I gave two sons a haircut.

I buried kitchen scraps in the garden: banana peels (and cut off bruised spots), ends of romaine lettuce, watermelon rinds from our homegrown watermelons, the skins from my homegrown butternut squash, eggshells, and apple cores. These should help feed the worms we have added, which should help feed the soil. I hope to build good, healthy soil by not wasting.

Someone posted in our local church group that they had too many potatoes. No one spoke up, so I did, and got about 15 pounds of potatoes for free. I picked them up on the way to my eye appointment which saved gas and time.

I went through the house extensively, going through lots of drawers and closets, and put together many more items that we are no longer using for a garage sale. We had a huge sale on both Friday and Saturday morning, making over $500. What didn’t sell we took to the thrift store to donate.

My husband found a large suitcase for us there for $25. We anticipate needing a full-sized suitcase in the future and we didn’t have one. This one should work perfectly for any time we need to check a large bag.

My parents gave us several items to sell. A few of the items were some things I could use, including two that I had been hoping my parents would pass on to me when they were done: a small pot that I had seen sitting empty on her potting shelf and a tiny wind-up clock that belonged to my grandmother. I was pleasantly surprised when they brought them over. We kept the things that we could use rather than selling them.

What did you do to save money last week?

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  1. Well, that was a successful yard sale! Congratulations.

    I finished making apple sauce and had only 2 apples go bad on me. You have no idea how huge a change this is. I just need to remember to not buy that variety next year because it goes soft quickly. I ended up with 14 twelve ounce jars and one quart. Some will be shared with family and I’m keeping 10 of the 12 ounce jars for me.

    I also canned a mulled apple cider type drink. I saved all the peels and cores from the applesauce (I don’t include them when cooking the apples) and simmered them overnight in water. I then combined the apple juice produced with other, no sugar added juices and spices. I boiled it and then let it simmer for a couple hours for the spices to flavor it before removing the spice bag, boiling it again, and canning it in a water bath canner. I got 6.5 quarts of a very flavorful drink for not much money and using what would normally be a waste product for me. If anyone is interest, the proportions are 6 quarts of apple juice, 1.5 cups orange juice, one cup cranberry juice, 6 cinnamon sticks, 4 whole nutmeg and 1-2 teaspoons of allspice. If you have whole allspice, that would be better to avoid having sediment in your drink from the spices. I used a piece of cotton from the rag box, rather than cheesecloth, to avoid the sediment issue.

    Now that the new Medicare Part B premium has been released (gulp!) and I can estimate what my Social Security monthly payment will be, I did my budget for the first 3 months of 2022. I also allocated the money I will be withdrawing from my IRA to various items such as a large additional payment to mortgage principal, taxes, insurance premiums, stock up on pet food and annual vet exams, etc. There is always something else I want but it’s nice to know the things I must pay and some of the things I want are covered.

    I went out for lunch on Wednesday with my usual lunch group and ate all other meals at home, including chicken caprese (pan browned chicken breast topped with pesto, tomato slice and fresh mozzarella cheese backed in the oven), chicken BBQ tortilla pizza with bacon, dried onion and shredded monterey jack cheese as additional toppings, braised short ribs, BBQ shrimp, maple sausage and eggs, veggie sub with sauteed onions, peppers from the garden, mushrooms from the farmers market, lettuce from the garden, tomatoes and provolone cheese on a sub roll with mayonnaise, salads, and pesto bread (sub roll topped with pesto, baby spinach, chopped tomatoes and shredded monterey jack cheese. While the chicken caprese was cooking, I also cooked chicken for the pizza, toasted almond slivers and made blueberry cake, using less electricity overall. I currently have a pot of beef vegetable soup going in the crock pot and am making dinner rolls using the bread machine. The soup includes tomatoes I picked from my garden this summer and froze. This will last for several meals and I’ll give a couple servings to my daughter and son-in-law.

    I bought 6 pounds of butter at Aldi for $1.99 a pound. They do this each year before Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas but I was a little nervous about whether they would have it this year. If it’s still in stock tomorrow, the last day of the sale, I plan to buy 6 more pounds. I do a lot of baking, including 6 dozen dessert servings each month for a food charity, and use butter in a lot of those recipes.

    I’ve designated this week as “Massive, Major Cleaning and Gardening Week”. I want both the outside and inside to be ready for Christmas decorating on Black Friday and I want to have time to craft and bake in December without feeling as if I should be organizing something, washing windows, etc.

    Other than that, it was a pretty normal week in which I stayed home most of the time. I walked for exercise, watched movies and Tiny House Nation on Pluto.tv, and read/listened to books from the library and Scribd and even a physical book from my personal collection. I found gas for $3.09/gallon, which is less than it’s been lately and filled up the tank. Our weather warmed up and the heat stayed off. For the first 28 days of my 30-32 day billing cycle, I’ve used just 257 kWh, thanks to being mindful, using the crockpot, cutting back dryer usage 5-10 minutes per load and hanging items to finish drying and similar things. It looks like I’ll need the heat on several nights this week, though.

    I hope everyone has a productive, frugal week.

    1. Mari, thank you for the idea of canning apple cider! I have a gallon in the refrigerator and no room in the freezer. I am going to can it today! I will also head to Aldi for the butter! Alas, we don’t have a Kroger affiliate so no potatoes for me, but I do have quite a harvest from my garden this year.😊

      1. Sorry it took me so long to reply. The Ball canning book said 10 minutes for apple juice and since the orange and cranberry juice were commercially canned, I PRESUME that would be long enough. However, I did 20 minutes “just in case”. All the hats sealed and the juice in them looks “fine”. The one I tried tastes great.

  2. This week I:

    *Used Kroger’s curbside pickup again this week to save time and money. The best deals were free razors, free store brand salad dressing, and a free Dannon yogurt (all with coupons on their app). Also 10lb bags of potatoes for 1.97 with coupon (I got the limit of 5).

    *Discovered a plaid button up blouse that fits me in some hand me downs for kids. I’ve needed to buy winter clothes for myself for a few years now, so this was a nice surprise!

    *Made 2 recipes in a row one day that both required a parchment paper-lined pan. After making the first recipe (a pumpkin spice granola), I noticed that the parchment paper was still clean and not saturated with any liquid, so I went ahead and reused it to make the second recipe (pumpkin scones). I didn’t plan in advance to reuse the paper, but it got me thinking that I should try to plan things this way more often.

    *Husband cut my hair.

    *Harvested one last tiny jalapeno from my garden. With freezing temperatures on the way here, and no other fruit left on any plants, this is my final vegetable harvest of the season.

    *Someone commented last week about how they plan 2 soups and 1 pasta for meals each week just to have some frugal meals already built into the week. So I did the same, and I’m going to try to do that going forward through the cold months. I made a white chicken chili and a brothy chicken/rice soup, plus a smaller portion of butternut squash soup. For the pasta meal, anchovy pasta with crispy bread crumbs, lemon, and parmesan. I also try to plan meals with rice and/or beans as the anchor.

    *Winterized windows in 2 rooms that tend to get very cold in the winter. They didn’t need caulking, but the windows themselves are a little bowed and need replacing (which is not in the budget any time soon), so I bought one of those shrink film kits at Home Depot (about $5 and covers 4 windows). I also rehung a broken curtain rod in one of the rooms and purchased thermal curtains at Costco (16.99 for a pair), since the curtains that were in there before had long ago been moved to another room.

    *Redeemed $55 in credit card points to go straight to savings account. (We use the credit card like a debit card and pay it off weekly, so no interest accrues).

    Hope you all had a blessed week.

    1. Natasha- Thanks SO much for mentioning the Kroger digital coupon on russet potatoes (10 pound bag for $1.97)!! That was the price point I’ve been waiting for and have been discouraged only seeing 30-55 cents/pound prices!!
      The sale is good through tomorrow (Tuesday) and I am getting bundled up and going over now to get our 50 pounds!!

      The sharing on this blog is such a blessing to me! I really appreciate it!!

      Gardenpat in Ohio

        1. They need to be kept cool! Inside the house is too warm. A cool garage or basement that is cool and dry (but won’t freeze) is perfect.

          1. I can’t think of anywhere like that here. My garage is insulated and I wouldn’t say it’s “cool”- it retains heat fairly well. Outside/shed would be too damp. Where do you keep yours, Brandy? It’s so warm there, where would you have that is cool enough?

            1. Dawnelle, I store my potatoes in my basement even though it is too warm. My laundry room is too damp, the living area too warm and the garage is too cold. I have them in flat cardboard boxes that stack, strawberries came in them originally. (I got them at Aldi). I spread the boxes out on the floor and let them dry for a few days before stacking them up. The potatoes don’t touch each other plus there is scrap paper below and covering them. A dark bath towel is thrown over the top to keep out light. So far some of them are sprouting so I choose them first when cooking.

              There are other ways to store potatoes, canning, dehydrating, and freezing. It seems different varieties do better in different ways. I am still figuring out what works for me. If they begin to go bad and I see that they won’t make it, my next experiment will be dehydrating potatoes to make hash browns.

              1. The strawberry boxes are a great depth for potatoes! That is a good idea. I have been looking for something that isn’t cardboard. Roaches and scorpions tend to love cardboard boxes here. I use baskets for onions but would love stacking bins for potatoes.

              2. Brandy, scorpions! Mercy! I can’t help you with them! Never seen one in real life.

              3. We have seen more than ever this year! But next to no roaches so they are doing a good job, lol. They usually just stay really still if you move something and they are underneath it. My dad jokes that they just sit there, waiting for you to kill them. Sometimes they go really flat or they run away. They don’t come after you. I can’t say the same for snakes.

            2. I keep mine in the basement…a heated basement. When we cleared out my in-law’s home, there were those plastic stackers that bread companies use to stack the bread when delivering to stores. They were full of tools. All those tools had to come home with us🤦🏼‍♀️, but when emptied, I cleaned them well and that is where my potatoes are stacked, with an empty one on the bottom. Lots of airflow.

        2. We have had trouble with rats in our garage (I saw a huge fat one waddling out one morning), but we had really good luck keeping them out by getting two containers, black with yellow $10 (They were $8) from Costco, that have good lids. We put red potatoes in one and yellow potatoes in the other one. They were farm fresh, so I don’t know if that helped, but they, the potatoes, not the rats, kept in the garage really well–the yellow ones by far kept the best.

          1. I get a 50# bag of red and a 50# bag of yellow potatoes every year. I have found overall, that red potatoes do not last as long as yellow also. I just use them first. But if anyone has another idea I would entertain it.

            Giving thanks for this blog and for all of the commentors.

      1. Gardenpat –
        I agree about the comments on this blog being such a blessing. I love all the creative ideas people have, and I love the encouragement I get from reading these glimpses into everyone’s lives from all over the place. This blog is a such a source of light!

    2. A friend informed me that she wipes her parchment down after every use, only when baking cookies, nothing greasy. She said she can get six uses out of each sheet if she’s careful. I have followed her lead although i’ve never made it to six. She lets the paper dry before she puts it away.

      1. Have you tried silicone baking mats instead? I love using those! They are also great to use when freezing fruits, vegetables, or whipped cream in the freezer.

        1. I haven’t but it’s a great idea! It would be a great gift, too, with holidays coming up. I may have to mention it to my husband. I’ve already mentioned that i’d like new potholders; no designs and cutesy fabrics or mittens. I can’t find what i want so he got the assignment. Thanks!

  3. I got my first two turkeys- 33 cents a pound. 22 pounder and a 24 pounder!! First one won’t even make it into freezer before I cook it and debone it! I bought more foil mini pot pie tins so I’ll make Turkey pot pies! Turkey enchiladas and Turkey noodle soup are also in my plans!! Yum!! So 46 pounds of Turkey for about $15!! I cooked the first one on Friday morning, around 5:30 AM and the second one will be cooked up on Sunday. https://pin.it/2gxhH3d.
    Here is photo of the 22 pounder deboned (after sending a quart size bag of sliced turkey breast home with our son for sandwiches. https://pin.it/1Mc7u5D. It became 12 quart size ziplocs of either chunks (2-1/2 cups per bag) or slices. For our $7.20 price, knowing that each bag will easily make 6 serves, it works out to about 60 cents to serve 6 or 10 cents per person!! As I eat a turkey sandwich on homemade whole wheat bread with a beefsteak tomato I ripened inside from my garden and lettuce and Miracle Whip ( or “Amazing Whip” as my 6 year old granddaughter calls it! 😉) from my pantry shelf, I am content!
    I cooked up the 24 pounder on Sunday afternoon and have now packaged it into family meal portions and into the freezer it went!!

    The sale price is continuing all this week as well, so I will buy our
    actual Thanksgiving Turkey then!

    On the quilting front, I quilted up three more of these Advent tree Wallhangings for a client- Quilts #201- #203- https://pin.it/1XOoIoJ and https://pin.it/6CXaCrq. For the same client, I quilted up this Minnesota Vikings quilt (Quilt #204 for my machine.) https://pin.it/1hoIbLG. I also quilted this quilt (#205) for a new client. https://pin.it/3ThoZ2J . This is only the second quilt she’s ever made and it will go on her granddaughter’s twin size bed!

    A friend gave me 4 bags of fabric scraps a month ago. I shared some with my daughters and I kept some. In organizing some of it Saturday night, I found a panel with little alphabet blocks. Using other scraps for sashing and cornerstones, I came up with this baby quilt- https://pin.it/1u0M7KQ and this alphabet backing from a remnant I had in my stash- https://pin.it/4ccSzfz. The batting was pieced together out of batting scraps too!! Definitely a Use-It-Up quilt that also helps me declutter!! So this became Quilt #206 for Lenni, my longarm machine and I. And, just like that, a friend asked to buy it for her granddaughter’s birthday! I hadn’t planned to sell it. Actually, I didn’t have any concrete plans for it yet, but now it’s on it’s way to North Dakota!!

    I repackaged the 50 pound bag of rice I bought at Sam’s club (34 cents/pound) into empty quart Mason jars I had. I vacuum sealed used canning jar lids on them using my Food Saver. https://pin.it/1KjDuay. Hubs was concerned that the shelf on this unit wouldn’t hold the weight of all those jars even though the frame itself is heavyweight. So, he looked through his scrap wood and found a 2 x 8 that he could cut in half to fit the shelf. It took the 2 cut pieces to fit the depth of the shelf, but it already had a lip routed along one long edge. By flipping one of the pieces upside down, he had the two lengths nest in the middle so I have one sturdy shelf! No OOP cost!! We now have enough rice for the year for us, bought at a much cheaper price than if we had bought it in 1, 2 or even 10 pound bags as we needed it!

    Our egg production is down just a bit but we are still averaging 3 dozen eggs a week which is just fine!!

    We appreciated the energy savings this summer when we were able to open the 15 new windows that Hubs and 2 sons and a son-in-law installed between Jan and May this year! The breezes that were able to come through the various rooms helped cool them without needing air con! But now, as we’ve had our first snow on Sunday and the temperatures plummeted as the winds howled, we have been astonished at how cozy the rooms with the new windows feel and how we aren’t feeling any drafts or breezes from around our closed windows! 🎉🎉🎉 I can only imagine our heating bill will bear this out!! Well worth it!!

    We are also starting to heat up last winter’s microwaveable heat bags that I made from fabric scraps and red wheat! We put them under our quilts near the foot of the bed. If our feet are warm after we come to bed, we fall asleep faster and the thermostat for our furnace can be set lower (55 degrees). We are optimistic about this winter’s heating bills!

    Seasons are changing, but there are still reasons to find joy! Grateful for your inspiration, Brandy and all!

    Gardenpat in Ohio

    1. Gardenpat, how do you cook your turkey? They really intimidate me! Or anyone else willing to share, also! Thank you!

      1. I roast mine in a pan with the breast side down and tented with foil. This makes for a juicy bird that never needs to be basted. If you like crisp skin, this is not the method for you (tenting makes for soft skin), but if you want a juicy turkey with NO work, it is. I cook my turkeys and chickens like this every time.

      2. Dawnelle- I am lazy and cheap! 🤪🤪 Years ago, I discovered the Reynolds browning bags for turkeys! I put the empty bag into a roasting pan and then put your Turkey into it with a couple tablespoons of flour and close up bag with the provided bag tie. 350 degree oven and only 2-1/2 to 3 hours for a 20-24 pound Turkey!
        No basting, it stays juicy and when time is done, Voila!! Perfectly golden turkey!

        Easy- Peary! 2 bags in each box! Hth!

        Gardenpat in Ohio

      3. For years we used the Martha Stewart “Perfect Roast Turkey 101” recipe (https://www.marthastewart.com/353184/perfect-roast-turkey) which involves a cheesecloth soaked in white wine and butter, and basting every 30 minutes. It produces a spectacularly moist and flavorful turkey, but is a little bit of work (basically basting every 30 minutes during cooking). I have also done my turkey breast down (with a stick of butter, herbs, and quartered yellow onions in the cavity), and that too comes out very moist, but not as pretty or crispy. Brining is also a good way to ensure a moist and flavorful turkey, but again, takes a bit more work and prep.

      4. Dawnelle, I have a strange husband, he only likes turkey meat hot. After it has cooled down, he doesn’t want it unless it is in turkey salad. I cook the smaller ones overnight in a crockpot, the larger ones I have had cut in half by the butcher so they will fit in the crockpot. Or, I put the whole turkey in a big canning pot, cook it on low all night long, and leave it on low for the whole next day. My husband will eat it for all three meals the next day. He loves it freshly hot. My guys are thrilled to finish up the leftover turkey my husband won’t eat. This year I am canning the leftovers in soups to help use up my extra potatoes. The bones will go back into the crockpot for another night to make more broth.

        1. Jeannie when you cook them in the crockpot, do you do anything in particular? And so funny about him only wanting it hot! Those are great ways to actually keep it hot for him though!

          1. Dawnelle, I don’t do anything special, just stick the turkey in the crockpot. Sometimes if it is too tall for the lid to fit, I put aluminum foil over the top. After it has been cooking for a while, it will usually sink down in the pot. I have tried adding spices and herbs but they seem to dissipate after cooking for so long. Also, being specific to the butcher when I need one cut in half so it will fit in the crockpot seems to be important. One time a butcher just cut off the legs and a few inches at the bottom. It was the ugliest turkey ever.
            Good news to report – I cooked the small Butterball I purchased this week for $.99 and after eating a big serving, I felt no ill effects later. It really is not processed with sugar. Bad news to report – after I sat and deboned what little was left, there was not enough to make soup! My guys ate almost all of it! At least they left the bones for broth.

  4. Saved money staying at home. Hubby cooked most meals and I cooked a few. All at home. We cooked a 10 lb bag of chicken we bought for 3,80. And ate chicken meals this week. We boiled some, grilled some. Made chicken salad. Chicken and dumplings and ate grilled chicken with a slaw twice. We ate tomatoes that grew from a volunteer plant. My husband took cuttings from some of our herb plants to see if they will root inside on a windowsill. Turned lights off when not in use. Made homemade Chai from spices We had on hand. Watched beautiful sunset s every evening.

    1. Tammy, I also cooked chicken this week for future use! On the last in the 50s day, I grilled 20 pounds of chicken, half Italian and half BBQ. Vacuum sealed and put in the freezer so that we have that nice grilled flavor for salads this winter. I also grilled some extra burgers and put them in the freezer.😊

  5. Also my husband is going to try and fix our oven with a part he ordered for 35 dollars. We are hopeful that it will work.

  6. We made a trip to the mall in another city since the JC Penney closest to us was closed last year. Bill needs jeans and is very hard to fit without trying them on. I had received a coupon in the mail for 30% off but it ended up being useless since it didn’t apply to anything we wanted. I enjoyed getting dressed up, wearing makeup, and shopping for nice things; however, the sticker shock on items throughout the stores were unbelievable. Because we are frugal, we have the money to spend $80 on a pair of blue jeans, but because were are wise, we walked away. The trip energized me to work harder at spending my money more carefully.

    *I had packed a lunch for us because I knew we would be passing some favorite restaurants and would be very tempted. We sat in the car in the mall’s parking lot eating our homegrown salads wondering why other people would pay those high prices and how they could afford such expensive cars. (It kept us entertained and didn’t cost any money to gawk.)

    *I have continued to hit the Thanksgiving grocery sales. I learned my lesson after last week, I left early in the morning and was able to get almost everything. One store was still unloading their truck so I received a rain check.

    *For the first time ever, I have bought four Butterball turkeys for $.99 per pound. Frozen turkeys are processed with sugar and chemicals so I haven’t been able to eat them. Butterball brand does not have sugar or chemicals listed on the label. I will know if that is true after eating one.

    *Aldi: Butter for $1.99. I got the limit of six and Bill got six. The extras will be canned for when the price returns to normal. Also got two turkeys for $.87

    *Save-a-lot: Apples for $.70 per pound. I bought ten pounds to make apple butter. My “load up and make a year’s worth” is $.50 per pound. If someone somewhere has a better price this season, I will purchase more.

    *Kroger: Potatoes 10 pounds for $1.99. I still have plenty in storage from my garden and they are lasting well in my basement stacked in flat cardboard boxes. However, this is the first time since last year that I have seen them for less than $4.50 for ten pounds. My guys can always eat more french fries from the air fryer. Also got one small turkey for $.99 per pound.

    *Epic fail that turned out ok: Made hot pepper jelly from the last of the Sugar Rush sweet/hot peppers and forgot to add the package of Suregel. Serious oversight. However, it jelled enough to be called hot-pepper-syrupy-jelly-stuff. Only my son Reese and my brother will eat that horrible sweet acid in a bottle so I realized if I give them a hot biscuit, they will manage quite well.

    *We are eating fresh vegetables as much as possible while the winter garden is producing so heavily. Every day I am making one main meal a garden meal: salad, taco salad, stir fry, cabbage & potatoes with bread, burritos stuffed full of lettuce, vegetable soup, etc. It helps me get ahead on the groceries by having extra to put into the pantry.

    *On a difficult note, we have chosen to not take the vaccine due to religious and health reasons. My oldest son Joshua works from home at his apartment however, his company is in healthcare. He along with many others will be getting fired in three weeks due to not being vaxxed. He is working all the overtime he can handle until then.

    *My husband also works from home as an engineer but his company takes federal funding. We are unsure as to his situation. I am hoping for the best but preparing for the worst.

    Ending on a happy note, we had an unwelcomed visitor break into our pasture while looking for excitement.

    1. Romeo! Romeo! Don spoke wisdom, Romeo! Too bad you didn’t listen. What a great story ~ and nice of you to laugh about it considering the damage to the fences. Not to mention the aggravation for the ladies. 😉 😀

      1. The poor ladies were my concern. It took over a week before the grandson could repair the fence damage. He is a good kid and a hard worker, but Romeo ran the ladies until their ribs began showing. There was one in particular he liked. After she finally stopped running he began to guard the hay bale and only let her eat. That really made the horse trainer mad, especially since he was paying for the feed. I offered to call the sheriff but the trainer said no, he was going to go have a talk with the grandfather. I don’t know what he said, but they fixed the fences the next day.

        1. You will be in my prayers as well. Would appreciate yours as we are in the same position except my husband is a federal employee.

          1. We are as well. I tell my Husband and Children the same thing I’ll share here. God will provide, he’s not once failed us. Religious freedom is important, medical freedom is important, if we don’t stand up for our Freedoms then whom will. No pension, no amount of income is worth going against what you feel is right. God wins in the end and it’s all in his hands. I’ll keep both of your families in prayer.

            1. J.B., it is obvious people on this site have prayed for me since we have won a small victory. I will be praying for your husband and children. Your name is also on the post-it note on my computer facing me whenever I sit down. I will continue to pray until you also win. Each person must choose to stand and I will stand beside you J.B.

          2. Laura S, since you obviously prayed for me and Joshua has now received his exemption, (which is really a right to freedom which is bestowed by God, not an exemption allowed by a government) I will return the favor. Your name is now on the post-it note on my computer where I will be praying for you every time I sit down. We will see victory.

      2. CherylB, thank you for your prayers and I have good news to report! God heard our cries!!! Joshua called yesterday and HCA blinked. They are allowing stay-at-home people to be exempt from the mandate; however, they are still enforcing the mandate on others. One battle has been won, but we still have a war to fight. I will be praying for others.

    2. Jeannie,
      I’m so sorry to hear your son will be fired for exercising his right to medical autonomy.
      It’s so sad that people who worked through last year and this year are now considered expendable. I hope he finds a better job. Florida is hiring!

      1. Cara, there is an exemption for people who work at home but my son received an email yesterday and the company (HCA) said they would not honor it. They wanted everyone vaxxed. Joshua thinks they are playing chicken to see which side will blink first. He thinks there will be a stay of execution if enough people stand firm.
        The good news is that my not-thrifty son is working overtime and focusing on his spending habits! I am pleased. He has also begun laying the groundwork for a lawsuit against HCA. He should have been a lawyer.
        PS: If he moves to Florida, I will let you know so you can welcome him with a home-cooked meal.

  7. Aloha from Hawaii! We are finally on our long-awaited vacation with both of our adult kids and daughter-in-law. EVERYTHING that could possibly go wrong has gone wrong, but I won’t bore you with the details. The big thing is that we are all enjoying each other and the weather is nice!

    Congratulations on your big garage sale, Brandy! You got a two-fer–$500 and a big clear-out of your home. I like this!

    A big shout-out to Gardenpat for helping me save $30,000! I have a Medicare Advantage plan and, in case you are living on another  planet, it is time again for open enrollment. I was looking for a policy that covered chiropractic care for my osteoarthritis, which the Mayo Clinic told me is the #1 most effective treatment. Although I’ve used the Medicare website successfully for 10 years, there was some terminology I didn’t understand, so I went to an insurance broker–which would never have occurred to me until Pat posted that she did this. As a result, I discovered that an osteoporosis drug I take (Forteo–a daily injectable) will only be covered in 2022 by ONE insurance company licensed in my area. If I changed to this company (United Healthcare), my cost for the year would be about $7,000 for Forteo. But if I bought ANY other policy, my cost for this drug would be nearly $37,000 because it wouldn’t be covered at all!! In two minutes, the insurance broker potentially saved me nearly $30,000 next year.

    The reality, of course, is that I would have quit taking Forteo, which I would like to continue for another year. (It actually builds new bone and is normally taken for two years–I’m already a year into it). The icing on the cake is that United Healthcare also covers unlimited chiropractic visits and my “non-participating” provider will simply be covered as out-of-network. This means that this insurance will pay 70% of the Medicare-allowed charge. (I currently have NO chiro coverage, so I haven’t been going). All this for a premium of $36.50 month!

    This is the takeaway: Even if you breeze right through the Medicare website and are happy with your current insurer, don’t assume anything. Either go to a broker or take the time to enter every single drug you take (even if it has always been covered–the broker told me formularies are dropping drugs right and left). This will immediately show you the total annual Rx cost for every pharmacy in your town. In my case, my current insurer (Humana) dropped Forteo from its formulary (with no alternative) and hasn’t notified me yet. I was going to skip this step! The broker insisted,  and it took him maybe two minutes. (It would have taken me an hour). Also, if there is any terminology you don’t understand, find out what it means. A broker knows all this stuff–I  searched the Medicare website a couple of times and never found the answer to my question.
    Thank you, Gardenpat.

    PS Even though I didn’t really save $30,000, I will be paying $7,000 for my drug vs. the $12,000 co-pays I paid last year–so an actual savings of about $5,000 in 2022. Also, I didn’t have chiropractic coverage last year, so I didn’t go, but I am determined to give it a try. The new policy will save me several thousand dollars a year vs. zero coverage in the past.

    This is a little off-topic–and, Brandy, feel free to delete this paragraph–but this comment kind of begs the question. When I went to the Mayo Clinic for osteoarthritis, they told me the following treatments were the most effective, in about this order: chiropractic, massage, acupuncture, ice, heat. Most effective drugs: Naproxen (Aleve), Voltaren gel (available now as a generic). They suggested taking the Aleve at night and this has made a huge difference, not so much in AM pain levels but in my ability to stand up straight in the morning. This is frugal advice because I am saving all of you hurtin’ people a trip to the Mayo Clinic!

    1. Maxine,

      As a Canadian, the cost of your drugs and insurance premiums boggles my mind.
      I cannot take many of the common medicines but recently by accident discovered
      that eating a couple of raw carrots greatly helps my arthritis in my knees.

      1. Ellie’s friend,Any kind of cherries also helps arthritis pain.Evan’s sour cherries grow well in Alberta.I can them for fruit,jam and juice.Chokecherries are also good for jelly,pancake syrup or juice and loaded with vitamins.Maybe you can find some that are free to pick in your area.

    2. Maxine- I’m thrilled that something I shared- in this case the experience we had navigating through Medicare supplements by using a FREE independent insurance agent! In the 2 years since Hubs retired, we have been overjoyed by the lack of medical bills that we are left with after Medicare and our Supplement!!
      The beauty of Brandy’s blog is the sharing of ideas that can help others in the their frugal journey!! I have learned so much from everyone here that has saved me a small fortune over these years plus helped me stretch my knowledge and skills to become more self reliant!!

      Again, thank you, Maxine, Brandy and all!! ❤️❤️

      Gardenpat in Ohio

    3. Maxine,
      Contact the manufacturer of Forteo (Lilly) and get the forms for assistance with the cost. I was shocked at the quoted price and was able to have it delivered at no cost after filling out the forms.
      Good Luck! Sue

      1. Sue Willette- We had a similar circumstance with a name brand blood thinner Hubs needed. There was no generic available and we were paying a huge co-pay!
        We contacted manufacturer and found a program that was not income dependent that reduced our co-pay to $5/month the first year and for the next 4 years, we renewed it and had zero co-pay!
        Imagine our disappointment after Hubs retired to learn that this program was not available to anyone with a “government” insurance- Medicare or it’s supplements, etc.
        Trying to work your way through all the loopholes and exceptions to save money while not leaving yourself financially vulnerable is really hard!! That’s why we went with independent insurance agent who compared policies based on our specific needs/circumstances!
        But, if someone has private insurance (often through employer), it is worth it to check with drug manufacturer if your co-pay is too high! It literally saved us over $10 thousand dollars over the 5 years we did!!

        Great tip!
        Gardenpat in Ohio

        1. GardenPat, My husband is also on expensive blood thinners. We also recently had to go on Medicare when he was laid off. We found that the least expensive option was purchasing through “Canadian Perscription Service.” The doctor told us that we could purchase either Xaralto or Eliquis (whichever was cheapest). You have to set up an account on their website and the doctor has to fax a perscription. We were able to get a generic brand from India for $79 for 4 months. We tried to order several orders at once. They didn’t allow that, but every month he sends in another 120 day refill. (I worry about his medication sitting on a ship off the coast so I want it stocked up.). Their website shows what prescriptions they have available. I wanted to pass this along in case it helps someone else. The cost was less than half what it would have been through our Advantage Plan.

          1. Judy- As it happen, Hubs A-fib and other health issues were so well under control that his cardiologist suggested a surgery that had the result that 3 months post-op, he was off blood thinners completely!!

            Gardenpat in Ohio

    4. So glad you got the Medicare stuff you wanted, needed, deserve!
      If you are new to chiropractic, keep in mind that different doctors have slightly different techniques, (some adjust more firmly than others, some stress nutrition, some have more programs in their offices like exercise and movement and massage, mine also is an acupuncturist). You might take a little while to find the one you are most comfortable with. As with any healthcare, if they don’t take their time and answer your questions, look for another one! Also, it took a long time for your body to get out of balance, so don’t expect to heal within one week.

    5. Maxine,
      Contact the manufacturer of Forteo (Lilly) and get the forms for assistance with the cost. I was shocked at the quoted price and was able to have it delivered at no cost after filling out the forms.
      Good Luck! Sue

      1. We were told the assistance program does not apply because our insurance is Part D Medicare and is considered a government program. Also does not apply to Medicaid recipients, although we don’t have that.

    6. Maxine, are you in Hawaii with my neighbor, Jill?!😂. Ran into her son at the market and he told us her trip to Hawaii was a comedy show of bad luck…..

    7. Very good information. I did not know about the chiropractor for arthritis. I have not found a generic for Voltaren. Could you provide a product name? Thank you for sharing all the info on Medicare. I will be signing up in just a few months.

      1. The generic name is Diclofenac 1% gel. You should find it shelved next to Voltaren. I know CVS has it, because I’m looking at their tube right now. I’ve also bought the Kroger brand. I understand that Australian Dream and Salon pas are now diclofenac, but I have not read the labels.

        You will find the generic to be about 1/3 cheaper than Voltaren. However, if you get OTC benefits with a MedAdvantage plan, you may be able to order it for $0.

        I was quite surprised that Mayo only listed what would have been called alternative treatments in past years. The doc also did not mention physical therapy as being particularly effective…which surprised me.

  8. I’m happy your yard sale was so successful. I missed posting last week, because a friend we’d been helping out for the past 8 years burned his camper down, and would have burned our homestead down, if we hadn’t have been here. My husband kept so many things from burning, and put out several smaller fires until the fire dept. arrived, with just the garden hose. I’m so very thankful for him. Sadly, our friend’s bad choices caused the fire, and his refusal to help clean up his mess was the last straw, so he has been allowed to face the choices he’s made, and is no longer welcome here. On a frugal note, my husband and I made some roof repairs. With the lumber left over from that project, my husband replaced the decking on our little front porch. I froze one ice cube tray of basil, and made pesto with the rest. I went to town and picked up some groceries, getting avocados for .79 and pomegranates for .99. I also found quarts of maple syrup at Aldi’s for $13.95, and picked up three for the pantry. From the garden, I harvested chard, basil, lettuce, winter squash, and tiny eggplant and tromboncino before our first hard frost. I gathered a bouquet of the few flowers still blooming. The last fig was enjoyed on my oatmeal. We’re exploring adding solar, at the spot where the camper was, now that we need to take down so many burned trees. Trying to make lemonade out of lemons! http://abelabodycare.blogspot.com/2021/11/rainbows-and-silver-linings.html

    1. Yikes on the fire! I’m so happy you were there. Yesterday, someone posted a saying on my local Nextdoor that said ” You can’t save someone who is not willing to participate in their own rescue”. Just remember that if you start to think you could have done something more or if others berate you for not helping him now.

  9. I received $50 in grocery gift cards from my health insurer, for getting a couple of recommended yearly tests and spent it all on items for the coming holidays. I also found a beautiful orchid in a ceramic pot for $6. I have long wanted an orchid after reading Brandy’s advice about caring for them, but they are usually $20 or more, so I snapped up this one and will do my best to keep it healthy. I also took advantage of the Ibotta Thanksgiving dinner offer which did not, in my area, include a turkey. But I found turkey at City Market for 57 cents a pound and bought one. We enjoyed arugula, lettuce, chard, and sugar snap peas from the garden. I made more Christmas gifts (an infinity scarf with fabric printed with musical notes, for my choir director and some little fabric-covered notebooks for some writer friends.) My husband and I have started doing yoga in the mornings with free YouTube videos, in order to gain strength and flexibility.

      1. I smile every time I see it. I think they must have over-ordered, because they had at least a dozen at that price and they all looked perfect.

  10. We have a very large stew in the cooker as I type this message. The beef was cut in half and the other half was frozen for another meal.
    When I make a stew or soup I make a lot of it so we can eat it for many meals. On the subsequent meals I make rice and ladle the soup over it. The next time I make noodles and ladle soup over it. The last time I add mashed potatoes and ladle soup over it. This gives me many meals from the same basic soup and it tastes different every time. I have also used macaroni, cracked wheat and other pastas. It is amazing how many things you can do use.
    I try to buy meat on sale…always for the soups. I use onion, carrots and potatoes as the basic stew/soup. You can add veg too. These things can stretch your soup for many days.
    When I lived alone and made the soup I froze it in single servings to be brought out and used over whatever I had for a base.
    I have done the usual things to save money. You know the things you don’t even think about.
    All bills were paid on time…so no late charges. Most bills are paid online to save time and money.
    I am listening to books I already own. I’ve listened to 3 of them this month.
    I am making gnome ornaments to sell and gift to my children. I’ve been making these gnomes for a decade.
    I am working on a quilt for my daughter Lyric. This will be a Christmas and birthday gift for her.
    I am crocheting hats for the family still. Most of these yarns are gifted to me or I buy them at a very deep discount.
    My grandson (he is 14) have talked about working together on my house. I worked construction in my younger days.
    He needs to learn and I have the knowledge, but not the strength to do it anymore. This is a win all around for us. He gets to learn so he can help himself when he is an adult. I get some things fixed in my house.
    Brandy, your pictures this week are outstanding. Thank you.

  11. Greetings everyone!
    This has been quite a busy week for us as a beloved Aunt has come to live with us. She is no longer able to live on her own so will stay with us so that we can look after her.
    I harvested the largest batch of mustard greens ever from the garden this week and we cooked them up alongside of pink eyed peas frozen from our garden harvest last year. I also harvested bok choy, kale, and collard greens. I used all of these veggies in a quick stir fry with some garlic, ginger, onion, carrots and asparagus we had on hand for a lovely meatless meal last week. We have had some colder temperatures over the last several days but the warmest days are going to be Tuesday & Wednesday with highs in the low 70’s. I will be taking advantage of those temps to sow seeds for more bok choy, broccoli ( I am trying seeds this time to see if I have any luck!), celery, arugula, kale, and a few others that escape my memory. I will also be planting winter pansies and some cabbage in our flower beds.
    A friend had gifted us several pounds of fresh gala apples recently and I stewed them and used some to add to our morning oatmeal. We enjoyed dinner with some friends who just recently moved into a new home. I made a large pot of chili to take along using several different peppers that we grew and froze along with home canned tomatoes, tomato sauce, and sofrito. I used some of the homemade chili beans that I made from dried beans and froze in batches as well. I used the remainder of the stewed apples to make an apple cobbler and some cornmeal from the pantry to bake a pan of cornbread. I made a large batch of chicken noodle soup using some canned chicken that was approaching the end of its shelf life. This will be our dinner tonight and a few leftovers for lunch this week.
    I coordinated with my doctor to get my flu shot as well as some routine bloodwork done while I was in the office with my Aunt for an appointment to save time and gas. I also spoke with him to schedule a procedure before the end of the year as I have already met my deductible this year and can use Flex funds to cover the cost and avoid out of pocket expense.
    We filled our tank at Costco when we stopped in for some supplies as they have the cheapest gas prices in our area @$3.09/gallon.
    I purchased a 26 pound turkey for $0.49/lb and a 15 lb ham for $1.29/lb. I am planning to purchase one additional turkey this week to add to our freezer. I also purchased a 9 lb turkey breast for $1.29/lb to add to our freezer when we want an easy crockpot meal later in the season. There are many limits in our area on the purchase of whole turkeys hence my purchase of a turkey breast rather than a whole bird. I have everything I need to make Thanksgiving dinner with the exception of a few sweet potatoes and I will purchase those this week.
    When I visited Costco earlier in the week I noticed additional climbing prices on many staple items like flour, rice, tuna, and canned chicken. I will continue to look for sales prices on these and other items and stock up to try and avoid rising costs for as long as I possibly can. I purchased black grapes on sale and canned a batch of grape jam.
    I contacted our insurance company and adjusted our policy to save us over $140/month on our vehicle insurance. Colder temperatures have required us to turn on the heat but I am only turning the unit on first thing in the morning to warm the house and then it is off for the remainder of the day. I enjoyed free music on Spotify and free movies through Amazon Prime.
    I hope that everyone is able to enjoy the week ahead!

  12. Hi Brandy and everyone
    Glad to hear you made a good amount of money through your garage sale, money in and clutter out is so satisfying.
    This weekend we went to London for two days and stayed in a hotel one night ( a good value national hotel chain). We bought a picnic and ate it in our bedroom in the evening, watching the Festival of Remembrance on TV, we were tired out from our day. We saved a lot of money on restaurant prices in London and my husband said he enjoyed our quiet evening more than eating out.
    A friend brought over 2 magazines she had read and thought I would enjoy.
    My husband planted out garlic and potted up volunteer foxglove seedlings.
    Last week’s grocery spend was reduced because I’m using up food in the freezer.
    Several years running I have bought Christmas presents for relatives from a gardening catalogue but when it arrived this week the prices have increased so much it’s way beyond my budget. I have to think smarter about easy presents now.
    We picked / pulled/ dug parsnips, carrots, beetroot, potatoes, tomatoes and apples from the garden. We gave a big bag of apples and parsnips to a friend.
    Stay safe everyone.

    1. If your friends like gardening gifts, would they like something from your garden? Dried herbs? Homemade pasta made with herbs or spinach from your garden.? Homemade jam? Or,perhaps, a loaf of homemade bread would work too.

      1. Hi Penny
        What about saved seeds or cuttings from your garden (in a nice envelop or pot). I love to garden and would appreciate a gift like this far more than something from Sutton’s!

        1. Thanks Effie, I have given pelargoniums I’ve propagated from cuttings before, I like garden gifts too so I need to do some planning ahead.

      2. Thanks for the suggestions Brandy. Our homemade apple and mint jelly goes down well as a present and I’m sure we could expand on the gardening /produce theme. I just need to think about postage costs for the people we won’t see before Christmas. It can be done!

        1. Yes, you could put it all together in a basket or some other shallowish container. I have lined baskets with a thick layer of black, plastic trash bag and then added potting soil and plants. After I get the dirt in and the plants planted, I trim the plastic. Then I put moss around the edges to cover up the edges of the black plastic. The florist I worked for called these “European Gardens.” Isn’t that funny. Maybe if you made one you could call yours an American Garden:) At the florist shop we included one flowering plant with green ones. Sometimes we would put in a little ceramic frog sitting on a little rock or a bird and maybe a ribbon bow on a basket handle or something. Once I made a little trellis out of sticks and a little raffia and “trained” some small ivy up it. Personally, I get baskets for gifts at the thrift store. A flower garden turns out to be a fairly inexpensive gift that would cost quite a bit if the florist put it together.

          My mother used to pot up geraniums in ordinary dirt in metal cans (with the label taken off). I did not know it at the time, but she could literally not afford to buy flower pots. She had a whole lineup of “canned” geraniums in different colors of pink and red on a long, deep kitchen window sill. All of the cans were the same size; I think she salvaged them from the trash at work. She got the geranium starts from her mother. She had loud, wild, pink and red floral print curtains at that window. Everything was immaculately clean and nice. I suppose she could have spray painted the cans white or something, but she didn’t. My brother and I were each allowed to own one geranium personally that we watered, etc. When the geraniums didn’t seem to be growing quite as well, she would dig up new dirt and repot them on newspaper spread on the kitchen counter; she didn’t buy potting soil or fertilizer. She probably got the newspaper from the trash at work, too.

  13. I accepted a box of canned food and pasta from my neighbors from items they were not going to use.
    I needed a few long-sleeved tshirts (my every day uniform this time of year is those shirts with overalls) as mine were getting thread bare. Went to one of my favorite thrift shops where clothing and shoes are half-price on Saturdays. Got 5 shirts, a pair of pants for my youngest son, a board game (which will be a Christmas gift for same son), and 2 pairs of SmartWool socks for me for $13 total. I also picked up a pair of shoes I loved but were three sizes too small for me. They looked brand new and I knew I could sell them in one of the special-interest FB groups I am in. I paid $4.99 for the shoes and sold them for $50. Not bad for a few minutes work! My chickens’
    egg production has slowed down, as it does in the colder and darker weather, but those lovely ladies still produce plenty for us and for me to share with one neighbor with whom I trade for home canned goods. I just don’t have many extra to sell which is fine.
    We have out of town friends coming to visit this weekend. Several of us have birthdays this time of year and we have a tradition of a joint party celebrating all. We could not do this last year with the lockdown so we are glad to get back to this beloved celebration. My boys have made decorations, planned carnival-type games and purchased some inexpensive prizes for all the kids with their own money. I love that they have planned and implemented this all themselves. The grown-ups are making food and we will enjoy each other’s company so much. Long-time friends are one of life’s greatest gifts.
    Have a lovely week, all!

  14. I picked the last of my okra before we had a freeze. We had had the temperature drop into the high 30’s for a few nights and the okra didn’t look right so I decided to just compost it.
    *** We joined a church closer to our new home and had a new members class last Sunday. They had Panera Bread lunch boxes for us. Each box had two club sandwiches, chips, a pickle, and cookies. I brought home the two extra sandwiches and husband ate them for lunch the next day.
    ***I went to a W*[]mart across town and got gluten free flour that my store has been out of. We also got 30 gallons of oil, cranberry sauce, dry beans, thyme, some frozen mixed vegetables that I plan to dehydrate, and some I need for some canned soup recipes I will be canning.
    ***I cleaned out the refrigerator, taking out the glass shelves to get under the edges. I went through sauces and tossed a couple of old ones. I wanted to have it ready for Thanksgiving items.
    ***I have boxes and baskets in my freezer that I seperate meat in. I pull it out and add new meat to the back, pushing the older packages forward. It has helped so much to rotate food. I used to get so full I couldn’t get things put to the back and things would be lost and sit longer in the freezer. I had 20 lbs of ground venison and with deer season starting again and me ordering a quarter cow I donated the venison to a soup kitchen.
    ***I have selected slower delivery and fewer packages from Amazon and am getting digital credits.
    ***Sams gas was $3.03. Everywhere else is $3.19- $3.29. Thy had Gap flannel shirts for $12.99 and I got one.
    ***They had a financial advisor come talk to employers at husband’s job about company benefits and plans. They told them about Good RX, which we did not know about. It searches for the cheapest place to get your prescription. Mine is cheaper where we have it, but husband’s blood pressure medicine is cheaper at Publix. I can’t remember by how much, but he will switch it.
    ***I like to invest in items that will be a savings to our family in the long run. I have had a dinky dehydrator for years that doesn’t adjust temperature and dries unevenly. I am researching and plan to buy one with a door and trays, probably an Excalibur. I would like to preserve a lot of the produce I grow or get from produce markets in bulk and save some freezer space and canning jars. Of coarse, not all, but as a way to layer my storage with some frozen, some canned, and some dehydrated. I also ordered 3 dozen regular and 3 dozen wide mouth Tattler lids.
    ***We paid an additional $500 on our mortgage.
    ***I watered plants with cooking water and warm up water.
    ***I composed vegetable peels, fruit peels, egg shells, and coffee grounds.
    ***My son and his girlfriend came over for lunch. I made a taco soup and we had leftovers and then I had a couple of containers to freeze.
    ***I have old sheets to cover garden when we get a freeze. We don’t stay frozen all winter, it just comes in cold spells, so I am trying to keep vegetables growing. I picked up a bag of leaves- ok, I stole them from a home I drove past that had them at the road. I will spread on my garden beds.

  15. Glad you had such a successful garage sale! And how great about the potatoes!

    My frugal week:
    – I shared my recipe for cranberry sauce (http://approachingfood.com/better-than-store-bought-cranberry-sauce/) with a friend. I had given her a jar a few months ago and she had come to the end of it and wanted to make her own. 
    – I sewed a tear in my daughter’s jacket
    – I made more Greek Stuffed Buns
    – I made cheese and chive cornbread, using chives grown on my balcony. The recipe called for creamed corn, but I just used a can of regular corn and added a bit more liquid. Turned out great!
    – Dug out some freezer burnt mixed veg from my freezer. Didn’t taste the best, but I sprinkled parmesan over it and it was eatable.
    – I made chicken milanese using ingredients I had at home already, including the last of some panko crumbs, and the last of some pasta sauce that I used instead of marinara sauce. I topped with Swiss cheese instead of parmesan, because that’s what I had available. Turned out great!
    – I borrowed books from the library as I do every week, both in person and online. 
    – I made chop chop bread, using leftovers from my fridge: a knob of cheddar, half an onion, a few slices of ham, some aging grape tomatoes, and some olives. Sprinkled with parmesan cheese, pretzel salt, and oregano, it was a great side for lunches and dinners. 
    – I baked a batch of lemon poppyseed muffins, but used a flax egg to replace one of the eggs as I ran out, used lime juice instead of lemon, and added in orange zest. Turned out great!
    – Made my own breadcrumbs from the frozen heels of bread. 
    – Got a free can of coffee worth $14 using the Optimuum app. I don’t drink coffee so I’ll gift it to my dad.
    – Redeemed loyalty points for $10 off groceries. 
    – I made my own baby food.
    – I made carrot apple muffins using some wizened carrots that I firmed up by soaking in cold water. I didn’t have enough carrot so I used half a sweet potato too (and turned the other half into baby food). Ate some for breakfast and snacks and gave half a dozen to a friend who just gave birth. I also had the parents drop off their eldest child (my 3yo’s friend) for a playdate, where they played with homemade playdough and cookie cutters. A frugal new baby gift: childcare and fresh, homemade muffins!

    Looking forward to learning from everyone else, as always!

  16. Brandy I am so glad you were able to pick up free potatoes-I know your family enjoys them. We are getting some snow today but I still took some groceries over to my Mum and helped her make a pot of hamburger soup that she is going to freeze in individual portions. I am trying to make one pot of soup per week for DH and I and today will be cream of tomato.
    There were many good deals this week on cabbage, carrots, apples, pears etc. I was able to buy 20 lbs of fruit and veg for myself and Ellie’s friend-and drop it off for her as she is not too far away.

    A friend asked if I could pick up 2 of her 4 boys after school today( 5 min walk) and keep them for an hour, as her older boys have a sports practice-happy to help her out. I have been looking around online for cheaper Covid tests for an up coming trip-on the way there I managed to rebook for $57.75 vs $150-and on the way home I found free tests-vs $120 US. Never thought I would be able to use an airline coupon code to save $25 on a Covid test-lol. So I am pretty happy to save close to $250 Can. For frugal fun DH and I watched 2 movies at home-both of which we enjoyed. Falling for Figaro and Stillwater.

    My sister in the US who is finally starting to feel better after more than a year with long Covid emailed this morning to say they wanted to come here for Xmas and could I help her research reasonable flights-of course we all know that is an expensive time to travel but with any luck they can come-or wait until summer. My other sis who has been in Germany is coming for Xmas and then moving back permanently with her DH in April so I am thankful for that-her fourth grandchild will be due then and she says they would both be happy to dandle the grandchildren on their knees. Wishing everyone a good week.

  17. Congrats on your yard sale! And thank you for sharing such beautiful flower pictures this week again. Just beautiful!

    I made all meals at home except for one lunch. We used a gift card at Arby’s to pay for the lunch. I made taco salad that used up the last part of cabbage, olives and red onion. We were also able to finish off one bag that had a few smaller chips in it so that nothing was wasted. I made chicken cordon bleu with baked potatoes. The potatoes were ones I grew this past summer. I made a pan of rice and used it for several meals. I made ham fried rice using the last of the frozen broccoli and lunch ham. I also threw in red pepper that I had chopped and frozen. I made baked tacos using the other half of ground beef I had saved. The green salad I made lasted for 3 meals. I just keep opening my fridge and praying for inspiration on how to use up the food in there.

    I joined a Buy Nothing group in my area. I received three books in a series that I plan to use as a Christmas gift. They are old fashioned historical romance books that my daughter enjoys to read. A tan sectional couch was also posted and I was able to get that for my son (FREE) for him to use in the townhome he purchased. He was super happy about having a free sectional. The people who gave it away are friends of our daughters. I stopped at a garage sale and bought a toy for my granddaughter for Christmas. I spent $45 on Christmas gifts on Amazon but all were steeply discounted – 1 new pair of slippers, 1 fleece blanket, 1 pedicure set (with 10 different tools), a cookbook for my son in law (who LOVES to cook) and a re-useable gift back. I paid for it with the Amazon gift cards I’ve been saving from Ibotta and Fetch.

    I exercised at home and also by walking outside. Our weather has been gorgeous here. We had 2 days of rain (which is wonderful) and the other days have been low 60s with sunshine. It’s absolutely gorgeous outside! The sky is so clear and no smoke in the air. I read books and sat on my deck to enjoy the fall weather.

    Brandy – thank you for encouraging me to garden earlier this year! It has been a huge blessing. I went out to the shed this past weekend and pulled in the last of the potatoes – have 20 from my garden to use up. I brought in all my tomatoes that I had boxed and put them in smaller brown paper sacks. Many of them are ripening. I’ll either can them or freeze or eat fresh.

    I’m still working on organizing my downstairs pantry. It’s a huge job and I’m a bit overwhelmed. I’m going to implement the Marlene method of 1 bucket at a time – but I’ll do one shelf at a time. The reason it’s a big job is I want to move things around and have it more organized to my liking and needs. I’m so, so grateful for that stocked pantry. We have food during a time when my husband isn’t working. It’s a such a huge blessing and relief.

    I filled up my car using gas points. I combined all my errands. I went to the library to stock up on books to read and also downloaded a few free books that I wanted to read.

    My son and his girlfriend are getting engage and planning their wedding. My husband and I planned the amount we are giving to them for the wedding based on what we can afford to contribute. We’ve made it clear that this all he can expect from us and to be wise. The will be married in the temple and the reception will be in a friends backyard.

    Wishing everyone a wonderful week.

      1. I make rice on the stovetop in a pan. It’s a 2:1 ratio of water/rice. I bring the water and rice to a boil without using a lid. I let the water boil and be absorbed into the rice. When the water is gone but the rice looks still wet, I turn off the heat, remove the pan from the stovetop and put a lid on the pan. I let it sit for 5 minutes or so to finish up. I remove the lid and fluff the rice with a fork.

  18. One of the supermarkets I shop at has started to put out their discount produce rack again. It’s not there all the time, but I was really glad to see it this week. They had two huge bags of broccoli, all of which was in good shape, so I bought that, and so far we’ve gotten three meals out of it.
    I worked on a cross-stitch project I inherited from my grandmother.
    I bought three new-to-me dresses from a thrift store.
    I did Pilates using YouTube videos.
    I used up the last soft banana to make a batch of muffins (which I just finished for breakfast this morning!) and used stale chips in a batch of Tortilla Soup. I made my own salad dressing.
    I read library books and ordered two more via interlibrary loan.
    It’s been a nice week! 🙂

  19. My power bill was $60 for the month. Gas is, as of yesterday, $3.04 an hour north of where I live during the week, to $3.39 in the town where I currently work. I bought sour cream and butter at not particularly good prices but at not particularly good prices ($2.04 on butter) but I need it for Thanksgiving so I purchased it. I think I have everything, although I may need a few more potatoes. I walked in the neighborhood. Compared to all of y’all I consider my savings to be boring and redundant every week but oh well…..lol. I earlier purchased a barbie doll for Christmas for grandchild. I think my saving money, because my kids are grown, is more about what I do not do. I do not eat out usually ( I only eat out maybe every few months anyway and only if my son wants to eat out.) I do not have internet at my house except for the prepaid smart phone and I do not have a tv nor computer at home at the moment ( actually have not had either at home for about 14 years.) I do not have central heat. I have a small house. Some of my kids have fussed but they have to sit and talk to me, not look at a screen when visiting me. No one is supposed to use their phone, when at my house, except for emergencies. I do not have anything against modern conveniences and entertainment but do not see the need except for a smart phone at the moment. I spend too much time on the phone as it is, and I think I would double my electronic and tv time if I had a computer and tv! I do plan on getting both then I am older, and not able to get around, but right now I don’t need anything to distract me from exercising, which I sorely need….lol. I always buy a smart phone that is a couple of years older technology, when mine finally dies. My hair I cut, carefully, just a couple of inches below my chin, and my clothes are decidedly not stylish and are what is required by work. I wear the same things to church because I do not see the need to buy both.. I have a couple of pair of jeans that are presentable on weekends, when shopping. I own maybe two pair of tennis shoes and three pair of work shoes and a couple of flip flops. I own maybe three purses, and one is 35 yrs old and for dress up only. I do have a lot of work skirts and jackets. It is a totally different matter when you have growing children, schoolwork, etc. I had all of those things when the kids were growing up, but with just me living at the house, I do not need anything else at the moment. I will supply my grown kids with tuna, rice and dried beans (depend who will eat what) but otherwise, unless something is requested, I leave them alone. My sons do raid my pantry for Gatorade, toilet tissue, and paper towels, though, so I am always having to buy those things….lol. My small Toyota Yaris has 129,000 miles on it and is only four years old, but I drive a lot for work. I drove a Ford Focus for most of the years when my kids were growing up but I only had four kids and it was a tight squeeze at times. Many of you have far more kids so that car would be impossible. I have been debating on getting a newer to me vehicle with less miles, but vehicles are sooo expensive at the moment!

    1. I think your saving strategy is very interesting, Cindy!
      We have older model smartphones but keep them in RFID bags and only use them in emergencies or while traveling (not much of an option now), but we do have a 10-year-old laptop with an ethernet port & DVD player. NO TV, NO Wi-fi, but we’ll watch movies through our library if we want to see something, or check a DVD out there, and we have an extensive collection of yard-sale & thrift store DVDs. I like to mend clothing while watching something. We do read a lot, too!

      I envy your minimalist approach to clothing because I have too many (thrifted) clothes!

    2. I laughed at “Some of my kids have fussed but they have to sit and talk to me…”. Those are my best memories of when my aunts and uncles would come to visit and everyone would just sit around and talk, with no other form of entertainment needed.

  20. My husband did a repair on our car. We borrowed ramps, a jack and jack stands.
    I rode my electric bike for errands that were too far away for me to do by regular bike.
    We received free apples, pears and persimmons. I quickly sorted them into “use immediately” and “will keep”. I made 2 apple crumbles with the use immediately ones, and will dry the rest today. My husband uses the dried ones in the granola he makes.
    We have eaten vegetarian or leftovers since our son and family left (they are big meat eaters).
    We had a huge tidy out of the garage, I’ve listed some things to sell, and have the donate pile already loaded in my car. I found a few things that I could use. We also picked up a free coffee table (solid wood), which our daughter was looking for.
    I’m making/buying gifts early for the people we will see in person at Thanksgiving, saving me postage later.
    A happy week to everyone.

  21. I picked up a free Dollar Shave Club starter kit from Kroger with a coupon. I got two Chobani yogurts for only 50 cents a piece and submitted those for a $1.22 Ibotta rebate, so I made 22 cents. I sent off for $14.50 in rebates from beer/alcohol companies – they have rebates on items that you do not have to buy the alcohol for in certain states. We don’t drink, but I’ll happily take their money. I ended up with three of the 57 cents/pound turkey. My coworkers have been talking about food shortages, and it kind of made me nervous, so I took advantage of this sale. I had the morning by myself on Saturday, so I cleaned a little, then sat and read with Christmas music playing – it was very relaxing!

  22. I got a good haul of marked down food. I menu plan based around what I find.
    I picked up some free cereal and canned goods someone was giving away on the Olio app.
    Made candied lemon rings from clearance lemons. 4lbs of lemons for $1.00.
    I made dog treats from clearance baby food marked down to $0.10/jar.
    Picked up a free pizza from Safeway and free yogurt from King Soopers. I tend to get freebies from these stores every week.
    I got clearance material from Walmart for $0.25/yard and $0.10 a fat square. I’ll be sewing gifts from these.
    I got a whole box of satin ribbons, two aerogardens, new winter coats with tags, about 25 yards of different colors of felts, several new skeins of yarn, and two new bags of polyfill from Goodwill Outlet for $10.00. That’s a steal! The aerogardens will be used to grow lettuce and herbs indoors this winter, the coats to wear since my old coats are falling apart, while the rest will be used for crafts to sell this holiday season and/or gift making.
    Someone was giving away a medium sized box of fall bulbs, so I picked them up and planted them. Not sure if it’s too late in the season to plant, but hopefully, they’ll bloom in spring.

    1. I have no idea what baby food costs now, but it was ten cents a jar when I was raising my babies. They are now 48 and 46.

  23. A very successful garage sale! I’ve only ever done one garage sale where we made something like $380, but it was so much work that I vowed it would never happen again (or at least not for a very, VERY long time!).

    We budget to go out to eat once or twice a month, and to save money, we had the kids share two meals between the 3 of them (as my youngest is only two and is hit or miss about eating at restaurants). Sometimes we have all three share just one, but as our kids were saying how “starving” they were, we decided to go for two this last time…and then the two younger boys wasted most of theirs. Sigh.

    I’ve set a firm $500 grocery and household essentials budget for this month, and I’m having a lot of fun with it, actually! I only have $12 left in the budget to stretch the rest of the month, but I know that we can totally do it. It’s definitely forcing me to be better about planning meals and using up everything we have.

  24. Hello, everyone!

    ******My husband had been wanting a wheelbarrow for a long time, and I thought I would get him one for Christmas. I didn’t realize they cost as much as they do. Well, last week I found a nice large one at Goodwill for $6! I thought I was surely overlooking something, so I had an older gentlemen look it over for his opinion, and he concluded that I hit the jackpot!

    ******I just keep doing the usual things: limiting driving/combining errands, library, watching electricity usage, all meals at home, etc.

    ******I’ve participated in a few research studies lately for local medical schools. My five year old is currently doing one and will earn $600. We will let him spend a small portion of the money, and the rest will go in his college savings. My daughter participated in one recently as well. The studies have been fun and interesting, and my children also win small prizes in addition to the money.

    *****I found good deals on onions, so I chopped a bunch to store in the freezer for easy meal prep.

    *****Have a great week!

  25. When I look at all the bounty I brought home this week, I actually spent very little out of pocket. I purchased the Thanksgiving items on the Ibotta deal. I kept the turkey for Christmas and placed the other non perishables in a local box for the needy. ( like the little library ) I just discovered it and will continue to donate. I located 100 pounds of frozen chicken breast. Baby Henry’s grandmother said she had an empty freezer and to please bring it over. Apparently the food bank ,rarely has meat and is limiting food to twice a month. I really wish she wouldn’t hesitate to let me know she is in need. Today , I took in 100 pounds of rice. I will deliver that to her tomorrow. I passed on 150 pounds of dog food to the man who works at our dump. He always is gracious to pull things from the bin that I want. Most of my Rubbermaid large storage containers have come from him. My internet bill doubled this month. From 45 to 99. I promptly canceled and signed up in one of the children’s name. With the $50.00 government subsidy our monthly bill is $3.00. When the program runs out, it will be $55. I cashed in Ibotta and top cash back for a Wal-Mart gift card that completely covered sugar cookies Christmas gift. The internet co. refunded me $56.00 from the old account. We went to the Amazon returns store on 2.00 day and bought an assortment of needed and wanted items with the refunded money we received . Many stocking stuffers. My favorite item was an unopened box I pried apart. It had an automatic cat feeder in it. Two pieces too. One for water and one for dry food. Blessings overflow in our home. I hope everyone is having a great week. Now I’m off to cut up chicken breast and a whole ham I rescued for my family. That was a lot of cooking !

  26. It was a great, frugal week in Houston! I haven’t had to run the AC or the heat, and we’ve enjoyed having the windows open for the last week.
    I bought loss leaders at the grocery store, including several clearance items and digital coupons. I saw that the Kroger produce worker hadn’t yet bagged up the marked down fruit, so I asked him if he would have any available when I finished the rest of my shopping. I told him I was hoping to snag a few of the bruised apples. He kindly filled three bags for me, and managed to get 7 (slightly bruised) Honeycrisp apples in each bag! That is a great buy, and we really like this variety. I think he was enchanted by my red-headed three year old, who can be a bit of a flirt, sometimes. She will be trouble when she’s older!
    I fed all the kids before I took the boys to their scout meeting, and I managed to contribute toward end-of-season coach gifts using money from selling their outgrown clothes. This is an expensive time of year!
    A garage sale I stopped at had new-in-package items, so I bought some for a party one of the kids was invited to. The others I put away in my gift stash.
    I found out that my job is giving me a $100 bonus for some online training I completed.
    I shopped at a cheaper grocery store, even though it was more of a drive.
    $5 or less meals were: scrambled eggs and toast, chicken soup, tortilla pizzas, hot dogs, and spaghetti. I mostly ate leftovers for lunch.
    Goodness, grocery prices are rising! I’m trying to avoid food waste, stretch meals with additional carbs, etc.
    Hope everyone has a nice, frugal week.

  27. Hello Everyone!
    This week I saved quite a bit at the grocery store. I carefully planned my shopping and wrote down brands, product limits, and added digital coupons to my Safeway app. I purchased a turkey at $0.60/lb., two bags of frozen shrimp at $5.98 each, and 2 packs of NY strip steak at $4.99/lb. (for an upcoming birthday). I’m really glad I checked my grocery receipt. I mistakenly bought the wrong shrimp (they weren’t marked on the shelf) at $20/bag, returned it, and bought the correct shrimp at $5.98/bag. I saved $28 by doing this! 😮

    We roasted a frozen Turkey purchased last year and ate it all week, the last of which in the form of a turkey pot pie. I baked a batch of whole wheat zucchini muffins using a lone leftover zucchini. Tonight I’m making chicken soup from two carcasses. I ate home canned green beans one night . They were good! It was my first year pressure canning and I didn’t die! 😆 👍🏼

    I had to fill up my tank again from more doctors visits. Gas is now $4.41/gallon at Costco as of Saturday. 😢 Thankfully my daughter’s cast is now off and I should be driving less.

    I completed the two round box pillows over the weekend. They look great! Making them myself saved a bundle and is customized. We’ll have some family staying with us for two weeks. I’ll take my sewing machine in for service while our guest bedroom/sewing area is occupied.

    Not much from my garden this week except for tomatoes and salad. The rain/sun mix is making my fall veggies (and weeds) explode! I think I’ll be able to harvest mustard greens soon and potatoes.

    Lastly, I saved by checking to see if my library had a book on Hoopla before spending $15 and ordering it online. I thought it was an obscure religious book, but they had it! I wouldn’t read it twice so I’m glad it was available on Hoopla for free.

    Congrats on a successful garage sale Brandy. Have a blessed and beautiful week!!🍁

  28. Congrats on the earnings! Happy to read you received some items that are personal to you as well.
    This weekend we celebrated 4 birthdays at once. I made chicken soup from scratch to serve. I used the body and butcher the legs, thighs and wings which I used to make air fryer fried chicken for another meal.
    I used empty cereal boxes and punched holes at the top for ribbon handles and they turned into gift bag/box. They held Dollar Store snacks. I made lavender linen eye pillows for other gifts. I used book pages to wrap those.
    I sold enough on EBay to pay a utility bill.
    Our electric company raised s adding an additional $50 to this months bill. I will cut back on dryer use again to help keep the bill lower.
    I hope everyone has a calm week.

  29. It was so kind of “I” to let me know about a great deal on carrots, apples and pears and really kind of her to drop them off at my house. One of the museums (this one in Montreal)that we are acquiring photos from waived the user is and only charged us the photo fee because our group is a non-profit society.
    That saved us about half the cost. They sent the photos today digitally and they are beautiful. Now we only have about 4 more photos left to obtain. We are waiting for some scans from the Bodleian Library at Oxford. Because of covid, their normal scanning fee is waived.

    I am trying to think of an inexpensive but attractive item to donate for our ladies’ club silent basket online auction.

    London Drugs has same nice Laura Secord baskets for sale as Christmas gifts — I am determined not to spend a lot on Christmas gifts this year. The delivery of these gold baskets (contains mini biscotti, organic green tea, breakfast tea, and 2 little jars of jam) is delayed into the store because of a mudslide in B.C. but they should be here this week. I won’t buy cluttering, knick knack items so that leaves books or food in all likelihood.

      1. I’m working on consumable gifts too.
        For my dad and in laws, I’m making soup mix in smaller proportions so they don’t eat soup for a week straight.
        Attempting peanut brittle for my brother.
        Making peppermint marshmallows. Rather than spending $3 on a tiny bottle of peppermint candies to top it with, I’m crushing candy canes.
        We are having an early Thanksgiving surprise dinner for my husband, who can’t travel to my dad’s due to work. Kids are setting a simple menu, including turkey breast and homemade apple pie.

  30. Brandy, I forgot to tell you last week that your ironwork is so beautiful! Also, after feeling ripped off over my $1.59 turkey, I did buy another one. It was 69¢ per lb. You’re right, I do feel better!!
    **For my pasta, I made Fettuccine Alfredo. Saw on Pinterest that one recipe called for 2 oz. Cream cheese mixed in with that basic white sauce/shredded parmesan recipe and boy, what a delicious difference! It was very creamy for adding such a small amount.
    **Soups were pinto beans and a ham bone and a new one called Beer Cheddar Chowder. Won’t be doing that again lol. We’ve had beer cheese before and both liked it, but this soup had a strong beer flavor that didn’t appeal to either of us. Since we know nothing about alcohol, maybe it was the beer. Either way, never again!
    **Got 6 lbs. Of that $1.99# Aldi butter.
    **Made bathroom cleaner.
    **Bought the limit(5) of 2# bags of cheese for $3.97. That’ll last us for a really long time! I remember $2# being my target buy when I first started my price book back in 1994!
    **My husband hung up my freshly painted over-window shelf/curtain holder. He found it in the trash, cleaned, and repaired it. I painted it. I added a pair of sheers underneath the existing curtains. Found the sheers at Tuesday Morning for about $5. Total redo for less than $6 oop. It looks beautiful!
    **Continued watching Upstairs Downstairs season 5 on library loaner.
    **Made à loaf of whole wheat bread and saved the slicing crumbs in my freezer container.
    And the usuals. We’ve received some price increases on needed things so we’re looking even closer at all spending. Gas in Kansas was $3.09 gal. for anyone interested.

    1. I almost bought a turkey at $1.59 a pound myself! I was starting to think they wouldn’t go any lower either, and with all the warnings about getting a turkey before they were gone, I wonder now if it was a tactic to sell lots of turkeys at full price!

      My husband just called me from the store saying they are $0.98 a pound at one store but you can get one free if you spend $100!

      1. Brandy and others…I was pretty sure we would see frozen turkeys at Thanksgiving, although maybe with limits and at somewhat higher prices than in the past. This is big talk from someone who has a turkey in her freezer from last year, LOL…but everyone in this group knows how to make do with rotisserie chickens, ham, etc. (You’ll make a memory!). My reasoning has been that turkey producers have been raising turkeys and they have to be slaughtered when they reach a certain age/size to be ready for the Thanksgiving markets. There may be distribution issues, but some turkeys will make it through the supply chain. Thanksgiving is such a huge marketing season for the grocery industry that they will find a way to stock turkeys. Again, you might have to pay .79lb. (still less than the cost of production) and you might only be able to get one with a $100 purchase, but there WILL be turkeys this year!

          1. Same here! I have heard from friends in the northeast that they have not been able to find affordable turkeys, but here in north Texas I have not seen any shortages.

            I have only seen a few random item shortages – and they seem to be on strange things! I made chili one week and wanted to serve corn chips with it. Two different stores were out of everything except the name brand “scoop” style chips. Another week, three stores were completely out of half & half.

            1. I’m in NY and there are lots of turkeys at all of the stores I go too. I got a free turkey (18 pounds) with a $100 purchase. Stop & Shop has them on sale for 49cents a pound limit 2. I am going to get 2 more for the freezer.

            1. I am seeing shortages and holes on other products, though. Jut not on turkeys. Chicken and pork have been replaced on most shelves by a lot of beef.

          2. Brandy, I’m back home in northern Idaho. Lowest advertised price in the area seems to be .59 lb. at Safeway and Albertson’s. Winco doesn’t advertise and may be cheaper. Super One advertises “lowest price in the area” but is often only a penny a pound cheaper, which annoys me. For this reason, I usually don’t buy my turkey there unless they also have the lowest prices on other things I need. Right now, I’m thawing a bird I bought last year. I plan to buy one or two this year for the freezer.

            Which leads to a somewhat odd question. I know you buy and cook half a dozen turkeys around this time. If you have any tips for deboning a cooked turkey, will you please include them in your third week’s wrap-up…since probably all of us will be cooking and deboning turkeys for Thanksgiving. Or maybe a special post. This is the cooking chore I hate the most! Any ideas for making it easier will be most appreciated!

            1. I cook my turkey longer! I cook it until the meat is falling off the bones. Then I can literally just pull it right off. Don’t let it stay on the bird and cool all the way or it won’t come off. Take it off while it is warm.

    2. Thank you for the cream cheese tip! My son LOVES fettucine alfredo, and I often make homemade sauce with parmesan, cream, and butter — but it never had that divine creaminess that the restaurant sauces have. I bet cream cheese will do the trick.

  31. Last two weeks–we are still working on several projects around our house which makes office furniture to close to use and things tucked about which I driving me crazy. Out weather was 15 degrees hotter than usual the first week and 10 degrees lower last week and even colder now so its contributing to the slow down as well as DH and DS working different schedules and more at times.

    I have continued to make meals using things on hand whether frozen or canned. Some were corned beef hash with cabbage, pork slices with gravy, baked egg with cheese biscuits, apple bread, taco filling (cooked 2, froze 1), chicken with rice. I rearranged the side by side freezer more.

    I canned salsa, 5 pts. chopped tomatoes, and chopped and froze more red peppers. One qt. jar of tomatoes didn’t seal twice so I am going to make a large batch of stew and can it. I baked bacon and hamburger to eat and freeze.

    I did a medicine check and disposed some out of date at the pharmacy. I sewed on some buttons, and generally decluttered anything I came across that needed it. I also have some ideas of gifts to make for DH and DS.

    I stocked up on some canned goods, oils, and grocery items I found on the buy 2 get 1 free. That day I spend $32 something and saved $33. I liked that. I also returned an item that wouldn’t work to the wholesale place.

    That’s all I can think of right now. Have a wonderful week!

  32. Brandy: so enjoy your photos. You certainly have an eye!

    A book for your consideration: The Last Thing He Told Me. A real page turner!

    Was able to get a nice Butterball for .98 a pound. My family refuses other brands. I think as things
    progress through the coming months, they may change their minds!

    Planted some Heirloom Red Carrots this fall. They are coming in and are delicious! Take care.

    1. I loved that book. It kept me in suspense. Being made into a movie. Julia Robert’s was to lead but now it’s Jennifer Garner. If you like that sort of book I would recommend The Plot.

  33. I cashed in my Checkout 51 balance for $20.11. That, along with $13 from a Facebook payment, were a big chunk of the cost of my daughter’s high school yearbook I ordered($50 😳)

    I received a full size jar of PetHonesty AllergySupport Salmon Flavored Soft Chews Allergy & Immune Supplement in exchange for a review.

    I signed up for Redbox plus. $9.99 a year and get one free rental a month.

    I renewed my two magazines online to save price of money orders and stamps.

    Returned a pair of pants I wasn’t particularly fond of. It was an expensive week for me for clothes. I needed black, nonslip shoes ($39.99) and black pants ($23+ each on the style I liked, 3 pairs) Hopefully, these last awhile.

    I found 3 cans of the little dogs food in a bucket. This gave him enough to get through the week.

    My mom sent over milk and a bag of the fruit flavored tootsie rolls.

    I ended my first week at my second job with 3 extra hours than I’m scheduled. I’ll get 2 extra hours this week from a required training.

    Not so frugal. Hubby replaced the lid lock switch on my washing machine, and now the drain pump went out. 🤦‍♀️ Hopefully, this will be the last part.

  34. This week wasn’t as frugal as usual but it really helps to keep track and I just love reading the comments each week for inspiration and encouragement!
    * took surveys for gift card rewards
    * used Ibotta plus downloaded fetch app to try out
    * made coffee at home instead of picking up a latte
    * reworked Christmas list for extended family- instead of planned gift cards, I will make treats to share instead
    * gratefully accepted clothes, fruit snacks, and planting pots from my mom
    * shopped clearance section at grocery store
    * decided not to spend more to save more with Kohl’s coupon

    Hope everyone has a great week!

  35. 1. I was sick last week so not much food eaten or gas used in the car.
    2. Got a free COVID rapid test at a university near our home. COVID negative so that was a relief.
    3. After my sickness I was going to treat myself to a pedicure. However all the nail salons nearby closed at 7 pm. I couldn’t get there in time so I just went home & manicured my toes myself.
    4. My sister & I went for lunch at a steakhouse. I used a GC to pay. She took care of the tip.
    5. Made a pot of veggie beef soup w/ a small amount of diced meat & canned veggies that were nearing their shelf date.
    Have a good week all my fellow frugalistas.

  36. Brandy that is fantastic you earned so much from your garage sale I am so happy for you 🙂 . Yes trench composting all your vegetable scraps will indeed make happy worms. We have been doing this here in our vegetable gardens for sometime and even though we didn’t buy any earthworms to put in the gardens they have now found their way in there and now we are getting so many. Lovely you found a large suitcase also for a reasonable price.

    We have been working more on increasing our food storage with lots of items in our supermarkets just vanishing or being in limited quantities. With prices according to news reports going up by a further 20 – 30% by February March next year this will give us a cushion while we transition into those much higher prices. We are concentrating on a lot of items we use that are on half price sales each week or on markdowns. As DH has a lot of medical appointments and we get paid through DVA both a fuel and meal allowance for these trips that is when we are shopping to combine errands as fuel is getting so expensive here.

    Our savings added up to $650.87 in savings last week 🙂 .

    In the kitchen –
    – Made 3 loaves of wholemeal white bread in the bread making machine saving $10.47 over buying them locally.
    – Made a 1.293 kg double batch of white sauce premix for $7.68 saving $41.45 over buying it premade in the supermarkets.
    – With some the white sauce premix we made a quadruple batch of chocolate pudding and a lemon cheesecake saving $57.37 over buying them in the shops.

    Home organisation –
    – We purchased 3 more 5 shelf heavy duty storage shelves for the walk in pantry so we can complete the room and store more food in a better organised way. We also shuffled things around some more in the pantry so like things are more grouped together.

    Purchases –
    – Bought 6 x 50 + UV cotton work shirts, 3 for DH and 3 for myself, in a different brand that we usually buy saving $60. We haven’t bought work shirts for either of us for about 5 years so they were all getting pretty worn and it was nice to get a few different coloured ones for me too. Likely we will buy more in the coming weeks too while we can get them at a good price.
    – Bought 2 more Woolworths e-gift cards from RACQ saving 4% or $40 on usual prices.
    – On half price and other specials we purchased lots of tinned long life harvest and vegetables, women’s disposable razors and vitamins and minerals saving $187.05 over usual prices.
    – By using our Rewards $ from our 10 x points promo we saved $80 on usual prices of our groceries.
    – Saved another $134 by buying harvest and more vitamins and minerals on specials and half price specials.
    – On markdowns I purchased a 3 pack of sourdough croissants for 0.80c, another 3 pack of spinach, cheese and herb croissants for 0.80c and a roast chicken for $3.30 saving $13.10 on usual prices.
    – Saved another $67.23 by buying more half price vitamins, breakfast cereals and Samboy chips.

    Have a great week ahead everyone :).

  37. GardenPat- I love reading about your quilts. It reminds me of my neighbor I grew up next to for 25 years. She loved quilting. In high school I would sit on her porch for hours and talk to her as she quilted. I cross-stitched and she helped me with my designs. In college for my folklore field work study class I interviewed her about quilting.

    This week I purchased a turkey at Meijers for 33 cents a pound. It was limit 1 on Saturday. The sale ad said limit 2, and the day before a friend got 2. Strange times we live in when the stores change the sales after the fliers go out. I sewed up a hole in my boy’s pants leg. We were not able to go camping this year. Last week we roasted hot dogs and cooked potato packs over a fire in our fire pit outside. The kids were just as happy with that. My biggest save is I went back to Sam’s Club for a recheck on my lenses for no charge. I got a new prescription a month ago and I was not seeing correctly. I got a new script. Part of my issue is my glasses frames I picked out don’t fit my face correctly. I found out they will swap out one frame for free. An associate I have not seen before was working and she picked out the perfect pair of frames for me! My face is so slender picking out frames is a real challenge. Youth are too small and women’s are too large. They should be in before Thanksgiving.

  38. I continued to recycle my ibotta funds for groceries. I received a $10 giftcard from sams, tried to use it at Walmart. I am able to, but the associates at this Walmart didnt care enough to use it. I cashed out from fetch for a $50 Walmart giftcard. Ill be using it at Sams because the aggrivation just isnt worth trying to use it at Walmart. I had dh’s rx’s refilled and when I went to pick it up, it seemed like a lot of money. We’ve had insurance since the beginning of October, and Publix pharmacy has it on file. I asked if it went through the insurance and she replied, no it went thru a rx assistance plan. Hold on I’ll run it through the insurance. Came to $3.25!!!!!! I’ve never tried to use an assistance plan at publix, so I dont know how or why they did that. I got home and looked through my cc statement and turns out we paid the original price quoted last month too. I dont know if or how I can get a refund for that so I will just pay more attention in the future. My garage door opener went up. We changed the battery and that wasnt it. DH opened it up and lost a few pieces so a new one was needed. I had looked online and there was an app to open the door on my phone. Well come to find out a replacement opener was $75 and that device doesnt work with our model door, but there was an after market device to install and then download an app. It cost us $30 lowes!!!!!! Yay and I feel so much better having it on my phone, rather than leaving the opener on my visor. Its amazing in the differences of food prices throughout the country. I’m in awe when I see the prices some of you pay for some things. I was doing a Shipt Shop a few days ago and had to actually look at the price for beef chuck roast. $7.99lb and through shipt, the customer paid $9.99lb. Yikes, when I first started shopping on my own, chuck roast was $1.69lb and london broil was $1.99lb. I think I’m going to go get a turkey today for 49¢lb. Thats the cheapest I’ve seen it, Our garage freezer is ptetty empty so I’ll probably get a few this season. I used a pork butt bone that I had in the freezer and made the hurst 15 bean soup. That lasted several meals. Thank goodness its gone! I made a jambalaya using chicken I got cheap, and that lasted a few days. Its been cold here in Florida so Ive been able to turn the air off and open windows. I was almost to the end of the last roll of paper towels, so we went to walgreens with a $5 coupon, and I got a six pack of them and a 3 pack of kleenex, used my rewards and paid 85¢. I also earned a few thousand fetch points. I cant think of anything else out of the ordinary that I did. I’m just determined not to spend any extra money than I need to.

    1. Kimberly, a similar thing happened to us at CVS recently. Insurance was not applied to my medication refill, so it was $200 more than the usual price. They were so busy, and I know they were annoyed to have to run it through insurance, but sure enough it took the copay down to about $2. Last week I went back to pick up prescriptions for my family and noticed that the price was way too high again. When I asked her to recheck, the clerk said there had been a glitch with CVS computers and insurance was removed. Once she ran it through insurance, the price was less than $5. I wish they would run it through before tallying the total since they know there was a glitch, but I guess it pads their pocket when people don’t think to ask.

  39. Congratulations on the successful garage sale. I’ve only ever done it once (went in with a friend since I live in an apt.) – I made nearly $300 but boy was it a lot of work!
    I think my biggest saving this past week occurred by not going shopping or anywhere else! I only picked up a few items to get through the week but managed to make sure that I earned Loyalty points on almost everything so that was a bonus. I bought myself a coffee twice on my way to the office but otherwise ate everything at home. I was feeling a bit blah last week so there were quite a few HM soup and sandwich meals. I got back into cooking mode on the weekend and made a pot of chilli and my favourite stuffing for peppers. I remembered that I had packages of quinoa in the freezer so I defrosted a couple (I always seem to make so much when I cook it that 2/3 ends up in the freezer) then I added this to the meat mixture to stretch it further. A few things have made it into the freezer and I will have the last of the stuffed peppers for lunch today.

    My doctor is still doing mostly phone consults except for obstetric patients and that was fine with me as I only needed prescription renewals. I had my favourite pharmacy send through a fax – the renewal was approved and filled within 48 hours. I picked up 4 prescriptions plus an extra epi-pen on Friday and only paid $3.08 for the administration fee. I will pay nothing for each of the 4 remaining 90 day renewals – thank goodness for Govt. Healthcare!

    The one grocery trip and another to the library were both combined with my commute home from the office so no extra transit fare (with my Presto Card I have a two hour window from the time I go through the first gate – I can get off and on and as long as I go through that last gate headed for home before the 2 hours is used up then I can travel for one fare). More than once I’ve made it through that final gate with a minute to spare! 🙂

    I finally managed to get into the laundry room and got 4 loads done and only two had to go through the dryers. Everything else was hung up to dry.

    I read a couple of really good non fiction books this week – Nomadland and The Last Kings of Shanghai – both were so interesting. I love my mysteries but sometimes I just need a good non-fiction fix. Both books came courtesy of the library. Walked with a friend for exercise and I’m hoping to get out again this afternoon while it is still dry and sunny – rain due tomorrow.

    Hope any west coast readers in both Canada and the US are ok after this weekend’s horrendous rains and flooding. Watched the rescues of nearly 300 people trapped between two rockfalls on the main highway on tv yesterday – how frightening for them! Checked with a friend whose older sister and BIL live in the Merrit/Hope areas and they were under evacuation alert to be ready to leave at a moment’s notice so I will check back with her today to see how they are doing. This morning they were showing how much of the highways and rail lines are washed out or in need of major repair and how this will once again affect the supply chain further east as so much comes out of the port of Vancouver – what a nightmare! Stay safe everyone.

    1. I was completely exhausted at the end of each day! Still, I’m so glad to have the things gone and to have made some money in the process!

  40. I accepted some rice and trail mix from my mother in law.

    I’ve been using up lots of odds and ends in the pantry, fridge, and freezer.

    We had dinner with our co-op and I made beef vegetable soup. 8 jars of home-canned things from the root cellar, covered with water and seasoned…super easy. I also used home-canned potatoes and made fried potatoes. They were really quick and turned out great!

    I’m trying to make it a habit to go to Food Lion after church on Sundays. Their prices are usually quite high, but I’ve discovered that on Sunday mornings they consistently have a large amount of meat markdowns. This week it was mostly pork. We’re not picky, though. We’ll eat whatever is inexpensive. I also bought a turkey there for $0.29/lb.. I’ll get a free one from grocery points at Martin’s, too.

  41. It was a pretty quiet week but I was able to get a few things frugal done!
    I picked up just a few items for free this week from couponing: pasta sauce, toilet bowl cleaner, All detergent, single yogurt, snack mix, chapstick and a Starbucks drink.
    Our library hosted World Kindness activities for the kids. They wrote thank you cards, colored pictures, and picked up seeds to sprinkle outside for the birds and squirrels.
    I picked up a few items from my Buy Nothing Group: a brand new Rae Dunn cookie jar I will gift to my parents for Christmas, a few clothing pieces in my youngest daughter’s size, a few pairs of shoes in both girl’s sizes, and some great classic books. But my best pickup was a lot of shoes in my size. I was very excited for two pairs of Brooks running shoes that looked hardly worn. I also kept a pair of sandals and booties and donated back the rest. All of my shoes were looking pitiful so this along with a pair of boots I picked up at Kohls for $9 using a credit have really updated my wardrobe!
    I received quotes for hanging lights and called my sister to discuss an alternative since the price is not within my budget this year. I have two bins of Christmas items I picked up in the summer from my BN group and they have extra large ornaments in them. We came up with decorating the Magnolia tree out front using the ornaments, using the net lighting I already have on the holly trees that anchor each side of the house and purchasing a new lighted wreath for the front door. So using items I have on hand and spending way less on a new wreath than having lights hung.

    1. I saw people here asking for quotes on hanging lights. They were saying it’s an average of $1700!

      My husband does not like getting up on the roof to hang lights. We decided years ago to do lights on the plants and no more lights on the house. He was relieved and the children have taken turns doing the lights in the front yard. He doesn’t risk getting hurt while up on the roof nor damaging the clay tiles. I like the new lights in the garden even better! I think you will like yours too.

    2. We had a house with 3 story roof at one of our earlier homes. I could put wreaths in the windows from inside. We put lights on the bushes. We got spotlights to shine on the house and illuminate it. We put it all on a timer so it would go off at night and we wouldn’t forget.

  42. I’d call that a successful garage sale, Brandy!

    We are still quite warm here (highs in the 80s), so have had to go back to running the air conditioner. We did cool down for a few days (highs in the 60s), so were able to enjoy a few days of windows and fresh air and electricity savings, which was very nice. We are supposed to cool down later this week. I hope it lasts, I would very much appreciate a cool Thanksgiving!

    We cooked and ate most meals at home. Last week was our 21st wedding anniversary – we cooked dinner at home and exchanged cards. We had already purchased a couple of items for the house as gifts. I bought 2 pork butt roasts on sale for .87 cents/lb. I cooked one last Wednesday in the slow cooker, and we ate it for several meals. The other one went into my freezer for a later date. I bought Cool Whip on sale for .39 cents (for Thanksgiving with pie), and shredded cheese for .99 cents. I bought a beef pot roast on 50% off clearance, and put it in the freezer. It is not very large, but will be enough for a dinner for us. I bought fresh mozzarella on 50% off markdown. I received a free lunch at work one day. I did a Target pickup order for a few needed items – this saves me money because I’m not wandering around in the store picking up all the cute things I don’t need. I bought ingredients to make pumpkin bread and 16-bean soup. I baked a loaf of banana bread in my bread machine to avoid throwing out bananas before they went bad. We went to an estate sale and I found several items – a nice pie plate (which I needed) that matches some other French casserole dishes we own, a couple of replacement dinner plates that match our pattern, and an antique Dazey butter churn. I am very excited about the butter churn – I’ve wanted one for several years, but they always seem to be very expensive or missing parts. This one was complete, in good condition, and very affordable! We are using it as decor, although I suppose I could make butter in it if the need arises. I received a nice French copper egg white bowl off my local Freecycle group. We had one years ago and at some point over the years it was lost or given away, so have been on the lookout for one. The one I received is heavyweight and much nicer than the one we had before, so that was a nice surprise. My husband found a nice Pendleton coat at another estate sale. I received several items free in exchange for evaluation and review (I am a product tester/reviewer for TryIt Sampling) : a food processor and accessories, 2 coupons for free grocery items, and some hair products. My husband received an unexpected holiday bonus at work. I received a free replacement part for our vacuum cleaner. I did my manicure at home.

    I hope everyone has a wonderful week!

  43. I do not envy you all the work for the yard sale, Brandy! I shoudl do it, but it’s too exhausting, as you know!Your photos of roses are lovely!
    We had such a pleasant time at last week’s plant sale that we had another one this Sunday. We didn’t sell as many plants but for the 2 days we took in $300. We make our own compost and pick up discarded pots, so all the input was labor. The worst part is putting out the signs!
    We met more neighbors and had some good conversations and ate our lunch out on the driveway!
    We found a nice, and large wire basket that we can use to put our dish towels in in the kitchen. We got a new landline/answering machine phone at the thrift store, some books, a pair of prescription glasses with nice frames for $3 (when I need new lenses, I’ll use those frames), and a silk/cashmere knot top for $4.
    While we were north we visited a nursery with unusual edibles and spent a bunch on 3 Kaffir potato plants, Roselle, Hibiscus Manihot and Sissoo spinach, and a dwarf plantain for the food forest. The plant sale covered it and more!
    Now I have to dig out a bunch of ferns, give them away on CraigsList and enlarge the food forest.

    Have a great week, all and thank you, Brandy for all the work on this blog.

    1. I am so excited to finally be growing roselle! I have wanted to grow it for years.

      Your plant sale sounds wonderful! I have thought about doing one before. Perhaps I will in the future.

      1. I really like the False Roselle, Brandy. The flowers & leaves make a nice drink and the leaves are great in salads. It self-seeds, too. I think it’s easier than the True Roselle, and the deep red/purple leaves are a standout in the garden

      2. Your comment reminds me–didn’t you take hundreds of cuttings of boxwood? What was your success rate? I have never done cuttings on a large scale, but I’ve had better overall luck with semi-hardwood cuttings, even though softwood cuttings root easier. I also have better luck if I root them in the ground, vs. pots, although I usually plant them where I can keep an eye on them and transplant later when/if they “take.” After several unsuccessful tries over the years, I finally got a forsythia to root for me–two, in fact! When I moved them to their permanent location, I bunched them together to make one bigger plant.

        1. Not one of them rooted. This time I am trying in the ground on drip irrigation. If at first you don’t succeed . . .

          1. Brandy, I think putting them in the ground where they get enough water and you can keep an eye on them will make a difference for you. Also, if they are either just a stick, or have a very few leaves (remove some if you have to), seems to make a difference…they don’t have so much top growth to support. Finally, if you did them all at once, try a combination of softwood, semi-hardwood (worked best for me, but I’m not you) and hardwood cuttings. One type may work better for you than another.

          2. We had a lot of boxwoods at our old house, planted by the previous owner. They were difficult and very finicky, although some of the much older ones grew well. We thought all the difficulties were just our lack of knowledge or proper care until we read an article in Martha Stewart Living magazine where Martha said she disliked boxwoods because they were so difficult to grow and transplant! At that point we figured if Martha Stewart struggles with it, maybe we should try another shrub. Haha.

            1. I am trying to propagate euyonomus. It does better here than boxwood. It grows faster and can handle the full sun without burning in the summer.

  44. I’ve been getting a few items for Thanksgiving dinner with my pick up each week to spread out the cost. This week, I finished up with potatoes, celery and cranberries. We are staying home for Thanksgiving with just my daughter’s little family coming. She and I are splitting the dinner, so it will be less work for me. Yay!

    My husband used his new power washer that he got for “free” with reward points from work and it worked great. He was excited. He still had oodles of points so I encouraged him to choose something fun for himself. He chose an Oculus virtual reality game. It hasn’t come yet, but he is looking forward to it.

    I bought the last gift card for the gifts today, so all that can be purchased has been. Still working every day on what I’m making. I needed some more fabric for the book pocket pillows I’m making for our four grandchildren. Utilizing sales and coupons at Joann’s I purchased all that on Monday with a great savings! I said a prayer and drove to the store…I have to use the scooter and they have one which is so nice, but if someone else is using it, I can’t shop. Thankfully it was there! It was a joy to pick out the fabric in person and not order it online. Counting my blessings!

    My mother in law is now wheelchair bound (broke her hip/severe dementia). Her new memory care is chilly, plus she has lost so much weight…so she is cold. I’m crocheting her a shawl that will work with her wheelchair. I found yard usually 8.99 on sale for 3.99 and then got 20% off the whole order. Score! I found a simple pattern for free online and it should only take a couple days to stitch up. I’m glad I can help in this small way.

    Meals at home have been homemade pizza on naan, bbq pork sandwiches with coleslaw with homemade dressing, soup, and leftovers.

    Hope everyone has a great week. Thankful for all of you!

  45. Congratulations on the great garage sale! Burying kitchen scraps is such a good idea. I need some kind of container to put things like that in. Today we turned in some bottles for the deposit when we ran some errands. I bought some more Fuji apples for 79 cents a pound and a small jicama at the fruit stand. I go there usually once a week and stock up on discount produce. I budget about $25 per week for fresh things there. I supplement that with what is on sale at Kroger’s. This week I got 10-pounds of potatoes for $.20 per pound, some grapes for $1.88 per pound, and two cartons of a nice locally made vanilla ice cream for Thanksgiving dinner for $.97 per carton at Kroger’s. I used a coupon for salad dressing that we were out of. I need to find a good recipe to make that. We had to go to the city twice for appointments this week, so I checked Craigslist a couple of days before, looking for some household items we would like to have. It worked out that we stopped and bought a brass chandelier for $20 for our bedroom and two matching maple gliding chairs for $80 the living room. Both were shown in the people’s garages with the doors open. We did have to wait an hour for utility crews to repair a power line that was brought down when a tree fell on the road bringing the power line with it just before we arrived at the scene. We were just glad the tree didn’t fall on anybody. It is nice to replace the hideous light fixture we installed years ago because it was something we happened to have. It’s considered “vintage” now, I think. Maybe it will be someone else’s style. The seller also gave us a half a paper bag full of light bulbs for free–so nice. We also accidentally (I forget to use Gas Buddy) found a gas station with gas for $.45 a gallon less that the lowest price at home. That was a blessing. We were wishing we had thrown in some gas cans before we left home. We need to keep a little gas on hand in case we have a major power outage. In 2007 we were without power for five days (I still feel traumatized), and most of the gas stations couldn’t pump gas with no electricity. The two within 100 miles that could pump, because they had huge generators, had very long lines. The power outages are why I have been concerned with being able to stay warm without heat in the house. I still have not solved that problem yet. I keep remembering the news story about a man dying in his bed in Texas when they had that really cold weather. We had some flooding this week, and our road was closed, but there were no slides to block roads, and we didn’t lose power. Oh, the other things I found at the thrift store were three lengths of fabric suitable for skirts for granddaughters for about $3 a yard. They are really into skirts right now. I also found a box of four Kreb glass ball Christmas ornaments with snowmen on them for $1.99. I think our granddaughters will like them. They like to decorate. I worked on my goal to learn to sew better by watching free videos on YouTube and my discounted subscription to Craftsy. I need to set up a sewing area and actually practice sewing, but I can seem to figure out what to do space wise. I suppose that sounds odd.

    1. It is helpful to have a designated sewing area. Do you have a dining room table that isn’t used much? I know some people use that option.

        1. That sounds like a good idea. I could shut the door on it when I’m done. I have only one eating table; that is what I have used in the past, but I procrastinate; I don’t want to get it out and put it away. I just need a flat surface with maybe a light. I also feel I have to have all my other work done before I can do something like sewing. But really no one cares but me. Maybe planning to start with a really small project to get started would be good. There are some really cute potholders by Minki Kim on YouTube that use some scraps.

  46. Some small things from me…
    Before throwing away old socks, I cut off the elastic part – it´s a great hairband.
    I use empty toilet paper rolls in kitchen, when I need to scratch off smth from teflon pans before washing – their edges are good for scraping.

  47. Always check your apps for rewards. Was at a chicken strip restaurant picking up a small sandwich and fries as treat for my niece who was home sick. I don’t usually buy a separate order of fries but that’s what she wanted. Was placing the order via app and decided to check if I had any rewards, I was hoping for a .69 cookie. But instead you could get a free $5 sandwich with any order of French fries. So I got a $5 sandwich for free with some fries I was buying already. It was really good and was so big it could have been shareable. Plus niece was happy with her afternoon treat.
    Also I love flash cards, local liquidation store had some from $-spot at 🎯 for 90% off plus another 10% off for senior day. Bought 2 of every variety for 2 young nephews and another set to donate to Little Free Library. Lots of fun and educational topics.
    I do not like turkey and have never purchased one in my life. Last time I was in grocery three complete strangers were having very heated discussion over best prices in our little 3 grocery store town. I thought boy turkey prices must really be something if strangers are discussing prices while grocery shopping. Odd things I’m seeing shortage of are Keebler Wedding Cookies in the pink box and Lance Captain Wafers which are our favorite crackers. Friend from TX mentioned she was unable to find Rice Krispies in all the stores she went to in Houston TX. But I think that is directly related to a nationwide strike at cereal factories. So I started looking here in MS and sure enough no name-brand Rice Krispies.

  48. I re-read a book I own “40 over 40” by Brenda Kinsel. It´s about dressing and dressing well even when you are middle aged and losing courage. It´s an inspiration; I borrowed it once and then bought a copy. It helps save money and only wear what you love.

    1. Brenda Kinsel’s blog was wonderful; she seemed like such a nice person. Although she died a while ago, you can still look at her posts. I find them interesting. I wish our library had her books so I could see if I want to get them.

  49. We were able to find a turkey for 33 cents a pound. We have 12 people coming for Thanksgiving so we are very thankful for the turkey at such a good price.
    Took advantage of Black Friday sales. I saved $35 on an outfit for one of our granddaughters. We always gift our grandchildren with a book for Christmas. I took advantage of Amazon’s book deal of buy 3 for the price of 2 books.
    My company provided a delicious lunch for everyone in our office including dessert.
    I am very thankful that my health insurance through work has not increased for the coming year. This is the first time in my 10 years with the company that this has ever happened.
    My husband with the help of a young mechanic friend replaced the brake pads on my husband’s truck saving us the cost of labor.
    I wiped down the kitchen cupboards and organized the refrigerator.

  50. We combined errands. Charlotte our dog to the vet after we got blood work since they are close together and over an hour away from us (health ins not accepted where we moved to but since we will go to Medicare in 2 yrs did not want to change twice). Vet gave did annual shots and 3 yr rabies. I forgot the Aldi’s coupon for $5 off $30 so we did not stop. I do not need anything but would have got butter and sugar.
    We have ate leftovers combined with what I harvested from the gardens.
    We got 2 dozen eggs for free from Amish neighbor.
    We finished harvesting apples from the one tree, we had offered them to Amish neighbor, they got what they wanted and told us they would continue to pick up the ones on the ground for deer bait but didn’t want any more. I got 15 gals of apples to deal with now. The local cider press has already closed down 🙁
    I preordered the prime rib roast for Christmas. Pricey but it’s the only thing Hubby ever asks for that was a tradition on his family (they raised cattle).
    We were talking about giving gift cards but when I mentioned it to the kids and grandkids they said cash is better. No fees and no forgetting they actually have it. A couple of them are now putting any cash they get into their savings.

    I am glad I got our turkey as I was in 3 stores the other day and not one had turkeys and two did not have ham either.
    Blessed Be everyone

  51. I saw several comments about Aldi butter at $1.99/pound.

    I just wanted to add that if you have a Tom Thumb or Albertson’s in your area, this week some areas have butter for .99 cents/pound, limit 2. This may be southern area only (I am in north Texas), but wanted to post it in case anyone else can get the deal.

    They also have pork butt roasts .97 cents/pound and a free turkey with $100 purchase – or .35 cents/pound with a $30 purchase. This is for the week of 11/17-25.

  52. I was able to buy the $1.97 10 pound bag of potatoes at Fred Meyer (Kroger). I baked almost the whole bag. I used those for a baked potato bar dinner with lots of toppings, and my husband has been taking them for lunch to work.

    *My husband is being transferred to a factory 3 minutes from our house. He was commuting over an hour each way. This will save us over $300 a month in gas, and less time on the highway means lower chance of windshield damage. (He is on his third windshield in 3 months.) Our windshield guy mentioned that windshields are quite a bit thinner than they used to be to make the cars lighter and more fuel efficient. That is one of the reasons that so many people are having extensive windshield damage these days. He also gave us some clear protective stickers to put on any dings or cracks as soon as we notice them. This helps prevent them from spreading and keeps them clean so that they can be repaired and the windshield doesn’t have to be replaced. We will definitely use those!!!!

    *Still managing to stay under budget for groceries! Yay! Christmas shopping has been going over budget, so I guess that evens out. I have a lot of young adults in the family to buy for who appreciate gift cards, so no chance to save money on those purchases. (I do get gas extra gas points!) I found some beautiful Sterling Silver jewelry on clearance for gifts at TJ Max and Marshalls. The exact same jewelry was regular price, just in different color boxes. I was able to purchase these for $6.00 to $10.00 each, so that crossed quite a few gifts off my list.

    * A coat that I couldn’t wear for 5 years now fits me again, yay for losing weight. Now, I have a beautiful new winter coat for zero $$$!

    *My mom bought me a tank of gas $46.00 in exchange to driving her around to do her Christmas shopping. That was a blessing!

    *I love reading about what everyone has been cooking each week! Cooking is not my favorite thing, but necessary to stay in budget. I get kitchen burn out, but seeing what everyone has been cooking motivates me and gives me menu ideas. Thank you to everyone who shares that!

    1. Not sure if any places you’d be interested in but periodically Dollar General has gift cards for 15% off. Last time I bought Chili’s, Wendy’s and Cracker Barrel. Not sure if the sale included retail stores or entertainment cards too.

      1. Thanks for sharing this! Unfortunately. there are no Dollar General in my area. That’s a great deal!

  53. The last few weeks have been a bit of a whirlwind…..one of my kittens (they’re four now, not really kittens) pulled her claw out of her paw and had to have a partial toe amputation. Two days later we adopted a guinea pig overnight and gave it to a friend with a guinea pig rescue. It’s been a little expensive with pet costs, but we love them and it’s very worth it to us.

    On the savings front I was able to do the ibotta free Thanksgiving meal at Walmart and get a full rebate. I’m very thankful. We were able to get a 15lb turkey for free as well as several other useful items. I find that ibotta and other savings apps seem to be more generous around the big holidays. It really helps a lot. I am most likely going to look for sales before and after Thanksgiving to try and buy another turkey at a great price and use it now or at Christmas. I find that Costco will deeply discount the day after Thanksgiving, as well as Target. However, Target usually wants you to use their app or something they use to enjoy the savings.

    In other news that is not new, or really financial….I continue to remind myself to be thankful and grateful for my healthy son, how well he does in school, and how kind and helpful he is. I also continue to be grateful for my full time job with great benefits. I think counting our blessings sometimes makes us realize how ‘rich’ we are.

    Thank you for your blog! Hope everyone is having a great week.

  54. Congrats on the yard sale success! They are a huge amount of work but the money after and the freeing feeling of getting rid of the clutter is SO worth the efforts.

    I also gave my husband and one son a haircut. We are in need of new clippers, ours we’ve had years and the motor is wearing out. Time to search for a deal. They are well worth the investment with 3 haircuts every 6 weeks or so for my guys.

    My biggest blessing last week was my father gifting my sister and I each two turkeys and a ham. Our local store had them on sale without a limit and he brought them to each of our families. I had already purchased one so my freezer is very full. I am going to try to get one more on sale to cook and make broth and soup.

    Last year I have to say I really neglected our flower garden beds in the front of our house. So I have been completely removing the contents, weeding, separating iris rhizomes, daffodil bulbs and lilies. It is always exciting to be able to take a single plant and get several in return. My plan is to help use cardboard in between the large rocks in the border, along with mulch to help keep the weeds at bay. I dislike using plastic weed barrier and over time the cardboard and leaf mulch breakdown and feed the soil. Early in the summer I ordered bulbs at a deep discount from a new to me online retailer and the bulbs just arrived. This big bed is mainly shaded so I am going to just try a few tulips in it and see how they do. The rest will be planted in another bed I am working on this week. Once these are finished we will start working on the added in new garden space in the backyard. I truly love your very structured garden, it is beautiful!

    I redeemed $50 worth of reward points for a Home Depot gift card so we can purchase string for our leaf mulcher. We have so many leaves and they breakdown in the soil so much faster while creating a great winter mulch.

    I have been saving any large plastic container to make mini cloches out of from my fall/winter garden once the temps dipped low. I placed as many as I could over Asian greens that were still on the small side for our first couple of nights with freezing temps. Then we went back up to 70s for a few days. Tonight we are back to the upper 20s. When I placed them back on the plants in preparation for the freeze tonight, I couldn’t believe how much bigger these seedlings were that I had cloches on. They are almost 3x the size of the others. I am mulching today and covering all my lettuces to hopefully keep them going longer into winter.

    Due to our family’s autoimmune illnesses, we have been staying out of stores and ordering grocery pick-ups, so I haven’t been into a grocery store in quite a while. I made a trip to Aldi, because I was quite low on so many things I purchase there (2 hour trip) and I was shocked how many things were out of stock or extremely low on the shelves. I can’t imagine what it looks like if someone were to shop after work. I was able to purchase many of the items I went for and was very happy.

    I have been working on our cottage garden plans for next year and am so excited looking at how beautifully your pictures are each week. Ours will not be as formal as your garden, but it is still exciting to plan and draft beautiful garden plans.

  55. I have continued to be blessed by the Buy Nothing group this week. I have received three sweaters, a tshirt, some books for my husband, a new eyeshadow palette and some beauty and laundry samples. Even though we have seen our first snowfall, the weather warmed up and we were able to get the last of the leaves chopped up or raked. My mom has not been feeling well so I have been using her car this week. It saves us on gas costs and gives her car some use. We have finished our Christmas shopping so we will not be out as much in the coming week as things get busier.

    I hope everyone is having a lovely week. My thoughts are with those on the west coast suffering such devastating flooding.

  56. I had a cold last week and so I stayed home for nearly 14 days without going anywhere at all. Great savings in that!
    I managed to add two more Christmas gifts to my stash. I have three more to buy for, two more I’d like to add something to their gifts and then I’m done. I will send my daughter that lives far far north a money order for her and her family to use as they choose. Postage is so much these days that I can’t really afford to send gifts to them as I did once upon a time. I dislike giving money but it’s the best route for us at this time.
    Received notice that the house in town’s insurance was being dropped at end of year. I had to find a replacement policy which ended being twice what I’d previously insured the house for. I had enough set aside to renew the old policy but wasn’t prepared for a 100% increase. I’ve opted to pay this monthly, as it is less a drain on my bank account, especially since it seems that everything is coming due in December/early January.
    I need to buy two items for Thanksgiving dinner which I’ll pick up tomorrow when we’re already in town anyway.
    I emptied all my spent flower pots soil into the shed bed. This will be a good addition to that sandier area of soil and hopefully will improve yield next year for flowers. I’ve also been watching a space between the two sheds and have told my husband that is our garden spot. We have a lot of land but we have nothing to work with to cultivate it but this space will be compact and easy to work on I think. I plan to put in raised beds there. I shall start trying to gather materials.
    I love the idea of a soup/pasta/meatless dish three times a week to stretch my resources here at home. I shall try to incorporate that starting this next week!
    For months now I’ve been having homemade pizza on Saturdays. We almost always have enough left to make up lunch at least once and sometimes twice during the week. We don’t have take out or delivery options here (never have) and I find I can make a pizza from scratch in about two hours including letting dough rise, etc.

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