October Arrrangement The Prudent Homemaker

I cut flowers from the garden to enjoy inside. 

I harvested Swiss chard and pomegranates from the garden.

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

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

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

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

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

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


What did you do save money last week?

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  1. Gorgeous arrangement, as usual!

    I had a quiet week again, but still managed to do some frugal things:
    – I’ve been craving baked goods, because whenever am I not, but am still low on energy, so I made three-ingredient chocolate marzipan croissants (http://approachingfood.com/). Super-quick, inexpensive (I bought the almond paste on sale), and great for a last-minute brunch item or to serve to unexpected guests.
    – My DH hurt his back and couldn’t carry home the usual amount of fresh fruits and vegetables that we like to consume each week, and because I’m recovering from some health issues, I couldn’t shop either, so I opened up some cans of fruit that I canned earlier in the fall. Yummy and I didn’t have to change my diet!
    – Read e-books from my library; I can take them out online, so I can do it from the comfort of my sofa.
    – Redeemed Swagbucks for a $10 gift card to Old Navy
    – I went to a workshop paid for by my workplace, and got a free lunch. Yum! I also won an end-of-day knowledge quiz and was able to choose a prize. I chose a pair of warm, fuzzy socks.
    – I dried rosemary that I had traded for previously, and added it to my spice cupboard.
    – The only thing my sister ever wants as a gift, is a donation to her favourite charity, usually Medecins San Frontiers. So, we donate to the charity she requests which makes her happy, and end up with a tax receipt for ourselves! Everybody wins!
    – I made super-easy macaroni and cheese for dinner tonight. The ingredients? Macaroni. And grated cheddar cheese. That’s it! And it’s incredibly good. My mum would sometimes add in a dollop of butter and a handful of chopped leftover ham (meat-eaters would LOVE this) but plain macaroni and cheese is fine by me!

    Hopefully next week will be easier and more productive. Looking forward to learning from all of you as always!

  2. Now that we have almond flour so available, i make almond paste with an egg white (left over from making mayonnaise with the yolk), sugar and almond extract Better than store bought. Add another egg white and make almond macaroons,

  3. I love the violas. The people who lived in this house before us must have loved them, too, since this past year, I noticed little viola plants coming up everywhere–in the dirt, in pots, and in the middle of the lawn. They seem to grow everywhere from seed. So, that was nice. At first, I was carefully saving and weeding around each one I found, until I realized they were going to be everywhere all by themselves!

    This past week was pretty uneventful, but good. Sometimes it’s nice to have a week where I can concentrate more on my home than usual, and this was the week. I did some extra cleaning, a little decorating, picked up a couple of Christmas gifts, did some embroidery, and some more pre-planning for Thanksgiving.

    I also kept my nephew most of this weekend as his parents were heavily involved in the church’s High School Harvest Party all day Saturday and Saturday night. We had fun! I also will get paid for some extra hours as his PSW so that will help our finances next month. I made waffles from the Mickey Mouse waffle iron I bought at the yard sale last weekend while he was here. We had breakfast for dinner.

    My children continued to eat more than usual, so I cooked more than usual. One of them cooked more than usual, too, so that was nice.

    I took 2 exercise classes at the YMCA.

    I picked a cabbage from the garden. There are several still out there, along with kale, Swiss chard, and a few other things. I found one cucumber and 3 zucchini. I pulled all the hoses out and put the sprinklers away for the season. We wanted to till, but it was too wet. The phone app said nice weather for 3 more days, so we let it dry. But, then it rained last night, so we are back to square 1. I will at least spread the compost pile all over the garden so it can rot in place. We can till that all in when spring comes if we can’t get it done now due to wetness. The baby green onions came up where I covered the seed heads with compost a few weeks ago. They are tiny, but will probably grow quickly in the spring if they make it through the winter. They are pretty hardy and our winters are usually mild. We picked the last few ugly, half-green tomatoes. After these are gone, we are done with tomatoes until next year.

    I also enjoyed looking at fall colors, flying geese, and some other things. I put pictures of those things on my blog: https://beckyathome.wordpress.com/2017/10/30/saving-money-weekly-update-october-29-2017/

  4. We fed the guinea pigs veggie scraps and saved some greens by soaking them in cold water.
    We went to a Halloween party hosted by a local family. We used items on hand to make my son’s Ninja Turtle costume. No money was spent. We took a picnic lunch and a thermos of coffee. We were lucky and got free parking too. All the events hosted were free as well except each family was asked to bring candy to pass out.
    We all got flu shots to avoid the flu and lost work this winter.
    I got two $5 coupons from H&M to use later by taking in bags of clothes that were beyond repair.
    I was gifted a small bag of sweet potatoes by a friend.
    I had a workawayer stay and help get some things done around the house without spending extra money to hire someone.
    I went to a school flea market and found phonics books for my son and a snow globe. He’s been asking for one but they are expensive and he’s in kindergarten. I know it will be broken sooner or later so spending $2 is better than $20.
    A friend stopped by for coffee and we had a nice visit.
    I took some clothes to be repaired instead of buying new. I don’t have a sewing machine and I cannot sew but tailors are still fairly cheap here.
    I made lots of bread.
    I cooked as much as possible at home.
    I go home for lunch instead of buying it.
    At work they provided a nice bento box with ice tea one day.
    Instead of making 8 page photocopies I decided to make the documents for work available on a mobile app. I used it during a lecture saving me time and being friendlier to the environment.
    My son had a school field trip. Instead of buying bottled water and snacks we used a refillable water bottle and snacks and fruit we already had on hand.

  5. This week was quiet and we kept plugging along with our usual frugal habits.

    My coworker and I car-pooled to work once. I worked an additional nine hours this week.

    My husband and I took lunches and snacks to work everyday and cooked all meals at home. One night there were leftover vegetables and they were incorporated into a shepherd’s pie a few days later. We made yoghurt in the slow cooker.

    We did not need to turn on the heater or air-conditioner all week.

    We washed several full loads of dishes and clothes, all clothes were air-dried. We saved the warm-up water when handwashing dishes and used this to soak pots and pans.

    Our garden was watered twice from our rainwater tank. It rained several days so we did not have to water and our tank got refilled.

    I picked up my husband from work once when I was nearby. It saved a bus ticket.

    I combined errands as much as possible. It was time for our monthly grocery shop. I went while there was a promotion for extra rewards points and earned enough points to receive $10 off my next shop. I also bought some items for work for which I will be reimbursed and scanned my rewards card again. On the way to the store, I picked up some free lemons and herbs from one of our local produce carts.

  6. A local church picks up discards and soon to expire food from Trader Joe’s on Saturday nights so we went there Sunday in our way home from church and brought home a large box and two grocery bags of organic breads and produce. I spent the afternoon doing food prep and planning our menu based on what we brought home. We also got three bunches of flowers for our home and two bunches of roses for my son’s girlfriend for her birthday, also free. My son wrote her a song and played it on his ukelele for her gift. My husband went hunting on family land and got a deer. He will process the meat himself instead of paying a processor. I bought a few gifts and some household needs from my list at our annual church yard sale and only spent $6.

  7. Brandy, very glad to hear you read Suite française, I actually teach that book in one of my courses. It is very interesting because the book was never finished (it was supposed to be 5 tomes, instead of 3), Irène Némirovsky was Jewish but did not write about being Jewish during the Shoah – in fact she portrays Jews quite negatively in her works, she portrays many aspects of life under occupation in France – as she was living through it. Némirovksy was betrayed by a neighbour, arrested and killed at Auschwitz. Her husband, Michel, prior to his arrest and deportation, gave the suitcases containing her manuscripts to their two young daughters who went into hiding. After the war, the daughters waited for their parents return – one has recounted how she went to the train station every day for months hoping to find one of her parents coming off the trains – to no avail. They said it was too painful for them to open the manuscripts – until they did one day in the 90s. They then typed them all (they were handwritten) and that is how the book eventually became to be published 65 years after it was written.

    There is a movie (Suite française) based on the book – but as you know there are so many different storylines – the movie focuses almost entirely on the affair/non affair between Lucille and the German soldier living with them. The movie was actually filmed in English and German, but the French voiceovers in it are well done. There are several artistic licenses taken in the film (for example a Jewish woman in hiding is arrested – which never occurs in the book but the producer said he added this as a tribute to the author) but it is still worth watching.

    (Sorry – Shoah literature is sort of my life’s work….the study of it…..and it’s not a topic that often comes up in conversation….)

    Moving on….

    This week my third worst food nightmare happened: everything in a fully packed upright freezer = ruined. Long story short – a contractor doing work on our house did not properly plug the freezer back in (despite being specifically reminded to do so). I went downstairs after they left to make sure it had been plugged in – I saw the plug in the outlet (I thought) and felt the freezer (it was cold) so I thought everything was ok. I did not realize that the plug was essentially sitting in the outlet and not actually – plugged all the way in. So, when I went down a few days later to get something – everything was ruined. To say I am upset would be an understatement. All my turkeys, ground beef, cooked brisket, a year’s worth of fruit (most of which is divided and prepackaged into recipe sizes for specific things like muffins, pies, cobblers, smoothies, jams, etc.), pie crusts, cranberries for cranberry sauce and gifts, frozen vegetables – gone gone gone. It was about $1000.00 worth of food. I called the business but have had no return call. This happened as I head into a month with zero income (for me, not my husband). It also happened while my husband was out of the country for work – so I really could not do much salvaging. I filled two coolers with fruit (which was not even half of what was in the freezer) and gave away what I could. Everything else had to go. : (

    Juls – I actually went back and read your post from when your freezer died. As you and your daddy said – it is a major setback – but we will be ok.
    Also – lesson learned – if/when I am able to fill my freezer again (at this point I might just leave it unplugged as it uses much more energy when not completely full, I am still mulling what I am going to do…) I will be checking it EVERY DAY.

    I spent the weekend reorganizing and sorting what food we have left and going through recipes seeing how to best use what food we do have left in our pantry. So that was essentially my week – I have been trying to replan and reorganize for the coming months. Because of this – I did not write my October grocery spending or plans for November yet. Instead, I decided to finally post some pictures of when we had our house pictures done:

    Due to the freezer debacle, I had to get more food items than normal – so I went to Shoppers when it was a 20x the points day. I now have enough points to get almost $200 worth of free products, so I will be using these points at the end of November (hopefully) when there is a bonus points redemption weekend.

    I wrote down some new recipes that I am going to try using up ingredients on hand.

    I listed my double electric breast pump for sale (I have a manual one which I actually prefer) but I have no idea if I will be able to sell it (it is a closed system so safe for resale).

    Tomorrow is Halloween and my son will be wearing a costume I purchased last year after Halloween at a steep discount. My younger son will be wearing a hand me down (Mickey Mouse!) from his brother.

    Have a great week everyone!

  8. I did a major grocery shopping this past week, I hadn’t gone in over a month and, well the cupboards were pretty bare of essentials. The pantry was still stocked but when I grabbed the can of corned beef hash off the shelf I realized, “time to go to the store!” Fortunately there was money to do that with. Still, I can not believe how expensive things are. Yikes! But I think I did pretty well and am hoping to not have to go again for a month. The only thing I usually need to buy during the in between time is cheese. My family eats So. Much. Cheese! I had the opportunity to remember why we never have deli meat in the house this time too…because when I do buy it, it’s gone in just a couple of days! LOL! What a ridiculous expense.
    We had a solar system installed this past summer. It’s a leased system and cost nothing to install because of a promotion they were running. Because our house is electric, meaning we have no oil or gas heat, (woodstove, electric furnace backup) and only a gas stove for cooking, our electric bill has been reduced by over $200/month! I’m so happy I could cry. It actually worked!! This was a huge expense for us and with all of our children, all big now and all still living in the home, going to college classes and working, we definitely were not going to be able to “just reduce” our usage.
    We moved all of our wood to the stacking area, cleaned up our garden beds and ate lots of greens from the vegetable garden. My golden raspberries are still harvesting so I ate those, the compost is cooking and will be spread on the vegetable beds, my hens are still laying and we are eating alot of eggs from the coop, and I’ve started using dry milk for pretty much everything but drinking. Gas is pretty expensive here at $2.56/gallon and we’re making a concerted effort to combine trips and stay home as often as possible. The latter is proving difficult but I did stay home for three straight days this past weekend. My husband and I parked the cars on Friday and won’t leave the house until today and we’re combining our driving as much as possible.
    I went to a big fiber show in our area which I have been wanting to attend but never really felt like I could spend the money; the entry fee is $12 and the wool is pretty expensive. However! I received a birthday gift of cash from a relative and used that! It was great fun. We also got symphony tickets for $15/seat. We love to go to our local symphony but we never do it, and certainly not as a family, because the tickets start at around $48 and go up from there. This price made us feel like we actually *couldn’t* turn it down so we’re taking the whole family. I froze thyme and parsley, am desperately trying to keep my rosemary alive, got my seasonal pumpkins for half-price, made applesauce from our tree, and my husband fixed the dishwasher. I feel like we did other things with being frugal in mind but these, especially the solar!!!, are what come to mind. Right now my goal is to teach my children this frugality and I believe that I’m two thirds there…if you know what I mean. 😉
    Have a great week everyone!

  9. Hello Brandy and everyone from Australia 😀 , Brandy you did so well to save so much on your DH’s glasses. We are still looking for the specific birds to turn up so we can take and send you some pictures.

    We also had a great week of savings in multiple areas being –

    In the kitchen –
    – Made a double batch of honey biscuits from items in our pantry saving a considerable amount over purchasing them in the shops.
    – Cooked all our meals and bread from scratch.

    In the garden –
    – Picked silverbeet, carrots and beetroot from the gardens and made the carrots and beetroot into juices for ourselves and I also took some to an elderly friend I visit teach in an aged care facility.

    Animal related purchases –
    – Purchased an 8pk or 2 years worth of cat worming tablets on eBay saving $9.26 on usual prices.

    Other Purchases –
    – Bought 4 new vintage style dresses and a new swimsuit for $115 including delivery from an American site having a wonderful Halloween sale of up to 70% off usual prices and coupled that with another 15% off for first time customer voucher saving $275.74 over what we would pay for similar styles here.

    Electricity savings –
    – We got our latest quarterly power bill in and saved $20 by only turning on the electric hot water system when we needed to use hot water over the last couple of months.

    Have a wonderful week ahead everyone 🙂 .

  10. I love violas too. You are so lucky they bloom all winter in your gardens there, Brandy.

    Live is settling down a bit, though we’re still sitting on pins and needles with DD. Her overall mood appears to be improving somewhat. Hoping this trend continues. My frugal accomplishments this week included:
    *Meals made at home included make your own pizzas, chicken bacon ranch pasta, and Stromboli (see below). Family had fish with potato wedges and spaghetti with meat sauce on the 2 nights I worked, while I took leftover Stromboli for my dinner.
    *Tried a new recipe this week, Stromboli (recipe link: https://happymoneysaver.com/ham-and-cheese-stromboli-recipe/). I used shaved ham and salami (previously bought on sale) from the freezer to make it. Although the recipe was a bit time consuming, it made 2 Stromboli’s. One was enough to feed us, so next time I will freeze the second to use later. Everyone, except DD, liked it…no surprise as DD is currently refusing to eat most food. She did later eat some of the leftovers and said it was OK but not her favourite. I can work with that.
    *Made a batch of Chocolate Banana Applesauce cake for dessert one night, kind of as a celebration of DD’s success at getting back to school this week. It made good use of 2 very ripe bananas, and some applesauce in the fridge before it went moldy. I threw in some tiny bits of butterscotch and mini chocolate chips that were floating around in the pantry just to use them up, and added a sprinkling of slivered almonds to the top to make it a bit more special.
    *Made roasted pumpkin seeds with the seeds from our Jack O Lantern. Healthy, frugal and so delicious!
    *Frugal fail: With all the chaos our house has experienced over the past few weeks, I missed getting a large, nearly full bag of naan bread from Costco into the freezer before the best before date. By the time I discovered it, the bread had mold all over it and I had to throw it out.
    *Frugal reward: After DD was finally able to stay at school one day without a meltdown or sickness, and she even took the bus home (they even missed her stop and she handled it well), I decided to reward her by going to McDonald’s for dinner. We even had a coupon for a free ice cream cone. Because we are frugal most of the time, this reward didn’t break the bank for us. But most importantly, it made DD feel good, which was worth every penny!
    *Used a coupon for a free bag of cat treats. That makes a total of 4 cat treat bags for 3 cats. The cats will be thrilled with their Christmas stockings this year! I think we can share some with the animal shelter kitties, which DD will enjoy. They deserve a nice Christmas treat too.
    *We invested in a composter this week. The free compost it will produce should help the gardens we hope to build next summer (the ones that didn’t happen this summer).
    *Hubby and I went to parent teacher interview night at the school and met with 2 of her teachers. Both wanted to talk about her behaviour (yeah, we know she is struggling with this), but also received some inspiring news on how she is doing. I made sure to tell DD about the good stuff and used it to encourage better behaviour. I hope the pep talk helped boost her self esteem, even just a little bit.
    *I needed to fill my tank this week, so I’d have enough gas to get to work this weekend. The day I went to get it, I noticed that gas prices had shot up from $1.03/L to $1.15/L. When I got to Costco, I was relieved to see their gas price was $1.01/L! Felt like I’d won the lottery.
    *DD brought home one of her art projects. The painting is so beautiful, we put it up on the living room wall. So proud of her artistic accomplishment!
    *Worked 2 nights this week at the All Hallows Eve event at the pioneer village. That means a paycheck for me in my future!
    *My mom and DD came to the Halloween event on Friday night for free. DD said she enjoyed going, though I think it had more to do with wearing a costume. This might be the only time she gets to wear one this year. Having a good Halloween costume is one of our favourite things about Halloween. This year she was Georgie from Stephen King’s “IT”. An easy costume consisting of a yellow rain coat, a single red helium balloon, and she used a creepy clown doll (it was made by a co-worker to prank another co-worker this summer) as her Pennywise clown. Cheap and creepy…win win!
    *While picking up some things at Shoppers Drug Mart, we noticed packages of Kraft cheese and crackers (the ones in a 3-strip, perfect for lunches) on clearance for $0.50 each. I don’t normally buy these as they are just too expensive . But the packages were short dated and perfectly priced. We bought 8 strips in total as a treat to use in DD’s school lunches. DD was so thrilled!

    Hope you all have a wonderful week!

  11. I love the arrangement with the white roses and white zinnias and then setting it off with the burgundy colored leaves and the pomegranate. How long will the arrangement last?

    Has your husband already received his new glasses? I tried ordering a pair from Zenni and they weren’t quite right. It is a tremendous savings if he is able to get a good fit.

    We’ve cleaned the garden and I’ve been busy canning salsa and marinara sauce. My roses are still blooming, but this is probably the last week as a cold front is moving in late this week with overnight temperatures into the 20’s.

  12. Oh, I look forward to the day I can pick my own pomegranates! I have two dwarf trees, which are still tiny, but both put on some good growth this summer, so one of these days… I love bean burritos, and enjoy making your Spanish rice to go with them. A tasty and frugal meal. You have an eye for such lovely still lifes. The flowers with the pomegranate is so pretty. I’m joining in here: https://abelabodycare.blogspot.com/2017/10/our-family-hayride-frugal.html

  13. A friend gave us a bunch of bananas from their plant. We’ve eaten some and will freeze the rest.

    We realized our less used bank account has been charging us a $5 monthly fee because we don’t have a certain amount in there. We’re deciding if we want to transfer more money into it, or maybe just stop using that bank altogether.

    I’m doing laundry today and will be using the rinse water on our poor drying plants.

    We got home from a trip yesterday, but I was able to mix up an edible lunch from what was in the house. I cooked pasta and sautéed onion and pieces of turkey sandwich meat. Then I added garlic and other spices and drizzled it over the pasta. Simple and edible.

  14. I’m a huge fan of simple meals, so your 2 ingredient Mac n cheese intrigues me. I think I’ll try it next time I’m in the US where I can easily get cheddar.

  15. I love your blog and all the reader comments. It motivates me to stay frugal!
    After spending 2 hours on the soccer field in 33 degree weather I said no to driving through a restaurant for coffee or stopping at a fast food place for dinner. There are 5 of us so even just coffee and hot chocolate would be expensive. We had hot tea when we got home and DH made waffles and sausage for dinner.
    I had a $10 Kohl’s cash and found a $50 tennis bracelet on sale for $19.99. After using my 20% coupon and $10 Kohl’s cash I got it for less than $9. It is a mother/daughter bracelet that my daughter will love as her Christmas gift.
    I was so tired one night from meetings that I just wanted to tell my husband to bring home Chinese food for dinner. Persevered and made dinner at home instead.
    Got a family size brownie mix at Aldi for 89cents. I had just read a recipe for making mocha brownies on one of my favorite blogs so I hacked the recipe. To the mix I added 2 tsp of vanilla extract, 1 tsp of espresso powder, and 3/4 cup of chocolate chips. I also saved because the original recipe called for 10 TBSP of butter. So, so good. These would make great Christmas presents.

  16. I scrubbed my bathroom tile grout with a toothbrush and bleach. I decided to try using a concoction of baking soda, hydrogen priox., table salt, and vinegar for my kitchen floor with a different toothbrush, and scrubbed that grout and tile. I think the bathroom floor is cleaner. My knees are killing me…lol. I cleaned the oven with vinegar and baking soda. I think it needs an additional cleaning. I cleaned my fridge but not the freezer part. So, I just used materials I had on hand. I made homemade meatloaf and I will be taking that to lunch for meatloaf sandwiches. I made refrigerator fig jam, from figs out of my mom’s fig tree (she is deceased but I still call it mom’s tree) so free figs and the jam was delicious!

  17. Our week was a mix of frugal and some spending (but fortunately it was planned and saved for kind of spending).

    The biggest and hardest thing I did this week was the beginnings of clearing out all of our homeschooling materials. Our youngest is a junior in college, so logically I know those days are long passed. However, it was harder than I thought. On a good note, I was able to donate a lot of supplies to the library and still have several large boxes to give to my daughter-in-law for my grandson. I know that doesn’t sound horribly frugal, but what happened as I went along (clearing things out) was that I found items we could use now.

    I’m envious some days of your sunny weather. We seem to be having some kind of rain and/or clouds almost everyday, and I’ve managed to get very little use from my sun oven.

  18. I think so much of saving money is pushing through and resisting those urges to swing through the drive-through or order take-out. Good for you! (And better for your family, anyway.) And what a great buy on the bracelet!

  19. As always, I am so inspired reading everyone’s frugal efforts. I always get great ideas from you all!
    Brandy, I love my progressive lenses from Zenni — such a great deal.
    I’m buckling down on my frugality, determined to pay off these medical bills as soon as possible. I turned two pair of boot cut jeans into straight-legged jeans. These were both thrift-store purchases that fit well. I’ll get more use out of them now.
    We had dinner with friends Sunday and they sent us home with a bunch of iris tubers thinned from their garden. I transplanted them to my beds. They couldn’t remember what colors they were, so it will be fun to see what blooms next year. I used wood chippings from the free chipping service in our neighborhood to mulch my flower beds.
    I made bread and cooked all meals from scratch, using items I had on-hand. We’re still eating chard, collards, and lettuce from the greenhouse. I cooked a big pot of Spanish rice and another of pinto beans to use in future meals. I did buy some sale meat and a little produce at the grocery store. I made a huge batch of pasta e fagioli in my instant pot, using up lots of odds and ends I’ve been saving – chard stems, celery ends, some old carrots, and a parmesan rind, and two kinds of beans I had cooked and frozen earlier, as well as home-canned tomatoes. I left out the pasta and canned the soup – filling up three quart jars. When we’re ready to eat it, I’ll add the pasta and cook until the pasta is done. I also mixed up a big batch of laundry detergent.
    I had one long day this week where I had to drive to a doctor 100 miles away (the only endrocrinologist on this side of the state.) I packed my lunch and water and combined errands to make the best use of the trip. I got home right at dinner time, but had planned ahead with a meal from the freezer, which my husband had started for me, so no temptation to eat out.
    A friend who is de-cluttering her house gave me several yards of burlap and a large piece of upholstery fabric, plus some muslin. I will find a good use for it all.
    When my husband was in the hospital I spotted a row of floribunda roses on the hospital grounds. Not many people have roses around here – the climate is iffy for them, but these were doing well. The day of my doctor’s appointment I stopped by and collected about a quart of rose hips and turned these into rose hip syrup. I ended up with 4 cups of syrup. This is high in Vitamin C, as well as A and D. I use it in my tea each morning for an immune system boost in the winter.
    My husband helped my friend tune up his boiler for winter and the friend insisted on paying him for his trouble.
    For frugal fun this week, we got a big stack of new books from the library, we have been listening to the World Series on the radio, and we took a beautiful hike and enjoyed a picnic in the woods. We have been having a beautiful Indian summer here.
    I am reading [i]Caroline: Little House Revisited[/i] by Sarah Miller. I am loving it. If you are a fan of the Laura Ingalls Wilder books, I highly recommend it.

  20. J Have the outlet replaced (you can do it yourself after turning off the breaker)so you don’t have the issue with plugging it in or an adapter. I never have repair people plug my stuff back in. Always do it myself. Guess that comes from a friend that is an electrician that has told horror stories like what happened to you.

  21. Cheddar blocks freeze well as does all the varieties of shredded cheese we’ve tried. The sliced cheese slices stuck together and crumbled.

    (And regarding another post: Two-ingredient mac and cheese is the best!)

  22. I baked my favorite pumpkin bread, Golden Pumpkin-Walnut Loaf, http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/golden-pumpkin-walnut-loaf. I made a double recipe since that used up the can of pumpkin. I have smaller loaf pans, so I also had enough batter for 12 muffins as well as 2 loaves. I really like the cardamom in the recipe. I also made Soul Cakes (http://www.geniuskitchen.com/recipe/soul-cakes-143070) which are really spicy shortbread cookies, connected with the traditional celebration of Oct. 31 in the British Isles (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soul_cake). I used the round cutters that are shown on Brandy’s site.

    I am slowly losing weight so each weekend I go shopping in my downstairs walk-in closet. I am glad I saved my smaller clothes, through frankly I mostly saved the “good” stuff – like wool blazers, classic trousers, and silk blouses. Each week I am able to add a few new items into the clothing rotation. This week I got out a very nice leather jacket that I received as a gift 14 years ago and have rarely worn because I just couldn’t button it. It is really fun to start wearing lacy and smaller bras that I saved, though I have much smaller to go in that closet of things I used to wear.

  23. I’ve had a hard time getting used to my progressives. I worry a bit that they might not be adjusted correctly. My eye doctor’s cost for progressives was about $650. Even after insurance it was $400. I use 39dollarglasses.com, and my progressives were only $99.

    Next time, I think I might try Costco. I really like my eye doctor, and I realize that they have 4 doctors and a whole slew of staff that they have to pay. But $400?

    Last week to save money… it wasn’t my best week, I have to say. I got some free food at our school festival, because I volunteered. But then, I also bought the ice for the festival as a donation, and paid for my husband and kids to eat. We used a coupon to get a meal for Buy One Get One Free, but you know, we had to buy the first one! I almost got a great deal on potatoes, but opted to buy organic instead. Like I said, not my best week.

    I did try a new recipe for gluten-free bread. The GF flour is expensive, but baking a loaf (for about $3) is still cheaper than buying it (for $6). For the most part, I’ve been just trying to eat GF foods, rather than buy GF foods. So I eat meat, veggies, beans, rice, eggs, fruit, and corn tortillas. It’s nice to have the bread as a treat though.

    I did bake 2 loaves of sandwich bread this week. About 2/3 whole wheat. My husband and kids eat bread for breakfast sometimes (toast) and husband takes sandwiches for lunch. We’d been buying whole wheat at Costco. But every single package of 2 loaves has 3 plastic bags. It’s started to bother me. The plastic is just wasteful, and it rarely gets recycled. It gets “downcycled”. We’ve been using the bags to store our produce, but of course the problem there is that everything in the fridge looks the same.

    2 loaves of bread takes about 4 hours. I use the bread machine for the dough and have figured out how to bake in pans (it’s funny to write that out, because my mom baked bread a lot when I was a kid. And here I am figuring it out, at 47.) No plastic waste. The paper flour sacks are both recyclable and compostable.

    OH, all of the food at the festival is donated. We generally get 2-3 Mexican restaurants to donate beans, rice, and salsa. Huge trays. There were full trays of beans and rice leftover, that we were handing out for free. So, I accepted a half tray of Mexican rice and froze it. We donated cupcakes, and made 2 dozen for half the cost of buying 1 dozen at the store.

    I bought 4 limes from a neighbor’s stand for $1. Made my fave peanut butter lime dip for veggies and pasta.

    On Sunday, I went for a group run. I skipped going out for coffee after. I also stayed home with my younger son, rather than go to the older one’s baseball game. That saves money on gas and the snack shack.

    I found 18 eggs at Vons for 99 cents. Limit 1. But…maybe I’ll be able to get another package today.

  24. I haven’t read the book, so now I will have to look for it – and your insights were VERY interesting to read!

    So sorry to read about your freezer. That’s a horrible loss and I hope they compensate you in some way for it. We had something similar happen a few years back, but due to a family member’s mistake, not anyone else. The really bad part was that a bag of chicken burst when it defrosted, and the fluids got all over the freezer, and sat there for a day until I happened to ask the person if they had made sure to plug it back in. It was bad….. so bad. I used an entire big Costco bag of baking soda trying to get the smell out and it only “mostly” did. So glad you were at least able to save some of the fruits and such. I feel for you!

  25. We have been able to save a little money on Halloween preparations this year. My youngest will be wearing a skeleton pajama costume that we used a few years ago for my middle son- no cost! My older two wanted to choose their own costumes.

    Middle decided to be a superhero. Luckily, it’s not a superhero that others have made up, but one he made up to play: DangerBoy. He designed the whole outfit himself. Black clothes (I got pants and shirt he can wear later), yellow boots (I got rainboots that, again, he can use later), and a yellow mask and gloves (these I did buy, but they were only a couple of dollars). He designed his emblem with me on the computer and we printed it off, colored it, and taped it to the shirt. He was so pleased! I was proud that he came up with everything himself, he’s only 4.

    Oldest wants to be a pirate. Boots and pants she already owns and wears. Pirate shirt, sash, and hat came from the dress-up bin. The only thing I bought was a eye patch/earring combo, again only a couple of dollars. She loves it.

    I bought many packs of halloween pencils at half off about 7 years ago. I’m still using them! No cost.

    I FINALLY started a compost bin for my garden! Ive been adding vegetable plants from the garden and leaves from the trees, as well as eggshells and vegetable ends and peelings from cooking. I’m hoping to reduce the trash so I can go down a trashcan size and have compost so I won’t need to buy it next year.

    I cut and dried sage from my garden. I will package this up and give as hostess gifts during our holiday travels this November.

    My kids and I attended the final dress rehearsal of a children’s play, The Tortoise and the Hare. Because it was a rehearsal, it was free. It fit in perfectly because we are studying Aesop’s Fables for school.

  26. This has been a good week in spite of hubby’s cross country trip to AZ for his sister’s unexpected funeral!
    After canning up 21 quarts of diced tomatoes last week ($3/20 lb box of huge beefsteak tomatoes) , I couldn’t resist getting yet another 20 pound box and f the tomatoes for $3! I finished cutting and processing and packaging my 60 pounds of Zaycon chicken ($1.27/pound) and look forward to getting more in February!
    I bought 50 pounds of potatoes for $5. And another 40 pound box of crispy Gala apples for $5! Oh, how I love this produce market! When I went on Saturday, I took a puce of chocolate banana applesauce cake to the sweet Hispanic lady who works there and is so kind to me! I thanked her again for her helpfulness and told her in Spanish that the cake was made using the bananas I bought last Saturday from her! She was so pleased!! She has me write down my name and phone number on a sheet of paper along with the words “chicken lady” next to my name! She posted it on the wall near their check out and said she will always call me ahead to let me know when they have free greens and scraps for my chickens!! I love this wonderful lady!!!
    I rearranged my pantry shelves and made more space for the pineapples and tomatoes I canned! I think I will try canning some spiced apple rings with some of my box of apples. I just need to find what stores sell the red hot cinnamon candies!
    I quilted and bound the client’s memory quilt and she will be picking it up and paying for it today.
    I froze several pounds of my bananas.
    I bought a new (to me) pair of jeans and a cardigan sweater at SA on half price Wednesday and it came to $4.98 total!!
    Still washing out ziploc bags, reducing food waste by recreating ingredients from fridge into new meals!! Chickens are still laying despite the cold weather! Currently I have about 11 dozen eggs in my fridge! Sold an additional dozen this morning!
    Lots of opportunities to build our pantry, find enjoyment in things that don’t cost and try to be better stewards over the abundance we’v been blessed with!!

  27. Great deal from Zenni Optical! I am planning to try them for a spare pair of glasses for my DD. (We need to take a picture of her without her glasses first). I wear progressives and I’m still afraid!! Hope it all works out for Mr. Brandy.

    In addition to all of the usual stuff, this is the UN-usual stuff I did this week:

    1. Mended some loose binding on a blanket by hand, washed and dried it outside.

    2. Sold a leather sectional sofa we won’t be able to fit into the new house for $350 on craigslist. I have 4 other items listed, but so far…no nibbles.

    3. DH hauled and sold a non-working clothes washer to a scrap metal dealer. Got $3 and they unloaded it for him!

    4. I bought another duffle for $2.75 for our 72-hour bug out bags. I came across another one at home that only needed a minor zipper repair, so we are set for those.

    5. Bought a pumpkin for .18 lb. at Winco, which was the lowest price in our area. The next-lowest price was .28 lb.

    6. Cleaned the DW filter. This involves removing all of the guts of the machine and saves a $60 service call. I never can remember what order the parts come out and go back in. I pulled up the You Tube on DH’s iPad and stopped and started it as I went. You wouldn’t believe all of the stuff that was clogging that filter!

    7. The pair of jeans I mended for DH about 6 months ago finally gave up the ghost. I cut off the legs and pockets in case I want to make more Levis aprons. I also removed the big sequined Mickey Mouse applique from an old sweater and plan to use it on a throw pillow I am making DD for Christmas.

    8. I used the Rewards I got at Office Max for batteries to buy two packages of batteries, free after rebate, in their latest offer. These will be divided up and used for stocking stuffers. Now to figure out how to spend the new rebate. This is the only thing I don’t like about Office Max rebates–they give you Rewards, not ca$h.

    9. I bought a clear glass Kool-Aid type pitcher for $2.99 at Goodwill. I’ve had this on my list for a long time.

  28. Oh J, that’s awful! What horrible timing, too. I hope you are able to rebuild your stock slowly, even with your decreased income. Sounds like you are on the right track already.

  29. Margaret – I almost always make my macaroni and cheese exactly as you described. I love it! Sometimes I will add a can of tomatoes and a wee bit of onion (my grandmother always cooks hers this way).

    Where did you find almond paste on sale?

  30. I haven’t had the most frugal of months but I have done a few things that I might not have thought about prior to reading this blog.

    My husband used up the last of the toothpaste- I cut it open and have been using the remnants that were at the bottom. I have probably been able to get an additional 20 or 30 uses out of it.

    I checked out a State Parks pass from the library so could go for free. I also checked out a few books and movies. I try to check every few weeks to see if anything new has come out that I can put on hold.

    I came across a BOGO deal on chuck roast at the grocery so bought 2. I cooked one and froze the other. It will be nice to enjoy this winter.

    It was abnormally cold this weekend. I guess it makes up for the hot fall we’ve had. I turned the AC off and didn’t put the heat on. We’ve been wearing sweatshirts and using blankets to stay warm. Hopefully this means that our bill will be low.

    I went to a Library Book Sale. I bought several books including 3 for my husband and 1 for my mother-in-law. I then went to the drugstore and used a 40% off coupon to get face soap. I bought Halloween Candy that was bogo. We haven’t done a lot in past years but we do have lots of kids in our neighborhood who walk around.

    Here’s hoping for a successful and frugal November!

  31. Last week was a fast one for us! We lost DH 96 year old grandfather. He was a great man and he was in WWII. The place where I cook on Thursdays was gifted some soup from a women’s Bible study group and some was gifted down to me to share with family. It came in handy just to have on the stove, ready when family came in from travelling. It was also my DS’s 24th birthday on Saturday. Of course he received some more Legos!!!LOL!! He also received some bags of cookies he likes, a box of single size Goldfish bags and a box of microwave popcorn which we don’t eat so I will gift it further and put on the freebie table at work, plus he also received $20 to spend on anything he wants. I did get some freebies: In the mail I received some more samples of drink mixes, a coupon for a free 5 lb bag of sugar, coupon for a free bag of chips, coupons to go into a certain store and pick out free items- At the store, I got a free soup mix, free bag of already popped popcorn. It did get down right cold and close to freezing the past couple of nights here in central NC but we didn’t turn on the heater- just added more blankets. Hope everyone has a great week!!

  32. It took me a month to get used to my progressive lenses. Anything longer than that and you might need to get them changed

  33. I called and asked…Zenni starts the progressive bifocal in the middle of the lens. This is where most people need it, but when you have an optician fit you, they will mark exactly on the lens where it should start for you (not always in the middle).

  34. I’ve been cooking from scratch. Today, I’m processing another pumpkin to make muffins. My new goal is to pay $400/month extra on our mortgage instead of $300. This means I will be cooking $1 meals for our family of 4 which includes a 20 month old and a 3 year old. Luckily we have a full freezer and pantry so this will be helping through 2018.
    I read the book “the complete tightwad gazette”. Although I didn’t learn anything that I will actually use, it was an inspiration to see how the author raised 6 children while staying at home.
    I just have to follow my budget and stick to it. I know its possible.
    We bought an electric car for Christmas for our daughters. It was $399 originally but in warehouse it was $307. With tax it was $326 but I used my discover card to get 5% back which doubles to 10% next April. So it was only $292. My mother is paying $200 of it for her gift. This is the only present we are purchasing aside from stockings. I think they will remember this more than a bunch of little toys.
    I bought a few other open-box items in Amazon warehouse for birthday gifts for nieces and nephews. These were all less than $10 and I also will get 10% back eventually using my discover card. I stored them in a closet.

  35. This week was quieter on the savings front, aside from the usual reusing ziplock bags, getting items from the library, and taking my lunch to work.

    I made some three sisters soup this week after reading about it on this blog a couple of weeks ago. It was yummy and also used up a lot of items in my fridge, including a parmesan cheese rind and some bullion.

    My husband and I bought rush passes to a local theatre company this year. You have to get in line the night of the show and they issue you whatever tickets are available. We ended up on the third row in the center! The passes aren’t cheap, but it’s about the price of seeing two of the shows for the rush pass, and the season has seven shows. You can also see the shows as often as you want.

    We went to a Halloween costume/potluck party on Saturday night. We had costumes and I made gingersnaps using items I had on hand.

    I went to “Victoria & Abdul” on Saturday afternoon as a matinee treat. A friend who works at a movie theatre gave free passes for me and two friends to go to the show.

    The biggest coup of the week was getting leftover food from a reception at work. I had to work the event (a rental of our facility). There was a lot of leftover food that the people were giving or throwing away. They left a lot of baked treats, sandwiches, and veggies for my colleagues, but I was also able to take home some sandwiches (my husband came to help me clean up and he snagged some items for his lunch), fruit, cheese, green olives, crackers, and dips. This should see me through lunches and snacks for the next few days.

  36. We had work done about a year ago right after I had loaded the freezer. WE rent so it was the landlord that hired the contractor and the landlord that watched over him. When I got home a few days later it was obvious that it was not plugged in. The landlord gave me $100 for the food. Which was about half. So I am not complaining.

  37. I reloaded our OTC meds from the pantry which was bought on sale with coupons. I have been having to take OTC meds to help sleep with the pain and a friend offered me some sleepy time tea to see if it would help instead of taking 2 different meds at bedtime. I finished 5 days of dishes including canning stock pots etc. Been doing a bit each day but today was the day of getting them caught up. I think I need tape a note that says something along the line that the Apocalypse isn’t coming…do the dishes. :p ! Laundry is done with the items that was still damp on the drying rack. It’s raining and windy so definitely a day to be inside so I finished 6 more sets(25 a set) of Christmas gifts. Finished the paperwork that Hubby has to send for his retirement 4 weeks and 4 days …yes I am counting. 😀 Changed out some dry goods that was stored in canning jars into old glass mayo jars that Daddy had given me.Have no lights on even though it’s dreary and darker than normal.Only used the light over the sink while doing dishes instead of the big overhead tube light.
    I reprogrammed the furnace temperature control from summer to winter. The rest is here http://chefowings.blogspot.com/2017/10/sams-club-and-frugal-done.html

  38. I look forward to reading this blog on Mondays after the weekend. I stopped my husband from ordering pizza Sunday night by saying “we have some in the freezer”. It is easier to be frugal during the week, but on weekends I’m sometimes fighting the “let’s go enjoy eating out or taking a drive or shopping” mentality. This mostly comes from my hubby. Sometimes I go along with it since its coming out of his checking and he is very frugal in every other way. We keep separate accounts and for the most part spend our own money the way we like. However we are both pretty tight so we trust the other is not overspending.
    I find myself thinking about a third child and wondering how it would affect our lives. Hubby wants to be done but knows a mistake could happen. I’m not sure. With two young girls everything is Amazing right now. I always wanted a boy but now I would like another girl and worry that a boy might throw off the relationships we have. I feel I’d probability be with my two girls and hubby would spend more time with a boy.

  39. Have you ever frozen eggs in their shell? I read that by coveting them with water, you can freeze eggs whole. Then boil them from frozen in cold water to eat. Add salt to water to prevent cracked eggs from leaking.
    Ever try freezing in any way? Someone said they store a couple years this way.

  40. Last week flew by the twins are sick and so am I . I got payment from a client who left me hanging on my last bill. I got reimbursed $50.00 on a mistake that a company made. I ‘m starting to feel like it is a full time job just to run down your cash so you are not cheated.
    Grandson will wear same costume this year. Son bought the candy we give away dirt cheap at the base.
    We have been trying to use up leftovers in meals but I swear they keep growing. Both fridgs are full !
    Got free samples today at a docs appointment using those.

    Will go back to paid work soon (hopefully )

  41. It seems like this happens to a lot of people when their freezer goes bar or someone forgets to plug it back in. They end up losing hundreds of dollars of food. I knew someone that lost all her breast milk and it was a lot.
    To try to prevent this, I keep 6 frozen milk jugs of water in our deep freeze. At least this might extend the amount of time we would have to notice our food thawing out. But it might not be enough.

  42. Me too. I know there are promotions and such, but we are in our mid-70’s and I wonder about making our money back if we did try it, and also there was something about a permit which would have to be transferred to a new owner—as neither my daughter nor grand-daughter are interested in living in the house eventually. I wanted to do it in the 70’s but my husband thought it was prohibitively expensive at that time. Our house is all electric except for the furnace and hot water being heated by fuel oil. We keep the electric bill to about $110 or less most of the year, despite the frequency of my cooking with an electric stove!

  43. Its funny you said you should post a sign saying, “the Apocalypse isn’t coming, do the dishes”. I always hop out of bed and think, “the water might go out today, get all the dishes and washing done first”. That way the house is clean if we lose power because of a storm or….the Apocalypse! Lol

  44. I agree. I come home from shopping and tell my husband about all the sale items I walked past and did not buy–like last week’s dozen doughnuts for $4.99 Great bargain but it would take us a long time to eat them, and like I said–we’re in our mid 70’s and we just don’t need the calories!

  45. Gardenpat, another idea for canning those apples is to make flavoured applesauce. Last year, when I cooked up the apples, I added in some berries I needed to use up from the freezer. DD loved it! You could add strawberries, raspberries, peaches or any other fruit you’d like.

  46. I got progressives and loved them. My husband got them on my recommendation and after 2 weeks he went back and got regular bifocals made. He HATED them. And we had both worn regular bifocals before that, so the bifocal part was not new.

  47. I would suggest that you buy a freezer alarm. They aren’t that costly and a easy to install. Amazon carries them.


  48. Did three mystery shops, one got me some free gas, another two tickets to the movies and the third an oil change for my sister’s car. Husband wanted something sweet so I made pumpkin molasses cookies instead of buying cookies. Had to attend a potluck so make a huge vat of clam chowder, using up eight of the many cans we have, and came home with no soup but with two meals worth of macaroni salad and a baggie of sliced tomatoes. The agency offered the leftover foods and only another woman and I took them—who walks away from free food?

    I did have a frugal save. I was making meat loaf and adding pepper from one of those industrial sized warehouse pepper containers. I’d swear about 100 tablespoons fell out. Years ago I would have thrown the meat away as unsalvageable but instead I picked out as much as I could and then put the meat in a colander and washed it off and just went ahead adding the rest of the ingredients. I put some extra bread crumbs in to absorb any extra water that didn’t run off or get squeezed out. It turned out just fine!

    Need some help from this group: When you put a stove in and there are cabinets on both sides of it? Well, despite how close a fit, crumbs and spills always manage to find a way to get into the miniscule place. Years ago I was at someone’s home and she had this thing that fit right into the openings on both sides of the oven. When things spilled between the stove and cabinet, it landed in this sort of “V” shaped thing and she could just pull it out and clean it before putting it back. I have tried to find the item on line but have failed because I don’t know the name for this handy spacer. Does anyone know the name of what I am talking about? (I hope I have explained it clearly enough.) Thank you in advance for any help.

  49. I love “chicken lady”. It made my day! I am so jealous of your prices for potatoes and apples. So glad you were able to get such great prices.

  50. We had a fun, frugal week. My husband and I both got our flu shots at Publix (covered by insurance) and in return each got a $10 gift card to use towards groceries. I think the flu vaccine promotion goes through 10/31.

    Our neighborhood had a chili cook-off last Saturday and I won! The prize was a trophy and a $50 Visa gift card!

    We are trying to eat most of our meals at home, so we are menu planning every week. I recorded my week on a blog post–http://www.frugalhappyhome.com/whats-for-dinner/. I shared a couple of recipe links. I have been cooking some soups since the weather has turned chilly.

    I really haven’t needed anything this week, except for a few groceries. I will try to make it two weeks before I shop for food again.

    I really enjoy the blog and love all the comments.

    Have a great week! I hope you come by for a visit to frugalhappyhome.com

  51. We went to our beach cabin on Saturday to clean up the yard for the winter. We raked up leaves, mowed and got everything in our fire pit burned. We had a big lunch but after all that work, we were tempted to treat ourselves to dinner out. Instead, we went to the grocery store and bought cheese, crackers and grapes and sat by the camp fire and ate our dinner. It satisfied our hunger and was much cheaper and probably healthier than eating out.
    I have been struggling on gift ideas for two teenage nieces on my Christmas list. Yesterday, I had about 15 minutes to kill so I went into a store to browse. I found two very nice gift sets of nail polish on clearance for $4. I bought bottles of polish remover to go with them for $1.49 each. I have some fancy nail files I bought earlier on clearance for .25 cents that will go with them. So for less than $10 each, I got them a nice gift I am happy with and I am even happier to be able to cross off two more names from my list. While in that same store I found packages of dark chocolate covered walnuts which are my husbands favorite treat item. I bought a couple packages for him as one of his Christmas gifts. In fifteen minutes, I was able to purchase 3 gifts I was very pleased with because I know they will be enjoyed.
    I picked my last two roses of the season. I will deeply enjoy them this week and then will have to wait many long months to have roses out of my yard again.
    My husband was able to fix a leak in our gutter system which was causing the wood underneath to rot. We won’t know for sure if the leak is completely fixed until it rains later this week. It was very good to get this problem fixed before any major wood rot happened. It only took about an hour of his time and some sealant so for a couple dollars this was a very frugal fix to what could quickly become a very expensive home repair.
    Brandy, thank you once again for hosting this wonderful blog community. It is a constant inspiration to me.

  52. I drove back from Washington state after helping our daughter after the birth of her baby. Driving is 1/4 the cost of flying, but takes 4 times as long. Because I was driving, I was able to bring back an outfit for my granddaughter from her aunt, two car seats that our daughter bought for them to use in our cars when they fly down to visit, & a few other items that would not travel well on an airplane.

    Used several coupons & free offers on Shutterfly to order some Christmas presents while I was gone, so I came home to those having been delivered. I also used a free photo offer to print some of her graduation photos for my oldest granddaughter. Her mother picked up the photos & the outfit when she was here on the weekend with her husband, who came over to our side of the mountain for a Scout meeting.

    I stacked some coupons & offers on top of clearance prices at Woman Within & purchased some new tops for myself & two of our daughters who wear the same size. The one who visited on the weekend already went thru & picked out a few she liked. Her sister will do the same this week when she is here.

    For those of you with a Discover Card, they have an offer at Shutterfly for $25 off a minimum $25 purchase. I used that today on another gift for future use. I found it under the rewards tab.

  53. Mable, I got lucky!! I found them on Amazon. They’re called “Stove Side Guards” and it looks like they’re about $13 per pair.
    Hope you read back to find this. I think I’m going to order some for me!

  54. I’ve been saving the bones after a chicken dinner for a while, and yesterday I finally made broth. I got 8 beautiful quarts of rich chicken stock for my pantry. I used the remainder of the stock to make bean with ham soup from ingredients from my pantry, and it was delicious.

  55. I had a third. I have never regretted it. They are their own individuals. I read somewhere that love is not divided ( into smaller bits) but that it grows with new children. I think that is true. They find their own place.

  56. You know, I can’t remember where I got the almond paste! I remember that it was somewhere I didn’t expect it to be, and for a price that was lower than usual, but I can’t remember where. In a Toronto store, but that’s all I remember. Sorry, J! Years ago, I found some in the food section in Ikea, but I’ve never seen them carry it since.

  57. I will check this out! I know some rewards are only given to certain card holders. Right now I get 5% back at Amazon and Target and then that cashback doubles in April when I’ve held the card for a whole year.

  58. THANK YOU, Debby!! I am ordering some today. I tried every word combination I could think of but side guards never entered my mind. Thanks again.

  59. I am so sorry about your freezer. I know that is so heart-breaking, but you are smart to plan and try and use what you have on hand. I like to do that every once in a while just to clear out our freezer and pantry.

    I remember reading on Brandy’s blog something like “if your refrigerator is bare–clean it”. I guess it helps to look at the bright side…

  60. I really feel so good when I am able to resist the temptation to grab something at the drive through. Great job! I am trying to eat at home more and have been menu planning. I hope you stop by my blog and see what we had this past week. frugalhappyhome.com

    I love getting the buy $10 save $10 coupons. I get them regularly at JC Penney. I challenge myself to try and spend as close to the $10 as possible.

    I need to get started on those Christmas present ideas!

  61. I have several things that I did this week on my blog outmywindow blogspot. Please don’t judge mt photos I am not a goddess of photography just sewing. Also daughters have found my blog and their comments are much more entertaining than I am. When our sprinkling system breaks I have to fix it, where did you get that man?

  62. Hi everyone! Our frugal accomplishment list is rather short this week, but that’s fine with me!

    * Made fried rice for lunches, cooked up a homemade lasagna (and had some leftover sauce from the process), made some hummus, and cooked up a few burgers and fries for meals this week. I had a bag of potatoes that were starting to sprout, and so I made some into fries and boiled the rest to make fried potatoes for breakfasts!

    * I planned out meals through December and made a shopping list- I have quite a few things to get at Sam’s Club this month, so the rest of my shopping list is accordingly small. At Sam’s, I need to pick up oil, butter, rice, toilet paper, cheeses, and a few more items, and I looked at what I had available for Instant Savings for things I needed to buy. Those should save me a fair amount of money at checkout 😀 I also plan on picking up several items that are on sale at Aldi- they have their 3 lb bags of onions on sale for 69c this week! (WOW!) I plan on buying several and dehydrating/freezing the extra. Potatoes are also on sale (5 lbs for $1), peppers are on sale (3 for 99c), and carrots are also on sale (49c a lb), which are all good prices for those items. Depending on how prepared I feel to dehydrate and freeze, I may pick up extras of those too.

    Other than that, we’ve been much too busy this week for much of anything, money-saving or otherwise. I did have a sort of frugal fail when I had to toss out some leftovers we hadn’t gotten too before they sat too long, but as much as it frustrates me, I know that I am only human and am quite capable of making mistakes.

  63. Hello all! I never got around to posting last week. So here are my saves for the past two weeks.
    – I was able to transfer $1,000 to savings for spring college bills (able to do this, since our electric bill is lower with solar and gas for cars is lower since one is a hybrid and I do not have to go out everyday)
    – my husband & I were treated to dinner out over the weekend. My meal was split so I had the rest for dinner the next day.
    – Almost all meals were made at home.
    – washing full loads and washing baggies
    – repaired a pillow that puppy chewed

    Those are what I can remember. That Ms to all who recommended flax seeds for menopause. I switch to that last week and so far good with it.
    Have a good week all!

  64. i continue to be as frugal as I can be. My sugar cookie is home now and I am reminding her to keep the lights off and limit her showers. She often will stay in for an hour. I believe I read some where one time that there are timers/alarms you can buy for them. I will check into that soon. This week, I purchased 40 cans of beans for 20 cents a piece. I have stocked up on quite a few bags of dried beans but this will make some easy meals. Sugar cookie likes to make chili and I will need to show her how to use the dried beans. I try to keep several simple dinners available that she can make on her own. She loves to cook and can’t read a lick. I picked up bogo popcorn and used coupons. The boxes had free Redbox movie codes on them and I need to double check their expiration date so I don’t let them expire. ( I make notes to myself all day with my silly concussion). I love that I can use Ibotta and other apps with my SNAP. I cashed out for an Amazon card tonight and already received it. I was shocked. I have several deals set up for this week. The items will be free when I use my coupons and Ibotta. It is like getting 2 for 1 for me. I need some help please. I will only be receiving my SNAP until January. I will be using some for Christmas but plan on buying all meat for the freezer with the rest. My dry goods and canned goods overfloweth. My stockpile is pretty massive. I am thinking I need a foodsaver but am overwhelmed with the different versions available on Amazon. I have Swagbucks that will cover the purchase but just have no clue what to get. Any recommendations would be appreciated. I want something that is good and will last forever. I am in a state of panic. I have neck/back surgery schedules for Thursday. For some reason this one has me terrified. Oh my ,the tangled web that has been woven. My car wreck attorney is a con artist. My eye witness has disappeared because he was the lawyers ambulance chaser. I am going to have to find a new attorney and deal with the fall out. On the bright side, atleast I am aware that several of their tactics were illegal. If you could see me now, I am banging my head up against the wall. Friends, I will check back Friday to read all of this weeks posts. If this surgery is as easy as the last one, it will be a piece of cake. College daughter will tend to me while I am needy. Bless that sweet child. College boy has thought a long time that he wants to join the military. Did I mention I am terrified. I wish we were putting on Halloween costumes and trunk or treating. Have a good week friends.

  65. I cooked split pea soup, spaghetti, eggs,butternut squash soup with garbanzo beans and oatmeal. Had three meals at my parents house.
    My aunt gave me two boxes of clothes. That made me happy, as I needed winter clothes.

    My husband and I have spent every spare moment building out house. We have 30 days left on our apartment then we will be moving, ready or not. Evenings have been spent packing and getting rid of things
    Drove one vehicle with husband when possible.

  66. Melonie K …if it happens again buy a bag of charcoal like for a grill and put some in a pan and close the door for 24-48 hrs. Works pretty much all the time. I used to clean out apartments. Sure didn’t get paid enough for those messes but it was a job.

  67. Our garden is done for the year. We picked loads of green tomatoes that are quickly ripening in the garage. Eating them every day is not keeping up. Yesterday I made the first batch of tomato soup for the freezer. It’s just tomatoes, onions, carrots, garlic, basil, salt, pepper and chicken stock. Blended with the imersion blender then cooled and packaged. It would be equally as good used as tomato sauce later. Making another batch or two today.

  68. It was brutally cold (for here) this week – got into the 30’s last night. Usually we only see a handful of days that cold a year and usually not until late January or February! I will need to get the winter clothes from the attic tonight.
    Stayed home and watched movies all weekend due to the cold. I disconnected the dryer vent (and sealed the hole) so the dryer will blow into the house for the winter (free heat!). I covered the end of the hose with 2 pair old nylons to keep the dust down. I clean those (and the dryer vent) out each week.
    Picked up 3 bales of free hay to line the chicken coop with for the winter. Cleaned out some stale/sad food from the pantry and fed it to the chickens which they enjoyed immensely.
    Ate most meals at home. The Tuesday $5 pizza seems to be becoming a thing. I will attempt to break the pattern tonight. Spent $45 on groceries this week, but it was the first time I have bought any meat in months. Prepped meals for the week based on what fruits, vegetables, and breads were left in the fridge/freezer (pork chops with apple cornbread stuffing, pinto beans, rice and cornbread, beef stir-fry with noodles, chorizo burrito bowls, chicken parmesan, pork and vegetable fried rice).
    The “plague” is running about my high school. I am diffusing clove and thieves oils and offering thieves oil to every kid with a sniffle. I started on elderberry syrup and doses of vitamin C today. I hope that I can avoid getting it as badly as I did last year.

  69. Tammy,
    Did you read my suggestions for you posted in last week’s blog? I hope it wasn’t intrusive as I just meant to be helpful.
    I hope there was something useful there.

  70. We got a whole bag of onion starter bulbs for just over two dollars. It’s onion planting time here.
    I made a huge pot of soup with homemade chicken stock and veggies on hand.
    I’m wearing hand me up slacks and cardigan from a daughter, gifted pullover and Goodwill shoes to work. My wardrobe is almost totally used clothes or gifts.
    I’m thrilled to finally turn off the air conditioner!

  71. Ellie’s friend from Canada,
    I am so glad that you asked me if I had read your comment. I didn’t know that anyone had commented. Thank-you so much for taking the time to comment and make so many suggestions that will may prove to be helpful. I actually have tears because my heart is touched that someone cares. Thank-you.

  72. Megan,

    I never heard of checking out a “State Park Pass” from the library. It would be nice if you could check out passes to zoos and stuff in your area. I have never heard of it before.

  73. I love looking at all your fresh flower arrangements, Brandy! We had snow this past weekend and a very hard freeze so everything is done for the year. The last couple of roses I had picked wilted, so I’m making arrangements with candles and other decorations I have instead. Still, I miss my flowers. So, it’s fun to come online and enjoy yours!

    I keep thinking I might have to get a solar oven. We camp quite a bit and it would be a nice break from our usual camping fare plus it would save money and not heat up the house too much. Hrmmm…..

    I finally managed to post a Frugal Friday post on my blog last Friday after a very, very buy fall. YAY!

    Thanks for hosting, Brandy!

  74. Sunday : Date day used a coupon , gift card and a few coins from my coin purse for lunch , packed snacks took a drive and sat by the river.
    Monday: Bough 3 Chickens at the store on clearance and made leftovers for side dishes
    Tuesday : Made 2 apple pies and used leftover roast for stroganoff
    Wednesday: Caught a terrible head cold and stayed in bed most of the day.
    Thursday Took hubby to the doctor the girl in the office gave me an entire bag of goodies and a magazine!
    Friday: Grilled Hamburgers and used a bag of french fries I got free with coupon
    Saturday took kids to library got a free coffee and candies for the Halloween bash also picked up two audio books and some coupons to use at the store this week will save $7.00 with the coupons.

  75. I also really liked chicken lady. Made me giggle quite a bit. It’s fun when people identify you by the cute critters you care for.

  76. Rhonda A thanks for the idea. I am still canning applesauce and Hubby decided he wanted it with blackberries or blueberries so I pulled both from the freezer. Thanks again

  77. Nice bargain on the Zenni glasses! We switched over to them few years ago and it’s been great to not have to treat our glasses as precious treasures. Plus, my older son has more of an alternative aesthetic, and he’s been able to find glasses there that fit his style. Before we bought from Costco, which has such a limited inventory.

    – I bought all my Halloween candy for 50% off last weekend, and I also used coupons.
    – I bought a number of items from the pay-by-the-pound Goodwill Outlet for home use, but also to resell. I scored jeans in exactly the size and style that my husband prefers, which is great since he was just about buy a new pair.

    Of course, I wrote about my frugal scores over at my blog:


  78. Kim I used to insist they be done immediately after dinner until we got the generator because of the landlord’s cattle are in the barn behind us and our water pump supplies their water. We got the generator for half price and the landlord supplies the gas even when the barn is empty. I did them as I went today…so much nicer LOL

  79. lilli… Foodsaver V3440 I have used this going on 4-5 yrs and had the same one before that. Would buy it again in a heart beat. We vacuum 200 packs of cookies for deployed soldiers/family not touching what I vacuum from our food storage.I buy the box of different sized rolls so I can cut the size to fit what I am vacuuming instead of the bags.

  80. Lilli, I have the FoodSaver V2490, which my mom bought me as a Christmas gift a few years ago. It’s relatively basic and works well. The only down side is that it did not come with the vacuum attachment to use on canning jars. I wish sometimes I had that option for storing dry goods and dehydrated foods in the pantry. But for meat, the machine does exactly what I need it to do…suck out the air and seal the meat securely in bags so the meat keeps longer in the freezer without getting freezer burn. Whether it will last forever, I’m not sure about that. I use mine a lot and can see having to get a new one in a few years from it wearing out.

  81. Tammy, you might enjoy reading this post that Patsy wrote on A Working Pantry blog about her journey to a mortgage free home: http://aworkingpantry.blogspot.ca/2016/08/our-journey-to-mortgage-free-home-1.html (this link is the 1st post in her series). I think you might be able to relate. Sometimes knowing that someone else has traveled a similar path can be comforting. For the record, there are many of us who care here. That’s why I enjoy being a part of this frugal community that Brandy has created on her blog. I hope everything works out for you and your family, despite this large bump in the road!

  82. Hi Tammy,
    I feel for your predicaments. We have all been there! Think about what you are really talented at and then try to
    make it into a small business part-time. Could you be companion to a shut-in for money? Do her cooking? Or her laundry and vacuuming once a week? I have to race off as a big storm is coming in and there’s a lot to do this afternoon. Keep your chin up. The more positive you remain the more likely good things (like jobs) will come your way. In the meantime, realize that many people near and far care for you. I bet Habitat for Humanity people would be glad to spend a weekend helping you both finish up. (I might not ask your husband’s lawyer about severance directly as it might tempt them to terminate him even sooner but a lawyer might give you some guidance). We have different laws here in Canada than you seem to in the States so I don’t know how it works but 20 years is a long time to work without severance or some continuation of benefits. Let us know how it all turns out. Blessings! Ann

  83. Hi Brandy,
    To save money last week we
    Saved the warm up water from the shower to water some plants
    Line dried all the washing
    Had our daughters birthday dinner at home and made her birthday cake
    Walked home from work to save taking the car (hubby drops me to work)
    Ate all the leftovers in a timely manner
    Baked bread
    Watered the garden using tank water
    Packed lunch everyday to take to work
    Decluttered more items from the home
    Cleaned the house using home made cleaners
    Went to bed early and got up early to make the most of my time at home
    And this afternoon I am making a cake to take to work for our monthly morning tea, I already have all the ingredients at home, so no extra outlay, sweet.
    Have a lovely day.

  84. We have done all the usual of cooking and baking at home, composting, recycling, mending, used up leftovers, packed lunches for work and school. All the harvest is in except for Brussels sprouts and carrots and rutabaga. We did not get the snow but we have been down below freezing now overnights. We cleaned up the flower beds, mulched perennials where needed. The flower pots on the patio with annuals still look good so have been covering them at night (southeast side of house). The woodstove is back into the living room. We have a good supply of wood.

    The addition to my husband’s workshop is up. This week they did the finishing on the inside. The work day this past Saturday went smoothly. We kept the men well fed. We had the soups, desserts, bread and cheese, also apples and hot coffee, ice tea, ice water and apple cider for beverages. The ladies and I worked on applesauce…myself, my mother, my oldest and youngest daughters, my daughter in law and my husband’s sister. Also our tenant. The weather was nice so since we were canning in the garage we put the food outside for the workers. My husband and nephew picked up doughnuts for the breakfast, 5 doz at the Saturday special price of 5.00/dozen. We put out coffee and grape juice with that. My grandma in her day would have made the doughnuts…not me. Some people like to deep fry, I don’t.

    We made 120 quarts of applesauce and 45 pints. We used 7 different kinds of apples between what we had and what others brought. We will miss the family cider making day at uncle’s as it is this Saturday, same as the wedding, so we will drop off 5 bushels of mixed apples for them and all our gallon jugs and they will do for us.

    My dress fits fine. I mentioned getting my hair cut…it feels so strange. It is still long enough to put up at about shoulder blade length. Before my daughter cut it she looked up the Locks of Love online and followed the instructions so that we could send it in for their use…washed, dried, banded together, minimum length of 10″. We are as set as we can be for the wedding. We go over for the rehearsal Friday night and my son is having the dinner after at his house. He has taken care of the dinner part and I am to bring pies for dessert. Some of us will drive back home but the two younger girls have decided to stay over with him. Our wedding present to them is taken care of…they asked for a chest freezer so on one of our trips there we visited the local non-chain appliance store and found one there. It is to be delivered to his house Thursday.

  85. So glad to hear you used a local tailor to repair your clothing instead of throwing out and buying new. I have a pair of boots that needed new soles and except for that are still in very good condition and searched for a cobbler. They are few and far between anymore but I did find one here in town.

  86. I am learning how to dehydrate and can my foods because this happened to me as well. I lost a freezer full of food because of some road work being done that affected my house and could have burned it down! Some scary stuff to come home to. I still have a freezer full of food now but, wow, I lost a lot of food and am trying to learn new ways of preserving food outside of the freezer.

  87. 120 quarts of applesauce is a tremendous amount! it is one of the more time-consuming things to make. At our house–one of the favorites, too.

    I’m glad you are all ready for the wedding. You have been planning for that for a while. It sounds like you enjoy your haircut even though it is very different. I think I remember reading that you were experiencing headaches. I hope that solved the problem for you!

  88. my previous comment to Tammy should read (I might not ask your husband’s employer (NOT lawyer) about severance directly as it might tempt them (the employer) to terminate him sooner but a lawyer might give you some guidance).

    Let us know how you are doing…

  89. bonjour Brandy je suis rester a la maison fais le tri des decorations de noel je vais faire des decorations avec mom petit fils et voir au bazar de leglise aussi nettoyer le garde manger et le congelateur pas de grosse epicerie pour quel que semaine dimanche je suis aller a la messe rentrer a la maison je suis rester en pyjama la pluie est tomber toute la journee mais ont si bien chez sois bonne semaine a vous et votre famille

  90. I found you don’t need much of the berries to get the flavour infused in the applesauce. It’s a great way to use up little bits of berries floating around in your freezer. You could make 2 batches, one with blackberries and one with blueberries, so you can try both to see which you like best! Hope you enjoy it!

  91. I think that is great that the church picks up from the Trader Joe’s our store throws everything away and will not let you have things before they hit the trash. How wasteful!
    We have a Harris Teeter and it is a Kroger company and they throw away so much including not even marking down the dairy items.

  92. You said this was your “third worst food nightmare…” Now I am dying to know what number 1 and number 2 were, because I can’t think of much worse than losing a freezer full of food. 🙁


  93. The sweet lady just grinned when she called me the “chicken lady”” ! lol!! Family and friends have called us “urban farmers” ( in a nice way.) and we love it!

  94. I do it all the time. We go to parks, museums, zoos and aquariums with passes from our library. Check with yours. You could always ask for them to start doing it if they don’t already.

  95. I was not feeling well at all last week and I had a Zaycon order of 40lbs of chicken coming. Usually I choose 10-12 recipes and make them all with a few duplicates. I also usually do some elaborate meals that are labor intensive like chicken lasagne with homemade bechamel sauce, empanadas, enchiladas, you get the picture, but this time I was not up to all that work so several days before I took stock of my pantry & figured out what 5-6 recipes I could make with what I had on hand in multiples of 2-3 and would be super simple “dump chicken” recipes which means you dump the chicken in a bag with a few other ingredients & freeze and later you thaw a bag and dump it into a skillet, crockpot or baking pan. I made 18 meals worth plus a crockpot full of homemade dog food for our rescue dog made from the chicken trimmings, a couple sweet potatoes and carrots cooked in homemade chicken broth. This is much cheaper and stretches his dry food. It took me less that 2 hours to assemble & get all the meals into the freezer and then I went back to bed.

    We made a very inexpensive pasta salad to share at the church Trunk or Treat, and we brought home leftover hot dogs, buns, and 3/4 full bottles of ketchup, mustard & relish. We like to have the kids play a game to get their treat so I trash picked some plastic pumpkin buckets after Halloween several years ago and when my kids outgrew anything orange or black colored I made a couple bean bags, so at our car we do a bean bag toss game. I have some battery powered tea lights that I bought at Michael’s with a 50% off coupon for our daughter’s wedding last year and we put those in our carved pumpkins and in the plastic pumpkin buckets so the kids know where to aim in the dark.

    Our neighbor left several lbs of cherry tomatoes on our porch from her garden. After the kids ate all they wanted in fresh form, I canned tomato jam out of the rest. It is a new to me recipe. It was very similar to making apple butter. I got six 1/2 pint jars of what is basically fancy ketchup.

    We do not have great yard sales here so I depend on thrift stores. As we were combing several thrift stores in our area for a specific component for a costume I found several things to put away for Christmas. I found a ripstik that my son wants for $10, a skateboard for my daughter that new would cost $85-$100 also for $10. The deck is in perfect shape, the rear wheel assembly needs some work that my husband can do. Even if he can’t the wheels will run us less than $20 to buy new. I also found a couple new looking card games for my son who loves card games. The costume component was found in my closet so she wore my dress taken in with binder clips 🙂 and added a white peter pan style collar that she temporarily basted on my dress.

    We checked out a library branch in a different part of town that we were in for a church service project. It had some new movie releases that are not available at our branch. We can request books be sent to our branch but not popular videos so it was nice to check out some new ones

    The above mentioned service project was the Special Olympics, both my teenagers and my pre-teen were able to give service with their dad. They ran timers, kept scores and coached individual athletes. It was a really great day for them as well as for the athletes. They were also included with the coaches, athletes and families of the athletes in a catered lunch, so that was nice as well.

    We have re-evaluated our budget and our goals and tried to see where we can temporarily cut way back to make some room for the upcoming property taxes as well as a home improvement project that needs to be started and can’t be put off any longer, so November is going to be No Frills November! W will be eating down the freezer and out of the pantry as much as possible.

    I enjoy the feeling of camaraderie that I feel when I read everyone’s comments. I am thankful for you all and I am thankful for Brandy for providing us with this space on the internet.

  96. Rhonda,
    Thank-you very much. It is nice to know that people care. I will check out that blog. And yes, Brandy’s blog is wonderful.

  97. I realized how few presents I have for Christmas this year. I’ll not worry because I’ve always been blessed with presents at thrift stores in these past trying years.

    So thankful for my job. I love it and am so happy to be able to help our youth as well. I am still plugging away at the extra weight gained last year. It has been a tough couple weeks, but I’m still here and plugging away.

    Cabin update…the hand-me-down Vermont Castings wood stove is in and working well. Wood we have! We will be warm this winter. As a backup, we have electric heaters and propane. Electric is set ; however water is going to be an issue. Looks like we will be bringing it in all winter.

    My son pointed out that the dining room table is too large for the cabin and, although I agreed, I just am not going to live without a table! So we agreed to keep it until we had a smaller one for in front of the window. The next day on my way home from work I noticed two wicker chairs perfect for our porch set out for free. When I stopped for them, there was a table that was perfect! Not 24 hours later and we have chairs to sit on the porch with and a table to eat at! Plus 2 small crocks for anti-rodent storage. God is good!

    My husband is here working on winterizing. When he visited his parents, he did the laundry and took the trash to his parents dumpster. That saved us enough to offset his gas costs at least. He has been making due with wood and supplies he has found around the place. Progress is being made.

    Dear husband is still waiting on getting paid. Just waiting and trusting all will be well. So far, so good.

    It’s good to have frugal online friends. Have a great week keeping the faith and being frugal!

  98. Family cider making day sounds like my kind of fun! I had my first glass of store bought just today. I mentioned to my husband that it would be nice to have a press.

  99. Becky, applesauce is a good thing to have around. Not just for eating but for baking, too. We don’t bother with peeling in the preparation, just cut out iffy bits, then cook and strainer. We had 2 of the 15 quart canners going so that kept us moving along all day.

    It wasn’t so much headaches as shoulder/neck pain. My shoulders are both bad. My hair is thick and heavy and was down to my hips. I have not been able to wash it or put it up myself or brush it for years. It would take a day just to dry.

  100. momsav, you could probably make one if your husband or you are handy. Check Mother Earth news on line. That is where we have found do it yourself projects. The presses my uncle use vary, one is very old and then they have 2 newer versions that people have collected, just because the crowd has grown larger every year with more generations. I freeze as many gallons as I can fit into my freezer in milk jugs. Those we drink thawed but still slushy. The rest I can in 1/2 gallon jars and we use those mostly for hot cider though will drink it cold also.

  101. It depends on the company. We had a free estimate done and decided to do. Ours was set up to pay most with the rebates going toward the payment. Best way to really understand it is have several companies do free estimates and ask a lot of ?s. It has been very informative to us and we are so happy we have it.

  102. This too is why I can so much. Some things I dehydrate. I do freeze somethings but it is never my main source of food preservation. I just read an article criticizing the home canning resurgence in popularity. He, it was a man! said that the nutrition is lacking and it is superior to freeze. Well, I grow what I can, it is often canned within hours of being picked, or it is grown by people I know using methods I would approve of i.e. no chemical pesticides and using natural fertilizers.

  103. I used to buy those flavoured Motts applesauce single servings which DD loved. It is what inspired this idea of making my own flavoured applesauce as a frugal substitute.:D

  104. Rhonda, I am glad to hear your daughter is doing better.

    If there is any way you and your husband can get your gardens started now you would be way ahead for next summer. If you can dig them up, add in your mulched tree leaves and let it sit over the winter you will be one step closer.

  105. Some of the libraries here in North MS have free tickets to cultural events such as plays and ballet. You can get two per year with each library card, it is first come first served. Think not many people know about them because I heard they often go unclaimed. Also most decent size cities have arts commissions and they usually have programs to provide free tickets based on income levels so that everyone can be exposed to the arts no matter their income. I live near Memphis and almost all of the live theater productions have a Pay What You Can night. We once got $250 tickets to Wicked for $20.

  106. We actually want to build raised garden beds. We need to decide what material we are going to use to build it (wood or brick), then buy the materials to make it. Once we build it, my plan is to use some of the Guinea pig bedding as the base layer, then add dirt mixed with homemade compost. We’re not panicked over making the garden…it will eventually get created. After all, I found frugal ways to preserve fresh produce this year, without a garden. We’re just taking our time deciding how to best do it at a reasonable cost.

  107. Dried some apple slices and the last of garden goodies .Made dog food and treats and baked bread. Got celery and broccoli on sale cleaned and froze .Looked at all of the good stuff left over from cleaning this produce……there was a lot. Cleaned, chopped and dried it in my dehydrator and used it once in soup and it worked out fine, good flavor . Still have lots and will continue to do this in the future.

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