Jefferson Barracks The Prudent Homemaker

I had a good visit to St. Louis. The baby was so very, very good the entire time. I was able to visit with family that I haven’t seen for years, as well as visit the graves of several of my ancestors. Both memorial services went well. I learned, among other things, that my grandmother taught many people to sew (she also taught me).

The photo I took above sums up the trip so well for me. My father is holding his grandson while looking at the grave of his grandfather.

I was not in charge of the plans, but my mother found an inexpensive hotel that served a full breakfast each morning. We were close to the people and cemeteries that we were visiting.

We went to the Missouri Botanical Gardens one day. We used my mom’s AAA discount for a $1 off each admission ticket.

Water Lilies The Prudent Homemaker

I wanted to purchase a little memento from the garden, but most items were very expensive. I decided to choose a board book for the baby, which was both pretty, practical, and not overpriced; it was priced as marked at the back of the book for $7.99.

I made a pair of earrings from findings and beads that I had as a birthday gift for my aunt.

I purchased acorn squash for $0.58 a pound, which is much lower than the normal in-season price of $0.99 a pound. I used it to decorate the house for fall. We’ll eat it over the next few months.

I used a 40% off coupon to buy a yard of fabric from Hobby Lobby. I used it to make a nursing cover (I already had boning for the project) and will use the leftover fabric to make 3 small items.

I bought 4 adjustable hose nozzles on clearance for $1.09 each at Target. In the past, I have paid around $8-$10 each for this type of nozzle and they always wear out after a couple of years. I have two hoses (one in front and one in back) and am now set for several years at a fraction of the price.

I used a $10 off coupon to our local nursery to some plants (including several on sale) for the garden.

I sewed some more on two dresses for myself.

I used my solar oven to cook both pots of beans and several meals.

I harvested Swiss chard, beet greens, pears, Armenian cucumbers, green onions, and garlic chives from the garden.

Trio plus baby


What did you do to save money the second half of September?



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  1. Here are my frugal accomplishments for the past two weeks:
    – Had a nasty cold, so made no churn coffee ice cream to sooth my sore throat [made from whipping cream, condensed milk, instant coffee granules (leftover from when the DH’s mother visited for our wedding 2 ½ years ago), and a splash of coffee liqueur – this prevents crystals]
    – I planted lettuce seeds in pots on my balcony last week, and they’ve sprouted. Weirdest lettuce sprouts I have ever seen, so I googled it and indeed sometimes the little sprouts do look like that. I also planted some radish seeds today. Hopefully they both work out, and I’ll have some fresh salads this fall!
    – Baked two loaves of bread – this should last the DH and I for the week.
    – Made pea and pesto pasta (say that quickly!) using some homemade pesto from the freezer, adding in frozen peas for protein, and tossing it with fettucine and parmesan. The pesto was leftover from a batch I made with some basil that my mother had given me a month ago or so. Super-yummy, frugal, and quick!
    – Bought 10 lbs of beets, 10 lbs of carrots, and 10 lbs of onions, for $1.97 each. I chopped and froze all the onions, while wearing swimming goggles. Yes, the DH laughed when he saw me, but I was protected from the onion fumes!
    – Used a few onions that I didn’t freeze, to make braised onion pasta (a James Beard recipe), which is basically slow-braised onions mixed with a little sherry (I had a bottle of cream sherry that someone gifted to me years ago). Great side dish, and very frugal, as both the onions and pasta were just pennies per serving.
    – I bought two boxes of Alpha-Bits cereal for 99 cents each, using coupons found on social media. As the boxes were $3.99 each before, I was thrilled. It’s not something I eat myself, but I plan to give it to the kids in the Syrian refugee family that I tutor in English, so they can use it to practice their spelling (especially the youngest, who is still learning her letters).
    – Sewed a button on the DH’s work shirt
    – Bought 10 kg of AP flour for $7.77. Portioned it into smaller containers and put the containers in the freezer, so that it stays good until it is used. Flour only has to be frozen for 24 hours, really, but I don’t have much pantry space, so I generally just keep it there, or in my fridge.
    – Forgot to pack my lunch, so ate a giant chocolate muffin and a half leftover from a seminar the previous day; not healthy, but enough calories to hold me until dinner, and delicious! Also saved me having to buy lunch, so whoohoo!
    – Made a batch of iced tea using some high end loose leaf tea that a client gifted to me (the DH doesn’t like the taste of our tap water, so iced tea is how I keep him frugally hydrated)
    – Bought 3 large containers of yoghurt for $1.97 each, which is enough to last me as a homemade yoghurt starter for several months. I haven’t yet researched whether an acidophilus starter is cheaper.
    – Chopped, blanched, and froze 5 lbs of carrots. We’re good for at least 4 months now, because I still have another 5 lbs of raw carrots, enough to last me for at least 2 months of side dishes, carrot snack cake, and my favourite carrot dish, ginger carrot stew over quinoa (recipe on my blog). I would have bought and processed more carrots, but I have limited freezer space.
    – I made 4 ½ pints of pickled beets. I shall happily nom on them for the next few weeks, and then make another batch with the remaining 5 lbs of beets that I have. Unless I can find another beet recipe that I love. Any recommendations?
    – Repurposed a vintage doily from either my maternal grandmother or my aunt (my mom can’t remember which) to cover the base of a serving tray so that the bottles stored on it wouldn’t scratch the surface.
    – Baked two pumpkin bread loaves plus a dozen pumpkin muffins (all at the same time in the oven – saving energy, yay!), using a can of pumpkin puree that I had had from last year on sale. I may bring one loaf to my work, or let the DH take the bigger loaf to his office, but those muffins? Are all mine. Also mostly gone, so moot point. 
    – Brought home salad and cake from a work lunch, enough for dinner for the DH and I
    – Made 4 ½ pints of peach jam, enough for a month of yoghurt mix-ins for me (ran out of sugar – how does this even happen? – so subbed in brown sugar for part. Added a nice depth of flavour!) I plan to give one of the pints to my dad
    – Made peach pit jelly with the pits – only made about 1 cup of jelly, but hey, that’ll go great with toast for the next few weeks!
    – Went to the TIFF (Toronto International Film Festival) with my parents, sister, and the DH, with tickets gifted from my parents. A lovely Saturday evening in the city, with no money OPP!
    – Cat sat (medicated and cuddled cat) for some extra cash.
    – Bought 20 lbs of potatoes for $2.97
    – Redeemed a certificate for a free cookie
    – Met a friend for coffee one evening after work, and used my Starbucks card that I earned from Swagbucks to pay for my drink and a treat for us to share. This is probably my favourite swagbucks reward.
    – Redeemed a $5 Starbucks card from Swagbucks
    – Made a batch of granola
    – I did a freezer cooking evening with a friend of mine this week, and she gave me a $25 gift certificate to a grocery store as a thank you. Totally unnecessary, but much appreciated! She also gave me a container of shortening, as she couldn’t use it.
    – Redeemed a coupon for a free full-size tube of sensitive-teeth toothpaste
    – Used a $5 off coupon when buying probiotics.

    And that’s my list! Looking forward to reading about everyone else’s accomplishments and getting inspired by them!

  2. I love your photos, Brandy. The gardens look amazing (as do you). For someone traveling with a baby you look wonderful!

    Now that school is upon us, I’ve been busy trying to sort through children’s clothes. The weather has turned cool here and all of a sudden my boys are in long pants again. Now I can get a sense of how much they’ve grown and it is time for a visit to the thrift store for new jeans. I have a few the next size up but will need some more.

    We had some excitement yesterday. We have a Himalayan cat (from the SPCA) that we believe had lived a lot of her life as an outside cat (probably born to a feral cat). She has disappeared on us once before for 6 weeks, living in the woods behind our house. Eventually she returned and whisked off to the vet. Although she is primarily an inside cat, we do have 5 kids and a dog and she slipped out again (after a 6 month return). My girlfriend saw her blocks and blocks away but couldn’t grab her. This time I figured she was not returning as it has been over a month she since left. Yesterday, my husband was outside and heard a cat crying. Sure enough, there she was! We are happy to have her back. She spent last evening crying loudly throughout the house as if she was yelling at us. Silly girl!
    I spent a lot of this weekend baking honey cake for the Jewish holiday of Rosh Hashanah. (My father’s side of the family celebrates this holiday) and I make honey cake to give as gifts annually, Makes the house smell yummy (free potpourri). If you’d like the recipe, you can find it here: Have a wonderful week everyone!

  3. Glad to hear your trip, though somber in nature, was a good one. I’m sure your parents enjoyed some one on one time with their newest grandson.

    My frugal accomplishments this time are:
    *Meals made at home include turkey pot pie (homemade, from the freezer), homemade pizza (dough made in bread maker), chicken finger wraps with choice of toppings and potato wedges (made extra for daughter to take in lunch the next day), pasta with sausages and choice of sauce, homemade beef barley soup (using leftovers of roast beef I had frozen) with buttermilk dinner rolls (made with the free buttermilk I received earlier this month), leftovers, sheperds pie, chicken souvlaki with tzatziki sauce, rice, Greek salad and apple crisp (from freezer), chicken low mein stir-fry with veggie spring rolls, leftovers with brownies (a reward for eating the leftovers), meatballs in Diana sauce with mashed potatoes and green/waxed beans, bacon sandwiches with sliced apples, and ham steaks with homemade macaroni & cheese casserole, and carrots.
    *My daughter has discovered how much easier it is to make her school lunches using leftovers. Very little food waste makes me very happy! Sometimes I even make a little extra knowing she will take it in her lunch. And, sometimes she will even take food that she claims not to like because she doesn’t want to make a sandwich!
    *Reorganized the cupboards/pantry to make it easier to find everything and to make room for all the canning I’m making.
    *Made crabapple jelly for the first time from free crabapples given to me by a co-worker. In total I made 4 pint jars and 7 half-pint jars of the most delicious jelly I’ve ever tasted! I always avoided making jelly because I thought it would be complicated. It was much easier than I thought!
    *Started using some of the berries I froze this summer to make jam. I canned 7 pints plus 2 half pints of stawberry jam and 8 pints plus 5 half pints of bumbleberry jam (strawberries, raspberries, blackberries and blueberries) this week.
    *Made a batch of pumpkin bran muffins with the free bran and buttermilk I received. It also used up some of the frozen pumpkin puree from 2014. A pretty frugal muffin recipe, that’s for sure…and tasty too!
    *Brought home 2 tomatoes I picked from the gardens at work. They would have just rotted and not been used. I hate that this food is wasted. Two other people also took some home as well.
    *My MIL gifted me a bag of apples. She had received them from another lady and my MIL felt she couldn’t use all of them up before they went bad, so she gave us some.
    *Bought a bag of spinach (2 bunches) and a bag of parsley (2 bunches) on clearance for $1/bag, to use as cheap Guinea pig food. She doesn’t care if some of it is going bad.
    *With our Canadian Thanksgiving coming up next weekend, there were some great grocery deals this week. I bought 8 blocks of cheese for $3.50/450g block, another 10lb bag of carrots for $1.97 (the 3lb bag was $1.67 so I will blanch/freeze half this bag and use the rest for fresh), 3 tubs of ice cream for $1.97/tub and 8 English muffins for $0.77/6 pack.
    *Made our bi-annual trip to pick up the flowers from my grandparents gravestones. We stopped and bought chocolate from the chocolate factory, cheese curd from the cheese factory, doughnuts and buttertarts from the bakery, and 2 baskets of pears plus 1bushel of “C-grade” apples from the orchard roadside stand.
    *Managed to make an embroidered pillow for a birthday gift in 3 days! I ended up using the Harry Potter owl after all, but thank you, Brandy for the Harry Potter links. My daughter said she liked the gift.
    *I was a volunteer model for a co-worker who does special effects make-up as a hobby. I was made into a gypsie and a zombie and did a photo shoot for each make up effect. Had a great time hanging out with her and talking for 4 hours with no cost involved for me. She posted the edited zombie photo on her facebook page for her countdown to Halloween on Sunday October 2nd…it looks so amazing! For those interested, here’s the link:
    *Worked the applefest special event at the museum on Sunday. That’s an 8 hour paycheck and every bit of income helps! My family also came to the event, with free entrance since I work there. A nice frugal outing for them.

    Looking forward to reading everyone’s accomplishments. I really missed reading them last week. Have a great week everyone!

  4. I love the picture of the four of you! I’m glad your trip went well! The botanical gardens look beautiful. I’m watching for discount tickets to go back to the AZ botanical garden in Phoenix. A very different kind of garden, but fascinating to this OK native.

  5. Your family photos are lovely, & the botanical garden looks like a fun place to visit. Our hose nozzle recently broke, and I’m thankful you reminded me to look for sales at this time of year. We took a trip to the coast while you were gone, which was enjoyable, and had some frugal moments. That post, as well as my frugal accomplishments post, are shared here: I’m looking forward to reading what everyone has been up to these past two weeks.

  6. I was able to replenish our toilet paper supply with a great sale (over 50% off ) plus big coupons which saved me over $61!!! And now, our supply is built back up!! Laundry detergent that was normally $7.99 with sale and coupons became 99 cents each! I was able to buy 4 of those! There was a one day sale on Halloween candy (50% off) so I bought 2 bags. The larger had not rung up at the sale price and neither had a carton of yogurt. I went back into store to Customer Service for an adjustment (about $5) and was shocked when they gave me back the total price of both items – $13.48!!!
    I was able to do some simple hemming alterations for a friend and earned $70! We made another state outline from free pallet wood and earned another $15!
    Between Conference sessions, I made 8 chicken enchilada roll-ups for lunches, from fabric stash and curtain rods I found in our laundry room as I was decluttering- I made 4 window valances for our kitchen windows! What a cheery difference!!
    I made an art-on-the-go tote from fabric stash and a free online pattern for one of our grandsons for Christmas! I also bought 2 mini-food choppers and 2 small crockpots on sale at Kohls that after sale price, discount, rebates and going through ebates- not only were they free, but I came out ahead by around $4! These will be used as Christmas presents!
    Made a baby quilt from stash for my soon to be new grandson. We had our 3 annual church decluttering swap where you bring good useable things and anyone can take them for free (leftovers get taken immediately to Salvation Army for donation). I donated several bags of clothes and some working appliances that I no longer needed and came home with a wonderful Container Store canister that still had it’s original $16.99 tag on it!! I will use this for more of my kitchen food storage!
    On payday, we still had a balance of over $200 in our checking account so I transferred that amount to pay down mortgage!
    I took out some books from the library that I normally would have purchased!
    We started setting the posts for the pergola over our grill and should have that finished this week! 4 of our local adult children are coming over to help lift the cross pieces up to assemble it. My talented hubby cut a sculpted edge to each end of the cross pieces to give them a classic look! I appreciate his skill!
    We also found a cute outdoor bench pattern free online and built one using more of our free pallet braces! I’ll sand and paint it today! We started a second bench (different pattern) and will finish that this week too! And, of course, I just found yet another bench pattern that has planters attached on each end! Looks like it could be another free pallet project!! It is exciting seeing how our yard is transforming!!
    All in all, a very good week!!

  7. I’m glad you had a nice trip! Happy babies are such a blessing, especially when you’re traveling. (Not that unhappy babies aren’t a blessing…they’re just a blessing with a little challenge to them. 😀 )

    I like to decorate with squash before we eat it, too. My favorite to cook with is butternut squash. I’m lucky enough to find it for 49 cents often.

    Here are the ways our family saved last week:

  8. Brandy, So glad you had a great trip and that the Octavius did so well. I can’t believe how big he’s getting! They grow up so fast!

  9. I found apples at $0.49lb so I made lots of applesauce and apple pie filling. My husband works as a pizza delivery driver a few nights a week as a second job and they had someone order a pizza and then call and cancel the order after the pizza was already made so my husband got to bring it home for free. That led to an impromptu fun at home lunch date the next day. I found kiwis on sale for $0.10 each so I bought 10 of them. We hardly ever buy them because they are expensive. I am also in the middle of a pantry challenge that is going to last a total of 9 weeks because our local cheap grocery store is closing for a remodel. So far its going pretty well.

  10. I am a newbie to all of this frugal living, so I am still trying to get things squared. I made my own detergent recently and if not for a ruined pot as a result, this would have come out boucoup cheap! 🙂 I have several socks that have holes in them… they have been magically converted into rags to clean the floors. Applied myself to learn how to better shop dollar stores and discount outlets for pantry staples and such…. and I have planned and made lunches and dinners all this week in advance. I am still learning but for now, things go great!

  11. It is so precious and wonderful to see your dad holding your son at the grave of your dad’s grandfather. Families are forever! I am so glad you were able to make the trip and reconnect with relatives you have not seen in many years. As far as frugality goes, my week is more about what I did not do, as opposed to what I did do. I did not eat out. I did not go anywhere except to work, grocery store, mailbox, etc. I did turn the air conditioner off and unplugged it, even though it will be 90 here this week, it is cooling down into the 60’s at night. I walked in local areas, so I did not pay for a gym. I cooked my meals for the week so all I have to do is heat them up when I get home. I took my lunch to work every day. I watched parts of General Conference on my phone (I have no other internet nor computer at my house and have a $38 dollar smart phone that seems to be adequate)….so I did not do anything extraordinary but lived my simple life and enjoyed it.

  12. I’m glad to hear that you had a good trip! It sounds like you were quite busy in September! Gosh, for us September was such a blur. We purchased a house on September 8, which means we’ve been renovating like crazy.

    Here are a few good little tidbits:

    1. We used our home loan’s Family Referral program, which got us a hefty rebate. We’ll use the rebate to pay for our moving costs at the end of October.

    2. I used a special sale at Lowe’s to get a rebate on our paint. I’m expecting $75 back, which could pay for at least a few more gallons of paint that I’m sure we’ll need. 🙂

    3. I continued to cook home meals, although not as much, since we haven’t been home or had the time. I did manage to make several batches of yogurt. I also made French dip sandwiches and froze them for a rainy day.

    4. I’ve been using more of our pantry to save money on food. I love using “free” food! It’s a good way to use up odds and ends that would otherwise be thrown away.

    5. We’re selling tons of stuff on Craigslist, including the fridge and oven that came with our house. I’m hoping to make a little bit of cash that way to pay for our renovations.

  13. I took advantage of Dollar General’s manufacturers’ coupons, their own coupons, and clearances to save over $24 while spending about $23 on toiletries and food, all needed items. Dollar General is at least 3x closer than our nearest Walmart, their regular prices are competitive, and with their $2 off $10 and $5 off $25 coupons they frequently offer, they leave Walmart in the dust for those things that they sell. One of the best deals were 5 192-count boxes of Kleenex for 39 cents each. Our facial tissue supply will probably last us until spring. I also got a product that would have cost just under $19 at Walmart. At Dollar General, it was on the half-off clearance rack, and a manufacturer’s $2-off coupon applied. So it was around $7.50. Score. At Family Dollar, I found 2 Birdhouses for $1.25 each. My elderly mom will enjoy close-up birdwatching in the spring. Yesterday, I ordered pizza online (not thrifty) and opted to pick it up to save on delivery (thrifty). But when I pulled up to the shop, there was a big poster in the front window advertising what I had ordered for about $2.50 (33%) less. Before I paid, I pointed out the difference, noted that I had agreed to the higher price online, but asked if they would price match. They did. I was really happy with myself until I saw a friend’s Facebook posting. She had upgraded her phone at a national electronics store. She gathered up her things to leave and then asked, “Are there any special offers for this phone?” There was, a 32-inch TV. It pays to ask, sometimes handsomely.

  14. There were several desert sections at this garden; we learned about some new plants that my dad would love to grow, including two types of “tree aloes.” I also saw a beautiful, lush combination of flowers that all grow here! I had to do a double check to see if I was seeing correctly: it was zinnias in back, lantana in the middle, and salvia in front. It was very full and such a surprise!

  15. I’m glad you had a safe trip.
    We have been wanting to start the children in a sport to build lifetime exercise habits and also potentially make them more attractive to colleges. We’ve gone in circles when I realized we were not using our best resource. My husband was on the tennis team for years, he knows enough to get them started and is going to watch YouTube videos on coaching it. They are having a keen time and we are using an empty basketball court for now so we don’t have to pay court fees.
    We did indulge our youngest by getting her a racket but are ok with it as she is now happily running around chasing the ball and not on the sidelines.
    I baked banana muffins. I made stew for busy nights. I am nervously watching the hurricane to see if the east coast will get it. God bless those poor souls in Haiti, it looks bad for them.
    I made cherry crumb pie, that is my husbands favorite pie and I was lucky and a high quality filling was on sale 50% off. Much cheaper than I could make cherry pie filling myself. I have one jar of filling left and am saving it for Thanksgiving. If it goes on sale again I’ll buy a case.i am delighted with the crumb topping as it leaps beautifully in the refridgerator and does not get leathery like leftover pie crust sometimes does.
    I bought a small dustpan and broom to keep in the van to sweep out dirt and crumbs and it has saved me the time and cost of going to the car wash. We don’t have a way to vacuum the car at home.

    I fell last night so changed my plans for the next few days. We’re having dump chicken ( chicken thighs in wing sauce on rolls) so I am not standing in the kitchen.
    I volunteered to make fall themed sugar cookies for my sons school bake sale.
    Halloween candy is on sale and I’m buying it today.
    My husband made $340 after fees on eBay.

  16. Hello Brandy and everyone from Australia 🙂 . I am glad you had a wonderful holiday away and spent some time catching up with family too.

    Here is our frugal accomplishments for the second half of September –

    Groceries –

    – Purchased a years supply of yeast from our restaurant supplier saving $25.50 on our local supermarket prices.
    – Bought a years supply or more in a 3lt bottle of chocolate topping for ice cream and milkshakes for the warmer weather coming up saving $58.61 on what our local supermarket charges.
    – Purchased 6 months supply of cooking chocolate saving $22.98 on our local supermarket prices.
    – Purchased 100 plastic teaspoons for entertaining saving $3.55 on our local supermarket prices.

    In the kitchen –

    – Cooked all meals and bread from scratch.
    – Blanched and froze silver beet and spinach from the gardens going to seed in the garden making 17 more portioned meals of silver beet and 2 meals and packages of spinach for advanced food storage.

    Crafts and garden and seed saving –
    – Made a tablecloth for our kitchen table with fabric purchased some time ago on special for $5 metre, making the new tablecloth price made $7.50 to us. Saving $37.48 over buying it new in our local shops new.
    – Sold 400 saved pumpkin seeds earning $19.50.
    – DH earned $15 from doing a small gardening job.

    In the garden –

    – Picked silver beet, spinach, capsicum, spring onions and tomatoes from the garden. We picked 19kg of silver beet and 1.5kg of spinach, saving $277.33 on buying the same amount in our supermarkets fresh.
    – Planted a 5 metre row of pumpkin seeds with saved seeds from our last harvest in the vegetable garden.
    – Planted a 2.5 metre row of sugar baby watermelon seeds with seeds saved from our last garden harvest.
    – Planted a 2.5 metre row of Candy watermelon seeds.

    Water preservation –

    – Missed 2 scheduled town water garden water sessions due to rain saving 939.2 lts of town water use.
    – Watered herb pot plants on the back stairs using saved steaming water from our vegetables.
    – Saved the blanching vegetable washing and steaming water to water new grass seed planted in the back lawn.

  17. Congratulations on your first jelly. Knowing how to make jelly and jam is a great talent — you can take advantage of free fruit, and homemade jelly makes a lovely gift.

  18. Welcome home! It’s so nice that you were able to get away to see family.
    We have had a couple of pretty frugal weeks here in the mountains. Summer neighbors left town and shared a bunch of produce with me and another neighbor. I received two heads of lettuce, some zucchini, some arugula and half an onion. Housesitters also left behind lettuce, sprouts, almond milk, peppers, plastic wrap and sandwich bags.
    I made rose hip syrup with the hips I picked on our camping trip. I have been using this to sweeten my tea each morning — a little extra dose of Vitamin C. I made 7 pints of salsa from tomatoes, peppers, onions, and garlic from my garden. Picked zucchini from the garden – ate some and froze some. Pulled up the tomato plants in the greenhouse and planted broccoli seedlings in their place. Mixed new potting soil using compost from my compost bin. Planted lettuce, arugula and collards in the greenhouse. Since the voles and chipmunks have been so hard on the raised beds this year I’m having better results with items in the greenhouse.
    City Market (Kroger chain in our part of Colorado) had big baskets of potted mums for $15.99. In the clearance section I found one basket of yellow mums marked down to $1.99. The container was worth more than that. The checker and bagger both exclaimed over the great deal — there were a few brown blossoms, but for the most part the flowers looked great. However, when I got home I discovered it had scanned for $15.99. My husband had to be in that area the next day, so he took in my receipt, along with the tag from the flowers, and they refunded me the entire cost plus tax – over $17. I have the free basket of mums sitting on my front porch and they look lovely. Later, I will plant them in the garden, though it may be too cold for them to over-winter here.
    I canned 3 pints of tomatoes and 2 pints of tomato sauce from tomatoes from my garden. Then I bought a bushel of tomatoes from a local farmer and from this I canned 2 ½ pints ketchup, 1 ½ quarts tomato juice, 2 pints tomato sauce and 12 pints canned tomatoes. Also made 7 jars of chokecherry jelly from fruit picked along the side of the road.
    Piled 5 piles of brush up by the road for chipping. Our community association is offering up to 5 piles chipped for free. We had talked about renting a chipper later in the fall, but now we won’t have to.
    The binding was torn on the blanket we use in our camper. Rather than buy new binding, I decided to use some fleece in my fabric stash to replace it. I realized I had enough of the fleece to add a 6-inch border along either side of the blanket, thus making it wider and a better fit for the bed. And I used up the pink fleece I had been wondering what to do with. Also, the pillows we use camping had gotten very flat. I realized they dated from early in our marriage (so, at least 35 years old, maybe older.) I found a third old, flat pillow, took all three apart, sewed new casings from an old sheet and restuffed them. Now I have two ‘new’ fluffier pillows — and none of that poly-fill ended up in the landfill. I’m part of a project at church to make pillowcases for the children at an area women’s shelter. I wanted to practice the technique so I used some scrap fabric I had to make two new pillowcases for the camper as well.
    I realized a hotel stay last year hadn’t been credited to our rewards account. We have a stay booked this year. I contacted the rewards department and they credited me for our stay last year, which will save us $100 this year!
    Made a batch of laundry detergent.

  19. Approximately 60 miles from my home is a Mennonite store that often has great sales and we don’t go often once in awhile the sales are so good we do. Last week they had chicken breast for .99 a pound, ground chuck for 1..69 a pound and ham slices for .49 a pound. We took two coolers and really bought a lot. We will have enough until next spring. We also bought some lunch meat, fresh squash, 16 pounds of sugar, barley, steel cut oats, and a pound of bridge mix chocolate. Our bill was 112.00 plus the cost of gas to drive there and our time. We made a day of it and enjoyed a few small shops and went out to lunch. A fun day and some frugal deals.

  20. Picked tomatoes, elderberries, strawberries & red raspberries.

    Bottled more pears & made more crabapple jelly from the juice waiting in the fridge.

    Defrosted the large freezer. This got skipped for the last 2 years because I was recovering from knee replacements, so it really needed done. While I defrosted & also cleaned & simmered the frozen cut crabapples for juice, to combine with what was in the fridge for crabapple jelly & a blend with elderberries for jelly as well. I dumped the mix of water & ice chunks on the blueberry bushes, since they usually need more water than what the rain provides here, even in fall & spring.

    Shelled the partially dried heirloom corn from the little cobs onto a plate so it could dry faster, & shelled the heirloom beans I saved for seed from their dry pods as well.

    Cut the last of the branches from the dry fir tree & shook off the needles to acidify the NW barked bed. Put the trunk on the wood pile to continue to dry out for use in the future fire pit.

    Trimmed back another of the overgrown forsythia bushes, filling the garbage can void the day before the pickup. Our city closed the green waste dump, so now we either have to pay $8 a load to take it over to the next town, or find a way to fit it into the garbage. I can fit it all into the garbage can with a little planning.

    Pulled a tree pot full of thistles from the red raspberry bed.

    Used grass clippings from the lawn to mulch the back perimeter & the red raspberry bed.

    Completed another pair of Christmas mittens, (5/7 done now!) & worked on the sign for our daughter’s present. DH finally gave me some ideas for his presents as well, & one of those is purchased.

    Took 2 loads of things to the thrift store & got donation receipts for our taxes, along with making more space.

    Washed 2 walls in the dining room, then painted them the next day. After the paint cured for 2 days, I emptied out the dishes & moved the buffet that was downstairs up into the dining room. I remembered that when we moved in, my youngest daughter & I turned it over to let it slide gently down the stairs on the flat top, so I turned it over after I emptied it. Used a length of ribbon to tie the doors closed by the handles, then ran the leftover rope from anchoring the CandyCrisp tree thru the door handles & around the piece twice. I tied a knot & it left me enough of a handle to be able to slide it up the stairs without much effort. Scooted it over, on the top, to the carpet & turned it back over, then carefully moved it to the edge of the carpet. Put a folded canning towel under the legs on one end & scooted it across the linoleum to its new home. Now that I am older, I cannot lift & move things as easily as I used to do, so it is more important for me to pay attention to physics when moving furniture.

  21. We would LOVE to be able to have a Palo Verde tree here, but they simply aren’t hardy for our zone. I don’t know if you can have those there are not, but we think they are so beautiful. We are in Prescott, about 5700 feet in elevation, so many of the things we see in the big nurseries in Phoenix we can’t grow at our home, but our biggest struggle with planting anything is the javalinas, which will eat almost anything. Between them and the deer, we have found very few things we can plant that won’t get eaten. They seem to leave Russian Sage and salvia alone, so we have those, and they are pretty. I grew up in an area with a mild climate and where we got about 46 inches of rain a year, so my ideas of what makes a beautiful landscape are having to be changed. But we are surrounded by the pines, and I will always find them beautiful and we are slowly figuring out more things we can grow. We do get about 14-18 inches of rain (rain/snow), so that makes things a little easier.

  22. I already knew the reason before the trip for the memorial services, (my dad got a job in California when I was 3) but this trip I learned the details of how my dad got the job in California.

    An intetresting thing that he shared: In Missouri, he could work one week and pay the mortgage. His initial plan was to work in California for 5 years, make a lot of money, and return home. That plan was changed when he realized how much higher the cost of living was in California; he had to work 3 weeks just to pay the mortgage. Our budger was incredibly tight for a very long time.

    My husband and I chose to move to Nevada from California, because the cost of a home was so much less. Most of his family was already living here at the time.

  23. Of all the pictures, I appreciate the one of you with your parents the most. I haven’t seen my mom since 2003 (I live in Alaska, she lives in PA) and I lost my father in 2011. My family is TERRIBLE at taking pictures, so goodness knows what my mom even looks like now as the last picture I have of her is from 2003 that I took *laugh*. I also loved the fact that you are in the picture. As a mom, I know how difficult it is to get an updated picture of yourself as we’re always taking pictures of the kids :).

    My last two weeks have been busy and kind of frustrating. I’m at war with frozen shoulder syndrome and trying to run a household and things with limited mobility (at least it IS getting better slowly but surely in the mobility department) in my left arm is a pain. Literally.

    Here’s my list from two weeks ago…

    And here’s my list from this week…

    Glad your trip went well, despite the somber nature of the event. Have a great week!

  24. Living frugally is definitely a process, and it doesn’t happen overnight. I found that I have tried many different things, so with success and some just didn’t fit well for my family. But don’t be deterred from the failures. You will find there is a natural learning curve with this lifestyle. Before you know it, you will be doing things that you thought you’d never try or be able to learn. The fact that you are trying is really what counts!

  25. Here’s my frugal accomplishments from the last few weeks:
    My boss gave me a bottle of vitamins because she had ordered too many. My sister generously shared her garden produce with me including cabbage, tomatoes, green peppers, apples, zucchini and a pumpkin. She also gave me a pair of pants and a top that she no longer wanted that fit me perfectly. I went to the local bread store to buy discount bread. They also sometimes sell what they call “bird bread” for 25 cents a loaf but it was only one day past the expiration date. Its good for toast or grilled cheese. We ate most meals at home and one at my moms where we brought the dessert. My free “therapy” is crocheting. I am working on an afghan to donate to our local Rotary Club fundraiser to be raffled off. I needed one more skein of yarn and my mom just happened to have the exact color I needed. She also gave me two other skeins I needed for another future project. I went to Sam’s Club and got a few good deals there. I shop with my mother because she has the actual membership card and I do not. I stopped to treat myself to a coffee one morning and used a coupon for a free donut to go with it. I paid most bills online to save on postage. I made homemade stain pretreater that works pretty well. I have started planning my Christmas shopping and its going well. I mended some clothing items by hand. I consolidated two debts into one for a MUCH lower interest rate and that will be paid off soon. My mom paid for the part we needed to repair our power washer, and in return my husband will be power washing her driveway and deck. He already did ours but then it rained most of last week so he has to still do hers. We cleaned our own A/C ductwork as well as we could and our sump pump. We did our own Fall clean up of the yard. Did some decluttering and donated the items to Goodwill. My husband helped someone move and in return was given several items they no longer wanted including about 300 Hot Wheels cars still on the packages, 2 working bicycles, an electric guitar, and some tools. Whew! I think that is everything.

  26. I’m afraid that the past two weeks were not frugal AT ALL. My dh’s daughter was married this past weekend. We do have plans to return what we didn’t use for the wedding and what we can’t return will somehow be turned into a Christmas gift OR decorate the new home or sold on a local facebook site. Some things that I did do for the wedding was to make the flower girls’ baskets (3 of them) , painted two welcome signs, printed off place cards, Made pew reservations with discounted ribbons and the Congratulations banner. We are going to eat the leftovers and put some in the freezer. I’m thinking of taking the leftover flowers to the nursing home.
    I’m looking forward to getting back into a normal routine and start sewing for Christmas.

  27. We are getting ready to have about 2/3 of the house refloored next week. That involves shifting loads of stuff and even removing pictures from the walls. It looks as though we’re packing up to move out! It’s also generated a lot of changes in our home as we’ve gone along. The rest of my work is here. Just sharing last post but you can go back to the previous Friday’s post to see the first week.

  28. I am sure your mom and dad appreciated the time with you. It’s so welcomed when I get to spend time with my mom and I know she feels the same. For ladies with lots of children, the days are so full that that time with our own parents sometimes suffers.

    My mom came to lunch last Wednesday, and we had a great time. I made salad bar with some lettuce from the garden at my sister’s farm and various toppings. I’m finding with my new home and lifestyle, I have a bit more time for things like that. I am also finding that school is going so much better with Ja’Ana that I have time left over for a little more fun and don’t feel so pressured.

    I worked extra hours caring for my niece, as she got sick.

    I cooked all meals at home, a habit that we have been able to rebuild now that we are settled and can find our food easily. The only food left to bring here is our freezers (3) that are stored in garages of relatives. Hopefully, this Saturday we can do that since the electrician finished the new plug-ins in the shop. Rob (my husband) finished my canning cupboards and he and I unloaded the rest of the boxes of food into them. (Except the rest of the tomatoes that just HAVE to be hiding somewhere because I have only 6 quart jars and I KNOW I had more than that!!!) There is a picture on my blog, along with the other things we did to save money.

  29. I love the picture of you, Octavius, and your parents.
    We changed out our living room windows ourselves. The windows were on sale, rang up $80 less than I had planned ( savings of $240). Our house is almost 40 years old, the windows had never been changed. Last winter, I had ice built up on the inside. We are excited to see how these windows do in terms of holding in heat for the winter.
    The boys are in football, have been brings snacks to eat if anyone gets hungry.

  30. I love the pictures. I wish I had more pictures of my parents (I lost them both when I was 42) but I have recently realized my own grown kids have almost no pictures of me or their dad. We are a camera adverse family, but I plan to get some casual shots of the husband and me to give our kids.
    I’ve spent more than usual grocery shopping, but I’m stocking up on groceries again. I’m also buying ahead for the holidays, when I find sales.
    I paid six months’ worth of insurance when I had been paying one month at a time, due to tight finances. I’m finally getting enough set by to pay per term.
    I made a handmade gift for Christmas, felted wool dryer balls. I know some people who’d love them but won’t buy them for themselves.
    I earned $25 on Swagbucks.
    I’ve put up more pears off our pear tree — the pears are about over. This time I dehydrated them.
    I picked and froze beauty berries to make jelly later.
    I’m going to pick lemon balm from my herb bed and make herbal jelly for gifts.
    I’m starting up my new month’s budget. This will be my third month to have a formal budget.
    I’m glad to see you are back safe, and since I lived 700 miles from my parents for a long time, I know how good it feels to see them again!

  31. Brandy, those photos of you and your parents are wonderful! I am glad you made it there and back without too much excitement.

    This past week had it’s frugal moments…eating at home, baking bread, using appliances at low cost electric hours. I also found and fixed two landscaping water leaks. On the flip side, my plan to eat out of the freezer didn’t work out as well as planned. Did a major stock up at SAMs club/Costco, so the freezer is full again – that should lead to lower costs this fall, but used up the October grocery budget ahead of time. For me to come in at my annual spending for groceries, I am very limited the rest of the year. We should be fine, I just need to stay out of the grocery stores 😉

  32. 4-H is also another “resume” builder for college entry and for jobs and it is so much more than just the agricultural emphasis – the company my son works for was thrilled that he knew leather working and had him bring in some of his work. Sports are great but unless your child is a 4.0 or higher AND an outstanding athlete, there is little they will offer. We went thru this with both our kids – both outstanding at rowing but our son wasn’t what they call open weight (he always rowed lightweight – and starved himself his senior year to stay at weight) He did not want the added pressure of a sport on top of his engineering classes and since there is nothing for the lighter weight men, he just quit rowing. Our daughter was scouted by numerous schools and was recognized nationally but did not have the grade point they insisted she had to have and by the time her senior year rolled around, she had been rowing year round for 5 years and was physically broken – she still cannot row w/o immediate back and wrist pain 🙁 And she won gold at youth nationals in a quad and took 7th in her single. I regret letting her push herself so hard but she wanted to go to the Olympics so….. Use sports to build character – sportsmanship, working as a team etc but don’t depend on it to get your child into college. Also – don’t be surprised at the amount of “politics” involved in so many of the sports nowadays 🙁 it ruined our experiences with football and baseball.

  33. I learn so much from reading the comments section. Once again, I am filled with gratitude that I found this page!
    This week the butcher at work gave me some pig fat to take home. I used my crockpot to render it down into lard. I was going to use the lard to make soap, but the more research I do, the more I think that I should be using it as an all purpose cooking fat. After a life time of indoctrination regarding the use of animal fats, I am having a hard time with this. I guess I will just have to think about it for a while.

    Have a great week everyone!

  34. JD,

    I actually live next door to my parents! They drove to St. Louis and I flew out. We spent several days together. They saw more things during their driving. While I was there we hung out together; I rode around in their car and stayed in the same hotel. I thought I should get a good shot of the four of us together; it was a lot of fun and I truly appreciate the opportunity to get to know my parents better.

  35. I have a recipe for beet jelly. It uses the juice only from cooking fresh beets (I think you just use beers for pickled beets?). It has raspberry jello and pectin in it. Tastes just like the inside of a jelly donut. I have used it to fill donuts. Yum! Let me find the recipe. Will follow up with that when I can copy the link.

  36. My husband is about 80% back from frozen shoulder. It started in January, he saw an orthopedic surgeon, and got a bunch of exercises to do. Despite the severe pain the exercises caused, he was faithful doing them and started getting mobility back. He’s so so much better now. If you haven’t seen a doc, you might want to. Or, find some exercises to do and keep it moving. Good luck!

  37. Some of my other co-workers said they didn’t recognize me in this picture. She did another make-up on me, a gypsy, which might look a bit more like me, though I haven’t seen it yet. I’ll post the link to that picture next week (it will be posted on her facebook page on October 5th). There will be new pictures each day until Halloween, all of them are make-up effects she did. Feel free to check out her posts each day, if you’d like!

  38. Great pics, brandy. Is that a Veteran cemetery you’re in? My father is buried in the Veteran cemetery in Springfield, MO. I’m glad you had a nice trip and it’s good to have you back.

    I’ve had some good savings in the past couple of weeks.
    * Had a garage sale. Made enough to buy a few things that have been on our list for awhile.
    * $10 Kohl’s postcard in the mail got me a long sleeve shirt for $2.14.
    * Got a 50% off at our hardware store (item $20 or less) so I got a stick blender for $7, as it was also on sale.
    * My husband won a local weekly football contest and got a $50 gift card to a home improvement store. Big woo hoo!!!! That will go toward a new kitchen faucet since ours is a mess. Bought a good name and it’s been a real dud.
    * Haven’t needed the A/C for a week. I love cool fall nights.
    * My dear friend gave us a big bag of clothes that her husband doesn’t like. The ultra cool part is that they are both really tall (over 6’5″) and those Extra Tall (yes, there’s XT!) are pricey. So, imagine my surprise over 5 sweaters, 5 sweat shirts, and about 10 long and short sleeve shirts that hubs can wear to work! And they’re great looking and better quality than we can afford.
    * Our church had a rummage sale and I got a chair for my sewing room for $5 and 2 shepherd hooks for the yard for $1 each.

    I didn’t have a lot of time for projects because I was putting my time in to culling my stuff for sale. Saw a great garage sale sign on Saturday morning. It said, “Make our old junk your new stuff! Come see!”

  39. I have a few frugals in addition to the usual: our July “pocket money” lasted through July and August. I was most happy with that! August’s money was never removed from the checking account so it will remain there until needed elsewhere.
    I made bread at home, which is normal for me. I also made a double batch of French salad dressing and a double batch of granola.
    I mended 3 items. I made Applesauce from a 3# bag of apples–we will just eat it until it’s gone. Those were BOGO bagged apples–the ones I prefer for applesauce are not available yet. Today we went to Sam’s Club to stock up on a few things we regularly buy there. At the regular supermarket, my savings with coupons and store card for the last 4 weeks, were 32%, 38%, 34% and 39%. I am pleased with this–most of it is just buying at sale prices with use of what few coupons I get for items I use. It was a less than energetic week, as I have tendonitis in one foot and am supposed to be staying off it. I have a brace to wear on the foot when I’m out of bed. I am not good at keeping my foot elevated or keeping myself in one place, and it’s not getting better very quickly. I am hoping to do better this week. Loved the photos from the trip!

  40. So glad to hear you were able to work in some fun things on an otherwise serious trip, and how nice to learn more about your family.

    Most of our frugal efforts during the last half of September comprised things we do regularly (harvesting what we can from the garden, saving water, exercising at the park, going to the library, etc.).

    A few out-of-the-ordinary items included:

    * Bought four pairs of shorts for Son and a denim shirt for Hubs at a thrift store.

    * Son sold enough popcorn (so far; he’s not yet finished selling) for scouts to pay for this year’s registration. He will also earn a percentage of what he sells (over the amount needed to cover the registration) in “scout bucks” that he can use for camp or other scout activities. Last year he earned enough to cover his registration and about half of the cost of summer camp.

    * Some of Son’s scout troop served as the color guard for a football game at a local university, so Son and Hubs got to go to the game for free and I got to go for $2. We did buy food at the game, but otherwise it was a pretty inexpensive evening. And our team won! 😉

    * I made taco seasoning and onion dip mix.

    Have a great week!

  41. I had to laugh at the image of someone cutting up onions while wearing swim goggles. 😉 But what a great idea! I’ll have to borrow my son’s goggles if I ever need to chop onions in quantity. Thanks for sharing!

  42. I am so glad your trip went well Brandy! Last week my husband started a job!! 😀 So much less stress and anxiety, for now at least lol.
    I earned a $25 gift card from Walmart through Swagbucks.
    We didn’t go anywhere because we are both working so much. My mom helps watch our daughter for the hour or so between when he goes to work and I get home.
    We cooked all meals from scratching using food in our freezers/pantry and ate at home, even when I was exhausted and in pain after work. I drink water all day and pack my lunch and my daughter’s lunch every day.
    I made liquid hand soap using saved soap slivers. I used the recipe from the Zero Waste home book.
    My printer won’t work, AGAIN, so I went to the library and printed off my daughter’s party invitations and some other things I needed to print ($1.20 total ).
    That’s about it. I’ve been working so much this past two weeks and with my hubby starting work it’s been about survival lol. However, we’ve been to busy to think about spending money! Have a great week everyone!

  43. Thank you for bringing up 4H, Melissa V. Four of my granddaughters and I are involved in the local 4H Club. There’s SO MANY DIFFERENT projects available: photography, jewelry-making, floral arranging, dog care, art, etc. We are encouraged to keep a record book, documenting all community service hours, in preparation for scholarship applications. Our local county fair show holds an auction for kids who do well in the competition. 10-year-old g-daughter sold her 3rd place needlework for $1200 this year, while 11-year-old g-daughter’s Reserve Grand quick bread sold for $1200, also. It’s a source of pride in our county’s businesses to support kids through the county fair. We are involved in non-livestock projects: baking, canning, sewing, needlework, crochet, etc., as those are skills that I am able to teach/share with my g-daughters. 4H is lots of fun for us!

  44. You look great Brandy and so do your parents. You resemble your dad a lot 🙂

    Seems like a good trip, although I am sure you are missing your other children and they miss YOU!

    I did not have time to post my frugal ways this week but I did it twice the week before. I have a girlfriend staying with me, before her move back to Poland so we kept busy cooking, watching movies and talking. It has been a great week but after us being best friends for 10 years I will miss her once she moves 🙁

  45. Brandy, you look wonderful, and SO much like your dad! I greatly resemble my dad, too. I am glad you were able to share some time with extended family.

    Yesterday was my husband’s and my 18th wedding anniversary. We enjoyed a cost-saving date night by staying home. I cooked chicken marsala for dinner (reminiscent of what was served at our wedding reception), along with pasta and green beans. All ingredients were here in my house, except for mushrooms. Along with them I also purchased some pumpkin snap cookies and pumpkin ice cream, on sale, for dessert. We watched a free movie on Youtube by hooking our laptop computer to the TV.

  46. Mm, I am staying well away from baseball, football, hockey, etc for those reasons. Tennis seemed more polite and not as hard on their bodies. I like that all three can do it too. I’m not really hoping for a scholarship, more to make them as appealing as possible for admissions.

  47. What a great family photo; you have your Mothers smile.
    My frugal endeavors are small; it seems i’m always repeating myself. Besides saving bathroom water, washing baggies, etc..
    *I foraged more blackberries and started another batch of wine. The rest were frozen. If the weather dries, i may go one more time. The berries are getting smaller and are less sweet.
    *Several years ago i made some echinacea. At the first hint of a cold, i took a dropper full in water. I did this for several days and never got the full-blown cold.
    *We have a light fixture in the bathroom with four bulbs. I pulled two bulbs out to save electricity. If we ever re-do the bathroom, that fixture will be replaced.
    *I made some rye bread in the bread machine. My husband does not like homemade bread so i’m the only one eating it. So, i froze it in two slice packages for when i want a rye fix. (Otherwise, i usually eat ezekiel bread.)
    *The plum tree has finished so i pulled the plums. They were very small but still delicious. I cooked them down and froze the mash til i decide what to do with them. I also made a few jars of jam and four mini pies i shared at work.
    *The apple trees are also done for the year. I’m happy to say that i have had my fill of apples! (I never thought i’d say that!) I gave many away, made sauce and the rest are in the vestibule waiting to be eaten. It took SEVEN years to get a decent crop. My husband ranted the other day about moving, and i’m thinking, “we can’t move, we just got apples”!
    *I rooted two small cuttings of rosemary. I don’t really expect them to root; my success rate is non existent with such things. But, maybe the plant Gods will look down kindly on me and my meager attempts. My attempt with bay is long gone compost..
    *My Dr. visit was stellar! My Dr. called me a success story which makes me happy. I told him i want to be Jane Fonda and he told me i am. (Plus, i lost 4 pounds. It only took thirty years! Ha!) Non frugal; one of my prescriptions tripled.
    *I sold a few more things on ebay and put in the weekly coke codes.
    *I exercised at home and walked most days, even while working over 40 hours last week. (It’s feast or famine here..)
    *An old friend of the ‘sisters’ died about a month ago. We just found out. But, we all talked to each other about it. It was nice to hear everyones voice instead of e-mail or text. (Hate text!) I also spoke with all of my children. My heart is full!
    *Started more sourdough, my nemesis. I will conquer the beast!
    *Cleaned the basement when my husband left town for three days. What a difference! I didn’t throw out one thing he owned; it all went into labelled tubs.
    *While gone, my husband saw an Aldi’s and volunteered to pick up whatever i might need. So, he came home with 10 pounds of butter. It’s not much cheaper than what we have on sale but it all helps.
    *And, i got a dollar raise from my one-day-a-week-all-year-long job. (As opposed to my every Summer-five -month-job.) So happy! I’ve been there two years; i will never figure out hardware; it’s just not in my blood. I tried to quit two weeks ago and the owner talked me into staying. Go figure…
    Have a fabulous week ahead!

  48. Yes, I am looking at 4H and also Camp Fire. They need to be a bit older to join Camp Fire but there is a group not far from here. I am really hoping to be successful in encouraging at least one shared recreation so I am not dragging across the tri state area. That is really neat about the needlework.

  49. momsav, I have praying for the Lord to help me with this project, since I am not as young as I used to be. I actually think the idea was inspiration, since it was by far the easiest way I have EVER moved that buffet. I sometimes forget that the Lord is all-knowing…as in physics, chemistry, etc.

  50. I agree — lard makes excellent pie crusts and biscuits and is also good for frying potatoes. I can get pig fat for free from a local pig farmer. I find it best to keep it in the refrigerator or freezer after I render it — even with the cool temps here it doesn’t keep long at room temperature, even though I have memories of my mom keeping a pail of lard in our pantry growing up.

  51. Through the generosity of my sister, my husband and I canned 39 quarts of grape juice. My sister let us pick the grapes from her garden that she wasn’t going to use. She even gave me 11 wide mouth jars that she didn’t want/need. I took some in to share and taste test with my colleagues. They were amazed at the results and surprised that we could make it ourselves.

  52. Brandy, I am glad your trip went so well. You take great pictures, I immediately recognized where you had been before I read the captions. I have helped the Boy Scouts place flags on those graves for Memorial day many times.

    This past week I cooked at home as often as possible. Even when I had a bad headache and I wasn’t hungry but everyone else was. The one time we bought dinner we bought 2 meals and split them between 2 adults and 2 kids. I even delivered hot homemade sandwiches to the Taekwondo tournament for my husband and son. Last Friday I got a free lunch at work. My daughter has been practicing her bracelet making and made me 2 bracelets. We found the beads and clasps for 50% off at Hobby Lobby and she does wonderful work. But she has been feeling down lately so I keep praying she will feel better soon.
    I didn’t really do much else that was frugal, except we were too busy to get to a store to spend any money.

  53. I am so happy both you and your husband found jobs! It certainly lessons the financial stress and its wonderful news!

  54. Sept ended bad for us. Hubby just getting over stomach virus and my digestive system shut down during a Crohn’s flare up and potassium level dropped extremely low. Loss food, loss wages, and have medical bills coming in on top of no energy to do much of anything.

    Glad your trip went well Brandy. I did some talking to my nurses about your blog and several of the younger ladies checked it out.

    Blessed Be

  55. That is very touching! My ancestors are in the D section. I went back to look for some graves that I saw for two women as we drove by; one was named Arizona and the other was named Ivory! I didn’t see them again, but then I looked up and thought I should snap this photo of my parents.

    We were visiting another cemetery (much smalller) and many of the graves were so covered with lichens and mildew that even though some of them were only 100 years old, they were almost completely illegible. We were actually discussing what a great project it would be for Boy Scouts to clean them up, and I was wondering how we could ask someone. It’s Burgess Cemetery on old 21, right next to St. Luke’s Episcopal church. If you know anyone who could take on this project, I think it would be a great Eagle Scout project. Not all of the headstones need to be done, but the ones closest to the church under the trees are most in need. I would love it if you would share this idea with anyone in your council, as it may be within your council borders. Any cemetery cleaning would definitely be good at any older cemetery.

  56. A friend allowed me to pick apples from her trees. I took about 125 apples and peeled, cored and sliced lots for pie or crisp. ( I prepared them to be frozen with lemon juice, sugar, cinnamon and a little cornstarch in place of flour so they could be gluten free). I also made some slow cooker apple sauce and some apple bars. I still have more apples – apple bread, maybe?

    I have 4 events for which I need to provide dessert or refreshments in October. I spent part of Saturday baking apple bars, golden pumpkin walnut muffins, brownies – bars and “cupcakes” with Halloween frosting, and regular cupcakes. I also made deviled eggs for the first refreshment event on Monday. I froze everything else so I won’t have a lot more prep. I will make toffee popcorn for one of the events and will slice carrots and celery, too.

    I found a $10 Penney’s coupon at the post office – in the top of the recycling container. I “bought” myself a new blouse for work and a pair of fancy lacy panties for 87 cents total. I packed a tuna sandwich and tea for my shopping trip. I used the mall for walking 10,000 steps on the rainy shopping day.

    My complimentary car wash from getting my oil changed was great until it poured and poured rain three days later.

    I am traveling to Washington D.C. at the end of this week. I am working to use up all the perishable items – potatoes, milk, shredded cabbage, fresh fruit – before I leave for 8 days. I’ll freeze the milk if I don’t use it up and use it for baking in the future.

  57. Been a long time since I was posted. Life happens. Time to get our debt paid off. I just started a part time job which will help. Start to keep track of where our money goes and it’s an eye opener and somewhat embarrassing. Cant change the past but the future can be rewritten. I was gifted apples which I made applesauce, I was also gifted corn which we are eaten for supper tonight. I have found 2 and half dozen eggs for 99 cents. 15 cents hot dog and hamburger buns. My grocery shopping and cooking is changing due to my daughter’s diet due to health issue which means our budget is going up. In the end, everything will work its getting to that point is the trouble.

  58. I haven’t posted here for awhile just never seem to get back to the page after I save it. Sunday evening after preparing dinner I thought of a couple old vintage casserole dishes I used to have they have a divider in the middle and thought I sure could use those for heating 2 veggies in the microwave at the same time. Went on ebay found one for $8.99 and hit bid without looking at the cost $18.96 just for shipping. I didn’t know you couldn’t unbid and I was the only one who had bid on it.. so I contacted the seller and she was nice enough to cancel my bid it was shipping from Washington and I live in Ohio. Yesterday I stopped in my favorite thrift store and found one not as pretty as the one I had bid on but it is vintage and though it doesn’t have the lid it will work just fine for heating green beans, corn, or other veggies it was $2.00. I’m so happy that I found it. I also found a sparkly sequen top to wear to my dh’s company Christmas party for $5.00. I will only wear it twice.. once for this party and once to look festive at church we are a live TV ministry and I think it’ll look nice for the holidays so well worth the price versus going out and buying something new. I recently got a Old Navy visa card and when I use it I pay it off quickly often coming home and paying it back as soon as I get home. Anyways they sent me a $30 gift coupon for their store. I bought a new pair of jeans there yesterday they were $34 but after my coupon and taxes I paid $7.00. I can’t even remember the last time I bought a brand new pair of jeans.. years. I’m still wearing 2 pairs of jeans that my friend gave me when her friend passed away several years ago and she was given all her clothes to give away by her friends husband. So then Old Navy gives me another coupon for buying $25 worth of stuff, good on the purchase of $50 so I will buy 2 more pairs of jeans soon not as cheap this go around but I wear jeans to my job. Another frugal is some of our Krogers have a new program called “Click List” where you go online, order your groceries and come to the store and pick them up at the curb. As you shop it gives you your total so I am able to buy just what I need and no impulse buys nor am I spending a hour or more in the store.. the first 3 times it’s free then $4.95 a trip after that. So while it doesn’t sound frugal it will save us in the long run in both time and not impulse buying. With working 30 plus hours a week and on my feet most of that time, I am wore out when I get off and my days off are spent doing grocery shopping and errands.. one less thing that I have to do.

  59. I have to share our big blessing this past week. My daughter is a senior in high school. She is going to the homecoming dance (this coming Saturday). This is her first time going. Last Friday we went to the mall to find a dress. We went to the “homecoming” section and she picked out several and found one she really liked ($69). Before we leave my mom sends me a text telling me to make sure to check the clearance racks. So we went to take a quick look. She spots one but it’s white and that makes her nervous. When she said how much she liked it a second time I told her she should try it on. It is beautiful on her and she LOVES it. Price? $17!!!! And I had enough credits on my Plenti card that we paid $0. It was like it was meant for her. 🙂

    * got 2 whole chickens for .87 per pound
    * also got a roast on sale, wishing I had grabbed at least one more
    * found some packages of ground beef on clearance. Browned it all. Made a batch of spaghetti and put 3 packages of the cooked ground beef in the freezer for easy meals
    * 2 acorn squash on clearance rack for $1 total
    * was surprised to find 6 cucumbers in my garden. The garden was a bust this year so this was a pleasant surprise 🙂
    * cleaned out my 13 year old son’s closet. Made it much easier to find things and I have a big bag to bless someone with.
    * i was able to order a $50 amazon gift card from a rewards program, this will be saved for Christmas gifts

  60. Brandy, I’m so glad you got to enjoy our Botanical Gardens in St. Louis. We have a membership, so next time you come please be our guest. And what a wonderful photo of your famly!

  61. Paula Deen has onion goggles. We got some a few years ago for our grown kids per their request, and I got on pair for me. I don’t think the price was unreasonable.

  62. I have to disagree with your statement, Brandy, that “Any cemetery cleaning would definitely be good at any older cemetery”. Picking up trash, most definitely, but beyond that, restoration needs to be done very carefully to avoid damaging the stones and their foundations. I’ve personally seen many gravestones marred by people’s attempts at restoring them. Most older stones are much more fragile than modern polished granite that most headstones are made from now. While it would be an admirable project for anyone to undertake, restoration is complicated.

    I have loved cemeteries since I was a little girl. I was just in a cemetery today with multiple soldiers from the American Revolution. The cemetery is mowed regularly. Bushes and trees are trimmed back. Other than veteran markers, there are no ornamental plantings around any of the stones, which is historically accurate for colonial burial grounds. Most of the stones are slate and are in very good condition, but the marble stones are discolored and in some cases, covered with moss and lichen. The town has purposely chosen to leave these stones as they are, rather than risk damaging the stone. This is the case with many cemeteries where I live. Many of the older cemeteries in our area have clearly posted regulations prohibiting rubbings, which I love to do, but no longer attempt out of respect.

    If you are interested in restoring a cemetery, from my experience, most active cemeteries have a board of trustees that make maintenance rules. Historic cemeteries are often maintained by the town or the town’s historical society, though some could be maintained by a church, and many are abandoned (but may still be governed by state laws). In some places, you have to get a permit from the state or county to do any maintenance or preservation work. Cleaning and restoration of older stones should be supervised by a professional or trained/certified person to avoid irreparable damage from well-meaning volunteers; in many cases it is advisable to leave stones alone rather than attempting to clean them.

  63. Andrea,

    You’re right. We were discussing this aspect of it too (my parents and I). We wondered if that would be a problem with damage and if it would not be allowed. The stones we saw were not so old, however, one was from just a few years back (a granite stone with a huge lichen on the top that was 10-20 years old) and some of the oldest ones were just around 110 years old. From a 300-year-old cemetery, I would expect that, but not so much from one that is just 100 years old (with mostly stones since the 1970’s).

    I will tell you about another cemetery that we visited. The cemetery is not well-maintained at all. They mow only a couple of times a year and then the grass is left on top of all of the stones as they don’t use a grass catcher. My grandpa died just a few years back and his stone (a flat one) was almost completely buried in the dirt and becoming overgrown with crabgrass–as were almost all of the stones in the cemetery. His grandmother’s stone, an upright one, was buried into the ground almost completely; I have seen a photo of it before and it was not like that to start. You could see two lines: “Mother; Katie”. Her last name and dates, plus the bottom of the stone, were buried completely. My dad worked to dig the stone out as best as he could with his shoe. She died in 1950, but yet her stone was almost completely sunk. Her stone looked to be much more recent than her death; it was not a style from that time period and looked even newer than my grandpa’s stone. I cried seeing it buried. I have pictures of her and I know how she died (she went back into her burning house trying to rescue her dog). It seemed very wrong that the whole cemetery was losing all of their stones into the ground.

    As we walked back to the car from her grave, I almost stepped in a large hole on a grave that went down more than 2 feet where the grave was sinking in.

    There is also a huge dead tree that is likely to come down during a storm and push even more stones into the ground.

    This was a cemetery where perhaps they could help–at the very least, cut the crabgrass out from around the stones so that they do not disappear completely. We could hardly see any graves as the grass and dirt were overtaking all of the flat stones.

    Some work has been done in this cemetery in the past: at one point, the children’s section was being used as a junkyard! That part has been cleaned up, though much of it is overgrown with trees and undergrowth and only a small part of it is accessible.

    There is still room in this cemetery for new burials, too! I am surprised that it is so poorly maintained when there is space there still.

    I think it is wonderful that the cemetery you visited today was well-maintained. Some of my ancestors arrived here in 1620 (I also have Native American ancestors), including 3 who fought in the American Revolution. I hope their graves are still maintained, but of course, many are not. Some are buried in plots on private land, and some are buried in forgotten graveyards. My mom, dad, and I did our best to remove the dirt and grass from her dad, grandparents, and great-grandmother’s stones while we were there as it was obvious that no one was doing more than mowing right over the headstones.

    If someone were to do an Eagle Scout project, which is staffed by volunteers but run by the boy, permission would, of course, have to be granted and all permits would, of course, be part of the project. As my son is in the middle of working out detailed on planning his Eagle Scout project right now, we have been involved with learning all of the logistics of organizing volunteers, permits, etc.

    We went with the goal to take pictures of the headstones; at this particular cemetery, we had to do some work to be able to see them before we could take pictures. It was very sad. My parents were just about to give up on finding the graves when I found them. They had walked right past them as they were covered with cut grass (as were all of the flat stones) and they had not seen the stones at all. After I brushed off the grass we could see the middle of the stones; the edges were encroached by crabgrass and dirt.

  64. I know that the cemetery where my mother is buried required a vault to prevent the grave from sinking. Do they require vaults? Luckily, mother is buried next to her maternal grandparents, her great grandparents and in the same cemetery as her great great grandparents (her parents are buried in another cemetery up where they lived, next to her dad’s parents.)

  65. Cindy, I don’t know for certain about this particular cemetery, but I was wondering if there are not vaults on all of the graves because of this. In another cemetery, we saw fresh dirt on a grave that had a very old stone, and I wondered if this was the case for that particular grave, and if they had dealt with it just by putting more dirt on top.

  66. What an interesting exchange about cemeteries/headstones! It is so interesting to wander around old headstones and look for the oldest dates. Such an important of history, both personal and for our nation.

    Like some of the other comments, some days I feel like I am stuck on repeat! It seems that living a thrifty lifestyle is full of repetitive choices. Hang the laundry, water the plants with gray water, make meals from home, send leftovers for work lunch…. repeat….

    I am grateful for the time and ability to live and act frugally. Yes, some frugal choices are minor, but little choices always add up!

    Thankful for the changing season, the leaves are beginning to turn here in the Midwest. Each day explodes with more color!

  67. I’m very sorry to hear about your great grandmother’s stone. Newer stones can be carefully dug out and reset by someone trained. Older stones are usually left buried rather than risk cracking them. It sounds like the cemetery association/trustees don’t have a significant maintenance fund. Volunteers could restore the cemetery, but without ongoing maintenance, it will sadly face the same fate again.

    The age of the stone does not matter…proper cleaning and preservation techniques should be used on all stones. Acid rain, air pollution and wind blown dust/grit weaken the surface of the stones, which then allows moss and lichen to take hold. The roots and plants do further damage.

  68. I wonder about the pioneer graves on the trek out West. Did they sink? Maybe the soil makes a difference or the humidity….I know down here it is so very humid but out in the dry West (I am thinking where you live, Brandy), I wonder if vaults are needed???? Maybe all graves sink? I have no idea, but I do know that I was upset that I had to pay for a vault for my mother’s grave, but maybe there really was a good reason for it?

  69. Oh, Rhonda, you look just awful in that picture, which I guess means she accomplished her zombie goal 🙂

  70. Last week I traveled to Florida. Here’s what I did to save money:

    * Flew Southwest and did not need to pay for my luggage.
    * Booked my flight several months in advance to get the best price.
    * Took an airport shuttle instead of a cab and cut my costs by over half.
    * Went grocery shopping for my breakfast food so that I would not need to eat out for that meal.
    * Ate at an organic and extremely reasonably priced restaurant twice (should have more, but that is ok) – about $12 a plate.
    * Purchased gallons of water instead of water bottles to save money.
    * Brought my own tea bags for delicious-tasting tea (and a taste of home).
    * Had a room mate for my hotel room and used the group rate offered to us.

  71. Well, I did research and apparently burial vaults do prevent graves from sinking. Some states require a burial vault. If a vault is not used, then dirt is usually put on top of the graves as they settle. In many countries cremation is done so this is not an issue. So, I feel better about paying for my mother’s vault.

  72. Life continues to send us on a roller coaster, but at least we have the peaks along with the valleys.

    This week I threw a smoked picnic ham in the crockpot. I typically do this once a week with either a smoked picnic or a boston butt. They regularly go on sale for around #.90 and between those cuts of pork and #.39 bagged leg quarters we are usually set for the week. The ham gets used for jambalaya, pulled pork, white beans and ham, ham pot pie, pork stir fry…the same for the chicken.

    We said goodbye to our garden and the last of the eggplant, I am making baba ghanoush tomorrow. We are putting in our fall garden, although Monday our home goes on the market. We have no idea how long it will take to sale and I am hoping any potential new owners would look at a fully planted raised bed garden as a good sign, I know I would.

    My daughter continues to mend from her bunion surgery, we joke with her that at 17 she needs a better story of why she is on crutches than ” I’ve got bunions”..

    We had a 5 family garage sale this past weekend and I made $110.00 not bad for stuff that we no longer need. We donated all the leftover clothes to a thrift store. I’m sure with putting this house up for sale, more will follow.

    Got all the pears put up. Will work on the frozen figs next.

    Not frugal is my husbands phone fell off of a piece of equipment at work and after being run over a few times was demolished, so needless to say we purchased another one. It was used but still ouch.

    I was given some change and I heard an unmistakable pink sound. I knew it meant silver and sure enough I got a silver quarter. I used this as a chance to show my boys the difference in the sound and now they listen for it.

    Finished up more Christmas. My DD stated that while she does not like purses, she thought she would like a backpack. So I bid on a new with tags leather backpack on the goodwill auction and won!! I love the goodwill auction!!
    I’m sure there is more but for now I can’t recall. Have a blessed week everyone

  73. Anne, I was going to post the same thing about the headstone discussion. Count me among those that are fascinated with cemeteries. My family in California was mostly buried at Forest Lawn/Hollywood Hills. That place is pristine so I never saw anything mentioned happen there. The cemeteries here are quite old, but with the dense clay, I doubt anything could sink. Just off the county road nearby is a little cluster of about 6 headstones from around 1900. Most are very young children. They’re not in the cemetery, but the little patch where they are is very well cared for. Maybe a relative or just a kind soul.

  74. Left over brownies also ended up being used in my daughter’s school lunches…even more genius! Sugar goes a long way around our house. *evil genius laugh*

  75. Thank you Rhonda and Cindy! They are finally starting to look up 🙂 So far he likes it, too, which makes me happy. I was nervous because he’s been out of the work force for so long lol.

  76. Hello from Melbourne, Australia! This fortnight, I shop fortnightly, I bought 4 packets of 6 muesli bars for $4.00, 5 packets of 5 wraps for a $1.00. The muesli bars will be breakie and the wraps will be filled with kale or rocket from the garden, plus tomatos that a friend gave me. If I get bored with 24 muesli bars I have porridge from the previous fortnight’s shop.

    Trying to prepare for Christmas early by asking family what they would like.

    I was sick a little last week so I ended buying a lasangna for parish lunch, rather than making something.

  77. Erika, where do you live in AK and your mom in PA? I live in State College PA and my daughter lives in Bird Creek AK.

  78. Lovely pics. I’m going to try planting some lettuce seeds in pots. It’s using high 60-70 here. Fall has started. My frugal things… Bought

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