I cut a bouquet of flowers from my garden for my mother for her birthday.

I cut green onions, parsley, and oregano, lemon verbena, basil, roselle hibiscus, and picked peppers and a zucchini from the garden.

I took a daughter to the thrift store to find a pair of red pants for her Halloween costume. She found some, as well as some other items that she needed.

I found two skirts for myself at the thrift store: one in black and one in red, for $5 each.

I added water to a lotion bottle to get the last of the lotion out.

Nevada became a state on October 31st. Nevada Day is celebrated on the last Friday of the month. During that day and sometimes on Saturday, there are a few free activities to attend.

I took my three youngest children to Boulder City to ride on the train on Saturday. Children were free that day.

Because we were only 17 minutes from the dam, we drove to see the Hoover Dam as well. We just went to the lookout point, which was enough for the youngest children. The top of the white line is where the water was in 2000 when the dam was last full.

I sewed a button back on a sweater and added extra stitches to another button that was starting to come loose on the same sweater.

I mended holes in two pairs of pants for my children.

I adjusted my sprinkler and drip irrigation settings at the beginning of the month. November 1st means winter watering rules and a lower amount that we are permitted to use. Making the changes right away helps me to keep my water usage down as well as my bill.

What did you do to save money the last two weeks?

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  1. Your flowers are always just so beautiful. I wish I had even a 10th of the green thumb that you have! Been a follower for years and every year you amaze me. Thank you for sharing your gorgeous bounties with us.

  2. My husband and I went to a local college this week and listened to someone play bells. We listened as the sun was setting. It was free and it was beautiful. My husband was willing to take me out afterwards. But I really wanted to go home for dinner. So we went to a local store and bought some scallops on sale. This is a rare treat. They are easy to cook. I made a tomato salad and had some other fresh veggies and we had dinner at home and all were happy. We have been going to our local store with the best sales and buying loss leaders, whatever is on sale and that has been what I am cooking. We feel good and it spreads our budget. I am on the lookout for free entertainment. We thought about a vacation but decided against it for now. So I am doing my best to look for free fun things to do close by. One evening, I set the table with a flower and a candle and played beautiful music on my computer. I made a nice dinner and my husband felt special. It was an inexpensive way to make the evening special. I am reminded of the story you posted When Queens Drive by. The rest of this week we will eat what we have and then we will look for loss leaders or sales again. We continue to use cloth napkins and handkerchiefs. I wash full loads of laundry and dishes. Our water bill was 10 dollars cheaper this month.

      1. There is one local store that has some deals. I also look for things about to expire. The other stores are so expensive.

        1. Same here Tammy. That means that at times, getting marked down meat we will eat steak where I’d normally have hamburger because markdown steak was way cheaper. I just cut it into smaller portions to stretch it out. And it’s a lot of loss leader meals for us as well and strictly from scratch cooking! I mean we do eat out but we don’t have convenience foods unless I make them which isn’t really convenience, lol.

      2. I used to get so excited when the sales ads came out. Now they arrive and I don’t even look. The only way that we buy things that are a good deal is when they are marked down in the grocery store. This is a bit difficult because it’s the sales that used to bring me into the stores. (The other thing is the quality of the food is not great. I actually bought pork from a young farmer recently because of this. It was costly. I think about $4.33 a pound but it could have been much less if I hadn’t had the bacon and ham smoked. Ouch. Lesson learned. The quality of the meat is fabulous compared to the stuff I’m seeing even at the fancy market where I used to go. I don’t know. Perhaps we buy more expensive meat and use less of it. I did like supporting the young farmer and the small town meat locker. We also had to drive to get it but we combined that trip with another. We will see if we continue to do that instead. We also have been eating up the freezer burned meat out of the freezer. That’s not so good. I’ve been trying to rotate through and not let that happen again.) We have a lot from the garden and the freezers and cupboards are so full that we don’t buy much. I guess I miss the excited from the good deals. I suppose it’s more mundane to use up what we already have. Our counters are still very full of the last hurrah of the garden before the freeze.

  3. Your youngest daughter isn’t very little anymore! I’m sure I have a photo I took in my pre-teen or teen years with this exact view of the Hoover Dam! I was very impressed, I know.

    I’ve continued to stock up on groceries so that I can get through any stretches this winter where bad walking conditions or personal illness or joint pain make it too difficult to get to the store. I am not trying to stop grocery-shopping at all during winter, but just to be able to stay home for a stretch if things are difficult.

    I bought two packs of coffee when it was on sale at $1.50 off a pack. I bought a 1 litre bottle of canola oil, which is a $4.29 saving over two bottles half the size. I bought a bag of peeled garlic, which was significantly less expensive than buying a bag of local garlic. I am freezing it, so it should last the winter. I bought a 4 lb bag of long-grain rice for $1 less than what the price was on a 2 lb bag.

    I ordered a few things from Amazon — two lb of dried black beans, half a kilo of green lentils, and a litre of maple syrup. I also got a large pack of dried oregano leaves. Oregano was in very short supply last year, and when it came back into the store, it was in powder form instead of bigger bits of crushed leaves. It doesn’t look pretty at all! I use oregano on many foods that I cook, so the bottle I got is 1250 g for $10.99, compared to $6.50 for 30 g locally. It is best before 2026. I just have cinnamon and cumin to buy now in the spices and herbs I use most often. I had bought chili powder on sale a couple of weeks ago.

    I bought a few pairs of warm fuzzy socks. They are very comfortable. My cat has taken a liking to them, and tackles my feet when I am wearing them. Fortunately, she only tackles them when I am sitting still, not when I am walking. She was also very impressed with the 8 kilo bag of her favorite food that I bought. After I opened it and served her first meal from it, she came back and got in the Amazon box with the bag of cat food in it. She feels ready for winter, I think. We’ve had snow for a couple of weeks, but it has melted again.

    Amazon has taken to bringing some packages right to my door. In the past, they have delivered to the post office, so this is very welcome. It isn’t consistent yet, so I’ll have to figure out what kinds of things they’ll do this with. So far, the giant bag of cat food, and the package of oregano. It is partly how I set up the shipping, and if I give delivery instructions, but if they split the order up, some things come to the post office and some to the house.

  4. 1. Our irrigation is off, we had a lovely day of rain and all the water barrels are full. We’re eating mustard greens, kale and collard greens from the garden. We’re also eating free asian pears and pineapple guava.
    2. A friend gave me a tour of her established garden. She gave me some cuttings, some bulbs and some cut hazel twigs. I didn’t know that hazel branches were so beautiful. I added the hazel to a dried flower arrangement I already had.
    3. I mailed 2 packages, paying for the shipping online through Pirate Ship. This has saved me a lot on shipping fees through the years.
    4. My husband received $400 from our insurance for completing his health screenings. We will use the money for food for several celebrations and the holidays.
    5. I bought a set of blackout curtains on FB marketplace for a great price.

  5. Your flowers are gorgeous – and still getting vegetables!!
    My weeks were like this:
    Week 1 – Picked cherry tomatoes before the first major frost. Chopped peppers for the freezer – 11 cups. Put in 1/2 cup bags. Made pizza, using homemade pizza sauce. Made sausage and gnocchi soup. Made BLTs. Sliced 90 red bell peppers for the freezer, to use in fajitas. Made chicken tortillas soup and herb and cheese muffins.
    Visited my son, DIL and GD. Took them the chicken tortilla soup, muffins, butternut squash, tomatoes, carrots and pizza sauce. Took care of my GD while my DIL made her Halloween costume (she was Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz. Paid property taxes online. Got free tortilla chips from Safeway, on the APP.

    Week 2 – My GD was coming down with something, and of course, two days after I came home I had it. Just sniffles and a sore throat, as well as exhaustion. However, I did get a few things done this week. Made a batch of chicken tortilla soup for us. Shopping – butter – 5 pounds for $2.49/lb, bought 5; Went to the bakery sale at Super 1 – For under $30 I got 20 pounds of flour, 8 pounds of brown sugar, 2 pounds of butter, 2 bottles of oil and 2 pounds of walnuts. Made focaccia bread and turned it into pizza. Made blueberry walnut muffins. Had popcorn for a snack. Made a batch of cream of chicken soup mix. Had a BBQ along with baked potatoes.

    My DH got our entire garden cleaned out, and leaves spread over it to compost down over the winter.

    Hope everyone has a fruitful week.

      1. I find that if I am careful I can get some quite good buys on Amazon sales of food items and when I see them I tend to buy enough to stock up a bit, too. Everything comes to my door, even the post office stuff, as the driver will drive all the way up the long drive to our house if we have a package. I appreciate her kindness so much!

    1. I bought flour, sugar, brown and powdered sugars and butter for $22.72 at the same baking sale Nancy visited. I wait for this sale every year. Although I will need to buy more sugar, I am well set for the next year because I still had some from last year in my pantry. The only item I wanted that they didn’t put on sale this year was evaporated milk for my tea (hoping another store does). I stocked up on canned pineapple, cranberry sauce and sour cream at Fred Meyer.

      I spent $292 on groceries in October, leaving me with $8 for the “in my pocket” savings challenge. I also received $87 in rewards for opening a Best Buy account; saved $1.46 on bread by buying it at Dollar Tree; found a penny; got a $63 refund on a car rental because we had a minor mechanical issue; and cashed in $345.96 in Wyndham rewards for hotel rooms in Denver (we visited relatives last weekend…and it snowed over 6 inches). Total: $505.43 in my pocket in October. (The goal was $125–can you believe it?)

      I had a bumper crop of butternut squash and I’ve been baking a couple whenever I think of it. I have 13 packages of mashed squash in my freezer so far. Every time I cook squash, we eat it for dinner that night, too. I still have two butternuts left to cook and two more that aren’t quite ripe. Last week I subbed squash for sweet potatoes in muffins and they were excellent.

      1. Maxine, I also got the pineapple, sour cream and cranberry sauce. Also got 5 pounds of butter. Can you tell Maxine and I go to the same stores? 😊

      2. Hi Maxine! Like you, I have been waiting to buy what I need on sale and then stock up so I don’t have to buy at the exorbitant regular prices. I am going to do your monthly money challenge starting in January. We have a lot of travel coming up in the next two months and the budget is set for that. I really want to see how much extra I can get out of my food no miscellaneous budget. Kudos to you for your incredible savings!

        1. Laura, if you will be staying in motels and don’t already collect rewards points, the best deal out there is a Wyndham CC. You get 45,000 points just for getting the card if you charge a certain amount in, I think, 3 months. (Not sure, but go to their website for details). We used the 45,000 points for 3 nights at LaQuinta and saved over $345. Some of the Wyndham properties require fewer points. Plus you get 5X points for gas purchases and meals charged at restaurants.

          1. Thanks Maxine! We have Marriott and Hilton rewards. Our travel these trips will be to see kids in BC and in FL. We sleep on an air mattress at their places so it saves us lots of money on hotels and food!

  6. I am glad you could do a job for someone thus you could buy something you need.

    I have just come back from looking after my autistic grandson so my daughter could have a much needed break. So this is my achievements for 4 ,weeks. Our other daughter came to see us while we were there as it is an hour nearer to her, saving fuel. On the way home we stopped at the Farm shop for vegetable, They were a good price and no packaging.

    I picked the last of the raspberries and chopped down the raspberry canes. The bed needs tidying but it has rained a lot here so it will have to wait. My 2 twelve long rows of leeks have a leek miner which has slowly spreading from the south coast. It also attacks other alliums. I harvested the lot but only got enough for one meal.

    I made bread twice. 2 cakes, Shepard’s pie and coleslaw to take to my daughters . I started some sauerkraut, made bottom of the fridge soup which did 2 meals. Also I made 8 Christmas puddings in three portion wide mouth canning jars.

    I went through the pantry cleaning and making an inventory. When I finished that I cleaned out the rest of the kitchen cupboards. I have cleaned all the windows ,Light shades and light bulbs to give more light. If you do this make sure the lights are turned off, water and electricity don’t mix.

    We read books from borrowbox from the library. I got the sewing machine out and shortened a pair of jeans, I cut the sleeves off 2 blouses and made them short sleeved, the elbows had worn through.

    Due to heavy rain I dried the washing upstairs

    Bought a new Ipad from John Lewis which was cheaper than Apple and it has a 2 year free guarantee. Now my radio has given up! I will see if I can get it mended. I have a spare but it sounds very tinny, no good for listening to music and it is a manual tuning one. Update radio is working again thanks to friend down the road.

    We prepared for coming storm. Bought in 20 litres of fresh water in empty vinegar containers. Charges all the batteries for torches. Charged vacuum cleaners. Prepared 3 days of meals ,put them in the fridge as I will not want to open the freezer if the electricity is off. I have a gas hob! Unearthed the gas kettle. Did the washing and ironing. Thankfully the power stayed on and we are not flooded, the family is OK too.

    Keep safe everyone

    1. Hi Chris! I am always astounded at what you get from your garden! The work you put into it! I have read that the climate in the U.K. produces bountiful garden and yours seems to fit that conclusion. I look forward to gleaning. Little money-saving tip from you each week. You said you have a gas kettle? What exactly is that? I have taken to only putting slightly more water than I need in my tea kettle (I have a natural gas stove); I used to fill it up each time no realized how much energy I was wasting every time I heated it up for a cup of tea or hot chocolate. You would think I would have figured this out years ago! Happy to be learning something new almost every day😊 Thanks for all of your tips! Do you mind my asking what you use to heat your house? Are prices still as bad as last year?

      1. Hi
        My kettle is one I can boil on my gas hob as opposed to my electric kettle. I have a mark on my electric kettle which is 2 mugs full of water. It helps to keep the bill down. We heat with gas as do most people in the UK. Now they want us to heat with electricity but it would mean spending about £1400 as insulation and new pipes and radiators which would mean having all the floors up in the house! Lets hope the gas boiler keeps going.

  7. Looks like your family had fun on Nevada Day.
    I’ve tried to keep things in check but I’m so busy with work it is easy to let things slide.
    *I’ve been attentive and made an effort to cook dinner at home each night.
    *I’ve line dried my laundry as much as possible. Although I find that using the dryer keeps it from piling up.
    *I hosted a community swap and scored a few things. Two shirts and mascara for myself. Two shirts for my son and a squeaky dog toy for a coworker.
    *I passed on some books to a co-worker’s son to keep clutter out of the house.
    *I sent some fabric, thread, and other sewing supplies home with a friend. Her child needs pajamas and pants.
    *I’m able to eat at the work cafeteria which is cheaper than eating out. The food is OK.
    *I mended a blanket to give it another year of use.
    *I’m crocheting a Christmas gift with some yarn I found on sale a couple years ago. I’d rather use from my stash than buy new expensive yarn.
    *I want new shoes. Instead I put cheap insoles in my current pair to get a few more weeks out of them until I buy more.

  8. Hi Brandy and everyone
    How lovely to take some of the children out for some free fun and also to find some things you wanted at the charity shop. Your flower photos are gorgeous, your Mum must have loved her bouquet.
    We attended a funeral this week and knew it would be quite a formal affair. Both my husband and I already had formal clothes in dark colours which were appropriate. I bought my classic black dress several years ago at a huge reduction.
    I used a 10 per cent voucher off my Lidl grocery shopping.
    I found 2 kg of chicken drumsticks for £2.83 and cooked them in the slow cooker, stripped off all the meat and froze it and made chicken stock. This followed a post of yours Brandy. I also found bacon reduced and a sale on butter! This is a big deal, butter is rarely on sale so I bought extra for the freezer.
    From the garden we picked rainbow chard, parsnips, beetroot, carrots, apples and a few tomatoes. We gratefully received pears from a friend. I was asked to take pudding to a family lunch so used our cooking apples for an apple sponge pudding.
    Inexpensive meals were parsnip and apple soup, tomato and red lentil soup and jacket potatoes with grated cheese and salad.
    Our electricity use for October was slightly less than the previous two years. I have realised that I sometimes put the kettle on to boil, go away and do chores and then have to boil the kettle again. I must stop!
    I potted up ten hippeastrum bulbs, most of which will be gifts and scented narcissi and prepared hyacinth bulbs for Christmas flowering. I bought the copper pots at a flea market in France donkeys years ago and use them every year.
    I found some lovely mugs in a supermarket, ideal gifts for a couple of friends and they were reduced by £1 if you bought two. Also found a good quality shopping tote bag for a gift, reduced from £50 to £15. We save all year for Christmas gifts and are well within budget so far.
    Stay safe everyone.

  9. With the weather changing to cold autumn winter weather here, it’s such a surprise to see your garden flourishing and kids not bundled up when they are outside!
    Nexts client quilt done: https://pin.it/6Icwkiu and after she bound it: https://pin.it/1tEnsVS. This client is 85 and still going strong – quilting, gardening, going out and about! Hope I have her stamina when I get to that age!! Then I quilted this Queen size quilt that she made for her daughter: https://pin.it/33mh7wn and https://pin.it/Wu49IaJ. Then I was excited to receive this quilt top this past Monday to quilt and bind for one of your commenters from Alabama. The finished quilt is being delivered to her home today (1 week later). This cheerful quilt gave me a lift on a dreary week! https://pin.it/25iZEO8 and https://pin.it/2bMilQK.

    I bought more 6 more pounds of ground beef on Flashfood- 80/20 grade- $1.59/pound for my youngest son. He came over on Tuesday and we made a meat loaf for him to cook at his apartment, also 8 hamburger Pattie’s to freeze (because there are 8 buns in a package, and another 2 pounds got cooked up and bagged in 2 quart size ziploc bags for his freezer to use in easy meals! He was pleased!

    Today I bought 11 packages (about 17 pounds) of boneless pork stew meat for $22. After I get back home from bucket buying, I will pressure can the pork chunks into pint jars for “ready to open and use”meat on the pantry shelf. Diversifying the way I preserve our meats means that 1. I have more freezer space available and 2. In case of power outage, I haven’t lost all my meat! DIY pressure canning meat is also SO much cheaper than buying commercially canned meat!

    I bought 2 thick sliced boneless pork chops on Flashfood for 99 cents/pound ($1.47 total) and made pork chops and apples for dinner with IP mashed potatoes (using potatoes from our garden) and green beans from our pantry. On Saturday, I made Texas style chili which used 2 quarts of home canned tomatoes, 3 pints of home canned pinto beans, 2 cans of corn that was gifted to us and 2 pounds of pre-cooked ground beef from freezer for our Church Trunk or Treat/Chili cook off. At the end, there was still about a third left in crockpot that I brought home. Enjoyed a second night of the chili, but now I’ve reinvented the last of it by cooking large elbow Mac in the IP and then adding it to chili, making it into more of a goulash! Yum!!

    Just added another $20 in MC rewards into our savings account and had a financial account meeting with Hubs. He oversees our investments (401K, T-bills, etc) and I oversee day to day budget. It works well and we both see what is being done by the other but we decided to work together even more so that we see each competent to take over for the other person’s task at a moment’s notice should something ever happen. We have two totally different accounting styles- mine is scratch paper on a specific clipboard with everything written down and a check off system to know as bills are posted. His is a spreadsheet on the computer that instantly tallies thing up. But it works for us!

    I found a lady on FB Marketplace who is selling food grade 5 gallon buckets with lids for $1 each (with a minimum of 25) so we are driving out tomorrow to buy 25 buckets and if we don’t need all of them, we will share with friends/family. We use those buckets for so many things- food storage, gardening, carrying things, etc! These are in the country about an hour from Columbus, so if any of your readers are from central Ohio but don’t want to travel that far, let me know and I can pick up some extra because she literally has hundreds!

    I went to the discount grocery and bought 16 Oz packages of Oscar Mayer deli fresh chicken breast for $1.35/package. It had been frozen and sell by date was Oct 22, 2023 but I bought 15 packages to share with my family and a friend. I thawed a package in fridge overnight and tried it in a sandwich and it was perfect! The “normal” price of that package was $9.49! Yikes!! So the savings came to $122.10!! That is real money!! $8.14 saved per package!

    Aldi’s began lowering their prices on holiday foods and baking items and their prices will remain in place through Dec 31!! Here is the article with a partial list of included food items. Of note: Butter that is normally $3.49/pound is now $2.19/pound. https://www.aldireviewer.com/aldi-cutting-prices-up-to-50-on-thanksgiving-groceries/?utm_source=newsletter-352&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=newsletter-352&fbclid=IwAR1rJI3u4YYE3EpIPBdx-D5wYH8WFn1CVn11LufxpBiC-RhGjJzsGuwQtJU_aem_AZMhQMflDqIvnUnBU0WGp5lchqc09iQU2ksMccTy42Xg8c4NJuB75LQXRyIj81eHyCM.

    Giant Eagle has a sale right now (Nov 2- 8) on flour- $1.29/5 pound bag , sugar- $1.29/4 pound bag, 80/20 ground beef- $1.79/pound in 10 pound tube and walnuts for $2.99/pound! There are limits of 5 on sugar and flour and limit 3 on tubes of ground beef (per visit). I posted about this sale on my social media as well so that others can benefit.

    Meijers has turkey for 59 cents/pound (limit 1 per visit) . That’s the lowest I’ve seen so far!

    We are still running a $295 credit on our gas bill and our electric usage was about 25% less than a year ago and our bill was still about $135 for the month.

    So that’s been my past 2 weeks. Still being cautious with spending but jumping on bargains for things we normally use! And being patient and flexible and not spending while waiting for those bargains! Getting ready for the winter. Hope you and your readers are also finding those reasons for optimism and hope in what could otherwise be a dreary winter!

    Gardenpat in Ohio

    1. It is just now cooling off enough to turn off the air conditioner. It is very nice outside with highs in the low 80’s.

      1. Same here, Brandy! We have our a/c still running today since it is in the 80s. I am always amazed (and honestly, envious) of other readers who talk about turning on the heater or having their first snow by now. 🙂

    2. Hi GardenPat, I’m on the Far East side of Columbus and I’d love to chat about getting in on the buckets! Thanks for the heads up on the Giant Eagle deal!

    3. Hello Garden Pat!
      We have chatted before as I live in Central Ohio. I love to read about all the ways you garden, cook/ preserve save money and create beauty with your quilts.
      Are you able to share the location or name of the discount grocery? I discovered flashfood bargains through you and it has been a tremendous blessing. Thank you!

      1. Terri- Yes! It is Mr. Mac’s Discount Grocery in New Carlisle which is west of Columbus between Springfield and Dayton. Here’s the FB link: https://www.facebook.com/MrMacsDiscount. One thing I like is that they take photos of all the items they get in stock and you can click on each item to see their price as well as size of package, etc. They are also awesome about setting things aside in the back with your name on it if you want something but can’t come to pick it up that day. Obviously, they want you to come within a day or two but they are always super-nice. The employees there all seem to be young- 20’s but are incredibly courteous and go out of their way to be helpful! I don’t go every week, but if I see some things that are an incredible savings, I go! With the chicken breast $1.35/16 Oz package, I called first because I didn’t want to find that there were only 1 or 2 packs because of my travel. While I was on the phone, they walked over and checked freezer as well as in the back and told me that there was a full case of 8 packages in the back and at least 2 that they saw immediately in the freezer. They put my name on those 10 and when I came I saw that there were 7 additional ones in the freezer, so I got 17 packages in all. I also picked up chocolate chip muffin mixes for 50 cent that you just add milk to (for my youngest son on his own in apartment) and some Cascadian granola with apples and almonds for $1 (16 Oz boxes). Found Philly cheesesteak Hot Pockets for same son for 50 cents. Definitely worth the trip!!
        Hope you enjoy it too!

        Gardenpat in Ohio

  10. Your photos are breathtaking. Your salad looks amazing and your harvest shots are vibrant on this gray day.
    Took time to do some leaf peeping and nature walks. We visited family out of state for a weekend and enjoyed walking around the areas and making notes of what to visit the next time. Other than flights, our only expense was a cup of coffee as we wandered. Thankful for the abundance of time with family and nature.
    We have a very small emergency air compressor (purchased on sale a few years ago) that connects to the car’s cigarette lighter. This has been so helpful in keeping my tire pressure correct as the weather fluctuates. Very thankful for that over the last few weeks as I can connect it and do a few light chores while it fills.
    Happy that where there is a need, I am finding suitable replacements that are currently owned.
    Hope everyone has a calm and productive week!

  11. Hello, frugal friends from the beautiful Appalachian Mountains of southwest Virginia! The past two weeks have seen quite a bit of nice fall, almost spring like weather. We are officially in a drought here so we are trying to be extra cautious with our water consumption. Nothing like you deal with, Brandy, but concerning just the same. Brandy, I am sure your little ones loved the outing. I love to ride the train! I remember my mom taking us on an old civil war steam engine from Alexandria to Fredricksburg and back. My brother and I still remember the trip. My frugal accomplishments for the past two weeks:
    *Loaded to my loyalty card and used my .50 cash back to use at Kroger.
    *Cooked all meals at home
    *Enjoyed the nice weather and the beautiful leaves.
    *Walked and used You tube for yoga.
    *Our electric bill was 30% lower than the last bill.
    *We had the grandsons for a weekend. We took them to the new park for picnic and play then over to our church for trunk or treat.
    After church on Sunday we went to our son’s for chili lunch and s’mores over their firepit. The cousins played outside. Tons of fun at little to no cost.
    *From the garden I continue to get salad greens and radishes. My broccoli is almost ready to harvest.
    *Used our .15/gallon discount on gas.
    *We were gifted 2 lovely fairy tale pumpkins which I cooked and froze. There was a lot of pumpkin liquid left so I have been adding some to our dog’s dinner every night. She loves it!
    *Our local Kroger stores have started doing something which disturbs me quite a bit. When I go to buy loss leaders they never have any in stock. Sometimes they do not even have a place on the shelves where the item should be. I go the first day of the sale. When I started noticing this pattern I asked the manager about it and asked if I could get a rain check. I was told no rain checks for digital deals or buy 5/6 items, which of course are the loss leaders. About the lack of stock I got a very scripted non-answer. Interestingly when the sale is over they have shelves fully stocked with last week’s loss leaders. Bait and switch? That’s illegal. Is anyone else seeing this?
    *My husband found a book of .32 stamps which will keep me from buying a roll of stamps until next month.
    *Mountain Mama Dawn, are you near the North Carolina wild fires? We have had several just over the mountain in Giles and Pulaski Counties. They have been contained but the smoke here was bad. Now there is one in Patrick County blowing smoke from the other direction. I am praying you and yours are safe.
    *Wishing all my frugal friends good health and wisdom as we navigate these financial waters.

    1. We have a Kroger affiliate. They do the same. No matter when you go, they often don’t have the digital coupon items in stock. Very, very frustrating!

    2. Marley – Thank you for your concern regarding the wildfires here in NC. Fortunately, for us, they are south of us in Cherokee Co. and near Hendersonville. I suppose we are at a high enough elevation (about 3400 feet) that we do not have any smoke effects either. Unless you have heard about the fires, you wouldn’t know here. It is a terrible time of year for wildfires with low humidity and ample fuel in the form of dry leaves carpeting thousands of acres of forest. People have to be so cautious. I hope you and yours continue to be safe, as well.

    3. We are very fortunate here, I guess. Today is the second to last day before the sale ends and we got the digital deals and the pound of cheese for $2.50 with no problem. The ones we wanted were coffee and small tomatoes and tge as things were cottage cheese, sour cream and pineapple, plus the cheese.

    4. Marley, YEP on the Kroger thing. Green Giant vegetables were non-existent in the store I visited but I did go on the very last day. If I’d felt better I’d have tried the two that were within 1o miles of that one. But yes, I have noted that several times now the digital deals (not all but enough of them) are simply not there at all. I’ve been told that ‘We sold out already,’ to “The truck didn’t bring us any.’ which is funny as a few years ago the answer was always that they had another truck coming in that afternoon.

    5. The same bait and switch was happening this summer on any sale produce. Strawberries in particular were available when not on sale, and there was an empty shelf on weeks they were on sale. I waited them out until August, when there were finally strawberries on sale. I bought one package! I never did find kale all summer long, though there were great sale prices in the flyer. I’d be patient with a shortage, but when the produce was showing up in plentiful supply in non-sale weeks, it left me steamed!

      They did the same thing with advertising frozen haddock, with really fine print saying “and other varieties”, but only ordered in several cod products. Cod has a better reputation today than it did when I was a child, but there is no convincing me this is the same quality fish as haddock. I bought one package to make sure this wasn’t a lingering childhood pickiness on my part, but my memory was accurate!

  12. Such beautiful flowers, and wonderful harvest you got. Last week, we were expecting a killing frost on Wednesday. On Monday, I picked all the cold sensitive vegetables… tomatoes, squash, peppers and eggplant. Also, a cucumber, chard, two winter squash and small amount of basil. The purslane returned, so I harvested a good bit, combined it with the basil, and made pesto. My husband & I harvested all the lima beans. He shelled all the dry beans. While he was out of town one night, I shelled all the green ones, while watching a movie on our Roku TV. I did manage to cut a little bouquet on Tuesday, and harvested a bag of sweet potato leaves for smoothies, to stretch the store bought spinach. The lettuce was covered, before the cold temps. The sweet potatoes that had been curing were brought inside. I switched the warm and cold weather clothes in my closet, and added four things to the donation box. Taking advantage of the woodstove heat, I pulled three gallon bags from the freezer of veggie scraps, simmered them, and canned broth the next day. I’ve worked on a cross stitch project I started early in the year. A pot of tiny sweet potatoes was boiled, partially on the woodstove, for the chickens and pups. For a simple gift for some littles in my family, I made play dough. Pans of seeds that had been drying… rudbeckia, calendula, tansy, bachelor buttons & mullein, were placed in envelopes.

    1. I saved some forget-me-not seeds for the first time this year. They were like burrs! I wouldn’t have noticed them in particular, except that they stuck tightly to my sweatshirt when I brushed against them.
      If this works, I will stretch those Dollar General clearance seeds for a long long time. I figure that dollar store seeds are generally pretty hearty.

  13. The trip to Boulder City looks fun.
    My husband split another cord of firewood.* Pork loin was on sale, so I purchased 2 and canned 6 pints of pork. I also canned 5 pints of beef for future quick meals.* I got a bunch of aged horse manure from a neighbor to add to my garden beds and compost pile.*We had our first snow of the season and our first hard freeze. The day before temperatures dropped, I harvested all my outside carrots and chard and every flower I could find. I made an arrangement for the house with the flowers. I also harvested basil and parsley from the greenhouse, as well as lettuce, sugar snap peas, and more carrots from the greenhouse. I should be able to keep the greenhouse going a few weeks more, but it’s unheated, and once temperatures are consistently below freezing it will be time to say good-bye to fresh produce until next spring.*We were able to enjoy fresh lettuce, bok choy, chard, carrots, and sugar snap peas from the greenhouse. *I made two loaves of sandwich bread.

  14. I made $17 on marketplace selling a couple items

    The teen made pork potstickers and chocolate lava cakes

    Ive been a member of a couple product testing sites for awhile. I signed up for a recent one and got a coupon for a free Blue Bunny product

    PTA provided breakfast one morning at work. I brought home some leftover yogurts

    Purchased a dog costume for $7 on clearance

    Earned $14.50 Amazon shopper panel rewards

    My $350 Capital One Checking bonus was deposited

    We also had a potluck at work. I went easy and took in a bag of candy(it was on Halloween)

    Ate mostly at work for breakfast and lunch

    It decided to get really cold here at the end of October and was forced to turn on the heat. As soon as it got warm enough, off it went.

    Finished two books on Kindle(only because I’ve been off work from Friday afternoon through today(Tuesday)

    Minimizing my errands. I haven’t even gone to the gym while I’ve been off. (Trying to make up saving on other areas because the grocery prices are stupid)

    The kid used stuff that we had for Halloween. She really just painted her face and wore a black hoodie and pants. It was freezing out Halloween night, so there was no big loss about wasting $ on a costume she really didn’t wear.

    I found out if I get a substitute teacher certificate ($50), I have enough hours to work as an after school tutor about 4 hours a week. It pays $2,500 for the semester, and the curriculum is already laid out. I could do reading and math if I wanted(4 days a week) and that would double the pay.

  15. I cut off a pair of pants into shorts. I belong to a no buy group and was able to donate some yarn to a woman in need. My father has an outdoor nativity silhouette and I was able to trace it onto scrap wood and create one for myself for no cost. I’m using up freezer food to clear space for fall deer harvest. I was given a Walmart gift card and used it to purchase a Christmas gift. My husband gave some training to co-workers and was given an unexpected honorarium. I traveled several states away and ate 2 meals in my hotel room with grocery items which was much cheaper than eating at a restaurant.

    1. Thank you! I got a tripod for my phone and took it with a 10 second timer. It was funny; several people walked by looking at us trying to figure out who was taking the picture.

  16. That bouquet of flowers is just SOOOOO lovely – what gorgeous colours! And what a fun day for you and the little ones!

    I have been doing a lot of cleaning and decluttering over the past couple of weeks. I’ve dealt with all the big items – it’s what to do with all those little bits & pieces that we accumulate which is proving the most difficult to deal with. The good news is, I’ve accomplished a lot and have a lot of items to take into church on Sunday for the donation bin – the bad news – I discovered a bin full of shredding that I’d forgotten about – I’ll be at the shredder for days!

    I’ve not purchased many groceries over the past couple of weeks – just some eggs and dairy and then some discounted produce – apples and huge russet potatoes – which will be used up this week. I made another pot of soup – all veggie and then added some shredded chicken from the freezer so it is a meal with just some bread and cheese. Had dinner at a friend’s on Sunday night and I will return the favour later this week as I plan to cook up a package of boneless pork chops that have made their way to the top of the pile in the freezer!

    I have done some Christmas planning and shopping. I have decided to forego the purchase of a new pre-lit tree and just use my little 3 foot one for another year. Putting on the lights was the most difficult part with RA so I have decided on 2 packages of battery powered “fairy lights” which will be much easier to manage and I bought myself a little wooden creche set – something I have always wanted. I will spend a total of about $40 instead of the over $200 for a new tree so I am counting that as a win. Don’t do a lot of Christmas gift shopping these days – friends would rather get together than accumulate more stuff – but for two special friends I have bought us tickets to a Christmas house tour that has resumed after a 3 year Covid hiatus and we are all looking forward to it! It is a fundraiser for St. Andrew’s Church in Oakville and yes – the tickets have gone up in price considerably but this is an all day event that we really enjoy and since it has been 3 years – totally worth it. My cards are already bought and I have more than enough wrapping paper so I am set in that regard. I have also bought some special chocolates and fancy chocolate biscuits – but waited until there were sales to buy both and they are all safely tucked away in the pantry. I will probably buy a couple of bottles of wine later this week – just so I don’t leave everything until the last minute.

    I am having to really allocate my funds carefully this month as so many social occasions hit at once. Luckily, being able to eat out of the freezer and pantry helps to balance out the added expenses in other areas. The bills were all paid online on Oct. 1, my transit card is loaded and there is very little needed at the grocery store so I should be fine.

    Had an appointment with my Ophthalmologist – no cost – have to have some extra tests done in the New Year and one will be an OOP expense (although my private insurance may cover it) – got my flu shot – no cost – and will get my free Covid booster in another month or so. Just need to get my dental checkup arranged but I think that I will wait for the New Year on that as well. The weather is a lot colder now but there are still some sunny days so I have been doing as much walking as possible – a great stress reliever. I enjoyed a lovely afternoon of fellowship and a wonderful meal at a ladies social at my church and won a gift card for a pedicure so I will look forward to that treat. I am taking a couple of vacation days this week so I am off to get ready to meet a friend and we are headed to the Royal Winter Fair this afternoon – again, haven’t been since before Covid so really looking forward to this – have a wonderful week everyone.

  17. What a fun family outing!

    On the frugal front:
    Our neighbor received a large amount of free salmon from an Alaskan relative. They shared us two pounds with us.

    When online shopping, I place an item in my Save for Later cart before making the purchase. After considering the item for a few days, I often find I no longer want it and delete it from the cart.

    I really wanted to order pizza delivery on Halloween. Instead, I picked up a frozen pizza. Surprisingly, HH had prepared a pheasant and wild rice dinner. We now have a pizza in the freezer for a future busy evening.

    One of the more frugal things in my life is having friends who also enjoy frugal activities. We often just run errands or watch a show. Recently, I invited the neighborhood women to our cabin for the weekend. We each brought a meal and snack to share. We spent the weekend walking on public trails, crafting, playing games and visiting.

    HH and I visited DD2 at her southern university. It was a fun and beautiful weekend. We kept costs down by packing snacks and drinks, using the Upside app for gas discounts, using hotel rewards points for two nights, enjoying free hotel breakfast and coffee, staying two nights at DD2’s rental house, attending a free baseball game, and walking in a beautiful public park.

    I paid a bill by telephone to avoid late charges and interest.

    I look forward to reading everyone’s frugal feats and thankful thoughts!

  18. I think the best part about having your own cut flower garden is the ability to always be able to have gifts ready to give at a moment’s notice (during the growing season, anyway). I love the bouquet you cut for your mom. And your white Oklahoma zinnias (at least that’s what I’m assuming they are??) are so full that they could pass for dahlias easily! So lovely.

    My husband and I made the decision a couple weeks ago that we were going to have him stop looking for another job and that we were going to work to take our flower farm to a full-time thing for our family, so things have been a little crazy around here as we’re trying to get our ducks in a row for that. This week we did a test run of a big part of that new business plan, and it ended up paying off even bigger than we’d anticipated! We’re super excited.

    Here are our own frugal wins for this last week:


    1. Loved reading your update, Torrie, and have so much respect for you and your husband making the leap into full-time flower farming. My husband and I have kicked around many ideas over the years for a family business but it is a daunting idea, to say the least. So far, side hustles are our family business, I suppose, but perhaps they will become something greater in time. I will continue to read about your progress and cheer you on! 🙂

      1. Thank you, Dawn! I think the leap from side hustle into full-time gig is scary for pretty much everyone. And there are plenty of people who think we’re crazy, ha ha! But we have enough fellow entrepreneurs and business owner mentors that reassure us that the fear is normal and that have looked at our business plan and agree that it’s viable and that we should go full throttle into it. And we also have the mindset that even if we end up “failing” down the road and can’t make it work financially for our family, it’s still not a failure because we went for our dream instead of just letting it stay just that — a dream. We’ll never know if we don’t try!

    2. So happy for you and your family, Torrie! Wishing you all the best with your flower farm! They often say that if you do what you love, you will be successful🥰

    3. Wishing you well with the flower farm! Our family has been self-employed for 15 years and there are so many blessings and experiences for the whole family.

  19. Your pictures are simply beautiful. Such colorful bounty. I have a couple of marigolds defying the killing frosts. Their burst of sunshine yellow makes me smile. Your train ride sounds so fun. One of my dreams is to take a fall color train trip into Canada.
    On Wednesday my husband was told his plant is closing December 31st. We are in the process of updating his resume and applying for several positions. All of them would involve a commute. We are grateful we were given notice and grateful there are jobs to apply for! Typically I would be fretting, but I am feeling profound peace.
    Our local grocery store celebrated 47 years in business and I was there to scoop up the loss leaders!! I bought thick slab bacon for 2.99 per pound, hamburger for 2.99 per pound, and potatoes 10 pounds for 2.99. (Our potatoes have been 4.99 to 5.99 per pound at regular price.) I purchased 40 pounds. We have had no case lot sales for fruits, vegetables, or pasta this fall. I am glad that I stocked up last year at .49 a pound for pasta. The only noodles I needed were lasagna this year. We have had to turn on the heat with night time temps in the low 20’s. If the furnace runs during the day I am too warm. I keep it off until my husband gets home from work in the evening to save on heating costs.

    1. So sorry to hear about your husband’s job loss – hopefully he will find something new soon.

      If you ever manage that train trip to Canada for the Fall colours I can heartily recommend the Agawa Canyon train trip out of Sault St. Marie. It is an old train but set up with a video history along the way and provides breakfast and a boxed lunch as part of the trip. It is 4 hours to the destination but the colours are so spectacular that the time goes quickly. You spend a couple of hours in the Canyon – there are outlooks to climb and waterfalls etc. so lots to photograph and then the ride back. It has to be booked well ahead of time so it is tricky to plan as you never know the when the best week for colours will be. I was lucky – and while we had gone prepared for a chilly day – it was so warm that people were wandering around in t-shirts!

  20. What a nice little trip for you and the children who came with you, Brandy. As usual, I’m astonished at how much they have grown.

    We are having drought here as well, which means I’m having to really watch my fall garden. Even though I watered every day, I had some seedlings fail after they sprouted when the weather turned unexpectedly hot for a few days. I’m persevering though. It’s dark now when I get home and water plants, but I am not going to waste that seed, compost and good soil just because I might not feel like watering when I get home.

    I thanked myself for having put several pint jars of stew, soup and chili in the freezer, as I needed one this week when I didn’t have enough leftovers to pack in my lunch for work. It would be so easy to just buy something if I didn’t have those frozen meals handy.

    I inherited old, but good quality, cooking pans which I use all the time. I don’t really use non-stick cookware except for one small skillet that has a non-stick coating because it is so handy when frying an egg, etc. When its coating finally got damaged, I ordered a new little non-stick skillet on sale and it arrived scraped on a few edges due to poor packaging. I contacted the company and they are sending me a new pan and told me to keep the old one.

    Without any rain and with lower humidity, I am able to continue drying laundry on the line and on a rack.

    I was in the check-out at a chain grocery store when the clerk handed a notice to the bag boy and asked if he had seen the instructions from corporate on how to bag turkeys. Then he added, “Even though we have no turkeys so far.” I’ve noticed most of the stores where I shop still don’t have turkeys, or didn’t as of this past Friday. I am watching the sales and managed to snag one elsewhere, but I’m not going to brag on the sale price.

    I’m trying to buy things I will need for cooking during the holidays so I’m not paying full price at the last minute. I watch for best prices, but I agree with you, Brandy, loss leaders are very hard to find for me, too.

    I’m sewing another Christmas gift or two and probably another gift bag or two. I have the material, so it makes sense not to waste it.

  21. My big finds were Armstrong cheese for 3.99 for 400 grams. That is the cheapest I’ve seen it for quite a while.
    I bought 6 blocks. I’m going to shred it with my standmixer attachment.
    I am also stocking up on Campbell’s Chunky soup for $1.88 per can (Co-op). It is usually about $3.50 or more.

    A friend went to Costco and texted me that they had Ambrosia apples for 6 pound for $6.99. That was a good price so I bought two bags.
    They are so good! I only regret not buying more bags of them.

    My new orthotics arrived so I am trying to get used to them. Between them and the shoes 9although I got the shoes at half price), it was a lot of money but they are definitely going to help.

    The weather has warmed up so I am trying to finish outside work. I had a small terrarium so I put some rockchips, a bit of loam, and several pieces of moss. The moss is doing great! I put some small red Christmas balls in it as well. There is not a lot of
    light in the house so a moss garden may do well.

    I am just finishing sorting my late friend’s papers/documents to send them to the city archives.
    I need to do a number of outside chores. I hope the warmer weather lasts…

    It is wonderful to see all of your beautiul flowers, Brandy. ur gardening season is over until next April or later.

  22. *Your flower photos are even more of a joy to see now that my gardens have been put to bed for the winter. Preparation for such still kept me busy the past 2 weeks and I had the opportunity to spend a few glorious days planting 450 bulbs near the pond, along the drive, in the meadow below our chickens and on a woodland path above the pond. I am sure it will be a bit of a surprise next year exactly where they all come up. I planted lilies (which were gifts from a neighbor), daffodils (my annual birthday present to myself purchased at a great bulk price from VanEngelen), camassia (also a gift from a friend) and an assortment of alliums. The latter were a FB special from VanEngelen and a bit of an impulse buy for me but such a good deal that, back in the Spring when they were offered, I jumped on them. They will give me a lot of joy next year with their cheerful globes of purple. My boys call them Dr. Seuss flowers. 🙂
    *I sold $128 worth of items in my neighbor’s antique booth and made $75 doing a landscaping job for a neighbor.
    *We attended a Fall Festival at a church where many of our homeschool co-op friends worship. It was great fun with a hay ride, cakewalk (my boys won 2 whoopie pies made by a family that sells baked goods from their roadside stand – SO good!), carnival-type games (they had to play the games to get candy which I thought was better than just handing it out) and a hot dog meal all for free. It was great fun!
    *Went trick-or-treating with friends who live in the closet town. We do this every year and it is fun for my country boys to see what town trick-or-treating is like. Years ago, another church close to us had their first ever trunk-or-treat. I overheard him say, when explaining the motivation for the event, “Everyone out here lives a 1/2 mile down a gravel road with big dogs. You can’t trick-or-treat like that!” 🙂 Funny, but there is some truth there. My boys wore costumes of their own creation from items we have on hand. I have a few costumes I rotate through and selected my black widow spider costume (handmade but purchased a few years ago at a thrift shop for $5) since it was cold. We had loads of fun.
    *My birthday is 1 November and, aside from the aforementioned bulb-buying and gifting bonanza, I didn’t do a whole lot out of the ordinary. But, as I tell my boys, that only makes me realize that my everyday life is pretty amazing – when I don’t feel the need to do “something special” just to mark the occasion. I did get some lovely cards and a few extremely thoughtful/practical gifts from family, friends and neighbors who know me so well. My youngest son got up at 6:30 am (unprovoked!) and made me breakfast of sunny side up eggs, toast with jam and tea all by himself before I had even come in from feeding the chickens and taking the dog out. He has such a good heart and it was my favorite gift.
    *The only grocery shopping I have done is a few BOGO free or Buy 2 get one free items. As several others have said, the deals are few and far between anymore and we just have to be even more diligent to creatively use our stockpile and economize in other ways. Our second garden (which is about 1/2 finished and will be finished in the spring) will be even more important as time goes on.
    *We have enjoyed a few shows on AppleTV which we have for free for 3 months (thanks to my new phone purchase – last one died.) By switching from Verizon to Visible (their budget company), I am now paying 1/2 what I paid for mobile phone service previously even with the cost of the phone – 24 months at zero interest.
    *Enjoyed a wonderful meal at church (provided by the church) during our annual meeting – which sounds tedious but is truly a celebration. We do know how to have a good time even when discussing budgets and such things. 🙂
    *My boys are participating in a Christmas Village craft fair during the tree lighting in the courthouse square of the closet town to us (where our homeschool co-op meets.) Many of the children expressed interest in selling their handcrafted goods and we were able to get the event organizers to waive the $50/each vendor fee. Should be a good time!
    *We continue to farm sit for a neighbor once a week while he attends an out-of-town class. We have 2 more weeks left and part of our pay will be some pullets his chickens hatched out late this summer. They will be a welcome addition to our flock.
    *Library fun – reading the 5th installment in the Inspector Gamache series by Louise Penny and Grandma Gatewood’s Walk by Ben Montgomery – wonderful reads especially when sitting by the woodstove. It’s the little things! 🙂
    *Blessings to all!

    1. Happy Birthday Mountain Mama Dawn! My birthday is the 5th and I, like you, didn’t do anything special. My husband got me some flowers (which I love and they brighten up the house). I just spent the day reading and watching some hygee movies. Very enjoyable! Like you, I didn’t miss a big celebration. Just enjoying living. That was so sweet of your son; it means a lot when they do things on their own like this.

  23. It was a great frugal week in Houston, TX!
    I stocked up on 70% off clearance Halloween candy to use for Easter and next Halloween. By the time it gets to 90% off, there’s usually nothing left.
    I bought lots of “treat” food at the salvage grocery store: chips, cookies, dry cereal, juice, jerky, and things I don’t usually buy at the store.
    I’ve been buying about 8-10 loaves of sandwich bread from Jimmy John’s, which is cheaper than I can make them. I also bought 5 containers of the $4 day old rotisserie chicken. Each container has 6 leg quarters or 4 breast/wing. I cooked the bones down and froze the meat in meal size portions after eating on it for a couple of days.
    I got pizza for the kids on Halloween, but used coupons and it came to under $20.
    I saved butter wrappers to grease pans.
    Frugal fail: I tried making brownies out of the .25 chocolate fudge cake mix from the salvage store, but it still came out dry and crumbly. I’m not sure this is going to work as well as the online recipes claim. Now box brownie mixes are over $1 where I am, and from scratch doesn’t save much, if anything, although it tastes better.
    I packed lunches when we were going to have a long night of baseball practice.
    I am starting to casually plan Christmas gifts. The good news is, I have money I’ve squirreled away. My older kids are wanting electronics and pricey gifts, but I can still get garage sale and thrift store items for the younger ones. Christmas shopping can be stressful.
    Hope everyone has a nice, frugal week!

  24. Got 2 wheelbarrows full of compost out of tumbler and added to my garden. It’s not completely broken down but I have a good 6 months until we plant again. Moving the materials from the tall bin to the tumbler to help finish off quicker. I’d like to get as much compost into my garden before winter as I didn’t do a great job last year.
    Also grabbed coffee grounds when I went to a coffee shop for my compost. Added to the leaves I raked over my garden beds.
    Finally finished a Christmas gift. I made a fleece blanket with all of her scout camp t-shirts. My sewing machine is dying and so it was less stressful to sew the outside edges by hand!! I’ll borrow a machine from a friend to finish the blanket of all the theater shirts. That may or may not be done for Christmas  at this rate. All of the materials I’ve slowly purchased on sale at Joann’s. The fabric scraps from the shirts I used to make edging for one of the blankets, some for rags and about 20 lb went to a fabric recycling place. Not frugal per se, but the $20 for the bag and shipping includes a $20 credit for a retailer who makes upcycled goods. The shoes there are within what I’d pay retail for so it’s worth trying out.
    Eating out of the freezer right now to make room for turkey and holiday prebaking.
    Dividing aloe vera babies. Will give one to my birthday buddy at work as she’s a plant lady.
    Put up last of my herbs.
    Prepped 3 pans of baking apples from our orchard visit for the freezer. Will use to make apple streudel with the family at Thanksgiving using my great-grandmother’s recipe. Attempting vinegar with the scraps. If it’s a bust, I’m out a few tablespoons of sugar and it will just go in compost.
    Cashing out some vacation time to pay bills. My daughter got her license which means we no longer have to do daily round trip drives to campus but insurance will go up about $200 a month. (Yes we have heavier coverage as we don’t have any financial buffer with husband out of work.) Gas and wear will go down by half, and daughter proudly announced she filled up the tank the first day. 😁
    Fixed a pair of shorts for my neighbor who still has dexterity issues a year after her brain tumor was removed. She gave me 3 folding tables as a thank you. My son and I are each using 1 for desks and the other I can use at Thanksgiving.
    Wishing you all a great week!

  25. I love the flowers.
    Since Hubby’s heart surgery on top of the beginning of dementia we have been bouncing through medical testing and follow ups several times a week. We decided after the 3rd time of having to eat out (or I get sick, I can’t even snack in a car) that we would request appointments no later than 2:30. Even if it’s 2 hrs. away we should be home by 6 and I would have a meal ready either in crock pot or air fryer. We told the “late” appointment why we wasn’t willing to take a 5 pm appt. She went and got the doctor over it. He backed us, looked at his appointment calendar and scheduled us himself. I have a feeling by the look on HIS face that she is going to have a unpleasant talk from her boss.
    I did not go to the store for groceries. The only thing I need is white vinegar and it can wait.
    I finished the tomatoes by using them to make chili and canning it. Quick meal after appts.
    We went back over subscriptions and if we were using them enough to justify the costs.
    We turned on the solar pump hooked to the pressure tank on the deep well. One that makes sure if the electric goes out we have water and two it balanced out that we are having to run 2 fans and 2 humidifiers when the wood stove is on. We are averaging 22 KW a day. The furnace is still off and on due to temps bouncing from 30s to high 70s… weather in Ohio.
    I gathered all of Hubby’s diets, one from cardiologist, one from neurologist, and one from primary. They almost are total opposite of each other. Hubby looked back at his blood work (had 10 yrs of results, I do not want to know why) The best of his bloodwork was during the pandemic. So I wrote up what I was working with from our pantry. Showed all the doctors what 3 diets he was given and asked what they thought of what I was going to try to do. All 3 admitted that the diets was extreme (one diet had he couldn’t eat anything with salt… home canned vegetables has salt, doctor suggested I just rinse them before heating them up) and all 3 signed the paper I had wrote up that they approved of the diet I planned. I prefer us to eat our medication in food not pills. I actually had a family member file abuse of elderly against my mother over the diet of my stepdad. Because she wrote out the diet of what they were eating and had the doctors sign it, it protected her in court. My step siblings dealt with the other family member when they found out what happened.
    We will take our wood wagon up to the Amish sawmill today. They probably will take a couple weeks to fill it with their scrap but it’s for free. Hubby will have to cut it down to size for our stove. The Englisher that usually runs the front loader for them was out of state for a week. Our Amish neighbor told them that Hubby could do that. Payment is a load of wood which is about 2 cords. We need 9 cords for the winter, we have 5 cords cut, another cord ready to cut so the wagon load puts us almost to where we should be. Hubby said he will not wait until fall to cut wood again. In fact the Amish neighbor made the same comment after he had to cut wood for their stove at 6 in the morning as they were out of wood.
    I have started decluttering as I do the fall cleaning.
    Prayers for peace
    Blessed Be

  26. I loved the part: “I took a daughter to the thrift store to find a pair of red pants for her Halloween costume. She found some.” I know how hard it is to deal with one child´s specific wants (which are not really “needs”). Thank you for all you do.

  27. Brandy has talked of reusing fabric ribbons for many years, refreshing them with ironing when needed. Inspired, I ironed some beautiful, heavy weight florist paper to reuse to wrap a wedding gift. The paper is lovely and perfectly matches the card I brought, but was quite crinkled as it had already been reused once when it was wrapped around some bay leaves posted to us by a friend. Now it is smooth and lovely again, and about to sent off to its 3rd home. I’m very pleased that it can bring joy once more. Thank you Brandy for the inspiration!

    1. Hi Emerald! I save large pieces of wrapping paper from gifts. I iron tissue paper to reuse; I figure if my mom ironed sewing patterns (which were made out of tissue paper), I could iron gift tissue paper. It works well! New ways to save!

  28. Brandy your flowers are beautiful. Those fresh vegetables look amazing. My husband and I have been on a weight loss journey, and we are seeing results in big ways now. We have lost weight, but we feel so much better. We have more energy and are very active. We are walking twice a day, watching our fat grams, and grilling what we eat. We don’t get out of breath so quick now and we are keeping up with the grandboys now. On Halloween we even took them trick or treating down 3 roads in our town, and their parents could not keep up with us. I am so proud of my husband’s commitment to this journey; he is such an encourager. My husband has started back deer hunting so hopefully we will have some fresh deer meat for the freezer. We have been looking for a new freezer, but they seem hard to find. My pumpkins on the porch were rotten on the bottom, so I chunked them up and put them in the woods for the animals.

  29. Great photos Brandy! Lovely floral and garden photos. Love seeing photos of your kids too. They’re are growing up so fast!!

    Not much going on in my world with money savings. Trying to be good and buy sales items at the grocery store, but finding that I could really take a break from shopping for a while. Looking forward to the loss leaders at the stores for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Hope all is well with you!

  30. I’m sorry I forgot to ask a question. We wanted to buy a tomato juicer to can tomato juice next year from the tomatoes in our garden. What brand do you recommend? I know in this group of friends someone would have an answer.
    Thank you

  31. -At local’ish 🎯 liquidation store I paid 25 cents for Melissa and Doug toy that retails for $48. That is 99.5% off. I only bought 4 as to leave some for others. I will use two for family/friend and donate two to the St Jude toy donation box at the bank. Got several other great deals on quarter day but with lesser discounts. Everything was at least 95% off. All originally from 🎯or AMZN.
    -Library had annual book sale last weekend. Any leftover books are free this week. Today I was able to get several brand new Scholastic Book Fair books. Will use as part of grandkids’ Christmas happies.
    – Did a survey and got BOGO free club sandwich at Honey Baked Ham. It was delicious and so big we made 5 individual meals out of it. Also did the BOGO free sandwich at McAlister’s. 4 meals out of that one.
    – The 86 yo mom reads a book almost each day. Use the library to keep her stocked up. She is very particular (large type but paperback) and most have to come from different part of our state but try to keep her a few in inventory at all times.
    – I hate leftovers but actually enjoyed a dinner of extra spaghetti sauce I had frozen last time we cooked it.
    -Ordered toy online for Christmas gift. Whoever packed the box accidentally included 3 other small toys ($30) in my box. Online retailer said just keep, trash or donate. Will keep one and donate two. Hope customer who ordered those three items wasn’t anxious for them.
    -Friendly reminder it’s now open enrollment for Obamacare (sorry can’t remember official name for it). Sign up by Dec 15 for coverage Jan 1.

  32. I love all your pictures, but especially your gardening pictures and this week I love your flower bouquet especially! Your mum is lucky!

    My frugal week:
    – made chickpea salad (https://approachingfood.com/californian-chickpea-salad-wraps/)
    – packed drinks and snacks whenever travelling in the city
    – made french toast casserole aka bread pudding, using bread leftover from Thanksgiving stuffing, that I had frozen.
    – got free tickets to the cinema for Nov. 4th, as Cineplex movies in Canada is showing free movies as part of a ‘Community Day’. I got tickets online, to make sure there would be space. Free movies? I’m there!
    – I bought tights for my daughters on Amazon, but a friend told me there were tights of similar quality at Dollarama so I returned the Amazon tights and bought ones at Dollarama and saved a significant amount.
    – ate quite a few cheese quesadillas made using homemade tortillas. A very inexpensive and quick meal!
    – redeemed loyalty points for $30 off groceries, and did my usual combining of sales, paper coupons, and rebates/cashbacks. My best deal was a free box of crackers.
    – I baked banana crumb muffins, using up a single banana and some leftover crumb topping that I had frozen.
    – I baked up some cookies from dough I had in the freezer. I used the muffins and cookies as a hostess gift.

    Looking forward to learning from everyone else, as always!

  33. I have found that peanut butter lids (reg.14/15 oz ) as well as other lids such as from Aldis’ grated cheese will fit the regular mouth canning jars. While I use tattler lids and reuse the metal lids I had been using the plain white lids ball sells for jarring up other items and now I don’t have to!

  34. Those flowers are amazing! Do you use some special fertiliser to get them looking like this?
    This was a very cool week for us. We went to aunt Mia’s 80th birthday in Denmark. We took a cruise boat there, which was cheaper than gas if we chose to drive(9hours drive, more like 11 with the kids)!🤔 The overnight cruise was so much fun! We got to swim in a pool, participate in many free activities for kids and eat at a restaurant, which was my youngest sons wish and his first time eating out(he got curious after reading this French book on manners https://books.google.no/books/about/Good_Manners.html?id=zfsoAAAAQBAJ&printsec=frontcover&source=kp_read_button&hl=en&newbks=1&newbks_redir=0&gboemv=1&ovdme=1&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q&f=false ) he loves books in this series, although I find them to be a bit oldschool. For us this was such a lovely vacation with the kids! I will cherish the memories and it really didn’t cost us extra, since we had already budgeted for transportation cost for this trip a long time ago.
    Besides the restaurant(which was about 40 usd for us 4) we had packed sandwiches with us and shared kids Halloween candy as a coasy treat.
    As a gift to Mia we prepared a basket of consumables with foods that can only be bought in Norway and are her favourites. Basket was from a second hand and was decorated with cellophane and ribbons I had on hand. We slept at family’s summerhouse so we didn’t have to pay for accommodation.
    I love fall, so it was great to be in a country that didn’t yet enter winter. Our Jack-o-lantern (from home grown pumpkin) was placed as a head of a large snowman this year!
    Before we left for our mini vacation, we went to visit graves of family as is the Polish custom. It had to be done a bit too early this year because of the trip, but we got it done on the last day before massive snowfall. This was a great blessing because I got to remove the summer plants and put in some spruce branches in the ground before all was frozen.

  35. First, I wanted to comment on last week’s post (I’m behind due to traveling) and on your stunning red dress photo! You look so lovely! Week after week, the photos of such beautiful flowers brighten up my visual space. When I saw the photo of your children at the dam this week, it took me down memory lane of similar photos at similar ages of my younger children (all adults now). We have spent the last week or so putting the garden to bed for the winter. As we drained the rain barrels, I thought of you and how much that water could do in your climate. However, if we left it in our barrels over the winter, it would freeze, expand and crack the barrels, so it had to be drained. I cleared off the sewing area and mended my daughter’s leggings and blouse (she said she didn’t pay much for them but she loves them). I also sewed up two buttonholes on a brand new blouse I had bought last month. It was more than I would usually pay, but such a unique pattern and design. Unfortunately, the quality of stitching leaves a lot to be desired and the buttonholes were too big. A bit of hand sewing took care of that. I sold a pair of men’s bowling shoes that I have had listed for months. They had only been worn one or two times (hubby can’t bowl anymore). I had to drive a bit to deliver them, but I had other errands and returns in that area, so it wasn’t a problem. An elderly man purchased them and his daughter was with him. He tried them on and was so happy they were so “cushy”. She offered me a “tip” of $5 (half of what I sold the shoes for) for driving there, but I refused (of course). I was just happy they were going to a good home. 🙂 While I was in Florida, more food went to waste than I thought would. 🙁 Son kept hubby fed, but neglected to use up some items already in the fridge). I had to do a fridge clean and am busy getting things back on track. As I traveled, I used Upside to fill up and get cash back. I also combined it as often as I could with the Circle K cash off ($.25 off a gallon for the first five fill-ups after signing up). This saved me a significant amount of money. Unfortunately, the Circle Ks near us don’t honor it. I had previously cashed my Upside account in (started it in the spring) and had a nice deposit of $70+ into my account. My husband has an account as well. Ate out very little when I was traveling, just a meal or two with the kids. Had daughter’s baby shower this past weekend. Her MIL and her friends did an incredible job of decorating and putting things together. I contributed sub sandwiches shaped into a snake. The theme was safari. I bought long french breads at Hyvee and added deli meat from Costco. Black olives for eyeballs and red pepper strips for the snake’s tongues. then cut them and shaped them in a squiggle like a snake. What was left over I brought home and the guys have eaten it all. Froze the leftover cupcakes I took as well. The room was at her MIL’s church so it was only $50, which we split. Much cheaper than the restaurants that many of my friends throw their daughters’ showers in! I have been busy getting cluttered areas in the house straightened out now that I am spending more time indoors. Hope to continue with this! Hope everyone has a wonderful and blessed rest of the week.

  36. Thanks to Maxine, I joined the ‘in pocket’ savings challenge and in October socked away a nice tidy sum to put towards Christmas gifting. Glad I did because we ended up with two large expenses, having to buy tires for my car and a well repair! Since both came from savings, it would have meant a tight Christmas for us this year. Having the extra saved means that we can go ahead with Christmas. I’m well pleased with the providence that brought this challenge to me!

    This week we were ill. Had a nice supply of cold medicines on hand. Same deal as one of the others here: slightly sore throat and lots of exhaustion which then turned into sinus. Glad we had the medicine on hand, as it saved us having to go out and buy it. I took the initiative to read the box of cold/sinus/flu med and what it contained and ordered each component in the proper dosage. Yes, I take more pills that way but I am getting the same thing and all of the medicine together cost me about what one box of the stuff would. Since there were two of us sick, it saved us money! And that’s not the first usage we got out of it as my daughter and her boyfriend were both sick and needed to use it earlier in the month.

    When I was no longer as ill, I went to Kroger to get loss leaders from last week. No luck there, lol. BUT I did find some quality chicken breasts on sale for half price and bought five packages of them, which netted me 12 meals worth of meat for the four of us. I also got 1.5-pound packages of sausage patties for less than the usual sale price of the store brand bulk sausage. I got 6 pounds of those. So, the trip over to the other town wasn’t a total bust. I added $65 to my ‘in pocket’ savings with coupons and sales to my Christmas fund.

    Received my county tax notice and the amount due was in the negative? I read it through twice. It seems I got some sort of governor tax credit, and we owe nothing in county taxes. I won’t spend the money I’d set aside for that purpose this year. I’m going to hold on to it and save it to pay taxes NEXT year! I also decided it was best to pay house insurance in quarterly payments because the savings of paying a full year was negligible.

  37. -Apple scrap vinegar was started. Also another jar of vanilla extract using vanilla beans and vodka.
    -We had a roadside clean up where our church cleans 2 miles of ditches. It is very near our house, so we meet at our house and go out from here. The church then provides lunch, we set it up in our shop. I sent leftovers with several families, we kept 10 bottles water, a sub sandwich, and a large bag of corn chips.
    -I cut my last flower bouquet of frost hardy flowers- sedum, mums, and black eyed Susan’s with asparagus ferns.
    -The garden is all cleaned out and put to bed. We have had a killing frost. It was down to 15 degrees last night and snow flurries today.
    -We have started using the wood stove, I love the warm dry heat! My dad always said, wood warms you 3 times, once when you harvest it, second when you haul it in, and thrice when you burn it!
    -I did some more canning from the freezer. I canned 6 pints of pumpkin purée from the freezer. I also made chili in the crockpot while my husband was gone. I canned it into ? Half pints. I like chili and he doesn’t. Perfect to have over hamburgers, make a serving of chili Mac, or a small bowl of chili for me.
    -I bought a food grade 5 gallon bucket from the local Mennonite bulk store for $3. I ordered a gamma lid for it. I took out all the ice cream buckets of rolled oats I had in the freezer and placed them in there. I now have 2 full 5 gallon buckets of rolled oats. Last spring I bought a 50# bag. That’s a lot of rolled oats as they are so light. I won’t be doing that again, but then again it will be several years before I will need them. I am trying to use them in baking, blended up in flour for baking for my grand daughter that needs to be gluten free. Just tried a cracker recipe that was awesome using oat flour.
    -I made oatmeal chocolate chip cookies for hubby to take on his hunting trip to SD. I saved a dozen out and dropped those off at the new neighbor down the road with a card welcoming them to the community.
    —I also cut up some venison summer sausage and cheddar cheese for a meat and cheese tray for him to bring with crackers. That is all the food he needs to provide for the 5 day trip. He needed an appetizer and some cookies. There are several going and they share meals. So it isn’t a lot they each need to provide. Plus one of the guys brings all the food to cook suppers. He loves to do it and it sure helps our cost, he won’t take any money for it.
    -I just ordered my flour that I use as I am gluten intolerant. It is a #25 bag and will last me most of the winter. I usually buy this twice a year
    -I just placed my first Azure bulk order. I hear the quality is great and prices seem to be better than grocery stores. I will see how it goes.

    Have a great week!

  38. Well, I spent more than I intended but Safeway had Filippo Berio Olive Oil on sale for $5.95 per bottle (regularly $14.95) so I bought two bottles. The ad was published yesterday and by today there were only 6 bottles left on the shelf and no extra virgin olive oil. Then I treated myself by buying a small roast – for $10.99 per pound reduced from $19.99 per pound. I spent $70 and saved $50.
    About two months ago, I also had a Safeway prime rib roast on sale – it was one of the best that I have ever had. When I was growing up, we could actually afford roast beef every other week. Boy, did my mother get mileage out of those roasts – leftovers for a second meal, then also sandwiches for a few days and then at least two casseroles. She had one dish I think she concocted herself — something like this: strips of beef dredged in flour and garlic powder then sauteed in a frying pan with red wine added to it. It was really good. Then other casseroles made with smaller pieces of beef with rice and cream of mushroom soup, frozen peas and pimentoes, and another which was hash made with sliced potatoes onions celery and pieces of beef. I could go on. I miss the days when excellent cuts of beef were affordable and could be stretched
    a long way!

    1. Your comments about a nice roast beef dinner brought back a lot of memories! We used to have roast beef on a Sunday at least once a month as a kid – expensive up front (as compared to other meats) but my mom did the same sort of thing with leftovers – nothing was wasted. Now – I can’t even remember the last time I cooked a roast!

    2. Hi Anne! My mom did the same thing with a roast. I recently watched this video and it made me think twice about buying roast at the regular store. https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=&ved=2ahUKEwimxNTZ2LyCAxXjODQIHUPVD9MQtwJ6BAgoEAI&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DhXXrB3rz-xU&usg=AOvVaw0neozo9ebFz-43z8hdeJXB&opi=89978449
      We are going to transition over to buying local and not eating as much meat (though I love it and I have a protein deficiency that is only satisfied by beef). My mother once made a roast and I hadn’t had red meat that week. She set it out to cool a bit and when she came back to the kitchen, I had eaten it all! When I was growing up, people didn’t eat as much meat and portions of everything were smaller. There didn’t seem to be as much obesity then either. Of course, we ate very little processed food and we ate seasonally as well. Overall, I think most people were healthier. Not to mention, they weren’t as sedentary! My husband could never understand why the kids had to go to the gym to work out when there was plenty of “working out” chores to be done around the house!😂😂 We do belong to a fitness center now because we have found that swimming is the best overall exercise for our bodies and least stressful on our joints at this age. Anyway, your post brought back wonderful memories of those Sunday dinners, and all the leftover meals from them.

  39. I am cleaning off my desk and under my desk. I found finger nail polish I forgot I bought, a pillow case, pair of socks, t-shirt, resistant exercise band, and my mail is finally filed. I don’t know why some of those items were there but I am glad to have them back to use them!

  40. Frugal wins this week – I remade foaming soap for the children (2 tablespoons Dr. Bronners in one of those foaming hand soap containers, which we continue to reuse), we ate all the produce we had in the house before I went to the store, the new insulation is doing wonders, we put the garden to bed and I saved the most seeds I’ve ever saved from my flowers!

    No so frugal, but a win – I am trying to teach myself how to make macarons. They take so much sugar and almond flour but even the ugly results are tasty!

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