Frugal Accomplishments

Frugal Accomplishments for the Second Week of September

Herb Arrangement The Prudent Homemaker

I canned sweet pickle relish using part of an Armenian cucumber from the garden. They are so large that I can easily cut six to eight cups of cucumber from each cucumber!

I mended a quilt, a pair of pants, and a cardigan.

We celebrated a very simple birthday for my new teenager! (Now I have four teenagers!) She wanted ice cream for her birthday (no cake) which we bought on sale for $3.99 a gallon. She chose her favorite meals for breakfast and dinner, and her grandparents took her out to lunch. Her gifts were simple: a necklace that she had chosen on Amazon, two like-new books from the thrift store ($0.50 each) and some pajamas that I ordered on sale. I hung up a fabric banner that I had made years ago for one of her past birthdays as a decoration.

I had a bit of fun arranging my new refrigerator and thinking about what we really need in the kitchen fridge and what door items could go in the smaller garage refrigerator. There is less door space on the new refrigerator, so I decided to move infrequently used items like Worchestershire sauce to the outside refrigerator. Having things be more practical should lead to less food waste and less frustration.

I had been eating down the fridge and freezers earlier, giving me enough room in my new freezer section to purchase some meat at rock-bottom prices. This past week, I stocked up on whole chickens for $0.59 a pound and boneless pork roast for $0.99 a pound. I cooked part of a pork roast in my solar oven (enough for four meals) and froze the rest. All of the chicken I put in the freezer. I am able to purchase more meat for our table by stocking up only when prices are incredibly low.

I did a ton of batch cooking for this upcoming week. It’s going to be a busy week and I’m grateful to have made so much food for the week.

I bought my second eldest son some new shirts on sale (one was on clearance). In the store, I found several shirts that I thought he would like. I was delighted when he showed me the ones he liked–and they were the exact ones I had thought he would like! I bought him some of them and will wait for a better sale on the other ones he liked and gift those to him for Christmas.

I read several three novels by Pam Jenoff as e-books from the library: The Things We Cherished, The Last Summer at Chelsea Beach, and Almost Home.

What did you do to save money this past week?

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142 Comments

  1. I can only imagine what batch cooking for your family must look like! While my husband was repairing the freezer yesterday, I took the opportunity, while everything was pulled out, to go through it all. An area of the freezer hadn’t been freezing properly, so I divided several things up to go to the compost, chickens, or eat last night. When I put everything else back, I organized it into fruits, vegetables, dairy, etc. Hopefully, I can keep it that way, which will better help me figure out what I have. We worked on firewood, with him cutting, and me pulling brush into a pile to burn. I canned tomatoes and pear sauce, and used some of our garden harvest for every meal. I look forward to seeing what everyone has been up to. http://abelabodycare.blogspot.com/2019/09/a-doozy-of-day-frugal-accomplishments.html

  2. Another scrappy quilt finished with my new long arm- https://pin.it/kbvy6lszcj4s3k

    There’s a small town gas station/mini-mart in the small town nearest our daughter’s home about an hour from us. The mini-mart also has its own meat/cheese market that all the locals love! I just bought 2 ten pound bags of BLSL chicken breast on sale in their ad for $1.49/pound, but actually marked with a sign in the store as $1.39/pound! I won’t need to buy chicken during the coming winter! Another daughter was going out to our daughter’s for a “cousins” day and BBQ so she took her cooler and bought 20 pounds for her freezer. She’s have carpel tunnel surgery this week and wanted to cut hers into chunks and precook them for the freezer to use for easy meals for post surgery.

    Our Meijers had their “Buy 10, get the 11th for free” sale and I stocked in enough 16 oz vegetables that I’m set with those for the winter as well!
    Bought more 1 pound bags of dry kidney beans at DT for $1 each.
    Yes, I think I’m about ready for winter!

    1. Good luck to your daughter on her surgery. She will need time to recover but her pain relief should be immediate. I know mine was. That was 20 years ago and no pain since then.

    2. Pat, “softies” are flannel handkerchiefs, right? I have some flannel. What are the dimensions, and do you hem them or serge around? Thank you!

  3. Sounds like another busy week! I love that you have a tradition of the birthday person choosing meals for the day. My mum did that for us when I was a child, and it was such an inexpensive way to make the day special.

    My frugal accomplishments:
    – I made breadcrumbs and used them to make my Grandmother’s German Meatball recipe (http://approachingfood.com/german-meatballs/). The recipe is at least a hundred years old and is one of my family’s favourites! I also used eggs purchased on sale.
    – Thanks to someone mentioning it in the comments two weeks ago, I made banana bread granola! Using banana as the fruit in my granola instead of dried cranberries makes my favourite breakfast even less expensive.
    – I traded 4 plants that I propagated myself (an ivy, a succulent, and two Christmas cacti) for a BN (shrink-wrapped) wooden Melissa and Doug alphabet puzzle. I plan to give it to my daughter as a birthday present. I already had the plastic plant pots, so really the only cost to me was the dirt. Coincidentally, my sister was getting rid of a succulent plant the day before the trade, so I accepted that and included it in the trade.
    – I also traded 18 homemade cupcakes for a small cotton candy machine! I’m trying to throw a carnival-themed 1st birthday party for my daughter, but on a budget. I doubt we’ll do anything but very small family get-togethers for the next few years, so I’m hoping to have a small but fun party for her this year with some of our friends. I will use re-useable plastic straws (from the dollar store) as sticks. Plus, I was able to trade 6 homemade cupcakes for a BN carton of birthday cake flavoured official cotton candy sugar. These can be quite expensive to buy, so I was happy to trade for it! So for $1.25 (plus the cost of homemade cupcakes), I will be able to offer guests a very fun treat. Plus, it will function as an activity to keep some of my friends’ older kids occupied. I mean, who wouldn’t want to spin their own cotton candy? I also traded a bottle of alcohol that I was given, for some digital currency.
    – I cooked a pork roast from the freezer in my slow cooker along with carrots, onions, and potatoes and it made meals for many days for my husband, plus I was able to give my mom a meal when she visited. Then I took some of the pork, shredded it, and mixed it with bbq sauce to make bbq pulled pork. I also pureed some of the pork with some of the broth and the veggies, to make a pork stew baby food, which my daughter loves. I froze a lot of it in cubes for future meals for her.
    – I visited my sister on the day that she was volunteering at a community bbq. She was able to take home some of the leftover food, and shared it with me. I got dinner out of it, plus went home with a giant bag of hotdog buns, as well as pop, celery, dates, and chips. I froze the hotdog buns, and will use them for homemade garlic bread, meatball subs, philly cheese steak sandwiches, and also turn some into breadcrumbs. Plus, I used the covered aluminum containers that the food came in, to package the cupcakes that I had traded.
    – I signed my daughter up for a free trial Spanish class for babies. Free and fun stimulation for her!
    – I received a free kid’s bento box at an outdoor foodie event. Both the box and the lunch fixings to go in it were free. I just bought a side dish (cheese sticks) as that was enough calories and protein for me for lunch, and my daughter and I shared the bento box for dinner.
    – I received a $10 off $50 coupon at the same event, and gave it to my sister, as she shops at that particular food store.
    – I redeemed $10 worth of Air Miles for groceries, and picked up on sale items for my daughter’s birthday party next month: 4 bags of chips, plus two boxes of baby crackers. I also bought a bottle of seltzer for me (cheaper to buy a drink at a store than at the food event). After taxes, my oop was 65 cents.
    – I made a batch of chocolate-covered almond toffee. Way cheaper to make it myself than to buy it! I’ll give most of it to my colleagues. Affordable networking!

    Looking forward to learning from everyone else as always!

    1. Margaret,
      I love the way you work on the trading. Bartering/trading hasn’t caught on in my neck of the woods. I think people think they aren’t returning the favor enough. Hopefully someday.
      That chocolate almond toffee, could you point me in the direction of that recipe. That might make for some good “vacuum chocolate” for this household.

      1. Thanks, Jenifer! I really got a kick out of trading a batch of cupcakes (which I can whip up easily using pantry ingredients I buy on sale) for a cotton candy machine! That’s something I would never buy, but trading for it makes it fit in my budget!

        The (amazing!) chocolate-covered almond toffee is a Dorie Greenspan recipe, from her cookbook, Baking Chez Moi. It’s called Chocolate-Covered Toffee Breakups, and I would assume most libraries have it or could access it through an inter-library loan system. Due to copyright laws I can’t copy the recipe for you, and I couldn’t find it replicated online, but here’s a link that sums up the process: https://www.eatlivetravelwrite.com/2015/11/tuesdays-with-dorie-baking-chez-moi-chocolate-covered-toffee-break-ups/. I *highly* recommend this recipe! It’s amazing to give as a gift for any holiday or hostess gift. It’s not cheap in terms of pantry ingredients, but still way cheaper than buying a box of chocolates as a gift, and the recipient will swoon over it! And as long as you have a candy-thermometer, it’s easy to make.

        1. Margaret @approaching food; thanks to you I was able to find a buy nothing group that is local to about 5 or 6 adjoining communities. The purpose of the group is to keep no longer needed items out of landfills. There is no buying in this group only giving. So far in September I Gifted 35 items but I have also been gifted many wonderful items like a patio set, coffee, baby clothes, etc. It has been a blessing. We can also borrow things.

          1. Oh yay, I’m so glad, Betsy! Buy Nothing groups are so useful, both for decluttering while benefiting others, and for helping you be frugal as well! It’s just win-win! I know several other posters use buy nothing groups and enjoy them as well. So glad it’s been helpful to you!

  4. I love the jar of green — I find monochromatic arrangements to be soothing to the eyes, especially in that shade of green.
    Four teenagers! I remember dealing with just two — oh my.
    I have a week of unknowns coming up, as in, when will my husband be released from this latest hospital visit and will he have to go to physical rehab again, so I am struggling to plan and be frugal around that.
    I shopped carefully for groceries and kept the amount below budget.
    I got my flu shot at Publix — my insurance covers that in full so no out of pocket costs for me, and Publix is giving away $10 gift cards for getting your flu shot at their pharmacy, so I got a gift card as well.
    I made two more batches of tea for my two kombucha brewers.
    My sister gave me a clearance top that didn’t fit her, as it must have been sized wrong.
    I was offered a free lunch out at my office, which I accepted. I saved my packed lunch for the next day.
    I hung out three loads of laundry in the hot sun this weekend.
    I’m returning a library book on time.
    I’m so ready for fall even though we continue in the 90’s — I decorated my grapevine wreath on my kitchen door with the blue ticking stripe bow I had washed and refreshed, then added some semi-dried hydrangea blooms and the tasseled tops off of some cane growing in our yard. It’s fall-ish, without looking like I’m already decorating for Thanksgiving. The current home magazines show entrances just piled with pumpkins and squashes — I counted 36 large ones and two large baskets full of small ones in just one photo of an entrance door — which would cost a fortune if they aren’t home grown, and would rot in this damp Florida heat in a very short time. I’ll just stick with my simple decor.

    1. Jo, your local and seasonally appropriate decor sounds lovely! For what it’s worth, it’s too hot and humid today for massing pumpkins here in my WNY home, too!

  5. It is so great that you got some cooking done ahead of a busy week. That helps so much. My daughter had a “cooking fit” as we call it, this week, and made several items, which were enjoyed by us and several relatives. When I had a lot of kids at home, we just gobbled everything up. Now, with only one daughter left at home, with extras in and out, it’s nice to give small portions to my mom, aunt, sister, etc. so they can have an easier week and so we don’t end up eating the same thing over and over.. I well remember my mom giving my grandma little cottage cheese cartons of this and that when I was a girl to make her meals easier. Now it’s my daughter’s turn, and mine.

    We harvested a large amount of onions and got them braided and hung up to dry.

    We worked with my niece and nephew for extra hours, as their father is out of town. We will be glad when payday comes this month:). We are still saving for an upcoming trip to see our daughter in Hawaii.

    We canned chicken that I got on sale for 89c/lb. My husband watched the canner since chicken needs to pressure can for 75 minutes. We also made a lot of broth from the bones and canned that as well.. I bought split breasts because I wanted the bones for this reason, and that was one of the choices for the sale. I am amazed you got chicken for 59c. That’s an amazing price!

    I did some yard work, but the day I wanted to do more ended up being unexpectedly rainy….I guess the weather man still doesn’t know everything:). At least I got the yard debris bin filled most of the way. I still have some garden veggies to harvest although it’s winding down.

    Pictures are on my blog: http://beckyathome.com

    1. Wow Brandy, those must be some really large cucumbers!
      I found some good prices on meat as well. I picked up some BLSL chicken breast for $1.20 lb, limit 5lbs and bone in chicken breast for $.88 lb.. I removed the bones answer froze them to make broth at a later date.
      Hubby gave his 2 week notice,. He has done appliance repair for 40 plus years and physically can’t do it anymore. His knees are shot and had carpal tunnel surgery on his wrist this summer not to mention 60% hearing loss. He just turned 63, so he will need to find another job for a few years.
      I kept hearing God will provide, trust in him. We are trusting and know we will be taken care of. We have a freezer full and good pantry stock. I work full time and carry our health insurance.

    2. Becky, I am canning chicken also! I have been waiting for months for the bone-in breasts to go on sale for $.99 but they have not. I finally gave up and bought the boneless breast on sale for $1.49. A great price for that but I prefer the cheaper bone-in breast because you can also make broth. Right after I bought the boneless, then the bone-in immediately went on sale this week! Now I must get the apples canned so I can buy more chicken. When it rains, it pours.
      Jeannie@GetMeToTheCountry

  6. Brandy, I love the birthday gifts you gave your newest teenager. Thank you so much for sharing this with us. You know, I always imagine what you cook with portion sizes that would be appropriate for my family. Then I realize what 4 meals worth of meat and batch cooking for your family would actually be, and laugh at myself for thinking so small scale. Still amazing to read how big those Armenian cucumbers actually get. No wonder they work so well for your family’s needs!

    I’m currently working my way through a long “to do” list, most of which involves canning food for my pantry. I expect my weeks to be pretty busy the next little while, too. This week our frugal accomplishments for our household included:
    *Meals made at home included BBQ hot dogs with baked beans, corn on the cob and herb roasted potato chunks, “make your own” pizzas, homemade lasagna with homemade apple crisp (pulled from the freezer and baked along with the lasagna saving hydro), bacon sandwiches with homemade coleslaw, homemade macaroni & cheese casserole, and leftovers night.
    *Finding cheap meal ideas is one of my favourite things to research. However, it’s not always easy to find new ideas. I’ve decided to start including some of DD’s school lunches I send, that might be inspirational for those looking for cheap work/school lunch ideas. DD hates eating the same thing over and over, so I have to do a wide variety of options to keep her happy. If other’s would like to share their lunch ideas each week, I’d be very interested! This week she took: leftover homemade cream of potato soup with grated cheese on top, a homemade chocolate “zucchini” muffin and home-canned peaches & pears mixed (all packaged in reusable containers of course); leftover fried rice, yoghurt, “zucchini” muffin and peaches/pears; leftover french fries, yoghurt, a chocolate “zucchini” muffin, and peaches/pears (plus money for cafeteria, which we are trying once a week to help DD to feel more comfortable in the school environment); tuna sandwich, yoghurt, chocolate “zucchini” muffin and peaches/pears; and yoghurt, chocolate “zucchini” muffin and peaches/pears (her teachers made a free spaghetti lunch for all the kids in her LLS classroom on Friday, so she only needed some snacks)
    *Made oatmeal chocolate chip muffins (recipe link: https://moneysavingmom.com/oatmeal-chocolate-chip-muffins/#_a5y_p=706734) on Friday afternoon, because the weather was cooler and I felt like baking.
    *Bought $110 worth of groceries for free, using PC points hubby built up over the summer while doing the grocery shopping. Also bought a 4 pack of zucchini on clearance for $1 at another store. Made 4 pre-measured 1-cup baggies for the freezer, to use for making healthy muffins in the winter.
    *Harvested green/yellow beans, Swiss chard, 1 small beet, dill seed, and dill weed. The 2 bags of beans in the fridge, along with the freshly picked beans, were finally cut, blanched and frozen for winter use. The dill weed was dehydrated and added to my pantry for winter use. The dry dill seeds were removed from the heads and added to the jar of seeds collected a few weeks ago.
    *Canned 9 pints of garlic dill pickles from a basket of pickling cucumbers I bought at the grocery store (as part of the $110 worth of free groceries). Used dill seed harvested from my garden.
    *Pulled several chicken and turkey carcasses and a couple bags of veggie scraps from the freezers and cooked up a huge batch of poultry stock. I tried roasting most of the bones (1 turkey carcass was still quite frozen, so it went directly into the stock pot) before adding them. Hoping this will add a nice flavour to the final product.
    *Hubby brought home 4 cabbage rolls from work. The only ones here who like cabbage rolls is hubby and my mom. My mom enjoyed a roll when we had “leftovers night”.
    *Over the summer, my mom and brother worked away at cleaning out and fixing up the old fruit cellar room in the basement. It was full of my dad’s old tools and hardware supplies (my dad passed away in 2009). My brother helped my mom sort through it all, purge what wasn’t needed, and organize what was left. The cellar was emptied, cleaned up, room was painted white (it’s so much brighter now) and shelving was fixed up. I now have a place to store my home canning, extra canning supplies, and extra pantry items that I have stocked up on when there was a good sale. This week I took some time to organize the shelves a bit, as I added more home-canned food to my “new” cellar pantry!
    *Our old washer was delivered to the metal recycle place this week. We received $13.50 for the metal. Not much, but better than paying $30 out of our pocket to have it removed!
    *Hubby and I celebrated our 20th wedding anniversary this week. Hubby asked me to pick up some movie tickets at Costco, to use for our anniversary celebration. The tickets happened to be on sale when I went to buy them!!! I cannot tell you how lucky that was, as these tickets don’t often go on sale. We also went out for dinner. Used a loyalty coupon to received 1 free dinner. I brought home most of mine, and enjoyed it for lunch the next day.
    *Went on our bi-annual trek to pick up the flowers my mom puts on our grandparents and great-grandparents graves. We also stopped at our favourite roadside stand and picked up 2 bushels of “C-grade” MacIntosh apples ($16/bushel – to compare price, they had high grade apples available for $18/half bushel). We then stopped at the chocolate factory (stocked up on our Chocolate stash), and the cheese factory (had to get some fresh cheese curd and 4 yr old cheddar). The weather wasn’t great, but it was still a nice trip.

    Looking forward to reading all the comments this week. I always enjoy learning from all of you!

    1. For those living in Canada, I don’t know about other provinces, but in Ontario, No Frills has 10lb bags of carrots, beets, onions and potatoes on sale for $1.97/10lb bag this week (Sept 19th – 25th). I always buy these deals and preserve enough for my family’s needs for the winter. You will not find a better deal than this!

      1. Hi Rhonda A.,

        In Alberta, the price is $3.47 for ten pounds of beets, onions, carrots, or potatoes. That is a really great price here.
        They are all grown in Western Canada which may account for the higher price but it is still a bargain. Their prices on
        Hallowe’en candies are the lowest I’ve found. A friend picked up some for me but I cannot eat them (this was deliberate on my part so they still exist by Hallowe’en). They now have my favourite Hershey’s peanut-free mini bars on sale for $4.97 for 50 which is a good price. I may stock up on those for the rest of the year, too since they are only made at Hallowe’en and it is one of the few chocolates I can eat due to allergies.

  7. I will keep this short because I must get back into the kitchen.

    My Local Dollar General Market had a manager’s special and was selling three pounds of apples for $1. My son Dustin saw the sign, asked me about it and I told him to see how many they would sell him. He asked the manager if he could have all of them, she paused and said, “Yes, but I wanted one bag.” They laughed and then he bought 38 bags (38 x 3 = 114 pounds). I will make apple butter, apple pie filling, dehydrate some and am looking for any new canning recipe suggestions. About three years ago I ran across another fantastic sale and was able to preserve enough apples to last us until now. I store all my canned jars in cardboard boxes so light doesn’t hit them. I also use the Tattler reusable plastic lids and have discovered they preserve food better than the jars with regular metal lids. There is a noticeable difference after about three years between the jars even though they are sitting side by side. Tattler lid jars look perfect, but the food in the jars with the metal lids are beginning to turn dark. Tattler lids must seal better or something. Don’t know.

    I look forward to reading everyone else’s comments when I sit down to rest my feet.

    Jeannie@GetMeToTheCountry.blogspot.com

    1. Jeannie—
      I have never heard of that type in f canning lid! Where do oh purchase them, and how expensive are they? What an awesome price on the apples!

      1. You can find them on Amazon, Susan M. They can be a bit pricy to buy initially. However, they are reusable and will save money in the long run. I have some Tattler lids, but not enough for all my canning needs. I use the Tattler lids for things I know I won’t give away (canned poultry stock, canned beans/chick peas, things like that), but use the normal canning lids for things that may get given as gifts, like jams, jelly, etc.

      2. They are pricy but end up paying for themselves over time. I bought mine years ago and they are still doing great. There is a learning curve when you first use them because you must put the bands on the right tightness or they won’t seal correctly. It took me a while to finally get it correct.
        Right now they are selling for $8.50 for 12 which is expensive to me because I have hundreds of jars. At first, I would use a few with each batch I canned and then would open those jars first so I could use them immediately on something else. Eventually, I was able to buy enough for everything. I still use the metal lids on jars that I am giving away as gifts. There is a downside. They don’t “ping” when they seal. We always enjoyed hearing the jar lids ping in the kitchen and would yell, “It pinged!”
        Here is the Tattler Company’s website and there are many videos on Youtube.
        https://reusablecanninglids.com/products
        Jeannie@GetMeToTheCountry

      3. I have canned apple chutney and it was so delicious that I still think about it years later! There are lots of recipes on the internet.

      1. Kim, $1.99 is the price of apples here also! However, I have discovered why they were so cheap. Evidently they were stored in a refrigerator for quite a while. Now that they are at room temperature, they are quickly becoming soft. I am having to work fast to get them canned or dehydrated. It was a chance I took and I am glad I bought them.
        Jeannie@GetMeToTheCountry

  8. My non-frugal spending continues! It’s not a good thing when you call the plumber and his wife recognizes your voice on the phone. Today we are having a 40 year old toilet replaced with a new one due to three actual leaks that got suddenly worse in the past week. It is an expense, but it will save us in water used. The week was aggravating as the easiest was the bucket flush! That was after turning off the leaky shut off valve which needs replacing as well.
    Frugal opportunities did present themselves, however. I saw an ad for an electric scooter (old) and went to look at it. We bought it for $175, and it needs new batteries, which will be about $140. I will be using it in the future instead of walking distances, which I simply cannot do comfortably anymore. I’m fine in the house for the most part, but walking more than half a block is very hard on my hips (arthritis) and knees (same.) Walking around a festival or fair is just impossible. So I have taken the plunge with a bargain on that.
    Another frugal find this week was some stock up prices on meat. Boneless whole pork loin was $1.69 a lb. I managed to find one I liked, and most of it is in the freezer now. I also bought one chuck roast for $4.99 a lb. If the freezer had been defrosted I could have bought more, but since it hasn’t been done yet, one was the limit this time around. Will try to get it done this week but it depends on what else turns up.
    My granddaughter is apparently dating “the one.” He had to go away for a wedding a couple weeks ago and we just got a delayed post card from him in which he said “Thank you for helping to raise your perfect gtandchild. She makes the world a better place.” Is he in for a big surprise when the LOVESTRUCk feeling moderates! They seem to both feel the same way about the other, and some long range plans are already being made. She HAS to go to his family at Christmas, because it’s his niece’s first Christmas! We have no small children to consider to we can be flexible with our own Christmas dates! He is on a speaking panel and has some dates in the future, so trips to Lisbon and Savannah might be coming up too. A very exciting time in her life, and his, apparently! She is 27 and he is 28, so this is appropriate timing. We have only met him a couple times but so far we very much approve.
    The real estate agency for which she was working was sold to another agency and she moved to a different agency which had been trying to recruit her for a while. So far she is not wildly enthusiastic about it, but is trying to adjust, and keeping special attention on commissions owed by the former agency while setting up at the new one. I hope she will be happy there once she catches on to the difference in procedures, etc.
    My DD has received dr’s permission to bear weight on her broken ankle and foot (3 broken bones) and was surprised to find there is still pain involved. The dr did tell her several months to curing the breaks. She thought she was going to be pain free but is NOT. She is doing better, however. It was a joint entertaining effort yesterday—I supplied cookies and she supplied drinks, in order to entertain grandaughter and beloved. She has only been able to send her husband to the store and is not able to stand long enough to make cookies. Beetween us, we got it done!
    Went to a grand-niece’s 10th birthday party on Saturday. Was a wonderful time with great themed food for a “luau” but a very windy though warm day. The bounce house actually blew away in the wind, but no kids were in it at the time. A couple of the guys jumped up VERY QUICKLY to grab on to it and make sure no one was in it! All was well but it could have been a probem. Saturday was an extremely windy day here. We had great food and a wonderful time at the party. Quite a busy weekend for us older folks!! Today might just be catch up on rest day!!

    1. Marcia R.
      I broke my foot in 2 places 3 summers ago. It still hurts. I guess it’s either a long recovery time, or it never is the same again. Encourage your daughter to take it easy!

      1. Maybe it is undiagnosed injury to a tendon. That would hurt longer than a broken bone. Perhaps mention it to your doctor?

  9. It won’t sound like much, but I made dinner EVERY night last week. My girls grabbed McD’s on Wednesday after a church activity, but that is the only “out” food we had. I had to come up with a new baby gift at 11pm on Friday night when the blanket I had worked on for a month fell apart in the wash. (I used a new kind of yarn that I got on clearance, and won’t ever use again) Luckily, I had other baby yarn in my stash and made a quick beanie. Dinners are planned for this week, with minimal groceries needing to be purchased.

    1. Hi Tiffany, If you have the label for the yarn and havn’t thrown out the blanket, you can write or email he manufacturer and show them the poor quality of their yarn. Tke a picture. Ask for a different type of yarn as a replacement. They should replace it.
      Yarn is so expensive, even clearance yarn.
      Good luck,
      Ellie

    2. I agree with Rhonda! Our biggest temptation to spend is eating out. We have done pretty well this past month, but it still a hard habit to break! Good job, Tiffany!

  10. What a great price on whole chickens and BL pork roast. I know you’ve mentioned in the past that pork roast is one of your family’s favorites. So glad you had both the money and space to stock up!

    • Made ramen and used up leftover meat and veggies
    • Listened to the Getting Organized conference for free
    • Cut up and froze two quart bags of jalapenos to use in chicken taco soup this winter.
    • Washed plastic ziplock bags to reuse
    • Made swag goal x 2
    • Got a quote to put gutter guards up ($655 for 70 feet) versus doing the work ourselves with the top-of-the-line product from Home Depot for ($144). Ordered the product from HD and chose the “free shipping” option to the store. Am waiting for it to arrive at the store.
    • Went to local bookstore and for free heard New York Times reporter Tatiana Schlossberg, Carolyn Kennedy’s daughter, speak about her first book “Inconspicuous Consumption.”
    • Shopped at the Asian market where prices on ginger root, scallions, basil, etc are 50% less than local grocery stores. I froze the unpeeled ginger root and put the scallions in a glass of water so they will continue to grow.
    • Hung up all loads of laundry outside to dry
    • Entered photos in the local agricultural fair
    • Grilled large number of chicken breasts to use throughout the week

    1. Libby, if you haven’t tried planting the green onions in your garden before, you can plant them and harvest from them for months!

  11. This has been a very different summer! After last year’s hot, dry and windy summer we decided to see how living in our 5th wheel RV would be for a long period of time. After a lot of checking areas and realizing that being closer to home would be good (worried about having issues with this used RV and being far away from home) we found an rv park about two hours west of us, in the S. CO mountains. The park is older and smaller, nestled along the edge of the forest with a river running through the property. After about a week I realized I needed something to keep me busy other than reading and walking – mentioned that to a ‘neighbor’ and she suggested I talk to the park GM. Sooooo… I started work as an “accidental” work camper! About 15-20 hours a week in the office/store. This in turn paid for our now reduced monthly rental (discounted for employees instead of $600 a month it is $500 plus electricity). There is also enough left over to pay for eating out (found to be very expensive as the closest town is a tourist destination so kept eating out once every two weeks) and groceries (also higher than home).

    It’s been a lovely summer – temps, although reaching highs of 90 for several days were generally in the low 80s and how 70s (F). Rains in the afternoon for most of June and July but lots of clear blue sky to see most of the time. A lush year for wildflowers – I borrowed a book from the store’s book shelf to acquaint myself with flowers and plants I was unfamiliar with. In one of the tenting areas along the river the water remained too high to put any tenters there so the buttercups were flourishing along with the wild roses. Truly heavenly after last summers brown fields.

    I am learning how to cook RV style. The kitchen area is actually quite nice but the fridge is small and the freezer really small. We brought a lot of meat from home and went back midsummer to replenish. Realized that we need to bring our small chest freezer so we can have meat and frozen goods on hand. Meat prices have really gone up and here they are crazy. We committed to a quarter beef again – will be ready when we return to the farm Oct. 1. While it seems like a big investment up front the quality of the meat is wonderful – raised by a young family that home school their kids and are active in 4H – cattle are raised on grass before being ‘fed out’ – with little to no antibiotics and no hormones. Did a big produce run from the farmer’s markets at home – have a huge head of cabbage left. The Colorado western slope peaches have been amazing this year so we have been splurging on those.

    We had quite the excitement, and then quite the shock, when bears came to the park. A group of Rvers had a breakfast on their last day and put their paper plates, etc. in a trash can instead of the bear proof trash containers. A small bear found that, along with the hummingbird feeders that some RVers had, and made quite the mess. That small bear informed a larger bear (maybe a last year cub and mom) who came down and was quite destructive. We had splurged on an “extenda room” that attached to the awning and created a nice place to sit with no bugs and dogs/cats all safe. We had put a tightly sealed plastic tub containing dry dog food under the steps with other stuff on top. The big bear tore down one side of the ‘room’ ruining the screens in the process, dragged the bin out and broke it open, spreading dog food everywhere. It also dragged out other stuff in the process. Our neighbor had a small freezer and a small fridge outside and the bear carried the small fridge quite a distance and really damaged the freezer. They cleaned out the freezer and had open to dry and when the bear came back it tore the lid off the freezer! This bear is a black bear and about 350 pounds. Sooooo – we had a big clean up. Now everyone gets a warning about placing all trash in the bear proof trash dumpsters and to be vigilant when going out at night. No sign of them for about a week so the situation may have been taken care of.

    I am going to pick rose hips from the wild roses to make rose hip jelly and rose hip tea. The area is never sprayed so these will be perfect to use.

    As for other frugal – cooking at home rather than eating out, going to free entertainment (wonderful fiber show at the park in town), using our Silver Sneakers at the local pool/thermal hot spring (free!), reading books from the store library or brought from home (have read almost 30 books this summer), walking and enjoying nature of a different sort than home and enjoying having an essentially free vacation for us!

    1. Your summer sounds wonderful…except for the bear incident! We have 8 years before we retire, but I am already looking forward to taking an extended RV vacation with the Hubby!

  12. Brandy, so glad you were able to get a new refrigerator that fits your needs.
    -I am doing some cooking ahead today for the week. My husband is having outpatient hernia surgery tomorrow, and my son is home sick from school. (He managed to make it through 2 weeks of school this year before getting sick, so many sick kids at school already this year.) I’m cooking up lots of chicken today and making homemade chicken pot pies and homemade chicken soup. My husband will need lots of help for the next few days, so it will be nice to have food ready in the fridge.
    -Last week I made homemade mac and cheese, nachos with taco meat and beans, bbq chicken and rice, baked pork loin that needed to be used from the freezer with potatoes, carrots and brussel sprouts.
    -made pancakes from scratch and froze the leftovers for school day breakfasts for my son. I had gotten a bit lazy buying pancake mix, but homemade are so much tastier, healthier and cheaper!
    -My mom gave me her old cricut die cutting machine and cartridges a few months ago. She has vision problems and could no longer read the small screen and buttons, so she replaced hers with a simpler machine. I’m finally learning how to used it and having so much free fun with it. I found some clearance adhesive vinyl and have been making decorated gift bags and decorated containers for gifts and craft shows. I will personalize jars at Christmas and fill with candy and baked goods for gifts. So thankful for the hand me down machine! I could not afford to buy one right now.
    -Getting ready to re-open my eBay store, I took the summer off….but the thrift stores have not been kind to me the last few weeks, and I’m not finding many of the items I sell. Hoping the selections improve soon.
    -Hoping to get some cookie dough made and in the freezer this week while I am at home.
    Wishing you all a wonderful week!

  13. I made a full batch of freezer tomato sauce this week, using 16 pounds of tomatoes from my garden.
    I harvested beets and beet greens
    While dropping off some items for donation at a resale store that specializes in craft supplies, I noticed they had a two day sale–a brown paper grocery bag of yarn for $10. I didn’t really need the yarn, but looked and found some great skeins, primarily of items for babies. I’ve been making baby afghans and sweaters and donating them. I filled a bag with a variety of yarns, enough to make 5-6 afghans, some hats and a sweater or two. I also shared five skeins of yarn with my fellow knitters who also knit and donate.
    On Friday, I have been invited to the screening of Downton Abbey the movie by a friend of mine. Her work is having an event at a movie theatre and after their meeting people have the choice of staying for the movie to going to a sporting activity. She has an extra seat and I have also consulted her on some funding opportunities for her work, so she is looking at this as a way to pay me back for my help. I’m very excited and have been rewatching the series through DVDs from the library to get the story line refreshed in my mind.

  14. Its been a long 10 month that how long it took me to find a job. I just started. In that 10 months a lot happen financially and family. Our youngest just off to college in few states away. I end up having surgery (minor) and other things. Which now its time to get bills paid off. So the best place to start is here. I found jimmy deans sausage for 2.29 for 2 lbs. Gave my in laws some food. Food that we wont eat since youngest is not here. Found some item buy one get one free items when we were on vocation. Our vocation was a cabin for the week we just paid 20 buck to cover the gas. We are entering a new chapter in our life where its just hubby and I.

  15. Four teenagers at once! My kids are less than two years apart, so I had two at once…but since I was a SAHM, half the teenagers in town were always underfoot at our house!
    Here are my frugal accomplishments for the past week–
    * I used $50.57 in Office Max rewards (earned on the battery deal) to buy printer paper and ink.
    * I bought 6 huge green peppers for .25 each and made stuffed green peppers with ingredients I had on hand. We ate half and froze the other half for another meal.
    * I harvested a few green peppers (that the dog didn’t get) and tomatoes. I canned another 3 pints of excess tomatoes = 14 pints so far. We pulled up the 3 tomato plants that had wilt and harvested more than a gallon of tomatoes, most of which will be canned.
    * I bought 6 cases of #2 cans of peaches and fruit cocktail. They were .42 per can! My husband eats fresh or canned fruit for snacks every day…often more than once, and I can’t buy fruit and can them for that. I also bought some bulk spices for pennies on the dollar.
    * Mary, my BFF, visited me for 3 days last week. Thursday, we were in Spokane and across the street from the American Cancer Society’s Discovery Shop. I found a bright red parka with black fleece lining. It was $15 and fit me perfectly. Now it’s mine! But Mary got the hot deal of the day. She found a purple cardigan sweater for her sister for $5. It was from Talbot’s and NWT–marked $99.
    * I converted a flat flannel sheet to a fitted bottom sheet.
    * We made my gift-a-month for September. It’s a pair of summer pajamas for my daughter’s birthday. I made a pair of sleep shorts and Mary made an applique on her embroidery machine and appliqued it onto a T-shirt I bought at Jo-Ann’s for $4.33. She also banded the sleeves with the same print I used for the shorts. My gifts each month have been frozen jam in June and July; bath bombs in July; assembled a gift basket of garden pots and tools in August; and the PJs for September (I have the fabric to make bottoms for my daughter-in-law for Christmas, too).
    Best wishes to everyone here!

      1. I hope you and others will join me! I’d love some ideas, especially for things that don’t require any particular skill (because I don’t have any particular skills except for basic cooking and sewing. VERY basic, LOL).

  16. Winter is getting closer in Fairbanks. My husband picked all our tomatoes. We have 5 trays of mostly green ones that will gradually ripen until Thanksgiving. We also have frozen 2 bags of ripe ones that I will use in chili this winter. We froze 27 quarts of celery for winter soups, chilis, stews, and pilafs. It can cost $3/lb here so we are grateful even though it filled much of one freezer! So easy to add it and we don’t waste any. Best of all, the bags were an after Christmas clearance so were only $.04/each! It won’t matter that they are snowflake and nutcracker patterned!My husband dug the first of many potatoes. Based on that, we will have about 500 pounds. We will give some to the food shelf, some to other pastors, some to our married son, some to neighbors and enjoy them all winter!
    This month is polar bear viewing season in Kaktovik where I travel once a month to conduct worship for the people. Kaktovik is an island north of the mainland. I’ve been doing this for 4 years so it is my second home. I feel so blessed to be welcomed into the Inupiaq culture. (I grew up on a native reservation in MN, although my grandparents were all from Denmark.) In October, we will be able to use the church building which has just been repaired and has running water for the first time!
    I don’t post often, but am thankful for all who do post faithfully! I think of you as friends who enrich my life with your frugal ideas. Thanks to Brandy for hosting this wonderful blog!

  17. Butter and 3-liter containers of canola oil were on sale this week, so I bought 3 lb of butter (the limit) and a jug of oil. I have enough butter now to last through Christmas baking, and oil to go well into winter.

    I bought a dressy black top to go under several different colored jackets for going to meetings and to other occasional events. It was 20% off at my local drug store, which is the only store with decent quality non-casual clothing in my town. I bought a warm black long-sleeved shirt for casual wear at home, and a muffin tin at a thrift store.

    The laptop computer that I bought 14 months ago developed a cooling fan error message and was clearly overheating. I had trouble in getting any helpful response from the company I bought it from or the manufacturer, so I ended up replacing it. This week, I took it to a repair shop in the next town over when I was there to attend a meeting. The repair person said that sometimes the computer just needs cleaning around the edges of the cooling fan. He repaired it that day, and I picked it up the next day. It cost $100 (Cdn.) but I now have a good back-up for the laptop I am using, and now have a new computer repair person. (The last shop I used closed when the street he was on was under repair for several months.)

    Sadly, while I was in the town next door to the east, the car’s check-engine light turned back on, so tomorrow I take it in for diagnosis at the town next door to the west. Fortunately, gas prices are very low here, and I am also well under my gas budget for the month.

  18. Like Laurie in NC, I find it amazing the vast quantities required for you to do batch cooking, Brandy, and also the quantities of canning and freezing some readers do! You are all definitely an inspiration! I plan to batch cook and freeze some soups in flat zip bags. I don’t own a pressure canner, and just do small batches of water-bath canning.
    And GardenPat, I am just amazed at how frequently you turn out quilts! I bought all the fabric required to make a simple, full-sized rag quilt for my daughter three full years ago! I am hoping that I can at least begin it this fall.
    My husband retired from his job of 39 years at a large university. We enjoyed a special, university reception and a departmental luncheon, bring food and flower arrangements home from both. The flower arrangements were shared with hospital patients. Hubby received many accolades and heartfelt praise, in addition to a check for several hundred dollars. He used it to upgrade computer and household needs.
    In addition to all the usual, frugal efforts, I made several batches of delicious, whipped milk “ice cream” from a canned evaporated milk. Total cost of each “carton of ice cream”—75 cents. So cheap and healthier for us. It was in the triple digits all last week, and it’s still in the upper 90’s all this week, so we are craving cold sweets!
    I cut my own hair twice a year. I turned two king-sized pillowcases into curtains. I entered a contest and won a coupon for $3.75 worth of Imperial Sugar (sold in Texas.)
    My biggest project for the past several weeks is a massive clean out of our home where we have lived for 27 years. After continuing to take many van loads to our local church mission thrift stores, I found store credit cards from Walgreens and Target, totaling $19.00. I optimistically organized all my mending and future sewing projects. I found two dark knit shirts my husband no longer wears to reinvent as winter “shkirts.” I washed and carefully packed away special clothing, including many baby and toddler dresses my daughters wore. My sister and I still have all our 60-65 year-old baby dresses that our mother starched and ironed when she was our age now. They are all in perfect, beautiful condition, and such a sweet thing for us to cherish.
    Although hubby and I still have not officially celebrated our 43rd Anniversary, we have enjoyed going to estate sales on Sunday afternoons, something I was unable to do for the past 10 years, due to my work schedule. I am happily now retired, too!
    Medical bills continue, but thankfully, the specialist decided that hubby does not need additional surgery at this time. I racked up a $1600 bill for my colonoscopy last week, but now need a CT Scan. The medical bills are endless!
    I continue to notice food prices steadily rising. I am wondering, Brandy, how much you estimate your family currently spends per person per day. I am trying to stock up on some things before the prices really jump.

    1. Tejas,,
      Could you please share the rcipe for your “ice cream”? It’s just too expensive for me to make homemade ice cream in my ice cream maker, the cost of the cream is too much! Thanks!

      1. Thank you, Patricia! Taking care of the grandkids all week is a full time job. Working on the weekends, too, became too much with my health issues. I am enjoying my new free time.

  19. I used to let the kids pick their meal and dessert. Over half of them didn’t like cake or pie. We had 5 teenagers at one time…1 was 18. 2 that were 15 ,1 that was 14 and 1 that was 13 AND the grandson during the same time from birth until he was almost 3. Wasn’t nothing for the oldest at 25 to pop in with her 2 daughters either. I miss my dining table LOL

    Hubby bartered “taxi” service for produce with a couple Amish guys, so now I have cucumbers, beets,zucchini pie pumpkins and will have butternut squash tomorrow. I found some onions in the flower pots when I cleaned off the front porch and was dumping potting soil into the storage container.
    I paid off a couple loans that we got when moving to this house and had 2 households so we were able to cut the monthly budget y $2275 a month. I really hope we can live on it as that actually puts it close to where we would be with Social security and enough of the IRA to cover the mortgage.
    Canning away this week and moving furniture out of the 4 rooms that have to be repainted by contractor due to bad paint. Only took him 6 months to get to us.
    https://chefowings.blogspot.com/2019/09/lowering-budget-to-match-social.html

  20. Your mention of mending, Brandy, reminded me that I must get my mending done this week or the next weekend. I have been busy canning in the past few weeks. I have made 6 rounds of plain and flavoured applesauce and canned peaches and cherries. I would still like to make another couple of batches of applesauce as my son loves it. I have my mom’s and my grandma’s jars but I’ll have to look at our church rummage sale next week for a few more since I’m getting down on pint sized jars.
    We ate all our meals at home except Saturday night when we had a church event where dinner was provided. My husband is now back to work more regularly now that the university students are back to classes. I packed his lunch everyday. It’s my son Tavish’s 16th birthday this week so he has picked the dinner that he would like that night from things we already have and I will make the allergy-free cupcakes to have for tea that afternoon with his grandma and for dinner. A pretty simple celebration, just as you do Brandy.
    We have been using what we have in the freezer and on the pantry shelves and buying very little with the gift cards that I won. I am hoping to stretch them out until the end of the year. It’s a challenge for myself! I know that prices this winter are going to be high so I’m trying hard to stretch things as much as I can.
    Hope everyone has a lovely week. This time of year always feels so productive with canning and freezing.

  21. Hello Frugal Friends,

    I hope everyone is having a great week! Here are my frugal accomplishments:
    – I worked lots of hours this week so that will help on my paycheck!
    – I taught a couponing and using websites to earn cash back purchases class at church. It was a lot of fun. It was nice to teach some young moms how to save.
    – Doing the couponing class got me doing some deals to have as an example. I did a great deal with the Ibotta app where I was able to get 16 items for 21 Cents! I was excited to show them this. I have the breakdown and information about what I got on my blog at: https://lizsfrugalfamilyfun.com/2019/09/14/how-i-used-ibotta-to-purchase-16-food-items-for/
    – I have been using squash, zucchini, basil and tomatoes from our garden in various dishes. I also gave several squash away.
    – I have a “leftover soup” in the crock pot right now with a lot of random food items that I didn’t want to waste in it. I like to try to use up all the scraps.
    – I cleaned the refrigerator to find all these food scraps and make better use of the space.
    – I attended a finance class with the local library and they gave $40 gift cards to Walmart for all attendees. I will save this for groceries.
    – I did a mystery shop with the app Field Agent to get a free pizza from Little Ceasars which worked out well on Wednesday, church night.
    – That is it besides the normal food at home, tending the garden, shopping with coupons, etc…
    Blessings!
    Liz

  22. I love the calming effect of your arrangement.
    I typed a reply last wee, but as I hit send, our internet went out and it was lost in the atmosphere, so this is for two weeks.
    Our garden in really coming. Everything is ripening at once. We picked onions, carrots, tomatoes, peppers, zucchini, and green beans to give to our kids, as one came home for a weekend, and the other was visiting him a few days later.
    I made chow mein with cabbage, carrots, snow peas and onions from the garden, using a 50¢ package of pasta.
    We picked corn 5 times in the last 2 weeks. I now have about 75 cups in the garden, and we have had all we wanted to eat fresh.
    Picked thyme twice and dehydrated. Picked basil and rosemary and dehydrated
    Blanched snow peas, and put ten cups in the freezer in 1/2 cup bags.
    Picked cauliflower. It is huge this year. Have 7 bags with 6 cups each in the freezer. Yum!
    Had BLTs for dinner a couple of times.
    Brought breakfast and lunch to work each day the last two weeks.
    Made 7 pints of zucchini relish.
    My sister and her husband stayed with us for 4 nights. I put a turkey breast in the crockpot one morning, and we had it with corn on the cob and 3 different salads from the garden.
    Ordered my DH’s quarterly free medical supplies from his Medicare Advantage plan. Got a knee brace, Epsom salts, sensitive toothpaste and flossers.
    Found Tillamook cheese – $4.99 for 2 pounds, bread for 99¢ a loaf and a pork butt roast for 99¢ a pound. cut the roast into chunks and put in the crockpot with spices to make carnitas.
    Made chicken tortilla soup with black beans, corn, garlic and onions from the garden. Had it with homemade garlic bread made with a loaf of Italian bread that we got for 50¢ on the day old shelf.
    Finished up the salsa we made last weekend adding homegrown onions, garlic and cilantro, plus a few other things. Put 14 quarts in the freezer.
    Hung laundry on the line, had popcorn for snacks, listened to books on CD from the library on my commute. In general all the “normal” things.
    Hope everyone had a good week.

  23. I had a much overdue operation on my nose last week so I was at home resting for most of it. I had a very frugal week as I didn’t feel well enough to go out and once I felt better I got stuck into cleaning up our bedroom, taking everything out of the wardrobes and I have lots of clothes to drop off at the op shop this week. I have also made a pact with myself I won’t be buying any clothes for 6 months at least. I’m now moving my spring cleaning efforts to the kitchen.

  24. My in-laws have bought a new car and have given us their old one. Our son will use it this year to get to class and ROTC. He drives about 3 hours on 3 days out of the week. He did finally get work study at college, so that will help with the gas costs. Staying at the cabin I just finished getting into place for him is going to help tremendously to reduce his college costs for the next 3 years. Thankful for all the blessings.

    Once again I have been able to stay for free in the American Cancer Society’s Hope Lodge in SLC for my doctor appointments and infusions. My daughter comes along as my caretaker. We bring most of our food and buy very little. Coffee is a must, but she put all of the change from the change jar on her Starbucks card and there is a Starbucks at the institute. Again I am amazed at how helpful the American Cancer Society has been. They have asked for nothing in return for housing us. I am now very thankful for all the opportunities I’ve had to donate to them in the past.

    We were able to get a variety of food from the expired table to expand our meals. In addition, I was able to dehydrate extra chopped green peppers for use later. My MIL sends our daughter gluten free care packages and I was able to use some frozen chicken, GF noodles, chicken bullion and free veggies to make chicken noodle soup for a couple meals. I also brought home expiring egg roll wrappers and used veggies we had on hand to make egg rolls. Since I didn’t have oyster sauce, I used a mixture of Worcester and soy sauce (skipped the suggested addition of sugar). They were very tasty and are something we will do again if wraps are offered. We dried them on a paper bag that was than used to start a fire on one of our recent frosty mornings. Right now I’m not allowed to eat raw veggies, so am limited. We are making veggie stir fry dishes often using as many free, old veggies as we can get.

    Every day I am thankful that we are able to pay the bills and the expensive COBRA. This is going on 4 years of financial struggles with recovery and now this. Fortunately, DH is getting more work during these slow times. Like Brandy said, thankfully we have been able to live frugally as it has made a huge difference. It is very tiring some days though. Love to read how everyone is keeping on.

    1. I relate to the “very tiring some days” statement. On those days I remember you and all of my fellow “family” members that I have met through this blog. Your courage and strength are an inspiration. You all mean more than you know.
      Patricia/Fl

  25. Happy birthday to your daughter!

    I was able to attend a community event to hear the author of a book I’d recently read speak (about that book, which was why I read it! I’d read a library copy, too, so extra frugal). It made for a wonderful evening.

    We attended a birthday party for some new friends, and in addition to the puzzle and craft kit we gave their daughter, we also gave them our daughter’s old bike and scooter. Frugal for them, space-saving for us! They sent us home with leftover pizza, which we enjoyed for dinner.

    We packed a picnic and went on a hike in a local nature preserve. Groceries were under budget last week, which always makes me happy. I didn’t have to do any baking last week either, because I’d made a double batch of cookies the week before, so I just took the extras out of the freezer! The weather, which had gone back up to ridiculously hot, went back down to refreshingly cool and thus we were able to turn the air off. All meals were homemade this week. I’m reading a lovely library book on the kindle my husband got for my birthday (on sale, of course! My old one, a first gen kindle keyboard which I’d purchased used, had been giving me problems for a while now, and it’s something I use a LOT, so this new one is really amazing). I’ve been waiting to do laundry on days when it’s sunny and dry and I can use my drying racks outside; when the weather turns, I’ll pull them inside again and dry in the basement. I’ve gotten pretty good about only using the dryer for bedding!

    And my husband happened to walk by our neighbor’s yard sale, where they were selling a bigger scooter, which he purchased for $1 for my daughter, who was thrilled. It’s been a pretty good week around here.

    Have a great frugal week, everyone!

  26. As I was in the grocery store produce section, I saw the employee removing a large box filled with mushrooms. I was about to buy some so I asked him if he could stop for a minute so I could pick some out. He told me they were turning (only some slight browning that I could see) so they were throwing them away. My eyes must have bugged out because he started explaining that people won’t buy mushrooms that are at all darkening (which is when many cooks like them because the flavor is even more meaty). I asked if I could buy them at a reduced price and he sort of stammered around and said he would have to ask the produce manager. I ended up paying exactly $1 (yes, one dollar!) for a huge box. When I got home I made a huge pot of mushroom soup and then sliced and sautéed and froze the rest in small containers. So, that night we had mushroom soup for dinner (which I make creamy by using an immersion blender at the end so no added flour or butter needed to thicken it). The next night I took part of the leftovers and added canned tuna and a few slices of cooked bacon crumbled up and we had tuna chowder. The third night I went back to the mushroom soup container, took some out and added potatoes and some grated squash and we ate that for dinner. The fourth and last night, I added hamburger and cheese and we had hamburger soup for dinner. Most nights I made quick bread or rolls to go with the soup. Other than those meals, we ate out of the garden, so mostly salads or tomato sandwiches and berries for desserts. Only went to the store for milk. A very frugal week and each night as we ate the soup I said a little prayer of thanks for the abundance that fell into my lap courtesy of the produce manager. (I remembered him in my prayers, too, since I have tried other times with different managers to buy fruit or vegetables that were past their best days and it has seldom worked. Maybe it is store policy, I don’t know. But the idea that all those mushroom would have ended up in the dumpster offends me on several different levels.)

  27. Last week I didnt take any money for groceries out of dh’s check. I recycled my money through ibotta, using coupons on certain items and then cashing out or using pay with ibotta and then buying more items. I was able to squeeze some money out of that for fruits & veggies. Now that my kitchen aid mixer is back in the kitchen, Ive been making bread again. I was making it completely by hand, sporadically, for the passed few years. The stand mixer cuts the time down by at least 50%. I made chilli that lasted a few nights, chicken noodle soup that lasted a few nights and Lentil soup that lasted a few nights too.

  28. Brandy, I love the flower arrangement, it brought a smile to my face after a long day.
    I’ve spent a couple of evenings making pickled beets using my dad’s recipe. The smell of the spices and vinegar brought back so many great memories of canning with my Dad. He was the cook in the family.
    Other frugalities include:
    Washing my SUV in the driveway
    Organizing me freezer, I made up a notebook with tabs for different meats and the amount of each.
    Mowing and trimming my lawn
    Made pear sauce from some over ripe pears
    Enjoyed ripe garden tomatoes all week
    Have a good week!

  29. I love all of the extra little things that swagbucks has afforded us during the difficult years. I received an expensive item in the mail today and am delighted to have been chosen for this survey. This is going to be my son’s large Christmas gift and he will be wowed. I cashed in other swagbucks for an Amazon card. I bought me a weighted blanket for my pain and a much desired Lodge Dutch oven . The lid turns over and is a frying pan. Unexpected events left us living below poverty level for several years. I have been blessed with my disability check so our income has doubled. An error was fixed and we received 6 years of back benefits. The joy to know I can take a hot shower when I want to is so uplifting. The struggles to get by have been difficult. Finding all the friends on this page with Brandy is about the only thing that helped us make it. Our new fortune is mostly put away. I bought tires and brakes for my car. I bought a new washing machine as mine simply died. I’m so frugal , I just didn’t have the heart to buy a dryer. We will continue to hang our clothing out. I destroyed my lawnmower. I bought a new one. I would rather not have, but the code man is quick to write tickets. I refused to pay to haul off the old appliances and lawnmower. My neighbor hauled them off for me and sold them at the scrapyard. That saved me $40.00 . I traded in two old car seats at Wal-Mart for a 60.00 gift card. I purchased two cases of diapers and a case of wipes for baby Henry. Amazon hates me . Every order I place has an issue. I ordered a case of size 4 diapers and they sent a 5. They sent a replacement box and it was a 5 also. The lady said they had stock numbers wrong. They finally sent a 4 . I offered to drop the two 5 boxes off to ship them back but she said it wasn’t worth the expense. Henry is 9 months old and has a total of 7 cases stocked up. Swagbucks has kept him in diapers. Life finally seems brighter and so many burdens are lifted. Be blessed everyone.

    1. What great new, Lillianna! Wow, 6 years of back pay is one heck of a winfall!!!! That must be such a relief to have an instant saving in the bank account and the ability to pay for some much needed items for your home, after years of such a hard financial struggle. I’m sure the frugal mindset will stay with you, now that they are habit. It has served you well and will continue to regardless of your improved income! So happy for you, Lillianna!!!!!

    2. So very happy to hear your good news. I have admired how you dealt with your struggles these past years. Blessings to all.

  30. Enjoy the new refrigerator, Brandy.
    I broke my wrist in January and have been afraid to run for exercise (though I never fell running, and did not fall forward when I broke the wrist, so it’s a bit of an irrational fear). I’ve been looking for a rebounder on CL and found one this weekend for $30. It has a handle, which is nice, and isn’t super bouncy, so seems very safe.. My partner never mentioned he was interested in using it, so I didn’t check the weight limit. Then when we got it he said he’s planning on using it
    Unfortunately, I found out after buying it that it has a 100lb limit, which is fine for me, but not for him. There are others on CL, so he may have to get his own, if he’s serious. I have to say that bouncing is a VERY good aerobic workout. 5 minutes of vigorous work and I’m winded (out of shape)!

    A neighbor gave me a long sugar cane piece so I’m going to cut it up and plant it in my mini food forest. I also planted some ginger roots that had started to sprout.

  31. Just remembered to thank the Canadian reader who mentioned the Flash Food app for the Real Canadian Superstore. I have saved so much money!

  32. Some frugal wins, some not so much.

    My mom sent over 4 packs of cookies, 1 box of crackers, and a bag of chips

    We were at Menards getting work materials for hubby and seen they had bags of chex mix, and gardettos marked down to $1. We purchased 10 bags since hubby and the crosscountry runner go through a bunch of munching type snacks

    I picked up my Walmart grocery order and they gave me a reusable bag with several samples, including coffee, granola, cookies, crackers, ranch dressing , salsa, and lotion.

    Free sample of downy scent booster from Sam’s

    Hubby busted his rear taillight and we found a replacement pair on Amazon cheaper that just 1 locally

    The 12 yo tweaked her knee running and we didn’t have a brace small enough. It cost $14 for a size to fit her.

    A friend is having a yardsale at the end of the month and I’m getting together items to sell

  33. My frugal accomplishments last week were mainly food related. The farm where I get my vegetable share recently opened up its fall greens field, where members can pick a certain amount of each green per week (kale, chard, mustard, collards, etc.). I picked the allowed amount for each type, and then blanched and froze them all, about 10 meals’ worth. Things I made: oatmeal muffins, blackberry rhubarb sauce from fruit in the freezer, jerk pork, beef brisket, rice pilaf, broth, soup for when my husband wasn’t feeling well, and a big batch of pinto beans (I froze most of them, and made refried beans from the rest). Fred Meyer had 2lb blocks of Tillamook cheese on sale for $ 4.99 each if you bought three. I bought three, two for me and one for my mom. We only see this price once a year. I had previously stocked up when they were $5.99 per block, so I didn’t buy as much as I normally would.

    Our very cute resident chipmunk ate my peonies, so I bought a six pack of pansies to replant for 2.99. I moved the planter as well, so hopefully that will curb the chipmunk snacking. I also picked a bunch of flowers as part my farm share.

    Other frugalness:
    – Gathered anise hyssop seeds from my plant.
    – Took my lunch to work every day. Cooked and ate most meals at home.
    – Read ebooks from the library.
    – A patient at the health clinic where I work gave me a coupon for a free car wash, because she is moving away.
    – On a day I was feeling grouchy and lazy, I cleaned up a huge pile of clutter in the bedroom even though I didn’t feel like it. Afterwards, I was still grouchy, but also glad I had accomplished something.

    Have a great week, everyone. Looking forward to all the comments.

  34. It was another good, frugal week.
    We had a Goodwill Outlet open in our city. Wow! Most housewares and miscellaneous were $1.19/#. I bought a good condition North Face backpack. Although I guess that I ended up paying by the pound for the paperclips and gum wrappers left inside, I also found some forever stamps. That was a nice surprise! My daughter is attending a birthday party where they’ve asked for donations for the animal shelter, and I found a nice pet carrier duffle bag in excellent condition, looks unused.
    I went to a salvage grocery store I’ve never visited. It was ok. They had lots and lots of junk food, much expired or about to expire. I did buy a lot of frozen fruit and vegetables (.50/bag), and some treats for the kids. Luckily, I know my prices pretty well, and not everything there was a bargain.
    We have a lot of birthday parties coming up, and I put together gifts from my gift closet.
    I took a laundry basket of kids clothes to the consignment store and was paid a little over $40. I continue to sell items on fb marketplace, mainly small things.
    We went to a Chickfila promotion where kids wearing a sports team shirt received a free 8 piece nugget. I bought fries for everyone to share, and they drank water (as usual). It was nice to have a night off from cooking and dishes.
    I took a meal to a friend who had a baby using mostly things we already had in the pantry and freezer.
    We enjoyed the neighborhood pool on the last day of the season. We were the only swimmers there and took a picnic lunch. I love how easy it is to watch my kids when it’s just me and them.
    My neighbor gave me the coupons from her newspaper. I don’t use coupons much anymore, but it was very kind of her to share them.
    I found marked down Italian bread at Walmart. I make giant sandwiches using this bread, which I freeze in the bread bag. It’s so easy to take out a huge sandwich, then slice and serve when we’re picnicking. I like to think I’m teaching my kids to eat what’s served, instead of requesting custom orders, but really it’s just easier for me. Ham and cheese for everyone!
    I found marked-down diapers in the size that my youngest wears.
    Hope you all had a nice, frugal week!

  35. For Andrea Bocelli fans, the COMPLETE performance at Teatro del Silenzio 2019 is available (probably for a short, limited time) at raiplay.it. There are also the items under Ali di Libertà such as a lovely documentary about Andrea and his family, a shorter documentary about the Andrea Bocelli Foundation’s efforts to rebuild the music school at Caminera after the 2016 earthquake. It is unusual to see the whole TdS performance. There are a lot of opera arias sung but also a lot of the pop songs from Bocelli’s most recent cd/dvd, Sì. It costs a lot of money to go to Teatro Del Silenzio (airfare, tickets, accommodation, etc.) so this qualifies as a frugal save! I think it is a longer performance than usual. I think it is on Rai because of the fundraising for the music school, fundraising donations are open by SMS text until September 22, so probably after that the program will probably be removed.

    I am trying to sort out, unpack the boxes but seem to get interrupted. Telus is still having problems with its email server so they are giving us a credit.
    Not having email actually helps in giving me more time.

    I am hoping to get to the farmers’ market and pick up some more local (as local as it is possible) for my small freezer.

    I ordered copies of my bobcat photo online since the store is close to where I had a meeting and I had a ride to the meeting. I found some very old photos of my siblings and me which I am having processed as a Christmas present. Also, I decided to have the same photo processing store make jigsaw
    puzzles out of a couple of butterfly photos I took. Those will be for Christmas gifts for my great nieces. I am also having the same store make my Christmas cards ( got a 50% off sale). So I’ll be able to pick up photo prints, cards and puzzles from the same store when I get a ride for our next meeting nearby, saving cab fare, time and solving 3 gifts at the same time. I will buy a copy of Grisham’s novel (that I got as a mystery novel for $5) for another relative. I bought an Italian herb growing kit as a small token present for a friend — it was at the bookstore and had been reduced from $16.95 to $6.95. That leaves me with about 3 gifts to buy. The people I buy for are very difficult as they want for nothing. I know it is early but the bargain prices are now. I have to avoid crowds as I cannot be vaccinated for the flu so I will “hibernate” starting fairly soon. I have decided to make some candies also for Christmas gifts so I am stocking up on ingredients while they are on sale.

    I am looking forward to spending a day in the mountains when the larches turn yellow.

    I hae been thinking of Tammy whom I reminded to smell the roses. I have a very late-blooming rose
    and when I see its lovely blossom, I think of Tammy….

    1. Ann,
      You are a sweetheart. That is so nice. I am smelling the roses today with my husband and son. We are making Brandy’s Rosemary White Bean soup together and enjoying computer time as we discuss what we are reading. Watched a library movie last night that made me laugh. I worry sometimes, but you are right I need to keep “smelling the roses.”
      Thank-you.
      Tammy

        1. This Monday. My husband got two days off and my parents will be there. Possibly my husbands family too. I doubt I will be writing anything next week.

  36. It’s been a busy week, and another busy one coming next week. I’m trying to conserve energy.
    I made apple chutney with the blemished apples that we picked. It turned out very well. I have a houseplant that I propagated as a hostess gift. I have started another slip of the same plant for a future gift.
    I threw a vinegary batch of kombucha on the compost pile.
    We ate a few beans and rice meals.
    I used a gift certificate that came in the mail for 4 fancy chocolates from a local shop. We got them while our daughter was visiting, we cut each one up so each of us got a taste.
    I volunteered at the master gardener table at a local veggie expo. After my shift I got to look around the expo for free, and I got some seeds for free at the seed exchange table.
    I brought home figs from the community garden where I volunteer.
    I’m taking some classes at the community college and met with the career placement lady, who was very helpful. I’ll take all the free advice I can get! I’m eligible to work on campus since I’m taking more than 6 units, so I’m watching the job boards.
    Have a good week!

  37. Our most exciting frugal activity this week was paying off our truck! It will be such a blessing not to see that payment in our budget each month.

    About two years ago, we bought and installed a new toilet in our bathroom. A month ago a crack developed in the tank and it was starting to leak very slowly. Unfortunately, we couldn’t find the receipt for a replacement at the store, so my husband called the toilet company directly and they are sending us a new tank free of charge “as a courtesy.”

    This week I have the rare opportunity to work overtime. It will be an exhausting week but we will welcome the extra funds.

    We also are at the point where we only buy meat when it is a good deal and then stock up. A couple of months ago we bought 10 whole chickens because the price was so great. I told a family member about it and they thought we were a little crazy, but I know this group will appreciate it!

    1. We try and buy things on sale too. I totally agree with doing that if you can. It can definitely spread the budget.
      Congratulations on paying of your truck!

  38. Frugal week as I was home sleep deprived with puppy most of the week.
    Purchased items for homecoming teacher dress up days. I was reimbursed by colleagues so my OOP was $7
    Puppy’s first vet visit was $65 for office visit, a toy (to keep him from destroying the office), flea, and heartworm preventative. Turns out he’s not a blue tick but a Great Dane. Already 31 lbs. at 16 weeks. Shots and neuter were covered in my adoption fee. He is scheduled for a neuter in 2 weeks. Scheduled to have the vet come to the house and see both cats and the other 2 dogs all at once. It will be a big bill, but easier than trying to navigate taking multiple trips to the office.
    Went away for a weekend with my husband. Hired a colleague to come to the house for the animals, and boarded the puppy in a no-crate facility. Not necessarily frugal, but needed.
    Only ate out 1 time (a major score for me!) other than during our weekend away and took home enough from those meals for about 4 meals. Skipped the grocery store.
    Cleared out 2 closets and part of the laundry room.

  39. Good morning everyone. I enjoy this blog so much. I’ve been following it for a few years now, but have only posted a few times. I love Brandy’s posts and read and reread the comments. Our children are grown, and the Granddaughters are almost grown. The ways I try to save money is by buying gift cards at Krogers when it is 4x fuel points. My husband needed to go to AutoZone to get some parts and to get a battery for our tractor. We went to Krogers and bought a gift card and saved a lot on fuel. My husband is retired Army, so he also got a 10% military discount. Advance Auto and Lowe’s gives the discount also. We also have the Kroger credit card and use it there. Every 3 months you get a check to use towards your groceries depending on the amount you spent. I got one for $20 last time. Fuel purchases don’t count toward the amount spent. You also get 5 cents off a gallon when you pay for fuel with your card. We pay the bill off in full each month.
    Also if your workplace offers a Flexible Spending Account (FSA), you should check on it. Say you want to put 1200 dollars a year on your card, and you get paid 2 times a month, they will deduct $50 a pay from your check. They send you a credit type card that can only be used for medical things. It works just like a c.c. You go to the dentist, they swipe your card and the amount is deducted. The whole $1200 or whatever amount is on your card at the beginning of the year, it like ours is July 1. We use it for copays, dentist eye doctor after vision insurance is used, prescriptions etc. 2 years ago I had knee surgery. I owed the hospital 1100 dollars. Since I had the money on the card I paid it when the bill came. Since I paid it in 30 days I got a discount and only paid 800.. That left more for other medical bills. I figure about what we will spend on medical for the year and put that amount on it. You can put up to $2500 on it. You don’t have to worry if you have enough in your checking account when you have an emergency. You need to spend the full amount on your card before your calendar year runs out, or you will lose it. It’s use it or lose it. I had a few hundred left in June I needed to use up. There are a few things otc you can use the card for. I bought a walker with a seat to keep for if we need it. I also bought some eldeluxo first aid kits to give as birthday and Christmas gifts, and 1 for each of our vehicles.
    I’ve been making cloths out of old clothing to use for paper towels and for me. We probably only use a roll of paper towels every 3 months.
    I’ve been unplugging things and trying to save on electric. We had a large tree by our porch cut, so we’ve been getting firewood cut up. We have a fireplace in our living room. I also clip coupons and use digital coupons. I only save 5 to 10 dollars a week,but every little bit helps. I order petfood and flea meds from Chewy. It saves a little and is delivered right to your door. We live over 30 miles from town in a rural area. I only go to town 1x a week. I try to make Dr appointments on days I need to shop, and combine all my errands.
    Sorry to have rambled on. Everyone have a nice week and hope you can find more ways to save. Looking forward to more posts here in Almost heaven West Virginia.

    1. My work offered a HSA, health savings account, that did the same thing–putting money in tax free and could be used for medical expenses. The difference is that HSA dollars roll forward and don’t expire. I retired 15 months ago and worked the first week of July, specifically because my company put $1500 into my HSA the first of that month. So I got a year’s contribution when I walked out the door (I double checked with HR before I did it to make sure that would happen). It has been a great blessing to have that money and the extra funds that I have accumulated with my pre-tax contributions.

    2. Flora: Nice comments about your FSA account!
      HSA accounts are similar but not quite the same as FSA accounts. (Who thinks of these similar names and don’t they understand they are confusing?). The kind of account you are eligible for depends on the kind of health insurance you have and how your employer sets it up. For the HSA, you don’t have to use the money within a year. HSA’s are starting to show up on lists of “ways to save money for retirement.”
      The fun frugal part is that the money is taken out of your check pre-tax, thus saving 15-25%! Also, your employer might put money on your card in certain circumstances; our previous one did so because of the kind of insurance plan they switched to. And I think there was some kind of $50 health-bonus-contest thing once or twice as well.
      I have taken the train through West Virginia several times, and think it a lovely place! My seatmate one summer lived in New York City and was coming home to visit W VA for the first time in many years. I could just see her relaxing as the train got closer to her home.

      1. Thank you Heidi Louise. I had never heard of FSA or How’s till I started working in healthcare. A supervisor about 20 years older than me explained it to me. I started with a small amount, then a few years later went with the maximum amount. My husband was self employed, so I had the insurance. We were paying around 200 dollars a month on our meds. When he turned 60 and we got TriCare thru the military it was such a blessing. $7 for a 3 months supply of each med. What a savings.

  40. Brandy send a happy belated birthday to the new teenager for us 🙂 . So happy for you that you have a new much larger freezer to stock more meats in and what a blessing the produce is that you are picking from your gardens. It must have been a week of getting discounted meats as we stocked up as well : ) .

    Our savings added up to $208.34 in savings last week :).

    Internet listings and sales.
    – Made about $25 from the sale of a 5 layer cotton eye mask and bread bag that I made.
    – Listed 10 items on a free listing promotion saving $16.50 on usual listing fees.

    Purchases –
    – From IGA on special I purchased 5.47 kg of rump steak for $9 kg and pork thin sausages for $3.95 kg saving $114.05 over purchasing them in Woolworths. Rump steak is usually $24 kg and pork sausages usually $9.17 kg so a huge saving for us.
    – Also from IGA on special we purchased premium minced beef for $10 kg and 2 x 725 g packets of corn flakes for $3 ea saving $17.30 on usual prices.
    – At Aldi we purchased 6 x avocadoes, bananas, kiwi fruit and macadamia nuts saving $9.39 over purchasing them in other supermarkets.
    – In Kmart we purchased a pair of slippers on clearance for DH for $5, two pillows each and an electric kettle for backup supplies saving $51 over prices in other stores.

    In the gardens –
    – Planted one garden bed with capsicum, tomato and basil seeds and another bed with heirloom sweet corn and dwarf bean seeds.
    – We used our grey water pumped from the grey water tank to water fruit & berry trees and about 1/3 of our back lawn.
    – Used saved shower warm up water to fill hand washing water bottles and to clean the bathroom and toilets.
    – Reused house dusting water to water the shrubs in the gardens around the home.
    – Used some town water in a 4 lt ice cream container each day for the kangaroos and wallabies to drink as it is so dry.
    – Watered in the newly planted 3 vegetable garden beds with town water from the drip irrigation system.

    House maintenance –
    – We took out one kitchen cabinet in the kitchen so we have room to have our new 90 cm oven put in.
    – I swept behind it and DH scrubbed the walls and floor to clean it. The cabinet was sitting on the wooden floorboards so DH had to cut some ply we had to fill in the hole so we have a level area for the stove to be installed in. I still need to paint the walls and the side of the kitchen unit where the sink is.
    – DH put up a stainless steel bench we purchased beside the sink and then the new stove will go beside that.

    Hope everyone else had a wonderful week as well :).

    Sewingcreations15.

  41. Hi Brandy
    Just to tell you that as a Brit, I have been using Worcestershire sauce my whole long life. I moved to hot Australia 8 years ago. I have never kept Worcestershire sauce in the fridge. No one does. So you needn’t go to the other fridge. Just keep it in the pantry.

      1. Brandy, you also don’t have to refrigerate catsup, unless you are not a big user. If you use it up pretty fast just keep in the cupboard. Same thing with yellow mustard, soy sauce and hot sauce. (not salsa) Keep real maple syrup in the fridge but if you use the fake kind that can stay in the cupboard. I like to keep all my “red” spices in the refrigerator but not everyone does that.

  42. Brandy, I love the joy you got from organizing your new refrigerator! I can totally relate!

    I’m enjoying reading about how some of you are enjoying cooler Fall temperatures. We have another month before we can experience that. Yesterday on the radio, the weatherman said “It will be a cool 98 degrees tomorrow.” I guess it is all relative! LOL!

    My accomplishments this week:

    • Used free tea and toiletries, washed ziplocks and foil and used ½ dryer sheets and ran only full loads in the washer and dishwasher during off peak times.
    • Ate in 7 times. We had salmon, baked potatoes and broccoli (I cooked extra potatoes for the next night); leftover roast beef and gravy with leftover baked potatoes and green beans (I stretched the roast beef and gravy by mixing it with brown gravy mix that I had bought in bulk); tuna cheese buns with apples; macaroni & cheese with ham, broccoli and cauliflower; chicken and rice soup made with leftover rice from last week; homemade pizza; steak, baked potatoes and spaghetti squash.
    • Hung 3 of 4 loads of laundry.
    • Worked 15 1/2 contract hours. Was able to work from home one day.
    • Brought my lunch to work the 2 days I went into the office. Hubby brought his lunch 4 days also. Also ate free snacks at work.
    • Had to take my Dad to the dentist, so I took him to brunch at IHOP and used the Pay with Ibotta feature. Got $1.24 back plus a $10 bonus. Got some other Ibotta rebates as well.
    • Used a gift certificate for our drinks at our weekly trivia night.
    • Have been doing “Shelftember”, trying to only buy the basics at the grocery store and using up what we already have. I hope to do this for more than September too. I used up the last of a jar of strawberry jam by heating it in the microwave and using as syrup on some waffles I had in the freezer; I used reconstituted powdered milk in the mac and cheese and then the little bit that was leftover I mixed with regular milk; toasted and ate some bread ends I had in the freezer; went thru the snacks cupboard with hubby. Threw away stale items, and he’s agreed to eat up the older, still good items before starting on newer things.
    • My MIL received some tea as a gift and won’t use it so she gave it to me. 24 more free teabags for me!
    • Paid 4 months off the back end of our mortgage.
    • Got apples for 19c/lb., 20#s of potatoes for 79c/5lb. and a dozen eggs and an energy drink for free. Kept my total grocery bill for the week below $25.
    • Canned 14 pints of pintos and jalapenos and 19 pints of vegetable beef soup.
    • Made date nut muffins with the last of some dates I had in the freezer.

    Have a great week everyone!

  43. We are finishing the last 2 weeks as rangers in Yellowstone National Park. It has been an interesting summer and I have learned so much, but I am ready to be done. Now I am trying to work through all refrigerated and frozen food in our park housing before we move out. We are fortunate because we can go home to our “real” house on our days off so I have been shuttling eggs and milk and lettuce between the two locations all summer. I usually batch cook on days off and then freeze entrees to take to our park housing.

    Other rangers live very far away during the non-season, so I have been given lots of baking supplies, cheese, canned good and other groceries as other rangers move out and don’t have room to transport these items as they return home.

    We are taking a three week trip to the east coast almost immediately after finishing our season in the park. We will visit family and friends in a variety of places and then visit Quebec City just for fun. Canadians – Do you have advice about good and frugal eating choices in Quebec City? (We already have our hotels reserved.) How about Niagra Falls (both U.S. and Canadian sides) for good and frugal food choices? I will take picnic and breakfast foods, but we will eat our dinners in restaurants.

    1. Wyoming Gal:
      I don’t have specifics to recommend about Niagara Falls, except to tell you of our experience there. We did not have passports when we visited nine years ago, and knew we had to stay on the American side. Aside from that I have heard the Canadian side has better views, we found that downtown Niagara Falls city was much closed up and we had difficulty finding a restaurant for my picky special-needs son. The food and excitement seemed to be about 90% on the Canadian side! Perhaps this has changed by now.
      Have a great trip!

    2. My suggestion for Niagara Falls is to avoid eating anywhere near Clifton Hill. We ate at the Burger King on Clifton Hill, a “cheap” fast food place and paid over $40 for 3 people!!!! Prices are definitely inflated in that area because it’s a tourist trap. There are tons of coupons available when visiting Niagara Falls. Definitely look for them before visiting ANY of the attractions. Favourite attractions for us includes the Butterfly Conservatory, the Bird Kingdom, and of course the Maid of the Mist Boat that goes right up to the falls. You can also take an elevator down to go to a viewing platform right near the side of the fall as well as a tunnel that goes behind the falls. There are a few forts nearby that are also quite interesting. Everyone raves about visiting the cute little town of Niagara on the Lake. I haven’t been myself, but my parents loved it. It has a very historic look and is know for wineries in the area. Might be a nice place to try eating a meal out.
      Haven’t been to Quebec City, so I can’t help you there. If you speak French, I would suggest casually mentioning you are American before trying to speak it in Quebec. There is tention between French and English speaking Canadians. However, if they know you are American, they will be more forgiving if your French isn’t perfect.

  44. This week continues our drought and very hot weather, so I am pulling most of my tomato plants as they are drying up.
    I do have cherry tomatoes galore so we will eat those all fall. I am watering daily and really hoping my seedlings will make it. I am continuing to get buckets of manure from my neighbor and just have a few more seeds to get planted. My daughter was in town for a bday weekend and we dug up bee balm, lambs quarter and peppermint for her little garden.

    We had a birthday lunch for my daughter, granddaughter and son’s girlfriend. I usually make a homemade cake but it was a crazy weekend and had a box mix and some frosting left over and made that.

    The crazy weekend was our oldest daughter had a baby that was a week overdue and a 46 hour labor. They live in Peru and were two hours shy of having a csection. I was up for hours both nights she labored , praying for a miracle. He is 8’14 and is named for our 4th child, a son, that we lost at birth. It was an emotional weekend and so thankful to the Lord for his safe arrival!

    I have been getting extra work babysitting for a couple from church that was out of the country for a week. I have been doing pickup duty and after school care.

    I am so thankful for this wonderful group of ladies, you are such a inspiration!

  45. I haven’t commented much lately but I was expecting a picture of your new fridge and contents today!!After waiting so long I know how pleased you are to have a new fridge and I am glad you could get it on sale and modify your space to fit it. Congrats on having your 4th teenager. The frugal things I did this week were apply online for a coupon for free granola, call a company to tell them my extra old cheddar cheese tasted mild( they sent me $20 worth of cheese coupons) and spent some time on the phone chasing down an airline refund when the airline cancelled our flights and did not notify us. Also used coupons that came in the mail for $2 off gas and $6 off a haircut. I hope everyone has a pleasant and frugal week.

  46. Brandy,

    Congratulations on your new refrigerator!

    Here is what we have done to save money in the last couple of weeks:
    * I continued to cook my husband’s breakfast and lunch and send his lunch with him to work.
    * I gladly read several free Kindle books and ebooks from the library.
    * It was a joy to use our library’s inter-loan system to read several books.
    * I was excited to note a lower price on buckwheat at a store that is on the way for us to a place we already frequent.
    * I used pictures from canva and unsplashed.com to create my own graphics.
    * It has been a joy to take walks for free exercise, fresh air, and vitamin D.
    * My husband and I were rather relieved not to be able to book a vacation (they would not take our calls) and are planning a stay-cation instead. I am so excited because we won’t have the stress of packing, driving somewhere, paying lots of money for a smaller place than we have, and bringing all our own food with us. Instead, I plan to cook all our food ahead of time, have laundry and cleaning finished, and we will relax and read books. It’s still a few months away, but it’s exciting to plan. 🙂
    * We were blessed with tomatoes from a friend’s garden and my mom’s garden.
    * We were blessed to contribute pinto beans that we already had at home and canned tomatoes that were on sale for a meal at church.
    * Although the weather has been in the 80’s in the Midwest, we’ve kept our A/C off and enjoyed cross-breezes in our home.

  47. My big save for this week was changing my car insurance. I just saved us $1000 for the year. I have been looking to change our insurance for the last couple of years, but my daughter had a speeding ticket. It fell off this year. What a relief.
    I’ve sold 5 costumes at an average of $100. each.
    I got a flu shot free. Well my insurance paid for it.
    I bought 5 french breads. They were marked down to 36 cents. They felt fresh and I took all of them. They are in my freezer as we speak.
    No “batch cooking” for me this week, but we are planning a couple of batch cooking days for next week. What a time saving AND gas saving it is for my house.
    I continue to buy Christmas gifts on sale.
    That is about it for now.

  48. What an good price on those whole chickens!

    Our Frugal Accomplishments for the Week:

    * I took a partial inventory of the freezer (to see what we had for more leftovers). I found some pulled pork, which I’ll send with my SO for lunches this week (I won’t have time to cook anything), and a couple containers of various soups, which will be nice for our “freezer leftovers” dinner later in the month.

    * I spent a fair amount of time preparing for a career fair that my school provides (free to current students and recent grads). I’ve made it through one day so far, with one more to go. I have gotten a lot of positive feedback from the companies I have been talking to, so I am hopeful that at least one of them will offer me a chance for an interview.

    * I used some tomatillos, cilantro, jalapenos, and garlic from my farm share (plus a bit of onion) to make tomatillo salsa. I’ll probably freeze most of it for future meals.

    * I prepped a bunch of kale and several bell peppers from my farm share for the freezer.

    * My research group hosted some visitors from out of town, which means that I got two meals paid for by the department.

    * I made buttermilk biscuits from scratch, and cultured more buttermilk afterwards.

    * We continue to eat down our freezer and pantry to prepare for the Sam’s Club deal in late October.

    That’s all I can think of right now. I hope everyone has a great remainder of their week!

  49. We have been eating a lot of sandwiches this week. I just haven’t felt like cooking much. Lots of doctor appointments. Somehow we went into the negative. I didn’t realize a bill had not come in yet then we made lots of little purchases. So, I hope to resolve the bank situation today. i have another appointment and will need to pack a lunch to take with me. I don’t want to spend more money that we don’t have. We haven’t been overdraft in years. I’m hoping since I am taking care of it immediately when they open that they don’t charge us for all those itty bitty purchases we made. What a mess!
    I am going to have to save a little bit more for taxes again . I’m a bit nervous about my upcoming surgery. I’m not looking forward to pain. Praying it is not cancer. And Praying we can somehow pay all our bills. We might have to get help. We rely on my income too and I won’t be making anything for a while.

    1. Fixed overdraft right away and they didn’t charge me. Yeah! Making your wonderful Rosemary white bean soup today Brandy! My hubby is helping.

      1. I’m glad to hear that! I believe most banks will waive 1-2 overdraft frees per year. I also think explaining why it happened and being polite help as well. I think this has happened to most of us, too!

    2. Bought fresh salsa for 59 cents per large container. I love salsa as does the rest of my family. So we were excited about this. Ate it with eggs in the morning with peppers as well as chips later in the day. Enjoyed library movies.

    3. Tammy,

      You are still in my prayers. Glad the banking situation is resolved. You have enough to be concerned about. The good news is that we have great medical care nowadays.

      I rely on 2 acronyms…

      HOPE…hold on possibilities exist

      FEAR…False Evidence Appearing Real

      Trish

      1. Trish,
        Thank-you so much. Surgery is coming up on Monday. I am not looking forward to it much. You have been in my prayers as well. I’m glad there is good medical care. After reading what you wrote earlier, I was amazed by all you get done. I hope I am able to do so much after surgery very soon. Mostly I hope to heal quickly.
        Tammy

    4. Tammy, you haven’t gotten to the “Is popcorn considered a vegetable and a carb? And if I sprinkle some cheese on top of it, does that make a complete meal?” stage of not wanting to cook. So I think you’re doing just fine with eating sandwiches! So glad you were able to straighten out the bank issue before you were charged extra. The salsa sounds like an awesome buy! You are doing great, Tammy. By the way, I wouldn’t worry about the pain issue until you actually have the surgery. They have wonderful pain meds to help and sometimes we think it is going to be worse than it actually is. Worry will not resolve anything. Whatever happens, happens, and you will deal with it as you need to. You are amazing and you can do this, Tammy!!!!

      1. Rhonda,
        That is funny. I was thinking about popcorn this week and putting cheese on it. But I didn’t do it. Maybe because sandwiches seemed easier! You are right worry won’t resolve a thing. Rhonda thank-you for your kind words. It is nice to have you cheering for me. Have a great week!
        Tammy

  50. This week has been frugal because of a friend’s help. We live in an area that has no public bus system and a good section of our county has no sidewalks. We own two vehicles that fit our family of 6. Weeks ago a brake line went out in family vehicle #1. (Thankfully in the drieveway!) My husband was able to replace it. The next day the alternator went out in our family vehicle #2. (Thankfully blocks from home and the car battery held the juice to get home.) While we wait for the funds to fix vehicle #2 it sits in our driveway. Yesterday I was at a parking lot of a grocery store when another brake line on vehicle #1 went out. A friend with a big enough vehicle (and has a teenager to watch her other children) drove my kids, me, and groceries home. We pay for AAA for times like these so we had a free tow. My husband has a work van with 2 seats so he can get to work. I am so thankful for families who have reached out to us and offered us rides while our vehicles are down. Thankful our tomato plants are still producing tomatoes. The green bean plants I planted (one plant per dollar tree bucket) are successful; however, I planted them too late in the season. I will definitely plant green beans and tomato plants next year. First year garden was a success!

  51. I saved money again this week by not buying any meat or dairy food. I took a friend (who does not have a car) shopping was surprised by how much of people’s grocery cost goes towards meat milk butter and cheese! I am thank for the council to eat meat sparingly and in times of famine D&C 89. We also saved money by meal prepping for our lunches away from home, my teen is totally getting into bringing her lunch, some kids had made unkind remarks which led to her only wanting to eat granola bars at lunch for awhile. A local second hand store had a 50% off sale on clothes and after talking about it we decided even though it was a sale we did not need to go as we have plenty of nice clothes. I love reading your posts each week. Have a great week!

    1. Perhaps you can send her with some awesome lunches which will knock their socks off!

      My daughter took leftover spaghetti in a thermos for the first night of camp once. Another girl had brought a can of Spaghetti O’s. She tried to get my daughter to trade. . . that didn’t happen! Her leftovers were quite appealing!

  52. I stopped briefly at Goodwill and majorly scored with the Forager’s Harvest paperback for less than $1, fpur new little camping themed zipped organizer pouches for 1/3 their price at Target, classic Lopi 100% wool yarn for 99 cents a skein (9 skeins for less than the price of 1 elsewhere) and a queen-sized 100% cotton batting for $9.99. I have orderd an inexpensive dark brown stretch “velvet” slipcover for the well-worn little armchair in mom’s bedroom so she needs a bedspread, comforter or quilt with dark brown, avocado green, rose, pale yellow, and white in it to tie the room together. I searched for one with the needed colors online but, even before I found the batting, I had decided that I probably would have to settle for either a solid white comforter or sew something. The batting only needs to be seamed every 10 inches so I am thinking of making a very simple quilt made of large solid squares and then tied. The backing will be one of our many spare sheets. The batting will be cut down from queen to twin so I will have lots of scraps to use in other projects.

    I have been lazy when it comes to baking so, instead of making bread from scratch, I have been baking frozen dough. It is only 80 cents a loaf, still far cheaper than comparable bread purchased from a bakery. We also have been enjoying Duncan Hines mug cakes which are being clearanced at our local grocery for 59 cents per box of four mixes. Yummy and oh so quick and simple. I will try the diy mug cake recipes floating around the web consisting of one angel food cake mix combined with any other cake mix and then using 3T of the mix with 2T of milk or water in a greased mug per serving after the store has sold out all of its super-cheap mixes.

    We got great news today. Mom’s eGFR on her latest labs rebounded to 47 from 20 after her nephrologist had her cut back one of her blood pressure medicines. From daily to 3 times weekly I had freaked when the eGFR had dropped so much so fast because dialysis on the oldest old doesn’t usually work vèry well at all. Now, we both just need to aim for 1500 mg of sodium per day. Whew!

  53. Kara: Thanks for the information–my daughter follows doctor’s orders to the letter. Her first week weight bearing was still painful but she is doing much better now, and actually able to increase the walking and amount of weight she is putting down. She is very anxious to get back to “normal” after being non-weight bearing for about a whole month!

    Wyoming Gal: A good place to eat in Niagara Falls, New York is Michael’s for Italian food. You will see more ads for the Como restaurant but their prices are much higher. Michael’s has pizza, pasta, and just about everything else. Their servings are quite large so look around you before ordering and you might want to share or try half orders. My husband had lunch there with a friend last week and I used his leftover pasta in two different meals at home. Lewiston NY is a close suburb and in general a nicer spot to spend your time in. Niagara Falls New York has a fair amount of poverty, although there are lovely old houses there too. Artpark is in Lewiston, which is a New York State Park devoted to music, art, and while it is probably a bit late in the season for the outdoor art activities, there are still things going on there. There are sculptures to see outdoors, although in summer there are resident artists and many children’s activities. They have all gone back to their regular lives as teachers and students by now. Have a great time visiting!

  54. I “turned” a favorite apron today for another ten years of good wear. I had another oversized apron with huge pockets in my closet, which we used this year to harvest fruits while on a ladder. Much safer for us than carrying a basket.
    I found a way to prevent my cheese supply from getting moldy. After using half of the block. I start slicing away from all six sides. I also change the plastic bag. The cheese tastes fresh to the last bite.
    We are using every last bit of our Comice pear harvest. So fun to share them around. Tiny ones are sliced and dehydrated. Some are frozen for future smoothies. Overripe ones are made into pear sauce. Crispy ones are sliced in a tossed salad. Excellent in a fruit salad along with mandarin oranges and their juice, and sliced banana. All cores and ends are put in compost pile.
    I wish everyone here a happy and frugal fall!

    1. Hi

      I just thought I’d mention- you can freeze hard cheeses ( not sure about soft). They are more crumbly after being frozen but that doesn’t seem to be a problem on sandwiches.

  55. Great job on your batch cooking! It’s always such a great feeling when I do it. I’m 37.5 weeks pregnant and am slowly doing freezer meals and baking bread and what not for the freezer. My last baby I didn’t have to cook for @ 6-8 weeks afterwards and I loved it! Our church ladies also bring in 3 meals a week for the first month.
    I purchased 6 bushel apples for $60 to make into applesauce and canned apple slices as well as some apple butter and drying apples. I have made 35 quarts sauce and 6-7 pint apple butter as well as @ 20 quarts slices done. I should get about 10 more quarts of sauce besides keeping some out for fresh eating. I also made 3 fresh apple pies for Sunday when we were hosts.
    My husband took all the scrap metal (and cans my 4 year old picked up along the road) and got $50 for it.
    I purchased diapers for the new baby for $3 a pack at Harris Teeter during SD with coupons. I also redeemed points from Fetch and Receipt Hog apps towards prenatal vitamins on Amazon. Only paid $12 instead of $27.
    Hubby took the house garbage to his office since he has to have a garbage pick up there so we can save that cost here.
    I’m still harvesting okra daily pickling the small ones and frying or freezing the bigger ones.
    I washed up the baby car seat and decided to try fitting it in our Rav4 one more time to see if we can’t possibly do it with the 2 other toddler car seats in there. Money is tight and buying another vehicle is just not an option. I removed a cup holder on each toddler seat and was able to get it in with the doors even touching the seats. I’m so thankful! The 4 year old could just use a booster but feel better with a bigger one for her.

  56. It was a beautiful week and enjoyed the sunshine and color of leaves on trees.
    -Made a batch of spaghetti sauce by cooking down tomatoes that my sister gave us. We will get 4 meals from the sauce.
    -DH built a closet in our basement and it is wonderful. We painted the walls and rearranged the furnishings that we have
    in a more appealing manner. I did put up a new valance that dressed it up.
    -Save $2 using coupons when I put gas in the car.
    -Have been using fresh and frozen food to economize and not waste.
    -Enjoyed evening walks after dinner-nice exercise, no health club memberships here.
    -Enjoyed a nice dinner at a friend’s home. I had a gift certificate and used it for a hostess gift.
    -This week I am sad that 2 close relatives and 2 dear friends lost or about to lose their jobs There is comfort that my relatives are savers and have had some encouraging leads on new jobs. My dear friends have had interviews and feel hopeful.
    -Need a new roof, can’t put it off any longer. Talked to several neighbors and found a roofer who we trust and the price was reasonable. We decided this is one DIY job that we would have done 25 years ago but no longer will do.
    -Fall book club will soon meet-book chosen, I have it reserved in all formats from the library. Hoping it’s available shortly. I get these books from the library, no money spent and it’s always a lively conversation.
    Stay frugal everyone, have a good week.

  57. It was a good week using up meat from the freezer and buying mostly salad greens and dairy. I found a lot of good buys at my Loblaws and No Frills stores so I have accumulated $40 worth of Loyalty points in just the last six weeks.

    I made my first pot of soup in months when it cooled down a bit and took two servings to my elderly neighbour. It’s warmed up again this week but still gets cool at night so I think I will use up a batch of frozen tomatoes and make another pot this weekend. I really want to make a dent in the freezer.

    I picked up 4 prescriptions for the next 3 months and only paid $1.92 in admin fees – thank you Cdn. medical coverage!

    Bought a new Lord & Taylor sweater but decided that it really wasn’t what I wanted so returned it – saved me about $75! I’m into the smallest sized clothing that I own but still need to lose a lot more so don’t want to purchase much. Trying to use what I have on hand and really think about what I actually need – 2 bras and a pair of black walking shoes are the priority!

    Had my hair cut and it’s not cheap but since I’ve stopped colouring it there is still an overall saving. I’m very pleased with the new cut (growing it out) and the colour!

    I had a weekend away for a friend’s surprise birthday – I got a lift up with two friends and used points to take the train home. I gave them some gas money but it was still a big saving. I was staying overnight at a local hotel with another friend and she surprised me by covering the whole cost of the room as a birthday gift to me! Dinner and wine was provided at the party so only money spent was for a couple of extra glasses of wine and breakfast – but then my order was mixed up and rather cold so the hotel comped it!

    Took supper for the night I stayed late to volunteer after work and enjoyed free coffee and treats that evening at class.

    Did 4 loads of laundry and all of it was dried on my laundry rack!

    Congrats to your newest teenager! I know what it was like cooking and cleaning for a crowd as I’m the eldest of 5 and we always seemed to have extras on hand so you must have quite the production line going!

  58. Since last time, frugal accomplishments:
    *One of my girls cleat’s started coming apart, so I picked up some gorilla glue and glued it back. Will find out tomorrow if it worked. There aren’t any stores locally that have cleats right now, so really hoping it does work.
    *Husband got all three furnaces in this house checked and now running (there are three apartments). We only needed to buy one piece of pipe and new filters for each. He is an HVAC course teacher and works for a local HVAC business, so that saved us some money for sure.
    *My friend bought our family dinner (Chinese food) one night last week. Next week, we will have her over to eat with us (homemade).
    *We did walk to soccer practice one more afternoon out of necessity, but my van was finally repaired last Monday. (Unfortunately we had to buy an original new name brand part because it was a part that affected the airbag system, so better safe than sorry)
    *I checked out quite a few more books for us to read for homeschooling from the library. While we were there, the kids took advantage of the free arts and craft time (library supplies everything!) and made some fun things.
    *I also borrowed discount passes to the Adirondack Experience Museum from the library. We had missed the free homeschoolers day while my van was out of commission, but we go every year as a field trip and the kids and I love it, so we decided to go anyway. It got us in for half off (saved $34). We packed our own lunches.

  59. Alas, the condensation pump went on my furnaces so in addition to my annual servicing fee of $265 (includes the $50 filter), I had to spend an additional $150 for the pump. I put everything on a no-pay no-interest credit for 6 months and will pay it down monthly before the 6 months are up.

    Well, at least I don’t have to worry about puddles on the floor (which I discovered yesterday) nor getting the furnaces serviced. If they are not serviced annually by authorized servicemen, it voids the ten year parts and labour warranty. Snow is forecast for the end of next week. Gardening chores are the priority for this week. It may only be flurries but it could be a major snowstorm too.

    I will be making a trip to No Frills because as mentioned above it has beets, onions, carrots or potatoes on sale for 10 pounds for $3.79. None of those items need to be processed as they keep well in the fridge. I am hoping to chop my grocery bill for the month of October. So for about $12 I can have 40 pounds of veggies. (It sounds like I could make borscht too). I will buy my favourite Valbella maple flavoured birch smoked ham for Canadian Thanksgiving — it will be about 30 meals of meat once cooked and frozen in individual packages. I will go to the Farmers’ market where I hope to buy Italian prune plums which I love to freeze just cut, pitted, washed (but with no syrup needed) in baggies.

    Spent several hours on a daily basis trying to get my email fixed as the server had a majoroutage and then repeated problems

    I saw two Evening Grosbeaks — they are rare here now so it was a great treat, if only for a minute. Have watched the Bocelli program several times — a fantastic show — raiplay.it It probably won’t be on for much longer!

    1. Who is your email provider Ann? I’m with ROGERS and my email went out as well – it said my login was invalid and all of a sudden I wasn’t getting any new emails. When I checked it said the links were disconnected. Spent nearly 1 1/2 hours on the phone trying to get it sorted. They kept trying to tell me it was an Apple problem while I kept repeating that it was a server problem which is their responsibility! Had to do some sort of password set up with Yahoo and while he was still telling me it still wasn’t their issue all of a sudden my emails started coming in – he didn’t know quite what to say at that point!
      Good luck!

  60. Good job on picking out what your son would like. I’m still trying to master that! ? Our frugal accomplishments for the week were:
    *Meals made were eggs with bacon and biscuits, hamburgers, grilled chicken with roasted potatoes and green beans, grilled shrimp with corn on the cob, grilled steak with corn on the cob and rice-a-roni, baked chicken thighs with rice and broccoli.
    *Cut my own and my husband’s hair.
    *Accepted a free milkshake at work.
    *Accepted 4 sweaters and a tshirt from my mom.
    *Walked with 2 friends at different times for free exercise and fellowship.
    *Had my cousin and his wife over for dinner. She brought dessert (chocolate chess pie and pumpkin scones) and left some with us. Yum!
    *Used a blank card in my stash as a wedding card.
    *Went to the movies with friends on Thrifty Tuesday (when its discounted). One of my friends who caters also had us over for dinner before the movie.

  61. I haven’t commented in a few weeks. It is hard to believe how fast the weeks go. In the last two weeks I was able to buy applesauce that was short dated for 49 cents a can. I bought 8. My brother brought me crab apples and I made 2 batches of jam. I now have enough jam for Christmas gifts for my siblings. One of my sons friends brought by a basket of peaches. We enjoyed cobbler 2 different nights and I enjoyed peaches and milk several times. My mother gave me a set of sheets to cut into strips for making rugs, but they only had 2 small holes and I was able to mend them and they are now on my bed. Mom also cleaned out her freezer and gave me 6 pounds of butter. That will help with making Christmas candy.
    I borrow audio books from the overdrive library. We use 1/2 sheets of dryer sheets in the laundry. Wash clothes in full loads in cold water. Reuse washed ziplock bags.
    I found 2 more stainless steel double walled drinking cups at the thrift store for 1 dollar each. I shopped the case lot sale at our Fresh market and I was able to buy 75 pounds of sugar for $11.99 a 25 lb bag. Cream of mushroom soup for 69 cents a can in a case of 24 and cup of soup for $4.00 a case.
    I am going to be retiring in January. This will cut my income in about 1/2 . I continue to learn things on here that I hope will make it so I don’t have to find another job. I would like to be home. Thank you for all the ideas I read from all of you each week.

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