Frugal Accomplishments

Last Week’s Frugal Accomplishments

Last week I continued working on my organizational goals for the house.

I cut flowers from the garden for the house.

White Roses Dahlias and Zinnias The Prudent Homemaker 

I cut apple branches from the garden for a vase in the house.

I cut euyonomus branches to bring in the house.

I spent time organizing my seeds to have them ready to plant.

I found out that the seeds that had self-seeded in the garden were a mix of both beets and chard. A few of them self-seeded in the grass. Before the grass was cut, I went out, dug them up and replanted them (this time, more than 2 rows apart!) in the garden. I also thinned and replanted several of the others that were growing in the planter close to the grass.

I decided not to fertilize the lawn this month. The rain we had the week before last turned it a beautiful green, and the rain we had this last week should be enough to keep it dark green until it is time to manure the lawn at the beginning of November. Manuring the lawn while it is warm out helps the lawn remain a darker green during the winter than other fertilizers.

White Roses in Blue Jars 2 The Prudent Homemaker 

I don’t recall ever seeing rain here in October; seeing it twice was a surprise! The lower temperatures are helpful for the garden, so I took advantage of a few days where soil temperatures dropped to plant some seeds in the garden. Temperatures dropped from 96º to 77º (36º to 23º C) from Wednesday to Friday. My soil temperature dropped to 70º on Saturday. I spent time trimming burnt alpine strawberry leaves, pulled out dead plants, trimming the hedges in the white garden, transplanting a few plants in the white garden, and sowing seeds in the white garden.

I took a trip to the nursery, where I used a $10 off $50 coupon. One of my orange trees died suddenly in the spring this year (and the other died way back). I took advantage of a sale on citrus trees to get a mandarin tree to replace the dead orange tree (they were 30% off at $20).  I bought a few flowers–two stock (also on sale) to go in my urn in the white garden (I planted more stock seeds that I gathered from the garden in the urn as well), two white snapdragons (that I’ll plant in pots in back) and two cyclamen (that I planted in the pots by the front door; they will overwinter outside here but need shade so asto not burn, and I needed a flowering plant to put in full shade). I also bought a few herbs and vegetable plants.

I resisted the urge to purchase flowering kale to plant in the garden, and instead planted seeds for them that I had purchased earlier this year.

The nursery workers were pruning a large succulent that grows at the nursery. They no longer get small plants of this to sell, so they were potting cuttings. One of the nursery workers gave me a piece to try. I potted it. If it grows, it will make a nice gift for my dad.

I cut three large bundles of basil and hung them to dry.

I cut Armenian cucumbers from the garden. Unfortunately my vines died last week. I cleared them away and planted lettuce and stock seeds in their place. I also planted more alpine strawberry seeds to replace the ones that had died in the harsh sun.

I cut large bunches of beet greens, that I sauteed and added to a pasta dish.

My zinnias in the white garden succombed to powdery mildew. I tore them out and will plant seeds for fall and winter flowers in their place this week.

I turned the drip irrigation off before the rain. The cooler temperatures also meant that I could turn off the air conditioner on Friday. I am hoping we are done using it for the year!

White Roses in blue jars The Prudent Homemaker

I went through the picture frames I had that were not hung and decided where to hang several of them in the house. I have been buying frames at garage sales (usually .50 to $1 each) and now that I have enough I can do a collage in one room. I also decided where to hang a few others. I bought some good picture frame hangers for wholesale from my parents (who are picture framers) and my dad cut a piece of glass for one frame for me from his small scraps. My dad also gave me some things to hang a bulletin board in one of the girls’ rooms. I had bought this bulletin board at a garage sale for $1 over a year ago but had not hung it yet. It’s now hung up and the girls are happy to have a place to hang their artwork in their room.

By accident, I found a blog on Pinterest that has the same name as a shop whose printables I have admired on Etsy for a while. The printable that I had been thinking of buying is free on the owner’s blog! 

I tried out a couple of workout videos that I found via Pinterest. I think they were harder than the workout video that I have and I am going to work at including these a few times a week into my exercise routine.

I read a book that my mom had recently bought at a garage sale for .50. I had no idea what the book was about, which I think was a good thing, as it led more to the mystery of the story. The book was Girl in Hyacinth Blue. (Note: It’s not a book for children.) It was a very different kind of storyline, which was rather fascinating.

I watched two shows online for free: Home Fires on Pbs.org and Castle on Hulu.com.

I mended two items of clothing.

Cyrus needed to print some photgraphs for a Boy Scout project. I signed up for a Walmart account, and they sent me a coupon code for 25 free prints. I printed the 16 he needed and only had to pay tax. It says that the credit for the other 9 will still remain in my account, so I’ll use those to print the pictures I want to hang in the smaller frames.

What did you do to save money last week? 

 

 

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112 Comments

  1. All along I’ve been buying meat and veggies on sale. Chicken quarters were on sale $9 for 40lbs. I bought 3 boxes and finished filling our deep freeze. Our neighbor gave us the last 2 bushels of peas out of his garden, so I got those shelled, blanched, and put up. Squash was on sale .60 per pound so I cut, bagged, and froze those. I’ve been keeping the A/C off because the weather has been so nice here in Alabama. Last month I found a great deal on LED lights so we changed our fluorescent bulbs out. We received our electric bill Saturday, it went down $100! I also spent an entire day cooking chili and stews. I put those in the freezer for days when I don’t have a lot of time to cook and we need a quick meal. I also got a free gas card from our local gas station that gives me .10 off per gallon. We saved $500 by shopping grocery store sales, getting the gas card, changing to LED bulbs, and not running the air conditioner as often.

  2. I’m actually quite proud of myself for this. Today I was in Costco and I wandered through the toys and books. I found a number of things I could have purchased for my four grandchildren. But I didn’t. I finished shopping for them a long time ago, mostly using the $10 coupons I occasionally get in the mail from Kohl’s and Penney’s. They range in age from 2 to 15, from two different families and they all have far more than they need already. It’s hard sometimes, not to add just one more thing to the pile. But their parents are doing well and they have other grandparents and family who will also be buying them gifts. I do not want to be a “Disneyland Grandma.”

  3. I had a very frugal week, with many small and unimpressive things that added up. For example:

    I sold a racquetball racquet for $15 that I bought for $2.
    I was taken to lunch and filled a frequent buyer card that mean I can take my son for a future free lunch.
    I read a great library book. (The Nightingale.)
    I went to a volunteer appreciation luncheon at the state capital and enjoyed a lovely free meal.
    I received a $25 check as part of an affiliate program. $25 in PayPal from using Swagbucks.
    I took a receipt back to Fred Meyer as they charged me too much and was handed $4.
    I worked two shifts as an RN and brought my own food, and drank the free crappy coffee.
    Although I did splurge on a lovely vintage blue canning jar with blue glass lid that was $1.99. However, I can always resell it later.

    And of course I blogged about it here:

    http://thenonconsumeradvocate.com/five-frugal-things-110/

  4. I am going to do a NO SPEND week here. I have a menu plan that will come from our pantry and freezer 100%.

    I used some of my Target gift cards to buy a gift for Christmas. I watched a free movie on TV. HBO was free this weekend. I was able to record the movie for my husband to watch later.

    I got my closet cleaned. I am proud of how it looks now, know that I am ready for winter here. (if winter/fall ever gets here) We have hit record heat 2 times this week. Monday it was 98 and Wed. it was 96. No rain in sight for us. We are again in sever drought. If you have seen the news there is a huge fire blazing in our area. Some friends lots their home. Another set of friends lost their home for the 2nd time. In 2011 there was a huge fire that took out most of Bastrop State Park. They live right on the other side of the park. So 2 times in less than 5 years they lost their home. My heart breaks for them.:(

    I did go to the Just Between Friends sale. Got several like new items for my daycare business. Spent less than the $100.00 I had allowed. So the ‘extra’ money will go to the fund for next year’s sale.

    Our garden is just so dry here. We are not allowed to water outside with a hose right now because of our drought situation. My rain barrels are all empty. (I have 8) I am going to try to find some more barrels to use. I have kept my trees alive with bath water, dish water, and water from my washer. It is a lot of work to use buckets to carry the water from tree to tree but I do not want the trees to die. The weather man tells us we are in an El Nino weather pattern and that we should be getting some rain soon. I sure hope so.

    I worked on my embroidery pillowcases all week. I have just 2 more sets to do before Christmas. I got the fabric out to make the pajamas for the grandchildren. Every year I make new pajamas for all of my grandchildren. Also cut out some new boxer shorts/underwear for the grandsons. I can make them a lot cheaper than buying them in the store.

    All meals but 1 were eaten and fixed at home. All laundry was hung to dry. Used a bottle of cheap laundry detergent to clean the bathrooms and mop the floors. This bottle of Sun detergent was given to me by a neighbor who was moving. It does not smell real good and I did not think it cleaned a load of laundry I tried it on, so I guess SOAP is SOAP and I will use it to clean the bathrooms and floors. I also used it to wash the trash cans. (that water went on the trees too)

    Read several new recipe books and made a list of a couple of new to us recipes to try this week. Tomorrow we are going to have Quick Skillet Tamale Pie. I have salad fixings, and some fruit salad to go with it.

  5. Hello one and all from Australia :D. Brandy it is good to hear you were able to replace the citrus trees that died previously with discounted ones which is an added bonus.

    In the garden –
    – Planted one row of sweet potatoes ( 1st time planting these) from cutting vegetables purchased at a farmers market, 2 rows of all year round lettuce, a whole small garden bed and a half with garlic bulbs, 1 row of carrots, 2 rows of money maker tomatoes, 4 rows of tiny tim dwarf cherry tomatoes, 1 row butternut pumpkin, 2 rows of Queensland blue pumpkins from seed in the garden.
    – Picked greenfeast & snow peas, broad beans, turnips and silverbeet from the garden for multiple teas during the week.

    Vegetable sales –
    -Thankful and bless that I sold vegetables and herbs to 3 friends and made $16, helpful to pay for seeds and things.

    Online hobby business sales –
    – Made $16 profit by selling fabric napkin rings I designed and sewed at home online in etsy.

    In the kitchen –
    – Washed, blanched & froze 3 x 250g bags of broad beans for storage throughout the year for meals.
    – Baked a half leg of lamb that lasted one tea for the 2 of us and lunch the next day.
    – Made a vegetable bake from carrots, silverbeet, turnips and broad beans picked from the garden.

    Grocery Shopping –
    – Purchased 3 full legs and 4 half legs of lamb on special for $9.99 kg instead of the usual $11.99kg saving $2 per kg on each.
    – Purchased 2 bottles of shampoo to stock up and saved 0.49c per bottle on sale.
    – Purchased 4 tins of shredded chicken meat for $1.00 ea saving 0.99c per tin to stock used pantry supplies.

    Water Preservation –
    – Used all vegetable boiling, blanching and washing water to give extra water to new vegetable seeds, seedlings planted.
    – Used grey water from showers and washing machine to water in front grass seed, saving me using town water for 4 occasions saving 180 litres of town water that I didn’t have to use.

    I hope everyone else has had a wonderful frugal and happy week too :).

  6. I used a coupon to get four dollars off one of my son’s favorite treats. He is quite thin and so I am always trying to get a bit more calories into him.
    I tried both of my son’s winter coats on them and was delighted and not a little surprised to see that both can wear them for a bit and might make it til Christmas. I am planning on asking for new winter coats for them from my stepmother, who is a champ about always buying them clothes as gifts.
    It might sound silly but I am extremely proud of myself for learning a new way home. I have a terrible memory and a terrible sense of direction. I have a gps but I can never get it to reroute me, it is always directing me to toll roads. Anyhow, I have FINALLY learned how to get home by the free bridge. I am excited, as I have to cut through Trenton to do this. I will save at least a dollar a week this way. Some weeks I end up on that road three times.
    I have been stocking up on herbal tea as my store is having a two month sale and I can use a coupon each time. I might break down and buy a case at the end of the month to get an extra ten percent off.
    My husband has been working on our son’s Halloween costume all weekend. He has to travel for work the week before and has been trying to get it done. He is much better at that than I am. I took all the kids to grandma’s so he could work in peace as they have been pestering him. We had a great time at grandma’s and she showed me the Christmas dress she is giving our daughter so I don’t have to buy one.
    We ued a sale to get new shoes for our son.
    I made a half gallon of french onion soup, and four dozen meatballs.
    I delighted my sons teacher by finally finding a swallowtail caterpillar for her classroom, they will watch it make a cocoon and release it in the spring. I was very happy to “donate” it as I found it in my parsley.
    I know your husband is a realtor, does he follow any east coast blogs? I have been watching our home value for years and every article I read is resolutely chipper, this chipperness is not reflected in our home value.
    A neighbor listed their home for almost forty thousand less than we owe, and we are hoping to move in the spring.
    I think I found a state program( we are in PA) that will pay for our son’s private school. It is for people living in a school system in the bottom 15%. Thank God. If we cannot sell then next year his school will go up to a thousand dollars a month. Which we have been working to afford for years, ever since the market crash coupled with the realization that our school was not acceptable. My son does not have a temperment ( me neither) condusive to successful home schooling.

  7. Went to Washington to assist my daughter after the birth of her baby, which is why this post covers several weeks.

    The posts for the back fence were installed the day before I left for Washington.

    Continued to pick tomatoes & make tomato jam until I left, then picked tomatoes & green beans as soon as I got back. The green beans were hanging from the vines like tinsel, & I picked over 300 tomatoes the day after I returned! Bottled the green beans, along with more tomato jam.

    Drove over to my oldest daughter to take her some items her sister sent with me for her. While I was there, I picked up more empty half pint jars to fill with tomato jam, & our pig in white packages, that she raised with hers so that both would eat better. I bought our weanling pig, she bought the feed (& cut the weeds for their daily salad) & fed them, & I paid the fee when they went to slaughter, which worked for both families. Both our freezers are full of pork.

    Brought home the Christmas & winter birthday presents (wrapped) from the daughter that gave birth, so I can include them in the deliveries, since their family will be in Switzerland over the holidays. There was plenty of room in the car.

    Finished my visit teaching before I left, so my ladies were not left without their visits.

    Pruned the yellow rose back, & pruned one of the peach trees that is close to the back fence line. I am letting the red climbing rose form rose hips this year, so I can experiment with rose hip as a food source.

    Pulled the flowering weeds across the woven wire fence, before they went to seed, to try to reduce the weed seeds on my side of the fence, that I would have to pull next year.

    Took 2 pine cone surveys & cashed the checks after I returned home.

  8. I just finished The Nightingale also. I sometimes cry while reading a book, but I was sobbing at the end of this one! I don’t know if I’m strong enough to have made it through those years.

    I had cataract surgery (second one scheduled in three weeks) so slowed down my pace a bit. Teaching a “Simple Living” class at a small university on Tuesday and election training on Wednesday. I’m judge of elections for my precinct which brings in some extra money plus I enjoy seeing all the people that I only see twice a year.

    A pretty frugal week as I didn’t do any shopping! I have to save my money to pay for the co-pays for my surgery.

    Brandy always inspires me with all she does so hopefully this week I’ll accomplish wonders around the house!

  9. Hello everyone! We have been getting the house and yard/garden areas prepared for winter. We haven’t been able to put manure down in the garden yet but I hope to within the next two weeks. We will have to rent a tiller to work it in, we no longer have access to the one we used to borrow. But that is ok, it will be less than $20. Last week:
    -I made more whipped lotion using supplies I had on hand. It has cocoa butter in it and smells like chocolate 🙂
    -I also made more marinara sauce with homegrown tomatoes and herbs. I have more tomatoes ripening indoors and will make more when I have enough ripe tomatoes.
    -I printed off some things for Christmas presents. My daughter in law is a huge Harry Potter fan, so I reread Brandy’s Harry Potter birthday posts and got some ideas. I need to purchase an inexpensive frame for one of them. I also printed some Lego Star Wars book marks for my nephew and brother in law. I will have to purchase clear contact paper this year. Last year I was able to laminate the bookmarks I printed for free at work. I also have a book I purchased from the library for my mom a couple weeks ago for a present.
    -I cleaned and organized the spare bedroom and linen/storage closet in that room. I took stock of all the OTC medications I had in there. Cold season is here and we all have it. I have to contact my daughter’s Doctor again. She just finished a round of antibiotics and got sick again the night she finished the last dose. Now my husband and I have it. Poor peanut is miserable. Any suggestions on how to get her feeling better please let me know. I have tried everything I know how to do.
    -All meals were cooked from scratch and eaten at home. Some of the things we made were: pancakes, Brandy’s crepe recipe (which my husband really liked), marinated chicken, pork chops, oatmeal, Brandy’s chicken enchiladas and chicken rice, a simple stir fry using leftover rice, grilled chicken, and broccoli that needed to be used up, oatmeal/raising cookies, granola, power balls, applesauce using a .99 bag of clearance apples. I will be using up some of the leftover meat tonight for supper, I just don’t know in what yet lol.
    -I used my reusable menstrual products rather than disposable this last week. Saved LOTS of money. I have a box of various samples and leftover items in my linen closet that I am saving “just in case”.
    -I added some homemade gift ideas to my list for Christmas present ideas.
    -I had my interview with Unemployment last week. I still haven’t heard anything back yet. I check the website daily. I also have still had no communication from my former employer. I was supposed to receive Cobra paperwork, my checkstubs, and a termination letter. I have received nothing. I will receive my final paycheck and vacation pay in one week. Hopefully I will be approved for unemployment payments by that time. I applied for a part time job with the County my best friend works for. She works for the OWI program and the open position would be monitoring UA’s ( they do oral swabs, not urine), some computer work, keeping an eye on the clients while they wait in the lobby. It pays over $19 an hour.
    -I went to the grocery store on Monday using the last of my grocery money. I purchased bulk flour and sugar, another bag of potatoes for $1, sale priced cheese, a gallon of vinegar(I use a lot of vinegar to clean with), the clearance bag of apples mentioned above, and a cheap bag of unscented cat litter.
    -After making applesauce I used the peels and cores to start a batch of apple cider vinegar. I’ve never done this before but I hope it turns out.
    -My mother in law finally came over and brought my daughter three small presents, including two big boxes of sugary cereal. My husband and daughter like to snack on cereal so this was welcomed as we were out. There is no room for extras in the budget right now. She also gave her a magnetized “paper” doll with clothes. She loves it!
    -I downloaded a free game for my daughter on my kindle, she used scrap paper to color and paint on.
    -I saved flower, cinnamon basil, and sunflower seeds from my garden. My daughter and I also went out and have been collecting morning glory seeds. we have two entire fences covered every year with morning glories. We have not had to purchase the seeds for two years because we collect the seeds.
    -I chaperoned a field trip to the local Pumpkin Patch. My daughter had so much fun and received a free pumpkin and lunch. I was told they would also provide lunch for the chaperones, but they did not so I was forced to buy some food there due to my sugar dropping too low (I am diabetic). I purchased a cup of soup which tided me over until I got home. I also took my daughter to a birthday party for a classmate. It was at a Burger King restaurant and she received lunch and a free goodie bag and played in the play area. I had a boy present in my present stash already and wrapped it with paper I had on hand.
    -I cooked a whole chicken in the crockpot then made broth from the bones and skin.
    -We stayed home all week other then the times mentioned above.
    -I brought two hanging plants indoors to hopefully help them survive the winter, a bleeding heart plant and another one with pretty pink flowers.
    -exchanged library books. I also reserved a few more through the interlibrary loan program. I read a magazine on their new digital magazine service. I also saved some books in my Amazon wish list to reserve at the library at a later date.
    -We had to turn the heat on. The temperatures are going into the 30’s at night. We turn it off when it warms up during the day though.
    -To make my expensive conditioner last longer I put about a 1/4 cup of conditioner into an empty/repurposed conditioner bottle and then filled with water. I will do this with the shampoo as well. I have severe skin allergies and eczema and must have all natural products. this is the reason I originally started making my own. When I have some more money I will purchase some bars of Kirk’s castile soap and use it to make my own liquid soap which I will then use to make shampoo. I do this watering down trick with our hand soap and dish soap, too. I also save soap slivers from the shower. I use it to make homemade powdered laundry soap. I need to purchase more borax and washing soda so that I can make homemade laundry soap when my current stash of purchased soap runs out.
    I look forward to reading everyone’s accomplishments! Have a great week everyone!

  10. The flowers are beautiful as always, Brandy! I find it interesting (almost humorous really) that you are rejoicing cooler weather. We had our first snowfall this weekend. It wasn’t a real one in our area…just flakes of snow falling from the heavens that melted immediately on impact. But it definitely brought the cold air! We’ve went from air conditioner to furnace rather quickly this year.

    Life has been pretty busy lately, with no signs of letting up. My frugal accomplishments for this week are:
    *Attended a local fair that we love going to every year. It is held on the Thanksgiving long weekend, so a lot of families enjoy attending on the holiday Monday when everything else is closed. The admission cost was not too expensive, only $10 per adult, children 12 and under is free, and free parking. My MIL came with us and she paid for some of the ride tickets my daughter used, saving us more money. My brother also joined us for a short time, before he headed back to Ottawa. Overall it was a fun day excursion for our whole family.

    *We had leftovers to eat up from our Thanksgiving dinner, so they served as some of our meals this week (is leftover stuffing considered a complete meal?). Other homemade meals this week included pasta with sausage slices (one sausage stretched for everyone), homemade cream of broccoli, cauliflower, and carrot soup with cheddar biscuits (see below), breaded chicken burgers with salad, ham casserole (new recipe which used pantry items and leftover ham in freezer from last Christmas), and roast beef with mashed potatoes, and corn.

    *My family loves bread with their soup and usually I make a homemade loaf to have with it. However, we had homemade bread all last weekend and were tired of it. Instead, I decided to make tea biscuits to go with the soup. I was craving a cheese biscuit and checked Pinterest for ideas. The recipe I made was super easy (uses Bisquick, which can be made from scratch with pantry items) and so amazingly delicious, my daughter is already begging me to make more. So, for those looking to change things up, here is the recipe that I highly recommend trying: http://www.joyfulabode.com/cheesy-garlic-biscuits-a-la-red-lobster-step-by-step-easy-recipe/

    * I had frozen the turkey carcass (for making stock) and all the leftover turkey immediately after our Thanksgiving meal, so we could make pot pies on my husbands next day off. On Saturday I made a large batch of turkey stock, using the carcass and veggie peeling I had saved up in the freezer over the last few months. Making our own stock, in stead of buying a bunch of pre-packaged chicken stock, is such a huge cost saver!

    *We continued with organizing the storage area downstairs. There were several computer monitors and parts hanging around, so we took them to a place that pays for your old computers and electronics. We made a whopping $3.00! Whoo-hoo!!!! Ok, so at least it was better than nothing.

    *Pulled the last of the carrots from the garden. They were so small, it wasn’t worth the effort to try and eat them. However, they were perfect for our Guinea pig. We gave them to her greens and all…free food for her! I now know to plant them earlier than mid-August next time. With the nights are now dropping below freezing, gardening is officially over for this year in our area.

    *My husband, daughter and I attended a pumpkin festival at a berry farm on Sunday. We signed up for free entry through Autism Ontario. We had never been before and were surprised to learn that you had to pay to go through some of their offerings, while others were free. My daughter enjoyed “pumpkin bowling”, walking through the corn maze and we watched a puppet/magic show, all free with entrance. We also paid to go through a “haunted forest” which was designed for adults and children over 10 years. People popped out at you and did their best to scare you as you walked through. We all had some good scares and laughs, so worth the extra money I guess. We also received 3 free pie pumpkins with our Autism Ontario ticket. I really didn’t need more pumpkin, as I still have a bunch from last year. But since it’s free, I will cook them up after Halloween and freeze the puree anyway. No point in wasting free produce! We also received 2 free metal water bottles and 2 free reusable bags from a company doing promotions on resource conservation (hydro, water etc.).

    Looking forward to learning new things from everyone’s comments. Have a wonderful week everyone!:D

  11. In my typical style….the furnace (yes furnace we had frost the other night) was not firing up properly. With a bit of coaching on the phone, I was able to remove the offending part, scrub it off and replace it. Savings $150 service call.

    I checked craigslist for straw bales and found that the local FFA class at the high school was selling straw a couple dollars cheaper than anyone else in the area. I was able to get enough in the trailer and car to get what I needed and also some for my parents. Savings $30….and hopefully with the straw mulch my asparagus will survive the winter. All 40 roots that I planted (what was I thinking?!?) grew so if it all makes it, I’ll have lots of asparagus.

  12. My frugals have been filling out surveys for Krogers we get 50 points per survey so over a month it’s 200 points which is 200 points or 20 cents off per gallon. Along with my store purchases we have hit 800 points or 80 cents off a gallon so my dh will use those points today when he fills up. I am on week 3 of the same tank of gas which I paid $13 for after using 900 points last month or 90 cents off a gallon.. love my hybrid. I made hard tack candy last week for Christmas gifts. I will be making more this week. I bought a new lollipop mold Christmas trees. I bought coloring and 3 new flavors: Butterscotch, Pina Colada and Peppermint. I bought a boneless pork roast yesterday on clearance for $5.50 which I will cook today or tomorrow and shred for meals. I bought 4 lbs. of chicken burger which I will be cooking this morning and freezing for meals. So prepping will help us resist fast food meals later in the week when I am working afternoon/night shifts are work. I just got done cooking a whole chicken in my pressure cooker for my girls (dogs) meals this week I give it in place of canned dog food. I will be cooking a second one when the cooker cools down and I remove the first chicken. I have saved chicken broth in the freezer and will use that broth along with the second chicken to make homemade chicken and noodles later this week. I’ll debone that chicken and use the saved broth. When I get a chicken with a neck bone in it I freeze the neckbone to make chicken broth with later. So I am saving the neck bone today (one chicken didn’t have it) and clearing out my freezer of the chicken broth that is in there. We made a nesco roaster full of chili yesterday 22 quarts which is in the deep freezer and dh will use for his lunches for the next 6 weeks. I personally would get bored with that many of the same thing but he likes it and it saves us a huge amount by not buying lunch out each day. I took the last of the tomatoes out of the garden pots the other day and have them set up to turn red in my craft room. I sold 5 bottles of shower gel that I make for a customer this week and made $50.00. It’s a special blend I make for her with Peppermint, Lemon and Tea Tree Essential oils. The shower gel I buy in bulk at a suppliers, you just mix your oils in as you pour I buy a gallon bottle at a time. So I think that’s about all for now.

  13. It’s so interesting to read about your gardening activities. This week marks the final week for our garden for at least seven more months. We harvested our pears and got around a bushel full. We used wood to heat our home and didn’t need to turn on the furnace yet although we’ve already spotted snowflakes. We also traded some work for a quart of honey. We’ve been bartering like that a lot lately. This time of year is when we save the most money. We start eating from the pantry and we don’t go anywhere.

  14. Celia,

    My husband is not a blog reader but he does watch a daily news show from two loan officers who tell what is [i]really[/i] going on in the market.

    A few things of note: The Fed decided to not raise interest rates. I have been watching each quarter to see what happens with the interest rates. A raise in rates will slow home sales. At the same time, the fact that they have not raised rates shows that the market and the economy is not doing well. They had planned to raise it the last two quarters, but then did not.

    Second, the Realtor Association just said that the normal percentage of agents who change offices a year is 12%, but this year 33% of agents have changed offices, looking for a better deal. That’s a sign that business is not good. Some companies (the big name ones) take a huge percentage of an agent’s commission (some take half!) and agents are changing to smaller companies like ours who do not take a percentage (my husband is the broker and owner of his company with around 40 agents).

    Changing in lending practices have made obtaining a loan more difficult for many people. This has lowered the number of buyers. Last year a huge number of buyers here were cash buyers. The rate of return has diminished for investors and the cash buyers are now moving on to other cities. Sales are slowing.

    Our market here is different from those on the East coast. We were one of the first areas affected; we have three cities here, and one was the 4th fastest growing and the other was the 2nd fastest growing before the crash–and so the crash affected our area a great deal. At one point we had over 25% unemployment and 1 in 7 houses was in foreclosure. Construction (which was a huge number of jobs) stopped. Over 6000 agents turned in their licenses. Houses dropped $10,000 a month in value in 2007.

    There has definitely been some improvement in the market, and house prices have increased since the drop, but we don’t believe for a second that it is all roses. Things are certainly slowing down. It is taking time for houses to sell.

    In areas such as yours, it is harder to sell in winter. Winter is slower in most places as people like to move when children are not in school, but sales are even slower in cold climates during winter, and the next two months people are more interested in the holidays than in moving. It may take time, especially in a slow market, for your house to sell. If you want to move in spring, get your house listed as soon as you can, and expect it to take time. Have several agents come and talk to you before you decide on one. Ask them what the time frame for selling is in your market–they can look at the number of days on the market for houses like yours in your area and tell you an actual number. They can also tell you what price they are selling for. They should show you what they are comparing so that you can see where they are getting their numbers. Agents should do this for you for free in hopes to get your business.

    Best wishes to you!

  15. Good for you for mulching your asparagus!

    You need a lot of plants per person; 40 does not sound like many at all! it takes 3 years before you can harvest; two years if you planted one-year-old crowns. We love asparagus here but most of our plants have died over they years (and I don’t know why). Part of the vegetables I purchased this week were 6 new asparagus plants. Best of luck with yours!

  16. Been putting my pressure canne to good use again this week! Pressure canned more dry black beans so that I will have up to 14 jars on my shelf at a time. When I get down to just 7 jars, I will pressure can another batch (12 jars). This way, 1. I won’t run out, 2. I will be rotating my storage, 3. It won’t take up too much shelf space on my pantry that’s needed for things that have a definite “season” that I need to store enough to last until the next season. 4. It keeps me out of the grocery store to just buy a can or two of beans ( and can I really come out of the store at that point with “only” a can or two of beans? Lol!!)

    Today, boneless pork tenderloin is on sale for $1.49/lb so I am buying about 15 lbs. I will have the butcher cut it into 1″ chops and when I get home, I will cut each chop into 1″ cubes and pressure can them into pints. I should get about 15 pints. That will allow me to take advantage of this sale (which is my “stock-up” price point) without taking up freezer space as well as giving me the convenience of having “ready to use” cooked pork cubes. It also diversifies my storage so that if there was a power outage, I would still have a more balanced shelf stable storage to use! Also, when the price goes back up, I can smile knowing I don’t have to buy any at that price! Makes me happy!

    Made more of the 3 ingredient no bake “power” bars for snacks/lunch additions. Packáge them into snack size ziplocs that I reuse so they are grab and go to put into lunches. Rotated a #10 can of fruit cocktail out of my storage. Used it as a dessert with a dinner where we had 4 guests plus the three of us, then took the rest of what was left in the can and portioned it into my Rubbermaid plastic snack size containers and put into the fridge for another grab and go lunch addition!
    Made potato soup in the crockpot for our dinner, took some to a friend for his dinner and put some in a cute little “travel” crockpot with a handle and plug for Hubby to take to work.

    We are getting really serious about rotating our food storage now rather than just adding to it and watching it sit on the shelves or take up freezer space! We are eating it as we continually replenish with other food!
    From our garden clean up, I was able to bag and freeze 13 quart bags of bell peppers and hot peppers. Here, in the Midwest, that will be so wonderful to have them during these other 9 months of our year when it’s cool/cold outside!
    We cleared space and de cluttered in our center basement, finished building one more 3 barrel food storage unit, cleaned out 3 new 15 gallon barrels and filled with our emergency water storage. There are 3 of us in our household- 1 gallon per person for 14 day= 14 gallons/person. So that was an easy addition. The barrels cost us $5 each!

    We took the 9 window air conditioners out of the windows and put into big contractor’s trash bags and in our newly decluttered basement, stacked them neatly against a wall so they aren’t taking up closet or attic space.

    We are so blessed to live in a home with both an attic and a huge 3 section basement!

    Didn’t go out and spend this week on “mindless” purchases. It’s so easy for us to do that! I know many people use a “cash only” way of controlling their purchases, but for me, if I have cash in my possession, it somehow “evaporates” so I only use my debit card. To avoid overspending then, I stay away from the stores. Sounds simplistic? Maybe….but for me, it works!!
    Again a very good week!

  17. I found organic frozen pizza for 1.81 each , {closeout deal} and bought the last 8. I have never seen organic pizza for less than 4.99. . We have been doing pizza each weekend, buying at the grocery store is cheaper than going out, but I need to get some pizza packets made up for the freezer!

    Started digging out our front landscape, the previous owners have it way too high- up past the siding. .. I hope it wasn’t to hide something; our house inspection noted that he couldn’t see the whole foundation but what he did see it was okay. This is a big project. I am giving away some of the flowers, throwing out the dead bushes, and reusing the block in the backyard {large} firepit.

    I bought a 4-in-1 game at United Art Education for $10.50. I will use this in our homeschool- Clock game, addition, coins, and a fraction game{save for later}… This is a new store I was told about and could easily spend $$$ anything in that store.

    Made the last of the cookies from freezer- oatmeal chocolate chip.

    Made two loaves of banana bread, one we made into banana bread French toast- Must Make Again.

    Washed gallon bags out to reuse .

    Did 2 pinecone surveys. Cashed out $9. Will transfer into savings.

    Added coins to coin jar.

    Received and cashed my Lowes Rebate. I will put that into savings too.

    Used cardboard {cereal, frozen pizzas} to start our fireplace.

    Sold a pair of shoes on Ebay {to savings}, listed 3 more items. I figured out how to print a label from home and usps will pick up the package, so no need to make a stop at post office!!

    Mom gave us 2 pints of diced tomatoes and 2 large jars of spaghetti sauce. {homemade}

    Grandparents gave us 4 lbs dried pinto beans, 2 lbs of white rice, jar of peanut butter, 2 lbs of spaghetti noodles, 2 boxes of cereal, and a bottle of cran-apple juice. They also gifted us box of math puzzles for 4-5 yr olds, and a child’s learning to write notebook.

    I have to turn up the heat to 78 at night 🙁 We put new drywall and insulation {there wasnt ANY in our wall ?!?!) up in our bedroom (the girls’ room next) but realized that isn’t the only problem- We are getting airflow from the attic, so we have to look into that ) . With small kids I don’t like the idea of a space heater that they could get burnt on- I need to research this more!

    Used a Subway gift card to get lunch. I *think* this is week 3 without going out!!! .We wouldn’t have even done this , but we were out half the day driving to and from visiting/picking out our new puppies!

    Put a deposit down on our puppies- 2 german shepards girls! .. Went with this breed for the natural protection. My hubby works away from home days at a time and we have 3 small children. These are my first dogs as an adult so I’m a bit nervous 🙂 The dogs will come home at the beginning of November but they are our Christmas present!

  18. It is [i]such[/i] a nice change not having it be 100º anymore! It dropped quite a bit into the upper 70’s and it is beautiful! It is finally cool enough to plant my fall garden!

    We normally get a frost sometime in December, but it is light and most things will make it through that I plant for my fall garden.

    A light snow like you mentioned is extremely rare here!

    It is so nice to have the air conditioner off (for the year, finally!) and be able to open the windows to cool down the house. It is about 77º in the house during the day.

  19. Hi everyone! Greetings from Arkansas! We’ve been having a really hard time here so frugality abounds. My van had to have some repairs, my husband’s truck needs the transmission rebuilt, and my dh needs to have his wisdom teeth pulled. So my grocery budget has been cut to $50 a month. Thank goodness for food storage!

    I’ve been making all of our bread. We eat soup on a regular basis which has helped a lot. We also eat a lot of beans. I’m grateful for the meat I purchased on sale last year. We are getting close to the bottom of that. I am hopeful that we will find a way to replace it when meat goes on sale next month. We should be able to get turkeys and hams really cheap.

    I planted a fall garden. It’s a little late in the year but I think it will be ok. Temperatures have dropped a lot – our highs have been in the upper 70’s and low 80’s. It’s very cool in the mornings but the days are nice. My plan is to not turn on the heat until November if we can stand it that long.

    I get to shop this weekend so my plan is to buy potatoes and butter. I saw 50 pound bags of potatoes for 9.99 at a local store. That works out to 20 cents a pound and will be a nice change from beans. I plan to buy four bags and spend the rest of my budget on butter.

    My dh has applied for a second job and we are very hopeful that he will hear something soon. I worry over him working so much but we have to do it.

    I hope you ladies have a great week.

  20. Celia – There is a setting on your GPS that you can select avoid tolls, avoid highways, etc. Mine is in settings > preferences. You just need to remember to turn it back on if you take a long trip or you will take all the back roads!

  21. My parents have asparagus plants that are just now starting to die off one by one – they are somewhere around 20-25 YEARS old!! The only thing I ever remember them doing is mulching them with the used straw (might as well fertilize and protect them at the same time) from the goats and chickens.

  22. Thank you. We did speak to a realtor last April when we saw a house near us sell for a good amount but the first realtor we spoke to said we would be lucky to get what we owe, leaving us to pay for the commission and closing costs, and of course the long list of things we need to do to make the house attractive to the tiny pool of buyers.
    We have a second realtor coming in November, to see if she thinks we could break even, and if not how much we might expect so we could plan. Not knowing is so difficult. I have to contact the office that handles scholarships this morning, if our sons schooling is covered it will make everything so much easier. Our son takes after my engineer husband and he has a..relentless mind.
    Anyhow, we don’t even need to make a profit, we just need to get out, we’ll save so much money on tuiton and transportation once we move.

  23. Isn’t it wonderful to find garden volunteers? Well, food that is, not weeds 🙂 I’m done planting vegetables for the year, but have some peonies and allium bulbs to plant, which I’m hoping to do this week. I pick up nice, inexpensive frames at the thrift store too, to use for prints or paintings I find. The free printable was a nice find for you! I added Home Fires to my Netflix queue, after reading about it here last week. Joining in here: http://abelabodycare.blogspot.com/2015/10/first-frost-frugal-accomplishments.html

  24. As a mom of three young children, thank you! One of my sons tend to hang on to every single thing he gets and it’s a battle to get him to release older toys…even broken ones. We try to keep our home uncluttered by asking family not to overdo things at Christmas and birthdays. Our parents have really respected our wishes on that and it makes life so much easier! 10 gifts does not add any more happiness than one or two. My husband and I feel so sorry for other parents who try to compete against grandparents for giving the best gifts. Thank you again for the gift of moderation!

  25. I have been wanting to learn cake decorating. My local Jo-Ann Fabrics was remodeled, and gave out 3 50% off coupons that could be used Thurs-Sat. I went and got a deluxe cake decorating kit for $50 instead of $100, plus a cake turntable for $7.50. I am using YouTube videos to try and learn my techniques.

  26. Praying for rain for you too. I remember a few years ago living through a bad drought in Texas. 2011, I believe. Many trees died and when I would walk out on the grass in my sandals the dead St. Augustine would poke my feet like brown needles.

  27. Here’s a funny asparagus story—a few years ago we planted some crowns on the edge of the garden. They didn’t do very well, probably because we didn’t do much with them. Occasionally, the weeds would take over them, I would weed them out–we would get a few each year. This year, my husband accidentally tilled them up when he was tilling with the tractor to prepare the garden for planting. They came back–Really Well–and we got quite a few this year. Go figure! No rhyme or reason to it. So, I weeded them out well and put barn leavings on them, and we will see what happens next spring.

  28. Hi Katy, I’m currently reading the nightingale and it’s so touching..the first story which has really touched me wrt to the world war.

  29. Love your pictures. They are always so pretty.

    I have been doing a lot of yard work, getting things ready for winter, which is wonderful FREE exercise.
    We got our first freeze of the season on Saturday morning and again on Sunday morning. Friday I went out and got everything that was left in the garden.

    I went to my first holiday bazaar of the season Saturday. It is a small sale, but just up the street at a local church. I always go and buy all the nuts I will need for holiday baking. The group selling the nuts is raising money for their missions, so a good cause.

    The rest of my frugals, which included canning, can be found at;
    http://cherylsfrugalcorner.blogspot.com

    Have a great week.

  30. *We purchased the flooring for my sewing room – a vinyl wood look. We got a remnant for $80 off the tag price and paid cash so they didn’t charge us sales tax 🙂 Now I am slowly putting it all back together.
    * Sugar is on sale at Gordons for 11.99 for 25 pounds so I purchased another box. I will pick up another box or 2 next week.
    *I picked 3 small winter dumpling type squashes and the last few pepper from the garden. This week I need to pull all the plants.
    *Brought in my geraniums to overwinter them in the house. A couple of them are over 5 years old now and I have been taking cuttings and rooting them to grow more.
    *Purchased a new freezer – an upright – with the bonus money my husband received last week. He did alot of research and cost checking before we purchased from Best Buy. He will get quite a few points to use on a future purchase as well. We know that chest freezers are more energy efficient but we kept “losing” food to the nether regions. It is soooo nice to just open the door and see at a glance what I have in there! I plan on putting a white board on the outside of it to keep track of things (so I don’t have to open it to check) and things that are needed more often like icecream and coffee will stay in the house freezer. The older freezer will go up for sale on Craigslist.
    *I found my daughter a rotating desk storage container for all of her pens and markers at HomeGoods for $10 (1/2 price) – she does the adult coloring books which helps her with her anxiety when she gets overwhelmed with college studying and homework. Just getting all of them contained gave her a lot more desk area. Her desk doesn’t have drawers.
    *I purchased a sample size of paint to paint my ribbon storage rack I made with scrap wood and dowels we already had. I will use what’s left of it to paint a small shelf I use to keep my radio on in my sewing room.
    *I repurposed a shelf that had warped slightly into the shelf above the door in my sewing room. It is where my “new” button jars are stored so I don’t have to worry about rambunctious kittens knocking them over and breaking them.
    *Here in West Michigan we saw snow over the weekend and finally had to break down and turn the furnace on when the house temps dipped into the 50’s. I still cannot figure out how 50 degrees feels balmy in the spring but makes me pile on the layers in the fall!! The temps are still climbing into the 50-60 degree range during the day and the sun is shining so I can turn the heat off during the day at least. I can hold off on turning on the animals heated water buckets and bowls for probably another month as long as I keep breaking off the skim of ice that will form on the pools which will keep the electric bill down another month.
    *got $10 Khol’s cash back when I purchased new bras which were buy one get one 1/2 off. I’ll use that next time I’m near the store to purchase the socks I desperately need now that I can’t wear flip flops in the cold.

  31. Encouraged by everyone’s great stores about Goodwill, I was very excited when I heard that one of them is opening in Union Square in Manhattan (which is sort of close to where I work). I finally made the trip one evening last week, only to get really disappointed 🙂
    Clothing was all (I am not joking) priced $14.99 for dresses and sweaters (a piece), jackets $19.99 and up, and children’s clothing was priced individually starting at $4.99. :/ All of them looking used and half of them stained.
    I have heard stories of 25 cents children clothing and full bags of clothing for a total of not more than $20 so it was disappointing.
    I still saved money, my weekly update is here:
    http://www.brooklynbasedgirlfriend.com/last-weeks-frugal-accomplishments-18/
    Wishing everyone a great week!

  32. We are enjoying a week of vacation, courtesy of my aunt. We brought our food, things to do, and a little bit of “fun” money, but not a lot, since my husband is out of work. It is very kind of my aunt, and we are very appreciative and we will get to enjoy her company, as well as time with my mother for the week.

    On Friday, the poultry killing place we often use had an unexpected opening, so we were able to get our 28 chickens processed. It costs money, of course, but they were ready to be butchered and we weren’t originally able to get an appointment so quickly, so it will save feeding them for extra time. We had been going to use a place closer to home, but they had a family situation and cancelled our appointment at the last minute so…..Glad to get them done before they were too big.

    I dug out some quilting projects from years past and brought them with me on vacation. I did visit a quilting store, but bought a pattern I hope to use for Christmas, instead of buying more fabric. I love looking, and keep myself out of the stores for the most part so I won’t spend $. I have lots of “ingredients” for crafting and quilting, but mostly have been sewing clothing for the past few years-so many girls:) I would like to make more gifts this year if I can find the time, using up supplies. We may be looking at a move here, and so the less the better when that time comes.

    I picked and froze more peppers. I got another huge bucket of tomatoes from the garden. I got pea pods. I took all that with me on vacation, other than what I gave away or ate. We had company 2 times this week and used items from the garden and pantry to feed them. It is unusual to have that much company, but lucky us:)

    There is one thing I am noticing. I am hesitant to dip into my stockpile because of habit. I’m more used to storing than hitting it hard. But, as I am reminding myself, it was put away for a rainy day and that day’s here. But, it’s a change of mindset. I have to trust that I saved these things to use and that I will be able to rebuild later. So, I’m still learning.

  33. By December, I will be in hibernation mode as we will probably have freezing weather, possible ice storms, and snow. I may be Canadian, but I don’t like winter…or hockey either to tell you the truth. I wish there was such a place where the weather was spring/fall temperatures for most of the year. That would be the perfect place to live!!!

  34. Melissa, we have 2 upright freezers at our house (one is my mothers and one is mine). I LOVE the uprights so much more than the chest freezers for the same reason you stated. We had a chest freezer when I was a kid and it never seemed to have much in it because nobody could find anything if it was full. Such a waste! I’d much rather pay a bit more in hydro for something that is user friendly.

  35. I am so sad for your friends who lost theirs home(s). Prayers for them.

    From the time I was little, until she died at age 92, my grandmother made pajamas for all of us (and by the time she was 92 there were a lot of us) for Christmas. I treasure every nightie and pair of “‘jams” I still have that she made, including the ones for my own (now grown) children. If only, if only, she were still with us to make a nightie for her great-great granddaughter, who is named for her. All that to say – I love that you make pajamas for your grandchildren – such a wonderful gift that they will treasure all their lives.

  36. Hi Erika,
    I read your recent blog post and thought I would mention Medic Alert for your son’s significant allergy issues. If wearing a bracelet or necklace is irritating, the company does issue cards. I carry one for my daughter and she carries one in her wallet for type 1 diabetes as well as her bracelet. When you have life and death health concerns it’s really good to have it. Look into their website when you have some spare time :>. Hang in there and keep blogging.
    Barb

  37. Mary Ellen, my husband and I re election officials, too, and really enjoy it. One of the greatest pleasures is seeing new citizens/immigrants who are voting for the first time and are so proud of it. And then there are the kids voting for the first time, who sometimes come in with Mom. We make a big deal of it, encouraging Mom to take pictures on the cell phone of the first time their son or daughter puts a ballot in the box. The kids get all embarrassed, but the parents love it. It pays a little, which is nice, too—especially when we volunteered to do it thinking that it was something we would do for free! Then there was the guy who would always come in alone and then one year he brought in his new bride and was so pleased to be introducing her to us and saying how much he loved being married…I wish more people would do it, as every year they have trouble recruiting enough people to man all the polls.

  38. We went straight from needing the AC to having to turn on the heat pump and use that to warm up the house in less than two days. Usually we get a bit of a break in between. I do feel safe in purchasing and planting pansies now that it’s cooler. They do well here throughout late autumn, winter and early days of spring. Parsley is sometimes planted as a companion with the pansies and it’s really pretty.
    Here’s what I did last week: http://bluehousejournal.blogspot.com/2015/10/this-week-in-my-home-fair-savings.html

  39. Not a frugal weekend but memories priceless.
    Honey crisp $.25 lb
    Download lbs on kindle
    Friend gave me Gatorade for free
    This week won’t be frugal. My daughter has 2 days of allergy testing.

  40. Our biggest frugal accomplishment this week was that we didn’t grocery shop. We have been stocking up our pantry and freezer so well the last couple of months when food was at the best price that we decided to not go this week and eat what we had. This will save us some money this week that we can use for other expenses.

    I mended some clothes for work

    I made my husband’s birthday cake. His birthday was a couple of weeks ago but the family wasn’t able to get together until this past weekend. I made a black forest cake with cherries and whipped cream. My daughter said it looked like it came from a bakery. I don’t bake a lot of cakes anymore so I was very pleased with how it turned out. Our daughters presented my husband with a Shutterfly photo book with pictures from the time he was a baby until the present with lots of loving notes throughout the book. A 40% discount was used to order the book. These kinds of presents are always the best.

    Our daughter and son-in-law took my husband and me out to dinner for my husband’s 60th birthday.

    All of our meals were made at home from scratch.

    I combined baking soda and essential oil and sprinkled it on the carpet to give the living room a nice fresh scent.

    I got a book from the library on CD that I can listen to on my way to and from work.

  41. We went a bit crazy eating out this week, four meals, which is unheard of for us (at least since we started being sensible). The good news was that we ate out because my husband’s health is improving and he can now tolerate going out. So we went a bit wild. But the funny thing we noticed is that we really were a bit amazed that the food wasn’t as good as we thought it should be for the price. My homemade cooking must be getting better 😉

    I need to defrost the chest freezer this month to make room for the turkeys and hams on sale next month…so we are drawing down the freezer. By next week I should have room to consolidate into the refrigerator/freezer combo. But as someone mentioned it is very hard to keep pulling from the freezer and not replenish….what if….but I need to stay focused and by November, we can start restocking again.

    Brandy, loved the blue mason jars with your flower photos, really well done.

  42. I love reading everyone’s posts, very inspiring and insightful!
    This week I sold an item we no longer needed on Craigslist and made twenty dollars. DH’s birthday was yesterday, my new goal is to keep birthday’s simple and inexpensive so I made GF black bean cupcakes and decorated with the tablecloth, sign, hats, we use for every birthday. For his presents I made some “peppermint massage salve” with a recipe I found online and put it in a mason jar and gave him a “coupon book” I made with coupons for things like “one foot massage”, “baked good of your choice”, etc. He really liked it. DD three has a birthday in a few days. I’m making her some socks with beads crcoheted on, we call them “jingle socks” and she really likes them. The nylon crochet thread is awesome for this btw, it doesn’t fuzz over time like the cotton thread does. It looks sharp long after the sock is completely work out.
    For Christmas my goal this year is to buy nothing except stocking candy. I’ll make presents with what I have around the house. I have not done this before, but I think I can do it. I’m thinking three gifts each; I have three DD and one DS, so I’m going to make dresses for the DD’s and a set of wooden blocks for DS (I cut some perfect cubes out of a scrap 2 x 4 in the garage). I’ll make aprons for all four of them. Gift three for all of them is undecided. . . Maybe doll dresses or a crocheted stuffed animal. . . any ideas? 🙂
    For friend/teacher gifts I’m going to make lip balm for everybody. I figure I’ll give each person a little cellophane bag with two tubes (one peppermint, one cinnamon) and some chocolates, tie it with some nice Christmas ribbon or raffia, and call it good. Lip balm is so inexpensive to make and it’s something everyone can use in the winter months!!
    I’m stashing away old jeans for a denim quilt, I just need a few more pairs and I’ll be ready to go on it. I’ve wanted a headboard in our guest room for years, so I’m making a headboard from the anawhite.com website. It will be sturdy and cost less than buying one, I have most of the supplies I need kicking around my garage.
    I gave away some things I no longer need on freecycle.

  43. Just recently someone asked me how I get so many steps on my fitbit. Frugality can do that for you. The sensor is out on my dryer so I have been hanging clothes in the attic. I wash clothes for seven so I wash then load up the basket and go up a flight of steps. There you go. I had pears and apples spoiling on me so I spent a day canning pears and applesauce. There is a consignment sale going on so I spend two days going through the attic and tagging clothes. I clean my house to keep it nice so we are happy here. All of these things help me get the steps in.

    Other frugal moves:
    – Eat at home for all meals
    – Took home food from work
    – Used Rewards Catcher at Walmart
    – Used library
    – Went through fridge and used leftovers
    – Shopping for a new high chair but refuse to pay over a certain price. Wish me luck!

  44. This week was wonderful! The weather here in Northern Colorado has been so unseasonably warm that I haven’t had to use the air conditioning or heat in over a month! All the laundry has been able to get dry on the line. I haven’t had to pull my tomato plants yet.

    I was gifted a bag of tomatoes from someone who was done canning for the year. I gave them two jars of home made jelly as a thank you. Earlier I was gifted well over 100 jars of various sizes from 3 different women who no longer can, so I have plenty of jars for everything. My goal is to can a 7qt batch of one ready to eat meal a week, like meaty spaghetti sauce, beef stew, chicken soup, chili etc.

    For our anniversary, our tradition is to load the children and head up to the mountains to listen to the elk bugle. I packed cold cuts for lunch and foil packets of fajitas to grill at a picnic site for our meals, along with some baked goods and fruit. It was a wonderful day and it only cost the gas money to get there.

    I found a 12″ Lodge skillet at Goodwill for $8 and all it needed was a vinegar soak, a scour and a reseasoning with Crisco in a hot oven and it is as good as new! My daughter is selling all the eggs our chickens can lay, our family is only using small pullet eggs, and I sold all the pigs I had raised on waste milk and corn.

  45. I went to JCPenny to spend a $10 off $10 coupon that they sent me. I found a beautiful non skid rug that coordinates with our dining room chairs to put in front of the sliding doors that go out onto our patio and garden. Regular price was $35 (I couldn’t believe that! Wow – prices are high!). It was on sale for $21, used the $10 off $10 and paid the balance with a gift card. I still have a few dollars left on the gift card. The gift card was one I purchased last year when they had a promotion to get a $10 coupon if you purchased a $75 gift card. I use the gift card to pay the balance when I get the $10 off $10 coupons. I only have a few dollars left on the card. I am watching to see if they run that promotion again.

    After work, I stopped at CVS and got 2 Covergirl blush for myself. They were $4.99 each, I had two $1.50 coupons and a $5 reward from getting my prescriptions filled at CVS. I paid $2.33 OOP and got a $5 reward to spend the next visit.

    We went to Kmart and got 13 bags of mulch and used a coupon they emailed me that if I spent $30 I would earn $30 in rewards (the 13 bags of mulch put us just over $30). I will use the $30 in rewards another time to get things we need (probably more mulch). Later in the week I received 2 more of the $30/$30 coupons!

    Free in the mail – Real Simple magazine and Pain Free Living magazine.

    I worked 4.5 hours overtime.

    I decorated the front of the house for fall using items I already had. It looks nice! No need to buy anything although it is really tempting when I see so many beautiful things in the stores.

    On Saturdays I take my father to do his errands, bring him meals he can heat up during the week from leftovers from catered lunches where I work, and clean up his house. This week he insisted on giving me $40. I refused but he insisted, so I ended up taking it and will put it towards extra holiday expenses. I entered his Walmart receipt into the Savings Catcher for him.

    I requested books from the library and picked them up on my way over to my father’s house. I looked through there “book store” and found a hardcover ex-library edition for $2, one of Dr Weil’s books. Now I will have my own copy to keep for reference.

    I did some Holiday gift shopping and was able to pay for everything using my gift fund – a separate account I have where I deposit my Swagbucks and ebay money:

    I used a coupon code to get a free autumn tote at DSW with a purchase. I bought some very reasonably priced Nikes for a gift for my son and the tote will be for my daughter. I got free shipping to the house. I spent $54 with tax.

    I used another coupon from Kmart that they emailed me – spend $30 and get $30 in points to spend next time. I ordered a pair of shorts, a compression shirt, and 3 pairs of performance socks all in the dry wicking fabric as a gift for my son. I spent $34 and earned $30 in points to use another time.

    Have a great frugal week!

  46. For the past few months, I’ve been faithfully tucking back a portion of my grocery budget to purchase items on sale and in bulk. I am thrilled to share that I see it really snowballing! I’ve 3-6 months of most staples and 1 years (!) worth of a few items. It will be interesting to see how close my calculations are to real life, i.e. will we really eat as many cans of corn as purchased? It is a pleasure to look at the pantry and storage areas and not feel so vulnerable. I’ll keep plugging away at my food storage. I can hardly wait for the holiday sales, when I get to really stock up on baking items! There is a freedom in having food stored up! Thanks for the inspirations, Brandi.

  47. LOL We didn’t get anything that stuck like Boyne Mtn and the UP did thank goodness! I am not quite ready yet – geesh the trees haven’t even fully changed color or fallen off yet!

  48. We used our home warranty to have an expensive plumbing repair done for only $60.

    We attended a large clothing swap. We only found a couple things for ourselves, but we got several things for a differently-sized friend who had given us her list. Being able to help our friend felt wonderful!

    We also attended a vintage costume sale, and found 1960’s outfits to wear to a Halloween wedding. We are borrowing some other items for our costumes from friends.

    When our cat got a scrape that she would not stop scratching, we cleaned the wound ourselves, put a small amount of antibotic ointment on it, trimmed her claws, and tied a clean bandanna around her to prevent further scratching. The wound is healing nicely, and we saved ourselves a vet bill!

    My husband picked up 80+ swing-top pint bottles that we will use for food gifts, from a friend who used to make beer but doesn’t anymore.

  49. Those red lobster copycat biscuits are good–and I also make my own “bisquick” from pantry ingredients. I also use a Bisquick quiche recipe, and a batch of “bisquick” wll last for several dinners.

  50. Congratulations on your new grand baby!!! Hope everyone is good & healthy. 🙂 I missed a few months here and don’t see you post for awhile, I was worried; so I am so excited to see your post today. 😉

  51. Rhonda, where in Ontario are you? We are in Guelph, Ontario, but I am originally from Arizona in the States (similar weather to Brandy’s in NV). Every winter I tell my Cdn husband that this the LAST Cdn winter I can do. 😉 (And, while following election results this evening, I thought I’d read one of my fave blogs. ) We had a few flakes that fell over the weekend, but nothing significant. The back neighbours had frost on their roof which left me heading to check the programmable thermostat settings for the furnace. I managed to get half of the tiny backyard and half the deck we have prepped for winter on Saturday. I’ll do the other half of the yard and deck this coming weekend and finish drying some herbs (Rosemary, parsley, tarragon, sage, etc). I will also divide a hosta I have been meaning to divide for the past 2 Falls.
    I am wondering if you have grown broccoli or cauliflower successfully here? And if so, when you planted, etc?
    Here’s to a lovely Fall we’ve been having so far, Heidi

  52. Brandy, I served about 5 months of my mission in Lille, France. I remember it being quite cold, as it was winter. Perhaps it has moderated somewhat since then, but it certainly wasn’t spring/fall temps in 1975.

  53. Oh, my mother and my mother-in-law worked out between them that one would give a toy or book for birthdays and one clothes, and then swap for Christmas. It meant less toys (and so less clutter) but it also helped us so much as I knew each of our three children would have at least two new “going to Church” outfits a year – one for winter and one for summer. It was such a blessing for us, and I loved them both for their thoughtfulness every birthday and Christmas.

  54. I stand corrected 🙂 I was looking at weather.com and their winters looked as mild as mine, with summers only going up to 78º. I didn’t see much time below freezing. Perhaps they’ve warmed. I know one of the local nurserymen here says that 20 years ago we were a zone 8, and the gardening companies recently rezoned everyone a zone warmer in the U.S. My friend in Denmark says his winters the last few years are warmer; he had to prune his hedges twice this year before inter and he used to only do them once; it is warmer longer.

    Weather.com shows January temperatures for Lille in the 30’s–so not really spring/summer all year long, but a mild winter like here and moderate summers.

    Or you could try Santa Barbara or San Luis Osbispo–mild summers, moderate winters. 😀

  55. Hi Heidi. I live in Peterborough, ON, which is 2 hours north east of Toronto. When I was in my early 20’s I worked one summer is Guelph. I remember we had a lot of thunderstorms roll through the area that summer!

    As for growing broccoli and cauliflower, I am rather new to gardening, so I personally haven’t tried it yet. However, I do know it is definitely possible to grow it here. The farmer’s markets and grocery stores all have Ontario grown broccoli and cauliflower for sale in the summer. I believe the Guelph area has a lot of large produce farms because the soil is very fertile and they get a lot of rain in that area. It is certainly worth your effort to try next summer.

    If doing a direct sow, most things are planted around May 24th in Ontario. Some years it warms up earlier and you can try planing before this. But be prepared to cover young seedling if we suddenly have a cold snap, like we did this year. You can start your seeds indoors if you want to harvest earlier. Otherwise, look at how long it takes for the plan to mature to ensure they will be ready to harvest by or before September. It shouldn’t be a problem finding seeds with the proper maturity times if you buy your seed in Ontario or from a Canadian distributor.

    Hope this helps!

  56. Hi Mariana and sorry the good will store was so extortionately priced for all of their items.

    We have a similar experience here in the small country town we live in where the Salvation Army run a couple of stores here in town. We went and had a look when we first moved here and were shocked by the high prices on all of their items. The prices were in most cases dearer than what you could buy the items for new. I love to support charities that offer good services to the needy as they do, and they do a lot of good work in that way for the underprivileged for emergency housing and other facilities that they provide. But I draw the line when their prices are higher or equal to new prices, as you have listed above.

    I did notice another one in town that has opened up in our shopping centre so I will take the time to have a look in that one and see if the prices are any lower.

    Like me keep checking around and see what is available, their prices in the multiple stores you may have in your area, you never know you may get lucky and find one store that is reasonably priced.

  57. Debbie, you are a MASTER saver. Wow! You used to be able to use $10 off $10 coupon at JC Penney without paying anything but now the total has to be over $10. I would love to get the JC Penney gift card for that reason. If they run the deal again in time for Christmas, would you let us know?

  58. My girlfriends and I had a day out in Memphis for my birthday. They all have obligations and don’t often get to spend the day just eating out and shopping. I have no obligations so that is just a normal day for me. We have a new Cheesecake Factory in a mall so we ate a great birthday lunch there (the wait was supposed to be really long but we got there at 10:50 and were seated by 11:05) and then instead of shopping in the mall we went thrifting in stores that are outside our normal North MS shopping patterns. One lady was insistent on finding a Sonic for 1/2 price drinks for an afternoon snack and luckily Sonic was right next to a GW. I do not shop for clothes as GW so I was struggling to fill the time while one of the others was trying on. I wandered to the jewelry and saw some small heart charms peaking out from under a different piece of jewelry. I asked to see it and immediately loved it and spotted a cursive B charm on it. Purchased it immediately (I love hearts and I love charmed jewelry) for $4 which is way more than I would normally pay for thrift store jewelry. Found a sitting area and researched on my phone and discovered my new Brighton heart charm bracelet retails for $129, a great birthday present to myself. Normally when I buy anything from thrift stores I take it home and thoroughly disinfect but I went ahead and wore it for the rest of the day. Have worn it almost every day for the past 10 days and get compliments each time.

  59. The week began with leftover turkey for super. Leftover turkey played a starring role in several meals this week. I also prepared the spaghetti squash given to us using a recipe found online. It was good enough that I saved some of the seeds for next year’s garden.
    I washed several loads of laundry and hung it out on the line to dry.
    I started going through my box of mending/maybe I could use this one day. I fixed one sweater that I should be able to wear while working outside. I finished one hat using yarn from my stash and picked up a skein of very nice wool yarn for less than $2.00 for another toque. I crocheted while watching a couple of episodes of War Time Farm on youtube.
    We had decided to move our Thanksgiving celebration to this weekend. We spent a pleasant afternoon with my mom and brother eating turkey. I brought home the leftovers including the turkey carcass. The weekend was spent making turkey soup, another batch of soap, and tending the fire used to burn off debris from the woodpile.
    Have a great week everyone!

  60. I sewed an appliqué that I cut from a stained jacket to hide a stain on the front of one of my favorite shirts. My LL Bean looks very Anthropologie!
    Aldi marked down their fall planting bulbs, I bought 3 bags. I now will have enough to cut tulips in the Spring without feeling guilty of taking away from the landscape. 
    I sewed a kitschy owl that I know my mom has been wanting from large fabric scraps on hand. I took the left over scraps (they were not well shaped 2” x1.5” rectangles) and sewed a mug rug. They were to pretty to just toss.
    I continue to get my daily allotment of Bing Rewards points to use to get $5 Amazon GC. It takes about 20 days to get a GC, I have a few stock piled to use for wants.
    I hope everyone has a great week!

  61. I’m sorry I’m late to post this week. We’re battling sickness and schedules here. I’m so thankful for everyone’s sage advice and a well-stocked pantry that have helped keep things even keel.

    Here’s my list:
    -It’s starting to feel like soup weather, so rather than reheating and serving leftover veggies I went back to putting them in a container in the freezer to use for veggie soup.
    -I saved and froze vegetable peels and trimmings in anticipation of making a future batch of Junk Stock.
    -I made a batch of laundry detergent.
    -I used a discount to purchase new athletic shoes for my daughter, my husband, and myself. I received rewards bucks and another discount that I used to purchase a pair of backup shoes for my daughter. She goes through running shoes very quickly so it pays to purchase them when discounts are available.
    -I took several long walks, both for exercise and to enjoy the cooler weather.
    -I packed snacks and beverages to take to my daughter’s cross country meet to tide us over until we could eat a late lunch at home.
    -I can’t imagine how much money I’ve saved by making homemade sports drink (Mater-ade) rather than purchasing the name brands while we’ve been battling illness. I’m so thankful for my pantry and tried-and-true recipes!
    -I selected recipes for my new “I Tried It: Pinterest Recipes” series that called for ingredients I already had in my pantry or for which I could easily substitute something I already had. That way I made sure I was testing recipes we may actually use again and I did so without added cost. The series is posted at AChatOverCoffee.com.
    -I tried a new turkey pot pie recipe using meat and junk stock from the freezer. It wasn’t part of the series on the blog but I linked to it from the A Chat Over Coffee Facebook page.

    Have a lovely week, everyone!

  62. Darn—I live in apple growing country and I paid $1.99 # for Honey Crisp apples ON SALE this week. Usually $2.49 or higher per #.

  63. Eating what you have in order to make room for restocking with new items is just rotating you stash. This needs to be done regularly or you end up with meat and other freezer items that is unusable due to freezer burn. I wouldn’t be too upset about what your doing. It’s really a good thing!

  64. I’m in the U.P. It took a day, but the snow’s gone, for now…Our heat’s been on since the first week of Oct.
    The leaves are gorgeous! Any minute i expect the winds to come and blow everything around. Some years we can’t even get the leaves raked before WINTER covers everything. I guess that’s why we have Spring!!

  65. Edith Jane, you could make some sock monkeys for your children. There are tutorials on line that show you how to make them. As for the building blocks, if you wanted to make them a bit more complex, you could use Modge Podge (of homemade version) to apply different pictures to the sides, making them puzzle blocks. Here’s a link that shows you what I mean: http://cathyandkiddos.blogspot.ca/2013/04/diy-wooden-block-puzzles.html

    I would also suggest making some sort of outfit for your DS, since your girls are getting dresses. That way everyone gets 1 piece of clothing, 1 apron and 1 toy. You could make him some PJs or maybe a pair of simple track pants as these can be very easy to make. I’ve made shorts out of old t-shirts for my daughter following tutorials on-line. You could even re-purpose a flannel shirt or an old sweatshirt of your husbands if you don’t have proper the fabric in your stash. Just a suggestion, though.

  66. Ditto, that, Marivene! I was getting worried about you and your family. So happy to hear the great news!! So, do we have a GrandSON or GrandDaughter? God love them all!!
    Welcome home.
    Linda Higgy

  67. Since you are not showing these little girls please get them spayed as soon as you can. You cannot go wrong with a GSD, or two! They are a natural protector and smart enough to know friend from foe. I was lucky enough to have the love of one of the smartest ever. She saved my life, guarded my boys and protected my husband at his part-time job, security business. She went everywhere with us and if she didn’t trust someone neither did we! Enjoy your new babies!
    Linda Higgy

  68. Our Goodwill in NJ has tops for $4, dresses for $8, pants for $4, etc. Everyday 2 colors of the 4 colors they use for tags are half price. I’ve never been in a Goodwill with such high prices. Wow!

  69. It would be extremely cute to make a doll dress or skirt for each girl to match their dresses. That would also help keep them separate from each other. At times over the years, some of my children were given small suitcases to store their doll clothes in, and they were from garage sales. You could crochet a small stocking hat and scarf for each doll from scraps of yarn. Sometimes, depending on the dolls the girls have, doll furniture can be made out of cardboard/scraps/etc. Even a bean bag for dolls to sit on.

    Bean bags can be made for either boys or girls and some kind of simple game where they throw them into rings, a tic tac toe grid, etc. It sounds like you are handy with wood, so you could make some kind of board where there are circles cut into it for them to throw the bean bags through–maybe a “group” gift–if you have some scrap wood around.

    I don’t know how old your children are, but you could make the older ones a “sewing kit” out of scraps of fabric and lace for them to make their own doll clothes or collages from. If it was put into a nice decorated cardboard box or re-purposed tin, there would be a place to keep them contained. You can decorate a journal with scrapbooking paper, etc.–I’ve seen some really cute ones made from composition books that were about $1.

  70. Hi Erika! I just wanted to send greetings to you from another Mmmy with a child living with Type 1 diabetes. He’s an adult now but was diagnosed at 1 year old.

  71. Hi Tina and a great idea to tuck a portion of your grocery budget away for items on sale. I think now we have reached capacity level I may just do that too and borrow your idea :D.

    Sounds like you have done so well in a short period of time. We are at around the same stocking level as yourself and we have now been stocking for 21 months. Our challenge is however space as to where to put everything in such a small workers cottage being only around 10 sq mt house.

    Keep up the great work, and I agree it is very comforting to know you have extra food should anything happen and you have a safety net there.

  72. Roxie, we live near Bastrop, LA!!! Not near as large as your Bastrop, Tx, but still as hot and dry(we are under a state wide burn ban). My sister and brother in law live in Belton and our kids always laugh when we drive through Bastrop, Tx. Praying you get some rain soon also.

  73. I haven’t shared in several weeks, between recovering from surgery and family craziness, but I pray things are returning to normal.

    Our oldest had a car accident.. She is fine and thankfully no one was injured. We believe the young man who hit her was texting, so hopefully he learned a lesson and in the process so did our daughter. The outcome was four new tires and shocks, which we were already shopping for.

    Our hot water heater died. It was less than 8 years old, crappy water system, we have already replaced the dishwasher and washing machine as well. What we did not realize is that government regulations changed in the spring, making our heater now $1,500. We prayed and started calling, seeking an “old style” that didn’t have a heat pump. A very kind ACE hardware employee made it his mission to find us one and he did, at Home Depot, it had been ordered as a special order in January and was exactly what we needed for $800.

    My best friends mother in law passed very suddenly and unexpected, she was fine 10 minutes before..sat down and fell over, we believe it was an aneurism. She lost her mother not six months ago as well. We are praying for her and her family. I cannot imagine the emotional hardship, my heart breaks for her. Our home group and our church have rallied around this family, trying to anticipate needs so they do not have to be overwhelmed by the little things.

    Had a one day garage sale at my mothers, i made almost $200.00. Not the best but not too shabby either for one day of visiting and drinking coffee!! I return to work a week early,I am exhausted!! Lol the crockpot is my friend but this week it may be my saving grace..lol

    My husbands truck is gone crazy, he has it torn apart..thankfully we have a motorcycle that he has been driving. He was an army mechanic before he was a drill Sargent so he has the knowledge to fix it. It is a blessing because of the labor involved it would have been thousands.

    Was blessed with great finds at the grocery store.. Leg quarters for 29#. Cheap potatoes and onions.. Really with just a few staples and the internet at your fingertips what can’t your fix?

    My youngest killed his first deer(he is 8). We have a freezer devoted to deer and ducks, we do not purchase beef unless it is a steak, and that is rare.

    I cleaned out our garden, well I supervised and we harvested two five gallon bucks of green tomatoes,so after we pulled a few for frying and shared some with others, we made green tomato salsa for Halloween. It will complement the pulled pork nachos that are planned. Also pulled the basil and made pesto to freeze.

    I am sure there is more but I will save that for next week!!

    Have a blessed week everyone!!

  74. I gre up and lived in Michigan my entire life. Just relocated to South Texas in January for my hubby’s job. I am so missing the fall in Michigan. It’s so magical.

  75. I’m trying to be better about posting on here, and keeping a running list of what I’ve been doing. This way, I try to do more frugal things, I think! October is an especially tough month for us financially because both my step-sons and daughters birthdays are both in October! This week I:
    -Took my daughter to the library for some free entertainment and I found a book myself. The Yankee Magazine guide to living well on a shoestring. Had some interesting ideas I hadn’t thought of.
    -My father went through his extensive closet and he and my husband happen to be the same size. My husband went through the clothes my father was getting rid of, and picked out a few shirts. They look and fit great!
    -My mother gave me an extra cauliflower she received from her farm share that she wouldn’t use. We used it to make cauliflower cheese soup for dinner one night this week.
    -I’ve been using swagbucks often and I’ve been able to cash in for two $10 amazon gift cards. Used them for birthday gifts!
    -A friend of mine has a daughter who is a few months younger than my (almost) two year old. She gave me some shirts that would be too big for her daughter, as my daughter is already wearing a 3t (she’s a big girl!).
    -I spent a good amount of time cleaning out our linen closet out in the bathroom and organizing it. I used to coupon much more than I do now and we had a large amount of personal care products. I got rid of a lot I thought we would never use (donated it) and my closet is much more organized now. The frugal part of it is that I realized we had more than enough of our normal use products and that I didn’t need to buy any for a long time, no matter how good a deal it was!
    -Our neighbor gave us a large pumpkin and a mostly full bottle of laundry detergent that he didn’t like the smell of. Smell doesn’t bother us, and I love free!
    -The elementary school across the street from us was having a pumpkin sale one weeknight. We didn’t make it to the sale, but I saw on Front Porch Forum that they were selling all the leftover pumpkins for $5 a piece on Sunday. We walked over there with my daughter in the stroller and got a nice one for very little. Our kids were very excited! We carved them and I made roasted pumpkin seeds.
    -I made a wish list on amazon for my daughter’s birthday this year. Everyone always asks me what to get her, or they get her clothes. She doesn’t really need any clothes right now, so I was happy to make the list of things we could really use for her. Many people bought from it, so we are very happy! Her party is going to be this Sunday.
    -I was able to make pajamas for my stepson for his birthday, and that was one of his few presents from us. Both of our kids have so much stuff, they don’t want for anything! He was very excited about his pajamas and has been wearing them every night he stays with us.
    -I redeemed $12 from Saving Star
    -I sold several items on a facebook kid swap page
    -I used a free printable from online and a frame that was on clearance at AC Moore to add a new picture to our kitchen. It says “There is Always Something to be Thankful For.” This is a great reminder for me, since I am currently going through some health issues and it can be tough on me sometimes.
    -Frugal fail…I let my husband take my stepson to Dick’s to use two $20 gift cards and $10 that he got for his birthday. I told my husband to buy him pants. My husband let him buy two pairs of pants…one pair was $30 (!!!!) and the other pair was $45 (!!!!!!!). I couldn’t believe he spent that money on two pairs of pants. Men just don’t understand sometimes, I guess! Guess who won’t be taking my stepson shopping anytime soon…
    I have a lot to keep working on, in terms of frugalness. I’m not working right now, so that makes our budget tight! Thank you all for posting your frugal ideas that I may “borrow” them!

  76. I harvested the sunflower seeds from the mammoth sunflowers that we grew this summer. One of the sunflowers had purple striped seeds! I plan to roast the seeds after letting them soak in salt water.

    I took advantage of a warm day with temperatures in the 70’s and washed curtains and hung them on the clothesline to dry. We probably won’t see temperatures like that again until next spring.

    Our library had a book sale and I purchased some books and a movie for under $1 each.

    Walmart had t-shirts on sale for $1 each. I bought a few for Operation Christmas Child boxes.

    A few weeks ago there was a rare coupon in the newspaper for King Arthur Flour. The coupon didn’t expire until October 31, so I decided to wait to see if I could find it on sale. It finally did go on sale this weekend and I was thrilled to get a 5 lb. bag of whole wheat flour for $1.99.

    I ordered a free Gratitude Journal from In Touch Ministries.

    http://vanessasvalues.blogspot.com/2015/10/simply-saving-saturday-october-17.html

  77. Because of your post I checked out Home Fires, watched part 2 and 3 on tv and was able to watch part 1 online…. I am hooked! It is a wonderful show, Love the characters and the story and am happy to learn that season 2 is in the works.

  78. I love that show too. I almost deleted it from our queue, since I thought it was a mistake (then Brandy you mentioned you liked it). It is my favorite to have on while ironing – makes the pile go faster 🙂

  79. A couple weeks ago DH’s Blazer with 180,000 miles on it. The transmission we put in last year decided to go 9 days after the warranty was up. DH drives about 35,000 miles/yr for his job so we decided that it was time for a new to us vehicle. He was able to drive a company owned vehicle for a few weeks while we looked for a car. We bought a 2005 Hyundai Elantra that had only 40,000 miles on it and only one owner. He said the difference in the gas expense will be like having a pay raise.

    Harvested the last of my cherry tomatoes since we were getting night temps in the 30s! Pulled up the plants and added them to the compost. Also cut my basil and put it in a glass of water on the windowsill to use and enjoy the scent.

    Last week was our 33rd wedding anniversary so I took the day off and my husband was already off since he had taken a week of vacation to finish his car search. We went to our favorite Italian restaurant for lunch. It has the most amazing food and is worth every penny but lunch allows us to stretch those pennies a little further. It is our tradition to go here for our anniversary and we started going for lunch, when our boys were in elementary school, so we didn’t need a sitter. There are also several thrift stores in the area that we always check out. I picked up a much needed rug for my kitchen for $2.90, a new Vera Bradley purse for $4.90, 2 new 3/4 sleeve knit tops for $3.90(Chicos) and $5.90(Talbots), a beautiful silk jacket(Eileen Fisher) and some stamping supplies for $2.90. At another store I bought 6 Aden& Anais gauze blankets that I will resell and a beautiful English china mag for 50¢.

    Friday night I helped set up for the biannual clothing giveaway at church. This event is in it’s 26th year and is needed even more each year. Almost 500 came on Saturday morning for the giveaway which in addition to clothing includes household items, baby items, books and toys. I brought several boxes and bags of items to donate. All of us who work on Friday get to “shop” that night. I brought home a Rowenta iron, a like new small Keurig, a few books to read and some books on CD for husband to listen to in the car, and yards and yards of beautiful wide satin ribbon. I will use the ribbon for gift wrapping. I also got a like new jacket and a brand new Vera Bradley purse that I will put aside for my mom’s birthday. I also got some Christmas fabric which went to a ministry that sell “Cookie Jars” to rescue girls in Nepal from human trafficking and a bag of craft feathers which are needed by an Art teacher friend. The setup crew always has a great time and I love to see how we take the huge piles of donations and get it sorted and ready for the “shoppers’ in just a few hours!

    Picked up 2 cases of canned pumpkin at Aldi’s for 79¢ a can. Heard that due to California drought there is a pumpkin shortage. I make pumpkin bread all year long and a few years ago when there was a shortage there was no canned pumpkin to be had after Thanksgiving. At that time I wanted to buy extra and DH thought it unnecessary and then there was none to be had. DH said not a word as he carried the 2 cases in the house since we learned from the last time. I will probably pick up 1 more case this next week.

  80. My husband and I were just discussing that we don’t think we want to live anywhere else – We love the changing seasons!

  81. I just got his medic alert bracelet in the mail this last week and even managed to find one with four lines so I was able to include his peanut allergy, his penicillin allergy and “non-verbal autistic” all on one bracelet. I’m having his teachers work with him at school to slowly get him used to wearing the bracelet full time. Thanks for the advice and you were right. It was definitely time.

  82. Congratulations on the new granddaughter, Marivene. I am glad you were able to spend time with the family for the birth. That makes it even more memorable.

  83. Mandy, I hope you family is all well soon. I am not sure why they would have given an antibiotic for a cold, if it was that, since that is a virus. I think the best you can do is treat her symptoms. My mother and grandmother always used/uses hot lemon water with honey in it for just about everything, plus plenty of other hot fluids, like broth and herbal tea. This will soothe the throat and also make the nose run. A runny nose is helpful with a stuffy head. We use horehound drops for lozenges.

  84. You can never have too much asparagus, in my opinion. We don’t do much to take care of our bed. It is very old. We will add a few new plants every year to replace ones that have quit. They just need a good feeding of composted manure and a secure mulch for the winter.

  85. I have had a lot of luck with essential oils to fend away colds and get over them faster. Eucalyptus is especially nice to put on the bottoms of feet and diffuse in a room. Knocking on wood….2 years ago, I started to diffuse oils in my home everyday and my 2 and 3 year old has not been to the DR other than well-child check ups. (They go to daycare, so they are exposed to germs.) I am not promoting any brand and I don’t sell, but I have had a lot of luck. I typically order from Mountain Rose Herb or San Francisco Herb Company as they have the best quality/value for the price.

  86. A German shepherd is a wonderful dog! We have one and she is especially devoted to my youngest that still lives at home. Olivia sometimes works down at the family farm stand (we are in the country) and she likes to go running. I feel much better as she always takes Freya with her. Just the look of a shepherd is enough to give people a second thought. I wish you a long and happy and safe time with your new dogs!

  87. Becky, so glad to hear things are going well and what a nice aunt you have!

    Not even sure you’ll see this since it’s from last week but we were busy and I had little free time.

  88. I am very grateful Krogers is the only here that does it I think. I made it today a whole month on that tank of gas and can still drive another 69 miles so I’m going to keep going to see how many more days I can get out of it.

    Other frugals: I went to our local Volunteers of America thrift store yesterday. The last Tuesday of each month they have 50% off everything in the store. I bought a handmade blanket for $4. I bought several popcorn tins (Boy Scouts) for 45 cents each. These will be used to store cereal in still in their bags. Our area of town has been plagued for several years now with mice and rats and I am diligent about making sure all my foods are protected in case they get in my house again. I have seen rat poop in my shed in recent weeks saw a mouse run out of there the other day so I have poison down inside the shed and it should do the job but it’s getting cold out and they will be looking for a warm place to live I have poison bait in my basement too in case they make a return. They have never came upstairs I think because of our three dogs but you never know. We have a lot of small owned restaurants throughout our area that don’t practice good trash habits, trash cans overflowing and full of scraps which of course the rodents love. And people are doing more composting and most likely not doing it properly. So anyways.. I keep every bit of food in cans, jars and tight fitting tins.

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