I canned 6 quarts of giardinera pickles.

Winter made several gifts for her sisters for Christmas gifts using fabric I already had and some free downloadable patterns.

I cut two pomegranates from my tree.

I harvested my only butternut squash this year, and cut one Armenian cucumber from the garden, and cut a but of celery that I grew from some grocery store celery.

I made a triple batch of laundry soap.

I made French bread. Winter made a double batch of granola.

I cooked a turkey from the freezer.

Wren is so happy to be taking piano lessons now! She practiced every day without being asked! I’m so glad that I was able to trade for her lessons!

I planted seeds in my fall garden. Some of the seeds were ones that I had collected from my garden earlier this year.

I had the house open and the air conditioner off for as many hours as I could each day, turning it on only for a few hours in the afternoons when the inside temperatures went up to 83º.

Liberty and Cyrus did this cloud in a jar experiment several times. Do you see the cloud escaping? This was a really frugal experiment involving hot water, matches, and a bag of ice.

Cyrus cut the grass and added some to my two compost bins.

My husband cut his hair.

I continued to collect the water from the shower to water the potted trees.

I had at at-home date with my husband. We played a card game.

What did you do to save money last week?

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  1. I bought 10 of the pomegranates at the 2/$5 price as they were large and fresh. They had not been sitting long. I may buy more Saturday when I stop again. They store well in the fridge.

  2. Becky, not a silly question . I still sew on.my mother’s old black and gold Singer machine, nothing fancy. (I learned to sew on my grandma’s treadle machine) . My oldest girls have newer machines. My youngest is not really interested. I sew the hems by hand, I sew the buttonholes (for the drawstring laces) by hand as that is how I learned to do them.

  3. We don’t like the flavor in our house but my sister told me to do 2/3 onion and 1//3 fennel bulb. I tried it this week and it was good-I was especially glad to not just keep throwing them away all the time!

  4. Hi Brandy, I am so happy that I found your blog and so thankful for all the inspiration from you and the others that comment here. Since I found you I have been dutiful in making lists, comparing prices and buying to stock up my pantry and freezer and have been able to provide for my daughter and granddaughter while still having enough for our needs. This past paycheck was the paycheck to make my car payment and a couple of bills that always leaves a little bit less to get groceries and household needs. Well, I got sick, went to the doctor, had that bill and another unexpected bill and needless to say I didn’t have anything left to go the grocery store. My husband, for some reason, forgot how to cook once we got married so on the day I was the sickest, and even though there was food to fix he couldn’t remember how to do it, so I had him stop at Subway for a sandwich (he knows how to order food pretty well) and this is what we had for supper this night. Huny got me a 6” sandwich and I ate half. The next day I felt some better and he was home so I used the turkey from the sandwich and some left over ham from another sandwich and bell peppers from the garden to make him an omelet. I made myself an egg and had a side salad of the veges that I ordered for my sandwich. Well, because of being sick and the extra expenses there was no extra money to go the store but I was able to go the pantry and freezer for all our meals! I had made up several batches of your rice (so good!) for the pantry and cooked up one batch. Because it makes so much we have been able to use this in different meals. I had stocked up on creamer for his coffee so we were good there, I had plenty of eggs, although I am now out and I always have beans in the freezer. We like Stouffers frozen lasagna so I followed the sales and was able to get several of these and it was nice to be able to throw one of these in the oven while I was still not feeling well enough to actually cook. I’m not baking my own bread yet (I’ll get to that point someday) so I get the marked down bread loaves (60 cents) from WM and slice them up and freeze them. I took some of these slices out of the freezer and made garlic bread with it. I also get the rotisserie chicken (cheaper for us) and got two the last time and had one put away and was able to use that with the rice for one meal. Today, I’m taking the last of the chicken and will make some chicken and rice soup with some of the leftover rice. Plus, out of all these pantry/freezer meals, Huny had leftovers to take for lunch. He usually does take leftovers for lunch so I’m glad I was able to continue to fix meals so that he could continue to do this. Such a blessing!During this down time for me we celebrated my granddaughter’s 5th birthday here at home with just us grandparents, my daughter and my granddaughter. I got 6 cupcakes with pink frosting and sprinkles ($1.97) off the marked down rack at WM. I found a Little Mermaid (her latest favorite) birthday card for her some time ago and had that saved up. And at one of the craft stores, forgot which one now, I found a pendant on clearance that looked like the shell that held Ariel’s voice. I used some plastic beads and pink ribbon from my stash and made her a necklace that she loved! A simple family birthday party here at home that didn’t cost me a lot of money (under $10) but was appreciated by my little granddaughter. She didn’t need an expensive party or extra fancy gift – she was very happy with her little necklace and the pink cupcake!Thank you all so much for your continued inspiration. Because of your blog, Brandy, and everyone here, I have been able to provide for my family in a way that I wasn’t able to before I learned how to be “frugal”.

  5. A couple of years ago I had gastric bypass surgery (where they surgically make your stomach the size of an egg) and have since lost about a 100lbs. The surgery was covered under our provincial health plan, due to the weight related medical problems that I had. I consider myself very lucky that I could this done with little cost out of pocket and I don’t recommend it to everyone. However, one of the “tricks” that I learned while going through this process is to use a smaller plate when eating. Instead of eating from a “dinner” sized plate, use the “side plate”. It helps you control your portion sizes, yet you feel like you have a full plate of food. Once your body adjusts to the amount of food you regularly have, you will not be able to handle eating large quantities. Bonus is that if you eat out, you are almost guaranteed it will be a two meal investment.

  6. I don’t really like black licorice either, but roasted fennel is very mild and quite delicious, I think. I’ve also had a shaved raw fennel salad where the licorice flavor was more pronounced – your husband may enjoy it that way.

  7. That’s amazing! I wouldn’t even know the first thing about making a buttonhole by hand, although it would make sense to use the buttonhole stitch I’ve used in embroidery a few times. But, still, I think that is a skill!!!I have an old (looks like antique) Singer (black and gold), up in the attic that a well-meaning gentleman gave me to see if we could use it for 4H. It was his wife’s and she no longer needs it. I don’t even know if it works, I wasn’t familiar with that kind, so put it away. I just couldn’t bear to get rid of it. Can you get bobbins, etc. for those? Would it be a reasonable expectation to take it to a shop and ask them to clean it, etc.? Or would only a specialized shop know how to do that?

  8. I am so glad to read that your daughter is starting to learn to help in the kitchen. It will be a useful skill she will use for the rest of her life. I hope she appreciates all the frugal tips that you will surely teach her!I had some frugal ups and downs this week. My mother and I have been helping my sister-in-law this week. Her parents were in a very bad car accident at the beginning of Sept and are still in hospital. Her mother was the caregiver for her brother, who has schizophrenia as well as caring for her dad, who has cancer and Alzheimer. The stress resulted in her mother becoming a bit of a hoarder. We’ve been trying to help my sister-in-law clean up their house for over a week now. They are not sure yet if they will be able to return to the house. No where near done, but several nights we were too exhausted from cleaning to cook, so we caved and grabbed some take out.Here are my frugal accomplishments:-cooked almost a bushel of apples into applesauce and processed 14 pints plus froze three 2 cup bags-made 6 large and 3 individual sized turkey pot pies using the left over turkey, stuffing and veggies from Thanksgiving and the home made turkey stock from the carcass. We ate one large pie for supper and froze the rest, unbaked, for future meals-made home-made rice krispie treats and pumpkin spice cookies for lunches. I cut the rice Krispies into squares, individually wrapped them, and froze them so they are easy to throw in my daughter’s school lunch. So far I have not bought pre-packaged cookies or granola bars this year, which is a great accomplishment!-was given a cute little solar powered table light that we found when cleaning. I have been using this in my daughter’s room as a night light, which is saving money on hydro! My daughter is terrified of the dark, so this will also be perfect if we happen to loose power during the night.-I have brought home several empty canning jars that we found during cleaning. Always nice to receive some free canning jars, as I’ve started doing more canning and preserving over the year or two.-requested free tickets on-line to tour the Pentagon for our trip in November. Though they are free, you must request the tickets ahead of time, as they pre-screen everyone for security purposes. Hope we are not denied due to the terrorist attack on our Parliament buildings yesterday in Ottawa. Almost makes me a bit nervous to travel, especially to the US capital… but not enough to cancel the trip.Well, that’s about everything I can think of for now. Thank you Brandy and everyone for all your inspiring posts!

  9. Rhonda, she’s been helping in the kitchen for years, and the other children help, too. The change now is that it is a regular chore of hers, because she now knows how to make enough things to cook more regularly. I think it’s really important that each child learns to cook, so that when they move out, they can make food for themselves.

  10. I couldn’t agree with you more when it comes to teaching cooking skills and all things domestic for that matter. I have read your post about their chore schedules. However, I think this is the first time I’ve noticed you comment about Winter helping by preparing something in the kitchen. I apologize if perhaps I’ve missed this from previous posts. It sounds like your children are becoming quite efficient at all things frugal under your tutelage. I hope you will continue to include their frugal efforts along with yours. I truly enjoy reading about your family life.

  11. Ah, understood! Since I didn’t make the granola, I thought I should give credit to her 🙂 I often say “I” because I did it, but I didn’t make the granola, even though I usually do. We’re working together on breakfast (this morning I made muffins, but she finished by taking them out of the oven and pans, and putting them out at the table. Ideally, she would have done the whole process, but because of time, I did them today. It just depends. If my husband does something, I want to mention him, too.

  12. Hi Brandy and everyone! i realy enjoy reading this blog and all the comments! I learn something new each week! My frugal week included:Picked up and rubbed through persimmons from the 2 trees in my side yard. I had enough pulp for 8 2-cup bags for the freezer and 1 cup to make a small persimmon pudding for dessert!Made another batch of liquid laundry soap with borax, washing soda and Dawn dish soap. It is so much easier than grating bar soap and it works very well!Line dried the laundry.We’ve had beautiful fall weather, so I have not had to use either air conditioning or heat for 3 weeks!My husband and I picked 4 5-gallon buckets of pears from the Keifer pear trees in our pasture. We started a batch of pear wine, and I have LOTS left to slice for canning and making pear butter. My husband’s great-grandmother planted the 4 trees. They must be over 100 years old and still produce more fruit than we can handle! We have shared with relatives and neighbors, and the cows eat up all the ones that fall to the ground!I cashed in my swagbucks for $25 in paypal cash! Now I’m going to get all the $5 Amazon gift cards I can before Christmas!Harvested the rest of the tomatoes and peppers from the garden before we get frost. Picked kale. Pulled several turnips and cooked the tops.Cooked all meals from scratch. Baked oatmeal raisin cookies. We found a large”hen of the woods” mushroom on a stump in our woods. I fried some, put 10 quart bags in the freezer, shared it with people from church and the last of it went to the chickens!Thank you for your beautiful pictures with your posts! It’s a joy to see your children!

  13. I always enjoy reading your weekly frugal updates. It is very encouraging, and always gives me new ideas!This week we line-dried the majority of our laundry. It is still quite warm here in north Texas (supposed to be 90s this weekend), and very little rain. We were also able to turn our central air conditioning off a couple of weeks ago, and have just been enjoying open windows & fans. Love the fresh air and the big savings! May have to turn it back on this weekend, but at least it would only be for a couple of days.I hit some very good grocery sales at Albertson’s. They had canned goods for .39 cents with an in-ad coupon, and sugar/flour for 99 cents. I stocked up on those to fill our pantry. We also accepted some free meat from a friend who needed to make space in her freezer. Two huge racks of pork ribs and 2 whole chickens!We cooked & ate most of our meals at home, and took our lunches & snacks to work all week. (We both work full-time outside the home.) This is a saver not only on not purchasing fast food, but also on gas.I worked several hours online at my 2nd job – a part-time online customer service job. This brings in extra money for us. Sometimes it is REALLY good (during the holidays!) and sometimes slow. Right now it is very slow, but still better than nothing. Also the convenience is so nice that I can set my own hours & work from home.

  14. Becky, there is a man in town who fixes machines and he tunes mine up. There is not much to go wrong with it, no electronics etc other than the wiring cord. He replaced that the last time I was there. He has an entire room full of old machines, kind of like an auto junkyard. They aren’t working for some reason and not resalable so he uses parts from them to repair other old machines. He used to handle all the sewing machine repair in a clothing factory. If you aren’t interested in using it maybe the repair person in your area might want it for the same reason. Or put it on Ebay for someone who is looking for nostalgia and just wants it for decoration. Does it have the stand or the case? Is the case wood and leather? As to bobbins and such, I have not needed any but you could probably find on that sewing site that Brandy recommends. I don’t have a problem finding needles. I don’t do a lot of heavy duty sewing, like denim, just basic sewing…aprons, potholders, PJ pants, curtains, etc. Some times I use it to piece quilt tops if I am just doing squares or rectangles. I quilt by hand..I bought my oldest girl a Brother off Amazon last year for her birthday and she has done 2 quilts since, all pieced and quilted by machine. Very nice.

  15. So, I guess buying something on sale is still spending and not “saving money” but I did find something on clearance at target that I have been eyeing all summer long and kept myself from buying. It went on sale fifty percent off and I couldn’t resist! I’ve also been trying to cook more with beans and only buy seasonal fruits and veggies unless they are frozen and in bulk from Costco. Not a very impressive savings I guess….

  16. Adriana, I work for a company called Needle. They provide online customer service support for a lot of companies like Coach, Carhartt, Nikon, cruise lines, etc. If you are on one of the sites we service and it has a “click here to chat with a representative” – that’s us. It is an independent contractor job so you set your own hours and taxes aren’t taken out. You get paid weekly with Paypal. I started doing it in summer of 2013. We had a major financial setback in fall 2012, followed by my husband taking a huge paycut. We both work full-time, but needed additional income. It would have been very difficult for either of us to take a 2nd job outside the home, so this was really ideal. I usually work in the evenings after I get home from my first job or sometimes on the weekends. Last year during the holiday season I actually made more per week than at my full-time job, but it was very tiring because it was so busy. You can apply at Needle.com, just look for the “become an advocate” link. You do have to be knowledgeable about the brand you want to apply for.

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