Here’s how we saved money this week:

I used my park pass to take my two youngest to the park to see the ducks, the Canadian Geese, and the American Coons. My youngest loved them, but my three-year-old told me he never wants to see geese again! They’re about the same size as he is. I suppose it would be a bit like having an ostrich in your face!

I went back to Smith’s as they had pasta on sale a second week in a row. I was able to get large and small shell pasta this time (last time they were out) for $0.49 a pound. Right now my children seem to be preferring this shape, so I was happy to get it. I often make a vegetable bean soup with half a pound of small shells in it for lunch, so I am happy to be able to have enough pasta to make this for lunch many times over the next few months.

At the same store, I also purchased two large boneless pork sirloins for $0.99 a pound. I am surprised to still be seeing it for this price as the usual sales price is $1.98. I am thrilled to get it for yes. I divided it up and froze it.

They had turkey for $0.47 a pound if you spent $25, with a limit of 2. I bought two large tom turkeys.

At the store, I looked at the price of lettuce. I then resolved to plant more.

We had rain, so I was able to turn off the sprinklers and drip irrigation in the garden for most of the week. Rain is predicted for this week as well, so I am leaving it off.

The beautiful weather meant that in between the rain, we could open the windows and enjoy the fresh air. We all love the smell of rain.

I sowed seeds in the garden for, lettuce, Swiss chard, bok choy, mache, and snow peas.

I looked through the seeds I already have and made plans for the garden for next spring.

I ordered glasses for two of my children and myself online through Zenni Optical, going first through Rakuten to earn 2% cash back. I love that I can get non-glare lenses for an additional $4.95 a pair (it’s $20 a pair at the eye doctor for that). As a photographer, I know how hard it is to see people’s eyes in photos and I am looking forward to making it easier to photograph my own children who wear glasses!

I was looking at ordering a bench for photography. My husband came up with a way that I can continue to use a folding aluminum painter’s bench that my dad gave me. We will paint the legs and I will sew a top for it using drop cloth and piping that I already have. This will be easier to transport than a regular bench, and I only have to buy the paint. I also don’t have to crowd my house with a piece of furniture that I simply don’t have space for.

What did you do to save money last week?

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  1. What beautiful pictures of you and your children! Who took them?
    As for the pasta, I hope you didn’t have to get out of bed and get dressed to go get it! Great deal on the turkeys. How many do you have?
    This was my week–
    * The best deal on turkeys was free with $100 purchase at Winco. I got a TON of groceries for $123 plus the free 18 lb. bird (the biggest they had). It was a double win because I could not have gotten anywhere near this much food for $150 at any other store.
    * I picked up 4 prescriptions at the Fred Meyer pharmacy. When I discovered they would count $179 toward a $150 spend for a free turkey, I ran back and got another bird, which I donated. Bonus: I actually spent $254 and earned 250 fuel points for my son’s Smith’s account (Fred Meyer and Smith’s are both Kroger). 
    * I opened a Lowe’s account and received a coupon good for $100 off a $600 purchase. We will be buying carpeting to repair water damage at our vacation home, so we’ll save $100 if we buy it at Lowe’s. (I’m going to find out what Home Depot will give me for a new account before I buy anything!).
    * It pays to keep track of warranties! My Straight Talk prepaid phone is ripping through a charge in about 12 hours. I bought a new Samsung battery on eBay, but it didn’t help. I called Straight Talk and they are sending me another phone and a prepaid box to send back the old one. (Hope the new battery works on the new phone!).
    * I mended the tote bag that my daughter uses every day and hinted to her brother that she could use a new one for Christmas.
    Happy Thanksgiving to one and all!

    1. I’ve bought four turkeys. I still had one in the freezer. I cooked two so far this month.

      My husband took the photo.

  2. I purchased toner refill for my work printer. I will refill by toner cartridge and save between $76 and $110 by refilling the toner myself. I used our electric car for some errands this weeks and my son’s early morning basketball training. When I bought coffee out, instead of going to Starbucks, I remembered McDonalds instead Starbucks, $6 versus $1. at Mcdonalds. My husband treated the roof for moss with a solution made of vinegar and dish soap. Not only did we save about $1100, we felt this was a better option than what seems to be a very toxic solution made out of Zinc. Sprouted some garlic cloves in my window and used the scapes. Bought butter on sale for $1.99/pound. Purchased 50# of black beans for 49c a pound(I can usually only find black beans for $1/pound). Found vegan eggnog on sale, as well as a truwhip for $1.76 each.

  3. I love your photos! Your relationship with your kids is a pleasure to see. And I’m very impressed that your husband can take such good photos!!

    My frugal week:
    – I made a spinach and split pea dal (stew) ( using inexpensive frozen spinach and some split peas I had previously cooked and then frozen. It was delicious and very frugal.
    – I earned some money online writing a book review for It paid $50 USD, right into a stripe account (which will deposit the money in my bank account). If anyone else is interested in earning $50, they can apply to be a book reviewer here: (full disclosure, it’s a referral link, so I’d also get money when you write your first review. I think they’re trying to build their reviewer database.) You can also just go to the site to apply. You do have to have a blog to apply, but I know a number of commenters in this forum do have blogs.
    – I shopped around to get the best price for a repair to my HVAC unit. There was nearly a $2000 difference between the highest and lowest quotes; it definitely pays (or saves, rather!) to get a second or third opinion.
    – I made a batch of cranberry almond granola, a batch of flourless chocolate chip chocolate cookies, and a batch of cornbread (instead of using two eggs for the cornbread, I used one egg and the two egg yolks leftover from the flourless cookies. I usually make lemon curd with the egg yolks, but I already have some lemon curd in my fridge).
    – I baked pretzel Parker House rolls, and made mini cheeseburger sliders. Another meal was a sheet pan dinner of spice-rubbed pork chops (half price through the Flash Food app) and roasted root veggies. Quite inexpensive, plus I turned the leftovers into baby food and froze it.
    – My sofa is made of pressed leather, and has been peeling badly after we used it as a bed for my MIL last year. I covered it with a quilt (a gift from a relative), and now it’s presentable again.
    – I went to Costco (I get a membership through my work) and stocked up on dishwasher detergent and chocolate chips (the cheapest place I know for those two items). I now have 10 lbs of chocolate chips!
    – I followed up on some loyalty points that I didn’t receive, and got them. Five dollars is five dollars!
    – I found a free children’s play centre and had a play date there with my daughter and two other mums and kids. Definitely something I will do again, especially during the winter. I did have to take the public transit there and back, so that cost, but it was still a low cost outing overall. I also found two other much more local (and also free) play places. These will be very handy during the winter, especially since they are walking distance from my home.
    – I bought produce and raisin bread through the Flash Food app. This app definitely helps reduce my grocery bill.

    Looking forward to learning from everyone else as always!

    1. I set the camera settings and edit the photos. My husband is great with composition and is getting more familiar with my camera. It’s definitely different being in front of the camera!

    2. Thank you for the split pea/spinach soup recipe. Sounds like the most perfect option for post holiday meals/indulgence!

    3. Hi

      When my older children were small one of my favourite ‘play areas’ was a garden centre with an aquatic centre attached. They had a small stingray just like the one in Finding Nemo. This was a free afternoon wandering around ( I enjoyed the plants as well).

  4. I took advantage of a sale on olive oil right away instead of waiting for later. In times past, I’ve waited, and it was sold out.
    I’ve also been more aware of lights on in rooms where there is no one and have been turning them off.
    I listened to audiobooks for free and read books the library.
    I made all my husbands breakfasts and lunches for him to take to work.
    I watched YouTube videos to inspire and instruct me to be a better homemaker.
    I made some excellent contacts at a nearby holiday fair (did not need to travel far).
    For exercise, I took walks by myself and with friends. Cleaning the house is another way I exercise. 🙂

  5. I love the smell of rain too!

    A friend asked if I wanted a basic wall clock she no longer needed. I gladly accepted and upcycled the face with a particular theme for a Christmas gift.
    Also accepted mailing envelopes she no longer wanted for my EBay sales.
    Husband chipped in his opinion/help with ideas for leftovers. It was a great way to spend time together.
    Found an antique thermos in mint condition for less than $2 at the pay by the pound store. A family member collects these. Around here they retail for $30 at antique stores.
    Walked with friends as our get together. Each one of us brought something for us all to be able to have a cup of coffee as we walked.
    Hope everyone has a peaceful week!

  6. I found a lot of canned items on sale this past week so I was able to add baked beans, chick peas, canned soup and evaporated milk to my pantry.
    I also found Quality Street Chocolates and tins of fancy chocolate biscuits on sale so bought extras for Christmas. Used $10 worth of Loyalty Points.

    I used up more of the root vegetables to make another batch of vegetarian curry – 3 servings eaten and 3 into the freezer.

    Had my check-up with my GP, had all my blood work done, booked my mammogram and picked up 6 prescriptions – total cost was $12.50 for the admin fee on the prescriptions – thank God for Canadian medical coverage!

    Hosted a birthday party for a friend – not frugal but other friends did contribute as well. Sent all the leftover snacks home with people as I didn’t want to be tempted. I’m not usually one for chips & pretzels and such but if they were around I’d eat them! Ice cream also went home with someone as I would not be able to resist it and I’ve just finished making up all the leftover rolls and croissants – I’m taking them to my volunteer stint tomorrow night – we get about 75 students each week and offer tea, coffee, snacks and whatever food we can scrounge up so that will get rid of more carbs! I’ve got leftover cheese and cold meats which will get used up this week and I’ve ended up with 3 bottles of wine so that will also go towards Christmas treats.

    I’ve also cleared out and donated more clothing and some Christmas decorations. Getting rid of the decorations has freed up some storage bins that I can now use for other purposes – and no additional costs to me!

  7. Those are very nice pictures of you and your children.
    We saved money this week by using what we had in the refrigerator , freezer and pantry. I made a couple of soups; chicken coconut curry, and a sausage vegetable chickpea soup that used up kale and celery we had. Bought crescent rolls on sale with the idea to make your Chicken A la crescent. Made sausage crescent rolls. Eggs most days. Watched prices at the checkout counter and saved money by noticing errors. Used the library,bought books for 50 cents. Turned down heat. Opened windows for fresh air. Used lighting directly above us. Husband bought me flowers at Aldi for $2.99. They have lasted all week!

    1. Tammy,

      Dr. Andrew Weill wrote about the power of fresh flowers in healing. I thought it was somewhat far fetched but I’ve discovered, at least for myself, that my spirit is really lifted by the presence of fresh flowers. I am quite frugal about buying them – look for those that are long lasting and many of them on discount. If possible I buy flowering plants as then they can sometimes be put outside. Right now I am forcing some very inexpensive paper white narcissus bulbs which will definitely brighten dark midwinter. So lovely that your hubby bought you fresh flowers!


      1. I’ve found that mums and daisies last the longest when purchased as cut flowers, followed by carnations. Blossoms with thinner petals seem less hardy. Knowing the store’s delivery date helps, to get them when they are freshest. And remember that poinsettias work as cut flowers in a vase, not just as plants, which might be easier to display.

        1. I also love alstromeria. They are sometimes called Peruvian lilies. When I lived in Fort Collins, CO there was this huge test bed in front of the old high school. They were perfecting the alstomeria. They will last a long time. One hint – don’t use the flower fresh that comes with the package. For some reason lilies don’t really like it. And the test gardens for irises were incredible! Not so much the cows that had ‘window’ on their sides – for vet students use somehow.


      2. Mary,
        Fresh flowers make me happy too! Thanks for your ideas. There were some lilies in the bunch that are flowering now. It is so much fun to see them open up! I love flowers!

  8. What gorgeous pictures! You have such photogenic children, too!
    As for being frugal, I haven’t done anything earth shattering. In fact, we’ve been spending quite a bit of money to get some things done for the day we finally sell. My husband is making the cupboards for our kitchen re-do. His boss, a contractor, took him to the local wood guy and got him a great deal on nice wood. That saved quite a bit.
    Otherwise, I’ve been walking every day for exercise. No matter the weather, I take the dog for her walk. Actually, she gets me out the door! My walking friends help, too.
    I save my five dollar bills. When I need something, I know I always have a stash of small bills. Recently, i’ve decided to bank the money in a Christmas club. It pays a teeny, tiny bit of interest.
    I take my lunch to work. My husband, as well.
    Meijer had turkey on sale for 33 cents per pound. My husband was in the neighborhood so he picked up a small one for later. I had a 2.00 coupon on my account so the total out of pocket was less than 2.00! He doesn’t eat much turkey and I don’t eat it at all so this was a great deal for us.
    We’re expecting a blizzard, starting tomorrow. We’ll be using a snow blower that was given to us and shovels I got at an auction for very little money. I hope it’s not too bad as we hope to travel on the days it may be the worst. If that happens, we’ll stay home and save that money for another trip after Christmas. Assuming we can get out at that time, too!
    Wishing you all a wonderful Thanksgiving!

  9. Such beautiful photos. I especially love the first one with your boys. I harvested greens from the garden, and used our fresh, frozen and canned garden produce in vegetable soup. Free episodes of This Is Us were watched on our Roku TV, and another disc of Call the Midwife arrived from Netflix. Library books were enjoyed. A couple of Christmas gifts were bartered for, so nothing OOP. I made a batch of suet for the birds. A 50% off coupon was used to purchase photos of my niece’s families at Walgreens, and thrifted frames will be used. Wishing everyone a lovely Thanksgiving!

  10. Beautiful photos, as always!
    It was another good, frugal week. I signed up to bring the turkey to one son’s Thanksgiving feast at school. Randall’s had them on sale for .29/#, but required a $30 minimum purchase. I thought I had it, but my total dropped below that once coupons and discounts were applied. There was no way I was paying $1.29/# for the turkey, so I just bought the other items, without the turkey, planning to find more items to get me to the total. A stranger in line had more than the $30 minimum, and bought the turkey for me. How generous! My parents kindly lent me a roasting pan, and I made soup from the bones.
    We bought markdowns at the grocery store. It’s so nice that these add a lot of variety to what we eat.
    My oldest is planning her birthday party, where we’ll do games and serve food here at home.
    I sold several items on facebook and Mercari.
    I received a 5% discount paying for dental work via check, instead of using a card. I was able to pay for a root canal and filling using all these tiny amounts of money that I earn here and there. The billing person was very helpful when I asked her questions regarding dental insurance. I still need two crowns, but they can wait until the new year. Unfortunately, it doesn’t sound like dental insurance will be a good buy for my family.
    I returned 2 mangos to Aldi. They sat on the window sill for 2 weeks and never ripened. I was able to apply the price of them towards my other groceries. I love Aldi!
    A friend made one son a pilgrim costume out of felt, and bought him a hat. They dressed up for a program at school.
    I am signed up to bring green beans to the family Thanksgiving, which is an easy and affordable option. They’re only .79/# here right now.
    I’m making things using ingredients we already have for a Friendsgiving feast tomorrow night.
    I didn’t feel well one night, and used the tv as a babysitter and fed the kids leftovers. They survived, and I got to rest.
    We went to the library.
    We’ve been enjoying Christmas music on the radio.
    I bought gas at the cheaper gas station.
    My dad babysat the youngest for me so that I could volunteer at the school for one son’s Thanksgiving feast. They have so many parents who want to volunteer, they draw names. I won, this time!
    I’ve enjoyed some beautiful photos of sunsets that my aunt shared on facebook. She’s a talented photographer, too.
    Have a happy Thanksgiving!

  11. Brandy , you look so lovely with your hair style. Sugar cookie loves to see photos of the children. She still refers to the youngest as Spartacus. Even though I saved a great deal of money this week , I feel like I spent quite a bit. Although my momma got a new set of furniture, I just could not pay full price for a chair for myself. I’ve been looking for quite a while and finally found several. I wanted lazy boy type chairs but not the large manly type. I found three . I paid $10.00 a piece for two of them. The third one was $45.00 on half price day but it was perfect in color for my bedroom. The three chairs match each room’s decor perfectly. I was grateful that my replacement car is a little larger than the car I just totaled out. I was able to slowly drive home with a car wedged in the truck and tied down. This last wreck has left me having severe migraines again. I go through my ice packs quickly. I realized I could use the large packs enclosed in a food delivery box to sleep with. I placed them in a gallon size zip lock bag so if they burst from sleeping on them, they wouldn’t make such a mess. I purchased several other wanted items. A set of dog stairs for the cocker spaniel. A new covered litter box and a cat carrier. I imagine my prices were easily 90% less by purchasing at the thrift store. I collected items from my pantry to prepare our Thanksgiving dinner. On the bright side, I spent very little at the grocery store. Unfortunately, it looks like I may have pantry moths in a back storage closet. I will inspect my goods and toss out anything contaminated. I’m happy this closet mainly has canned goods in it. Instead of ordering gift cards from my rewards on my bank account, I had the amount credited to my checking account. I then used the debit card to purchase the gift cards at Kroger . I received 4 times the gas points. This new car has a larger gas tank and uses more gas. It shouldn’t , so, I will be looking to see if there is a solution. I cashed in swagbucks and bought additional freeze dried food for my long term storage. My favorite savings of the week was a Christmas gift I wanted. It seemed over priced at the salvage store. I asked if she could do better . After checking the price online, she marked it down my half price. I try to be extremely practical when buying for baby Henry , but I decided one Christmas toy was needed. The family doesn’t typically celebrate, but perhaps that will change with the baby’s presence. It made me happy and I know Henry will be too. it makes lots of noise and will drive his momma crazy . Be blessed friends.

    1. I had good luck hanging flypaper to get rid of my pantry moths. It was much cheaper than moth traps.

    2. For a cheap, non mess, re useable ice pack, place plain dry rice into a zip lock bag and freeze. It will mold to whatever shape you want to use it in, and it refreezes easily. When using it, you may want to place it into either another bag, or a light towel, so it’s not directly on your skin. a 50/50 mixture of rubbing alcohol and water frozen in a bag makes a “gel” type ice pack; although I’ve found these to be a bit messy at ties, requiring at least 2 bags, and can tend to spring leaks.

  12. Lovely photos of you and your kids.

    We ate from the freezer and pantry. I did a big grocery shop for Thanksgiving and had a 10% off coupon at our local health food coop. They are discontinuing the coupons at the end of the year to switch to a dividend system, so I am using them while I can! I combined leftovers and used things that needed to be used up in the fridge to avoid food waste. Today my lunch was an underwhelming soup made from half a serving of dinner leftover from a couple days ago. It wasn’t exciting, but I ate it anyway. My ability to eat occasional mediocre meals from leftovers has saved me a lot of money over the years.

    I made a change to a pair of pants I have. I really like them, but the waistband dips in the back and makes me feel cold during the winter. So I sewed a fleece panel to the back waistband as an experiment. It worked really well! I need to reposition it a bit, but it was a simple fix, and I will wear these pants a lot more often now.

    Last year, at the end of the season, I bought a long warm jacket at the Eddie Bauer outlet on super clearance for $30 (regular price $150). I wore it this past weekend for the first time, and it is just perfect for the cold, damp weather we are having. It’s also waterproof, which is a good thing in Seattle.

    Otherwise, I made water kefir, took my lunch to work, worked puzzles from the newspaper, read books from the library (thanks to everyone for the great recommendations last week, and did all the things I normally do.

    Have a great week, everyone. And Happy Thanksgiving to those in the U.S.

  13. Canadian Tire has some interesting specials this week — I hope to get some of the silicone baking pads for $1.99. I’m tempted to buy the crockpot for $29.99. Or an induction hotplate (also on sale) which has a timer so it would shut off in case I black out or for some other reason can’t make it to the stove. I worry about not being able to get back to the stove when I’m cooking something over a period — the oven is not a problem as it has a timer which turns it off but the stovetop is a problem so for safety I may buy it.

    We got turned down by one of our grant body applications for a printing grant for the history book. It may never get printed but we shall see.

    1. I wonder if a regular publishing company or a college would publish your book. A Writer’s Market would have some possibilities in it.

  14. *I am rooting three stems from my Pothos plant that were somehow knocked off accidentally by one of my children…so three new plants are coming my way.
    *Used credit card reward points combined with an awesome deal at Target to bring down the cost of a new tv to a way more manageable price. Our tv decided to die last week, so I am just waiting for two more things to break….they always come in threes!
    *Found a great deal on essential oils and used money I had been saving in a PayPal account to pay for it…so it felt free:)
    *Chose to pick up bbq when my in-laws came to visit last weekend instead of going out to eat on a busy night…saved a ton of money…
    *Made my daughter some faux saddle shoes using marker and thrifted Keds for her role in A Charlie Brown Christmas..she was Violet and did awesome. The director wanted her to have bangs so we found some clip on ones that made us laugh so hard when we put them on. I also finally figured out how to put her hair in a bun thanks to a YouTube video (she has massively thick hair) My son was Snoopy and his entire costume was handmade for a fraction of the cost of store bought one. A lot of people asked me where I bought it, so that made me feel good!
    The pictures are at

  15. I enjoy reading about your creative ways to not spend money. It sure helps me to think more creatively where I live. I can’t do many of the things you do because of the difference in geography and weather: Minnesota vs Las Vegas. This week I got more windows covered with shrink plastic which helps keep the house warm without turning up the heater. I planned and made meals with leftovers in mind to use for lunches or some other meal. I had a long talk with our exchange students (boys, one from So. Korea the other from Viet Nam) about checking their clothes to make sure they aren’t sending clean (barely worn) clothes through the laundry. I walked to a dentist appointment. Our son got the hot water pipes insulated this year so that is saving on water as well as gas to heat the water. YAY!
    We live in a 1898 Queen Anne style house that is not insulated or air tight and therefore rather chilly in the winter, so everyday I put on thermal bottoms under my slacks, wool socks on my feet, and wear a sweatshirt cardigan over my long sleeve T-shirt to keep me warmer. We set the thermostat at 68 and if we feel cold we put on more clothes or wrap up in a blanket.
    Thanks for your continued sharing of ideas and inspiration.

  16. We had an early Thanksgiving dinner with two other couples in our neighborhood. The hostess sent us all home with leftovers – enough for another meal and a lunch.
    One of my husband’s flannel shirts was beyond repair, so I cut it up for rags – and cut off all the buttons and saved them. (For Christmas, I made my husband a new flannel shirt and used buttons I had saved from a previous shirt.)
    At the thrift store I found a brand new water bath canner, with rack, for $10. The one I have been using is 50 or 60 years old (It was my mother’s) and had a dented, rusty spot in the bottom that is only millimeters away from leaking. I have been watching garage sales and thrift stores for two years for a new one and my patience finally paid off. I’m going to turn the old one into a planter.
    I bought 7 pounds of butter for $1.99 a pound and a 13 pound turkey for 49 cents a pound. Those are the cheapest prices I ever see here.

  17. I am so glad you were able to get great deals on the pasta that you wanted and fantastic meat bargains too that is a huge help with the budget. Beautiful family photos too this week Brandy 🙂 .

    Our savings added up to $87.04 last week :).

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

    In the gardens –
    – Picked 7 bunches of silverbeet and 1kg of green beans saving $29.50 over purchasing them in the shops. We blanched and froze most of them for advanced stocks for the freezer.

    Internet listings –
    – Listed 10 items on eBay a free listing promotion saving $16.50 on usual listing fees.

    Purchases –
    – On price reductions we purchased 6 pk grain jumbo bread rolls, 1 x 6pk jumbo wholemeal bread rolls, 3 x 6 pk wholemeal dinner bread rolls, a pepperoni pizza loaf and 12 pk of donuts saving $5.71 on usual prices.
    – Ordered a gift card from RACQ for groceries saving 5% or $7.63 on usual prices.
    – Did an online order for a fortnights worth of groceries and coupled a $15 off promotional code and weekly specials to save $23.70 on usual prices.
    – Purchased from IGA 2 x 200g of butter mushrooms on clearance for $2 total saving $4 on usual prices. They were fried with steak one night and used on a homemade pizza which will last us another 2 nights for dinner.

    Water preservation –
    – Did the usual and used grey water from our tanks to water fruit and berry trees, saved shower water to water potted plants, fill up drink bottles and clean the bathroom and toilets with and dish rinsing water to water potted and ornamental plants.

    Hope everyone has a wonderful week ahead :).


  18. We went to urologist this past week and Hubs was able to do a voiding trial before we left after seeing his doctor and he was able to have internal catheter removed! It’s been 7 weeks and has really limited his travel, even at home, as well as limiting his activities drastically! We are so thrilled with this progress!
    So, in response to that progress AND having a day outside that was in the low 50’s, we were able to move our final Summer 2019 yard project along! We sanded buffet table base and mortared it and layer our tiles! and Now we are just waiting for Tuesday’s warm-up to 50’s to put cedar frame around the sides/edges and grout between tiles! So it actually will be finished!!
    On the sewing/quilting front- I sold 3 more sets of Soup Cozies and another one of these Hollow Stars table runners to one lady and got paid and now I have these 2 matching Hollow Stars table runners ready to sandwich up and put on my machine and quilt and bind. Apparently $20 is a good price point for these table runners! Another lady is bringing me fabric to make 3 or more of them for gifts for friends/family! I have got a rhythm to them now and can assembly line construct them!
    Lenni finished t and . I just need to bind it and it’s done! The quilting is “Alfresco” pantograph that a sweet online friend gave me (along with 11 others) because she wasn’t using them any more and thought we would love them! And we do!! Every time we use one of her pantographs, we make sure to send her a photo as well as thank her online any time we post the finished quilts on Facebook!
    Hubs did get our website finished and updated where you can put in the dimensions of your quilt top and it will calculate the labor cost for us to quilt it! ( ) It takes less than a week for us to get any size quilted up and back out the door! We are hoping that our quilting business will grow! Our longarm, Lenni, does seem to be quilting every week and we are having so much fun!
    We got Hub’s hospital/medical bills from his surgery and post-op visits and procedures. Over $91K just for hospital and surgery! But, we have $0 out of pocket with our Medicare and supplement! We are dumbfounded!! When he had surgery 2 years ago, with bills about the same amount, we had over $8000 to pay out of pocket and we had good private insurance with his employer and our premiums were vastly higher! We are so incredibly grateful!!
    I think our refrigerator must have been talking to yours, Brandi, because it is making funny clicks and temp goes from freezing things one day to 40 degrees the next. Hubs already checked online and YouTube and the cost of the new circuitry is pretty high. So when we went over to Lowe’s to pick up a new battery for our lantern flashlight, we happened to see their Black Friday display with a shiny new fridge with a 40% off tag just as we walked in! (Smart marketing!) So we detoured into appliance department, saw several we liked and then we ….. WENT HOME! I remembered that we have a Home Depot credit card that always wants us to buy something and get 0% financing for 6 months or a year. We always use this for our remodeling projects and always make sure it’s paid off within that time so we don’t have any interest charges. There was no balance on it. Then I started my research of brands/models for independent ratings/reviews. We found that one well known brand has a major class action suit against it for the very type of refrigerator (French door type) that we are looking at including current models that are being sold! So, we took that brand off our list. We whittled the list down to 4 specific models- 3 different brands- and went over to Home Depot! After looking at all 4 carefully, we actually combined features that we wanted and found a 5th fridge that won us over. However, we needed to go home and measure inside doorways in our house because they won’t install if they can’t get through doorway and they won’t take fridge doors off. So we measured, ordered the fridge. They are going to deliver it to the front porch on Wednesday, where Hubs and a couple sons will take it out of box and then take fridge doors off (Thank you, YouTube for free DIY videos showing our exact make/model to take doors off step by step!!)
    But wait- in our 130+ year old house, even with fridge doors off, one doorway is still too narrow! So here’s what Hubs is doing today, while I’m quilting- This is with door frame taken off before he enlarges the doorway. New header beams will go in today too ! I’m going to love this! Hubs is so thrilled to be back to work on projects without movement restrictions!!
    I made muffins for easy breakfast grab and go . The recipe was for banana chocolate chip. I modified it- since Hubs can’t have chocolate, I used butterscotch chips. Since we most recently had banana muffins and it also called for Greek yogurt, I substituted those two amounts for an equal amount of homemade caramel apple yogurt! Didn’t tell Hubs or son. Just waited! They both gobbled down two each and told me how good they were! Frugal win!! Making do AND using up what I had in fridge and pantry!!
    I cooked up my first 23 pound turkey yesterday (33 cents a pound) Deboned it and put meat into ziploc bags for freezer and fridge! Yum! The house smells SO good!!
    For Thanksgiving at our daughter’s house, I’ll bring the ham and cream cheese salad, deviled eggs and paper goods. Daughter is doing turkey, others (there will be about 42 of us) are signed up to bring everything else!
    Hope everyone’s Thanksgiving is filled with peace and love!

    1. Pat, your story reminds me of when a friend asked us to help them move their big, old, chest freezer. The guys measured it, took off the door and whatever else they could…and it still got stuck halfway through! That’s when they realized they hadn’t factored in the additional width of the hinges! They ended up sawing a piece out of the door frame to get it through and carefully gluing it back once the freezer was through. Just glad it was their new house and not ours!

      1. Maxine- Here is a photo link To the newly expanded doorway (We still need to put in a new doorframe) .
        And here is the reason for the expanded doorway ! ( And no, while it IS in the kitchen, it is not put into it’s place yet because Hubs is putting in water line right now for the water and ice maker! ?)

        I am really excited about this fridge and plan on it lasting many years! (We did get the 5 year extended warranty that covers all parts and labor and has a guarantee that they will replace it if it can’t be fixed!)

  19. Stunning picture of you and your girls!!!!!! My accomplishment that means the most to me that has happened over the summer and fall months is that I have lost 18 pounds. I was slim all my life until 40 then each year put on a few pounds until I was not happy with my weight!!! ugh This amount of weight loss has me happy and I was able to pull out 5 really nice denim and khaki skirts and some nice winter vests when I put away my summer clothes. They fit so nice now, makes me very happy with myself. I was determined to totally revamp my flower and vegetable garden this fall. Digging bulbs and dirt, running the rototiller, trimming bushes etc. was of a great motivation to exercise. Plus, I chose to hand mow the lawn which took 2 hours each week to accomplish and I bagged all the cuttings for the compost pit and garden. Our lawn is very lush so just emptying the collection bag time after time was like using hand weights and my lawn looked very nice. I also hand washed the siding of our home and windows on the areas I could reach with the ladder. Half of the house is 2 story so the top story just got hosed down and I washed the tilt in windows from the inside. With our damp weather we fight green mold on our siding every year. I have never had to be concerned with weight loss until the past few years, so very blessed, so I accomplished many tasks using chores as a routine exercise method and enjoying what I love most, to be outside!! Going to the gym does not work for me!! Have a wonderful Thanksgiving with your family Brady!!! Thank you for all the encouragement!!

  20. Lovely photos! We have snow and it is beautiful. I do enjoy your desert photos especially as my parents live in the desert.

    This week I was able to process the pumpkin I bought for 4.00 and used all fall as a decoration. My family does not like pumpkin, but I do. I used the pumpkin and some cream I had received for free and froze to make a large pot of soup to take to a Friendsgiving potluck on Sunday. I froze a couple servings of the soup for myself for later in the winter. I also froze 3 packs of pumpkin to make quick breads with for company or another pot luck.

    Our Thanksgiving plans had changed and it was just going to be DH, DD and myself. We are so used to very large family and friends gatherings, but were determined to make it a relaxing and delightful day. Now we have an opportunity to go to dinner for 10$ each as a special offer. I am just stunned with the offer and the knowledge that there will be others attending that we know. And, we do not have to take anything. What a gift!

    I found two pennies and added them to the change jar. I ordered a present that was way too expensive for our budget and cancelled it asap. Sometimes it is tough to stick to the budget. I know that it will be a few years, but we will get through this! We have all we need today and I trust we will be provided with what we need in the future. In that light, I continue to cook from the pantry and freezer. I did shop some this past week and made a large pot of Senate Bean Soup to eat throughout the week. I have started using the Lose it! app to keep my weight under control this holiday season. It also inspires me to continue exercising as I can add that in as well. Finally, my dental insurance paid just under half of my post treatment dental visit. Still more than the cost of the insurance so far, so we are ahead.

    We are preparing for Christmas and some dear visitors. We got out all of the Christmas bins and began decorating. Our tree is from the National Forest in our backyard (with a permit) and while not perfect, is beautiful and very tall. I feel blessed to have beautiful decorations that bring back many, many wonderful memories. I had bought wrapping paper for pennies last year and am using that. We have plenty of Christmas music and are enjoying that too. We usually do this all after Thanksgiving; however I am glad that we are preparing earlier this year as its taking me longer. My daughter insists on having a Christmas like we used to. It’s very frugal since we have everything and only needed to replace a couple strands of lights for a cost of less than 5$. Joy!

    Happy Thanksgiving!

  21. I’ll add my admiration of the photos to that of everyone else. It’s good that you get in front of the camera sometimes, Brandy. My dad took all the family photos as I grew up, so he’s in almost none of them. Since he’s passed on, I’d dearly love to have more photos of him.
    I had to buy new tires, ouch, but yesterday submitted the necessary information for the $70 rebate.
    I also bought a year’s worth of contacts, and today submitted the rebate information for them — I should receive $75 back for them.
    I will be visiting family this coming weekend, and need to accommodate the elimination diet I am on temporarily. Last night I made soup that’s on my diet, and promptly froze a portion of it to take with me in a cooler. I already let my hosts know I will bring some food with me, just in case they find it too difficult to cook for my restrictive diet. This will keep me from running to their grocery store to find things I can eat.
    I thawed and prepared a ham I bought on sale at Christmas time. It’s still delicious. I will take some of it with me as well, as it is uncured and has no banned spices.
    I got my kitchen knives sharpened. We finally invested in a good set about 15-20 years ago, and I try to keep them professionally sharpened. Dull knives can be so unsafe, and a trip to the ER for stitches is not frugal.
    I’m going to try another sale to ThredUp and see if I can get any store credit for some of my current unworn clothes. I can’t count on much this time, but last time I got over $30 to use as a credit on their site. Some of the clothes I have sold to them was given to me by others who didn’t want to bother with resale, so that I got credit for clothes that were free to me.
    I found a gift on pre-Black Friday sale. I’d been watching these for well over a year, and this is the lowest price I’ve seen on them, so I grabbed two of them to give as gifts.
    I put Christmas shopping on my double cash-back card then pay it off each month to earn money to apply to a future statement.
    As always, I pack leftovers for lunch and wear my thrifted clothes to work.

  22. The price of lettuce per pound is jaw-dropping. I haven’t purchased any in about six weeks as the price is so high – plus now there is the CDC warning about any lettuces from Salinas, CA due to E. coli. Eating home grown lettuce wins on both the wallet and health fronts! I hope you will show us photos of the revamped painter’s bench when it is finished. Sounds like an excellent solution.

    My frugal accomplishments for the week were:
    • Stuck to my list and only bought the loss leader at grocery store
    • Ordered books through inter-library loan
    • Hung all laundry out to dry
    • Carpooled with someone to a volunteer meeting over an hour away
    • Made new batch of stinky shoe spray (vodka & tea tree oil)
    • Made a car air freshener using a small square from an index card, a paper clip, and some essential oil (grapefruit!)
    • I’ve used up several items this week (peanut butter, vitamins, dishwashing liquid) and have been so grateful to be able to “shop” in my pantry for new ones.
    • Colored my hair
    • Put green onions into a tall glass of water as soon as I purchased them so they will grow. I usually can get three “harvests” from them this way.
    • Filled six Operation Christmas Child boxes with items I’ve been purchasing on clearance or deep sales all year long.
    • Homemade meals included: a large pot of oatmeal with flax seeds, broccoli cheddar soup, spanakopita, chili from the freezer combined with brown rice, asparagus soup, and sautéed chicken breasts with steamed asparagus
    • Furnace blower was working but no hot air was coming out. Figured out how to reset the furnace to get heat!
    • Made swag goal x 1

  23. Made macaroni and cheese using the end of cheese blocks and the last of the shredded cheese. The flavor changes every time making it this way.

    Made sure to freeze leftovers of pulled pork, eggroll in a bowl, and gumbo. The 12yo will spend 3 days with my mother in law, so that’ll be a good time to use them up.

    Brought home cereal, soup, cheese, snacks, shampoo, conditioner , and a few other canned goods my mom didn’t want.

    A friend sent over 2 small deer roasts. Hubby sliced them up to use for sandwiches.

    Cashed in rebates and surveys for $85 in Amazon gift cards. Those are ready to go for Christmas shopping.

    Purchased a 10 pack of socks for myself on Amazon for $6(versus $10+ at Walmart)

    My long time local pharmacy decided to close and switched accounts over to Walgreens. My prescription will be $3 a month cheaper there.

  24. We have been having mild weather, so hopefully the electric bill will be lower this month, even though it had a cold start.

    My husband helped me to inventory the meat in my two side by side and upright freezers. I feel like I can do my meal planning for December and January more realistically now, and use what I have minus my Thanksgiving turkeys. We are celebrating on Saturday as that is when family will be here, so I hope to snag some markdowns on Friday!

    A friend that is transient borrowed my library card and then had a long family emergency. We went to the library today expecting a very large bill and they waived it due to the circumstances, I was so grateful! I found some great nw books to hopefully start on over the long weekend!

    Hope you all in the States enjoy a blessed Thanksgiving!

  25. Love the pictures of you with your children. They are gorgeous.
    This is for the last two weeks.
    I had two days of continuing education – breakfast and lunch were provided.
    I brought my lunch with me the other days I worked.
    Got produce at the ugly produce section of Fred Meyer. One day I got 9 peppers and 3 zucchini for $4.00.Another day I got 3 large avocados and 3 large lemons for $2.00 and a third day I got 20 medium size avocados and 10 of those really large baking potatoes for $6.00.
    Made a batch of garlic and herb cheese spread. This is like the Hickory Farms spread – and easy to make and delicious.
    Made split pea soup with a ham bone and ham bits from the freezer. Made rice, wild rice and mushroom soup. Made baked potato soup with the potatoes from the cheap produce bags.
    Replenished my stock of canned mushroom soup and chicken broth for 49¢ a can.
    Made homemade chow mein.
    Packaged up our onions from the garden. We put them in pantyhose and hand them from nails in an unheated, non-insulated room in our basement. We get about 20 onions per pair, and did up three pairs – so 60 onions.
    Took some of the smaller onions and chopped them and put them in the dehydrator. I now have almost a 1/2 gallon of dried chopped onions.
    Got our turkey at Winco for 68¢ a pound. Only needed one, don’t have room in the freezer for more anyway.
    Hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving!!!!

  26. I love your pictures! My frugal things recently – getting a turkey at .68 lb at Fry’s. I was going to buy at small one but that would have been 1.69 lb! Bought yams at Sprouts for .68 lb. Also got 12 lb of flour from Sams Club for baking. We have been using up what we have for most meals.
    We finally got some decent amount of rain here. It’s always exciting since we do not get much! I continue to read books from the library, thanks to all the recommendations her, they are being added to my library request.
    I had an appointment that I needed to schedule quickly (everything was fine! a huge relief health wise & moneywise!) so I took car after my husband got his ride to work and grocery shopped early. I was so happy I did, less people and employees were very helpful. I only bought what was on my list so that saved me a lot!
    Growing lettuce in our garden along with some tomatoes.
    My FIL pays for extra tv svc so we get a lot of channels. I have been enjoying different movies and shows.
    Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

  27. Brandy, does your store not offer rain checks when they are out of items? I always try to get one and even if the item goes on sale again soon, and I can take advantage of that sale, I hold on to the rain check and use it later, but before it expires.?
    Nice pics of you and your babes!

    1. They do, but they often limit it (to, say, 10 of an item) and on pasta, that’s only 5 meals for us! I have asked for rain checks before but I always forget to use them in time (I can’t believe I do this, but I do!)

  28. We are plodding away at our fixer upper. We had guests come last week. I was able to find enough bedding that worked for a full size bed. The only piece I bought was a fitted sheet. I made a curtain for a very short window in my daughter’s room. All the other curtains I have reused from our old house. I have enjoyed seeing in what new ways I can reuse things from the old house. I took knobs that I loved off a cabinet that we don’t have room for, and used them on a desk that was give to us. I listed a number of things on ebay and Facebook marketplace. I also donated 2 large boxes of items.
    I went to Joann today for needed thread (I can’t find the box that has ALL my thread in it!). I forgot my phone so I didn’t have the Joann app with its coupons. I asked the cashier and they pulled up a coupon for me. It saved me $4. I was thankful.

  29. Regarding geese, I am on Team Octavius. When I was 4, we went to the San Diego zoo. I was bit by a goose right under my eye. All I remember is the zoo infirmary. So yes, when you and the goose are the same height, it’s unnerving.

    I picked up my girl from university today and we toured the apartment she will have next year. I’ve been using Brandy’s ideas for Winter’s apartment and there might be a lot around here that I can give Renee to get her going. She is eager to cook her own food and not eat dorm food. I do not blame her.

    Meanwhile Ted and I have decided to turn off our house phone line and only use cell phones. We are also planning to cut the cable, while maintaining internet with that company, as that company has the right internet for our jobs. Both of these things require a bit of planning before we do them and so that’s on my radar. I also printed out the credit card bill (we pay in full each month) for the past 3 months to scour for things that we can stop / cut / have a conversation on why we made those charges.

    Slowly but surely we are getting on the beautiful while frgual bandwagon….

    Gobble til you wobble, everyone!

    1. Kathleen,

      One of the things we did for her was to buy her several large matching white picture frames from Ikea. We printed the sheet music of a song that she can play (it’s several pages long) and put it in those frames. She hung it above her bed. Every time I see it when we talk to her, I am glad I spent the money on those frames. They look so nice and bring such a sense of order and calm to her side of the bedroom.

  30. I love reading all the money-saving tips. Here are my frugal accomplishments for last week:
    -We pulled the last of the fall veggies from my kids’ 4H gardens.
    -I made chicken stock using carcasses from the freezer and veggies from the kids’ garden. I freeze the stock in my jumbo muffin tin. Each puck is about 1 cup.
    -I found 80% lean ground beef at Target for $1.49 a lb. I bought 9 lbs.
    -I bought 2 rotisserie chickens at Walmart for $2.24 each. My Walmart refrigerates the leftover chickens at the end of the day. By the 3rd day, they mark them 50% off. I like to have these on hand for quick meals. I save the carcasses in the freezer and make a large batch of stock every month or so.
    -I stocked up on butter for $1.99 at Aldi. I purchased 6lbs.
    -My husband and I watched a movie on Netflix using the free subscription we got from our mobile carrier.
    -Our county library system has a number of museum passes available to borrow. We were able to borrow the pass for a battleship. This was special for me because my grandfather was on the very first crew of this ship during WWII. To save on parking, we used public transportation. We took advantage of a “kids ride free on weekends” and Military pay ½ price. The whole outing cost $6 for our family of 7.
    -My husband and I had a rare date night. We saw a hockey game using tickets we got from VetTix is an organization that provides donated tickets for concerts, sporting events, performing arts, educational and family activities to currently serving Military, Veterans and families of troops KIA. There is also a sister site for currently serving and retired law enforcement officers, firefighters, EMTs and 911 Dispatchers called We did have to pay a small fee to transfer the tickets to our name, and for parking. We spent about $50, but our tickets alone would have cost $300.

  31. I am thankful for Brandy and her family supporting her on having this blog. I am thankful for each and every one that comments. I am thankful for those that read but do not comment… you still make a difference to those around you. I am thankful of my friends that made a special trip to Aldi’s (they are definitely Kroger shoppers) to get me unsalted butter for $1.99. I am thankful I have developed the habit of washing out plastic bags and foil. That I use empty jars for storing anything and everything that will fit in them saving me money on not buying more plastic containers.
    We bought Christmas decorations for this home. I bought LED lights to go with the greenery we already have instead of lit greenery. I refused to pay the $20 for a evergreen branch with ribbon for our fence when I can cut a couple branches off the pine trees at the pond (especially the one we want to cut down)and glue some decoration on it that I have. I am thankful that Hubby decided the $600 fake tree did not NEED bought and agreed to 2 live trees for less than $50 together. I am thankful that I finally got Hubby in the habit of opening and shutting the curtains based on the season and sunshine. I am thankful we still have the old AKA dog truck as our daughter’s car broke down so I was able to lend her mine so she would not lose her job and I am not taking her since it would have been a 5 hr round trip twice a day. AND I can still get to my doctor appointments.
    I am thankful for the recipes here as I have several times used them to stretch the food longer. Now if I could just figure out how to make scalloped and augratin potatoes using dried potatoes and dried cheese sauce LOL

    1. Mix the cheese powder and powdered milk (or fresh milk) all together ahead of time. If you can warm the milk, it’s even better. Add butter or margarine (the box mixes call for it, too). Have enough liquid to just cover the potatoes and make sure to push them all down into the liquid. It’s a fair amount of cheese powder (like half a cup or more) for a 9 x 13 inch pan. The box mixes always add HOT water, milk, and margarine. I add those too and just eyeball the amounts. I like to add a bit of garlic powder and onion powder as well.

  32. I’m laughing about your son’s comment about the not wanting to see a Goose again! We had a mean Drake once that my kids weren’t fond of either. I have never seen Pasta that cheap here. We eat Gluten Free Pasta now and it is terribly expensive. I bought an outdoor antenna to try since Hulu + is raising their rates again. My son-in-law blessed us with 1/4 of steer again. We are set with Beef for awhile. Rain is forecasted for the next 3 days so I’m planning to organize and deep clean my house. Happy Thanksgiving to Brandi and all the readers.

    1. Lynd,

      I’ve found Trader Joe’s one of the cheapest places for gluten free pasta. Not sure if you have one near you but that is one place!


  33. I love how your husband helped you solve your problem…teamwork! Our frugal accomplishments for the week were:
    *Accepted a dozen eggs from a friend who has chickens.
    *My husband attended a training and received breakfast and lunch for free.
    *Went thought Rakuten to earn cash back and also through Wyndham Rewards to earn points when booking a hotel for a weekend away in Williamsburg. We ate a free continental breakfast each day and I took a banana for a snack later. We used a gift card for a meal. We also got some Christmas shopping done at the outlets and went to a couple of thrift stores. My husband found 3 pairs of dress pants, which was great since his size is hard to find.
    *Needed to make 2 pumpkin pies for a local charity event. I didn’t have sweetened condensed milk so I searched for a recipe without it and it turned out great!

  34. What a beautiful picture with your girls. I love that it highlights the dry climate while still beautiful. Here in Colorado it is like that too.

    Here are my frugal accomplishments:
    – Since today was payday, we took out envelopes for the month and for Christmas spending. I am really trying to control spending and finish our IRA contributions this month.
    – I was able to get a free turkey and dinner sides for military families. I am very appreciative and excited to share with family.
    – I am all caught up on my homework. I continue to study finance which is helping us in our personal lives as well.
    – I set a budget for Christmas shopping and have a list of what I need to make.
    – We have been cooking a lot and staying home as much as we can. Also, it has snowed quite a bit so that has kept us in.
    – I have downloaded freebies such as free kindle Books which I have a list to on my blog along with other freebies.
    I wish everyone a blessed Thanksgiving!

  35. Wow Brandy, you look like a young mom of two!
    I copy from a blog I follow, :

    Have you tried Fetch Rewards? Wow, it’s a game changer.
    I love how easy it is to just scan in your receipts. You don’t have to jump through any other hoops.
    And the rewards include gift cards to restaurants, stores, and Amazon.
    So this could be a great way to save up for a date, a gift, or just to give yourself an extra little treat.
    After I made FB post about it, I realized that people who use my referral link (with referral code PEWR4) get to start with 2,000 points.
    (Wish I’d known that before I just loaded it off of Google Play…)
    So just click here, and when it asks for a referral code type in PEWR4, and you and I will both get an extra 2,000 points. That’s nearly enough to redeem for your first Amazon card. ?

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