I gave three sons haircuts.

I purchased grapes on sale for $0.88 a pound. Even at this price, we go through so many so quickly. I hope the new grapes do well in the garden and that we have a good crop in a few years.

I purchased apples on sale for $0.88 a pound, and strawberries as a loss leader for $0.69 a pound using the store’s coupon on the app (limit 4 pounds). I made crepes for breakfast two mornings; on one of those mornings, we topped them with strawberries.

I used a digital coupon from the store to purchase ice cream for the lowest price I have ever seen ($2.99 for a gallon, limit 5 gallons). I bought 5 gallons; in a large family that amount won’t last long.

At the grocery store, I walked past a book display that had a book with a title and a cover very similar to the WWII books that I have been reading lately, though I did not recognize the author’s name. When I walked closer, I saw it had a recommendation on the cover from another author whose books I read and enjoyed. I looked up the e-book from the library and requested it. The book won’t be available for 12 weeks, but I am happy to save the $10. When I was home later, I looked up the author on the Libby app and found several more books from the same author (including one that I had looked up before that was not yet in print at the time). I placed holds on several that aren’t yet available and was able to borrow two more e-books by the author immediately.

I have not yet renewed my subscription to The Math Worksheet Site. I love this site and have used it for years for math for preschool through third grade (it goes much higher, but this is how I use the website). My eighth child is in Kindergarten this year. Normally, I would print worksheets from this site for a couple of children each year. However, there is a four-year gap between him and his elder sister, so she is now using a math book. My son has already memorized most of his addition and multiplication facts, thanks to watching lots of Numberblocks on YouTube (this is a wonderful show; if I had known about it before, I would have shown it to all of my children when they were little! Both he and my youngest were adding numbers in their head at age 3!) My son has never wanted to color or learn to write, so I am having him solidify his addition skills on the computer on the free website xtramath.org and I purchased a workbook from Sam’s Club and a few workbooks from the Dollar Tree for now to help him solidify his writing skills. I could have printed pages from some websites, but I have found that colorful workbooks have a lot of appeal to young children.

I bought some of the large pencils for young children thanks to someone suggesting them to me this year when I told them he was a reluctant writer, and we are working on using those. Once he can confidently write numbers, I will renew the subscription and teach him double-digit addition.

I harvested one zucchini, some mint, and one Armenian cucumber from the garden. This is the first zucchini I’ve harvested in years (I try every year) and the outside skin was hard like a pumpkin rind due to the heat. The aphids are really taking out all of my plants but I am hopeful that I might be able to keep one plant alive into fall and harvest more. Several local gardeners are also saying that the bugs this year have been really bad in their gardens as well.

I received a call from someone who had too many cucumbers and wondered if I wanted any. I was able to go get them the next day and combine the trip with two other nearby errands. I received two and a half plastic bags of cucumbers, which we have been really enjoying.

What did you do to save money last week?

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  1. I have struggled with aphids in the garden this year, too.
    Last week was a very busy week for us. We had our first frost and I had to harvest all that I could from the garden. I also purchased a box of pears from a local farm stand. I canned 17 pints of pear slices and 3 pints of pear butter and we ate a lot of fresh pears. I also found 3 big chicken frames in the freezer and cooked them and made 4 quarts of chicken soup and 3 quarts of chicken broth and canned them. I used carrots, green beans, celery and thyme from the garden. I harvested green beans and lima beans and two big acorn squash and a lot of green peppers from the garden outside and a lot of lettuce and tomatoes from the greenhouse. I froze a lot of tomatoes to make into sauce later, and I chopped and froze a quart of green peppers. I still have turnips that weren’t hurt by the frost, and everything in the greenhouse is fine. (Though the frost killed a lot of things, I have since found some living plants beneath those killed by frost, so I continue to harvest some green beans, a very nice surprise.) I decorated the house for fall using items I already own. We went out to dinner with friends – the frugal part of this was when the wife suggested a very expensive restaurant, I very gently suggested one that was much less expensive and she was fine with this ($50 or more a plate vs. $15-$20 a plate.) I collected several buckets of horse manure from a neighbor and mixed this into my compost pile. I washed my car and cleaned the interior myself.

  2. This has been a busy work week for me! Quilt #185-https://pin.it/4gn4c9t, quilt #186- https://pin.it/2enXBbe , quilt #187- https://pin.it/5ZoHGUE and identical wall hangings quilts #188 & 189- https://pin.it/mhOCpJ6. All quilted and paid for! And just as these were picked up, a queen size quilt sent from CA arrived for us to quilt as well as 2 more lap size for a new client. She made 1 of her lap quilts to donate to OSU’s James Cancer Hospital. When she told me that, I knew immediately that I would donate my labor! She was completely surprised that I would do that! We have been so abundantly blessed in this little side business that we are happy to give back!

    Final view of Hub’s work on patio by the gazebo- https://pin.it/2kM7vNN and https://pin.it/11l5uRQ. So it was on to the stack of 600 bricks we got on Thursday! https://pin.it/Hp0pDyX. We had to make a better frame for our 2 barrel planters in the front of side yard so we were able to do that with some of our free pallet wood and leftover 4 x 4’s (free). We weren’t able to get started on this until late Saturday afternoon but we’ve already used about 100 of them! Here’s what our stack looks like now- https://pin.it/2MCDTe2 and here’s where they went: https://pin.it/iccy4zj! So, I’m thinking that the 600 new bricks may be all used up before winter gets here!! Currently, Home Depot only has them available in pallets of 255 bricks for $699!! We hadn’t realized the price and availability had changed so drastically!! These are things we look at as permanent improvements that are one-offs! So, maybe we are crazy, but maybe…..🤔🤔🤔

    I took some blueberry cuttings on Saturday and hopefully they will successfully root to start new bushes! I’ll be starting the same process with our other berry varieties and also our lilacs.

    I plan to paint the inside of the last of our wooden fences. I already have the paint and it’s just 35 foot x 6 foot to finish. I already have enough matching paint to finish it! Then that summer project will be done!

    I had pulled out all of my old cucumber vines but one tiny scraggly one and was shocked to see a full size cucumber hanging on it yesterday! 😳 We continue to harvest tomatoes, peppers, kale, silverbeet, cabbage and chives. Next week, I will harvest our tomatillos and can salsa verde for the pantry! We love having it when we cook Mexican food!

    With some boneless pork I got on sale for $1.49/pound, I tried a new, baked pork chop recipe that only needs balsamic vinegar, brown sugar marinade on it. Really tasty and I baked 4 chops, so we had one dinner with 2 of them and the other 3 are for another day. In the crockpot, I cooked up 8 more boneless chops with a recipe that only added butter and Dry Ranch dressing mix (I used my homemade Ranch mix ) and put those up for 4 additional meals!

    When our direct deposits for the month came in on Wednesday, I was able to add more than any previous month from my excess zero out balance right into our savings account. Apparently, the things that we’ve been doing to save expenses and slow down our spending this past month have really helped. With the volatility of the economy these days, we are working towards saving and banking that savings as much as possible.
    Thanks, Brandy, for your goal setting post last week. It helped me clarify and write down what I actually hope to accomplish by the end of 2021. I’ve already started on some of them! I figure that if I put 1 or more on my daily to-do list that I can start getting little bits of them done. That will bring me closer to accomplishing my goals! (Kind of the Marivene’s weed bucket method for my goals! 😉🥰)

    Hope everyone is finding joy in those little successes we have every day!

    Gardenpat in Ohio

      1. Melissa V- Hubs used a jigsaw to cut it in half. Since he’s cut a number of 55 gallon barrels for planters of different shapes, he’s become pretty proficient! But he assures me that it isn’t difficult to cut them in half lengthwise like this! Just remember to drill some drain holes in bottom and sand the cut edges .

        Gardenpat in Ohio

    1. OOOH Thank you! I did not know you could get blueberries to root from cuttings. That will save be a good amount of $$

      1. J in PA- My garden has reaped the benefit of Marivene’s “bucket a day” weeding method and I will be forever in her debt for that!! It’s amazing to me how much you can learn from people you’ve never met in person! This technology age we live in is amazing!!!

        Gardenpat in Ohio

      1. Alexa Mcallistewr- Here’s the recipe that I like best for my Buttermilk Ranch dressing Mix: https://pin.it/37GudWo.

        Let me know if you try it and if you love it as much as we do! I always keep a jar full! So convenient and so cheap to make!

        Gardenpat in Ohio

    2. Oh I miss Marivene! I use her weeding method too😁 sometimes I go back to her posts and gleen more of her wisdom …bless her heart ❤️ I know she is smiling down from heaven 🌻

      1. Gaila in the NW- I always would give up on my garden midway through the summer because it was hot and the weeds would overtake it! But, it was a whole new concept that she suggested! I could go out when it was still cooler in the day and just fill 1 bucket with weeds. And not feel guilty about stopping then because I would do it again the next day and it would be a manageable task that left my garden looking relatively weed-free after a few days! I will be forever indebted to her for that one! And so many other gems of wisdom! ❤️

        Gardenpat in Ohio

    3. Would you mind sharing your process for growing berry bushes from cuttings? I have some blackberries and raspberries that I would love to make more of. Do you find the time of year you take the cuttings matters?
      Thanks so much for sharing all you do!

      1. Emily- the tutorial for blueberry starts is listed above in my comment back to Melissa V. about blueberry bushes. Here’s another about blueberry bush cuttings that I’m trying: https://youtu.be/GaPTx1w-F1c

        The other one that really got me started last fall was this one: http://www.free plants.com.

        But the same guy just tried this new method with these “clamshell” type globes that I found on Amazon and bought a few weeks ago (use Brandy’s link to Amazon if you decide to get these)! This is totally amazing and his instructional video is awesome so this is what I’m trying for my blackberries, figs and lilacs! https://youtu.be/SER1vZZWtwg

        Technology brings so much knowledge to us!! What an amazing time to be alive!!

        Gardenpat in Ohio

  3. Great deals on all the fruit and ice cream and free cucumbers Brandy. My biggest saving this week was in booking a trip for the spring for DD and I. We had planned to fly out on March 9 but I noticed by going out a day earlier the flights for both of us were $633 less in total. I figured for that money we could easily book a hotel and eat for one day so I quickly booked it. I then asked the travel agent to book me an extra night at the hotel-he replied that they were having a 4 for 3 night special and there would be no extra charge so I was thrilled when things lined up so perfectly.

    We are having amazing weather with no frost yet and no need to turn on the furnace either. DH returned to work today for the first time post surgery and I think he is very pleased to be able to go back. We filled up the car at Costco this morning, saving 10 cents per litre. My heart goes out to those in the UK suffering with gasoline shortages. On another frugal note, DH locked in natural gas(heat) and electric contracts for the next 3 years as that seemed to us the best way to go. Been making lots of soups and stews lately-with just the two of us I can cook once and it easily lasts for 2-3 days-this makes meals easier since we both still work part time. I tend to batch cook on my days off. I hope everyone has a good week.

  4. You had a busy week, Brandy! I’m sure your family will enjoy all that ice cream! This was my week–

    * I bought a few pounds of 85/15 ground beef for $2.79 lb. I think that probably is going to be the rock bottom price for this grind. However, I like 80/20 just fine…and I’m still hoping for $2.49 or less. I haven’t really stocked up, but I’m not feeling desperate, either.

    * I’m just about finished redoing the garden bed that didn’t turn out the way I expected. All I have left to do is put up a trellis and move a climbing rose (which I’ve already cut down). I started rehabbing the strawberry bed I posted about a few months ago. I needed to remove all of the plants–which I have done–and then add soil to the raised bed (the whole reason I am doing this and it was worse than I thought) and replant. I bought broken bags of garden soil at Lowe’s for 50% off (you have to ask), ending up with about 1/3 yard. It isn’t going to be enough. Now I am emptying a big bin of half-finished compost into the bed. This isn’t pleasant or easy work, but little by little I am getting it done. (I move at the speed of an arthritic slug).

    My husband spilled melted butter on a pair of new khakis. It took 3 tries, but I got it out! Stain removal and mending are big for making clothes last.

    I had about two hours to kill in the next town over and decided to go thrifting– even though I don’t want to bring more junk into the house. I hit Goodwill and St. Vinny’s (on half-price day!) and bought 5 children’s books and 3 water glasses (which we actually needed) for a total of $2.91 including tax. I donated the books to the Little Free Library.

    I found a penny in a parking lot and OF COURSE I picked it up!

    I would like to add that we all seem to be in one long, giant funk. This has been an on- and off-again problem for me for about a year and it’s a topic on several blogs and forums I follow. I’ve given it a lot of thought lately and I believe it is caused by boredom, a feeling that we aren’t in control of anything and diminished self-confidence…mostly caused by the pandemic. Frustration at having to do things in new–and not necessarily desirable–ways enters into it, too. Goaling myself to work outside in the garden, with or without assistance, seems to be helping me a lot. Believe me, I haven’t wanted to do it, tried and failed to hire it done, haven’t really enjoyed the tasks and I’m not done yet. Still, I am feeling a real sense of accomplishment for what I have done, and it feels GOOD. I had a good week and I think that’s the reason. If anyone here is putting off a project (and that might be everyone except Brandy, LOL) I encourage you to get started–you might surprise yourself how much you can get done, even if you can’t do very much at once. Anything is better than nothing, right?! Carpe diem!!

    1. Maxine-
      Great post; I swear by a product called Lestoil to remove grease from clothing. I have also used it on upholstery in our cars for tough stains. My mother in law got me started on it 36 years ago and its my go to. I often put a little directly on the grease stain and then let it soak in a bucket of water. Have a great week.

      1. Thanks for the tip about Lestoil. In the end, I got it out with Dawn. I rubbed it into the stain and them tamped it into the weave by hitting it with a brush.

        1. I read once that a stain should be worked on from the back– if the butter is on the outside of the pants, you should scrub the inside, to push the grease back out the way it came.
          Is that right? Does everyone already know this?

      2. The best thing I’ve ever found for any kind of grease stains is the Carbona stain devil (yellow bottle) for fat, grease, and oil. It’s the only thing I’ve ever found that will completely remove a butter stain!

      3. A simple and inexpensive method I use to remove grease spots from clothing is by using deodorant bar soap on the spots. I just wet one edge of the soap, rub on the spots making a paste, let sit for a bit (maybe 10 minutes) or put with other laundry for the next wash load, even days later. It doesn’t seem to affect color on fabric. Sometimes it will need a second treatment, but it works wonderfully. I use Irish Spring soap that is available at the Dollar Tree, but when I learned this from a co-worker years ago, she used Zest soap.

    2. Maxine, I agree. I notice I feel so much better with something productive to do. A few friends and I have started an herbal tea challenge. We all have committed to drinking oat straw and nettle tea and see how we feel. Making the tea, smelling it, drinking it, benefiting from it and talking to my friends about it has really brightened my day!

    3. Maxine – Just saw that the Safeway in Liberty Lake has 80/20 ground beef in the 3 pound packages for $2.29/lb starting today.

      1. It’s that price here, too. But I missed it in the ad. Thank you for mentioning this! If you hadn’t, I would have missed it. (When are we gonna get together?)

  5. Brandy,
    This week the rain came to the PNW. I might get a few more things from my garden but not much. I know your garden was frustrating this year and I pray next year will be so much more productive for you. After many years of enjoying this blog, this is the first year I have been able to feed my husband and I from our garden in a way that really reduced our grocery budget for at least one and half months which is good for our short growing season.
    I managed to go to a garage sale this weekend and purchased a basket, a skein of yarn and a small puzzle all for $1. I treated myself to a $5 mum and put that in the basket which is on my front porch. It should last throughout fall. I will add a few pumpkins from my garden later. I will enjoy the purple colored mum and I hope it brings a spot of joy to my neighbors as well. I picked up one more Christmas gift this week so I am making progress.
    This savings may sound weird to many but I was going to my grandsons soccer game and it was raining like crazy. I needed some rain boots to keep my feet dry. I have a pair but they are the long kind that come up to your knee and that seemed a bit over-kill for this situation and then I spotted my 8 yr old grandson’s half boots in his bedroom at my house. They fit me so I wore those and my feet stayed dry. I’m sure it will only be a few months when he wears the same size shoe I do but for those few months, the boots came in handy. I think I will keep them to wear myself when he out-grows them which will be very soon.
    Saving money is becoming more and more difficult but that is why I enjoy the creativity of this blog community. It keeps me motivated. Thanks!!

    1. My 10 year old niece has larger feet than me already. I can’t wit for them to send over the hand me downs for my ‘kids’. I need some new shoes 😂

  6. The whole family worked on Saturday skinning and chopping tomatoes, chopping onions, chopping peppers (all from the garden) and turning them into salsa. We got 26 pints and 30 half pints (we’ll give the half pints away as neighbor gifts. We also got 7 more quarts of tomatoes canned and 2.5 gallon bags of chopped onions for the freezer.

    I’m hoping to get a few more batches of tomatoes canned before the garden freezes.

  7. I am so glad that I learned to cut my son’s hair when he was little, and then later my hubby let me cut his hair. I am sure we have saved hundreds if not thousands over the years!
    For my frugal week, I
    1) brought cookbooks that I am no longer using to a used book store. I traded a large box full in and choose the store credit option which gave me around $43 in credit. It would have only been $20 something if I had chosen cash. I found one new cookbook for my new eating style that I used the credit on, and then the rest of the credit we used on new music books for my daughter.
    2) I bought my daughter some rainbow carrots as a little gift when my hubby and I were out in a date. The cost was higher than regular carrots, but I am trying to encourage her to eat healthy and she is always thrilled to try a new and unusual to us food.
    3) I attended a memorial service for my friend’s kitty that passed away a couple weeks ago. She also had three other friends who joined us by FaceTime, and we all shared a memory that we had of her kitty. I could see how it visibly brought some closure to my friend, so I was happy that I could help her healing.
    4) My daughter and I went on several hikes. For some, my hubby or a sister that came to visit joined us.
    5) I accepted some free yarn that was offered to me.
    6) I finished a baby blanket for The Samaritan Center, and added it to my pile to take over sometime for their Baby Layette program. I am happy that I am getting some together and finished!
    Looking forward to reading what everyone is up to! I have lots of pictures and more things shared on my blog here: https://chickadeecove.blogspot.com/2021/09/frugal-friday-week-of-september-19-25.html
    -Susan M. in Chattanooga, Tennessee

  8. How nice someone shared cucumbers with you. Our first cucumbers planted this year were the long, asian ones, but my husband planted armenian cucumbers for the second round, and we’ve enjoyed a few of them so far. We took our annual beach vacation, and got to read, relax, and go thrifting. I brought some food, including our last watermelon, and we ate all breakfasts and lunches in our room, as well as three dinners. The garden was pretty well picked while we were gone, but I harvested yellow squash, a tromboncino, cucumbers, lettuce, eggplant, a few muscadines, and some sad tomatoes. The day after we got back, I did laundry, and hung the loads on the line. I worked up a bed, and planted carrots, beet, chard and lettuce seeds. It’s really late, but you never know. http://abelabodycare.blogspot.com/2021/09/a-trip-to-coast.html

  9. Congratulations on the zucchini and the cucumbers. We love both here. We didn’t get a garden in this year but are planning a huge one next year. We hope it will do well.

    We start our no spend year this coming Friday and we are excited. My husband is the more frugal of the two of us most of the time. We will still buy groceries and household supplies and we have set a monthly budget of 200 dollars which is more than adequate for five people. Most months I’ll try to keep it far lower than that. We have a fully stocked pantry so that will help. We are going to buy Christmas gifts and we are going to our son’s college graduation in may so those will be some exceptions. I’ll keep y’all updated on our progress.

    We got a couple of good deals at dillons this week. We got 2 half gallons of milk for 88 cents each and we got a gallon of orange juice as a treat for 2.69. Other than that we didn’t really need much and have been living on leftovers and stored food.

    I hope everyone has a great and frugal week!

  10. I harvested courgettes ( zucchini) runner beans, french beans, sweet corn, spinach, parsley and tomatoes from my garden. I gave beans and courgettes to my neighbours, and was given banana cake in return.
    They have also promised me apples when they harvest the fruit from their trees.

  11. My one year old dog got in my two raised beds and totally had a hay- day and they were destroyed. One had all my starts I had started from seed weeks ago, and the other I direct seeded and then we had flooding so I wasn’t sure the seed would come up. I went to the nursery and got some broccoli and collard 6 packs of starts. I cannot find spinach and turnip greens, so I will reseed for those, as well as lettuces, beets, carrots, onion, and garlic. I ordered a netting fabric that will keep bugs as well as the dog out and will make a hoop row. We got 10% military discount.
    –A friend gave me about 20 green onion bulbs. I gave her a bag of sunflower seeds I harvested from my Mammoth Sunflowers.
    –When I bought vegetable starts I got 4 small flowers for $1.74 each to put in my French Lavabo sink planter. I also got two mums for the front porch. We got the 10% military discount on all of them. I took out the flowers that were pretty dead from my front porch planter. I had tall grass in the center so I used it in the lavabo for height. I planted one of the mums on the porch pot and the other sits next to the bench. I will plant the mums in the yard after using for fall decor.
    –I sold 4 masks I had from a pack of 10 I bought to embroider. They were just plain white tshirt material, so it was only $4.00. I listed baby quilts on my regular page. I have 11 quilts left from my business, and sold 4 this week. I embroider the name or monogram on them. I am able to get $42 for each quilt, so it is good money to recoup.
    –I finished watched all seasons of Seaside Hotel. It is a really nice series. It is in Danish, so you have to read as you watch, but I soon forget I am reading.
    —I went to neighborhood garage sales Saturday. One had boxes at the street of books with a free sign. I picked out about 25 hardback John Grisham books, Nora Robert’s, etc. Then at another sale she told me to take all the books for $3. I have about 50 books and we will read them, then I will sell them. I got a carpenters metal tool box for $5, that will be good in my craft room. I found gray stripe sheets that will fit our camper for $5. And I got two ladles for $1.
    —I harvested tomatoes and okra.
    — Turkeys are on both Walmart and Costco sites for $6.78 a lb, so over $100 a turkey! I don’t think this looks good. I don’t like turkey that much so we will definitely have something else if that is the price. If other things raise prices that high I am fearful what it will look like the next year. I have a lot of food, but is it ever enough? Thankfully my husband hunts, so we can get venison. I hope people will begin sharing more low cost meal ideas with everyone. We all come from different places and what is usual for you may be something new to others.
    —I have frozen whole tomatoes and plan to make more salsa later. I will take the skins and pulp and dehydrate. Then grind into a tomato powder. You can use this to make sauce and paste, add to soups. I am also going to dehydrate beet greens, turnip greens, collard greens, and make a powder. You add a little of this to add great nutrition to meals and it is hidden if you have a picky eater.
    — I also want to get a bunch of eggs and whip up 4 and put in ziplocks to freeze. Use these to make eggs, omelets, in baking, etc. I have never dehydrated them, but may try that, too.

    1. Holly, are you sure you looked at the correct turkey on the Walmart website? I just pulled it up and saw that DELI turkey is $6.98/pound but Lil Butterball All Natural Young Turkey, frozen, 6-12 pounds, is $1.98/pound. Honeysuckle white frozen bone-in turkey breast is $1.88/pound, average size 3 to 9 pounds. I don’t like turkey that much and my daughter and son-in-law have already said they don’t want it for Thanksgiving so I won’t be buying any. I just wanted to point this out on the price. The only way I see a whole turkey being $6.78/pound this year is if it’s organic/pasture raised. I could be wrong, though.

      1. I just looked again and they have removed the whole turkey from the site at Walmart. I do not know if there are different prices per location or how listed. I am in Alabama and was alerted to it from a friend in Seattle. I wonder if it could have been a glitch? The Costco listing was $103 for a turkey instead of per pound price listed.

  12. It’s been a great, frugal week in Houston!
    Unfortunately, we had to shut the windows and turn the AC back on when it got above 80 in the house. Plus, the humidity is so high here.
    I sold some American Girl dolls I bought at a garage sale, on Facebook Marketplace.
    I baked bread, muffins, garlic breadsticks, homemade oatmeal squares, and a lemon cake.
    We ate all meals at home (or food from home while at sports practices), except for one meal at Burger King, with coupons.
    I found more beans marked down, .50/#. I really don’t need more, but bought some anyway for the food storage.
    I returned a library book that somehow was missed last time I made a trip to the library.
    I saw a power wheels toy outside a dumpster at some apartments near our house. Without a charger and with no idea whether the battery was still good, I listed it (with full disclosure) for $5 on Facebook Marketplace, and someone picked it up a few hours later! Not bad for about 5 minutes of work.
    I paid bills online, saving some stamps.
    My sister-in-law offered me the leftover donut holes from my nephew’s birthday party, which were quite a treat the next morning when my kids enjoyed them for breakfast.
    I gave two kids haircuts.
    I made a meal for a neighborhood family with a new baby using entirely ingredients I had on hand.
    I got a bag of clothes to sell from my sister. I list them and keep half of what they sell for. She has no interest in doing this and would rather get the money than donate, so it’s a win-win. We do donate what doesn’t sell, though.
    I took the kids to walk at the mall after church, before the stores open. It was nice to escape the humidity and mosquitoes.
    Hope it was a nice, frugal week for everyone!

  13. We had a quiet week at home. We chose to spend our weekly money on a donation and simply stayed on budget by not spending extra. I did yard work and moved some dirt around to a location that needed a little extra soil. I will eventually plant a bush here . Sugar cookie is back home and requested a trip out the dumpsters. After being in solid quarantine for 3 months , she had missed her hobby. At a local Dollar General we came upon quite a haul. Dog food , cat litter , Gain and many items of sealed health and beauty. There were ripped packs of Hanes t-shirts. We went to a local area and left many of the items for people that live in their cars. Its always a great day to add Gain to my pantry. I used rewards to purchase two books from Amazon. These are new releases and I will probably resell them aftetwards. I rarely buy new books. The daughter enjoyed watching Anne with an E on Amazon. I used an Audible credit to buy her Anne of Green Gables. Its 79 hours and should last her a very long time. We brought home many packages of berries and vegtables. Sugar cookie washed everything and prepped them for the freezer. I redeemed swag bucks for a visa gift card that I was able to add to our onboard account for our upcoming Halloween trip. That was a lovely surprise.

  14. We are under 10 years from retirement, I’m 48. I am looking at ways to reduce expenses by keeping things running efficiently. I had a very satisfying morning completing some tasks on my monthly maintenance calendar. I boiled the electric kettle twice, with a mixture of white vinegar and water (about 2:1).This removes the limescale. Then I used that boiling vinegar-water to rinse the little screens on my stove vent hood (they get grease buildup). I caught the run-off hot vinegar water in a bowl, added blue Dawn, and soaked the food trap from inside the bottom of the dishwasher. It was quite gunky, even though I do this every other month. Each of those things should prolong the life of the appliance, and make for more efficient running too.

    We moved plants from half wine barrels and planted them in the ground. The barrels were here when we bought the house, and though they are attractive, they require so much more water than in-ground plants. We sifted the soil from the barrels, it was half good soil, and half native clay. We used all of the sifted good soil to make a new vegetable bed in ground. It felt good to use the soil we already had, we didn’t have to buy any new.

    CVS has another $7.98 off of 2 toothpaste. I bought 2 Colgate total, and only had to pay $0.75 tax. I made sure to do a return within the allowed time for an item I tried and didn’t like. I ordered GF flour from Vitacost, going through Swagbucks (10 SB per $1, which is pretty awesome). This Wednesday Panera is offering free coffee for parents. My husband passes one on the way to work, so he will stop. I don’t drink coffee.

    Last week I reorganized my closet, and I had set aside a scarf/shawl to donate. I liked it but it didn’t go with anything I owned. Today I realised it would make a great wrap for using on the airplane (I’m flying tomorrow to help our kids move). It feels good to keep the scarf AND put it to use. Now I’m hoping I can help our son and DIL to sell all that they need to in order to downsize into the 5th wheel they are buying for their next adventure!
    Have a blessed week!

  15. Since I last replied, we have gone from summer to winter in Fairbanks. We have a dusting of snow on the ground. Everything has been h harvested from our garden. This year we raised 785 pounds of potatoes. My son loves zucchini. He had frozen 9 cups for winter baking and was hoping for 1 more. Instead, he found 19 more cups. Last night we fixed a roaster full of buttercup squash. It is one of my favorites, so I would love to have more for winter. We froze 4 cups of that and had some for last night and tonight’s supper. We have tried to be more intentional about looking ahead to winter, not knowing what else will be available. Many of our potatoes will be given away to other pastors and non-profits.
    We just returned from a major buying trip to the groceon slae for ry store. I am noticing many things are not on normal sales and even not available. We buy whole wheat pasta because I am diabetic. The store only had spaghetti. Usually this time of year, it will be on sale for less than $1.00, this year what they have is $1.69. Although we grow so many potatoes, I like to have mixes also available for leftover meals. Usually they are around $1.00 a box. This year, the store has only about 2 varieties and again they are $1.69 a box. am feeling so blessed to have our garden produce! Remembering the rice shortage in the pandemic, we bought a 50 lb. bag when Costco had jasmine rice.
    At church yesterday, someone had provided caribou burger, so we happily took 4 pounds. I will use it for chili! Someone else has a surplus of moose burger and halibut that we can request when needed. We will chcck with them about potatoes and cabbage.
    I had forgotten you were going to see Winter last month. When you missed posting the 2nd week, I was really concerned. My mobility is limited, so the day your blog comes out is a highlight for me and many others. We were planning/ hoping for a trip to Anchorage before winter got bad. We could still go, but the covid rates are the highest ever here now. We normally mostly visit a large used of bookstore and buy a few foods not available in Faribanks. I have not been out of the borough for 19 months. We missed several significant events in the lower 48 recently, but we are healthy, well-fed, and so blessed! Thank you to everyone here for providing ideas of frugal living!

    1. Wow! That is a lot of potatoes! How wonderful that people trade & share, and of course, donate. Hope the winter isn’t too bad this year.

  16. Oh how I miss the homeschooling years. Lots of hard work but so rewarding!

    I missed posting last week so these are our frugal accomplishments for the last 2 weeks:

    We ate all our meals at home. A chef friend of ours gave us a steak and Starbucks coffee. Both are a real treat.

    I ordered a birthday gift from Target online using my redcard to save 5% and picked it up which meant I didn’t have to go in the store.

    I cut my husband’s hair.

    We have gotten a few of the last tomatoes from our small garden. We will be pulling up the plants next week. We had a very good summer in our garden. We were able to get green beans, cucumbers, tomatoes, zucchini, jalapeno and banana peppers, basil, lettuce, and parsley. We have a small yard and we are always amazed each year by how much food we can grow.

    Once a year we go through our budget, looking for ways to save more money. We save hundreds of dollars by paying our car insurance annually and the premium price actually went down this year! We have also cancelled all of our online subscriptions. We were hanging on to some that we were rarely using.

    Years ago I printed out two of Brandy’s blog posts titled “40 Ways to Save Money” and “Cutting Expenses When You Think You Have Nothing Left to Cut.” Whenever I feel discouraged or overwhelmed I read them again and get inspired.

  17. Joining in from the Seattle area.

    I just received notification from our library that, after many months of waiting, I can come pick up the book The Kitchen Front! Looking forward to reading that very much. Have also been reading other e-books from the library, most recently The Girl from the Channel Islands. I appreciate all the recommendations from Brandy and the posters here.

    Did a bunch of cooking this week. Prepped several entrees and put them in the freezer for later. Bought a rotisserie chicken, and froze some of the meat. Made broth from the bones, and then made a batch of green soup, using vegetables from the fridge and my CSA farm share. Signed up for a share next year and got a small early bird discount. Ordered a 25lb bag of pinto beans from Azure Standard, along with a few other items. Found the rest of the birthday cheesecake I made in the freezer (from April), so I have been enjoying that.

    With permission, I gleaned Italian prunes from under a tree at my CSA. They were quite soft for fresh eating (I prefer the firm ones), so I made jam. Had everything on hand (jars, lids, pectin, sugar and lemon juice), so no OOP. Ended up with 8 half pints.

    Other ways we saved:
    – Had a plumbing leak on something that was recently installed. Called the plumber and they had someone come out and fix it at no charge, thank goodness.
    – Our local co-op had a BIGI sale on personal care items. Purchased two body butters for the price of one.
    – Needed a piece of wood for a project, and I had heard that lumber is currently very expensive. At Home Depot, found a piece that on the shelf with a tag marked $32, but the beam was damaged at the end. Had it cut, and the clerk marked it down by 70% because of the damage. At the register, it rang up as….98 cents! Apparently it was not in the correct bin, as the regular price was $2.99. That was a nice surprise.
    – Did some research and decided to order an upright scanner to organize records and files and get rid of some paper. When I went to order it from Costco, it was $50 off from when I checked before. Plus shipping was free.
    – Saw in the Costco ad that an item I recently purchased will go on sale this week. Will check whether they will refund the difference (they usually do).
    – Cancelled an order for an item that was backordered. I decided I could live without it.

    Looking forward to reading everyone’s comments, as always.

  18. Two posts in one day? We’re going to have a lot of comments to read! I’m not complaining.

    Happy fall and cooler weather (at least in the northern hemisphere). I need to get back to saving money and documenting what I’m doing to hold myself accountable so I’m going to try to comment most weeks.

    The biggest money saver was re-applying for the homeowners’ tax rate and the homestead exemption for state residents age 65 and over living in their homes. I redid all my estate documents this past summer (it was WELL past time) and set up a trust so my daughter can avoid probate. The house is included in the trust so I needed to reapply for both tax breaks. The homestead credit exempts the first $50,000 of the home from any taxes and the homeowners’ rate will tax the remaining value at 4%, not 6%. I’ll save well over a thousand dollars each year.

    I bought 2 large tomato plants at Lowe’s using a gift card I obtained with credit card points. I need to repot them in larger pots that I already have and will be keeping them on the screen porch to keep the bugs from getting them. I’ll also be able to bring them inside in December and January when the nights get cold but daytime temps are still in the 50ies and 60ies, sometimes higher. I’m continuing to pick bell peppers and more are starting. This has been by far the biggest number of peppers I’ve ever grown and I’ve been using the “Autumn Bell” variety to make stuffed peppers while the Cubanelle are great for stir fries and as a topping on tortilla pizza (tortilla with tomato sauce, peppers, mushrooms and cheese baked for about 10 minutes and then broiled for about 2 minutes to brown the cheese).

    I bought grass-feed beef from a regenerative, organic farm online. The prices would probably give most of you a heart attack but this is something that is really important to me. My sister and I shared an order so we could both avoid the delivery charge for orders under $149. I have a french door refrigerator with a bottom freezer drawer and was able to fit everything in – barely. I made room by cooking a pork roast and gave half of it to my daughter and her husband to make pork BBQ. I also gave them some sugar snap peas and cherry tomatoes that I bought at the farmers market since they are sold by the quart there and it’s really too much for me. I made them 2 dozen each of two different kinds of cookies they like since they are taking a 10 hour each way road trip this week to see his family and celebrate various birthdays and anniversaries. Of course, the pork farmer at the market had just received a shipment back from his processor since he had sent several pigs to market and I ended up buying another pork roast, but I moved things around and got it in the freezer. Except for bacon, I’m set on chicken, beef and pork until the end of the year, but will probably buy more chicken in late November. The bread outlet store was giving away a free loaf of white bread to every customer the day I was there and I made overnight french toast with it, again giving half to my daughter and son-in-law, including the frozen strawberries and blueberries to put on top as they bake it.

    I attended my town’s Sweet Tea Festival last weekend and my favorite tea of the 10 I sampled was the blueberry. I found recipes online and will be trying to replicate it this week. I attended the Italian Festival this past weekend and had some delicious food while supporting a foundation set up to support a local school district. The weather was great both days and they were well attended. It was really nice to get out.

    I stopped at our local library to drop off papers to be shredded in the large bins provided. I noticed a cookbook, Bare Minimum Dinners: Recipes and Strategies for Doing Less in the Kitchen by Jenna Helwig. I borrowed it and marked a few recipes. I first want to try the lasagna and the deep dish pizza, both made in the slow cooker. I found it’s also on Scribd so I saved it to my account. I currently have 235 books saved…

    I read several books, including “The Midnight Library” by Matt Haig using the Hoopla app from my library. I had both the audio version to listen to in the car and the electronic version to read. My sister’s book club (and a lot of other book clubs) read it and it’s an interesting idea. What would have happened in your life if you had made a different decision along the way and how would that have affected other peoples’ lives? What if you could go back and make that decision or in this case decisions because the main character, Nora, gets the chance to do just that and experience what her life would have been. It was definitely thought-provoking for me although I spent about the first quarter telling her that she was the one who messed up her life, not anyone else, much like I did for the entire book “The Girl on the Train”. I highly recommend The Midnight Library, but there is a tiny bit of language that some might find offensive.

    1. I have a hold on the Midnight Library but it will probably be another few weeks before it arrives. I’ve heard lots of good reviews so I’m looking forward to reading it.

    2. Thank you for the book recommendation! I’ll have to wait a while but all the books that have been suggested here are so good, I know it will be worth the wait.

  19. *Congrats on your zucchini! I think that is exciting because I know you have tried to grow those so many times and hand pollinate.

    *We had a family dinner and I made dutch oven chicken enchiladas. It’s a great pantry meal because the recipe calls for canned chicken, canned soups, corn tortillas, canned tomatoes and salsa. I used shredded cheese bought on sale. With that meal we had grapes, cornbread and tortilla chips. My daughter made the cornbread with GF flour. The taste was good but they were very crumbly. She also made brownies with GF flour and they came out quite dry. We ate the brownies for dessert with a scoop of ice cream. But I had two 2/3 pans leftover – one of dry brownies and one of crumbly cornbread. I cut the brownie pieces smaller and put them in a trifle (made with all pantry ingredients of pudding, whipped topping and milk). The cornbread I crumbled up and added eggs and a bit of milk. Then I fried those in butter. We will eat those for breakfast with my homemade raspberry jam.

    *I shopped the Old Navy clearance sale and was able to get more clothes for my daughter who needed a bit of everything in her wardrobe. I received free shipping and cash back on the purchase. It also qualified for Old Navy Dollars. If I don’t need anything then I give those to my daughter to use for her baby. Baby is growing fast and outgrowing clothes.

    *I went to the store in the morning and shopped their clearance in the back of the store. I tucked away deodorant for Christmas stockings($1/each), allergy medication ($3) that expires 4/2023, 6 pack of women’s razors ($1), Comet (99c) and 10 Mr Clean sponges ($6). I got 3 packs of Chapsticks for $1/each. I bought 5 to put away for Christmas. I found men’s leather wallets on clearance for $10 and put those away for Christmas.

    *I canned (from the Ball Canning Book) tomatoes and Garden Pickles. From the garden we picked more tomatoes, snack tomatoes, peppers and a cucumber. I’m re-organizing my downstairs pantry and using more containers to store things in. I have 5 old milk crates that I would like to use to help stack cans. I want to put my canned food on the bottom shelves and move the lighter stuff up on the higher shelves. It’s vice versa that now.

    *I borrowed multiple books from the library and found only 2 books that I enjoyed reading. But I did enjoy them. I’ve been exercising at home.

    *My oldest son (26) bought his first home last week. We’re so happy for him. When he came over to our house we were able to bless him with a kitchen table, a comfy chair/recliner, a toaster oven and a set of silverware that we had kept from when we moved my husband’s mother to assisted care. Because we stock up – we also blessed him with toilet paper, paper towels, rags, scrub brushes, dishwasher soap and detergent, laundry detergent, cleaning wipes, sponges, handsoap, 2 empty buckets. We gathered the family together to help him move in over the weekend. It’s a 2 bedroom 1 bath home and it has a 2 car garage. We picked up $5 pizza to help feed those who came to help. I also brought down chips and crackers from my pantry stash for munchies.

    *My daughter wanted to go with friends to the her school Homecoming dance. She borrowed a dress from her sister, I did her hair and makeup and the other friends mom provided dinner at their house. We carpooled so that everyone could arrive together and save some gas money. We took pictures with our cell phones and shared them over a group text.

    *A wonderful woman in our neighborhood passed away unexpectedly. I volunteered to bring a jello salad for the family funeral lunch. I was able to use things from my pantry. I love not having to run to the store to help someone out.

    *Have a wonderful week being frugal.

  20. Thanks for sharing. I have been following for last 5 years, 1st time e commenting ( I think). We look forward to your post every week.
    We saved money this week on gas by using the get upside app referral. This made gas cheaper then at Sam’s club/Costco along with a 1 month free subscription to quickbooks app for my business. I made some fall pumpkins out of scrap fabric, cinnamon sticks and some green pipe cleaners we already had. Asked for a homeschool discount at staples and Office depot to bind some workbooks I made for free for my kiddos. You can also find a huge amount of free math worksheets on math drill .com I found that sight thanks to MomDelights. Com , their is alot of good info on homeschool here, too. My oldest requested a book from Amazon; I found it for free on our local library app. We printed another workbook spencerian handwriting from ourhouse.com and found the original teacher guide on Google books. Did you know books from 1925 back are free to read on public domain?

    1. I am so glad you posted about momdelights.com. I use to read her blog and forgot the name of it. I think of her from time to time and I am so glad I have refound the site. Thank you!

  21. To save quite a bit on shipping, I’m taking the train to visit a friend where they make the raised fabric beds I want to replace my old ones with. They had a coupon with 30% off tickets, so this comes to near the same price as gas these days without putting wear on my car. I’m hoping to redo those beds this fall when it cools a bit more. I got a haircut where I was able to donate 14”. I’m so happy all that extra is gone, and saved by going to a beauty school for the cut. I splurged on some decor for Halloween I’ve been wanting for years as it was 40% off. My neighbor (who is a community stage director) offered to lend me a smoke machine, so I’m excited to pull my idea together for outdoor Halloween decor along with a children’s book give away (I’ve been collecting free books) vs candy for trick or treaters. I gave myself a manicure and pedicure with the zoya polish deal I got last year on Black Friday (it was something like buy 3 get 12 free or some such, a really good deal). Finally, though not a money saver, I wrote to the city trying to save a large historic 1868 home in the neighborhood. It was a friend’s home in high school, and it’s still amazingly nearly all original. Even still has the original wall covering and light fixtures. Heritage trees too. Homes this old are very rare here and it was once owned by a locally well known farmer. So, fingers crossed and at least I’ll know I tried. Brandy, I forget if I mentioned this, but I had such good luck this year with using nasturtiums as a trap plant for aphids. I’m usually constantly dealing with them and only saw a handful this year.

    1. Nasturtiums grow in the winter and early spring here. They are just now sprouting. I wonder if they will all be eaten too then.

  22. This has been a busy week for us but a blessed one as well.
    I cleaned out my sons closet about a month ago and have been looking and waiting for seasonal consignment sales to come up. I was able to get him two winter jackets, several long sleeve tshirts, sweatshirts, fleece jackets/pullovers, a couple of long sleeve thermal shirts, an astronaut suit and a couple of pieces that he can grow into. He is mostly set for fall and winter with the exception of some jammies, sweatpants, pants and jeans. Best of all is that I spent $130 for all of the clothing that I purchased this past weekend which judging by the quality, many items were new with tags on, it would have cost $400-$500 if bought new in the store.
    I worked in the garden a bit this weekend and harvested 4 gallon bags of banana peppers, green bell peppers and lots of cubanelle peppers. I have now pulled the plants so that I can plant the remainder of my fall seeds on time to hopefully get a crop before a hard freeze.
    I have a large amount of basil left I the garden and I will be pulling that and freeze for future spaghetti sauces, soups, pesto, etc
    We used digital coupons to purchase 5 half gallons of milk at $0.88/each, 18 eggs for $0.99/ea..we bought the limit if 5, split chicken breasts, drumsticks and thighs were bought at $0.88/lb. I bought a large block of mozzarella at Sam’s with the intent of using it make up lasagnas and freeze for later meals.
    I used the last of a bag of oatmeal to make a double batch of oatmeal raisin cookies. I also made gingerbread muffins, baked a half of a ham, made mashed potatoes, home grown green beans and pulled a squash casserole from the freezer for our Sunday dinner. I also have some frozen yeast roll dough that needed to be used so I thawed and baked them to go with dinner. They looked a bit stunted but tasted gray and we gobbled them up.
    I baked up a peach cobbler as well using the last of summers peaches from the freezer.
    I purchased two pork sirloin roasts for $1.49/lb and stashed those in the freezer.
    I was able to turn off the ac two days last week but as temps are climbing back the 80s this week we have not reach the stage where we car turn it off permanently.
    We purchased a new vehicle this past week which is definitely not frugal but we made money on our trade and cut our interest rate in less than half which was a good thing. This vehicle will serve our family well for many years so I feel good about it. We did purchase the Gap insurance offered to us but instead of rolling it into the purchase and getting charged more over time we paid for it outright with a zero interest credit card that we will pay off in full this month.
    Kroger sent me a coupon for $15 off your pickup order. We were running low on
    Laundry detergent, softener. I bought 5 large containers of detergent, 5 large container of softener, chicken thighs, and split chicken breasts and a gallon of bleach for less than 60 total. This will likely take us through December. The items mentioned here are the only food we bought this week. I am trying to be very diligent about eating from our pantry and freezer as much as we possibly can so that we take advantage of what we have on hand.
    The garden is growing well and I am hopeful that we will have more harvests from it as fall begins to take hold.
    I did also purchase several pumpkins in all colors…about 8 pumpkins and many gourds for $30. Will decorate with them for the fall and then roast them for purée and pumpkin butter and soups and pie in the winter.
    I hope that everyone has a great fall week ahead and is able to enjoy at least some cool breezes.

  23. Greetings from NY. I have been trying to save time and costs with batch cooking. It’s good but with only 2 of us, some of the meals repeat a lot or take up freezer space. I tried something new this week and I like it so far. I put a quart of tomatoes in the crockpot along with one chicken breast, 1/4 London broil, 2 Italian sausages and 12 (cooked) meatballs. I left it on low from before work until after. I took put the chicken breast and shredded it for chicken pot pie later this week. I took out the London broil and shredded it for tacos later. I took out the sausages for sausage & peppers later. I seasoned the tomato sauce with garlic, Italian herbs and a splash of wine vinegar and served it tonight with half the meatballs. We’ll have the rest of the meatballs, sauce and spaghetti later on. I’m excited to have all that cooking done with little effort and all in one crockpot.
    Grocery shopping was disappointing with no sales on what I wanted except boneless center cut pork chops for $1.99# which is a good price.
    I too was happy to get a stain out of a shirt.
    We had a wonderful vacation last week—swimming every day. Ahh!
    I downloaded a Martha Grimes book on Libby so I am looking forward to that.
    Wishing all a good week!

    1. I liked the early Martha Grimes Inspector Richard Jury, though haven’t read any for a long time. I pulled out some old, old paperbacks and am revisiting Mrs. Pollifax, her early years having more story than the later ones, and Lord Peter Wimsey.

  24. Hello Brandy,
    Do you mind sharing the name of the books? Also, may I request the chicken and broccoli recipe (from the previous post)? Thank you, in advance.

    1. The books are by Kristin Harmel. I haven’t read any yet so I didn’t name her to recommend anything yet.

      Chicken: I have been buying chicken thighs as they have the most meat for the price. I usually bake them in a pan with a lid (you can also cover a pan with foil if you don’t have a baking dish with a lid) as this allows me more time to attend to other chores. I season them differently each time but I often use Lawry’s Chicken Rub Seasoning on it. I don’t eat the skin but my children like it.

      I just steam the broccoli and put a little spreadable margarine and salt on it. I buy the Imperial spreadable margarine; it’s 3 pounds for $2.27 at one store here. It has no trans fats and is much lower in calories than regular margarine and butter. I just use a little.

  25. Hello, everyone!

    I recently started a part-time job that requires me to visit a Target store every week. When I finish my job, I then take advantage of being there and do my personal shopping. I see a lot of clearance items, especially on a particular day of the week. One week I found nut mixes that were 50% off. They were located in an unusual spot in the produce department, so no one was noticing them. When I went back the following week, there were still some remaining, so I got even more. I also found half price vitamins for my children, and canned vegetables for 27 cents a can. The store was also shelving a new coffee product and they taped “free” coupons to several on the shelf, so I picked up one of those as well. I also talk to several of the employees to see what products they are seeing shortages of.

    My fall garden is starting to take shape. So far I have carrots, lettuce, and cabbage forming.

    I read the book “Below Stairs,” Margaret Powell’s memoir of her life as a servant in England. I’m sure many of you have probably read it, but somehow it only recently came to my attention. I really enjoyed it.

    I received two free coupons from a sweepstakes for packages of juice boxes for my kids.

    I ordered a couple of pairs of New Balance shoes for my kids during a buy one/get one free-final markdown event. I got two pairs for $15 each essentially! One pair that they sent was the wrong size. I was unsure how they would handle the return, and they were out of the correct size. They asked me to send both pair back, but they sent me a coupon for a free pair of shoes!

    Have a great week!

  26. Nice price on the grapes and ice cream(two of my favorite sweets, lol)

    My mom sent over 3 cans garbanzo beans, cookies, bagels, powdered milk, and single serve almond milk.

    Used 1.25 off redbox rental x2

    The 14yo asked if she could try 3 months free with Spotify. I marked the cancel date on my phone calendar so it would send me a reminder.

    My husband bought a monster coconut cake last week. I’m the only one that really likes it and after taking my mom 2 slices, eating some myself, and hubby eating one piece, there was nearly 3/4 still left. I cut the remaining into thirds, stuck it in the freezer to firm up, then wrapped each chunk in plastic wrap, then into a big ziploc bag. Now I can slowly eat it , lol(trying to reduce the amount of sugar I eat but he’s not making it easy. I told him next time just a cupcake)

    Purchased a $10 Starbucks giftcard for $5 on Groupon.

    Requested this month’s book club book through the library since this one wasn’t free with Kindle Unlimited.

  27. I am still purging my house as I have the energy. I will be selling my higher end items. I have many pieces of antique glass. My house used to be all Victorian. I’ve kept the crystal and glass because I love it. It has all been packed up for a few years now. I need to sell it so someone else can enjoy the beauty.
    We got our “farm to family” free food last week. There wasn’t as much in the give away this month, but I was glad to get it. There was 2 pounds of dried pinto beans, boxed raisins, “dried plums” (isn’t that prunes?) and something else that I don’t remember at this time. We get two boxes (bags) for our household. One for me and one for my daughter’s family.
    I ordered my over the counter “meds” from CVS. I get this through my insurance and it costs me nothing.
    As I’ve said quite a few times here my garden was pitiful this year. We got very few plants that set fruit at all. I asked my husband to continue watering for a few more months. Today he said the tomatoes are starting to fruit again as are the green peppers.
    I’ve sold 2 costumes and a half a costume this week.
    Not much else going on because I have been under the weather or sewing this week.

  28. What book/author was it you discovered at the library? I’ve enjoyed some of your recent book recommendations, and might enjoy these too. 🙂

    After a very long and stressful summer prepping for a move with various hurdles outside our control, we finally completed a cross-state move this last week. Very thankful to be done with the moving part, but very busy with the unpacking and getting acclimated to a new city.

    We saved a lot of money on the move by doing it ourself, though it was super exhausting! I also planned our groceries in such a way that we only had non-refrigerated items for the move, and brought them with us. We were well-fed with things like oatmeal, Pb&j s, soup, chickpea curry over rice, tuna pasta, and meatless spaghetti before we could get to a grocery store.

    One way we saved money was unexpected and under less-than-ideal circumstances. We had to rent a moving truck and car transport trailer for the move (we priced around for best price). When we arrived at our new home, we had the transport trailer detached from the moving truck while we emptied the contents (no other way to do it). At some point in the process someone stole the transport trailer! It was very stressful at first and we had to file a police report and spend a lot of time on the phone figuring out things. In the end, when my husband took the truck back, they took off over half the price of our rental because they felt bad about the trailer debacle. Very unexpected, but appreciated!

    The past week has been a lot of deep cleaning and unpacking, and getting situated. Some of the ways I saved money included:

    – cut my husband and son’s hair
    – finished a couple of ebooks from the library on my old card (setting up our new local library cards this week), and my son is making his way through a series of ebooks from the library too
    – the first couple of days we were here were unusually warm, so we had to use the AC for part of the day, but the last couple of days have been rainy and cool, so I just have the windows open at various times
    – when we finally set up our TV, we plugged in our rabbit ear antennae too, so we could pick up local channels
    – made mostly meatless meals the last week, including a lot of chickpeas dishes
    – when grocery shopping, bacon was massively overpriced, so my husband found a bone-in ham that was marked down on clearance instead. We will cook that up and use the leftover meat to fry up with breakfast instead of bacon, and freeze some to use for casseroles and soup over the next few months
    – researched a golden curry brick we like to use for quick meals (chickpeas and veggies in the golden curry sauce, over rice) to see if I could find a better price than the individual boxes. Found a restaurant supply store where you can order bulk ingredients, and they have the same golden curry in 2.2 lbs (vs 3.2 ozs) bags, just in a flake instead of a roux where water is already added. Same price as roughly five of the individual boxes, but I think will produce about 15x more meals for the same price!
    – My husband bought concert tickets to a musician I love two years ago, but the concert kept getting postponed due to the pandemic. The concert was supposed to be this weekend finally, but we chose not to go for various reasons, and listed the tickets for sale through the venue’s website. Because it was a sold-out show, we ended up selling the tickets very quickly for 90% of the cost we paid for them two years ago. If we had asked for the full price, we might not have sold them, as there were a dozen others doing so and hadn’t sold yet when we had. 90% back was better than nothing!

    Over the next week, we’re hoping to pack a picnic in a cooler and go to the ocean for the day, make some soups, my grandma’s chili recipe, and bake some bread. Might start a puzzle or play some of our board games too. I love the autumn activities and weather! My parents also sent money (my son’s birthday) for a family pass to either the local zoo or museum, so we need to figure out which we want to visit regularly.

    We also have our large deep freezer to deal with this week. It doesn’t quite fit in our new apartment well, so we are thinking of selling it on a local group and using the money to buy a smaller chest freezer that will fit better in the space. Once I do that, I am going to make some soups, burritos, and casseroles for the freezer. I’m also planning out what I want to grow on our apartment patio garden in the spring. It’s much smaller space than I’m used to, but I think I can strategically grow quite a bit with vertical space.

    1. They were books by Kristen Harmel. I don’t know if they’re any good yet as I haven’t read anything by her yet, but she has a lot of books, so I would guess that she must be fairly decent 🙂

  29. Hear, hear for Numberblocks! It’s been great for my children as well. I like Alphablocks too, but they don’t have quite the same magic. It’s made a big difference in our experience to google “numberblocks season 2,” for example, rather than just using the compilations of tiny clips that have no arc. Another show I really like is Fun Science Demos. My kids really like physics now. https://www.youtube.com/user/funsciencedemos

    I agree on waiting for books too. I have found a bunch of book lists that I really like, and I’m slowly getting to read them through interlibrary loan. The landmark series history books are lovely but costly on ebay. I really like them, but I’m content to put them on a yard sale wishlist and read them with interlibrary for now. I do want to get them eventually in case the libraries around me get rid of them – can’t trust them to appreciate old classics sometimes.

    I planned meals a bit more carefully this month – planning a month at a time instead of a week. It made a bit of difference in my sanity and purchasing, when I was good and stuck to the plan. We ate greens from the garden and are sowing spinach, Belgian endive, tatsoi, mâche, and kale for fall greens and in the greenhouse.

    I am dusting off my sewing machine and having fun with it. I bought some jersey fabric at Savers and intend to make more knit pj pants for my boys. They love the feel of knits, but young boys are hard on trousers and murder on knits! I can make a new pair for them in 20 minutes and save myself the $15 they’d be at the store. And my thrift stores rarely have good knit pjs secondhand, and I totally understand why. In any case, learning keeps me amused and out of trouble and not spending money on clothes my children will ruin in 3 days. Win-win.

    The garden is gorgeous this time of year with tons of purple asters and marigolds. I’m saving the seeds from the marigolds again. We bought the seed by the pound a few years ago and planted many, many this spring. The asters are just generous and pop up everywhere. It looks like a Persian carpet with absurd bright colors that only suit this time of year. I’m also saving seeds wherever I can. I have tiny key envelopes in my purse and diaper bag for saving seeds. I pulled over 4 times for seeds on my commute home the other day when I saw lovely flowers I wanted. Unless it’s something rare or not near the sidewalk, I consider flowers gone to seed fair game!

    I’ve been happily realizing how much I have to give, the past couple of weeks. It’s been fun to share flowers, recipes, seed envelopes, loaned books, etc. It’s too easy to forget what I’m rich in.

    I did buy thread from Joann’s when it was on sale. I’ve looked around at our sewing discount stores nearby and haven’t found any good sources for all-purpose thread. Does anyone have any tips for saving on sewing basics like that? Fabric, I don’t mind finding at thrift stores or garage sales. Buttons, I can save from other things. Thread though?

    Brandy, I’ve so enjoyed all your recent posts and your beautiful pictures. Thank you! I really look forward to them.

    Wishing everyone a good week.

    1. Gutermann thread from Wawak.com. Look at the length; it is 11 times longer than what you can get at Joann’s for the same price–and once a year, they have it on sale for even less. They have buttons too.

      1. I remember you recommending this source of thread years ago now that I read this but have never purchased anything from them. I am rapidly using up my stash of thread so I will check them out. Thanks for the reminder!

      2. How much thread is on the spool makes a huge difference. I’ve still got some partial spools of old thread. The little spools used to have 325 yards on them. The new spools only have 100 meters–about 1/3 as much thread. Same size spool. This explains why I was always running out of black, white and navy blue threads. Always buy at least the medium size spool, or the biggest in basic colors. If I sewed more, I’d definitely check out Wawak. Thank you, Brandy, for recommending them.

    2. If you are part of a Facebook group for sewing, quilting, embroidery most qualify for a business discount. That group has to be registered through Joanne’s. My Brother group was one I could use. It is picky with other coupons, but does give savings when items aren’t on sale. You register online and get a key ring plastic bar code scanner thingy.
      – I always look for fabric and notions at garage sales
      -Mainly I get thread with Joann coupons.
      – I get large cones in white and off white for sewing vs regular size. I know I will use it, but it is a pain to run out of smaller spools and have to retread.

  30. Brandy you are such an inspiration as you share your accomplishments. This week-

    *Went to an estate sale and got two well made vintage dish towels, super large spool of white thread, and 10 artists paint brushes all for .75

    *Had a little chip/dent on the side of our stove. DH found spray paint that he sprayed into a container and then painted the black paint using a small brush. We did the same thing with two entry doors-rather than spraying we brushed on the paint.

    *Have a 35 year old garden lawn tractor that we use all…. the time to get things up and down our little hill. It stopped working and my DH and a friend fixed it. We debated if we should consider replacing it; there are none to be found and I as just thrilled they could fix it-at no cost and it works.

    *I was gifted fresh red raspberries and made 4 jars of jam.

    *Found several nice shirts and pants for our grands at the thrift store.

    *We waxed and detailed the inside of our car.

    *Last fall I buried my two mums in a pile of dirt and this spring I unearthed them. I repotted and brought them back all summer and they are now both in full bloom.

    *I have been staining the wood rail of our deck. I took me 1 hour to do one section-it was a treat to listen to an audio book from the library while I stained.

    *Have been trying to replace two rugs in our basement however, I did some rearranging and ended up not putting rugs down.

    Have a great week everyone. This community is a blessing to me.

  31. I texted my daughter about your recommendation regarding Numberblocks. Thanks. I have just cooked hamburgers, bought grapes, buns, salad greens, and cheese. Grapes and apples are expensive, but I am buying them anyway. Grapes are $ 1.99 lb here, and apples are $3.50 for large bag of small gala apples. I have lots of eggs, carrots, and apples for the week. I am walking for exercise. I realized I have not eaten out since July, I think. I left red beans soaking while I was at work, and I am cooking them in the crockpot overnight. I plan on eating red beans and rice tomorrow. The air and the heat are off so this is my very low electricity time of the year.

    1. Those are the same regular (and sometimes sale!) prices of grapes and apples here at other stores, which is why when I saw $0.88 a pound I went to the store to get some for that price!

  32. Hi Brandy! I thought of you this week, the Kroger stores in Phoenix have spaghetti on sale for $0.50/lb…hopefully that sale will come north to Las Vegas to you soon! In the frugal category, my husband is repairing our burned out air conditioner circuit breakers tomorrow. Luckily, our house has two AC units, so we still have AC at the bedroom end of the house ;). When I looked around to see if we could hire someone, cost unknown, everyone was already booked for a week out. So he looked up the repair on You Tube (and he has experience with electrical items in general) so ordered the part on Amazon, and tomorrow we do the repair for $40. It seems like the last few months have seen us spending to fill out our pantry and freezer, we are finally done. I now have, assuming we have electricity for our freezer, food for a 3-4 months. I know you have a far deeper pantry but I am getting there ;). Sending you good luck wishes for your garden!

  33. Number blocks is an AMAZING show! I’ve recommended to a math teacher friend of mine, as it also taught advanced math skills to my 2yo! I can’t recommend it highly enough.

    My frugal week:
    – made apple crumble (http://approachingfood.com/harvest-apple-crumble/) using apples I picked with my toddler in an orchard.
    – I was able to go to Costco after my work membership expired, thanks to a tip I read on here. I had bought a gift card during the last visit with my membership, and last week I was able to use it without having a membership. I just went to the service desk and they gave me a temporary membership for the day. There are a few items that are cheapest at Costco, but it isn’t worth paying for a membership for me, so this was a great way to save money! 
    – I finally borrowed Little Heathens from the public library to read. I enjoyed it! For those who like books about the Great Depression, there is a children’s series of books (memoirs from the author) about growing up in Toronto during the Great Depression, by Beatrice Thurman. A great way to introduce kids/pre-teens to a significant event in history, but also fascinating to read as an adult. I know they’re available in the Toronto Public Library, and I would assume in other public libraries too, as she is (was) a relatively well known kids author. And, they’re all about frugality, but through the lens of a child. 
    – my family is currently on vacation. We rented a fully furnished and equipped townhouse in a “resort” north of Toronto (around Collingwood), and invited my mother and sister too. The townhouse includes laundry facilities, which was handy with kids, so I didn’t have to pack as much. My husband researched local parks to take our daughters to for free entertainment, and I made a menu so that we could cook in the townhouse. I also shopped the pantry at my condo and my mom’s house first. The resort has free bike rental, a pool, and a putting course. Not a fancy vacation, but so nice to get out into nature (the resort is outside of town, surrounded by forest). Little things like dollar store snacks that I normally wouldn’t buy, or BBQing a steak dinner for the DH (something I normally don’t do), or having the use of a hot tub (and bringing some bath salts gifted to me previously), make it a nice break.
    – I made alphabet soup (http://approachingfood.com/super-easy-alphabet-soup/) with homemade cheesy garlic biscuits, pumpkin spice pancakes, apple pancakes, apple pie, baked oatmeal with fruit from my freezer, and more.
    – I picked up some free items from Loblaws using my optimum app 
    – I redeemed sb for $10 to my PayPal account

    Looking forward to learning from everyone else as always!

      1. I homeschooled my two kids from kindergarten through high school. High school math problems were sometimes difficult to teach, so I found a great video series on YouTube called “Yaymath” to help with some of the harder concepts. It has high school math videos filmed in a live classroom. The teacher is funny, and interacts with the students as he teaches the concepts. Like multiplying quadratic equations, algebra, geometry, trigonometry, exponents, graphing, radicals, etc. Here’s the link to check it out:

    1. My sister and her family just came back from a 4 day trip to Collingwood and had a wonderful time – hope you all really enjoy yourselves.
      My friend with a Costco membership checked out a couple of items for me today – I wanted a large bag of almonds and one of walnuts – she called to say there were no walnuts at all and the almonds were in smaller bags and no saving from what I’d spend at the local grocery store …. I should ask her to buy me a couple of gift cards so that I have them on hand.

      1. Thanks, Margie! It was really nice to have a change of scenery, and we got to see the start of the fall colour!

        Definitely have your friend buy a Costco gift card for you! The smallest denomination card will get you in the door, and then you can spend as much or as little as you want.

  34. My DD and I went thrifting on Saturday, looking for items to furnish my husband’s large room in memory care. Did get him a couple fall decorations, not especially cheap. Was looking for chairs and prices were high–until I came home and showed DD a couple I had seen on Facebook Marketplace. Turned out the man only lived about 4 miles from us, so we went over and bought them. Upholstered seats and backs, wooden arms and legs–for a total of $20. Quite nice once my daughter polished and Febreezed them. She said they smelled like
    “old lady.” She can smell things I can’t. They went into my husband’s room on Sunday when we visited. We have to thrift some more to get his room more home like–I peeked in a couple open doors and most people have their rooms just like home! We don’t have extra because I still live here. I could use a couple replacements myself and am thinking of thrifting them because my cat is a scratcher!!
    I am jealous of your fruit prices: here sale price grapes are $1.99 a lb, apples at least 99 cents and often more, and strawberries are on sale for $2.99 a lb with special store coupon. We went to the Amish store today and my daughter bought a whole stem of brussels sprouts. A lady from the farm market said she wouldn’t have any until after the first frost, which makes them sweet. They eat a lot of them and she wanted to check to see if it’s true. They were inexpensive but I don’t remember exactly how much. I bought only garlic powder because mine is cemented to the bottom of the container from the summer humidity.

  35. 1. I got round trip tickets from Texas to Florida for 97$. My husband & I went for 2 weeks.
    2. Took 2 frozen chickens & 1 lb of ground meat in my checked bag. (I knew there was no meat in the FL freezer & we had extra at home in Texas.) I put it in a small cooler w/ ice bricks in my large suitcase. I thought if TSA checks my suitcase they will be bewildered.
    3. I saw a golf bag in the dumpster at Restore. We went back later to get it after the store closed. The store does not like the customers rummaging in the dumpster when they are open. My husband is pleased with his new/used golf bag.
    4. Made 3 meals from one of the chx I hauled to FL. Baked chx, chx sandwiches, & chx & rice soup.
    5. Frugal fail: the pre packed stove top lasagna mix I brought in my suitcase ripped & sprinkled red Italian seasoning inside my suitcase.😟 It was a mess that I had to vacuum out of the crevices.
    6. I am trying to lose some poundage. Eating less is always cheaper.
    7. My husband caught a 75 lb sailfish. He brought home 5 lbs of fillets. We ate those for a number of stays. (The men who took him out on the boat kept the rest of the fish which was fair since they did not charge him for the trip.) Free low calorie healthy food!

    1. Hauling meat in your luggage reminds me of a great family memory. We always spent Christmas with my MIL and alternated years. One year when our kids were little, it was her turn to host. We had a blizzard at Christmas and decided it was too dangerous for us to go. We got a ticket for her to fly, but the flight got canceled the following morning. She called her neighbor, who worked for Trailways, and found out the buses were getting through. But she didn’t have a way to get to the depot. Neighbor called her son to fetch MIL to the depot, and she made it to the bus…with a shopping bag full of a prime rib and everything else she’d bought for dinner! Which was a good thing, because I didn’t have a thing in the house for Christmas dinner!

    2. Your comment about taking frozen meat reminded me of a story my mother told me. She and my father went to England relatively soon after WWII ended to see dear friends. Meat was very hard to find there, so my mother cooked a big beef roast, and took it on the plane (as her carryone) for them 🙂 I have no idea how long the flight would have been back then but the roast survived and was a welcome gift.

  36. Brandy what a blessing was the apples, strawberries, grapes and ice cream being on such good specials and the lovely friend who offered you free cucumbers from her gardens 🙂 . We are also have a bug and mouse plague year this year in our gardens so hopefully it gets better for both yourself and us.

    Like yourself we have been looking for a lot of good sales on produce and when we find them blanching and freezing the produce in meal sized portions for the freezer to top up supplies.

    Our savings added up to $118.19 last week 🙂 .

    In the kitchen –
    – Baked one loaf of wholemeal white bread saving us $3.49 over buying them locally.

    Purchases –
    – Saved 3% or $5.40 by buying a RACQ ww gift card for fuel.
    – Saved 4 c per litre or $4.82 on buying fuel using our WW fuel voucher.
    – By buying a bar of chocolate on special we saved $1.50 on usual prices.
    – Bought a 30 pack of 375 ml cans of coke on half price special for $20.15 or $1.79 a litre saving $20.15 on usual prices.
    – From Gatton in a wholesale produce shop on our trip we purchased 5.36 kg of broccoli for 0.99c per kg, .9 kg of bananas for $1.99 kg and 6 kiwi fruit for .29c ea saving $26.03 on prices in our local supermarkets. We will blanch and freeze the broccoli in meal sized portions for the freezer.
    – From IGA we purchased 4.3 kg of sliced rump steak on special for $14 kg saving $43 over buying it in our local supermarkets.

    In the gardens –
    – We picked around 20 lemons from our small fruit tree saving $13.80 over buying them in the local supermarkets. They have now been juiced and placed in ice cube trays in the freezer and will be used for ingredients in cooking later on.
    – We fertilised 2 of the small fruit trees in our yard with manure , watered it in and mulched them with well composted grass clippings.

    Hoping everyone has a wonderful week ahead and finds opportunities to build up their pantries and get ahead :).

    Sewingcreations15 (Lorna).

  37. Last week I received a target circle coupon for $20 off my $100 order. I wound up getting 5 pairs of pants for myeslf and my daughter, some household stuff, and something like 15 packs of assorted colgate toothpastes. It wound up costing me $79 and change, and then I got $42 back from Ibotta for the toothpastes. Grapes were on sale at Publix for $1.99lb, so I bought them at Publix instead of Aldi. Huge difference in quality. so no food waste on mush grapes. I was running low on laundry detergent, so I used my walgreens cash and bought 2 packs of tide pods and 2 packs of charmin. Out of pocket cost was $1.63. I made overnight oats for breakfast every day. Nowadays Its almost impossible to be an extreme couponer in Florida. Ive had to change my strategy. I’ve been picking up needed things at Sams Club. Ive practically stopped using the discover card, and I’m using the boa cards now. I get the 1.5% back. I have 2 cards and got $200 back for each of them just for spending $1000 in the fist 90 days. The one I had no problem spending on the bills, and the other one, I used it all in one shot on a hospital bill. Ive been using my cards for everything and making a payment every few days. Its nice to be getting money back each month. I made some taco soup last week using leftover homemade refried beans. I portioned out and froze the leftovers. We’ve been needing/wanting a console table for our living room. Now that I actually have the extra money to buy it, Ive been stalling. Hey we went almost 5 years without one……whats a few more months??? so thats some savings there. I didnt tell you all this, but dh switched companies in May. In June he got a promotion, but he didnt actually get the pay for that till mid July. In the beginning of July they started taking money out of his check for insurance we were to receive starting Aug 1. Aug 2nd he went to work. They were all called in to the shop and told to return their phones, ipads and trucks by the end of the day. The company lost their bond and they were closing the business down. This had been a company in business for over 40 years!!!! What a surprise. The next day he had a new job with another company. Its a much better company and much better benefits. We did receive a check from the other company for the amount of money they had taken for insurance, that went straight into the emergency fund. My point in all this is that if I hadnt been participating in this blog for the passed 9 years, I dont know if or how we would have survived. I am extremely grateful to have learned as much as I have from Brandy and everyone else. Love you guys!!!!

  38. The biggest savings I found at the grocery store this week was grapes (I am sensing a theme here!) My local grocery actually offers coupons on produce from time to time so I ended up getting 2 lbs. of grapes for 99 cents. I am sure that will never happen again but we are enjoying them. Many other items were B1G1 free so I bought a bit extra. My parents gave us a refrigerator/freezer as an early Christmas present and I am slowly filling it up. It is useful to us since we have chickens and often need extra space for eggs and will allow me to store items that last a while in the refrigerator like cheese, apples, carrots, etc.
    One of my basic frugal tactics is to wait for something you want as it will probably come to you eventually. I have wanted to add a green velvet pillow to my sofa for a while now. Sounds like a silly thing but it would look pretty for the Fall and Winter and I love how cozy they are. I found an insert the size I wanted at a thrift shop this summer and washed and put it away but have not found the cover nor any fabric to make one. Then, last week, I went to an antiques shop near the grocery store I frequent and there was a beautiful green velvet pillow cover the exact size I wanted. Not only that, but it was 50% off so cost me $2.50. I couldn’t buy the supplies to make it for that! And, I would have happily paid $5 for it. Just a good reminder that good things come to those who wait.
    We finished building a second wood shed with materials we already had and have most of the wood we will need for the winter close to the house and in a dry spot so it is ready to go. We will continue harvesting wood this Fall and Winter so we will always have wood for heat available. It is true that firewood warms you twice (when you harvest it and when you burn it.)
    A friend visited and brought a watermelon and a huge basket of peaches. This will be the last we will get this year and we will enjoy them. The peaches can join others I have already put it in the new refrigerator/freezer.
    I have read and enjoyed most of Miss Read’s books (both the Fairacre series and the Thrush Green series) and enjoyed re-reading one of them today I found at the Little Free Library at the park. If you enjoy gentle stories about an English village with colorful characters, then you will enjoy these books. She has a Christmas story that is particularly wonderful.
    Have a lovely week, everyone!

  39. – I accepted a free pound can of coffee from work that has past the expired date. It has never been opened though so it should be fine.
    – I harvested the last of my Roma tomatoes and green peppers from the garden.
    – I am re-reading a series of books that I already have but it has been several years since I read them. I’m enjoying them again.
    – I found 3 puzzles at a garage sale. I did them and then swapped them for some others from my sister.
    – I enjoyed a “lawn chair lunch” at work. They grill hamburgers and brats for everyone.
    – We squeezed one more season out of our swingset that my granddaughter uses. It will need to be replaced next year so we are saving and searching for a deal.
    – I decluttered our drop zone (where mail and keys and everything else gets dumped when we walk in the door.) I found a big handful of change.
    – I’ve been using less and less laundry soap in each load and making sure clothes really need washed and didn’t just need re-hung back up after try ons.
    -I got my hair cut shorter and decided to stop coloring it and just embrace the grey.
    – I rearranged my living room and gave it a really deep clean. Now it feels fresh and new for no cost.
    – We’ve done a much better job of eating left overs which we haven’t done well with before.
    – I tackled one of the goals that was on my list I just shared. It was much easier than I thought it would be and I feel accomplished.

  40. Thanks for the information on Numberblocks. I’m going to see if my daughter who has young kids knows about it.

    I bought a small bottle of craft paint on sale. I’m using it to paint a present I’m making, mostly with stuff I already have. So far my investment, not counting time, is under $4.00.

    I hung out a lot of laundry this weekend, and hung out a load at 6:45 this morning before I went to work. My husband’s caregiver will bring it in for me if it rains.

    I fertilized the two citrus trees – it’s the last time to fertilize before cool weather hits. I want a good crop next year.

    My office was allowed to order two more logo shirts each to wear to work. I selected a light cotton pullover sweater and a long-sleeved knit tunic, both in colors that go with the colors of all my work slacks and skirts. These shirts are free to the employees. I have worked where employees had to pay for all or part of them.

    I don’t do a lot of fall decorating, but I decorated my front French doors and the kitchen door for fall. I use purchased fall items I save from year to year, fabric bows that I made from free fabric that I wash and re-tie each year, and items from my yard. This year I used a wreath that I made from our grapevines a few years ago, and hanging sprays made of pampas grass plumes.

    I will also re-use the concrete pumpkin my late aunt gave me a few years before she died. I have repainted it so that it looks good again. Real pumpkins rot too quickly to be set outside here.

    I am also going to try the thread suggestion Brandy gave. Thanks!

  41. Welp, my ant problem turned into a bigger issue. According to the Orkin termite inspector, the termites came in and started the damage but the ants took over. While in that area there are not any termites active currently, he did locate a termite tube in another location outside the house. Their base treatment plan is $2500 which includes 5 years of treatment and monitoring. I have a local company coming out today that came highly recommended for a second look and estimate.
    I was able to get several items free this week from sales and Ibotta, including meeting a few bonuses: more yogurt, liners, body wash, cereal bars, protein drink, pancake mix, syrup, pringles, pasta, mac n cheese, canned tomatoes, an individual oatmeal cup, and protein bar. Because of the big expense mentioned above, I only spent $15 this week at the grocery store on fresh produce, milk and a candy deal to put up for Halloween.
    My daughter and I participated in a fun run that her PE coach encouraged her students to partake in. There was a fee but it went towards a great cause. My daughter ended up winning a door prize though – a $25 VISA gift card and a crape myrtle tree! Which is perfect to go in the place of a loquat tree we lost in the snow storm here in Texas this past February.
    We went to a birthday party at a new indoor water park I have been wanting to try out for the cost of gas and a present purchased on sale.
    I picked up pullups from my buy nothing group and listed a few more items for sale.
    I plan on reorganizing my freezer and pantry and cleaning the fridge this weekend. I am going to try my very first month long meal planning session and start some of the prep. Eating out/driving thru is my number one weakness and I need to be better prepared. I have a lot of expenses coming up and I want to continue using cash only.
    I hope everyone has a great week!

  42. Free cucumbers are always a wonderful thing. When my son was little he would walk around eating it like an apple.
    My son was going to house/dog sit for my oldest daughter out of state for 5 days. Boarding 2 dogs is expensive and the dogs are happier at home. I loaded up the car with things she wanted. Shipping gets expensive so we just wait until we see each other. She left my son with some cash, take out menus and a full fridge.
    I cashed out $120 in CC rewards. We pay it off in full every month. I got $7.25 in Ibotta rebates on items I would buy anyway.
    My daughter and I made apple juice. We used the cores to make apple syrup. We used the pulp to make apple muffins. Most of the muffins were brought to the fire station.
    My BIL’s fig tree is huge. He is picking a gallon size bag a day. He gave me another bag so I made fig jam out of them this time, 3 jars. I gave him one. We are still picking about 2 figs a day on our small tree. I used some in a salad one day for dinner.
    My husband, BIL and nephew went to a free car show. Hubby brought a water bottle and granola bar so that he wouldn’t have to buy anything.
    My youngest made GF pumpkin pancakes with pumpkin from last year. I am trying to clean out the chest freezer so if turkeys go on sale, I will have room. She also made meringue cookies. She asked me what to do with the egg yolks so I whipped up a half batch of chocolate mousse.
    Hubby and I went out for a date. I had gotten 2 coupons for a free combo meal at a new fast food restaurant. It would have been over $20. I had to leave a review. They were nice, friendly and the food was good.
    Now that I am not working much I went back to making bread which the family is happy about. I made a regular loaf and a GF loaf. I also made pizza dough and we had it for dinner with homemade sauce, garden veggies and pepperoni. Yummy!
    Aldi pumpkins were on sale for $2.49 each. I got my limit of 4 and I got the biggest ones I could find. I will cook them after Halloween. Eggs were 60cents a dozen so I got 5 dozen. I made a dozen into hard boiled eggs when I got home. I made omelets for dinner with ham I had frozen. I cooked potatoes that I grew and made apple cinnamon apples too. A delicious meal for less than a $1 for 4 people.
    My little cousin just got married and bought a fixer upper house. I offered her some items that were in very good condition. She took a brand new window, a rug, a mirror, an aloe plant and a bag of garden veggies.

  43. I made some banana bread from bananas that we had that were about to go off.
    I unsubscribed from some emails that I kept receiving for sales on children’s clothing. My daughters have quite enough clothes to get them through right now and do not need any more. Before I unsubscribed, I was receiving up to 5 emails a day from this company!
    I’ve been making crafts with my 3 year-old with items that we have at home. I made her some binoculars made out of two toilet paper rolls. I glued them together and painted them and we put stickers and ribbon on them. She loves them!
    I made a meal plan for this week which I haven’t done in quite awhile. So far, we have stuck with it 🙂

    1. You can put some noodles or beans in toilet paper rolls cover the outside with paper and make music makers. Kids can decorate the outside and then sing and shake the toilet paper rolls. I did this as a kid and loved It! I like your binocular idea.

  44. Brandy, thank you for your inspiring blog and all the hard work you put into it. I rarely comment, but thought I would add the money saving things I kept track of ;).
    – went to the laundry mat to wash a very heavy duvet cover. This saved wear on my top loading washer. It was $3 for small loading machine instead of $35 to get the duvet cover laundered @ the dry cleaners.
    – visited “Crazy Hot Deals” store (an Amazon returns reseller) on $3 day and purchased a high quality swim suit and workout shorts. Also got an 18pk of “Bubly” fruit flavored water for packed lunches. This is $4.50 for a 6pk @ Kroger, so quite a savings.
    – Checked the reduced produce bin, at Kroger, several times this week and got yellow squash, zucchini, red peppers, and a salad kit @ 99 cents per bag. We already used the red peppers along with Italian sausage from the freezer for 4 meals (just hubby and I). I was very happy to find marked down squash and zucchini as the “borers” always get my garden plants, so I have stopped growing them and try to purchase them from the mark down produce section.
    – Went to “Ollie’s” and bought many children’s books for neices and nephew birthdays. They had many Disney themed “Look and Find” books @ a third of the retail price. $4 each..Yipee! As a former children’s librarian, I find that the 4-10 year olds really enjoy these books.

      1. Yes. I do not think they do online sales because merchandise varies. They do manufacturer buy outs, stores going of out business, last year’s styles, etc. You can find really good deals.

  45. Hello, Friends! Hope everyone is well.
    *With prices on the rise, I’m reinstituting my plan of having a potato based meal, a bean based meal and soup each once a week. I have plenty stored, so this should be very doable.
    *We ate two meals I had frozen from leftovers this week: spaghetti and enchiladas. I like the ease of freezer meals.
    *I finished crocheting the first gift for Christmas. It is an afghan for a daughter. Only 14 more to go…better get crackin’!
    *I cute open a tube of toothpaste and got another week out of it.
    *Worked really hard at not have food waste. It was definitely better this week.
    *Four of the gifts I’m making for Christmas are book buddy pillows for my grandchildren. (just a pillow with a pocket on one side for a book). I saw pillow forms were on sale at Joanns plus I had a 20% off total purchase coupon, so I ordered those for curbside pickup. I’m not ready to make them yet, but they might not be on sale when I’m ready, so I bought ahead.
    *A few years ago I gifted a friend a pair of mittens that I knit. She asked if I could make her another pair if she bought the yarn. Of course! It’s nice to be able to serve someone without spending money. I started on them, so she can get them before it cools off too much.
    *Meals included pizza, baked potatoes with sausage gravy, spaghetti, enchiladas, chicken gnocchi soup with rolls and breakfast for dinner.
    Thanks to all my friends here (for I do consider you friends) for the inspiration and motivation. This is my absolute favorite place on the internet.

  46. Goodness it has been awhile since I have left a comment and I’m sad to say I have fell of the frugal wagon, but I’m ready to get back on.
    I went back to my old bakery job in July and though I don’t make a great deal of money, it helps to cover the gap in my husband’s paycheck when he took a new teaching job in August. It’s lower pay but the school is across the street from our home and has saved us a ton in gas money!
    I’ve been working hard at using what we have in the fridge/pantry instead of going to the grocery for “just one thing’.
    Our children’s school-the same one their dad teaches at-was given a grant this year that covered all the kids school supplies and fees. With four children in school, this saved us a great deal of money.
    I’m taking my lunch and drinks to work (my husband does the same), and every child in our district gets free breakfast and lunch, another blessing for the grocery bill.
    I’m keeping track of all the frugal everyday things so next week my post will be more current.
    Have a blessed week everyone!

  47. I was able to pick 30 lbs. of tomatoes at my sister’s house. She is done with her canning and let me come glean. We also picked three more five-gallon buckets of grapes. In total we made more than 90 quarts of grape juice. I am using the tomatoes for ketchup and some freezer tomato sauce. I think I have finished canning for the season!

    A sweet friend gifted me with a sweater pattern and the wool yarn to make it. The retail price was more than $100. She has several knitting kits she has purchased over the years and wanted to get rid of them. She donated the rest of her items to a drawing at an event we attended.

    At this event is a yarn sale/swap, I brought three different bundles of yarn that I have but am not using (one was leftover from a sweater). I priced them at $10 each. I sold all of them, then bought four skeins of beautiful yarn for $20–enough to make a shawl. I also bought a pattern for $7.50. I still came out ahead!

    I was able to get to the mountains and see the beautiful fall leaves.

    I hiked, practiced yoga, and finished knitting a cap with given-to-me yarn.

    Thanks for everyone’s inspirational posts!

  48. I haven’t posted in awhile but have really been paying extra close attention to all the great ideas from everyone. It’s been nearly 30 years since my hyper Tightwad Gazette phase, but I’m feeling that little need to head that way again….a nudge that I will listen to. I will always be grateful to Amy D for introducing me to the lifestyle and to the bloggers like Brandy who made it possible to do frugality in a beautiful way. I feel so much more prepared with prices and shortages, etc.

    Becky H just mentioned a good option to my 2 soup meals per week. One potato, one bean, and one soup meal! I like the variety and I can’t believe it didn’t occur to me! I might change that little plan monthly to add a veggie pizza meal. In any case, it gave me a great spring board of possibilities.

    Thanks to all of you for your detailed postings.

  49. Hi Brandy,

    Brandy, you look so good (beautiful if truth be told) that I cannot believe that you have weight to lose.

    Your bargains sound great this week.

    I had a suggestion about coffee grounds. You probably have some non LDS neighbours. Perhaps circulating a flyer in a few mailboxes asking them to donate their coffee grounds (preferably organic coffee since coffee, like rice, has a lot of chemicals) on a one-time basis to you might yield enough for your purposes.

    I keep losing my post here before it goes through. Operator error somehow on my end.

    I negotiated the outrageous, inaccurate bill from my alarm company from $2,000 to $666 plus tax. They had billed me for a
    truck fee that I was never told about ($145) and in error 9 hours (at $92 per half hour) instead of only 2 hours. In the future, I’ll
    hire a private electrician to fix it. Since it has only failed once in 30 years, it should now last quite a while longer. It is still quite an expense
    but I’m satisfied and had originally calculated it at $600 plus tax.

    I interviewed a superbly qualified student for a scholarship — I hope she gets it.

    This week, I did go ahead and spend $23 for 4 pounds of top sirloin roast. The butcher at Co-op sliced it into
    about 11 steaks which were big enough to slice in half again so I got about 22 steaks at $1.30 each. The first slice was partly tough
    but the second slice was tender. I froze them and then I baked one in my oven with a sweet potato and a potato. The sale is in the flyer which ends tomorrow but I was told it is on till the end of the month. My friend is going to get one or two (limit two) and another one for me. They can be cut into fondue or stewing meat chunks as well. Co-op will even cut it into steaks, (I note top sirloin steaks are $8.99 per pound), or even stewing beef. It is $4.95 per pound on sale from about $12 per pound. I bought two packages of toilet paper at Co-op on sale for $4.88 each saving $7.11 each. (Toilet paper traditionally becomes expensive at this time of year for reasons that escape me).

    From Superstore, I bought 3 bags of 6 pounds each of Royal Gala apples. ($4.98 per bag for members, $6.98 for non-members).
    I bought a six pack of Royale facial tissue for $3.98, reduced price. They had cases of 12 cans of Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom or Tomato Soup for $7.95 (they are sometimes as much as $12.95).

    The bad news is that 97% of Real Canadian Superstores staff have voted to go on strike. It is unclear whether this will affect related stores Loblaws and No Frills. If there’s a strike, they have to give 72 hours notice.

    About a month ago, I tied (fixed) my natural gas rate (for furnace heating) in for 5 years, although every 30 days I can switch it to floating or back to fixed. I am happy to be able to at least control costs in that way. My electricity is already tied in with two years left on the term — I am still tempted to end that term then tie it in for longer for a slightly higher rate. It would cost me about $30 to do so but could save a lot over the 5 years.

    The other bad news is that it is predicted that the cost of clothing and food will go up very quickly. I have rebuilt my pantry this year with a lot of soup, canned fruit, vegetables, canned lentils (my favourites) dried beans, oatmeal, flour, sugar, vegetable oil, dried mashed potatoes. I am allergic to rice; otherwise I would store some. I did buy a lot of packages of pasta and jars of pasta sauce for future use. Although I need some new clothing because I have lost weight during the pandemic, I have some smaller sized clothes I may fit into now (like the new pair of jeans I bought on spec that were too tight that now fit). I have not ever believed in the cheap disposable clothing so what I do have was bought on sale but is very nice and lasts a lifetime. I restocked lingerie on sale and a couple of white blouses on sale. I have some classic skirts that I have saved from the past. I also have fabric stored away. I could make up some of that. I would like to get another pair of walking shoes but will hold off for now. I can put a new pair of prescription glasses on my insurance so may do so. And my insurance will pay totally for new orthotics. I will wait until the 4th covid surge lets up. Things are pretty drastic here.

    We will be having a silent auction to raise funds for our scholarship funds. A friend’s daughter has offered to bake 3 cakes — she showed me a photo of one she had baked — it is beautiful.

    My hobbies are almost no cost. After the initial investment, I can take all the photos I want for no cost unless I get prints. I have been binge watching the Great British Baking show (season 11) but it’s probably not a good idea as it makes me want to try things.
    I have been watching “Victoria” again.

    I’ve enjoyed reading the posts.

    1. Ann, I thought I’d pick up some stewing meat this week but when I picked up the 1# pkg. and saw the $12 price tag – it went back into the cooler! You got a good deal on those steaks. I’ll keep my eyes open to see if we get a similar offer this week.

      1. Hi Margie, Yes, the Co-op here is having a three week sale. Hit a bit of a glitch here today as my friend was going to pick up two roasts for her and two for me and have them cut into steaks. It was going to be at the store near her but the meat department said they would not cut them into steaks as “that would make them sirloin steaks which are more expensive”. Also they were going to limit her to two even though two were for me. The store near me had no problem either cutting them into steaks or giving us 4 roasts. I just have to find a way to get them.
        My friend is now sick (covid?); my other friend is unexpectedly tied up. I would have asked them to cut them into chunks — stewing meat –but think that’s asking too much. Plus I can easily get a steak and chop it into stewing meat. I just cannot manage cutting a whole roast. The first steak I ate was partly tough, partly tender; the second was lovely. Beef is going up in price — the ranchers cannot afford the cost of feed due to the drought and for the past month have culled their herds. Already they have got rid of all of their ewes. It is a disaster out here and the rest of the country will suffer. Keep watching and if beef goes on sale don’t wait! Ann

  50. I wish to first stress that the postal workers in my town are friendly and efficient.
    That aside, (as they aren’t in charge), the USPS is increasing package rates and slowing down shipping times from October 3 to December 26, the peak holiday season.
    So if you have been putting off doing a big mailing, this is the week to do so!

  51. Now that I only have a few things left to can for the year, I have turned my attention to cleaning. The house is very messy. It makes sense. I’ve been outside in the garden or canning a lot and have gone camping a couple of times. I’ve been going out to the garage, where I decided to start, and working for an hour-hour and a half and will make progress in time. It saves me money when I find all those things that got lost or buried under other items….but more than that, it gives me peace when things are tidy.

    I did can 7 pints of enchilada sauce with all the small tomatoes and cherry tomatoes I had gathered, just to use them up. I canned the rest of the whole tomatoes I will need for the year, and a couple other things. Now I’m waiting for the cauliflower to ripen so I can make Giardaniera (I’m sure that’s not spelled right! –but it’s basically pickled veggies) and freeze cauliflower. I need to turn my basil into pesto. I make a recipe that is only basil, garlic, oil, salt and pepper–no nuts. I freeze it in ice cube trays, break it out into a baggie and use it all winter.

    I filled the yard debris bin a couple of times. There is so much that needs to be removed from my yard. I compost things that work well for that, but always send things like ivy, branches, etc. away in the bin.

    I’ve been babysitting my two grandsons–ages 14 months and 3 months a little bit. Boy are we tired when we get done with that! It takes 3 of us–my husband, myself and my 17 year-old daughter. We chase and chase the older one around the house until he goes home. Then we collapse. We are really enjoying our time with the boys. We have the older one more often as the younger one can only be without his mama for a little while. We’ve pushed him in his stroller to the park, on other walks, played toys, let him empty my pot and pan cupboard, blew bubbles, and more. I told my husband we should take him to a pumpkin patch soon–there was one right over there behind the dahlias. (I got 3 volunteer pumpkins this year so…..). Although they take a lot of energy, they are so easy to please at their ages.

    We did a couple of simple, very small, family birthday parties this week, as well.
    Pictures of my week are on my blog: http://beckyathome.com

  52. I meant to mention that in AB, Telus has a special deal for low income seniors who receive GIS. They have a special reduced rate
    of about $25 per month for cellphone. Just thought I’d mention it.

  53. It has been a mixed week for us savings wise. I gave my husband a haircut. I cut my dogs nails, a job my daughter normally does but because of our lockdown rules she is unable to visit. I think I ended up more traumatised than our dog, no blood anyway which I was happy about.
    The last cauliflower was picked and I used it along with some perennial leeks from our garden to make soup. We found a packet of muffin mix in our caravan supplies close to use by so with some berries and leftover chocolate chips they’ve been a lovely morning tea treat this week.
    I finished knitting a scarf for my brother in law for Christmas from homespun in my stash.
    Lots of time has been spent in the garden preparing for summer crops, tomatoes are coming along nicely but will not be planted out until November due to frost risk where we live. We have plentiful lettuce, kale, rocket and chard which feature in our meals most days. The fruit trees are all in bloom but for the first time ever we’ve had parrots nipping the new shoots off the roses and the blossom from the peaches.
    My not so frugal purchase was a rigid heddle loom which arrived two weeks ago which has now been assembled, I bought processed wool for my first project. Once I’m a bit more confident will try using my handspun yarn.
    We went for a drive today and purchased a small water feature from Bunnings for our back verandah, it was $100 reduced from $200. We had looked at several in specialist nurseries and there was nothing under $450 that we liked. It was the same manufacturer so we are happy with that. I noticed a butchers shop whilst we were out and the prices were very reasonable compared to where we live so when I need to restock it will be a trip to the regional city because our town cannot compete price wise. Even fuel cannot compete, diesel was 20cents per litre cheaper, $10 on a tank of fuel is an enormous saving.
    Sue in Victoria, Australia

  54. My 5 year old daughter is also learning counting and adding and place value from Number Blocks (Netflix) and Number Jacks (YouTube).

    Last week we addressed left over not being eaten. 1. My husband noticed two of our kids having left overs sitting out the next morning. One of my children is really good at remembering to put food away so I have asked him to also put his siblings left over food in the refrigerator. Any dinner not eaten must be eaten the next day at lunch time. The younger kids have stopped severing themselves too much food. 2. I always have spoonful of veggies not eaten. I read a comment to make them in to soup. I did that last week with some left over rice, the random veggies, and homemade chicken broth. The child who ate it loved it and asked we do this again!

  55. Our weather here in north Texas is beginning to cool down ever so slightly. Still not cool enough to turn off the air conditioning, but at least it isn’t in the upper 90s/100s anymore. We are looking forward to cooler days and evenings.

    We have continued to replenish our supplies to stay prepared against shortages and rising costs. It seems each day we hear a news report about another shortage or supply chain issue, or the rising costs of groceries. Now I’ve heard that turkeys may be the next shortage, just in time for Thanksgiving! Sigh. Recently I’ve purchased chicken thighs on markdown (4 packages for the freezer), ground lamb on markdown cheaper than ground beef (5 lbs for the freezer), chicken breasts on a buy 1 get 2 free sale, assorted flavors of chocolate chips on clearance for holiday baking (I always put these directly into the freezer), milk for 99 cents/gallon, and pasta sauce for 99 cents. I have been keeping an eye on the grocery sale ads and picking up those discounted items when they come around – not as often as they used to. I always check the clearance areas of the store. We stocked up on some items at Aldi, including several of the annual German food items they offer, and fall-scented candles, which are some of our favorite Aldi items. Not the most frugal, but they are some of life’s little pleasures for us.

    We are already prepared for Christmas – I have a ham in the freezer (bought on markdown at Aldi after Easter – I always use Brandy’s “honeybaked ham” recipe), and we buy our gifts throughout the year, so we are all set there. We have our Thanksgiving shopping list ready – some of the items are already bought, but not all. We are waiting for Costco to have smoked turkeys in stock for Thanksgiving, which usually happens around November 1.

    I am now back at work 5 days/week. I am both grateful and also exhausted. Haha! It has been an adjustment, and I do not have as much time at home to take care of things as I’ve had over the past 18 months. It is nice that things are somewhat back to normal here, at least schedule-wise, and I am able to see all of my coworkers again. I work very close to home so I am able to run home at lunch, which is nice. We are both taking our lunches, coffee, and snacks to work each day, so no extraneous spending. I did order several new pairs of work/dress pants on sale (around $10/pair) from Dillard’s. I have a very short inseam and was thrilled to find work appropriate petite pants in styles/colors that I like for such a low price.

    We have gone on several walks, watched movies at home, and enjoyed visiting several nearby small towns. We also enjoy finding and visiting old rural cemeteries, which are abundant here and always quite interesting.

    I hope everyone has a lovely week!

  56. I just love the community here!!!

    *made a menu for next few weeks and have grocery lists started and in my planner- things run so much smoother when I’m better organized
    *bought more Christmas gifts on sale/clearance and am trying to do better with keeping track of what I’ve bought in a notebook
    *bought convenience foods from grocery store for the inevitable super busy nights when otherwise we’d spend much more eating out
    *getting my money’s worth using my slow cooker
    *said no to myself when I wanted to stop for Starbucks
    *husband did a little research and fixed toilet himself instead of calling a plumber
    *gratefully accepted plants and candles from my mom- we had a fun day together eating freezer pizza and playing Yahtzee instead of shopping

    Hope everyone has a wonderful week!

  57. I didn’t get to the Farmer’s Market any last week, but I canned the Kennebec potatoes and they turned out so pretty and white against the clear water. I hope there will be more on Saturday. It’s been such a strange season with most everything coming in late at once. Zucchini just started coming in two weeks ago, but none today.

    I thawed the other pork loin I bought recently and roasted it to freeze, adding space to the freezer. I am gradually clearing out things in the refrigerator freezer and then it will be reorganized. DH agrees we do need another freezer. My dream would be another freezer with the two divided mostly by meats and vegetables/fruits and then I could keep some partially or totally prepared things in the refrigerator freezer along with a supply of frozen things that we need constantly when cooking or to replenish refrigerator. Meals would be easier to see to build at times when we are in a hurry. All of us could see the things we are low on that we use constantly or Saturday night when we take turns cooking. It would eliminate duplicate buying. We are still eating from the pantry and freezer to use some things up. It was so cool that I made a meatloaf one night and a few days later banana pudding as it was warm again.

    I am trying to make it easier to transition the pantry items to the new shelving. I washed the food containers and filled one with dry beans to can. I topped off the spice containers in the kitchen, found some duplicates, and combined them. Most of the larger spices were put in the container for now. I think my guys who usually put up a lot of the groceries thought I was out of spices instead of buying ahead when they are getting low. I am formulating a plan for that too. It looks better for now considering I have an under counter spice rack and one in the cabinet. I almost have a spice order ready for the winter cooking.

    I did some stocking up on some cooking oil. I went to Kroger for a few items and buns for carnitas. As I passed near the mark down section I checked it as it was full. They had a Party Roll Tray for $4.49 with a lot of sliders; wheat and white rolls, and croissants and for $1.49 a 12 pkg. of Kaiser rolls. I bought them to use and freeze things like ham or egg rolls for a quick meal. I also ended up with some candy on sale for Halloween that we like (in case they cancel) as they are reporting on the news that things may be O.K. for the children to Trick or Treat.

    We had some nice walks for exercise. Have a nice week.

  58. My granddaughter is having her first baby in November. We’ve had a hard summer in many ways and though I wanted to get her something for her baby, I didn’t see how. She lives a LONG way from me and postage to her is ridiculous. I was so blessed when I came across not one but two different sales on infant clothing items that were 75% off. These prices were very similar to what I paid at Goodwill for clothes for my grandson and granddaughter born in the past two years! I was able to get my granddaughter a very nice little layette and have it sent directly to her for 1/4 the price of postage at the post office.
    My husband lost his sweat jacket a couple of weeks ago and he was pretty upset about it. This was a really heavy good jacket and though he’d had it for a few years it was still like new. We went to a church supper and lo and behold someone had hung it over a stair rail…AWESOME! He was so happy to get his jacket back and I was so pleased not to have to spend nearly $40 on a new one.
    I’m keeping my almost 2 year old grandson for a few weeks until his mama gets on her feet financially once more and can put him in nursery. There’s only about one thing I can do that he doesn’t seem to interrupt me at and that is prepping food in the kitchen. It’s made it easy for me to stay atop leftovers. One thing I’ve a talent for is what I call leftover makeovers. It’s stretched our grocery budget so much that I often have more food when I make a meal and then makeover the leftovers than I started with, lol. This has meant my groceries stretch further than I’d ever think they might. This week has been a great week because thus far everything I’ve made has been so good. Some weeks things are okay and I wouldn’t try them again the next time but these are keeper sorts of recipes I’ve come up with to use our leftovers.

  59. One of my goals for September was to organize the chest freezer and use up frozen items. I was pretty successful at this.
    1. I found many packages of English muffins. I often buy these when they are buy one/get two at my store (3 packs for the price of 1). We enjoyed these for breakfasts with butter and jam, I made a batch of breakfast sandwiches and my daughter made English muffin pizzas for herself and friends.
    2. There were several small baggies of ground beef, ground turkey and sausage, each under a pound. I combined all these, added beans, tomatoes and spices and made a very yummy batch of chili. We enjoyed it as a dinner and then I froze the leftovers in lunch size portions. My husband and older daughter will enjoy these for their lunches.
    3. I found a very, very small ham. I have no recollection of ever buying a tiny ham like this, maybe someone gave it to us? I cooked it for a dinner. The family was excited because we usually don’t have ham for dinner on just a random day, it’s more of a holiday meal for us. The ham served all 4 of us perfectly and a tiny bit of leftovers. I used the leftovers in an omelette. It turns out a little ham is a convenient item!
    4. There were several bags of mixed vegetables, which I had been given by a co-worker who was moving. I had said yes without looking at the ingredients. I gave them to a neighbor because they contained lima beans, which make my husband’s stomach hurt. She offered a package of french vanilla coffee as a trade, which I knew my daughter would like. Everyone was happy.
    5. I made our meal plan for October with plans to use more freezer items! I am going to use up all our saved bread and bun pieces to make a really good overnight french toast casserole for my birthday weekend.

  60. It’s so late in the week that no one will probably read this but I find it really helps keep me accountable. 🙂 Thank you for this community Brandy!

    The most frugal thing we have done recently is waited! We needed to redo our deck last year as part of it was not sturdy anymore. We had a quote from a company that was wow expensive. My dad said if we waited until this summer he could help us when he moved here so we waited. Ended up we didn’t need to tear down and replace the whole deck but only take down part which we didn’t want to replace but added a lovely set of steps that go into our yard. The project ended up costing a 1/3 of the cost even with the elevated lumber prices and we have the deck we wanted! The other was we saved by waiting was I needed a medium sized sauce pan, soup ladle and additional cookie sheets (for years!). I decided to do without instead of spend the money. My mother in law is moving into a senior apartment and downsizing and has gifted me all these items without even knowing they have been on my wish list for a long time!

    1. Corey- Well done!! Waiting can be a crucial way to save money! It can give you more time to research what you need, where you can find the best price and if there’s a better alternative that you can be happy with!! That’s a BIG achievement that many people don’t learn in their lifetime!
      Give yourself a pat on the back!!

      Gardenpat in Ohio

    2. Corey, I often am just getting a chance to read the remainder of comments over the weekend, so usually catch even the most recent posts like yours! Good for you remaining accountable!

  61. Oh how I look forward to your posts, Brandy, & the comments! I share the feeling that this is the first place I go to recharge and get inspired! These are the ways I saved money this week:

    Meals from home. I take breakfast to make at work since I get there a little early. (Hubby & I commute together each day to save $$. As a bonus, we enjoy some extra time together!). Last & this week I kept a loaf of english toasting bread in my desk for making toast in the office kitchen (w/ homemade jam). The office provides free coffee. Ate the last heal yesterday! Yay for no waste!

    Desk food lunches (peanut butter / crackers & fruit) or meals stashed in the freezer. Usually peanut butter/bread, refried beans in a tortilla, leftovers like mac & cheese. Hope to make soup for the freezer (lunch size servings) I tend to take things to keep in my desk to eat on all week rather than packing daily lunches. My hubby packs himself a cold sandwich every single day but I’m not a fan of meat for lunch.

    Suppers were leftover BBQ chicken and tator tots made in the air fryer (a few nights) and leftover homemade lasagna (one night). We tend to enjoy leftovers over and over (and over LOL). I have leftover ham (made in my crockpot) in the fridge and may make an easy ham/potato/corn pot pie with it. Maybe some small ones (hand pies) to freeze unbaked. I think adding some homemade frozen meals or meal starters might be a good thing for us like spaghetti sauce, taco meat, frozen burritos, soups. Cooking once to eat many times is my style, I guess.

    I made a scratch no-bake cheesecake last week along with a bit of blueberry sauce (made from blueberries in my freezer cooked with a sprinkle of sugar). Hubby likes canned cherry pie filling but there has been none at the store. The blueberry sauce was so delicious that I may skip cherry pie filing forever. This week, I baked a few frozen scratch sugar cookies (dough balls which I first shook in a small dish of cinnamon sugar). A simple recipe for the sugar cookies but the cinnamon sugar gave them a taste of fall even if it is hot outside. I love to make my own frozen cookie balls. Such a time saver!

    The main theme for my saving money lately has been using up leftovers & eating from home. One night last week, I combined a partial can of pork & beans with some leftover sloppy joe and made a delicious meal similar to beanie weanies but with ground beef. So yummy with homemade mac & cheese and sliced tomatoes from my garden. (I had the last of it today for lunch.)

    My garden is about done but I have been diligent about canning small amounts of tomatoes (made by cooking cored/quartered (peelings on) big tomatoes and whole cherry tomatoes in the crockpot along with a small bit of water until soft, blending and canning pints with 1 Tablespoon lemon juice per jar & water bathed for 35 minutes). I’ll end up with about 10 pints from my very tiny raised bed garden just canning small batches. I’ve been canning outside with a propane fish cooker and that has been glorious! I have a little lettuce that finally sprouted in a big pot on my patio. Hoping for a few more salads before winter arrives.

    I love to hear the homemade gift ideas. I need to get a game plan for that myself. I think I also want to master crocheting mittens so that I can gift those or donate and keep myself busy while winding down before bed. I have a few books on hold at the library. One of the books I have on hold is Rick Bragg’s, “Best Cook in the World”. I’ll report back if it’s a good one.

    Have a great week, everyone!

  62. I made pineapple jam for Christmas gifts. I do sell this as well (just to local people by word of mouth) so now I have a little stock, I sold my last jar last week. I am making cards for Christmas and to sell at a small market that buys 20-30 every other month. They buy them for $3 each and mark them up, so it’s worth it to me to make them. They cost about $15-20 to make and I get about $90, supplies I keep stocked when I get them on sale. They are time consuming but fun. (If you want to see: https://www.instagram.com/p/CUX3ArGJPsS/)
    My biggest savings has just been not spending. Staying home, keeping busy with projects and cooking, and homeschooling, and saying no to things that tempt me. I don’t really have any extra money anyway, but I have been taking satisfaction in my bank account only moving for bills and groceries.
    Breakfast prep on Sunday afternoons has been my go-to for years. I have 7 kids, but now only 4 are currently living at home. So it’s much less food, but still nice to have items they can grab and eat. ( https://www.instagram.com/p/CUDDP30lDRC/ )
    My littlest one is the only one I’m homeschooling. We are enjoying weekly hikes and weekly library visits. I love hiking and we both love identifying birds, so he’s been keeping track and writing simple reports on each bird we see. He has about 18 so far.

  63. When I went to the store, I noticed that one avocado cost $2.99. But they had a 10 lb bag of guacamole for $3.99. I bought it! Now I am concerned that when we open it that we won’t be able to eat it all. Can I freeze some? I’ll probably give some to my sister. But even then I don’t think we will eat it all and I don’t want it to turn brown. I bought a 10 lb bag of chicken leg quarters for $3.80 cents. As for everything else, the prices are up! I’ve been practicing the harp for entertainment. Using the duolingo site for studying French and Spanish. Typing my sons poems. We have been doing a lot of cleaning. Turning off lights when not in use. I noticed that most of our bills have increased. Pay has not increased. I am making do with the clothes I have. I haven’t colored my hair in quite awhile. I will probably have my husband trim it. I’m glad we have learned to live on less. I’ve been using the internet for information and entertainment. Will probably go to the library this week. Everything takes more time than I thought. I have made time for some goals this week, but not everything.

  64. I’m glad you posted about numberblocks and other homeschooling ideas. My grandkids might enjoy watching it. I’ll have to take a look at it.

  65. -I have been so busy harvesting, canning, and freezing. I am finally catching up. Many tomatoes were canned and when I got sick of them, I froze them. I have 10 gallon bags of frozen tomatoes. Our 4 apple trees also produced. I have canned 40 pints of applesauce, froze 6 apple pies, froze 4 quart bag of apple slices, and dehydrated 2 quarts of slices. I still have about 3-4 five gallon buckets yet on the last honey crisp tree. Also froze all my peppers, they did well as well. We have not had a frost as of yet here in central Minnesota. But this weekend I will be cleaning out the garden.

    -Went right to the source of the harvester of honey, 5 miles from my house. I bought 8 quarts for $12.00 each.

    -Needed new tires, brakes, and a tune-up on my car before winter. Got an estimate and then negotiated a 15% reduction for paying in full and in cash. We use a local mechanic and he is always willing to give a discount for cash. It saved us $150.00.

    -Fall decorating was done with existing items and things brought in from outdoors, such as sumac berries, pine cones, branches, and bittersweet. Actually I culled down to 2 Rubbermaid totes from 3.

    -I did buy 2 pumpkins for outside. But hopefully will bake and freeze the flesh in November.

    That’s all I can think of for now. I have apples calling my name.

    Have a great week!!

  66. It does me too, J from PA. And Gardenpat, you are correct. The internet connects so many of us who have only met virtually, yet we feel like friends. Whenever I do weeding, I think of Marivene as well. Those small successes with your budget are indeed like her “bucket” method. Sweet memories.

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