Pomegranate and Mandarin Orange Salad The Prudent Homemaker

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We are making one garden bed smaller to allow more storage room on the side of the house. The dirt had fallen in the entire bed. I spread manure over the part of the bed that we are keeping, and then moved dirt out from the part of the bed that we are getting rid of to help fill that spot. I dug the green onions from that section of the garden and replanted them in the higher ground. They needed to be separated and spread out a bit anyway, so now they can grow larger in the space and I’ll be able to harvest them sooner.

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

I sewed Christmas presents for my children using fabric I had on hand. I’ve just started sewing for Christmas and I will be sharing my Gift a Day posts starting tonight!

I hemmed a pair of thrift store pants for myself.

I used a travel bottle of shampoo that my mom gave me from a previous hotel stay of hers. She has given us a large number of hotel toiletries and I am aking an effort to use them.

I made yogurt in my crockpot.

Pomegranate and Apple Salad The Prudent Homemaker 

Pomegranate and apple salad with goat cheese and balsamic orange vinaigrette. Dressing recipe here.

I accepted the offer to come pick pomegranates from someone who had moved into a house with a pomegranate tree, whose young children don’t care for the fruit. I brought home 3 large bags of ripe pomegranates.

I sowed seeds in the white garden for alpine strawberries.

My husband picked up two LED bulbs at the dollar store. These don’t fit in all our fixtures, but they do work in the children’s bathrooms. My husband put these two in one bathroom.

I figured out a way to make do with some things that I have, rather than buying more items that I really felt were needs. 

I downloaded an e-book from the library to read offline using the free Overdrive app. I also requested two more e-books so that I can read them when they are available.

My eldest used the free Quizlet app to study for her upcoming university test. They already had flashcards for her specific university course uploaded that she was able to use.

I cut and dried basil and chocolate mint from the garden.

I harvested Swiss chard and a pumpkin from the garden.

Pumpkin Pie in Tart Pan The Prudent Homemaker

I made pumpkin pie in my rectangular tart pans. I didn’t know how much they would hold and was surprised to find out that one pumpkin pie recipe filled two 14″ tart pans. I will be making pies in these for Thanksgiving this week.

Saturday we drove to Cedar City, Utah to for the temple open house. We took lunch, water bottles, and homemade snacks with us.


What did you do to save money this past week?





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  1. I have to ask. What is in the salad and is that homemade salad dressing? I can see the lettuce, pomegranate seeds and apples along with feta?

  2. Lettuce, apple, pomegranates, goat cheese (but feta would work equally as well) and balsamic orange vinaigrette. I put a link to the dressing recipe under the photo. You can also find it under the main menu: Cook–Recipes–Salads. It’s amazing. Enjoy!

  3. It has been a good frugal week. No grocery shopping last week. We ate out of the pantry and freezer for almost all meals. We did use a restaurant gift card that my husband received for Father’s Day to have a date night. We chose to go during Happy Hour so stretched those dollars. Later we played cards with friends.

    Previously mentioned, we bought tulip and daffodil bulbs at half price last week. They are already planted. Rather than bag leaves for the garbage pickup, we chopped them with the lawn mower and then spread the leaf and grass mixture over our garden boxes. It makes good compost over the winter and keeps the bags out of the landfill.

  4. Hello all and Happy Thanksgiving to those that will be celebrating on Thursday. Frugal accomplishments:
    1. Purchased my turkey for Thursday @ .78 a pound.
    2. I am not a fan of paper plates, but our Thanksgiving gathering is up to 30 people and I have had to move it to another location so real plates are not feasible, but I did buy decorative paper plates after Thanksgiving last year and put them away, so I will be using those instead of purchasing new ones. I paid 25 for a pack of 10 each, versus the 2.47 they currently are right now. I just stored them in a cabinet for this year, if I needed them.
    3. My class went on a field trip. We took sack lunches. None of the kids wanted their apple. I brought home 17 apples and put them in my fridge. These are being used for snacking and also for cakes and pies for Thursday. The cafeteria couldn’t take them back as they had already been touched by children so they would have just thrown them away. I washed them well and will peel them for my recipes.
    4. Purchased a brand new pair of black heels for church for 4.00 from the thrift store. Mine were in bad shape, as they were probably five or more years older. I was holding out though.
    5. Purchased a beautiful cranberry colored blouse with embroidery down the front to wear Thanksgiving day for 2.00. I will pair it with a skirt I already own.
    6. Purchased cream cheese, cool whip, oil, broth, and cake mixes at the one day sale at our grocery store.
    7. Used what I had at home to make food for the teacher’s potluck last week. Cleaned out my fridge at school and brought everything home to be used here instead of throwing it away.
    8. I wear full slips because I wear a lot of vintage that requires full slips. They are becoming increasingly difficult to find in the length I need. I had one slip that was useable but lucked up at an antique store on Friday and found a brand new one for 10.00! And it was a vintage one in my size! I was super excited about that purchase.

    I think that’s all. Everyone have a great week.

  5. Oh boy, I can’t wait to see your gift a day series again this year, Brandy! The gifts you make are always so inspirational to me. They are definitely some of my favourite posts. I’m so glad you and your family were able to go on a little day trip this week, too. I know you’ve said before that it is difficult for you to do, with the size of your family. I’m sure the children enjoyed it! I’m also glad you were able to glean some free fruit from a friends yard this week as well. I’m sure it was well received and super tasty!

    I am very proud to say that we did very well this week with our eating out. Although not perfect, there was NO TAKEOUT or MEALS OUT for dinner this week. WhooHOOO!!! We even were creative on the lunch front. This week our frugal accomplishments in our home included:
    *Meals made at home included breaded chicken finger wraps with cold salads and potato wedges, sloppy Joes with corn, hot chicken sandwiches with carrots, breakfast sausage “piggies in a blanket” with salad and brownies (from mix) for dessert, cream of potato soup with homemade bread, make your own pizzas, and homemade beef stew with dumplings and leftover homemade bread.
    *I had a couple cans of chickpeas in my pantry that really need using up (about a year past expiration date). So I did a Pinterest search to get some ideas and came across this recipe: http://www.thegardengrazer.com/2015/02/bbq-chickpea-chopped-salad-with-avocado.html. Somehow, BBQ chickpeas sounded good, but I didn’t want a salad. I decided to make the BBQ chickpeas and put them into a wrap with lettuce, corn and cheddar cheese for lunch. Wow, was it ever tasty and very filling, too! The one can fed my mom and I wraps for 2 lunches (omited corn and added ranch dressing on second round) plus there is enough left over for a third lunch this coming week. Now to find a use for the 2nd can of chickpeas…
    *Made up a package of instant chocolate pudding from pantry stock for DD’s lunch treat this coming week.
    *My mom and I did a deep clean of the living room & dining room area. We used our carpet cleaner to steam clean the furniture, washed the curtains, washed down the walls and stripped & rewaxed the hardwood floors. All ready to decorate for Christmas upstairs now.
    *I needed to do a Costco run for a few items on Monday and decided to get gas while I was there, in prep for starting back to work this coming week. Thankful I did. Gas spiked up by $0.20/Litre the next day!!!
    *Had some computer issues come up, so I called our friend “Dan the computer man”. We met Dan through a family friend and he has been an amazing resource for us. He came to our home, fixed problems on 2 laptops, determined 1 problem was not my computer, but a problem with pinterest and only charged us $25 for his service. He also took our old computer tower that will no longer turn on, to see if he he can retrieve the pictures saved on the hard drive. Many of the pictures are of DD when she was younger, so were hoping that they are retrievable. Not sure how much he will charge us for this, but I’m sure it will be very reasonable compared to taking to someone else. So thankful for all his help!
    *Bought a few Christmas presents on sale for 40% off. Talked myself out of buying a top I really loved for myself.
    *DD needed to watch the movie “Troy” for her English class over the weekend. Unfortunately, our internet went down (along with phone and T.V.) this weekend and we couldn’t get it fixed until Sunday afternoon. Hubby asked me to buy the movie, but it wasn’t available at our Walmart. While looking for a movie to watch for entertainment on Saturday night, I came across the movie in our DVD stash. Good thing I didn’t buy it! DD wasn’t a huge fan of the movie (understandable…it is a long historical movie mainly about war), but she really liked the Trojan Horse at the end. At least she learned a bit of history with the movie.

    And for those who may have missed this, I’m going to share this humourous link again…because laughter is always the best medicine, so please enjoy! https://m.tickld.com/x/the-best-show-and-tell-ever-this-is-priceless 😉

  6. Hello, Brandy and all,
    I am looking for a bit of advice from this community of prudent homemakers. I just signed up to do surveys for Pinecone Research and am having some misgivings about whether this organization is of high quality. The only thing concerning me is that, in their membership agreement, I have to agree that all members of my household know and approve of my participation and understand that some of their personal identifying information might be shared if needed. That stopped me in my tracks, and I have yet to complete the membership agreement. I sent an email asking exactly what kind of personal information about household members might be requested and got a “canned” reply about “high volume of emails right now…” that didn’t address my question at all. I know that a number of you have experience with Pinecone. Is this a safe group to work with? Thanks for whatever input you can offer.

  7. Thank you! I must of missed that comment earlier in the blog post. Sorry about that and thank you for sharing. Looks great.

  8. Brandy, I’m really looking forward to your Gifts a Day because you are what inspired me to make some of my gifts. Yesterday I sewed the yoke of a pair of pajamas and got it 98% right, and the 2% doesn’t show. It has an odd way of sewing bias tape to the neckline, instead of a regular facing, and I got it wrong…more than once! (A facing would have been sooooooooo much easier). I won’t be able to sew again until tomorrow, but I hope to finish the top then.

    We’re still packing to move (two weeks to go). A friend brought over 13 moving boxes Friday.

    I bought our Thanksgiving turkey for .48 lb. with $50 purchase at Fred Meyer (Kroger). I bought my DDIL a $15 iTunes card for Christmas in order to make the $50. I am finished with my Christmas shopping except for one gift for DH.

    I bought a piece of furniture for $330 and the next day it went on sale for 40% off. I called and they credited me with the difference. This was at Office Max. Their website is difficult (for me) but earlier in the week I cashed in $32 in Rewards (for buying batteries that were free after rebate) for an indoor/outdoor digital antenna. We are going to try streaming, but I wanted the local channels for news since we no longer take the newspaper. (First time in my whole life I have not gotten the paper, and I miss it!).

    There is nothing cheap about moving, but I’m trying!

  9. Frugal living from Seattle the past week:

    – I finally found some Sunday pants and snow pants in my boys’ sizes at a thrift store. I was *this close* to buying them retail as I had looked for awhile and they really needed the Sunday pants. They were more than I wanted to pay, but much less than at a retail store and they are all high-quality brand names.

    -I got some mini-games from my Buy Nothing neighborhood group. They will make awesome stocking stuffers for my kids!

    -I sold some brand new team jerseys my husband had received in his previous sports-related job on eBay that were too big for my husband or sons to wear. I hope to sell a few more after Thanksgiving.

    – Bought airfare for our mid-winter break to visit inlaws in LA (Seattle has a week off of school over President’s Day – presumably so we can all get out of the dark and rain). I found flights for $100 less than I had budgeted.

    – Saved $10 on $100 groceries (all of our Thanksgiving stuff plus groceries for at least another week) using in-store coupons. Meal planning and grocery shopping is my frugal achilles….for a long time I thought we were doing good as long as we didn’t go out for meals (which we rarely do). I am making baby steps towards lower our costs.

    – I traded in a gift card that I won’t use (Victoria’s Secret) for one that I will (Amazon) using cardpool.

    – I found two free activities this week: a nearby neighbor has built a replica of HP Diagon Alley in his front driveway and it has already become a Seattle icon. Also, I discovered that the indoor community pool near our house has free swim with student id on Tuesday nights. Added bonus is that we can bike to both of these places.

    -Continuing to enjoy new book titles from our library!

  10. I was able to buy enough food for the next couple of weeks. Eggs and pasta sauce were at especially good prices, and I bought a small supply of cleaning supplies so I can get some work in the kitchen done. It is the first time there has been popcorn in the house since August, which is a great snack for cold evenings. Next week, I’ll start to replace baking supplies too.

    My car is still not working, so I walked to work at the library again. It is colder now. I just wear warm clothes and am still enjoying a small hike through the snow.

    I made pumpkin and garlic soup with pumpkins that were given to me. I toasted the seeds too in canola oil and onion salt. A very tasty snack.

    My library card has expired and I don’t quite have funds to get a new one yet. My local library has a couple of book exchange racks, though, with a good selection of books I enjoy, so I have three books to keep me going.

    I was chairing a committee meeting at the next town over, but couldn’t get over there because of the problems with my car. I called in and chaired it over the phone, so i was able to get the work done and will get paid for attending the meeting, though I’ve lost the amount of mileage and travel stipend i would have been paid if I could have driven there.

    Today is sunny but bitterly cold. I am happy to be inside, wearing warm slippers, with a blanket over me, a hot cup of coffee, and a great big warm cat sitting on my lap, to help keep me warm.

  11. I’m excited your Gift a Day series is starting up again — I am always inspired by those posts.
    I spent a lot of time in the kitchen this week. I baked bread and made granola. Getting a head start on Thanksgiving, I baked a big batch of rolls, made two pie crusts and a big pan of cornbread (for the cornbread dressing.) I also mixed up two batches of sugar cookie dough and froze them for future Christmas cookies.
    We ate out of the pantry and freezer all week and are almost out of meat. I picked up some sale chicken and a reduced pork roast for future meals.
    I made several Christmas gifts.
    I used collected rainwater to water the plants in my greenhouse and cold frame. We ate chard and cabbage from the greenhouse.
    I patched a pair of jeans and hemmed a pair of leggings.
    I made a big batch of waffles and froze the leftovers for my husband to reheat for breakfast during the week.
    My husband did some work for a neighbor and she paid him, so that will help pay toward our medical bills.
    Happy Thanksgiving to those of you who are celebrating this week.

  12. This has been a wonderful, frugal week! On Saturday, at the Produce Market, I was given a bushel of small yellow squash, a bushel box of turnip greens and 1/2 bushel of green beans! I bought 15 pounds- (5) three pound bags of mixed Spring salad greens for $5! About 20 pounds of bananas for $2 and a bushel box of cilantro for $2! 11 plastic baskets of blackberries for $2 too! All told, I spent $20 and came home with almost 6 bushels of assorted fruits and veggies! Both my chicken and my family are thrilled!! The chickens are still laying about 2-1/2 dozen eggs/week even though the weather is cold and dreary! I froze the blackberries into 3 full quart size ziplocs! I am canning the green beans. I shared some of the bananas, bell peppers, spring mix and squash with one of my daughters!
    I bought my 2nd Thanksgivng turkey- 48 cents a pound for my 24 pound bird!! I just need to buy my boneless ham and I will have everything I need for our Thanksgiving! My OOP cost even with the ham purchase will be under $35 for the 36 of us! I’m feeling good about that!
    I made a dozen ham, cheese and egg bagels using a dozen bagel we were given, some sliced ham from Easter that I rotated out of the freezer and eggs from our chickens! Took about 15 minutes to make them and our grab and go breakfast container from the fridge is full again!
    I made 9 dozen peanut butter oatmeal raisin cookies from pantry stock in anticipation of 16 of our kids/grandkids staying with us over this coming weekend. That will mean no additional trips to the store while they are here! That will be a major savings!
    I rearranged my basement pantry shelves to make room for the newest jars of tomatoes and pickle relish! Now everything fits neatly and is still in the “right to left” rotation order that I have trained my family to use!
    We went to get a $7 repair part to fix one of our toilets but while waiting in line (at the plumbing supply company that our daughter works for) we found a $5500 jetted tub that was the wrong color for the person who had special ordered it, so it was reduced by 90%! Then the manager gav us the employees and family discount which brought it down to $350! They will deliver it for free so we are now remodeling bathroom #3!! We will put in radiant floor heat and super insulation on the exterior wall and replace the sink and window! Grateful our daughter works at such a great place!!! After this bathroom is finished, there will only be one more to do!

    We had more business orders come in that will bring in another $500 this week, plus our election wages should arrive tomorrow which will totally pay for the new tub!!

    Great week! I hope everyone else is experiencing that as well!!

  13. I had composed a long list of the prudent things I had done this week but I got kicked off the comment page by my tablet and won’t be retyping it. I just want to express my appreciation for your blog, Brandy, and for the comments from your other readers.

    For those who have Michigan’s Consumers Energy as your electric utility: Home Depot is selling packs of 8-LED bulbs, 60W equivalent, that are usable in enclosed ceiling fixtures for about $10, including shipping, limit 2. I stumbled across this deal yesterday.

  14. Happy almost Thanksgiving. I have been stocking up on sales at the grocery. My husband and I are having Thanksgiving with family but I bought and froze a turkey (.59/lb). We will enjoy our own Thanksgiving later on. I have already requested the turkey carcass to make turkey stock with. Publix had a lot of their baking supplies on sale. In Georgia, you only have to buy 1 of something and get it half off. It is wonderful because I’m not forced to have two of everything if I only need 1.

    I have a wedding to attend this weekend which will be outdoors in the mountains. I was fretting about what to wear and didn’t want to freeze. I found a long-sleeve dress at Marshall’s. I used a gift card I’ve had for several months which covered the cost of the dress. I also found Darn Tough socks for $7.99. That is almost 3/4’s of a reduction of their normal cost. My toes are always freezing and these have helped keep them warm.

    I checked out some books that my mom’s library has and mine does not. I’ve been enjoying reading them while I’m on vacation. There is a wonderful used bookstore in town that I want to try to visit while I’m here.

    I’m almost entirely done with Christmas presents for everyone aside from a few stocking stuffers. My goal is to avoid the mall, Walmart, Target, etc…in December.

  15. Pauline in upstate NY I got asked for ages and sex and maybe if they used the product /watched a tv show . Not names or etc. Anytime you have a question about a survey you can send an email to the Pinecone rep that sends it to you and ask. I’ve had a couple that didn’t load right either in MS Edge internet browser or Chrome(which does have some problems in some surveys, I just close out and restart in MS if I didn’t remember to flip over) and I let them know and they fixed the issue.

  16. Don’t you love the Overdrive app?! I have a 25 minute commute and have used Overdrive to listen to many, many audiobooks this year. I’ve been putting my to-read list together for next year and have found a lot of books through my library on Overdrive. This app has been a real life-saver for me since the library so conveniently located right next door to my work closed down for over a year for renovations, and still isn’t open!

  17. I can respond to this — I’ve been a Pinecone member for years now.

    They ask questions about your family members’ preferences…like whether they like the same chips or juice that you do, things like that. Sometimes they get a bit nosy about health issues, but you can always choose to not mention those…or skip those surveys that seem too intrusive.
    The $3 per survey really does add up — and a number of times, we’ve had manufacturers send us samples to try out for a week, everything from food to wetcloths! Then we get yet another survey to describe how we feel about those products — and another $3.
    Don’t worry. They really aren’t as nosy as the agreement suggests. You control what they hear from you.
    I don’t answer all the surveys (which each take 5-15 min. to answer, depending on how fast you type). I would estimate that I earn approx. $60-75 yearly doing it.

  18. Hello I do heaps of surveys for different companies when asked for info each family member has a fictional birthdate but is the correct age. I don’t give correct birthdates as I to worry about identity theft. I have never had any issues and if the details asked for in some surveys are to personal or they want details not really relevant i simply don’t complete the survey

  19. Rhonda,

    We live hours from anything and have to drive out of state to see most things (which are a 4-5 hour drive). Gas for that long of a drive is costly, especially when our 15-passenger van gets 8 miles to the gallon. Taking everyone is not a problem at all; it’s just expensive to go. This was a day trip and a 3-hour one-way drive (for which we had to drive through Arizona and Southern Utah), which makes it one of the closest destinations from Las Vegas. Our city is in the middle of nowhere really. There aren’t a lot of places to go for a day trip because it is so far from anything.

  20. Before you try streaming, check out the Kodi app. It’s free and finds where things are free online for you to watch. You can watch both movies and tv shows for free with it.

    Also, local news stations have websites with both written articles and videos. You may want to check those out.

  21. Our turkey was 37 cents a pound at Safeway — but I had to buy $50 woth of groceries to get it. Came pretty close to staying at that total — but got 4 12-packs of Coke for $9, and a ham ($1.18/lb) included. I was just ticked because the ham went down to 99 cents/lb the next day! (Tip: shop late at night — supplies are generally restocked, and you have less trouble getting the sale items. Plus you can do it more quickly, without having to stand in line. You do have to dodge the restockers, though.)
    We have several things happening this week, including showing the house (unexpected – they will have to see some piles), my mom arriving for a visit, and putting in about 12 hours at Tuesday Morning as a seasonal temp. (This helps build our savings back up — plus I get a 20% discount. A 40% discount — for a few days, at least — is coming the end of this week.) Plus Thanksgiving! It may not be that zany, other than the cleaning and putting away. My mom says she’s making the pies. Have at it, Mama!


  22. They are legitimate – I’ve worked for them for over 9 years. The main reason they want to know the ages/sexes of the household members is so they can send appropriate surveys to you. For instance, they will only send a diaper survey to households with babies or they will only send a denture survey to those over a certain age.

  23. My receipt called for marinara sauce – which I had left in the trunk of my car that had to be towed. Instead, I tried a new marinara in my Instant Pot – it was delicious and contained no added sugar. The only jarred sauce that contains no extra sugar are the ‘gourmet’ sauces – Rao’s and Tthe Silver Palette – which cost $$$$$$$$$. My new marinara is delicious, healthy and frugal!!

  24. I second the Kodi app! It’s free, like Brandy stated, and you can watch current seasons of t.v. shows within an hour or 2 of them airing. Sometimes you can even watch current movies that are still in theatres (if they are camcorded, and it will say so, I don’t watch them as the picture quality and sound is horrible!). Worth looking into (and for those wondering, the app works in Canada and possibly other countries too).

  25. That first picture with the seeds and oranges look amazing, Brandy! What’s the recipe? Last week was kind of a slow one for us. Mostly stayed at home, preparing foods for the big Friendsgiving feast at Reality Center and going to work. There was some leftovers from all the food supplies for the lunch last Thursday!! I kept some here at home and gave a full meal to one of the children’s home in town. Family ate at home from all the cooking I have been doing and one night after work I was really hungry and thought I might stop off at a fast food place but it was cold so I decided to go home and make pot of cream of broccoli soup from the supplies in pantry and fridge. When I first asked hubby if he wanted any, he declined but ate 2 bowls full. Took lunch and snacks to work- working extra hours due to holiday sales. Went to store only for the egg and milk sale but found a 6 lb roaster on clearance for $7.19 total; had a rebate for $4 on Ibotta. I sold quite a few items on Ebay and that’s going to pay off my trip to OKC in early December for my niece’s wedding. Inherited some money and put it into savings account. We did spend money on Friday for a date night but we got free babysitting, used a coupon for dinner and had points to get a free movie ticket from the theater’s point program. I combined all my trips to mall to get all the free coupon stuff to that night. I got another free panty from VS, a small container of lotion and a ball fizz ball- all tucked away for a nice Christmas present for someone.
    Happy Thanksgiving everyone!!

  26. We had our Thanksgiving dinner yesterday(11.19.2017) and it was great. Turkeys gotten for 48¢/lb. 10 inch pies for $4. I took our own water for coffee and drinks and that went well. Pop was gotten for 75¢/2 liter which is something I don’t usually buy. Rolls were 10/$10. We only had to make 1 trip to the hall with the truck and trailer (which lost an axle, well actually both axles 2 wks ago but our neighbor fixed it for $40) instead of the usual 4 between tables, chairs and twice as much food. We are already looking at getting grandkids in to helping make the food.

    We decided to go visit both our parents so that is 2 different trips. Dad O isn’t up to going anywhere due to breathing problems. My Daddy is house bound.

    I have doctors appts today and combined it with other errands. Hubby went back to Krogers and got 2 more turkeys at 48¢/lb for me to can this week. I got a beef roast for $2.99/lb for Thursday as we are not having dinner with anyone.

    I deseeded half of the pomegranates I have.. I will finish the rest this week. I shut the furnace off when I was running the oven for the day cooking for our Tday dinner. House didn’t go below 68 from 7 am to 10 pm that night.

    Our dinner is here http://chefowings.blogspot.com/2017/11/thanksgiving-dinner-over.html

  27. Made meals at home. Spending a bit more for veggies. Bu totally worth it. I have found that I am diabetic so I am eating protein and veggie meals. Following a diet has helped me lose 9 lbs since last week and my blood pressure has gone down. Hubby is happy too as he is losing weight and his blood pressure has gone down. So the cost of extra fresh veggies is worth it because now I shouldn’t have as many medical bills. Save on blood pressure medicine and hopefully reverse diabetes. Feeling better already!
    Looking forward to a big garden in the spring. I plan on freezing what veggies I can for winter next year and try to grow at least herbs inside.
    I have not done any shopping other than grocery shopping and medical stuff. Enjoying wearing clothes my aunt gave me. Thinking about Christmas and what i will do for family. Happy I found a stash of school supplies when packing to move to our little farm.
    Not exactly frugal, decided not to move this month. It was raising our blood pressure, all the stress of packing and trying to finish our house to make it livable. Since we decided to stay in our apartment one more month, our blood pressure went down and we are enjoying life a bit more. So maybe it is frugal to keep the apartment one more month. It saves us the possibility of more medical bills.
    My husband’s job may still go away but for some reason we are not stressing the way we were. Because we are feeling better, we realize God may have other plans for us and that we can do other things.
    Been job hunting online. There are some possibilities.
    Reading at home.
    Enjoying my grandchildren’s visits.

  28. This has been a great week.
    1. Picked up a lot of loss leaders at the grocery store, keeping grocery budget low to stock up on flour (.75/5#), marked down milk ($1.09/gallon), and potatoes (.99/10#), plus some of the .49 cake mixes and brownie mixes Kroger had in their mega sale last week.
    2. Ate at home Saturday night when we really wanted to eat out. Cleaned up leftovers, which avoided food waste.
    3. Brother and SIL babysat so my husband and I could go out to a dinner, using a gift card they got him for his birthday.
    4. Used a gift from our “gift closet” for a cousin’s fun birthday party at an indoor gym. My kids loved the foam pit, trampolines, and bounce houses. Places like this are a treat for my kids.
    5. Husband helped me wash the windows, screens, and clean out the van, even uninstalling all the carseats, washing their covers, vacuuming van, etc. Feels much better driving a clean van!
    6. Starting selling unused items again on facebook group. I have several things I want to list on ebay, too, but haven’t done it yet.
    7. Getting a basket of items ready for the consignment store. This is the best place I’ve found for getting rid of some of my outgrown clothes. They’re not nice enough to sell individually, but they must sell at this shop, somehow.
    8. Packed and wrapped 90% of Christmas presents, including teachers and our church collection for the needy. My kids each have their gifts wrapped, sorted by box, and stored at my brother’s, if we are still in the hospital with the new baby. I only need to pick up a couple more things, but it’s nice to have it out of the way.
    9. Have been finding a good amount of marked down meat at Kroger and Aldi. I was able to buy ground beef and fish for 50% off, so it’s frozen for future use.

  29. Things are going well here. Last week I had an angiogram which proved I need a stent put in my artery–and I was lucky that most people turned down an appointment this week due to the holiday, so I am having it done tomorrow. There is a chance I will stay overnight in the hospital but also a chance I will not. I have done some things ahead of time, and my DD and my DGD will help do some of the cooking. There are only 5 of us to feed, the turkey (48 cents per pound here) is defrosting in the fridge, I have all the ingredients handy. I cooked and froze 2 large butternut squash yesterday ($2 each at the Amish store) so those are “ready to eat” save reheating. Cornbread for stuffing is made and frozen also. We are still aiming to have our dinner on Thursday, just not sure how much of the cooking I will be able to do myself. I can sit and give directions if necessary. I want to get the stent in and get it over with and everyone agrees! I have barely been out of the house this week, except to the grocery store. I wasn’t planning on buying much but I got some great deals and was able to fill a couple bags for the Boy Scout Food Drive on Saturday. Other good deals were put away for general winter use. My cupboards are bulging due to the great buys available recently. I am very thankful to get this taken care of ASAP as I have been having tests and such since July between getting the problem located precisely and going through all the preliminary tests. I am ready to be “fixed” and move on to whatever comes next!!

  30. Phone or computer, and you can stream to your tv if you have that capability. There are add-ons that you have to use to search the kinds of shows you want. My husband is the one who finds things for us on it so I don’t know the details, but I imagine there are some You Tube tutorials on how to use the app that can explain it. Just do a search for the app online and you should be able to download it.

  31. Ooh, the picture of that salad made my mouth water!

    I love your gift a day projects! Even though I have no kids, it’s fun to see the different things you make.

  32. I really enjoy your Gift a Day series, can’t wait to start seeing those posts!
    Here are my frugal accomplishments for last week:
    -My husband volunteered to bring a turkey for his work luncheon but didn’t want to cook one so he asked me to see if they had any smoked turkeys at Sam’s Club. I found one and he told me to buy it, much to my surprise at the register I had enough in cash rewards to purchase the turkey!
    -I bought one of my sons 2 pairs of shoes for his birthday at 30% at Sears. Unfortunately, our Sears is going to close after the holidays, I will miss this icon in our mall.
    -My husband and I enjoyed Thanksgiving work luncheons by our employers
    -I used $2.50 in coupons
    -Used a $50 gift card for Buffalo Wild Wings that I got from the Ibotta app
    -Made my son a birthday card
    -Started checking out the Black Friday ads and creating a list.

  33. Letting other people help gives them an opportunity to give to you. And next Thanksgiving, you can remember this one, with thanks for good health and people to share the day with!

  34. I wore 7 garments during the week that haven’t fit for 9 years or more. It is great to have new choices without any purchases.

    A co worker gave me a bag of Dove baking mix to make 6 dozen cookies for community events. They baked up very nicely but I thought them too sweet! My tastes are changing, which is a good thing.

    I took home leftover fruit from a work potluck and made apple crisp. I still have grapes and cuties for the next several weeks.

    I had two meals provided for me – a lunch with a new professional colleague who wanted to pick my brain and a supper at the museum when my husband and I volunteered for a family activity/event.

  35. Tammy,

    Staying one more month in the apartment sounds like a good plan. Am glad to hear the stress levels are going down. Sometimes changes in circumstances are blessings in disguise. Ann

  36. Hello Brandy and everyone from Australia 🙂 . So glad Brandy you were able to visit the temple it is always such a spiritual experience.

    Here is our frugal accomplishments for last week –

    Service –
    – Was able to supply 2 families volunteer cherry tomato seedlings that were surplus to our needs to supply their vegetable gardens. We have a gardeners trading of plants amongst friends as well as produce too.
    – Took 5 large bags of clothes we grew out of to a local church op shop that hopefully will raise funds for them and supply much needed clothing to those who need them. I cut up some old flannelette pyjamas and cotton shirts for cleaning rags for the home and saved the buttons for the craft room to reuse for other craft projects.

    In the kitchen –
    – Made all meals and bread from scratch.

    In the gardens –
    – We had enough dried leaves and composted grass clippings to mulch the equivalent of 4 x 9 x 2mt garden beds saving us $60 it would have cost us in hay.
    – Was able to weed 4 x 9 x 2mt garden beds before we mulched them.

    House organisation –
    – DH & I have been able to deep clean 2 large rooms in the home being the sewing room and sort through our clothing in the dressing room. We now have everything compacted into vacuum storage bags and have freed up 2 x 1.5 x .8 four shelf storage shelves to stock our continued food storage on.

    Purchases –
    – Purchased 2 new pairs of panel jeans for $10 on special and they threw in a new bag for free saving $45 in total.
    – Found a lovely church plant sale was on and purchased 3 x large pots of French Lavender for $12 saving $41.94 over purchasing the same sized ones in the local hardware garden centre.
    – We went next door to the church op shop and purchased a working cherub wall clock for $2, 16 coat hangers including 4 near new wooden coat hangers for $1.50, 2 near new display folders for $1 and a insulated small pouch we can use for a small medical kit when we go hiking and for the car for $1. On current retail costs this saved us around $50.

    Have a wonderfully frugal week ahead everyone 🙂 .

  37. What a week it has been. In addition to the tooth breaking and being temporarily fixed, I somehow cracked my computer screen. Thankfully my husband traded laptops with me and will take mine back with him to Wyoming and change out the screen. He was given his laptop and has rebuilt mine. Double thankful!

    I found a pair of work pants at the thrift store for $1.00. The color is old, but so am I! They are a perfect match and fit me as I continue to downsize.

    I really wanted a wreath for our needs -to -really -be-painted garage but just cannot spend money for things like that. Today I did spend the money as part of our giving to support one of my student’s fundraiser. She’s rather shy and was very excited. And I’ll have a wreath to brighten up our place. I also supported a student by buying a pointsetta for my MIL. Wonderful! That is the extent of my holiday shopping beyond the thrift store. My son would like another bow tie, so I’ll start on that project this week. I’ve never made one, so I hope to be able to figure the pattern out. Doesn’t look difficult, just needs attention to details on the seams and structure.

    While in the thrift shop, I was able to buy a huge star paper light (new!) for 2.00 for my niece’s birthday that we celebrate at the family Thanksgiving dinner. I also was able to get her other part of the present free with the purchase of 20.00 at a store I needed some basics at anyway. Total cost is 2.00 for a very difficult family to shop for. So happy.

    Since we are using paper plates now that we have water concerns, I have been washing them and they are lasting much longer.

    My inlaws have allowed us to do laundry and continue to buy food and supplies for us. Such a blessing.

    We were running low on wood and my husband and son were knee deep in insulating and sheetrocking the cabin, so I grabbed my chainsaw and chaps and headed to the brush pile. I was able to cut 3 wheelbarrows full before dark. I cannot manage the larger logs (I’m just not strong enough), but I can cut medium logs. It was much needed for the guys to keep warm as they work in this bitter cold.

    Finally, found 2 much needed pillowcases for a quarter each and a throw blanket to cover one of the dog kennels for half off (1.50).

    Looking forward to Thanksgiving this year. I love pumpkin pie; however, the rest of the family doesn’t. I mentioned this and have a number of my students offering to bring in a piece. I’m hoping at least one student will remember. I am blessed!

  38. To Juls, Cindy, Leanne, and Emily G — thank you *so* much for your helpful feedback on Pinecone. I found all of it immensely reassuring, and I have finished completing the membership process. What a terrific on-line community this group is… Happy Thanksgiving to all!

  39. I will be making that salad. Thanks for the idea. We just had the dedication of the new Temple in Meridian yesterday. I am trying to get embroidery done on pillow cases that were given to me.

  40. We have lived all over the country, but are originally from Ohio, so yes, it was strange the first time we had to pay for a library card. We discovered it is because in Ohio, there is often levys that pay for this, whereas in other locations they are only partly funded through taxes and state funds.

  41. I love your pumpkin pie pic, Brandy! I always love how you stage your photos.

    My week was as follows:
    – I made Drunken Cupcakes with Bailey’s Irish Cream! (http://approachingfood.com/drunken-cupcakes-with-baileys-irish-cream/) Basically, chocolate cupcakes with Bailey’s Irish Cream Frosting, drizzled with chocolate ganache, and then stuck with a pipette full of Bailey’s Irish Cream liquor to infuse the cupcake with just before eating. I used pipettes that I had ordered online cheaply (on a literal slow boat from China so super cheap shipping). The alcohol I had traded for previously, trading a lemon poppyseed cake for it. (The poppyseeds were something like 5 years old, so it was good to use them up, and I believe I had even traded for the lemons.) The butter for the Bailey’s Buttercream was bought on sale previously for $2.99 (cheapest price you’ll find in Toronto) and frozen, and the flour and cocoa for the cupcakes were bought in bulk. So basically, about as frugal as you can get for a showstopper of a dessert!
    – I redeemed Swagbucks for a $5 gift certificate to Starbucks (I’m saving gift cards so that I can go out with – and take out – friends during the holidays).
    – I sewed a hole in the toe of my sneakers. The shoes were in great shape, but the fabric upper had worn in the toe, so a few quick whip stitches later, good as new!
    – I re-hemmed my husband’s pants. The original machine stitching had come out. I quickly stitched it up and now it will be good for the rest of the lifetime of the pant!
    – Once a month or so, I will buy a sandwich from subway for my lunch, instead of packing my lunch as I usually do. I try to get the best deal, so I wait until there is a promotion to get a free sub with purchase of a gift card; that way, I actually get a free lunch! Which was today’s lunch.
    – I made oatmeal for breakfast today, obvs inspired by Brandy. I used oatmeal that I had traded for a few months ago, and some powdered milk from my wedding several years ago (my MIL bought a LOT in order to make some traditional sweets, and I’m only just now finishing it up). I topped the cereal with brown sugar and milk, so breakfast was really just pennies a serving.
    – I baked a vegan chocolate cake for a friend’s game night, and made strawberry coconut icing using my homemade strawberry jam. I used some snowflake stencils and icing sugar to decorate the cake. I also made chocolate cappuccino cupcakes, using some leftover chocolate batter from my ‘Drunken Cupcakes with Bailey’s Irish Cream’ that I made earlier in the week. I topped the cupcakes with some leftover cappuccino buttercream that I had in my fridge from a while ago (homemade buttercream can last for months in the fridge. It’s basically butter and sugar, after all), and some chocolate-covered espresso beans from my baking stash (leftover from another baking session a year or so ago). And I used the leftover drizzling chocolate from my Drunken cupcakes, to top the Cappuccino cupcakes with. And voila, an inexpensive but fancy treat tray to take to the party! Plus, several items used up from my fridge. Win!
    – A friend very sweetly gave me a little care package this week. She included a bath fizzy, which was much appreciated. Unfortunately, I don’t take hot baths, so I re-gifted the fizzy as part of a package I put together for a family I’m friends with.
    – I bought a pair of brand-new maternity jeans for $15.50, taxes included, which I was very pleased about. There was a 40% off sale, plus I had a gift card for $15, so my OOP was less than $15.50, which is an incredibly good price for sturdy maternity jeans! I’m not pregnant now (I actually had a miscarriage last week, sadly), but hopefully I will need it in the future, and if not, I’ll donate it and someone else can benefit from it.
    – The DH and I went to see a movie. I had a coupon for a free movie, so it was just the cost of his movie. He enjoyed it and relaxed after a long week, and I was happy with the reduced cost, so it was a win-win date night!

    And that was my week! Looking forward to learning from everyone else, as always!

  42. Did you go thru the Home Depot site or Consumers site? We only have some of the bulbs changed over in the house – I’d like to get them all switched over for the savings!

  43. Although I feel like I did a lot of work on my house last week, it looks like someone turned it upside down and shook it. I am trying to get rid of all the excess and there is a bunch of it. I have piled for Goodwill and the recycling center. I have already dropped off two loads. Maybe soon? I did too much today and my recent neck surgery did not appreciate it. I have to remember to be kind to myself. I found two new light fixtures for my kitchen and diningroom. I spent 14.00 and the metal finish is almost matched up through out the whole house. I unpacked all the Rubbermaid containers I had been buying at the thrift store and got them all washed. 12 nice size ones for 40 to 60 cents a piece. The kitchen cabinets look so nice. I sold 600.00 worth of books to my son’s friend. He will need them and thankfully his parents can afford them. The one book is 300.00 by itself, so he was happy to get them.( 7 Nursing Textbooks) . I redeemed swagbucks for 20.00 at Wal-Mart and another 25 at Amazon.com. I have about 150.00 put up for Amazon and am debating on what to buy on Black Friday. I really only need one gift. Sugar cookie has requested a 10 inch tablet and I saw a post for 40.00 so I have a good bit to spend. I bought a Groupon for 0.00 for a trial of kindle unlimited and a second one at Ibotta for another one. I have spent a good bit of time looking at the sale adds for groceries as we will be making a major trip soon.

  44. Margaret, I am so sorry for your loss. This is something dear to my heart. We lost 13 …. I was blessed with three but it took me many years to get them. Please take care of yourself. It’s ironic that quite often if I was going to get pregnant again, it would be right after a miscarriage. I hope you are feeling well and who knows what tomorrow will bring. All 3 of my babies were shocks.

  45. Its been a good week here with snow falling and a low temperature of 17.
    -Set the furnance each evening to 62, add a quilt to the bed and doing fine.
    -Updated our bathroom-removed wall paper, painted, repurposed a mirror from a friend, and reused accessories and fabric curtains from our former home.
    -Read newspaper in E version. ($20/yr. vs. $320 for paper version.)
    -Downloaded magazines to read per Amazonm, reading on my reader. (FREE)
    -No meals out, lots of work on projects etc.
    -Made cranberries from frozen berries I purchased for .33/b.
    _Using 2 jellyroll pans, cubed old bread, dried, and can use for stuffing or blend down for stuffing.

  46. This week has been busy!
    *I think my most frugal thing is we won’t be eating a special Thanksgiving meal. We don’t live in North America so there’s no time off and turkeys are hard to find. Zero dollars spent on Thanksgiving! Instead we will spend time together as a family.
    *A very generous friend gifted me three huge bags of clothes for my son.
    * I bought grapes and tomatoes for 30% off.
    * I bought a box of chicory and some limp celery that can be soaked in water for my guinea pigs.
    * a friend stopped by to visit and I passed on some baby things.
    *I’ve dried clothes on the indoor rack instead of using the dryer.
    * I cooked a big batch of black beans to use.

  47. Thanks for your comment, Lilli. I’m so sorry for all of your losses. My husband, family, and friends have all been very supportive, and my husband and I are counting our blessings and reminding ourselves how lucky we are to have each other, even if we don’t have children (hopefully ‘yet’). It was a difficult pregnancy, and I feel much better now, so that probably helps with the grief process. Thanks again.

  48. Another week has gone by!

    Frugal accomplishments are:
    *bought 2 packages of button mushrooms 2 for $3. Chopped them up and canned 10 pints of cream of mushroom soup
    *bought 3 two pound bags of little cuties-$2 per bag, limit 3 bags. Canned 7 pints from them.
    * bought organic celery at $1 a bunch. Chopped and drying in the dehydrator.
    * used the salsa and salsa verde in enchiladas. Used the olive relish in egg salad. Used the apple butter in place of applesauce in muffins.
    *finished cleaning sewing closet. Donated some fabric to the church, wrote out an inventory. Continuing to sew for Christmas. Made some drawstring jewelry pouches and some fabric pouches to hold a small travel Kleenex package for purses.
    *bought some sweaters at a thrift shop. Using them to cover some cardboard cones bought after Christmas last year at 90% off. These sweater covered Christmas trees are gifts for my sisters. They will get 3 each of varying sizes and colors. Cost is $6 for 3 sweaters, $1.50 for 6 cones and probably $1 worth of hot glue. So about $4 per gift. They turned out cute!
    *taking a sign painting class in about a week. Snacks and drinks provided. $35 for the first sign and $10 for the second. Will keep one for myself and use one for a Christmas gift. Plus hope to learn a new skill as signs are a hot item right now.

    Hope everyone has a blessed Thanksgiving!

  49. The “Gift a day” posts sound intriguing; I had not “found” you yet last year.
    This week we had the lowest egg production since the girls first started laying last year: 26 eggs from 5 chickens. We didn’t sell any this week because we not only want to make sure we have enough for regular usage and Thanksgiving pies, but my mom wants to give her sister and niece some eggs when they come for the holiday.
    We pulled most of the green tomatoes off the vines because it was supposed to go below freezing on Saturday night. It didn’t but we’re glad to have the majority of the tomatoes ripening in a cardboard box in the dining room. We hope to remove the rest of the tomatoes and pull the vines in the next couple of days.
    I canned 9 pints of pinto beans. I also made turkey stock from bones and veggie scraps we were storing in the freezer. I canned 9 pints and put over a quart in the fridge in the garage to use first when we make dressing and gravy on Thanksgiving.
    My boss had bought a bag of cranberries for a photo for the company Facebook page. She had no use for them and offered them to me. I gratefully accepted them even though we had already purchased what we needed for Thanksgiving. My mom loves my homemade cranberry sauce and we’ll be making it again at least once during the holidays.
    We usually only grocery shop bi-weekly, but we went last Friday to take advantage of the holiday sales. We bought 1 turkey for $10 off at one store (with $30 purchase) and 1 turkey at another store (with $20 purchase). These are both stores where we normally shop. We also bought Martinelli’s sparkling cider and cream of mushroom and cream of chicken soups at buy one, get one free. We bought a ham (we serve both) at $1.99/lb.
    We had a women’s meeting at church and everyone brought “goodies” to share. We took a loaf of the (savory) cheddar-herb zucchini bread I made and froze last month.
    I sewed a zippered pencil bag to finish off my Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes. I also crocheted a headband for one of my sister’s shoeboxes and she offered to pay me for it, which I gladly accepted.
    That’s about it beside the normal stuff of keeping a deep pantry, hanging out laundry, packing lunches. I think the thing that saves us the most is staying home and out of the stores.

  50. I have 4 little green tomatos on my tomato bush. YAY! I am hoping for a bumper tomato crop.
    Took my lunches to work from home for the entire week. This week I have had lunch out of the office once with some of the girls in my team.
    I had an expensive day on Saturday. It had been a number of years (about 10) since I last bought clothes. (Well apart from socks and jocks) I gave the good clothes away, recycled the tired clothes and spent a large sum of money on newish clothes. I personally hate looking for clothes and trying things on. I am really hoping the clothes purchased on this trip will last me about 10 years as well.
    I am also beginning to look for Christmas gifts. We have my Mum and sister sorted…now there is everyone else.

  51. Hi Brandy,
    As we have been travelling this week, we saved money by
    Packing breakfast, lunches and dinners to save takeaway
    Packed water, tea, coffee, a thermos and coffee plunger
    Took all out own toiletries to save buying anything at the other end
    Made dinner for our daughter and partner and will do again tomorrow night to save them cooking when they get home from work
    Aired travel clothing to save washing
    Froze some leftovers for a dinner on the way back home

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

  52. Thank you! I usually have to make a trip to an outlet mall 2 hours away to get to a Vanity Fair store that sells them and then I pay a good bit for them. I will definitely be checking these out!

  53. If you do a google search, you will find information on the Kodi app and tutorials on how to download it from the internet for free. It can be used on a computer, smart T.V., smart phone or android box. I’m not very tech saavy either. We have an android box, which hooks to our T.V and basically turns it into a computer. Most android boxes have Kodi already downloaded onto the box when you buy it (these are available on amazon in a wide price range). There are also ways to hook a laptop to your T.V which will do the same thing. If you have a friend or family member that is more tech saavy, I would ask them for help (a teenage family member would be a good resource). I think it might be confusing for some trying to get it all set up at first if your not up on some of this tech stuff.

  54. Happy Thanksgiving to all those who live in the States!

    Our week was pretty mellow and boring, which of course, helps us save our pennies. This week I watched a youtube video and learnt how to trim my hair.

    I dehydrated pumpkin puree that me and my coworkers made at work. I am looking forwards to learning new ways to use my dehydrated bounty.

    I joined an ornament along and I’ve made a few lovely ornaments for my tree using materials that I had on hand.

    Have a great week everyone.

  55. I am going to attempt the pumpkin pie this week..it looks awesome!
    We are currently trying to cut our expenses by making more meals and freezing them for ease after work. Both of us commute over an hour one way and eating has been really tearing away at our budget. Thus, I have a “newbie baker” question. I recently tried the blueberry muffin recipe. How do you keep your blueberries from sinking???? Mine keep sinking and I have tried several different recipes.

    Thanks in advance for your advise. It’s much appreciated.

  56. So sorry to hear of your loss – hope that you are feeling a bit better – at least physically.
    I am always impressed at your baking recipes – those Bailey’s cupcakes sound lovely – and I have some Bailey’s in the fridge at the moment!
    I know that you had tried for “The Great Cdn. Bake Off” and I wondered what you thought of the program now that it’s on. They are all perfectly nice people but I don’t find it up to the UK standard.
    Take care.

  57. I’m not sure what you mean by your blueberries are sinking. When you are finished mixing your batter, stir the blueberries in with a spoon. If you put the blueberries in earlier, you will wind up with purple muffins or muffins with big purple splotches. It doesnt change the taste but looks kind of wierd.

  58. Last week was pretty frugal for us. I was at the hospital with my daughter and dh stayed home. He ate ham and hamburgers and anything else that we had here. When he came to visit on Saturday night, he brought a few hamsteaks. We didnt have to spend any money to feed him!!!!! The entire time that dd had been hospitalized, if she didnt eat her meal or any part of it, I’d have them leave it and 5 minutes before they arrived with the new tray, I would eat the food on her old tray. DD is home now, no signs of cancer and she is finished with chemo!!!! So my instant pot arrived last week. I made spaghetti and sauce one night. With the way it turned out, we saved money by not having to open a second jar of sauce. I made homemade greek yogurt yesterday. Out of pocket cost was $2.47 for a gallon of milk…….wow……..I am definitely going to be making it often. Last night we had potato & ham soup. Tonight we’re having cajun 15 bean soup in the instant pot. The freezer is packed so we’re good for a good while. We have lots to be Thankful this year!

  59. So sorry for your loss Margaret. I noticed you had been a bit quiet lately on the blog front and I was hoping everything was ok. I hope that you are blessed with the baby you long for I’m the near future.

  60. We had a quiet week. The biggest thing I did to save money involved my MIL’s birthday. We were having a family dinner and my SIL (who is a big spender) wanted to go to a gourmet grocery store and buy loads of food for the dinner. I would love to do this, but it just isn’t on the budget. So I told her that instead I would make dessert and bring it with me and also made and brought several appetizers and a salad as well as some drinks. She picked up the other food that she wanted to get and everyone was happy. Of course there was way too much food so we brought home leftovers too. Win! I gave bath salts I made to a few friends as gifts and I am saving th rest for Christmas gifts. It was my oldest son’s 4th birthday and we had a very low key day. Swimming lessons, a friend for lunch, some painting at home, a trip to the park. Now both my kids are asleep on the car and I am sitting in the driveway. Have a great week everyone!!

  61. The pictures of the church you visited look very nice. I especially liked the window glass details.

    We have had a busy last 3 weeks since I wrote. The highlight was son Markus wedding to Christy on 11-4. The service was lovely and we pray they are blessed with many happy years together. 11-7 was granddaughter Theodora’s 1st birthday which was celebrated with a family party at dinner with a lasagna and tossed salad buffet. I made a vegetarian version of lasagna, and then 3 others each brought a pan of their recipe and Dora’s other Grandma brought a large tossed salad with dressings and toppings. Eliana made cupcakes for dessert. Lovely news…Theo and Eliana announced they are expecting again (I’ve known awhile but keeping the secret) and little brother or sister will be due in April. We attended an out of town funeral for one of my uncles on my father’s side…8 boys in that family. The cousins on that side are more dispersed than the maternal side so this was a chance to catch up. Other church activities to keep us busy…4 day revival, a church wide talent contest (for fun) and a community hymn sing, shoebox filling party.

    Did all the usual of cooking and baking at home, composting, recycling, mending, hanging some laundry to dry (I use racks inside, my youngest will hang things outside). All the garden harvest is put up and put away. I only have a small bowl of tomatoes still ripening, about 10. Picked up the cider from a cousin who took charge of our share at the family cider making day (we were at wedding). I put 8 of the gallons (plastic jug) in the freezer and canned the rest in 1/2 gallon jars.

    Oh, I have run out of time again. Finish later.

  62. My local library card is free, but our library doesn’t have videos or music. The Memphis library does lend these items. They will allow us to get a library card, but charges $50 for the year if you aren’t a resident. I understand why it costs so much (theft), but am passing as it isn’t a very thrifty option.

  63. I was a professional baker for a few years and we always rolled the blueberries in extra flour (not tons) and folded (no stirring it makes the blueberries “bleed” into the muffins) the blueberries in last.

  64. Last week was a crazy week with 3 sick kids, doctor appointments, etc, etc. Thankful for this blog that helped me learn how to prep and be prepared as much as possible.
    * Shopped from my pantry and then made my Thanksgiving shopping list. Was able to stay in my budget
    * Date night we used a B1G1 Free coupon
    * Combined all errands.
    *Made all meals at home except for our date night.
    * Needed a new battery for my IPAD. We have a family member that fixed it for free to pay us back for a favor.
    *Used up all leftovers and didn’t have any food waste. That’s always a hard one for me.
    *Instead of ordering something new, I made do with what I had
    *We haven’t been able to find a piano teacher for my kids. My mom offered to teach them. We have to drive 25 minutes each way but they love the time with Grandma and it is cheaper than paying for lessons. I “pay” her with a small gift card each month.
    *My dad has been sick with chemo. He likes strawberry shakes. I bought ice cream on sale and added a few of my frozen summer strawberries and blended them. He now has a stash in his freezer.
    *I re-read books that I haven’t read for awhile instead of buying new. It’s been long enough that I can be surprised by the endings again. 😀

    I enjoy reading everyone’s comments. I always learn new things. I hope everyone has a Happy Thanksgiving!

  65. Thanks, Margie! I am definitely feeling a bit better. Oh, and I highly recommend the Bailey’s cupcakes! My colleagues at work were raving about them again today when one person realized that she had been away the day I brought them in. I was flattered! Re the Great Canadian Bake-Off, I think it is indeed a different thing than the GBBO. The GBBO itself has evolved over the seasons, and I expect the Canadian version will too. Or perhaps its simply a reflection of Canadian editing! I think it’s a good thing, though, as it is getting more people to bake, and I’m all for that!

  66. In this new town we live in, we get our card for free, as we live in the city limits. We can check out a lot of books, but movies cost money–$1/movie. Where we lived before, the card was free, and the movies were free, and that was our main source of entertainment–library movies. Now, it’s less expensive to get cable than pay for the amount of movies we used to check out!!!! If we lived outside the city limits, we would get 10 books for free, then would have to pay around $60-$75/year for a full service card. This county doesn’t have as much money as our previous county.

  67. I had a week full of “usual” and “normal.” Sometimes, those are the best kind.

    All of the children in our school district (and my husband because he works there) have this week off. He did go in for a training Monday morning, but that’s all. Good thing, because my computer crashed completely yesterday. Today, we drove for over an hour to the only Apple store that fixes them anywhere near us and left it there for a few days. There are 2 possibilities of what’s wrong with it, and one is much more expensive than the other. Also, I may have lost everything. So, of course, we are hoping it’s the lesser problem. Time will tell. I’m glad he is available for this project, as he is more savvy with computers.

    We are working more this week, as there is no school. We are also doing some “Auntie” and “Uncle” time. Fun! I got most of Thanksgiving prep done ahead so we have more time to play with kids this week. I did a bunch of shopping and got really good prices on several things, including a small turkey for around $3.

    I put a few pictures on my blog: https://beckyathome.wordpress.com/2017/11/19/saving-money-and-weekly-update-november-19-2017/

  68. Our son was married two weekends ago (http://www.marybethdanielson.com/content/wedding) so it’s been a bit busy.
    1. We’d made motel reservations months ago for the night of the wedding and we called to confirm that morning. Yet when we got to the motel – with less than one hour to change into fancy clothes – there were no rooms! We were frustrated, serious, and polite –they quickly found us a place to stay at a different hotel that was $60 more. When we called the manager the following week he put $250 on a card that we can use on Amazon. They probably would have done this for us even if we had made a huge scene, but it feels like more of a win because we kept our cool.
    2. Last weekend my husband bought an $11 pot roast from the local butcher – so it was meat from a cow that lived a nice cow life somewhere in Wisconsin. First we reveled richly in the awesome smell of a pot roast with carrots and onions cooking in a house on a Sunday afternoon. Ate it two nights. Then he turned it into beef barley soup, which we had last night. More for lunch today, plus two dinners’ worth are now in the freezer. That is 12 rich meals for $11.
    3. Did the usual stuff: walked to do errands and for exercise. Laundry in cold water with homemade detergent. Reused stuff instead of buying new.
    4, Got 10% off at the dentist by paying at the time of service. This ends up being a bigger savings than buying dental insurance.
    5. Husband built temporary fence panels out of chicken wire a friend gave us (leftover from one of his projects), plus an inexpensive pine wood frame. We can put these panels up when our grandchild or grand-pups visit, take them down and store flat in the garage when they leave. They are up this week as we care for the dogs of the honeymooners. (See above…)
    6. I bake bread for us. A few months ago one friend started buying a loaf each time I bake; last weekend another friend asked if she jump into that deal, too. And now – WooHoo – a third friend said she would be happy to massage my chronically stiff neck in exchange for bread! She has training in muscles and massage.
    7. Sold on eBay a 70-year old 1$ puzzle I found at Goodwill for $15. Sold a $5 Goodwill vase for $28 (English Shelley, 1916, chipped). Listed a few more items.
    8. Dug out two handmade-by-my-grandmothers lace tablecloths that I’ve been storing forever. I’ve considered selling on eBay but that seems so wrong even though I never use them. Tried harder to connect to distant cousins and found two who are delighted to adopt family treasures! One was also happy to take a 120-year old family violin in terrible condition (I checked with a violin maker once). Getting things sorted out and to the right places is taking years and I think I’m almost done. It’s amazing how many “treasures” two modest families acquired in the past 140 years in the US. I guess my ancestors were too careful; they didn’t break their cups and plates! Funny thing was that when I unrolled one of the old tablecloths, inside I found clean cotton bloomers! I don’t know how they got there, but I sent Grandma’s bloomers along, too.

  69. Your pumpkin pie looks delicious!

    Our biggest frugal accomplishment was my husband trading services with our window cleaner. It reduced our out of pocket costs by 1/3.

    My friend and I went thrift store shopping and I stuck to my list of needed clothing items. I had accumulated a 20% discount off my entire purchase by having donated previously. I paid for my friend’s purchase so she would receive the discount aswell and then she paid me back. I also remembered to take in another donation which will give me 5% off my next shop.

    We have had trouble with our cheap fitted sheets being out of shape and coming off the bed almost every night. We finally decided to buy some good quality sheets. I opted for the slightly cheaper option available in store and received a further 10% off using my loyalty card.

    I worked an extra nine hours this week and car-pooled to work twice.

    I received a $20 gift card for doing surveys and spent half of it buying Kris Kringle presents.

    My workplace hosted an End of Year party so my husband and I went for some free drinks. We were hoping for a free dinner too but there was not enough finger food so we ended up going to Hungry Jack’s on the way home…

    I picked up free parsley, potatoes and plum jam from our local produce carts.

    We continued to work in the garden and used some greenery for an indoor arrangement. We passed on a water feature and a garden sculpture to my husband’s family.

    My mother-in-law will kindly fix a shirt for me.

    My husband cooked a pot of soup that he ended up not liking at all. We donated the leftovers and some leftover cupcakes to families in need via a FB group.

    We kept up with all our other frugal habits which is a bit harder these days with me working so much more.

  70. I made chicken stock for the first time by putting the carcus in my crockpot. I’m amazed how much more chicken was on the bones!. I used it to make chicken noodle soup. Yum! I could eat it everyday.
    After wasting 8 hours on Shutterfly and getting frustrated because their website always has problems I decided to save the $70-$90 I was going to spend. I feel no loss! I’ll have to make a baby book elsewhere. I made one for my first child so eventually I’ll have to make one for our second. It can wait though.
    Making a turkey today! Igot one free when I spent $50. Then I bought a smaller one for $1.19/lb. because it wouldn’t fit in our roaster. Then another for $.78/lb because it was cheap. I consider them all good deals on meat. Better than 3.99/lb beef! And I love soup so I’ll be making stock from the leftovers. Yum.

  71. We are vacationing in the desert this week. One night camping. It was fine and of course we brought our own food. Our neighbor in the next tent snored though, and it was near freezing at night. So our second night camping turned into using daddy’s points for a free night at a hotel.

    We then moved on to the grand canyon. Another hotel with picnic lunches and free breakfast. We ate dinner out, but my first night’s dinner was enough for two nights. Lots of walking and hiking and indoor pool time as entertainment.

    Today for Thanksgiving, we’ll be up bright and early (well, I already am), to drive to Phoenix. My three cousins live there, are transplants from the east like me. We are staying with one and another is hosting what I suspect will be a massive dinner for many people. At least 17. We brought wine and pistachios from California as hostess gifts.

  72. Just a question Last time I checked with all ebay fees and the fee via pay pal before you can even use the money you had to have an item of $50 value to even earn any money on ebay . Have things changed again?

  73. Last week my step son got married it was a very very expensive we but we did cut corners were we could. Lunch the day we left was from home. The second day lunch we used a coupon and the third day we were back home for late lunch.

    My husband’s suit was a big problem and we are going to file a complaint. After $700 and $200 for tailoring at Macy’s the one sleeve was longer than the other and the pants were so long he kept tripping on them.

    So I am pursuing a full refund because it was a total flop on the suit. It looked bad on too.

    We got a goodie bag at his dermatology appointment which saved me from buying a hand cream for the car and my purse.

    I spent the last 8 weeks with all of my free time cleaning at home for our Thanksgiving where we were going to have 30 total and instead we are down to just family just 10 of us.

    Oh well the cleaning needed to be done anyway.

    Used coupons as I could all week long and watched how many errands I ran.
    Made $7.00 in a rebate check and still looking for more work.

    I am gifting my grandkids the church clothing I bought them this evening at Turkey dinner so they will not need new church clothes for awhile.

    We did not buy a jet.

  74. Since I have “texture issues” I actually make purple blueberry muffins – I blend the blueberries up and add them in that way. The kids always loved the muffins better this way as well. I will add in an extra 1/4-1/3 cup of flour to make up for the extra liquid.

  75. If you have a Walgreens near you with a 1 hour photo shop you can easily and cheaply make your baby book there. Take your pictures and scan there or if they are on your phone you can connect and scan in that way. The people there will help you if you need it and it is very affordable. I made a wedding album for my son and his wife there. It turned out lovely.

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