Ebook The Prudent Homemaker

I harvested chives from the garden.

I used some of the pork roast I had purchased on sale for $0.99 a pound to make tacos. It’s so much cheaper than ground beef, and we love tacos!

I made a smaller batch of oatmeal than I usually do. Without Winter around, the oatmeal is not getting eaten as quickly, and there were leftovers going to waste. I will make a smaller amount from now on.

I redeemed 2200 Swagbucks for a $25 Amazon gift card.

I had been waiting for months for the opening of a photography course that I need to take for my business to open up (it is only open twice a year). There were two payment options: the whole thing at once, or monthly payments. Making monthly payments would be less upfront, but an additional $350 for the course. I bought the whole thing, and chose to do it during the end of the webinar that they used to announce the course. If you paid during the webinar, they threw in some bonus tools that they sell separately on their website.

I read two e-books from the library: The Scent of Secrets and another that I would not recommend. I did not know that The Scent of Secrets was book three in a series, so I will have to check out the others.

I made a batch of laundry soap.

In anticipation of the upcoming community garage sales in October, I went over my garage sale list (which I keep on my phone) and updated it with sizes and items that I need/want. There isn’t a lot that I need this year, but I do hope to find several things to use for Christmas gifts.

I did a bit of sewing, but not for family. I sewed a little tulle skirt for a girl I was photographing. Hobby Lobby has been carrying different skirt fabrics for little girls that have elastic on the top. The bottom layer was a pink broadcloth and it was already hemmed. It then had two layers of pink tulle on top. All you have to do is sew up the side, and your skirt is finished! This fabric would work for little girls as it is fairly short (they carry another one, which is a cream lace over taupe, that would work for older girls and women). The fabric was on sale for 30% off, so the skirt for this little one-year-old girl was $7.57 with tax. I had bought it a little wider than I needed, not knowing her waist size, so I used the little extra to make her a barrette with two tulle roses stitched on it. I sewed it with an extra part folded at the waist on an inch, so that she can wear it an extra year by simply unpicking a few stitches when she grows larger. I took photos of her in the dress that you’ll be able to see in my first blog post on my photography website, once I post those in about a week. I’ll also share some photos on my photography Instagram page. I plan on buying some more of this fabric to make my youngest daughter a skirt as a Christmas gift. I’m hoping they get in some longer tulle skirt fabric like this (they’ve had some in the past) so that I can make some for my older girls as well.

My parents attended a picnic. Afterward, they were the last left to cleanup. Several people left food behind (including full, unopened containers!) and my parents brought it all to us. We have enough for dinner and lunch.

My mom found a Halloween costume for one of my teenaged sons at a garage sale.

One of my daughters made arrangments to borrow a dress-up dress from a friend for her Halloween costume. Another daughter figured out what clothing items she already had that would work for part of her costume.

I chatted for free with a friend in England via Facebook telephone calls.

What did you do to save money last week?

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  1. Looks like you have had a very productive and frugal week! Sometimes spending money is a wise financial choice if it helps you bring in income in the future! A “productive asset”. That’s how I looked at my long arm quilting machine purchase!
    This week started with Hubs going in for an overnight heart procedure that would mean he would no longer need blood thinners 45 days after the procedure! That would be a frugal win since, now that he is retired, we went from zero copay on this Rx to a bit over $200 (after the first month of around $400)! This particular Rx has no generic and I have checked every avenue for discounts (including GoodRx) to no avail! All his other prescriptions cost us maybe $20/month total! So this is an amazing option since it prevents those often fatal blood clots that are forming in the appendage attached to the heart!
    Surgery was great! We needed to stay an extra day because of a temporary and not uncommon urology glitch. But we’re home now and he is recovering nicely.

    In the meantime, this week, since our SS checks came in, I zero-ed out our excess balance in our checking account and had an extra $631 to add to savings account, made 2 additional mortgage principal payments and still had an additional $146 leftover! So in September, we paid down 4 months’ worth of mortgage payments! That means that from July through September (3 normal payments), we have paid 10 months worth of mortgage payments (7 additional principal payments)! That’s close to a year that we’ve taken off our mortgage in that time!! This is getting to be a fun “game” to see how many payments we can deduct from our mortgage! We’ve taken off about 10% of our mortgage in just these few months! I can feel the momentum building!

    One of my daughters brought a roast beef dinner over to us, including beautiful dinner rolls- a dozen! So, I took 5 of them and turned them into bacon, egg and cheese breakfast rolls and put them into individual ziploc baggies and filled my labeled Grab and Go Breakfast basket in the fridge. Why 5? Because that’s how many strips of bacon I had that were cooked up already and waiting in the fridge! Use it up is our motto!
    Went to the thrift store because Hubs wanted some new long sleeve flannel shirts. I bought 3 like new shirts for him, 1 shirt for myself and 4 100% cotton sheets for quilt backings for $15.50 total! I’m pretty pleased about that! One of the flannel shirts still had original tags on it- $35! These 8 things each ended up being less than $2 each!

    Molting season has begun for our chickens but we are still getting 2-1/2 dozen eggs/week from our girls and we have extra eggs stored in the basement fridge to see us through the winter!

    Since fall weather is just around the corner for us, I’ve taking the batting scraps that I trimmed off the quilts that I have recently done on my long-arm. I cut them into the size for my Soup Cozies and so I will start offering them on our HandmadeinOldeTowne.com website both as a way to declutter and bring in a few dollars! Here are a couple sets I just made this morning- https://pin.it/5cpdb2zydbxjpf. And https://pin.it/cpljquirlejmn4. So far, this morning, I have made up 13 sets!

    I cleaned out fridge and used the little bit of leftover pot roast daughter brought over to make a hot beef sandwich for hubby for lunch and also a leftover roll from the other night. I am taking leftover pork chops in fridge and turning them into a Pork and Green Chili casserole for dinner! https://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/pork-and-green-chile-casserole/ Definitely a Use It Up kind of week!!

    1. Great job on the mortgage! We are working towards the same goal. It is so satisfying to see those months come off the end of the amortization chart!

    2. Gardenpat, how do you get the edges of your soup cozies to look so nice? I use 2 pieces of batting and they end up to bulky.

      1. Sabrina Argusa- I’m not sure what I do differently. My batting is 100% cotton and there are 2 layers per Cozie. Not all cotton batting’s are the same density. Maybe you’re using some that is stiffer and that would make it bulkier to sew on. Sorry I can’t be more help than that!

    3. Gardenpat, I am impressed by your attitude to everything. I don’t know if people read old fashioned books like Pollyanna, but you remind me of her and the glad game.

      1. Jenny- I’m convinced that our attitude and perception of things makes the difference between feeling “deprived” and feeling “contentment”! Raising 11 kids on a single income made that choice critical to our family and our view on life overall! But, please don’t misunderstand! We are like everyone else and have times and circumstances that are still hard and that we can feel down about. Probably not a surprise that the hymn that we chose as our family theme is “Put Your Shoulder To The Wheel”! ?

  2. Hello All!
    We ate at home all week.
    Went to a friend’s house Friday night for her birthday. I gave her a new Bath and Body works shower gel and body spray that had been given to me that I had not used.
    Attended a festival on Saturday. I bought a jar of my favorite homemade jelly… mayhaw jelly. When I was young we used to pick mayhaws and my mother made the jelly and it was the best ever. I can’t hardly find it, so I treat myself to a jar at this festival every year and enjoy it as a treat with biscuits, toast, or english muffins. I make it last as long as I can.
    Continued going through items for my garage sale on Saturday. We are taking a cruise the end of this month and I am saving money as much as possible. I have looked at some of the excursions available, and wow…. we probably will not take any of those, but do something on our own. It’s only a four day cruise so we got a really good deal. We have never been on one, so we did a short one to decide if we like it enough to do another one for our 30th wedding anniversary in 4 years.

    I think that’s all. Have a great week.

    1. Hi Myra
      Cruises are fun, but excursions are expensive. My hubby and I have always purchased a travel guide (used, of course) that includes the ports of call. We study what we would like to do that us nearby and take a taxi on our own.
      The Lido deck buffets still serve lunch on port days. We eat a hearty breskfast, explore the port and return to the ship to eat lunch. Unless you are in a very expensive restaurant, Carribean service is slow, expensive, and the food isn’t as good as what is on the ship. The ship also makes an effort to have some food on the menu that matches the port of call, so you can still enjoy local recipes.
      We haven’t had a problem as most of the places we go are on Islands where the taxi fares are government regulated.
      If you Google cruise tips for “your port of call”, you can get lots of info too.
      Of course, if you have mobility problems, or are worried about safety, sometimes the cruise line excursion is the best option. If you go off on your own, you need to cushion the time you get back to the ship or you will be paying to fly to the next port. We always return to the ship 3 hours early.
      To make your cruise experience inexpensive, stay away from the casinos, bring your own refillable bottle, drink plain water from the lido deck dining area, also (on Carnival ships) enjoy the free tea, coffee, and lemonade available.
      We enjoy all the free entertainment. We also bring playing cards and a Scrabble game to fill empty hours in case of bad weather. Check if there is tea time on your day at sea. On Carnival ships, This is $5 per person and is so worth it.
      I hope you have a wonderful cruise celebrating your milestone anniversary.

      1. I have friends who cruise a lot and they usually do their own exercusions. But they have also been robbed twice doing so. Be careful.

  3. How exciting to be so close to opening your photography business. My husband and I took a vacation at the NC coast. Most of our meals were eaten with food brought from home in our room with a kitchenette. We visited thrift stores, and both found several items. I bought a floral painting, two fleece vests and three canisters that I’ll alter and put in my shop. I’m still gathering a good bit from the garden. I picked a 5 gal. bucket of lima beans yesterday, and brought them to work today, where I shelled them between customers. https://abelabodycare.blogspot.com/2019/09/time-at-coast-frugal-accomplishments.html

  4. I shared your post about using beans in a FB group I follow. That motivated me to plan several meals this next month using beans. Thank you! Have a lovely, productive week everyone.

  5. Hi Brandy,
    To save money last week I-
    Line dried all the washing
    Menu planned and shopped only to the list
    Used up all left overs in a timely manner
    Saved all the warm up water from the shower to keep our little bit of lawn alive
    Packed my lunch for work everyday
    Cut up and soaked a big bunch of celery, I then drained it on a lint free tea towel and stored it in a air tight container, it lasts forever this way
    Picked loads of spinach and silver beet from our garden to go with dinners
    Made another bottle of cashew milk
    Ate a couple of meat free meals
    Picked bunches of herbs to take to work to give away

    And that’s all I can think of at the mo,
    Have a lovely day

  6. I plan on getting my flu shot at Winn Dixie grocery store this week because it is free for me, and I get $10 of free produce. Last year I got a free turkey. This year I want my last watermelon for the summer. I also will do my first pick-up grocery order from Walmart to get $10 off a $50 order. I found a new pairs of shoes at a thrift store for less than a dollar. I recently had a yard sale and made almost $100 selling most things for a dollar. I sold some Halloween costumes for $13 and I have some bigger items posted online to sell. I’m trying to clean out and simplify my life and make my home easier to clean. I’m not even throwing away scraps anymore, I put them in my compost. It’s still in the 90s here in AL and I’m still getting okra from the garden. I wish everything grew as well as okra.

      1. I live in Rainbow City which is right outside Gadsden. I was in Huntsville a few months ago when I went to the botanical gardens for the Japanese lantern show., and it was amazing.

    1. I went to Decatur High and now live and work in South Alabama. We had a heat index of 110 yesterday!

  7. I have been catching up reading here. So many great ideas! Brandy, I am so happy your family got to go on a mini trip! Last week we were able to go to the zoo. My mom got us a membership this summer. The kids had fun and it goes well with our animal unit for homeachool. This was our one special activity we did for the summer. We packed lunches and took water bottles so all we had to pay was gasoline. Our neighbor is in a clogging group and we went Saturday evening to see her group perform at a fall festival that was free. From readers here, I got the idea for theme days. The month of October Tuesday’s are music, Wednesday board games, Thursday history, and Friday Lego build. My kids are excited. I am learning there are many ways to enjoy life with a minimal budget.

  8. Wow, what a busy week! I know it’s the usual for you, but it never fails to impress. And lucky little girl, getting a tulle skirt!

    My frugal accomplishments for the week:
    – I made a Double Berry Cheesecake (http://approachingfood.com/double-berry-cheesecake/) using cream cheese purchased on sale, homemade jam, and berries I picked for free.
    – I redeemed Swagbucks for a $5 gc to Amazon, and redeemed Pampers points for another $5 gc to Amazon.
    – I purchased a fruit and veggie box from the FlashFood app for $4, and got lettuce, bananas, oranges, avocados, nectarines, grape tomatoes, carrots, and apples. I turned the avocados into guacamole and served it to my mum along with some homemade potato chips.
    – I redeemed $30 worth of loyalty points, to bring down the total I spent on groceries this week. I stocked up on onions as they were at the lowest price of the year, sliced them up on my meat slicer, and froze them to use over the next few months. I also stocked up on butter, enough to last me until the next sale.
    – Using my local trading app, I traded a loaf of chocolate chip banana bread (made with the discounted bananas I purchased through the flash food app) for two BNIB ladies’ razors (the type with the soap/lotion solid attached, which I normally wouldn’t splurge on). I actually ran out of flour so added in some homemade oat flour (i.e. ground oats) which just made the texture more deliciously crumbly. I also reduced the eggs by one, as I was running out. Still turned out great! I also traded some chocolate chip cookies for a BN package of carnival-themed napkins that I will use at my daughter’s birthday party, and traded a bath fizzy gifted to me years ago for a chocolate mustache mold that I will likely use at the dessert table of my daughter’s birthday party. I arranged the trades on the subway line when I was already going to be in the area, so it saved me both time and transit fare. And finally, I traded some of the digital currency from the app, for two Angus steaks.
    – I added some water to the all-purpose cleaning product I use. It’ll stretch the products for another month’s worth of cleaning. Not a big savings, but as Brandy has pointed out, small things add up.
    – The Ontario Science Centre celebrated its 50th anniversary with free admission, so my husband and I took my daughter there on the weekend for the first time.
    – I went to visit some family friends and was able to give a bunch of gifts for very little OOP: a box of 8 princess dolls (BNIB, traded for), a top or dress for each of the children (bought using Swagbucks gift cards), a brand name mandolin with accessories (from my husband’s workplace free table), a set of toiletries (saved from hotel stays and packaged up very nicely with recycled silver and white paper grass in a reused white gauze bag, and tied with traded for ribbon), a package of pretty markers (traded for), stickers (from a party loot bag given to my daughter, but she’s too young for that still), a container of cream from the Body Shop (using a gc traded for), and a pop socket type of phone accessory (also traded for). I packed it all up in reused gift bags. It took effort over a number of months to pull it all together, but it probably cost me about $2 OOP, and it made me feel good to be able to gift it to them, without affecting my day-to-day budget!
    – A colleague of my husband’s gave us a baby walker toy that she was no longer using, so I gave her some homemade chocolate chip cookies as a thank you. And a friend of mine gave me a freshy baked apple pie, so I gave her some cookies as a thank you too. I love keeping homemade cookie dough in the freezer for exactly this reason – it’s so easy to quickly bake up a few cookies as a frugal thank you gift!
    – I purchased a dress for my daughter’s birthday party next month, for $7 including shipping, from wish.com. My mother saw the same dress for about $25 at Babies R Us.
    – I researched photobook deals and combined a promotion with a free shipping minimum to get 8 photobooks for under $55 Cdn including taxes and express shipping. My husband and I will be using these as gifts when we visit his family next month.

    Looking forward to learning from everyone else, as always!

  9. We cleaned out and organized our upright freezer. I spent $11.00 on storage baskets at the dollar store, but I feel it will save me money having a system to keep the freezer organized. I have already noticed it being easier to meal plan now that things are better organized, so I won’t be buying things I already have. My husband and I turned our organizing shopping trip into a date and had lunch at a taco place that offers a discount for volunteer firefighters. (He;s been a volunteer firefighter for over 30 years.) We ordered water to drink, and our whole meal out cost only $12.00.

    1. Now that I am back home for a good amount of time, I have to hurry and get the harvest in (such as it is with all the rain), so I plugged the garage freezer in since the other freezers are so packed we can’t find anything nor have room for any garden produce. I have had it off for a year while hubby was away on assignment. So, as I move food around, I will be able to inventory. We have already started eating out of what I have on hand (since it was just me for a year, I really didn’t make many larger meals because I just couldn’t finish them). I have gone back to meal planning and look forward to working frugal magic with all the tips from everyone here!

  10. Actually having a good week. Not spending money. My mom has come over every day to help me after surgery. She has brought food. My son made potato soup one day. My husbands brother and mom made several meals for us including a quiche, chili, pulled pork, sausage patties , chicken and noodles and a beef stew. Yum. I think we will eat he quiche tonight. I used the library twice this week, including today,as out internet device needs a new battery. My husband and grandson picked peppers and tomatoes from our garden. One son brought me almonds and fruit for my birthday. And the other bought some food at the grocery store. Family has been very good to us. Next week my aunt and uncle are coming to help us on the house. I won’t be able to do anything. But it will be nice to see them.
    My mom brought over laundry detergent and has kept up our laundry.
    I;m fitting in clothes I didn’t before surgery. Happy about that!
    I want to thank everyone that has prayed for me. I appreciate it so much!

    1. It sounds like a food winfall at your house right now, Tammy! I enjoyed reading about how supportibe your family has been as you heal from this surgery. You sound so much happier in this post. Wishing you all the best as you continue to heal, Tammy!!!

      1. Ann and Rhonda
        Thank-you! I am so much happier than before the surgery and the fact that I may have 3 uncles coming from out of town and possibly some aunts as well next week just to work on our house makes me incredibly happy! Not just because they are working on our house but because it will be so nice to see them!

    2. Tammy,

      I am really glad that everyone is jumping in and helping you with what needs to be done. I got hungry just reading about all the lovely food!
      (LOL). Seriously, though it is heartwarming reading about your support system…

    3. So glad to hear the surgery went well and everyone is pitching in to help you. I will continue to lift you up in prayer.

  11. Lovely photo and I hope you have success at the upcoming garage sales.
    I started Christmas shopping. My budget for 16 people is $190, excluding wrapping paper, cards and ribbons which I have on hand and were bought on clearance.
    I started thinking about Christmas day lunch at our house with extended family. I think I will serve feta and spinach quiche, leg ham, two different salads, falafels with hummus and dukkah dip as well as a garlic dip, boiled eggs. Dessert will be gingerbread house and cheesecake. Everything will be home made.
    We had a family over for a make your own pizzas night which was fun. I turned the leftover pizza toppings into a frittata. I made a quiche with 14 eggs! I made beef and lentil stew. I then individually portioned and froze each dish. I also made Bolognese sauce using tomatoes harvested from our garden. I froze it in big batches.
    We borrowed books from our library.
    We walked to the park and duck pond.
    We rode our bicycles.
    We did some art and craft using supplies on hand.
    We played in the back yard.

    1. Annie-Blake, (and other as well) would you kindly share some of the Christmas gift ideas that you decide to give with your limited budget? I am always on the hunt for awesome, inexpensive gift ideas! If it is hand-made/homemade and you have links to instructions/recipes on the internet, please share those as well. If we all share gift ideas we come across, it will benefit everyone! Thanks, kindly!!!! Oh, and I agree, your meals sound wonderful. Thank you for sharing those as well.

      1. My Frugal gift idea for a few friends this year is a soup bowl cozy that I bought for $5.00, a coordinating bowl to go with it for $1.00 (from Dollar Tree), a large Himalayan pink salt grinder (from Dollar Tree) and I will make a homemade dry soup mix and put it in a mason jar with a ribbon around it. $7.00 each not counting soup ingredients because I already have the jars.

      2. Costco has 6 packs of Smart Wool socks for $19.99. I bought a pack and I will use some for stocking stuffers and replenish my own supply with the rest. A couple of pairs would make an awesome gift at just over $3 per pair.

      3. Last month I asked my daughter and SIL for gift suggestions, and she thoughtfully sent an email with specific gift ideas including internet links to help me out. One was for a purse on EBay for which I won the bid . I appreciated this so much.

      4. Like most of you, I pick up things throughout the year with gift cards, on sales, garage sales, etc. my latest was Victoria Secret underwear. Combining the two coupons (one free pair under $19.50…a ridiculous price for a pair of panties and one free pair with an Angel Card purchase which could be $1.00) I had along with a sale going on which was buy three get one free, I got eight pairs of VS panties for the girls’ stockings for $27.00 instead of $96.00! And I know they like these!

  12. This was one of those weeks when I didn’t do anything extra frugal like find some super sales. Instead, I worked from home all week, as did the husband (we are lucky in that both of us mostly can work from home; good thing we like being together 24 hours a day!). So, no gas used except to go buy milk one day, ate from the freezer and cupboards, did not have to dress up for work so wore the same at-home well worn clothes every day and we both wore every item (except underwear) for three days running so less laundry (may sound gross but we didn’t do anything that worked up a sweat so we didn’t get odiferous), and kept the heat as low as we could without being uncomfortable. I figure minimal gas usage, less laundry water and electricity, and wearing sweaters and thick socks all saved us some money, but that was about it.

  13. We love pork tacos! And pork shoulder is so inexpensive when it is on sale and easy to cook too.

    My accomplishments this week:

    • Used free tea and toiletries, washed ziplocks and foil and used ½ dryer sheets and ran only full loads in the washer and dishwasher during off peak times.
    • Canned 9 half-pints of strawberry jam, using strawberries I had previously frozen.
    • Ate in 5 times. We had steak, broccoli & cauliflower and baked potatoes; crockpot pork chops with mushroom gravy, green beans and rice (twice); meatloaf (from the freezer), boiled potatoes & gravy (from mix) and zucchini w/sunflower seeds; and beef and barley soup (from the freezer) with corn muffins.
    • Was tempted a few times to get fast food, but resisted each time and came home and made something here.
    • Hung 3 of 5 loads of laundry.
    • Worked 16 contract hours.
    • Got a couple of Ibotta rebates, one of which was the Pay with Ibotta feature when I took my Dad out to breakfast at IHOP.
    • Best grocery deals were 2 bags of sugar for 25c each, 5 tubes of toothpaste for 79c each, 5 lbs. of butter for $1.99 each and 8 lbs. of boneless, skinless chicken breasts for 97c/lb.
    • A nice weather system came through and got us out of the 100’s. Usually it doesn’t do that until at least October 15th. I hope this means our electric bill will be lower.
    • Used the library.
    • Spent the weekend with some friends in their cabin up north. I made apple muffins with apples I had that would go bad if I didn’t use them. I froze the apple peels and cores to use in smoothies. Used one of the jams I canned to give as a hostess gift.
    • Got a nice Yeti travel cup that was leftover from a conference my company put on.

    Have a great week everyone!

  14. Our Frugal Accomplishments for the last couple of weeks:

    * We have another month left before the discount at Sam’s Club, so we’re continuing to eat down the freezer. It’s hard, though, since I find myself with so much produce from my farm share that I have to freeze it. I froze several peppers that I chopped up, as well as some bitter berry eggplant. I also made some jam with the ground cherries we got, and though I did not get a ton of jam, it is very, very delicious!

    * I decided against purchasing a few items while at the grocery store, to allow for more room in the fridge/freezer and budget later in the month.

    * I bought some frozen ground turkey to make into meatballs and meatloaf. My SO requested those two dishes, and I’ll be keeping costs down by making them with half beef and half turkey.

    * I made a casserole out of some cooked chicken, frozen broccoli, leftover rice, cream of chicken soup, and some cheese for my SO’s lunches last week, and this week I made bean burgers. I also used some frozen fruit, frozen fruit juice, and yogurt to make faux ice cream for their lunches as well.

    * I decided that the greatest gift I can give myself for my birthday this year is a day off! Fortunately, those are quite inexpensive 😛 . I’ve been working hard to get my homework and other stuff done so that I can take this Wednesday off (unfortunately, I can’t take my actual birthday off, but this works out better for my schedule). I did also splurge and get some ice cream and root beer at the store, to make root beer floats, but the total cost was only $3.

    * I used some buttermilk to make pancakes, and then cultured more buttermilk.

    * I cleaned out our fridge- it doesn’t directly save us money, but it certainly feels nicer!

    * A friend sent me some of her favorite coffee for my birthday, so I’ve been drinking that. It’s fortunate- I was almost out of coffee, and it saved me from having to buy more.

    * I have been looking at more inexpensive recipes, and have several that I’d like to try. I am also going to make chicken and wild rice soup, which is one of my absolute favorites, and I figured I could make it at home for much cheaper than buying it at a restaurant.

    * I saved the drippings from some bacon I cooked, to add flavor to future dishes. I’ve got it in a jar in the fridge.

    I hope everyone has a great week!

  15. The pink tulle skirt sounds adorable! Looking forward to seeing the photos at your new blog.
    * When my BFF was here about 10 days ago, I started converting a flat flannel sheet to fitted. I sewed one corner and we marked the other three. Last week I sewed the other 3 corners and stitched on the elastic. It fits perfectly! I didn’t have to buy anything because I already had the elastic.
    * A friend gave me about a bushel of apples, but they were terrible! Hard to peel, not juicy, not particularly tasty. It wasn’t a complete waste, because I fed them to the compost.
    * We got snow Saturday and Sunday, although it didn’t accumulate. Even though we are still about two weeks out from our average frost date, nothing was ripening, anyway. Friday, we pulled up the last tomato vine and all of the bell peppers. We got a few more tomatoes and a LOT of smallish green peppers, which I intend to freeze.
    * I cooked a ham I bought last Easter and cut all of the meat off the bone. One of the things I did with some of the leftovers was assemble 5 “TV dinners” and froze them.

  16. An appointment with my optometrist was scheduled for the 27th. I had expected to pay for new glasses after it with the money I would normally save for the month of October, and the rest from savings. As September went on, I realized I was getting enough extra income or lower expenses through the month that I would be able to pay for the glasses using current income for September and October only. Some new vision insurance coverage and some additional income at the last minute and a lower price than expected for the glasses meant that I was able to pay for them completely from the extra September income. I have been able to put some money into savings from my October income, which I did not expect.

    While I was in the city for the appointment, I went over to a clothing store to try on items that need to be fitted due to a change in my size over the last few years. The store I planned to go to was closed down, but on the way to my next errand, I passed some box stores and remembered that there was another branch of the same store in that area. I stopped to check. All the new merchandise for fall was in, and I was able to try a selection of the item I wanted, and then get the size that fitted in multiple colors. Not a frugal purchase necessarily, but a necessary one, and a relief to have the right size. I was able to pay for this purchase using the extra income from September too.

    I then stopped at a value grocery store (No Frills, for Canadian readers), which Rhonda A. has suggested to me before. I bought 10 lb of carrots and four blocks of cheese at an excellent price. I also found chicken thighs and hot Italian sausages at great prices for large packs. The sausage was at a price I never see locally. I have cut the cheese blocks in half, rewrapped them, and put them in the freezer. This will give me a supply of both cheese and carrots for the winter. There is still plenty of my monthly food budget left to buy the few additional items I need.

    I took my car in Wednesday to replace the sensor that had failed. This was a replacement of a replacement — the third of these sensors since July. I haven’t paid for any of them, since the first one failed after an engine tune-up. On Friday I had trouble starting the car before I left for the city. It ran okay, though not great, but the check engine light was back on by the end of the day. I called the garage Monday morning, and asked the owner if he could buy a new sensor from a different supplier. He agreed and the repair is scheduled for Wednesday. The garage is 35 miles away, so every time I go to get the check engine light diagnosed, or the car repaired after the light comes on is another $12.00 worth of gas.

    I have been using the grated vegetables provided by a friend from the bottom of her freezer in many different meals. They both add flavor and stretch the meals I am making. The vegetables have frozen well for all the time they were there, so I am glad that I accepted them. It would have been a shame for them to go to waste.

    Four months ago, I had submitted my application for the Alberta Seniors’ Benefit, which is for low income seniors. This was finally approved this week. Since I am close to the top of the income range that qualifies ( and I am grateful about that), I receive only a small monthly benefit. More importantly, it provides me with basic dental insurance and vision care, and payment on a number of personal and medical supports. Many I don’t need yet, but one I will take advantage of sooner rather than later is that it will pay a significant amount of the cost of one to two new appliances per year. My appliances were very old when I bought them with my house nine years ago, so it is definitely time to start replacing them. I hope to get this done over the next few years, before there is a crisis with any of them, starting with my range.

    1. Have you tried Zenni Optical (online) for your glasses. Mine are about $20 there and $100 in a regular score

      1. I think it is great that there are these options. For me, I am definitely willing to go the premium route for eyewear, for both the measurements on progressive lenses and for the style and fit of the frames. I was happy that a lot of different frugal successes last month paid for this! This optometrist does have a frugal package for progressive lenses, though, which I’m going to keep in mind for the future.

        1. My progressive eyeglasses cost $400. frames included at Bon Look. If you wear progressives, you cannot order them online but must make
          an appointment with the Bon Look optician/ophthalmologist. No extra charge for the visit but you have to live in a city that has a Bon Look. (Calgary at least now has them — I’m not sure where else has them). Bon Look explained that in Canada it is not legal to sell progressives online. They don’t do eye exams. I do not go to an optometrist for a refraction as I believe you get charged for that visit (although maybe they’ve changed that in Alberta). Instead I go to an ophthalmologist. That bill is paid automatically by Alberta Health.
          My private insurance covered the total $400. I really like the lenses I got from Bon Look — they are Essilor lenses which I have always loved!

          1. My husband bought his progressives through Zenni Optical online. You absolutely can order them online! They ones he bought cost $105.95, and that included an anti-reflective coating (only $4.95 from Zenni) and shipping was $4.95. The anti-reflective coating is SO nice for photos!

          2. Now that I am 65, Alberta Health does pay for the optometrist’s exam. This was a $129 saving. I asked, because I wanted to appreciate what I was saving now that I’m officially a senior.

          3. You can buy them online in the States but in Canada some provinces have laws regulating it and the laws stipulate for progressives
            you must be seen by an ophthalmologist or optician. and cannot buy them online.And it is important to have someone measure where the different lines (near, far, middle) will fall. I would not buy them online because of needing certain measurements and to make sure the optic centres are correct. Bon Look’s ophthalmologist or optician does not charge anything for a visit. The problem with buying them online is what do you do if they are not right? Most opticians and ophthalmologists here will do a free physician’s remake if something is wrong. $400 undoubtedly sounds expensive to people from the States but the usual price of my progressives here (Canada) would be $800 plus tax. Most things are more expensive in Canada — I think Elizabeth M. is Canadian, maybe Albertan. Bon Look is a good, less expensive option here.

            1. You still have to get the doctor to give you a prescription and the measurements here. You use those to order. I’m grateful we were able to order them for my husband online, because they would have been more than $400 in the store, and we can’t afford to spend that. I’m glad there is a less-expensive option that allows him to see.

  17. Your roses are lovely and the ebook snippet about frugality made me laugh!

    • Made all meals at home which included: ramen with steak and veggies, roasted chicken, mashed potato, and sautéed zucchini, asparagus soup, risotto with arugula and gorgonzola
    • Made swag goal x 2
    • Picked seven pounds of raspberries at the local PYO farm. If you pick more than 5 pounds, there is a reduction of 80 cents price per pound.
    • Went to a potluck dinner and brought a pumpkin ginger cake using ingredients I had in my freezer and pantry.
    • Used a $20 off $100 spend coupon at the local grocery store. I planned out two weeks’ worth of meals and input all needed ingredients into Excel in order to come as close as possible to the needed $100 without going over. Once home from shopping I found four instances of being overcharged. I took the items back. Our state law is if an item rings up incorrectly you get the item free. The store gave me $10 plus the items I had purchased.
    • Hung all loads of laundry out to dry
    • My son came over and hung

  18. Just a quick “Thank You!” for your blog. I enjoy each and every post. You have a lovely outlook on life and find beauty in the simple things.

  19. FRUGAL
    * Made some fresh ricotta with some not-fresh milk; I’ve never done this before so it was nice to learn a new skill
    * Harvested figs and two kinds of tomatoes from the garden
    * Breastfeeding and some cloth diapering for the baby
    * I made a special trip to Smart & Final to purchase bulk sizes of Tide powder detergent and Dawn dish soap.
    * We took the kids to a small amusement park on Sunday. We saved money by only getting ride wristbands for me and the two big kids. My husband doesn’t like roller coasters so he stayed with the toddler and baby. We also visited an aquarium that was free for children and a historic carousel where admission for kids is only $1 each.
    * Continued using composted portions of our free wood chips from ChipDrop as “potting soil” for seedlings
    * My 6yo son started reading a copy of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone that someone placed in our Little Free Library.
    * Food prepared at home: Coffee, oatmeal, pineapple soda, brownies, aloo gobi, stovetop popcorn purchased from the bulk bins.
    * Saved the leaves from the cauliflower I purchased for the aloo gobi to make a separate dish of “crispy cauliflower leaves”
    * Making a batch of chicken stock from a rotisserie chicken carcass and vegetable scraps.

  20. I saved a few ways this past week. Krogers had eggs for 99 cents a dozen. I only wanted 1 dozen for it is just the 2 of us and I still had some. They didn’t have any and as we were shopping, the manager walked down our row. I ask him if they had not come in. He let me get an 18 count carton for 99 cents. We went to Walgreens and got our flu shots. There was a thing in their circular that you would get a coupon for $5 off s 20 dollar purchase that day. So I purchased $27 worth of sales items, and saved $5. Plus we got 200 points for the free shots.
    I went to a thrift store and found a really nice heavy flannel shirt for my husband for $2. The brand was Five Brothers. I googled it and they sell for over $35. There is a microwave at my husband’s work. I send leftovers for his lunch for he wants something hot with his sandwich.That is all I can think of this week.

  21. It was quite the week for me! My mom treated my cousin and I to pedicures and then, in turn, my cousin treated me to lunch for my upcoming birthday. Purchased harvest decorations already deeply discounted at Michael’s & then used an additional 20% off coupon. The decorations will be enjoyed for many years to come. Bought paper party items at a large chain party store that is closing in our area. These will be used for a combined family party in January. Bought myself a ticket to see a large Broadway play. They have a lottery where you can enter to purchase two seats for $10 each. I didn’t win the lottery but I received an email with an offer to buy discounted tickets. I got an orchestra seat for $59, fees included. These seats normally go for $325 each plus fees.

  22. Stayed home and watched the snow. beautiful. Will go over the budget for snow shovelling this month in one day. I, too, took advantage of no Frills (and Superstore) for 10 pounds carrots, 10 pounds beets, 10 pounds onions, 10 pounds potatoes, $3.47 each = $13.88. A few unforeseen problems have arisen, such as due to my severed tendon I cannot cut the carrots of peel the beets so I am just going to wash the beets, then bake them then peel them

    I’ve emailed the instructor of the inDesign course. The problem is importing the book into inDesign. All my formatting will be lost, and I’ll have to replace all the photos again. She says importing from Word doesn’t work very well. I learned how to merge all my segments on my Mac. I can convert them to Plain Text for importing them to inDesign but still I’ll lose a lot of the work I’ve done. the good news is I can go to the library and use inDesign on their computers to finish if I don’t get it all done during the course. Just have to figure out how to finance it. Ann

    1. The photos are only linked into place from where they are in your computer in InDesign. They aren’t actually in the program itself, like they are in Photoshop.

      InDesign has a free one-week trial. After that, you can also choose to pay for it a month at a time through Adobe. You can end your subscription after you are done using the program.

  23. Frugal doings for me this week included figuring out how to use the squads of zucchini I have. I will probably make a few lasangas using the zucchini instead of pasta sheets. The recipe calls for ricotta, which I can also make during full cream milk, and I only need to purchase beef mince.
    I have an app, supplied by the insurer in my superannuation fund that pays $5.00 a week if you walk over 12500 steps per day. I usually do, so I will offset the price of the beef mince with this $5.00.
    I’m very interested in the trading app that Margaret of approaching food has. I’m going to see if I can find an Australian equivalent.
    We are coming into summer, so I’m hoping to not use the heater again until next year. And I’m also ringing around the utility providers to see if I can get better quotes on water, gas, electricity and insurance.
    That all for this week.
    Happy frugaling folks.

    1. Food in Jars has a nice recipe for zucchini butter that is a big hit at our house and uses a lot of it up. And, of course, latkes!

      1. I know that toys is the wrong word, but I can’t help laughing at the thought of making toys out of extra zucchini. Thanks for the unexpected but welcome humour!

    2. Jenny I put shredded zucchini in the freezer to make zucchini bread pancakes during the winter. We don’t really care for zucchini bread so this works good for us. You can also make zucchini it to different flavored jams. Our kids loved the strawberry flavored on .It’s made with Jello and is shelf stable after canning. Amish neighbor does it every year.

      1. Interesting, I’ve never canned before. I’ve always been afraid of the pressure cooker exploding. I will the zucchini bread pancakes a shot though. Can I google the recipe?

    3. We make zucchini potato pancakes. They taste a bit like tater tots. The recipe is under meatless meals.

  24. Your week sounded quite lovely and somehow calm, Brandy. I’m sure it wasn’t calm in reality, but still, calm is a good thing! I look forward to seeing pictures of the little skirt you made. I’m also looking forward to hearing what you find at the garage sales. You always find such beautiful things.

    I’m still very busy canning and preserving right now. The end is getting closer, but I still have quite a bit left to do. Boy, am I looking forward to being done! Frugal accomplishments for our busy week this week included:
    *Meals made at home included: breaded fish with flavoured rice and corn (I had to go out, so I had an egg salad sandwich and canned peaches before I left); canned soup with grilled cheese sandwiches; “make your own” pizzas (family had this when I went out for dinner with my co-workers); chicken low mien stir-fry with veggie spring rolls; lentil sloppy Joe’s (see note below); and breakfast bowls (homemade seasoned potato chunks, bacon bits, scrambled eggs with spinach, grated cheese and Hollandaise sauce).
    *Bagged lunches included: sloppy Joe burritos (made with leftover sloppy Joe meat and cheese), apple, yoghurt, and homemade pumpkin cake; cold meat, leftover flavoured rice, yoghurt, apple and pumpkin cake; cold meat, cheese & crackers, yoghurt, peaches & bananas, pumpkin cake; leftover pizza (purposely made to use in lunch the next day), yoghurt and apple slices.
    *DD enjoyed the sloppy Joe’s I made the previous week, but is not a fan of ground beef (it has “chewy bits” that she doesn’t like). I suggested we could try making lentil sloppy Joe’s. She was really excited about trying it. So this week, when bean hating daddy and brother were not here one night for dinner, we tried them. I had a can of lentils in my pantry, as well as all the other necessities already. It was really good! Both DD and I liked the texture and taste much better than ground beef. Now I need to buy some dry lentils to add to my pantry, so we can make things like this more often. I looked up canning lentils, but apparently they are quite easy to cook from dry and don’t require pre-soaking like other beans. Good to know! Now if I could just convince hubby and brother to eat this…
    *Made a double batch of Double Chocolate Banana Applesauce Muffins (recipe link: https://www.momontimeout.com/double-chocolate-banana-applesauce-muffins-recipe/) to use in DD’s lunches and for snacking on this coming week. I have posted this recipe before. But for those who may have missed it, these are AMAZING! No egg, oil or milk called for, could be made vegan if you use vegan friendly chocolate chips (or omit them), and they taste like a delicious brownie, despite being quite healthy. Worth trying if you haven’t yet!!!
    *My mom and I peeled and cored nearly a whole bushel of apples to make applesauce one day. I canned up 10 quarts and 2 pints of homemade unsweetened applesauce to add to my pantry. The next day we peeled, cut, blanched and froze 40 lbs of carrots. We added My mom then prepared 10 lbs of beets while I was at work one day. The next day I pressure canned 6 quarts of beets for the pantry.
    *With the temperatures getting cooler and threats of frost starting, we decided to start cleaning up the garden. Picked several green tomatoes, 5 jalapenos (2 red, 3 green), a ripe pie pumpkin, and the last of the Swiss chard. There is still 1 more pie pumpkin ripening and I am waiting on a bunch of beans to develop enough to pick for seeds next year. We pulled out spent plants and I cut back the raspberry canes. A few more things to do, but it’s a good start.
    *Picked up 2 shifts at work this week.Was only supposed to do one, as DD was scheduled to have a scope one of the days they needed me to work. There was a mix up on the scope appointment (the wrong date was written on the paperwork) and we had to reschedule it. So I called and was able to work the second day. I have also been offered to work a guaranteed 7 hour shift once a week until Christmas, to help in collections. This will be in addition to my normal shifts I would get in the fall. Of course I accepted!
    *One of the staff members at Hubby’s work developed pneumonia and has been off work for over a week. Because of this, hubby has picked up several extra hours to help cover. His paycheck will have a bunch of overtime on it, so it should be pretty big!
    *Took DD to a scavenger hunt at the zoo (we have a free zoo in our city), put on by the PHIT team. The kids are given questions they have to find answers to on the information boards throughout the zoo. The idea, of course, is that the kids have to walk around the zoo, which provides some fun exercise. She won a prize (silly putty, play dough and a skipping rope) for participating, which made her happy.
    *Hubby and I took DD to see “It, Chapter 2” at the movie theatre this weekend. DD watched the 1st one, so we thought she would enjoy seeing the second half of the story. Furthermore, the movie was filmed near where we live, here in Ontario. We used free passes hubby won and scene points to go to a matinee showing for free. We also went out to lunch before hand, using coupons to save some money there. We took a bottle of water for myself to drink and 2 packages of M&Ms with us, but did buy popcorn and 2 fountain drinks to enjoy over the 3 hour long movie. I suggested DD wear her cardigan sweater, as it was a bit chilly out, plus she could use it like a blanket at the theatre. Good thing I suggested it…she watched the majority of the movie peaking through her sweater that she draped over her head! We all enjoyed the movie, though.

    Looking forward to reading everyone’s comments, as always. Wishing you all a wonderful, frugal week!

    1. Thanks for the double chocolate muffin recipe Rhonda! I had everything on hand to make them and they’re in the oven now!

        1. Rhonda – I’ve made the muffins dozens of times since you first posted the recipe. Our family loves them. They taste more chocolatey than of banana which I prefer. I am making them for my son to take as his birthday treat to share with his classmates. One of them cannot eat eggs so this recipe is perfect!

  25. We purchased a bulk order of furnace filters from a big home improvement store. We watched for an online sale and then used the free ship to store option. The price per filter was significant – more than half the price that the same filters were being sold for in the store.

    Does anyone else have ideas about the filters in the new refrigerators? (Our new one has 3 different kinds!) I priced them and promptly said we would do without replacing them. Will I do any harm to the refrigerator by ignoring them? A box of baking soda is fine with us.

    I did my normal shopping at the big box store and then walked the store again as I put back things in my cart that I really didn’t need. (good exercise and good for the budget – but not very time efficient).

    I read: The Brave Learner: Finding Everyday Magic in Homeschool, Learning, and Life by Julie Bogart free from the library. I am an afterschooler, not a homeschooler. This book gave me many parenting tips and ideas for dealing with homework.

    1. Amy P. We get our filters through Amazon. I googled the filter and they came up at the best price. If you are using the ice maker/water feature then yes you have to replace the filter or it will mess that up. The air one our repair guy said at least once a year if not twice. Don’t know what 3rd one you have.

      1. Juls – thank you so much for the information. I will investigate Amazon for filters if it truly does make a difference. Our third sensor is in the vegetable drawer.

      2. Like Juls, I order my replacement filters through Amazon. Much cheaper than the Sears brand filters. I only have two filters too. Penny S.

    2. In the letters to the editor of the November “Consumer Reports” magazine, two people wrote in about having water filters on the water line leading to their refrigerators as being a sort of cheaper pre-fridge help. The September issue had an article about refrigerator water filters. Good luck!

  26. We were able to get pork loin for 99 cents per pound this week, too. We are eating less meat these days so it will go pretty far in our meal plan.

    Yesterday we officially switched over our homeowner’s and auto insurance to a different company. We saved over $1000 in a year’s worth of premiums by doing so. We also paid the auto insurance premium up front instead of payments which is a part of that huge savings. Every week we put money into a special savings account for our auto premium, which takes the stress out of paying it when it is due. Our monthly payment to our mortgage company will go down as we won’t be paying as much in our escrow account.

    Another way we save without stress is we have another special savings account for Christmas. We start in January putting a small amount weekly into the account and that way Christmas is paid for and we have hardly noticed.

    A local sandwich shop had a special grand opening promotion and our office was offered coupons for free sandwiches and drink. I brought the sandwich home for my husband as he really loves any kind of submarine type sandwich.

    We celebrated my husband’s birthday quietly at home with a special meal. We found a beautiful steak for 50% off in the marked-down section of the grocery store which we shared.

  27. Attended a wine dinner/ fundraiser for Folds of Honor. Food was so rich I took home half of the 3rd course and all of the 4th and 5th courses. Restaurant also offered a take home deal which I took advantage of. With a couple of salads or a vegetable, I will have 4 additional meals. Next meal at the restaurant will be free due to my loyalty points. Had friends over for a dinner party Sunday. They brought the wine, a salad, and dessert, I cooked mainly from the freezer and pantry. I sent them home with leftovers, but still had enough for 1 – 2 meals for me.

    Cook once eat all week!

    Ordered a Butcher Box subscription before the 2 lbs. of ground beef promotion expired. It’s still expensive, but Husband was complaining about the massive amount of chicken we eat and the poor quality we can get locally. Working on selecting the most cost effective cuts, band with the cost I can probably get him to eat a bit less meat.

    Puppy got fixed. It was covered in our adoption fee, but I paid for his pain medication. Only needed half. Will keep the rest in case of an accident.

    Scheduled a massage at the school. By scheduling it and paying for it at the school instead of online I got a 10% military discount.

    Husband arranged a Vegas trip combining a conference I am going to speak at with one he’s attending and the Christmas/ New Year’s holidays. Used a time share week we had and hotel discounts. Now I am figuring out where we will eat and what to do for nearly 3 weeks. We will have a car. I have already added stargazing one night with hot drinks to the list. Looking for other free entertainment (other than people watching, the Ethel M Christmas lights, and Big Elvis) as well as don’t miss local restaurants (particularly ethnic) for Las Vegas.

    1. Jennifer, make sure to check out Valley of Fire while you are here. It’s a good time of year to visit and you could even go there for a couple of days to try to see all of it. It’s a state park, and it’s $10 to enter (not free, but not super pricey).

      If you’ve never been to Vegas before, make sure to check out the fountains and the conservatory at the Bellagio.

      There aren’t a lot of free things to do in Las Vegas for free. Downtown is a city made for spending money on entertainment. If you like to hike, there are hikes in Red Rock and other local areas that you may enjoy. If you like shopping, there is plenty of that.

      1. Try searching “Things to do in or near Las Vegas” in Pinterest. There may be some great ideas of things to do that you’ve never thought of. Some things might have a fee, but if it is something you’d really like to do, then it is worth the money. Someone told us about a Pinball Museum in Vegas, but we didn’t end up having time to go look at it. But I would have, had we been there longer! We took a day trip to see the Hoover Dam and the Grand Canyon when we visited Las Vegas. It’s a bit of a drive, but we found it very interesting, since we live in Canada and the desert landscape is VERY different than here! We also found it interesting to just walk the strip and see all the flashy hotels we didn’t stay in. They all have a theme with a lot of money spent to make them very over the top. We also walked through the casinos watching other people gambling their money away. I still don’t understand how to play some of the games, but it was interesting to watch, which cost nothing to us. Of course, you could always go listen to one of those time share pitches and get free tickets to see a Vegas show. There are people everywhere pushing those on the strip! Hope you have lots of fun in Vegas, Jennifer O!

      2. Thanks for the tip on the Valley of Fire. We have been to Vegas many times, and have hiked the Red Rocks extensively. We’re trying to keep the costs a bit lower this time, as we are fans of fine dining, good wines and bourbons, spas, and cigars all of which can make Vegas a VERY pricey proposition. We do like to walk and window shop and the more free or low cost experiences I can fill our time with the better.

  28. Have any of you ladies heard of Brad’s Deals? It is a website that searches the internet for the cheapest deals. He has a book at the library out too. This week I I bought my husband New 100 % Cotton button up shirts for $7.99. The sale was from the Jos A. Banks website. It is hard to find nice well made cotton shirts except at L.L. Bean or Lands End. Very nice quality, I was thrilled. My check engine light came on my car. The local auto parts place will let you use their diagnostic reader to see what it is. Two codes came up for $60/70 sensors. He told me to clean my gas cap off and tighten it down. I wiped around the neck where the hose goes into the tank. It worked, codes disappeared. Thankful as we have to pass smog to register our car. It’s the simple things in life that are the best.

    1. You know that happened to us a couple weeks ago too! I forgot about it. We also stopped at a local auto parts place and they ran a diagnostic reader.. All we had to do is tighten our gas cap also! I was very grateful for the free service.

  29. Brandy I am glad you were able to do your photography course and get extra items free of charge too what a blessing. Mince is also getting really expensive here too and we work out what is the cheapest cut per meal for us. We have been fortunate to pick up a lot of clearance and meats on special of late to top up our whole meat freezer at very reasonable prices.

    Our savings last week added up to $860.26 🙂 .

    Listings/Finances/Purchases –
    – Listed 12 items on a free listing and reduced final auction value free promotion on eBay saving $19.80 on usual prices.
    – Got 2 quotes to do some electrical work done one came in at $1300 and the other $602.66 to do the same thing so of course we went for option B saving a whopping $697.34. They will be out here doing the work not this coming week but early the following week. So hard to get quotes when you live rurally it seems.
    – Put an additional bulk sum of money into savings as we are trying to get our emergency kitty up to a 3 month level for additional piece of mind.
    – We are currently almost doubling paying off our home mortgage repayments since the beginning of the year.
    – On clearance sale in Target I purchased a skirt and a pair of shorts for $6 in total new saving $54 on usual costs. They are clearing all their clothing to make way for more high end clothing from what I read in news articles.

    In the kitchen –
    – Made a homemade batch of chocolate fudge (including condensed milk), a quadruple batch of chocolate pudding (similar to yogo) and a double batch of Anzac biscuits saving $89.12 over buying them in the shops including what it cost us to make them taken off.

    In the gardens –
    – In two separate garden beds we planted sprouted seed potatoes from some we hadn’t eaten from the supermarket and in another garden bed planted turnip and carrot seeds.
    – Last night we had 6.5 mm of rain plus more in the afternoon which topped up our two header rainwater tanks and overflowed into our lower 5000 gallon one filling it by another third. We have more rain predicted for this afternoon and tonight so we are hoping it totally fills our bottom tank back up.
    – DH has been working gradually during the week at the back of the property to cut up fallen branches from ironbark trees. Yesterday we filled so far 2 large wheelbarrows full and stacked them in the firewood leanto shed. This should give us ample kindling and more medium sized logs but there are still yet more to cut. Got to love not leaving your property to cut firewood.

    Hope everyone has had a wonderful week and will this coming week too :).


  30. Like many of you, I am getting my garden to bed for the year and finishing canning projects. Yesterday I made some roasted tomato sauce. It’s pretty easy–put the quartered tomatoes (you don’t need to peel them) in a dutch oven or large lidded pot, add onions, garlic, whatever vegetables you have, salt, spices, some olive oil and a bit of brown sugar. Bake at 425 for a couple of hours into it reduces by about half, then use a stick blender to smooth it out. Put in containers and freeze. I was able to freeze three pints after I used the sauce for dinner.
    I’ve also harvested a few berries, kale, peppers, and I still have some pears and peaches. Later this week I will make grape juice.
    I finished an art project for a show next month. I needed a few more materials, but was able to find them for a total of $10 at resale stores.
    My neighbor who gives me yarn gave me a half a bag of small balls of acrylic that were leftover from her projects (she makes booties for babies and donates them). I separated the balls into like colors and with other stash yarn I have, I will make striped baby quilts that use up those leftover balls of yarn. This will keep me busy all winter! I donate the blankets to the Linus Project.
    I also went to a knitting retreat this weekend. I sold some wool yarn I won’t use for $30 I bought the yarn at an estate sale for $12). I did buy a ball of wool for $5 that will make some cute socks and another friend was gave me another ball of wool for socks for free.
    I bought two dresses at a thrift store for $4 each. They will replace two dresses that I currently have.
    Last week I got two loaves of bread and a bag of rolls for free. I froze one loaf and used the other for French toast. The rolls were used for sandwiches.
    I am also reading books from the library.
    Enjoy your week!

    1. Kandace
      Thanks for tomato sauce recipe. It sounds delicious and I’m going to make some for my freezer! Ann

  31. Brandy, at the risk of stirring up trouble, I read the story on your phone. Couldn’t the author have chosen better frugal choices? It seemed he/she was making fun of frugal people. The ideas shared here are FANTASTIC and can raise a person out of poverty if practiced consistently. I suppose I am overreacting. I have been laughed at so many times by non-frugal people that I am sensitive now.

    I like the security, freedom and more comfortable lifestyle being frugal has given me. We no longer count the minutes to payday or check the bank to see if the check has been deposited – now, money is always there. If I want it, I can get it. I don’t fear the unknown. We have money saved to handle disasters. Being frugal has given me a much better life. Oh well, I’m just ranting.


    1. That wasn’t the book I read this past week, but yes, the person was mocking frugality when she took it a little too far (the examples were a bit much). Still, they were funny, so I shared them! I think frugality is wonderful. That particular quote is from the Shopaholic book series. I couldn’t relate to it at all, but the series was interesting.

      1. Actually, I believe I saw all of them mentioned in the Tightwad Gazette. Although, I think Amy thought the passing on of a greeting card was ridiculous.

        1. actually some Amish do that , they write a note on the card and send it on to the next and it goes from family to family so everyone keeps up on everyone else. My Dad and aunts did the same. They are called circle letters.

          1. My mom’s youngest sister was only a few years older than me and we did this for many years. It was so much fun to read the old notes we wrote to each other when that same birthday card arrived in the mail. Our birthdays were six months apart so there was always something new to write. Little did we know back then we were being frugal.

      2. Thank you for replying Brandy, I should laugh more but most of my circle of family and friends are not frugal and do mock those who are. I have given up and remain silent. They won’t change and neither will I. Reading the comments on this blog has helped me keep my sanity more than any counselor and it is FREE!
        PS: I am reading the book “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” by Kiyosaki and it is great.

        1. Jeannie, neither are most of the people we know, with the exception of family–but we’re even more frugal than our families!

  32. When is the community garage sale in Las Vegas and where. I’m coming to Las Vegas in mid Oct and was hoping to make it. Thanks for any help given. Have a lovely day.

    1. There are several communities that have garage sales in April and October. In those neighborhoods, you can only have a garage sale two weekends a year, when everyone else is having one. Some housing tracts do them the first weekend, a few the third, but most the second weekend. There are so many on the second weekend that I cannot get to them all. Which ones you go to depend on which part of the city you are in. Check out the website yardsales.net and some people who list their sales will say that it is part of a community sale. Here, the local housing tracts will have signs. Las Vegas is full of Master Planned Communities, and the whole community will have a sale, which means thousands of houses are included. Not everyone has one, of course (some neighborhoods are a waste of time, so keep driving if it doesn’t look like they are going to have what you want or if only a few houses are participating; spend your time where there are lots of sales close together. I’ll often park and go to three houses at once). I know in the north Aliante has one (master-planned community at the far north end of town), as well as Silverstone Ranch, Iron Mountain Ranch, Lynbrook, and several smaller communities. In the northwest, the master-planned community of Providence has one. Southern Highlands in the south end of town has one; I have a reader who, if she sees this, could probably tell you when that one is. Peccole Ranch has one on the west side of town; that’s smaller, but there’s probably an official Summerlin one as well. I imagine there are several in Henderson as well, but I can’t even get to all the ones near me!

  33. This has been a busy time for us so I will probably forget a lot of things we have done.
    I got my flue shot at Walmart with no out of pocket cost to me.
    I had to have blood tests so I could get my meds again. The office lady said my cost would be $40.00. I questioned that price since the last time I had to pay it was only $27.00. She looked again and charged me the 27 dollars. I may get a bill for more later, but it is worth the time to ask why when you are charged different prices for the same care.
    We bought meat on sale again. My husband keeps a close watch on grocery prices and alerts me to good deals. I have been getting the freezers re-organized for new buys for this winter.
    We bought bread on sale at Walmart again. My daughter worked in the bakery dept. and said Walmart marks down their bread 2 times a day. It is a great way to get freash bread without making it.
    I am still taking the grandbabies grocery shopping with me and teaching them how to bargain hunt. It is almost like a game with the 3 of us. It is also teaching them how to pick out the freshest fruits and veg they can get at the stores.
    I’ve only sold 9 Halloween costumes this year, but it has been the higher end costumes.
    I must think of smaller items to sew since I am getting older and making larger items has become problematic. Sometimes it feels like I am fighting a boa constrictor when making a quilt.
    I would appreciate any ideas from you wonderful women.
    The gas prices are all over the place here. I saw gas for $2.16 a gallon this morning. I will be filling up my tank there in the next few days. Gas in town is $2.59 a gallon.
    I have bought some Christmas gifts on sale.
    I bought fabric on sale.
    I ordered a new cutting board (for sewing) for half price. I use the boards until they are dead. *laughing* When they get so used I cut the bad part off and use the center part of the board where there is little use.
    I paid bills on time to save late charges.
    I do pay for audible and prime, but I get so much use from both of them.
    I have listened to 5 books while sewing this month.
    I’ve read two books this month.
    All of my batting scraps are saved and used in other sewing projects. I often zig-zag the smaller pieces together and use them as one piece.
    I have been gifted with food several times this week.
    I can’t think of anything else worth mentioning.
    Brandy, as usual, I am in awe of all you do. Thank you.

    1. I live in Ontario, California and gas is now over $4.00 a gallon. It’s risen so fast. I try not to go anywhere too far. The last time I filled up, it was $3.21 a gallon. It’s horrible!

  34. We harvested the last of the garden this week, as we were expecting a frost. What we got was snow!!! It didn’t stick here in the valley, but did in the hills surrounding us. First time for snow in September in Spokane since 1926.
    We picked peppers, tomatoes, onions, green beans, snow peas, zucchini, corn, basil, romanesco, lettuce, chives and parsley. Carrots are still in the ground, but a slight frost actually makes them sweeter. We will dig them this weekend.
    We turned our outside water off.
    I brought breakfast and lunch to work all days.
    Got two pounds of split peas at Winco for 67¢ a pound. Made split pea soup in the intstapot with the ham bone from last Sunday.
    Had BLTs for dinner twice. We don’t have these, unless we have garden tomatoes.
    Made zucchini cheese muffins and zucchini bread.
    Made corn chowder with the last of the corn. It was getting a little old, so soup was a good use for it.
    Had popcorn for snacks twice.
    Someone from church brought apples and pears and put them out to take. I made an apple crisp with some of the apples I took. We had this for Sunday dinner dessert.
    Made cauliflower soup. Have been looking for a good one for years – finally found a great recipe.
    Froze the rest of the ham and BBQ pork, that was in danger of not being eaten.
    Dried the parsley that we picked.
    I think that is about all. There was probably more, but didn’t write it down.
    Have a good week everyone

      1. I got the recipe from the website bakeatmidnite.com. The name of the recipe is “Cream of cauliflower cheese soup”. Didn’t want to write it out in case there are copyright issues. Enjoy though. It is tasty!

  35. My heart is a little tender this morning. I am an empty nester – from now on there’s just me and the cat. I was up so early to see my son off, that I’m on my laptop for a little quiet distraction before the day begins and I thought to myself “I hope there’s a new post from Brandy” and there was. What a place of peace and kindness you have created here for all kinds of people all over the world. I’m so grateful to you and all the commenters.

      1. Laura, it will be a learning curve, of course, as you adjust to this new season of your life…it is exciting and a little scary. Speaking from experience, it can be quite a lovely lifestyle once you’re settled into your new routine. Sending good thoughts and prayers for a perfect transition.
        Warmly, Tracey

  36. It’s been awhile since I commented. I had several issues arise that affected me quite dramatically so wasn’t spending a lot of time online. However, during this time I paid off my student loans. I was anticipating paying them off the end of October but I was able to make the final payment mid-August. I’m not sure how early it was overall but I believe I saved several years. It is such a relief to have them done.

    I have been eating from the pantry and freezer. I have really tried to only buy some small items when going to the grocery store. As I’m going out of town in a few days I did not go to the store this week.

    I found gas at Costco for .40 cheaper than everywhere else. Anytime I’m in the area I’ve filled up even if that means only putting a few dollars in the car.

    I went to Lifeway Christian bookstore. As they are closing everything in the store is discounted. I bought a book that I had previously read and enjoyed but put two others back. Even though they were on sale I found I could check them out at the library for free. As I had not read those I didn’t want to buy and then not enjoy.

    I used a Redbox coupon so rented a movie for .53. I went to Mcdonald’s and the woman ahead of me paid for my soda. I felt very blessed.

  37. Hello everyone,
    When I have leftover oatmeal, I will sometimes make oatmeal muffins. They are so moist and tender! I emailed you the recipe, Brandy, in case you want to try it. There are several recipes on Pinterest to use leftover oatmeal in various recipes.

  38. Good luck on your yard sale treasure hunts!

    I did some traveling this week and brought home the free toiletries. Using the coffee, I made cold brew – enough to save $7.00 off the grocery budget. As always when I travel, I pack breakfasts (hard boiled eggs, bagels, bread, peanut butter, homemade muffins and fruit) to save on meal costs.
    I will be hosting a family members birthday in the next week and took Brandy/several readers lead and asked the recipient what they wanted for a meal. I was intending to use Amazon GC for a gift (those were being saved for needed items) also, and instead had the brilliant idea to make them a themed pillow of their favorite tv show (Star Trek) using what I have on hand.
    I turned down a job offer after taking time to calculate the cost of wear and tear on my vehicle (it is a lot of driving), seems it would be best to keep looking.
    We adopted an older cat who has acne issues – found that witch hazel works well and is harmless. I also put some rescued brown paper down on the floor for the fuzz ball – I think this is their favorite toy!
    Made a pot of hodge podge soup.
    Stay positive everyone!

    1. We have a beloved cat rescue, also. We just found out a few weeks ago that he LOVES brown paper. He either hides under it or slowly chews it to bits.

      Then we left a small cardboard box on the floor. He started tearing off bits and spitting them out. Apparently he is channeling his ancestors who had to hunt to stay alive. Now we are saving cardboard boxes for him. It’s fun to watch him but a constant clean up of cardboard bits.

      1. This one loves to tunnel under, flip hair ties under it and then charge it, or “turtle” herself. It’s quite entertaining for all of us. Ignores boxes though, weirdo.

  39. Not feeling frugal this week. I have travelled (gas is expensive in CA), rented an airbnb, and eaten out a few times. The upside of the trip was that I got to hang out with all 3 of my kids at once. One lives back East, so it’s not often that we’re all together. So it was well worth the money and I know I can return to my frugal ways now.

  40. Hi everyone! It’s been crazy busy for the past month. The following is a haphazard listing of our frugal activities.
    My husband took a week for vacation and spent that time doing winter prep around the house (putting sealer on the chimney, cutting kindling wood, prepping our generator, final grass cutting for season, removing the mowing deck off tractor and replacing with snowblower and bucket attachments etc). We did buy a small snowblower for an area behind the house he cannot easily access with the tractor. It is an area that needs to be kept clean-especially when he takes the snow off the roof so the water does not go in our basement in the spring. We were able to buy a machine that was last year’s overstock for a few hundred dollars less but with the same new warrantee.
    My 15yo son is working potato harvest. I was able to purchase most of the clothes he needs at a B1G1 free deal at my thrift store. He used jeans that he just grew out of in height (does not show with work boots) and we got the remaining at walmart.
    Groceries have temporarily increased due to the kids being on school vacation and the fact that I am filling a midsized carryall cooler for my above mentioned son daily.
    Did a freezer inventory. We will need to eat down the freezer content because we will be purchasing a whole cow in November & I need to make room for it.
    Our garden is done. After a slow start ended up with a good crop. Cucumbers were our only vegetable option for 3 weeks. I made refrig pickles with the remainder. I have 20 gallon sized bags of stringbeans & 5 bags of beets in the freezer. We have a big box of onions waiting for me to freeze.
    My Doctor’s office has a monthly food giveaway. This month I received sweet & white potatoes, canned diced tomatoes & stringbeans, 2 1lb pkg ground turkey, apples, plums and tunafish. Feeling blessed for sure. The sad thing was that people were refusing the sweet potatoes. The nurses were so excited I wanted some that they gave me 2 reusable grocery bags full.
    Brandy–I have had 2 children leave the nest and it was an adjustment to my way of cooking too. Often times I still cook for the same amount but freeze the extras for a future freezer meal–even if it is just 1 portion.

  41. Brandy, as someone said above, your week sounded calm ;). Probably wasn’t in reality, but that is the sense I got when I read your comments.

    Last week was a good week for menu planning! I only plan dinners (make a list of meals I can make but not assigned to any specific day) for the week and a shorter list of items for lunch or to be used up. And I crossed everything off by the end of Sunday! And this week looks equally successful, so far. Started our 2020 budget by reviewing all our 2019 spending. I can definitely see what months I got lazy and stopped paying attention to our spending.

    One of our toilets has a slow leak (ghost flushing is the term used…suddenly it flushes on its own initiative) so DH googled the issue and has the repair planned out.

    I have a plastic bread slicer guide that we bought used on EBay four years ago (it helps me slice my homemade bread loaf). It cracked last week so DH found another old one on EBay. It is an old design, no longer made, but for me, preferable to the new designs. Brandy, every year I thank you for this blog since it started me baking my own bread! Among other things 😉

  42. My tiny mom has an expanding waist. So she could no longer zip and button one of her wool skirts that she hoped to wear this winter. It was quite long so I based the lining and the outside together a bit over an inch below the waistband. I cut around the skirt 1/4 inch above the basting and proceeded to take apart the waistband. I had enough wool to narrowly bind the newly enlarged waistband. I added a button loop from one of the two loops that had been originally used to hold the skirt on a hanger and stitched on the old button. Yeah! The skirt now fits her and still has a portion of the darts and much of the zipper. She is not a big person so the shortened zipper is still long enough for her to easily get the skirt on. Now to get her to try on the rest of her skirts and see which ones are suitable for the same treatment. She shouldn’t lose any weight so if the skirts no longer fit and I can’t alter them without a lot of bother, they need to go to Goodwill and free up space in the closet.
    I also shortened one of her housecoats about 5 inches so that it is no longer a tripping hazard. I will be shortening another one for the same reason today.
    Do any of you have experience with and recommendations for a (relatively) inexpensive medical alert system? (“Help! I’ve fallen and can’t get up!”) I only leave mom for short periods of time (1-2 hours, 3 hours tops) and place the cell phone on her walker tray. But I’ve come home to find her far from her walker and phone. We’ll both worry less if she can just press a button on a bracelet to summon help if she needs it.

    1. Holly
      2 maybe options for medical alert system. We had a “panic button” on our alarm key fab, which basically like a car turned the house alarm on and off with the push of a button. There was an emergency button on that key fab as well. We lived in a pretty dangerous city at the time and I was concerned enough getting little ones in and out of the house to have it. It was no extra charge with our home alarm system. if I hit the button the alarm company would call the house first then call my husband then call the police. if none of us answered. I also wore it on a chain around my neck with I was hauling babies in and out of the car. So with no cost that may work in an emergency. The other is also thru home alarm system I believe ADT has a “alexa” type thing included with the monthly service that you can just yell “call my daughter” and it would over the panel. Maybe one of these would be an option for you.

    2. In reference to the home security system bracelet, the question I have is would your mom wear the bracelet. My mom has one and it is invariably hanging in her apartment. The only times she would wear it was when someone would ask about it and, even then, she would rarely put it on. When she would put it on, it was only for “show”. If your mom would wear it, I think it would be wonderful for your own peace of mind.

    3. Sew her a holder for her phone with a handle that will go round her neck like a long necklace so she wears it always and doesn’t lose her phone or forget it. My mam is 86 and dad is 90. I understand you.

  43. Our frugal accomplishments for the week were:
    *Meals made were hot dogs with baked beans, pork and veggie stir fry with homemade yum yum sauce, crispy-skin salmon with roasted potatoes and broccoli, seared pork with corn on the cob and baked beans.
    *Accepted FIVE gallon-sized ziploc bags of roasted pork from my mom along with baked beans and a box of Corn Flakes. She cleans house for a wealthy couple who throw a lot of big parties and is often given the extras/leftovers. When it’s too much for her and my dad or they won’t eat it, she passes it along to me.
    *Regifted a cute coffee mug I won as a door prize and filled it with homemade oatmeal chocolate chip cookies to give as a birthday gift to a friend.
    *Accepted a snack cake and a cupcake from two different co-workers.
    *Visited friends of ours who live at the shore. We packed homemade pizza to eat on the drive. We ate most of our meals there and also bought fresh shrimp and had a delicious meal of that, baked potatoes and salad. We walked 2 miles in the morning for exercise. A friend of theirs took us on a boat ride as well. What a blessing to have friends who live in such a beautiful location!
    *Sent a card of encouragement from my stash.

  44. When I made out my yearly budget, I just had not anticipated that my house taxes and various insurances might increase. Silly me. I canceled my garbage pickup and changed my cell phone provider. By paying the phone service in advance for the year, I was given a good discount. The promotion included two free months for signing up. 14 months of service comes out to $9.00 a month. These small changes saved me $420.00 a year. We have patiently searched for a used car for my son. We found a great deal and will be making a second trip to pick it up. Unfortunately on our original trip to pick it up, I was hit by a hit and run driver. I’m quite sore but happy I don’t have injuries like my previous accident. My car may very well be totaled. I’ll just have to wait and see. Everytime my bill has increased on premiums I instantly want to lower my coverage. I always remind myself that my home and car are my two most valuable assets and maintain coverage that protects me. I’m grateful to be in a rental car and that my coverage fully covers me. In a hit and run, I would be out of luck had I not had full coverage. Meanwhile, we are eating down the pantry and freezer. I have lost 40 lbs in 4 months. I feel better and don’t ache like I did. I’m running out of clothes but that’s fine. I’m going to wait until I drop 20 more before I buy new pants. I’m finding the thrift stores continuing to raise their prices. My son needed new shirts. I was able to buy him some shirts at the Gap on clearance for the same price as the Goodwill store. I received free shipping and a few swagbucks from using their link. We can finally use our burn barrels here. Instead of paying to have my many piles of brush hauled off, we will slowly burn them. I foresee my son and his friends having a few weekend bonfires. We have two water faucets and I have arranged to drag the neighbors hose over too. I definitely don’t want to burn my house down.!

      1. Brandy ,I was hit in 2015. Twice 7 days apart in 2016. And now . I will be lucky if I don’t have my I insurance canceled. I’m my whole 40 years of driving I’ve never had a ticket or accident. I’ve spent three years recovering from my injuries. I can happily say that I am barely sore this time and so grateful to have good insurance. And, life continues.

  45. It was another good, frugal week.
    After school on Friday, I took the kids to Wendy’s for a frosty. Around here, there is a promotion where you can buy a book of 5 free frosty coupons for $1; benefits charity and probably meant for trick or treaters. We bought and used ours right away. They’re for the smallest size, but that’s the perfect size for the kids.
    I bought mark downs on sale at the grocery store, as always. The jelly at Kroger was marked down to .99, since they were all sticky on the outside. I bought 10 of the 32 oz glass jars instead of the 20 oz squeezable jars, which were the same price. I probably have a squeezable bottle of some type around that I could pour the jelly into; definitely would be convenient.
    I continue to list things for sale on facebook, ebay, mercari, etc. It’s slow and small sales, but consistent as long as I’m consistent about listing things.
    I received a free bottle of Olive Garden salad dressing from my sister. It was unopened, slightly expired, but delicious.
    I doubled a batch of pancakes and chili to freeze for later.
    My mom is mending a coat for my oldest.
    I’m hoping to take the kids swimming one more time before it gets too cool. We’re still in the 90s.
    I bought gas at Costco. I’m not a member, buy I occasionally use someone else’s membership to buy a giftcard, which lets me buy gas there. It’s usually cheaper than other stations.
    I helped my son complete a school project using only things we had at home. A trip to the store would have made things easier, but we managed.
    I used peroxide to get stains from a nosebleed out of my daughter’s sheets. A different day, she got another nosebleed on the way to school, and I sent her to the school nurse to ask if they had a shirt she could borrow. The nurse told her she could just keep the clean shirt, since it was donated for that purpose, which was kind.
    One son wets the bed almost every night. I buy the Walmart generic overnight diapers when I can’t find any others cheaper. Sometimes they hold and sometimes they don’t, but he’s getting better at putting the sheets back on the bed (age 6).
    I’ve been working on reading with my 4 year old, using materials from a garage sale. He loves the Bob books.
    I’m starting to think about Christmas. It will be here before we know it, and I haven’t bought as many gifts as I usually have by this point. I will buy the .99 poinsettias like I do every year on Black Friday for girl scout/boy scout leaders, teachers, neighbors, and hostess gifts. I will dress them up with a bow and they look nice, and include a thoughtful note if I get to it. Home Depot and Lowe’s usually have them on sale.
    I’m trying to work more at night to save money on babysitting. I am fortunate to have a lot of flexibility in my part-time job.

    1. instead of the overnights for your son , perhaps look into 2-3 of the washable bed pads like they use in a hospital. Saved a lot of money for us.

  46. Brandy you inspire and I thank you for your ideas and insights.
    Frugal accomplishments:
    -I am sewing a little bag for my toddler granddaughter to use-found the patten on pinterest and used fabric from my stash.
    -Hosted friends for a long weekend here. I baked and froze quick breads for breakfast. I made apple slices from apples that I was gifted. They brought meat for a meal and I supplies the fixins. We made a send off brunch with 2 dozen eggs and fancy bacon I got in bulk from a meat shop. Planned no cost activities-went to a cranberry marsh, took a boat ride and hiked on an island, went to a local free street festival, had a campfire, went for walks, planned name that favorite oldies tune, and watched our favorite college football team. We enjoyed out time together and it was frugal and fun.
    -Enjoyed meeting a college friend, went on a local sporting goods factory tour. We learned so much and didn’t spend other than gas and a frugal lunch.
    -Closed all the storm windows, conserving heat and trying to keep furnace off.
    -Two power outages here one was 10 hours and the other 5. Our backup generator kick in-we manually turn off the hot water heater and other small appliances and don’t use high amp users such as the stove, microwave etc. so as not to overload generator.
    -Callled the health insurance company to see if an upcoming visit to a NP was in network and covered. I reached my yearly deductible so I am trying to get everything in and take advanatage of the difference a few months and several thousand dollars can be saved.
    -Got a $25 credit when I let the service provider know the technician didn’t show during the scheduled installation day.
    -Froze fresh tomatoes and peppers that were past peak in the refrigerator.
    -Stained baseboards that my husband will install.
    -Readjusted light timers with shorter days and less daylight.
    -Passed on puchasing fall mums-will try to preserve my geraniums and take in during frost if necessary,
    -Reviewed all bills and completed all monthly budget-expense/income tracking. This has been so valuable-line by line we can see what we have spent this year as compared to last. I refer to this spreadsheet all the time.
    -Checked out a book on tape that will be the topic for next bookclub meeting. I don’t often listen to books but doing this while I am doing other things has been a real time save and takes the pressure off of finishing the book.
    -License plate renewal arrived-a $65 surcharge in addition to the license fee as we drive an energy saving Prius. I wrote our representative, we went from $75 to $160 in one year.
    -Collecting my purse change and have been saving it for my annual “cash out”.
    Have a good week everyone and stay frugal.

    1. Leigh Ann, my son wet the bed until he was about 7. We tried everything! Finally, I bought a Wee-Alert bed-wetting alarm and it went off 4 times over 5 nights, and then he was…dry. This son is now 41 and doesn’t seem to be scarred for life; now, in fact, he admits that he simply didn’t want to get up. The Wee-Alert doesn’t seem to be made anymore, but this one looks to be the closest: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00GAPD9YI/ref=as_li_tf_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B00GAPD9YI&linkCode=as2&tag=bestprodtag79766-20 Whatever you do to help him sleep through the night without wetting the bed, know that you are not alone, and whatever you decide to do, we are cheering you on!

  47. Brandy,

    You likely already know about this free photography source, but wanted to share just in case. https://digital-photography-school.com/?amp

    Today’s frugal accomplishment was starting Halloween outdoor decorations by shopping my home. I used an old dress form, holiday lights, a broom, an old witch costume/wig, etc and branches with fall leaves I sourced from tree cuttings of neighbor’s to create a garden witch for the yard. I love creating decor from found items and collecting fall leaves for decor. I don’t know why anyone would buy those things from a store, mother nature looks so much better and it’s free!

  48. Like you, Brandy, we had a calm week just getting things done. I’ve been unexpectedly cold/chilled with the early weather change, so we have just turned the heat on along with the wood heat. I expect it is the treatment as I’m not usually cold. This has caused a setback in my weight management. However I’m back on track again now that I’m warmer.

    I still walk a lot for exercise for myself and the dogs. Glad to get outside daily since I’m so very isolated during this treatment. Since it is hunting season, I used orange felt that I had on hand to stitch a section to add to the dogs’ collars. We don’t go walking in heavy hunting areas – only behind the houses, but it’s better to be safe. Hunters are safety oriented and the dogs well trained; I just like to be extra safe!

    We keep eating mostly from the freezer and pantry. Finished sorting the winter clothing and it looks like we will be pretty much OK. I am finding thrift store prices increasing as well in our area.

    Spent my time sorting through containers in the basement and am pleased that we are much more organized. We donated what is no longer is useful. I’m glad to have finished that task before the cold weather arrived.

    I was able to get some more help with the huge COBRA payment. Next week for treatment we can stay in a condo of my husband’s cousin about a half hour outside SLC as the American Cancer Society’s Hope Lodge does not have room for us. This means that we will not have to pay for a hotel that would put me at risk of catching an infection as I’m so immune compromised at the moment. Thank God!

    We had a couple items to order from Amazon and waited till October so our son could get 5% back on his credit card. He uses his cash back to buy gift cards for more value. We put the car for him on the road and he is now able to travel to school and ROTC for much less in a safer car. He was able to add the car to his school parking pass for only $10. A real savings from having to buy a second pass.


    1. Trish:
      The Cold sensitivity is a side effect of the treatment. These last treatments are difficult on the spirit even as you see light at the end of the tunnel. Your strength of spirit continue to be an inspiration. Cheering you on, and sending you love.

      1. Patricia,

        Thank you for that info. It’s pretty taxing on my emotions right now (and I’m not given to being very emotional), but I do remember that I’m blessed to be so healthy and strong. Faith, family, friends and exercise are my go to.

        I appreciate your support,


  49. We are in our last day of the 90’s for the year. 99 yesterday and I think that is why my fall seeds have done so poorly despite watering consistently. This weekend we are down to the 70’s and am planning to replant a lot of my seeds. Kale is the only thing which has come up decently. I hauled more manure and dirt from our compost pile and got two rows prepped for planting this weekend. Pulled up the last of the Roma tomatoes and left the cherry tomatoes as they are still going. The peppers have lots of blossoms and hope they go for another month or so.

    Listened to two great podcasts, one on gardening, which gave me the impetus to pull my tomatoes and plant again. The second on flu and cold prevention and treatment naturally. That made me motivated to take stock and see what tinctures I need to make to be ready for the winter. We have not had flu for almost thirty years with no shots. I have cut out sugar the last two years and think that has been a bonu in supporting my immune system. I do a lot of immune strengthening and tincture for times we might get colds. Now that I am nannying one day a week for s 3 year old and infant, I am around more colds. The 3 year old has been in preschool one month and is on her second cold. I take care of a ninety year old one to two days a week too, and want to be healthy for her sake too.

    I am buying produce only and trying to eat down the freezer in preparation for turkeys and such. Over the weekend I made enough pumpkin pie smoothies to last me every morning this week, since I am watering early before work. I have pumpkin and butternut squash from last fall to use up. I found a pumpkin for 2.39 at Aldi for decorating and then will cook it up. I made more of my skinny monkey cookies , minus the applesauce and added chi, flaxseed and hemp seed to really fortify them. We have been eating a lot of stir fry to use up odds and ends in the garden, piddly green beans, a few Swiss chard leaves, lambs quarters and a sad onion.

    I am planning for s group bday party next week. Our granddaughter is turning four and our triplet grandkids are turning three and are coming up from Alabama. Their mom is making the cake and bringing decorations, which is a huge relief, I am just providing the meal. Still working on gifts for them all and hoping to hit the yard sales this Saturday. My gift is books and then maybe something else if I find a suitable toy or costume. I am grateful for this community that is creative and frugal in gift giving, it makes it easier to do what I can find frugally, given with joy !

    Thanks for each submission as you are a delightful group of like minded friends. Brandy, thanks for your inspiration and time you share with us all!

  50. I also saved some money on Halloween costumes. On the way to my 35 week OB appointment, we stopped at a kids consignment sale that is held twice a year here locally. My son picked out a ninja costume for $10, and my daughter picked out a very pretty princess costume for $8. I also bought 3 newborn winter hats for $2.50, 7 pairs of socks, a pair of Osh Kosh overalls with a flannel shirt, pair of pants and two matching shirts for my almost 2 year old for $14 altogether, and an illuminated globe for $12, I’ve been wanting a globe for homeschooling for awhile now.

    I picked up baby clothes from a friend, also included were some nice zip up sweatshirts for my almost 2yo. I also was able to pick up a free baby swing and crib mattress from my other friend.

    We had dinner at my friends house and she sent us home with half of a large spiral ham. I made ham salad sandwiches for my husbands lunch and also for my and the kids’ lunch the next day.

    I used Walmart’s grocery pickup again, and planned it so I was picking up on my way home from my appointment so I wasn’t driving out of my way. This time, they substituted the 32oz half and half with a 64oz half and half for no extra cost. I was also refunded $1.48 for grape tomatoes I purchased last time (there were a few bad ones in the container), and I was still able to keep the good tomatoes.

    My husband received a $3/hour raise at his full time
    job. He was told he’d get a raise after 3 months, it’s only been 2 and it’s much more than what he expected.

    My aunt offered us a couch and chair, and we are taking her up on it. They are in really good condition and better than what he have at the moment.

    I think that’s it for this week.

  51. I was able to pick just a few more garden veggies. I’ve been pulling up plants, digging up roots, and unexpectedly found some good green beans to pick. Tomorrow, a young man may come and use our tiller to till it up. It’s just too much for my husband to do, and I can’t handle the big tiller, either. We will pay him a very small sum, and cook dinner for him and his family–it’s nice of him to agree to do it. It started raining heavily today, so we will need to see it he can do it or if it’s too wet.

    Yesterday, a friend brought her 7 children over to stack the fire wood my sister sent down from her farm. We only have our 15 passenger van to haul wood in right now, so those up at the farm filled it really full (2 back seats out), and it was thrown into our driveway. Yesterday, the kids all grabbed sticks and carried them to the woodshed where my husband stood in one place and stacked it up. I cooked a big dinner for them, which we all enjoyed after the wood was stacked. They said they would come back and do it again if we get another van load soon. Right now, we are burning free wood my husband has collected, plus the wood we were given by friends last fall, but it is so nice to have it coming in for the future, as well.

    I’ve been very involved with extended family this past week–so many are sick right now. It’s taken a lot of time to help out where needed, keep up with work, do homeschool, and try to keep up at home. I spent 2 days at the hospital last week. The first day I didn’t have a lunch since I rushed over there when I found out the patient had been admitted, but found a salad for only $2.50 I could buy. I thought that was a good deal. The second day, I packed a small bit of food, and it worked out great. Then, I took the patient home, but they remained pretty sick for days, so lots of help from lots of us was needed. I’m glad I’m not the only person who takes turns when needed.

    I sewed a little bit on the quilt I started last winter.

    I did rely on my husband to hold down the fort at home, so he cooked, did laundry, etc. There are a couple of pictures on my blog: http://beckyathome.com.

  52. I used flannel from my stash to make a receiving blanket for some friends who are expecting their first baby this next week. I had some yarn in my yarn stash that matched nicely. No out of pocket for this gift and I know it’ll match their nursery bedding. Grateful I have the time for these little projects.

  53. What a wonderful day! I was worried how I was going to afford to take my friend to a mountain lodge for Sunday brunch to celebrate her 90th birthday! Then yesterday my gst rebate came in — just enough to cover the lovely brunch for of us. My gardener friend traded her gasoline (she did the driving) in exchange for my taking some portraits of her family at Christmas. She also said that she will help us bake Christmas cookies as a fundraiser for our scholarship group.

    In other news, I was given two gift certificates value of about $600 for the scholarship group’s silent auction next spring.

    Back to our mountain trip, the sky was blue, the sun was intense on the snow on the mountaintops and the larches were yellow. The larches will only last another week. The parking lots were full because everyone had gone hiking. We saw no wildlife at all but the mountain scenery was truly a gift from God. I went to the farmers market and bought a case of Italian prune plums. They are very easy to freeze — just wash, cut in half, pit them and put them in freezer bags or mason jars — no syrup needed. They are wonderful to stew on a cold winter’s day.

    The plums usually are $1.99 per pound but the case was $1.50 per pound. I hope I have enough room in my little freezer. I have eaten all the blueberries
    that were for winter. Blueberries were still available but instead of $18 per case they are now $24.00 I also bought a large kohlrabi at the market and explained to the lady that I could not peel it. She peeled it for me and cut it into strips… She was so kind. A great snack! Ann

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