Attending the symphony is something I love to do. I was delighted to find out that the Henderson Symphony is performing again, as they have free concerts. I wore a dress that I bought a couple of weeks ago on ThredUp, which sells used clothing. It’s more expensive than the thrift store, but they have nicer items, and I was able to use a coupon code to get an additional 30% off.

I discovered that the place I ordered my blouses from–Banana Republic Factory (that I shared in a recent post) gives points for purchases. I did not know this, as I have only ordered from them a couple of times when they had deep sales. There was another blouse I liked that was on sale for 50% off. Shipping was $5. Using my points, I was able to get this other blouse, including shipping, for $6.50.

I went to Ulta Beauty to purchase some of my face powder. There was no notice of a sale, but the powder rang up with a $10 off discount!

I read two e-books from the library using the free Libby app: The Curiosity Keeper and The Weaver’s Daughter.

I gave my husband a haircut.

I harvested several Armenian cucumbers. I canned 15 pints of sweet pickle relish to add to the pantry using those peppers. I bought some more red bell peppers on sale for $0.79 each and bought onions in a 3-pound bag for $0.56 a pound to make the relish along with our cucumbers.

My husband was able to watch another college football game for free online.

What did you do to save money this past week?

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  1. The insect photo is amazing—I keep looking at it!

    At the grocery store Saturday, I was able to buy 4 dinner kits at $3.74 each (75% off). One was chicken and 3 beef—I added peas to the beef, mushroom, noodle variety and I added spinach to the chicken Alfredo meal tonight. The others went right into the freezer. We’ll get 2 dinners out of each package Green leaf lettuce was $1.49 for a really big bunch and lots of fruits and vegetables were on sale for about what they cost earlier in the year so I was happy with that. I bought 1/2 price pumpkin donuts and seasonal muffins, wrapping up some to freeze for the next few weekends. I shopped for my mother-in-law who has Covid, poor dear.

    A friend invited us and other friends over for a pizza lunch and we all stayed well into the evening. It was so much fun to spend time together talking and laughing. There’s just nothing better!

    I switched out my summer clothes for fall and winter and had to stop denying that I have gotten shorter when I noticed my corduroy pants dragging on the floor. Out came the sewing box and although I thought of doing quick running stitch, I decided to use a blind hem as my mother taught me. Then, as one sewing task begets another, I remembered that I needed to replace a button on my raincoat. I found tortoise 4-hole button of the correct size and sewed it with a smaller button on the inside (again as I learned from my mother although I no longer remember the why of it). I was happy with my repairs and will doubtless be hemming some more trousers from my winter wardrobe.

    DH and I wrote a birthday message to our daughter who is turning 29 next week and got the card posted today.

    Keeping up with my efforts to pay bills on time, walking and using free online exercise videos, drying clothes on the line and trying to continue good habits. I so enjoy reading this blog and all the comments.

  2. Great pictures as always, Brandy! I’m glad you were able to go to the symphony.

    I returned a pencil sharpener to Office Max. While I was there, I stocked up on batteries and computer paper. The paper was on sale and the batteries were a 100% rebate deal. I was able to use the rebate from a previous battery deal to pay for part of this.
    I bought a pint of vanilla extract at Costco for $11.99. I also bought a 3 lb. Costco rotisserie chicken for $4.99 and we had it for dinner, plus lots of leftovers for 2-3 other meals.

    I washed bedding and dried it outside. My HOA doesn’t allow clotheslines so I draped it over my patio furniture.

    I finished knitting a dishcloth and started another one with cotton yarn I already had.

    My new DW wouldn’t start. All of the lights came on but nothing happened when I hit Start. I looked online to find out how to do a restart and didn’t see it for my exact model. I tried the method for another model and it was a no-go. I called the dealer this morning and they are booked out for service until Nov. 9! She had me call Bosch and they gave me the correct method for restarting–and it worked! Meanwhile, I had washed a whole DW full of dirty dishes, plus last night’s dinner dishes, by hand. (Almost as much fun as Thanksgiving when I was a kid, LOL). I have written my model number, serial number and how to do a restart on the manual, which had been no help whatsoever. Despite all this, I still love my Bosch dishwasher. Everything comes out sparkling without pre-rinsing…even pots and pans.

    This is frugal-neutral for me, but always a brag. My daughter and I have been decluttering her room. I am taking a big load to the thrift store today!

    I hope everyone here is having a wonderful week!

    1. Forgot to mention, I turned off my sprinkler system for 3 days of the week…will go down another day next week and so on. While this is frugal, and helps prepare the plants for winter, I was actually about two weeks late doing it this year. We’ve had a hot, dry summer and needed to keep the water on longer.

  3. How awesome you have a praying mantis in your garden! And lavender too! It’s such a good feeling to be able to put food by for the future. Last week, my husband & I took our long awaited trip to the NC coast. Before we left, I froze figs, green beans, eggplant and tomatoes, and he planted beets I started from seed. We brought food from home with us, and I made hummus to take for my lunches, to have with our sweet peppers and cucumbers. I requested several books from the library, and took two with me on vacation. Dinners brought from home included rice and butter beans with sauteed tromboncino, fried potatoes, peppers and onions with salad, and pesto and pasta with salad. We brought a 5 gallon bucket of lima beans, and another of field peas with us to the beach. We shelled the lima beans the evening we arrived, and the peas another day. We both did a lot of reading, on the beach and the balcony. We took a day trip to New Bern, the original NC capitol, and enjoyed touring Tryon Palace and gardens, the original governor’s home, which had free admission. We went to several thrift stores. My husband found needed work clothes, and among the things I found were a cotton nightgown, a piece of leather, and a large zippered bag of cross stitch fabrics. I needed some fabric to stitch a pattern I bought for a gift, and may sell some fabric to recoup some or all of the $5.99 cost. We had planned to eat dinner out three nights, but with the meals being disappointing, not to mention much more expensive this year, we decided to skip the third night. There was enough food left to make another meal, so that was a significant savings. While we were gone, I won a T shirt from an Instagram giveaway, and may use it as a gift. We brought three of our melons to the coast, and are still enjoying the last of the honeydews.

    1. Laurie, I was wondering if you liked mysteries. Have you read the Deborah Knott series by Margaret Maron? She’s a judge in NC. A friend loaned me the series because she really loved them. They really go into her family life and life in NC. I’ve just finished them and I also enjoyed them. I think I would’ve enjoyed them even more if I’d been from the area. It’s fun to read books in my stomping grounds because I can better picture things. Another reason I really enjoyed Kinsey in Sue Grafton’s books. I read a lot and had never heard of Margaret Maron so I thought I’d mention it.

      1. Debby – I live in NC, too, so read your recommendation with interest. Just put the first in this series on hold at my library. Thank you for sharing!

      2. I love Margaret Maron books! Being a lifelong NC resident, and having lived at the coast and mountains, they are so fun to read!

      3. Thank you for the recommendation. I will try her books also. I like to read books that take place in this area.

  4. I love the shot of the praying mantis! We had one recently show up non our screen door. This week’s biggest frugal accomplishment was making use of our library’s new tech center where they have a digital art center and a Cricut cutting machine. If you take their free class you can reserve the Cricut for free. I also scheduled several homeschool sessions with my kids in one of their study rooms because it’s around the corner from where their oldest brother goes to school – even though I homeschool the other 3 I have found that we get more done sometimes when we are away from the home environment. I also found about 15 lbs worth of apples this week at the local Kroger store marked down to roughly 40 cents per pound.

  5. Glad you were able to attend the concert, Brandy! Those little fun things help keep us positive! And how nice that they would have free performance!!

    Sadly, this week I found that the preview ad for Krogers that I was so excited about last week was not valid in my region and the potatoes were not on sale! So sorry if I had anyone excited only to be disappointed and I hope that someone lived in the regions that they were on sale! I will continue to keep my eagle eye open and will still try to give a heads up to others . It’s always best to check online before actually going to the store, especially if it is the only thing you are going to buy! Again, so sorry! 😢

    Was skimming through flashfood app at about 7:30 last night and saw these 2 boneless hams at my Meijers. Since their sell buy date was yesterday, they were marked down from $11- $12 each to $2 each. The only thing was, I had to pick them up by 9 pm because of their sell by date! Asked Hubs if he’d like to go on an adventure/date and he grabbed car keys and off we went!! What a guy!! ❤️❤️😅Here are photos of them: and
    I will be using them up today and the rest will go into freezer!

    Got this scrappy quilt top ready to put borders on. It will be queen size then and totally using scraps I had in my stash! And yet, my stash doesn’t seem to diminish!! 😱

    From the 11 pounds of sweet onions I bought on FlashFood for $5, I watched RoseRed video on YouTube- and chopped and dehydrated them and now have 3 quart mason jars filled and vacuum sealed with dehydrated onions!

    I trimmed down a lot of our chives and after chopping them up am air drying them on a cookie sheet. Also picked a big bucket of slicing tomatoes and pear tomatoes with plenty more green ones on the vines so I will be canning more tomato sauce this week! Been dehydrating Swiss chard too and grinding it into powder!

    Just for a lark, I took the root ends of those onions and put them into “fancy” rooting trays (bottoms of gallon milk jugs 🤪) and am going to see if I can get some green tops to them that I might harvest through the winter. If it doesn’t work, I have only invested a couple minutes!

    Flashfood gave us 1 more date night adventure and we found a whole boneless ham on sale for $19! $1.99/ pound had always been my “Buy” price for boneless hams the last few years, but for Easter this year, the new “sale” price was about 80 cents a pound more ($2.79). So I have now bought our ham for Thanksgiving (we always have ham and Turkey because some of our family don’t like turkey). I popped it into the freezer to wait. But that ticks one item off the holiday menu list!

    We harvested our first figs (with literally 80+ more that are ripening on the tree!). Quite excited to make some fig jam!

    But all is not spectacular harvest! Here is our “huge”🙄 potato harvest of 2022! Oh well, I’ll try again next Spring! These tiny potatoes will be used as filling in 2-3 mini pot pies that I will be making!

    The weather has definitely turned to fall here so I mucked out the upper roost area of the chicken coop and took buckets of chicken poo to the compost pile for over the winter. Then we put deep litter down on the floor and in their nest boxes. Repeated the same procedure down below in their lower level. Got it half mucked out and deep littered. Have to do the final half today!

    Because the weather got cooler, I’m baking more. On Sunday, I made a batch of Morning Glory muffins using up some older carrots, a wrinkled apple, 1/2 jar of home canned pineapple, raisins, chopped walnuts and coconut. I had a partial quart of home canned applesauce in the fridge so I used that to replace the oil in the recipe! The recipe said it would make 16 but it actually made 24! We may Ding, Dong, ditch some over to a family with a new baby! Here’s the recipe if anyone is interested:

    Got this client’s Christmas quilt all quilted up – Lenni’s #275th! This way she will have plenty of time to get her binding put on! Another client quilt coming in today that will include both the quilting and the binding.

    Busy week as the days get shorter but a time that we have reflected on how abundantly we have been blessed. I hope you and your followers continue seeing that abundance in your lives.

    Gardenpat in Ohio

  6. Happy Frugal Accomplishments Day 🎉
    Last week:
    *was able to use gift from gift stash for nephew’s birthday
    *paid an extra $250 toward mortgage principal
    *harvested 3 beautiful tomatoes from my garden
    *was able to open up the windows for 2 days and save by not using air conditioning!
    *did NOT pick up Starbucks when I really wanted to
    *gratefully accepted some vintage Pyrex from family
    📍Buy Nothing Group: curly hair build up buster for daughter, nail polishes, makeup pouch, gallon of Greenworks concentrated cleaner
    📍Facebook Marketplace: sold a few items during garage clean out (made $85)

    Take care 💜

  7. My best frugal accomplishment: Found some shorts I had been looking at moved to the clearance section of Eddie Bauer. They had 50% off clearance prices, plus I had a $10 off coupon, and I qualify for free shipping as a long-time customer. My final cost was $0 (it may be a dollar or so if they charge me tax).

  8. I love the mantis!

    My husband picked some pears on a job site(he asked)

    Work brought in soup from Olive Garden, and had tons of other goodies. I had enough for lunch and snacks on Friday and today. 🥲

    Ate breakfast and lunches at work

    Redeemed points for a free Starbucks drink

    I’ve been enjoying newer horror movies on our streaming services.

    I had to buy my book club book this month on Kindle, but I received $1 credit to use on something else

    We set a record high last Wednesday for September 21st, then it was 40 degrees cooler on Thursday. Temperatures have been more normal so it’s been nice to turn the ac off and open up the house.

    We’ve mostly stayed home when we aren’t working, ate leftovers, watched whatever we had recorded on the DVR or on streaming. I just realized today that it’s been almost 3 weeks since I’ve purchased gas(a long time for me, usually I can go 10 days or so, my truck gets 450 miles to a tank).

    I went to make my annual exam for my prescription refill and was told my provider was no longer at the clinic I went to. He was out of my insurance coverage anyway but I hate changing so I just paid out of pocket since it was just once a year. I ended up calling the hospital my insurance was at, with no high hopes of getting in as a new patient within the next six weeks, but they could have got me in this week with someone. (We have a couple days off in October so I made the appointment then). My co pay will only be $10(versus the $75 cash I paid to see the other dr.) since pelvic floor therapy all summer helped me hit my deductible 😂

    I found a box of tea bags that had fell behind something so I won’t have to buy any for a couple weeks

  9. Love the pics, especially the praying mantis!

    My frugal week:
    – made another batch of my Easy Mennonite Pickled Beets (
    – took my youngest daughter to another free (demo) music class.
    – redeemed air miles for $10 worth of groceries, and $20 worth of optimum pts
    – made a batch of Jalapeno Cheddar bagels, using my Shortcut Everything Bagel recipe ( and just changing the toppings. Sooooooo yummy!
    – made a batch of carrot apple muffins, using the carrots I got on sale for 20 cents/lb last week. I love to bake these in mini form and freeze them for school lunches or after school snacks.
    – fixed a pair of shoes using a piece of Dr Scholls moleskin to preventatively patch a hole in the toe from the inside out
    – picked tomatoes from my balcony garden and the last handful of beans from my plot at my parents place
    – combined sales, coupons, and cashback sites when grocery shopping. My best deal was 4 heads of cauliflower for 88 cents each! I gave one to my mum, and also pointed out a few other excellent deals to her.
    – purchased a pkg of strip steak and a pkg of chicken legs for just over $7 using the flashfood app.

    Looking forward to learning from everyone else as always!

    1. Hi Margaret! If you don’t mind, would you share how you fixed the hole in your shoe. I get toe holds in my sneakers often and would love a solution! Thanks in advance!

      1. Hi Laura! So, I’m a former hiker, and I happened to have some of Dr. Scholl’s Moleskin (purchased at a pharmacy) lying around. Usually the product is used to prevent blisters on ankles. It’s basically padded fabric with an adhesive side. I took a two by two inch square, peeled off the adhesive backing cover, and stuck it on the inside of the toe box of the shoe. Basically, it acts as a stick-on patch, to reinforce the area from the inside, so it’s harder to wear a hole in the toe. But it’s more of a preventative than a fix. I’ve done this before and it definitely adds to the life of the shoe! Hope it works for you too!

      2. It rains a lot in Eugene, where I attended the University of Oregon in the 1960s. Boots weren’t popular then (picture those clear plastic galoshes) and most girls wore Keds to class because they dried quickly when you got back to the dorm. The girl next door to me was attending the university on such a tight budget that she was actually featured in the alumni magazine (her brother was doing the same, as their dad had before them). Anyway, her trick was to wear black tennies and color her big toe with a black marker! Just sayin’, LOL!

  10. Hi there! As others have mentioned that photo of the praying mantis is amazing! Seriously, it looks like it’s almost waving at you. 😊 Excellent photography Brandy! 👍

  11. -Last year, I wasn’t able to get the new winter boots I needed, so I used a heavy pair of trainers with great grip for most walking and my old winter boots in very snowy conditions. This year I watched for winter boots coming online, and ordered them right away, while my size was available. I’m feeling much more optimistic about winter now that I’ve placed this order. The frugal bit is having waited a year to buy them. The new boots are good quality and should last a few years.
    -I was also planning to buy a new winter coat. I bought a lighter weight coat on sale in the summer, which is heavy enough to cut a month off of how long I wear a winter coat both in the fall and the spring. I’m going to do some mending and freshening up of the old winter coats I have, and try to delay the purchase of a true winter coat another year.
    -As there is so many places, there is a real shortage of health professionals locally. Facebook was saying that the local doctors’ office was turning down new patients and even long-time patients after one of the two partners quit. I was able to get a short appointment easily, though, and my regular doctor is all set for me to schedule a physical.
    -Though I have some more pressing home organization projects in mind to make keeping my home up a simpler thing, as a mini side-project, I have started a very slow-paced plan to reduce the number of books I have. Several family members had to do this in a crisis. It was a miserable task. I don’t feel attached to most of my books anymore, but would like to bring the numbers down gradually until I have a core set I really enjoy or refer to. The first goal is 100 to go by Christmas. 25 were selected easily this weekend. The living room bookcases already look better.
    -I hope everyone is doing well.

    1. I try to only save my absolute favorite books, but do have three massive bookshelves full of TBR (to be read). After I read a book, if I don’t love it, I list it on PangoBooks. There is a 20% fee, but I’ve had good luck so far with moving part of my books this way. I hold back the ones that aren’t “worth” listing (sometimes there are too many copies listed or I might only make $.80, so not worth the gas or packing materials to ship) and trade them at Little Free Libraries! Best of luck with clearing out your collection!

      1. Thanks for the encouragement! At least e-books have dramatically slowed the flow of more books into my house, without taking away from my joy of reading.

  12. I love the praying mantis photo! My 7th grade science fair project was about praying mantises and I took photos of them on our screen door. Thanks for bringing that memory up. Glad your symphony is back to performing. Live music is wonderful.

    I actually found a dime in a parking lot after getting my free 10 year Tdap booster. Hardly ever see change on the ground here. Made green lentil soup to freeze for later for a meatless meal. Finally downloaded the Vons app and saved an extra $10.11 on this week’s small top up shop. I do wonder the logic of putting shoppers through hoops to get lower prices – what is in it for the store?

    Continue to be grateful that I know how to mend, that we take care of what we own and YouTube is there to help, and all the small daily decisions that save money and conserve resources. I am flying for the first time since we’ll be for the pandemic to have a visit with son and his family. Purchased the much cheaper tickets, taking my lunch and really looking forward to the trip.

  13. -Creative uses for leftovers: hubby smoked some brats and then we placed them in a pan and covered them with 2 bottles of beer, 2 sliced onions and 1/2 c of butter and smoked them some more. There was onions and the beer and butter solution leftover. I used it to make beer cheese soup. Oh my! Was it ever good with the smoky flavor of the beer and onions.
    -I finally did find some clearance meat, four packages of baby back rib (1/2 rack each) for $3 each. Perfect size for a meal of 2.
    -I bought 8 quarts of raw honey from a local beekeeper. I bought last years honey so he sold it at a discount. This will last me a year.
    -I froze 8 pint packages of sliced green peppers, 3 more gallons of tomatoes, 4 pint containers of roasted tomato sauce, and canned 6 half pints of candied jalapeños (and I thought I was done canning!)
    -I spent 4 days at my daughter’s out by Green Bay WI. We did some thrifting, antiquing, garage sale shopping, and Christmas shopping. We had a great time! I got my 4 bottles of maple syrup I always buy. I get it from a friend of my daughter’s and they always give me a great deal! I brought from the garden: a watermelon, the last of the garden green beans, some potatoes, 2 quarts of pear juice, and 2 quarts of home canned French onion soup, a quart of diced potatoes, a quart of mixed vegetables, and 2 pints of ground beef all thrown into the crockpot for a very yummy soup, this was my contribution to meals.
    -I inventoried and rearranged my freezers. Now it is time to start using the bounty. I will start making meals based on the freezers and canning. This will help the budget. This is why I grow and can our food.

    Have a great week!

  14. Hello! First I need to thank Gardenpat and Mountain Mama Dawn for the info regarding mixes-I got some great ideas! Thank you ladies!
    My daughter came to visit last week so we had a mix of frugal & not so much. The frugal: we used a gift card I had previously won to a local apple orchard where we chose apples, concord grapes, local honey, apple cider donuts and fresh pressed cider right down to the penny of the gift card amount. We went to an estate sale where we each spent $12. Mine on a vintage Pyrex bowl to match the previous pattern I had thrifted for her a few weeks earlier, a pair of brand new leather shoes for me and a set of 8 drinking glasses for my son. Her $12 was spent on 2 vintage blouses, a vintage purse, vintage jewelry & a vintage atomizer. Afterwards we had brunch using a gift card I had found when cleaning out a few weeks ago. We went through some things that were left behind in her bedroom & donated to Goodwill where we didn’t buy anything! Spent time together talking, reading, watching football & relaxing. Not so frugal: we ate dinner out twice. Once at a local Greek restaurant and the other time we ordered pizza from her favorite local pizza place. While home she taught me a neat trick, I love to burn scented candles and when the wax gets down to the end, put the candle in very hot water to soften the wax, pull out the wick and pour the melted wax into a plastic container. You can then break off pieces to melt in a wax warmer. Easy way to make a scented candle last a bit longer. Grocery shopping was limited to some fresh produce as we are well stocked in our freeze and pantry right now.
    Autumn definitely arrived here with much cooler temps overnight, so AC will come out of the windows, now the goal is to keep heat off as long as possible. Hope everyone has a happy, healthy, frugal week!

    1. So glad you found the link helpful. Loved reading about your tag sale excursion with your daughter. I have done the same many times with my mom. 🙂

    2. Melissa Y- I have always said that I am lazy and cheap and making and using mixes has been one way that really saves me time and money while giving us the enjoyment of a variety of foods I can make with little effort! 😉. It’s been especially fun I have my 11 year old granddaughter coming over to make mixes for her family! She has been making muffins, pancakes, cookies and brownies for her family and they have been eating them up, thanking her and most importantly, building her confidence and desire to learn and try more!

      Good luck with this new journey into mix-making!!

      Gardenpat in Ohio

  15. I love when I see a praying mantis in my garden. I think it is a special kind of good luck.
    *We picked the last of the summer raspberries at a neighbor’s house. She had picked and canned all she wanted as jam and said we could have the rest. I brought home enough for a few bags to go into the freezer. When they are so ripe at the end of the season, they are better than candy. At least I think so!
    *We run a pumpkin stand with a neighbor every year and last week was our opening day. My boys really went all out with the decorations this year and we had fun setting up the pumpkins and gourds. Some of our most popular varieties are Cinderella (they look so much like the fairy tale coach) and Dickinson’s (the variety that is canned for the Libby brand, I am told. It has the most gorgeous orange flesh you can imagine.) We have had a pretty good turnout considering we are in the Hinterlands and it is a local, word-of-mouth thing. Any more of a commitment and it wouldn’t be as fun nor would we feel like we are providing something for many of our neighbors who do not garden anymore. We just enjoy all that goes into it from planting to harvest and seeing our neighbors come and enjoy the stand. My oldest son wanted to add caramel apples this year and used his own money for the supplies. It has been a good opportunity to talk about costs and pricing of items. Though, I think he will not be too sad if he doesn’t sell all of them and has to eat his inventory. 🙂
    *I saved $10 on our dog’s arthritis medicine by price comparing on-line. I have found that regular checking of prices is needed, especially these days, as what once was the least expensive source may not be any longer.
    *I sold some more of my youngest son’s outgrown clothing on-line.
    *Sold eggs and bartered some for canned goods. Those days will come to a halt before too long when the chickens slow down in production enough to supply just our family, our parents and our nearest neighbors who are like a 3rd set of grandparents for my boys. We have to keep enough to supply this core group so we don’t sell eggs in the Winter.
    *I am back to my house painting tasks again after devoting the last few weeks to repairing and building some equipment for the bees. I am now onto my kitchen and sitting room which is really one big area. So far, still able to do all of these projects with materials already purchased (on sale, when possible) so no recent OOP expense.
    *Eating the bits the garden is still producing (greens and herbs) and the freezer and pantry. I made chocolate chip cookies (a rare treat) with a block of chocolate my boys got from a relative for Valentine’s Day. I am amazed at their restraint though I have to think they just forgot about it and I didn’t point it out to them. 🙂 It made for great cookies and helped to clean out the pantry. No grocery shopping this week.
    *Cut my husband’s hair.
    *Mended some clothing and one blanket. I have found some great YouTube videos lately with very ingenious repair techniques especially for fine gauge sweaters. I enjoy studying these kinds of skills and always learn ways to make better repairs.
    *I taught a honeybee/beekeeping class to our homeschool co-op last week. It was a last minute thing as I was filling in for a parent with a sick child. She is teaching a wild edibles class so I thought honeybees would fit in well without disrupting her plans for the remainder of the session. I have to say I half expected the kids to just sit there with glazed expressions on their faces. I really didn’t expect the level of enthusiasm and interest I received. It was great and I had so much fun. I was glad I was able to pull together all I needed for the class from items I had at home and structured the class so that the children were acting out the different roles of the bees. I think most children (most people, for that matter) learn so well with a playful, active approach. Just another example of a great experience that cost nothing but, I hope, yielded some good things.
    *I have not had much chance to read this week but have given myself the gift of a few moments with the September entries in Flora Thompson’s “A Country Calendar” and “The Peverel Papers.” I love how in a world where things can seem to be changing at lightning speed some things stay the same.
    *Wishing all of you a lovely week! Thank you all for your continued inspiration and encouragement.

  16. I haven’t commented in a month or so as things have been so busy so I am glad to be back! There have been illnesses and appointments in the family but things finally seem to be settling down now. We have harvested tomatoes, zucchini and squash from the garden. We continue to be blessed by our local buy nothing group and have received many useful items including shampoo, a coffee press, tea, a blanket and fresh picked apples. I have been diligent in reading the grocery ads and purchasing the front page specials. I have found that there is often items not available or sold out but have managed to stock up fairly well with the specials. All our discount stores are quite close together and quite close to home so I don’t have to do much extra driving to pick up specials. My aunt also brought over a bag of produce that she wouldn’t be able to finish and we would happily use.

    I am trying hard to keep hydro and gas use low. We are on the budget billing plan and our monthly amount for gas went up $40 month. We will definitely be keeping the heat down this winter! My husband is busy getting wood in for our fireplace which we will be using more frequently this winter. The wood we have received for free from friends and neighbors or off of the buy nothing group. I hung all laundry out to dry and washed it all in cold water.

    I gave my son a haircut at home. We checked books, magazines and DVDs out of the library this week for entertainment.

    I hope everyone has a good week and those in the path of storms remain safe.

  17. Last year I lost weight by following Dr Greger’s How Not to Diet book. I used the Instapot to cook his groat bowl – oat groats, rye, barley and lentils. I added sorghum from our field. After it is cooked I added walnuts from our orchard and raisins. I made individual portions for work adding 2 Tablespoons of gifted flavored balsamic ( also a Greger recommendation.) I stopped doing it this summer and regained 10 pounds. Grrrrr! So yesterday I started using up all my surplus. Healthy and especially frugal considering cereal prices right now.

    I had an online fashion consult give me measurements for everything I need to wear. I put lots of the clothing that don’t flatter in my Poshmark closet. I have sold all but two. I used the proceeds I made to buy items in Poshmark that flatter. I have had several people tell me this week I have lost weight and look great! No I haven’t lost weight but I feel good about how I am dressing. One of the recommendations for my figure is to only wear “matinee” necklaces. For me that is 20 – 22 inch chain. Most of my necklaces are either “opera” or “princess.” Drat.! I spent $5.00 on Amazon to buy five chain extenders that work well. However I have a few favorite chunky pieces by uno de 50. Normal extenders won’t work. Normally uno de 50 can run into the hundreds. I bought a several stranded “knock off” at a thrift store for $12.00. I used wire cutters to cut and fashion extenders of the same thickness. I am pretty proud of myself with my two “new” necklaces. I had enough of the knock off to make a chunky. bracelet.

  18. These photos look like I am standing in the garden and experiencing a window of nature. Beautiful. Harvested the last of my tomatoes and hoping for a few more warm days to ripen the green ones on the vine. Hemmed my daughters jeans. Sewed a new blanket for my grandson. Using our radiant heater rather than our furnace; trying to save on the LP. Keeping one room warm rather than the whole house seems much more economical this time of year. Our grands were here and they played with the fabulous Melissa and Doug toys that I found left at the transfer station. They are great and so glad to put them to use. Celebrate trying to appreciate what we have and look at these challenging times as an opportunity to make the most of what we have and conserve as much as possible.


  19. I love all your photos especially the praying mantis and the golden to apricot zinnia. We have praying mantises here also and the last one I saw was brown. I love how they blend into their environments and how beneficial they are to our gardens as they eat lots of larvae, spiders, caterpillars, bugs, etc. Wonderful score on the Lands’ End blouse and all your delicious canning.

    Worked on the gardens most of the week. Harvested acorn and butternut squashes and the last of the green beans. Pulled up all the remaining plants and added to my friend’s compost pile as I grew these veggies on my semi-rural friend’s property. Harvested a total of 10 acorn and 8 butternut squashes, approx 50 lbs of green beans, 4 honeydew melons and 6 cantaloupes. It was a successful experiment and will probably do the same next year as she has already asked me if I want to continue doing so. In my garden at home, we picked the last of the tomatoes (both ripe and green); zucchini and cukes and also pulled up all the plants as the days and nights have gotten cooler with lows in the low 60s/high 50s at night. Harvested lemon balm, oregano and basil and dehydrated it. Sedum “autumn joy” is in bloom as are dahlias, mums, marigolds and asters.

    The VFW (Veterans of Foreign Wars) on the mainland had its annual fund-raising hardy mum sale – $7 a plant. I purchased 2 burgundy and 2 purple mums with many buds and they are a lovely addition to my autumn outdoor decor. At the nursery purchased 2 small bales of hay and 2 large cornstalks with ears of corn on them also for decor but will place the hay around the roots of my rose bushes in December (after first mounding plain topsoil around them) to help keep the roots warm during the winter months; the cornstalks will be chopped up and added to the compost barrel and the squirrels are already stealing the ears of corn!

    I volunteered to plant beach grass on our dunes; it is important to do for our ecology as it protects the dunes from the winds and it was a fun day spent with like-minded neighbors who like to give back to our community. For master gardeners, this also counts towards the annual volunteer hours that one commits to. I brought 2 acorn squash and 1 butternut squash that I grew along with a huge pumpkin I purchased ($7 at BJs) to our library to add to their autumn display. Also brought to the library a bouquet from my yard: asters, mums, dahlias, sedum, marigolds and lemon balm. I’m on the Board of our Friends of the Library group so I take great pleasure in doing this and out-of-pocket cost is very little.

    In the kitchen, made 3 trays of eggplant parm from eggplant that was gifted to me by my semi-rural living friend; one to eat with dd and her family, 1 for freezer; 1 for dd to take home with her as eggplant parm is one of her fav dishes and its just too time consuming for her to make with 3 young kids (one a 10 month old), a career, large house, etc., there’s never enough time. All the talk of lentils on this board and the cooler temps had me wanting lentil stew also. Made a hearty rich one with rachel ray veggie stock instead of water, diced potatoes, celery including the leaves, carrots, onions, chopped tomatoes and lots of parsley from the potted plants in the sunroom; served with fresh chopped parsley and freshly grated parmesan along with homemade cornbread; it was delicious and made enough for leftovers and the freezer. Baked 3 dozen zucchini/apple muffins (1 dozen went to friend who gave me the eggplants; 1/2 doz to a neighbor who gifted me some figs – the last of the year; dd took 6 home). Made 2 batches of cornbread using my cast iron corn bread pan; the 2 older grands with dd’s supervision made your granola recipe to enjoy as a snack and took the rest home in a mason jar. Baked cod, grilled salmon, chicken cutlets and pork chops were also on the menu with assorted veggies and herbs from the garden and grocery store. Idaho potatoes were $2.99 for a 5 lb bag; bought 4 bags.

  20. The picture of the praying mantis is my favorite! My favorite frugal win for the week was when I grabbed receipts from the trash cans right by the self checkouts by Kroger. I got lots of points from Fetch from them and $2.75 back on Ibotta! When I grabbed those, I also found some codes to enter for a program they are running. I entered those and was able to get a $10/$10 coupon off produce. I just take the receipts off the top so they aren’t nasty or anything, and the ladies that work there will sometimes even gather them up for me – one young lady sent me 6 or 7 home with my daughter when she did her shopping! My husband brought home (from the waste garage where he works) a gallon pitcher (missing the lid, but still very handy), about 10 or 15 kitchen utensils including some very nice Pampered Chef wooden spoons, and an adorable wicker and metal sled that I will use to decorate with come Christmas. I ran the pitcher and utensils through the dishwasher – this will enable me to share what I have and replace some non-PC wooden utensils that don’t hold up as well. We went to the Leaf Peepers Festival in our favorite mountain town – there were vendors and lots of photo opportunities. We rode the ski lift and only bought a few things, but it was all budgeted for. We packed snacks, which we enjoyed in the car. We had hoped to hike some, but that didn’t happen. My husband found four packages of crescent rolls (in the tubes to bake) for only 99 cents a piece, which is about half price. We have discussed what to make for supper this week, with the goal to use things from the freezer. I had a flare of my sciatica, which made moving painful – getting up, sitting down, turning, you name it! This has happened before, and my hubby went to the doctor with me before, so he was able to help me do some stretches and pressure points to help give me relief, saving me a trip to the doctor.

  21. The Praying Mantis is a hit! Looks like an old boyfriend! 😉

    Our youngest son came in for the UT/FL game. My husband smoked some baby back ribs. They were amazing! I so miss my children. I had six, but would have loved to have had more. Such blessings!

    Basically have closed my garden. Still have several pepper plants that are producing though. The rabbits have eaten the majority of my fall crops. I will not be sharing with them next season! They are not long for this world!

    Looking forward to lots of reading and cooking in the coming months. This past Spring and Summer was grueling!

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

  22. Hello Everyone!
    That’s a fabulous shot of the praying mantis. It’s looking right at the camera! Thanks for the reminder to seek free entertainment opportunities. It has been a long while since I’ve seen the symphony. There are free events occasionally.

    This week I baked a lot again. Our neighbor gave us strawberries which were quite ripe. I made whole wheat strawberry muffins with them. I also baked pumpkin bread and a batch of cookies. We made meals based on what was in the house: chicken pad Thai, beef stew and fish.

    I bought 15 lbs. of boneless pork loin at Costco. Each package was $4 off with no limit listed. I cut up and vacuum sealed meal sized portions and froze them. The ends I diced and can use for pork stew or cook for frittata or quiche. I was out of pork and waiting for this! It was $0.75/lb. more than last year.

    While at Costco I filled up my gas tank because I drove a distance to visit Grandma last week. Gas has gone up again to $5.21/gallon. At other gas stations, it’s over $6.00!!! 😳 Trying to minimize miles.

    I finished canning the last of the pears. I made extra light syrup instead of buying white grape juice (as the recipe recommends). I canned 7 quarts of pears with nectarines so that I don’t get pear burnout. We got a lot of pears this year, but not many apples. 🍐 I ordered apples from Azure, but they were out of stock at the time of shipping.

    I bought myself a new fitness watch because my old one broke months and months ago. They’re only built to last 2-3 years and so I downgraded models. I bought a simpler one that was last year’s version and saved about $40.

    Have a blessed and beautiful week! 🎼🎶🎵

  23. I forgot to mention that my husband fixed the irrigation leak. I’m so sorry to the person with the $3,000 bill! 😭 Now, one of the toilets is running and that needs fixing.

  24. That praying mantis made me smile! Such a friendly photo. Once we had one visit our home, and managed to lay eggs in the curtains without our knowing. Later that fall, my baby son called me over to his crib, delightedly pointing to the hundred little babies crawling up the walls!! He loved them so, I got a file folder and scooped them up by 10’s and brought them to the garden. Funny memories!

    Well, having a cold keeping one home makes for a moderately frugal week. We did succumb to take-out one night, but we managed to pull together leftovers and soup the other times. And what a mercy a batch of bread can be! I managed one, and the boys ate it up for days. Brandy, your powdered milk in bread is genius. It really makes for a lovely crumb in the challah. I think I’ll try your potato flake idea in donuts next.

    I’ve been reading an old book I wondered if you all have run across, as it reminds me of this site. From 1917, I think, and delightfully old fashioned – “1000 ways to please a husband, with Bettina’s best recipes.” It’s a sweet story of newlyweds from their first dinner home to their first anniversary, with the menus and recipes they used along the way. Bettina’s spunky, sensible, and warmly devoted to home and family. It’s fun to read about the “fireless cooker” that she had and then adapt the recipes for my crockpot. Anyway, a free read – It’s a couple of dollars on Amazon for a kindle version.

    We’re eating chard, kale, arugula, and green onions from the garden, and trying to move all the greens into the greenhouse. I’m moving all my pretty geraniums into pots for the winter. I always loved that picture of Swedish painter Carl Larsson’s window garden full of geraniums.

    Time to swap clothes and bedding for the fall. We have almost all we need, thanks to hand-me-downs and storage. Time to look around though for shoes for the biggest kid.

    Thank you, Brandy, for the beautiful pictures, and, everyone, for the comments!

    1. Sarah – I read the Bettina book years ago and forgotten about it. Thanks for the reminder. Those are the kind of books that are fun to read again and again as different things resonate with you at different times in your life. And Carl Larsson is one of my favorite painters of all time. My mother’s side of the family is Scandinavian so his images remind me so much of my family. And, I have always had geraniums in pots, too. Was just making room for them in the house as they will soon need to come inside. Have a lovely day!

      1. I have a couple of small Carl Larsson prints in my kitchen (just copies) but I love a bit of artwork in my kitchen and these two are lovely – and yes, there are some red geraniums in one of them.

    2. I am going to check out that book as it sounds like a fun read.
      When we were in Sweden we visited Carl Larson’s home. It was a beautiful place – I have always loved his paintings.

  25. I love the preying mantis – what a great shot!
    I finally managed to get some laundry done last week – but it was a bit of a shock in the laundry room. They have installed new machines and added 1 more each of washers and dryers – but – the cost of each has gone up considerably! I will be using the dryer for sheets & towels only and I’ll be doing more hand laundry to stretch the time and to ensure that I have full loads!

    I started off the week with about $5 worth of Loyalty points on my card but now have over $40 as I carefully matched and doubled offers this week – all on items that I would have normally purchased and I still have a couple of days to go before they are over for this week. I will head out tomorrow afternoon for a couple of other very specific items on my list. I think that I will try to save these points for upcoming holiday needs. I may have a few people over for Thanksgiving dinner in a couple of weeks so the points will pay for the turkey etc.

    I renewed my provincial health card online and at no cost so that is sorted for another five years.

    My birthday was just over a week ago and I was still treated to breakfast & lunch out this past week. I received a beautiful old fashioned looking radio from two friends – something that I’ve been wanting for ages. All it does is turn on and off and play Am/FM and the dial lights up with numbers that are easily readable – perfect! I enjoyed a drive in the country with one friend and a long walk in the gardens of High Park with another so this made for a great week in some lovely cool but sunny weather. I also enjoyed lunch provided at church after service on Sunday as we had a congregational meeting to attend.

    I’ve cooked a number of meals for the freezer – 4 servings of ground beef using a jar of tomato sauce and a can of beans that needed to be used up. I then made another 4 servings of ground beef with mushrooms, peas and a can of mushroom soup that needed to be used. I still have about 8 cans sitting in a basket on my kitchen counter of various things that I will use over the next couple of weeks. These ground beef meals will be served over pasta/egg noodles, rice or toast with extra veg. I’m trying to measure out the serving portions a little more carefully these days 1) to save money and 2) to save calories.

    I’m going to spend some time this week looking out Fall/Winter clothes and working on the never ending paperwork! It’s rained today and more is expected tomorrow (although nothing like what hit the Maritimes this weekend) so it is time to acknowledge the cooler weather. The trees are turning colour very early and very quickly this year. PS – My poor sister’s name is Fiona so she has been teased all week and now my friend Ian will have to suffer the same fate! I sincerely hope that Florida gets off better than the east coast did up here. Stay safe everyone.

    1. That is too bad about the washers and dryers in your building. I hope you have a good drying rack and I take it this means the elevator is fixed.

      How very nice to get just what you were wanting as a gift! That’s always the best.

      1. I have a drying rack that has paid for itself many times over and I am on the lookout for a second one!

        It is a wonderful gift and so thoughtful!

      1. Thank you both Ann and Margaret – yes, I like when I get to extend the birthday “day” over a few days – I think I’ve earned it! 🙂

    2. Oh my, this took me back to a time when I lived in an apartment and the laundry room situation had…shall we say…maintenance issues. I invested in a cheap, brand spankin’ new plunger for when there were problems, and would wash laundry in the bathtub, plunging, plunging, plunging away.💪💪 It was my modern equation of granny’s washboard of old. And a drying rack? Priceless…even nowadays when my laundry room situation has improved considerably! I hope the situation improves for you🙏

  26. I had a lovely week this week. Our weather is lovely and even sugar cookie is spending time sitting outdoors. This week our lovely governor gave everyone on foodstamps a $350.00 check. Sugar cookie and I only receive $20.00 in benefits for our household. Thankfully we have plenty of food through my enterprising activities. That $700.00 will happily be applied to our house taxes which rose $500.00 this year. We are now at 2 thousand and they are due soon. Even though disabled , I don’t qualify for a reduced rate until I’m 65. But we continue to have everything we need. We received an electric company rebate of $25.00. I will use it wisely. I brought home 1o hams and 10 lbs chicken wings and a large rack of ribs. I was delighted. Everything directly from store freezer to mine and baby Henry’s freezer. Sugar cookie requested we go out so I made another trip out. We have boxes of Easter items to donate to a local church who has a huge egg hunt each year. I just couldn’t leave the boxes there knowing how much it would be appreciated. Our local aldis had cleared their cold case out of all items fixing to expore. We filled my car up completely. I sorted items and made a second trip to baby Henry’s house at 1 AM. His grandmother is often up at that hour. I slowly filled up 2 refrigerators and 3 freezers with items. As prices continue to rise , finding items is complicated by not having enough money to afford them. My mother has asked for items and I will pull them tomorrow. I have 2 hams in oven now for us. I will make many meals from ours and my mother and father will eat off theirs until they are tired of it. I figure I easily brought home over a thousand dollars of food last night. The only thing I needed to buy was a requested bag of radishes. Meanwhile, we are blessed and blessing those who want are collected items.

    1. How wonderful that all your hard work pays off for you and others – no food should be wasted at this time! Good for you and Sugar Cookie.

  27. Little praying mantis’ face is so precious! (I’m sure it wouldn’t be if I were his prey, lol!)
    Do you mind sharing what powder you use Miss Brandy? I prefer powder as a foundation on most days, as liquid foundation leaves me feeling smothered in the humidity.

    1. Clinique blended face powder. It’s a loose powder. I wear #20 Invisible blend; it’s the lightest shade they make (because I’m a ghost, apparently 😆)

      1. Thank you, I will check that one out as I am getting to the bottom of my mineral powder foundation and will need to buy more soon! I can totally relate to the “ghost” remark as I always joke that I’m so pale I glow in the dark, lol! Or, that I’m a “whiter shade of pale”, in reference to that old song. My theory is, if I can’t laugh at myself and my own predicaments, I am taking life too seriously.😊

        1. “Whiter shade of pale” hahahaha! That’s funny.

          If I wear white nylons and get a run, you almost can’t tell.

  28. I need advice. Thrifted a $50 Nike college shirt for $2. It is polo style and kinda slick and maybe polyester’ish. Once I got it home I noticed it has a tiny spot of blood on it. I’ve tried Dawn, Vinegar, Corn Starch, spray and wash, and hydrogen Peroxide. It’s a little lighter but still there. Any recommendations for something else to try? Thanks in advance.

      1. I have been using Folex for a long time and I agree that it is amazing stuff. No odor and it takes almost everything off carpets! We bought it at Home Depot for well under $10 but it may have gone up.

    1. TCR – It’s difficult to remove blood stains that are set in but I have heard of some having luck with a 50/50 ammonia/water mixture or WD40. Best of luck!

    2. I’ve recently bought this stain remover “Hate Stains Miss Messy Eater Baby Stain Remover.” So far it has not disappointed. I bought it after my grandson vomited berries onto a white carpet and I used this product on that stain. The stain disappeared before my eyes. I haven’t tried it on blood…

    3. I’ve used Bac-out (by Biokleen) to remove blood and other “organic” stains, but not sure if it will work on something that’s set in with dryer heat. There’s a wonderful book called Laundry Love (I think it was recommended on here by someone?) that tells you how to remove any stain. I got it from the library, but I didn’t take notes on any of the stain removal info because my issue is more with odors in sweaty workout clothes. Anyway, I’d check that out because most things involved simple ingredients, but perhaps a particular method of applying those ingredients. Good luck!

  29. Hello Brandy and everyone ☺️ well the green beans keep on giving today another canner load picked and snapped. Will be canning those tomorrow. I was thinking that the skinny ones would be great as pickled green beans so I separated those out for that purpose. I was able to glean Marion berries from a local farm. 10 gallons of berries went into the freezer for jam and 4 pies for the holidays. I made 18 half pints of Marion berry jam today from thawed seeded berries to add to Christmas gift baskets. Such a blessing I am so thankful that they allowed us to do that 😊 I was also able to get ground beef for $1.99 a pound at Fred Meyer a Kroger affiliate. I bought 15 pounds for my son and his family and 15 pounds for our pantry. It’s in the freezer at this point but will be canning it to put on the pantry shelf as meatballs, meatloaf, taco meat and just plain burger for later use. Great for quick meals! That’s all this week !
    Have a super week ❤️
    Gaila in the NW

  30. I love the picture of the praying mantis I have only seen one in France.

    This week we used our bus passes to go into town to buy some more thermals from Primark now we have tested the fit and bought some socks for next summer, these were reduced.

    I am getting the garden ready for winter. I have striped the tomatoes from the greenhouse bringing the green tomatoes into the house to ripen. The ripe tomatoes have been dehydrated. I dismantled the french bean frames hanging the vines in the greenhouse so the seed will dry. I have picked and processed the cooking apples and picked and sorted the eating apples. The perfect apples have gone into the garage for storage the damaged will be processed into apple sauce. I have packed away dehydrator and canning equipment. I have been potting up self seeded plants and putting them in the greenhouse where they will overwinter. It is impossible to plant them in the garden as the clay in rock hard.

    We went to our GP for the flu and covid booster, but the covid has run out before we got there twice ,we have another appointment on the 10/10 lets hope they have some this time.

    I have cleaned the windows and lights, getting rid of the fly dirts and to let in as much light as possible. I have cooked all meals at home, read 2 library books and at last finished the cardigan, I am crocheting shower scrunches with cotton yarn I already had. We pulled all the curtains at dusk .All laundry was dried outside around the showers.

    Have a good week

  31. Hello Brandy and everyone
    So glad you could attend a free concert and wearing a new to you dress as well.
    I realised that the dark outfit I’ve worn to funerals in the past has been given to the charity shop. We have a dear friend who is gravely ill and I don’t have time to spend months searching charity shops so I searched online sales to find a good quality classic black dress. It was 60% off usual price and free delivery.
    Friends came over for a cup of tea and kindly brought a box of biscuits ( cookies) with them. We sent them home with a big bag of fresh veggies.
    I had my flu jab this week. My husband receives his free on the NHS because he’s asthmatic, I’m not at risk so I paid £16 for mine. Before Covid it was £9 but I still think it’s money well spent.
    We picked sweetcorn, butternut squash, runner beans, carrots, beetroot, potatoes, tomatoes, cucumbers,lettuce and apples. My husband came home from a gardening client with lots of pears and a different variety of apple. We gave a few squash to another client for their church’s harvest festival. I pickled beetroot, froze carrots and batch cooked pear and almond sponge puddings, one to eat fresh and two for the freezer.
    The temperature has dropped low enough for our heating to come on so we switched the thermostat down further.
    We had our chimneys swept this week and the sweep said he’s rushed off his feet with people deciding to use their fireplaces this winter, sometimes he has to advise them not to use their fireplaces as their chimneys aren’t safe.
    Stay safe everyone.

    1. A five pound rise in cost is quite a percentage increase in cost! I guess this applies to your other prescriptions as well, too.

      When the U.S. interest rates went up 75 basis points last week, the Bank of England raised theirs 50 points, and the E.U. says it will be raising them as well. Considering we just did the same things a month prior–this is going to be bad for us all.

      1. Hi Brandy
        Normal prescription prices haven’t gone up – yet! Our prescriptions are now free because we’re over sixty , I think each item is now over £9. In the days when we paid the real cost of my migraine medication was £42 for 6 tablets so £9 would be a good deal!
        I agree the rising interest rates, rising prices and instability are going to affect us all and I don’t think it’s finished yet. All we can do is control our home economy and keep counting our blessings, as I know you do.

    2. I’m in the UK – we had our chimney swept, as well, and our sweep said he had more work than he can cope with – including people wanting wood burners installing. He also warned us against using smokeless coal as it has recently been discovered that it corrodes chimney liners at an incredible rate. So although ours is a multi fuel burner we shall stick to wood!

    3. My employer supplemented health insurance plan pays for flu & Covid vaccines. As an RN, I get mine free at work. It’s mandatory. Plan to get the newest COVID vaccine(bivalent) one as soon as it’s an available at work.

  32. Beautiful photos, I love that you show us what is in your garden, we have just started to get autumn colours on the leaves. Still harvesting tomatoes and chard. Have dried and bagged up herbs, still plenty that can be cut. Waiting for the apples to ripen and hope to get to them before the squirrels.
    Prices continue to rise quickly, a few weeks ago I paid £1 for a 2 litre bottle of milk it is now £1.55.
    Currently repairing a ripped top and numerous other small clothes repairs.
    I have a list of items I need, which proved so useful while out, I was able to pick-up a few Christmas presents at a good price.
    To TCR my gran would soak items in room temperature milk, she said the enzymes helped break down the blood stain, she would then hand wash the item. Unfortunately if the stain is set you might just have to waut for it to fade.
    Have a good week everyone.

    1. It will be 36°C (98°F) here today so it is quite hot here still.

      If you are on Instagram, I shared a reel yesterday with some video clips of the garden.

    2. Thanks for tip. I’ll see if I can borrow some milk from my sister or brother. I don’t cook or drink milk and can’t remember ever buying milk unless it was in the form of ice cream. My brother lives across the road and has a daughter so they probably have milk. I’m thinking if grandma recommended it then it probably works. Nothing else so far seems to.

    3. Not a duplicate post**Thanks for tip. I’ll see if I can borrow some milk from my sister or brother. I don’t cook or drink milk and can’t remember ever buying milk unless it was in the form of ice cream. My brother lives across the road and has a daughter so they probably have milk. I’m thinking if grandma recommended it then it probably works. Nothing else so far seems to.

  33. Battening down the hatches here for Ian. Filled tank and picked up extra gas for the generators. Will fill the empty water jugs tonight from the faucet and make sure the dogs have their vests on.

  34. This week I biked to all my appointments, the furthest being 6 miles away.
    I went on a free tour in a local market garden and brought my own lunch.
    My son plays handball and his team got free tickets for a womens league match close to our home. We all biked there and didn´t buy any snacks or drinks. The match was broadcasted on national television and there was a really good atmosphere, so a free and very exiting experience!
    We went to my mothers birthday and happily accepted some leftovers – cheese, a nice paté and a small cake.
    My son had a friend over, and we made a small bonfire in the garden so they could roast marshmellows. I save all cuttings and prunings from trees in the garden, that are big enough for this purpose – maybe around 2 inches and thicker – and leave them to dry in the carport. Sometimes I also get prunings from neighbours, that are usually just happy to get rid of them! We have a small metal fire pit, that makes it easier and safer to make a bonfire in a small garden.
    We harvested zucchini, green beans, apples, snack peppers and welsh onions from the garden. The tomatoes don´t really ripen outside anymore, so I have started harvesting them green and let them ripen inside. This way we can sometimes eat our own tomatoes until late november. The lettuce I planted late august is almost ready for the first harvest.
    I dehydrated snack peppers, zucchini and apples.
    We got books from the library.
    For entertainment we only watch what is on the public service canal, that we have to pay for anyway – and only on the computer/internet, we don´t have a TV. My husband has found a computer program, that can save films we like on a harddisk, just like recording things on video. This is very nice, as it means we always have many different program to choose from.
    Have a nice week everyone!

    1. I am glad that you mentioned the tree prunings for the firepit! We just bought one last year, and as my trees get larger, I can do the same. Thanks!

      1. Tree prunings reminded me of my friend, Dolores, who was the most frugal person I’ve ever known (and it all came naturally to her, no big deal). One year we had a big storm. She lost a tree and a lot of limbs from another tree. Naturally, they cut up the tree for firewood and she sent her kids out to pick up all of the limbs. They trimmed up the limbs and stacked them. She burned those limbs in her fireplace and elsewhere for 2-3 years. Dolores never wasted ANYTHING. She was a single adoptive parent of 6 kids (on a teacher’s salary) and her 80-year-old dad came over to help saw up the wood.

        1. Wood-burning fireplaces are prohibited here unless the house is old enough to already have one, but there are very few houses that have one. Plus, they are not really needed here. Firepits are allowed.

          What an amazing person.

        2. Delores sounds like us. We don’t have a fireplace, but my husband cut down a rotting tree in the backyard and we’ve used every scrap of it in the fireplace. Fallen limbs always get saved and used.(leaves go in the compost) Since we get real Christmas trees, we cut them up and burn them also.(bonus, they smell good)

        3. Maxine – I loved reading about Dolores. She sounds like us and all our neighbors. Almost everyone here heats their house with wood and many have wood-fired water heaters, as well. Everywhere you go, you will see someone doing something with wood, many houses are covered in live edge siding and sawmills abound. My boys and I were on our way somewhere the other day and a large tree had fallen across the road. Within minutes, a truck pulled up behind me, the man jumped out with his chain saw and had that tree moved off the road quickly. We helped him move the branches and we all got back in our vehicles and went on our way. That is just a normal occurrence here and many people travel with a chainsaw in their vehicles. You just never know. If my husband hadn’t been at home working he would have gone and got that tree. We don’t waste anything either. Even rotting wood is put into our garden to feed the soil and for water retention. Whoever got that tree is making good use of it, I am sure. Thanks for sharing your story!

        4. Next week I will write a longer post about Dolores’ life. Burning up the limbs was the LEAST of her accomplishments. Stay tuned and prepare to be amazed!

  35. Most of this week was spent preparing for our trip to Houston to see family. I made food for dinner every night for my husband’s parents, sister, and us, as well as breakfasts, lunch, and snacks. It is a lot of food to prepare, freeze, and pack, but his parents no longer cook and my trying to use their kitchen upsets his mother (she has dementia and doesn’t know who I am any longer, so she thinks some stranger is invading her kitchen.) We are trying to give my husband’s sister the week off from care-giving for their parents.
    We also worked to get the garden ready. I stripped the peppers and we took up irrigation to everything but the bed covered by a hoop house and the greenhouse. I still have carrots, lettuce, tomatoes and some chard in the greenhouse, and chard, cabbage and broccoli under the hoops.
    I cleaned out my freezer and turned a bunch of leftover hamburger and hot dog buns into bread crumbs. I chopped and froze more peppers from the garden.
    I finished another Christmas gift and made a new nightgown for my mother in law.
    We used credit card points to pay for our motel for the one night we spend on the road on our way to Texas.

    1. Best blessings to you and your family for your trip! It sounds like you put a lot of work, love, and planning into trying to do the right things in challenging times.

  36. More wonderful photos! After four years of declining health and dementia, my mother-in-law passed away last week. She lingered after slipping from consciousness, for seven days. Thankfully, my husband was able to fly home early from his business trip to see her on the last day she was awake, and then, with his brother and sister, be with her almost around the clock the next week until she passed. We are thankful she is at peace, and our faith helps us understand she is in a much better place. Anyway…I’m so thankful for the kind people in our lives. Friends brought meals, which I repackaged and brought up to the nursing home so they could have fresh food. Lots of food went into the freezer and will feed us in the coming days. I’m thankful for all the calls, texts and emails expressing love and condolences. People are good. And this was a good reminder that gestures don’t have to be big to meaningful. One of the 7 year olds in my Sunday class, made a tiny loaf of cinnamon bread with her mama and brought it by. She was beaming. What a good mother she has, teaching her how to mourn with people hurting and being a comfort. All five of my kids are here. The three away kids flew in at their own expense, to be here and have been so helpful. One daughter and her husband went with my 20 year old son to find a suit. Thankfully they found one at Kohls that fits great (I don’t have to hem anything!) and at checkout they searched for a coupon and found one! Other than that, we are just getting through…So, it wasn’t really a frugal week here, but definitely a tender and thankful week. My mother-in-law was a hardworking, faithful, stoic Norwegian lady who grew up on a farm in Northern Minnesota. She was a great example to me of making the best of things. Hope everyone has a great week! I’m thankful for this community.

    1. I’m so sorry for your loss! It sounds like your family is really pulling together to support each other. And the Sunday School student – that is so sweet.

    2. Sorry for your loss BeckyH but it must be a real comfort to know how many wonderful friends you have and how your family has pulled together. Take care and prayers.

    3. I’m so sorry for your family’s loss. How wonderful that you are together and helping each other. That is a wonderful and loving legacy.

    4. Becky – Thank you for sharing about your week and the loss of your MIL. A good reminder of how fortunate we are to have kind people in our lives. No matter their age, they are all good examples to us and restore our faith in the world. We can all be there for each other in our own unique ways. Blessings to you and yours!

      1. Becky, I am so sorry to hear of your mother-in-law’s passing. Like you, I believe she has gone to a better place. May God comfort your family, and may her life live on in all of you.

  37. Happy Fall Y’all! Our night temps have finally dropped into the 50s, which makes the warmer days a bit easier to deal with.
    I’m leaving the AC off in the afternoon, despite being uncomfortable from the warmth. Our electricity usage is down from last summer, but the bill has gone up. Such a drag! And I’m hearing that our heating bills are going to be ghastly. I hope it won’t be as bad as Europe. I can’t imagine how devastating that will be.
    In savings news:
    * My friend sent me some homemade raspberry jam and a bag of dried elderberries. Gold! Those will be syrup for making tea over winter. Both berries grow wild on her property.
    * Used a rebate check to get dog food for half price. That’s really gone up!! Like 30%.
    * I saved my white sweater! I found an unknown stain on the shoulder and used a friend’s trick to remove it when nothing else would. I dabbed on bleach with a qtip. It worked!
    * Enjoyed a free family night at church. We were fed and there were games and lots to do. So much fun!
    * Went to the dentist for a cleaning. Health investment!
    * Used a full oven just once.
    * And the usual. Made all meals at home. Hung laundry, catching water, combining errands, etc.
    * Home treated dog’s stinky ears with a recommended ear drops. Saved a vet bill.
    I’m just finishing up my books from last week so that list hasn’t changed.
    We also finished season 5 of Father Brown. Waiting for the next one.

  38. Hello, frugal friends! We are in our last 8 days of our big trip out west. I thought I would share ways we have saved money while traveling plus a few highlights. On the frugal front we:
    *used hotel points to get 2 free nights plus 1 night at a reduced rate. Savings: $310
    *Most of our hotels included a “free” breakfast. Savings: average breakfast cost of $25 per day = $500
    *adjusted our breakfast so that instead of eating toast with our breakfast, we took the bread to make a sandwich for lunch instead. Plus we took 1 milk per breakfast as I do not drink milk but hubby likes to drink it with lunch. We did not want to be greedy so we only took what we would have eaten with a normal breakfast. savings: $23
    *All hotels offered free coffee which made hubby happy. I do not drink coffee. Savings: $45
    *We left home with our refrigerator/freezer cooler full of food for lunches and a few dinners and snacks. Savings: $650
    *We brought the solar generator to recharge the cooler when necessary.
    *We used previously purchased gift cards for gas and several meals. These cards also gave us 4 times the fuel points at Kroger before we left home.
    *We used our lifetime senior national parks pass to enter 4 national parks. We paid $82 for it 4 years ago. The ranger at Badlands National Park (really interesting park) told us as of January 2023 all military and veterans can get this type of pass for free. I highly recommend getting one. We have several national parks in our state but you never know when you might get the chance to go to one of our fantastic national parks. Entry fees for most is $30 so even though we paid for our pass it paid for itself by the third park.
    *I got to go to a Winnco grocery store for the first time while in Idaho. We purchased a few things to eat for dinner and lunch. I also found some food storage potato shreds at a great price there. So I am able to add to my pantry once we get home. Of course, I had to travel across the country to get it, but it was worth it:) Savings over eating out: $75
    *We were able to use senior or military discount on a few restaurant meals, entrance fees and hotels. Savings: $425
    *We shared a few meals. Savings: $40 We always tip as if we ordered two meals.
    *We stayed with friends 3 nights. Savings: $800 (hotels and meals)
    *Our car gets an average of 42 mpg. on the highway.
    *We ended up altering our plans due to the wildfires earlier in our trip. This allowed us to save on our hotel and food costs due to the fact when you stay at a national park there are few choices of hotels and restaurants so the costs are higher. For example, places like Yellowstone, the Grand Tetons and the Badlands are pretty remote so you can only stay within the park and are pretty pricey. But these are once in a lifetime places worth seeing so it was worth saving up for the visit. If you are campers that is one way to reduce the cost. I would not recommend tent camping there due to the wildlife, ie bears.
    *Now that we are on the downhill part of our trip there are a couple of things I would change. The first being I would plan on staying in one central location for multiple days and driving daily to attractions. We spent 3 days at Yellowstone and changed hotels each day at their reservations people’s suggestion. In retrospect, I would choose a central hotel/lodge and drive to a different part of the park each day. Keep in mind these parks are HUGE. It took us 2 hours to drive from one part of Yellowstone to another, but the day is wide open and the scenery awesome so it’s fine.
    *We really enjoyed Custer State Park in South Dakota and the Tetons. Theodore Roosevelt National Park was a pleasant surprise too. We have really enjoyed everywhere we have been. We also took a few spontaneous side trips along the way. Our rule was it had to be within 5 miles off the highway. Just outside Bismarck, ND, is Ft. Abraham Lincoln State Park. We learned about the native Americans in the area and also more about Custer and the military at the time of his leadership. Also, Ft. Bridger State Park in Wyoming was a great stop. Both were reasonably priced and gave us a chance to get a little exercise and learn new things and break up the daily drive a bit.
    *I hope everyone has a great frugal week filled with many blessings. Stay safe and healthy!

    1. Your trip sounds like so much fun Marley! Thank you for your tips; I will keep them in mind as these parks that you have visited are on our list to one day visit also.

  39. I’m busy prepping for the hurricane, but as of right now, it looks like I might escape the worst of it. Yesterday, my town was in the direct path of the eye, and it still could move back my direction. It’s a game of wait and see.

    My mother told me that the praying mantis was often called a “mule killer” in her area when she was growing up, and some people actually believed they were very poisonous. It amazed me that there were people who had thought that.

    I don’t buy clothes frequently, but I use ThredUp as one of my resources for clothes and have finally made it to a level for which I need a smaller amount to get free shipping. Plus, I earned some good points playing their free bingo game. I bought some clothes recently and was very pleased to get several Talbot’s, Ann Taylor and Lands End shirts for under $5 each. They were on final sale plus my points off. I can’t return them, but I know my sizes in those brands, and they all fit fine.

    I bought some offal from an organic farmer and made jerky treats out of it for my dog.

    I re-used kraft paper that came in a package. I use it when painting or doing messy projects.

    I cut the sticker off the polka-dot tissue paper that came in my ThredUp order to give me two (shorter) sheets of tissue paper. I use the tissue in gift packages.

    I didn’t have a jelly bag when I made jelly – I had forgotten the bag had finally passed on from old age – and I had no cheesecloth, so I used a reusable produce bag made of a fabric very similar to the old jelly bag.

    I got my first order from Azure Standard, and was pleased. I only bought what I knew was cheaper than in stores.

    I had too many herb seeds planted in my pot after I spilled some, so when they sprouted and got about 3 inches high, I dug some up and moved them to another container. So far, the are growing.

  40. Brandy, I love the depth and interest of your photos! You should definitely consider entering a photographer contest if you have not previously considered it!

    This past week a few things I did to save money:
    – Had to pick up someone from the airport, so took the “slow” highway that runs parallel to the toll road to save on tolls and gas. 65 mph vs 85 mph roads.
    – Harvested zucchini and squash from the garden for dinner this week.
    – Used a $5 off a $50 purchase coupon at the grocery store.
    – I had some planned online purchases, so I waited until the store had a sale, then went through Rakuten and paid with my Discover card using PayPal. The store coupon saved 25%, Rakuten awarded 2.5% cash back and Discover through PayPal was 5% cash back. I try to double and stack as many cash back programs as I can.
    – Soaked banana peels in water to feed my garden plants some extra nutrients.

  41. I always enjoy these posts and the comments. I haven’t commented before, but this week I have some frugal accomplishments I’m proud of.
    I made a pie to use up some freezer burned berries. I organized my pantry shelves and put the oldest things in front to remind me to use them soon. I replaced the very old cushion on my window seat with a nice-looking blanket instead of buying something new. I made several meatless meals and made sure to use everything up instead of throwing away leftover bits.

  42. Always enjoy your photos! And it is the best feeling to get a discount when you are not even expecting it. I love the symphony and wish our symphony would offer free concerts…our symphony tickets are very high priced. Thrifty actions: Notice by my grocery receipts that Publix BOGO I bought 2 weeks apart on a food item, increased by 50 Cents; going back to rely on my price book on the bottom price I will spend on menu extras. Much traffic on the roads, as we are getting many South Floridians hunkering down for the hurricane in our Northern Florida city. Just enjoyed reading The House of Fortune by Jessie Burton. Also thank you for the free football streaming info that I passed onto my husband.

    1. The city of Las Vegas has a Philharmonic and it is NOT free. I would love to go to that; I have only been once. They have a good season this year.

      I didn’t know the next city over had these free concerts. I was the only one dressed up (everyone else was in jeans and shorts) but I love to dress up, so I’m glad that I did.

      1. Oh my, jeans and shorts at a symphony concert-signs of our times these days. Imagine that you may have inspired someone sitting in jeans and shorts, to reconsider dressing beautifully, when hearing beautiful music. I think we need to spread beauty throughout the day whether it be the flower garden, tablescape, manners, dress, or the food we serve our families, which in turn brings much joy to life.

  43. Going to sign up to Instagram I think I’m missing out on a lot, look forward to seeing your garden, it was only 12C (54F) this morning in my area of England, my sister in Scotland has already had hard frosts.

      1. We have similar temperatures to Brandy. Last week it was in the upper 90s – this week we’ve had a cold front and highs are only around 90. We won’t see 50s until probably December. Last Christmas it was in the 80s and we had to run the air conditioner!

  44. For Canadian Readers – just back from Loblaws and this store (396 St. Clair West at Bathurst) had a ton of whole chickens at $1.99/# I bought a 3.5 pound one for $7 which for us is a good buy. It is currently in the oven and smells wonderful. Brandy, I’m trying your trick of doing it upside down for the first time! May go back tomorrow and pick up another – just wish I had room in my tiny freezer compartment for more – but it is stuffed! I will remove the meat and package it up in ziplocs and then try to squeeze it in! I think chicken soup will have to be made this weekend!

    Oh and they also had the VERY large bags of frozen blueberries (No Name) on for what I know was a great price but I’ve just gone blank on what that was….

    1. I went to Loblaws to get some of these chickens when I was going by but they didn’t have any here in London. It’s a great price! Glad you found some!

      1. It must have been an in-store offer – so sorry. That store is a huge one and very well stocked but the meat is eye=watering expensive! They must have got a huge order and needed to get rid of it – probably to make space for the Thanksgiving turkeys.

        1. It was on the front page of the local ad but alas, there were none! Hopefully another store will have them at that price soon and I can grab some!

  45. I found large clamshells of blueberries for $4.99 each, so I bought three and froze the fruit. My tomatoes are finally starting to come on so I froze three bags of chopped tomatoes for soup in the winter. A friend has a glut of tomatoes and she gave me enough to add five more quart bags of tomatoes to my freezer. Tomorrow I am making sweet pickle relish and harrisa sauce with produce from the garden.

    I had a birthday this week and a friend who works on the cosmetics department of Macy’s gave me a Lancome cosmetic gift set full of samples.

    I read books from the library, walked with friends, bought some wool/cashmere yarn from a friend who was selling it (it was a good price and will be used for socks), finished knitting a sweater made from scraps, tried to drive less, and returned some gaiters that I thought I would need and found out I really didn’t.

    Thanks to everyone for their inspiring comments.

  46. I thought I would post this for any Target shoppers who may have not yet heard — Target Deal Days will take place (both online and in-store) Thursday October 6 through Saturday October 8, 2022. Target is also kicking of its holiday price match guarantee during this event. If you buy something between 10/6 and 12/24, you will qualify for a price adjustment if the Target price goes any lower on or before 12/24/22.

    Also, Amazon has announced that it will be hosting Prime Day 2022 again. It will take place October 11-12, 2022. From what I understand, Amazon has rolled out some early access deals exclusive to prime members only already; I don’t have prime so don’t personally know.

    In addition, Overstock has announced that Overstock Day will take place October 2-3, 2022. I’ve never shopped Overstock and don’t personally know if they really have any good deals.

    I hope this helps in planning one’s purchases and preparing for the holidays; of course, a reminder to use Brandy’s links when shopping on Amazon.

    1. Mari J.

      I think you can sign up for one free month to Amazon prime. Then after you buy whatever on Prime, you can cancel it within 30 days.

  47. It is my birthday this week. My husband took me to a French restaurant. I liked that my husband was willing to do it. But I couldn’t help myself. I kept thinking about all the food I could buy at the grocery store and honestly how much better I could cook it. I actually felt terrible afterwards because I thought of the waste of money. I, of course, thanked my husband. We did enjoy ourselves while we were there. But next year, I will cook at home. Because of that expense, I plan on cooking at home for a long, long time. When we got home I saw that my son had surprised me by unloading the dishes in the dishwasher. Very nice!
    We have been turning off lights. We haven’t had to use the air conditioner as it is cooling off. I’m glad because our electric bill had increased. Our water bill seems to be the same every month. I am going to see how long we can wait before we turn on the heat. I’m not sure how much our propane will be. Taxes will be due in a couple months. We just got our septic cleaned out and fixed. We bought tires from someone local. Our entertainment has been mostly going to church. We did watch a movie at home that we borrowed from the library. I had not seen Popeye in many years. It is a cute movie. I enjoy musicals.
    Back on the subject of eating out. It seems to be a balance. I want my husband to be happy, but I want to save money. I think if I cook something special he is happy. He is never picky. I think he is just happy that I am making dinner. I need to go back to packing picnics again when we go somewhere. That seems to really help our frugal journey. I also think I am going to pull out the china once in awhile. Make dinner special at home. Yesterday, I made banana pancakes with bananas that needed used. My son and husband were so happy that I made them. It made me smile! I made spaghetti this week with Italian sausage. My husband loved it! We made a whole chicken and my husband peeled the chicken from the bones. Then I made bone broth the next day by cooking the bones in a slow cooker. Then we froze the broth. We made chicken quesadillas and chicken sandwiches and froze the rest of the chicken to use later. I bought a 3 lb bag of oranges and a bunch of them went bad in just a few days. It was a terrible disappointment. They should not have gone bad that quickly. Tomorrow I am going to make a menu for the rest of the week and next week using what we have. Maybe the next two weeks. I don’t want to spend extra money for awhile. I know if I do special little things for dinner my husband and son will be very happy. They actually both like my soups! Soup is frugal. They also like breakfast for dinner. I can use produce in the garden. I might plan meals tonight. It will make me feel good to have a plan. I am definitely a frugal lady. It makes me happy to be frugal. Mostly, because I don’t want to be in the position of not being able to pay bills or buy food. I’ve been there and it is terrible. I need to let it go and plan the month of meals.

  48. I made a meal plan for the month. My husband said he was glad he married a frugal lady! I’m actually happier being frugal.

  49. It was a good frugal week in Houston, TX.
    Lots of grocery store deals: .98/8 oz cheese blocks at Joe V’s, no limit, package of bakery chocolate chip cookies at Randall’s (.99, limit 2), $3 watermelons, 5# potatoes for .97, and quite a few other things I’m forgetting.
    I stretched a Sam’s rotisserie chicken for 2 meals. Those are so yummy and versatile.
    I resold a few things on Facebook Marketplace and Mercari. Cash in, junk out!
    I found a like new belt for one of my boys at Goodwill. I also bought a couple of cloth diapers there. I got rid of most of the fancy cloth diapers after my 4th? child. They did save money, but I couldn’t keep up with the laundry. Diapers are getting more expensive, so I’ll sub the cloth in here and there.
    Tons of birthdays for friends and cousins, so I was thankful to have my gift closet, stocked with $5 or less kid items that I save for this purpose.
    Reused gift bags for many of the aforementioned gifts.
    Took my aunt a small lemon cake, and the kids swam in her pool. It was almost 100 degrees outside, so the water felt great.
    Packed sandwiches for an evening between volleyball and soccer practices.
    Drove by a Krispy Kreme when they had their “Hot Fresh” light on, and got 7 free donuts for the 7 people in the van with me. Lucky timing, I suppose.
    Made homemade cookies for two cub scout meetings to take as snacks. I’m not big on all the snacks being brought to meetings, clubs, games, etc., but some parents really want it, and this is one of those things where I have to go with the flow. Most of the other families just bring a big box of something pre-packaged, but that’s not usually a frugal purchase for us. My second hand fridge that I’ve owned for 10 years is making strange noises. I think it’s 14 years old. So, to not be in a position where I’m forced to spend $$$, I’m replacing it pre-emptively. I found a 2 year old fridge for $400, close to me, which I bought. I’m figuring out how to pick this up. I could pay a mover ($180), or get a hitch put on my van and rent a trailer. I think I’m going with the latter option, and hopefully it will save $$$ long term.
    I’ve almost made it through the month and stayed in budget; what a relief! October is usually a little pricey. We’ve already started to talk about Halloween costumes we can put together with what we already have.
    A Hungry Howie’s pizza place had a grand opening pizza buffet, so I took 4 of the kids for dinner one night. We each got a free pizza coupon for another time.
    I used Chickfila free sandwich cards that I got for donating school supplies back in August, when my oldest daughter had a volleyball game an hour away. I order several orders of large fries, one sandwich/child, and they drink water. The kids are usually still hungry (Chickfila doesn’t fill them up, usually), so they were offered snacks from the car afterwards.

  50. This week we received in the mail our free repaired Nintendo joy cons. They had stopped working properly, but we learned that instead of replacing them we could ship them to Nintendo for a free repair/replacement!

    We loved lounging on our new futon rug—a deeply discounted futon mattress covered in an old duvet cover that we have on the living room floor. Way cheaper than a comfy rug!

    I have not shopped at Costco much this year, as I moved. I learned that if I don’t get $60 in my rebate check I can take it to customer service and get a $60 refund and downgrade my membership to the basic one.

    I learned I can book rental cars through Costco, saving me more than $150 for an upcoming trip.

    I made a copycat recipe instead of going out to eat.

    I took all my kids on different mystery shopping dates. I let the kids eat the food and help me critique it, I photograph the receipt and report on the experience to get reimbursed and paid a small fee.

    We stayed at church when someone had a meeting afterwards instead of driving back and forth.

    Oh! I also learned that Costco sells $500 Southwest Airlines gift cards for $450. I will use this to help decrease the cost of a trip to see family next summer.

    I just love the frugal creativity of everyone here! It’s always such an inspiring place.

  51. Hello from South Mississippi! I have not commented for a while but I do read the posts and comments every week and always glean another way to save money.

    We have transitioned from a house full of people to empty nesters. It was a very unexpected transition, and I do not do well with changes so it has taken quite a bit to adjust and I will admit, it threw my frugal self for a loop. I found that we were eating out almost every night and I was stopping to get coffees every morning, which added up very quickly. After about two weeks, I was like… this has to STOP! So, we are back on the frugal bandwagon and I am learning how to cook for two instead of six. I make my coffee at home in the morning with flavored coffee instead of stopping at the coffee shop and my husband declared it to be just as good and saves at least ten dollars a day. We are limiting to eating out to once a week which is what we have done in the past. We stay home and watch movies for free on Amazon Prime. I do pay for a membership but I use it for my job as well as personal purchases. We have at home date nights or if we just have to go somewhere, we take our dinner to the local lake or park and eat there and watch the sunset. I finally had to buy another vehicle because my 2009 Jeep Patriot was costing more to fix than it was worth. But this one gets 40 miles to the gallon so it is a win win on the gas bill. I think that’s all for now. Have a rest week!

  52. Beautiful photos Brandy.

    We did the normal day to day. Opening and closing curtains, running full loads of dishwasher, hanging the wash on the clothes line or drying rack etc. We are still watching what the winter weather is going to do (northwest Ohio) as we know if the polar vortex gets whacked out we will get harder than what they are saying which right now is colder than normal with more snow than normal.

    The gardens are still coming in. I try to make sure I am doing full canner loads to keep the propane usage down. Freezers are almost full. We harvest 3 varieties of the potatoes and finish harvesting the sweet potatoes. I have peas to pick tomorrow along with crockneck and zucchini squash. The volunteer pumpkins (over 2 dozen) are in and curing. Celery is holding on, I’ll harvest it when we are to get a freeze. I have zucchini, crockneck squash, tomatoes, broccoli, cauliflower, cantaloupe, brussels sprouts, apples, pears and chicken thighs to package for freezer or can the next 2 days

    We had a doctor appt. yesterday so combined it with 2 stops to check on jobs for Hubby, 1 stop to see if we could get the bread/potato bin clear coated, a stop to pick up chain saw blades that was sharpened and then drop off of bubble wrap to thrift shop. Then we got our Covid boosters, ate lunch at Chinese buffet (senior citizen discount), then doctor appt. then grocery store. Lesson learned. Hubby puts his finger on the number of the amount he is supposed to get (we split list, perishables are my list). He was upset he missed the Fritos as they were on sale and I had a coupon (SHOCK) and he didn’t get them BIG SHOCK. He likes them when eating chicken salad or ham salad or chili. Knowing him, he will be stopping a stores looking for a sale as he didn’t give me back the coupon. Bought $675 and paid $350 and got fuel points. The only NEED is turkey. Anything else is a want … like Fritos unless you are Hubby then it might be a need LOL. Made a 12 hr. day and we had soup for supper when we got home.

    We made a list of meals we want to eat through this winter. I checked it against the inventory I am still putting on a spreadsheet and added a few meals that we had in the freezers. I could probably repeat it for 3 cycles as we listed almost 80 and I am sure we didn’t list it all.
    Back to processing food
    Blessed be
    Prayers for peace and kindness

    1. -We have continued to harvest zucchini, tomatoes, cukes, green beans, peppers, and some fall raspberries.
      -Between sick kids and tired parents, we ate a frozen pizza and watched a movie at home, resisted takeout. Also make turkey (maybe from thanksgiving?) and zucchini soup with frozen bone broth. THis cleared out some space in the freezer for more shredded zucchini. I’ve been drying batches of herbs. Hoping to get beans canned today. They were a slow start but now they’re coming in like crazy, right before it gets too cold. Also made sourdough bread, sourdough waffles and zucchini muffins.
      -Finally got the rest of our tax docs to the accountant. We are switching next tax season to a different local accountant, which will save us a few thousand dollars. Our previous accountant got bought out by a big conglomerate and the service has gone down and the price has skyrocketed.
      -I bought some more home brew supplies. We have a lot of grapes and access to lots of free apples. We hope to brew more of our own wine and hard cider.
      -Gifted more outgrown kids clothes and received more big sizes from another friend.
      -We enjoyed a bonfire and s’mores for some nice relaxing family time
      -Sold a few things on eBay. I missed some kohl’s cash but probably would have overspent if I’d have went into the store, so I guess it’s a wash.
      -We went to a free community health event. Kids got free school supplies, books, pens, candy and we all had lunch with leftovers.
      I love seeing pictures of your zinnias. Mine normally self seed from previous years so I don’t plant them. This year, I didn’t get any and I missed them. I’ll make the effort to plant them again.

  53. *I was shocked last week when I tested positive for covid. We were planning on a birthday visit to my MIL who turned 89 so thought it prudent to check our status as so many people have no symptoms. I pulled out a rapid test and got a positive! So surprised! Of course that put the kibosh on any visits for the 5days of staying home.
    *I had already purchased 100 lbs of peaches for canning. When they ripened, I canned 45 quarts over two days with some leftover for fresh eating. It was the 25th year of using my big Amish canner! It was an expensive purchase at the time, but I think I’ve got my money’s worth! (It fits 15 quart jars in a load for waterbath canning, which makes large batch canning go much faster.)
    *Earlier this year I had noticed a Varagesale ad in our neighborhood for a premium brand of reusable cloth diaper. I knew they sold for $32 each new. The lady was selling 9 of them for $18, plus $12 for a fancy diaper bag that sells for $200. Apparently she had received the diapers as gifts but had never used them! When the items didn’t sell to others, I bought them. Yesterday a friend of my daughters’ mentioned they are having a hard time financially and she wanted to cloth diaper to save on costs for her babies. I offered the little stash and she was both grateful and delighted. I suspect the moral of the story is to let others know of needs you have as you may be surprised with the assistance you receive!
    *We are visiting grand-littles this week which is fun and frugal. But I’ll be glad to get back to my own mattress!

    1. I bought the large Amish water bath canner and the large pressure canner this year. Has been wonderful SAVINGS on propane LOL let alone having to load, unload and reload all day. Hubby almost bought the water bath canner that has a wood box under it and is outside.

  54. Brandy — what a great photo of a praying mantis.

    I am ill again (not covid) but have been exposed to covid (fingers crossed I dont get it).

    Margie from T.O. what a great price on the chicken. I was hoping Superstore or No Frills
    (being owned by Loblaws) would have it but no such luck.

    No Frills did have a great special on PC lasagna, regularly priced at $10.99 on sale for $5.99. My acquaintance who
    shops at No Frills is back from holiday and she picked up 5 for me. So I spent $30.00 and saved $25.00. She will keep
    them for me in her freezer.

    Another friend will stock up on whole wheat couscous and farro for me from Superstore. That means I will be
    stocked up pretty well. This friend lives a long way away from me but is trading me a company hoodie for a copy of the book (one of my few complimentary copies).

    I’m ill but not covid. I’ve been accidentally exposed to covid, however. Fingers crossed and prayers that I don’t get it.

    The final bound printed proof of the book is back. I’ve been slowly proofreading it one last time.

    1. I hope you and Elle W both feel better soon – will this Covid never end!!!
      It looks as though the chicken was just an in-store specific deal. That lasagna was a good deal – it’s for things like that that I wish I had a separate freezer – my fridge compartment is stuffed with meat & fish & HM prepared meals. My No Frills had those small Lou’s pre=cooked meats on sale reduced from $12 to $6 so I bought a roast beef, a Philly shaved beef and a pulled pork. Each is 3 to 4 servings for me so not too bad a deal as I think it will be a long time before I can afford a roast – the price of beef is astronomical at the moment. I’ve never seen so many people lift up a package of something – look at the price – and then put it back! I cooked the roast beef pkg. tonight as it has been a cold, chilly day. I really enjoyed it but froze the two remaining servings along with the gravy and some caramelized onions that I also cooked tonight. I will look forward to them in a few weeks time.
      I have a good supply of faro, quinoa, cous cous and kasha as alternatives for rice or pasta.
      I really do need to stop buying anything except dairy, fruit & veg!

  55. A little late – but been busy. I love the praying mantis. We have had a few in our garden this year.
    This week we harvested candy onions, the rest of the potatoes (about 20 pounds), tomatoes, chard, cucumbers, green onions, green beans, broccoli, zucchini, corn, rosemary, parsley, thyme and basil.
    I dried 4 trays of rosemary, 4 trays of thyme and 4 trays of chopped onions.
    Made butterfly pasta with chard, cherry tomatoes, green onions and basil from the garden.
    Received 8 Covid tests in the mail.
    Made green bean salad with green beans, parsley and garlic from the garden.
    Made 6 pints of tomato basil sauce. It used 12 pounds of tomatoes, but our tomatoes are doing great this year.
    Washed the sheet, comforter, mattress pad and pillow cases and hung everything on the line.
    Safeway had Breyer’s ice cream for $2.99, limit 2, and I had two $2.00 off 2 coupons loaded on my Safeway card. For some reason, when I bought two, it used both coupons, so I only paid 99¢ per carton. So yummy.
    I worked 3 days and took breakfast and lunch all three days.
    Made cauliflower soup with frozen cauliflower from the freezer.
    Picked 25 ears of corn, and prepared 20 cups for the freezer. These are actually for my SIL.
    Pulled a pork roast from the freezer and cooked it in the crockpot with a can of root beer and some onions. Will be for pulled pork.
    Had popcorn for dinner once, and a snack one other time.
    Found plums for 50¢ a pound. Bought two pounds. My DH loves plums.
    Hope everyone has a great and productive week.

  56. I bought a whole chicken and a bogo of ravioli (I got one beef and one cheese) on sale at the grocery. I sorted out my fridge on Monday morning and processed all the produce that was going to spoil, put away a pork chop that was leftover in the freezer to use for stir fry one night in the future. The produce was squash (sliced for casserole), zucchini (diced to use in spaghetti sauce, and other casseroles), tomatoes (diced to use in two dishes I was making last week. I made a recipe of Russian Cabbage rolls and ended up putting half those in the freezer. I used outer cabbage leaves I’d blanched and frozen. This worked out well. Back in the spring, I’d read that you could freeze cabbage and use it for cooking or for slaw. I used the last of that in this dish as well. I won’t be freezing anything but the blanched outer leaves in the future as I didn’t find the cabbage very good once it had been frozen. The outer leaves hold up really well and don’t taste as strong. We’ve had to do a lot of repairs on a mower we bought used three years ago. It went down on September 1 and while we have every intention of getting it fixed to use as a back-up mower, I finally convinced my husband to go BUY a new mower. We work hard to save money on a lower income and yet he never will spend a bit of that money on anything. I asked him a series of questions, beginning with ‘What are we saving FOR?’ Eventually he was able to acknowledge that our savings were there to provide for needed items we couldn’t afford otherwise. We had a mower in mind and knew the price point. Happy to say we got free delivery on it and came in $1000 under our budget!
    My husband played in a program at church Sunday evening for the seniors group. They serve supper, but he doesn’t like to eat before performing. I asked if I might have a plate to go for him. Those ladies had leftovers they were trying to get rid of and piled food on that plate. So much so that we had enough leftovers for lunch the next day. I sliced the smoked tenderloin and used it on a salad with a homemade smoky bbq dressing. That was so good! We got our electric bill last week. While we had used less than the month before the bill seemed unnaturally low. I discovered we’d been given a co-op refund. I already had money set aside to pay the electric bill. After discussion we decided we’d funnel the refund amount into our upright freezer fund. I decided I wanted to ‘decorate’ for autumn. I switched out spreads and pillow covers in two rooms and then I went around the house and gathered things up that I love. I redid the surfaces of the mantle, the buffet in the dining room, etc. I didn’t by a thing but it all looks fresh. My sister in law had been living in a hotel for 9 months due to a flooding issue in her home. They’d packed up all their things. Now she’s back home and unpacking she found clothes in a wide range of sizes that she doesn’t want, hasn’t worn or seen in almost a year. I am the happy recipient of those things, some of which have tags on them still. I pulled out roughly 10 tops and a beautiful fully lined coral dirndl type skirt with an eyelet hem that is maxi length. My daughter chose a few tops and the rest I plan to ask two women at church if they’d like to go through them. Sign of the season, the propane gas truck arrived to fill us up for the first time for autumn. Propane right now is $2.60/gallon. We use gas to cook with and in the cooler months we use it as auxiliary heat when it’s freezing here. All in all it was a great week.

  57. The photo of the preying mantis is awesome!!!! The detail is stunning. I’ve been working on cutting our expenses wherever possible and reevaluating the way I do things around our home. I’m slowly switching to homemade cleaning products as I run out of my current clean items. I’m also going to give soap nuts a try for our laundry. Wish me luck. I did try homemade laundry detergent and it left a weird film on our clothes. We used to include “eating out” in our monthly budget but we eliminated that months ago. We just found that everything was overpriced and over seasoned. We’ve found that what we prepare at home taste better and is better for us. I’ve let me hair go grey and I have to say that I LOVE it!!! My hair care was an expense that I just couldn’t justify any longer. The comments here on Brandy’s blog have been a big help in trying to safe money in unexpected ways. Thank you!!

  58. I really enjoyed the pictures today. I haven’t read through the comments yet and am looking forward to the inspiration.

    *I’ve canned more tomatoes for our food storage. Our city water has been turned off but we have been receiving some rain – which is a miracle. Just enough to keep things growing. Our temps have still been in the 80s and 90s. I’m anticipating canning more tomatoes. I’ve got a few big sweet peppers still growing and I haven’t harvested the potatoes yet. Fall is definitely coming – the colors of red and orange are on the mountains.

    *My DH fixed our daughters car but had her pay for parts. It saved her hundreds of dollars. DH can drive our kids crazy with all the reminders to get tires rotated and and oil changes but the maintenance really helps things to keep running. It’s cheaper for Dad to fix small things than buy a new/used car. He fixed our kitchen freezer which stopped working. He is busy and had called around to schedule a maintenance visit but every place is booked out 2 weeks. So for $150 and 4 hours he diagnosed, got the part, fixed it and cleaned the freezer out. He also vacuumed the coils in back of the unit and scrubbed the floor and wall. Everything was dusted and then put back in place.

    *I’ve read lots of library books (finished the newest book by Anne Candeo), read two books about gardening on the Libby app. Exercised at home (as much as possible with my healing ribs) and have been cooking a little bit. It’s mostly really simple meals that uses what we have at home. Canned soups, quesadillas, eggs and toast, baked tacos, etc.

    *Bath & Body Works had their soaps for $3.25 with an email coupon for one day. I went into the store and bought the soaps to use for Christmas. I had a coupon for a free 3 wick candle and a free santizer with any purchase. I bought 2 additional smaller candles and used a 30% coupon. I put the candles away for Christmas gifts as well. I went to CVS and used the Care Pass and $5 off coupon to buy CVS brand face soap of Cerave. The CVS brand gives me an additional 20% off. I paid $1.60 out of pocket. I will continue to use the Care Pass to stock up on stuff for my pantry and my medicine cabinet.

    *I continue to load receipts on Fetch and Ibotta. I should have a good amount to use for Christmas and birthdays in January.

    Have a great week.

  59. Hi Brandy,
    Wow, what a photo of the praying mantis! Oh my, it should be the cover of a book ;). Over the past few months, I have been filling up our freezer and pantry (have actually ended up filling up half my closet as well). I am very concerned about the future so wanted to make sure we were set with food and other supplies. So I am done! At least done spending money! But we are well sorted and I trust we will weather any upcoming storms as well as we can. I remember reading your history about the year you spent living off your pantry and tried to make sure I covered the bases. I also remember you saying you could never have enough chocolate ;). I did go light on desserts other than fruit but have a few cake mixes stashed away ;). Thank you again for this blog, there are days I am dispirited and find reading your blog very soothing.

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