Roselle Hibiscus

I read The Weaver’s Daughter as an e-book through the library (using the Libby app on my phone).

I mended a pair of pants for my son.

I harvested lots of basil from the garden and dried it to use in recipes later.

Garage sale season here starts now so I updated my list. I hope to find several items that I will use as Christmas gifts for my family.

My mother took a copy of my garage sale list with her to a community sale and found several things on it for me, including a wooden clothes drying rack. I wanted a second rack and this one is very sturdy. She also found several t-shirts for my 6-year-old for 50 cents each that I will give him as Christmas gifts.

She remembered the things he liked and I know he will love these shirts.

Not quite ripe yet!

I asked a friend if I could borrow a jacket her son outgrew for a Halloween costume for my youngest this year. She said yes, and brought me some pants as well (he is going as an airplane pilot and she had a bomber jacket in his size from a few years ago). After I got off the phone, I thought about how awesome it would be if people loaned Halloween costumes to friends for their children on a more regular basis. The thrift store is a great resource, but borrowing would go even further.

What did you do to save money the past week?

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  1. It may not sound too good but I messed up a zucchini bread recipe last week, I added shredded carrots on top of the zucchini and the bread was really compact and not as good as usual. But I saved money by eating it anyways. I made it through and just made another one, this time with leftover apple that needed to be used, raisins and cinnamon. I eat this for breakfast, using my everlasting zucchini from the garden and homemade applesauce instead of oil.

    I am working on saving seeds this fall for next year’s harvest. Right now, lettuce from this summer is slowly getting to seed while new heads are growing for fall.

    I have a very good harvest of bush beans this year, and I am thankful because fresh beans are 3$ a pound at the grocery store.

    I am making lemon extract- probably not very frugal, due to the vodka, but I am excited to have it in a few months to bake with. I gather lemon peels and cover them in vodka in a half-pint jar. The lemon juice is frozen in 1 TBS servings for convenience. I have saved the seeds and will work on growing a lemon plant (wish me luck I am in Canada! )

    1. I make my own vanilla extracts Kari but never thought of lemon – I’m going to give this a try as I don’t like the artificial ones.

  2. My pomegranate are not ripe yet either it is dependent on the weather if they ripen at all.

    We have had a quiet week of doing the usual things to save money,I cut hubby’s hair and beard . The clippers stuck and hubby wanted to buy new ones but I fiddled and got the blade moving again.

    I have been cooking from scratch choosing the appliance that will use the least power.

    I had a grocery delivery this week and they overcharged me £1, I told the delivery driver and got a refund.

    We read the gas and electricity meters and sent in the readings as the price went up on Saturday. Double what it was last October.

    My daughter and I share a carpet cleaner, the old one has worn out, so daughter found a new one she liked, it was reduced, then she used her Nectar points so a £200 pound appliance cost her £35

    I put my foot through a sheet this weekend, it was at least 26 years old. I already have a replacement. It was bought with a gift card when my SIL told me the company was going bankrupt. He said to use gift cards quickly in this financial situation.

    I made mincemeat this is not frugal but with a family with food intolerances/allergies this is the only way we can eat it. So I gave a litre jar to daughter and have 2 litre for myself. Other daughter does not like mincemeat!!

    Have a good week

    1. Chris, did you know that you need to put a drop of oil on the moving blades of the cutters from time to time? A little oiler used to come with the kits.

      1. Paper shredders also need oil. Just squirt some cooking oil on a piece of paper and run it through the machine. (Probably much less expensive than buying a special manufacturer’s made oiling kit).

  3. Great idea about the Halloween costume! I would make or find one or two things for costumes during the year and they would go into a costume box that we kept. Every time a costume was needed, we would go first to the box and see how much we could reuse or repurpose into a costume they would like. Capes could be for a vampire one year and a prince the next. We gathered accessories during the year also which could change things up. And, of course, because they were growing, it was rare to have the same costume on the same kiddo over and over. With 11, we accumulated a lot of costumes that friends would also borrow from time to time. When we moved cross country, we gifted the box to another family and they were happy to receive it!
    This was an amazing week of savings!

    I was just able to get over 33 pounds of BLSL chicken breast for $36.12 (1.09/ pound) . The regular marked prices totaled $105.99 so we saved $69.87!! Let the cutting into chunks and pressure canning begin!! 🎉🎉🎉🎉
    Here are the first 16 pints all canned: I did the other 17 pints today ( that make a total of 33 pints of boneless chicken breast chunks for $33!! I feel like it was worth my time! So grateful the opportunity came around!)
    Our weekend plans changed suddenly and we needed to drive up to Michigan (about 320 miles- a 4-1/2 hour drive each way) ) on Saturday afternoon to see my brother who is in hospice at the assisted living facility where he lives. He has dementia but also contracted pneumonia that is extremely virulent. We are grateful that we had the flexibility in time/money to, on an hour’s notice, pack up and drive up with a full tank of gas and daughters who made hotel reservations for us to stay over Saturday night so we were rested when we saw him Sunday morning and drive back home Sunday afternoon. He seemed to know who I was. But even if he did, I know he will have forgotten it shortly after. But I will know and that made it worth it to go and hold his hand and tell him I love him!

    I also harvested more yellow pear tomatoes and some mid-size red tomatoes and got 5 more pints of tomato sauce canned plus I dehydrated their skins and seeds and got another 1/2 cup of tomato powder! This means that,so far, I have canned the equivalent of 26 eight ounce cans of tomato sauce from the two batches I’ve done so far from mostly small tomatoes that I thought the chickens would get because they were small and we couldn’t eat them fast enough!

    Flashfood app has been amazing! I found a box of 28 limes and 11 yellow onions for $2, so I sliced up and dehydrated the limes like Rose Red did with lemons to then grind into lime powder. I’m still amazed at how much there is that I still need to learn!! Here are the 2 finished and sealed jars of lime powder: The onions will now be chopped and dehydrated! Not bad for $2! I think I got my value from that box!!

    I finished quilting 2 more client quilts this week- #276 & #277- and this tree skirt- Both were fun and easy to quilt and it’s nice to have that little stream of income being added to savings.

    Hubs was able to check around on our insurance (homeowners) and found a much better rate, saving us $480/year! I found that we had rewards points with our Chase Visa card but I didn’t think I could cash them out into real $. But I was pleasantly surprised to see that they had an option to give cash back into the account with another bank that we use to pay the Chase Visa! So $23.61 went into out checking and from there I transferred it into savings!

    No frost predicted yet this week so I will let my tomatoes continue to ripen. My figs are ready to start picking so tomorrow I will do that!

    I am amazed at how many opportunities to put food by and to save money that have come our way! It makes it so much easier to share with others quickly without having to consider the time (or money) to get something ready! Does that make sense? I think I’m still running on auto-pilot groggy brain after these last couple days.

    Stay positive, Brandy and readers, because I think it generates more positive things coming to you and emanating from you to others! It’s a time to watch and show kindness to all we encounter. No act of kindness (smile, opening a door, etc) is too small! Stay healthy and well!

    Gardenpat in Ohio

    1. We have several costume boxes! But this year we need some larger things so are are making some.

      1. Part of doing costumes is figuring out what one or two things are most crucial for the costumes, in the child’s mind. (cape, hat, wand, color, etc.). The rest can be less authentic, especially if the costume is worn over a snow jacket as we often had to.
        My favorite accessory when I was little was when I was a gypsy (not that I clearly knew what that meant), in a skirt and vest with sequin trim from our dress-up clothes, and hoop earrings. The hoops were mason jar lids with a rubber band looped around them to go over my ears.

        1. I love the image of your Mason jar hoop earrings. That’s one of the most creative things I have ever heard! 🙂

      2. Brandy, I still have a bin of costumes in the basement (kids are now 24-34 years old). My oldest has two little ones and I passed on the clown suit I made for his second Halloween and the vintage White Sox uniform I made for his third. Many costumes were refurbished for other costumes and always found accessory type pieces on sale or at garage sales. My favorite costume as a child was a hand-me-down rose satin and tulle puffy dress from the 1960s that someone wore to a fancy dance. I look at the costumes now and wonder where I found the time to make costumes for seven kids for years, and also wonder where my creativity has gone since then!

    2. Gardenpat, I’m sorry to hear about your brother, but happy you were able to see him. We had a cape that someone gave us with a Snow White costume (handmade). It was red on one side and blue on the other. That cape became a caped crusader’s cape and a nurse’s cape as well.😊 Great deal on the chicken! When you cannot, do you use water, broth, or nothing? Thanks!

      1. Laura S.- I pressure can the chicken chunks raw and add just enough hot water to cover the chicken.
        Hope that helps.

        Gardenpat in Ohio

        1. Do you ever do cold pack on your chicken? I’m lazy and just do cold pack with bone and skin on in quart jars. It produces a nice gelatin and some broth.

  4. I love the idea of loaning costumes! Also, your son will be so cute as an airline pilot!

    My frugal week:
    – made some of my Pumpkin Spice Pancakes (, and then popped them in the freezer for easy weekday breakfasts
    – made carrot/apple muffins using the 20 cents/lb carrots I bought two weeks ago. I used my mini muffin mold to make mini muffins for my kids. Perfect size for snacks.
    – used the super cheap cauliflower I got last week take cauliflower au gratin, and inexpensive potatoes to make potatoes au gratin.
    – combined sales, price-matching, points, coupons, and cashback when buying groceries. This week’s great deals included $1.99 for 10 lbs of potatoes, a 10 lb turkey for $15, 4 more heads of cauliflower at 44 cents each, and 4 heads of broccoli essentially free after price matching and loyalty points. I was also able to point my mum in the direction of some good deals, and gave her a coupon for an item she was going to buy.
    – redeemed $10 in loyalty points for groceries.
    – I bought a $5 produce box from FlashFood, and got about 10 red peppers, an eggplant, an ear of corn, another head of broccoli (good thing I like broccoli!) and a zucchini in it. I chopped and froze half the peppers, and turned the eggplant, broccoli, and half the peppers into a stir-fry. I used some of the strip beef I bought half-price from FlashFood last week in the stir-fry as well, and tried a new technique – velveting. I estimate that the cost of that stir-fry including the rice, was about $5 total, fed 3 adults and two kids, and was sooooo delicious!
    – I turned the zucchini from the FlashFood box into zucchini muffins (mini muffins for the kids, regular size for the grown-ups). I ran out of cinnamon, so used the last of the pumpkin spice mix that I made up last year.
    – sold some kids items to a second-hand store, and used the proceeds to buy a gc to Indigo to set aside for Christmas
    – took my youngest to a free baby music time program at the library
    – I ran out of bread, so baked a pan of cornbread using items in my pantry (faster than baking yeast bread)
    – I bought a Pyrex brand reuseable silicone bag (Stasher bag style) for $4.75 from the dollar store of all places. This will help cut down on the plastic bags I use when storing and freezing items. Not only was it significantly cheaper than other brand name similar products, but it will save me money over plastic baggies in the long run.
    – I switched from buying cartons of milk to bagged milk (a Canadian thing), as my kids are drinking more milk these days and bagged milk is cheaper. I asked my mother if she had a spare milk jug instead of me buying one, and she did.
    – used orange peels leftover after making oj for my girls, plus a few spices from my spice cupboard, to make an autumn scented simmer pot. Literally cost pennies, and my home smells wonderful.

    Looking forward to learning from everyone else as always!

    1. Margaret,
      I like your idea of using orange peels to make the house smell good. I once saw someone make tea our of dehydrated orange peels.

          1. As gifts for friends and family last year, my adult son candied orange peel and then dipped it in dark chocolate. Can something be heavenly AND decadent??

        1. Margaret,
          Do you have a good candy orange peel recipe to share? The last one I tried almost made me not want to try again….


  5. The teen wanted to make pumpkin cupcakes, so I was looking for just a can of plain pumpkin. I didn’t have any, but I found 6 cans of pumpkin pie mix, so I won’t need any of those for the holidays.

    $5 Barnes and noble e gift card through Verizon rewards

    I downloaded two free ebooks with kindle unlimited this month.

    Earned a $10 Amazon shopper panel rewards

    I listed 6 pairs of pants that no longer fit on a buy nothing group. Hopefully someone picks them up, plus size pants are pricey. Now I really need to replace my pants…I’m down to 2 pairs of jeans, 2 pairs of capris (and that season is about done), and 3 pairs of work pants.

    Made sure to enter all my receipts on rebate apps. I cash these in in November and use it for Christmas

    I signed up again for Paneras unlimited sip club(free through December 5th). I got a free drink and used $2 off my soup coupon in the app on Sunday.

  6. Work has been crazy last month. I ended up reducing my hours last week to give myself some time to decompress and catch up on some paperwork.
    *I baked two loaves of bread.
    *I cleaned out the freezer and gave a friend some sausages. She needs them more than I do due to a recent car repair
    *My friend helped dye my hair using the hair dye I’d bought a couple months ago.
    *I found a good deal on muesli and bought 3 bags
    *I harvested some basil from my indoor garden
    *I line dried all my laundry. The dryer needs a repair but I’ve put it off
    *I went to a swap and got a pair of Gap pants, a pair of nearly new Vans for the kiddo, an unopened package of 3 tubes of fancy toothpaste, several bottles of dishwashing detergent, a bottle of perfume, and a pair of jogging pants for free!
    *I’ve restocked the coffee and tea in my office to drink instead of going to the shop
    *A friend gave us some hockey skates just in time for winter
    *I passed on a pair of too small skates to a friend whose daughter wants to learn
    *I wanted to buy some new shoes. Instead I decided to wear a perfectly fine pair I already have.
    *I’m trying to use up what’s in the freezer before it all gets freezer burn. I made some crockpot ramen with leftover bones and turkey meat. I found some bell peppers and tossed them into fajitas. I used some frozen veggies in risotto.

  7. Brandy what a great idea on the Halloween costume idea! Halloween 🎃 will be here before we know it.

    -Creative uses for leftovers- I mixed in the rest of a jar of sauerkraut into a homemade cheese burger macaroni casserole. Added a touch of sour kraut and made it moister and it was really good. I also had 7 pears in the crisper from when I bout 50# and they were really ripe. I used one diced in pear cinnamon scones. I used the other 6 in pear hand pies-I made 8 of those.
    -We had a hard freeze. I picked the last of the garden produce the night before. I froze another gallon of tomatoes. I blended the peppers into a liquid and dehydrated them and then ground into a powder. I got a pint of powder. I also froze a pint of chopped jalapeños. I cut the lunchbox peppers in half and stuffed them with Boursin cheese and I froze 20 of them as well. Everything was pulled out. Tomato and pepper cages stored. The garden is done for another year. It was a good year for produce. I do have tomatoes that are starting to turn on the counter, so we will have more fresh over the next week or so.
    -Started some peppermint extract with peppermint leaves and vodka.
    -We still have honeycrisp apples to pick, that will get done this week and preserved.
    -I was gone 4 days with both my daughters and 2 older grand daughters on a craft weekend. We made all our meals. We did most of them in the crock pot. But one night we did do fondue. This is a yearly thing and we have so much fun! I was able to catch upon some scrapbooking.
    Have a great week!

  8. Hi Brandy.
    So glad you could use the tip on saving tree trimmings for the firepit. I always get so much useful information on this blog, and I´m very thankful for all the tips and support! I also look forward to hear more on Dolores, that one of your readers mentioned!
    This week I:
    Gave my son a haircut.
    Made pesto with the last basil before it withers – saved all the stems with other bits of vegetables in a container in the freezer. I will use this to make stock later.
    Planted out some rare fruit bushes that I got as cuttings from a gardener friend. They are like gooseberries, but very sweet and lovely and you can eat them right of the bush – no need for sugar. I also planted a black currant that I got as a cutting. I hope they will produce a small crop next year and even more in the years to come.
    Gave some different seeds to a neighbor. He and his wife own an orchard in the countryside. He offered to pay me for the seeds, but I said I would rather have some of their surplus apples, so he will bring me some of a nice keeping variety next week.
    The annual vegetables are not yielding much now, autumn is here. But I will soon be able to harvest from my perennial kale. I´m in the process of adding more perennial vegetables to the garden, as they give a yield in early spring and late autumn, when the annual vegetables are dead or have not germinated yet.
    My husband fixed the heat exchanger for our district heating unit with parts from the internet, saving us hundreds of dollars. It was a leaky valve that caused the pressure in the system to fall (and water on the floor!). It took him half a day – water just finds its way out somehow! – but it was worth it in the end, even with some extra trips to the hardware store close by. We have tried to wait as long as possible to turn on the heat, but gave in when the temperature was 16,5 C (61,7 F) in the bedroom some time ago. We can really feel a big difference in temperature between the southern and the northern part of the house this time of year.
    I used hedge trimmings as ground cover in the garden.
    I made reservations on some library books that I know my son will like to read.
    Looking forward to read all the comments this week!

    1. We play the game “who can last the longest” with the furnace too :p. So far, we haven’t touched ours and the coldest it’s been in the morning is 62F. It is still getting into the 70’s during the day so we can probably last a few more weeks. We’re still waiting on a hard freeze. We’re in Michigan less than a mile from Lake Michigan which moderates our temps significantly.

      1. So do we! I’m always the winner lol. It’s funny to me that I’m the one home all day and I can tolerate it. Maybe he’s warm in the car and coming home feels like walking into a fridge?! I always try and hold out until December 1st, but we never make it. We’ll see if the giant price increases warm him up a bit and he holds out longer lol.

      2. We do that as well, and when the house hits 55 is when I cave in and turn on some sort of heat. My husband will be home this winter as we’re now both early retirees and hopefully he’s game to bundle up as well. Our main heat is natural gas and that’s pricey, so a few space heaters as well as the fireplace are used now and then.

  9. We made my daughter a dragon costume last year, and her friend is borrowing it this year. And a few years ago, someone in my Buy Nothing group on Facebook borrowed (and returned!) our Elmo costume. We borrowed a Harry Potter tie one year through the same group. Definitely a great option.

    1. Funniest Halloween sighting a couple of years ago was a fellow on the subway during the morning commute – he was in a full dragon costume (and he was about 6 feet tall) and carrying his brief case – and yes, he got off at one of the stops servicing the downtown office towers!

  10. Last week I made a menu for the month. My husband has been great about eating at home. The one day we were out and hungry, we went to the grocery store and then to the park! My husband said we need to do that more often! It was fun! Last night I cut up okra and froze it. I also made a pepper soup with peppers from the garden. It turned out really good! I am so happy that I could make it as peppers are $1.50 each in the store right now. Mine were in my garden. I simply cooked them before they went bad. I looked up recipes on the internet. But ended up just making up my own recipe after reading comments to several recipes. I used a variety of peppers, including a jalapeño, some potatoes, an onion, chicken broth, a can of tomato sauce and thyme, curry powder, paprika, garlic, salt and pepper. I blended it with an immersion blender. Yum! My husband made a taco soup in the slow cooker so that we would eat it before church on Sunday evening, and we did! I made a homemade pizza, using expired yeast. But it worked! Our water bill was 10 dollars cheaper. That made me happy! My son, husband and I shared a couple of steaks that we had in the freezer and were bought at a deep discount. We actually turned it into two meals for us. I like meat, but I don’t eat a lot of it. I know I cooked beans this week, but for some reason I can’t remember what I made with them. Oh yes, black bean soup! I used the pressure cooker to save on time and fuel. We bought 3 lbs of apples for $1.99. I bought a 5 lb. bag of potatoes for 88 cents and two more 5 lb. bags for 99 cents each. I loved getting that price after seeing 5 lb. bags going for $7.99. I didn’t buy them at that price. I just couldn’t bring my self to do that. I’m glad we waited and ate other things. There was a limit of 1 bag. at those discount prices. I brought my husband along and we both bought a bag. I made a tuna casserole this week and threw in leftovers peas that my husband had opened up earlier. I also made a homemade Mac and cheese. We had a salad twice this week. My husband also made a savory carrot raisin salad. It was so good I ate some leftover carrot salad as my breakfast one day. Now I have leftover taco soup and pepper soup in the fridge. We will eat it before it goes bad. I have a cauliflower that I will cook tomorrow. I haven’t decided what I am going to do with it. I considered making your white bean dip and having other fresh veggies as well for dinner. That sounds good. I just know I want to use that cauliflower before it goes bad. I do not want to waste money. I believe I have more carrots. Those would go good with a bean dip. We have been turning off lights and because it has cooled off the air conditioner is not running so much. I am hopeful that the electricity will not be so much as last time. However; I read an article in their magazine they send us about the prices increasing. We can only do our best. I’ve used my pressure cooker to use less energy. I’m hopeful that our propane will last through winter and then we can buy more. But, I don’t know. We might need more before then. I’m happy that we will be able to pay our taxes very soon. It has been a concern of mine. But we are ok. Several evenings I thought I heard something on our front porch and I stayed inside. My son heard it one evening and opened the door with his dog. He was face to face with a deer eating my basil plant! The deer just stood there chewing! The deer ate most of my okra. I still got some. I do like the deer. But then I heard coyotes in my back yard one evening. So far our chickens have been ok. My husband puts them away and they are fenced in. They have a large amount of space to run in during the day. Really, we get more eggs when we keep them in the coop. But my husband likes to let them run during the day. They are happy chickens! And, they are safe from the coyotes so far. One evening my son took his dog our and came in. My husband looked down at the porch and they had just stepped over snake. My dear husband moved the snake and told me the snake was not poisonous. I have been on the look out ever since. I was really happy they didn’t get bit. As a child, I liked snakes. As an adult, I do not. Anyway, we have had free entertainment from the animals!

    1. I’m always hungry after reading your post, Tammy! Your meals sound delicious. Thanks for mentioning about the deer and the basil. I was assuming that the deer wouldn’t eat it so now I need to transplant mine into a bigger pot and bring it inside. I’m going to harvest some now then try to keep the plant going over the winter. I’m pretty sure you could freeze your surplus peppers and then use them for soup and stews later on. I too have had a snake on my front porch but they are harmless.

  11. I forgot, I made homemade chicken broth made from boiling the bones and skin. It was so wonderfully rich with flavor.

  12. Oh, your Roselle Hibiscus!!! I love it so much! I’m in Arkansas and have successfully grown it twice. The first time I purchased a plant (Cranberry Hibiscus) from a vendor at the Baker Creek Festival and had no idea the treasure that I possessed! The man that I purchased it from retired from selling plant starts and I’ve never found another in my area. I did grow it from seed one other year and it barely made it to maturity. I have to be careful to plant early (inside) to ensure a long enough growing season. I have not been successful for probably at least 6 years now. Do you end up with lots of roselles? Do you use them for anything other than tea? There was an Asian drink that I wanted to try. Does yours reseed on its own each year? Or maybe it overwinters in your climate? Enjoy enough for me, too. 🙂

    1. This is my second year growing it. Last year I bought seeds and planted rather late in July. They did not get very big.

      I collected seeds from my plants and used those to plant this year. I planted earlier so they are much larger.

      I know I can make other things from them, but I love cold hibiscus tea so I am very happy to have them.

      I bought seeds from Trade Winds.

      It does not overwinter here.

      It’s 5 1/2 feet tall right now.

      1. I absolutely love hibiscus tea cold
        This is the first year I ever tried it, now my absolute favorite

  13. Thanks to a creative mother and aunt, I always had homemade and cleverly-repurposed Halloween costumes. When I was about 5 years old, I wanted to be the Tin Woodman from the Wizard of Oz. (Why not Dorothy, I don’t know! 🙂 ) My older brother had dressed as an astronaut the year before in a silver colored jumpsuit that was a hand-me-down from someone. My mother took off the space patches and sewed a felt heart on the front. She covered a funnel with aluminum foil for the hat and made a cardboard ax. I loved that costume and it got handed down to my younger cousins. Not until I was an adult did I experience people who spent actual money on Halloween costumes (and a lot of it, in some cases.) I always thought Halloween had more to do with creativity and that is the tradition we have kept with our children. We, too, have a box filled with costume pieces from years past and have fun making them over into something different. My boys have not decided on a costume for this year yet. Living in the country means trick-or-treating looks different than in a town. We have done many trunk or treats at local churches and usually have a party sometime near the holiday with friends. The most beloved tradition is a treat trail I do for my boys. I make up small bags of candy and hide them along trails in our woods. They wait till it is dark and go hunt with flash lights trying to scare each other the whole time. My other fun Halloween story is when my mother was expecting me. She went to a Halloween party dressed as Mother Nature (bed sheet wrapped around her toga style and a crown of leaves from the yard in her hair.) She was preparing for bed when she went into labor. Mother Nature at work! I was born just a few short hours after Halloween and I am sure this contributed for my love of the holiday and all things Autumn. Enough stories! On to the frugality! 🙂
    *We continued to eat out of the remains of the garden, the pantry and the freezer. Creative use of what we have on hand becomes even more so this time of year. No grocery shopping this week.
    *Sold just a few dozen eggs as the girls slow down for the season. Received a bag of canned goods, grits, and cornbread mix in exchange from one neighbor. Grateful to have a very full pantry going into Winter.
    *Repaired some sandals of mine and a pair of shorts belonging to my husband.
    *Continued with my interior painting projects. Currently onto the sitting room/kitchen which is really one big room. No new supplies needed so just an investment of time. As long as I get a little bit done every day, I am satisfied. Like frugality, the little efforts add up to a lot.
    *Gratefully accepted some thrifted clothes for my sons and books for all of us from my mother who is on the board of her church’s charity thrift shop. Helpful to have a personal shopper. 🙂
    *The pumpkin and gourd sales at our stand continue to go well considering we are in the Hinterlands and it is mostly word-of-mouth. The most frugal part of the venture is that most of the harvest started as free seeds we got about 5 years ago from a agritourism farm with a pumpkin patch and corn maze. We were there one of the last days of the season and the owner told us we could take all of the small pumpkins and gourds we wanted for free. I loaded up the back of my vehicle. The following spring, we removed the seeds and those became the stock for all we have grown since then. It has been particularly fun to see what the bees and other pollinators have created with their visits to the vines. We have been blessed with some really interesting crosses particularly with the gourds. They are truly one of a kind.
    *My boys have various learning differences and I am constantly on the search for more information to educate myself on ways I can help them best. I discovered a teaching method that intrigued me and emailed the creator with some questions. I got a phone call back within a couple of hours and one of the tutors sent me a lengthy email with link to 16 free lessons and several webinars that I have already found to be helpful. It reminded me of Brandy’s recent comment about “Don’t ask, don’t get.” We need to be willing to reach out to others and ask for information as often, we will get far more than we ever considered.
    *Along the lines of education, we are continuing to enjoy our homeschool co-op. We are a very like-minded group of families (most with gardens and at least chickens if not other livestock, etc.) Our meeting last week was at the farm of one of the families. We helped them harvest some vegetables from their garden and made soup and biscuits over a fire, we stripped broom corn of its seeds (which will feed the chickens this winter) and made brooms, we harvested and braided onions to dry and got to meet all the animals and learn their unique functions on their farm. It was a wonderful day and even the most seasoned of us learned something and enjoyed the fellowship. The cooperative method of doing pretty much anything is not only frugal but provides unique experiences that are so meaningful. We feel very fortunate to be a part of this group. Our experiences already have been worth far more than the $20/year materials fee.
    *Sold a few items from one of sheds that we were no longer using. A little cash and more space in the shed are good things.
    *My youngest son and husband repaired a swing he made for the boys when they were very small. They still use it and we love that they still love it as much as we do.
    *My reading this week has been primarily focused on the learning I described above but I am also reading “Fish in a Tree” by Lynda Mullaly Hunt. It has been recommended many times in some dyslexia forums I take part in and is giving me another perspective in understanding my boys challenges. Very encouraging read.
    *I hope everyone is feeling a degree of satisfaction in a job well done preparing for Winter and the potentially challenging times ahead. As I have watched the squirrels scampering about storing away the acorns and other nuts for Winter, I am inspired by their constant activity but apparent lack of worry. I don’t know, maybe squirrels do worry but they don’t appear to. 🙂 They just get busy doing what they need to do. I think this group is well-versed in that and I hope everyone can spare a moment to be pleased with their efforts and move confidently into this season ahead. 🙂

    1. I love the Mother Nature costume and the thought about squirrels doing what they need to.

    2. Mountain Mama Dawn,
      Our youngest daughter was dyslexic and we used The Barton Reading and Spelling program. Teaching dyslexic children to read is a long-term process and she was tutored for years by a local teacher using the Barton system. She was also in the gifted program. As you already know, dyslexia has nothing to do with intelligence. She is now a registered nurse who will always be a lousy speller, but that’s something spell-check can handle!

      1. Thank you for your comment, Dawn in the Deep South. Of course, I think my children are brilliant and they are in their own ways like all of us. The fact that so much of our world relies on text can make it tough but, despite my Luddite leanings, I am so grateful for technology and other means of learning that exist today and the recognition of different kinds of intelligence and talent. We decided we would be a home educating family before our children were born but I never knew how much of a gift that would be. Not only do they get 1:1 attention and individualized lessons and can bypass all that artificial idea of being “behind”, I have learned SO much. It is the single best decision we have ever made for our family, hands down. Your daughter’s successes are a testament to her perseverance and grit. I admire those traits very much.

    3. Mountain Mama Dawn – I wanted to say my Dad was severely dyslexic. Born in 1920, no one knew why he couldn’t learn in a regular classroom. My grandparents were his biggest advocates. He wasn’t diagnosed until his mid20s. But I wanted to encourage you with his story. In spite of the early challenges in school, he was able to go to and graduate from a 4 year college and had a great career selling real estate.

      1. SJ – Thank you for sharing the inspiration of your Dad. I have heard and read so many accounts of people who had learning differences before they were recognized as such and my heart aches that any child was made to feel “dumb” when the truth is they are far from it. I am blessed to have an older brother diagnosed with cerebral palsy and mental retardation. The things I have seen him accomplish have taught me that we all have our gifts and we all have our challenges – some are just more visible than others. Love and encouragement brings out our best selves. 🙂

    4. Mountain Mama Dawn, loved the visual of the squirrels. I, too, am thankful for the winter preparations I have made and often feel like a squirrel in doing so…or the scene in Little House in the Big Woods when the girls play in the attic where all the food is stored.😊

      1. Yes, Laura S! I lived and breathed the Little House books growing up. The fact that the Ingalls family was rich in the things that really matter was never lost on me. And, I suppose you could say that about squirrels, too! 🙂

  14. Ooh, pomegranates! Yum! A neighbor had a bush- or a tree that needed pruning?!- and we’d pick them on the way home from school and sit on the curb and eat them! She allowed us. She also had plum and apricot trees. The plum trees hung over the sidewalk and she said we could pick any that we could reach without jumping her fence. You’d be amazed at what 9 yr. olds can figure out lol!! They were worth it!!

    We need rain!! The dryness has made this a particularly horrible allergy season. My husband and I have had the whole list of symptoms and we both just want sleep. Then, we lay down and get completely congested. It’s vicious. Our normal meds help, but the rain is the best way to be rid of them.

    My mom and aunt usually made our Halloween costumes and they were turned into pajamas after the big night. I remember wearing a purple dress with a funny cut hem and having a bone on my head. Pebbles Flintstone! Had to be the late 60s. Or a light dress with a sash, wand, and my altered First Communion pearl crown. Fairy princess! The dresses were usually flannel and perfect for winter sleeping. My husband has occasionally worked at jobs where they dress up. He likes wearing sweats so I work with those. He won a DVD player for a dog costume that was so simple! I just cut out spot shapes from charcoal felt and tacked them to his grey sweats, made a pin on tail, glued ears to a headband, and make up whiskers. I’ve already got his next one ready if he ever needs one again. An Operation game patient. Saw it on Pinterest and it’s perfect. I set aside an old red polo shirt just for that. I thought that was pretty clever of someone.

    I don’t have a book list this week. I did read a Michael Connelly book (Bosch and Ballard) called Dark Sacred Night between sneezes!

  15. Your photo of the pomegranates has me wondering if I’ll ever get any fruits. My two dwarf ones are several years old, and still pretty small. They don’t bloom until late summer, and have never formed fruit. Hopefully, they will in time. Last week, I roasted our first hulless pumpkin seeds, after processing the pumpkin and two spaghetti squash that weren’t going to store well. I made pumpkin bread with the puree. The pumpkin seeds were fantastic! I’ll definitely grow them again. A few trays of sweet potatoes were dehydrated for pup treats, and I planted three that had sprouted in a pot, to see if I can coax them into supplying some winter greens for me. I harvested tomatoes, eggplant, peppers, a few green beans, the last of the cow peas, tromboncino, one pear, two pawpaws and a cucuzza squash. I shelled butter beans while watching a movie, and while listening to a podcast another day. After an appointment, I shopped at Harris Teeter, and received the 5% senior discount off my purchase. I bought a pineapple for $1.99, 4 packs of organic black beans and garbanzo beans for .50 off, organic peanut butter for $1 off, and asparagus for 1.99/#. At Food Lion, I got dogfood for $6 off ea., and brussels sprouts for $2.59. The dogfood and beans have certainly gone up, but at least there are some savings getting them on sale. Vegetable soup was made after pulling a “soup fixings” container from the freezer. I add to these containers when I have little dribs and drabs of meals leftover, not enough to really do anything with. It turned out quite good, and also used our canned tomatoes and carrots, onions, garlic and cabbage. I used the toaster oven to warm bread, so free power from solar, instead of using the main propane oven. Warm up water in the shower was saved for flushing, and water glasses were emptied into the humidifier on the woodstove. Having read all the library books I had, I began reading a book received free on Amazon Prime on my Kindle.

    1. Fertilize them now with phosphorus to stimulate fruit next year. Also, it usually takes 3 years before you start seeing fruit.

    2. Laurie, what kind of toaster oven do you use? I would love to find one that uses few enough watts so we can run it on solar, because we too are living off-grid. I didn’t realize using a toaster oven could be an option on solar. Thanks!

      1. Anne, I’m sorry to just now be seeing this. I just have a regular Hamilton Beach toaster oven, 1300 watt. We do have a large 12K watt inverter, but my husband said that even a 3K watt inverter should be able to run one that size. I hope that helps.

  16. Love your pomegranate pic! Reminds me of growing up. A neighbor had a bush and allowed me to have one each year when they were ripe. Delicious!

    Have spent the week brushing/grooming my Newfie, Mr. Darcy. He is to be neutered on Wednesday. I am somewhat nervous as giant breeds do not do as well with anesthesia as the smaller breeds. Plus, he has severe separation anxiety which is heart wrenching. So please say a small prayer for our beloved Mr. Darcy.

    Made a large pot of chicken noodle soup which was quite good. Did more biscuit making and also cornbread. I enjoy cooking this time of year and the scale confirms it!

    A good friend’s daughter has a handbag boutique. She also has other leather items. She makes these herself and they are gorgeous. She was invited to Paris Fashion Week this year! I can’t wait to see all the pics and hear all the gossip! Just so exciting and well-deserved!

    My frugal accomplishment was perusing my closet and finding an old, but wonderful outfit that will be perfect to wear to my granddaughter’s wedding! I really did not want to buy something that would be expensive and worn very little. Cleaning out my closet is on my list of Winter chores. It is sorely needed!

    I would like to recommend that everyone read one/all of Geraldine Brooks books. Her writing is absolutely astounding. I cried when I read my first few paragraphs. It was so refreshing to read something so close to perfection. She is a Pulitzer Prize winner.

    The News is so frightening and discouraging of late. It is wonderful to be able to come here, Brandy, and visit and be enlightened, and dwell on the things that matter and be amongst friends. ❤️🌹

    Stay frosty out there, people! Onward, ya’ll, by all means!

    1. CherylB, I hope Mr. Darcy fared well for his neutering yesterday. I know how nerve wracking it is when our pets have to undergo procedures. Prayers sent that it went smoothly.

  17. It was a rather quiet week at our house. I did pay an extra $75 to our mortgage. I paid all our bills online except for one vehicle payment – we have the same lender for both our vehicle loans, and they do not have an option to pay online. I find that so strange in this day and time!

    My husband continues to find marked down meat to replenish our freezer. We often share with our children, so it is always good to have extra. We used some prime rib from an “ox roast” that the BSA put on in the spring to make delicious steak sandwiches. They are having another ox roast this weekend, so I am hopeful that my husband will bring more meat home. It is so handy to have to make beef and gravy, sandwiches, soup, or stew.

    I used my $10/10 coupon on produce to buy some decorative gourds. I will decorate with them in one way for general fall and then come November 1, they will be added to the wicker cornucopia that my husband brought me home from the dump for my Thanksgiving tablescape.

    We ordered another Christmas present using an earned Amazon gift card. My daughter and I went to the thrift store last weekend and found 3 brand new hardback books that she will use for her uncle-in-law’s Christmas presents. He lives with her father-in-law and is disabled, so reading gives him joy. She was excited to find these for him.

  18. Love the Halloween costume sharing idea! It can apply to so many other situations too (nice shoes for weddings, etc).

    My 18 year old daughter wanted me to share with you all: she wanted some Nike sweatpants- they were $65 for XS in adult department, but she bought XL in kids department for $35. She said she thought that would “make the frugal accomplishments list.” ☺️😂
    *so happy to have the windows open and a/c off last week
    *harvested a few more tomatoes and ONE runner bean – I’m so proud of that bean because it gives me hope for next year’s garden!
    *watered newly planted mums with caught rainwater
    *read library books for entertainment and received a free notepad, pencil, and reusable cloth for glasses and screens (library was raising awareness of website change)
    📍Grocery store: ran in Thursday evening to grab some half price bakery donuts for a treat
    📍Facebook Marketplace: made another $36 selling items from garage clean out

    Have a great week 💜

    1. Marissa, kudos to your daughter! Isn’t it amazing how they change the price between kids and adults! Great thinking on her part!

      1. Thanks for the compliment- I’ll pass it along to her ☺️ I agree, the difference is crazy and obviously many people can’t make kid’s sizes work for them (myself included).

  19. Hello Everyone!
    I also read “The Weaver’s Daughter “ last week on Hoopla. I enjoyed it very much! In addition, I’ve continued watching Master Class on Hoopla. It’s a great resource!

    This past week I baked 2 loaves of sourdough sandwich bread and 2 loaves of sourdough French bread using free King Arthur recipes. We used one of the French bread loaves to make pizza, rather than ordering. In addition, I baked cranberry muffins using frozen whole berries found in the freezer from last fall. I also baked some sugar cookies.

    We made soup twice this week. One was a sausage, red bean and rice and the other was chicken noodle that used 2 saved chicken carcasses. I made biscuits from scratch to accompany the soup as well as for pigs in a blanket. I had more hot dogs in the freezer. I made pumpkin pancakes using the remainder of some frozen pumpkin purée.

    My husband and I had a date. We went to the aquarium to see the new exhibit. We used our (tax deductible) membership for entry. We went out to lunch and noticed a sign for a 4% labor surcharge on all bills. We had only water with our meal to compensate. We walked by the Ghirardelli ice cream shop on Cannery Row. 😋Instead of splurging on $10+ sundaes each, we bought some ice cream and made some at home. It was $2.99/1.5 L on sale instead. Although less expensive, our waistlines don’t need a tub full of sundaes! We had a movie night in, watching Hocus Pocus 2, on Disney+. I made popcorn on the stove. 🍿

    While at the grocery store buying ice cream, I picked up the advertised fruit sales. $1.47/lb. for grapes and peaches.

    Gas has jumped significantly this week! It’s $6.89 at the stations in town. Costco was $5.89 when my husband filled up a few days ago. The news is reporting refinery inspections and repairs as the cause, but I’m not sure that’s the whole story.

    We bathed our dog outside, watering the lawn at the same time. I brush him out more often to prevent mats. We’ve extended trips between his grooming appointments to save. This week he goes for his annual teeth cleaning and shots, which are covered under his plan.

    I unpicked pajama bottoms for my husband that we’re way too big. That took forever! I recut them and sewed them. My husband repaired the running toilet in minutes. We already had the parts!

    Have a blessed and beautiful week everyone! 🍂

  20. The refurbished computer I ordered on E-Bay arrived. It is in like-new condition, and everything I had hoped for. It set itself up on my Wifi. I just had to press a button on the router. I spent an afternoon setting up the features I wanted, liked Google Chrome as the default browser and shortcuts to my favorite sites. The only one that had any difficulty was getting into my YouTube account, but I found the fix on internet using my old computer while I was waiting for my internet provider’s help desk to return my call.

    The last couple of computers I bought cost $1,000 Cdn each. At the time, I was working several gigs and either received a monthly computer allowance or a tax deduction that paid for the computers over time, so the cost was refunded to me. This computer cost $298, which made a huge difference to me now that I am retired.

    I received my new winter boots the same day, which saved me the cost of a taxi ride to the post office. (Parcels aren’t delivered to our homes here in this rural Alberta town.) Though the foot size was right, the calf size seemed much too tight. I thought I would return them, but had another look at them the next day. I could see that there was a lot of extra fabric under the no-tie, permanently locked laces. I squeezed the boots on to make sure the foot portion fit. I’ll replace the laces now, without having to worry about keeping the boots in returnable condition by keeping the locked laces locked. I priced laces for boots, which started at $10, but then realized the tie-up laces from my worn-out boots were in great condition, so I will just transfer them over.

    I had my grass cut for the last time this season. There will be a break between now and snow shoveling season, which will give me a few weeks where I don’t have to spend money on that. The person who was cutting my grass has agreed to shovel my front sidewalk for me. This was great news, since he is really reliable and pleasant to deal with. It is the first time I have hired someone, but all the neighbors who have helped me have moved on, and I just can’t do it all myself.

    The local grocery store is offering a free shopping and delivery service. It is a small but full-service grocery with a small-town approach. The store manager himself is doing the shopping and delivery. They have a portable debit machine now, so you can pay at your door. I am going to try this. I can buy larger packages of heavier items, and larger grocery hauls than just what I can carry. Also, if I want to shop myself, they will provide free delivery. The manager was pleased – I live so close that he can bring my groceries over in a shopping cart, and not have the expense of using a vehicle!

    We had a very difficult winter last year, but now that I have new winter boots, someone lined up to shovel my snow, and someone to deliver groceries, I am feeling much better about this coming winter.

    Last week, I bought cinnamon and real vanilla, which leaves me with almost everything I need for baking this winter. I use cinnamon a lot and was completely out of it. They had small tins on sale, but I seemed to go through the last tin more quickly than the brand that comes in a ziplock bag. I checked and realized the ziplock bag brand has about four times the cinnamon, but just twice the price. The vanilla was no deal ($16.99!!!) for a small bottle, but I had checked online and the prices were no better. Making my own would have lower the unit cost but with too big an outlay for the amount that I use. I should have procrastinated, because this week it was on sale for $12.48. There weren’t many bottles on the shelf, so I will just count this as a bird in the hand at the full price being better than one in the bush at the sale price.

    Canadian Thanksgiving is this coming weekend. The flyer had great prices on turkey, ham and whole chickens, and quite a few other things. I’ve decided not to get any of these deals, and use a whole chicken I have in the freezer for Thanksgiving dinner. For everyday meals, I bought a pack of pork chops at a surprisingly reasonable price, and a turkey thigh that is big enough for two servings. I’ll get a taste of turkey this week, without the major commitment a whole turkey is in a one-person household. I need to stock up on meat again for my fridge-freezer but will wait until November and December to do that.

    The news has been so bad, either sad or frightening or both. The destruction on Sanibel Island seemed more personal to me since this was a place my family spent numerous Christmases when I was in my twenties and thirties. I think this was my mother’s favorite place to go. After my dad retired, she would save money from her housekeeping budget, and 50 cent pieces from her trips to the US, and the money she made working part-time in a nursery to pay the condo rental. My dad would make a large donation of insect specimens to an entomology museum in Florida for a tax deduction, so they could drive down to drop off the donation and continue to Sanibel.

    That being said, I agree with Garden Pat that we need to stay positive. I am finding that people locally are really taking the time to stop and chat, whether they know the people they see or not. There is no complaining or worrying in it, just friendly conversation.

        1. Happy Canadian Thanksgiving! My daughter lives in British Columbia, and her sister and brother-in-law live in Calgary! So happy the border is open because I may be able to see her soon!❤️

          1. Thanks! BC and Calgary are great places to visit, as well as the treat of getting to see your family.

    1. Hi Elizabeth M.

      Your computer deal sounds great. It is wonderful that the grocery owner will deliver your groceries for you and that he has a portable debit machine. Glad to see you’re getting prepared for winter.

      1. Ann,
        We are still having unusually wonderful weather. I’d be happy if that continues for a good, long time.

    2. Elizabeth – I love the memories that you have of your mom saving her money so that your family could spend Christmas on Sanibel Island. It is truly a magical place. My husband passed away suddenly at a very young age. I spread his ashes in the Gulf by the Sanibel Lighthouse. I have always enjoyed the serene beauty of the dolphins swimming near the spot when I went to visit the island. We are struggling in the aftermath of Ian. But we will rebuild Sanibel and the other barrier islands so that everyone may continue to enjoy the natural beauty of the area.

      1. DonnaMarie,
        What a lovely place to leave your husband’s ashes.

        Some of my happiest memories are walking along the beach there each morning, looking for shells and watching the birds. I still have a box of shells in my cupboard! (If all the shells have been swept away, I am sure there are enough boxes in cupboards that can more than fully repopulate the beaches!)

        All the best to you as you tackle the task ahead.


  21. Hubby was reading The Prepper’s Pantry by Ted Riley asked me if my supplies of baking soda and baking powder were good. He remembered I said yeast was but not the others. They weren’t. I priced them (bulk prices) and found Amazon was 20% cheaper than anything close by so used your site Brandy to order through. I also ordered iron on patches for Hubby’s work clothes.
    Even though I am down with viral gastroenteritis aka stomach flu that is doing it’s best to trigger my Crohn’s I insisted we eat from the pantry and made a menu that Hubby could do if I wasn’t able. He was willing to buy meals.
    We got a solid frost, frozen fog droplet on the wire fencing for sure this morning. I had covered up the celery . We will finish harvesting the squash, carrots and celery by the end of the week because I can see a strong possibility of a freeze then. Hubby pulled the picnic table that had the green tomatoes that are ripening into the barn. Said by Friday or Saturday should be enough ripen to have a canner load.
    Our Amish neighbor E was going to go get the ground speltz that we get part of… instead he delivered his daughter. Their children got to name the baby and they decided on Ruby. M said it was the fastest of the 10 kids she ever delivered within 1 hr. of feeling “discomfort”, not really a normal labor pain. I asked if she needed anything but she didn’t think so as they had already checked twice and then had both mothers check. Her canning is done except when they butcher. E already got his first deer (bow hunting), his mother canned it for them.
    Blessed be everyone, prayers for peace and kindness.

  22. I have a bit of a different take on Halloween. We don’t participate at all. It saves our family a ton of money! No decorations. No parties. No costumes. No candy. The kids can play dress up anytime of the year with no competition to have the “best” outfit. Plus, I never felt comfortable letting my kids go door to door taking candy when we weren’t able to afford to buy candy to pass out at our own house. Honestly, who needs all that sugar. We don’t eat that regularly and I prefer not to have it in the house. That probably saves us doctor and dentist bills too. We just have a fun, family movie night with homemade pizza and popcorn at home.

    1. Oh Sara, I agree. I don’t know how you American ladies do it all with Halloween, Thanksgiving and then Christmas! In Australia, Halloween was not celebrated and only now is gaining traction. But by no means does everyone with kids take part. I feel sad when I see all the single-use plastic junk in the $2 dollar shops – especially those “spiderwebs”. Needless pollution. I don’t say say this as an anti-traditionalist. My mother was from Scotland and she remembered carving turnips for lanterns (pumpkins not readily available in 1930s Scotland) and “dooking” for apples. The simple origins of the modern celebration are environmentally and budget friendly.

      1. The spiders have been doing their own decorating at me house! Definitely environmentally friendly!😆

      2. Laura – I love the description of your mother’s All Hallow’s Eve celebrations. I agree that the commercial, disposable form of celebrating (any holiday, really, not just Halloween) is so sad especially if that is all people know and don’t consider doing something different. The old harvest celebrations like dunking (we would say) for apples, eating doughnuts hanging from a string without using your hands, pin the nose on the Jack O’Lantern, Lantern Walks, etc. are all ways we celebrated as children in our family and still do with our children. Candy is a very small part of it and we don’t use any mass-produced decorations. Looking back, I don’t think my parents ever indicated we celebrated the way we did to be frugal, it was just fun to us. But, since most frugal folk I know are also very creative, I suppose this kind of celebrating makes sense. 🙂

    2. Here in the UK hallowe’en is taking off. In our area the 2 local churches have for years put on a party for the local children on All Saints Day, 1st November. The children dress as saints or angels. This has largely replaced halloween thankfully.I am sorry if this upsets anyone.

      1. I think that’s very interesting!

        My readers are from all over the world. It’s always fun to learn what everyone does. There is no need to apologize for it. It’s good to learn differences.

      2. Our church here in the USA always celebrated All Saints Day. Children weren’t allowed to wear Halloween costumes to school (it was the church school) they wore a saint costume.

        1. Our family celebrates All Hallowtide – all those hallow/ holy people that do or have done good in the world ( think Saint Mother Teresa of Calcutta) and the next day, all those in our families that have died. We visit the grave yard to make sure it is cleaned up with fresh flowers. Our family makes soul cakes or apple cider donuts, hot apple cider, caramel apples, and nut popcorn mixture with candy corn.

    3. We don’t celebrate Halloween either. When I see something that “everyone” is doing, I ask myself would I do it if no one was doing it? This goes from celebrating Halloween to watching Netflix to drinking Starbucks. I also don’t like eating so much sugar, color, and whatnot in those single-use candies. And lastly, I’m horrified to think about ALL the millions of edible pumpkins and all those plastic packages/ cheap stuff that end up in the trash/ landfill!!! I’d rather calculate the cost of costumes, decorations, etc., and donate to a starving family.

      1. I thought you might speak up, Farhana 🙂

        I’m sure there are many readers who do not celebrate Halloween.

  23. At last, I finished proofreading the final bound proof of the book so I am trying to catch up on chores both inside and outside. I am hoping our beautiful weather will continue. We will have 4 weeks before the book is ready for us to deliver everywhere. We have our volunteer list organized for local deliveries. A friend has a tree loaded with real apples (as opposed to crabapples or little apples). She is going to give me lots. I’ve made room in my fridge for them. My new blender (to replace the one that was given away while I was in hospital) is supposed to be great for making apple sauce. I’ll try making some with it. So free eating-apples and free apple sauce. I am still ill so my friend will pick them for me. I was going to buy a case of apples from the farmers’ market so will not have to do so for awhile. That leaves carrots and beets for me to buy in bulk. No Frills has a good price on red or green seedless grapes that is about half the price as other stores. I am splurging to buy a sirloin tip roast on sale at Co-op ($5.99 per pound as opposed to $8.99 per pound at No Frills). I should be able to cook it and get several dinners for the freezer from it. I will use one of mine that has been in my friend’s freezer for awhile and put the new one in the freezer. My friend who lives at a fair distance from me succeeded in getting the 900 gram bags of whole wheat couscous for me from her Superstore. She will bring them when she is in this part of town. It should be a year’s supply and a nice and easy change from pasta for me. I have about a year’s supply of pasta that I am starting to use as it will go out of date soon. Since it is not egg pasta, I will use it even if it is beyond “best before”. I’ll slowly replace it so my pantry is once again well stocked.
    As I’m trying to get back to my pre-covid diet, including using far fewer canned foods (with high sodium), I am buying different types of pasta that are high protein and high fibre (made from red lentils, chickpea flour). I feel that as we age, many of us don’t get enough protein or fibre in our diets so I’m addressing that issue. Protein is important to keep our collagen in good condition.

    My neighbour gave me some of his zucchinis. I’m going to shred them, then freeze them for future use in
    soups or casseroles.

  24. • I asked for a pedometer on Buy Nothing, and instead received a Fitbit! I was delighted. I also received a hoodie, which was needed as I had none.
    • We received a flyer from Edward Jones investing. They are offering 6 month CD’s with an interest rate of 3.95%. We are going to do a CD ladder. Our high yield savings account only gives us 2.15%. We won’t put all our cash in the CD’s, but we will put in a good portion, in batches. My husband thinks interest rates will go up again, so we don’t want to tie up money any longer than 6 months.
    • My husband has been faithfully making homemade bread in the thrifted Zojirushi breadmaker. He’s English, and the English do like their bread! He goes through a lot.
    • I found a delicious recipe for bread and butter pickles I made a small trial batch that I didn’t can, just put them in the fridge. I picked a baseball bat sized cucumber so I will make a full batch and can it today.

  25. Survived Ian without any damage (and barely any rain or wind). Thankful that we chose to make our home in such a blessed little geographical corner of South Georgia. Due to the storm, the AC has barely run since Wednesday.

    Since I got 3 extra days off work for Ian, I made progress on the new closet (old master closet) and hall. Sheetrocked, mudded and sanded. Will prime and paint this week. Sorted through numerous boxes and threw out stuff and organized other containers. Still have much to do, but it was progress.

    Had friends over for dinner and made dinner from stuff in the fridge/ pantry. They brought their dog and we had fun watching him play with my dogs. Gave them several toys from my dogs overflowing toybox. They said their dog is enjoying them immensely.

    My husband may be home from his 2+ year deployment this weekend!!! Then he must go to the SRU (Soldier Recovery Unit) for a surgical procedure and get medical clearance for a couple of medical issues He will be there at least 90 days. Thankfully, the SRU is less than an hour from home, so he can come home on weekends. Alas, the renovation will not be finished before he arrives home.

    … and I have to clean out the fridge.

    1. Well, I am even more inspired by you, Jennifer O. Hanging sheetrock by yourself? I have done more than once but always had my husband to help and complain to. 🙂 It is hard no matter how many times you do it, I think. Sounds like you are making great progress!

  26. We had a great week in the garden. We have yet to have a frost, so are celebrating that. We are going to get almost everything from the garden this year. we were wondering when we had a late, cold and very wet spring.
    I canned 7 more pints of tomato basil simmer sauce.
    My son was visiting and we gave him corn, onions, potatoes tomatoes and peppers from the garden.
    We gave my SIL corn, tomatoes, onions and basil. For her I actually have to blanch the corn and cut it off the cob. We gave her 11 baggies, each with one cup in it, and then in a big freezer bag.
    Gave another friend some corn and tomatoes.
    I dried 4 more trays of thyme. that is the end of the thyme for drying.
    Picked corn and froze 44 cups one day. I freeze it in 2 cup bags.
    Made potato corn chowder with onions, corn and potatoes from the garden.
    Worked 3 days and took breakfast and lunch a three days.
    Made a big batch of salsa, using tomatoes, onions, peppers, garlic, and cilantro from the garden. My DH BBQs the peppers, so there is a smoky flavor to the salsa.
    I brought corn, onions and tomatoes to the office for my officemate. She was not working that day, so gave it to the receptionist, who has three children.
    Made pulled pork using a pork shoulder from the freezer. Fried up some peppers and onions to have with our pulled pork sandwiches.
    Got a few good deals. One store was having a case lot sale. Got mandarin oranges – 24 pack for $12.00; tomato sauce – 12 pack for $7.00 and 4 cans of tuna for 48¢ a can.
    At a different store, I had a coupon for a free pound roll of Jimmy Dean sausage, so I picked that up, along with Colgate toothpaste for 99¢ per tube, with a limit of 5.
    Picked more corn and divided it between “soup corn” which is corn that is maybe a little tough, and eating corn. Got 5 bags of 4 cups each of soup corn and 14 bags of 2 cups each of eating corn. Gave the corn cobs remaining after I cut the corn off to the neighbors for their chickens.
    Hung laundry on the line, had BLTs for dinner one night, made coleslaw and beets. Gave a friend some corn stalks to use as decorations. Had popcorn and fruit for dinner one night when I was absolutely exhausted.
    Probably 10 more days of hard garden work before we have a killing frost.
    Hope everyone has a good week.

  27. *Six jars of green beans p/canned, the last of the season. We enjoyed the tiny baby green beans in a stir fry.
    *I had bought some Tattler reusable canning lids earlier this year. I’ve been practicing using them by canning water. Although people have warned me there is a learning curve, I’ve not had any problems with them sealing and will use them now with real food.
    *I bought several pairs of wool socks 80% off. Some for me and some for gifts.
    *We washed our exterior windows ourselves ahead of winter. I use a concoction that includes dishwasher rinse aid. The rinse aid lets the window dry streak free (the most frustrating point for me.)
    *My husband made temporary repairs to my dishwasher. Unfortunately we think the issue actually originates with the hot water heater, which is 20 years old. So a new water heater is likely in our future.
    *Our area has the highest gas prices in North America, well over USD 6.50/gal (CAD $2.40/litre). Crossing the US-Canada border to fill up on cheaper US gas saves us money. I’m grateful the border is open again.
    *Canadian Thanksgiving this weekend! Enjoy!

      1. $6.49 and up here in California. It is awful. I got in the car today to do 2 errands and I felt like I’d forgotten how to drive. We use the electric bike so much.

        1. Gas prices in Toronto jumped 10 cents a litre last night and will go up another 6 cents tonight! I believe that makes it around $1.73 per litre at the moment! Just ridiculous considering how much oil and gas reserves Canada has!
          And yes, I do understand that we all have to do our bit – but – it’s funny that the news reports never mention that even if Canada hit all the Paris accord targets and was net carbon zero – in the greater scheme of things we would reduce the world’s carbon footprint by only 1.6 percent.

        1. I heard about the reduction that will drive gas prices even higher as well. I topped off my tank today for that reason while near the station. Costco gas was $6.09 today.

    1. Thank you for the idea to practice with the Tatler lids with water in the jar. I bought some last year and have been too nervous to try them! After I have the water hot to can my bread and butter pickles, I will practice with the new lids!

      1. Kara, I popped in a Tattler jar or two when I didn’t have a full canner load. I too was too nervous to use them and possibly waste food. But I followed the directions about the loose rings and all has been just fine, both waterbath and pressure canning. I am looking forward to decreasing my dependence on one-use lids. (But I still will need some metal lids for jars I give away.)

        1. I tried some reusable canning lids called Harvest Guard this year. They worked great although I did carefully read the instructions on tightening before I tried them out. I too use metal ones for items I may give as gifts like jams or salsa. I used the Harvest Guard lids for water bath and pressure canning and only had two not seal (one jar of peaches were water bathed and one jar of green beans were pressure canned) but I’m just getting used to them. Cleaning the jar edges well before adding seals and lids- and only tightening until the jar moves both before processing and right after, seems to be the key.

      2. The difference I learned is when you put on the lid I put one index finger on the top and push as I tighten the ring until it begins to rotate the jar. Any more and it is too tight.

    2. Hi Elle W.
      Happy Thanksgiving to you, too. Would you be able to tell me where you bought the wool socks, please? Thanks for the tip about the dishwasher rinse for outside windows. Ann

      1. Hi Ann! I found them in a box at Reitmans. All sorts of odds and ends were marked down in there and I rummaged through. Sorry I’m not more helpful. Elle

    3. I bought 1 doz. Tattler lids I bought several years ago, but haven’t used them yet. I will try canning water also. Thank you for the tip.

  28. I am fortunate to be living life as usual, since the hurricane shifted from coming right through my county to landing further south. I’d like to ask that anyone who can, and wishes to, please look for responsible charities and donate to help the many, many devastated victims of Ian. Not only are their homes gone or ruined, but their belongings, neighborhoods, vehicles, schools and jobs are gone as well. Many lived far enough inland to not need flood insurance – or so everyone thought – and will not get any insurance money for their homes damaged or destroyed by the storm surge. Those that have homeowners insurance and whose houses were damaged or ruined by wind, not water, will still have a high deductible – special hurricane deductibles went into effect several years ago for homeowner policies in Florida. My own homeowners policy for my small home would require me to pay almost $3500 out of my pocket as a hurricane deductible before insurance would pay anything, should a hurricane strike my home.

    My okra is finally sputtering out, so I pulled it up and will plant carrots in the bed. I have saved seed from Baker Creek from last year – I keep seed in the refrigerator and it usually germinates very well for an additional two years. Carrots are not expensive in the store, but ones I grow from seed are even cheaper than that.

    I made a big pot of soup and have automatically saved some of it in the freezer for lunches later, when I don’t have leftovers to take to work.

    I’m building up Swagbucks to get another gift card to be used in Christmas or birthday shopping. We have three birthdays coming up in November and December.

    I hung out my laundry or hung it on the drying rack and shower rod this weekend. I hang my good clothes inside to dry, to keep them from fading, even when the weather is perfect for drying, as it was this past weekend.

    I’m using worm castings from my worm “farm” to side dress some young fall peas coming up.

    I figured out the problem with the air pump going to the trough fish tank outside – the old air stone was clogged. I replaced it and the fish are enjoying their bubbles again.

    1. Jo, thankful you did not get the brunt of the hurricane! Two of my sons and their families live in Naples! It was a nail biter, heart pounder for us as we watched it on television. Fortunately, neither suffered water damage. One is a sheriff so he put in a lot of hours! Then on it went to Orlando, where we have two sons and a DIL. They escaped the flooding😊 And then, once again, one of the daughters had the bullseye on her as she lives on an island off Charleston. She, too, came through safe and without any damage. Thanks be to God! My son said it is far worse than what we see on television. My heart goes out to those people; the governor has set up a fund which has a limit on how much can be spent on administrative expenses so most of the funds go to help the victims of the hurricane.

      1. Laura, oh my goodness, that would have terrified me to have someone in Naples. What a blessing that your family all made it through across the state. My family in Ocala lost power for a few hours, and family in the Daytona area had lines and trees down, but no one was harmed and no houses were damaged. I’m sure it does look worse than the cameras show – one has to look at it first hand to really understand how devastating it is. Our little local beach suffered a serious storm surge years ago in a sudden freak Spring time storm and the sight of those ruined houses, stores, and little motels – what wasn’t swept out to sea, that is – plus the 10 deaths, since the residents had no warning, was just heartbreaking.

    2. Jo – Thank you for your request for donations to responsible charities to aid the victims of Ian. We are experiencing a human catastrophe here in Southwest Florida. Many people are homeless and currently living in parking lots under tents and makeshift tents. Federal, State, and local authorities as well as the National Guard are here to assist but the task is overwhelming. The responsible charities are assisting to fill in where the authorities have not been able to get to yet. In addition to losing everything, some individuals must bury family members killed during the storm. I have read Brandy’s blog for many, many years. Due to Brandy’s preparedness content as well as the content you wonderful ladies contribute each week; I was more than prepared. I was able to Bless neighbors who were not prepared with water, bleach, and batteries. I was also able to use my propane grill to provide hot dinners to 13-15 neighbors each evening for the first 10 days. I am grateful for all the helpful information you ladies share. This is an amazing community built by Brandy.

  29. We are home from Houston and had a nice visit with family. Though my MIL no longer knows us, we had fun looking through a book of photos I had made of her through the years, and she and my FIL enjoyed the food I prepared and ate well, which always feels like a victory. A highlight of the week was attending a surprise 60th birthday party for my brother, and then attending his wedding the next day! He did not know we were coming and seeing the smile on his face when he recognized us was worth the trip. The wedding was a lovely, simple affair and we had so much fun visiting with family and old friends. (His new bride went out of her way to schedule the wedding when we would be in town, which makes her already dear to my heart!)
    We used credit card points to pay for our hotel on the return drive.

  30. I put patches on the inner thighs of a pair of jeans that had a continual family reunion of the thighs until they became holy. This was take three of mending them. First I bought denim patches and ironed them in, washed them and they peeled off. 2nd try, I sewed to inside of the hole and it was causing chafing on my thighs. So these I did outside the hole with a running stitch, then a blanket stitch around the edges. Hopefully it will work.
    * I got a bushel of green beans and got 7 quarts and 30 pints. I used all Tattler lids and was disappointed to have 7 failures. I froze those that failed.
    * I harvested Roma tomatoes, okra, green onions, roses, and a cucumber, and a bell pepper.
    * My bacon grease jar is full so I froze spoonfuls on wax paper then froze in a bag.
    *I used an old quilt and cut pumpkins out of it and made a garland. I used old canning lids to make pumpkins, too. I love to repurpose things.
    * I got a whole box of copper molds, canister set, watering can, salt and pepper set, and trivet for $20. I decorate my kitchen with copper pieces, so was so happy.
    * I went to the quilt charity sale and got a lot of fabric and quilting books. So I ordered 100 more comic boards to fold my new fabrics on. I also got 60 canning jars at a garage sale. And I got a crystal cake plate with dome, mine broke years ago.

  31. I love the idea of sharing Halloween costumes. We had a big bin of dress ups that doubled as costumes, and the neighbor kids were always welcome to dig through it for costume ideas and our next door neighbor was the same.

    I’ve had a nicely frugal week, here are some highlights:
    • I stopped by the grocery liquidator yesterday and bought eight yellow peppers and two containers of fresh mozzarella for just $4. I sliced and froze the peppers and will use the cheese for lasagna.
    • Listened to “The Four Winds” audiobook by Kristin Hannah through the free Libby app and I’m reading “Miss Benson’s Beetle” by Rachel Joyce from the library.
    • My husband is building a backyard deck using mostly the leftover pieces from a dismantled treehouse.
    • I glued a piece back onto my 21-year-old vacuum cleaner that holds up the coiled cord.
    • I got a pair of garden shears through my Buy Nothing Group.

    And of course I blogged about my frugality as well:

    1. I finally bought a new costume this year (handmade and custom off etsy) as my old ones have been recycled into new things so many times, I am out of ideas. I bought a dress I can adapt and use for the Renaissance festival, Mardi Gras, and Halloween.

  32. Lovely fall day here and very warm for October. I was happy to pick a few apples from the neighbours tree overhanging our yard when invited. Tiny, but tasty and free-there is something very special about the smell of fresh picked apples! All the while keeping a sharp eye out for the moose who visited last week. Also made a pot of chicken, barley-veggie soup this morning. As Brandy says homemade soup is one of the most economical meals-and usually quite tasty. Even though we are late with our first frost- DH changed over to the snow tires this weekend so we are ready when the snow flies. This saves the cost and inconvenience of taking them to a shop to be changed. I am thankful he can do jobs like that.
    Frugal fail this week-dropped my phone and broke the screen. Luckily DH was able to find somebody close by who had the parts and could quickly repair it. As we all know new/used phones are expensive.
    Wishing everyone a good week-I enjoy reading everyone’s ideas-in fact I think someone mentioned earlier in the day about making chicken broth-which inspired me to make a soup!

  33. Hello Friends! We are settling down this week from the funeral and all the visitors last week. We continue to eat some food people brought us. I was quick to freeze things that I knew we wouldn’t eat up right away, so the meals will continue to bless us for awhile. * We are in the sweet spot of weather temperature that we need neither a/c or heat. *We came home from the funeral with many flowers, so we kept a couple then brought some arrangements for others to enjoy. * read books from the library and watched shows on our streaming channels * made sure to make a menu and grocery this week as we are trying to get to regular life again. *crocheted another lap blanket for donation using yarn I had. * Hope everyone has a good week.

  34. A friend had a surplus of tomatoes from her garden so I peeled and chopped them and froze 5 quarts bags of them. My sister called and said I could come pick Golden Delicious apples. Her tree was laden and she wouldn’t use all of them. I took a friend with me and I picked about 60 lbs. and my friend 48 lbs. We barely made a dent in what was there. I am making apple butter, applesauce, a caramel apple jam to be served with cheese. I also am saving all the cords and peels in the freezer until I am finished with all the canning, then make apple syrup by boiling the cores and peels, straining the liquid, adding sugar, then cooking it down. It will likely yield several pints of syrup. I have done this in the past and use it to sweeten my tea or on pancakes.

    I also canned a batch of harissa sauce using fresh tomatoes and dried chilies.

    I will be getting a 1% rebate from credit card use this last quarter, which will go into my checking account.

    I am knitting some different baby caps from stash yarn as a gift for a shower I am attending next week.

    I am able to borrow a book from the library of Congress through my interlibrary loan program for a knitting pattern in a book that is no longer in print. To buy the book used is $25. I was thrilled with how easy it was to request it!

    Have an enjoyable week everyone!

  35. I spent Saturday “frugal puttering” online. This was much more productive and relaxing than watching the reruns my husband had on. I am lucky that frugal hunting also feels like a hobby to me as well as stewardship. These are a few gems I came up with:

    * I used my library’s Discover and Go program to get a free ticket to the de Young Museum in San Francisco on my birthday in December. I have already used my bonus free night from my IHG card to stay at a very fancy Marc Hopkins hotel in Knob Hill. We will have to pay valet which is $70! but breakfast, hotel and now a fabulous museum will be free for me.

    * I enrolled in the Cinemark Movie Club. It is $10 a month and you get a free movie ticket a month which can be saved up ( movie tickets at night run $12 or more). Although I don’t go to many movies, when DS comes home from college we have a tradition of an adventure film. I payed for the year which saved another $10.00. I also get free online purchases. I was using Fandango for this and paying a fee. Drat!!!! I will get 20% off concession and can buy the food with points earned from my club membership fee.

    * Although I don’t advocate opening credit cards without a three- five month emergency fund ( just my opinion) , now that I have my savings I have opened one hotel card. I now just opened a Delta card which because of my good credit score will give me over a $1,000 free in flights to bring DS home. It has no annual fee the first year. I have to spend $2,000 to get the points. I will buy gift cards for Grocery Outlet which is my main store anyway so I will not be spending any extra money. The minute I get the card, I have the balance automatically paid monthly so I never pay interest. I have set in my google calendar September 2023 to cancel the card so I do not end up paying an annual fee.

    *Speaking of Grocery outlet, I made my now normal early afternoon Tuesday scan. I bought six $1.00 packet of fresh chicken and pancetta tortellini that run usually $6.00 a piece. No cereal to be found
    ( which is really a sign of the times) but I snagged 4 16 ounces fresh ricottas for .50 cents a piece. Does anybody have any good ideas on what to do with it? It will be out of date this week. I know I can freeze it but the texture will suffer.

    1. If your Delta card is with Amex, make sure you allow the annual fee to “post” to your account next year before canceling. Amex has been known to revoke your miles if you cancel before the annual fee comes up on your statement! Once you contact them to cancel, they will refund the annual fee and close out the card for you at no cost to you.

    2. I spread ricotta on cooked lasagna pasta and sprinkle with frozen and broken up (discounted fresh) spinach, then roll up and bag for later meals. It’s delicious with jarred or homemade spaghetti sauce and sprinkled with a little mozzarella. I bake or cook in the crockpot.

    3. See if you can pay your mortgage and other utility bills on the card. I do that and receive over a dozen free Hilton nights a year and my husband does the insurance and car payments on our American Airlines card and we have points for multiple overseas trips. My sister used to pay her daycare and private school fees with her Disney card and racked up enough points each year to buy annual passes for the 5 of them each year.

    4. Ricotta is great to make lasagna or stuffed shells with! You can even stuff the shells and then freeze them, so that you only have to pull out the number of shells that you want to defrost, and then bake them with sauce for an easy meal.

    5. We mix ricotta with Italian spices and Italian sausage and stuff manicotti with it.Yum! Or, some can be mixed in with spaghetti sauce and served over noodles.

  36. I’m a long time reader of the blog (and the comments!) but first time poster here. I’m hoping to hold myself accountable to more frugality by posting here, so here it goes! I’m not nearly as thrifty as many of you, but love your ideas and have learned a lot over the years.

    – Last week was relatively frugal by nature as I spent part of the week recovering from covid. Thankfully a mild case, but it kept me home from work Monday as I finished isolation, and then kept me on the couch all weekend long to try to recover some energy.
    – I made one Costco run for some produce and rotisserie chicken as we were completely out of fresh produce after having been on vacation the week prior and then coming home and immediately coming down with covid. Otherwise, I ate out of the freezer all week. I wish I could find the potato prices you all have talked about! A 10 pound bag used to be $3.99 at my local Kroger. More recently it’s been $7.49.
    – As my husband just took a new job where he’s traveling for work again (our normal lifestyle prior to 2020), I’m able to cut back on grocery purchases. He expenses all meals/mileage/etc. while traveling, so we save money on his food purchases and I can eat fairly simply while he’s gone.
    – Gas continues to come down in my area. It was $3.02 at Costco last week.

    Have a great week!

    1. $7.49!!!

      I am making more rice and fewer potatoes.

      They are up too much here, too.

      Glad to have you joining in; I hope you feel better soon!

  37. This was a very disappointing week for us. We have known that we would soon need to replace our well pump and this was the week for it. It stopped Wednesday afternoon. We thought it was perhaps just fuses as one of them had blown. Replaces that and it worked until Thursday afternoon and quit again. My dad (who used to be a plumber) came and replaced the pump on Friday. It worked until Sunday morning when we woke up to another blown fuse. We replaced that and it worked until we woke up without power on Monday morning. Drove and got more fuses and replaced them, but it still didn’t work. When my husband got home we pulled the pump again (156 feet of pipe and wiring and the weight of the pump pulled out of the ground by hand!) and found 2 places where the wiring was damaged. We drove to town-20 miles each way every time we have to buy something-and bought splicing kits. Got those wires spliced and it still didn’t work. Tuesday evening we decided to just buy all new wiring for down the pump. We had all 10 of us working on getting the wire attached to the pipe and all 156 feet back into the ground until 10 p.m.. But now we have water again! I still can’t use my washing machine until the sediment filters I ordered are delivered tomorrow (Lowe’s no longer sells these in store 🙄). This cost us our extra debt payment for October and November plus a large portion of our Christmas savings. We also will pay the butchering cost for our 2 hogs this month and we need tires before winter. I’m feeling very overwhelmed!

    BUT…there is ALWAYS some good! Having my dad do the diagnostic work and pump installation saved a lot of money. He also taught the boys a lot about plumbing and electrical. The oldest two now know all about installing a pump and how to test electric current with a multimeter.

    When my parents came, my mom brought a crockpot of beef roast. This fed us well for a meal and I uses the broth to make soup.

    Someone at church anonymously gave us $20 for gas.

    Our house is paid off so even though this was hard, it wasn’t more than most people pay for rent or their mortgage every single month.

    Even though I had wanted to be debt free on November 1st, we made good progress this summer and our last payment will be made on January 1st even without being able to pay anything extra toward it.

    My husband’s company is already slowing down for the winter but they have been able to keep him working so far. Fingers crossed he will work until Thanksgiving.

    Our food stores are at a good level and we haven’t had to buy much.

    I made 2 Christmas gifts. They are doll ring slings for our two younger daughters. A friend of theirs went to the beach and came home with a sling and a stuffed otter. We won’t be traveling to the beach but this should suffice for them. I think I’ll be making many Christmas gifts this year as our savings has been used up.

    I’ve been thinking of my cousin who is in the hospital battling leukemia. I know he would love to have my problems and disappointments. It’s all about perspective.

    1. I agree that others would like to have out trials rather than their own.

      I have recently been in touch with a friend I haven’t talked to for 28 years. His life has been very different from mine, and the perspective has given me much to think about.

    2. Like many people we have had many problems and burdens over the years. I always remind myself that no matter how tough our trials may be, there are people all over the world who would gladly trade places with me, problems and all.

    3. Sarah, I know exactly what you have been going through with your well! Last week my well had to have the pressure tank replaced. While not nearly as expensive as what you went through, it was still almost a $400 cost. Fortunately, one of my sons and a friend of his were able to do the repair/replacement for me. So glad that my late husband taught my son’s about well problems and repairs as they were growing up. Before we moved to our rural Tennessee home thirty-five years ago, I had never had to deal with a home well. I just turned on a tap and voila–water appeared. Now I know that a lot can go wrong in getting water into the home. Thankful that I live where the water is plentiful too. Good for you and your family that your well is up and running again. All my best, Penny

    4. I read a quote once about perspective. “If everyone in the world threw all their problems in a big pile and you could see them, you’d grab yours right back.”

  38. It was another great, frugal week in Houston, TX!
    There were lots of meat markdowns at Kroger, with pre-Covid prices. I swing in after taking 3 of the kids to school occasionally, which coincides well with when the meat department workers mark down the old meat. That was pretty lucky, I suppose.
    I bought another rotisserie chicken at Sam’s, which I stretched for a couple of meals.
    I found diapers at Goodwill for cheap; bought all they had.
    I resold more kid stuff.
    It was an ordeal, but I got a hitch receiver and wiring added to my minivan ($500), and they also put on a fender liner and some other parts I had ordered (free). The (cheap) van I bought a while back had some body damage, thus the price, which I’m slowly fixing up. Then, I price-matched a Walmart online price to buy a hitch at Autozone ($25), but it turned out to be the wrong drop. I rented a motorcycle trailer at Uhaul, as it was the cheapest trailer with a ramp they had ($15/24 hours). It would be nice to have a utility trailer, but I don’t have a place to store one, and they seem pretty pricey around here now. But, I had to buy a different hitch at the Uhaul store ($35, ouch!) to put on the rented trailer. Boy, did I have a time backing that trailer up my driveway. That was a frustrating experience, as my driveway is narrow, bordered by the house on one side and neighbor’s fence on the other, and the driveway curves. God was really helping me grow my patience that day!
    Lucky score: I was at Goodwill when they pulled out a new batch of items to put on the shelves. One was a big neon guitar that said Rock n Roll. Wow! I plugged it in to see if it worked, and it did! Only $10! This makes a perfect birthday gift for my friend’s son, who is making rock and roll youtube cover song videos. His 12th birthday is in a few weeks, so I was thrilled to find this. I texted her and she said he’ll love it.
    I intentionally chose a corningware dish with a lid to bake my casseroles, so that I wouldn’t need foil (or to cover with a cookie sheet, as I sometimes do).
    Hope everyone has a nice, frugal week!

  39. Hey all!
    I remember when I was a kid, it was common to make up your own Halloween costume (hobo was always an easy one) and buying costumes was just not a common thing to do, at least in our area.
    Ahhhh the pomegranate! So beautiful and the arils are high on the list of foods I really wish I loved but don’t. They look so beautiful sprinkled atop things but I find eating them to be the equivalent, texture-wise, to eating sunflower seed shells. Ack. (I do love the juice though! )
    Have a great week everyone!

  40. Thanks! BC and Calgary are great places to visit, as well as the treat of getting to see your family.

  41. I bought a container to catch warm up water in the shower. I used to just take a bath but we did a shower conversion and I never thought about saving the water. Thank you for the tip! I made sausage and barley soup last week and tried to make some homemade pork sausage more palatable by adding mor spices and smoking it for a few hours. I am not too hopeful. My sister gifted me a bread machine and George Foreman grill she never used. I have already made bread twice in the week I have had it. I picked pears and will process this weekend. We are putting a new well into service at our ranch. We had two wells drilled a few years ago but left them capped but our drought means that our ponds are going dry so we will have to pump water. Husband and I are doing this job ourselves to save $3500.00. Hope to finish this tomorrow. I think I have picked the last veggies from the garden. I still have potatoes, peas and pumpkins in my raised beds for now. I am going to accept offer from Sirius radio to reactivate radio so that I can put app on tv for hubby. We can experiment with streaming services on the firestick and I hope to cancel Dish Network which is now up to $150+ per month. I just need to figure out how to watch Jeopardy. I continue to read books on Hoopla and Libby. I am also canceling my Kindle Unlimited. I get my monies worth but it is not a necessity. We are not struggling but I can see utilities and fuel rising more soon and want to plan ahead.

    1. I moved recently and with the move decided to cut out cable. Or satellite tv. I purchased an Over the Air TV antenna. The one I bought is a MagicStick 4k and was recommended by a friend who RVs full time. I set it up last night and got 8 stations including a CBS affilitate and also PBS. The ‘stick’ was only $19 on amazon. It sits on the inside of a window and a cable runs from it to the TV. There’s a web site (sorry dont have the link) to check what over air channels are available in your zipcode. Maybe you can find Jeopardy using something similar.

    2. Hi Okbar, My hubby and I have never paid for t.v. I live in a flat area outside of Memphis, TN and use digital television. We bought an antenna that plugs into our smart t.v. and ran the coax cable to the nearest window in order to pick up the best signal. We get about 30 channels. As long as my Masterpiece theater comes in on the local PBS station I’m happy. Jeopardy also comes in on our local affiliate. My hubby is not picky about what sports he watches, so he is ok with this television coverage.**I hope you see this reply as I’m posting on Saturday.

    3. Where I live Jeopardy is on the NBC affiliate. I downloaded the free NBC channel and I can go on “live” when it is on at 4:30 and can watch it for free.

  42. There is little to none to report from last week, so I decided to post a reality check (please leave the politics aside). I noticed the price of heating, groceries and gas were mentioned, but not electricity. We lived in Estonia 2013-2018, and we still have a tiny apartment there. From May to August the price of electricity went up ten fold: In May electricity at night was 0,10 € kWh and during daytime 0,13 € kWh. In August the prices were 1,39€ and 1,59€ per kWh. The tariff has gone up more than 200 percent. Now the question: Would your household make it? What can you do (turn off/take down) in order to survive? Just a mental exercise for everyone of us.

    1. Thank you so much for sharing these numbers, Miriam.

      We are looking here to see what else we can cut, electricity wise. My bill is up almost double and I can’t figure out why. Rates went up but it says we are also using more.

      1. Great question, Miriam. I’m sorry about the stunning price increase. I remember reading about Brandy and some of the things she did in the past…unplugging everything and turning things off. This was years ago. I never did it myself because our electricity costs haven’t been that bad yet but I wonder about looking back at those things. I know that I leave the computer on all of the time, lots of things remain plugged in that aren’t necessary…like my phone charger and at night I wonder at the cost of the little lights on so many things like the wifi, the tv, the dvd player, the clock and the phone/answering machine. I wonder how much we could cut if we tried. My husband recently told me that my curling iron uses far more than other things. I try to use our propane stove vs. a crockpot and other things but I’m sure there is so much more I can do. I know propane costs went up too but it was fairly inexpensive when we got it in the summer. I would like to cut our propane use too.

        1. I have read several articles that show that vampire electricity use is huge. If we can cut that down, it’s huge.

          1. Thank you. I would really like to do this. I guess I need to just start. I am researching it right now. I think others in my family will come on board as the costs increase. For now I will do what I can. I appreciate this because, apart from you, Brandy, I never even knew this was a thing. (We have 5 things plugged in to where the t.v. is. I think only one or two of them is necessary. It might be as simple as moving the plugs for the necessary things and turning off the power strip!) Okay, off to learn. Thanks again!

    2. I’ve been doing a lot of reading and watching a lot of Youtube videos from the UK and Europe about the rising costs and prospects for the Winter and it is all rather scary.
      While gas prices have risen rather dramatically here, I haven’t seen much of a difference in my electric bill. We use hydro power here but I still try not to waste it – it is more difficult in the Winter with it being so dark by late afternoon. But, I have purchased a small toaster oven so I don’t have to use my main oven as much, I batch cook, so many meals only need to be reheated and I keep things turned off if not needed.
      I do have to prepare for Winter storms = especially ice storms that can knock out the power, sometimes for days. I have candles, battery powered candles, flashlights, a battery powered radio and a camp stove – prepared but hope that I don’t have to use them.

    3. Thank you, your comments sent me looking at our recent electricity usage (we don’t have gas)! And thinking what changes we can make.

  43. I bought hamburger at a reasonable price and canned 24 pints of ground beef. I’ve run out of room in the freezer and we use a lot of ground beef. This will save us $ and time when I cook.

    I picked apple from my only producing apple tree and will can applesauce next week when it cools off. I will also need to pick pomegranates and juice them to can. If hamburger is still at a good price next week I might buy more to can.

    Gasoline has shot up to highs again, luckily we don’t need to travel far for necessities and no need to go often, we keep busy enough we don’t need to go wandering around the country side to enjoy each other’s company. We still aren’t using all of our gas allowance and just saving what’s left over each month just in case the costs go even higher.

  44. -Picked the last of the basil and made a batch of pesto. No frosts yet but we’re getting close, every day in the garden now is a gift. Still enjoying tomatoes, zucchini, winter squash, herbs, raspberries and beans. Drying herbs for the winter. Bringing in our tropical plants for the winter, our sun porch becomes a bit of a jungle. I’ll also dig up my pepper plants to overwinter them, I did this last year mostly successfully.
    -I didn’t have enough time to can beans before leaving town for the weekend, so I shared them with family and friends. I bought snacks at the grocery store for the car ride. We still stopped for planned meals at some fo our favorite spots.
    -Picked hundreds of pounds of apples from a family members farm. We will make applesauce, eat fresh and make cider.
    -We have a rental property that could use more fence/privacy in the backyard. I trimmed some forsythia branches for cuttings and dug up some rose of Sharon’s that are popping up in my yard and will plant a living fence for free.
    -I’m going through kids stuff to see what costumes I already have. Also, both of my kids went through a growth spurt. I’m thankful to have clothing in the next few sizes for both of them. I bought a like new Northface winter coat for my son on marketplace.
    -Made a batch of wine from our grapes for the first time ever. Excited to try it in a year lol.

  45. Hello, frugal friends from the beautiful Appalachian Mountains! We returned from our trip out west to the leaves changing and so far, it looks like it is going to be a bright and colorful fall! After 5 weeks away we are glad to be home and are now playing catch up with garden and home chores.
    On the frugal front we :
    *used points for our last night in a hotel
    *used the T Mobile app to save .10/gallon on gas plus used our gift cards at the gas stations. Gas was most expensive in Oregon and Wyoming, $5.20 and least expensive in Alabama and Tennessee, under $3 in some places. Here in our part of Virginia it is $3.29.
    *used gift cards at restaurants or ate food from the cooler.
    *Upon our return my husband repaired the toilet and a light switch. Parts were under $10.
    * We also were surprised by a tax refund from the Commonwealth. $500! It seems there was a large amount of excess tax money here and the governor felt it should be returned to the people. We put it into savings.
    *I cleaned out the garden and collected enough tomatoes to make a couple of cups of bbq sauce. I will use some tonight with some pulled pork we were given which I froze a while back. I will also fry up the last of the green tomatoes that I picked before pulling up the plants.
    *I bought a bushel of apples for $20 from a local farmer down the road. I am dehydrating as many as possible. Dried apples are a favorite snack around here.
    *I read a book on Hoopla on my phone while traveling.
    *I went to the grocery store yesterday and only bought bananas, milk, dried cranberries, and eggs. I had other things on the list but the prices were too high and we did not need them. I am challenging myself to feed us with what we have in the freezers and pantries the rest of this month. The weather is cooling so I know I can do soup at least once a week which feeds the two of us for many meals. I left the grocery store feeling very discouraged and concerned by the prices. I had first stopped by our local Food Lion to buy some celery they advertised on sale. When I got there the celery had only 4 stalks! I left without buying any.
    *We received an email from the power company saying to expect our bill to rise by at least $20/month. We will do what we can to keep our bill low. Fortunately, we have the geothermal system which has more than paid for itself. But I would rather use the $20/month for other things.
    I hope everyone has a healthy, frugal week.

  46. Just a note. Elizabeth M. noted the sales prices for meat for Thanksgiving. No Frills has its 10 pound bags of
    beets, onions, carrots for $4.49 and squash for 99 cents per pound. So my friend is picking up the ten pound bag of beets and 10 winter squash for me. Other stores have squash on sale for $1.69 per pound.

  47. Hello! I had a work luncheon where the sandwich was so large I took the other half home for dinner. Only groceries purchased were lettuce, bananas & pizza shells for Friday pizza night. The last of the garden has been harvested with about a dozen more green peppers, a cup of cherry tomatoes and a few green tomatoes that my husband wants to pickle. Drinking coffee from home and free coffee at work, packing lunches daily, eating from the pantry & freezer and going for as little as food waste as possible is keeping the grocery bill down.
    I saved on my vitamins at CVS by combining a manufacturer’s coupon with a BOGO sale so I have 4 months of vitamins for a little over $10. I don’t have much this week but I post here to keep myself accountable and read every entry for inspiration!

  48. I’m excited for Halloween. Some of my most cherished childhood memories came from planning the costumes, picking out fabric (or thrifting clothes for fabric) and mom sewing my costumes. We also couldn’t wait to go to the “scary” Victorian house because the nice lady there gave out pomegranates from her tree! I try to collect children’s books to give out vs candy, but this year couldn’t find any at good prices. Each year I challenge myself to create a different spooky house with as little fake, plastic, or store bought as possible. Several years I used only real candles, I cut paper bag luminaries and reuse them. I repurpose branches I save during the year from storms, etc. I don’t understand why people buy fake leaves, just walk outside and pick some up! I put out pumpkins, but I later cook them. Etc. * Probably my biggest frugal project ever was completed last week: all new plumbing in the house. The only item I paid for was a toilet at the last minute that couldn’t be saved. This was through a city program for low income and was a major blessing. * I also picked up some fall dishes for my seasonal china cabinet decor at the thrift shop, some paper vintage look Halloween plates to front them in October (these will get reused yearly), plus two small plate only sets to build a large set of mix and match vintage china for parties. Last year I splurged on getting the black feather stuffed crows for Halloween. I’d wanted them for years. I just put them up on branches I’d saved from the yard and am very pleased. Some year I’m going to figure out how to make an Edgar Allen Poe to go with them!

    As for ricotta, you can make a pie, cookies, there’s lots of things you can make with it. This sounds so good, I’m going to try it out and bring it to a bridal shower next week as I have a Meyer lemon tree.

    1. Oh how wonderful that you were able to get your plumbing replaced through that program! What a HUGE savings!

  49. Hi Brandy, you don’t have to publish this but its an extremely interesting article about cost of living rises in different countries which includes a table that breaks things down in an illuminating way – I was reading it and straight away thought of you as I know you keep a close eye on these matters. I hope you can see it OK. Kind regards, Laura

  50. Brandy, I was surprised to read that you thought there should be some way to borrow Halloween costumes. I was just saying to my husband, Why can’t there be some sort of loan/rental program for kids’ Halloween costumes. We have a little grandson who is just starting to get the idea of trick or treating and dressing up. Children grow out of costumes so quickly, though.

    My husband was picking pomegranates off our trees today, setting aside bags for the neighbors, one of whom gifted me delicious peaches off her tree earlier this year. We had a terrible time with the leaf legged bugs boring into many of the fruits, causing them to rot. This was the second season these odd looking insects showed up to do damage and I looked up how to treat them. Apparently, removing all fallen and rotten fruits as quickly as possible is important, as well as killing any of the leaf legged bugs we see. My husband kept a fly swatter by the door and would go out now and again to do battle. It paid off, a lot of fruit was saved. We live in the desert southwest and the ag extension office said that these normal than normal winters are allowing these insects to thrive- a hard freeze will kill many of them over the winter.

    As always, I enjoy hearing about how you save money and seeing pictures of your beautiful garden.

    1. There has been much discussion about leaf-footed bugs on poms this past week on my local gardening boards. Ideally, pick them off and put them in a bucket of soapy water, or use a shop vac or tape. They have to be removed by hand just like squash bugs. Supposedly they also like peaches and almonds but I have only ever seen them on pomegranates. Just check every day for them.

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