I spent some time looking at dresses online. It seems that the going rate for a dress today is around $100 (or more). 

I am often asked if it is worth it to sew. I should be able to make several dresses for myself for under $10 each with fabric that I bought on sale. I cut out a dress for myself (using an existing dress to make a pattern) that I will sew this coming week.

I did find a used dress for myself on Ebay for $6.76 (including shipping). This is about the same as our local thrift store price.

I shopped the clearance sections at Target. I foud some pajamas for the baby that I had been admiring for months at 70% off and two olive buckets at 50% off that I am using in the laundry room. I also found some items for my Operation Christmas Child boxes at 50% off: a magnetic travel checkers set (the box is a tin) and a protractor and compass set. I am doing two boxes for boys ages 10-14 again, as they receive the fewest boxes for boys this age. I plan to do some sewing for my boxes like I did last year.

My husband cut my hair.

Badminton The Prudent Homemaker

The children spent some time every day playing badminton with a set that I previously bought at a garage sale.

I stocked up on some groceries at the case-lot sale (more about that in my shopping post that will be up later today. It’s up now).

My mom came back from a trip with several items that she found for us at garage sales (I emailed her a copy of my list after she asked me for it). She mentioned to me that she is hoping to find most if not all of her Christmas presents this year at garage sales (she found one thing for one of my children on this trip). I think it’s a great goal! The bi-annual community garage sale that we attend together is in a month, and I have my list ready.


What did you do to save money last week?




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  1. I have had good luck clothes shopping at ThredUp although I almost always wait for a sale. I am no seamstress and wear a very small size so I keep an eye out for bargains when I can find them. Not included in my weekly savings post is all of the work my husband and I continue to do on our new house. We have saved at least $70,000 in labor costs by doing the work ourselves. It is a relief to finally begin to see the end of this project in sight. Here is a link to my weekly savings post: http://ahomeinthecountry.blogspot.com/2016/09/weekly-savings_12.html

  2. 100USD for a dress is ludicrous, and is, sadly, standard. I’ve had good luck with Old Navy and Gap – combining sales and coupons, I can get a dress for 10-20$, which is about what the thrift stores around me sell them for. (Also, Old Navy toddler clothes, with coupons and ebates, tend to be the same cost new as thrift store prices here.) I’m terribly jealous that Americans have Target, FYI.

    The comunity garage sale here is Saturday, and I’ve been counting down the days for a month. Last year I found a play kitchen and doll bed for my daughter for 10$ (the doll bed needed paint and bedding, but I can do that!) and a yogurt maker for 1$.

    Question: how does one go about finding a case lot sale? I’m in Quebec, and those don’t seem to be a thing (or maybe I’m just not looking in the right places?)

  3. This week I bought 500lbs of sugar. King Sooper had it on sale for $0.99 for a 4lb bag. This will be a year’s supply for us. I also picked up another 100lbs of peaches to can.

    I picked up an off the farm job cooking at a guest ranch and bring home all the leftovers. Thursday alone I brought home 3 filet mignon, 3 grilled chicken breasts, 35 dove breast wrapped in bacon, a pan of corn bread, a gallon of lil smokies in Bbq sauce, a gallon of ro-tel dip, and 2 qts of pinto beans. I didn’t have to cook all weekend!

    I never turn down anything, because even if we don’t like it, our chickens and pigs will. I also take in a bucket for all the veggie and fruit scraps for my animals.

  4. Yay, it’s frugal accomplishments time! Here are mine for the week:

    – Inspired by Brandy, am working away on the embroidered dishcloths that I plan to give away as Christmas gifts. The flour cloths are thinner than are ideal, so I dug into my craft stash, and found some interfacing from over a decade ago, and ironed that on to my latest embroidery. I believe I got that interfacing at the dollar store, and that $1 package will be enough for all 10 dishcloths. Using up my craft stash plus inexpensive Christmas gifts = frugal win!
    – Made another batch of yoghurt for my breakfasts for the week. I’ll be using up the last of my apricot and blueberry jams as mix-ins.
    – Baked two loaves of sandwich bread
    – By the way, if there are any other Torontonians reading this, there’s a great group called notfarfromthetree.org that gleans from local backyards in the city and donates half the pick to food banks; the other half, you take home with you. I’ve never participated myself, but I have friends who have, and it sounds like a great way to both help others and to get free food!
    – Used up all the mini tubes of toothpaste that I had lying around from dentist samples – I was able to put off buying a new tube for several months. Mini savings, but as Brandy has pointed out, they add up!
    – Transferred some face wash I was given that I didn’t like, into a pump dispenser, to use as handsoap in our guest bathroom.
    – Printed out some free printables from thedatingdivas website, for a frugal romantic date with the DH.
    – Ordered some Christmas themed cellophane sleeves from lightinthebox.com so that I can turn my Christmas baking into pretty gifts. I’ll likely use these to wrap up cookies for my colleagues and the DH’s colleagues. After taxes and shipping, it was under $5 for a package of 100. I used the $5 I had in my paypal account from the last pinecone research survey that I did. It’ll take some time to arrive, as it quite literally comes on a slow boat from China, so ordering it now is perfect timing.
    – Redeemed 2200 swagbucks for a $25 Amazon gift card.
    – Baked banana crumb muffins from bananas I had in the freezer. Didn’t have any eggs, so I used a flax egg, from flax seeds that I bought in bulk 5 years ago from an outlet store. Also didn’t have any butter, so used some coconut oil I had. Turned out great!
    – Made stock from veggie scraps from the freezer (plus a container of my watermelon kim chee that did not lacto-ferment), then added in white beans, lentils, split peas, macaroni, half-shriveled baby tomatoes, and frozen kale, to make soup. Will be served with homemade bread for dinner.
    – Used up the last of a free sample of household cleaner I had.
    – Pulled out the borage from my balcony garden, as it didn’t taste good, and as it hadn’t flowered, wasn’t pretty. Planted lettuce seeds instead, in hopes of a fall crop.
    – Made some lebneh (also known as yoghurt cheese), from my homemade yoghurt, and flavoured it with some onion dip mix I had lying around from years ago. I’ll serve it as a spread on the bread with dinner.
    – Drank the whey I strained out from the yoghurt cheese. Protein, baby! Hey, people pay big bucks for this in powder form!
    – Made chocolate strawberry granola using leftover GORP from a camping trip as a base, and adding in dehydrated strawberries and chocolate chips, along with honey, oat flour, salt, oil, and a touch of maple syrup.
    – Used up some peach schnapps I’ve had for years, along with a gift bottle of vodka my sister gave us at one point, to make Peach Pie “Moonshine” for Christmas gifts. I did have to buy peach/grape juice, and a can of peaches, but for less than $2.50 OOP, I’ll have made 3 Christmas gifts.

    And that’s my list for the week! Looking forward to reading everyone else’s!

  5. Ros,

    There is only one store here that does case-lot sales. Unfortunately I don’t know that there are any in Quebec!

    I will tell you that while looking for dresses, I found one I loved via Pinterest–but it was unfortunately from last year. The company was H & M; a company that I saw in France (apparently they opened stores in France the year I was there) and they are now in the U.S., and I believe Canada as well. They had dresses between $25-$40 USD full price and they have sales too. I went to Ebay looking for that particular dress, and while I did not find it, the one I bought on ebay was from them.

    I read about the Target disaster in Canada; apparently they were unsuccessful in stocking stores, which makes it impossible to stay in business.

  6. I love badminton!

    Last week on my son’s first day of school he was sad because ” there was so much sitting” so I took them to the thrift store where he was delighted to find a dinosaur to add to his herd ($1) also found a great better homes and garden book on pesticide free gardening that I really like. I made banana muffins, I made a double batch of blueberry scones for my neighbor. I sprayed my plants with a 10% milk solution as they have powdery mildew and that was a cure I saw online, I’ll try one I saw for baking soda tomorrow if there is no improvement. I did some shopping for my neighbor, I’m making a chicken pot pie this week. After the craziness of the funeral I am clamping down and trying to get everything back to normal. My son qualified for free speech therapy, it took some doing.
    I did ok on some research for my friend and I think she will qualify for a 0% loan that needn’t be paid back unless she moves or refinances, she has some major home repairs that can be taken care of this way. My four year old is dry through the night so no more diapers at night. Yay!
    Where do you store your seeds? I have read that they keep better in the refridgerator, I had been keeping them in a Tupperware in the basement,

  7. I love badminton! It’s a great game!

    My girlfriend, who is a thrift shopper extraordinaire, found some beautiful twin sized quilts for sons’ bedroom. Their room gets cool and so they coordinate with the quilts they already have. She wouldn’t let me pay for them, so I gave her all my jalapenos from the garden (her older sons make homemade salsa).

    Speaking of salsa, I should start some bulk canning of salsa soon. My friend at the farm stand saves me all the unsaleable tomatoes. We have a ton more jalapenos in the garden, and I have plenty of jars.

    I’m continuing to paint the kitchen. It is slow going but it will get done.

    My sons participated in a mud run this weekend. As a perk from his job, my husband was able to get a reduced entrance fee for them. They had a great time. The laundry…it’s not a great time.

    We received cute fabric backpacks from Sunday school registration kick offs at church. They are nice little ditty bags. My sons received two tie dyed silk screen shirts leftover from youth camp (they aren’t old enough yet to participate). This year, I’ll have four children in Sunday School! When they are old enough to go, it will be a free week of sleep away camp. They are looking forward to it.

    Today is free iced coffee at Dunkin Doughnuts in Eastern PA as the Eagles won! Our oldest works at D & D and so keeps us up to date on coupons and specials. He also brings his siblings free munchkins occasionally 🙂

    Thursday is my gall bladder surgery and my Aunt and Uncle are covering down on me. They will take the little twins to school, the get the big twins on the bus and vice versa. My aunt is even cooking for them so I don’t have to worry about it. I’m a little nervous about the recovery but I’m pretty tough. I walked all over the hospital the day after my C-section. Wish me luck!

  8. I also take free veggies for my chickens. What they don’t eat goes right into the compost bin so I figure it is a win win for everyone.

  9. Good morning everyone – I hope you are all having a good one.

    This week was a productive one. Our fruit trees are at our peak and we have been harvesting fruit like crazy. We invited one friend over for dinner to share in our abundance and send her home loaded down with apples, pears, and plums.

    I added more jelly and some dried plums to my pantry.

    The Man found a really good recipe for gluten free sponge cake. We have tried it with both apples and pears and it was delicious both times.

    Made some All Purpose Salve and took some to work to share.

    I was able to take some freebies home from work, including some roses brought in for a customer for all the ladies at work.

    And I hung my laundry, used homemade laundry products, and took my lunch and water with me to work.

    Have a great week every one.

  10. Clothes are expensive. My 13 year old is very slim and finding jeans is a struggle 🙁 The best I can usually do is finding a sale and stocking up. Never have any luck for him at thrift stores.

    * I was gifted another huge bunch of rosemary. I dried it and now have TONS of rosemary 🙂
    * I was also gifted a huge bag of kale. Fed some to our bunny and dried a bunch
    * I also was gifted about 20# of very ripe plums. Since they were so ripe I put them in the dehydrator. It filled my dehydrator!
    * picked up a free pack of gum with an coupon (will be saved for stocking stuffer)
    * got back a check for an overpayment of …… $2.40
    * we are taking another look at our budget and seeing where we can cut
    * my tomatoes were a huge flop this year 🙁 I am so disappointed. I picked what green ones I could and am hoping they will ripen 🙁 I was able to get a few apples from our tree.

  11. Hello Brandy and all from Australia 🙂 .

    Wow the cost of dresses in the States is huge I have to say, we do not pay anywhere near that here, how to people afford that ?. It is so lovely to see children playing with wonderfully simple things like a badminton set, they look like they are having so much fun 🙂 .

    Here are our frugal accomplishments for the week –

    Finances –

    – I thought I would do an update on our savings progress for buying our home with cash from last month. We banked 63.41% of our after tax income, yippee.

    Groceries –
    – On an out of town trip we purchased 7 tins of mangoes saving $1.40 on local prices.
    – Purchased 10kg of oranges on special saving $9.30 on our local prices here to make a years supply of orange juice cordial and some for fresh juices to drink and for a supply in the freezer.

    Craft ,fabric and sewing –

    – Purchased a huge variety of fabrics to top up both my internet shopping shop needs and for some home sewing projects for making 2 curtains and a tablecloth. They were 30 – 50 % off normal prices and I saved $84.60 on usual prices.
    – I sewed two French inspired curtains from the fabric I purchased on special for both ends of our hallway to block light into the bedroom. I looked online and there was nothing quite as nice and they were selling for $80 and upwards per panel. I made each curtain for $28.53 saving a total of $131.47 over buying them.
    – I paid our internet and phone bill from earnings from my two internet craft and sewing shops 🙂 . That means more savings for our home with cash that won’t come out of our normal pays.

    In the garden –
    – Harvested silver beet, carrots, capsicum, strawberries and turnips from the gardens.

    In the kitchen –

    – Cooked all meals and bread from scratch using pantry , fridge or garden produce.
    – Blanched and froze 412g of capsicums picked from the gardens for advanced food storage.

    Water Preservation –

    – Watered the house lawns all week with grey water saved from our showers and washing machine.
    – Missed one scheduled garden watering due to rain saving 270 lts of town water use.
    – Supplement hand watered all new seeds and seedlings with rain water from our tanks on the days we didn’t water with the drip irrigation system.
    – Used blanching and freezing and dinner vegetable steaming water to water herb pot plants and some seedlings in the gardens.

    Fuel –

    – We filled up our car with half a tank of fuel whilst out of town at prices almost 15c per litre lower than our local prices here saving $3.30.

  12. I began replacing my wardrobe in June with dresses to wear every day and to church. I set a price limit of $20 per dress. Our local thrift store sells dresses for $4, but the selection is not flattering. I did manage to find one I liked. Most of my purchases have come from Ross, eBay, and Poshmark. I have focused my search on one particular style to wear year round. All of my cardigans for cooler weather came from the thrift store, where they are priced $4-$8. I did pick up three from Kmart because they were on sale for half price. I can wear all of these sweaters with my dresses, if we ever experience cooler weather here. The temperatures in the south have remained high (90s) since June, so I have been wearing sanadals every day. I recently purchased two pair foraround $37 together, found on clearance at Belk. I don’t typically shop at department stores, but I decided to take a chance on a sale, since it was the end of a season. I am glad I did! The last purchase I would like to make for my wardrobe is a pair of tall boots to wear with my dresses, should the temperatures get low enough. I did find some I liked at Beall’s Outlet, but they were not comfortable.

    We each eat a banana every morning, and some of them ripened quicker than I had wanted them to. I used them to make a batch of pancakes. Earlier in the week, I used up some overripe apples and a banana in a bundt-sized pan of apple bread. That snack came in handy during our long morning at church on Sunday. I will freeze the leftover slices.

    Last year, my husband purchased a rain barrel from Woot, when it was a Daily Deal. We have been experiencing a drought here, but one rainstorm we had several weeks ago filled the rain barrel. We have been using the water from it to hydrate our magnolia tree and my roses.

    I sold several items we are no longer using on eBay, and through a local Facebook page.

  13. Hello Everyone!
    -I started my new job, housekeeping at a hotel here in town. I saved gas because it takes 12 minutes to get there rather than 30 min, I took my lunch and drank free water every day I worked. I also found a total of $4 in tips and a case of unopened bottled water someone left in a room. Not a glamorous job but it’s a job 🙂

    -My daughter took her packed lunch from home every day to school.

    -I did not go anywhere other than work, my husband mostly stayed home, too.

    -My mother in law gave us more plants for our yard that she pulled out of her yard at her new home.

    -We ate all meals at home cooked from our pantry and freezers.

    -I couponed at Walgreens and spent a total of $8 for 1 bottle All detergent, 4 bottles Herbal Essence shampoo, 1 Brut men’s deodorant, 1 Sure women’s deodorant, 1 packet nail polish remover wipes (.25 clearance). I also received $2 in Register Rewards to use next time I shop there. These were added to my pantry/stockpile. I also picked up some needed items from Aldi that we were out of (milk, lunch box items for my daughter, food we ran out of that are a staple) and spent $40, less than my budgeted amount. k

    -I ordered a free 8 x 10 from Walgreens that will probably be a Christmas present for my hubby. It’s a picture of the pier and beach we got married at in Hawaii 🙂

    – I picked more goji berries, tomatoes, 2 strawberries and basil from the garden.

    -I made banana bread.
    That’s it for the week! Have a good week everyone!

  14. Through my sister’s generosity, I was able to add a lot to my pantry. She and her husband have a large garden and have gleaned most of what they want. I gathered plums and dehydrated several pounds and also made a delicious clafoutis. I froze a batch of nectarines. They don’t care for white grapes, so my husband and I harvested them and made 40 quarts of juice. They also gave me two butternut squashes, 3 onions, several bell peppers, and two zucchini squash.

    I made bread, and some wonderful minestrone soup using what was in my pantry and tomatoes from my own garden. I shared it, and the plum clatfoutis with three extended family members for dinner.

    Attended a community tomato sandwich party and ran into some old friends .

    Read books and watched a movie from the library.

    The weather is perfect right now–no need for AC or heat!

  15. Hi all. I would like to mention that I love this site. I have learned so much from so many thru here. So thank you!
    I spent $8 at Walmart for dog food and groceries, I combined it with a $20 gift card from Ibotta. I received $38 from a radio service my husband was using, that we decided to no longer use. This money will pay for sneakers my daughter needed. Also, I am selling a book my daughter does not need any more and will receive $10 for that.
    I had about $45 Amazon credit that I earned thru survey sites. I place an order for $45 on coffee, an alarm clock, a rosary tool and stylus pens. I received toothpaste in the mail to test and report on.
    I continue with hanging clothes to dry, washing baggies and eating what we have in refrigerator, freezer and pantry. Just needed milk & fruits.
    I was so thankful my emergency appointment turned out well. I just have to deal with what I have.

    Have a good week all.

  16. I read your weather and how hot it is there and then look out my window to rainy and cold. We got our first freeze of the season early this year day before yesterday and then I think we got about three inches of rain last night alone with high winds to go with it. The family didn’t rest very easy last night with all the noise going on outside and I’m nervous that we’re already having to turn the heating systems on for the year…we normally don’t have to put things into full swing until October. I’m just praying that the good Lord is nice enough to hold off snow until after the first couple of weeks of October so I can afford to get snow tires on my car or driving to school might start to get interesting here.

    My list for the week can be found here…


  17. I’m curious about the shoe boxes. I’ll have to check that out. I want to get my son into the spirit of giving while he’s young.

    I borrowed lots of things from the library for free including ebooks. We decided not to buy my coworker’s car even though it could’ve been a good thing. The gamble was too much.

    I found a recipe for blender bottle pancakes! This will make my mornings easier before work.

    Here are some of my other frugal efforts this past week. Happy Monday everyone.


  18. This week, I bought 36 pounds of sugar (in 4 pound bags) for $8.91, got another 5 jars of peanut butter for 99 cents each and 36 eggs for $1.98! Sounds like. Better start baking soon! I also bought 8 oz blocks of Extra-sharp cheddar cheese, pepper jack cheese and mozzarella for 99 cents each!

    The seeds I bought from Dollar General and planted some of 10 days ago have come up and I have green beans, peas and beets that are in my fall garden! For the 6 cents I invested in those three seed packets, I figured I had nothing to lose by expanding my garden for fall!!
    I have a crockpot cranberry chicken freezer meal that I made a while back bubbling away for dinner tonight so I could be busy doing other projects!
    My nephew’s wife called me from up north to thank me personally and gush over the quilt I made them for a wedding present! That made me feel good! It was a scrappy sampler quilt using her color palette and vintage goodwill sheet for the backing! Happily, those touches were exactly what she liked best about it!! No OOP cost but “Priceless” reaction!!
    We are still finishing the brick floor for our new gazebo and it’s over half done already. We are using vintage bricks that we harvested from walkways that we’re going to be demolished! The bricks have a fancy design imprinted on them and are about 120 years old! They fit perfectly here in the side yard of our 125 year old house! It gives the inside of the new gazebo a very elegant feeling!
    Since I’ve now lost over 70 pounds, I again culled from my closet and dresser all the clothes that are too big now! I donated another 3 big trash bags full of nice clothes. In return, I went to SA and bought 4 pairs of new looking jeans in a size that fits without being way too baggy for a total of $14!!! I just noticed the size tag on the new ones I put on this morning. My Le size was 2XL or size 22 and the new ones are a size 14!! I’m excited!,

    A friend sold us a wonderful working treadmill for $75, so as our weather is changing and my life gets busier, I can still clock in my daily walking!
    I made another baby quilt out of pre-cut scraps of fabric from my stash. Again, no OOP cost!
    I was able to be in a research group for testing a cleaning product for 6 weeks, where I am provided their product and use it normally at home and then fill in a survey at the end. For that, they will give me $175 actual money! I think it’s worth it!

    Still in decluttering/selling/donating mode so that is a win-win on so many levels!

  19. I’ve recently been thinking I need to start some Christmas shopping. Now to get my family to give me some ideas. Because of last week’s post, I ordered window cleaning supplies on Amazon, with nothing out of pocket, due to Swagbucks gift cards. I look forward to trying your method, which will hopefully save lots of time and resources from my old paper towel & window cleaner method. Off to read your grocery post. I’m joining in here: http://abelabodycare.blogspot.com/2016/09/late-summer-days-frugal-accomplishments.html

  20. Best wishes for your surgery. I had my gall bladder removed in 1995. Can’t believe it’s been that long! You should be down 3-4 days.

  21. Last week we spent a lot of money! We purchased all new kitchen appliances at the Labor Day sale. They were dying and it could not be avoided. Also my husband needed a crown. We had to pay for part of that. But on the bright side, my birthday was last week, and some friends and I met for dinner and a movie. One friend gave me some very cute cat items, and one friend paid for my dinner and movie ticket.
    My father gave me a quart bag of wild grapes, I will see if I can make some jelly with just that small amount. But that’s after the new appliances are installed. We’ve been eating all the leftover in the fridge, and I have not grocery shopped.
    Watched some t.v. shows and movies on Netflix. Hung out clothes when I could. Using some bubble bath for hand soap.
    Thinking about Christmas shopping. I am having a knee replacement on November 16th, so want to have the majority done by then.

  22. This past week we did pretty well with our budget. We’ve thankfully filled our rental space upstairs, at least until December, so that eases the budget (and she’s a great fit so far!). We did have a hefty dental bill this week, but it was for expected cleanings for me and little man, so it was within the budget and paid with our HSA money. The food pantry was a huge help this week and we were glad to be able to save some produce that would have otherwise gone in the dumpster.

    I love posting here and seeing everyone else’s responses! I hope you’ll visit me this week and share with others!


  23. I love to read this blog, it inspires me to keep watching my pennies!

    I cleaned and oiled my sewing machine this past week. I am doing a bit of mending and alterations to make our wardrobe go a bit further. Last spring I had a $10 off any $10 purchase coupon at J.C. Penney’s and found a sweater dress on clearance for $9.97! The belt that was to go with it had a problem but I was able to fix that this past week. I’m excited for cooler weather so I can wear the dress. You are right Brandy, some of the prices that we see are outrageous!

    I’ve picked cucumbers, zucchini, peppers, green beans, and raspberries from the garden this week. A friend of mine brought me some extra peaches and plums her daughter had from her trees and I enjoyed them! I made homemade fresh salsa which my family really enjoyed.

    I made homemade pizza for my boys to enjoy during the big college football game broadcast. They prefer homemade to the frozen ones you buy in the store.

    We are lucky to have a couple of stores that have caselot sales in the fall. I bought a case of tomato sauce, 48 cans for $9.60 (20 cents a can), a 10 lb. box of frozen Tilapia fillets for $26.90, and purchased oats for 50 cents a pound and lentils for 99 cents a pound.

    My daughter-in-law and I have been enjoying watching the Great British Baking Show the past few weeks on PBS.org. Does anyone else watch the show? It’s a lot of fun, very kind judges and people on the show, I’ve learned a lot from it.

    I managed to have one no-drive day last week. It wasn’t easy, my 14 year old son was ill and I had to go to the store for medicine a couple of times. I finally took him to the doctor on Friday and he was well enough to go to school today!

    I hope everyone has a great week! I love reading the comments here!

  24. Wow, I haven’t seen that kind of prices around here in OH or online where I shop. Check out Blair and Jen Clothing Brandy. Still if you can get fabric that low of cost, you would still be better making it. I can’t get decent fabric for less than $9 a yard of quality material around here.

    I spent a lot of time sick off and on this month plus had my final exam in Advanced Nutrition (doesn’t that figure?). Still tried to stay on task.

    Having to buy new bedding for the coming winter. Comforter has finally worn thin after 10 yrs. Just don’t make them like they used to HA HA. Down to two blankets also as the others have worn out… looking for the best deals before we bite that bullet


  25. Do you mind my asking how you are able to qualify for a loan that does not need to be paid back unless she moves? My house needs some repairs….. Thanks so much.

  26. In some, if not all, communities in Michigan they have a certain amount of funds for this too. There are income limits but they are quite generous as such programs go. The county included a notifcation of such a program in with some other mail to my mother. Start asking your local municipality officials or Area Council on Aging (if appropriate in your circumstances) and work your way up. The phrase “Federal block grants” comes to mind….. Some programs may have minimum age or disability requirementd but not all of them do. I hope you get the funds for repairs!

  27. I had my gallbladder removed in 2014. I was able to go home the very next day and didn´t need any painkillers. Even though I wasn´t allowed to lift my children (or more than 5kg ~10lb), I was able to do almost anything (slowly).

    I didn´t regret the surgery, although there are some foods I try to avoid like too much fat or mushrooms. Praying for a quick recovery for you!

  28. For Labor Day weekend I drove to visit my DD, son in law and grandson – about 450 mile drive. I rearranged my schedule at work so that I could leave before noon on Friday to make the drive. I took several sandwiches, fruit, raw vegetables and iced tea and water for the drive, as well as several books on CD from the library. I enjoyed listening to [u]A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, which somehow I hadn’t read as a girl. I stopped at the halfway point to walk for about 30 minutes to get the kinks out.

    We had a cook out with a few of their friends and a neighbor. I provided hot dogs, bratwurst, buns and a watermelon. I brought my “mature” potatoes from home, sliced into thin wedges and roasted them with olive oil, salt & pepper and an herb mixture (oregano, rosemary and others) someone gave me as a gift. My daughter prepared ribs with a dry rub, roasted corn on the cob on the grill and made devilled eggs. It was good! The rain held off till late in the afternoon. And we played badminton. (I think there is a theme here. I am too old to call it a “meme’.)

    I brought my grandson pajamas – thrifted Phineas and Ferb bottoms (25 cents) and a matching tee (clearance for $1), a pair of Teva style flip flops (reduced 50% to $5), and some free tchotkes from work – earphones, flashlight, whistle, compass key ring, etc.

    Since I live in a small town with 2 grocery store choices – Super WalMart and Albertson’s – and about 100 miles from a town of any size – I look for groceries I can’t find when I am in the big city (Denver area). This time I found whole wheat spaghetti on special for $1/lb. (usually I can only find spaghetti with bleached flour on sale). I also found better peanut butter choices (no HFC, no trans fat). I had been struggling to find a new watch band. The big box retailers seem to want you to buy a cheap watch – not a watch band. (My Wal Mart didn’t have the size I needed.) I was happy to find a nice black leather band (reduced) for less than $8. Hopefully that means at least 4 more years of wear.

  29. Nobody told me this after my laparoscopic gallbladder surgery but it’s a helpful little tip. The put a lot of air in your stomach when they do the surgery and even though they try to get it all out when they finish there is still some in there. I had a good bit of pain just from that and it was in my upper shoulder area. A warm heating pad on that area can really bring some relief. I don’t remember the incision sites bothering me as much as the referred gas pain in my shoulders. If you made it through c-section this won’t be so bad. Hope that helps. Best of luck to you!

  30. Ros, I live in Ontario and have never seen a case lot sale. Instead, I watch sales closely and can find individual cans of things priced around what Brandy is paying in a case lot sale. The only downfall is that sometimes they put limits on how many you can buy. I get around that by either bringing an extra person (husband or mother) and have them go through with some or I go into the store multiple times. It may not be playing by their rules, but our stores are not always very fair with their customers either.

    Brandy, we do have H & M in Canada, but not in all cities. I do have another suggestion for you, however. While I was in Vegas, I went to a discount mall. There were some pretty big name stores there, including Old Navy and Gap among others, which I normally find very pricey. However, I checked out their clearance sections and found some great deals on clothing items that would have cost quite a bit at regular price. Honestly, it would have cost more to buy some of these items at thrift stores! Have you ever tried shopping there?

  31. A family at school did this at least 20 years ago and they did not have to pay back until house was sold when they moved 5 years ago. But there are income limits. I think it might have been through HUD. Not sure, and like I said, they’ve moved away.

  32. Rhonda,
    I was just on their website; I don’t think they have a store in our city 🙂

    I have been to the outlet malls, but they so often don’t have the size I need, and then I’ve driven an hour and come home empty handed. I find it simpler to shop online when the children are asleep if I need to price compare. Ebates has a discount if you go through there first before shopping at Old Navy and I’ve done that before, shopping clearance that way.

    There are some thrift stores near me; I usually stick with the closest one. Garage sales are my first choice since I can usually buy clothing items for $0.50 to $1.00 each there, which is a lot less than the thrift store. Of course it depends on the item. Right now I am wearing a dress that I paid $8 for at a garage sale. I really hesitated because it is a lot more than I usually pay, but I really liked the dress. I’m glad I bought it, though, because it has become my favorite every day dress! I am making dresses based off this one and another one.

  33. Aren’t moms great, Brandy? My mom has been such a huge help for our family too. Glad you were able to restock some items in your pantry at some really good prices. Love the badminton set you bought at a yard sale. I don’t think I have seen a picture of your sons for a while now. Your children are getting so big!

    My daughter started back to school this week. She has informed us that she will most likely be invited to a birthday sleep-over later this month. Her friend likes Harry Potter. I’m thinking of making a pillow with a hand-embroidered slip cover, like I made my daughter for Christmas. Do you have any suggestions of good links to Harry Potter line drawings that I can use for the embroidery, Brandy? I tried looking and did find some, but I’m not convinced it’s the right picture yet.

    Frugal accomplishments for this week are:
    *Meals made at home include chicken fingers with potato wedges and corn, ham steaks with cold pasta salad, coleslaw, mashed potatoes and peas & carrots mixed, spagetti dinner, and piggies in a blanket (breakfast sausages and cheese wrapped in crescent rolls) with green & waxed beans.
    *Received a free brownie from work. They had reached expiration date and could not be sold. It was also our last day for the summer interpreters, so a nice treat for us!
    *Harvested some green peppers and dill seed from the garden.
    *Blanched and froze 4 dozen cobs of corn, 3 dozen of which I was given for free. As much as that sounds like a lot, it won’t stretch through the entire winter with my corn loving family. It’s a good start, though.
    *We had another heat wave hit this week, just in time for the children to go back to school. Most schools in this area do not have airconditioning. My daughter seems to be surviving her first week of grade 8, though, despite the heat. She is making and packing her own lunch this year (I’ve been working on her doing this since last year). I stopped buying pre-made, store bought snacks for lunch items like cookies and granola bars a couple years ago. I am perfectly capable of baking items and for a lot less! She has done a great job finding other things to take so far.
    *Finally got a chance to do some baking near the end of the week. I baked lemon raspberry muffins from pantry staples and frozen fruit, wrapped most of them up individually and froze them for my daughter to use in her school lunches. We put some in the fridge to use right away.
    *I’m still getting hours at work, despite the summer season being over. I am helping with the fall guided tours which are available for the first 2 weeks of September.
    *I am developing my acting skills, which I never would have been brave enough to do until I started working at the pioneer village. For the second year in a row, I am participating in an historic walk “play” which uses various pioneer village buildings as the backdrop. My role is “Hannah”, the sassy and beligerant servant girl of Suzanna Moodie, a pioneer who lived in this area in the 1800s…so much fun! My family thinks I was typecast for this role (family are wonderfully supportive, aren’t they?). We had our first “dress rehersal” in front of the press on Tuesday, which my mother also attended for free. Our opening night was on Thursday and second show was on Friday this past week. Four more shows to go! We will be paid a small amount for my participation at the end for the production.
    *Our area was treated to a surprise fly over by the Canadian Snowbirds airplane team one day. I just happened to be outside when they zoomed past! They were returning home from the air show that took place at the Toronto Exhibition the weekend before. Free entertainment, even if it was brief.
    *On Sunday, my husband and I celebrated our 17th wedding anniversary. I remembered to buy a card and a box of my husbands favourite chocolates (found on sale @ 50% off), thanks to Gabrielle’s comment about her anniversary (thank you, again!). We went out for dinner and a movie to celebrate. We watched “Sully” which was excellent!

    That’s it for me this week. Looking forward to gleaning new frugal ideas from everyone. Have a great week!

  34. Gabrielle, our Pastor’s wife just had her gallbladder out and it was laparascopic, just 3 little openings. She was up and around right away, but just had lifting restrictions for awhile, and driving restrictions while she took a pain pill. She said really the worst part was some pain up around her shoulders from where the gas migrated to…they use some gas to inflate the area so they can see with the instruments. But that didn’t last long. Praying for a speedy recovery.

  35. Lorna,

    It’s cheaper to not wear dresses 🙂 Also, most women seem to prefer pants. I [i]love[/i] dresses. I pretty much stopped wearing them after I had children, as I couldn’t find anything in my new size that I could also nurse in. But now I am wearing wrap dresses and faux-wrap dresses. I am rather excited about wearing dresses again–almost giddy, in fact! In the heat we have here I find them even nicer, since they seem cooler to me than shorts. Come winter I’ll wear more pants and jeans, but that is such a short time that dresses are much more practical for me.

  36. I’ve never heard of those places. I will look online. Thanks for sharing!

    I am going to make a dress from 2 yards of a linen print that I bought from Fabric.com for $8.98 (total). They have great sales, especially on Black Friday weekend.

    I found our quilt at a garage sale for $15. Right now it’s so hot that we don’t use blankets; come winter, I put a thin quilt on the bed. A comforter is too hot. We bought one when we first got married, and I put it on the bed as it was so pretty, but it soon became obvious to us that it was rather impractical. Over half of the year I just use sheets.

  37. We’ve had some strong winds here too. But no frost due yet. I hope your snow holds off for quite awhile yet, especially until after you can get those snow tires!

  38. It was my first time going, but it’s been happening for years at our local community garden. They offer three choices of bread; hummus or pesto; and then top it with fresh heirloom tomatoes. The sandwich is open faced and delicious. They make it a community event and also talk about their garden. It’s free, but you can also make a donation.

    I ran into a few friends who put it on their calendars and go every year.

  39. This is a two-week frugal accomplishments update at our house:

    Our two-year-old hot water heater started leaking but had a 6-year warranty, and even though we couldn’t locate the receipt, we were able to take it back to Menard’s where we bought it and they replaced it for free.

    Our old washing machine finally gave up and refused to work anymore. We were able to take advantage of the Labor Day sales going on and bought a new one using part of our emergency fund. While we will have to build up our fund again in the next few months, it felt good to be able to pay cash for a new washer.

    I made a vegetable soup from leftover vegetables and broth from the freezer made from chicken bones. I was able to salvage a pasta dish that we didn’t like very much by adding some butter, flour, cream cheese, milk, and leftover chicken to it and topped it with parmesan cheese. It was delicious. I also made homemade pizza, spaghetti sauce with very little Italian sausage for flavor, and roasted vegetables over polenta.

    We took our lunches to work. My husband had free pizza at work from a very good pizza house. We turned off the air and opened windows when it was cooler outside.

    I washed large and small baggies in very hot water and detergent. This saves me lots of money and is worth the extra time and effort to me. I buy the more durable ones and they often last 3 or 4 washes, or more! I mostly use them for our lunches and for freezing vegetables, soups, sauces, and fruit.

    As always, I look forward to everyone’s contribution to the frugal accomplishments conversation. Have a good week!

  40. Ros,
    I am in BC. Both Canadian Superstore and Save-On Foods have caselot sales about every 4 months. I don’t know if these stores or theie parent companies are in Quebec or not. The prices here, though, are not as good as the US sales even when you factor in the exchange rate.

  41. Gabrielle, I had my GB taken out via scope several years ago. I was home 6 hrs. after the surgery. I only needed the real pain pills the first day and night, then I did Extra Strength Tylenol for a couple more days. I did a lot of walking around the house. It really helps with everything. I also remember eating a lot of yogurt the first few days. It must’ve gone down easy. Good luck!

  42. http://bluehousejournal.blogspot.com/2016/09/frugal-friday-getting-on-top-of.html I’ve been busy with fall cleaning and most recently with dismantling three major living spaces in my home. We’re hoping to get new flooring and I am taking a faith step and emptying the contents of the furnishings in those three rooms. It’s a faith step because we haven’t yet found a flooring store that has a quote we can afford but I believe we’re going to get new floors…

  43. I really hope you enjoy this new job much more than the last. I know what it’s like to work at a job where the people are now very supportive. I’d much rather work at a job where I like the people, even if it means making less money. Congrats and all the best for better working conditions, Mandy!

  44. I had heard plenty about that gas pain, but didn’t get it. I don’t know if it was because I was constantly walking around or what, lol, but I was grateful. Walking also helps …um….move *things* that you really don’t want stopped up after belly incisions. Did I say that nice enough AND get my message out?! 😉

  45. Hi Brandy and touching base on the question most people ask, is it worth it to sew at home, well my answer like yours is an absolute yes it is in that it saves our family so much money to make all of our home decorator items ourselves as would it be for making clothing too. That is a huge saving for you and your family to be able to make beautiful dresses for yourself for under $10 each and even better you can choose a lovely fabric design that you like as well as make them in a more demure style, the shop purchased ones do severely lack in the suitable neckline and length areas I always find.

    So very happy for you that you are so excited about being able to have and make your dresses as well as wear them. I totally understand how wonderful it is to have that feeling in your life. I saved up and purchased an electric citrus juicer and was like a child in a candy store when using it. Isn’t it wonderful that both you and I can be excited by the simple things and pleasures in life 🙂 .

    I like yourself wait for the sales that happen a couple of times a year and purchase all of my fabric at anywhere from 30 – 50% off usual retail prices which saves us so much money. I make a list of sewing projects for I want to do for the year in the home and then buy the fabrics then. I was mortified at the price of curtains on the internet here in Australia being $80 plus per panel and the ones I could find were polyester. The ones I made so cheaply were a lovely cotton linen blend and so very much prettier and are washable as well.

    One of my next projects is to make a tablecloth for our kitchen table similar designs in the shops in cotton linen blend are $80 – $129.99, I will be able to make one for our table for $14.60 in fabric with a small cost of thread an a little electricity. The savings this brings for our family are huge too. Like yourself I am giddy with excitement looking at my new curtains too 🙂 .

  46. Brandy, I’m so excited that you posted that. My best friend is a HP fanatic. Their family room is decorated like the Gryffindor common room. They love getting new and unique stuff. I made them a Monster Book of Monsters last year from a wooden box and it turned out WAY better than I could have imagined. I would love to embroider them a couple of pillows for Christmas 17. This gives me a good head start.

  47. Yes, I think this is a new season. We were able to watch it on PBS.org but I don’t know if it is still available. Last spring Netflix had an old season available. There may be other ways to watch it, but I’m not techie enough to know the answers.

  48. Our biggest savings for the week came from the rain. What a soaking we got.
    Things also got cancelled due to lightning. Stayed home most of the week, which saved gas.

    I bought just a few groceries- milk, bananas, and a tomato. So sad that tomatoes were a bust this year.

    Main meal courses here last week were leftovers, turkey/avocado wraps, egg salad sandwiches, salsa chicken, mac and cheese, and sloppy joes. The weather was so cool Saturday morning that I baked a cranberry/pear pie.

    For Beautifying, I switched my dishes from my ivy print to my mom’s china, which is a brown transfer ware by Johnson Bros. It’s a good winter/fall pattern and the dish sizes are much smaller. That’s good for the more sedentary seasons. I also made a lovely tablescape with several small bottles and a bowl.

    And the regular stuff like hanging laundry, catching water, using what we have, and using only the electricity we need for each task.

  49. It was cool and breezy here over the weekend so we opened the windows and turned off the air conditioning. I made homemade flannel baby wipes with flannel I found on sale for .75 cents per yard. I also used a gift card for the fabric. I cooked and froze a bunch of black beans to have for soups, etc. We also planted turnips!!

  50. I always do the older kids, too, but I usually do the same number of each for girls and boys. I had guessed that the older kids got sent fewer boxes, but didn’t realize there was a disparity between girl/boy boxes. I just finished three drawstring backpacks to include this year. It’s the first time I have managed to get something sewn for them! I found a pattern that is all fabric, so less expensive to make and I think more comfortable to carry. They are lined and I think will be both sturdy and cute. I had some fabric leftover from earlier projects I was able to use for two of them and spent about $3 on the other fabric and have some of that left. I am trying to decide whethe boy backpacks would be better out of denim/twill or ripstock. Joann’s had some of each on clearance so I think I could do either for not too much.

  51. I was thinking the golden snitch or one of the house monograms might be quicker and still really neat as well? Good luck!

  52. Oooh, Susannah Moodie! I didn’t realize that she was well off enough to have had a servant, but live and learn! Which pioneer village do you work at, can I ask? If it’s close enough to me (I’m in T.O.), I’d love to stop by and see the play, or recommend that my family go see it. My mother in particular would love to see it!

  53. Our church does it a little different in that families do not do individual boxes. A sheet was sent out in our church mailboxes over the summer with different items every week. There are collection boxes in the lobby. It helps to coordinate with sales. Notebooks were 18 ¢ at the office store along with many other deals at the back to school sales. A message was sent out on the email chain. Amother store had 6 packs of washcloth for $1. You drop off items week they are due. There will be a box packing party on a Saturday, a church collection on a Sunday to pay for postage. Last year we did 250. I much prefer it this way, rather then being responsible for the entire contents. I can buy a multipack of a dozen socks and that will be divided up cheaper per pair of socks then if I’d just bought a single pair for my one box. Same with t shirts. Every box will get a letter either from individuals, whole families, Sunday school classes, kids in all the ages of youth groups. If an item is short, a notice is sent. Prayer has been going on for the last month and will continue…for the recipients, for safe transportation, for the whole organization. Not everybody buys every item each week of course, and its easy for those who are able to give more to do so. And those who can’t give as much still can participate fully and nobody really knows, or cares, who’s done what. It is a lot of fun and of course there is food and games too on packing day. The final thing is the blessing Sunday w her they are then loaded up and away they go.

  54. I commented but it “jumped” and ended up done the page attached to an unrelated topic. Not sure why this happens to me. Maybe due to touch screen .

  55. I bet you were at the Grateful Tomato garden! I was sad to miss the Tomato Sandwich Party this year, but had a conflict. I feel a bit better about it because I have a bumper crop of tomatoes and basil in my own garden.:)

  56. It is at Lang Pioneer Village Museum in Keene, ON (near Peterborough). Toronto is about an hour and a half away, so it is doable. However, the play does take place at night (7:00pm start), so you may have a late night getting home. Here is the link to the info on our website: http://www.langpioneervillage.ca/historic-literary-walks/. You need to book soon, as there is a maximum number of people that can book each night (30 I think) and it is booking quickly! Hope you can make it for one of our showings, Margaret!

  57. Ros,
    I’m in Quebec, just outside of Montreal. I shop at Maxi and just yesterday found a buy 10 for $10. Right now they have canned potatoes regular $1.39 (a terrible price, but I haven’t seen it lower for quite a while), or buy 10 for $10. I don’t remember this type of sale in the past, so I’m going to keep my eye out for more like it.
    As for dresses, your prices at Old Navy and Gap are great. The Bay also has wonderful sales at the end of season, racks and racks of dresses for 75% off. I picked up a beautiful dress for myself for my granddaughter’s Christening for $40! Not all Bay stores carry the same stock though, hopefully there is a well stocked store in your area.

  58. I live in the town where Samaritan’s Purse is based, which organizes OCC. It’s a wonderful ministry. If you have a distribution center near you, they always need volunteers there to help check the boxes prior to shipping them out to the various countries. It’s a neat way to be a part of the ministry even if you don’t have the funds to put together a shoebox yourself. From my experience as a checker, Brandy is right that the older kids, boys especially, get many fewer boxes. I’ve found that deflated soccer balls with a hand pump are a wonderful gift for this age.

  59. It’s so nice to see children actually playing. Here, i see the high schoolers always looking at their phones. Even at work, everyone checks their phones whenever there’s a minute of down time. I have a pay-as-you-go phone that i rarely turn on, so i don’t get it…
    Between my Summer job and my Wed. only job, i’ve been putting in a lot of hours. I haven’t been eating properly but i have been trying to leave my husband a good meal to prepare for himself. If i didn’t leave him instructions, he’d likely buy fast food or make a sandwich. This week, all his meals were made at home, as were mine. We did splurge on several ice cream treats.
    I shared a box of my apples with my friend; she gifted me some of her tomatoes. I used some in a new recipe for black bean taquitos. They were so-so. They won’t be added to the rotation.
    Since our water bill has risen, again, i’m soaking my white work shirts in a bleach solution, in a bucket, and putting them in the washer to spin out. A few minutes in the dryer to get the wrinkles out and they’re good to go. I hope this cuts the water bill. Also, i’ve been lax when washing the dishes. So, i’m back to using a tub for washing and one for rinsing. I play a game with myself to see how low i can keep the water levels.
    My husband went to the farmers market for me and got two dozen ears of corn. I froze some, ate some and made more cob broth for the freezer.
    I foraged more blackberries. I’ve started a fourth gallon jug of wine and froze the rest. I’ll pick more on the weekend, if it doesn’t rain, and maybe make a pie. It’s been a long time since i’ve made a fruit pie.
    I’ve been taking leftover water bottles home from work. (These are bottles that the workers or customers have forgotten.) I line them all up behind the dog dish. When she’s low on water, i empty one into her bowl. No throwing water away. (That just seems wrong to me…..I’m becoming a crazy water lady..)
    I made some banana muffins from old bananas. I’m not too fond of banana muffins usually, but these are so moist! The recipe is from a vegan cookbook i have. I’ll be making them again.
    I did my coke rewards. I’ve hit my limit on Walmart gift cards. So, i think i’ll use them for magazine subscriptions for the family for Christmas. I wanted to order some anyway; free is better!
    That’s about it for me besides the usual; hanging clothes, washing out bags, shopping sales.
    Wishing everyone a fabulous week!

  60. I had a busy week but I will try to remember everything, I really need to write this down as I go!

    I helped my mom and dad make a new flower bed this year and mom planted twelve tomato plants, they are absolutely overrun with tomatoes! Mom and I have canned salsa, pasta sauce, and crushed tomatoes for soups that went into the freezer. It was also a good year for zucchini and although my mother’s plants did not produce much my aunts sure did, we made canned crushed and tidbit pineapple out of four oversized zucchini. It is my husbands favorite! Surprisingly, it tastes just like canned pineapple. My sister sent in a few boxes of cucumbers from the garden, we made refrigerator pickles with them, also a favorite of my husbands, he and the children eat them as snacks straight out of the pail in the fridge.

  61. Picked the rest of my pears, picked apples from a neighbor’s tree, made hummus, waffles, chocolate chip cookies. Stocked up on brown sugar at one case lot sale, planning on hitting more case lot sales this week and next month. Ran out of dishwasher detergent, so I finally tried making my own. Seems to be working well, so I may not go back to buying store bought detergent.

  62. A few weeks ago, we cooked up a turkey. I wasn’t enthusiastic about making soup then, so I put the carcass and the legs in a large bag and froze. So last week, I thawed out the package and split it into chunks that would fit in the crockpot, and cooked all day. The broth made a large pot of soup and extra to freeze. Ate all but one meal at home, continuing to cook mostly from scratch and also to eat freezer meals. Made bread in the bread machine, then sliced and froze in two slices per ziploc freezer bag. A loaf will last us two weeks this way. Had six people over for a Labor Day BBQ, went great with everyone bringing a side dish or dessert.

  63. * We had a “dig party” and had 3 teen boys and a couple male family friends come and help dig out the wall that needed to be waterproofed. Our 2 kids also helped (my daughter has a competitive streak!! She was trying to outdig the boys!) The waterproofing company came today and sealed the 2 cracks in the foundation and sprayed a membrane over the top. I will start filling it back in tomorrow some time as it needs to set for 24 hours before being back filled. Thankfully, my inlaws paid for that as our emergency fund is fully depleted.
    * My Dad did all the plumbing repairs (yes, we found plumbing leaks as well) and our son purchased much of the parts needed and ran to Lowe’s many times to get more needed parts for Grandpa. Tomorrow the company that my husband has been working with the most for energy auditing services will be here to re-insulate it all, put up drywall (including the ceiling ones) and will mud it all so it is ready for me to paint. Then it is on to the flooring which we are having a hard time finding something affordable due to the size of the room and the fact that we cannot install it ourselves this time.
    * People have sent dinners over, my sister picked up many, many groceries. When she called to ask what I needed, I just couldn’t think, so she just started asking “do you need this? what about these?” as I looked thru my pantry and she even thought about monthly supplies for my daughter and myself, laundry soap and shampoo/conditioner – she is AWESOME! She also gave us a gas card for the frequent trips to the cancer center. We have also been put on many prayer lists even though my hubby is not a believer.
    * My Aunt purchased a brand new recliner for my hubby so he can watch TV with the dogs next to him on the couch but not ON him where they normally would lay and it elevates his foot with the diabetic ulcer which is healing very well considering.
    * Found a coupon for free 60 day Sam’s Club membership – I am going to check their meat, butter and toilet paper prices specifically.
    * Applied for and was accepted into the Kibble Konnection which is a pet pantry that our local humane society runs. They will give you food for 2 animals once per month. I will be using it to supplement food for our 5 cats since our dogs tummies are very sensitive and you never know what food has been donated month to month. I think if anyone else asks if there is something we need, I am going to tell them we need gift cards to the local pet food store we visit the most.
    * We have applied for food stamps, SS Disability and to many cancer charities. We also were given a couple more places to call that might help with the repairs we have had to do to the house for my husband’s sake.
    * My boss at my part-time job is giving me one weekday dinner shift and one weekend shift which makes me available almost all the times hubby will need me during the week for his trips for blood-work and chemo. He is VERY understanding since he went thru this with his father – he also understands that the job is a distraction – it is a very busy meat and deli counter so I don’t have alot of time to be thinking of the mess at home or hubby which is actually a blessing.
    * I have somewhere around 20-30 pounds of potatoes from my garden and I just found tomatoes I had frozen when they just started coming ripe when I was trying to find something else in the freezer. I also forgot that I have 2 volunteer tomato plants and am going to try and get the last few in the freezer and I will process them when I have more time (hahahahahaha – that might be wishful thinking). I won’t be making any jams/jellies with the fruit I have frozen because hubby is using it for protein shakes which he needs more than I need jam – there is always next year! I also have a lot of carrots still in the ground that I would like to get blanched and in the freezer. My winter squash is a bust it appears (powdery mildew struck again) but I have several summer squashes to grate this week and freeze + more coming. I did get dill pickles made but not any sweet relish or bread and butters. My concord grapes are ripe now as well but I don’t know that I have the time to do anything with them this year 🙁
    * I washed and bleached all the bedding and then put everything out on the line in the sun (and just made sure my Danes didn’t take off with any of it……)
    * We stayed home other than for my work and trips to the cancer center – I think today may have been the first time out for hubby since his diagnosis – his white blood cell counts are very high right now so it is safe for him to be out in public – we will go out tomorrow again to try and find flooring cheap enough and to pick up a few groceries we still need.

  64. Your post brought tears to my eyes, Melissa. So glad that some things are coming together for you, your husband and your family. I hope the charities come through with some much needed help, you have success finding inexpensive flooring and someone steps forward to offer help installing it! May this week be even better than the last. Sending lots of hugs from Canada.

  65. Congratulations on the weight loss. It’s not an easy thing to do. I’m sure you will enjoy numerous health benefits because of it!

  66. My frugal accomplishment this week are: bought chicken with 30% off, made passata from tomatoes from my garden, picket 7 cougettes !!and more to come, I have to give them away now, no room anymore), picked new tomatoes, 2 cabbage, pak choi, raspberries and some black barries. Again took a long shower after training at the gym. Shortened 2 pair of trouser from my husband, although he could order new ones in the right size, as they were payed for by his employer, they where workingtrousers .(A.ldi). But then he had to wait for another 2 weeks before that was fixed, and he had only 1 pair of trousers left.
    Greeting from a (still very warm) Netherlands

  67. If you are having lap gallbladder surgery, you’ll be fine in no time. Get up and walk around as soon as you can immediately after surgery because the CO2 gas they use during the surgery stays in your system and bubbles up into your shoulders. That pain hurt worse than any incisional pain I had. If you get nauseated/vomit after general anesthesia, ask for zofran/decadron and a scopalamine patch from the Anesthesiologist. I always got really nauseasted after any general anesthesia but found out about that new treatment and after I woke up from my gallbladder surgery, I felt great!

    Good luck Gabrielle! I am sure you will do just fine!

  68. Lorna,
    Wow, congratulations on saving over 63 percent of your income, that is beyond fantastic! When my husband and I were both working, we got to the mid 50 percent range and it was a huge challenge, so 63 is really extraordinary. Congrats again.

  69. Thanks, Rhonda! I checked it out and it looks awesome! Unfortunately, I can’t make it on those nights, so I hope something similar runs again soon! I actually used to live in Peterborough (over a decade ago) and didn’t realize that they had a pioneer village. Live and learn!

  70. Hi Hilogene and thank you so much for your kind words of encouragement, we are chuffed with that result too . Mid 50% is a huge effort by you and your DH too I have to say.

    We are slowly inching our way in savings to buying our home without a bank loan 🙂 . We have done the number crunching and cannot see the point in borrowing and paying back a mortgage when the interest and repayments would be more than we are paying in low rent currently. The bank keep trying to get us to take a loan out based on our good savings rate, but DH tells them he is very happy for them to pay for part of our home with our interest on the money we have in the bank rather than their CEOS buying a Mercedes. Bless DH he is unashamedly honest :p .

  71. If your 13 yo is a girl and not very tall, Aeropostale has ridiculously skinny things. My 13yo is unfortunately 5’9″, and a 0, so American Eagle is our only option for pants that meet her school’s dress code. Keep checking the clearance online!

  72. Brandy, when you sew your dresses will you post about it? I would like to learn how to make a pattern from clothing I already have without dismantling it. I have a dress whose skirt I love, and I’d like to make a heavier winter skirt on the same pattern. I too have trouble finding dresses and skirts to wear. Since I work in a lab I need to be completely covered below the bottom of my lab coat for safety reasons.

  73. I have done these shoeboxes in years past, and love the idea of soccer balls and a hand pump for the older boys. This discussion has prompted me to do some again this year. I really enjoy being part of this wonderful community! As I’ve not had children, any other suggestions for this age group of boys would be welcome.

  74. Go here: https://www.samaritanspurse.org/operation-christmas-child/what-goes-in-my-shoebox-suggestions/

    Check boy ages 10-14 and it will give you lots of suggestions!

    I also enjoy reading the personal stories on their site and Facebook page from boys in this age group about what items meant the most to them. For one boy, it was underwear. His parents could not afford them and he really wanted them. He was SO happy to have them!

  75. I also fill OCC boxes for older boys. This past week I found flip flops on clearance at Walgreens for $1.00. Also found summer toys for $.34 each such as yo-yos. Other ideas are reusable water bottles from the Dollar Store, sunglasses from a job lot store, backpacks (Walgreens has them for $4 each as a back-to-school special) and school supplies. I try to buy something every month year-round to go in the boxes so it isn’t a huge expense all at once.

  76. Thanks for the Quebec-based answer (and thanks, everyone else, for your answers!)

    Neither of the larger companies in Western Canada are active in Quebec, sadly. Maxi is the best I’ve seen too – it’s just still not great, and I keep hoping for better. *sigh*

    Costco has had some decent prices in the past, particularly on 8-packs of canned tomatoes (or the #10 cans) – they wind up being about 40 cents more per can than the regular grocery store, but these are the Italian tomatoes packed with tomato paste, and I find you can dilute them with a 3/4 can of water to get about the same impact as 1 can of the more watery grocery store type (Alymers, etc). More per can, but less per recipe, basically. 🙂

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