I harvested the first of the Meyer lemons for the season.

I taught my daughter how to fix the hem on her pants that had come undone

I took advantage of online Black Friday deals and ordered some clothing on sale (60% off) and ordered tickets on sale to fly to my daughter’s university graduation.

I bought a turkey at $0.69 a pound (Kroger brand from Smith’s) and 5 pounds of butter on sale with a coupon ($1.77 a pound, which I froze for baking).

I paid extra on the principal of my mortgage.

I made a triple batch of homemade laundry soap.

A friend of ours gave us his electric lawn mower last year when he got rid of all of his grass. I wasn’t sure we needed it; we have a gas mower already. It was time to cut the new, smaller amount of grass (only 605 square feet) and my husband suggested that I try the electric mower first to see what I thought.

It was lighter and it started very easily–a big change from pulling several times to get the gas mower started. I can cut all of the grass in under 20 minutes with the smaller amount! This will be especially nice in the heat of summer when it is 100 degrees at 6 a.m. Plus, it is much quieter than the regular gas mower, so I could start earlier in the morning in summer without worrying about bothering the neighbors! I will have to get used to the cord and use an extension cord, but this should be very nice and cost just a bit less to run as well.

I watched Call the Midwife on Pbs.org. We don’t pay for cable but still find plenty of ways to watch something.

I listened to comedy while working in the kitchen and editing photos from Dry Bar Comedy.

We combined errands to save gas. I also had my son pick up a small gift ($3) at work for a friend who came into town. The item was on sale there and he could bring it home with him.

After some discussion, my husband and I decided not to purchase asparagus plants for the garden on a Black Friday sale. Though our whole family loves asparagus, they take up a large amount of space in the garden for a small output. We decided to grow other things in the space instead that will yield us lots more food throughout the year.

What did you do to save money last week?

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  1. I made Thanksgiving dinner for my daughter, son-in-law and myself. I prepped at my house (pumpkin pie, rolls from the bread machine, and mashed potato and sweet potato casseroles) but used their oven to heat up the ham, potatoes, and bake the rolls because all utilities are included in their rent. It was a very relaxing and casual day.

    I put away all the fall and Thanksgiving decorations and have started to decorate for Christmas. I was torn on buying an artificial or live tree. I don’t like the artificial ones that much but the live ones were $72 and up for a 7 foot one. While at Lowe’s for a couple other things, I saw 3-4 foot tall Douglas firs already in stands for $25. This was the perfect size for me and I don’t have to get it straight in the stand by myself or ask for help! It’s kind of difficult doing that with a live 7-8 foot tree. I put it on a round table in front of the living room windows and will be decorating it early this week. I bought one for my daughter and son-in-law as well and still spent $20 less than budgeted. I also have a lot of lights and don’t need nearly as many for the tree this year so I shared some with them for both their tree and their balcony. We’ll both be using Christmas fabric from my stash to drape over the stands and around the tree since full size Christmas tree skirts will be way too big. She’s going to stop by and pick out some sentimental ornaments for their tree, too. I won’t need all of them and will be selective in which ones I use.

    Aldi’s had butter for $1.99/pound for the 3rd week in a row so I picked up 6 more pounds. I think I might be set for 2022, even with giving 2 pounds (and a few other groceries) to my daughter. I bake 3 dozen dessert every other week for a dinner given to those with food insecurity issues and that uses a lot of butter and other ingredients. I also picked up food for some charitable donations and think I need to make just one more trip to the store in December, probably around the 15th for fresh produce. Of course, if there is a good sale on something, I’ll probably run in and get it.

    I picked a couple dozen sugar snap peas which my daughter promptly took, lol! It’s okay, I’ll get more and some of my tomatoes in pots are starting to ripen. It was a little cool (most highs in the 50ies-60ies and lows in the 30ies) so I had to bring plants in several times but starting Wednesday, 12/1, we are going back up to highs in the high 60ies/low 70ies and lows in the 40ies/50ies so they’ll be able to stay out for a week or longer. My back will appreciate that. I watched several college football games on Saturday and the snow at some of them made me cold just looking at it. Brrrr….

    I did VERY little Black Friday shopping. My one big purchase was a new iron for me at Joann’s at 40% and it came to $28 with tax. It can also be used as a vertical steamer. I stopped at an estate sale on Saturday and while I didn’t buy any dressers (it’s what my daughter and son-in-law want for Christmas and they are fine with used), I did buy 2 Pyrex 9 x 9 glass pans for $1 each. I looked for furniture at the made in the USA Amish furniture store and, yes, I’m going to have to really save up for any of those pieces. It probably won’t be until 2024 when I pay off my mortgage.

    I needed/wanted new black flat shoes and new walking shoes. I ordered them from SAS Shoes online because they really support my feet and I don’t pronate when walking with them. The flats were on sale for $75 (originally $245!) but with shipping, tax and the other pair, the bill was still $300. Fortunately, they will last me for years.

    The heating/AC guy was here today (11/29) to do the semi-annual maintenance and the capacitor on the outside unit is wearing out. I had him replace it today rather than take a chance by waiting. He said that Ruud, one of their suppliers, is raising prices 10% on January 1 and is going to start charging 3.5% for paying with a credit card. They currently use a cash back reward card but get only 1% back so they are going to look into what to do there to avoid having to pass an extra charge onto their customers. He expects to receive similar e-mails from all other companies this week. If you plan to replace your heating system this year, you might want to do it in December rather than wait until 2022.

    I hope you all have a great, frugal and blessed week. Back to Christmas decorating for me.

      1. Butter in Canada does not come in boxes. Just a tiny bit of foil lined paper. I freeze mine in ziploc bags, I can get 3-4 lbs in one large ziploc then I reuse the bag.

        1. I’m in Toronto and the butter I buy is in a box. I normally buy President’s Choice and the sticks are foil wrapped and then in a box. I do tend to put the sticks into a ziploc bag when I add it to the freezer.

      2. Heidi, I have frozen butter for at least 15 years and I have never done anything other than throwing it in the freezer when I come home. I just pulled some out that has been in there for 9 months and was perfectly fine. Had a tiny bit of ice on the end but was fine. My husband always jokes about the many pounds of butter we have! I think the most I had at one time was 27 pounds!.

        1. Thank you all! I have a few times had the butter have a slight smell when it thawed, as though it picked up smells from other food in the freezer, though it was fine to use.
          Isn’t it amazing how a pound of frozen butter, a pound of frozen hamburger, or a pound of frozen bacon can weigh so much more than a pound if it falls out of the freezer onto your foot?

          1. And that’s why I have a freezer drawer on the bottom of my refrigerator… Been there, done that way too many times.

      3. I’m in the use-an-extra-layer camp. I put each dated pound of butter in a quart ziploc bag in the freezer. Since I keep the butter in a basket at the top of my chest freezer (the warmest part), I hope that this protects its quality a little longer. I typically keep about 12 pounds on hand and rotate through it.

  2. It was a great, frugal week in Houston, TX!
    I accepted a whole pan of macaroni and cheese leftover from Thanksgiving. My sister made it and doesn’t eat leftovers. Instead of going in the trash, we will enjoy it for dinner tonight.
    We were so full from the Thanksgiving feast that I didn’t cook dinner that night. A few of the kids had popcorn, but that was it.
    At a store I don’t usually go to (Joe V’s), they had two pallets of short-dated pepperoni marked down to .25/package. I bought 20 and will eventually package them using my Foodsaver, before I freeze them. There is some air in the bags, and they will take up too much room in my freezer as they currently are.
    I bought a 10# bag of chicken leg quarters for .29/#. This is more than I used to pay, but still cheaper than most other cuts of chicken.
    I bought the ice cream on sale at Randall’s for .99/carton. Even though they’re down to 1.5 quarts (instead of half gallons), it will still be a nice treat.
    I bought several of the $1.50 Lowe’s poinsettias, which I’ve started giving away with a handwritten note.
    I bought the butter on sale at Kroger. Maybe it’s just here, but the Challenge butter is $2.99/#, buy 2, get 1 free. Each box has a .55 coupon inside. So, this brings it to $1.43/#. There is a bit of a hassle factor, as I bought 3, cut the coupons off right there in the store (after buying) to use on my next transaction, plus the register would beep after the third coupon, which the cashier had to override, plus I then had to take my first receipt to customer service to get the money for the coupons from the first transaction where I didn’t yet have the coupons to use. But, this is still about as cheap as butter gets (here), and I’ve had great success freezing butter for a long time. Next time, I would take masking tape to tape up the butter boxes I cut up. It would also be faster if you had a helper proficient enough with scissors to help you. Alas, my three year old isn’t there yet, and I had already taken the other kids to school. 🙂 Maybe this was penny-wise, pound foolish from a time and effort perspective? Jury is still out on this one.
    I bought a bedsheet at Goodwill to use for a backdrop for my daughter’s Harry Potter themed birthday. She’s painting bricks on the sheet, which will be hung over the front door, so that guests enter through Platform 9 3/4. She is very enthusiastic about planning, but we are focusing on some of the less-expensive ideas.
    I returned some untinted paint I didn’t need to Home Depot for a full refund. While there, I found a gallon of mistinted paint in a color I can use, and bought that. We picked up the free craft (gingerbread house photo frame ornament) while we were there, and the kids made them over the long weekend.
    I haven’t run the heat or air in a long time. It looks like it will be 80 again by the end of the week, so we’re just going to enjoy the pleasant temperatures and save on our electric bill where we can.
    My aunt gave me a jar of homemade jelly, which we enjoyed over large puff pancakes (we call them Dutch babies) for dinner one night. Other meals were taco soup, turkey pot pie, bean burritos, and many nights of leftovers.
    I made some brown bananas into breakfast cookies using oats, peanut butter, mashed bananas, and a few chocolate chips.
    Hope everyone has a nice, frugal week!

  3. I’ll have to check out this season’s Call the Midwife. I enjoy the show, and appreciate the reminder. How nice the electric mower turned out to be useful to you, and will make your life a little bit easier. Last week, I went by a nearby Hallmark after an appointment, got a free card, redeemed a $7 reward, and got a 20% senior discount on the remainder. I then stopped at Harris Teeter, and found organic diced tomatoes 10/$10, so got 6. Lettuce was harvested, then covered before a night in the low 20’s. Kale was also harvested. Though I had checked some months ago, I found out we now have access to free streaming video through the library. I was told it was mostly PBS and HBO documentaries, but those are right up my alley. Thank you to whoever shared The Giver of Stars. I enjoyed reading it last week. I had some plums that never ripened nicely, so used them up in a GF tart, which turned out well. My husband drove to Charlotte to pick up solar panels last week, so our solar project has begun. We enjoyed two Thanksgivings, and so enjoyed seeing people we hadn’t seen in a couple of years. https://abelabodycare.blogspot.com/2021/11/november-days.html

  4. I don’t usually comment but, unusually for me, I bought 4 things in the Black Friday sales.

    (1) Designs from DesignBundles in their $1 sale. I can justify this one: these designs will support my side hustle which is personalising items for my local market in the UK. I didn’t buy any that I don’t already have a planned use for.

    (2) A very small photo printer. This is a pure indulgence, and it was half price in the sale. I am going to take it on an annual large gathering holiday, and pop photos from the previous day from the whatsapp feed on the fridge each morning, and let others wonder how that magic was achieved. Total indulgence but it was half price and I’ve been eying it up a while. But not money saving at all.

    (3) A new vacuum cleaner. Again I can justify this one. I got brilliant one about ten years ago, but over the past couple of years it has become unreliable and needed fixing twice. I couldn’t face it again so I’d bought a small one last summer, but it just doesn’t have enough power. That’s my fault for buying cheap instead of smart. I bought the new one in Costco and it was £80 cheaper than the cheapest online price. I put the one that needs fixing on my drive with a ‘take me and fix me’ sign and it had gone by morning. I will put the other one up on the local facebook marketplace for a low price and, if it doesn’t sell, I will give it away in the local facebook Buy Nothing group.

    (4) A small version of a large tool I use for my side hustle. I couldn’t justify this before seeing it half price in the sales, and I’m not sure I can now, but it will be put to a lot of use so I’m telling myself that, as I’m usually very good with every penny, a little spend that I can afford every now and then isn’t the end of the world, even if it is a few more days of mortgage payments.*

    *Basically when I am thinking about buying things I don’t need, I think how many days mortgage that will pay off. If I can justify not having those days overpaid, then I can buy the thing. Mostly, though, I want the mortgage debt gone before my fixed term ends in a few years.

    1. That’s a great way to look at spending Emma! I always think how many hours would I have to work to buy that and is it worth that time?

  5. That’s exciting to be going to your daughter’s graduation! Congratulations to her!
    We travelled to our daughter’s house for Thanksgiving and house sat for friends of hers, so we didn’t have to pay for an Airbnb.
    I delivered 2 Christmas gifts while we were there, saving me much on postage. One of the gifts was a beautiful houseplant that I had grown from a cutting, planted in a lovely blue and white pot that I’d been given on Buy Nothing. I included some fair-trade chocolate as well. I delivered a Hanukkah present to our neighbors, 2 different jams that I’d made as well as home-grown butternut squash, and some store bought satsumas.
    I returned a pair of my husband’s Eddie Bauer jeans (zipper broke) and ordered new ones from Duluth at 25% off. Duluth has the best quality I have found, and their customer service is excellent. I ordered a pair of trousers for my son from Duluth and because he is hard on his clothes, he is very picky about what he buys. He wants quality pieces that will last with the wear that he gives them. He received the trousers that I sent and said they were ‘glorious’! It made me laugh.
    I bought 2 poinsettias at Lowes for $1.50 each. They will be gifts for neighbors.
    My husband again got my laptop to work. The battery was dead, but did you know that it will not turn on with a dead battery inside (even if plugged in), but it WILL turn on (plugged in) if you take the dead battery out? Now I am pricing new batteries, but in the meantime, I can still do my remote job.
    A happy week to all!

    1. That’s good to know; my laptop battery is about to go and I am hoping to find a new one today.

    2. My husband could be a walking ad for Duluth. We have only once had an issue with something we bought from them, and they replaced it immediately. Their stuff lasts forever.

    3. I guess it depends on the laptop model? I have an old cheap laptop and I’ve been using it for 6 years (battery intact) plugged in.

  6. Great to hear you folks are getting to go to your daughter’s graduation.

    We heard about Drybar comedy on this site, I believe, and we’ve been watching it almost nightly ever since. I think we may have seen every episode, so I hope they make some new ones soon. My favorite comic is Leanne Morgan.

    Nothing special here in the way of savings other than I’m getting quite excellent at not wasting food. I have three flower garden areas and you would think I would have accepted that so many flowers that I love can simply not be grown here because of heat and sun. And yet each year, as I wander through the nursery I spot beautiful things and say to myself, “oh, I’ll give that one a try.” Boy, have I wasted money that way. Trying to be much better about that.

    1. Yes, that it is one for me too! I have a good idea now of what grows here, including from seed, that I can’t get from the nursery. I still try new things, but I mostly stick to what has done well for me.

    2. If Leann Morgan is from Knoxville-my husband has worked with her husband. She is a hoot! I will have to listen to Drybar.

      1. Yes, Drybar is great. The comic talent is uneven, but at least they’re clean. We have tried so many comics that are filthy and gross, not the least bit funny. I do believe Morgan is from Knoxville. I wish there was more on TV from her.

    3. Anne, I’m not sure where you are but if the heat is killing your flowers, try Mexican petunias. These are not cutting flowers but mine bloom from June/July until about now. I just checked and my purple ones still have a few flowers but the pink ones stopped blooming a couple weeks ago. These are perennials and do spread. They take no care at all. I prefer the tall plants (3 feet or so) but also have a few mounding ones. My drift roses also do great in the sun and heat. Vinca and penta do well too although vinca isn’t a cutting flower either. FYI, I am in zone 8/8B (pretty much the border of those two).

      1. I grow zinnias and vincas in the summer. Everything else burns (including pentas, though they sell them here).

        1. Brandy and Mari, after a long, slow learning curve, I too, have found vincas and zinnias to be my go tos for the summer. They are both still blooming now as flowers in these really hot areas often don’t have a clue exactly what season it is. Roses do well in heat also, which amazes me, as one thinks of them in an English type climate. I would have thought sunflowers and marigolds would be great here, but neither of them last very long when I do plant them.

          Mari, as for your Mexican Petunias, I wonder if they are the same as Mexican Primrose (the name I was given). Somewhere I got a few pieces of Mexican primrose and I have to go out regularly with an axe to keep them from taking over the garden. They grow and spread and grow and spread. They are very pretty and easy to care for, though.

          1. Roses stop producing here in the summer as it is too hot. Mine flower in April and a little past that, but then they burn and most quit. The leaves burn. They start to produce again in the fall around October.

            But one of my new roses bloomed in September, which was unusual.

            There are other landscaping plants that flower here in the summer: lantana, crepe myrtle, and bougainvillea.

          2. No, the Mexican petunias are different. I looked them up and they are an invasive species but I’m keeping them in my garden since they are so easy to grow.

          3. Yes, I agree with you! I learned that this past summer and had plenty of vincas that had reseeded so I didn’t need to buy any. I just love how drought tolerant they are.

          4. I bet that they are the same plant… Mexican Petunia grows like crazy up here in the Texas Hill Country. It has spread into most of my flower beds. The deer will graze on it…so that helps keep it in check. Have you noticed that when you are watering with the hose that the seeds pop off and hit you?

  7. We actually didn’t do any shopping at all over Black Friday weekend — that’s a first for us! We bought the vast majority of our Christmas gifts early this year, and we’ll pick up a few small things and stocking stuffers and such in the next couple weeks.

    The pre-lit Christmas tree we bought for our first Christmas together 10 years ago now has some of the lights that aren’t working. Rather than buy a new tree, we’ve decided to string some extra lights on it for this year and then see if we can find another faux tree on clearance either right before Christmas or right after. If not, we’ll just hit up the Black Friday sales next year.

    I’ve been making homemade gluten-free bread for my husband with celiac, which saves us quite a bit of money every time. A GF loaf at the store costs between $5-8 a loaf, so every time I can muster up the energy and time to make him one (which he’ll then slice, freeze, and portion out according to his needs), it saves us quite a bit.

    We finally were able to successfully have “zero food waste” the last 10 days or so! We also have (mostly) stuck to our grocery budget of $500 for the month, coming in at a grand total of about $505 for our family of 5. We also stuck to an extremely strict budget the rest of the month, which sets us up really well for some financial goals we have for the next while.

    1. Torrie, you can cut the light strands off with pliers. We did that when ours went out and replaced them with lights that we leave on the tree. This year we got new lights because my husband wanted a different style of lights.

      My daughter bought a tree from the thrift store for her home this year. She was the one who restrung the tree here several years back. Well, she used that skill to take the lights off her pre-lit tree (as they didn’t work) and bought new lights.

      1. I absolutely love it that Winter bought a tree at a thrift store and knew how to deal with the dead lights. I’m a LOT older than she is and I wouldn’t have a clue what to do!

    2. Torrie … I don’t know if this will help, but a trick I’ve used in making gluten-free products is to measure out the dry ingredients for a second batch when I make the first item. The next time around, I don’t have to do all the measuring, which cuts down quite a bit on the time … at least for me. I put the extra dry ingredients in a jar and use a canning funnel to do so. The gluten free flours/starches are so “airy,” I also always use a piece of wax paper or a thin, flat, plastic microwave cover when I measure. The excess flour falls on the wax paper and then it’s so easy to return it to the storage container. Even though I’m using a piece of wax paper every time, I don’t lose excess flour/starch.

    3. If you do snag a new tree after Christmas, you can fashion the limbs from the old tree into wreaths, swags, and boughs. My mom does that and they look amazing!

    4. I’m so glad I stripped my lights from the tree vs. just tossing. We ended up with an unforseen $2000 car repair (the realities of a 15 year old van) and I’m glad we can still enjoy a tree.
      Being practical with gifts this year. Lots of edible gifts for those who enjoy but do not bake. Learning to make hot cocoa bombs as a test before I teach my scouts next month and we’ll share these with friends.
      I did not make cranberry sauce but have the berries still and am attempting a Fermented cranberry honey recipe.
      Reading through these and am grateful for all the ideas!

  8. Good for you for teaching your daughter to fix her own hem! After I learned basic sewing in home ec in 7th grade, my mom showed me how to mend clothing, and I have been a mender ever since. I am short, with short legs, and I’ve had to shorten every pair of pants I’ve ever bought. Over the years, the ability to mend and do simple alterations has saved me a fortune.

    This was my week–
    * We spent 4 hours Wednesday night in the ER. My husband had a severe attack of diverticulitis. Wednesday through Friday were rough, but he is doing better. Since he was on liquids for 3 days–and would have been too sick to eat, anyway–we delayed Thanksgiving until Sunday.

    * I was exhausted after we finally ate dinner Sunday night and did not debone the turkey while it was still warm (my bad, but thanks for the tips, Brandy). I am warming it back up to room temperature and will do it this morning. I am making two turkey pies today, one to bake for tonight’s dinner and one for my stash of freezer meals. I am not up to eating a lot of turkey this week so I am freezing most of it.

    * I cherry-picked grocery specials at two stores last week. Over the past few months I have topped up my pantry and the freezer is full. I cooked a turkey from last year, but I bought one for the freezer for .57 lb. with $50 purchase at Safeway. I bought cases of olives for .79 each and pineapple for .98 each. The best deal of all was unadvertised–clams for .98 can. I bought a 2 liter bottle of 7Up for .79. We used it to dilute the juice from home-canned bing cherries. Very refreshing and de-lish!

    * I am scheduling 15 minutes of sewing and ironing per day. This was suggested on Annabel’s Bluebirds blog. This week I ironed 5 pieces of clothing, two pieces of brown paper (I save it to make patterns), and several pieces of ribbon. I finished hemming a pair of jeans, shortened 2 pairs of pajama bottoms and resewed a couple of inches of elastic on a pair of my husband’s underwear. I actually spent about an hour longer on the pajama bottoms, but they are done! Now I can begin sewing!

    * Now that I have 2 pairs of nice pajamas, and one pair that isn’t too bad, I threw away the rest of my pajamas. I have a hard time doing this, even though they were rags and not worth donating. One was flannel, and I tore the bottoms into actual rags.
    * I re-read a book from the Anne of Green Gables series and also The Last Thing He Told Me, from the library. It’s kind of a page-turner!

      1. Brandy, you will be surprised how much you can accomplish in 15 minutes! I am planning to start a rice bag with several different fabrics for my daughter-in-law. I washed the material last night and, in today’s 15 minutes, I’ll iron it and cut out the 8 pieces.

          1. I would love for you to count! So many kids 🙂 I have 7 and for so many years I’ve felt like I’m constantly talking/being asked questions.

            1. Well if it’s a phone conversation, each child will interrupt twice (the last time I counted!)

              1. What is really hysterical is when they all talk to you at once. One time I was standing in the kitchen and my husband and two sons were all talking to me AT THE SAME TIME. It was amazing.

  9. -Not wanting to be in anyone’s personal business or political at all, just providing info. Friendly reminder to your readers that deadlines for Medicare and Obamacare health insurance are soon. I’m not exactly sure of Medicare deadline but if you want healthcare through the Marketplace (Obamacare) to be effective Jan 1, 2022 you need to apply by Dec 15, 2021. That is not final deadline but it is for Jan 1 coverage. New laws were placed in effect during Covid-19 that allow many more citizens to qualify and for greater credits thus lowering cost. If you don’t have good internet access they take phone applications also.
    – Did most of my gift shopping for the 7 grands (ages 3-14) from the comfort of my couch. Their moms sent me pics of what they’d like and I bought online with some great Black Friday price reductions until each child’s budget ran out and 5%-off-plus-free-shipping packages should start arriving today.
    -I hate leftovers but I ate them for 6 days after our family Thanksgiving feast and on the 7th day I had a shopping date with my only sister and we had Mexican food plus you guessed it a ton of leftovers.

  10. This morning I purchased the on-demand video lessons for Apologia Physics for 50% off on a Cyber Monday sale. My 15 year old (and my 13 year old for that matter) homeschooled sons have surpassed my abilities in Math and Science. I had budgeted to pay $160 for the on-demand instructor videos but happily got them for $80 instead this morning.

  11. Our unexpected hosting of Thanksgiving went off without a hitch, and we got the house cleaned for Christmas, to boot. I was on vacation last week, but I barely went anywhere – it was nice to just relax at home, which is my favorite place to be. We did run out to the grocery store for my mom where I found Del Monte creamed corn in the discount buggy for only 49 cents. It was dented, which my husband won’t buy, but I didn’t see any evidence of leaks, so I took a chance on it. We have used most of the leftovers from Thanksgiving already, including the corn added to a can of the creamed corn, which was delicious. My husband took advantage of a couple Black Friday sales for things for our son for his new place, but mostly we just stayed at home and enjoyed the holiday and prepped for the upcoming season. I did receive a lovely gift from two Instagram friends – they went together to send me 25 books – my very own book Advent!

      1. They really are! I stole the idea for my mom’s present this year, as my one friend does a giveaway like this every November. I can’t wait to start on December 1!!!

  12. Hello Everyone!
    This week we harvested limes, lettuce, carrots, bell pepper, tomatoes, greens, and a few strawberries. This extra warm weather has caused some of my blueberries and a pear tree to flower. Temperatures typically drop lower early December, so we’ll see what the plants do! I planted 1/2 pound of garlic in an extra large grow bag. After participating in the garlic workshop, I hope I get a good garlic harvest next summer! Two years ago we planted asparagus and I had to dedicate 2 raised beds to it. This spring we will be able to have our first harvest. I’m not sure how much we will get as I’ve never grown it before. I’m also evaluating the biggest bang for my time, labor and expense in the garden.

    I listened to some free podcasts while working in the garden and played music on Pandora for free. I also watch some news segments on YouTube. We canceled Hulu live awhile ago as it wasn’t worth paying $70/mo. for a few shows and live news. We tried it after we cut the satellite service, but now we are happy with FrndlyTV and Disney+. Hulu is offering their ad service for $0.99/mo. for one year as a Black Friday special, but we aren’t interested.

    We’ve been eating lots of leftovers, of course. I made a turkey soup from the carcass along with some quick biscuits. I’m always shocked to see bread prices at the store that hover near and above $5. For that reason I baked two loaves of Sennebec Hill 6 Grain bread. It’s a recipe that I hadn’t tried yet and it’s very good! Today I will bake something with the browning bananas. We’re experimenting with chia seed pudding at the recommendation of a R.D.

    I had to order a button kit and upholstery needles and thread to complete my round pillows. I’ve never covered a button before and it was fairly easy. The round pillows are not complete and they look great! I will have the upholstery thread and needles for a future project (of which there are many!). I watched a YouTube video from Man Sewing on trapunto. I learned a lot from him and plan to try this technique on a small Christmas quilt.

    I took advantage of some Black Friday specials online. I will do more shopping online today for Cyber Monday as I saw some discounts increased from Friday. I also picked up some Christmas bows and foil pans from the Dollar Tree. I read a few days ago that Dollar Tree will increase prices in January and prices will be $1.25. https://www.npr.org/2021/11/24/1058787791/starting-in-2022-most-of-the-items-at-dollar-tree-will-cost-1-25

    Our artificial Christmas tree is up. My husband spent quite a bit of time trying to fix the bulbs that burned out. I would much rather string our own lights on the tree because it’s easier to correct/change when this happens. It’s only three years old and it looks great (minus the light issue that isn’t completely resolved yet.) We saw that tree prices are definitely up in our area and the more affordable fresh trees were already running low at Home Depot.

    Have a blessed, beautiful, and thrifty week!

  13. >> We only bought a few items over the holiday shopping weekend– all household type items.
    >> tried a new recipe with orzo and chicken – everyone loved it.
    >> got a couple sales from my gift guides on my blog for non toxic gifts ((so grateful))
    >> read a christmas book called Mrs. Miracle my Debbie Macomber from the library.
    >> Started a small batch of honey fermented cranberries. I will try some in a couple weeks and if the majority of us like it, I will pull out the 2 lb bag of cranberries from the freezer and make more!
    >> I started back up doing once a month shopping (with 1 additional run for fresh produce) – will continue this hopefully through 2022.
    >> we put up Christmas decorations and I put a few in the donation pile.

  14. I’d be interested in hearing your thoughts on which plants do and do not yield a good harvest relative to the space they take up. I’ve been working with a very small garden for a few years…I’ve learned some things (cabbage isn’t worth it for me, for instance), but I’d love to hear your thoughts.

    1. Lettuce, Swiss chard, green onions, herbs, and fruit trees seems to give the most food in a small space. Plus, save for the fruit trees, you can harvest multiple times from the same plant.

    2. I tried celery for the first time this year and it was a great producer. You can cut from it all season long and it doesn’t take up much space.

  15. Came home from Colorado (65 degrees and sunny) to Ohio (24 degrees and windy) and promptly got a cold! Hubs in still in Colorado until tomorrow (Tuesday) so I had Thanksgiving and my birthday without him here. But with the wonders of technology, he and our daughter-in-law and grandkids in Colorado FaceTimed me and sang Happy Birthday. My son in Korea messaged me from Korea. Other children came in person, others FaceTimed! What amazing times we live in!!

    Since I’ve been back, I’ve completed Quilt #207- https://pin.it/6xekvEo that I made to use up scraps and #208- https://pin.it/z3h5ciA and https://pin.it/7mYxVUY for a client. While working on those this past week, Quilts #209-#211 came in from one client (including 2 that are bed size) and #212- a king size quilt is being dropped off to be quilted today so it looks like I’ll be busy this week! I’m also working on 2 other quilts to use up some more of my scraps! When the weather is cold and I’m home all by myself, I am content to stay in my sewing room and let the world pass by! It is a frugal “vacation”!

    I’ve been living on leftovers since Thanksgiving and enjoying all the ways they can be “reinvented”!!

    Hubs got our daughter-in-law’s counters all cut and installed. https://pin.it/4tTMYK5, https://pin.it/1QkjWjD, https://pin.it/2C1zj89. He’s also installed new faucets in the bathrooms, caulked around the windows. The savings in time and money on these projects over trying to find and hire a contractor was tremendous! And the bond between our two families has been strengthened immeasurably!!

    I was able to add $30 in cc rewards to add to our savings account from all the purchases we made this past week- airline tickets, takeout and delivery food while the kitchen was torn up in Colorado. Not the most frugal, but since we are able to pay the full amount on the credit card without incurring interest, we are grateful for the convenience.

    We started receiving the first of our HRA reimbursement checks for the $3880 balance they said we had and needed to use or lose. Since we submitted them all over a 2 day period and they have all been approved, it looks like they will be showing up this week! That’s a nice and unexpected blessing!

    We’re still getting about 3 dozen eggs a week from our chickens.

    Life is up and down here. Our little grandson is 6 weeks old and still in NICU, but each day gets him closer to coming home to meet his siblings!
    We are grateful for all of your frugal ideas because by being frugal, we gain options in life!!

    Gardenpat in Ohio

  16. Always so interested in reading about your activities, Brandy.
    We had a peaceful Thanksgiving with my daughter and her little family. She brought half the food and we shared leftovers, which we ate here through Sunday. Culmination was a thanksgiving hot dish: mixed leftover stuffing, turkey and gravy then topped with leftover mashed potatoes and some of those French’s crispy fried onions I had in my pantry. A hearty yummy dinner.
    Continue to menu plan and do grocery pick up. Covid numbers have increased in our area again so I’m staying out of stores.
    My mother in law had her 85th birthday on Saturday. She is in memory care and visiting is limited so no party. My husband and I visited her with a piece of pumpkin pie from Thanksgiving and cards from friends and family that we read to her, then hung up in her room. All of my kids each sent us a Marco Polo video to play for her. She seemed pleased.
    Only black friday deal was an online amazon deal of five rotary cutting blades for 7.98. My daughter saw the deal and shared it with me and I shared it with my friend who quilts and we all got some! We didn’t go anywhere to shop in person.
    Other than that, just still reading library books and working on finishing Christmas gifts that I’m making. I’m thankful for all of you!

      1. Vivian, you are the sweetest. I don’t know how to link pics to here and I’ve already mailed some out, but I can tell you what I made this year (thanks so much for being interested!). I made a waffle stitch crochet blanket in Utah Jazz colors (shades of orange and yellow) for one son in law. A red and white striped waffle stitch crochet afghan for one daughter. A blue super thick blanket yarn blanket for my son. A sage colored shell stitch afghan for one daughter. Another waffle stitch afghan in Christmas colors for another daughter. A pair of gray knit mittens for one son-in-law. A gray knit beanie hat for a daughter’s boyfriend. Pair of green and gold mittens for my son’s girlfriend. A crochet and knit set of kitchen towels, scrubbies, dishcloths and hot pads for a newly married daughter. And finally, a pair of knit solid black socks for my last son in law (which almost killed me lol). I just have one pair of mittens and one blanket left (and they are for people who live here so I don’t need to mail). It’s been fun and kept me busy. I purchased all the yarn on sale for pickup and that made it quite economical too. Thanks for asking!

  17. I made my annual Black Friday trip to Kroger. In my area, they have turkeys marked down that day. I was able to purchase 4 frozen turkeys for .28/lb.

    1. That’s amazing!

      My son works at a Kroger affiliate and they told the employees they will not be marking down the turkeys for the rest of the year.

  18. I took a break from reading here and commenting over the Thanksgiving week, so am catching up. I took a week off from work and enjoyed time at home, cooking and cleaning, relaxing, and spending time with my husband. It was a much-needed break!

    Our weather turned thankfully cool, so we have been able to have the windows open for several days now. Always a nice savings, not to mention the wonderful fresh air. This week we will warm back up with highs in the 80s again, so looks like we will have to go back to air conditioning. Still, I’m thankful it was cool for Thanksgiving. Our place is very well-insulated and stays warm – we almost never have to run the heat, even in winter. It was around 33 on Thursday night and we left a couple of windows open overnight. Still, the house was 68 when we got up the next morning. Haha.

    We had a quiet Thanksgiving at home. It was wonderful, and we had a delicious meal with plenty of leftovers. In fact, we both brought turkey sandwiches for our lunches today. We watched the Macy’s parade on tv and enjoyed several holiday movies from our collection. We cooked and ate almost all meals at home over the last week, and enjoyed coffee at home as well. On Friday we purchased our Christmas tree. We buy a live tree, and fortunately the prices at the lot (we buy from a local charitable organization that sets up a tree lot each year) did not change from last year. Very thankful for that! We went home and decorated the tree while drinking hot chocolate and listening to Christmas carols. We both got our hair cut on Saturday, then we went on a movie date. We saw a matinee to save 30% on the ticket prices and did not purchase any popcorn or drinks (we ate before the movie).

    Over the weekend I saw turkeys marked down at Tom Thumb: .49 cents/lb and another 50% off the final price. We debated purchasing one, but decided to pass since we didn’t have the space. Still, an exceptional bargain and I hope someone else was able to get the deal. Other random things: my husband polished several pairs of shoes to maintain them. I did a manicure at home.

    I hope everyone here had a great week.

  19. I upgraded my pots and pans to a matching set for the first time in over 40 years. Macys.com had sets with a suggested retail price of $119 that they were selling as a pre-Black Friday special of $29. They are beautiful and heavy.

    I also went unshopping this weekend. I had bought an inexpensive electric kettle, another pre-Black Friday Macys special, and it leaked the first time I used it. Upon examination, the glass was cracked. I suspect there had been a tiny crack that expanded when the water boiled. I had thrown away the box but found the delivery date and order number in my emails. I called up Macys and explained what happened. They would have sent a replacement but they were sold out. I offered to send a photo of the cracked kettle but they did not need it nor did they need me to ship the kettle back. The cost of the kettle was taken off my credit card. A pleasant customer service experience.

    I also have a subscription to Reminisce magazine which I thought would interest mom. But she is no longer interested in magazines and I am not interested enough in being reminded that I’m so old that my youth is now “the good old days” to renew the subscription. So I emailed customer service and told them that while I did not wish to cancel the current subscription (one issue to go), I will not be renewing it. Reader’s Digest is by the same publisher. I thought about discontinuing it as well, but they do a good job of having a nice mix of informative articles geared to people about my age.

    I tried renewing a subscription to a VPN I use on my Kindle when mom is at the hospital. But the special Black Friday price did not show up when I clicked on the link. I’ve emailed the company but I think I will now wait to reactivate the virtual private network subscription until or if mom is again hospitalized. I can safely do it on my phone when I am cooling my heels in a waiting room and then start using the Kindle safely outside of the house.

    During the pre-Black Friday sales, I went a bit crazy and bought an entire collection of Dash mini electric appliances in bright red plus one mini-donut maker by another brand. Mom and I have been home nearly all the time since early March 2020 and I wanted something new to do with her. The little appliances are low enough wattage that I can set up a cooking station in the living room on an end table and sit on mom’s recliner between the end table and her wheelchair and bake goodies. I turned her leftover mashed potatoes and three eggs into a batch of little gluten-free pancakes baked one at a time. (Supper!) They came out about as fast as we could eat them. Mom has not been cooking anything since she broke her hip. I will be scooting her wheelchair up the kitchen table, preparing batter, and let her start cooking again with supervision that I hope won’t feel patronizing. I asked her if she preferred that I cook pancakes in front of her instead of at the stove, she said “Yes” emphatically. So that one appliance was definitely worth its cost for entertainment value alone. I had hoped to let her cook pancakes on the tray on top of her walker but it isn’t quite level enough. But it might be level enough for her to bake mini pies later today. I think the tiny appliances would be great traveling companions too. You wouldn’t need to worry about popping any circuit breakers where you are staying.

    I also bought a very small (red, of course) slow cooker for less than $10 to replace one I have had since my 20’s. I have been worried off and on about how safe the old crock pot’s plastic lid is and am glad that crock pot is now going to be used for crafts only.

    I very much am looking forward to a through-the-glass visit from my nephew and his girlfriend tomorrow. While they are both vaccinated with boosters, one has diabetes and the other MS so their immune systems are not top notch and they flew here to visit with his dad’s side.of the family over the holidays. We don’t have our booster shots yet and mom’s 98 so, even before news of the new variant came out, I was worried about an inside visit. I had been hoping it would be warm enough to visit outside but it is snowing again tonight. We were also told yesterday that my sister’s long-postponed cross-continent camping trip will be taking place in May and her oldest daughter and that daughter’s two daughters will be coming in September. So we have more family to look forward to seeing.

    I cashed in Bing rewards points I had accumulated over several months without trying for $15 in Walmart gift cards. I am very close to getting another $5 card so now I am trying to “earn” some points. I actually find the activities Microsoft offers to accumulate points (besides the searches) relaxing. And I can count on $10 a month in gift cards if I am the least bit consistent.

    Youtube has some interesting videos that we’ve been watching this week. There is a cook from Southeast Asia who got busy during lookdown making videos on things like how make your own cornstarch from ears of corn and how to make vivid gel food coloring from natural sources. And there is a young lady with an incredible knack for explaining the geology of Michigan, especially around Lake Superior. Somebody made a 7-minute video from a high atop a lake freighter as it made its way from Lake Huron to Lake Erie. For people who have seen many lake freighters from shore, it is very interesting to see the voyage from the boat’s perspective.

    My sister just called, all excited about planning their trip but not about the $3400 in gas alone they are expecting to pay for it. I just saved her $27. Today, the Mackinac Island Ferry is offering BOGO on their round-trip tickets, good for any day in 2022. They need three tickets. They might as well buy four given the number of relatives my brother-in-law has in the state.

  20. Brandy, I am very glad to read that you have the funds to make extra payments on your mortgage and fly to see you daughters grad-not to mention see your lovely granddaughter too-that is priceless. We have an electric lawnmower too and I really like it. This week I bought some clementine oranges on sale and they are really good. Off on vacation tomorrow so will be stocking our condo at Costco etc so that we can prepare most of our own meals. Wishing everyone here a good frugal week.

  21. Smart thinking on the asparagus.

    I was able to find apples at 95 cents a pound. They are a daily staple for me and I live in the heart of Apple country and miss the days of 19 cents a pound.

    Took left over cranberry relish and made a quick bread for breakfasts.

    My job gave each employee an equal amount of GC for our bonuses. I was able to use some of mine to purchase the remainder of the holiday gifts.

    Hope everyone has a calm week!

  22. I was thankful for family who took care of me this past week. I thought I had a bad cold and it turned out to be flu. While I was resting and out of work two extra days I was able to schedule a small recurring extra principal payment on our mortgage and increase my monthly investment transfer to our vanguard account. We use my 401k for retirement savings but are making additional investments in case of a need for early retirement or an unexpected expense or injury. I also have several savings funds for appliance repair, car repairs, furniture replacement. I don’t put much in these replacement funds but by doing that I was able to pay cash for a new fridge when it went out. We will need a new used car in 3-5 years and by setting aside $150 a month we will be able to pay cash for a used car when the time comes. I ordered tulips, daffodils, ranunculus corms. I love followers and have chosen to get flowers for my Christmas and Birthday presents for the last 3 years. I have a large number of flower seeds from last year and only need to purchase sunflower seeds and I want to buy some clarkia seed. I love to be able to cut flowers for my home and to sell extra bouquets. I have cooked a good deal today to prevent us from feeling tempted to buy prepared or take out. We will have roasted chicken with creamed rice casserole, spaghetti pie and a huge pot of steel cut oats with salad and cut up vegetable sticks for easy sides. I will be at work for 13-14 hours a day the next three days. My husband will homeschool the kids and prepare the meals while I am gone so it’s helpful to have things ready to eat. He will make quesadillas or burritos with refried beans and rice the other night I’m gone. My husband went through the house and replaced several faucet gaskets and toilet flaps that had started to drip and leak. I had a much larger water bill than usual last month and we discovered several tiny drips were the cause. Our home is 17 years old so some of these things are original to the house and wearing out. Thankful for a husband who can make repairs.

    1. Meredith, I used to budget exactly the way you described. Now that we are in our 70s, we have no need, but it worked very, very well for quite a few years.

      To expand on your post, when we bought our previous house, we had a very large down payment. We were determined to pay the mortgage by my husband’s 60th birthday, which was 7 years away. The shortest loan we could get was 10 years. So, we amortized the 10-year loan for 7 years and had the resulting payment withdrawn from our account each month. We made the last payment on his birthday.

  23. I am in zone 4. I find that the Italian sprouting broccoli will continue to provide smaller offshoots until a hard freeze shuts them down. In addition it produces tender leaves as well as tough ones so you can eat those as well. Tuscan aka black kale is also an excellent plant. The stalk just gets taller as you harvest the leaves. Chard is the champ though. Continuous growth and the stems can be used as celery. Under the right conditions, chard roots can overwinter and pick up again in spring. Egyptian onions will provide for most of your onion needs and also the seeds (bulbils) for a continuous supply. Mine have been reproducing for 38 years. Radish will provide in 28 days from seeding. Pole beans are prolific and will grow vertically so use less space. I grow ‘rattlesnake’ variety and allow some beans to mature for next year’s seed.

    1. I am in 9b and was trying to tell someone locally that she can grow chard all winter. She didn’t believe me. I told her I’ve been doing it for years 🙂

    2. Rita, I was gifted some Egyptian walking onions a few years back, but I’ve never been crazy about the taste. I probably let them get too large, I suppose — I prefer regular green onions. Have thought about pickling the bulbils (didn’t know that’s what they’re called!), but I missed my opportunity this year.

  24. Saved several books at the library to read…including Once Upon a Wardrobe by Callahan. Thrifty action also included getting free Christmas tree clippings to decorate the fireplace mantel and advent wreath. Since we are empty nesters we forgo the tree and display the nativity.

  25. The weather took a turn toward colder temperatures at night. My cabbage in the greenhouse has just started to form heads, so I set up some low hoops over the cabbage plants and my husband strung old-fashioned Christmas lights (the kind with big bulbs that get warm) all along the frame. We got the lights from his parents’ attic several years ago. So far they are doing a good job of keeping the plants thriving, even though it has been as low as 11 degrees at night. He estimated it costs about 30 cents a day to run the lights, but our solar panels should more than offset that. On Black Friday we visited the local ranch supply in order to purchase two pairs of flannel lined jeans for my husband. The two pair he has been wearing are several sizes too large for him, since he lost quite a bit of weight over the past two years. We saved $8 a pair by purchasing them on Black Friday. I have been wanting a new e-reader since the tablet my mother-in-law handed down to me keeps crashing, and was able to get a Kindle Fire from Target for $45 during their Black Friday sale. It came with three months of Kindle Unlimited, so I am taking advantage of that. I also shopped at Jo-Ann’s for items to make several Christmas gifts and some décor, including fabric to make some seasonal pillow covers for the accent pillows on my sofa. I purchased 4 pineapples on sale and two bags of fresh cranberries. I canned 10 pints of pineapple chunks and 3 ½ pints of cranberry sauce, some of which we ate with our Thanksgiving turkey and dressing. I made two hair wraps from a yard of terrycloth, to give as gifts. There was just a little fabric left over and I decided to make washcloths. I was able to make three, which I put in our camper.

  26. Hello Brandy and everyone
    What a coincidence, my husband and I recently had the discussion about whether to plant asparagus or not and like you decided we could make better use of the land. When English asparagus is in season and prices are good we’ll enjoy it as a short seasonal treat. Great that you were able to pay some off your mortgage.
    A neighbour who is moving left out some flower pots for indoor plants with a sign to say help yourself. I took a couple of pots.
    My husband serviced our Rayburn saving us approx £300.
    I made a small jar of medlar jelly from our first crop.
    We picked Swiss Chard, parsnips and apples from the garden and we are still getting a few cherry tomatoes from the greenhouse.
    I planted tulips and crocus in the garden and we used net we already had to cover the crocus in an attempt to stop animals digging them up. Looking at you Mr Squirrel.
    I planted iris reticulata , hippeastrum and scented narcissus for indoor flowering in the winter. I use the same containers year after year and the bulbs are bought wholesale.
    We repurposed a tablecloth to cover a piece of furniture in a bedroom.
    I have made Christmas fabric gift bags which can be reused. I have tied them with ribbon bought on sale or saved from gifts we’ve received.
    My husband was given six sausages and a couple of beefburgers by a farming friend.
    I had some good finds at the charity shop, a fun Christmas platter which I will use to gift cookies or cake, two new Christmas cushion covers and six Christmassy napkins. I am using the fabric to make gift bags. I also attended a fabric sale and bought a big Christmas panel at a reduced price to cut up for bags. I resisted temptation and didn’t go mad in the fabric shop. Progress!
    Stay safe everyone.

    1. I just read that Quebec normally produces 73% of the world’s maple syrup. They plan on tapping an additional 7 million trees this season to replenish the supply and ensure demand is met in the future. We are very fond of maple syrup at my house.

  27. Over the last couple of weeks I’ve mainly saved money by staying out of the stores as much as possible! 🙂 The few Christmas gifts that I will be buying will all be consumables (plus a couple of books) – some items I’ve been able to gather from my pantry and I buy the other items as they go on sale now each week. I already have nice gift bags and cards so the only wrapping item I will need to get is some tissue paper as I have finally run out!

    I continue to eat up lots of bits & pieces from the freezer – plus there were a few HM soup and something on crackers or toast meals that were easy, filling but frugal. I’m envious of all your Thanksgiving leftovers and I’m glad to read that all of you seem to have enjoyed a lovely time with friends & family – even if there are still some concerns or limitations on visiting. Canadian Thanksgiving was last month and I have used up all those leftovers at this point so I will have to look forward to the Christmas ones!

    I have mended 3 pairs of socks this week and repaired a hole in a pair of woolen gloves – along with buttons and a bit of hemming that’s the limit of my sewing skills but at least it helps to keep a few items on the go for a bit longer.

    My apt. is cleaned so I intend bringing up my little artificial tree tomorrow and start a bit of decorating. A friend and I were out on Saturday for a 3 mile hike along the lakeshore – chilly but dry – and we stopped at a Sobey’s grocery store on the way home – 6′ Christmas trees were $80 and even the small 3′ ones were $30! Hard to believe it but there is even a real Christmas tree shortage here in Canada this year! Apparently the reserves of Maple Syrup had to be released by the govt. as well! I have just opened a new bottle and have another in reserve but will check next trip to see what the price is like now and maybe pick up another bottle – just to be on the safe side.

    I had my hair cut last week (had stretched it an extra month) and was chatting to my stylist – who is also the owner. She is in what would normally be a very busy location (underground in one of the main bank towers) but there is only 12% occupancy at the moment in that tower – and it’s the most of them all! Here in Toronto – King and Bay is the heart of the financial district – with main branches/head offices on all 4 corners – with the 5th of the big 5 just down the street. Normally this area is packed but there are still so many people working from home that it is really impacting small business owners. Luckily, my PT job is just along the street so it’s not an issue for me to travel downtown for a hair cut so I can continue to support her. I had thought about heading to Yonge & Bloor last Friday (very upscale shopping area) but then remembered that it was Black Friday (yes – even here) so decided not to risk the crowds. I’ll try to stick to the local shops and buy from them as much as possible.

    So glad to read that you will be able to travel to your daughter’s graduation – something to look forward to! It’s so odd to read about what you are harvesting from your garden – we had a fairly heavy snowfall yesterday and I’m looking out on a Winter Wonderland at the moment! I don’t think they managed to pick up all the leaves before this happened so there will be a bit of a mess out there to be cleaned up. So happy that the electric mower will make life a bit easier for you in the garden.

    Have a wonderful week everyone.

    1. It is a beautiful warm day here today! I was looking at videos of snow on Instagram. It’s pretty, but I’m happy to finally be outside after months of being inside during the summer when it is too hot to be outside!

      Real trees are very expensive. We bought ours (a fake one) 15 years ago on a great discount (it was the store display) for $80. It was over $350 normally. It’s saved us a lot of money over the years.

    2. When my SIL was a grad student in Toronto they lived near the intersection of Yonge and Bloor. I loved going “underground” and checking out all the stores.

      1. It’s almost possible to go from Yonge & Bloor to the lake now through the underground. The gaps are at the north end but the plan is to close them over the next few years. Right now you can go from Yonge & Dundas to the lake – great when you want to avoid the weather! 🙂

  28. Hi Brandy. I’m a long time reader from Denmark, but this is my first comment. Beeing in a cool climate with a small garden, I know everything about wanting to save space and have maximum yield! My family also loves aspargus, and we grow them ourselves to save money. I have found out that we can easily grow an early crop of lettuce, rucola, turnips or spring onions between the apargus rows from early spring and until we leave the aspargus to grow tall. In that way we get more vegetables from the same space. But maybe you do that already? Thanks for a lovely blog, I really like your site and your ‘eat for 40 cents a day’ have been a great help at reducing our grocery budget.

    1. That is not a bad idea. The asparagus is ripe in January and February here when we are also growing lettuce. I hadn’t thought of that. But afterwards, all summer, I cannot grow anything in the same space, and I think that’s what my husband was most concerned with. I will keep your idea in mind though if we can figure it out!

      1. I grow asparagus in my front yard garden. There’s only 4 crowns but it gives us at least meals several times. There are usually only the two of us here so it’s enough.
        Then I leave the plants to go to fern; use the fern bits in flower bunches as well. They grown quite tall and shade a couple of other plants too.

        1. We have grown them before, and my husband thinks they are ugly plants in the garden 😉 With so many of us, I could plant the whole garden to have enough, and then we couldn’t grow anything else. I’m glad you found a place in your garden for them!

        1. I wish it would. Strawberries always burn to a crisp for me. I have some luck with alpine strawberries (from seed) as they like shade, but they are teeny tiny. We really like strawberries, too.

      2. I’ve had some luck harvesting parsley and perennial onions between the asparagus rows all summer, as long as the plants are well established before the asparagus cast too much shade. Maybe this will work even better in a sunny climate? I also harvest my lettuce heads ‘little gem’ by cutting the at ground level, leaving the roots in the ground. They will regrow, and even though the regrowth is not worth eating, they will set seeds underneath the asparagus plants, and I don’t have to use space somewhere else to harvest my own lettuce seeds. I don’t know if this will work with other kinds of lettuce, though.

        1. Parsley is a cool-season vegetable so it grows in winter here (same time as asparagus harvesting). The onions take up quite a bit of their own space. Thanks for the idea, though!

    2. I use the asparagus growth in summer to sheild my lettuce and other greens from the sun. I have the asparagus running down the middle of my community garden bed and plant on either side of it. One side with strawberries on the west side and the greens east of the asparagus.

      1. Unfortunately, lettuce and asparagus are ready at the same time here and strawberries burn up in the sun. Lettuce starts bolting in March and April for me. Thanks though!

  29. Brandy that is a wonderful photo of the bee, the eyes so clear. nothing special here on savings, I always make my own bread and did a large pot of fridge clean out soup last week, all vegetable, it was very yummy. Our turkey was on sale here (butterball with dressing) for $2.99 lb. no big bargain for sure. I did not buy one. ann lee s

  30. The past few weeks have been a bit of a mixed blessing. On the good front, the DH and I flew to our Southern winter house for the first visit in almost 2 years. My two kids who live in my city looked after our dog and home while we were gone. The Southern house was in surprisingly good shape considering it stood empty for such a long time. But we did need to throw out whatever was in the pantry so that will be an expense to replace. I’ve made a note of all the spices and herbs I had and will get replacements at my local Bulk Barn to take with me. The bottles have all been washed and are waiting. And we will take a bunch of foodstuff from home as well when we drive down. And the pool heater needed servicing. We simply used the community pool when we were there to avoid the expense of running our heater until it was fixed after we left again. We did minimal grocery shopping, did not eat out in restaurants as we aren’t yet comfortable dining indoors or close to anyone, went for walks and went to the beach. On the plus side my avocado tree still had lots of fruit. I gave away at leave 50, put 1/2 dozen in the fridge and there were still 25 or more on the tree when we left. And my lemons were ripening as well. Again I put a bunch in the fridge. I’m really hoping they will survive until we get back after the Christmas holidays. Before we left for home we made sure the house was super clean and tidy; got rid of a huge bag of books to neighbours and packed all our personal clothing away. That’s in case the border closes again and we need to rent out the house this winter. Fingers crossed we can get back again. It was interesting to see how everyone was behaving and now DH and I know what we will and won’t be doing if/when we get back again.
    The day before we returned home my chest freezer died. My kids salvaged the fruit and veggies and whatever meat was in it. They put bags of ice on top of the freezer jam and then we prayed it would last. We looked online for a new freezer and ordered one. But I sent it back as it had been a repack and was too small to boot. We hopped into the car and went to Lowes, found a mid size freezer, loaded it into the car and took it home. The DH and I slid it downstairs and it’s now ensconced and doing it’s job. I retrieved some of the berries from my DD’s house. She took some as well as payment for rescuing. Freezers used to be so heavy and awkward but now they are light weight plastic and this one only weighs like 70 lbs. I was happy a couple of old folk could do the work ourselves.
    We’ve about done our Christmas shopping. There’s nothing too exciting on the list but I expect people will be pleased. The wild card this year will be the youngest DS’s girlfriend. They’ve been together for more than a year now and I do hope she understands we tend to be a “practical rather than romantic” gift type family. And this is the year DS learns about compromising visits to families. He’s spending Christmas Eve with her family and she will come to us sometime on Christmas day.
    My oldest DS and family are coming to visit. I’m so excited to see them as it’s been 2 years since we’ve been together. They will be here a week.
    We bought a tree from a local service club and it’s spectacular …a Balsam Fir. Tonight we will start the decorating with whatever we have here. My outdoor planters have been filled with yew branches I rescued from the tree guys that were cutting out bushes at a neighbours house. And I spray painted some old sticks silver and stuck them in the pots as well. When I was clearing the gardens I put some hydrangea blossoms in the planters and whatever other leftover seed pods I could find. That way they decorate and the birds can still eat the seeds. The planters look pretty good; maybe not professional but good enough and I saved at least $200! I did buy some small poinsettias at the greenhouse as there was a BOGO and that gives us a bit of colour in the house.
    I must admit I haven’t much felt like cooking the past little while. But I’m using up whatever we have in the cupboards and the bit of meat from the freezer rescue. meals aren’t exciting but they are keeping us going. I did try a roasted butternut squash/red lentil Dal the other day and it was fabulous! DH wants me to make it again. Will probably make that one when we have a houseful over the holidays. I follow another blogger on FB and print her monthly menus to remind myself that food doesn’t have to be spectacular every day as long as we use up what we have.
    Winter suddenly arrived here the other day with quite a bit of snow and it’s cold. The long range forecast tells me the next couple of months are going to be more of the same. It’s time to put the flannel sheets on the bed and find the long johns to wear when going for walks outdoors. At least it’s been pretty and mostly sunny.
    I’ve read a few books downloaded from the library and we have watched things on streaming services on the tv. And we did go to the actual movie theatre one night to see the new Bond movie. I’m not sure if I was more excited to see the movie or have the movie popcorn. It felt “normal” again and that was a good thing.
    Now it’s time for me to go make something for supper so I will say …. goodbye to all, hope you have a
    good week and stay safe and happy.

  31. That bee photo is amazing! Do you use a particular lens to capture that detail?

    My frugal week:
    – I started on my Christmas supply gathering and bought cranberries on sale, along with the candied fruit for my fruitcake (http://approachingfood.com/fruitcake-smackdown-loaf-version/). I used a $5 off $20 coupon at bulk barn and combined it with purchasing items on sale. I bought melting chocolate as well, and had to literally scrape the barrel to get some items. I saw a note that mixed candied peel was not available despite being advertised as on sale, due to supply chain issues, the first time I’ve seen such a note.
    – I bought a gc through Rakuten to use when placing an order for books I was going to buy.
    – I redeemed Pinecone Research points for a $5 Starbucks gc, and took my toddler out for a mommy daughter date with no $ OOP
    – I used a credit from a late Amazon shipment and a $5 gc from Pinecone Research to send an early Christmas gift to a friend in another city, and got free shipping by signing up for a free prime trial
    – I used $30 in loyalty points to buy items on sale (diapers and laundry detergent)
    – I took advantage of a Walmart photocentre freebie to get three custom postcard sized magnets. They’ll be stocking stuffers for family. 
    – I baked a loaf of soda bread and made pizza from scratch. 
    – I made cookies with my daughter, using chocolate I already had at home (http://approachingfood.com/chocolate-caramel-ginger-cookies-perfect-cookie-mouthful/)
    – I made gingerbread-scented play dough for my daughter, who loved it.
    – I made zucchini pancakes, using zucchini bought on sale, shredded, and frozen.
    – I cleaned most of a stain in the nursery carpet using goo gone, blue Dawn…and a lot of elbow grease! I scrubbed so much that I wore a large hole in my cleaning rag (and probably lost a few layers of skin), but the carpet looks so much nicer now.

    Looking forward to learning from everyone else as always!

    1. Margaret, I have been searching for candied cherries, pineapple and citrus peel here in Middle Tn. for making fruit cake cookies. Have only been able to locate some cherries at a small produce store. Penny S.

  32. I have always used an electric mower. It is lighter and does not require me to purchase gasoline for it to run.

    We took advantage of Black Friday Sales. We purchased an air fryer, another battery jumper/put air in the tire thing for our second vehicle, a new vacuum, and food storage containers. All of items were planned purchases that we waited for a sale to stretch our dollars further. I am taking herbal courses online and registered for the next set this past weekend while the courses were discounted. I enjoy taking the courses in the winter when my outside time is limited.

    I made turkey broth for the first time ever. We are using Christmas decorations we already own.

  33. I had a few extra opportunities to earn money last week:

    * helped out at my dad’s business
    * helped my mom clean my sister’s house for pay (may be an ongoing job) plus my sweet sister treated us to lunch and sent me home with snacks!
    * was given a nice discount from a small local business I love when purchasing my daughter’s birthday gift
    * redeemed Ibotta for some great coupons (half price or less on Panera coffee at home)… I don’t use Ibotta for much since generic is cheaper but I try to use for 50% off or more on things I can use or combine with sales
    * have been splurging too much on lattes so bought some fun creamers to use at home with coffee for a treat
    * was generously gifted a Walmart gift card from a neighbor for helping them and passing on our trampoline to them since our kids are older now

    Hope everyone has a fantastic week!

    1. Marissa, from one coffee-holic to another, if you can get a milk frother it will make all the difference in the world in home lattes/coffees! I often see the electric kind (fastest and easiest to use IMHO) at garage sales or sometimes on Craigslist very inexpensive. They often come with Nespresso machine purchases, and most people don’t use the separate frother and end up getting rid of it.

  34. Hello, frugal friends. This past week I discovered Kroger had their 4# bags of sugar for .97, limit 5. I also found 23 bags of sugar for .49 each, no limit. I did the math and for just an extra penny per 4# I was able to get enough sugar to last for a year. My daughter in law saw the sale but did not need sugar so bought me 5 more bags using her Kroger card. They also had 18 count eggs for .97, limit 5. I bought 2 cartons which will last us through December. I was able to get 10% off my order plus free shipping on some garden cloth and hoops on Black Friday. We enjoyed a nice Thanksgiving with all our children and grandkids. We were able to share leftovers which we ate all weekend. I was also able to freeze some turkey for future use. I cooked it your way, Brandy, the BEST way ever! My daughter won a Thanksgiving basket from her apartment management and brought some of the food to share with our dinner. We did have a few big expenses such as a new twin mattress for the guest room and a new tv. We shopped sales for both. The tv is our gift to each other for Christmas. I am finishing up a baby quilt made from fabric and supplies I already had. We did the usual things like eating at home, etc. I wish everyone a happy, frugal week.

  35. I planned to go around to all the stores for all the deals, but never made it. My husband and I went two days before Thanksgiving for some sweet potatoes, and rolls. My pantry and freezer are full so I am happy that when life got hectic I did not have to go to the store ( although I missed some deals) I had bought my turkey for $.87 at Aldi. I have two extra in the freezer to cook and can later. I baked a ham for Thanksgiving also and chopped up the meat for 4 bags in the freezer plus the bone and a piece of gmfat with a little meat to use to season beans or turnip greens. I also froze the turkey bones, but had zero meat left to freeze from this one, and it was a 20# turkey.
    ***I had two bags of chicken bones and one bag on celery and onion peeling and ends in my freezer. Wednesday I put them in a huge pot and let them cook down all day. I used this stock in my cornbread dressing and purple hull peas on Thanksgiving day.
    ***I had opened a Sams size bottle of lemon juice and was cleaning out the refrigerator, so I froze it in ice cube trays then put in zip bags to use as needed.
    ***I ordered a 23 quart canner and it arrived. I am ready to can some broth and turkey meals.
    ***Filled up with gas at Sams, which is cheapest, but in the next town. I try to fill up when I have an appointment that way.
    ***I combined errands and shopping trips. I am done with everything but ornaments for the kids and a couple of dirty Santa gifts.
    ***We are hosting our small group at church Sunday for our Christmas. I have been decorating and almost have it done. I am making taco soup and we will have appetizers and desserts.
    ***I cut husband’s hair
    *** paid extra on mortgage
    ***Got a couple of presents on doorbuster deals at Belks for my two sons’ girlfriends.
    ***I have been able to decorate 6 trees with ornaments and ribbon I have. I did buy two fresh wreaths and fresh garland at Costco. I have two front doors so the two wreaths go there, and I put the garland on the stairs rail, then make swags for my 3 sconces going up the stairs, and two pendant lights over the island. If I have more I will use other places.
    ***I covered my porch pillows with tartan flannel fabric I have. I just pinned it on. I made pillows for the beds from old cutter quilts, and embroidered a saying on each.

    1. Never thought to do this with lemon juice! I buy organic and it doesn’t last as long so I usually end up throwing it out.😩 Not any more! Thank you for the tip!

  36. My mom sent over carrots, celery, milk, candy, and sport tape

    I made my own evaporated milk. I was short making pie and was NOT going back to the store.

    Directv had free movie channels all weekend so I recorded several things to watch.

    I earned $6 digital content credits for choosing no rush shipping.

    One book I downloaded on audible was the start of a series and I was out of credits. I found with Kindle Unlimited, they are free to read.

    Took a Walmart bag of cornbread mixes and chocolate almond milk my mom had sent over to my mother in law’s on Thanksgiving. She’s going to take them to her church for them to use.

    Returned library books on time

    Redeemed points from Receiptpal for a $50 Amazon card.

    My mother in law sent home 2 boxes of cereal and several bags of pretzels when I picked up the 14yo.

    We didn’t make a lot of food for Thanksgiving, but we still had plenty of leftovers. Sunday, I picked the meat off the carcass and made turkey pot pie. I stuck the carcass in the freezer to boil for stock later.

  37. Brandy, I’m dying to know if you ordered any of those wonderful things on that little Amazon ad that shows up here? Beautiful velvet ribbon and sealing wax! Do you know that I still have a sealing wax kit that I bought for myself when I was 12? I found it at Pick n Save for a dollar or so. It’s a letter D. I still love those!

    I broke from my normal pasta/soup routine last week, but we did have spaghetti one night.

    It’s hard to remember where we saved money in such a strange week! My husband was off Wednesday. And we worked all 4 days, but took yesterday off and rested. He put all the lights up and decorations outside. We haven’t had rain in awhile and the weather has been freakishly warm so he spent all day Friday watering the trees and shrubs, doing touch up painting on the house trim. I cooked all day Thursday, I spent Friday on various house projects that have been missed over the year. On Saturday, we did the toughest job. We refinished all the oak in the master bath. All the cabinets, the tub front, doors, moulding, etc. Big job, but it looks brand new in there!

    No black Friday shopping at all. Mailed my brother a gift of stuff purchased earlier and homemade fudge. I have 2 small gifts left to send this week and the expenses of Christmas are over at less than $100, including shipping. That’s about half the $100!!
    I am not a Christmas person at all, thanks to horrible childhood memories of angry Christmas’. I prefer the period between the Eve and the Epiphany. My very favorite part of December is taking out my dog’s Advent calendar and watching him prance happily!! He loves that thing!!

    Thanks to everyone for sharing!

    1. I bought two different colors of velvet ribbon in the same size to hang the ornaments on our tree, but they sold out already!

      I have a very similar tag cutter that I use now for tags.

      I have very similar sealing wax stamps but this one looks like a REALLY good deal! I love using sealing wax on my Christmas tags. It looks so pretty.

  38. I was able to get the Thanksgiving deal from Ibotta so we took most of those items to my in-law’s home for Thanksgiving.
    When we got there my mother-in-law said she bought a prime beef ribeye roast from Costco and wanted to have that for Thanksgiving and we would have the turkey we brought for Friday.
    I had never tried making a prime beef ribeye roast before, but she saw an interesting method of cooking online that she wanted to try, so I thought, “Why not?” I wasn’t sure it would turn out because the directions were oddly vague and involved turning the oven on & off, and had nothing to do with the size of the roast or internal temperature. I made sure the sides were extra fancy just in case, if you know what I mean 🙂 It turned out fine. It just tasted like meat because salt & pepper were the only seasonings, but it sliced nicely and made lovely sandwiches the next day. The 8lb roast served 6 people dinner and then good sized sandwiches the next day. The cooking method was simple and had large stretches of time where you were waiting, so I thought it might be a good plan to make something similar when all my kids are home for Christmas and there will be 9 of us here. I looked at Costco (online) for the same cut of meat and gasped out loud! $24.87/ lb! I could not believe it. We had just experimented on an almost $200 piece of meat! I even called up my Mother-in-law to make sure I was looking at the right thing. She told me she had been looking for the full prime rib roast which was $33.87/lb but they were out of that one so she had to go with the cheaper cut.
    I am glad I didn’t know what it cost because I wouldn’t have enjoyed it as much as I did. My family is just going to have to make due with the turkey or ham that I have always made.
    Sometimes I feel like I am living on a different planet than the people around me in my high cost of living area, but I figured if anyone would understand it would be my fellow citizens here in the frugal fellowship of planet prudence.


    1. Yikes! That was one expensive cut of beef! I’m very glad that the cooking worked out and you all got to enjoy it. I recently picked up a package of stewing beef – good quality but $12 for a pound!!! It went back. I don’t even remember the last time I had a roast!

  39. Wish I could say I have had something extraordinary to list this week but mostly the normal things I do. I try to limit the use of paper towel, only buy groceries that are on sale, all the normal things. With the price of gas I have been staying home as much as possible. Plus I dont spend money that way. I have been just staying home and cooking and baking from scratch. I took a look at my grocery budget this year and I am almost $600 over. I try to keep it at $100 a week for my husband, myself, and my 2 children ages 20 and 17. I am okay with being $600 over due to higher prices , etc. But I am gonna try and get it down before the end of the year. My husband’s employer gave everyone a $25 gc to kroger for Thanksgiving so I used that to just buy what was on sale and spent a little over $12 out of pocket. I was disappointed because I forgot their digital deals they had on eggs and sugar ended Sunday so I lost out on that. Bummer. But I got a great deal on ground beef. They had 3 pound chubs for $8.91. I then had 3 coupons that Kroger had sent me. So I got 9 pounds of ground beef for $2.54 a pound. Way cheaper than what it has been. Will package in one pound packages and throw in the deep freeze. I continue on my whole declutter spree. I have majorly ramped it up again. Seems like I get going and then life slows me down but I got alot done last week. So far I have donated 4 car loads and have 5 boxes ready. This is thrifty because I get sick and stressed out from messes and then I grow discontent with my life. I also bought some stuff that I already had that I didnt remember I had in my closet because it was buried. That drives me nuts when I do that! Closet is all cleaned out now. I turned all my hangers the opposite way and what I dont wear in a year is going. Next up is our main bathroom. I so love reading here every week! It keeps me motivated!

  40. I planned my menu around what we already have in the fridge and saved significantly on my grocery bill! I stocked up on some body products I use daily during a Black Friday sale. We made a ham for Thanksgiving so I can freeze the leftovers to be pulled out and used for the kids’ school lunch sandwiches.

  41. Brandy I am so glad you were able to book cheap airline tickets so you can go to your daughters graduation 🙂 . Lovely you were able to get some new clothing at 60% off sales, some more turkey and that you are finding the electric mower so much easier to work than the gas one. I don’t know why they make most mowers difficult to start for us ladies.

    Our Vicky challenge added up to $552.55 in savings last week 🙂 .

    In the kitchen –
    – We baked 3 loaves of wholemeal white bread in the bread making machine saving $10.47 on prices locally.
    – Cooked all meals and bread from scratch.

    Clothing ,shoe repairs and hair cuts –
    – I repaired the soles on two of my ugg boots and 1 working around the home shoe by gluing on the soles with shoe repair glue saving $69 over taking them to a shoe repairer to fix and that is including the cost I paid for the glue.
    – DH darned a tear in a pair of tracksuit pants saving $25 over hiring someone to do it.
    – I replaced 3 buttons on two work shirts for DH saving $12 over hiring someone to do it.
    – I cut DH’s hair with the hair clippers saving $30 over taking him to the barber.

    In the storage room –
    – Finished sorting our food stockpile and now everything is in organised categories with all the shelves cleaned and dusted and bulk buckets sorted in order of dates.

    Purchases –
    – Bought 2 x 600ml bottles of Norco thickened cream for $1.50 ea from IGA saving $4.25 on usual prices. These are now stored in the freezer for future use.
    – Bought 3 x pkts of prescription cat dry cat food for DH on a 10% off sale online saving $20.40 on usual prices.
    – Saved 10% or $31.43 off our yearly online medical order with Pharmacy Online using the code 10BLK (until the 29th of November).
    – Saved $350 by buying a new laptop for myself through Harvey Norman on a Black Friday sale.

    Hope everyone has a wonderful week ahead :).

  42. Thanksgiving was quiet, but very unorganized. For Christmas , we may order out. Perhaps a small ham package or even Chinese. Things are changing as my children mature. With work and school , its just different. Perhaps one day they will marry and have children. I purchased Hulu for 99 cents a month. I was happy to get an Ancestry.com membership for half price on Black Friday. This week I shared 5 large bags of dog food with the attendant at the dump. He saved me two nice Rubbermaid tubs. These will be used for Christmas decorations. I rescued 9 bottles of wine from a case w broken bottles. I sold them to a neighbor for $25.00. This is one of my unusual finds. Tonight , I’m making turkey bone broth and will use the turkey and broth in several requested meals. My son bought me 3 Audible books for half price on black Friday. Its an early Christmas gift. I really like to read hard copies but new release books are not something I’m willing to pay the price for. This way, I can often listen to a new release for about $6.00. Some of these books run upwards to $35.00. I’m simply too frugal. I hope everyone had a lovely holiday.

  43. Hello, everyone!
    ****I make cookies during the holidays and give them to friends and family. I stumbled upon two ideas that I’m going to incorporate this year. One idea (courtesy of Martha Stewart) is to make cookie dough, wrap it first in waxed paper, then wrap it in pretty fabric and gather the ends like a Christmas cracker. Attach a pretty handmade label. You can store them in the freezer or fridge, depending on when you need them. I can think of several non-baker friends who will really like being able to make the fresh baked cookies when they choose. Another idea I saw in a magazine was to take a plastic wrap container (like Glad or Saran Wrap), cover the teeth with masking tape, hot glue wrapping paper to the container, then tie together in the middle with a pretty ribbon. I will put the cookies inside on waxed paper or tissue.
    ****I hot glued inexpensive, but very pretty ornaments to some planters to make them “Christmas” planters for plants that I’m giving as gifts. I used snowflakes and snowmen so they can display them longer.
    ****I’m in charge of bringing snacks for one child’s class Christmas party. I stopped in Walgreens for another reason, but noticed they had some good prices on candy. I was in a hurry, so I passed. When I got home I decided I should have purchased them, so I did an order online for pickup. I discovered that the price was even less online! They also had coupons. The website states that prices may vary between in store and online. I will definitely check going forward!
    Have a great week!

  44. I haven’t commented for a few weeks, but have enjoyed reading comments and what readers are thankful for.
    Last week I had jury duty (the day before Thanksgiving) and I was delighted that I could participate remotely. I had to hover near my computer for 5 hours and only spent about 45 minutes in active participation. I wasn’t selected, but will get $18.50 for my time for the day.
    I did some black Friday shopping for consignment furniture. I found two night stands, a headboard, two lamps, and a desk. The desk had been on the sales floor for about two months. Today was the day it would go down $130, so I hedged my bet and didn’t buy it on Saturday, but called and made the purchase today. I was happy to find upgrades for my home at good prices. I am happy to buy used!
    My Christmas decorations have been up for a week and enjoyed. Now it’s on to sending some cards and finishing a couple of Christmas gifts.
    I started reading “Letters from Father Christmas” by R. R. J. Tolkien and find it charming.

  45. Thanksgiving did not go quite liked I planned because there was an emergency but everything ended up somewhat taken care of. I did cook the Turkey with long carrots, mashed potatoes, cornbread dressing, pumpkin pudding , spinach dip, green pea salad and pulled the frozen cookie cake from the fridge. Oldest son made rotel dip and beef jerky. I did not do rolls, gravy, green bean casserole, etc. After delivering Thanksgiving dinner to three different places over a 150 miles apart one way, and being in the car for around six hours making the deliveries, I was just glad to get home in one piece. I ate the beef jerky for my meal while traveling….. lol. I made leftover soup with the turkey, and carrots, and added rice.

  46. We enjoyed Thanksgiving at home. We got to see my grandchildren this weekend. We don’t usually give them money but we gave them each a little bit to spend. They are both so sweet. My granddaughter asked me what I liked and I told her I like being with family. But she persisted and asked me what my favorite thing to have is. I told her I love flowers. She told me she knew what she was going to spend her money on. She wanted to get me something! So sweet. I told her that I just like being with her and she doesn’t need to get me anything. She could spend her money on herself. I love my sweet grandchildren. I remember being a child and my grandpa once gave us grandkids $5 each and told us it was fun money that we had to spend it and couldn’t save it. I think he knew that I almost always gave my money to mom to save. I still remember what I bought; stationary, so I could write my family. I’m glad that my grandchildren don’t expect things all the time and that they enjoy just being with us as well. It was a treat to see them and my son.
    I bought glasses from Zenni. I see great out of them! We survived three weeks without my husbands pay, only because we have been frugal. He is back to work now. Glad we were able to pay our bills. We will have to continue to be frugal and save. My husband’s truck is very old and has a lot of miles on it. I’m glad it is still working. But, we may be looking to get another used truck in the near future for him. Not sure how long his truck will continue. Our electric bill was 40 dollars cheaper this month than last! I was so happy! We have been very careful to turn off lights when not in use. We have been eating turkey and ham. Immediately froze a lot of both, including the bones, so nothing would go to waste. I made garbanzo beans with dried mint, garlic and olive oil one evening. Trying to use the produce we bought so not to go to waste. I have only made one shopping trip this month. We shopped for some fresh vegetables and fruit and a few canned goods. I was shocked by how the prices had gone up. I think this month we will use what we have unless there is a good sale or if we really need something fresh. I’m having fun wearing my new thrift shopped clothes. I love a good deal!

    1. Tammy, I hope you will see this but I enjoy reading about your week. It put a smile on my face when you were talking about your grandpa giving you money as a child. My grandparents always sent us $3, in the mail, which was a huge deal. I loved that they did it for every holiday for my kids too! We saw our grandparents all the time and the fact that we got mail was just so much fun and my kids always loved it too and I hope to do the same when I have grandchildren some day! Maybe you said already but did your husband get laid off? I know he had recently gotten a new job and was wondering how it was going. I love to see all the frugal ways you save every week! Very inspiring!

  47. We shared providing food and cooking for our Thanksgiving dinner with a son and DIL who live nearby but came and stayed for 2 nights. It was lovely to visit and talk while doing a borrowed jigsaw puzzle. We had enough leftovers for two more dinners for the two of us as they went out of town for the rest of the weekend.

    Our dog is elderly and having some nighttime wetting but the local small pet store owner suggested getting washable waterproof crib pads instead of disposable specialty dog items. I found toddler bed ones on sale at CVS and that is working well and she is comfortable too.

  48. Hello,
    Thank you to everyone for the inspiration and tips for making life beautiful:) The gardening talk is inspirational. Thanks to Maxine for the 15 minute per day tip to get ironing and sewing done, and I did not know it was possible to strip the lights off a pre-lighted Christmas tree. What great ideas. I was so tired last week that I didn’t make what I usually do for Thanksgiving. I usually make gluten steaks, which would have cost around $6 for enough to feed the eight around the table. Instead I used Loma Linda Vegeburger from WinCo and made vegetarian meatloaf which cost about $27. I smashed four cans of burger in a large mixing bowl and added a large, chopped, sauteed onion, 2 T of ground sage, 2 dried bay leaves chopped up, a dozen slices of store-bought, whole wheat bread cut up into cubes, 4 soup spoons of garbanzo flour to stick it all together, and probably a cup or so of catsup dumped in for some added flavor. It was all mixed up and smashed into a parchment lined flat glass pan and covered with catsup thinned with agave nectar and a small amt. of water and then baked at 350 degrees F. It was a hit because no one had eaten it in a long while. I have enough left that didn’t fit into the first panful to make a smaller loaf. I am going to doctor up some dry TVP to extend it a little because our son will be home to eat it with us. It was particularly good drowned with our son’s homemade cranberry sauce. He also brought pumpkin cheesecake and pot de creme he and his girlfriend made. Our daughter brought fruit and butternut squash and a large sweetmeat squash from her sister-in-law’s garden. That will keep us eating for a while. I like that the sweetmeat squash makes such wonderful pies. I never use pumpkin anymore because sweetmeat is milder and sweeter, so the pie needs less sugar. I was thrilled to get all of it. My husband will eat butternut squash if I bake it with butter and garlic. When I went to the store for a few items, I found two small bags of four, nice, large apples in each for $1 each. That store has a small rack for imperfect produce that has been put in mesh bags for $1 each. Once in a while the fruit is so bruised I don’t want it, and often the rack is empty, but I find it worth checking because I have found some very eatable fruit there. I take one or two bags that we can use right away and leave the rest for other people. I went to the Franz bread outlet store on the day they have a senior citizen discount day to buy the bread. I make loaves of bread most of the time, but it doesn’t work in the meatloaf, and I buy English muffins and bagels and burger buns, and they have local honey. A frugal fail this week was that I had to replace my drivers license because I lost my wallet. My husband had received a letter from our bank saying they were unable to open a credit card account because of an inability to confirm his identity, and he didn’t apply for a credit card. The bank put a note into the credit report saying the inquiry about his credit was fraudulent, so his credit won’t be affected. At the recommendation of the bank manager, we each called Equifax (88-766-0008), Experian (888-397-3742), and TransUnion (800-680-7289) and had a “freeze” put on our credit, so when someone tries to access credit reports about us to approve some application for credit, they won’t be able to, and so won’t approve credit for anyone. We can go online and take the freeze off, if we want to apply for credit. This may save us a lot of money and trouble later.

  49. I bought everything for Thanksgiving the week before and only picked up some bread, eggnog, and a couple items for Christmas or New Years at Aldi. Eggnog sold out early everywhere last year for Christmas so we decided to get some for Thanksgiving since most stores have had it out a month here. Aldi’s eggnog is really good. I also got some Chocolate Covered Cherries, nuts, and Avocado Oil ($4.99 for 17 oz., cheap here) at Ollies.

    In addition to a big Thanksgiving meal I cooked taco filling for two meals and froze them. I also made spaghetti, fresh asparagus and Italian Bread for a break from the turkey.

    Most of the turkeys here were either way too large or too small this year. The week before I saw a Butterball turkey already basted in a bag in the outer bag that was ready to cook, no defrosting. There was only one and I hadn’t seen any like that earlier. I decided to buy it even if it was $1/lb. since I could lift it, DH and DS had to work and couldn’t help prep a larger one, and it would save all the cleaning I would do after handling a raw one. It turned out very well. I also found that cooking one in a bag is less messy and saves oven time as Garden Pat had mentioned. It may have not been as frugal, but it was not a fail to me.

    I had an order for spices about ready a couple months ago. I found that some things I wanted were not in stock so I waited. I went through and refilled spices again which emptied some larger containers. I noticed what I really used during that time and decided to add a couple things to the order and buy others that I didn’t use as much at Ollies. I have placed my order now, but cream of tarter was still not available. Luckily, I found one (name brand) that I bought as the substitutes do not work as well. I hope I can order some next time.

    I have been doing some sewing for my MIL so some things she likes will fit better and last longer. I have thought of some ideas for her for Christmas to keep her warm.

    Have a wonderful week.

  50. I was very happy to receive a $10 voucher/coupon for IKEA (just for being a member, I hadn’t purchased anything!). I had a pleasant walk around the store and redeemed it for two toilet brushes, a large mixing spoon (have been desperate for one for a long while), a pretty glass jar to use as a gift (I will fill it with sweets) and three packets of printed and thick napkins that were on sale for 50c each. They will be nice to use for formal occasions. No OOP expense!
    -I received a $90 gift card for completing 90 minutes of market research.
    -I used $20 from a previously received market research gift card towards my $48 weekly grocery shop.
    -I received a $25 gift voucher from a friend as a Christmas gift.
    -I received a chocolate cupcake from a colleague that I took home.
    -I cancelled our family holiday due to the La Nina weather occuring and COVID restrictions. I received a full refund.
    -I bought a cooked roast chicken on clearance for $5, which provided three meals for my family (chicken and salad bread rolls, chicken pasta and grilled chicken pizza wraps).
    -Meals also included avocado and sliced tomatoes on toast, scrambled eggs on toast, vegetables rice and salmon, salmon and vegetables, oats with cinnamon and banana, mango smoothies, sandwiches, strawberries and blueberries, cheese and crackers and cookies.
    -I went to the op shop/second hand shop and found two quality brand dresses for myself for $6 each, a Hot Wheels truck for my son for $2 for his birthday ($20 brand new) and a pack of 10 birthday cards and envelopes for $2.

  51. *We had lots of leftover turkey after Thanksgiving, plus we waited to clean out the turkey roaster until the next day so we could use it overnight to make stock out of all the carcass remnants. I used some of the drippings to make gravy on Thanksgiving, then saved the rest to make another batch of gravy a few days later. My guests, who brought several sides, left us all their leftovers, since they had another dinner to cook for and attend the following day. So I did very little cooking Friday through Sunday as we ate leftover sides and turkey sandwiches. I did make green chili turkey enchiladas and a turkey pot pie soup with the last of the turkey.

    *Other meals were chicken parmesan/spaghetti and rice bowls with tempeh and veggies.

    *Drove fewer places this week since I don’t like shopping in crowds and didn’t urgently need anything.

    *Went through some hand-me-downs from a friend that were meant for my younger daughter, but found stuff for both daughters! This was great because the older daughter needed jeans and now has plenty. Both girls now have all the winter clothes they’ll need.

    *Didn’t get around to moving my garden beds, but hopefully next week. We ended up being busy with other things around the house, but I’m including it here for my own accountability purposes. 😉

    *My husband took my daughter to an out of state sports competition over the 2 days after Thanksgiving, and I budgeted what I thought was a reasonable amount of money for their expenses. And they came in $70 under budget!

    That’s it for this week. I’m enjoying reading everyone else’s weeks, though, as usual!

  52. Hello everyone! Our thanksgiving was very quiet and enjoyable. I hope it was for you too if you celebrate!

    Frugal savings:

    Flashfood offered $10 free so I picked up two cube steaks, two stuffed chicken breasts, and 8 hamburger patties for less than $1.50.

    We own a business so our income is like Brandy and her husband’s a little unpredictable. I learned here to budget quarterly (thanks Brandy!) which takes the roller coaster feeling out of owning a business. I have budgeted a set amount of grocery money that needs to last until Spring. I look forward to the challenge! We also have about 20 pounds each of lentils and barley in our food storage that needs to be used up so I plan to make lots of soups with those this winter.

    Stocked up on books at the library last week which should last at least a month. Our library no longer has late fees and does auto renew one time so that makes it easier to stock up and not be late.

    Have a great week everyone!

  53. Lovely lemons! I am envious.
    We celebrate Buy Nothing Day (http://buynothingday.org) on the Friday after Thanksgiving. We also had our Thanksgiving on Saturday and everyone (there were 6 of us) brought a dish. It was a nice day.

    The weather here is lovely and cool we shut up the house in the evenings(we don’t have heat) until it warms up in the late morning and then the windows are opened and the whole-house fan turned on to bring the warmer air in.

    Our neighborhood is having yard sales this Saturday so we decided to do another encore plant sale for a couple of hours before we have to leave for an appointment. I really want to get rid of more plants!

    Hope everyone has a happy week and thank you, Brandy.

  54. As a beekeeper, I have to thank you for the lovely photo of the bee on the blossom. Our bees are all snuggled up in their hives today but I love seeing them come out for short flights on the days which are a bit warmer.
    We had our Thanksgiving feast at my parents’ home and enjoyed ourselves so much. The centerpiece was small pumpkins and gourds grown in our garden combined with acorns we had gathered on a walk together all displayed on a beautiful carved wooden tray my mom found years ago at a thrift shop. My thrifty genes run deep and are present in the next generation, I am glad to say! My food contributions were made with foods we produced ourselves and/or bought a while back so nothing had to be purchased recently. We came home with lots of leftovers including a whole pumpkin pie baked by my dad. I have been eating a piece every day for breakfast because life is short and pie for breakfast is a wonderful thing. I made a wonderful turkey noodle soup with some of the leftovers which was delicious. Recipe was from the September issue of Southern Living in case anyone receives that magazine. I do not but my MIL gave me that copy when I last saw her thinking I would enjoy some of the recipes. So far, so good.
    My youngest son, who is an artist, has begun taking an art class on Outschool. It has been a wonderful experience and is far cheaper than any art class in our area plus saves the cost of driving. I see they offer gift cards and will keep that in mind as suggestions to grandparents for future gifts.
    I made a double batch of laundry detergent.
    My husband’s company, as a cost-savings measure, reduced the amount they contributed to our HSA account at the start of the year. Fortunately, I remembered that they also said they would reevaluate in the Fall and contribute more if possible. They did and now we have an additional $300 to reimburse ourselves for dental work my husband had done. Very glad I remembered to check before it was too late.
    I did not buy one thing on Black Friday so I saved 100%. 🙂 Instead, my husband and I took our kids snowboarding. Our Christmas gift to them this year is season passes to our local ski resort (budgeted for since last year) so there was no out of pocket cost. We had a great time! Well, I did complete my photo calendar and magnet project of my boys which is my annual gift to grandparents, aunts/uncles, and close friends. I completed them over a week ago at 50% off but I do think it was technically a Black Friday sale – just early.
    We continue to eat out of the pantry and our garden and the lovely eggs our sweet chickens provide. A friend brought a box of sweet potatoes over last week so we will enjoy those, too.
    I have been reading a wonderful book by Gladys Taber called “The Book of Stillmeadow.” It would probably appeal most to people who live in the country or wish they did. It contains bits if journal entries written between the years 1937-1948 about her family’s move from NYC to a farm in CT. She uses language beautifully and I can very much relate to her descriptions of the world around her and her life. She even wrote about frugality. I love this quote, “In the years ahead we have much to do. It is easy to lose sight of the important things. There will be many new inventions ; money will buy undreamed of gadgets; we shall want more and better mousetraps than ever before….Happiness is not upholstered in velvet, nor lighted by the push of a button. If we start a new wild scramble for material luxury, we shall begin a toboggan slide to destruction. I do believe in pleasant living, as much as our means afford – but I wish we could chart a modest course between overelegance and simplicity.” She wrote a whole series of books and I look forward to reading them all – from the library, of course.
    Thank you all for your continued inspiration and encouragement! Have a lovely week!

    1. I love that quote you wrote by Gladys Taber. I will have to read that book. It sounds wonderful! I agree that pie for breakfast is wonderful! Especially pumpkin pie or strawberry pie!

      1. I just finished the book last night and it was wonderful from beginning to end. Hope your library has them for you to borrow!

  55. Congrats on your daughter graduating this next year!

    *We had Thanksgiving on the Saturday after so that our kids could come. We had plenty of food. My son in law made pecan sweet potatoes and pumpkin pie from scratch for the first time. Both were so yummy! My son brought a veggie tray. I did the mashed potatoes in the crockpot. We had the usual turkey, gravy, rolls and other pies. I had bought the pies last year on discount and they baked up beautifully.

    *I was able to finish most of my shopping on Black Friday. I used my gift cards from Ibotta and Fetch and that helped quite a bit with the cost. I got the Amazon book deal of $5/$20 and bought books on gardening, drawing and one history book for my son. I found a cute gift for my granddaughter for $10. I was able to get makeup, blankets, body lotion and perfume on sale. My husband bought gift cards that were a good deal on Black Friday.

    *We’ve decided to scale back our Christmas decorations this year. It’s been a crazy year. My husband and I decided to just put up our Christmas tree and stockings. We plugged in the outdoor lights. And it feels wonderful to us. I figure we are saving on electricity by not having everything up. It definitely saves our energy to only unload 2 tubs instead of 8 tubs.

    *My grocery shopping for this week was small but was able to keep the cost down. I uploaded my receipts to Fetch and Ibotta. Prices are rising. I want to be more aggressive in saving my grocery money this year. That way if I find a good deal(s) I will have the money already set aside for the purchase.

    *We had a butter sale at Kroger for $2.99/lb. If you bought 3 you got 1 free. Then I had a coupon for $2/2. I got 3#’s for $4. It has been a while since I have bought butter for that price. Tucked it all in my freezer.

    Have a wonderful week!

  56. -I repaired a pair of shoes. The sole was peeling off, I glued it back on with E6000 adhesive. I used clothespins to compress the area and allow it to adhere. Worked wonderfully.

    -I am listening to a book on CD I bought for $1 at a garage sale. After I am done I will pass it on to one of my daughters.

    -Got our apple, pear, and cherry tree trunks wrapped for winter using tree wrap we bought last year.

    -ham bone frozen, also 3 packages sliced ham and 4 packages ham pieces. I had a small package of turkey frozen left from the turkey breast.

    -I made turkey rolletes from the 2 packages of frozen ground turkey from the freezer from last Christmas. I froze these 2 to a package so quick grab and go for lunches. Or 2 packages for a meal. I froze 12 packages.

    -I got the picture calendars made that I give to my MIL and dad. I do these on 8 x 8 scrap pages, one for each month. They fit in a stand with flip pages. I make these each year for them.

    -Fall decorations down and Christmas ones up. This week I will get the tree up.

    Have a great week!!

  57. We had 13 here for Thanksgiving Day. I’d planned to have leftovers for supper but my son nor his children would eat that. I guess next year I’ll plan something else for the evening meal though it’s ridiculous to me after making a HUGE meal that I must make another. However, the visit went well enough and on Friday my other son hosted his sister and her family, his brother and his family for lunch. John and I stayed home and enjoyed the absolute quiet. It was lovely.
    I had a whole turkey leftover but the rest of the leftovers were moderate. On Sunday I made up a Turkey Tettrazzini Lasagna since I didn’t have spaghetti (good heavens how did that happen?), a turkey pot pie and two pans of Turkey strata from the white meat. I have the thigh meat in a bag in the freezer yet. Right now there is the frame and legs/wings simmering on the back of the stove where they will stay all night so I’ll get broth, meat to pick over and more from that. John has asked for a Turkey Rice Soup and a Turkey Noodle Soup. I’m sure I can manage that easily and likely will have still more turkey to make into another casserole or two. The casseroles are all going into the freezer for easy thaw and heat meals for me to prepare after a taxing day with 2 year old grandson.
    Tonight’s supper was a cottage pie made using leftover green bean casserole, leftover mashed potatoes and a half pound of ground meat. I topped with the last of the bag of french fried onion rings. This was a really good leftover makeover and everyone ate heartily. The grandson kept smacking and mmm-ing his way through his food, lol.
    I have one Christmas gift and stocking stuffers to purchase and Christmas is all done. I hope to start wrapping presents this week as that is always a last minute task that makes me stressed.
    There was no black Friday, small business nor Cyber Monday shopping for us. I’d rather choose slowly and carefully. Our Christmas is all paid for and I don’t want to blow a budget here at the last minute.
    I cancelled a service that had a hefty annual fee attached today. We haven’t used the service in years and the annual fee was a recent upcharge as the company changed hands.

    1. would they eat King Ranch casserole. It would be an easy way to use the turkey and make a new dish. It is corn tortillas, Rotel to.atoes, cream of mushroom/chicken soup, cheese, milk. We add sour cream on our serving and usually 3at some tortilla chips with it.

      1. Terri, assuming you want to accommodate your son (I’m not sure I would, LOL), next time I’d put a ham in the oven as the turkey came out. They would probably eat ham and the sides later in the day. Ham is usually cheap, almost no prep, and the leftovers would be great to freeze.

    2. I find it very interesting how we all handle the leftovers from Thanksgiving. I refuse to cook anything for dinner until all the leftovers are gone… yes there are a few complaints from the family, I tell them it’s leftovers or cold cereal. My family always ask for a very large turkey, tons of dressing, lots of mashed taters, giblet gravy and all the other typical T.G. sides and desserts. You would think by now they would have learned the “ be careful for what you wish for” saying.

  58. I have bought almost all of my Christmas presents. One of Canada’s best bookstores is in Victoria. I bought 4 “bargain”‘ books for a fraction of the price –$8.99 or $9.99 instead of $20 plus each for my relatives. The bonus was that temporarily the store has free local delivery. On average I spent $10 each. I bought two dozen Scottish oatcakes from the ladies club scholarship fundraiser for $12 for my brother. He loves those. I made 25 blank cards with butterfly, bird and flower photos for $25. I will give two packets of 6 each, one to a sister in law and one to a friend plus a couple of packages for unexpected gifts. A friend saw a butterfly photo I had taken a few months ago and then commented that she would love a copy so that is what I got her — two different sizes for a total of $6.00. I bought two Laura Secord hot chocolate gift “sleighs” on sale for $11.95 each. So total shopping for Christmas: $116.00 for 10 gifts.

    I bought a bag of 78 Finish dishwasher cubes on sale reduced from $22.98 for $14.98. It should last me about 3 months since I only run my dishwasher when it’s full. I bought frozen broccoli on sale. And that was it for groceries.. I have my big box of oranges for $6.98, apples, beets, potatoes, carrots. I did buy the Instant Pot Nova Blender/Cooker. I would still like to hear if anyone has any experience with it. A friend is picking it up for me on Thursday. I know I shouldn’t leave a pan unattended on the stove and almost never do. I worry I might black out and not get back to the stove. So now I never will leave it. The blender/cooker is good because on the soup function it will cook it at 212ºF for about 20 minutes then go to a keep warm function then shut-off. I did get it on sale — $39.99 reduced from $149.99. Now to find counterspace for it. I think since it has a puree function that I will try pureeing beets, then put sugar in, put it on the chunky soup function and see if I can make jam. This would free up my one remaining Dutch oven for sterilizing jars. I’ll also make hummus with the blender function. (you’ll all remember that 2 of my Dutch ovens were thrown away while I was in hospital as was the lid to my old blender).

    It was a beautiful day here. Very still and warm. I should have been outside sorting my late friend’s documents but worked on the book instead — fingers crossed we’ll have one more lovely day like that so I can sort her documents. I wish we could have two more weeks of it but alas that’s not meant to be! My only next food purchase for the month will be one ham right before Christmas.

    I resisted temptation and didn’t buy books for myself but a friend asked what I’d like for Christmas up to $50 and said I really wanted to get this $9.99 book called The Old Ways about a man’s journey by foot through Great Britain. The other book I’d like is Madame Fourcade’s Secret War, the true story of the daring young woman who led France’s Largest Spy Network Against Hitler. Once the book we’re writing is done, I’ll sit and read for my own enjoyment on snowy morning. Just think, in another 3 weeks or so, the days start getting longer.
    I still worry and wonder about Elizabeth M…..

    1. No need to worry about me, Ann. I have started to follow the blog again sometimes, but overall I’m spending less time on my computer at the moment.

  59. Lillianna — Since Covid our local public genealogy library has provided a service to its patrons who can go to the library site on their home computer and enter their library card number and access genealogy sites from home. The sites are all ones that require paid membership, but by going through the library site they are free. I am currently using Ancestry and also one for newspaper articles. You might check with your local public genealogy library to see if they have the same service. It saves a lot of money for the paid memberships and also the trips to the library. It is also very convenient to use my home computer anytime of day or night.

  60. Those lemons are so bright and sunshiny! What a nice photo to see in December.
    My husband and I both got our Covid boosters on Wednesday since we were out for Thanksgiving break, and it made us so sick. We didn’t cook at all on Thanksgiving. My son was a little disappointed I (he could eat a horse at any given time) but we made it up to him on Thursday. My kids don’t like turkey, so we usually take requests on the meal. This year it was steak and mashed potatoes. My husband ended up buying a whole tenderloin, which was half the price per pound compared to individual steaks. He had the butcher cut it into separate steaks and we froze the rest for later meals. I earned some cashback through Ibotta.

    On Black Friday, we went to a new discount store that I like. They were offering half-off everything. I ended up with some a cool light-up Christmas sign, packs of socks, body wash, and a few other items. The prices were great! It was so crowded though, and we had a few other things to do, so I didn’t get to shop as much as I wanted. I hoped to go back over the weekend but didn’t have time. My mom sent money to buy my son a guitar. My husband found a great price online for a set that included the guitar, amp, and some accessories, and the local guitar store matched the price. My son opened it already and he loves it — now my daughter has asked for one, too. My final Black Friday purchase was like a Part 2 of a saga. In October, I bought a VR headset for my son using a discounted gift card (I had to go in and return it/rebuy it to get that deal.) Well, on BF Target offered a $50 gift card if you purchased that headset. So, I took it back and returned/rebought it AGAIN to get that gift card. So, I ended up saving a total of about $100 — plus tax, which is 9.75% here– on that expensive toy by spending just a few extra minutes. Worth it! I’m grateful that Target is so accommodating about price adjustments.

  61. I have a giant oval pot (14″ in its longest dimension) that can fit a 14 lb turkey.

    {We used to live near a Le Creuset outlet. Sometimes items would be heavily reduced because of a color or style change. We’d check out that rack when they were running a good sale, like 35% off anything in the store. That’s how I got my mismatched pieces of high-end cookware. I have red, blue, turquoise, gray, and green pieces! At any rate, that ‘goose pot’ has been wonderful for cooking roasts and small turkeys using Brandy’s method.}

    So, I cooked a 12-lb turkey after Thanksgiving. On Thanksgiving itself, we went to church, and then DH smoked a rib roast and a ham.

    Meals: rib roast, plus sandwiches. white chili. Crockpot turkey and dumplings. pierogis and bratwurst. ham sandwiches. turkey salad. ham and cheese plate. Tomorrow will be turkey tikka masala. Made lots of broth with turkey bones (I cooked a turkey before Thanksgiving and deboned it to use like chicken). Crammed a turkey breast and 2 containers of white chili into the freezer.

    My Black Friday bargain was dog medicines. Our vet uses an online pharmacy that was having a Black Friday sale. I got a year’s worth of heart worm and flea meds for the dog, about 25% off.

    And I got a deal at the grocery store — ground lamb, with a sell-by date of Dec 1 st, for $3/lb. Since ground lamb is now priced at $12/lb, I got all 6 lbs they had at the marked down price.

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