October Christmas Gifts Vintage The Prudent Homemaker

I cut and dried basil from the garden.

We picked pears from the garden.

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

I gave two daughters a haircut.

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

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

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

October Garage Sale Christmas Gifts 1 The Prudent Homemaker

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

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

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

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

I planted some seeds in my garden. 

What did you do to save money last week?

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  1. You found so many great items at your garage sales, for excellent prices!! We went to a rummage sale because I have a list I am looking for, but found very little at a price I wanted to pay. If I had been able to return later in the day, the prices were set to go way down, but I did not have the ability to do that so…..

    I know the refugee family will appreciate the picture as much as anything you could bring them. Great idea!

    This past week was super busy with extra appointments for the children and 2 days where there was no public school. That translates into 2 extra days of paid work for me. It also ended up turning into 2 overnighters for the kids I help care for. My niece wanted to stay over on Wednesday night and then, once my nephew heard she was staying over, he wanted to stay over on Thursday night. (In fact, he pointed out that he would be free all weekend, and could just stay 3 nights, but we compromised on 1 night) We had a good time. I like to plan one fun thing or outing for the kids when we spend an entire day–part of my job is to get them out, learn new skills, exercise, or do some community involvement with them. It’s very open-ended, which makes it nice. So, for my niece, I took her and my daughter swimming at the YMCA, using our pass. They had a blast, and everyone got a little exercise. I tried to take my nephew apple picking at a farm, but both times we tried, the heavens opened up with a deluge of rain, and we couldn’t. So, instead, we went to a pond and fed ducks and went to the rummage sale. That was fun, too, and we got a break in the weather long enough to accomplish it. He also built Legos for a long time. My husband recently ordered 2 Lego building books like the one you bought, Brandy, off of a used book site for a very reasonable price for him to use.

    On Saturday, we cleaned in the shop for many hours. This is one of those huge jobs that hang over a person’s head…but we got a lot done, which felt good. When we moved out of our 3400 sq. ft. house on 8 acres with outbuildings, into this 1100 sq. ft. house on a lot in town, there were many, many bins left over full of items that would not fit in. Before we moved we got rid of an enormous amount, but there were things we did not know if we should keep or not because we did not know where we were moving to. We have lived here for a year, and have spent several times going through bins, but there were still a lot left. My husband has spent several additional days lately working out there and put shelves up along the sides, and put camping gear, tools, etc. on them. I had household bins left to sort through and that’s what I did on Saturday. We found pictures and hung up quite a few and are donating the rest. We put book on the shelves in the garage, but have no more room. So, I need to sort books and donate more. We filled the back of the van with items we can live without, and Rob will haul it away today. The project is coming along. Hopefully, he can set his tools up soon, and begin to build things, as he wishes to do.

    I did the Costco run I had planned, and stayed within the budget I had set for myself. I got every thing I needed and wanted, including a birthday present. I cooked several items, including a gluten-free double chocolate loaf cake for the family birthday party we were having. I also did refried beans for the same party. One of the things I love about having home-cooked birthday parties is that I feel like I can get the birthday girl (in this case my sister) a much nicer present because I didn’t have to spend money on taking the entire family to a restaurant. We also can visit much more comfortably. We held the party at my other sister’s house, after church Sunday, and had extra family members attend, because it was a special day. We also ended up with 4 extra teens from church my sister invited over for lunch for various reasons…they just joined in the party–they are delightful kids. We made taco bar, which is always a great idea for a crowd.

    We also cooked pork chops, cornbread twice, lasagna, and chicken noodle soup throughout the week.

    I put pictures on my blog. That’s pretty much what I did for the week: https://beckyathome.wordpress.com/2017/10/16/saving-money-and-weekly-update-october-15-2017/

  2. Brandy, my son is in his last year of a BSN program so college is almost over for us. Just wanted to make sure you know you can rent most textbooks from Amazon for next to nothing. We’ve spent very little on books for son #2 verses son #1…we didn’t know the first time around. 🙂

  3. Wow, very nice items! I love the globe.
    We haven’t had many garage sales around this summer. Seems odd.
    We have done quite a bit of traveling these summer months and I have been a frugal as I can under the circumstances, made the best of discounts on hotels and such.
    I have been canning and dehydrating foods a lot this summer.

  4. I started to clean out my closet, which morphed into cleaning out my house. 11 trashbags later, I am still not done, but I have made progress. I rearranged my house in every room to make it fit my lifestyle better. Every muscle in my body is tired, I think. I am so exhausted…lol. I made dried lima beans. I took leftovers to work.

  5. Have you checked Thriftbooks.com for college textbooks? I get great deals on there (not garage sale prices but way, way less than retail) for books for pleasure all the time. Lots of things that are no longer available in stores (I love Susan Branch and some of her old stuff is hard to find). Anyway, my “across two soybean fields” neighbor has a daughter in college for nursing school and said she gets textbooks on there all the time for super cheap. No personal experience with textbooks but it might be worth a try. You get free shipping >$10 and discount coupons often.

  6. Yes I second this. It’s great. I do not recommend getting used CDs. My daughter has had problems with CDs arriving scratched.

  7. We went on a farm tour but spent very little. It’s a cheap entertainment and we love to encourage and support local farmers.
    I kept my grocery shopping under budget.
    I spatchcocked a chicken a la The Frugal Girl. I put the neck, backbone and tail in a small pan and roasted it right along with the chicken. Next is to make a little stock out of those pieces, and I’m saving the chicken bones as we go to make more broth when the chicken is gone.
    I wrote a car dealership asking for a refund for repairs that turned out to be the wrong repairs on our car. I included copies of the paperwork showing what we asked for and what we actually got. We’ll see where that goes.
    I’m planning to go to a nearby nursery that carries fruit and nut bearing plants that are suited for this area. We’d like to have some more food growing at our house. Our current plants are hit or miss on bearing, even taking into account that some bear better every other year.
    We are keeping our fingers crossed that we might be cooling off soon. It still reached 90 during the day this weekend, but the humidity was lower, only 50-60% in the heat of the day.

  8. Well, I mentioned last week that we had to get a new dryer. It was not good in the sense of expense, but it has been life changing (actually!). I realize now that we haven’t had a properly working dryer in 12 years. When we lived overseas (the dryers there just don’t do the trick……not like North American ones) we had a small washer/dryer. Then, we moved into our current house the dryer was old and not fantastic. The handles broke off long ago, and for over a year I’ve been using a pair of pliers to turn all the nobs. Sometimes I would have to run the dryer several times to get something dry. Sometimes it would overheat (fire hazard, I know). Then it died. Well, I’m glad it’s dead (apart from the expense). Our new dryer was delivered and it WORKS. It is really weird putting in a load of towels and going back when the buzzer goes and….they are dry. Laundry has been my nemesis because it has been taking so long for everything to dry (I hang a lot of our laundry but it doesn’t completely dry because of the humidity and cool temperatures so I always need to zap it…but our old dryer never really zapped haha). I finally feel like I can get my laundry to a manageable state. I am so happy about this! And obviously we are using less energy but not having to keep running cycles.

    I got a $10 Amazon gift card for doing a survey. I am using it to order a CD for my grandpa for Christmas.

    I got winter boots for my youngest son for a very good price ($12.00). I used a $10.00 Pampers Rewards coupon to get $10.00 off a large box of diapers.

    When doing a little re-organizing of our upstairs freezer, I found a package of ground beef I had forgotten about. I used it to make a meatloaf and 8 hamburgers. While making the hamburgers, I realized I was out of bread crumbs and had nothing to make any with. I found a bit of Rice Krispies leftover from awhile ago in our cupboard, so I used those instead of bread crumbs. Worked like a charm.

    I haven’t been trying too many new recipes lately, unless I have all the ingredients on hand. Instead, I have been breaking out some of my old favourites like Apple Cake, Roasted Brisket, and Salmon Loaf. I had not made salmon loaf (it uses canned salmon) for a long time – I forgot how much I love it. I loved it so much that I even bought some canned salmon at the grocery store this week to make it again. There are a few new recipes I want to try this month with ingredients on hand, but only if time permits.

    I bought squash on sale for 0.67/lb. And now we are heading into no income for a period of time (for me, not my husband).

    I bought a new lunch pail (my old one was defunct and had to be thrown out). This was an expense, but obviously for a savings because I bring my lunch everyday (almost…not saying I never slip up on this one but I do my best). I waited until stuff was on sale/clearance after the back to school period. It was a small savings, but still a bit of a discount.

    Finally, I used a 20% off coupon for something I had to pick up for when I go back to work. I also needed to get a new pair of shoes (one pair, black) but I cannot find any that I like, that are comfortable and in the right price range. So I am putting off that purchase until either next year or in the spring.

    Have a great week everyone!

  9. I did see that some college texts are available for rent. Two of her bokos for these two classes are only available through the school (they were printed by the school) and the other I was happy to find used to purchase, but there wasn’t a rent option. I definitely plan to look for rent options whenever they are available!

  10. Sounds like a fabulous community garage sale! I love the pearl necklace!

    It was a quieter week for me. My frugal accomplishments:
    – I redeemed Pinecone Research Points for $5 to my Paypal account
    – I made vegan Coconut Apple Spice Cake, using some leftover coconut from my pantry, and since it’s vegan, no eggs! Was delicious! (http://approachingfood.com/vegan-coconut-apple-spice-cake/)
    – I got my hair cut, and by switching to a more junior stylist for this visit, saved $15. My hair looks the same, so am happy with the savings!
    – Redeemed Swagbucks for a $5 Starbucks gift card
    – I made a batch of pesto using basil from my balcony garden, and almonds that I had traded for, and froze it. I added in some swiss chard and carrots tops from my garden to green it up.
    – I put more canning jar cloches on some baby sproutlings, to try and get another crop before first frost.
    – I made a batch of broccoli cheddar soup and set it aside for the week’s lunches. I used 2% milk instead of half and half, and thickened it with dehydrated broccoli for extra nutrition. I also used less cheese than recommended. So yummy!
    – I made a batch of stir-fried bok choy and set it aside for snacks (one of the few veggie dishes that I crave as a snack)
    – Made a ton of strawberry jam using strawberries I bought on sale last week.
    – I bought two outfits to give to the daughters of some friends for Christmas, and only spent $13.45 out of pocket, after I used my Swagbucks gift cards and a 40% off one item was applied, and 50% off another item was applied. I was pleased!

    Looking forward to learning from everyone else, as always!

  11. Jo, what zone are you in? It sounds like you are in a zone 9 or 10. There are a few things that you need to make sure of in order to get fruit.

    1. Are your trees self-fertile varities? If not, you have to get a pollinator for your tree of another variety.

    2. Being a hot climate, you need trees that have low-chill hours (preferably not medium chill and [i]definitely[/i] not high chill. Otherwise, your winters are too hot and your trees won’t produce. In my zone 9a garden, I have the most success with trees that require less than 400 chilling hours.

    3. Are you fertilizing your trees three times a year? Or even once a year?

    4. Are you pruning your trees correctly? Most trees bear fruit on last year’s growth. If you cut that off, they won’t produce. In addition, they bear fruit on horizontal branches. When you prune in the dormant season, make sure you cut off any water spouts (branche that grow straight up) as they are sucking the energy from your tree. You need horizontal branches, with plenty of air flow and light in between for your fruit.

    Good luck with your garden! I wish you much success!

  12. Those are some amazing garage sale finds and great prices you paid for them, Brandy. That is so sweet of you to buy a few items for the refugee family as well. I’m sure those framed photographs will be so precious to them!

    Our week has be pretty much chaos. The teachers/support staff, including the Vice Principal, made some extremely bad judgement calls involving my autistic daughter. It resulted in DD having a massive physical meltdown, the VP cried assault and called the police. As a result, DD hasn’t been to school for days, she has told me she wants to kill herself because she is so upset she just wants everything to stop, and our entire house is flipped upside down having to deal with this incredibly emotional crisis. As a result, I’ve had little time to devote to frugal accomplishment, though we are doing as much of our routine stuff as possible under the circumstances. This week, our frugal accomplishment included:
    *Meals made at home included BBQ hamburgers and hotdogs with green/wax bean mix, stuffed chicken breasts with optional leftover sides, pasta with tomato sauce, plus broccoli and grated mozzarella cheese optional, and roast beef with mashed potatoes, gravy, coleslaw and carrots & corn mix. We had takeout a couple times this week as we just didn’t have the energy or motivation to think about a meal plan on top of the emotional trauma.
    *I cut my grocery budget to help pay for some medications for DD. Since I am currently quite well stocked, it really doesn’t impact us at all. I’ve asked him to lower the bi-weekly cash amount as well, so I’m not tempted to use more than I need to. I’d rather it go into savings.
    *My mom and I did our bi-annual treck to pick up flowers from my grandparents graves. We needed a break from the house, and left DD with hubby for the day. Along the way, we stopped at a roadside stand and purchased a bushel of “C” grade McIntosh apples, a 10lb bag of Gala apples (mainly for fresh eating – they store longer), and a pumpkin for Halloween. We also stopped at the cheese factory, where I bought a bag of garlic cheese curds and a small brick of 10year old cheddar cheese. My mom bought a small brick of marble cheese and a dozen butter tarts. Then we stopped at the chocolate factory outlet and picked up a small stash of imperfect chocolate as well as some wrapped chocolate bars to use in Christmas stocking (BOGO sale for these).
    *I trimmed my own bangs to extend time between haircuts. I usually have only 1-2 haircuts in a year, since I require my hair long enough to put in a bun for my work.

    In case anyone is wondering, yes my daughter is seeing a psychiatrist and has another appointment this Friday. We have an Autism agency not connected to the school offering support and will be a attending a meeting with the school on Thursday. I have told the school that we must have a re-entry plan in place before DD will come back to school, as she no longer trusts anyone there. Her schoolwork is behind, so they will need a plan on how to catch her up without overwhelming an already emotionally fragile child. Plus, she now thoroughly hates school and is likely to be violent again, just to get out of going. So the plan MUST to be clear for all involved. It is times like these that I envy those with “normal” children. When I made the decision to be a parent, this was NOT what I expected!

  13. We’ve gathered the last of the green beans. I will miss them so much. We are still picking tomatoes, peppers, and peas. The spinach that I planted was eaten by something. I was really looking forward to having spinach this fall……oh, well. We’re at the edge of frosty mornings now so I am watching the weather predictions closely. I did have to cover up the tomatoes a few nights ago. For the next few days the nights will stay in the low 40’s so I’ll leave the tomatoes on the vines a little longer.

    I put away all of my summer clothes and got out my warmer winter wardrobe. Taking stock of what I have I don’t see any new purchases on the horizon. I have plenty of choices and things are still in good repair. Recently I found two pair of shoes for a $1.00 each at a thrift store, both in like new condition and they will be part of my fall wardrobe. Both are oxfords, one in tan and the other navy blue. They will be great to wear with both blue and tan jeans that I already own.

    I’ve made chicken vegetable soup with a leftover carcass from a roast chicken we enjoyed last week. I served it with rice that was reheated from another meal. Great way to use up leftovers. I also pulled a ham bone out of the freezer and cooked it off for meat and broth. I will make a pot of beans with some of it and also a potato corn chowder.

    I found butter on sale last week for $1.99 a pound and stocked up. We also bought beautiful russet potatoes, 10 lbs for $0.99 and stocked up on mayonnaise for $0.99.

  14. I love thrift books.com! I bought used exercise DVDs. When comparing prices with Amazon, I have found everything a couple dollars cheaper even used books are cheaper too.
    I’m thinking of buying a few books for Xmas presents.

  15. Check if there is an “international” version of the textbook too. We did that with a business textbook and it was less than half price – even on Amazon. The difference… no pictures of women in it.

  16. Some great finds and great prices! I love buying used!

    This week we helped a friend pack, who is moving. As a result she gave us chicken broth, candy, peanuts, an oven thermometer still in the package and some other random things she was getting rid of.

    We ate all meals at home this week. We started going to a closer grocery store, saving on gas. Its small but has most of the things we buy regularly at the store.

    I watered some of our plants with laundry rinse water and the old water in the dogs bowl when I gave him fresh water. Our rainy season seems to be done, so Im going to get creative with grey water for watering plants, ideas welcome!

  17. We went to Goodwill and found two pairs of girls boots for $3 each. One was the perfect size for my 3 year old for this winter The other just looked in good condition so I will store them a couple years until my daughter needs them. We also found Dora the Explorer DVD set of 3 for $2 which I will use for Xmas present.
    I found a “no more monkeys jumping on the bed” book for my daughter which was perfect because we always tell the story but didn’t have the book. We catch her saying “no more monkeys…”.
    I also found a preschool workbook with 320 pages for 50¢. I was just about to but this from thrift books.com for over $3. Amazing that the things I am looking for seem to be available when I really need them!
    I’m still cooking from the pantry. I’m making rhubarb apple crisp from stuff I had frozen. I’m still working on emptying food out before Holiday sales come so I have room in my freezer.
    I almost bought new Pyrex lids because ours crack, but realized I had 4 boxes unopened in our basement from our wedding 4 years ago. I thought, “what am I saving them for, I need to use them!”. Originally I was going to regift them, but the boxes had gotten damp so I’m glad I’m finally using stuff I have in storage.
    I also rediscovered an old blender from my grandma and used glasses and a food chopper down on my basement shelf. I’ll have to try to use these before thinking I need to go buy something. (I saw 10 glasses at gordmans for $10 and thought it was a good deal but my husband said no we don’t need them. Of course, he was right! We can live with non-matching hand-me-down cups.)

  18. That looks like some great garage sale finds. I’ve been hearing about the escape rooms, but haven’t a clue what they are. I’ll have to do a search about them. I met someone for coffee at a local shop this morning, and asked about getting coffee grounds. Now I just have to remember to bring a bucket by there. I brought a bag of okra to share with the friend I met. I trimmed about 3″ off my hair last week, which I forgot to add to my post. I’m happy to be joining in with everyone here: https://abelabodycare.blogspot.com/2017/10/cockleburs-gossamer-webs-frugal.html

  19. Rhonda, I’m sorry to hear this. Does your daughter still have a full time EA? I hope that you are able to get a good re entry plan in place.
    Sometimes VPs call police in physical altercations because they are afraid of the liability that comes with physically restraining a student. But if they called to file an assault complaint, that is…interesting. It must be very hard to see your child dealing with all this. Based on your comments it sounds like there was a lot of escalating instead of diffusing going on.

  20. I am so sorry you are going through this; I think your feelings are perfectly normal. By the way, I think you are EXTREMELY frugal as you are running a household with an eye toward frugality despite overwhelming challenges. I am in awe of your ability to put mostly home cooked meals on the table under the circumstances. Wish g you and your family the best and offering my prayers.

  21. I’m excited to pick up our Zaycon BLSL chcken breast – 40 pounds (4 ten pound bags/box) for a final price of $50.60 ! That’s $1.27/pound!!! Using their promo code for first time orders! I ordered before and loved the chcken and so hubby started an account and he could use the code because it was his first time to place an order! The code gives $25 off an order of $75 and before the code, their chicken was $75.60 ($1.89/pound)! I already have recipes/plans for all of it and have made space in freezer and I may can some it too!! The code is good through Oct. 20 and it can be used to order BLSL chicken breast now for their next time through in February! By ordering and pre-paying, that will lock in the $1.27/pound price for Feb. One of my daughters who lives locally is going to order for Feb and we will split the box! Here’s a link to it: https://zayconfresh.com/refer/zf182397. The promo code which is good through Friday, October 20 is 25NOW . I get a $5 referral credit if you sign up using my link, but it doesn’t cost anything extra on your part. I just wanted to share that this is a really good price point whether anyone uses my link or not.
    I just finished a client’s memory quilt for her mom using her GF’s denim coveralls and his red wool plaid shirt as the main fabrics. I used some of her GM’s fabrics for background, borders, etc. I am pleased with how it has turned out and am anxious for her to get the batting to me so I can get it quilted and bound! Here is a link to the photo: http://pin.it/xyfxnNl

    I finally got brave and used my instant pot to make mashed potatoes for our shepherd’s pie! It was SO easy- just 8 minutes once it got up to pressure and no babysitting water boiling on the stove!!! Little by little, I’m using it more and more and haven’t been disappointed!!

    Our hens continue to give us almost 4 dozen eggs a week and we are finding so many ways to use them, selling a few dozen to friends and storing the newest ones in the basement fridge so as they lay less over the winter, we will still have some to use!!

    This week, we have completed and had clients pick up another $90 in monogrammed pallet trays- one for a wedding and the other for a “spa” package ( a collaboration with a friend who makes soaps) for a charity fund raiser! We were pleased that the clients were so happy!! And our little home-based side gig has become more and more a regular stream of income with orders continuing to come in! We feel abundantly blessed!

    Our garden is ready for it’s fall clean up and I’m planting garlic now for next Spring/Summer! I was given the garlic and so any of it that sprouts up is a windfall!!!

    I canned 8 more jars of sweet and sour sauce and put them on our basement shelves to replenish our supply! That made room for more pineapple chunks canned form the 3 huge pineapples I bought for 77 cents each last week! My pantry shelves are looking so happy and I am feeling ready for the winter winds and cold to come!! We are stocked in and it feels good!
    Btw- we have a $20 Costco gift card and need suggestions on what we might use it for to add to our pantry! Ideas??

  22. I’m so sorry to hear about your challenging time. I can’t imagine caring for a child with autism, especially since no one really plans for it.

  23. Great day for garage saling, Brandy!

    Before I get to my frugal accomplishments (and there were a few) I have some gardening questions for you and your readers.. We are having a new home built and I am anticipating bringing in new soil. However, I will have at least 12 cf of homemade compost when we move in June, and possibly another 12 cf in the fall, when I will be still planting. The contractor will install sprinklers and grass. We plan to plant shrubs, some dwarf fruit trees, and perennials I’ve already divided and moved to a goes-with-me bed. I also plan to have raised beds for strawberries and asparagus.

    How many asparagus crowns should I plant for a family of 2-3 that likes asparagus. Knowing that I won’t have enough compost for everything, would you put it all in one place of use it to side dress plants. If I one place, where? If you had another load of compost 3-4 months later, in the fall, how would you use that?

    In addition to all of the usual frugal things this week, here is what I did that was UN-usual:

    (1) Gratefully received 3 pieces of free pie–and two of them were pumpkin!

    (2) Continued to work on the 72 hour kits. Every disaster we’ve had–three hurricanes and the wildfires in California–reinforces in me the need to be prepared. The granddaughter of a close friend was evacuated from her home in Santa Rosa in the middle of the first night. Most of their neighborhood burned, but her house has been spared (so far). My friend’s daughter also lives in the area and is holding tight for now. She has farm animals.

    (3) I paid the Mayo Clinic upfront last winter because I did not expect my HMO to cover it. They did! I called and Mayo is sending me a $400+ refund!

    (4) Sold the ladder we advertised on craigslist for $80.

    (5) Cleaned and unplugged both the upright freezer and the downstairs fridge.

    (6) While looking for something else, I bought two pairs of shoes at Goodwill: a pair of black Clarks clogs for $12.99 and a pair of Skechers athletic shoes for $5 (marked $9.99, but had a red ticket). Both are in excellent condition, just shy of “like new.”

    (7) Found a $1 bill in the wash. All monies found in the wash become the property of the washer-woman!

    (8) I visited a small-town thrift store Saturday and got two pairs of pants ($3.50 each) and a top ($2.50) for my DD. All in very good/excellent condition.

    (9) Ground up leftover pork roast and put it in last night’s meatloaf mixture.

    (10) A friend came over last night and helped me with computer issues.

  24. Living frugally in urban Seattle:

    -Another zero driving week (a couple of bus trips- highly subsidized by my husband’s employer) but mostly biking for errands and events. Our rainy season is about to begin – this week – so biking will be more of a challenge.

    -Great library run that kept us reading and watching movies for free entertainment this past weekend.

    -Our piano teacher wants to start doing hour long lessons for my son, but he refuses to increase the price for us. He is such a generous person – I’ll have to think of something really great to gift him over the holidays.

    -I’ve been spending more on produce, especially green produce, but have also been more careful about making sure nothing goes to waste.

  25. This week DH had a total hip replacement. Unfortunately, he is very experienced with ortho surgery -this being his 6th surgery in 5 years. We are fortunate that all costs connected with this -hospital, surgeon, follow up care, pharmacy – are covered by our high deductible health plan, since we have met his deductible. Although he is making good progress with walking with a cane, he has some days where he is really depressed. Hopefully, this too will pass. The other hip (replaced 4 years ago) had a similar pattern – some depression, followed by great improvement, followed by great satisfaction with the decision to have it replaced.

    The hospital is across the street from my place of employment, so I was able to go back and forth frequently and able to work most of my 40 hours (took about 4 hours of sick leave, only.) I also got in my 10,000 steps each day, even though there wasn’t time to go to the gym (lol).

    I am not the enthusiastic garage sale visitor that some of you are. I try to be, but I find them so depressing because we all have so, so much stuff and we don’t honor the materials that stuff is made of very much. I completely agree that reusing things is what all of us should try to do, I just find it depressing to look at all the waste. However, I still do buy items that have previous owners – more at thrift stores or a special charity sale, but occasionally at a garage sale. But even more, I try to repurpose the things that are already in my house. If I can’t then I try to find someone for whom the object is really useful and then I give it to them.

  26. My friend had two theatre tickets that she couldn’t use, so she gave them to me and my husband to use. The play wasn’t necessarily something we would pay to see, but it was a nice night out. It was opening night for the play and the theatre offered some like hors d’oeurvres before the show opened.

    I made eight containers of apple pie filling from the apples I picked at my sister’s house. I have boiled the peeling and cores and tonight I will turn the strained juice into apple syrup by adding sugar and cooking the mixture down.

    I donated a bag of acrylic yarn for a young women’s project. I’m using more wool yarn in my knitting so I was happy to get rid of half of my current stash.

    A friend gave me a container of pesto that her husband made. I used some of it in a frittata and will use the remainder over pasta this week.

    We pay our property taxes on a monthly basis and I was delighted to see that I won’t have to pay anything next month when the taxes are due. In fact, I have a $100 credit for next year!

    As for textbooks, I have been an adjunct professor and would tell my students to buy the second newest edition of the textbook for the class. There were only slight differences between editions–not enough to justify the cost. I could find those older editions for $3-$10 online. Perhaps Winter could check with her professors to see if an older edition would be acceptable.

  27. I am so sorry to hear about the situation concerning your DD and school. We had the same scenario happen to us when our autistic son was 16- almost 17. they handcuffed him because he wouldn’t calm down and all of it could of been avoided since I was in the next room substituting and it was around time for school to get out. We could of just gone home!! Anyways, we took him out because we felt there were other ways to get him educated and socialization. Haven’t regretted that decision!! Of course I understand our children are on different places on the scale but you have to do what is best for your DD. Please accept my support and encouragement. (PS I am a former public school teacher for 28 years and gave it all up for him.)

  28. The dishwasher shouldn’t be on the same breaker as the stove. Sure is rough for you this past week and I am sorry for that. Seems like Murphy might have moved in with you.

  29. Rhonda, sending prayers your way for clear answers and a good night’s rest for everyone in your house! My “mans heart” broke reading about your daughter. Hang in there!!

  30. Great finds Brandy! Legos and jewelry are always good gifts to give- and receive in our household. This week was better in saving money in our house:
    Made and fed about 45 people from frozen roasted tomato sauce and green beans from my garden and the crop gifts I received over the past couple of weeks. Made a spaghetti casserole and there wasn’t a bite left!
    Received more crop gifts for next week’s lunch at Reality Center= 3 large FlowerSquash, sweet potatoes, garlic, onions, and green peppers. I am thinking tostadas.
    Went shopping and got a lot of FREE stuff= 3 Goodnessknows snack bars, 2 of those name brand meat and cheese snack pkgs, a pkg of chocolate chip pancake mix, a giant jug of punch, 2 bags of candy, yogurt, gum and a gallon of milk. Plus had a lot of cents off coupons and used rebate apps to get a whole roasted chicken for $1.00, a pkg of London broil, 2- 5 lb bags of potatoes, eggs and other various items. Savings of over 60% off grocery bill for the week.
    Also went to the mall and used coupons to get 2 free pairs of underwear, a small bottle of lotion and a birthday card.
    Hubby saved this weekend too- an alternator went out on one of our cars and instead of having the shop repair it for over $500- he and his dad fixed it for $60 and a few hours of time. Wish that would work on my car which is still in shop and we have decided to get a new engine and clutch put in with 3 year warranties instead of selling it for parts or getting a new one. We don’t need another monthly payment.
    Brandy- I made your spaghetti sauce over the weekend and used it on homemade pizza twice over the weekend. Hubby said that recipe is a keeper and thanks for posting it. I also made two different flavored meatballs(teriyaki and bbq) I made from scratch with meat I found on sale and what I had in the pantry to make the sauces. Made chicken broth from that chicken I got for $1 and the extra meat off the bones and turned all into chicken and dumplings. We ate all week long of stuff I had in pantry and freezer.
    Was gifted laundry soap to last another 2-3 months. My DMIL gets a giant container in the mail every other month for a good cost and it’s a brand that we love with no dyes and such and it’s more than they can use. She says anytime we need some, come and get it.
    I am still getting cherry tomatoes (which is still flowering) and green onions from the garden. I need to get them all due to tomorrow night it is suppose to get down to about 40 here in central NC with a call for patchy frost.
    Still racking up points on Swagbucks and rebate apps to use for holiday shopping. I did use some Swag points to get a $10 gift card to give to a dear friend in that free bday card I got at the mail. All I had to pay for was the stamp. Groupon gave me back the $39 in credit due to one of the tours I wanted to go on in San Francisco was cancelled due to the fires. Will probably find a Christmas gift for someone with it.
    Well, hope everyone has a great week and I am already have my plans for being frugal this week in action.

  31. I was invited to dinner out with friends at a favorite, but pricey, restaurant in the city. They would not allow me to even buy the pre-dinner drinks due to their selections (rare bourbons). I will bring a better bottle from my wine cellar next week for Sunday dinner as a thank you.
    Did my usuals the rest of the week (combined errands, ate meals at home, packed lunches for work, washed only full loads, attended free zumba classes). A friend cut my bangs, and I hers. I ate mainly out of the pantry (grocery bill for the week was only $11). I skipped a painting class due to waiting on the AC repairman to arrive.
    We had/are having expensive AC repair this week, but it is necessary to eke a few more years out of the systems, and it will reduce our electricity costs overall.
    Sunday, I went to a double feature at the movies on base. $10 got me 2 movies, popcorn, and a bottle of water (mine was in the car, but it was really warm – yuck). Then, since I was the only patron at the second movie, I got to take home 2 buckets of leftover popcorn for my chickens. AND I was out of the heat all day since the part for my AC won’t be in until tomorrow. YAY!!
    I still managed to spend a ridiculous amount of money. I needed to gas up the car, we were nearly out of dog food (I buy by the pallet),and the yard service, housekeeper, and pest control all had to be paid and then there was the AC…. They’re all in the budget (except the AC), but for a week where I rarely left the house (except for work) it felt all too expensive. Can it be November yet?

  32. * I gladly walked to my aunts’ house to save money and get exercise.
    * I prepared plenty of homemade food and a thermos of our favorite herbal tea to send with my husband on a short business trip.
    * Part of our present for family was homemade organic bread and homemade organic buckwheat bars. They loved it!
    * My husband was blessed with one, then two turkey breasts at work for free. We joyfully gave them to our pastor and his large family.
    * Our co-op had organic Gala apples for 2/$.77. They were delicious!
    * As usual, we dried all our clothes on a rack in our apartment to save $2.25 or so per load on drying and to keep our clothes looking nicer.

  33. My mother in law did this when the kids all left home since she didn’t need it for lunch money for them. 10 yrs later…she paid cash for the down payment of their new home. She did 5 dollar bills at first and then added 5 of one dollar bills also. I started doing it last year.It’s what I used to restock the pantry with. Over $2000. Thing is you have to use CASH and not debit…but my son got around it by always getting $5 back with his debit and putting it in his money jar.

  34. She has an EA, but I have been told outright that she does not have a 1-to-1, as the EA is supposed to be shared. The principal told me this like he was doing me a favour. I told them it wasn’t for my benefit that she have a 1-to-1, it was for their sake. There was definitely little to no effort to de-escalate the situation. I think the VP was more interested in being right and enforcing her will upon my child than considering what was best for my daughter. She was pretty defensive when I asked how she would feel if it was her child and quipped back “You don’t know my family. You don’t know what I go through”. I was quick to respond, “You don’t know my daughter, either!”. It’s rather insulting to suggest they do, considering she’s only been there for 6 weeks! Just as irritating is the fact that they should have done a better job of getting to know her difficulties when we were doing the transition planning in grade 8!!! Furthermore, they have set up a very bad situation as well. My daughter now knows that if she is violent, she will be sent home. Since she HATES going to school (even more now with what has happened), she is more likely to be violent, just to get sent home! All said, this is going to be a very rough process getting her back into school. As I told the principal, our school system is outright broken!

  35. I am so, so sorry…hugs. I had to take one of my kid’s out of thee public schools because they did not know how to deal with the issues correctly, and I home (office) schooled him, when I had my private practice. I realize sometimes that is not possible.

  36. You are standing in my cousin’s shoes. His son went through the same thing at public school with the same result of wanting to die, not wanting to go. It took a lot of outside sources and the School talking to the child about their own behavior not being nice and saying they were sorry and telling the child WHY they reacted that way. It was a rough 2 yrs in that school.
    I feel for you.

  37. Laurie, my daughter just did an escape room this summer with her respite worker. The premise is that you are “locked” in a room and you are given a series of riddles/mind puzzles to solve in a set amount of time to “unlock” the door. Solve all the puzzles before the time runs out and you win!

  38. We did not have a very frugal week. My husband had an accident with the log splitter and ended up having to have part of his thumb amputated. After an ambulance ride, emergency room visit and emergency surgery, we were driving home and a deer ran into our car. (I had slowed way down to make sure a group of does on the left didn’t wander out into the road and this buck came out of the woods on the right and charged the car – put a dent in the rear passenger door.) But I’m very grateful my husband is going to be okay, the injury was to his non-dominant hand, and he’s had an outpouring of help from friends and neighbors. The damage to the car was minor.
    We did manage to save money a few ways this week. Our neighborhood had its annual free chipping day. You can sign up to have up to five piles of brush chipped. We were easily able to gather five piles. Our yard looks neater and this reduces the fire danger.
    I purchased two buttercup squash and baked them, then pureed the baked squash. I ended up with 13 cups of squash. I made a pie and froze the rest to use in future pies and baked goods. I like the taste better than pumpkin. I also roasted the seeds. I don’t really care for them, but my husband will eat them as a snack.
    I hemmed two pairs of jeans. Last year I purchased a denim needle and some gold jeans thread for my sewing machines and they have proved to be good investments.
    I baked bread and made pancake syrup.
    A friend and I went thrift shopping in a nearby town. She bought my lunch because I drove. We had a wonderful day out and I purchased a pair of corduroy pants (which I need to hem), a couple of Christmas ornaments (one for my MIL), two cookie cutters, some red twine, and I got ideas for a couple of gift items I want to try to duplicate.
    We’re still eating lettuce, chard, collards, and tomatoes from the garden.

  39. That is such a pretty quilt, Gardenpat! I’m sure the family will love it and enjoy using it for a very long time.

  40. Hello all! It has been a long time since I have commented, but I check every Monday morning! I have been doing the usual frugal things and while some of my family members were stressing over Hurricane Nate and what they were going to do, we were prepared and it wasn’t a rush to the store to “stock up”. I did get a few extra can goods with my weekly grocery shopping run and my husband bought a little extra gas at his weekly fill up and stored that in our gas containers for the generator, but other than that, it was a normal “day” for us. No huge expenses to shell out because we didn’t have anything in the house. Nate didn’t get as bad in our area as expected, so we added those few extra purchases into our regular rotation and we are using the gasoline in our vehicles, so those regular expenses can go toward something else for the next week or so.

    I did score (for free) three food grade buckets from our local grocery store’s bakery section with the rubber seals. I am so excited to get these so that I can store my flour, sugar, cornmeal, and when she gives me another one, rice! Now, to figure out where to put them….. oh, let me go back in The Prudent Homemaker archives and see what Brandy did!!! 🙂

  41. Rhonda, I’m so sorry. You’ve had a hard week, to understate the issue. I hope the school can get a good plan in place quickly.

    My husband sees this at times at the school where he works. Some people are very NOT in tune with autistic/special needs kids and they cannot seem to get beyond what is “being bad” and what is neurological, and cannot be helped. I’ve lost friends over it myself. People just could not deal with my kids, their behaviors, and what they viewed as me being way too permissive. (I choose my battles very carefully and let the rest go. I’ve also been known to bribe for good behavior, even when it’s something that kids are “supposed” to do by themselves). So, they stopped coming around. Many others were much more understanding, thankfully.

    One good thing that is working very well at my husband’s school is that they are open with each other about when they are getting to their personal limits during these meltdowns with the kids, and often he will be asked to step in for another IA to “take a turn” with an upset child. There are so many rules about physically restraining kids, and after a child totally destroyed a classroom, threatening to harm themselves as well as the rest of the kids, my husband was surprised to see that 911 was called. He did not know they did that, as he is new at this job, and they never did last year, ever.

    He is not thinking that suspending the kids in his classroom works well, though, because they do seem to see it as a reward for their bad behavior–a chance to get to stay home and play on their video games.

    Here, if the school cannot provide a way for a child to get an education, they have to send a tutor to them, or provide some other kind of alternative education. I hope they get this worked out for you in a satisfactory manner, soon. Hang in there!

  42. My 45 yr old daughter had 3 hip replacements in 2 yrs due to her bones dying. The first replacement BROKE when they went to get her up to walk for the 1st time… She…okay ??? now does get depressed when the pain and fatigue hits especially when it is when she’s working full time and with the holidays coming up she’ll be working overtime. We try to keep her stocked with Epsom salts, she says they work the best for her.

  43. Wow! I’m always so amazed by what you find at yard sales.

    Frugal Efforts:

    * Hubs and son brought home several items from a scout campout (milk, breakfast sausage, OJ, sugar, flour, canola oil, butter, bread, sliced American cheese, bagged salad, several salad dressings, mustard, mayo, hot sauce, and grape jelly).

    * Made bread, pumpkin muffins, and black bean burgers. It was the first time I’d ever made the burgers. Son was a bit skeptical at first, but then he decided they tasted like a combination of a burger and a bean burrito–both of which he loves–so it was fine. Hubs and I both enjoyed them, so I’ll definitely be making them again. It’s always nice to find a new frugal recipe.

    * One of the boys in our BS troop is turning 18 at the end of this month and will “age out.” His mom packed up several items of scout clothing (two pairs of pants, a hoodie, thermals, and socks) and gave them to us for our son. Woo hoo!

    * Hubs brought home some leftover treats (muffins, etc.) from a workshop he participated in.

    That’s all I wrote down this time.

    Have a great week, everyone!

  44. Dear Rhonda, I am so sorry that your daughter was placed in that situation. The emotional anguish for the whole family is heart wrenching. I cannot even begin to understand how these situations arise. I battled my daughter Sugar Cookies schools for 18 years. We let her graduate on time instead of keeping her in the system until she aged out. Honestly, the stress was more than I could bare. I hope that you and your daughter have all the advocacy that you need. parenting a special needs child is more than challenging. There seems to always be some type of obstacle that I have to overcome for her as she cannot do it for herself. People always remark how difficult my life is. Honestly, she was my first child so I just dont know any other way. I love my daughter dearly and tell her frequently that God gave her to me because he knew I would always take care of. My greatest pain that I suffer is my daughters awareness of her limitations. She knows she doesnt fit in and it hurts her. Her NORMAL cousin got married last week. My short fat ugly daughter was not included because she would have made the photographs ugly. It is situations like this that make my blood boil. How pathetic that some people are so shallow. As she has gotten older it is harder to justify others behavior to her. I will say a prayer for you. My philosophy is to plant my feet firmly and not budge when it comes to her. I hope you have a great support system in place and that you work this out easily. Your post breaks my heart as I have had to deal with these issues way to many times. if you need a friend you can email me. lilliannapickles@gmail.com

  45. We are actually zone 8B, while most of the state is 9 or 10. We’re in an odd little pocket with low, sandy soil, and it gets cold in the winter at times. We actually have the most trouble with late frosts in the spring, well, late for our area anyway, which kill the buds or young fruit. We fertilize some things with an organic foliar spray, which can be done even weekly, but things like the lemon tree I fertilize according to the schedule for our area. We only have three fruit trees right now, one of which is a native and will bear heavily every year if not caught by frost. We plan to look for peaches or nectarines that have low-chill requirements, as well as more berry vines. U of F is developing several low-chill fruits and I’m hoping to get some of them. Our blueberry bush did better before the blueberry farm a mile away razed their plants, so we have planted some more. Thanks for the tips and now I am reminded that my olives trees have yet to be pruned, for all my good intentions!

  46. Brandy you SCORED !!!!!

    I read this blog daily picking everyone’s brains on being frugal . I double layered the bedroom curtains to have heavy enough curtains for this winter. The bottom set is dark brown and the top set is gold and dark brown so it worked.
    I saved my 5 dollar bills and all my ones for our savings. This is how I saved up the money to restock the pantry. I spent most of the week cleaning the pantry and stocking.
    I’ve been canning and dehydrating all week right up until my back injections …
    rest is here …http://chefowings.blogspot.com/2017/10/frugal-week-starting-oct-9th.html

  47. My week was pretty frugal except for a visit to the periodontist. My taste buds seemed to be stuck on ground beef all week: we had meatloaf two nights, but with different sides. We had ground beef, v-8 and cabbage soup two nights and put the rest of it in the freezer–one more night’s supper there. Bratwurst one night with some leftover yellow rice and a vegetable I don’t recall! Another night we had frozen haddock portions from Sam’s Club which were a bit small but tasty enough–although I think they could use a sauce of some kind next time. I made fried leftover baked potatoes with peppers and onions and had corn with that meal. One night we shared a sub sandwich (picked up at the shop) and that covers that week.
    True to past practice, I am getting good stock up prices at our grocery store. This week the Green Giant corn I like was $1 a can instead of $1.99. I got 12–it goes on sale twice a year only for that price. It’s their Crisp Sweet corn that I like so much–comes in Niblets, Mexicorn, and White Shoepeg. I randomly chose 12 cans–we’ll eat them all. EX LG eggs for 99 cents a dozen with a special store coupon, had a raincheck for Scotties tissues for 6-250 count boxes @ $1.13 a box as they ran out the week before, top round roast for $2.99 a lb and I bought almost 6 pounds. I believe that is on sale again this week and if so, I will buy more. DelMonte fruit cups–not the best way to buy peaches but they were 2/4 packs for $4 and I had a coupon for $1.50 off 2, making them .31 per serving cup. They make us a sweet snack in the evenings–we often carry them when we travel as well. Food prices are quite high here and I grab a deal when I see it.

    It has also been warm again this week, meaning no furnace running yet and only a few hours of A/C. Our two warmest rooms are the living room and our bedroom, so we do need AC in those rooms when it doesn’t seem like we should.

    I was amazed at your sale prices for canning jars–used ones around here often go for $1 and the Goodwill wants $2 for them–never saw anyone buy one at that price, however. And instead of leaving bits and pieces of sewing and knitting materials at low prices, they are now bundling a few items into plastic bags and putting a $2-3 price tag on them. I often bought partial spools of ribbon or yarn but I won’t if it has other things in the bag that I won’t use. I do pick up ribbon frequently at estate sales.

    My granddaughter prefers estate sales and hit the mother lode a couple weeks ago. Designer silk blouses @ $25 each, and very nice skirt for $15, and something else I’m not remembering. The blouses had some underarm stains but her mother came to her rescue with those–1 tbsp cream of tartar and 2-3 aspirins crushed and mixed with a small amount of water. Those items came out of my pantry but they did get the stains out, and it was a formula I found on line–never tried it before. She made a paste and covered the stains with it and let them set quite a while and made a great improvement. I have not seen the actual items yet. Granddaughter likes designer vintage, so hopefully she will be wearing these to be showing her werehouses and commercial properties.

    She didn’t realize that commercial real estate sales was an exclusively male thing here until she went to a mixer and they handed her a nametag the moment she walked in–she was the only female registered. Her swag bag contained golf balls, something she has not tried yet, but perhaps she should learn soon! She is actually doing fairly well at it, but it’s only been about three months and I guess it takes about twice that to get a fairly steady stream of income established–sometimes it’s a long time between accepting a client’s offer and the legal papers being drawn up, signed by all parties, and the actual payment received by her agency. Only then does she get her commission. So she has still needed some help here and there but she is earning every week–just not getting paid every week. She will be working on the savings account very soon. Already talking about trading up for a car but she will have to make do for now. She needs to spend on a new exhaust system and thinks she can avoid the expense. I doubt it. She has a VW Jetta — it’s older but it looks respectable enough to me. No dents, no rust.

    Fun to watch her learn things in real life–like going to bed at a reasonable hour, and looking for bargains on clothes. She haunts her favorite stores for sales and mark downs.

  48. You found a lot of great items. Those will make lovely gifts. I like the skirt and coloring book the best. 🙂

    We painted free pumpkins at the library. My son built a free toy helicopter at Home Depot. I signed up for a library card online for a different county. They have a lot of ebooks my library doesn’t have!

    Here are a few more things I did to save money last week:

    Happy Monday, Everyone!

  49. Jo if late frosts are your problem and you are 8b then you may actually not want early chill types, as they bloom earlier (unless it is at the high end of that time). I would aim for 400-600 hour medium chill self-fertile trees. They will bloom a little later. Find out from your nursery what month each fruit you want blooms, and figure out what blooms right after that so you are not in danger of losing your fruit to frosts.

  50. Commercial Real Estate is a bit different than residential. There are many female agents here who sell commercial, so it must be a regional thing. Real Estate is a constant looking for clients; sales can be far and few in-between (especially for commercial deals). No matter which you sell, every deal takes time. Here, a fast sale is 45 days. But some sales can take 6 months. Commercial deals can take over a year to close.

    Many of the agents who work for our company sell real estate as a second job, so that they can have a steady stream of income (because you can have nothing at all in Real Estate; some of our agents haven’t had a sale in over a year, but still have to pay their local real estate dues of a couple thousand dollars each year and take continuing ed classes).

    One thing she will learn–nothing is for certain until you have a check in your hand. In other words, don’t count your chickens before they’re hatched. I’ve seen deals fall out the day they were supposed to close (one of our agents had that happen just a few weeks ago). Don’t count on the money being there until it’s actually there.

  51. We have had a rather quiet week at our house. Many of the tips I have utilized from reading the blog have paid off. The utilities are down and with the SNAP we have received , I am able to put some of this saved money aside to handle any emergencies that arise. I continue to do as many frugal things that I can think of. I am also researching many other projects for additional savings in my future. I redeemed Swagbucks for two Amazon gift cards. I think I am going to continue saving them and use them later. I have some ideas but just really don’t need anything. My crock pot insert has a crack in it. I have been using it with liners, but the crack continues to grow. I am thinking I will wait for the holiday sales and replace it with an instapot. I picked up three gift sets for men at the salvage store. 5.00 a piece instead of 20.00. I have a Shutterfly code for a free photo book. I am going to have college daughter help me make a book for my dad. I need a personalized coffee cup and a framed photo. I believe I have codes I can use for them too.These are really nice gifts that I only will pay shipping for. I am going to use the Snap to buy coffee, creamer and bake banana nut bread for my daughters autistic boyfriend. I will add the coffee cup to it and he will be delighted. Christmas is about done and didn’t cost very much. I carefully chose thoughtful gifts and by using online offers I stayed in budget. Sadly I have had a frugal fail. My debit card was charged 40.00 by a company I had previously ordered from. There excuse was that they credited my account with the 40.00 so I would have a future credit with them to use!!! The company immediately credited the money back to my card. Sadly, even with my documentation from the offending company my new bank would not waive the 70.00 in NSF fees they charged me. This is an account I use solely for online ordering. I had the bank replace my card but the customer service policy made me angry. I have never bounced anything and will probably take my business to the competing bank next door. 70.00 is a lot for me to replace especially when I did not instigate the charge. I have been using Ibotta at the grocery store. I am so happy I can use it with the SNAP benefits.I have been making a mental note of expiration dates on items I want to stockpile next month. Some stores are stocked with long dates and others not so much. I checked Aldis yesterday and see that quite a few items on my list are considerably cheaper. This will allow me to get even more. Well, I gave in and scheduled my next surgery. I have put it off but the anxiety over it is overwhelming. Hopefully this will be one of the last ones needed. My sugar cookie arrives home tomorrow after being gone two months. I will be so happy to have her home.

  52. My college had a Facebook book exchange/purchase group where students would post textbooks they had. Also, my school library usually had a copy or two of the textbooks that you could borrow at 2 hour increments. It is a bit more of a hassle but it saves a lot of money and I wish I had done it for so many of my classes rather than rent or buy.

    Has Winter thought of creating her own blog or contributing “articles” to your website? I think it would be very helpful and refreshing to hear from a young woman going off to college and learning about frugality as she goes. 🙂

  53. Brandy-excellent job at the garage sales!

    I took last Friday off work and spent the day with my 4 year old grandson. We went to McDonalds for lunch. I bought him a happy meal but I waited until we returned home to eat. I don’t like that food but it was a rare treat for him. While there, I got a free large bag of coffee grounds to put in my compost bin.

    We got a few meals of French fingerling potatoes from our garden. We had never tried that type before so just planted one to see if we liked it or not. They had really good flavor and texture and we will plant more again next year.

    My daughter is a kindergarten/first grade teacher and teachers are always having to buy supplies out of their own money. My husband sliced up a cedar limb into 20+ round slices and sanded them smooth and then drilled a hole near the top of the round. My daughter will have her students glue pipe cleaner antlers on and draw a face and turn them into reindeer for a Christmas ornament. The cost will only be for the pipe cleaners so she was excited to have her holiday art project all prepped and ready to go at a very low cost.

    We are having to make another 4 plus hour road trip north to assist my father-in-law. Each time we make this trip, we have to stay in a hotel which is expensive. The best hotel we have found does not provide breakfast. I have started making a batch of muffins and bringing muffins and fresh fruit with us for a quick breakfast in our room before we leave. This is much cheaper than purchasing breakfast elsewhere. We have had to make this trip 3 out of the last 4 weekends so the cost is adding up quickly but it is important to make sure FIL is being well cared for and all his needs are being met. He likes to have visitors and loves it when we take him out for a few hours. He likes getting out of the assisted living facility for a change of pace. This will probably be the last weekend we can visit with him until after the holidays. My husband has a Christmas wreath business and will be too busy with the business to travel. My mother in law passed away almost a year ago so these have been difficult times for my 93 year old father in law. Although traveling to see him is not frugal- we make the trip as frugal as possible by purchasing the cheapest gas we can find, bring our own food and finding free activities to entertain him when we take him out. I know this time with him is very important for my husband and I am very happy we are able to do it.

    Thanks goes to each and every one of you for sharing all your frugal tips. I have incorporated many of them into my daily routine which has allowed us to travel to visit my FIL. I am very grateful to have such a caring group of people to share life with via this blog.

  54. Sure. This is from the Cercle des fermières cookbook séries in Québec.
    2 eggs
    1 cup of oatmeal
    426g (7.5oz) canned salmon, skin and bones removed and flaked
    1 cup of grated mozzarella (although I think any cheese would do)
    1/4 cup chopped onion
    1 stalk of grated celery
    1 peeled and grated carrot
    2 tbsp lemon juice

    Beat eggs. Add all other ingredients and mix well. Pour into a lightly buttered loaf pan.
    Cook 35 minutes at 350F. Let rest for 5 minutes after removing from oven. Slice and serve.

    This recipe was submitted by Huguette Verret

    I love this recipe. The only thing I would add is that it is best served with a light sauce or creamy mashed potatoes. Personally I like it with a tiny of mayo.


  55. I’m so sorry that the situation was handled so poorly, but happy that you have support outside of the school. Have you ever considered homeschooling her? I know it doesn’t work for everyone, but it might be an option, even if only temporarily, to help her through this rough patch.

  56. What lovely things you’ve found at the yard sales. I wish I saw such nice things here. Unfortunately too many are of the mind that what could go in the trash might as well be put on the yard sale table instead. Ugh! Old dirty flat flip flops anyone? lol That’s our rural area. I’ve a friend who does much better in the larger town where we attend church.

    I was not well last week but am all better this week. I still managed a few savings.

  57. Hello Brandy and everyone from Australia 🙂 .

    Wow you have done so well getting all of those gifts and clothing from garage sales Brandy that is such a huge saving on items that would cost so much more in the shops 🙂 . My husband also cuts my hair and I cut his too and it saves so much compared to going to the hair dressers to have it done.

    Our frugal accomplishments for last week included –

    Earnings from internet saved vegetable seed sales –
    – With these proceeds I was able to purchase from eBay 6 x lip balms for $5.80 saving $22.92 in the shops, a 12 pce stainless steel manicure set in a zip up case for $4.38 saving $19.52 over purchasing in the supermarkets, and a brand new set of cat claw clippers for $1 saving $13.15 over buying them in the local supermarkets.

    Other purchases –
    – Purchased 2 years worth of toothpaste for both DH and myself saving 33 – 50% off for $41.95 saving $37.26 on usual prices. You can gasp now my specialist toothpaste is now up to $10 each full price in the stores and we paid $4.99 and only $2 tube instead of $3.50 for DH’s toothpaste.

    Saving for our home in cash –
    – Banked more money into our saving for our home with cash bank account yay 😀 .

    In the garden –
    – Purchased 3 cubic metres of cow manure for $20 which we spread on our 10 x 5mt garden bed and tilled in, some on the front foot path and some on the back paddock lawns saving $563.44 over purchasing the same amount in bags at the local hardware store.
    – Planted a 3.5mt row of beetroot seeds, replanted 4 x 2mt rows of sweet corn seeds that didn’t come up, 2 x 5mt row of pumpkins, 2 x 5mt rows of watermelon seeds, 1 x 3mt row of carrot seeds and 1 xx 4.5mt row of blue lake climbing bean seeds.
    – We also weeded 3 x 9mt vegetable garden beds and the paths in between.

    In the kitchen –
    – Cooked all meals and bread from scratch.
    – Roasted a large family sized roast chicken which fed us for lunch and the rest of the meat broken off made another 3.5 meals in the freezer for stir fries and other meals.

    Water preservation –
    – Used saved grey water from our shower and washing machine to water the house paddock lawns all week.
    – Used saved vegetable steaming water, washing water and dish rinsing water to water newly planted vegetable seeds and seedlings in the garden.
    – Good news is with all the rain both of our 1100lt collapsible rain water tanks are now full to the brim 😀 after being down to 1/3 capacity.

    Electricity savings –
    – Used our solar lanterns to light our home all week and only turned on our hot water system for 8 hours this week saving $10.50 in electricity costs.

    Have a wonderful week ahead everyone 🙂 .

  58. I thought I had left my comment but somehow it didn’t go through! Brandy, what beautiful gifts you purchased. I love the framed print (beautiful print, beautiful frame too). the necklace is exquisite.

    I cannot say that I saved money this past week but I didn’t spend any either. I am about to make split pea soup with the hambone. Today, I was given a trip to the mountains –– just before the mountains is a pond where the wild Trumpeter swans
    stopover to fatten up before they continue south. I love seeing the swans. They were there today. A pair flew overhead and I managed to get a photo. he guest speaker from a talk yesterday gave me some garlic and tomatoes.

  59. Your Zaycon link didn’t work for me, but it might be my phone. When you say pick up, where do you pick it up? I’ve never heard of Zaycon before. It seems like an amazing deal!

  60. Hi,
    Check thrift stores for crock pots…I shop various thrift stores and if I go to four stores, (over a few weeks as I am driving by) I can find a like new appliance…it just takes patience. I just picked up a like new bread machine for $4. I bought a new instantpot last month, I am not yet convinced it is fabulous…it is a good pressure cooker and I enjoy that, but the other functions can be done, at least for me, easier the old way.

  61. Wow! What a great haul!

    Our frugal accomplishments for the week:

    * I found a mug on clearance for a few dollars while out shopping with my mom- it will be a great gift for my sister for Christmas! I’m going to stuff it with a pair of cute Christmas socks and a gift card! It’s the perfect gift because my sister has to travel by plane to come home for the holidays, so the less she has to pack, the better! 😀 I also found an item on sale for my mom for Christmas- it’s an adorable snowman candle holder that I know she’ll love. Between those and my plans for my SO and my stepdad, I’ve gotten 4/5 major Christmas gifts already planned. Now, I’ll just have to decide what to make for a food gift for the family at large.

    * Once again, I meal prepped this weekend- steel cut oats for breakfast, black bean burgers for lunch, and a pork roast and chili mac for dinners. All of these recipes are cheap, tasty, and contain a good mix of beans, grains, and vegetables, with just a bit of meat for flavor. I also made a batch of Arnie Palmer for us to drink this week as a sweet treat.

    * I did an inventory of my pantry and made a list of items to stock up on at Aldi and the Dollar Store- I’ll be running out this week to pick them up. Even with stocking up, we should come in at about $160 for groceries this month. I also found two plastic baggies of coins that I’ll use to check out at the self checkout at Walmart- that way, I don’t need to spend time rolling coins and I’ll have to pay less on my card. I found ~$8 worth, so that should cover our candy for Halloween!

    Other than that, I think I was too busy to spend money again this week. I took some time off this weekend to hang out with my mom to celebrate my birthday, and I gave my new steam mop a try (my floors are so clean now!). I’ve got some soups in the freezer from past weeks that I’ll probably pull out and try to eat up, so the chili mac may get delayed to later in the week, too, though I may package up pork roast leftovers now and have a leftover week next week instead.

    Have a good week everyone!

  62. I went to an escape room earlier this year and had so much fun! Hope your son also had a blast.

    My windshield was original to my 13 year old car and had a ding on the driver’s side where a rock and hit it while driving on the highway. I’ve lived with the ding for over a year but finally decided to get the glass replaced since my insurance policy has a zero deductible for glass. It is so FABULOUS! I smile every time I get in the car as I can see so much better. It is so much easier to drive at night and into the sun.

    I won a $50 Amazon gift card by submitting a guest blog post to SixFiguresUnder.com. I combined the gift card with swagbucks cards and purchased: an ice cream maker, set of replacement Pyrex lids, cabin air filter for my car, two new travel mugs, a netti pot, and two replacement paring knives. I also replaced my cracked, 30 year old Braun hand mixer. My total out of pocket was $22.

    I was out west on business travel for three days this week and stopped by a new-to-me restaurant: Café Zupas. I had the most delicious pumpkin chorizo soup with corn, black beans, and green chilies. I’d love to make this at home if anyone has any recipe suggestions.

    It has also been warm enough to not need the furnace on and cool enough to have no AC. My electric bill arrived and only 320 KW used this month!

    Hung up laundry, made swag goal x1, watched Netflix, air dried by hair, roasted a chicken and then put carcass in slow cooker with onion peels and made stock overnight.

  63. I like the rule that you get any money found in the washing machine. 😀 Unfortunately, the only thing my husband leaves in his pockets is bunched up hankerchiefs…

  64. Rhonda, I feel for you! It is true that it is very rare to get a 1:1 EA. However, this violent outburst actually gives you some more ammunition to advocate for one. Because of my employer, I have to be careful what I say in a public forum, but here are a few ideas:
    A) VPs comment to you was not professional, but I would let it go and focus on the big fish. The re entry.
    B) if your daughter is violent, argue that she needs an EA in order to protect both herself and staff. Obviously you want to make sure the EA is well trained.
    C) does she have a good SERT who is advocating for her?
    D) does her school have a specific program for autistic children? Or is there one in your board?

    Obviously you are your daughter’s greatest advocate. In the public school system the squeaky wheel gets the oil and the biggest fear is liability – keep that in mind as you frame any arguments of what you might like for your daughter. Resources are scarce. Don’t be afraid to go higher up the chain of command while keeping in mind the school administrators may be there for DD’s entire high school career. You can always send me a private email if there is anything I can do. Lifefreedomfamily at gmail.com

  65. It was Canadian Thanksgiving on the 9th and I had 3 friends over for dinner – but I had planned ahead by buying a few things each week and then getting the last few items on sale. I had lots of leftovers so took the opportunity to rearrange and then pack them away into my small freezer section – (aside from the few items kept out for meals last week).
    I only went to the grocery store on Wednesday after a doctor’s appointment but it was just for some milk, yogurt & salad veggies.
    I attended a 4 day convention of mystery writers and fans on Thursday thru Sunday and packed up snacks and sandwiches to take with me each day. It was held at a large downtown hotel but I didn’t want to spend the time or money having to buy lunches each day. Publishers took turns supplying coffee and snacks each day (cookies, quick breads & fruit) and the hotel provided ice water all so no need to take even a water bottle. I did eat out one day with someone I’d met there – we both needed a bit of a break & she hadn’t brought anything with her so I did spend $10 on a hot lunch & green tea – but then I ate my sandwiches for supper that night.
    Earlier in the week I had returned a standing lamp to IKEA – 4 of us had tried to put it together with no luck so it was clearly defective. A friend drove me over and I got a cash refund of $90 with no questions asked. I’ve put the money aside for now and I’ll have another think about what might work for that dark corner of my living room and see if I can find a cheaper option.
    I have no plans until Thursday (aside from tomorrow night’s volunteering at church) so the only thing I’ll need to buy for the week is a litre of milk and some extra vegetables. I’m on a low carb diet at the moment so I go through a lot of vegetables. More and more I’m just trying to stay out of the grocery store – it’s been quite an eye-opener as to how many meals I can still come up with!

  66. Most of the used book sources listed in the above post and in other posts this week list their books on amazon and bookfinder dot com. I usually buy through bookfinder because their postage is .50 cheaper than amazon, and it’s the same book from the same vendor. Hope this helps someone else.

  67. I finally tried canning, I haven’t done that in over 30 years. First time as an adult. I tried strawberry rhubarb jam. It didn’t thicken up. Oh well we used it on waffles. Omg, with a little vanilla yogurt it was awesome! I also received a bunch of apples from a coworkers tree. I made cobbler , bread and canned applesauce and apple jam. I really enjoyed canning angry can’t wait to explore more options.

  68. Campusbooks4less.com is also a great website to buy used text books, I think they may even have a rent option. The website compares a bunch of different websites for you that sell used books so you can find the best price. I was able to buy most of my husbands books on this website, spent 1/3 of what I would have spent at the campus bookstore.

  69. The escape room session your son attended sounds like a great challenge. The whimsical vintage racecar photo sounds perfect. I love anything whimsical and vintage! This week was wet and cold, but good nonetheless:

    -I received a free 500ml iced tea drink that was being handed out at the shops;
    -I redeemed vouchers from surverys I conducted online to put towards a newer model mobile phone (I have an iPhone 4 which regularly freezes, receives only some text messages and frequently will not let me answer phone calls. I purchased a Samsung galaxy s5);
    -used more tomatoes from the garden in my cooking;
    -signed my children up for a free and local Halloween event;
    -towards the end of the month our local cinema is holding a Disney marathon over a few days. My daughter has never seen Frozen so I will take her along. Tickets are discounted as it’s not brand new movies being shown. Before the movie they are offering free art and craft sessions which my daughter will love.

  70. You will never regret the time you spend with your FIL. You are using your financial resources to bless your FIL and not letting him languish forgotten in his assisted living facility. I am proud of you.

  71. Its been a month or so since posting. Crazy busy here but should quiet down now. We had a frost so garden and flower beds are cleaned out. Have done a lot of canning and freezing. Only have 2 large zucchini on the counter to make zucchini salsa with tomatoes from the freezer and the cabbage is wrapped and in the refrigerator. Hope to get shredded and sauerkraut made this weekend.

    A friend had 4 large oaks cut down in their yard as they were impinging on their house. They offered the wood for free. We have baseboard heat for main heat but we rarely use as we have a wood stove that heats the house. So 3 cords of oak for FREE! We did get a gift card for the family at a local grocery store for a thank you since they wouldn’t take payment.

    Starting my Christmas sewing and crafting. Like to sew an outfit for each of my five grand children. Plus it is always a goal of mine to give everyone at least one homemade item. I am currently cross stitching some ornaments right now also in the evening.

    Made a beef roast this week with 3 additional meals from the leftovers. Also made cheesy scalloped potatoes, spaghetti, grilled chicken, and soup. Made two pans of Rice Krispie bars as a thank you-Rice Krispies $1.19 for the box at Aldi’s and the marshmallows were given to me. So cheap thank you treat.

    Going to be in the 70’s here in Minnesota this week. Such a nice warm fall. I will take it as the snow will soon fall! Have a great week!

  72. I know it’s just a typo with auto-correct. But I particularly enjoyed “canning angry and exploring all the options”.

  73. I have never had an interest in being a teacher, despite the fact that my job at the pioneer village museum tends to push me in that direction. Having her home and having to battle DD to get her homework done for the past week has been a huge stress for all of us in the home. I’d rather not do this on a long term basis. Besides, my feeling is the school boards hope they make special needs parents so frustrated that they pull their children so they no longer have to support them in the school system. I refuse to give them that satisfaction. Society needs to learn that there are different people in this world and they all deserve to be treated with respect.

  74. Thanks, J. I’ve been speaking with a woman who I think is a SERT or at least the one who arranges for the supports for special needs children for multiple schools within the board. She has arranged for an ABA support person with the school board to get involved, along with the ABA support person I have coming who will be involved with arranging support us at home. I’ve also made it clear that this incident certainly demonstrates her need for 1:1 support and will most likely need it for the rest of this year at minimum. This isn’t my first rodeo with the school system, and I’m no longer the naive parent I once was that innocently believed the school actually had my child’s best interest at heart.

  75. Hello all! Great finds, Brandy! Last week was a mixed week frugalwise but fun. Our only child was home from college for fall break and she had a ride this time for only $5! She needed some things so I took her out one day. Goodwill was a disappointment. Other stores we found some things and saved where I could.
    One major savings from now on will be our electric bill. When we checked online – it’s $50!!!! Last month before Solar was (finally) turned on it was $300! Whew it’s a big relief.
    Other ways we saved full loads for dishwasher and washer, hanging some clothes, washed bags, Combined errands out and found butter for 2.50 got 4. I am still researching treating menopause symptoms naturally so I can stop my medicines. Any ideas? I would appreciate it!
    My husband had a flat tire and had to spend way too much time to get it fixed but it was only $21.
    That was our week. Have a great week all!

  76. Thank you for your kind words and understanding, Becky. I know you’ve been through similar problems with some of your children and can appreciate our struggles.

  77. It’s definitely not easy being a special needs parent, no matter what the special needs are. Thank you for your kind words.

  78. Hi Mary – I started getting hot flashes several years ago, and visited a naturopathic doctor. Her first recommendation was to eliminate caffeine completely. Giving up my morning coffee and afternoon tea made me very sad….but I did it. Her second recommendation was a small dose of black cohosh (80mg per day). Most of the capsules available in stores are much larger doses (like 500mg). Apparently, if you take a high dose for an extended period, your liver function needs to be monitored (black cohosh can cause problems with liver enzymes if I remember correctly). In my case, this combination of no caffeine and black cohosh pretty much eliminated my hot flashes until recently.

    In the meantime, I had changed doctors. My new naturopath explained that estrogen levels continue to drop as you age, which meant more hot flashes in my case. Also, I had a fair amount of stress in my life. He told me to stop taking the black cohosh, and instead consume 1 TBSP ground flaxseed a day (I mix it with yogurt), and take a supplement called Fem Bal (by Priority One), 3 capsules a day. This supplement isn’t cheap, but combined with the flaxseed, it really helps.

    I also read online that a few minutes of deep breathing a day can also decrease hot flashes. This does help, I just have to remember to do it (and it’s free).

    This is what worked for me. I still miss coffee, but am able to occasionally drink a cup of decaf. Sometimes, especially in times of stress, I still get hot flashes. Natural remedies can be very effective, but it takes a little more experimentation and give and take. I haven’t tried prescription meds for menopause symptoms, so I don’t know how they compare. Good luck!

  79. It saddens me that these things are still happening. So sorry your son as gone through this, too, Annaliese.

  80. I’m too stubborn to let the schools get away with this. She is not unique in her issues and it’s best they learn how to properly deal with these children. Thank you for your kind words.

  81. Wyoming Gal,

    It might help if you remind hubby that there was some depression followed by vast improvement and then he was happy about the other side. I know my hubby has had four back surgeries in three years and I go through the same things with him. I don’t know how you do it working and taking care of him. It is all I can do to run the home and I’m exhausted as well.

    Best of luck to hubby. It helps to get outside or at least to a window with a pretty view.

  82. This week the frugal accomplishments have been slow but they do add up.
    I used coupons at the grocery and got rock bottom prices.
    A neighbor cleaned out his garage and offered two bikes to my grandson Wow how generous!
    Another neighbor brought over some pears and gifted those to us. I made a pear tart and an apple tart from the apples we got at the orchard. We have been eating out the freezer and the pantry and I don’t know if I should refill and won’t until we hear if we have to move.
    Eating up all the leftovers and trying to sell a few items here and there.

    We have a lot of clean out to do if we have to move I mean a ton like two homes worth.

    I don’t even want to think about it.

    I did two returns to stores saving $95.00

    Trying to watch the pennies.

  83. Brandy, the jewelry is gorgeous! Great finds!

    • Used free toiletries, coffee & tea.
    • Still using up items from the freezer and pantry. I used 4 items from the freezer and 5 from the pantry. Had ham and scalloped potatoes, pulled pork with spicy rice, chicken curry soup, steak and baked potato and hamburger helper. DD brought us leftovers, so we had that one night.
    • We found a house to buy and so we are now packing up as we should close on October 24. I packed up our pantry and found some items to give to my DD and DS that we won’t use. We had saved packing boxes for the past year, so we hopefully will only have to buy a few to finish up. Also, DD and Hubby are watching at work and bringing me boxes from there.
    • We took 1 truck load of stuff to Goodwill. Made sure I kept track so we can deduct these at tax time.
    • Washed ziplocs and other bags such as the brown sugar bag.
    • Kept AC at highest setting. I envy those of you who are taking out your sweaters!
    • Hubby had to take a road trip for work. It only cost him $40 in gas, but since they pay a certain amount per mile, he was actually reimbursed $120.
    • He also got free breakfast at work one day from a vendor.

    Have a wonderful week everyone!

  84. Hard boiled eggs and bacon also work for breakfast in a hotel room can make bacon in the microwave. I take snacks for the road and watch gas buddy. The parks are the best entertainment ever ! I am always looking at scenic via google that gets us to the best areas.
    We use our passes to get into many parks.

    We share food when we eat out and that also cuts costs.
    Older people often like to go out for a milk shake so if you know anywhere near him that makes a great milkshake that might be a great outing.

    Wildlife also goes over well and wildlife refuges are almost always free. Look for scenic drives scenic overlooks etc.

  85. Nothing has worked for my hot flashes and I was getting to the point where I was wondering how do other woman put up with this. I sweat almost half of the day everyday like it is 95 degrees and everyone here is already running around in jackets and I have on a t-shirt and I can barely tell that the temps outside have dropped.

    I am going to try the flaxseed.

  86. Dollar Tree has those cans of corn for $1 a few times a year. We like the niblets and I’ve been buying a few cans each trip to $ Tree. Expiration date is pretty far in future. If you run out between sales you might check there.

  87. Thanks for the info! I currently take prescription meds and will stop when I run out because of other medical issues. I also recently switched to decaf coffee because of my other medical issues so I’ll see how I do in a few weeks. I would love to take nothing! But we will see..

  88. Sounds like you have a good team. Even when a teacher has the best interest of a child at heart the resources aren’t always there. It has to come from the school administrators or higher. Hopefully this very unfortunate incident will be a good motivator for them to allocate more/better resources to your daughter. All the best!

  89. The time has gone by so quickly. Brandy, the pearl necklace is very pretty. We don’t wear jewelry and normally most I don’t miss, but pearls seem different…warmer, more natural. You always do so well on your rummage sale purchases.

    We did the usual of recycling, composting, using up leftovers, hanging out laundry (or in if it’s raining), mended and repaired clothing and other household items. We did a little travelling in the last 2-3 weeks, twice over to our younger son’s house…my husband, older son, son in law and brother in law went for a work day. (to recap, my son owns a 100+year old house that he bought from an older couple, the couple still lives there. They’ve been remodeling it to make a separate handicap accessible living area on the first floor for them, communal space for all of them on the first floor and updating a house that was basically vintage everything. It’s a 6 bedroom house right off the college campus. The couple always rented to students and that is where two of my children lived.) The 3 girls and I and my mother and sister in law and daughter in law and my sister and her daughter a 2 of Markus’ girl cousins all went over for the wedding shower and that was a lot of fun. Christy and her son Adam had been living back with her parents since her husband Adam died so she really did not want a lot of household items so she asked for a pantry shower (our church calls them poundings) so we packed up 4 boxes between us…one with food, ziplocs, spices etc for the kitchen, another with garden items and outdoor supplies, one with cleaning supplies and another miscellaneous…scotch tape, pens and pencils, deck of cards, small games and each of us added a handwritten favorite recipe.

    Did not shop much but did buy 4 bags of the halloween candy using sales and the coupons. Opened up the 4 bags and mixed them up and kept 1/4 for the house and sent the other 3/4 out to husband’s shop. Most of the things I want don’t seem to be on sale yet and no coupons. So probably closer to Thanksgiving. Did use double coupons and bought toothpaste, toothbrushes, BOGO vitamins, picked up the Friday free item. Bought milk, 2 packs of bacon for 5.00, 2 celery, 3 bags of tortilla chips different kinds all with coupons. Went to the health food store and bought the Rumford baking powder, 2 cans, and vital wheat gluten, 2 boxes. Bought 3 dozen farm eggs and 10 of the culled chickens for the freezer for soup/stew etc. Wrapped each chicken in freezer paper. That’s all I can remember.

    I will finish later.

  90. I hope you are not feeling like some sort of failure or oddball for somehow not putting up with the symptoms while other women seem to handle them better. (If I misinterpreted your meaning, I’m sorry). A lot of women, and I am one of them, have no menopause symptoms. I had no night sweats, no hot flashes, no insomnia, nothing. Sounds like you are making the best of a bad situation, seeking out remedies that have worked for others. I hope the flaxseed works for you.

  91. Janet, thanks for the good wishes.

    DH is already doing better (after hip replacement) – because we saw the surgeon’s assistant – who told him he is recovering really well and everything looks very good. That really cheered him up. I really believe that part of the depression is connected to the anesthesia and it just takes a while for the body to get rid of the chemicals. Also, he took a shower, using Press and Seal Glad Wrap to cover the bandage/incision area, and felt better. He spent today writing thank you notes to his nursing staff and surgery team and driving (he has permission to use an automatic transmission) to the hospital to deliver them as well as some treats – cookies and fruit. That also cheered him up.

  92. Hi Lilliana,

    I’ve been thinking about your situation with the debit card and $70 of banking fees on and off all day.

    Have you thought about writing your state Attorney General or Banking Commissioner? I’m thinking the company that accidentally ran your debit card should be on the hook for the banking fees.

    Also there are pretty stringent laws in place regarding the storage and use of credit card info, which I believe extends to debit cards.

    Best of luck resolving this and not being out the $70.

  93. I’ve found that when I cut back on sugar, I don’t have night sweats.

    Also flax seed is delicious cooked into oatmeal 🙂

  94. Make sure you don’t have a bladder or urinary tract infection. A friend of mine had lots os hot-flashes and I suggested she get checked for a urinary tract infection. Sure enough she did have one.

  95. Perhaps there is a nice bed and breakfast place close to your FIL’s facility.
    It might be less expensive than a hotel.

  96. That sounds like one of those days that you will laugh about later, but not so much when it happened. What a bizarre sequence of events. I hope your husband feels better soon.

  97. My mother did that with $1 bills when we were young. She would never spend a $1 bill. She joked that her goal was to be the sole owner of all the $1 bills in the U.S. lol. After a few years of doing it she had saved enough to put a new deck on her house and paid for it in $1’s. It is one of my fondest memories of her.

  98. Julie T…could you tell us a bit more about the cross stitched Christmas ornaments? Sounds like something I’d like to do. Is there a pattern on the Internet?

  99. I am finding out a lot. Between two issues – no caffeine, certain spices and more, it’s interesting to say the least. Thankful my husband is watching what he eats and usual eats what I make. I will be trying flax seed. Thanks!

  100. The skirt and jewelry are so pretty together. I like that you also like pretty.

    This week I discovered that we can repay the student loans based on our income. Much more affordable and such a relief.

    My night gown was just so uncomfortable and just not as fixable as I had hoped that I kept waking up at night, so I took advantage of a 10$ off coupon and a gift card to buy another one for 2.50! It’s comfy and cozy.

    I received a piece of cake that I saved for my son’s lunch. I’m not fond of store sheet cake so it was perfect.

    I found breakfast sausage on sale and was able to make 6 hefty breakfast burritos for breakfasts this week with it. I also wash and reuse the paper wrappings and foil. The burritos must be good because DS asked for an extra one for tomorrow!

    We had a real blessing. My son’s been leaving by 3:30 Thursday mornings for ROTC; however his schedule was changed and it was becoming a problem. He is now staying with my brother-in-law’s wife’s sister and husband in their extra apartment in their house. We are so very thankful it is all working out well. We were not sure if it was going to be doable, but it is. Such a relief that it is still a go for this week as well.

    My MIL asked what we needed and I emailed a list. It is not easy to let her shop for us, but we can use the assistance. She is such a blessing.

    Found a few small tomatoes on the plants that I thought were dead. They were gifted to us rather late in the season, so all the fruit is unexpected. Yum!

    Stayed home when I wanted to travel. Saving all that we can. Happy to have a place we own, even if it is small and a work in progress! Grateful to have found a sink in the barn that I think we will be able to use for running water in the cabin.

  101. I took the progesterone cream that you can buy from the health food store. That helped me tremendously! I didn’t have a lot of hot flashes but depression, tears for no reason, moodiness. I didn’t want to be around myself! I’m sure no-one else wanted to be around me, either! I went to a lecture at a local hospital where a Dr. spoke about all things menopause. He mentioned that you shouldn’t take anything for more than ten years. I asked about the OTC progesterone cream. He said even that shouldn’t be taken more than ten years. Our bodies read it the same as prescription drugs. So, I only took it for ten years. My flashes are light, my mood improved in those ten years and I’m not bothered by it too much anymore. (Thankfully!)

  102. Don’t worry, Laurie…we will be envying you in the middle of winter when you don’t have to deal with ice and snow!:p

  103. Thanks Juls! Murphy seems to have found a comfortable place to stay 😛 but we’re keeping our chins up. The previous owner of our house did some “interesting” things around here and wired and installed the dishwasher himself, so it’s not suprising that the dishwasher is on the same breaker as the oven as annoying as it might be.

  104. Becky, I liked the way you arranged the loaf cake with the candy bars in the middle. I will keep that in mind for future use.

    Your canning is very comforting to look at, I know that’s an odd term, but having my pantry like that just gives a peaceful feeling. But do you not have to worry about earthquakes or tremors at all? Are the smaller jars on the right your canned salmon?

  105. Rhonda, we will pray for you and this difficult situation. I hope it is not the case that they are frustrating you to the point of pulling her out of school.

  106. Libby thank you for the kind words. Today I ran back by the bank to pay my electric bill. We live in a rural area and this is my nearest location to pay it. The CSR waved me down as I entered the bank and said she had got it waived. I was grateful but even more confused. I need to go back tomorrow and review my account with her. Strange thing is we specifically requested that if anything came in and there weren’t funds available that it be denied. I keep this account for online shopping and deposit money as needed. 35.00 NSF fees are not in my budget.

  107. Gardenpat, that is a beautiful quilt top. I hole you will be able to finish it soon.

    If I had a $20 gift card I would buy canned red sockeye salmon.

  108. Flaxseed on my list immediately. I just went back on hormones this week. My dad was laughing over my description of being hot and cold. Not sleeping, then sleeping all day. Grrrrrr I actually thought I was past all of this.

  109. Jeananne, we like the Salmon Puff recipe from an old Betty Crocker cookbook. It is fluffy, more like a soufflé.

  110. Last week was slightly more back to normal after recovering from sickness.

    My coworker and I continued to carpool to work once a week.
    I watered the garden from our rainwater tank several times.
    My lawyer finally called with the good news that my permanent resident visa had been approved! So we went out to eat to celebrate but used a 25% voucher. It has been a long, hard and expensive road to get this visa so we’re definitely happy it’s over! Not to mention no more lawyer bills. 🙂
    In celebration of my visa, I wanted to take in a treat for my co-workers and residents as they all have been very supportive. My favourite bakery put together a variety of their cheapest small cakes which were paid for with my pocket money. I took the leftovers home much to the delight of my husband.
    I had a bit of a doozy day and forgot not one but two medical appointments in one day… Fortunately, both places waived their late cancellation fee as I have a good track record.
    We only used the heater twice for a short time each.
    Someone had dumped a can in our front yard but I can actually recycle it for 10 cents so no harsh feelings. It always amazes me how many people don’t recycle their cans and bottles! It takes no effort at all and is welcome “fun money” which we use for dates.
    My work lunches were “creative” as some items had to be used up quickly. But all food waste was avoided and no money spent on lunches.
    My husband went to put corned beef into the slow cooker one morning only to find the meat had spoilt. Instead of buying fast food, we ate chicken nuggets and sausages from the freezer.
    We paid for our honeymoon trip via online banking as using a card would have incurred extra fees.
    I worked an extra shift and have put up my hand to fill some vacant shifts in the next couple of weeks.
    I picked up some free fruit and herbs from our local produce carts.
    We are getting a little better at doing our washing and running the dishwasher at night. This pays off for us as we have a solar system and actually get paid more to feed our electricity into the system during daylight hours than what it costs us to buy the electricity back at night. The only downside is that neither of us want to empty the dishwasher or hang out the washing at the end of a long day. 🙁

  111. Your beautiful pantry reminds me of the one Daddy built for Mother. If we ever buy our own home again (rent because we live where Hubby works not where we want to be) Hubby promised to build me one instead of using metal shelving units.

  112. And here we thought you were talking about your man’s heart breaking. Hubby’s sure did ..we have been there and done that rodeo. I did ask my family member that is a principal and he said their 1st priority is calming the child and 99% of the time just having them talk to their parent over the phone will calm things down enough…unless it’s a kid that doesn’t like school and then it doesn’t matter if they are special needs or not…as we went through that issue with a daughter and grandson that neither was special needs.

  113. Brandi, what lovely yard sale finds! I agree you always seem to find really nice items that are useful and pretty!

    I am not working this week as the older woman I care for had a fall, it was her 89th birthday yesterday too. Praying she recovers as she is a delight to be with. I am using this time to help one of my daughters as she is in her last month of her 4th pregnancy, and working on Birthday and Christmas lists. We will have more kids home for November than at Christmas and so I need to have gifts done early. November and December are our biggest birthday months.

    Today, our triplet grandbabies are 1! Last year I was there for a month and it was a very scary time with a very sick momma and three babies in NICU. I am so grateful to the Lord that they are healthy and we get to see them next month. My son, is deploying for nine months so he is moving all of them to the east coast to live with her folks while he is gone. They will be only 6 hours away instead of 25!

    I had a wonderful grocery trip yesterday. I got 3 packs of turkey bacon, a pack of sausage, 5 packs of kielbasa, a pack of slaw, 2 cartons of juice, and 2 packs of sliced cheese for $5.50. I could not believe it,nor could the cashier but the manager came over and said it was correct. They were sale items marked down and it should last us a month. We will have a daughter, SIL and two grandkids with us for a month while they are back in the states, so I am thrilled to have some nice meat.

    We have a young man from our church renting from us for 4 months, before he goes to flight school. He is a fine young man and we are enjoying his company. The rent is low, but it helps and we are so glad to help him out.

    The garden is slowing down and there are just a few cherry tomatoes and green beans from the summer stuff. The kale is puny, but we are getting chard, lettuce, beet greens and the sugar peas are just starting. The deer love the peas and we may not get much of them.

    I am building a new bed where wood chips were left by the powere company, it is slowly getting composted and hope to be able to use it by the summer.

    The weather has been warmer in central NC, so our power bill should be lower for the month!

    I so love this site and everyone’s ideas and accomplishments. Brandi, you continue to bless a whole host of women around the world!

  114. Vickie, I love your $5 challenge! I do the same but with all my change. I think it’s time to kick it up a notch…maybe I will graduate to dollar bills. That would be doable for me right now and definitely help with Christmas! Thanks for the idea!

    All you ladies talking about menopause and hot flashes, boy can I relate

  115. My daughter learned this the hard way. They had already given notice at the apt when their house fell .. guess the mortgage company didn’t acknowledge that her hubby worked for a temp service and she was a vault teller at the bank… she didn’t make enough to be primary borrower and they kicked the loan out the day of closer. They ended up with their stuff in our garage and them on our front room floor because the landlord had already rented out their apt. Their line is now KEYS IN HAND.

  116. Those are some impressive garage sale finds! I moved into my own apartment my second year of college and it was almost completely furnished by my mother’s garage sale finds. We still have the 1930s dropleaf two person table and woven bottom chairs she found for $30.

  117. menopause 25 yrs ago…still will break out in sweats…but so does my son after eating suicide wings at Chi chi’s 25 yrs ago… you are not alone. I also FREEZE then sweat then FREEZE again even in summer LOL.. such is life. I bet that’s why the women used to carry those hand fans .LOL

  118. I planted 5 crowns of asparagus because that’s how it was sold. Five crowns/package. This year, 2017, was the 3rd year of growth and 1st year of harvest. It was enough asparagus for me to eat every other day for its 4weeks of harvest. After 4 weeks, I let the spears grow and replenish the roots. I hope this helps with your question.

  119. Work is at its slow point right now so I have been working very few hours. More time to do other things.
    -Our orthodontist does a day at the farm every October. They gave us 6 passes so my daughter, her friend, my son, his girlfriend and I went. Hubby had to work. We got a wagon ride, got to pet and feed animals, go in a butterfly house, go in a corn maze and walk all around the farm. Everyone gets to pick a pumpkin. Then they have snacks(huge cupcakes and cotton candy) and everyone gets a goodie bag (an apple, a fidget spinner and a small flashlight).It was a great morning out. We all went back to my house after and I made homemade mac n cheese and hotdogs. It cost us nothing out of pocket. Its for anyone that goes to their practice.
    -My husband and I signed up for a NY Stare preparedness class. It is free for any NY Stare resident . They were doing one at a fire house near us. It was a 2 hour class. Every household got a free bug out bag. It included water, a water bladder, glow sticks, face masks, emergency blanket, tarp, whistle, 6 MREs, work gloves, flashlight, googles, duct tape and a small first aid kit. I figured my taxes were paying for it so might as well go. There were about 80 people that showed up. They are doing them all over the state so if anyone lives in New York you can still get into a class. They have a bunch throughout the year.
    -Went to my cousins for lunch. My sister picked me up since I live on the way. We had a great afternoon and I got to see her new house. Bonus I got to play with her 2 year old and she got to sit for a little while since my sister and I chased him around the yard.
    -I don’t really like corned beef but I had gotten them very cheap. My husband and son love it. I made one in the crock pot the other night and just sucked it up and ate it. My husband and son ate the leftovers happily.
    -My Aldis is being renovated. I have been stopping by whenever I am nearby because they keep clearing out some great items. My best one is I got specialty mustards for 15 cents each for a 14 once bottle. I bought 12 because I make food baskets up for Christmas.
    -It was my turn to bring snacks for work. Some people frown upon home made snacks, so I went to the local bakery and bought the clearance snacks.
    -My daughter wanted to try making her own Halloween costume this year. She made herself a very cute skirt and wore a top that she already owned. She does makeup amazingly (thank you YouTube) and made herself into an alien. She even painted her arms. Then she did her own hair in a cute up do. She had a party already and got so many compliments. Several of her friends asked if she could do their make for another party this weekend.
    -I dropped a bag of stuff at our church’s outreach. They were empty so I had a nice conversation with the lady running it. She said they have been very busy. Lots of people aren’t doing well financially. I asked her what they needed most and she said toilet paper. We have septic tanks where I live and people use newspaper, magazines and such if they run out of toilet paper. It clogs the septic tanks which causes even more problems. She said its mostly older widows. The little money they have they put towards food. I ran to BJs and got a case for her. I will try to fit a case in my budget every month for a while. People always think about food but not about other items.
    -I went for my ladies checkup and all is good!
    -All the usual, hung laundry, wash Ziplocs, brought home food headed for the garbage, brought lunch to work/school, used coupons and Ibotta, watched out for food waste.
    Have a thrifty week everyone!

  120. I wanted to add a small but exciting blessing. Always on the lookout for candles at thrift shops, I was thrilled to find a box of 4 shorter tapers in a pretty pink still wrapped in the original cellophane for 25 cents. When I reached my car I realized that I didn’t have candle holders here at camp and went back to see what they had. Hiding on the shelf were the prettiest pair of glass candlestick holders in candlewick style as well as one tin holder with a cutout tin shade all for 1.25. Some days it is the little things that make such a difference…and a little light this winter as well.

  121. I was so proud of one of my younger nieces when she got married. Her older sisters had been bridesmaids but one sister was heavy and had not been asked to be in any weddings. She is the one my niece chose for her maid of honor. Sometimes pictures aren’t the most important thing.

  122. I think she has learned that part already. She talks about counting chickens a LOT. She has been picking up some smaller leases, etc. from her overworked boss, and is feeling that no job is too small for her right now, and it’s all experience. She has had a couple good deals as well–at least one of those has been signed, she’s just waiting for payment. I’m waiting to make sure she doesn’t blow too much on a celebration of a big check! She has had a couple deals go sideways as well, so she’s learning it all, good and bad.

  123. Thanks for that tip. I do go to DT, but not very often, and I don’t get their ads either. I’ll have to check when supplies get low again.

  124. Those are indeed the jars of canned tuna from the fish that we purchased on the docks in Newport, Oregon, this summer.

    Although we occasionally do have an earthquake, they are very few and far between (like I can remember 2 that I could actually feel in my lifetime). Both were very mild. During one, a picture fell off the wall and the pots and pans rattled. During the other, we were at a homeschool co-op, and we just had the kids get under the table, but it was over before most of them did so. There were a couple of aftershocks with that one. So, although they always threaten us with earthquakes, I guess they happen so rarely that I tend to forget all about them.

    I am glad you liked the cake. I wanted it to look like a birthday, but the loaf cake has enough sugar in it without a frosting, so I never frost that particular recipe. (But then, I piled the candy high……but, boy did the kids go for those candy bars, and the adults, too.)

  125. We had one awful night while we were away the water in the bathtub would not drain making it impossible to take a shower. The toilet would not flush we had bugs in our room and there were other issues. We complained and got our money back for that night and we got a new very nice room for the rest of the vacation.

    When the plumber came to my home the other day to fix a small matter without asking he grabbed an entire roll and one half of paper towels / I don’t use paper towels except for bacon grease and maybe one other thing all year that was a lot of paper towels. He even opened some he found i the basement brand new that I just bought to do this. Is it just me or is this rude!

  126. As a former VP, sometimes they call the police to protect themselves and the school from workman’s comp claims too. If a child with a known issue injures a teacher/ staff member and the school has not taken appropriate actions to protect the teacher/ staff member, they can incur huge liabilities from them and be down staff member(s) while they recuperate.

  127. I am doing some cross stitched beaded ornaments I bought at the thrift store. They were kits. They came from Herschners a catalog order store although they have a store front in Stephen’s Point, WI where they are from. What is nice about these is they all inclusive, floss, perforated paper, beads, and pattern. If you have supplies can buy a book at a craft store. I’m sure there are patterns on Pinterest. Or go to Herschner’s website. They sell kits with 10-12 ornaments per kit.

  128. I’m in my 60’s now and still have one or two hot-rushes per day, usually as a response to coffee or wine. But for what it’s worth, this happened; When I was 54 and in the thick of 40-50 hot flashes per day – I took a job being the guide on wagons that took school kids through an orchard on field trips. There was more to it that this; but I was outside 8AM-3PM at least five days per week. Within about a week I noticed my hot flashes were decreasing. Then they stopped altogether. I had NO hot flashes for the two months of that job. Later, when I got an inside job some of the hot flashes came back, but not as intensely. I also never got sick (exposed to 20,000 kids!) and I slept so hard it was wonderful. Would be interested to see if this ever happened to anyone else.

  129. I had to go back on hormone therapy. I use the lowest possible dose of estrogen patch. Without it, not only do I have horrible hot flashes every 10 minutes, I started having anxiety attacks — and that is just not like me. I still have an occasional hot flash on the patches, but maybe once a week instead of all day and night. And no anxiety attacks.

  130. Gardenpat, I was hoping that someone who lives in the US would give you some amazing ideas on what to use your $20 Costco gift card on, but only one person offered. So, although I don’t know exactly what Costco in the US has to offer (I’m in Canada), here are my suggestions:

    1. Costco offers some great deals on large, bulk packaged items, but sometimes you can get better deals somewhere else. My suggestion is to look at your pantry, note some items that could use stocking up (baking supplies, yeast, toilet paper, etc.) and don’t expire quickly or can be frozen for long term use (such as meat). Know the prices you can usually get them at and compare prices when you go to Costco. If Costco’s prices are better, pick it up. If not, pass it by.
    2. Costco sometimes has some great sales (or at least here they do!). Look around to see what’s on sale. It might not be on your list, but worth buying just because of the sale price point (e.g. special food items you can use for the holidays). These might be a treat, but hey, we all enjoy a treat every once in a while.
    3. Costco also has some really nice non-food items that are perfect for Christmas gifts. I have bought packages that have multiple items or is a bulk package of something then broke up the package to make multiple gifts for family members. The package might seem expensive, until you break it down into several gifts, making it worth picking up. The quality of their merchandise is excellent, so the gifts will not appear cheap, even if you break it into smaller gifts. So, don’t be afraid to look through the whole store while you are there.
    4. That $20 gift card won’t go very far in Costco, so don’t be disappointed if it seems like you walk out with very little. Costco prides themselves on high quality merchandise in bulk packs. That’s why the prices are higher. When you break down the cost compared to the cheaper versions, that’s where you will find the savings.

    Hope this helps, Gardenpat!

  131. Cindi, I am sorry to hear of the accidents. I am glad they were “minor” in degree. We use both log splitter and chipper and they scare me every time.

  132. Kim, how nice you were able to help your daughter with the frugal Christmas ornaments. Many people just do not understand how much teachers actually spend of their own money. I overheard 2 mothers discussing their school lists this summer and complaining about having to send in a box of Kleenex.

    I am glad you are able to see your father in law on a regular basis and you are wise to keep an eye out on his living environment. That is so important. My younger son is a social worker and his area of work is with the elderly and he has seen a lot of unsafe and unhealthy situations out there.

  133. Relief is right. It seems one always needs to compromise something when purchasing a house. Deciding what to compromise was difficult, but I think we made the right decision. The house is move in ready and we have to pay for our lease until the end of November anyway, so we are taking our time to make sure the move in goes smoothly. We sign tomorrow and get the keys on Monday.

    I am so glad we will be in our new home by Thanksgiving, as I enjoy being the hostess for both sides of our whole family.

    And I am so looking forward to being more settled and able to embrace the frugal lifestyle more fully again! And Hubby is anxious to get the winter vegetable garden planted. Me too, as then I will be able to post about what we harvested! 🙂

  134. Since you’re having to go there so often, I wonder if you could arrange some kind of package deal…at the very least, you should be getting credit for nights on Hotels.com. Book them via Swagbucks — you can use my code http://www.swagbucks.com/refer/Brickworks — or even better, Brandy’s code! — to join. It doesn’t cost anything, and we earn about $100 in Amazon gift cards every year, just for regular searches. (In fact, I found Brandy’s site by doing this, and visit it that way, too.)
    At least that way, you’ll be getting SOMETHING out of it. (But I think you’re doing the right thing too, to visit so often. You won’t regret it, especially after he’s gone.

  135. Brandi, looks like you had some great finds at the yard sales. We don’t shop yard sales much. We live 10 miles out of town and most of the sales are in town. It just seems like it would take too much of a busy Saturday to go to them. Occasionally, the area where we live will have a garage sale day, when a few dozen residents will have yard sales on the same Saturday and maps are available leading people from sale to sale (ours is a more rural area with 1- to 4-acre properties, many on dirt roads).

    I haven’t posted our savings for a few weeks, so this is for the last week of September and the first 2 weeks of October. (Is it really the middle of October already?)
    Collected 93 eggs; sold 4 dozen.
    Harvested a watermelon, tomatoes, tomatillos, butternut squash, pumpkins, cucumbers, zucchini, pistachios, green beans, and chili peppers; processed the pistachios.
    I canned 13 pints of veggie broth made from vegetable peels and scraps. We canned 3 – 1 1/2 pint jars of applesauce and I made apple cider vinegar from the peels and cores. We froze zucchini and tomatillos. Had a baking day and baked 2 loaves of zucchini cheese bread, 3 regular zucchini breads, 4 pumpkin breads, a zucchini-lemon cake and 18 zucchini-lemon cupcakes.
    My parents went on an 8-day driving vacation to visit a friend in Washington. They took a cooler with food and bottled water with them for the drive up, stayed (mostly) in hotels that provided breakfast, saved lunch leftovers to eat for dinner, and once shared an entrée at dinner. They received a $30 discount on a hotel room. While they were with their friend, she took them out for dinner once, bought gas for them twice, served lunch at her house once, and ordered pizza once (they had leftover pizza for another meal). She also bought my Mom a cast iron pizza pan because she so appreciated their coming. Mom found coupons at their hotels for free coffee, $8 off lunch at a Mexican restaurant, and a discount at an animal park. They used their senior pass to enter 2 National Parks for free.
    While on their trip, my parents had a little car trouble. My mom considers it a bit of a frugal-fail that they ended up having to pay $95 for a tow-truck to take them about 2 1/2 blocks (long story why they couldn’t use their towing service), but the first time they broke down, the mechanics made a small adjustment at no charge; the second time they broke down, it was discovered that the alternator that was malfunctioning was under warranty from NAPA. Thankfully, the town they were in when they became concerned about it had a NAPA with a garage behind it and a quaint hotel and restaurant next door. They spent the night, Dad replaced the (free) part in the morning, and they were back on the road without losing much time at all. Even with having to deduct the $95 spent on the tow truck, Mom estimates that they saved over $400 on this trip, just by being mindful and taking advantage of discounts and other opportunities.
    We applied for a rebate on printer paper. Mom got a really good deal on hand towels for our spare bathroom/laundry room sink to replace the ones she’s had for at least 14 years; the old ones were cut into kitchen rags. My sister and I bought blouses at 20% off. We bought chicken bedding at $1 off in preparation for our big chicken coop clean-out. Even though it was time for a bi-weekly grocery shopping, my sister and I only spent $30 for food while Mom and Dad were gone, basically stretching the grocery budget an extra week. Thankfully received a box of pomegranates from a coworker. Bought toilet paper and tissues on sale.
    We are having a big BBQ this Sunday at our house and are expecting 30+ people. We are providing all the meat and everyone else will bring a dish to share. When we went grocery shopping after Mom and Dad returned, we found good prices for the meat we needed. Plus a lady at the church (who is such a blessing) won’t be able to attend, but wanted to help; she gave us $40 toward the meat!
    My mom, sister, and I all cleaned out our closets last week, trying to eliminate anything we don’t really wear. A few items were passed around among us. The rest will be donated to a women’s charity. We also each made lists of what we need to fill in to make complete outfits. Old Tshirts, socks, etc. were turned into cleaning rags. I also used some tulle that my sister had brought home from the preschool (it was left over and was being tossed) to crochet a pot scrubber to replace one that was disintegrating. Whew! I think I’m done for this time!

  136. Dear Ladies, just wanted you to know that what you are experiencing are not hot flashes, they are Power Surges!!
    It’s how the Good Lord gives us the strength to keep up with adult kids, grandkids and those wonderful old men we have in our lives!

  137. Thanks, Julie. I just went to their website and looked at all the beautiful crafts under seasonal. Wow! So many possibilities. I feel like a kid in a candy shop.

  138. Garden Pat, the quilt is beautiful and will be cherished I’m sure. I would get chocolate chips, nuts, vanilla or TP at Costco. Vanilla has gone up quite a bit but it’s still a bargain compared to other stores. Unless of course you make your own.

  139. I think it is something that a typical man would do. I don’t think it was meant to be rude. In fact, in his mind, he may have been trying to clean up after himself which is not rude at all. Remember, most people don’t live as frugally as the people that comment on this blog do. Therefore, you cannot assume they things see things the same way as you.

  140. When I have had to have a plumber do work I get out a pile of old towels and rags I keep for messes.
    Plumbing projects do tend to be messy.

  141. Your experience is very interesting. I wonder if it had anything to do w/ the extra Vit. D . . . .

    As a breast cancer survivor (triple positive–estrogen, progesterone, and HER2), I’m out of luck when it comes to any kind of HRT. My oncologist has also advised against black cohosh and soy. I do add flax seed to some of our bread, however. Also, the Tamoxifen I have to take is known for triggering hot flashes as it suppresses estrogen.

    I do find that I have fewer “internal thermostat issues” when I exercise regularly (nothing spectacular, just walking the dog once or twice a day) and when I eat less processed/restaurant foods (yet another reason to cook from scratch). I also try to drink plenty of water. It doesn’t prevent hot flashes, but it does keep me from getting dehydrated when I’m burning up. Coffee and sugar don’t seem to affect me one way or another, but I have heard that for some women these, along with red wine, are triggers.

    Mostly, I just try to have a positive attitude about it all. After all, I’m still here to be having hot flashes. :p

  142. I feel he should have brought his own supplies, or at the very least asked you before using your supplies. It could have been worse, though.

    Once, several years ago, when we had our chimney cleaned the guy doing the cleaning asked if he could use our bathroom sink to wash up. I naively said sure. When he finally came out of the bathroom (it took much too long to just wash his hands) and left, I checked the bathroom. Turns out, he had used our shower! Talk about gross and creepy! I immediately sanitized the bathroom. :p Fortunately my mom happened to be in the house with me. Needless to say, I now make sure that my husband is home whenever we have any sort of work done, and I’ll [u]never[/u] again let someone I don’t know use the facilities. Ugh.

  143. That is such a great idea! I think closer to the holidays I am going to post a suggestion that instead of giving gifts or money that those who are able donate TP and/or diapers to their local food bank. We usually do donations to a charity in the name of our friends and family but this year I think I’ll do that instead as well.

  144. Our very favorite place to vacation in Oregon is Waldport and Seal Rock, on the coast just south of Newport. Love the Newport docks.

  145. I’m really surprised that people turn up their noses at home made snacks Marybeth – they’re usually the best! They obviously don’t appreciate the good things in life.

  146. Hi Janet well to me that is rude as you don’t go into anyone’s home and use anything without asking first.

    Mind you that is the way I was brought up and lot’s of other people aren’t and wouldn’t have a clue that was wrong and think they can have a free for all in someone else’s home. It is very sad that old fashioned manners or just what I call manners seem to have flown out the door and don’t exist today.

  147. Kim- sorry I didn’t get back to you sooner! We just had an unexpected death in the family so I needed to make travel arrangements for hubby to fly cross country for funeral.
    With Zaycon, you put in your town, state and zip code and they show you where the closest pick up places are and the dates/time they will be there. Usually, it’s a 30 minute window of time to pick up- they are very efficient and load box into your trunk for you! Their pick up points are church parking lots and as a thank- you to the church, they gift them a box of whatever meat they are delivering that day!
    I don’t know why my link didn’t work for you.

  148. That particular quilt is being paid for by a client- she brought me the “memory” materials (clothes) as well as background, border fabrics and she paid me additionally for batting and backing. She paid me for cutting and piecing quilt and also quilting and binding it.
    I have 4 quilts that I was asked to cut up into 7 smaller quilts for a client to gift to her granddaughters for Christmas. Not my favorite thing to do, but it’s extra money!
    I prefer to make a quilt on my own and then market it if I don’t already have it earmarked as a gift!

  149. I agree. Where we live the schools only allow store bought snacks so that everything is fully labeled for allergy issues. I understand as my husband has one. It has seemed to carry over into other areas. Some people are also very fussy. I grew up in a house where “You get what you get and you don’t get upset”. My kids know this well. Other people never learned this. Its my job so I try to be flexible. It really is a few people that complain and I really just don’t want to hear them.

  150. We actually did with my Girl Scouts a “Paper Collection” for Outreach one year. They loved it. We got so much TP, tissues, paper towel, napkins and plates. It was great. They do a diaper drive twice a year at my church and it always goes very well. I think your food bank will be very grateful.

  151. I think that is one of the places that will buy back books. My daughter sold all of her books that she could after school. Even a couple of dollars is better than nothing.

  152. I found a winter coat for my son at a consignment store for $7.50. It’s in great condition and that’s at least $10 less than the cheapest new coat I’ve seen in his size. I printed and used a $5 off coupon for the dog food that we typically buy.

  153. Athanasia,
    We had such a drought that many of the ponds are dried up to an extent I have never seen. The pond where i saw the swans is very low and sometimes instead of swimming the swans are simply walking. There are not as many swans as usual. We are all worried about them and hope that the rest of the swans have found ponds with the right depth of water and that they will fatten up to continue their journey south. We are worried about all of our birds. The numbers of hummingbirds are reduced as are the warblers. Neonicotinoids have been found in higher levels in hummingbirds. I will only be buying plants from greenhouses next year that are free of such neonicotinoids.

  154. Oh…I don’t know what happened to the rest of my comment!
    Mary, so far I mostly notice that MOODINESS and the blues is my main problem that I attribute to peri-menopause/menopause. For that I’ve found that lecithin supplement (fairly inexpensive) seems to help me a lot. I occasionally will take St. Johns wort as well.
    For a little over a decade, I suffered one day of major bleeding one day of my TOM (sorry for the tmi) every month. It was so heavy I would be cautious about going out of the house for too long of a time. I also suffered debilitating “hormonal” headaches of migraine epicness every month (is that a word? lol) that I would have to take to bed with. I finally found a prescription medications that worked, and after much trial and error, I realized that if I would take note of the oncoming headache symptoms and take the medicine BEFORE I had a full blown migraine, it would really make a huge difference in the intensity of the pain and nausea. I never really equated either with peri menopause or menopause, but now, hindsight being 20/20, I do believe it was all related.

  155. Thanks for replying. I will have to keep it in mind. I’m watching sales on chicken breasts. I know they go as low as $1.88/ lb but I think I remember seeing lower on loss leaders. I’m buying hindquarters at 59¢/lb. until a really good deal on meat comes again.

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