I cut garlic chives, onion chives, basil, oregano and cucumbers from the garden. I also picked pears from the garden.

Succulent Urn The Prudent Homemaker

I purchased some succulents (in addition to the ones I had purchased the previous week). Succulents tend to be pricey, so I looked for ones that had “babies” in the pots and divided them. I found two pots with two plants in each and one with four. I divided these and the ones I had bought the week before last for a succulent urn that I started, added some to a pot that I started that is by my front door, and put some into a pot that I am starting as a Christmas present for my parents. I’ll most likely need to pick up a few more for my parents’ present, so I’ll look for ones that have babies in the pots again to get the most for my money.

I blended banana peels, squash peels from a roasted squash, coffee grounds from my mom, and some garden scraps with water to use as a fertilizer in the garden. Someone shared a video of something similar to this on a local Facebook gardening page that I belong to; in the video, they used coffee grounds (nitrogen, plus they acidify the garden), banana peels (potassium), and eggshells (calcium, plus they alkalize the garden). Our soil and water and very alkaline here (8.2) so I didn’t use eggshells. I have trench composted before (dig a hole and put in the garden scraps, then cover it back up with dirt). This meant I didn’t have to dig quite as deep and since it is blended I hope it will break down faster. I used it to fertilize roses and fruit trees in the front yard. 

I started planting my fall garden with seeds for green onions, lettuce, and parsley in the white garden. The green onion seeds were ones I had collected from my plants earlier this year.

My husband cut his hair and both of the older boys’ hair.

I went to the community garage sales on Saturday with my mom. I had my list, she had an item she needed, and she was also looking for Christmas gifts for my children.

At the very last house, the woman asked my mom if she was looking for anything in particular. My mom told her she was looking for plant stands. The woman said she had some, but they weren’t out for sale. She got them out and sold them to my mom, and my mom was able to check that item off her list.

My mom found a huge box of Legos for sale for $25. We knew what a deal that was! My mom will divide these up as Christmas presents for my children, who love Legos.

Garage Sale Finds The Prudent Homemaker

I found a few things on my list (as well as a few things that should have been on my list!) including a hand-held chopper (mine had broken), $1; a girl’s bicycle (I’ll need to recover the seat with some vinyl that I have), $12.50; a pair of shoes for Winter that looks new, $5; several books, including 2 that I will give as Christmas gifts to a child and had been thinking about buying new, $0.50 each; a jacket that I’ll be giving as a Christmas gift to a child, $2; a board book that I’ll use as a Christmas gift for the baby, $1; a blue and white lidded jar, $1; a silver-plated Reed and Barton pitcher, $1; a silver-plated small pedestal bowl, $0.25; a stainless steel bathroom set with a soap dish, toothbrush holder, and 2 cups, $1; a century plant, $5; a picture frame, $1; a framed picture, $5; a Battleship game, $1.50; a small stapler, $0.50, two washcloths, $0.20; a brand-new Victorinox pocket knife and matching Cross pen, $1; a jumper for Elsa, $3; a sweater for myself, $, and a t-shirt for myself, $1.

What did you do to save money last week?


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  1. Plants make a wonderful, practical gift. I’m sure your parents will enjoy the surprise. Such good finds your mom got at the garage sale. She sounds like a super shopper!

    I continue to stay frugal by shopping the sales, using coupons, and using rebates whenever possible. Last week I got free coffee at Cumberland Farms (local chain of convenience stores here in New England). This promo is good every Friday, all of October, so I hope to get more. I have a free daily bagel reward from Panera and I’ve been enjoying those a lot! At Sally Beauty, I used a $5.00 mobile coupon for a free headband. CVS had free drinks and free contacts lens solution. My favorite deal was finding 3 dozen organic, cage free egg dozens, marked down to $0.99 each because they were expiring. All of my transactions with pics can be found here: http://thejewishlady.com/super-savings-saturday-100816/

  2. The pot of succulents is beautiful! I love the combination of colors in it. The photo of pumpkin and pears is beautiful as well, and especially fun because I can see you in the pitcher taking the photo, & maybe even holding Octavius, though I may be wrong about that. I got some bargains to put in my shoebox last week, and good buys on several Christmas presents over the weekend. It sounds like you & your Mom had a productive day at the community garage sales. When I lived in the city, I enjoyed going to yard sales. I’m really too far out now for it to be very practical, but I vicariously enjoy them through you. I’m joining in here: http://abelabodycare.blogspot.com/2016/10/theres-always-next-year-frugal.html

  3. I’m just holding the camera. It would be too difficult to hold the camera still while holding the baby.

    Twice a year there are community garage sales in some of the housing tracts here. Lot sizes here are typically 1/10 to 1/15 of an acre; in one area where we go they are even smaller! It makes for very easy garage sale shopping! The people in the area where we go are only allowed to have sales 2 weekends a year when the whole community has sales, so we can go to a lot of sales in a short amount of time. We often park and go to 2 or 3 sales at once.

  4. I love your pictures as always, especially of the succulents! And good idea re the banana peels, I’ll have to try that. I did grind up some eggshells this week to enrich the soil on my balcony pots, and plan to get some coffee grinds from a local Starbucks.

    Other frugal accomplishments:
    – made a batch of granola using Brandy’s awesome recipe as a starting point. I think I might give out containers of this for Christmas gifts for some people this year.
    – Made a batch of yoghurt
    – Redeemed swagbucks for a $5 starbucks card
    – One of my colleagues brought in a bulk bag of walnuts to work, and we all took home sandwich baggies filled with nuts. I’m going to use them in a carrot cake that I will make from the cheap carrots that I picked up last week. I’ve also sprinkled them on salads for lunches for the DH and I.
    – Made loaded baked potato soup in my slower cooker, using some of the potatoes that I picked up for $2.97/20 lbs last week. I didn’t have any Old Bay seasoning, so I made my own.
    – Made poutine using the same potatoes as mentioned above. Poutine is a French Canadian dish made of French fries covered in gravy and sprinkled with cheese. So yum!
    – Used a hair product sample and a bath oil sample that I got in the mail
    – Made another batch of pickled beets
    – Make a batch of cake pops out of the carrot cake that I made (I added twice the amount of carrots called for, to make it healthier. It ended up making the cake much damper, which worked out well as I didn’t need to add buttercream to the cake to make the cake pops – now that’s frugal!). I coated them in white chocolate that I had bought in bulk a few months ago, and decorated them with drizzled caramel (brand name caramels from the dollar store) and toffee bits (bought in bulk a few months ago). I’m going to take them to Thanksgiving dinner with my family.
    – Saved morning glory seeds from my balcony flowers for next year
    – Redeemed airmiles to get $10 off of groceries
    – Redeemed swagbucks again for a $5 Starbucks gift card
    – Gave a container of pickled beets to my mum and peach jam to my dad. And came home from Thanksgiving dinner with dinner for the next day, plus two cobs of corn that my mom had bought in bulk from a farmer selling corn off of his truck. Am reading a preserving cookbook right now, and can’t decide whether to use the corn in a piccallily dish or whether to roast them and make Texas Caviar.
    – Am cat-sitting in my home for cash.
    – My mom gave me some coupons I had asked her to save for me, as well as a sample of a dishwasher puck and a full-size dishwasher cleaner that she received in the mail
    – Made a batch of raspberry beet jelly from a recipe from one of the commenters on this site! Thanks bunches!  I used the beet juice from boiling the beets for pickled beets as an ingredient in the recipe. You can’t taste it, and it adds nutrients to the jelly.

    Looking forward to being inspired by everyone else’s accomplishments!

  5. Wow what deals you found! The legos would be well loved in our home!

    Now that the days are growing colder, I celebrate by measuring the progress of the Fall leaves. There is a beautiful sugar maple across the street from our home that I check the color of daily (I can see it from my favorite chair in the living room).To make things even lovelier, I am planning on trying Brandy’s window washing method (thank you for it). We have a lot of windows, so it should keep me busy for a while.

    We’ve had a bunch of free activities lately. My sons attended a family camp out with the Cub scouts that was really terrific (they went fishing, had a campfire, completed an archery range, shot bb guns, etc…). The entire family attended the Lehigh/Colgate game last Saturday. Tickets were free to Staff and my husband’s office threw a tailgate. We contributed a keg of my husband’s beer (a farmhouse ale) this time. The food was plentiful and the crowd (mostly college kids and parents) was very accommodating to 4 little kids.

    One of our chickens flew over the fence and we found her safely sitting on a porch chair! I need to figure out how to clip their wings although I must admit, I’m a bit leery of attempting it.

    The bar in my closet broke (it was in bad shape and sagging when we moved in). Luckily my husband was able to swap it out with another from an unused closet. I’m secretly plotting building a closet system but I’m not beyond the drafting stage.

    I’ve decided to try some embroidery again and make a pillow for my favorite chair. I found some linen blend really reduced
    on sale. How do you transfer your pattern? I googled it and it seems the most efficient method was to tape it up to a light source with the pattern under the fabric. Is there any easier way?

    At my daughters’ preschool (on the grounds of a convent) there are several feral cats who are well cared for by the sisters. I walked my girls from the playground and had the opportunity to speak with the caretaker about the cats. In conversation, she told me that sometimes people dump cats off with the small feral population (they are captured and spayed/neutered). Someone had dropped off that morning what appeared to be a young indoor cat which was beautiful and clearly out of his element. A friend of mine had been wanting a cat and has been searching for awhile. She took the cat home the same day and he is just adorable. He was in very good shape and clearly well cared for and socialized with people. Her children are in love. So cat who needed a home and person who needed a cat are happy together.

    We’ve also been celebrating Fall with some a new blog round up of home baking recipes, prompted by a friend who complimented my French bread (thank you again, Brandy). You can see the post here: http://www.dollarsandsensetimestwo.org/2016/10/flour-power-7-essential-recipes-for-home-baking/

  6. I use a window or a light table. I inherited my grandmother’s light table, which essentially does the same thing. I trace with the blue Marks a Lot wash out marker. I don’t wear it off like I do with chalk pencil while sewing, and unlike a regular pencil, it rinses out.

  7. I bought minimal groceries last week in anticipation of Hurricane Matthew. I’m glad I made that decision because we’ve been without power for 54 hours and counting. Friday night before it got too bad, I filled a 5 gallon water jug thing, plus any other sealable container I could find. I’m on a well, so no electricity means no running water. Today I found more Tupperware here at my house and drove across town to my parents, who are on county water, and refilled the empty 5 gallon jug plus the others. My dad filled a new, clean 50 gallon trash can with water and delivered it to my house. At least now i can flush the toilet and wash my hands, etc.

    I refuse to battle crowds at stores for anything so I’m making do with what I have on hand. Thankfully the only thing in my freezer that had defrosted were bananas I’d put in there a couple weeks ago. I’m sure I’ve lost some stuff in the fridge but everything was still frozen solid in the freezer.

    Used flickering battery operated candles from Dollar Tree which I’d bought for Halloween decorations, propping them in front of a mirror to give off enough light to read a cookbook. Fifty cents per candle, each is good for 60 hours, and I didn’t have to go stand in lines 50 people deep trying to secure flashlights, batteries, etc.

    Our area was not forecast to be hit this hard, but there’s a lot of destruction, mainly in the form of uprooted trees, downed power lines, washed out roads, and roof damage. My roof did leak during the hurricane but thankfully it was contained to one area in my living room. They’re estimating we’ll be without power up to 2 weeks. I really hope it’s back on sooner. My list of emergency prep items has grown substantially this weekend. Lol

  8. We also have a twice a year community garage sale. My son usually drives an hr to go with me but this year he had to work. Hubby did the driving, he drops me off at the end of the street and I walk the sales. I got some things for my grandkids that just got their first apt plus some throw blankets and a cookie jar we have been wanting.

    The rest of the week is here. http://chefowings.blogspot.com/2016/10/oct-10-monday-morning-frugal-week.html

    also Brandy , thanks for the info for the marking pen. My pencils just don’t do the job.

  9. The blue and white lidded jar, silver plated bowl and silver plated water jug are just gorgeous. What awesome finds! I’m sure your parents will love their Christmas gift. You do such an amazing job with making garden projects look so lovely.

    Well, my daughter seems to have actually formed real friendships with some girls at school…finally! She was invited over to one of the girls house on a weeknight this week, just to hang out. With her being on the Autism spectrum, making real friends has been a long, difficult and often lonely journey. We’re so thrilled for her!
    My frugal accomplishments for this week are:
    *Meals made at home included chicken “shepherds” pie, tacos, grilled cheese sandwiches with dill pickles, homemade broccoli cauliflower and cheese soup with homemade bread, homemade lasagna with homemade garlic bread, and for Thanksgiving we had roast beef with mashed potatoes, gravy, homemade bread, corn, carrots, and coleslaw, plus choice of apple pie and/or pumpkin pie for dessert.
    *Went for 6 walks this week around the neighborhood for some free exercise.
    *Made a list of family favourite meals to make it easier to come up with meal ideas. I don’t particualarly like weekly meal planning as daily plans in this house tend to change at a moments notice far to often. I’m hoping this list works better for our family.
    *Canned 4 pints of pear slices. I used some of the left over “pear sugar syrup” and added lemon juice to make a jug of Pear Lemonade.
    *While at Costco picking up some needed items, I noticed some cheese on sale for $1.98. I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything at Costco for a under $2, especially cheese. It was Smoked Fresh Mozzarella (which I’ve never had before but figured it would be a mild flavour which my daughter likes) with a best before date a week away. I grabbed 2, left one out to try and put the other one in the freezer right away. As I suspected, my daughter loved it!
    *Picked up some great deals on groceries due to Thanksgiving sales, including a head of cabbage for $0.27/lb, 4 packages of bacon for $1.97 each, 2 containers of ice cream for $1.97/1.66L tub, broccoli for $0.97, Pillsbury crescent rolls for $0.97/can, 4 cans of cream of broccoli soup for $1.39 each (normally over $2/can!) and 2 bricks of butter for $2.85 each.
    *My mother made 2 pumpkin pies with pantry staples and some of the frozen pumpkin puree from 2014. Tasted great too!
    *My daughter is going through a clothing phase where she wants to wear flanel shirts over t-shirts. I like it because she refuses to wear jackets, so the flanel shirt keeps her warm in the cool fall morning and if it get hot during the day, she can opt to take it off. There was a sale at Old Navy this Sunday on flanel shirts for $15 each (over 50% off). We went and picked up 4 different colours for her, which made her very happy.
    *My husband is now officialy finished with working his second job. He informed his new employer and they ask if he was ok with working 6 days a week. Of course he said yes! Since this job is less than 10 minutes from our house, we are looking forward to seeing how much money he will now bring in without having to spend so much on gas traveling 3 hours each work day. Good timing too as there was a news report that Southern Ontario may experience gas shortages in the next little while.

    I’ve been following the new footage about the hurricane. I hope all those who were in the affected areas are doing OK. Looking forward to everyone’s updates and inspiration. Have a wonderful week everyone!

  10. Hello Brandy and all from Australia 🙂 . Fantastic bargains you have picked up from your garage sales Brandy, I love the way you are so thrifty and make every dollar earned in your home work well for you.

    Spring is in the air and we are now heading into summer here so planting our vegetable garden with new seeds, harvesting those plants like silver beet and spinach going to seed and using all the leaves and blanching and freezing with great gusto and enthusiasm are in full swing. Of course along with the hotter weather comes lots of weeds too and on a half an acre property it is too much to hand weed unfortunately especially when you get oxalis weed, and of course lots of lovely grass growing after all the rain we have had, so lots of mowing going on to.

    Here is our frugal accomplishments –

    Financial accomplishments –

    – For the month of September we saved 43.85% of our combined after tax income for our save for our home with cash fund 😀 . Although happy we usually save around 60%, but last month we had a lot of expenses, so we shall aim to do better.

    In the garden –

    – Picked peas, spinach, 26.71kg of turnips, silver beet, strawberries and tomatoes from the gardens saving us from our total harvest $178.72 over buying it in the supermarkets. Our organic vegetables as we grow cost a fortune here in the shops being in a small country town.

    – Purchased a pair of steel trailer ramps so we could load our ride on lawn mower onto our trailer on a 55% off sale special, usually $129.50 a pair, we paid $58.27, a saving of $71.23. Previously we were borrowing a set from our kind neighbour :), we don’t like to borrow so we are happy to have purchased our own set now .

    – Purchased a set of vehicle pin car stands on a 55% off sale, usually priced at $45.00 a set, we paid $19.98 saving $25.02.

    – We went to purchase a small container of weed spray but they were out of the smaller 1lt containers. They did however have a 5 lt container in stock which will last us a year or more, this saved us $12.22 a litre, or $61.10 in total over buying it in the smaller containers.

    In the kitchen –

    – Washed, peeled and cut 25.5kg of turnips and blanched and froze them for advanced food supplies in the freezer. They tend not to handle the heat too well so we are blanching and freezing all of them now.

    – Made a quadruple batch of lovely granola.

    – Cooked all bread and meals from scratch using food storage or items in the pantries, fridges and freezers.

    Power saving –

    – Preserved all vegetables in the kitchen in cheaper off peak power times.

    – Put on washing in the evenings on off peak electricity times to save on power costs, and hung all loads on the line.

    Water preservation –

    – Watered all herb pot plants with saved vegetable steaming water from cooking dinners.

    – Used vegetable washing water to water new grass seed planted in the back lawns.

    – Watered all new grass seed planted in the back yard with saved grey water from our washing machine and showers without the use of any town water.

    – Supplement hand watered all new seeds planted in the gardens on unscheduled town water usage days with rain water in our rain water tanks.

    – Turned off all unused appliances at the power points when outside gardening or out of the home on errands.

  11. Fall has come to Idaho. The garden is winding down. Still processing small batches of tomato sauce and vegetable juice for the freezer. The apples have mostly been picked and sorted. Anything with a blemish has been processed into apple juice and applesauce and tucked into the freezer. The danish squash were picked today. There are still butternut and spaghetti squash left to pick and move to the garage. Now my thoughts turn to winter sewing and the beginning of the Christmas gifts. I sprouted some sweet potatoes and planted the sprouts in my self watering starter boxes. Several were planted into a beautiful glazed pot and became part of a gift. If I can continue to keep the remaining ones growing I will plant them in my garden next year. I always enjoy everyone’s tips and ideas. Keeps me inspired to continue to be thrifty

  12. Your succulents are beautiful, and you got some great deals at the yard sale.

    We had a pretty quiet week, but were able to do a few frugal things.

    * Ate at home all but two times.

    * Hubs rode his bike to work one day and worked from home one day.

    * I found a gallon of organic whole milk for 50% off so I snatched it up and made yogurt with it. (It came out to about .87 per quart of yogurt. Woo-hoo!)

    * I also found cottage cheese at 50% off, so I got that too.

    * Made ratatouille with tomatoes, eggplant, zucchini, oregano, and basil from the garden. The rest of the ingredients were either from the freezer or pantry.

    * We had a yard sale on Saturday.

    Hope everyone has a good week.

  13. Quiet week with no real shopping to speak of. At least nothing where a good bargain could be had.

    I did my normal savings routines like hanging laundry, catching water, and leaving the tv off. I finally got the inside of the front door painted so the main living area is done. I needed to keep the door open so I was waiting for a good day. At last!

    I also got all my fall decor up, inside and outside. I got a string of Mini gold Iights on clearance a couple of years ago. I put them across the fireplace mantel wound with autumn leaf garlands and they look great. As the nights grow cooler and darker, they really cozy up the room.

    My final accomplishment of the week is a complete list and cost estimate for Christmas shopping and shipping. I’ve already started wrapping stuff up that I made and plan to send out the adult gifts early to spare myself the one giant trip to the post office. We ship everything so it’s always very heavy and over $100.

    Am loving the beautiful fall weather we’Re having.

  14. I had some luck at the thrift store this weekend too. I collect Autumn Leaf dinner ware. My grandmother used it and I always thought it so pretty. I don’t use it year round, only in the fall. I put it away before Christmas. Anyway, I have a lot of it, but I welcome more pieces when I can find them. For less than $5.00 I got 3 bowls and 3 coffee cups, and a canister in the pattern. I love it.

    I also go some brand new, still in the package from Pottery Barn napkins. I am going to give them away for Christmas to a sister in law. I know they will be enjoyed. I also found some marked down Pioneer Woman placemats. They were marked down to 75 cents each. I was able to get 8 for her big table. These are the cute red buffalo check placemats. I am going to make some napkins to go with them too.

    We are eating out of our freezer again this week. One freezer is empty, the other is getting lower. I want to clean the freezers before the big sales on turkey and ham.

  15. What I have found to be cheaper, longer lasting to use and comes out perfectly with water are the Crayola (or any other brand) WASHABLE markers! I get these at back to school time when they are on sale or afterwards when they are on clearance! I always use them to mark my quilting patterns and have never been disappointed!

  16. My friend had a big OOPS moment years ago trying to create her own light table. She put a lamp under her glass dining room table and was feeling pretty proud of her ingenuity. Then, just before she finished, she heard a noise. Yup, the lamp heat broke the glass. I just thought I’d give anyone an FYI.

    Before I got my light table, I used a window and painter’s tape.

  17. Brandy,
    Have you ever tried a frixion pen. The ink removes with heat. It works wonderfully and has become my favorite tool for marking. You can get them on Amazon, quilt shops, and at grocery stores. They are usually about 2 dollars.

  18. Picked more strawberries, red raspberries, pole beans, butternut squash, tomatoes, apples & a windfall pear.

    Put up tomato sauce, sliced apples, crabapple jelly & green beans.

    Made 2 plum cobblers using the plums from our tree.

    Cut the bean vines from the support towers & used them to fill the garbage can to the top before the pickup. Picked all the beans as I went, even the dried out pods, to use as seed next year, since the beans are an heirloom variety. Cut another tree pot full of vines to add to the can if the vines wilt sufficiently in the sun (our garbage can is black) to hold a bit more. After the garbage pickup on Tuesday morning, I continued to fill the tree pot between 1-4 times a day with weeds & garden debris. Pulled out the bean towers & moved them to the shed for the winter.

    Bought 2 pint jars at the thrift store.

    Continued to knit on the Christmas mittens. Ordered the 2nd gift for our youngest daughter & received it. Finished painting the sign for our middle daughter; all that is left to do now on that gift is a few light coats of clear coat to protect it.

    The major project for this week was moving the 3 large bookcases that sit along one wall in the library, which is our front entry room, downstairs to the family room. I moved them one bookcase per day to keep me from getting sore. Emptied out all the books, cleaned the bookcase well, turned it on one side & scooted it across the carpet to the stairs, then gently slid it down the stairs. Stood the bookcase back up on the floor downstairs, & used 2 pieces of cardboard under the ends to scoot it across the carpet to its new home against the north wall. Now the “family room” is the new “library”, and the old “library” will become ‘the front room”. Started looking for a love seat or small couch for the “front room” & lace curtains for the dining room.

    Ordered a cabinet for the front entry that is only 10” deep, & that will fit the space available. I have been looking for a small cabinet to fit that space for 10 years now & finally found one on sale in the Ballard Design catalogue, for $100 off. I showed it to my husband & we decided on the color we wanted, then I ordered while it was still on sale. When it arrived, I set it up, & found a pleasant surprise: I was sent 12 round metal shelf supports, to hold up 2 shelves, so there are 4 extra, leaving me the option to add another shelf to the cabinet if I want. Altho I did not buy it for that purpose, it would make an excellent little jelly cupboard. I always read all the comments before purchasing, & one of the comments had a picture of the cupboard being used for that.

    We had a leftover smorgasbord one night for dinner, & planned leftovers the next night, to use up all the leftovers in the fridge.

  19. I shopped around for car insurance before renewing. The new company is charging $248 less a year than the old one!

    Picked up vegetables at the free produce table at my library. (Extra produce is left for people without gardens.) Carrots and a couple of large onions, which I used as the base for chicken stock and two winter squash. I baked one this weekend with my Cdn Thanksgiving meal. It was wonderful.

    Bought 2 lb of butter at a great price. One for now, the other in the freezer to use in Christmas baking.

    I bought coins rollers for dimes so that I can roll up the coins I have.

  20. I hope your power comes back soon — that’s very hard being without electricity that long in the aftermath of a storm. Many years ago in Texas we were without power for a week after Hurricane Alicia. I was a young married and I remember how miserable it was.

  21. Wowza, sounds like you had some good finds! I really need to make it a priority to check more garage sales. You really can find good deals if you know what you’re looking for.

    This week:

    1. I got free galvanized gutters, a bed headboard, and curtain rods on Freecycle. These were all things we were going to buy anyway, so it was a real boon to get them for free! Naturally they need a little bit of sprucing up, but it’s nothing we can’t handle. I’m particularly excited about the headboard; it’s made from real wood and looks to be quite old.

    2. We’re doing very well with our homemade meals. Over the weekend we managed to have homemade minestrone on Saturday and kebabs on Sunday. I changed my focus to quick-fix meals instead of more elaborate meals, and it’s working in our favor!

    3. We poured concrete counters in our kitchen over the weekend and now we’re waiting for them to cure. But we’re super close to having the kitchen remodel completed! Everything else is cosmetic, like installing the tile backsplash and ventihood.

    4. I made a cloth covering for our front door windows out of a pillow case I bought at Goodwill for 99 cents.

    5. To save money on movers, Mr. Picky Pincher and I are moving 90% of our stuff. We are only paying the movers to relocate all of our heavy stuff, like couches and appliances. Since they charge by the hour, this could save us about $200. I’ll take it!

  22. I love your garage sale finds! That pitcher is gorgeous.
    I also went to one garage sale and purchased 3 yards of fabric, an almost-full bottle of stain remover and a cast iron chicken. I collect chickens and this one was only $5 and worth much more. I smile every time I see it sitting on my windowsill.
    During our recent camping vacation, a wind storm shredded our awning. The awning was 20 years old and had been patched twice, so we knew we would eventually have to replace it. A new one would cost over $1000. My husband was able to replace the fabric and the broken spring for $250. It looks great and we hope it lasts another 20 years.
    Weather reports predicted a frost, so I brought in my two big geraniums and trimmed most of the blooms from the hanging baskets – made an arrangement for the table.
    Made a print and play game for my husband for Christmas. Spent less than $20 for materials, but ended up with a game that would sell for twice that in stores.
    Sold an item on eBay and listed another – hope to use the money for Christmas.
    Our women’s Bible study group is putting together a Thanksgiving basket for a group of women missionaries in Papua New Guinea. My contribution was a turkey-shaped pot holder which I made from scraps. It turned out so cute. (We each contributed one item, which had to be very small, since the woman who will be delivering the basket has to carry it through the airport.)
    The sheet I patched last month tore again in a different place, so I cut the whole thing up for rags. Now I’m on the lookout for a single blue fitted sheet.
    My husband occasionally does handy-man work for extra money and he had a job this week. We had a date night at the local pizza place with some of the money.
    I fertilized and mulched all the garden beds, getting them ready for winter. We disconnected all the irrigation lines and I am hand-watering in the greenhouse and the one bed that is covered with plastic over PVC hoops. We had 4 inches of snow one day last week — a surprise to everyone.
    I, too, put out my fall decorations. I have wreaths I made of barbed wire that was left on the property when we moved in. I decorated these with some silk fall leaves and burlap ribbon.

  23. Wow, two weeks! Its been weighing on my mind A LOT lately that I need to resupply some things. We live in Oregon about eighty miles east of the coast; so the earthquake and tsunami reality is alarmingly real.
    I hope you get your power back sooner!

  24. I love garage sales, I enjoy reading this blog https://garbagefinds.com which is about a man that sells things he finds in the garbage. Amazing what people will throw out.
    I spent money to save money this week, something I
    normally consider a huge waste ( instant, single serve oatmeal) I bought 7 for 1.69 each but sent them with my husband on his business trip. He is making them with the coffee maker and it is five dollars cheaper than breakfast near his hotel, I also packed him single serve trail mix to keep in his pocket and some jerky. He said I’m saving him so much money I can buy myself a present, lol.

    I’m making decorated sugar cookies for a fund raiser. I’m not setting the prices but I was a pastry chef pre children and I am hoping they charge high as in the store for comparable quality, they cost 12.99 per pound loose and I’ve also seen them for a crazy $2 each. I’m also making a big batch of autumn themed granola with dried cranberries. I’m considering making ruglach which is a big undertaking and I don’t know if I can do that with my husband away. I am glad to be able to use my skills to help them improve my sons playground. Haha, I also am bringing a $20 donation from my mother who requested I make her a pumpkin bread pudding in exchange.
    I am debating pulling my late tomatoes to have them ripen inside or leave them on the vine.

  25. Gabrielle, the easiest way and safest for all when trimming wings is catch the bird, wrap in a big towel covering the head and pull one wing out at a time. Hold bird securely to your chest. Clip, then do the other. A second person to help is best. You tube videos will show you the feathers to clip, I am sure.

  26. Wow – the stuff you all are finding at garage sales and thrift stores is amazing!

    This week was Thanksgiving here in the great white north and it made me remember the many things I am thankful for, especially when I realize the struggles facing some of my friends.

    This week the meat fairy visited us – The Man was given the hind quarter of a moose for helping a buddy with his moose hunt. The same buddy also passed on some deer sausage, pepperoni, and smokies. A sales rep at work let me have a package of expensive sausages I would never buy for myself. Those are now tucked away in the freezer. And my mom let me take home all the left over turkey and the turkey carcass from Thanksgiving dinner. I’ve got soup simmering away on the stove as I type this. I will share the soup and what ever else I make with her.

    Happy Canadian Thanksgiving everyone!

  27. Lori, I trust and hope your power is back on by now. We have a well so we have a generator. They are very common around here and rare to find someone on a well without one. We don’t have a large one as we don’t plan on using it to run everything should the power be out. Most of our appliances are gas. If the power goes out in the winter we have alternate sources for heat (woodburning stove), light (kerosene lamps) and cooking (above stove, camp stove, charcoal grill, firepit).

    I don’t remember how much ours cost it has been quite awhile, but I googled them and saw one as cheap as 129.00. If one is putting much valuable food into freezers I would think a generator would be a worthwhile expense.

  28. Rhonda, how nice your daughter is making friends!

    Smoked cheese is a good substitute for bacon in a BLT as you get the smoky flavor without all the bacon mess and it’s less fat.

    I’ve never made a meal plan in my life, other than Home Ec in school and for big extended events like a holiday or wedding or graduation. A list of favorites sounds do-able.

  29. Found boneless chicken breast 1.49 a lb. I up getting 25 lbs. I made 5 lbs into breakfast meat and ground some and put the rest in freezer. 1.98 lb for butter. .69 can of fruit. Lots of fail. Dust myself off and get on the frugal train.

  30. Roxie, I googled the name to see what the dishes look like. Autumn Leaf (Hall, Jewel Tea)…is that right? They are very nice looking. Many on EBay. I saw there is a collectors club too. How wonderful you have your grandmother’s dishes too!

  31. Celeste. If you look on all recipes you will find several recipes for fruited oatmeal mixes. I make these up in a tall canister using fruit I have dried and brown sugar cinnamon and oatmeal from bulk purchases. It can be cooked quickly in the microwave . we like it topped with homemade applesauce for a very filling and inexpensive breakfast. Lots cheaper than the purchased varieties. You could also package these up in snack size bags for your hubby to cook. Blessings

  32. My frugal accomplishments –

    I picked more passion fruit/maypop.

    I reserved books at the library.

    I ordered about 6 months of my rosacea wash (3 bottles) from Macy’s while they were having the Clinique gift with purchase. Getting 3 bottles,I qualified for 2 extra gifts (body wash and lip gloss).I got free shipping so it saved me a trip to the mall. I put all the free gifts away for stocking stuffers.

    We had a simple Rosh Hashanah meal – matzo ball soup, knish, and challah in the bread machine – that made enough for 2 nights plus lunches. I made the knish ahead of time and froze them (with mashed potatoes I brought home from work leftover from a catered lunch). I made honey cake for dessert. The recipe makes 3 – one for us, one I brought into work, and one for the freezer to have at Thanksgiving.

    I’m having more and more problems with health issues related to my autoimmune disease and making everything from scratch this Thanksgiving isn’t going to be possible. So instead, each week I’m buying items from Aldi as they put out their seasonal items so I can spread out the expense and make sure they don’t sell out. Last week I bought a small boneless turkey breast (3 pounds) which will be plenty for the carnivores. This week I bought gelato for a light dessert.

    I pulled some sliced peppers out of the freezer and cooked a giant pan of them. We had pepper and provolone sandwiches on ciabatta and roasted carrots for dinner and I refroze the rest of the cooked peppers for another night. I made tons of extra carrots so I could eat them during the week.

    Have a great week!

  33. * Meijer had butter on sale for $1.98 a pound (limit 4) however, the preview ad did not have the limit on it and the cashier was nice enough to just run the 6 other pounds thru as separate purchases. I wish I had gone and got more, but 10 pounds will get me thru the Christmas baking at least. We also picked up (2) 18 ct boxes of eggs for .98 cents each since our 2 girls have gone into molt and stopped laying.
    * Picked up the free bag of cat food we “earned” (buy 12 and the 13th is free) unfortunately, we had to switch the cats back to their high end food rather than what we could get at the “pet food pantry”. The youngest and oldest cats were projectile vomiting horrible smelling stomach contents on the other stuff. I am going to call and see if we can get litter thru the pantry and just use it for that if possible which will still help with the pet costs.
    * Our daughter bought me the pretty tote I had exclaimed over at Kmart – our Kmart is one of the ones that is closing and all of the merchandise is at least 40% off. I couldn’t justify spending any money on myself right now so she surprised me when she got her first paycheck from her new job. I then used some matching fabric from my stash to create a pocket and a insert for the bottom. It is now my “chemo bag” that I take with for all of hubby’s appointments and it holds everything (embroidery, book and my adult coloring books/pencils, my pill bottle of quarters + his medical records and my to do notebook)
    * Used another gift certificate for our dogs food. They allowed us to switch the formula we originally had them fill in on the certificate – our old beagle and the youngest Dane weren’t doing well on the other (there seems to be a pattern here…..)
    * I made almost all meals at home except for a lunch out with hubby one day – we celebrated our 23rd anniversary by driving out to see his brothers big boat on Lake Michigan but it was far too windy and cold to actually take the boat out, we went to the small farmers market along the channel and watched the kite surfers in the huge waves. We then decided to grab the dogs from home and drive up to Muskegon River – above Hardy Dam – to look at some of the seasonal campgrounds and marinas in the area. Hubby really, really wants a house boat……me not so much. It was a beautiful day and both of us were feeling good enough to do that – something that is rare it seems now days.
    * I prepped a “chemo cocktail” that is supposed to help with nausea – hopefully it tastes good to him – it uses apple cider as a base which he LOVES.
    * Hung the curtains I have had in storage forever (garage sale find) in the family room which is looking much better now without all the mildew and very nasty 19 year old carpet! I sanded the steps this week in preparation for staining – they might look rough but it will match the floor nicely when I get it done. My Dad just grouted the tiles he found for in front of the fireplace/woodstove at the Habitat Restore – he used grout we had leftover from a tile chess table my hubby built a couple years ago.
    * We are still waiting to hear whether he gets disability or not – it is supposed to be expedited due to the cancer but even expedited they run slow…..We put our pontoon boat up for sale to help pay bills in the meantime although it really is not the time of year to be selling one in Michigan.
    * I asked for Christmas ideas from my sister and Mom for things that I could make while sitting at all these doctor appointments and would be very inexpensive. It is getting harder since her kids are all older teens now!
    * I finally got my grape arbor built using treated wood I already had on hand and transplanted 2 Concords that seeded from my huge old vine. If they die, I’m not out any money at least. I also got my raspberries trellised and have been picking handfuls of huge berries this week (hubby’s favorite), I’ve also dried the rest of the basil and one yellow summer squash – I noticed that I better get the last few picked since it appears we had spotty frost 2 nights ago. Everything else (oh except the carrots) has been pulled and stored. Now if I could just get the mess of brush and wood burned before the snow flies, we’ll be set for next gardening season.
    I think that’s it. This week is a chemo week so I am going to bring my main meals menu binder with me and reorganize it – many of the recipes have been tried and bombed and need to be taken out and new ones put in. I also need to update my menu binder with some new meals that have passed muster with the group and can be put into rotation.

  34. I cannot imagine living on 1/15 of an acre. I can’t even picture it in my brain. Do the houses touch each other? Are these suburbs or urban lots? I am so naive and uninformed, I had no idea that even existed outside of NYC and LA. I lived in Houston for awhile and the smallest lots there were about 1/3 of an acre.
    I live in the middle of an acre of pecan trees in the middle of 2,000 acres of farm-land. I may bow down and kiss the ground when I go outside in the morning. That is what I love about your blog and readers, exposure to so many different lifestyles and parts of the country and even foreign countries.

  35. Rhonda, I’ve never been able to meal plan weekly either. I keep an ongoing list of meals I can make with what I have on hand and have a special folder with new recipes that I have all the ingredients for – then based on what we feel like and our schedules – I pick from the list.

  36. I should stick to yard sales. I went shopping today–between the thrift store and JC Penney’s I found 1 pair of jeans to try on and they did not fit well. I bought a pair of slippers for a gift at 25% off. That was it for about a three hour shop, although I did go and deposit a check at the bank on the way home. I don’t have to worry about spending money because I can’t find any styles I like that I would want to buy. Was planning on making my DGD some couch pillows for Christmas but last time we visited, she had bought herself some! Now I’m thinking about making some potholders. I could use more myself–so I figure most people can always use more—I have an electric stove and just need to get a potholder a little close to the burner and it either ignites or starts smoking. Most of mine are charred around the edges!

    I can barely walk around the mall for an hour without everything hurting –back, feet, hips. Chairs inside the stores are few and far between, too. Since the population is aging, they better start making some more rest stations inside the stores so we oldies can get from back to front without passing out! (And I’m doing lots better than others my age–I can still walk under my own steam–just not for very long.)

  37. I had such a frugal find today! I needed some dance wear for Patsy so she could start ballet class tonight. I figured I would have to buy about $50-100 worth of stuff, and hoped for a good deal. Ja’Ana saved the day by remembering that she had seen the bin of dance wear in the shop and she actually knew where it was!!! I spent a few minutes and moved a bunch of bins but, yes, I got it our. We found an outfit that would fit! Even her shoes from 3 years ago still fit. I may need to get new shoes if those end up being tighter than we want, but I’m very pleased.

    I wrote more things on my blog:

  38. First time posting! This week wasn’t a particularly frugal one so I’m hoping this makes me more accountable. We continue to use cloth diapers and this week I was able to dry most of them on the line. We went for a great hike with our toddler which was free and got us out to enjoy the lovely fall weather. We were able to put him in the hiking child carrier I had bought at a yard sale for 20 (new is around 120!). We ate all dinners at home including having leftovers twice, and brought our lunches to work and daycare each day. We also went around the house and found some things we no longer needed and listed them on CL and EBay. Unfortunately the treadmill we bought years ago on CL now shorts out when I try to run on it, so we are going to list it very cheaply in the hopes someone wants it only for walking- we think it needs a new runningboard and motor and that’s just not in the budget now. Lastly, my aunt is moving next week and bought all new bedroom furniture. I asked her what she is doing with her old set and she is going to give it to us! I’m trying to come up with a couple homemade gift ideas to say thank you.

  39. These are suburban lots. On the 1/15th and 1/16thacre lots, there are cinderblock walls built between the homes. Most of the time we were in a neighborhood where the lots are 1/10th of an acre; the front yards are actually bigger than the backyards. There are no walls between the properties and if you open your shades and your neighbor opens his shades, you can see each other and probably carry on a conversation. It’s an age-restricted senior community, and there is no grass, just rocks in the back and rocks with desert landscaping in front. Most people here don’t want to garden in our heat, but if they do want something in that area they will do pots. My grandmother used to have a house there and in her front yard, she grew some potted tomatoes.

    I have a .24 acre lot, which is HUGE for a suburban lot here. Most of it is straight behind the house; I love having a rectangular lot rather than a pie-shaped one. My front yard (where I have my white garden) is small and our tract is built without sidewalks; I put in a narrow 2 foot one in front so that I can garden without kneeling in the street.

  40. Only clip one wing – just the outer flight feathers – this puts them off balance so they cannot get any height to fly over things. Do NOT do it when the feathers are growing in since they are full of blood at that time.

  41. Melissa, did you get some ideas for Teen Christmas gift ideas? I just went through this with my niece and 4 nephews, so I may have some suggestions if you need them. But first, I need to know if they are girls or boys, and what craft skills you have (embroidery, crochet, knitting, sewing, etc. ?). I’d be happy to help with ideas, if you’d like.

    I was wondering how you were getting along. So good to read your update! Sounds like your getting more into a routine with your husbands treatments. So sweet of your daughter to buy you that tote bag as a gift with her first pay check! I hope you get the disability issue settled very soon.

  42. One 18 year old girl and 2 boys – 16 and 23. I sew well and can embroider okay and can do simple woodworking and painting. They are a very conservative family so my niece doesn’t wear much makeup but she is getting more interested in her “looks” – she also loves crafts and anything old fashioned. My nephews – the older loves computers – he is getting a degree in programming I believe. The younger loves all things Star Wars, LOTR and Star Gate (I am surprised at that last one – I didn’t think it would be an allowed show for them to view). Any ideas would be appreciated!

  43. tcr, I know what you mean and how you feel about being “land rich”…we’re so blessed. Which makes it more amazing to to read and see what people wonderfull manage to grow on small lots.

  44. Margaret, we make poutine once in awhile, using cheese curds. We originally had it at a food stand while visiting Quebec 20 or so years ago. We brought some cans of the gravy back with us but have been making our own ever since. We normally bake our French fries, but a poutine night is when we actually deep fry them. Today is cold and rainy…maybe tonight. Every store and gas station sells fresh cheese curds daily…I just need to pick some up on the way home. Call the other kids and see if they are available. Mmmm.

  45. Debby, we like to put lights up inside and outside, this time of year. Daylight is getting in such short supply already.

  46. I switched from TMobile to Google Fi last week. Republic Wireless is no longer giving rebates for unused data for new users, so I heard, but Google Fi still is. I am paying $50/month for my phone on TMobile (terrible I know), and Google will be $20/month plus $10 for data. I intend to get every penny of that $10 rebated back to me every month. My husband has a hard time with change, so I am trying it first,and hope to convince him to switch too. He never uses data, is not on FB, etc and I am at home 24/7 and on our wireless. I hope eventually we’ll be saving $50/month.

  47. Yes, those are other names for the dishes. There are different kinds like there are different kinds of Jadite. (the stuff Martha Stewart collects. I have a big collection of that too. Most from my grandparents and an Aunt Alice and Uncle Clyde. Uncle Clyde was a ‘pack rat’ before there was a pack rat. He had a 5 car garage with a whole 2nd floor on it. It was FULL. All you had to do was mention to Uncle Clyde you were looking for something and 99 times out of 100 he had it in that pile and he knew right where it was too. He had many, many wonderful things. He was a driver for Humble Oil (now EXON) and when they used to give things away in gas stations he always did the pick ups when the ‘give away’ was over. There were HUNDREDS of boxes of dishes and other things up there when he passed away. It took 2 men working a full week to empty it. Most of it was sold on ebay for a lot of money for his 2 children. I got a lot of stuff too. It was like a huge store open to family and a few friends to walk through and it was FREE check out. I got 3 more sets of the dishes Aunt Alice and Uncle Clyde had given me when I married. (guess where they came from first? Their private store) Uncle Clyde and Aunt Alice could squeeze a penny till it screamed. I miss them very much.

  48. OK, for the girl, some suggestions are a hand-embroidered handkerchief (it’s pretty and “old fashioned”, yet it’s useful), a scarf, or hair accessories. Another suggestion is to make or buy a wooden jewelry box and paint a pretty design on it. My niece is also around the same age. This year I’m putting together a cookbook binder of some of my favourite recipes to give to her. Since it is a binder, I thought she could then collect and add some of her favourite recipes from other family members. I haven’t decided yet, but I might also sew her an apron and/or pot holders to go with it. Girls tend to be pretty easy to come up with homemade gift ideas, but Pinterest is a great place to look if you’re not sold on these ideas. Lots of tutorials on there as well.

    For the boys, well they can be more difficult. My go to gift for the older boy would be to buy a nice pocket knife. It’s usually a huge hit, but it is something you would have to buy. Other ideas might be to sew him a laptop bag, a lap blanket or quilt, a winter scarf/hat set (I used a like new, cheap polar fleece throw to make scarves last year), or something college related like a pillowcase embroidered with his college emblem. You could also make a “bachelor recipe book” with simple meal ideas a young man could easily make himself. Remember, he is at the age where he is starting out in life, and can now appreciate gifts that will help with that.

    For the 16 year old, I would suggest making an embroidered pillow with one of his favourite things, like Star Wars (lots of images of that available free on line! Look for simple line drawings or “colouring pages”). I made an embroidered pillow for my niece and my daughter last year (they both love cats). What I did was purchase a cheap, standard bed pillow from Walmart for $3, cut it in half and sewed the seam to make 2 rectangular “throw pillows”. I then measured the size of the pillow, added an inch for seam allowances and used these dimensions to sew a slip cover for the throw pillow. Of course, if you have stuffing in your sewing stash already, you could make your own throw pillow as well. I embroidered the design onto the front panel first, then sewed the slip cover with an envelope opening at the back (no zipper required). To make the back just divide the longer pillow length in half, add an inch to each new length, sewed a hem on one side of each panel, then sewed the back with the 2 hemmed edges overlapping. What teen doesn’t sleep all the time…making a cool themed throw pillow the perfect gift! Of course you could make several of these, for all three of them plus your children and even other family members (like sister and mom). I was able to embroider and make one of these pillows for a birthday gift recently within 3 days, start to finish. Feel free to use recycled fabric for this project too. A white bed sheet works well for the front panel and flannel bed linens, a fabric curtain, denim jeans, old sweater, etc. work well for the back.

    These are just a few ideas that I can think of off the top of my head. I hope this helps you come up with some Christmas ideas to make. Good luck, and please share what you do decide to make! Would love to hear what you end up making.

  49. Melissa my son is 17 and loves Star Wars. You could paint him a picture of anything Star Wars and he would love it. Maybe paint a saying such as ” Do or Do Not. There is no try.” by Yoda. Or embroider it on a pillow. My 15 year old daughter painted him a space scene for Christmas last year and he loves it. I got it framed for him and it hangs in his room. My older daughter is on a tight budget due to living on her own for the first time so she knitted everyone their Christmas gifts last year. She made my son, and 2 nephews (16,12) beanies/caps for Christmas and they loved them. They all asked for another one for their birthday. They are very popular for teenage boys right now. My daughter has even sold some on etsy for some extra cash. She made her sister for Christmas a headband for the cold weather to cover her ears. It has a twist on it and is very cute. She found it on Pinterest. She made 16 gifts for under $20 but everyone loved her gifts. Good luck

  50. Thank you! I watched a youtube tutorial and they did everything but cover the head but that makes sense! I’m feeling as though it will be a task I can do and you only have to do 1 wing, so it is should be survivable (for me ) not the chicken

  51. Oh, Jadite I know. One of my aunts on my father’s side has a lot of that. I like it too. But I collect the blue and white Currier and Ives dishes. My mother and grandmother used to get them in the grocery store.

    I love the sound of your Aunt and Uncle! I have an Uncle like that…He had a 1970 VW beetle inside a garage and no one could even see it as it was totally covered with more boxes of treasures. He just casually mentioned it one day at a picnic and the next day 14 of his grandchildren showed up to empty out the garage and reorganize it for him and get the car out so it could be used. (I think that was his plan all along 🙂 )

  52. Melissa, for young adults who are on their own like an apartment or dorm room we fill a box with all kinds of staples like pasta, some sauce, shelf stable grated cheese, ramen, homemade cocoa mix (just add hot water), canned jams and fruits and applesauce, homemade instant oatmeal mixes. More cooking stuff if in apartment…more instant stuff if in dorm room.

    Socks…it never hurts to have extra pairs of clean socks. If you can find smart wool socks on sale those are popular.

    Those stretch knit gloves, often 1.00 a pair. I took 3-packs of those last year, put them so the fingers all fluffed out the top of large mugs and added in tubes of mentos candies and gave a set each to middle daughter Johanna and her roommate for St Nicholas gift.

  53. We’re having a beautiful sunny warm day after yesterdays cold soggy rain. We have had a couple nights already in the 20’s. Most of the gardens are done, unless protected in the hoop houses. We had an exceptional Fall for apples and squash. Tomatoes were great. We had some blossom end rot but that doesn’t make the tomato unusable. We don’t seem to have problem with blight in our area as I hear of others. We have probably 1000 (not an exaggeration) green and partly red tomatoes on trestle tables and card tables wherever we find room so they can finish ripening.

    Did all the usual of re-using ziplocs, using up leftovers, cooking from scratch and eating at home, hung up clothes to dry (outside if still nice, other wise on drying racks inside.) Did some mending, mostly holes in socks. Made a fleece throw blanket but instead of tying the fabric ends tried a different method of folding them then cutting a slit and pulling end through. Made a nice smooth edge rather than the knotted lumpy edge.

    Been so busy the last month that I’ve been reading but haven’t done an update of my own so this is for 4 weeks. We attended 2 weddings, one funeral, one memorial service, one 50th anniversary party, 1 birthday, one baby shower, a Norwex party (didn’t see anything I wanted), a church family night photo scavenger hunt with chili after and a 3 evening revival type series at church with potluck.

  54. I had some success and some failures. I picked lemon balm from my garden and made jelly from it using Pomona’s Pectin, which allows one to use much less sugar. I finished up with the pears from our tree. I’ve hung out all our laundry this week so far. I ordered two more Christmas gifts of books, on sale. I’m earning some more survey money to put toward Christmas shopping. But I also gave in to temptation and ordered something for me that I truly don’t need right now, but have wanted for a good while. Time to forgive myself, cut back somewhere else, and move on.
    I haven’t been to many yard sales this year. Our problem in this area is that yard sales happen every single weekend, so to really shop them seriously, one has to shop very frequently, which I hate. I work all week outside the home; I don’t want to spend each Saturday driving to yard sales. Plus, they are scattered; we live in a small town in a rural area, and yard sales can easily be all the way across town from each other, out in the country or in tiny unincorporated communities several miles away. I wish we had set periods for community-wide sales. It would make it much easier and attract more sellers and buyers, I think.

  55. Usually, if you plan to deposit them, banks require that be rolled. I often take them to the coin counting machine at Walmart and just get a receipt and use the money toward what I am purchasing.

  56. Fall is the time to plant garlic as well. My kale keeps producing and my parsley is still green after a frost. My husband gave each of my boys haircuts last weekend as they had picture day this week. I got caped and he trimmed my locks as well as having my best friend who was visiting take a seat and get a free haircut as well. Saves me hundreds a year. I don’t tell people my husband cuts my hair, because they don’t think I’m crazy, they ask if he can cuts theirs too. He does great work. I told a coworker about how we don’t get cable tv, just from an antenna, and she was surprised. She didn’t know you could get tv over the air free. She grew up with cable tv, and thought you had to have cable tv service.

  57. I’m a little late to the party this week, but better late than never! 🙂

    I love all your garage finds, Brandy! I wish I could do more with yard sale finds in our area, but since Saturday feels like my one day of reprieve and I’m busy with our little boys, it’s hard to hit the sales early. I am looking forward to our local Wee Cycle sale coming up soon for some Christmas pjs for the boys.

    Here are our accomplishments for the week. I hope you’ll stop by and leave some love in the comments!


  58. some banks require it especially if they are a Cashless (meaning you have to use an ATM to get cash from them). We have one that will take coins loose, another requires them to be rolled (they will provide rolls for you) and still another that charges a % to take your change. I use my change instead of breaking bills.

  59. Melissa, if you can knit, some teens like the fingerless gloves to use with their phones/pads etc. we got a basket full in our thrift shop and they went in two days!! ann

  60. Do you know if Cosmos or marigolds will self seed? I have wildflowers in Ohio and have tons of those flowers and I never tried to let them self seed. We are in a zone 5.. I collected some but I have a large area in wildflowers. We live on 4 acres but we have about 1/2 acre in wildflowers. Thanks

  61. I think you are all very blessed to have the space. I live in the UK, in a Victorian terrace house. A terrace house is a house that shares walls with another house on each side. With a little quick calculation my entire house and garden is on about a 75 foot x 20 foot plot, which is roughly 1/30 of an acre. It’s not a lot of space, for quite a few people.
    My house/plot in Wales was smaller
    Jenny (no longer) in Wales

  62. To deposit them at the bank. The banks won’t take them loose. We don’t have coin machines where I live in Canada.

    Some banks do provide rollers for coins, but the bank I go to in the small village I live in, that’s not the case.

  63. None of our kids are on their own yet (my 2 are 21 and 19 and hers are 23, 18 and 16 1/2) 🙂 She homeschools hers and the last 2 are not “done” yet. My 2 and her oldest are in college but all have chosen to stay at home – we live in a college town with a community college and many, many 4 year colleges all w/in commuting distance. Dorm costs are astronomical as well as the meal plans so that was off the table as soon as we looked into it. I’ve already created the recipe books for both of my kids but I may make one for my sister’s kids this year (good idea!).

  64. Margaret, we did have our poutine dinner and it was delicious. Thanks for bringing it to my mind! It was a perfect meal for the weather.

  65. That’s what rummage sales are like around here, too. Many times they are not even advertised…signs are just tacked up on telephone poles or street signs, sometimes just a sign in front of the house. They are every weekend, during the week, whenever…even mid winter if it happens to be a beautiful day, signs will pop up. The community center has a rummage sale once a year but the sellers need to rent tables to get their spot.

    Jo, I think it is OK to buy a not needed item once in awhile as that is one of the points of frugal living, in my opinion…to be able to afford the special things.

  66. Just catching up on blog reading. It has been a WILD 6 weeks with hubby’s health, 2 brain surgeries since school started at the end of August. He is on short term disability which means his pay has been reduced by over 40%. Thankful for a church and school family (I am a christian school teacher) that took up an offering to help us with the hotel accommodations while hubby was in another state getting his surgery. He is home and recovering well, now we are waiting for pathology reports to know what is next. Frugal accomplishments – commissary deals resulted in eggs for 68 cents a dozen, chicken breasts (bone in) for 99 cents a lb. ground beef under $2 a lb., beef bones for soup/broth (not always available), cream of chicken/mushroom soups for 69 cents. (good deal in our area). Aldi – stocked up on canned goods, parboiled rice, etc.

  67. Very interesting! That’s typical in big cities here, too. In Chicago, the standard lot size for single family homes is 25 feet wide x 125 feet long (includes the garage in back, accessed via an alley). Some townhomes (that’s what we call when the walls touch) are on 20 ft wide lots, like yours.

  68. We love smartwool socks, but they’re really expensive. If you’re giving to someone who likes the ragg wool type sock, Costco sells a really inexpensive package (I think it’s a 4-pack). My teen boys love theirs.

  69. Lake houses can be like that here, often wedge shaped. The garages are up by the road. Sometimes the lakefront space can be narrow enough you walk through neighbors yard to get around house.

  70. Jenny, I was wondering why you were no longer putting the “In Wales” on your comments!

    It’s always interesting what we choose to do with the space that we do have. When I was in Missouri with my parents, it blew me away as I was driving through places where my ancestors farmed and had huge gardens, and yet the houses we passed had no gardens whatsoever, though they had huge lots–sometimes a few acres each. The area is rural and income levels are low, but no one has fruit trees or vegetable gardens. My grandfather grew strawberries for a few years on his 2 acre piece of land and his family lived on that income while he was between jobs. He always had a garden, and many fruit and nut trees. My ancestors in city lots grew food too.

    Our lot is around the same width as yours, but deeper.

    I’m always impressed by the gardens I see in plots your size; the masses of flowers in window boxes, pots by the front door full of flowers or topiaries, and well-used garden space for as much food as can be fit in. The gardens I saw on lots your size in France inspired me with their flowers and vines.

    I have a Pinterest board for small gardens/courtyards/patios here that you may enjoy: https://www.pinterest.com/prudent/patio-courtyard-entry-and-side-yard-gardens/

  71. To continue…I never see the attraction of the white pumpkins when I see them at the store or stand, but Brandy, I can see how well it works in your white and silver display and it does look seasonal, even with out the orange color 🙂

    We all packed our lunches or if at home for lunch, ate leftover type things. Over the last 3-4 weeks cooked and ate all at home except for the above mentioned events which all had meal associated with them. Husband did not attend baby shower or Norwex party…Levi and son in law Theo and son Andy and Andy’s father in law did their own thing while the women were busy…once they went fishing and cooked their catch and the other time they cooked hot dogs and sat around the fire pit. For the baby shower 7 of us women went in together and bought a larger item off the wish list.

    Some of the things I made were macaroni and cheese, corn casserole x 2, vegetarian 5 bean 10 vegetable chili (for the chili dinner at church), vegetable soup, stuffed peppers for the freezer 38 total, pie crusts for the freezer 15 total but used 3, banana nut bread, banana mini chocolate chip muffins, apple pie with streusel topping, plum kuchen, 2 crust apple pie, French fries with cheese curds and gravy (poutine), homemade pizza x 2, white bread 2 loaves per week, 1 loaf pumpernickel, corn beef hash (with leftover corn beef from freezer, fried egg bread (bird in nest some people call it) x 3. We had some very easy dinners like breakfast for dinner or meals out of the freezer as I am back at work and the evening is still mostly canning the garden supply. Cooked 3 chickens for the broth and meat…put most in the freezer. Our usual Sunday dinner is often a chicken stuffing casserole that is a favorite of husband from his mother’s recipes.

    With help of course over last 3 weeks finished canning easy grape juice, made pickle relish, pickled peppers, cooked up diced onion-eggplants-peppers-zucchini and packed in 2 cup freezer containers…I add these to tomato juice to make spaghetti sauce as needed and also use as filling for lasagna. Did not need grape jelly ourselves but made a batch with our tenant so she could learn how. Made corn relish and picallilly, tomato lemon jam, tomato juice in quarts, salasa in pints. Picked lots of squash, pumpkins, tomatoes, hot and mild chili peppers, last of the sweet corn, last of the melons, rutabagas, rest of the storage onions, apples, Brussels sprouts now that it frosted, kale, green cabbage and red cabbage. Have already brought my herbs in for the year in pots. Had apple cider making day with extended family at an uncle’s farm…everyone brings apples and gets portion of production. Our family came home with 8 gallons in plastic jugs that we freeze…it’s delicious still a bit slushy, and 14 more half gallons that I canned. We’ll used the canned ones to made hot cider over the next cold 7 months.
    We also had an applesauce making day and canned 178 quarts and 25 pints between 5 families. Took my mother over to stay with my sister for a week and sister Petronia gave me 5 lbs (or so, I never weighed it, it almost filled my gallon glass jar) of popping corn. They grow it on their farm. I took her a bushel of yellow delicious apples as she wanted to add them to her apples for applesauce. (It is beneficial to flavor to blend apple varieties for sauce and cider, in case you have never heard that.) The root cellar is nice and full and so are the canning shelves. We are grateful for our abundance and the ability to store what we need.

    At the grocer x 3 weeks bought milk, celery, bought a jar of garlic, mayonnaise, veggie hot dogs and veggie Italian sausage, tofu, mozzarella cheese, clementines, laundry detergent, tortilla chips, contac solution, bandaids. For Samaritans purse collection at church bought 5 toothbrush holder, 5 toothbrushes, large bag of “children’s mix” Halloween candy, and 4 packs of bar soap mild unscented. Used coupons combined with sale prices and double coupon day. On trip to Sams club with a group of ladies bought yeast 2 pounds, 4 large cottage cheese, pecans, walnuts, 2 cases of organic mushrooms canned from USA, 6 pack of romaine lettuce. Got a free mini candy bar from kiosk display. Bought the largest 2 chunks of Parmesan I could find and large block of mozzarella. Bought 1 box of white rice and one bag of basmati rice. From farm bought eggs.

    I hope everyone is enjoying a beautiful Fall, wherever you are, though I know some will not see the changing colors as much as we do. (Also, they have added the posts on top of the fire hydrants, stop signs etc. And my cousin that plows our property has put up the markers so he know where the edges of the various roads and drives are. All meaning snow is on its way.) Or happy Spring to those in the other half of the world.

  72. Oh, I see. Thanks for the answers. We just give the coin jar to the teller and they put it onto machine and give bills back.

  73. Gorgeous photos and great garage sale finds!

    I picked an abundance of tomatoes in our garden throughout the week. Lots of bolognese sauce and salads made. The corn is almost ready to be picked.

    I started wrapping christmas presents with wrapping paper I bought for $2 for a 20 metre roll. I reused ribbon on hand.

    For 24 people I have spent a total of $169. This includes my 2 children. I am giving framed professional photos of my new baby (the photoshoot was free), Wedgwood hand painted xmas ornaments $49.95 reduced to $7.95, quality toys and books found on mega clearance, wine. This total is excluding the cost of printing a few photos of my baby to frame.

    I took my children to a free ‘Teddy Bears Picnic’, held at a local park. They had free amusement park rides, entertainment, balloons, drink bottles, sand art activity. Lots of fun and I packed a picnic of course!

    I am spending $80 a week on groceries for my family of four, and have maintained this spend for over two months ($120 was our previous weekly budget). We have cut back on steak as a result and increased minces and pastas and we have been eating a lot of soup too..I use whatever vegetables are cheapest..generally bags of 20 carrots for $1..and pumpkin too as it has gone down to $1 a kilo for the past 2 weeks.

    Free movie tickets were used as a date night for my husband and I.

    Lots of activities at our local library for the children.

    2 free local Halloween events booked..they include food, games, competitions etc.

  74. Also…I attended a research focus group and was given a free huge dinner meal, cup of tea and $100 cash for 90 minutes of my time! And it was close to my home.

  75. What an amazing fine on the Reed and Barton silver plated pitcher. I have been looking for both a large and medium size picture to go along with the small picture that I have found at a yard sale for a dollar. For the last year and a half I’ve been collecting the silver plated pedestal bowls that are identical to the one that you found. In the last year I have managed to find five of the silver plated pedestal Boles. I have one large silver punch bowl that I bought seven years ago and have used it every wedding sense. But lately I’ve been looking for the silver pedestals Boles to add to my collection I have one decent size large one one medium one and two smaller medium sized ones and one petite small bowl. I would like to find a couple more small and maybe one big or larger bowl to use to put out at the holidays. I like to line them with napkins and the put serving bowls in them or breads or anything. It sure makes the tablescape look beautiful or in my case put them on the buffet and artistically arrange them with both real and fake fruit and flowers. I was wondering do you polish you were Boles to be silver or do you let them be a little bit tarnished? I lean towards the tarnish because I like that look a little bit more than the high gloss silver however I may try that this year for Christmas. I think you found some really amazing things at the community garage sale. I am going out on this Saturday with my list in hand to pick up a few things. I was too sick and didn’t manage to get out of bed to even go to our free produce delivery spot that morning or to garage sale or even go to the half off thrift sale I guess that tells you where I was that in bed or on the couch. Love your finds and your blog!

  76. [i][/i] brandy I think you found the most adorable things. I am swooning over the Reed and Barton picture that you found I have found a smaller version of that but I have been looking for a medium and a larger size pitcher . To go along with the silver plated pedestal bowls I have been collecting for the last 18 months. Two of the bowls are a nice medium size, while one is a medium large size. I recently located two small or petite bowls that work really well with my silver plated Bowls. I would like to find a few more of the larger style and medium to use on my buffet at Christmas because you’re so perfect for holding bowls of food and bread rolls and fruit salads. It’s amazing that finding these things in other people’s driveways for mere cents and taking it back to our homes and sharing it with our families. It truly is amazing how much that means to the people, that we love. I just had one more question for you. Brandy, do you polish a high shine on all your silver plated items or do you have a tendency to go with a lightly tarnish look? I Lean towards a lightly tarnished look something akin to my mercury glass candles holders that I put out every season. I’m not sure there’s a right or wrong,I was just wondering what you did with yours and because I love how your table looks at every dinner or birthday you host. You are truly an inspiration to many of us women thank you so much Brandy for showing and caring enough to share with others. Much love from the sister state of Arizona.

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