I saved shower warm-up water (I put a 3-gallon bucket under the shower stream while I wait for it to warm up) and used that water to water pots in the garden. This time of year, it takes longer for the water to warm up, so I collect more water. The potted plants don’t need as much water, either, so I can go without using the hose much at all.

I adjusted my irrigation clock to one day per week, which is what is permitted now. More than that and we will receive a fine. The technology here allows the water company to see all water usage times, so those who don’t follow the watering schedule will be fined up to $1500.

Because I am trying to germinate seeds in the garden at this time, this poses a slight problem for me. Water from the hose is permitted anytime. I used the hose to water my seeds and also used water saved from rinsing fruits, vegetables, and herbs in the kitchen. I simply put a pitcher under the faucet for rinsing items and pour it out into the garden when it is full. Water rates will rise significantly here in January, so any water savings I can do is going to be extra important.

I harvested Armenian cucumbers, roselle hibiscus, and basil from the garden.

I said yes to tomatoes and peppers from my niece’s garden in Utah. She brought them to her in-laws’s house, and they shared some with me.

Our largest savings this week was signing up for a new internet service. A salesman came to the door and offered us $1 a month for life for their service. It’s a radio-based internet service, and they only offered this deal to a few houses in each neighborhood (we checked to see if they had gone next door to my parent’s house, but then he explained that they were assigned specific houses to ask in each neighborhood, who will then have the company’s receivers/transmitters (it does both) on their roofs, allowing them to set up their system here). It will cost about $2 a month in electricity. There is no data limit, and the download and upload speeds are about ten times faster than what we have now. We figured it was worth a try; if the service doesn’t work, we can always go back to what we had. We hope it works well, though, as it is a savings of $1000 a year! I could not help but feel that the blessing of being one of the chosen homes was due to the prayers from all of you for us, and I am very grateful for those prayers.

What did you do to save money last week?

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  1. Good luck with the new internet service!! What a savings that could be!!
    It’s hard to realize that water is so scarce and expensive there since here in Ohio, we have enough. When we moved here to Ohio from the desert southwest, my children were shocked that the riverbeds always had water in them!

    This week I took more of the tomatoes that I let ripen in the house and canned another 4 pints of tomato sauce. I now have 26 pints of home canned tomato sauce on my shelves from the garden, using mostly cherry and pear tomatoes that I previously would have thought were too small to use!

    I got another 2 pints of dehydrated chives to add to my shelf today too from the garden. And 6 quart bags of blueberries went into my freezer from the sale this week.

    I bought another 5-1/2 pound package of BLSL chicken breast on Flashfood for $1.15/pound to add to freezer.

    Just as I finished quilting up this queen size quilt that goes with the pillows that my client had me quilt – https://pin.it/7obkPem and https://pin.it/5olitIb, another client brought in a quilt for me to quilt up for her. So I am certainly humbled that business seems to keep trickling in, maybe at a slower pace, but still it continues. Last week, between my daughter on her machine and me on mine, we quilted 4 quilts for clients! What a blessing!

    To continue my goal of using only my existing fabric stash to make as many quilts as I can, I put this baby quilt together using scraps and leftover polyester batting. I just need to bind it. This is the 11th quilt I’ve made from my scraps since June. https://pin.it/4GeiUKU and https://pin.it/70HJcwj. With all the free patterns available online, it makes these stashbusters a great way to declutter, use my scraps, have gifts available in a hurry and occasionally sell to bring in a few extra dollars!

    I continue to only shop for groceries when there is a good sale price or clearance AND when it also is something that we use regularly. My new shelving unit that we put in is really filling up and has so much more visible and useable space- https://pin.it/5ezPwIS. The space that it opened up on some of my other canning shelves has allowed me to rearrange and fit more of my newest home canned jars on them! It feels a bit like that little handheld game from decades ago that was a square and had individual number tiles in all but one space and you had to move them around until they were all in sequential order! That’s how it’s been rearranging the 100s of jars in the basement so they all fit together and still are arranged to use the oldest ones first. But, as tiring as it can be moving and rearranging it all, it sure does give us a feeling of calm knowing that we have enough and to share.

    I made this Chicken Spaghetti recipe for dinner the other night. It uses taco seasoning and salsa and fits in a 9” x 13” baking dish. But my dish was still in dishwasher 🥴 and so I opted for two smaller square dishes. We absolutely loved the recipe and we took the second one over to a friend with a newborn whose husband was at Nat. Guard drill for the weekend. Hubs also walked their dog. It’s always a good feeling to do even little kinds of service like this to remind us of our blessings!

    Some dear friends have sold their condo and are moving out West to be near children and grandchildren and they gave us a 17 foot articulating ladder, a beautiful oak dining table with 8 chairs, a reclining loveseat and a computer desk for our third floor guest room. We have a dining table currently but no chairs because they had gotten old and fallen apart from years of use by kids and grandies. They are downsizing to a modular home and the cost to move anything they might not have room for is prohibitive. They would not accept any money for it, so I will be gifting them the queen size quilt I made a few weeks ago (I knew the quilt would “tell” me where it was supposed to go! https://pin.it/4aLKdnm and https://pin.it/4Af0oFv.

    I put out a call for anyone’s post-Halloween pumpkins and as a result, I have about 18!! Some will be enjoyed by our chickens as a high nutrient treat which they will turn into eggs and fertilizer/compost for our garden and the rest will be broken up and buried in our veg garden right away to decompose over the winter and act as a great amendment for our soil! Win-Win!!

    Today is one of the final days we will have before the chill of autumn/winter begins so we are out doing garden cleanup, tree pruning, digging in pumpkins and starting fig https://pin.it/5kSM2YB and blackberry cuttings to propagate over the winter. Our daughter, Alisa and her husband have come over to help for the next 3 days after they get their little ones on the school bus each morning! What a blessing!!

    We were out of bread and wheat flour, so I ground up some wheat and got 2 loaves of whole wheat sandwich bread started when I got up this morning. That way, by 9 AM the loaves were finished baking in the oven and the house smells AMAZING!!

    My water bill is down this quarter and so is my electric bill this month ($145). I plan to analyze our spending again this week to find “leaks” that we aren’t even aware of. We gave 2 or 3 of our adult kids Hulu and Disney for Christmas for one year. But that has now been 3 years and it’s time to let them take it over and let us cancel it. It was the gift that kept on giving to them (that we had totally forgotten about) and taking auto payments from us every month. That should free up some budget money and if there are promos right after Thanksgiving, they can start it up for themselves. I think we all just forgot about it. 🥴

    The year is passing quickly. My brother’s health is declining more rapidly than I expected. We will be driving up again next Monday for our 2 day trip to visit unless something happens sooner.

    So many things to be thankful for as we open our eyes to those miracles all around us! Midterm elections tomorrow here in U.S. and we each need to vote. It’s not my place to tell anyone who or what to vote for, only to remind you that voting is a privilege that not all people in the world have.
    Hope everyone finds reasons for joy this week!

    Gardenpat in Ohio

    1. Beautiful quilts!!! Thank you for showing them. It seems like your quilts are becoming more and more sophisticated the more you practice. Maybe it’s just my imagination. But they are very nice.

      1. Elizabeth H- Thank you!! I find that quilting has become my happy place, a time I can just enjoy quiet time but still feel productive!

        Gardenpat in Ohio

      1. Susan from Cincinnati- Of course! I cook the spaghetti first in my instant pot- 1 pound box , cover with water plus 1 teaspoon oil so it won’t stick together, on High pressure for 8 minutes. Then I use it in the following recipe: https://pin.it/YqyP7RD. My 9 x 13 baking dish was in DW so I used a 9” square dish and an 8” square dish. Same time and temp in oven! Worked a treat! ❤️

        Gardenpat in Ohio

    2. When you dig your pumpkin into your garden do you leave in the seeds. I have one small pumpkin on my porch for decoration that I would like to put in my flower bed but was worried that seeds would sprout in the Spring and take over.

      1. Susan in Cincinnati- Most of the pumpkins I was given had been carved so seeds were already gone, but the 2 with seeds, I took out, cleaned and roasted the seeds and then just gave the rest of those to my chickens! They were quite pleased!

        Gardenpat in Ohio

    3. I always love re-arranging my canning, as well! As you mentioned, it does take time, but gives a sense of satisfaction that I’m keeping things that are older in front, and it keeps me “in the loop” so I remember exactly what I have that needs using. Now and then, though, I find a surprise…like some jam from 2018 or something. We just eat it up right away and keep trying to be more organized! It is a nice feeling to know it’s all there, waiting for me to use all year long.

  2. That’s wonderful that you got such a low rate for the Internet!

    Have you considered winter sowing in milk jugs to start your seeds? I find it uses very little water once the jugs are planted. Some don’t have to water their jugs at all, but I usually did by setting them in an underbid storage bin filled with water (this could be from extra that you collect) and let it soak up through the drainage holes.

    We kept the thermostat off for the most part the last couple of weeks (the weather has been cooperative in helping us do this), and I’ve been trying to be careful about how long I dry loads for. It seems that it could lower our electricity usage by almost 30% this coming month, although with the increased rates our total bill will probably be about the same.

    1. Right now I direct sow in the garden along the drip irrigation. This is when I plant my cool-season crops. I could definitely go over them to keep the winds from drying them out. I’ll go do that.

  3. Wow! What beautiful pictures! The pale pink is just gorgeous!
    What a savings on the internet! I wonder if this will be available throughout the country. We could all use a deal like that.
    I’ve been staying at my sons house for several weeks. This means, i’ve not spent much money on groceries. I brought food for me to eat while here. I have spent money on Christmas and birthday gifts. I’m done with Christmas so that makes me happy.
    I’ve cooked the Halloween pumpkins my son had on his steps. There’s a lot of meat on them. He won’t use them but now i don’t know how to get it all home without it thawing.
    My son is not a water saver but i have been trying while he’s working. I turn the heat off, as well. Especially with the oven on, there’s no need.
    I’ve also been walking the neighborhood across the street for exercise.
    I’ve not been writing about my money saving lately but i do read here every week. It’s a great resource!
    Wishing you all a fabulous week, ahead!

    1. Their regular rate is $80 a month for customers. That’s still less than what we were paying before with even better speed and no limits.

    2. I have had good luck with traveling with frozen fruit packed into a cooler. You may be able to buy a styrofoam cooler. I saw some tiny ones at the dollar tree recently. You may have to add freezer blocks, if you don’t have a lot of packages of frozen pumpkin.

  4. Unlike you it seems to have been raining all week so nothing has been done outside except pulling veg for dinner and feeding the birds. I have given up trying the washing on line, it’s on the airer upstairs. We need the rain to refill the reservoir.

    I have ordered my seeds for next summer so I can beat the rush and shortages. I think with the economic situation seed may be hard to get. I have also saved seed and now I am testing it’s viability.

    I spent some of my indoor time darning and sewing in loose ends on the 3 piece
    Suite. I remember my daughter asking why I do this when she was small now she does it.

    We had friends to lunch I cooked as my friend is coeliac so I could cater to her needs

    Other than that I have only done the usual things to be frugal. I am going to find a jigsaw this afternoon.

    Have a good week everyone

  5. So glad you are able to save money on your internet! And that you figured out how to water as needed yet still prudently amd responsibly.

    My frugal week:
    – I made toaster pancakes (https://approachingfood.com/sour-milk-toaster-pancakes/) on the weekend for busy weekday mornings
    I bought a used hardcover kids book from our library book sale in perfect condition, for $2.
    – I made turkey alphabet noodle soup, using frozen leftover Thanksgiving turkey (am not even halfway through this turkey, and I use it in several meals each week. Now that’s value!) and served it with meatless Reuben sandwiches, aka grilled cheese with homemade sauerkraut. A very inexpensive, tasty, and filling meal. I canned the leftover soup for a future easy meal.
    – I borrowed a provincial parks pass from the library
    – set aside kids items to sell that we are no longer using
    – printed coupons, and used cashback, price matching, coupons, and sales to get the best value for my grocery dollars.
    – I made turkey pot pie using leftover Thanksgiving turkey
    – I made more sauerkraut and canned it.
    – I picked the last of my swiss chard from my balcony and put my garden to bed for the winter. A squirrel is trying to nest there and cut the majority of my beloved grape vine down to use as nesting material along with the last of my green tomatoes. I hope the vine regrows and isn’t a victim to said squirrel, as my blueberry bush previously was, and before that, my potted pine tree. Not sure how to protect the remaining vine. Bubble wrap? Sticky tape? Does anyone have any ideas?
    – I made lentil tacquitos with guac from frozen discounted avocados, and high far yoghurt instead of sour cream
    – I also made fajitas (tortillas bought on sale and frozen, discounted red peppers that I had frozen previoiusly, onions that I had bought dirt cheap and sliced on my meat slicer, then froze, and homemade taco spice powder, plus my protein of choice)
    – I made a lemon drizzle cake, but used powdered lime instead of lemon zest, and made my own self-raising flour
    – price compared when buying a new dishwasher, and found one we liked for $100 less than we could find elsewhere. I had make the old dishwasher work despite one part falling off every cycle, and one part not working correctly and requiring me to manually put it back in place, but when it started repeatedly leaking,I couldn’t make it limp along any further. Grateful for savings.

    Looking forward to learning from everyone else!

    1. I’m afraid that you will need to trap and relocate this squirrel. You could try hot pepper powder but everything that I’ve tried hasn’t worked. So sorry. That is a lot of loss and very frustrating!!

        1. If he’s digging in the pots, maybe try covering the soil with chicken wire. Not sure if it will help with squirrels, but it stops the neighborhood cats from digging. Some sort of cage over the plant may also be needed until his interest is turned elsewhere.

    2. I put plastic forks prong side up in my pots to keep the squirrel from digging plus rockson any open soil. Perhaps you could intertwine plastic forks secured with floral tape or old stockings cut into strips into your vine.

    3. Grape vines are actually supposed to be pruned quite often. Maybe your squirrel has just pruned them for you? 🙂

      1. Thanks so much, Terri! I was actually wondering whether I should be pruning them! The squirrel has only left about 1.5 feet above the graft on the root stock, so I’m hoping to save the remaining “vine”, such as it is. But it is reassuring to know that the pruning-by-squirrel method may actually work for me!

  6. Gas was $3.12 in college town and $.3.39 to $3.49 further South. Near the interstate south of Montgomery is was $3.59. The day after Halloween I went to Walmart and purchased six large pumpkins marked down from $5.99 to $1.99. I was questioned by several people in line if I was using them for decorations. I said no, I was cooking them and then was asked how and I explained I cut them in half and bake or roast them, after removing the seeds, which I also use. Pumpkins, except for the canned version, are not popular to eat here. Sweet potatoes are the preferred orange vegetable in these parts. That is enough pumpkin to last me until spring, so I will have my orange vegetable, fairly cheaply. I prefer sweet potatoes but I love roasted pumpkin seeds so this is a nice compromise. I went to SAMS and purchased paper towels, dog food, small tomato carton, sour cream, potatoes, and eggs. The potatoes looked delicious and they were. I have not purchased potatoes in about six months, or more, because, the potatoes were awful this summer. I roasted a sliced potato, with the 99 cent Aldi carrots I purchased last week, for supper this week. I took frozen bread out of the freezer and am using it for my work sandwiches. I am still eating my egg and tomato sandwich for breakfast. My autistic son needed a new pair of pants for his new job and we found the only pair that fit him in Target. I was also about to purchase a $5 decorative pillow there, because my other one had disintegrated. I made my son sauteed spinach, also hamburgers, and hot dogs this weekend from buns and meat I had in the freezer.

    1. Cindy, what a great idea for the pumpkins! I love roasted pumpkin seeds, but didn’t buy a pumpkin this year. My neighbor across the street has about six outside…maybe I will ask them for at least one at the end of their use. Glad you were able to find pants for your son! Have a great week!

  7. What a wonderful deal on the internet service! We don’t have that inexpensive a plan but consider ourselves lucky to have fiber optic out here in the boonies. We were part of an initiative by the government to bring internet to underserved communities about 5-6 years ago. They installed fiber optic internet here since it was easier to start where there was none than to change everything that already existed in more populated areas. As a result, those of us in the Hinterlands had better internet service than people in town (and it may still be that way, I’m not sure.) Since my husband works from home, that internet capability was a major factor in where we chose to live and allowed us to move here to our mountain. For that, I am forever grateful. So glad you are experiencing blessings that may come in unexpected ways.
    *My birthday was last week and, even though I felt very celebrated, I believe it fit in with our frugal lifestyle (as it usually does.) My 10- year-old son surprised me with breakfast he made himself. I was out feeding the chickens and came in to find a lovely meal of tea, sunny-side-up eggs and toast with jam set out for me. He got lots of extra hugs for that. 🙂 My gifts were equally touching and practical – money (as my great-grandfather said, “It always fits and goes with everything I own.”), a tea cup and saucer which belonged to my great-grandmother, homemade soap, homemade canned goods (my friend’s famous corn salsa), some gladiolus bulbs, and a handmade wall-mounted drying rack. My husband and boys gave me the wooden drying rack and installed it next to our wood stove. It will be a wonderful place to dry things especially in winter and it really functions like a piece of art. It is the kind that fans out but the spindles can be pushed back together and the whole thing laid flat against the wall. Practical and pretty and I love it.
    *One of my projects is framing old family photos. I have quite a few on the wall outside my bedroom but have many more I would like to add to the gallery wall. I particularly like to frame them in old frames and have some in frames my Dad made as a Boy Scout. I am always on the look-out for old frames at thrift stores and antique shops. So, I took a little of the money I got for my birthday and found 2 antique frames at our local antique shop – one for 50% off and the other for 75% off. So, for a whopping $14 I now have two more lovely frames to house photos of beloved family members.
    *My birthday gift to myself the last 3 years or so has been 100 bulbs from VanEnglen (per Brandy’s recommendation.) I had a lovely time two afternoons last week planting them with my youngest son and look forward to their beauty in the spring. The prices and quality can’t be beat and I recommend them highly.
    *My boys and I raked more leaves to put in the chicken house as winter bedding. It makes for great compost after they work on it a bit.
    *I continue to enjoy the free music education I receive by participating in the bell choir at church. We are heavy into Advent and Christmas music and it is getting me in the spirit early. We also continue to enjoy the very low-cost education via out homeschool co-op as well as the friendships and fun involved.
    *We attended the 10th birthday party of a friend who invited us for lunch and a hike. Since turning 10 is a big deal (double digits!), we gave him a $10 bill which my husband creatively folded origami-style. It made the money seem more like a gift and might just encourage delayed gratification as he said he didn’t want to unfold it. 🙂 My boys made him a card, as well, which we always do. Not only is it frugal, it just seems more personal and it’s fun.
    *Went to the grocery store just for a few B1G1 free items and some ground turkey which, at $3/lb. is the cheapest I have seen in a while. We make it stretch by including small amounts in soups, sauces, etc. so it makes it more of a condiment and flavoring than the main part of the meal.
    *My husband and oldest son were hit by a deer one night last week while driving home from a friend’s house. It is actually pretty amazing that neither of us has ever hit or been hit by one as we have always lived in rural areas loaded with deer. It is a common occurrence here, especially this time of year. I am so grateful that neither of them was hurt and vehicles can be repaired. While we are not thrilled to be out $500 right now, it looks like that is what we will pay after insurance and it could have been a LOT worse. My husband, ever the DIY-er, figured out how much it would cost for him to do the work (he could do it all except for the painting) but the difference would be negligible. But, it is always good to figure those things out so we can make the best decision. Having skills gives you options that are essential to a frugal life.
    *Haven’t progressed too much with my reading of the Carl Larsson book as I have become enamored with two related YouTube channels – “American Viscountess” and “Mapperton Live.” I have been watching them here and there and loving the history, art, gardens and fun discussions of American vs. English culture. I think many of you would enjoy them as well.
    *Wishing everyone a lovely week, as always!

    1. Mountain Mama Dawn, I live about half an hour’s drive from Mapperton House and we have enjoyed walking in the gardens at different times of year, followed of course by tea and cake in their lovely cafe.

      1. That must be a real treat to visit Mapperton House so easily. I admire the family and all the creative ways they are trying to support the house and property. I think we can relate albeit on a smaller scale. 🙂

    2. Oh that is something to be really thankful for — that your husband and oldest son were not hurt or killed when they hit the deer. While driving in the mountains, a friend hit an elk in the mountains and his car was a write-off. Had anyone been in the passenger seat, he or she would have been decapitated.
      My friend was bloodied but not seriously hurt except he got a cataract from the impact and had to have surgery. I am so thankful he was ok and thankful that your husband and son are ok too!

  8. How fantastic that your home was chosen for the internet service. I hope it works wonderfully for you, so that you can benefit from those savings. We’re eating the tomatoes and peppers as they ripen indoors. The sweet peppers that aren’t being eaten are being chopped and frozen. A batch of alfalfa sprouts was made. My sister and I stopped at a Goodwill, and I found a canister to turn into a compost crock for my shop. Kale, lettuce, chickweed, rosemary, thyme, garlic chives and spearmint were harvested, along with several leaves from the potted sweet potato. I found a package of blue cheese in the freezer, which neither of us can eat now, so I’ve been doling it out to the pups, who are in heaven. We were able to open up the house several days, due to temps in the mid to upper 70’s. I rearranged the closet, so my winter clothes would be easier to reach. I pulled several things to donate, including the majority of my scrubs, as I’m letting my massage license expire this year.

  9. Congratulations on being chosen for the new internet option. Hope it works out as that would be a very welcomed saving. Fingers crossed!

  10. Hello, frugal friends, from the beautiful Appalachian Mountains in southwest Virginia! We have had some nice weather this past week. We did get some nice rain to water my garden. I am fully recovered from the flu. Having the flu did save us some money as I could not go anywhere or do much of anything. Today’s high temp will be 73! in November! We have the heat off and the windows open. Feels so nice, especially after being cooped up sick for 2 weeks. I have been able to take several walks since Saturday. In other frugal things: I made homemade tortillas and English muffins using sourdough discard. I never realized how easy English muffins are to make. We still have some lettuce and other greens in the garden which we are eating with supper throughout the week. We picked up our half beef so now the freezer is full of meat for the next 2 years. I ordered some Bible study materials using a discount code, saving 20%. I also waited for a good deal with Shutterfly before placing my big Christmas order. I was able to save an extra 20% on my order plus free shipping. We bought the loss leaders at Kroger: 18 count eggs 1.99 limit 5. I bought the limit and froze some and made some into breakfast burritos for the freezer. Thanks to all who told me to wait for this deal at Kroger. Networking is definitely a frugal thing. We also bought 5 chocolate chip packages for 1.99 and bought the pasta special (.79/box), buying 12 boxes. I guess this will be the sale price for a while. We are set on pasta, chocolate chips, meat and eggs. I am watching for a deal on butter or margarine. I feel we are set for a year’s worth of food for the most part. Our biggest savings this past week was not buying mulch for my huge flower garden. Mr. Fix-It was raking up the leaves and dragging them to dump over the fence into the woods. I suggested he dump them in my flower garden as mulch as it was closer and less work. It looks great and saved us at least $200 in mulch. I also turned off the oven and stove a few minutes before the food was done and have done some maintenance on a few things around the house. Brandy, that was quite a deal with the internet. Congratulations! I have never heard of anything like that but will be keeping an eye out just in case it comes this way. Our internet options are limited. We pay $70/month for internet which I would love to see reduced at some point. I wish everyone a blessed upcoming week.

    1. So glad you are feeling better!
      Thanks for the tip about the Amish store! We enjoyed the drive there, and I was able to find some gf flour on clearance. Those sandwiches were delicious too.
      Aldi has butter on sale this week for $2.49 which might be the cheapest price we will see. Some items are at 2019 prices, although not as many as I was hoping to find. 😉 Kroger has turkeys for .39/pound if you buy $25 worth of groceries. Not too difficult to do these days.

      1. Kathy, so glad you liked the Amish store in Bland. It is such a pretty drive. I love their Reuben sandwiches. I ualways buy my bread flour there. Thanks for the tips on sale butter and turkey. I got the butter at Aldis, and as you said, it won’t take much to meet the $25 for the turkey sale at Kroger. Last year after Thanksgiving Kroger let you buy the turkeys at the sale price without spending the $25. I am hoping that is the case this year as I want to get an extra one this year for future meals. I won’t have any room in the freezer until after Thanksgiving. Have you ever shopped at the Radford or Dublin Food City? I have not and am wondering how their sales are.

        1. Hi Marley!
          Sometimes Food City will have a good sale on Friday and Saturday, but most of the time, their prices are more expensive than other stores in the area. I don’t think that I could do my weekly shopping there. Last year, they had a deal where you could buy some $50 gift cards for $40, so that saved a little on some Christmas presents.

  11. Happy November everyone. I had several blessings this week. My Medicaid was finally approved and back dated to when I originally had applied. As usual , my dealings with social services are never processed correctly. I now no longer have to pay my monthly $170.00 part D Medicare payment. That’s a savings of $2040.00 a year. My insurance agent is an angel. As we boarded our cruise ship ,we were actively on the phone processing a better Medicare policy for myself before I lost my phone signal . I will be paying $300.00 a year but have much better benefits. My $350.00 MRI are down to $100.00 and my specialist appts are down to $15.00 versus $50.00. As my health is now closely monitored, these savings add up to a substantial amount. We have free over the counter benefits we will utilize. I was in disbelief at the incredibly high cost of these items. Most items appear to be 400 to 1000% mark up. I’m grateful for all the love and care this insurance agent provides me and my daughter. She truly cares. My monies were refunded to me where they had incorrectly deducted all those part d payments. Sugar cookie had a lovely vacation. She slept like a baby and enjoyed many lovely dinners. I embarked at one port and got off the ship once. They had various free coupons they hand out for free trinkets. I collected a free bracelet , a charm ,and a free necklace. Sugar cookie was happy with her free souvenirs and I spent nothing out of pocket. The cruise ship also gives out a free bracelet. She put her free charm on that one. I enjoyed tiramisu at sunset on a deserted deck. On the other hand ,I have returned with a horrific respiratory virus. My 3 covid tests are negative. I’m aggressively treating it , hoping to avoid sinus ,ear infections or pneumonia. This situation usually ends up being long and drawn out. The bright side is I have everything I need to be comfortable. No dumpster diving for me but I’m quietly resting in bed. Traveling has become highly stressful for me . the airlines are unpredictable.

  12. That is so fantastic about the new internet! I hope it works well for you.
    I have so much trouble germinating seeds in our dry climate that I have switched to starting almost everything in pots indoors and transplanting later. If the plant is something that doesn’t like to be transplanted, I put it in a pot made of newspaper or the brown paper saved from packages and transplant the whole thing into the garden. There are directions for making the pots here, if anyone wants to try: https://www.gardenbetty.com/how-to-make-recycled-newspaper-pots-for-seed-starting/
    We went camping all last week –our last trip of the year. We used our America the Beautiful pass to camp for ½ price ($10 a night) and camped only three hours from home, which saved gas. We hiked every day and visited Arches national park (entry free with our pass) and ate all meals but one breakfast at camp. It was a wonderful, relaxing trip.
    Back at home I planned meals from our pantry, made some cards to send for Christmas and knit myself a new winter hat from leftover yarn from other projects.

  13. That’s amazing about your internet! I hope it works perfectly for you. I’m so sorry about the water situation.

    Our weather is warm and muggy again, so I waited until fairly late to cook, and batch cooked what I could on weekends. I haven’t turned the A/C back on and have left windows up, so it was pretty warm in the house in the afternoons this weekend. At night I sleep with a ceiling fan right over my bed, to be bearable while I wait for the house to cool down some, which usually takes until after midnight to happen.

    I had upped the amount I save each month for homeowner’s insurance, and I’m glad I did because it surely increased! I still will owe a little more than I’ve saved, but it won’t be nearly as bad as it would have been had I not set more aside each month this year. After Hurricane Ian, I expect our rates to go up yet again. When one part of the state suffers, we all pay increased property insurance.

    I had a few plastic bottles of water in the freezer to take up some empty freezer space. I no longer need to take up space, so I thawed them and watered plants with the water.

    We have the autumn wave of squash bugs, so I sprayed with more Bt, to try to deter them.

    I hemmed a pair of slacks for myself.

    I have enough in a bag of frozen bones to make more bone broth, which I will probably then process in the canner.

    I finally found a turkey on “sale” – meaning it is about the same price per pound as the regular price was two years ago.

    I hemmed a frayed washcloth.

    The library automatically renewed the book I have checked out, so no late fees. I expect to finish it this week, but my reading time is limited and this book is not a light read, so I needed the renewal.

    I found I had just enough spirits left to clean my paint brushes for painting this coming weekend.

    I soaked a ceramic planter that was dirty and had a good bit of lime scale, using a solution of water and vinegar in a bucket. I left it for about four days and it came out looking nice after a little light rubbing.

  14. What a blessing about the Internet!

    I sold 2 items on FB marketplace, one for me and one for DIL. The item I sold was from a free pile.
    We had 2 visitors over the weekend, plus our youngest daughter is living with us temporarily. So we were 5 in our very small house. Everyone said how comfortable they were. We save a lot of money by living in a small house. Sometimes I’m not sure how I’ll fit everything and everybody in, but as time goes on I find more solutions.
    We collected rainwater, which is an amazing blessing in the drought of California. I have not had to water by hand for several weeks.
    We have organized our immediate family Christmas name draw (limit $25). This way we each only buy one gift. It is such a relief to all. Our children are all in their 20’s and just embarking on families and house purchases. My daughter’s boyfriend is not from a frugal family and I think he is constantly surprised by us. But he’s learning! I do give to a few others in the extended family, and have made my list which includes a scented geranium grown from a cutting, a picture that I saved from a gorgeous calendar put in a frame on clearance at Marshalls, and homemade jam.

    Thank you for this lovely community.

  15. Hi Brandy and everyone
    I hope your new internet access works well, what a good deal! It was a blessing to be one of the households chosen to take part. You are managing your water use so well too.
    We were given quinces this week, I have spread them out indoors to ripen a bit more.
    I cooked up the medlars and froze the strained juice until I have time to make the jelly.
    We picked cabbage, carrots, apples and still have tomatoes in one of the greenhouses.
    I used up leftover pastry to make a small apple pie, just a pastry top not a bottom.
    White eggs are cheaper at the supermarket so that’s what I’m buying, they are £1 a half dozen.
    We bought some dog food online at a cheaper price and delivery was free.
    A friend has lent me a big embroidery hoop so I can do some hand quilting.
    My husband mended a chest of drawers.
    I received my free Covid booster this week ( and was really poorly the next day but it was over in 24 hours)
    I take part in a consumer research panel and redeemed £80 for National Trust vouchers. I will use them for Christmas gifts. When tidying a wardrobe I found a Christmas present I’d forgotten about, it’s ideal for a friend so I could adjust my gift budget downwards.
    In a charity shop I found a brand new, in packet pair of M & S flannel pyjamas for myself at half the retail price. For £1.50 I found a book for a friend in a series they like, it was in like new condition, I don’t think it’s ever been opened. As an added bonus it’s a Christmas story so a good gift.
    Stay safe everyone.

    1. That is funny about the eggs; here, the white are common and it’s the brown that are more expensive, but lately, at one store, the brown ones are less and have been the best price I can find.

      1. I have had so many people ask me if brown eggs are more nutritious than white. I think there is that assumption as they typically do cost more in grocery stores here in the US. They are surprised when I tell them that the color of the shell is due to the breed of the chicken and tells you nothing about the quality of what is inside. That would be due more to how they live and what they eat so there is reason pasture-raised, cage-free etc. cost more (but those labels really don’t mean a whole lot, either. Don’t get me started on factory farming! 🙂 ) But, it is interesting to see what people’s perceptions are which, I think, are often influenced by pricing.

        1. Yep! And there is some company in the U.S with Americanas and Aracaunas selling their eggs for $8 a dozen just so that people can get blue shells. I saw them at the store and watched a woman buy them without any hesitation.

          1. $8 – wow! I will say that the blue/green egg laying chickens we have had lay less often than other breeds so that could be a factor in the pricing, as well. They are pretty, though!

    2. Penny, also living in England, may I ask which consumer panel you participate on? Things are beginning to bite financially and any little bit extra would certainly help. I hope this isn’t too personal an enquiry. Wishing you well, Susan.

  16. The weather has been crazy here in NY. I have all of the windows open. We haven’t used the heat yet. I am still line drying everything outside and I still am picking from the garden. Lettuce, tomatoes, eggplants, peppers, scallions, swiss chard, celery, parsley, thyme, basil and beets are all still hanging on. I finally pulled all of the carrots. I dried the carrot tops. The potatoes are all picked too. This is September weather for us.
    I am having sinus surgery next week so I have been getting ready for that. I have everything I need for Thanksgiving except the turkey. I do have a turkey breast in the freezer if I need it.
    I have been decluttering around the house. Some days I just say find 5 items that I can get rid of to myself. It has been adding up. I drop it at a local church thrift shop. I bought 2 pairs of winter PJs for $4 each. 1 had tags still on it. I got 3 t shirts $1 each. I have also gotten several Christmas presents. Some are new and some are used. I know who I can give used items to that will still enjoy them.
    I have been baking lots of bread, GF muffins, cookies and brownies. I am trying to keep the grocery budget as low as possible so all store bought baked goods have been cut. No one has complained. I have been popping popcorn often to keep everyone that likes chips happy.
    Hubby got his quarterly bonus. We put it straight to the mortgage principle.
    I have garbage picked several baskets that I will use for Christmas gifts. I am giving lots of food basket items this year.

  17. I took my cat by taxi to the nearest available vet, who is 70 km (43 miles) away. As I expected he recommended she go to a veterinary ophthalmologist, the nearest being 156 km away. I might be able to afford the diagnostic appointment, though the tests might be too expensive, but I wouldn’t be able to manage the travel or the cost of the range of treatments and follow-up visits. The vet was understanding, and gave me advice on changes to watch for in her condition, so I would know when to bring her back to the regular vet. At the moment she isn’t in any pain or imminent danger, so she is happily enjoying being at home.

    I had a follow-up visit to review the results of my lab work from my physical, which looked good. I can chalk that up for another year. I’d like to focus now on healthy eating and a little more exercise, which are more fun than medical appointments.

    I didn’t plan to buy groceries last week, but the weather forecast for this week wasn’t very good, so I did end up shopping so I wouldn’t have to go out this week. I did get my groceries delivered for free, which made the job easier than carrying everything home on foot. I found a 3-lb bag of onions at a reasonable price — $2.99. They were very, very expensive last year, so I was only buying one onion at a time, and not always having onions in the house. This year’s crop seems to be back down to something manageable. Also, a few weeks ago, I had noticed that a brand of spices that comes in a little ziplock bag was a much better deal than the other brands. This week, they were clearing the less expensive brand out and won’t be carrying it anymore. (Hmph.) I had topped up my supplies of herbs and spices already, but looked to see if there was anything I wanted. I was able to get turmeric at half price, which I can use in some winter recipes.

    This month’s grocery budget is $100 less than I’ve spent for most of the last few months. My winter stocking up is mostly where I want it to be, and I didn’t need all that much. I was getting the furnace fixed and taking the cat to the vet, so I thought it was better to set the $100 towards those expenses instead. I’ll bring the grocery budget back up in December, to cover the Christmas holidays.

    Sadly, our local food bank has closed, along with the waste reduction program. There were not enough donations, and the person who was running it has started a full-time job that didn’t give her the time to run it. The food bank was running the Christmas hamper program, so there is a scramble to try and organize that without them.

    The local hospital auxiliary has also decided not to run a Christmas Tree of Hope fundraiser for hospital equipment, because the members are uncertain about the future of the hospital. The ER has been closed at night since July 1, and they are not keeping patients in acute care. They are short the RN needed to keep these services open at night. Many hospitals are having the same problem. We are lucky to have several doctors working at least part-time, and that the lab is still open, which saves a lot of travel. The local and provincial governments are pretty determined to keep the hospital open, so I am not so pessimistic. People just find it worrying.

  18. Great deal on the internet! Let us know how it goes.

    I know exactly how Gardenpat feels after moving around so many jars. My pantry is probably 10% the size of hers, and I wore myself out reorganizing and rearranging it this weekend. I had lots of things to put away because of some of the deals I got–6 pkg. pasta @ .79 each; 5 boxes of Idahoan scalloped potatoes @ .99 box; two Marie Callender frozen pies @ $4.99 each; fresh BLSL chicken breasts, $1.48 lb; four 2 lb. bags brown sugar @ .99 each; 10 lbs. flour, $1.98; two 48 ounce bottles canola oil @ $1.99 bottle; one pound butter, $1.99 (limit one); 4 pkg. white and wild Rice-a-Roni @ .99. I got a gallon of markdown milk for $1.98 with a pull date of 10/18! I bought a case of evaporated milk for .88 can, which was more than I hoped to pay, and why I didn’t buy two cases. I have found that stores are using digital coupons to limit quantities, the pasta and Rice-a-Roni being two examples.

    I cooked double one day, ate one and froze the other for a ready meal. We have been doing a great job of eating up the leftovers.

    My adult son mentioned how much he is enjoying Car & Driver magazine. I bought him a one-year subscription for Christmas for $7.50 (instead of $20) on Amazon. I bought my daughter a pair of Clarks boots for 40% off from JCP dot com. We give each person 3 gifts and the values even out. Setting a budget per person for 3 gifts is probably the smartest gift-giving thing I’ve ever done. When the kids were little, they also got gifts from grandparents, so there was always plenty to open.

    I hope everyone here is having a wonderful week!

    1. Hello Everyone!

      I discovered this blog about a week ago and have been enjoying readying everyone’s tips to save money. The amount of you that garden and harvest food is very inspiring!

      Maxine, that is great you got such a deal on the magazine, but I wanted to let you know of an even better deal for the future. Recyclebank has free magazines in exchange for completing simple quizzes and surveys about recycling. However, not everyone’s municipality participates. I have been using it for years and have sent many members of my family gift subscriptions. There inventory changes, but they always have lots of magazines to choose from.


      I also like Mercury magazines for free magazines. You can sign up for their email to get alerts for when they have free magazines. Slightly more hoops but no surveys. You have to put in information about your company (homemaker is an option for all my homemakers out there) and then select which magazines you want. On the last step it makes it look Ike you have to put in your credit card and pick a few magazines for $2 a year. Don’t do this! Simply click on the X in the corner to continue without any payment.

      Right now they have Elle Decor for free. https://cdn.mercurymagazines.com/304-304300/index.html

      Anyway, I hope this comment is ok. Maxine I saw your comment and wanted to save you money (and give other readers free gift ideas) for future gifts : )
      Magazines make great gifts, and it is so nice to gift them for free. If I get the subscription I am gifting, I peel off my address and then wrap the current issue up and attach a note saying I got the recipient a year subscription. If I don’t get the subscription I usually just give them a card with the magazine listed, but there are many ideas online.

  19. I’m so happy for you! What a deal on the internet! We got a deal on tomatoes , salsa and guacamole this week. All being about 88 cents or 98 cents for containers of them. We continue to turn off lights, use cloth napkins and handkerchiefs. My husband and I watched Tammy and the Bachelor for free. I think it was on Roku. I was named after those movies and used to listen to the song Tammy all the time as a child. I like old romantic movies. It was fun to watch and my husband has been singing the song Tammy since watching it. I watched YouTube videos on baking different types of bread. I hope to bake bread today. It will save a lot of money on the cost of bread and the cost of getting to the store to buy the bread. I saved marigold seeds to start this winter for spring planting. I cut some green onion that I have growing on my window sill. I think I will teach my son to make bread today. He mentioned it earlier. It is a good skill to know and I think he would think it is fun. I have two bread pans I will cook two loaves. I think I will be on the lookout for more bread pans at thrift stores. That way I can cook more at a time. A friend loaned us some tools, saving us quite a bit of money. We will return the tools in good condition and make sure he gets some okra in the spring and gifted spiced crab apples. What a nice friend. My husband canned the spice crabapples and they are delicious! I enjoyed some last night.

    1. Oh the spiced crabapples sound so good. Here we had very poor crabapple crops so I wasn’t able to get any. instead of bread, I’m thinking of making biscuits.

      1. Biscuits are nice. I ended up making cornbread. I had cornmeal I needed to use. My husband enjoyed it with honey and a bit of butter.

  20. Well, it is now winter. We had a lovely October. didn’t turn the heat on all month. We gave in though on Wednesday. Got downright cold. Our gas and electric bill was low though for the month, which we really appreciated.
    I cut DH’s hair on one of the last nice days of fall. We will not see 70 degrees again, until probably May.
    We picked our beets. I made 7 pints of pickled beets with some of the harvest.
    Cooked another winter squash.
    Was able to get clery for 98¢ a bunch – got 2. 93% ground beef was $8.91for a 3-pound roll. Since it was the Kroger brand, and the first Tuesday in the month when I got it, I was able to get an additional 10% off since I am over 55. They only had one left – but I got it so, $8.02 for 3 pounds of really lean hamburger.
    I got 4 bags of almond joy candy bars for $1.74 each on the after Halloween sale.
    One of our stores had a 12-hour baking sale. I was able to purchase 5-pound bags of flours for 98¢ – limit of 4; 2-pound bags of brown sugars for 98¢ – limit 4; 4-pound bags of sugar for $1.48 – limit 2; 48 oz. of canola oil for $1.98 – limit 2 and butter $1.98 – limit 1. I got the limits on all of these items. There were others, but I did not need them. I also got 10 pounds of boneless, skinless, chicken breast for $1.48 per pound. Good day at that store.
    When I got home from shopping, I made a batch of split pea soup with a ham bone and ham bits from the freezer. Then made a batch of herb and cheese muffins.
    Made up 4 more batches of herb muffin mix.
    Went for probably the last time to my mother’s house to finalize the preparation for sale and meet with the realtor. We agreed on a price that is considerably lower than last year, but I wasn’t able to have it ready until now. I did the final cleaning in the attic, final removal of “treasures” and non-treasures, cleaning, meeting with the realtor, checking smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, and everything else that goes into selling a house. It will go on the market in the next couple of weeks. I brought home two sets of flannel sheets plus some cotton sheets and old towels. Anything that can’t be used for its intended purpose, will become rags.
    Drove home in the snow for the first 60 miles or so, then it was great.
    Stopped at Costco and picked up a few things, including a $4.99 roasted chicken. Those are looking to be a better and better deal every day.
    Hope you all have a great and productive week. I echo GardenPat in encouraging everyone to vote tomorrow. coming from a military family on all sides, I recognize the privilege and responsibility voting is.

    1. Nancy in eastern Washington- great shopping!! Do all Krogers do a senior discount day in the week? I have never heard of this and I’m definitely over 55!! Lol!! Our son is Army and currently stationed at Fort Lewis, near Tacoma. His youngest son was impressed that they had named the base after his family because our last name is Lewis! Lol!

      Gardenpat in Ohio

      1. Gardenpat I don’t know about all Kroger stores. Ours is the first Tuesday of each month. They advertise it on their website so that’s how I learned about it. I’m definitely over 55 also. 😊

      2. Hi Pat
        In case Nancy doesn’t reply. I believe all Kroger stores do Senior discounts 10 % off the first Wed of every month.

        1. I see Nancy replied. I guess it depends on your area. I did just read some Krogers no longer offer this :(. Best I guess is to ask at your local store.

          1. Nancy and I both shop at Fred Meyer, which is a Kroger store. The 10% off is just Kroger label products only–not on everything you buy. Still, it’s a lot better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick!

      3. The trick with the Kroger senior deal though is that the ten percent off only applies to Kroger brand products. It’s the first Tuesday of each month here, too. We received coupons in the mail that we intend to use on a first Tuesday along with the Senior discount. Hope that works.

        1. In AZ I shopped at Frys and I would get 10 % all my purchases the first Wed of every month. I am in Central California now and haven’t checked if the same applies here.

      4. GardenPat, based on the Kroger answers I just read here, it must vary by state. We live in Arizona. First Weds of the month is 10% off for seniors, excluding alcohol etc etc, but it covers all brands, not just generic.

  21. I was able to score some grocery store deals this week which was a blessing. I made a trip to Kroger as I saw the weekly digital coupons and I had some additional coupons they had sent me that had not yet expired. With these coupons combined I was able to purchase 18 eggs for $0.19/package – of course I bought the limit of 5. I also was able to get a free Simply Lemonade, bagels B1G1 free and a few other items. It was such a blessing to find the eggs in stock as many customers rushed in to purchase them at the sale price of $1.99/each. I am no longer shocked when I see prices at the grocery store but find it rather sobering. To that end I ordered a soil test for my garden as it is free with a service we have for our grass. This will help us to know how we need to amend the soil in order to get the best harvest we can. With food prices continuing to rise, I will be planting all that I possibly can in the Spring.
    I took advantage of a 60% off sale to purchase some Christmas decor that we needed as we now have a larger home. All of the items that I purchased are very classic and will provide years of use to us.
    I was delighted to see my power bill today. That phrase is not one I use often! Our bill was less than half of last month’s – only $148! Woohoo! Since this is our first season in this home I am relieved to see this – higher rates in the cool autumn would have meant insulation or window issues. We are not watering anything so I expect that our water bill will fall under $40 this month as well.
    I watched a documentary on a southern chef and discovered a ‘new to me’ way to cook a whole chicken and rice which uses all of the broth produced by the chicken. It was a humble, simple meal but my oh my was it tasty, easy, and all in one pot. I call that a win. I found a recipe for chocolate zucchini bread that I will bake up this week as well using shredded zucchini that I froze from our garden.
    My husband and I celebrated 8 years of marriage on October 25th. We spent a little at the grocery store and grilled steaks on our firepit and roasted smores to celebrate. The meat was an expense but we could not have eaten once in a restaurant for that amount and we enjoyed leftovers for 4 people 3 days afterward.
    I hope that everyone enjoys a productive week ahead.

  22. *I cut my husband’s hair
    * I saved as much water from cooking and rinsing vegetables to water mums on the porch. They were not doing well and a friend said you almost cannot keep them in pots here as they need more water so I brought one inside and soaked in an inch of water in the sink. The other is in a huge container so I have given extra water. Driving up from church my husband exclaimed to look at the mums! He didn’t know I’d done anything, but noticed they had flowers and looked good.
    * We bought a bed when my MIL moved out and the mattress is so thick you can’t get in the bed without long legs or a stool. The downstairs guest room is also the smallest bedroom. I painted the bed and we moved it upstairs and moved the full size antique Walnut bed down. It fits the room better and MIL can get in it.
    * I’ve decorated the room cheaply. I bought a sleigh bed off FB Marketplace for $100. I am using a comforter I had, but bought floral sheets on sale and a couple of pillows. I add quilts I owned. I pair it with my great grandmother’s dresser, a commode table I got from my husband’s grandmother, lamps from his grandmother with shades I got at a garage sale for $5/ pair, a setee I got free off FB Marketplace and will reupholster, another side table i already owned, and toile trays I have found from $10 to $20.
    *I got 5 cartons of 18 eggs for $1.99 at Kroger. I will make up pancakes, muffins, breakfast burritos, then scramble and freeze bags with 4 eggs in them. I will compost the shells. I also picked up 8 pastas for $.79 each. I went to WM to get a few things and found condensed broccoli cheese soup for $.25. I don’t know what it is really but I bought all they had, 8 cans, and will add to soups or a casserole dish. I got two turkeys and froze. I paid $1.99 a lb, it was before it was told stores would use 2019 prices and I was afraid of a shortage, so I will pick up one or two more at the great prices.
    *I bought 6 plastic bins for the freezer from the Dollar Tree. I am going g to organize and take inventory of my meat freezer. I have 4 carcasses frozen for broth and need to make a good bone broth.
    * Husband has all the lower cabinets built for the pantry. He is having knee surgery Wednesday so is working with pain. All the food is in the guest room in totes and on 3 bookshelves. I have it organized well and the bed set up if he doesn’t finish before kids come home.
    * I have finished 3 of the 5 quilt tops for Christmas and have most blocks made of the final two. I will get them pieced this week then start quilting them..I had 25 shirts I didn’t cut up the backs and will cut as large a piece of rectangles to piece for as much of the backs as I can. I use the tiny pieces and sew on a cash register tape to make binding, using up the tiniest of pieces. I am trying not to have to purchase any material.

  23. Brandy, your photos were particularly lovely this week, and I’ve been enjoying your Instagram reels and posts. Thanks for doing that! *Food wise, I made some chicken stir fry using only 1/3 of a chicken breast and left over angel hair pasta that was from a spaghetti dinner that I froze. We enjoyed a loaf of cinnamon bread that came during the funeral that I froze since we had so much food then. *As I’ve been struggling with gift ideas, I finally decided to just text all the kids and spouses a questionnaire of sorts asking for ideas of books they’d like, gift cards or snacks they’d enjoy. I asked for more than one answer to each question so there will still be a bit of a surprise. I decided to go with giving them something they want rather than a surprise. * Bought the food for Thanksgiving. Decided to go with a turkey breast instead of a big turkey this year. I’m splitting the meal with my daughter’s family so I don’t need to make the whole meal, which is a relief. * I reactivated Swagbucks after time away and automatically got 500 swagbucks. I went through swagbucks to do my weekly Walmart order and earned some bucks that way. * Had the sweet little grand daughters all day Saturday to give their mama a break. My husband was raking so they got to jump in leaf piles and you’d have thought we were at Disneyland. Good reminder that we don’t have to spend money to have a wonderful time. *Finished a couple more hats and dishcloths for donation with donated yarn. Read library books for fun. I got a few more books than usual because Hubby is traveling for work the next two weeks. * Have a wonderful week everyone. Thank you all so much for adding so much to my life through your positivity and great ideas!!

  24. The weather in West Tennessee is rainy and warm. We will be traveling to East Tennessee to the Mountains for a little family vacation this week. Lots of trails and nature to be discovered. I have been reading library books and drying my laundry on the rack. This past weekend, the family wanted to eat out so I made Baked spaghettis with salad and toasted cheese bread at home and everyone was happy. I read a quote on Facebook that has really stuck with me, “Worry is the thief of joy”. I have been thinking about how I constantly worry over simple things that may happen, I am no longer going to have my joy stolen by what if.

    1. Donna,
      You are right. Worry is the thief of joy. It actually affected my heart and I ended up in the er. I’m fine now. I am committed to relaxing more. Tonight I am enjoying the blog with a cup of tea. I have to relax not only for joy, but also for my health. And do what I can do, or take care of what I have control over.

  25. School was out last Monday and Tuesday, so no work for me, no driving the teen to school. She took advantage of the long weekend and cleaned out her clothes and shoes.

    We also took advantage of .50 corn dogs from Sonic on Monday. We went during happy hour for half price drinks also.

    Since I had more time, I repaired a ripped seam on the recliner.

    Earned $11 Amazon shopper rewards , used towards pair of jeans. Was out $6.

    The teen made pizza, whipped cream, bread, and cookies over the course of the week.

    My husband found a filtered pitcher at Home Depot for $4. Tap water gives him heartburn so he usually buys bottled, but we spend $15 or more a week on it. Hopefully, this helps reduce some of that expense.

    Canceled Xbox Live, saving $10 month.

    Ate breakfasts and lunches at work.

    We need to tighten up our budget(where, I don’t know ) to save the money I’ll need for my dental implants within the next year.

    1. April: I don’t know anything about getting heartburn from tap water. Just writing to ask, if you let it sit for a day or so before drinking it, do any of the chemicals evaporate or settle out of it? (My Mom would do that before changing the water in our fish bowl).
      Filtered water tastes better than our tap water. But like replacing printer ink cartridges and electric toothbrush heads, the filters have their own cost.

      1. He still complains about it(I keep a water bottle on my side of the bed and still complains about the taste a few days after its sat.)

    2. April, you might want to consider getting a reverse osmosis water filter. I am allergic to fluoride so we have one. It filters out everything. It is a little bit of an expense initially but well worth the savings over buying bottled water. We have to change the filters once every 8 months or so.

  26. Brandy: I can’t imagine dealing with the water restrictions! That would be stressful!

    Finally am feeling human again. Very frustrating to be sick this time of the year!.

    Got our Turkey from ALDI. So, I think I can put a decent Thanksgiving Meal on the table.

    Have started doing some extra cleaning for the holidays. So many cobwebs!

    One of my Lime trees is doing so well. Lots of limes and lots of blooms.

    Made a large pot of Gumbo. Hopefully, we will get 2-3 meals from it.

    Went shopping today for a winter coat, hats and gloves. We have a chain here that buys out overages/seconds from factories and other stores. Got some great deals! We’re projected to have a very cold Winter. It has been very warm the past two weeks, but Thursday, we will have a low of 29!

    Hope everyone is well! Stay frosty out there! Onward, ya’ll, by all means(Ryan)!

  27. What a wonderful blessing on the internet!! I switched to a new internet provider and bundled phone with it to save some costs there. We cut the cable completely. At our house we do not have good cell coverage so must also have phone service. I have pears coming out my ears!! I am still working on canning them. We have had such lovely weather for November. This week we will be winterizing the yard and trees. I hope to deter the rabbits and deer from eating my trees and bushes so I get fruit this coming year. Also need to prune the grapevines and fruit trees. I want to thank Garden Pat for always sharing her Meijer finds. I got the Meijer apple sale of 3 lbs. for .99 and got 33 lbs. This week 3 lbs apples and pineapples are 7 for $7.00 so I may can up some pineapple if I can finish all these pears. We had high winds Saturday and Sunday. We went about 16 hours without electricity, and that has prompted me to look at what can be canned up so that I don’t have to worry about it in the future. My goal is to get a large portion of the meat canned and ready to serve. I feel like I am bleeding money, but have reworked the budget so that my husband knows exactly how much overtime hours he needs to cover the increases in gasoline and utilities. One day at a time. I love all of the creative ideas everyone shares! It gets me thinking about what I can do to be a better steward of our home.

    1. Deanna in Michigan- So glad you were able to take advantage of the Meijer sales last week!! As I go down in my basement to rearrange and make room for more jars of home canned delights, I smile and feel at peace, knowing that we are able to contain our food budget when we take advantage of grocery sales on things we normally use! We’ve had sticker shock when we’ve seen the “regular” price on things that we have on our shelves already!

      We’ll be driving back up to the mitten this coming Monday, so fingers crossed that the weather will cooperate!!

      Gardenpat in Ohio

  28. What a blessing with the internet service!

    Was a rough week: my stepdad got a call when we were all at my sister’s for Halloween that his son (my stepbrother) had passed away. It was a complete shock and honestly a lot of this past week has been spent trying to process and wrap our minds around this loss. I didn’t work the days I planned, spent much more than “budgeted” to help stock my parents house with easy to grab foods and drinks plus picked up easier food for us as well. However, I’m so grateful we had some money saved up for an emergency and were able to stay afloat even with extra costs. I realize many people work so so hard and still aren’t able to save and I hope my comment doesn’t seem rude or offensive. I just appreciate that we’ve been able to weather this a bit by being frugal.
    *bought (then returned) a sweater for the funeral – I had something I could wear at home
    *when I took my mom dress shopping at the mall I redeemed my free single wick candle (Bath&Body works) coupon
    *rescued any leftovers that were going to be pitched
    *a very sweet acquaintance sent a sympathy basket filled with all my favorite treats (and a thoughtful card – she has lost a brother as well)
    📍Grocery Store: clearance Halloween candy
    📍Buy Nothing Group: wax melts, small lotions, lip balms
    📍Facebook Marketplace: a new in box remote control Spider-Man car for my nephew $5

    1. I am sorry to read of your stepbrother’s passing.

      Thank you for worrying about others’ feelings here, especially at this time. That is so kind of you.

      1. Thank you ❤️
        I probably didn’t word it the best (blaming brain fog) but I know I’ve been fortunate and my heart just goes out to all who are struggling.
        I’m so grateful for this group.

        1. Marissa my sincere sympathies on the loss of your stepbrother and during this time don’t forget to rest and take care of yourself too
          You are going thru alot right now and it can be very depleting

    2. Marissa – Thinking of you and sending loving thoughts your way. One of the best things about being frugal is being able to adjust for rough times. So many of us here have experienced those times and commented as such which helps others. Thank you for sharing. 🙂

    3. Marissa, my condolences to you and family. And you were so thoughtful when you made your comments. My heart goes out to those who are doing their very best and doing everything possible and still can’t stay even. I have a girlfriend in that situation. I so much wish I could waive a magic wand and help her. I feel the same way about Brandy, I want to waive a magic wand and help her husband find his next adventure. ❤️

      1. Thank you ❤️
        And yes! Wouldn’t a magical wand be so helpful right now? Keeping all who are struggling in our thoughts & prayers and finding ways to reach out and help is so critical right now ((hugs)).

    4. Marissa, so sorry for your loss. Lifting you and yours up in prayer and care. What a kind and sensitive heart you have.

  29. Wow, what a great deal on the internet! That’s amazing!
    This year will be tight for Christmas as I’m unexpectedly expecting our third baby (a happy surprise!). We have tightened up financially. In trying to work out how to provide a nice Christmas for our two boys, I stumbled upon a $100 gift card reward from our credit card we just hadnt even realized was available. I used it to buy the children new bedding which they have been asking for (and need). Sheets, comforters, and fun decorative pillows only ended up costing me $25 out of pocket. I was grateful for the $100!
    Last month I learned of a program at the local pregnancy center that gives free gifts for expecting mothers who complete their baby care class. I signed up mostly because it’s been 8 years since we have had a baby in the house and I thought I could use some refreshing. Turns out we get lots of gifted items- and I am truly grateful- as I gave all of our baby things to friends years ago. It’s a blessing!
    I have been slowly making and freezing some extra meals here and there for when the baby comes in January, without damaging our current monthly grocery budget which is already strained. So far I have minestrone soup, waffles, and chili tucked away. I hope to put at least 12 more meals in the freezer between now and then.
    We have had the AC/heat off for the last two weeks as our weather has been quite mild! This coming weekend is forecast to drop into the 20’s at night. My husband will start our outdoor wood boiler, which heats our air as well as our water. Accounting for the wood, we typically spend about $75 to heat our water and home each month in the winter- a great savings. Our most expensive months are in the summer when we have to pay the electric company for AC.
    I picked up an extra week of on call duties at work, the week of Thanksgiving. I will get paid for the standby time and extra for being available thanksgiving. This will help immensely with Christmas expenses- although I’m not particularly excited to be on call at almost 8 months pregnant….I find I really enjoy my sleep these days. ☺️
    I hope everyone has a nice week.

    1. Bobbi- congratulations on the new baby!! It’s my understanding that pregnant women are covered by the Women Infant and Children (WIC) program. You might check in your county for the program and see what resources are available to you. I’ve had to rely on programs like this in the past and they’re there to help in tough times.

  30. We worked hard all week trying to clean and clear the house my daughter moved from the previous week. It was my mother’s house at one point in time and there were some of her things still there as well as what Kate supposedly didn’t want (odd how many times I’ve heard from her since that she wanted something or other…) On Friday we took off and had a long-delayed date to a small town near the mountains (not by my standard, but that’s what it’s called) where we enjoy prayer time on an overlook point. It was so awesome to go there and be free of the schedule we’ve kept the past two months. On Saturday my daughter in law brought me the processed deer she’d shot. It was a fairly small doe but will be a help to us. I got 22 packages of meat overall and will pay about $4 per pound but for extra lean red meat it’s a great price. We’ll get two meals from most of the packages as it’s packed in 1 pound packages. I made banana chocolate chip muffins with bananas that my husband wasn’t eating. I also made some brownies from a homemade mix that I got from a 1950’s magazine. It’s quite good and is more cake like than brownie like so I glazed it with chocolate frosting. All homemade. As we worked in the house last week we determined what we could do to cut electricity costs at that house. We reset the thermostat for AC/heat and we cut off appliances that are staying in the house (like the fridge), microwave, etc. On Sunday we stopped at Kroger where I picked up eggs on sale ($1.99/18ct) and some baking supplies that were well priced. Then at a truck farmer’s corner where I got fresh rutabagas with greens, fresh tomatoes and sweet potatoes and my favorite seasonal southern treat of hot boiled peanuts.

    1. Our Kroger closed 5 years ago, and I miss getting their sale deals!! I am currently paying 3.33 per dozen eggs and that is the rock bottom price I can get.

    2. Terri C, huge fans of boiled peanuts here too! We even had them at our daughter’s wedding reception 🙂 If you have access to the green peanuts, you can make your own in an Instant Pot. My husband can buy them prepared year-round where we live but has had great success in making them himself in the Instant Pot-cheaper too. Just a thought. Have a great week.

    3. Terri C,

      I’m so loving your mention of your daughter-in-law’s doe! We spent the summer moving and fall unpacking and weren’t ready for deer season here this year. I did see commercial venison in 1# packages at the local food co-op for $22/lb. (Not a typo! Twenty-two dollars a pound!) Your butcher cost for those packages have me green with envy. 😀

    4. My son got a buck a couple weeks ago which we butchered ourselves. We moved to Arkansas this summer and a hunting license is only around $30. We got around 40 or 50 lbs of meat for that and the cost of vacuum seal bags. This will make many great meals for the winter and since hunting season is still open and my son and husband each get 5 (maybe 6) deer tags each we will most likely get another deer or 2 to add to the freezer.
      Now if we could just lure in some turkeys…. 😂

  31. What beautiful roses, Brandy! And I’m so happy for you about the internet. I pray that it will turn out splendidly.

    It was a reasonably frugal week, though a bit of a struggle to keep it so. Does anyone else find that fatigue just doesn’t lend itself to frugality? I fight the take-out demons every late afternoon, wishing to just mail it in and order out, but so far I haven’t done so. Crockpots midmorning help, as does a fierce realism about how awful the cost of take out is. Even mediocre meals from me are reasonably tasty and so much less pricey.

    I saved a bit by sorting our homeschooling materials, finding that we already had what we needed for a particular project. I was encouraged by making a new friend who also loves thrifting for her family’s clothes. She asked why the boys all matched at church. I said it was easier to just have a family “uniform” to change them into and then out of as soon as back home from church – no eating in it, no playing in it. I can just get the components off the racks at the thrift store in any size I see because we’ll use them. We agreed it was so much fun to save money on clothes to spend elsewhere on the things that count, and when she cried out, “like books!” I knew I’d found a kindred spirit. It reminded me of you all here. What an encouragement not to be doing this frugal life alone.

    I transplanted parsley, lovage, and nasturtiums into our unheated greenhouse for the winter. It’s full now and made it through our first wind storm with encouraging results. We’ve had two collapse on us, and even though it’s been a gain financially anyway to have them, it’s mighty tedious to worry about them in the wind. This time, we made a wooden frame to bolt the stainless steel pipes to, anchored it with four feet of rebar hammered into the frame and soil, and then further anchored it with cinder blocks.

    But the best gift of the week is that arugula has now officially gone wild all over our garden! It’s delicious, and it’s such fun to see it coming up all over pathways and stray beds. We allowed mature plants to go to seed with each planting this summer. I thought the mature plants were all done, but they gave us seed and then started leafing out again! I hope to save as many of the strays as I can from frost with some rocks and greenhouse plastic over them.

    I reread “A Lantern in her Hand” on Project Gutenberg as well as some other old, free favorites.

    Wishing you all a good and frugal week!

    1. Yes, Sarah! I’m a morning person and by 3pm I’m not wanting to do anything physical, including cooking! I fought those take out demons for years and then crankily threw something together lol!! It was worse if I didn’t have a menu or dinner plan. So, I do 4 things that have helped. The first is a menu. If I have something defrosted, it helps. Second, I try and prep or cook dinner in the morning. It’s much easier to get pork chops in the oven if the pan is already prepared and the sauce is mixed in the fridge. Baking potatoes washed, wrapped, and foiled. Come late afternoon, I turn on the oven, put the potatoes on the rack, open the chops, and pour over the sauce. In less than 5 minutes! The third is to make most of the dinner in the morning. For instance, we have to vote this evening because someone (whistling innocently!) forgot to order mail in ballots. This morning I made a meatloaf and baked potatoes. I sealed tonight’s dinner in a microwave container for ease. I also made up tomorrow’s lunches from leftovers and froze several individual servings of meatloaf. The crockpot also gets the meal done in the morning. And lastly, I always try and have several frozen dinner servings for *fast food.*. We took a trip this weekend and there was no worries about dinner. My husband chose spaghetti and I chose beef barley soup from our fast food stash!

      I hope that helps.

  32. I have been reading about establishing healthy and frugal habits. It has been very enlightening. I know I want to take certain frugal and healthy steps and still I procrastinate. So I identified several habits and found a fix, creating a trigger for the new habit. Here a couple of frugal fixes:

    I had bought gift cards for my grocery store at a discount. I keep forgetting to bring them I have hidden them in my car. (Duh!!)

    I have been having a hard time incorporating salads into meals. I delay and the lettuce goes bad. Even when I do I can’t use it for leftovers because it is wilted. Fix: I bought a very inexpensive “broccoli slaw” bag and a shredded carrot bag. I made a homemade salad dressing of oil, cider and vinegar. I added raisings and pumkins seed. My husbsnd loves it and it lasts all week. Another bonus from self study is that I won’t eat mini carrots because they always go up my nasal passages. (Probably TMI) This way I get the benefits of relatively inexpensive carrots without the irritation. I can now also put the matchstick carrots in hummus, mix it up and eat with a spoon since that is a high quality snack.

    I need to drink more water. My classroom doesn’t have any. Rather than buy a case of water for convenience, I bought reusable pre measures water tumblers – enough for the week at once. The fix to get me to do it was to use my portable wagon to bring enough water for the whole week. Although it doesn’t seem frugal to buy pre-measured water jugs, it will save me over the long run. Plus since the jugs are the amount I am to drink everyday, I easily know I have met my goal.

    These things sound stupidly simply but they will pay off big time.

    1. I love that you have created a personalized way to be successful. I think frugality is about the long haul not necessarily thinking of spending as being unfrugal. Great job!!

  33. I sure hope that internet deal works out for you. That’s great! Please give us an update in a couple of months.

    We’re still holding off on using the heater! We’ve had some cold spells, but not yet. Am I the only one that gets a thrill from the challenge?! The end of the week might be our undoing though. Our temp is supposed to drop about 30 degrees with night temps in the low 20s. In other weather news, we got a glorious 3″ of rain on Friday! Not only did it water the grass, but also gave the trees a good deep soak before winter.

    We had a quick turnaround trip to KCK on Saturday. Since it was unplanned, but necessary, I tried to reduce our costs as much as possible. I made PB & Js and took them for Sunday lunch. We opted for a cheaper meal at Wendy’s for dinner Saturday night, but I was still shocked by the cost when all 3 items were on the dollar menu not so long ago! It was $16. 2 chilis, 2 baked potatoes and 2 frosties. Aside from that and a quart of milk, gas was about $44 round trip. So, aside from the hotel, it was $63. The hotel had a great breakfast so that was a real treat. I made a pig of myself lol, and had a Belgian waffle with strawberries, potatoes with peppers, and 2 pcs. of bacon. And no dishes!

    * I only bought milk and bananas in the way of groceries.
    * Signed up for our 2023 health benefits. No increases at all so that’s a reason to celebrate!
    * We got a surprise of 2 $10 gift cards for donating blood. Nobody mentioned it so that was a fun bonus!
    * I found a pair of slippers I bought on clearance last year that I had completely forgotten. Just in time to replace the ones that fell apart.
    * Put about 10 individual meals in the freezer for emergency fast food.
    And the normal stuff that is now just habit.

    My only new read is on my nightstand. It’s another Robert Crais called The Forgotten Man. He’s a new author to me and I enjoyed the previous book by him, The Two Minute Rule.

    Good week to all!

    1. I get that thrill too! I was able to turn the AC up a couple of weeks back and it only hit the higher temperature twice one day and turned on. I was leaving the patio door open in the early mornings to get as much cool air in for the day as possible. We then had a cold front sweep through but my goal was to not turn the furnace on until 1 Nov – and we made it! (High desert AZ) I’m the one who gets cold the easiest so when I really get chilled, I go to the warmest room of the house and “defrost” then go back about my business. The current goal is the 15th… we’re hitting the 70s(F) in the day and low 40s(F) at night, so I think it can be done. The feather duvet and comforters went on the beds this week and everyone’s fine, other than a little chilly when showering.

    2. Agreeing with Brandy here…I’m so tickled that we are on the 8th of November and still our heat remains off. We typically try to make it through October, sometimes successfully and sometimes not. But never this late into fall. Good for the budget but a bit worrisome for the overall health of our planet and warming. But the warmer temps allow my peppers and lettuce to continue to grow, for which I am thankful. It looks like nighttime temperatures will drop a bit next week, but nowhere near freezing, so maybe some of the plants can survive and continue to produce a bit longer.

  34. This week was again focused on some clothing needs, grocery savings and stretching, and using up what we have. I returned some items through the online app that were of poor quality from a Walmart grocery pickup a couple weeks ago and got a refund. It was a little disappointing as this is the second 5 pound block of cheese I purchased that molded badly in the sealed package under proper storage. The first time I thought it was just a fluke and I was able to cut off and salvage what wasn’t molded. This time convinced me there is a problem either with the brand or the store’s product handling. I won’t purchase again and will have to look for a different option. I purchased 4 half gallons of mark down milk for 1.50 each to put in the freezer. The normal price in our area has been about 5.50 a gallon so this was nice savings. I purchased a gallon of mark down chocolate milk for 3.00 as a treat for the kids. I purchased several groceries with WIC and stayed within my budget otherwise. For anyone with young children, WIC has been such a blessing to our family through each of our children and offers a great variety of nutritious foods. I got some chicken leg quarters and made them up in the instant pot with some celery tops and onions I had frozen. I ended up with quite a bit of meat off them plus broth to spread across a few different meals. I made several loaves of banana bread with bananas previously frozen. I got apples for .99 a pound which is a good price in our area. Our local grocer usually brings in cases this time of year and you can get any variety including some typically quite expensive ones all for the one price. This year’s price is well above the last several years, but much cheaper than the regular price. I would normally buy a case or 2 to can, but this year’s batch seemed like seconds and many appeared badly bruised, so we stuck with getting a variety just for enjoying fresh. I planned more soups and more beans on this month’s menu to help stretch the budget. We ate leftovers as much as possible and had less food waste than in weeks past. I purchased a yearly subscription to Walmart plus on a half price deal. It will be a huge blessing as we don’t have any big stores closer than 60 miles from us and we rely on shipping a lot for everyday items as fuel is just too expensive. This will be really nice to not have to meet the 35.00 threshold to ship things. I ordered 2 sweaters for Christmas with a credit and sale for less than 12.00. I ordered a few long sleeve shirts for 3 of my boys for a great price with free shipping on the Kohl’s pre-Black Friday sale. I scoured our tiny thrift store first and while I didn’t find anything for that need, I did find a dress shirt and tie for my teenage son. He has been in some major growth spurts, so it is a great to find dress clothing cheap as it might not fit next week! A relative sold a house for a considerable profit and asked repeatedly for an opportunity to assist us in some way financially. We initially refused, but they wound up paying a large dental bill for us which is a huge blessing and answer to prayer. I took several pictures of the kids in the yard in the fall leaves before the cold came in and got a particularly good one to use for Christmas cards. I got several books and DVDs (including one I had been desiring for quite some time) off of the book sale table at the library for a small donation. Now we are hunkering down in the cold weather as it’s back to below zero at night and a high of 10 degrees for the next several days. Hope everyone has a blessed week!

    1. I have also noticed that food and produce are not good. I have bought 3 sour creams, within sell by dates, that already had mold spots before I removed the plastic seal. Much of the produce available to purchase is often limp or turning brown. (Especially lettuce) I only have 3 grocery stores in my town, and it is frustrating that I can’t find needed produce due to poor quality. I just do not remember having this happen before.

  35. -When I did my big shop this week I bought another rotisserie chicken at Costco for $4.99. This made 2 meals of baked chicken (legs, thighs, and wings) with mashed potatoes, gravy and a veggie. It also made 2 meals from the breasts as I chopped them up and made chicken salad. We had sandwiches and then I added some craisins and nuts to the remainder and we had this on a bed of lettuce. I then cooked the carcass in the crockpot 24 hours. This made chicken and dumplings (broth and bits of meat), which made 2 meals. I froze another quart of broth for soup next week which will probably make 2 meals. So 8 meals for the two of us off one chicken and one already cooked so less energy! I usually get gas at Costco as this is the cheapest gas in the closest big town for me, so I am not making a special trip for the chicken.
    -My husband got his deer so we will have venison. We are working on the cutting and wrapping. The scraps are in gallon ziplock bags in the freezer. These will go to our meat shop for summer sausage and venison/ beef sticks.
    -I cleaned and straightened my pantry. Found a couple of things to use up. I had a homemade roll mix in a ziplock bag from July (we took it on vacation). I made one bag-it was a no knead mix, we didn’t care for it. So I bloomed some yeast in warm water with honey to make sure I would get a good rise, added a couple of eggs and mixed and kneaded it in the Kitchen Aid mixer. I made a dozen cinnamon rolls and they turned out fantastic! I also have some peanut butter powder from my days of protein drinks and smoothies. I mixed that with cream cheese, a small container of marshmallow fluff, and pumpkin pie spice as a dip for apples. It also turned out yummy. In my younger days I probably would have thrown these out. But I refuse to waste any food with the cost.
    -I have opened 7 jars of home canned food this week. They were: green beans x 2, applesauce, dill pickles, bruschetta x 2, and corn.
    -With the opened jar of dill pickles, I drained the juice (froze it for meat marinade). I disposed of the garlic and dill head in the compost bucket. I made a new sweet horseradish brine and poured over the pickles. Let sit for 2 days in the fridge and we finished the jar in 2 days! There is a local bar and grill that makes these from bought dill pickles and they serve them with their sandwiches. Many go to the establishment because of the pickles. I make my own!! So yummy! I probably ate 3/4 of the jar.
    -I did keep to my $200 food budget. I spent $150 at Costco and $50 at Aldi. I did get a whole turkey (12 #) for $1.07/# and cranberries for $0.99/bag at Aldi’s. I put the cranberries in the freezer. Regular grocery had turkey for $2.97/#. I also bought 5# russet potatoes (limit 2) for $1.66. I bought these as well. We grew our own potatoes but the russets produced less than the reds and I need russets to make lefse for Thanksgiving. So this was perfect. Also 1/2# bricks of cheese were $1.50 (limit 2) and coleslaw mix $1/bag (limit 2). I throw the coleslaw in the freezer and use in soups and casseroles. Not much for sales, but better than nothing. The only thing needed yet for Thanksgiving is dried bread for stuffing. If I can’t get this I will make my own.
    -However I did spend another $150 on toilet paper, paper towels (I buy a Costco pack once a year), elderberry gummies, vitamins, aspirin, cold and flu supplies, and batteries. I won’t need to buy these again for at least 6 months. My goal is to not go out much this winter in the cold and snow.
    -I was given 4 pumpkin pie pumpkins. I baked them. Saved the seeds, scooped out the flesh. I got 6 pints of purée. I made 2 pumpkin pies, one for us and one for the person who gave me the pumpkins. I also made pumpkin pie pumpkin seeds for the grandkids from the guts. I froze the other 4 pints of purée.
    -I used some frozen ricotta, frozen spaghetti sauce, and the last of the lasagne noodles for a small lasagne. It made a meal for us and one leftover piece for lunch the next day.
    -It has been unseasonably warm here (70’s last week) so we have only had to light the wood stove twice. So thankful for this as it cuts heating bills for many who heat with fuel oil and natural gas.
    -Pajamas were cut out for the grands for Christmas. Hope to start sewing next week.

    Have a great week!

  36. Wow, that’s quite an internet deal! I’d never heard of radio internet service before either.
    *Lovely large pineapples went on sale for $2CDN each. I bought 3 which gave me 7 pints of chunks, bringing my total to 21 pints in storage. Homecanned pineapples taste so much better than tinned commercial stuff!
    *We crossed the border into the US to fill up on gas, saving around $1.50 per gallon in doing so. Very grateful our countries are friendly with each other!
    *Instead of dining out, DH cooked a fancy meal for us to eat at home,at considerable savings.
    *We are babysitting grandkids this week at their homes. Free food plus entertainment all rolled into one package!

    1. Elle, your border crossing for gas reminded me of a fun memory. When I visited family in Las Cruces, New Mexico we always made at least one trip over the border into Juarez, Mexico so my cousin could fill up her truck for nearly half the price. We stopped at this little shop for lunch tacos before heading home. I’ve heard that it got way too dangerous awhile ago. That’s so sad because we really loved doing it. This was early 80s.

  37. I’ve been a looooong time reader but think this is only the second time I’ve commented. I think most of the things we do are pretty common place around this blog (reducing car trips, waiting to run the dishwasher until the evening to save on costs, making sure to run full loads in the washing machine, using cloth napkins, dish cloths, towels, etc).
    Some frugal wins: I got a new job, full time from home! This has been a huge blessing as the job my husband recently accepted is really going terribly and it’s apparent that this is a poor fit. He has been looking for another option but with his level of experience these jobs hiring move sloooowly! So we would appreciate any good vibes and prayers for us as he is looking.
    In the kitchen wins: we were able to purchase 4 larger chickens and have been cooking one every few weeks and eating lots of meals and getting bone broth from them as well. I roasted the chicken (1st meal), sent chicken “nuggets” for kiddos lunches with honey mustard to dip, made shredded bbq chicken sandwiches, chicken tacos (which leftovers were made into chicken taco nachos with black beans, sweet potatoes, peppers, salsa, etc- fed our family for 2 meals), chicken salad for lunches, plus chicken noodle soup and the broth was made into cheddar broccoli soup, mixed into rice, mashed potatoes, etc. I definitely feel like I got every penny out of that first chicken and have a little game with myself to see if I can stretch it even further on the next one! 😆
    I also try to stretch out the roasts I make in the same fashion, roast for dinner 1 night, shred the rest of the meat and use it sparingly in other meals. I always use a crock pot or instant pot and save the broth that the roast is cooked in for other meals, particularly a beef stew. Our roasts have been a bit smaller so haven’t had the same results as the chickens but still see it as a huge win!
    I also make sure to use up all of the little bits of all of the random things hanging around the kitchen. I’ve recently added crushed up crackers for crust for Macaroni and cheese, used up the last little bits of nuts and dried fruit to top a salad, added a bit of water to the ketchup bottle to add to the beef stew broth, same with the last bit of salsa to add to taco meat. It feels like there’s been so many little things that get shoved to the back of the pantry/ fridge and it’s been a game to just use them up as creatively as possible.
    Thank you Brandy for creating such an encouraging, creative space! I appreciate the logical, lovely ways you all share in the victories and struggles. It makes me feel as though there are kindred spirits out there! I learn so much every week! Many blessings to everyone and their families! 💗

  38. That is an incredible internet savings Brandy! It is just so wonderful when things fall into place like that!

    The weather here in southern Ontario has been lovely so all laundry has been dried outside. We have also almost finished yard clean up and should have it done tomorrow. We have two last totes of wood to bring in for the fireplace and they will be in tomorrow as well. All the wood has been free to us so it makes it economical to use the fireplace. We have an electric fireplace in our living room and have read they are quite economical to use, especially now that hydro is relatively less money than natural gas. We will definitely be using it more this winter in the evenings.

    We received some extra money this month through a doubling of the GST rebate temporarily. I will continue to stock up the next couple of week and hope to have it finished up by the end of the month. After that, it is strictly only fresh items that are on sale on our grocery list.

    This week we received two pairs of mens shoes and a Harry Potter tshirt for my son, a case of sparkling water that my husband will enjoy and a small planter that matches my living room colour from our buy nothing group. I have signed up for several free samples and they should be arriving soon. I have used the library for all books and magazines that we have read.

    Hope everyone is having a productive week!

  39. Made our iced tea. One large tea bag (~.08 on sale) makes a small pitcher of tea. It would probably take 4-5 teabags to equal a gallon but compared to 2.50-3.00 for the readymade gallons, this is a significant savings. Despite being born and bred in the South, we drink unsweetened tea which is a good thing for many reasons (cost of sugar, health, calories). We also drink water at meals so no cost for that.

    I am not good at mending like many of you, and my 2 aprons were falling apart. I wasn’t even sure they could be mended. A friend was getting rid of 2 minimally worn aprons, without rips, tears and stains like mine. She gave them to me so I now have 2 new to me aprons in great condition. Not as pretty as those you made, Brandy, but perfect for me. They have bibs which I always need!

    My car, a 2007 model, bit this dust earlier in the year. We knew this would be an expense eventually and had saved for it, but we didn’t think we would need to replace it suddenly when there were few options available due to supply chain issues. We had planned to buy a used car, as we have done before. We checked online and in person for used cars locally and in nearby towns/cities. We couldn’t believe it, but it was cheaper to buy a brand-new car than a used one! Crazy. In addition to liking the many improved safety features included in this new car, we have loved the much-improved gas mileage. We average 35-37+ mpg in a CUV whether intown or on the road. Although the purchase wasn’t frugal (we did the best we could on the price given the circumstances) the improved economy of the car has been a welcome relief with higher gas prices these past months. It made our recent vacation and trips around town more affordable. Since our other vehicle has 170,000 miles (my old one had 140,000) and is beginning to show its age, we needed a reliable car for the monthly trips (450 miles round trip) we make to visit my 91-year-old mother and to visit our children who both live about the same distance out of town.

    I went out to lunch with DH one day. We budget for this, though I try to limit this as much as possible with varied lunch options available to him. But lunch is cheaper than dinner and we had fresh seafood, so no real complaints here. We did go to a cheaper place and had water, so saved a bit there. It was a nice “date”.

    Bought half priced sub on “National Sub Day” for hubby and me to share, providing another (different) lunch option. 4.99 for a whole Club sub vs usual price of 4.99 for ½ sub. Did get it on Senior day at grocery store with another 5% off so less than 2.50 for lunch/each. Wound up taking it to the beach since it has been so warm here. It was beautiful. Also made HM pimento cheese and have it for lunch for the next few days to go along with HM soup. Foraged another cup of pecans while walking. They are small but can still be used.

    Continue to do the usual actions-cook and eat (mostly!) at home, drink coffee at home, eat from pantry, shop loss leaders, stick to a budget, use cloth napkins and cloth rags, plan meals and use up leftovers. Entertainment is frequently going to the beach for beachcombing or other local free attractions. We walk for free exercise and vitamin D.

    Hope everyone will have a great, frugal week. Lynn

  40. Thanks to everyone who told me what to do with a cooking pumpkin.
    I will be roasting it with my butternut squash, roast chicken etc
    It was not a frugal week. The snow was too wet and heavy for me to shovel 3 times so I paid to have it shovelled. Then I had to take a taxi to and from the hospital for a test. And there will be another couple of taxi trips before the month is over. I’m grateful to my internet server for explaining why a couple of the grocery store flyers were not downloading when I tried to access them. It turned out for some mysterious reason that I needed to use a different browser. free fix to the problem! Also I couldn’t access the CBC streaming app “Gem” so I binged watched all the Season 16 episodes of Heartland (for free of course).

  41. That is a great internet deal and a great savings Brandy! The timing could not be more perfect for you.

    We have been having lovely weather which has allowed me to dry all laundry outside this week. We have also got yard clean up pretty much done and just the last wood to be brought in the house for the fireplace this winter. We get the wood for free so it is inexpensive heat for us. We have an electric fireplace as well and we will be using that more this winter as well since the natural gas prices have gotten so high.

    We received some extra GST rebate this week. I put some in savings but will use the rest to continue stocking up when I see good sales. I really would like to only buy milk, juice and a bit of fresh produce when the new year comes. We continue to be blessed by our local buy nothing group. This week we received a Harry Potter tshirt and two pairs of shoes for my son, a case of sparkling water for my husband and a new planter that I will enjoy. When I was out for a walk in the neighbourhood, someone had a pail of quinces out for free. I took some not knowing anything about them. When I read about them I now know I can stew them which I will do tomorrow. Another house had a community herb garden out front and I took some sage to dry. Nice finds close to home!

    Hope everyone is having a terrific week!

  42. Beautiful flowers, Brandy! My mother has been in the hospital again, so I have not posted in a few weeks, but I always read all the posts. I have noticed that the prices of food has increased, but I have also noticed that there are deals to be found in the clearance racks. Our Kroger had bacon marked down to $3.49-3.99 for a POUND package because they ordered too much, and no one would buy it for the regular price of $7.99-8.99. My husband’s theory is that we will find sales like this more often because people cannot pay the full price, so the stores will reduce it to cover some of the cost.

    We have found some good deals in our Christmas shopping. We have used gift cards earned from apps and store programs, my Christmas club, and just saving some. Christmas is my favorite, so we splurge a little bit.

    In surprising news, I had my work evaluation and received a $2/hour raise. That was completely unexpected – I expected a small raise, but not this much! I will add more to my pre-tax retirement savings, and this will allow us to save more for emergencies, too. Such a blessing. Also, the only negative (and it was only a 7/10 score, so still not too bad) was that I tend to chat too much to coworkers – I really can’t argue with that, either!

  43. This week I was ill, and I’m still not completely well – either the flu or a bad cold. It always starts with a sore throat for me, and unfortunately I developed a ‘weakness’ when my son was little, so it almost always turned into strep throat for which I needed penicillin. But some years ago, a friend of mine gave me a tip: to drink a tablespoon of freshly pressed ginger juice in a glass of orange juice. She said three times a day until the throat is better, but that is too hard on my stomach. I just do it a couple of times as a preventive measure, when I feel a tickle in my throat and maybe a few more times if my throat feels bad. It has really helped – no more strep throat for me so far! It is a big hassle to make ginger juice, so I make a big batch, and freeze it in tablespoon sized ice cubes, which also means that I don’t have to make it when I don’t feel well. I use my slow juicer, but you can also just grate the ginger and press it in a garlic press to get the juice out. I don’t buy orange juice, I just put a ginger ice cube in a glass of cold water, add some lemon juice and a little honey and stir until the ice has melted and the honey is diluted. I’ve heard that one should not eat or drink too much ginger if pregnant or breastfeeding, and it can also be quite hard on the stomach. So make sure you can tolerate this, if you want to try.

    I mended a hole in the sofa with some woollen yarn I already had – the perfect color.

    We returned a present my son couldn’t use and got a giftcard to use in the store later.

    Even though I wasn’t feeling well, I managed to cook all dinners for my family – just some very simple meals with ingredients we had on hand. We always keep some glasses of store bought pesto for situations like that – boil some pasta , open a glass of pesto, peel some carrots and slice them into sticks to eat on the side – it might not be perfect, but it’s an ok meal, that can be made in about 10-15 minutes.

    My mother came by with some meatballs and mandarins for her ‘sick child’ and left it on our doorstep 🙂 So nice of her!

    I’ve read some magazines online through the library – I like a British magazine called ‘The simple things’ – and I can read it on our library’s international pages. I don’t use the Libby app, just read it in the browser on my computer. My phone is so old I can’t install apps on it anymore!

    It was my wedding day this week. My husband and I really like nice chocolate, but hardly ever buys any. It has become a tradition for us however, to give each other a nice box of chocolate for our wedding day. We share it in the evenings and just eat a little every night, so it lasts us a long time.

    The price on electricity has come down a lot – the weather is mild, the European gas storages are filled and here in Denmark, people have managed to save about 10 % on power usage nationally! We are determined to continue our good habits even though the price has dropped, and also to run our appliances when the power is cheapest. We put a timer on our washing machine and dish washer so they run at night – the danish governmant has made a very fun imitation of a hit from when I was young called ‘Dancing in moonlight’ which has become ‘Washing in moonlight’, to make people use power when it is more available. A big part of the danish power supply comes from windmills, which makes it cheap when the wind blows, but also unevenly distributed and with the need for more expensive backup if the wind isn’t blowing or when demand is high.

    Have a nice week everyone – and Brandy – I hope your new internet service will be good, what a great price!

      1. My doctor at Mayo Clinic advised me when my kids were younger and often fought strep throat to have them gargle with 1/2 teaspoon of salt in warm water three times a day at first sign of symptoms. I could often turn it around without antibiotics if they did that. Sometimes, you still need antibiotics if it is severe. Hopefully this might help someone who does not easily have access to care.


  44. Hello! Congratulations on the internet savings!
    This past week I was able to partake in 2 work related meals, a catered lunch and a dinner meeting. I set up at a job fair for my company and was given cookies and a water bottle as a treat. The local grocery store had another meat sale with chicken breast at $1.47/lb. My son was in for a weekend visit and I stocked him up with chicken to take back. I have been cooking on Sundays to eat throughout the week as this saves me from succumbing to take out when I get home late from work. My husband somehow accidentally paid our car payment twice this month so we have been watching the budget carefully and moving some things around to accommodate. Often I don’t feel particularly frugal but I have come to realize that so many things we do to save are just typical for us & how we live. It is so nice to come here with like minded people to share and get new ideas.

  45. Great deal on Internet. I have checked a couple providers that have popped up but so far nothing worth the change as we are unlimited.
    Our warm weather High 60s to mid 70s is going straight to winter come Friday night. Welcome to Ohio, wait a minute and the weather will change. We will be dropping 30-40 degrees. I am grateful that Hubby had time to cut more wood and stack it in the barn. I fixed a couple of winter curtains for the east and west bedrooms in the lofts so I can put them up today.

    I finished canning the last of tomatoes. Kraut in the crock is done. We do have a thermometer there that I can watch the temperature. If there are issues with getting too cold I will definitely be canning it.

    I paid $1.07/lb. for turkeys at Aldi’s. I could have got them at 98 cents/lb. at Walmart but I would have had to drive over 10 miles to get it. Figured I was saving on gas and time being around cooties (flu, RSV and Covid running around here). There was a limit of two, that is okay for us. I got these to process and can. I already have one for Thanksgiving. I did pick up some lettuce and fresh mushrooms that have Vitamin D in them.

    I had to order gloves, down to the last set. I wear children’s knitted gloves and can usually find them for around a $1 a set. Sometimes cheaper on Amazon. Our farm insurance guy gave us 2 sets each of leather gloves as he knows we will be wearing our gloves out fast handling wood.

    Blessed Be
    Prayers for peace.

  46. Another tropical storm blowing through tomorrow so buttoning down the hatches-in 24 hours we’ve gone from 80 degrees to 63 degrees outside. Thrifty actions: adding fallen leaves to compost bins and garden areas, picked up a few 28 oz. Muir Glen cans of tomatoes at the Dollar Store, baked bread, and made cookies with grandgirls.

  47. Last weekend I cleaned off my back porch and discovered some items that I didnt realize I had; grass clippers and painters tape. Frugal because now I can cross those off my “needed” list.

  48. We have had a long mild fall, so no need to run the ac. Next week it will be down to about 30 at night, I hope we can use the heat sparingly. Our electric and gas bills both went up this past month. Our son was home with his two girls and will be here over Christmas and several weekends a month from here on out. I bought more nightlights as he turns on a hall light for the girls and leaves it on all night. Having a mild fall has allowed the lettuce and tomatoes to continue to grow, lots of salads for dinners!
    I brought home 10 pumpkins from the curbside in the neighborhood I nanny in, plus my neighbor gave me 4. The big ones get composted and the pie ones and others will be cooked up over the next month. This has been the year for apples, pears and pumpkins, windfalls like these are such a blessing!
    I got 3 free pineapples, some yogurt, tilapia, milk, cottage cheese and chips. I only need to buy a turkey and some onions to dry and we will be pretty set for the month.
    I found a book today while out taking my little guy I nanny, on a walk. It was brand new and in a pile by the trash along with a kid’s book. I am amazed at what people throw out rather than donate. The family I work for had 3 good glass jars that I brought home, I use them when taking meals to folks. Zero waste saves so much money!
    I hope each of you have a good week and thank you for sharing your frugality ! Brandy, I saw you had rain, that is wonderful!

  49. -Cooked a ham from last winter to free up room in the freezer, hopefully we will be getting venison soon. Shared the ham with my parents. We did splurge and treat my family to dinner after a busy day. Baked oatmeal apple fruit bars and sourdough bread. Mostly made coffee at home, as a good latte from the local coffee shop is my downfall. Was given some free donuts. Enjoyed the last few tomatoes from the garden and beans. Eating the winter squash with most meals.
    – I was able to find some good deals on crackers and snacks, clearance English muffins and bagels, and Halloween Cheerios. I made it to Aldi for staples like tuna, raisins, toilet paper and coffee.
    -Listed a few items for sale and passing along some outgrown kids items
    -Enjoyed several local parks with my kids

  50. Hi Brandy, I am enjoying the thankful daily posts. I am doing a project, based on the blog from the cheapskates club, on looking at our 1994 income and spending at that level (as a challenge to reduce spending). I dug up our tax data on social security’s website, and off I went. Still a long way away, but it has been fun having a real challenge to hit a special number next year rather than “doing the best I can”. We shall see, still have to find $8,000 savings. For all of us getting older, medical and dental expense can be huge, and that is about $20,000 a year for us (Medicare supplements, copays and dental)…warning for folks in the US, those expenses in retirement can be eye watering. So each year, as medical/dental costs go up, more money has to shift from other places. Anyway, we will figure it out, it is just a challenge and I welcome the chance for the 1994 challenge since it mixes up the normal math ;).

  51. That’s amazing about the internet! I also love these comments as much as the posts, so much good information and ideas, not to mention the positive energy 🙂

    – Our fridge died but I was able to save nearly everything by getting things in coolers under ice ASAP. Fortunately, our property manager was able to replace it the same day. Some meat did begin to thaw, but the temps in the cooler stayed under 45 F and most items were still frozen in the center, so I just cooked everything before refreezing.

    -I got around to dehydrating the 5 lbs of apples I had “scrumped” from an abandoned tree on public land. They are stored away for fried apple pies and “apples n’ onions” throughout the winter.

    – I saved the peels and cores from the apples in a bag in the freezer. I’ll turn these into a small batch of homemade apple cider for Thanksgiving (plain cider for the minors, apple cider mimosas made with sparkling wine for the adults).

    – Finished the winter food storage of canned and dehydrated produce. Other than stocking up on some more potatoes & onions at the next farmer’s market, we are fully stocked up on produce until the new growing season (we try to eat produce only in season or preserved in season, from our own garden or from a local farm).

    – Now that the produce is used up, we are able to focus on stocking up on local ethically raised meat for the next year. So I picked up two pork roasts, 2 lbs of breakfast sausage, a pound of sausage, and two whole chickens for $80 but only paid $40 due to the market match program. Our method is to buy mainly produce in summer and meat in winter (our farmer’s market is year around, but fresh produce all but disappears during the winter). The farmer’s market also here matches your money if you are on WIC, a low-income senior, or on food stamps, which means we get to have good local foods and support local growers on our shoestring budget.

    – Finished making my sister’s birthday gift, an embroidered sketchbook cover and sketchbook. I purchased the blank and unused sketchbook for a dollar or two some months ago while thrifting, and I used a free embroidery design from a library magazine plus mainly thrifted supplies for making the cover. She’s an artist, so sketchbooks are always lovely.

    – I picked up a book on interlibrary loan that I had been waiting for! My library rocks the interlibrary loan program, which means I never wait for long.

    – Small appliance care! I took apart and thoroughly cleaned the vacuum, toaster, and coffee maker. We don’t have top of the line small appliances, but they keep on chugging away year after year with a little bit of TLC.

    – Someone tossed a pretty plant stand that was basically a basket on legs. It was sitting next to our dumpster with the TAGS STILL ON IT ($79, on sale for $39). I disinfected it and am now using it to attractively store our collection of winter squash from the garden until we eat our way through them. In a small apartment, attractive storage as decor is always a win.

    – Continued to wash our laundry by hand using my sink-mounted laundry wringer, washboard, and bus tub method. It takes 45 minutes twice a week for three adult sized people. One day is bedding and towels, the other is clothing. It’s rain season in the PNW now, but the clothing dries by bedtime if I get it on the rack early and put it in front of the baseboard heaters when they are on, or a fan if they aren’t. Our clothing has never been cleaner, either!

    – Continued on with many of my thrifty projects — worked on the sweater I am knitting from a free pattern, continued to stitch my holiday cards from free patterns on thrifted fabric, cleaned up the garden for winter, cooked everything from (pretty much) from scratch, started finishing the edges on a blanket from some thrifted fleece (the blanket is destined to be my adult son’s holiday gift), altered some clothing and sewed a new flannel skirt from a thrifted sheet.

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