I harvested basil, roselle hibiscus, green onions, parsley, and lemons from the garden.

My daughter ordered some Christmas presents for her siblings on Shein. They had a sale going. Another daughter had told me that wanted something there for Christmas that was $5, but on the sale it was $3.50. My daughter ordered it with her order and used a coupon code along with free shipping, so it only cost me $3.11 to get this gift for my daughter.

I dried roselle hibiscus to use throughout the year.

I saved seeds from the roselle to plant next year.

I stayed home from the stores and didn’t order anything online save for the gift for my daughter.

What did you do to save money last week?

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  1. I am so curious as to the taste of roselle hibiscus “tea”; it just sounds so delicious and those parts of the plant that you harvest are just so beautiful a colour!

    My frugal week:
    – I made hummus (http://approachingfood.com/ultra-creamy-hummus/) and baked pita for dinner one night. I made mini pitas for my kids, which they liked. I served it alongside some home canned pickled beets http://approachingfood.com/easy-mennonite-pickled-beets/) for a frugal meal. The pita was such a hit with my family (who doesn’t like warm, home-baked bread?) that I made another batch later in the week.
    – I baked carrot apple mini muffins for school snacks, using one less egg than the recipe called for, as well as less sugar.
    – I redeemed loyalty points for $10 off groceries, and pampers rewards for a $5 gc to Amazon.
    – I baked a batch of flourless chocolate chocolate chip cookies, and used the leftover egg yolks to make some lemon curd.
    – I made nachos for dinner one night, and put taco-flavoured lentils (using homemade taco spice mix) on top instead of ground beef.
    – I used gift cards my husband received in the past year, to buy meat for the freezer. Aside from a turkey for Christmas, if I decide to go that route, I think we have enough meat until the end of the year. I’ll have to be deliberate about using meat as a topping or flavoring instead of a main, but it will be a fun challenge.

    Looking forward to learning from everyone else as always!

    1. Dear Brandy , my daughter who doesn’t read ,always enjoys your photos. She was so excited to see your young son. His sweater was adorable. My own son wore similar sweaters. Sugar cookie has left for the holidays . She has two young baby cousins and really wanted to spend the entire holiday season with them. I’m alone and am purging my house. No matter how much I get rid of ,it just is never enough. I’m sorting through the pantry storage which is massive. I’m tossing all gluten in the trash. As I write , my joints are swollen and stiff from eating cookies. The inflammation is quite painful and I knew better before I ate them. My grief from the recent suicide of my step daughter is crippling. I’m collecting photos of her to leave for her daughter who was adopted out . I’m sure at a point the child will welcome them. Seems most everyone around is sick. My college daughter is working a Thanksgiving function. The gratuities will be great and as usual the money is most welcome. I have done no black Friday shopping. I have so few needs . I am ordering a pair of gloves. Our weather is about the usual yearly temperature but this year the cold is bone chilling. I have collected holiday food the last few weeks.
      Ham , Turkey. Olive oil ,celery ,carrots, onions, garlic, potatoes, corn ,brussel sprouts ,green beans ,butternut squash , sweet potatoes, pie crust ,frosting , cake mix ,pecans, walnuts, marshmallows, flour ,sugar, light and dark brown sugar ,honey , saltines ,bread ,cream ,butter and eggs.
      The only thing I need for a holiday meal is to buy corn meal and cranberry sauce. Dumpster diving is a blessing. Quiche are being baked to be frozen.

      1. I’m so sorry about your step-daughter. The holidays can be painfully difficult for someone who is grieving. I hope you can surround yourself with friends and family to help you through. 🙏

      2. Lillianna, lifting you up in prayer. My dear friend just lost her niece to suicide a couple of weeks ago and is in the same emotional state. It is good you are keeping busy! Love your dumpster diving stories! Just think how many people you have blessed with your finds and generous heart.🥰

    2. I can’t believe it’s already Thanksgiving week! I have everything I need for our dinner and the best part is that it’ll feed us for many more meals.

      We started our own tradition when we moved here because we’re alone. In the year prior, we choose a room in the house to redo.
      It works out that we cycle through the whole thing about every 10 years. Then it gets fresh paint and anything else to make it pretty. By choosing a year prior, we can take our time looking for sales on everything, including 40% off of paint. (Egads, when did paint get so expensive?!). This year’s project is a small one because money has been so tight. We’re going to paint the area around the bay window in the dining room. I found beautiful chair cushions for half off at Kohl’s and the paint matches the green in them. We have new rods and drapes, as well. We’ve already chosen the laundry room as next year’s project. Doing one room per year is perfect for our budget and aging bones!!

      The past week was mostly the regular stuff. I love what one poster said last week about it being easier to save $1000 dollars $1 at a time than it is to save it at once. So true!

      * We had a cold week, but kept the heat at 62° and 55° . We just heard that our gas bill will have an added $5.xx monthly charge for the next TEN years to cover the deep freeze in February of 21. I’m not happy about that!!
      * I combined a sale and coupon to buy a gift for a friend for her birthday in January.
      * I cut my husband’s hair.
      * I had a friend over on Saturday to help her make ornaments for her daughter for Christmas. I had all the stuff so it cost nothing and was fun.
      *I submitted a stack of wellness forms to husband’s HR and have accrued all of our points to get a discount for health insurance in 2024. I love getting that done early!
      * Used a coupon for a free bottle of lotion.
      * I really took my time going over the sale ads at the market. I did pretty good. I got celery for 79¢, sweet potatoes for 39¢ lb., Potatoes for $2.99/10 lbs., PB for $1.29, cranberries for 99¢ (I bought extra to freeze), and a Caesar salad dinner kit in perfect condition for $1.07. It made a delicious pairing with leftover soup for dinner.

      I was too ambitious last week when I posted about my reading. I only finished one book and the new one is also by Rick Mofina. It’s called Every Second. I’m still watching a little bit of The Dollmaker on YouTube every day. What drama. The wife, Gertie is such a hard worker and saver. It’s not a cheerful movie, but I think it’s an excellent film. I’m not a Jane Fonda fan, but she is terrific in this.

      Happy Thanksgiving to those in the States and a happy week to everyone else. Feel free to join us in spirit or with turkey!!

      1. Debby, what a great idea to do one room a year, and to take advantage of the sales for a year! That is manageable and helpful as we age! Happy Thanksgiving!🦃

      2. One room a year is brilliant. We’ve been doing the whole 2nd floor this year and its been brutal and we will certainly end up taking 2.

  2. I’ve been a real homebody lately, which can be a real money saver, especially if you’re not prone to online shopping. Boring, but frugal.
    I had a turkey in my deep freeze leftover from last year, when it was free at Winco after a certain amount spent, I cooked up a neighbor’s uncut pumpkin and I darned four pairs of socks.

    I course, I also blogged about my frugal accaomplishments here:


  3. Last week I worked 3 days outside the home, and cooked all meals at home.
    I learned that if I vigorously shake newly washed bath towels before hanging them on the line to dry, that they ‘fluff’ up and dry so much nicer.
    We received persimmons from our neighbor. I had dried some of the previous batch that they had gifted us, so I gave some dried persimmons to them. I dried enough to give as gifts to 2 people, as well as some for ourselves.
    I started kale and radish seeds on a sunny windowsill. Both are growing so well. I’ve set trays of green tomatoes out in the sun to help them ripen. It has speeded the ripening a lot. Several days this week I have appreciated that I’m still eating cucumbers and tomatoes from our garden, even though we’ve had frosts for over a month.
    I sold an item from my gift stash that I was pretty certain I would never gift. It was new with tags. It had come in a set of 2 items, and had been requested as a gift by a family member. I gave them the one they requested, but still had this second one in my gift stash after several years. Feels good to move it on.
    Gathering up to go to our daughters for Thanksgiving, bringing many thrifted or free items that various of the kids have requested, and matching pajama pants that I have sewn for son, DIL and grandson. DIL purchased the fabric on a great sale and gave it to me last time we were with them. I adapted the one pajama pants pattern I have to make all 3 pairs-it took some thought because my son is 6’1″, DIL is 5’0″ and grandson is 18 months. My husband has tried on the pair for my son, and the other 2 pairs I’ve basted the waistbands and left the hems un-sewn. This way most of the work is done, they can try them on and then I’ll finish waists and hems. In the past I’ve finished them completely and had to take waists and hems out.

  4. We have had rain every day this week, according to the weather forecast we have had 118mm so everything is very wet and our we had our first frost on Friday.I do feel a fool watering the greenhouse in the rain. I had to dry the washing on the airers and as rain is forecast for the next 12 days the same will happen next week.

    The family have decided not to buy any Christmas presents this year, we will give the grandkids money, hurray no Christmas shopping. We will actually have Christmas on Christmas Day this year the first time we have all been together for since 1998.

    I have not felt well this week the old gallbladder problems have reared it’s ugly head again so I will have to look at our diet to cut out any fat that has crept in again.

    We went to Aldi this week and I got 2 chickens 30% off. Short date but they went in the freezer when I got home. I could have had more but I am out of freezer space and Kilner jars. The chickens are now £3.59 a year ago it was £2.99. We also went to Waitrose they had finger rolls, hot cross buns and pastries 50% off,yet again short dates also coffee was on offer £5.50 instead of £6.50 so I bought 4.. It is definitely cheaper to go to the physical shops as you can pick up offers.Our spend for 2 adults was about £70 for the week.

    I am still picking raspberries, brussel sprouts, carrots, beets and parsnips from the garden and potatoes and apples from the garage were they are stored. I am looking forward to sowing the first seeds in about 8 weeks time.

    My grandma was a professional cook in a big house. When I was young at the end of rationing in 1953 she was still only using 1/2 the recipe requirements of eggs and topping up with water, rinsing out the last little bit from the milk from the bottles and also rinsing out bottles and cans. The liquid from cans and bottles were always used and all fat from meat was put in a bowl to make dripping for our toast at tea time. Toast made in front of the range on a toasting fork. Christmas puds cooked in the wash boiler for 6 hours. All food was stored in the cellar in a meat safe no fridges in those days, we got our first fridge in 1963 and our first freezer in 1975. Happy memories.

    I have been sorting through our savings accounts, a job I hate but all done now.

    The heating has been turned down and we are both wearing vests. I feel a little chilly but its bearable. Upstairs is turned up at about 9.30 pm and turned off the boiler when we go to bed . We are doing all the usual little things to keep costs down. No black Friday spends.

    I hope everyone has a good thanksgiving week.

    1. So your grandma was Mrs. Patmore, LOL!

      Chris, my mother’s father died when she was 6, leaving my grandmother with 6 children to raise. Then came the Depression. Then World War 2. (Then me, LOL). My mom ALWAYS rinsed out the cans and now I mostly do, too. (It’s funny how things like this are generational). She cooked with saved grease (dripping) and sometimes I do, too (especially bacon grease). I had not heard of dripping on toast, however. When my husband had gallbladder problems 50 years ago, I really cut back on fat. Although reducing our fat intake didn’t have much effect (he eventually had surgery and wondered why he waited so long), it created habits that have lasted a lifetime. It’s probably been good for our health, but it’s definitely been good for the grocery budget. I use about a gallon of cooking oil a year and I never, ever deep fry anything. Too fatty and too expensive!

    2. Chris, it’s so interesting what you write about your grandma, and then you end with, “Happy memories.” That’s great. Thank you for sharing it with me. The other day I was trying to not use aluminum foil. I have a lot of it but I heard it was expensive. I was trying to make a reflector for my plants (to warm them) and I got out some used bags which are silver on the inside. I duct taped them to the box instead of getting out new foil like I did last year. It brought me such joy…using something I already had instead of buying it new!

  5. Hello and best wishes!

    Last week I let you know that my daughter was starting to come out of an 8-week-long depression and anxiety meltdown. She continued to do well and today went back to the certified family home where she lives half the week. Happy days are here again! (Especially for her, but for us, too). She is 46 years old and has developmental disabilities.

    I spent most of last week getting ready for Thanksgiving. Some friends who don’t have family in the area will be joining us. I got a free turkey at Winco with $125 purchase. I don’t normally spend anywhere near that much per week, but I pretty well filled the holes in my pantry. I had to clean my fridge in order to make room to thaw the turkey. Now the refrigerator, freezer and pantry are clean and organized and I even know how much food we have!

    A friend convinced me I should make more of an effort to decorate for holidays instead of just phoning it in, LOL. I have a tablecloth in fall colors that I got for $1 at a yard sale years ago. We’ve been using it for picnics, but I ironed it and it doesn’t look half-bad! I also have some burnt orange napkins that I inherited from my mother-in-law who died in 2005. Now I have to come up with a centerpiece–or SOMETHING–but I am completely lacking in talent.

    Last week, a lot of minor software problems came to a head for me when I tried to register my daughter for the patient portal at our doctor’s office. I spent two days and wore out a couple of friends getting them resolved! Chrome is working again, the ad blocker has been transferred over and I can toggle back and forth between my daughter’s e-mail (necessary for the patient portal) and mine. All of this seems very ordinary, but NOTHING was working correctly.

    Today I got the patient portal up and running and e-mailed the doc. I also retrieved my Delta frequent flyer number and requested credit for a trip. I phoned around and found someone to embroider names on Christmas stockings. I ordered a pair of flannel-lined Carhartts on clearance for a Christmas gift. I also renewed a gift membership in AAA. All of this stuff takes a lot of time!

    I attended the University of Idaho for my senior year about 30 years ago and know the campus well. The three female victims of the quadruple murder all lived within a few miles of me, although I didn’t know any of them or their families. Moscow, Idaho, is a beautiful college town and it is unthinkable this could happen there. Please lock your doors and urge your family–especially young adults living on the own–to do the same. Make sure everyone has their own key. Stay safe, friends.

    1. Maxine, one of the prettiest centerpieces I made was so simple. I tried gold ribbon bows on apple stems and put them in a silver bowl. Crystal looks just as pretty. A bowl of pinecones? When all else fails, never underestimate the warm glow of candles!

      1. Good idea! That is what we are doing. I bought squash for 19 cents a lb. They will decorate the table and we will be able to eat them!

    2. That’s wonderful news about your daughter! Ordering online and all the phone calls, requests, etc., can eat up hours! I was on the phone for an hour last week trying to resolve where $45 worth of Foodsavers bucks disappeared to once I redeemed them. Sadly, no one was able to figure it out, so they gave me $50 of free product, another $12 of fre product for my time and a bonus gift. I’ll take it!

  6. Hi Brandy and everyone
    How lovely to be able to harvest lemons. It’s so interesting to hear what everyone around the world is picking in season.
    It’s nearly all about food this week!
    I picked lettuce and the last tomatoes ( from a greenhouse) and a few last apples.
    Inexpensive meals were cauliflower cheese, chicken and veg stir-fry with leftover chicken and cheese omelettes. The roasted chicken fed us three dinners and I made bone broth with the carcass. I used the bone broth as the base for soup and added several tubs of ‘dibs and dabs’ which are small leftover portions I’ve frozen. Soup is usually the way I use them up.
    We gratefully received a brace of wild duck from a friend.
    I made elderberry cordial from elderberries I picked and froze earlier in the year. My husband has a cold so I am encouraging him to drink it as a hot drink, it’s full of Vitamin C.
    I made two large Christmas puddings and gave them the first steaming in the slow cooker.
    I used up a jar of homemade mincemeat in mincemeat slice.
    My husband saw a recipe for quick rolls and tried it out, they are yummy. We ate some with soup, some with cheese and I think they would be good with jam too.
    I am cutting down my grocery bill a bit by not buying so many condiments as they’re not essential ( things like tartare sauce). We have homemade redcurrant jelly, apple and mint jelly, chilli jam, medlar jelly and I can make fresh mint sauce and apple sauce. I can make salad dressings although I do buy mayo, tomato ketchup and mustard. ( I know I can make them too but don’t!) I think my SIL grows horseradish so I might ask for some to make horseradish sauce.
    There was a deal on our favourite tea so I stocked up.
    I bought some Christmas presents online at reduced prices and met the minimum amount for free delivery.
    I used the remains of an Amazon gift card to buy two books for presents.
    Thank you Brandy and all commenters for your positivity.
    Stay safe everyone.

    1. PennyP, after throwing out bottles and bottles of salad dressings which we never finished, I am resolved to make my own as well. Tired of the waste. When the kids were here, we always went through them, now I need to adjust.

  7. This week has flown by! Monday and Tuesday were our days up to see my brother in Michigan. On Tuesday morning when we checked out of our hotel, there was still a bit of time before visiting hours for my brother, so we stopped at ALDIs and got another 6 pounds of butter ($2.49/pound, limit 6) and then we stopped at Meijers and bought 50 pounds of Russet potatoes ( on sale 5 pounds/99 cents)! Both of these stores were less than 5 minutes from our hotel and literally on route to my brother’s hospice center.

    On Wednesday after we were back home, our daughter came over with her apples she bought.on sale a couple weeks ago so I could teach her how to can apple pie filling. Working together we canned 14 quarts for her and 10 for me! We were able to phone our friend who gave us these canning jars to thank her and show her photos of the finished jars! https://pin.it/6TRfXYb. I also began dehydrating some of my apples in slices- https://pin.it/1EhdLAW. By Friday I had finished dehydrating about 21 pounds of apples which fit into 3-1/2 half gallon jars.
    I still had some more of my 51 pounds of apples, so I canned 3-1/2 quarts of applesauce: https://pin.it/3AWduUd. That left a few for us to eat fresh too.

    Since I wanted nothing wasted, the peelings went to chickens, some went to start apple scrap vinegar- https://pin.it/3G8rb5r. I also found a Rose Red video on using the peelings to make apple jelly: https://youtu.be/ONdEy9VcOlE. I feel wasteful that I didn’t make any of the jelly. Maybe next time I have apples!

    Potatoes are still 99 cents for 5 pounds (no limits) at Meijers and turkeys are still 55 cents/pound (limit 2 but no additional purchase requirement) there through Saturday, Nov. 26th.

    While I have been busy in the kitchen, Dave has been outside attaching our plexiglass sides along the lower perimeter of the chicken coop to keep snow, rain and harsh winds from blowing in on them. Our temps have plummeted this week – highs only being 21 F ( -6.11 C)!! He also turned off the pump in the koi pond and set the heater in it to keep it from totally icing over. We are noticing the positive effects of the new windows and door insulating even more this week, but our furnaces have clicked on a few times just to keep the house a bit warmer. For us, that’s set at 64 degrees when we are in a particular wing of the house. Company coming over? We click it up to 70! Lol!

    Missouri Star Quilt Company has their digital quilt patterns on sale for two days for $1 each instead of $4.95 each. Typically, I watch their free videos and then jot down specifications as they go. But sometimes it’s nice to have a hard copy that I can look at all at once rather than scrolling through video. So I “invested” (LOL) $20 and got 20 patterns that would have cost around $100. I’ve already started to make one as my neck scrappy Use-It-Up quilt! My daughter bought 7 so we coordinated to make sure that we didn’t order duplicates. It’s kind of a nice change of pace not to have to sketch out and calculate all the pieces/ fabric requirements, etc that go into a particular quilt I want to make!

    This weather is slowing me down and I’ve picked up a cold which is bad timing because there is so much to do! Very glad we took an online suggestion back in August to stick up on OTC meds for flu, allergies, sinus, etc. so that when those things came, we wouldn’t have to trek to the store to buy them! That has proven to be a money saver as well! We bought several of them in bulk from Costco and Amazon and could read the label info from the comfort of home before buying any!

    Hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving if you’re in the U.S. and if you’re not, that you still find time to reflect on all the blessings you have received!

    Gardenpat in Ohio

    1. Hi Gardenpat,
      Can you give me more information about the MO Star Quilt Company sale. Maybe the sale is past, also. I was just looking for the two-day sale on digital patterns you mention here. Thank you for the information about their tutorials. I would like to learn to quilt and want to make some quilts out of old-fashioned double knit fabric, i.e. the stuff from the early 70s. I am trying to collect more fabric, especially in pastel colors. However, that kind of fabric is not as common as I thought it would be.
      Elizabeth H.

      1. Elizabeth H- Sadly the 2 day sale was Nov. 17 & 18 but their online tutorials are always free on YouTube. Here is their link: https://youtube.com/@MissouriQuiltCo. This will access years of wonderful videos that you can learn to quilt particular patterns and the tutorials are always free! I love that I can stop them or “rewind” the video if I need to hear or see a part again!

        Good luck! I hope you will find as much pleasure from quilting as I have!

        Gardenpat in Ohio

  8. Harvested the last carrots from the garden – I will use the fried carrot tops for pesto. We had the first snow this week – it only lasted a day before it melted. The last of the fennel was a bit frost damaged, but I can use most of it. The chicory salad is still going strong – I got about 1 kg, which I blanced and put in the freezer.

    I gave my son a haircut.

    One of my friends held a reception to celebrate that she has written a book! I was very pleased to go and congratulate her. I brought some homemade apple fruit leather and quince paste (membrillo) as a present. I wrapped it in a chocolate box that I had saved and ribbons I had saved from gifts. We often gift each other chocolate in the family, and I always keep the nice boxes, to use for wrapping homemade edible gifts. It is both practical and makes it look nice. The evening also had free entertainment – music and book reading and food later in the evening. I bought my friends book, as I want to support her and because I really want to read it. It was a very nice evening.

    Got some books from the library that I was very surprised they had – it can always pay to make a search! I found out a while ago, that I can make reservations for books both from the libraries in the municipality, but also nationally. It is just another homepage I have to visit. The books get delivered to my local library – also from specialized libraries – what a service! It always makes me happy to get a book that I find interesting or have wanted to read for a long time.

    I made a reservation on an e-book on no-dig gardening.

    Thanks for the replies on the onion soup last week, I got some good tips! Hope everyone will have a nice week!

  9. Beautiful roses. All my flowers are frozen now so I enjoy seeing your pictures especially of your loaded lemon tree last week. Our church gave people the opportunity to make Thanksgiving boxes that when put together were an entire meal. I was able to get a turkey for 49 cents a pound, 10 lbs of potatoes on sale and canned goods on sale. We delivered the box back to church on Saturday. Three hundred and eighty volunteers unloaded boxes from the back of the cars via a drive through line. Over 4,500 boxes were collected and yes we belong to a mega church. I made chicken broth in my crockpot yesterday to use when I make my Thanksgiving meal. Lots of from scratch cooking. Keeping the heat at 67 during the day and 66 at night. Yesterday I was so hot in the house and I discovered my husband had turned it up to 69! The zipper on my winter coat broke and is beyond repair. Will shop for a used coat today at favorite consignment shop and check out how much it will cost to repair coat. I was given pajama pants, dress shirt and a pair of long pants with tags still on for my son bc they were too small for my friend’s son. Also a loaf of bread and a carton of eggs in my Target pick up that I did not order. They do not take back food so an unexpected blessing. Happy Thanksgiving to everyone.

  10. I am grateful that we have food and we can pay our bills right now. I ordered a dress that I may return in the package. It cost way more than I need to spend. I have a dress I think I can wear to my son’s wedding. It is a dress I wear to church. I actually like the dress. So, I may need to pay the shipping for the mistake. But I will save a lot if I don’t wear the new dress and return it when it comes. My husband is going to rent a tux. Much cheaper than buying a suit or tux. We ordered propane before the prices skyrocketed. But our tank is dropping. I am wondering if we will need propane when it is very cold in January or February. I imagine the prices will be high then. I’m glad we can pay our house and land taxes. We will have to save for the next year. I hope we get a refund this year instead of having to pay income taxes this coming year. We will see. Last week I bought an extra turkey at .59 cents a lb. That is a great price for meat! I thought about buying another one today. But I would have to buy 25 dollars worth of groceries. I will think about it. I would also have to drive 45 minutes away. I might just stay home. I am working on using what is in the refrigerator. I took my son shopping yesterday and had to ask for the coupon that he was supposed to get. It was for 25 dollars off of groceries. It is possible that the cashier just forgot. But I wondered. The coupon will help him with produce. We are being careful to use our leftovers and are trying to use all the produce in our refrigerator. I was happy to get squash for .19 cents a lb. last week. We will be eating squash. It is cheaper than potatoes, much cheaper. I will be making a ham this week and a Turkey next week.
    I have been wearing an extra sweater in the house to keep cozy and warm. I am down a size from a few weeks ago. I am very happy about that! I have a long way to go. But I am headed in the right direction. I guess going slow is healthier. So I should be happy.
    I have a bit of a cold but I actually feel better than I did 3 weeks ago. Maybe because I am eating better and less. We have spent some time around the house instead of going places. We did eat a meal out. But we shared a meal. It was still much more expensive than I wanted to pay. I am going to have to start packing picnics again or go to the grocery store. We are enjoying sharing time together over a cup of tea in the evening. We both enjoy Youtube. During the day, my son likes to play beautiful music. So, I listen to that as I clean and work in the house. Sometimes, I will play something of my choice and he enjoys that as well. We turn off lights as usual. I’m not keeping the heat as low as I was. I noticed I feel better and accomplish more if I have it just a bit warmer. Even still, I wear a sweater and warm socks. I’ve considered getting long johns for under my jeans. I usually love wearing dresses. But I like being warm in the winter. My husband got me an electric heater last year or so. I used it a couple days when it was very cold. One day, when we were coming home from his parents my husband bought me a hand warmer. It was one of those ones that you press and it keeps warm for a very long time. I want to get more for the car. It was lovely to have warm hands. He also got me a warm pair of socks. It makes all the difference. It is nice to be warm. I get cold easily. Before I had the hand warmer, my hands actually hurt they were so cold. I also sometimes use the oven to bake or roast and it keeps the kitchen nice and toasty warm.

      1. Brandy,
        Thank-you! I am excited! I’ve been trying to drink a cup of tea or water when I want to eat, which is often. The tea makes me feel like I am doing something special. I also have been eating a lot of soup and trying to half my servings. We also have been sharing a meal if we go out. I have a long way to go. But the fact that I am in a size smaller makes me very, very happy!

        1. Which reminds me: It’s time to make another cup of herbal tea with no sugar. 😊

          My own progress is slow right now but I am making progress! I’m not down a size yet, though.

    1. My husband put a new light in his truck and he fixed the grill on the front all himself today. It saved us a lot of money! He bought th e parts form O’reilly’s auto parts.

    2. Tammy, About the long johns—I’m in Canada and keep our house cool. Long johns tend to feel bulky under clothes. Instead, I keep my “runny” pantyhose to wear under jeans while indoors. With socks on your feet too, of course. A stretch cami (cheap at Walmart) underneath your shirt will also help insulate against the cold. My daughter often wears a knit cap indoors, but I think that’s excessive!

      1. Elle w,
        Thank you for your Ideas! I have worn an extra sweater. I love wool socks as well. I have worn a hat before in the house. But I haven’t done it yet this season.

    3. Hi Tammy,
      That’s great about your weight loss. My doctor told me to drink water (or tea) when I felt hungry.
      Often we mistake thirst for hunger. That is a great price on winter squash! I had a small butternut squash for dinner. I was watching a recipe for Mediterranean Stuffed Acorn Squash. She uses couscous to stuff it and mixes other veggies into the couscous — including sauteed mushrooms, red peppers, and then some feta cheese. They look really festive. Happy Thanksgiving.

      1. Ellie’s Friend,
        Thank-You! The Mediterranean Stuffed Acorn Squash sounds good! I was thrilled to get squash at .19 cents a lb.! I will have to google that recipe. I am still trying to drink water or tea more often. I do notice that it helps reduce my hunger.

      2. That sounds delicious Ann – must try that one too as I am making more vegetarian dishes these days!

        Was it your book launch that Cam was talking about? Is there info online about it?

  11. *I attended an early Thanksgiving potluck dinner. I took three loaves of homemade bread. It was a hit! Afterwards, they sent leftovers home with everyone. I took a bag of cut up bananas and a bag of apple slices. I’ll use them in my smoothies.
    *A friend gave me three pairs of shoes her son had outgrown. They were barely worn.
    *I found a great sale on pineapples and bought 5.
    *There was also a clearance sale on garlic naan bread. I bought 2o packages and threw them in the freezer.
    *I found a new home for some infant clothing. The family are in desperate need of them.
    *I cut my dill, basil, and Thai basil and gave some to a friend.
    *I had to have an MRI. I used a work affiliated hospital and saved 50%.

  12. I am drinking a cup of hibiscus tea as I type. 🙂
    *First, I have to apologie to Laurae who inquired last week about my wall-mounted drying rack. I responded but perhaps too late for her to see. So, here’s the link again: https://www.amazon.com/Pennsylvania-Woodworks-Mounted-Clothes-Collapsible/dp/B01LZULOGW/ref=sxin_16_pa_sp_search_thematic_sspa?content-id=amzn1.sym.4e7a2229-074e-44de-95c4-9fd858f46295%3Aamzn1.sym.4e7a2229-074e-44de-95c4-9fd858f46295&crid=3VXD2VYEIDVDW&cv_ct_cx=wood+wall+hanging+drying+rack&keywords=wood+wall+hanging+drying+rack&pd_rd_i=B01LZULOGW&pd_rd_r=ed946283-bd5a-439a-b85c-472bc1cb2e6b&pd_rd_w=4YmwO&pd_rd_wg=3Btro&pf_rd_p=4e7a2229-074e-44de-95c4-9fd858f46295&pf_rd_r=JNRPKDEAZ1SW15T3JQ75&qid=1669116816&sprefix=wood+wall+hanging+drying+rack%2Caps%2C110&sr=1-1-a73d1c8c-2fd2-4f19-aa41-2df022bcb241-spons&ufe=app_do%3Aamzn1.fos.08f69ac3-fd3d-4b88-bca2-8997e41410bb&sp_csd=d2lkZ2V0TmFtZT1zcF9zZWFyY2hfdGhlbWF0aWM&psc=1
    *I see that it is now listed for almost double what my husband said he paid. Not sure if our price was an error but am grateful for the deal he received. It is very high quality and I recommend it unreservedly even at that price. It would pay for itself in time if it reduces one’s use of a electric dryer.
    *I purchased 2 used hardcover books from a series my family loves for my youngest son for Christmas. One I was able to easily find on Amazon for less than $6 shipped but the second was proving difficult to find in a HC version. I found 3 sites where it was $35! I continued to search and found it on Ebay for $6.45 shipped. It always pays to do your research.
    *I was able to purchase gas in nearby Eastern TN for $3.08/gallon with the Upside app. I think it was Jessica who mentioned it here and I have been glad to have it. I’m not a big app user but the few I do use are helpful. Pennies saved make dollars in your pocket.
    *Here’s the latest installment of our truck that was hit by a deer story. It has been at the collision center for a couple of weeks and the insurance company has done their part. However, a replacement for the shift cable which was broken in the accident is proving hard to find – apparently a supply chain issue. The shop has been unable to locate one. My husband called about 10 different Toyota repair centers all over the country and they would all sell him one but stated it may be 4-6 MONTHS before it would be available. We have a dear friend who is part owner of a Toyota dealership in another town and he is looking for us as well. In the meantime, he offered a truck he inherited from his FIL that he never drives. He said we could keep it as long as needed. Good friends are priceless! We can really do fine on a day to day basis without a second vehicle as my husband works from home but we do need to haul things around now and then so the free loan of this truck is most helpful.
    *I bought a second turkey for 47 cents/lb. with a $35 purchase at Food Lion. The first one will be eaten for the Thanksgiving feast with my parents and in-laws and the second one will be enjoyed sometime this winter. The $35 was used again for more pantry staples, butter that was on sale which I stacked with coupons, and some B1G1 free bags of shrimp I will make into one of my husband’s favorite dishes for his birthday – shrimp and grits. It is one of the very few times of year we have shrimp so it is a real treat.
    *On the library front, I am reading “A Month in the Country” by J.L. Carr. It’s the story of a veteran of the Great War who goes to a remote Yorkshire village to restore a mural in a local church. I have only just started it but I think he will find himself restored as well through his work. Very enjoyable.
    *I am grateful for many things, at this time of year and always – one of which is the encouragement and inspiration regularly found here. Have a lovely week, all! 🙂

    1. Thank you for the link! I haven’t owned a dryer for 24 years 😉
      We live in the U.P. of MI and electric is quite high here. I hang
      my laundry outside in 3 seasons, and inside (with wood heat)
      in winter.

      1. I have lived in the UP of Michigan. The other 3 seasons besides winter can be a little tricky also. Good for you being so thrifty.

      2. Laurae – I am a born and bred Southerner but my grandparents retired to Traverse City, MI when I was small so I have a lot of fond memories of that part of the world and the U.P. is especially beautiful. My grandmother was Norwegian so the weather and the water suited her just fine. I still have an Aunt and Uncle there and cousins down state. Glad you saw my comment! 🙂

  13. I posted & sold my first item on Mercari. As I continue to go through my home I will add more items to sell. I earned enough points from a survey company I participate with for a $25 Amazon gift card. At Goodwill I found 3 odd size frames that I had been looking for, only $.49 for all 3. During cleaning up one of the practices I manage I found an excess of items such as plastic forks & spoons, plastic backed paper tablecloths, holiday serving plates, sterno racks and oddly enough packets of duck sauce. After offering the items to the staff I cam home with a tablecloth, some forks & spoons and a duck sauce. We continue to eat down the freezer and pantry as we head into Thanksgiving, I will be hosting about 20 this year. I continue to monitor all leftovers as to eliminate food waste and If I can’t think of a use immediately I freeze it.
    Wishing all who celebrate a happy, healthy Thanksgiving!

  14. I received about 40 pears for free. My son and husband has been enjoying them. I did dehydrate about 10 of them. What doesn’t get ate in the next few days I’ll make pear sauce out of.

    The store was out of heavy cream I needed for a pasta dish so I just made own.

    I froze some tomato paste I didn’t use. I try to freeze it flat in a ziploc bag, then I can just break off what I need in a recipe.

    I received an aloe start from a lady at work. I also received a visual journal with some markers and stickers.

    Ate breakfast and lunches at work

    The teen had a Friendsgiving to attend Saturday night with her drama group so she made brownies. They also went to see Mary Poppins in a neighboring town(paid for by drama)

    1. When I have extra tomato paste, I freeze it in 1 T blocks in a silicone ice cube tray. It works beautifully and they pop right out. Then I wrap them individually and put in a plastic bag. I suspect I wouldn’t have to wrap them, but I like being able to pull the blocks out. I got the larger 6 section tray years ago and it definitely makes freezing odds and ends much easier. It was also one of my go-to baby gifts as the sections are the perfect size for freezing homemade baby food.

      1. Chris, I’m lazier than you – I just place parchment paper on a plastic plate and spoon blobs of tomato paste on it, spacing them apart so they don’t touch. Then I freeze it. Once frozen, I place these blobs in a freezer bag using the same parchment as a cover. The bag is placed in the freezer door so I can easily grab what I need. Doing it this way, I don’t have to struggle to get the tomato paste out of the ice cube trays AND I don’t have to wash the tray. See? I’m lazier. 🙂
        Pat J.

  15. My frugal win was to buy 2 Costco rotisserie chickens. I froze a total of 2-2 pkg of legs and 2- pkg of thighs, 8 pkg of slice chicken breast for 4 meals. Made chicken broth which went into 4 meals of homemade chicken and homemade egg noodles (we serve it over mashed potatoes) 3 meals of Tortilla taco chicken soup. This made a total of 15 meals for the cost of 2 @ $4.99, making it $0.66 per meals for two.

    Keeping the heater at 66 degrees.

    We bought 3 -40 gal trash cans last year for rain barrels and after it rained (1-inch of rain) a few weeks ago it filled them all up, we don’t have gutters so this was what we collected off the roof. We watered our shade trees with it Sunday, saving $ on water. We need to buy the rain barrel faucet kit so we can use a garden hose instead of hand pumping it into smaller buckets and carting it out to the trees.

    We ran errands and grouped them to save gas.

    Made a recipe book for older grandson who now lives on his own with a roommate. I used a binder and dividers I already had and printed out a graphic with title for the front, back & spine. He came over to learn how to make hot dogs in a bun that he loves and gave him his notebook with the recipe inside ( He really liked it!) . Proud of him, he did great on the bread making. While the dough was rising he brought up firewood and took the tree trunks and branches from 3 dead maples we had in the yard, that we had cut up so far, to the wood storage area for next year firewood.

    In the garden; Transplanted blackberry plants that came up away from the berry row. Hoping this will give us enough berries to freeze and make jam this coming summer or next. Had picked the last and the smallest of the 3 watermelons we grew just before a frost and wasn’t sure if it had grown long enough to be ripe. It was small but oh so very sweet.

    Brandy, I love all of the flower photos they are all so beautiful. I also love roses. At one time I had over 100 roses. For the last 2 years we have had so many grasshoppers that they are just destroying my 1 year old roses. I have been sprinkling them with flour as an article I read said the flour gums up their digestion and they die. We have at least 2 kinds of grasshoppers, not sure what kind they are. Next spring I hope to buy some netting and put supports in to raise the cover over all of the newer roses in one area. What’s funny is they don’t bother the roses in the front yard.

  16. Well I wrote a long post and lost it. Gas is $3.06 in college town, and $2.97 the special type of gas. It is $3.39 on the interstate. Drove down Sunday, one Thanksgiving meal complete with turkey breast to my youngest son who is studying for law school finals and won’t be able to join us. He was appreciative. I knew I would find a way to use that Turkey breast! I am off work to cook and today I am making another Thanksgiving meal for the other two sons and my ex (who has been very sick and is the father of all my kids) and I am making a whole turkey with long carrots cooked with it, cornbread dressing, gravy, rolls, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, green bean casserole, pea salad, spinach dip, artichoke dip, corn casserole, chocolate no bake cookies, and maybe another dessert or two. Well, that is the plan, if I run out of time there will be modifications…lol. I have already made the mashed potatoes with butter and cream cheese, and made a pan of the cornbread dressing. We are celebrating on Wednesday because that was when my oldest could get off work and drive down from the northern part of the state and the middle son is taking off work so he can see his oldest brother. Happy Thanksgiving everyone! I guess the frugal thing is that I am cooking it and hopefully lots of leftovers for everyone!

  17. Good morning! Busy week ahead, but trying to be as frugal as possible. We are now empty nesters, but with prices soaring, my grocery bill is still high and I am concerned. We are looking at everything we can cut right now. So with that, here is my frugal accomplishments.
    1. Date night at home. We made fajitas together at home instead of going out.
    2. Setting the heat to 66 during the day and 67 at night. I take a medication that makes me stay cold all of the time so this is a challenge for me. I’ve been wearing layers and using throw blankets on the bed at night in addition to our regular blankets. Setting my heat to 72 makes my electric bill almost double in a day. We average 8 dollars a day if I keep the heat at 67. 5 more degrees makes it double.
    3. Making sure to freeze leftovers if we don’t eat them the next day. Learning how to cook for two people versus six has been a challenge so I usually have a good bit of leftovers. If we don’t eat them the next day, I freeze them to use the next week.
    4. Using one car to save on gas. This one kind of was a no choice as my battery in my car died on the first cold morning and a new battery for my car is over 200 and has to be special ordered. It means I have to leave about 30 minutes earlier than normal to take my husband to work before I go to work, but we have saved on fuel, so even though my car is now fixed, we may continue doing it for at least through the holidays.
    5. No more coffee shop. I normally go to the coffee shop twice a week on my way to work and get my husband and I pumpkin spice lattes. That’s almost 30.00 in a week. I stopped going about three weeks ago and now just make it at home with pumpkin spice flavored coffee and zero sugar creamer. Tastes almost exactly the same for literally pennies.
    That’s all for now. Have a wonderful week and a happy Thanksgiving to all of you in the US!

    1. Hi, on youtube I saw a lady in Canada and she said they all wear toques (hats) all winter long. So I started wearing a stocking cap and it makes such a difference. I am also going to buy the girls and myself some scarves (the next time I’m at the thrift store) to wear inside all winter. I have winter scarves but I think I want something lighter for inside. It is a bit of a struggle when I go elsewhere because I find every where too hot but anyway I don’t know if you do these things but I thought I’d recommend them just in case you hadn’t thought of doing it. I can’t believe that I never have done it.

  18. What an excellent price for the gift for your daughter. On Monday, I headed to the coast for a funeral, and listened to an audio book that I was able to change from an ebook on Kindle for free. It was a gorgeous day, perfect for a long drive. With the woodstove going again, another six gallon bags of veggie scraps were taken from the freezer, and simmered for broth. I cut up and grated another two large cucuzza squash for the chickens. A toothpaste tube was cut, and it’s already lasted close to a week more, with plenty left. I harvested parsley, rosemary, and collards. I went through Rakuten for gift purchases for 2% and 2.5% back. Before the coldest night (20F), J and I gathered up everything we could find, and covered up all the plants in the fall garden, plus the olives and pomegranates. I turned some of our potatoes into fries, made your black bean burgers, and harvested winter greens for a salad. My husband and I watched the new Downton Abbey movie, free on Prime. I was happy to get .99 cranberries, pomegranates for $1.89, which is the cheapest I’ve seen this year, and brussels sprouts for $2.29. Food Lion had bags of mandarins for $2.99. I was delighted to see 3 bags of organic Pink Lady apples, which I had a $1.50 store coupon for, and haven’t been in the first store in at least a month. I also found $1 off raw honey on the clearance rack. For a dinner, I made colcannon with our potatoes and cabbage. For Sunday dinner, I made tomato rice loaf, using our onions, garlic, last grape tomatoes, and three small tomatoes. Peas and pear sauce were sides. While the oven was going, I baked lots of small sweet potatoes, some of which I plan to turn into pie. Happy Thanksgiving to all those in the US!

  19. With temperatures as low as 4 degrees Fahrenheit at night, I had to pull the last of the produce from the garden. I had four small cabbages, which I turned into cole slaw to serve with dinner one night. I have a little bit of chard in the greenhouse I am nursing along, but I am sure it will be done soon.* I am knitting socks for Christmas gifts. I wanted to block them so they would look especially nice, but didn’t own a sock blocker, so I made one, using tin snips I borrowed from my husband to cut an old cutting mat into the correct shape.* The only groceries purchased this week was a 3 lb bag of clementines for $2.79. * My husband split another ½ cord of firewood.
    I hope those of you from the United States have a lovely Thanksgiving.

  20. I’m enjoying reading about everyone’s preparations for the holidays, especially the creative efforts to get gifts that are frugal, but just the right thing for the people who will receive them. I have made a few purchases, and am within my budget, but haven’t put the same kind of effort into this that other readers have.

    Although Thanksgiving in Canada is long gone, we still have Black Friday sales at the same time as in the US. Canadians with low or modest incomes received an extra two payments of a sales tax (GST) rebate this month to help with inflation, $234 for me. Most of this I am putting towards my furnace repair, but I’ve ordered a Bissell Little Green ProHeat® Pet Portable Carpet & Upholstery Deep Cleaner. It was marked down by $80 for Black Friday, and I had another $40 of credit card loyalty points that I could put towards it. This will help me keep my 13-year old upholstered furniture clean and clean up some lingering spots on the bedroom and hall carpets from several senior pets I’ve had.

    I didn’t use my snow-shoveling budget this month, and my next pension payments are right around the corner. I’ve used the money now to order three winter tops on ThredUp. They were about half-price compared to new and I got an extra 30% off for this being my first order. These are the last of the winter clothes I really needed, so that is one list I can consider finished. The winter boots I bought have turned out really well: great traction, very comfortable soles, and a lot of support, as well as being warm and dry. My feet are much more comfortable than they have been in any footwear I’ve had for a while. I’ve put off getting a new winter coat until next year.

    I made a pumpkin spice mix, inspired by Margaret@ApproachingFood’s pumpkin spice pancakes from last week, using spices I had in my pantry. I had saved some jars from freeze-dried oregano that I had been getting, so I had a perfect container for it. It smells lovely! I must have got a dusting of it all over me when I was mixing it, because I could smell it for a couple of hours after I made it, no matter where I went in the house. It is the perfect spice combination for one of my favorite cookies, and I would like to sprinkle it on squash I am roasting, as well as in the pancake recipe.

    I got a small bag of frozen kale, on clearance for $1. It will be great added to either soup or to a stir-fry.

    I’ve re-purposed two items. One is a heavy fleece dog blanket, which has become a bath mat! It doesn’t slip, it absorbs water quickly, dries quickly, and is cozy on my feet on a cold winter floor. The only odd thing for its current use are the dog bones in the design. The other item is a soft black jacket with very fancy buttons, which I am using as a warm layer to wear in the house. It has quite a lot of buttons, so I can’t be bothered to buy and sew on plainer buttons. My cat is quite intrigued by the shiny fancy buttons. She is pretty sure they are edible, if only I wouldn’t wriggle away from her when she tries to bite them off.

    I just have one check left in my checkbook. When I went to order 50 more checks, I found they were going to cost $59.95! I think they were $39.95 the last time I ordered them. I’m gritting my teeth while I wait for some information to be updated before I finalize the order. I remind myself that we have had government help here to ease inflation, and that I have been able to change my spending in some areas to absorb a lot of changes to prices, so there is no huge harm to me from this price change on something I hardly ever have to buy. Some items are mine to decide whether to pay the price at all. My order for a bottle of Christmas sprinkles had a shipping and handling cost of $27.95!!! I deleted the order and unsubscribed to the company’s e-mail advertising. I’ll go back to sprinkling crushed candy canes on my Christmas cookies this year. The candy canes are readily available locally.

    I hope U.S. readers have a fine Thanksgiving and wish the best to everyone as we enter the holiday season.

    1. Elizabeth M., It’s time to reorder our checks, too. Like you, i’m rethinking the cost. In the past, my husband has printed off checks from our computer. The problem was, he couldn’t figure out the numbering system on the checks so the numbers were in order. Unless he did it by hand. So, we just crossed out the number and put whatever we wanted. I may have him look into doing them again. Your price is higher than mine. Everyone has their hand out!

      1. I ordered new checks from Costco. For me, it was much less expensive then going through my bank. Not sure if Costco in Canada provides the same service

          1. Try Sam’s Club if you have access to membership. Ours for business are at least 1/2 price including shipping if not more. Not sure about personal size though.

          2. I’m now in the US and Costco here charged me about $16 including mailing them to me for their minimum order. For the same number of checks, my bank here was going to charge over $50.

    2. Hi Elizabeth! I liked reading about your cat’s efforts to get at your shiny buttons 😄 … Regarding your checks, are you able to use a company like Bradford Exchange Checks there? Our last order was about $10 for probably more than we will ever use. Just wondered if that might be an option for you.

    3. Your check reorder cost – yikes! So far, our bank provides free checks as long as we opt for their “standard” design, which I do. I don’t know if this is available at other banks though. And maybe we get this service because we’ve been customers for 30+ years.

      1. Those days are gone at this bank. I do get free banking for seniors at my bank, which not so many banks do anymore. I remember my sister was “grandfathered” into that at her bank.

        1. I just ordered new cheques from my Credit Union and as a senior – there was no cost! They mailed them directly to me. I can’t comment on the banks as I’m a retiree from one of the biggies so I also get those for free….

          1. That’s interesting. I’m pretty settled at my bank, because it has a branch in my very small village. If that changes, I could be persuaded to get an account at the credit union in the next town over.

    4. Thanks to everyone for the ideas about where to get checks. I placed the order before I got the feedback, so that is water under the bridge. There are some limits on check-ordering in Canada because of banking regulations, though I know about some options now that I hadn’t thought about that would give me a bit of a break in the future. The 50 checks I bought are going to last me for years, though. I am really glad to see so many ideas for anyone ordering in the US.

  21. The roses are lovely. I have a very few blooms on our wild rose, but it is about to stop blooming at all for the year.

    I was purchasing a gift online and saw that I could use my credit card rewards points to reduce the cost. On closer inspection, I saw that I would get less credit if I shopped with them than if I used them on my statement. Naturally, I credited them on my statement.

    My daughter generously gave me some extra meat from her freezer.

    We have a family member’s birthday coming up. I re-used both a gift bag and the ribbon to wrap it and will add a card from a freebie stash. The gift was bought on clearance.

    I made a sheet pan dish out of chicken thighs and root vegetables, and baked a pan of winter squash at the same time to save energy.

    I used some sour milk to make biscuits.

    So many of us at work wanted to take off Wednesday this week for travel and prep time (we already have Thanksgiving and the day after as holidays), the bosses decided to just close the office on Wednesday. That means we don’t have to use our vacation time for Wednesday. It’s not “frugal” but it saves us PTO time.

    I gave myself a manicure. No polish, though. That’s too much work to put on and keep up.

    Happy Thanksgiving, all!

  22. My husband’s credit card got stuck in the gas pump. The gas station employee told us to cancel our card – so not much spending while we waited for the new cards to arrive 😂 It was frustrating they wouldn’t rope off the pump so someone couldn’t just drive up and use/take our card. Luckily we were together so he stayed there while I ran to get pliers. I bought all 5 people in our house pliers for their cars to hopefully be more prepared next time.

    *returned a few impulse buys 😬
    *was treated to a delicious lunch (saved half for another meal) and movie by my dad and stepmom
    *made a wish list at Barnes & Noble then reserved the books through our (free) library
    *busier at the office so working more days! Will be full time through end of the year.
    *cooked a turkey, made bone broth, then canned it
    *made an apple crisp using up apples I’ve had languishing in my fridge
    📍Grocery Store: another turkey for 89 cents a pound (this one to bring to MIL’s for Thanksgiving)
    📍Buy Nothing Group: 5 bags of mini Hersheys bars (we love s’mores around here); 5 rolls of toilet paper (they didn’t like the brand)
    📍Facebook Marketplace: SOLD a dogloo and made $50

    Take Care ❤️

  23. I have been on turbo drive organizing my office/craft room since I started my week of vacation. I have an old wooden roll top desk. I had never fully used the over 40 organizing cubbies, adjustable drawers, and nooks. I put all of my crafting supplies and office supplies in it with labels on the drawers. I was able to the donate a wooden cabinet I had in the hallway which I have always disliked I put it on the street and it was gone in two hours. I call it “releasing with love.” Also in the office I have removed the closet double doors, I have two fire safes with an old door on top for my craft table. I finally utilized the clothing rod in there. I removed the valance on the window and put the rod on it. I put my large spools of ribbon on it. then I put a thinner half curtain rod in the closet for the small spools . What a difference. There are two shelves that reach to the ceilings where my finished gift baskets are.waiting for an appropriate. designee.

    I learned a crafting greeting card technique. Take seran wrap, remove the top layer of a decorative napkin, iron it on to cardstock protected with some parchment paper. Add embellishments. They look 3D. I also tried it it with spray adhesive. I have had Thanksgiving napkins for ten years. Now I have up-cycled them. Martha Stewart watch out.

    I took out my Husquarvnsa Rose embroidery sewing machine which was top of the line 30 years ago. I mended and then played around with my stitches. It also does embroidery but was two year before the computer compatible model. It uses cards. A friend has offered to sell me her brand new top of the line Babylock Altair for a half price of 4,000. I decided I don’t want to invest so much in a hobby that I am not a natural at, won’t make me money, and doesn’t meet my goals of burning calories like hiking and paddleboarding. For my level of crafting I am just fine with the machine I have now. So in a way I saved $4,000 this week.

    I created an account on ioverlander for free. It is an amazing site for all forms of nomad life. I have been on a kick of planing a solo trip camping in my car. This could be a frugal fail or a frugal investment but I hop down the rabbit hole of Amazon pre- black Friday lightening deals. I bought things I couldn’t buy recycled. Car tent https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08MT3463Z…roduct_details, collapsable porta potty with bags, seat organizing, etc. . . I already have bedding and stove. DH thinks I am crazy. I might have to temper my “And you can stay at Walmart for free” because the safety issues will drive him crazy. He will be supportive if I stick to campsites. I’ll downplay the “informal” campsites like the turnout on Big Sur hwy 1. In no way do I kid myself that I am roughing it. If I feel unsafe or need a shower, I have the luxury of being able to snag a hotel with my IHG account. But I will definitely see things I can’t see any other way and save money.

  24. I stayed out of the stores, which helped save money. We ate a lot of leftovers from the fridge. We were invited to a “friendsgiving” party, so had a turkey dinner. We arrived early to the party and peeled all the potatoes. I was craving something sweet and warm from the oven on Sunday night, so I made my husband and I each a microwave mug chocolate cake. I put them each in a large cereal bowl to make sure they didn’t overflow.

    Because I have so much going on in my life, I am letting myself fall asleep earlier and am getting 9 hours of sleep some nights. I feel better and am grateful I can sleep to let my body recover.

    1. Your body is probably thrilled for the 9 hrs. of sleep! Mine would be! I had a mutant case of Mono when I was 30 – it lasted 11 months – and I can no longer function on less than a steady 7-8. I feel normal at 9-10.

      1. I had mono at 23 and again at 41. It’s a myth you can only get it once. And now I have ME/CFS which some researchers believe may be the body’s reaction to the long ago mono infection for some ME/CFS patients.

  25. I have really been trying to use things from my pantry to bake from scratch. I have always done this over the years and gratefully I love to cook and bake. Lately, however, I have pushed myself to do even more, no matter how small. For example, my birthday was last week, my husband’s is this week, so we had a get together Sunday evening at my parents house. I made a homemade cheesecake and a pumpkin pie. I had cream cheese and graham crackers in my food storage so I used thosed. I had left over chocolate and carmel syrup, from my daughter’s wedding this summer, and frozen raspberries from my garden-so I used those for toppings. My husband loves cheesecake so this was a treat for him. I made the pumpkin pie crust from scratch. In the past, I ‘ve purchased refrigerated or frozen pie crusts from the store-just out of convenience. The pumpkin pie filling was made using farm fresh eggs and frozen pumpkin puree made from the pumpkins we grew this summer. I also made evaporated milk for the filling using dried milk, instead of canned evaporated milk that I have in my food storage.
    My husband was cleaning out some papers and stuff and found a Chick Fil A gift card, so he and I had a date night and went out to eat. It was simple and nice. I needed to replace some towels, rugs, and shower curtain in our bathroom upstairs. I used $50 worth of credit card rewards and a $10 gift card from Swagbucks to pay for all of the items except for a few dollars. Gosh, I love that feeling! We are eating more simple meals, using more fruits and vegetables that I canned this summer. We like to order a pizza for dinner on Friday nights after work, but this week I decided to make my own pizza sauce and dough. I had “Pizza” cheese in the freezer, bought on sale at Albertsons and a left over hamburger patty from dinner the night before. So, I used all of that for a much cheaper pizza at home. There is a book called “The Compound Effect” which teaches the idea of every little bit counts. I think of that every time I choose to do something the cheaper way. In a strange way, it increases my confidence in my self-reliance skills. I appreciate everything I read on this blog and in the comments that inspire me to stretch myself. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

  26. -Week of birthday celebrations and sick kids, managed to keep the spending under control. Made a big batch of chicken 2 ways, sourdough, and smoothies for the sick kids. Got my free ibotta turkey and more deals on flour and clearance Brussels sprouts. We did buy another humidifier for sick kids but I’m sure we will get plenty of use out of it.
    -Purchased a few clothing items for the birthday boy, on sale or clearance, although not as good of deals as you found! I also went to a pallet store, which sells items from big box returns. I had never been before. I found a few dress up items for my kids Christmas gifts and birthday supplies for next year, for a total of $3.
    -Sold a few more items on FB and eBay, which encouraged me to list a few more items. Money in, junk out. Gave friends some outgrown kids clothing and toys.
    -Went away for a few days to visit family. We stopped to use the bathroom at a local cheese shop on the way there and bought a few homemade cheese sticks. Only money spent other than gas, and we were given some food to take home. Took my own coffee and didn’t stop- even though I was tempted.
    -On a particularly cold miserable day, stuck inside, I went through the files in the basement. It is much easier to find things and less clutter. Also found a coffee gift card with a little money on it. Organized the kids play area to be more conducive for the winter.
    -I bought picture frames last year with the intent to fill them. Never did until now. Printed pictures with a coupon code at Walgreens.

  27. Our unusually sunny November weather here in Vancouver has finally gone in favour of endless rain. It’s not the “wet” that gets difficult, but the “gray” and lack of sun for weeks on end. It’s called the Wet Coast for a reason!
    This week:
    *I mended an old nightgown and altered a blouse to fit better. This saved both garments as I will now wear them.
    *spent time and energy creating recipes with leftovers. My husband dislikes leftovers but food prices are high ($5 per pound broccoli anyone? And I won’t even start on lettuce prices.) . So leftovers get disguised as fresh meals. Ah well, it’s a creative activity.
    *I’m making felt name decor for the grandkids in their favourite colours. A grandson is very colourblind so gray is his favourite colour, and he complains that it’s hard to find kid stuff in gray. By the time I did his name in 4 shades of gray to hang in his room, I figured I should do everyone else’s too. They will double as gift tags on their Christmas gifts.
    * The usual frugalities like all meals home made from scratch, own baking, library books both real and from Libby, long distance calls via computer apps. I dye my own hair and do my own manicures. I prefer doing my own nails actually as I then have the polish for doing nail chip repairs as needed. DH has finished his household repair list of hot water tank install, furnace motor refit, dishwasher repair, and stove igniter replaced. He has saved us thousands of dollars with being handy and willing to learn from YouTube and other people. I’m very grateful!

    *Happy Thanksgiving to our American neighbours!

  28. Happy Thanksgiving. I have been cooking desserts to take to two different family dinners. I have been drying my clothes on my handy dandy drying rack. I have been shopping sale items and have got some good deals. I ordered several Christmas presents on clearance with coupons. Thank you Brandy and everyone for the good ideas.

  29. Happy Thanksgiving, Friends! We got our property tax statement this week. Oy. Everyone I’ve talked to have had a $600-$1000 increase this year. I’m thankful we are on the lower end of that, and that, because we frugal habits, we can manage the $50+/month add on. I feel so sad for people who just can’t afford it, like those on a fixed income. I have a friend who works as a para in the high school that is in her mid-sixties who is wondering if she will ever be able to retire. * I’ve been working hard at making better dinners, and I feel good about what I’ve accomplished. We’ve had chicken and dumplings, spaghetti, tacos, and repurposing left overs.. My guys had a game to go to last night so I made bean burritos they could take with them (wrapped in foil) so they wouldn’t have to buy anything. My husband got home from a business trip last Friday, so I pulled two small steaks, that had been gifted us, from the freezer, for a special welcome back dinner. He was pleased. * I started a second pair of knit socks for a Christmas gift with yarn I have. * I’ve saved little bits of yarn left over from my sock knitting for years and years, so I have quite a few little balls. I decided to start knitting them into a scarf. I just close my eyes and pull out a little ball and keep knitting. It’s got a very Joseph and the Coat of Many Colors vibe. My husband saw me working on it and remarked how cool it was and that he’d love it when I finish! * I’ve had trouble finding a place that wanted my donations of lap afghans, hats and scarves. I could just drop it somewhere, but I wanted to find a place where I knew it was needed. So, I’ve been calling and emailing various facilities, to no avail. Finally, I found a nursing home two hours away that would love them. Thankfully, one of the managers has family who lives by me so I can drop them there. I feel grateful. *We do most of our Christmas shopping online because I don’t get around very much, but we have been choosing to have things shipped later and together, in order to earn some money towards a future digital purchase. It’ll be fun to use that to rent a movie or two during our cold and dark January. * I ordered something that didn’t look as good as advertised, so I took the time to return it promptly. Thankfully they had free returns.* I stayed home all of last week. Six days of no gas spent! * Still reading library books, watching shows I have, and puttering away on projects. * As I ponder my gratitude this week, I’m so thankful for this group and Brandy. You all make me feel supported and understood and give me so much inspiration. Thank you!

  30. Last week seemed to go by in a blur and I didn’t get a comment put up here! We seem to be doing the usual frugal things. The weather turned cold and we had some snow so laundry didn’t get hung out this past weekend. The snow is now gone and it is warming up a bit so I hope to get laundry out this weekend.

    I have been stocking up recently and finishing up Christmas shopping. Other than fresh items, I think we are stocked up fairly well and I am done with Christmas shopping now. The stores are only going to get busier so I do not want to be out. There are so many illnesses about that we would like to avoid.

    This week in our buy nothing group I picked up a tin of tea for my husband, a large bag of DVDs and blu rays (some still new in the wrappers) that my husband chose the ones he wanted to keep, a complete television series on DVD, a large Star Wars mug for my husband to enjoy his tea in, a large unopened box of Oxyclean, an adorable Christmas sign for the front porch, a carton of oat milk and a really nice pair of brown suede booties that are like new. It never ceases to amaze me what folks are getting rid of.

    Books were read from the library, all meals were made at home using what we have on hand and trips out in the car were combined to keep driving to a minimum.

    Happy Thanksgiving to our American friends and a happy week to all!

  31. This might be a repeat. I got a message when I tried to submit.

    I have been on turbo drive organizing my office/craft room since I started my week of vacation. I have an old wooden roll top desk. I had never fully used the over 40 organizing cubbies, adjustable drawers, and nooks. I put all of my crafting supplies and office supplies in it with labels on the drawers. I was able to the donate a wooden cabinet I had in the hallway which I have always disliked I put it on the street and it was gone in two hours. I call it “releasing with love.” Also in the office I have removed the closet double doors, I have two fire safes with an old door on top for my craft table. I finally utilized the clothing rod in there. I removed the valance on the window and put the rod on it. I put my large spools of ribbon on it. then I put a thinner half curtain rod in the closet for the small spools . What a difference. There are two shelves that reach to the ceilings where my finished gift baskets are.waiting for an appropriate. designee.

    I learned a crafting greeting card technique. Take seran wrap, remove the top layer of a decorative napkin, iron it on to cardstock protected with some parchment paper. Add embellishments. They look 3D. I also tried it it with spray adhesive. I have had Thanksgiving napkins for ten years. Now I have up-cycled them. Martha Stewart watch out.

    I took out my Husquarvnsa Rose embroidery sewing machine which was top of the line 30 years ago. I mended and then played around with my stitches. It also does embroidery but was two year before the computer compatible model. It uses cards. A friend has offered to sell me her brand new top of the line Babylock Altair for a half price of 4,000. I decided I don’t want to invest so much in a hobby that I am not a natural at, won’t make me money, and doesn’t meet my goals of burning calories like hiking and paddleboarding. For my level of crafting I am just fine with the machine I have now. So in a way I saved $4,000 this week.

    I created an account on ioverlander for free. It is an amazing site for all forms of nomad life. I have been on a kick of planing a solo trip camping in my car. This could be a frugal fail or a frugal investment but I hop down the rabbit hole of Amazon pre- black Friday lightening deals. I bought things I couldn’t buy recycled. Car tent https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08MT3463Z…roduct_details, collapsable porta potty with bags, seat organizing, etc. . . I already have bedding and stove. DH thinks I am crazy. I might have to temper my “And you can stay at Walmart for free” because the safety issues will drive him crazy. He will be supportive if I stick to campsites. I’ll downplay the “informal” campsites like the turnout on Big Sur hwy 1. In no way do I kid myself that I am roughing it. If I feel unsafe or need a shower, I have the luxury of being able to snag a hotel with my IHG account. But I will definitely see things I can’t see any other way and save money.

  32. Lovely photos and I am glad you could get that deal because of your daughter.
    A family member had a stressful medical procedure done last week, so we celebrated a traditional Thanksgiving early. It has been a while since we did that, it was wonderful. The procedure went well and visiting family has left, so now it is getting back to my routine.
    One of the best ways to live like a queen while pinching pennies is to follow my routine.
    I watched a house and asked if I could once again take a pinching of her plants and she said yes. It’s bringing me joy to care for these little plants and watch them grow.
    I’ve been wanting to make mushrooms from fabric for some time, so I finally sat down and found a free YouTube video and used materials on hand and slow-stitched therapy began.
    Lately, amongst friends and colleagues, money and job security have been the main concern. I started asking each one what they could use/need and if I know another person is looking to rid themselves of it, I’ve been trying to make connections between the two.
    Hope everyone has a calm week.

  33. Looks like my postings will be random. Here goes.
    • Fall open house at work allowing employees and families to tour our plant so families can see what their mom/dad/grandparents do at work. Over 500 participants. Had hot dogs, cotton candy, popcorn, snow cones, games, and of course candy. Free entertainment, food, and fellowship for 2 days. I am the plant manager so a lot of meet, greet, and children to enjoy.
    • Limited my cotton candy and candy intake during the Fall open house. Refined sugar makes me feel hungover after partaking and makes me crave it like an addict. 😊 Weight, BP, A1C all goes up. It is really hard because I LOVE COTTON CANDY.
    • Boss from corporate visited my location for 2 days. Free lunch and snacks for 1 day and free dinner for 2 nights.
    • Stayed in company-provided, local hotel for those 2 nights since it was early mornings and late nights. Saved on 2 days of gas (340 miles).
    • Restocked my lunch and snacks drawer at work to prevent eating out. (done weekly)
    • Participated in early voting so that I can “be the change” and not miss work.
    • Made a list of items that needs to be replaced/needed to watch for during Black Friday to get the best price. Sticking to the allotted of amount of money that I budgeted AND SPENDING NO MORE THAN THAT.
    • Caulked around windows and doors to prevent drafts.
    • Sprayed for and set off spray bombs for spiders myself. It’s that time of year!
    • Sprayed weed killer around house and driveway.
    • No electric heat/AC on.
    • Turned off water heater on the way out to work. The tank is so large and well insulated, that I can really go for 48 hours with it off before I need to turn it back on.
    • Bought the cheapest gas in 5 towns.
    • Had to replace my front door because sidelight glass was broken. Ordered online (NOT the cheapest door available I went steel for safety). Delivery was supposed to deliver to my porch. When they arrived the delivery guys refused to deliver to porch because it was too heavy-they put it in the garage. I chatted online with the company about this and got a $159 discount. Believe it or not! Same thing happened with delivery of back door. Ended up getting a total of $318 credit.
    • SIL installed doors at a discount rate. Ran fireplace while there were a hole instead of electric heat. It got down to the teens that morning.
    • Bought limit of 5 bags of 32 oz shred cheese for $5.99
    • Bought 2 containers of blueberries for $0.99
    • Bought 2 bags of 2# navel oranges for $1.99
    • Bought 6# of butter for $2.49.
    • Bought 2 three packs of cookie sheets for $6.49 from Aldi markdown. Was $12.99. Had this on my black Friday list.
    • Refilled 2 mail order prescriptions – free, no co-pay.
    • Started attending yoga. Used to go weekly until husband got sick/covid hit. Been 3 years. Started walking again. Used to walk 5 miles 3x per week. Been 3 years.. Both felt good to focus on me again. My health is important. It also helps me control stress level due to high stress job.
    • Donated to Hospice.
    • Donated to Boy Scouts
    • Sponsoring Toys for Tots at work for Eastern KY. We do this every year, but this year is so much more important. There are so many kids that are doing without after the flooding.
    • Plant had Thanksgiving lunch for all shifts. I ate with all 4 shifts.
    • A colleague brought me 10# of potatoes, 6# of sweet potatoes, 6# of carrots, 10# of McIntosh apples, 2 honey dew melons, and 10 pears. Bought dozen eggs from same colleague for $2. I love fresh, unwashed eggs – they don’t have to be refrigerated.
    • I was gifted quart jar of local honey. That sales for $18 around here.
    • Pulled a loaf of bread from the freezer. After it thawed, it was dry and too crusty. I put 2 wet paper towels in the bag and hung it over the fireplace so that it would heat up. Opened it the next day and it was very soft. 😊
    • Cooked Diversity Bean soup and then cooked Tuscan Bean soup with left over Diversity Bean soup. Cooked at home, brought lunch to work, or ate free every meal except 2 this month.
    • Gave my Bassett hound his monthly meds. Gave my cat monthly treatment. Gave the neighbor’s dog his monthly treatment.
    • Had annual mammogram.
    • Changed furnace filters (2 HVAC systems) to keep running efficiently and keep electric costs down.
    • Got my car’s oil changed, wheels aligned, and transmission fluid changed. It is important that I keep my car in top shape since I drive so much – keeps MPG at a high level.
    • Contacted hospital that treated my husband because there is still an open balance $333,000) from July that says waiting on insurance to pay. When I look online at the insurance web site, there were no claims from the hospital. Hospital said waiting on insurance….. I called insurance 3 days later and the claims had finally been submitted. Insurance paid 100% – already met out of pocket max.
    • Thought I was finished claiming husband’s 401K, but got more paperwork in the mail to fill out.
    • Life insurance company denied claim for husband. Mishandled by husband’s employer HR department. Appeal filed.

  34. Doesn’t feel like a lot of frugality going on this week, but I continue to declutter, and I’ve found a few items we might be able to sell rather than just donate. I don’t ever ride my mountain bike, and I also have a nice hitch-mounted bike rack that I got from my dad a few years ago that he was just going to donate, so we’re going to list those items on FB marketplace and/or Craigslist.

    Of all things to break this week, my mop bucket developed a huge crack in the bottom. But then I remembered my dad gave me his steam mop a few years ago (another item he was just going to donate because he was moving), so I guess I’ll finally get around to trying that out in lieu of replacing the mop bucket for now. So I’m hoping to use this week to discover anything else in the house/garage that I could use, donate, or sell.

    Publix in my area (NW metro Atlanta) has had turkeys 49 cents/lb, limit 2, for the last 2 weeks. My husband and I agreed that it’s time to do what Brandy does again and stock up on extras for meat in the upcoming year. We only have 2 extra in the freezer so far, but we’re hoping to get 2 more. I hadn’t been to Publix in a long time (they’re generally the most expensive grocery store in the area), but I’m glad I remembered to check their ad, since Kroger was 59 cents with a $25 purchase, limit 1.

    Nothing else remarkable, just the usual frugal stuff in regards to food, laundry, not buying stuff. Happy Thanksgiving to Brandy and my fellow Americans this week, and I’m thankful to read everyone’s comments each week from all around the world.

    1. When our shop vac motor burned out, I saved the base/bucket for a bucket on wheels. It is easier to push across the floor than to lift and is of course water-tight. Good luck on your decluttering!

  35. I’ll share two tips I came upon this week.
    1) to make extra space in your refrigerator for storing foods for
    Thanksgiving use your cooling racks (for baked goods). The racks provide a flat, stable surface that can be set on top of other bowls/pans.

    If you use very little sugar try buying one of those canisters of sugar, like you’d find by the break room coffee pot. It’s much more manageable than even the two pound bag which is too big if you use very little. (Now if only I could find flour in small quantities like that).

    1. We can buy all-purpose flour here in Canada in a shaker. It is designed for making gravy with, but I’ve always thought it would be perfect for someone who uses flour but doesn’t bake. It is on the shelf with the other flour, though I would have a look around the whole baking section if it wasn’t.

    2. I thought of this tip when I ran out of fridge space yesterday. I don’t have cooling racks, but I have a collapsible grate that goes inside a round roasting pan. It fit perfectly around one pie and I put the other one over it! Thanks for the idea! (I’ve never figured out why that little rack/grate would need to stand up lol.)

  36. I have family coming in tomorrow. In order to prepare meals with a little more variety than we’ve been having, I went to the grocery store. I’m grateful that I can do this sort of thing and ‘borrow’ from my next month’s budget to do it. We’d normally have gone without and that’s the truth, but I have quite a dearth of produce to serve with meals. Fine for us, but not for company.

    We checked with the website about how many people my turkey breast will feed. It turned out to be exactly the number of people we will have here for Thanksgiving dinner. John suggested we buy more turkey for sandwiches. I was going to purchase a sale priced turkey at the store we were in but realized that another turkey breast was actually $10 cheaper even if it was higher per pound. I’m not unhappy with that decision. I was looking for savings everywhere I could find it!

    I’ll be keeping my 3-yr old grandson again. His mother likes to buy him snacks and pricey things for breakfasts. I’ll make muffins and bread and feed him cereal ‘snack’ mix that is easy for him to eat but so much cheaper than a purchased snack mix.

    We’ve determined that due to unexpected financial strains (not the groceries, lol) we will have to inform our children that this year we’re gifting only to the grandchildren. I have 12 grands. It’s a small savings to not gift to the parents but it’s still savings.

    As I cleared books from a bookshelf and was packing them up to free the guest room for long term ‘guests’ I found a book that contained several short stories and two novelettes. One was a book I’d just put in my cart at a bookstore. I removed that from the cart and set the book aside so I could read it.

    My husband has a medical condition and feels the cold. I had the heat pump on 68 but that’s a tad too low for him to be comfortable. Mind you all, he is wont to wear his summer shorts and no socks, but I do know that his condition causes him to feel cold more deeply than I might. I bumped up the thermostat to 69 and put a kettle on the stove to add humidity to the air. This helped tremendously.

    I was grumbling to myself about the mess the coffee ground make on the counter the other day. I recalled that the reason I am filling my own reusable k-cups is because I couldn’t find k-cups in my price range. I told myself sternly, “It’s a nice convenience…Your budget doesn’t allow for convenience. So move on.” It’s a little messy at times, true but that savings each month is more than worthwhile.

  37. Hello all. No unique money saving techniques this week, just the usual. I limited my purchases from the grocery store, purchasing just a few of the loss leaders, (sweet potatoes .25#), kept heat low while wearing layers with throws nearby, was mindful of electricity and propane use, repurposed leftovers, cooked all meals at home, used cloth napkins, etc.

    My son and DIL are expecting a baby, so we are going to have our first grandchild! We are so excited! I’m helping with a family party/shower for them and our little granddaughter arriving next year. I recently retired after 45 years-just in time! We are having a “Little Snowflake is Arriving” theme so are using wintry and snowflake accents. Some ideas on Pinterest use small pinecones-painted and unpainted-in vases, with ornaments and other filler. I foraged small pinecones like in the images and already own vases identical to the ones depicted, plus the filler. I have ornaments like those in the images also, so I think we can reproduce these with a minimal amount of expense and have them look nice and thematic. I did spend about $10 at Dollar Tree for some cute pink bottle trees and foam snowflakes to use on the tables. I’ve been using pink origami squares that I have had for years to make snowflakes for a (free) banner. I will make and frost cupcakes that will become a snowflake “cake”. I am also making large snowflake sugar cookies to serve as favors. The party won’t be frugal, but perhaps by saving on decorations and desserts it will limit the overall cost. It’s been fun collaborating with my daughter on these plans.

    We will be traveling to join my husband’s family for Thanksgiving before driving on to stay with my mother later that day. Neither of my children will be coming home for Thanksgiving as they will be spending time with their spouses’ families this year. I’m providing ham for my husband’s family’s gathering from my freezer. I have been intentional regarding eating food that is in the freezer and using up the ham will help me gain some much-needed space.

    We have not yet had a freeze so my peppers, lettuce and cole crops are still growing. I took Brandy’s advice and covered the smaller lettuce with glass jars. So far, they all look good. I harvested a bowl full of lettuce and jalapenos and bell peppers-not bad for mid-November. Our average frost date is in about a week, although the extended forecast does not yet predict frost. I have only had one other fall garden a number of years ago, so am enjoying the produce this fall. My garlic is growing well also.

    I hope everyone will have a wonderful Thanksgiving with family and friends. We have so many things for which to be thankful, despite unsettled times. Lynn

  38. 2 weeks ago we terminated our apartment in Estonia and moved our stuff (all that we could fit in our car and in a large trailer someone we know let us lend for free) out. The landlord was kind enough to take the furniture we could not fit in as he rents out furnished rooms as well, and saved us a second trip. It wasn’t a frugal thing at all (all the gas + ferry tickets) but we felt it needed to be done now, and it will eventually give us money to be used for things we need more. It was kind of end of an era thing, including grief and relief, and I didn’t realize how much I was stressed out about it until now when there’s no stress anymore. With all the stuff now upstairs (minus the nicer furniture) I have projects for all the winter to carry out. I already sewed myself a nightgown out of a duvet cover that came from there.

  39. I’m starting to see more and more “tricks” in the grocery industry. There are still deals to be had but one must be careful. We almost never drink soda (pop…coke…whatever you call it!) and if we do it’s somewhere else like at a reception or something. It’s so expensive and not healthy so I don’t bother but the other day I saw some on sale for 4 12-packs for $14. This seemed like an okay price and since we are having a large party I thought I’d buy some. I started to buy four packs and I was surprised at how expensive they are normally but at the end no price was taken off. It turns out that I had mixed Coke and Pepsi products so it didn’t count! (When I went back both displays said “4 for $14” and they were right next to each other. It looked like you could mix and match with no problem.) It was quite a hassle to settle it all and get the right price and I ended up buying an extra one for full price (and like I say it’s for a party. Maybe we will donate the rest to church afterwards or something.) But I realized that I have to be a lot more careful at the store these days. It used to be that when something said, “Four for $14” or whatever that each thing was still on sale even if you only bought one or three or whatever but also more and more there are these shenanigans that bring you into the store but don’t really count when you get up to the checkout place. I’m going to be extremely careful from now on and really enforce the “no talking to mommy” rule when I’m checking out so I can concentrate. You’ve probably all noticed that at Walmart the price often doesn’t match the shelf. I take pictures when I shop there these days. Truly. It’s a pain but it’s so often higher once you check out. Maybe a few cents but that adds up. I feel bad for the checkers who have to deal with all of this and help the customers figure out why it’s not adding up.

    I hope everyone has a good week. Brandy’s post and all of your comments really help me learn things about what is going on around the country. I especially like your ideas about how to make our homes more energy efficient. For some reason our electricity has not gone up yet. Our propane has but we filled up when the price was low. Still I keep thinking of how it will be replaced with expensive propane so that is an incentive. I’m trying so hard to cut back on things but the family is not as much. My son was home from college and his room has a different heater. It was blasting heat and I scolded him. He said that at school they pay a flat rate so he isn’t very efficient. I told him at home he has to be more careful! I have a lot of work to do.

    We butchered 15 chickens the other day. These were older and not laying eggs anymore (well some of them were but we have a younger flock who is doing well.) We didn’t want to keep feeding them so we butchered them. Then instead of throwing them in the freezer (there is no space!) we went a head and cooked them all and then made lots of broth too. It was a lot of work (and my dear husband was a huge help…and my kids too.) Anyway, it is really nice this morning to look at the dozens of jars of meat and broth. I know it took a lot of electricity and propane to process them but now we don’t have to keep paying to freeze them and they are so convenient. I wouldn’t mind doing this again in several weeks when we have more jars and free up freezer space again. (Our last batch is still in the freezer with two ducks!) I know that buying them and feeding them is not cost efficient with the cost of feed but since we already had them it seemed like a good option. It is a relief to only have one flock to care for.

    Take care!

  40. Brandy: your gorgeous photographs should be published for the world to see. Truly!

    My find of the week was a drying rack for $8.99 at a Thrift store. I am in love!

    Had a zero waste week. Thrilled that I actually accomplished it. Hope to keep it up.

    It appears that we are going to have nice weather temperature wise for Thanksgiving. Am so pleased!

    Thanksgiving Blessings to all! Onward, ya’ll, by all means!(Ryan). And save me some pie! 🥰

  41. I have had a quiet week. We have had a week of snow! 8-12 inches starting November 15th was startling to say the least! It was most likely due to the fact that I had yard work to finish!! 🙂 I was able to get a few Thanksgiving deals last week and this week. I did not buy turkey as I already have two in the freezer. I just did not have any more space. Aldi was offering butter at 2.49 a pound which is higher than the 1.79lb I paid in the spring at Kroger. I bought 30 lbs with scheduled trips to town. I also bought six 5lb bags of potatoes for .99 a bag at Meijer for a total price of 5.94. The 10 lb bags were 7.98. Meijer also had broccoli crowns for .99 each so I dug around and found 2 big ones. I steamed them and made stir fry for dinner. Delicious. Another sale was 3 lb bags of halo oranges for 2.49. I bought 2. Oranges do not keep very well in my refrigerator so I can’t buy a lot at a time. We will enjoy them for sure! I am continuing to buy sale items as I can find them. I am trying new meals to use items I have on hand. This week I made broiled chicken sandwiches on a long loaf of Italian bread with cheese and sautéed peppers and onions from my garden. I am needing to do a hamburger stock up. It is going to be out of my price range very soon. I make many meals with 1/2 pound of ground beef for 7 people. I have 2 milk crates full of potatoes I grew from my garden. We cured them and now will start eating them. They are like a yukon gold type of potato. I bought a 50lb bag of them for 9.99 in the spring and some went to seed before we could eat them all. I hope to continue to grow potatoes as they are calorie dense and I have two teenage boys who are constantly hungry. I was able to get 1 gift for a son for 12.00 less this week of Black Friday. I am just not even feeling the desire to buy gifts. Unusual. I need my kids to give me some ideas. I am planning on getting long johns and slippers. Meijer has buy 1 get 1 for a dollar on slippers this week. I will get these on Friday. Then they will be about 15.50 a pair instead of 30!!! It seems that the things I really need have been on some kind of sale and for that I am truly grateful. My US friends have a wonderful Thanksgiving. Amidst all of the uncertainty I realize that I am so very blessed. Every little thing that I do today makes a difference in what I am able to do tomorrow.

  42. My best friend since 1st grade and I have gotten together for a girls weekend every year since our kids graduated. We usually go to Savannah or Nashville or somewhere away, but haven’t gotten away since 2019. She lives on the bay so I went down and spent a few days with her. We ate at a bunch of different restaurants and saw a show and went antiquing. I picked up a copper bread box, a 2 quart jar with spring lid, 2 Calling All Cooks cookbooks. They are put out by Alabama BellSouth and have a cult following. So many good recipes. There are four cookbooks and I now have three, so will enjoy hunting the 4th.
    * I then went and watched grandson for the weekend. A local farmer cut their collards and it was one fourth the price as it is at home so I spent $18 and got 13 stuffed gallon bags after cleaning and stripping from center stalk. I got a turkey for $5, two shank hams for $1.49 a pound, 8 cream of chicken soups for $1 each, 4 Jimmy Dean sausage for $2.99 each, and then got $5/$30 for getting the Winn Dixie store card, plus no tax on food in Florida. I stopped at Conecuh on the way home and got 17 pounds of bacon. Last year it was $8.99 lb during bacon shortage, so I was happy it is. ow $5.99 a lb.
    * Gas was $2.98 in Pensacola so I filled up for my trip home and then I stopped at our new Bucees that opened that day, 5 miles from my house to fill up again. It was $3.06 there, but all other stations around were $3.15.
    * I rearranged my vegetable freezer and took a mental inventory of what I need to cook up.
    *Today I am making crescent rolls, cheesecake, pecan bars. deviled eggs, chopping celery and onions, and making broth with bones I had in the freezer to use in my dressing, and making the cornbread for the dressing. I’ll also make a breakfast casserole and not cook it yet.
    Happy Thanksgiving to everyone. And Roll Tide for the Iron Bowl on Saturday!

    1. In MS we have Bella’s Best. My mom have given them as bridal shower gifts for years. We have some we paid $3 for new and I see used ones for $40-$50. Not sure if they are still published. My sister and mom cook (I do not) and they both are on coy #2, they used their first copy so much it fell apart. I see the AL often while thrifting here. If you tell me which you are missing I will be I lookout for you.

      1. I am missing Calling All Cooks Three. I didn’t know Mississippi had them for their state. All my family is feom Mississippi, I was born in Jackson. Well now I have to start watching for them, LOL.

    2. Roll Tide and I love Conecuh sausage! Also Monroe county sausage in Beatrice! Love the BellSouth cookbooks! Nearly every recipe I cook I think is from them…. Lol.

      1. I’ve never heard of the Beatrice sausage. I’ll have to see if any is in local stores. My childhood friend throws Conecuh sausage at Mardi Gras and has been written about in many publications. His name is David Webb.

  43. We had a frugal week on most fronts, but did have to have our furnace repaired. Waiting to see what that bill will be, as it seemed like a simple fix and it’s a company I’ve used for two decades and they’re trustworthy, do good work and are prompt. The owner is out of town, but his asst. came and handled it with ease. Thankful that we were able to keep the fireplace going as it was during a frigid stretch with temps not passing freezing for several days. We each stocked the fire and added logs when we’d wake up during the night, so the flue didn’t suck out our semi-warm air. I filled my hot water bottle and we used it to warm our hands when relaxing on the couch, but also to warm hands and feet in bed. I am surprised at how satisfying that little oomph of extra heat is for so inexpensive.

    Meals were made at home, with the exception of one meal picked up to go as a treat for my husband, who underwent testing at a downtown hospital and we hit a fave affordable Cajun spot. We took his meal home and I ate leftovers that I preferred so that kept the cost down. Homemade meals included pizza from scratch, quesadillas, sloppy Joe’s with impossible burger, so not super inexpensive, but kind of another “treat” meal for him last night – we’ll get three separate meals from it, though. Made homemade fries with some of the potatoes from the $0.99/5 pounds russet potatoes, Italian vegetable stew, baked potatoes with toppings, split pea soup.

    His daughters have multiple dinners to go to for Thanksgiving/days after, so I said we’ll just do a dessert open house on Sunday. Some family dinners we’re waiting hours for them, and this eliminates our frustration with that. We follow a plant-based diet and there are a plethora of great cookie and cake recipes with no eggs or dairy, keeping it affordable, too. These will be new recipes I’ll be trying, as I don’t typically make dessert. He suggested finger foods, too, so I bought crackers and will make a few types of hummus to put out with pickles, olives, nuts, cut up veggies, etc. All of which we will eat leftover, too. I will invite a few neighbors to pop in as well.

    Our Thanksgiving dinner will be just the two of us, and I’ve purchased a Trader Joe’s meatless “roast” with stuffing, gravy and I also have cranberry sauce. I will make different sides on Saturday, so it’s not the same meal each day. I would like to take advantage of the $0.99/5 pound bags of russets and get a couple more, but with just the two of us, I need to look up and see if I can prep them into cooked hash browns and freeze…? suggestions? I don’t can/don’t have a dehydrator.

    Many good suggestions here and I really enjoy reading everyone’s notes.

  44. The food prices are crazy here in Canada. A 10kg bag of all-purpose flour (about 22 lbs.) has now increased to $20. I started stocking up on flour during the summer and I had bought the same kind and weight, on sale for $10, so the increase is substantial. With the cost of food rising, like many others here, I’m working hard at not wasting anything. Also mainly buying on-sale food and then making it stretch as far as possible.
    *Hubby disliked concord grape juice that I canned last year, so as to not waste it, I used it as a substitute for the water in a Chocolate Snacking Cake. I also used some of the juice for the liquid in the chocolate frosting as well. Cannot taste the grape juice when using chocolate as the main flavouring.
    *As well, to use up that juice, used some for the cold water portion in cherry jello that I bought on-sale a couple of years ago for .30 a box. It was a perfect flavour to hide the taste of the concord grape. The remaining juice was used in smoothies.
    *We had our daughter and son-in-law over for a meal as a thank you for helping me with a computer issue. I served Barbacoa-style beef in corn and flour tortillas using a rump roast that I found in the bottom of our freezer that was dated 2020. This was a particularly frugal meal as the meat was given to us – it was time to use it up! I bought cilantro as one of the toppings for the beef. I intensely dislike cilantro but I thought others liked it. Not so! As to not waste it, I dehydrated it, ground it up and mixed it with other spices to make a Taco Seasoning blend that hides the flavour of it.
    *Got a pork loin on sale for $1.99 lb. with the total price being nearly $16.00 Cdn. Cut about 1/3 of the roast into thin cutlets to make 15 schnitzels. Served 3 warm servings of cutlets initially with mashed potatoes, warm vegetables and coleslaw. Then the remaining 8 cutlets were served on buns with tomato sauce and melted cheese (3 servings) with fettuccini noodles on the side.
    *I also removed a thinner outer portion of pork that was attached to one side of the roast. I cut it into stir fry strips and froze in serving portions that will make 3 separate stir fry meals.
    *Finally, I cooked the remaining pork as a roast meal (3 initial servings) with gravy, roasted crispy potatoes, and frozen garden cabbage and broccoli. Then the leftovers were used in hot pork sandwiches (3 servings) with the above leftover vegetables and potatoes on the side. Lastly I got 2 servings of cold sandwiches. I believe I got my money’s worth from that loin.
    *Dehydrated another 10 lb. bag of onions that I got on sale at the end of October for $3.00. I have 1 more bag to do.
    *So far I’m able to keep the heat low: 64F both night and day, and only cycling the heat to 66F in the morning if absolutely necessary to take the chill out of the air. By the afternoon the sun warms the house; cooking supper keeps the house warm all evening.
    *Still using my dryer rack for most laundry. Sheets and large towels are being put in the dryer during off-peak hours.

    Happy Thanksgiving to those celebrating tomorrow.

  45. I worked three days last week and took breakfast and lunch all three days.
    On Monday, we made Boboli pizza, with crusts we purchased earlier in the month, on sale. Used onions and peppers from the garden, pepperoni from the freezer, sausage from breakfast leftovers, and mushrooms, olives, sauce and cheese we had at home.
    Got a few good deals – Olives were 79¢ each, bought 12 for storage. One store had coupons with limits of one each for Cool whip – 48¢; cranberry sauce – 98¢; olives – 28¢; and chicken broth – 38¢.
    Made a pot roast for the DH who loves it. Used one of B1G1F that I got when purchasing our Thanksgiving turkey.
    Made chicken tortilla soup and Spanish rice. The Spanish rice was made with liquid from draining homemade frozen salsa mixed with chicken broth. It was really good. I don’t add tortilla strips to the soup, so I guess it is chicken taco soup. We stir some of the Spanish rice into the soup. It is so good that way.
    Made taco meat with some already cooked hamburger from the freezer. Since the DH loves roast more than I do, I only ate it the first night, and saved the rest for him. I ate tacos the other dinners.
    Went to B&BW. The soaps that day were $2.95 each. Also had buy anything get something else free. Got soaps and body wash in multiple fragrances. Some for DIL and some for younger son’s fiancée for Christmas.
    Hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving!

  46. I have been finding some planned gift purchases on sale with Black Friday deals and been going through Rakuten for another 2% or so cash back.
    Committed to using what I have this year for Christmas decor except for a planned purchase for some garland and LED candles. I had my eye on a garland on Amazon, but found one at Wal-Mart for half the price that I was very pleased with.
    For Thanksgiving everyone is pitching in and bringing different items, so the cost is spread out.
    Sold an item on Ebay this week, so that was nice to get rid of a little clutter.
    Our grocery bill has been really high lately and the pantry is pretty well stocked. I plan on doing a minimal grocery shopping December to ensure non of the food goes to waste.

  47. The best deal I found while reading flyers is Ambrosia apples at Safeway from Friday to Sunday while quantities last. It is 3 pounds for $2.99. It saves at least $2 per bag. I am not planning on spending much grocery money this coming month but still deciding whether I’m going to cook my own ham or turkey. Tonight I had a butternut squash for dinner. It is 99 cents a pound from No Frills and
    from B.C. and is the best I’ve ever had. I still have a few so I’m going to roast them and then make soup and then freeze the soup. No Frills had 20 pounds of potatoes for $7. I could not get there before the flyer deal expired. I hope they repeat the special.

    Because I have many allergies, I cannot eat a lot of processed food — this is a blessing because I then eat very simply. I like to think the “silver” lining to our present economic woes is that it forces us to eat simply. Fewer baked things, etc. What I am trying to do is figure out how to eat well on little money but studying nutrition to ensure I still get my nutrients. Home made soup is a good start. But for green veggies like peas, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, they should only be lightly steamed; otherwise, the folate is destroyed. I also was shocked to learn that 65% of North Americans are deficient in magnesium. I think it is because our soils don’t have as much magnesium as before. It has made a world of difference to me. It is important not to take too much magnesium and one should check with her gp first. Other things I do to save calories and money is not to drink fruit juice. Instead of orange juice, I eat an orange, instead of apple juice, I eat an apple. It saves money because it is bad for your teeth to drink juice and as my old g pointed out bad for your waistline. I try not to eat to comfort my emotions. Getting enough protein daily is especially important. And that’s where turkey comes in…

    Anyway, I wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving.

  48. This might be too late, but I went out today, the day after Thanksgiving, to Winco. They had their fresh turkeys for 29¢ a pound – no limit, no minimum purchase. Nothing says I can’t put it in my freezer. I bought two. One for Christmas. and one for later.

  49. We had a very simplified Thanksgiving menu this year instead of a full traditional meal that usually yields far too many leftovers. We chose menu items we each truly enjoy and it was so refreshing … homemade lasagna, two discounted steaks we grilled and shared among the four of us, and side dishes made with items we had on hand from our pantry.

    Desserts were pecan pie made with pecans we bought on sale and froze earlier this year, and pumpkin pie and delicious streusel pumpkin loaf made with canned clearance pumpkin purée that was expiring this month.

    So grateful we had most all items in our pantry!

    Bread items were homemade Italian seasoned bread. A splurge was biscuits made from a Red Lobster Cheddar Bay Biscuit mix bought in bulk a year ago.

    So blessed!

    I love a cinnamon/sugar mix on buttered toast for breakfast, and cleaned and dried an empty large spice shaker container to reuse for the cinnamon/sugar mixture.

    Short on time, I did buy a two pack of sale priced ready made pie crusts for making our pecan pie. With the second crust I made a tasty egg/cheese/sausage quiche that served as breakfast.

    Not certain it’s a cost savings, but hubby cannot eat corn syrup and I always substitute honey in equal portions in pies. We feel they come out tasting much richer and flavorful as well.

    Lunch on a cold day was lentil/carrot soup made from a bag of dried lentils (less than $1/pound). Hubby had his with lots of broth and I prefer my thicker and blended my portion in our Ninja blender … was so tasty with Tabasco sauce. Leftovers will be soft tacos in tortillas.

    Leftover boiled eggs became egg salad sandwiches.

    Remnants from empty mustard container were mixed with a bit of water and added to meatloaf mixture. Was so nice knowing we didn’t waste a bit of the mustard!

    Those are a few of our frugal attempts this particular week!

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