Frugal Accomplishments

Last Week’s Frugal Accomplishments

Meyer Lemons The Prudent Homemaker

I made lemonade several times with Meyer lemons from my trees.

Thanksgiving Place Setting The Prudent Homemaker

I cut arrangements from the garden for Thanksgiving of peppers, lemons, and grape vines.

I worked on Christmas gifts.

I mended ripped knees in 5 pairs of jeans. I sewed a pocket on a shirt that had come unstitched. I mended holes in the pockets on a pair of pants (I bought this pair at a garage sale and didn’t notice both pockets had holes at the bottoms, but it was an easy fix). I mended a cardigan and sewed buttons on it from my button jar.

I ordered a free 8 x 10 print from Walgreen’s.

I used the save 30% off one book from Amazon using code HOLIDAY30 (expires 11/30) to order a book for my husband.

I ordered used copies of hardcover books for our library from Amazon. Most were $0.01 each, plus $3.99 shipping. Some are schoolbooks and some are fiction books that our family loves.

We put up our Christmas tree. We bought our artifical tree 9 years ago on clearance. It’s a pre-lit tree, and many of the light strands are no longer working. We used some older light strands that we had from the tree before (a 20+-year-old artifical tree that wasn’t pre-lit) to make sure the entire tree is lit.

My husband and I watched a free show on Hulu and some comedy skits on You Tube.

I cooked two turkeys and a ham this week. I made French bread and yogurt.

Temperatures dropped this week with lows right above freezing. We put extra blankets on beds to keep warm at night. 

How did you save money last week?

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53 Comments

  1. *Laugh* your mending list makes me feel like a slacker. I only have two kids and my mending pile is huge…although that’s mainly due to my husband being in construction I guess. But, I’m awed by your mending accomplishments this week! I’m glad you seem to be feeling at least well enough to tackle those things :).

    I had a rough week with sick kids and monetary difficulties. I’m praying hard that my husband looks for and finds a new job really soon. He’s been “looking” kind of…as in not very hard as his father keeps making promises to customers and my husband is determined to keep them. But we’re down to the wire where he really needs to get a job NOW before we have nothing to pay bills with come January and he’s got to wake up and leave his parents to fend for themselves…which I hate to say as I know how hard that is going to be for him. I pray for calm and a sense of what I need to do in this situation and all I get back is a voice saying, “Trust”. Trust what, I’m not sure, but I’m trying either way.

    There was money saving during the week though, which was good. My list can be found here…

    http://makedohomemaker.blogspot.com/2015/11/frugal-friday-money-saving-weekly-recap_28.html

  2. For the lights on your tree, have you ever tried something called “the Lightkeeper-pro”, or something similar? My brother in law lent it to us with some light strings for a daughter’s wedding, and that thing is like magic. I don’t know how it works, but last night my son put it into the bulb part of a strand that wasn’t working on our pre-lit tree (after we couldn’t find the instructions and he watched a you-tube video explaining how), and now it works! Maybe someone has one you could borrow, but when we have to give it back, I am getting one.

  3. I cooked a large Thanksgiving dinner on a very small budget, helped by the free frozen turkey that had been in my freezer since last winter.
    I sold one large item on Craigslist, which put our college fund budget to a amount that will cover my son’s next tuition payment.
    I worked all weekend, ensuring a healthy future paycheck.
    I used a pumpkin from my local Buy Nothing group to make three pumpkin pies.
    I negotiated a raise for one of my writing side gigs.
    I was given an almost full bag of cat litter.
    I am appealing a dental bill, which has the possibility of saving me $530.
    I used a free Redox code to rent Inside Out, which I even returned on time. (No bargain if it’s late!)

    And of course, I wrote about it here:

    http://thenonconsumeradvocate.com/five-frugal-things-123/

    P.S. What a pretty centerpiece!

  4. BetterWorldBooks (especially when they have clearance sales) can get your unit price per used book down to $2.50 per. (Rather than $4 per on Amazon.)

    Thanks for sharing your beautiful life with us Brandy!

  5. I was able to save quite a bit of money last week.

    I was able to get to JoAnn’s for flannel and fleece. I was able to keep my quantities down, as I did not need much. I’m still glad I went. Most of my “kid” flannel has been used, I noticed, when I went through my stash, so I wanted a couple more fun designs. I also took one daughter back for cotton fabric on Saturday, but she’s paying for that. I was able to get 1/2 price gifts for a couple of kids on our list there as well on Saturday, as well as some really inexpensive clearance items for a white elephant J is in charge of for 4H. I got 3 patterns, for 99c each, one of which replaced the favorite p.j. pattern I have lost a piece of. I was able to sort through my fabric stash, which is large, and pull out flannel for my niece’s school project, flannel for another niece’s Christmas gift, fleece for a blanket back our youngest is making, fleece for a blanket front and back for a community service project blanket, and some doll clothes. I also got the interfacing, which comes on a bolt and was $2.99 for 4 yards. I got 3 bolts, since one daughter wants to make a bunch of tote bags for friends and it works well to give them some body.

    I wanted to make doll clothes badly when I saw your post about making them, but it took me a few days to remember a certain little girl we are very close to, and always give a gift to for her December birthday, and Christmas! It was my “duh” moment, and so I have a doll dress cut out, and will work on it soon, I hope. She has lots of dolls, so I am making 18″ clothes, as I already had patterns in that size.

    I got gluten-free pretzels for $1.50/bag at Grocery Outlet. I needed several bags for 4H next time. We are going to make Chex Mix to send to 3 servicemen and women. Other moms are bringing other ingredients. 2 of these “kids” went through our 4H for years, and now are all grown up and in the service, so we are going to have the rest of the club send them cards and presents. The other one is a family member of one of our clubbers. I got a few other groceries there at the end of last week, and don’t need anything more for this week. I did not have to buy a lot for Thanksgiving. People brought things, and I pulled from the freezer and cupboards for the rest. I spent about $50 for the 2 weeks, including the pretzels. I have menu plans written for the coming week–to save both time and money. I will buy milk and butter if it comes on sale for a good price. Otherwise, I’m good through this week, unless I get a surprise.

    Rob got 2 more baby pigs, bringing it up to 7. A couple of other people want to buy one, so he decided to accommodate them. It is a lot of work for him, but he likes it, and our pig’s cost is completely covered in the price he gets when he sells the others. With selling more, he will be able to pay for cut and wrap for ours as well, and may even have some $ left over. (Definitely $ left over if no calamity overtakes the pigs–we did have one die of tetnus one time, but otherwise it’s been all good)

  6. Bottled tomato soup from the tomatoes in the ripening bowls.

    Worked harder on eliminating food waste, making sure that edible items are not wasted.

    Saved newspapers for my oldest daughter to use for starting fires in her wood stove. My husband gets several national newspapers free at work, & brings them home.

    Began the process of getting estimates to have some of our windows upgraded, since they need replaced.

    Juiced the rest of the currants, both red & white, since I use the juice from this year’s crop to make next year’s jelly. Dehydrated the squeezings to add flavor & body to several tisane mixes.

    Dehydrated more apples slices from the box of seconds I bought & placed them into glass jars. The Black Friday ad here for Emergency Essentials had a “bargain” on assorted dried fruits in #10 cans: $80 for 6 cans, which is $13.33 each. The entire box of Jonathon apple “seconds” cost $9. Every 4 trays in the dehydrator fills a quart jar, & we filled 13 quart jars with raisins from out grapevine this year, plus I dried sliced pears. I have yet to see anyone open a #10 can of dried fruit that has more than 2 quarts of fruit in it, so I think that if I did not already have a dehydrator, buying one would be a better use of the $80 than the “special”. Just my 2 cents.

    Finished digging out the grass & roots from the garden & buried the bags of gathered leaves in a trench down the middle of each tier to compost in place. I still had more leaves, so I filled the 20 gallon black Rubbermaid trash can without a lid three times, & emptied it into the larger empty “manure barrel”, crunching them down with the scoop as I filled. Over the holiday, I should have some time to use a small rotor on the leaves to break them down further, so they will compost in the barrel over the winter.

    Baked a 20 pound turkey for our Thanksgiving dinner. When dinner was over, I pulled all the meat off the bones. Put the meat into several zip bags & a casserole dish, & I strained the broth into a metal mixing bowl. The broth went into the ridge to let the fat rise & set up hard into a cake. Placed the bones & skin into the bottom of the canning kettle with enough water to cover & a splash of apple cider vinegar. I set it to simmer on the back of the stove to make more broth for canning.

    On Friday, I filled a wide mouth pint jar with the congealed turkey fat scooped from the top of the bowls of stock that sat overnight in the fridge. Once they were defatted, I combined the broth into the larger bowl & refilled the smaller one with more stock from the simmering pot of bones & skin on the stove. Saturday we will put up the meat in pint jars in the defatted turkey broth, since my youngest daughter wants to bottle some.

    Over the past 2 years, several blogs I check from time to time have done reviews/trials of those dehydrated “emergency” food supplies that come in buckets. Altho the food was “good”, all of them lost weight while eating the “survival” food for just a month. One adult female blogger lost 20 pounds, so I have been thinking about ways to maintain calories, & decided I would learn about & try storing various animal fats. Last year for Christmas, we cooked a goose. I had heard wonderful things about how goose fat & potatoes “were made” for each other, so I saved the fat in wide mouth jars in the fridge & freezer. Over the past year, I have used it to fry or saute anything containing potatoes, & they were right – – I much prefer it, even over butter, for that use. (& I just had my cholesterol checked, & it is fine!) The last jar is still good, even after almost a year in the fridge. This year we are saving the turkey fat. Since it is a “softer” fat than the goose fat, which set up quite hard in the fridge, I suspect at least one jar might need to be in the freezer to prevent spoilage. In an emergency, if we needed extra calories, I can add a little more fat to any dish I am preparing.

  7. I roasted a turkey this weekend and made broth for meals next week. We were also given a turkey that we put in the freezer.

    I printed a free Thanksgiving Tree printable. It can be put into a frame and used all year long!

    I downloaded a free ebook to my Kindle for PC on my laptop. The Kindle for PC is free to download and I occasionally check Bethany House and The Vessel Project for free ebooks. I also follow my favorite authors on Facebook, who sometimes share when one of their books can be downloaded for free.

    I am so thankful that I am able to print coupons again. I’ve been able to get some really great deals using printable coupons. My favorite find this week was Softlips Cube in the clearance aisle at Walmart for $1.50. I used a $2.00 printable coupon to get it for free!

    I froze some unused tomato paste in an ice cube tray and put the cubes in a freezer bag to keep in the freezer.

    The bread store had an overstock of hamburger buns and I was able to get a 12 pk. of hamburger buns for just $.75. I also picked up bread for $1.03 per loaf and a package of English muffins for $.99.

    I used Dollar General digital coupons for the first time this week and I love how easy it is. I also really like the fact that I am saving on paper since I don’t have to print the coupons out.

    http://vanessasvalues.blogspot.com/2015/11/simply-saving-saturday-november-28.html

  8. Hello Brandy & all from Australia :).

    My frugal accomplishments for the week are –

    Groceries –
    – purchased 10 tins of lychees on special saving $10.30 on usual prices.
    – bought 8 bottles of shampoo on special & saved $3.92 on usual prices.
    – purchased 1 frozen chicken on special saving $5.98 on usual prices.
    – purchase 2 legs of lamb on special saving $21.48 on usual prices.

    Gardening –
    – Manured & seeded bare patches on another 1/3 of the back lawn & the rain storms have watered them in.
    – Weeded all of back lawn.
    – weeded 3 large vegetable gardens
    – blanched and froze butter & green beans from the garden, saved from after the hail storm.
    – picked sweet & Thai basil, sage & parsley & hung them to dry traditionally in paper bags under the eaves on the veranda.
    – trimmed all hail damaged leaves & branches from spinach beet, tomatoes & herbs to try to save them from dying :(.

    Have a wonderful frugal week one and all :).

  9. We put up our tree (white artificial tree we’ve had for four years) and used decorations we already had. I found candy canes I had purchased on clearance last year and saved and two boxes of Christmas cards that I also purchased on clearance last year. I got out all the gifts I had purchased during the year and saved and now have to decide who gets what 🙂 I ordered beeswax so I can use some free, given to me coffee cups to make candles or fill with homemade goodies.
    I went to a friend’s house to visit rather than go to a coffee shop/restaurant and spend money. We had coffee at her house and leftover pecan pie.
    I shopped at a newly opened grocery store and only purchased their sale items. I spend $40 and got a lot of groceries. Except for milk and butter and apples this will be our last food purchase for quite awhile.
    I made a turkey once, hair gel, liquid soap nuts, and will be making air freshener today for the house and car. We ate pizza last night from our favorite local Italian restaurant ( that was from leftover money from a bill and our only “dining out” until one of us gets a job), all other meals were cooked from scratch and eaten at home. My daughter and I went to my mother’s for Thanksgiving, my husband did not want to go. I made yogurt and granola and banana bread.
    I have a bunch of pears that were given to me that I need to can, we won’t eat then before they go soft.
    My husband made a sugar/flour dough, had our daughter put in her hand print, baked and cooled. Then he let her paint them. These are gifts for the grandma’s.
    I stayed home to save gas, but my husband has taken to “going for a ride” to get out of the house. I try not to say anything because he never goes anywhere, but I find it frustrating because he’s using gas that I don’t have money to replace.
    I utilized the library to rent books. I combined an errand when I went to a friend’s house for coffee to save gas because the business was by her house.
    I continue to save water in the shower and use to flush the toilet, also, whenever I fill my water bath canner with water ( I fill with hot water and put in my sealed jars of yogurt to get all “yogurty”) I put the water either in the sink to rinse dishes or in the washer when I wash clothes. I use the water from the weird shower pipe to flush sometimes because or toilet needs new guts and doesn’t always want to flush all the way. We make sure to turn all lights off, appliances off and unplugged when we can unplug them.
    My husband’s best friend broke up with his on/off again girlfriend. He had decorated a bedroom in his home for her daughter (that she never even saw btw, very sad) in Frozen décor. He gave the sheets, comforter, blanket, curtains, and 4 pictures to our daughter. We had him stay for dinner as a thank you and we changed her room right away so he could see the absolute delight on her little face. He said her happiness made him feel better.
    I found a blog about being a 1950’s housewife in modern times 🙂 It was interesting to read what an actual day in the life of a 50’s housewife was really like and inspired me to tweak my daily routine to be more productive. Some days I succumb to depression and have no energy to do things. Hopefully creating a routine will help me, I love routine lol. My husband is still waiting to hear if he got a job. He has completed the drug test and they sent him a copy of the background check for his verification. He has one, what we will call mistake, from when he was 18 (20 years ago) and we hope that they don’t hold it against him. That one mistake is what inspired him to join the Army and change his life around. The waiting is nerve racking! If he gets this job it will be MY turn to be the stay at home parent 🙂 (he has stayed home since I went back to work when our daughter was born 5 years ago since I made enough to support us).
    That’s all I can remember. Have a great week everyone! I look forward to coming back all week and reading the comments 🙂

  10. This weekend my mother put up the Christmas decorations as well, while I was working on some sewing projects. I hope you will share pictures of your house decorated for the holidays, Brandy. I’m sure you have some wonderful, frugal decorating tips you could share with us!

    Out of curiosity, did your family eat all of the 2 turkeys and the ham you cooked or were you just cooking them and freezing portions of the cooked meet to make room in your freezer?

    Anyways, here are my frugal accomplishments for this week:
    *Bought a laptop computer during Black Friday sales for my daughter’s “big” Christmas present. We saved about $100 on the price which I’m so thankful for. This is a really good computer, designed to handle on-line gaming graphics. My daughter loves her technology but gets easily frustrated if it is slow or won’t work properly (she’s on the autism spectrum). We felt going high tech would be a good idea to alleviate this potential problem. We are also hoping going higher end will help it last longer through frequent technology advancements, so it will take her at least through high school.

    *I continued to work on making Christmas gifts. I was able to finish making an embroidered throw pillow for my niece and an embroidered handkerchief for my daughter’s respite worker. I showed my daughter the embroidered pillow for her cousin and she begged me to let her keep it. That’s perfect since I have already embroidered one for her and will finish sewing it this week while she’s at school! I have almost all my gifts made or bought at this point. Only down side is that I had a gift I was going to make my 2 teenage nephews, but my family didn’t think they would like it, so now we’re buying them a gift. Why do teenage boys have to be so difficult to give gifts to?!?

    *The eating out has gotten out of control lately. I have spoken to my family and we are going to make a huge effort to eat out less. Hopefully they will stay on board with this.

    *Christmas sales at the grocery store are just starting, which means I will be doing some stocking up. This week I bought 12 boxes of snack crackers for $1/box, and several packages of pasta for $1/ 900g package. We didn’t necessarily need that much pasta, but I figure the school will be asking for donations for their food drive soon.

    *I had a recheck appointment in Toronto this past week, which is 2 hours away. Thankfully the gas prices are currently below $0.90/litre so it didn’t cost us too much to drive there and back!

    *My MIL recently gave me an almost new purse that she had bought but then decided she didn’t like it. The lining of the purse had a large hole along the seam where the cheap fabric had torn/frayed. I used my sewing machine to repair it with a zigzag stitch, so now I have a new purse to use!

    I looking forward to reading everyone’s frugal accomplishments again. Hope you all have a wonderful week!

  11. We don’t have any decorations up yet. I’m hoping to finish cleaning today so we can start decking the halls tonight!

    I didn’t get a chance to blog about my frugal accomplishments last week because of the holiday and illnesses we had going through our house. I noticed we saved a lot of groceries because everyone was too sick to eat! That’s not a tip I’m willing to repeat any time soon, though. 🙂 We pot lucked Thanksgiving with both sides of the family, and then we headed back to my Mom’s house over the weekend for a leftovers feast.

    My big goal this week is to finish cross stitching the baby’s First Christmas stocking…never mind the fact that this will be his third Christmas! I am always so impressed that you are able to hand craft so many items. I struggle to make time for crafts, but it’s not something I am very accomplished at, so that’s probably the reason.

  12. Hello! Biggest frugal accomplishment: I did not go Black Friday shopping like I have for the past 22 years. I have NEVER missed a Black Friday sale but there wasn’t anything I needed, so I didn’t go. I did pop into Hobby Lobby Friday afternoon and purchased a snowman for my collection. (I buy one a year when Hobby Lobby has their 50% off sale.) I also bought a leopard print fabric pumpkin for next year for 90% off, making it 2.00. I also got paper napkins and plates for next year’s Thanksgiving Eve chili party that we host every year for .50 a pack and put those away. (This is the only time I use paper plates.) I also bought 8 pounds of ground beef for 1.98 a pound that I found at our local grocery store that was an unadvertised special. (It’s been running 3-5 dollars a pound here so I haven’t been buying very much of it at all)

    My Thanksgiving meal was a frugal accomplishment in itself. All decor and dishes were things I already owned. I was reading online about decorating your Thanksgiving table and they had decor for 50.00, 100.00, and 200.00. I refuse to have more money in my table decor than in the actual meal itself and since I have been using all of your ideas, my Thanksgiving meal was very, very, very frugal. Oh, and Brandy, I cooked my turkey using your directions and we agreed, we will cook it like this from now on! It fell off the bones and I got more meat than ever off of it. It didn’t make much broth, though, so not sure what happened there, but I did use the broth to make a gravy for the dressing. We had a wonderful meal and it didn’t put us out a lot of money.

    Have a blessed week everyone!

  13. I am so excited to see this weekly post return! It is always my favorite, because I learn so much from everyone’s tips.

    I had a huge success with Black Friday shopping. I only do the drugstores, and just CVS & Rite Aid this year because Walgreens had only 1 freebie. At CVS, I bought every item that had full rebate starting Sunday. I spent $0.79 and rolled every transaction, ending up with bags of stuff for only $1.50. Then, I took those bucks and did it again for the BF ad and spent $0! At Rite Aid, you can’t roll points, but I had been saving some gift cards for this event. I ended up with tons of freebies there, too. My huge haul included candy, drinks, tape, medicine, nail polish, dental items, lotion, vitamins, food, hair care, and a lot more. A full breakdown of all my transactions with pics can be found here: http://thejewishlady.com/super-savings-saturday-112815/

  14. * My son washed out his Ziploc baggies which held the food I had sent him to college and brought them back to me to be filled up again. They were the expensive Hefty gallon freezer zipper bags plus one was the two gallon size used to hold ice in the chest. His friends commented that they had never seen anyone wash and reuse them!!!!! WHAT!!! WHAT!!!!
    * Got my son to help me understand how to figure out the power consumption of appliances through out the house and discovered some surprises. In my area I am paying $.10 for one KWH which will be $.01 for 8 hours for a compact fluorescent 18w light. Yes, you read that right! One penny for eight hours of light. One penny! ONE PENNY!!! So why am I running around turning off lights and living in the dark? No more. I will direct my efforts toward the big energy users like my heat pump which I estimate uses $2.88 per eight hours. Ouch! I think we will be moving my husband’s office out of the basement and upstairs to an empty bedroom to avoid heating the whole basement this winter. This has been an eye-opener. There will be more changes coming.
    * Did not turn the heat on for a few days. I can’t believe the warm weather for this time of year.
    * Used the electric blanket ($.10 for eight hours) and snuggled with husband for warmth (FREE).
    * Joined Swagbucks after learning about it on this website. Saved an extra $10.50 on an order from JC Penney. I then loaded it as my search engine and have already earned ninety-three points.
    * Replaced a broken zipper in my son’s pants. I HATE replacing zippers and this was on a pair of $.99 pants I had gotten at Good Will. I really did not want spend the time doing this but he said they were his favorite pants. Darn it. I gave myself a gold star for doing this one.
    * Sewed up a rip in the couch cushion.
    * Cut one son’s hair.
    * Picked salad and mustard greens from the garden.
    * Made burritos from the last of the turkey and other leftovers. Wrapped each one in wax paper and put in REUSED gallon Ziploc bags and sent back to school with my sons.
    * Bagged up all the leftovers, especially the sweets, and sent them with sons back to college.
    * Let a real dirty load of clothes soak overnight to avoid using extra detergent and stain remover.
    * Cooked the large turkey I got for $.57 a pound and it has all been eaten. Saved cooked turkey skin and grease for my dog. He got an extra treat in his dry dog food every day.
    * Canned nine pints of turkey broth.
    * Saw the Amazon 30% off information on this web site and told my son to go ahead and order one of his textbooks for next semester. The whole family combined our orders so we got the free shipping. Thanks for the heads-up.
    I really did not think I had done much money saving this week since I spent so much time visiting with company. Sitting down and making this list has surprised me.

  15. I mended two pairs of my son’s pants (both khaki) by replacing and repairing the buttons and mending a small tear on the waist band of one. I made yogurt with the leftover whole milk that I used to make pumpkin pie and scalloped potatoes on Thanksgiving. I ordered my dog a new bed using a 25 percent off code; it will ship free and is a high-quality bed made in the US. I bought gift cards (Home Depot) at my local grocery chain, which will provide me with $20 in money at the grocery store; we always need something at the hardware store, so it will come in handy. I used a log splitting tool to split some large logs that are from when we had four trees taken down a couple of years ago; the wood is now well seasoned and fairly easy to split; the wood will be burned in our wood store to help keep us warm this winter.

  16. I meant to ask, when I’m buying something at Amazon that they are not giving points for through Swagbucks or ebates, if I go through your link, do you get any credit? Or do you only get credit if it is something in those categories they are promoting? I’m hoping you get a credit for any purchase made through your link.

  17. Rhonda, my family would say that too about my nephews (home made gifts I made for them) but out of pure defiance to spending money on them (they get so much from one grandmother) anyway – I gave them the hand made gifts and they love them. I hope you still give the hand made gifts (even if with the purchased) I think you will be happily surprised!

  18. found 10 lbs potato for 99 cents. I made batch of french fries, hashbrowns and diced some and froze them. Used a gift card from last christmas for my daughter school supplies. Enjoy the mini vocations Didnt have to take my daughter to school for three days.

  19. Katy, could you tell me more about your “Buy Nothing group”. I’ve never heard of this before. What is it and how does it work. Thanks!

  20. The past week was a small money maker for me. I sold 4 books on Amazon and I sold multiple things on TeachersPayTeachers. I skipped black Friday shopping as I know I have a tendency to just buy the good deals and not what is actually on my lists. I cut my grocery bill in half by shopping from the freezer and pantry. I’ve gone back to using coupons. I’ve started using Ibotta and Cartwheel and Saving Star. I was able to redeem 12.50 through Ibotta. I am also sharing coupons with a friend at work so that we can get the best deals possible. For this week, I am planning to sell some of last years winter items on a local FB page.

  21. My niece wanted to have lunch in a restaurant near my house (I live in a fashionable neighborhood and there are lots of fine restaurants nearby). I was able to change her mind and invite her, one uncle and her grandmother (my dear MIL) to have lunch with us, at home. I made her know that I was able to make lunch for all of us with the money we would have spent for just two of us to have lunch at that restaurant. Five people had a nice lunch and me and my husband have just finished having dinner out of the leftovers. I’ve made rice, fish and salad with some nice dressings (basilic, capers, garlic) and a dessert made out of a pumpkin I had already cooked at the freezer. We finished the day with homemade cake and coffee. Such a nice Sunday rainy afternoon.
    We don’t have Thanksgiving here in Brazil but we now have Black Friday, go figure. Since I didn’t need anything and the sales here are not as appealing as they seem to be in the U.S., I didn’t buy anything, which is a good improvement in my shopping behavior 😀
    I’m glad that his post is back, I love to read Brandy’s and everybody’s frugal accomplishments.
    Hope everybody has a nice and blessed week. Hope you get totally recovered soon, Brandy.

  22. I was able to make a fine Thanksgiving dinner at little cost. Turkey was 15# at .48 per lb. Cranberries, the biggest, nicest ones I have seen lately, were BOGO, so I have an extra bag in the freezer. I had already frozen my half bushel of butternut squash, so had that as a vegetable. Forget to buy broccoli so served canned peas, which were as popular as the squash! I don’t care for them, so don’t serve them too often. Stuffing was made with cornbread and a little white bread added (both of which I make myself.) Lots of gravy made from the turkey drippings. We were 5 for dinner, and both my DD and Granddaughter took home their share of leftovers, leaving me with turkey for two more meals, a container of broth, and I froze a bit over a pound of meat for further casseroles. That’s quite a stretch for one turkey! With only 5 of us, it makes sense to only cook one turkey and we MUST share the leftovers so everyone has their fill!
    I made both pumpkin and chocolate cream pies—they always disappear quickly so on Saturday I made another pumpkin pie from the leftover pumpkin–and still have enough left for a small batch of muffins, possibly tomorrow.
    I did one day of Christmas shopping (not a lot, but some), kept up with the laundry, and a grocery shop where I managed to get some on sale canned goods at great prices. Saved $12 on canned corn, got 26 oz cans of tomato puree for 50 cents each with coupons and sale, and a few BOGO deals also. My cupboards are overflowing. I cooked 2 days straight for Thanksgiving, and the day after was just as busy. On Sunday I discovered that my energy is NOT 100% after my recent illness, and zonked on the sofa most of the day! Feeling back to normal today, again. Today was write some checks and make order out of my piles of requests for contributions to charities. Husband has been pledging over the phone, which I asked him not to do. He had pledged to one where I had already sent two checks this year—I like to spread it around to more charities. So many deserving causes to support. Had a couple thank you notes to write, and a survey to fill out also. Busy day.

  23. * We took advantage of the black Friday coupons we had for dog and cat food and saved over $30 total.
    * I purchased celery for .49 cents and carrots were buy one pound get another free. I’ve already used up 1 pound and plan to dehydrate some of the celery. I also bought 4 more packages of butter that were on sale for 2/$5 which isn’t a great price but that is as low as it has been going here lately. Hopefully December brings better prices on butter.
    * Brought home lots of left overs from Thanksgiving dinner at the inlaws and will use the last of the turkey in the chicken noodle soup I have cooking in the crockpot for tomorrow’s dinner.
    * I baked a loaf of crusty bread (hubby went and bought one another night :/)
    * I purchased the fleece and flannel I needed for my daughter’s sleep pants. I did not go to Joanne’s since my panic attacks have been a bit bothersome lately and I just could not handle the madness of the store on Black Friday. I also found some very cheap fleece remnants to make dog toys from to sell in my Etsy shop.
    * I purchased underwear and socks for my husband and son at buy one package get one for $1. One of the packages was missing one pair so I got an additional 10% off that package (off the full price – not the $1)
    * I put a sheet set and 3 comforters on layaway at Kmart – all were desperately needed and I couldn’t pass up the price of 9.99 when the price at the thrift stores is $7.99 – $10.99 for a set of used ones!
    * I purchased 6 bed pillows which were also desperately needed for $1.99 each – The old ones were beyond saving other than for inserts for the dog’s beds.
    * I worked at the kennel Thanksgiving day which will boost my next paycheck.
    * My hubby found a refurbished Blu Ray player for my brother’s Christmas gift, he used all of his Best Buy points to purchase gaming head phones for one of our daughter’s gifts (only $2.00 out of pocket) and he took advantage of the Amazon sale for a Kindle for her as well. Now we just need to purchase the wine making kit for ice wine my son has asked for and we are DONE with our kids 🙂
    * I purchased my sister’s Christmas present (books) on Amazon as well as a book to give my son on wine and cider making. Since we have a Prime membership, shipping was free and the books were on sale as well. Unfortunately I had purchased them BEFORE reading Brandy’s post so lost out on the extra 30% off 🙁
    * We made all meals but one lunch at home.
    * We saved gas by combining errands on the other end of town with dropping items off at my parent’s, a test out my husband had scheduled and picking up our son from his job. Hubby dropped me off at the mall while he was at the test out and I was able to purchase one of my nephews Christmas gifts and look thru several of the books I was looking to purchase online to see if I really wanted to spend money on them or not.
    * I made 2 loaves of banana bread from bananas that were beyond the point that anyone here will eat them.

    I too am very glad this series is back as I love to read everyone else’s lists which are such great motivation to keep on keepin’ on 🙂

  24. Rendered chicken and duck fat, called schmaltz, was a staple in Eastern European and Jewish cooking. I have had it be less soft, for lack of a better word, if I spoon it off the stock and then heat it in a frying pan until it is all liquid—then I strain it again to get any other small impurities out, and put it in a jar to let it get hard. I do freeze mine if I think I won’t use it up in three months.

  25. What beautiful lemons! What a treat to make lemonade from lemons grown in your own yard!

    The price of turkeys were very low this year. The weekend before Thanksgiving I bought a 20-pound turkey for 38 cents a pound and 2 days later another turkey for 29 cents per pound each with a $25 dollar purchase. That was a big blessing for us. My family came to our house for Thanksgiving dinner and everyone brought food to share.

    I made turkey broth, turkey pot pie, turkey sandwiches, and turkey soup from the leftover turkey. I sent some of the turkey pot pie and broth home with my daughter who lives on her own about an hour and half away. That made her very happy.

    We have been able to save lots of money because the price of gas has been so low. A gas station on my work route is selling gas right now for $1.69 a gallon. I don’t know how long this will last but I sure do appreciate it.

    We buy books for all the grandchildren each year for Christmas and thanks to Brandy, I was able to save 30%. I also bought my daughter the Joy of Cooking cookbook from Amazon with a 30% discount.

    I ordered a calendar from Shutterfly for my mom and step-dad for Christmas at 40% off and an extra $10 off. They so appreciate all the pictures of the family on the calendar and they can enjoy it throughout the year. I also ordered 10 Christmas cards from Shutterfly for just the cost of shipping.

    I have really enjoyed your thankful posts, Brandy. So encouraging.

  26. I don’t know if you live near your nephews, but mine LOVED getting three coupons each, each one good for one dozen of their favorite cookies or a 12 inch home made pizza. I told them I needed one day’s notice but other than that, they could turn them in anytime or all at once. They loved them—not only did they tell me that, but a friend of their’s came by to drop something off and told me he thought it was a very rad gift.

  27. I was looking at the Emergency Essentials food supplies, and I noticed that they are allowing 1200 calories per day per person for their food supplies. Most of us would lose a lot of weight eating that. My husband is already so thin he would need lots more than that. He probably eats 3600 or so calories each day, tall, thin and fast metabolism even at 51. I myself eat probably at least 2200/day and maintain my 126 pounds. In an emergency, it’s survival, but would hard to do it for very long.

  28. Well, dh lost his job a couple weeks ago, so time to cut back again. Very thankful for a good emergency fund. Made a turkey and canned up the meat, got 8 pints of meat and 9 pints of broth out if it, plus dinner for 4 adults and leftovers for one lunch for one of us. Collected branches etc from around 1/2 the property and got 2 wagons full of kindling. Lots of good food deals this week at a few stores, so will take advantage of that over the next few days. Received a blessing of cash from someone at church to use for the stocking up trip this week.

  29. Those lemons! The thought of being able to pick citrus fruit right off a tree in one’s own backyard blows my mind. I grew up in the great white north and this seems like something out of a fairy tale.
    It was a slow unremarkable week for use but some money saving activities did take place.
    I cut my sweetie’s hair saving at least $20 at the barbers. We took the recycling into town with us, thus getting the best use of our gas money and saving $3.
    We covered two very draughty doors with plastic. Hopefully this will make the house feel warmer and reduce the amount of wood we burn.
    We continued to eat down what was in our freezer. It’s pretty much empty now. Time to start on the pantry and deep freeze.
    I defrosted some of the pumpkin I froze earlier this month. I made pumpkin pancakes, which were lack-luster and pumpkin fudge, which is pretty good. We’ve been snacking on it all week.
    Have a great week everyone!
    https://hiproofbarn.wordpress.com/

  30. Brandi, I see that your weather is near freezing. Is this affecting your garden very hard? I hope those temperatures will soon rise a little! We were near 77F this afternoon which was slightly lower than they said we’d be. Odd that Georgia would be warmer than Las Vegas!

    I just finished Christmas decorating. I only do the big main room (living/entry/dining) and the two entry doors. I try to keep it low key but festive. This is what I did to save money last week:
    http://bluehousejournal.blogspot.com/2015/11/my-savings-this-week.html

  31. Not sure we saved much last week. We were supposed to be on vacation in Utah, but the whole family got the stomach flu. We made it as far as Las Vegas, a six hour drive, then turned around and went home. , (after a night at the Hampton inn).

    I guess because we all lived on toast, crackers, and applesauce for an entire week that we saved money on a big dinner. And luckily, the owner of the place we were renting in Utah allowed us to transfer the reservation to a later date. Spring break.

    We put up our Christmas tree, which I have owned since 1994.

  32. November was busy with travel every weekend. Gas is below 2.00 …the farthest trip was 6 hrs round. We went to weddings (family) the first three weekends. When we travel as a group we use the Priuses owned by my daughter and daughter in law. We also go in often together on the gift.

    This past weekend was just quiet one at home. We mixed up cookie dough, put up some decor. Too early for tree yet but lights help with the early darkness. Did not shop.

    We spent Thanksgiving with husband’s family . Oldest girl and her husband traveled to Ohio with his family for a long weekend, oldest son, his wife and her parents took a long weekend and went to Chicago. Younger son stayed at school/Univ. and helped at shelter. We took youngest girl with us and husband’s brother so brother could move on to next family member until Easter . My mother went to my sister’s. We were able though to have a visit with middle girl, the nurse, as she is working at the hospital near my in-laws. Being new, she worked that shift, but we visited her on break. They had a nice meal there but we brought her some groceries for her apartment. We brought 3 pies and a jello salad for the Thanksgiving dinner.

    Did the usual of composting, recycling. Have only 9 tomatoes left out of all my green ones. They should be ready soon.

    Cooked from scratch. Made a cherry pie and apple pie with cherries we froze and apples from our trees. Also made a chocolate-pecan pie ( these went to my sister-in-law’s house) , jello salad, coleslaw, spaghetti sauce (from ripened green tomatoes) , baked squash, applesauce, popcorn, brownies, pickled eggs, baked fish ( from fish caught in our pond and frozen) , cheesey-broccoli-rice, 2 loaves cranberry-nut bread , 2 loaves of white bread. Used some easy foods out of the freezer like my homemade double baked potatoes w the fish and the stuffed peppers with the squash and applesauce. We will make our turkey etc next weekend.

  33. Yes, Mandy, what is the blog link?

    I read a blog that is called A HUNDRED YEARS AGO. She started it 4-5 years ago
    using entries from her Grandma’s journal. The journal ended and she continues it with recipes, articles, stories from magazines and newspapers 100 years old. The latest entry might be the one for hickory nut cookies.

  34. Thanks, Katy. I checked out the website and it looks interesting. Unfortunately, I don’t have a facebook account and really don’t want one. But I think I will read some more of the articles on that website. Much appreciated!

  35. Dear Miss Brandy and Readers,

    The photos are beautiful!

    I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving! I hope everyone enjoyed leftovers if there were any! We went to visit family and an ice storm hit the area. My sister’s family home was without electricity for 3 of the days we were there. Talk about being frugal–no electricity. My kids and I traveled home when the roads were safe. The land was beautiful with all the ice but the damage was pretty bad. The trees split down the middle from the weight of the ice on the branches. We arrived home safely and that was the most important event for us.

    Frugal accomplishments:
    Electric bill 50% lower than last year
    Ate dinner with family so only had to make some dishes vs. a whole meal
    Cars serviced at a reduced price so got better mileage for trip
    Went to a Christmas light show at a local museum–got free hot chocolate and admission
    Black Friday shopping–OOP $6 and got many items for Christmas gifts via CVS, Wags, Walmart
    Christmas gifts–crocheted 4 prayer shawls for my girls, crocheted 4 Christmas scarves for the cold holiday season

    Making gifts is my primary goal to be frugal this holiday season.

    Warmest regards,

    Anna

  36. This past week my big accomplishment was staying out of stores!
    I did go to the feed store to get squirrel corn and sunflower seed, but they were both FREE with my punch cards. A $40 savings.
    We had a large traditional dinner, so lots of leftovers. We ate on them for 3 days, then froze the remainder in packs for later usage. froze lots of turkey broth as well.
    I didn’t get the carcass cooked yet, it is wrapped in the freezer.

    Love your pictures.
    Cheryl

    http://cherylsfrugalcorner.blogspot.com

  37. Mandy,
    Thanks for sharing. I love the idea of the 50s. I grew up then. I walked to school and walked home for lunch. Our house had 1 bathroom. We had 1 car. We had 1 dog. My Dad walked to work. He worked on the RR 1 block from the house and walked home for supper every night and then back to work. The difference was my folks had 5 children over 20 years. My Mother worked nights, my Dad worked swing shift [4-12pm] and the children were on days. During the summer the RR stayed on standard time so our house had 2 clocks. One for standard time and the other for day light time. I don’t know how my Mother did it but she cooked, canned and froze food, made homemade pies, cakes and cookies plus she sewed most of our clothes, crocheted and embroidered and was a Girl Scout leader. All of this she did while working nights. Our house was not that perfect clean that is described though. We did get a TV early on. My Dad believed in keeping current. My parents believed in equality so as girls we were taught to speak up. I still look back and see the ideal in my mind. This is why I like this blog. It helps me keep the dream alive of simple but modern living even when my life is still bustling with different schedules. Maybe it is because of this I developed my saying “Perfect is not Perfect” and “Failure is not an option in this family”.

  38. Thank you for sharing that! I was born in 75 🙂 My mom was 16 and we all lived together (my great grandparents, my grandma (her husband left to get ice cream for my mother’s 5th birthday and never came back), my mom, aunt, uncle and me in a 3 bedroom house. I loved it. I love that time period. I honestly wish our society was like it was back then, the way the world is today scares me.
    Your mother sounds like an incredible woman!

  39. Mabel- I totally LOVE your coupon idea!!! I have some in-town grandsons (tween and teen age) who always ask for gifts that are just too expensive for us to consider (we have 30 grandchildren!) !

  40. Was I ever disappointed this year for buying turkeys on sale. Our local stores had “buy a $100 and get turkey for less,” another had “buy $50 and get turkey for $.69 a lb.” but there was no way I could spend $50 there just to get the turkey. The best deal ended up being our local Smith’s “buy $50 and get turkey for $.79 per pound….ughhh, that was high priced still…..BUT……..I ended up doing that because they had a sale on 48 oz. vegetable oil for $1.49 / 4 lb. sugar $.99 each / Philadelphia cream cheese 10 for $10.00 / best price in town on fresh cranberries / a fairly good price on evaporated milk , sour cream, whipping cream, Jimmy Dean sausage / thus, I was able to buy ahead on those items, get a few other needed items, spend $50.00 and then get the turkey. We cut the breast off to make a rolled turkey/sage roast for another meal, saved the tenders for Indian Butter Chicken over rice, baked the remaining turkey for our Dinner, then made a huge pot of broth from the carcass and had 3 cups of cooked turkey meat left over. Made homemade noodles for a pot of turkey vegetable soup, and froze the remaining broth in 2-cup containers. Now I have no extra turkeys in the freezer…… but truly NO stores around here had turkeys on a real sale this year. Best we could do was enjoy it and stretch it as far as possible. I am interested to see what happens at Christmas time with local “sales” on turkeys!!!

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