Desdemona Rose

I took cuttings from the bushes in the front yard to make new plants for the backyard.

I mixed more manure into the garden and sowed seeds in the garden for lettuce, green onions, parsley, mache (corn salad), sorrel, snow peas, spinach, chives, and nasturtiums.

I transplanted lettuce seedlings that had self-seeded in a corner of the garden into rows along drip lines in the garden.

I planted paperwhite bulbs that had multiplied in my white garden to new spots in my backyard.

My husband and I worked together to make some of the steel pieces for the large rose arbor.

I have been planning to get three pedestals to use in the garden. I have looked at several online this past year. An ad came up in my feed for some on clearance, and I bought them.

I harvested three small white pumpkins from the garden. I also harvested and dried some lemon verbena.

I made a baked blackberry and chocolate chip pancake using blackberries that I had frozen from our garden. I also baked biscuits. I stored the leftover biscuits in my bread box, rather than using plastic bags, to keep them fresh.

I printed free preschool and kindergarten worksheets from a new website to me called My Teaching Station.

We have had the same Christmas ornaments for 20 years (and the same tree for 15 years) with only a few replacements (of the same design) purchased over the years. My husband and I have talked about changing the look of our tree for at least 4 years, but we’ve not changed it. This past week we decided it was time.

We researched ornaments online and found many things we liked were already sold out. We found some we liked and then found others in the same style that were less expensive from other stores/manufacturers.

We went the next day to buy ornaments. We were able to buy ornaments from three stores; one store (Hobby Lobby) had ornaments 50% off and lights 25% off; one (Target) was full price, but much less than other retailers we had seen with the same type of ornaments; one (Home Goods) sells an assortment of ornaments that are leftover from several stores from years past; we bought two boxes there, including some large ornaments that were $2.08 each. This size ornament was $6 to $10 each everywhere else we looked. I expect these ornaments will last us many decades to come, as the previous ones did.

We are giving some of the old ornaments to my eldest daughter for her tree, and the rest I will sell.

The Generous Gardener

I ordered some makeup online from Clinique. I have been waiting for the sales and bundles this time of year, and they did not disappoint. Then, not only was there a 20% off code, there was a free full-sized product and a free 5-piece gift. I’m grateful for the reader who suggested years ago for me to look at Clinique’s face powder when Lancome discontinued the one I had worn (it’s also less expensive than Lancome). I have very light skin and while many companies have expanded their makeup shades in recent years, most do not make a shade that is light enough for me. I laughed at the name of the color. It has changed from being called “translucent” to “invisible.” It seems like it should have magical properties, like the ability to make me invisible (kind of like the old-fashioned “vanishing cream”. I went through Rakuten to place my order and earned 4% cash back.

I listened to music for free on Pandora and YouTube. I also listened to some

I went through more things in the house and put aside more items to sell at a garage sale.

What did you do to save money last week?

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145 Comments

  1. This week has been slower than most but I did get Quilts #199 quilted up for an 87 year old client – https://pin.it/3sjceMj and #200- which is the first of three identical wall hangings (27” x 76”) for one of my regular clients who only started quilting last year! https://pin.it/5H8S3II. Still have 4 more quilts in the queue for our business and some of my own I’d like to intersperse in there additionally!

    Our local Meijers stores (a large Midwest chain) has their large turkeys for 33 cents a pound with a limit of 2 per person. So even though there has been talk about shortages and outrageous prices, this is the same price as last year and in the week after Thanksgiving last year, they reduced the price to 19 cents/pound! Can’t get much better than that! I will immediately thaw 1 of the 2 I get and cook it up and repackage it in dinner portions to freeze. That takes up way less freezer space than the whole Turkey on the bone! I sent over 2 FB Marketplace ads I just saw today with used freezers to my daughter and son-in-law on the 13 acres because they had asked me to keep an eye out for a second upright freezer for them. Both of these are 17- 19 cu ft and work great according to owners who are just decluttering. $50 for one and $75 for the other. If it were me, at that price, I’d buy both!

    I gave away excess tomatillos (I canned enough salsa verde for us for a year) as well as 15 dozen extra eggs from our chickens! We still have plenty of eggs to see us through the winter and people were pleased to each get 3 dozen eggs!

    An 85 year old friend had cataract surgery that was a bit more extensive than planned so I made my chicken pot pie for her and her 95 year old husband and surprised them with it. Her husband was going to have a PBJ sandwich and so this was really accepted with smiles! It was enough for 2 or more meals for the 2 of them.

    I ordered curbside pickup at Sam’s club and bought 2 fifty pound bags of long grain rice- 1 for us, the other for same daughter. It worked out to 34 cents/pound! I am vacuum sealing mine into quart mason jars that I have that are currently empty. More of my canning is in pints these days because it’s just the two of us. So I have a lot of empty quart jars as we rotate through! These are a perfect size for rice and I have shelf space for them!

    I found bacon at Save-a-lot stores last week for $2.99/pound so I bought 15 and froze some of them, cooked and crumbled some others. We won’t need to buy bacon for many months now!

    I was able to do curbside pickup at Walmart for more canning jar lids. Easy-peasy and I bought a dozen boxes! So 144 more lids to replace those that I’ve been using this summer! Now as fall and winter are here, I will continue canning! My canned black beans are getting low on my shelf (I like to have up to a dozen on the shelf) so I’ll be pressure canning some of my dry black beans that I have stored in buckets!

    Stocking up on things when the price point or sale is good. It seems that there are still bargains to be had- it just takes more watchful looking!

    Our youngest son is working his final week at the zoo this week cooking and selling food concessions and next Monday he starts his new data analyst job which can move up to programming for a large bank! Regular 40 hour work week at exactly same 8:30- 5:30 day, M-F (never weekends). Health benefits, 401K, benefits! We are over the moon!! Our Christmas gift to him was his Dad taking him clothes shopping (sales, coupons) in person to stores for Business Casual, including shoes! Nice Dad/Son bonding time and Dad could easily guide him into what styles were the best fit for office work!! Did I mention that we are over the moon? 😉 One more step towards his independence and security!

    We got word that Hubs still had an HRA (healthcare retirement account) with over $3800 in it that we needed to submit receipts for reimbursement to by January, 2022 or lose it. It can reimburse for healthcare premiums, dental bills or premiums, medical expenses,etc. So Hubs is gathering his receipts from this year for his dental work he had done which will cover that total amount in the account! We already paid the dental bills in full so Hubs may use that money to upgrade to a van that is identical to our current one (14 years old, rusting out badly and 268K miles with non-working A/C) for a 13 year old model- no rust, working A/C and 165K mile for $2900. That would mean no Out of Savings or OOP cost for an upgrade on our van! Plus we would get $ from junk yard for the old one!

    We feel so grateful for the abundance we have been blessed with and are trying to find ways each week to give back and share with others!

    Hope you are finding all the best rewards for your efforts!

    Gardenpat in Ohio
    HandmadeinOldeTowne.com

    1. How wonderful for your van upgrade combined with good teeth!
      It is possible on HRA, FSA, HSA, dependent care reimbursement accounts that though the charges must be from care provided in 2021, the actual “turn in the receipts for reimbursement” period goes for ninety days into the new year or even through April 15 2022.
      I am sure you will get yours filed ASAP and the date might have been affected by when he retired. I mention this only for those who don’t always get things in order promptly. Check with your plan administrator to find out reimbursement specifics that apply to you, if you have such an account.

    2. Such wonderful news about your son Garden Pat – I know you were really keeping your fingers crossed for him – so glad it has all worked out.

    3. Pat that is awesome on the Meijers Ad for the turkey you are always so on top of the sales.. I had no idea may have to make a special trip up there this week.. I can’t even remember the last time I was at a Meijers store since they tore down the one closest to us. That is a price worth the trip for sure. Congrats to your son on his new job that is awesome.

    4. What brand lids are you getting at Walmart. All my canning groups are talking about off brand lids buckling during pressure canning, some were bought from Amish communities. So I am curious if you have tried them yet and had success and what brand.

      1. Bama Holly- I got Ball regular lids for $2.18/box. I also got 5 boxes of Country Harvest lids. That is a brand of used before with no problem. Country Harvest is a brand that has been around for several years. In the past, I’ve tried their WM Mainstay brand at WM- for me, I had bad results so I don’t buy those.

        A few years ago, Menards had Empire brand on clearance for 50 cents/box, so I took a chance and bought about $100 worth of regular and wide mouth lids. Best investment ever! I’ve used those for WB and also pressure canning without a problem!
        I’ve also used Kerr and Bernardin lids over the years successfully.

        I won’t buy lids on Amazon- there have just been too many people I personally know who have (thinking they were Ball lids) that have lost time and harvest with lids that have buckled.
        I’m just 1 person so someone else may have different results/experiences. I do typically can a few hundred jars every year- both with my steam canner and also using my pressure canner. https://pin.it/IFLBqrB

        Hope this helps.
        Gardenpat in Ohio
        HandmadeinOldeTowne.com

    5. Hi Garden Pat,
      I am unclear about your quilting. Are you making the entire quilt? just putting it together with the batting, or….?

      1. Ellie’s friend- Most of our business is machine quilting the quilt tops that clients have made. They bring finished top, backing and batting and I put it on my 12 foot frame with my longarm machine and quilt it together. Occasionally, someone will hire us to construct a quilt from start to finish. But the bulk of our paid work is the quilting. In between paying jobs, I make and quilt my own quilts to gift or sell.
        Hope that clears up the confusion!

        Gardenpat in Ohio
        HandmadeinOldeTowne.com

        1. thanks, Garden Pat. I bought some lovely material that I’d like to make into a quilt.
          It is not pieced together but has Scottish terriers as a border.

  2. I want a rose arbor so badly now! That is absolutely fabulous!

    Friday and Saturday were cold (for us) and I had to turn the heat on a few times each day. I set the thermostat to 70 and when it gets there, I turn it back to 62. Once it comes on again, I put it back up and repeat the process. The cats would prefer it at 70 the entire time, but they aren’t paying the bill. Temps are going back up to the 70ies for the next 5 days so we’ll all be happy.

    Before it started raining on Friday, I raked the leaves in the front yard, filling 7 large brown yard waste bags. The bags are more expensive this year but I saved money doing it myself rather than paying someone. I also bought a few more pansies and dianthus off the Lowe’s clearance rack. I gave my cats some catnip from one of the three free plants I got at the garden seminar a few weeks ago and all three cats rejected it. It turns out that this one plant was actually lemon balm. They are almost identical in appearace and the plant was marked as catnip but the scent gave it away. We already have a lot of catnip so I consider this a win.

    I originally intended to buy 20 pounds of apples to make applesauce and apple cake but then decided I needed 30 at $1.49/pound ($44.70 total). The bulk price for 40 pounds is $48 so that’s how many I ended up buying since the price differential was so small. I’ve started making the applesauce and am now in that “what was I thinking” phase, but I”ll be happy I did it when I’m done. I always am!

    I bought my Advent cheese calendar at Aldi’s less than an hour after they opened on Wednesday and another woman and I got the last two that they had. They didn’t get many this year. It’s nice to try a variety of cheese flavors and we found some we really like last year. The problem is waiting until December 1 knowing it’s just waiting to be eaten.

    I went back on Thursday since one of the workers told me they would be putting out hams on Wednesday afternoon. The bone in are $2.15/pound and the boneless are $2.99. Since I truly dislike ham soup, I decided to not mess with the bone this year and bought a 5 pound one that is spiral sliced with glaze packet for Thanksgiving for 3 people. This will still give us a lot of leftovers. I noticed that the cost of organic chicken increased by 10 cents per pound across the board, whether for a whole chicken, chicken tenders or boneless, skinless chicken breasts. That’s the first time they’ve increased the price in years.

    The rest of the week was just the usual things I’ve done for years – washing plastic baggies to reuse, taking clothes out of the dryer when they are about 75% dry and hanging them to finish drying, mending clothes, eating most meals at home, etc.

    1. Hi Mari, regarding the bagged leaves, to avoid bagging them altogether you may consider flattening them out and mowing them over. They will turn to mulch and break down over winter saving you the bagging and cost of bags. Also my county gives out the brown paper bags for free at our chemical recycling center and a few other locations. I never pay for them after finding this out.

      1. Thanks. Fortunately, I don’t mow my own yard. A regular mowing is $60 and would need to be done at least twice. Some leaves that fell before the last mowing did get mulched but between my trees and leaves that blow down the street, they would be 2-3 inches deep in most of the yard if I waited. My trees are only half done at this point. It’s okay. It’s better than snow.

        Good deal on the free bags!

  3. We have ate from the pantry and freezers.
    We have combined errands with doctor appts. Now that we are down to one dog, she will have to get her nails done (takes 3 to hold her down and clip them) when we go to get blood work. When we had the 3 of them, one of them had shots are something every three months.
    Our mechanic told us how to fix a plugged drain on our son’s sunroof while we had it. Suggested we YouTube it LOL. No charge for advise.
    Daughter 3 let me know that Hanes was having a sale on the sweatpants I wear the most. I ended up with another 4 pairs, same color as what I have but the prices with their sale, my codes etc. came in with a savings of 65%.
    Our propane tank started making a buzzing sound (not a leaking sound) so since we are due for a fill, the office manager assigned the fill to one of the workers that also does repairs so we wouldn’t get a bill for the trip for the repair.
    Our Amish neighbor sent over two dozen eggs.
    I made baked doughnuts using a box mix that was a gift. We stored the extras in the bread box with a towel. They were still most the next day.
    Blessed Be everyone

  4. Those metal arches with gilded flowers are flat out georgeous. I know you & your husband labored long and hard in the relentless Nevada sun preparing the garden. It is lovely how it is all coming to fruition.

  5. Brandy, I have to say your garden is awesome! I cannot imagine how beautiful it will be next year when everything is planted and blooming. You are very talented.
    On the frugal front I was able to get eggs for $.97/18 count. I bought 2 packages. Using coupons and the store (Kroger) sales I was able to get canned tomatoes for $.39/can. I bought 12 cans. I may stop by and pick up some more at the sale price of $.49/can if I buy at least 10. That would hold us for a year. They also had an unadvertised sale of boneless, lean pork ribs for $.99/pound. I bought 3 packages. I would have bought more but my freezer is very full and I am trying to make room for a turkey. I also had a coupon for a free salad kit so I picked that up while there. At the other grocery chain I used my $2 off coupon to buy a gallon of milk. I paid $.56 for the gallon. Today I went to Walmart and they had an unadvertised sale on children’s socks and underwear at $5.50/package. Each underwear package had 6-8 pairs and the socks had 10-15 pairs per package. The sizes were limited but I was able to get a package of each for each of my grandkids. I will keep a few pairs here at the house for when they come spend the weekend, give a few at Christmas and give the rest to their parents for now.
    I just wanted to mention what we do here in the mountains to help stay warm during the winter as it was brought up by another reader last week I believe. Several readers gave great suggestions but I would like to add that when it gets really cold, I will place the heating pad under the covers on the bed while I get ready for bed. I set it on the next to highest setting. In the 10 minutes it takes me to get ready for bed it warms the bed enough to feel very cozy. I turn it off, of course, when we climb into bed. The other thing we now do is use bamboo sheets. A good friend recommended we try them as they keep you cool in the summer and warm in the winter. I wasn’t so sure about the warm part, but it is true. I will be donating my flannel sheets next week on my weekly run into town. The bamboo sheets really do keep you warm in the cooler nights. They also do not feel as cold when climbing into bed initially. My husband, who rarely comments on things like this, said to get a second set as he really liked them. So I did. I got mine from http://www.cosyhousecollection.com They have them for $60 for a queen set including shipping. I highly recommend them. I did have to mark one corner of the bottom sheet in order to make things easier when I change sheets. Their corners have both the sewn deep corners and an elastic to help them fit snuggly on the bed. They stay put until you remove them. And like I said, they keep you very comfortable and I am always cold!
    I will be collecting flower seeds this week. I do that every year. The past two years my granddaughter has been here to help, but now she is back in school all day so I will have to do it by myself. In the spring she and I dance around as we sprinkle the seeds in the gardens. I cannot stick to a plan so I let nature decide where and how many flowers will grow in my flower beds each year. It is a tradition my granddaughter and I enjoy each year. I have no doubt the neighbors wonder as they see us sing and dance around the flower beds every spring, but we look forward to it every year.

  6. My frugal week consisted of the following:
    *Continue to use warm up shower water for the pool or watering plants.
    *We had two rainy days in a row so I turned the sprinklers off for now. We have another rainy day scheduled for this week so I will continue to monitor the weather to see if I can leave them off for longer.
    *Turned the pool filter back to 6 hours/daily scheduled to run versus the 8 hours/daily it was running thus saving electricity.
    *Much cooler temps have hit North Texas but we have quite the pendulum swing from low to high during the day. I set my heat to 68 degrees at night, added extra blankets to all the beds and had the girls sleep in fleece footed pajamas. During the day I turned it down to 65 and opened all the blinds to allow the sun to help heat the house.
    *I continue to coupon and use rebate apps to obtain food and toiletries for free. This week I fulfilled the Ibotta Thanksgiving freebies minus the turkey along with: toothpaste, toilet paper, makeup, greeting cards, ready to eat rice packets, snack bars, spaghetti sauce, feminine products, tortilla chips, crackers, pesto sauce, marshmallows and tortilla chips.
    *I sold an item that was passed on to me that I ended up not needing and made $45.
    *I picked up several items from my Buy Nothing Group which included a bigger bike for my oldest, some brand name shoes she loves in the next size up, a set of two new books – I plan on gifting one to my youngest and saving the other for a bday gift when invited to the next friend party, a set of nice Dog Man books, and a small Elf pet and matching book that I will gift the girls when our Elf arrives this year.
    *Another great freebie I picked up was a box of tools. My ex took all of them with him with the exception of a screwdriver. I was able to get various sizes of wrenches, pliers, screwdrivers and a few hand held saws. I gifted all the remaining items back to a member of the group. I do not have a tool box (adding to my Christmas list) but I had an empty smaller plastic tub with lid that works for now.
    *I drove four miles round trip to save .20/gallon on gas, saving me $2.68 total which is just about the cost of a gallon of milk.
    *I cleaned out and reorganized my medicine, throwing away anything expired and making a list of the holes to prep for sick season.

    1. I forgot one of my great deals! Kroger sent me a few coupons aside from the normal monthly ones, one being $2/$10 meat. I found ground beef and ground chicken marked down! I purchase two pounds ground turkey, three pounds ground chicken and three pounds ground beef all for just under $15!! They all went into the freezer.

  7. Brandy – your garden is just beautiful! I would love to be able to do a tour of it in person – such hard work! That new archway is so intricate – what a great job you have both done!

    I think you deserve some new Christmas ornaments – and being able to share the old ones with your daughter or even to sell some to offset the cost will make them even more special. I didn’t put up my little 3′ tree last year but I will this year. Instead of my usual red or turquoise, I have looked out some cream and gold and pearl ornaments that I’ve had for ages and never used! I didn’t think I had a small tree skirt for this colour combo but then I remembered an old creamy white scarf that I have and never wear – it will work perfectly just draped around the bottom.

    I also managed to find some new Christmas cards for 30% off – bought two different kinds and with the few that I have leftover from last year – this should be enough – I will start writing them later this week. I also found my favourite Walker’s Mincemeat tarts imported from the UK and have stashed away a box. The usual UK imports don’t seem to have arrived as yet – or are extra expensive – so thought I’d get these while they were still available. For Canadian readers – if you normally buy Quality Street tins of chocolates the ones that Rexall sells – a UK firm called Rose & ????? – are half the price (although up $3 this year) and I’ve actually found them to be a better selection.

    I found a good deal on packs of 5 large BLSL chicken breasts last week and bought one – no room for anymore! I cooked up one for chicken salad and have frozen the rest individually – each will be two or three meals for me. I also made up some egg salad – my egg sensitivity has kicked in again but I seem to do a bit better with hard boiled than freshly cooked – although need to space things out a bit or my stomach revolts! Along with a pot of mushroom barley soup that was made on Saturday it will mean a few simple soup and sandwich meals for the start of the week. I’m on a bit of a roll with cleaning and sorting paperwork so want to keep going with all that and not have to think too much about cooking.

    Finally found some canned mixed veg so added a few cans to the pantry – haven’t seen any at my local store for at least two months! I also stocked up on more tetra packs of UHT milk and 3 more boxes of my favourite tea – I can do without a lot of things if I have to but NOT MY TEA! The only items on my grocery shopping list for the next couple of weeks is milk, salad greens and some apples. It is a tight month financially so got to watch the pennies (even if we no longer have pennies)! 🙂

    1. Hi Margie
      I think the chocolates you mention are Cadburys Roses. Quality Street are made by Nestlé.
      We like them both( unfortunately!)

      1. No – the name of the company is “Rose and Robin” – their packaging is blue & white and it’s a UK company. They also sell Liquorice All Sorts and many other treats. The tins of chocolates are excellent and have much more variety than the Quality street – for about half the price. They are only sold here by one particular Pharmacy chain called Rexall. The tins had been $10 for the past few years but I’ve just checked this week’s flyer and they are up to $13 this year! But I do rather like Cadbury’s Roses when I can find them!

    2. Thank you very much for telling me about the existence of the mincemeat tarts. I just ordered 2 boxes, a dozen, small tarts from Amazon.com that mom and I will be enjoying as a special treat six times in the coming weeks.

    3. Margie. If you have trouble getting supplies let me know thru Brandy’s site how I can contact you. I live in Mississauga but my three girls are in Toronto so I am in town all the time. Barbara

    4. Margie fromm Toronto,
      I was just reading a flyer from britishcornershop.co.uk. They sell lots of Marks and Spencer’s food
      food products, and ship to Canada (probably expensive to ship here but if someone went in with you might be worth it). They carry Walker’s mince tarts too.
      Probably these items are too expensive (I’m not sure what kind of duty we’d pay).
      But you might have fun looking at their things.

      1. Oh I love to check their site – along with both Harrods & Fortnum & Maison – it’s my dream to win the lottery and buy some of their hampers for everyone each Christmas!!! 🙂

        1. I too dream of winning the lottery and buying the hampers from Fortnum & Masons and Harrods.
          Meanwhile, Canada Safeway has “An Alberta Winter Box” for $49.00 with $90 worth of things
          and coupons. If I had $49 I might buy one for a Christmas gift.

  8. It was a great, frugal week in Houston, TX!
    I took the kids for a breakfast picnic at the park one morning. I stopped for donuts ($4.99/dz), and let each child pick out 2 or 3 to make up a dozen. No sales tax, which was nice. Of course, I brought their water bottles and my coffee from home to enjoy.
    On the way home from a doctor appointment, I stopped by a discount grocery store that is not near me, and bought some staples that are cheaper there than at Aldi.
    $5 or less meals: chicken and rice, chili dogs, fried egg sandwiches, chicken tortilla soup, and homemade mac and cheese with cubed ham. The last is only cheap because I bought a lot of Velveeta for $1/# last year, and it is still good, in the garage refrigerator.
    I went to a community garage sale (alone) on Saturday while the kids slept, which was awesome for finding Christmas gifts! I found a lot of great things, including brand new Legos, shoes in good condition, diapers, unopened games, books, etc. At one sale, there were shoes I liked, but they were both left shoes. I told the lady that if she had a right shoe, I would buy the pair. I waited while she went in, looked for it, and found it! My younger son can wear this pair to church and for Christmas activities. I decided to stop for a $1 McDonalds coke when I was done, and found two dimes on the floor near the register. Some of the items I will resell, but most I will keep for my kids or gift to them. I am so thankful for the opportunity to find lots of great secondhand items.
    I moved some rice to a smaller container so that it will fit in the freezer. Hopefully I can rotate the entire bag of rice through, a little at a time, to kill bugs and eggs.
    I passed along some food we haven’t eaten to a neighbor.
    A friend let me use her Sam’s card, and I took another friend with me. This time, I didn’t find much I needed, but I went ahead and bought a box of toilet paper, just so we’re completely stocked.
    I haven’t run the AC or heat in a while due to great weather.
    We’re trying to pack for my daughter’s overnight school trip using mostly items we have. I don’t want to buy anything for this retreat if I don’t have to.
    I sold a few things on Mercari and Facebook Marketplace. Cash in, junk out!

  9. This weeks frugals? One day this past week I happened to look at our local FB group and someone had posted early evening that they had put out 2 pet carriers at the curb. I immediately jumped in my car and ran over there and got them. We have a new puppy who will be spayed Dec.1st frugal is going to a Vet in another county $90 versus my Vet at $500.00 ( my personal Vet recommended this clinic). Anyways I will be driving about half a hour or so in a area I’m not familiar with so needed something to “contain” bouncy puppy. Free is good. I found a recipe for blackberry jelly using powdered pectin and made some this morning avoiding having to buy liquid pectin which is what most recipes seem to call for, it jelled on the spoon so hopefully it sets up otherwise it’ll be pancake syrup which is o.k. too. I composted all spring/summer and this weekend poured a trash can of compost along with some dirt and sawdust in to a spot where I want to grow wildflowers that attract hummingbirds and butterflies and planted the seeds, the supplier assured me this is fine to do in the fall for a spring garden. After reading GardenPats tip on the turkeys at 33 cents a pound at Meijers I will make a trip out there this week to get 2 turkeys and cook them up and freeze for later meals or Can it up when I have the time. I also started today putting up the plastic sheeting on windows to save on heating cost this winter, we live in a very old drafty house so this should help alot. Still trying to line dry when I can, our weather is getting chilly I tried to line dry one day last week and though they were out there all day they did not dry that much unfortunately.

  10. Your garden is truly looking beautiful! I know that it will be a blessing both visually and financially, and am glad for you.

    My oven died. We still hope it can be repaired rather than replaced but are struggling to get the repairman here. I am using my slow cooker to compensate for a lack of oven (and trying to bake in the slow cooker for the first time) but then we were hit with rolling blackouts – power is off for several hours a day, sometimes with little warning. It’s quite frustrating but finding ways to work around the challenges is better than buying convenience foods. Gas (petrol and diesel) rose sharply in price last week. We were also hit with 2 very high water bills. We sat the children down and explained how these costs are affecting us and agreed to work together to lower these costs. The water bill was from a leaky toilet cistern we took too long to repair, but we took a look at our usage over the past 2 years (my husband actually graphed it) and realized that our usage has definitely been creeping up even before the sharp increase with the leak. We were just thinking “Oh well, costs are up” and not paying enough attention to actual gallons (or kilo litres here). So, we have learnt to not leave leaks unattended, and to pay attention to usage, not just cost. We are doing the same with electricity.

    My daughter found a shop selling our brand of cat food for less than what we have been paying. We also bought 50kg of dog food on sale (that’s 5 weeks of food for our 2 rottweilers). My sister was visiting from the Netherlands; we used rewards cards and discount vouchers for the outings we went on.

    Our garden is producing food well. We are harvesting peaches, zucchini and Swiss chard daily (enough to share with friends), and pattipans, green beans, tomatoes, and chillies are starting to come in now too. Our annual family vacation is coming up. This is time-share we saved for and bought years ago so no cost is incurred for the accommodation. We usually splash out on nicer food (it’s self catering accommodation) but this year have agreed together to keep the menu simple using mostly foods from our pantry and freezer. I am working out a menu plan so I know exactly what to pack and the order to use things in which will save time, money, and sanity, and also reduce food wastage which we tend to have more of on holidays. The nicer things we usually take like bags of chips and bottles of soda I have already been buying on sale and setting aside. It will be our sons 11th birthday while we are there. He has chosen a nice dinner that I will make for him and we have purchased his gifts using sales and thrift stores.

    I’m thankful that even in a tough climate right now, with lots of stress all around us, I have a loving family, a secure home, food to eat, caring friends, a meaningful faith and supportive Church community, healthcare, and even occasional electricity.

    1. Tracy,
      When my gas oven died about 15 years ago, the cost for a service call was quite high and money was tight. It was actually cheaper to buy a large countertop oven. It was convection, had a rotisserie feature and was more than large enough to cook a pizza, whole chicken, etc. I am in the US and bought it at Kohl’s with a 30% of coupon for under $100. I used it for a number of years until some other appliance (dryer, I think) broke and I was able to get both fixed for the same service fee (and I had more money by then).

      Enjoy your vacation!

  11. The rose garden piece is so beautiful!
    I saved money the past week by paying bills online and on time.
    We traveled again and I bought economy flights to save money. I was happy that even though my husband and I were assigned different rows, the gate agent was able to seat us together. We brought some things from home and grocery shopped on arrival to limit restaurant meals and stay on budget.
    I downloaded 2 books and 2 movies before we left home in case we couldn’t get free wifi.
    Hope everyone has a great week!

  12. Hi!

    I love the Clinique sales as well, Brandy!

    Here are some things that I did this past week that saved us some money:

    ▪️We flew to my in-laws and brought snacks from home and water bottles to fill after getting through the TSA check to avoid paying high airport prices for food.
    ▪️ I decided to start grocery shopping based on sales only and signed up for Shaw’s Supermarkets forU program for their BOGO’s & Free items.
    ▪️ We re-evaluated our benefits through my husband’s employer and we’re able to take advantage of some better coverage for a lower rate during open enrollment.
    ▪️ I made my own foaming hand soap instead of purchasing more at the store.
    ▪️ I was able to find our Thanksgiving turkey for $.79 a pound which was the lowest price in our area and now I’m not afraid of there being a shortage. A 20.97 lb bird was just under $17.00.
    ▪️ I used a gift card to try new skincare and makeup products at Ulta.
    ▪️ I started tracking every penny spent in Google Sheets to really be on top of spending.

    Have a wonderful week!

  13. Brandy – can you give some specs on the size of lettuce that you transplant and simple instructions? I have some volunteers I will try to move. Never thought of that! Thanks.

    I am struggling to find any bargains for meat right now in my area. So thankful to hear others are more fortunate. I would be over the moon to find turkeys at a good price. I paid $1.69/ lb.

    We are having a few meatless meals here and there and I have substituted canned chicken breast in some casseroles.

    I do love reading the comments as well as Brandy’s post each week. Keeps me focused and motivated!

    1. They are small; maybe 2 or 3 tiny leaves.

      I do it in the evening and water them in well. They are less likely to have transplant shock if you do it in the evening.

  14. Looking forward to photos of your new Christmas stuff when the season gets closer, Brandy. You have such a great style sense! Our oldest is only in high school, but I’m already planning to pass some some ornaments (and various housewares) to her and the others once they start moving away from home. Winter and her family will be so blessed, I’m sure, to have some of the ornaments she grew up with.

    Here are the most outstanding frugal points in my week:

    *Made smoothies using frozen overripe bananas, diced frozen pineapple cores,a coconut water that’s been open for awhile, and the last bit of some plain yogurt that was past the expiration. We buy fresh pineapple whenever it’s on sale ($1.19 at Aldi, or no more than $1.50 anywhere) — it has so much more flavor than the canned, and if you choose a medium to large one, you can sometimes get the equivalent of 2 cans. The core is too tough to eat fresh, but tastes great blended into a smoothie.

    *Used a $10 Kohl’s cash for a completely free plain black shirt for myself (a wardrobe essential I’ve needed to replace for awhile). I hardly ever really shop at Kohl’s (maybe for 2-3 items/year?), but they email me a $10 Kohl’s cash every 6-8 weeks or so. They usually have some other coupon that can be used simultaneously (this time it was for 20% off your purchase), so I always try to find something that makes the item as close to free as possible. Usually I have to pay out something, but not this time!

    *My husband went to Costco to buy a new HVAC filter, since there’s a coupon that was supposed to make it a good deal. But they were out of our size, so he went to Home Depot instead, where he found a deal that gave him 50% off if he purchased 8. So he ended up paying $40 for 8 filters! If he had been able to purchase a filter at Costco, it would’ve been around $20 each for a comparable filter. We now have a 2 year supply of filters.

    *Showered at the gym every time I worked out there this week. This helps my water bill because I tend to take long, hot showers when it’s cold out.

    *Found a great deal on Christmas gifts. We only buy stocking stuffers for our kids, since the grandparents are very generous, but we needed to get gifts for my sister-in-law’s three kids, since they’ll be celebrating with us this year. I had an idea for one of them, and after googling the item (retails for $22), I found it marked down to $4.97 on the Mindware website (they’re affiliated with Oriental Trading, but sell educational toys). After looking through the “sale” tab on the site, I found everything I needed to cover my niece and nephews gifts for both Christmas AND their upcoming birthdays, plus I found enough stuff to fill my younger three children’s stockings AND a board game that will be a birthday gift for one of my children with an upcoming birthday. I got 18 items for a total of $56 (plus free shipping)! Now I just need to round out my older kids’ stockings.

    *Some friends who live 5 hours away we’re in town on Saturday, and they insisted on bringing dinner to celebrate my husband finishing grad school… hamburger patties/buns (so we could grill out), 2 large pies, drinks, dessert, and snacks. What a fun surprise, and such a sweet gift to us.

    *I picked up a turkey at Wal Mart for 87 cents/lb. They’re usually cheaper (59-69 cents/lb) at the regular grocery stores this time of year, but not this year apparently. If they end up having a last minute sale, I’ll grab at least one more.

    *Received another small bag of hand-me-downs for my boys. I’ll probably donate most of it, but there were a few pairs of shorts that I’ll put away for next summer.

    Looking forward to reading everyone’s savings and frugal tips this week!

  15. We have been enjoying the colder weather, in part, because that means it is soup season. I love soup and could eat it every day. I find it one of the easiest things to cook, too, and a great way to use up bits and pieces of whatever you have. Plus, it tastes even better the second day!
    Our neighbor gave us a box of canned and boxed food items (pasta) that she was given from someone else. She took what she could use and gave us the rest. Love that I have neighbors who pass the love along in this way.
    My husband’s uncle gave us several sentimental family things and some useful things (tools, trailer hitches, etc.) as he is cleaning out his sheds. Again, glad we have so many people who share things with us and that we can do the same with, as well.
    Have found a few things I am not using to sell in my neighbor’s booth at a local antique shop. It helps me be satisfied with less and earns a bit of money that is always helpful. Also selling some of my boys’ clothing on FB.
    Was gifted some mulch from another neighbor that I used to surround some of my newer forsythia cuttings I received from a different neighbor this summer. Hope it will help them get through the Winter snug and warm. Looking forward to their lovely yellow flowers in the Spring.
    I have been reading the first book of the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series by Rick Riordon to my boys and we all love this adventurous tale. I also thought I knew a lot of Greek mythology but this series will be a fun way to review. Personally, I have been re-reading Doris Janzen Longacre’s More With Less Cookbook and her Living More with Less. I love these two books and re-read them about once a year. The reminder that frugality has worldwide implications beyond my wallet is welcome as is the benefits to my soul and peace of mind. Highly recommend both if they would be new to you.
    It was hard but I resisted going to our library’s book sale this past week. Normally, that would be one of my favorite things to do but I decided I have enough books for now, I enjoy re-reading the ones I keep in my personal library and have never had trouble finding what I want to read through inter-library loan so far. Again, just another exercise in being happy with what I have already. But, can’t promise I will skip the next one! I have been employing the “one in, one out” rule for years now with most items in my home but books are my friends and can be a bit harder than, say, a shirt.
    Have a lovely week, all!

    1. I checked out the More With Less cookbook from the library after several recommendations, but I found the recipes called for ingredients that are too expensive, including beef and sausage. We eat a lot more meatless meals.

      I love forsythia. I hope your cuttings take!

      1. There are recipes which include meat but also entire sections that are based on beans, particularly soybeans and lentils. We have found those recipes quite useful and a fun way to try meals from other countries (since the recipes were supplied by Mennonites doing missionary work in various parts of the world, in most cases.) We eat many meatless meals, too. In fact, I did not eat any meat at all from age 11 until about 2 years ago when I feared my dietary restrictions may have been influencing my youngest child’s sometimes frustratingly particular tastes. Appears it was not but, thankfully, he is becoming more adventurous and trying more new things now.

    2. Mountain Mama Dawn…would you be willing to share the area of the country you live in and whether you get snow? I am thinking you live in the area near where we are looking to move to which is northeast Tennessee. Thank you! Love your comments! We raised nine children and I did many of the things you and Brandy do. Have a wonderful week!

  16. Gorgeous trellis! Although you will have beautiful climbing roses in a few years, I’m glad that you can enjoy the gilt ones until then.

    I want to update my Christmas tree too. I’ve been using the same tatted and crocheted snowflakes that I bought at a yard sale for $2 for 15 years or so. I also have deconstructed two chandeliers and put the prisms on my tree for a pretty effect.

    My husband and I were able to go out of town for the week to a documentary film festival. Passes for 6 days of films were $75 each–a pretty inexpensive way to be entertained for 12 hours a day. We had a place to stay and packed lunches and snacks. We did eat out a few times, but had leftovers for additional meals. We also hiked and enjoyed time away. While driving, we listened to the audio book of “Call the Midwife.” I was able to do a lot of knitting on the drive and finished a baby afghan to donate.

    I am taking soup, bread, and salad to a family member tonight. My pantry makes it easy to make a meal for others.

    Like Brandy, I have started to save my warm up water for the shower. We are using it to flush the toilet.

    I am grateful for this site and for your inspiring comments!

    1. Look soon! The stores and websites are selling out quickly.

      The rose photo at the bottom of the post is one of the climbing roses that will grow on this arbor (but planted on one of the other arbors that my husband made). I planted them already in April, so they are already growing. Once I finish the second coat of paint, I can tie them to the arbors.

  17. Hi Brandy and everyone
    Your designs for the garden metalwork and your husband’s skill in bringing them to life are superb! I’m interested that you are redoing your Christmas tree decorations, my family won’t let me do that because they are so fond of the ornaments inherited from my grandparents and the ones we’ve received or bought over the years. It’s like a memory tree.
    I redeemed some more points from my consumer research panel for £100 of vouchers for Homesense, these will buy Christmas presents.
    I took advantage of early bird offers to buy clothing for Christmas presents. I have saved all year for presents/ food so I have the money to hand. A friend who works for a large supermarket chain was advising me to shop early because they’re already having supply chain issues in the UK and expecting it to get worse.
    I received a bouquet of lilies as a thank you for doggy day care.
    My husband researched the best price for compost to be delivered in bulk, we make our own compost but don’t have enough for the new garden beds.
    I made an inventory of the freezers and pulled forward some things which have been in there a while and need eating soon.
    We picked apples, Swiss Chard, tomatoes and a courgette from the garden.
    I cut the fronts off greeting cards we have received and will use them for shopping lists.
    I went through my thermal undies, winter socks etc and don’t need to buy any.
    I was pleased to find packets of pudding rice, it’s such a filling, economical pudding. I am making puddings more often to help fill my husband up, it means I can serve smaller portions of meat or fish. We are eating more meat free meals too.
    Ruby grapefruit was reduced from 45 pence to 35 pence each so I filled up the salad drawer in the fridge.
    I had a dental check up and was relieved nothing needed doing except a quick cleaning of some hard to reach plaque. I am lucky to have an NHS dentist ( they’re getting hard to find) so the inspection and cleaning only cost £23.
    Stay safe everyone.

    1. I haven’t seen a price like that on grapefruit for a decade!

      So I planted two Ruby Red grapefruit trees this year. I hope they do well. I had two years ago, but a couple of winters at 22 degrees killed them off. We don’t usually get below 28 but three nights at 22 was death to those. My trees are young now and tiny, so very susceptible to freezing, but I know more about fertilizing now and am doing a better job (I hope!) of keeping them healthy.

      1. If the grapefruit trees are in a spot where you can run an extension cord out to them, placing an old lamp under the tree will give off enough heat to keep them from freezing. The old timers where we lived before taught us this trick. It saved our orange tree.
        Alternatively, if the trees are still little, they can be covered with an old sheet. I find the lamp works better though.

        1. Yes. They talked about this in the classes I took. It works fine for 28 degrees but not at 22. I am hoping my new citrus trees will all make it through the winter.

      2. How wonderful it would be to grow your own grapefruit. Hope your trees do well.
        Vineyards burn frost candles on cold nights to protect the vines, I wonder if it would work for your citrus trees?

        1. I would have to do a lot of burning. The citrus are now throughout the garden.

          The coldest time is around 3 am. Would be some early mornings for sure!

          It’s only about 10 days of the year. I should probably cover them this year.

      3. That is so interesting. We are in Australia and have had no problems with the cold with our ruby grapefruit and we get significantly colder than that. But we don’t fertilise or water much so our trees grow slower and tougher. I did plant five Tahitian limes thinking I would lose most but all survived 🙄. We get thousands of limes and hundreds of grapefruit a year 😀

  18. I think I have everything I need for Thanksgiving except the long carrots that I always cook with the turkey, sour cream, a few more eggs, and a bit more butter or margarine, depending on the price. I think I have enough potatoes for the mashed potatoes, the cornmeal for the cornbread dressing, onion, I have a can of pumpkin and I usually just make a pumpkin custard (which is actually just a pie minus the crust) and I have a couple of cans of sweet potatoes if I wish to make a sweet potato casserole. I will probably skip it though because of the pumpkin custard and the long carrots. I will make the green bean casserole, the simple green pea salad, the spinach dip and maybe a mulberry cobbler to go along with half the cookie cake I froze from my middle son’s birthday. My boys are not big sweet eaters so I will probably just skip the mulberry cobbler. So, I think I will just serve, turkey with long carrots, cornbread dressing, mashed potatoes, rolls, gravy, spinach dip, pea salad, and green bean casserole, along with the cookie cake and pumpkin custard. I am trying to not make the corn casserole but will if the boys complain too much….lol. My son is making Rotel dip, his way, with three meats and two kinds of cheese.

  19. Brandy,
    Your garden looks beautiful! Thanks for sharing your beautiful pictures!

    * baked and puréed a pumpkin we grew- froze for now but will end up in a pie
    * got a lot of freebies using Ibotta this week including Thanksgiving sides
    * gratefully picked up fun foods from Buy Nothing Group
    * redeemed coupon for free fruit box from Edible Arrangements- was some good fruit covered in chocolate and wrapped in an adorable box!
    * took a few surveys and will be able to redeem for gift cards
    * ate leftovers and meal planned as usual
    * got 2 boxes of 40 count generic Tylenol shipped for a total of 26 cents through a one day (I think) Walgreens deal!
    * free 8×10 print from Walmart
    * bought stocking stuffer candy with $5 Kohl’s cash from an Amazon return
    * saved orange peels for disposal and vinegar cleaner
    * continue to use our compost tumbler- less trash waste and can’t wait to use the end result in our yard
    * grocery store handed out free hand sanitizer and phone wipes today- was a fun surprise!

    Hope everyone has a fantastic week!

  20. My mom sent over cake mixes, tomatoes, frozen corn, juice, powdered milk, and bread

    Repaired a pair of sons sweatpants

    Earned $10.25 Amazon shopper panel rewards and $5 Amazon gift card from Verizon rewards.

    Used a coupon for butterscotch chips $1.99 v $3.29 x2. Put those away to use for the holidays

    Waited so long for our McDonald’s mobile order we got out money refunded

    Cleaned out the refrigerator freezer and combined end bags of tater tots and French fries so I shouldn’t have to buy any for a couple weeks

    My 14yo made blueberry muffins in her food and nutrition class and brought 3 home for us.

    Had leftover heavy whipping cream so my 14yo made butter with it.

    The tv remote wasn’t working well and I was about to order a new one but hubby took it apart and cleaned everything well. Works great again.

    Bought the part for my washing machine we thought was the issue according to the code and it’s still not working right. Looks like I might have to call in someone to figure out the actual problem.

  21. Gorgeous arbour and I really love that flower arrangement!

    My frugal week:
    – I made chocolate chip cookies, enchiladas (http://approachingfood.com/easy-enchiladas/), homemade baby food, and cornbread, amongst other things.
    – i forgot to mention last week, I made my daughter’s Halloween costume (a ghost), using fleece bought on sale. My baby used a costume her older sister wore as a baby, and I had traded for it at the time. I’ll likely sell the baby costume, as it’ll be outgrown before next year, and it’s a quality one.
    – I made lebneh (strained yoghurt, very similar to cream cheese) using some yoghurt nearing it’s expiration date.
    – I baked an apple cake, using apples purchased at 50% off, and brought some to my former workplace. Inexpensive networking!
    – I made pizza using basil I grew on my balcony, twice. Now that basil is done for the year, but I hope it comes back again next year. 
    – I picked green tomatoes and hot peppers from my parents garden before I got the bed ready for the winter. I also picked green tomatoes, chives, and green onions from my balcony garden. I chopped and froze the chives and green onions. 
    – I made Greek Stuffed Buns, using red onions, crumbled feta, oregano, black olives, and crumbled leftover meatballs, mixed together and placed inside pizza dough, then shaped and baked. Tasted great, and cleared out a few things from my fridge. 
    – I redeemed $20 worth of Air Miles for groceries. 
    – I redeemed a free item offer, two manufacturers coupons, a digital offer, discounts, and loyalty points, to get two bags of groceries for $5. 

    Looking forward to learning from everyone else as always!

  22. The garden metalwork is gorgeous, Brandy! You and your husband make a good team.

    We finally broke down and bought an artificial tree two years ago. Once I use it this year, for the 3rd time, it will mean I have it “paid for” compared to three years of the best I could find fresh tree prices. My tree skirt is the same white $5 sheet I bought at an outlet years ago. Most of our ornaments are old, too. Two of my ornaments are “Baby’s first Christmas” ornaments. My babies are now 36 and 39 🙂 My most special ornament is a small feathered bird that my mother allowed me to pick out as my own at a Christmas open house in a florist/gift shop in my home town, when I was a kid, so it’s about 55 years old. We replace some of the old ones, but some, we are hanging on to. I offer my no longer used Christmas stuff to my kids, and they often accept it. I hope you’ll show a picture of your completed tree, Brandy. It’s sure to be lovely.

    My winter at home and running errands to local stores wear, is getting mighty sparse. I stopped at Goodwill and found Ralph Lauren jeans, two long-sleeved tops, and a nice long-sleeved Ann Taylor tunic, for about $15.00.

    I repaired some wall marks and scratches and filled and repainted nail holes in a bathroom, using a quart of paint I had color-matched to my original wall color at Lowe’s. That quart has seen several uses already.

    I used Swagbucks to buy a gift and get it sent with free shipping to the recipient.

    I planted some more carrots and spinach, along with some celeriac.

    Brandy has inspired me to think about building a raised bed garden and orchard in my back yard. I have containers in my front yard, and several fruiting trees scattered about, but I’d like to add a central garden area in what is pretty much a blank backyard. Our soil is very sandy and poor, so a raised bed garden makes more sense here.

    1. Jo, I have an edible landscaping board on Pinterest if you want some ideas! You can find it here.

      Sand can be improved. Most of the new “soil” we bought is sand! (because caliche is basically concrete rocks, and one can’t garden in that). I am adding lots of composted manure to it, worms, and kitchen scraps, along with fertilizer. So, you could dig your beds and improve them rather than have to spend money on raised beds. You could even take some of the soil out and mix in new soil. If you can get compost, even better.

  23. I had frozen blanched and skinned tomatoes during the harvest rush of summer. I had bagged in 4 cup portions. I took them out and weighed them and used 3 to make salsa. I got 5 5 pints of salsa, freezing the extra half pint, then had one not seal so I froze that. I have one gallon bag of whole tomatoes I need to do something with, and probably one hidden somewhere.
    ***Harvested okra, bell peppers, and jalapeño peppers. I am sure these plants are done after getting Temps in the 40s for a week. I froze all of these by flash freezing so I can just get out a handful as needed.
    ***I got 3 rose bushes planted. The fourth never set leaves so I contacted the company and they gave me store credit. I’m not real happy, because I have to order $100 for free shipping so if I just order a new bush I have to pay shipping. I am going to wait until spring I believe. I may get a climbing rose and some others to get to the $100. I mixed fish fertilizer and put down in the hole and used the extra on my hydrangeas and fruit trees.
    ***planted two blueberry bushes and two blackberries. A friend dug her blackberries and gave me two actual plants rather than cuttings. I got 6′ metal stakes off Marketplace and will attach wire to espallier them along the fence line.
    ***I pruned my apple and peach trees, I was scared to do this! We just planted in spring but I tried to get what seemed to be too close and open space more between branches.
    ***Husband built shelves in the garage over the two windows and then floor to ceiling right along the side wall next to the rear. He is going to add some between the windows, but has the law sprinkler system panel to work around there.
    ***I got address labels in the mail and a mini notepad from a charity. I always send a donation each year.
    ***I sold a monogrammed baby quilt. I took down my listing for the final 5 because I don’t want to have anything I have to get done until next year.
    ***With my hair long and graying I only need to wash every 4 days. If I am going out I use dry shampoo on the 4th day along the roots, but my hair no longer gets greasy very quickly.
    ***Aldi Butterball turkeys were $.87 a lb so I picked up 2 turkeys. I had one I paid $1.29 in the freezer I bought a couple of weeks ago when I wasn’t sure if they would be available or what price. We fry our turkey, so since I don’t have room for everything Thanksgiving and 2 more to thaw, I will thaw them after Thanksgiving and keep the fryer oil and do them and freeze the meat, make some canned meals, and make broth to can.
    ***I ordered a quarter of beef. It is about 200 lb hanging weight. We have 2 deer in the freezer , with hunting season beginning again. I decided to donate the ground venison we have been slow to eat to a soup kitchen charity. He said he would be happy to get it, so I am taking it tomorrow. I kept the steak cut pieces and sausage, but may take them a few sausages. I had two packages of venison stew meat and one roast cut. I put them in the Instantpot with mushroom soup, onion, and cooked them all together. My husband had two meals over rice, and I froze 4 bagged portions for stroganoff or over rice or even to make a stew later.
    ***Kroger eggs were $.97 for 18, with limit of five. I bought 5 and already had 2 dozen eggs so I have a lot of eggs. I will use some at Thanksgiving and make deviled eggs to take to work party. Then I plan to crack and scramble up and freeze 2 in bags, maybe just one of the carton of 18. I will make a quiche one night, tuna salad, boil some for snacking, My husband ( the one from the unfrugal mom that lives with us, haha) does not understand. I had gotten the half gallon milk deal a few weeks ago and froze 3. He saw the frozen milk and said he was taking it out of the freezer to throw away because it would not be right after freezing. I talked him into trying it, and they’ve been drinking it and I made pancakes with it. If MIL knew she wouldn’t drink it knowing I had frozen it. I am waiting for her to notice the October date on it 🙂 But husband was converted, yay!
    ***My washing machine has a speed cycle that is 30 minutes vs 60 minutes regular cycle. I wash on cold using the speed cycle unless things are really dirty.
    ***I divided daylilies and realized trying to get them planted was not going to happen so gave about 10 to a friend. I made her a bag of zinnia seed, and gave her 4 paper boxes with lids.
    ***We filled our propane tank that is actually an extra tank for our grill. We may go camping and have a propane tank on the camper I’d like to full. I filled my car for $3.04 at Sams, where other prices are $3.19- 3.29. I’d like to pick up some extra small green propane canisters for the camp grill. I also need to get electric outlet insulators for outside wall outlets.
    *** I organized medicines and 1st aid supplies in 4 containers. One for pain, one for cold/allergy, one 1st aid, and one upset stomach.
    ***I have ordered all Christmas, except son in law and one child that won’t put anything they want.
    ***Aldis has chocolate advent calenders, it was under $2, but I can’t remember the price. I got one for grandson.
    ***Brandy, you taking about Christmas ornaments. I love the pack Sams has. They are shatterproof and are assorted sizes and styles in the box. I started collecting Shiny Brite vintage ornaments last year. I won some EBAY listing and yardsale listing, and look at estate sales and antique malls. I put what I had on a small tree last year, and have enough for my big tree this year. My most expensive was $6 for a detailed one at an antique mall. My least expensive was 2/10 cents at an estate sale. I gave them a quarter and said keep the change and ran to my car peeling away before they could figure it out and chase me down.
    ***I am currently looking for copper molds to make a display wall between the kitchen and dining room. I want my husband to make a gigantic plate rack one day. I got about 6 molds from an uncle that died last year, so I want to expand it. I have 8 coo-coo clocks on the wall opposite this one. it is a walkway area . I have some bread boards I will mix in. I always look for my ornaments, vintage books with pretty colored bindings, Fiesta, old linens,quilts, copper, pewter candlesticks, and silver serving pieces, I really want silver tomato servers. Having some fun things to add to my collections is like a gamete hunt through junk u til you find your treasure.
    *** Our area is a burst of yellow, reds, and orange as the trees show their colors and I have enjoyed getting out just looking and walking. God is amazing to give us such diverse paintings with the sun and leaves.

    1. I don’t know if you are new to growing fruit trees, so please forgive me if I am sharing information that you already know.

      Usually, tree pruning is done in the late winter/early spring a month before your last frost date. In the future, I would recommend doing it then. Our last frost date is February 15th, so I prune in January.

      Apple and peaches are pruned differently. It won’t matter much for you this year, as they are too young to worry much about fruit. Apples produce on fruiting spurs, so they can produce in the same spot each year. Peaches produce on the previous year’s growth, and need to have good horizontal branches for fruiting. Peaches tend to grow lots of downward
      branches, which are useless; if those fruit (and they can), the branch cannot hold the weight of the fruit and it will tear off and damage the tree. Other store fruits, like plums and apricots, do not have this issue but are otherwise pruned the same.

  24. Don’t be in too big of a hurry to dispose of those old ornaments. When we sold our vacation home, we ended up with ornaments from both places. About 3 years ago, I started changing up what we put on the tree each year, and it’s been fun. You might find that you enjoy it too. TBH, I am not crazy about decorating the tree and I like taking it down even less. It just all seems like too much mess and work. I’ve pretty much always been this way.

    One of the stores in my area had their 12-Hour Baking Sale last Thursday. I did a quick inventory first and did not buy any flour or sugar, since I didn’t bake much this past year and have a lot left. However, I stocked up on canola oil ($1.69/48 ounces–an absolute killer price) and a case of evaporated milk (.68), which I use in my tea and occasionally in cooking. I also got one dozen eggs for .49 and 2 lbs. of butter for $1.98 each. I don’t find many grocery bargains on a week-to-week basis, but if I keep my eyes open, I’ve been able to restock my pantry at reasonable prices.

    A couple of weeks ago there was a comment about “unusual” frugal stuff that we all do. One thing that others may find unusual is that I never deep fry anything, because the oil makes it too expensive. (Not to mention loaded with calories). I have been married for 53 years and have deep fried maybe 5 or 6 times. You can bet that I never was tempted to buy a Fry Daddy!

    1. If I had an attic, I would keep the old ornaments for this reason, but I did not. I just have a small space on a shelf and things sitting in boxes on the floor because I don’t have shelf space for everything, so they need to go. I am tired of the boxes on the floor and would like things to be neat and organized. I am having a garage sale this weekend; I hope to get through more of the children’s clothes before then so that I can get rid of enough stuff to get everything up on the shelves in my closet.

  25. What brand lids are you getting at Walmart. All my canning groups are talking about off brand lids buckling during pressure canning, some were bought from Amish communities. So I am curious if you have tried them yet and had success and what brand.

    1. I am not the original poster, but I buy Ball and Kerr lids from Walmart. I have avoided the off-brand lids because I have heard too many stories of them failing.

  26. Brandy those rose arbor you and your husband made are so pretty and I can see all the work you have done and no doubt they will take pride of place in the garden for many years to come 🙂 . Lovely you have also planted lots of lovely seeds in the gardens and harvested more produce. Lovely you were able to get your clinique face powder at such a good price with a wonderful discount and a gift bag too.

    Our Vicky challenge added up to $95.79 in savings last week 🙂 .

    Purchases –
    – Saved 4c per litre or $3.75 by by using or rewards fuel voucher when filling up with fuel.
    – Bought a new Sunbeam DT600 food dehydrator and saved $10 by paying cash and negotiating prices.

    In the kitchen –

    – Dehydrated 4 dozen eggs that I picked up for $2.50 per dozen on sale saving $40.56 over buying commercially dehydrated eggs. The home dehydrated ones I use half the amount of as the commercial ones have the natural sugars removed and I think perhaps other things like some fat too. I will use them for baking and found them to be really good and fantastic they are shelf staple for around 12 months with an oxygen absorber in the bottle as long as they are kept in a cool area.
    – Made 3 loaves of bread in the bread making machine saving $10.47 over buying them locally.
    – Cooked all meals and bread from scratch.
    – Blanched and froze silverbeet picked from the gardens and put them in meal sized portions in the freezer.

    In the gardens –
    – Picked 6 1/3 bunches of silverbeet from the gardens saving $31.01 over purchasing them in the supermarkets.
    – Replanted some more turnip and carrot seedlings in one garden beds after they were eaten by slugs and snails. While we were at it we got rid of all the snails and slugs we found both in and around the garden beds. Happy to say they are all sprouting happily and haven’t been eaten this time 🙂 .

    Have a great week ahead everyone 🙂 .

  27. We have been eating from things we have at home for more than 10 days. So glad that we have been frugal and will survive 3 weeks without a paycheck. I’m glad that I am growing kale and that we have some green tomatoes that we can eat. The one thing I wish that we had done is have more frozen ready to eat meals. But I did freeze soups that I had cooked previously. I’m glad we have the internet and a Roku for entertainment. Glad that I have sugar to make treats, even though I originally didn’t want to have sugar on hand. A treat once in awhile is a big deal. I’m glad we had chicken noodle soup on hand when we weren’t feeling well. Even though I usually make homemade soups, there are times when there is no energy for anything. That is when canned foods come in handy and the expense definitely seems worth it. We are turning off lights, airing out the house with fresh air. We are saving money from not going anywhere. We will pay bills on time and not incur charges.
    Brandy, I love your garden changes! I especially love your rose arbor! What a beautiful design. I hope to save seeds from my marigolds and have them to plant next year.

      1. Ann,
        Thank you. I’m tired but much better. Hubby is getting some projects done until he can go back to work and my son seems just fine. Tammy

  28. Your rose trellis is stunning!
    I bought 3 yards of linen fabric, with the intention of making a blouse. After I cut out the blouse (carefully aligning the pieces to use the least fabric) I realized I had enough fabric left to cut out a sleeveless dress (with pockets). I will enjoy wearing this dress next summer.
    I made several Christmas gifts (some stitch markers for a fellow knitter, hair scrunchies and some beaded necklaces and earrings.) I premade some meals for our camping trip. We enjoyed lettuce and chard from the greenhouse, and the last of my home-grown tomatoes which had ripened inside. We camped for five days near Moab. We ate food we brought from home, hiked a lot, and used my husband’s National Parks pass to visit Canyonlands and Arches National Parks at no additional cost. The pass also allowed us to camp for half price in BLM campgrounds. We used a 60 cent per gallon gas discount at Kroger to fill up the truck before we left on our trip, saving $14.

  29. I saved the cost of an internet provider by using my cell phone as a mobile hot spot. This works for me because I am the only one using it.
    I found a like new winter coat at the thrift shop for much less than they normally cost. Yay! My old coat had been a “make do” item for several years.
    I groomed my dog.
    I save money at the gas pump by purchasing my heating oil and gas for my car from the same company.

  30. I just love watching the progress on your massive garden project — you really have such an eye for making things beautiful! I can’t wait to see it all finished and with everything in bloom.

    I’m continuing with my quest of trying for zero food waste. I haven’t quite made it there yet, but the last few weeks have seen marked improvements in the amount of food we’ve thrown away. Whereas the first two weeks of the challenge, I had to throw away around $30 of items, I’ve only had to throw away about $3 worth the last two weeks. Progress!

    I’m using my photography skills for my Christmas gift to my parents this year — they’ve wanted an updated photo for ages of all their kids and grandkids, so I wrangled everyone together and we miraculously managed to coordinate schedules so that I could do a shoot with everyone. I’m excited to see my mom’s face when she opens up the pictures on Christmas!

    I borrowed three books from the library for myself to read, as well as a huge stack for the kids. Book buying is a major weakness of mine, so every time I can manage to borrow rather than buy lately is a win (especially as the selection here at our rural library is rather limited)!

    I’m planning on using the $40 I have in rewards to Old Navy to get my husband a new pair of jeans (or two) for free the next time they run a 40% off sale, which should be coming up soon.

    I’m all out of my favorite Mary Kay cleanser, but rather than race right out and order more, I’m using up a cleanser that’s been sitting in my “backup” pile for a few years. While I don’t like it as much as my usual, I’m glad for the chance it’s giving me to better stay on budget this month! I’m also hoping that it lasts long enough so that I can see if my Mary Kay consultant will be running any Black Friday sales.

  31. We were given a deer by someone who likes to hunt, but didn’t want the meat. We paid for it to be processed, but it is nice to have deer in the freezer. We went through the refrigerator freezer to make room for the deer and gave my son some things to take to his new place – he is moving into a small home we own, so we will be empty nesters. We have helped him find items to take to start off. It is much easier for him than it was for our daughter; she liked things to match her aesthetic, and he could care less!

  32. Your garden photos are beautiful Brandy.
    Fantastic Fall here in northern WI with temperatures in upper 60’s for three consecutive days.
    We have been using our fireplace, our woodshed is filled for the season with free hardwood that my husband harvested off our property.
    I am shopping the marketplace for health insurance with a 16% increase in our current plan over the previous year.
    My compost pile is growing; I took all flowering plants, kitchen fruit and vegetable non- edibles, coffee grounds, egg shells and our worm bait box content and it should be good extra soil for the garden next year.
    Touched up the paint on our stove and looks so much better.
    Getting together with friends to enjoy a “work on your project day”. I am making Christmas ornaments and bringing some scratch muffins to share. It’s a great way to socialize and enjoy moments with others.
    Friend adjusted our garage door spring at no cost to us. (We were so happy-no service call necessary).
    Found flowering spring bulbs at 75% off-put them in soil in pots and will store in garage until the sunshine of next spring.
    Hope everyone is having a good week with the blessings of frugal living.

  33. That white pumpkin is just perfect! Did you paint the stem, or was it already that color?
    My husband and I both had unexpected dental procedures in the past couple of weeks, and it has been painful to the budget. It completely depleted the savings I’d socked away in our tiny emergency fund. Thankful that we had it saved, but frustrated that we can never seem to get ahead with savings! Hubs still has a followup appointment where he will have to pay almost $1000 so we’re praying for God to fill that need, hoping not to have to use a credit card.

    My daughter was invited to a birthday sleepover and wanted to take a gift. I found a $25 Barnes & Noble gift card that has been languishing in my purse for a couple of years. She used my B&N discount and got a very nice gift with $1.40 left on the card. A few weeks ago, I used a $10 Pink coupon to buy 2 lotions for around $2 after coupon. She gave her friend one of the lotions, and we used the Pink bag as a gift bag.

    1. It’s a pumpkin that I harvested from the garden. The only thing I did to it was wash off the dirt from where it was touching the ground.

    2. Dianna: Thank you for recommending “The Moonlight School.” I had not heard of (historical person) Cora Wilson Stewart before. What an admirable woman, and what important work she did, working to increase literacy! I had not realized that some hundred plus years ago, the theory was that if people did not learn to read as children, their window of opportunity had closed, so there was no point trying to teach adults. So glad that thinking has changed!

    3. Dianna, something you can investigate for the future if you like and need dental insurance. We had Delta Dental insurance from previous employers and liked it. We bought it online when it wasn’t available as a work benefit. Their website will show if there is coverage in your area. There are different levels of coverage and you can upgrade if you let them know in advance of your anniversary date and send a small note. Your dentist office can tell you if they accept it (widely available where we live).

      1. Thanks, Linda! We have Delta Dental insurance as well (through our employer). My husband has already maxed out his $1000 benefit for the year, so everything is now out of pocket for him. He just needed had a lot of dental problems this year. We paid $2300 in October/November alone and he still has a $1000 root canal this month. Mine was a crown which is 50% covered by Delta.

  34. My husband came home last Wednesday from the hospital. He spent 6 days there in total. He is resting and slowly mending. It definitely saves money to not have to drive 1 hour a day to visit him. He brought home everything from his room that they said would get thrown out. He brought home medical scissors, tweezers, bandages, facial tissues, toilet paper and his 2 pairs of hospital socks.

    My husband likes my home cooked food better than the hospital. And he sleeps better here at home than at the hospital. Gaining his strength back is helping us be frugal as he slowly starts getting back into the routine. He is our super fixer upper person and keeps everything running mechanically around the house. He’s eager to get back to projects but I’m insisting on some rest time.

    Because of his health issues, his medical was pulled for 90 days. It’s automatic. Realistically it will take about 120 days for him to get the paperwork filled out, doctors visits and clearances done. We chose to pay for disability insurance a few years ago. It will start paying in a month and will be 60% of his salary. We will also receive a lump sum of $1600 because of his hospital stay. He had accumulated 180 sick/vacation days which he will use to help us if needed. This is a huge, huge blessing. We are still contributing to our 401K during this time and will still have our health insurance. Our pantries and freezers are bursting with food. We have $0 debt. We do have to pay for auto vehicle registration and our property tax insurance this month. We will use our Visa to gain the extra points and then pay it off. We feel quite confident that we can live easily off his reduced salary and not have to pull any money our of savings. I have just gone into money lockdown mode. I told him our date nights will be at home for the next bit. I realized that it doesn’t change much else though. Our entertainment has always been simple. We have what we need. I couldn’t even think of one thing to ask for this Christmas. He said all he wanted was his health back so that he could return to feeling good and to work.

    We had 3 friends bring in meals last week. I was able to stretch the meals into lasting us all week long. The roast chicken was turned into a chicken soup and chicken with mashed potatoes. The beef stew was eaten all week for dinner or lunch. The other meal was a pure treat for us. Our friend texted my daughter and asked what each of our favorite dishes were from our favorite mexican restaurant. She brought them over for our dinner along with chips & salsa and sopapillas with honey butter. We were able to get 3 additional meals from that dinner. I made beef & bean tacos one night for my daughters.

    We watched our darling granddaughter over the weekend. We stayed home the entire weekend and just enjoyed her sweet smiles and new crawling abilities. It was so fun to give her a bath in my kitchen sink (I cleaned the sink beforehand). I just love that sweet baby and her smiles and giggles light up my day.

    My neighborhood left a “Sunshine Basket” on my porch for the week. People can drop off treats or small gifts to help bring a smile to the face of the person who’s been having a difficult situation. I was able to tuck away a lot of things to use as gifts for Christmas/Birthdays. I received candles, book, all kinds of treats, a chocolate creme pie, cute little sayings on wood boards, lotion, lip gloss and hand soap for the kitchen. It was very kind and fun to see what would be in the basket each day.

    I gave my son-in-law a belated birthday dinner. He loves roast beef, mashed potatoes and my husband’s amazing gravy. We had everything in our storage and no additional out of pocket expense. We gave him a homemade card and sent him home with leftovers.

    I used my grocery points to get $8.75 of my shopping bill. I filled up my car using the gas points to get 40c/gallon off. I used Ibotta to get free items at both our local Kroger and Walmart. I found corn tortillas at my local Dollar Tree that were marked down to 50c. Those are the only kind of tortillas my daughter can eat (and the only kind I actually like to be honest.) I bought all of them. I put one in the fridge and the rest in the freezer. I started watching a YouTube vlog that tells you what are good deals at Dollar Tree for that month. I keep a running list of things to look at the next time I go into the store. It’s been very helpful to me. Dollar Tree can overwhelm me easily. It’s nice to have a list that I can help me just look for the good deals.

    I treated myself to lunch at Arby’s one day and used a gift card that was given to us.

    We’ve told our children that Christmas will be much leaner this year – which is fine with all of them. I have a lot of things tucked away and plan on getting gift cards for anything else. I’ll wait until I see some good Black Friday deals to get maximum gift card value.

    Thank you Brandy for this site! I’m so grateful we can get through this latest trial without debt, plenty of food and a house full of simple joys. As I tell my husband when he asks why I’m reading this blog – I say, “These are my people.” Have a wonderful week everyone and I hope we can all count our many wonderful blessings.

  35. I finished all of my Christmas shopping for my daughters the week before Halloween so I was pretty happy about that 🙂
    I am trying to get everything I need for Thanksgiving so that there won’t be any last minute trips to the store or worse yet, something out of stock.
    I have been on a serious decluttering kick and my husband and I have donated several bags of items and clothes to our local goodwill. My husband has also sold some things on eBay including a part for a mountain bike that he doesn’t even have anymore!
    I listened to Christmas music for free on Pandora which I freely admit, I listen to all year. Christmas music makes me happy and I instantly feel better when I am listening to it whether it is June or July or December 🙂

    1. I also listen to Christmas music year round! People laugh at me, but it doesn’t hurt anyone, and it is a free mood lifter for me. 🙂

  36. The rose arbor is beautiful! Well done to you both.
    We have had the delight of our son, daughter-in-law and 6 month old grandson staying with us for 10 days. I have been thankful so many times for the extra money in our budget to be able to buy good food and to drive some extra places. We also hosted my parents to see their great-grandson for the first time yesterday, and I was able to make the meal entirely out of what I already had, except for the purchase of a pound of ground beef.
    I bought a nice brand of ice cream on sale today for $2 for 1.5 quarts. We are celebrating our son’s 25 birthday before they leave. I made a homemade chocolate cake and the ice cream will go with that.
    I have mended 3 shirts for our son. He replaced all 4 rotors and the brake pads on my car. It has been such a good time of fellowship and shared projects. I am so thankful that we all enjoy a shared project. It makes the work a joy, and we all appreciate the outcome too. My son asked to learn how to darn socks. He went through things that I had saved from his childhood and got rid of some of it. Several things he will take home with him. This saves him from buying these items, and saves us the space that it took to store them. I’m having each of our adult children do this as they get places of their own.
    Blessings to all.

  37. Hello Everyone!
    Savings this week, like most weeks, happens in little ways. I baked two loaves of cracked wheat bread, defrosted and roasted a turkey from last fall, and made salads from the garden. We saved the turkey bones for a future soup.

    I fed the hens kitchen peels and scraps. This included seeds from a spaghetti squash. They’re molting and only producing about 1 egg per day.

    I was able to harvest several varieties of lettuce and tomatoes. We’ve had periods of rain followed by sun. Overall, my fall garden is doing well with this weather. During a sunny day I reseeded areas that my starters died. I planted leek, scallions, turnips, parsnips, lettuce, mustard greens, and more carrot seeds. I also fertilized all of my fruit trees and clipped suckers.

    Our health insurance has been a great source of savings since we’ve been catching up on wellness checks, screenings, and care for my daughter’s fractured wrist. I’m very thankful for it!

    We continue to workout at home, take bike rides and hikes outdoors for free. I have FaceTimed friends from afar and listen to free podcasts, audio books and music apps. I took a free gardening class online through UCSC on growing garlic. It was the best one I’ve attended.

    Your new arbor is gorgeous!!! Kudos to your husband. 👍🏼

  38. Last week was not the most frugal but we got a few important things marked off our to do list. I’ll start with the frugal.
    * I made a big batch of chili in my instant pot. We ate that for several meals and the rest I froze for nights when I don’t want to cook.
    * My husband does most of the maintenance and repairs on our cars. He replaced my wipers, brake pads and a valve that was causing a strong gas smell around the outside of my car. He thinks he saved us over $1000 for those repairs.
    * I received a full size sturdy antique bed frame from my parents. I’ve been giving it an update with a coat of black chalk paint and a wax finish. It will replace a twin bed in my son’s room.
    * Used my Ibotta app to get some free Thanksgiving food items that I put in a bag to donate to my church’s food pantry collection.
    * Bought a full size mattress for my son’s new bed on Amazon. It was highly rated and a better deal than purchasing from a mattress store.
    Now for the not so frugal part of last week.
    * My husband purchased new tires for his car. He bought the car used and the rear tires were not in good shape. Although expensive, I know bad tires are a safety issue and will be glad when he gets the new ones!
    * I saw a Macy’s black Friday deal on mattresses while looking at my email. My husband and I have had our current set for a long time! Too embarrassed to say how long! I finally decided it was time to replace it and went through Rakuten to get some money back. It was 10% cash back the day I ordered.
    Hope everyone is having a great week!

  39. I, too, have been moving plants around to fill empty spaces in my garden. It’s rather one of the things I really like about gardening, you plant things but they sometimes need to be transplanted because they got too big for their space, or they dropped seeds and lots of little volunteers came up. This morning I moved a white vinca that had gotten very large to a new spot. It had been one of three in a row, so it still looks good.

    Also, my hollyhocks apparently started an entire nursery in their corner of the garden, so I moved a half dozen of the seedlings to the front of the house. I hope everything survives.

  40. My husband needed a part for his pickup. It was $100 cheaper at Auto Zone than on line or at other parts store. We decided to go grocery shopping that day to save an extra trip. We live 35 miles from town. At Krogers we picked up a gift card for Auto Zone for $200. The part was almost that amount. We got double points on it, so 200 extra fuel points to save 20 cents a gallon on gas. He got a military discount at AutoZone of $19.00, so he has a little left on the card for next time.
    Krogers had 18 count eggs for 99 cents. I had a 40 cent coupon, so got them for 59 cents. Krogers sends me lots of coupons through the mail. I got a bunch today that will come in handy the next few weeks.
    Hope everyone has a wonderful week. We will be going to Applebees for the free Veterans Day meal for him. Of course I have a gift card from Krogers to use for my part. He is taking Friday off work too, so we’ll have a long weekend.

  41. How exciting about your new Christmas tree and decorations. I would love to see a photo.

    We’ve had our Christmas tree and ornaments for 13 years. I wanted to replace it after a decade but instead purchased three packages of baubles on clearance for 33 cents per package (original price was $9.95 per package). I thought that would see us through another decade!

    I have finished wrapping all Christmas presents and writing out cards. It took awhile! Presents came in on budget. I had an extra two presents to give that I had not planned on doing but was able to put something together from the gift cupboard.

    The big Christmas lunch meal at our house with both sides of the family has been sorted and delegated out to everyone. I’m doing the Christmas ham and my children will make and decorate the Buche de Noel with all the forest/woodland decorations. Which reminds me I need to get some fondant. Other family members are bringing turkey, pumpkin and feta salad, beef bulgogi and rice, a salad with quinoa, dinner rolls, a festive fruit platter (cherries, nectarines, mango, plums, berries, peaches), chocolate honeycomb cheesecake, chocolate and raspberry cake, individual caramel pies. Every dish will be made from scratch.

    Tomorrow I’m making a huge soup with lots of old vegetables and tomatoes from our garden, lentils and barley. Will be able to freeze some too.

    This week I line dried all washing, got an electricity bill for $64 for three months use (quarterly billing), buried all vegetable scraps in the garden, read two library books I had put on hold, kept the windows open to let the breeze through on these hot and humid days, meal planned, made do with the food I had on hand and went on two bicycle rides with my children to the park.

    1. Wow on the electricity! That’s less than our lowest month, and yours is quarterly! (We have gas heat and appliances too).

  42. Brandy the rose arbor is beautiful! I am in awe of such talent to make such a graceful and beautiful piece. Plus the satisfaction you will have each time you see it in the garden that it was created with your own hands.

    Savings for us this week were:
    -Canned 7 pints (full canner) of navy bean soup. Love opening a jar and having an instant meal. Enough soaked beans, chopped carrots and ham left to put it in the crockpot, cooked all day and made 2 bowls of yummy soup.

    -I finished sewing all the PJ’s for my 5 grandchildren, their toys are bought, and their gift sacks are sewn. They are done. I am about 3/4 of the way complete with Christmas gifts. I have a few more things to sew and a couple gift cards to buy. My goal is to have all gifts ready, decorations up, meal planned and groceries bought, and a few goodies baked and froze by December 1. Then I can enjoy the season and festivities without the stress and pressure.

    -I got 3 more pieces of Christmas fabric for $4 at the thrift store. This will make 4 more gift bags. Everything going to my immediate family is going in these. I will get them back for next year’s use. I am done buying wrapping paper.

    -All meals were made at home, it is getting so expensive to eat out. And this is where we can save money. Meals made were: cheesy potato soup, bean and ham soup, braised pheasant, mashed potatoes and gravy, taco salads, hamburgers, and leftovers.

    -I have everything needed for Thanksgiving dinner, menu is written out so I don’t forget something. Now I need to work on Christmas dinner. Trying to plan ahead so if I can’t get anything I have time to wait to find it.

    -I have been doing deep fall cleaning and organizing. I have cleaned out all lower kitchen cabinets, washed down the outside cabinets, and oiled them (they are raw oak). Hope to get the uppers done this week. I also cleaned all the carpets. One of my best purchases has been a Bissell carpet cleaner several years ago. Has saved us so much money.

    Have a great week!!

  43. I used ibotta proceeds for more ibotta items. DH had to work late at work, so I brought him a plate of hot food, rather than him ordering something. On the way home, I stopped at dollar tree for some bubble bath and jelly. Ooops, I bought shampoo, but hey its got Elsa & Anna on it and makes bubbles too. A few days later I stopped at dollar tree for some relish and a box of tissues. I saw they have coffee filters there. I dont need any yet, so I didnt get them. I need to do a better job of stopping there for the things I need, instead of paying more for the same item at Walmart or Publix. I had been making $25 automatic weekly payments from when my daughter was hospitalized in 2016. We recently started getting $25 checks back from them. Found out that account had been paid in full. YAAAY, We should be getting reimbursed $200 more. Those checks are going towards the mortgage principle. I opened a citibank credit card to get $200 when you spend $500 in 90 days. That wont be hard to do. It also pays 5% back on your top category when you spend up to $500 per billing cycle. So, $25 a month, I will use that card only for groceries and pay it back weekly. Cant think of anything else out of the ordinary that I did.

  44. Your garden looks beautiful, Brandy!
    I made a lentil barley soup using a recipe I found on Pinterest and it was so good. I will be making it again.
    I made a large loaf of bread and cut it into slices. Since it is only the 2 of us we freeze half and take out what we need.
    I moved my sewing machine from our finished basement to the guest bedroom to make it more accessible to me. I completed an apron from fabric I found at a thrift and a pattern that I have had for years. I wear an apron almost every time I cook which saves on staining my clothes. I have enough fabric left over to make some cloth napkins.
    I washed baggies that I used for my lunches that I take to work. I have done this for years and I can’t even imagine how much I have saved just doing that.
    We hand wash our dishes and we add a little water to the top of the dish soap to extend its use.
    I bought a couple of foaming hand washing dispensers. I can use very little liquid soap I have on hand to wash our hands without the mess regular liquid soap makes.
    I cut my husband’s hair.

  45. I continue to make sure we eat left overs. We eat onion soup as a main dish once a week and there is always left overs. The kids’ love eating it but do not pick to eat if for left overs at lunch time. I have been intentional about reheating the soup and serving everyone a tiny amount with another dinner meal. Others I know have done this for years, I have started saving containers to reuse. There is a bakery outlet a mile down the road and this past week I was blessed to find a lot of whole wheat bread, flour tortillas, and cauliflower pizza crusts there. My two oldest boys repaired our outdoor benches that sit on our front porch. The previous homeowners had left them when they moved. The wooden slats all needed replaced. I am so happy to have them to use again! My 3rd grader and I like sitting outside while he does his Math work. The weather is cool enough we are enjoying the fire pit my husband made a few years ago with supplies we already have. Last July a couple of tree branches came down so we have plenty of wood to burn. One night we invited our neighbor to join us. It was a lovely evening.

  46. I had an absolutely fantastic money-saving week. The Thanksgiving sales on food have begun so I tried to get all I could. It required visiting multiple stores but I combined my trips with my husband’s errands and saved gas.

    *Walmart: Thanks to Ashley Bananas who shared the tip last week about Ibotta’s free Thanksgiving dinner rebate. I always learn something new when reading everyone’s comments. I was able to participate and got everything offered but the cranberry sauce (which we don’t like) and discovered they had frozen turkeys for $.90. I grabbed one.

    *Kroger: Eggs were $.97 for 1 1/2 dozens – I bought the limit of 5! I am dehydrating them and will use the powder in cakes, pies, and bread. (Scramble in a non-stick pan without any oil. Smash with a fork into small pieces. Dehydrate until it is the color of corn flakes. Grind to a powder in a blender. Store in a closed jar. Lasts forever.)
    Canned tomatoes for $.49 (because my tomatoes failed)
    Apple juice for $.99 (hoping to make apple butter this year if apple prices drop).

    *Priceless: Butter $1.77 with a coupon, limit 1
    Avocadoes $.55.
    Bananas $.41 they are always the cheapest price in town

    *Save-a-lot: Pork chops $1.49, only two packs left. They were sold out of the other meat deals.

    *Aldi: got the normal things but they were sold out of their good meat deals.

    *Dollar General Market: Used the $5 off $25 coupon.
    Sweat clothes were 2 for $10. I only found one pair of pants and a hoodie jacket. Perfect for working in the garden.
    Canned corn 3 for $1.00, limit of 3.
    Plums and nectarines were marked 50% off so I got a few bags and will dehydrate them when they begin to wrinkle.
    Onions $1 for 2 pounds. Some of these will be dehydrated. My garden onions did not store well so we had to eat them fast. I don’t know what went wrong.

    *Ollies: Visited this store for the first time because work jackets were advertised for $45 a few weeks ago. They still had hubby’s size. We also found men’s polo shirts for $3.99 and got a few for everyone.

    *In the garden: harvested the very, very last of the summer garden. I picked the last snake bean after the frost and it is sitting on the kitchen table waiting for me to figure out what to do with it. Found a few bitter melons after the leaves wilted from the frosts, picked three tiny eggplants, a few small green beans, and tiny tomatoes. The winter garden has kicked into high gear and is growing so fast I am able to share with others.

    I love weeks like this where progress is made!
    Jeannie@GetMeToTheCountry.blogspot.com

  47. Your backyard is looking fantastic! And the steel work your husband and you are doing is exceptional. Congratulations on creating such a useful and wonderful looking space. I am still looking for good Turkey prices here in Phx, lowest so far was $0.79/lb with $25 purchase. I don’t plan on spending $25 so hope to find that price without a minimum spend. Otherwise, we are having two couples over for thanksgiving dinner, they are bringing lots of food, so all we need to do is cook Turkey, gravy and mashed potatoes. I have a 22lb Turkey in the freezer from last year so all I really need to buy are potatoes. Yeah! A good thrifty holiday with good friends should be wonderful.

  48. Brandy, please elaborate on the decorative flourishes on the arches. Where did you find them? They’re really a beautiful touch!

    In making signs for our profitable and enjoyable plant sale I used part of a sample pot I’d rescued from someone’s bulk trash, and paper that I must have rescued 15 years ago and has been in the attic. I was happy to use those rescued items. We’ll use the signs again next week to try to get rid of even more plants!
    We try never to buy anything new and can usually manage that. I particularly enjoy finding usable items in people’s discards!

    I made a soup that used carrot tops that I hated to waste. I picked flowers from my false roselle plants, combined them with some mint from my woody mint and made a delicious tea that we drank iced. I bottled kombucha flavored with candied ginger and raspberry puree, both of which we got via volunteering.

    Probably the biggest savings we’ll realize in future is that although we’d budgeted for one big trip abroad each year in retirement, that is now out of the question given the travel restrictions in place for Europe and to return to the US. Even Canada is off our list now. So that means lots of money will be conserved. I will miss Europe (my partner’s a pilot who took an early out and would still have had travel discounts to have made yearly European trips possible).

    I hope everyone has good weather. Ours is just lovely!

    1. We went to a steel company (where we bought the steel pieces to make the arbor) and bought individual flowers, leaves, and scrolls. We have been several times and I have been working on a design. I picked out which ones I wanted and we came home with them. When we had the actual arch measurements in place, we did a little more tweaking to make the design work (my husband suggested swapping out two flowers into other places and a scroll adjustment, which we both liked better). Then he welded them all in place.

      1. Thank you Brandy. I’d thought the flowers looked vintage and perhaps someone had given them to you. It’s very interesting that they were new but look old.
        Very lovely.

        1. Definitely new! I have to buy more as this is not the only large piece we are making. We just bought some for now but will have to order the rest as they don’t keep everything in stock at the store. The flowers are all cast iron pieces.

    2. Why is Canada out of the question now? The border is opening up. I know a great mountain lodge called Mount Engadine Lodge (about a 2 hour or less drive from Calgary). Although the rates seem high, the rate includes three meals per day (and tea, I think) and with the advantage of the U.S. dollar exchange it would become reasonable. It is an ideal place to stay as you could hve your own heated glamping experience or stay in a cabin. meals can be served to you in your room so you wouldn’t even have to go to the dining room. You have missed the fall golden larch leaves but still you could stop at Canmore (a nice mountain town), or go to Banff or Lake Louise first.

      1. Thank you for the inoformation, Ellie’s friend!

        Although we have good friends in Toronto, we will not get the experimental gene therapy, so travel to Canada is out of the question for us.

    3. Please don’t give up on your travel dreams. I also planned on a yearly trip during my healthy retirement years. In August I traveled to Austria and Switzerland. It was easier than you think. Yes, there are some restrictions due to Covid, but all very manageable.

  49. We got the check from the insurance company for Hubby’s dental surgery. It ended up being $600 more than we thought that we would get. We are grateful to get a partial payment back.
    My daughter and I cooked our largest pumpkin (27 pounds). We then went on a baking spree. We made 5 batches of muffins/loaves to share. We sent a batch to work with Hubby, a batch to work with my son and a batch to my daughter’s BF’s firehouse. I gave a few to my elderly neighbors. I gave a loaf to a friend that just lost his job. I gave a loaf to another friend. My daughter gave a loaf to her BF’s mom. The rest are for us. I added chocolate chips to a few of our muffins. I have 5 containers of leftover pumpkin that went into the freezer.
    I cashed out a $3 gift card from Verizon and a $20 GC from Ibotta. Both will be Christmas gifts.
    I paid cash for gas saving 10¢a gallon. I filled up on Wednesday saving another 6¢ gallon.
    Hubby and I went to our niece’s engagement party. There was lots of food. I asked for a to-go container to take home our leftovers. Most people just left theirs which makes me sad. We ate it for lunch the next day. I had filet minion and he had salmon. I haven’t had steak in several months since prices went nuts. I got a card from Dollar Tree.
    My daughter and I made a batch of GF broccoli cheddar soup. I came out good but I made notes on the recipe to tweak it next time.
    My son and husband have been doing the lawn and leaves. We are one of 2 houses on our block that doesn’t use a service.
    Mail this week brought a quarter, 2 birthday cards and 2 pairs of work gloves.
    Stop & Shop’s clearance rack had some good items again this week. Large cans of pinto beans were 43¢ each. I bought 8. 2 premade pizza crusts were 75% off so $1.25. I put them in the freezer for an easy dinner one night. Peppermint flavored coffee syrups were 75% of at $4.12. I bought several to make coffee baskets with the coffee I got clearance last week.
    We got $77 in credit card rewards. I put it right towards the bill. We pay it off every month. We put everything (mostly) on our credit card.
    D and I went to Wendy’s for lunch. I used a coupon and brought home a free extra chicken sandwich. My son took it for lunch the next day. We went to the park and library this week. His library was handing out packs of masks, hand sanitizer and small tissue packs. We each got one. As we were leaving there was a truck by the food library section. A man was talking to a librarian and she was telling him that the library only had a small area to store food. They were unable to take all of the donations he had. He asked me and several other people nearby if we would like some. It was all Debbie cakes. These were items that had just expired or had Halloween writing on the boxes. I took a case of mixed items and he brought a second box to my car. I ended up with 21 boxes of yodels, swiss rolls, honey buns and fall party cakes. I sent several to work with Hubby and my son. My daughter is planning on dropping some to the fire department. They were dated between the last week in October until the end of the year. Everything is individually wrapped too. It was about being at the right place at the right time.
    Have a wonderful week everyone.

  50. Beautiful rose arbor!

    Our temperatures dropped and for several days, we were able to turn off the central air conditioner and have our windows open at home. It was so nice to enjoy the fresh air and the savings. We warmed up over the weekend, so we are back to a/c again until another “cold” front arrives later this week. At least it is not running as much as during the hot summer, but I still prefer the open windows.

    We cooked and ate most meals at home. I can’t remember if I mentioned this last week or not, because I think I did it the day I made my post. (Apologies in advance if this is a repeat!) I pulled a large bag of chicken leg quarters out of the deep freezer (I had bought them on sale 10 lbs for $1 during the summer – a deal one of our local grocery stores occasionally runs). I split the bag and cooked about 2/3 of them in my slow cooker with garlic and herbs, leaving the rest in the freezer for a later time. We had 2 of the slow-cooked leg quarters for dinner that evening with mashed potatoes and corn – I finished them under the broiler to crisp up the skin, and they were delicious. I picked the meat off the rest and made white chicken chili, which made several more meals for us. Other at-home meals were salmon filets with rice pilaf and green beans, homemade chili mac using ground lamb I had purchased on clearance, and slow-cooker Swedish meatballs with egg noodles one night and leftovers over rice the next night. The same grocery store as the $1 chicken deal (Tom Thumb/Randalls) has pork butt roast .87/lb again until tomorrow, but I am not sure I have room in my freezer for even one (limit is 2). I bought a 5 lb bag of potatoes for .79 cents. Coming up in the ad starting tomorrow I see .39 cent Cool Whip (which I will purchase as a treat to go with pie on Thanksgiving), .79 cents/5 lb bag of russet potatoes, and .99 cent shredded cheese. We now have everything in stock for our Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners, so I feel very good about that. I had a lot of concerns about being able to find everything (at a reasonable price). I was gifted a jar of blueberry lemon thyme preserves. We will enjoy it with cheese over the holidays. I baked a loaf of sourdough bread in my bread machine rather than purchasing bread.

    Other random frugal things: I colored my own hair and did my own manicure and pedicure at home. (I love having my nails done and used to be a nail salon addict, so this is a big deal for me.) I am happy to have found some at-home manicure methods and products that work well for me. I saved plastic grocery bags when I received them, to use for scooping the litter box. (I double bag the waste with these plastic bags, then throw it into the trash. I usually scoop the boxes right before we empty the trash, but this keeps it contained and prevents odors.) We cleaned all of our ceiling fans. We visited a local cemetery over the weekend (exploring old Texas cemeteries is a hobby of ours). We both received our Covid booster shots and flu vaccines at no cost to us. I purchased a needed replacement item at Ulta during a bonus points promotion, and earned $23 in points. I will save those until there is something else I need. We are ready for Christmas – we purchase gifts throughout the year and store them, so we do not need to purchase anything at the holidays. We do buy a fresh tree each year (anxious to see what those prices are like), but everything else (wreath, decorations, lights, etc.) comes from storage. This week is our 21st wedding anniversary. We will cook a nice dinner at home (from our freezer stock) and exchange cards.

    Non-frugal: I was sick with bronchitis for almost 2 weeks. Multiple doctor visits and prescriptions were not frugal, although I am grateful for good health insurance through my employer, and for paid time off work. I chipped in cash for gifts at work (baby shower and a coworker retiring). I purchased some pet supplies and groceries for someone going through a difficult time financially. We purchased a new coffee maker as ours (10+ years old) stopped working correctly. I was able to use a 20% off coupon and get free shipping. We splurged and stocked up on whole-bean coffee. We go through coffee quite fast during the cooler months, and we like to treat ourselves to the Starbucks Thanksgiving and Christmas blends for the holidays. We also picked up a few other varieties. We did eat out a couple of times, including for lunch one day when we were both busy and did not bring anything, but are trying to cut back on that. I have been taking time each evening to make sure we have something to take for lunch, and snacks for work.

    One thing I am looking for is a recipe for daily shower cleaner spray. I spray down our 2 bathrooms daily (one tiled bath, one glass shower) and need something to keep soap scum at bay. I have been purchasing the large refills, but if anyone has a homemade recipe that works, I would love to try and save some money. I have wondered if just diluted Pine Sol or something similar would do it (we have several large bottles of assorted cleaner concentrates like Pine Sol, Lysol, Fabuloso, etc.), but I am not sure about the glass shower walls. Suggestions welcomed!

    1. I don’t usually shop at Ulta Beauty, but I did do some shopping there earlier this year with my daughters. I just looked and I have $3 in rewards points that I can use! I will look at the Christmas deals for my girls for stocking stuffers to see if I can use this. Thanks!

      In my shower (which is glass), we use a squeegee daily on the glass to keep hard water away. It hangs up in the shower and has saved me a lot of money on chemical cleaners.

      I don’t usually use spray in the shower, but use a shower scrub from Dollar Tree called The Works.

      1. Thank you! My husband is the primary user of the glass shower and he has a squeegee, but rarely remembers to use it. Haha.

        If you look on the Ulta website there is usually a $3.50 off $15 coupon that you can also “stack” with your $3 in points, so you’re really getting $6.50 off $15. You can print it, use it online, or scan on your phone if you have the app.

        1. This is great to know! I was thinking to get some things to use as stocking stuffers for my girls.

      2. Brandy, I clean my shower with something I call ‘Magic Potion’!! I can’t remember where I got it, but it works better than any commercial cleaner I’ve ever used. Heat 1/2 cup of white vinegar for 30 seconds and add 1/2 cup of blue Dawn. (I do this in a 2 cup Pyrex) Put 4 TB. Baking soda in ANOTHER CONTAINER and take them both to the shower with a spoon for stirring. Wet down shower walls. Over the shower, stir baking soda into cup of vinegar/Dawn mix and spread all around shower and glass as it foams like a volcano. I use a long handled brush to spread it all over. Scrub over any stubborn areas- I do this weekly so scrubbing isn’t needed for our no kid household. I let it sit for several hours and then rinse it with hot water. It glistens! It also deodorizes drain. I deodorize both bathroom sinks and wash a sink of dishes from dregs alone. Depending on your shower size, you might be able to half it and clean a second one. All of my friends now use this as we’re
        all getting older and shower cleaning on our knees is no longer easy.

        1. I can vouch for this bathroom cleaner. It works like a dream on built up soap scum. I might also add that I find toilet bowl cleaner works really well, too. The vinegar solution will pit the chrome of the shower drain if left to sit too long but I expect you could protect by using a cloth or cover with a plastic cup?

    2. Edited to add after my initial post: After talking to my husband about the .87/lb pork butt roast sale that ends today, we decided to go ahead and figure out a way to make room. As my husband said, that is inexpensive meat to have in stock with prices and supply going the way they are. There is a Tom Thumb very close to my office (about halfway between my office and home). I went on my lunch hour and bought 2. I fit 1 into the deep freezer, and the other I will cook tomorrow.

  51. Good morning. I love the detail on the arbors. They are absolutely gorgeous.
    This is for two weeks, as I missed last week.
    I ordered my $50 quarterly allotment of OTC stuff from my Medicare Advantage plan. Ended up getting within under a $1.00 left – so that was pretty good.
    Had a dentist appointment – just for cleaning. The first routine since the start of Covid. My dental insurance paid for it, so no OOP cost. Everything looked great.
    Made spaghetti sauce, chicken enchilada casserole, homemade pizza, chicken fajitas split pea soup with ham and a ham bone from the freezer, creamy chicken mushroom and rice soup using chicken broth and cooked chicken from the freezer. The recipe called for a can of cream of mushroom soup. Instead I just used extra mushrooms and some of my homemade cream of anything soup mix. Added an extra cup of water. Also made a savory muffin to go with the soups.
    My DIL stayed with us Monday through Thursday nights, as she worked M-F in a town only 15 or so miles from us, but more than 80 from where she and my son live. She normally works from home, but was supervising some training on a computer system. We have a large guest room in our basement with a private bath and a family room, but she chose to spend the evenings with us. She was the best guest. She had to leave for work at 6:00 in the morning, and was so
    quiet, we weren’t sure she had left, until we saw that her car was gone.
    Deals at the store included grapes for 99¢ per pound, bell peppers (red, yellow and green) in the bargain bas – 3 for $1.00. Flour 98¢ for a 5 pound bag with a limit of five. Brown sugar 88¢ for a 2 pound bag with a limit of 4. Chocolate chips $1.98 (limit 3) , butter $1.98 (limit 2), canned milk 68¢, and a dozen eggs for 48¢ (limit 1).
    We dug the rest of our beets, carrots and potatoes and readied them for winter.
    I worked 10 days the last two weeks, and brought breakfast and lunch all days except one.
    We raked the leaves in our yard and spread them in our garden.
    This is off topic of frugal – but when we went to California a few weeks ago (we drove) we took an ice chest and included several things from the garden to eat on the way. I made a bunch of carrot sticks for snacks. When we got there, we had not finished them, so put them out for the rest of the family to enjoy also. One of my nephew’s daughters tried one of the carrots and said it was the best carrot she’d ever had. She then made her sister come over and have one. I could not believe that they were exclaiming so over a carrot that I had picked, peeled and cut over a week earlier. They do not have a garden, and even though they live in California, I guess it goes to show that the produce in the stores there is not that much different than in the stores up north. I thought it was kind of funny.
    Hope everyone and a beautiful and healthy week.

  52. It’s been fairly quiet here, thankfully. I’ve been enjoying cooking my cool weather recipes. Last week I made a big pot of chili…we ate it just as chili the first night, as chili dogs the next night, then froze the rest for another day. Also made hamburger stroganoff. I made a smaller batch but still had leftovers so we ate it that night, lunch the next day and there is enough for the end of the week when we do a smorgasboard of sorts to use up the leftovers I didn’t freeze.

    Been enjoying books from the library and watching shows on the streaming service we have. Especially enjoying the current season of Call the Midwife on PBS. So grateful we can watch for free the next day on PBS.com. I’ve watched this show since the first episode, ten years ago. It’s like visiting old friends.

    Sat down with hubby and planned out all of the Christmas gifts and then ordered them. I knocked the Christmas budget down about 25% this year and spent quite a bit of time finding things, but I feel really good about it. We’ve always done three gifts (like the Wise Men) from us, and then some simple things from Santa. My kids are all grown now and my grandkids have their own Santa, so we eliminated the Santa gifts. Each will get something handmade, a modest gift and a modest gift card. I tried to individualize all of it. I think they will be pleased and not have disappointment that it is different than past years. They are good people. It’s nice to have that ticked off my list and it’s been fun to have packages arriving every day. With my mobility, it would have been so hard.

    Having fun finishing up the handmade gifts. So far I have almost three afghans done. It’s been fun and keeps me out of trouble.

    Hope everyone is having a safe and thrifty week. I appreciate all of you so much!

    1. I did not know that they finally released season 10 in the U.S.! I just went over to the website to check it out!

  53. My knees have been hurting from arthritis but I am finding that if I eat a couple of raw carrots the pain goes away quickly. I thought it was coincidental at first but found that it’s not. Cheapest medicine around.

    I will be making a blueberry and peach crisp from the freezer.

    I am enjoying the Inspector Wexworth mystery series on You Tube — a throw back to the sixties.

  54. Last week we were gifted a giant box of seconds apples which we were thrilled about! They weren’t in great shape for snacking straight from the box, but I still managed to make two apple crumbles, a gallon bag of dehydrated apple chips, and fried apples as a side dish for dinner one night. The ones that were passed their prime were laid out for our deer friends to enjoy. Turns out deer can be picky- they ate the good parts and left the brown spots to rot in my front yard 😏. My kids enjoyed watching the deer up close, though. Aside from that, it was a quiet week!

  55. I should squeegee but I don’t. Bar soap PLUS hard water makes a real mess of my glass shower door. For a deep clean I now use Calcium, Lime and Rust remover (CLR). I attach an old spray nozzle to the bottle and spray it on and leave it for an hour, then go over it with a scrubbing pad (wear gloves!) and rinse off. Does the job very well. CLR is not especially cheap (Au$12) but you don’t need much and it works, and so gets used up and not just tossed out like all the other useless products I have previously bought.

    1. I never thought about changing out the lid to a spray bottle! That is a great idea! I use CLR sometimes too in the shower when it is bad, but I have to do it with the windows open as that is strong stuff. It is so hard to get it evenly over the shower walls! I will try changing out the lid!

    2. Thanks for the suggestion! I use CLR sometimes but try to keep the shower from getting to the point that I need to bust out the big guns, so to speak. The fumes are so strong. My husband flings soap everywhere and does not rinse the walls of his shower (I try to rinse mine down when I am getting out), so when I go in there to spray it down, the walls are usually still covered in suds. It’s an uphill battle haha.

  56. Yesterday there was a toy/book/clothing exchange at the boys playgroup. I was able to pick up several free toys and books which kept the children entertained when we got home. I also picked up a few baby clothes for my niece who is expecting her first baby. We have had a family friend visiting for a few days and he is leaving for the coast today and will take the baby clothing along for my niece. He will also take along small gifts I purchased for my daughter and boyfriend-not sure exactly when they will be here over Xmas.

  57. Beautiful arbor-what a work of beauty in your yard conversion! Thrifty actions this week: stocked up on oatmeal, combined errands, sold and bought on Thred-Up.

  58. Aside from my weekly regular savings like catching warm up water, hanging laundry, etc., I feel like I haven’t saved much.
    *I kept to our 1 pasta, 2 soup meals this week. We don’t eat fancy on the other days at all, but these 3 are intentionally less expensive. Tuna casserole using just one can of tuna instead of the recipe for two. I topped it with bread crumbs I’ve saved from cutting loaves of homemade bread on a cookie sheet. Also tried KC steak soup using just 1/4 lb ground beef and doubling veggies. And chili with beans.
    *Got eggs for .99¢/18
    *4 avocado for $1.99
    *Sour cream for 73¢ for 16 oz.
    Those were digital coupons and we bought max.
    *Used a $2 off produce coupon
    *Had a dinner included church event Sun. Night. Always a nice thing!
    *Used gas points to get 20¢ off per gallon.

    My big fail was buying a turkey at Dillons for $1.59 lb. My husband was so excited to see a few (thanks to all the news about shortages). I balked at paying that much, but his eyes were pitiful lol lol. So, we paid $20 stinkin bucks for one turkey. Then I saw them at Aldi for 87¢ #…. I wanted to weep! As if that weren’t enough, I got home to a bunch of Dillons coupons in my mailbox for what would’ve been $7 off my order. I wanted to weep again!!

    It wasn’t my best week lol!

    1. I bought one of the Aldi turkeys then got one free from Ibotta. I was kicking myself too but you know those turkeys are still good buys even at the ‘higher’ price. You didn’t fail and neither did I. Like you I bought into the hype I kept seeing on the news which is apparently not at all truth. I’ve seen LOADS of turkeys in the past two weeks. Enjoy the turkey you got. You’ll make good use of every bit of it! And do like Brandy said, buy another and enjoy that one too!

  59. Hi friends! It was not a particularly frugal week for me but I’m sure I can come up with a few to contribute…..
    -I’m going through work training and it starts way earlier than I would normally like to be a functional human being. I’ve been setting up my tea and kettle the night before so that in the morning it’s ready and good to go and I can sit down to training prepared. Along those lines I have my water bottle that I refill with tap water all day long, and have been eating leftovers from dinner for my lunches.
    -I haven’t gone anywhere this week because of my training schedule. Not driving saves on gas money and wear and tear on the car.
    -My neighbor was so sweet and offered to mow my lawn for me. I was so grateful for this act of kindness. (and gotta say I have the best neighbors! We all chip in to help one another and I just love it)
    -I made rice krispie treats! I’m not a big sweets person but I had a craving and they turned out great! So cheap to make and such a special treat indeed.
    -I read library books and return them promptly when finished. I am just so enamored with my library.
    -A dear friend came for dinner this weekend and I cooked what I already had on hand. We had delicious mushroom pasta, green beans from my garden, and yorkshire pudding. I love feeding people and sharing a meal so to be able to do so without any extra expense was wonderful. I ate the leftovers until they were gone. No waste!
    -Frugal fail: I had planned on making a frozen pizza the other night for dinner. After setting the oven to preheat I noticed that my kitchen was full of smoke! Completely forgotten that I had spilled butter all over the bottom of my oven making Yorkshire Pudding this weekend and neglected to clean it up. So immediately turned off the oven and opened all windows to clear out the smoke. By now was starving and really wanted pizza so I ordered delivery. I am very lucky that there are a lot of great vegan options here in Portland, but delivery was still not cheap! I will say it was so so yummy and I definitely ate all the leftovers in a timely fashion.

  60. Longtime reader, first time poster. Frugal steps this week:
    Staying out of the grocery store and eating what we have at home. Almost all meals at home. We ate dinner on Monday at my moms, a nice treat, and she sent us home with enough leftovers for another meal. I made New England style rolls for the week to use for lunches and a few hamburger buns. New England style pans were found at Goodwill for $3 each, they are close to $30 online.
    My husband uses a Cpap and he had to get a replacement after the one he used for many years stopped working. He needs a battery for it for traveling and was told the current battery for the old machine would not work. After many hours of research he found a converter that will work with the new machine and the old battery! New batteries are $600, so we were excited by the $23 option. I am thankful that he is willing to explore and research! We were feeling blessed today with a refund from a medical procedure he had last year. We are also very thankful for the amazing doctor and medical staff that took care of him too! I have enjoyed the many recommendations I see on this site to save, be more mindful and also find joy in small opportunities. Thank you! I will try to contribute:) more in the future.

    1. Hello, Kathleen!
      If you check with your electric company, you might be able to get a discount on your bill for having necessary medical equipment that uses electricity.

  61. I did my grocery shopping earlier this week and got a turkey at Aldi for 87c a pound. I’d priced them at other stores and they were much higher. Noted that Kroger brand turkey this week is 69c a pound and I must say if you haven’t tried their store brand it’s really good. I was told by my meat market guy that the store brand is Honeysuckle White turkeys which I like as well as Butterball. I noted while in Aldi that most things were in stock, though some were only a few cases rather than full shelves but everything I wanted was in stock.
    Later in the week I discovered that Ibotta had the free thanksgiving from Walmart. I missed a couple of the items before I could get to the store, but I am not in the least upset. I ended up with a turkey that cost me $1.64 and made $1 on a Marie Callender frozen fruit pie. This was my first time using the Ibotta app though I’d had it for years now. I went for broke and added Fetch rewards to my phone and scanned all my receipts and earned nearly 5000 points there which puts me halfway to my first gift card.
    I went out to see if I might find one or three more flowers to cut for my kitchen window sill and came in with mums I’d not realized I had blooming. I had two full bouquets to grace my home. We’re due a freeze tonight so we’ll see what might remain. I must say these fall blooms have really done all they could to make up for my abysmal results of planting this summer!
    I caught a cold after keeping both 2 year olds the other day. I struggled to make it through the week. A reader of my blog suggested I use lavender oil on the soles of my feet. I went to bed early last night, used the lavender oil and this morning I was 90% better. The cold has continued to break up all day today. I plan to do lavender oil again tonight. I have determined that learning to use essential oils is a goal for the New Year.
    I am already thinking about what is ahead for me in the coming year. I’ve started a list, not of resolutions but of things I want to do in the New Year. I’ve said for quite some time now that I have long since reached the stage where saving money is no longer a matter of what I cut out but of what new skills I can learn that will benefit us. My list reflects some of the skills I want to build or learn.

  62. Dear Brandy.
    Reading your ornament story reminded me how much I admire your style of action – you run your household like a well-run company. All decisions are long-term and reviewed. Most people would buy couple of full-price ornaments from different styles every year, as they see them, impulsively – never having tailored and planned look of the tree, never completely happy. And they think it would be expensive to do full change.

    Most people think that making do and trying to watch expenses means less quality. I can not cook as you do even when I can spend as much as I want. I still remember how your hubby fixed bike seat with leather and special tools. I wrapped piece of fabric around it with string and it looked awful and was non functioning. I can not fix stuff, I always let others or buy new.
    You are truly extraordinary and think of the legacy you leave to your kids. Legacy of skills and expecting the quality.

    I hope your faith continues to carry you and life will continue to be your friend.

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