September Harvest The Prudent Homemaker 

I cut cucumbers, pears, basil, grapes leaves, oregano, and butternut squash from the garden.

I mended an item of clothing.

Cemetery Flags The Prudent Homemaker

We took a little trip to the cemetery to see the flags; there were almost 3000. Each one represented a person who had died on September 11, 2011, and you could read about each person. It was very sad (I found myself crying) but an important history lesson.

I worked on (but did not yet finish) sewing a dress for myself.

I made a double batch of laundry soap.

We needed to get another computer, as the children are now spending more time on it for school with typing, foreign language, and math studies. My husband found one at Walmart that included a disk drive (many do not anymore). He loaded all of their math dvds onto the computer, which will prevent scratching damage (and keep me from having to replace them if that had happened). Rather than buying Microsoft Word, he downloaded Open Office to the computer. It’s a free program that I have been using for several years and it works well. 

Butternut Squash Harvest The Prudent Homemaker

I used a $10 off coupon for the local nursery. I had to replace a valve that had cracked. I also picked up some white mums on sale, as well as some herbs for the garden.

September Garden Urns The Prudent Homemaker

I have been watching soil temperatures every day, as it is close to planting several items. I took a chance and planted a few seeds in the garden, including green onion and lettuce seeds that I collected from my own garden. It’s a bit early for lettuce, but soil temperatures are dropping at night, so I am hoping that they will germinate. This may be frugal if they germinate; if not, it was a waste of seeds. I started them in the white garden, which is fairly shaded and cooler than the rest of the garden.

Cucumbers and Basil The Prudent Homemaker

Armenian Cucumbers, almost 2 feet long

I figured out 4 Christmas gifts that I can make for my children, using fabric I already have. I will make these in November as part of my Gift a Day series.

I went to the thrift store with my 13-year old son. We found several items of clothing for him. Thes best deal we found is a pair of Scout pants for him in the new “zip off” style (they convert into shorts by unzipping at the knees) for $6. These are on sale for $45 online (regular $50 online) and are $75 at our local Scout office. The pants we found are just his size and he is thrilled!

When we were done looking for him, we went over to the women’s dress section. I didn’t find anything for myself, but Cyrus found a dress for Winter in her size that is exactly her style (for $6). I bought it and since she was babysitting, Cyrus put it out on her bed for her to find when she came home. She absolutely loves the dress and wore it to church on Sunday. I was touched that he paid enough attention to what she wore to see a dress with a bodice very similar in style to one of her blouses.

I used my solar oven to cook a pot of beans one day and to cook a meal another day.


What did you to save money last week?


Just a note: Please save your frugal accomplishments from this upcoming week and the next week to share on October 2nd. 

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  1. Hi Brandy, I love hearing about your frugal achievements especially all the fruits and veggies you are able to grow, it give me hope.
    This weeks frugal achievements at our house were-
    Made a jar of passionfruit butter from home grown passionfruit
    Made a beautiful chicken stock from the carcass of a roast chicken we had for Sunday’s dinner
    Line dried all the washing
    Made a batch of laundry liquid
    Finished a little baby quilt to give as a gift
    Caught the warm up water from the shower to water the figs out front
    Cleaned the house using home made cleaners
    Packed my lunch for work every day
    Blitzed the fruit and veggie scraps for the worm farm

    I hope you have a lovely week

  2. I love that brotherly love Cyrus has for his sister! He cares enough to pay attention to what she wears and he got a great deal too! I see that love in my grandchildren also and it warms my heart.

    I also was at the thrift store and found a large bag that I was able to use for material for just 49 cents.
    Here are the rest of my frugal ways this past week:

  3. What great finds at the Thrift store! Your produce collection this week is impressive. Do you ever have problems with ants on your cucumber blooms if so what do you use to rid your plants of them?

  4. We won a free pizza at a local pizza restaurant and ate that for dinner one night. All other meals were cooked and eaten at home. I have taken my lunch and snack to work with me all week. My daughter took a lunch from home all week as well.

    We have been mindful of our water (and consequently sewer as well) usage. We have challenged ourselves to use as little as possible each day. I can’t wait to see our next bills 🙂 My husband has a gym membership ($10 per month) to help with some medical issues and he has been showering there after he exercises rather than at home. We have been using two dishpans to do the dishes (one for washing one for rinsing). My daughter and I have both been taking “navy showers”.

    I stayed home except for one trip to the grocery store. I was either at work or home, which saved gas and wear and tear on the car.

    My hubby rearranged our pantry for me. I had started it but had no time to finish it. It was so disorganized and messy that I was completely overwhelmed and stressed out about it. It now looks great and he used things we already had to organize. Looks so much better 🙂

    I exchanged some books at the library for myself and my daughter.

    That’s about it. Have a great week everyone!

  5. What a beautiful harvest from your garden and what a blessing!

    My frugal accomplishments include:

    I finished my grandson’s pajamas for his birthday. He turns 2 next Sunday. It had been awhile since I had sewn anything besides mending and I remembered how much I enjoy it. Next I will be working a nightgown for one of my granddaughters. She will be 6 in October.

    While I was grocery shopping on Saturday morning I found canned tomatoes on sale for 49 cents per can and bought 10 of them. The large cans of crushed tomatoes were 79 cents each. I bought lots of those too. I also found black beans and white beans for 50 cents a pound. For buying meat it is my goal to only buy the loss leaders and discounted meat. We have several grocery stores in our area.

    I was given an eggplant, a butternut squash and yellow squash and cooked those for our dinners this week. I bought frozen berries and frozen broccoli and cauliflower from the dollar store.

  6. Hello everyone! How lovely to find the perfect pieces of clothing for Cyrus & Winter at the thrift store, Brandy. It sounds as though Cyrus has a good and caring heart. I also cut butternut squash last week, and had a good thrift store trip, picking up vintage buttons, wool yarn & a floral painting on half price day. We are getting some greatly needed rain today. I think I will replant a few fall seeds that didn’t do well or got dug up, such as lettuce and swiss chard. I look forward to reading what everyone else has been up to, & am joining in here:

  7. The tribute to 9/11 would have made me cry to, Brandy. It was a very emotional and scary time for us in Canada as well. You are right, though, it is a very important history lesson in deed!

    I’ve had a pretty good week on the frugal front, with the exception of all the school expenditures. This week my daughter brought home a bunch of order forms and requests for money for various things. It probably totaled around $50 when all said and done…that’s a lot for one week! I think it should be settling down for a little bit now, though. Here are my frugal accomplishments for this week:

    *Meals made at home included lasagna (homemade, from freezer) with garlic toast, baked chicken smothered in cheddar cheese soup with rice and broccoli, tacos, chicken souvlaki with tzatziki sauce, mashed potatoes and green beans, BBQ hamburgers and hotdogs with salad and apple crisp (homemade, from freezer), pancakes with breakfast sausages, and hamburger helper with corn. Leftovers were used up in lunches, both mine and my daughters.
    *Harvested 2 yellow peppers from the garden. Just when I think it’s done, we get more.
    *Bought 2 10lb bag of carrots on sale for $1.97/bag (3lb bags of carrots are typically around $1.50). We blanched and froze all 20lbs to use this winter. I saved some of the peeling in the freezer to use when making stock later.
    *Turkey’s were on sale this week for $0.97/lb. We bought one to use for Christmas.
    *Accepted a huge bag of Red Fife wheat bran for free from work this week. Bran is a by-product of milling wheat into flour, which is done at our grist mill in the pioneer village. They sell the Red Fife wheat flour in the gift shop, but not the bran.
    *A co-worker gifted me a huge bag of crabapples. I boiled the crabapples and strained the juice on Sunday and will make jelly with the juice today (Monday). I’ve never made jelly before, so this will be my first time attempting this. Rather a cheap experiment since the only cost is sugar which I have already in my pantry (bought on sale this summer, too).
    *Another co-worker gave me a strawberry rhubarb pie with one small slice out of it to take home with me one day. Free pie! It didn’t take long for my family to devour it. I have great co-workers, don’t I?
    *One of the young ladies I work with at the pioneer village does super cool, cinematic type makeup as a hobby (like they do on the show Face-off). She is looking for volunteers models to do makeup on for her “Countdown to Halloween” and asked if I’d like to be turned into a zombie. Being a huge walking dead fan, of course I said “yes”! Still confirming when it will happen…but I’m so excited to be doing this!!!

    That’s about it for me. Can’t wait to read everyone’s comments this week. I learn so much from all of you! Have a wonderful week everyone!

  8. Terrific thrift store finds, Brandy! I bought our cub scout shirts on eBay and then just changed out the patches. But those pants are a great deal! Try as we might we haven’t been able to find used shorts in the right size. I bought the remaining items used. This has not been our most frugal week. We had part of our lawn landscaped and they were $300 over on the estimate ( needed a bob cat, was cheaper than renting one and doing it ourselves). My husband will probably need a new engine for the riding lawn mower. But I harvested several large zucchini from the garden and was able to make both zucchini bread and mock crab cakes. I changed to a cheaper ( homemade) floor cleaner that I really like . So it helps a bit. I started a bullet journal to keep me on task.

  9. Fi,

    I had hoped to have passionfruit by now, but since ours never fruited, I dug the plant out. I had hoped to make passionfruit sorbet. I’m glad it was successful for you! I’m sure you will have lots of success with your garden this coming season.

  10. I get so excited when God blesses us with these kinds of blessings! Finding pants in his size, the very style he needed and a stylish dress for Winter, so awesome. Your son knowing how to be attentive to others will sure be a great attribute to him as he becomes a young man. I had a special blessing this Saturday. Our lawns are lush and growing fast with the cooler rainy weather we are having. I had a very busy tiring week and left the lawn mowing for the weekend so my husband could help. I chose to push mow for the exercise. It was a rainy day. Around noon the sun came out , a wind picked up and the grass was drying out! We started to mow and the dark clouds rolled in once again. I prayed and asked God to please hold off the rain for just a bit more. My husband had just finished and was getting ready to come in the house and the big raindrops started coming down. The lawn was looking good! We had the rest of the late afternoon to rest! I was so very thankful!
    I had a lot of nice tomatoes given to me from one of our church members. I don’t need salsa but I am going to try this week to make a double batch to give as gifts at Christmas time. Have a wonderful week.

  11. I made my favorite apple butter using crabapples. The taste seemed much more complex than with regular apples. Alas the tree, which came from Monticello, died some years ago. Best of luck with your jelly. We are hoping to plant our first Red Fife wheat patch this fall. The challenge is dealing with all the field peas and peanuts we planted as cover crops first. Hopefully, we won’t run out of time.

  12. I planted seeds (lettuce, spinach, arugula), harvested kale, zucchini, tomatoes, and lemon cucumber. My in-laws grow Armenian cucumber, but I’ve only seen the pale green cucumbers. I noticed you have pale and dark green, are they two different varieties?

    I canned pears, baked bread, hamburger buns, and granola.

    I went to several yard sales and found some clothes I was needing for my kids, as well as some dress up items they may use for Halloween. The best find was two pairs of soccer cleats for $.50 each! Soccer season is almost over for my oldest, but he’s really been wanting cleats, and the other pair should fit my other son next year.

    My oldest also just started cub scouts. I couldn’t find any used cub scout shirts for much cheaper than new, so I ended up just buying from the Scout office. It was a real awakening just how expensive scouting can be! Those little patches add up.

  13. They’re the same! I’ve had dark and light from the same plant. It’s so odd that they do that.

    Try ebay if you can’t find any used Scout clothes locally. We have bought most all of our Scout clothing used. I found some pants on the local Facebook garage sale page, and most items we’ve found at the thrift store. A lot of the boys in our area have handed down shirts (including local council patches) to incoming boys, which was been really nice!

  14. Dear Brandy, I love the photos of yoir produce. Your son finding a dress for his sister speaks volumes about his kindness and love for her.
    We had a few days away on holidays and went to a lot of thrift stores. It was great and we found so many things we needed in little country shops.
    Here in Australai September 11 was the most shocking day I remember in my life time.
    Each week I track my savings and ways to get ahead and also build up my pantry. Just now I am on a 100 day painting and spring cleaning challenge as well! It is spring here!
    With live

  15. Have you tried cinnamon and red chilli powder mixed on the veggies or even around the perimeter of the bed? It jus came to me as we have had ants in spring in our house n use that…also a friend told me using sweet n low packets kills the ants though I have not used it…

  16. Hello everyone,
    This past week has been a mixed bag. I am still battling migraines, I received my second round of Botox injections and am praying that I will respond better than last time( the dr. states that it takes 2-3 times for some). So work has been spotty at best. My oldest is having surgery on her foot. She has battled bunions for years and is now ready for surgery. The doctors are still unsure as to why children develop them. She was being treated by Shriners hospital but they no longer treat her condition so we are using a local ortho. Dr. and it should be an outpatient surgery.

    On the frugal side I canned 12 quarts of vanilla bourbon pears, made another gallon of muscadine juice, harvesting eggplants and jalapeños from the garden. We are prepping our soil also for our fall planting. I have figured out Christmas and prayed over it. One of the items I had written for my two boys I found half off at the grocery store of all places. Those went in garbage bags and up in the attic.

    Our water has that brain eating amoeba in it again. What makes me so angry is that we are charged for our water, for the pipe that the water goes through(at the same rate of water used), the sewer and now our states department of health and hospitals has tacked on a fee. I mean come on I am in Louisiana, you can’t throw a brick without hitting a bayou and I live in the top portion of the state. Ya figured if they can invent a jelly bean that tastes like buttered popcorn then surely they can figure out how to get clean drinking water to folks at a price that is affordable. Sorry rant over.

    For those looking for scouting items or just thrifting in general. Check out shop, that’s right goodwill has a website that they do auctions on. Just be sure to check out the shipping, but for some that live in large cities where the items come from, there is a pick up option.
    I know there were other things that we did to save $$, but with my squirrelly head right now, I can’t even recall.

    Have a blessed week everyone

  17. I’m so impressed that Cyrus was so thoughtful in regard to the dress for Winter. That kind thoughtfulness will be a blessing to his future spouse and children one day. Such a wonderful trait!

  18. I love reading everyone’s frugal accomplishments. And I think it’s so sweet that Cyrus not only thought of his sister, but knows her taste in clothing as well. Obviously a good sibling bond!

    My accomplishments for the week:
    – A colleague brought in some tomatoes that she couldn’t eat before they would go bad. I ate one as part of my lunch, and served the other to the DH as a side at dinner.
    – I redeemed a $25 Swagbucks Amazon gift card, to order a tortilla press. I love the purity (and frugality!) of homemade flour tortillas, but rolling them out isn’t good for my wrists. This will allow me to make tons of tortillas (which will make the DH happy!) without sacrificing my wrists. The only issue is…I accidentally redeemed the Swagbucks for amazon.COM, as opposed to amazon.CA. Oops. So, I think I had to pay about $2.50 extra in duties or such. Still, for only $3.50 OOP, I’m really excited about my tortilla press!
    – Redeemed Pinecone Research Points for $5 to my paypal account.
    – Ordered some items that I needed from (this time I ordered it from the right country!) as it was cheaper to buy online than in a bricks-and-mortar store. I got free shipping, as well as using two coupons to save $2.75.
    – Packed lunches for the DH and I, as per usual
    – Made banana crumb muffins using bananas from the freezer
    – I had made some soup but it turned out spicier than expected. The DH does not like spicy food, but I don’t like throwing food away, so I got him to eat it by pairing it with homemade cheese biscuits, which he loves, followed by a homemade yoghurt and fruit parfait to cool his mouth. Not wasting food = win!
    – Accepted a pepper from a colleague that she grew on her balcony from seeds that she saved from a pepper last year. I’m going to keep the seeds from this pepper, and try it myself next year.
    – I used the above mentioned pepper in a homemade pasta salad. I had run out of pasta and only had fettucine in the house, but wanted to make a pasta salad for the DH’s lunch (and mine!) for the next day. So I made my own pasta! I rubbed small pieces of pasta dough on the smallest side of my grater to give it a fancy effect. The DH loved it! I add in peas, tomatoes, and a homemade vinaigrette, and it was a spring-like salad, lovely when served with fresh fruit.
    – Got the very last bit of jam out of the jar by pouring in some homemade yoghurt and shaking it about. Got enough for one last meal of blueberry yoghurt!

    Can’t wait to read everyone’s accomplishments, and I’m looking forward to the extra posts from Brandy this week!

  19. Brandy, although I visit, and like, many blogs where the host has a chit-chatty, lively style, I’ve always appreciated that yours does not. However…I do enjoy seeing the bits of regular humanity in this week’s post: the fact that you cried at the memorial (I would have too) and your son’s kindness in finding a dress for his sister.

  20. We continue to settle into our new house. The kids are starting to settle into their routines again. With one daughter in home-school and one in public, it’s crazy. I feel like we are in 2 worlds. To make it more complicated, the third one should start community college next week! Yikes! We had to buy quite a few school supplies, but I think we have most of what is asked for/needed now.

    I have been able to cook at home and am planning to make a menu plan this week for the first time in a long time. We’ve had a lot of extra people eating here–cousins and friends of the girls. Fun! I love cooking for a crowd. Sadly, the refrigerator we used to use in the garage in our old house was recently moved to the shop and plugged in, and it isn’t working anymore. I was really counting on the extra space so I can buy in bulk. That’s causing quite a problem, since we did not bring a fridge here, and are using the one that was there. It’s not big enough. Things keep falling out! We will figure it out, but I think I’m looking at getting another one before long and moving this one out into the shop.

    The rest is on my blog:

  21. Oh my: I just realized my link does not work…it is here since we migrated the site:

    Another thing I forgot to mention…my husband was asked to create an office beer for his holiday party. He’s an avid home brewer with a small following (he only does microbrews). This is great news to me because everyone gives a handmade gift in his office and many of those gifts are things I already make (so not much novelty) like quick breads, candy and jams. Brewing and bottling 6 packs for his office is unique AND it is one big item I don’t have to make for the holidays, that’s his special talent. I call that a win win!

  22. I’ve attempted jelly like this and it doesn’t always set. Use to top pancakes and waffles. Or drizzle w peanut butter on your sandwich. I’ve made crabapple butter. Takes a lot more sugar than regular, but they were free apples.

  23. Wow, that is a nice harvest. It always amazes me how much food you are able to grow on your small piece of land while still leaving plenty of room for your children to play. Your story about Cyrus made me smile.

    I’ve been watching the Wartime Kitchen and Garden series online. Have you seen it? It’s a short series about the British home front during WWII. It’s mostly about cooking and gardening but they cover some other topics also. It’s both entertaining and educational so it would be useful to anyone studying WWII history but mostly I find it encouraging to see how well people adapted and handled shortages, rationing and adversity. Many of the techniques applied could be used today. The episodes can be found on Youtube but they are all gathered in one place here, if anyone is interested:

  24. This is the second year that I have done this. We seem to have this deal every fall, as the harvests are coming in around Ontario. The sale usually only happens once a year, so I make it last by buying a large amount, then blanch and freeze enough to last through winter.

  25. If you’ve never had Red Fife wheat, I was told that it is a much heavier, grainy flour than the typical flour we buy. The good part is that it is not genetically modified.

  26. I’m so glad to know that your family has a bit more breathing room in your budget to be able to get a second computer! It was also very touching to me that Cyrus would think of his older sister, let alone pay enough attention to know her taste in clothing.

    For me, I found a book I had been wanting to read in near perfect condition for sale for 50 cents! On a bigger note, I am also getting married in a small ceremony this week and was blessed that my church offered its building to us for free, saving us so much money. We have a taco caterer run by a family that only charged $550 for 100 people and they bring their own plates, utensils, and even drinks. A friend is taking photos and giving us a discount. We decided to get our marriage license in another county where the lines are shorter, the facilities are much nicer, and the cost is $30 less! No flowers or decorations or bridesmaids or a “proper” dress. Wedding bands will come from Walmart. I’m very thankful we can be frugal in our wedding despite our parents and friends saying that we should get this or that and pile on the costs.

  27. Brandy, that’s so sweet about your kids! I can only hope that my boys will be that thoughtful toward each other one day. They did make me laugh this week when little man was blowing bubbles for the baby. They were both laughing, so sweet!

    We had a pretty good week this past week, frugally speaking. We stuck to our budget and had some great family time. The highlight was probably the handmade birthday gift and our deal with coupons. All our accomplishments are here:

    Have a great week everyone! I hope you stop by!

  28. This week I took advantage of a 2 day sale at one of our local grocery chains and bought boneless pork loins for $1.29/lb! The sticker on them lists the regular price as $3.99/lb! I bought 30 pounds and had the butcher cut 10 pounds into pork chops that I repackaged at home into 7 meal portions (about $2 total/meal that serves 6!!). The other 20 pounds I had him cut into 8 pork roasts which will each make 3-4 meals as I shred some into carnitas, eat some as roast! So for the $38.70 I spent, we will have many, many meals! Plus, for buying $30 worth of meat, I got a $5 OYNO reward, Plus because of my total purchase of food reaching $100 (almost unheard of for me!) I got another $10 off that order immediately!
    The rest of that order consisted of : 10 pounds of strawberries for $10. , 32 jars of Prego for 99 cents/jar (yes, we are brand snobs for Prego! Lol!) a gallon of milk for $1.59, marked down bananas, cauliflower, mini cucumbers and a bit more produce. Because of the produce, I earned an additional $5 OYNO ! So, after the sales prices and discounts, I spent $70 but came away with the additional $10 to spend on my next trip to the store! And we are now set for a year with spaghetti sauce and won’t need any!

    I finished another quilt and have put it away for a gift. I began quilting a new baby quilt and will finish that in a day or two! All my quilts are made without buying any supplies- fabric, thread or batting. I just use my stash!
    Made meals at home and rotated things in my freezer to make room for the new things!

    I donated 3 more big trash bags of clothes that no longer fit me to Goodwill. Clearing out my closet lets me see what I do and don’t have any more! I have jeans, dress pants,two skirts and 3 pairs of capris and 3 tee shirts, but I have now run out of any dressy top to wear with my skirts so I’ll have to check SA for a couple! Losing over 70 pounds has changed my wardrobe up a bit as far as what fits!
    I am hemming 7 knit maxi dresses for a friend who has also lost weight and replacing the lining of one trench coat sleeve for her which will earn a little over $100! She’s thrilled with my price and I can get these done within 2 hours!
    I had a coupon for JoAnns so I got the nice Schmetz needles for wide twin needle stitching and also a package of their needles for sewing knits for this job but they were 60% off through today! Yay!!
    We put in the brick floor for our gazebo using vintage stamped bricks (circa 1890) that we were given years ago! Had enough bricks that we didn’t need to buy any! Have repurposed pieces of an old sidewalk that we broke into chunks into a wonderful patio floor near our grill! We do love reusing and repurposing things!!!
    Made another big batch of homemade Jiffy cornbread mix since I had used up most of my canister this week to go with our black bean taco soup. I am so glad that I not only labeled the canister with the recipe to use the mix, but also the mix recipe itself so when I get low, I can refill the canister! Saves so much time!!!
    All in all, a very good week!!

  29. Our garden is winding down. Just small pickings left now. This week I cooked a canner full of tomatoes ,zucchini and onions. By using my food mill and adding some water, Worcestershire sauce salt and pepper and a bit of sugar I got almost a gallon of tomato juice. A canner full of culled apples gave us a nice batch of apple cider and several quarts of applesauce for the freezer. Using my fresh eggs to make noodles. I took the sprouts off some sweet potato plants. Put them in water till they got nice roots and then planted in a beautiful ceramic pot to give to my grand son for his new home. I have a lot more sweet potatoes planted in pots here in the house. They make beautiful houseplants. The leaves are edible so when they get leggy this winter I will use the trimmings in recipes that call for spinach.

  30. Brandy – that is a wonderful find on the Scout pants. My son outgrew his borrowed pants and I have been dreading have to buy him new pants – especially since he is 14 and seems to be growing into a new size every 6 months. I found a pair of shorts that were $8 and the right color to pass but we live in the midwest and it will be cold soon and he doesn’t like to wear shorts when it is cold. Cyrus spotting a dress for his sister is amazing!

  31. Thanks for all the suggestions, I’ll try them. I’ve used baking soda/sugar combination but mostly I just pray and squish ants

  32. Picked strawberries, red raspberries, pears, plums, green beans, tomatoes, corn & elderberries.

    Bottled peaches, pears, plums, peach jam, crabapple jelly & green beans. I have put up 22 pints of peach jam so far, made from the peeled skins of my clingstone peaches that do not slip their skins, & so far have bottled 41 quarts of peaches from the same tree. That is far more peach jam than my husband & I can eat, but not so much that our children’s families cannot use it.

    Traded for quart jars with one of my daughters. I gave her 12 bottles of peaches from our tree & she gave me 12 empty quarts to hold more of the peaches from said tree. I also took her 3 of the above pints of jam.

    Used my quarterly “wallet credit” from the grocery store program ($15) to buy another dozen Kerr quart jars, since I ran out.

    Knitted more on the Christmas mittens.

    The granddaughter who came to visit this summer & learned to can apricots & cherries while she was here with me has been helping her mother do tomatoes – as in 3-4 bushel of tomatoes at a time. One of their neighbors is “done” with her tomatoes & told my daughter to come pick “anything with any color”. My granddaughter can slip the skins on the tomatoes & cut out the cores for stewed tomatoes, & put them thru the Victorio strainer for juice. She can keep up with her mother, working together in the kitchen, which is no small task, since her mother is a pretty efficient canner. It was satisfying to see this 12 year old taking pleasure in putting up her own food, & getting good at the process. It helps that she loves tomato juice.

  33. Thank you so much Margaret! It was a huge battle with family to not make our wedding big and splashy but as two grad school students, it meant more to us not to go deep(er) into debt.

  34. I would have been thrilled to have a 12 year old helping with canning. I do little of it anymore, but enjoy it when something “free” turns up on my doorstep. I passed on Concord grapes this year as I have both jelly and juice left from the last two years. My girls did help me once they realized they were only going to get the finished product by helping. My older DD used to carry jelly and jam in her carry-on going back and forth to California. My younger DD is not very interested in cooking but has finally bought a small freezer to take advantage of seasonal produce at cheap prices. She’s cooked a lot of peppers and onions this year as she uses a lot of those.

    I went to the farm stand yesterday just to make sure no peaches were still available, and they were NOT. So sad–only have 5 or 6 large ones left in fridge for my cereal and then we are finished. I bought a small peach pie because I never even made one this year. I usually make one fresh and put another filling in the freezer for my husband’s birthday in April. He’ll have to settle for sour cherry pie on his next birthday! I got those frozen in time. While I was not buying peaches, I did get a couple more zucchini, brought them home and shredded and froze them–so I have enough for 3, 2 loaf batches of lemon zucchini bread over the winter. One loaf still in the freezer also–that should do us. Having just cleaned the freezer and replaced the refrigerator, I am determined that for two people, I can cut down on the amount of food I am stocking up on. Had some freezer burn but on meat- it’s fairly easy to just slice the frozen part off, and cook the rest. I’m also rotating more carefully. But I do think I can slow down on purchases all together.

    Got husband’s help to clean up one badly weedy flower bed today. He has just decided to totally restore another old car that he owns, and is doing his best to keep himself on my good side, including extra help with weeding, a job he hates. I don’t mind but I’m very slow due to arthritis. He’s a big help when he has time.

    Had a family birthday party on Saturday, so had lots of fun, lots of good food, and the only expense was for a gift for 7 year old. It did rain horribly hard about the time we were ready to go back home. We had to pull off into a parking lot at one point because we couldn’t see where we were going. It got better within a few minutes, and our total rainfall at home was 1.25 inches–still needed, although the drought has eased some.

  35. I often read everyone’s frugal accomplishments and am so inspired by them. This September 11th, the small city where I live put a flag in the ground for each person who had died that day. The flags were all over town. It really made you visualize just how many people lost their life that day. We were vacationing in Canada when it occurred and I will never forget the kindness of the Canadians who came up to talk to us when they saw our license plates.
    This has been a hard six weeks as I had a uterine polyp that my doctor was 99% certain was benign but turned out to be cancer. Two surgeries later my PET scan and some lymph nodes removed have been cancer free. My very cautious oncologist might want me to have some localized radiation. Pretty scary, as I don’t know anyone who has had this.
    A good friend brought me a big stack of magazines which was really appreciated. An elderly neighbor that I don’t hardly know gave me a stack of comedy DVDs. My husband’s cousins that were in town took me out for my first big outing which was dinner at a really good Italian restaurant. I stopped at a thrift store and found a cute sweater for only $3.OO. One great thing is that our medical deductible has been met for the year.
    While resting, I finished the quilt I was making for my father. I’ve started knitting slippers for my sister who had surgery for stage 1 lung cancer today. She has never smoked in her life. Her prognosis is good but it does seem like when it rains it pours.
    For my birthday someone gave me an amazon gift card.
    I got a slow cooker because I thought it might make cooking easier for my husband, who is so sweet and is doing everything.
    It is nice when siblings are so kind to each other like yours are. Mine always got along so well, too.

  36. I have been harvesting a little garden produce every day or every other day and trying to use it or freeze it. Also made a lot of homemade bread item – bread, muffins, tortillas and banana bread this week.

    Found a lamp base at goodwill for a project my son was working on – a minecraft block with cutouts covered in celephane. When he is done with the lamp, or if he doesn’t like it, I think it will coordinate with my eclectic decor very well.

    I have been pricing out furniture from joybird, a mid-century furniture company. Our sofa is 20 years old, stained and dated looking. I was so tempted to order during a labor day sale, but I am glad I waited. When I ordered free swatches, they gave me a 20% off coupon which was the same as their labor day sale. I can take my time and decide if this is really what I want. I have also considered attempting to recover the couch my self. I am not an expert sewer, so I am hesitating a bit. And it would be a big project. I am also looking on craigslist. Used furniture seems a bit iffy to me — I am paranoid about bugs.

    I had been buying my daughter some shows on Amazon video to watch, but felt like I needed to lay off that a bit. We looked up when one of her favorite shows was on live TV and found some shows on Amazon prime video (free with our prime membership) for her to watch when she gets some TV time.

    I made a playlist on Amazon prime music of “morning songs” to get us going in the mornings getting ready for school. All the kids have enjoyed this, including me.

    I started reknitting a sweater I knit my husband a few years ago. He never liked the fit of the sleeves, so last spring I spent time unraveling 60% of the sweater so I could reknit the sleeves. Worked on other projects this summer (and gardened a lot) so with the threat of winter (though temps are in the 80’s this week in Iowa) I have started reknitting it. Feels good to have started it. I also skeined some merino wool yarn I bought on cones. I skeined it to wash the oil out of it — it is surplus yarn for commercial knitting machines and has oil in it to slide through the machinery. To get an accurate gauge swatch for hand knitting it needs to be washed.

    Mostly today I am praising God for the health of my daughter who has been finished with treatment for cancer 2 years and 3 months. One more checkup with a clean bill of health. 😀

  37. For frugal accomplishments last week, mostly we ate at home, using up meals I had cooked and frozen. What a wonderful thing it is to have meals in the freezer for nights when I am out of steam! Colored my hair at home ($5) as well, and used a $7.99 great clips coupon for a haircut. In the old days, I would spend $120 for a color and haircut and look no different than I do now. Live and learn I guess ;). I also have a simple hairstyle so it makes it easy.

    Invited friends over for dinner and made chicken piccata. Turned out really well, everyone had seconds. The boneless skinless chicken breasts I had bought for $0.80 a pound (as well as the capers) at a scratch and dent store, so it was quite reasonable for a lovely meal. My husband thought I was crazy when I struggled in the door with the 20 pound box of chicken, now he is a believer.

    Hope everyone has a lovely week, fall is in the air! Here in Phoenix, the low at night has been as low as 76 degrees 😉

  38. I am proud to say my jelly did set. 😉 It took a bit longer cooking time than the instructions, but it really, really set well once I got it. In fact, I had a bit of problem with the first batch as I didn’t work fast enough and it was jelling in the pot before I got it poured into the jar. A couple jars have bubbles throughout because of it. Oh well, it was my first time!:p

    You’re right, it did take quite a bit of sugar (I used 3cups of sugar for every 4 cups of juice). But, oh my, does it ever taste good!:D

  39. Congratulations! My grandmother tells a story about her wedding in their parents backyard, she says she wore a white dress she borrowed from a neighbor and everyone brought food to share. She picked flowers from her mothers garden. She said it’s just the way it was done back then. They have been married 63 years and have been very happy.

  40. Heather I have been fighting Migraines for years. My daughter did some some research
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  41. You are wise to be frugal with your wedding, you are to be congratulated. Remember, gold is gold , whether from Walmart or Tiffany’s. Rings are a unbroken symbol of love and commitment. Your wise ways will Bess your marriage.

  42. ElisaB, I’m not surprised at all about your experiences with Canadian kindness. We tend to be pretty welcoming and friendly people as a whole.

    Sorry to hear that both you and your sister are going through treatments for cancer. At least you understand what each other are going through and can comfort one another in a way others cannot. Wishing you quick and full recovery to both you and your sister!

  43. Heather, I had migraines for decades. Although i never found relief from Dr.s, when i started menopause they disappeared. I haven’t had one in many years. It’s no conciliation now, but i hope you find the same relief when you get older.

  44. Hello everyone from Australia where we are slowly coming out of winter and seeing lovely mid heat spring days 🙂 .

    So lovely of Cyrus to think of Winter whilst out shopping and great bargains you got whilst out Op shopping Brandy. Fantastic to see such wonderful harvests from your gardens.

    I too remember 9 /11 very well as I was chatting to a friend late at night online in the United States and he panned with his camera to the TV. I was so shocked I asked if it was real and he said yes, I would have been one of the first Australians to see the horror unfold and those images have never left me 🙁 .

    Our frugal accomplishments for the week are –

    In the garden –

    – Harvested strawberries, capsicum, turnips and a 1.32kg sweet potato I found hiding under our garden rock edging from our last harvest, it was a surprise indeed.
    – Rerouted 6 garden bed drip irrigation systems so they are removable on each bed for tilling.
    – Saved fuel and time by mulching up a whole large bale of hay for mulch for the gardens.
    – Planted 4 x 2.5 metre rows of sweet corn, 1 x 5 metre row of carrots 1 x 2.5m row of rockmelon seeds, 1 x 5m row of snow peas and 1 x 5mt row of telephone pea seeds in the gardens.
    – DH & I went our separate ways to get more gardening tasks done on the rare sunny days we had between rain saving around 4 hours work.

    Medications –

    – Chose generic brand prescription drugs for DH from the chemist saving about 60 % on branded name prescription drugs.

    In the kitchen –

    – Made a years worth or 4lts of orange juice cordial for us and guests saving $11.16 over shop purchased varieties.
    – We made it from 12 oranges juiced and used the zest along with citric acid and water.
    – Cooked all meals and bread from scratch.

    Power savings –
    – Turned all power points off to unused appliances when not in use whilst out of the house for gardening or errands.

    Water savings –
    – Missed one scheduled garden watering due to rain saving 400lts of town water use.
    – Hand watered part of the house lawns with grey water saved from our showers and washing machine water saving on any town water usage.
    – Hand watered our new seeds and seedlings with rain water from our rainwater tanks rather than using town water.

    Fuel –
    – drove less during the month and combined errands and saved $38.59 from our budgeted amount for the month 😀 .

  45. Congratulations, Christine! I think your wedding will be wonderful as it has the four Most important attendees, Bride, Groom, officiant and GOD! I look back on my small wedding and remember everything that happened during it. My family then hosted a reception for family and friends a week later. It was wonderful. By the way, my “wedding dress” was a three piece suit, black skirt, white top and yellow jacket. My husband-to-be said I looked like a yield sign! I laughed and said “Not until AFTER the ceremony, Sweetheart!” I still smile and choke up thinking about that day. God Bless you and your intended.

  46. Not much out of the ordinary to report but some special things this past week.
    1. We attended a memorial service on Saturday and I no longer had an appropriate outfit. I outfitted myself with a nice top and skirt from the thrift store that went with a sweater and shoes I already had. Total cost: $32 and I have managed to come up with at least 4 other ways to wear the skirt. Once I get tights to match that will multiply.
    2. I don’t usually stock up on groceries but today I found the only waffles that my husband can eat without digestive problems were on sale for $2.50 a box instead of $3.99. Bought twice as many as planned.
    3. We had a CO2 detector and a closet light break. My husband installed replacements. We are also trying to figure out how to take down a chandelier that isn’t working so that we can see if replacing the bulb socket fixes it.
    4. We continue to do work on our house ourselves to prepare it for sale. I moved a pile of used bricks that were in the back of the yard when we bought the house 19 years ago to the curb and someone else now owns them. No hauling fees.

    This is not frugal at all but our dog has a chronic illness and her medication regime stopped working after about 4 years of no problems. I am grateful to use a vet who does not try to add on unnecessary costs but rather takes it one step at a time. Still costly but that is part of the deal of pet ownership. Balancing that out, I saw reason and am not traveling across the country to attend the baby shower for our first grandchild. Soon we will live a lot closer thank goodness.

  47. What a great deal on Scout pants! And how sweet of Cyrus to think about his sister. Way to go!

    For some reason, I didn’t get a chance to post last week, so this is for two weeks. Nothing spectacular though; just things we typically do.

    * Hubs trimmed a tree in our backyard and saved the trimmings for firewood and mulch.

    * Hubs repaired our hot water heater cabinet.

    * Harvested what we could from the garden.

    * Made hummus.

    * Made veggie soup w/ veggie stock from the freezer, zucchini and patty pan squash from the garden, thyme and sage from the garden, and black-eyed peas and tomatoes from the pantry.

    * Froze leftover rice to use in a future soup. (I suppose it could also be used for fried rice, but I usually just dump it in soup.)

    * Froze celery to be used in future soups.

    * Either composted or gave the chickens veggie scraps that we couldn’t use otherwise.

    * Collected eggs from our hens. (They are beginning their fall molt, so we probably won’t get many eggs, if any at all, until their new feathers come in. They need lots of protein and energy to grow new feathers.)

    * The weather has been much more pleasant, so we’ve been able to go without any AC for several days. It looks like our electric usage will end up about 30% lower than this time last year (which was an unusually hot year).

    That’s all I remembered to write down.

    Have a great week, everyone!

  48. What a wonderful photo of the flags!

    Like many of us, I repeated the small stuff, hanging laundry, preventing food waste, and making sure many of our electronics are plugged into power strips. I find that using a power strip for our TV, my sewing machine and my iron makes a slight difference. It is no trouble to turn each strip off when we are done using it, and it gives me a peace of mind when I have used the iron.

    Planted beets for the first time. Anxious to see how that will work out!

    A friend gave me a large lot of vintage items to sell. He and his wife have sold everything and are moving into a camper. I put a couple of the items on EBay, old Disney record books, and one sold immediately! A little extra money is always a blessing.

    Happy Fall!

  49. Last week, I was still off from work. Stayed home just because I wanted to which saved gas or wear and tear on my car. Caught up on some reading.

    Got 4 free magazines thanks to Recyclebank.

    Ordered 2 more free magazine subscriptions thru the rewards program from my cellphone provider. One for me and one for my son.

    Nothing much else really comes to mind.

  50. * We are taking it day by day – hubby has felt well enough during the last week that we were able to get out and hit the grocery store and shop and buy the flooring we needed – waterproof laminate for cheaper than the big box stores. It also is guaranteed that if it goes on sale in the next 30 days (which it will according to the salesman) we will get the difference refunded. It is being installed tomorrow 🙂 I am praying there will be enough left over to do the main bathroom as well since our daughter decided to remove the old flooring in there to “make sure” it hadn’t rotted out the floor in that bath as well. LOL she just wants new flooring! The water is still a problem as it is still coming in but it is due to insufficient gutters and is no longer coming in thru the foundation cracks but running down behind the siding – the one gutter along the back of the house just cannot handle the volume of water that is coming off the roof lines so my Dad will be back maybe this weekend to see if him and I and the kids can get that problem rectified. Hubby has his second round of chemo Thursday so will more than likely be down for a while.
    * We met with a dietitian who gave us a bunch of samples of different protein mixes and drinks for him to try which saves us from wasting money trying everything to see what he likes and can tolerate. They recommend 120 grams of protein A DAY – it is darn near impossible to get that thru meals and snacks alone so we are going to need to buy some supplements for him which is not cheap.
    * I was able to get to the Humane Society and pick up dry cat food for 2 of our cats – they were kind enough to give me 3 bags (usually only get 2) so i could mix what we have been feeding with what they usually have in the pet pantry.
    * I was able to use another of our gift certificates to get the dogs their food. I may have to buy the “old lady” some senior food though cause she seems to be losing weight on what we are feeding the 2 Danes.
    * Found a whole stack of trim which matches the stuff that had rotted out in the family room and am using 2 different colors of stains to get it to match the existing stuff as closely as possible. This was all picked up for free 2 years ago from someone clearing out their garage – some of it is beat up but it will work for our purposes. The rest of the trim I was able to sand and re-stain and clear coated it all today – I was surprised and how good it came out looking – looks like new and I only had to buy more polyurethane (which I was going to need anyway to refinish the steps)
    * Found out we may qualify now for a low income home weatherization program – they would insulate and caulk where needed – and the funny part is, my husband is an energy auditor and has helped others with this program 🙂
    * We lowered our electric bill by $100!! by “suffering” thru the heat waves when hubby was in the hospital and we turned the AC off.
    * I am slowly starting to get a handle on fixing something more than cold sandwiches which the family seems to have appreciated. It is still very hard when i don’t know day to day how hubby is going to be feeling but I have decided to just keep canned bland soups on hand in the pantry and cook regular meals for the rest of us. Leftovers are going in our lunches when my daughter goes to school or I go to work. This week we have had: chicken, bacon, ranch paninis; chili and a chicken potpie and we used one of the frozen enchilada dinners a friend sent over.
    * Anyone have a good fix for finding bats entry points and getting rid of them?? We have a colony we think is living above the master bath and when we removed a light switch during the repainting of the lower level – discovered an awful smell – My daughter pulled multiple bodies out of the switch box EWWWWWW!!!!! I like bats – just not dead in my walls!!!

    Thank you all for the continuing prayers! They are a comfort to me as I try and hold myself together! 🙂

  51. I loved the way that Cyrus was so thoughtful about which dress style would please Winter most. I must say that I also love the names you’ve chosen for your children. Cyrus is the name of a star, right?
    Today I made a kind of pesto sauce using carrot greens. It was the first time I made it and it really ended up well. The recipe called for a few basil leaves as well but, as I didn’t have any, I used persil instead. I also added some sunflower seeds instead of nuts. It was a great way to use up those greens as I didn’t want to make any fried dish with them (some people make a kind of fritters).
    I am also using up some little amounts of this or that, such as quinoa, lentils, chickpeas, things that I don’t use regularly and, in the past, I tended to waste. Today I made quinoa with that pesto sauce and it was a lovely (and healthy) lunch.
    I’ve been making almost all the bread we need from scratch, using a sourdough starter. Somehow it is a bread much lighter for my stomach and I am glad that I gave it a try.
    That’s all for now, many blessings to everybody! Happy fall for those on North Hemisphere, happy spring for us, on South Hemisphere (I am in Brazil 🙂 )

  52. I made some excellent strawberry scones from some strawberries about to go soft. I put them in the freezer and they were great when we had unexpected company. My sister bought the children clothes from Gymboree and gave me her gymbucks. I am going to use them today, I noticed she was .40 from getting another $25 so she called them and they are giving it to her. I’ll spend fifty dollars, get fifty dollars in clothes, and free shipping today. I’m going to get pajamas,and a dress for our youngest. I’ve had a hard time finding pajamas at the thrift store and I know it will get cold here soon. My oldest is doing pretty well with clothes for fall with my thrift shopping over the summer and some sale shopping and gifts. I am watching for a growth spurt though.

    I filled up the car at the cheap gas station, I just have to drive ten minutes and save at least .20 a gallon, plus it is on my way to the store. Even if it wasn’t my husband said it is still cheaper to go there than it is down the corner.
    I have to make granola today and cook chicken thighs. We are trying to get the children to settle on their Halloween costume while we have time to make them but they are dragging their feet. I want to make a pumpkin pie later.
    I said yes to my husband working late tonight, even though it is a gamble if the other children get sick.

    My son saw a ridiculous $500 Lego set and said he’d ask Santa for it. A. NO. B. Whatever do I tell him? “Santa” has given him more reasonably priced Lego sets before. Even using our friends discount, it would still be ridiculous and out of the question. I guess it’s time to start checking the mail after they are in bed so they don’t see catalogues. I recall last year my mother brought a stack of catalogues down and it led to sad feelings and crazy expectations, and even worse, requests for junky toys that will break.

  53. How old is he? Does he have any concept of what $500 is? I would explain that if Santa brought him a $500 Lego set then alot of other children would have to go without….. 🙁 Santa is fun until something like this comes up

  54. Hi Melissa. First of all – prayers to you and your family as you walk this difficult path.

    Second – I once worked with a young woman who was part of a ‘bat advocate’ group. Not really like a club but a group of people who liked bats – they went to schools and groups to talk about all the good bats do. They also helped in situations where bats were unwanted – either by nesting where they were a nuisance or where people had a high level of fear and would kill them. They helped relocate in some instances and in others block where they were nesting and setting up nesting boxes to attract them elsewhere. Might be a thought to Google it or ask at a local nature center or even the Humane Society.

  55. I never wanted to do Santa. I caved because my children are the only grandchildren. :(Now I have this ridiculousness. Santa gives three gifts at our house, an idea I got from my neighbor. Jesus got three gifts, so her kids get three gifts. I liked it as it seemed appropriate. My son is six, even if he did recieve it, he’d pester us to death to build it and that is a huge undertaking that would require the entire dining room table which is not practical for Christmas.UGHH. So far I told him that there are only a very small amount and perhaps the other children asked first. I always tried to push them to ask for say.. a truck or something Santa could feasibly make. I wish I had stuck to my guns and not done Santa, I’d have zero qualms telling him absolutely no for anything else. I told him $500 is what we spend for weeks of groceries or almost a month of tuiton. or more than half our mortgage, Even if we could afford to spend that much on a gift, we certainly would not, that’s an obscene amount of money. I don’t even take them to stores after October because they see things like giant trains or whatever. I’m kicking myself for not hiding the catalogue in the recycling. Maybe I’ll tell him he is too little for a toy with that many pieces, thank you for the suggestion.

  56. Celeste, when our children were young, we explained that Santa had to have permission from the parents before he could bring some toys. We pointed out that some families would ok a BB gun, but some would not allow it. Both views are present within our extended family, so they they understood that. I would tell your son that set has too many pieces to keep picked up & that you will not allow Santa to bring that.

  57. I remember asking for lots of things from Santa when I was a child, but rarely got what I asked for. I usually loved my presents anyways. I would just say he’s welcome to ask for gifts from Santa, but ultimately it is up to Santa to decide what he gives. So he’s disappointed for a moment when it isn’t under the tree. He’ll get over it soon enough and move on to playing with what he did receive.

  58. That is a GREAT idea! Thank you! I have worried about him hearing from classmates that Santa gave them a zillion presents and this would cover that too.

  59. Marivene, it is wonderful to hear how accomplished your granddaughter is becoming with canning. It is great when we can teach another useful skills and continue the art of homemaking.

  60. And congratulations from here as well. I can see that you shall be rebellious in a lovely way through out this union! How nice! I’ve personally found it makes for a lasting relationship.

  61. I fudged a bit with my youngest and told her that Santa worked with our budget so that there would be ‘extra’ toys for children who mightn’t have any. Then I took her to Walmart or the church Christmas tree to choose an angel gift for some needy child. It worked beautifully for us. We tried to choose a child similar to her age.

  62. I once had a talk with a co-worker about the idea of Christmas gifts – one to wear, one to read, one you want and one you need – her response was “how could she explain to her friends that she received so little?”. So sad yet so typical.

  63. We are lucky to have a local baker that uses Red Fife and other heirloom wheats in his creations. We were able to purchase several things to try, and decided to grow the Red Fife after trying it and einkhorn. We loved it!

  64. That is incredibly sweet of your son.

    I cut my son’s and my husband’s hair using clippers. We planned on going out to eat with visiting family, but instead I decided to use things I had to make sloppy joe and creamed corn in my two slow cookers. Everyone enjoyed it, and we probably saved $75.

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