The weather was pleasant this week through Friday, so I was able to have the windows open all day each day, only needing to run the ceiling fans for a short time in the afternoons. We had record highs on Friday (86 degrees!) and record lows on Saturday and Sunday. It feels like we went from summer to winter with no fall at all!

I harvested green onions from the garden.

I cut flowers from the garden to enjoy inside.

I dug out four rose bushes to replant in the garden later. The crabgrass is taking over two garden beds where these are located. I removed all the soil and weeds from the roots and replanted the roses in pots with soil we dug from another garden bed. Hopefully they will survive the transplanting and grow well in the garden again.

I dug more daffodils and paperwhites from the garden beds to save and replant in new spots. The bulbs have multiplied, so they are tiny. It will be a few years before they are large enough to flower.

We began the work of digging new garden beds ourselves.

I dug some of the peppermint and repotted it so that I can plant it anew in the garden when we are ready to replant.

We cut down two trees (and trimmed a few others back) and loaded the branches and trunks along with rocks from the garden into our trailer and took a load to the dump, which we dumped for free.

I took two daughters to the library to choose books.

I gave one son a haircut.

I trimmed a daughter’s hair.

I made some great grocery purchases this past week. I have been waiting since the last pasta sale (which I believe was in February) to buy more pasta. This normally goes on sale for $0.49 a pound (when you buy in multiples of 10 packages) two to three times a year. There has not been another sale on pasta at this price since then and I was wondering if this sale had completely disappeared. When I saw the sale, I was relieved. I usually buy 80-100 pounds every six months, and we only had a few packages left. I stocked up on pasta, cream of mushroom soup, cream of chicken soup, cans of beef broth at $0.49 a can/package. I also bought two large cans of pumpkin on sale. I left the store with a very full cart for $84. Plus, after talking with a friend who helped me figure out how to use it, I finally started to use the Ibotta app, so I will receive $2.75 for the purchase of the broth.

Thanks to my friend’s help with the Ibotta app, I then went to Walmart (which was on the way home) for the “free Thanksgiving dinner” deal. They didn’t have several of the items (like the turkey breast or the green beans), but I was able to purchase a box of stuffing mix, a can of cranberry sauce, a packet of gravy mix, and a package of instant mashed potatoes for which I will receive the full price back on all of the items from Ibotta.

I also purchased ground beef and ground turkey on sale earlier in the week for $0.99 a pound using digital coupons from the store. There was a limit of eight pounds of beef and two pounds of turkey at that price. It’s been years since I’ve purchased ground beef as the price has risen so much, so this was a nice change.

What did you do to save money last week?

 

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135 Comments

  1. *We have been enjoying the Fall weather.
    *I decorated our home for Fall using things I already had.
    *We took a frugal vacation to the Smoky Mountains. We rented a tiny tiny cabin, and I brought all of our own food.
    *I made home made bread—it is healthy and we love it!
    *I made home made granola—so very easy, and I use dates to sweeten instead of sugar.
    *I am trying to use “real life” projects in homeschooling our teen daughter. While at the Smokey’s, she did some nature sketching while we were out hiking on a trail. Then her violin teacher is organizing a play-a-thon to raise money for our local food bank which is really hurting from lack of donations, while they have had an increase by 60% in families coming to ask for help. My daughter will be playing in the play-a-thon, and I assigned her two projects to help her advertise for it. I would love it if anyone is willing to go watch her short four minute video (posted on my blog) and read her project description that she wrote (also posted on my blog) and help me assess how she did and if she communicated correctly and clearly what her project is about. When you are teaching your own child, it is hard to be objective sometimes and not just feel like they earned an “A” all of the time! So would truly love other people’s opinions, that are NOT related to her! 🙂
    *We have been hiking, hiking, hiking, both while at home as well as while on our trip. The weather where we live is perfect right now, so before it becomes too cold or in the summer is too hot I want us to get out there and enjoy it!

    Looking forward to reading what everyone has been up to! I am writing from Chattanooga, Tennessee. Lots of pictures as well as my daughter’s projects are on my blog here:
    https://chickadeecove.blogspot.com/2020/11/frugal-friday-week-of-november-1-7-2020.html

    Have a wonderful day everyone!
    ~Susan

    1. Susa, I got about 2/3 of the way through your daughters presentation but yhr link to your site keeps cutting out on me – not having this issue anywhere else.
      From what I viewed, she did a great job. I might suggest not adding the background music until closer to the end as I found it a wee bit distracting when she was speaking.
      I wish her luck with this very worthwhile cause.

      1. Thanks, Margie!
        I passed on your suggestion to her on the music. She said she can see that point. Her teacher has a fund raiser every year, for a different cause. Sometimes it has been for hurricane relief, or rebuilding a school after the California fires, or just various things, depending what happened during the previous year. This is the second year my daughter has made a video about the project, so she is trying to improve and adapt from what went well the previous year. On the sound, one other possibility is to have it come in softer than it is. She is learning! I have no idea why the link keeps cutting out on you. Thank you so much for watching, and for your ideas on improvements!!!

    2. Susan, we are in Huntsville, AL. My daughter was in Chattanooga on Saturday with friends. They went to McKay’s Book Store. She was able to sell some of my books and buy a few books for me for cheaper than Amazon.

      1. We love McKays! Yes, I do look there often for homeschool books! And lucky you being in Huntsville—my daughter is really into space, and you have the Space Center there! We have been before, but it has been quite a few years, and my daughter really wants to visit again!

    3. Susan,
      I watched your daughters video and I agree, she did an excellent job. It is a good idea to start the music softer at the beginning and then cresencdo to a mezzo forte at the end. I love violin music! My son played violin. Tell your daughter she did a great job putting the video together and that she had great stage presence! How exciting to help people with her music, speaking skills and videography.
      Tammy

      1. Thank you, Tammy, for watching it! I will pass on your comments to her! This seems to be a consensus then, about softer music at the beginning. I don’t think she will have the time to make adjustments on the video for this year, but definitely can keep it in mind for next years video project, since they do a fund raiser for charity each year. She LOVES violin! And also viola! The first year they did a play-a-thon, she gave herself tendonitis she played so long! Think that year she played around 9 hours of the 12 hour event! Does your son still play?

        1. I haven’t heard him play for awhile. One year he got his friends together and played for his wife. I got to be there. Loved it. He surprised me one year and played with his friends for me for Valentines at the school I taught at. He also traveled through Europe with a group representing Kansas one year although he had been invited to do so the couple of years before as well. I miss listening to him. My granddaughter told me he was teaching her to play, he had bought her a small violin, not sure the size maybe 1/4. That is neat that she is also playing the viola and playing so much!

          1. Well it sounds like your son definitely has the skills to play, no matter how much time he has to put into playing on a regular basis. How sweet that he surprised you at school that time! And wonderful that he is able to now teach his daughter! He wouldn’t be doing that if he didn’t like and value it! How old is your granddaughter? Alison’s violin teacher runs a music camp each year for children. It is held normally here on a local college campus. This past year, with the virus, they held it virtually! Not sure what will happen this summer with the virus, but if it is virtual again perhaps your granddaughter could participate! Something to keep in the back of your mind, anyway! And if it is in person, well, they do have students come from around the country! Here is the website for it anyway—you could pass it on to your son, just so he would know about it! And they have a version for adults as well! https://atfirstsight.org/

    4. Brandy sounds like you did great on the pasta sales and using Ibotta which I still have not figured out. I can’t remember seeing ground meat at that price in years here in Ohio for either beef or ground turkey. I was gifted by a neighbor 20 lbs of chicken leg quarters Friday which I put on to slow cook used the broth to Can 6 quarts of chicken broth. The meat I deboned and froze till I have time to Can it up. I was also gifted several zuchinni which I plan to make in to relish this week had everything but one red bell pepper which I picked up today. Stopped at my favorite thrift store and found 2 half gallon Ball Canning jars for $1.91 each which I will use to store my dried food items like pasta’s, grains, etc. you can never have enough of these. Krogers is to have turkeys on sale starting Wednesday 47 cents a pound I will shop twice in the 7 day cycle for 2 turkeys you have to spend $25 to get the turkey will spread the purchases out the turkeys will be boiled, deboned, broth canned and the turkeys will be canned for later meals next year. We already have a turkey in the deep freezer from last year sales. Anna In Ohio.

  2. – Great grocery prices! Good for you!
    – I was able to convert loyalty points from my phone and internet bill to an Amazon e-gift certificate. I used the certificate to buy a six-pack of cans of salmon for my pantry. I haven’t seen salmon at an affordable price all year long, so this was very welcome.
    -To get the gift certificate, I needed an authentication code called to me. The phone number attached to the loyalty points account was incorrect, so I had to call in, and the person wanted to go over my account. (Surprise!) He did give me a $10 a month discount on my internet for the next 24 months, so I’m okay with that. It might have been easier if they hadn’t raised the price of internet by $10 a month a couple of months ago, but I expect I’m being picky.
    – I’ve been checking that all my light fixtures have light bulbs, and putting in LED bulbs on the few that are missing or need changing. It means that more rooms have a strong enough light do some work in during the longer winter evenings, and winter mornings, for that matter.
    – We had about eight inches of snow yesterday. I went out today and cleaned off the front sidewalk, so people can get by safely, and got some of the path cleared from my back door to the driveway. Tomorrow, I’ll get the rest done. For the last couple of years, two different neighbors have taken turns clearing the front sidewalk for me when they were shoveling their own walks, but both moved away a month ago, so I am on my own again. It was a nice day, though, and I took my time, so it wasn’t too difficult a job.

  3. Last week we were blessed with a free dining room table. Ours was still solid but in rough shape. It was 22 years old and the chairs, especially, were bad. Our new to us table set is solid wood with 2 leaf inserts attached. Replacing our old set was a few years in the future because we have other pieces of furniture that have a higher replacement priority. We put our old set on the front lawn with a “free” sign and someone took it in less than an hour.
    Thank you for your blog. I don’t comment often but I do read it weekly and get much inspiration from both you and fellow readers!

  4. Brandi, with the Ibotta offer for Thanksgiving dinner, you can also use the turkey breast discount on a whole turkey, same brand. You can scan it to make sure in-store if you like. Some of the rebates for items were higher than the cost, so between the ‘moneymakers’ and the lower price per pound on the whole Butterball turkeys, we got an 11 pound turkey for 43 cents. Our store was out of the cranberry sauce and the fine-cut green beans, so we’re hoping to get those if/when we get back to the store before Thanksgiving. My husband is the one who really ‘knows’ Ibotta in our house, and he does really well with it. He gets as many free items as he can, even if we don’t think we’ll use them. For example, we don’t drink, but there were offers that made drink mixers free. He got the strawberry margarita mix (it doesn’t have any alcohol) and we’ll use it to make slushies or in fruit smoothies. We are also able to donate some things to the food pantry if we determine that we don’t care for them or wouldn’t use them. Mostly, though, it’s a really big help with our grocery/household budget, and we get to try lots of things we wouldn’t ordinarily try.

    Lots of us seem to be getting ready for the holidays, because there is lots offered on the local free stuff Facebook page. This week I offered up quite a few items that folks came and picked up, and I picked up a carpet shampooer, which I’m very happy about. I’d gotten the same brand, just an older model, several years ago, and it works well on our carpet. This one has the upholstery attachments, so once I make sure it’s in working order, I will offer the one I’ve had a few years to someone else (because I have pets and really need the upholstery attachments, hee hee!). The lady who is a couple sizes ahead of me in weight-loss contacted me directly and offered me a big bag of clothes that included two pairs of ankle boots. Some of the clothes fit me now, some will fit when I lose a little more. This has been such a help to me, and as things are getting too big, I am able to pass them along to others as well. It’s been a great circle of sharing!

    One of my husband’s previous co-workers gave him a big snow thrower when that family was getting ready to move. It didn’t start with the electric start. My husband replaced the electric starter, and then it worked great! That’s when we learned that snow throwers are a bad idea if you have a gravel drive – they throw the gravel along with the snow. So…we sold the snow thrower this week. The person getting it got one for less than half the cost of a new one on sale (and this one was barely used – the previous owner had only used it a couple times) and we got the cost of the replacement starter (and then some) back, along with more space in our garage.

    I took this week off from work and we did some deep cleaning and minor repairs. Windows are washed, carpets cleaned, we did some touch-up painting, and we finished the drywall around the window install we did a week or two prior. Being ‘handy’ is a big money saver! All the firewood is cut too!

    I also updated some home decor and it looks a lot better. I have a grouping of pictures in my kitchen, and painting the frames all the same color really improved the overall look. We took down some things too, moved some things around…overall, the look is more relaxed and open. With some fabric I had on hand (denim), I made a cover for a throw pillow that was looking tired.

    We went to Jersey Mike’s and picked up lunch one day. They have a birthday club you can sign up for, and that reward is good for the entire year, so we waited until all three of us had the rewards. Three regular sandwiches and three drinks (there are three of us), no charge. We came home and ate at the picnic table since it was such a nice day. We are cautious regarding going out in public and the virus, so we went when the store opened, and had our sandwiches as ‘brunch’.

    I made two batches of hot process soap that will be gifts for friends/neighbors/family. I have one more batch to make and that task will be done. Labels are designed, so a fairly large portion of my holiday gift-making is nearly complete.

    We needed to make space in the freezer for that turkey we picked up, so even though I wasn’t at work this week, I had some of my work meals for lunches. There are some vegetarian soups and stews I really like (my family, not so much), but I had quite a few made ahead, so I had those to make a little room. We also used up some pumpkin puree’ I had prepared and frozen last fall by making pumpkin custard and pumpkin muffins.

    We read books and watched a movie from the library. I listened to podcasts that interest me, as well as an audio book I borrowed onto my phone from the library.

    1. I will see if I can get a small turkey, then. I don’t usually do that, but I have seen lower prices per pound elsewhere and I didn’t want to be out a lot of money for the turkey. Thanks!

    2. My teen daughter and I have recently started making cold process soap. All my female relatives are getting our peppermint soap for Christmas presents!

    3. We have a gravel driveway & have both a tractor with a snow blower attachment plus a separate snow blower. Ours are both “lifted” to leave 1 inch of snow on the gravel. That snow freezes to the ground & gives us more traction when driving. No issues with rocks going all over.

  5. I expect you enjoyed having the windows open all day. There’s nothing like fresh air in the house. I remember buying ground beef for .99, before I became a vegetarian back in the mid 80’s. How wonderful you were able to find it at that price, as well as the pasta and Thanksgiving deals. Last week, I pulled 6 gallon bags of veggie scraps from the freezer, and canned the broth I made with it. I also canned pickled sweet peppers for the first time. There were lots of tromboncino pulled before a freeze, many of them tiny, and I used all the smallest ones up in soup. My husband planted our garlic in the garden. Focaccia, hummus and yogurt were made. Some good deals were thrifted cashmere sweaters and wool vests, organic garbanzo beans 4/$3.19, B1G1 organic chips, and a clearance cotton nightgown for $12. Donations were dropped off. Kale and figs were harvested. I am delighted to still be harvesting figs into November. http://abelabodycare.blogspot.com/2020/11/a-bit-of-canning-pumpkin-pancakes.html

    1. My husband banned me from planting trombinino when I got almost 2 dozen 4 foot long squashes from 4 plants one year. There are 2 of us. I couldn’t give the stuff away!

      1. Ha! I’ve been giving them away to grateful people, canning them, grating and freezing them, and making soup, pasta sauce, zucchini bread, tots and more. We love them! Even though we had a good frost, I saw more out there today!

      2. We got so many this year, too! But, I had no problem finding people to take some, and we ate SO many. I will admit a few went into compost, but it was sure worth my seed packet:)

  6. Greetings from Georgia friends!
    Last week was a good frugal week for which I am grateful.
    I spent $56 at the grocery store and bought five dozen eggs, 10 cans of cream of mushroom & cream of chicken soup, milk, yogurt, pasta, sour cream, and a whole chicken. I poached the chicken in a large pot with celery, carrots, onions, green and red bell peppers and spices all from our storage. Once it was cooked I removed the chicken and added cream of mushroom soup to the broth along with a bit of bullion, half a pound of pasta and some mushrooms. This soft soup made a wonderful meal for my son to eat while his mouth heals from a visit to the dentist today and we enjoyed it was well. Plus there is a large amount leftover which will keep me out of the kitchen for a couple of days. I also made a large pot of spaghetti – again with beef, peppers, onions, garlic and home canned tomato sauce and diced tomatoes – all from storage. The taste of homegrown is amazing!
    I also stocked up on some more cream cheese as they were still offering the sale of two pounds for $1.79 – after our small discount it brings the price to about $0.80 cents a pound – you cant beat that. I am starting to stock up for the holidays ahead and cream cheese is one of the items on my list as so many holiday recipes and dips call for it.
    We sold our entryway table on Facebook Marketplace and will put the cash toward the purchase of the hairpin legs we need for the new table my husband has built. This will be completed before Thanksgiving and I am excited to enjoy the look and space of the new table. My husband also built two new benches for our backyard – I am excited for these as they will look lovely in a shady spot in our backyard and provide a great spot for us to get some family photos taken this season.
    Temperatures cooled down quite a bit this past week and I was able to turn off the AC the whole week until Sunday when the humidity and higher temps forced me turn it back on. We are preparing for Tropical Storm Eta to pass through GA this week and she is definitely going to bring the rain. I am praying that this storm will not bring the damage that the last one did AND that we can finally be done with hurricane season. I am thankful for the abundance of rain as it has kept us from having to water our yard, garden and flowers at all the last several weeks and that helps the water bill!
    We combined laundry loads to run full loads all week and this reduced the total number – we only ran 7 loads this week total. I have also been working to make sure that we are trying to run shorter drying times as well.
    I harvested mustard greens, parsley, basil and arugula from the garden this past week and will likely harvest a bit more before the heavy rains come. Our cabbages, collard greens, celery and carrots are all growing like crazy in these fairly low temps with abundant rain.
    Be blessed this week everyone!

  7. Hello Everyone!
    The temperature has dropped suddenly here, too. It is a crisp 37 degrees this morning! We’ve been enjoying fires in our wood stove this weekend. It warms the main living space and creates such a beautiful ambiance. The wood used is free, saving on the heating costs.

    I gave my son a haircut this weekend and hung laundry outside during the warmest part of the day. I’ve put off grocery shopping for two weeks which helps to use everything and not waste. We just went to the store and picked up one turkey for $0.59/lb. I wanted to ensure we had one for Thanksgiving. I plan to purchase more with holiday deals because we like to eat turkey all winter.

    The garden continues to give cherry tomatoes and greens. Plants typically stop growing well when it’s this cold. I may try the greenhouse cover that came with my raised bed this fall/winter to experiment. I typically stop gardening this time of year, but it may become a worthwhile trial.

    Our hens are laying one egg per day. I suspect only two are laying and the other two will soon.

    My husband hung drape panels for me on rods we already have. I’m cutting valance pieces, saving scraps for throw pillows.

    I’ve noticed Target is having new Black Friday deals every week. I appreciate this approach so much more than 1 crazy day where it’s a mad rush! I bet other retailers are doing this too.

    Have a blessed and beautiful week! 🍁🍂

  8. The tree was removed from my roof after the hurricane fiasco, and the second downed tree was removed from my yard (both were neighbor’s trees.) The second tree fell like 12 hours later. My roof was repaired by a large metal patch. It does not exactly match the rest of my roof but this is in the back and is close enough. I just was concerned about keeping rain out at the moment, and there is so much widespread damage, that getting things perfect is not a priority at the moment. Several folks still have trees on their roofs so I am grateful. My power was off for a little while, but not the 7 and 8 days that several of my friends endured. I made greens with the turkey legs (that I was going to serve for Thanksgiving) and rice, and it made a nice “pot likker”. My sour cream powder arrived so if I am out of sour cream, I have that. I also received another can of butter powder. I still have the turkey breast in my freezer (it did not defrost while the power was out.) I am considering buying either a ham or whole turkey for Thanksgiving, in addition to the breast. It just depends. I have room in my little fridge top freezer now because several of the mulberry packages did start defrosting. I forgot to list that I have 12 containers of oil when I made my list of stuff I have in my bedroom pantry. l noticed that I did not have any canned mandarin oranges, so I did buy a couple of cans. I did picked some downed pecans that were in the road after the hurricane, but I did not get a lot before the street cleaner removing tree limbs crushed them. I was also too buy with my yard cleanup. I bought sandwich meat for lunch at work. I usually don’t do that, but I don’t want to eat out and a sandwich was easiest for me. I eat dried mangoes and dried dates at work because they don’t drip on my work clothes. I bought a package of each at Walmart. I really need a lot more but at the moment, my bank account needs to recover for the hurricane.

    1. Cindy:
      I am glad that you are well, and managing considering the incredible devastation your area faced. Storm ETA just passed through our area. I am looking at 2 feet of water in the back yard. You know you are flooded when you can see turtles swimming out your back bedroom window! ( I have a canal in the back that has overflowed.) Clean up will begin as soon as waters recede which I suspect will take a while. I failed to bring my tractor to higher ground, and most of it is underwater…I will probably loose most of my fruit trees. Like you, I keep things in perspective. Sending you much love.
      Patricia/Fl

      1. I have never seen a turtle swim anywhere in the wild, although the time we went to Hawaii we scanned every single beach and ocean we could…..
        I’m so sorry about the tractor and other flood damage. Hopefully, you can get it out of the mud and it will clean up well and still work.

      2. Patricia,
        I’m near downtown, so our soil is quite sandy, luckily. The New River overflowed into the park in our neighborhood on Sunday night. We walked our dog during a respite from the rain and our entire neighborhood was flooded. We live in an old house that has a crawl space, and though the water came up to the edge of the carport, luckily we were fine. We were amazed at how quickly the water receded; by Monday morning streets that were almost under water were almost dry. One of my small trees did get blown over a bit, but I’m hoping it survives. Sorry about your tractor and I hope the trees make it!

    2. You are so going to come out ahead with sandwiches with purchased lunchmeat vs. going out to eat! I’m just glad you are ok and starting to get your life put back together a little after such devistation!

  9. I love reading about your garden. We have a tiny, shady backyard in New York City and are grateful for our small patch of outdoor space, but love reading about the things others can grow. We take full advantage of our excellent local park, though, which has become an even more thriving space during the pandemic. On the weekends many musicians, comedians, etc. set up small performance areas and you can wander from one to another. Some of them have setups for voluntary donations but other than that it’s like a free arts festival every weekend. We take many park walks as a family and show our children the trees that their dad planted years ago as a park volunteer.

  10. I’m so glad you got all those deals. I’ve been wondering if some deals I like to get are coming back around any more, either. So, it’s good to know there’s hope:). I haven’t figured out the Ibotta deal, either, for Walmart, but I have it on my list to work on later, when I get time. I do use Ibotta, and have $50 on my account I’ve been hoarding for a while. I plan to take it out and turn it into gift cards for Christmas. Usually, I use it for groceries, as the money on there has been spent from my grocery budget–they are rebates, not coupons–but this time, I’m doing it differently.

    I made a menu plan this week. The way I do it is to see what I have in my pantry and freezers, and make the plan to target items I want used. This time of year, my freezer is bulging with garden produce, and I have a quarter beef coming soon, so that has been good motivation to start using some of it. I didn’t need to shop at the regular store, then, so I sent my husband to the bulk restaurant supply store for a few items. This week, I will shop on Tuesday to catch the last day of the $10 off $50 coupon at Safeway. We are still getting a few things from the garden, but most of it is gone so I will buy some produce, a few things I ran out of, and fill in the rest with things for the pantry to reach the $50.

    I sewed a little bit this week, exercised several times, helped unload and stack firewood when my husband brought it home a couple of times, and spent over 6 hours cleaning the house on Saturday. All of the little things like cooking meals, landscaping, doing my own cleaning, etc. add up to savings for me.

    Pictures of my week are on my blog: http://beckyathome.com

    1. Frugalfitmom has a YouTube video that explains how to get the ibotta walmart deal. The video is about Thanksgiving on a budget, but is actually all about that deal. It might save some time figuring it out.

      1. Thank you so much.
        I have downloaded the Ibotta Walmart deal with her explaining.
        I am going to tell all of my kids.
        I appreciate your pointing us in the right direction.

        1. If it shows up when you view your saved items for Walmart, then yes. I ordered everything that was available in my store using the Walmart Pickup option (opening it through Ibotta to get the extra $1 bonus). The items that weren’t available still show as saved for Walmart, so I’ll see if I can get them in store at a different Walmart the next time I go.
          I scored wonderfully with Ibotta over the weekend. They had a $5 bonus option if you collected 10 rebates within 3 days or something like that. I planned some of my shopping around their rebates for items that I would use anyhow or that were free or cheap with the rebates, so before I even found out about the Thanksgiving deal, I think I had accumulated 6 or 7 rebates. Then, I placed an online order for everything that was available, plus a few other Free after rebate offers, and some restock items to arrive at the $35 minimum. Once I picked up my order, I was credited with close to $31 – it was from the free Thanksgiving items, plus a few other free items, plus the $1 bonus for opening Walmart app via Ibotta, plus the $5 bonus. I was ecstatic!

        2. Yes you can do the pick up also. I did and it credited in about 24 hours. Plus if you launch the click the Walmart shopping link from Ibotta you can also claim the $1 rebate for pick up orders…just be sure to check that extra pickup rebate too.

      2. My daughter does our grocery shopping, so she gets the “Ibotta” and whatever deals she can. If she puts it on her Discover card, I think she gets some extra things too. I don’t have a smart phone so I don’t mind giving her the points or whatever it is. I get the money bonus from Sam’s Club because I pay for the membership, but we don’t go there too often lately. We are two households of two!
        And she keeps track of what I owe her and I give her the money twice a month. She doesn’t want us to have to go into the stores, and she does a good job shopping if I give her enough details!! It save us the trouble too-lovely to have her come in and set the completed shopping on the table and all I have to do is put it away.
        I managed to paint the front and side porch steps this week. That was bothering me and we’ve had a whole week of “summer” weather even though we have already seen a few snowflakes. I didn’t choose the right paint color but I wanted paint on them during bad weather. It’s only a shade or two light after it has dried. Stopgap but it will do for now. I think I will have to pay someone to paint the porches as I’m not great on ladders! It will wait for spring.
        In addition, as soon as we finished our quarantine from being exposed to Covid, I called my cleaning lady (half a day a week) and she is off to visit her brother and will have to quarantine when she returns. So it looks like 4-5 weeks without help for me. I can tell you, the house already shows it. I am doing the best I can, and that’s all I can do. My husband can do nothing much. He barely managed to drive a couple nails into the railing of the porch as it was a little wobbly, but he did do that!!
        To make matters worse, both my DD and I have back problems and they have been acting up this week. One day I tried to complete the job I was working on in the kitchen, and ignored the back pain. By the time I reached the chair, I could barely stand it! I am being more careful this week. I have 3 doctor appts this week anyhow so I’ll be sitting part of the day. I can only do what I can do, and then stop for a rest.
        So for today I painted the steps, and cleaned the brushes, have partly emptied the dishwasher so far, and made some homemade chocolate pudding for dessert. (Chicken again, but the dessert helps and it’s made with skim milk besides.) I overbought eggs on sale, so now I have to keep them in mind to use them up, usually no problem here.
        I have much to be thankful for, especially that my pain-in-the-neck husband is still at home with me! He makes extra work, always leaving things out of place, but I’m glad to have him here.

  11. I am so inspired by your garden project!! I am now enjoying making plans, drawings and reading up on various plants for my own garden. I feel like a child who can’t wait to get back to a wonderful game they play. It helps relief stress and keeps me light and cheerful, which is where I need to be right now. I am so thrilled about it that it rubbed off on my husband 😉
    This week’s frugal scores:
    -We accepted a second hand guinea pig from a family whose kids grew bored with the animal. My son couldn’t believe that we agreed to an animal and neither could we! It is not a huge expense to keep it and it came with all the equipment and gadgets.
    -I started working on the gifts for Christmas. I am making a book about our family Christmas Traditions which will be just a binder with pictures, drawings and stories (for my sentimental 8yo). I am sewing a wooly doll for my 19month old. I will knitt small gnomes for both as stocking stuffers for st. Nicolaus day(6th December). All with materials I have on hand.
    -I made sure that we went out for at least 3hours every day last week. We went for many looong walks in the wet forest and along the sea. It is absolutely vital for us in Norway to do this but it is just as easy to be too late for the day light, so I am making it a priority.
    -I found an unopened box of paint in my garage. It was wall paint left by the renters. I tried it in my entry where the walls were dirty and shabby. It turned out to be the lovliest deep, dark, rosy colour. Very intriguing- coasy and elegant. I would have never chosen it myself, but it looks amazing!
    -We made lanterns for the upcoming st. Martin day. They are made with silk paper, wallpaper glue and leaves. We had it all on hand.
    P.S.I like the thankful November series a lot!

    1. I smiled when I read about the guinea pig. Our daughters each had one (named Panda and Pookie). They were very easy to care for and so charming!
      Your gift ideas sound wonderful! I’ll be sewing my almost 2-year-old granddaughter a couple of small blankets with fabric I have. She loves to wrap up her stuffed animals. But I’m still thinking about what I can make my grandson who is almost three. I have a hard time thinking of handmade gifts for little boys.

      1. Does he have wooden blocks? My boys play with blocks that my grandpa made. My dad made them a few more.

      2. Blocks are a great idea. Another is homemade play dough. My sons adored it when they were little. I also let them use age-appropriate kitchen tools with it, such as cookie cutters, which they loved.

      3. Thank you!
        The little blankets idea sounds spot on!
        If you sew you could make some playfood or a little matchbox car caddy, something like this one: https://sewing.craftgossip.com/tutorial-car-cozie-roll-up-caddy-for-toy-cars/2009/11/22/
        One of the most beloved toys is a ball. There is never too many. Sewing a plush ball with a pattern from the internet is a nice and quick project, you can use any scrap fabric. It is an open ended toy and a plush ball can be used inside! I sometimes make a set of few smaller balls and sew a drawstring bag to contain them.
        Brandy, it is amazing that your boys play with blocks made by your grandad!

        1. My father played with them as a child. When I would visit my grandparents, I played with them. Now they are in my home. My dad made some more and we bought a few in some different shapes as well.

      4. My aunt made my boys a lovely gift that has had a lot of value. She collected smooth beach stones and painted a letter of the alphabet on each one, as well as some simple pictures on a few. They are called “story stones” and the boys can make up their own stories using the letters and pictures to help tell the story. They were gifted in a small fabric pouch. They are great for preschool age, but have also come in handy for our 2nd grader to help him generate ideas for his writing assignments for school.

        I love the idea and am thinking of making a set for my cousin who is expecting a baby in January.

    2. I love all the small decorative gnomes that you see in the Scandinavian countries. I wish I could see the cute ones that you knit. It sounds like you have some very creative ideas for the holidays.

  12. The photo of your son reminds me of the blessings of dirt! I do miss those days when the children were small. Thank you for sharing.

    Ordering online has been a Godsend in these times. I don’t get to have as much control about what, where from and such, but it’s something I’ll have to live with for now. We are all stocked up at this point and again eating our way through the over packed fridge freezer. An overpacked freezer frustrates my son, and he’s right. I need to do better at this!

    We have been determined to keep the clutter down. It is so easy for things to get placed here and there and than our living spaces look so cluttered. It’s taking a family effort, but we’re prevailing! I bought a feather Duster and that has really helped me stay on top of the dust buildup. Some weeks the dusting just isn’t getting done!

    Frugally, we used up a number of leftovers in the fridge and that looks much tidier as well. I used some old apples and did try making one batch of apple pie filling. Just canned 4 pints and made the rest into an apple pie. Not my favorite, but the guys didn’t seem to mind it at all. Still like my family’s recipe, but will be nice to have some canned pie filling on hand for busy times. You never know, I might get to a potluck next summer! 🙂

    Blessings to all.

    Trish

  13. I woke this morning to the news that Pfizer has a Covid vaccine believed to be 90% effective, and millions of doses ready to enter the pipeline. What good news for all of us! (The stock market is going bonkers and that isn’t a bad thing, either).

    I was at our vacation home for two days last week to work the election. We cooked (if opening a can of soup counts) and ate all meals at the house. This was the rest of my week–
    * I used a 20% off coupon for a $100 item at Bed Bath & Beyond. I didn’t have a coupon, so I signed up for e-mails to get one. I was having difficulty accessing the coupon and called customer support. She showed me how to get it into my account AND gave me another 20% off coupon for my trouble. I bought a new quilt/bedspread for my daughter for Christmas.

    * I sold our old modem on craigslist for $50.

    * I paid the bills online. This saves $35-$40 year in postage and it is so much quicker and easier. It annoyed me that I had to mail one bill!

    *I cashed in 3,000 Honey Gold points for a $30 gift card.

    * This was the week of the big fall baking sale. I bought 5 lbs. flour and 4 lbs. sugar for .99, 2 lbs. brown and powdered sugar for .88 and several items where the quantity was limited–2 lbs. butter for $1.88 and one dozen eggs for .49. Although I’ll be replenishing my pantry as we use things up, I’m now at capacity with at least 6 months’ worth of food and a year’s worth of baking ingredients.

    * Not frugal for me, but for a friend who called for my opinion of what would be the cheapest fabric to use for a test-for-fit garment. I suggested that all of her pieces didn’t have to match, so she could use up her scraps (and have some of mine, if she wanted!). I reminded her she probably only needed to make the front and back and she could sew different fabrics together to make a bigger piece.

    Here is a tip I learned when checking voters’ photo ID (required in Idaho), which is usually a driver’s license. This won’t save you any money, but probably a lot of aggravation. Most people have to dig for their license. One smart lady marked hers with a Post-It arrow, folded it over to the back and left a tab sticking up so it was easy to spot. (A piece of masking tape would work as well).  

  14. We have had a week of second summer which is due to end on Thursday with high temps going back down to 50’s for the highs. But we’ve taken advantage of a week in the 78 degree range and worked in the yard! I took over 50 more blackberry cuttings and so we’re now up to 168 potted in sand to overwinter. It hasn’t really cost us much (bottle of rooting solution and some sand) so there is no downside and if even a fraction of them take, we’ll be ahead! At this point, they still look happy!
    I finished machine quilting another client quilt- #84- https://pin.it/5f4XYlW and close up of the 2 separate quilting patterns https://pin.it/58PShCt and the backing https://pin.it/1xkiWY5. Lenni (my machine) looks bare without another quilt loaded on it yet! 😢 In the meantime, I’ve been asked by a number of people if I was going to increase my inventory of things on our website with the holidays approaching, so I’m in the process of doing that during Lenni’s “down time”!

    GFS was having a sale- their 10 pound chubs of 81/19 ground beef were $1.79/pound and 10 pound bags of BLSL chicken breast for 99 cents/pound. I got a bag of chicken but didn’t need more ground beef. I did however post the sale to family and online friends/groups I’m in because those were good prices. Starting Wednesday this week our Kroger’s will have their frozen turkeys for 47 cents/pound with$25 purchase.Their boneless pork half loins will be 99 cents a pound too. I went ahead and posted to family and online friends/groups in case anyone else could use them!
    At Kroger’s on Thursday, I just spent $55 on stock up sale and clearance groceries at Kroger’s- spaghetti , cream soups, Miracle whip to complete year’s supply and 5 ten bar packs of granola bars for 29 cents each after ibotta and Kroger cashback! In all, of the $55 I spent, my receipt shows that I saved $99.18 but with ibotta and Kroger cashback, that gave me back another $17.75!! So my net cost was $37.25! And on my Miracle Whip (clearanced to $1.50 and I had 75 cent off each), my spaghetti noodles (1 box every 2 weeks = 26 for a year), my cream of chicken, cream of mushroom- 1 can/week of one or other= 26 cans each for year’s supply), my year’s supply for our family is completed for those items so I am happy to move on with building other parts of pantry!
    I was able to deposit $22 from ibotta into our bank account and redeem MC rewards for another $10 into our savings account. That’s the only reason we keep that savings account with our primary bank- because our MC and checking accts are there too so we can transfer rewards $ immediately into savings account. We have a similar amount in a high interest savings account with another bank and our Primary bank savings gives us 16 cents/ month in interest while the “high” interest account gives us $6.45/month! Neither sound like much but the high interest one is 40 times more!! 😳 However, if I add $10-$20/ month in MC rewards to that 16 cents/month, that makes it worth keeping!
    We got a promotional notice from Key Bank that if we would open a checking account with them and have at least 1 direct deposit of payroll, SS, pension or Govt payment within 60 days of opening account that they would give us $400! We have to keep the account open with any positive balance for 120 days or we would lose the bonus. There is no minimum balance to open, no monthly service fees and direct deposit requirement is that it must be $500 or more. So we have checked and it’s simple to send direct deposit of our pension (not SS)there for one time and then redirect it the following month back to our regular account. We have read the fine print and will make sure we keep the account active and open for 125 days just for good measure. But $400!! That can mean a lot to us in our retirement! That’s one more principal payment on mortgage with a little left over!!
    The wheat grinder of my DIL gave up the ghost a couple weeks ago, so I was able to find a used one on eBay from estate of original owner, still in box working perfectly- Magic Mill 3. I know she’ll be pleased! I’m thinking I won’t wait until Christmas though because I know she could use it right away!
    Gathering more things together for gift baskets for all 11 kids and their families. Much easier than doing 53 individual presents!!
    It’s going to be a quieter holiday season for us this year- no big family get togethers, but we know that it needs to be this way to stay healthy. Hope everyone is staying safe and healthy! We are already looking forward to 2021!!
    Gardenpat in Ohio
    HandmadeinOldeTowne.com

      1. Brandy- My thought is that it is definitely worth the effort to try! Good luck on your cuttings as well!! We have 2 very different climates so hopefully we will both be successful!! The landscaper hired at the house next door was gathering up leaves with his mower and chopping them up and automatically bagging them at the back of his mower. I asked if he would mind dumping his chopped leaves into our big plastic container (saving him a trash bag) and he was happy to! So we spread the chopped leaves in as mulch into our raised beds around the pots with the cuttings!

    1. Garden pat what group do you post the deals you see? I live in Columbus too and would love to get in on the deals. By the time I see it on Brandy’s page, the deals are over😢

        1. I have sent you a friend request as well. I’m lcrrkhs and my Facebook picture is a pink and black quilt block.

          Kathleen S.
          Normal, IL

          1. I saw it and remembered your city! Check your Kroger’s! Here in central Ohio, their turkeys actually go on sale in the morning (Wednesday ) for 37 cents/pound with NO minimum purchase or free with $125 purchase!
            I can be happy with 37 cents!! Lol! You may have a similar price!!

    2. Because I know you quilt I have to ask you, how do you store your scraps of fabric? Do you cut some up into blocks or or like the jellyroll you can buy at the store? Been doing some cleaning and want to know some ideas on fabric scraps storage so I will use it.
      Thanks

      1. Nancy- I use my own version of Bonnie Hunter’s Scrap User’s System! https://pin.it/1eTtQfO.
        I DIY my own 2-1/2” jelly strips and squares and strips in other standard sizes, starting with 2” squares and strips and going up to 5”. You can see from the Pinterest link how I store my scraps by size in simple plastic shoeboxes. I don’t try to sort by color, only by size so when I see a pattern that needs a certain number of squares or bricks or strips, I can just pull out what I need.
        If I don’t have enough of a certain color in one size, I start checking the shoebox of the next larger size and continue until I have exhausted all the shoebox possibilities. Then I check my fat quarter plastic totes. Then my large drawers that hold scraps that are more than 1/4 yard but less than 1 yard!
        Then I check my shelves that have 1 or more yards of a fabric! https://pin.it/1ow1KOL, https://pin.it/5RKMkot and https://pin.it/3G0rBRO.
        Hope this helps!

        1. Thanks this is helpful. I now wish I had a bigger room. I also don’t cut fabric that is 1/4 yard or more. I love looking at all the quilts

  15. Some good frugal shopping this week included boneless chicken breasts at $1.67#, asparagus for $.99, chocolate and butterscotch chips for $.99 (although the pound package has shrunk to 12 oz.). I dried laundry on the rack and borrowed library books on the Libby app. I appreciate the inspiration every blog!

  16. Hi Brandy and everyone
    What a lovely photo of your son playing outside, such simple pleasures. You are working hard on your garden and I’m sure you’ll be pleased in the future that you were careful to remove all weeds from soil around plant roots.
    We have had a few beautiful sunny days so I am still drying washing outside on the line. We’ve had plenty of rain too!
    My husband has sanded down the parquet floor in our sitting room, then wiped over with white spirit and applied Danish oil.
    We picked a few cherry tomatoes, parsnips and apples. I picked roses and dahlia for the house.
    We picked green tomatoes and made eight jars of green tomato chutney, using our own apples and onions too.
    My husband planted out wallflowers he has grown from seed and transplanted winter lettuce he has grown from seed.
    I cut fading hydrangeas and brought them inside to dry.
    I made another batch of individual apple pies from our windfalls. Most are in the freezer.
    Leftover vegetable curry was turned into curried veg soup and pork casserole leftovers became pork and vegetable soup.
    A daughter brought us a big bag of Brussel sprouts from her garden and a large pack of thick cut bacon as a thank you for providing doggy day care for her puppy. Things will be different now we’re in a second lockdown.
    I sold three items on eBay and listed more this week.
    I pulled out some embroidery to do in quiet moments and enjoyed a virtual sewing group meeting through our computer.
    We are eating more meat free meals for economic and health reasons and my husband has been very accepting of it.
    I am buying a couple of items of dry goods each week for Christmas, I keep a list in my notebook so I can tick items off and this week I found a box of Bendicks mints for a good price in Morrisons.
    Looking forward to reading everyone’s comments.
    Stay safe everyone.

  17. Brandy (and readers), I have a couple of questions. I will probably be doing a relatively small Thanksgiving dinner this year, with a son that I have not seen in years. But it is all a little indefinite right now. His girlfriend may come and bring her adult son. So the menu (and amounts of food) is still sort of hanging in the air. I have made many a Thanksgiving in years past but I’m trying to figure out how to be prepared for this, possibly very small, one.

    1. First question. It doesn’t pay for me to get a large bag of potatoes. Husband and I eat, maybe four a month. The rest will go to waste. But, of course, there must be potatoes for Thanksgiving. Brandy, you mentioned that you bought instant mashed potatoes. When I was a kid, in the ’50s, instant mashed potatoes were horrible things. Tasted awful. Brandy (and readers), have they improved enough that I could serve them for a Thanksgiving dinner?

    2. Same thing with gravy. I would only make a turkey breast and have no expertise with making gravy. I will buy some. Should I get a package of gravy or gravy in a can. Is there a significant taste difference?

    Thanking everybody in advance for their advice.

    1. I have had other instant mashed potatoes before. These were the Idahoan brand and they had different flavors (not just plain). We ate ours the other night, and I think they were the best tasting ones I’ve ever had! They were actually quite good! I usually add butter but these had butter powder already and I want to say parsley too. Conversely, you could buy 4 large baking potatoes to have on hand to make mashed potatoes.

      Gravy is pretty easy to make. The packet would make plenty for you. I have never had canned gravy though I do know it exists.

      1. All the turkey breasts I’ve ever bought came with a liquid gravy packet. Just follow the directions on the bag! I used to buy a foil packet of gravy mix to use with leftovers, and this might not be a bad idea for a failsafe.

    2. I made chicken gravy yesterday using Swanson broth and flour and it was good. We’ve had Heinz and Campbell’s gravies recently and they botj were better than I expected. Made with butter and milk, the Idahoan mashed potatoes aren’t bad at all. I haven’t tried them yet, but there are some instant mashed potatoes that have an incredibly short, all-natural ingredient list. You could buy a bag of potatoes and cook and freeze the extras and skip buying potatoes for several months.

      1. Look for a 5 lb. bag of potatoes, make all the mashed you want, and I’ll bet you finish off the bag at other meals. My family won’t eat instant mashed potatoes (memories of how they used to be) but I have had the Idahoan, and they are pretty darn good! If you make real mashed potatoes, you can make them early in the day and keep them warm in your Crock Pot. They don’t have to be a last-minute fix.

    3. If you have access to Sam’s Club, they sell a large cardboard canister of mashed potatoes for around $6 that are excellent, they also keep forever! They are Idahoan brand, as Brandy also mentioned. You can typically also find them in smaller amounts in the grocery stores. I find that instant mashed potatoes taste better if you “doctor them up” a bit – instead of regular milk, I make mine with buttermilk. I also add additional seasonings – garlic etc.

      I never make my own gravy, I’m awful at it. Williams-Sonoma sells a gravy base that is the best I have found. It comes in a jar and you mix it with milk. Tastes like real homemade gravy, but costs around $18.

    4. There are also “make ahead” mashed potato recipes that use cream cheese/butter/sour cream, and they freeze really well- I do it often! You can make them ahead and bake the day of as well. Taste of Home has a good one. You could make some and then freeze the rest in portions for future meals also.

    5. You can buy a package of bob evans mashed potatoes, oreida mashed potatoes in a bag, which are definitely better than instant. I grew up on instant mashed potatoes, so I dont like them. However, I do use them in a pinch. Gravy, you can get a jar of heinz or a can of swanson. Honestly, I wouldnt worry too much about what you serve. Ive noticed that in different parts of the country, people have different things at their tables.

  18. DH and I just got back from Costco. Gas was 15 cents per litre cheaper there so we filled up. As well I bought a box of 6 attractive stoneware food storage containers with lids for 19.99. There was one green and one red which will be perfect as a small Christmas gift for my DH’s 2 co-workers-he can even fill them with homemade Xmas cookies to make a nice little gift for less than $5. The other 4 I will use for leftovers-or gift to others. My DH has just brought my bike in and placed it in a stand near the TV so I can get some free indoor exercise during the cold winter months. I prefer to ride outside but just not so practical or enjoyable in our frigid winters-I did get out a few times this past week with our unusually warm temps but those are now gone.

  19. Such a sweet picture of your son!
    It turned cold here, we had a hard frost last night. I picked all of the red tomatoes, and the almost-red ones too. I covered the remaining tomato plant with all of it’s green tomatoes. They may ripen a bit more.
    I am plodding away on my photo album clean-out. I have removed photos from 19 albums, tossed the poor ones and put the good ones in photo safe envelopes and archival boxes. I have only 2 albums left to do! I’m so excited to be nearing the end of the project. I’m hoping my girls might volunteer to scan some of them when they are home at Thanksgiving.
    I started lavender plants from seed. Before the frost yesterday I potted the 1 inch starts into new pots that I’d found in a free pile. They are now on my kitchen windowsill. I’m hoping they will be big enough to give to my neighbors at Christmas.
    I picked persimmons at my neighbor’s house. We had a lovely outside chat too. I decorate with mostly edibles, it’s a very frugal way to add some seasonal cheer to my home. And nothing to store afterwards!
    I’ve been checking sewing books out of the library to get ideas for items for my shop. I do love the library so much!
    Through the Safeway app I got free butter, a $1 loaf of french bread, and sugar on sale. It has had great deals every week.
    I passed a display of smoke detectors in Costco and it reminded me that the Red Cross gives free smoke detectors, and installs them for free too. This is available to absolutely everyone-renters and homeowners, millionaires and low-income.
    Have a blessed week!

  20. I received a credit for my tv service which saves me $120 over the next 6 months, for the service I couldn’t use
    in the past a credit of $50, a $200 credit for switching my cellphone service.
    By switching, I save $20 per month on my cellphone. I thought of giving up my cellphone entirely but decided not to do so. As they had not told me there’d be a $40 connection fee, they waived that, too.

    I bought some food on sale: canned chicken, soups. Times are tough. I have planned to give some to the foodbank.

    I am now also set up to make fudge and other candies to give for Christmas gifts.

    I am thankful for a beautiful blue sky day, bright but chilly.

  21. It’s been a good, frugal week.
    I found 3# chubs of 73% lean beef at Kroger, marked down to $1.99 the day before they expired. I bought 10 for me, 7 for my mom, and 5 for my frugal friend. I cooked and froze about half of mine for future meals.
    I bought some Halloween clearance (Pirate’s Booty snacks, bunny graham packs, etc.) deeply discounted; I don’t usually buy these individual serving packs, so it’s a treat. The Pirate’s Booty was only ringing up half off when the sign said 75% off, so I asked the manager. She changed the computer system, which then stacked the 75% onto the 50%, so the $6.99 packages came down to .88. I bought 10 for me, then 10 for my frugal friend.
    We tracked down the missing check (which had been cashed) for Boy Scout dues, since I was sure that I paid. It’s good to have that straightened out.
    $5 or less dinner included: chicken and noodle casserole, chicken stir fry over rice, bean burritos, beans, and hamburgers using marked down beef.
    We enjoyed having the windows open several days, but I finally had to turn the air conditioner back on (Houston, TX).
    I cooked beans for one meal, then made refried beans for another using the leftovers. I use bacon grease that I save in an old pickle jar in the fridge to cook them. I recently saw bacon grease for sale in a jar at the store; strange to think that this is a real thing!
    I took the kids to Burger King after they went above and beyond helping with the house cleaning. With coupons on the app, it was $9.95 to feed 5. They weren’t stuffed, but had enough. It is nice to eat somewhere besides home, sometimes.
    I found a Bob jogging stroller at Goodwill for $40, which my brother and SIL wanted me to buy for them. Great deal! I resold more kids clothes to make back what I spent on the shopping trip.
    I ordered bulk pinworm medication (really for animals), as it’s much cheaper than the Reese’s pinworm medicine sold at Walmart. I suspect one kid has it, so I’m treating everyone (twice), and the bulk bottle will be cheaper.
    I am researching resusable large overnight diapers for a son who still wets the bed; this could save me $20/month if I’m able to find something that works. What doesn’t work so far: bedwetting alarm, cutting off liquids at 5 pm, waking up around 11 pm to take him to the bathroom (he’s too heavy for me and I can’t wake him up). He is almost 8, so I hope we can get this figured out.
    Hope you all have a nice, frugal week!

    1. Leigh Ann, I’m surprised the bedwetting alarm didn’t work. The one possible “cure” you didn’t mention was having him eat a spoonful of peanut butter before he goes to bed. Sounds crazy, but I’ve heard it works. Give it a shot and see if it works. (This assumes he isn’t allergic to peanut butter). If it is any consolation, my boy (now 42 years old) wet the bed until he was 7. The alarm did the trick.

    2. This is random and a longshot, but does your son have any issues with constipation, bowel issues, or IBS by chance? I have dealt with these stomach issues my entire life and the only time I ever wet the bed, even as a small child, was when I would become constipated and there was pressure on my bladder. My childhood bowel issues were fairly severe so I realize this is a longshot, but might be something else to consider.

    3. I had one bed wetting until 9. FOOD ALLERGIES… get the child checked. My Daughter had a step child that did until they removed all dairy (mashed potatoes made with water and margarine).

    4. You may want to check with his doctor about having his tonsils removed. One of my children had sleep and bed wetting issues until they were around 8. Chronic strep throat became a problem and a sleep study revealed sleep apnea so the tonsillectomy was scheduled- and my child never again wet the bed. Your pediatrician can explain the brain science better than I could – but it worked!

    5. My son had issues until he was about 12 (the alarm did not work for him either), once I took him off a daily asthma medication (Symbicort) he stopped wetting the bed. I kept searching for causes and discovered that it was a possible side effect to Symbicort in younger individuals. Does your son take any asthma medication?

    6. Thank you all for your suggestions; I am open to trying anything. To my knowledge, none of us have any allergies. I will give the different ideas a shot; they are much appreciated!

    7. Leigh Ann, did you try the bed wetting alarm that vibrates and sounds when damp? This finally worked for us. Only one relapse.

  22. After a cold snap right before Halloween, temperatures rebounded to where they are supposed to be (mid 60s to 70s) for this time of year. It’s been nice having the house opened up.

    My mom sent over a bottle of ketchup and a half case of water.

    Finally received my missing cards from Shutterfly 2 weeks after they sent out replacement. Shutterfly said just keep them.

    Used 2 audible credits to get 3 audio books that were on sale. I don’t listen to it much, but it’s nice to have a selection to choose from.

    I found a $2 coupon on Amazon for a dvd the kid wanted for Christmas making it $ 4. Also found the Big Bang Theory season 12 for $10(it was the last season I needed)

    Paid off hubby’s tires finally. (That’ll put back $300 into the budget I can use)

    Found some marked down candies from Halloween. I didn’t buy a lot, just 2 bags of M and Ms and 2 bags of Snickers. They were $1.75 each.

    I somehow ended of with 3 separate bags of frozen spaghetti sauce, so I thawed all of them out one night for dinner. Leftovers will be frozen in one bag.

  23. My cousin was selling a dresser on Facebook Marketplace (I saw it randomly while on Facebook). I decided to buy it from her, and when I got to her house, she had the cutest desk that she gifted me, and her husband who works in the spice business gave me a ton of random spice samples/bags! I was so excited. Other savings this week included a gift for my son, who works at a food co-op, of a huge container (think restaurant size) of whipped butter, they had extra and gifted one to him. We repackaged it in 1 cup increments and froze. I meal planned and shopped, and kept my running tally/plans on my blog, which is a project I started a couple months ago. https://www.hewalkedthisland.com/post/budgeting-and-meal-planning-11-9-11-15

  24. You found some terrific grocery deals!
    I made sandwich bread and some banana-chocolate chip snack cake this week. We enjoyed lettuce and chard from the garden. Kokonee salmon are running and my husband has been fishing twice and gotten his limit. We’ve been eating the fish fresh and I also froze some. The workmen are installing our solar panels. We’re waiting on a state inspection of the first panel, then they can finish the rest – I hope next week!
    I finished the dress I have been working on – it is red pinwale corduroy and I plan to wear it over the holidays. I also let out the waistband and hemmed a lined wool skirt I purchased at a thrift store.
    The rain we had Sunday turned to snow and we ended up with seven inches, which was very welcome. Before the snow I raked leaves and mulched my asparagus bed, and planted some daffodils.

  25. The weather here is like summer and we have been working in the yard getting the leaves chopped up and various other tidying done. When the cooler weather settles in later in the week, we should have the yard tidied for the year. My husband also got the car vacuumed out and my uncle put on the snow tires for us so our old car is ready for the winter too!

    I have recently joined a local buy nothing group and have been blessed with some wonderful things. I received a lovely like-new end table, a Tassimo machine, a down-filled winter parka and a small wood chipper. Existing on a small budget, these items are definite blessings.

    My good grocery find of the week was Certo crystals for .10$ a package! The date isn’t until next September so I was pleased to be able to make jams frugally next year.

    I won a $10 Amazon gift code and I’m gathering up codes to buy a few groceries in the new year. Every little bit helps. We are claiming the Canada Recovery Caregiver Benefit and can do so for 26 weeks but my husband will not be going back to work until next September at the earliest so there will be months without income and everything I can do now will make that time that much easier.

    Hope everyone has a wonderful week!

  26. We are having a continued warm spell – our low this morning was 74, which is 20 degrees above the normal low on this date, and our high on this day is normally only 78. We are in the 80’s this afternoon. The newest storm is still out there, thrashing around, and we are very humid and cloudy. Cindy in the South, I hope it goes nowhere near you!

    Since my husband chills easily, he is happy to keep the air conditioning off, and although I get a little warm, I can deal with it as long as the ceiling fans are running. I’m so glad we got our porch re-screened at last, so we can open the double front doors and let a lot of fresh air in without rain worries.

    In our local paper there was a $5 coupon to buy any two of a brand of hair products that I use, so I took it to the store and picked up a shampoo and a conditioner. The coupon scan said that I needed to wait and use it later, but two store employees read it with me, and there was only an expiration date on it. They overrode it manually so I could get the $5.

    I had been looking for over a year for a plain vinyl table cloth that would protect the painted surface of our table and could be wiped clean easily. I also needed it to be a small rectangle, which was oddly hard to find. My long search was over after I found one still in the package at Goodwill, in the exact color and size I needed. I had tried placemats, but they didn’t work well for my husband, who has some fine motor skill deficits.

    I used some of my Christmas savings to purchase decorative gift boxes on sale. I’ll save a good deal of time wrapping gifts, and I won’t need to buy a lot of wrapping paper after this. I had tried using a cloth bag or two, but my cat lies on them and smashes the gifts. We tend to buy several small gifts per person, and I combine each person’s gifts in one box.

    I’m not finding sales on butter, meal, all-purpose flour or sugar yet. However, I found a sale on Otto’s cassava flour and got several bags of it, because I need it for my gluten-free, nut-free baking, and it’s expensive.

    I’ve been eating the last odds and ends of vegetables and meats as my breakfasts the last few mornings. It’s saves on food waste, and I’m supposed to eat six to nine servings of vegetables a day, so eating them at breakfast as well as lunch and dinner is pretty much a must. When there are not going to be enough leftovers, I batch cook a bunch of veggies and reheat them every morning. It’s not as cheap as oatmeal, probably, but it’s a lot cheaper than cereal or frozen waffles and much better for me.

    1. I do the same thing for breakfast Jo! Tomorrow’s breakfast will be a couple of very small pieces of ham, a small piece of meatloaf, the last of the cooked turnip and I think I’ll add an egg!

    2. Hello Jo
      We often have grilled tomatoes on toast or mushrooms on toast for breakfast. I like to start off our fruit and veg intake for the day at breakfast if we can, fruit is easy but I think it’s even better to get a head start on the veggies.

    3. Hi Jo. I batch cook greens from my garden (Swiss chard, kale, broccoli leaves etc…) and have some every morning for breakfast with 2 eggs. Delicious and the greens are basically free for me 😉

  27. I’ve been baking cookies for mom, who has quite the sweet tooth, and have started making bread a couple of times a week so we can cut down the frequency of our grocery orders, hopefully to once every two or, preferably, three weeks. I still haven’t had friends move the free-for-us stove and dryer from the garage into the house, and probably won’t for months given the increasing Covid-19 case count. So my baking is taking place in a small toaster oven that barely fits a 9″ x9″ pan. But it bakes two small loaves of bread, 1.5 cups of flour each, at the same time.
    My older sister, in her eighties, tested covid-19 positive almost two weeks ago. If she has had symptoms, they’ve been masked by her ongoing multiple-antibiotic-resistant Mycobacterium Avian Complex lung issues. I am hoping she continues to stay as well as she normally is nowadays–not a high bar, unfortunately. Her boarder is okay now too after having gotten sick first. I’m almost ready to exhale. My nephew, a 60-ish diabetic, and his girlfriend, also 60-ish and who has MS, visited her one warm afternoon outside this weekend, staying masked up and 10 feet away.
    I had one gallon of asphalt driveway crack filler left that I thought I wouldn’t be able to use until late April or May. But we’ve had a several day run of record high temperature dry days and nights. The asphalt had warmed up enough so I filled cracks yesterday afternoon, something I never thought I’d be doing in November except maybe with the “ropes” of crack filler that you can press into a crack and they use a propane torch to melt. I was glad to get the gallon jug out of the house and its contents onto the driveway.
    My microwave oven started sparking over the weekend. I found grease behind the little reflective plate on the side inside wall. But the plate was thin and brittle and two tabs broke off. One of the tabs fell inside the wall, I think. I put the plate back into position and used a short piece of Scotch tape to keep it in place. So far, no sparks. I’ll be looking for excellent microwave oven sales. And I’ll be covering butter when I melt it going forward.
    I think Better Than Bouillon Chicken Broth concentrate is cheaper than canned broth, even when canned broth is on sale, makes an excellent substitute at 1 teaspoon of concentrate to 16 ounces of water, and certainly takes up far less space in the pantry. I keep an opened jar in the refrigerator and a spare in the pantry closet. I used canned broth this weekend only because it had been given to me and I wanted to free up space in the pantry.
    I hope everybody does what they can to stay healthy and keep others healthy too.

  28. I always forget how great November is for stocking up on pantry staples. I have been able to pickup so many free items after using store sales, coupons and Ibotta! I keep what we will use and donate the remainder to the Little Free Pantry for those in need. The Buy Nothing Group in my area has been amazing lately. I have picked up granola, pullups and shoes this last week. In a previous week I received a rain barrel. I try really hard to give back something once I receive something, it helps clear the clutter. I have noticed that the Kroger on the way to work has markdowns in baskets on Tuesday mornings so I have been stopping each week and picking up some great deals. One week I was able to get ten cases of Gatorade for free for my husband because they were marked down to $1 and the Mega sale took of $1 for every five you purchased. I have also been focusing one purchasing 1-2 gifts per week to avoid overspending at Christmas and to keep from getting overwhelmed!

  29. This was a long week. Puppy went to the vet twice and kitty made an emergency visit too. I’m hoping that my budget breaks even by the end of the year. Being frugal even with my budget has allowed me to cover several of the children’s expenses without any additional withdrawals. I’m working on a new budget. I’m hoping to use any savings I can squeeze out of this next year towards a new roof. I also managed to shop the sale at Kroger for the canned goods. I snuck out of the house to buy Disney princess dolls at Wal-Mart for $5.00. Sugar cookies Christmas gifts came to $100.00 . I had budgeted $250.00 , so I am pleased with my savings. I’m going to apply that savings to offset the cost of new tires for my car. I passed on the Ibotta offer for Thanksgiving dinner. College girl has asked us to come to her apartment. It may very well become a day of cooking lessons. I imagine most anything we prepare , we have in our pantry. I hope everyone is well.

  30. We have a beautiful day today. Last one for awhile, I think. We received snow yesterday – I did not leave my property.
    The last two weeks have been fairly productive, for this time of year.
    I worked 7 days at my job. Took breakfast and lunch all days.
    I deep cleaned my kitchen and two of the bathrooms in the house. This includes dusting the tops of shelves, using Murphy’s oil soap on all my wood cabinets, deep cleaning floors, clearing counters completely and then cleaning them, and getting rid of things that are not being used. We had some partially used hotel shampoo, lotion and body wash. Poured the lotions into a larger bottle. Poured the shampoo into a larger bottle. Used some of the body wash as bubble bath when taking a bath. Good use for small amounts.
    Also, put things away that were used for summer and fall food preservation, but not needed in the winter as much. Things like canners, super large bowls that hold large amounts of things for freezing or pickling, my large pot that has an insert that makes it easy to blanch things prior to freezing (and able to reuse the water multiple times). Feels good to have those things out of my kitchen. My kitchen is quite small, so extra items make for a very tight space.
    Made a batch of focaccia bread and a batch of zucchini cheese muffins to have with the split pea soup and the cauliflower soup. The split pea soup used a ham bone and bits of ham from the freezer, as well as onions and carrots we had picked earlier from the garden. The cauliflower soup used cauliflower from the freezer, as well as onions we had picked earlier.
    Made veggie lo mein with pasta on hand, cabbage, carrots and onions from the garden. Used 3 ribs of celery. All the other veggies came from the garden. It was the last of our cabbage.
    Made sausage biscuits for grab and go breakfasts.
    I picked up mushroom soup, pasta and chicken broth from Fred Meyer (our Kroger store) for 49¢ a can.
    I went to a baking sale and was able to get flour for 99¢ for a 5-pound bag – could only get 2, and brown sugar 99¢ a 2 pound bag with a limit of 4. I did not have the coupons required, as they aren’t delivered to me in my paper, and were not available in the store, but the clerk took pity on me and gave me the sale price.
    I made chicken fajitas with chicken and peppers from the freezer and onions we had picked from the garden.
    Made lasagna using cheese, noodles, onions, and peppers and tomato sauce we already had. Only had to buy cottage cheese, and found 2 cartons for half price each as they were nearing their sell by dates.
    Visited my mother twice in the last two weeks.
    We put straw and chopped leaves on our garlic, to protect it during our cold winter. Just in time too. We are going to have a cold snap.
    Hope everyone has a good week, and stays healthy and safe

  31. Those are some awesome grocery deals!
    Our savings this week:
    -We received several pumpkins. We cooked them and froze 6 quart bags of pumpkin puree. That will make 24 loaves of pumpkin bread, which my family loves. We still have two pumpkins left.
    -I’m using up frozen fruit that’s been in the freezer a while. I need to make room because I’d like space in the freezer to stock a few freezer meals.
    -We came across a sale on butter for $1.39 per pound. I bought several for the freezer.
    -We received lots of little girls’ clothing and some diapers. We found several things for my granddaughter to wear and shared the rest with a friend.
    -Last year I didn’t do a very good job of planning ahead for the holidays and we spent more than I would have liked. This year I will be much more ready. I’m using my the Holiday Control Journal I printed years ago (free) from the FlyLady.
    Details of our week are on my blog at http://thebudgetinggranny.com/savings-and-goals-journal-19/

  32. This last week was a quiet one and that is good. Just did the usually thrifty things like meal planning, grocery pick up, cooking at home and generally not buying things. The missionaries from church came and helped my husband finish raking the yard. He took all the leaves to the county yard waste site. It is free if you live in the county. Just have to show a driver’s license. I just plugging away on Christmas gifts. Making a bunch of things from my fabric stash. It’s fun to be working on new things and satisfying to not be buying anything! Covid cases are rising here so we are content to stay home and out of the fray. Still waiting on our new granddaughter…hopefully this week!
    Everyone have a great week!!

  33. We had a very busy week last week and in some ways it felt spendy, but there were savings involved. I started scraping the back porch and my husband suggested we could use the pressure washer. That worked awesome well at getting up the paint that was lifting. We made a trip to Lowe’s and bought their most durable outdoor paint to repaint the porch floor. I had wanted marine paint but it was too pricey for my budget so we went with what was the most affordable option for us at this time. The paint was as thick as custard and I hope it holds up well.
    While the pressure washer was up and running, we cleaned the porch furniture which caused paint to lift on that as well. It could all use a new coat of paint but unless I have something on hand at the moment, there’s no funds left for paint for furniture. At least it’s all clean! As well John decided to spray the 55 gallon drum dog house for our large dog. This has been the bane of my porch decorating life as it always looked so dingy, with algae and years of built up dirt that had not responded to any amount of elbow grease and various cleaners. The pressure washer cut right through it all and it’s now half decent looking. Still not my top choice for porch decor mind you but it at least looks nicer.
    While we were in Lowe’s getting paint, I spotted a 4 ft artificial tree that I liked. We’d looked a couple of weeks ago but I refused the ones available. John insisted we buy it now. As he’s pointed out, pass it up and it will be gone when you feel you can come back to get it. It was well priced, but not as cheap as a dollar store artificial tree which is what we’ve used the past two years. That one shed so badly last year that it was like having a real tree in the house!
    Thursday morning, our toilet started leaking. I’ve been concerned about some cracks on the side for years now as they kept spreading, but we were pretty sure the seal was the problem. We’ve had bathroom re-do on our list of work to do at home for two years now. John said we could just start with the toilet in our bathroom. He and our son installed it that evening. I baby sat the grandchildren while they did the job.
    All but one meal was eaten at home last week. It’s unusual for us to eat out for supper but it had been a very long hard day and we were out late to participate in an election prayer vigil at church. I knew that supper wasn’t happening when we got home that night, since I hadn’t had time to prepare anything ahead and had no leftovers to use. As we came in our backdoor my husband’s phone rang and my son had gotten us a second deer for the freezer.
    Later in the week, when I was called out unexpectedly to babysit my youngest grandson I did think to take a prepared dish from the freezer to thaw. We ate late, but we ate at home.
    That’s just the tip of all we did last week to save money! It seems some weeks, there are hardly any savings to note but other weeks it’s hard to stop sharing all that got done!

  34. Love that photo of you son playing so happily!

    *Earned $$$ for more Amazon gift cards through Fetch and Ibotta.

    *Combined all errands to save on gas. When I did fill up, I had plenty of points and had $1/per gallon of gas. I’ll take it! I’ve only had to fill up the car once in the past 3 weeks. I vacuumed out my car at home and cleaned the windows because of dog kisses and bird plops. We’ve had rain and snow this week. I’m so thankful I can park in our garage and not be scraping off my car in the morning when I drive my dd to school.

    *I’ve read several library books. Finished The Book of Lost Names set in WWII (?) maybe WWI. I really enjoyed the story and the history. I also read some cozy mysteries by Lee Hollis. They are lighthearted and quick reads. I’ve had fun keeping track of my books each year on GoodReads. I’ve read 100 books this year. Very thankful for the library to support my habit. So is my husband.

    *Cleaned and organized the downstairs pantry. It’s a weekly job because I want to keep track of what we use and also putting away new food storage. I’ve been blessed to find containers of cleaning wipes when I go to the store and continue to stock up on those.

    *I bought butter at 1.50/lb because of coupon and rebate. I was able to buy 4 and put them all in my freezer. I also got chicken broth (29c) and canned veggies (49c) to put in my pantry. 5 lb flour was purchased for $1.49. Found bread on clearance for 50c and put that in the freezer.

    *Made all meals at home for the week except for our weekly date night. I made a spinach & tomato pasta that didn’t go over well. I made a simple cheddar cheese sauce and poured it over the leftovers and then reheated. Gone! Made peanut butter and jam sandwiches to use up bread and jam. Made up quesadillas with leftover shredded cheese and black beans and the last 2 tortillas. Made up nachos to use up the last of the pepper jack and stray tortilla chips. Made creamy chicken noodle soup with frozen chicken from March, last of my carrots and celery. Used my 50c french bread to go with the soup.

    *Thank you – have a wonderful week!

  35. We have tried to be frugal, but I ended up at the hospital. It was just the flu, but I’m diabetic. Anyway, I’m better now. Just tired. Thank God it didn’t last long. I am glad we have insurance. That will help.

    I liked your deals on groceries Brandy! I’ve been watching store ads for deals. I’d like to buy turkey and chicken on sale. I love whole turkeys and chickens! Especially when they go on sale.

    Today,I felt better so I pulled some carrots. I need to wash and cut them up still. I have more to pull. Tomorrow is another day! I can pull more tomorrow.

    We called the library to renew movies for my son.

    We opened windows for fresh air.

    I haven’t cooked much, we have just been picking at simple things that my husband bought at the grocery store. I’ve eaten crackers, gatorade, applesauce and yogurt and today cottage cheese and microwaveable potpies. I will be back to cooking tomorrow. I think my husband made sandwiches and cooked bacon for my son and himself. My son also has microwaveable meals. I’m so glad because I could not cook for a few days.

  36. I love reading your weekly updates – very inspiring! I don’t usually comment, but I thought I would mention this in case it would help you or other readers plan their shopping trips. Based on the pasta sale you were talking about, I’m guessing you are shopping at a Kroger affiliate. Pre-pandemic, their sales were usually that you had to buy in multiples of 5 or 10 to get the sale price. Since the pandemic, my Kroger affiliate has the sales as BUY 10 OR MORE – you don’t need to buy in multiples of 10. Check the wording in your ad – hopefully yours is the same! It makes it so much easier to not have to keep track of multiples – especially if something I was planning to buy is out of stock! As long as you have at least 10 of the sale items, you get the sale price on everything! This makes for easier shopping and also helps save some money since you can only buy what you need without worrying about the multiples. Hope that helps somebody on here! I’m enjoying your ‘Thankful’ series as well – thank you! Wishing everyone a happy and healthy end to 2020!

  37. I came across a couple of pints of carrots I canned a few years ago . They were still good but had gotten soft. I drained them, mashed them and made carrot bread with them, substituting carrot for pumpkin in a pumpkin bread recipe. I figured I make cartot muffins and carrot cake, why not try carrot bread? It was delicious and will be a keeper recipe.

  38. Most of the Christmas shopping is completed, I have been purchasing mostly online taking advantage of specials and sales. I prefer to shop in person especially at local shops but this year it’s just too much. The bright spot is that I have spent well under budget as I do not browse online as I do in the stores, I order what I want and that’s it.
    My son got a deer so we have a freezer full of venison, this will be a huge savings to us through the winter.
    Our largest savings this week is switching to my husband’s insurance. We had to wait 3 years before he was allowed to insure his family. It is a better plan and it will put approximately $500 a month back into my paycheck. This extra is earmarked for debt pay off.
    The weekend was spent doing projects at home as I was awaiting covid test results. I was exposed at work and thankfully am negative.
    One of the projects is a kitchen upgrade that we are doing ourselves. Removed flooring, painted walls & cabinets and my husband is installing a new back splash this week. Next week the new floor will be laid. We have saved thousands of dollars over the years doing home improvement projects ourselves. I am so thankful that my husband has these skills and has taught them to our children. Our son is able to work right alongside him and our daughter who lives on her own tackles DIY and home improvement jobs regularly.
    Wishing everyone a healthy & happy week!

  39. I spent very little money on groceries last week. Using my ibotta account, and my husbands, I bought the Thanksgiving Day dinner items. I used my existing paypal balance to pay for them and then was reimbursed for most of the cost. I redeemed for a $50 target card on fetch. Im unsure how I will use this, but with the holidays coming up, it will be put to use. I had oatmeal with strawberries to eat, on days that I ate breakfast. DH had leftovers, and dd had leftovers or lucky charms. I got a free coffee from Wawa last Tuesday. DH got a free coffee last night and brought it home for me. I have a free coffee today, but I dont think I’m getting out of the house. If you have a circle k in your state, go to wincirclek.com every day and play. I win several times a week. Its small items like a bag of gummy bears, small bag of chips, cup of coffee, etc. They also have big prizes, but I’m happy winning the little ones. I made soups a few times for dinner last week. I also made a boston butt pork that I had gotten for 99¢lb. Its giving us a few days worth of leftovers. I had gotten an email from at&t about trading in my iphone 8 for an iphone 12 for free. I had planned on keeping my phone for as long as it lasted as I didnt want to pay for another. I hemmed and hawed and did some research. I finally bit the bullet and took the offer. In the long run it will save me money because I have a phone that wont be obsolete for a few years, and its 5G. I use the phone for work, and its not good when I have no connection. Other than that, I did all the regular money saving things.

  40. We are shelving the school books and enjoying the weather that is above normal. I had to unpack summer clothes. Many hours spent at the playground. I continue to buy food at low prices and prep them to use later. My husband put a dehydrator on our wedding gift registry and my aunt and grandma purchased it for us. He has yet to use it, I have put it to good use this summer. I grew my own basil and used the dehydrator to dry it. Well, I was surprised at the store to find out I could not purchased dried basil at two different grocery stories. So glad I already have it at home. I have also found out my kids love eating dehydrated apples and bananas. We call them “chips”. I stored potatoes and onions (separate, not together) in the basement the way readers have suggested here. Two times a week we are eating soup for dinner. For Christmas I purchased my nieces and nephew a family game gift, making 3 gifts purchased instead of 6. Last year it was not in the budget to purchase them separate gifts so I skipped it (and that was fine with all the families), however this year, I wanted to purchase them a gift and thought of this great idea.

  41. Anne I have never been a fan of instant potatoes or store bought gravy however the occasion of life has called for both a time or two 🙂
    I agree with the other commenters that Idahoan are the best you can buy. I always doctor them up with whole milk or cream and butter/spices…maybe a bit of sour cream stirred in just to enrich them. The only store bought ready made gravy I have experience with is Heinz – they make several flavors of gravy in a jar and the turkey is fairly good. Again supplemented with a bit of broth from the turkey – be sure to taste before adding salt though as they usually already have plenty. If you are doing a gravy packet I have had good outcomes with the McCormick dry gravy pouch mixes.
    I hope that you are able to enjoy the upcoming holiday!

  42. We spent last week in quarantine in our vacation home, as my husband had a mild case of Covid-19. Luckily, I didn’t get it from him.
    We had oatmeal and fruit for breakfast, lentils and rice for lunch, and pasta with vegetables for dinner. Simple, but quick and easy.
    I walked each day, worked on knitting and crocheting projects, and read. The weather was beautiful so I was able to sit outside much of the time.
    Not much else happened, but I did get a $10 off coupon for Winco when I spend $50, so I am compiling a grocery list for a big shopping trip to use that coupon.

  43. Great deal on the pasta, Brandy!
    We celebrated my Birthday with homemade comfort food of bacon grilled cheese and onion rings, made out of ingredients that we already had. So proud of my husband because he found a card in my card stash box instead of buying one! My son made me a card. I was thrilled to get Clorox Wipes as one of my presents. A nice frugal Birthday!
    -A friend receives food boxes and school lunch deliveries. She had many things that they don’t like or couldn’t use.
    She gave me apples, oranges. mandarin oranges, pears, a huge bag of frozen blueberries, canned chili, canned beans, canned fruit, sunflower seeds, some snack items, onions, squash, lentils. I was overjoyed to add these to my pantry. Online grocery shopping has been very expensive for me, I can’t seem to find the deals that I used to find in the stores. The grocery prices have just gotten higher and higher
    -My husband cut my hair. I colored my own hair. I cut my Mom’s hair.
    -I cleaned out and organized my pantry and stockpile and working on taking inventory.
    -I needed to rotate and use up some oatmeal, so I started having it once a day to replace some of the bad food choices I make. I’m loving it, and I actually feel a lot better. I will also use some for baking.
    -Trying to make as much food from scratch as possible, but I just haven’t been feeling like spending so much time in the kitchen. I bought packaged croutons, that’s how I know I’m in a rut!
    -Feeling very blessed that my eBay store has been very busy! I’ve been able acquire things to resell through craigslist and online, as I’m not going into any thrift stores at this time.
    -Realized that I have become dependent on paper towels. My stash of rags got buried somewhere in our move. I need to find them and get back to using them! It’s driving me crazy every time I reach for a paper towel!
    -Cleaned out my car and found 5 smashed partially open kleenex boxes from road trips. We aren’t driving around much, so I brought them in and refilled my boxes in the bathrooms.
    -For Date Nights at home, my husband and I are having fun watching our old favorite DVDs.
    -It’s been very cold here, but we are finding that our new home is much more energy efficient than our previous home. The heat only really kicks on in the morning. I’m excited to see the savings on our bills!
    -Looking forward to reading everyone’s comments. Have a great week.

  44. Wow! That was a fantastic price on the ground beef and turkey! My husband isn’t much of a turkey eater, but at that price, i would have bought the limit.
    My small list is for several weeks. The days are getting away from me.
    I always take food to eat at work. These days, we both pack a sandwich, or something easy, when we go anywhere. Every big town around us is at least an hour away.
    I still walk with friends and do yoga and stretches at home.
    A neighbor was throwing away two brown bags full of GF bread mixes, cookies mixes, snack bars, so much stuff! I picked it up and tried several things before throwing any away. Some was dated 2001 which is too long for some flours, unfortunately. I thought of Lilliana the whole time and her food exploits. I still got to keep about half, so not bad! All the packaging went into the recycle. (While it’s still available.)
    I MAY have gotten better at making smaller meals so there’s less waste. This week has seen all meals made with leftovers from last week. We’ve been able to eat two meals with one cooking session which is key, for us. Two meals and we’re ready to move on. I’ve also gotten better at freezing everything possible if we can’t eat it in time even if it’s a tiny amount. This means i’ve had to go buy small freezer containers, twice. We should be good-to-go for awhile.
    I’ve made five batches of soap. This has saved my sanity over the election. That and making what i call Covid Cake. And, asking my walking buddies if we could have a no-election-talk walk until Jan. 21 and all three agreed. I can feel my anxiety levels go up just thinking about it which is making me sick.
    Our last week was warm and sunny, too. I was able to turn the heat off, not a/c 😎, and enjoy several days of warmth. It really helps with the mood!
    Probably the biggest money saving trick is not going into the stores. My husband has needed to go to the larger towns around us and i’ll give him a list. He never goes off the list. I, on the other hand, have to look at everything and always find something we could use. I’m not much of a clothes shopper but i need my pantry to be fully stocked. Grocery stores are dangerous places!
    I wish you all a fabulous week ahead!

  45. Brandy–Your mention of your grandfather’s blocks reminded me of one of my Dad’s happiest childhood memories. My grandparents had 9 children in 17 years. There was no money for toys but at one time they were having a barn built on theie farm. The carpenter had children of his own, so he saved scraps of wood and cut blocks out of them for my Dad’s family. Those blocks were such a treat for the children. My Dad had polio as a baby so often lived with his grandparents who lived next to the school rather than his parents who lived 3 miles away and the children had to walk to school. The story about the blocks was one of very few stories he had. I like to think that it shows how much a simple act can mean for another person!

  46. This week I realized that hubby’s new job will pay half of what his last job did. He was in sales before and then covid hit and his whole team was let go, we spent several months without an income and then he was able to take a new job in a completely different field- teaching. He loves it and it has always been his dream. But with a family of 9, and only one working parent (I stay home raising the seven littles) it was shock to discover our income will be half for-well forever since this is the job he loves. So my version of frugal has changed drastically.
    *This week we saved money by taking advantage of the pasta sale ($0.49/lb) and bought enough to hopefully last a year. Our meal plan consists of two pasta recipes each week. Then I bought a bit of canned veggies and tomatoes to go with the pasta.
    *We never buy cereal but it was on sale for $0.88 a box and so I bought some for easy Monday morning breakfasts to get out of the house fast and easy.
    *I made homemade bread and was able to trade a loaf for some swim lessons for my littles.
    *I started working out in a friends garage early in the morning. She has all the fancy equipment and Was looking for someone to join her to make it more fun- and this way saves me a gym membership or buying any equipment of my own.
    *I went thrift shopping and found several warm pjs and pants for my kiddos.
    *While thrift shopping I found some gently used books to gift to my kiddos for Christmas.
    *I was able to sell several items on Facebook marketplace for a little extra cash.
    *I read the post on stocking stuffer ideas and headed to the $1 to get a few things for the kiddos and for the nieces and nephews and the several birthdays we have in December.
    *I took advantage of a food pickup nearby and was able to receive some produce and bakery items that were close to expiring but we were able to use them before they did.
    *I cut open a soap bottle and scrapped the extras out.
    *I realized a lot of my frugal ideas are great but that the true change for me will be not spending. Even on good deals unless it is a necessary and needed item. Before I thought being frugal was saving money by shopping discounts but now it will be the times I choose not to shop that will help us the most. That’s how we did this week. So grateful for all the helpful tips and comments given here!

    1. I’m glad you have figured out how to best help your family with your husband’s new income! I’m also thankful that he was able to secure a new job.

    2. Nineparksfarm: How wonderful that your husband loves teaching! To me, that is the first requirement for an excellent teacher. It is wonderful that you and your family can support his dream.
      Make sure you search out discounts for educators for when you do go shopping. I just did a fast google search, and man businesses offer them.
      And if you are by any chance in Indiana, look ahead a few years to the Lilly Foundation Teacher Creativity Fellowship Program, as well as other grants he might be eligible for, such as National Council of Teachers of Mathematics programs if that is his field.

    3. Congratulations on your husband’s new job. My sister is a teacher and runs a club for an extra stipend. The club is online only this year because of Covid. During regular times she would work dances and go on trips for extra income too. She does some tutoring on the side too. Lots of places offer teacher discounts too. Good luck with your new budget.

  47. We traveled 5 hours to pick up my mother in law’s bedroom furniture. She moved in with us anfew weeks ago. We used points to get our hotel room. I went to Charles Phillips Antiques while we were down with a U-Haul and found the perfect cabinet to put in our bemreakfast nook. We didn’t have a lot of space and this one is over 7 foot tall, but only 13″ deep. I have been collecting copper pieces and pulled it out to display with my mom’s china on the shelves. Here is a photo https://www.instagram.com/p/CHX1XmgHqXG/?igshid=g3g01sgolbw1. I also got a huge dough bowl for my table for $68, and a small antique step ladder, coffee grinder, and pizza paddle. We got my MIL’s furniture from my sister in law’s house. I got an antique night stand, and her cookware set.
    * My 24 year old daughter gave plasma and got a $250 debit card. She bought $20 in gas, then I bought her card for $230 and a $20 Target card she had. She needed money to pay bills. I can spend the cards for my groceries and Christmas. She also went through my pantry for some food items. We stopped at the Conecuh outlet and got 10 3.5 lb. packages of bacon so I gave her two plus some ground beef. While she was here she made tacos and after we ate I boxed up the leftovers for her to take home. I think I will make her a box of staples at Christmas since she seems to be struggling right now to buy groceries.
    *I moved the bedroom suite from the room downstairs that my mother in law moved into. I gave the upstairs bedroom set to my son and then sold a bed frame for $60 on Marketplace. I had bought it off Marketplace for $50 a few years ago.
    * The bedroom set is an antique set and has a Chifferobe. I folded quilts and have stacked them in the side that has the hanging rod. I then made up two beds upstairs and added fall colored quilts on the foot of the beds. I have one more bedroom upstairs to make up, I am washing those sheets today, then I will be ready for guests for Thanksgiving.
    * I have not felt like cooking with us traveling and busy moving furniture around and having projects to do. I have made grilled cheese, a frozen pizza which we add peppers and mushrooms to, a cheese broccoli soup, and pulled out chicken I had cooked and frozen.
    *I had a rug I bought while we rented a home while we built. We had tile floors and it was winter time so we bought what I thought I wanted. As we got in our new home and I got couches I had ordered I just wasn’t as happy with the rug. I found a sale on Overstock and bought a new one I love now. I listed the other rug and hope to get what I paid back. Here is a before and after of the rugs ( swipe on photo to see before)https://www.instagram.com/p/CHdTLb5HdwH/?igshid=yaliz1p3fshp
    *I took the dog to the vet so decided to drive around and look at the fall leaves on the mountain pass. We have a local cemetery that has stunning fall trees so I drove through there, and found multiple spots to take some photos. https://www.instagram.com/p/CHbTqgAnKjr/?igshid=hpx2t8qkgt3g. I found a couple of churches near me that had pretty color around them https://www.instagram.com/p/CHbSZY4Htpn/?igshid=23s8eetaeklv and https://www.instagram.com/p/CHbSP_sHk3u/?igshid=1hmgjc78t3dyx. God is so good and I am so happy to enjoy His beautiful creation, have extra to share with my kids, and a home where we can have my MIL come stay in her time of need.

  48. I froze sweet potatoes batched to make casseroles, mashed potatoes, and whole ones; precooked hamburger in 1 lb. pkgs.; and tomatoes. I washed and put up things from my MIL’s house, and my Monster Flea Market finds. I got each of the following for $2 ea.: 8 x 6 white ceramic planter; new assorted small knives, brush, and tongs with scissor handle; tablecloth; and a large ceramic kettle with top for pouring liquids into jars when canning. The kettle is painted like a duck body on white with a head on the spout. Not my style, but definitely my price. For frugal enjoyment I bought an Amaryllis for $5. I love to watch them grow and flower.

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