Stove The Prudent Homemaker

My husband drove to Phoenix to purchase a wood burning stove from Craig’s list, and while he was there he purchased 200 pounds of powdered milk for us (at $49 for 50 pounds). He was also delighted to find that gas prices were significantly lower in Arizona than here, so the gas was $50 less than he had estimated. He drove there and back in one day (12 hours of driving) and took food with him.  The stove provides us with an alternative emergency way to cook, as well as to bake bread (hence our desire for an oven section, which not all stoves have). After my husband makes some minor repairs to it, I will test it out using the mesquite wood he cut down recently. (Yes, I can bake bread in my solar oven, but not on cloudy or windy days).

My mom gave me some toilet bowl cleaner that she didn’t like. It worked rather well for us to get rid of some hard water stains (It was the Lime Away toilet bowl cleaner, and I followed the instructions to let it sit for 15 minutes).

My mom gave me a $10 off  $40 children’s clothing coupon for Target that I used towards some underclothing in the next size up for my children.

She also gave me two free Redbox codes that she had got for free. We used one to rent “Woman in Gold” (which we thought was very good) and then my parents watched it as well before we returned it. I signed up for their email and they sent me a code for another free movie.

A new pizza restaurant just opened in our neighborhood. They sent out coupons for a free pizza.  My husband and I went as a date. The place had a line to the door, and lots of people had their coupon. As we looked around, we noticed that each person had an individual pizza, and they were all the same size. It was fairly large for an individual serving. We ordered one pizza to split and had water to drink, which made for a free date.

I fixed my sleeping/time clock problem my staying up a bit later a few nights, and by Wednesday I was no longer waking at 3:30 a.m.

I planted green onion seeds (collected from my plants earlier this year) in a pot. I watered them with water collected from the air conditioner.

We enjoyed a few days where the temperature dropped just a bit under 100ºF. I was able to have the windows open for a bit longer in the mornings (to 8 a.m.) to cool the house (and use the air conditioner for a shorter time each day) for a few days (other mornings it was 84º at 5:30 a.m. and I could not open windows, but any days it was 78º or lower at 5:30 a.m. I opened the windows).

Water restrictions here require that we water fewer days per week starting September 1st. I reprogrammed my irrigation clock to lower our water usage, which will also make for a lower bill this month.


What did you do to save money last week?


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  1. Well, it both rained and poured this week. Figuratively. Took the car in for a free oil change tire rotation, ended up needing over six hundred dollars of work. We had a coupon and some of it was under warranty but still. Soooo that’s 1,000 in the last week for our cars. Ugh. I look forward to ditching mine after we move. I was happy that I had packed a bag of toys and snacks, it made the four hours we were there manageable.
    My husband was allowed a later shift at work so he can drop our son off at school. That will save us half an hour a day of driving.
    We resolved to only buy bare necessities til the 15th to try and make back part of the money we sunk in our cars.
    I was happy to find a great flour sale, as well as the best price of the year for juice. I bought enough for months.
    We got a lower than expected water bill and an electric bill we think has an error.
    I had a 14,000 (yes) dollar hospital bill forgiven, my insurance company said I should never have been admitted, and because of their contract I only had to pay $140. I was obviously very relieved to have that settled, it took months.
    I am hoping we can make the grand we spent this week back by the first week of October. Cars. 🙁

  2. My 6 year old is currently fascinated with space. We checked out more than 20 books for him at the library. I am having so much fun learning with him. I “liked” NASA on facebook and, in addition to the cool stuff they post, they tell you about things like lunar eclipses (happening this month!), you can sign up for alerts for when the space station flys over you (easily visible in the night sky) and traveling 17,150 miles per hour, you can send your kids name on a mission to Mars and other cool, free stuff.

  3. I just watched Woman in Gold last night with my son, such as amazing movie! (And yes, we had a Redbox code.) I am Jewish and found it very moving.

    We had a very frugal week, with free meals at Ikea, stuff sold on Craigslist and two days per week at my day job as a labor and delivery nurse. I cooked two (three) beans based meals, avoided eating out and realized that we have enough cash on hand to pay for our son’s first quarter of college with room and board plus fees. The next payment won’t be due until January and we’ll have enough for that payment within a month. No loans!!!

    Plus of course, I blogged about it:

  4. Hi Brandy and all from Australia.

    – I made tomato and basil soup which lasted for 3 teas for the 2 of us. Saving on electricity cooking.
    – Made a double batch of your lovely granola, with brownies, and your lovely quiche to save electricity.
    – Did some service for a friend with a sick husband and organised a storage shed with her.

    – Picked 1 lge box of lettuce that we had excess of and gave them away at church to those who were struggling.
    – Planted some more herbs in the front garden.
    – Dug up and reseeded the front lawn with fresh lawn seed, as the grass had all died with the winter frosts.
    – Picked some broccoli for tea one night
    – Picked spinach for quiche, and used sandwich ham instead of bacon that we had in the freezer.
    – Cut down considerably on our usual grocery spend as we reached our 3 mth supply with our tax return recently.
    – Used grey water from washing machines and showers all week to hand water our lawns to keep them alive with, as we are not allowed to water lawns due to water restrictions.

    Have a great frugal and productive week one and all :).

  5. I’m hoping to watch ‘Woman in Gold’ at our village hall cinema tomorrow evening (they show films every month). Our current temperature in the south west of the UK is 19C/66F which means it’s a beautiful September day and I plan to get lots of washing done to hang outside. Your stove looks lovely!

  6. I have been hearing about the movie you watched. I will have to try to get a chance this week to watch it too! I’ll be looking for a redbox code too. I’m so glad to hear you are sleeping well!
    I’m still canning but the garden is winding down now here in Michigan. I’m also going to be babysitting grandchildren more in the Fall so I’ve been getting more prepared for busy mornings.
    Here is a list of the rest of my frugal accomplishments this week:

  7. *I baked up muffins and cookies to take with us on out camping trip. I will make the bread today. I also precooked the burger meat for the chili. One of the meals my Mom and sister came up with was steaks on the grill – we don’t normally buy steaks due to their cost, but we found 2 small ones with the red discount stickers that I immediately froze to take with. Almost all the food we are taking was already in our pantry so there is little expense for that. The fees are already paid as well so we just have the gas expense of getting there and back. I picked up 2 books from a garage sale for .25 each to take with and will also bring 2 newer books by my families favorite author (R.A. Salvatore) with both my husband and myself will enjoy. I am sure my Mom will have a stack of magazines as well. There is also lots to do with in the park so there won’t be any extra expenses either.
    *I put elastic in the waistbands of all my free jeans – I hate belts but almost every pair of pant/shorts I find to fit my rear, have huge gaps in the waist. Putting elastic in the waist makes them fit correctly and not fall off my butt when I bend over.
    *I pulled out several frozen dinner leftovers from the freezer for out college kids to eat while we are gone. They will be caring for the cats, rabbits and poultry while we are gone as well (so no added animal sitter expense)
    *While cleaning out the freezer, I found how many tomatoes I really have in there! I have been collecting them and freezing them a few at a time and hadn’t realized many I had. There is at least a 1/2 bushel and there will be close to another 1/2 that I will be putting in there before we leave tomorrow.
    *I traded someone our 4 extra duck drakes and one duck hen for a HUGE amount of hostas, sedums, coral bells and hydrangeas. This saved me a lot of money in landscaping plants. Just one of the hostas he brought would have cost near $50 in the stores!
    And finally the fail – The air conditioner went out on Sunday. At least we are about done with the summer heat/humidity we’ve had the past 2 weeks but I hate to see what that bill is going to be. At 15 years old, it may be done for 🙁

    1. I don’t know if it’s “done for,” but I can tell you that if you need freon, it won’t be cheap to fill. Environmental regulations have changed and whatever goes in the older AC units (see how technical I am, LOL) is hard to get and quite expensive. Good Luck.

  8. Your new wood stove looks really nice, Brandy. We have a fireplace but no alternate indoor cooking surface or oven. If we have a power outage we’ll be eating “fry bread” made in the fireplace rather than baked loaves.

    Here’s my list:

    -I cut some flowers from the front flower bed and brought them in to enjoy. As summer turns to fall there are fewer and fewer blooms.

    -We enjoyed tomatoes, celery, a few green beans, and a cucumber from the garden.

    -I purchased some heirloom seeds on clearance. The price was marked down enough to be worth potentially decreased germination rates next year.

    -I dehydrated banana peels to crush and use as fertilizer on my vegetable beds.

    -I picked up a free bag of “grounds for gardeners” from the local coffee shop. It won’t be long before I’ll have to clear my vegetable beds and prep them for winter.

    -I received a code for a free Redbox movie that we used for a family movie night. The code didn’t expire until September 16 but we decided to enjoy a movie over the holiday weekend.

    -I completed two mystery shops and earned free product in addition to my fees.

    -I found a large number of items on clearance to stock up my pantry before winter.

    -I continued my efforts to walk more often and drink more water. We’re having a late warm spell with high humidity, so drinking additional water has been easier than it might otherwise have been.

    -I linked to the free Redbox code information and wrote follow-up posts about last week’s No Spend Weekend Challenge at

  9. Your new woodstove is a beauty! We have an old wood cookstove in an outbuilding. I experimented with it a few times some years back, and remember being surprised how much fuel it took to keep it going. Yours is a different set-up, so it may be quite different. And I expect, as with anything, it gets easier with practice. I think it’s a great idea to have as a backup plan.
    Thanks for sharing the Woman in Gold movie. It’s now on our Netflix queue. 78 is pretty much our cutoff point for opening the windows too, and I’m always sad when it’s too warm do so. Fresh air beats a closed up house any day. Thank you, Brandy, for creating this wonderful space of encouragement. I look forward to seeing what everyone else is up to! Joining in here:

  10. I absolutely LOVE your wood stove! I want one like it someday for emergency cooking and heating.
    Last week:
    -we went to the Farmer’s Market and purchased veggies and local honey. One of the vendors gave my daughter two free cookies. She remembered me because I brought my own produce bags lol
    -I went to the natural food store again in the next city over. I spent $30 less than the last trip. I combined that errand with a visit to my son, daughter in law, and grandson, who is 5 weeks old now!
    -we are picking up a hutch today that my mom gave me for free. One of the doors is broken off so the doors will be removed and I will be using it to replace my broken dresser. I have wanted one of these for a long time.
    -All meals were cooked from scratch and eaten at home. I did not order food with my co-workers at work and brought all my meals to work with me.
    -I signed up for the budget plan with my power and light company. That way I know what I will be paying every month. It is evaluated every six months so hopefully at some point the price will go down. I also signed up for paperless billing for another bill and paid most of the bills due with online bill pay through my bank to save paper, stamps, and envelopes. One bill I took to the office myself after work one day rather than mail it. The office is just a few blocks from our house.
    -I mended several items and am working on sewing several handkerchiefs from some fabric I purchased last year for .50 at a rummage sale. I have 3 done. I am sewing these by hand. I also made some more family cloth from an old shirt that was not repairable.
    -I continue to save shower water, water from the a/c, veggie rinse water, etc to water plants outside, flush the toilet, etc.
    -I line dried all but one load of laundry.
    – I gave my son and daughter in law some stuff that I no longer wanted like Mac and Cheese the hubs didn’t like, shampoo/conditioner and soap we won’t use, ramen noodles, etc. My son is currently working two jobs to make ends meet. My daughter in law does not return to work for another week or so but refuses to cut down spending also. It isn’t much but I do what I can to help them.
    -I had some food waste, but it was composted so at least it didn’t go into the landfill. I almost have enough “snack bags” to send in to Terracycle for reuse. They pay for shipping. I try not to purchase many prepackaged snacks but the hubs likes his snacks and sometimes I do to, when I find a good price. I also pick up the chip bags, etc I find laying on the ground and put them with my bags for reuse.
    -I harvested parsley and tomatoes. I have lots of basil to harvest today. I might make pesto. We have 10 pumpkins that are ready to harvest, I am waiting to see if they get any bigger though. I also had planted some squash seeds behind my garage to see if they would grow. One plant survived and I have a tiny little squash starting, I think it’s butternut. so excited!!
    -My husband earned $100 doing a brake job on someone’s van. He tried to give some of the money back because that was to much but she wouldn’t take it.
    Have a great week everybody!

  11. This week I am very grateful for the sales that came our way. I had planned to use our extra grocery money to start stocking up on cheese and but many other sales presented themselves. Pasta was on sale for 49cents a box. I bought 24 boxes. Hamburger meat was on mark down to half price because it’s sell by sell by date was was three days away and with the holiday the store would be closed. I was able to pick up soap at .50 for three bar pack and get three Aussie shampoos and conditiors for free after double coupons! I am really happy to be present with such good sales and to have the money to buy the items.

    We also went camping at my in laws. We were able to bring mostly supplies from home so it was a very frugal we’ll end get away.

    I love your wood stove. We are saving up to get one as we do not have heat in our house when the power goes out. Hopefully we will be able to reach this goal this winter or spring.

  12. I have had a great thrifty week. At Aldi this week they had tomatoes, cauliflower and red cabbage for 39p each. So to test out the new dehydrator I bought from eBay with money from selling some old things, I bought lots of tomatoes. They took a long while to dry, but taste amazing! The cauliflower I blanched and froze. The red cabbage was pickled in vinegar and bottled in jars. These will be added to family members homemade Christmas hampers.
    We had some ginger in the fridge and as we are not the keen on it I started to google ideas as to what to do with it and found a recipe for candid ginger. Like ginger sweets and very good for a poorly tummy. It worked and tastes lovely. The syrup that was left over I added to some fizzy soda water and made ginger beer and the peeling I added to a homemade face mask. No waste and it was fun finding new uses for it.
    I was gifted lots of paint samples from a friend. Un opened as the shop are changing the size of their sample pots. I’ve passed some on to friends and the rest I will pick my favorites, mix with large tubs of white and re decorate the house. I will also use some paint to breathe new life into some old furniture. After painting I’ll add a coat of varnish and they will be good as new.
    Both my children have started school again this week. This will be my first year of staying at home without any children. My husband is an event manager and works long hours, including evenings and weekends. Childcare is not an options as the schools is very expensive and we have no family close by. It works out cheaper for me to stay home while they are young. I am hoping to re decorate the house on a very small budget and do all the work myself. Making things with materials I already have and learning new skills along the way. Plus it will stop me from missing them so much.
    Both myself and my husband have also been talking about pensions, our big achievements last week was to make a plan for our future. Although we are both young we know that this is something we need to start planning for now. Retirement age is going up to 68 yrs in the UK. Best to plan and save.
    Have a great week everyone and I love reading everyone’s comments.

  13. That’s a great stove. And you got a great price on that milk. That should be reassuring if the economy takes a downturn like many are predicting. My frugal accomplishments for the week:

    Canned apples.
    Built a pantry in the upstairs landing.
    Refinished a chair that we purchased at a garage sale for $5.
    Bought the stripper to refinish the chair at the the thrift store for $1.50 a quart.
    Ate out of the garden.
    Mended a pair of Ran’s jeans.
    Dried tomatoes and peppers.
    Harvested tomatoes, peppers, broccoli (we never cut them down, the offshoots have produced quite a bit of broccoli) and blackberries.
    Worked on a penny rug with wool purchased from thrifted wool.
    Got rid of our cable since the “free” offer ended.
    Planted saved seeds from the hollyhocks.
    Neighbor Sandy gave us four yucca plants that we will be passing along to our daughter-in-law.

  14. Your stove is so pretty! We have a wood stove where we live now. It doesn’t have an oven part though. And we have to move in a couple of months. I think I will miss the wood stove the most!

    This last week we were thrown a massive curve ball. I found out I have celiac disease. It was quite a surprise to me and my husband. I cleaned almost all the gluten products out of the my pantry. That was a sad, sad day. My pantry is pretty bare! I did donate the food so someone else could use it. Gluten free stuff is expensive, but our local Kroger has gluten free pasta on sale for $1.09 a box. I bought some to try and we like it so I stocked up. I got some gluten free cookbooks from the library to try to figure out if any would be useful enough to purchase. I am not sure yet if I will have to raise our grocery budget. I have a number of things to sort out in the next few weeks. For now I am just focusing on trying to figure out what I can and cannot eat.

    We had to renew our trash decal. I could do it online and pay a 90cent convenience fee, or I could mail it in for the cost of a stamp (49cents). I decided to save the 41 cents and mail the form! Every penny counts right?

    We were given tomatoes from a friend’s garden. I am sad because tomato season is coming to an end. I will miss fresh tomatoes!

  15. What fantastic prices!

    I love that you give homemade pickled cabbage as part of your Christmas gifts to family. I would love to try your recipe! What else do you include in the Christmas hampers?

    I have made candied ginger before and was at a loss as to what to do with the syrup. I love that! Now I want to try again just so I can make ginger beer! That would be delicious!

  16. We have been putting off some home repairs that my husband and I couldn’t handle ourselves because of the cost but our new neighbor does that kind of work and gave us a very reasonable estimate. Most contractors charge much more so we are thrilled to finally get it done!
    Cooked some leftover bratwurst from our family picnic a couple of weeks ago that was left over and frozen. An easy night of cooking.
    The temperatures were in the 90’s all week so the a/c was on but we turned it down and kept ceiling fans on. We have steadily lowered our electricity bill over the last couple of years by watching everything we do.
    As always, we made all of our meals from scratch at home. On the weekends I try to cook and/or prepare food for the week.
    We took all of our lunches to work with us.
    Stayed way under budget for groceries this week. We are working on using up what is in the basement freezer so there’s room for some turkeys and hams that we hope to get when they are on special during the holidays. That is probably the best tip I ever received from you, Brandy! It is always a blessing to know that I have real food in the pantry and freezer to feed the people I love.
    A co-worker gifted us with more tomatoes and cucumbers from her garden. I shared some with my daughters.
    My daughter gave us a loaf of french bread that she wasn’t going to use. We don’t eat a lot of bread so this was a nice treat to have with our spaghetti.
    A couple of years ago for Christmas our oldest daughter and son-in-law gave us a Roku device. We had gotten rid of cable months before simply for the cost. It seemed our cable bill kept going up and up. Having the Roku means that we will never go back to paying to watch anything. All that is needed is an internet connection and the Roku device. Just thought I would share that with anyone who is looking for an alternative to cable.
    We also used a code for a free Redbox movie this week. We love free!

  17. I love the wood stove! Reminds me of the coal stove we had growing up.

    We went to CVS and got the 2 free Lipton teas, free toothpaste, and a gallon of milk for $2.14 OOP and got $3 bucks to spend next time.

    I did another no-fee, 0% interest balance transfer from one credit card to the other which will save over $800 and get us debt free that much quicker. I made a new debt payoff chart so we can track the balances.

    When I got my biweekly paycheck, I was paid for 3-1/2 hours overtime.

    We got our electric bill for August; it was 15% lower than August last year. This was due to a combination of being careful with our usage, the rainy weather, and the caulking and minor repairs we made around the house.

    I had 1 ebay auction close for $22. I started several more new auctions and relisted a few from previous weeks that didn’t sell the first time.

    I worked 3.5 hours overtime over the last 2 weeks.

    My son came back home for the long weekend and went through more in the storage unit. He’s taking a full carload back with him and pulled out a few things I can donate or sell on the Facebook garage sale page.

    I went to CVS and got 2 free Starbucks iced coffees on the way back from the storage unit.

    Happy Labor Day and have a great week!

  18. I love your wood stove/oven. Those used to be very popular here in New England, but it seems that only seniors have them now. I guess younger people want something fancy. Isn’t it wonderful to have the peace of mind, just in case you ever did need it for cooking? So smart of you to plan ahead! I’ve been thinking about this a lot with all the 10-year Hurricane Katrina coverage.

    To save money, I continue to shop the sales and use coupons and rebates whenever possible. My favorite deal was finding Schick razors at Rite Aid for only $1.00. I also found free Jergens lotion, free Maybelline mascara, free packing tape, and sandals for myself at Target that only cost $6.28 after cartwheel! All of my shopping trips with pics can be found here:

  19. I buy Pam all the time but saw the olive oil mister on your blog. Do you like it? Can you use canola oil? I use to have one from a home party and it never really worked well. But would be willing to try a new one.

  20. That is a nice looking wood stove, Brandy, Do you have a tent adapted for a stove, so you can use it camping? They are quite popular here during the deer hunt. We had a wood stove when we lived in Idaho, but the air quality here is worse, so altho it is still legal to install them, for the time being, there are so many red & yellow air days that we would not be able to use it.

    Harvested the last of the pears, some green beans, Golden Delicious apples, Early Girl tomatoes, yellow pear tomatoes, elderberries, & more grapes. We have picked 315 clusters so far from our Red Reliance vine, but I have to pick early in the morning, before 0715, or the yellow jackets are a problem. Continued freezing the grapes, then drying them into raisins.

    Harvested dill seed & onion seed from the garden, & stored them in old Rx containers with the label removed. I write the type of seed & the year on the lid with a Sharpie.

    Made more of the mild tomato jam. I made one of the batches at midnight, because I could not sleep & had a long list of things to do the next day. I cooked down the jam, which takes about half an hour, while I drank a cup of hot chocolate, which I used to drink to help me unwind & sleep when I worked as a night RN in the NICU.

    Finished bottling the peaches. I simmered the peels for juice, but had 5 ½ quarts, which is more than I need for jelly, so I bottled several quarts as peach juice.

    Bottled some of the pears. Made pear clafoutis multiple times again to help use the abundance of ripe pears we have. Bottled several quarts of the prune plums as they ripen sufficiently.

    Placed the egg shells from the clafoutis on various garden beds to dry. When they are completely dry, after about 1 day in the sun/wind, I step on the shell to crush it finely. It helps add calcium to the soil, so I am concentrating on some of the border beds where I have not yet planted tomatoes, but intend to do so next year. I am also burying kitchen waste in those beds to compost, to boost the fertility of the soil.

    Used the swing rack on the patio to dry most large items, like comforters, etc. Hung other clothing to dry on racks, or hung it on hangers over the door molding, to help cool off the upstairs. I do this all the time now, but I forget to list it, because it is just the way we live.

  21. I love the wood stove! What a great deal on the powdered milk too.

    My stocking up activities have continued. I made a trip to Costco for sugar, baking soda, cheese and the other things I buy there. After some thought, I decided to order large can of powdered egg and two of powdered milk online, to add to what I already have on hand. I will have to clean out an under-bed drawer to find a place to store this.

    My new job at the physical therapist office is going well. I like the job and the people, and they seem to be happy with me too. I need to reorganize my schedule to get everything done that I normally do. It’s going to take a few weeks of adjustment.

    Frugal accomplishments:
    – Thankfully, we’ve had some regular rain, so I haven’t had to water my garden plot at all. I picked eight more pounds of green beans this week, plus some kale and a few tomatoes. We ate beans, I shared some, and dried a bunch. I also dried several squash that I had not used yet.
    – We went to a barbecue at my husband’s parents’ house. I made marinated zucchini rounds (a mixture of balsamic vinegar, soy sauce, oil, garlic powder and salt and pepper) from a bunch of zucchini I got from our CSA share. You can grill or bake the rounds. They were delicious and disappeared quickly.
    – I chopped a huge bag of mixed peppers and froze them. I rearranged my above-fridge freezer so everything would fit and it would be easier to find what I was looking for. I also dried some lemon rind I had frozen.
    – On the days I worked, I walked to the office and brought my lunch.
    – I did all the things I normally do: cooked at home, used frozen and home-canned foods, washed out Ziploc bags, and made water kefir. It’s too damp now to hang my towels outside. I miss my crunchy towels.

    Now I’m going to read about what everyone else has been doing. I look forward to the Frugal Accomplishment post every week. 🙂

  22. This post, or rather the first photo, brought a smile to my face. Lots of memories too.
    I grew up with a very similar stove, built inside the kitchen, similar but 3 time this size where we could bake 4 loaves at the same time, and have up to 6 pans and pots on the stove top. We still have it in the kitchen back home, in Poland. Still use it. Except wood from our own forest it does not cost a penny to cook. It is also connected to pipes heating up water. No electricity – no problem! When I was growing up I always thought, I want a more modern life, but now, I do miss more simplicity, I would love to have that stove now myself 🙂
    Thank you for all your (ongoing) inspiration Brandy.

    I had some frugal accomplishments (and fails) as well. Summary is here:

  23. Well, I was sick this week with a cold. Got my son’s entire room redecorated, his quilt made, the pillow sham embroidered and such (thank goodness I got a lot done last weekend before I got too sick), but still ended up spending a good portion of the week sitting on my behind resting :).

    The best gift I received this week started on my son’s birthday. He started pointing at what he would want help with and then sign “help”! This was a big step forward from where he was as pointing is so important for communication. He’s still non-verbal at seven so it was the mustard seed of faith I was looking for that day.

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

  24. I’m coming out of early pregnancy fog and trying to get things back to normal. Did fairly well at the grocery store. Bought a bushel of apples for $12. Apple season is just beginning here and we’ll be making lots of apple items over the next two months.

    I stopped at a thrift shop on Saturday where they were having a $5 bag sale. I got several items for my boys for next summer, a skirt for myself, a skirt for my mom, flannel pajamas to cut apart and make baby wipes with, and 3 wool sweaters to use to make diaper covers.

    My husband has a dump truck. He was able to trade a load of stone for an acquaintance who is in the excavating business to come do some work at our house. One thing was to dig up and check the septic tank. Thankfully it is in very good condition and won’t need to be pumped anytime soon!

  25. We had to eat gluten free here for quite a while due to allergies. My big advice is just to start simple and don’t panic. A couple sites I’d definitely recommend are “Gluten Free Easily” and “Faithfully Gluten Free”. They have some good recipes and if you need advice Jeanie of “Faithfully Gluten Free” is a wonderful lady who also has celiac disease.

    Good luck!

  26. I know I can Google it, but what is a ‘penny rug’? I’m always on the hunt for crafts that can use recycled material.

  27. Hi Brandy and everyone,
    Two frugal items of note (besides the usual eat in and make our own bread):
    1. Used Brandy’s homemade recipe for laundry detergent for the first time. It works perfectly. Hand grated the Oil of Olay soap since I don’t have a machine with a grating attachment.
    2. Went to 3 Goodwill stores in our area looking for some jars and a mixer. Didn’t find those items but we did find a toaster convection oven for $10-needed cleaning and now looks perfect and works beautifully. Our old toaster oven had stopped working. Went online to download an instruction manual and found that if new it sells for $100! Score! Also found two very expensive chef’s knives which needed repair and sharpening (@$3 each). They are now perfect after about an hour of my husband’s time. I am surprised how my husband and I are getting such pleasure about learning how to live more frugally. Thanks to all here for ideas and support. Brandy you have a great ability in creating such a positive atmosphere, thank you.

  28. Love your new wood stove. It looks like you have it set-up outside. Is that where you plan to use it or will you install it in your house?

    I scored some great sale prices on canned beans and canned vegetables this week at a local grocery store’s case lot sale. The store (Save-on) included canned beans as part of their sale on vegetables. I had never seen that happen before. And, today only, the store offered an additional 10% off. This extra promotion made the canned beans cheaper then dry. Yipee. Even the clerk remarked “WOW, look at how much you saved today”. I also stocked up on their sale frozen vegetables and some cold medications.
    I went through and cleaned my pantry space and reorganized.
    I also did not go out to eat once this week. My senior’s dinner has changed from weekly to twice a month. Sad to see the schedule change but it’s good for my budget. On a different day, I was asked to lunch by some friends and declined because of the restaurant they picked. I just couldn’t justify the cost. I’ll go with them when they’re going some place more affordable.
    With school starting tomorrow, I hope to get work with my on-call position with the school district. I’m looking forward to getting a pay check again.
    My summer garden is winding down. I grew tomatillos for salsa verde for the first time. I got quite a nice harvest. I put them up in ziplock bags in the freezer for now. I planted for a fall garden, a first for me. Will see how that goes. If nothing else, I will have some greens growing and hopefully a crop of carrots.
    Thanks to all who participate here – and to Brandy for hosting. It really helps me to read about others who are making the most of their money.

  29. * picked lots of tomatoes and cucumbers from the garden
    * used a free redbox code
    * returned some cheese to the store that was unopened and moldy before the “use by” date; got a refund
    * dehydrated some tomatoes
    * won a free song download (my 16 year old loves these!)

  30. We have a brain eating amoeba in our water system. While this amoeba is harmless if you ingest it, if it travels up your sinus cavity it is always deadly. Our water system has continually been out of compliance. Brown dirty water that ruins clothes and appliances(no telling what is does to our insides). Those on the system had a meeting with our states DHH and local state legislature represenatIves and were told that the system would not be penalized. Well this did not go over well to say the least especially when I stood up and revealed that they would make over 1 million dollars from this. Brandy, had it not been for the ongoing conversation here regarding water conservation I would have never been curious about what we pay per 1,000 gal. The CDC states that before showering water needs to be run for 5 minutes to helps flush the pipes. That is 20 gallons of water and I have a family of 5. So for the 60 day chlorine burn, to do that means an additional 6,000 for just my family. When I calculated how many are on the system and factored in the sewer and pass through charge, it came to 1.5 million, in 60 days. Had it not been for the water conversations on this blog I would not have thought twice about how much water that running 5 minutes would have added up too or how much money that meant for the company. Well after that question and statement the entire meeting applauded and the state did a different song and dance stating that if they were making that much $$ then they should have to roll the profits in updating equipment so this doesn’t happen again. Afterwards the local news interviewed me, what amazes me is that nobody else thought to ask that question. Most asked questions that were already answered on the DHH and CDC website. We will see if anything improves… Again THANK YOU TO ALL OF YOU!!

    I have still been harvesting from the garden and trading eggs for produce

    Also was able to pick up reduced cost milk that I froze and half priced pork spareribs that we will cook for our church home group.

    Praying everyone has a great week!!

  31. type in google search freereadfeed this has new books everyday ebooks twenty pages of them more mostly and very many gluton free cookbooks come thru and the price of free is in my budget there are others as well like knitting and crocheting and mysteries i like cozy mysteries ive gotten freezer meals today there was one on freezer meals for crockpot lots of books on frugal living you have to wade thru others but i am getting faster at it as to not take long.

    Yes we got roku a yr or so ago and no bill for cable has been nice.

    i love the stove too Brandy i do wish we could get milk like that here when i emailed they told me 76.00 before taxes and shipping so it must be an in person type sale

    been up all nite in er with hubby today out they took his gallbladder i have been reading all the comments so thanks to all for keeping me company today

  32. There is nothing like sitting beside a wood stove on a chilly day. I really like yours Brandy, very practical.
    Oh wow Heather in L.A. – brain eating amoebas in your water! Be careful. Good for you for asking questions.

    This seemed like a week of frugal fails but there were a few bright spots.

    We dug up a few potatoes from our garden. We were pleasantly surprised to find lovely, large potatoes hiding under the dirt. Five minutes of digging and we had enough delicious new potatoes for two meals. This year our potato planting was experimental and we thought it was a failure and this was definitely a bright spot in our week.

    I was hoping to harvest and can the fruit from my apple and pear trees but the bears beat me too it. I think I harvested about five apples and seven pears in total. This means I will have to buy fruit from a local supplier. They sell a good product and at a really good price, but it still isn’t free. Next year, I will have to be faster.

    My man broke his glasses and he cannot see without them. A big ouch. Luckily, there was a sale on frames and lenses, which saved about 20% and I was able to pay for the glasses out of money earned doing online work and stashed away in a PayPal account. Our insurance should reimburse us for the eye appointment.

    We got new winter tires, which was another financial hit but you can’t put a price on safety. We sold the old tires on the local Buy and Sell and put the cash towards this purchase. It covered about half the price. Since I had to go to the next town over to have the tires installed, I was able to visit with my youngest son. I brought him a care package with canned peaches (one of his favorite foods in the world), a loaf of zucchini bread made with a gifted zucchini, and some tomatoes and peppers from our garden. I bought him lunch (expensive) and then we went to a local park for a walk and a chat (priceless!).

    My neighbor returned from her vacation overseas and brought me a couple of packages of award winning blue cheese and chocolate for looking after her cats. The chocolate is so good and I am looking forward to eating the cheese.

    The weather has cooled and fall is in the air. This means it is time to start getting ready for winter. We started by putting a roof on our new woodshed. Again, this meant money out, but it will protect the wood that heats us through the winter and it should last for many, many years.

    Have a good, frugal week everyone!

  33. Aldi’s has a decent gluten free line. Also, I eat a lot of rice based meals. Don’t try replacing old favorites try to find new ones.

  34. Mybson was also non-verbal when younger. He is now 11 and says a few words. The school has been great working with him. Have faith.

  35. Hello All!
    It has been some time since I have posted on here, but I have been following and encouraged by reading everyones updates. Thank you again Brandy for hosting 🙂
    Our lives are always buzzing here, but now it is with excitement! We purchased our first home, and are waiting on the appraisal and the sellers response to our repair addendum. I am feeling pretty positive about it though, so positive thoughts and prayers are welcome! Since we are first time home buyers (say that ten times fast haha), we were very cautious and thorough in our inspection and had other family members with more experience come and take a look with us. Its an interesting market right now in Oregon, definately a sellers market and homes along the I-5 corridor are going and they are going fast! We dont close until October 2nd, in theory. The home itself has a few features I really like: Three bedrooms are upstairs and the washer and dryer hookups are as well; its a three car garage so I will have space to build my pantry out there; there is a perfect spot for a chicken coop and plenty of space for a garden!!!
    Because we aren’t closing until later, we decided to have our son transfer schools, into what will be our new town, which is ten miles away from where are currently. It does add quite a bit of drive time for me, but its worth getting him adjusted and seeing him happy.
    My Mom stayed with us all last week for the first week of school while we ironed out childcare arrangements. It was really nice. She was kind and cleaned our current house and went grocery shopping, at no cost to us. A huge blessing.
    I will probably be picking up some OT at work for the next month…trying to be positive about it. I have been so tired lately with everything going on.
    Scored some great grocery deals at Fred Meyer with Bumble Bee tuna at .50 cents a can, and Nalley chili at .99 cents a can. I spent about $90, but I saved $40, and I receive many fuel points.
    Have a great week everyone!

  36. I have had celiac for about 12 years now. Don’t think about can’t haves, just think about what you can have! Any meats, dairy, fruit and veggies! Once you get used to it it is really easy to find alternatives for yummy things. I make a lot of fruit crumbles instead of pies as they are easier then gf pie crust and everyone loves them! One thing I have not had luck with yet is a great inexpensive bread recipe. If anyone had one I would love it!

  37. I forgot my best frugal accomplishment of last week. After two months of back and forth with my credit card company about an unauthorized charge of $50 on my account, they finally refunded the money they owed me. It took 9 phone calls and more than 4 hours on the phone, plus 2 letters….at least I finally have my money!

  38. Brandy, I just LOVE your enamel ware that you put on your “new” wood stove! So beautiful! I really love enamel ware and have started to collect usable pieces at auctions. They’re so durable and functional.

    As for baking bread in the oven, I know from working in a pioneer village that some bake ovens are better than others at heating up. You will have to experiment a bit to see if this one gets hot enough to make the bread. We have one at our work that just doesn’t heat up as well as another one in the village, so baking bread in it is next to impossible. If bread is not possible, try tea biscuits or bannock which don’t require quite as hot of an oven. Bake times will also vary significantly, both in regards to the recipes we use today as well as each time you make something. You will need to watch closely every single time you use it.

    Well, this was my last week at my seasonal job this week. It’s been one hot summer, but we all managed to survive. In fact, our last day was today (holiday Monday) and it was so hot, several of us were feeling a bit sick because of it. So glad that’s over! I will be doing some work sporadically throughout the fall, though. I am never truly finish there…I just get long breaks. Anyways, here are my frugal accomplishments for this week:
    *Despite having done a major shopping last week, there were some really good sales this week I couldn’t resist. I bought 16 jars of peanut butter @ $2.88/1kg jar, plus I combined coupons and sales to buy 4 packages of cheese slices @ $1.25/pack (24 slices).

    *My brother called last minute to let us know he was coming for a visit this holiday weekend. My mom decided to buy some meat before his visit, as our stock was a bit low in the freezer. She bought a large package of chicken breasts at Costco, which was on sale for $2 off the package, and a large package of steak. My husband BBQ the steaks for supper, plus we made baked potatoes in the crock pot served with grated cheese, bacon bits and sour cream, as well as carrots and corn for sides. For dessert we made one of the apple pies from the freezer that we made up last fall.

    *My brother is struggling financially to make ends meet right now. So when my brother left, we loaded him up with all sorts of meat and staples from our pantry stock. He had a large cooler packed with frozen items as well as 2 boxes of pantry items. This should help him out quite a bit over the next month, so hopefully he can reroute his money to other things instead of groceries. Not frugal for us, but my mom has helped us out quite a bit by letting us live with her, so I consider this paying it forward with kindness.

    *Gleaned more beans and a couple tomatoes from work. Between my garden and the beans from work, I have been able to get a nice stock of beans frozen for use this winter.

    *Frugal fail: My husband took on the responsibility of taking my daughter to get new shoes for school. I nearly had a heart attack when he informed me that the shoes cost $100! Between my daughter being on the autism spectrum and her entering the teen years, this is becoming a serious expenditure. Seriously, could they not find something suitable that was on sale? I’m really starting to miss those younger years…

    Now that I will have more time, I am looking forward to getting back into cooking and baking from scratch! I also hope to get some more canning done, with all the fall fruit harvests coming in now. I’m looking forward to reading everyone’s comments. Have a wonderful week everyone!

  39. – Project Use It Up: this week I finished a Henri Bendel Fig candle (got this as a gift years ago), samples of Loreal Color Care shampoo and hair mask that I got free in the mail this week, Star Candle Co cinnamon bun candle
    – listed more things on ebay
    – sold some kids books on a local Facebook group
    – on the last Monday before school starts I took my daughter to half off sushi Monday’s at her favorite sushi place
    – received free in the mail: 4 coffee k-cups for my husband, samples of Ceravae face wash and lotion, Loreal shampoo and conditioner and purina cat food
    – got a free toothbrush at Meijer with an mperks coupon
    – continue to save the boxes and flat white plastic packages that clothes are usually shipped in to use as shipping supplies for things I sell on eBay. The white packages can easily be turned inside out to the silver side and a totally blank space to write the addresses on.
    – friend invited us for a last week of summer pool party where she provided drinks and snacks
    – on Google play got free album downloads from: Billie Holiday (LOVE her!), Buddy Guy, Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett and Matt Nathanson. This is new to me. Wasn’t aware of this as a free music option.
    – repurposed two old lamps we weren’t using with spray paint for my daughter’s room
    – just finished planting four daylillies that someone dug up and didn’t want (listed on the free section of craigslist). Hopefully they take off. I like being able to add to my landscaping for free!
    – husband brought home two jugs of orange juice from a work lunch
    – filled out forms for more freebies from freebie websites (including Martha Stewart living and Weight Watchers magazines.. yea!)
    – got a code for a free redbox rental good until 9/16 (free entertainment!)
    – my favorite magazine is Southern Living (it’s the only one that I actually pay for if I ever find a good deal, which is rare for this magazine). I found a deal for two years for $20 and bought it. I’ve been patiently waiting and haven’t received it. Went on line and realized they have been shipping to my old address in a different state! Filled out a change of address form and a request to extend the subscription for three months (the number of issues that have been delivered to the wrong place). Not sure if they will or not but glad that I thought to check. After this subscription runs out I won’t renew though. I’ve been getting a number of subscriptions for free and the recipes from the Southern Living magazine are always on-line anyway! (Update: they extended my subscription through October of 2017!)
    – had the free Saffron Road frozen meal for lunch (veggie pad Thai) I got for free a couple weeks ago with a coupon. I don’t normally love frozen meals but this one was really good.
    – we moved to a new state almost two years ago and a neighbor delivered a “late” welcome to the neighborhood pie! Quite tasty!
    – dropped my son off at soccer practice and while he was practicing I went to Aldi which was right next door and picked up a couple things. Saves me from having to go tomorrow like I was planning.
    – did a freezer inventory of both freezers so I can plan meals around what’s in them
    – had $7.40 in Ibotta rebates after grocery shopping trip (where I also was able to use a $10 off purchase coupon, use a coupon for a free burrito and get a really cute top and earrings for my nieces birthday with a 40% off already marked down top and earrings)
    – husband cut down four trees that died from emerald ash borer. He wasn’t able to do the big ones but at least that saved us some money in the number of trees we have to pay someone to cut down
    – cleaned up garden beds and noticed that some of the potted plants I had and planted into the ground are taking off

  40. Wow, Heather, good for you for speaking up and asking that question. That’s a major frugal accomplishment! 🙂

  41. I don’t know about how inexpensive they are, but “Allergy Free Alaska” has the BEST gluten free bread recipes I ever tried and I tried a LOT in my time being gluten free. Her white sandwich bread is super duper yummy. Really all of her breads were just wonderful and she’s even come up with egg free vegan breads and things since I was able to reincorporate gluten (lost allergies) into my diet. I’d definitely check out her site!

  42. Thank you. I do try. I get down from time to time, but keep reminding myself that even if he never talks that doesn’t mean he can’t improve enough to live a normal and independent life without talking. He’s got a lot of strengths, so I’m hopeful :).

  43. Your water situation sounds terrifying! I’m glad you were able to do the math and sock it to those corrupt people! I hope they finally do something about your situation.

    Good luck and congrats on getting a spot light shined in the right direction to get something done!

  44. I love that stove, and what a bargain the milk was!! I cut up zucchini and froze this week. We got a rather larger pay check, so we went shopping at Costco and stocked up for the winter on some canned goods. I bought some freeze-dried apples that were on sale at Costco and put away for an emergency. So this week I added to my food storage which I consider money in the bank.
    Have a blessed week,
    Gayle from Behind the Garden Gate

  45. This recently happened to some friends of ours. Both father and son (11, I think) are suddenly gluten-free, and the Mom is going around talking to herself most of time. Not to mention that we were at a convention, doubling the usual problems–meals were included with our convention fee. Once she found the right person in the hotel to communicate with, everything went very easily. While we were in the buffet lines, father and son were served at the table with food suitable for them, and everything was hot and wonderful. Our food was equally wonderful, only with gluten. They even brought them gluten free desserts. Quite an adjustment, although both are feeling SO much better that they are happy they found the source of the problem.

  46. I hope everything goes smoothly for you! We bought our first house two years ago…All the work to get it is worth it!

  47. I love the stove Brandy. Someday I would like to learn to cook on one. 50 % of at the thrift store today, I picked up some things for the fall weather.
    I will be heading to North Carolina in 2 weeks for vacation, does anyone know which grocery store is the cheapest? Thanks

  48. Love the wood stove! We have been fortunate to have some great grocery sales in the last few weeks here in the Phoenix area. I stocked up on blackberries (87 cents) and made freezer jam. Corn on the cob was on sale – 8 ears for 96 cents. I made some for our holiday meal and froze quite a bit. Contemplating getting some more at that price. I planted some of my fall garden this weekend. We had some clouds and it didn’t even break 100 today! I noticed that my termites are back (very common here) so I called out my termite company. Silly me thought I could wait to have my annual inspection, well the termites taught me better!

    Hope everyone has a great week!

  49. Some frugal accomplishments for the past week:

    Returned an underbed storage tub that wasn’t needed for daughter’s room reorganization project to Target for the refund.

    Had potato leek soup with potatoes and leeks from the CSA. Husband and daughter picked 12 pounds of raspberries at a you-pick farm; had raspberry muffins, raspberries on ice cream, froze many for winter.

    Signed up our family 4th grader for the free National Parks pass, good for a year, available to every 4th grader and their family from Sept. 1, 2015 through Aug. 31, 2016, as part of the commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service. Excited about the possibilities.

    DH and I went to a colleague’s wedding over the weekend and were served dinner as part of the reception. My mother visited and generously gifted us the payment for some yard work we are having done, as well as some organizing furniture/supplies for 9-year-old’s room. She also bought the 9-year-old a T-shirt, and a pattern and fabric for making her Halloween costume. Plus, she brought us tomatoes.

    Celebrated the last day of summer vacation before school starts by going swimming at a lake; part of our parks district and free. I was hot and sweaty anyway because I also exercised by mowing the lawn with our reel mower.

    We went to the Minnesota State Fair — or at least the 9-year-old and I did. Some of that was frugal, some not. We did pay for a bus ticket closer to home, for example, instead of fighting traffic to drive in closer and ride on a free bus. And, although we did take advantage of the free water at the Culligan booth, we ate Fair food — which, for our family, is part of the fun — and did not pack lunches and water bottles. Luckily, however, some of the Fair food we like is very inexpensive: $1.00 or so for a frozen apple cider popsicle or a cup of cold cider. 9-year-old also got a free lollipop from the educational booth in the cow barn (and a free drawstring backpack) after answering a question about cows, and a free treat in the “store” at the end of the Little Farm Hands exhibit. We also enjoyed looking at displays, bits and pieces of a few free shows (dog agility, horse judging, trampoline, lumberjack skills), and animals in the barns. We also got free sunglasses from a radio station’s booth and free lip balms from the newspaper. The Fair information booths were supposed to have free sunscreen this year, but unfortunately they weren’t as accessible as I thought they would be and were low on supply when we did find one to reapply later in the day. We bought our admission tickets ahead of time, and also purchased sheets of ride tickets in advance, both of which saves on the price. One of our favorite things this year was a free laser light show of cartoons and designs formed out of lights, set to music, which was projected on one of the streets in the Fairgrounds in the evening.

  50. That is so neat that NASA does all that! Thanks for sharing! I will have to keep it in mind as a possible resource for our Girl Scout troop.

  51. Brandy, I just love your wood burning stove.

    In Australia the 1st of September is the start of Spring. The first few days were beautiful but the weather has turned cold again. I’m just busting to get out in the garden for Spring planting.

    Here’s what i got up to last week –

    * Picked lots of lemons off our tree and juiced them for the freezer.

    * Picked some silverbeet to hide in my honey mustard chicken recipe.

    * Made another batch of soap. I can’t wait to try it.

    * Bought a large gift bag from the $2 shop. It has images of vintage bikes and motorbikes. I should be able to make up to 18 cards from the bag.

    * Sold some of our chickens eggs to friends.

    * We ate out of the freezer for two nights. I’m still trying to make room for when legs of lamb come on sale.

    * Made some floral cards for the Cheapskates card swap using supplies I had on hand.

    * Filled up my car when petrol was $1.08

    * Gratefully received a cake from a friend for our wedding anniversary.

    * Turned the heater off for three days in a row ( during the day ).

    * I built up my stockpile by buying grocery specials of Pineocleen, disposable gloves, and paper towel all at half price.

    * Bought boxes of chocolates for $6 ( half price ) to be given as presents. My girls have been going to a few birthday parties lately. These are parties where 60 – 140 people are invited. When that many people are invited, the present doesn’t need to be expensive

    * Saved the washing machine water. Dried a few loads of washing on the line and the rest on clothes horses.

    * Picked two big handfuls of snow peas from the garden and used some in a chop suey with our broccoli and silverbeet. YUM !!!

    * Gratefully received a bunch of parsley and some bok choy from a friend’s garden.

    * Cooked from scratch every night except for our wedding anniversary ( 20 years ). Darren and I went out to dinner in the city and the girls had a $3 pizza from the supermarket. Everyone was happy.

    I have a few photos of these tasks on my blog

  52. I’ve been gluten-free and dairy-free for 30 years for celiac. Plus we have some other food issues. Many of the things that Brandy recommends will work well for us. I cook from scratch. I’ve found recipes for everything. It’s so much less expensive and more healthy than any of the pre-made gluten-free foods. Potatoes are a great gluten-free food. I garden. I can, freeze, dehydrate a great deal. I buy in season. I buy in bulk. I don’t purchase things like cereal, etc.

    There is a huge learning curve. But I tell myself frequently that our family has eaten much healthier because of it. So that is the silver lining of the cloud. Good luck.

  53. This past week was not very frugal. When we returned home from our camping trip, we hit the ground running! I was able to pick a few items from the garden for us to use and loaded my oldest daughter up with produce on Saturday. I stir-fried zucchini for dinner, and cooked green beans yesterday. We’ve been eating lots of tomatoes and cherry tomatoes, and got the first 3 ears of corn today.

    Thursday and Friday were spent in court. Our granddaughter has been in foster care for over 2-1/2 years (over 2 with us), and this was the next step in getting her legally free for adoption (by us). This was nasty, painful, emotional, stressful, and heartbreaking AND expensive (to add insult to injury!). When you raise a child from age 4 onward (her mother), it is so heartbreaking when you have to listen to the train wreck her life became and the things that led us to the place where we are now. We used a lot of extra gas driving the children around to be with various relatives and spent a lot of money eating out. Our granddaughter testified (her choice) and she did marvelous. Her voice was heard, then she was whisked away to spend the day with relatives so she was out of it. On Thursday evening, we were so emotionally drained that I just grabbed hamburgers when I picked up my daughter from work. I was so drained at that moment that it wouldn’t have mattered to me if they’d been $100. ( I would have later, when I felt better:) ) Friday, I did better with the food, and threw some split pea soup in the crock pot before we left. It was my anniversary that day, so during the lunch recess, my husband and I got lunch near the courthouse, and enjoyed it–calling it our “date.” Now that this part of court is over, the next step will be waiting for the mountain of paperwork we have already filled out and submitted to get finished. Then, she will be legally adopted, but that will take a while more. At least it’s over–whew! It has taken most of this weekend to get back on our feet emotionally.

    We’ve been packing for another camping trip–this time in a dry camp, in a tent, etc. I hope it’s fun! I know the company will be great, since it is a friend who talked me into this! It’s going to be quite inexpensive. I’ve been making chili, frying taco meat, making refried beans, and organizing food in bins for the trip. Where we are going, near Mt. Hood, there are no fast food joints, no stores except a lodge store (high prices-low selection), so no one (the kids) will expect us to buy anything. There is an encampment of people dressed up like pioneers about 45 mins-1 hour from where we are camping and we hope to take the kids there to see the living history. They are supposed to dress like pioneers going over the Barlow Trail, which is the part of the Oregon Trail that people chose when they wanted to go around Mt. Hood to Oregon City instead of floating down the Columbia River. They are supposed to be pretending to live like pioneers, cook over their fires, etc. I’m super excited–I’ll bet I’m more excited than the kids! Now I just hope we can find it–the directions are a little vague!

    We always do chores on Labor Day, and this weekend, we cleaned the garage, I did a lot of cooking, did some general cleaning, and my husband worked on cleaning his shop. The kids played with their goats this afternoon. We’ve eaten at home the rest of the week after court, so the weekend was quite frugal, which was nice.

  54. We do keep an eye on those Brandy. I also have one saved on my Amazon wish list and I peruse Craigslist on occasion. We will find one someday. 🙂

  55. First day of school. So not ready. My daughter is going to public school that I have to take her its an extra 20 miles a day.
    frugal fail: I drop my palm oil and lost half of it on the counter and floor. On the bright side my cupboards got a good scrubbed.
    With my daughter back at school starting to deep clean the house and work on the budget. I foresee some expenses and dietary change. My daughter sees an allergiest in few weeks. Last month or so I notice she having food issues.
    Went camping for free just had to bring food. The last night it was just me and my hubby. Start back on menu planning.
    We are having aldi opening up here on THursday. cant wait to check it out in couple of weeks.
    Hubby fix my washer. It ate one of my daughters bra and plugged the pipe to let out the water.
    Maked gbaby baby food with over ripe pears and peaches.
    Pack daughter and hubby lunches.
    Hoping now that school starting I can get back on track.

  56. Hi Brandy, so….this long labor day weekend I watched the entire season of Preppers on Netflix. It was interesting, because a lot of stock piling that I see going on in some of the families is similar to what I do, as well as others like yourself with extensive pantries. I know a lot of what you do is for financial reasons, and as an insurance for financially hard times. But, at the end of the shows the National Geographic team would assess the person/family’s preparedness and make suggestions. I was wondering, since you’re in the desert, and there are already water restrictions, what your long term water storage goals are as far as preparedness goes? Also, do you have seed storage for the future?

    If you dont want to answer these, or they’re not part of your goals I completely get it, but the show started to make me think of my own preparedness, and when I thought of others in comparison you came to mind as you’re already working on sustaining your family and are prepared with the stove you just bought as well as the rocket stove you’ve constructed and solar oven.

  57. Here are just a few of the things that I was able to do this week:

    *Was able to pick eggplant over the weekend. I fried some and froze for later use. A friend of mine that also gardens did not get any eggplant so far this season so I gave them a couple and they gave me peppers from their garden.

    *Worked in the yard and pulled a lot of weeds. I look at it as a free “workout” since I do not belong to a gym

    *I almost always bring leftovers for lunch to work….I do not like to waste any food. Since I didn’t cook over the weekend I didn’t have any leftovers so I brought in a peanut butter sandwich. It was very filling.

    *Made a large amount of popcorn this week and used that for my “snacks”.

    Sure there was more but this week seemed to just fly by….

    Glad to hear you are sleeping better!

  58. Jessica, congratulations on your new house. Sounds like it has many positive benefits, especially garden wise, and sounds like there will be chickens in your future, too. I’m glad your mother was able to help you so much.

  59. Could you please tell me how you got seeds from your green onions? Two years now I’ve planted them from seed, but I never see where they MAKE seeds. And how do you store your seeds? Our peppers did so well that I’ve got seeds drying, but wasn’t sure if plastic baggies were ok or not.

  60. Nothing majorly frugal this week. I fell in the stands at my son’s football game and twisted my ankle. Went to the ER the next day as it was pretty painful. They told me that it was just sprained. So, later on that week, I checked the final Xray report as I have an app on my phone thru this hospital system and that said there was a possible nondisplaced fracture of the distal fibula:o I called Thurday for an appt with the Orthopedic surgeon and was seen on Friday 9/4. They re-xrayed my ankle and saw the same thing a possible fracture. So, they gave me an Aircast boot to wear plus scheduled me for an MRI on 9/15 to determine whether or not it’s fractured. In the meantime, I am unable to work, given that I work in a State Prison and having to wear this boot would show the inmates that I have a weakness and could use that against me to attack me…So until 9.15, I cannot work. If it’s not broken, no prob…if it is, then 6 more weeks of boot wearing :/:(

  61. Rhonda, the ability of us to be able to help a family member, friend or even strangers is and should be a positive side effect of being frugal. The less we spend the more we should have to at times share where needed.

  62. Tadpole, congratulations on your potato harvest. We are trying potatoes here too for the first time. See how it goes. Potatoes grow really good around here so we can find them very cheap at roadside stands but my daughter wanted to experiment with growing them organically. Too bad about your pears and apples 🙁

  63. We went to Ikea on Sunday. I love to get decorating ideas from the stores. We live about 2 1/2 hours away from the nearest one, so when people realized we were going they asked us to pick some things up for them. We ended up purchasing over $100 so we received lunch for free from Ikea. I also bought some ground beef on clearance, made up a bunch of patties and froze it so we will have hamburgers for the nights we need dinner in a hurry.

  64. Becky, I pray everything goes smoothly from now on as regards the adoption process and that all the major stresses are over with. Enjoy your camping trip!

  65. Brandy,
    Love your site. You are such and inspiration. Could you share what the name and/or model of your wood stove is? Thank-you so much. In Him, robyn

  66. Becky, your courtroom drama makes me want to cry…and I don’t even know the details. So sorry your family has had such a hard time. I really hope your camping trip leaves everyone in a cheerful and hopeful state of mind. The living history sight sounds like a lot of fun (of course I work in one, so that is totally up my ally). I certainly hope you will share your experiences there with us on your next post! I would love to know more about it.

  67. Brandy I made candied ginger last year and used the syrup in granola and also as part of the liquid in a muffin recipe. It adds a bit of extra ginger flavour.

  68. Katy, You go girl! I’ve been following your blog and am fascinated by all the ways you turn an extra buck into college money! Congratulations!

  69. Thank you Holly and Athanasia! I feel very excited and blessed. EEEEK (girly squealing haha). We actually got our appraisal over the three day weekend and are moving forward with our purchase; the home turned out to be appraised for more than they are asking soo…we will take that lol.

  70. In the last couple weeks we had three things break in a row! Our fridge/freezer broke, but I was just thankful I only lost two packs of chicken. The fridge was pretty bare at the time .Next, our coffee maker went out. The lights worked, but nothing else. I had only bought the coffee maker two yrs ago. Next, we had to replace the entire A/C unit at one of our rental properties! We also had some major expenses back in the spring time, however I consider those things more of an investment. So we will definitely be making our own raise next year! On the other hand, my husband sold a car for a friend and was given some of the money from the selling the car. My husband brought us home a lot of leftovers from a golf tournament in which his company participated. We got the extra Gatorade , soft drinks and oranges. This was a nice surprise. At our house, We hosted a lunch birthday party for my mom on Labor Day. .Brandy, thanks for the frugal idea of using greenery, things for the yard, etc. for a centerpiece. I used bamboo leaves from my yard on the tables and everyone loved it!

  71. Brandy, how nice your sleep problem resolved. I am sure you are relieved. I like the stove, the antique look of it. I can’t see a maker name on it. Ours is a newer stove, bought from a want ad (before Craigs list popularity), but it is very nice to have.

    It is back to school this week, for me and youngest. I was back last week but that was just staff preparedness time, meetings etc. We always pack our lunch and take snacks. That leaves my husband to feed himself lunch and he usually finds leftovers in the refrigerator. If we are making sandwiches we make an extra or two and leave covered on a plate for him. We have my brother in law back now until Thanksgiving.

    Our garden is still producing though the effects of summer ending can be felt. We had a few hot humid low 90 degree days and the garden liked that, but the storms came through and it has cooled. We have flash flood warnings now…the ditches were rushing this morning when I crossed our bridge, the same one that washed out last year and we re-built. Trees are changing color. The Canada geese collect at the pond and the dogs politely keep them moving on.

    We had a family reunion on Monday at the houses…it is tradition to hold church at our property the Sunday of Labor Day weekend so we were still set up with all the extra tables and chairs from church lunch. Kids set up all the games…volleyball, croquet, ladderball, bocce ball. Food was potluck, as usual. The weather was still humid, but cooler and the rain held off. I was very happy as my sister and her children and grandchildren all made it over. We ended up with some leftover salads, open jars of pickles, open bags of chips, things people did not want to take back. My daughter decided to pull a bunch of rhubarb so I made 3 pans of rhubarb upside down cake and had a pail of vanilla ice cream to go with it.

    My glasses frame broke so I took them to the eye doctor’s office and they were able to fit the lenses into a new frame. The frames cost $60 and are plastic and I think I like the change. My old ones were wire and they said they could be soldered but that would cost $30 and they broke in a not so great a spot. I don’t wear glasses all the time and my Rx seldom changes so I was glad I did not have to see eye doctor, too.

    We continue to compost, recycle, cook from scratch. We harvested sweet corn, eggplants, last of the beets, carrots, potatoes, tomatoes, last of the cucumbers, last of the beans, rutabaga, first of the winter squash, many wild blackberries, red and yellow onions, cantaloupe, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussel sprouts, last of the peppers. Received more pears from folks that have too many and/or don’t use them. I’ll take as many as I can!

    Canned diced and whole tomatoes. Canned more tomato juice qts. Made another two batches of salsa. Canned pickled beets, froze diced beets. Canned quarts of mixed wax and green beans for making 4 bean salad, chopped and cooked the last of the peppers with onions and eggplant and froze for later use. Finished canning sweet corn. Will freeze the rest we get. Made blackberry jam. Made 4oz and 8oz jars of pesto (basil) for the freezer. Canned peaches in quarts and pears in pints. Made pickle relish.

    Made eggplant parmigian, breaded and baked sliced eggplant for sandwiches, deviled eggs, above mentioned rhubarb upside down cakes, chocolate pudding and tapioca pudding, spaghetti sauce, 6 doz meatballs that I baked. We had 2 doz of them and I froze the rest in 2 batches. Made vegetable soup using as many of our vegetables i could. Made 2 loaves rye bread, made baked donuts and blackberry glaze, made blackberry muffins. Blackberries grow wild along the field lines…I only do something with them if somebody, usually the girls, go hunt them out and bring them to me. Made veg shish kebab to go with the above eggplant dinner and used zucchini, onion, small potatoes and tomatoes, banana and bell pepper from the garden, plus boughten mushrooms on them.

    I always like looking at the pictures of your pantry. By the time we finish canning/freezing we should be set until next garden season as far as vegetables and fruit go. We get pork products in December when husband’s family does butchering. I have 2 turkeys coming that I ordered from my aunt who raises them. I will get a doz “stewing” chickens from daughter’s farm. We have some beef and will get some more later from a cousin. With hunting season coming we will get geese for Christmas and if someone gets a deer, maybe some venison. My husband has been fishing all summer and adding fish fillets to the freezer. Folks were talking about freezer burn last week…we use freezer paper all the time and never have a problem.

    As far as holes in our pantry, there are not too many. Right now I need brown, powdered and granulated sugar, salt, tuna, almond extract, cornmeal, tapioca, toothpaste, vit E and vit D, coffee beans, evaporated milk, baking soda for cleaning, spaghetti, parmesan cheese. I have been making a Sam’s club list as will be going there this week with 2 others who are also making lists. We hope everything will fit in her minivan by the time we all are done!

  72. I so understand your beautiful mustard seed gift. 🙂 My daughter is 9 and readily signs but is very selective verbally. We’ve had great recent success using the online program We qualify for a reduced scholarship monthly fee. My daughter loves signing times and our weekly Library trips are on Wednesday so tonight after prayers she reminded me about the Library. This is where she frequently checks out the previous weeks’ selections of signing times DVD’s. We homeschool and use both and signing times as allotted speech therapy time during our school week. Hang in there and Congrats on your gift 😉

  73. I made a quilt top for a birthday present and a wall hanging for a Christmas gift, using scrap fabric from my stash (all scraps leftover from other sewing projects). Requesting books from the library, instead of buying them. Trying to make do with fans instead of turning on the a/c.

    I was diagnosed with breast cancer, on Friday. Still trying to absorb what this means to my daughter and me. She’s my only child and I am her only parent.

  74. Thank you for your kind words, both Athanasia and Rhonda.

    We are choosing to have visitations for the young lady (she’s 11 now) and her mother as time passes. In our opinion, she will need that over the years. It will be much less frequent than the once a week, though. The lawyers and judge were very clear that it will in our ballpark, to decide what’s in her best interest and we will get to decide how much, how often, etc. However, it will be difficult, to put it mildly, because we will orchestrate those visits and there are many “glitches” in her mother’s thought process, which is how we got where we are now.:( Also, they want a therapy session with both her mom and her to “clarify.” That will be difficult for her, too, but hopefully, it will help her in the long run. (They want her mother to say “sorry” but she still didn’t see that she had done anything wrong as of Thursday–so???) Time will tell.

    My husband went to REI and got a really good map, so I am feeling very hopeful. I will share what we find out and see next week.

  75. I am so sorry to hear that! I hope you can find a great support system for yourself and your daughter. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
    You’re in my prayers.

  76. Hi Margaret and not good on everything breaking down on you :(.

    We have had a similar week this week, our whipper snipper which was 8 yrs old died a natural old age death, our blower vac stopped working as well, both in the middle of a paid job we were doing and a tyre blew on our rototiller. Plus side though is we have a yard broom which did the sweeping job, and we were blessed that our next door neighbour leant us his to finish the job.

    Positive and true blessing of the week is that the work we just finished will pay for a new whipper snipper, blower vac and our drip feed garden irrigation system, which we had put money aside from our tax cheque to buy which we can now put into savings for our first home :D, oh & paid for a new pair of work boots for my husband which were worn out.

    Hope your weeks ahead will be better break down wise and what a lovely idea the bamboo leaves are for a table centrepiece feature.

  77. Hi Bless and I am so sorry to hear about your diagnosis and you will be in our prayers.

    One of my friends had breast cancer 9 times and went into remission that many times as well. She ate a heap of paw paws which have naturally occurring cancer fighting enzymes in them. She said to me that she thinks that is what saved her, as well as eating a lot of fresh vegetables, and drinking lots of fresh vegetable juices. She is in good health today and so far it hasn’t returned.

    Good luck and I hope this is the outcome for you and your daughter also.

  78. We always believed in the rule of three…there is always three bad things that happen at once. You can take comfort that all three have happened and things should get back on track now.;)

  79. I worked in Corrections for 2.5 years before I left to stay home with our daughter when she was born. My husband worked in Corrections for 3 years and has since been a Detective for 3 more years. Our LEO family is praying for you and your safety. Thank you for your service.

  80. Athanasia, between you and your family, it sounds like you pretty close to being self sufficient. I’m curious if anyone does dairy and/or makes cheese? It seems like one of the few things that you didn’t mention. Just curious!:)

  81. Hi Movsav, I have a married daughter that lives next door and one daughter still at home. Also a mother in town and cousins and sisters in law. I usually have at least one person helping, sometimes we set up a group project. Plus, we have no younger children, or babies as a lot of readers do, so my free time is probably more than others. And once canning season is over, I actually find myself kind of bored sometimes…

  82. Rhonda, that is what my family used to do when they moved here from Switzerland via PA. There still is a small cheese factory run by distant relatives that we buy a lot of cheese at. None of my direct family starting with maternal grandma and grandpa are in dairy farming. I do have plenty down via great aunts and uncles and their families and a lot of them are in the area. I mentioned a year or so ago that my oldest girl has 2 goats now. So far she has been selling the milk to a woman who makes soap as she is too busy to make cheese yet. She and a number of her cousins run an organic free range egg farm and do honey now too. She does most of the garden work, along with my husband.

  83. I had to travel for a funeral so that did not help the budget but my Aunt negotiated a nice hotel rate, gas was low last weekend and my parents and my Aunt and Uncle kept fighting to see who would pay the check so between that, free hotel breakfast and dinner with family at my cousin’s house – I only had to pay for lunch on the road. I brought all my snacks but Nebraska has a restaurant I love that I wanted to get a sandwich from that I can’t get at home. I stopped at an outlet mall and found a sweatshirt for my son’s birthday with his favorite sports team on it. It was originally 50.00 and I paid 11.25. We also made sure to shop the Labor day sales to stock up for his party. We will have family over for a BBQ this coming Saturday. I bought some soda for half price and pork steaks for .69 cents a pound. I could only buy 2 packages and had to spend $25.00 so I did not go back for more. I also stocked up on bratwurst and bacon at super low prices. We want to finish our basement to give our teenagers more space, so my husband is putting up a drop ceiling, saving money by doing it himself.

  84. THAT is amazing! I had heard about this situation in the news. I am so glad you spoke up! I hope they fix it–a child could snort baby formula, his water, in the bath, or a person swimming, and there could be a lot of deaths. I hope they can get this fixed!

  85. Hi Michelle:
    I have a celiac in my house. I just love the web site

    One of the great basics on this site is recipes for really high quality flour blends. Then she has great recipes as well. I’ve made things that people don’t know are gluten free. Really good.

    It’s not easy at first but it will be OK.

  86. I eat mostly gluten free by choice. I don’t substitute with gf processed products. Instead I sub with natural food or go without. For noodles I make zoodles (zucchini noodles). For pizza I don’t use crust. I melt the cheese in a nonstick pan, then add toppings. The cheese will harden into a crust. For sandwiches I use lettuce leaves instead of buns. Or turn it into a salad. There are many kindle Low Carb and Paleo cookbooks for free. These are both grain free ways of eating. You don’t need a kindle device. They have apps for Android, Apple, and PC’s.

  87. Ooooh, congratulations on your new-to-you stove! We want one too, eventually, and will definitely keep an eye on craigslist when we are ready!

    We went camping for four nights, for $22.50/night. It was a group event, and everyone brought food and drinks and entertainment to share, so we had a whole lot of fun for not a lot of money!

    Also, I notice that when we return home from camping, we are extra-careful with things like conserving water and creating less waste, so there is a nice carryover effect!

    We brought home a small amount of leftovers from a meal out, and incorporated them into another meal in a very creative way! I’ll put it in my next Frugal Tuesday post!

    We baked potatoes for dinner one night, and threw in a couple extra to cook, since the oven was already hot. We had those for lunch the next day.

    My husband worked from home for a few days, saving gas money.

  88. Sorry to hear about your cancer. Praying God will heal you as I know he can. I was diagnosed with Breast cancer at age 40 and am now 52. Go kick some cancer butt!!

  89. Thanks, we will be in the outer banks. No Aldi nearby. They have Harris-Teeter and Food Lion. We don’t have either of those here in Minnesota.

  90. Bless, I am sorry to hear about your news and I’ll pray for you and your daughter and the doctors. With just the two of you, look for the cancer support group through the hospital or oncologist’s office.

  91. Thank you, everyone, for your sympathy and prayers. Thank you, Brandy, for making it possible for us to post our frugal accomplishments and connect.

  92. “Don’t try replacing old favorites try to find new ones.”

    This!! Apple crisp, made with gluten free oats, became my go-to dessert/treat. Lettuce wraps became a lunch staple. I serve many sauces over rice instead of pasta. Zucchini is also a nice substitute for pasta. We do not have celiac, but several members of my family feel much better with a low-gluten diet.

    Good luck!

  93. Brandy, I was actually wondering what you were going to do for wood. Will you get enough just from your prunings? Will you need to buy cord wood?

  94. I am not planning on buying wood. We do get wood from pruning the trees, and right now I have mesquite that my husband got to cut down for free. Long-term emergency we could only stay here if there was still water, and then we would look for trees/sagebrush to cut. Most days the solar oven is a viable option for baking, however, and we would not freeze in this climate in winter.

  95. Wow, if there ever was a collapse of the system, it sounds like you have all angles covered. That is so awesome…good for you!

  96. SJ I’ve never heard of it either. Wickipedia says it’s not a rug but a decorative throw or wallhanging, often made from felt and sewn together with blanket stitch. Google had pictures. Did not look at all familiar to me.

  97. Another blog had animals (deer, I think) after her peach trees. They used carpet tack strips and tied/bungeed them to the tree trunk, seemed to work well.

  98. As I try to combat my bad habits that so want to return – this past week I didn’t give in to mindless spending. (YAY – I can see the track again!!) Your Labor Day post was a nice reminder to scrub the house down again. Since I prefer to do this alone, it will keep me busy for 2 weeks.
    We ventured to NYC to see a show this weekend. This wouldn’t have been possible w/o one of the stars (who is a classmate of my husband) offering a huge discount. It was a great show and afterwards she let us stand on the stage and gave us a short behind the stage tour. I was awestruck. We manged to eat meals for 2 for $30 or less. I find this to be a feat, but obviously I was never looking in the right places before. I showed my husband the wonderment of people watching, and it was like we were in the dating phase all over again.
    I finished a Christmas gift for my mom and almost done with the same for my SIL. 2 pregnancies have been announced I will make baby quilts for those using fabric from my stash.
    I planted lettuce, spinach, beets and radishes for a fall garden. I am going to try and get carrots and more beets planted this week.
    I cut herbs, picked tomatoes and jalapenos from my garden. I am trying to get basil to root in water to plant inside to over winter. I haven’t had much success in keeping basil alive past March. If not, I will just plant seeds outside as usual next late spring.
    I collected Petunia seeds for next year.
    I hope everyone has a great week!

  99. Hi Rhonda and thoroughly agree with the rule of 3 :D.

    That is now all the older equipment that is now dealt with and replaced, that won’t need to be replaced for some years ahead now. I always believe in looking at the positives in any bad situation and finding something to be learned, grateful and blessed for. In this case we are grateful and blessed we had the money straight away to replace them all with new equipment along with boots and a watering system and having wonderful next door neighbours. What was learned from the situation is the old methods such as brooms work just as well, ever be it slower than a blower vac, and having wonderful next door neighbours you get on well with and help , will lend you their whipper snippers to finish the edges with.

  100. Pulling the last of the produce out of the garden. Hot peppers to mince with oil and then freeze. Went to the bulk barn to stock up on spices. Looked at the price of our powdered milk and almost had a heart attack. I use it for baking or just the amount needed, and I wish I could get it for that low of a price. Ours is $ 7.55 per pound. Crazy–still waiting for a sale. I wish someone had a blog like yours on the Canadian side so we could share where we find low prices on things. All I see is the prices sky rocking.

  101. We have found a cheap source to replace cable.. we have been without cable about 10 years I think and had recently looked into getting it again but No way with the high cost and not getting what we wanted. There is a new “kid” in town called Sling TV. You don’t get a lot of channels but it does have ESPN so my husband can watch his beloved Buckeyes and a few other football games he likes. It also has the Home and Garden Show I think that’s what it’s called? I use to love to watch that channel for all the home deco shows. 2 history channels, a Disney channel and a few others? We got it free for 7 days to try, we like it and will keep it.. $21.95 for their basic pkg. it goes thru your computer internet. My husband connected our computer to the tv a long time ago so we watch it on our tv. So far so good.

  102. Hi Carolin and I think that price is extortionate for powdered milk 🙁 .

    We live in Australia and our price per kilogram of instant powdered milk which is 2.2 lb in the States, is $4.69 Australian. The equation allowing for current currency conversion rates would put your powdered milk in our money at $23.25 per kilogram.

    Have to say on our pension payments, I would be seriously examining the milk powder for solid gold flakes to be included in that price :).

  103. I think being honest about finances was the biggest thing for me. It meant telling parents we didn’t have much to spend for a gift, and was there something they would enjoy for a small gift (because it’s hard when the friend is 7 and doesn’t understand unemployment). My son wound up getting halloween containers at the dollar spot and then filling them with the big candy bars – so maybe $5 a gift spent but it’s still a “treat” to little boys.

    I also took my daughter and a friend for a playdate that was actually a service project. They loved it because they got their artistic sides out and helped others! (And it was nice that it was free.)

  104. My beloved mother in law had the same stove in her dining room. She used it to keep coffee warm and water for tea. I never knew her to actually cook on it. If it is NOT too nosey can you tell me why you want one for your home? It just seems to me that in Las Vegas that it is warm enough that it would not be needed. Is this part of your 72 hour emergency plans? I really don’t mean to poke my nose into your family business, I was just wondering. In our part of TX we have a fire place, if I could change anything in our home it would be to remove that fire place and put a nice window there to let in light.

  105. Hi Brandy and what a blessing and a huge saving for you was the price of the powdered milk.

    I am so glad with your large family you were able to stock up on what you have. Can understand that you would have liked to stock up on more as well, you never know circumstances may arise where you can in the near future if the season is right. In the meantime the bonus is you will have stocks for the coming months ahead.

  106. Our week has not been very frugal.. we have eaten out twice this week sigh! I have been working odd hours all week and have had little time to cook or too tired when I get home. We have a social event tomorrow with my company and hopefully can get back on track to preparing meals at home. We do well Mon thru Thurs, it’s Friday and Saturday that hits us hard. My company (I’m in the candy business) starts picking up over the next few weeks and I won’t see the light of day again till after February so need to really focus on prepared meals again. One frugal is we signed up for Sling TV instead of getting cable it’s 21.95 a month versus well over $100. We have went without cable for years and my husband gets so depressed that he misses all his football games. I am still harvesting tomatoes and habanero’s from my garden still have another week or so before it’s all gone. Freezer is full. And canned some of it. I want to maybe Monday make a big pot of soup so that will help with the food budget and clear out some space in the deep freezer. As someone mentioned it won’t be long before the turkey sales start and I want to stock up when that time comes around.

  107. Hi Robbie and yes being honest on finances is the best and easiest way to approach things.

    I was through no fault of my own became a single mother overnight, who fled a violent marriage with my children when they were 1 & 2 years old and remained single for many years until after my children were grown and left home.

    I struggled everyday with lack of finances being on one income, and when things like camps came up, sometimes I quite simply didn’t have the funds to send my children, sometimes I had money for one for a camp but not both, so would simply explain to the children that I didn’t have the money to send either. You cannot send one to camp without the other in my opinion.

    One of their teachers asked me in private why the boys were not going to camp, and I explained I did not have the money to send them and only had the money to send one child. She said to me that the school had a special fund and they would pay for both my children to go.

    Through being open and honest about my finances at that time, they went to camps each and every year after that and hugely enjoyed themselves. When the children were older they would mow our neighbours lawns and do odd jobs to pay for their own camps as well.

    I was just too embarrassed and proud to tell the school or people around me that things were very hard financially wise sometimes in our home.

  108. It’s for long-term emergencies, and we are keeping it in the garage.

    I read an interesting article several years ago from a woman who was in her home during a war. They had her grandmother’s wood-burning stove in the backyard. They brought it in the house to cook with during the war. I have been interested in having one for emergencies ever since.

    I have other ways to cook as well; my husband built a rocket stove for us this year (you can put a pot on it) and we have a solar oven. The solar oven will not work if it is not sunny or if it is too windy (and the wind is the bigger issue here).

    The wood-burning stove gives us a way to bake bread in an emergency, which is why we wanted one with an oven. It’s small–only 27 inches tall–but it can fit several loaves at a time.

    While we could put it in the house, I would probably use it outside in an emergency situation.

    [i]However[/i], if I lived somewhere cold, prone to blizzards and ice storms, I would want one in my house that would warm the house as well as be able to be used for cooking. My parents have told me how they ended up driving out over the ice !!! after being in their house for several days and not being able to keep warm with just the fireplace. They put up blankets to section off the room in front of the fireplace, but they couldn’t stay warm enough.

    A friend of mine spoke on how they warmed their entire house (over 3000 square feet and built in the 1800’s) in upstate New York with a wood-burning stove. It was an investment (she obviously bought a bigger one, and a nice new one), but in the first winter it paid for itself, rather than paying $800 a month in oil to heat the house. Her house was very warm (in the 70ºs), and she could also cook on the stove, so power outages in storms were not a problem for them.

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