Fall Piano Arrangement The Prudent Homemaker

I harvested Swiss chard, a few tiny cherry tomatoes, 2 tiny butternut squash, a small bell pepper, a small lemon, a small parsnip, and 2 beets from the garden.

I planted seeds in the garden for lettuce and snow peas.

I combined errands to save gas.

I needed an item of clothing and went to two thrift stores in search of it. The first had nothing, but the second had some options. I tried on 12 of that item (in 2 sizes, in case of shrinkage) and only one garment fit. That one had no price tag. All of the others had a price of $5-$6. At the register, the cashier called the manager for a price, and I was able to buy the item for only $3!

My husband cut my hair.

We were diligent about our electricity usage and were able to use $5 less of electricity over the week before. I had made saving $5 our goal for the week. I have challenged the children to help me save another $5 next week, which should be more difficult (but hopefully doable!)

I found a place to perform a much-need service for $45, which is much less than the $250 we had been quoted elsewhere. I also found a place that will do it for free, so I’ll be going for the free option. It’s not as detailed as the $45 option, but it will do and keep me in budget.

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

I made some homemade leave-in conditioner using a teaspoon of regular conditioner in a squirt bottle with water (just shake to combine).

I was invited to a dinner (a catered event). The next day I was texted to ask if I would like some of the leftovers for my family. I picked them up and we ate them for the next day’s lunch.

I figured out two gifts I can make for my eldest son for Christmas using fabric I have on hand.

I also figured out something I can make (using fabric I have on hand) as a wedding gift for my nephew and his bride, who will be married next month.  I looked through all of their registries as well to have a good idea of the style and color preferences of the bride. They will be married a week before Christmas. I will make them two Christmas stockings.


What did you do to save money last week?


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  1. I was responsible for organizing a lunch for 70 people at work to celebrate veteran’s day. I took home some of the leftovers – about 2 lbs. of grilled hamburger, which I crumbled and put into smaller packages in the freezer, about a pound of grilled sausage, which I sliced and froze to use in a bean dish or dishes. some sliced tomatoes, which I put in salads and a package of lettuce. I also took my husband a nice piece of cake. I’ll use the leftover apples, cuties and grapes for a potluck on Wednesday this week and take home any leftovers.

    I was given a few gifts by a tribal group because I helped with their visit to the museum. I will give these to my husband for Christmas – a mug and an acrylic blanket – since he likes American Indian objects.

    Instead of paying a cleaner to press several pairs of drapes, my husband patiently ironed them and they look so much better.

    I made microwave caramels for the first time. They are tasty – but I don’t know that they are frugal. The butter and brown sugar that I used had been on sale, but the sweetened condensed milk seems a bit pricey to me. I wrapped the pieces in wax paper and froze them for Christmas.

    I made two different soups in the slow cooker – tomato basil and a vegetable/chicken soup to which I added quick barley. I have been eating them with whole wheat biscuits and green salads.

  2. This has been a very busy week for us. First of all we went to school orientation and had an interview for my soon to be first grader. He received several juice boxes and candies. Then at the interview he got a coffee mug. I was unable to attend a children’s clothing swap but my friend grabbed a few things for me including a London Fog jacket for my son and a much needed baby snow suit I’ll give to a friend of mine.

    I attended another swap with a few friends and we had a fun time. I also scored quite a few things:

    20 balls of yarn! I want to learn to crotchet while I’m in the hospital.
    1 small cooler to use for picnics
    arm floaties for the pool
    2 new packages of sanitary napkins
    a box of tampons
    13 books
    a box of mini oragami paper. My son has expressed an interest in origami lately.
    A big roll of medical tape
    a big bottle of italian organic lemon juice
    4 dish scrubbers
    1 pair of Levi’s jeans
    1 coffee tumbler
    a can of sunscreen
    3 new bars of soap
    cuticle conditioner
    1 puzzle
    a huge bag of pens and pencils. With my son going to first grade in March they are much needed.
    3 shirts
    1 hiking hat
    1 bottle of Keihls Lotion
    2 sleeping bags
    1 disposable rain coat
    3 new pokemon stuffed toys that will be put under the tree on Christmas day.

    My friend gave me 7 lbs of whole wheat pasta, 7 lbs of brown rice, a can of garbanzo beans, and 2 lbs of dry beans. They are much needed!

    I’ve sold some toys and suitcases that I now longer need making a few dollars for an upcoming move. I plan on listing more this week.

    A local mall was having a Pokemon Go event. It happened on the same day as my husbands birthday. We combined hunting for rare pokemon and a birthday lunch. We also completed a task and recieved 2 paper pikachu hats and 2 bottles of juice. My son had plenty of opportunities to have his picture taken with his favorite pokemons.

  3. I love your flower arrangement. Ours are not doing well anymore–too wet, rainy and we’ve had a couple of frosts. So, my husband brought home a tiny pot of chrysanthemums and they are very cheerful on my little table by the couch.

    We did more cleaning in our shop. It’s a huge job because we stacked it full of many, many extra bins of items from when we moved in a year ago. Our other house was 3x the size of this one and although we got rid of tons and tons of stuff, we still are sorting and purging. The best part was getting my fabric unearthed and placed on a shelf so that I can find it!! I was able to sew 2 skirts for our Operation Christmas Child boxes. It was so gratifying because I really, really didn’t want to buy fabric when I knew I had some that would work and be nice.

    We heated with wood all week.

    I cooked scrambled eggs, Swiss steak w/mashed potatoes and gravy in the crock pot, breaded chicken, 2 kinds of soup, and a few other things. I removed several items from the freezers and canning cupboards and used them. I have meatballs and spaghetti sauce thawed for tomorrow’s dinner. I work from 2-6 and it makes an easy-to-grab meal if people get hungry before I arrive home by 6:30. And, I can eat right away when I get home.

    We had a call that the 1/4 beef we ordered last spring is at the butcher’s. We need to call and tell them how to cut it, and it will be ready in a couple more weeks. So, I continue emptying the freezer to make room.

    I did more extra cleaning and organizing and a little decoration, to prepare for Thanksgiving. I’m very busy that week with my kids and my niece and nephew, since there’s no school. However, my husband doesn’t have school, either, except for a training Monday morning, so he will help watch the bunch of them and help get Thanksgiving dinner ready. Everyone is going to bring most of the meal anyway. It should be fun, and mostly done ahead of time, so relaxing.

    We have a tour of the state capitol building planned for Tuesday for home school. Our congressman is going to show us around. It should be fun and educational.

    We did take my niece and nephew to the library, as well. They enjoyed it. There was no school last Friday, so we had my nephew all day. We took him with us when we went to do errands, and stopped off at a pond to feed ducks with some old buns his mama gave us. We used a coupon I had for a buy one-get one for free McDonald’s Happy Meal. He seemed starving that day, and we filled him up with as much food as he could eat. He needs all the calories he can get, since he often doesn’t have much of an appetite.

    Pictures are on my blog, as usual. It would be so great if we could post pictures in our comments some day, but until them… https://beckyathome.wordpress.com/2017/11/12/saving-money-and-weekly-update-november-11-2017/

  4. Love your Christmas stockings wedding gift idea. Have you seen the stockings where one says ‘Mr’ & the other says ‘Mrs’? That would be fitting for the occasion.

    Our week has been great. Accomplishments were:

    -worked out I have not been paid enough over the last 5 years by my employer. This backpay will go into paying down our mortgage;

    -gratefully received dinner for my family at a friends house;

    -attended french playgroup as per usual;

    -looked at french exchange programs for when my children are 14 years old+;

    -lined dried all clothes as per usual and kept electricity costs to a minimum ($75 average per month);

    -booked my daughter into a christmas event at the Alliance Francaise and due to booking early I received a 20% discount;

    -shopped for fruit and vegetables at the farmers market;

    -bought some clothes for myself after a 2 year no buying spree. 3 dresses, shorts, shirt. Now I just need a pair of sandals and i am goid for another long while;

    -booked in to get a haircut after going without for 10 months;

    -Christmas shopping is almost complete and I hope to come in at a grand total of $350 for 25 people. This is higher than previous years;

    -feeling mindful and practising positive affirmations.

  5. I have been blessed this week with much needed and unexpected money. College girl and I opened up new bank accounts near her home. Each account comes with a 200.00 bonus in 90 days. This was a surprise to us. I purchased a phone and added my late husband’s brother to my phone account. Stage 4 cancer has had him unemployed for awhile. He sent me 120.00 to cover the money I spent. It was so not necessary but he insisted since he is back at work. College daughter gave me a 1000.00 I had spent on her schooling this past year. I had not asked her to repay me and was touched that she is so considerate of my money issues. I applied for my sugar cookie a free state park pass with her disability papers. I found a lovely pair of LLBean bedroom slippers at the thrift store for 3.00 . I bought 10 boxes of pasta for 49 cents a box. I bought 20 boxes of brownie mix for 25 cents a box. I picked up free products w digital coupons at several stores. I have a ton of yogurt to take to my daughter and her roommate’s. These freebies are really starting to add up. I continue to enter contests each night. I won a 2018 season pass to Six Flags and a refillable soda bottle from Coca Cola. I will give this to him for his birthday in December. I am honestly shocked to have won three prizes the last four weeks. I would really like to win a vacation to take sugar cookie on. I used a coupon to get my pain meds for 75% off. I was shocked after surgery to find that they cut into my neck ,thru both sides of my throat and into my spine. He took 4 vertebrae out. We havent used our heat yet and hope to hold out a while longer. I did color my hair using half the box. I put a pale blue on it and it is gorgeous. It made the white a silver and the other a dark gray. Now to just grow it out.

  6. Hello Brandy and everyone from Australia 🙂 . How wonderful Brandy you were able to get the clothing at a cheaper price and could reduce your electricity bill, that is the way to do it by getting all the family involved in cost savings.

    Here is our frugal accomplishments for the week –

    Trading/Swapping –
    – Organised with our former next door neighbour to put 10 bee hives on our property in exchange for receiving 15kg of honey a year for free saving $129 per year on buying it. This is a true blessing as it will keep us in honey without purchasing any and we will have wonderful bees pollinating our vegetables and flowers all year round.

    In the kitchen –
    – Cooked an apple pie and a blueberry pie from tinned fruits in our pantry saving $16.83 over purchasing them in the local shops.
    – Made a quadruple batch of granola saving $21.36 over purchasing the equivalent weight in a commercial brand.
    – Cooked all bread and meals from scratch.

    Groceries –
    – Purchased 14 tins of spam on a 50% off sale to add to our food storage saving $34.30 on usual prices.

    Other purchases –
    – Upon doing other shopping happened across a huge sale in my favourite clothing store and was able to pick up a new vintage style embroidered cotton nightie, 2 new thick and warm zip up sports style winter vests and 2 long sleeved matching thick and warm zip up track suit tops for next winter for a grand total of $25 saving $153 on usual prices. I will put these away for next winter now as I have grown out of my other ones.

    In the garden –
    – Planted another 2 x 2mt rows of carrot seeds in the gardens.
    – Found volunteer sweet potato vines that had grown in the lawn and transplanted them back into the sweet potato vegetable bed.
    – Mulched some of the vegetable gardens with saved shredded leaves and composted grass clippings rather than buying hay.
    – Used saved dish rinsing water and vegetable steaming water to water in newly planted vegetable seeds in the gardens.

    Electricity savings –
    – Worked out we only need to turn on our electric water system twice a week instead of 3 times which will save more electricity costs yet again.
    – Worked on batch cooking and only turning on the oven when we have a full oven of pies, biscuits and other things to cook.

    Have a wonderfully frugal week ahead everyone 🙂 .

  7. I gave a lot of used clothing that is still in good nick to the Op Shop. Hopefully to help someone else be frugal.
    I continue to use the warming up shower water on the garden. Harvested kale from the garden for my lunch wraps with clearance purchased cheese.
    At the same clearance outlet I purchased 3 packets of oatmeal biscuits for $2.00 and 2 tins of condensed milk for $2.00.
    I also bought a bag of potatoes and eggs from Aldi for $8.00.
    I will harvest garden leeks for potato and leek soup, and will use the eggs with my garden limes for key lime pie to serve at church.
    I’m continuing to brighten the house with flowers from the garden. Life is good.

  8. Another beautiful picture Brandy. I just said good bye to my 3 grandchildren ages 5, 3, and 1. They are flying home to New Jersey and I am missing them already. Being frugal most of the time lets me be able to splurge sometimes too. We took them to a fabulous playground on Friday and then out to lunch to a hipster restaurant I knew their parents would love. All other meals were made at home for their 4 day visit here. Last night we celebrated Thanksgiving early with 5 of our 6 children and 5 of our grandchildren plus an unexpected bonus guest. Made an entirely gluten free Thanksgiving dinner! Two of my kids have Celiac disease so this is the norm at our house. Looking forward to getting back to my frugal ways.

  9. I bought a ham on sale. From it I made potato soup with ham. Bean and ham soup. We also ate ham sandwiches and ham and eggs. The first day we actually ate ham with sweet potatoes and sour cream green beans.

    I found tons of school supplies from when I used to teach and will be giving some of it to my grandchildren for Christmas.
    Took laundry to our house to wash.
    Packed in the evenings. Worked on our house during the day. Looking forward to no more payments at the apartment.

    Called friends and family to talk. Looked up recipes on the internet.

    Could kick myself, I bought a pizza for the grandchildren when I should have made something at home. Will do better the rest of the month. I could tell my husband was surprised i bought a pizza when I have been talking about being frugal. Kids were happy but I thought of so many things I could have cooked afterwards. They still would have been happy. Especially if I let them cook with me.

    I will have my granddaughter one day this week. I think we will cook homemade noodles and sauce. She loves that.

    Fitting in doctor appointments while I have insurance.

  10. I am always inspired by your beautiful pictures!

    I was able to resist the temptation to buy new items in the stores that I have been anticipating. I continued our No Spend November and only spent around $35 for groceries this week (including our Thanksgiving turkey at $0.59/lb). am trying to use up what we have on hand and only spend $25 each week out of pocket for groceries. We have managed to put $1500 in savings so far this month and have a goal to add another $1000.

    I have our Thanksgiving meal planned and will continue to use as much as possible from what we have on hand. Our cupboards are starting to get bare, but I will stock up in December. I am happy to have the refrigerator and cupboards emptying so that I can clean them!

    I worked on Sunday prep for the work week and have our lunches ready. Saves time and money.

    I am also working on using up other things on hand, like personal care items and makeup.

    I can’t wait to everyone’s comments.

    Come see my week in review at Frugalhappyhome.com

  11. This has been a terrific week- frugal-wise!
    First- someone last week asked me for the stuffed French toast recipe we tried, so here it is: https://pin.it/HDNjCJa.
    Someone else asked me how I hard boil eggs in the instant pot – here is the link I use: https://thisoldgal.com/pressure-cooker-easy-hard-boiled-eggs/
    Now on to this week! I went to my favorite Produce Market on Saturday just after they opened and saw several produce boxes on a pallet with a couple broken down boxes and a small piece of wood on top of it so they wouldn’t blow away. I could see one bushel box said ” black kale” and it was full. So I asked my new friend that is working there how much those boxes would cost. She was so happy and greeted me “the chicken lady” with the answer that I could have any or all of those boxes on the pallet for free!!! You don’t have to ask me twice!!! Lol! I gathered up 6 big boxes of cucumbers, the bushel box of kale, a box that was filled with 30 ripe avocados, 4 bunches of asparagus and 8 plastic clamshells with “artisan living lettuce”! I then bought a bushel box of bell peppers for $5 and 8 (2 pound) bags of mixed salad greens for $1 each ( $8 for the greens)! So my total was $13!
    I immediately thought of my friend that I brought two weeks ago whose husband has been out of work for 21 months and planned to call her as soon as I was leaving so I could share some of this treasure. Imagine my surprise as I started to load up my trunk when my friend appeared! She had been busy at home but had a prompting to come this morning and so I was able to divide my bounty with her! She didn’t want to take any of the bags of salad greens I bought ($1 each) until I reminded her that after receiving such an amazing blessing of free produce for us and our chickens that it would be ungrateful of me NOT to share! She then let me give her some of the bags. Since we ain’t that crazy about asparagus, she went home with that, the salad greens, and 3 boxes of cucumbers! The cucumbers had been “frosted” so they wouldn’t work as crunchy slices in a salad, but they were fine to chop up for pickle relish to can!! (That’s why I bought the bushel of bell peppers for $5 and I knew I already had an extra 10 pounds of onions at home that I got there a couple weeks ago for a dollar! Already had gallons of vinegar and sugar and spices in my food storage, jars and lids ready. So my house now smells like pickle relish!!) I found a recipe for avocado cucumber egg salad sandwich spread which used up one of my free avocados, a cucumber, an egg (from my chickens) and Miracle whip (always on my pantry shelf!!) . I spread it on 10 Kings Hawaiin rolls I got as markdowns for $1 (I still have 14 of them left!) and package 6 individual ones for grab and go lunches from fridge and packaged up the other 4 to give my friend so they could be unbiased “taste testers”! I know that they haven’t had fresh eggs since I was able to talk her into some free eggs I got at the store with a coupon. They have dried eggs in their storage but sometimes it’s nice to have fresh! I am overjoyed to be able to share!! She, in turn, is giving me her pizza roll recipe which is made like a cinnamon roll! She feels good about being able to offer me something and I’m excited to try these!!
    Our Young Women at church are learning to sew and their leader asked if I could bring my sewing machine and help. Always happy to share skills with others!! They have a simple pattern for some kind of pouch and were going to purchase 20 fat quarters of fabric from the store to make these. I was so excited to instead offer and then cut up what they needed for the 10 girls from my fabric stash! Each girl will get be able to pick a set that is different from everybody else’s! How blessed I am with enough to share!!!
    I found some new recipes for pressure canning more “convenience” meals that aren’t using expensive flash dried meats that, while really tasty, for us would be breaking our budget more than I want to! I love convenience because I’m lazy, but I’m also cheap!! Lol! There is a chicken pot pie filling to can. You don’t add the dairy until you have opened the jar and are about to make the pot pie, but everything else is in the jar! There are also some stews, soups and other main dishes that are then ready to just open and heat up that I’ve pinned and will start making (maybe 1 new one every week to 10 days!)
    Our chickens have slowed down with their production to about 4 eggs a day rather than 7, but we still are grateful and have about 13 dozen refrigerated that we keep rotating through. I am hopeful that we can get through the winter without buying eggs!
    I was able to buy my first thanksgiving turkey on Saturday at Krogers for 48cents/pound! I haven’t seen turkey prices that low here for a number of years! I will buy a second one too since we always cook the turkey for the 32 of us who can make it! I am looking forward to using some turkey to can turkey pot pie filling too!! Now, I just need to find a great deal on carrots!!! Maybe next week at my produce market??

  12. Good morning! My frugal accomplishments are as follows:

    1. purchased boneless, skinless chicken breasts on sale.
    2. purchased flour that was on sale for 1.29 for a five pound bag. I now have enough flour for the year.
    3. purchased three dozen eggs for 2.50. That’s less than a dollar a dozen. They came in 18 packs and there was a limit or I would have bought more.
    4. purchased two shirts for less than 10.00 brand new at Kohl’s from their clearance rack. However, this is a bit of a frugal fail because I tend to dress in a vintage style and these are modern cut and I don’t care for the way one of them fits me. It cost me 2.40 but I am going to use it as a gift instead, so not all is lost.
    5. Cooked at home, all weekend.

    Frugal fail, but lesson learned: My family doesn’t really care for pot roast but they usually eat it whenever I cook it. They had roast on sale this past week, so I bought one. I threw almost all of it out because no one touched it. I will not be buying anymore roast. I love roast, but it’s not worth spending that much money for it not to be eaten.

  13. The stockings will make a lovely gift.

    I found some needed items at the thrift store, I also used a $10 off coupon I had received earlier when making a donation.

    À friend gifted me almost two dozen Mason jars. All you canning ladies know this is like gold!!

    I finished making another batch of gifts (lavender bath salts). I have one more set of gifts to make.

    I resisted the urge to buy a hot drink on a cold day.

    I tried a new muffin recipe.

  14. I used my gas points from Albertsons to save almost 25.00 to fill both our cars. I picked up the Friday freebie at Fred Meyer which was cookies. I used half of the package to make a cookie crust for cheesecake. Cleared out the fridge of all leftovers making several meals and feeding the remainder to the chickens and the dog. My leftover black beans got made into patties for black bean burgers using Brandy’s recipe. I portioned them out in Tupperware Pattie storage containers and tucked that stack into the freezer.
    Asked the neighbor for the bags of leaves she put at the curb. Some went in to the chicken coop for their entertainment, and some bags got stacked against the coop for insulation.
    Other than running my brother to the airport and stopping at the store on the way home, I never left the house.
    Planning meals from the freezer and pantry. I made English muffins for a change for breakfast and some pumpkin bread as well as pumpkin cheesecake using pumpkin from our garden. Allrecipes has a recipe for pumpkin waffles with apple cider syrup which I also made this week.

  15. What beautiful fall coloured flowers and greenery you’ve used in your bouquet, Brandy. I have a question on the produce you harvested this week. Obviously it is not enough to make a meal for your large family. So when there is so little harvested (bell pepper, tomatoes, parsnip etc. you mentioned), do you save it or do you just incorporate it into a meal with other items from your pantry? This happened a lot in previous years when I had a garden and I never knew what to do with the 3 green beans that were ripe but nothing else was.

    Quiet week for us, which was just fine by me. Frugal accomplishments at our house this week included:
    *Meals made at home this week included breaded stuffed chicken breasts with potato wedges and green/wax bean mix, pasta bake (made 2, 1 with leftover meat sauce and 1 with alfredo sauce, both topped with mozarella cheese), meatballs baked in BBQ sauce with mashed potatoes and carrots, cracked out chicken tater tot casserole (using leftover rotissery chicken I bought as a take-out dinner earlier in the week), homemade cream of broccoli & cheese soup with homemade garlic bread (used up some hotdog buns in the freezer) and mini cherry pastries for dessert (see below), and perogie casserole.
    *Made up the last of a bushel of apples we bought earlier in October into 8 unbaked apple crisps (each just big enough for 4 servings) for the freezer, 4 individual unbaked apple crisps (to give to my brother for his freezer), 5 pints of canned unsweetened applesauce, and a 3/4 pint of applesauce that I put in the fridge to use now. Apple peels and cores went into the compost bin.
    *Hubby came home from work one day this week with 2 loaves of bread. He had been given the loaves for free from the bread delivery guy at his work (he works in a restaurant). Gotta love free bread!
    *I had an unusual craving for donuts this weekend. Instead of running out and buying some, I baked up 20 mini cherry pastries for dessert one night. I had bought 2 bulk bags of frozen pastries for only $1/bag and use less than 1/2 a bag with what I made. So glad I picked these up!
    *Made Healthy Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Bars (recipe link: https://www.livewellbakeoften.com/healthy-peanut-butter-chocolate-chip-oatmeal-bars/) for DD’s school lunches this coming week, with leftovers for the rest of us to enjoy. These bars are relatively low in sugar and oil, use basic pantry ingredients, and are soooo yummy!
    *Pulled the area rugs outside on a slightly warm (had to wear a jacket over a thin sweater), overcast but dry, Monday morning and cleaned them with our steam cleaner (we leave the rugs outside for the day to dry before bringing them back in). Not ideal conditions, but we’ve had a hard time getting this chore done with all the unexpected interuptions this fall. The weather is getting colder and wetter every week, so I’m really glad I was finally able to get this done! If I had waited much longer, the much needed chore wouldn’t have happened. By Friday there was snow on the ground! We still have to clean the rooms before putting the carpets back down.
    *I was asked by my work if I would be willing to be in a video/film/advertisement project, which I agreed to. I went prepared for it on Tuesday, as asked, but the film crew didn’t show. They offered to pay me for the time I was there anyways, which added another 2 hours to my pending paycheck from the Halloween event.
    *Switched over to cold weather clothing and put away spring/summer/early fall clothing. I’m pretty sure this colder weather is here to stay.

  16. I continued to stock our pantry and freezer with items on sale around the holidays. I really want to do a no spend in January and eat almost entirely from the pantry. We have a few dietary restrictions so may need to buy a few items at that time.

    We took my car in to be serviced at an auto shop we’d never been to. The savings alone compared to our old shop was $700. Then they did the check up for free so saved another $300. I needed new brake pads and an air filter. My husband was able to do the work saving us almost $500. I’m so thankful we didn’t have to spend this money.

    I stayed at home a few days instead of going out. I was able to hit some online sales that also offered free shipping. With the exception of 1 or 2 things Christmas shopping is done.

    I taught my husband how to make some meals. While he’d be content with cereal this is a way he can fend for himself and make some healthier dinners while I’m away. Plus we had fun in the kitchen!

  17. We stuck the tomatoes in a salad. I put the parsnip in with other vegetables in a chicken pot pie. When I have just a couple of vegetables (like the green beans you mentioned) they can be stuck in a soup or a stir-fry, so as not to waste them. Pot pie is a good solution too.

  18. They weren’t on my shopping list, but I found chicken thighs for 57 cents a pound this weeks. That was a best price so I stocked up. I also stocked up on canned vegetables at 33 cents a can. I have occasionally seen them cheaper, but not often and I was getting low. The green tomatoes that we harvested before a frost are ripening nicely. We have been eating them fresh everyday. I have also made several quarts of marinara sauce for the freezer. Another favorite is cream of tomato soup, my husband loves it so I have been making a big batch every week. Does anyone have good tips for long term storage of potatoes? I would love to buy extra when I see them at a really good price, but I’m not sure I can use them up fast enough.

  19. Despite the dry weather, I’ve had to use very little water for my plants from the faucet. Instead I use laundry and dish rinse water, and other little bits of water from cooking.

    We ate all meals at home this week, except for one that our friend treated us to.

    My son picked a few limes off our tree, I’m not sure if they’re juicy,we’ll see. We also had spinach from the garden, and one mango from a friend’s tree.

  20. My biggest find and great price here in Arizona was Safeway had butter for .99 a lb, Gold medal 5lb of flour for .99 and cream cheese .99 each also. DD and i went together. Teaching her how to grocery shop and use the loss leader pages !

  21. I have the same soups on my menu plan this week! I actually made the tomato soup last night. I found a recipe online for three ingredient tomato soup. I made my own by adding milk to make it a cream of tomato soup. It was super easy and really good. I have chicken and barley on hand and will make that soup tonight after work.

    Come by my blog and see what else I have going on! frugalhappyhome.com

  22. My husband and I enjoy popcorn on Sunday afternoons, but I have stopped buying it due to ingredients and cost.
    Yesterday, I finally remembered the popcorn popper I had bought for our Christmas present (3 years ago!) and pulled it out of the closet. Made popcorn for us at a fraction of the cost of store-bought microwave popcorn and healthier!!

  23. Lovely flowers and I love that gift idea – they’ll treasure it for years to come!

    I cooked all week and did an inventory of what we have on hand that will cut down on purchases.

    I rebought some Christmas gifts from Kohls on veteran’s day [online] and will return the same purchases for a higher price from the week before!

    I sorted through holiday wrapping on hand – I’m set for this year!

    I bottled up Cranberry Lime Vodka and vanilla extract from supplies on hand [other than the cranberries – which were on sale] which will be four Christmas gifts – I used bottles I had on hand as well.

    My 17yo son surprised me yesterday – he was reporting on his Saturday night fun from the day before – I questioned how he paid for the ‘mall food’ he had eaten before the party he attended and he said his friend had paid, which they were fine with because my son is always driving him on their outings. I was glad to see he hadn’t borrowed for such a thing [since he’s broke LOL – and has yet to look for a job :)] and that they were both realistic about the situation

  24. I made two homemade pizzas, putting one in the freezer before baking. I used cheese that was on sale, and a pasta sauce with sausage in it, which gave a bit of meat taste without the cost of a meat topping.

    A co-worker gave me several small pumpkins, which i am roasting to make soup.

    I had a small amount of two kinds of pasta sauce. i heated them together so that I had enough to put on pasta for dinner.

    My car stopped working on Halloween, so I have been walking once or twice a week to my job at the library. It is uphill on the way, so great exercise. I’m pleased at how much I’m enjoying that. There’s been snow on the ground, but no bitter cold and not too icy. This week, on a warmer day, I tried to start the car and it worked! I think it’s a loose connection of some kind. I’ll take it in to be repaired at the end of the month and to get my winter tires put on.

    I used a free roll of duct tape to repair the case on my laptop, which was cracking. I hope this will stop the crack from getting worse.

    I am planning how to re-stock my pantry/freezer. the priorities are baking supplies, which are starting to come on sale in the weeks before Christmas, and meat. I was able to buy pasta at a good price and see that large containers of my favorite brand of coffee are on sale this week too at 40% less than I would normally pay.

  25. Wow! Back pay for 5 years. I am sorry that happened but so glad that you will be putting it to good use. Our next goal (after replenishing our savings from our daughter’s wedding) is to be mortgage debt free.

  26. Last week I used some of my canned chicken, dehydrated carrots, dehydrated celery, dehydrated onions, a can of corn, and some OLD egg noodles I found in the cupboard and made myself some “Amish Chicken Corn Soup”. I had that for dinner 3 nights after work and I still have 3 pint-sized jars in the fridge. I reorganized the freezer and pulled out a turkey that’s been there about as long as I’m willing to have it in the freezer. I cooked it in the pressure cooker. Then I picked the carcass and used the bones, etc., to make broth. I have about a gallon of good tasting broth to use while canning up the meat. Canned meat is good for much longer than food should be in a freezer. I wanted some shirts to use as layering pieces to stay warm at work. I swung by the thrift store on “senior day” and got 4 shirts for $4 each.

  27. Living frugally in urban Seattle:

    -Some good friends came to town to visit. We swam in their hotel pool and then we had them over for dinner, rather than going out for an expensive meal.

    -I found badly needed dress shoes for one of my boys at the thrift shop for $4. My boys are growing so quickly, I can’t imagine the expense (and waste) of brand new clothes right now.

    – A neighbor gave me a brand new high quality reusable lunch bag. It will come in handy when one of my kids inevitably loses or ruins their own.

    -We canceled our newspaper subscription. I still enjoyed the Sunday paper, but we need to focus harder on saving money right now. I plan to reassess our insurance costs this week and see if I can get any of our payments lowered.

    – My husband received a $50 Amazon gift card from work, which we will likely use for Christmas gifts.

  28. Made our 4 euro printer work! It’s wonderful, saves us a bunch. We went through Ink Club and saved quite a bit.

    I made another batch of detergent. I water down our softener by half and it works just as well.

    Always clean with vinegar, it’s cheap and hypoallergenic.

    I got an oven pancake recipe from my Mom which is great, I always burn the stovetop ones lol.

  29. I saw a Museli cereal that can be eaten either hot like oatmeal, or cold with milk in our local health food store. Came home and made up my own recipe based on the ingredient list on the store cereal. The whole family loves it, and making it myself is a lot cheaper than paying someone else to make it for me!

  30. Just wondering how you cut your electricity and how you know it saved $5? I’m not sure how to calculate that, but am looking for ways to cut outs as well (and then figure out the savings before the bill comes, if there’s a way).

  31. I really appreciate your blog Brandy and the comments from other readers.

    I just skimmed over your post on finding joy when money is tight. Here is one more idea: Spending a few minutes a day at bing.com reading the news or searching the web on a computer or Android tablet results in 150 points daily that can be redeemed for Microsoft items (in small chunks) or for $5 gift cards once you have accumulated 5250 points. I have received Walmart and Amazon gift cards this way. And now that I have an Android phone, I can do 20 additional searches at bing.com daily on it and gain another 100 points a day. Bing.com usually offers more quick ways of earning an additional 20-50 points each day taking short, informative quizzes or clicking on a link to view a page. 25-30 cents per day adds up over the course of a year.

    We stayed home more which saved us money until the car had to be jumped after several days of disuse. The vintage car buff neighbor across the road jumped it. I really appreciate good neighbors.

    Instead of doing major shopping that day, I left mom in the car with it running because I didn’t trust the car not to need jumping again while I bought needed household items, food, and a jump box at AutoZone. At Dollar General, some candy was 90% off pre-Halloween prices so I bought two bags–not needed but nice. We have stayed within $4/day/person for food the past two weeks including a small bucket of chicken and large cole slaw from KFC so we can splurge on super sales at Kroger if we go out later today and still stay under goal.

    I baked a loaf of 2/3 whole wheat flour yesterday and included an egg for extra nutrition. It takes just minutes to dump the ingredients into the bread machine and, later, to shape the dough and put it in a pan to rise before baking it in the oven. At the two bakeries in our town and the next closest, bread goes for $5 and up (and pies for $20/and up!) so those few minutes result in quite a savings.

    On Wednesday, I plan to go to the mechanic to see if our not-old battery is defective because battery checks are free. One of the car doors might have been left slightly ajar so I don’t want to spend money on further diagnosing electrical issues on a 16-year-old car unless the battery quickly runs down again. The car started fine yesterday when I tried it.

    Months ago, I decided to try to keep us on the clothing budget (rationing points) that the British had to live with during World War II. We haven’t needed anything since then and only have bought a couple of inexpensive used items (zero ration points) and were gifted some underwear from Kmart because of their rewards points program. I decided that since the undies didn’t cost us a dime, they also didn’t cost us any points. So now we have a combined total of 77 ration points sitting there, waiting to be used. Mom could use new support hose but since she wears a long coat and boots outdoors now (which hides the runs), we can wait for the next good sale at ShopNational.com. We both would like new nightgowns, but those will be made sometime this winter from the flannel in one of my tubs full of fabric in the basement.

  32. Our electric company changed to smart meters a while back. They gave us the option to get a weekly email showing how much electricity we use. It shows both the kilowatts used and the price, as well as the previous week. It shows if you used more or less then the previous week (there’s a comparison line in price and kilowatts).

    Our children have been staying up to read after they have been told to go to bed (the week before my eldest son woke up at 3 a.m. to find his light on and his brother asleep with a book). Having the children go to bed on time is the main way we cut last week, so this week will be more of a challenge, but I’m looking for ways to do it!

  33. Well last week had its ups and downs. We found out we have to pay $2,000.00 for when my hubby was in the hospital in the beginning of October. So we set up a payment option. Then we got a letter in the mail for me and my son that our health insurance will go up $80 starting January 1st and my hubby wants to be put on our insurance since his insurance is not good at all. So I looked into the pricing and if I lower our health care package by one level then we can save $100 a month on that.

    We also last week finally paid off 2 credit cards and we are super stoked about that!!

    I was able to get some Capri suns for my son for .75 cents each. I was looking at the prices and the Capri sun guy told me he put some on clearance and I checked them out and they had them for .75 and they don’t expire till next summer. I got 3 packs of them. I was able to get baby carrots for .88 each and that’s the lowest I have ever seen them. I bought 4 packs of those since we like to eat carrots. In our area they had turkeys for Veterans Day for .79 cents a pound and .99 cents a pound and for that day you didn’t have to spend $25 or $50 to get that price for the turkey. So I picked up one turkey since they limited it one per family. I am keeping my eye open for butter to be on sale, we can get it for $1.99 a pound but the lowest so far is $2.49 and it might not see that price ever again. Since gas prices here on nov. 1st. went up $.12 a gallon for regular and $.16 a gallon for diesel. I am also keeping my eye open for sugar and flour to go on sale. They haven’t gone on sale yet. I am also looking for canned corn to go on sale and the lowest so far I have seen is .79 a can and they normally for for .49 cents each.

    We were gifted a $50 gift card two years ago to Omaha steaks and never used it. I found it while cleaning out a drawer in our computer desk. I forgot we hadn’t it. I found a great deal for 35 items for $49.99. So we went to the Omaha steak store and got 2 filet minon, 2 steaks, 4 chicken breast, 4 pork chips, 8 hamburgers, 8 andouille sausage, 4 potatoes au gratin, 2 caramel tartlets, and a seasoning packet. Which is a great deal for that place each item came out to be $1.42 each. And we didn’t pay for any of it since we used our gift card.

    We also made thanksgiving decorations for our home to save money.

    I will also be looking at your website and rereading all of the frugal accomplishments and articles to help us save money Since our bills have been going up.

  34. As a kid, I’d tiptoe into the attic to continue reading, even on the hottest Midwest summer nights, after”lights out.” So I empathize with your young readers. Maybe solar-powered reading lights would be good gifts for them?

  35. We were married at Christmas-time — December 22. I always say it was frugal because the only flowers we bought were two white poinsettias — the church was already decorated. I think the Christmas stockings are a wonderful gift idea.
    I used collected rain water to water the plants in my greenhouse and cold frame.
    I mended my husband’s bathrobe, and patched a pair of his jeans.
    I made a big batch of pancakes and froze the leftovers. I’m hoping doing this will provide a healthier and cheaper alternative to the frozen waffles my husband likes to eat for breakfast.
    I got my flu shot at no OOP cost to me. The pharmacy gave me a $2 coupon off my next grocery bill. I purchased 11 pounds of pasta for 49 cents a pound. Three pounds were actually 16 cents, because I had a City Market Coupon. I also picked up 4 half-gallons of milk for 99 cents each, three boxes of crackers for $1.29 each, and an 18-pound turkey for 57 cents a pound – the lowest turkey price I’ve seen in three years. I also had an additional $1.50 off if you spent $10 or more on meat, so that came off too. I picked up a free package of frozen peppers and a free package of flavored rice.
    Kohls sent me an $18 gift card for my 18th anniversary as a Kohls card holder. I needed a new white shirt for choir performances. By combining the gift cards and discount codes, I was able to get the shirt shipped to my house for $1.34! (I no longer have a Kohls anywhere near me.)
    We had a date night Friday night to see a play. A friend’s son is in the lead. The tickets were $15 each, purchased in advance. I really, really wanted to go out to eat before the play, but instead made dinner at home. Then we compromised and went out for ice cream before the play.
    I harvested some cabbage from the garden and used it in cole slaw.

  36. It’s wonderful that you’re still able to harvest from your garden. We’re into deep freezes at night, so there’s very little, though some sage is still producing.

    We had a wonderful holiday weekend with cousins and did “Cousin’s Christmas” with the kids. It worked out really well, because we are always all pulled so many different directions at Thanksgiving and Christmas. The kids had a great time, and we got some wonderful pictures of them all. We’ve decided to try to make it a tradition each year, even if Veteran’s Day doesn’t make for a long weekend. It’s worth it to give all the kids some time together, and for us to have some intentional time together too, as adults. We made it frugal by cooking at home, doing inexpensive things together for entertainment like baking cookies, and combining it with a quick trip to see Benny’s family on the way home on Sunday.

    Here’s the rest of our accomplishments for the week:

  37. I started keeping track of my frugal accomplishments in my journal – some days it feels like I haven’t done “enough”, and it’s nice to look back and see what I *did* do that saved us a little something. As silly as it might sound, I took great joy from finding a nickel in the parking lot. Obviously it’s money in my pocket (quite literally), but it also gave my husband and me a good chuckle – he had walked past it and noticed me stopping behind him; he blurted out “I can’t believe *I* didn’t see that first!* 😉

    We were able to participate in several things that contribute to our educations for free – my daughter and I started Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training this past weekend. The books and training are provided by the county, at no additional charge to them, either, since they applied for a grant to get the program going in our county. They are also looking for instructors and will provide the training; of course I volunteered. 🙂

    Other bits and bobbets of interest here:

    Hope everyone has a wonderful week!

  38. Wyoming Gal, what museum do you work at and what do you do there. I work in a Living History museum called “Lang Pioneer Village Museum” near Peterborough, Ontario, Canada as an interpreter, but I graduated from a college course to work as a museum conservator. I would love to look up info about your museum on line, if you are willing to share. If I’m ever travel in the area, I might be interesting in stopping in to visit!

  39. Gardenpat I loved reading your post! How blessed you were and to share with another one brought a smile to my lips and tears to my eyes! We have a wonderful God and may he continue to bless you and those around you!

  40. Myra, does your family like Mexican food? Pot roast = shredded beef for tacos, enchiladas, burritos, etc. Also, it’s good chopped up in a meat pie with veggies, and in myriad other ways. Don’t throw out beef…there is a lot you can do with it.

  41. Hi Tammy,

    Glad to hear things are going well. It sounds as if the house is progressing, too. hope you can fit all those medical appointments i while you have insurance. Have been thinking a lot about you.

  42. Like Jody I too was really moved to read your post. And so great of you to share your bounty, your treasures.

  43. Oh How I’d love to have roast but it is astronomical in price. My mother used to make a leftover dish with her leftover roast.
    From what I remember, it is noodles (cooked and drained), with tomato paste, canned sliced mushrooms, pimentoes (I think), green pepper. All of this was assembled in a casserole, then topped with shredded or thin slices of cheddar cheese, then baked until the cheese was melted. She would make stroganoff with leftover roast. She also would put garlic salt on strips of beef then heat them in her cast iron pan and drizzle a little red wine over them. I don’t remember exactly this recipe but it was good.
    I wonder if your family would like the roast better used in casseroles?

  44. Brandy, I love the idea of Christmas stockings for a wedding gift! Many years ago, I purchased two strings of Christmas lights on clearance and gave them to a cousin’s daughter at her shower later that year. I’m looking forward to seeing pictures of the stockings and of the gifts you have made. I’ve gone through the archives and read every single November post since 2012. I haven’t made the same things, but you have inspired me.

    There wasn’t much frugal about this past week. We are living between two houses while we pack for our move. I stole a little time to make gifts and to finish my Christmas shopping (one present left to buy). My 41 yo daughter is developmentally disabled and it’s hard to think of frugal gifts with much WOW factor…but I think I’ve hit a grand slam homer out of the park. I started by making a tote bag with leftover skeletons and skulls fabric I was gifted years ago. I spent $2 a couple of years ago on red fabric with tiny white dots that I used for the lining and handles. Then, what to put in it? I was up against a brick wall until I remembered that you can use airline miles in exchange for magazine subscriptions. DD loves celebrity gossip, so I traded 2,200 miles for a year’s subscription to People magazine (I haven’t even heard of most of these folks, LOL). If any issues come before Christmas, I will fill the bag with them; if not, I’ll buy a current issue. She is going to lovelovelove getting mail every week addressed to her! Plus, as I was checking out of the site (Miles for Magazines dot com), I was given the option of adding 6 months to the sub for $2…which was too good to pass up. Total cost of gift: $4.

    I cut out some pajamas for her using flannel I bought on clearance last year for $2 yard. Ran out of fabric and had to buy a contrasting fabric for $4 yard. I had the pattern and all of the notions, so the pajamas are costing $14 pair, plus about 6 hours of my time cutting and sewing. Sewing flannel really is not cost-effective (even when the flannel is cheap) and this will probably be the last flannel pajamas I make for her…but I’ve got some good sheets for summer ‘jams.

    On to the few other frugal things of last week: Bought more apples (Golden Delicious this time) at the seasonal fruit stand for .29 lb. I also bought a 10 lb. bag of good hard onions for $1.99. Bought 2 cases of Del Monte green beans (they are by far the best) for .50 can and received a rain check for a case of Del Monte corn, also for .50 can. This is less than half the regular price. We will be living in a very small space through the winter and spring and I’ll probably have to store them under a bed!

    About conditioner…I don’t bother to dilute it. I have short hair and put a tiny amount (a drop or two) on the palm of my hand and rub it into my wet hair. No need to rinse, and as my British friend says, “works a treat.”

  45. Rhonda A .. my few harvest …I chop mine up and toss into what I am serving, Hubby puts them on a saucer as a mini appetizer or I into the container I have in freezer for scrap soup.

  46. Gardenpat, thanks for the canning chicken pot pie. We love it and our favorite is KFC but we won’t be making that trip. For two of us making it fresh isn’t always convenient. I just roasted 2 turkeys…part of them will be canned as pot pie. THANK YOU
    Blessed Be Juls

  47. Oh, I forgot the biggie! The people that are buying our house dropped by Saturday to see what they need and don’t need. I sold them the freezer and the riding lawn mower!! I have been wanting a smaller, more energy-efficient freezer, but couldn’t justify buying one. When you figure in the $125 I got for my old freezer, plus what it would cost to move and store it for 7 months…it’s not a bad deal. I got $500 for the mower. I have been selling things on craigslist and whatever doesn’t sell by this weekend will be donated. St. Vincent de Paul will come and get it all this Friday!

  48. Dear Brandy,
    I am new to your blog (about 6wks) and feel I need to thank you for helping out my little family. I am a single mother to 4 wonderful sons that have special needs. I am greatly encouraged by what Ive learned from you in such a short time. My best frugal accomplishment has been Sam’s Club membership. After reading through the website I discovered that they have a promotion for college students. My youngest just started college here in Southern California and I got excited with the prospect of being members of a warehouse store — its been 7 years for us. Anyway, the promotion said that we could sign up for $45 but that they would gift us a E-credit of $25 dollars! Thats a yearly membership of $20 dollars! Whoo-hoo! I have purchased a 25lb bag of flour and started on my holiday baking already. I also made homemade “bisquick” and morning biscuits are now a breeze. Thank you again for sharing your life, and I would like to share one of my favorite gifts for newlyweds. On the day of the wedding, I make sure that I purchase a newspaper for the couple. This special edition contains information that will remind the couple of historical events of the day. I saved a paper from my wedding day and later discovered the prices of groceries, homes and weather conditions back in 1989! It’s so much fun to look back even on your 1st anniversary share that moment together. I have since purchased newspapers for each of my children on they day of their births. I frequently buy papers and slide them into a large plastic bag and enclose a beautiful card with my sentiments.
    This gift has been met with much appreciation from the friends that I have given it to, that I thought I might share it with you and others! Miss Patty, Westminster Ca.

  49. Sandra here is how to store potatoes (do not store with onions)
    inspect all potatoes for soft spots, sprouts, mold, shovel damage and pest damage. Only perfect potatoes are suitable for long-term storage.
    Place the potatoes in a cardboard box(personally I don’t use anything paper) paper bag, mesh bag or basket to ensure good ventilation. Plastic bags won’t allow them to breathe, and will shorten their shelf life considerably, so remove them from their plastic bag, if they came in one.

    Store your potatoes in a cool, humid and dark place (45-50° is the ideal temperature range). If you have an unheated basement, that’s the ideal spot for your potatoes. An insulated garage or shed may also work during the winter months. Just don’t make the mistake of sticking your potatoes in the fridge. The too-cold temperature will turn the potato starch into sugar. (NOTE, if you store your potatoes in frig, let them come to room temp before using..like put them out the night before or they discolor when you cook them)
    Check on your potatoes regularly, and remove any that are soft, shriveled or sprouted YOU CAN BREAK SPROUTS OFF, so they don’t cause more potatoes to go bad.
    Expected Shelf Life: 4-6 months, under optimal storage condition.

  50. we always sat together in the front room and hour before bedtime and read. Each of us had our own book. Even Dad read which we didn’t think anything about until we got older and realized a lot of men don’t read for pleasure

  51. Thanks for the stuffed french toast recipe, Gardenpat. I have pinned it to my pinterest board to try sometime.:D

  52. I lived in Seattle years ago. At that time, the Seattle Times had a Sunday only subscription. You might check and see if they still offer that service.

  53. Very nice flower arrangement- colorful Fall hues!! Our week has been good. last Monday morning I got a phone call saying I had won 3rd place in a photo contest from Yankee Candle. It was a free candle with a picture of my choice on it. My niece is getting married the first weekend in December and remembered candles were on her wish list registry. I put their “save the date” picture on a very large candle. It was worth $30.99!! I entered the contest they have for the holidays… Same Mall trip-had a coupon to get a bogo at Bath& Body Works- a friend and I were out some days back and sampled a lotion and liked it very much- got one for me and one for her for a Christmas gift. had another coupon to get 2 free panties when I buy one, so I couldn’t pass that up!!
    Grocery Store= had coupons to get 18 ct eggs, a frozen veggie bag, 4 pack of yogurt smoothies, free bag of Uncle Ben’s flavored rice for free. Used as many coupons I could to make the Friendsgiving lunch at Reality for about 50 people this Thursday. I am planning to bring some leftovers home due to I am not cooking Thanksgiving this year at the house- have to work all week and only have Thursday off. My hubby’s favorite cereal was on sale this week and I had several coupons to stock up. He is diabetic and this cereal is good for him! then I get to send in UPCs for a free box.
    In the kitchen- Cooked meals out of pantry and freezer. I am going to make my own Cream of Anything mix and crispy onion pieces for the green bean casserole. Making the dressing and a veggie side dish with the items that were donated to Reality. (sweet potatoes, apples, onions, garlic, and bread.) I am also making homemade turkey gravy from the stock I will be making in the crock pot. I made a big pot of chili on Saturday night and we have been eating on it since it has been cold and rainy here.
    Christmas- DS painted a picture of a train station. track and foliage in his art class at Reality and has decided to give it to his dad for Christmas. When I went to San Francisco earlier this year, an event I bought on Groupon was cancelled due to the fires so I had some credit. I scored a gift basket full of great stuff for someone using that credit and still have some leftover. I have been invited to several Christmas parties/festivals where I like to go just to look and enter the raffles/giveaways and get into the Christmas spirit.
    Have a great week!

  54. For anyone that may not know this, If you have a small paper bag, the kind you buy for the kids school lunches, put about 1/4 cup uncooked popcorn kernels in there, fold top over and microwave for 2 minutes…voila……popcorn!

  55. Thanks for all of your kind comments! What I did was nothing extraordinary. I think maybe wth all of the world screaming at us about the bad things and mean spirited things that people say and post that a simple kindness or sharing takes on a more out of the ordinary appearance! As a family, we have realized that we may not be able to change or control what happens in the world but that we will try each day to be kind and find ways to share and serve, no matter how small the act might be!
    Thanks for being such an encouraging forum! There is still so much good in the world around us!

  56. one of our favourite ways to use extra pot roast is a dish called Beef and Barley. It’s a casserole and absolutely delish. And another thing to make is Hot roast Beef Sandwiches. … a diner favourite.

  57. I had gotten ourselves into a jam with the credit cards. You know how when a surprise pops up and you dont have the cash, and you definitely cant say no to the suprise, so you put it on credit planning to pay it off this week with the paycheck, and then the paycheck arrives and its a bigger suprise??? yep…..happened to us. Several weeks ago I got an offer for a balance transfer card with 0% for 15 months……I figured what the heck and I was approved. Now all the monthly payments will go towards paying it back and not just the interest for that month!!!! Cant wait to have a zero balance and start socking away money in the saving account. 2 weeks ago I did a gas card promo at the store, you have to buy 50 worth of groceries and a 50 gas card before coupons and you get $10 off your purchases. My total was $65 (I had coupons), so I filled up my car and dh will use the rest of the card in his truck. Last week I made chicken soup, 15 bean soup and potato soup, we got a few meals out of each of them. On Friday I bit the bullet and ordered an instant pot. I used the kohls 30% off and a few other coupons to bring the cost down. The instant pot was not frugal, but, I deserve it!!!!! I really do without a lot and I’m tired of it!!!! If I can use it and figure out how to save even more money in the kitchen, then its worth it. Cant wait to do greek yogurt in it. My little one at my last 3 dannon lite n fits, and the greek yogurt was bought for me as a treat. We had colder temperatures a few days last week so I had turned the AC off. Its back on again but not running as often as it was in the summer. DD and I took a ride over to the wholesale food place that sells things in wrecked packages. I was hoping to find a big bag of celery and salad, but instead I found a 2lb bag of fresh sugar snap peas for $2….yummm and I bought a mystery box for $10. It really is a mystery, but its always been worth it. I’ve gotten things I didnt like before that dh eats, but never anything that neither of us ate. This time I scored what should have been a 40lb box of beef patties. When I got home I weighed the box and it was 32.3lbs. 120 hamburgers!!!!!! I am very grateful and very blessed!!!……Thank you Brandy for this website, the place to share and the place to find ideas. I read, reread and reread and then when crap hits the fan again, reread!!!!

  58. Great advice Juls. Also when they do start to sprout or go soft I make a big batch of mashed potatoes and freeze them in individual containers. When I pull them out I throw in a little butter and milk and re-whip them. They are great on a night I’m busy.

  59. That is an amazing price on butter. I got the same price on flour so I stocked up. I do the same thing with my kids. My oldest lives out of state and uses this knowledge. She has been teaching her 2 roommates and boyfriend how to shop sale cycles.

  60. We make it in a pot with a little bit of oil on the stove. I have a clear pot cover that makes it fun to watch. My kid’s friends have always been amazed over the years. So simple and cheap.

  61. I recently read of someone who makes it in a bowl with a plate on the top in the microwave, popcorn and a small amount of oil. Listen for when the popping slows down. Haven’t tried it yet. In any case, watch for hot steam! If you like lots of butter, mix half butter and half lemon juice. Healthier and about the same taste.

  62. Hi All,
    I enjoy reading all the frugal accomplishments each week. This week I did the following:
    – reimbursment for medical bills went into the emergency fund
    _a friend is clearing her bookshelves and I’m accepting a lot of books that will be given as Christmas gifts etc.
    – I made pasta sauce using up some italian sausage and home canned tomatoes. It made a ton and I put the excess in the freezer in smaller containers. The DH will have that tonight as I’m off to bookclub before dinner.
    – I loaned a museum pass to a neighbour so she could buy some tix to a new years eve event. I like to try and help out when I can.
    – had to turn on the house heat due to freezing weather and snow flurries but I only turn on the upstairs heat during the day and off at night to make it cooler to sleep.
    -brought all the geraniums in and put them in a bushel basket downstairs for the winter. You don’t have to plant them or water; just ignore till springtime and then replant.
    -I bought new jeans on sale and a couple of flannel shirts as well.
    -I bought a new winter jacket as I haven’t had one in a long time. I’ve worn it while walking and I’m quite pleased.
    -I’m sewing ear bud pouches for xmas stockings. Using material onhand and zippers I pulled out of plastic containers that used to hold pillows and sheets etc.
    -went thru the closets and donated clothing and household things to the Kidney foundation. They came and picked it up.
    – I threw my pumpkin and my neighbours pumpkins into my garden. I call it lazy composting and feeding the wildlife.
    -used 2 remaining waffles and a small amount of frozen fruit for DH’s breakfast one day. Used other small amounts of frozen veg in various dishes I cooked this week.
    -used a rotisserie chicken for several meals including curry and sandwiches
    -used the last of the potatoes and the broccoli
    -started popping corn in lunch sacks instead of buying microwave. It’s cheaper and lowers the fat and sodium
    -found some decaf. coffee so I’m mixing it with my full caff. coffee in the morning in my french press.
    -I put the phone at the summer cottage on 6 month vacation lay-up and that will save several dollars.
    -I made appointments for my mammogram and yearly bone density tests. They are free for us with our health care coverage.

    We are fortunate to be able to afford a summer place on the Great Lakes (it’s very minimal) as well as a winter place in a warmer climate. Being frugal has really paid off and will continue to do so.

  63. I think your idea of Christmas stockings for the newlyweds sounds like a beautiful gift. I’ve been collecting warm up water and water from a drip, and using it in various ways. The last of the tender produce was picked before our first frost last week, except for lettuce, which is under cover. I also picked a bouquet before the frost, and took photos of the blooms to remember them, in case I need cheer during dark winter days. I’m happy to be joining in here: https://abelabodycare.blogspot.com/2017/11/a-profusion-of-purple-frugal.html

  64. I used to be super frugal and have been lazy the last few years as our income increased and it wasn’t a must do anymore. I am tightening up again!
    I organized a few of my food shelves. It isn’t frugal but I threw away food with expiration dates of 2013-2014. I had bought some items to stock up and it jist isnt items we normally eat so I now have room to get deals on what we do eat. I made note of what I have so I can incorporate things easily pushed aside into our meals. I cooked up a 2 lb bag of pinto beans and froze them in 2 cup bags to add to soups and chili, etc. I bought a pork loin for $1.77 lb and cut my own loin chops. I packaged them in meal size portions and added bbq sauce to one, Italian dressing to one so they will marinade while defrosting.
    I went through my clothes and listed 6 items on yardsale site. I had two sold bit she didnt show for pickup. I don’t know if she will follow through or not. I am trying to list items every day as I go through the house.
    I pieced the tip of one quilt made from my dad’s shirts. I am making 6 lap quilts for my five kids and me. It was going to be for Christmas, but I had major surgery and didn’t get them done. So, I am rocking 2018 presents!

    I was sick this week and we avoided eating out. We had grilled cheese one night, a frozen pizza one night, and I pulled out leftover frozen soup and chili. My husband made sausage, eggs, and grits one night.
    I have started back earning swagbucks. I got aggravated when apps kept locking up. I will see if they are improved.
    I pay all our bills online or by calling saving stamps. I saved $400 paying my hospital bill off within 30 days.
    We went to Washington to visit my son that is stationed there. One ticket and our rental car was paid with our credit card points. We put everything on it and pay the balance each month. We rented an airbnb which was a 3 story home overlooking the pungent sound. My daughter and her family went so we split the $185 a night rate, which was cheaper than 2 hotel rooms. It was an amazing home! We had a kitchen so cooked all but one meal, plus the airport meals we had to buy. My mother in law gave us $300 to take out everyone for a good meal, so we didn’t even pay for it. We went to Pikes Place Market, The Snoqualmie Falls, Leavenworth-a German village, and many free sites. We did pay to go in the Space Needle and Chihuli Gardens. I bought ornaments in Leavenworth for my daughter and son. I have always given each kid an ornament every year.
    We have been getting together with 2 friends and having dinner and play cards or games. The host does the main meat and others bring a side and dessert.
    I have some machine embroidery projects I am doing for gifts. I may sell some, too.

  65. Thanks Rhonda A I was pretty chuffed with myself for asking and our friend accepting to supply us with the honey too 🙂 . It is the usual way here anyway that apiarists pay the owners of the land on which they put their hives in a certain amount of honey per year so probably if I hadn’t asked it wouldn’t of happened.

    We are buzzing with excitement here (pun intended too) and also our property is buzzing everywhere with beautiful bees 😀 .

  66. Brandy,
    I really like your idea of the Christmas stockings for a wedding gift.

    I am tasked each year with making a dozen centerpieces for our extended family Christmas party(scheduled for the first Saturday in December). This is at my own expense. This year I just don’t feel I have the funds so I got in the “Brandy frame of mind” and looked around to see what I had that might work. I came up with some small gift boxes I had bought a couples years back paying .50 cents for six boxes. I had exactly one dozen boxes. I then went for a walk and cut some greens and some red and white berries. I got out my glue gun and hot glued a dried hydrangea from my yard into the box and accented with the greenery and berries and then sprayed it all with some floral glitter spray I already had. These will sit on slices or rounds of wood for this summer’s wood cutting adventures. It looks rustic and festive and best of all there was no out of pocket expense involved!!
    They are stored in a cool place so the greens and berries should still look nice for the party and I can move on to other projects.

    I made brownies for lunches this week using a sale priced box mix I had. I added walnuts and pumpkin puree and they are delicious and contain a few more nutrients. The pumpkin was from our Halloween jack o latern and the walnuts were picked up on sale. I will do a repeat of this recipe.
    We are having to be extra frugal due to some unexpected vehicle repair expenses but I am confident we can make it through.

    This may sound silly to some but I am thankful that some of my co-workers brought in some hot chocolate mixes to share with me for the cold, wet weather we are having. I enjoy starting the day with a hot cup of cocoa on a dark, rainy morning. It makes it feel special since I don’t normally drink it.

    Wishing everyone a great week.

  67. I like to think saving money is a family affair. If everyone wasn’t on board we wouldn’t be able to save as much as we do.
    -My son continues to bring home bread and treats from work. I have not used my bread machine in almost a month. And he tries to vary the kind he brings home so we have been very fortunate.
    -My husband continues to bring home leftover food from work.
    -My daughter worked on a homecoming float. They gave everyone that worked free meals while they were working and a class t-shirt. Several days it rained so they asked the kids to work on some items at home. My daughter used items that were in our craft closet. We didn’t have to buy anything. She also helped decorate for a dance so they waived the $5 admission for kids that helped.
    -I was asked to run a cookie decorating party at my job for kids. I was happy to. When the event was over there was a lot of leftovers. We never know how many kids will show up. We had enough for 200. I’d guess about 50 showed up. I then set everything up in our break room for employees(they loved it). When my shift was done for the day my manager told me to take stuff home. I grabbed 2 containers of frosting. She then grabbed a bag and started piling almost everything into it for me. OK. I ended up with 6 unopened containers of frosting, 6 containers of open frosting(everything was put in small cups for the kids so it hadn’t been touched), a container of mini M&Ms, a container of colored sprinkles, and a bag of individually wrapped cookies. I stuck the cookies in the freezer and we will decorate them on Thanksgiving.
    -My sister went to see my daughter for a long weekend. I pulled out stuff from the freezer that I put in their for her. She had about a dozen individual meals. I better start making more, she is coming home for Christmas!
    -Cooked up one of our Halloween pumpkins. It made 38 cups of puree. Then I made a batch of pumpkin muffins.
    -Made homemade apple juice with some of the apples we picked. Used the pulp to make an apple cake with. Used the apple cores to start a new batch of apple cider vinegar. No waste!
    -My husband’s chiropractor gives out a daily planner every year. My husband grabbed one for me. I’ve been using them for years.
    -Bartered a restaurant gift card for some of my movie passes. Gave the gift card to a friend at her 50th surprise party. Bought the card at the Dollar Tree.
    -I have been getting great stock up sales and making my budget stretch. Turkey is 39 cents a pound. I haven’t seen it that low in years.
    -We have been doing the usual: hanging laundry, washing Ziplocs, using crock pot for days that I work, cooking meals at home, using coupons on things we buy, doing Ibotta, raking our own leaves.

    Have a wonderful week!

  68. I was so lucky my parents came to visit. They paid for my gas for the week. Also anytime we went to the store they picked up the tab. I will use the extra money for Christmas.

  69. 1. a few weeks ago we had some milk that needed to be used up so I made yogurt, 4 quarts of it. We ate three and a half quarts but today I realized I really needed to use it up so it did not go bad. So, I made a yogurt/dill loaf of bread. It was not great, but it was okay and if we don’t finish it all, it will be turned into cubes for stuffing!
    2. Someone gifted me a packet of Indian curry, all you do is add water and chicken. I added water, two cups of yogurt, a chicken breast, a few potatoes and two cups of zucchini I had grated and put in the freezer during the summer’s bounty. I was able to stretch that spice packet to feed two of us for three days!
    3. Found a coupon for $2 off a jar of Nutella and stacked that on a sale and was able to get two large jars for 49 cents! A friend of mine loves it, so it and a loaf of homemade bread will be her Christmas gift.
    4. We have a rescue hedgehog and this week I realized that I can shred our daily paper and mix it with his regular smell absorbing cage stuff, to lower the costs of keeping him considerably. And then I compost the used contents of his cage. He was badly abused and is not very friendly (actually he shakes in terror if you touch him) but I feel good every time I see him and know that he is eating well and is warm and no one is throwing him against a wall as a way to punish his kids for not doing their chore of cleaning the cage (I’d like to put him in a cage…).
    5. Earned $55 in gift certificates to Sam’s Club, over a year of My Points. We share a membership with a friend—she gets her mail at our PO Box, which we pay for, and she pays for Sam’s. Anyway, that money is enough to pay for all of our Thanksgiving, including buying a larger turkey and a lot of potatoes that we will give us leftovers sufficient for a lot of meals in December. Free is good!
    6. Exchanged some of my jars of canned pickles for two dozen eggs, with a neighbor. I grow a lot of cukes every summer and for years we have traded eggs for pickles.
    7. Finished knitting a sweater for a Christmas gift. I am not a very accomplished knitter, so this took me 8 months and many redoing of stitches to get it right. I don’t think you can see any of my mistakes.

  70. Thank-you, I am getting the appointments in and things are looking up. We realize that God just might have other plans for us that may make us happier. It will be nice to be at the farm. We are getting creative with ideas to make money. Our landlord at the apartment said if the house isn’t done and we need to stay we can. She has been a great landlord. My husband prayed to get his job, now we are praying that a job that makes him happier will come up or that one of our ideas will work. I spent time talking to my dad today and time with my husband, got to see my niece and great nephews. God is good.

  71. I have also chopped them or shredded them and froze them when I had the freezer space and pulled them out for fried potatoes or hash browns later.

  72. I don’t have any frugal accomplishments this week (other than NOT going out to eat – we talked each other out of it) But I DID want to pass on this tip – check your grocery stores (including Target and Mennards) for Black Friday food deals. Our Meijer store will have 5 pound bags of sugar for .99 cents each on Saturday. Last years purchase got me thru til this years sale (YES, I finally got it right 🙂 ) They also have some other baking things as well. Hopefully, they will soon have a sale on butter as well – the lowest I’ve seen in months is $2.49 but I know I purchased it for .99 cents a pound last year (I keep a price book with the dates)

  73. I used to read with a flashlight at night or go to the bathroom with a book past bedtime just so I could finish my book. I never knew if my mom knew what I was doing or not. I’ll have to ask her!

  74. I have the newspapers from the day each of my kids were born too! I put them in a plastic shoebox with all of the cards I received, their onesie and hat from the hospital, their going home outfit they wore and things like that. We love to get them out and look at them every once in awhile.

  75. Your story of sharing your abundance with your friends, and especially your comment “How blessed I with enough to share!” really touched me. It was just the reminder I needed to hear. Thank you.

  76. What a beautiful and interesting museum you work at, Wyoming Gal. If I’m ever traveling in your area, I will definitely stop in for a visit! Thanks for sharing this link!!!

  77. Thanks, Brandy. By the way, I absolutely love the Christmas stockings idea for the wedding gift. When my husband and I were married, a great aunt, who is an excellent quilter, gave us 2 quilted Christmas stocking and a matching tree skirt. That present still remains one of my favourite wedding gifts. I’m sure the newlyweds will LOVE your gift!

  78. You could also make some dishes up which use potatoes in them (shepherds pie, stews, soups, etc.) and freeze them for quick meal options. Just thaw and cook! This might be a good back up idea if you find the potatoes are not keeping as you’d hoped and you end up with a bunch of potatoes that need using right away.

  79. Pretty decent week here.
    My mother and her fiance are visiting so I’m staying home and cooking this week. Served meals from the freezer and pantry. Gratefully accepting them doing small repairs and maintenance that I simply haven’t’ had the time (or energy) to do.
    They took me to Disney for the weekend. We used the last 2 days on the discounted military passes we bought back in February. On Friday, we took advantage of free doughnuts and meals for Veterans’ day. On Saturday we took advantage of free meals for Veterans’ day for breakfast and dinner and only ate lunch/snacks in the park. We bought no souvenirs.
    Attended a free lecture on tea and received a sample packet of several fancy tea bags.

  80. I’ve never heard of a hedgehog as a pet but how horrible that he was treated that way and how wonderful that you are caring for him! I have a rescue dog that was also tormented and she shakes if a stranger tries to touch her even though we have loved her to death for 7 years. She is much better though and has made human friends in addition to us as she has recovered.

  81. I had a semi successful week of being frugal and I am thankful for the things that went our way 😀

    *Carefully looked at store ads for the things I need to buy and stock up on. Was able to buy many bags of pasta for .49 to replenish our supply. I also kept our grocery budget down about $70 from what was budgeted. I’ve been trying to spend less and less each week to build up our grocery savings for case lots and/or great sales.
    *I went through and organized some shelves in our home and was able to get rid of a few things. It felt nice to purge and clean.
    *I have a hard time building a Christmas list for myself and it drives my husband crazy because I can never come up with a list. This year I have paid attention to things I am interested in having and made a list to use for Christmas time. This saves us money because I am not just buying something to put under the tree. Last year I returned everything I had purchased for myself. They were just not what I wanted. It would be much more frugal to have a thoughtful list prepared.
    *I combined errands and stayed out of stores. I paid any bills online.
    *I carefully checked out bank statement for the previous month and discovered a charge for $60 that we had not authorized. I was able to get that reversed and refunded.
    *My husband and I had a date night and used a B1G1F coupon for the meal. Plus there were leftovers for lunch the next day.
    *I am starting to plan our Thanksgiving meal. I got input from everyone about what they wanted and will use what I have on hand and search sale prices for the rest.
    *My son works at a community center and we were able to purchase a family pass for 1/4 the cost of normal because of his employee discount. This will be a great blessing in the winter months when it is hard to get much exercise outside. I have to use a swimming pool for my exercise in the winter months and they have one. There are lots of water exercise classes included in our membership.
    *I made all of our meals at home except for the date night.
    *I repaired my husbands tie that had ripped. I fixed pants that were too big around the waist.

  82. Amy, I, too, had a hard time figuring out things to ask for when my husband would ask what I wanted for Christmas or my birthday (aside from a box of See’s Nuts and Chews, the only time I let myself eat candy anymore and my husband faithfully gives me a box of them to open on Christmas Eve). Then I got an idea from another reader (not sure if this blog or another one), to ask for a day of labor. My husband is not lazy, he is always fixing or improving things. But sometimes his priorities are not mine and mine can seem silly compared to the major ones he has in mind. So now the standard gift from him is a day of 8 hours of labor, doing exactly the chores I want done. It is free and has the added benefit of reducing the number of little things I keep asking him to do (or hesitate bothering him with). From my younger brother, I always ask for a truckload of compost from the free city compost heap—he has to load it himself for it to be free, or he can pay $15 for a loader to fill his truck. He delivers it at the beginning of May and spreads it for me. This hard labor covers both Christmas and my birthday. I can honestly say that my husband’s labor and my brother’s compost are the best gifts I get and they cost them no cash. A win/win I think. I have a dear friend of many years who seldom has any cash for gifts, but she grows terrific tomatoes and pumpkins. Each year she saves the seeds and at Christmas I get lovely packets she designed and printed on the computer, each filled with different seeds.

    I hope some of these ideas might help generate some ideas for you for thrifty gifts for yourself.

  83. This week went in a flash but we still saved some money.

    I worked 11 hours overtime. My coworker and I car-pooled one morning and I took the bus home as she finished earlier.

    We made all meals at home except for one night when my husband treated me to take out because he did not want to eat the leftover soup. :p I donated the soup and some leftover cupcakes to families in need via FB. I made those cupcakes using leftover cream cheese for the frosting. We had a friend over for dinner one night and served one of our regular meals to avoid extra costs. We took all lunches to work.

    My husband installed outdoor lights and I spent some time cleaning up outside. Sprucing up our outdoor spaces is an ongoing project. I’m completely done with two areas now and they look great!

    I picked up a free wine rack which will be part of a Christmas present, an orange, garlic and an oregano seedling. Someone at work gave me a mango which was a real treat and I gifted an unused flower pot to my coworker. What goes around comes around. 🙂

    We had a little bit of food waste this week and turned the air-conditioner on for the first time…

    The usual: We used saved warm-up water to soak pots and watered plants from our rainwater tank. All washing was dried on the line and Ziploc bags reused whenever possible.

  84. I always seem to have a list of things I want to buy that will help me be more frugal. For over a year I tucked away money that I received for Christmas and birthday gifts to save up for a pressure canner. I had about $200 saved and this summer my mom offered to give me another $100 towards it for my birthday and my husband agreed to covering the rest of the cost as his gift. It was around $400, but I now have a brand new All American pressure canner to help me preserve food for my family!

  85. Another busy but frugal week. Caught a cold so to work and back only, lots of rest and sleep.

    Cooked all meals-taco salad, baked chipotle chicken breast (bought on clearance); loaded baked potatoes, meatball stew (used frozen chicken meatballs from Costco that were given to me); breakfast for supper-sausage, fried eggs, and hash browns, plus leftovers from the above meals for several suppers and my lunches brought to work. I also baked an apple and pumpkin pie and sour dough bread.

    Continue sewing on Christmas gifts. My goal to be done by Dec 10th so we can decorate, wrap gifts, and then relax. Hate to be rushed during this season! Love to take it slow, watch movies and specials on TV and celebrate with friends and family.

    Hope to eat out of the refrigerator this week. Have opened bottles of this and that. Want to use some of this up. We will see how we do. Tonight will be using the 1/2 jar of home canned cranberry sauce to make a sweet/sour sauce for some stir fried meat and veggies. Then will add fried rice (home made with some leftover bits of veggies in the crisper drawer.

    This morning made a half batch of applesauce muffins ( subbed the 1/2 jar of apple butter for the applesauce.) Turned out good.

    Have a few more things to use up- olive relish, canned jalapeños, salsa verde, salsa, couple bottles of beer (bought a 6 pack this summer for an Irish stew made in the Dutch oven while camping), will make some beer bread probably.

    Almost done with my cross stitched beaded ornament I am working on. Also getting the binding stitched down on the quilts that are Christmas presents.

    Will do some grocery shopping tomorrow- need produce and milk.

    Have a great and frugal week and a nice Thanksgiving!

  86. Hello Brandy!

    Sorry to be MIA lately! We’ve been doing a lot of freezer evaluation with the holidays approaching. Our oldest is moving into the dorms for his final semester and we our having turnover at our rental property as our beloved tenants are moving back to Spain (a visiting professor and his wife). We will need to do some modificatons to our property between occupants due to some code changes. Our city requires an inspection between tenants which makes sense. Luckily, the changeover will occur when my husband has semester vacation so we can do most of the work ourselves. We had two major gifts this week, a leather recliner for the children’s playroom and a new piano. http://www.dollarsandsensetimestwo.org/2017/11/updates-while-we-catch-our-breath/.

    My mother (a psychotherapist), is moving her office and asked me to look into new furniture for her. I was looking at wayfair.com’s corporate site and they reached out to me. Turns out she qualifies for the corporate discount and we can use it to furnish some needed items for her new office! Who knew!

    Our cub scouts raised about $200.00 for their activity account by selling hot dogs and snacks at the local Halloween parade. That money helps us keep our dues low.

  87. Dear Kim I enjoyed your post. I also found myself in some unexpected credit card issues. College daughters father cut her off when he got a new girlfriend. That whole situation emotionally destroyed my daughter. I do what moms do, I put all the pieces back together and we moved forward. Life always has unexpected twists and turns. I always try to be prepared for things but sometimes it feels like a struggle. I am happy you bought the instapot. It actually is for the family. The savings in time and even in food savings add up. I am hoping for a good sale during the holidays to pick up one. I need a food saver too. I have swagbucks and hope to get both. It is sometimes a hard choice to make. The kids always need something and choosing what comes first is just hard for me. I have to remember what is a real need and what is just a want. I hope you make great yogurt. I just found a recipe for gogurt.

  88. There is a generic foodsaver for about $30 in this week’s Aldi Ad. The bags are also on sale this week. I don’t know how well it will work, or how much you plan to spend on one, but thought I’d mention it.

  89. Brandi, I’m sure the Christmas stockings will be cherished by the newlyweds; what a sweet and special gift.
    We collected 28 eggs last week (the girls are going through a light molt, but we get between 3 and 5 eggs per day from 5 hens; our girls are rock-stars!) We sold 1 dozen eggs to one of my co-workers. We won’t be selling any more until after Thanksgiving to make sure we have enough for the pies, etc. and to give some to my aunt and cousin while they’re here.
    Harvested a few tomatoes, tomatillos, and bell peppers.
    I made a little over a gallon of pomegranate juice from gifted fruit. Most pomegranate juice sets my teeth on edge, but the co-worker who gave me the pomegranates has several varieties of bushes, including those with pink seeds and white seeds. The pink and white are quite a bit sweeter and the combination made a very tasty juice. We drank some this week and froze the rest for future use.
    At the bi-weekly grocery trip, we were more than $30 under-budget, but then we got a coupon for $10 off a turkey at Grocery Outlet with $30 purchase. So we went back and purchased some stock-up items at good prices, plus bought-ahead some Thanksgiving items that will keep (cranberries, bread for the dressing, etc.) and got our first turkey. We will be buying at least 2 others at great prices this week to stock up. We were still very close to budget and have quite a bit of food bought ahead.
    We also bought pinto beans in a 25 lb bag. We (really, I) eat a lot of “refried” beans. So we buy them in bulk and I can 3 lbs at a time. That’s about the right amount for a pressure-canner load. When I want “refried” beans, I heat them up, season them, and mash them.
    My mom trimmed my dad’s hair.
    I make my own cards, including at Christmas. This year, I decided to reuse a rubber stamp from several years ago, but I’ll find a way to change it up and make the card a little different. I knew I didn’t have enough card/envelope sets that would work. So I went online and was able to buy enough for 90 cards (any extra supplies will be used for future products) for $12.47. I also bought a set of 24 watercolor pencils for $5 as my old colored pencils are about dead.
    My sister and I went shopping on Saturday to look for a few more items from our lists. She was able to buy 2 new soccer balls on sale for $12 each for her OCC shoebox. The other soccer balls they had were $16 – $20 or more. She almost accidently bought the more expensive ones, but I had a running total of the purchase going in my head and when the clerk gave the total, it was too high. When we realized what the problem was, the clerk let me go get the right ones to replace them. It’s worthwhile to pay attention and know what your total should be. The way I saved money on that shopping trip was by not buying anything because I couldn’t find anything from my list of NEEDS that was within my price-range.

  90. A quiet week for me as I recovered from health issues, but I still tried to be mindful of money. My frugal accomplishments:
    – Went shopping with my mother and sister and was able to go to several stores to get the best prices. Some of the best prices were clementines for $1/lb and several different types of pasta for 50 cents/lb.
    – I started my Christmas baking supply shopping, buying icing sugar, white chocolate molding wafers, and green and red quins/jimmies/hundreds-and-thousands on sale plus I used a coupon on top of that. I still need to buy some more cocoa so that I can make my Copycat Oreos for gift-giving (http://approachingfood.com/homemade-copycat-oreos-chocolate-vanilla-and-mint-with-bonus-chocolate-dip/) – the mint ones are my favourite – but I’ll wait until I either see cocoa on sale or I can get to Costco to buy it in bulk.
    – I forgot lunch at home one time, but made do with the crackers and peanut butter that I keep at my desk. Another time I happened to have a loaf of bread with me (a gift from my mum) and I made a peanut butter sandwich for lunch.
    – I redeemed Swagbucks for a $15 Old Navy giftcard.
    – I used a Swagbucks gift card to buy myself a hot chocolate from Starbucks one day on my lunch. It was a two for one deal, so I got the second one free and gave it to a homeless guy on the street. It was the first bitterly cold day in Toronto and there was a cold weather advisory in effect, so I think it was appreciated.

    As always, I enjoy learning from everyone else here!

  91. Thanks Ellie. I think I am going to get one at Walmart. I having been reading reviews and a couple of troubling topics come up. Apparently their warranty is 30 days. Their customer service may be with a third party . I have read hundreds of complaints about no service being available. I can’t afford to invest in one and have it break. Walmart has an extended warranty for about 25.00. I found a coupon for 25.00 off that will cover the warranty. I would hate to end up with a broken unit and no recourse.

  92. Me, too, Marybeth. I could read before kindergarten so my Mother would let me read instead of napping. Of course, half the time I dozed off, anyway.

  93. The snapdragons here are absolutely beautiful. They really love the cooler temperatures. I bought more kale and 2 9packs of pansies at Lowe’s for the flower bed in front of the back porch. This is a north facing bed and tends toward dampness but the pansies will work well there and the kale will do nicely in sunnier spots. I could have bought pansies for less at the store in the next town but I’d noted that in previous years, the ones from Lowes perform very well and those from the store tend to be stunted or something. They smell heavenly though.
    I had a decent week at home, though we did a lot of shopping. This is just a short season in our lives. I’ll be back to making out lists and carefully considering things in the next month!

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