I harvested zucchini, Armenian cucumbers, watermelons, and roselle hibiscus from my garden. I am drying the hibiscus calyces to make herbal tea. Roselle tea tastes a lot like cranberry juice and is high in vitamin C. I like it made into a cold drink in the summer with a little sugar and orange slices.

I canned three batches of sweet pickle relish using cucumbers from my garden. If you follow me on Instagram and saw my Instagram stories last week, I did a day-in-the-life series of posts over 24 hours in my stories the day I was making relish. I also made ranch dressing that day for the zucchini that we fried.

I marked potatoes and a chicken in the oven at the same time that day as well so that I could maximize the use of the oven and conserve natural gas. The leftover potatoes went into a frittata that I baked the next day.

I mended the hem on a pair of pants for my youngest.

I sowed seeds for Swiss chard and cilantro in the garden.

One of the reasons we wanted to conserve gas up to the mountains the week before last was because we had planned a trip up there this week. My husband drive our van with our teens and their friends to meet with some of their cousins (including their adult cousin the firefighter, whose photo I showed a couple of posts back) to go rappelling in the mountains. While they went rappelling, I stayed home with the three youngest and began planting the bulbs I ordered in bulk from Van Engelen for my garden back in June that arrived recently in time for planting. The weather changed on Saturday (about a week earlier than usual) and it was cool enough for me to begin planting. I hope the bulbs I plant will return each year and will multiply in the garden as well.

It is now cool enough that we are done using air conditioning for the year (the fall wind that comes each year at the end of October came a week early), so our electric bill will drop. This past week, I tried to limit the air conditioning to just a few hours each day by opening the windows in the morning to allow the house to cool down.

My mother found a few things for me while garage sale shopping (I paid her back for these). She found some 2-gallon mason jars for me for 50 cents each! I am starting to store more of my dry goods in glass, as I had pantry months get into my pantry a few years back and eat right through plastic bags. I will be transferring chocolate into these jars (the pantry moths love chocolate and destroyed lots of mine).

She also found a flower gathering basket for me for $3! I had been looking at several online and the one I had liked was $90 (much more than I will pay!), so this was quite a savings.

What did you do to save money last week?

To the reader who sent me a card last week–THANK YOU! And thank you, everyone, for your prayers. We are seeing great blessings as we proceed with some life changes.

I appreciate your support of my website! As an Amazon affiliate, I earn from qualifying purchases made through my links. This means that I earn a small percentage from ANY items you place in your cart and purchase within 24 hours after going to Amazon from one of my links (i.e., it doesn’t have to be an item I have linked here).  If you’re going to be making a purchase from Amazon this week, I thank you for using my links to support this site.

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  1. Love your Roselle hibiscus! My friend in Australia grows this as well! Definitely not something I could grow here in Ohio! Lol!
    This has been a quieter week for us. We got home from Michigan by 5 pm on Tuesday only to find out that my brother had tried to get up from his wheelchair 3 hours after we left and fallen and broken his hip. So Wednesday we spent waiting to hear about how his surgery went. On Saturday, he was released from hospital and is back to his memory care assisted living place. So grateful we went to visit him when we did! Can’t put a price tag on that (although we did save about 50% compared to our trip up there to see him 2 weeks before just by planning a bit better.)!

    On Thursday, Hubs and I got our free booster and flu jabs at the same time. He had no reaction- I have been sleeping and feeling like a truck ran over me for 2 days. Just came out of it on Sunday.

    So, of course, 2 different clients dropped off quilts to be quilted on Friday afternoon! I’m so grateful that my daughter and I are partners and that she has her own machine at her house because she came down and took them home to quilt up and will be about $200 richer by tomorrow.

    On Saturday, a new client dropped off a queen size quilt, 2 pillow shams and 2 throw pillows to be quilted, so that will keep me busy and add some money to my savings!

    Good thing because I ordered blackout thermal curtains from Overstock.com for our new windows plus a few others without curtains. Comparing prices to sew my own and the prices at various stores, the ones being delivered today from Overstock were $15.77 per window, after Rakuten rebate!

    I harvested more figs and my green tomatoes that I brought inside to avoid them being hit by frost (which, amazingly, has not happened yet at my house!) have been ripening, so I will be making more fig jam and also tomato sauce and tomato powder from the skins/seeds!

    I also have another harvest of parsley and chives to cut from the garden! I need to find some inexpensive (or free) 1 gallon pots to start several fig tree cuttings in a week or two after I’ve harvested my final figs! They propagate easily and sell at a nice amount in the Spring at that size! Thanks again to YouTube for having so much learning available for free at my fingertips 24/7!! What an awesome world we live in!! We can learn to do just about anything!!

    Meijers has 3 pound bags of Gala or Macintosh apples for 99 cents/bag through Saturday this week! So 33 cents/pound which is best price I’ve seen all year! So I will be canning quarts of apple pie filling, applesauce and drying apple slices.
    With the apple pie filling, I will be able to get 7 quarts of pie filling from just $3 of these apples, so my cost per quart for apples is under 43 cents per quart! Even after adding the other ingredients from my pantry that I bought on sale months ago, that is WAY less than a can of pie filling (which is NOT a full quart) would be at the store! So I’m quite pleased!
    Plus- I have a $4 store credit from previous purchases, so the first 12 pound of apples will be totally free!! That’s a real treat! I bought 51 pounds of apples – 17 bags- for $12.83 after my $4 rewards. That’s about a bushel at 25 cents a pound!! And I didn’t make a dent in the stock they had out!

    I’m also going to try drying apple skins into powder for adding to recipes! I’m feeling a kinship with our ancestor women who made sure they were using every bit that they could of anything that came their way! 😉

    I bought some fresh ginger at ALDIs for $1.99/bag with 3 large roots with lots of branches. I will share half with my son in law and plant some of it so I will have another herb/spice that I will never need to buy again (like my horseradish has been!)

    A recently widowed friend sold her house and offered us a window A/C unit which is like new for free! Since we do not have central air, we put window units in rooms that we will be in during the day. Another unit will be appreciated! She also offered Dave wood from her husband’s workshop and he came home with several 2 x 4’s and other wood that will be used to upgrade some of my pantry shelving in the basement! This is a real treasure for us and a huge money saver!

    I picked up 4 packages of breakfast sausage links (72 links total) for $9 using FlashFood. That works out to 12-1/2 cents per link. For breakfast, we would each get 2 links, so 25 cents each for meat! We won’t eat sausage links every day, but it will be nice to rotate those in for some variety!

    So, while it was a slower week because of travel and sickness, we still plugged along and found some ways we could save! While I was recuperating from my jabs, I watched a ton of YouTube instructional videos on gardening, saving money, and food preservation that I know will help us going forward! There are always so many new things that I need to learn!!

    Hope everyone in your family is doing well, Brandy! And the same with your commenters! Times are getting more and more challenging, but even the smallest ways that we find to save $ and prepare will help us get through!

    Gardenpat in Ohio

    1. Gardenpat: Would you be willing to share the brand name of your Blackout thermal curtains from Overstock? I have looked everywhere and am so frustrated!

        1. Gardenpat YOUR generosity at sharing knowledge, resources, ideas is PRICELESS and such kindness is just wonderful. Reading your posts are both inspirational and informative besides it’s like reading a good story each week, thank you for contributing- like Brandy’s post each week it is a highlight as are many of the readers posts
          We all wait in anticipation of the great writers

    2. Where do you sell your fig trees in the spring? We will be moving to the Columbus area soon and I’d love to add a fig tree to our garden, especially one propagated from a plant that’s proven to be successful in the climate.

      1. Emily- This will be a first time to sell fig trees but we have sold blackberry bushes, lilacs and strawberry plants that we have propagated. We just put it on FB Marketplace. We’ll do the same with those.
        You will totally love central Ohio/Columbus!! It’s a friendly place with nice people and lots of things to do! You will be amazed at our parks! And we have the best library system in the country! After 29 years here, the only thing we would change is to bring some mountains! It’s flat here and we do miss our mountains from out West! Lol!

        Gardenpat in Ohio

    3. Gardenpat I am glad you are feeling better. Do you plant your ginger in pots now and overwinter in a greenhouse? I live in SW Ohio and would love to grow ginger.

      1. Susan from Cincinnati- After I bought the ginger, I found this article about growing ginger in The Midwest- https://midwesterner.org/how-to-grow-ginger-in-the-midwest/. This will be an experiment for us so I’m going to try starting it indoors. If it works, it will be worth it. If not, I’ll be out $1.99. And for that $1.99, I will have had several hours, days, weeks of entertainment! Lol!

        I’ll keep you posted on how it goes!

        Gardenpat in Ohio

    4. Hubby takes Amish over to Buchmans Sunny Hill Fruit Farm on Pickerington in Carroll OH. Said they got seconds as they wasn’t selling them. You might want to check them out.

      1. Juls Owings- Thanks for the info about Bachman’s! I always love checking out new places! That’s what I love about Brandy’s blog- how she and all of her commenters, like you, are so willing to share great ideas and resources!

        Gardenpat in Ohio

    5. Miss Pat, I’m sorry to hear you had a bad reaction to your vaxx. I normally don’t have reactions to the flu shot and didn’t to the vid vaxx’s. The shingles one however…yikes. It kicked my beee-hind so much so that I couldn’t take my hubby to his doctor appointment the next day. I was shocked because that was a first for me (but it was the first shingles vaxx I had ever had so I didn’t know what to expect). I hope you continue to feel better!
      When you mention quilts, it makes me smile. My mom used to do a lot of quilting (she treated it like a job for the most part & made a decent income from it). She basically “retired” from making them to spend more time with my daddy. I can still hear him describe her quilting machine as “the size of a locomotive”, lol!

      1. Liza Jane- we started looking online on FB marketplace and Craig’s list to see if we could find any 1 gallon plant pots and Hubs found a small nursery that was going out of business and had various garden things for sale. They said they didn’t have any 1 gallons for sale but he saw some by their dumpster and asked if he could buy those. They told him that he could just take any of those for free. So he came home with 22 pots for me to propagate fig trees and berry bushes over the winter! And free is my favorite price!! Milk jugs here get used as mini-green houses, rooting stations and myriads of other things and I wanted deep, sturdy pots that already had drainage holes.

        Thanks for the idea though!!

        Gardenpat in Ohio

        1. My local Home Depot places all the empty pots, trays etc outside the garden center and customers can pick up for free.

          1. Debbie in Virginia- I’ll keep that in mind! Thanks for the idea!! I love all the helpfulness on this blog!! I always can learn something new here! Thanks, Debbie!!

            Gardenpat in Ohio

    6. Garden Pat, just beware if the apples aren’t organic, they are one of the most heavily sprayed fruit. They are in the dirty dozen, wash them really well.

      1. JulieT from Minnesota- I always thoroughly wash any produce that I buy just as a habit. Thanks for the reminder!

        Gardenpat in Ohio

  2. I’m so sorry to all who are currently struggling with job loss issues and other challenges due to inflation etc. 🙏 Praying for you all. I’m so grateful to be a part of this group where we celebrate our frugal accomplishments and encourage one another- I care about each one of you!
    *youngest daughter treated me to a movie 🥰
    *registered for library classes for upcoming free entertainment
    *husband and I had frozen pizza on a date night at home
    *have held off on turning the heat on so far
    *used my new canner! I’m so excited for my little garden next year and all the canning possibilities 😊
    *paid an extra $350 toward mortgage principal
    *went to a few fun free Halloween events
    📍Grocery store: clearance freezer biscuits, puffs lotion boxes (62 cents), large sour creams that expire in December (69 cents), butcher meat deal, free popcorn, sale cheese
    📍Buy Nothing Group: 2 file folder organizers plus a bunch of colored file folders

    Hope you all have a great week!

  3. I had an appointment for a physical, and I’m now going to various appointments for tests. There is no cost for the appointments, but $20 for each return trip by taxi to the local hospital lab, $12 return by senior bus to the next town over for medical imaging, and $150 for the senior bus to medical appointments in Edmonton. The latter can be reimbursed by the government, but that takes some time.

    I was pleased to get two acorn squashes on sale at 98 cents a lb this week. It is my favorite winter squash, but they are often not available in the local stores.

    My electricity bill came in $13 less than the month before, due to lower usage. I had made an effort to be more efficient in how much cooking and oven time I was using. I also used my computer much less because the old computer was failing during the billing period. The usage was also the same amount lower than the same month last year.

    Other than that, I have just been tackling various chores to make my house cleaner and more comfortable as we head towards winter. We haven’t had snow like they had in southern Alberta this last weekend, but the long and beautiful fall weather is over.

      1. Thanks, Suzanne. I actually live 150+ km from Edmonton, so I work with the local services that are available. Our seniors’ bus is actually quite a bit cheaper than gas for trips around the county. They will even come over 50 km from the next town over, drive me somewhere in my town, take me home, and then drive back again, but usually I’d rather have the local taxi take me, and save the environment 100 km of gas! The senior’s bus doesn’t have to be for medical appointments either. There is also the option of calling a few acquaintances who have offered me free rides, “if they aren’t busy.” So far, I’ve just called them when I have a critical errand and the taxi driver is away. I like the independence of the one taxi in town, though. Keeps me up on the local news, too. The taxi driver is my age, though, so I make a careful note of the numbers of anyone who casually offers me a drive if I need it.

        Our local vet has retired, so there are similar rides for my aging kitty to go to the vet in a town 70 km away.

  4. Beautiful pictures as always, Brandy! And good for you for getting your bulbs in the ground!

    A few weeks ago I realized that I have bought very little food over the last year because of high prices. Well, they aren’t going anywhere but UP…so I have been working at getting stocked up for the past two weeks. I have topped up all of the items I normally buy from the bulk food section at Winco. These products are cheaper to begin with and never go on sale. I’ve bought a few canned goods. Generally, these have been digital coupons with a limit of 5 (I would normally buy a case or more). This last week there were some meat specials. I bought 9 lbs. of 80/20 ground beef for $2.77 lb. and I’m in the middle of dividing it into meal-size portions and freezing. I also bought two tri-tip roasts for $5.99 lb. and froze both. The bigger one may be Christmas dinner, depending on the price of prime rib. My son really likes to cook tri-tips in his smoker, so this may be a good substitute.

    I made a double batch of meatballs and froze half for another meal.

    My wonderful United Healthcare MedAdvantage policy is being discontinued next year, probably because it paid off so well! I went to an insurance broker last week and I will be switching to a Blue Cross plan that checks most of my boxes, although in different ways. It will cost me about $200 more OOP over the course of the year and has a much smaller OTC benefit, but it’s a lot better (for me) than anything else out there.

    Total frugal fail: I hit the slot of a drive-up mailbox and broke the driver’s side mirror (but the mailbox is still standing, LOL). The car is going to cost $672 to repair and we have an appointment this Thursday. It needs to get fixed right away since it is hanging by a thread. Also, my husband is waiting to hear back from the dentist– he broke off a back tooth over the weekend. He does have some dental insurance benefits that may help pay for it.

    I hope everyone here is having a wonderful week!

    1. Just returned from Winco and the “economy bacon” they sell in the self-serve case next to the deli is $1.99 lb.! I can’t guarantee it will be this price at all Wincos, or for how long, but it was at mine today. It was $4.28 lb. yesterday.

      1. The economy bacon at the Spokane valley WinCo was $3.99 today. I’d have gotten some at $1.99 but guess I have enough for now. NOT season is almost over.

    2. I hit one of our plastic trashcans with our car and broke the little orange plastic light on the back. $350.00 to replace. I almost fainted.

  5. Your roselle hibiscus is such a beautiful plant. I love hibiscus tea but this is a different variety to me. All this talk of tea plants has made me get out a book I own called “Homegrown Tea: An Illustrated Guide to Planting, Harvesting and Blending Teas and Tisanes” by Cassie Liversidge. I have found it useful and it’s just a pretty book to look through.
    *Found 8 clothing items for my boys, a sun hat for me (I wear them out), a pretty ironstone plate and a tablecloth for $28 at Goodwill. I agree with many others comments in the recent past that GW’s prices have gone up but the large selection and organization often means I can find what we need. So, I make a point to go there when I am nearby which is every other month or so.
    *After weeks of buying very few groceries, I had to fill some holes in our pantry and get milk and a small amount of cheese. Yikes! We really don’t eat a lot of dairy or meat so that habit is helping now but it is still a surprise each time I go to a store and actually witness for myself all that I have heard and been reading about. We are still under budget for this month’s groceries so am grateful for that.
    *Our homeschool group was invited to join 2 others in a pinewood derby last weekend. A local church with many parents who have grown homeschooled children decided they wanted to have some events for current home educated children and this was the first. There was a great turn-out – 40 cars in total. The car kits only cost $4 and they provided a meal for all attending. It was a wonderful evening of fun and fellowship and we continue to be grateful for such a low-cost way to add to our learning adventures. Last week’s class covered using a homemade ointment (whose main ingredient is honey, I was glad to see) and burdock leaves to treat burns. The teacher/mom giving the class learned the procedure from her Mennonite MIL. One of the other mothers there served as a testimony to the effectiveness of the method as she was treated herself in this way when she burned her hand with sausage grease earlier this year. The results are truly remarkable. We are fortunate to have not had any serious burns in our family but I am glad to have this new knowledge (free education – love it!) The other amazing example was one of the children’s experience with being burned on his hand when he was 8 months old. His mother used this method and had to make a splint to support his hand while it was healing. She made it from a plastic binder cover and made the holes for sewing the velcro straps on by heating a diaper pin on the stove. While not everyone would feel comfortable treating burns themselves (and there are definitely levels of burns you would not want to DIY), I was impressed by the level of knowledge passed down from this Mennonite grandmother. Before I had children, I worked as an Occupational Therapist and did a stint of hand therapy. The methods she used were right in line with what I would have seen and done with a hand burn patient. This story may be an aside from typical frugal conversation and everyone has their own level of comfort with DIY healthcare but I do find it empowering to know things I can do for my family that will have excellent results without relying on the traditional medical system. We never know when those skills might be needed.
    *Gratefully received some canned and boxed items of food from a neighbor who is given things she cannot/will not use so she passes them on to us. One item is a brand of tuna we do not care for but my cats love it so that helps, too.
    *Out-of-town friends visited on Saturday and brought items to contribute for lunch leaving all the leftovers with us which will feed us for a few more meals. We enjoyed their visit and spent all our time outdoors just enjoying each others company and conversation.
    *I mended several items of clothing for everyone but me. I think the mender is sometimes more careful with her clothes. 🙂
    *We winterized all of our mowing equipment as the last mowing of the year has been done. Doing so keeps our equipment in good condition and less likely to need repair or replacement.
    *I read “Bootleggers Daughter” by Margaret Maron. She was recommended here by one of my fellow North Carolinians (but I can’t remember who) and I enjoyed the plot twists and discussions of locales I have visited. A good read especially if you are native. I am now reading “Year of Wonders.” I really think I read this already but don’t remember all the details so I am just going with it and reading it again. Does anyone else do that? You read so much you sometimes forget you have already read it until you get it home from the library? Hope I’m not the only one. I think it’s good enough for a second read, anyway. Also in my library bag is “Essentialism” by Greg McKeown. I have had it recommended to me numerous times. On the surface, I think I am pretty good at getting to the meat of life and ignoring a lot of the distractions that plague a lot of folks but there is always something to learn so I am eager to read this one. I guess that is the tone of my whole contribution this week. A big part of our frugality is learning all we can (and learning for free is a bonus) so that we have choices in our lives. So often, money becomes the default solution to problems when one is lacking in knowledge or time. We try to have as much as we can of both and it has served us well.
    *Have a wonderful week, all! I so appreciate your contributions every week and learn so much from all of you.

    1. Dawn, I’m not a No Carolinian?, But I did mention that series of books by Margaret Maron. I don’t know a thing about NC, but I really enjoyed the whole series. I love that it went into local lore, family, etc. besides just the mystery. I do admit to a feeling of envy for a family like that!

      My bookworm MIL told me about her book reading history book. A purse sized notebook with alphabetical sections to list books read. I started one about 30 years ago and it’s so handy! I keep entire pages on favorite authors so I can keep track of everything. It’s too thick to keep in my purse anymore, but I recommend some type of log. It sure helps avoid the deja Vu!

      1. Debby in Kansas – Well, I am glad to whomever recommended the Margaret Maron books. It may have been more than one person. Great idea about the “books I’ve read” log. My mother does that. She is one of the leaders of her book club and is super organied in that way. I should have started one long ago. I have one for books I want to read but it seems I need one for the other end of things, too. 🙂

        1. Alice – I, too, have a quote book and it is interesting to see the words that have inspired me over the years. I think it is almost like a personality test as you can definitely see a theme(s) in what speaks to you enough to write it down. My mother does this, too. 🙂

    2. Mountain Mama, can you give us the recipe for that ointment? I winced a bit, reading it — because the worst burn I ever got was from honey! (The jar broke in the microwave, and I was stupid enough to lift it out. The hot honey wouldn’t stop burning me for quite some time, in spite of frantic efforts to cool it down.) I rely on aloe vera — not only does it help keep the pain away, but burns can heal with no scarring. My hand, after the honey incident, is proof. (The plant – not a jar of something. Break off a leaf, split it and apply to the hurting area.)

      1. Cindy Brick – That burn sounds awful! I’m so sorry you have painful memories of honey. 🙂 In its defense, it is anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-fungal which is good for your outside as well as all the good stuff for your insides (anti-oxidant, etc.) But, it would cause quite a burn if hot since it would be difficult to wash off.
        The ointment used in the demonstration was actually a purchased one called B&W ointment (for burn and wound). Here is an article where it and burdock leaves was successfully used in a crush injury. Warning – graphic photos! https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2213576620303857
        Here is a listing to purchase on Amazon but it may be cheaper in health food stores or at Amish stores, if you have access to them.
        I’m sorry I don’t have a recipe for making it but will see if I can come across one. Another thing that was used in our class was a homemade calendula salve of which there are many similar recipes on-line. Hope that helps!

      2. Hi Cindy,
        While this is probably not a new thing to some folks, I just learned about the power of lavender oil to ease minor burns. I now keep a bottle of lavender oil in the kitchen and put it on any burns from the oven, hot pans, etc. It eases the pain and helps the blisters heal sooner.

    3. Dawn, a goodreads account is an organized way to keep track of your books. You don’t have to be social on there … just do it for your own use. Also check your public library account. It may have a built in history feature so you can look back at your checkouts.

  6. I started throwing so many things in our deep freezer for a week after finding stuff in rice a few years ago…rice, beans, pasta (including box mixes – i just take out the powdered sauces) flours…and I’ve not had a bit of trouble since. I also store things in food grade buckets and glass jars as an added precaution. With the ever climbing prices I don’t want to lose a thing.

  7. I went through what was left of the apples we picked at a local orchard and pulled out any with bad spots. I turned these into an apple pie and 6 pints of applesauce. I also baked two loaves of sandwich bread and made a big batch of granola. We enjoyed fresh chard from the greenhouse. We had our first freeze and I am covering the broccoli and lettuce I have still growing in hopes of getting a harvest. Temps are supposed to warm a bit later this week. I cut up an old calendar and used it to make some cards to send. A friend helped clear a house of a woman who was going into care, and shared a bunch of books with me. I have two big bags of books to read, eventually.

  8. I received a capital credit from our electric cooperative so that $27.69 goes to savings. I do not see much in the way of great deals at the grocery stores but have been using every tidbit. Juicing, dehydrating, canning and composting. My DIL brought over some stir fry and some lovely peanut butter brownies this week. Such a treat. I am continuing to read books on my kindle from the library. I am so thankful for this. I purchased a few small bags of candy for Halloween but we do not have but a handful since our town and many of the churches sponsor events. I have been making bread in the bread machine my sister gave me and even made dough for donuts in it this week. I have moved my plants into the house and greenhouse for the winter. I barely have room for my clothes line in the sunroom now but I will manage!

  9. We received $400 each (husband and I) in visa gift cards from our health insurance for completing annual physical stuff.
    I’m doing another mystery shop today. It is on my way to another errand, will take about 15 minutes, and pays $25.
    Picked up snow pants for free on FB marketplace. I’ll list those on ebay.
    Sold an infant snowsuit (picked up from a free pile) on FB marketplace.
    Rode e-bike to do errands. My husband rides it to work and calculated as he rode along that he saves $20 a week in gas by riding the bike. He charges it at work, so that costs us nothing. He is a math teacher, so such calculations are fun for him.
    I subbed 2 days last week.
    I’m sewing placemats for my daughter’s boyfriend. He was going to buy some for his new apartment and my daughter told him not to because I could make them. We all thought it was really funny that a young man would think of buying such a thing as placemats. I personally do not like them. We put our plates straight on our wood table, and the table still looks new after 20+ years. Anyway, his placemats are all from fabric I saved from cushion covers from years ago. So free for me to make, except for my time which I am happy to give.
    Brandy, I am glad that you are seeing blessings as you make some changes.
    I have had a really difficult last three weeks. My mother was diagnosed with some massive and irreversible heart problems. Going to her appointments, organizing help, organizing her, took a lot of my time and emotional energy. In the very same week a young man very close to us died. It was a devastating loss. I am just now returning to any sort of normal in my own life. I have had some incredibly kind support from those around me. I often find that as I make needs and difficulties known, I receive some blessings.

    1. So very sorry to hear about your Mother’s health and the loss of your friend
      Best wishes for strength and kindness during this time

    2. Hi Kara,

      I am so sorry about your Mom’s diagnosis. I know what you are going through. My Hubby suffered a heart attack a week ago Monday. I was able to bring him home the end of last week. But our lives have changed and struggling to cope with all that needs to be done is exhausting. He has been the love of my life for the past 57 years and I am praying that he will have many more. My faith is what is sustaining us.
      Brandy has been a blessing in my life since 2007 and we have all learned so much from her and her readers over the years. I pray everyday that her Hubby finds a good job. Thank you Brandy for all you do for us.
      I am taking a little me time every morning before Hubby wakes up to post what we are doing to cut costs because of the higher medical and drug costs and to pay for services that we need. What I have done this week is posted here: http://www.frugalthingseveryday.com

    3. Dear Kara, I’m so sorry to hear about your mom. I wanted to share something that is random that we are learning. My husband also has some difficult heart issues. One of my brothers has a home hyperbaric unit. I decided to try that and see if it might help him. It’s made a huge difference and when we weren’t able to do it for a week since we were servicing a part, he felt significantly worse. I have a theory that I thought of today of why it is helping. Oxygen is carried on the blood and if the heart is struggling to work the body isn’t getting oxygenated very well. The hyperbaric can push the oxygen through the body (and it doesn’t have to be carried on the hemoglobin.). It hasn’t solved his heart problem, but I think that it’s helping him to get oxygen where is heart is working so poorly. It’s a random thing and we’re grateful for its help.

    4. You and your mom are in my prayers, Kara. I’m so sorry to hear of your loss and about your mom. May God give you strength and healing.

  10. My husband, son and I have COVID! We are so pookie! We were unable to attend our Granddaughter’s wedding in Charleston. Had a good cry about that! Am thankful, though, that we did not go and infect our loved ones! Also grateful that we have access to medical care!

    We cancelled our reservation past the allowed time, but because my husband has stayed with this chain for years, they waved it saving us hundreds of dollars! Big savings!

    We are all too sick to eat much, so guess that is a savings of sort!

    Hope everyone stays frosty and well out there! Onward, ya’ll, by all means!

    1. I’m so sorry you missed your grandaughter’s wedding and have Covid! I am glad they refunded you the hotel money.

    2. Cheryl B I think we all can feel your pain at missing the wedding- oh my gosh so unfair and hope you have a speedy recovery

    3. Cheryl, I hope you and your husband are now feeling better. I’m so sorry you missed your granddaughter’s wedding. We had a similar situation when my son got married this past spring. Our daughter and SIL came down with covid 3 days before the wedding. We too all shed lots of tears. However, since the wedding was outside, the two of them wore their masks, sat on the back row in the park, 6+ feet from everyone and at least got to attend the nuptials. They then got in their car and headed back home 🙁 We were so disappointed they didn’t get to join us for the indoor reception and other festivities but were grateful they were there for the ceremony.

  11. What a find to get that gardening flower basket! I’m sure it will get a lot of use in your garden! We are trying to be more mindful of energy usage. I looked at the cost per McF on our last bill and was astonished that it was over $10! If I remember correctly, about 10 years ago it was around $3-4. I then spent some time going over our utilities bill and observed that often, Wednesdays were the lowest usage days – most likely because we are out of the house that day for Bible study, and at the library in the afternoon. Following that observation, I am going to try to be at the library more often to homeschool – we have to pick up our eldest child from school right around the corner anyway, so it would already be gas used. They have reservable team rooms as well that give us privacy and a sound-proof environment so I can talk easily with the kids.

    I am also switching our laundry to cold water only and adjusting the water level. I am hoping that change plus drying clothes on a lower temperature and shorter time will help.

    One of my favorite finds this week was sets of Prismacolors that Walmart was clearancing at 75% off. They normally were $20+ each and were all marked $5. Each set had an assortment of colored pencils, a link to a free drawing lesson using those supplies, and other drawing supplies (watercolor paper, dual tip markers, drawing grids, erasers, and graphite pencils, but overall, between 4 sets there were over 60 pencils.

    I went over our grocery spending this month and we were only $15 over the goal I had set. I am hoping that this month we can stock up on holiday discounts as November comes.

    I also attended our quarterly library book sale that sells children’s books for $.25 each and all other books for $1-$2. I purchased a cookbook and embroidery book in addition to some Ramona books and a vintage edition of Tom Sawyer.

    As always, I look forward to these posts and trying to be intentional as the week goes along in saving money where I can. I appreciate you providing a place where people can share and learn from each other. I saw on Instagram recently a post where a teacher was showing her young students how to polish their dishes, and noted that when we take the time to make things beautiful we show gratitude. It reminded me to slow down and take the time to take care of what I already have and use it to make my space more pleasant. As I do so, I have found that I become more grateful instead of discontent.

  12. *I cut husband hair
    * My daughter, son’s girlfriend and I went to the Nashville Flea Market on Friday. I found a quilt for $30, a washboard, and a vintage lava candlestick, and one ornament for $1. I took them to Loveless Cafe and it was s very good. We had a great time.
    * We had more community sales but I decided not to go. I have bought so much the last two weekends I decided to rest instead. My husband worked on pantry cabinets and I worked on a quilt. This is my latest. I am making five for Christmas out if dad’s shirts. https://www.instagram.com/p/CkEmfuDJtff/?igshid=YmMyMTA2M2Y= I found 25 more shirts so I used my Accuquilt to cut some more 2.5″ strips.
    * I roasted some Roma tomatoes in olive oil with some Italian seasoning and froze them to add to dishes later. I have all my tomatoes ripening that I picked green before the freeze.
    * My goal is to get all the bedding, mats, shower curtains washed and clean everything really well. If we experience any black outs I want to be on top of the house. I have a generator for the freezer and refrigerator, but also have plenty of home canned soups and meals I can eat and propane for the griddle and grill, as well as a gas stove.

  13. My sister in California visiting her in-laws said a cold wind blew through last night and this morning they are in the 40’s F.

    I cooked pork chops and fresh pork pan sausage in succession using the same skillet. It saved time and heating up the burner and pan again, plus I only had one clean up.

    I planted more carrot seeds just as the others are starting to sprout.

    I heaped leaves and pine straw around my newest little blackberry plants when we had an unexpectedly cold night near freezing last week. They survived the cold in fine form.

    I’m keeping the downstairs heat on 66 and the upstairs heat turned off for now. It’s starting to warm back up, so it’s comfortable this way.

    I watched a young grandchild play happily with a Fisher-Price pull toy that I got at Goodwill and cleaned up. It’s in perfect shape. I keep an eye out for good used toys to keep for visiting grandchildren.

    I cut my husband’s hair.

    I went ahead and bought some butter. I’ve not found a sale in four months, so I bought a pound just to be sure I had some for the holidays.

    I watched a DVD I already owned for entertainment. It was a gift to me a few years ago.

    My best wishes to everyone here as we struggle through these times.

  14. Those hibiscus calyces are just so beautiful! And the iced drink made with them sounds so lovely.

    My frugal week:
    – I combined sales, coupons, and rebates when shopping this week as usual. My best deals were avocados for 98 /bag after points back and price matching. I froze 1 1/2 bags and gave some to my mum too. I combined a high value coupon and a sale to get bread for 29c a loaf, and made and froze a bunch of homemade uncrustables for my daughter for school lunches.
    – I threw my daughter a paw patrol themed party, and did my best to make it as affordable as possible. I saved decorations from her party last year, and reused them. We held the party at my sister’s condo party room as there is no fee for use there. I used the folding table I purchased a decade ago as the focal point and dessert table and covered it with a dollar store red plastic tablecloth (decorations weren’t allowed on the walls, so this table basically was the decoration). I used paw patrol themed bags that I had saved from last year as decoration on the ends of the table, fluffed up with red and yellow tissue paper. I had some helium balloons but instead of buying a balloon anchor, just tied it to some cutlery and put the cutlery ‘weight’ in one of the reused bags (looked great and no one saw the MacGuyvered weight as it was covered by tissue paper). I made chocolate cupcakes and displayed them on a cupcake stand I bought at the dollar store nearly a decade ago. The sheet cake was from Costco, and the cookie platter cookies were mostly purchased at the local Dimpfelmeier bakery outlet. The actual platter was a cut glass boot sale find from earlier this year (technically a crudite tray, but worked great for cookies). I had leftover cupcake frosting, and used it to sandwich together sugar cookies made from the scraps of cookie dough I had. I bought croissants and deli meats from Costco and made sandwiches (identical to the ones they sell, but cheaper), made my own fruit trays (price matched the berries for $1.88/clamshell), and my own veggie tray, as well as potato salad and cafe style broccoli and feta pasta salad (http://approachingfood.com/salads-i-have-known-and-loved-cafe-style-broccoli-and-feta-pasta-salad/) Drinks were also bought at Costco. For games, I had a local printer print out a giant free colouring sheet of Mayor Humdinger and had the kids use dollar store sticky mustaches to pin the mustache on the Mayor. The prizes were homemade chocolate mustache pops (made using a mold i traded for years ago). I also printed out some colouring sheets at home and brought in my daughters crayons as an activity to occupy the kids as they arrived. Another activity was decorate your own pup treat kits that I put together, with homemade sugar cookies in the shapes of bones ( i didn’t have a cutter, so just traced a printout), icing from the same batch as the cupcakes, and a fancy sprinkle mix that I made myself using what I had at home plus a single container of dollar store sprinkles. A parent asked me if I purchased the kits, so they definitely looked good! I brought over some of my younger daughter’s toys to amuse the younger siblings of the attendees. I made several batches of caramel corn and packaged it up in loot bags I traded for years ago, and labeled it as “pup-corn” as part of the loot bag. I also made homemade cotton candy in front of the kids using a cotton candy machine I traded for 3 years ago. There were lots of food leftovers, so I sent everyone home with leftovers packaged up in reused takeout containers that my mom and sister had. I also froze leftover cake and cookies, and turned the leftover veggie tray into roasted veggies the next night, and the leftover fruit into berry smoothies. The party turned out sooo well! It was more expensive a party than I normally like to host, but it was definitely a hit with everyone and definitely less expensive than the parties of a lot of my daughters peers, whose parents hired entertainers (and good for them!). Oh, and on her actual birthday, I made a mini cake for her using some of the batter from the single batch of cupcakes I made, plus some icing leftover from another celebration and some smarties I had gotten free. I also made a balloon garland using balloons leftover from my daughter’s first birthday, and some reused balloon arch tape. Then I did birthday photos, and edited them in the free photoshop app, using a preset I got free. Turned out looking really good!

    Looking forward to learning from everyone else as always!

    1. Thank you for the “and good for them!” part of your comment.

      I think we all do what we can and should celebrate the happiness of others, even when they spend differently than we do! We all have different budgets and circumstances.

      I also think that the modern world can permit us to be friends with those who make very different amounts than we might. In the past, a division of classes would have prevented such a thing.

      Today, we can enjoy friendships with those of different means, countries, and religions–all without leaving our own home.

      I know social media is often seen as a negative and many people feel jealous as they see the lives and means of others.

      I believe we can see it in the opposite way: a source of inspiration, a chance to see other places to which we may never travel, and a chance to make friends with people we might never meet in real life. I’m very grateful for that.

      1. Applause to your comment about “good for them”. I have been lucky to have friends from a wide spectrum of income levels, and we all are surprisingly similar. I have a dear friend who has loads of money (that she made) yet she still does all her own cleaning, ironing, cooking etc. A few weeks ago, I was cleaning my bathrooms and thought of her and sent her a text saying “do you ever think we will have someone else clean our toilets?” She sent me back a smile emoji and said she had finished her cleaning that morning ;).

        1. My dearest friend DOES have someone to clean and cook (and other help besides) and lives a very different lifestyle from me, but it doesn’t stop us from being friends. I’m happy for my friend.

      2. Good reminder about celebrating the happiness of others even if they spend differently than we do. I have had periods where I am so gung-ho frugal that I mentally criticize people when I see what is in their grocery carts or see friends who order via Door Dash a lot. Thankfully, my mouth filter is good enough that I don’t hurt people’s feelings or say disagreeable things even if I am thinking them. I find that I am most judgemental of others when I am stressed about our own finances.

        1. A friend of mine orders in meals all the time but works crazy long hours and is often working from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and beyond. Once I knew that, it made a lot more sense to me why my friend chooses to order delivery.

          What I love is the friends who don’t judge me for how I choose to spend my money–and it reminds me to not judge them for the way they spend theirs, too.

          And even those who make more vastly more are happy to find a deal.

          1. I have to add, my son’s lady asked why he was using door dash when he drives right by the restaurant on his way home and he could have called and got a pick up. He had just worked a 16 hr. day. His answer… the woman that was his delivery is a single mom of 3 teenagers whose dad had died without life insurance. Needed to say no more.
            My other daughter works door dash. Half of her deliveries are ordered by adult children for their parents to make sure one they are getting a meal and two someone is at the door to see them. She will not pull away until she sees the food go in the house.

            1. I’m sure, for your son, this was extra meaningful. What a reason to order.

              I found out my friend works from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. and sometimes later (he was working past 9 one night recently). He works from home but with such long hours, I can see why it makes more sense for him to order something.

        2. I admire you for your honesty, Mable. I am sure many of us have had those “what are they thinking?” moments when others decisions vary vastly from ours. But, you are right, that can often stem from worries we have within ourselves and little to do with the other person.
          I was raised by very frugal people and I am extremely grateful for that. They also knew how to have fun so it never seemed to be restrictive but rather a wonderful outlet for creativity. I will admit that frugality was seen in my family as a moral virtue which, again, is fine but that can lean in the direction of making one think that those who are not frugal (or not frugal in the ways we are, etc.) lack in virtue or morals. Frugality can become an idol and finding the next great deal can become a competitive sport if we are not careful to remember the purpose behind it all. That will be different for us all. Thanks for making me think. 🙂

          1. Yes it can.

            I love when frugality allows us to spend on the things we really want, be it paying off our mortgage early, or traveling, or a nice meal out. In my case, I definitely spend it on flowers.

            1. Oh, I hear you, Brandy. I have often said I don’t wish for more in my life but I could easily spend a lot of money on seeds and plants. That’s one reason all my free plants around my property mean so much to me.

            2. Brandy- You’re absolutely right! We always used to say that if we had enough money at retirement to pay our bills and somehow be able to get the materials to DIY projects, it would be glorious!! We are overwhelmed that somehow we reached that point 3 years ago! We live modestly but abundantly!!
              Everyone’s got different goals for their lives and being frugal can be the means to achieve those goals!!

              Gardenpat in Ohio

      3. Well said, Brandy, and I agree. If we were all the same, the world would be a very boring place. 🙂

      4. For my son’s 10th birthday back in 2014, he wanted a birthday party at a local indoor water park. He got to invite 6 friends of his choosing since his 3 cousins with whom he grew up were 3 of the 9 kids besides himself that was covered under the price for the party. I’m an RN, his father also held a job. In lieu of a cake, which I got at a local grocer, I got an extra pizza to serve the guests. Was it expensive? Yes. Could I afford it? Also yes. He said it was his best birthday ever since the party fell on his actual birthdate.
        For his 16th birthday in 2020, in the beginning of the pandemic, we held a much smaller party..only family. His parents, my parents & his uncle whom he saw daily anyhow. We had cake & Little Ceasars Pizza. A MUCH smaller celebration but one that was ‘safe’. Nobody got sick.

        That’s how many of his birthday parties went growing up. A celebration with family & friends at home with homemade food. Fish fry’s with perch and walleye from Lake Erie that his uncle and him caught.

        We had his high school graduation party in June. Venue was free. The food was free as I’d won a $250 gift card from a local catering company in Dec. 2020 & they allowed me to save it for 2022. We had lots of leftovers. Baked chicken. Which we froze & have since used!

        So I concur with your sentiment Brandy! 100%!

      5. Hear, hear, Brandy! Everyone does what is right for them with the resources they have available. Some have more time, some have more money, and everyone values things slightly differently. As you say, it makes the world an interesting place, and we can all learn and be inspired by each other!

        And thanks to everyone for this great discussion!

    2. Your party sounds absolutely wonderful, Margaret! How creative, thoughtful and clever! Great use for the leftovers, too! What a fun time it must’ve been.

  15. Hi Brandy,
    Gorgeous photos as always.
    This week I harvested all my onions and chopped and dried the green tops. I also harvested the last of my basil and dried that as well. Our temperatures have dropped so fall is here. I also did some flower seed saving which I never would have done without reading about you doing it, so thank you Brandy. I was surprised by how many seeds I was able to collect. I have now put my garden to bed for the fall/winter. I still have a couple beautiful roses I will be able to cut and enjoy in the house. I’m using the small pumpkins from my garden for my Halloween jack-o-laterns and I will seed save from those as well. My stock up item of the week was kitchen garbage bags so now I have almost a year’s supply. We are now having cold mornings and cold evenings. I turned my furnace temp down a few degrees which is now lower than I have ever had it but I am determined to keep it there as long as possible to save on the electric bill. I’m also trying another cost cutting measure by using woolite laundry detergent and cold water for all my laundry. I was able to purchase the woolite for $1 so thought it was worth a try. I will let you know how that works out. I took the window screens off and gave the windows a good scrub so all the available sunlight can come through and help to warm the house. Thank you to Brandy and everyone for all the helpful ideas. I am wishing everyone a productive week.

    1. Hi Kim. My daughter came home one weekend with a bag full of “Dry Clean Only” garments and inquired if there was an option to dry cleaning them. Many were washable fabrics like cotton, though some were wool or rayon, or had beads that could come off in a washing machine, hence the dry-cleaning advice. I had some Woolite that I had gotten on markdown ($1.25) as well and decided to try it with these delicate items which were all included on the box instructions. My daughter was game, so I soaked, and hand washed them in cold water with Woolite and dried them flat on racks. They ALL turned out perfectly at a MUCH, MUCH cheaper price than dry cleaning (and without all of those chemicals). I hope your results are as successful as mine. My daughter was thrilled as well with her clean, laundered clothing.

  16. I just love the encouragement amongst the community here and I’m cheering for each and everyone of you. I don’t comment every week, but I do come here and read and get so many ideas to further my frugal journey from you all.
    Grocery savings this week were attributed to a $5 off $50 purchase, I found some coffee pods, pistachios and mixed nuts on clearance so those are a nice treat.
    I picked up a book from the library for entertainment. It’s Four Thousand Weeks: Time Management for Mortals by Oliver Burkeman. I’m always looking for ways to optimize and be more efficient.
    I took my lunch every day to work and our boss even brought in breakfast one day. Breakfast was appreciated and unexpected!
    Since I’ve been focused on only buying essentials, I have been trying to save more for a rainy day. I was able to put a little extra back this week, thankfully.
    Used up some zucchini from the garden for zoodles for dinner one night; other than that, we’re just trying to eat more out of our pantry and freezer.

    This weekend we had a planned dinner out, but other than that we stayed home and focused on clean up around and inside the house. I hope you all have a wonderful week!

  17. What an exciting family trip! Really something to remember as a family!
    This week for us:
    * After getting quotes, my uber-handy husband decided to replace the gas hot water heater himself, with the proper permits, of course. This will save us $1500.
    *With the onset of cooler weather, I cleaned our furnace filters to get maximum efficiency. Our filter system is permanent and gets taken out to be cleaned.
    *Fresh cranberries were $1.70/lb (down from $4) so I made more Cranberry Sauce, which I have earmarked for gifting. I also waterbath canned pickled red cabbage.
    *I pressure canned potatoes, carrots and also some beef stew. It wasn’t a great deal on the veggies, especially since they are currently in season. But I really wanted the additions to my shelf stable storage, and since food prices are still rising (especially on basic foods oddly), I suspect the prices I paid will look better and better as winter progresses. I had spent the better part of a day on the phone trying to find a good price on local potatoes; the prices dropped the longer the drive to get them. But the price of gas is so high (the equivalent of USD$6.46 per US gallon) that no money was saved at all by doing so. So I bought from a local farmer and paid $1/lb (73 cents US). Sadly.
    *The garden was tidied, and garlic planted to harvest next summer.
    *Thank you, Brandy, for talking about the Libby app. I’ve enjoyed using it for reading without car trips .
    *Talked to my out of town, and out of country, kinfolks via FaceTime and WhatsApp for free. Gosh, I recall when I first left home how expensive long distance calls were. And now you can see the person plus the calls are free! Amazing!

    1. The cost of gas is not much lower than that here and so reading ebooks has been my method of choice. I am grateful for it. I also love that I can get a new book at nine o’clock at night when the library is closed and just start reading!

      Video calls never cease to amaze me, either! I rarely made long-distance or international calls before. Now I chat with friends around the world every week on Messenger and Whats App, and do voice and video calls, too. It’s amazing to get to see my friend’s house in the U.K. via video even though I have never visited it!

  18. I put my garden to bed last week, harvesting ripening and green tomatoes, some basil, white onions, parsley (which I dehydrated), and chives. I still need to till the soil with fertilizer and add a pre-emergent weed barrier.

    I helped with a funeral luncheon at church. The family had overestimated the number of people who would attend so there were lots of leftovers. I was able to bring home ham and a ham bone, potatoes, greens, some rolls, leftover butter, and some cookies. We will eat through those this week. I already made beans with the ham bone in the instant pot and they taste great!

    We have finally turned the heat on but I am wearing sweaters during the day and keeping the thermostat at 67 degrees. It feels fine when the sun shines but on stormy days it may not feel warm enough.

    I am knitting on projects, reading books from the library, planning for the holidays, and trying to save where I can. I count my blessings, including the friendship and support that comes from each of your comments.

  19. Pretty quiet week around here, but a good one. *I started knitting a pair of socks for my husband for Christmas with sock yarn I already had. I’m hoping to gift him two pair so I figured I better get started.*I had a check up this week. I got four shots while I was there…flu, tetanus, covid booster and pneumonia. Thankful for good insurance and modern medicine! *My husband spent a significant amount of time working on our son’s medical bills from a hospital stint last summer. He is still on our insurance, thankfully. He was able to sort it all out and paid our portion from our HSA. *Foodwise, I made a big pot of spaghetti sauce which gave us two meals for now and two in the freezer for later. For another meal I used leftover baked potatoes in soup. Trying to incorporate more planned leftovers in my menu plan. *I went back to shopping in person. It was good to be able to see what’s available. I’m proud of myself for not over-shopping even though I was there in person. * I finished a couple more library books and ordered some more for delivery. I’m just so grateful for our library.* Finished another couple of hats for donation.* Hope everyone has a great week.

  20. When I look at our expenses and budget week over week it doesn’t seem that we are saving bundles of money but I am counting each penny we save a win – it all adds up!
    Cooler fall temperatures have been with us for several weeks and I have my HVAC turned off. I did have to turn on the heat to 65 a couple of mornings last week but only because I have someone elderly living in our home who gets cold easily. I am looking forward to the winter season as it will allow us to warm the house with fires in our fireplace rather than running the heater so often. Of course the heater is far less expensive than the AC so I look forward to next month’s even lower electric bill.
    I cooked a whole chicken in the crockpot last week and made a large batch of black beans…this fed us several meals and lunches. I also cooked on of the turkey breasts that I found on sale last week. I made a batch of mashed potatoes with some potatoes that needed to be used up and some peas. We got two dinners and two lunches from this meal. Yesterday I took the remaining turkey and gravy, added onions, carrots, celery and some wild rice for a lovely soup that will give us lunch for a few days this week. I made a batch of sheet pan pancakes with some outdated buttermilk and baked the last half ham from our freezer. I saved the bone from the ham and will make a large pot of pinto beans with it this week. Some I will turn into chili beans and others into regular pinto beans for use in soups & chili throughout the winter. I baked some cookies using cookie dough that I had frozen weeks ago and enjoyed the ease of doing so. I plan to make up another large batch of dough and freeze it for ease in the future months to come. I took advantage of sales to stock up on milk & eggs which will be a help in the weeks to come.
    Now that I have recovered from a horrible sinus infection I will finish garden clean up and be planting some fall bulbs in my flower beds. The pine trees on our property are dropping lovely pinecones and they will make wonderful holiday decoration so I am collecting some to have in the house through the winter. I have not decided on whether I will try to plant some of my fall seeds now or just amend the garden for the now and not plant anything until spring. Every time I think I have made up my mind I change it again! I purged our master bedroom closet, yet more boxes in the garage and our pantry was cleaned out and organized. Hooray for items donated to families in need and less stuff in my house. Christmas is closer than we think and to that end I will begin taking out decorations to sort through them and determine what is needed, how we can best use what we have on hand, and clean & organize it more efficiently.
    Enjoy the week ahead everyone!

  21. This week I made some raspberry jam with raspberries from the freezer and bottled the beetroot.

    We cooked all meals at home using the cheapest method of cooking and using the cook once eat twice method. We are harvesting beet ,parsnips, a few raspberries, carrots, spinach, leeks and chard. I picked the pomegranates. I made stock with chicken carcass from the freezer. We are using potatoes and apples which are stored in the garage.

    I bought some wild bird seed buying a large bag as it was cheaper . I will buy this size in future now I know I can handle this. My daughter introduced me to this company as it is cheaper than our local feed merchants and it is delivered the next day free.

    I have been using the library e books.

    We went to Aldi this week now we have been jabbed, it is a lot cheaper than Asda for most things I need but they do not deliver, so we will see how covid cases rise as to where we shop. Even so some prices have now gone up by 25%.

    I have been line drying my washing choosing which day to do the Laundry. I have a friend who used to live in the Congo, she tells me that if clothes weren’t stained they hang clothes to air for a few days before reusing them to save water. Maybe I’ll try this.

    Walked 1 mile daily for exercise which is about the most hubby can walk.
    Have a good week

    1. I’m trying to re-wear clothes a bit more too. Everything I read says that it’s best for the clothes, and also of course will lower water and energy use. When I was at school (in England) we only had 2 skirts and 3 blouses (uniform) and they definitely did not get washed after every wear. In fact, one school I went to I only had one skirt (wool). It got washed about once a month. And that was wearing it every single day!

      1. Back in my school days I had one uniform skirt and one blouse and jumper. The blouse was washed once a week, the skirt and jumper were washed once a term. All other clothes were passed down from my cousin. How things change.

  22. Hello, frugal friends from beautiful southwest Virginia! Fall is still here in all its glory. We have been enjoying the fall leaves and watching the deer in the farmer’s field. There is a small herd of about 8 deer who come out into the field early in the morning and later in the evening. It always amazes me how they can hear us talking from such a distance. Of course, these are the same animals who jump our fence and eat my flowers but they are fun to watch from a distance. Something else fun to watch is our 11 pound jack russell/yorkie mix chasing these deer out of the yard! They are afraid of her when in the yard, but not so much when they are in the field. This dog is fast so she can be on their heels in seconds!
    On the frugal front:
    *We got our free flu shots. Mr. Fix-It had to wait for his so he ran over and got a coffee at the coffee shop (not frugal) but when he asked for cream, they gave him a coffee cup 3/4 full of real cream! He brought it home and we enjoyed it in our hot drinks for days.
    *I was able to pick more lettuce and kale from the garden in spite of the freezes we have had. I made a row cover with mosquito netting (bought with a 60% off coupon from Joann’s) and a huge, thick piece of plastic from the mattress we bought last summer. It helped to protect most of the plants much to my surprise. We ate some of the kale and green onions in a stir fry last week and have enough lettuce for salads for dinner this week. I learned I can use the stems from the kale in stir fries. Never thought of that!
    *I am still processing apples. I had enough rhubarb in the freezer to make a double recipe for apple rhubarb chutney which is delicious on pork. I thought I would get 8 half pints but got 14 instead!
    *I reused canning lids and they all sealed. That is a first this season as I have had more sealing failures this year than in my entire canning career.
    *Used the public library to read the latest Alexander McCall Smith Number one Ladies Detective book.
    *I help in my church library and get to help purchase new books. This is great for obvious reasons. The best is I get to buy books without using my money.
    *I cut off the bottom of my almost empty face cream and got an entire month’s worth before it was truly empty.
    *I have been using cloth hankies and napkins for years but never think to mention that on my list of frugal acts.
    *I scanned receipts on Fetch.
    *I found some seasoning mix my daughter loves on clearance for $1. She pays over $4 when she can find it. I bought 2 for her.
    * We had a family lunch this weekend. I used things from the freezer/pantry. I used the last ground turkey which needed to be used up plus the homemade bbq sauce I made using the last of my tomatoes. It was a recipe I made up. I also used the trick of not peeling the tomatoes but just coring them and cooking them until soft then running them through the blender. Sooo easy and fast! We also had green beans I canned from the garden. My kids each brought a side and one brought a dessert. During this time we discussed how we want to do Christmas this year. We decided to each buy a $25 gift card and play a game where we roll a die and based on the number one can trade, keep or choose a new one. This way we can reduce the expense, focus on a simple gift for the grandkids and just enjoy the time together.
    *Brandy, I attempted to use your link on my most recent Amazon order. I hope I did it correctly and you get something from it. Secondly, I do not do Instagram. Is there a way you might be able to do a “Day in the Life” type post? If I remember correctly, didn’t you occasionally do a schedule (kind of like a day in the life) post in your earlier days with this blog? I know you are busy with many things, but it is just a thought as I would like to see how you manage such an active day. It could help me (and others) see how I could make the flow of my day move better.
    Blessings to you all.

    1. I just posted quick unedited phone photos throughout the day that I didn’t have to edit, or check light for, etc. while working. This made it very easy for me to take them and post them without too much interruption to my day.

      I have posted a schedule before and my schedule has changed a bit as I now get up at 4:25 instead of 4:45. My schedule does change somewhat seasonally, as when I work outside changes with the temperature, weather, and daylight hours.

    2. Hi Marley! Do you, by chance, know of Amber Mountain? Or the Harbour family? They are an old settlement family in the southwest corner of Virginia, and my dad was a Harbour. I had to laugh at the Mr. Fix-It title (I have one of those as well😊) and how he was not so frugal, but then brought the cream home! Love reading your posts!

      1. Laura S. I am not familiar with Abner Mountain, but now I want to check it out. I looked on a map and realize it is a little west of me. We went to “God’s Thumbprint” last fall which I think is not too far from Abner Mountain. Southwest Virginia is so beautiful.
        Yes, Mr. Fix-It has saved us tons of money over the past 44 years. He has not always been as frugal as I am but he has been slowly converting over now that he sees how much fun we can have with the “extra” money. I tell him I do not mind spending extra on church, an occasional meal our, or trip somewhere but it bothers me to pay big corporations more than I think their product is worth. Frugality allows us to be more generous whether with our time, talents or money.

        1. Marley, I suspect we are about the same age. Actually, I have to say my Mr. Fix-It is more frugal than I am and our roles are reversed. However, I am becoming much more frugal and love seeing debt disappear. I would love to visit your area someday. There is also the Reynolds’s Homestead which is an historical site and where the Harbour family has their reunion each year. A Harbour married a Reynold (of Reynolds’s aluminum. It looks like a beautiful place to visit. Th connection to me is familial but several generations past.

  23. I had been thinking of having a large branch that was overhanging my driveway cut off but I looked at it with my long lens and saw it was stable. I was sorry to do it because a little Calliope hummingbird liked to perch on it. From year to year, hummingbirds remember where different flowers are. So I figured it would remember its perch and left it for next year. Well, the heavy wet snow we just had brought the huge limb down. It did no harm. No-one parks or drives on that part of the driveway nor even walks there. The snow was so heavy that I shovelled about a foot then decided to hire someone to do it as I couldn’t manage that much heavy snow. What I spent in snow removal I saved in cutting the branch.

    The snow-laden branches were beautiful and lasted for two days until late yesterday. I found great joy in looking at the beautiful branches. I am still ill so just glanced at them from the window.

    I have almost finished sorting out my late friend’s community documents that are going to the city archives. Fortunately, although I was sorting them outside, they are in sealed rubbermaid containers so they should have survived underneath the snow. I think it will be tomorrow or the next day before everything melts and I can finish the job. We were only supposed to get a “dusting of snow” in the city! LOL!!! I will be retrieving my garden hose for the winter once I can find it under the snow.

    My late friend’s husband has offered me all the peeled and sliced frozen apples that I’d like. I will take quite a few packages and use them for apple sauce or even apple butter. I had bought squash for 99 cents per pound from No Frills. The same special is on again. I had one of the butternut squash last night that I baked with other things at the same time. It was so delicious so I’ll try to get some more this week. Previously my friend bought the acorn squash for meat the same price but they are really large. It is supposed to be the most nutritious squash. I may bake all of them at once and then freeze them cooked; otherwise it is going to take many hours of electricity to bake them individually.

    Elizabeth M, I sympathize with the cost of taxis to get to and from your medical appointments. The same type of expenditure added up to $200 in one weekend for me and almost bankrupted me.

    1. I am sure your late friend would have been happy to have you use the fruits of her labors.

      1. Brandy,
        Yours was/is such a kind comment. Her husband said they have a whole chest freezer full of carefully sliced and peeled frozen apples. I will have to take them (gratefully) in instalments as I only have a small freezer above my fridge.

    2. What a time you must have had with those taxi costs! The cost of rides hasn’t been too bad for me, though it is a new line item on my budget, and difficult to predict. One saving grace is that if I had a lot of rides, I can get the senior’s bus, and the county will bill me at the end of the month, which makes it more manageable.

      Winter squash is such a great comfort food! The cooked squash does freeze well. When I lived in Ontario, I could buy packages of frozen squash, but I’ve never seen them in Alberta or Saskatchewan. I just keep them whole in my mudroom, though your idea of cooking them in batches and freezing them makes a lot of sense given the cost of energy.

    3. Ellie’s Friend,
      I hope you feel better soon. What a good idea to cook squash together then freeze! I usually try to cook more than one thing in the oven at a time. But had not thought of that!

      1. Thanks Tammy. I would still have to bake them in the. oven once they were defrosted but it wouldn’t take so long. The first one I baked took 2 hours! So I will batch bake them…

  24. In addition to all the usual stuff we do I realized that I still had a pair of walking shoes that were uncomfortable before I had bunion surgery. They are nearly new and fit well so no new purchase. Our 8 month old pup needs experiences that wear him out so we brainstormed ones nearby. We took a week with him in our old town area on a Sunday afternoon when there were fewer people around. Just a very short drive and he loved it and better yet slept when we got home. Other nearby outings for just a short drive will continue to happen. We need a crate for that same pup when we visit son and his family. Before looking for a secondhand one son and DIL remembered they had one stored at a family members.

    1. Juhli – For your puppy, I wanted to add that if you have school or city (free) tennis courts nearby, they work great for shutting the gates and letting your dog run / chasing balls or whatever. Just make sure to go when folks aren’t likely to be playing tennis (drizzly days or when the courts are wet).

      We babysat a very high strung weimaraner one time and since he was too strong for me to walk, I found the tennis courts a great option as long as no one wanted to play.

      Just a thought but wanted to mention.

  25. I’m happy to know you are finding blessings, and also to see that you have more zucchini from your garden. I remember it had been challenging for you to grow past years. Last week, with lows in the 30’s, our woodstove is back in action. I pulled four bags of veggie scraps from the freezer, and placed them on the woodstove in a large pot to simmer. There are many more scraps, but it’s a start. I canned the broth after I had simmered a second pot of scraps, adding 13 pints to the pantry. I strained and bottled cat’s claw glycerite. While watching videos one night, my husband & I shelled butter beans. I did not make any purchases during Amazon Prime days. Before our first frosts last week, I harvested green beans, tomatoes, eggplant, sweet peppers, a tiny cucumber, and a wheelbarrow full of mature cucuzza and tromboncino squash. I gathered the last floral bouquet of the year, to enjoy in the house. I blanched and froze three meals worth of butter beans, and grated a mature cucuzza squash for the chickens and pups, along with a cucumber I’d saved for seeds. Seeds that had been drying were packaged up… honeydew, cantaloupe, yellow watermelon and mizuna, and green bean seeds were placed in a pan to dry. While sitting at a long light, I noticed Food Lion had sent me a $10 off $50 coupon, which happened to be where I was headed. When I parked, the coupon was added to my account, and was received with my purchase. Onions, celery and sweet potatoes were dehydrated. GF pecan sandies were baked, for my SIL’s visit, and I shared cucuzza & tromboncino squash, and peppers with her. I made us a lunch of potatoes, peppers and onions, and a salad, most of which came from our garden. She gifted me a plant based cookbook I look forward to exploring. My husband got the plywood sheeting and vapor barrier on my new sewing room. Working towards using up more of the produce, a pasta sauce was made with eggplant, our tomato sauce, onions, garlic and herbs. Another night, Disappearing Zucchini Orzo was made, to use a couple pounds of tromboncino squash. Mixed winter greens were harvested for salads, and some lettuce as well. The grocery store has been out of my favorite Pink Lady apples, so I’ve been cutting up our small apples for snacks. If there are any left, I plan to make applesauce. http://abelabodycare.blogspot.com/2022/10/garden-bounty.html

  26. I had a great revelation recently. I saw two boxes of canned food sitting by the dumpster at the dump. I walked right by them ,thinking I wouldn’t trust the food in them. Silly me didn’t realize I should have brought them home to wash and reuse. My poor brain is not swift like it once was. This week I saw a couple jars and brought them home. My greatest find this week was three cases of chicken broth from a major grocer. I’m slowly attempting to pack our suitcases. Sugar cookie and I are going trick or treating on a Halloween cruise. She’s very excited. This week has left me numb and nearly paralyzed with pain. I lost my step daughter on Friday. No details have been released and I’m positive it was under the worse of circumstances. No services have been announced. I imagine people are fighting over costs. I gently suggest people to think about the future and how arrangements need to be made. I’m always grateful that sugar cookies limited compacity protects her from the harsh realities of life. When we return from her trip ,she has chosen to go stay the holidays with her grandmother. It’s looking like she plans to stay through Valentines day. I’m happy she is spared the pain. Meanwhile I am simply devastated. Hugs and prayers for anyone needing one. Be blessed friends.

    1. I am sorry for the loss of your step-daughter. This may sound weird but she is lucky to have you mourn for her. There are many people who die and no one really mourns for them but in you your stepdaughter has someone who sorrows over her passing. (I am not sure I said that in the most artful way, but I hope you understnad my intention.)

    2. Lilli,

      I’m so, so sorry. That’s not the normal order in which these things should happen. I wish you comfort and acceptance of this horrible thing that you absolutely could not control. Your stepdaughter is at peace now and I pray you find peace as well.

    3. Lillianna there are no words, hearing about your loss is the fear we all have and never say out loud
      I wish for you any comfort and solace in knowing that the group here is so sad to hear your loss

    4. Lilli- So very sorry for the loss of your step-daughter and am praying that you find peace and comfort in this devastating time. ❤️

    5. I am so sorry, Lilli, for the loss of your step-daughter. I pray for consolation for you and may your step-daughter rest in God’s loving arms.

    6. Oh Lilli, I’m so sorry regarding the loss of your stepdaughter. ((Hugs)) and prayers back to you.

  27. Hi Everyone,

    What a great find on the garage sale flower basket. I’m sure you’ll love it even more because of the $3 price!

    Our apples trees weren’t very productive this year and we don’t know why. I used them all to can 2 quart jars of apple pie filling, which I always appreciate having on hand during the busy holiday season. I finished amending the raised beds and planted lettuce, spinach, kale, chard, cabbage, mustard greens, and bok choy starters that I grew. I also planted seeds for carrots, radishes, beets and turnips. I didn’t get to the fruit tree and berry bush fertilizing, so that’s on this week’s agenda. We had a lot of tomatoes this week and I used our acorn squash successfully to make Skinnytaste Turkey Chili in Acorn Squash dinner. I found that the filling was enough for 8 halves of acorn squash and I made 6. I gutted the squash and saved the seeds for next year, and in addition collected a lot of nasturtium seeds. I learned from a master gardener’s class that seeds collected from your own garden will produce better in your area because the seeds adapt to the climate and water availability. She said to water plants less than normal to develop seeds that require less water.

    I’ve been cleaning up our home office space. I recycled a bunch of old papers, saved 3 ring binders that I emptied as well as page dividers. I organized, dusted, and collected a few things for donation. In addition, I removed some old certifications from frames and will repurpose them with art. It was overrun with useless papers and knick-knacks and now I can concentrate and think in a cleaner space!

    My daughter is currently sick. We had a tele-health appointment, which saved me hours and gas. While I was near the Costco station, I filled up and was pleasantly surprised how much gas prices had come down. Last week we paid $6.99/gallon in Southern California and this week it is $4.89. It’s still more than pre-pandemic prices, but at least it’s currently lower.

    It’s getting chilly in the mornings. Our house was 59 degrees this morning and so I turned on the heater to warm it up briefly. We still have yet to tackle the attic insulation, but we will get started soon.

    We’ve noticed stores are beginning to offer Black Friday deals early and so we started our Christmas shopping. For example, the Columbia store has some fleece top and jacket deals this week (they were even playing Christmas music!), Macy’s had some Alfani men’s polos and sweaters marked down, and Bath & Body Works seems to have weekly deals (of which I used a coupon for a free bar of soap). We’ll just keep our eyes on good prices and freebies for those on our Christmas list. I tried to buy my skincare products on Overstock and they are no longer available. So, I will need to find another source that offers the best price. I colored my own hair and gave myself a pedicure.

    I’m glad to hear that you are feeling blessed during your family’s change in circumstance! I continue to pray that your husband finds the right job. Have a blessed and beautiful week everyone!

    1. Julie on CA coast- It’s funny how we adjust to different climates! Because it was in the 50’s, we opened the windows in the house to let fresh air in! Even kept them open overnight! Lol!

      Gardenpat in Ohio

  28. This week it was autumn holiday and my sons birthday.
    We went to a summer cottage owned by some of my family – we borrow it for free around 4 times a year in the school holidays, for which we are very grateful! It is only a 10 minute walk from the sea, and there is a small train station close by, which is very important to us as we don’t have a car. My son and I went by train, I paid around 20 USD for a return ticket, but my son doesn’t have to pay as he is under 12. My husband is a very keen biker (he used to participate in amateur bike races when he was younger), so he biked the entire 40 miles there on our cargo-bike! He has done this many times, and it allows us to shop wisely and just once a week as we do at home – it is difficult to get all our groceries if we just walk or bike on normal bikes, and the shops are around a mile away. If we get the groceries delivered, it is a lot more expensive.
    We had a few guests for my sons birthday in the cottage and we made a nice rhubarb crumble cake with frozen rhubarb we brought from home. We made rhubarb juice with all the juice that comes out of the rhubarbs as they thaw. As people had come a longer way than usual, we also served a simple dinner for everyone – tortilla made in the oven and salad with bulgur. We gave my son a second hand book I bought a while ago and a gift card to a sushi restaurant, that he has long wanted to visit. He got some very nice presents from the guests. His grandfather is very talented in wood and metalwork and had made an axe for him. It was very nice, and my son was most pleased with it!
    We gleaned some sweet chestnuts in the nearby forest, roasted some as a snack and brought the rest home after the holiday. We had an unexpected night frost when we were at the cottage, and when we came home, the squash, beans and pumpkin plants were damaged. I managed to save a squash, a few beans and the one big pumpkin was fine.
    I also harvested a few asian greens and made a simple stir-fry with a lot of the last vegetables from the garden.
    I made stock with vegetable scraps collected in a container in the freezer. I started pickling some cucumbers that were about to go bad. I used a lot of items in the freezer in order to make room for our bulk order of grain and flour – to prevent pests.
    Have a nice week everyone!

    1. Your gift card gave me an idea for my teenaged son for Christmas. He has a job and buys what he wants, but I think he would enjoy a gift card to a place he likes.

        1. That’s what I did last year for my son who’s 18 now. Got him a gift card to Subway, Apple(he’s on my iTunes acct), and Microsoft (he plays XBox games) as he likes to buy games & game enhancers. He was very happy!
          This year, I will get him a gas gift card!

  29. What a week!!! We had our first frost on Friday night/Saturday morning. That meant working our tails off to get the rest of the garden in prior to that.
    I roasted red peppers. I have a total of twelve pints of roasted red peppers in the freezer. My DH likes to eat them with his pasta.
    I sheeled the balance of the navy beans we grew. We ended up with around 3 pounds. I didn’t expect much as the marmots had eaten the plants, and they had to regrow.
    A couple of times we picked tomatoes for a friend and/or neighbor.
    Picked the last three green cabbages, four red cabbages, 11 butternut squash, 18 acorn squash, and 15 squash that grew in our compost heap. They look like a really fat zucchini, but the inside is yellow like an acorn or butternut. I cooked one and the DH liked it so…..
    We picked the rest of the tomatoes, cherry tomatoes and peppers.
    Made 19 egg rolls, inspired by GardenPat last week.
    Made 7 more pints of tomato basil sauce. The basil was done, so used dried basil, oregano, and parsley.
    Made lasagna and pizza.
    We are ready for cooler weather. We have plenty of food in the pantry and freezers and are just ready to slow down. Gardening is hard when you are in your late 60’s and early 70’s. We are grateful we can do it still, but it is getting more difficult each year.
    Hope everyone has a great week.

  30. The contentment of staying home and working on your own home and yard can be quite satisfying. It is great that you manage to do this, and very encouraging.

    Things in SWFL have been very strange this year due to hurricane Ian. My son’s school reopened this past Friday. He said that a third to half of the students were not there. I imagine that many households are not livable, and with a tight housing and rental market, many people have had to relocate out of state. Jobs are gone too, buildings literally washed away in the storm at the beaches. Houses flooded from storm surge. Roofs blown off. Fema debris removal trucks are making their way through the neighborhood, they do a few passes to let people continue to bring things to the road and combine piles. It’s a strange time to be alive here. But, we have our health, I have a job, my son can go to school again. Things are good.

    Saving money? I’m not sure anymore. But I keep soldiering on. I am looking forward to putting up Christmas lights and my wooden reindeer the day after Halloween. I just feel like Christmas can come early and maybe that would be a pick me up that we could all use. Have a great week!

  31. My son got the Mcds Halloween buckets for us

    I used points for a free Mcchicken on my app, then my teen got fries for $1 on hers

    Petsmart.com had a promotion to earn 2000 points for every $20 on online orders. I earned 6000 points with my dogs $65 bag of dog food. I’m up to $20 off a purchase.

    Used a code for 2 free 5x7s from Walgreens

    I’m glad I held off going to Sam’s. I received the new sale booklet and seen several items on my list will have some money off starting the 26th.

  32. I managed to do an updated inventory of our freezer and pantry. What a great idea, since every time I do this I find odd things I had forgotten. ;). I found and we used up a can of Hormel low sodium beef hash, it was quite good and made a good meal for the two of us. I went to see where I could buy more (I had only bought one so I could try it out). Ha! Turns out Hormel no longer makes it, doesn’t even admit they ever made it ;). I will try their reduced sodium corned beef hash and see what we think. Salt levels in these canned products are crazy but since I don’t much like corned beef I won’t ever buy it to make hash…For $2 a can, it is a meal that makes my husband happy and will last forever ;). Otherwise, all meals eaten at home. I am working on our 2023 budget and factoring in price increases in various bills. Haven’t make expenses equal to income yet so I persevere ;). Brandy, this blog is the highlight of my week, thank you for creating such a lovely useful and helpful spot in the world ❤️.

    1. Canned corned beef is so expensive here that we stopped buying it about 15 years ago. My husband mentioned it the other day and the children didn’t even know what he was talking about. Your price sounds fantastic!

  33. Love the warmth I can feel from your pictures. I dug up some bulbs that have multiples and will plant those in other places.
    I use embroidery floss for projects and small mending. I haven’t bought some in years and recently took notice of the higher price and more limited selection at my local store. This weekend I rounded up what I had and re-organized. Free entertainment and neatness – 2 good things.
    I usually am driving around my lunch time so I started making sipping soups like your Swiss Chard soup (or I’ll purée any others) to have in the car. This with a piece of butter bread, or a few crackers and cheese has been just delightful! My waistline likes it too!
    I house sat and asked if I could take a few pinches of a succulent and a Christmas cactus, the owner wanted me to take more. Hopefully these will root and succeed.
    I hope everyone has a calm week!

  34. Hello, all!
    We got rain today!! 5 beautiful hours of steady rain. I couldn’t stop staring out the window at it. Autumn is here and the trees are spectacular. We have red and orange in front and bright yellow in back.

    In savings, I only have a couple of things listed, but I do so much more on auto pilot that I don’t even list it.
    * Weather whiplash last week and the temps hit a low of 26° and a high of 88°. We proudly powered through both without heat or AC. One day, the thermostat was 58° for the entire day. I was cold, but just piled on more clothes lol.
    * Saved $9 off gas. We filled both cars at the same time with the 30¢ off gal. discount. Essentially it was 10% off since the bill was $89.
    * My major fail was that a bag of spinach got shoved in back of the fridge and was slime when I found it. It was the first bit of food I’ve thrown out in so long, but it made me so mad!! I’m so careful, but there’s my confession!

    We finished season 7 of Father Brown and are starting season 8 tonight.
    Reading –
    On my nightstand – What Lies Behind by JT Ellison. I’ll be glad to finish it.
    In my craft room CD player – Just finished The Windsor Knot by SJ Bennett. I have a David Baldacci on deck but don’t recall the title.
    With my Bible study – For the Love of Christian Homemaking by Mrs Sharon White.
    By my reading chair – Whirlwind by Rick Mofina.

    In beautifying my home- All I need to do is to open the drapes! I could never beat the Lord’s show out there!!

  35. My first real post. I always read, but realized I was being selfish by not sharing.
    • Turned water heater off at the breaker during the day. I walk past the breaker box on the way out the door to work in the morning and when I get home. Electric off for 12 hours.
    • Turn the heat unit off completely when I leave the house in the morning going to work. In 16 years of living here, it has never gotten cold enough in the house to freeze. Insulated well when we built the house.
    • Changed air filter for both HVAC units.
    • Turn fireplace on (propane) when I get home to warm the house instead of turning on heating unit. If I plan to cook, I used that to warm the house instead of the fireplace.
    • Ordered an additional tank for propane (100 gallon) to be delivered before price went up and to ensure I have enough as weather is getting colder.
    • Filled both propane tanks for the outdoor grills to be prepared for power outages during the winter so we can cook.
    • Paid property taxes early saving $300.
    • Daughter bought Hello Fresh delivery containing 2 meals per week for the month of October. Saved from eating out or eating more unhealthy foods while we are grieving.
    • I drive 63 miles one way to work every day. Pass through 5 cities. I am able to choose where to buy gas to save the most money. My car gets best gas mileage on Shell gas. Each town has at least one shell station and all have different prices. This week’s range $3.15-3.29/gallon.
    • Took lunch to work 3 days and work provided lunch 2 days this week. I don’t eat breakfast.
    • Took protentional customer out to dinner 1 night. Ate on the company.
    • Stayed at local hotel since I was out late with potential customer and had a different potential customer arriving early the next morning – company expense. Saved 120 miles in gas, toiletries from the hotel, free bottles of water and snacks.
    • Worked from home 1 day. Saving gas and wear and tear on my car.
    • Rotated tires (free service for life of tires) and kept aired properly to get best gas mileage possible. Oil change, new wipers, and new battery – ready for winter weather. Keeping car in top shape and longevity of car life.
    • Gave 2 dogs and cat monthly heat/tick/worm pills – prevents trips to the vet. (thanks to Mountain Momma Dawn for the tip of buying online instead of from vet – saved me a bundle)
    • Disconnected all water hoses from faucets to prevent frozen water lines.
    • Daughter’s boyfriend cleaned gutters out and installed gutter guards so I don’t have that worry.
    • Daughter’s boyfriend laid tile in my laundry that had been loose since March.
    • Daughter and her BF went squirrel hunting on my farm and got 6 squirrels for the freezer.
    • Daughter and her BF went fishing (trot line) and got some fish for the freezer.
    • Son and DIL delivered ½ hog and 10 processed chickens. (everything they grow is no hormones, free range, and all natural – good for my health)
    • Strived for no food waste. Win some and loose some.
    • SirusXM promotional subscription ended and went up 75% on 2 cars. Got online and requested a new deal and got it for lower than the previous deal saving $468. Yes, it is indulgent, but I drive 126 miles per day…..
    • I have 2 pairs of jeans that I was not wearing because the hem rolls up when washed/dried. I put binder clips and paper clips on the hems to keep from rolling. It worked! I have a 35” inseam, so pants are more expensive for
    • me. Yes – I do dry in the drier. I have bad allergies and the drier helps take the allergens from my clothes. I dry on low to keep from having shrinkage.

    Saving actions in the last quarter:
    • Husband passed away from Acute Myloid Leukemia in July. At his request, we chose cremation instead of interment. Did not have a service at a funeral home. Cremation and 10eath certificates: $1055. My 2 adult children planned a by invitation only celebration of life instead of a funeral. Airbnb a very high end property that had pool, tennis courts, volleyball court, meeting room, and sleeps 14 for $2250, had all my husband’s favorites: Sonny’s BBQ, butter pecan ice cream, music, slide show of pictures, and a Woodford Reserve Bourbon toast – invited around 80 and had around 100 – $1000 for all celebration related expenses. All in spent $4300. Compared to $12,800 for s formal funeral. Everyone had a great time with lots of visiting, laughing, eating, swimming and memories instead of the horrible experience of a formal funeral AND saved $8,500!!!! Husband was frugal in life and frugal in death. 😉
    • Brought my husband home from the hospital and cared for him his last 3 days rather than keeping him in the hospital saving A LOT of money. Didn’t do it to save the money. I wanted him comfortable at home, in his own bed, surrounded by his family and pets for his end of life. But still saved money.
    • Used hospice. Saved my sanity from having to make uninformed decisions and they helped make my husband comfortable. (They were worth every penny and are now on my charities for contributions list)
    • Filed all life insurance claims quickly.
    • Changed all medical, dental, vision insurance to drop my husband from coverage quickly. Saved $140 per month. Chose the middle medical plan so that I could start funding my HSA. Had best plan with husband so that the max out of pocket was $4500 lower.
    • Dropped husband from voluntary coverages (offered at work). Saving $24 per month.
    • Updated all beneficiary information.
    • Dropped hubby from cell phone plan and changed plan eliminating services not needed. Saving $100 per month.
    • Updated Trust, will, durable power of attorney, and power of attorney paperwork.
    • Removed husband from all financial accounts.
    • Removed husband from auto insurance and lowered miles driven for his car on the plan. Brought rates down.
    • Filed last claim against cancer policy: $18,000 (Paid out $107,000 over 2.5 years)
    • Filed SSDI Notice of Award proof of disability with all life insurance carriers, cancer policy carrier, and short-term disability carrier to receive premium re-imbursement. (Most companies have a premium waiver for disability). I made sure to pay the premiums so that there was no lapse in coverage and after husband passed THEN I filed for premium re-imbursement.
    • Kept an eye on all the health insurance claims to ensure they were all paid and paid correctly to ensure that I don’t pay a penny more than my max out of pocket. (Don’t assume that insurance companies make all the right decisions) Total ins paid in 2.5 years: $944,000; total we paid: $19,500
    • Challenged the health insurance company on a medical bill that the declined to pay. They paid it in full!!! Saved $1200.
    • Paid last medical bill on time to prevent late charges.
    • Paid all of the above on a credit card to get the points. Paid CC in full every month.
    • All assets (home, vehicles, etc.) were already in my name solely and in a Trust – no transfer costs. No debt. No probate. No lawyer fees.
    • All utilities transferred to my name, before his death, solely to eliminate transfer fees or connection fees.
    • Filed paperwork to claim his 401K.
    • Brother-in-law (works for DEA) properly disposed of all my husband’s medication so that I would not have to pay to have this done. It was a 13 gallon garbage bag full!!!!!
    • Daughter moved in with me to support each other while grieving. Saving her $300 per month she was paying to rent a room and $600 per month for storage. Comfort and companionship is priceless.
    • Learned how to drive the zero turn lawn mower so I don’t have to pay someone to mow. Bought a battery weed eater because the gas powered was too heavy for me to use (I have back issues and my physical therapist would not be happy with me using the heavy one).
    • I have between 6 months – 2 years supply of food, household, laundry, cleaning items, toiletries, ammunition, and pet supplies.
    • Having 2.5 years to plan and prepare for the end of my husband’s life allowed me to be very prepared so that the stress and worry that most people have was a true blessing from God. Married 37 years together a total of 42. Being frugal allowed us to be prepared.
    • Read this blog and the comments religiously for approximately 15 years?? But having this group of ladies that share their daily lives helped through the hard 2.5 years of my husbands sickness, hospital stays, trips for chemotherapy, and blood/platelet transfusion trips. 134 miles round trip each time. Thank you to each of you for helping me through that time and for helping me through the grieving period. It has been my refuge.

    1. I am so sorry to hear of your husband’s passing.

      I am glad you are joining in here.

      The decisions you made to save money on these important things were very wise and thoughtful. I read them carefully; I think that you planned so well.

      I hope you’ll join us each week in sharing your savings.

    2. WG – I am SO glad you contributed this post and very glad my comment about purchasing pet medication/preventatives on-line was helpful. Remember to check every time you purchase for the least expensive option. I have found that one can no longer assume the source that has been the cheapest remains so. Things are changing too much.
      Like Brandy, I read your post carefully and am in awe of how prepared you and your family have been and how pragmatic you continue to be. My grandmother was the same before her death and it was such a blessing as we really were able to celebrate her life rather than be worried about figuring everything out. And your husband’s celebration sounds just wonderful. Who wouldn’t want to be remembered in this way? I hope you continue to share as you have much wisdom to offer to us all. 🙂

    3. I’m so sorry for the death of your husband. It is amazing to me that you’ve been able to do all the things you have done since then. Grieving is hard work. I hope that you and your family find peace.

    4. W.G.
      My condolences on your husband’s passing. You have been super-organized. And it is truly inspiring. For others, after cremation, another venue to hold a service and a reception is, of course, a church. Here, one gives an honorarium to the minister, the organist and a donation to the church itself. It is a very low-cost alternative. About $1100 Canadian, including cremation. I hope that in spite of your working, and driving to work, that you’ll be able to have some time to relax, get well-rested and find solace in all the good memories you shared with your husband. Great idea for your daughter to move in during grieving. Blessings to you! Ann

    5. Your comment brought me to tears. Sending you a big virtual hug! I’m so sorry for your loss. Thank you for sharing your frugal accomplishments and your experiences. Praying for you and your family ❤️

    6. WG, I, also, offer my condolences. Losing someone is very difficult and I am amazed at all you have accomplished. I am so sorry for your loss. I hope you continue to contribute as I found much value in your comments. Peace.

    7. WG- So very sorry for the loss of your husband. It sounds like you and your husband were able to have those conversations and then turn them into an action plan that made it possible for you to get through all the details with less stress!
      Hubs and I have been reviewing the plans we have in place and it’s a relief as we consider possible scenarios and then make arrangements to address them.

      Thanks for sharing your wise example so that we can all benefit even as you are going through the grieving process!

      Gardenpat in Ohio

    8. WG, my condolences to you and yours on the loss of your husband. Your organization, planning and pragmatism regarding his end-of-life care and follow up decisions were extraordinary as well as practical and useful. Thank you for sharing your knowledge re: a topic many of us may not have yet tackled. Sending thoughts as you continue to travel through the grief process. May you have rest and peace.

  36. We were able to can 12 quarts of tomatoes for our food storage. Our temps hit the first hard freeze last night. I’m glad we got our beds cleaned out. I saved seeds from my pepper plants for next summer.

    I went grocery shopping and spent a bit more than I wanted to – but it’s all stuff we use and need for our storage. I’ll spend much less next week. I did find my face cleanser in the clearance bin. The pump had broken off but I have one at home I can use with it. It was on clearance for $4 (usually $15). I used a $3 off coupon. I loaded all receipts to cash back sites.

    My husband and I went to dinner and used a gift card. We brought enough home to have 2 additional meals each. We shared a salad. The prices were so high at the restaurant. The rest of my meals were eaten at home. Eggs & toast, chicken and roast veggies, taco macaroni skillet, pancakes.

    I bought a new skirt for church. I found it on Amazon. Found it cheaper on another site and also had a 40% off coupon with free shipping.

    Have a great week.

  37. I bought chicken thighs and drumsticks for the first time ever in my life (I’m late 50s). I prefer chicken breast but this was cheaper. I’ll nestle a couple in with my sheet pan veggies and season however I fancy that day.

    I bought a large bag of brown rice as pasta is hard to find on the shelves and more expensive.

    I bought more cans of pinto beans and gave a friend 6 cans of black beans I found out I don’t like.

    Made pancakes adding some leftover protein powder and used jam and peanut butter as topping. I made extra and froze and will heat the pancakes in the toaster.

    I bought sweet potatoes (my favorite), onions and carrots for sheet pan dinners.

    I bought one butternut squash and used that with sweet potatoes and cream to make homemade squash and sweet potato soup.

    I eat 1/3 of whatever I make and freeze 2/3 for later use.

    I’m hoping for holiday baking sales to add some butter to my freezer.

    Thanks for all the tips everyone

  38. Last week was fairly frugal with husband traveling all week for work again. All of his meals (some of which are very nice!) are covered while he travels, so saves on food at home. I ate off of a large pot of spaghetti he made before he left, as well as a cream of mushroom soup I made from a Costco-sized tub of mushrooms. That fed me for four meals. I love mushrooms and could eat them at every meal. I’m planning to make a cheeseburger soup to take to my grandma’s for dinner this week as she loves any type of soup.

    I largely stayed out of the grocery stores last week other than picking up a few things at Kroger to fill some gaps. I went to Costco this weekend as we were out of some produce items like lettuce or any fresh fruit. Costco had sales on several items I needed too, including our favorite sliced bread. They were out of my bag of 6 romaine lettuce heads, and unfortunately my timing was off as all of their rotisserie chickens were sold out and would be another 20 minutes before they were done cooking. I already had several frozen items in my cart by that point and didn’t want to wait, so I left without the chicken. I did find potatoes on sale at Kroger this week for $1.99 for a 5 pound bag!! That’s a pre-covid price for me. I picked up one bag, but will get another tomorrow before the sale ends since I’ll add potatoes to the soup this week.

    We had several nights of frost last week here in central VA. I had to turn the heat on, but kept it set at 66. I usually keep it at 68. I find that I tend to cough at night if I go any lower than 66. The weather is warmer this week so the heat isn’t necessary. I am pleasantly surprised to see that our electric bill has been very reasonable this year. Last month’s bill was considerably lower than the same bill last year. While I try to be more cognizant of turning lights off/avoiding vampire energy, I’m not nearly as dedicated as some of you. The energy costs in the UK I hear about from you all and the news is staggering and very alarming. I know our prices here have gone up for electric, but so far I’m not feeling the pinch there.

    Not frugal, but I’m driving an hour and a half to my niece’s college for her nursing white coat ceremony this weekend. To say I am extremely proud of her is an understatement. She is well-worth the gas expense for me to go see her! I have also never visited her historic and beautiful college and am looking forward to her giving me a tour. I was able to fill up at Costco on Sunday for $3.32 a gallon, which is about 20 cents lower than most other stations in my area. I have 10 cents off a gallon to use at Kroger before the end of the month too. My car regularly does 40 mph on the highway, so hoping to not burn too much fuel.

  39. Gas was $3.09 at SAMS in University town, $3.39 at my work town, and $3.49 on the interstate south of Montgomery. I made Lima bean soup from dried lima beans. l added the leftovers of minced garlic from a jar and used the water from that in the soup, and fatback. I baked a butternut squash I got at Aldi for 89 cents a lb., made tuna salad to use up onion and pickles, and made lasagna. I only needed to buy cottage cheese for it and bought 24 oz for $2.49 at Target. I bought sandwich bread for 99 cents and bagels for $1.59 for 6, both at Aldi. I bought 11 slices of Swiss cheese at Aldi and I can not remember the exact price but I think it was $2.49. I bought spinach and grape tomatoes at Target. I think the grape tomatoes were $2.58 for a container of one pint. I purchased no meat or eggs this week. I walked in the neighborhood and just enjoyed my front porch. I rinsed out my blouse and some under clothing in bath water in tub along with a little Dawn detergent and then hung it out to dry on chair backs. I bought reading glasses at Dollar Tree. Other than that, the week was very expensive with the payment of property taxes.

  40. Husband has been visiting a chiropractor and she has helped so much with his back pain that he’s given up the cane we bought for him back in March or so to help him get around. He was so eager to be rid of HIS cane that he lost MINE. lol. Not funny but it was in a way. It was really more that I was helping get 3 yr old grandson into car seat and he decided to unload my few grocery items and then pushed the cart away to the buggy bay. I always pop my cane into the buggy when I’m shopping, and he didn’t take it out. Since I only use it to walk long distance, I didn’t miss it for two days either. He took me to CVS to buy another much as I didn’t want to get one there (UGLY canes) but it turned out to be a good frugal move. I got my cane on sale and earned $15 in ECBs for my spending. Now I’ll have to plan a trip to CVS to use those ECBs but that’s not going to be too terribly hard. The grocery trip wasn’t much of anything. I literally ran in to grab something for lunch (not my original plan, I did have a list) and then rush said 3-year-old home as he was hangry. We hadn’t planned to have to pick him up that early in the day, so I was not prepared at all. Received electric bill and usage had gone way down this month. I filled out an application to keep power on at the town house in my name and it’s only going to cost me $30 for a deposit. Now to keep the bill itself low. I paid all our property taxes this morning which isn’t making me feel as broke as it should, lol, and so now have 14 months to build up those savings once more for next year. My daughter is moving this coming weekend and I was wondering what I might do to help out besides keep the three-year-old while the truck is being loaded. I decided to make a batch of spaghetti sauce, roast a whole chicken, make some pumpkin bread and do that sort of thing so she has ready to eat foods on hand while she’s unpacking and setting up her household. All I need to make these sorts of things are on hand already. I stopped in to the city office to pay those taxes and was asked if when my daughter moves I’d be renting the house. I said no I planned to sell it. I got a contact for a future buyer right there in the office. I was shocked to hear that in our little town houses are selling before the ads go up saying they are for sale! Mind you all it’s a much lower priced area but apparently people are super eager to get into these homes in town. I explained that I needed to do some cleaning up at the house before it would be listed but the girl asked if I’d give her name to the realtor and let her know the realtor’s number. So we shall see how all that goes. It does make me feel hopeful about getting the house sold.
    Like Maxine, I’ve not shopped a lot this year for groceries. I mean that I’ve run in for good sales but not picked up things otherwise. I’ve used my pantry supplies. I’m trying now to determine if I am just going to continue on in this vein and save what I can of my grocery funds until the first of the year or try hard to get into the store and do a really proper shopping trip.

  41. Like many others, I read every week, but don’t always comment. Brandy, I, also, would be willing to pay for a “subscription” to read your blog. It is well worth it! My dear mother- in-law passed away and we travelled to Pennsylvania for the funeral. Before we left, I was frantically canning the jalapeños and green tomatoes (into salsa verde). They would not have lasted until we got home and had to be picked because of a freeze coming in. Since we returned last Monday, I have been playing catch up. It was a week of GREAT sales at the grocery! I as able to get 20 lbs. of Jazz apples for $.47/lb. My husband bought 10 lbs. and I bought 10 lbs. The store was out of BLSL chicken breasts that were $.99/lb., limit 10 lbs. Both of us got rain checks, and also for eye of round roast for $3.99/lb. The apples will be canned into apple pie slices. These will be added to the drawers of apples I picked at my nephew’s parents’ farm for free and will become applesauce. I have been shopping only sales…3 cans of green beans for $1.00, 3 cans of tomato soup at $.49 each, $.59/can for peas (I bought 12). The biggest break was $2.88/lb. for boneless bottom round roast. I bought 54 pounds! As I was standing there while the butcher wrapped the roasts I had chosen, I saw that ground round was $7.49/lb., and the lightbulb came on! I have several hand crank meat grinders (inherited), and also one that goes on my KitchenAid mixer (purchased at a garage sale for $5.00). I could grind the roasts myself! That’s how I ended up with 54 pounds! I have ground 11 lbs., and chopped up some for stew meat. The rest are frozen until I need them in whatever form. Costco had a hot deal sale on ribs for $1.99/lb. I bought three (there are three racks in each package). We will partially grill them and freeze, so that when we want ribs during the winter, they will taste fresh off the grill. I do this with hamburgers, hot dogs, sausages and chicken for the winter as well. I also learned how to run the bucket of a cherry picker. Since I am afraid of heights, my sister went up in the bucket and we picked many, many pears (which are sitting in bushels in my kitchen and have to be done this week). I also purchased Clementines on sale and will be canning them as well. I have not turned the heat on yet. The garden has been cleared out except for the herbs. My husband found a bunch of green onions and I cleaned them, clipped the roots down, and they are in a jar of water for an endless supply of green tops. I did the same with a celery I harvested and it is growing new celery! Every time I read here, I learn something new that saves us money. I am grateful to you, Brandy, and all here. I, too, have been feeling an urgency and am thankful for what I have been able to do to save money. Anything we have bought on sale or preserved from our gardens and put up over the past year is an investment that has done better in return than stocks or funds!

  42. Love how this blog validates everyone’s individual path. My current journey is a declaration from now to Christmas to be “Earth Season.” I am adopting the motto Recycle, Reuse, Use it up or Do Without. I started this to “be the change” I want to see with my students in US History. The “fast fashion and fast fun” culture they face in the media is taking a huge toll on the world socially, politically, psychologically, economically and environmentally. I am reporting back to them and you my achievements.

    This week’s wins:

    * I had to rebuild my gift closet. I watched youtubes on professional gift baskets. Off to Goodwill with the goal of piecing together what I have left with “new” items that are gift worthy. The professional tip was pick a color theme. I bought organic bath soaps, scrubs, oils, and foams that were citrus from .99 – 2.49 at Grocery outlet. I found at Goodwill ceramic lemons, (adorable), Shabby Chic wooden Signs with yellow on them, a wooden yellow cube with positive slogans, half price cardboard boxes with lemons on them, etc. . . I made my own paper shred from a youtube video and bought yards of burlap ribbon for 2.49 total at GW. I bought GW bouquets of silk flower in yellow and purple that were part of wreaths to deconstruct for gift pics. (When did they become 3.99 at Joanne’s?)

    * I bought an adorable wooden and wire sign that says “Love you to the moon and back” for 1.50 then purchased the hard bound book Guess How Much I Love You from Amazon for 4.99. I’ll clear wrap them together. Did the same with a fire engine book ( with a little fire engine) and a rainforest book ( still looking for a little stuffed monkey.) I try to bundle any Amazon purchase to cut down on fuel but mostly I am trying to stop my Amazon addiction.

    * I did buy new shrink wrap and Christmas mailers at Joanne’s for my walnut gift bags. All set for Christmas.

    * I am using my credit from the clothes at Poshmark I sold to buy new with tags gifts. The shipping is steep but at least everything is being recycled. I bought a L’occitane Xmas set for $7.00 for example.

    * I am collecting “famous historical photos” for the students to solve timeline puzzles at their coop tables. Instead of a run to Staples, I am am deconstructing GW photo albums for the photo protectors so I can use the photos for years to come.

    I know many of you find lots of cheaper items at garage sales but my time is very limited during the school year and gas adds up – maybe when I retire. Most importantly I am able tell my students stewardship can be a fun and exciting game. Better than any video game. While I am on the hunt and crafting I rarely think about overeating or getting into other kinds of trouble. Two birds with one stone.

    1. Mary Ann – I wish I had you for a History teacher when I was growing up! You are really bringing important events and issues to life and giving your students that opportunity to gain valuable skills. I hope you will keep us informed on all your class activities. As a homeschooling family, we are always looking for creative ideas. 🙂

  43. Hello!

    Last week I switched out all the sheets on our beds to flannel. I also made another door draft blocker out of bubble wrap, a black fleece blanket, and some elastic to secure it.

    We were invited as a family to a child’s birthday party. We thought they would be serving snacks and cake only, but to our surprise, they had a catered buffet. I didn’t have to cook dinner….yay!

    One of our local grocery stores has been offering more and more free item coupons in their app. I picked up a big bag of popcorn and a nice box of cookies for free. I’m guessing they are doing this because the inventory isn’t moving, and it’s a way to get people in the store. I also took advantage of a $10 off select $50 gift card purchases offer.

    I have enjoyed watching the Canterbury Cottage channel (among others) on YouTube. The host has some amazing, creative ideas for no-cost, and low-cost Christmas gifts. She gives links to free vintage printables that she uses. She has some cute labels for bird seed jars, ornaments, sheet music crafts, and vintage gardening images.

    I’ve been working more than usual, so I have been keeping meals simple. I did make a large vegetable enchilada casserole that gave us several meals. I picked up two Gooseberry Patch cookbooks from the library: one was an autumn theme, and the other was Christmas related. Both have several recipes I’m looking forward to trying.

    Have a great week!

  44. Those hibiscus calyces are such a lovely color and unusual! Thank you for making us aware of them, Brandy with your lovely photos.

    I am a very long-time reader of Brandy’s blog. I read the comments every week and occasionally comment, but in all of this time, I’ve never posted any frugal accomplishments as I’ve never felt like I had anything new to add to the discussions. But I decided this week that I would post anyway.

    My husband and I took a trip to the mountains (Hi to Mountain Mama Dawn. I think I was in your neck of the woods-Boone, Blowing Rock, Hendersonville, Asheville?). We had received some sad news and the trip lifted my spirits a bit though I continue to struggle. The trip was planned and we did do a few things to make it more frugal. Like others have reported, we stayed in hotels that included breakfast. We picked up fruit at breakfast to go with the lunches that we made with ingredients and snacks we had brought in a cooler with us. We ate dinners at moderately priced restaurants. With credit card rewards (we pay in full each month), we will be reimbursed for most if not all of the hotel room costs. We enjoyed hiking, visiting local attractions and taking in the lovely changing leaves, which is so different from our evergreens here at the coast.

    We purchased some apples from a local orchard. They weren’t particularly cheap, but they were a more expensive variety and still cheaper than the grocery store, and fresher. We are enjoying eating them out of hand and in salads. We had sufficient money in the monthly grocery budget to include them.

    On our way home, we stopped at an Aldi, which we don’t have in our area. There, gala apples were .60/# which is better than the .99/# sale price for apples at other stores. I decided I’m going to try to can applesauce for the first time using these apples. I’ve canned other foodstuffs, and frozen apples, but I thought I would try this for the first time. Fingers crossed that it goes well.

    By using a coupon, I was able to get a very good brand of chicken thighs for .88/#. We like several recipes that call for boneless skinless chicken thighs. I am going to debone them myself, saving over $2 per pound by doing so. I have 5 pounds to process.

    While traveling, I picked up Burr oak acorns to use in my autumn home décor. They have a large cap and are a bit unusual, at least they are to me! They, along with some tiny pinecones, look nice in a footed pottery dish I have on my end table, especially for free.

    It has remained warm here and we have not yet needed to cut on our heat. We are in the perfect in-between stage-we don’t need heat or air conditioning, which should help our power bill. I’m hoping the warmer temperatures will give my fall planted lettuce, broccoli and cabbage a boost to mature before our first frost date in about five weeks. I’m still picking a few peppers and I’m drying the basil I picked before our trip. It has been a very long time since I’ve planted a fall garden. I decided to do this after reading comments here and becoming inspired. Our summer garden was a bit of a bust, so I figured maybe fall could be redemptive. I have planted carrots and beets twice with no success, so they will have to wait until next season, I think.

    I bake with a full oven, cook once and eat twice and freeze leftovers for lunches or to eat at other times. We eat all meals at home with an occasional lunch out.

    I continue to try and shop sales, using store/electronic coupons as possible. Though many items have gone up, I have still found some deals on proteins. We are eating from the freezer and pantry as they remain well stocked with food purchased at lower prices.

    I remember a post from Lorna a while back when she and her husband were saving for their house. They would charge solar lights in the daytime and then use them in the evenings to limit their electric bills. I thought that was so clever then and now. I too miss her posts and hope that all is well with her.

    I hope it is a good week for this nice community that I enjoy so much. And Brandy, hoping that a great work opportunity for your husband will soon come your way. Thank you again for hosting us all.

    Lynn from NC Outer Banks

      1. Tammy, I’m so glad you enjoyed our area. There is such a variety of things to do here. As I travel to other beaches where parking must be paid and is astronomical, I’m very appreciative of our free and open beaches. It has changed a lot in the 25 years that we’ve been here, but it remains a lovely place to visit and live. Come on back to visit! Lynn

    1. Lynn from the NC Outer Banks – I’m so glad you enjoyed a trip up to the High Country. You were definitely in our neck of the woods (closet town to us you mentioned is Boone.) That is one of the greatest things about our state – we have everything from the wild dunes of the OB to the mountains and everything in between. It’s a very special place. Hope you continue to comment as we all learn so much from each other. 🙂

      1. Hi Dawn. My husband and I were remarking on what you said-that in a day’s travel in NC you can go from the mountains to the beach. I lived in the Piedmont for 20 years (Charlotte) so am familiar with that part of the state and the coast, but never lived in the mountains. I must confess the curvy roads and deep drops can be a bit unnerving to me, the flatlander here. It was so lovely in Boone while we were there. We were on Grandfather Mountain when it was 19 degrees with a windchill of 9 degrees!! Frigid. Thanks for your comments. Perhaps I’ll decrease my “lurking” and increase my posts! Lynn

        1. Oh, yes, Lynn. Driving can be an adventure in itself up here. 🙂 Glad it didn’t deter you from having a good time. I hate to hear when people visit and they are car sick everywhere they go.
          Our neighbors across the road moved here from Charlotte in late 2020 – COVID refugees, of sorts. Said they couldn’t live in the city anymore. They went from downtown Charlotte to a 75 acre farm out here in the Hinterlands. 🙂 Quite a change and it has been fun to see them navigate their new life.
          And, lurk no more! 🙂 Please do continue to contribute. I learn something from everyone. This has always been such an encouraging space.

  45. Hello Brandy & fellow readers! I’ve been praying for your family Brandy. I fully believe in the power of prayer! Thoroughly enjoyed your day-in-the-life Instagram stories last week. Thanks for sharing! 😀

    I don’t post weekly although I do read these posts every week. I love seeing what everyone is doing to save money. Every little bit helps.

    My biggest thing was paying off my 2021 vehicle from my last payday . That frees up a lot of money per month in our budget. Until my federal student loans for grad school come due. 🙁

    Hubby set up two huge shelving units in our back dining room that his mother had purchased but never assembled, so all of our canned goods & small appliances, pots, and pans are stored on those shelves.

    Since I live very close to where I work, I haven’t needed to put gas in my vehicle for several weeks.

    Been cooking most meals at home using our Ninja Foodi, that’s an instapot/air fryer combo. I just made a batch of Chicken tortilla soup in it & I’ll take some for my lunch at work tomorrow night, as the cafeteria isn’t open on night shift.

    Hubby has been cleaning out the lower level of the two-story garage that’s at the end of our driveway for more winter storage items. Such as the snowblower.

    Grocery items are insanely expensive so any food items that we have needed has been purchased at Aldi’s which is about a mile away.

    I did download the Libby app onto my iPhone but haven’t downloaded any books yet from my local library.

    Just staying home & watching the streaming services that I qualify for without cost from my cellphone provider also saves me money. We get Hulu with ads, Disney+, and ESPN+. Also watch free movies through apps like Crackle & Tubi that are on our SmartTV. Staying home also helps keep us healthy as Covid is still out there in my community & I care for patients with it at my place of employment.

    Getting my flu & next booster free this week through work.

    Re-reading parts of The Complete Tightwad Gazette as I have my own copy I bought 10 years ago.

    Hope everyone has a good & frugal week!

  46. I am interested to know from both Brandy and readers what steps people take to prepare for an upcoming drop in income, in terms of household management rather than debt repayment etc. For example, Brandy mentioned that she was filling gaps in her food pantry in anticipation of needing to live off it. In a similar vein, I have completed a stocktake of my wardrobe and purchased then stored clothing items that I will be in need of in the next year or so. What do others do?

    1. I did the wardrobe too for myself and my girls, but the girls are mostly buying their own things now with babysitting money. This is good, as their styles seem to be changing now even though they have perfectly good clothing that they chose (and I bought) last year.

    2. Melanie, I am looking at inflation and deciding if I should delay retirement. I am within 1 – 4 years of retirement. It would be the absolute worse thing for me to take out of my 403B right now. Ideally it would be used ten – 20 years into retirement when interest compounding has worked it’s magic. I cut my expenses to the bone in order to test out what retirement would be like if I went this year living only on pension. It has really made me aware of the unnecessary spending even after I have an established budget. Travel is the toughest so I got an IHG hotel card which has really helped. Every year I delay will be a 7% increase monthly. There is not a lot of investments that pay 7% so it is best for me to delay as long as possible. With rising inflation, the more my pension, the more secure I will be. I am only 59 and I still enjoy my job but do get tired. If the economics situation was better, I would probably go this year. I know many people who retired too soon and regret the lost income.

    3. Definitely filling gaps in the pantry – and that includes toiletries, paper products and OTC meds. I’m hoping to really cut the food budget come January and only buy the very basics (milk, bread, some fresh fruit & veg) and continue this for a few months – partly to keep food rotated and used and partly to save some money just to have a bit of a cushion.

      I’ve also done the clothing check for the Winter but I carry a master list of items that I hope to add over the next year – bit by bit as I can afford them.

      1. Margie from Toronto I am doing the exact same thing! Making sure I have lots of staples and toiletries in. I have a chunk of PC Optimum points, some small Walmart gift cards and two Freshco gift cards and I hope to be able to use them exclusively come January to get the few groceries we will need. I hope they will last two or three months..

    4. Hi, Melanie. We just went through this, expecting we’d be without any income for a year or more. We proactively cut our budget as low as we could manage and have it be sustainable long-term, still preparing for known expenses (like taxes, quarterly insurance payments, gifts for Christmas, clothes) and we stuck everything we didn’t spend into savings to cover the gaps we knew were coming.

      We talked openly and honestly with our kids (they were 10, 12, 14 at the time) about the realities, involving them in the process and getting their creativity on board. It honestly shocked me how often they’d come up with great ideas, or they’d say, “Nah, I’d rather save $10 than get XYZ.”

      I needed to find #1 new ways to make money and #2 new ways to cut expenses. Your details will look different, but that’s really the crux of all the advice. I started up my piano teaching business again, but this time entirely virtual. I started a “money savings” sheet, just to keep track of how much I saved with individual actions and to motivate me to continue to try to find new ways to lower my regular expenses. Every refilled water bottle saved us $0.08, every re-used ziploc bag $0.02, buying a reusable water bottle at the dollar store instead of Target saved $9, etc. Instead of eating out, I learned restaurant copycat recipes.

      My husband is employed again, albeit only on a one-year contract. This means that I’ve already figured out how much I need to save from our paychecks to cover another year’s expenses after this, and we’re squirreling it away for that purpose. Technically I can afford a few luxuries right now, but by continuing to stretch my skills I have more money to spend on the things I care about and more security for the future.

      My frugal adventure this week was trying to turn a bar of Kirkland soap into liquid hand soap. I’m not thrilled with the consistency yet, but I’m thrilled with the cost! Tips are welcome if anybody has done this.

      1. I tried turning bar soap into liquid hand soap using a method I found online. I ended up with a large quantity, and the price was definitely reasonable, but . . . the stuff had the texture of snot. It was sort of disgusting to wash with, but we got through it and used it all up. There is another site online that tells how to make liquid hand soap. The trick, according to that recipe, is using a different kind of lye. The woman makes it in a crockpot. It takes 5 hours to cook it. I haven’t tried it yet because I would need to order the lye and buy a scale to weigh the ingredients. The thing with soapmaking is that one must weigh the ingredients precisely and not substitute anything in the recipe, and different kinds of fat act differently, so I must do things right, and that is a hindrance to me. Generally speaking, I usually use recipes for cooking as guides and substitute and not measure and not use timers and go by if it looks good and smells done. . .. I still hope to try soapmaking, but I am not as motivated as I was during the pandemic when liquid soap was $6 for a small pump bottle. I don’t mind using bar soap, but liquid makes less mess and keeps the sink cleaner, although I clean the bathroom sink everyday anyway. It’s so much easier to clean quickly everyday and have it always nice than to have to scrub if it gets dirtier and put up with a less than clean looking bathroom, I think. I wanted a vegetable oil-based soap that smells nice. I still do, so I guess I should get busy and try to learn how to make it.

      2. Eva Marie, (by the way, I LOVE your name!)
        What an inspiring comment! I admire you! What a blessing you are to your family!

    5. Hi Melanie.
      Good question – got me thinking!
      Apart from your own good suggestions, I would invest in items that could save me money in the long run like for instance cloth napkins, cloth bags and other products to replace single use items. If buying second-hand or asking around, it doesn´t have to be expensive or could even be free. If you have a garden: seeds for the next season, so you can grow your own food. And I would also invest in things that could lower my utility-bill like simple insulation to stop draft or check that there was no leaking faucets etc. Wouldn’t do something to expensive though. I would also think about if there was any new skills I could start learning to help me save money like how to reduce foodwaste, canning, repairing things. I would also try to reduce water and electricity use beforehand to be prepared. Replace or repair essential items that are at the end of their life if I saw a good price, or I could get it second hand.
      Maybe you are already doing all this, just my thoughts on the subject.
      I think you ask an extremely good question. Preparing practically and not just economically before a drop in income is a very wise decision, and I will keep that in mind in the future. Thanks for bringing it up!

    6. Melanie– I will guess this doesn’t quite apply to you, as New Zealand has national health care, but it might for someone else, or you might have something related to do.
      If you know income is being lost due to a job loss and you will lose or have to change your health insurance, as might happen in the U.S., get ahead on whatever check-ups you can before the plan changes. Get any prescriptions you can ahead of time as well, such as requesting a ninety day prescription instead of just a monthly one.
      On the other hand, you may find that after the drop in income, you are eligible for various programs because you have a lower income, (not just health programs). You can research those things when you have free time now so you will know what is available if possible. Or just make a point to keep your eyes open if you see a news article, read flyers at community events, etc., for something that might benefit you.

    7. Not sure if this is too strange a comment, but I do try– If you anticipate using a food bank or food pantry in the future, stock up now on the sorts of things those places don’t provide.
      I think they get more donations of small items, like cans of soup, tuna, vegetables, pasta, and fewer of larger items you might use, (powdered milk, cooking oil, baking supplies, tea) Fill your freezer as appropriate. Also stock up on personal care and hygiene items. If a person buys gift cards now that can only be used at the grocery store, it will be a way of making sure there will be some money set aside for groceries that can’t be used for other things. Looking ahead, consider school supplies if you have children, and see that your tools and machinery are tuned up now, to avoid surprise bills.

      1. This is a great idea, Heidi Louise!

        My husband’s work houses the local Food Pantry/Food Shelf and two things they have a hard time carrying stick out in my mind:
        * Toiletries/Paper Products (Toilet paper!)/Soaps/Diapers etc.
        * Snack foods – including “food” items such as crackers, fruit juices other than apple or orange, and a few other things.

        Where we live, Food Pantries usually receive a lot of fresh food, particularly veggies and fruit, since the distributers give the “seconds” (odd shaped, too large or small, etc.) to the Food Pantries. They rely on donations for things like toiletries, paper products, diapers, soap, etc., so their quantities are limited for those items.

        We also have limitations on how much snack food can be given out to people based on state/county law. The types of things that qualify as “snacks” are sometimes off in my opinion – often prepared foods count but non-prepared foods do not. For example, boxed cake mix does not count as snack food, even though most people would use it for cake, cookies or another sweet treat due to the ingredients. Many snack items are thrown in the trash because they expire before they can legally be handed out. I know other places only allow so many canned goods or so many veggies, etc. per week.

        It might be worth checking with your local food shelf to see what they have and what local regulations regarding distribution are.

        1. Thank you for these observations about Food Banks, Lea!
          I suspect, but do not know, that spices, sauces like Worcestershire, soy, and BBQ, lemon and other flavoring juices, vanilla, and other things that make food taste better are not often donated.

    8. Melanie,

      Due to a change in clothes size, I knew I’d have to buy a couple of new pairs of pants so I got them on sale for $14.99 each (reduced from $40 each). I am looking at all of the classic clothes I have from many years ago. If some have no possibility of ever being worn I will give them to the Ukrainian refugees; if still possible that will be my “new” wardrobe. I don’t have much room for savings so most of my efforts are directed to restocking a pantry. i do so by buying food items only on sale. Like Margie from Toronto, I’m hoping to buy very few grocery items in January and February. Ann

    9. Melanie from NZ,
      A loss of income has happened to us before. We stopped buying things immediately. Used a food pantry. Did medical things while we still had insurance. We used the clothes we already had. Entertained grandchildren for free at home, library, or at the park. I knew that any money we had I would want to save to pay our bills, rent or house payment, taxes etc. I wrote a list of all our bills and how much they were so I knew what we needed. We stopped driving to places we didn’t need to go. The food pantry was a blessing. However; I was so happy when I could buy what I wanted again, within reason. I also looked up all the resources I could for help just in case we would need them. I also wrote a list of skills for my husband and myself so we could either find jobs or make jobs for ourselves. I thought we might be able to teach different things with our skills. Ultimately, we learned to live on a much lower income. Although, more money would be nice. We are actually happy!

    10. Melanie, I realize you have already done this, but for others facing this situation, I would not buy any clothing for adults. We all have more than enough. In a long period without income, I’d make do and mend.

      Many years ago, I was facing a job loss in a month. It was harvest season and I stayed up at night and canned everything that came out of my small garden, which was mostly tomatoes, green beans and apples. I filled over 100 jars. Lids were cheap then; today, I’d have to look at whether the cost was worth the effort, and I might do more freezing. Luckily, I was only unemployed for about 3 weeks. The new job was part-time and actually worked out better for me because I didn’t need childcare and gave me more time…and time is usually money.

      It is always cheaper to maintain than repair, so I would do my best to keep up with home and auto maintenance and minor repairs to prevent bigger problems down the road.

  47. As usual, my son and I turn off lights unless we need a light above us. My husband has started turning off lights as well. Sometimes, for a treat, we turn on a pretty lamp we enjoy. We bought a couple frozen pizzas and potpies for a treat to cook at home. I know I can cook it cheaper and better. But I really enjoyed not having to prepare the food for those meals. The pizzas were on sale. All were happy. I made a lentil and vegetable soup this week and froze half of it. I made buffalo chicken. Quesadillas for my son, he loves quesadillas. One day I took one large chicken breast, sliced it in thirds, lengthwise. Then I put cumin, chili powder, garlic and salt and pepper on it and cooked it in a skillet with some vegetable oil. I also cooked some chorizo put it on the cooked chicken and served it with Mexican rice, sliced jalapeños and sliced tomato. Both my son and husband said it was the best meal of the week. We had bananas for dessert. Another day my husband and I had a picnic at the grocery store. It was fun! We got to eat things we wanted without spending money on a restaurant. I found a part of a watermelon for under two dollars and that was our dessert. I’d been craving watermelon for awhile. My sister and her boyfriend, and my dad came over to help us and I made dinner for everyone. It was a fun time. We had dinner at my in law’s house one day. It was another nice time. I’ve enjoyed seeing deer and other animals this week including possum, raccoons, coyotes and birds of all sorts. Sunsets have been amazing as well as the sunrises. Listening to my husbands songs and my son’s poetry have been fun. And my other son is getting married! Happy times! Talking on the phone with my other son has been nice as well. I am happy that my calls don’t incur extra charges. I enjoy using the internet for entertainment and information. I have been practicing bells at church. I need to walk more. I love playing the bells, but it is a workout for me to stand for a whole hour and play them. Sad, but true. At least, it is a workout I enjoy. It is free entertainment and exercise! Cleaning is also exercise. So cleaning is a free workout instead of going to the gym! I don’t exactly enjoy it. But I like the end results. I have three hernias, so I am always afraid that something bad will happen if I lift too much or bend too much. So far, so good.

  48. Brandy,
    I always love your garden pictures! I was shocked yet again at the prices of groceries. Having a garden is truly a blessing if you can grow things. I may grow some things this winter on my window sill. I already have a green onion growing there. I want to see what else I can grow there. Maybe some lettuce or herbs. I saved basil seed and cilantro seed. I always thought it would be neat to have a hanging tomato plant inside with grape or cherry tomatoes. I may give it a try. There was already a freeze here. Although it is warming up this week again.

    1. Hi Tammy,

      You could try growing sprout seeds. The cost of the seed packets should be fairly low. Things like mung beans, broccoli,
      peas, cabbage, mustard, kale, radish. You could use them all winter for things like stir fries, soups. It is recommended that you not eat rawsprouts because of the possibility of bacteria but rinsing them then washing them and cooking them at the end of making soups should be ok. You don’t need a lot of equipment nor light. You can even use clean Mason jars. You don’t need soil. Lots of information on YouTube about growing them.

    2. If you use seeds to sprout, you mustn’t use seeds that have been chemically treated. Also, you wouldn’t put the jars in
      a bright windowsill. They don’t need light and suffer in too much light. You could sprout lentil seeds then bake a sprouted bread. Sprouted seeds can be higher in nutrients than the full grown plant.

  49. Always inspiring to read your posts and see your pictures Brandy!
    My roses are blooming again too here in NY and it was such a happy thing to see!
    I cut my husband’s hair, and made yogurt [milk is still cheap here] and used up an aging lemon to flavor it.
    I found chicken thighs for .99/lb – I will be making both soup and enchilada filling, roasting some and the rest will be frozen. Good prices on protein everyone will eat are so appreciated right now!
    I signed up for time of use billing from the electric company and have been careful to use as little as possible during the peak times and am trying to run the dishwasher and laundry machines during the lowest period while I sleep
    I found some good deals on ‘manly’ toiletries [deodorant, soaps etc] that will make a good christmas present for my son [who grew up with sisters and loves to have his own special gear LOL]
    It has been a pricey week here otherwise, all of our insurances are coming due as well as our ridiculous property tax bill [well, 1/4 of it – but still far more than I prefer to pay!] and our son had a [thankfully minor!] accident so we’re dealing with that repair [side view mirror, so a necessary repair].

    1. My husband is looking for work in a different field as the five interest rates hikes this year have stopped real estate. Two more hikes are planned for this year. We are keeping our company open but house prices are already going down quickly and buyers would need to make $40K more than they did in January to qualify for the same house they could afford in January.

      1. I found you years ago during the last recession, you were a great source of encouragement and knowledge. My husband is in the new home construction field it looks as though we are headed for some very hard times ahead.

        1. I agree; new home construction will slow down/stop again.

          Because we saw what happened last time with housing, we are looking at other work. This is likely to be a long downturn. Even though the last recession was technically over in a short time, housing didn’t recover for a decade. We need to have income during this time, and everywhere I see articles that it will be a longer and deeper recession, and inflation is already making everything higher.

            1. There are a ton out there and have been for months, but these two are recent and pretty good (especially the second):



              Remember, too, that this is what we do for work and have for 20 years. The numbers are there. Las Vegas leads the nation in housing, just like it did the last time around.

  50. I have never posted before and I am excited to do so now. I have read your blog for many years and feel the need now to hold my self accountable on the frugal front. This last week we ate most of our meals at home, I go eat lunch with my husband once a week, then do my errands of the week. Renewed our library books on our library app, my husband built me a new chicken coop this past summer with lumber that was given to him. Now that’s its time to winterize everything I have been racking my brain on how to insulate the coop as there are gaps between the slats of wood. I don’t want anything permanent because those gaps are great for our south arkansas summers, it’s ventilation for those humid hundred plus days. And I was driving home from the grocery store and all I can say is God put an idea in my mind on how to do it. feed sacks! I can staple them on the inside walls, and come summer they can easily be taken down. Now God’s timing is perfect.. its deer season, do you know how many deer corn sacks fly out of the back of trucks!! Let me tell you, alot! So they were all free, just there for me to pick up. I looked like a crazy woman but I don’t care! He provided the idea and the supplies, I just needed to work and do my part! Our master shower has started pooling water around the drain, so my husband tore it apart and found the drain has been leaking. Nasty mess, rotten wood. We have decided not to replace the shower. This would be the second time and it would cost a 1000 dollars or more, we just don’t have the money to fix it. So we have been taking showers in the kids bathroom.(they are grown and out of the house) at first I was so upset that we don’t have a shower in our room. But you know what, we have an extra one. I grew up my whole life living with only one bathroom. This isn’t the end of the world! We acquired some food from our churches blessing box that has reached the best used buy date so that became chicken food. Air conditioning hasn’t been on for several weeks! And Sunday we received 2 100 dollar gift cards from our church for pastor appreciation month. Lots of blessings and frugalness this week. I see them as the same thing most of the time! Hope everyone has a wonderful week.

    1. Cori – You are not crazy at all! I insulate our chicken’s house with feed bags, too. I just can’t bear to throw them away and, fortunately, we only need so many trash bags as we try not to have too much that is actually trash. They work great!
      So glad you are joining in the comments. I something from every single one each week as well as from Brandy’s posts. You are among “crazy” friends here! 🙂

  51. It’s been a hit or miss with frugality recently. We have become empty nesters the past few weeks and it has been a challenge for me to adjust. I’m used to cooking for six. Now it’s two of us with my one son occasionally eating dinner with us. Our house has two separate HVAC systems but my husband and I are the only ones that use the back part of the house and the rest is storage. We decided, now that we have two empty rooms in the front, one of them being the original master bedroom, to paint and move into that room. We spend about sixty dollars in paint and I found a quilt set for twenty to match the color scheme I had chosen and moved in. Our daily electric rates have dropped from 9 dollars a day to about 4-5 on average. A month in and our electric usage is showing 49 percent less than last month. My bill for this past month was just a little over a hundred dollars. Our water bill has also dropped about twenty dollars. We are looking for more ways to cut so that we can get completely out of debt before I retire in seven years as we plan to sell our house and downsize drastically at that time. I have to have 25 years with the state I teach in to retire and with it being only seven years before I am eligible, we decided it would be more feasible to stay in our current home and just not use the back part of the house and then downsize upon retirement as we have not decided if we plan to stay where we are or go somewhere else at this time. We cancelled our gym membership and decided to start working out at home using equipment we have and purchasing other things second hand as they come along. That will save us $45.00 per month in membership fees as well as gas to drive to the gym each day. I cleaned out our freezer over the weekend and found several packages of meat in the bottom that needed to be used, so cooked several meals with that instead of purchasing more meat. I have one pound of butter left from my purchase last year around this time when it went on sale, and I’m stretching it as far as I can do that I can hold out on purchasing when it goes on sale for the holidays and then I’ll stock back up. Most food items that we eat on our diet doesn’t usually go on sale, but those items such as butter and frozen veggies get stocked up on when they do go on sale to help offset the more costly items that I purchase.

    I think that’s all for this week.

    1. Myra,
      Could you rent out some of those unused rooms? If you don’t mind sharing your house with others, it could be a considerable additional income!

  52. I so enjoy everyone’s comments each week and look forward to Brandy’s weekly post! My son is disabled and I spend so much time immersed in that world that this feels like a place just for me!

    This was pretty much an average week for us doing all the frugal things we normally do. With lovely weather this week I have line dried all laundry outside also got two mats washed up and dried outside before winter. All our meals have been made at home and I have tried to use the microwave, crockpot and air fryer as much as possible to avoid turning on the stove and oven. All errands out have been combined to keep driving to a minimum and we are home exclusively most of the week.

    I, too, have been working on stocking our pantry and freezers. I have used Amazon codes from doing surveys to get some things and shopped sales for others. The price of fresh produce is already really high here in Ontario so I really don’t want to know what it will be this winter. It will a lot of frozen and canned veg for us I think.

    This week on the buy nothing group I received two acorn squash, a bag of 25 limes which I juiced and zested for the future and a full package of coffee pods for my husband’s Tassimo (which we also received from the buy nothing group some time ago!). I was thrilled to receive four pairs of Clarks shoes. Two were like new and two just needed a quick polish and now look like new. I also took over 100 wine bottles someone was giving away and returned them for over $20 which will be put towards groceries.

    As I go about my week, I think of Brandy and the folks here and it keeps me going in the frugal direction! Hope everyone has a lovely week!

      1. I know! I am continually amazed at what people give away! We live on our son’s disability benefit so things like this are a huge blessing to us.

    1. AndreaG, Every week I look forward to seeing what your Buy Nothing group has sent your way. The sewing machine was an amazing gift. I am so happy for you. A bag of limes is in its own way amazing too, though. It always makes me curious how the items became a surplus in someone’s life, but life changes, of course, and we don’t always continue to need the same things. Your frugal skills have got stronger and stronger in this season of your life. It is quite wonderful to see what you and your family are able to do.

      1. Thank you Elizabeth! Living on our son’s disability benefit, I have learned to make everything count! Our buy nothing group has been a huge, huge blessing to us. The lady I got the limes from said she had three bags that size of limes. Where she got 75 or so limes I don’t know! We definitely don’t live in a climate here in Canada where she could have grown them!

  53. Thank you Brandy for your wonderful blog! As many others commented last week, I too, appreciate all the time and effort you take creating this frugal, positive community. It is wonderful to come to a place that helps me remember to be thankful and count my blessings. 🙂
    **This past week my money saving efforts included: making Fall treats for the nearby neighor children. I used a previously purchased box of sale cupcakes mix, a tub of Great Value brand (Walmart) chocolate frosting, sale sprinkles, and mellowcreme candy pumpkins to make them fancy. Packaged in bakery boxes I previously purchased @ the “Crazy Hot Deals” store, they looked (and tasted) so good. I give the children treats this way every year as I do not care for Halloween. When delivering them, I remind the children that my porch lights will be out on Halloween, but I still wanted to give them a Fall treat. I don’t want to be known as a mean neighbor 😉
    ***My hubby and I attended the black tie wedding of the young man I was a nanny for. Wow, am I getting old. LOL. As part of our gift, I framed the couple’s invitation. I bought a stock frame, double sided tape, and a mat at Hobby Lobby. I framed it @ home and kept the receipts and went back to the store the next at a time when I thought the framing department would be slow. I asked them to put brown paper and a wall hanger on the frame. They were so kind to do thus for me. It only cost $4 because I purchased all my other supplies in that store. It turned out so nice, and the couple loved their gift.
    ***I wore a 20 plus year old black beaded formal top along with a thrifted long, black skirt to the wedding. If it’s not a crazy cut or pattern, formal wear stays in style.***We stayed with a friend, in that town, so didn’t have to spend on a hotel room. I gave her some yummy truffles and a gift card as a thank you. We also treated her to breakfast out. It was so wonderful to get in a visit with a special friend that we don’t get to see in person very often.*** I made sandwiches, and packed drinks to have on the way to our destination. When it was time to drive home, I purchased sandwich fixings, and packed our lunch once again.*** The day after arriving home was spent cleaning the car’s interior and washing the exterior. I did this @ home, so no money spent at a carwash.*** It is so nice to save money so we can afford to spend it traveling to take part in occasions that are important life events.***Wishing my fellow frugalistas a wonderful week.

  54. Hi Brandy and everyone
    I’m so pleased to hear you are seeing some blessings as you move through this new stage of life. It also must have been nice for the cooler weather to start a little earlier so you can get outside and plant bulbs etc. I love doing that and thinking ahead to the flowers in spring.
    The best action this week was calling up our broadband and phone line provider and discussing a new and lower deal which saved £240 on our annual payment. For UK readers I followed the advice on moneysavingexpert.com for how to politely haggle for a better deal.
    I finished sewing a Christmas present for a friend.
    I received vouchers through the post which enabled me to buy three packs of feminine hygiene products free.
    My husband brought home more fruit offered to him by a gardening client and we are still enjoying poached pears several times a week.
    We picked marrow, tomatoes and dahlia from the garden. We planted out home grown hesperis and Brompton stock.
    I made bone broth and froze it.
    A daughter brought over a dog toy for our puppy.
    My husband did a favour for some friends and they kindly took us out for a pub meal as a thank you.
    Inexpensive meals were Portobello mushroom tarts and a quiche which fed us for two days. I made chocolate chip fairy cakes for my SIL’s birthday. It was also my husband’s birthday and he said he would prefer to stay at home and have me cook a roast dinner. I finished the meal with apple and blackberry crumble using our own apples and blackberries I had picked and frozen.
    Stay safe everyone.

  55. I went to my Cub Foods store this morning (similar to a HEB or Meier).
    Things that did NOT make my cart:
    1 gal skim milk $3.89
    1 dozen store brand eggs $3.69
    1 16 oz box Raisin Bran $4.99
    I checked on these items on line at Aldi. The cereal would be $2 cheaper the other two items only 10 cents less, not worth a trip.

    There were 9 items on my list I didn’t buy because the price was just way too much. If anyone says prices in the Midwest states haven’t gone up to crazy town, they’re wrong.

  56. I received a $100 gift card for groceries, which will be a big help. It was a prize I had won months ago and I had almost given up on ever actually getting it.

    I got a good deal on grits for winter breakfasts. I had planned on buying the less expensive Quaker brand, but then I found a deal for $2 off each package of Bob’s Red Mill, which brought the price down much lower than Quaker. I stocked up on those.

    We had our first cold snap, but I didn’t turn on the heater as I would have in the past. I just dressed warmly for the two days until the weather warmed up again.

    I continued to do things I jave done for years, like cooking from ingredients I already have, using cloth handkerchiefs and napkins, reading books I already own or library books, and watching TV shows on the streaming services that my extended family shares to reduce the cost. I tend to forget that those things are helping to save money because I’m so used to them.

  57. Those hibiscus photos are just gorgeous – what an amazing colour! All the work in your garden has certainly paid off!

    I have had a busy week in the kitchen – defrosting and cooking meat and then putting servings of HM meals back into the freezer – it is stuffed at the moment! I also made more egg cups, pumpkin apple spice muffins (I think someone on this site supplied the recipe) – they are delicious – plus, I cooked up a lot of different veg so that I can mix and match sides. The only food bought outside the home was a couple of coffees. I even packed lunch and supper yesterday – I booked a vacation day from my PT job and then worked the municipal election – they were short staffed and asked me a couple of times so finally decided to do it. I will receive $265 for the day and that will pay for a few Christmas gifts for friends plus some treats without impacting my normal budget.

    I spent $81 at the grocery store – and that was after saving $4.50 on membership deductions – and honestly, it was barely two bags and the only meat was a # of ground beef. I did get 10# of potatoes for $2.99 and 4 litres of milk for $4, chicken broth for $1 each tetra pack (great prices here) and then added fill in items like mustard, curry sauce, horse radish, canned pumpkin, frozen veg and some fresh veg for salads. The only thing that I’ll buy later in the week is some bread or rolls and then I’m going to stay out of the shops for the next week or two.

    I enjoyed a lunch at church after service this past Sunday, went to the library to pick up more holds, and went to see “Singing in the Rain”. My ticket was part of a group subscription that I belong too (ticket paid for last Spring) but I did manage to buy another ticket for my BFF – it is her favourite movie and I knew she wanted to see the stage production so bought her a ticket as an early Christmas present – we had a lovely time and thoroughly enjoyed the performance.

    I can’t believe it is almost the end of October – this Fall is just rushing by! Have a good week everyone.

    1. Margie from Toronto,
      I know what you mean about the prices! I also have been buying tetra paks of broth on sale. I really like having them around, especially the low sodium varieties. Even if I might not have lots of veggies to throw in sometimes, I always have pasta to put in it. It makes a quick lunch or dinner and usually at lower cost than the equivalent amount of caned soup which is higher in sodium.

      Hard to believe Hallowe’en is almost here!


  58. Brandy your pictures are as beautiful as ever. Such a talent both in taking them and growing the produce in the desert.

    -I bought a rotisserie chicken at Costco for $4.99. I cut the chicken off and chunked it up. I cooked the skin and carcass in the crockpot overnight. Then I canned chicken pot pie mix-5 quarts from this, using all my very small potatoes from my garden, peeled and cubed, onions from the garden, and frozen mixed veggies. Fill jars with the chicken broth. Then all you need to do when you are ready to use it, is pour out and heat and thicken with cornstarch. Make pot pie with crust or biscuits. This mix also works well as a base for a soup or thickened and poured over biscuits for Chicken ala king. They all sealed so 5 meals added to the canning shelf.
    -My husband went on a 5 day trip pheasant hunting. Pheasant was processed and frozen.
    -All the outdoor work is done. Everything is cleaned out and equipment, garden decor, and deck furniture is stored. Most of our leaves are off the trees and it is definitely fall, we are lighting a fire at night in the wood stove.
    -I bought 9# tomatillos at a farm market and canned 12 half pints and 3 pints of salsa verde using garden onions and peppers from the freezer.
    -I also canned 5 quarts of cherry pie filling from cherries from the freezer.
    -I had a small container of pumpkin frozen in the freezer (about 1/2 cup). It was leftover from making pumpkin cinnamon rolls. I made a 1/2 batch of pumpkin cranberry muffins. I was short some pumpkin. I added orange juice for the wetness an they turned out great. I also used some older craisins. They were harder and had a sugary coating. They softened up nicely in the muffins.
    -I had about a cup of cherry pie filling left from canning and made 6 cherry nut muffins.
    -Only groceries bought this week was milk, a dozen eggs (crazy price of $3.63 for them at Walmart), and 3# sliced American cheese on sale. I divided the cheese into 4 packages, used the food sealer to package them and froze the slices for later use. No good deals, so eating out of the freezer and pantry.

    Have a great week!

  59. Like many other readers, I’ve been following your website and blog for many years, but have rarely posted. I am so grateful for what you have chosen to share with others and the encouragement you give! I am also trying to hold myself more accountable. Firstly, I wanted to express how sorry I am to the number of readers who have lost someone close to them this past week. I have been doing some work in my big pantry organizing and rethinking some of our needs. We have always been frugal grocery wise, but I am changing things up where I can, namely a couple “convenience” type items I began to eventually use over the years such as instant rice and jarred spaghetti sauce. These have been switched over to bulk white rice and tomato purée. I am very grateful to be at a point where there is always more that I can can do to help save on food costs and to still have full cupboards. I have been reducing our meat in meals, serving more beans and really paying attention to our food waste. While cleaning out the pantry, I found several stragglers and close or outdated items that I placed in a “use up right away” box. I have been making sure to plan our meals and baking around those items. We live in very rural northern Montana and have just a small local grocer in our community. It’s very high priced, but still has some great weekly sales and markdowns and those are the things I focus on buying there. I make a monthly or so trip out of town to do “big groceries” at the nearest Walmart 60 miles away and have been purposing to make those trips fewer and farther between with fuel prices. I bought some markdown buttermilk and stuck it in the freezer. I used up some apples that were getting passed up in the fridge slicing them and making a quick caramel sauce to serve them with. I mashed several overripe bananas and diced some green peppers that were getting past their prime and put those in the freezer for later. I made a quart of powdered milk from some older stock and used it in cooking. I gave 4 of my boys haircuts. Our dryer stopped heating, so my husband will replace the heating element for the cost of 25.00 for the part. It’s the third time we’ve replaced it in 9 years, but it is less expensive than replacing the whole dryer for now. Our microwave stopped working this week as well and while we have the funds to replace it, I am going to wait for Black Friday sales or possibly forgo replacing it at all. This one was purchased used 6 years ago for 20 dollars and has served us well. I ordered some snow boots on sale from Target in the normal size for one son that ended up being too small. When I went to do the return, they refunded me and told me I could keep them! I reordered them in the next size up and put the too small pair in the save box for younger brothers. I found a few other much needed winter items for the right price for us on Amazon. We checked out a free backpack from our local library. (They are themed and have several book and movies in them that you return with the backpack as well as lovely activity books and craft items you get to keep!) I signed my very musical oldest son up for a free Music Theory class offered by Berklee as a fun addition to his homeschool. We helped with and attended a Halloween party and had several free treats and a hot dog dinner there. I ordered 2 pair of church pants for two sons with a combined coupon, sale, and free shipping for 12.00. Thanks everyone for sharing and being so encouraging!

    1. Glad you are participating this week!
      I love your changes to grocery shopping. While my shopping is close by, we too are making changes.

  60. Hello! Not a frugal week as we had to purchase a new stove. My husband found one online from a small company. The stove there was cheaper by $100 than Lowe’s, they had free delivery ( Brooklyn to PA!) and it arrived in 4 days! We paid for it on a CC to get the points and will pay off in full. I took another survey to earn points towards an Amazon gift card. I took my parents and niece to a pumpkin walk at a garden center. It was definitely not inexpensive but we did have a great time together! My Mom & Dad then treated for lunch. My Mom also gave me a plant (I’m a plant girl!) in a beautiful piece of pottery that was her Mom’s. I submitted my mileage for reimbursement for 2 months at work, not a lot, but will cover a tank of gas. Hope everyone has a frugal, healthy, happy week!

  61. I keep shopping for my new place using Brandy’s Amazon link. The link is so easy to use and I’m hoping by shopping that way I can bring some joy to your family Brandy. ** I did my first Amazon return today using the ”drop at UPS store” option where I did not have to pack up the item. I merely had to print the return form with the return code on it. I was in and out of the UPS store in under 5 minutes and that included waiting my turn. **I am only shopping the sale items at the grocery store. This week’s sales were butter B1G1 limit 2 free bringing the price to $3.50/lb. I bought the limit. And a B1G1 sale on my favorite canned soups bringing the cost to $2.25 per can for Progresso soups. I use these as my main meal some nights so that’s in my price point. ** I’m excited with the sweet spot of not needing AC, heat nor my ceiling fans. **Using my clothes rack inside to dry clothes and not use the dryer.***I’ve cut the cord on cable and am using my over the air antenna for TV and free PBS.org shows.***Made gluten free sourdough scones for the first time. I used up some dried fruit that had been lingering as snack pouches. I didn’t like the fruit to eat as a snack but loved how the scones turned out with them added in.***A friend installed two drapery rods for me so I didn’t need to hire out the work. I sent home fresh baked scones for her family.***I clipped my dogs nails rather then going to a groomer. ***Last week’s grocery store loss leader was banannas at $0.39/pound with a limit of 5 pounds per purchase. I was able to get 10 pounds. Most I sliced and then froze the individual slices on cookie sheets. When frozen, put them in zipper bags in the freezer so I could take out just what I needed. A few, I added to canned fruit cocktail.

  62. I just read an article from a lady that works in a food bank. She recommends instead of giving candy out for Halloween to give snacks out instead. She said they literally throw away tons of candy that is donated after Halloween. No one wants it. Snacks are always taken. She recommended items such as pretzels, PB crackers, raisins, gold fish and chips. Since I don’t want my house egged I will not be doing the raisins. It will probably cost a little more so if people are strapped for cash then disregard.

  63. I really enjoy reading everyone’s accomplishments! Lots of good ideas here. Brandy, thank you. I did a really through inventory of my freezer and pantry. Found a few odd items that moved to the front, and realized I had only one or two gaps. After a year of squirreling food away, I believe we have about a three month supply, not as much as I hoped but still a huge year long accomplishment. Next month I will pick up those few low items at Winco or maybe the Military Commissary. I learned last week that the military commissary is now open to more ex military people, for example my husband has a military disability and a Purple Heart and those items now qualify us to go shop there. So if you have a spouse that was in the military but haven’t qualified to shop there before, check their website…I did read that the prices there are generally comparable to the outside world but are occasional great deals on meat (or higher quality for the same price). We shall see, it is a 50 mile round trip for us to go, so we will won’t go there unless we are driving by ;). My husband had dental surgery last week so I focused on soft or easy to eat foods. And each dinner I doubled the portions so I could add to our freezer! I am quite tired of cooking and cleaning so by doubling up the cooking, I can have some nights off ;).

    1. A few decades ago, my parents discovered my Dad was qualified to shop at the Air Force Base about forty miles from their home. (He said when he went through the gate and they checked his ID, they would treat him like an officer, which amused him, as he reached Master Sergeant, but wasn’t an officer).
      I am not sure if his qualifications were from regular Army or reserve service. Anyway, they liked going there because of no state sales tax.

  64. We are still doing small things to get ready for winter. After so many years of my husband’s having seasonal work where he had no work from Christmas until the building season started back up sometime in March, I am just in the habit of preparing for winter. We also like the taste of homecanned/preserved foods better than store bought, so I keep preserving food for winter for that reason even if it is not cheaper than store bought. I try to make sure everyone in our family has a good winter coat and hat and gloves and boots, so I have been shopping for coats for our granddaughters since the end of last winter and spring. I have always counted on sales at the end of seasons, buying winter clothes when everyone else was in the mood for summer and buying summer clothes in the fall. I had to guess a little about sizes, especially with shoes, but my kids always wore a size bigger than their age. I also shopped the back-to-school sales heavily to stock up on our kids clothes for the school year. This year has seemed a little different to me in that I have not found good sales, but with gas prices so high I do not venture into the metro areas to comb the stores for good deals like I used to. In fact, I haven’t since before the pandemic. Last year we got into the cold weather season when I found out the granddaughters’ were outgrowing their coats. They live in an area not conducive to shopping. I found a couple of decent coats at the thrift store to tide them over till I found something better. Their parents do not expect me to buy their clothes, but I try to help out because I live closer to good shopping areas. I have found that discount stores and clearance sales provide new clothes at not much higher prices than the thrift stores I generally have access to. This week the $20 leather shoes I bought at Appleseeds online arrived. I also bought a plain knit shirt for a granddaughter in her color and style for $6. The shipping is costly, $10. But overall, I think it was a reasonable buy. I notice there is some interest here regarding what to do in the case of reduced income. As has been said, planning ahead is the key. Besides food preservation and buying food in bulk on sales, the best thing one could do is avoid debt like credit cards and car loans and have a nice little savings account. In 2008, we did not feel the downturn much because my husband’s job was secure, but during the recession in 1981, we came close to losing everything. We had a car loan for the vehicle my husband used in his business at that time that was nearly paid off. The bank sent someone to repossess the van when we were only late (still within the grace period) with one payment. We were sitting on the sofa by the front living room window. It was our Sabbath, and we were reading to our children. We saw this man pull up and go over and start looking over our van. My husband said, “You don’t suppose he’s planning to take the van, do you?” About that time, the man looked up and saw us all watching him, and I suppose he did not want to hassle with the police whom we would have definitely called. So, he came to the door. My husband told him our situation; I got the bill and showed him that we were not behind with any payments and that one payment was only late and was still within the grace period. He muttered something that started with, “Welll . . .,” and then he left. I called the bank on Monday, which was not a local bank, and confronted a loan officer about why they had sent out a repo guy. He was angry and said, “He was supposed to pick that up!” I lit into him with the facts of my case and threatened a lawsuit. He whined some excuses, and I gave him an earful. My husband used to say it was amazing how thoroughly I could chew someone out without uttering a single swear word. I hope I have changed since then. Anyway, the bank charged us $300 for sending the repo guy out, and I was dumb enough to pay it. I should have contacted a lawyer. Back then I could probably have gotten a legal consultation for about $45. My husband’s parents found out about the incident and paid off the loan for us, and we paid them back later when we had work. Morals of the story: some individuals who work for lending “institutions” are crooked (even in large apparently reputable banks–this one was US Bank) and will try things like this; my story is not uncommon; it is a very good idea to keep some savings set aside for making payments, if you have to have a loan. Back in those days cars did not last like they do now. In spite of careful maintenance (changing the oil every 3000 miles) our first van was burning oil within sixty to seventy thousand miles, so buying a used van wasn’t a good idea. My husband had to have reliable transportation to jobsites. Now we buy used Toyotas from an individual selling their personal car (not from car dealers) for our own personal transportation. Our last Toyota Camry (bought new) went $446,000 miles before our son limped it into a car dealer where it promptly died to probably never go again. (It had a manual transmission which lasts longer than an automatic and does not need the maintenance an automatic does. My husband had replaced the fuel pump at about 350,000 miles. Other than brakes and fluid changes, he did no other work to it.) The owner’s manual on our current vehicle says to change the oil every 4,000 miles, but my husband has always changed the oil at 3,000 miles, and it seems to help. Moral of the story: taking care of things, so they last longer helps. However, in 1981, the thing we missed the most was money, cash in the bank to make our house payment. There were almost no jobs of any kind available, but my husband was blessed by the occasional small job that was enough to pay the phone and electricity bills and gas for the van and a very few groceries. We were blessed to have most of the food we needed and a case of toilet paper I found on sale. Most paper products we could do without. For diapers, I always used cloth diapers on our babies anyway. I found that about five dozen diapers worked out well. I washed a load of diapers every day. I kept them white by rinsing them in the toilet with a few drops of chlorine bleach after taking them off the baby and before I put them into a plastic diaper pail. That way there was never an odor of dirty diapers. I washed them in hot water with bleach and dried them in a hot dryer. I washed plastic pants by hand. Disposable diapers were not as good as they are now, and they were expensive, for us anyway. The name brand disposables had a perfume in them, and I assumed the perfume was why our youngest got skin rashes if he wore them. The generic diapers had no perfume and didn’t make him break out, but they fell apart into disgusting “crumbles” when wet. I bought a few disposables for when we went somewhere, but at home I used cloth. I didn’t buy baby wipes either. They made the children’s skin break out in a rash anyway. At home I used clean washcloths and running water and soap. I used Johnson and Johnson baby lotion liberally, and they never had diaper rash. I found out that soap was necessary to wash the bacteria from feces off the skin to prevent diaper rash. I found that in a magazine I picked up in a doctor’s house where my husband was working. There was only one article in the magazine, the one on diaper rash, that I had the vocabulary to read. No one was home. When we went somewhere, I wet clean washcloths and put one for each child in separate plastic sandwich bags to wash faces with. I didn’t buy most paper products; we were kind of poor, living quite below the poverty line (as defined by the US government), but we lived well. We were all clean and well-fed and enjoyed our children and our lives. Our house was a fixer upper that we were working on. We learned to do things because we needed to do something and couldn’t really afford to hire somebody to do it. Americans are known for their ingenuity, and we certainly had plenty of that. We had to have it. We used to say we had done so much with so little, we could do almost anything with almost nothing. But what really came out of that scary time in 1981 was that my husband was able to go to university and eventually get a more stable job. The circumstances were odd and seem providential to us. We could not have foreseen what ended up happening. We believe God used what seemed to us like the worst of times in 1981 to turn us in a completely different direction and materially bless us more than we had ever dreamed possible for ourselves. We are still not wealthy by any means, but we are much more comfortable than we would have been. Another thing that is good in a time of low income is for families to help each other. It is good to have a support system in family, church, a regular family doctor, dentist, etc. Another thing is that when we had to move 3,000 miles in 1981 for work, my husband went there first by himself and started working to make sure things were going to work out with the job situation. He found a place for us to live. Then he came back home, and we packed up, put our house on the market, and moved. The children and I stayed home, and we kept our house at first. We had to move a number of times because of the economy and for education, and we always followed that pattern. I believe it is a really bad idea to sell out, pack up and move with no job to go to and no home to go to and no support system. We have seen a lot of people do that and end up homeless and broke. If they have family who can help them, they end up borrowing money to go back home. It is better to stay where you know people and know what is available until you find something better that you know is going to work out. Another thing that I believe is that it is a really bad idea is to stay in a location and eke out an existence after the economy has died there. We have seen many people do that, too. If one cannot switch jobs and there is not work in one place, it is time to find work somewhere else. Once my husband traveled to another location and worked by himself, and the children and I stayed home , and we never did move there. That was the year we had Christmas several weeks early, so my husband would be there for Christmas. He gone working on December 25. I could certainly manage the children and the house and the finances, if he was gone. We were always partners in everything. That is something else, too. During bad economic times one of the worst things people do is to started quarreling and blaming each other. We have seen that happen, and that does not work. I don’t think it is in my best interest to run my husband down, harming his confidence. Insincere flattery would harm him, also, so I do not engage in that that either, but I am supportive and appreciative, and he is of me, also. We also try to rely on God to help us with our problems. We like to pray to God in heaven in the name of Jesus before we go to bed. We write down blessings and prayer requests. We like to recite Bible texts together. One of our favorites is Psalm 23, and we especially like Psalm 91, also. These are just some things we have seen and done over the last half-century. I too think that we could be in for a long, hard recession, but I hope I am wrong. I am especially concerned because this is the first economic downturn that I remember when food has increased so much in price. It seems connected with the high cost of fuel to transport food which is something else that has skyrocketed, but what local food we have available is expensive, too. Reportedly, more and more people are going to food pantries for help–as they should. I am just sorry it is necessary. It has become costly here for people to hunt and fish like they used to do. Wood stoves are frowned upon, and only the most expensive are approved for use, and wood is not as available as it was formerly because our forests aren’t managed for people to use to live better. There are few places to even cut a Christmas tree now. Also, the cost of water and sewer has increased. Our state tells communities they have to raise their water bills to encourage conservation even when there is plenty of water. People don’t garden; children don’t play outside, and things look dried up and dead and sad while we literally watch the water run down to the ocean and get all salty. These are all changes that I think make it harder to live than it was during the recession of 1981. We will try to help other people where we can. I’m sorry this is so long, but I am old and have lots to tell:)

  65. I would like to second everything that Elizabeth H. said above. During that time, our kids were 3 and 5. We were in the fortunate position of having bought a home in 1978 for 9% interest, and we didn’t have to move. I do remember a week when we had less than $5 and finished the week with about $1.80! I went back to work in 1982 not so much because we needed the money (although we did), but because my husband’s job was iffy and we felt we needed a fall-back. In fact, almost everyone in his entire office was laid off–except for him. He’d expected to be the first to go and we always were waiting for the other shoe to drop.

    This was also a time when we were dealing with a lot of medical bills and personal issues related to my husband’s drinking (he has been sober since 1987). However, in our marriage, we’ve always been at our best during the toughest of times…and we have had some very tough times with medical for both of us and a child with a disability, not to mention his alcoholism. But we always got through it because we pulled together and did whatever it took. Now married 54 years and counting!

    1. Maxine,
      What a beautiful story! Congratulations on 54 years! What an accomplishment and gift to your children and, really, the world!

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