrilled to find a little kitchen gadget brand new at a thrift shop for 50 cents. It is a little plastic container that you put part of a stick of butter in and roll the other end across corn on the cob to butter it. Kind of hard to describe, but it provides a neat and easy way to achieve the task. I had one that was over 20 years old when it finally broke. I figured I would never find another. You just never know what little treasure might be found at the thrift store. 🙂
    – I make my coffee in Keurig as my husband is not a coffee drinker. I don’t like the cost or the waste created by using the k-cup pods. I have been using the re-usable k-cup that has a wire mesh filter you can put your own coffee into. After a few years of use the filter had a small slit in it and the grounds were winding up in my cup of coffee. I looked online and found that I could buy the wire mesh filters without having to buy the plastic case that it goes into. Since that part was still perfectly fine, I purchased the filters only.
    – Went to Target for a facial lotion and noticed the offer for receiving a $5 gift card with the purchase of $20 or more in beauty products. Figured out how to obtain the coupon on my phone. The cashier was unable to get it to scan so he just took $5 off the total bill. I also used my own bags and received 20 cents off the bill for doing so. I try to always remember to bring my own bags as I detest what all of those plastic bags are doing to our environment. It is especially rewarding to do so at Target where they pay you to do so.

    I guess that is about it for last week. I look forward to reading everyone else’s comments.

    Brandy, I admire the way you and your mom keep lists and shop at the garage sales. It is amazing how often you are able to find just what you are looking for.

  38. 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.

  39. A girlfriend from out of town needed a place to sleep for the night. She brought with her lots of Mexican food for a dinner party she had hosted the night before. It made a yummy dinner and about three days worth of lunches.

    My sister is running for office and didn’t plant a garden this year to focus on the campaign. But she has grapes that she is not able to use. DH and I picked four five-gallon buckets of them and turned them into 35 quarts of juice. She also has an apple tree and isn’t able to use the apples, so I picked two boxes and so far have canned seven pints of applesauce and made an apple crisp. The core and peelings have been boiled for apple syrup.

    I cleaned through the garden on Saturday harvesting a few tomatillos, tomatoes, and herbs to dry.

    Got a $41 check for items sold at a consignment shop, $43 in credit card rebates, and notification that I had overpaid on another account and had a $22 credit, which I used to buy some picture frames. The income went into savings.

    I helped my mom sort through her closet and ended up with two boxes and a bag of clothes (and a sweater for me). In the past I have given a friend and her daughter the clothes because they are more their tastes. I again gave them the clothing. My friend will take what they don’t want to a thrift store and bring me the receipt for the donation.

  40. I didn’t realize Target gives a discount for using your own bags – thank you for noting that! I will have to be better about carrying my bags in when shopping there. I only go every couple of months and had no idea.

  41. I always find it interesting to see what you find at garage sales, Brandy! Sounds like a nice haul!

    My week was a bit quieter than usual, but I still managed to get a few things done:
    – I redeemed Pinecone Research Points for $10 to my Paypal account
    – I took the week off of work to recover from a medical procedure. My husband had planned to order in dinner during the week to make it easy on me to recover, but I spent the previous weeks cooking and froze lots of delicious things that I then just had to pull out of the freezer: meals included pasta with veggieballs and homemade tomato sauce, homemade pizza on rosemary olive oil crust, and broccoli cheddar soup. Snacks included chocolate chip banana bread, lemon poppy seed muffins, and home-canned pear sauce, home-canned pears, and home-canned peaches. I plan to take it easy for another week, and will pull out meals from the freezer like taco soup served with homemade rosemary olive oil bread, schoolhouse dinner rolls (http://approachingfood.com/waste-not-want-not-schoolhouse-style-dinner-rolls/) or veggie burgers with homemade mushroom soup as gravy and home-blanched broccoli and homemade stuffing. It took some planning and a bit of work, but I feel very well-nourished and no money was spent on take-out! My freezer will be half empty after these two weeks, but this is why I have food in my freezer after all!
    – With my husband to open heavy drawers and such (I can’t lift heavy things for a few weeks), I made microwave caramels for my husband to bring to work as well as for us to take to my family for (Canadian) Thanksgiving and to give to a co-worker as thanks for covering some work for me while I was recovering.
    – I received a free snack sample from a research company, which I ate as a snack one afternoon. I do love free food products!
    – I traded a loaf of chocolate chip pear bread (recipe from last week’s comments, thanks Becky!) for a bag of groceries (two bags of carrots, half a red cabbage, a sweet red pepper, and a package of organic celery), via my local trading app. I had made the bread using pear sauce that I had made from mostly pear peelings, so it was particularly frugal. I did the trade on the way to my parents place for Thanksgiving dinner, so I didn’t have to go out of my way at all.
    – Redeemed Swagbucks for a $10 gift card to Old Navy
    – I cut off the bottom of a tube of toothpaste to get the very last bit out, after not being able to squeeze any more out.
    – My mum sent the DH and I home with Thanksgiving dinner leftovers, which was super-nice, and meant that I didn’t have to cook anything the next day. She also sent us home with two bags of bread crusts (leftover from her homemade stuffing recipe) which I put in the freezer, and will turn into breadcrumbs, bread pudding, and stuffing at a later date. My dad sent us home with several pomegranates as a Thanksgiving gift, which I will add to salads this week.
    – Strawberries were on sale for $1.97/lb so I bought 6 lbs to turn into strawberry jam, which I will use as a mix-in with my homemade yoghurt.

    Looking forward to learning from everyone else, as always!

  42. Brandy, I love your yard sale finds. Especially the bust!

    • Found another gallon bag of tomatoes in my freezer. Canned 3 ¾ pts. of tomato sauce with them.
    • Ate out at our Trivia night but used a coupon we had won a previous week.
    • Hubby changed the oil on my car.
    • DD and her husband had us over for dinner on Friday. We only had to bring wine. My daughter asked if I had any pinot grigio and I had to laugh as that is the kind I got so much of for under $2.25 per bottle. I brought her 6 bottles to fill up her wine rack as part of her birthday present.
    • Hubby brought his lunch to work 2 times. He was a tough sell for a long time, but now he sees the amount he is saving is adding up. Plus he wants to do recreational shooting at the shooting range. He figures the money he is saving not eating out will pay for that, which I think is a great trade off.
    • Have been trying to eat up food we already have. Was able to use up 6 items out of the freezer and 7 items off of the pantry shelf.
    • Forgot to add this last week. I only drink water that has been purified. Our city water is terrible. Since we are in a rental, we cannot install a reverse osmosis system like we have in all our previous houses. I had been buying bottled water at 99c/ gallon. I had completely forgotten about the “fill your own” dispensers outside of the grocery store. For the last 2 weeks I have refilled 5 – 1 gallon bottles for only 30c/gallon. $3.50 savings / week. If I had been doing this since we moved into the rental, I would have saved $280. It all adds up, doesn’t it?
    • Our niece got married this weekend in a town 3 hours away in the mountains. My DD found a cabin to share online, so we each only had to pay for 1 night. Combined the wedding trip with a fishing trip for Hubby and SIL too. It was a catch and release weekend, so they didn’t come home with any fish to eat, but they had a good time. And DD and I had a great time catching up while they were fishing. And since it was a cabin, we were able to eat our meals there instead of going out.
    • Made $50 babysitting.
    • My birthday was on Thursday, so DD took me to get a pedicure as my birthday present.
    • My niece treated me to lunch for my birthday also.
    • Found a quarter in a parking lot! That is always fun!
    • Also did all of the usual – used free toiletries, coffee & tea, kept AC as high as possible, etc.

    Have a wonderful week, everyone!

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

  44. 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!

  45. 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!

  46. 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.

  47. Target gives you five cents per bag if you use your own bags. They should scan five cents off of your total per bag. Sometimes I have had cashiers who don’t remember to do this, but usually they do. It may not be a huge amount, but I think we frugal types will agree that it all adds up.

  48. I forgot to mention a frugal fail that I think you ladies might enjoy ;). I ran out of eye cream. I didn’t want to buy more right now, so I looked in my sample drawer and found a sample of Clairins face lotion, which is a pretty high end cream. I’ll just use this, I thought. After a couple days I noticed my eyes felt like they were burning and I eventually figured out it was the cream. When I went to get more of my regular eye cream the cosmetologist had a good laugh. Yes, she said, there is a reason why there is specific cream for eyes – the skin there is highly sensitive. No kidding!!

  49. Regarding the mammogram that was not covered the next time this comes up ,ask the office staff if it can be cioded in another way.coding is everything in today’s medicine alwYs ask if it can be recoded.

  50. 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.

  51. What a wonderful list of the items for which you are grateful and thankful. Thanks for the inspiration. Happy Thanksgiving!

  52. 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!

  53. 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

  54. How nice that you were able to find a couple that speak French. Will you be able to chat with them some more?

    Frugal Efforts (Two Weeks’ Worth):

    * Accepted 2 pomegranates from a neighbor (she uses hers, so it was extra nice of her to share) and picked four pomegranates from our own tree (there’s a few more out there still ripening). Froze the arils to use throughout the fall/winter.

    * Made bread, black beans (froze them in 2 C portions), oatmeal cookies and pumpkin cookies, ranch dip, and dry ranch dip mix.

    * Used a $10 off $30 coupon at Big 5 for a pair of New Balance running shoes for me and a second $10 off $30 for some new swim goggles for Son (two different trips; the goggles broke mid practice and were an unplanned expense–I was glad for an extra coupon).

    * Harvested lemons, basil (used some fresh; dried a lot), chives, corn, mini pumpkins, carrots, two cantaloupes, tomatoes (cherry, yellow pear, and Roma), one acorn squash, one eggplant, yellow summer squash, bell peppers, and mild Chinese peppers.

    * Hubs made a Scoutmaster Field Desk and saved the shavings from the planer to use in the chicken coop.

    * Brought home spaghetti and bread sticks that were left over from an Eagle Court of Honor.

    * Accepted scraps for the chickens.

    * Checked out books and DVDs from the library.

    * Paid bills online.

    Have a great week, everyone!

  55. 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.

  56. Great finds. As I don’t have children at home any more, I don’t yard sale very often. I do thrift stores when I need something or am trying to make something crafty. I love getting free produce like that. We are leaving for Florida tomorrow so hubs is upstairs putting a basket of apples that will go bad in the dehydrator as they will be done when we get up and won’t go to waste.

  57. Brandy ‘s new post each week makes me smile all day. I hope that there will be an eventual post about how inexpensive it was to set Winter up for college. It. would be such an inspiration to many. I have had a lovely week. I made college boy, a 5 lb turkey meatloaf and we have had that all week. Hot, cold, sandwiches and served with various vegtables. This lovely child got a new job at a new ice cream parlor opening up next week. It’s going to be closer to home and much less on gas. We believe we have found him a good used car in my budget. It is an old Volvo, so I consider it safe.I have managed to lower our electric and water by about 45%. We will continue to conserve and implement some other ideas. I signed up for Iobotta. I made some purchases with coupons and with the bonus, I received 20.00 back. That money was used for puppy’s new food. I had to give her a benadryl for her itching. Puppy reminds me a lot like a 2 yr old with these ear infections. I redeemed swagbucks for a gift card and bought cat food at Walmart. I still have quite a few swagbucks and will redeem them when I get cards at the reduced value. Sugar cookie wants a tablet for Christmas. I am hoping to get a good deal at Thanksgiving. I used coupons for ten free yogurts, 12 free dark chocolate bars and two pints of ice cream. I stopped at the thrift store and was ecstatic to find me a pair of Saucony running shoes. They appear to be brand new and were 6.00. I have needed a pair but just kept putting it off. They are my size, soft as marshmallows and a great color. I don’t care for neon colors. These are gray w palest blue .I found me a tea kettle too. I signed up for several free classes at Udemy. I need to discover all the tricks to Windows 10 and I want to learn to knit. I need to check at Walmart to see about seeds and plants that can be purchased with SNAP. The financial savings I get the next 4 months will enable us to set up a garden. I am hoping to grow salad stuff, squash and asparagus. I almost fell over when I saw what the asparagus starters cost. I will need to have a load of dirt brought in but have the perfect contact. He sells elephant dung. We have wood for the raised beds. I am excited. I will be getting a new freezer in a few weeks. I continue to adjust my grocery list accordingly to reflect loss leaders and coupons. I added 50 cans of tomatoes at 8 cents a can. I am lonely with Sugar Cookie being out of town.( Will return in ten days) Every night I spend time entering contests. In the last two weeks I have won twice. A Carvel ice cream cake and a 30.00 certificate to a company called Cratespace. I will use the 30 dollars to order lotions for the winter dry skin. It was about the only thing I could think of that we needed. We are pretty much prepared for everything. For the lady that mentioned paper plates, we have a stack of coffee filters the children use for snacks and sandwiches. They are much cheaper and serve the purpose.

  58. Living frugal from urban Seattle:

    – Another dry, relatively warm week here, so we did not drive our car all week and got where we needed to go on our bicycles.
    – My husband was at a work conference all week in DC so his meals and expenses were paid for and we saved a couple of days bus fare (he rides his bike to work about half the time).
    – I am trying to use up homemade canned applesauce from my mom so I made a yummy applesauce cake from scratch and used some more for baking.
    – I received about a six month supply of tampons from my Buy Nothing group. I gave away a wall-sized US map and some winter clothing my boys had outgrown to other neighbors.
    -I attended a free writing workshop at our local library and checked out some books for me and my boys while we were there.

  59. Thanks for all of the thanksgiving wishes! It was a cold, windy but beautiful day here! More snow is forecast for Wednesday, then nice weather again. I will be scrambling to get leaves raked tomorrow. Sometimes the best things in life are free!

  60. I have never thought of freezing onions. Do they taste better frozen caramelized or raw?
    I stayed home unless I was driving to work which is 12 miles away. I combine trips when I drive to town for work.
    I’m cooking at home as much as I can. I splurged and bought $3 Christmas CD at thrift store but my girls love listening to the old-fashioned music on our drives to grandmas house.

  61. I made fig muffins to take to work all week. I used Amy’s Tightwad Gazette muffin recipe, except I added more sugar to make them more dessert like. I made a concoction of bologna, cream cheese, rice, spices, and onion, to take to work for lunch. I estimate it is less than 30 cents a serving, and probably much less than that. I stayed at home during Tropical Storm Nate. I washed my car during the storm. There was no thunder nor lightning, and it was free water….lol. I had seen a video where someone did that in Florida earlier this year. Luckily, I did not lose power. When the storm was over, I took an hour long walk through my hood. I took a nap. I sat outside and read. It was delightfully overcast and not too hot.

  62. Our insurance isn’t the best, either. At this point, we still have coverage for mammograms and colonoscopies. (Thankfully!!!) I did mention to the head nurse that we would be one of the millions without care if the ACA was taken away. This would impact the Dr.s, the drug companies, hospitals and many other things I can’t think of! Scary times!

    .

  63. Brandy, I noticed the recipe today from Mennonite Girls Can Cook is for PEAR MUFFINS. They look nicely spiced and have toasted hazelnuts in them. Maybe they would work for your older pears you wish to use up. Were you ever able to plant the hazelnut tree?

  64. What a lovely week you had. I love garage sales!
    At work, I saved water bottles, with water still in them, for the dog. Just two more weeks til the Summer job ends! I am so looking forward to that!
    Two of our gas stations have 1.00 coupons off gas about once a month, three to four coupons each. We use one every time we get gas. We usually put six dollars in with one dollar off. Love it!
    I received a large bag of onions from the last CSA delivery. I froze those for Winter use.
    We went for lunch at Applebee’s with an old gift card. It paid for the whole thing and we still have a few dollars left. While in this neighborhood, we visited the Big Lot’s and found a few bargains. (Mostly chocolate, don’t ask.

  65. 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.

  66. 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.

  67. 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.

  68. I second this recommendation. We are self-employed. Since the ACA passed, our previously-wonderful individual policies tripled in monthly cost, our annual deductible increased from $5,000 to $15,000 and the insurance covers almost nothing anymore. I’ve learned to call the insurance company before going to the doctor for anything (obviously not emergencies) to better plan for costs and make decisions as to what we can afford.

    After some time on hold, the insurance company told me under which codes mammograms would be covered — that translated basically to “medically necessary, recommended for a medical reason”. They also told me under which codes it was not covered on our policy — these codes translated roughly to: “routine.”

    Having this info before my doctor’s appointment, I could provide it to the doctor and be sure the code was correctly entered at the time of ordering the mammogram…

  69. Those were some great finds Brandy. I love going to yard sales.
    -Sold 3 items on EBay
    -Traded movie tickets with my friend for a gift card to a restaurant
    -Transplanted my mums from my garden into pots that I put out front. Will bring them in when the temp drops.
    -Picked the rest of my bush beans and froze a bunch, Still picking tomatoes, pole beans, peppers, carrots,corn and herbs.
    -Worked an extra shift(someone called out). My husband made a huge pot of chili and cornbread. I froze half of the chili for future meals.
    -Made food for the dog with leftover scraps
    -My husband did his truck’s breaks.
    -My son brought home bread and pastries from work
    -Used a $10 off coupon at a store.
    -Bought 2 pairs of sneakers at B/1/G/1 half off. I wear sneakers everyday at work. I put the second pair away for next year.
    -I cut up paper bags and put them in a Ziploc. I use them instead of paper towels for greasy foods.
    -I hung laundry outside. It was beautiful a few days, otherwise it went on the clothes rack inside.
    -Did lots of cooking. Made potato cheese soup, pasta fagioli, biscuits with sausage gravy, pancakes, pasta salad, steak. I also grilled a large batch of chicken cutlets that we have been using in multiple ways for lunch and dinner.
    -I went to the dentist for a cleaning. Came home with free goodies. It is covered by our insurance so it cost $0
    -I watched my sister’s dog for a few days. When she dropped him off she gave me some milk that was almost expired, cheese, sad looking carrots and cookies for the kids. When she picked him up she brought a cute heart basket that she had been given and hotel shampoos and conditioners.
    -My husband went for his yearly physical.
    -My in-laws came for dinner. They brought a bottle of home made wine. They had gone apple picking and made apple sauce so we received a jar and 6 huge apples. I gave them a jar of peach jam that I had made.

  70. Brandy,
    Glad you were able to get a good stock up this month and congratulations on the great garage sale finds!

    Frugal activities

    -Looked for books to read, went online to the site for our city library (to download as kindle books when available) and put myself on the waiting list for a few, and found two to download now.
    -ate all but one meal at home (I budget one meal out a week, we try for lunches…last week I tried to use a gift certificate I won but it wouldn’t work, so we had to pay for the meal, and now I am arguing with the certificate company who blames everything on the restaurant….now I have to go back to the restaurant and try again to use the certificate….it is not worthy of the drive or the second meal but I refuse to let $50 go away).
    -updated the freezer contents list and made a list of potential dinners for October.

  71. Hello to all! Nice finds, Brandy. My frugal week –

    – checked out several books from the library
    – combined errands so I did not go out much
    – I made some oatmeal muffins using up sour milk. They were ok little too dry.
    I received a medical bill. I put on our credit card and will pay the whole bill when it comes and get cash back.
    I did all the regular things I do to save – wash baggies, wash full loads and hang clothes.
    I hope all has a good frugal week.

  72. 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!

  73. The garden is winding down. We have freezing temperatures predicted for nights this week. We have harvested a wheel barrow of winter squash and at least a wheel barrow of green tomatoes. The rest of the tomatoes are covered.
    Meals continue to be from pantry, garden and freezer. Albertsons had a special to introduce their delivery service. 20 dollars off your first order of at least 49 dollars and free delivery. I stocked up on sale prices boneless skinless chicken breasts, macaroni and canned soup.
    Baking homemade bread, cookies and pizza and making all meals from scratch. The weather has turned cold at night but our gas fireplace warms the house nicely in the mornings. Still able to leave the furnace off, and hang laundry outside. We have a cold winter predicted so I am enjoying these beautiful fall days and the turning leaves

  74. 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.

  75. Juls, thank you for mentioning that you store cereal liners on a roll. I have been trying to think of a better way of keeping mine, and this hadn’t occurred to me. BTW, I do not wash the liners. I mostly use them for flouring meat. Here is a tip: don’t tear open the liners on the seam until you are ready to use them. There are some tasks that are better done in the bag–such as flouring chicken pieces or pork chops–and if you haven’t opened them yet, you’ve always got a bag. The seams are absolutely sealed and you are not going to make a mess shaking flour in the bag.

  76. I’m glad you had a good week. I never thought of using coffee filters for paper plates.

    What a great deal on tomatoes–8c? Wow! It’s great that you could get so many for that price.

  77. Great garage sale finds. This week our accomplishments were-

    -I received $25 in gift cards for the big box grocery and department stores. I got them for completing 2 online surveys. One took me 20mins ($15)and the other took 10mins ($10);
    -my mother in law purchased an expensive Christmas present for my son which I had really wanted but did not wish to spend the money on. What a blessing;
    -I received some basil seeds for free;
    -my children and I attended a kids festival and everything we did and received was free. We got tomatoe plants & strawberry seeds, toothbrushes, pens, 2 large water bottles, 5 apples, 5 mandarins, 15 nut and honey bars, 5 packets of dried fruits & sultanas, a children’s book, bubbles the kids x 3, stickers. While there we received fruit kebabs, cookies, watched a Peppa Pig show, my children went on 4 amusement rides, did multiple art and craft and sculpting activities (& took home their result), cooking lessons (also took home the raw balls they made!), animal farm. I can’t believe it was all free. We had a fun day;
    -went to the farmers markets today and got lots of inexpensive fresh fruit and vegetables;
    -all groceries for the week came in at under $15;
    -I borrowed an outfit from a friend. Very grateful;
    -picked an abundance of tomatoes from our vegetable garden and continue to use them in cooking and salads.

  78. Writing to you all from London, England, where I read Brandy’s every post.

    We do not have muffins here, pretty much, except at Starbucks. How do you make oatmeal muffins? Do you have special tins?

    And – big question for us Brits – what do you do with all these pumpkins you have? Over here, they are only used for making Halloween lanterns. But I am guessing you thrifty women have all sorts of meals you make from them?

  79. 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?

  80. 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.

  81. 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.

  82. I could never find anything definite about growing hazelnuts here and whether or not they would burn in our sun. They do need two trees (at least one male and one female; you can have several female trees with one male, but my space is limited).

    So, instead, when my cherry tree died this summer, I decided to replace it with a self-fertile almond tree, that has very low chilling hours.

  83. Yes, we do have muffin tins specifically for making muffins. You can spray them/grease them or you can use paper liners to keep the batter from sticking. They’re a quick bread, raised with baking soda and/or baking powder and eggs. Here is an example: http://amzn.to/2gcjUdp There are also extra large-sized muffin tins and mini-muffin tins as well.

    Pumpkin for baking is sold in cans (tins) here, usually during October and November, and used especially for making pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving. The most traditional pumpkin pie recipe is found on the most common brand of canned pumpkin, and it is delicious. Here is the recipe:
    https://www.verybestbaking.com/recipes/18470/LIBBYS-Famous-Pumpkin-Pie

    Pumpkin has grown in popularity is the last few decades and is used in other quick breads like muffins and loaf breads or cakes.

    The large pumpkins here are used for Jack o’ Lanterns on Halloween, but there are smaller types called pie pumpkins that are more meaty and better for using for pies, though you can use both. In the last few years there has been a growing interest/market for heirloom pumpkin varities and squash of the same shape (often in other colors). A lot of people use those for decorating, but they are also good to cook as well. Whether or not you can find them depends on if the stores near you carry them. My stores have very few options right now for anything besides traditional large pumpkins for carving for Halloween and tiny orange ones, but I have seen beautiful choices in other places on the blogosphere and on Instagram. Colder climates had pumpkins weeks ago.

    After October, the only pumpkins you find in the U.S. are the tinned, already cooked ones for baking. Whole pumpkins are nowhere to be seen in the stores after Halloween.

    I don’t have a recipe for oatmeal muffins, but I suggest Pinterest for recipes searches as well as pumpkin recipes.

    In the U.S., when we make pumpkin pie, there is a spice mix that many people use to make their pies called “pumpkin spice.” A lot of people like to use the spice in the fall in other things, such as coffee.

  84. Thank you, Janet. I agree with you that coding is everything now. This was never an issue in the past so it is taking some getting used to. I did ask the radiology dept. where the mammogram was done if a different code would have been what was necessary to have the insurance co. pay. She said that it really couldn’t be coded any other way as it was a screening mammogram. The insurance companies used to encourage preventative health care by completely covering tests that were done for prevention. Now it almost seems like if you can get your doctor to lie about the reason for the test, the ins. co. may cover part or all of the cost.

  85. Thank you, Laure. Great idea to call the insurance company ahead of time. I tried to look for this information on our insurance plan’s website and found it to be not very helpful. I do have to schedule a few appts. and was kind of dreading the surprise (or should I say shock) of how much the bill will be. I will now follow your advice and arrive at the appts. armed with the proper codes. I appreciate you taking the time to share this information with me and others.

  86. I have enjoyed watching the major flocks of Canadian Geese flying about.
    There are good people in the world! I left my purse in the grocery cart at the commissary and the base guard let me back in to look for it (without my id) and then someone turned it in completely intact!
    Despite the goodness, I’m feeling a bit down this week. The needed repairs after the hurricane are not progressing at all as my husband is still away helping others (with all the additional expenses that incurs so I can’t afford to pay someone to do the repairs), and now there appears to be a leak in the roof (I found a wet spot on the ceiling in the loft). The old shoemaker’s children I suppose.
    The kicker is not getting paid – apparently the Guard pays when the orders are over… so it could be months before we see a paycheck for all of this additional hurricane duty and then it will be massively taxed.
    Ate at home mostly. I made chili, hot dogs, cornbread, chicken potpie, and shrimp creole from the pantry and freezer. The chili will be repurposed into several different meals and I froze half of it to eat in later weeks. Groceries were $23 for the week and that included a bogo on mayonnaise, which was on my stock up list.
    I splurged on a really cute pair of shoes at the commissary (so no taxes). Used a coupon, shelf tags, and sales to restock my wine cellar. Found the wet cat food I’m using to socialize the new cat for half price and then someone gave me a coupon for it! I attended a play at the high school for free (faculty privilege). Attended a wine tasting (with food) I attended 3 free Zumba classes at the base. Went to happy hour at the VFW and got to serve a meal to, and socialize with, the crew of a foreign sub that was in port. I have never before seen people buy beer at a bar by the 6-pack – for themselves!
    Accepted an invitation to a friend’s house for dinner and to another’s for drinks and snacks. I brought a bottle of wine from my cellar to both.
    I spent a day helping a friend pull new wire and put in in new drywall (hurricane damage) and feel guilty over my mood regarding my house. I still sigh when I see the damage at my house, but I remind myself, it could have been worse!
    We are considering starting a medical flex savings account for next year. Our medical expenses are pretty limited (thank you for military insurance), but the flex savings could be used for the chiropractor and for my glasses/ contacts as well as our deductibles. Anyone use these?

  87. 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.;)

  88. Hi Laura, I am obviously not Brandy but we used to live in London (Highbury/Islington/Arsenal area) for many years. If you are looking for a treat, Ottolenghi (there are a fewlocations) sells beautiful muffins. If you are looking to try some pumpkin recipes, Whole Foods in High St. Kensington sells tinned pumpkin puree that Brandy mentioned at a reasonable price. They also carry it at many Waitrose locations, especially in Canary Wharf area. You can find many American food products at stores in the St. John’s Wood, Primrose Hill area, but of course there you will pay a premium.
    If you are wanting to try making muffins (highly worthwhile) you can get muffin tins at John Lewis. Hope this helps!!

  89. 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.

  90. We are away this week .Brought food from home shared when we eat out ‘ used senior discounts and saved by going off season . Used discounted gas and stayed closer to home. Used our senior park pass ( our national parks pass ) to get into two parks and enjoy the outdoors. We save as much as we can all year to vacation, we use the parks a lot and coupons gift cards and food from home to cut costs going off season helps a lot too. I was gifted a jacket for my grandson. Frugal fail after years of travel together and always bringing hubbys pillows I lost his pillows somehow (although might have been a five finger discount from the maids) Aniother frugal fail hubby broke his mic he did not pad it enough when packing. So this particular trip will cost us more when we get back on buying replacements .

    On the cereal liner when I use them for coating chicken I just tun them inside out , also I saved my tube and box from wax paper long ago and just roll it.

  91. To add to Brandy’s wonderful explanation, muffin tins are similar to Yorkshire pudding pans. If you want to try making muffins, you could probably use one of those. I second Brandy’s suggestion on finding muffin recipes on Pinterest. There are tons of great muffin recipes of all kinds to be found, and use simple ingredients that you’d have in England as well.

    The use of pumpkin or winter squash is a tradition that relates back to the pioneers learning from the Native Indians (Americans refer to them as American Indians, Canadians call them First Nations People). Those that immigrated from England, Ireland and Scotland had no idea what would actually grow in this new world. They learned much from the people that were already here (our Thanksgiving holiday tradition was born from this). Corn, beans and squash were being grown here as companion plantings by those Native communities and is a nutritiously complete meal when cooked together. This summer I tried my hand at making a lovely soup called “Three Sister’s Soup” which is a traditional meal made from corn, beans and squash. It was really good! Today, most of us in North America more relate the use of pumpkin to use in baked goods. If you’d like to try cooking with pumpkin, again, I’d refer you to Pinterest. There are instructions on how to cook the pumpkin into a puree, how to freeze it, and many recipes to use it in. In regards to “pumpkin spice”, they don’t really sell that here in Canada. However, it’s just a mix of spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. If you come across a recipe that calls for “pumpkin spice”, look for a separate recipe on how to mix up your own pumpkin pumpkin spice mix. Personally, I just look for another recipe that lists all the spices separate…it’s easier that way!

  92. 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.

  93. 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.

  94. I totally understand, Jennifer. One thing that drives me nuts is if my roof is leaking. I finally put a metal roof on because of my aversion to roof leaks. I hope your husband is able to come home soon and fix it and the other repairs. It is also stressful after a big catastrophic weather event, such as after a tornado, hurricane, or a fire. I was in a bad funk after the 2011 tornadoes in Alabama…hugs.

  95. Jennifer O,
    Thank you for your family’s service. We are a retired Guard family and I know very well how you are feeling. You are correct about the taxes for active duty. It will be taxed heavily and is not always deducted so that may be something you have to plan for in April. We experienced heavy tax burdens and trying financial times due to income changes and taxes during active duty deployments. We did not have military insurance since my husband was not full time. I have used a healthcare spending account and it is much more streamlined and easier to use than it used to be. The only caution is to make sure you estimate as closely as you can your expenses based on previous years. If the plan is a”use it or lose it” plan you don’t want to put more in than you need. There are several plan options available to us that roll funds from year to year. Just read the fine print to avoid an end of the year rush to spend the money. It’s nice you can shop at the commissary. We live too far from one to make a trip worthwhile.

    Brandy,
    Thank you so much for this wonderful place where ideas and encouragement are so kindly shared!

    I’m recovering from a procedure so my frugal accomplishments include eating from our supplies, making photo books for Christmas presents, and I used some reward points to purchase Christmas gifts making them free! I am enjoying reading through everyone’s posts and making plans for the future!

  96. 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.

  97. Hi to you from the UK – we absolutely do have muffins in England in all stores not just Starbucks!! Libby’s tinned pumpkin purée is available all year round, definitely not frugal
    at £2/tin approx €2.64!! I hollow out my pumpkins, my 2 sons carve them and I make yummy curried pumpkin soup with the flesh. Can’t wait til Halloween!

  98. Yes, hazelnuts can take up space as they multi stem, like a giant bush. Will you keep your almond in a pot? I hear they need lots of water.

  99. No, the almond is going in the ground to replace my cherry, which burned in our heat. I used to have one in a different spot but twice we had a water leak when a valve broke for a day and I lost two cherry trees there. So I planted a new cherry (which burned in June when it hit 117º a month early) where my plum was (that mysteriously died) and I need to dig it out, return it (it was under warranty of one year) and put in this almond. It will be watered with the drip lines that are already there. Almonds do need water, but they don’t have to be watered with flooded fields. They can be watered with drip irrigation and do just fine, and use MUCH less water. I added an almond tree this spring (they look just like peach trees, and my peaches are on drip too) and it has done fine and gave me a handful of almonds this year already.

  100. Margaret, you said you adjusted the recipe. Is the 3 cups of flour your adjusted amount? Or was that the original amount and you added 1cup to make it 4 cups? One cup of liquid to 3 to 3 1/2 cups is a pretty good ratio.

  101. I hope your almond tree will be very productive in the coming years. Have you ever tried shade cloth to protect areas of your garden ? It is used up here by the ginseng growers.

  102. Laura, muffin tins are also used for cupcakes. I noticed on the Great British Baking Show that they used them to make the little Yorkshire puddings. We have always made our Yorkshire puddings though in one large baking pan.

    I cook up the pie pumpkins into puree and freeze. I use it for pumpkin nut bread, pancakes, waffles, scones, whoopie pies, regular pies, pumpkin pudding. Some folks make soup though I use squash for that. Jack o lantern pumpkins have a waterier more fibrous pulp but if that is all you can find it tastes similar once it is pureed and spiced up. Pumpkin, like carrots, is good in the beta carotene / vitamin A department.

  103. Hazelnuts grow very well around Portland, Oregon. Although Portland has a mild climate, it’s a lot colder than yours and never as hot in the summer; plus they get a lot of rain. I know that hazelnuts also grow in England, which has a similar climate and rainfall. I don’t really know if they would grow in Vegas, but I’m guessing…not. Be interesting if anyone knows for sure.

  104. You are a natural-born teacher Brandy, thank you so much! I have managed to find the spice and am going to make the pie in honour of your Thanksgiving. Halloween here, incidentally, is now a nationwide event derived almost entirely from American trick or treating. When I was growing up in Scotland, we used turnips instead of pumpkins for lanterns, and ‘dooked’ for apples, trying to pick apples out of tubs of water with our teeth, hands tied behind our backs. And then we passed oranges round a ring of children and adults, tucking them beneath our chins, until one team dropped the fruit and the other won. Do you all do that there too?

  105. Thank you so much Rhonda! Half of my family emigrated from Scotland to Canada in the 1920s. I will make your Three Sisters’ Soup in your honour!

  106. Thank you very much J – am heading straight to Waitrose! Agree that Ottolenghi is wonderful. And in fact have tracked down muffin tins at Tesco Direct, if you remember them from your North London days. Very kind of you..

  107. Thank you so much Joanne, for the Libby’s recommendation. And the curry idea. All I’ve ever managed is to toast the seeds but now I have many new ideas for this year.

  108. One could argue that over a certain age, having a preventative mammogram screening IS medically necessary. But I’m Canadian, so I don’t have to go through those battles here. Your medical system sounds very frustrating from what I’ve read on this blog.

  109. Our current Halloween traditions are based on many traditions from the old world (Britain). I work at a living history pioneer village museum here in Ontario (known as Upper Canada in the early 1800s). We host an All Hallows Eve event every year and have incorporated the history of our traditions in the evening’s event. This has included the history carving turnips to ward off evil spirits, knocking on doors for “soul cakes” (evolved into trick or treating), the “bone fire”, witches, etc. We used to “bob” for apples (you call it “drook” for apples, but exact same thing) as children. In fact we used to do this for the children at the museum. Then we realized the hygiene issue of all those faces and open mouths in the water and decided it probably wasn’t a good idea (good ol’ heath and safety stops yet another fun tradition). I think I’ve heard of the orange passing game, but don’t personally recall playing it. Oranges were only available around Christmas here in Canada in the 1800s, and were considered an exotic fruit at the time. We have more traditions around oranges at Christmas time than Halloween because of this. In short, many of our traditions here still stem from historical traditions from Britain, because our countries started out as British colonies. So as much as you think you are celebrating an American tradition, really it is just an evolution of British traditions!

  110. Molly, I’ve had many mammograms as well since I’m considered high risk. You may find that insurance will cover it if the radiology dept will submit it as diagnostic (which they might if you’ve ever had a suspicious mammogram). It might be worth looking into.

  111. Brandy, I was thrilled to see your wonderful garage sale treasures. I noticed your pretty black lady bust has a scratched nose. I often find that I can touch up the color on such items with either a permanent felt tip marker pen or a rubber stamp ink pad. With ink pads it is also easy to combine colors to get just the right color.

  112. At a church rummage sale I found a 2016 Pioneer Woman hardback cookbook for $1.00. I had looked at it on Amazon but it was $30!

  113. 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.”

  114. 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.

  115. I flatten and fold mine and keep them in a plastic bag. My main use is for rolling out pie crust between two sheets, but I also use them when chopping food–like for a stir fry—and also for breading or rolling things in flour. At least they are used twice, if not more.

  116. Hi Brandy. I don’t recall you speaking of needing ideas for using up older pears, however if they’re canned they are delicious dried.

  117. Brandy,

    How do I make sure to get you credit if I buy thru Amazon? I’m looking for a link but only see the try amazon at the right. Is that it?

  118. 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.

  119. Thanks for asking!

    I get credit for anything that you add to your cart (and purchase) after going to Amazon through any of my links. That includes links to individual products that you see in my sidebar or on a post, or specific ads, such as the prime ad that is currently in my sidebar on the blog (you don’t have sign up for prime, just click through to Amazon from there and then anything you buy after that will give me credit).

  120. I was home all week due to illness, so there was a savings in that albeit not fun, lol. I put a few things in the freezer as the week went on, two chicken pot pies, a single layer of a chocolate cake that I will fill and frost later as well as some cooked chicken and broth that I’d made over the last weekend and planned into our menu which wasn’t wanted after all. You can read the rest of my savings week here: https://bluehousejournal.blogspot.com/2017/10/living-frugally-and-well-working-on.html

  121. In a cake mix I’ve often subbed full water for all the oil and water required and in homemade cakes I have sometimes used fruit juice in place of the milk. I recently read in one of my vintage magazines that one might use water in cornbread or biscuit batters as well instead of milk. I’m always amazed at how we don’t have to have specific things to make a reasonable substitute for items.

  122. 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.

  123. 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.

  124. 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 🙂

  125. Those games were played when I was a child, but I think they’ve largely fallen out of favor. In my part of the US, we called it bobbing for apples.

  126. This is good information to know. I will have to make sure mine are coded that way. I have been paying for all the follow up mammograms and it is not cheap!

  127. I’m awfully late in posting my frugal doings due to recovering from sickness and playing catch-up at home…

    [list]
    My husband and I went out for an ice cream date using a gift card he had been given for his birthday.
    [/list]
    [list]
    I made yoghurt in the slow cooker.
    [/list]
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    I picked up free fruit and eggs from our local produce carts.
    [/list]
    [list]
    We cooked at home, used up leftovers or froze them and took lunches to work. We ate out twice which is more than we would like. But one day we were both feeling sick and the other day we had an appointment that took a lot longer than expected.
    [/list]
    [list]
    We kept adding produce scraps to our compost bin and watered the garden from our rainwater tank.
    [/list]
    [list]
    My husband finally sold one of our cars. Not at the desired price but better than having to pay for insurance and registration. We’ll be getting an insurance refund soon.
    [/list]
    [list]
    We spent some time doing home and yard maintenance ourselves and borrowed needed tools from family.
    [/list]
    [list]
    The usual things like full loads of dishes and washing, air-drying clothes, reusing Ziploc bags, saving warm-up water, cleaning with rags and vinegar, minimal use of the heater,…
    [/list]

  128. 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.

  129. Yep! It’s a yard sale; prices are often negotiable, especially when you are buying a bunch of stuff from one seller. I’ve had a lot more people hold firm to their prices lately though. A LOT of people don’t put prices on items, which is frustrating, so I am trying to remember my new tactic, which is to offer them a price that I think is fair. The question I’m using is, “Will you take _____ for that?” it doesn’t always work, and if they say no and want a lot more, then I won’t buy the item, but oftimes they say yes, and I’ve paid what I feel is a fair price that is the same that I have paid at other sales for like items (such as $1 for clothing items).

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