Last Week’s Frugal Accomplishments

Last Week’s Frugal Accomplishments

Summer Vines The Prudent Homemaker

I printed a free black and white printable  (pictured above) and swapped it out with another printed page I had in a frame. (Note: She says this is 11 x 14, but it printed just fine as an 8 1/2 x 11 when I hit print on my printer; I trimmed off the margins and slightly trimmed the bottom, and it fit fine in my 8 x 10 frame).

I cut flowers and vines from the garden for my entry table (also above).

I sliced and dried pears and figs from the garden in my dehydrator.

I used Duolingo to improve my French.

I did several activities in one of the French workbooks that I got from the library.

I was looking for an article on fall and winter gardening in French for a friend of mine in France. What I ended up finding were several gardening videos in French (including several on fall/winter gardening!) I watched several and learned a few new things. I liked that the videos were short and to the point. I particularly liked this one on growing and transplanting lettuce in fall. Even if you don’t speak French, I think you can learn a couple of new tricks from this! I plan on trying to transplant as he did this year.

I ordered new glasses for Liberty from Zenni Optical, going through Ebates first. 

So that I could tell the local people who came to hear me speak on Tuesday, I went to the nursery to find out when they will have vegetable plants in for fall planting  (The answer is that they will have them after Labor Day, with a full selection by mid-September, when it will start to cool down into the 90ºs). While there, I noticed they had canvas gloves for .99 a pair (regular price). They only come in one size (men’s large). I bought all 6 pairs they had to add to our 72-hour kits. While these won’t fit everyone, they are a start to having some work gloves on hand for emergencies. I do recommend trying any gloves you buy; my husband will need the extra-large size in gloves, so these will be good for my three oldest and myself to put in our kits.

Elsa Flying The Prudent Homemaker

I printed some new Highlights Hidden Pictures for my youngest girls. They love these and the magazine is rather expensive. I love that I can print one for each child and everyone can look on her own–and I don’t have to have a subscription (or 4!)

I needed to order some history books for Winter for this year. These particular books are very expensive (Amazon sells them for $150 to $200 a piece and rents them for $50 each). These three books will be used for all 4 years of high school, along with other books. I found older used editions for $15 or less for each of them (current used editions start at  $75 each!)  Winter and I looked over the rest of the reading list. Most, if not all, of these books are classics that are available from the library, so we will get them from the library.

I sewed some wool felt barrettes using materials I already had for gifts for a friend’s babies.

Winter made a birthday gift for a friend using materials we had on hand.

A neighbor knocked on my door and offered me some extra produce. She said her husband had over bought and the food was going to go bad before they could use it, and offered it to me. She gave me a head of cauliflower, some very ripe bananas (that I stuck in a smoothie), and enough broccoli for us for 2 meals.

I signed Winter up for a free organ workshop that is going to be held next month.

What did you do to save money last week?

 

 

This Post Has 136 Comments

  1. Dee

    Hi Brandy,
    Which books were you looking at for Winter next year? I always love seeing what your children are doing with school 🙂

  2. The Timetable of History, Western Civilization Volume 1 (I’ll still need to get Volume II at some point), and DK’s History of the World are the ones I bought. We’re doing ancient history again this year, and she’ll be reading Sophocles, Euripides, Plato, Aristotle, Cicero, Herodotus, Josephus, Plutarch, and more.

  3. Dee

    Thank you for that. I wasn’t sure you would see my comment as it is 8am here in Australia. 😀
    We are doing Ancient history this year too 🙂 I can’t wait to see the update to your homeschool tab.

  4. Kathi

    Have you tried half.com? I used to buy textbooks from them.

  5. I have bought from them before (and got great prices) but I didn’t this time. One of the books was only $1.50 used! I’m pretty happy with that.

  6. Michelle S

    -sold some board games we no longer use on craigslist
    -bought 6 6.5oz cans of Clabber Girl cornstarch for $0.25 each
    -A friend gave us some tomatoes, green peppers, and corn from his garden
    -Used code to get a discount on a redbox movie – we usually only get movies from redbox when we have a code that makes them free, but I really wanted to see this one movie and the library didn’t have it yet.
    -Due to cooler weather in the morning, I was able to open the windows a couple times this week, thus saving us money because the A/C didn’t run as much
    -I made muffins using bananas that were getting a bit overripe
    -We ate all our meals at home and used up all our leftovers

  7. Marivene

    I hope Winter enjoys the organ workshop; I have really enjoyed playing the organ. My frugal accomplishments:

    Cashed 2 pine cone survey checks.

    Harvested elderberries, grapes, plums, crabapples, pears, green beans, Early Girl tomatoes & yellow pear tomatoes. Made elderberry crab apple jelly. The crab apples provide the pectin, so everything was either from the garden or the pantry (the sugar & lid inserts). Between the currant bushes & the crab apples, I can usually produce all the pectin we need. Unfortunately, the jelly did not set, but that happens not infrequently with elderberry, so we will just use it as syrup, if it does not set within the few weeks.

    Washed one of the glass cheese domes that I use as a garden cloche & brought it back inside to use as an extra ripening bowl (over a plate) to hold tomatoes. I am already using one, but needed another.

    Made a batch of smokey, spicy tomato jam from the recipe at Food In Jars. It was a little too hot for me, but will make a great Christmas gift for the hot food lovers in the extended family.

    Froze most of the elderberries to dehydrate later when it is not so hot outside, & froze some of the grapes to dehydrate later, too. Bottled the green beans.

    Picked a 2 half bushel boxes full of the ripest of the Elberta peaches. They are not yet fully ripe, but the birds are beginning to peck on them, so I picked some & brought the box inside to finish ripening. I have to do this every year, or the birds ruin all the peaches.

    Cut mint leaves & put them on a plate to dry. Cut yarrow leaves & put them on a plate to dry. In the past, I would have just plopped both of these in the dehydrator, but they will dry just fine on a plate without the use of any electricity, so that is how I do it now.

    Stocked up on local honey from the farmer’s market.

  8. Debbie in Florida

    I love the framed print you made! I also have to give you a lot of credit to be able to find time to work on your French. I tend to neglect my own self education.

    I finally sold something else on the Facebook garage sale page($10). I started more ebay auctions and had 2 close ($20).

    I cut up about 8 limes I had left in the fridge drawer that needed to be used up. I put them in the freezer loosely in a ziplock so I can pull out what I need to add to my ice water.

    I keep trying to add new habits. I’m now working on taking the clothes out of the dryer as soon as it buzzes they are dry and not letting it keep tumbling.

    I made a small batch of applesauce with 3 pears that needed to be used up and 3 green apples which I don’t like. I added “green apples” to my CSA do not like list so I won’t get them again.

    I made a plum cake with plums that needed to be used up – so yummy!

    I completed a Pinecone survey. I cashed out for $15 paypal.

    I combined errands. I went to Winn Dixie and got the BOGO Lysol wipes and spray, used $2 in coupons and have a $5 rebate to send in – so my total will end up being $4.50 for 2 wipes and 2 sprays. I went to Kmart to spend $10 in surprise points and I had 28cents in reward points. I got 2 picture frames for my father’s birthday gift and a hand towel on sale. Total came to $10.22 so I had no OOP. I went in to Publix next door to see if they had any more of the falafel mix on the clearance table (they didn’t) but they did have Folgers Sugar Cookie kcups for 2 for $9.49 for a 12 pack. I got all 4 packs. At the register, they rang up full price, so I got one free and paid for the other 3, making my total $14.23 for 48 k-cups (less than 30cents a cup!).

    Free in the mail – Real Simple magazine.

    Plus all the usual – washing out baggies, exercising at home instead of joining a gym, taking leftovers home from the catered lunches at work, working on zero food waste, composting veggie scraps, keeping motivated reading frugal blogs, wearing clothes more than once before washing, being careful with electricity and water usage, eating simple meals, trying for zero food waste.

    Have a great week!

  9. Gayle

    I found some clothes for the grand-baby at a garage sale. It felt good to get him several outfits and a little jacket all for under $5. I also found a vintage plate and my best find, was a water storage container for $5! I plan on giving my daughter enough water containers to get them through a week and this will provide one weeks worth.
    Have a blessed week!
    Gayle

  10. Gayle

    I found some clothes for the grand-baby at a garage sale. It felt good to get him several outfits and a little jacket all for under $5. I also found a vintage plate and my best find, was a water storage container for $5! I plan on giving my daughter enough water containers to get them through a week and this will provide one weeks worth.
    Have a blessed week!
    Gayle

  11. Leigh

    I can relate to your woes with expensive textbooks. My university student buys used from friends when he can, rents others, and buys new when he must. Now my high schooler requires higher-level textbooks as well. They’re expensive just about any way you look at it!

    Here’s my list:

    -We are happily still harvesting tomatoes and enjoying them with our meals.
    -I saved tomato seeds from two varieties of tomatoes.
    -I canned (bottled) tomatoes. This is the first time in a few years my tomatoes have done well enough for me to have some to can.
    -I did two mystery shopping assignments to earn a few free groceries and a small fee.
    -I received and redeemed a coupon for a free cake mix. I like to make cake from scratch, but having a mix on hand is nice.
    -I enjoyed a free beverage courtesy of a rewards program.
    -I redeemed Swagbucks for a gift card.
    -I received my Ebates check for this quarter. I go through Ebates when I shop online to receive a percentage cash back. It’s nice to get a little money back on purchases I’d make anyway.
    -I ordered a gift during an Ebates double-cash-back special for that retailer’s site, plus shipping was free on the site where I was shopping. It was much more convenient than running to the store.
    -I packed a “car picnic” when I had to take my daughter to an orientation meeting for one of her online courses. It saved us time on the trip as well as saving us money on the meal.
    -I wrote about car picnics at AChatOverCoffee.com and have written about Ebates previously.

    Have a great week, everyone!

  12. Stephanie

    I’m not sure if you’ve discussed this in another thread but I was wondering if the rise in egg prices is hitting your area and if so is it affecting your meal planning? I know you’ve said in the past that you usually reserve eggs for baking. Here in Eastern PA the grocery store egg prices are ~$3.99 for a dozen large eggs. When eggs were cheaper (around $.99~1.29/dz) it wasn’t unusual for me to use a dozen a week between meals and baking since my kids have a particular love for hard boiled eggs but these prices are making me cringe.

  13. Gardenpat

    Finished quilting and binding the first of my deceased friend’s quilt tops for her great-nephew! I made the backing from some fabric I inherited last week from her as well as some her batting.

    Made up a double batch of strawberry almond granola! Ran out of brown sugar so I made a big batch (about 10 cups) and after using what I needed in the granola, I put the rest in a foodsaver canister and vacuum sealed it.

    Made an old family recipe of tater tot casserole but I stopped buying frozen potatoes of any kind a couple years ago, opting for fresh or dehydrated potatoes. Tried using some of the dried hash brown potatoes from our food storage ( we were gifted about 25 lbs of them and so I repackaged them in #10 cans and vacuum sealed them.). I’ve stopped buying cream soups so I made my own from scratch. The ground beef in it came from one of the many ziplock bags I keep in the freezer of precooked and seasoned meat that helps me make dinner in a hurry!
    Spent under $10 this week in groceries and ate from our pantry and freezers.

    Had to buy dog food but had a coupon that if I bought 2 ten pound or larger bags, I would get a $10 gift card at Target. Dog food was $12.99/bag but I also had 2 coupons for $1/off each bag so I basically got 1 bag for free!!!

    Picked more tomatoes and peppers from the garden and canned more diced tomatoes, hot pepper jelly and salsa.
    Put an additional $100 payment on our next snowball debt and love to see that going down!
    Stayed under budget on gas for car even though our prices are up almost 50 cents a gallon ( currently $2.63/gallon)!!! Got our budget for the next two weeks all written out, paid bills on-line and it feels so good to be in control. Still have 4 debts left, including house but each pay period helps them diminish and hubby and I are so grateful to be united on our goal of being completely debt free! 45 year anniversary last week of when we first met and he still writes me a sweet note each year for it! Such a romantic! Definitely a keeper! And it means more to me than anything we could buy!

    All in all, a very good week!

  14. Anne

    1. Put up some stadium seats for sale on Craigslist. No interest yet but will keep them on for several weeks.
    2. Have decided I can not make a perfect Christmas for grandchildren to always remember, but will just do what I think is enough and I’m sure it probably will be. Attitude is everything in life.
    3. We are retired empty nesters but still need to not waste food, so I’m working carefully on getting all food in our tummies instead of the trash.
    4. We have friends who love to eat out so today we steered them to a restaurant for which we already had a gift card.
    5. Reminding myself to say “No” to outings that I really don’t want to go on. In the past I worried about hurting people’s feelings.

  15. Karen

    I had no idea you could print the Highlights Hidden Pictures! My kids love these, and I grew up with Highlights (I think my grandparents bought it for about 12 years) but it IS expensive. Thank you!

  16. Tina in the NW

    I watched the French video on transplanting lettuce. It was very interesting. I actually speak French, so I learned some new words.

    This posting covers two weeks, because we were out of town for part of last week.

    We had a nice vacation. We rented a house for a few days on an island about an hour away. I packed all of our food to bring, and we cooked and relaxed and had a nice break. There was one small restaurant on the island, and we ate there twice, but it was very inexpensive. Otherwise, we read, played games, listened to the radio, walked, hiked, and visited a small museum: all free.

    Unfortunately, on the last night we were there, I injured my wrist. When we came back the next day I had to go to urgent care to get an X-ray. Thankfully, I didn’t break any bones. It’s feeling better now, but that’s not exactly the best way to end your vacation.

    Frugal accomplishments:
    – So far, I have made almost a gallon of apple of apple cider vinegar with the apples I find on the ground at the park. The apples are bruised and buggy, but I just cut away the bad parts. At least I can use them this way so they don’t go to waste. I have two more batches going. Thanks to whoever suggested this several weeks ago.
    – I picked beans, tomatoes, onions, and squash from the garden. I traded onions for cucumbers and shared squash and beans with several people. I made salsa, refrigerator pickles, fermented beans, fermented cauliflower and fermented peppers, and froze zucchini and Swiss chard (that I got from my CSA vegetable share). I made several pints each of pickled okra and pickled beans. I collected a seeds from my plot and another abandoned plot.
    – I bought someone’s fabric stash off of Craigslist for $20. This was a great deal.
    – I continued to dry towels outside. No one has complained yet…. Unfortunately the smoke from all the forest fires in the eastern part of the state has reached the Seattle area, and you can see it and smell it. I don’t think I’ll be drying clothes outside until the wind changes direction. The forest fires and drought are very bad in our state. It is quite worrying.
    – The thrift store produced some good deals: four nice shirts and two skirts (most name brand) and a leather purse, all for $50.

    The reason I bought these clothes is that I unexpectedly found a job. My physical therapist mentioned that he was having a hard time finding a new receptionist to work a couple days a week. He had held numerous interviews but no one had worked out. I told him I’d be willing to work there, and sent in my resume (his wife handles the selection of candidates). There was an informal phone interview, and I was hired. I start tomorrow. I’m still getting used to the idea. I need something to do during the fall and winter, when I can’t be out in the garden as much. Things tend to fall into my lap, so I’m still laughing about how it all came about.

    Added to all of this, my husband ended up getting a promotion and a raise on the first day he was back at work after our vacation. A nice surprise, to say the least.

    So….it’s been a very eventful couple of weeks. 🙂

  17. Roberta in So. Cal.

    Hi, Brandy,

    Do you have a list of supplies needed for your 72-hour kits? Have you ever done a blog post about compiling these kits?

    We live in earthquake country and really should have emergency supplies, but we don’t. 🙁

    Thanks!

  18. Janell in Georgia

    Michelle,
    Most times you get a code to rent one movie and get one free, you can just place one movie in your basket and use the code to get it free. It doesn’t always work but is worth a shot. I normally reserve online to see if it will work instead of driving to a box to only be disappointed.

  19. tadpole

    Not a remarkable frugal week. Are area has at war with forest fires and I’ve spent most of my free time watching the news. But still managed a few frugal activities:
    Sunday – gave my pantry a through scrub down before canning season starts in earnest. Found enough dry herbs to make a new batch of poultry seasoning and found a few recipes to use up some of last years canning.
    Monday – renewed our car insurance. Asked a lot of questions hoping to reduce my rate, but as it turns out its better for us if we don’t changed anything
    Tuesday and Wednesday – Left overs for lunch and a no spend day. Brought left over coffee home from work to make coffee ice cubes for cold coffee drinks.
    Thursday – Took the recycling to the transfer station and bought vegetables for the week. Cleaned out the fridge and sent several bendy vegetables and cherry tomatoes from the mutant tomato plant to the dehydrator. Used more leftovers to make a potato, bacon, onion hash for dinner.
    Saturday was not a frugal day. I spent money on a drop in yoga class with friends but it was worth it. I felt so much better after the class and I think I will continue to go.
    Friday and Sunday were no spend, stay at home days. Ate from the freezer and did a little mending. The smoke from the nearby forest fires is preventing much outdoor activity so we worked together to finish some inside chores including removing some old cupboards from the kitchen and moving them into my pantry substantially increasing my storage. We did manage some time outside stacking firewood and picking elderberries.
    Hope every one has a great week.

  20. Karen Vaughn

    I love your frugal posts! I hung clothes out online to dry, cooked big pot of soup (using
    up leftovers from the frig).

  21. Holly

    Are you planning to expand the education section of your website to include curriculum resources for the upper grades? When you update portions of your website, do you let us know in your blog? When I first discovered your site, I tried to read everything you had published. But I haven’t gone over the website again looking for new and updated information.

  22. Susan Webster

    Hi Brandy,
    I don’t usually post comments but wanted to tell you how much you inspire me with all you accomplish. Your photographs are exquisite! Can you please explain how you printed the “Joy” printable. Did you use black paper and is the script in write or did you alter it?
    Thanks for including us in your very busy life,
    Susan

  23. Debbie R.

    Made bread (I do this several times a week). Also made a loaf of lemon zucchini bread (yum!), 2 loaves of banana bread and a pan of brownies to take us through the next week or so. Scored a free medium zucchini and a free large clamshell of heirloom tomatoes when I volunteered Saturday morning at the food co-op. Planted most of my fall garden (I live in Ontario, Canada) Zone 4. Harvested tomatoes, made and canned some mild salsa. Scored some apples earlier in the week, so I made and froze applesauce (some of which has amazingly disappeared – can anyone say teenagers?) Our second heatwave is over and hopefully that will be the last of it (104F). Nice to have the air conditioner off again. Wow! This week has been better than most!

  24. mrs.p

    We went on vacation and paid it all with cash except our campsite. We went to the up. Did lots of hiking and walking. It was rather cold last week and we ate out way too much. What else can you do when it rains and rains. School starts in two weeks not ready. Going to start working our debt. Cutting what I can.

  25. From the comments, it sounds like you’re getting great prices on textbooks – hooray for that! I learned this week that my library has Mango Languages and Rosetta Stone – both available online with my library card and pin. I am interested in improving my Spanish, but I thought of you and that you might want to check with your library district to see if they offer additional programs you might find helpful too!

    Our frugal accomplishments are here: http://quietcountrylife.blogspot.com/2015/08/frugal-accomplishments-and-general.html

    I have planted a few fall garden items, but I fear that the grasshoppers will nibble them to the dirt the moment they sprout. Our grasshoppers are big this year, and there are a lot of them. I can’t really complain, though – we caught a bunch and used them as bait for trout last Friday and it worked very well – pics on the blog of the trout my husband smoked on the grill! 🙂

  26. becky shook

    We got hit really hard here in Iowa with the bird flu they had trouble in Mn as well. Tom Vilsack said that people need to find alternatives for cooking with eggs. We have one turkey farm back up. Once they discover they have they have to kill all poultry and go thru a lot of cleaning and restocking it takes six months to get back up and producing and six months from then birds migrate and this could start again. They have said that eggs could go as high as six dollars a doz.

    things i have done i sound like a broken record still drying apples, i did make English muffin bread we have been having cooler weather so no air is needed that saves money…we live very frugally make our bread,cook from scratch we don’t eat out i am working on gifts i am trying to teach myself how to tat, weave andhow to machine knit st this time gifts first tho this week i was gifted fabric from a friend cleaning thru her stash. tho i have been working hard on apples i think i shall finish around wed but i would still accept more even as worn out as i am for i have a feeling to add to the storage as much as i can.

  27. momsav

    mrs.p,
    Did you go on the cruises? That’s one of my part- time jobs working in the gift shop. I hope you enjoyed it! It rained again today; no blueberry season this year, so not nearly enough rain when we needed it most.

  28. Well, my Dollar General is clearancing out seeds and had some lettuce, spinach, and broccoli as well as some flowers that germinate in 5 days. So I got several packets at 2 cents each! I had the goat “weed eat” our raised bed, then I finished cleaning it out and have added the soil from our old manure pile. Should be rich and perfect for a fall garden that I will plant this week. (Our temps are supposed to be fall like this week.)
    My brother threw a surprise birthday party for my SIL and I found a gift that I had kept from a BOGO deal earlier in the year, so that saved me some money. He also gave me all of the leftovers from the party, which should even feed our family of 7 pretty well for a couple of days.
    The kids started back to school, which I suppose saves me some money in water and electric!
    We used our zoo pass, which is frugal because they charge by family rather than individuals. So we get a pretty cheap rate considering our family size. It also winds up being frugal entertainment because we use it frequently and pack drinks and food to take along.

    Hope everyone has a great week!

  29. Lorna

    Hello one and all from Australia and sorry to hear about your egg shortage in the States and hope it gets better soon.

    Thought I would start with my blessings this week as I have started bartering with friends at church for food items we don’t have on our property which is fabulous.

    – A lady at church was giving away plain flour for free as she had too much to use. We gratefully took 10 kg home for our food storage.

    – Swapped vegetables I had excess of for fresh eggs, I now have around 4 dozen in my fridge.

    – Made the beautiful quiche recipe you have on your wonderful site out of the bartered eggs and free flour, which is 2 days dinner for us. We shall have the rest tonight cold with lettuce from the garden.

    – Made some more stain removal cleaner from items in the pantry, and got all our undergarments white and ready to wear again for the summer.

    – Made some of your beautiful tomato and basil soup, which was 2 days dinners for us empty nesters, and also enough to feed a sick friend from church a couple of meals that we took to him.

    – Finally fitted all of the groceries to finish off our 3 months food storage into the tiny workers cottage kitchen, which took around 3 hours of shuffling, planning and stacking, and using almost all of our available food storage containers.

    – Purchased some bulk food grade buckets to store large things like flour, oats, and sugars in to save us on pantry space for around 50% less than in our local shops.

    – Cut the last of one of my lots of peas, collected peas for meals and saved some seeds for next year.

    – Bought bulk mushroom compost from our supplier to bulk the new sandy soil garden beds out and shall pick up rest of bulk manure to put in spring garden beds. Buying in bulk saves us around 75% off the price of buying bags, so a huge saving.

  30. Erika

    Congratulations on all of that! What an awesome week!

  31. Erika

    It has been a busy week around here and next week is shaping up to be busy as well.

    On top of the list I have on my blog, my daughter has been inhaling food of late (like me having to force zip her lunchbox closed it’s so stuffed full of food and she’s coming home starving type of inhaling food) and I found that our local store was having her favorite brand of flavored water on sale for 1.25 per six pack! I stopped off at the store twice this week and grabbed what they had of the two flavors she likes. Spent about 15.00 total on flavored water, but this will be a God send for cheap, and decently healthy drinks for her lunches. Finding room in the pantry was a bit of a challenge, but was oh so worth it!

    The rest of my list for this week can be found here…

    http://makedohomemaker.blogspot.com/2015/08/frugal-friday-money-saving-weekly-recap_21.html

  32. Christina in SoCal

    Congratulations on the anniversary! : ) I had to giggle…I made tater tot casserole for dinner tonight! How did it turn out with the dried hash browns? I used the regular tater tots (store brand with a coupon!), clearance-priced ground turkey and homemade cream of chicken soup. If it makes you feel any better, our gas prices are about $1 per gallon more than yours. : /

  33. Sue

    Lorna, I’m in Australia too – where did you get your food grade buckets from if you dont mind me asking? I am finding them difficult to locate?

  34. Christina in SoCal

    I’ve been an avid reader of the blog and website for numerous years and have just recently commented on a few comments. But, this is my first time adding my own frugal accomplishments (don’t know what took me so long!). : ) First, I’d like to thank Brandy for this labor of love, and also thank everyone else who comments. What a treasure trove of information and inspiration! I personally know very few people who have a frugal mindset like I do, so this site is very much “home” to me. : )

    This past week I harvested a small zucchini and a few small sweet peppers, along with a handful of cherry tomatoes and small romas. I also planted more green bean seeds (previous plantings are getting close to flowering, finally). Small garden has been frustratingly unproductive.

    Hosted a small birthday get together for my husband’s mother. Decorated with items I already had on hand, plus daughter made tissue paper flowers in coordinating colors to display in a mason jar. Turned out so cute! Also cut a red rose from the garden to send home with her in a small vase. Made all appetizers and desserts. My mother-in-law also gifted me with her older blender, as she had recently upgraded. As it turned out, it’s the same brand as the one I own but my glass pitcher had recently broken. Now I have a replacement pitcher and another base as a back up in case mine ever dies. So grateful!

    Baked breakfast/snack items and dinner “sides” from scratch: biscuits, pancakes, rosemary bread, sandwich bread, chewy granola bars, pumpkin muffins. Cooked/ate all meals at home, except for one day when my mother-in-law took my youngest two and I to Legoland for the day. Such a nice treat. : )

    Listed a few more items on FB garage sale pages. Met Swagbucks goal daily, and redeemed 2 5-dollar gift cards to Walmart. Took advantage of a bank offer to open a new checking account that will credit us $300 for signing up for direct deposit. We have been looking to switch banks anyway since our local branch closed over a year ago and the closest location is now about 8 miles away. Found some great grocery deals: whole watermelons for $1, 6 dozen eggs for $.99 each, peaches for $.49/lb. and pork roast for $.99/lb. I do the other “usual” things many of you also list: turn off lights, re-use warm up water in the garden, try to keep the AC off whenever possible, use up leftovers, etc. Hope everyone has a wonderful week!

  35. Miriam in Estonia

    I, too, was wondering what do you include in your 72 h kits, and why you chose those items? Please, do a blogpost 🙂

  36. Miriam in Estonia

    We are working especially on our water bill. My husband, who used to serve in Navy, so he knows how much water is – let’s say – 1 m3 (1000 litres) He became suspicious back in June when he saw the bill. He said no way we two could use that much water. So we paid attention to our water consumption in July. When the bill came he went nuts! He went to the landlord’s office (we pay water and electricity bills to the landlord, according to the meters) The secretary had read the water meter all wrong, and he came home with a new bill, which was 50 euros lower!

    For August we challenged ourselves to save as much water as possible. We are anxious to see the results after a week or so!

  37. I picked up two freebies from Kroger from their freebie Fridays. I sold some household items we didn’t need on Facebook. My neighbor gave me some tomatoes from her garden. A friend gave me some canning jars that they were no longer using.

  38. Sandra in AR

    I had a great week. The weather turned cool for a few days and I was able to turn off the AC and open the windows. It was a nice reprieve.

    I baked bread and made granola. I made egg salad for my dh’s lunch so he would have something different than leftovers or peanut butter. All lunches and dinners were made and eaten at home. Breakfasts were toast or granola and yesterday I made pumpkin bread so we had that for breakfast. The kids eat lunch at school so lunches for dh and me were just leftovers or pb&j or egg salad. Dinners were lentil tacos, black bean enchiladas, tomato bread soup, hamburger stew, teriyaki chicken and leftovers.

    Hope everyone has a great week.

  39. Rhonda A.

    Brandy, I love the photo of your little superhero. Was she jumping on the trampoline when you took it? She is jumping rather high! It was really nice of your neighbour to think of you when she had extra food, too. What a lovely treat for you!

    I have been pretty busy this week with processing produce for winter this week. I’m really happy to see the freezer filling up with veggies and canning jars filled with fruit are quickly multiplying. We should have a nice stock this year!
    Here are my frugal accomplishments for this week:
    *Broccoli was on sale for $0.87 a bunch this week so we bought up 12 bunches. I blanched and froze 9 bunches to use in the winter, as the price of fresh broccoli usually escalates to around $2 a bunch. The other three bunches will be enjoyed fresh.

    *Gleaned a few small tomatoes from the gardens at work that were ripe on the vine. Our tomato plants are producing, but they weren’t ripe yet and the ones at work tend to not get used. I hate to see them go to waste! I also gleaned more pole beans as well, for the same reason as the tomatoes. I was able to blanch and freeze them this weekend.

    *I had to go shopping for a baby shower gift this week. I was able to find a nice outfit on clearance for $7.00 and the most adorable baby shoes in the shoe department on clearance for $3.00! I’m sure I could have done this more cheaply by making something, but I just didn’t have the time. We don’t normally have a lot of baby showers to go to, so I don’t usually keep these types of gifts in my gift stock either. Oh well, I think I did pretty well for the price.:p

    *We finally tried the chicken souvlaki that my husband and I made up a couple months ago for the freezer. I thought we would try making our own because they are so expensive to buy pre-made…about $17 for one package that would feed all of us for 1 meal. For around $20, I was able to make up enough skewers for 3 meals. I’m not sure why we waited so long to have them. They turned out amazing! I had packaged them with 6 skewers per pack, which we shared between 4 people. They were so good we had arguments over who got more!!! We will definitely be keeping this meal in our stock rotation from now on. My next venture will be to try and make the Tzatziki dip from scratch. (Note: you could also make pork souvlaki which would probably be a bit cheaper, but we are not huge fans of pork in our house).

    *My mother made up some beef stew in the crock pot one day, as we were experiencing some extreme humidity and high temps this week. We make this more in the fall and winter, typically, so it was a nice change for a summer meal. She used up the potatoes I gleaned recently from work and some of the beans in the freezer that I gleaned last year. I took left over stew in my work lunch for 3 days in a row. YUM!

    *My work had a staff appreciation luncheon on Friday this week. We were treated to a free lunch and everyone was given a polar fleece car blanket! It will be perfect to put in my “new to me” Hyundai Tucson I just bought a couple weeks ago. I was already thinking I needed to put a blanket in there anyways.

    *I was off this weekend, so I went to the Farmers Market and bought a flat of peaches ($30 for 4 large baskets). My mom and I spent most of Sunday processing and canning the peaches. Last fall I found a peach slicer while we were in Washington DC and used my birthday money to buy it. It worked really well and was a huge time saver. The slicer did leave a lot of peach still on the pit, so we pulled off these pieces and put them in a separate bowl to make peach jam. We processed 7 quarts of peach slices (used a mix of ½ cup of honey and 8 cups of water for the syrup) and 4 pints plus 3 half pints of peach jam.

    *Frugal fail: I dropped one of my quart sized canning jars and it smashed into a billion pieces on the tile floor. Very sad…:(

    Well, I guess that’s it for my week. Looking forward to reading everyone’s comments, as always! Have a lovely week everyone!

  40. Cami

    Brandy,
    Do you know if it is okay to take a gallon jug of molasses and put it into smaller mason jars? I was thinking to heat up the molasses like you would honey, pour into jars and then boil lids to seal on top. It is so much cheaper to buy in the big jug from Sam’s.

    Thank you for all the fantastic information you share and all your incredible habits and talents.

    This is such a fun place to learn from you and others in the comment section.

  41. Lorna

    Hi Sue and if you search food storage bucket on ebay you will find them, they are around $45 to $50 for 10 x 10 Lt ones . Yes we have the same problem here trying to find them and when we do they around double this price in the stores.

    I hope this helps.

  42. Heather in L.A.

    I have not posted in a few weeks, life has been hectic. With the kids back in school, a schedule always emerges that helps with order from the chaos, even if it does start early in the a.m.

    We have had a few frugal wins and fails:
    — lost everything in our upright freezer, this was discovered right before vacation. Thankfully not after we returned home. My husband ordered the part( the gasket had split) and now it works fine. I am still keeping it locked with a key though.
    — my boss has agreed to let me leave work early some days. This allowed me to eliminate daycare as I can meet my two youngest off the school bus. No more aftercare!!! Woohoo!! The other days either my husband or oldest will be home to meet them.
    — my oldest finally got a job. She is 16 and it is at a nearby frozen custard-snack stand that is popular in our town. They have a schedule that will fit for her, and while she won’t get rich in money she will learn valuable work experience. And at least it’s in the air conditioner she says.
    — our church utilizes small or home groups, which allows for folks to forge relationships that might otherwise not happen. While we do enjoy corporate worship, these groups allow for bonds to be made in a congregation that is spread our geographically. God has impressed it upon my family’s heart that we are to host one of these in our home. It is a leap of faith financially and spiritually. But we believe that hospitality is a biblical command and look forward to being the hands and feet of Jesus. We had an impromptu meeting last night at my house last night. I challenged myself to feed using only what I had on hand. And I succeeded. Pinto beans and ham with rice, grilled sausage dogs, vanilla brown sugar peach cake, even ham salad as a dip with Fritos for an appetizer. We drank iced tea, homemade lemonade and coffee. I do so enjoy cooking a ham. When they are $1#, that is stock up time. I just saw on the news that while eggs and turkeys will continue to stay high, pork will plummet as the farmers have a surplus from building up stock. Thanksgiving this year may have a ham instead of the usual turkey.
    — I am also looking at a surgery in the next few weeks. Prepping as much as possible, cooking ahead, clearing schedules… Just thankful that my deductible has been met for the year, that I have a heads up on this, and that I have family and friends for support.
    — garden is still producing, with the cooler temperatures the tomatoes and cucumbers are reblooming and my chard is recovering from the heat.
    — a dear friend of mine gifts me eggs frequently. I am so thankful, I gift her my daughters clothes(for her oldest), deer from our other freezer, and veggies from our garden.
    I’m sure there is more but not off the top of my head.

    Have a great week everyone!!

  43. Shanna

    We too have been hit hard with egg prices in the grocery stores. Since I live in Amish country I stop at my favorite Amish stand & I buy eggs there. Their eggs range from $1.50 doz for the mixed kind of white, brown, blue & green (this is what I buy), the next up are $1.95 doz & then $2.50 doz for cage free organic eggs, you CANNOT beat these prices for eggs around here. Since my boys are huge eaters I tend to go thru about 4/5 doz a wk which is why I buy the cheaper ones. 🙂 They also have great prices on their fruits/veggies & since I do not have an area to garden anymore I buy from them a lot of my produce.

  44. Elizabeth Vega

    [list]
    We had Free Date Night at a local restaurant event: a company provided free food and drink just for coming to see their product. Our meal would have cost about $30 otherwise.

    Every year, an employer of mine hosts an informational event that we are paid and fed to attend. It’s optional, but of course I go, to connect with colleagues, earn a little money, and not have to cook for a night!

    That same evening, my husband went to a movie, using a gift card that I received as an unexpected “thank you” for doing some volunteer work.

    We borrowed some books and DVDs from the library.

    We returned some items to a store, and got credit to use for things we DO need.

    Husband got a free shave and a tee shirt for joining a beard-growing contest! Keep Austin Weird!
    [/list]

  45. Michelle S

    Thanks for the tip. The code we had gave us 25cents off our rental, which isn’t much, but hey! I didn’t have to pay full price. And $1.32 is still way cheaper than going to the movie theatre!

  46. Holly

    When I was a little girl and we went camping in the Upper Peninsula for two weeks, it rained at least 12 out of 14 days. We had a big canvas tent that was very heavy even when it was dry. Dad was in his early fifties. When we got home, my dad started shopping in earnest for a used travel trailer or tent trailer and bought one that took more time to unhitch from the car than it did to set up. He bought it from somebody in the Grosse Pointes who had tried camping, but had not liked it, so was willing to sell the like-new tent trailer for $600. Only twenty had been manufactured although the design was excellent. Unlatch two latches, lift top, zip six zippers, and unzip the entry door. Presto, your family is out of the rain. After that trip to view as many waterfalls as possible in two weeks, we only camped one more time in the U.P., in St. Ignance on our way to a trip along the north shore of Lake Superior.

  47. Happy

    I love the printable!

    I finally paid off one credit card! I did take some money out of an account I had so I am hoping that I can replace it soon. Just praying that I didn’t make a mistake doing this. I will now try to take $50 and put that on the principal of my mortgage and some back into the account that I took money out of.

    Once again this week the weather was a little cooler so I was able to drive several mornings to work without putting on the air conditioning saving some gas money. I also stayed home all weekend to try and stretch the gas a little bit longer.

    My local food store had frozen turkey breast on sale for .79 and when I went they were out of stock. I never seem to ask for a rain check but I did this time and also asked for one for Victoria Simmering Sauces that I saw were on sale. I really like the Chicken Marsala Sauce with Mushrooms. I tend to add more fresh mushrooms, it is delicious. With the rain check it also gives me more time to add this into my budget. I did not know that were on sale and probably would have past on them or had to take somethings out of my basket to fit it into the food shopping budget. Lesson learned….always ask for a rain check!

    We once again had guests at work. They offered us the leftovers and we all enjoyed a nice sandwich. I just saved the lunch that I brought in for the following day. I am so thankful that we had a refrigerator and microwave at work. I always bring breakfast/lunch with me.

    The not so frugal part of my week was a night out with a girlfriend of mine. We decided to go to the movies. Don’t get me wrong it was a really enjoyable night out and we do not do this very often. The night cost me $16.75. I don’t want to feel guilty over spending this money but I do in a way. I have to keep reminding myself that it is okay sometimes to spend money and enjoy life! Spending this amount did not set me back in anyway and all bills are paid. Sometimes I wish I didn’t have to “watch” every penny that I have.

    Until next week……

  48. Lea Stormhammer

    Love that printable Brandy – thanks for sharing!
    I shared my frugal accomplishments from the last couple of weeks on my blog. You can find them here:
    http://lea-intherefinersfire.blogspot.com/2015/08/frugal-things-from-last-two-weeks.html

    A couple of highlights since I’m sure not everyone will click over:
    * Spent our vacation with my cousin and her husband (their children are grown) and camping. Very little spent for both – just the cost of the camper cabin ($65/night since it has electricity).
    * Did free activities while on vacation – visited a couple of local events/places and went hiking, swimming and did a lot of reading while at the campsite.

    Brandy – my daughter (age 10) has been using your Birthday section and the Christmas Gifts postings you’ve done as inspiration for her own gift giving and holiday decorating. Thank you so much!

    Have a great week everyone,
    Lea

  49. ruthie

    Marivene – what do you do with yarrow?

  50. Holly B.

    I have continued to harvest from the garden. We have over 70 pounds of cucumbers and 30 pounds of tomatoes so far! What a great year. I also picked corn, green beans, peppers, swiss chard and zucchini. I have been keeping up with canning and freezing excess. I have 50 quarts of pickles, 16 pints of salsa, 16 pints of pasta sauce, 6 pints of jam. I also have filled about 1/2 my freezer with veggies and given away lots of family and friends.

    While doing all of this canning I have been watching others can/freeze/dehydrate on YouTube. I love watching Linda’s pantry and others. I have learned so much from her and several others. I watched just last night on how to dehydrate a #10 can of tomatoes. Which is something I have never thought of buying since there are only two of us, but such a great idea. It allows you to stock up and not use up lots of freezer/counter space. I can wait to see what I learn this week when canning.

  51. Lisa

    Heather, prices on pork have gone way down here in CT. Last week shank hams were on sale for 69¢ lb! I haven’t seen that price in years!

  52. Roxie

    I love the new printable in your frame. It is so nice. Your pictures of the areas of your home that you share are always so beautiful. I always look forward to seeing your new hand made items.

    I have done my usual frugal things. Hanging laundry outside when it is 100 degrees is not pleasant. I have decided to use my drying racks for a while except for things like sheets and blankets and rugs etc.

    I found a deal at the local grocery store on chicken thighs for just .77 a pound. I stocked up and got 10 packages. This will last us a long time.

    I too am facing surgery, trying to get things ready so I can be off my feet and out of commission for 6-8 weeks. I am really not looking forward to surgery. I have tried so long to put it off…to do it another way.

    This Friday is my husband’s birthday. Not planning a big party. Just some time spent with friends. I will give him a truck detail cleaning. He has wanted one a long time. I got a good coupon and made the appointment.

    I am cleaning out the closets and making some donations. I always remember to get the tax credit. Those add up in Jan. at tax time. I have never sold anything on ebay or through Craig’s list. Maybe I should give it a try. My sister has made a lot of money in the past few months by doing just that. She went to an auction at UT (University of TX at Austin) and spent $106.00 on some desks and chairs and book cases. She came home, sanded them and painted them with spray paint and sold all of them for more than $1800.00 in less than a month.

  53. Carol

    Can you share your lemon zucchini recipe? I love anything with lemon in it !

  54. Nancy in Eastern WA

    I tried to do a lot, but there were a few things that got in the way. I live in Eastern Washington and it seems like the whole world is on fire. My son is in Chelan fighting fire- he is in the National Guard and was called up. We evacuated my Mother on Friday, and she is staying with us for awhile. I did a few things though, such as:

    Made dill pickles with dill, garlic, and cucumber from the garden.

    Picked corn, cucumbers, chard, tomatoes, green onions, zucchini, green beans, carrots, bell peppers, and my only cauliflower.

    Picked green onions, herbs and regular onions as needed.

    Brought lunch to work most days.

    Had BLTs for dinner several times this week. Tomatoes and cucumbers (rather than lettuce) from the garden.

    Normally I put the laundry on the line, but with all the smoke in the air, we put it in the dryer.

    Made 4 doz. zucchini muffins. 2 doz. sweet and 2 doz. savory.

    Had popcorn for snack (using my air popper)

    Was able to get potatoes 98¢ for 10 pounds. These are 32015, not old from prior year.

    That was about it, but we are trying.

  55. Thanks Roxie!

    The frame and the doily were given to me by a friend of my mom’s who moved into a nursing home. The vase I bought for $1 at a garage sale this spring. The flowers and vines were from my front yard. My mom gave me the little table from her business when she shut down her business to “retire” (they still work, though–but from home now). I bought the perpetual calendar on Amazon; I wanted something to show the children what day it is to write it on their schoolwork each day. I take it to the kitchen table during school time.

    Behind the picture frame I hide a tape dispenser and a stapler (to staple schoolwork).

  56. becky shook

    brandy i wanted to let you and readers know of a site i just found but maybe you folks have found it already but it has free ebooks freereadfeed type that in your search engine on the opening page down just past the halfway mark is French 101 common phrases just passing it along i have found some mysteries i like those too brandy but i have found things like prepared pantry mesls in jar and frugal books just thought i would share

  57. Marivene

    ruthie, I will use the leaves in an herbal ointment, with beeswax & olive oil. I am too late to harvest the flowers, so I am using the leaves in something where the bitter “bite” will not matter. For herbal teas, the flower & leaves are used together, because the flower does not have the bitter “bite” that the leaves do. Yarrow, mint & elderflower are the 3 herbs that are the “base” for a number of European herbal blends. My oldest daughter uses a blend with those three herbs in it, & I now have all three growing on my property.

  58. Mandy

    Hello everyone! Last week to save money:
    -I managed a mostly zero waste shop! I took my empty jar (for cinnamon) and my mesh and linen bags to the organic foods store in the next city over. I purchased cinnamon, coffee, some fruits and veggies, snack mix, oats, etc with no packaging! 🙂 It did save me money: most of the food I purchased will last the month, and no waste! I also took a jar to a small, local cheese shop and purchased cheddar cheese. They gave me weird looks but put my cheese in my jar 🙂 This cost me slightly more than the packaged version. I will try a different store next time.

    – I made yogurt from powdered milk, power balls, stir fry for my lunches this week using lots of veggies from the garden and ones that needed using up. We reheated leftovers for dinner last night to avoid food waste.

    -We still had some food waste but not as much as past weeks and it was all compostable.

    -My husband surprised us by taking us to a Fair! Our daughter had a so much fun, it was her first Carnival. We rose the Ferris Wheel and she rode the kiddie rides and played a couple games. She “won” a stuffed penguin and a bouncy ball (which she popped two days later). Not exactly frugal but this is the only thing we have “done” all summer.

    -I continue to save water from the shower, cups, etc and use in the garden, wash zip top bags, use reusable containers, compost veggie scraps, recycle as much as possible.

    -I saved dill seeds from volunteer plants to grow next year.

    -Did not go anywhere except grocery shopping over the weekend, saving gas.

    – I am currently arguing with my insurance company, any advise is appreciated! My windshield had a tiny chip in it, smaller than a dime. They sent Safelite Auto to “fix” it last friday. Over the weekend the crack got bigger and now is the length of my arm. My insurance company is stating that I have to pay for it. Our deductible is $1000, their estimate is $562.59!! This is clearly the fault of the technician. Wish me luck!

    -I took all my meals to work with me and snacks/water for my daughter when we went grocery shopping. We cooked all meals from scratch at home. We resisted the urge to order out rather than cook and cooked at home instead.

    -I have been emailing things to myself, recipes and articles I want to save, rather than printing them which wastes paper, ink, and trees. I have found that when I print things I rarely refer to them again.

    Have a great week everyone!

  59. becky shook

    many kids books too i forgot to mention

  60. Yes, but you shouldn’t need to heat it. Just use a funnel. It will pour without a problem.

    I’ve never seen big jugs of molasses at our Sam’s. I did find some at Smart and Final.

  61. Denise

    Tried to be frugal but my husband and I both had colds last week and my grandmother had a bad stroke 2 weeks ago and passed away last Tuesday. We ate out more than usual because I was too tired to cook but we used coupons to help with the cost. Grandma was in a nursing home so Mom and I did not have much to clean out but I was given a lamp that I put in my son’s room and my daughter who is always cold received some new to her sweaters. I know that would make Grandma smile.

    Ways that I did save money, I bought 2 large bags of cat food using a buy one get one free coupon from Target — saved me $12 and I have enough food for 6 months for kitty. Even the cashier commented that I had great coupons that day. I brought leftovers to work for lunch except the day my boss took me out. I was given a travel coffee cup at work. I stocked up on school supplies we use while they were on sale. When I did cook we had a number of use it or lose it meals that turned out better than I expected (don’t tell the family they think I planned it that way all along). My son went to a boy scout training on Saturday and received a free lunch.

  62. Debbi Smit

    I love reading your posts!! I just wanted to say that The Teaching Company has a great audio series on Greek Tragedy that I borrowed from my library.

  63. Erika

    I’m sorry for your loss. I lost my grandma back in March and it’s still hard from time to time. My sympathies are with you and your family!

  64. becky shook

    i noticed some home school things and how to draw for kids on page five thought i would point it out brandy as i know you are busy

  65. tina

    I live in Wa State and we are being hard hit by wild fires. It’s so bad 🙁

    * more weeding in the garden = frugal exercise!
    * picked another cucumber and lots of tomatoes
    * my mom helped me out one day when we were short on resources to pick up my son from camp. She fed him lunch and sent him home with some cookies and brownies!
    * sold a set of car floor mats we weren’t going to be using
    * bought 40# of peaches thru a group buy…. we had a bad berry season this year so instead of lots of berries in my freezer i will have lots of peaches and cherries (bought cherries via a group buy earlier this year)
    * froze some super duper ripe bananas

  66. Cami

    Just an FYI for you

    This is the brand that is available at our Sam’s Club – Crosby’s Fancy Molasses – 1 gal. Item #: 564605.

    Thank you for the information.

  67. JoannaTopaz in Minnesota

    Last week, we took advantage of more great free offerings from our city’s parks and rec program: the last of the summer free movies in the park (“Annie”); and a free zumba exercise class in one of the city parks — also the last of the summer.

    Received free return address labels and some pretty stationery from a junk mail solicitation letter (and I was in need of some new address labels). Went to an open house at the new location of a fitness shop owned by a friend of mine, and tried some free samples of her shakes and energy balls. Also found out that some of the exercise classes there are free. An option to keep in mind for the winter (I am not ready for summer to be over!), as I prefer to be outside if I can.

    Went to a kids’ bowling festival at the local bowling alley (they are trying to encourage people to sign up for fall leagues), where they had free bowling for kids, discounted for adults, and $1 hot dogs and drinks. It was a fun Saturday lunch. Also used a coupon for a 30-minute free jump at a local trampoline park (from signing up for their email list) to run some energy off my daughter.

    She found a hand loom she’d received as a Christmas present a couple of years ago and has been making potholders like mad. So now we have some new potholders for the family, and a few gifts.

    Took a family outing to a local horse racing track. Kids get in free, and we had a B1G1 coupon for adult admission. We usually try to go at least once a summer, because we have a couple of horse fans. (We don’t bet on the races, just watch.) We have also tried to go on Sundays in the past, because they have a free petting zoo and pony rides, but 9-year-old daughter announced that she’s getting too big for the ponies. Bittersweet.

    Food prep from the CSA: blanched and froze more sweet corn; made some potato salad for lunches with the potatoes and a couple of eggs we received; am in the process of trying a quick pickles recipe — inspired by one of last week’s commenters here — with a couple of cucumbers. (We have been getting a lot of cucumbers this year. Even more than corn.)

  68. mrs.p

    We stayed at woodland campground in grand marisa. Had a wonderful family time. We only have few more vacations before my youngest will not be going with us because she will be in college. My hubby had places he wanted to see. We went to a couple of lighthouses. Cruises not this time maybe next time.

  69. Sheila

    It’s a rare week that I don’t read every single comment, but I seldom post. We have been doing some big home improvement projects lately, and it feels like money is flowing through my fingertips like water, so I want to try to do my best to manage it wisely.

    I cut cable and switched my phone to Ooma. I bought two Roku boxes and the Ooma device, so it will take about 3 months to recoup that initial outlay, but after that these changes should save us about $100/month. I will miss my Diamondbacks games, though! However, I seldom had time to watch anyway.

    I am planning on joining Six Figures Under for a no-spend month in September, so I spent time over the weekend planning for that and am trying to use my current month’s grocery money the best way I can to prepare for that. I plan to make a list of meals/snacks that I can make with what I already have and what I purchase. I usually do a weekly menu and shopping plan, but I think I will be better served to try to plan for the entire month this time so I am not discouraged by a lack of ideas for what to cook.

    A big source of savings for us is simply opening/shutting windows and blinds during various times of the day to take advantage of free “air conditioning” (cooler night-time temps) so that we have to run A/C as little as possible. We keep it at 78 when we do run it. I am fortunate to telecommute and to be home to be able to do this. We were blessed with rain yesterday, which was so nice! Our monsoon this year has been practically non-existent, so I was so glad to see some rain.

    I bought a fresh lemon and made a pitcher of ice tea. If I have the lemon and already made tea, I will drink that rather than grabbing a pop. Usually. 🙂 I am good about drinking ice water, too, but drink way too much Diet Coke.

    Last weekend I made a vegetable holder based on a link Money Saving Mom posted to Schneider Peeps. Not only is it cute, I hope it helps keep my potatoes longer. I have been having real problems with them going bad before I can use them. I’m hoping to make another, smaller one for my onions next weekend. I have the materials that I need. I couldn’t find the heavier weight burlap she listed, so I used some interfacing I had on hand. I was very pleased with the way it turned out.

    We had bought an umbrella on clearance for our patio table, but it wasn’t quite long enough for our bar-height table (that we bought from the previous owners of this house). Any of the bar-height umbrellas we did find were twice as much and didn’t actually match our other furniture as well as this one did. My husband put a concrete block under it and it worked perfectly. I bought a $.97 can of white spray paint at Walmart and painted the block so it would blend with the table. We are so happy to have a non-broken umbrella! We enjoyed dinner on the deck last night in the cooler, post-rain air with our new umbrella.

    My biggest frugal fail of the week was forgetting my bag when I helped move my daughter to college last week. I had to buy a new set of clothes and a bit of makeup. There was just no way to re-wear my clothes with the heat in Tucson. I was so worried she would forget things and I forgot the only thing I needed to bring!

    Blessings on your week! Thank you for this ministry, Brandy!

  70. Laura

    Hello again! As usual, I am gleaning many great ideas from all of you. This week I started working on my Christmas gift list (hoping to gift mostly handmade items including quilts to each of my siblings and my parents). I’d also like to make handmade birthday gifts for my nieces and nephews with upcoming birthdays. I am probably being a bit ambitious in what I’m hoping to accomplish, but I find that I push myself a little harder if my goals are higher rather than if I set realistic goals. Which is maybe a little funny. 🙂

    My husband started working from home, saving us gas and also we should see savings in food and on wear/tear of clothing. I expect our electricity costs to increase slightly and we did have to add a landline. We should still see overall savings, though.

    As a result of my husband working from home, I no longer need to purchase k-cups! A keurig was the only coffee maker at his former office and they weren’t allowed to use grounds. We can share a pot of coffee at home instead (which we already do, I will just be making a slightly larger amount).

    I have been working hard at reducing food waste. I have been very good about eating from our pantry and freezer this month and that has resulted in a greater awareness of what is still hanging out in the fridge.

    As I mentioned last week, eating from the pantry (and really concentrating on cooking ALL of our meals) has really given me a better focus on what foods we do eat and what things I bought because they seemed healthy or important to have on hand (but we don’t really eat…or at least not the amount I had purchases in a reasonable time). Variety is important to me but I’ve learned that I don’t actually have to have cheddar, Parmesan, mozzarella, feta and cream cheese [i]always[/i] on hand — I can make perfectly nice meals even if my cheese drawer has only three cheeses instead of five. 🙂 A lot of the lessons I am learning this month I have already learned before but I am really understanding them on a deeper level, I think. Also…I am probably a slow learner. 🙂

    Found a regular source of mozzarella cheese for less than $3/pound. I have to buy three pounds at a time so we’re probably set for several months.

    Made pizza from scratch and used a new crust recipe. It was fantastic and probably the first time I’ve ever been completely happy with my homemade pizza versus what we occasionally order by takeout.

    In assessing my freezer contents realized that we have enough poultry, pork and beef on hand to last through the end of the year. I don’t plan to buy any additional meat until the Thanksgiving sales (and maybe some bacon, if it is a good price). That will really be a nice chunk not to have to spend.

    Was excited to see that my library has some items by authors that they had not previously purchased and whose writing I particularly enjoy.

  71. Andrea Q

    It’s a pdf document with white words on a black background.

    I wish I could figure out how to change the colors on the printable (or that the artist had provided that option). Printing it on our ink jet is cost prohibitive due to the amount of black ink it would use. It’s a fabulous print; thank you for sharing! I might print a mini-version (2×3) for the fridge to conserve ink.

  72. Rhonda A.

    Congrats to both you and your husband! The extra income will be such a blessing as well.

  73. Andrea Q

    Molasses is like maple syrup and honey…it will keep for years without spoiling if you don’t get crumbs in it. I would pour it into sterilized jars and seal like you suggested to make it easier to handle and store than the big gallon jug.

  74. Athanasia

    I have been trying to post for weeks, but keep running out of time. So I am going to try a quick summary of the last 4 weeks. I am even behind reading posts…I so want to catch up on what you all have written.

    Most of our time has been spent gardening, harvesting and canning. We’ve finished these fruits…strawberries, raspberries. We made jams and froze whole berries. These we grew ourselves. We ordered 70 pounds of blueberries from MI and we made jam and froze whole berries and made syrup. We made currant jelly from our red currants. We picked a lot of gooseberries, made jam and sold some berries and let the birds get the rest.

    We have picked and are still picking green and wax beans, eggplant, zucchini, slicing cucumbers, beets, onions, sugar peas, kohlrabi, cabbage, carrots, tomatoes, bell and spicy peppers, sweet corn and potatoes. We have picked and used and also dried chives, cilantro, mint , rosemary, dill and parsley. The potatoes are new for us this year. We will still buy more locally as we usually do later on. We are getting muskmelon now. All the fresh food is so good. My oldest brought me 10 pounds of tart pitted cherries to freeze. Already pitted…I liked that.

    Unfortunately fall is coming too fast. The leaves on the crabapple are always the first to go and I saw yellow leaves on them yesterday.

    So far we have canned sweet corn, pickled beets, green beans, green and wax bean combo, some tomato juice and salsa…tomatoes will be major from now on. I aim for 70 quarts of juice and sauce for the year. We also froze sweet corn and froze some diced beets. I froze several packs so far of my mix of chopped zucchini, eggplant, peppers and onions. I like to add those when I make spaghetti sauce throughout the year. I will cook those up until I run out of eggplant. Started canning pears, too. We don’t grow them, I get them from a cousin.

    We had a pickle making day 3 weeks ago…me, 2 of the girls, one of my husband’s sisters, my mother and my daughter in law and her mother. My husband set up the outside kitchen…we have sinks that he hooks up with hoses from the well and then to drain, also a cooktop. This is in garage. It comes in very handy for things like sweet corn and pickles and applesauce, when we do large amounts at one time. He has a screen to fit over the garage door so keep out the bugs. I order my pickling cucumbers…we all planned ahead of time what we wanted to make and how much. Anything that needed brining I started ahead. The men worked on chores around the property in the morning and then we had a sandwich/salad lunch. They went off fishing for the afternoon and we worked more on the pickles. We used another sister in laws Amish canner which holds way more than a regular water bath. We made bread and butter, sweet gherkins, kosher dills, pickled banana peppers, sour hamburger slices, and sweet icicles, and regular dill spears. The men brought home bluegill and bass from the pond and they made dinner of fish and fried potatoes and salad. We all divided up our pickles. I will do pickle relish later on…I use up the bigger overgrown cucumbers for that.

    Have needed few groceries, bought baking soda for cleaning and a box for cooking. Bought cream cheese at the 10/$10 sale, 20 of them. Bought milk as needed, eggs from the farm, Worchestershire sauce, tamari, body wash, a new hairbrush, a case of ramen noodles, 4 dozen corn tortillas, 2 limes, a bag of lemons, 2 bottles of lemon juice, yellow mustard seed, 4 large containers of cottage cheese. All I can remember. I tried to use coupons but always hard to find coupons for many of the things I buy. Received free 40 lb bag of dog food from saving the upc symbols. 12= one bag at the feed store.

    We went to a couple weddings, one funeral , one baby shower and 3 birthday parties over the last 4 weeks between church and family. Everything always has a meal.

    Well, at least I got a bit written. Now I will go back and read as many of the past posts as I can.

  75. Andrea,

    I think you could make a similar one in color by yourself in a word processing program (I use the free program Open Office) and then it would have a white background and not use so much ink. If you need a fancy font try dafont.com. It would save a lot of ink.

  76. You should have some work gloves as well as warm gloves. In an emergency, you could be clearing rubble or searching for firewood. Protecting your hands would be helpful, so I think gloves in a kit are a good idea.

  77. Sue

    Thanks Lorna – yes it sure does, I will have a look.

  78. Libby

    Lisa – where in CT did you find ham at this price?!

  79. momsav

    I love Grand Marais! That was my Summer playground when i was a kid.
    It’s Monday, and raining again, in Munising. It’s also 54*. No cruises today; rough water. I hope you can make it on your next trip, though. Even on a bad day, it’s a great boat ride!

  80. TerriC

    I had to scan through posts tonight but I’m always inspired by what every one does to save. I’ve been working hard on trying to get both my back and front porch in shape. The front has been terribly neglected for the past couple of years. It’s a lot of work. I’ve been busy saving all the way though. So far I’m in these two makeovers for under $20.
    Here’s the rest of what I’ve been doing: http://bluehousejournal.blogspot.com/2015/08/this-week-in-my-home-home-stretch.html

  81. Athanasia

    I love tater tot casserole, though have never made it myself. I always have a serving at church potlucks…someone always brings one.

  82. Marcia

    Not our best week. We went to Kentucky in my husband’s 47 year old car, to a car club convention, but returned in a U-Haul towing the car behind us. The expense was offset somewhat by my husband driving about 300 miles today to get super deals on the parts needed to fix it from a friend with a large inventory! When you show old cars like that, breakdowns are part of the deal. He was too upset to spend the extra couple of days in Kentucky that were SUPPOSED to be sightseeing for the two of us. While he is spending the rest of the warm weather days working on the car, I will be traveling around the area seeking out some new thrift shops. I went to the local Mall last week armed with several coupons and ended up finding ONE item I needed–and the coupon wasn’t good on it! I did save $6 from the regular price, though, and it is an item I buy regularly.
    Disappointed that my small garden isn’t doing any better than it is. Tomatoes are producing and green peppers. Romaine and Swiss chard should be shortly. If I get out there and pull some weeds, I may find some beets we could eat also. Weeds are doing especially well this year since we have had WAY TOO much rain.
    I repurposed some leftover Swiss steak and tomato broth into a pot of minestrone—it was pretty good, and I froze the rest of it for another quick meal. Full of veggies, and very satisfying. Made some oatmeal muffins to serve with it, and thought they were quite good too. The rest of the time was catching up on laundry and putting things away. Back to normal now, which is also nice.

  83. Eve

    One way to save money on college textbooks is to go online and find an older revision of the textbook required. You can find these textbooks at Amazon through the market sellers, Alibri, and other places. Often you can view the table of contents to see if the versions have changed much. Many don’t. My sons were able to purchase required textbooks very inexpensively this way. Why pay $150 for one textbook when you can find an earlier version with a few minor changes for $40?

  84. Tiffany

    I haven’t gotten through everyone’s frugal accomplishments so I can’t wait to see what everyone has been up to! 😀

    Here’s what our week was like:
    ~We had some rain last week so I was able to skip watering the trees and plants outside.
    ~Started line drying some of our clothes again. I had stopped over the hottest part of the summer because the clothes end up way too crispy and it gets rather irritating for our skin, even with vinegar or other softener.
    ~We implemented a “lights out at midnight” policy. The three adults in our household are all night owls and that can be rather costly.
    ~My oldest son is now working part-time while taking fire service classes, so he is paying for his own gas and truck insurance. That is a major score for us! I was so excited to actually sit down and help him plan out a budget…he thought it was a bit of a drag, but I loved every minute of it! 😉
    ~On top of my son taking on more and more responsibility financially, he also made a plan to pay back some of the cost for truck repairs. He and my husband share the vehicle, with agreed upon days for each. But repairs were needed and we decided that we would front the bill to get it done. We are now getting some of that money back, which is a nice thing to see. 🙂
    ~On the coolest day of the week, I had a cooking bash where I made a whole bunch of side dishes and breads in the oven or on the stove top. I arranged them in the refrigerator in order to be eaten, so that I can make sure that nothing goes bad.
    ~Hubby had breakfast, lunch, and dinner at work for free Thursday through Saturday. They were having a huge event so the owner of the company provides meals for as long as the workers are on location.
    ~Something I was really disappointed about at first, but then it turned out really well…My husband’s check was a little smaller than expected, so we weren’t able to pay off the debt that we had planned to. I struggled about moving funds around to pay it off anyway but that would’ve left us with pittance for groceries and gas. I decided not to go that route, so I was thrilled when hubby came home from work on Saturday night with a bunch of Target gift cards. The amount of them was exactly as much as I had put away for groceries for the week! I went to Target and squeezed as much use as possible out of the sales and coupons. 😉 This allowed me to redirect the grocery money to our debt-repayment plan and we are thinking that set us back on track to pay it off!

    I know there is a lot more; I really wish I’d start writing these things down throughout the week.
    Anyhow, have a wonderful week everyone!

  85. Miriam in Estonia

    Thanks Brandy! 🙂

  86. Lisa

    Libby, they were on sale at Shoprite. 🙂

  87. Cami

    Thank you so much for the information. Small is better when using regularly…. so why pay someone else to process these items into smaller quantities. I can do that. 🙂

  88. Celia

    We stayed home over the weekend, we had planned an outing but my oldest son was not behaving so we saved some money and reinforced that children who don’t listen don’t get treats.
    I rotated some toys, since the children seemed ready for a change. Toy shopping in the basement is the best.
    I resisted the urge to buy books and looked for free ones I would enjoy, mixed success.
    My husband decided not to go to a movie. He had a long day and I told him to go out and I would “babysit”( having to add a $10 p/hr babysitting tax on an outing has really…made it even less tempting to go out) but he decided to stay home anyhow.
    One thing I read here years ago that has really stayed with me is when one of your readers said that the reason most people go out all the time is because their house is unpleasant to be in, and their chidlren are cranky, etc. It really struck a cord with me and I have tried to always keep in mind that going out to “get away” is really only a delay. generally I want to go out because I am tired/cranky/ they are tired/cranky and the house got away from me. Now I keep frozen pizza for those nights, it is much cheaper than going to a restaurant and we can give the kids a super fast dinner and pack them off to bed, which is what they needed anyhow.

    I bought a Cooks Illustrated special edition on cooking ahead and it has a pizza recipe in it that can be completley done ahead, I am really looking forward to testing it out, so I can make them on a weekend and pull them out on Dreaded Thursday( ususally the day things go to pot for some reason).
    have a great week!

  89. Katie

    Eve, that is a great idea! One thing you may want to watch out for though… if the textbooks are being used for homework assignments, the problems/questions may have changed between the two versions. I was an engineering student and I hardly ever used textbooks just for reading, but rather for the worked out examples and assigned homework problems. Some kids noticed changes in different versions. This happened to me one time, but I ended up renting out the book from the university library. Using the school library is another option, but may not be the best if you need the textbook for the whole semester. You never know if another student will request it.

  90. Lorna

    Hi Sue and most welcome. Sellers nick is djr77 to help you further and there is another that sells them for 10 for $45 but couldn’t find it when I went to purchase them.

    He also has 10 lt honey storage containers with a gate to help pouring as well if you are able to get bulk honey, our next door neighbour is an apiarist and I buy wholesale honey off him, and this time I will be trading some of our vegetables for some of the price of the honey. Works well for him to get freshly picked vegetables and me to get pure honey at a lower price too :-).

  91. Becky

    We finished up with the county fair. It completely consumed our time this past week. The girls made state fair for some of their items, so we re-picked/labeled the produce, daughter re-baked the bread, etc. and that is all down there. One daughter won the fashion show contest (a first for our family), so we will be traveling to Salem(Oregon) this coming weekend for that contest at state. We are about an hour from there, so will drive down each day. She received free entry tickets for those 2 days for her contest. Both girls got a child ticket for state fair from summer reading. They also got a buy one, get one free adult ticket, so I have 2 each of those. It will help a lot for the entry fees.

    In the meanwhile, during fair week, it was a challenge to keep people fed frugally. I made a mega batch of spaghetti sauce last Tuesday. We ate spaghetti 2 nights and spaghetti pie a third. Not much variety, but it did the job. We had lots of salad from lettuce from Costco, since mine is between crops right now. We used the ends of loaves from my daughter’s entries–she only had to take 1/4 of a loaf, and made 2 loaves each time. The rest is frozen. I picked strawberries from the garden, sliced and served them along with some peaches my sister brought to fair and sent home with us. We packed lunches and I only forgot it on the counter once:( That day my husband graciously brought us burgers from Carl’s Jr., which was less than fair food, but not my first plan!

    One day Grandma and Auntie bought the kids ice cream. The next day another auntie bought them more ice cream. Yet another day, they each won free ice cream from participating in the fashion show! We got curly fries one time to share. They made out like bandits!
    It was nice they had so much support. They won special awards galore, each one got over $100. The truth is we spend more than that on supplies, but the life skills learned more than make up for it. I have them save the $ in an envelope and it is used for next year’s fair. This year, with last year’s money, they bought shoes, headbands, etc. to wear with their outfits in the fashion show, and now they have new things to wear. Sometimes they buy a new cookbook to practice with, sometimes fabric to sew, etc.

    The garden is producing. I made a few more pickles and we just ate a lot of produce as well as giving away a bunch too. I hope to get caught up on that this week.

  92. Jenifer

    Or carrying a snapper turtle across the road. I opened my emergency backpack I keep in my car to get the work gloves for the turtle. Sorry, I couldn’t resist 🙂

  93. Tina in the NW

    Hi Mandy,
    Unfortunately, most windshield chips eventually crack. And, at least in my state (Washington), car insurance doesn’t generally cover cracked windshields (unless you have a $0 deductible). At least this is what my insurance agent told me. And Safelite likely has a policy where they aren’t responsible for any cracks from their repairs. I hope you are able to get it reimbursed. Good luck.

  94. Athanasia

    Happy, I don’t think you should feel guilty for a little entertainment, as it is more than that. Some fun times like that is recharging the battery so you can continue on with the tougher times.

  95. Athanasia

    Dawn , on another blog I read they circled their fruit tree trunks with lengths of carpet tacking strips , up the trunk, looks to be pieces about 4-5 feet long with tacks sticking out. It worked for them, though with squirrels they can jump a distance and also drop down from wires and higher trees.

  96. Jenifer

    This past week I took some time to read a book and relax a little more. Since her passing in February, I have been trying really hard to not have idle hands and where that has helped, I think it has left me a little counter productive in staying frugal. I took time re-examine my frugal goals too.
    Other than that, I cut more herbs and Zinnas from my garden to dry and enjoy. I re-did the lettuce/spinach section of my garden to have those producing for fall. I picked huge beefsteak tomatoes and have enjoyed way too many tomato and basil salad (but it is soo good!) My Roma tomatoes are ripening and as of today I have enough to make/can tomato soup. I was given tomatoes as well – those will be diced/canned.
    I finally received back pay – I have been living so long without it, that I used it to pay off my credit card. (yay!)
    Someone here recommended SimplyJune to watch Downton Abbey – I want to say thank you.
    I hope everyone has a fabulous week!

  97. Lea Stormhammer

    This is a great idea!

    As a college professor I would recommend emailing the professor of the class first, though. Even if the table of contents or the index don’t change, the examples, problems and content can change (particularly in areas like biology where knowledge is changing rapidly!). An expert (such as the professor) can tell if the changes really are minor or if they make a difference.

    Digital copies of textbooks (for Kindle, Tablet, etc) are sometimes helpful – especially if they aren’t in an area where you’ll need to reference them later. They usually cost a fraction of a print copy since there aren’t the associated costs!

    Lea

  98. Amy

    Thursday is our day like that here as well! If we are tempted to eat out or order pizza it is always Thursday dinner! I have started making Thursday “easy dinner” night. I just know that will be the night I serve frozen pizza or a pre-made freezer meal. I started this in July and have managed to eat at home every Thursday since. Wishing you luck with the Thursday crazies as well!

  99. Athanasia

    I forgot some of my vegetables. We also have broccoli and cauliflower and have chopped and froze some of those. We also dried some basil and made pesto for the freezer. We canned peaches, I asked the grocer for 2 cases when they were 1.29/lb. They went back up to 1.99 and now are down to 1.29 again. I will get some more. Just a couple more years til we have our own peaches on our new winter hardy trees. Also canned dilled green beans. Tried a new recipe from the Ball Blue Book for pickled grape tomatoes. Very easy.

    Back from scratch as usual ( over 4 weeks, what I can remember) . Made banana bread 4 loaves, banana cake with cream cheese frosting, cherry pie, mixed up 15 pie crusts for the freezer, made banana cream pie, frozen pumpkin ginger pie (this recipe is from the red Betty Crocker cookbook and it is really really good, especially in the summer) , macaroni and cheese, refried beans from dried pinto beans, bean burritos, beef and vegetable shish kebabs, tabouli, potato salad x 3, pizza, broiled sweet and sour tofu, vegetable stir fry, plum kuchen, peach kuchen, blueberry coffeecake, cheese and vegetable omelets, cornbread, biscuits, German chocolate cake, calico beans, fresh tomato-cilantro salsa, coleslaw x 3, creamy cucumbers, sweet and sour cucumber salad, hummus, chicken salad sandwich filling, blueberry struesel muffins, molasses cookies, blueberry pancakes…all I can remember.

    Did the usual mending, composting, cooking from scratch, hanging out most of the laundry, read a couple library books. No time for TV in the summer, though we did watch STATE FAIR, 1945 version…we do that every summer. Sat out on the patio a lot in the evening on our porch swing. Went to the County Fair one day , early before they start the admit fee. Got the cards ready to send out for September to those with birthdays, anniversaries, etc.

  100. Hilogene in Az

    I have a continuing goal to find a way to reduce my spending by $10 a month (find a new way to do something that costs less). This week, I had success! I have wavy hair (grey but colored so it is far more curly that it used to be). I don’t blow dry it, just let it air dry….and have found that it gets really curly and frizzy when it dries (even here in Phoenix). I used to spend $20-$30 on various hair products that I put on after I washed it to reduce the frizz. I finally decided to try a $3 product (wandered the aisle at Walmart). It worked! Bit by bit, I am finding all these frugal substitutes. I know that I could just work on my attitude and get over being irritated that my hair looked like Don King’s (Muhammad Ali’s boxing promoter) but this works better for me 🙂

  101. Melissa V

    Maple syrup WILL get mold if it isn’t processed – I was NOT happy to see it when I pulled it off the shelf to refill the frig bottle (it was an unopened jar). I was not about to throw that out at $50 a gallon so I just scooped the mold off and re-boiled it and processed it again. So far it is not growing anything.
    Honey will crystallize over time but you can just warm it up by setting the jar in a pan of hot water and it will liquefy again – it does seem to crystallize faster once it’s happened once though.

  102. MaggieB

    I get so inspired from all of your posts. Brandy, you live your life with gentility and elegance.

    Here are some of my frugal accomplishments from last week:
    [list]
    [*] Ate all meals at home
    [*] Took a trip to a fabulous Polish deli about 10 miles away. They make their own coldcuts and they are very reasonable. I bought double-smoked bacon, a whole Hungarian salami sliced (they don’t make this, but they sell it), smoked butt that the deli then steams so it’s ready to eat, and some polish cheese for sandwiches. Have been eating from my purchase for almost a week.
    [*] Made gluten free biscuits and cookies from scratch. (Did I mention I love glutenfreeonashoestring.com ?) Delicious and economical recipes for gluten free baked goods that are worth eating.
    [*] Made a pot of white bean soup, using beans on hand, tomatoes and herbs from the garden, some of the smoked butt from my deli run. We ate three dinners from this
    [*] Turned off the AC and opened the windows
    [*] Went walking with the dog every day for exercise
    [*] Started cleaning and sorting in the garage so I can have a garage sale in September.
    [/list]

    I had one phone job interview last week, have another this week plus an in-person interview. I am praying that one of these comes through.

    Since my yard is mostly shade, I can’t grow too much produce anymore. I’d love to be canning right now but without a job, I can’t buy things from the Farmer’s market due to the expense. Maybe next year!

    Maggie

  103. Gardenpat

    I rehydrated the dried hash browns in hot water for 10 minutes, then drained the excess water. Then I added them to the casserole mixture! As far as how the family liked it – we’ve had it twice in the past month and the leftovers have been treasured in lunch Boxes! Definitely a winner! I pinned a recipe for “Cheese stuffed tater tots” using frozen hash brown potato shreds, so I’m thinking I may just rehydrate the amount called for in the recipe and try it!!

  104. Melissa V

    I stocked up at the sale at a grocery store I don’t normally shop at – it isn’t out of the way so no gas loss. 8 oz pkg of cheese were 99 cents (limit 8 – my buy it price is 1.50 -1.99 normally), Chicken leg quarters for 40 cents a pound (limit 10 pounds – buy it price is normally around 89 cents), and 12 pks of TP for 2.99 (limit 2 – buy it price is normally around 44 cents a roll) I also was thrilled to find they carried the 3 minute pasta and it was included in the 89 cents a pound box sale! I bought all they had (6 boxes) and will use it to increase my vacuum packed quart meals in a jar. These are part of our emergency prep, used for camping meals as well as occasionally being a dinner when we want to try a new recipe. This week they have the same packs of TP on sale for 3.99 and I will be going back for those as well since it is still well below my buy it price. It is an off brand but I was surprised that it is very good quality (I have a picky hubby).
    I continue to save all the veggie and fruit scraps as well as all the stale breads and rolls and send them out to the birds. They also get any tomatoes that the critters have munched on as well as any eggs that are cracked. The turkeys are growing very well and I will be letting them out to forage now that they are too big for hawks to take – this should cut down at least a little bit on the amount of feed they are consuming. They will be ready right at thanksgiving time – one for us and then one for each of our parent’s.
    I have continued to freeze eggs from my ducks and chickens to get us thru the winter months. I am thinking of using them to barter with next spring and summer for foods I don’t grow myself (or the trees are big enough to produce yet).
    I did reuse the zippers off the old trailer cushions when I made the new ones. I am thinking of making a pillow or framing the original fabric just to keep that “vibe” in the trailer we are flipping. Hubby found keyed used access hatches for a fraction of the new cost on craigslist – the old ones are all dented or caulked into place.
    I was gifted with some wonderful caramel corn from a client at work – it’s her thanks for spoiling her little princess dog 🙂
    We have been failing awfully with meals lately – waaay too much take out food since my husband has to transport our son back and forth from his job an hour away (and next week it will be to school as well) and I have been working many more long hours the last 2 weeks. We are praying that he doesn’t have another seizure and it was just a fluke of his maturing brain (doc said 10% of the population has one in his age bracket). Trying to keep up with a college student’s schedule, his job plus your own jobs and the house and critters (and keep track of the 17 year old too) is killing all of my planning – my brain just shuts off when my schedule is thrown off and it seems to take me forever to readjust.

  105. Kandace

    What product? I keep looking for products for my curly hair…

  106. Kandace

    Last week I spent my time not at work processing the last of the peaches off our tree: dehydrated peaches (not as tasty because I soaked them in a citric acid solution to keep them from browning, but still good), a huge peach cobbler which I took to a pot luck concert, two trays of peach leather, a batch of frozen peaches, and four pints of peach syrup made from the scraps.

    I brought a dozen bananas home from work that were headed for the trash. Combination of eating and freezing them (didn’t know they stop ripening when I put them in the fridge).

    I had a group of women over for creative writing fun and pulled out food from the fridge to feed them (a couple of dips leftover from work, plus fresh cherry tomatoes and peppers from the garden) and I made fingerling potatoes with a dipping sauce.

    Picked more tomatoes, peppers, and green beans

    Picked flowers from the garden for my table.

    Took lunch to work

  107. Luba

    Dawn, peppermint oil is a good deterrent for squirrels, rats, and other creatures. 🙂

  108. Ava

    Microsoft Powerpoint can be used to create signs and printables with your own color and font choices (again saving on ink). I use it to make posters, flyers, programs, etc. on a regular basis. Microsoft Word can be used also, but I prefer Powerpoint.

  109. Tiffany

    Do you mind me bothering you to find out what you said back in June? Sometimes I listen to those warnings about stock market crashes and sometimes I don’t. I’ve been really busy with life for the past few months, so I haven’t heard thing recently, besides from Glenn Beck.

    We have only recently begun to stock up for emergencies, so our storage is a bit small. Sometimes I struggle to find a healthy balance between paying off our debt and stocking up…right now it’s about 50/50.

    Thanks!

  110. Athanasia

    Terri, I thought I remember seeing pictures of your porch several months ago. It looked nice, what you had done on it so far. It’s nice to have a porch, or veranda, that kind of thing. Or even a balcony…some place nice to sit and catch the breeze.

  111. Athanasia

    Becky, congratulations to your girls, and to you too, for their successful year at the fair. We never did the State Fair as it’s over 2 1/2 hours away and it actually comes before our County Fair.

  112. Celia

    I am also in PA and th egg prices are high. I have a three year old that loves scrambled eggs. What I did( and kicked myself for being 40 before I realized this) is that the extra large eggs are the same price as large eggs. I know I need large for baking, so what I do is buy the extra large eggs to scramble for him at the same price, he is satisfied with one egg after I stretch it with milk and cheese, instead of the 1 and a half eggs ( with me eating leftovers or tossing them because I really hate cold eggs) that he was eating when they were large.

  113. Celia

    my maple syrup came with the note that the mold is harmless and you can skim it. I always ask for fancy syrup as a Christmas gift and guard it like a bridge troll. Hope that helps.

  114. Rhonda A.

    Laura, another option is to freeze your cheese. That way the cheese does not go moldy or spoil before you need to used it. I buy a bunch of cheese blocks when it is on sale, then freeze it. The cheese is more crumbly once it thaws, but most of the time I am grating it anyways, so it doesn’t matter. Just an option!

  115. Rhonda A.

    Athanasia, I want to live at your house! The list of home cooked meals alone sounds divine. Add all the produce you grow and preserve…wow you are one busy lady! The pickling party sounds like a lot of fun though. I wish I knew enough people that would be interested in doing something like that. Thanks for sharing your accomplishments for the past month.

  116. Leigh

    Thank you for your suggestion! We try to look out for inexpensive options. My son is in the sciences, which also requires several higher-level math courses, so it’s important for him to have whatever version of the textbook the professor is using since he must do assignments from the text as well as research papers. Thankfully the university he attends encourages professors to use earlier versions of textbooks when possible to keep the costs down for students. Even a $40-$50 textbook feels expensive to me.

  117. Robert

    I went through a similar season of life when my three were teens and had to shuttle two teens on top of everything else. I started to think of the meals very different. I would stop at Arbys and get 5 for 5 sometimes I would get two or three of the deals pull out some applesauce when I got home and call it a meal. I would make my meal plans with at least two or three of these cheap easy meals and then for the other’s I would just list like beef , chicken, or eggs on our menu and when I got home I would just cook a ton of beef , chicken, or eggs sides would be whatever we could find canned pineapple went with chicken, a bag of carrots put out with beef, some sliced oranges went with eggs. It was all very fast and easy! No extras for the 2 years I went through this season but I did a lot of very easy meals . Grilled cheese and tomato soup was another. I even served this one often as a car picnic. Just keep it easy. A Chicken and a can of something. Easy!

  118. Linda Higgy

    Rhonda, I buy blocks of cheese and grate them first, then freeze. I portion out in sandwich size baggies, put into a freezer quart size and then put two or three qts in a freezer gallon! Just thaw in the fridge and no crumbles! This works for all types of cheeses that I use. Good luck.

  119. KathyB

    Lol that’s great!! 😀

  120. KathyinTN

    Don’t feel guilty about spending time with your friend! Think of it like this…you work hard at being frugal and saving money every day. Because you do that, you are able to go out on a rare occasion and enjoy an evening out with a friend. You deserve it! 🙂

  121. KathyinTN

    Yes, please share! I have really curly hair and am always looking for frugal alternatives since hair products are so expensive.

  122. Dawn

    Thank you both for the responses. My problem is that there are so many other trees close by. The squirrels can get to the pear tree without ever touching the ground. My parents used to have dogs that kept the squirrels chased out of the yard. Leo and his two uncles (my parents’ dogs) have no interest in squirrels.

  123. Athanasia

    Thanks Rhonda. I am lucky to have a lot of relatives around so it is usually easy to plan big chores.

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