I sowed seeds in the garden for spinach, sorrel, lettuce, mache, green onions, artichokes, snow peas, cilantro, and parsley.

With rapidly rising food prices across the world, homegrown produce will be worth even more by the time it is ready for harvest, and is a good investment of funds that should yield a higher rate of return than most things right now. In Greece, vegetables went up 13.34% since January and fruit has gone up 9.52%. Due to too much rain destroying crops, pork is now cheaper than many vegetables in parts of China. In Turkey, prices have become so high that grocers report selling only bread, pasta, and eggs to people, as anything else is too expensive.

Wherever you are in the world, prices are going up. If you can grow more in your garden by making some changes (adding beds, growing vertically, planting fruit trees), I encourage you to do so.

Spirit of Freedom Rose

I harvested basil, Swiss chard, lemon verbena, and stevia from the garden. I am drying the lemon verbena and hibiscus to make herbal teas. I used lemon verbena and stevia in herbal teas (tisanes) in the morning.

I buried kitchen scraps and shredded paper in the garden to improve the soil and feed the worms.

I gave one son and my husband haircuts.

I mended two towels.

I hemmed a pair of pants for my husband.

My husband went to Winco for me while I painted one afternoon, and they were having their annual sale where if you spend $100 you can get a free turkey. He called me to see what else we might need from our regular list so that we could reach $100. He brought home a free 23-pound turkey, which I cooked this week.

Our meals this week included a frittata with Swiss chard from the garden, taco soup, roasted chicken with scalloped potatoes and petite peas, a baked half-sheet pan pancake, spaghetti, hot dogs with potato salad and green salad, turkey enchiladas with green beans, pumpkin bread and banana bread with milk and smoothies (using peaches grown from our garden) and toast, and bean and rice burritos.

I have been wanting to buy curtains for the living room for many years. We used a pair on the large window for many years that were given to us by someone who was moving, but I really need curtains for the whole wall in the cooler months when the angle of the sun changes and the sun comes further into the house. Following the advice of a blogger who has made over at least 5 houses since I have been reading her blog, I bought curtains on Amazon from Half-Price Drapes for a lot less than I had seen elsewhere.

As our windows are a custom size, I will need to hem them. I plan to hem them this week.

My husband and I had an at-home date. We had lunch outside in the garden while the children ate their lunch inside.

I combined errands to save gas and time.

What did you do to save money last week?

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118 Comments

  1. Our Kroger had turkeys at $0.59/lb, with an additional $25 spend.
    One of my ‘additional’ spend items was a marked-down spiral ham @ $1.19/lb! (Sell-by date of Dec 25th).

    That Kroger also had medium eggs marked down to $0.35/dozen. I bought 5 dozen … should have bought more!

    Wondering if you were able to get your 12 turkeys for the freezer this year.

    1. I am going to try to get two this year.

      We still have a bunch in the freezer from last year so I will use those up.

      We are eating a lot of salads, beans, and soups now.

  2. Hello from Colorado Springs! We have been here since Friday! Prior to that, we were busy at home in Ohio.

    This week in Ohio was colder but Wednesday was actually 62 degrees so we planned it carefully to finish outside projects. Hubs re-leveled bricks from our side yard walkway so that there weren’t “dips” or low spots where rain water would stand or ice over creating a fall hazard. https://pin.it/4XMtuAB.
    There is also a special type of sand that is made to go between paver bricks that forms a more solid bond that deters weeds. I poured and swept that over all the patio pavers we put in this summer as well as the brick paver walkway. https://pin.it/3rppN5T.

    We also built the “deadman” bracing to support the gazebo roof from the weight of winter snow using a 20 foot 2×4 that our neighbors across the alley put up against our fence. They always do that when they have something they no longer need that they think we might have a use for. They are SO thoughtful!! We cut it into several pieces to make a really sturdy brace and still have about 6 foot left to use for another project! https://pin.it/7n9M5YK. The gazebo was also large enough inside to store all of our outdoor yard furniture over the winter! So that was an extra win!! 🎉

    I bought our Thanksgiving Turkey (21 pounds) and have it thawing in my fridge.

    We got a call on Thursday from our daughter-in-law in Colorado asking for opinion on some fix-it projects that she is trying to do prior to listing their house for sale right after Thanksgiving. Our Army son, will finish his assignment in Korea and get home a week before Christmas and then will be transferred to next 3 year assignment near Tacoma, WA on Jan 7. In between selling house, Christmas, packing and moving, he will be driving their daughter to BYU-I right after Christmas! So our DIL is feeling pressured as she paints the entire inside of the house. The DW broke and had to be replaced. Water leaked down into basement. There still may be a leak. She needed to replace laminate countertops because there were some places it had chipped off. She could buy the laminate countertops but neither Lowe’s or HD would install because they only contract out to install granite or marble. So she didn’t know if she could find someone experienced that she could hire to do it. So close to holidays, it was looking dismal and after all the work she had done already, she was hitting the wall. Hubs and I came to same conclusion and 12 hours later we were on a plane from OH to CO to come and help her. We got in on Friday morning. I will come home tomorrow (Tuesday) but Hubs will stay until Nov 30. So since Friday, we have been painting and doing fix-it jobs. This morning (Monday ), the new DW was installed. Now Hubs is taking out old counters and replacing them with new. https://pin.it/4qCkrvY

    How grateful we are that by being frugal over the years, that we could change our plans and book a flight cross country to help! On a frugal note, Hubs return flight from Colorado Springs to Columbus Ohio only cost $149!!!! There’s no way we could have driven our car there for that amount of money (gas prices, lodging, food on the way, etc!)

    Our youngest son is housesitting to tend to the chickens before he goes to work and after he’s back! BTW- he’s loving his new job!

    When I get back on Tuesday, I’ll finish quilting #207 which is one of my own lap quilts – https://pin.it/7rBcvqC. Already #208- a client quilt has come in and another client is bring #209 and #210 the day after I get back! Plus another king size quilt is coming in for another returning client this week also!! That wil be #211!!

    This will be the first Thanksgiving that Hubs and I have been apart but I’m so glad he can be there for the harder, more skilled tasks to get done in CO and I can still host Thanksgiving here for a couple of our kids who were at loose ends.

    Thanksgiving is a time for family and gratefulness and that will be uppermost in our hearts this year! Hope everyone has a wonderful holiday filled with peace and love! Thanks again, Brandy and all who truly inspire me to stretch and expand my knowledge and skills to make our home better!

    Gardenpat in Ohio
    HandmadeinOldeTowne.com

  3. I saved on groceries by shopping sales at our Kroger affiliate. There wasn’t much that was a good deal this week but we got butter for 1.77 a pound and post cereal for 1.79 a box. My husband eats cereal for breakfast because it’s quick and easy. I’m trying to switch him to oatmeal but with no luck so far. He works hard so I try not to begrudge him his food. He may switch though if he loses his job at the end of the year. We’re waiting to see what happens. But for now we have plenty of cereal.

    We turned down the thermostat by one degree. We have a gas furnace and I’ve heard that gas is going to go up by 50% this winter so we are trying to save as much as we can. I’d like to keep it on 65 but that’s pretty cold for me. Maybe we’ll lower it a degree at a time so that we can acclimate gradually. Maybe I’m just a wuss. Lol. Everything helps though.

    1. It depends on where you live. Here, the gas company said it was going to only go up 4%, but the news across the U.S. says 50%.

      If you are going to go colder, I suggest:

      fleece sheets and blankets
      fleece pajamas
      rice bags that you heat up to keep you warm while you are sitting or sleeping
      thick wool socks
      lots of layers

      65 is cold for me but several readers keep it at 55 in colder climates.

      Try making granola for your husband if he like that. Oats are cheap, though; we were discussing them today here. Only some of my children will eat oatmeal.

      1. Keep a pot of water on the stove on a very low simmer. I find that does more to warm the air than anything. I went down 2 degrees last night because our heat pump was running non-stop when temperatures went below freezing.

    2. If you can , turn the fan on the furnace from Auto to on, it will help. Our furnace guy and Son2’s furnace company are suggesting it with the price of gas going up… ours said 30% increase. Your electric will go up but if like ours, the gas is a lot more expensive that the electric. Still was cheaper doing that and we were actually warmer at a lower temperature.

  4. I am finishing up closing on my parents’ home. I will be bringing home cleaning supplies and a few other items. I guess I am being frugal by not taking things I do not want or need.
    Um– I cleaned the road salt off my car windows with handfuls of clean snow. My squeegee technique is poor, and this worked well and was free.
    Looking forward to reading other people’s accomplishments this week, however large or small they may seem!

  5. Brandy, It sounds like many delicious meals were prepared at your house this week! I have not yet started looking for a turkey for Xmas -but hopefully one will be available at a reasonable price. Glad you were able to get one for free with your shopping. I noticed on the news the other night that there is a discount wholesale produce market that I will visit and check their pricing-once the roads are open in BC and the supply chain is back to normal. I am definitely noticing shortages of some items-mushrooms being one of them. I just assumed they were grown in province-and perhaps some are but… Apparently they are also predicting a shortage of live Xmas trees here. We are still having a milder than usual fall here which is a true blessing-it was 13 C today.

    My dear childhood friend emailed me with pics of two quilts she had made and asked me to choose one. I did not have to be told twice and they were both quite lovely. I will think of her whenever I use the quilt. It should arrive in the next couple of weeks. I was trying to think of how I could reciprocate her kindness-I do have some airline credits to use so perhaps I will ask if she would like to come for a visit next year.

    My DH had his 3 month surgical follow up after hip repair and all is well-he is a happy camper these days-and that is priceless

  6. I received so many great gifted treasures from my local Buy Nothing Group: spray paints, face masks, scented wax melts, snowman tin, to go mug, reusable straws, ornaments, vintage bowls!!! I just love this group- it’s fun to see people enjoy things I’m happy to pass along and it’s just a fun, like minded community.

    other frugals this week:
    * cut my husband’s hair
    * had a fun frugal day with one of my daughters picking up free library craft kits and books then playing with puppies at the pet store
    * cooked a sale turkey then made turkey noodle soup (plus bone broth), also made cranberry sauce for the first time (thanks to Margaret for the recipe- it’s delicious!)
    * lots of Ibotta rebates, submitted receipts to Fetch rewards, took surveys for Amazon gift cards
    * picked up discounted meat at grocery store and froze when got home
    * my mom made me soup when I visited and sent me home with muffins and a beautiful Polish Pottery baking dish

    Hope all who celebrate Thanksgiving have a happy and safe holiday! Wishing everyone a frugal week 😊

      1. Yes super easy! It’s a keeper for sure- and I’m all about adding Vitamin C especially this time of year! Thanks again ☺️

  7. My husband has been cutting the fire burned trees. Our elderly neighbor likes to use small pieces, so we set aside these, and helped him load them when he came to pick them up. He brought us a few sweet potatoes and three bags of dried cranberries as a thank you. We allowed another neighbor to pick up all the pine trees, which he intends to use for lumber. Though not frugal for us, being neighborly has it’s own rewards. We moved a large pile of split wood under the woodshed. The last round of tiny squash and eggplant were used in a pasta sauce, with our tomatoes, garlic, onions and herbs. I pulled 6 gallon bags of vegi bits from the freezer, throughout the week, made broth on the woodstove, and canned it all on Saturday. Lettuce, collards, rosemary and a few hickory nuts have been gathered. I made mushroom gravy to go with our potatoes, a comforting dish I love this time of year. A jar of our butter beans and a salad rounded out the meal. My husband dumped the soil in the garden when emptying some containers in late summer, not realizing there were some parsley among the spent plants. One that had grown enough was found last week, and transplanted to a container bed. After around a month of no eggs, due to molting, one of the hens has started laying again. Wishing everyone a happy Thanksgiving! http://abelabodycare.blogspot.com/2021/11/wood-working-frugal-accomplishments.html

  8. I wanted a turkey after I read it could be safely roasted from freezing but I get my groceries delivered from Kroger usually using Instacart and after I had my cart almost complete, I realized that Instacart did not discount the turkeys. I was not in a mood to spend another hour recreating my list directly at Kroger.com. So I skipped the turkey. The freezer is full anyway.

    Trigger warning: This paragraph is about pest control. I have not been thrifty lately. I tried convincing a critter (raccoon?) that the attic over the living room is a dangerous place. So I played owl and rattlesnake recordings from Youtube and pounded on the wall and added two new ultrasonic pest chasers to that part of the house. So the critter left and went to the furthest corner of the house–The attic over my bed. Ugh. I played the same recordings in my room and the noises ceased. Later that night, I woke up to coyotes howling between our house and the next. If the penthouse resident is a squirrel, I can put a baited kill trap in the garage and dislodge a ceiling tile so the critter can easily access it. And if it is a raccoon, I can do the same thing with a live trap. But I have NO idea how to humanely euthanize any raccoon I might catch. The local vet dispatches pet dogs and cats at home. But I don’t know if she’d do it for a raccoon. I don’t know people locally who have handguns and I think our neighbors are so close (acre lots) that I’d have to have their permission for somebody to shoot it. We have woods edging mom’s yard so finding a final resting place is easy. I’m carless right now which complicates matters. If I could release it in a local park I would arrange to do that, but that is illegal. I have not heard any noises today so I am hoping the noisy coyotes had a feast last night. Tomorrow I get two outdoor battery-operated ultrasonic pest chasers. The solar-powered ones won’t work well where they are most needed. I will be spraying peppermint spray and put out mothballs in the garage. Bat eviction is $2000+ around here so I totally freaked at the potential cost of raccoon eviction. I have since learned that it tends to be cheaper but can easily end up over $1000. I hope the critter exploring the upstairs finds a different place to spend the winter. I’m trying to make the attic appear to be in a very unsafe, noisy, smelly neighborhood. We need the vents better sealed but I was hoping to get a number of things done as one package in the spring.

    One trapper wanted over $200 to remove a dead deer one year. I fortuitously found the contractor who picks up roadkill in our county for the county and they only charged $80 or $85. The next time I needed two deer removed (dumb deer, heavily trafficked road) in the winter again I posted my need in a local Facebook group and got volunteers. I obviously liked that price.

    I hope you all stay healthy, warm, safe, and dry.

      1. We will, one way or another. For a while, I intend to be as much of a pest as humanly possible to convince the pest to move on. I’ve been scolded by it when I started banging on the wall so I am learning how to push its buttons.
        One sister said when she had a raccoon nesting in her chimney, they were told by DNR wildlife experts to put a boom box in the fireplace and blast rock. Having had a supersized Brady Bunch of a family because she, mother of four, married the father of five knowing they’d eventually have 8 teens under their roof, my sister had easy access to a boom box. I don’t. But I do have a TV and easy access to drumming videos on Youtube. I played them at maximum volume for over an hour today while the raccoon had hoped to be sleeping (and I was NOT in the living room). I decided to return the live trap and fortunately looked out the window when the UPS helper was walking back to the truck with two packages meant for Goodwill and not the trap. I quickly opened the front door, pointed to the actual return, which the driver picked up. I was glad to have the opportunity to thank him for all the deliveries he makes.
        Addendum to frugal doings: I bought myself a $29 13-piece set of stainless pots and pans from Macys.com supposedly valued at $119. I was amazed at how nice they seem to be for the price. This is just the second set I’ve bought in my life. And based on the mismatched pots and pans in mom’s kitchen now, I don’t think she ever bought a matching set. We have one in her kitchen now.

    1. So sorry to hear of your rodent problems!
      You might throw some smelly dryer sheets around as well as the mothballs.

    2. Do you have local animal control people in your area? I don’t believe it costs anything to get them to come get it once you catch it. My husband is a hunter and we’ve only used venison instead of beef for 9 years. Roadkill deer is great free meat if you don’t mind it;)

  9. We are back from our vacation and, as you can imagine, have nothing frugal to report about THAT.

    The first thing I did when we got home was to move last year’s turkey from the freezer to the fridge to thaw. I intended to buy a turkey this week for the freezer. The best turkey deal here was .57 lb. with $50 purchase at Safeway/Albertson’s. Winco has the free turkey with $100 purchase, but I didn’t need $100 worth of groceries and their other prices were higher than the Safeway loss leaders. I normally shop at Safeway only once or twice a year because their prices are so high.

    Near the end of last week (when most people have already read the blog and comments) I asked Brandy for tips on deboning turkeys. This is the food job I hate the most, and I figured her method must be easier than mine since she cooks so many turkeys at once. I know most of us will be deboning at least one turkey this week. In case you missed it, here is her response: “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.”

    Now here is my tip: Cook the turkey bones for soup and use some of the broth to make extra gravy for leftovers. Use the broth with flour and water thickening to make the gravy. This is way better than powdered gravy mix, way cheaper and it freezes well, too. My mom always did this after Thanksgiving.

    Happy Thanksgiving to all!

    1. May secret to deboning poultry is food handler gloves.

      I get them at Sam s club …. Box of 2000 for about $11

      I use them for is of messy/germy jobs

  10. My SIL just found out she has COVID, so I am unexpectedly hosting Thanksgiving for those who were not exposed (my family, my MIL, and my niece and her husband). Due to shopping loss leaders, I have almost everything I need already and will just need to pick up potatoes and items to make a couple pumpkin pies. My son is moving this week to our small home where his sister started out. We have been able to give him most of his needed items and a good supply for food for awhile. My mom, who will be his neighbor, is so happy he is going to be beside her, and she wants to help him get started, so she has canned him some brown beans (pinto beans for most people) and chocolate syrup and plans to can him some vegetable soup. It is nice for her to help him, and it gives her a lot of joy. I have been making homemade sweet tea to drink a lot more than usual, which is nice and inexpensive. We bought a couple strands of solar powered lights and two sets of solar snowflake lights, but other than that we are decorating with items we own. My mother’s gift will be 25 preowned books, wrapped individually so that she has a present to open every day. Other than that, we haven’t gone anywhere other than to visit with family or to scope out where my “menfolk” are hunting. I’m on vacation this week, but I am enjoying my time at home.

  11. I love that you model for your children investing in your relationship! Plus it would have been fun for your kids to have a ‘no adults’ meal!

    My frugal week:
    – I made homemade peppermint hot chocolate mix, using milk powder, cocoa, sugar, and peppermint candies (https://approachingfood.com/easy-peppermint-hot-chocolate-mix/)
    – one frugal meal that i make every week is pizza. I make my own super-easy crust (https://approachingfood.com/easiest-pizza-dough-ever/), use canned or jarred spaghetti sauce as pizza sauce (I use a few tbsp and freeze the rest), buy block cheese on sale and grate and freeze it to have handy, and then whatever additional toppings we want. My husband usually wants ham (I keep chopped ham in the freezer to pull out a bit at a time) and pineapple and I like homegrown basil. So easy to throw together, and so inexpensive!
    – my husband brought home a unopened bottle of maple syrup from his workplace. Apparently as they are reopening, they’re clearing out the kitchen there. It’s just past its bb date, but is absolutely fine. Yum!
    – I always keep an eye out for Walmart photocentre specials. For one day, there was a custom 100 piece puzzle available for $5, usually $17. I ordered it as a stocking stuffer for my husband! 
    – I made coloured rice for sensory play for my daughter using some rice that had gone stale, and ‘moon sand’ using some stale flour. I’m usually very good about rotating my pantry, but due to switching households numerous times due to the pandemic, a few containers got overlooked. This way, even if we can’t eat it, I’m getting some use out of it!
    – I made chai tea and scalloped potatoes using powdered milk, to stretch my fresh milk. 
    – I made chocolate syrup, then after pouring it into a jar, poured milk into the pan and swirled it in the dregs, making chocolate milk and ensuring no chocolate syrup was wasted!
    – I combined a gc given to my daughter with a bogo offer to get two litres of soft serve, twice (once using a paper coupon, and once using a digital coupon) with no money oop. My whole family is enjoying the ice cream with the homemade chocolate syrup!
    – I purchased 20 photobooks to send to relatives for $100 using a promo code, saving $140! 
    – I made gingerbread playdough for my daughter 

    Looking forward to learning from everyone else as always!

    1. Hi Margaret! I love the recipes you posted. Would you be willing to share the one you use for homemade chocolate syrup? Thanks so much!

        1. I am going to try it too. We had some with cake and ice cream on DHs birthday. DS now wants ice cream and syrup for a change. We hadn’t bought syrup for a long time.

  12. My modem stopped working and getting a new one didn’t help so I’m typing this on my phone.  Apologies in advance for the typos I don’t catch. I can’t wait until the repair person gets here on Wednesday!

    I saved $30 on my electric bill by voting in my electric co-op’s annual Board of Directors election. This was a drive up vote and it’s a good thing they paid us because I’m not sure most people would put up with the hassle otherwise.  This brought my bill that arrived today down to $29 but we are now getting overnight lows in the 30ies and the next few days will only be in the 50ies so it will be going up.

    I picked the last of my peppers and pulled the plants.  I’ll be putting onions and shallots in their place this week. I put some tomatoes that are full of buds and some tomatoes in pots so I can bring them inside on nights that are predicted to be below 38 degrees.  I also have a few pepper, catnip, chive, and basil plants in pots to do the same. We’ll see how long I do this because it’s kind of annoying, lol!

    I bought a 2 x 6 foot square garden bed from neighbors who are moving to Texas for $15. My yard floods when we get heavy rains of 3-5 inches at a time several times a summer so I can’t plant in a good portion of it.  This bed will go at the top of the yard and should not flood.

    I picked 15 sugar snap peas. I planted a few seeds in the until now exclusively flower bed on the southeast side of my house and they are growing well.  Five of the tomato plants that I put in pots were also growing there and they did marvelously this fall.  I’ll be growing more vegetables there next year. 

    Aldi’s had butter at $1.99/pound again this week so I bought 6 more pounds.  I noticed that 2 pounds of both brown and confectioners sugar now costs $1.49, up from $1.19, a 25% increase.

    I shared a quart of the vegetable beef soup I mentioned last week with the neighbor who was widowed on 9/18.  He’s at that point where everyone, including their kids, are visiting him but they have, of necessity and understandably, gone on with their lives of working, raising children,  etc.  He loved the soup and was so appreciative! He’s diabetic so I have to be careful what I give him. I also shared soup, homemade rolls and cinnamon rolls, applesauce and apple drink with my daughter and son- in-law.

    I figured out a better way to get to most places in town that I need to go.  The new route has 6 fewer lights and fully bypasses the shopping area that has Target, Kohl’s, Walmart, Joann’s, Lowe’s, Home Depot and numerous smaller stores,  restaurants, fast food places and gas stations.  You can imagine the traffic, especially with the holidays coming up. It’s quicker and less frustrating.

    1. Mari, the main north/south highway in Idaho passes through the middle of my small city. I live nearby, so it’s hard to avoid. Finding routes that keep you out of traffic and avoid turns (especially left turns) will save you a ton of time. In my case, I never turn onto or off US 95 if I can help it. I will cross the highway, take care of all of my errands on that side of town, and cross back. My husband doesn’t really get this, because he drives a lot less than I do, but this is a huge timesaver for me. I also think it is safer.

  13. The Spirit of Freedom rose is just beautiful.
    I took my youngest daughter to her 2 favorite museums in the city. We got in free with my mother’s membership, and I researched the most reasonable restaurants nearby (none of them were cheap!)for lunch. They got her order wrong- so I brought the incorrect order back home to my husband for dinner. He ate it with great delight.

    I completed 2 cushion covers for a widow who wanted to have pillows made with her husband’s t-shirts and Hawaiian shirts. She has already ordered 8 more. It feels good to help her with this project. She is giving many of them as gifts to family and friends. She nearly cried when I gave her the first 2, which were for her.

    We were the happy recipients of 2 Life Factory brand glass water bottles, and a Costco 2-pack of Cheerios from our Buy Nothing group. I rode my ebike to pick each of them up, so no gas was used either!

    Laundry continues to be dried on the line. The jeans that I wore to the museums yesterday were not visibly dirty, but with Covid now I like to be more careful. Instead of washing them (no visible dirt and only worn once), I hung them on the line last night. They froze overnight and then got the sunshine of the day. I feel pretty good about both the cold and the sunshine as natural disinfectants for this type of need.

    A blessed week to all of you!

  14. Last week I bought a turkey for 39 cents/pound. Today I roasted it, sliced white meat for sandwiches, cut the dark meat for casseroles and made soup with the bones. I cut up some of the turkey to add to the gravy and soup. We had turkey, baked potatoes and green beans for supper. I am cooling the rest to decide how much to refrigerate and how much to freeze.
    I found several cute articles of clothing online at pre-holiday sales and then didn’t buy any of it after I thought I would rather keep the money and wear what I already own.
    Over the weekend, my husband and I drove to visit our daughter. We took crackers with cheese in the car for lunch then went out to dinner with her and her boyfriend. It was a wonderful visit and we also got to see our old cat who will turn 21 in a couple of months. She has to work on Thanksgiving (hospital) but will come to NY for the weekend. My older daughter is driving here (with a niece) for the holiday so we have lots to look forward to.
    I love the awareness of what we are thankful for and enjoy reading all the posts. Wishing everyone a happy and healthy week!!

  15. I should have reread that before sending. It is my daughter, not the cat, who works at the hospital. I have a feeling you figured that out. ☺️

  16. Gas runs from $2.95 an hour north of me in the college town to $3.27 an hour south of me. I am happy gas prices have started to come down. I have put the turkey in the fridge to start thawing. I took my lunch to work. I verified that my retirement papers were correct. That is frugal because that is something I do not wish to mess up, and I verified that I will start back to work part time on January 1st.

    1. Hi Cindy
      After some complicated mathematical calculations I just worked out that petrol (gas) prices for me in the middle of England at the moment are the equivalent of $6,79 per gallon! based on your highest figure. It’s madness how our petrol prices have increased recently! I’m driving very little at the moment!

  17. Prices have gone up! After a month of not shopping we finally went. I wanted to cry. I didn’t. But I couldn’t believe how the prices have gone up. We went to what was once our cheapest store. I’m so glad we have kale growing. I hope it doesn’t freeze soon. Lettuce was 2.98 for a head! At the cheap store! And over four dollars for a small bagged salad! I did find a bag of peppers for 98 cents and bought 3 bags. My son will help me cut the kale, if it doesn’t freeze. We are alright. But wrapping my mind around paying the prices that are at the store now was difficult. Restaurants are expensive. I was so tempted to have my husband pick something up because I am so tired. But I cooked instead. It made my husband so happy and he said it was great! And we have leftovers. Which he put away for me. Today was the first day back to work for my husband. We are glad to have the job. I hope we can plant a garden in the spring. I also want to try my hand at sprouts this winter. My husband has been making our own yogurt. We all love it! I’m glad we have food that I can make quickly if need be. I don’t always have to make a gourmet meal. My family is happy anyway. We have been cooking at home for three weeks. It has saved us money. Today all I did was cook some noodles and add some Alfredo and a can of chicken. I cooked a butternut squash and we ate a spinach salad. Everyone loved it! Originally I was planning a more difficult Indian meal that would of taken much more effort. But my family was happy anyway. We made pinto beans and cornbread with a can of collard greens one day. We had the leftovers the next day. I should of picked some kale that day but opened a can of collard greens instead. My son picked kale and I made him a caesar salad from it. I made a homemade pizza. My husband made chicken and dumplings and we ate that a couple days.. We have enjoyed homemade yogurt. I bought some thrift shop items at 1.50 each including a light jacket that was 3 dollars. I’ve been wanting a light jacket for awhile and was so happy to find this. I spent around 16 dollars and got some beautiful clothes for winter that fit me.

    1. I saw lettuce prices like this today too. I came home, looked at my seedlings, and thought, “Grow, lettuce, grow!” I decided we are going to have a lot more soups and a lot fewer salads for a bit as the lettuce grows very slowly in winter.

      1. Lettuce was $2.99 but spinach bags were 99 cents so I got spinach. This weekend I am going to pull out my grow lights and plant some lettuce to grow inside this winter.

    2. I am amazed at the pepper prices for a bag. Last year you could get 2 medium sized peppers for $1 here. This year one is advertised in a flyer for $1.99. That is why I buy the 3/$1.00 extra large ones at the farmer’s market and freeze them. I just couldn’t pay those prices for a pepper.

    3. Have you tried microgreens? They are so easy to grow, and I often let them get a little bit bigger than “micro” so that they are more like baby greens. They’re not filling enough to serve as a salad, but they can add a fresh touch to scrambled eggs or something like that.

    4. Hi Tammy,
      It sounds as if you are managing nicely in spite of the depressing increase in food prices!
      You could freeze kale — just blanch it slightly, dry it on paper towel, then put it in ziplock bags.
      Superstore here sells frozen kale. It would be good in soups too. Your corn bread sounds great1. Ann

      I myself am going to try to grow watercress and also broccoli sprouts this winter.

  18. My mom sent over crackers, a loaf of bread, dry milk, and various canned goods

    I earned $39 this week through IBotta. I withdrew $90 to use for Christmas, $70 Amazon, and $20 for Starbucks.

    Made sure to upload receipts to all my rebate apps. I’ll start cashing them out soon to use for Christmas.

    Been eating lunch mostly at work(my one part time job is working in a school kitchen) We are allowed to eat for free so I figured it helps stretch the food at home.

    Trying to eat out if the freezer and pantry as much as possible. Froze leftovers. Stayed home as much as possible.

    Not so frugal:

    The drain pump for my washing machine was just under $140. I did 13 loads of laundry this weekend after it was fixed.

    We took one of the dogs to the vet Wednesday because he had a sore that wasn’t healing. Turned out it was a mast cell tumor that needed removed. $700 went to that.

  19. Silly as this might seem, you just made me realize my husband and I have a weekly in home date. Which happens to be one of my favorite things to look forward to each week (we sit in the living room one weekend morning and chat over a cup of coffee – it’s the only cup we have all week to keep it special). Thank you for putting me in the direction to realize that.

    I mended bath mats for the 3rd time. They have plenty of life in them, just poorly bound corners.

    Made a dinner of mashed sweet potatoes seasoned with taco seasoning, topped with black beans, jalapeños and a sprinkle of cheese. Other meals were potato soup, cheese empanadas and chicken thighs with salad greens from my garden. Someone commented about reading a comment the week before to do 2 soups and a pasta for dinner. I’m so glad that was commented on (again) last week, as it will be implemented here. This site rocks!

    Used LocalFlavor.com and found $20 for $40 deal at a local discount grocery. I bought 2 to save 50 percent off future purchases.

    Hope everyone has a calm week.

  20. Last week I was able to procure a $20 off coupon from our local grocer. If you spent a certain amount in November you got $20 off. I made a point to buy for both holidays to reach that amount- which I would have spent anyways over November and December. I used the $20 coupon to get birthday candles and a few other small items for my son’s upcoming birthday. I made his party invitations on my computer and printed them at work (we are allowed a certain number of personal printed items monthly). They came out cute and cost me nothing. I was also able to print nice table place cards for our Thanksgiving table for free.
    I needed a new candlestick holder, and found one I really loved. It was far too expensive, so I settled for one I found at dollar tree. It wasn’t at all what I wanted, but when I got home and set it next to my tablecloth, it looked so nice! I was very pleased.
    My mother, who is joining us for Thanksgiving, purchased a 24 lb turkey and three (!) pies as her contribution. My MIL offered to bring wine and a veggie tray. All this girl has to do is the sides- mashed potatoes, sweet potato casserole, stuffing, green beans and rolls. This will be a frugal Thanksgiving for us, which I am thrilled about. We are hosting 9.
    My son’s (6 and 7) were gifted a small table top Christmas tree with lights. We set it up in their room and they decorated it with felt snowflakes I had on hand from an old craft project. I love seeing that look of joy on their face. Such a fun time of year.
    My mom gave me what was left of a Lowes gift card she had that she didn’t plan on using. It had 13 dollars on it. I used it to buy a big beautiful poinsettia for everyone to enjoy while we host the holidays this year.
    I was able to salvage a work shirt of my husbands by soaking a stain in dawn for THREE days 😳 took forever but it finally came out!
    Repurposed a brown paper bag from the store as a gift bag. Festive ribbon added and it looked quite nice- I would have never guessed it was a paper bag had I not done it myself.
    Canned 12 pints of spiced Christmas jam to give as gifts (it’s strawberries, cranberries, and spices). I used ingredients from my freezer. The cranberries were frozen from last year but 🤫 you cant tell, it’s yummy! That’s all for me this week. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving, everyone.

  21. Your new drapes will look so lovely, I am sure.
    We continue to have a more temperate than usual November, which means the plants in the greenhouse are still going strong. We enjoyed lettuce, arugula, chard, and sugar snap peas from the greenhouse this week. We had two piles of branches chipped as part of a neighborhood program that gave us a big discount. My husband and I finished splitting and stacking our firewood for the year. The woodshed is full and the wood splitter is put away for the year. I baked sandwich bread and did some meal prepping for our Thanksgiving dinner. I also made and froze cookie dough, for making Christmas cookies later. I made some new Christmas decorations, using up some craft supplies I have on hand. I watched Youtube videos to get ideas for what to make.

  22. I haven’t commented in a couple weeks so here are some frugal highlights-

    I ordered hungry Howie’s pizza for my mom’s birthday. I was able to stack coupons and paid half price.

    Thanks to another reader I signed up for Ibotta and have already earned $40 cash back on things I would have bought anyways.

    Happy Thanksgiving to the American readers! Have a great week everyone.

  23. Brandy the flower pictures are beautiful. With cold weather and snow in Minnesota I cherish these as it will be 5-6 months before we see this again!

    -I continue to make and sew Christmas gifts. Also making drawstring bags to put them in. I have been able to find Christmas fabric at the thrift stores for very little and I have ribbon I am using for the drawstring. I only have 2 pillows, a batch of canned spaghetti sauce, and a scarf to make. The pillows are being made from 2 cross stitch projects I did several years ago. I have the pillow forms and zippers. The tomatoes are in the freezer for the sauce. And I bought 2 pieces of woven plaid fabric at the thrift store for $6.00. It will make a nice scarf with fringe.

    -Good buys in the grocery department were: butter 3# for $5, limit 3. Potatoes, 5# for $0.97, limit one per day. This sale ran for 10 days. I was able to pick up 6 bags. I stopped in just for the potatoes as I went right by the store. #20 of the #30 will be used for lefse. I also got half and half for $0.79/pint (bought 6 and froze them for soup) and organic baby carrots #1 for $0.79.

    -I got together with my 2 sisters on Saturday and we made lefse for Thanksgiving and their families with 10# of the potatoes. I will make the second batch on Friday after Thanksgiving as our family will celebrate that Saturday as I have son-in-laws that work on Thanksgiving day. I will send some to my husbands brother and some home with my kids. I make this 3 times a year-Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter. My mother in law and mother used to make this. My mom has passed and my mother in law is at an assisted living facility with dementia. So last year I started making it for the family.

    -I made some suet blocks using melted suet and birdseed. Put in a wire hanger. When they were dried I unmolded them (l made them in ice cream buckets) when hardened and I will store 2 of them in the freezer and put one out for the birds.

    -I baked cookies (12 dozen) for church fellowship. I had all the ingredients on hand and I used up the last of the dehydrated apples from last year and a package of caramel bits for the caramel apple cookies. I used the last small package of chocolate chips from last fall that I received free with coupons for the oatmeal chocolate chip.

    -Meals this week were: sidepork and hash browns; stuffed chicken breast and cheesy potatoes; Mac and cheese with hotdogs; tacos; and several freezer meals. We are trying to not waste any morsel of food. I get very creative repurposing leftovers. I also made a pumpkin custard from frozen pumpkin I put up this fall and rice pudding.

    -I made dry cream of chicken soup mix, taco seasoning, and dry ranch dressing mix for the pantry.

    -I read 2 books from the library. I used to spend at least $75.00/month on books by buying them and then I would donate them. I haven’t bought a book in 12 months!

    Have a great week!!

  24. Greetings everyone!
    I paid a medical bill with my flex spending card. This is money that I have deducted from my
    Paycheck each pay period and if I don’t use it I lose it.
    I have been in the grocery store quite a lot this week. We purchased a 26 lb turkey and a 14 lb ham initially. Most other items we already had at home having grown them in our garden. A friend gifted us 4 sugar pie pumpkins so I roasted them and out the pumpkin flesh into the food processor to smooth it. It now sits in a freezer bag waiting to be made into pumpkin pie.
    There is a cold temperature coming tonight so I am
    Planning to harvest greens, both mustards and collards tomorrow so they can be cleaned and cooked up for Thanksgiving. While I am out in the garden I intend to plant some more bok choy, green onions and some arugula for a harvest by Christmas.
    I paid my credit card bill in full.
    I made a large pot of soup this week using up a pound and half of ground Turkey which has been frozen almost a year. I added home grown green beans, Home grown okra, squash, zucchini, a couple cubes of homemade pesto and some frozen cheese ravioli…it was a big hit.
    I cored and sliced some pears to produce a cobbler and about wasting the fruit.
    We continue to be able to keep the heat off having to turn it on only once the morning or sometimes for a bit at night when the temp drops.
    I am having twenty people at my house for thanksgiving and have the largest turkey I have ever cooked…26 lbs! Brandy any tips on cooking turkeys that large?
    I am encouraged that most all we need to make dinner & dessert is here in our storage. I in am
    Making the very most of what we using what we have on hand.
    My husband cut his own hair.
    I always like to have fresh flowers to display on big holidays. This year I found many reasonable bouquets at Publix. I chose the flowers that last the longest…mums and alstroemeria. I used extra mason jars to hold them and layered the flowers with pumpkins and burlap and some small pumpkin scented candles. For just a few dollars I created a beautiful Thanksgiving centerpiece.
    We bought a total of 4 turkeys at &0.49/lb. I found great sales on canned kidney beans, chicken broth, coffee, eggs, and sweet potatoes so we stocked up.
    I hope that everyone enjoys a great Thanksgiving holiday with family!!!

    1. Start early! I usually can’t get one bigger than 23 pounds. Just get everything else cooked today or else go ahead and cook the turkey today and cook the sides in the oven tomorrow.

  25. I haven’t commented in forever, because I have just been doing the same old things.
    I did find an amazing sale at Amazon Fresh (online grocery shopping) on Jennie-O ground turkey breast. It started at $1.97/ lb and that is a great stock up price. So I bought 10 lbs (which is the limit) , packaged it all up and put it in the freezer. The next day I got a notice that I could purchase 10 more lbs now that it was was $0.97/ lb! So I did! The next day I got the same notice but the price was now $0.78/ lb, so 10 more lbs went into my freezer. And the very last price drop was down to $0.63/ lb so 10 more lbs for a total of 40 lbs went into my freezer at about $1.10/ lb which is a great price. The next day it was back to the regular price of $6.78/ lb.

    I dug out the last 3 packages of ground turkey from my last stock up in May when it was $2.25/ lb, and used them up in tacos, chili and cajun dirty rice for weeknight dinners.

    We are going to my in-laws for Thanksgiving this year after missing last year and they always ask me to bring dinner for the night before for everyone. This year it will be meatball sandwiches with melted provolone cheese and a nice salad including spinach from my garden. I found the rolls on clearance and put them in the freezer. I had thought to make pulled pork if I could find a good price or BBQ chicken, but with the ground turkey at such a good deal, meatballs will be the way to go!

    I used the Ibotta free Thanksgiving dinner deal to get several freebies, some of which were for things that we don’t usually purchase:
    1 14lb turkey
    1 box stuffing
    1 can cranberry sauce
    1 pkg instant mashed potatoes
    1 envelope of turkey gravy mix
    1 can of french fried onions
    Box corn muffin mix
    Bag of frozen green beans
    large bottle of soda

    My in-laws love all the packaged foods, so I called up my mother-in-law, showed her the haul and asked her what she would like us to bring for Thanksgiving. She wanted everything except the turkey and the frozen veggies, so all that over processed food will be our contribution and I will make us a nice turkey dinner when we get home 🙂

    My son went to a church activity where each young man made an apple pie to freeze for Thanksgiving, so we are taking dessert, too!

    In the “You might be a hoarder if…..” category, four years ago a friend of mine was renovating a kitchen in a new house. She wanted all custom, fancy things for her kitchen so she had all the brand new, but very basic kitchen cabinets, and built in oven pulled out to make room for the kitchen of her dreams. At the time we had vague plans to renovate our kitchen from the ’70s, so when we were asked if we knew anyone who would want a set of new kitchen cabinets, my husband made room in the garage for basically an entire kitchen. Life happened, including extremely premature grand babies during COVID lockdown and plans for kitchen renovation slid slowly down the list. In May my oven kicked the bucket. It wasn’t urgent because with no AC, we don’t run the oven in the Summer if we can help it. Once it started to cool off I started to look at ovens. I was floored by the price for even the most basic model, if you could even find one in stock While I was trying to figure out how to fit this appliance purchase into the budget, my husband said, “What about the oven in the garage?” I had completely forgotten! My husband spent the weekend enlarging the cabinet for a slightly larger oven and now I have a brand new (to me) oven. Time to bake!

    I want to express my gratitude for this community and for Brandy for graciously hosting it. Here, I can find people who understand my glee at getting something for free and my joy in using up the very last bits of things. Here, I find encouragement for the things I can do about my situation instead of wallowing in the negativity that exists in other places on the internet. Thank you all,
    Amber

      1. I, too, appreciate a positive approach to life. Not having much growing up, or even as an adult with a family, has expanded my creativity. I look around for what resources are available, and many here offer new ideas to try.
        For instance, I had never heard of Library Adventure passes for area attractions until I read of them on this site.
        I checked around for a few years, and did not see any local opportunities. Then suddenly, our library offered patrons use of this program. This week, I was able to take a group of 11 family members to the Science museum for a total of $22.
        Thank you, Brandy, for encouraging your readers to share their knowledge and frugal tips with others. I have benefitted, and my family as well, from this collective knowledge.

      2. I, too, appreciate a positive approach to life. Not having much growing up, or even as an adult with a family, has expanded my creativity. I look around for what resources are available, and many here offer new ideas to try.
        For instance, I had never heard of Library Adventure passes for area attractions until I read of them on this site.
        I checked around for a few years, and did not see any local opportunities. Then suddenly, our library offered patrons use of this program. This week, I was able to take a group of 11 family members to the Science museum for a total of $22.
        Thank you, Brandy, for encouraging your readers to share their knowledge and frugal tips with others. I have benefitted, and my family as well, from this collective knowledge.

    1. I’m adoring your ground turkey story. What a deal. I’m guessing they had a ton of backlog and then it got bought up by smart shoppers like you.

    2. Amber, what a great deal you got on the ground turkey! You saw an opportunity and took it.
      Jeannie@GetMeToTheCountry

  26. The biggest savings in my house this week happened because my grandson went to a party. It seems not many people showed up and at the end of the party the mother asked if anyone wanted to take home some brisket. My grandson said he would take some thank you. When he got home he told me that they had given him a whole brisket. A 4.5 to 5 lb. brisket already cooked is really expensive in TX. We got twice that size.
    My older grandson works at Starbucks and brings home food items when he works closing.
    As you can tell I taught my kids and grandkids to always say yes to food. If we can’t use it we pass it on to friends and family.
    I have made many gnome ornaments for sale this week. The only out of pocket price for these are the stuffing and silk ribbon. The rest of the fabric is from scrapes I keep from other sewing projects. If these ornaments sell if will be wonderful. If they don’t sell, I can give them as gifts.
    I’ve, also, made something I call Texas Gnomes. *laughing* These are made of scraps except for the cowboy hats and the alligator clips. I bought 100 clips for 51 cents using my reward points.
    I save a lot by not “running the streets”.
    I am still listening to my old audible books while I work.
    Thanks for all you do Brandy.

  27. Your yard is looking wonderful, Brandy! I replaced an electric outdoor driveway light with a solar lantern inserted in the fixture instead of a bulb (held in place by a hairband). Works great! I made a pre-Thanksgiving meal for friends with ingredients from last year’s pantry and garden harvest. I emptied and sorted my freezer to see unexpected treasures and was pleased with what I found. As always, a surprise was lurking! My neighbor gifted me some sweet pea and zinnia seeds for spring. San Diego Seed company posted a youtube video on Ethiopian Kale which is huge compared to regular kale and supposedly is delicious and grows year round. I ordered a packet to try now as it grows best during cooler months; but can survive hot summers. Thanks everyone for the gift of reading your contributions!

  28. I finally have vegetables coming up in the garden. It was my 3rd planting of seeds, and I had run out before a rain and got them planted quickly, so I don’t know what they are between spinach, turnips, and beets. I am going to plant more seed in bare spots.
    ***My husband helped a coworker move and brought home a water bath canner. This makes four for me so I need to find it a new home. I ordered a 23 quart pressure canner. I have a 16 quart so can only get 10 pints or 7 quarts. I waste so much time prepping, doing a load, waiting hours for it to process then depressurize so I can do another load. I will be able to have the two canners going, and get more jars in the 23 quart canner at a time. I bought three turkeys and will can the turkey and broth, as well as a turkey vegetable soup, and more turkey pot pie base.
    ***We have a wedding in December that is semi formal, then will leave and go to my husband’s work party. I had a gift card for Dillard’s from where I returned a mother of the bride dress in 2020. I was able to find a red dress that will work for both events.
    ***My MIL is always cold in our home. We found insulated leggings at Sams and Aldi that she is wearing around the house. She puts on a long tshirt and sweater and some days puts on another layer if she is sitting a lot.
    ***I sold 18 wire wreath firms. I had paid $10 for them years ago, and sold for $18.
    *** I cut my husband’s hair. It takes me about 5 minutes now after years of cutting it.
    ***I found a box of items I got from Walmart last year on 90% markdown. Christmas Disney dish drying mats, gift card holders, measuring cups, aprons, shopping bags in pouches, etc. I didn’t go through the box well to even see it all, but I will have stocking stuffer gifts for the girls.
    ***Belk is running 60% off and has doorbuster deals this week. I went today and got my two sons girlfriends blankets for $12.99 and will add a Starbucks card and candle. I got dinosaur Christmas sheets for $9.99 for my grandson..We have an ugly sweater party to attend, then will host two parties at our home. I got some tartan plaid Crown and Ivy Pants and a navy top, at 60% off. I have an ugly sweater and will wear it with the tartan pants. Then will wear the pants with the navy top to one of the parties we host.
    ***I look for casserole pans, Christmas plates, white, red, or green plates, baskets or boxes at thrift stores and garage sales to package goodies to take to friends and neighbors. If the casserole dish doesn’t make it home it is ok.
    ***I look for sweaters and sweater blankets at thrift stores to make stockings, mittens, hats, scarves, mug wraps, and trivets.
    ***We had an office Thanksgiving luncheon last week. I made purple hull peas from my freezer and kept them hot by filling Mason jars with hot water and putting them in a cooler with my container of peas to keep them hot.
    ***I skipped grocery shopping this past week. I have items I want to stock, but thankfully have full freezers and pantry, so while life was crazy didn’t have to shop. We got take out a couple of times, I had an endoscope with biopsies and just didn’t feel like even bothering to think about coming up with what to eat. The other night my daughter dropped by and she went for pizza.
    ***Gas was $2.97 at Sams today. I passed it on the way to the mall and did all my other shopping, then went by on the way home so I could come home with a full tank. It was still $3.14-3.29 at other stations.
    ***Happy Thanksgiving!

    1. Have you tried making a rice bag? You can heat it in the microwave and your MIL can put it on her lap or by her feet to help her keep warm.

      1. We have a couple of bags. I don’t know why I haven’t thought of them when she is sitting. I use it for my migraines, and forget about using for heat. Thanks

        I forgot to tell a funny story. When I got my grandson, who was 4, this summer I had asked what foods he was eating. My daughter said he ate fish sticks at school. So I bought a box. When he came I offered them to him multiple times and he never wanted them. He finally said, ” I only eat fish sticks in Florida, not Alabama” LOL, for supper he has eaten almost everything I make, and a lot are things he won’t eat at home. He would never eat eggs and one day he asked if he could make an egg, so I let him crack it and then make a scrambled egg. But, those darn fish sticks are only good in Florida. I took them to the soup kitchen with the venison I donated.

        1. My daughter mentioned using it where she lives for heat just a couple of days ago. I had never thought about it.

          1. My hubby is SUPER hard to buy gifts for. He uses his rice pack for his feet every night in the winter when we go to bed. He always goes upstairs, gets ready for bed, then goes back down to the kitchen to heat is rice pack. I found a really small microwave on a good sale so I bought it for him for Christmas…for on his dresser. hahahaha. It’s kinda a joke gift, but I think he’ll like not needing to go back to the kitchen each night. Love those rice packs.

      2. I adore my rice bags! I have four that I use on my back, neck, knee and hip. They warm the areas up well enough that it eases my aches and pains without medication and I drift off to sleep. My mother told me about heating up an old fashioned iron, wrapping it in flannel, and tucking it in at the foot of her mother’s bed. That was one of her chores when she was quite young. I’m still kicking myself for not picking up her old iron after she passed. I hope whoever got it is enjoying it!

        1. I do the same with a hot water bottle. I don’t like my place to be too hot (even though heat is included in my rent) but sometimes while sitting working on the computer or watching TV I do get a bit chilled. The hot water bottle, along with a throw makes it much more comfortable.

  29. I spent all of 3 minutes placing a black Friday order for Christmas. I realized the excitement almost created a mass hysteria and over spending in the past. My spending is much more controlled after learning from Brandy the last several years. I wanted more food storage but have found the buckets w gamma lids to expensive for my taste. I checked the pet section at Amazon and found them 57% off. I bought 4 large ones for $17.00 a piece. They will work nicely. I added two hams, 12 bags Tyson grilled chicken bags to my freezer. I bless that dumpster often. We brought in eggs, several breakfast meats and multiple packs of vegetables from another location. The old man at the dump gave me a large Rubbermaid storage container w lid and a tall laundry basket. No cracks found. I also asked for a short cat tree. $2.00 at the car wash and I pressure washed it nice and fresh. Sugar cookie overloaded the washing machine. My son googled the solution. It just needed resetting. I have downsized our closets of too many clothes. I dropped bags off at Goodwill. I’m searching pantry for all Holiday meal ingredients. I can’t imagine needing to buy anything. Have a lovely week dear friends.

    1. Lillianna you can also get food grade buckets and lids for about $2 a piece from the bakery at Sam’s Club. The buckets and gamma lids were priced too high for me too and we have had no issues with storing dry goods in them at all.

  30. The photo of the pink rose is lovely. The fluffy pink petals look heavenly. I imagined myself in surrounded by those roses inhaling the sweet scent of them.
    My savings:
    1. My cat needs his shots. I will go to a mobile vaccination clinic to get his rabies shot free. The clinic offers free rabies shots for dogs, cats owned by teachers, police officers, & fire fighters.
    2. My sister gave me a pair of scrub pants that are like new & they fit.
    3. I will loan my sister a bundt pan so she will not have to buy one. She wants to make a cake to take to work. She has to work on Thanksgiving.
    4. I have a load of discards to take to a church resale shop.
    5. I had a men’s size L hooded sweatshirt in my car. After I came out of the store there was a homeless man in shorts & a tee shirt. The wind was picking up & the temp was going down. I offered him the sweatshirt. He tried to give me some AA batteries to pay me for it. So humbling that someone who has nothing yet wanted to try to pay me back for an old jacket.

    1. Thank you for helping the homeless gentleman. A good reminder that not matter what, there is always something we can do to help others.

    2. We keep packs of new socks in our cars for the same reason. Years ago, we stopped at a gas station. A woman was standing at the ashtray digging thru cig butts and smoking what was left of them. It was frigid out and super windy. I noticed that she had no socks on and that her pants were a bit short. She looked homeless. If I had been wearing socks, I would’ve offered her mine. Because of her, we carry new socks in our cars! I buy the big packs at Sam’s.

      1. Socks are always asked for at the “boutique” run for the homeless at my church. People are often kind and donate packs of them – last year, one fellow showed up with about a 100 packs – they were very well received! I am adding this to my list – I usually donate toiletries as they are always needed and not something that everyone thinks about. The volunteers make up ziploc bags of soap, deodorant, toothpaste etc. so I try to stock up when I see sales.

  31. Sounds like you had a productive week. Ours was good, we:
    -booked long overdue family photos, getting a good deal on a mini family session. If I lived in the USA I would love to have booked in with you Brandy! I am going to print and frame some as Christmas gifts.
    -made lots of mango smoothies.
    -checked out the upcoming Black Friday sales online and didn’t see anything of need.
    -puchased two PlayStation games for my children at Target for the mega sale price of $10 and $12 each, both G rated. Used a gift card received from doing some market research so no OOP expense. I have their Christmas presents already so these will be for another occasion.
    -my children and I received lunch at a friend’s house (fish, fries and kale salad with a coconut and lime pie for dessert).
    -looked at our local counties upcoming children’s Christmas holiday program and noted four separate activities to book my children into when the bookings open early next month. Christmas is during a hot and humid summer and the children have seven weeks of holidays. The free activities include a puppet show, putt putt golf and a water play session.
    -petrol/fuel prices are at an all time high and I am more mindful of using the car less. We are great at staying local and bike riding but I’m doubling down!
    -buried kitchen scraps in the garden.
    -kept electricity use to a minimum.
    -line dried all washing.
    -made do with the abundance of food we already have.
    -completed 90 minutes of market research online, earning $90.

    Enjoy the rest of your week.

  32. i was having a little moan about towels having no quality these days as i added some binding to the edges of a couple of large towels that had frayed , when my son pointed out they had been new when they started swimming practice nearly 20 years ago….lol

    1. Kaye Steeper, what kind of binding did you use on your towels? I need to do the same thing but don’t know what to use. Does anyone have any good suggestions?
      Jeannie@GetMeToTheCountry

  33. Hi Brandy and everyone
    Good to hear you are able to buy new curtains for your sitting room, we have had our curtains for 31 years and they don’t owe us anything. Just in the process of replacing them.
    You had some good savings this week and I love the rose photo. Lovely to hear of all you are planting in your remodelled garden, growing our own food is definitely valuable not to mention healthy and tasty.
    We spent a lot this week but it was future planning. We had a big load of split logs delivered to season for future years. We already have wood seasoned for this winter. Another big load of compost was delivered for the new garden beds which will be planted up with more fruit, veg and flowers for cutting. I have a friend who buys a bunch of flowers from the supermarket every week which adds up over a year! We paid cash for logs and compost so the delivery was free. It is much much cheaper to buy compost in bulk than bagged up.
    We used a 15% discount on David Austin roses and ordered Desdemona, Princess Alexandra of Kent and Olivia Rose Austin. They are already planted out.
    I made a couple of jars of pickled beets and we picked medlars, parsnips, Swiss Chard and apples and cut snapdragons and salvia for the house.
    We planted peas and sweet peas in root trainers for next year.
    We received two jars of homemade chutney from guests.
    I defrosted several tubs of leftover soup, added some bottled tomatoes and whizzed it all up to make a big pot of soup for lunch with our guests.
    I finished a flannel baby blanket for a present.
    My husband bought a raffle ticket for charity and we won a prize. We weren’t present when they drew the raffle but won a 25kg sack of locally grown potatoes. The person allocating the prizes thought we would prefer the potatoes to a box of chocolates. They were right!
    Stay safe everyone.

  34. Brandy, I needed to hear everything you said about rising food prices. With all of us off for Thanksgiving week, I’m trying to figure out to prioritize projects around the house… this would be a good time to work on moving my raised beds. Thanks for the timely reminder.

    *This week’s meals: masoor dal and rice, haystacks (my family’s version of Frito pie where we make our own ranch-style beans in the crockpot and top with corn chips, cheese, etc), spaghetti, pizza, a shortcut Vietnamese pho (with ground pork I bought on sale a few weeks back), red beans and rice, and Salisbury steak (half ground beef/half ground turkey) and mashed potatoes. So to get my “2 soups and 1 pasta,” I’m counting the dal (not technically a soup) and the pho, then the spaghetti is obviously the pasta.

    Also my dad was in town for a couple days and treated us to dinner at a higher-end barbecue restaurant. The serving sizes were large, so we had plenty to take home for other meals.

    *Signed up for the free National Parks pass for 4th graders so our family could hike for free at a nearby national park for the entire school year (I have a son in 4th grade this year)

    *Finally got a turkey for 49 cents/lb at Kroger! Also got another free yogurt cup through the app.

    *Accepted a few more hand-me-downs that I’ll look through this week.

    *We’ve fully transitioned into heater season, so I’m trying to keep it at 66 as much as possible. I did program the thermostat for 68 between 6am-8am, though, to aid getting out of bed and getting dressed. Along with that, I’m opening blinds and drapes during the day to let the light in. I’ll stop using the clothesline until spring, too, since it seems like a better deal to let my dryer add some heat to the house instead of me losing heat to opening/closing my back door to hang one load of laundry every day that doesn’t even fully dry after hanging all day. We do 2 loads minimum every day since there are 7 of us, so I’ll just enjoy the convenience of my electric dryer for the winter!

    And finally, I have a book recommendation: “An Everlasting Feast” by Tamar Adler. This is nonfiction, sort of like a cookbook in prose, about how to make wonderful meals with simple ingredients and not waste anything.

    Happy Thanksgiving to all of you in the states, and a good week to everyone no matter where you’re from!

  35. Despite our cold temperatures, I have been able to continue to harvest lettuce, Swiss chard and some herbs out of my garden to add to our meals. The chickens continue to lay – bless them! – at a slower rate this time of year but enough for our use and to share occasionally with our neighbor who shares home canned goods with us.
    I repaired a lamp I have had for years a love. Glad it will live on. Just took a little epoxy.
    All of our furniture is old or antique and it was time to treat the wood. With a wood stove, our furniture can start to look dry this time of year. So, we used a citrus oil conditioner/wax we already had and everything looks (and smells) wonderful again. Taking care of these things, many of which are inherited family pieces, makes me happy. I feel like I am having a conversation with my relatives at the same time.
    While on a walk in our woods, my boys and I identified two fallen trees that will be ready for bucking up, cutting and splitting into firewood this winter. The really fun part is they are up hill (as is everything in the mountains) so we will wait for a day with snow so we can slide the cut pieces down. Much easier than hauling them some other way and the way it was done in the past (with oxen or horses and sleds.)
    My oldest son received a new-to-him fishing pole from a neighbor. Once people find out a child loves fishing, all kinds of equipment just starts to appear. I don’t think my husband and I have bought him more than a few things and he has quite the collection. I am glad he loves this activity as it is a passion he share with one of his grandfathers and they fish together a lot. I know he will have so many wonderful memories of fishing with his Papa.
    My youngest son has been enjoying a mixed martial arts class once a week. By researching, I found a place that is not only very reasonably priced but also turned out to be a very fun and encouraging environment. He loves it and it is worth the reasonable price for us. I find I have been able to sell enough things from around the house or that I find at thrift stores and flip to pay for the class so far.
    Have started putting aside things for Christmas stockings and other gifts. I have a dear friend who loves tea as much as I do and I found a brand we both like on major reduction at a grocery store I don’t normally go to. It also happened to be packaged in a pretty red tin which makes it even nicer as a gift. She and I both collect tea tins and display them on shelves in our kitchens so she will love this gift. I think I will shop at this store more often now as I also found whole bean coffee for my husband at a great price. Another thing I love is wool socks and I have been lucky to find them for 25 cents or 50 cents a pair at thrift stores or been given them by my MIL. I find that I have a few new pairs I have never worn as they just haven’t made it into the daily rotation yet. I think I will just put one or two pairs in my stocking this year. No one will know the difference and it keeps me (Santa) from having to buy much for my stocking. I also bought one of those aforementioned tins of tea for me from Santa so that will go in there, too. Our family also celebrates St. Nicholas’ Feast Day on 6 December. The boys put out their shoes and a plate of cookies for St. Nicholas and some carrots for his horse. They receive traditional gifts like a few coins in a cloth bag, a candy cane (for the crozier) a piece of fruit, wool socks and sometimes a piece of chocolate. Very simple and inexpensive when they are items I already have or purchased at thrift stores or on sale.
    My husband and I do not exchange gifts but we each put something in each other’s stockings. We know who its from and it makes it kind of like a secret gift which is fun. My boys are making toys for the cats and we usually make a batch of dog cookies for our dog and the pups of friends. Neighbors and friends will be getting homemade goods like granola, breads, or muffins.
    We will eat the Thanksgiving meal with my parents. My contributions will be made with food items we raised and things I bought or were given a while ago so nothing will need to be purchased now. I always look forward to the leftovers!
    Wishing everyone a blessed week wherever you are! Thank you for your continued inspiration and encouragement.

    1. Mountain Mama Dawn, your comment about your son receiving fishing gifts warmed my heart. The same has happened to my younger son who is 28. For the first time in his life, this summer he went fishing with a friend from work. My son loved it. When his friends’ family heard of his interest, they loaned him everything he needed, taught him what to do, and welcomed him into their homes to show him how to prepare the fish. They even let the two guys borrow their boat for trips. My son paid for the gas and reimbursed them for expenses. We knew nothing until out of the blue we received a text with a picture of my son barefoot, shirtless, standing on a fancy boat in a lake, holding a huge catfish, and smiling ear to ear. He could never have afforded to learn this new hobby without their help. Fishermen are good people.
      Jeannie@GetMeToTheCountry

  36. Happy Tuesday everyone!
    We harvested more mustard greens, collard greens Kale and Bok Choy from the garden. I sowed seeds for more Bok Choy and green onions as well as broccoli and a few other fall crops. I have cabbage planted in the garden and it ha never done well for me but it appears to be forming a small head and I am hopeful that it will finally yield some actual cabbage for us this year.
    I bought Pansy seedlings from my local nursery and planted them in our front flower beds and pots. I will be planting the remaining seedlings in the pots on our back deck. When shopping I chose the six packs of seedlings rather than the larger plants as they were far less expensive with a six pack being $1.48 as opposed to a single plant for $2.48.
    I still have to tear out all of my periwinkles, salvia and lantana but I am letting them go for as long as I can before pulling them up.
    A friend gifted us with 4 sugar pie pumpkins and I lost one – boo. I roasted the remaining 3 and froze the puree for Thanksgiving pies. I wanted to buy frozen pie crusts and I had a talk with myself all through the store thinking about how silly it was to buy pie crust when I have all the ingredients to make it at home and the taste is so much better. So no frozen pie crust here and I will be mixing up crust for 6 pies this evening at home.
    Our Kroger had a great sale on sweet potatoes, chicken broth, canned beans, and a few other items that we will use so I purchased a bit of each to stock up. I was able, thankfully to find two 3 additional turkeys at $0.49/lb. I was glad to see this since these have been difficult to locate in our area. This will provide a number of meals for our family in the coming months at a very low price which is always a blessing. I now have 3 people with diabetes in my home and protein is important. I supplement of course with beans, veggies and green veggies but protein is still a need for them – yay turkey!
    I made a large batch of homemade granola and will be scouring black friday sales for a second instant pot that I will only use to make yogurt.
    I have almost 20 people coming to my home for Thanksgiving dinner. I borrowed a few tables, some extra serving pieces, and an additional cooler from my sister rather than buying these needed items. Almost everything that we needed for the meal was in my pantry or freezer so I was able to use grocery funds to stock us up rather than fund the feast.
    I made a huge pot of soup using ground turkey, lots of veggies, pesto, and some from cheese ravioli…all ingredients from my freezer, healthy and my family was super happy. I used so over ripe pears to make a cobbler and shared with a neighbor to keep us from eating it all.
    I purchased flowers from Publix to create centerpieces for our tables. I combined these with gourds we have on hand and used Mason Jars and candles to accent. The result was lovely and the out of pocket cost was small. I am still lacking a centerpiece for the kiddos table but will cut some lantana and greenery from our yard and call it a day.
    We combined errands to save on gas, loads of laundry to conserve water & power, and kept the heat off as much as we could.
    I wish everyone in the US a lovely Thanksgiving Holiday to soak in time with loved ones and celebrate with a lovely feast.
    Blessings for the week ahead!

  37. Meijers had quite a few items on sale this week. I got another turkey at 33 cents a pound along with celery 4/$5, 5 pound bag of potatoes for 99 cents (limit 4), sweat shirts for my husband at 30% off.
    My husband replaced a part on our vehicle himself.
    We are eating food from our freezer. We only shop for gasoline at one gas station. So I finally signed up for their fuel rewards saving us 5 cents a gallon for the first 20 gallons.
    The kids and I raked the leaves in our neighbor’s yard and our yard. We put the leaves in our tiny 4×4 garden and covered it with black plastic.

  38. I wanted to thank those of you who spoke about the butter price at Aldi’s the past week; stocked up on butter for the Christmas baking season.

  39. I haven’t found turkey under $1.99 a pound here, sadly.

    The rose is beautiful!

    I was pleased to find out that when my daughter’s fiancé deep fries a turkey, he saves the oil to use again when frying wild duck or chicken after the holiday.

    I wrapped a birthday gift using a saved gift bag and saved tissue paper. The card is a cute little free one that comes in mail solicitations.

    I baked a meatloaf and a delicata squash at the same time to save energy.

    I line dried about six loads of laundry this weekend.

    I rolled out my pumpkin pie crust on the nice silicone rolling mat I got for $2 at a Goodwill, still in the box. It has the crust sizes and measurement conversions printed on it.

    My office orders Christmas cards from a printing company, and they always send two splashy birthday cards with our order. As the one to choose and order the Christmas cards, I am allowed to keep the birthday cards, so I will use them for a couple of landmark birthdays coming up in the family.

    I will be re-using the decorative Christmas gift boxes I bought on sale last year, one box per family member who will gather in person with us. Not having to wrap saves an incredible amount of time, since I buy several gifts for each person, rather than one large gift.

    I will re-use the wrapped “presents” that I made last year from weighted cardboard boxes that I wrapped in thin, shiny, silver vinyl from the fabric store’s upholstery section. I bought the end of the bolt on super clearance. It repels moisture, so I use them out on my covered porch as decoration. I weighted them with the gel freezer packs that come with my husband’s mailed medications. I thawed them completely, made sure they don’t leak, and put several in each box. The ribbons are from cheap spools of tulle, which held up to being out on the porch quite well.

    Happy Thanksgiving to all who celebrate it this week!

  40. Hello Everyone!

    This week my family had a couple of virtual and phone visits with doctors. This saved both travel time and gas. It’s really convenient when you don’t need to have a physical exam. I’ve been working out at home using my fitness app and got recommitted to tracking using My Fitness Pal (free version).

    We ate tomatoes, salad, kale and mustard greens from the garden. Our weather continues to be spectacular with beautiful sunny days. My garden is thriving! I ordered a new brand of grow bags from Amazon to grow garlic. I saved $60 over a different brand and company. We’ll see if these hold up as well. I want the garlic in a grow bag to reserve raised bed space for veggies as garlic takes 9 months until harvest.

    My husband keeps bringing home large logs from cut down trees at work. We’ll use these to supplement our heat as natural gas prices are projected to cost 33% more this winter. Our wood stove heats the entire house better anyhow!

    I also shopped loss leaders at Safeway and saved a lot. They only allow one turkey per household at the special price (not each time shopped). I’ll wait to see if extra turkeys are on special after Thanksgiving to stock up.

    I did purchase well priced tri tip. I trimmed them, placed them in food saver bags, made a marinade from scratch and then vacuum sealed them. We barbecued one (so good!) and froze the other for a future meal. It was a nice change from our usual chicken and turkey.

    Have a blessed and beautiful Thanksgiving everyone! 🦃🍂🍁

  41. Hello, all and Happy Thanksgiving week!
    Well, I’ll start with a tightwad lesson and confession…shame on me! My husband and I were out running errands that went well past lunch. We hadn’t eaten and were both pretty hungry. We succumbed to the fast food smell in the parking lot and got lunch. A pitiful lunch, I might add. A dry burger, cool fries, but the drinks were good! Went on to finish our errands. Monday morning, I went to do the money work and saw the receipt from pitiful lunch. Husband paid so I never knew. When did fast food for two surpass $20????? I was thinking it would be $12 or so, which was still too much for what we got. My husband had upsized- he’s a tall man at 6’8″ and I believe he has a hollow leg because his weight is perfect, according to the doc. Yes, irritating! He ate all of his food and most of my fries. So there was that….but $22.xx for THAT? I felt sick. This is what happens when you don’t eat fast food….sticker shock! I can only imagine that the same meal at the famous mouse park would require a loan these days!!!!! Anyway, what a harsh lesson. I won’t fall for that again. Sheesh.
    On the good side…
    **Pasta meal was Stroganoff, very very light on the beef.
    **Soup meals were Tomato and a yummy Corn Chowder.
    **I made a loaf of bread.
    **I repaired a pair of husband’s sweat pants using elastic cannibalized from something else.
    **Hung all but one load of laundry this week.
    **Husband mowed the yard for last time before winter and used the mulch for the trees.
    **Used heater only early morning and added a sweater for the rest of the day.
    **Combined a load of errands…see confession lol!
    **Rolled up old towels for draft blocks in front of doors.
    **Turned an old chenille tissue box cover into a dusting mitt by removing ribbon that tightened top and replacing it with elastic. Hand fits right in and it won’t slide out!
    Plus the regular stuff like catching warm up water, washing baggies, etc.

  42. Good news, it appears my son Joshua will not be losing his job for now. We are thrilled although he has been rattled. He stopped by this week and asked our advice! He asked old Mom and Pop for advice! What should he do with the extra money he earned working overtime? This is what I said:
    When he (my children) were small, we lived right above the poverty line – we were the working poor. Before that, I lived through the high inflation of the 70s. Some people became poor, others became rich – dependant upon the choices they made. Each person must make different decisions. The first step is to become aware of the situation, your surroundings, what is happening in the world, and know what the results will be. Look at history. Back last year (here in the US), the Federal Reserve began printing money at an astounding rate. The result is (and always will be) inflation. Imagine the following example: You get paid $1,000 for this month’s salary so you buy $1,000 worth of groceries. Next month you get paid $1,000, spend $1,000 but only get $750 in groceries. The following month $1,000 only buys $500 worth of supplies. The next month $1,000 is only good for $250 and so it goes. No one knows how bad or mild the coming inflation rate will be, but it is coming. This difficult time will eventually end, money will once again stabilize but in the meantime, we must live through a slow-moving trainwreck and avoid the flying debris.
    You must do two things: Preserve the value of your wealth while at the same time providing for daily needs. My husband handles our investments (with my input) and I handle running our home (with his input). I consider managing my home a full-time job. It is important because I can make or break our finances with my decisions. My focus has been to stock my pantry with the healthiest supplies at the best price. That has included planting a huge garden, learning cost-saving measures (thanks to everyone’s suggestions on this website), and planning for the future by following the news to look for solutions.
    My son Joshua is a single man sharing a bachelor pad with two other guys and has entirely different needs. After taking a tour of my pantry, (he walks past the shelf every time he comes home), this time he paid attention to what I was saying and doing. He said, “Buying extra laundry detergent before you run out is a good idea. I can do that.” (He really said that.)
    Days later I spoke to him and he was thinking about buying a small chest freezer to go in his bedroom. His roommates fill up their refrigerator freezer with pizzas and frozen dinners. Chicken is a huge part of Joshua’s diet (due to health problems) and finding it frozen without breading has been difficult lately. He visited a farmer’s market where he contacted a local farmer and placed a small order for meat. He plans to become a good customer so they will sell to him first if there is a shortage. What matters is that his mind is now working to solve his problems.
    Now on to my best cost-saving measures this past week.
    *I cooked the small Butterball turkey I purchased last week, ate a serving and it really did not have sugar or chemicals used in the process. I had no ill side effects! That is really big for me. It means I can now buy this brand of turkey when it is on sale. The downside is that my guys ate almost all of it the first day! It never ceases to amaze me how much meat my carnivores can consume. At least I was able to can 3 pints of the broth.
    *Canned the 5 pounds of butter I got on sale for $1.99 and bought more at another store when they had their sale.
    *Waxed the cheese I bought a couple of weeks ago when it was on sale for 3 pounds for $3.97. Waxing improves the flavor as it is stored plus we peel off the wax and use it again. (Wipe the cheese with white vinegar to kill bacteria, let it air dry for 48 hours so the extra added water can evaporate, dip in cheese wax warmed in a double boiler, the wax is flammable so don’t rush it, store in a cardboard box in the basement. However, if you are Brandy and have cardboard-loving scorpions in the neighborhood, use another container!
    *Continued to eat one main meal a day from the winter garden.
    *Mostly this week my time has been spent working to get my house in order. That means I have begun an inventory of my pantry, making menu plans and deciding what goals to set. What is the most productive way to use my resources and spend my time? A rotten spaghetti squash was discovered in storage because it was leaning up against another. I need to be more diligent about checking.
    I am really looking forward to hearing everyone’s suggestions this week.
    Jeannie@GetMeToTheCountry

  43. I accepted a lot of food. My aunt’s mother in law receives food from a food pantry and passes along to us the things she can’t or won’t use. There were several half bushel boxes of shelf stable things and a few bags of frozen items…blueberries, sausage, ground beef, frozen scrambled egg mix, etc. What a huge blessing. My mom works at an orchard part time and was given free apples which she passed along. They were also giving away pumpkins after Halloween and she grabbed 4 for me. Food Lion didn’t have any amazing markdowns this time, but I had coupons for free cheese and bread. I also got my free turkey at Martin’s and shopped the sales at Aldi and Martin’s. My sister in law is going to take our Christmas picture on Thanksgiving. I have almost everything I need for the outfits for the 10 of us. I’m going to Goodwill this afternoon to fill in the gaps. We’ve stayed warm by using our woodstove (our only heat source) and burning wood we cleared off our land. We made apple butter with my family using my great grandmother’s recipe. It’s a fun tradition! We had to buy cider this year as our cider press needs repaired. So $47 got us 13 quarts of apple butter cooked over an open fire. I downloaded receipt hog and fetch and have been uploading receipts. I used to have ibotta, but I remember it being a lot of name brand things? We don’t buy things like that so I’m not sure it would be a good one for me. I looked back at my notes from last Christmas which reminded me that we planned to have mufaletta sandwiches this year. I texted my mom to see if that was okay and she offered to make and bring them.

  44. These past few weeks I have been reading a great deal on cool weather gardening. I have never had a garden I overwintered and want to start using low-hoops and small boxes to extend my gardening time and get a jump start in the spring. Until I can rework my garden I have created a few make shift sections to cover. I currently have a bed of leaf lettuce and carrots that is flourishing (covered) despite having 3 hard frosts so far. I have a bed full of Asian greens doing well, also covered and also have two more sections with Chard, Yellow Heart Choy and Tatsoi that are heavily mulched but uncovered doing well. I was late in planting some broccoli and cabbage plants so they are still on the small side and have mulched them to see if I have a chance getting them to overwinter and have an early harvest. Since I had them I wasn’t out anything if they didn’t work but figured I would learn along the way.

    I harvested lettuce for two big salads twice this week from the garden with Swiss Chard, carrots and green onions.

    Some of my tulip bulbs I ordered at a huge discount over the summer arrived with rotten bulbs in the package. In times past I would have just said oh well but decided to email the company. They promptly mailed replacements that arrived yesterday. We have a few days of nicer weather (50s) this week so I will get these planted.

    We use credit cards to make almost all our purchases and pay them off promptly before they are due and in full to receive rewards. One of my cards I don’t use as often because it has a lower cashback option offered a special if I added an additional cardholder and then spent a certain amount I would get a $100 cashback. We added a card for my oldest son who occasionally makes online purchases. We will use that card for our electric, water, phone and groceries this month and will meet the amount for the $100 back in addition to the original cashback, with things we would be purchasing anyways.

    An older friend was telling me over Zoom that her small garden beds just didn’t produce this year. After talking I realized the beds were probably in great need of nutrients. We offered to bring her some rabbit compost with leave mulch to cover her beds this winter. She was elated. It costs us nothing but means a great deal to her as she is very tight as well financially and really relies on her garden for her vegetables during the summer months. We are doing the same to our beds this winter. I collect all our kitchen scraps and they are eaten by the chickens or turned into compost in the compost bin. Between the rabbit/chicken manure and compost, the soil has improved greatly and I know will continue to do so. Which in turn will improve the harvest.

    My father dropped off 3 dozen eggs from his chickens as mine have slowed down greatly. That was a huge blessing.

    I truly hope everyone has a great week. I always enjoy reading everyone’s comments and how each person is trying to make the best of the situation they find themselves in.

  45. Your flower is beautiful. It is snowing here today, so I’m glad no travel for my family this Thanksgiving. At least no mountain pass travel.
    Gave DH a haircut, on one of the warmer, sunnier days, since we do it out in the yard.
    Made a large batch of taco meat and chicken tortilla soup. The soup contains onions, black beans and corn, all from previous gardens, and chicken broth from the freezer. Ate on that for several days.
    Got our turkey for 49¢ a pound, when you spend $50 at Fred Meyer. The people in front of me spent $175, and I commented – you didn’t get your free turkey? They said “What?” I told them they could get a free turkey if they spent $150 or more, and even if they didn’t want it, the food bank would appreciate it. The cashier said they were not allowed to tell customers about the free turkey if they didn’t already know. I said that I could, since I don’t work there. They went to the customer service and were able to get their free turkey.
    My DH’s family had an early family Thanksgiving on November 13th. We went over to Seattle for it. Since my DH’s family is Italian, the dinner consisted of pasta and different kinds of sauces – chicken, sausage and meatball. We all took something for appetizers. It was an enjoyable time. There were approx. 30 people there, three different generations.
    We got home late, and were unaware that in a windstorm a tree had fallen down across our access road. My DH was able to take his chain saw, and cut it into manageable lengths, and then we dragged it to our “back field.” It was a tree that had been planted for a windbreak, and was about 25 feet tall.
    My sister’s DH and their son went after razor clams in Long Beach, Washington. There was no clamming last year due to Covid, so the clams were a much larger size than normal, and really abundant. The state raised the limit from 12 to 20 for this year also. He and his son each got their limits both days they went out. They cleaned them and shrink wrapped them and they are ready for the freezer. My sis said to not be surprised if we got some clams for Christmas. YUM! Clam chowder.
    Not much else. I’m tired, so am staying home the rest of the year. Too much travel this year.
    I hope all who celebrate Thanksgiving has a blessed and joyous one.

  46. I received a $10 gift certificate in the mail for Save-on-Foods. Neither I nor most of my friends usually shop there but I have been reading their ads. I have turned down my furnaces. I don’t really know how to save more on electricity because I spend about $12 per month on actual electricity used with about $90 going to administration charges. I bought potatoes on sale but now find I can get twice as many for half that price so I might buy more.
    My ladies club is making oatcakes as a scholarship fundraiser at a fairly reasonable price so I will be giving some oatcakes for thank you gifts to my grocery volunteers.

    I am very low on money this month but rich in food reserves. I will be eating sweet potatoes, carrots, apples, baked potatoes, and home made soup this month. Brandy, I have been really worried about food conditions world-wide. My pasta comes from Turkey — it is one of the few pastas that do not have egg in them. The price has risen from 0.99 per 900 grams to $1.27. I did restock my pantry with it but I worry about not getting it at all. An, given your information, I worry about the country of Turkey. Alberta is a huge exporter of pork to Asian countries. The recent B.C. mudslides may increase transportation costs. I fear the world is in for hard times.

    Because of allergies, I eat pretty basic foods anyway. During covid I have eaten more processed foods but will do so less now. I will start baking my own soda bread, and making more soups. We have almost finished our book. Once it’s published, I’ll have more time to bake, make yogourt.

    1. I seek out and follow news reports to see what is happening with food prices throughout the world. I’m seeing a lot more about it lately and none of it is good. I was glad that we redid our garden before but now I am re-evaluating each space even more carefully to see if I can plant even more food in the same space. I think I can.

  47. Brandy,
    Thanks for another encouraging post. I wish you and your family a wonderful Thanksgiving.
    My husband has a Christmas wreath business and wanted to take two trees down we had growing at the end of our house. He will use the greens in his wreaths. This will leave this space looking a little empty- in the growing season, it is our raspberry bed but now it is empty looking. My husband used cedar fence slats (from a fence our son removed from his property) to make two cedar planters. I painted and then stenciled a design on the front of each planter and gave them a good sealer coat. I planted a very small lemon cypress tree along with some trailing ivy in each planter. I had dug up some lavender that grew this summer from another plant and potted them up in two clay pots. They are now well established so I added the lavender, clay pot and all into the planter. I finished off with adding some birch branches and topped it all off with some moss. The only thing I purchased for this project was some potting soil and the lemon cypress tress. The planters look very classy and add some color and interest to that end of the house. I have to say that watching Brandy re-do her gardens gave me the confidence to make this huge change. I went to two craft bazaars this last weekend with my daughter and niece and I didn’t buy anything but really enjoyed my time with them. I have everything I need for our Thanksgiving except some lettuce for a green salad.
    We live in the Pacific Northwest and our temps are very cold now. I am very pleasantly surprised to say my fushia plant is still blooming and looks really good. It is a hanging fushia basket. I have two other bush fushia plants in the ground that are also blooming. They are right up near the house so they are protected. My hanging basket was $5 worth of starts planted back in early June. That is almost 6 months of enjoyment for a $5 basket of flowers which is really great for our climate!
    Lastly, I wanted to add that while at the craft bazaar one of the vendors had single paperwhite bulbs in re-used glass food jars or bottles and was charging $7 each. I went to my local nursery and purchased a couple paperwhite bulbs for $1.49 each. I have plenty of glass containers. I will gift these to my mom for Christmas so she can watch them grow. This might be a good gift idea for other readers.

  48. My husband was able to fix my oven for only 35 dollars! I was so happy! I will be able to cook a turkey in it this year! We saved so much money because he tackled it himself. He also put in a nice shower head this week.

  49. Happy Thanksgiving everyone. I found out through a weird thing my phone did that a friend’s husband died last week. Makes me thankful to be so blessed! I also feel blessed to have known him as he was such a gentle, gentlemanly man.
    We will go to my son’s for Thanksgiving, then make our own Thanksgiving on Friday with our choice of foods. Our school cook when I was growing up made diced turkey and gravy over mashed potatoes. I don’t normally eat gravy, but I love leftovers made into gravy and biscuits. It’s funny, that we all remember her meals so fondly, even though we are in our 70’s.
    I’ve been having health problems, so I’m waiting for an appointment after Thanksgiving. The doctors thought I needed a mitral valve replacement, but a transesophageal electrocardiogram showed the condition is treatable with drugs. This is all after rheumatic fever when I was 6 and is late developing.
    We have snow on the ground in Fairbanks and Sunday was bitter cold. My husband was preaching at our church as our pastor is leaving. People east of the church had -34 or so. We appreciate being well stocked for food! We have many potatoes and carrots from our garden and are so thankful for our short growing season with almost no darkness. The celery I dehydrated this year molded. Our humidity was too high so I will continue to freeze celery.
    Thanks to all who participate in this blog and to Brandy for taking the time to maintain it. May all be blessed this Thanksgiving!
    Alaska Gram

  50. Hello! It sounds like another good week for you Brandy. Thank you for the information about rising prices. I’m definitely seeing that in the stores. My favorite picture is that of the pink flower. I’ve looked at that picture for quite a while. It’s a beautiful flower.

    I was home for quite a bit of the week – definitely saves on gas – which is over $4 here. I combined my errands and read books, watched shows, exercised with Walk At Home on YouTube. I also did some Yoga stretches that I found on Pinterest. I’ve also been practicing deep breathing exercises.

    I enjoyed a video about slow living called Choki that I found on YouTube. It was very relaxing. I’ve also been enjoying classic autumn songs and a few classic Christmas stations. I’ve also been watching a video that goes along with our church lesson each week. It has greatly expanded my understanding of the subject and helped me study more.

    I’ve decided to start my food planning with a prayer. I say one before I do my grocery list and coupons. I say another before I go into the grocery store (or any store). It’s helped me keep my grocery costs down quite a bit and below what I’ve budgeted. I’m not trying to push religion – it’s just an idea for those of us who do pray. And then I say a prayer of thankfulness for the help while I’ve shopped. I’ve felt strongly when I should purchase something or when I should hold off on a purchase. Several times I’ve ended up finding a better deal or discovered I didn’t need the item. I’ve been able to build up my savings in my grocery account.

    I uploaded receipts to Ibotta and Fetch. The gift cards I’ve earned have certainly been helping in purchases lately. My husband received a $15 gift card to Olive Garden as a thank you gift. I’ve been trying to find free items to help my son furnish his new townhome. This past week we were blessed a coffee table, matching end table and a brand new never opened lamp. We were also blessed with a solid wood bookshelf (5 shelves). We also received 2 handmade quilts. All of it free. I’ve saving the quilts for Christmas gifts. My son only wants the coffee table. I will use the end table and new lamp in my home.

    I started a new board on Pinterest called Frugal Ideas. I’ve been pinning only things that I will definitely use. Some things are beans and rice recipes, ways to cheaply heat your home, ideas for food gifts, meatless meals, uses for powdered milk. I want to keep this board smaller so that I can find what I need quickly.

    I remade leftovers into another meal. My husband wanted White Chicken Chili. I needed to use up some Turkey steaks (had 1 1/2 left) and 3 small potatoes. I chopped those up, added chicken broth, 1/2 red pepper, 1 can of northern beans, salt & pepper and chives. I added the 1/4 cup of sour cream after it had cooked and simmered. My husband liked it better than the white chicken chili. It made enough for another meal. I will freeze one small container of it (in the sour cream container) to give to my kids for their own quick meal.

    We babysat our darling granddaughter last week. We spent 7 hours with her and played and snacked. I hand washed my daughter’s dishes and did general cleanup for daughter and son in law. My husband treated me to lunch using a gift card. I consider my granddaughter free entertainment. She’s adorable.

    I went to Dollar Tree and bought aluminum pans to sue for our turkey. I’ve also been watching videos on well-priced items at Dollar Tree that I can use to stock up my pantry. I’ve still been buying gnocchi, shelf-stable milk, cough drops and etc.

    Have a wonderful week.

  51. Turkey is thawing in the fridge! I bought the turkey last fall so no new spending ;). We are having two other couples over for the meal, they are bringing all the side dishes and desserts. Only cost was to buy a ten pound bag of potatoes ;). I did get another Turkey for the freezer at Walmart for $0.88/lb. Other stores had a requirement to spend $25 and I didn’t need that much. Returned two pairs of sneakers at kohls that were the wrong size (the price was fantastic…turns out that I didn’t notice that price only related to size 6). Also went to Home Depot with my husband to pick up a Rigid drill that was repaired (had lifetime warranty through Rigid). They tried to charge him $65 for repairs plus wanted to keep his $30 deposit (they said he didn’t have any warranty even though he had all his warranty service agreements in hand from Rigid). After two discussions with customer service folks, he finally got to an assistant manager who made all the charges go away, returned our deposit and gave us the repaired drill. He was a smart assistant manager, by doing that, he kept us as a customer. We then went and spent $165 on new hoses, hose reels and AC filters. Not sure if Rigid or Home Depot were at fault for the initial bill but the manager covered it, well done of him.

  52. It was another great week in Houston, TX!
    The kids are out of school for Thanksgiving week, and I am fortunate to get to work from home this week, saving on childcare. Yay!
    We went to a free tree giveaway (Trees for Houston), and although they were out of pecan trees by the time we got through the line, I got two oak trees, the kids got a maple tree, and we got some free fertilizer samples.
    We ate leftovers at home.
    I cooked a cheap turkey, made soup with the carcass, and will freeze the meet we don’t eat by tomorrow. Unfortunately, you have to spend $100 to get it free here, and there wasn’t enough I needed. So, I paid .35/#, which wasn’t too bad. This store isn’t the cheapest, so I still came out ahead, filling in my groceries with Aldi items.
    I did find clearance pepperoni (.99/package), cereal, and lots of .99 marked down produce at Kroger on a different shopping trip.
    I filled up with gas at the cheaper gas station.
    $5 or less meals were: beans and rice, turkey (twice), turkey soup, homemade pizza, and turkey quesadillas.
    Unfortunately, my dishwasher isn’t draining. I cleaned the drain hose, which was dirty, but not completely clogged. I am trying to get to the filter, but I can’t get the pieces out without forcing them, which I’m afraid will crack the plastic. I’m hoping it’s not a problem with the pump. Luckily, I have myself and the kids to wash the dishes by hand, so having a working dishwasher is a luxury, not a need. It will be nice if I can get it fixed, as I can’t replace it for a while.
    A few of the kids and I filled 5 trashcans with pine needles before the trash will be picked up tomorrow. There is so much more to rake, but I can’t burn leaves and pine needles here, and have no other cans to fill right now.
    I listed more things on Mercari and Facebook Marketplace.
    I bought several hand soaps at the Bath and Body Works sale on Saturday. They came to about $2.50/each, and I found a “Soap you have a Merry Christmas” printable. With a bow, many of the teacher gifts will be set. I know that so many people trash homemade food gifts now (especially with Covid), that I really don’t want to risk all the time and effort that goes into baking for others. I know at my kids’ school, most of the teachers put the homemade baked goods in the teachers’ lounge, and the custodians throw 95% of it away, uneaten, before they leave for Christmas break. 🙁 Even before Covid, it seems more and more people were on low sugar diets, suspicious of unfamiliar kitchens’ cleanliness, etc. I’ll still make Christmas cookies for my own kids in a few weeks, though, and we’ll savor every germ and calorie! I’ll probably pickup a few of the $1.50 poinsettias as Lowe’s on Friday, just to deliver to a few neighbors. Honestly, a poinsettia with a bow and card is cheaper than a plate of Christmas cookies, anyway.
    I made two trips to the consignment stores. The adult store paid me $47 and the kid store paid me $39. I buy athletic clothes at Goodwill Outlet (pay by the pound), and they’re so lightweight. Especially when I find Lululemon and Athleta, those sell really well.
    I bought the .99/# butter on sale at Randall’s, as well as a few other loss leaders.
    I haven’t run the heat or AC in quite a while, which is great for my power bill.
    Hope everyone has a great, frugal week! We get to go to my aunt and uncle’s house for Thanksgiving, and they only asked me to bring a couple of things, which will make it a very easy holiday for us!
    I took the other kids to a nearby playground to play while my 6 year old son attended a birthday party, to which he took a new gift purchased from a garage sale. I was able to walk for exercise while they played.
    Hope everyone has a nice, frugal week!

    1. That is really a good point about the baked goods versus giving flowers!

      I was thinking to see if I can get any white poinsettias at that price on the Black Friday sale at Lowe’s. I hadn’t thought about getting some for gifts, but that would be perfect for two gifts for people who are also very healthy eaters. Thank you for that idea! Now if I can just remember to go on Friday!

  53. Brandy, the photo of the red-leafed lettuce springing from the ground and the close ups of the rose and zinnia are lovely. Our small veggie garden is put to rest for the winter and I am already planning on expanding it next spring. Thank you for listing which seeds you planted, I think I will try growing mache too in addition to several varieties of lettuces. Been very busy as 0ur 4th grandchild was born several weeks ago and I’ve been spending lots of time running back and forth to DD’s home, a 45 min drive each way, to help out, cook, shop etc., both DD and baby, a girl, are in excellent health.

    Took advantage of a promo at BJs – spend $100 (a long list of qualifying items) receive a free Butterball turkey. The turkey is in the freezer for future use. My grocery store also had a free turkey/ham or turkey breast promo – that earned “free” turkey has been donated to our county’s food pantry… the store actually donates it for me – at customer service desk, I list my store reward card number and choose the item I wan to donate – I always choose turkey as many more I think would eat turkey than ham. I cook a fresh turkey for us for T-Day.

    A friend who has acreage on the mainland with many maple and oak trees has brought me a dozen super large trash bags full of mulched (done with their riding mower) leaves. DH has spread these mulched leaves on our raised veggie beds and flower beds – these will compost beautifully and give us rich loamy soil. In exchange, I baked her (and for us and DD’s family) several loaves of pumpkin/zucchini bread, cranberry bread, and morning glory muffins. She is not a baker and she and her hubby love these baked goods.

    Good deals: Bought the limit 6 of the $1.99/lb butter at Aldis; at grocery store: 3 lbs of apples for $1.49 (bought rome, mcintosh, gala for baking and to eat fresh); Chex cereal for $0.99 box limit 4- bought rice, corn, wheat to make chex mix; mahi mahi – fresh &wild caught on sale for $12/lb. This is a great price for us on the East Coast as it’s a pacific ocean fish. Did all these specials for DD also at her stores.

    Participated in Operation Cookies – a local retired Commander oversees this each year – sending home baked and store bought cookies to our men and women serving overseas in dangerous parts of the world. I baked 2 dozen each chocolate chip cookies, oatmeal cookies, and pumpkin oatmeal chocolate chip cookies and bought several large packages of Nutterbutter cookies and Oreos. We also made a cash contribution. I bought metal tins for the home baked cookies at Dollar Tree.

    Wishing you and your family and all who are a part of this community a peaceful and Happy Thanksgiving.

  54. Thank you for all the Thankful posts this months. I have been enjoying reading them, although I have not had time to participate this year.

    It has been a few weeks since I posted. Joining in from the Seattle area.

    We moved my mom to assisted living the first Saturday in November. The place is great and she loves it. I am so relieved! We got a great deal where the second and fourth month of rent is free. We still have to pay for care fees, but this is a great savings.

    There is a PT/OT office in my mom’s new facility. My mom had been having PT and OT after she fell several times and broke her arm, and wanted to continue. I spoke to the head PT person, and found out they were not in network with my mom’s insurance. The price per visit would have been $60, which was outside of my mom’s budget. The head PT person offered to speak to her head office, and said she would try to get the copay reduced. She called me a few days later, and they offered my mom treatment at $0 copay. I was so surprised and thankful! She said their company wants people to get the treatment they need, and the cost should not be an impediment. I was impressed!

    My mom had been transported by ambulance to the hospital after two of her falls, and the documents we received from her insurance showed she owed $500 for this. Yet we had not received any bills. So I called the local fire department (who transported her) with the info, and their billing department called me back. It turns out they bill insurance for the ambulance rides, then write the rest off. So my mom did not owe anything! I was feeling very blessed at this point!

    On top of all this, there had been a mysterious check paid by bill pay from my mom’s account in the amount of $400. I spent several hours trying to get to the bottom of this (which I never did – I don’t know if it was fraud or some strange error). But, finally, she got her $400 back. I wasn’t sure if that was actually going to happen, but it did, and I am so grateful.

    In addition to my job at the acupunture office, I have started working two afternoons a week for my former boss at the PT office. He was unable to find a suitable second receptionist to help the main person, and I offered to help until he could find someone permanent. So now I have two very part time jobs. Happy to be earning some money.

    Other ways we saved:
    – We bought my mom’s car, an 11 year old Honda, to replace my husband’s car which was on its last legs. My mom and I figured out a price that was fair to both of us, so everyone is happy. My husband donated his car so we will get the tax writeoff for that.
    – Cooked large batches of tomato soup and asparagus soup and froze a bunch for future lunches. Made a big batch of pancakes and put some in the freezer for later.
    – Got a free pound of pears at the coop. Used a coupon for $10 off $20 worth of meat. Used a $10 off $50 coupon for November.
    – Made water kefir and kombucha. Took my lunch to work. Ate leftovers. Cooked from pantry and freezer. Exercised outside and at home.
    – Purchased the second and third books in the Ration Book Christmas series for .99 each on Amazon kindle. Had promotional credit so they were actually free. I am really enjoying this series.

    Have a good week, everyone. And Happy Thanksgiving to those in the US!

  55. I am again realizing I need to get back on the savings bandwagon as prices continue to rise. It is just me now (widowed at 53) and my kids are grown. I do not get any of my late husband’s retirement yet (a few more years) so I need to pinch pennies again. My full time job keeps me busy and tired so I do splurge for take out food once a week or so.
    I have a small side business and sold several items these past few weeks, so I took that money and invested in food and much needed new work clothes.
    My grocery haul from Aldi’s got me 10 lbs of potatoes for $2.49, 9 lbs of sweet potatoes at 39 cents a pound, 6 lbs of butter at $1.67 each, cranberries at 95 cents a bag I got 6 bags.

    Today I stopped by BJs wholesale – I was running in to look at a freezer they have on their website, and to see if they had any more 89 cent turkeys. Walked up to the fresh turkey cooler and they were marked 49 cents a pound. I only grabbed one as I only have a 3 cu. ft. freezer (hoping to get the one I saw today!) I cooked the turkey up as soon as I got home since it was only 12 lbs. I made 6 jars of cranberry sauce today (2 pints and 4 jelly jar size) and still have enough for another small load. I have the turkey carcass in the crockpot.
    I am off work this week so am working on running my canner every day putting away food.

    I took advantage of the early Black Friday sales and purchases several gifts at 50-75% off. I always adopt 2 angels from the Salvation army angel tree and found items on their list today as well. I won’t skimp on that, but will look for good deals.
    I cleaned out the last 2 garden pots (container garden) and pulled up a nice bunch of colorful carrots that I didn’t except to grow at all.

    Got gas for $3.06. Won a $5 ChickFilA gift card at work,

    That is about it for this week.

  56. I have been clearing odds and ends from the pantry. I found some cereal used for Puppy Chow (DS’s favorite sweet to make for Christmas) and ate it for breakfast a couple days. I have incorporated other things into meals for the week. I have also been doing that in the freezer (the last of nuts in a bag, etc.). Both look neater.

    I found some house shoes! I have only been looking for some for a long time. I had been using my extra pair during most of the pandemic and they needed to be thrown away. The new ones fit but there are no more in my size. The brand I used since childhood is not worth buying anymore. I ordered some and they weren’t sewed to the sole properly so they refunded my money. Gifted ones didn’t last six months before coming apart too. I finally found some at Walmart about 5 years ago that I could keep on and they haven’t had them for two years.

    I have also been filling a box for Goodwill.

    I canned 4 qts. of French Stew and had enough for a couple meals. I just need to make jam with the plums in the freezer and then concentrate on beans and soups.

    I had most everything for the Thanksgiving meal but went out shopping sale items and supplies that were lower than usual. I usually try not to do many big hauls during the holiday season. I was surprised it was so nice to shop in the mornings. Maybe more people are stocking up!

    Happy Thanksgiving!

  57. I was wondering if your readers have any advice on an Instant Pot Ace Nova Blender that cooks too.
    It will be $39.99 reduced from $149.99 on Black Friday sale tomorrow. It seems to me as if it might be very good —
    I could put things in to cook and have it turn off or keep warm automatically. The elements on my stove do not
    have timers and I fear that if I leave something on the stove that if anything happens that prevents me from getting back to it
    there might be bad consequences. Yes I know I shouldn’t leave it on the stove. Anyway the Nova has a timer and a keep warm function
    and an automatic shutoff so it might be a really good thing to have. Does anyone have any experience with one>

  58. Nancy, I am so happy to hear about the razor clams! YUM! When I was in high school, my best friend’s parents spent nearly every summer weekend in Long Beach, WA. Eventually, they left the two of us there during the week–we were all of 15 and nobody thought a thing about it. (But those were different times). We went clamming every single day, sometimes twice a day. The limit was 18 clams per person and you could go on both the morning and evening tides. Many days, we spent the entire day cleaning 72 clams, LOL. My favorite way to eat razor clams (the all-time best and biggest clams) is to roll them in crushed saltines and fry in butter just until golden brown.

    Those were the days before the Astoria bridge. We usually took the ferry to Long Beach.

  59. Because I noted the curtains in your Amazon affiliate line up at the bottom of the post, I clicked in and looked at curtains. Back in the spring, I washed my blackout curtains and the lining stuck together and ruined the curtains. I’ve looked and looked for more in the right color/size and they were so very expensive I couldn’t get them. So tonight I was clicking around on that shop page and discovered quite by accident that I could buy ‘used but like new’ and in reading the description further the ‘used’ part was that they are returns. They were less than the curtains I had in the room. So thank you Brandy…I followed your link and now have new curtains on the way for my bedroom.
    Ordered free online tickets to attend a special Christmas program at our church. We are so excited to get to do this. We look for something special to do each Christmas season. Often we pay big prices, so it’s even more fun to have something special to do that is free to us.
    I spent today cooking our sides for Thanksgiving meal tomorrow. I realized that I was not going to want to cook supper, that we’d not used any of our date money this month and so I ordered Chinese takeout. My daughter and grandson came out and had supper with us so this turned into a nice evening.
    I just ordered my next to last Christmas gifts. I have one more to go and that will be ordered next week. My goal of finishing up prior to December 1 is going to happen. I’ve paid for everything as I’ve gone so no nasty surprises in January.
    My husband helped a church distribute food last weekend. As he was leaving all the volunteers were given a big bag of pecans in shell. He was also told to take some of the leftover items. He brought home a bag of stew that almost served three and a plastic can of instant potato flakes. I was amused to read the instructions which state that if I use one quarter of the container, I can make 37 servings of potatoes…That is the smallest amount they have on the label. Needless to say, I feel sure we shall have instant potatoes for quite a long while ahead.
    Also while there a member suggested to my husband the series The Chosen which is free on YouTube (Amazon charges for it). It is well worth seeing. I have wept often as I watch.
    My son’s wife makes the best coconut pie. She had buttermilk left and as this is the only recipe, she uses buttermilk in she sent the rest of the half gallon over to me. I love to make buttermilk biscuits, pancakes or cornbread and will probably split it up and freeze portions of it so that I can make my own cultured buttermilk from it. I’ll get many quarts of buttermilk, not just the one jug!
    I hope everyone here has a wonderful Thanksgiving!

    1. Hi Terri! You can also watch The Chosen on the BYU TV app, plus a bunch of other shows, no commercials that I’ve ever seen. My kids LOVE Dwight in Shining Armor (the show ended, but it’s a clean, delightful show about a medieval princess that gets thrown into the modern world), and I also saw there’s going to be a Pentatonix Christmas special on December 5th at 4 PT. Not sure if any of that interests you, but I thought I’d share. It’s a free app that I think goes really underused for how much great, clean content is on it. Lots of other shows, too 😊

  60. Love the colorful photos! I had to look twice at the lettuce because I was not sure what it was. Now that it’s fall and my garden is dying down, I am so looking forward to planting in spring.
    Thanks to your commenters last week, I purchased some butter at Kroger to stock up. $1.99/lb is about half the regular price here. Used fuel points to fill up on gas (brought it to less than $3 which seems crazy to think that it’s cheap). Cooked most of our meals at home. Now that I’m off work for a few days for Thanksgiving, I’m hoping to have a chance to organize the freezers to clear some room for upcoming sales.

  61. Yesterday morning while shopping I wanted to pick up a whole chicken for Thanksgiving. I was looking for a standard chicken but all ALDI had was organic at $2.59 a pound! I almost walked away but there were 4 or 5 on the shelf and I looked through them all hoping to find a small one and I came across one that’s label was clearly incorrect. The weight on the tag was incorrect and the total cost was $0.52. I brought it to an employee’s attention and the manager decided to honor the price on the tag. $0.52 total for a 5 pound chicken! I love ALDI! What a blessing!

  62. Hi For the UK readers kilner have at last got canning lids and seals which they haven’t had for over a year. If you can get your order in today there is 20% off.

  63. Hi all! Happy Thanksgiving a few days late for those who celebrate it. We had one of our sons and family for Tday. We weren’t sure about plans until last Tuesday, as they were considering a trip to SoCal to see other family members. I had decided to buy a turkey anyway when Kroger had their sale with a $50 purchase So happy to have my .49 # turkey available! I find it so interesting how various parts of the country differ when it comes to deals. Especially the $25 vs $50 spend requirements. We are fortunate to still be seeing reasonable prices on most everything at the grocery store, except for meat. Our frugal wins include getting 20 meals (and counting) from our Thanksgiving dinner! Tonight will add another 2 with Turkey dumpling soup. We sent our kids home with two quarts of stock, and enough turkey and sides for several more meals. We had a bumper crop of potatoes and squash this year, and I made stuffing with the bread I had in the freezer, so most of that was low cost. I wasn’t sure about using a sesame topped loaf, but work great! I buy the reduced specialty bread at our Kroger’s, which runs between .49-.99 per loaf and freeze. I made homemade potato rolls with leftover mashed potatoes and then from my dried potatoes. I taught my granddaughter how to make her great grandpa’s (my dad’s ) stuffing. My husband taught her how to make his version of deviled eggs. I bought the organic eggs on sale for $1 per dozen (marked down from.$4.99 She loves learning to cook and I’m so happy. She also wanted to go thrifting to get gifts for her cousins. She was so excited to find exactly what
    wanted for a fraction of the original price. We’re eating out of our freezer, pantry and fridge and also, as so many others note, using up all we have so we don’t waste. One last frugal win was actually taking our kids out to their favorite pizza place in town and just ordering spuds and beer (not exactly frugal, but they love craft beer) instead of pizza. We went early and then came home and had a late dinner. It was about 1/4 of the price when I bought just the pizza last time, so I was happy. So encouraging to read all the posts as well as be in a community with shared interests and goals!

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